Guest Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Guest Review: The Bone Witch by Rin ChupecoThe Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 7, 2017
Pages: 432
Source: the publisher
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In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice.

A message from Meredith: Hey everyone! Today, I have Lissa here with a guest review for The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco!

You can find Lissa on Instagram!

Without further adieu, here’s Lissa’s review! Enjoy!


This is a massive book – in more than just page length. The amount of world building involved is immense, in a wonderfully immersive way. It might feel a bit slow to some readers who prefer more action, but I appreciated the attention to detail. We learn so much about the extensive magic and cultural systems at play here. I enjoyed all the references to different Eastern cultures and myths, but loved that it still became its own world.

The characters are so detailed, their reactions so authentic to the culture that is built around them, it makes them feel real despite being fantastical. I definitely empathize with a number of them and want them to get to their happy endings (a crucial thing for me, as I am an extremely character-driven reader).

I only regret that the book ends just as the action is beginning to occur. It made me immediately want more. I can’t wait to read the next one!


Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5, 2016
Pages: 292
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This book was haunting, chilling, riveting and realistic. It absolutely gutted me. My heart hurts for these characters, for the fact that this happens all the time in our world now. It feels really weird to say that this book was amazing, fantastic and epic because of the subject matter. But.. Nijkamp just did such an amazing job. Her writing – and the format of the book – really pulled the reader in, setting the tone and pace very early on. This is a book that will definitely stay with me for a long, long time.

Usually, I write about the characters of a book in great detail, because I’m an incredibly character driven reader. But it’s hard to talk about these characters in detail without spoilers. And it’s difficult to put into words how I felt about them – who I liked and didn’t like, who I sympathized with, who I feared for – because, really, I tried not to get too close to the characters. Logically, going into this book, you know you shouldn’t become too attached to them because you don’t know who will and won’t survive. But it’s really difficult to remain indifferent while reading a story such as this. You have to uncaringly care – which, I know, that’s the biggest contradiction ever. But… Just read the book, you’ll see what I mean…

That being said, I really found myself riveted by Sylv and Autumn. Their stories – the things they went through in this book – were the stories I wanted to see/hear/experience the most. For reasons. But.. spoilers.. So… Moving on…

There wasn’t a single moment in this book where my heart wasn’t pounding, where I didn’t feel tense and anxious, desperate to see how things would end, who would survive, who wouldn’t. And the fact that they were locked in the auditorium, with nowhere to run or hide, truly added to the urgency and horror. But the ending was, by far, the most intense part of this book. And that’s saying a lot, because every single part of this book was intense. But the ending took things to another level. My hands were actually shaking as I held my iPad, as I swiped to the next page and the next. I was blinking back tears, screaming in protest, begging the characters to stay safe. I was mentally and emotionally drained after finishing it.

I think the thing about this book that really hit home, though, was the social media aspect. It was incredibly heartbreaking and chilling. It was also very realistic, something we’ve actually seen happen during real life tragedies. Especially the news outlet aspect (I don’t want to describe this in detail, but it’ll make more sense if/when you read the book).

This was not an easy book to read. I imagine it wasn’t easy for Nijkamp to write, either. I absolutely recommend this book – I think it’s very important and relevant for today’s audience. But I also beg you to read with caution. Some scenes are vivid and graphic, some may be emotionally traumatizing. I would definitely say there are several trigger warnings that need to be tagged on to this book – obviously, the school shooting and violence/death aspect trigger warning. Sadly, I can’t go into detail on some of the other trigger warnings because they’re actually pretty spoilerish. But know that they are there and prepare yourself for them. I’ll vaguely tell you that bullying, rape and abuse are mentioned, as is loss of a parent (both via sickness and via death).

There are so many more things I could say about this book, but I think I’ll leave it be. You’ll either read this book and discover them for yourself, in which case, I don’t want to spoil you too much. Or you’ll find you’re not able to read the book and, in that case, probablely don’t want to hear further details about it.

Needless to say, this book was… Whoa.


Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Spelled by Betsy SchowSpelled by Betsy Schow
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 2, 2015
Pages: 352
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed Spelled! No, seriously.. I have no idea how to even BEGIN writing this review because I just want to be like, This book was epic! Go buy it!” But since I have to say a little bit more than that, I’ll try. But don’t judge if I just break down into crazy fangirling!

I stumbled upon Spelled one day when I was searching through Edelweiss for new reads to add to my TBR. I spotted Spelled and immediately fell in love with the cover. It was gorgeous and that, coupled with the title, caught my attention. And then I read the synopsis and holy crap…!!!!!!!!!! So then I went on a mission to acquire it for review. And when I was approved for it on NetGalley, I cried tears of joy. I’ve mentioned this numerous times, but for those who don’t know, I’m a HUGE Retelling Addict. Retellings of any kind – Greek/Roman God mythology, Fairy Tale retellings, Classic retellings, etc – are my Book Drug of Choice. So, right off the bat, this book was everything I love about reading. And even with that, it still exceeded my expectations!

In the beginning, Dorthea is such a spoiled brat – snobby and self-absorbed. She’s a princess, she thinks she has her Happily Ever After written in stone and she has money, clothes and servants. The only down-side is a curse that foretells the destruction of the world at her hands. Then, when she finds out her parents have arranged for her to marry someone she DOESN’T want to marry, she breaks a major rule from the Definitive Fairy-Tale Survival Guide (Yes, this is a thing. A thing I love, by the way!) and makes life worse than she ever could have imagined (or, as Dorthea would say, “All spell broke loose”). But she goes through this incredible journey and she matures so much. It was awesome to see how different she was by the end of the book! You really end of rooting for her by the middle/end.

Kato was frustrating in the beginning. Dorthea misjudged him, but he was still super rude to her in return. I know he had his reasons, which were later explained, but still. However, I loved his “transformation” and all the fuzzball/fuzz bucket jokes! They had my absolutely cracking up!! I can’t say much more without spoilers, but I’ll put it to you this way: If you’ve read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, just picture Kato as an epic mix of Tamlin and Lucien and you’ll know what I’m talking about ;D

For the most part, Rexi was hilarious. Once in awhile, she was more rude than funny. And the middle/end was… I wanna say it was shocking, but in a way, I also saw it coming. I don’t know if that makes sense because I’m kind of contradicting myself but it’s the best way I can explain it. But if I look at her character from beginning to end, I really did like her and I love how her story ended.

The “pixified” (thanks to Stacie for that word, hehe!) curse words were hilarious, as were all the pixified play-on-words. I found myself laughing out loud at the majority of them. It kept the book light and fun, despite some of the darker, crazier things that happened.

The ending was insane and the book ended on a super crazy ridiculous cliff-hanger. So obviously if there isn’t a book two, I’ll have a Beginning-of-the-book Dorthea-style hissy fit! Like, I’m crossing every cross-able body part that we get a book two. And just in general, I’m very excited to see what this author comes up with next! She’s for sure going on my auto-buy author list!!! Near the very top!!!!

Overall, this book was epic beyond words – seriously, I had so much trouble finding the right words for this review, it’s not even funny. This review in no way does this book justice. But I hope, for the most part, my epic fangirl feels translated well and you go by this book ASAP. Cause if you love fairy tales, classics and retellings, then you MUST get your hands on this book. Like right now.