Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 5, 2017

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.Angie is no stranger to traumatic events, but life has been going so much better for her, that was until a hunky boy moved in next door.

I enjoyed Kassel’s writing a lot. She uses great details and paints a beautiful picture. The way the story unfolds was a great pace although I feel like the ending was a little rushed. With 20 pages left I was unsure how she was going to wrap everything up. I liked what Kassel did with the characters and mythology. It was a unique curse that I haven’t read about before in a YA novel.

I did find Angie a little annoying at times. She carried on this whole “woe is me” a little too much. I understand everything she went though and she did have a right to some of her actions and feelings, but she really hid herself too much because of this suppose title of “freak“.I thought Reece was a great character and was really complex. Kassel did a good job at filling out his character and giving him those emotions and feelings that should be associated with someone with his curse. I also found the romance to be very typical of a YA novel. It was too fast and unrealistic. It went from a crush to madly in love in 0 to 60 seconds. The romance felt very Twilight to me. One of the notes I made multiple times while reading was this reminded me of Twilight. It just has the same vibe and a similar type of storyline.

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable and fast read. The unique mythology really intrigued me and was what sold me on the story. I loved the cast of characters and the friendships throughout the book. The reason it did not get a 5 star rating for me was because of the unrealistic romance and Twilight vibes. Although the story was different then Edward and Bella’s I could not stop comparing them and thinking about it throughout the book. The mass chaos and effects of the curse were fantastic additions that added to the overall atmosphere of the story. I recommend this to those who enjoy dark paranormals with mythology and romance.

You might also like:

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

RoseBlood by A.G Howard

 

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Odd & True by Cat Winters | ARC Review

ODD & TRUE BY CAT WINTERS

Genre: YA, Historal Fiction, Paranormal

Source: Netgalley in return for an honest review

Publication Date: Sept. 12, 2017

Synopsis:
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Goodreads | Amazon 

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

I do not know how this is my first Cat Winters book. She has been on my radar for awhile and I have only heard amazing things about her books and writing. When I saw this on netgalley I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. I want to state it at the beginning of my review that what really sold me on this book was the ending.

I loved the time period in which this book took place, it was absolutely perfect for the story and gave something extra to the overall atmosphere of the story. I was also greatly pleased that Winters focused on the relationship between sisters and made that the large focus. So much in YA lately there is such a huge dedication to romance. I believe there is more to life and sometimes more important relationships that should be focused on and spotlighted to let those young adults know it is not all about a love interest. The relationship between the sisters is what really what drove the story and made me love this novel.

At the beginning of the book I felt myself losing interest, it did take a little while to really get the story and characters to grab me, but it was worth it to complete to book. I felt like there was great character growth throughout the book and really enjoyed seeing it slowly take place as the story goes back and forth between present time with Tru and the past with Od. I found that Winters did a fabulous job with incorporating Tru as a disabled character. Winters showed that Tru was able to persevere and not let her limited mobility keep her from going after what she wanted. I thought it was really important that Tru never let it hinder her. It was really inspiring. The sisters were so full of life and imagination.

Overall I found the story to be heart warming and full of whimsy. It had some really important messages that Winters really drove home at the end that many people can find guidance in. Od and Tru are some pretty kickass sisters who never give up. This story was absolutely marvelous and full of monstrous creatures. I will for sure be reading Winters other works and cannot wait for this book to be published.

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Are you a thriller seeker and like action?

If you enjoyed Taken or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continue reading!

 

 

 

THE CRUELTY BY S. BERGSTROM 

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When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.

If you are at all interested in reviewing this book, live in the U.S and are a book blogger please email me – fallingdownthebookhole@gmail.com!

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I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios | ARC Review

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Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: ARC Twitter Giveaway by @hellochelly

“Sometimes it was hard to breathe, knowing how small my world could be.”
-Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There

Publication Date: Feb. 3, 2015

Synopsis:
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

GoodreadsAmazon

review

This book was not only beautiful, raw and emotional, but it was also deep, realistic and relevant to our current society and problems faced by many people.

After finishing the book I read the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements and it was by far the best part of the book and that is saying a lot because I was in love with the book. Demetrios explains how the military has played a role in her life and impacted her upbringing and overall life. She is so passionate about the topic and before even reading the acknowledgements it comes across so strongly, but it is amazing to see her involvement and the support to the Wounded Warrior cause. I think it is very important for more people to learn about and understand the struggles that the soliders fighting in the war face. They give their lives to protect our country and live the rest of their lives with the loss of fellow soliders, the actions they carried out and the trauma/scars that they return to the US with. Demetrios handle the topic beautifully and showcases the affects of war in a way that everyone can understand and gain knowledge from.

