2 star, YA

Review: Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie

Series: Bone Grace #2

Love is a matter of life and death.

Bone Criers have been ferrying the dead into the afterlife for centuries, a dangerous duty only possible with the powers they gain from sacrificing their amourés the men destined to love them and die. But Bone Criers Ailesse and Sabine—along with Ailesse’s love, Bastien—are working to chart their own course and rewrite the rules of the afterlife. If they don’t break the soul between Ailesse and her amouré, she could die—just as Bastien’s father did.

Sabine struggles to maintain her authority as matrone of her famille—the role always destined for her sister—even as she fights to control the violent jackal power within her.

Bastien is faced with a new dilemma as the spirits of the Underworld threaten the souls of his friends—and his father.

Ailesse attempts to resist her mother’s siren song as she’s drawn into her own version of the Underworld. How will she save her friends once she’s cut off from their world?

This pulse-pounding follow-up to Bone Crier’s Moon is a story of love, sisterhood, and determination as three friends find the courage and power to shatter the boundary between the living and the dead.



One of my most highly anticipated sequels of this year, I wanted so badly to get my hands on this that I actually bought the special edition from Owlcrate. I attended Kathryn Purdie’s Twitter Q&A last year after the first book was released and was so pumped for any news from this book.

To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. I was underwhelmed. I don’t even think I needed too much but it just did not speak to me in all the ways I was looking for. Bone Criers Dawn just didn’t impress me.

The book picks up pretty much after the events of Bone Criers Moon. When I read this first book, I had raved so much about the world building that felt so unique and special to this story. Women ferrying the dead using strengths (or graces, they call) from the bones of animals they slaughtered. But choose wisely because you can only pick 3 animals!

This is still interesting and this sequel definitely adds a bit more to this world building element. However, this alone can’t carry the story. It’s not that in depth to make you feel so invested in the land outside of the characters we’re reading about.

So what about the other aspects of the book I would normally find enjoyable?

There are 3 POVs in this book: Bastien, Ailesse and Sabine. Bastien and Ailesse were the enemies to lovers I fell in love with in the last book, this unwitting pair that didn’t seem like they’d work together. But then came the extra complication in the form of Prince Cas, future ruler of the region they lived in who was a wrench in their love story. From two became three and I’m not the hugest fan of love triangles. Yet this one wasn’t even executed well!

There’s dumb miscommunication or “I’m going to focus on myself for now” issues that hurt the budding relationship, and the relationship one of the guys goes for in the end didn’t even build until maybe past the 50% mark? Even then, it felt super instant and not based on proper relationship markers, like a rebound. That sucked ‘cause I actually liked that pairing.

Additionally, both of the female protagonists make bad decisions based on their fears and insecurities. Ailesse hurt Bastien needlessly and Sabine became so ruthless it was like she wasn’t herself anymore. You ever have to sit through a book where you wanna yell at the character you’re stuck following that that’s a dumb mistake they’re making? It’s not pleasant.

Literally the only upside was the world building. The way everything wrapped up felt too anticlimactic and not fleshed out enough. I wanted more, no, needed more but unfortunately this was the end. Maybe it was just me but it didn’t feel like it lived up to the bar its predecessor left.

Would I still recommend this book? It’s by no means the best fantasy out there but there’s still something in it to offer the world, notably the world building. But I will leave that up to you.

Overall Recommendation:

Bone Crier’s Dawn did not live up to the expectations set by its first book in this duology which was a huge disappointment for me. While the world building is still interesting, it doesn’t build enough in this book to carry the pace and enjoyment. The 3 different protagonists each had their own issues, most of them due to the choices they make, and the romantic relationship that readers loved in book 1 felt extra dramatic for no reason while creating another relationship that literally had minimal foundation. Perhaps this is a me and not the book thing, but for huge fans of the first book, this is my caution to you to lower expectations and maybe it’ll be everything you hoped for.

2 star, adult

Review: Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan

What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It. 

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.



“If you happen to find a man who looks like Chris Pine, acts like Chris Hemsworth, smiles like Chris’s Pratt, and has a body like Chris Evans’s, I’ll rethink things. But until then? I am officially off the market.”

From this quote alone, it is rather telling of everything that comes in Ten Rules for Faking It. Rather than focusing on romance – as is its genre – this story is more about conquering fears related to social anxiety while finding love somewhere along the way in between those moments. If I had known this book coming in that the focus is less on meet-cute rom-com kind of plot, maybe then I’d feel differently, but this one just slid past what I was looking for.

