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Silence of Winter

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Normal is overrated. At least that's what Oliver Cromwell tells himself when he's being bullied for being different. He's a lover of all things paranormal, and when his nose isn't shoved into his sketchpad, drawing haunted houses and monsters, he and his best friend Bailey hang out in abandoned buildings and take long—very non-romantic—walks through graveyards looking for Normal is overrated. At least that's what Oliver Cromwell tells himself when he's being bullied for being different. He's a lover of all things paranormal, and when his nose isn't shoved into his sketchpad, drawing haunted houses and monsters, he and his best friend Bailey hang out in abandoned buildings and take long—very non-romantic—walks through graveyards looking for ghosts. Everything changes when they actually find one. Freaked out because he seems to be a sudden ghost magnet, Oliver befriends Mrs. Glass, a psychic who lives in the Victorian manor at the end of his street. With her help, he discovers his special bloodline and uncovers abilities that allow him to begin helping the ghosts move on. As if being sixteen wasn't already complicated. When Oliver meets Victor, the charming and mysterious boy who lives with Mrs. Glass, he finds himself falling and falling hard. Chasing ghosts is a lot less nerve-wracking than falling in love, though, especially when the person you fall for has secrets of their own. The sleepy town of Iris Hollow has plenty of spooky legends and history that entices tourists from all over. And Oliver is about to find himself in the center of it all. This is a young adult paranormal LGBT story with magic, ghosts, and heartwarming romance. Guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and maybe sleep with the light on. Trigger Warning: this story contains material that may be sensitive to some readers, including bullying and self harm.


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Normal is overrated. At least that's what Oliver Cromwell tells himself when he's being bullied for being different. He's a lover of all things paranormal, and when his nose isn't shoved into his sketchpad, drawing haunted houses and monsters, he and his best friend Bailey hang out in abandoned buildings and take long—very non-romantic—walks through graveyards looking for Normal is overrated. At least that's what Oliver Cromwell tells himself when he's being bullied for being different. He's a lover of all things paranormal, and when his nose isn't shoved into his sketchpad, drawing haunted houses and monsters, he and his best friend Bailey hang out in abandoned buildings and take long—very non-romantic—walks through graveyards looking for ghosts. Everything changes when they actually find one. Freaked out because he seems to be a sudden ghost magnet, Oliver befriends Mrs. Glass, a psychic who lives in the Victorian manor at the end of his street. With her help, he discovers his special bloodline and uncovers abilities that allow him to begin helping the ghosts move on. As if being sixteen wasn't already complicated. When Oliver meets Victor, the charming and mysterious boy who lives with Mrs. Glass, he finds himself falling and falling hard. Chasing ghosts is a lot less nerve-wracking than falling in love, though, especially when the person you fall for has secrets of their own. The sleepy town of Iris Hollow has plenty of spooky legends and history that entices tourists from all over. And Oliver is about to find himself in the center of it all. This is a young adult paranormal LGBT story with magic, ghosts, and heartwarming romance. Guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and maybe sleep with the light on. Trigger Warning: this story contains material that may be sensitive to some readers, including bullying and self harm.

30 review for Silence of Winter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bookreader87(Amanda)

    Oliver and his friendly ghost... I liked some aspects of this book. The whole communicating with the dead and helping them pass over to the other side was cool. Oliver being a warlock and his relationship with Victor were also interesting. I just wish some moments in this book were thought out better. The way the "blow out" between Oliver and his mom seemed more like an after thought. Like how can we make it ok for Oliver to live with Ethel when his mom is still in the picture. It played out weir Oliver and his friendly ghost... I liked some aspects of this book. The whole communicating with the dead and helping them pass over to the other side was cool. Oliver being a warlock and his relationship with Victor were also interesting. I just wish some moments in this book were thought out better. The way the "blow out" between Oliver and his mom seemed more like an after thought. Like how can we make it ok for Oliver to live with Ethel when his mom is still in the picture. It played out weirdly. I don't know there was just something about the writing style that didn't quite hit the mark for me. However, this is just book 1 in the series. I'm hoping book 2 plays out better.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katrina♡••

