You Were Here by Cori McCarthy | ARC Book Review

Okay, so.. basically my immediate thought is that this cover deserves 5 STARS?! Just look at it. I wouldn’t mind having this on my shelf, you know. Just sayin’.

But lucky for me—and you, if you’re as swayed by the cover as I am—this book doesn’t just look pretty! Despite the difficulties I had at first to get into it, this book absolutely blew me away with its realistic, and complex characters, through various mediums of writing included, and its simple but truly entertaining storyline. Here’s what this book is all about:

You Were HereYou Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status: N/A—Stand-Alone
Page Count: 267
Source & Format: Publisher via Netgalley, ebook
Critical Rating: 4 stars (Really Good)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cori McCarthy delivers an emotionally taut page-turner from multiple points of view – combined with stunning illustrations.

Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and… Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change.

“You Were Here is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us-and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together.”-Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s and Read Between the Lines

“The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them—and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters’ stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!” —Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things

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Ahhh, so much to say here! I’ll be writing out this review in list form, between the things I loved and the things that I didn’t love so much. No spoilers, as usual, but if you’d rather just have the more vague and simple version of how I felt on this book, the ‘overall’ part would be good for you. Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy!

You Were Here book review

Things I Loved

  • Omg so many amazing 3-dimensional characters. I LOVED THEM. Gah. At first it took me a while to warm up to them?? (You know me, I can be an incredibly paranoid-of-disappointment and unemotional chocolate bar at times. I know, I know, I’m working on it.) But anyway, I loved them all by the end of it—some more than others. We get all their POVs in this book (though two out of five of them aren’t exactly in the most conventional way). Because I’m a very helpful minion, here’s a little rundown of what I loved of each of the main(ish) characters.
    • Jaycee: The protagonist of the novel, Jaycee was a blunt, reckless, flawed and oh-so-imperfectly perfect character! There were so many times where I went shaking my head and crying out in exasperation at her thoughts and actions, yet I found myself really emotionally drawn to her throughout the story.
    • Natalie: Jaycee’s former best friend, Natalie wasn’t that much of a big deal to me at first. She just seemed like a super bossy and uptight teen that I didn’t care that much about. But as I read more of the story, she developed so much more and she proved to be a strong and well-written character.
    • Jake: Like Natalie, I didn’t think much of him at first. He seemed kind of like the comic relief, and nothing else? But he too, went through so much development! As I continued to read the story, I saw more of who he truly was, layers that I was able to keep peeling away, which was AWESOME.
    • Bishop: The thing with Bishop, is that while we get his POV, it’s different because it’s not exactly his thoughts we see, as text. Bishop is a fan of graffiti, and throughout the book we get several of the things he graffiti-ed. The idea as a whole was great, but I didn’t get as much of a grasp on his character.
    • Mik(ivikious): Okay, so first of all: I LOVE THE NAME. (It’s a nickname, off his last name.) And I really did enjoy his character, so yay! His perspective was drawn out as comic strips (which was fabulous), though his character was revealed more through the plot and the other characters.
  • The multiple POVs in this book were so absolutely delightful to read. As I mentioned, we get the perspectives of all the above characters, though Bishop and Mik’s POVs were not like the others. Jaycee’s perspective was the only one in first person; Natalie’s and Jake’s were in third person. I absolutely loved how it all played out! Everything transitioned so perfectly and the multiple POVs weren’t confusing and instead helped give insight on the many characters of this book.
  • This book had so many amazing themes. Like, seriously. From grief to friendships to change and familial relationships, You Were Here handled it all seamlessly and it was so great to read about such lovely themes. I especially liked:
    • Jaycee and Natalie’s friendship. At the start of the book, they’ve drifted apart to the point where they hardly speak, but through the events of the novel, their bond and the way they interact as they become a part of eachother’s lives was so great to read about.
    • And so many other great themes! Sorry I’m lazy.
  • The descriptions. Many (if not all) of the places the characters visited in this book are actually real places, I’ve found, and it was so cool to have such a clear picture of said place as I read the book. And yes, afterwards I did search up some of the places. Ahhh my wanderlust kicked in there! Though seriously, it was super cool.
  • Ummmm I feel like I’m missing something, ugh. I dunno. But these were definitely the high points!

Things That Disappointed Me

  • At times I felt as if the whole theme of the book kind of distracted by the romance? Yet the romance wasn’t the focus either. And it was still a good experience? But maybe it could’ve better if the romance part wasn’t the total focus. Maybe? Possibly? Soooo. Confusion ensues here.
  • Despite all the awesome-sauce feelings I had while reading this book, I find myself unable to get a clear, memorable picture of it in my head, despite having read it only a few months ago? I dunno. Maybe it’s a ME problem, and not the book, but.. I feel like I should be able to remember it more fondly and more clearly than I do right now?? Interpret that as you wish, lol, I know that made no sense.

Overall…

Entertainment-wise, this book is absolutely fabulous! Although it took me a while to warm up to it and finish it, as I went further into the novel I was hooked and it was only due to lack of time that I didn’t finish it sooner. And from a critical aspect, not so shabby either! Great characters, engaging writing, and a good plot that kept me interested throughout the story. I’m glad I continued on with this book despite my first impressions! This book is way more than just a pretty cover, I assure you. You Were Here releases tomorrow, March 1st! Be sure to keep your eye out for it if you haven’t already. 🙂


Aaaaand, I think that’s a wrap! Tell me your thoughts; what do you think of this book? What are some of your favourite books you’ve encountered with great characters? YA books with illustrations? Are you a fan of multiple POV books? Do you plan on reading this book?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! ❤ Happy reading! I hope your Monday isn’t too terrible. LOL.

