Friday Reads | Readathon Weekend!

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This weekend is the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and I am very much looking forward to participating! I havent been reading as much lately and havent even gotten the chance to read any spooky, creepy or fall type reads! With Autumn upon us and the weather here in Nebraska finally starting to feel like it I want to spend some time outside with some apple cider and do some reading while I still can! I also have a bunch of errands that I need to run this weekend, like laundry and oil change for my car, all things I can take my book with me to and still be productive. I have not yet selected my tbr for the readathon and will most likely do it later tonight and will do all of my readathon posting on either instagram and twitter- @downthebookhole. I would love to know if you will be participating and what you plan on reading! I am currently reading Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan with about 100 pages left. I am really enjoying it so far, the world is so interesting (although I wish we got a little more about it) and the whole concept of the story is something new I havent read before with the inspiration from Asian culture. I also and very excited about the love interest and was rooting for it from the beginning!

What are you reading this weekend?

 

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Light Years by Kass Morgan | ARC Review

LIGHT YEARS BY KASS MORGAN

Genre: YA, Sci-fi

Publication Date: October 9th 2018

Source: NOVL

Synopsis:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain – but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy – even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong – he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret – she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy – but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think…

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am obsessed with the tv show The 100. I own the ebooks by Kass Morgan, but never got around to reading them yet. When I saw this book coming out I knew I had to pick it up. A diverse set of characters with drama, secrets and competition all taking place in space, how could I say no.

From the very first page Morgan pulls you into the life of the characters with the interesting story of who they are and where they come from. In a world very different from ours it was intriguing to learn more about these planets and what life is like in space. I have to say I do wish at times that there was more description and time spent on the world building, but I can say one thing, Morgan does real well with the character storylines and telling more than one at a time.

I loved how the book was told from 4 POVs and each one was so different and had such a different background and voice. Their storylines intertwine with each other, but each of the 4 are so diverse and have secrets and opinions they are keeping from everyone else. I love that you get to see it all play out with the rotating POVs. It is hard to pick just one to be my favorite, but I really liked the character development and storyline of Orelia.

I flew through the book with the suspenseful, drama filled plot that keep you wanting to know what was going to happen. The short chapters with alternate POVs also helped to drive the plot and story along. I had a hard time setting the book down and got really invested in the characters. It also had an ending I didn’t expect and definitely has me needing the next installment.

Overall this is such an indulgent space drama, based in a boarding school, that is perfect for a fast fall read! I think this is going to be a really great series that has all the elements you would want in a book series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the book/tv show The 100 by Kass Morgan or The Thousandth Floor by Katherine Mcgee!

Friday Reads | Rainy Weather Weekend

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With the way the weather has been the past week, all I have wanted to do is curl up with a book and read. I have been reading and annotating Home and Away by Candice Montgomery. I am reading this for a traveling book club. I am almost half way through it and not completely loving it, but I am too stubborn to give up on it and all the annotating I already did. I really struggle with DNFing books. I am also listening to Uglies on audiobook as a reread. With Scott Westerfeld coming out with a new book in the Uglies world I thought it was a perfect time for a reread of a series that really got me into YA! I have some different blog posts I want to work on this weekend as well but the big focus will be snuggling up and reading! 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Seventh Born by Monica Sanz | ARC Review


SEVENTH BORN BY MONICA SANZ

Genre: YA, Fantasy,Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 4, 2018

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.

Goodreads | Amazon 


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

 

Seventh Born was like visiting an old friend. It had those elements from the stories and series we love. For me it was pulling inspirations from Harry Potter and Vampire Academy, taking place at a boarding school, magic, mystery, a dab of romance & forbidden love . Not to say I am comparing it to those books, but it was definitely reminiscent of those stories for me and gave me those warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Monica Sanz worked some of her own magic in developing a setting and backstory that was so intriguing and mixed with the elements of magic and mystery, it kept me on the edge of my seat, devouring the book.

Sera was an amazing main character that has her own flaws, but is really trying to find herself and her place in this world in which she doesn’t belong/wanted. I loved her determination and loyalty. I think her confidence and strength are exactly the qualities that a female lead should have in a book to be a great role model for young girls. She is my favorite character, but I quite enjoyed some of the others, they were complex and well thought out with depth that also gave you a concern for what would happen to them in the end regardless of some events that took place.

This book definitely came as a shock to me and surprised me with how quickly I got drawn into the story and how much I need to rest of the series like last week. Overall I don’t know how I can wrap up my feelings about this story without it being a complete gush. From the backstory and history of this world to the present day happenings and unsolved mystery, It created such an atmosphere and places you within the story trying to figure out what is happening right along Sera. There was a wide array of characters each with their own struggles and personalities that have you invested in the people as much as the plot. The overall atmosphere is what you would expect from a mystery novel, it is dark and a little creepy and then add in the fantasy elements, creating such an unknown which drives forward the story. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think it has elements that could appease a wide audience and believe the story deserves attention!

