Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Bloomsbury Children's (April 4, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

The Elemental Series, Kemmerer's debut, was an almost instant hit for me and when the series ended I was so sad that it was over. I was so eager to get something, anything else from her. I missed her writing style and her unique quirky characters and the hidden messages about family, strength and staying true to who you are in every book. 

And even though I didn't have much luck with her last stand alone novel, when I saw Letters To The Lost and read its description, that fire, that passion, flared up again and I was once again eager to read one of her stories.

I won't lie and say I went into this without any apprehension because truth be told I did but after the first chapter, I knew I shouldn't be worried, this was classic Kemmerer. The author I had come to know and love and I dove right into the deep end and happily didn't come back up for air until the very last page was read.

There are stories that you love because they just call to you. Touch some part of you in a way that you didn't expect. They bring out emotions and feelings and you can't control how much they are impacting you or how much you have completely fallen for them and Letters to the Lost was one such story. It called to me heart and soul and so many times I found myself just feeling. Tearing up and smiling, and overjoyed. It was both terrible and completely wonderful and I wouldn't change a moment of it.  I connected with it like I haven't with this genre lately and it truly was amazing.

This is such a heartfelt coming of age story. One about moving on, dealing with loss and becoming who we truly are and were meant to be. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mini Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Missing
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Crown Books For Young Readers (April 18, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars!

Book Description:
The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing? 

Armstrong never disappoints. It doesn't matter in what genre she writes, when I open up one of her books I always know I am in for something fun and well written.

Her latest YA mystery was just that. It was fun, entertaining and kept me on my toes. One of the few YA mysteries where I didn't see everything coming long before the book was over and one that had me guessing and second guessing right up until the very end.

With engaging characters, a fast paced plot line and enough mystery and creepy thrills to leave me wanting more and flipping rapidly through the pages to discover who was responsible for it all. 

I highly recommend this to someone looking for a well throughout, plotted mystery that will thoroughly keep you engaged until the very end.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Awakening by Amanda Stevens

Title: The Awakening
Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: Book Six in the Graveyard Queen Series
Published By: Mira (March 28, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Shush…lest she awaken… 

My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects. 

For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston's elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family's secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family's palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy.

The Graveyard Queen series has been a favorite since the very first book. With Stevens mesmerizing writing skills and her stories that are every bit as addicting as they are chilling, it is a series that fans and newcomers alike will instantly adore.

Saying goodbye to a beloved series, is never ever easy. In most cases it is bittersweet and almost always heartbreaking and turning the last page in The Awakening was both of those things.

This is a book that you simultaneously both want to devour and make it last forever. You will speed through the pages only to make yourself slow down as you realize that it is almost over... and this time, forever.

Steven's writing puts you right there with Amelia, until you feel like you are right there along with her. Through all of her struggles and growth and change. We saw her come into her own in every way imaginable and this last book brings everything, every secret, ever lie, every misconception into light. Everything is exposed and no one will be the same because of it. 

I absolutely loved this and my only complaint is that there wasn't more. I don't want this series to be over. I don't want it to be the end and I certainly wanted more of a happily ever after, but then again, do we ever want it to be the end when it is something we have come to love?

All I can say is that while I am sad this was the end, I'm also happy with how it all came together even if I do wish there had been just a bit more. Just a bit more romance, just a bit more happily ever after and just a bit more of a conclusion. I would have loved an epilogue but I can see why, if the author ever has any chance of writing a spin off or more books down the road, that she didn't. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, March 15, 2017!

So where have I been you ask, well, I'm here but tired. 
We decided spring time (or all most spring at any rate) was a great time to finally put in that hardwood floor and paint...the entire house and redo the molding and, and, get the idea.

We have had a ton of late nights and long weekends and I'm hoping another week more and we will be done, or as close to it as we are going to get until the next project begins.

It has been a long process and a tiring one but our house is looking so amazing and I'm so happy with the way things are turning out. Our house isn't very old but I've never loved the colors or the floors and now I get exactly what I want and it has been fun even if it has been a lot of work. My husband is a super hero and doing all of the hard labor himself (truly he is amazing!) and because of it we are saving so much money, book money you guys. Okay, maybe not book money but maybe, you never know. ;) 

So anyways, that is what I have been up to and why I've been so quiet around the blogsphere. I haven't disappeared, I've been lurking here and there when I have time but util our house doesn't look like a danger zone/construction site anymore, I will be here and there and posting very little. 

Thanks so much everyone for visiting when I have posted, it means the world to me and I've missed you guys. Hopefully I will be back to a more normal posting rate in the next week or so. 

