Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophronia learned so much from her first year in Finishing School, and she was extremely excited to go back after her sister's Ball. But when her class takes their exams and she was ostracized because she has had the best 6 month marks out of all of the students at the school, Sophronia now lives in a world where everyone is ignoring her.

But that doesn't stop Sophronia from doing what she does best: spying and snooping around on the ship. In fact, she snoops even more so, especially on the teachers. Because there is something going on that the teachers are hiding from the students. And if there is anything Sophronia is good at, it's finding out information that people want to keep hidden.

Plus, to top it off, BOYS are on the ship! Evil geniuses in training are now going to travel with the finishing school to go to London for a special viewing. While this gives the girls a better target to work their etiquette on, Sophronia is finding that she had to fend off advances from Felix, that sly little devil. But a very high class little devil that all of the other girls are trying to get his attention. For some reason, though, his eyes are on Sophronia - or as he likes to call her, Ria.

While Sophronia gets a few tries of practice, she is more on a mission to find out what the new device is that was brought on the ship, why there is a fortune teller there, and who is trying to kidnap her best friend?

This series is killing me! I seriously was laughing so hard at the end of this book with the scene at the vampire hive and there was just chaos and madness and so much going on. Sophronia was able to follow it all and keep up with what was happening, but my god it was just too funny for me!

While I don't understand everything that is talked about in this novel because I didn't grow up in this time period, or even study this time period, I am still really, really enjoying this series!

The romance is a bit too much, I think. I would be more than happy to have no romance and just be in the mind of Sophronia because the way her brain works is amazing. I would never be able to thrive in a school like hers, though I would certainly try! I do have to say, the thing with Soap is just not working out for me. I really hope she doesn't end up with him. I don't know why, I just don't really want that to happen. And for some reason, I really love the idea of Sophronia and Felix together. I think that would be a great pair because they would always be challenging each other, and Sophronia definitely needs that in her life to keep her content and interested. Maybe that's why I don't think Soap is a good fit - he wouldn't challenge her as often or as well as Felix would.

Anyway, I'm definitely enjoying this and I love, love, love Bumblesnoot! I was so sad when he visited someone else for a little bit. But I think it's because I love animals, even if it's a mechanimal!

Diving into #3! I definitely recommend reading these! :)

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophronia is not up to times with how a proper lady is supposed to act. In fact, she is a complete embarrassment to her mother and family and the only thing that her mom is thinking about is to get the curious 14 year old out of her hair so she can plan for a ball for another daughter.

So against Sophronia's wishes, she is sent to Finishing School to learn proper etiquette and become the lady that her mother wants her to be. But from the very start, Sophronia realizes that the Finishing School is not quiet what she was told...

Instead, it is a finishing school for Etiquette, but also about how to kill people while being a proper lady about it. So the girls at this school (which is located in a blimp flying all over the world so no one can find their secret location) are being trained on the proper hankerchief to use, but also on which method works best on how to kill a vampire and a werewolf. And they are also being taught by a vampire and a werewolf.

Sophronia, who was hating the idea of coming to this school, is realizing how GOOD she is at this school. Well, for the espionage aspect anyway. She is a very good snoop, has a curious mind, and is very upfront on her questions - because she wants to get the answers.

And one of the older students is keeping a secret from the teachers, so now Sophronia has made it her mission to figure out where Monica is hiding the item in question, and how Sophronia can get to it before she does.

This has always been on my list of books to read, and I just happen to grab all 4 books in the series at once so I knew it was time to finally read it and see what all of the hype was about. And I loved it!

I really loved Sophronia! She is a spunky, curious, and such an odd girl that one can't help but admire her abilities that she's figuring out at this school.

And she has a lot to learn at the beginning, since she had no idea that this school even existed. Otherwise she would have tried to find a way inside of the school a long time ago!

It does take a few pages to get into the story of the book since it's set in an older time period and I don't really know what the proper etiquette is for them, but Sophronia doesn't really care about that nonsense too much. Well, not before she's had the proper training anyway!

Also, I loved how Sophronia doesn't judge people by who they are in society. I love it when she visits the sooties and they are just normal people to her instead of the hired help and the "colored" people (I hate that term...). Instead, she loves their enthusiasm and she is always bartering with them. She treats them like humans rather than servants.

The mechanical aspect of this novel is something else. Sometimes I can't quiet picture what is going on because it gets a bit too technical for my brain, but I know it's something fancy.

I also love Vieve as well! I can't wait until she is forced to go to the etiquette school and has to dress like a girl!

