Lost Girls Reviews

Lost Girls Reviews

We are insomniacs, book hoarders, wine tasters, occasional cosplayers, thrill seekers, oncers, ringers, collectors, gamers and explorers with a terrible sense of direction. We came, we saw....we're lost!

5 Stars
One Dark Throne
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake
This was my most anticipated book of the year and it did not disappoint! Where the first book started a little slow and built up to that crazy cliffhanger, this sequel was packed with twists and turns throughout. 
In Three Dark Crowns, Katherine was my favorite and she still is. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that she survived the Breccia and came out of it a little....different. She is definitely more determined than ever to win that crown. She doesn't care who she has to take down to get it. Katherine is out for blood and I do not mean that figuratively.
Arsinoe is dealing with the revelation that she is a poisoner. She knows she is the least likely to come out of this Ascension alive but that doesn't mean she'll go down without a fight. Her relationship with Jules is one of my favorite things in this book. They are so devoted to each other and Jules will protect Arsinoe at all costs. We also find out something about Jules and it is a real game changer. I wouldn't be surprised if she took the crown for herself.
I don't think anyone can deny that Mirabella is the most powerful of the three sisters. Unfortunately, she is also the most sentimental and gentle. She does not want to kill her sisters and has to come to some distressing revelations. 
The character building was exceptional, especially for the secondary characters. - some of whom even had their own chapters. 
I have to say I enjoyed this book more than Three Dark Crowns. It is gritty, violent, and most of all, exciting. Of course it left us with another HUGE cliffhanger and I can't wait until the next one! 
4.5 Stars
Hunger - Michael  Grant

Warning: There will be spoilers for book 1 in the series



This book takes place 3 months after the previous book ended. Food is running out and the kids are getting desperate. They are eating anything they can find. Boiling grass and weeds, random mushrooms, the occasional pigeon if one can be caught. Kids will do anything for food, including switching sides. Friends are turning on each other, allies are squabbling among themselves on all sides. Even though the children have figured out how not to blink out on their 15th birthdays, they are now considering giving up and letting it happen just to escape their misery.


Some kids are still developing new and unusual abilities, while normal kids are beginning to take a stand against those with powers. The challenges that Sam has to face, the pressures put on him by all the other children to make decisions and keep order really starts to wear him down. I couldn't help but feel bad for him. With constant threats from Caine and his crew, mutant coyotes and killer worms, there is also a creature living underground, controlling and manipulating some of the children. Getting into their heads and forcing them to do its bidding.


I read the Maze Runner a while back and I was unable to continue on with that series. The way the teens were portrayed, and how they spoke, was a big turn off for me. I was afraid this series might have a similar style, but despite the children making terrible and very dangerous decisions, I have really been enjoying the books and many of the characters.


There is no shortage of action in this book! There is so much going on in so many different places with different characters that my biggest complaint is that every time I get immersed in a scene and I need to know what happens next, Grant jumps over to a different group of kids and the second I get invested in the action with them, we are on to something else happening on the other side of Perdido Beach. It does exasperate me at times, but I love that there is so much action. I am never bored.


I'm definitely going to continue with this series. I need to know what will happen next. I recommend this series to anyone in the mood for action packed adventure.




5 Stars
Caraval - Stephanie G. Garber
“It is not fate, it is simply the future observing that which we crave most. Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”


I don't remember the last time I read a book that I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed Caraval. I am such a fan of Garber's writing style. Her magical prose leaped off the pages and held me spellbound. I love the way Scarlet experiences life in various shades of color.
“Every touch created colors she had never seen. Colors as soft as velvet and as sharp as sparks that turned into stars.”
Two sisters have always wanted to see Caraval, a magical performance/game (by invitation only) where you have a chance to compete with others for a reward. The day finally arrives when Scarlet and Tella receive an invitation to Caraval and the reward for winning the game is one wish. Unfortunately, Scarlet's abusive father has arranged a marriage between her and a man she has never met and the marriage is due to take place shortly.
The two girls find themselves on the run, journeying with a mysterious stranger, to the island where Caraval takes place. When Tella disappears, Scarlet discovers that her sister is a part of the game and it is up to Scarlet to solve the clues and find her sister before time runs out.

