SMAILHOLM by C.L. Williams

Shh! Can you keep a secret?

In wild medieval Britain thirteen-year-old Wynn Hoppringle has a big secret of the smallest kind. She has discovered a miniature village hidden close to her family home of Smailholm Tower. When tales of merciless Border raiders reach the small folk, they realise they are in danger and must seek a cure to their strange predicament. Can Wynn help her tiny friends or will the scheming King quog have other ideas? Heroes, it seems, come in all sizes.


Title : Smailholm
Author : C.L. Williams
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 248
Genre : Middle-grade Fantasy
Publisher : Matador
Release Date : January 28, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

Smailholm was an engaging middle-grade fantasy that was easy to read and fun to enjoy. It is a historical fantasy with olde-worlde language in small parts. I enjoyed the setting of Scotland, the differences between the haves and the have-nots and of course the Lilliput/Borrowers context of little people in a little land.

There were two protagonists in this story, a 13-year old girl called Wynn who was noblewomen-to-be living in Smailholm Tower and then short chapter interludes from Deablin. Who or what Deablin is, is revealed during the story but it was a clever connection, even though her short interjections were sometimes a little confusing. That said, the confusion was part of the story and it did build up to answers eventually.

Wynn had found the little village, hidden under the brambles, where she was a giant and they were very small. Wynn had been getting to know these folks for a few years and they had become trusted friends. At the fore of the village people were Jimmy and Jenny. Vargo, Wynn’s dog was also a key character and a sweet addition to the story.

What starts off as an interesting story becomes one of adventure, fantastical beings and unsavoury creatures. It all made for a rather fast-paced story. There were moments of reading confusion with some of the fantasy elements but the world building came and caught me up on most questions. I found the eventual Deablin answers a bit confusing and some of the beings or spirits connected to that difficult to get into. The rest of the story kept me engaged, however.

The story finished rather openly and with some elements I want to know more about and some characters I need to know about. This was a solid debut from CL Williams and I would definitely read her work again.

I need to mention what a glorious physical creation this book is. It is a small hardback clothbound book with gorgeous illustrations that really helped with the visualisation of beings in this world. The book itself is beautiful to read and own and it stands out amongst other books.

Thank you to the author for a review copy in return for an honest review.

THE TOLL by Neal Shusterman

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.


Title : The Toll
Author : Neal Shusterman
Series : Arc of a Scythe
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 631
Genre : YA Dystopian
Publisher : Walker Books
Release Date : November 7, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

This trilogy has overshadowed my other reads in the last couple of months, I’ve thought about the books, talked about the books and I’m so glad to say that the final installment did not let me down. THE TOLL demanded to be read straight after THUNDERHEAD and the grip this series had on my reading pleasure, did not relent it’s twisty hold.

The ending of THUNDERHEAD left readers aghast and believe me, the start didn’t do much to appease all the five million thoughts and hypotheses I had running through my mind. For all those hypotheses I had, not one was correct and no way could I have predicted what the Thunderhead had in store for the post-mortal age.

Greyson TOLLiver was even more in the fore of this book, another reimagining of himself but he became a character I was strangely more comfortable with. There are other characters, so important, that I am choosing not to mention by name because that is a spoiler in itself but their stories and characters meant so much to me. I have become so attached to the ongoing and eventual outcomes of some of these folks.

As for Goddard, brace yourself people, you cannot imagine him worse, but guess what, he’s pure evil. Aside from the old characters, there were some new characters, two of which I loved. Jeri and his gender identities were everything lovely, solid and loyal. I admired their character and I enjoyed the growth of connections between them and others. Cirrus was a fabulous and interesting development. The Thunderhead also went through some transformation which I still feel unsettled about.

The ending was BOOM!

Go read this trilogy, you won’t regret it. If you were put off by the covers like I have been for a few years, don’t let that stop you. I am now a fan of the covers thanks to the reading and how the covers have sparked with the story and my imagination. This is one of the best dystopian stories I have ever read. Please Mr Shusterman, give us some more stories from this universe.

THUNDERHEAD by Neal Shusterman 🎧

The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.

As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Will the Thunderhead intervene?

Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?


