Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 8-29-23
Adult - Contemporary

My Roommate is a Vampire- Jenna Levine: Cassie Greenberg loves being an artist, but it doesn't pay the bills. She's days away from being evicted from her apartment and is desperate to find somewhere to live other than her best friend's couch. When she comes across an ad for a beautiful apartment that seems way too good to be true, Cassie figures she has nothing left to lose. Right off the bat, Cassie senses there's something off about her new roommate, Frederick J. Fitzwilliam. He's pale, oddly formal, sleeps all day, and stays out all night. He also leaves sweet notes for Cassie, asking her about her day or her artwork, and genuinely seems interested in getting to know her. But when Cassie finds a bag of blood in the fridge, she realizes her new roommate is hiding a big secret.

The premise of this sounded too good to pass up. While it was fun, I didn't love it as much as I hoped to. I think it was due to the structure of the story. Nothing felt fully fleshed out. It was almost as if the whole thing was still in its idea phase. I wanted more of Frederick and his backstory. It felt like everything about him was dumped on us at the end rather than building up to it. I also wished we got to see more of his vampire side. However, he was my favorite character because he was so hopeless and buttoned-up that he was funny without even trying. The romance between him and Cassie was okay, but again, it felt surface-level. It was a super quick read--I read it in one sitting--and I would still recommend it if you're looking for a quirky supernatural romance.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 8-29-23
YA - Fantasy

House of Marionne- J. Elle: Quell has spent most of her seventeen years on the run with her mother. They bounce from city to city, trying to hide the magic in Quell's veins from those who seek to do her harm. But with an assassin trailing them, Quell is determined to keep her mother out of harm's way, so she decides to enroll in the Order, a debutante society full of magically social elites. All Quell has to do is pass three rights to become a member, and she'll have to tools to bury her magic forever. Turns out, becoming a debutante is harder than Quell imagined, especially when she has to deal with Jordan, her mentor and assassin-in-training. When Quell discovers just how far the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she must choose between embracing the magic she's feared her whole life or risking losing everything she's come to love.

The synopsis promised some lofty goals, and I don't think it was delivered. I was prepared to get swept up in secret societies and dark magic, but it all felt bland. I don't think the world-building was strong enough to immerse yourself fully. Things felt either glossed over or not explained, especially the magic system and the different Houses. We kept getting told how powerful the Order was, but I never got the true sense. I also found it hard to connect with the characters. None of them felt fleshed-out, especially Quell, which made me not care about what happened to them. The romance between Quell and Jordan was fine, but again, nothing to write home about. I think this had a lot of potential, but it sadly missed the mark for me.

Rating: 2/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 9-6-22
YA - Horror

The Weight of Blood- Tiffany D. Jackson: Maddy Washington has always been an outcast in her small hometown. Through the years, she's learned to deal with the taunting bullies because she knows it would be even worse if they discovered her secret. Maddy is biracial but has been passing as white her entire life at the urging of her fanatical white father. After an incident during gym class reveals Maddy's secret, Maddy is targeted worse than ever. When videos of Maddy's bullying go viral, the town knows that it needs to clean up its image, so they decide to throw the first-ever non-segregated prom as a show of unity. But when Maddy shows up on the arm of one of the most popular kids at school, she learns that her classmates have planned a terrible surprise, which may cost them their lives.

I've had this on my radar for so long, and I'm kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. Everything about it-- from the characters to the pacing to the social commentary--is incredibly well-done. There are so many moments that are uncomfortable to read but so important to discuss. Jackson wasn't afraid to hold up a mirror to society, and it was so powerful. I knew going into this that it was a reimagining of Carrie, so I had a feeling about how the story would play out, but it was still so compelling. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for it all to go down, and it was perfect. It's a heavier (and infuriating) read, but I loved every second of it.

Rating: 5/5


  1. I was looking forward to reading My Roommate is a Vampire, the premise does sound fun!


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