ARC Review: Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by Lev Rosen

Title: Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts)
Author: Lev A C Rosen
Publication Date: February 7th 2019
Publisher: Penguin
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it's going to be weird for everyone's first time, though.
Meet Jack Rothman. He's seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys - sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, 'it could be worse'.
He doesn't actually expect that to come true.
But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he's been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack's secret admirer knows everything: where he's hanging out, who he's sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they'll force him.
As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous...
I’ve had Jack on my TBR pile for a while now. It sounded like a much-needed queer book and I knew that I would enjoy this one right from the first page.

Here’s the thing - Jack of Hearts is a unique novel for me because I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the characters, (especially Jack, Ben, Jenna and Jack’s mom) their voices, Jack’s column and everybody’s fiercely inclusive and open attitudes but I HATED the mystery element to the book.

I could not stress the importance of reading this book enough to ALL TEENAGERS or anyone who is discovering sex and has questions, has questions about certain sexual practices and how to have an open, enjoyable sex life BUT OH GOD I HATED THE MYSTERY.

I hated ‘Pinky,’ and how Jack gave in to the blackmail and I HATED the conclusion to it all because WHY? WHAT WAS THE POINT? WHY? WHY? WHY? It was probably the MOST CONFUSING AND DISSATISFYING ENDING I’VE EVER REACHED IN A MYSTERY (not that I enjoyed finding out whodunnit process much either.)


I’ve spoken to a lot of people who said they loved this purely because they like character-driven stories. I prefer stories that are an equal combination of plot and character, and usually, love or hate them both together. In think case, I LOVED THE CHARACTERS but HATED the mystery element of the plot. In fact, I finished this book DAYS ago and I still can’t understand THE POINT OF HAVING ALL THAT IN THE BOOK AT ALL. It was not fleshed out properly, I didn’t understand the person’s motivations at the end, I didn’t understand why Jack didn’t just TELL PEOPLE when the blackmail got bad and OH GOD WHY?

I would have honestly given this book 10/5 stars if the mystery wasn’t there, but when I think about Jack of Hearts and other parts, it’s all I can see now.

THIS BOOK HAD THE POTENTIAL TO BE EXCELLENT, BUT FAILED AT THE MYSTERY AND MADE IT ALL MEDIOCRE.

To sum up:
-          BRILLIANT CHARACTERS
-          MUST READ FOR ALL TEENAGERS
-          I LOVE JACK
-          AND HIS MOM, JENNA AND BEN
-          I LOVE THE COLUMN
-          I HATE THE MYSTERY. BE WARNED. IT IS TERRIBLE, ESPECIALLY THE ENDING.


Lev A.C. Rosen
LEV AC ROSEN is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) is forthcoming in 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards. 
What are some of the best contemporary novels you've read?
Have you read Jack of Hearts (And other parts?) What did you think of it?
 

A Wicked Ending // REVIEW: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Title: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2/3 of the Folk of the Air Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: "You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong."

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world

I AM IN SHOCK. HOLY CRAP. 

I have been attempting to write my review for The Wicked King for the last WEEK (well, in the middle of other work) trying to capture my shock, amazement, heart-break and overall awe of this series, and I have been failing spectacularly. 

There is a very fine line between SCREAMING ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT I LOVED AND LEFT ME SHOCKED in The Wicked King and not spoiling the book for people who haven’t read it yet, while also capturing how ESSENTIAL it is for everyone to read this series and well, my review just doesn’t do it justice. Let’s try anyway:

THINGS I LOVED IN THE WICKED KING:

1. JUDE AND CARDAN (AND JUDE AND CARDAN TOGETHER): I don’t disagree that Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince was a little problematic, but their dynamic changes in The Wicked King, especially in the second half of the book and I WAS LIVING FOR IT. I especially loved the power Cardan wielded in respect to the land of Faerie and his schemes and kisses were all so deliciously written. 

2. ALL THE SCHEMING: Madoc, Jude, Cardan, Nicasia, the queen of the Undersea, Balekin, Taryn and Locke were just some of the schemers in this crazy world, grabbing for power at every chance they got which led to some very interesting twists and shocking moments, all under Faeris glamour and I loved it. 

3. THE COVER: The designer in me is absolutely itching to say it because I LOVED The Wicked King cover best of all in the series. With the Queen of Nothing cover, however, I’m not so sure. I feel like it’s not the best it could be. 

4. THE ENDING: NO SPOILERS BUT I might have been screaming. I also might have been desperately turning pages, hoping there was more, but I had no such luck. Let’s just say that YOU WILL NOT SEE THE ENDING COMING AND YOU WILL LOVE IT AND IT WILL BREAK YOU. 

Would I recommend this book? YES. YES. YES. YES. Go dive in now. The Folk of the Air series has been nothing short of spectacular so far.
Holly Black
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.
ARE YOU AS OBSESSED WITH JUDE, CARDAN AND FAERIE AS I AM?
Let's fangirl in the comments below!
 

BLOG TOUR: Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan - ARC Review


I am ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to be a part of the Wicked Saints Blog Tour. I've had my eye of Emily Duncan's debut novel for almost a year now, and when I was contacted to be a part of the blog tour, I jumped. Wicked Saints was EVERYTHING the blurb promised it would be - dark, magical, with a forbidden romance, Gods and ALL THE TWISTS. 

I was thoroughly immersed in the book and I can't wait to share my review below:

~~

Title: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)
Author: Emily A Duncan
Publication Date: April 2nd 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/3 of the Something Dark and Holy trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan INTL/ Wednesday Books
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || 
Blurb Description: A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY MARVELLOUS.

It was a dark fantasy novel, with a complicated forbidden romance, intense world-building, complicated, multi-faced characters, power and OH SO MANY TWISTS AND LIES and I loved every minute that I was immersed in Emily Duncan’s debut novel.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT WICKED SAINTS:

1.       THE PLOT: I’m always afraid that fantasy with romance means that the romance will overshadow the plot but despite the fact that romance was a big part of Wicked Saints, the plot, the reason behind the war, the progression, the power-seeking was ALL SO WELL DONE. I was not only invested in the characters but also the story and NOW THAT I’M DONE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.


2.       THE GIRL, THE PRINCE, AND THE MONSTER: I LOVED Serefin, Nadya and Malachiasz as individual characters and together. I can’t start explaining them, and their growth through the book without spoilers but THEY FELT LIKE THEY WERE REAL CHARACTERS, trying to understand their purpose, with unwavering love to save their country and immense power and I loved it.


3.       THE MAGIC: By the time the end (and the moths) came, I was a little lost, but I loved every minute of discovering the different magic that existed in this world. It’s always intriguing when magic that doesn’t follow standard rules and Emily Duncan’s world was definitely different.


4.       THE ROMANCE: I think I more love how the romance developed as the two characters traveled and schemed together. They were such polar opposites, in terms of loyalty and power, and I loved seeing how Emily Duncan played with that in the book.

I feel like my review hasn’t done justice to the magnificence that is Wicked Saints. I was HOOKED at every turn, invested in the plot, the war, and the romance and totally in love with the characters. It is one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a while and I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH.


Emily A. Duncan
Emily A. Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Website: https://eaduncan.com/
Twitter: @glitzandshadows
Instagram: @glitzandshadows

Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/
What are some of your favourite books of the year?
Have you had a chance to read Wicked Saints? What do you think of it?