Title : Thunderhead
Author : Neal Shusterman
Narrator : Greg Tremblay
Series : Arc of a Scythe
Format : Audiobook
Page Count : 13 hours, 2 minutes
Genre : YA Dystopian
Publisher : Audible Studios
Release Date : January 9, 2018

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5


Micky’s 4.5 star review

I am blown away (again by this series and how it ended). This was the kind of second book that we don’t see as readers very often, the kind of book that exceeds the first book in expectation and enjoyment. THUNDERHEAD took all of my preconceptions from book one and set a bomb in the middle of them, leaving me jaw-dropped to the floor.

THUNDERHEAD itself had much more characterisation in this book and I loved every reveal, every moment of narration from the Thunderhead. I learnt so much more about the workings, ethics and even affection that the Thunderhead had and used to operationalise the world in this age. The scythes, however were an unhinged s**t show. Oh how they unraveled in this story and how I loved reading it all. The usual suspects were there, Scythe Curie, Scythe Anastasia (Citra) and Scythe Lucifer (Rowan). But oh my word, there were some scythe surprises too. I was shook.

This installment introduced the concept of unsavouries which was an interesting depth to this age and Grayson’s character made for interesting reading. We also learnt a bit more about the tonists too.

So who stole the show in this book? Two characters, firstly the THUNDERHEAD themselves and then Scythe Anastasia. I am now left in total suspense for what will happen in the final installment of this excellent series.

If my body is the Earth, then I am nothing more than a spec of dust in the vastness of space. I wonder what it would be like, then, if my consciousness were to someday span the distance between the stars. – THE THUNDERHEAD

The narration was excellent. One narrator, multiple POVS conveyed very well with tonation and mood. If you’ve not started Arc of a Scythe, then what have you been doing with your life?

THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


Title : The Book Thief
Author : Markus Zusak
Format : ebook
Page Count : 564
Genre : Historical Fiction
Publisher : Transworld Digital
Release Date : September 1, 2005

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Has anyone got a mop and bucket for my tears? I sure could use one right now. What a read and what a last part to the book, I don’t think I drew breath. This will be a short review so that I don’t spoil and because my heart is mush right now.

In terms of writing style and narrative, I think this is one of the quirkiest books I’ve ever read. Death was the narrator and Leisel was the protagonist. Each chapter was only a few pages and the saddest story in history was often told with an air of amusement in the background.

Leisel’s story was both ordinary and profound, her childhood before coming to live with her adoptive parents was brutal but she was resilient and kept some innocence about her. I adored her papa, Hans, just as Leisel clearly did. Their bond and connection was beautiful to read. Her mama and papa took steps to support the Jews and this formed a significant part of the story.

Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man’s gentleness, his thereness.

This story transported me to the context of a Germany under Nazi rule. More importantly, it transports the reader to an average Joe perspective, village life and an example of good German people just trying to survive the hideousness of war and the regime they were under. Told over decades, this was both a light-hearted and heavy and emotionally-laden tale.

This isn’t a 5 star read for me because the writing style was strange, I won’t say that I ever got on with it, but I rubbed along with it because of the great story and characters. I am left feeling very affected by the reading experience and that I may be a bit too emotionally raw to discuss this at bookclub tomorrow. Oops!

SPELLHACKER by M.K. England

From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.


Title : Spellhacker
Author : M. K. England
Format : eARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : HarperTeen
Release Date : January 21, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★


Hollis’ 2 star review

I’ve not really had the best luck with queer fantasy lately and that is such a shame. Here is another story that has a great concept that just didn’t quite win in execution. But unlike another recent read, at least I didn’t hate this one? And also, unlike that same book, at least this author prefaced the novel with definitions for the magic system?

And speaking of the magic system, it felt.. new. The fact that not everyone could use it, and there were different levels of ability, but there didn’t seem to be any classism or jealousy between those who could and couldn’t was an interesting mix. The world, too, had a unique feel. I just didn’t love the characters? The plot, and the Big Bad, seemed a little.. thin? I don’t know. Potential was there, and I enjoyed England’s debut, so I kept pushing on. But this just wasn’t a win.

