Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door

Life on the Refrigerator Door Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was recommended by a friend of mine, so I grabbed it off the shelf at the library and dived right in!

Claire and her mother never see each other. They are virtually strangers who live in the same house, but rarely get a chance to see each other. The only interactions that they seem to have anymore are notes they write to one another and leave on the refrigerator in the kitchen.

And boy, do they write some notes! There are times when Claire is lashing out at her mother because she's making her do something, or her mother is grounding her through notes - notes!

But when something big happens to cause a change in their lives, Claire and her mother really need to find a time to talk to one another, because there is a possibility that they may not be able to talk for much longer...

This is possibly the shortest novel that I have ever read. Oh, sure, it has 220 pages, but it seriously only took me 20-30 minutes to read! No lie! There is a page on here that has 3 words total. I just kept turning the page, needing to know more about their stories and feeling like I was flying through their lives.

I'm glad that Alice Kuipers made Claire like a realistic 15/16 year old girl. Because having sweet notes going back and forth between her and her mother is not really realistic for any teenage girl. So when she was being sassy and rude and mean, that made me realize that this could really happen in real life and made Claire a real person.

The one thing I didn't enjoy was that her mother seriously had a relationship with her daughter this way. There had to be a way that she could have switched shifts every week or something and worked it out with her boss, because she is also a single mother and needs to take care of her teenage daughter.

The event that happened? So terrible. Even though it wasn't talked about too much in their notes, the reader knows what is happening and it is very heartbreaking that they are going through this by writing notes to one another.

I'm glad I read this and I will definitely be recommending it to friends!

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Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book back when it was first released and really enjoyed the meaning and the message that the story is telling.

I have 2 book clubs that are reading this book so I re-read it and found that I forgot a lot of little details - which is not the best thing to do with a book like this! Still, I did enjoy it, but I did give it a lower rating of stars than I originally gave it back in 2007-2008. I don't know, maybe I wasn't as amazed by it now that our society has changed so much since that time? I can't quite pinpoint the reason, but don't get me wrong - I did still enjoy it and was glad to discuss it with other people to get their viewpoint of the novel.

Clay comes home and finds a shoebox on his doorstep. When he opens it, he finds cassette tapes. Clay goes to his garage and uses the boombox to listen to the tapes and see what they are. But when he hears Hannah's voice, he knows he needs a more private place to listen to the tapes. Because Hannah committed suicide just recently, so he is hearing the voice of a dead girl. A girl he used to have a crush on.

Once he "borrows" a classmates Walkman, Clay travels around town to listen to Hannah explain the 13 reasons why she got to the point in her life to commit suicide. And Clay is on that list, but he can't understand what he did to Hannah to bring her to that state.

Now Clay is listening to the stories about Justin, Alex, Jessica, Tyler, Courtney, Marcus, Zach, Ryan, Jenny, Bryce and Mr. Porter and what they did to Hannah to tear her self-confidence down.

But now that Clay knows this information, what is he going to do now?

This book touches on a few very hard topics that teens today are going through everyday. I feel like this is a great novel that talks about these issues, but doesn't lecture or talk about how to do these things.

With the Netflix TV show out, directed by Selena Gomez, this has been a big controversial issue in the schools recently. But my response to that is the book has been out for 10 years. Just because the TV show is different than the book does not mean that the book should not be read by parents, teachers, teens, etc. This book may have had some controversies, but from what I've heard, the TV show is not that similar to the book, so the issues that are coming out of the show should not influence the reading of the book.

Because I feel like Jay Asher did a wonderful job writing Hannah's story and explaining the mental illness that she had. And the best thing I loved was reading the answers Jay Asher answered at the back of the book, because it does touch on a lot of questions that have been asked recently. If only people would read the questions and answers, they wouldn't be so confused or decipher instances wrongly.

Overall, I liked this book and I liked hearing what both of my book clubs had to say about this book to get another understanding of things that I didn't come up with myself.

Out of this whole review, I think the most important thing is that I want people to read this book. The book is completely better than the TV show and I don't want people to judge this great novel by a TV adaptation. :)

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Gone

Gone Gone by Michael Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had read this novel a long, long time ago and enjoyed it, so I was happy that we were re-reading it for my bookclub so I could remember all of the details that happened in the novel.

Sam and his classmates were in class when something strange happened: his teacher disappeared. Just was there one moment, talking, and the next, gone. Most of the students were not paying attention, so they weren't sure what really happened, but when they walked out to the hallway to see what was going on, other students had said the same thing: their teacher just "poofed".

Quinn, Sam's best friend, was in the same class as Sam, so they were roaming the halls and found Astrid, the girl Sam has been crushing on for a long time. Astrid said that her teacher and the other 3 students in her Advanced study group all disappeared.

When the kids try calling their parents, there is no dial tone on the phone and the TV, while it turns on, does not have anything showing. There are no shows on, the news is not broadcasting, nothing. Silence.

Astrid is called "Astrid the Genius" by the kids in school because she is super smart, and she came to the conclusion, after observing everything that is going on, that anyone who is age 15 or older have disappeared. All of the adults. She is on a mission to find her 4 year old autistic brother, Pete before he gets hurt, but she doesn't know where he was during the time of the disappearance.

On the other side of town, a girl named Lana was in the truck with her grandfather when he "poofed" and she got in a horrific car accident that broke multiple bones. With her dog, Patrick, she was stranded in the middle of the forest, where vultures were just waiting for her to die. When Patrick got hurt by a wolf, Lana discovered that she has the power to heal. So she heals herself and finds herself in town with all of the other kids.

Most of the kids are pretty young and Sam, Astrid and Quinn are all 14. So all of the 14 year olds are now figuring out how to take care of the littles. And the troubled teens are starting to realize that they can be bullies without getting into trouble by the adults, since there are no more around. By the time Sam realizes that everyone is looking toward him to guide them into this new world, kids from Coates Academy - a boarding school for troubled kids - come down to their town and decide they are going to take over.

