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Late to the Party ARC Review – The Clouded Sky (Earth & Sky #2) by Megan Crewe

23199305Title: The Clouded Sky (Earth & Sky #2)

Author: Megan Crewe

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Skylar escapes the time-bending Enforcers who secretly control Earth, her troubles have just begun. She and her friend Win take refuge on Win’s home space station with his fellow rebels, but the fate of Skylar’s planet still spins out of her control.

To avoid detection, Skylar poses as the Earthling “pet” of Win’s rival, an arrogant boy named Jule. Homesick and faced with a cool reception from the other rebels, she throws herself into the group’s mission: assembling a weapon to disable Earth’s restrictive time field. Gradually, Skylar’s skill for detail gains respect—even from Jule, who is more vulnerable than he lets on.

Yet challenges spring from every side. Not only must Sky navigate the muddy waters of romance, but suspicions of betrayal grow among the rebels as their work narrowly misses sabotage.

Huge thank you to Amazon Skyscape and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I really enjoyed Earth & Sky when I had read it last year, and part of me felt I needed that second book right away. Funny enough how things change, because the sequel, The Clouded Sky took me forever to get into — and it begins right where the last book leaves off!

I am struggling to put my finger on why I simply liked this sequel as opposed to loving it the way I did the first book. Part of it was I didn’t find myself instantly connected even though I still enjoyed these characters. I felt there was a bit too much going on, even though most of it was quite interesting. Weirdly this book felt more like a space thriller/mystery novel, and I liked and disliked that aspect. Again, it’s hard to put into words why this sequel didn’t entirely work for me.

I still love these characters, and I think the world building is still great. Being on Kemya the whole book was definitely quite the treat, and it was so fascinating the amount of detail Crewe put into the world. I still appreciate that the characters are in fact aliens and not just aliens looking like humans. Still, the action packed pacing in there, there’s lots of intrigue, and it is a solid sequel. I’m still on board for the last book, but for the life of me I wish I could figure out why I liked and not loved this one!

ARC Review – Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

17838538Title: Girl on a Wire

Author: Gwenda Bond

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.

As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.

Huge thank you to Skyscape and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

First, let me just say that this might have to be one of my favourite covers I’ve seen in a long time. It really captures the novel quite well!

I liked Girl on a Wire. I expected to love it because I am sucker for stories that take place in a circus or have the circus as some sort of centralized theme, and this novel was successful on that front. I thought the characters were quite wonderful, and the circus described in the novel is really colourful, with just enough mystery.

That being said, the prose in this novel didn’t always keep me engaged. I think what I struggled with was that a lot of the description was too drawn out and dull. I found myself skimming in parts simply because I found I wanted to simply get on with the story, but some of the longer winded passages I could have done without. Sometimes Bond’s prose was stunning, and sometimes it felt a touch awkward in places. For me, the writing was what I found myself fighting with the most because when I loved it — I really loved it, and when I disliked it — I skimmed.

Admittedly, I loved that this book didn’t fall into a lot of currently popular YA tropes. I loved how realistic the characters felt and there struggles were things that I felt that as a reader I could sympathize with. I cared about what was happening, but my goodness I did not like that ending. I do not like the type of ending where everything has to be explained even though it was kind of obvious? So frustrating!

In the end, I liked Girl on a Wire, but it definitely did some things that I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to love this book more than I did, but I don’t feel like my time was wasted. There is really wonderful characters here, and if anything, that is why you should pick this book up.