Wednesday, January 02, 2013

This blogger is moving!

Hello, faithful readers. I am moving my blogging experience over to Wordpress. My new blog is Bahnreads. Please go there and follow if you would like to keep up with my silliness. :) Thank you for the views/comments/wonderfulness! I will hopefully continue to see you all around the Interwebz.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 YA/MG Debut Wrap-up!

I've been doing the Debut Challenge for several years now, but this is the first one in which I've read all 12 and reviewed all 12. So hooray! Titles and links below.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Above by Leah Bobet
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Vodnik by Bryce Moore
The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

I also read about 60 pages of The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent and Immortal City by Scott Speer but didn't finish either of them.

ON TO 2013!

Monday, December 31, 2012


The basic premise of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom answers the question: "What would happen if the Princes Charming from four different fairy tales (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty) all had major issues and teamed up to win fame and glory?" The answer is "HILARITY AND EPICOSITY AND A LOT OF TRYING AND FAILING." The princesses are all in the story too, but all the princes and princesses are VERY different from what we know. For example, Briar Rose is a spoiled, mean brat, while Cinderella's prince is terrified of leaving his castle. The conflict involves the witch from Rapunzel's fairy tale, but honestly I don't want to give too much away, because this is a story that evolves organically and you learn everything in the order you're supposed to know it. AND IT'S FABULOUS.

The characters, who they are, how they act, how they grow, and most especially how they interact with each other, was my absolute favorite bit about this novel. The four princes all have different flaws and strengths, and (of course) it takes them a while to work together. Ella (Cinderella) is fierce but kind of clueless because she's been under house arrest for so long. The dwarves (they're experts at everything), the trolls, the dragon, the giant, the witch, the bandits...EVERYONE IS SO GREAT. Also Lila, one of the prince's younger sister who is probably the most clear-headed character. Prince Duncan was probably my favorite. He is possibly crazy, possibly brilliant, and a ton of fun.

I don't know if I've made it clear yet, but this novel is hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing out loud (granted, it's pretty easy to make me laugh (BUT STILL)). The story has a lot of twists and turns, and feels a lot like a journey where you really don't know what is going to happen next because there's a sort of calculated randomness going on that is impossible to predict but seems inevitable once it happens. Good times.

This novel uses an omniscient narrator. In general, I dislike omniscient narrators, especially in a children's book because they have a tendency to talk down to the reader. I only occasionally minded it here. It was always clear whose head we were in, and there were many different ways it was used for humor. Also, with so many characters, including five (or six) main characters, I felt like the narration was as decent a choice as any. I also loved the chapter titles, which were always "Prince Charming [Does Something]." They were often funny and gave a hint as to the action in the chapter, without really giving it away because there are four Princes Charming to choose from.

I gave The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom five out five stars for being an absolutely jolly read. I will read the sequel, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, so hard.

VODNIK by Bryce Moore

It's set in Slovakia! There is little to no romance! There is an emphasis on family loyalty (but not TOO much family loyalty)! There are many mysteries that weave in and out of the story only to be RESOLVED at the end! It's a standalone!

Those are a few reasons of why Vodnik stood out as a special book, and of why I loved it.
Vodnik is about a boy, Tomas, and his parents who move to Slovakia after losing everything in a house fire. Tomas is scarred, not from the house fire but from a fire from when he was small. His mother was originally from Slovakia, but they moved for reasons that Tomas is unclear on, involving his long-gone grandmother, and his traumatic almost-burning-to-death. Tomas starts seeing people made out of water and fire and old women with scythes and it's all very strange, but he is more concerned with his family's many secrets and refusal to talk about anything, as well as Katka, a girl he meets and befriends immediately. Tomas discovers that his ability to see the fantastical inhabitants of Slovakia may help him deal with his "real-world Slovakia" problems.
There's a small cast of characters, Tomas and Katka being the most important. I loved how both of them are really smart and capable but still seem like TEENAGERS, because they ARE. They have quirks and immature moments. The various related family members were cool too. There was a gang of bullies who were incredibly one-dimensional: they may be my one complaint with this book.