Because Sam is hiding a secret: he has a power. Has had it for some time now, but he can conjure up a green/white light that can burn things. He hurt his stepfather with this power and now it comes more often when he's scared and panics during dangerous times.

And the leader of Coates Academy? He has a power too - a very powerful ability of levitation. But Caine has been using and practicing his power so he knows how to use it within a second.

Now Sam only has a few days before he "poofs" on his 15th birthday, and he needs to make sure that the kids from his town won't be hurt from the democracy that came from Coates Academy. But a war is starting to brew, and Caine is in the front and center of it. Sam must find a way to stop him before it is too late.

This is a good book about how kids are having to grow up way too fast. There are suspenseful moments in this book that might not be suitable for young teens, but overall I think a lot of readers would enjoy this book.

I liked Lana the best. She was in a terrible place but she was able to fight through it and be stronger from her experience.

I'm glad I got to re-read this and maybe one day I will finish the series to see what is really happening with these characters!

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Review: When It's Real

When It's Real When It's Real by Erin Watt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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

Oakley Ford has been a teen-pop star singer since he was a wee thing. He wasn't shy of being in the public eye with his famous movie star parents, and going into the music business was like a second home. But it's been 2 years since he has released a new album or created new music, and his agent thinks that if he doesn't release something soon, he will lose his thousands of fans. Oak doesn't think that he needs to do anything except partner up with another popular singer, King. But King won't go near Oak because of his wild reputation. However, if Oak could change his image, King might be willing to work with Oak.

And that is where Vaughn comes in. She's a "normal" girl and Oak's PR team want all of the girls who follow Oak to think that he could fall for a girl just like them if they can get Vaughn to agree to date Oak for a year. Vaughn already has a boyfriend and thinks that this idea is ridiculous, but the amount of money they are willing to pay here would make a huge difference in her life. When her parents passed away, life has been hard for Vaughn, her older sister, Paisley, and her younger twin brothers. Vaughn had to graduate high school early and take a year off from college to work and help get money for bills and food.

So when this deal came through, she really couldn't say no. Doing this gig for a year would make a lot of differences, and also help the twins go to college in the future.

But while Vaughn used to have a crush on Oak when she was 15, at 17 she realizes how much of a spoiled child Oak has become and she's kinda over his superiority attitude.

Except that the more she hangs out with Oak, the more she realizes that he's not exactly the jerk that he pretends to be sometimes. And he seems to like her well enough, even though she is "plain" and "normal" and would rather wear jeans and Converses than dresses and heels.

Just as things are starting to become intense between the two, the media explodes with information from Vaughn's ex-boyfriend and Oak's ex-band member that might ruin what has been building between Vaughn and Oak.

I really liked Vaughn. She is down to earth, she is looking out for her family and is sacrificing a lot for her own happiness to make sure that her family survives through the next few years after her parents died. Vaughn doesn't take any crap thrown at her, and that goes for Oak's attitude as well. And I think that's why Oak starts to fall for her. He's used to others fawning over him, wanting him to autograph or take selfies with him. Vaughn couldn't give a care about any of that.

Plus, Oak loves being with her family and I think that is the sweetest thing in the world. He's always hanging out with her younger brothers, without Vaughn even knowing about it, and that shows that he really likes to just chill with them.

Oak was very immature and spoiled at the beginning, and he was the one that grew into a better person by the end of the novel.

I really enjoyed this novel and watching these characters go through different emotions throughout the book. It does have a different feel than The Royals series, but I think fans of music and teenage love will really enjoy this book!

I'm very glad that I got this as an eARC so I could devour it early!

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

Alosa is being kidnapped by a rivaling pirate of her fathers. But really, every pirate is an enemy of her father's since he is the pirate king and rules everyone on the water. And now she is getting on a different pirate ship than her own as a prisoner because of her fathers status.

Or that is what she wants the pirate crew to think. Captain Draxen is going to use Alosa leverage against her father to get what he wants, but Alosa intended to get captured by this specific pirate crew. Draxen's father, before he died, had a secret map that was 1 missing piece out of 3 that her father needed to get the whole map back in one piece. Alosa's mission is to find that missing map and hand it to her father.

As much as Alosa, who is a captain of her own ship, hes to be a feeble prisoner, she struggles to keep her emotions in check when the first mate, and brother to the captain, Riden, looks over her and "interrogates" her.

Every night, Alosa breaks free of her cage in the briggs and searches the entire ship. But the longer she is on the ship and the more places she looks, the more she realizes that the map may not be where she thought it was. However, her father will be very angry if she fails in this mission, so it is Alosa's determination that she has to find the map that makes her a bit reckless. Makes her start to use her...abilities...that she shouldn't use. And she starts to use them in front of people who notice little changes about her - especially Riden.

Alosa's time is running out, and she still needs to find the map. But will she find it in time before her father shows up?

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Love, love, love. I'm a sucker for pirates, but usually it is the smutty adult romance novels where the pirates are the guys and they are swoon worthy. Granted, Riden is very swoon worthy, so I got my typical pirate novel I guess.

But seriously? I loved Alosa even more! Every review I read says she is the female version of Jack Sparrow and honestly, she really is! Her fiery red hair definitely explains her personality and her knowledge of so much stuff stuns me. I want to be Alosa!!

She is smart and fit and determined and naive in some ways. Her reaction toward the unruly men on the ship who treated her badly was amazing because she wanted to kill them. And we got a very clear indication at the beginning of the book that Alosa is not afraid to kill anyone who gets in her way.

Well, except Riden. She's not sure why she is against hurting him, but she doesn't want to if she can help it. (This is where the naive part comes in....)

I am so, so, so glad that I was able to get this as a free eARC and I'm so mad that I'm just getting around to read this now. I'm even more mad that I have to wait for the second and final book in this series for 9 months!! I want to know what happens!! I can only see good things!!

I seriously suggest everyone to read this book because I loved it so much. Yeah, that's a good recommendation...not...but it is a great book and I cannot wait to continue Alosa and Riden's story!

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Wintersong

Wintersong Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free eARC novel from Edelweiss (and a physical copy from Baker & Taylor) in exchange for my honest review.

