Tag: YA

Book Review: What the River Knows Series by Isabel Ibañez

What the River Knows
Series: Secrets of the Nile #1
Author: Isabel Ibañez

Published: October 31, 2023
404 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  February 4- March 19, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Jessica’s Review: 

This was a good read!  Ancient Egypt is always a welcome location for a book to take place and there was adventure even a slow burn romance. There is something for everyone in this book!

We have a strong YA character in Inez, I really liked her! A lot happens in this book! And Whit, it was like just get together! The version I read had some pictures in it and I pictured a young Henry Cavill playing him.

Having been to Egypt in 2006, it brought back memories of that trip! Egypt was one of my bucket list places to go to and I did it!  How many people do you know that have been to Egypt? I have a friend (Beccie) going there this year and this book came from her. I am so excited that she is finally going to one of her bucket list places!

The only ‘bad’ thing about this book is a cliffhanger and I have to wait until NOVEMBER for the sequel and final book.  If you like action, adventure, romance, Egypt, pick this one up and read it now! Or wait until closer to the end of the year so you can read the sequel without a long wait!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: If You Could See The Sun by Ann Liang

If You Could See The Sun
Author: Ann Liang

Published: October 11, 2022
341 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  November 5- December 3, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student among China’s most rich and influential teens. But then she starts uncontrollably turning invisible—actually invisible.
 
When her parents drop the news that they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship, Alice hatches a plan to monetize her strange new power—she’ll discover the scandalous secrets her classmates want to know, for a price.
 
But as the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if it’s worth losing her conscience—or even her life.

In this genre-bending YA debut, a Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates’ most scandalous secrets.

Jessica’s Review:

 If You Could See The Sun took me way too long to read, but it’s not the book’s fault: In fact after reading it I wish I had been able to read it quicker. I enjoyed this one and it was a fun read that actually had some unexpected action to it! 

We have a book that deals with the differences in class which is a much bigger deal in China where the book is taking place.  We have Alice who is going to school on a scholarship (with continuing to rise prices) but soon her scholarship might not cover the cost of school! Suddenly she develops a ‘power’ to become invisible!  Alice decides to monetize her new ability by creating an app.  She also ends up working with her crush who is also her highest academic rival. Not being able to control her ‘ability’ does limit what she can do, but the jobs she finds herself doing go from nothing too serious to actual crimes, yes crimes! Alice gets more than she bargained for with the app and her ability. She finds out more than just classmates secrets.  It was refreshing in this time of ‘superhero movies’ that the regular Alice didn’t try to help others, but help herself to be able to stay in school.  Not everyone wants to be a superhero!  That just seems like something most people would do: How can I help myself first of all!  Alice is just a real girl: She’s sarcastic, smart, knows what she wants but also clueless at the same time.  In fact: a regular teenage girl! 

Despite there being an invisibility aspect to the book and not getting any answers in regards to it, the book just seemed realistic.  Teens being teens and the consequences of what they do. 

This is refreshing book! If you are looking for a romance angle, don’t be as it is an extremely slow burn. For a debut novel, this book has so many strengths, I am excited to see where Liang goes next!

Many thanks to the publisher Inkyard Press for sending me a copy to review via Bookish First. I hate that it took me so long to actually read it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audiobook Review: The Name Drop by Susan Lee

The Name Drop
Author: Susan Lee

Narrators:
Greta Jung

Keong Sim
Published: September 12, 2023
Audiobook: 8 hours 8 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To:  November 5-8, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

From the author of Seoulmates comes a story of mistaken identities, the summer of a lifetime, and a love to risk everything for.

When Elijah Ri arrives in New York City for an internship at his father’s massive tech company, Haneul Corporation, he expects the royal treatment that comes with being the future CEO—even if that’s the last thing he wants. But instead, he finds himself shuffled into a group of overworked, unpaid interns, all sharing a shoebox apartment for the summer.

When Jessica Lee arrives in New York City, she’s eager to make the most of her internship at Haneul Corporation, even if she’s at the bottom of the corporate ladder. But she’s shocked to be introduced as the new executive-in-training intern with a gorgeous brownstone all to herself.

It doesn’t take long for Elijah and Jessica to discover the source of the they share the same Korean name. But they decide to stay switched—so Elijah can have a relaxing summer away from his controlling dad while Jessica can make the connections she desperately needs for college recommendations.

As Elijah and Jessica work together to keep up the charade, a spark develops between them. Can they avoid discovery—and total disaster—with their feelings and futures on the line?

Jessica’s Review:

 The Name Drop was such a sweet, cute, and fun read that was a pleasant surprise for me! The cover is so cute too! We have a rich/poor trope and mistaken identities tropes among others. Both Elijah and Jessica have the same Korean name and it causes confusion from the beginning! I don’t know how Korean names are, but know how common names for English are: My first and last names both being extremely common at my doctors, dentist, veterinarians having multiple people with the same name (and not getting them mixed up!) and also names that could be both genders: My husband’s name could be either gender.  Once they realize the mix up, both Elijah and Jessica (See that’s my name too!) decide to keep it the way it is: Elijah is the rich son of the CEO and will one day be CEO while Jessica is far from rich and has worked hard to get where she is. Elijah can have anonymity and Jessica can get some connections to help her in her future. Of course things get out of hand and drama happens throughout the novel up to the end.  Did they make the right choice by staying ‘switched’?  You will just have to read this one and see!  In reality this mix up just wouldn’t happen, but that’s what reading is: a break from reality. If by some chance a mix up like this happened, it would be found out and fixed. We had two narrators who did a good job mostly. When Greta Jung did male voices it just didn’t sound right for me. It seemed like she just lowered her voice and made a funny face as she was doing the male voices.  Keong Sim really brought Elijah to life for me! Both Elijah and Jessica acted their age of young adults.  There wasn’t any extreme drama that can happen in YA novels. If you like sweet and fun YA books with some drama and a little romance then give this one a shot. I am glad I did! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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