I absolutely loved the writing and way that Demetrios told this moving story of self discovery, love and overcoming what life throws at you. The story covered so many issues and I enjoyed how Demetrios handled all of them. The dual point of view was fantastic and fit the story so well. With the short blurbs from Josh in his thoughts to Nick gave you the insight into what he was dealing with and just how hard being back and the struggle of the loss of his leg was so emotional.

I found the character dynamics to really round out the story. There were characters fitting all types from the alcoholic, jocky asshole, funny best friend, caring mother type, the girl from the trailer park, the teen mom etc. I could relate a lot to Skylar and really understand what she was going through. She was strong, caring and had some wonderful self-discovery and character development. Also I love how she is really into art.  Skylar’s banter with the other characters especially Josh was so great. I love the witty back and forth, the teasing and arguments. The characters all had struggles and problems and it made the story more realistic. There wasn’t the perfect relationship but the give and take and work that had to go into figuring it all out. Josh was a fantastic complex character. You really see how much he is struggling and the affects taking their toll on him from the war and its aftermath. I just can’t say it enough and I am probably repeating myself too much. I just am really trying to convey how excellent this book is.

Overall this was an absolutely fantastic book that shocked and surprised me. It left me in tears and really appreciating the men and women who serve in the military as well as have so much appreciation for the passion the author put into telling Skylar and Josh’s story.This story packs such a punch, hitting on a little bit of everything. It is a little dark and depressing at times, but it shows how you can find the light in the dark and make it something wonderful. I highly recommend this to everyone, especially those who have family in the military or had their life affected by it in some way. Or you just want a beautiful and movie love story!

5s

How We Fall |ARC Review

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(Originally posted on July 27th-reposting because it is now available for purchase!)

HOW WE FALL BY KATE BRAUNING

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Kate Brauning, the author, in return for an honest review.

Publication Date: November 3, 2014

Synopsis:
Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting way too much–and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for…no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn’t right about this stranger, and Jackie’s suspicions about the new girl’s secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus–and deepens Jackie’s despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else’s lies as the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend? [Goodreads]

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I had to sit down and spend a lot of time trying to create the perfect review for this book because I just couldn’t find words. I feel like I owe it to all of you to do this book review justice because usually I have such a hard time expressing my feelings towards a book and can’t really get my thoughts out to be understandable. So although this will still probably be confusing and rambly I’m sorry. And I would love to say thanks again to the author for giving me a copy for review and making me feel all the feels.

In the wake of her best friends disappearance, Jackie realizes just how consumed and obsessed she has been with her relationship with Marcus, her cousin. She comes to terms with the fact that she has neglected everything else in her life and feels at fault for what had happened to Ellie. As she begins to try and uncover Ellie’s whereabouts it causes a rift between her and Marcus and their increasingly intense hidden relationship. Trying to call off the relationship makes her realize just how much she is in love with Marcus and causes her to really face the decisions and choices that lay in front of her.

Starting this book I was not sure how I would feel by the end of it. How We Fall focuses on taboo love, with things like this and the controversy behind it, already so many feelings and opinions were created in my head. At the beginning I was a little weirded out (I consider myself a pretty open-minded person) because I kept putting myself in Jackie’s position and couldn’t ever see myself falling in love with my cousin. By the end and definitely after reading some of the authors blog post about the book I realized it was so much more than the taboo love of cousins. I was rooting for Jackie and Marcus’s best friends/love relationship by the end of the book and was so invested in the story.

This (love) story although not very relatable for me personally, still drew me in and felt so real. The emotions, feelings and witty banter were on point! Jackie was an absolutely fantastic female character who I found I have a lot in common with. She blogs, reads and is into classic black and white movies (my soulmate!) She also like to hide from her family and spend time off by herself. Jackie’s love life was not relatable to me, but she was fantastically sarcastic and sassy and full of personality that I still found such a connection with that character.

Of course there were some swoony love interest and some highly intense detailed romantic scenes that were written with such intensity and realism. There was no fake or quick insta love to make the story unrealistic and unbelievable. Kate Brauning did a down right super fantastic job writing a deep, intriguing story filled with love, family, teenage angst, hard and difficult choices, mystery, drama and insight to life. Literally all the components that make a well rounded contemporary.

