These Vicious Masks – Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, via Netgalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

4.5/5 stars.

Okay, seriously. This book was amazing.

I didn’t read the blurb on Goodreads prior to reading the book (the blurb on Netgalley is entirely different). Had I read the GR blurb, I may have been a little less intrigued by the story – because really, Jane Austen meets X-men…?

But the heroines, Evelyn and Rose, are badass and awesome. They aren’t fainting flowers, and the romance in the book really… wasn’t that bad. In fact, comparing this to some of the other books I’ve read (or am currently reading), there was barely any romance in These Vicious Masks at all. So I guess that’s my way of saying – there was romance, but it definitely didn’t play a huge role, nor did it overpower the actual story.

I loved the characters. I loved the mixture of steampunk and fantasy. I loved the idea of having abilities that are not your normal “superhero abilities.” I loved Sebastian especially.

And the ending – oh my heart!!……

I’ll definitely be keeping this series on my radar… I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! That being said, These Vicious Masks didn’t quite end on a cliffhanger, so that made me happy. There are just some unresolved portions of the story but nothing “serious enough” to warrant me calling it a cliffhanger. But as I said – I definitely want to read the rest of the series.

And yes, I definitely do recommend this to anyone who loves steampunk, who loves romance in small doses, who loves kickass heroines…

(My only problem with this book is that I did get bogged down in it a little bit, at about 60%. However, I think that was more my own fault – I got too involved in reading a ton of books at once – rather than it being the fault of the writing style or anything else like that.)

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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark, via Netgalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

4.5/5 stars.

Okay, in all honesty, I did get a little bogged down in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. For me, the bogging down occurred around 75% or so through the book. However, once I picked it back up and resumed reading, the story sped up after ~80%.

I. Loved. This. Story.

It’s a charming, quirky, adorable story about a spinster bookseller, Sara, who comes to America to visit a close friend (with whom she has been in contact via snailmail for a long time, but never met in person). And it’s a charming, quirky, adorable story about how the little town that Sara is visiting falls in love with her.

There were a few sections that were confusing or that I felt weren’t completely well-explained.

But the adorableness of the ending and the soft spot I have in my heart for those who believe – as I do – that books can change lives… that bumped my rating from a 4/5 to a 4.5/5. I think it’s fair to say that this book almost received a 5/5 from me – the only reason that I didn’t rate it that high is because near the end of the book, I felt as though the characters were a bit flat (in some regards – Grace and her hunting rifle excluded!). Additionally, I think that in taking a rather longer-than-intended break from readingThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, I did the book a disservice since it was somewhat difficult to jump back into the story.

Definitely do recommend – definitely will keep this author on my radar!

The Forgotten Room – Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams, & Karen White

Many thanks to Penguin Group Berkley, NAL/Signet Romance, DAW, via Netgalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

3.5/5 stars.

I was super excited to have been approved to read The Forgotten Roombecause I’ve read books by Lauren Willig and Karen White before, and they were fantastic.

However, although I did enjoy reading The Forgotten Room, it did fall a little flat for me. I loved the idea of three storylines from three very different time periods in history… but I got confused all too easily about which of the women was whom (grandmother, mom, daughter). The relationships were also rather confusing to me, as was the continuation of the same family names throughout the 3 alternating storylines.

I don’t really know why I got so confused reading this book in particular – I think in part it’s due to the fact that the three protagonists are very similar in many ways. Additionally, it was not made clear to the reader what the relationships were between the women until about 75 or 80% through the book (I’m estimating since I did read this awhile ago and don’t exactly remember).

I would recommend it, but hesitantly – not because of shoddy writing or anything like that, but because I simply had difficulty keeping the story straight as well as the point of the book (which still somewhat eludes me, to be honest – it seemed like an awful lot of work to go to, in order to reach the ending that was reached). I would be much more comfortable recommending that people read books by each individual author, especially if you’ve not read books by them before. I am going to be looking up Beatriz Williams, since she’s the only one of the three whom I have not heard of prior to this book.