Author: Adalyn Grace
Series: Belladonna
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy, gothic
Age Group: YA
ARC?: yes

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.


Thank you to the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

So, I was excited going into this book because it said gothic on it, and I’m into pretty much anything gothic. And boy, did I get gothic! I also got a mix of fantasy elements that I love so much. And Death. Death was great as well. In some ways the atmosphere — something — about the book reminded me of Sorcery of Thorns, one of my all time favorite books. As well as Down Comes the Night. The combination in this book was just so well done. I was living for it. It is going to be a must re-read this fall when it’s spooky season. (I promise, you won’t be disappointed!)

Grace’s writing has only improved since her debut series, and I was gripped by it in this book. It was great before, and it is even better now. While the themes are different and styles are different, she does both very well! I found it easy to read and very addicting. I kept wanting to hug Signa. I loved her so much in this book. I adored her story — I felt connected with her even though she experienced things I hadn’t. And that is Grace’s talent, she can make you connect with a character even if it isn’t something you have experience. You feel empathy with them.

Also, the prologue was amazing . One of the best prologues that I have ever read to be honest. And I mean…the prologue was something else. What a way to get you into a book and keep you reading! Hook, line and sinker! This book was a slow burn in many ways; the romance, the plot, the world building, but it was beautifully done. I was obsessed with the idea of this glittering world, of “witches” of the personification of Death.

The romance in this book was much like Grace’s previous, it was slow and twisting; I rather enjoyed those aspects of it. Then you had the complicated factor of the mystery. Honestly, the mystery and ghosts were some of the best parts of this book. It incorporated well into the book, and it gave the book more body. And I love a gothic mystery that incorporates paranormal elements. I’m a sucker for it, and Grace had all of that.

And I loved the plot. I kept flipping pages because I wanted to know what was going to happen next! Suffice to say, I LOVED this book. What was also nice was the MC was 19! An older YA character! Hurray! This book literally checked all the boxes I could ask for. And I am addicted. ADDICTED I TELL YOU.

I need to get my hands on the sequel because HOLY HECK I can’t wait to see what happens next! This is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year. I already have THREE editions ordered.


Author: Adalyn Grace
Series: All the Stars and Teeth
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: no

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.


I have to write this review now, even though I don’t have all my thoughts in place, mostly because my head is STILL spinning. I can’t believe it! This review may ramble a bit, so feel free to skim if you start to zone out. Let me start by saying I REGRET not getting the OwlCrate version of this. I wish I had, but at the time I was also getting Fairyloot, and I made a choice. Anyways, besides that, the cover is gorgeous no matter what color it is, and so is the interior. That’s because this book was one of the most amazing reads. (Partially because I love mermaids and magic!)

Grace is a talented writer. I know, I know, I say this a lot. This time it is true. Grace manages to convey so much through her writing. What is interesting about this book is that it is written in first person, present tense. I haven’t seen present tense in a novel in a long while, and it was a nice change. It worked well, and I was impressed. The descriptions are amazing, and so is the dialogue. There is nothing to complain about with any of those things.

I will admit the first few chapters were a little bit slow, but I quickly fell in love with the book once I got past them. This I think was because it was necessary to fill out some background on the world, and I’ll talk more about that in the worldbuilding section. Once we get into the meat of the novel everything picks up, and I don’t feel that it is slow at all.

The plot in this book is *heart eyes*. There is little more I love than adventure, magic, pirates and high seas. That combination worked so well with this book! Amora is a likeable character, and you want her to succeed, you want her to win. Sometimes the plot makes you hate a character for the actions they take, but not in this case! The plot (the base of it) seems at first uncomplicated, but I love how much more it becomes later in the book. Secrets are revealed…it is absolutely delightful! I don’t want to spoil anything, so you’re just going to have to read it yourself!

Amora. Honestly, I could just leave it there. As a protagonist she is amazing. She has such personality, and she comes off the page. I also love the “love interests” because it is hilarious and done so well. I love how organically I felt that the romances and the friendships unfolded in this book. There was a lot of love. I love ALL the characters on the ship in this book. Especially the mermaid. She may be my favorite. I honestly cannot wait to see what happens to my favorites next!!!

I enjoyed the world building of this book. Grace created a multi-dimensional world, and inhabited it with characters that are flawed and wonderful. They are truly amazing, and so is the magic. While it is a little confusing at first, everything is explained. I love how the magic system is incorporated into the story and it really helped make the book for me.

If you can’t tell, I loved this book! I am running out of words to explain how much I adored it, and how much I need the second book in this series immediately. I have been sucked in and this book is not letting me go. Honestly, if you like Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of a Pirate King series you are going to LOVE this one as well!!!