“A second in Caraval seemed richer than an ordinary second, like that moment on the cusp of sunset, when all the colors of the sky coalesce into magic.”
 When things take a nasty turn, and secrets unfold, Scarlet no longer knows who to trust or what is real and what is part of the game.  This story kept me on my toes. I did not want to put the book down. There were so many twists and shocking moments!
Scarlet is an amazing sister. She goes through so much to try and save Tella. As much as I love my own sister, and I'd like to think I would do whatever it takes to save her, there's a chance I may have left her little butt behind on that island. "I'm supposed to do what!? Sorry sis, you're on your own. Send me a postcard if you ever escape." 
This story had everything, danger, mystery, romance, wonder, excitement.  Any book that challenges my imagination to soar will receive 5 stars from me. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! There is so much more to learn and see. I will be counting down the days.
5 Stars
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill
What a delightful fairy tale! This was such a joy to read. I loved the mix of characters. There is a perfectly tiny dragon who truly believes he is simply enormous, a good witch with a heart of gold who rescues babies left in the woods to die, a poetry loving swamp monster, and so many other characters both unique and interesting.
As a child I know I would have adored this book and read it over and over. I would recommend this book to young, old and everyone in between who enjoys a captivating fairy tale filled to the brim with stardust, whimsy, moonbeams, and all things enchanting.
2 Stars
Fever - Lauren DeStefano

Warning: There will be spoilers in this review for the first book in the series, Wither.

Gabriel and Rhine have escaped and they are on the run, trying to make it back to Manhattan in search of her twin brother when they are captured by the ring-mistress of a carnival of prostitution. Once again Rhine finds herself in a compromising situation, and her plan of action is to simply go along with everything, gain Madame's trust and wait for the perfect opportunity to escape. This was all too reminiscent of book 1.

I found myself cringing by Rhine's actions throughout this book. The only thing she seemed to excel at, was getting caught. Each time she was caught by someone sinister, and this happens multiple times, she does not put up much of a fight. In fact, not only does she not attempt to flee, at one point she even goes willingly. I was in disbelief.

Rhine is still wearing Linden's wedding ring. I kept wondering why she hadn't removed it, and why Gabriel didn't seem to notice or care. Why would she want to keep a reminder of the terrible situation she escaped from? That was one of the many reasons Gabriel and Rhine's relationship fell flat to me. I saw no connection, no passion. I also felt that Rhine and Gabriel spent most of the book drugged up, sleeping or hallucinating which caused the story to plod along at a snail's pace. 
I had a hard time liking the characters (new and old) this time around. As with the last book, I enjoyed DeStefano's writing style, and I am in no way averse to giving her other series a try. I'm afraid this particular series simply isn't for me.
4 Stars
The Lying Game
The Lying Game: A Novel - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

This is the first book I've read by Ware despite having had my eye on her previous books. I now regret not having picked them up sooner. I was immediately drawn into the story of four tight knit teenagers who met at a coastal boarding school called Salten. They developed the lying game where they would concoct elaborate lies to tell people who were not part of their small circle and award each other points. The game had rules, one of which was, never lie to each other.

The girls are eventually kicked out of their boarding school and all go their separate ways until years down the road when their shared secret comes back to haunt them. A single text reunites them.  

"I need you." 

The book jumps back and forth between Isa's perspective and their past. The story slowly unravels to reveal how they met, their shared secrets, and what became of each of them. I didn't give this book a full five stars only because the final reveal didn't blow me away as much as I had anticipated. I enjoyed the ride and discovering the mystery, I just wanted a bit more thrill and suspense. I am, of course, looking forward to reading more from Ware.



