sallenreads's reviews
96 reviews

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

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adventurous challenging emotional funny tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

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adventurous emotional funny tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

We're Never Getting Home by Tracy Badua

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funny reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

WE'RE NEVER GETTING HOME was a fun romp through a California music festival, featuring a group of friends looking for missing keys, mischievous younger siblings, and repaired relationships with best friends. The whole book takes place over the course of about 12 hours, but there is no shortage of problems for the characters to run into, keeping the pace moving.

My one complaint would be that I did find Jana, the main character, a little annoying as the book went on. Jana worries a lot about what other people want from her and thinks it's her job to solve all the world's problems -- which are definitely things I could've related to as a teen -- but at the same time, doesn't trust that anyone else is capable of picking up some of that slack. She also has a really hard time recognizing her part in causing the fight she's currently in with her best friend, Maddy. On the other hand, all of this read as realistic to me, so even though I found myself feeling annoyed with Jana, a lot of it also came from a place of feeling sad for her, too.

Overall, I enjoyed WE'RE NEVER GETTING HOME, and found it to be fun and fast-paced with a dose of friendship truths.

Thank you to HarperCollins for providing a review copy.
Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other by Bethany Turner

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funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

BRYNN AND SEBASTIAN HATE EACH OTHER was a really sweet romcom with two characters working through their own issues, with the backdrop of a small Colorado town with a colorful cast of characters. I would've loved a little more time for the romance to develop, but overall, this would be a fun read for someone who is looking for a romance without the spice.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing a copy for review.
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

People to Follow by Olivia Worley

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I already knew I might want to read this one because it's a thriller, but as soon as I saw that it was about influencers on a reality tv show with a little bit of murder sprinkled in, I couldn't download it fast enough. And boy, did it deliver! There's drama between the characters from the very beginning, which is juicy enough on its own, knowing said characters are about to be stuck together in the middle of nowhere for three weeks. But then the bodies start dropping, and the plot twists and turns until the very end. It's one of those books where I didn't see the ending coming, but when I think about it, all of the clues were there all along. And, as an added bonus, each of the four POV character has such a distinct voice, I never once felt like they all ran together. This book would be a great fit for fans of Karen McManus.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing a copy for review.
Desert Phoenix by Suzette Bruggeman, Suzette Bruggeman

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challenging dark hopeful slow-paced

4.5

I absolutely loved this book. It took me some time to get through because, as other reviewers have pointed out, it's a pretty heavy story. But it was well worth it. 

The level of detail in Bruggeman's descriptions made me forget that this book is supposed to be historical fiction. As a writer, I know how much research must have gone into accomplishing that, so I also applaud that effort. 

I also found the characters to be well-developed. Many of them had to make really hard choices in order to survive, and their motivations were clear -- which made it easy to feel sympathetic. I also loved watching the dynamic between Tempa and Henry develop, and the end of the book honestly left me super in my feelings.

While Desert Phoenix isn't right for the students I work with, I know a lot of adult historical fiction readers who would love a book like this.

Content warnings: rape, drug abuse, suicide, violence, animal death, murder

Thank you to the author for providing a copy for review.
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

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Did not finish book. Stopped at 47%.
It could be I just wasn't in the right mood, but I just couldn't get into it the way I wanted to.