“The Great Hunt”
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: Eurona Duology #1
Pages: 416
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Date Published: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review

———————————————————————-

“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.

-Goodreads
———————————————————————————————————————————
My Thoughts:
Higgins creates a glistening world in The Great Hunt that I quite enjoyed. In fact, her world building was my favorite thing about the novel. Right out of the gate she hits you with a death, which got the story moving at a fast rate, and I love that. I will say that as the book went on, I felt that there were moments that it dragged a bit. The characters were a lot of fun. And I liked the predicaments that Higgins forced them into. I will say that I found the plot a tad predictable, and even though Aerity is fierce, she also gets a bit too swoony for my taste. I will be on the look out for the sequel, since I’m pretty sure that I’ll like this book even more once I’ve finished the whole story in its entirety.  
My Rating:
3 Unicorns = I liked it a lot, but it had its issues!

“Harmony House”
Author: Nic Sheff
Series: None
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Horror
Date Published: March 22nd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review

———————————————————————

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

-Goodreads
———————————————————————————————————————————
My Thoughts:
Harmony House reads like an underdeveloped, or weak season of American Horror Story. There is really no better way to put it. It’s sold to us as a horror novel, and while it has it’s creepy moments, it’s so disjointed that it never pulled me in enough to feel freaked out. Disturbed? Sure. But freaked out, nope, I never got to that point. I’m still a little confused about what I read to be honest. And while I liked the atmosphere that Sheff created, and I don’t mind unlikable characters, I found that I just didn’t connect with much of anything in this book. The characters flip flop in their emotions so quickly that you question if they feel anything at all, and the religious aspect didn’t feel original. It just ended up feeling like an overused trope. So while I was interested enough to finish the book, I have to say that I’m not satisfied with my reading experience, though there was hope all along that it would end up being something more than it was.  
My Rating: 

2 Unicorns = It was okay, but something didn’t work for me!