Until the Next Meal, Analee

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The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling | Book Review

(Stand-Alone)

Published: June 12th 2015

Synopsis:

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Genre(s): Young-adult, fantasy, fairytale retelling

Page Count: 452

Format: e-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Hello everyone! Today I have for you a review on The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling, an awesome Cinderella fairytale retelling. It is honestly one of the best and one of the most unique retellings I have ever read, and I loved it. After all those fairytale retellings out there, you’d think that there aren’t many new ideas out there, but this book definitely throws those notions out of the water.

Quick Summary

Kat is your resident bookworm who loves to read (obviously). One day, while cleaning her attic, she accidentally rips an old Cinderella fairytale book and is transported inside the story, where she is told that she is required to complete the story in order to get back home. Thing is, Kat isn’t Cinderella. Nope, she’s the ugly stepsister, named Katriona Bradshaw. She must get the prince to fall in love with Cinderella… but problems arise when she starts to fall in love with the prince herself.

Plot

Ahh this plot was simply wonderful! It was full of twists and turns that I loved and couldn’t get enough of. The pacing was fast, and I loved how everything fit together so nicely. There was the main plot (Kat trying to get the prince and Cinderella together so she could go home to where she belongs) and then there were various subplots, other things that happened along the way that made the storyline even stronger. The plot of the novel is just so unique in itself, it was double the fun in reading the book and trying to guess at what might happen.

The only thing I have to say is that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. I totally understood why the author had to make it that way, but I couldn’t—still can’t—fully accept it. That being said, it’s a pretty bitter-sweet kind of ending and not exactly what I was hoping for, but the rest of the story still makes it worth reading. The journey more than the destination, you know? And it isn’t terrible ending, it’s quite subjective really. Overall, the plot was totally unique and an awesome adventure!

Characters

“Books open new worlds to me.”

Let’s move on to the characters. Kat, the protagonist, was amazing. Not only was she a totally awesome bookworm, she seemed realistic and it was just lots of fun seeing her attempt to adjust in a new world, and so easy to relate to her as she struggled to do so. I could also totally see a lot of my bookworm tendencies in her and that was a wonderful touch.

“Okay Kat. This is Story World, for heaven’s sake, so get a grip on yourself. You’ve no business drooling over storybook characters.”

Replace Kat with Analee and that’s basically what I have to tell myself whenever I’m transported into a wonderful story and fall in love with the characters. (AKA, all the time!) 😉

Apart from Kat’s general relatability and bookishness, I loved her development. From a shy but likeable and kind of awkward bibliophile, she becomes a strong, independant and confident female character who I not only liked, but admired. She becomes more outspoken, and more sure of herself, and I loved seeing that in her.

I also really liked the love interest, the prince, Edward. But, I won’t lie, not as much as I did Kat. But that didn’t make him a bad character. He liked to read and owned a huge library which he allowed Kat to use (which reminded me a lot of Dorian from Throne of Glass, lol.) He’s a really good person, but at first, I really had trouble getting the image of the Edward from Twilight out of my head. I mean, come on, I’m sure all of you reading this right now was thinking about it. I don’t hate Edward by any means, but I really didn’t want to associate this character with him, for which reason I’m glad that I was able to identify him as his own person later on in the book.

And although there are some similarities between the two (mainly the temper) I really liked seeing how the story wasn’t affected that much by it. He was caring and a really sweet guy, who I think I kind of fell for by the end of the book. 🙂 The romance between him and Kat was quite cute and well balanced; just enough of it to keep readers satisfied and wanting more at the same time. So, basically, I’m trying to say although there are similarities between this Edward and Twilight’s Edward, they’re not too many and overall I really liked him.

There are several secondary characters in this, but there isn’t much to say about them since we don’t get too much of them in-depth since the story is told mostly from Kat’s 1st person POV, which didn’t leave much space for other characters to be as developed as her and Edward. I did really like Henry and Elle (Cinderella) though, who both play important roles in the book and are quite nice.

Writing Style

The writing style is perfect for this story! The writing really reflected both Kat’s humor and personality, which was lots of fun to read. It was fast paced to reflect the pace of the story, but it wasn’t too rushed and was simple but still very significant and beautiful.

Overall…

This is a book you definitely can’t miss if you like fairytale retellings—and unique ones at that! I haven’t read all the Cinderella fairytale retellings out there, but this one is definitely unlike most of them out there, in a good way. I mean, how many times have you read a retelling told from the POV of the ugly stepsister? And although this book didn’t follow the original fairytale that much, it was totally able to pull off a fresh concept wonderfully. Though the ending is quite subjective, the plot itself is full of twists and turns and a great story with a cute romance. The main character Kat is relatable and a wonderful person who goes through a lot of development—which is great. Edward, the love interest, is quite sweet and likeable, and not a replica of Edward from Twilight, fortunately. (Although if you have a major hate thing going on with Edward, I suggest you proceed with caution.) The writing style is also spot-on for this story and I loved it! All in all, this book was fantastic and I really liked it. I imagine you would too if you like retellings and romance—but we’d never know if you don’t try! I definitely recommend you give this book a shot.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought! And even if you haven’t, I’d love to know what you think of this book; want to read or not interested? Have you read any retellings told from the POV of the stepsister? (‘Cause I honestly would love to know! :P)

A tasty meal for sure! Gobble it up. 