Liesl used to play and dance with the Goblin King when she was a little girl in the Goblin Grove next to her parents inn. But the older Liesl got, the more she stopped going to the Goblin Grove. There were too many responsibilities she needed to take care of at home: cleaning the inn, taking care of her little sister, helping her little brother be the best violinist of the world, and making sure her father didn't wasted all of their money on alcohol. Soon, Liesl didn't go to the Goblin King anymore, even though she thought about her time in the Goblin Grove constantly.

Until one day in town, she spots an older version of the Goblin King watching her younger sister Kathe. And then Kathe kept disappearing in the Goblin Grove woods. Until the Goblin King permanently took Kathe as his bride. Liesl knew she needed to get her sister back, and she remembered just enough of her childhood that the Goblin King liked to play games.

So she made a game with the Goblin King that she would be able to get her sister out of the Underworld - the Goblin King's world - before the next full moon. But Liesl was underestimating the power of the Underworld and the power of her attraction toward the Goblin King. By the time the full moon appeared, Liesl had to make another decision - let her sister live and the world be plundered into winter forever, or sacrifice herself as the Goblin King's bride to save the world she loves.

No matter which one she picks, Liesl is going to have regrets either way. But her love of music and composing music may just be the key she needs in order to know which answer will be the correct one in the end.

This was a very interesting novel. I don't think I've read anything quiet like it. I know that a lot of people are comparing it to the Labyrinth movie, but I've never seen that so I don't have that to compere to this book. Overall, I found it quiet enjoyable and I definitely read the whole book in 1 days time, so it was very engaging to me.

Liesl sacrifices a lot in this novel. She gives up her original songs that she creates and gives it to her younger brother because he is the music prodigy of the family. And also because no one will be able to hear her songs if she was the composer, because no one would swallow the idea that a woman could create those amazing music pieces. So she gives them to Josef and he then goes and performs these amazing pieces to the entire world.

Then she sacrifices her "plainness" to her sister, who is the most beautiful one out of the two of them. Liesl knows she's not beautiful and she has to hear about her plainness her whole life. But she still loves Kathe and never resents her - well, not much.

Liesl had to be the one in charge of the family so that her mother could run the inn and keep the business alive. Her father is pretty much worthless, so Liesl had to step up and be the other parent basically. Which is sad because I love thinking of Liesl playing with the child Goblin King when she was younger. Children need to have fun and be free, not tied to their family and forced to be an adult before they need to be.

Since the beginning, I was very intrigued by the Goblin King and I wanted him and Liesl to be together. When he first takes Kathe, I know he is only doing that to get Liesl because that is who he has always wanted - even as a child. So I loved seeing those two characters together.

This book has some flaws. Not many, but enough for me not to be completely set on loving it, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 on Goodreads. But I am pretty much in love with the overall aspect of this book, which is why I'm very excited that there is going to be another and hopefully everything I want to happen will happen in the next novel. I am a little upset that it's not going to be available until January of 2018, but I can wait and jump into this amazing world that S. Jae-Jones created!

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Roar

Roar Roar by Cora Carmack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss (and paper ARC from Baker & Taylor) in exchange for my honest review.

Aurora is the princess to Pavan, but she has a secret she is hiding from the world: Aurora has no storm magic. She cannot contain or capture the Stormhearts, which leaves her kingdom in danger with the Storm season coming close.

Her mother decided that combining two kingdom's together would be the best solution, so Aurora is having an arranged marriage right after her 18th birthday. This is not typical in their world, but if Rora marries a Stormling princes who has storm magic, then her kingdom will be protected by a worth ruler.

But Prince Cassius from Locke kingdom is not what she expected. Granted, Rora doesn't want to go through this scam of a marriage in the first place, but he is very dark and secretive. Very secretive about more than Rora could even guess.

When Rora stumbles upon the Eye, the black market, and discovers that other non storm magic people were able to learn how to get Stormhearts, she takes matters into her own hands and decides she needs to learn how to be a Stormling. She travels with a group of hunters who chase after storms to collect the Stormhearts and the magic of storms in jars to sell for a hefty price. But along the way, Rora is not only falling for the leader - Locke - but also stumbling upon answers to why a "Stormling" princess cannot master storm magic. And it is beyond her wildest dreams as to what Rora really is...

Back at home, though, Rora's friends and family are in very real danger from the Locke kingdom, who is now implementing their own plan of action in Pavan. And the Locke's enemy, the Stormlord, is on his way to find them at their new location.

I have had this book on my radar since Cora Carmack first posted about it! So to be able to get 2 ARCs of this book blew my mind and I feel very, very happy that I was able to read this early and fall in love with this amazing story!

It was a bit rocky at the beginning getting into the story because it's the first of a series and it's set in such a unique world, but I was able to move right along and realized that I was almost done with the book before too long!

Aurora/Rora/Roar is such a badass princess. She's not the wishy washy princess who likes the dresses and the jewels and the food. She wishes she had Storm magic so she could take care of her kingdom like she should, but she is accepting of the fact that she will not marry for love for duty instead. But the second she hears of an alternative plan? She runs head first into the dangers of the world she's never encountered, determined to learn this new information.

So of course there's a love interest: Locke. Not to be mistaken for the kingdom Locke, but that is his name because that was where he was from. He cannot remember his real name, so he was given an very unoriginal nickname. Watching Rora struggle against her feelings toward Locke was very entertaining - especially with them bantering and play fighting so much.

Though I do have to say, I did feel a little bit of romantic tension between Rora and Cassius? Yes? And that could be an interesting twist to the story line later down in the series to be honest. Because I think good things could happen there too. I'm not set on either guy in Rora's life just yet, but I'll be interested to see what progresses in the next book.

This book has multiple point of views throughout the novel. Mainly it is Rora's viewpoint, but the reader also gets to read from Cassius, Locke, Nova (Rora's maid) and the Stormlord, so it makes it a very well rounded book to give the reader as much information as can be.

I really loved this world that Cora Carmack created and I can see all of the storms that happened throughout the novel. It's so vivid and real and beautiful.

