March 06, 2016

Shades of Darkness (Ravenborn #1) by A.R. Mahler #Review #Giveaway @simonteen

Genres: Boarding School 
Pages: 304
Source: Simon Pulse
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Islington Arts Academy is not an average high school. Nestled in the forests of Michigan, surrounded by trees and nature and virtually no evidence of civilization, it is an oasis for those looking to get away. Perfect for a student like Kaira Winters, who wants nothing more than to put her past behind her and focus on the present…and her looming graduation, just a few months away.

But the past has a way of returning when least expected.

Kaira knows that what happened before, at her old school, wasn’t normal. She knows that what happened to her ex-boyfriend wasn’t natural. But she refuses to believe that the recent death on campus, the one that left everyone on edge, has anything to do with her. She refuses to believe that she could be at fault again.

But just as the past always returns, the truth can never stay hidden for long.

Even if Kaira didn’t cause the first death at Islington, or the second, or the third, she has the ability to find out who did. She has the obligation to stop whatever is coming to campus. To end the darkness that is falling with the same snow that once blanketed the woods in beauty.

But to embrace this power—to relinquish herself to the ancient entity that has been lurking in the corners of her mind–is to let go of her humanity…and Kaira doesn’t know how far she can go before she loses herself completely.

A.R. Kahler is the author of the Cirque des Immortels trilogy and the post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series, The Hunted. When he’s not writing or climbing in the rafters, he’s probably outside, staring at the clouds. Visit him online at and follow him on Twitter at @ARKahler.

Well this one just didnt work for me.  It had potential and a great start but then just became bogged down with drama and really started to confuse me.  I really couldn't connect with Kaira but loved her BFF Ethan!  She just kept so many secrets that she really just didnt to me as a good character. I kinda wish that the book would have been from Ethan's POV. There are some great parts of this book and the ending was pretty fab but it just wasnt enough to save this story. 

 Go Into This One Knowing 
Everything is explained, Confusing, Drama 

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own." 

I used to think that drawing studio would be my favorite way to start the school day. Then we started doing nudes, and I realized—after spending an hour and a half staring at an old dude’s junk—that no amount of coffee or optimism could get me through the full two-hour class. Especially not today. Not after a month of drawing the same guy in the same chair with the same expression to the point where I had nightmares about his draping skin. And definitely not after pulling an all-nighter just to finish the still-life homework.

“Looking lively, Winters,” came a voice behind me.

I nearly jumped.

“Why do you think I’m in line, Davis?” I asked as I turned.

Ethan stood in the short outdoor line for Islington’s saving grace: the Dark Note CafĂ©. He was the type of boy any self-respecting mother would love to have her daughter date. He was gorgeous in that sharp-angled, European model sort of way. He even dressed nice—when he had to—though today he was wearing a holey cable-knit sweater and had a beanie squashed down over his mousey-brown hair. He’d totally read you poetry by the lakeside and bring you flowers for no reason at all other than that they made him think of you. Any mother’s dream.

Which was a shame because, like pretty much every other gorgeous, sensitive, artistic boy I knew, he was gayer than a rainbow-shitting unicorn.

“Let me guess,” he said, sidling up to me and hooking his arm through mine, prom style. “You didn’t do the drawing homework last week either? You look like you haven’t slept in ages.”

I reached over and gently rubbed a spot of charcoal from his cheek. It only made it worse, which, again in the typically unfair fashion, just made him even more attractive, in that brooding-artist sort of way.

“You know me well,” I replied. But being up until two a.m. drawing eggs didn’t account for my insomnia or the dreams that followed. Ethan just didn’t need to know about that right now. Before I could wonder if that counted as lying, the violinist in front of me walked off with her coffee and it was my turn to order. “Quad-shot mocha with caramel and hazelnut, por favor.”

“Make that two,” Ethan said. He squeezed my arm. “I love it when you’re buying.”

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No, I haven't. I think it would be strange but I guess I'd get used to it. Thanks.

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