Analee 10

 

Pepped Up by Ali Dean | Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Pepper Jones #1)

Published: August 25th 2013

Synopsis:

Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.

Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town — and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.


Pepped Up_bookcover
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My Rating: 3 stars 3/5 (Decent)

Book Information

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Page Count: 238

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Welcome to my review stop of the first book in the Pepper Jones series, Pepped Up by Ali Dean!

Note: I received a free digital copy thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This doesn’t affect my review in any way.

Pepped Up is a fun, light-hearted contemporary novel that I liked. I wasn’t particularly attached to the main character and the pace was a bit slow for my taste, but overall it’s a good book that will keep you entertained.

Plot

Before anything, I have to say that this book is not at all for readers who dislike love triangles. I tend to be wary of them myself, but I don’t avoid them (not like I can even if I wanted to, seeing how basically all books these days have love triangles). I mean, there are love triangles that turn out to be entertaining, you know? Sadly, this one wasn’t one of them. I feel as if the book was dominated by the love triangle, and instead of being entertaining, in the first half of the novel, I found myself being annoyed at the lack of substance. However, once I took the plot a bit less seriously and just focused on what it’s like in terms of reading about it, I did like the story. It was a relatively light read and it ended up being an entertaining read. That being said, there was one thing that kind of had me a bit iffy about, which was the fact that there were more mature themes in this book than I was expecting. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I suppose since I wasn’t at all expecting such themes in this book, it threw me off.

What I liked most about the plot was the sports theme in this book. It’s not often that I find YA books about sports or with sport-related themes that turn out to be entertaining, and I really liked that aspect of the book. Most of the sports themes had to do with running, and although I’m a terrible runner, it was interesting reading from the perspective of a characters who loved to run and was great at it too.

“This right here is what I live for. The steady rhythm of my feet landing softly on dirt.”

Characters

I have a love-hate thing going on with Pepper. On one hand I like her attitude towards running, the fact that she’s willing to push herself and hold back when needed so she can do the best she can. She’s relatively disciplined and I liked her character, for the most part. On the other hand, what got on my nerves was her tendency to pine after Jace (who’s a complete jerk) and the fact that despite being smart, she couldn’t see the obvious (like so many other YA characters out there). I just couldn’t understand it and it ended up being annoying.

The main love interest, Jace, is who really bugged me. Sure, he had some nice moments, but overall I couldn’t see why Pepper was so into him and there was no depth to him much. I felt as if the only reason people were into him was because he was attractive, which is a bummer because he had the potential to be a real great character. Ryan, the other love interest, was better, there seemed to actually be more to him compared to Jace.

Writing Style

The writing style is one of the best parts of the novel. I would’ve hardly have guessed that this was a debut novel, because the writing had a lot of skill behind it that you wouldn’t expect to see in debuts. I did find the pace to be a bit slow, but that is considering my own taste, I would say for the majority the pace is completely adequate. One thing I was not a big fan of was the ending, because although it’s not technically a cliffhanger, it does leave something missing and felt rushed to me. I’m assuming more will be answered in the next books though.

“I want to capture the exhilaration and peace flowing through my veins, pulsing through my soul. Who needs a vice when you can attain an utter sense of being alive with such simple ingredients?”

-Pepper, about running

Overall…

This contemporary romance debut is more of a hit-or-miss. It wasn’t completely my cup of tea, but it was an entertaining read all the same, despite the more negative side of this book. The plot could’ve been handled better and the characters could’ve had more depth, but if you like love triangles and contemporary romance, this isn’t a bad book to try out. The writing is great, and I really enjoyed the running descriptions. All in all, a decent YA (with mature themes) contemporary romance with sport themes and a love triangle, Pepped Up is the first in a trilogy I have a good chance of continuing. (If only to get a better ending.)

An adequate meal! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! 

Analee 10


Ali_AUTHOR BIO:

Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.

Author links: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


INT Giveaway – $10 Amazon gift card + a signed copy of any book in the Pepper Jones series (ends August 27th)

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Like Candy by Debra Doxer | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Candy #1)

Published: July 28th 2015

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romance, Mystery, Young Adult

Page Count: 258

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Welcome to my review tour stop of Like Candy by Debra Doxer, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital eARC of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

Like Candy was an entertaining romance and mystery (mostly romance)! I know the genres include ‘mystery’ but really the majority of the book was romance, or that’s how it felt like. It wasn’t ’till I reached near the end of the book where my heart was really beating because of the mystery, my toes curled in anticipation to see what will happen next. Although this was misleading and kind of threw me off, I really enjoyed this book nonetheless.

Plot

The plot was kind of a surprise to me, mostly because from the blurb, I was expecting some kick-butt action from the main character, Candy, but instead got a girl with no skills other than to be able to manipulate and pull pranks on people who’ve wronged her. I also think it could’ve been better executed, it had the potential to be both a contemporary romance as well as a mystery and spy novel, and sometimes that clashed. That being said, the plot was still very entertaining. Despite what I just said about the two genres clashing, I really enjoyed the fact that while we were led to believe the book was all romance by the first part, there were little twists and turns here and there that made the storyline more engaging and unexpected. A lot of the book did focus on the romance between Candy and Jonah, though, so beware of that. Although the plot wasn’t exactly what I expected, I liked the way things turned out, even though the expected cliffhanger at the end has me cursing that I can’t yet read the next book. 🙂

Characters

Candy herself was an interesting character, one for which I have conflicted feelings toward. On one hand, her manipulative attitude, and actions, instead of coming off as badass, as she says herself, at times felt plain mean and petty,and rude for no reasonNot to mention throughout the book she hardly showed any assassin or badass skills at all, which was kind of disappointing. On the other hand, I did understand why she acted the way she did, and found it intriguing, as twisted that may sound. All she really wanted was her father’s approval, the one thing she never seems to be able to get. Her father is often cold and distant, which frustrated me because Candy deserved more, from her father, at least. She was, no matter how much of a strong, assassin kind of character she claimed to be, still really innocent and with no mother and a pretty bad childhood, she wanted, no, needed her father to be proud of her. I understood that, it really made her character, although sometimes hard to like, easier to sympathize with, because a parent’s approval is something we’ve all wanted some time or another, am I right?