I'm very intrigued on what is going to happen in the rest of the series, and I'm so glad I finally got a chance to read this!

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review: Always Red

Always Red Always Red by Isabelle Ronin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

The moment Red realized that she may have pushed Caleb too far and he may disappear forever, Red realized her mistake: she wants him. She wants to be with him. She doesn't want him to walk away. But now, it's not Caleb fighting for Red, but the other way around. Because Red pushed him away one too many times and said cruel things to protect her heart, but not realizing that she was breaking his heart instead.

So now Red is on a mission: get Caleb back. She can't live without him and she is determined to make him understand that she needs him and will do anything for him now. The first few times she attempted to find him, he was gone. Nowhere to be found. Then, when Caleb finally came back, Red was looking at a stranger. He was so emotionless and distant.

But Red was not to be taken off course and she was going to make him listen to her - once everyone in their lives stopped interfering. Especially that good for nothing Beatrice-Rose. She was also determined to get Caleb - but she was missing one thing: Caleb never loved her like he loved Red.

Emotions are running high, friends are mistaken as enemies and time may be running out for them. Danger is lurking in the most unusual person of their lives and Red and Caleb's connection is stronger than ever. But is it stronger than the forces that are trying to tear them apart?

This ending was amazing. Seriously. I could have had all of this content into one massive book and I would have been a happy camper. But why am I complaining, since I got both book 1 and 2 at the same time with no waiting period, so it really was one big book for me! :)

I love these characters, I love this story, I love the backstory and how it wrapped up in the end, I loved how fast pace these two characters are with one another. I just love this. Thank you Isabelle Ronin for writing this great novel! I may just have to buy the physical book when it gets released in September & November!

The suspense with the side characters was great. It was obvious, but it was supposed to be and then the finale? Wowzas. I don't want to get on Red's bad side AT ALL!!

And neither on Caleb's bad side either, to be honest. They are both a force to be reckoned with and they are soulmates.

I feel so much for Red. I know Caleb has had some bumps in the road with his dad, but it is nothing compared to what Red went through when she was a kid and they were living with her father. I'm glad the author didn't get into too much detail about what happened and how she was abused, but the flashbacks were enough to show that he was an evil, evil man.

I loved the ending of this book so much and I just heart everything about this! I even liked Damon (I especially love his name!) and always felt so bad when Caleb was threatening his life. I hope Damon finds his one true love soon! And I really want Theo and Beth to get their shit figured out and be together already. Oh, and don't get me started on Kara and Cameron!! Their story is the one I want to read about the most out of anyone! I do hope the author is going to do spin off stories?!?! :D

I'm so so so glad that I downloaded these two books on a whim and read them right away!! It is such a great story and it was written beautifully. I devoured Caleb and Red's story like a girl needing her next fix and I regret nothing.

I am definitely recommending this novel to all of my friend.

Thank you to all of the Wattpad readers who read this and made this possible to be a book because it definitely deserves it!

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Review: Chasing Red

Chasing Red Chasing Red by Isabelle Ronin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

When Veronica gets kicked out of her apartment because she hasn't been able to make the rent for the past two months, instead of sobbing into her small belongings, she decides to go get drunk and dance the night away. But she never expected that she would find her salvation at the dance club.

Veronica has been through too many downs and not enough ups. So when Caleb takes her to his apartment after she gets extremely drunk and throws up not once, but twice in his brand new car, she waits for what he expects as payment. But instead of Caleb making her pay up, he offers her the spare bedroom in his apartment free of charge. Because Veronica will not take it for free, she decides to cook his meals for him.

Caleb is tired of his meaninglessly life and wants something more. He's tired of girls throwing themselves at him but wants a chase for the right girl in his life. And just when he thought that, Veronica magically appears on the dance floor in a stunning red dress that makes his eyes never leave her.

And after an adventurous night of when they met, Caleb knew that his wishes were coming true. Although he didn't realize exactly how much he was going to have to fight to keep Red in his life, because she was making it nearly impossible to get close to her, when all he wanted to do was give her everything in the world: including himself. But he asked for a chase, and by golly he was going to chase her until she caved to him.

But the romance between Red and Caleb is not easy. No, it is, in fact, very difficult. The more Caleb gets an inch of Red, the more he needs, craves. And the more that Red lets down her guard, the more scared she gets that she is turning into her mother and she is waiting for Caleb to start acting like her father.

When everything seems lost and broken, that is when Red finally knows what she wants. But by then, she may have lost everything in her life that was worth keeping.