DID I MENTION I LOVED THE SETTING? Not only Slovakia in general, but having a run-down castle (Katka's father owns it and runs tours) as base of operations for the characters was totally great. I liked that we didn't spend too much time on Tomas' reasonable aversion to moving to a completely different country, and that he grows to like it fairly quickly. Because even with its problems, it's obviously an interesting place to live.

The fantastical bits, eg all those water and fire people and the creature known as the vodnik (who becomes very important very quickly in the story), were crazy and scary and great. They were all three-dimensional characters, too, with different sides to them and complex histories of their own. That was refreshing.

And, like I mentioned, lots of mysteries in this book. There was a good balance between giving us hints and connections without spelling everything out for us. Many of the twists and explanations were unexpected, but not without foundation in preceding chapters.

I gave Vodnik five out five stars for being a well-crafted, fleshed out story with loveable characters (even the murderous ones).

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone is the first novel in the Grisha Trilogy, which follows a girl named Alina in a land where magicians called Grisha serve the king. Alina and her longtime friend Mal both serve in the non-magical division of the army, but they are attacked by volcra (monsters) and then miraculously saved by Alina's latent magical power. The Darkling, the most powerful magician in the land, takes an interest in Alina, and training and heroics follow.

I loved the world in this. It was an interesting combination of fantastical but very real. Not real in a grit-and-grime, you-see-every-pockmark-on-the-whores kind of way, but all of the characters seem to solidly belong there and know what’s going on in their own land. There was just enough detail in the clothing, geography, etc that I felt comfortable in it. The magic system, too, was really comprehensive. I loved all of the details and rules for the different kinds of magic-users, even down to the clothes they wear.

Alina was a well-rounded protagonist who annoyed me a bit at first but she is developed very well through the course of the book, and easy to root for. It was frustrating that she couldn't manage to make any friends. I really want her to have a girl BFF, but every time she met a female she was all, “omg they haaaaaaate me.” She DOES befriend Genya (who I loved) but that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, either.

The “love triangle” in this book was awkward because, for me, the Darkling was so much more complex and fascinating than Mal. In fact, he interested me above and beyond most everyone except for Genya. I loved her and the Darkling, probably more than Alina and Mal. I'm not saying the book should have been about them (but the book should have been about them (just kidding (mostly))). I also really loved Baghra, the teacher. I have a fondness for characters who kick protagonists in their hesitating-and-reluctant behinds.

I really disliked Mal, but I am hoping in future books that will change. It's hard to present a character, who is obviously well-loved by the main character, but whom we never see do anything particularly nice or heroic and then have him disappear for a large part of the book, and still expect us to like him. My frequent reaction to him was "Wow what a jackass". I think the author did her best to give us some good things about Mal, mostly through Alina’s memories, but I mostly only cared about him at all because Alina did, rather than for his own sake.

I liked the beginning and ending chapters a lot, their tone and style and how they brought the story into a full wraparound. The only thing that kinda ruined that effect was the climax. Boy howdy did I hate the climax. The climax accomplished almost nothing. In the end, it feels like the entire novel is just a giant prologue for the rest of the series/trilogy. We've gotten to know the characters, what's at stake, and who is working for Good and who is working for Evil, but nothing has really been accomplished except training and development (really great character development in this book, if I didn’t mention that) all around for everyone.

I gave Shadow and Bone four out of five stars. I really enjoyed it, in spite of my complaints, and I’m looking forward to more from this author.

PS: Someday someone will write a book about a cartographer who has adventures and solves their problems with geographical and topographical knowledge and their skill with crafting maps. And I will squeal with giddy joy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

HEMLOCK by Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie's best friend, Amy, was murdered by a werewolf. Mac wants justice for this death, but she also doesn't approve of the Trackers, a group dedicated to hunting down werewolves and either killing them or locking them away. Amy's boyfriend, Jason, is making a lot of bad life choices since Amy's death, and is starting to think about joining the Trackers. Mac's other best friend, Kyle, is hiding something....BUT WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE? Mac's guardian is her older sister, whose boyfriend, Ben, is also hiding something.....BUT WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE?

