This Adventure Ends (Emma Mills) | Goodreads | 4.5 stars
I’ve been hearing more and more about Emma Mills over the years, but I never picked up her books – until I saw this beauty in a Barnes & Noble. Even though I hadn’t read any of her stuff, the cover was pretty and it was a paperback, so it was cheaper than a hardcover, and the bits I skimmed looked interesting, so I bought it. And I am so very, very glad that I did.
I feel like there isn’t much to this book – it’s mainly character-based. We have friendship building, family moments, and a very slowly budding romance. I’ve started annotating books (not usually writing in them, but putting in tabs and underlining things), and besides Harry Potter, this is the first book where I used a lot of tabs consistently, from start to finish. Inspiring lines, pretty lines, funny lines, and lines that just spoke to me. This book seemed to have them all.
The only reason I didn’t give this book a full five stars is because sometimes the backstory seemed a little vague, took a little while for the reader to understand. But, looking back at some of my favorite books, that seems to be a pattern, and it obviously didn’t keep me from falling in love with this pretty, on the outside and the in, book. I’m definitely going to have to check out more books from Mills, and this time next year, maybe I’ll be one of her many fans yelling her praises and collecting her wonderfully-covered books.
The Devouring Gray (Christine Lynn Herman) | Goodreads | 3.5 stars
I think my expectations were just a bit too high for this book. It wasn’t bad, and there were parts I quite liked (bi rep!), but I didn’t love it, which made me feel more disappointed in it than I would have been otherwise.
This book has been compared to Riverdale and Stranger Things a lot, and I don’t really see it. Sure, it has a lot of teenagers and supernatural shenanigans, but there are plenty of TV shows and books that involve that. The mysterious forest and the fact that parents are involved could work out with the Riverdale comparison, but I don’t think it had as much campy fun (before things really went off the rails – I haven’t seen the last few episodes as a result).
It took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I started to enjoy some of the characters. I like Violet, POV #1, and Harper is okay (POV #2), but I didn’t care for Justin at all (POV #3), so I guess things balanced. What I DID love was the fact that there were multiple bisexual characters – Violet, Justin’s friend and fellow founder descendant, Isaac, Violet’s mom, and Justin’s mom – and we actually saw the word “bisexual” multiple times, on page.
I don’t have much to say about this book, to be honest. I enjoyed it, and after that cliffhanger, I’m definitely going to read the sequel, but it didn’t wow me the way I wanted. I can see how Christine Lynn Herman could grow into an author I really enjoy, but she’s not quite there yet.