Wednesday, January 28, 2015

All The Rage by Courtney Summers

A Brief Summary: What do you do when you tell the truth and are labeled a liar? You deal it's all you can do, you build your armor and fight the daily battle. Finding whatever you can to keep you together. In a small town your name determines what your value is and when you challenge someone with a better name you lose. But the towns golden girl goes missing and new information comes to light she has to decide whether to speak up again or to stay quiet.

My Review: 
This book hits you hard. Don't expect to dance over issues. You get to see and confront the aftermath of a girls worst nightmare. It's so full of feels.

Growing up in a small town I'm all too familiar with the name game. I can remember guys from varsity egging, and TPing several places in town but not getting any trouble because it was homecoming week. And a girl who was drunk and doing really stupid stuff on the weekend getting inducted into NHS that following Monday. It's ridiculous and way too common in a small town.

Then when you add small town name game to rape culture it just gets worse. For those of you who don't know what rape culture is, it's a combination of victim blaming/ shaming, saying she asked for it by what she wore, that they wanted it. It's despicable and has become a way too common and accepted phenomenon. When it's not okay, it's wrong and a violation at the most intimate level and that people justify that it's the victims fault is just sickening.

For a better description of victim blaming check out this video Lacigreen explains it way better than I can.

Anyway! On to an actual review! Sorry for the rant this is a sore subject for me. This book is amazingly well written. My heart hurts for Romy. That her life got ripped away from her by one persons despicable action, and everyone sides with that person. You see the slander and mental abuse she deals with daily. Romy is an incredible character I'm glad to have read her story.

Every girl should read this, it has important lessons to learn. Guys should read it too, and hopefully they'll learn something too.

I loved this book it hurt my heart because it's real and it something that should be shared. If this is how Courtney Summers usually writes I need to read more of her work.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Witch's Brew by Hedi R. Kling

A Brief Summary from Goodreads:
Once soulmates, the witch and warlock covens of the California coast have been estranged for a century. Raised to hate each other, their teenagers meet in the Solstice Stones, a magical battleground where they draw energy from each other to maintain their balance. 16 year olds Logan and Lily have spent years training for their first Stones…only to discover just days before that the enemy may not be what either of them had thought.

In Witch’s Brew, Lily is torn between her feelings for Logan and her coven’s need to know who—or what—he is. The young lovers race against time, their distrust for each other, and the powerful influence of their elders, to unravel the mystery of their pasts before their future is destroyed.

My Review:
I loved that this was a choose your own destiny. Getting to choose what happens at pivotal moments, so you can avoid yelling at a fictional character because they do something stupid. It's a nice feeling when you get to make some of the choices.

I liked the lore that's been created. Witches and Warlocks separated and rivals. Only to encounter the other at the gleaning. Where they fight for the magic that the desperately need.

I also liked Lilly she sweet and curious. Her curiosity gets her into all sorts of trouble and introduces her to Logan her warlock counterpoint. He's interesting, and mysterious and slightly brainwashed, but then again so is Lilly.

I'm intrigued by this series and will probably look into it further.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reveal by Brina Courtney

A Brief Summary:Shay can talk to ghosts, she's been able to since she was six years old. It's been her secret for so long but when she meets Hugh everything changes. He can hear ghosts too, he's from a long line of cryptids. Cryptids are human animal crossbreeds, not to be confused with were's. Now she learns she's part of a prophecy, but will she be able to handle it?

My Review:
I loved this story! It captured me from the first page until the cliffhanger that was the ending.

I really like that the author created her own mythos. She didn't rely on the tired vampire, or werewolf she used cryptids. Which is a generic term for fantastic beast, so she had full creative licence.

I wasn't a huge fan of the instant love between Hugh and Shay. Sure there's a crush to start with, but it doesn't have enough time to grow. They rush into a relationship because they have to to make the story work.

I probably will read more of this series because of the cliffhanger. It's a good story but I hope there's more development of Shay and Hugh's relationship.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ever Darkening by Janeal Falor

A Brief Summary: Most people if presented with a chance to wipe out all evil people in the world would do it in a heart beat. But what if defeating evil people, released something else, something darker. Seeing as people can always be killed, but nature now that's something else entirely. So Kaylyn having killed of the Malryx, has no idea what to do so when a neighboring village needs help she jumps at the chance to help. This new quest may be more perilous than all of her others combined.