5 Stars
Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Wonder Woman: Warbringer - Leigh Bardugo

I loved Bardugo's take on Wonder Woman. The theme of this story is friendship and loyalty so there was very little romance, which I didn't mind at all. The characters were incredibly likeable, and Bardugo's humor is always perfection. 


Being a fan of the new Wonder Woman movie, I have to confess, I kept hearing Gal Gadot's accent as I read the book. This story is, of course, entirely different than the movie. Diana rescues a young lady named Alia. Risking exile from her home, Diana is determined to save Alia, who is a Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy, and holds the power to bring about massive wars and destruction.


 I was curious to see how Bardugo would handle writing such a kind, compassionate, honorable character when she is so exquisitely good at creating shady, morally grey characters as those from her Six of Crows series. She did an amazing job with Diana, and I absolutely adored Alia and her best friend, Nim. I loved their friendship, strength, intelligence and humor.


From what I understand, there was only one Wonder Woman book planned, but the ending teases that there is definitely more to Diana's story, and I would be absolutely thrilled to see Bardugo bring us more Wonder Woman!



3.5 Stars
Wither - Lauren DeStefano
In this dystopian universe females only live to be 20 years old and males live to be 25 before a mysterious virus kills them. Caused by a failed experiment to create a more perfect human race, only those of the first generation are immune to this virus, and live to see old age.

Young girls are disappearing, stolen away to be killed or to become unwilling polygamous wives of wealthy men and bear as many children as they can before they die. Rhine is taken, thrown into a van with several other girls, sedated and transported far from home to live in a secured mansion with four other sister wives.
I had a few issues with this book so I will start with some of those. Rhine is not the type of heroine who will fight tooth and nail for what she wants. It was a little frustrating to me when she would simply go along with everything that was happening to her. I wanted her to ask more questions, challenge authority, show some fire.
Her husband, Linden, is incredibly oblivious to everything. He was deeply in love with his first wife, devastated when she died, but seemed to move on fairly quickly with three more wives to take her place and warm his bed. Rhine has so many opportunities to help him see what was truly going on, instead she says nothing.
Gabriel didn't have much of a personality. He seemed content to simply live out the rest of his few remaining years as a servant admiring Rhine from afar. I can't really say that I was a big fan of his.

I really wanted to learn more about the virus, to understand how and why it works the way it does. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get all the answers I hoped for.
On to the things I liked about this book. The story line was different enough to keep me interested. I haven't read any books similar to this lately, so I enjoyed the change. All of the sister wives had interesting personalities, and most were likeable. I enjoyed learning more about them, their backgrounds, histories and what made them all so different.
DeStefano's writing style is beautiful, and there is so much that I want to know more about. I hope to see more world building in the next books of the series. When a book is frustrating, engaging, nicely written, and makes me think, I just have to continue on with it to see, where exactly, it will go.
4 Stars
Gone - Michael  Grant

What would happen if everyone over the age of 15 were to simply vanish, leaving only children to fend for themselves? If that's not interesting enough, throw in some freakish mutating animals, and kids developing crazy x-men type super powers. Grant gives us a world where suddenly kids are on their own trying to survive, food is running out, bullies are using their newly developing powers to take over and suddenly, snakes are growing wings and cats are teleporting. I always enjoy a book that keeps me guessing and tosses out surprises left and right.


Sam is the kind of guy you don't really notice until there is an emergency and he becomes the only one who will step up and take charge. He is a kind boy with a good heart. When the story starts he is 14 years old. One of the oldest kids in the FAYZ, as they call it. The problem is, the second you turn 15, you blink out. Disappear. No one knows what exactly happens when you vanish, and time is running out for a lot of the kids.


Astrid is very intelligent for her age, some call her Astrid the Genius. She also has a good heart and watches over her little brother. I enjoyed watching the friendship between her and Sam blossom and become something more. 


Caine is a 14 year old kid from Coates Academy. He rolls into town with his crew of bullies and essentially takes over. He creates the rules and his posse of troublemakers enforces them. He has a plan and will not back down from a fight.