    4* This book was so much better than i expected. I loved the atmosphere and the frienships in it. I also enjoyed reading about the delightful foods mentioned evey few pages. Its perfect for October and really got me in the mood. This book also had a beautiful heartbreaking romance that felt timeless. Cant wait for the second volume! Highly recommend if you love ghosts, baked goods and devilishly beautiful sad boys in cemeteries.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    ohhh Wow... This book left me speechless... I can't say enough how much in love I am of Victor and Ollie... these two brave and hurting young guys have seen and going thru more than they deserve... This awesome book by Avery Blake will make you fall head over hills by these two young boys with old souls... Victor was lost until he met Oliver... Oliver was totally thrilled by the mysterious boy he met one night... he couldn't take Victor out of his head... so when he saw the cute blonde guy again, h ohhh Wow... This book left me speechless... I can't say enough how much in love I am of Victor and Ollie... these two brave and hurting young guys have seen and going thru more than they deserve... This awesome book by Avery Blake will make you fall head over hills by these two young boys with old souls... Victor was lost until he met Oliver... Oliver was totally thrilled by the mysterious boy he met one night... he couldn't take Victor out of his head... so when he saw the cute blonde guy again, he was determined to know more about him... They had a lot of things to learn about each other, about the past, the future, about life... I was simply thrilled to undergo this journey with them... I couldn't put this book down and at the same time I dreaded its ending... but it was not the end... just a farewell... because we'll get more of Victor and Ollie... and I can't wait for it... ❤❤❤

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eugenia

    Paranormal, spooky, and mysterious!! So much to love in this couple💜💜 This YA ghostly mystery stayed on the sweet side of spooky with an unlikely love story and connection. Refreshing!! 👏👏 The one thing that TRULY BOTHERED ME 🤬 and I thought completely UNLIKELY was the harsh treatment and dismissal our MC received from his mother. She was a hastily drawn character with zero depth. The fact that she was a main catalyst for events in this book made me twist up inside and want to yell at the author f Paranormal, spooky, and mysterious!! So much to love in this couple💜💜 This YA ghostly mystery stayed on the sweet side of spooky with an unlikely love story and connection. Refreshing!! 👏👏 The one thing that TRULY BOTHERED ME 🤬 and I thought completely UNLIKELY was the harsh treatment and dismissal our MC received from his mother. She was a hastily drawn character with zero depth. The fact that she was a main catalyst for events in this book made me twist up inside and want to yell at the author for writing such a two dimensional, hyperbolic character. Her characterization lost the book one star for me. Bad mother aside, I liked the rest of the characters even if some of the tertiary characters seemed like perennial stereotypes of teen dramas. Even with this, our MCs stood out and shone through the cardboard characters that populated the town. They made me forget what I didn’t like and engrossed me in the plot, story, and romance. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series! I’m assuming the future books will give us more danger and challenges for this group of humans and witches and “others.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    murphy ✌ (daydreamofalife)

    No rating since I DNF'd it at 9%. Pretty cover and spooky gay description lured me in, but this one's just not for me. A little more on the juvenile side than I'd anticipated. No rating since I DNF'd it at 9%. Pretty cover and spooky gay description lured me in, but this one's just not for me. A little more on the juvenile side than I'd anticipated.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margot

    This book, oh my god. I loved it so much! The characters are amazing, the plot so interesting, I just need more and I need it NOW. I adore Ollie and Victor, bless them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    They say to never judge a book by its cover, and this book is the prime example. The raven art is serious and beautiful, of which this book is neither. This novel can be described as a coming-of-age story with a hint of the supernatural. The two biggest issues with this description -and the book as a whole- are that none of the characters grow or change over the course of the novel, and there is no real suspense or fear in the paranormal elements. Even though the main character can talk to ghost They say to never judge a book by its cover, and this book is the prime example. The raven art is serious and beautiful, of which this book is neither. This novel can be described as a coming-of-age story with a hint of the supernatural. The two biggest issues with this description -and the book as a whole- are that none of the characters grow or change over the course of the novel, and there is no real suspense or fear in the paranormal elements. Even though the main character can talk to ghosts, there is no M. Night Shyamalan twist. In fact, there are no plot twists because every important reveal was obvious and too predictable. Each character is one-dimensional; there is no growth in the book. Too often typical cliches were drawn in and the characters felt unoriginal. For example, the elderly matron is always cooking sweets for her practically adopted grandson, who is a teenage boy and therefore is always hungry. Furthermore, the author is severely out of touch with how the teenage mind works. The protagonist has much to struggle with, and yet he blindly accepts every situation instead of questioning himself, getting mad at the world, or generally reacting at all. But let's talk about representation. The main character is gay, and he struggles with being closeted to everyone except his best friend. In the book, he comes out to his mom about more than one secret he is hiding, and the author draws a parallel for heterosexual readers. In this world where magic can be found among certain few, it can be difficult to tell parents about this lifestyle, especially if said parent does not approve of using these gifts. As important as this point is, there is no subtly in this scene, and his coming out lacks emotion. The author also addresses heteronormativity in a quick scene quoted below between the protagonist and a potential love interest, who questions him about his close relationship with a girl from school. "Bailey is just my friend. Well, she's more like my best friend who is my partner in crime, but nothing romantic at all is going on there. " "May I ask why? She seems like a lovely girl." Crap. There it was. I hated that I had to sit there and contemplate my answer, instead of just being like, because I'm gay. "She's not my type." Even though this scene feels a touch cliche, it is perhaps the best conversation in the book. Which, of course, is a reflection on the book's overdone and unoriginal nature. It is not worth the time it takes to read, and certainly does not deserve a series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    ''He smelled like the grass after rain, and I breathed him in, feeling myself falling more under his spell. He smelled like home. He felt like it too.'' 4.5⭐ This book isn’t perfect but I was completely charmed by it. I’m really intrigued by the entire premise and I’m just really a sucker for queer paranormal stories. Magic and witchcraft, prophecy and shared destiny, ghostly mystery, angst, sweet romance, genuine friendship, this book has lots of elements that I love. But what I love the best ar ''He smelled like the grass after rain, and I breathed him in, feeling myself falling more under his spell. He smelled like home. He felt like it too.'' 4.5⭐ This book isn’t perfect but I was completely charmed by it. I’m really intrigued by the entire premise and I’m just really a sucker for queer paranormal stories. Magic and witchcraft, prophecy and shared destiny, ghostly mystery, angst, sweet romance, genuine friendship, this book has lots of elements that I love. But what I love the best are the characters. Ollie is such an adorable and nerdy character. And Victor. I fell for sweet dear Victor. I’m really curious to see where this will go!