I am so, so, so glad I got to read this early and I cannot wait to get my hands on the final copy for my personal library. The only thing I'm upset about is that this book was just getting to the good part when it ended, so not only do I have to wait for this book to actually be published, but that means that I have to wait even longer for the second book to come out! Gah!

Readers need to pick this up when it is released in June and love it just as much as I do! I will definitely be recommending this to all of the YA lovers out there!

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am one of those people that if I see a trailer to a movie that's based on a YA book, I go pick up the book and read it. That's what happened with this book, and I'm very glad that Hollywood decided to make a movie - otherwise I might not have decided to read it.

Maddy has been sick her whole life - she's allergic to everything outside of her house, so she doesn't leave it. She is 18 years old and doesn't even know what the neighborhood looks like beyond her windows sight. She doesn't know how to drive. Her best friends are her mother and her nurse, Carla. Honestly, Maddy is fine with this. She's grown up knowing she can't leave her house and she is very happy staying at home reading her books.

But new neighbors move in next door and everything Maddy thought she knew changed. She saw Olly, the very attractive and mysterious boy, and Maddy knew that she had to talk to him. She had to meet him. Through emails and IM's, Maddy and Olly talked to each other and found out each others secrets. When Carla decided that Olly could visit after going through the detoxing system and making sure he's not remotely sick, they get to meet in person.

And everything changes after that. Maddy knows that she wants a normal friendship with Olly and be able to see him, talk to him any time of the day. But she knows she can't. Maddy has to decide if staying in the house and being healthy is better than going outside and living a perfect, normal day is better. Whichever choice she makes, Maddy knows her life will never be the same again.

I feel for Maddy. She has been brought up with the knowledge of her disease and quiet honestly, she was living the perfect life that I used to dream of: staying at home, reading books all day. I would kill to be able to do that some days.

But after reading about Maddy's life... I'm not so sure that would be all that it's cracked up to be! Not being able to have fresh air and feel the sunshine on my skin? That would be torture. Granted, if I were Maddy, I wouldn't know what that feels like, so I wouldn't know what I was missing out on, but still. Torture.

I think the instant attraction thing between her and Olly was a bit stretched, but Maddy doesn't have a lot of contact with people outside her mom and Carla, so maybe it was just desperation to be around someone different, someone "normal"? Either way, both were attracted to each other way too seriously for my believing.

The twist in the book was awesome. I really enjoyed it and it made it a more suspenseful book because of it. It also made Maddy decide about her fate rather than just be sheltered.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I'm glad I read it! Can't wait to see the movie and see what they kept or what they added!

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: The Dead List

The Dead List The Dead List 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.

Even though this book was available on Wattpad for the longest time, I never got around to reading it. There's just something about reading a book on a computer that bothers me, so I was very happy to hear that she was going to publish this book to add to my collection! :)

Ella went through a terrifying experience four years ago and still hasn't really recovered from it. She's learned to live with the acknowledgement that she won't say his name out loud. Now she is just waiting to graduate high school so she can leave her small town and start over again.

Things get a bit a twist, though, when Ella is leaving a party one night and someone in a clown mask tries to kidnap her. Ella was able to escape, but only because Jensen - her once really close friend - is going to his car and stops the kidnapper from successfully taking Ella. When the cops come, they clue her in that this might be in association with another disappearance of a student that Ella goes to high school with, and they may have a huge serial killer case on their hands when the missing girl gets found by Ella dead in a barn attic.

Now Ella is not really thinking about graduating high school. She's just hoping that she will surviving until graduation, because the clowned killer is stalking Ella, trying to get her again. Ella decides that she needs to learn how to defend herself and takes self-defense classes. What she wasn't aware of until she got to her class is that it is taught by Jensen - the guy she's had a crush on for 4 years but the guy she keeps her distance from because she's been hurt by him 2 too many times in her life.

But the more her and Jensen are together, the more right it seems and that they are meant to be together. The only problem is that they need to figure out why this clowned killer is after Ella and how to stop him. Otherwise, her and Jensen being together won't mean a thing if he actually does kill Ella.

Jennifer L Armentrout does a great job with mystery novels. She has just enough suspense in them to keep the reader guessing, and enough yummy hot main guy to keep the reader gushing. I was able to figure out the clowned killer about 70% of the way through the novel. I've read enough mysteries that I can usually come up with the reasoning and the person because the reason, but this one did keep me guessing and going back and forth between different killers. There is a twist, though, that perhaps many readers might not figure out before the end of the novel, so I think a lot of readers will enjoy that.

The best thing about this book is that Ella is not going down without a fight. She is trying to learn how to defend herself and take action, rather than just let the men in her life take care of her. She may not be the most amazing fighter by the end of the book, but she was able to use the information and the moves that she learned throughout the novel by the end of it when her life was in danger.

And another great thing about this novel is Ella and Jensen's relationship. They were best friends when they were younger but everyone grew up and things happened to make them virtual strangers. But the more they are together, the more that the secrets that were keeping them apart were revealed and the strained past that they have has been fixed. Watching them learn to trust one another again was great, and the chemistry between them is amazing!

Also, the part where Ella and Jensen are watching "Supernatural" and Jensen's name, and Ella's favorite Winchester brother? That made me laugh so hard for so long, and it's only because I know how much JLA loves "Supernatural"!

I'm so excited to have had an eARC of this book and I have already pre-ordered my copy of the physical book to add to my library! Fans of JLA will love this new novel of hers! :D

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: The Magician's Nephew

The Magician's Nephew The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually really liked this novel! This was a pick for my book club and it was picked as the #1 book in the Chronicles of Narnia series because it is placed at the beginning, rather than when it was published year wise.

And I actually really enjoyed reading this first because it gave me an idea of how Narnia was created. Most of the times, readers don't really get the explanation of how magical places are created but rather this is here and we are living in this world and you just need to accept it and move on. But C. S. Lewis gives the readers the satisfaction of how it was created - down to how the Sun and the Earth were made. And I loved that so much.