As for the other characters, they shined less brightly than Candy, obviously, except for Jonah and Candy’s father. But starting with Jonah, the love interest. I can’t exactly say what I liked most about him, but I did like his character.

“I wish I was the first guy you fell for. Then maybe the shadows in your eyes wouldn’t be there, and when I told you how beautiful you are, you’d believe me. You make me want to erase those shadows and chase away the memories that put them there, because every day that you don’t realize how amazing you are is a tragedy in my book.”

He was definitely swoon-worthy! And hidden inside him there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets which added both depth to his character and more uncertainty that kept me engaged in the story.

As for Candy’s father, I was quite frustrated with him in the way he treated Candy, both hot and cold moods (generally cold) but his character really intrigued me. By the end of the novel we hardly knew anything more about him than when we started (which was kind of irksome, to be honest) and he was in a cloud of mystery. He has a lot of potential to be a crucial part in the story, and I’m really interested in seeing how he will turn out to be.

Writing Style

The writing style was great! I couldn’t stop reading, everything flowed seamlessly, and there were often parts of the book where it was like reading poetry without actually reading poetry, if that makes any sense.

“As I watched my mother fade and my father grieve, my inability to do anythings sat like a weight on my chest, growing heavier each day until something as simple as breathing hurt. All I could do was stand by while everything fell apart, and no matter how much I wished for things to get better, they never did.”

Although novels written in first person is sometimes a hit or miss kind of thing, in this book, I really felt Candy’s emotions, her feelings, really clearly and the writing was executed very well for the story. It was steamy in some places, mysterious in others, cute in several places. All arranged nicely to really show Candy’s feelings.

Overall…

This book felt more like a ‘hit or miss’ to me. You either like it or you don’t. The plot was an interesting combination of both mystery and romance, while most of the book focuses on the romance, there is more to it that keeps you engaged in the story. I’ll be looking forward to the second book, especially after the cliffhanger in this book! I’m also interested in seeing more of Candy’s development. She was fine in this book, however there are several things about her that I think I was supposed to enjoy, but instead I found came off as shallow and unmoral, and which might be delved into more in the sequel. I did really sympathize with her and understood her though, which is a plus in the reading experience. The secondary characters weren’t the greatest, but both Jonah and Candy’s father had a lot of depth to them and have the potential to be great characters in the sequel. The writing was easy to read, seamlessly flowing and really helping to get the readers acquainted with the way Candy thought. All in all, this book was quite enjoyable and I liked it!

This book will have you gobbling it up like candy! Eat it quickly!

Analee 10


Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway -$50 Amazon gift card and an ebook of Like Candy
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Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid | Book Review

(Pretty Dark Nothing #1)

Published: April 23rd 2013

Synopsis:

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: Month9Books

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Young-Adult

Page Count:

Format: ebook


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes. This does not at all affect my opinion or review.

Hello! Today I have a review on Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid, an interesting YA paranormal romance. This book had several cliché elements, but I really liked the storyline of this book. The main character, while not likeable to everyone, is still a good character, albeit flawed.

Plot

“A creeping cold inched its way across her exposed skin, dotting her flesh with goose bumps. Something dark and sinister played against the dead weight of her sleeping body from the other side of the headboard. The wood shuddered and groaned as something evil reached out, searching for the portal that would open with a deep sleep. Quinn’s breath quickened with the thought of what was coming, but it was too late. She was helpless, already suspended in a state of horror between waking and dreaming and no energy left to fight.”

I really liked the whole idea of the plot. It was creative and unique and put a different spin on demons that I enjoyed. I wasn’t a huge fan of the love drama Quinn goes through in the midst of it all, but I did like the paranormal aspect of it. I mean, I have read other books with demons and it, and this book portrayed them with a ‘feeding on negativity‘ thing that I don’t see often in other books.

Characters

So starting off with Quinn, the main protagonist. I will admit, she isn’t a character I usually care for. I found her to be weak and annoying several times throughout the story, which may be even more intensified for some of you, if you really can’t stand these kind of characters. However, I did actually like her. Well, the word like might be too strong of a word, but I at least sympathized with her, and while I did not completely approve of her choices, I understood them. You see, if you looked at the story from a distance, Quinn seems needy, clingy, and obsessed with her ex, Jeff. In fact, these were my initial thoughts about her, but at a closer inspection, I understood her reluctance to let go, her need for someone to be there for her because no one else is. I understood why she did the things she did; it was out of her control and in the end, I couldn’t exactly blame her for that. She was flawed, but I didn’t find her to be bad because of those flaws, instead, they helped add depth to her character.

We also get the POV of the love interest, Aaron. While the addition of Jeff in the story technically makes him a second love interest, Jeff never really was a true love interest. Quinn thought she loved him (for a good chunk of the book, admittedly) but she realized afterwards she didn’t. Anyway, Aaron, I really liked; he was sweet and nice and definitely didn’t deserve what Quinn put him through. His dedication to Quinn despite it all is heartwarming, although kind of frustrating at times. But ultimately, I ship them.

