Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison

Title: A Fistful of Charms
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Book Four in the Hollows Series
Published By: Harper Torch (June 27, 2006)
Source: Purchased
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her -- not necessarily in that order.

Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses -- savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel's soul is at stake. 

It's funny how a series can sneak up on you and take you by surprise. How it can worm it's way into your thoughts and you find yourself thinking about it at odd times throughout the day until you can get back to where you left off last and devour it some more.

I think this series has done that to me, wormed it's way into my thoughts and made me completely addicted to it. 

I just love all the characters and even though Rachel can be trying at times with all the danger she knowingly puts herself into, I still can't resist the heart of gold she has that makes her do it. She really is like a moth to a flame. If there is danger, she will be there starring it in the face and trying to figure out how she can piss it off more.

But again, it just works for this series and makes it all the more appealing. And umm, hello hot big Jenks! The very fact that Rachel had to keep reminding herself that he was a married man with fifty-four kids seriously made me smile every single time. I have always loved Jenks but he really stood out and shined in this and it was so fun to let him have his bold brave moments and really “see” him for maybe the first time.

This is such a fun series. It has so many elements that make a series great and really make it stand out. From lovable characters that you can't get enough of (even the ones that are suppose to be bad), to the sometimes non stop action, danger, mystery, and a hot romance that doesn't overwhelm the story to the humor that fills the pages and adds that lighter touch when needed,this really is a series that is worth the time to read and enjoy. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Title: Ash & Bramble
Author: Sarah Prineas
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (September 15, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

I'm not going to lie, what drew me first to this novel was the unusual cover. It caught my eye and demanded that I read the synopsis. When I saw that it was a retelling, and a dark one at that, I knew this would be the read for me. 

What if the real villain of the story wasn't the Witch but the Godmother instead? What if we never got to choose our own endings, happy or not, but they were chosen for us? Forced onto us by a sinister power that has grown too strong over time? What if everything we thought we knew about happily ever after was all a lie?

I admit, I didn't go into this expecting to be caught up in the story, caught up in Pin and Shoe, but I was. Oh how I was. 

Prineas wove a tale so enchanting, so original, and so far from the original that it was hard not to be memorized by it. Not to be caught up in the madness, chaos, and utter unreliability of the tales we have all come to love as small children as they were read to us from storybooks and watched in movies as she twisted them, made them dark and sinister and anything but those we fell in love with.

With a heroine every bit as smart, cunning and strong, as she is unwilling to depend on anyone else to save her but herself. To create her own story, with its own ending. An ending she chooses, one she creates for herself. One where she is the hero, not the prince, not the king, not the Godmother. 

This truly was unlike anything I have read before and I loved and savored every single page of it. I truly was hooked after only a few chapters and even now, after finishing it, I am still thinking about the genius behind it. The what ifs and the could have beens. 

This took me by surprise and I love Prineas for being able to still surprise me when it comes to this genre, and this retelling. Where magic is afoot and anything is possible, even darkness and misery in a much beloved fairy tale that is anything but happy and cheerful. 

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Promotional Post Launch and Giveaway: First In Line by Random House Children!

I am so excited to be bringing you not only a great giveaway but news about a new program from Random House Children, First In Line!

This is a fabulous program that is dedicated to us, readers, I mean, how cool is that?

Being the first at anything is no easy feat, but you already know that.

-          You were reading The Hunger Games before VOLUNTEERING AS TRIBUTE.

-          You were FEELING THE FEELS from The Fault in Our Stars before it was TFIOS. Okay? Okay.

-          You KNEW YOUR FACTION while other people were being sorted into their houses.

Members receive a monthly newsletter and access to locked sections of the site. This will include special behind-the-book material and author content, such as never-before-seen deleted scenes, extended excerpts, author videos and Q&As, sharable social images, and advance reader’s copy giveaways!

The inaugural books that are being featured include: New York Times bestselling author James Dashner’s THE GAME OF LIVES, New York Times bestselling author David Levithan’s ANOTHER DAY, bestselling and critically acclaimed authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s ILLUMINAE, debut author Nicola Yoon’s EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, and more!

We invite you to join now at! And, don’t forget to share your FIRST IN LINE moments with hashtag #FIRSTINLINE. Tell your friends, teens, and colleagues to secure THEIR place in line at

As a special part of the promotional tour for this amazing launch I am offering one winner in the US a free First in Line Tote! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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.

