Review: Switch

Title: Switch
Author: A.S. King
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Rating: ★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A surreal and timely novel about isolation and human connection from Michael L. Printz Award winner A.S. King.

Tru Beck is a teenage girl from Pennsylvania who lives in a world that has become trapped in a fold in time and space, where “real” time has stopped but humanity continues to mark artificial time based on a website called Tru lives in a house that has a switch at its center. No one knows what the switch controls, but her father continually builds larger and larger boxes around the switch (Tru lives in Box #7). Tru leaves the box through a Tru-shaped hole to go to school, where she pays no attention to the new “Solution Time” curriculum. In fact, the only interesting thing that’s ever happened to Tru at school is when she discovers (on her first try) that she can throw a javelin farther than any human has ever thrown anything before in human history.


In June 2020, time stopped counting. The world became trapped in a fold in time and space and a website called N3WCLOCK started keeping time. Tru Beck had to deal with a lot of other issues during this time. Her house had a switch in the middle of it, but no one knew what it controlled. Her father began building boxes around the switch to protect them from it. Her brother was moody and surrounded by strange rumors of an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Then, Tru discovers that she can throw a javelin in track and field faster than anyone ever has before. No one knows where Tru’s sudden talent came from, so they’re suspicious of it. Tru has to deal with all of these issues while also figuring out how to fix time.

This was quite a strange story. The concept of time stopping in 2020 was a relatable aspect. With the pandemic, it felt like time stopped last year. A company reacted by creating a new way to stop time. Whenever we think that one system is gone, another one sneaks up and replaces it, sometimes doing the same thing but with different packaging. This new website was able to take over and profit on time.

Tru’s house was one of the strangest parts of the story. Tru’s father obsessively build boxes around their house until their rooms were all just numbered boxes. The house became unstable and started flipping over. It was hard for me to imagine this concept. With the exception of this idea of time stopping, most of the story could have been set in the real world. The way the house behaved was a little too strange for me to believe.

Switch is an unusual dystopian story.

Thank you Dutton Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

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


Review: The Coming Storm

Title: The Coming Storm
Author: Regina M. Hansen
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Music, myth, and horror blend in this romantic, atmospheric fantasy debut about a teen girl who must fight a powerful evil that’s invaded her Prince Edward Island home—perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens.

There’s a certain wild magic in the salt air and the thrum of the sea. Beet MacNeill has known this all her life. It added spice to her childhood adventures with her older cousin, Gerry, the two of them thick as thieves as they explored their Prince Edward Island home. So when Gerry comes up the path one early spring morning, Beet thinks nothing of it at first. But he is soaking wet and silent, and he plays a haunting tune on his fiddle that chills Beet to the bone. Something is very, very wrong.

Things only get worse when Marina Shaw saunters into town and takes an unsettling interest in Gerry’s new baby. Local lore is filled with tales of a vicious shape-shifting sea creature and the cold, beautiful woman who controls him—a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Marina. Beet is determined to find out what happened to her beloved cousin, and to prevent the same fate from befalling the handsome new boy in town who is winning her heart, whether she wants him to or not. Yet the sea always exacts a price…


1950, Prince Edward Island: Teenager Beet MacNeill has always been close with her older cousin Gerry. On the night when his son, Joseph, is born in her house, she sees Gerry’s ghost and hears his fiddle song, so she knows he has died on his journey home. A year later, Gerry’s mysterious mother dies suddenly. Her niece, Marina Shaw, appears and takes her place in town as the mysterious loner. However, Marina seems to be able to control Gerry’s baby. Beet is the only one who holds the key to saving baby Joseph.

This was a mysterious story filled with folklore. There was a mix of Scottish and Eastern Canadian folklore. As the story progresses, the real secret behind Marina’s sudden appearance becomes clearer. The story was slowly unraveled through Beet’s present narrative and some flashbacks about people in the town who have met a strange woman throughout the previous century.

The setting of Prince Edward Island was an important character in the story. The beaches and water were influenced by the magic wielded by Marina and Beet. Music was also an important part of the story. All of the senses were used in this setting, so I really felt like I was in PEI while reading the story.

The Coming Storm is a beautiful Canadian story.

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

What to read next:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance

Have you read The Coming Storm? What did you think of it?

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.


Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose is a lord’s daughter in Victorian London. She secretly helps her uncle with forensic science in his laboratory. When a string of corpses seem to be connected to the same serial killer, Audrey and her uncle’s assistant Thomas Cresswell begin their own investigation into the identity of Jack the Ripper. Their hunt for the infamous killer leads them to someone close to Audrey’s inner circle.

I’m fascinated with the story of Jack the Ripper. I think one of the reasons I’m so fascinated by it is that the murders were never solved. They suddenly stopped, which ended his reign of terror. No one knows the true identity of Jack the Ripper, so it will probably always be a mystery. This story gives a plausible ending to that mystery.

Fairly early in the story, I figured out who was committing the murders, but I didn’t know the motive that person had. It made sense in the end, and I still found it suspenseful until the last page. There were some gruesome murders described, which were tough to read at times. However, I think this story is worth it!

Stalking Jack the Ripper was so amazing. I’m so glad that I have the next book that I can read soon!

What to read next:

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Other books in the series:

  • Hunting Prince Dracula
  • Escaping from Houdini
  • Capturing the Devil

Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – July 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 Black Widow: Forever Red (Black Widow: Novels #1) by Margaret Stohl.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Enter the world of the Avengers’ iconic master spy…

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments—until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned—and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams…

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

Review: Pax Samson Vol. 1: The Cookout

Title: Pax Samson Vol. 1: The Cookout
Author: Rashad Doucet, Jason Reeves (illustrator)
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Pax Samson: The Cookout is the first volume in a new action-packed, fantasy trilogy that depicts a world struggling to find peace in the midst of threats, and a young superhero chef torn between following his passion and following in his family’s footsteps. 