Writing Style

“Within seconds, she hit the cold, hard earth, knocking the wind out of her. She gasped. The familiar smell of damp and decay warned of where the darkness had taken her.”

The writing style was interesting too. I especially looked forward the parts where the author was describing the scenes with the demons, because I liked the descriptions and the mood she created; mysterious and dark. It was often very suspenseful, and that’s what I think was the best part of the writing.

Overall…

I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a book with an interesting take on demons. There is a love triangle in this one, but it’s a more different kind of one, less prominent, I would say. Although the main character might be an issue for some, I really liked Quinn’s character, although she’s can be very uncertain and comes off as needy at times, there are other factors that add depth to her character. The writing style is great, very suspenseful and intriguing. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, this is something you shouldn’t pass up!

Want a taste? It’s pretty dark, but it’s definitely not nothing! (Lol. [Bad] pun intended.)

Analee 10

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak | ARC Book Review

(The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)

Expected Publication: August 4th 2015

Synopsis:

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Ali Novak wrote her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old, and has since penned her next book, The Heartbreakers. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, her second novel has over 38 million reads and is loved by readers around the world.


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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Young-Adult

Page Count: 336

Format: ebook


Note: I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello! Today I have for you a review on The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak. This book was amazing! I had to stay up late to finish this, it was that good. And I’m glad I did! This book is the perfect summer read, great to simply have fun, relax, and just get caught up in a cute romance.

Quick Summary

Stella would do anything for her sister, Cara, who is dying from cancer. Even standing in line for a signing from a world-famous band whose music Stella hates, The Heartbreakers, since her sister’s a die-hard fan. Stella had no idea when she met a cute guy in Starbucks that he was Oliver Perry, the lead singer of The Heartbreakers, and he had no idea that she was one of the only people who hated his music. As they get the chance to get to know eachother, Stella finds he’s not a bad guy. But how could Stella think of dating and spending time with Oliver when her sister is dying?Read More »

Deception So Dark by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #2)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 4-6— Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Deception So Dark is the complete second novel in the Run to You series, a riveting thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

With no more secrets to keep them apart, Tessa and Tristan embark upon a desperate search to find her missing brother and sister. But not even Tristan can keep Tessa safe from the hostile classmates at her new school…or from the nightmare that haunts her even while she’s awake. As Tessa’s nightmare becomes all too real, her hope of getting her family back together feels ever more out of reach. When a psychic warns her that leaving town may mean her death, Tessa still cannot stay when she uncovers a potential lead to her brother and sister. Not even if she must go alone and risk losing it all: Tristan, her family, and even her life.

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


 Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

Hello fellow bookworms! I have for you now the review on the sequel to Deception So Deadly, Deception So Dark. (You can check out the review to Deception So Deadly here.) This book, was even more mind-blowing than its predecessor, if that’s even possible. Although there are a few things I liked better in the first book, this book took me on an unforgettable roller coaster and I really enjoyed it. (I’ll be skipping the quick summary this time, by the way.)

Plot

The plot, the plot. It picks up from where the first one ended, and at the start, I will admit I wasn’t convinced that this book would be able to impress me. But I shouldn’t have doubted it, because this book instead brought a organized mashup of plot twists, interesting ideas and cliffhangers. I say organized mashup because while it was all sorts of things mixed together, it was done in a calculated and organized manner, which means the plot twists and cliffhangers weren’t all over the place or anything, just like the first book. Everything was done, I felt, to a certain purpose, and it was really well delivered.

Characters

In the first book I really got attached to the characters, and reading this book was great because I didn’t have to go through the trouble of getting to know them and worrying about whether I like them or not. Tessa, our heroine, made a lot more mistakes in this book than in Deception So Deadly (which seems to be a common theme in YA books, I think) but luckily I still managed to really like her. I suppose it was because I understood her needs and why she did what she did, and a part of me approved of her decision, and admired her for it, no matter how risky and unintelligent it was. No character is perfect, right? As far as flaws go, Tessa’s weren’t bad, and didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of her character.

As for where Tristan is concerned, I still really liked him! I loved seeing how much he truly, sincerely loved Tessa, it was beautiful. What bothered me about him was mostly because he was a bit too obsessed with keeping Tessa safe, and had a bruised ego when he couldn’t. I guess I admire his love for Tessa, but it got on my nerves a bit afterwards. However, in essence, I wasn’t truly upset with him, especially after all he does for Tessa. All in all, the characters were fantastic.

Writing Style

The writing style didn’t change much as far as I could see from the first book, luckily, since it was gripping, engaging and easy to read! I really enjoyed the writing style, it made my reading experience better than it already was by being simple, but gripping and interesting from the very first page.

Overall…

I enjoyed this book so much! Even more than the first book, which I didn’t think would be possible. The plot was a lot more suspenseful in this one, although I think the first book is more fast-paced. I completely fell in love with the characters all over again, and really admired Tessa, sympathizing with her as well. I also really loved the romance in this book; it was sweet, strong and true, I loved how no matter what, Tessa and Tristan’s love stayed sincere and prevailed. The writing was great, just as gripping and interesting as it was in the first book. All in all, this book is one I would recommend you don’t miss if you’re interested in reading a YA romantic thriller!

Analee 10

Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #1)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 1-3: First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm.

Deception So Deadly is the complete first novel in the two-book Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

This book was so good! Full of romance and mystery, this book is one you don’t want to miss. In a nutshell, I really loved the thriller aspect of this and the plot twists were great!

Quick Summary

Tessa Carson’s psychically gifted family has been on the run ever since a man named Dennis Connelly burst into their house and tried to kill them. Now they keep moving from place to place, keeping their identities secret. They can’t even ask anyone for help either, because when they do, those people mysteriously die, presumedly because of Dennis Connelly.
In their new town, Tessa meets Tristan, but doesn’t want to get too involved with him—he’s not even allowed to know what’s her true identity, so what’s the point? But Tristan is determined to know more, and Tessa can’t help but fall for him…

Plot

The plot was just great! I admit, I wasn’t that into it at first, but once I kept reading, I got really into it. I loved the idea of having psychic powers (first of all, who wouldn’t want those kind of powers? and secondly, they make all stories so much cooler!) and I really liked the whole idea of the book; a family on the run and all. Everything was set up very well, the plot wasn’t all over the place or anything, and there were plenty of plot twists and cliffhangers to keep readers on the edge of their seats! Of course, some of the plot twists can be considered predictable, I guess the only reason they weren’t for me was because I didn’t want to believe what I already saw coming. 😛 Nonetheless, this book was full of suspense and mystery, and I really enjoyed the romance too.

Characters

I just loved the characters; Tessa was just such a sweetheart! Being the only one in her family without a psychic gift, Tessa never fit in, not even in her own family. While her siblings thrive at school, wherever they go, Tessa struggles to keep up. This feeling of isolation, this feeling of being different, I sympathized with, and that made it quite easy for me to connect with her and like her. I really loved Tessa’s character; she may be considered naive by some, but I found her to be realistic. I didn’t approve of all her decisions, but I loved reading about them all the same. By the end of the novel (when all hell breaks loose) I was really hurting for Tessa, I had grown so attached to her that I felt her pain, and my emotions were all over the place.

The love interest, Tristan, was great too. I absolutely loved seeing his relationship with Tessa grow, and how natural it seemed. I could genuinely believe in the romance, and totally rooted for it too. He was simply so sweet and understanding, his interactions with Tessa was something I looked forward to the most.

Clara Kensie did a great job of having me emotionally invested in the characters, which made tragic and shocking events in the story have a greater impact, as I cared so much for the characters. It was great!

Writing Style

The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading it, and I really enjoyed it. Written in the perspective of Tessa in the first person, the writing style allowed me to clearly see Tessa’s feelings, which in turn allowed me to strongly sympathize with her. The writing style was very subtle, I was able to picture everything without having to be told what everything was like. All in all, the writing was great and simply added to my overall reading experience.

Overall…

This book was a great read, you’d never be able to tell from the cover or the beginning of the story how great it really is, but it really is. This book honestly had my heart clenched in a fist or something. The plot was hooking, and I especially enjoyed the psychic part of the whole family-being-on-the-run. I really loved the characters; I sympathized with them, and really connected with them, even though in essence I have nothing in common with them. They (or more specifically, Tessa) was simply likeable. The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading the book and the writing style made the experience quite memorable! I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an addictive, fast-paced romantic thriller, filled with plot twists and unique ideas. 

What do you think of this book? Interesting or no? Let me know in the comments below! 

A meal of Deception and So Deadly, coming right up! You can take it to go.

Analee 10

All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

(Stand-Alone)

Published: June 15th 2015

Synopsis:

The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them…everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions’ path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn’t stand the most? Yeah, he’s her new housemate.

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Contemporary, Young-Adult

Page Count: 329

Format: e-book

Purchase:

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Welcome to my review tour stop of All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes thanks to YA Bound Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

Boy, am I glad I read this! This was a great contemporary novel, full of humour, romance and simply wonderful characters! The book is actually based from the Japanese manga series named Hana yori Dango or Boys Over Flowers.

Quick Summary

All I’ve Never Wanted follows Maya Lindberg, a high school student who has no interest in the Scions, her school’s most popular guys; Zack Perry, Carlo Tevasco, Parker Remington, and their leader, Roman Fiori. But after an unintentional mistake, Maya now has so much more than what she’s ever wanted.

Plot

Oh my god, I just completely fell in love with this plot. It was simply so addicting, and I had so much fun reading it! There was plenty of humour, romance and simply that touch of special that made me want to keep reading, at all times. What I especially loved was the comedic aspect of it. The author has a great sense of humour! I usually don’t laugh out loud reading books (I do have a sense of humour though! Or at least, I like to think. LOL.) but I did reading this one. Not to mention the fake-boyfriend idea. I haven’t read many books with the fake-boyfriend thing, to be honest, the ones I mostly remember are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han [review], and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West [review]. But now I can add this one to the list! And this book put a twist on it too. Well, you can kind of expect the twist, but still. It was different. To me, anyway.
All in all, the plot was great! I loved it.

Characters

Ahhhh the characters were the best part for me, I think. I simply fell in love with each and every one of them! Although I have to admit, I did get a few Twilight flashbacks in how the characters were set up. The Scions are kind of like the Cullens, you know? Rich, attractive, mysterious and all. Not to mention Roman’s temper definitely matches Edward. And Adriana, one of the Scions’ sister, reminded me a lot of Alice Cullen.
But Maya, while she’s technically in the role of Bella, she wasn’t. At all. Maya was totally awesome; smart, sarcastic, witty and rebellious, and she just cracked me up! She made stupid mistakes, sure, and her jealousy in some parts of the book might get on your nerves, but she’s not one of those girls who just let people (the Scions) push her around, and I loved her strong nature. It was great to see her develop over the course of the book, and it was so easy to connect with her, even though we don’t actually have as much in common. Maya was simply likeable. You just had to like her. At least, I did.