There is absolutely no way I'm missing out on a new Mead read (Ha! I'm a poet and didn't even know it!).

I loved both her Georgina Kincaid series and her Vampire Academy series so, once again, a no brainer for me. And isn't the cover pretty?

Book Description:

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever... 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Cold Shadows by J.L. Bryan

Title: Cold Shadows
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: Book Two in the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper Series
Published: November 28, 2014
Source: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Footsteps in the attic. Toys that play by themselves. A dark presence in an upstairs room. 

Paranormal investigator Ellie Jordan faces a difficult new case. Her new clients are a family haunted by multiple ghosts and a poltergeist that wrecks their home at night. Their seven-year-old son’s invisible friends may not be imaginary at all, but the restless spirits of dead children. 

To clear her clients’ house of the dangerous entities, Ellie must unravel the mysterious deaths of another family who lived in the old mansion more than a hundred and sixty years ago—and she must do it before the ghosts can carry out their malevolent designs on her clients and their children.

After a surprise love of the first book in the series, I didn't hesitate to pick up the second. And oh boy was this quite the read. Creepier, darker, and full of delicious paranormal woo hoo. 

Ellie once again manages to get herself in way over her head when it comes to the dark and creepy spirits that haunt the homes of those she visits and while this trait isn't a great one, it somehow works for the storyline. 

With darkness abound, danger around every creak and glowing orb, this was a fun sequel that lived up to the first and then some.

Packed full of ghosts, mystery, and a slight hint of a romance to be, this truly was a hard one to put down and makes me excited to see what else Ellie and her friends can get up to in the next installment.

I remain pleasantly surprised and creeped out with this series and I can see it quickly becoming a favorite for when I just need to escape, get a little freaked out and want a few hours all to myself immersed in another world where anything is possible and everything goes. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Title: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Point (August 25, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Suspense
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Asylum meets Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, in this riveting tale of ghosts, secrets, and family, from master of suspense Katie Alender.

Delia's new house isn't just a house. It used to be an insane asylum, a place to lock up "troubled" young women long ago. And a restless, wicked spirit is still at play--and it doesn't want defiant girls like Delia to go anywhere.

So the house kills her.

Now Delia is a ghost, trapped in her creepy home forever. As she meets the other ghost girls who haunt the narrow hallways, as well as the handsome ghost boy on the grounds, she learns shocking truths about the house's history. Delia also realizes that her alive and grieving sister might be the house's next target. Can Delia unlock the mystery of the old asylum, save her sister, and free herself? 

I have yet to read a book by Alender that hasn't thoroughly creeped me out, entertained me, and left me with so many thoughts in my head, it was hard to put them all together, but of course, in the most wonderful way possible. 

She truly has become my go to author when I want something that will scare me but not so much that I have nightmares and am up all night with the lights on. Her latest novel fit right in with my expectations for her.

Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was everything I was hoping it would be. A perfect read for this time of year when we start to want to read about those things that go bump in the night.

Suspenseful, intriguing, mysterious, creepy, and with characters that feel alive, this was truly a fun read that had me rapidly turning the pages and trying to guess what would happen next.

This had everything I have come to love about Alender's writing and didn't let me down. 

If you are looking for something different, fun, and a bit scary, this is the YA read for you. 

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

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Title: This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books (September 22, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Retelling/Steampunk
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

Lee's well written, well told debut novel set in a Victorian steampunk era was fascinating and makes one wonder that it is her first novel. With words that are sometimes lyrical and a setting that is every bit as believable and it fantastical, this story really does stick out and jump off the pages. 

Having been one that was always fascinated with Dr. Frankenstein and his freakish monster, it was no wonder that when I saw This Monstrous Thing, I didn't hesitate one iota to pick it up and dive right in.

Entertaining, engaging, imaginative, and fun are just a few words to describe it. I wholeheartedly was hooked from the very first page and found it hard to put down as I ventured into the life of Alasdair, his family, and the mechanical clockwork men that were so hated and feared throughout the story. 

I enjoyed this so much and I'm so very excited to read more from this author in the future. 

