Phoenix Fire by SD Grimm | ARC Review

PHOENIX FIRE BY SD GRIMM

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5th 2018

Synopsis: 
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not even sure where to start with this review. Let me start by saying PHOENIX !!!! This is the first book I have ever read that focused on the phoenix and I thought S.D Grimm did a good job developing a story off of the phoenix and creating this whole world and backstory for the Phoenix and their purpose in our world. Now let me also say that the phoenix was not the only mythical creature that made an appearance.

I don’t want to say much about the phoenix incorporation or backstory because you learn more throughout the whole story alongside the characters, but the whole idea of rebirth and past lives has always intrigued me. Grimm was able to slowly reveal the story and have the characters put in together piece by piece with such great detail and thought. The story was complex and had a lot of moving pieces for awhile that I was pulled even deeper in trying to figure out what had happened, what was happening and what was going to be the result.

I am not usually a huge fan of multiple POV but thought it worked so well for how this story was being told and in putting together all the pieces. Each of the characters had their strengths and weaknesses. There were quite a few times I found myself screaming at Ava and the choices she made. All the different interactions and relationships really added to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and the way it was written. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and had me yelling at characters at other times. I loved the fact that it revolved around the idea of this Phoenix community and would love to see more books incorporate the idea of phoenix. The world building and background development were well though out and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of questions that went unanswered which is always a plus. Grimm balanced the characters and multiple POVs so well and really drove the story forward at a nice pace. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal reads or wants to experience an interesting novel containing phoenix!

Advertisements

The Wonder Of You by Harper Kincaid | Book Review

The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid

Modern Alice in Wonderland Re-telling

Releasing February 13, 2018

Add the book to Goodreads

Synopsis:

What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through
Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland:
New York City.

The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.
Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.
He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.
Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.

*Thank you Inkslinger PR and Harper Kincaid for the chance to read and review The Wonder of You! *

I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland if you didn’t already know. This book sounded interesting and different from anything I have read and I was really intrigued by it.

I still am unsure how I overall feel about this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it didn’t include Alice in Wonderland references. It was a little cheesy and the way the words associated with Alice in Wonderland were just thrown around, threw me off a bit. I think it would have been better if the characters were described more as the Wonderland characters rather than saying things like “his Mad Hatter nonsense” . I also thought the little line and cliches that Alice said all the time were a little annoying.

I did really like the characters though.Alice was a sassy fierce southern-belle and the other woman in the story were just as great! Dare was the tall dark and handsome type and had a great sense of humor.

Overall I still think I need some time to process and figure out how I really feel. I think I need to pretend like isn’t labeled as an Alice reimagining because that really has me caught up. It was a fun , short story with entertaining characters and of course the steamy moments.

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.

 

Blog Tour Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

 *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/

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Book Review

THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR BY KATHARINE MCGEE

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia

“I believe in happiness. I’m just not sure love will actually get you there.”
― Katharine McGee, The Thousandth Floor

Synopsis:
NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Goodreads | Amazon


A Futuristic Manhattan Gossip Girl!
~Drama, Lies, Friendships, Secrets, Relationships~

I really had not heard much about this book except for when it first came out. I saw it at my library as an audiobook and thought I would give it a try. I was extremely happy that I did. This book was no mean perfect, it had its flaws but overall it was fun and delivered on what it was. I struggled with a rating because there were areas in which I wanted more, but I decided that I really enjoyed the read, it surprised me and had a lot going on that I definitely thought it could earn the 5 stars from me.

If you have ever watched/read Gossip Girl you will definitely notice some parallels with some of the characters, but don’t let that deter you because it is completely its own story with some awesome futuristic creations and a mystery that the whole books lead up to solving.

The book starts off with an event that happened with little detail and has you trying to figure out the whole time who it was and what happened. It is told in multiple POV and had tons of drama, lies, secrets and intrigue that keep me flying through the story. So much was going on with all of the characters that had that guilty indulgent pull of needing to know more and had me lapping up all of the drama going on. On top of the dramatic pull there was the layer of science fiction. This is one area that I would have loved more on, but it was not needed for the overall story. The concept of this futuristic Manhattan and all the cool innovations that are in this world definitely added to the story. I really enjoyed the idea of how the tower works and thought it very well described the way our society would look like in this setting. The mode of transportation was definitely my favorite, especially the transatlantic.

The cast of characters were all diverse and each had their flaws. No one is safe from secrets and lies, but it was true to the way people that age act. And although there was not a lot of parental presences, I enjoyed that they were there and that it wasn’t like much of futuristic/dystopian YA with all of the parents missing.