Hemlock is a 200-page book smashed into 400 pages. It's way too long for the amount of action in it, and most of the revelations we can see coming a mile off. Most of the pages were filled with Mac trying to come to terms with her friend's death, her other friends' problems, all of the secrets she uncovers, and the political wrangling of the Trackers and other anti-werewolf people, and those who think werewolves are human beings with human rights. However, some of the mystery was very suspenseful and there were some twists I wasn't expecting. Mac's constant dreams about Amy were pretty strange, though. I don't know, some of the stuff that seemed random or really drawn out might come back into the trilogy later, but for this book it made me wonder what the point of it was.

Mac herself did very little in this book. I spent a lot of time expecting her to do something, anything, besides yell at everyone else to stop being stupid or scream in terror-both of these are valid reactions but that's all you can do, girl? Why are you even the protagonist? Jason and Kyle deserve a lot of yelling from her, but they were frustrating to read too because all their choice are bad ones, it seems like. Ben was honestly my favorite character in this book. And that...I don't think that should be, considering who he is and everything that happens in the book.

My favorite part of the book was the world, which is very dark (especially if you're a werewolf) and intense. It reminded me a lot of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson novels, if the werewolves "coming out" had gone horribly.

I gave Hemlock three out of five stars. I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy, but I hope Mac builds on the development she got in this book and becomes a more active character.

PS-Don't get me started on the pop culture references in this book. Just don't.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Ordinary Magic is about a girl named Abby who lives in a world where everything is done with magic. Out of her entire large family, Abby is the only "ord" (ordinary), revealed when she is tested for magical gifts. She is immediately shunned by just about everyone she knows aside from her family (who are hilarious and adorable and lovely). She is then shipped off to a special school in the city dedicated to protecting ords and teaching them how to survive and protect themselves against magic users who, for the most part, hate them. Abby has had a pretty great childhood compared to many of her classmates, but the teachers and students bond and learn a lot and have to face off against bloody-thirsty Red Caps, ord-slavers, and discrimination of all kinds.

The world is fascinating. Everything is done by magic, so an ord is feared because a lack of magic is a horrifying possibility to most of the populace. The politics, with the various people standing for or against ords, was included enough in the story to make sense and stay interesting, without detracting from the more personal story of the characters (think of Harry Potter's wizarding world, if all the wizards decided to hunt down their non-magical relatives and enslave them).

The characters were, in fact, FABULOUS. I loved the protagonist, who is optimistic, idealistic, and loves her family. The novel is written in her voice, and it is solid throughout and very entertaining (a large part of why I started reading and couldn't stop). I also love her family, who don't care that she's an ord and commit themselves to helping her and kids like her. All of the teachers and students at the school have their own stories and fleshed out personalities. One of her classmates, Peter, is a perfect foil for Abby (and not just because he's a Pessimist and she's an Optimist).

Ordinary Magic is one of those perfect books where every page is not only necessary to the story that the author is telling, but entertaining and gripping as well. This is a Middle Grade book, but the story is still complex and deals with some pretty intense issues. It would be easy to read it strictly as an allegory of race/religion/sex discrimination, but there’s a really great story here, too.

I gave Ordinary Magic five out of five stars. WARNING: contains complete win. I need more of this series immediately.


Something Like Normal is a fun romance and a believable approach towards soldiers with PTSD. It is about a US veteran, Travis, coming home on leave from Iraq. But he comes home, where his dad is Always Disapproving, his mom is always Worried and also getting bullied by her husband, and everyone wants to know what Iraq and the war is like and Travis is completely uninterested in talking to anyone about it. He has PTSD, which he is trying to hide as much as possible from everyone. He crosses paths with Harper, a girl he knew in high school, and is determined to befriend her, because she seems more “real” than his other old friends, and he wants to try to be as normal as possible, instead of obsessing over his war experiences.

It probably sounds like a Nicholas Sparks book but to me it was much more honest than that. The story is very character-driven. Besides Travis and Harper and their relationship, and Travis and his difficult relationships with his family members, there are also his old high school friends (and enemies), Harper’s dad, and Travis’s surviving friends from his platoon, who visit so that they can all attend the funeral of one of their friends who didn't make it. Travis has a lot of guilt over his friend's death to deal with, too. He keeps trying to hide all of his inner turmoil over this and his shellshock from the war in general, and the way he slowly opens up, especially to Harper, was sympathetically done.