When it comes to the kitchen, no one knows cooking better than twelve-year-old Pax Samson. He’s a hero when it comes to testing recipes and supplying copious amounts of Dragon Noodle Soup at his family’s cookouts. It’s tough being a master chef, though, when the rest of his family are world-famous superheroes, and they expect Pax to take up the beacon to keep the world safe with his telekinetic powers. 

Pax’s home planet of Soltellus is home to all walks of life, including humans, gods, as well as elves, orcs, dragons, sprites and other fantasy races known as the “Enchanted” all living in a modern society similar to our own. Among them is the Samson family, led by the fearless and mighty Grandma Samson, the greatest superhero to ever live and the person responsible for always saving Soltellus when trouble strikes. She’s been doing it for hundreds of years, but she’s ready for the younger generation of Samsons, including Pax, to step up. 

When the mad god Odin, long-time enemy to the Enchanted race and arch-rival to Grandma, resurfaces in another attempt to regain power, Pax will attempt to put his training into practice, but ends up just making things worse. Tempted to hang up the superhero cape and stick to the kitchen, Pax faces the toughest decision yet when a legendary savior of the Enchanted people arrives, along with a startling discovery that there might be parts of the Soltellus history that are wrong. Pax, determined to protect his family and friends, will do everything he can to stop the new threats set on disrupting the peace between humans and the Enchanted.


Pax Samson is a twelve-year-old superhero who loves to cook. He comes from a big family of superheroes, but cooking is his passion. His family is led by Grandma Samson, the strongest and most powerful superhero. Now Pax, his sister, and his cousins have to step up and help the family defeat his grandma’s enemy, the ancient god Odin.

I love superhero stories. Pax was a fun character because he was trying to figure out where he fit in with his family and in the superhero world. He felt torn between following his family’s legacy and doing what he wanted, which was cooking. Luckily, he was able to do both.

The art was brightly coloured. The superheroes had distinct costumes in vibrant colours. I liked seeing the different generations depicted in the art. There were some flashbacks that had monochromatic illustrations, so they stood out against the present story.

Pax Samson is a fun middle grade graphic novel!

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

What to read next:

Pizazz by Sophy Henn

How to be a Supervillain by Michael Fry

Have you read Pax Samson Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – July 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 Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang. The expected publication date is August 31, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)

Title: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.


After graduation from Parsons School of Design, shoe designer Cindy Woods moves back home to California with her stepmother, stepsister, and half siblings. Her stepmother is a producer on a dating reality show, Before Midnight, and they have a spot to fill at the last minute. Cindy agrees to be on the show to get some recognition for her shoe designs. Cindy is the first plus-size woman to be a contestant on the show, so she’s nervous about how she will be perceived, but she doesn’t expect to become a social media star. The problem is that Cindy starts to fall for Henry, the Prince Charming of the show. Cindy has to figure out if she’ll stick around waiting for love or if she will follow her dream in fashion.

I’ve read many Cinderella retellings, and this one had something that I’ve never encountered before. Cindy was friends with her stepmother and stepsisters. She was very close with her stepsisters, and they all supported her in her dream of being a shoe designer. It was so nice to see the women all get along. They don’t have to be enemies just because the original story depicts them as hating each other. There were some other antagonists in the story, but Cindy got along well with her family.

I loved the plus-size representation in this story. Cindy would often point out how little diversity there is in plus-size fashion. At least in shoe design, there is more of a variety in sizes than in clothing. There was one point where someone said that studies show that plus-size women don’t buy luxury brands. However, if the bigger sizes aren’t available in luxury brands and designers, they don’t have the option to buy from them. This was an authentic representation of how it is to shop for clothing for a plus-size body.

If the Shoe Fits is a fun modern Cinderella retelling!

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

What to read next:

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Have you read If the Shoe Fits? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded on a Desert Island

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 Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded on a Desert Island. Here’s my list:

1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

2. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

3. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

4. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

7. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

(All book covers from Goodreads)

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

Happy Pub Day – July 27

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Gods and Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Safe in My Arms by Sara Shepard

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

The Silver Blonde by Elizabeth Ross

Walls by L.M. Elliott

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: The Queen Will Betray You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #2)

Title: The Queen Will Betray You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #2)
Author: Sarah Henning
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

The breathtaking sequel to The Princess Will Save You in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky duology — a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride

To stay together forever, Princess Amarande and her stableboy love, Luca, must part: Amarande to reclaim her kingdom from usurpers, and Luca to raise a rebellion and find his destiny. Arrayed against them are all the players in the game of thrones for control over the continent of The Sand and Sky. Facing unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds, their only hope is the power of true love…


In this sequel to The Princess Will Save You, Amarande and Luca have finally been reunited but they have to separate again. Amarande must reclaim her kingdom from her newly returned mother and brother. Luca goes to reclaim his own birthright that he has just discovered. Along with their cast of friends, Luca and Amarande must face two Queens in their quest to conquer the kingdoms of The Sand and Sky.

This was an intense sequel! There was a large cast of characters from the last book. Since they were all separated for most of this book, each chapter followed someone else in a different area. It reminded me of Game of Thones, in the way that each of the characters were on their own quest in the world but they all related back to the same goal of conquering all of the kingdoms.

The one thing that was a little confusing was that everyone had secrets. This also reminded me of Game of Thrones, because each character had different motivations than what they showed everyone else. It got a little confusing when someone was hiding their real reason for doing things. It also made the story intense and suspenseful when so many people were lying, but it was sometimes difficult to keep track of who was on which side.

The Queen Will Betray You is a great sequel!

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

What to read next:

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Queen Will Betray You? What did you think of it?