Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Aftermath
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Crown Books For Young Readers (May 22, 2018)
Genre: YA Mystery
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter. 

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye. 

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

There really isn't  a whole lot that Armstrong can't write, in virtually any genre.

The very fact that she combined a very sensitive topic with a mystery and somehow made it both mysterious and heartfelt make it work, is truly a talent not a lot of authors have. 

I love that this kept me on the edge of my seat wondering exactly if the main character wasn't slightly unhinged herself or if she really was being bullied and pranked by those that really didn't want her there. 

Truly a great stand alone read that fans of Armstrong are going to love and new fans will be glad they took a chance on. 

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Title: Little Do We Know
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Disney Hyperion (June 5, 2018)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars

Book Description:
Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.

In alternating chapters, a skeptic and a believer piece together the story of their complex relationship and the boy caught somewhere in the middle. New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone deftly crafts a moving portrait of faith, love, and friendship.

Top Five Reason Little Do We Know one to add to your TBR pile.

1. Memorable characters with narrative told in alternating POVS
2. You like an array of emotions that will sucker punch you right where it counts each and every time.
3. A story that will stick with you and have you thinking about it even when you aren't reading it.
4. You like YA books that don't necessarily read like they are YA.
5. Messages that are both relatable and teachable not to mention heartwarming and thought provoking. 

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

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Title: Listen To Your Heart
Author: Kasie West
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Point (May 29, 2018)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

Is there anything better than a Kasie West book? 

I mean truly. 

They are always feel good, put a smile on your face and make you go aww, kind of reads. I can always count on her for a heartfelt story that is just what I need when I need it and once again she delivered.

This was such a great read. I adored it completely and couldn't get enough of it. From the family dynamic to the friend dynamic to the podcasting at school. It truly was so much fun and I couldn't read it fast enough. 

West truly outdid herself and I couldn't of asked for a better read or cuter characters. 

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

Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: Owl and The Tiger Thieves by Kristi Charish

Title: Owl and the Tiger Thieves
Author: Kristi Charish
Series: Book Four of the Adventures of Owl Series
Published By: Simon & Schuster (May 7, 2018)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In this fourth Owl novel, Kristi Charish (The Voodoo Killings) melds sparkling fantasy with the grit of urban underbelly—with a detour through the world’s most spectacular cities. This is perfect for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.

Through no fault of her own, Alix has found herself essential to the fate of the world as we know it. She didn’t mean for this to happen—she was quite happy being merely the notorious antiquities thief, and ex-archeologist, known as Owl.

However, years ago, Owl reluctantly entered the secret world of the supernatural. Her goals: complete one job, escape one bounty on her head, continue her thieving in peace.

Fast forward to today. Now, she has become a key player in a brutal paranormal civil war that is rapidly getting out of hand. The leader of one of these factions—a lethal opponent called the Electric Samurai—grows more powerful by the second. To stop him, Owl sets out to find the long-lost, legendary group known as the Tiger Thieves.

But will it be too little too late? One thing Owl misses about “normal” archaeology: there are few emergencies with thousand-year-old relics. 

The Adventures of Owl is one of those series that I seriously think is way underrated.

Owl truly reminds me of a young female version of Indian Jones, hijinks, dangerous misadventures, and evil bad guys and all.

Throw in some very powerful and sometimes strange supernatural beings, a curse or two and you have one heck of a thrilling ride and let me tell you, this fourth installment in the series was intense! And dare I say, my favorite so far?

With the tragic ending that was book three, I was eager to dive right back into this world and see how in the heck Owl was coping with...well everything.

Can I say that I both loved this and maybe not loved it?

It was fabulous. Action packed, adventurous, mysterious was also heartbreaking and slightly sad. So much has happened not only in the world Owl lives in but with Owl too. I just don't know how much more the poor girl can take. I feel for her and even though she has had some set backs, I like how she is dealing with it and she is dealing with it even if those ways aren't always the healthy ways.

I don't want to go into too much detail here but in this installment we get a lot of Artemis, which is both good and bad. I mean, it is Artemis and all his butt head ways but we see a side of him that we aren't use to and even though I didn’t want to like it, I did and it makes me curious how this story will progress from here, especially after that somewhat traumatic and cliffhanger ending that I did not see coming at all.

