Welcome to my first quick review of a few young adult and fantasy books. Today's books are White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout , Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and Afterlife by Stephanie Hudson.
Mini Reviews are quick and to-the-point and where I cram multiple books that are similar in nature into a post. If you like one of these then check out the other because they remind me of each other!
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
One Word Review: Gargoyles
Mood: Like you want to read about demons and gargoyles because you're cooler than vampires and werewolves.
I'm a complete rat for J-Armentrout. If she started a cult I would join. The From Blood and Ash series ruined me and I'm counting down the hours until I can read the third book. I had such a book hangover from A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire that I went searching for other books by this inspired author. I paid actual money for this book on my kindle. And this is a big deal because my cheap ass is usually just scouring Kindle Unlimited for my reads.
Female half demon half gargoyle protagonist, gargoyle and demon dueling love interests. Young adult and set in high school. There's world building which you all KNOW I am too lazy for... But trust me when I say that J is masterful at making world building non-boring.
Maybe I was in too much of a New Adult mood to thoroughly enjoy this book. Sure I could have read one of her other New Adult books but sometimes after a big series I need a pallet cleanser and YA is that for me. There's a lot of interesting elements I love. Hot demons, snake tattoo that comes to LIFE, powerful females, KITTENS (!!??!?!) and a mystery element. But to be honest it just didn't hook me like I hoped it would. I like young adult but high school in general is boring to me. Characters getting grounded is boring. I wanted more of the demon male lead and there just wasn't enough of him for me.
This is a series and I've only read book one. I'd say check it out if you're in a better-than-twilight mood.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
One Word Review: Fine
Mood: a bedtime story when you can’t turn your brain off
There are likely a million reviews for this already so I’ll keep it short. Shadow and Bone had all the things I like. Magic, THE DARKLING, cool female lead. The world building wasn’t too overdone and I enjoyed the side characters almost more than the main characters. I just have to be a debbie downer and say the Grishaverse hasn’t pulled me in like it has so many other. The book reads like a fairy tale and I love that. But for some reason at the end of the book I felt done and didn’t want to know more. Am I missing something? Anyway, still going to watch the hell out of the Netflix adaptation.
Lastly, because 3 is better than 2...
Afterlife by Stephanie Hudson
One Word Review: Painful
Mood: Don't bother? Unless maybe you're high?
I feel like Rory Gilmore when she had to review the terrible ballet performance but holy shit this book was terrible. Which is baffling because the premise is basically just the Hades trope I love. When you're writing from tropes it's hard to get it wrong but this book just gets it so wrong. I didn't finish it and I am shocked this is like a 10 book series with hundreds of 5 star reviews.
It starts off fine enough. I like the backdrop of the forest, the female main character moves to a new place, and then after chapter one it just gets weird, and not in a cool intentional way. Demons appear out of nowhere? Cloaked figures all around in the woods but the main character is like "whatever"? It's slow and weird and painful. I stopped reading at 20% which is a good thing because apparently there's not much hope for this read from other reviews I've read. If Stephanie Hudson were my friend I'd be like, "Honey, were you drunk when you wrote this?" But I don't know, a lot of people seemingly like it, maybe you're better with random, weird, slow writing than I am. If so then check it out.