This does seem to be a standalone, however — just like their debut — so it might be worth checking out if you like fantasy and queer representation and heists.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

HEADLINERS by Lucy Parker – double review!

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year. 


Title : Headliners
Author : Lucy Parker
Series : London Celebrities (book five)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 400
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : CarinaPress
Release Date : January 20, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5 / ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4.5 star review

This will likely come as no surprise to readers who have experienced, and loved, Parker’s previous London Celebrities books but HEADLINERS just made me so happy. This book was like a warm, funny, sweet hug and it was everything I wanted it to be and everything I needed right now.

This was Nick Davenport. He was Nick. She kept silently repeating that as a sort of protective mantra. But it was starting to — it was starting to mean something different.

I’m a huge fan of Parker’s opposites attract stories, her grumpy heroes, her lovely heroines, but this particular match up was a real hate-to-love. Or maybe extremely dislike, not quite hate. In book four, Nick did something truly terrible that impacted Sabrina and her family. I couldn’t wait to see how their dynamic would shift into something a lot less murdery and a whole lot swoonier. And the author, and her characters, did not disappoint. Every little bit of common ground won was hard earned, every brush of the shoulders, every touch of the hand, every single interaction was.. palpable. It was such a great build-up and I loved every second of it.

Nick’s no longer the one dimensional comic-book foe, then?
No. It’s very upsetting.”

Not only did this match-up work for me, but individually so did the characters. The cherry ontop of this sundae was also seeing almost all of the familiar faces from the previous books and, with this particular story set around the holidays, it really reinforced that feeling of warmth and loveliness that I almost always get from the author’s writing.

If you’ve loved prior books in this series, I have no doubt you’ll love this one, too.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

Micky’s 4 star review

How damn adorable is that cover? It gave me vibes before I started the book, but it gives me serious heart eyes on finishing. HEADLINERS took me a little while to get into, but once I did (about 20%), I was hook, line and sinker for this story and these characters.

This interconnected standalone in the London Celebrities series was a enemies to more trope but I want to impress that this gave so much more than that phrasing suggests. There was a longish standing dislike between Nick and Sabrina but events in the previous book led to an all-out hatred between these two that was not comedic at all, it was real. This was no fakey-hate. No, I believed their lines in the sand when they were thrust together to present a new show.

All that said, there was total tangibility in Lucy Parker’s ability to move this pair from presenting couple to real-life couple. As co-presenters, they spent a lot of time together having to seem to be on the same team. It was amusing, almost slapstick at times and I loved reading about them. What I loved even more was the trickle of real connection and feelings that evolved. The chemistry went from non-existent, to subtle to sizzle and I was glued to my kindle.

She was beautiful – she was fucking gorgeous, but he couldn’t even objectively see her physical features anymore. He just saw her, which was something that only happened with the people he cared about the most.

There was a bit of banter, some fun dialogue but generally, I think this might have been a tad more serious than some of Lucy Parker’s others in the series. I didn’t enjoy it any the less for this fact. Not all couples are super funny, some are just who they are and these two captured your attention and kept it.

This was another fabulous read in one of the most consistently good contemporary romance series I’ve enjoyed in years. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Lucy Parker.

Thank you to Carina Press and Netgalley for this early review copy.

DARK AND DEEPEST RED by Anna-Marie McLemore

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal. 


Title : Dark and Deepest Red
Author : Anna-Marie McLemore
Format : eARC
Page Count : 320
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Feiwel & Friends
Release Date : January 14, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : unrated


Hollis’ unrated review

I’ve had a few reasons to not rate books over the years. But sometimes the reason is simply because I honestly don’t know what the book deserves. This here is one of those times.

This is my first McLemore despite hearing nothing but wonderful magical things about their writing for.. years. And I can admit, this was magical and at times wonderful. But did I enjoy the experience? I’m not sure. There is so much to be gained by this story, the message within, the truths, the history.. some moments really did wow me. But, again, was this ever actually enjoyable? Not really? So I’m not rating it.

Would I recommend? Maybe. If you’ve read and loved this author before, I think this is going to be another winner for your shelf. With the added bonus of it being a queer retelling. For someone new to this author? I don’t know if this is one to rush out and read. But if you’re curious, feed the beast. Borrow it from your library.

