Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.


It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

Book Overview:

Author: Lexa Hillyer | Series: Spindle Fire | Format: Audiobook | Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham | Length: 8 hours, 25 mins | Publish Date: April 11, 2017 | Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling | Rating: ★ ★ ★  | Recommend: Yes

“One night reviled, Before break of morn, Amid the roses wild, All tangled in thorns, The shadow and the child Together were born.”

I read this book for my book club: Bookish Babes of Norfolk. Click on the link to check out the public Facebook Page and let us know your thoughts!

So I am a YA fan, as you all probably know. So when I found out that this was the book for February, I was excited to get my hands on it. I heard so much about this book, both positive and negative. For the most part, though, it seemed like a book that I could potentially love. So, while I thought this book was pretty decent, I didn’t immediately fall in love with it. I’m a little disappointed about it, but I know that I won’t love every single YA book that I’ll read.

One of the main things I loved about this book was the sheer love and devotion that Isabelle and Aurora had for one another. They are half-sisters, and even though Isabelle is the King’s bastard daughter, Aurora never treated her sister as a second-class citizen. They love one another, and they would do anything to protect each other. That’s what I love about their relationship. Yes, there is a time where they get into a fight, but don’t all sisters get into the occasional argument? It happens.

Another part of this book that I thought was very interesting – and seemed to move the book in a totally different direction that I wasn’t expecting – was that they both had a disability (albeit, caused by fairies and not natural causes, but still). Isabelle was blinded at the age of two when the fairies tithed her eyesight, and Aurora can’t speak or feel anything thanks to the fairies as well. Apparently, these were supposed to be gifs, kind of like the beginning scene of Sleeping Beauty when Maleficent comes and makes bad stuff happen (but I love her). There’s also references to Hansel and Gretel in the book and the allusion that True Love will break whatever spell was cast upon Aurora. Sounds familiar? Yep, typical fairy tale elements.

This story is about two sets of sisters – two half-sisters and two twins – and the dynamics between them is an element that I really appreciate. This book shows that the relationship between sisters can have some pretty damaging effects, and that there really is nothing stronger than the bond between sisters. I can’t wait for the second book, because the ending was so abrupt that I could barely process if I missed anything.

Author Spotlight
Courtesy of Goodreads

Born: August 1
Twitter: Lexa_Hillyer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Influences: Marissa Meyer, Marie Rutkoski, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo
Goodreads Member Since: September 2007

I’m the author of Spindle Fire (coming April 2017 from Harper!), Proof of Forever, and the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold, which won the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award’s Gold Prize for Poetry. I’m also the co-founder of creative development company Paper Lantern Lit. My poetry was anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and appears in several journals. I live in Carroll Gardens with my husband, daughter, and a very skinny orange tree. Follow me on instagram @ProofOfLex and twitter @Lexa_Hillyer !
Obsession by Amanda Robson

Obsession by Amanda Robson

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.
Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?
Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?
Book Overview:
Author: Amanda Robson | Series: None | Format: Audiobook | Narrated by: Thomas Judd, Stephanie Racine, Rich Keeble, Helen Keeley | Length: 10 hours, 55 mins | Publish Date: June 1, 2017 | Genre: Psychological Thriller | Rating: ★ ★  | Recommend: Maybe

“He pants my name at the moment he climaxes. He pants my name in his sleep.”

I read this book for my book club, Bookish Babes of Norfolk. If you guys are living in Norfolk, VA and are looking for a club to join, I recommend them.
After saying all that, I honestly don’t think this is a book I would have ever picked up. I was listening to it at work, and within the first few chapters, there’s a sex scene that I wasn’t expecting. Call me a prude or whatever, I don’t really care. But I personally do not like reading about sex in books. To me, it doesn’t add to the story, and I don’t need to hear about all the blowjobs and climaxes happening behind closed doors. But in this case, the sex scenes did add to the story because of what the book was about.
So this story – and every single terrible thing in this story – happened because one of the main characters Carly asked her husband Rob a question: if he could have sex with anyone else but her, who would he choose?
Well, Rob made the critical mistake of saying Carly’s best friend Jenni. And that’s when “shit hit the fan”.
The drama between these two couples: Carly and Rob, and Jenni and Craig, is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that Carly has been made to have depression and paranoia, but I’m curious as to why Jenni was never diagnosed with anything. These women were pretty ruthless towards one another, and their husbands were complete idiots. I pretty much hated every single character in this book, with the exception of the children. They didn’t do anything. Once again, only the children are innocent in a book like this.
Also, while reading this book, I didn’t really see how it was considered a psychological thriller until more than halfway through the book. Even then, I wouldn’t have labeled it a thriller. It didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat like The Couple Next Door. It didn’t make me want to know how the ending would play out. I just knew who I hated, and I didn’t care what happened to them. They were stupid, and they purposely did stupid things and had the audacity to not understand why things were starting to go wrong.
I also had a question about Rob’s integrity as a narrator. There were times where his narration would continue right after Jenni, or right after Carly, and the differences between his recollection and the women’s was almost startling. I feel like he lied about a lot of things, and he just was not a good person, to begin with. Both Rob and Jenni claimed to be religious people, and yet their actions were anything but holy. At least Craig and Carly owned their actions and didn’t try to hide behind God or anything else.
Stay tuned for an Author Spotlight in the future!
Into the Dim by Janet B Taylor

Into the Dim by Janet B Taylor

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

“All the air whooshed from my lungs as I stared into my mother’s face, woven into an object that was nearly nine hundred years old.”

I listened to this book for my book club. It had an interesting premise, a girl that travels back in time to save the mom she thought was killed in an earthquake. Well, after she ends up going to Scotland because her aunt that she never met or talked to wants her to be there. Because that makes complete sense.

But I mean I guess it’s alright to make a crazy decision after going through a funeral and having an empty casket because your mother’s body was never found in the rubble and debris. So while I probably wouldn’t even feel like visiting some aunt that never gave me the time of day, I get why Hope did it.

I liked the premise of the book for the most part. I’ve never really read a time travel book before, and having this as a YA book made it even better for me. I’ve never read Outlander, so having this book compared to it didn’t give me an incentive to read it more than what I already had. I think it’s really only because of the Scotland and time-travel aspects that they have similar, but who knows? If anyone else read both of these books, please let me know.

I have to say that I do not like Hope very much. She really isn’t a good protagonist. One of the main issues that I and some other reviewers have expressed is the fact that she slut shames way too much. We are in a day and age where women should not be slut shaming other women, especially when said slut shamer has no idea how these girls even behave anyway. It shouldn’t matter what they wear, how big their breasts are, or what color their hair is. Why is she judging these girls solely based on their appearance? I didn’t like that at all. She also just seems to be way too hard on herself for some reason, almost unnecessarily. She has some cowardice tendencies, and I honestly don’t know what the push was to get her to be a little bit brave. I just didn’t get it.

I think because I didn’t like Hope so much, I couldn’t really enjoy the rest of the book, which is sad because it could have been really good! I don’t have much to say about this other than it could have been better, but it wasn’t completely terrible.

Rated: 3/5