Until then, everyone stay safe and happy!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mini Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Title: Silence Fallen
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Book Ten in the Mercy Thompson Series
Published By: Ace Books (March 7, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review.)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise... 

I've loved this series from the very beginning and it seems that it just gets better and better. With this latest installment told in multiple point of views of both Mercy, Adam and a certain Mr. Smith, Ms. Briggs really shook things up and breathed fresh life into a series that was already full of it. 

I think this might very well be a new favorite for me. I adored the different point of views and the dynamic of the characters and while I wish Mercy and Adam would have been together more because I adore them working as a team and as a couple, it was kind of fun to see them still working together but far apart from one another. Plus, hello, Europe people! As Mercy travels all over, it was fun to see the different packs and covens and how they worked in other countries. And even better we still get all the favorite characters from past books and even meet a few new ones that I truly hope we will be seeing more of in future installments. 

This truly is a series that just gets better and one that I can't wait to pick up and read each time a new one comes out. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WoW Pick of the Week!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I really liked Vincent's Soul Screamers series, it was fun and different and ended up being pretty addictive. I vowed to read other books by her in the future and when I saw the description for this one, I knew this was the one to try. 

Book Description:

In a world where everyone is the same, one girl is the unthinkable: unique. A high-stakes fast-paced series launch from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent.

We have brown hair. Brown eyes. Fair skin.
We are healthy and strong and smart.
But only one of us has ever had a secret.

Dahlia 16 sees her face in every crowd. She's nothing special—just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city.
Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything. He thinks she’s interesting. Beautiful. Unique. Which means he must be flawed. When Dahlia can't stop thinking about him—when she can't resist looking for him, even though that means breaking the rules—she realizes she's flawed, too. But if she’s flawed, then so are all her identicals. And any genome found to be flawed will be recalled.
Getting caught with Trigger would seal not only Dahlia's fate, but that of all five thousand girls who share her face. But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different?

Suddenly the girl who always follows the rules is breaking them, one by one by one. . . .

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Books in Series You Just Can't Wait To Read

In light of my post last week about books in series that I feel I will never get caught up on, I thought it would be fun to do a post that reflects the opposite (in a way) with those books in series that once they release you gobble them up immediately. Those series that you are so hooked on, you never get the chance to get behind on. You know the series I'm talking about, we all have them, we all love them, and we all are on edge for each new book to release.

In light of last weeks post, here is the lighter side, those series that I never get behind on: 

The Cainsville Series. I've been hooked on this series from book one and while there are only going to be five books in the series (and a handful of novellas) I've read them all as soon as they have been released. With the last book out this year, I truly am so sad it will be over. 

Cecy dazzled me with her fun loving feisty characters in her Weird Girls series and after the first book I gobbled them up as soon as they came out (many times acquiring an ARC of the next book before it hit shelves) and the spin off series wasn't any different. I continue to gobble them up and have loved them all. 

It is hard for me to resist a good ghost story and this series tells some of the best. With it's chilling ghosts and danger everywhere, it is one that I am always up reading until the wee hours of the morning.

And speaking of ghost stories, another of my favorite since discovering it has to be J.L. Bryan's, Ellie Jordan series, it is so much fun and never fails to give me chills and have me looking over my shoulder. Thankfully the man writes fast and I never have long to wait for the next installment. 

Okay so these next two are only a couple of books into the series but so far I haven't been able to get enough of them and even though the Armstrong one just barely came out, I'm already anxious for the next one. 

I'm always on the lookout for something different in the UF genre and this series is it. It's so unique and I think that is why with each new book, I read them right away, just to see what is happening next. 

Okay so I'm sort of cheating with this one because I haven't read the latest book yet but that is only because I'm waiting for it to be closer to the fifth and very sadly last book to be out before starting it but I've devoured this series from the very beginning and it is still one of my top ten favorite UF series of all time.

Suzanne Johnson's Sentinels of New Orleans quickly became a favorite after the second book, I mean seriously, what is not to love about a feisty sexy pirate and a grouchy but lovable shifter? I never miss a chance to dive back into the heart of NOLA in this fabulous series. 

Not only is this one of the few YA authors that I still pick up without hesitation but it's one of my few dystopain ones as well. I loved the first three books in the series and so far the spinoff series has proven to be every bit as wonderful. 

What is there not to love about this series, I mean Reyes people, enough said. Truly though, I love how much this series makes me laugh each time. It has just enough humor to outweigh the deeper issues and the darker mysteries and the characters, every single one of them is just...amazing. 

So yeah, that's my list of series that I can't seem to put on hold. Those that everything else gets put on hold for. Laundry doesn't get done, sometimes dinner ends up being take out, you the know the ones, the ones we are like little kids on Christmas morning waiting for the release date to roll around on.