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Blindness by Ginger Scott

Title: Blindness
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Stand Alone
Published: February 25, 2014
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
It takes a while to know who you really are. And when you lose your way, sometimes it’s hard to find it again.

Charlie Hudson was on the verge of figuring that out when her dad—the only parent and friend she ever had—died suddenly. She was barely 18, and she was alone. So she went for easy—playing life safe, running away from a home that harbored nothing but bad memories and challenges and loving a man who would take her away from it all forever. 

It’s funny how chance takes over when you need it most. And that’s exactly what brought Cody Carmichael into her life. A former motocross super star, Cody was now happy to be living the blue collar life, spending his days finishing up school and his nights under the hood of some classic car, just trying to keep everything his father taught him alive. Cody and Charlie were living parallel lives, until they finally collided. And the moment he smiled at her, Charlie knew he was the one who would change everything. But was she willing to take the risk? 

Cody saw through it all. He saw her—all of her. But would letting him in be too much to take? And if Charlie let herself love him—really love him—could he love her back?

I need to admit, right out front, that normally, I'm not one to read books that have anything to do about cheating. I loathe them on principle alone but every now and then, one will come along that will completely capture my attention, and not only hold it, but make it impossible to put the story down. 

And while when I picked this up, I didn't realize it contained any sort of cheating or O honestly wouldn't have started it, I couldn't help but read it after the very first chapter. I was completely caught up in the story from the very beginning and instead of putting the book down in disgust, I stayed up until four in the morning reading it because, I just had to know how it all ended.

I'm not going to say very much more about this story, other than I loved all of the characters and I was sad that some of them were hurt and sad that some weren't, but more than anything, I will leave you with this, even if you don't like these sort of reads, even if cheating, like me, usually leave you frustrated and disgusted, take a chance on this one. It was worth it. 

Well written, mesmerizing, great characters, and a good storyline, are all things that will keep you reading, keep you flipping through the pages. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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.

There is no way I'm passing up a Hoover book, she is on my auto-buy list and while I know not everyone loves her writing, I most certainly do. In fact, she is one of the few NA authors out there right now that I don't hesitate to grab, even though I've been pretty burnt out on the genre as of late. 

Book Description:

This is a love story between a guy (me) and a girl (Fallon). 
I think. 
Can it even be considered a love story if it doesn’t end with love? 
Mysteries end when the mystery is solved. 
Biographies end when the life story has been told. 
Love stories should end with love, right? 
Maybe I’m wrong, then. Maybe this isn’t a love story. If you ask me…I’d say this might even be considered a tragedy. 
Whatever it is—however it ends—I promised I would tell it. So without further ado.

Once upon a time…I met a girl. 

The girl.

I have a feeling this one might rip my heart out and stomp on it a few times.

So, how about you, a fan? Not a fan? 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Sanyare by Megan Haskell

Title: Sanyare
Author: Megan Haskell
Series: Book One in the Last Descendant Series
Published By: Trabuco Ridge Press (February 16, 2015)
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
When friends become enemies and enemies become friends, who’s left to trust? 

Trained as an elite fighter and educated in the ways of the elves, Nuriel “Rie” Lhethannien has worked decades to be accepted into the High Court messenger service. It’s a simple enough occupation, but in a realm where humans are treated as little better than slaves, it’s a position she’ll do anything to protect. 

On a routine delivery in the Human Realm, Rie is attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm and framed as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of an unmerciful king, she evades capture and crosses the portal into enemy lands to prove her innocence. 

Surprising allies arise from the shadows, assisting her search and uncovering secrets she didn’t know she kept. With the risk of discovery lurking at every turn, Rie must use every weapon in her arsenal — and some she didn’t know she possessed — to uncover the truth behind the attack. Along the way, she discovers she might not be as human as she was led to believe, and her heritage could be more dangerous than she ever imagined.

As some of you may know I have only recently really embraced this genre and have declared it a favorite. And while it is quickly becoming a favorite, I do still struggle with it at times and am leery of starting series and books from authors I truly know nothing about.

Which is why even though I read the prequel and enjoyed it, I went into this with no expectations and if I'm being completely honest, a little leery as well. I had no idea what to expect when I opened the pages.

I can tell you what I got though, a fun, fast paced read full of mystery, twists, and characters that you will simply adore.

