The Bone Artist by Madeleine Roux | Novella Review

THE BONE ARTIST BY MADELEINE ROUX

Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery

Series:
Asylum
The Scarlets #1.5
Sanctum

Synopsis:
In this bone-chilling digital original story set in the world of Madeleine Roux’s New York Times bestselling novel Asylum, a Louisiana teen tries to make tuition money working for a sinister organization but finds that leaving comes at a terrible cost.

When Dan, Abby, and Jordan meet Oliver in Catacomb―the third book in the Asylum series―he is a mysterious young antiques dealer with a dark past. But before he was stuck in America’s most haunted city, he was a teenager with a bright future ahead of him. In this story, we find Oliver saving up to attend his dream college in the fall and leave behind his family’s New Orleans antique shop for good. And if his job just happens to involve robbing graves for a group calling themselves the Bone Artists, well—money is money, and it’s only for now. But Oliver soon learns that the Bone Artists don’t take kindly to deserters. And there are some debts that can never be repaid.

With a mounting sense of dread that builds to a terrible end, The Bone Artists is a thrilling installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide a missing piece of the puzzle for series fans.

Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

Goodreads | Amazon

This definitely left me wanting more. I think that is the worst part about novellas. It was nice to get a backstory on Micah as he was in Sanctum. It is situations like this in the story that freak me out because they involve real people and things that can happen in real life. I for sure have to pick up Catacomb right away because I need more of Oliver’s story.
I thought Roux did a good job developing the characters and their relationships in the short amount of time. I felt like I understood Oliver and had a connection with him regarding wanting to get out and go to college.

There were definitely the creepy vibes that are present in Roux’s stories and that tension/ dread that as you read you know something is going to happen. She did such a great job of giving little details and snapshots of the bone artists that left you with tons of questions, convincing you that you need to pick up the next book!

Overall I found this novella to be a dark and creepy read perfect for reading late at night. It has the chill factor and it’s focused on New Orleans which is known for its creepy atmosphere. Although short it introduced some dynamic characters that you want to know more about!

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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!

 

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.

 

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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/

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!

 

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.

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.

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Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

RoseBlood by A.G Howard

 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Book Review

OPEN ROAD SUMMER BY EMERY LORD 

Genre: YA Contemporary

“You are the only person who can build emotional barriers, but you’re also the only person who can topple them. Other people can’t knock down the walls you’ve built, no matter how much they love you. You have to tear them down yourself because there’s something worth seeing on the other side.”
Emery Lord, Open Road Summer

Synopsis:
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am never drawn to contemporary books, but it is a thing to do in the summer and I am happy I picked this one up. It is based on two friends during the summer time and gave me exactly what I needed. This is a fun summer road trip following Dee’s music tour as Dee and Reagan work though situations in their lives while enjoying the time together.

I could not put this book down, it was a fast read and so much fun. I loved the friendship between the two girls and how much they were there for each other. They each had such different personalities and different ghost they were dealing with in their past. I really found a connection to Reagan and some of the things she was going through. She had developed so much throughout the story and it was really nice to see. Of course there is a love interest and at times it took away a little from the two girls,  but it added a deeper layer to the book as well.

The music aspect was so intriguing and nice to read about. I sometimes think that music isn’t used enough in books. Or is a focus in many books. I like that it showed some real realities that accompany the entertainment world and made Dee an actual human with flaws and a past.

Overall I thought this was a great and fun read. It is perfect for the summer time and included so many fun summertime things. The relationships were really well done and it showed all sides of those relationships, the good, bad and the ugly. I also really appreciated that there was a guardian figure present because in so many YA novels these kids run around all on their own. The characters were complex and the storyline was sometimes a little deeper than just a fluffy contemporary, but it was such a fast gripping read.

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Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson