It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/2/19

It’s December already! Where has this year gone?

This week I’m going to read two arcs that my friends picked me up at ALA, and a book that was donated to me from a library patron.

What are you reading?

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken- Brigid Kemmerer

42952728In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things- Jacqueline Firkins

43261131In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First, there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend, and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy, and all-around player. He’s totally off-limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.

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The Saturday Night Ghost Club- Craig Davidson

42378784A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

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Title: Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

Author: Jennieke Cohen

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: December 3rd 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fiction

Synopsis:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo| Google Books

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Author Information

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Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | Instagram

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

TOUR BANNER

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Book Review

When it comes to historical romance books, Jane Austen is one of my go-to authors. Pride & Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite books, so when I heard of Dangerous Alliance and that it’s filled with Jane Austen references, I knew I had to read this book. And this story did not disappoint.

Dangerous Alliance is filled with beautiful prose, witty banter, and charming characters. There were scenes where I was laughing and scenes where I was gasping, not expecting certain things to happen. The characters, especially the male love interests, were delightful and made Vicky’s interactions entertaining and enjoyable.

Even though, at heart, this story is a romance story, I loved the dash of mystery. Mix mystery into a romance story, and you have a captivating storyline with irresistible characters. And that’s exactly what you get here. Dangerous Alliance kept me on the edge of my seat; I was so curious as to what would happen next that I didn’t want to put this book down. I loved the characters and Vicky and the setting is beyond gorgeous – the historical beauty is captivating, and I loved every second of this book.

“Your pride is one thing, Victoria, but when you give it more weight than your health, you do yourself no favors.”

Victoria is a fun and engaging main character who gets herself into quite the predicament. How exactly do you handle multiple men vying for your hand in marriage? And also try to solve a mystery that could potentially put her and her family in harm’s way? It’s not easy for Vicky, that’s for sure, but watching her navigate the world of society’s season was fun and humorous at times. Her reliability on Jane Austen’s words is a delight to read; it’s the right mixture of Jane Austen’s work with Cohen’s story. Vicky is also strong and fiercely independent, which I absolutely loved; she does not want to settle down and lose her freedom, but to save her family, she’ll do anything.

“Of the countless embarrassing moments in all her seventeen years, this one secured the prize for most ghastly.”

Cohen’s writing was spectacular; I mainly loved the witty banter between the characters and Vicky’s interactions with those inside and outside of books. Cohen brings this historical romance book to life. There’s just enough romance and mystery to keep the readers on their toes, which made this book even more enjoyable. Overall, this book was a wonderful read and perfect for fans of Jane Austen!

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE by Jennieke Cohen (US Only)
Starts: 27th November 2019

Ends: 11th December 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 11/25/19

Happy Thanksgiving week!!!

This week will be a small reading week due to the holiday.

I’ll be reading a Riverdale book since I’ve been obsessed with that show lately and a book from an author who I’ve never read from before.

What are you reading?

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Riverdale: Get Out of Town- Micol Ostow

46155200. sy475 When Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead take a road trip, they discover that their small-town problems seem to follow them wherever they go.

Archie’s on trial for murder, and the evidence is stacked against him. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead all know that Archie is being framed by Hiram Lodge, but how can they prove it?

The gang comes up with a last-ditch plan to prove Archie’s innocence: They have to go back to the scene of the crime. They have to go back to Shadow Lake.

Threats are around every corner deep in the woods at the Lodge family cabin. Will the teens find the evidence they need to clear Archie’s name? And more importantly, will they make it back to Riverdale alive?

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Call Down the Hawk- Maggie Stiefvater

31373184The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

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*First Line Friday 11/15/19* Birthday- Meredith Russo

43924017. sy475 Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this unconventional love story by award-winning author Meredith Russo!

Meet Eric and Morgan.

Born on the same day, at the same time, in the same place. They’ve always shared this one day together, but as they grow up they begin to grow apart.

Everyone expects Eric to get a football scholarship, but no one knows he’s having second thoughts.
Former quarterback Morgan feels utterly alone, as she wrestles with the difficult choice to live as her true self.

Both of them are struggling to be the person they know they are. Who better to help than your best friend?

Told on one day every year, over six years, this is a story about how change pulls people apart… and how love brings them back together.

An LGBTQ+ YA One Day perfect for fans of Love, Simon, Birthday is a beautiful love story by the best-selling #ownvoices author of If I Was Your Girl.

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“I’m holding my breath, hovering between wavering sunlight and deep, dark blue, arms twirling while my feet kick up and down, slow as tides.”

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Coral by Sara Ella

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Title: Coral

Author: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales

Synopsis:

Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo

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Author Information

AUTHOR (10)

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

Please note: Coral includes some potential triggers, click here to see Sara’s note on trigger warnings. 