The Scions were awesome too. I especially liked Carlo and Parker, as well as Roman and Zack. Carlo was simply so nice and sweet! I can smile just of thinking of him, he does such nice things for Maya and is simply great. Parker… he’s one of those guys. The players. But he’s still super awesome, and I loved how he just went along with everything, no questions asked. I smile just of thinking about him too. Really, I smile thinking of all the Scions, but that’s besides the point. Roman is a jerk, I’ll tell you that. We get chapters in his POV, and at first, I really felt like chucking him with a baseball bat all the way to… Africa or something. Or maybe Antarctica. We’ll see how he survives there. His temper sometimes got on my nerves, and his jealousy was kind of annoying… but still sweet too. But by the end of the book, I’m happy to say I really liked him! It was great seeing him change his attitude. Lastly, Zack! He was really funny, his light, care-free personality really made me smile, almost all the time.

As for the other characters, I just loved Maya’s grandmother! She was hilarious, I burst out laughing in several of her scenes. She was just too funny. XD Maya’s friend Venice was great too, I liked how supportive she was of Maya.

Writing Style

All I’ve Never Wanted is in 3rd person, generally in Maya’s POV. There are also some chapters in several of the Scions’ POVs. I liked this set-up, as it kind of gave different perspectives that were both interesting to read. I wouldn’t say the writing style is for everyone, but I did really enjoy it, it was easy to read, flowed nicely and kept me hooked into the story. I will definitely be looking into more stuff from this author! 🙂

Overall…

All I’ve Never Wanted was such a great contemporary story! I haven’t watched the Japanese manga series this book was based on, (called Hana yori Dango, or, Boys Over Flowers) due to lack of time, mostly, but I’d really like to! Although I’m kind of glad I didn’t, as it gave me a chance to read this book without having my mind automatically compare to it. I loved the fake-boyfriend idea in this book, along with the awesome characters. This book did give me some Twilight vibes, but I assure you, for Twilight-haters, it wasn’t bad at all. Maya was a wonderful protagonist; witty, smart and sarcastic, what more could you ask for? The writing style was really good too, which was an added bonus. All in all, if you’re looking for a book with humour, a witty protagonist, great characters and a cute and hot romance, this book is definitely for you. I’m so glad I read this book!

Hungry? Well you should be! You simply have to gobble it up, it’s all you’ve ever wanted.

Analee 10


About the Author:

Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on Wattpad, primarily writes Young Adult and Romance. She started writing her first novel, All I’ve Never Wanted, when she was sixteen; it was originally inspired by the Asian manga Hana Yori Dango (also known as Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flowers). Her second novel, If We Ever Meet Again, was loosely based on her own study abroad experiences in college. Her stories currently have a combined view of over 20 million on Wattpad.

Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys politics, brunch, and traveling.

Author Links:

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Unleashed by Liz Coley | Book Review

(Tor Maddox #1)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: LC Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, thriller

Page Count: 306

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Hi! Today I have for you a review on Unleashed, the first book in the Tor Maddox series by Liz Coley. To be quite honest, I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting from this book, but I’m happy to say whatever my expectations were, they were met. Unleashed is a fun, interesting book that all dog-lovers will find enjoyable!

Quick Summary

When man’s best friend are found to be the holders of the New Flu, a deadly virus that can be transmitted from dogs to humans, everyone is buying into the government’s propaganda—except for Torrance Olivia Maddox (AKA Tor), who discovers the truth before any other citizen. What started off as a fight to keep her dog turns into the ultimate battle to save all the dogs in the country before it’s too late.Read More »

Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades | Book Review

(Crystal Frost #1)

Published: March 13th 2015

Synopsis:

Crystal Frost has spent her whole life believing she’s ordinary, and her mother has long held the secret of her heritage. When Crystal begins seeing the ghost of a dead classmate, her life spirals out of control. She’s faced with the threat that everyone will find out she’s a freak, as if the struggle to figure out her new-found abilities wasn’t enough pressure. Crystal has to find some way to save the people who have come to her for help all while trying to keep her abilities a secret. Will she be able to fulfill these overwhelming demands while solving the mystery that is the ghost of Olivia Owen?


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: PaperPlane Publishing

Genre(s): Young-adult, paranormal

Page Count: 244

Format: e-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Hi there! Today I have a book review on Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades, an interesting paranormal book involving ghosts.

Quick Summary

When Crystal Frost finds out she’s psychic, her whole world spins out of control, especially when the ghost of a dead classmate, Olivia, appears to her, asking her to help someone. All the while Crystal must make sure no one finds out about her special abilities. Will Crystal be able to solve the mystery of Olivia, and stay on top of it all?Read More »

Zaria Fierce & the Secret of Gloomswood Forest by Keira Gillett | Book Review

(Zaria Fierce Trilogy #1)

Published: March 6, 2015

Synopsis:

On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.


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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Keira Gillett

Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan

Genre(s): Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy

Pade Count: 224

Format: E-book


This book was used for the Popsugar challenge: A book set in a place you always wanted to visit.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hi! I have another review for y’all, this time on Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomswood Forest by Keira Gillett, in case you haven’t already figured that out. It’s a middle-grade fantasy novel with a great plot and writing style! The characters were also very interesting. All in all, a solid 4 stars.