I really liked the romance in this book. It was only a part of the story and only a part of the characters, which is my favorite way to have romance in a book (a part of their life, not the be-all, end-all). Harper is very much her own person, and has horrible memories of Travis that he has to prove wrong before she can give him a chance at all. The progression of their relationship is just really cute though and I love both of them.

So as you can probably guess, there is a lot of relationship drama between all of these characters. But it was very well-written and engaging, and it's very easy to empathize with Boy. Despite the tough subject matter, this is a light, fast read.

I gave Something Like Normal four out of five stars.

Friday, December 28, 2012


The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a somewhat lackluster romance set in the afterlife. Sixteen-year-old Brie dies of a broken heart, literally, and is sentenced to a sort of afterlife transit station that takes the appearance of a diner. There, she meets Patrick, who died of mysterious causes back in the 80s and who takes it upon himself to show her around and help her resolve her unresolved issues with Life so she can pass on. She spies on her family and sees that they're taking her death extremely hard, she spies on her friends and comes to all the wrong conclusions, and also there's evil soulless people wandering around trying to ruin her afterlife.

The protagonist was really annoying. Brie is very immature at the start of the book, and she has a steep learning curve, which was cool, but still, wow, just really selfish and irritating most of the time. She goes through the five stages of grief in regards to her own death, and at first is determined to rejoin life as she knew it. This leads her to spying on her old life and the people in it, since she can't actually interact with them. She has to figure out why her boyfriend broke up with her (accidentally killing her, and this just seemed so silly, anyway), why her parents are having such issues, and whether her best friend horribly betrayed her or not. The way she deals with all of these revelations was very engaging. Everyone is grieving, including Brie, who has lost everything she's ever known, and they all deal with it differently. Watching Brie grow and hang on to her old relationships while accepting her own demise was my favorite part of the book.
The Big Danger and Climax at the end seemed really contrived. It was really strange and fantastical, and jarred with the complete normality of the rest. Patrick's history was also very strange revelation. Like, he did WHAT? and then SHE did what? And she lost her memory because WHY? And then there's all these deals to make sure everyone gets to keep their respective souls and I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

I guess this book just really wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't ever quite connect with Brie or Patrick (I was more interested in the supporting cast, to be honest) and the "world" of the afterlife never did make much sense.

I gave this book three out of five stars.

DON'T LET ME GO by J.H. Trumble

Don't Let Me Go is a story about a romantic relationship, and chronicles several years while the protagonists, Adam and Nate, are in high school. The main story occurs in the "present," with a partner story that takes place in flashbacks. The flashbacks contain important moments in Adam and Nate's relationship, e.g. how they met, and focuses on a traumatic event that happened to Nate that Adam helped him get through. In the present, Adam is going to New York for his dream job, while Nate is staying behind. They try to stay together and emotionally close even with the distance, meddling roommates, other needy boys, family issues, personal insecurities, etc, etc. Essentially: THERE IS A LOT OF DRAMA.

The flashbacks were done well; by that I mean that they usually had a logical jump off from the present day, and they informed and fleshed out the present storyline and characters. Nate's trauma was handled well. We get a terrifying sense of what he went through, without it being too much, or getting too close and personal. Nate's recovery is made possible by his support system, his friends and family, and it was heart-warming to read, even while showing the complexity of recovering from something like that.

The characters were VERY real in this book; relateable and likable while still having their flaws and quirks. I loved how we see Adam most of the time through Nate's eyes, so he's basically perfect, but there are hints of Adam's flaws, and when Nate realizes that Adam needs him as much as he needs Adam, it was an inevitable realization and totally great. And satisfying.

