The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

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Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.
(Goodreads)

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett was a lush, exciting, intriguing book that I enjoyed from start to finish. Rich with settings and characters, this might have became my favorite of her books that I’ve read. I loved the mix of mystery and magic, romance and adventure. Theodora, in particular, was a great lead! She was fierce, feminist, smart, and not afraid to take charge or follow someone else’s lead. She was well-rounded and real, and her romance with Huck was extremely swoony. I loved that Huck takes on the roll that many women take on in adventure films (the scared, fragile ones) and that Theodora took care of him even more than he took care of her.

For those who may not know based on the summary, this book is FANTASY! It’s very very very light on the fantasy, and that doesn’t really start until probably halfway into the book. I guess I’d call this YA historical light fantasy, if I wanted to be as specific as possible.

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett will be published September 3, 2019.

Have A Little Faith In Me by Sonia Hartl

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When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.
(Goodreads)

Have A Little Faith In Me by Sonia Hartl is a hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming (yes, both) story about faith—or lack thereof—and friendship. CeCe is reckless, but so damn relatable and real. She's funny and you root for her even when you know you should be telling her to stop what she's doing. Paul, her best friend, is so damn swoony and funny. The girls of Cabin 8 each deserve their own stories with how well they're fleshed out. This book is so important and so sensitive to all the topics it covers, like religion and consent, and I'm so excited for more books by Hartl. She is one to keep on your Reading Radars.

Have A Little Faith In Me by Sonia Hartl will be published September 3, 2019. Preorder here.

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

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The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye's window in the middle of the night, claiming she's the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.
(Goodreads)

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé was everything I wanted and more. The dark, unsettling thriller gave my goosebumps goosebumps. The imagery was haunting, the premise was unique, and the execution was boundary-pushing. Out of all the contemporary fantasy releases I've read so far this year, Here There Are Monsters has become my favorite.

Content warnings: animal deaths, self-harm, graphic descriptions of innards

Preorder here.

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

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Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
(Goodreads)

If you're into dark, beautifully-written, unapologetic fiction that never dumbs itself down for you, preorder Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin right. now.

It's stunning, empowering, and cinematic. Sharp, fast-paced, and gripping. It's like reading the murderer's side of a murder mystery, except you're cheering her on. Jade (Elle) is fierce and unforgettable. Her story will sit with readers for a long time; in fact, I think about this story more often than most others.

For a list of content warnings, please visit: https://www.hannahcapin.com/foulisfair

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin, which I give a screaming! 5! out! of! 5! stars, is available for preorder now and will be published February 4, 2020.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig

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In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
(Goodreads)


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig was a lush, spooky, fresh story. The atmospheric storytelling was strong enough to give me chills and descriptive enough that sometimes I’d forget I was reading instead of watching everything unfold. I loved the characters dearly, but I trusted no one. It’s rare that I find a fantasy that’s engaging and unique, but House managed to be both in this world of over-saturated, familiar fantasies. Equal parts beautiful, tragic, gothic story and murder mystery fantasy, it’s hard to explain what it was that made me love this book so much, so I’ll just say it was everything.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig, which I give 5 out of 5 stars, will be published August 6, 2019. Preorder here.