It also gives us the explanation of how the wardrobe was created at the end of the novel, to give a back story for the rest of the series and when the 4 siblings stumble into Narnia.

This is a short novel and I flew through it so quickly, I almost wanted to re-read it and enjoy the story again.

I hated the uncle - which I was supposed to. He was a low life, good for nothing man that was all talk but when it came time for action, he was a scared old man. He made his nephew and his friend do all of the dirty work, but wanted to take credit for their finds. I'm glad that his plan got changed and he had to realize his mistakes.

Narnia is a great world and I look forward to finding time and reading the whole series for once. This was a great introduction to the series and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest eventually.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My bookclub picked this book for the month's book to read, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Aristotle was a pretty lonely boy until he met Dante one summer. Aristotle was determined to learn how to swim, and Dante just showed up and asked Ari if he could teach him how to swim. It was like it was meant to happen for them to become best friends.

As the summer continued, Ari and Dante were constantly hanging out: either at each others houses, at the pool, or just outside wherever they found themselves to go. It didn't matter what they did, but they were always around one another. Ari was happy that he finally found a friend he could hangout with.

But then Dante told him that his family was going up to Chicago for the school year, so Ari wouldn't be seeing him for 9 months. Now Ari is back to being by himself again. He is growing solemn and lonely again, so he starts to work at a burger joint, runs in the morning with his dog, and lifts weights in the basement that were his dads. By the time Dante sees Ari again, both boys are very different from when he left.

It isn't just the physical part of Ari that has changed, though. Ari is getting quieter and more serious. He doens't know what it wrong with him, but with the secret that his parents are keeping about Ari's older brother, the silence that his father has about being in the Vietnam War, and not really having many friends, Ari is not sure what is going on with himself.

And being away from Dante is getting to Ari as well. He doesn't write nearly any letters to Dante, even though Dante has written 2-3 letters a week to Ari.

When shit hits the fan, though, everyone in Ari's life comes together to work on their individual issues in order to help Ari figure out what his inner struggle is trying to say to himself, but he is just too stubborn to listen to it.

This was a great book. It was written so well and the message that the novel is giving to the reader is priceless. I won't give away too much, but I will say that Dante is gay and Ari doesn't have a problem being friends with a guy who likes to kiss other guys.

I don't read too many novels about GBLT characters. Most of the time, I can't relate to their inner struggles they go through in the book because I'm not GBLT. It makes it a bit hard for me to read because I can connect with the readers like I do with other novels. Being able to relate or connect is 98% of the time why I read the novels that I do, and then the other 2% is the adventure and story that goes on that I probably won't ever experience in my life. But being able to have that inner connection - the understanding - helps me enjoy the rest of the made up story.

But I have to say, I really didn't have that issue with this novel because Ari was the main character and the story wasn't 100% about GBLT. So maybe I need to start reading more and seeing if all novels are like this one. Maybe I'll enjoy reading all of them!

I really loved Ari. He is such a hero and wants to be accepted by all, but then he doesn't really give a shit if he's not liked by anyone at all. He's a very complicated character, but he certainly is not drama filled at all. I love his family. He dad has been through hell and back in the war and he's a very quiet man, which is where I think Ari gets it from. And his relationship with his mother is fantastic. I seriously love the scenes with those two. I love that he got his dog Legs and how Ari grew up into a great man. I can seriously picture him going through his daily routine of running, working, school, lifting weights. And that is a guy that I would try to get to know.

It is a bit weird to think that this book was set during the year that I was born... And that the subject of being gay was so bad back in the 80s. I mean, depending on where you are at, the subject of being gay today in the 21st century might have the exact same reaction, but there are some parts in the world that have gotten significantly better. But it just hurts my heart that what happened to Dante happened. He was so sad and down spirited afterward and that is not the Dante that the reader fell in love with.

I saw that there is going to be a second novel?? I'm very excited about this and I cannot wait to see what happens after this ending! I'll be anxiously waiting for it to be published and I will devour it and love it.

I'm very glad that Benjamin Alire Saenz wrote this novel and I am going to explore more of his novels :)

Read this novel. It will touch your soul.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: I Am the Messenger

I Am the Messenger I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the book picked for our book club, so I went into this novel pretty blind.

Ed was an unusual character that the reader had to follow around. He was just an ordinary guy, doing ordinary things, and living an ordinary life. But when he found himself in a bank robbery, his whole life was about to change. Especially when him and his friends were antagonizing the robber and Ed ended up following the guy out to the car and shooting the window, where the cops came and arrested the robber.

Yeah, things got real interesting after that. People in the city knew who he was. He was recognized by way too many people for him to feel comfortable, but he was managing.

Until the messages on the Ace cards started showing up. Now, Ed finds himself on a mission to help 3 people - 12 people total with 4 Aces. Some people are easy to help. Some are hard. Some involve a beating, and some involve a broken heart. Ed has no idea who is doing this, but now he thinks about all of the people that he has helped and what their lives are like now that he has had a role in their life.

But things are not as they seem for Ed as the mystery continues.

This book was a bit rough for me, to be honest. I know Ed is 19 so he's basically an adult, but the content in this novel did not make me scream "Young Adult". Maybe because this is set in Australia and they are more mature and sophisticated than American's? I'm not too sure, but I just kept thinking, "the teen book club is reading this...I'm not sure if that is appropriate for them to read..."

But I trekked through it and I really liked the message that it portrayed by the end of the novel.

The mission with Milla is by far my most favorite one of Ed's. He is just so kind and amazing toward her. So patient. I seriously tear up just thinking about it still. And that he kept going back to make sure that she was okay - just touches my heart.

And honestly, I loved almost all of the messages that Ed was told to do throughout the book. About 80% of them. I really think that this was a good thing for Ed to do, even though it was presented in a very weird way. If I was Ed, I probably would have thrown the first Ace away and wouldn't have thought twice about it. I'm glad it was given to Ed instead.

This might be a very good book to discuss and I am glad that I read it, even though it has a few topics in here that I usually stay away from when reading books for fun.

