Tag Archives: Running Press

Mini Reviews: Never Never Part 1 and Reprieve

Never Never (Part 1) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn FisherNever, Never (Part 1) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher / Hoover Ink

I stumbled across this series of novellas on Amazon. Of the three parts, I’ve only read Part 1. It basically seems like a novel broken into three pieces. The whole series is available as a bundle for $2.99, which is a pretty great deal.

In terms of the story, it was definitely a wild ride. There’s a lot of romantic tension and some sexual content (main characters watch a video that includes a sex scene, thought it’s dark and only sounds are described) and brief violence. I was really hooked by the idea that both characters have lost their memories and are scrambling both to pretend they’ve got things under control/run their lives as if nothing’s wrong but also figure out what made them lose their memories. It’s clear something sinister happened, and we don’t know if our protags are good guys or bad guys. Will I read part 2? Possibly. I’m definitely curious about the story. Not curious enough to bump it ahead of the rest of my TBR list, though, so for now it’ll have to wait.

Inherit the Stars: Reprieve by Tessa Elwood/Running Press

After falling face-first in love with Inherit the Stars (read my review), I HAD to read this short story featuring Asa and her sister Wren (who is unconscious in Inherit the Stars.) I’ve read short stories by authors whose novels I love and been disappointed by the lack of structure (short fiction is not as easy as you think), but this was not the case with Elwood’s tale. The writing was powerful and the characters really moving. I loved having that chance to see Wren and Asa interact with one another, to have that real-time look at how their relationship worked. It only strengthened my understanding of Asa’s motives in Inherit the Stars. If you liked the novel, I recommend the short story. If you haven’t read the novel, check out the short story. It’s free, and you’ll get a really good feel for the narrative in the full-length novel. Update: I can’t seem to find a good link for the short story online. I think I got it on Amazon, but I don’t see it there now. Check out the Goodreads page and see if maybe it gets updated to show it posted somewhere else?


Stunning Teen Sci-Fi Novel: Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Inherit the Stars
Tessa Elwood
Perseus Book Group/Running Press Kids

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

When an explosion during a riot leaves Asa’s sister in a coma, she vows to do what she must to bring her back. As the youngest daughter in a royal house on the brink of collapse, her choices are desperate. She impersonates her sister in a marriage alliance to the heir to another ruling family, a boy with tragic secrets of his own.

Every time Asa thinks she has made things better, she’s met with the bitter realization that she’s in fact only made her sister’s and her family’s situation more dire. War could come at any moment. War which will destroy them all. Asa scrabbles to right each new domino that falls, hoping against hope that she can get ahead of the catastrophe enough to spare those she loves most: her sister, her family, her kingdom, and unexpectedly, her new husband.

This book is one of those fantastic ones that left me amazed at the way the plot twisted in on itself. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, it was like the author flipped my whole perception upside down or revealed a secret that completely changed the game. The rabbit hole of political intrigue went deeper and deeper until I didn’t think there was any way there could be light at the end of that tunnel.

I loved the characters. I felt like each of them could have walked off the page. I liked the relationship and conflict between Asa and her father and Asa and her sister Emmie best. Super complex relationships, really getting into that tug-of-war between love and hate. I loved the way her relationship with Eagle unfolded, too. I am least crazy about his name, but absolutely adored him other than that.

Another thing that I’m a total sucker for is a really dense artistic narrative style. In a response to a question I asked her via Goodreads, author Tessa Elwood talks about being inspired by Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi in her development of the raw emotional style in Inherit the Stars. She did an amazing job. There were passages I read multiple times just because I liked them too much to read them only once before moving on. An example, you ask? Here’s one of my favorites:

“He steps with me. Hands catching my cheeks, closing in until the room disappears and I taste him. Wide lips and lost places. Tangled forests of pine nuts and rivers and the way the air sings before the sun rises. His fingers chase dawn into my hair.”

Love it. Love this book. Cannot wait for the next one, which it sounds like will be out around this time next year.

Language Content
Mild profanity used moderately.

Sexual Content
Brief kissing.

Spiritual Content

Brief battle violence, references to explosions. Asa’s sister is injured in a riot and remains in a coma. Asa has to cut into her husband’s shoulder, he then has to cut into hers. He tells her how he earned his scars and of a fellow soldier’s injuries. Some of that is a bit wince-worthy more in word choice than length of the description.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.