Continue reading “Review: Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan”
2 star, YA

Review: The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Series: Charlotte Holmes #3

the case for jamie -brittany cavallaroThe hotly anticipated and explosive third book in the New York Times bestselling Charlotte Holmes series.

It’s been a year since the shocking death of August Moriarty, and Jamie and Charlotte haven’t spoken.

Jamie is going through the motions at Sherringford, trying to finish his senior year without incident, with a nice girlfriend he can’t seem to fall for.

Charlotte is on the run, from Lucien Moriarty and from her own mistakes. No one has seen her since that fateful night on the lawn in Sussex—and Charlotte wants it that way. She knows she isn’t safe to be around. She knows her Watson can’t forgive her.

Holmes and Watson may not be looking to reconcile, but when strange things start happening, it’s clear that someone wants the team back together. Someone who has been quietly observing them both. Making plans. Biding their time.

Someone who wants to see one of them suffer and the other one dead.


2 Drink Me Potions


As mysteries go, A Case for Jamie wasn’t too complex or heavily-focused on the whodunit that I particularly enjoy in mystery novels. No, in fact, this story revolved more around the complexity of Holmes and Watson’s messed-up relationship.

I mean, I guess there are people who absolutely adore their strange chemistry lined with thinly veiled sexual tension. I, for one, am not part of that group of people. And while it was mildly more enjoyable due to the fact that Holmes and Watson were separated for the majority of the book, their thoughts revolving around each other and the toxic nature of their dependency, particularly Watson’s, on one another didn’t make me a huge fan.

Okay, I will backtrack and talk more about the ACTUAL story.

A year’s passed since the events of book 2 – no, I am STILL not over the fact of how that book ended even though it’s been over a year since I’ve read it – and you would think Jamie’s moved on with his life a little. There’s been no signs of Charlotte Holmes, who you can guess, is out for blood in the aftermath of the mess SHE created.

Fan favourites Uncle Leander Holmes and Jamie’s father make fun appearances in this book, playing a bigger role in some ways than in the previous ones. The other students at school are still kicking butt when push comes to shove, although that may only apply to Holmes’ ex-roommate Lena. And as usual, someone’s out to pin the blame on Jamie for crimes he didn’t commit. What’s really new, hmm? You’d think, new year, new Jamie, right?

The main plotline is to find Lucien Moriarty. Holmes for one reason, the Watsons and Leander for another reason (and that’s obviously to find Charlotte themselves). While that may seem kind of exciting – we’re chasing an infamous Moriarty who’s actually representing his last name! – like I mentioned before, this story hardly focused too heavily on it. The one highlight I can think of is finally getting to see inside Charlotte Holmes’ head. And it’s not always pretty thoughts that go on inside that girl.

So how do I really feel about this supposed conclusion? I liked that the relationship was kept minimal due to the separation between Jamie and Charlotte. I still think it’s toxic and they’re not really good for each other. I do, however, think the way this book ended felt right, especially on where their relationship stood. It was healing in a healthier way.

The secondary characters could’ve played a bigger role, in my opinion, and that could’ve happened if the main mystery behind Watson’s supposed crimes and the connections to Moriarty were better fleshed out. But I suppose we don’t get everything we want in life. The mystery culprit(s) behind it all was hardly too astounding, very quickly wrapped up and tied with a bow. I didn’t feel very impressed, but then again, I hardly brought many expectations into this book.

Overall, The Case for Jamie fared better than I felt the other 2 books before did in some ways, but it slipped a lot from its potential as a true MYSTERY novel. Would I necessarily recommend this book (or this series, for that matter)? That answer is a blatant no. The will-they-won’t-they nature of their partnership/relationship was too much and overshadowed all else in this series to make it too enjoyable. In that way, it really limited its ability to just soar with a modern day Holmes-Watson pair in America. Why couldn’t Brittany have taken a page from the show Elementary? No tension, just friendship and plenty of ass-kicking mysteries. Now that’s my kinda Sherlock story.

Overall Recommendation:
The supposed conclusion to this modern-day Sherlock pairing was neither exciting or mysterious in any way. While our Holmes and Watson are separated after the events of book 2 (be still my heart!), their POVs revolved too heavily on what the other was doing or thinking instead of the main “mystery” at hand. Someone was trying to make Watson look bad (oh no!), but it’s not like that hasn’t been done before. You could hardly call it a true mystery when SO little of the book space was truly given to it. Aside from possibly making fans of this Charlotte-Jamie pairing happy, this book didn’t make me feel anything, not even anger at this point, which in my books is not good enough. And no, it doesn’t give any more peace of mind about what happened before. In case you’re wondering.