Markus Zusak is a very gifted author and I'm glad that I am making my way though his books slowly in my reading career :)

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Like a Memory

Like a Memory Like a Memory by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so excited about this novel - connecting two of Abbi Glines most popular series together with their kids?! Of course I was game to read this book!

And seeing them meet in the other two series as an epilogue really was amazing and made me want this book, so I was extremely happy (and surprised!) that it was only $3.99!! Usually Gline's kindle books are $8.99+!

Overall, I thought this was a good book. I was really annoyed by Nate and the decisions he made in this book when he saw Bliss again after 7 years. He was being childish and ridiculous. And his whole "not wanting what he parents have because he never wants to rely that much on one person in his life in case something happens to her" bullshit is a terrible way to live. Seriously, dude, go travel and do your own thing, but give Bliss a chance to say what she would like to do. Nate doesn't know Bliss that well and to just make assumptions of what her hopes and dreams are is way too much for me to handle.

Bliss is a kick ass girl, going through that nightmare when she was just a teenager. Good for her to start being normal and being out on her own for the first time. She took one step and was well on her way to greatness. Oh, and her new job at the end of the novel? LOVE!! :D

Overall, this is 4 stars because of Bliss. If I had to rate it on Nate, it would be 2 stars because he was such a pain in the ass baby, making all sorts of trouble for everyone around because he couldn't make up his damn mind.

I'm glad I got to read this and I see it's part of a new series? So that might mean more books? If so, I'm really going to have to refresh my memory on whose kid is who's haha.

Glad I got to read it and I know that other readers that are fans of Abbi Glines will love this new addition!

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Review: Fanning The Flames

Fanning The Flames Fanning The Flames by Chris Cannon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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

I adored the first and second novels in this series. I devoured them and couldn't wait to get my hands on the next ones in the series. But for some reason, book three and four have been a bit of a letdown for me...

Bryn is a great dragon and she has had to face a lot of difficulty because she is a mixed dragon - a blue and a red dragon. So of course, the Blues are too elite to associate themselves with her and the other dragons (orange, black, green, red) are not sure what to do with her. She's an outcast and is trying to survive in this new world.

But in Fanning The Flames, Bryn has her own group of close friends and she is now becoming a bit more welcomed in the Blue society since her grandparents have taken her in and accepted her difference. And Bryn also has Valmont, her knight. Things should be going great, right?

Not really. With her grandparents trying to get a marriage pact accepted to mate with Jaxon, things are very awkward between the two couples: Bryn and Valmont and Jaxon and Rhiannon. But there is a plan in action if the marriage pact goes through - even though it wouldn't seem appropriate in most societies.

So with things getting complicated in Bryn's personal life, of course chaos has started with the Rebel dragons who want to make mixed dragons accepted in society. Never fails in Bryn's world. The Rebels are cooking up something and Bryn seems to be in the middle of that mess, even though she is just trying to have a normal life.

But shit hits the fan by the end of the novel and Bryn is completely lost at what to do.

So, my opinion? It was okay. I am just going to come right out and say, I think Bryn needs to focus on herself and not try so hard to have a boyfriend. She has all of the time in the world for that, so why she feels like she will never be loved and have the love of her life in her life is beyond me. Try to live past the Rebels trying to destroy your home and school, then worry about who you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Though I do have to say, I really hate her and Valmont together. It seriously is so stilted and awkward between the two of them. There is more chemistry between Bryn and Jaxon than her and Valmont. Just saying, I am not Team Valmont.

Also? The way Valmont reacted to a certain piece of news? Very crappy, Valmont. Very terrible indeed...

I'm hoping there is another one coming because the ending was a bit better than I thought it would be and I'd like to see where Chris Cannon will go from here. I'm not giving up on this series because I really do like it. So I'll be waiting for news on the 5th book! :D

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review: Up in Flames

Up in Flames Up in Flames by Abbi Glines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The end... This is the end of the series. I feel...sad and happy all at the same time. There is a lot of different emotions going on right now.

Nan is the "villain" of this series. Everyone knows that she is the most hated character out of the bunch - no matter what other character tried to be the "bad" character. So of course, there is a lot of different opinions going around about Nan getting her own story. I didn't like her too much, but I was very curious about who in the world she hadn't been with yet, and who would be able to match her personality to love her with all of his heart.

Major is a sweetheart, but he is a complete man whore. He really likes Nan, but is keeping his options open by telling Nan that he doesn't want to be exclusively with her. Basically he likes pretty girls and he wants to have his options open for any available females who like what they see when they look at him.

So when Major doesn't reply to Nan and she knows he's with another girl, she decides that she needs a trip away and ignore Major when he wants to crawl back into her bed. He is hurting her too many times for her to be okay with, and she needs to do herself rather than pine for Major. Give him a taste of her own medicine.

Nan is at a club when she sees the mysterious stranger. They dance. They grab drinks together. His name is Gannon and Nan is so entranced by his darkness and mysteriousness, but also how gorgeous he is. Nan has never been with a rougher looking guy - usually she is all about the pretty boys like Major. But Gannon has snared her attention and she can't get him out of her head. And especially not after having intense interactions with him that she never in her wildest dreams thought she'd be into.

Gannon knows how to tame Nan and knows just what she wants in everything.

But Major realizes that he is losing Nan and wants a second chance. Now he is doing everything in his power to make her understand that he wants a commitment and be only with Nan.

Nan needs to decide who she wants more - Major who she thought she loved 2 weeks ago and is everything she's ever looked for in a guy, or Gannon, the mysterious stranger she met, but feels a deep connection with.

Before she can make her final decision, though, both Major and Gannon have a deep secret that they are hiding from Nan, and once that secret is unveiled, Nan will have to decide who to trust and keep forever.

I have to say, even though Nan is the nasty person that she is, I was rooting for her to find her happy ending with the one. And I will admit, I did have a guy I wanted her to be with between Gannon and Major - and that was Gannon. He just got her. He understood her so much more than Major ever did. Even though he was keeping a lot of secrets from her and had a completely different life than what Nan was aware of, in my opinion, he was a better fit for Nan.