My Review:
I couldn't believe this book (in a good way). The premise is something that I've thought of a lot. A world without evil, but the world is a precarious balance so how would that actually work? In this world it doesn't.

I loved Kaylyn the badass warrior that has had her life's purpose ripped from her. It's complete, she's not needed, and how she grows and realizes what happened to the world. It's pretty incredible.

Jorrin is one of her two best friends. He's her right hand, and the man she promised to help her other best friend Marsa marry. Slight complication Jorrin doesn't exactly see Marsa that way.

I also loved all of the detail about the environment It draws you and and creeps you out, a lot. I was pretty scared for the characters, after all if trees had barbs like knives I doubt I'd ever get near one again.

Also the playing on the emotions, the climax was... incredible. It's hard to describe without giving spoilers, but i'll say this it's heartbreaking, and gives you all of the feels.

I received this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Embrace by Cherie Colyer

A Brief Summary: Life changes, and life moves on. To Madison so far change has meant the loss of her mother, and her long term boyfriend moving away. Now her life is about to change again, hopefully for the better. When she meets Isaac sparks fly, and nothing will ever be the same again.

My Review:
A quick simple read with a paranormal twist. Filled with twist and turns to keep you guessing. All of the characters are well developed and diverse. Isaac is the new guy with a secret, Madison is your average heroine with some not so average powers, and Kaylee the best friend that has something strange happening to her.

I really liked the characters, and how realistically they're portrayed.  From freaking out over developing powers, to the way everyone blames drugs if someone is acting off. She has really captured how people act, while giving it a magical twist.

I look forward to the next book in the series and I hope it will just keep getting better.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my free and honest review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Talented by Sophie Davis

A Brief Summary: When you're born with a Talent you generally have one choice, join TOXIC because if you don't and they find you, well lets just say its not pretty. Talia is mind manipulator one of the strongest ever documented and after her parents were murdered she decided to get revenge. The best way to get revenge was to join the elite branch of TOXIC also known as the hunters. However being a hunter may not be what she thought it was. When her world starts spinning out of control will she be able to regain control or will it all fall apart?

My Review:
Loved this book! Dystopian young adult novels are quickly becoming my addiction. Donovan I liked but it was a suspicious kind of like. He's a sneaky snake, but a clever snake. Also he's been Talia's best friend forever and also her first love.

I liked Erick far more he's portrayed as a womanizer, but with a weakness for Talia. Protective and sweet, he adds a needed element to the team trio, Talia the hot head newbie, Henri the father figure, and Erick the right hand man.

In the first section of the beginning chapters you learn about how the Talents came about, more about TOXIC, it's a great exposition. I loved how you get the background and it melds so perfectly.

I can't wait for the sequel to figure out what happens, darn cliffhangers.

The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker

A Brief Summary:  Set in Italy in the late 1890's during the Spiritualist movement. Focusing on the Witch of Napoli also known as Alessandra Poverelli, facing skeptics and the possibility of being permanently possessed.  The story is told by her friend and aspiring editor Tomaso Labella, chronicling her life and all of her secrets. However sometimes secrets shouldn't be revealed.

My Review:
To think that someone really lived this kind of life, traveled the world, was studied because so many believed she had a little something extra. It's incredible, if not a life to be coveted.

I love how so much real history is added into the story. Such as references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the vile Father Savonarola. The descriptions of everything were so realistic and made you feel as if you were there. From adding in bits of the languages from all the countries they visit, to vivid descriptions, the amount of description is incredible.

A wonderful historical fiction. A must read for any fans of Italian history.

I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Daisy McDare and The Deadly Real Estate Affair by K.M. Morgan

A Brief Summary:

Daisy has a keen intuition and a gigantic sweet tooth and a knack for running into dead bodies. Now her life seems to be going the way she wants a great boyfriend, new job, something is bound to happen. So when she arrives on her second day of her decorating job and finds out her boss is dead things are bound to get interesting again.

My Review:
This book was adorable. It's fast paced, a healthy dose of suspense, and lots of laughs.

I always enjoy when the victim is someone you love to hate. That's Scott, the overbearing boss, terrible husband, and father, pick the villain and it fits. I enjoy this type of victim because everyone's a suspect and you don't just guess the answer right away.