I still have every intention on working through some of McLemore’s backlist.. so maybe that, right there, says it all. Or at least enough.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

INFINITY SON by Adam Silvera – double review!

Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.


Title : Infinity Son
Author : Adam Silvera
Series : Infinity Cycle (book one)
Format : ARC/eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : HarperTeen/Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date : January 14, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★/DNF


Hollis’ 1 star review

Here’s the thing. I didn’t really want to be here, posting a review for a much hyped book that I clearly didn’t like, but up until the 60% mark I was at least hoping to have one or two good things to say to warrant a two star “hey man, you tried, good on you” rating.

But no. I can’t round up on this.

A combination of mostly annoying (oh god I wanted Brighton to go DIAF times infinity) and or doing-nothing-for-me characters, so little world building that I honestly only understood maybe like 15% of the structure of this universe (and literally, after everything, still don’t know the difference between some of the classification/terms), and the weirdest prophecy or, like, Three Step Apocalypse plan ever? I just can’t. 

I pushed on just to finish this because I was sorta hoping there’d be something worth looking forward to in book two and, again, because for the most part it was mostly meh with just a little frustrating.. until we got near the end and it became mostly frustrating, with lots of meh, and two handfuls of added what-the-fuck-ery.

We flip from action scene to action scene and half the time these kids are bouncing back like they just didn’t get their asses handed to them, while spouting the weirdest cheesey action drama dialogue, and.. yeah, I can’t. Sorry. I don’t even want to be writing this review anymore.

There’s lots of rep in here, which is great, and I’m glad Silvera was able to realize his dreams to write a fantasy with the representation that not only all books deserve but also where he can see himself, and others in, but. But. This just wasn’t a win for me in any way shape or form.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s DNF thoughts (can’t really call it a review)

I tried and tried and tried again but the world felt impossible without adequate world building and I could only stay confused for so long. The language for different beings was constantly thrown around without explanation. The writing style was what I can only describe as awkward. I didn’t once lose myself in the story but I was constantly jarred by the narrative style.

Excuse me while I weep as I wanted so much from this, having enjoyed Adam Silvera’s books previously.

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER by Tessa Bailey – double review!

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.


Title : Love Her or Lose Her
Author : Tessa Bailey
Series : Hot & Hammered (book two)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Avon
Release Date : January 14, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

After reading FIX HER UP, I knew I wanted to read on in this series, even though the only thing that saved that first book for me was Georgie. Oh, and her friend group. I’ve had a rocky reading experience with Bailey, not going to lie. However, knowing book two would be about a pre-existing couple trying to save their marriage? I was hooked on the potential for angst but I did worry a bit as second chance romances aren’t always my jam.

But wow did this work.

This was such a slower burn for the sexytimes compared to book one, even stranger considering there’s not only a relationship but a marriage already existing, but it actually worked so damn well. I think this choice actually is what saved this book. Honestly, I can’t really think of anything I didn’t love?

Look, if you two assholes wouldn’t mind? I’d like to go knock some walls down.”
What you should have done is knocked your own walls down and let her in
Oh, for fucks sake. You’ve been in a relationship for one minute and you think you’re an expert?
Yes.”

The hero, Dom, was alpha-y but nowhere near the extremes we’ve seen. He was very deliberately the way he was and it was explained; he was a doer, not a shower, not a talker, and he’d learned to be that way. Sure, sometimes this got a bit repetitive but honestly it just reinforced how much this was the way he thought things should be. Despite the fact that it contributed to his marriage.. not failing but almost breaking.

Every day, going through the motions and being so angry at him. How could she not have realized she was doing the exact same thing?

As for Rosie, she was just wonderful. Honestly. She wasn’t without her own epiphanies about her relationship, as nor was she faultless in the breakdown of life as she knew it, and I loved that. These two loved each other so hard but along the way life happened, insecurities festered, and boom, there it is. The journey back felt so genuine, organic, and not without frustrations. It felt real.

