Review: The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole

The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole

The Short Life of Sparrows

Genre: NA Fantasy/Paranormal/Gothic Romance

Publication Date: September 30, 2014

Goodreads Rating: 4.14 stars

Pages: 431


“Beneath the light of a full moon, the Nightbloods and Seers are dancing. They are dancing as they await another Awakening, a dream that defines every witch’s destiny.

It doesn’t matter that the coven is cheering and anticipating her turn into womanhood, because Calli doesn’t want any of it. She doesn’t want to see the face of the hired hand Isaiah, nor does she desire the pursuits of a very determined Nightblood as she runs from a future with the Ordinary help. She knows that regardless of whether she taps into forbidden magic or not, an Awakening is rumored to hold ultimate power over the Seer who dreams it.

While the other Seers her age are given to their parties, their enchantments, and the lust of Nightblood suitors, Calli must choose how she’ll endure the worst of her visions. There may be a way to survive her sleep, but she’s not sure she can defeat the truth that will find her when she’s wide awake.

Does real love even stand a chance against the darkest of magic?”

About Emm:

Emm Cole

All information is from Emm Cole’s Goodreads profile:

“Emm Cole is the author of THE SHORT LIFE OF SPARROWS, a New Adult Gothic Romance. She is also the author of MERMINIA and KEEPING MERMINIA, a Young Adult Dark Fantasy duology.

Emm is a self-admitted night owl who likes sweaters, rainy downpours, crazy prints on socks, way too much coffee, high stacks of books, Johnny Cash & The Rolling Stones at hideous decibels, the ocean, and movie marathons. Her funky imagination tends to be equal parts whimsically pretty and morbidly sinister. Emm believes that every new story she writes should challenge the limits of her creativity further than the last one, and she plans to keep developing unique magical realms, one book at a time.”

My Review:


Before I start this review, I’d like to leave a small note here to say that this has been the hardest review I’ve ever had to write. How do you reign in your emotions and fangirling enough to write a review listing only a few things you loved when you just love everything? It’s been over a week since I finished this book and every time I think about what I liked, I still can’t keep my thoughts straight. So, I’m sorry if this review sounds at all choppy. I’ll also be following my friend Emily’s advice, when the fangirling takes over to a point where you can’t express it in words, let the GIFs take over…

Emm Cole was the winner of our signed J.L. Armentrout series, and I’m SO HAPPY that she was, because then I would have never discovered this AMAZING book! I can’t sing enough praises for how truly wonderful, incredible, awesome this book is. It is honestly the best indie book I believe I have ever read and if this girl does not have an agent or a publishing deal for this book yet, you all need to get on that. There is just so much I want to say, so please stick with me as I try not to write an entire novel about the awesomeness that is The Short Life Of Sparrows.

What I Loved:


The main character was just so incredibly wonderful, from the way she instinctively protected herself, her need to care for others, her release of who she was and who she thinks she is, and her large growth through character development by the end of the novel. Good lord was Calli just wonderful. In many ways, she has the temperament of Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass, mixed with the caring and more human side of Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, along with a pinch of witchcraft and full moons. She’s fiery, determined, caring, volatile, and extremely relatable. As a reader, you watch her go through the entire spectrum of emotions and progress into the woman you kept hoping she would become; A woman who isn’t afraid to follow her own dreams and her own path. It makes you love her in a way that grips your heart and never truly lets you go. I will definitely go so far as to take her as my new best friend.


This story is told from two different perspectives: Calli’s POV and Isaiah’s POV. What I loved most about Isaiah was that he made up the outside, non-jaded point pf view for the story. You see both the good and bad of the community in which they live, as well as the good and bad within each other. With the two perspectives, you also see two very different love stories with an insiders’ thoughts to guide you. Though the romances are very different from each other, they both are well thought out to support and compliment each other. Sometimes love isn’t always about opposites attracting or complimenting each other, but about finding a likeness in another that you never thought was possible.


OH MY GOODNESS DID I LOVE ROWE!! Do you all see a pattern here? Apparently I just adore every character that is “Rowan” or a different version of his name like “Rowe”. Either way, Rowe was the sexy, misunderstood bad boy that every girl dreams of being able to get to know on a personal level, allowing him to change who he is and turn around and say “I love you and I just want to be with you. You’re my everything.”… goodness, he is just gorgeous. I won’t give away anything, but good lord ladies, you all need to keep your hands to yourselves and let this bad boy play out his destiny, no matter how badly you just want to keep him for yourselves!

The Community

The community that Emm imagined for this book is so unique and fantastical that this feeling of gothic mystery and whimsical nightmares comes from it. It’s haunting, seeing the way these witches and nightbloods live, with the witches basically enjoying a life of relaxation and child bearing while the nightbloods appear to prey on them and protect them. It threw me for a loop when I found out the truth about their jobs and communities though. I hope that you read this book and stick around long enough to watch the curtains pull back and reveal the truth behind this type of stereotypical living.