And the sexy scenes between Gannon and Nan...wowweee!

There was definitely some mystery involved in this novel and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really liked Nan's story. It wasn't the all time best book out of the whole series, but Abbi Glines found a way to make most of her readers accept Nan's story and root for her happy ending.

I'm so glad that I read this novel and finally finished the series. I'm excited to see the characters pop up from time to time in the spin off novel "Like a Memory" and what they have been up to during these years away.

I am definitely recommending this series to everyone I know! :)

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Review: The Best Goodbye

The Best Goodbye The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finally got my hands on this book! Yay! I was so excited to finally get back to this series and these characters - it's been forever!

Captain is a tough man. He has been through dark times and now he is just trying to get this restaurant up and running to hand it over to the real man in charge. He's not planning on staying in Rosemary Beach and he is trying to figure out what he is going to do after his project is done.

Rose Henderson is a new server in the restaurant he is working on. She's also new to Rosemary Beach with her 9 year old daughter, Franny. She has a secret mission in Rosemary Beach - a secret she may not want to reveal to anyone in her life the way things are going at work.

Captain's past keeps coming back to haunt him recently, and the memories of the one person in the world that he loved the most keeps visiting his dreams. When Captain is around Rose, he acts like a jerk because she is keeping secrets and reminding him of someone he used to know. Someone he wishes he could forget because of the pain it brings to him.

The most Rose stays employed to Captain and Elle - the lady who is hooking up with him and hates Rose on sight - the more she is thinking that Rosemary Beach is not the place for her and Franny. But soon her secret gets out to the one person she was trying to hide it from. Now she is forced to confront the issues at hand and decide once and for all what she is going to do.

My review is mysterious because the synopsis doesn't give away the big secret in this book. However, in the book the secret is revealed very early on in the novel and the characters are making their decisions back on the secret.

I loved this book and it was just as good as the other novels in the series. Abbi Glines knows just how to make it suspenseful and sexy all at the same time and keeps me wanting more and more from the characters.

Anyone who is a die hard fan of Abbi Glines needs to read this novel, and for those of you who are thinking of reading her books, I definitely say start from the beginning in this series to fully enjoy the characters to their best potential!

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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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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: If I Fix You

If I Fix You If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

The synopsis of this book intrigued to me to no end when I first read it, so I was very excited to get a copy to read and find out if the book was just as good as the summary. And it definitely was! I really enjoyed this book and flew through it once I started reading.

Jill has been having the worst summer of her life and she doesn't even know how to deal with anything going on. Her mother left Jill and her dad, things are in a very tense place with her best friend Sean, and she has to get up at the butt crack of dawn before the sun comes out to run with her friend Clare for cross country. Then she gets to enjoy life for a little bit to go work at her father's auto shop and fix cars - which is Jill's true passion.

When Jill gets a new neighbor, mysterious and gloomy Daniel, she thinks things might become more interesting. Especially since the first night she notices them in the house, it seems like his home life might be very similar to hers when his mother is screaming and yelling at him. Living her whole life with her mom and dad fighting and arguing in the house, Jill can understand how he might be feeling right now.

Because even though Jill is mad that her mom left, she is also upset about the REAL reason that she left and Jill can't forget the scorching scene she saw when she walked into the house the day before her mom left. Jill can't forgive her mom for destroying her family and her sense of what is right and wrong in her life.

So with Daniel, she can confide in him and tell him the whole truth of what happened. And she starts to really see Daniel for who he is. She tries to fix his crappy life that he was delt.

But in the end, Jill realizes that she can't help Daniel until she can help herself, and the only way to do that is to confront the two people who betrayed her trust the most.

This was a fantastic novel! I love Jill and I feel so much for her during this terrible summer she is going through. I couldn't even imagine how she is feeling. It must be very emotional for her. I loved that she was a tomboy and loves to work on cars! And that she is actually employed to work on cars and that she's not just "tinkering" or "playing" with them - she really knows what she is doing at age 16!

I'm so glad that I got to read this and I am definitely going to keep my eye out for more books by Abigail Johnson in the future!

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Review: Pretty Fierce

Pretty Fierce Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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

When I saw this book was available to read early, I fell in love with the synopsis and instantly downloaded the copy onto my Kindle. I was really excited to read about a daughter of two assassins because I was like, "She must be a badass!"

And Kaia is a badass for the majority of the book. She didn't blink when she found the hitman in her house and she didn't think twice about torturing him to find out why he was in her living room. Only when her very normal boyfriend Oliver walks in does she blink because now her two very opposite worlds are colliding and she's not sure how to fix it.

I liked how this novel did flash backs to Kaia's worst memory, making the story whole by the time the reader gets to the very end of the novel. The last time Kaia was on a hit mission with her parents was the last time she saw her parents. After that, she had to live with friends of her parents and have a normal life. Like going to high school. It was what Kaia wanted, but she wanted it with her parents with her.

The suspense and being with Kaia when she was trying to figure out why all of these different ethnicity of people are after her was very suspenseful and it was nice to learn with Kaia. There were a lot of surprises that happen throughout the novel that kept me interested in this book.

And the best part? It's a standalone! No sequel to pine over!

Also, even Oliver has some secrets under his belt that makes for a shocking surprise at the end of the novel!

Overall, I was very happy with this book and I'm glad that I got to read it early! I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more by this author!

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Defending Taylor

Defending Taylor Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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

I have loved this series since the beginning and was very excited to get this copy free to continuing with the series.

I do have to say, though, that I was not impressed with this particular book of the series. I didn't like Taylor that much and the way she just assumed things would work out for her really annoyed me. She knew her dad had a lot of power as the Senator and thought that she could use that power for her own good, when it really backfired in her face.

Another thing that I don't really like is when kids decide to do something to try to make everyone else in their life happy except for their own selves. Taylor was going to apply for college at a college she didn't really want to go to and major in a subject she absolutely hates just because she thought her family wanted her to do that. To have that pressure on one person is terrible and makes for a stressful life.

