Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: The Beast Is an Animal

The Beast Is an Animal The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Alys lives in a village and she goes through her everyday routine. But when it comes time to go to bed, she never wants to sleep. She wants to explore outside and see what is going on out there. One night she actually decides to go outside, defying her parents rules. On the one night that she goes against them, she meets the soul eaters - two sisters who take the souls out of humans - but more specifically adults.

The sisters see Alys and talk to her, but walk past her. Alys doesn't know what they are doing, but the next thing she remembers is waking up outside in a field of grass. She meets a traveller named Pawl and he gives her a ride back to her village. When they get there, though, all of the adults are dead with soulless eyes and all of the children are in a very deep sleep.

Pawl takes Alys to the next village closest to her home and the people of their village decide to take in all of the children since they are orphans. Alys doesn't want to stay in a village with a new family, where she is told to call them Mother and Father. She wants to go with Paul and be a traveller because she likes the way that Pawl respected her.

The children of her real home are treated like outcasts in their new village and are made to be the protectors of the village. They have to guard the Gate to let everyone know if the soul eater sisters are coming, to better prepare everyone to take shelter when they arrive. Alys and the rest of the children are to do this during the night, and have a rotating schedule. They sleep during the day and stay up all night walking the perimeter.

The one secret that Alys never told anyone was that she met the Beast - the creature that is trying to stop the soul eaters. Except that everyone thinks the Beast and the soul eaters are working together. And Alys will never tell anyone about how she felt when she saw the soul eaters the night they killed her real mom and dad...

But eventually Alys's secrets comes out and the townspeople claim her as a witch. With the help of many close friends, she is able to escape the town before they kill her, but she is not able to escape the change that is happening inside of her. Alys needs to confront what is really going on with her before it consumes her and everyone that she loves.

This book has a very "old style" feel to it. The setting alone makes this feel like a book from the past time, rather than the present or future. With the village and not having electricity. I don't read too many books like these, but I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed this book. It was a bit stiff in some areas and it definitely took me a little longer to read than normal, but I enjoyed the story and the character development that the reader got with Alys.

I was a bit confused when I first started reading because Alys was only 7 years old and I knew this was a YA novel. But after the first couple of parts to the books, I realized the author was going through many years of Alys's life.

This is something that I will definitely recommend to other readers because it has a lot of growth and depth to the story. It's not like the normal YA novels that have been published recently where they are fluffy and fun, but it has a lot about life and decisions and growing up.

I'm very glad that I got an eARC of this book and it will definitely stick in my mind for many years to come!

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places

The Mystery of Hollow Places The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the TAB book club book, so I picked up a copy to read before our meeting.

I'm not sure if I would have decided to read this book if I hadn't had to read it for book club. I'm a person who judges a book by it's cover, and this cover doesn't scream anything to me. I find it quite boring and blah. And even the description is very wordy and doesn't snag my attention that much.

But I'm glad I had to ignore both of those things and read it, because I did really enjoy it. The overall story is not what I was expecting from the cover, and I found myself flying through the novel to see how it ended.

Imogene has always been reading mystery, suspenseful novels since she can remember. Most of those novels were written by her father, so whenever she could sneak one of his very gory novels into her hands, she did it instantly. And when she wasn't reading her father's novels, she was reading Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew - you name it, as long as there was a mystery with clues and a detective, she was on it.

So when her father goes missing, Imogene decides it's because he goes to find her mother, who left them when Imogene was 2. Instead of worrying about her father, she decides she's going to find him with the clues that he left for her. Now Imogene is following the path of information she is uncovering one clue at a time, even if some of the things she's doing is not really legal to do...

She gets help from her friend Jessa and her older brother, Chad, who Imogene has had a crush on since 5th grade.

But Imogene starts to uncover some information that she doesn't really want to know about, so she starts lashing out at the ones who mean them most to her. And the final answer she gets to all of her questions leaves her more confused and hurt than she thought would happen.

This was a great mystery novel, but it was also a great understanding of oneself as well. Imogene didn't know all of the truth and that affected how she was holding herself in a certain way. She realized that she may not be okay with some things in her life and that she may need to fix those things in order to be really happy.

I think this is a great novel for all ages and it really makes the reader think. Also, it's a mystery, so many readers may try to figure out the mystery theirselves. Me? I didn't figure it out until it was revealed, so that was refreshing for me :)

Really enjoyed it and I think a lot of readers will too!

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: The Struggle

The Struggle The Struggle by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.

First, I love, love, love being part of JLA's ARC group! Thank you so much!

Now, I loved this book! I hadn't read the second one in the series because I like to read the series books back to back, but since I received "The Struggle", I zipped my way through the first and second books to better refresh my memory of what happened before diving into this novel.

I cannot believe what Josie is going through. Not only is she a mortal turned demi-god within a years time, but she took it all in stride and overcame all of her fears that a normal mortal would most definitely have if they were in her situation. She is a tough cookie and she is such a sweet girl. All she wants to do is help the people around her. And now she is going through a terrible time because people want to kidnap her and torture her before killing her. She is going to have to toughen up more and realize that there are moments in life where she is going to have to make the hard decisions and face reality, because otherwise it might end up costing her life in the end.

