Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly

Title: Seriously Shifted
Author: Tina Connolly
Series: Book Two in the Seriously Wicked Series
Published By: Tor Teen (November 1, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
A sparkling new adventure about teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, introduced to readers in Seriously Wicked

Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them.

Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is.

Can’t a good witch ever catch a break? 

Connolly has come up with a very fun, very quirky take on witches in her newest series Seriously Wicked and unlike most sequels, this one can be read as a stand alone so no worries if you haven't read book one, you can jump right into this without feeling lost at all. Although truth be told, I do recommend reading book one simply because it is too cute to pass up.

A seriously fun read geared towards to younger YA crowd but still perfectly suitable for all people who want a fast, fun, entertaining read that will let you get away for a couple of hours and just have a good time. With friends and characters you will quickly like and adore, this was such a good read. 

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Trust Me by Romily Bernard

Title: Trust Me
Author: Romily Bernard
Series: Book Three in the Find Me Trilogy
Published By: HarperTeen (March 22, 2016)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
“Trust me.”

Wick Tate’s never heard these words so much in her life. And with all her secrets, who can she really trust?

There’s Milo, her new hacker boyfriend, who’s keeping a dark secret of his own. Griff, the ex who’s always had her best interests at heart but who mostly wants to stay out of Wick’s mess. There’s Looking Glass, an organization that can supposedly offer Wick protection…and a future.

And then there’s her family. They should be easy to trust, right? Not if you’re Wick. Not when “family” means so many different things, including a criminal father who may not stay locked up for long.

Wick is used to relying on herself…and only herself. But she’s going to have to learn to trust someone if she’s going to finally escape her demons... 

I have loved this series from the very beginning with all its danger, chaos, twists and turns and Wick is the very best part of it all. But even I have to admit, that with this latest, this last, installment, Bernard outdid herself. It was, simply put, brilliant. 

Wick has grown so much from the timid headstrong girl of Find Me. She is still very much damaged, still very much in danger and still very much as smart and cunning as ever. And even though she has grown a lot as a character, there was still room for growth and Bernard did that with her. Wick is one of my all time favorite female characters in a role like her's. 

She never back down from a fight or a challenge and she would literally, do anything to protect those she loves. She is brave in every single of the definition of the word. Don't get me wrong, she is scared, sometimes so much so that it paralyzes her but she still does what needs to be done without flinching, without thinking about what it will mean for her later one. She follows her instincts and her heart and she is always better because of it. 

It is always bittersweet saying goodbye, but if I had to choose how to say goodbye to this amazing cast of characters and to Wick especially, this was the way I would have wanted to do it.

This was everything I was hoping it would be and then went beyond that. I can't tell you how nice, how satisfying it is to get a great finale to a fabulous trilogy like this one has been. Bernard gave her fans everything we could have asked for while still making it very much realistic to not only the characters and story, but to the real world as well. 

I'm so very glad I discovered this series and that I took the time to read it and to fall in love with it. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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 completely fell in love with Bouchet's debut novel and her characters and am seriously on edge waiting for the second book to be released. If you haven't tried this series yet, grab it, it is fantastic and blends the right amount of fantasy with mythology and a steamy slow burning romance that will blow you away.

Book Description:

"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath & the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: Book One in the Wrath & the Dawn Duology
Published By: Putnam's Sons for Young Readers (May 12, 2015)
Source: Borrowed
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end. 

I'm going to be brutally honest and admit that the reason it has taken me so very long to read this, is because of all the mixed reviews and ratings for it. It seems to be one of those books that you either absolutely love or one that you really dislike.

 I decided because of this fact, I would start with the prequels and go from there. When I loved those, I decided it was time to dive in and see what the fuss (both good and bad) was all about.

And can I just say, I loved this? Wholeheartedly and without hesitation, I enjoyed every moment of this, so much so that I finished it in the wee hours of the morning because I just couldn't put it down, and believe me, I had no intention of staying up until 2 in the morning, on a school night of all nights. 

Yep, I just couldn’t get this book out of my head and the slow burning, slow building romance either. 

The characters are all flawed, all fabulous, and all feisty in their own right, especially Despina and Sahvi. Two fierce women that know how to go after what they want unless of course, that want involves matters of the heart. 

Completely captivating, mysterious, and full of a romance that at times will melt your insides with longing. This truly was every bit as good as I was hoping it would be after reading the prequels and I'm not the least bit disappointed that I read it, nor that I lost hours of sleep because of it.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

Title: Unnatural Deeds
Author: Cyn Balog
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire (November 1, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.