  9. 5 out of 5

    abi

    hello, yes, i need shadow of night right now immediately please. this isn’t a perfect book but it’s absolutely fascinating and i couldn’t put it down. i’m so intrigued by the entire premise. content warnings: suicide references, death references, violence *** me when victor is introduced: this boy (view spoiler)[is a ghost (hide spoiler)] oliver for two thirds of the book: wow victor is so interesting and not like other boys at all but he’s so hot and cold i just don’t get what his deal is victor: hello, yes, i need shadow of night right now immediately please. this isn’t a perfect book but it’s absolutely fascinating and i couldn’t put it down. i’m so intrigued by the entire premise. content warnings: suicide references, death references, violence *** me when victor is introduced: this boy (view spoiler)[is a ghost (hide spoiler)] oliver for two thirds of the book: wow victor is so interesting and not like other boys at all but he’s so hot and cold i just don’t get what his deal is victor: (view spoiler)[is dead and a ghost (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    ⚣Michaelle⚣

    Shades of both Harry Potter and Twilight - and that both were mentioned as series loved by two of the characters made me LOL. But well written and engaging. I'm actually eager to read the next one! I actively hated Oliver's mom...and because of her detachment issues I'm having some seriously dark thoughts about that drowned-child ghost who haunts his childhood home. (Probably wrong about it though; if what I'm imagining actually DID happen, I can't imagine Oliver's dad would leave him alone with Shades of both Harry Potter and Twilight - and that both were mentioned as series loved by two of the characters made me LOL. But well written and engaging. I'm actually eager to read the next one! I actively hated Oliver's mom...and because of her detachment issues I'm having some seriously dark thoughts about that drowned-child ghost who haunts his childhood home. (Probably wrong about it though; if what I'm imagining actually DID happen, I can't imagine Oliver's dad would leave him alone with her while he was deployed...unless he thought it was an accident? Argh, I think I need to start the next one now and find out if that plot-thread is resolved.) EDITED TO ADD: ACK!!!!! BOOK 2 ISN'T OUT YET!?!?!?!?!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

    3.5 stars My main criticism is that this book feels unfinished. I know that that this only the first book in the series but I still feel that book 1 lacked *something*. The pacing for starters is...not great. Things progress at a snail's pace tbh. There is some stuff that was glossed over for some reason without actual consequences (view spoiler)[like for example Kyle kissing Oliver against his will and being a dick in general (hide spoiler)] and that stopped me from giving more than 3.5 stars. I 3.5 stars My main criticism is that this book feels unfinished. I know that that this only the first book in the series but I still feel that book 1 lacked *something*. The pacing for starters is...not great. Things progress at a snail's pace tbh. There is some stuff that was glossed over for some reason without actual consequences (view spoiler)[like for example Kyle kissing Oliver against his will and being a dick in general (hide spoiler)] and that stopped me from giving more than 3.5 stars. I still enjoyed it for the most part though because the story itself is pretty cool and has good characters :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janeylou

    4.5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rainy-Night-Reads

    This was really, really sweet... Looking forward to the next book in the series ❤

  14. 4 out of 5

    Molli B.