 

Friday Reads | Tackling ARCs

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Trying to find the balance between work, life and reading becomes even more of a struggle after having a week off to do whatever I wanted with no deadlines/timelines. Yesterday I finished my first book for #ARCAugust and I absolutely loved it! I have about 6 more ARCs I need to read within the next few months and need to get a move on with them.
I started reading Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel as my second ARC of August. It is the companion sequel to Kassel’s Black Birds of the Gallows, which I read late last year and enjoyed.
I am also listening to Charged by Jay Crownover, which is the second book in the Saints of Denver series.

After I finish Keeper of the Bees I hope to continue with the other ARCs I have which you can check out here!

What are you reading this weekend?

 

By A Charm And A Curse by Jaime Questell | ARC Review

 

BY A CHARM AND A CURSE BY JAIME QUESTELL

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: February 6th 2018

Synopsis:
Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Goodreads | Amazon | Entangled

 

Leslie smiles at the girl with a mixture of pride and tentative hope. “It took us a few days to get Sidney set up somewhere else, and I’m sorry about that. But this wagon belongs to the occupant of the box.” Leslie strokes the side of the ladder that leads to the door. “What you’re going through is terrible, we know it is, though we can never truly understand. It’s a small comfort, but we want you to have a place that’s just your own, a place that you can use to escape.”

A weak, wobbly smile lifts the corners of the girl’s mouth as her gaze roves over the outside of the wagon, a shadow of the smile I saw the other night, when she was with her friend. I wonder what it would take to get her to smile for real.

“What about Sidney?”

“Sidney can make do.” Leslie’s smile broadens into a grin. “Have you seen the way he’s been eating? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him waddle out of the cook shack one of these mornings like Templeton the Rat.” She dangles a small copper key from the end of a length of faded red ribbon. “It’s like I said—the carnival owes the person in the box. This is the least we can do for you in return.”

The girl’s hand shakes as she reaches for the key, and she wraps her slender fingers around it tightly, as though she’s afraid of dropping it. I lose sight of her as she steps inside, and all I can do now is hope she likes the wagon.

I turn to head home and feel the sickening lurch as my foot lands in a slick patch of mud and whips out from beneath me. I throw out my arm. A flash of white-hot pain flares through my hand, but I manage to keep my footing. I step out of the mud that had nearly sent me sprawling on my ass, unsure as to how I even missed it in the first place. Then my hand begins to throb.

A gash runs diagonally across my palm. Blood wells from the wound, filling my cupped hand. The pain sets in, a deep pulsing starting in my palm and radiating up my arm. I glance over at the trailer and see a splash of red smeared along a sharp flap of metal. I must have sliced my hand on that as I tried to grab onto something to keep from slipping.

Falling on carnival grounds doesn’t happen; the charm sees to that. But my bloodied hand begs to differ.

 

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 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the opportunity to read this book!*

It seems like the past year carnival books have been all the rage. I find them absolutely intriguing and think they are filled with so much magic. But for some reason this was the first carnival book I read in completion. I am beyond happy that I was given the chance to review this book because I needed it in my life! This book was the perfect combination of magic, mystery, characters filled with personality and childhood vibes!

At the beginning I thought this might be inspired from Pinocchio and was getting some major flashbacks to the movie BIG. By A Charm And A Curse was so much different then I expected and found the mystery behind the charm and the curse to be so interesting. Questell really painted a detailed picture of carnival life and the ties that bind so to speak of those individuals who make up the unique performers of the carnival. The characters were full of personality and their own little quirks. I found the whole love aspect a little too fairy tale for me with the whole curse, but enjoyed the story behind the charm and curse associated with Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic.

I enjoyed that this books was driven by the characters and their personal development and growth. Sometimes when there is the background of a carnival or something like it, I feel like it is sometimes easy for the author to focus on that event or element too heavily. Not that I do not enjoy world building or magic around things such as a carnival, but I absolutely hate when the characters are flat and stagnant. I have to admit at the beginning I was annoyed with Emma as a character, yeah a lot of horrible stuff happened but she was so whiney. I loved seeing her evolve throughout the story and was her biggest fan at the end of the book. I was a fan of Ben from the beginning and adored him all the way through. He was perfect and what every girl dreams of when in search of a love interest. It was nice to see that despite what happens to Emma he doesn’t see her as different and fights like crazy for her. There were some other characters that I quite enjoyed, but really wish more time was spent on some of them. I wanted to know more and learn more about them and their background.

Overall, Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic is a carnival I would want to runaway to a be a part of! They were such a family, they cared and defended one another. It was unique and magical. There were some issue with the story, I would have loved more details about the carnival instead of such a heavy focus on the romance. Because of that the plot fell flat at time, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read and has made me want to pick up more carnival focused books!

About Jaime Questell:

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.

 

Author Links:

Author Website: jaimequestell.com

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaimequestell/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jaimequestell

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15396319.Jaime_Questell

Newsletter: http://jaimequestell.com/events/

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

 

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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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

21469068I’LL MEET YOU THERE BY HEATHER DEMETRIOS

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