Review: The Cost of Knowing

Title: The Cost of Knowing
Author: Brittney Morris
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End in this gripping, evocative novel about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death, from the acclaimed author of SLAY.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.


Sixteen-year-old Alex and his younger brother Isaiah live in a gated community outside of Chicago with their aunt. Since their parents died in a car accident, Alex has had the ability to see the future of any item he touches. He calls this his curse because he can’t touch anything without seeing the future. This includes when he touches his car and sees it sinking underwater, and his girlfriend who he sees breaking up with him when he touches her. These visions make it difficult for Alex to live his life, so he avoids touching things. Even though he has attempted to change these visions, they always come true. One day when he picks up a photo of his family, he sees that his brother is going to die soon. Alex doesn’t have much time to try and save his brother in the few days he has left.

Alex’s power of seeing the future sounds like it could be an interesting power to have, but I could feel his helplessness in this story. He tried to make the visions not happen, but they always came true. Despite him seeing that his brother was going to die, I kept hoping that the vision wouldn’t come true. This feeling reminded me of how I felt reading They Both Die at the End. In that book, despite the title, I kept hoping for a different ending. I had that same feeling while reading this book.

Alex and Isaiah were both Black boys living in a predominantly white neighbourhood. I won’t give away any spoilers, but they had to face racial injustice multiple times in this story. It’s so disturbing to keep reading stories like this and see them reflected on the news. I found this one especially hard to read because it was such an emotional story. Even if you know what’s coming, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I really hope these racial injustice stories will one day no longer be relatable, but for now, it’s so important they are told to give people a glimpse of what it’s like to be Black in this world.

This was such a powerful story. I think everyone should read it!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Have you read The Cost of Knowing? What did you think of it?


First Lines Friday – April 30

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“The house sat on a gentle rise in the otherwise flat landscape, as if it considered itself a castle in this kingdom of marshy scrubland and water channels and rustling green fields.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous.


Goodreads synopsis:

The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel–about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game–and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It’s strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she’ll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she’d imagined–even with damage from a fire decades before–but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone…including her.

Check out my review of The Perfect Guests here.

Have you read The Perfect Guests? What did you think of it?

Review: Stargazer

Title: Stargazer
Author: Anthony Cleveland
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios
Source: Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Years ago Shae, her brother Kenny, and two childhood friends experienced a traumatic, unexplainable event that left Kenny scarred for life. Kenny commits himself to the belief that what they experienced was an alien abduction. Twenty years later and the friends have since drifted apart, but the sudden, mysterious disappearance of Kenny leads the group to reunite and discover the truth of what took place all those years ago.


When they were in middle school, Shae, her brother Kenny, and her two friends had an alien encounter that left her brother scarred for life. He had an accident and became obsessed with alien abductions. Now, twenty years later, Kenny mysteriously disappears, and only Shae and her friends have the key to finding him.

This was an entertaining story. There was a lot of mystery around the alien abduction when they were kids. It seemed like it really happened, but they were young so no one believed them. Even when they got older, Shae had to wonder if it really happened. Once her brother went missing as an adult, she had no choice but to believe he had actually been abducted by aliens.

This story alternated between the present and twenty years ago when the kids first encountered the aliens. The first time this happened, the two timelines were labeled so it was easy to see the time jump. However, the other times there wasn’t a label to indicate that the time period was changing. It was a little confusing to get used to at first. The older timeline had illustrations in more pink colours and the present story was in blue colours, which made it a little easier to tell them apart. It would have been a smoother transition if each jump in time was labeled.

I really enjoyed this sci fi graphic novel!

Thank you Diamond Book Distributors for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Villainous by Stonie Williams

Dark One, Vol. 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly

Have you read Stargazer? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – April 29

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Puddin’ (Dumplin’ #2) by Julie Murphy.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant. 

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery

Title: Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery
Author: Julia Golding
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 23, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Jane Austen turns detective in this spooky historical adventure by award-winning author Julia Golding!

It’s 1789 and a young Jane Austen turns detective as she seeks to solve the mysterious happenings at Southmoor Abbey. When a carriage accident forces a change of plans, 13-year-old Jane is sent to be a companion to Lady Cromwell for a week as the household prepares to celebrate the eldest son’s coming-of-age party. While there, Jane vows to solve the mystery of the ghostly monk in the Abbey grounds – for she does not believe in such stories!

But this is not the only strange occurrence for the adventurous young Jane to investigate. There are shivery night-time investigations, an Indian girl with secret talents, a library fire, two prize horses in danger, and friends to save from false accusations.

With notebook in hand and her faithful dog Grandison by her side, will Jane overcome the continuous obstacles and find out the truth?


1789: After her older sister is injured, thirteen-year-old Jane Austen is sent in her place to be a companion to Lady Cromwell while she prepares for her son’s birthday party. Jane is excited to go so she can solve the mystery of the ghost that haunts the Abbey. However, Jane soon has to investigate some incidents. Two horses go missing and a fire burns part of the library on the same night. Jane must sneak around the Abbey to figure out who is to blame for these two crimes.