I also really enjoyed Daisy she loves what she does but she gets herself embroiled in messes to help her friends. I also like her sweet tooth and am now craving cupcakes.

I look forward to more by this author she seems to have found her niche.

 I received a PDF copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

A Brief Summary: 
When you've worked for something your entire life the moment you attain it is worth all the hard work. But what if what you've worked for is nothing like you thought? That's what happens to Quin and her lifelong dream of becoming a seeker, she gets it but it isn't what she thought. Not at all.

My Review:
This book was extremely disjointed. Granted it's broken up into sections, but the sections have trouble meshing and creating a cohesive storyline. Also even after finishing the book I have no idea what a Seeker is, of a Dread for that matter.

I liked Quin she's sweet and fiercely loyal to those she cares about. She goes through a major change after her oath but you never learn what caused it. I'd appreciate more details fleshed out. Granted you get a couple in flash backs but not many.

I also liked Shinobu, you get to see him evolve, devolve, and evolve again in a very nice character arc. John I wasn't so fond of if he'd have just manned up and told Quin everything he knew a lot of trouble could have been spared.

Overall I did like the book, I just want more details. Hopefully the next book adds more and can truly bring this world to life.

I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Kids in exchange for my free and honest review.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

A Brief Summary: Waverly women have always had a touch of magic in them. Their Apple tree in particular, with its throwing apples and blooming at the first first. This year's lead up to the first frost has been stressful to say the least. Claire is struggling with her new candy business, Sydney wants another baby, and Bay is in love with the person she's supposed to be with but he doesn't know she exists. Now a strange man wanders into town and threatens their way of life. Will the Waverly's be able to make it to the frost unscathed?

My Review:
I really liked this book. The sweet innocence of first love, the stress of a new business, the desire for a baby. This book has so very many povs that you get a feel of everything going on. Even a feel of the supposed villain of the story.

My favorite character is Bay. Her Waverly quirk is she knows where everything belongs including herself. She's so confident and sure of who she is, even if who she is isn't popular or accepted by everyone. Bay is who she is, and that's a Waverly.

This book is a sequel to Garden Spells  and is set about ten years in the future. However First Frost can be read as a stand alone novel.

I can't wait to read more by Sarah Allen, her books have a magical touch that I just adore.

This book will be released on January 20th 2015.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Broken by Kelly Elliott

A Brief Summary: She grew up a privileged girl with the perfect boyfriend, he grew up in conditions unfit for anyone. Then Whitley followed Roger to New York ,where he morphed from perfect man to abusive jerk, and when Layton's brother died his girlfriend left him the next day. Now running from Roger Whitley moves to Llano to make a new start, how is she to know the cowboy with a broken heart is exactly what she needs?

My Review:
I'm a sucker for a good love story and this is an amazing one. Whitley and Layton are made for eachother. They help one another heal and its just sweet and amazing and awww.

One thing that I loved was that all the loose ends from their previous relationships were all neatly tied up. They each get a clear ending of those life altering relationships.

Also I love the subtle setting up of the next book. Introducing us to the new main characters in a way that adds to Whitley and Layton's story, and makes us care about them.

I look forward to reading more of this series. It's a good one.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Artificial Evil by Colin F. Barnes

A Brief Summary:
Life in the dome is simple. You do what you're told and hope your name doesn't pop up in the D-lottery. For Gerry he doesn't have to worry about the D-lottery, or at least he shouldn't have to. When his name comes up in the lottery his life changes dramatically. Now he has to keep off the grid recruited by two texorcists, people who help get rid of malicious AIs. Including the one that added his name to the D-lottery list in the first place. When an even worse AI tries to take down the dome will the texorcists and now Gerry be able to stop it?

My Review:
While I liked this book it was a little difficult to get into. I tried to start it two or three times before I got invested in it. That being said people who are more of a science fiction fan then I am will love this book.

I don't have any spots that I truly loved. The story was pretty good, the characters were okay, but nothing truly stood out to me. All in all it was an okay read. I don't think I'll continue the series. It just didn't stand out enough in my eyes to make it worth it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Descendant by Nichole Giles

A Brief Summary:  All of her life Abby has moved from place to place trying to keep her gifts secret. Moving to Jackson might be counterproductive to this plan. There she meets Kye a boy who seems to know her secret, and have a few of his own. Now something dark is after her and she's running again, but this time she's not alone, Kye is at her side.