    I had a lot of time for this book in the beginning. The writing is a bit clunky—as is the editing—but it reads like an author's first book, and those are not always perfect. So that's okay! And the subject is interesting: paranormal YA. Bring it on! My patience ran out in the final third. At some point the story lost a lot of its steam (steam meaning momentum in this case, not sexy-steam, of which there is none). There was a lot of driving force in the first part of the book as we learned about O I had a lot of time for this book in the beginning. The writing is a bit clunky—as is the editing—but it reads like an author's first book, and those are not always perfect. So that's okay! And the subject is interesting: paranormal YA. Bring it on! My patience ran out in the final third. At some point the story lost a lot of its steam (steam meaning momentum in this case, not sexy-steam, of which there is none). There was a lot of driving force in the first part of the book as we learned about Ollie and his life and the ghosts and Victor and Kyle and Bailey and everything. But the story stalled at some point—became repetitive as he did nothing new, just studied with Ethel and mooned over Victor. Pretty sure that's all that happened in the last 20k words. Victor, whose "secret" lasted about 200 pages too long. Ollie was literally the only person who didn't know what was going on (aside from Bailey, but everything about her is a complaint for another day), and it was totally fine (and expected) for a while, and then it was just eyerollingly dumb. The writing deteriorated a bit as the story went on, too—it went from clunky to repetitive to...I don't want to say nonsensical, but it just wasn't smooth in some places. We get a feeling or whatever from Ollie when he said/did/felt exactly the opposite just shortly before/after. Kinda like the editor gave up, too, and didn't bother to make the dialogue/narrative fluid. IDK. I also realized part of the way through that this reads as if the author wrote for an audience of 12-year-olds. And that's okay, really, but it's not what I'm looking for in my YA stories. I don't expect them to be all sexed up, but it's absolute nonsense to think that 16-year-old boys aren't sexual. I know they certainly all aren't, but...it just didn't read realistically to me. Things were too sweet, too saccharine, too chaste. He absolutely has the hots for Victor and talks about it, but...he blushes at the drop of a freakin hat every time the slightest innuendo comes up around anyone. I just don't get the feeling that the author is very in touch with 16-year-olds—boys or girls. While I thought the dialogue was actually pretty good in the early part of the book, as it went on, it just didn't feel like it was coming from someone sixteen—not the narrative, either. The mom...oh boy. The mom is the absolute worst homophobic parent cliché. She's given some semi-interesting hobbies, but other than that, there is not a thing that's interesting or different about her. She perfectly fits the "horrible homophobic parent" model. Boring and laughable. Her dialogue is atrocious. I really like the story and the idea behind it all: unsuspecting teenager discovers there's really magic in the world and he has powers. Cool! The cover is gorgeous. But the execution isn't fantastic. I mean, it's certainly not awful, and my tolerance is very different from a lot of other people's, so I know there are plenty of people who will enjoy it just fine. I'll consider reading the next one when it's out—we'll see.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diana Ault

    I am a sucker for YA boys’ love if it’s fantasy/paranormal/speculative fiction, which is what drew me to this. It was so achingly sweet and filled with emotion (like, the main character is an empath, but besides that). The first few pages felt slightly sparse, with more telling than showing, but then I just sunk into it and it was a great writing style to me, first person with pluck and depth. I have read lgbtq fantasy that I didn’t like, even though I really wanted to, so it’s not like I’m “oh i I am a sucker for YA boys’ love if it’s fantasy/paranormal/speculative fiction, which is what drew me to this. It was so achingly sweet and filled with emotion (like, the main character is an empath, but besides that). The first few pages felt slightly sparse, with more telling than showing, but then I just sunk into it and it was a great writing style to me, first person with pluck and depth. I have read lgbtq fantasy that I didn’t like, even though I really wanted to, so it’s not like I’m “oh it’s two boys kissing so that’s all that matters”. No, if I don’t think something is written well, I’ll say it. This story has an intriguing plot—though it does go on the trope-y “chosen one/prophecy” scale as well as flavors of tragic “forbidden love” (but the whole time there’s this Hope that pulls you along because a writer can make that happen! [Please be different and make it happen!])—plus a desperate but gentle romance, genuine friendship and found family, themes of death of a parent, parental neglect, suicide, bullying, both struggles and acceptance of lgbtq persons, figuring out what you love and going for it, and there is also such a love of food and food made with love. I really wish I could simply slide into the next book! I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it, and pounce on it immediately. :) FYI: after this review I learned that the author is, to my knowledge, not a member of the lgbtq community and that Avery Blake is a pen name. Take that for what you will. I’m a bit disappointed because the authentic perspective and representation isn’t there, but I decided to stick with my initial response and feelings for my reading experience (which were had hoping that the author might be part of the community though..). I remind myself that pen names are common, and that many of the similarly themed books are by people who aren’t necessarily from the lgbtq community, like Carry On by Rainbow Rowell for example, and various manga with boy’s love themes (plus much fanfiction, which this feels like a lot, actually). I would hope that this book was given to sensitivity readers in the lgbtq community though, concerning that subject matter, to be as authentic and thoughtful as it could be. And that the sequels will be as well. (As well as sensitivity readers, if needed, for some of the other themes, like suicide etc).