Quick Summary

13 year-old Zaria Fierce has always loved to read fantasy novels. Fantasy becomes reality when she meets a river troll, Olaf, who she finds to have taken her best friend Cristoffer. In order to get him back, she agrees on a risky deal to get him back, and she and her friends set off.Read More »

Jaded Little Lies by Christina Channelle | Book Review

(Four Letters #1)

Published: May 15th 2015

Synopsis:

What do you do when the love of your life is halfway across the world?

If you’re Jade Reamer, you fill that void with writing depressing song lyrics, hanging out with asshole exes, and re-reading your dead best friend’s diary (morbid, anyone?). But she’s got a lot to deal with—getting to know her biological family, for one. Not to mention getting through her first year of university without her best friend, Nina, by her side.

Then there are the men in Jade’s life. Her ex, Connor, has baggage coming out of his ass since the car accident. Her brother, Bryn, thinks stifling who he really is while pretending everything’s okay … is okay. When that’s far from the truth. And Reed? Reed decides the best way for Jade to deal with his absence is to get her a dog. And when he finally comes back?

Well, things aren’t exactly the same.

Deciphering between love and hate is the least of Jade’s problems …those four letter words are getting more and more complicated. Especially when she and Reed are keeping secrets from each other. Because as she forms new relationships and rekindles old ones, an unexpected surprise has got Jade’s mouth spewing lies on top of the usual curse words.

But little white lies won’t hurt anybody, right?

Note: This full-length novel follows the novella, Those Four Letter Words.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Page Count: 191

Format: e-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours via Smashwords in exchange for an honest review.

Hi! Today I have a review on Jaded Little Lies (in case you haven’t guess already). This is the full-length novel that follows the prequel novella, Those Four Letter Words. Like TFLW, this book pleasantly surprised me. I’ve been reading a lot of YA, so I thought I would try to broaden my horizons by trying this book. As a NA novel, it was an enjoyable book full of raw, gripping emotion, alongside a tumbling romance and life struggles.

Quick Summary

Jade Reamer’s life is pretty messed up. Again. Having to deal with her boyfriend deployed, another family to deal with, things haven’t been exactly pretty. Especially when her boyfriend comes back, and things aren’t exactly the same between them. Will Jade ever get a reprieve from all the heartache and drama?

My Review

The plot was pretty good, I have to say. Again, I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but this book definitely took me on an interesting ride. The plot incorporated several matters we see in real life, without sugar-coating it, and instead kept it real and authentic.

What I really appreciated in this book was how the author, Christina Channelle, kept the characters true to themselves. They were familiar, and the way they thought, or, in particular, how Jade thought, was fun to read. I enjoyed Jade in a way I didn’t think I would, I rooted for her, laugher with her, and overall really liked her. Sure, she had her faults, and sure, she made mistakes, but that only makes her human, not a bad person. All the characters really, were intriguing, and paired with the great writing style, felt real and emotional.

Which brings me to the writing style which really got me into the story as if Jade was talking to me. Not only that, it was comfortable and easy to read, without being too unnatural for the mood of the story.

Overall…

If you like NA, this is definitely a good book to pick up. I haven’t read that many NA books, but from what I’ve read, this books seems to be pretty mild as far as NA books go. I will mention that for readers a bit more strict with the content they read, this book does include coarse language, and some steamy scenes. However it also includes an authentic protagonist with an engaging and realistic storyline. It deals with realistic matters, overall an enjoyable NA contemporary romance and if you can deal with the above, it’s an enjoyable book.

Want to eat this? Don’t want to eat this? Your pick.

-A

Note: You don’t have to read the novella before reading this one, but I think it’s better that way.

Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz | Book Review

(Stand-Alone Novelette)

Published: June 5th 2015

Synopsis:

Jessica’s world revolves around studying at college and affording prepackaged meals, which leaves little time for socializing. In fact, she is quite content without being noticed, which only makes the attention of a mystery texter all the more unwanted.

She isn’t unfamiliar with strange advances, but this is something entirely different. This person knows things about her. Things beyond just an average stalker.

Even after all that, Jessica would be much more content to forget than discover who is chasing her, electronically or otherwise. Eventually, she finds out that she can’t outrun her past.


Unknown Sender
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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Applebury Press

Genre(s): Horror

Page Count: 25 (Print Edition)

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Hi! Today I have a review on a novelette written by the person behind the Book Review Directory, Ryan Lanz. It was an entertaining read filled with suspense and elements of horror. Read on for an in-depth review.

Quick Summary

Unknown Sender follows Jessica, an ordinary college girl—ordinary, at least until she starts receiving texts from an anonymous stalker. With stress from studies, she doesn’t have time for jokes like this. But what if it isn’t a joke? Things get messy when the past catches up with her…Read More »

Animal by Nikki Rae | Book Review

(Stand-Alone)

Published: February 28th 2015 

Synopsis:

Ava has spent her life running from the monsters that lurk in the shadows, always the prey. She finally thinks she can settle down, have a normal life, and work on not being so scared of the world around her. That is until she runs into her worst fear.

He has finally found the potential family he has always wanted. All he has to do is make his little bird sing. Will Ava escape with her humanity intact?


My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)Animal

Book Information

Genre(s): New Adult, Paranormal, Suspense

Page Count: 415

Format: E-book


Used for the Popsugar challenge: A book by an author I’ve never read before

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

I was super excited when my review request for this book was approved! This has been one of the few New Adult reads of mine this year, and it was quite the read!

Reading the premise, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was intrigued, and that was all it took for me to request a review copy! I’m so happy I got to read this!Read More »