The Plot

This entire novel is so well thought out and detail oriented that it read smoothly. There were no hiccups, no places where my brain had to catch up, no parts where I was thinking, “what just happened?”, like I’ve experienced in many other indie novels. I’ve never read an indie novel quite like this and I absolutely adored it. Everything about this plot was unique; from the setting, the main characters, the climax, to the ending (which was beautiful and made me cry), I found nothing that truly reminded me of any other books I’ve read. Now, granted, I haven’t read many witchcraft books, but when you’re writing a witchcraft book from two points of view, neither of them from the perspective of someone actually practicing witchcraft, that makes for a challenging book to write! I applaud Emm for being able to do this so well! Not only that, but she wrote a romance novel without a love triangle… WITHOUT A LOVE TRIANGLE… while still holding all of my attention, making me sob, and creating enough tension to keep me guessing about the ending. It was magical! Even the title just pulls at my heart now…

Can I just say “EVERYTHING!” in this section?

What I Felt Could Be Improved:

The only thing I would have loved to see in this book is a little more character development in Isaiah. I didn’t feel as attached to him as I wish I could have been. I honestly just wanted to cry even more at the end for reasons that I won’t tell all of you, but I wanted to be so emotionally attached to him too that I would be wrecked if something were to ever happen. I also feel like seeing a little more character development from him would have helped to aid me in really feeling for his relationship throughout the novel. I just wanted a little more from him because I was getting so much from Calli, that I wish he could have stepped up to the plate as well. I completely understand if that was done on purpose for knowing reasons, but the ending already wrecked me, then gave me hope to be pieced back together again… Emm if I was more attached to Isaiah, I would be completely and utterly destroyed right now. I want to be destroyed! Give it to me!!!!

Overall, this novel was strong, haunting, inspirational, and left me with a small hole in my heart that I will eventually work on filling. Right now though, I’m going to live in my sorrow and hope and just treasure the strength I’m drawing from Calli. Leave me be, loves… I need to go lay in a field somewhere and just contemplate my existence, my future destiny, and what in the world makes me so hardened to my life… this is apparently what happens to those who read this book…

Five very full hearts for The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole.

You all need to pick up this indie and read it immediately.


Let me tell you all that you guys are so lucky Emm Cole is ridiculously nice! She is putting one of her paper copies up for giveaway here on Live, Love, Read! I fully support this giveaway and if we get a bunch of entries, I will definitely consider giving away an e-copy or two as well because I just loved this book so much and want to share it with the world! So, get those entries in below and do everything in your power to get your hands on this book ASAP!

A few rules before the giveaway:

1. The signed paperback copy is only open to the U.S., sorry guys!

2. The e-copies are available internationally. (I know many of you internationally have been asking for a giveaway, so here is one!!!)

3. These giveaways only run for a week, so “y’all” better get moving!

4. As always, I moderate all entries. I have the right to disqualify any entry who has not been truthful, has entered without actually doing the actions, or who is a “giveaway robot” (meaning an account I believe to be fake, just entering giveaways and nothing more).

Click here for the U.S. ONLY Signed PB Giveaway!

Click here for the INTERNATIONAL e-copy Giveaway!

Coming Up:

LLR Girls Night!

Our new poll is up! We have our finalists for our LLR Girls Night in August! Vote for your favorites below!

Our next movie night will be on Friday, August 21st, 2015! We will be watching one of the Disney movies in the poll above, so make sure to vote for your favorite! =)

Keep an eye out for more about this event and if you would like to keep updated, sign up for the e-mail notifications by clicking here!

Reviews and more reviews!

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy – Coming Soon!

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson Coming Soon! 

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (plus character casting) – Coming August 25th!

We hope you all have a wonderful night and that we will see you tomorrow for Top Ten Tuesday! =)


9 thoughts on “Review: The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole

  1. Thank you so much for the giveaway – amazing review as well, even if I don’t manage to win the ebook I will be looking to read it; you absolutely sold it to me 🙂
    cannot wait to read more of your reviews ❤


  2. Pingback: Giveaways In The Book World, Volume 2 | Devin's Book Hub – Young Adult, Mystery, and Thrillers

  3. First, I must compliment you on your excellent use of gifs.

    I’ve wanted to read this book since you first tweeted about it. I want to be destroyed…which sounds strange, but it has been a while since a book has done that for me & it can be quite cathartic.


  4. You already know that I’m picking this up since you recommended it to me on twitter, but your review seriously has me running over to amazon to purchase a copy! I love how dark this story seems to be. I haven’t read too many Paranormal stories this year, and I’ve hardly read anything Gothic AT ALL, so I’m soo excited for this. New adult is my all time favorite genre, so girl, I need this like yesterday. Let’s not forget that cover is absolutely ah-mazing!

    And Rowe, come to me now lol.


    • Oh girl, you’re seriously going to love it!! I was thinking it was more YA, and then I hit some pum pum… I was like, WOOOOOOOOO it’s getting hot in here! Hahaha, you will love it! And Rowe… Oh my goodness ROWE! He’s just simply amazing. ❤


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