And Seth has most definitely matured as a character. The Seth you remember from the Covenant series? Yeah, this is a completely different guy. Sure, he has all of the same annoying personalities, with the same reaction to fighting and picking on everyone around him, but he is so much more now. Seth realizes that he is far more special than anyone could have ever imagined and once the shock wears off, he doesn't do things half cocked like he used to. He knows what is expected of him now and what he is capable of doing. And he knows what he wants. He's not living day to day wondering what his next mission is going to be. Now he's enjoying one day at a time, realizing just how much of a lucky bastard he really is.

This novel is so gut wrenching. Every moment of it, you are wishing that each character that is going through excruciating pain would be saved and that it can be sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. You will wish that you can just turn the page and it would all be a nightmare. But the hard fact is that this is a dark novel that will change the tone of the series from here out. You will chant for all of the characters to make it through their obstacles and become a better person from those terrible experiences.

And you will want to wring JLA's neck because she put our precious characters through a terrible time, but you will still love JLA and would never want to hurt her, because she's your favorite, all-time author.

So this book is going to take you through the emotional roller coaster - all 360 degrees of it.

There is just a slight cliffhanger at the end. Nothing like Lux series #3 (If you are a JLA die hard fan, you will know what I'm talking about). But JLA does leave us with a tiny cliffhanger that is livable. Us readers can live with this until the 4th novel is finally unveiled sometime in the (near?) future.

Readers, be prepared to have all kind of feels for this book, because if you are expecting a fluffy novel, you may want to wait until you are mentally ready to be gutted and wrenched. Just forewarning you :)

This was an amazing novel that made me love the characters so much more than I did before - and I love them all SO MUCH! So this book is of epic proportions. I'm so blessed to have been able to read this early and enjoy the amazing storyline that JLA has created. She has so much detail in this story about the Gods and Goddesses and what they can do, I can only imagine all of the preparation she takes for these novels.

I cannot wait to read more by JLA and I'm very excited for this to be released so I can buy the physical copy to be added to my personal library!

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Review: The Power

The Power The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book since it's release date, but I've been sitting on it because I hate waiting for the ending. I seriously hate finishing a book, knowing that there is going to be two more novels in the series and I don't have them ready. And JLA is known to have a few cliffhangers here and there, so I didn't want to get mad at my all time favorite author again!

But I was gifted with the present of an eARC of "The Struggle", so I knew I needed to read this one before diving into the new one.

And I completely loved this novel. Seth is fighting a vicious battle inside of himself and the only person who is really rooting for him is Josie. Sure, everyone else thinks he's changed his ways, but they are all still a little weary to be around him. But Josie 100% believes and trusts in Seth. Seth has no idea what to do with this feeling he gets every time Josie puts her whole self behind him. He's never, in his whole life, had anyone who would follow him to the end of the earth and it's kind of freaking him out. And that is so sad to me. Seth was brought into this world with no love and it only grew worse when Ares was using him and making him into the "fake" Apollyon. So when Josie trusts him completely, he's ready to run the other way.

And Josie. God, (or Gods ;) ) she is becoming one of my favorite characters. She gets trust into this world with no warning, having to deal with Seth and all of his cockiness and sexiness, and she takes this huge change like a champ. She decides to learn to fight for when she has to face a Titan, and takes so many hits and has bruises for days, but she gets back up and tries again. I love characters who are thrown into an impossible situation and always tries to do better, no matter how much the stacks are against her.

I love the progression that happened between Seth and Josie. If two people belong together (like Alex and Aiden, ahem), it's Josie and Seth. Josie needs a little challenge in her life and Seth needs to know that there will be a person who will believe in him 100%, no matter his history.

Oh, and also? Definitely didn't think that Hercules would be a cocky motherfucker who would brag about himself and that he was "THAT Hercules"...ugh. Good job, JLA, for making me despise my favorite Disney hero, haha!

The ending of this novel was brutal - like I knew it would be!!! I'm so excited to find out what happens next! I'm glad I finally got around to reading this! Thanks JLA for an amazing novel!

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review: The Return

The Return The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

3-4-17 * I re-read this novel because I was gifted with an eARC from JLA of the 3rd book in this series, so I wanted to refresh my brain about what happened. And I love it just as much as the first time I read it! I still think Josie is a badass and I definitely loved all of the smexy scenes between Josie and Seth...Whooeii! Now diving into the next one!

Here is my original review from 2-25-15:
Have to admit, Seth was a douche in the Covenant series. He was a jerk and a half, and only JUST redeemed himself in the last novel.

But this Seth... He's a completely new guy. I mean, if I would have met this Seth before, I would have had no issues starting this book. The way he is around Josie is amazing - a guy that someone would actually want to get to know.

Even though the Covenant series is my least favorite series of JLA's, I still really enjoyed the world she created, so it was really nice to see the side characters of that series in this novel. And since I was already familiar with the story, I didn't need any background info to help me understand what was going on.