And the worst part is that Taylor next talked to her family about this struggle she was having, but just kept making assumptions of what was expected of her. I am the type of person that if something is bothering me, I will go to the source to get answers and talk through things. Life is too short to be wasting it on "what-if's" and "maybes". Do what you want to do and be happy, no matter if it upsets someone else.

There wasn't a whole lot about soccer in this novel, and the thing I love about Miranda Kenneally's novels is the sport aspect of the story. All of the other novels stuck with the sport related issues, but this novel was not focused on soccer like I thought it should be. I know there were more pressing issues at hand, but I still think it should have had a bit more overall.

So I thought this book was okay. It is definitely my least favorite out of the series, but I'm glad that I got a chance to read it and conclude the series (so far? I'm not sure if there are any more?)

I'll definitely be on the lookout for more novels by Miranda Kenneally!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: Coming Up for Air

Coming Up for Air Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

I am so happy that I was granted access to read this book early! Ever since I picked up Catching Jordan, I have loved this series so much and I love reading about all of the different sports. This one, being swimming, was no exception.

I am not a swimmer - can't even FLOAT - but reading Maggie's love for it made me excited for her (even though swimming terrifies me!). That is how I know that Miranda Kenneally is an amazing writer - she makes me want to join Maggie in on swimming even though I'd die if I got in a pool. But I am an athlete, so I get Maggie's dedication to do the best she can in her sport and to always try to beat herself.

Also, Maggie competing for the Olympics in swimming while she is in high school? Just craziness! I couldn't even imagine being that good that I could advance to the Olympics, so I was most definitely rooting for her the whole time.

I love Maggie's tradition of meeting with her friends every Friday night to make sure they see each other with their busy schedules. That shows how close they are. They are so busy in high school between swimming, cheerleading and baseball that they schedule a time for each other. I know they were worried that they would grow apart when they all went their own ways after they graduate, but if they are that determined in high school, they are going to be best friends for life and always find time for one another.

Maggie's proposition to Levi is hilarious. I think it was an excuse to hook up with him because she's secretly wanted to for awhile, but of course since we are reading from her perspective, we find out that's not the case. But it was obvious to everyone that they were meant to be with each other so no one was really surprised when the cat got out of the bag.

I seriously loved this so much. I need to read the previous book in the series (I realized I haven't yet! Yikes!), but this was an amazing ending to the Hundred Oaks series. The way it ended signified that it would be the last book? Am I the only one that got that feeling? If it is, it was amazing. If it wasn't, then I am of course excited for more. Either way, this could not have been a more perfect book and I am so glad that I was able to read it early!

I will definitely be recommending this to fans of Miranda Kenneally or fans of sports/romantic novels!

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: Amid Stars and Darkness

Amid Stars and Darkness Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

The synopsis of this book intrigued me right away, so I was very excited to get a chance to read this book and see if it was as good as the description - which is definitely was!

Delaney is just a normal human who wants to go home and relax. Instead, her best friend Miranna wants to go to a club to see the hot alien bartender who she has been talking to. Yep, alien. Earth is now habitated by two different alien species in order to keep the peace between everyone. So Delaney is dragged out to the club with her friend, and when she is walking to her car, she gets kidnapped. But an alien she's never met. Who keeps calling her Lissa Olena, but obviously that is not Delaney. The more she keeps telling him, the more he is sure she is just lying.

Only when Delaney gets taken to their planet and has an actual conversation with her kidnapper, who is Ander Rukus, does Rukus realize that he made a mistake and kidnapped a human girl and took her to his alien planet. Oh, and the best part? Delaney now looks like Olena, who is the PRINCESS of the alien planet she is now on. And who is BETROTHED to Zane Trystan, an alien prince of another alien planet.

Life just got very complicated for Delaney, who was excited to start college...

Now Delaney has to convince Trystan that she is Olena until they can get the real Olena back home. But Trystan and Olena hate each other - they hate the binding contract they are forced into and they can't stand one another. But to keep the peace for all planets - theirs and Earth - they have to marry. Delaney can understand why Olena wants to stay away - Trystan is not nice and is very conniving.

And to make matters even more complicated, Delaney is starting to see a different perspective of Rukus, who feels extremely guilty that he kidnapped the wrong person.

Delaney can't act like Olena. Olena is very cold, very childish, very spoiled, and Delaney always sticks up for what she wants. She doesn't back down and she's very confrontational. So it's very hard for her to act like Olena. No matter how much she looks like the princess, people around her are starting to look at her weird because her mannerisms are not like Olenas.

The goal is to fool everyone until the real Olena gets brought back, but with assassination attempts happening every day, Delaney is not sure how the end result will be...

This was actually a GREAT novel! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I loved Delaney - she is a tough chick and even though she has been thrown into a terrible, terrible situation, she still takes one for the team and does what needs to be done to keep the peace.

Unlike the real Olena... She is so spoiled and such a child that she doesn't care if her actions causes a war to end all species. And the way everyone acted, expected Olena to throw a fit or start crying... yeah she is a brat who only cares about herself. So I really dislike her.

Rukus is a sexy alien, so of course I'm all about Delaney being with him. He does have weird mood swings that would confuse the hell out of me, but I think I could handle it overall :)

And then there is Trystan. At first, I was with Delaney and though he was creepy and scary and I would stay away from him at all costs. But he started to change. He started to appreciate Delaney and her "new" attitude. I think he was really starting to like her and start to like the idea of being with "Olena", so he was definitely becoming more appealing. He was flirting and making Delaney all flustered, but still scared shitless.

I dunno... I'd have to say, seeing those two together would be very interesting to see, I think. I'm not sure if I'm Team Trystan or Team Rukus, but either one would definitely be steaming off of the pages!

I am so, so, so glad that I got to read this book. I was a bit annoyed that there is a cliffhanger at the end of this novel. I thought it was a standalone, so now I realize that I have to wait FOREVER to find out what happens next! But I will wait patiently and find out what will happen next for Delaney.

I think a lot of readers will really fall in love with this book and I will definitely recommend it to other readers who love mystery, suspense, romance and science fiction!

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