And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.

It has been a long time since I have read a book by Balog, years in fact but when I saw she had a new release I knew I had to try it.

Known for her unique if not slight bizarre stories, I knew I would be in for something different, something strange and something other. And that is truly exactly what I got in this story. A book filled with the unexpected and the strange. With a story that wasn't all it first appeared to be and one that honestly took me by surprise with what I did see and what I didn't see coming.

Told in the voice of the main character who is anything but a reliable narrator as she slowly tells a tale that is both horrifying and fascinating. A tale of obsession and darkness and love and one of madness. 

This was everything I was hoping it would be and kept me rapidly turning the pages curious to find out more. In fact, it might very well be my favorite story from this author yet. 

It kept me on my toes, reading long into the night, and left feeling a little but mystified by the ending that I didn't see it all unfolding correctly. It messed with me in the best possible way and I loved it. Truly a favorite from the author. 

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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.

Sarah Fine has some of the most imaginative and fun reads out there. So unique and different and sometimes raw and gritty too. I loved the first book in this series so I'm excited that the second books release is right around the corner. The Impostor Queen lived up to all my expectations for it and I'm hoping this second installment will as well. 

Book Description:

Ansa has always been a fighter.

As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

Title: The Girl in the Picture
Author: Alexandra Monir
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Delacorte Press (November 15, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things — the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick to Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep.

The Girl in the Picture.

After high school heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police are in search of the girl whose picture with Chace is the only clue found amongst his personal belongings. A girl who no one knew was even close to Chace–and whose dormmate, Lana Rivera, was Chace's girlfriend.

Nicole is that girl and now she's the primary suspect in his murder.

But what really happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back; were he and Lana over? Could either of them have killed him?

Told in alternating points of view, that of our suspect, Nicole Morgan, and her former best friend and roommate, Lana Rivera, readers will piece together the story of a starcrossed love, a fractured friendship–and what really happened the night Chace was killed.

After really like the author's stand alone book Suspicion last year, it was about time I picked something else of her's up and when I saw that her latest was going to be a YA mystery with just a touch of paranormal mixed in, I knew it was going to be the next read for me. 

This was an enjoyable read and the paranormal mixed in very nicely with the mystery aspect and truly created an imaginative story that was easily read in one sitting. 

Told in alternating point of view of both Lana and Nicole and spanned over the space of a year, this was nicely done and plotted out. I loved the added bonus of our glimpses of Chace as well. It added an extra depth and layer to the story that both brought on an air of mystery as well and a paranormal element that was a nice touch.

This ended up being a fun read that I'm glad I took the time for.

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

Blog Tour Review and Tour Wide Giveaway: Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson

I'm so excited to be a part of this tour. As many of you know I am a huge fan of Cecy's and it is always a pleasure to not only work with her but to read her work and her latest and greatest in the Weird Girls was (as always) so much darn fun and I'm so happy to tell you about it today, Taran has always been a favorite of mine and I was so excited to see another book from her point of view. You guys, you are in for a treat!

Release Date: October 18, 2016
Series: Book Seven in the Weird Girls Series

Book Description:
Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightning. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran's insecurities have driven them apart.  

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative. 

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don't come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered. 

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . . 

About the Author:

CECY (pronounced Sessy) ROBSON is the new adult and contemporary romance author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels and upcoming Carolina Beach novels, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA® finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

The Weird Girls series is by far one of my ultimate favorite series and I was so sad when Celia and Aric's story was over. When I found out Cecy was going to give us more books, but this time in the point of view of the other sisters, I, like most fans, were beyond thrilled. There was no way any of us was ready for this fantastic series to be over. 

To have the feisty sarcastic Taran star in the first book, was amazing and I couldn't have picked a better sister to start with. And now having the second book, also be told in her point of view, as her story continues, is again, so fabulous. Her first book,  Of Flame and Promise just about broke my heart. As much as this series can make me smile and laugh out loud, it also has the ability to rip my heart out and stomp on it a few times before callously trying to shove it back in my chest again and the last book wasn't any different. 

I thought, like always, that I was prepared for the emotions that would surge through me while reading, but of course, in classic Cecy fashion, I was wrong and not prepared for them at all. 

While Taran's first book coincides with the events in books four and five, this book is after all of that and not only gives us more insight into how Celia and Aric are doing (yay!!!) but also the others in the pack as well and once again, we get all the old characters we've known and loved from the beginning.