I seriously found this book on Edelweiss yesterday. YESTERDAY!!! And the synopsis hooked me like a guilable fish and I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it and I just said, "FINE!! I must read this!"

And it is the best book that I have downloaded from Edelweiss. I'm so glad that I found it and was able to download the copy of this and the second book right away. I instantly fell in love with it and I was on the roller coaster of my lifetime.

I loved every single minute of it. Sure, did I want to shake both Caleb and Red? Especially Red? Yes, most definitely. But that is real life. Things aren't perfect between a guy and girl falling in love, especially if they have a bad past they need to get over. This book depicts life so perfectly and how one person can only have her trust broken one too many times before she gives up on love.

But when the right person comes along and the sun starts to shine again, there is always hope for the one person in your life to finally find you. And this is that book on so many levels.

I love Red. She is strong and determined and so so brave. I would have been a miserable mess if I got kicked out of my apartment with nowhere to go. I would have given up on life and said fuck it, I'm done. But not Red. She had her moment at the club and then started right back up to find a new job, continue to go to school, and kept her mind open to possibilities.

And Caleb. Gah he's sexy. Basketball player, man whore, but underneath it all he just wants to find a purpose for his life. He wants to be with someone who will challenge him and complete him. And he makes the fight for Red's heart the sexiest thing ever that I don't know how she turned him down so many times. I think I would have caved without meaning to, but boy would I have enjoyed it!

I seriously loved this book. The chemistry between the two set the pages on fire and the tension between them could have cut glass. But it was seeing them change who they were into who they want to be for the other one that really had my heart pounding in my chest a mile a minute. They knew that the other person was who they were meant to be with and didn't even know they were changing. If it wasn't for trust issues. this book could have been complete, but as I said, life is all about up and downs and that is why I loved this book.

Now I'm off to read the conclusion and get lost into their story for one more time. But believe me, I will be reading these two novels over and over again in the future!

Definitely read this when it comes out in September! It's amazing!

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: P.S. I Like You

P.S. I Like You P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lily is an odd 17 year old. She lives a crazy life and she has more important things on her mind than the mindless life in high school where bullies get away with crap and the decent students get blamed for things they didn't do. No, Lily's mind is in another universe. She is creating her own clothes, taking care of her two younger brothers, listening to unique, amazing bands, and writing her own songs - one lyric at a time.

When she gets a scolding from her Chemistry teacher and is told never to bring her notebook full of lyrics in again unless she wanted him to take it from her, Lily needed another way to distract herself during this awful class. After writing a song lyric on her desk and coming back the next day to see that someone else wrote the next lyric, she soon realized that there was a fellow classmate who liked the same music as her.

And then, what began as lyrics of a song became letters under the desk. Now, instead of Lily dreading Chemistry, she now can't wait for that class to read the next note.

Just when Lily was wondering who the mystery writer was and if she wanted to meet this person in real life, she actually finds out who it is. And boy, could she not have been more surprised if she had guessed every guy in all 3 chemistry classes.

Now, Lily will need to decide how to take this information and all of the secrets she knows of him to decide what she is going to do. Because as much as she loves talking to the guy on paper, he definitely doesn't act that way in real life. But Lily is going to have to come out of her shell one way or another if she wants to make some of the biggest decisions of her life.

I. Love. Kasie. West. Seriously! I don't know what she does or how she does it, but every one of her novels is just...gah it's just what I need. It's light, but so intense. It's fun, but so serious. It's adorable and sweet and just makes me feel so good after I read her books! I adore all of them so much!

I went to look at all of the books that I've read of hers and they are all 4 or 5 star ratings that I've given them. I seriously just can't get enough! :)

Lily is hilarious to me. She is such a goody two-shoes but yet she has such a rebellious streak inside of her that comes out very rarely and so unexpectedly! And when she lets loose and goes wild I just have to laugh out loud because it's so out of character for her, yet it's what makes Lily, Lily!

I love the aspect of songs connecting Lily with her writer friend (I'm going to try very hard not to give anything away, even though it's probably pretty obvious what happens. I'm all about non-spoiler reviews!). I'm not really that much into songs, but the thought of music impacting two people's lives enough for them to bond over it is inspiring! And I know it happens everyday :)

The teen angst and romantic suspense that happens in this novel just makes me want to burst! Seriously, the tension between those two made me cheeks all red and I was gushing at the seams!

I'm so glad that I finally found this book at my library so I could finally read it and be caught up on my Kasie West books! Now I have more to look forward to when they are published and I certainly won't be forgetting this unique story line anytime soon!