  16. 5 out of 5

    tim

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. HOLY. SHIT. i was sure silence of winter was going to get 3, maybe 4 stars from me. at first, i thought that the writing was oversimplified and the amount of supernatural and harry potter references was way too high for my liking. so yes, i did not expect much. i couldn’t be more wrong. reading it, i went through an emotional rollercoaster. from the very beginning, the characters completely captured my heart and wouldn’t let it go. “What was it you said to me before?” I smiled at the memory. “Parti HOLY. SHIT. i was sure silence of winter was going to get 3, maybe 4 stars from me. at first, i thought that the writing was oversimplified and the amount of supernatural and harry potter references was way too high for my liking. so yes, i did not expect much. i couldn’t be more wrong. reading it, i went through an emotional rollercoaster. from the very beginning, the characters completely captured my heart and wouldn’t let it go. “What was it you said to me before?” I smiled at the memory. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” “I shall say goodnight ‘til it be morrow,” he whispered before dropping his hand and stepping back. victor and ollie had a strong, although heartbreaking bond. honestly, myself i didn’t believe in their happy ending, but i wished for it. it was so hard to see them not being able to even touch each other, when they were so in love. it seemed pretty obvious from the start that victor was a ghost, and i didn’t understand how ollie could possibly not see that, but oh boy, he was in such deep denial. that made me feel sorry for him. and i also felt for victor. but out of his time, out of his reality, he managed to finally find happiness, and that theme just gives me a lot of hope. it’s a huge statement, that finding love can be possible even in the afterlife. also, the dialogue between victor and ollie? their love confessions? top tier. “No one else makes me feel like you do. You’re dead, but I never feel more alive than when I’m with you.” “How peculiar this is, a human and a ghost.” Victor’s eyes crinkled with a smile, and my heart beat faster. “Such an unusual love story.” “I like romance,” he whispered before brushing his lips to my temple. I loved when he kissed me there. “And you, dearest Oliver, deserve to be cherished in every way possible.” the plot itself was also way more interesting than i expected. i was ready for some romance mixed with some drama, and what i got was a prophecy of a boy turning evil, raising an army from the dead and possibly destroying the world mixed with a love that in our world would have no way to even exist. those got me super hyped up for the next part, and i’m really hoping it’s coming soon. i’m so ready for it to completely fuck me up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Francis Deer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great cover, lovely title, charming gothic atmosphere, YA paranormal romance with a gay lead. I wanted to like this book. In fact, I quite enjoyed the first chapters. What worked for me were the ghosts intruding into Oliver's life, that everyday life could suddenly become filled with horrors. I also liked the goal Oliver set for himself in regards to the ghosts. Unfortunately, there are many things that did not work for me: - Insta-Love/Insta-Lust with Victor. We get told that Oliver and Victor hav Great cover, lovely title, charming gothic atmosphere, YA paranormal romance with a gay lead. I wanted to like this book. In fact, I quite enjoyed the first chapters. What worked for me were the ghosts intruding into Oliver's life, that everyday life could suddenly become filled with horrors. I also liked the goal Oliver set for himself in regards to the ghosts. Unfortunately, there are many things that did not work for me: - Insta-Love/Insta-Lust with Victor. We get told that Oliver and Victor have meaningful conversations, but I do not remember a single one that actually convinced me of their being a perfect match. After a while, I was also irritated that Oliver mentions how very, very handsome Victor is whenever Victor enters the room. Victor, on the other hand, has a tendency to do a "Sweet Oliver" thing. - Characterizations: I hoped for three-dimensional characters but so far none of them grew and changed. Instead, they all seem only to exist to support/fall in love with Oliver - or in the case of his mother - to dislike/ignore him. Oliver's mother gets the worst lot in regards to characterization. When we first are introduced to her, I wondered if she was depressed by the death of her husband and if this would somehow become an important plot point. But no. His mother is a one-dimensional neglectful character with zero emotional ties to her son. Now, of course, it's possible to write a neglectful mother. But if you do, I as a reader need to see that this has an impact on her son Oliver. Because such passive-abusive behavior would leave its marks on a child. He might be unable to trust others, might be unable to believe in his own self-worth, ... We are also not told why Oliver's (apparently perfect father) married Oliver's mother or stayed with her. So instead of visiting these potential plot places, Oliver gets discarded by his mother - he doesn't mind much - and all so that he can happily move away from home. My final complaint is that the book is not plotted out very well. We are shown several intriguing plot lines (the little ghost boy, the scary ghost lady), but nothing comes of it. I have to admit that I fast-forwarded through the last chapters to see if anything substantial would happen, but the plot just fizzles out. In fact, it ends on such a "all is well" note that a sequel doesn't feel necessary. What I wished for as a reader was also an exploration of grief, depression, suicide - because the ingredients for these difficult issues are all present within the book and a deeper look at them would have been possible.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittanie

    This had an interesting premise that didn't really reach its full potential here. It definitely reads age-appropriate as the main characters are 12-17 years old but as I'm significantly older, I found myself rolling my eyes a bit, especially at the romance and the 800 mentions of pumpkin spice lattes. I love a good ghost romance but this relationship seemed a bit forced in parts because we were only told about all these conversations the two supposedly had to get to know each other and were not This had an interesting premise that didn't really reach its full potential here. It definitely reads age-appropriate as the main characters are 12-17 years old but as I'm significantly older, I found myself rolling my eyes a bit, especially at the romance and the 800 mentions of pumpkin spice lattes. I love a good ghost romance but this relationship seemed a bit forced in parts because we were only told about all these conversations the two supposedly had to get to know each other and were not actually there with them. Based on their interactions we are privy to, they would just be good friends - there's no reason they feel this is their greatest love (especially as the MC is only 16). I get that feeling often with huge age/generational differences though. Why would someone with 100+ years of consciousness have anything in common with a child and then to fall in love with them so quickly seems... incorrigible and predatory. Since this was intended to be a series, the author should have waited for the declarations of love and aged him up in the subsequent books, where it would feel more appropriate and rational. The mother was also a useless character other than giving a reason for him to move into Ethel's house. She could have been either more complex or just written differently. The blatant homophobia as well as religious conservationism didn't really match the rest of her characterization so it just made me angry and frustrated rather than her having an obvious motivation. How could she have been with the dad with such differing opinions? How could the dad continue to be with her when she completely forced his complete removal from his own family? Why wasn't Social Services called when she kicked a 16 year old out of her house? It just didn't really add up to a realistic situation for me. Other than that, it was overall an enjoyable romp and I would have moved on to the sequel if it was already out, but this seems a bit abandoned despite the author's old blog posts that it's in the works. I probably won't return to the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ghoulsted

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Before reading this book I knew that it was the debut novel of an up and coming author so from that perspective I was prepared to lean towards a more forgiving standpoint. On that note I can wholeheartedly say that 'Silence of Winter' is a wonderfully imperfect beginning to the Cromwell Chronicles. As expected the pacing and characterization were a bit rough around the edges. The editing itself also often left me feeling as if I was reading a Wattpad novella (with all the good and the bad that c Before reading this book I knew that it was the debut novel of an up and coming author so from that perspective I was prepared to lean towards a more forgiving standpoint. On that note I can wholeheartedly say that 'Silence of Winter' is a wonderfully imperfect beginning to the Cromwell Chronicles. As expected the pacing and characterization were a bit rough around the edges. The editing itself also often left me feeling as if I was reading a Wattpad novella (with all the good and the bad that comes with that statement). The potential however was there and it especially shone between the two main characters, Victor and Oliver. They had without a doubt my most favorite interactions in the entire book and towards the end I was fully invested into the status of their relationship. Call me a sucker but I've got a soft spot for forbidden romances and angsty reveals. I also have to note that the writing had slowly improved throughout the story and by the end there were significant changes albeit small. All I can say is that Avery Blake still has some ways to go but their stepping in the right direction. With that, I am most likely guaranteed to purchase the sequel what with that cliffhanger of an ending.

