Playing Catch Up: Reviews I’m Just Now Writing

Hi all! I was taking a look at the books I have read, but still needed to be reviewed. I came across way too many books, so I will be reviewing all of these books together.

26156203Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Publication Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Synopsis: Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


I have no idea why I never reviewed this book last year because it was one of my favorite reads. I suppose it fell through the cracks and I obviously forgot about it… I read The Crown’s Game over the course of two days. This almost never happens. I had no struggle in immersing myself in this story. The world building was beautiful and the magic was enchanting (no pun there). The plot was evenly paced and there were moments I was flying through the pages in order to find out what was going to happen. I would say the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but after reading the synopsis of the sequel, there is definitely a cliffhanger involved. I’m praying I received an early copy of this book, because I cannot wait to see what happens next.

5 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Evelyn Skye is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Crown’s Game and its sequel, The Crown’s Fate. Evelyn was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and her website.

28962906Title:  Stalking Jack The Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Stalking Jack The Ripper was one of my most anticipated books last year, so one can imagine my disappointment when this book was not a favorite for me. While I enjoyed the feminism throughout this book, I had quite some trouble connecting with the characters. Unfortunately, I saw some fan art that had spoilers and I believe that ruined my reading experience. Instead of me attempting to figure out the mystery, I felt as though I was just trying to get though the story. I like to believe that my reading experience would have been different had I not been spoiled. I still plan on reading the sequel once it comes out this year and hopefully I enjoy it much more!

3.5 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website.

26150667Title: It Wasn’t Always Like This

Author: Joy Preble

Publication Date: May 17, 2916

Publisher: Soho Teen

Synopsis: In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.

On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .


This book has to be one of the best hidden gem books I read last year. I hadn’t seen this book around much until one of my favorite booktubers spotlighted it. I immediately became interested because the premise of this book sounded very intriguing.

This book is the perfect book to get anyone out of a reading slump. It’s a stand alone novel, which is hard to find in current young adult literature. It Wasn’t Always Like This is a quick, but entertaining read that will grab your attention from the very start and have you breezing through the pages until the very end.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Joy Preble is a Texas girl who was born and raised in Chicago and a former high school teacher who now writes full time, which means she gets paid for making up stuff. She earned an English degree from Northwestern University and speaks and teaches widely on writing and literacy at libraries and schools, as well as SCBWI, NCTE, AWP, and other conferences.

Joy is the author of The Sweet Dead Life and its sequel, The A Word (May 2014), both from Soho Press. Kirkus hailed The Sweet Dead Life with “Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels…that breaks the mold.”

She is also the author of the Dreaming Anastasia series (Sourcebooks) that combines paranormal romance with Russian folklore. Dreaming Anastasia was nominated for a Cybil Award in the Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category in 2009. It was named an ABC Best Book for Children, Teen Category in 2009, and was featured in Justine Magazine.

Joy also wrote the contemporary mystery/romance Finding Paris, which was released April 2015 from Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins. Another paranormal mystery/romance, It Wasn’t Always Like This, pitched as Tuck Everlasting meets Veronica Mars, arrived from Soho Press in May 2016.

In no particular order, Joy loves guacamole, pizza, banana bread, red wine, books, boots of all shapes and sizes, TV, movies, and crazy road trips so she can see the world. She is also fond her family and her dog, in case you were wondering.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and her website.

24832518Title: The Geek’s Guide To Unrequited Love

Author: Sarvenaz Tash

Publication Date: June 14, 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Archie and Veronica. Althena and Noth.…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxy, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.


This book was so precious. I loved all of the fandom references throughout the entire novel. This story takes place during Comic Con and I have never wanted to go than I do now. The Geek’s Guide To Unrequited Love is the perfect contemporary novel if you are ready to geek out! It is also a smaller novel so it’s perfect to read in one sitting! This book had me grinning from ear to ear almost the entire time I was reading.

4 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and her website.


One thought on “Playing Catch Up: Reviews I’m Just Now Writing

  1. I absolutely loved The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love! Oddly enough, I read it before publication last year but never reviewed it, either – I still have the beginnings of a post saved as a draft on my blog. I haven’t read Stalking Jack the Ripper, yet, but I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed in it!


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