“Time was a ribbon. She could fold it and tie it, bend it, lose it. Cut it. But if she cut it, she could never piece it back together the way it was before. She could never get it back. All she had left was after. And after was never the same.”

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories (the original and Disney version), so of course I jumped up for joy when I saw that Coral was The Little Mermaid retelling with a contemporary/fantasy twist. This book had a ton of elements I love (retellings and anything to do with fantasy), and to me, this story did not disappoint.

One thing I loved about Coral is how the characters’ stories wrapped with one another with such ease. The way Sara Ella writes their stories with mesmerizing prose is captivating and it truly brings the story together. The characters are so well developed and genuine that it will be easy for any reader to find a connection with one of the characters. I enjoyed the inclusion of mental health and how Sara Ella made the characters feel so human and real; each character, especially Brooke, has something that makes them utterly human; with these characters, I felt like I wasn’t alone, like these characters were my longtime friends.

“True love makes life, even a broken one, worth fighting for.”

I will admit it did take me awhile to get into the story and that’s only because I’m not a big fan of contemporary books, and Coral does present some contemporary elements, but other than that, I became enthralled with the world and the main characters. Sara Ella weaves together a beautiful and heart wrenching story about love and sacrifice and finding yourself. Coral is a stunningly raw story with vulnerable characters that experience the trauma and love of life. However, I did get a tad bit confused toward the end of the book, with how the story got to its ending. But other than that, I loved this story and how much light it shines on mental health.

“It might be impossible to change the past. But who said starting over had anything to do with going back?”

Coral is a beautifully intricate story filled with life and love and hard decisions. Fans of The Little Mermaid would love this story, along with readers who enjoy retellings. Sara Ella addresses the things that make us human in her book and how she depicts everything is what made me love this book. Coral is out on bookshelves now, so grab your copy today!

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (5) finished copies of CORAL by Sara Ella (US Only) 

Starts: 15th November 2019

Ends: 28th November 2019 

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

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Title: Crown of Oblivion

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: November 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.

But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.

From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo

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Author Information

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Julie Eshbaugh is a YA writer and former filmmaker. She made two short films and then spent several years producing an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Her new YA fantasy standalone, CROWN OF OBLIVION, is coming from HarperTeen November 2019. IVORY AND BONE (HarperTeen 2016) and OBSIDIAN AND STARS (HarperTeen 2017), her prehistoric fantasy duology, are out now. You can learn more about Julie’s writing escapades by visiting www.julieeshbaugh.com.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

“Since the day I signed up to race, everywhere I go, I feel the breath of Death on the back of my neck. But tonight is the first I hear its footsteps.”

Crown of Oblivion is a thrilling race where characters’ limits are tested and lives are lost. But at the heart of this story lies a rebellion and a villain who is bent on making sure Astrid doesn’t survive the race. Julie Eshbaugh presents a book filled with action and beautiful character development, as well as captivating prose that kept me reading long into the night.

At the beginning of the story, the reader finds out that Astrid is Princess Renya’s surrogate: every time Renya misbehaves or does something she shouldn’t, Astrid receives the punishment. And there was a time where Astrid’s older brother, Jayden, was the prince’s surrogate, but that was before he escaped and presumed dead. Now, years later, Astrid will do anything to protect her dying father and younger brother, even if it means entering a race where your past is completely wiped from your mind and you fight other racers possibly to the death to win. But Astrid has something the other racers don’t and something that could get her killed: she has powerful magic that no Outsider should have.

“…I bite my lip between my teeth to hold them still, and remind myself what courage really is. Not the lack of fear, but action in the face of fear.”

Astrid is such a strong character; she’s brave, selfless, determined, powerful, and so much more. She has the strong sense to protect her family, which is why she enters the race. She wants to make sure her and her younger brother become citizens, so neither will ever have to worry about poverty or being an Outsider again. But, as Astrid is already a surrogate for the Princess, she’s above the Outsider status. Yet, she needs to make sure her brother is always protected, and that’s when she starts to realize that she could become a Citizen, and no longer be Princess Renya’s surrogate.

But before she enters the race and as she’s given Oblivion, someone commits a murder right in front of her, someone she knows. And because the powerful Oblivion drug has taken its course, she can’t remember who it was. So, throughout the race, she struggles to reclaim her past while fighting for her future; she doesn’t know who to trust, if anyone, and who to believe. By forgetting her whole past, she’s lost the ability to know just who is really looking out for her.

“If I told you monsters could be tamed, would you want to live with monsters? Even a tame monster is still a monster.”

I really enjoyed the side characters in Crown of Oblivion, especially the enemies-to-lovers romance. That’s a romance that I will always love, and the romance in this book is slow-burn, for sure. But it’s a good slow-burn. It offers the readers the chance to get to know both characters during the race and the opportunity to root for both of them, whether it be for wanting one of them to win the race or hoping they become romantically involved.