There were many different characters who were likeable on Sam's side of the divide and  many who were just plain rotten on Caine's side. This story heads toward a war between the two sides. As the children begin discovering and developing their super powers, time is running out for both Caine and Sam who are close to their 15th birthdays.


I had some issues with many of the decisions the kids were making through the whole book. There was no order, the kids were wasting the food they had available. Instead of preparing for the future, planning ahead, many let good food rot and only ate junk food.


They were vandalizing and destroying places, throwing trash out in the streets. I had to keep reminding myself that they were children with no adult supervision. Some of the older children did attempt to create order by caring for the babies, gathering supplies, one kid even stepped up and managed the McDonald's, cooking food for everyone. Those moments were very satisfying to see.


I didn't mention much about the super powers that the children develop only because, for me, I found it fun and exciting to discover the powers along with the kids as they were realizing them. Not all of the kids have powers yet. This is only the first book in the series so I'm pretty sure we are going to be seeing new abilities pop up as we go. I think this series is going to be a fun adventure.



4 Stars
Hunted - Meagan Spooner

I enjoyed this retelling so much, and the book cover is stunning! Not the temporary cover pictured in this post, but the actual finished cover. Yeva comes from a wealthy family. She lives with her widowed father and two sisters. Her relationship with her family is beautiful. They care very much for each other, and put the happiness of others before their own.


When Yeva's father makes a terrible mistake and loses their entire fortune, the family is forced to sell their belongings and move back to their small cabin in the woods. Her father goes out hunting to provide food for the family, but despite Yeva's protests, he does not allow her to join him even though she is an accomplished hunter.


Yeva's father begins to show signs that he may be going mad, obsessing over a creature he is hunting. When he goes missing, Yeva is determined to track him down and save him, leaving her sisters in the care of her fiancee. Solmir is such a good man. He's in love with Yeva, willing to marry her despite her loss of status and the family's circumstances, and more than happy to provide them with a better life. That little twist in this, tale as old as time, was a refreshing change.


When Yeva meets Beast, she is captured and imprisoned in his old ruined castle. At first she doesn't realize that the one helping her is Beast. She believes the man who hides in the dark and brings her food is her ally not her captor. In this version, Beauty believes Beast murdered her father and she is out for blood! This Beauty is angry, calculating, and determined to kill the beast.


The romance takes it's time and when Beauty finally leaves Beast she never promises to return. I began to wonder if she ever would return to him. This is the first Beauty and the Beast retelling, I personally have read, where the author addresses Stockholm Syndrome. A friend of Beauty confronts her and discusses the fact that maybe what Beauty feels towards Beast is a psychological effect of the abuse and imprisonment using an example of a man who beat his wife, but the wife continued returning to him. I was impressed with the author for including this scene.


Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite stories, and this was an enjoyable retelling with interesting, and at times, shocking twists. The ending had a lovely moral, which I will let you discover for yourself if you decide to read it. I look forward to reading more of Spooner's work.



4 Stars
King's Cage
King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Book 3 in the Red Queen series was an improvement over Glass Sword. I became increasingly disappointed in Mare's attitude in the previous book and didn't care for the path she was heading down. Despite the pain and torment that Mare endures as she is held captive by Maven, I was pleased to see the growth and change in her this time around. Her interactions with her family, Cal and even the way she treated others in general were vastly improved.


I admit, I was preparing myself as I read Glass Sword for the possibility of Mare becoming the villain (due to her increasingly foul attitude and disregard for human life) and Maven switching roles and becoming the true hero. That didn't happen, at least not in this book. Book 4 is still in the works, so you never know.


Maven's scenes were always interesting. Learning what makes him tick, why this complicated individual, even without his puppet master, Elara, pulling his strings he continues on his road of destruction. Another character I enjoyed seeing more of, was Evangeline. She always keeps things interesting. I wasn't surprised at all by some of the decisions that she makes in King's Cage, but I was very pleased.