My Review:
So far this year i've been incredibly lucky to find so many books with incredibly developed worlds. Descendant  is no exception. A rich lore and backstory, with dynamic and creative characters. Making this an instant love and add to my list of re readable books.

One part of this that I love is that it has all of the classic fairy tale elements, from cursed lovers, to an epic quest that must be undertaken, adding in fairies and mortals with abilities called gifts. It's beautifully done, a masterfully woven tale.

Another thing that I enjoy although you get a case of insta love between Kye and Abby it still develops and is well written.

I also really loved the story it's creative, and full of twists. Some characters that make you want to strangle them, because they are jerks and terrible people.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twin Flames by Lexi Ander

A Brief Summary: 
Your twin flame is the other half of your soul, the person that you try and find every time you reincarnate. Tristan was betrayed by his flame, something that has never happened in the history of twin flames, so he requested to have the bond broken. Now he lives a solitary life with his boyhood friend Ushna but their simple life is about to change, forever.

My Review:
This was such an amazing intro to this series. You start off with the breaking of a bond that should be sacred but has been neglected. Then you see Tristan as he discovers who he truly is, and what lengths he will go to, to protect what he cares about.

The book has an incredibly developed world and mythology. Including a full pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, don't worry you get a cheat sheat of them at the back of the book. Also the main characters are Lycans *werewolves* with quirks unique to their species, a hierarchy, and a monarchy that is thought to be dissolved.

I love the relationship between Tristan and Ushna. How it changes for Ushna being Tristans protector to well you're just going to have to wait and see now won't you?

The first book is more of a novella but I have high hopes the next books in the series are longer.

This book has graphic sex scenes between two men so if you're not into that this series isn't for you.

I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The St. Valentines Day Cookie Massacre by Elisabeth Crabtree

A Brief Summary: Investigative reporter turned food columnist Kat Archer stumbles upon a cookie murder. That is murder by poison cookie not a murdered cookie. Anyway this murder could be the big story Kats big break at the Gazette, that is if she can help figure out whodunit.

My Review:
Such a sweet feel good mystery. One that if you can guess the murderer before the end, well then you're smarter than me. It twists and turns, and I adored every second of it.

I loved Kat her sense of humor is a lot like mine. Likely to get us into trouble and a tendency to slightly exaggerate. Kat also doesn't exactly have a filter when it comes to her opinions, which some others aren't exactly a fan of. Such as owners of restaurants she's reviewed for her column, honestly but not exactly tactfully.

With a potential love triangle in the works this series has the potential to be one I turn to when I need a pick-me-up. Short, sweet, and keeps you interested. I look forward to reading more of this series.

Different by Alycia Linwood

A Brief Summary: Every healthy elemental has one element, so why did Moria wake up able to sort of wield fire, when she's an air elemental? Slightly worried about this development her parents whisk her off to a secluded island so they could figure out what was happening to her. While on this island Moria meets Noah a boy knows more than what he's saying about her two elements. Being an intelligent person Moria doesn't trust him automatically, however when desperate times call for desperate measures she decides to trust him and a group of people with him, for now at least.

My Review:
This is a book was an immensely developed world, partially because there is a proceeding series. The Element Preservers series, that being said while it would give background on the world you don't need to read it to understand Different.

One of my favorite aspects of this books is the elements. How different people with the same elements can have different abilities and different strengths. And mixing in a second element just adds to the chaos and I love it!

I love that it's not just another love story. Moria's more focused on her family, and helping others then falling in love. There's a couple of guys that may end up being love interests in the future, but it's not a focus. I'm also extremely interested in Jaiden (the leader of Noah's group). He's got a sordid past that we get a glimpse of in Different and I hope we get to learn more about him in the future.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series. It's fast paced and interesting. I also want to look into the prequel series, Element Preservers. To get more of a feel of the world and see how somethings that were referenced came to pass.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!

I know it's a bit late but I wanted to wish everyone a happy New Year. This year my resolutions are: add twenty recipes to my cooking repitoire, go on an adventure with James, and to read more books.

Getting volumes 4-12 of Fullmetal, H2O, An Abundance of Katherine and Garden Spells for Christmas really helps jumpstart my reading resolution.

I hope everyone's new year is off to a great start and I'll post a new review soon.