Overall, How We Fall was a face paced, well written book that had me from page one and left me in awe filled with feels and without words to express just how much I enjoyed this book. It was deep and insightful, filled with dynamic and witty characters that came to deep realizations about love, life and loss.

I highly recommend this book and believe it is a must read for all those who love a deep and thought provoking love story!

(I still feel like I didn’t get out what I really wanted to say. I might have to try and rewrite this review soon. I lent out my copy of the book, but might try to re-read it close to the release date!)

RATING-5

Mini Vacay Book Haul

My blog is like my baby and I hate leaving it for so long, but I am back and have some exciting things to show/share from my mini vacay in Northern Michigan with Autumn from Kitty Cat Reads (and my real life bff and soul mate!) Of course the two of us went to a local bookstore and coffee shop to work on our blogs for a day!

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I am all about supporting local and independent bookstores so I had to make a purchase (of course). I bought Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead, which is the first book in a four book series. (I am planning on someday owning/reading everything by Richelle Mead!) We spent the rest of our time enjoying the sunshine and reading our books! We even attempted to do some vlogging (not sure if I will actually post it, we will see what the final product looks like)

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How could you not enjoy this view! As well we were also able to find an awesome deal for a bind up of a trilogy from Walmart. Autumn and I both bought a copy of  SummerTrilogy ( The Summer I Turned Pretty, Its Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have Summer) by Jenny Han! I have had this trilogy in my cart on Amazon for awhile since it has been talked about a lot recently in the book community and could not believe the deal for the bind up.

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When I stopped at my parent’s house on the way home I picked up my package that was delivered there, which was a surprise and I have no idea where they are from, but inside the box was The Sweet Trilogy (Sweet Evil, Sweet Peril and Sweet Reckoning) by Wendy Higgins! I really wish I knew where the box came from, but still how could you not love a box of surprise free books!

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When I got home from my trip I found some presents in my mailbox! I received some swag from Michelle Krys the author of Hexed! I got a two bookmarks and a signed book plate! I also received an Arc copy of  How We Fall by Kate Brauning! The book comes out in November and you can check out the synopsis and such here! The author was nice enough to send me a copy for review as well as some book swag! She wrote me a cute little note along with some info bookmarkish things (one of them is even signed!) She was also nice enough to sign the book for me! Thank you so much Kate Brauning! (This is my first official physical Arc!)

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As well as all the books, another exciting thing was posted this weekend on YA Reads , my guest post about the top books I have read so far this year! So you should definitely go check that out! A few months ago I would have never believed I would be getting so many opportunities and making an impact (whether it is just a small one) in the book community! Thank you to everyone who has friended/ supported me 🙂

The Girl From The Well | ARC Book Review

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THE GIRL FROM THE WELL BY RIN CHUPECO

Genre: YA, Horror

Source: Netgalley (in return for a honest review)

“I am beginning to understand that there are better things than retribution.”
― Rin Chupeco, The Girl from the Well

 Synopsis: 
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

Goodreads | Amazon

review

* I would like to thank Netgalley and Rin Chupeco for the opportunity to read and review this*

This is based on Japanese folklore so if you are into Japanese Horror films this is for you! It reminds me of The Grudge meets The Ring meets Shutter. I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This book is set to be released on August 5th 2014.

The Girl From The Well is narrated by a vengeful ghost named Okiku who hunts and murders children killers. This book tells the story of Okiku and the boy with tattoos she is drawn to, Tarquin. From the streets of America to the country side in Japan, ghosts, death and exorcisms haunt the pages of this book. I loved the personality of Tarquin that Chupeco created. He was so witty and sarcastic, exactly what you would expect from a teenage boy. It is filled with creepy elements and the way some scenes are described definitely gave me the chills. Living with a cat that loves to stare at the ceiling and reading this at night did not help that fact.

Rin Chupeco has an interesting way of writing, but some times it became really awkward for me and made it hard to follow along. It felt more like a screen play than a novel at times. The last third of the book actually flowed and was good, following a more structured style. Another thing that I noticed (and maybe it was just me)was that it never exactly states what ethnicity the characters of Callie and Tarquin are, I found this to be a little annoying and although you can kind of infer the answer.  I did feel like the background and research that Chupeco did for this book showed through (although I don’t know much about Japanese folklore it seemed to match up with other films/stories I have heard). Overall I was let down and was expecting so much more from this book than I received.

RATING-6