Mare's relationship with Cal was very much improved through most of the book. There were some very sweet scenes, but by the end of the book, I was honestly hoping Mare would zap his lying princeliness clean off a cliff. I feel he is too weak and indecisive, and I've lost all interest in his character. He can ride off into the sunset for all I care. I'm more interested to see what will become of Maven and Evangeline in the final book of the series.



3 Stars
Girl in Snow
Girl in Snow: A Novel - Danya Kukafka

This is a debut novel from a talented author. Teenager, Lucinda Hayes has been murdered in a small town in Colorado. We alternate between several characters, learning about their lives and their connection to the victim. The characters were depicted in their most raw and imperfect forms and I feel that this is where Kukafka shines as a writer.


Each character has their own secrets, and they are battling their own personal demons. I had very similar feelings toward this book as I did with the Girl on the Train. The characters themselves were not particularly likable, they were all a bit twisted in some form, and as far as the mystery itself, I can't say I had it all figured out.


We learn about Lucinda through the eyes of the ones who knew her.

Cameron is a boy who has loved and "watched" Lucinda from a distance. Slipping out at night and watching her through her bedroom window. He is a complex, tangled boy, dealing with his own mess of emotions and feelings.


Russ is a cop who, having known Cameron's father before he disappeared, wants to protect Cameron and his mother. Russ has a complicated marriage with a woman whose brother he doesn't fully trust.


Jade is a girl with an alcoholic, abusive mother who treats Jade's sister as a doll she can dress up and live vicariously through. She treats Jade as a lost cause. Jade is in love with her childhood friend, but he only has eyes for Lucinda.


This book was not an edge of your seat thriller, it was a good deal slower than I expected, but it did keep me guessing until the end.

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster as well as the author, Danya Kukafka, for the opportunity to read an advanced copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



3.5 Stars
The Idea of You
The Idea of You - Amanda Prowse
Lucy is nearing 40 years of age, has a fantastic career and a wonderful new husband. She is the happiest she's ever been, the only thing missing from her life is a baby of her own. This book deals with some very difficult subject matter, so you may want to bring along tissues for this heart wrenching roller coaster ride. After recently having multiple miscarriages, Lucy is grieving the losses of her babies while preparing to finally meet her teenage step daughter, Camille, who is coming for a visit. Cam clearly doesn't like Lucy despite everything she does to make Cam feel welcome and at home, which throws her already strained marriage into further turmoil. 
I personally have never experienced Lucy's pain, I do have friends and family members that have been through similar circumstances and the way Amanda allows us to journey inside Lucy's head and better understand what she is feeling was very enlightening. Often times, well meaning friends and family will say the wrong thing and cause more pain than comfort.
Lucy grows a lot by the end of this book and there were interesting reveals about her life which you will most likely see coming as we get many clues along the way. At times, I noticed the dialogue didn't feel completely natural and neither did her husband's reactions in certain situations, but Amanda's story telling made up for it and the book was hard to put down once I got started. This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone, but I would recommend it to anyone who may relate to the subject matter.
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
5 Stars
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco, Hachette Audio, James Patterson, Nicola Barber

This book was incredibly surprising! It's dark, gory and I really enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for over the top gore, but I do love a good murder mystery from time to time. 


The story was set in the 1800s, Audrey Rose is 17 years old, lives with her father and brother, but is secretly studying forensics with her Uncle, against her father's wishes. If her father knew she was up to her elbows in gore while assisting with autopsies and helping solve murder mysteries, he would lose his mind. Audrey Rose is not the proper young lady she was brought up to be.


I adored Audrey Rose, especially her feisty nature and her stomach of steel. Stomach of steel compared to any normal female of that time period and many of the men as well. Speaking of the men, another fantastic character is Thomas Cresswell. He is confident, incredibly intelligent and does an awful lot of "deducing." He would make a wonderful young Sherlock Holmes! I enjoyed their flirtations and banter so much.