While I really liked fierce, kick butt Rie, I adored the pixies! Yes, you read that right, pixies. Gikl, Niinka, Possn, Hiinto, and Tiik were just so much darn fun. They were mischievous, spunky, and almost always getting into trouble, not to mention their slightly scary ability to munch on the bad guys. There was just something so fun and endearing about their loyalty to Rie and how they always had her back. 

The  mystery was a great one too and honestly, the twists in this, I didn't see coming. Not to mention the wonderful blend of sups and magic and this was a read that I had a hard time putting down.

I really enjoyed every single aspect of it. It was well written, well designed, and the world building  had just the right amount of detail without being a huge info dump at one time and becoming overwhelming.

I honestly enjoyed this so much and I can't wait for more. The author truly has created something unique and original while still holding true to familiar concepts and creatures. I have to applaud her on her ability to mix so many details together and create something fun and unputdownable. 

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (July 2, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about. 

It isn't ever hard to forget after picking up one of West's book, why she is one of the few authors in YA, that is my go to author.

I can always count on a great read from her. Her characters are so full of life, so real, and so much fun to be with. You feel instantly connected to them, protective of them, and completely invested in them. 

Cayman was so my kind of character. Sarcastic almost to a fault, funny, so down to earth and just real in every sense of the word and as much as a fictional character can be. 

Xander was ever bit the swoon worthy character that I just knew he would be and once again, her secondary characters are always the best.

You would never know picking this up, that it was West's debut novel. The one that changed the world of contemporary YA as soon as it hit shelves.

I am so glad I took the chance on this author and fell in love with her writing, the characters she creates and the messages that she relays. It is so nice having those go to authors that you know you can depend on and count on to consistently deliver an amazing story time and time again. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: Book Two in the Selection Series
Published By: HarperTeen (April 3, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

I remember really liking The Selection when I read it over three years ago but for whatever reason put off reading the rest of the books. So honestly, I was expecting to be able to jump right back into The Elite and loving every minute of it.

Before I get into that though, I want to say that this series has always been a fluff read for me. You know, one of those books that you pick up knowing you are simply reading it to have fun. That it will be cliched and cheesy at times and more than once will make you roll your eyes but more than anything else, it will make you smile too. 

I remember liking America, even when other readers out there were put off by her attitude and of course, the nasty little love triangle that so many of us have come to loathe as they gained popularity over the years.

And while I did read this over three years ago, for whatever reason, I thought the love triangle would be okay, that I wouldn't be too bothered by it and I would be able to see past it to the rest of the story, but the fact is, the love triangle bothered me way more than I was expecting. In fact, I was pretty exasperated with the whole thing by the end of the book. And even though I was able to enjoy the story and I really did want to know how it ended, I was still upset with American's wishy washy-ness.

Honestly, the triangle was just too much and that made me sad because this is a good story. It is well written and there are some very swoon worthy moments and great messages but that love triangle was a bear to get through and made my love for this series falter. 

I will be reading the last book because of sheer morbid curiosity but my love for this series, isn't quite what it once was, but again, I do love the writing and the engaging storyline. If it wasn't for the triangle, I would be rating this much higher but I just can't get past it, no matter how hard I try so for that, this is getting only three stars from me. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly

Title: The Foxglove Killings
Author: Tara Kelly
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Entangled Teen (September 1, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.

I work at Gramps's diner, and the cakes―the entitled rich kids who vacation here―make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He's almost like a stranger now. I can't figure it out...or why I'm having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn't be having.

Then one of the cakes disappears.

When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her—and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it's up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I've ever known about myself — and Alex.

It is hard not to jump at the chance to read a mystery in the young adult genre, simply because there are so few and even fewer that are actually written well and keep you guessing until the very end.

I am pleased to say, that Ms. Kelly succeed on both counts. Not only was this written well, with hints and foreshadowing along the way, but this did indeed, keep me guessing almost until the very end about what was really going on.

To say this was a pleasant surprise, would be putting it mildly. 

The plot was fast paced, the characters very well fleshed out, the setting felt very real, and the chilling murders, notes, and mystery kept me constantly on my toes wondering if I knew who the killer was and why. 

I ended up reading this in one sitting, flipping the pages trying to get to the end to see if I was right and had it all figured out.

Ms. Kelly truly wrote something that I think will please any lover of a good mystery thriller, in any genre. 

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