The supporting cast is fun, especially Daniel, a few years old who becomes Nate's straight BFF. He was totally impervious to drama that infects literally EVERYONE ELSE IN THE STORY, and his life experiences were another perspective on what happened to Nate; it all connected very well, in a believable way, instead of seeming contrived: he is trying to help others avoid what happened to his family, and that leads him to Nate. I also had a fondness for the Roommate of Temptation. Luke, a boy who is very similar to who Nate used to be, was really annoying. But Nate's rebound to him was believable drama.

I disliked the time jump near the end. If you read this, you will know which one I'm talking about. It gives a cliffhanger to the drama, skips forward a few years, and then spends a few pages drawing the suspense out of how the cliffhanger was resolved, and finally explains it all in a brief, reporter manner. ARGH. I have no idea who made that structure choice or why.

This book is kinda long, too. There was a LOT of drama, and it was sometimes painful to read. I liked the past stuff more just because those were more focused on what we needed to know, rather than spinning out the suspense of the drama. This is just one of those romantic books where you KNOW they're going to end up together, but that just makes you scream at them more every time they do dumb things or cause miscommunications or make bad choices or break up or whatever. However, it was still a jolly, well-written, character-driven story.

I gave Don't Let Me Go four out of five stars.

PS: I found a great review of this book here: Much better written than mine, haha.

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

This review will be as objective as possible, but long story short, I disliked it. If Incarnate hadn't gotten so much marketing and hype, I probably wouldn't have been so underwhelmed, but it has some basic issues. It's a fascinating premise, though.

My favorite part of Incarnate was the exploration of how humans would behave and live their lives if they could redo their lives over and over indefinitely. Who would they love, and for how long? What would they do with their time? How quickly would one get bored, and what would one do after that? The contrast between the "normal" humans and Ana, who is living her life for the first time, was very intriguing.

As a science fiction novel, I was disappointed by small but frequent holes in the world-building. I had tons of questions about everything throughout the novel, some of which were answered, some of which were not, and there didn't seem to be a good reason for us NOT to know the answer (it's the beginning of a trilogy, but still, can we get some basics out of the way?). It succeeded much more as a romance novel than it did as a sci-fi or a utopian novel that is hiding some dystopian elements. Ana and Sam's romance progressed believably and was interesting and not too much insta-love. However, I need more to my books than just romance (I'm not a reader of the romance genre), so that was part of why this book didn't work for me, personally. But I know there's a lot of readers out there who will appreciate the romance more than me.

My biggest criticism of Incarnate is its absolute black and white attitude toward religious people/people with faith in a higher power. All of the characters in the book with any faith in a higher power were either hypocritical jerks or psychopaths or sociopaths. I know that those people exist in the real world, and should be in fiction, too, but there was no other character who was both religious and kind and/or reasonable and/or anything positive. And that seems pretty ridiculous and narrow-minded. Ana's attitude toward people of faith is flippant and "Well, if they want to be idiots, that's okay." She has zero respect for them. That's a protagonist type that I have serious problems relating to or rooting for.

The point of view was very difficult for me to read. It's hard to read from the perspective of someone who hates herself, because we can't see the good in her. I would have loved to read the book from Sam's perspective, because he is able to see Ana's issues but also see all of the good things about her (which there clearly are, because he loves her, and we can see some of it while in her POV, it's just REALLY HARD). Ana has been abused, neglected, and traumatized, so her issues are understandable and horrible, but when everything she thinks and how she behaves revolves around how much she hates herself, it's hard to see the good things. Also, if it was in Sam's POV, i think it would help with some of the world-building confusion, becase there's a lot of stuff that the characters know, but Ana doesn't tell us for a while not because of plot reasons, just because she has too much else to think about and agonize over, whereas I think Sam would be able to answer some of those questions earlier on more easily.

I gave Incarnate three out of five stars.

Friday, December 21, 2012

ABOVE by Leah Bobet

Matthew lives in a place called Safe, which is an underground haven for all sorts of outcasts from society, whether they’re like Atticus, the founder who has pincers like a crab, or like Ariel, who is hiding some sort of trauma and turns into a bee when she’s afraid. Matthew was born in Safe and has scales and clawed feet. He is also the Storyteller for the community, and memorizes the stories of each person in Safe and how they came from “Above,” a world similar to our own. However, Matthew doesn’t know everything about people like Ariel, Atticus, or Corner, the only person ever to be exiled from Safe, for a horrible crime. When tragedy hits Safe itself, Matthew has to protect those in Safe, while trying to find out what really happened to Corner and to Ariel.