  20. 4 out of 5

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reading this right after “A Frost of Cares” didn’t do this book any favors. I was nowhere near finishing this book and decided I was better off spending my time elsewhere. 1) I was not expecting the level of juvenile. It’s really young-adult-y in the character department, and there’s a large portion of youthful troubles. 2) The characters are one-dimensional or mere caricatures. Oliver’s mother, for example, is a caricature of a bad parent with zero redeeming qualities. The stern older woman with Reading this right after “A Frost of Cares” didn’t do this book any favors. I was nowhere near finishing this book and decided I was better off spending my time elsewhere. 1) I was not expecting the level of juvenile. It’s really young-adult-y in the character department, and there’s a large portion of youthful troubles. 2) The characters are one-dimensional or mere caricatures. Oliver’s mother, for example, is a caricature of a bad parent with zero redeeming qualities. The stern older woman with a heart of gold, Ethel, keeps calling Oliver “boy” almost every sentence, like a tic. 2a) Oliver is truly a special little boy. He’s a warlock and an empath, he comes from a family with a super cool familiar wow, he’s like the last of his line or whatever, w o w,,,,,,,, , , thank u next 3) I’m not good at guessing twists and turns. I don’t even bother to guess, I just let the story take me where it wants to. So it really bugs me if I can guess twists from the start of the book, and still read the characters being truly dumbfounded about it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Paranormal YA MM Romance 4 stars! This book is a true journey from start to the To Be Continued... We meet Oliver, a weird teenage outcast who likes ghost hunting with his friend Bailey. He has a discovery that leads him to Ms. Glass who helps him figure out what he is. Oliver feels a connection to Victor but soon finds Victor might not be all he seems. Oliver has decisions to make and must stay in the light for the sake of the world. No pressure, right? What I liked was that this was an unconventio Paranormal YA MM Romance 4 stars! This book is a true journey from start to the To Be Continued... We meet Oliver, a weird teenage outcast who likes ghost hunting with his friend Bailey. He has a discovery that leads him to Ms. Glass who helps him figure out what he is. Oliver feels a connection to Victor but soon finds Victor might not be all he seems. Oliver has decisions to make and must stay in the light for the sake of the world. No pressure, right? What I liked was that this was an unconventional romance. I also liked that the story felt like a saga, so much happened from beginning to end and it still ends on a to be continued. Don't worry though the TBC wasn't a real cliffhanger just a promise of more. The only thing I wanted to change was the pacing. Some moments were really slow and others exploded. I would have preferred a more consistent pace. Overall, a great edition to the LGBT YA category!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sabella

    Oliver could be any teen that is "different" in the world. As we meet him and his life, you will find yourself cheering for Oliver while booing so many others. His best friend has his back, even is she can be just a little rabid about it at times. Add in a pretty absent mother, odd occurrences, and a budding friendship with Mrs Glass to name a few things, you have one of those stories you never want to end. I cannot wait to read the rest. As a side note, yes this is labeled YA and teens can read Oliver could be any teen that is "different" in the world. As we meet him and his life, you will find yourself cheering for Oliver while booing so many others. His best friend has his back, even is she can be just a little rabid about it at times. Add in a pretty absent mother, odd occurrences, and a budding friendship with Mrs Glass to name a few things, you have one of those stories you never want to end. I cannot wait to read the rest. As a side note, yes this is labeled YA and teens can read it. My teen daughter loves it. But this is one of those YA that will hold an adult's attention and have you wanting more

  23. 5 out of 5

    Izabelle ♡

    "There are two paths for everyone: one dark and one light." This book was definitely fun, but not my fav. I liked the main character and the supporting ones (except for Kyle. Non-consensual kissing will never be okay imo.) and whatnot. I just found this book to be really underwhelming. It didn't grasp me, and it's not something that I will be holding on to for long. In fact, I was a little bit bored at some points. And the romance? Fine. Cute, but not really otp material, or even close to tha "There are two paths for everyone: one dark and one light." This book was definitely fun, but not my fav. I liked the main character and the supporting ones (except for Kyle. Non-consensual kissing will never be okay imo.) and whatnot. I just found this book to be really underwhelming. It didn't grasp me, and it's not something that I will be holding on to for long. In fact, I was a little bit bored at some points. And the romance? Fine. Cute, but not really otp material, or even close to that standard. The ending did leave me intrigued, though, so if the author comes out with anymore books I'll probably pick them up. 3.5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    HAYLEY SMITH