Eshbaugh’s world building of the race was unique and intricately designed; I could easily picture every scene during the race, and the descriptions and clues kept me intrigued. I felt like I was alongside Astrid trying to piece together the clues (usually before she discovered the answers), and I found that to be really fun. It was a cool way to interact with the story, even if I did end up guessing the wrong answer on almost all the clues.

Overall, Crown of Oblivion was a great book to read; I enjoyed the characters and the world and I loved how the plot thickened as the book went on. Crown of Oblivion is out in stores today, so if you’re looking for a book with mystery, rebellion, a race unlike any other, and non-stop action, then I definitely recommend checking out Crown of Oblivion!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished copy of CROWN OF OBLIVION by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only)

Starts: November 12th 2019

Ends: November 26th 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*ARC Review* Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

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Title: Find Me Their Bones

Author: Sara Wolf

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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My Review

Thank you to EntangledTeen and Sara Wolf for the early review copy of Find Me Their Bones in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note: this is the sequel to Bring Me Their Hearts; my review can be found here.This review does contain spoilers if you have not read the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts, the first book in Sara Wolf’s enchanting Heartless trilogy, blew me away last year and became one of my all-time favorite books. And when I thought this series could not get any better, Find Me Their Bones lands in my lap and left me speechless. This book is emotionally beautiful and painful and raw. In Find Me Their Bones, relationships are tested, boundaries are crossed, and secrets are revealed. And not everyone will be prepared for the surprising twist.

Sara Wolf does it again. Find Me Their Bones is an excellent masterpiece, a sequel that stands beautifully next to its predecessor, in covers and written word. This brilliant book is full of sass and heart; I can see that Sara poured her heart into this book and that’s one of the things that makes this book so special. She has created a world and characters that I absolutely adore, and I am so thankful these books came into my life when they did.

Find Me Their Bones picks up right where Bring Me Their Hearts left off. Zera is still a Heartless, but now Lucien, his sister (who was thought to be dead), and the King know her secret. And now Zera is no longer under the control of her first witch, the witch that took her heart. She now belongs to Princess Varia, who surprised everyone by turning out to be a powerful witch that tricked Zera and Lucien.

“I’ve learned, Your Highness, that it is easier to hate than it is to love.”

Zera has so much character growth in Find Me Their Bones. She’s still sarcastic and sassy and amazing, but she starts to let herself hope that she will get her heart back and starts to imagine what her life will be like. She knows she’s messed up all her relationships with her friends and Lucien, but her main goal has always been her heart. So, she strikes a deal with Princess Varia: train a valkerax to Weep in exchange for her heart. It’s almost an impossible deal, but Zera accepts.

But along this journey, Zera discovers that there is more at stake than ever before. Princess Varia doesn’t just need the valkerax to Weep; she has a more dark and twisted plan that will change the lives of everyone in the kingdom. It will ultimately change the potentially outcome of a battle between the humans and witches. And Lucien is dead set on making sure his sister does nothing that will harm her and the people he has vowed to protect.

“‘I can assure you, as someone who spent his life chasing power,’ Gavik says, ‘when absolute power presents itself, there are no ‘justs’ anymoe. It is all or nothing.'”

Zera continues to be my ultimate favorite character. She doesn’t remember much from being human, but her emotions start to materialize more in this book. She finally has something worth dying for; she finally has friends and family she wants to protect at all costs, even if it means not getting her heart in return. In the sequel, more of Zera’s strengths (and weaknesses) are revealed. It’s clear as day that she wants to keep her friends and Lucien in her life, but she believes they’re better off without her. She doesn’t quite understand why these people would want to still befriend her, after everything she does. And that was beautiful to watch unfold, to see Zera realize that she’s not alone in this cruel world.

Wolf’s writing is masterful and captivating. Her world building is phenomenal and the characters she has created are magnificent. Sara is an instant-buy author for me because her writing isn’t just there to show the readers what is going on; she writes with emotion so the readers can understand what the characters are feeling in that moment. That’s another reason why this book is so close to my heart (I also find a kindred spirit in Zera, so that’s a plus).

“Heartless with their heart is a human who’s been injured and has injured in return. And though the wounds have been healed magically, the memories still remain, stabbing and slicing better than the instruments of pain.”

THAT ENDING. Sara definitely knows how to leave her readers hanging, and now I don’t know how I can wait until next year. This book tore me open and left me in need of a beating heart. These characters, especially Zera, mean so much to me, and I’m even more emotionally attached to them and their story than I was in the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts is a series I will forever recommend. This series is filled with so many emotions and sassy banter and romantic moments. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy read, I implore you to read this series, you won’t be disappointed!

My rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

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