First off, I need to admit that this is one of my two favorite debuts this year, and I think it’s completely brilliant. I’ve read a lot of reviews for this, and the one complaint that I’ve seen the most, and completely disagree with, is that it’s confusing to read and illogical. Matthew, the narrator and POV, uses words a little strangely, it is true. But it’s the dialect of Safe, and it is internally consistent and logical throughout the book. Just compare it to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: it’s difficult to read and interpret sometimes, but totally worth it, AND much easier than Huck Finn, in my opinion. I loved the language in this, and the way they use words just a little bit differently than us. But the main thing I want to say is that if you can persevere through the difficulty, this book is very, very rewarding. There’s also the “confusion” of one of the character’s gender, but it’s an intended mystery within the story, so you’re supposed to wonder about it, and the answer we are given is perfect for the character and the story.

I really loved all the characters in this. Matthew especially, but Jack Flash, Ariel, Whisper, Corner, and Atticus were so real, so complex, and so interesting that I loved every moment with them, even when they made bad choices, or REALLY bad choices, but especially when they were strong and did the right thing. Corner and Atticus tore my heart into shreds, so there’s also that.

I’m not going to talk too much about the portrayal of mental illness, because I’m not qualified, but I thought it was respectfully done. It shows several different ways of behaving towards people with mental illness, and the characters that have to struggle with it are not defended or blamed at face value, but they are held responsible for their moral choices. There is a lot of fear in this novel, fear of “Them,” of mental illness, of “Above,” of people down below in Safe. All of the characters struggle with it, and some of them overcome it.

My favorite part of the book was the point of view: the choice of which was perfect, Matthew is the perfect person to tell this story. He’s the Storyteller, and while reading his story, we see him making choices on how to present stories, whether it is Jack Flash’s story of his time Above, or the overall story in the novel. We see how other characters perceive, interpret, or tell stories, whether or not they are true. Matthew himself controls much of the truth about the other characters, because he is the keeper of the stories. This makes him very powerful in influencing the choices of others, although not completely responsible, and it’s a very interesting part of the plot of the novel. The past of the characters is very important to the present story—they almost run parallel to each other, with important events in one influencing or reflecting important events in the other. Matthew thinks about this often and learns the importance of getting the past straight so one can deal properly with the present.

I gave this book five out of five stars.

PRETTY CROOKED by Elisa Ludwig

Think Mean Girls plus Robin Hood.

Willa Fox is the new girl in town and is going to Valley Prep, the school for rich kids (how could it not be, with a name like that?). Willa’s mom has recently made a really, really really good sale on her art (do painters actually make money?), so Willa is now one of the rich kids, too. She notices that the scholarship kids are treated like dirt, decides someone should do something about the social injustice, and goes about stealing from her so-called friends, the “Glitterati,” and giving to the scholarship kids. Of course, the moral complexities start to get…pretty complicated. She meets a rich boy named Aiden who has a different way of rebelling against the social order. She starts lying to her mom, and realizing her mom might be keeping a few secrets of her own. The drama!

I really liked this story, but it’s not for everyone. It’s very formulaic with few surprises if you have any experience in this genre, but the formula is well-done and entertaining. Willa has really good intentions, which makes her sympathetic even when she makes foolish choices. She can be a little annoying though, so again, maybe not for everyone. But, if you're going to only read one book with this kind of plot, this is a pretty good choice.

The characters are intriguing and layered. Willa, and therefore the reader, gets certain first impressions from all of them, but then through the story they all get layers (like onions), which I appreciated. Aiden, the Glitterati, the scholarship kids, etc, are not completely as they appear, and are fleshed out really well. I look forward to more of these characters in future books.

Pretty Crooked is the beginning of a series, so I was pleased to see that there’s a good full story arc with Willa, while still leaving a few loose ends that makes me want to continue reading. I’m especially curious about what’s going on with her mom.

I gave it four out of five stars.