    AMAZING YA read!!!! Ah, where to start? So many positive things to say about this amazing book! Silence of winter just grabbed me from the beginning, I adored Oliver and Victor and loved how the story just grew and expanded into something else the more I read. It had the perfect amount of romance for a YA book but also magic, mystery and real situations faced by teenagers. I can't stop thinking about this brilliant read, which I have loved as an adult but know was just the kind of book my teenage se AMAZING YA read!!!! Ah, where to start? So many positive things to say about this amazing book! Silence of winter just grabbed me from the beginning, I adored Oliver and Victor and loved how the story just grew and expanded into something else the more I read. It had the perfect amount of romance for a YA book but also magic, mystery and real situations faced by teenagers. I can't stop thinking about this brilliant read, which I have loved as an adult but know was just the kind of book my teenage self would have obsessed over! Need to read more from Oliver and Victor!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Oliveira

    It's curious that at the end of the book Kindle was recommending 'A Light Amongst Shadows', because I had been thinking throughout the story that they both had the same... feeling. And I loved A Light Amongst Shadows. This one hasn't got nearly as much angst, though. It is an easy read, and the characters are all very complete. Some things annoyed me, and I did not like the writing all that much, but I find I can't take away any stars from this book because I really, really like the plot. Lookin It's curious that at the end of the book Kindle was recommending 'A Light Amongst Shadows', because I had been thinking throughout the story that they both had the same... feeling. And I loved A Light Amongst Shadows. This one hasn't got nearly as much angst, though. It is an easy read, and the characters are all very complete. Some things annoyed me, and I did not like the writing all that much, but I find I can't take away any stars from this book because I really, really like the plot. Looking forward to the next one. Victor, I love ya.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thistle

    Told in first person, I had no idea the main character was male until too far into the story. The internal voice sounded completely female to me. Also contemporary fiction (with a dash of supernatural), which is not something I usually read. Usually I don't check others' reviews until either I'm done with the book or losing interest, and since this was the latter, I hopped over to Goodreads to see what others thought. Reviews mentioned the same thing I was feeling (bad dialogue, author seemed to Told in first person, I had no idea the main character was male until too far into the story. The internal voice sounded completely female to me. Also contemporary fiction (with a dash of supernatural), which is not something I usually read. Usually I don't check others' reviews until either I'm done with the book or losing interest, and since this was the latter, I hopped over to Goodreads to see what others thought. Reviews mentioned the same thing I was feeling (bad dialogue, author seemed to not know how teenage boys think or act), so I dropped it. DNF

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tony Williamson,jr.

    A great start in this new series. Being a teenager and Gay is tough. Finding out you have a magical family history that has been kept from you..... Well, that just makes one awesome story. From beginning to end, this book keeps you hooked. Full of everything one could ask for in a YA book and then some. Oliver, Victor, Bailey and Kyle all have a shared destiny, but will they all choose the same path.....

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hani Md Mahatri

    My heart aches, in a good way You always want a good story.. Good stories with a slow burn or good stories with mindless sex.. This one has one of the best kind of slow burn, no mountain high enough for a love you work for.. I totally regret reading this book without the next one published yet.. I am gonna wait till the entire series is published, because I can't put myself through the torture.. My heart aches, in a good way You always want a good story.. Good stories with a slow burn or good stories with mindless sex.. This one has one of the best kind of slow burn, no mountain high enough for a love you work for.. I totally regret reading this book without the next one published yet.. I am gonna wait till the entire series is published, because I can't put myself through the torture..

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Aelleah

    DNF - PG 5 Why? Yes, you head me right, I made five pages into this absolutely delightful book. The fact is, I have no patience for tstl characters. This guy has made more poor decisions than I have read pages of this book. If you want to know more about my issues, check my updates, because there's also more of them than pages I read. (Jokes on me, I thought the first page and a half, that this was going to be a fun story.) DNF - PG 5 Why? Yes, you head me right, I made five pages into this absolutely delightful book. The fact is, I have no patience for tstl characters. This guy has made more poor decisions than I have read pages of this book. If you want to know more about my issues, check my updates, because there's also more of them than pages I read. (Jokes on me, I thought the first page and a half, that this was going to be a fun story.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Perry

    OMG... Please give me second book now...? What a beautiful & heartbreaking story. I cried so much & my heart broke for both Ollie & Victor. I loved them the moment I met them, their story was amazing, heartbreaking & beautiful. It was a long hard journey & I can't wait to read what comes next for both of these boys. Dang cliffhangers... A Must Read! OMG... Please give me second book now...? What a beautiful & heartbreaking story. I cried so much & my heart broke for both Ollie & Victor. I loved them the moment I met them, their story was amazing, heartbreaking & beautiful. It was a long hard journey & I can't wait to read what comes next for both of these boys. Dang cliffhangers... A Must Read!

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