Josie was really pretty awesome character. She is just a normal girl thrown into a Gods/Titans war and somehow she is supposed to save mankind from destruction. Not such an easy concept to wrap her mind around, but she takes it in stride and can even tolerate Seth's cockiness during everything else.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I wasn't finding every possible way to get this book on release day, but was okay with waiting. Now I want to know what Josie is going to do with the Titans and how to stop them and what the Librarian has to say and what the icon is and who the other people to stop the Titans are and...well I could keep going but there is just a ton of information that I want but won't get until the next book.

So do all of us fans a favor, JLA? Get the next book out soon? I know you are busy being an awesome writing machine who doesn't eat or sleep but only writes amazing novels, but I just want them all now. I suppose I will have to be patient and devour all of your books when they come out. Thanks for another awesome novel to add to my collection!

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Long Way Home

Long Way Home Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I finally got my hands on this book! I completely fell in love with this series - especially with the tag line of "West Side Story meets Sons of Anarchy". I mean, who wouldn't love that?! (Okay, some people wouldn't love it, but I'm not one of those people!)

The first two novels of this series were amazing and this new novel did NOT disappoint by the end of it!

The way this novel started off was SO INTENSE!!! Having Violet and Chevy get kidnapped by the Riot Motorcycle Club and being abused was not how I saw this book starting, but it definitely but a different, darker setting to the book than the other two started off with. I mean, all of them were a bit dark because it is about a motorcycle club rivalry, so it is going to get dark and intense. But Violet started off for the first two chapters being this tough girl and then she went quiet. I missed her spitfire attitude, but it definitely showed how much that interaction affected her mentally.

I love, love, love Violet. She was raised by a motorcycle club with all sorts of badass guys and her daddy taught her to stand up for herself. So of course, she did just that, but she's been having a lot of issues taking orders from the club. I mean, she was raised not to take any orders, so I'm surprised that the group is trying to treat her like any of the other women in the group. She is strong willed and knows what she wants, no matter what anyone else thinks.

And Chevy is so conflicted about everything. About life: whether he should join the motorcycle club when he turns 18 or if he should continue to play football. If he should pick Violet over the club. Really, if he should pick the club is the main inner struggle he has throughout this whole novel. But Chevy is loyal to everyone and is always trying to figure out the right thing to do to make everyone happy.

I also really loved the ending to this book. It wrapped up every issue that the previous books had, and this one, into one swoop and wrapped up a lot of issues that were left unresolved - just a teeny tiny bit - from the other novels.

AND O.M.G. THE TIE-IN WITH PUSHING THE LIMITS SERIES!!!!! I admit, I didn't see that coming AT. ALL. But I love it so, so, so, so much!

This was seriously a great way to end a series and have all of the happy feels come at the end. Sometimes it is a bittersweet moment to finish a series, but I really think that this was the best ending I have ever read. I am absolutely happy with everything and not one thing is bugging me about this ending.

I honestly hope that Katie McGarry won't write another book in this series, and I don't say that EVER because I always want more. But I feel such a happiness inside of me after finishing this, that I would be scared to read another novel after this one with the risk of something being unresolved with the new continuation.

So, yes, I am going to make everyone I know read this series and hope that everyone loves it as much as I did :D

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: The End of Our Story

The End of Our Story The End of Our Story by Meg Haston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Bridge and Wil became instant friends the first day that Bridget started at her new school in Florida. Once Wil started talking to her and invited her over, they were inseparable after that. They went from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, and life was good. But at the end of junior year in high school, everything fell apart. Now, Wil and Bridge don't even talk to each other. They ignore one another in the halls and know nothing about each other's lives for the past year.

All of that changes, though, when Wil's father dies. Bridge thought of Wil's father as her own, so she went to him for moral support and to be there for him. One thing lead to another and they ended up dated again. But things are not as they once were, and Bridge needs to find out what has changed.

This was an intense story! I found out what happened way before the reveal, but the way the author wrote this book made me second guessing until the end. Wil's perspective was moving from the past to the present and Bridge's viewpoint was pretty much what was happening present day. I thought that this was a very well written book and I definitely loved the story.

Bridge is a work in progress. She did some bad shit and has since made up for it. She doesn't want to ruin her chance of getting into a great college and getting to leave to a bigger place than the FL town she's grown up in.

And Wil loves to build things and just wants life to stay the way it is. He knows what he wants and he's a very mature guy for his age. He even mentioned that he couldn't wait to be a grown up. Many of his friends agreed saying that they can't wait for college parties, but he meant that he couldn't wait to be in his 30's or 40's.

Both of these characters are so mature and well behaved - I loved them so much!

But that ending... Meg Haston left it wide open about what happened and I NEED CLOSURE!!! What happened?!?! Why can't I have answers?? Will she write another novel? It is always going to be this ending? Because it's seriously killing me not knowing. I guess I have to make my own story about what could happen, but I don't want to guess!

Gah, okay, besides this ending, I really enjoyed this novel and I am very glad that I got to read this free eARC. I will definitely be looking out for a sequel (ehem...) and more from this author in the future!

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