Title: Wandering Wild
Author: Jessica Taylor
Expected Publication: 3rd May 2016
Format: eARC, kindly provided by the
publishers via Netgalley for
review. (Thank you!!)
My rating: 2 / 5
Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.
There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.
When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.
-- As seen on Goodreads
*I received an eARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This didn't influence my opinion in any way.*
I absolutely love the concept of Wandering Wild, and the synopsis had me hooked from the first time I read it. In practice, though, I didn’t click with the book as much as I had hoped I would. While I was reading, yes, I did care and feel sorry for Tal and what she was going through, but it wasn’t a lasting sympathy. I didn’t have a deep enough overall connection with the characters, and by the time I was nearing the end of the story, I just wanted it to be over. The final kiss of death for me was feeling bored while I was reading – I mean, it took me a month to read the book, and that’s a fairly big clue that I haven’t connected with story. Take my opinions with a pinch of salt: I do have a bit of a hit or miss history with contemporary books in general, so don’t let me put you off reading Wandering Wild if you love the sound of it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.
Title: Spell Bound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall, #3
Format: Paperback, bought.
My rating: 4 / 5
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
-- As seen on Goodreads
I really enjoyed Spell Bound, and thought it was a really good conclusion to the Hex Hall trilogy. I went into this one a little fuzzy on the finer details as it had been a while since I read the previous books in the series. I did get back up to speed really quickly once I began reading, and it’s always lovely to see a little recapping in the first couple of chapters! I had forgotten how much I liked Sophia – she’s awesome. She’s a little snarky, witty and can be a tad impulsive, but she’s a great character to read about. However! There were a couple of things that bothered me, namely the love triangle with Archer and Cal flaring up. Personally, I felt the endgame was fairly obvious and dragging the final decisions out for so long was a bit disappointing and unnecessary. Also, the ending felt a little… rushed? Maybe it was just me, but I was hoping for a little ... more, you know? Overall, I thought Spell Bound was a really enjoyable conclusion to the Hex Hall trilogy, and I’d definitely recommend these books to anyone who wants a laugh-out-loud and light-hearted fantasy series.