Book Reviews

Book Review: The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen


A friend recommended this one to me. When I asked her what it was about, she didn’t want to give anything away but said something about the family and situation being messed up. Now that I’ve read it, I concur. Extremely. Messed. Up. But I didn’t want to put it down, and it’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year.

The Light of the Fireflies is well-crafted with elements of mystery and suspense. At first, it reminded me of ROOM by Emma Donoghue because much of the book is told from the perspective of a young boy who’s lived his entire life in a confined space without contact from the outside world. He’s oblivious to the lies he’s been told by family members and about what exists beyond the walls of their residence, but he eventually begins questioning the way they live and trying to piece things together. Unfortunately, certain members of his family are not what they seem, which impedes his road to discovery.

Pen is a fabulous writer. He pieced together every little detail of this story just right, so I never felt confused or lost. All I felt was intrigued, desperate for answers and emotionally invested in finding out what would happen to the boy.

If you are a fan of suspense and realistically flawed characters who make horrible mistakes, then I highly recommend The Light of the Fireflies.



Book Reviews

Book Review: Her Dangerous Visions (The Boy and the Beast #1) by Brandon Barr


I don’t normally read fantasy or sci-fi, but Her Dangerous Visions is a satisfying read that held my attention until the end. I honestly can’t even begin to elaborate on the description because there are so many moving pieces and made-up worlds and words and phrases.

The story is told through various POVs:

Aven – Farmer from Loam, brother of Winter

Winter – The girl with the visions (oracle/seer), sister of Aven

Melucia – Daughter of the ruler (Luminary) of the Blue Mountain Realm, hopes to take over for ailing father as Luminary but has villainous competition

Savarah – “Adopted” sister of Melucia, fierce warrior, wants to help Melucia in her quest to become Luminary (despite her initial plans)

In addition to the aforementioned characters, there are dozens more introduced throughout the story, so many that I sometimes had trouble keeping track of who’s who. I eventually got to know the key players (the four POV characters as well as a few others), but it took quite a lot of concentration and flipping back and forth. Melucia, who slightly reminds me of Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones series, is by far my favorite.

Even with all of the characters and story lines going on in this book, I must say the concept is extremely creative and unique. That, combined with Barr’s top-knotch writing, kept me turning the pages all the way into book two in the series.




*Thank you to the author for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Honesty by Seth King


Honesty by Seth King is a tragic yet beautiful story about love and loss. When I think about my first love, I remember the butterflies and longing that often consumed me. I also remember the angst and heartache. King conveyed all of these things perfectly in Coley and Nicky’s love story.

“He leaned in and kissed me hard, and the lights went out. I had never kissed a boy before, and it was…everything, really. His soft lips and coarse stubble felt like a poisoned daisy, just the wrong kind of right. Part of it felt so bad, worse than anything I’d ever done, but that badness felt beautiful, imperial even.” ❤

King’s writing is poignant and poetic. I found myself rereading certain lines multiple times either to ponder, reflect on how I could relate, or simply to enjoy again and again. How can I possibly relate to a story about love blossoming between two men? Because love is love. Every pulse-pounding moment, including the moments when Coley and Nicky were questioning their relationship or arguing, took me back.

Some reviewers have said they didn’t like the back and forth between the men. All the arguments and making up. All the I love yous and I hate yous. All the ‘we can never be together’ and the ‘let’s be together forever’ talk. Whatever. That’s what young love is often like. That’s real. And I commend King for keeping it real.