I do not want to go into much because I do not want to give anything away. But overall I really found this book to be a fun quick read that was full of surprises and had me trying to figure out the ending the whole way through. It is loaded with drama and has some really interesting innovations and science fiction add ons that make this a great thriller that can be enjoyed by a variety of people. And even though the one mystery is solved at the end, the book definitely leads off with you needing more and wanting to know what comes of the event that takes place.

My biggest struggle with audiobook usually falls onto the narrator. I really enjoyed Phoebe Strole. She had a narration style that did not bore me to pieces or annoy the crap out of me. She did not try and change her voice to sound like a male (which is my biggest pet peeve with narrators). I would definitely listen to other books she narrated!

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone | Book Review

DEAR MARTIN BY NIC STONE

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you.”
Nic Stone, Dear Martin

Synopsis:
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am going to try and make this short and not go off into any discussions because I don’t have any intention in starting something or offend anyone because I know this book and the content is a hot topic. Being a white female I have no experience to even begin to have an understanding of what it is like to be a black male. Nic Stone created a story that allowed me to have a little more insight into what they face and their thoughts/feelings. I think it is very important, with all of the incidents and events that have been taking place in our country in the last few years, to educate and create those areas for dialog. The things that happen in Dear Martin are so real and so relevant to what is actually happening in society. It saddens me to all of the police brutality and the things that are taking place. I was in Baltimore during the riots after what had happened to Freddie Gray and that was really my first introduction to all that was going on. That is why a book like Dear Martin is so important for everyone to read and especially to be introduced to the younger generations. The topics of race and equality cause a lot of disagreements and is such a “taboo” thing to talk about. Even in the book Stone has the group of kids address these topics and much like how the conversation went in the class, that is how it is happening in our society. Although I will still never know what it is like to be in Justyce’s shoes, I thought Stone did an amazing job in really describing Justyce’s emotions, thoughts and feelings. I think this is how changes begin to be made, if someone has never gone through something, or something doesn’t happen directly to them they sometimes don’t pay attention to what else is going on to other. I was able to gain some more knowledge and insight that I greatly appreciate Stone sharing through the voice of Justyce. ( I hope this comes out right,I had a hard time trying to put my thoughts into words.)

Now onto the rest of the book. I have to say this is one of the first books I have read that is from a young mans point of view that shows them being so much more than the brooding/bad boy/ love interest. Justyce showed vulnerability and was so real. He had his flaws, but he had to deal with some real life situations and really thought about his actions. Obviously there were some problematic situations that took place and it was interesting to see how those different situations were handled by Justyce and what he shared with Martin. I really enjoyed that there were some great adults present and loved the role they played in the overall story. I did have a couple issues with the format in which parts of the book were told (I listened to the audiobook so that might be the reason) I also felt like it was too fast, there were some areas that could have been more developed.

Overall I found this to be an extremely moving book. It was a story filled with real life, relationships, hard topics and deep raw emotion. I thought Justyce was an amazing character and really enjoyed his development and his thoughts and sharing with Martin. He came to some conclusions and learned a lot. I flew through this book and did not walk away with dry eyes. This was a real, honest and thought provoking book.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.

Haven by Mary Lindsey | Book Review

HAVEN BY MARY LINDSEY

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publication Date: Nov. 7th 2017

“We all hold a monster inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
― Mary Lindsey, Haven

Synopsis:
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Goodreads | Amazon 

 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the amazing package they sent me and for the opportunity to read this book!*

A small town, an outsider and a secret that could get one killed.

This unique dark paranormal read brought to light a gender role reversal spin to the Beauty and the Beast story. I am not quite sure if this book had any inspiration from the B&B story, but there were some parallels and loosely based similarities. I was completely blown away with this story and quickly flew through it! It was layered with an air of mystery and full of secrets, some of which could be deadly.

I think Lindsey did an amazing job with the character development. All of the characters had unique personalities and really added to the overall story. With the introduction of some paranormal elements, I felt like the world building and fleshing out the overall aspects of what was going on in this town were just quickly covered. I wanted more explanation and to learn more about the background and history of what was taking place in New Wurzburg. It was definitely driven by wanting to know the fate of the characters.

Although most times I am not such a huge fan of romance and try to stay away from it, with the dark secrets and weird occurrences in this little creepy town it happened to work well for me. The relationship between Rain and Freddie was one I was rooting for from the beginning. Coming from a rough past, I wanted to see it all work out for Rain, but that is easier said then done. Freddie was the perfect female lead. She was feisty and strongly independent! Freddie did not let herself get placed into the confounds of the role of a female and proved that she is quite a badass. She has quickly become one of my female crushes and on my list of kickass fictional females. The rest of the cast of characters added to the overall story and had each of their own unique qualities that contributed to the feel and creepiness that carried the book. I had a deep love for Petra and her quirkiness!