“.. they’re designed to put impure thoughts in a man’s head.”
Any inanimate object puts impure thoughts in a man’s head. Box of cereal. Boner. Ice-cube tray. Boner.

As for the sexies, well. The build up was great, the climax of it all was hot, and actually my only complaint is that while “honey girl” was far from as offensive as “baby girl”, I still could’ve had less of it. But that’s a personal choice, I guess. Additionally, this book got me right in the feels more than once and I can’t even blame my period for it, so. It’s pretty much the whole package.

There’s a brilliant set up for the third (final?) book and I’m excited for it. This time it looks to be a younger and single dad trope matched up with something of a hate to love or opposites attract and heyyooo just call me weak but I want it.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 4 star review

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER delivered on that bit more that I wanted from FIX HER UP but stayed in this small world of characters that I am beginning to get rather attached to. I was incredibly excited about Rosie and Dominic’s story because I love stories about married couples. This was a great example of a story with that trope.

The story started with an almighty crumble in Rosie and Dominic’s marriage. It was difficult to observe and my heart ached for them both. It was also an interesting context for marriage difficulties, a communication breakdown over time and I think that’s probably a common issue. It was written tangibly and with such heart and feeling.

The character growth in this story is full. It seemed like Dominic was the difficult party to the marriage demise but they both had some realisations, courtesty of their rather hilarious marriage therapist. The passion between these two was fiery and my kindle sometimes steamed of its own accord and passion was all these two were left with.

I loved the fun injected into this read that had such serious and heart breaking undertones. The balance between comedy and renovating this marriage was pretty perfect. It was mostly the side characters providing the comedy elements and I thoroughly enjoyed bits of Travis and Georgie from book one, but I am especially a fan of Bethany and I can’t wait for her book.

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER was a book with the feels, I didn’t cry until I read the last page and went gooey with happiness. I loved how involved I got with this couple and I especially loved not having ‘baby girl’ as the nickname in this one, I could live with ‘honey girl’ a little easier. This series is turning out to be a great one to invest in and I recommend the first two books.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the early review copy.

TWEET CUTE by Emma Lord – blog tour & review!

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


Title : Tweet Cute
Author : Emma Lord
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : January 21, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 4.5 star review

So, before actually starting this book, I had a feeling this would be cute (and honestly that’s as high as my hopes were because I’ve been burned before!) but by 49% I knew I would love this. And I did. Side note, I know 49% doesn’t sound impressive considering it’s halfway through the book and most people can see the writing on the wall by that point, but this felt.. long. Not in a bad way, but this is a substantial romance read, so. I don’t know, I don’t know why I’m defending this point, regardless, I loved it, let’s move on!

This contemporary is chock full of all the best kind of tropes. Opposites attract, secret identities, business rivalry, slowburn, friends-to-more.. also, lots and lots of sassy tweets and memes.

Additionally, the author leaned into these tropes but made them better? I don’t know. If you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail, it’s pretty obvious how some of the events go down, and yet it felt less cheesy (hah!) and far more layered (with cheese?).

Pepper and Jack both have very real soul-searching to do, compounded by very real expectations, and obstacles, set in place by their parents. I’ll admit the area of the parentals is kind of where things got dragged down a bit for me, in particular I struggled with Pepper’s mom, but I do feel things are wrapped up nicely without it all feeling like a cop-out or too far fetched. It doesn’t mean I liked how things went down, but, I mean, there are underlying motivations that pushed everything in motion.

But back to Pepperjack. These two, I mean, wow. I loved how these two interacted from the very first page. It was such a gradual shift but it was so well done. The chemistry, everything, was just sweet and awkward and perfect. The banter sprinkled throughout, the humour infused in so many situations, even outside of the MCs, was so great. I laughed, nay, giggled, at so many spots. But it was the quiet moments, too, particularly between the two leads, which were just.. special. You really felt their connection, their understanding of each other, and that more than anything made this book wonderful.

This was such a fantastic debut and I look forward to more people reading it the closer we get to release (it’s November, as I write this, lolz), and am so excited to see what Lord has for us next. I’ll definitely be first in line to get my hands on it.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Author Bio :
Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

Early Praise :

“Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest

Buy Link : https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/
Social Links : @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)