I loved the setting and the creepiness of hunting down a deranged killer on the dark Victorian London streets. Even though I did guess who the villain was I did not guess anywhere near how cringe worthy it played out in the end. There were enough surprises to keep me on my toes and the ending left things wide open for the next book in the series, Hunting Prince Dracula. The cover art on both of these books is beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2.




4 Stars
Waer - Meg Caddy

An amazing debut by a talented young author. When I first heard that Meg Caddy was mentored by the wonderfully talented, Juliet Marillier, I knew I had to give her book a try. I am so glad I did. She presents the werewolves in her world as gentle, peaceful creatures. I immediately fell in love with them. The world she created was beautifully done with many surprises and twists thrown in.

This book is a standalone and I am partly sad because I would love to journey back to Caddy's universe and revisit these characters. The story wraps up nicely and you are not left with any lingering questions. Things aren't wrapped up in a neat little pretty bow. This is a story of heartache and loss, battles won and lost, redemption, love and forgiveness.

The story is told in alternating POVs mostly through Lycaea and Lowell's perspectives. Lycaea is waer, but she was not born that way. She was turned against her will. I found her to be rough and tortured and not particularly likable at first. She has gone through many horrors and feels betrayed by those close to her. It wasn't long before I began to understand and care for her character. Lowell was born waer and he lives with his family in peace until he finds Lycaea washed up by the river. His character is kind and gentle and I absolutely adored him from the very beginning.

There was enough action and danger to keep me on the edge of my seat, especially toward the end. The romance was slow burning and did not take over the story. It was incredibly well done and I am very much looking forward to Caddy's next book.
I received a copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.




5 Stars
Illuminae - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

I don't normally read books like this, and it's not because I dislike sci-fi. I love watching sci-fi movies and tv shows, but as far as reading about happenings in outer space, it doesn't call my attention very often. This book caught my attention because the format is vastly different than any book I've read. The story is told through a series of interview transcripts, emails, official documents, the inner musings of a possibly insane AI, diary entries, spaceship diagrams and space artwork.

I wasn't sure how all that was going to work out for me and I was a tad skeptical, but I'm always up for trying new things. The story starts off with the interviews of two teens who's planet had been invaded. I can't say I fell instantly in love with Kady and Ezra. Kady's personality seemed a bit bland and the dialogue between her and Ezra left much to be desired. Maybe it was just the format. It's difficult to convey emotion through text or instant messages.

Once her skills as a hacker emerged and I was able to see her strengths, bravery and intelligence I liked her more and more. Kady and Ezra are stuck on two different ships separated from each other and their families, just trying to stay alive. They are all fleeing a large ship intent on attacking them. Ezra's ship is under the control of AIDAN, the AI with a mind of its own focused on seeing to its own agenda, and to make matters worse, we have a virus outbreak turning people into creepy, weapon wielding, zombie-like creatures who can think, hunt and kill the uninfected.


Did I mention those guys are creepy? The beginning of the book didn't draw me in. It took some time before things picked up for me, but when they did, I couldn't read fast enough. I loved the plot twists, but at one point toward the end, let's just say I was livid! I almost put it down. I'm glad I pressed on, because that ending was fantastic!

I also have to mention that AIDAN is a great character. If I had to choose, I'd say AIDAN was the most interesting, poetic and complex character in the whole book.

“Before this moment, I have never wished to be something other than what I am. Never felt so keenly the lack of hands with which to touch, the lack of arms with which to hold. Why did they give me this sense of self? Why allow me the intellect by which to measure this complete inadequacy? I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

There were so many unique twists and turns. I  definitely loved this book and the authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, are wonderfully talented, kind and gracious individuals which I had the immense pleasure of meeting at YALLFEST.

Jay personalized my book with words to live by



"Fight like a girl!" And I certainly will.

Gemina book 2 is sitting on my nightstand (it's so beautiful) just taunting me to come read it.

We received free copies of this book at First in Line's biscuit brunch event at Yallfest

currently reading

Progress: 225/672pages
Hunting Prince Dracula - Kerri Maniscalco
The Burning Hand - Jodi Meadows