Kylie’s Book Nook

My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and recently moved back to West Des Moines! I have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as @litwithkyiejo. As with most writers, one of my passions is discovering and reading great books. I hope my reviews will spark an excitement for literature in people around the Iowa Great Lakes area!


Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals is a YA fantasy but it reads like historical fiction with all the romance. I was in love with everything in this book! The old school newsroom feel at the Oath Gazette, the magic, the mythology, the high stakes feeling due to war, the typewriters and the letters.

It begins with Iris and Roman (Winnow and Kitt), both writers at the Gazette competing to win the title of columnist. Their rivalry is so much fun. Iris is going through many struggles as her brother has left for the war and is now missing on the frontlines. In an attempt to write to him, she unknowingly stumbles upon a magical connection to her rival, Roman. What unfolds is a truly touching, intense enemies to lovers story in the time of war.

I switched back and forth from physical to audio for this one. The writing was beautiful and the audio narration was fantastic. So glad I read this one when the sequel was already released so I don’t have to wait to find out what happens. What a cliffhanger!

The next book in the duology is Ruthless Vows.


The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

This was one spooky ride! This was my first by her and I went in not knowing what to expect but I was blown away. I love a good ghost story as much as I love a good twisty thriller and this book nails everything.

"In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.”

Jump to the future, Jax goes back home after a freak accident. Her sister, the amazing swimmer, is dead from drowning in their family home’s pool. As she tries to unravel what happened to her sister, who always struggled with mental illness, she uncovers way more than she expected about their family’s dark history.

The ominous atmosphere grows throughout this story as we alternate timelines from the early 1900s to present day. I absolutely loved the two interwoven storylines that kept me guessing after each section.

There were multiple twists I didn’t expect and actual moments I got goosebumps because I was so spooked. McMahon knows how to make you feel like you’re right there inside a nightmarish situation with the characters. Haunting, terrifying, emotional and you will not want to put it down until you have answers!

I’m so glad I listened to this one on audio, the narration is excellent and adds to the creepy vibe.