I didn't know what to think about this book, not the writing because that is always fantastic but about Taran herself. She has always been a hot head and it's one of the things I love about her but she is also very much lost after everything that has happenned to her. She is angry and bitter and pushes those she needs and loves the most away and it was really hard to see her doing it. I felt so much for her and couldn't help not only feeling sorry for her but a bit angry too because I knew there was so much she wasn't seeing, so much she choose to ignore and pretend wasn't happening or was that wasn't. 

All in all though, in classic Cecy style, Taran came around and she grew so much throughout this story and it was wonderful to see. With the ending the way it was, I'm so excited for the next book. 

This was a wonderful installment to the series and one I'm so very thankful we got.

*An ARC copy of this was provided by the tour host. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or tour host. I was not compensated for this review.*

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock

Title: Lost in Wonderland
Author: Nicky Peacock
Series: Book One in the Twisted and the Brave Series
Published By: Evernight Teen (April 14, 2016)
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Description:
Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder... 

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad. 

I am always up for a good twisted and dark retelling but this story, this story was not at all what I was prepared for. 

Yes it was dark and twisted but not at all in the way that I was expecting. It wasn't another retelling, in fact it really was its very own story in all ways that count. 

It was a nice take on the world of assassins that just also happened to follow characters of sorts from the original story with a light paranormal twist thrown in for fun.

It was a bit gritty, a bit dark, and a whole lot of fun. It was everything I wasn't expecting and something I didn't even know I wanted. All in all, a fun new take on a classic. 

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: Belakane by Angela Carling and Anna Taylor

Title: Belakane
Author: Angela Carling and Anna Taylor
Series: Prequel to the Secret Keeper Series
Published: October 5, 2016
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Belakane lives during the terrifying age of the Salem Witch trials. And, unlike the women around her, she actually is a witch. When Belakane’s magic gets her best friend Martha accused of witchcraft, the powerful sorceress creates a risky enchantment to protect what’s left of the small group of friends who hide her secret. 

Will Belakane’s power save her friends or will it be the demise of all she holds dear?

The Secret Keeper series has always been unique and because of that uniqueness I haven't once hesitated to pick up each new book. When I was given the chance to read a novella that told the story of where it all began, I was so very excited to read it and finally find out what started it all. 

This was so much fun to read and the history nerd in me absolutely loved that it started during the Salem witch trials, when things were so very uncertain, scary, and dangerous for many people, especially those that stood out or stood up for what was right during this horrible time in not just our history as a country, but across the world. 

It was in short, very fitting to the whole storyline of the series and couldn't have been more perfect. 

It was so much fun to see how it began, how the very first secret keeper (or keepers as the case may be) came about. How a loving gift was later turning into a curse. How goodness became bad and how one person changed it all. 

This was a fabulous addition to the series and definitely a must for any fan of it. 

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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.

While I do already have a copy of this, I still couldn't help posting about it today because I haven't started it yet and can't wait to. I've been trying to hold out until the release date is closer but I can feel myself giving at any moment. It just looks so good and I adored book one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Raybourn doesn't let me down (she hasn't yet) and this is just as good.

Book Description:

Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the "New York Times" bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries... 
"London, 1887." Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman s noose in a week s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer. 

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed...."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blog Tour Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

For those of you that may not know, I love this genre and to find not only a new author to love but a new series as well was a complete win win. I am so excited about this series and am happy that I can share it with you today for those that may not have heard about it yet.

Book One in the Lady Sherlock Series
Published By: Berkley (October 18, 2016)

Book Description:

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society.  But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. 

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind. 

About the Author:

Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA® Award.

English is Sherry’s second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Being an avid Sherlock fan, I couldn't miss the opportunity to read something different, something with a nice witty twist and Thomas's latest read is exactly that. 

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this story. It was brilliant. All the right characters, in all the right roles with all the wit, humor, mystery, and danger that any Sherlock fan would adore right down to the classic 19th century London setting. Except of course, for one small difference with a very big impact, Sherlock and Watson, not hes at all but instead, brilliant, charismatic, shes. 

This was so beautifully done, so realistically done that it was easy to imagine that Sir Conan Doyle got it all wrong and that in fact, Sherlock was none other than our heroine Charlotte Holmes herself. 

Wonderfully written with rich detail, a wonderful page turning mystery and just enough hint of a romance to leave you breathless and wanting the next book immediately. I'm so very excited for this new series and can already tell it will be a fast favorite. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review. A copy was received in exchange for an honest review.*