Review: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Alessandra is the second daughter of a nobleman which means she is not allowed to be out in society until her sister is married. She is always overlooked, and has only been in love once which didn’t end well. So she has a new plan to never be overlooked again.

Step 1: Woo the Shadow King.
Step 2: Marry him and become Queen.
Step 3: Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

The only problem, Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. Attempts on his life are being made, but Alessandra needs to keep him alive so that she can stick to her plan. However as she gets closer to him she realizes that they just might be perfect for each other.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. It was sold to me as a love story between two villains, and that describes it perfectly. Alessandra and Kallias (The Shadow King) are not good people. Kallias is a conqueror who has no sympathy for his people, while Alessandra is a murderer who craves power. They are not out to be good people and the book doesn’t try to redeem them either which makes it excellent.

The pacing is perfect, and their relationship feels genuine and not rushed. This book truly has a little bit of everything, there are several mysteries, assassination attempts, court intrigue, some fantasy elements, and romance. Another bonus is that this book is a stand-alone. While I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, I think it helps that it isn’t expanded into a series. (And honestly I don’t need to start another series right now.)

RATING: 8/10

Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

In school, Marianne and Connell pretend not know each other. Connell is popular, plays on the school football team. Marianne, keeps to herself, tends to be quite lonely, and is considered odd by her peers. They form a connection that starts after Connell picks up his mother from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house. Connell wants to keep this connection a secret which Marianne understands.

A year later they find their lives intwining again, now both at University in Dublin. Life has swapped for them, Marianne finds her footing in a new social setting while Connell now struggles to make friends and manage his anxiety. Their connection is still there, growing stronger and more important to them everyday without either of them really noticing.

REVIEW

I picked up this book because I was interested in the new Hulu series of the same name, and had wanted to read the book first. (That’s just the type of person I am). The last couple of books I have read have been very big event, high action, high stakes novels, so it was nice to read this and calm everything down. I really loved these two characters, and often had to put the book down because I would get frustrated with them. Like just TALK TO EACH OTHER, and so many of your problems would be solved. That being said, both Connell and Marianne feel fully fleshed out and people you would encounter on the street. I connected with both Marianne and Connell, suffering from anxiety and depression myself. I identified deeply with Connell and could feel glimmers of myself in him. They way he struggled in social settings, never sure if he was doing the right thing.

It’s definitely a great read, and makes me interested in checking out Sally Rooney’s other works. Now I’m gonna go binge watch the series! (Paul Mescal am I right?!).

RATING: 8.5/10

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six is the history of a fictional rock band. Taking place in the 70’s we meet Daisy Jones, a hard partying, gorgeous, singer-songwriter. We also meet Billy Dunne, also hard-partying, guitarist and lead singer of the rock band The Six. They happen to be on the same record label. Both struggle with drugs and alcohol. Billy finds himself hitting rock bottom, but thanks to his wife Camilla; he is able to recover, enter rehab and turn his life around for his now growing family. Daisy has had a moderately successful first album singing other people’s songs, but that isn’t what she wants. She wants to create her own music. The Six, after having a small but successful first album and tour is looking to really breakout. Enter their record label.

REVIEW

I originally picked up this book because I had read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I had loved. This book is told in interview style, we don’t know who is doing the interviews until the very end of the novel, which made it a breeze to read. Once I picked up this book I couldn’t put it down, literally I finished this book in one day. Even though it is done in an interview style, each character is fully realized and I almost could hear each different voice in my head. My dad loves to watch music documentaries so I have seen my fair share of them, and I feel like this book fits that world so seamlessly.

This book feels like the perfect summer beach read, now if only their wasn’t a pandemic happening and I could’ve actually enjoy it at the beach.

RATING: 7/10