I enjoyed the paranormal elements of this book a lot and really enjoyed what Lindsey created with these two groups that live in this town. The different abilities and powers were so intriguing and the kookiness and quirks of the characters was a lot of fun. I definitely loved the horror movie feel even though this is not a horror novel. It reminded me of the beginning of those horror movies when the characters role into this small town on the way to their destination because they needed gas or got lost. They soon find the town is strange and has a secret that everyone is in on but you. That was very much how it was when Rain rolled into New Wurzburg, the outsider to a town with its own things to hide!

The almost 400 page book just seemed to go way too fast. I felt like a lot more could have been fleshed out and explanation on certain aspects done. The end of the book finished too quickly for my liking. I had about 70 pages left and there was still so much that need to be solved and figured out. Lindsey tied up the lose ends and answered the questions I had while ending the book with a real ending, but it was too fast. Other than that the rest of the pacing was pretty well done.

Overall I absolutely adored this story and need more. It has quickly moved up on my list of favorite books. It was much more than I expected from it. The mythology was unique and it added classic aspects with new and fun modern aspects. It had hints of older stories like Beauty and the Beast and Twilight, but the story was completely its own. It was filled with fun and quirky characters in a small and interesting town. It also had some pretty awesome quote worthy moments! I highly recommend this read if you enjoy paranormal elements, mystery or romance. It has a little bit of everything!

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Book Review

NEVER APART BY ROMILY BERNARD

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

“Sometimes people come into your life and change everything. You become someone you would never have been without them. They crack you open, split you apart, let light into places that have only seen darkness, but it always comes with a price: you cannot go back to who you were before.”
― Romily Bernard, Never Apart

Publication Date : October 3rd 2017

Synopsis:
How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Goodreads | Amazon 

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen and Romily Bernard for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

When I read the last page in the book I closed it and sat there bewildered with how I felt. This book caught me by surprise. It was much different than I thought it would be and the ending completely caught me off guard. It is labeled from what I have seen as a Mystery/Thriller, but I think it also falls into another category as well. Even as I write this review I am going back and forth with how I feel about this book.

I was completely gripped from the beginning of the book. It started off pretty vague and it worked because you needed to know more. I wanted to know what the heck was going on and where the story would go. It definitely had a mysterious vibe and left you questioning. The story was well paced and went back and forth between the present and the past. I was not completely sure how I felt about the back and forth, but it gave the story a slow reveal and increased the mystery and kept a fast pace to the read. There were aspects to the story that I felt went too fast or not into enough details. Trying to think back on the story about the characters its hard to remember the entirety of the characters.I thought there was some lacking in the characterization. There was definitely character development with the main character, Grace, but it fell short for the others. There is a love triangley vibe to the story. But thankfully it was not full on in your face. I liked that you learn about the characters through Grace and how they play a role in her life and finding herself.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read. I would say go into it without really reading the synopsis or focusing on what it is about. It surprised me and went a totally different way than I was expecting. It was a gripping mystery that at the end tied up all the loose ends, which is very important in my opinion. It was also quite nice that at the end there was some bonus material of a few chapters written from the other characters perspective, it added a little something to those characters. This book is raw, intense and very true to what happens in ones life without trying to sugar coat the events that shape us.

Anthem by Ayn Rand | Book Review

ANTHEM BY AYN RAND

Genre: Classics, Fiction

“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, Anthem

Synopsis:
He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to fall in love. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization, he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: standing out from the mindless human herd. Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This seventy-fifth anniversary edition of Anthem, celebrating the controversial and enduring legacy of its author, features an introduction by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Piekoff, which includes excerpts from documents by Ayn Rand—letters, interviews, and journal notes in which she discusses Anthem. This volume also includes a complete reproduction of the original British edition with Ayn Rand’s handwritten editorial changes and a Reader’s Guide to her writings and philosophy.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am. I think. I will.

I know there are a lot of thoughts about this book. It was my first time ever reading it and I did not know much before jumping into it. It focuses on self-identity and freedom in a collectivism society. This book came at a time of when I was trying to find myself again and the philosophy behind the words really resonated with me. This was not the best book I have ever read and felt like there was true character and plot development that was lacking. It was more of the underlying meaning that had me enjoying the story.

Rand has a way of turning a dystopian type society into parallels of our own society and what happens when the government has too much control on individuals. We face it all the time of being put into a box and sometimes that limits our full potential and even our passions. It happens with women, people of color, those who are in poverty. When the government tries to make a system that works for everyone and the whole as a collective it take away from self identity and freedom from the individual.

This book although short, was filled with ideas and concepts that make you think. It reminded me to be myself and be true to my own identity. It made me feel a lot of things and emotions that I was not expecting and not totally sure was the intention of the book.

You might also like:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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