I'm very excited for what the future holds for Owl and all her friends and can't wait to read more.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: A Mark Unwilling by Candace Wondrak

Title: A Mark Unwilling
Author: Candace Wondrak
Series: Book One in the Reckoning Series
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Published: May 1, 2018
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Lexa Blue thought she had her life figured out. She’d go to college, maybe get a job, and wait until the Demon whose Mark she bears comes to collect her soul. No real concrete plans since it wouldn’t matter in the end. What she did not expect was the end of the world. 

Conquest. War. Pestilence. Death. 

Even with her trusted Warlock friend, David, Lexa is clueless about how to stop the apocalypse—but she’ll still try; because of her Mark, she can’t die. Who better to fight the Horsemen?

It’s not that simple. With a prophetic girl as a new sidekick, a group of Vampires who’re suspect, and an FBI Agent who somehow knows her connection to the biblical figures, Lexa’s life is going to get a heck of a lot worse before it gets better. 

When her Demon finally comes to claim her, will she be ready? 

...Probably not. 

I take very few reviews requests anymore, mostly due to not having enough time to review them all and because it seems one can quickly become bombarded with all kinds of requests and I have a really hard time saying no, even if its a genre I don't like or have no interest in. It was just easier for me both time wise and mentally (LOL) to just close requests from new to me authors. But I've realized over time, I might be doing myself an injustice because who doesn't love discovering new (to them) authors and books?

Every now and then something will cross my path that captures my attention and I will break my not open for reviews nonsense and with A Mark Unwilling, it was one such time. 

I'm not even going to lie, vampires don't appeal that much to me anymore, at least not on their own but throw in some demons and witches and other things? And yes, sign me up! 

How do I describe this read? Actually, I'm not. What I'm going to say instead is that it completely hooked me. I didn't want to put it down and in fact I rarely did. I had other things that I needed to do but for whatever reason (call it a great plot line or interesting characters or just really great writing) I had to know what happened next and how it would end and I put everything else I had to do that day off until this was done. 

And what I want now, is the next book! 

Truly a great captivating read that will surprise you in all the best ways. 

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

Please don't forget that right now there is also a giveaway going on to win a digital copy of this! 10 lucky winners will win one so stop in and check it out! Giveaway can be found HERE!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Bookish Boyfriends
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Amulet (May 1, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences. 

If ever I've related more to a character in a YA novel, that character  would have to be Merrilee. Never have I laughed and smiled my way through a story so much, simply because I got it. I could feel it because in some ways, I've lived it, maybe not as an adult but definitely as a teenager. 

Merrilee is my book character soul mate. She understands it, romance, books, boys, and all. 

It's been a long time since I wanted to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading a YA book but this book changed all that. It captivated me and lured me in like a roaring fire and a hot cup of cocoa on a dark and stormy night. 

Truly a fun and entertaining read suited for all ages and one I highly recommend. 

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

Title: The Lies They Tell
Author: Gillian French
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Published By: HarperTeen (May 1, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, has heard of the Garrison tragedy. A mysterious fire. A family of five reduced to one. For people like Pearl Haskins—whose dad was the caretaker of the Garrison property when the house went up in flames—the whispers about that night are more than upsetting. They hurt. With her disgraced father now trying to find steady work in between booze benders, Pearl is stuck waiting tables at the town’s country club where the rich townspeople come in the summer to flaunt their money and gossip about one another.

This year, a group of privileged boys has made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section—throwing careless insults her way while also attempting to flirt. Though she’s repulsed by everything they stand for, she’s drawn to the quiet leader of the pack, Tristan—the last surviving Garrison. He wasn’t home the night a blaze took his entire family, and the sadness coming off him in waves is hard to ignore. Befriending the summer boys might irk her to her core, but inside their fold of elite parties and reckless whims could be answers to what happened the night of the fire. And that’s just what she finds.

Hidden beneath the glittering fa├žade of wealth and luxury, Pearl discovers a dark and twisted web of lies and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life in Tenney’s Harbor unchanged. That is…if it doesn’t take Pearl’s first. 

It's been a really long time since I've read a YA mystery that has kept me on the edge of my seat, not only guessing at what was about to happen, but with what did happen as well. The magical whodunit.

I usually figure these things out and yet this time, I think I didn't want to be right. I didn't want to feel something for the bad guy. I didn't want it to be who it was and more importantly, because of it, I didn't see it coming as well as I should of and because of that, this had me turning the pages rapidly towards the end, eager to be wrong, eager to be right and most of all, wanting to know it all either way.

French craftily wove a tale riddled with darkness, deceit and lies. Something full of hate and prejudice. Of being wronged and unforgiving. Something oh so addicting and delicious in all its horribleness.

Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. A must read for everyone.

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