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Return to the Dark House

Return to the Dark House Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ivy has been away from the Dark House for a few months now, and she was released from the hospital for 2.5 weeks. She has learned that no one will really listen to her story and the FBI and the police are not really believing anything she is telling them anymore. Plus, they aren't telling HER anything, so she is getting nowhere to finding out more about her almost-killer at the Dark House.

And her nightmares have become daily. They sometimes come when she is just daydreaming. She can't realize when she's in real life and when she's imagining things. Ivy is slowly becoming crazy, because she knows that it is not over with the Dark House killer.

Then Ivy gets contacted via email again by the Nightmare Elf address - just like before. The second film has begun and Ivy is needed to be the main actress in the movie. And if she doesn't star in it - without telling anyone what she is doing - then all of the survivors from the first Dark House will just have to be cut.

This time Ivy is prepared to do what she has to do to save the teens she met and befriended at the Dark House. She is not scared anymore - but she is scared of losing Parker and the others. Ivy is going to fight her way to the end of this nightmare and save as many of her friends as she can.

When Ivy and Taylor go to the new Dark House - the boarding school - they were underestimating what the Nightmare Elf was going to do. And Ivy is going to have to fight with every bone in her body and bleed from everywhere in order to ensure that she can save everyone. Even if it means that she might not survive herself...

Oh wow! I seriously love this series! Seriously! I wanted a creepy, horror book and I was blessed with TWO in a series that were amazing and scared the crap out of me. The writing was amazing and it kept me engaged the entire time I was reading the book. There was never a moment where I was like, "this is just me reading a boring book". It was suspenseful, edge of my seat suspense that I couldn't get enough of. There were some moments, actually, where I had to wait until it was daylight outside to continue reading because it was a bit too much creepiness for me at night! Ha!

I was so invested in this story line and I really want more, even though I saw that the author stated that a third book was in the plans, but things didn't go the way she wanted and it's only going to be two books. I can deal with the ending of this book, but I would be the first one on board for another novel in this series.

I was thoroughly creeped out and my mission was successful. I am definitely going to recommend this to my book club and see if anyone else gets creeped out as much as I did! :)

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Welcome to the Dark House

Welcome to the Dark House Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

When an email goes out to fans of director Justin Blake, who created the Nightmare Elf movies, wanting their biggest nightmare in an essay for a chance to win a spot to meet Justin in person, face their nightmare and get a sneak peak on the new movie he is currently directing.

So for seven lucky people, this is going to be a dream come true when they email their nightmare in 1,000 words or less.

And so Natalie, Ivy, Shayna, Taylor, Patrick, Frankie, and Garth all arrive at the Dark House - the place they will be staying during the weekend getaway. All of the contestants have their own nightmares that they don't want to talk about, and all are there at their own discretion. Some are even there against other people's wishes. But for one reason or another, each of these teens have a reason for wanting to meet Justin Blake and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Because Justin creates horror films, there is definitely a lot of tricks and scares along the way. But soon the contestants find out that not all of the tricks that are played are supposed to be funny. In fact...many of the scares that happen are meant to scare them...to death.

The more they are at the Dark House, the more they realize that they are not safe. But now they have to play the game and pass facing their fears - otherwise they may never leave the Dark House alive...

For some reason, I've been really wanting to read a horror, scary book, even though I really don't enjoy those books too often. But I have finally found one! At last!

Sure, there might be scarier ones out there, but this one creeped me out just right without making me go into an asylum institution so I'm okay with that :)

I seriously think it's Ivy's story that got me the most. Probably because hers was the one that was explained the most at the beginning of the book, and I was reading that part late at night in my bedroom and it was just too real for me at the moment, so I shut the book instantly and thought of happy things.

The other characters we find out their nightmares, but they didn't really creep me out as much because they weren't explained as well as Ivy's, I think.

If I were any of those kids, I never would have submitted an essay to that place because it is creepy as hell. That's not my thing, but I know that there are lots of people out there that like that kind of thing. But after reading about what happens to all of the contestants? I'm happy being a scardey pants :)

I'm so excited for the sequel novel and to see how things get wrapped up. I did just read that Stolarz wanted to make this a trilogy, but things didn't work out so I'm hoping that there isn't a lot of unanswered questions left at the end of the book. I can only hope that it will be a satisfactory ending for this great, creepy novel!

So glad I finally got around to reading it! And I'm going to recommend it for my bookclub to read! Maybe around Halloween... hehe

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