As soon as I saw this novel about a young Jane Austen who investigates mysteries, I knew I had to read it. This is a middle grade mystery novel, similar to Nancy Drew but set in the 18th century. Jane was a hilarious character, who was outspoken and sneaky, but I don’t think she was like the real Jane Austen at that age. Jane made some funny comments, such as writing an obituary for her dress that was ruined which promoted her third-best dress to second-best dress. She was a witty and entertaining character.

Another thing I liked about this story was the way that it hinted to Jane’s future novels. There were characters named Fitzwilliam and Tilney, like the characters in Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. The story was also set in a haunted Abbey, like Northanger Abbey. There was even some diversity in the story, which wouldn’t have been in a story written during that time period. Jane became friends with an Indian girl, Deepti, who lived at the Abbey with her father, the cook. These additions to this historical fiction story made it more relatable to a modern audience.

I loved this story. I hope there will be more Jane Austen Investigates novels!

Thank you Lion Fiction for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Have you read Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – April 28

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. The expected publication date is May 18, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One .

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers:This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Blog Tour Review: These Feathered Flames

Title: These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames #1)
Author: Alexandra Overy
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.


Twin sisters are destined to become a queen and a Firebird. Once their fates were decided as children, Izaveta stayed with her mother to prepare to be the queen. Her sister Asya traveled with her great-aunt, the current Firebird. The role of the Firebird is to take something from someone who uses magic, to make sure magic remains balanced. This could be the caster’s heart or a limb. When the current queen, and the twins’ mother, dies suddenly when the girls are seventeen, Asya must return to the palace to reunite with her sister. Asya must find the source of the magic at the palace while Izaveta must convince the council that she is ready to be queen.

This story followed dual narratives of Izaveta and Asya. Both of them had fascinating stories. In their own ways, they had to prove that they were old enough and strong enough to fulfill the roles that they were born to do. Since they were teenage girls, they were overlooked and underestimated, but they had to stand up to their enemies.

There were tons of twists in this story. The death of their mother was kind of glossed over at the beginning, and it ended up being part of a twist at the end. Everyone had secrets that led to a fast paced, exciting ending. It ended on a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to read the next book!

I highly recommend this exciting new fantasy!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

About the author:

ALEXANDRA OVERY was born in London, England. Ever since she was little she has loved being able to escape into another world through books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is completing her MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA. When she’s not working on a new manuscript or procrastinating on doing homework, she can be found obsessing over Netflix shows, or eating all the ice cream she can.

Have you read These Feathered Flames? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Animals From Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Animals From Books. Here’s my list:

1. Gryphon – A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

2. Phoenix – Crown of Feathers

3. Horse – Cuckoo’s Flight

4. Spider – Charlotte’s Web

5. Rabbit – The Tale of Peter Rabbit

6. Cat – Dear Sweet Pea

7. Flamingo – The Black Flamingo

8. Narwhal – Narwhal and Jelly

9. Bat – Megabat is a Fraidybat

10. Stag – Shadow and Bone

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – April 27

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

Trouble in the Stars by Sarah Prineas

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig

Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend by Ben Philippe

Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

Title: Riverdale: The Ties That Bind
Author: Micol Ostow, Thomas Pitilli (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Archie’s second original graphic novel features the world of CW’s Riverdale! Four interconnected stories trap each of our main characters in a unique high-stakes conflict over the course of a few pressure-cooker hours!

Jughead’s locked in and left behind with Moose at Stonewall Prep, Veronica is trapped with Cheryl at a nearby suburban shopping mall, Betty and Polly are stalked by a possible madman when a girls’ night goes horribly awry and Archie is held hostage by a ‘long lost relative’ of Fred’s who’s come to town seeking payback of any and every kind.

Will Archie and company even make it to sunrise? If they do, will they ever be the same again?


Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica all have encounters with a strange cult over the span of a few hours. Jughead and Moose are locked in their school library. Archie and Reggie are trapped in an escape room at school. Betty and her sister are stalked by a madman to an empty motel. Veronica and Cheryl are chased around a closed shopping mall. Each of these separate incidents are all connected to the same cult.

This was a great fast paced graphic novel. It was short, at just over a hundred pages, so I didn’t expect it to have such a detailed story. Each of the four main characters had a complete story told about their night being terrorized. Even though these stories were separate incidents, they were all connected by a group with the same cult tattoos.

The details of this group behind these events weren’t given so I hope there will be a sequel. Each of the incidents were connected, and some of the background of why they were being targeted was given, but I would have loved if there was a clearer solution. I hope there will be another graphic novel that explains this group who targeted Jughead and his friends.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel.

Thank you Penguin for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Day Before by Micol Ostow

A Werewolf in Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig

Have you read Riverdale: The Ties That Bind? What did you think of it?