Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review: A Betrayal So Cruel by Candace Wondrak

Title: A Betrayal So Cruel
Author: Candace Wondrak
Series: Book Two in the Reckoning Trilogy
Published: June 1, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Solid Stars!

Book Description:
Welcome to the end of the world. Entrances to the Underworld are to the right, and the road to Hell is on the left.

Humanity wasn’t prepared for Armageddon. We didn’t think anything could take us down. How stupid. All it took was the Four Horsemen and a vengeful Hades, along with a crazy cult that Deb ran from. We’ve lost so much along the way, but it isn’t over.

It will never be over, not until Hades gets what he wants. What does he want? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out and make sure he never gets it. He hates me, hates Dagon, and for that, I hate him. I don’t care about his reasons. Earth and its people are not toys for the gods and Angels.

And Dagon—oh, Dagon. Despite it all, he can be sweet. But I don’t want sweet. I want danger. I want to live before I’m forced to play a part in this ancient war.

I’m being watched, lied to. I can’t trust anyone anymore. I can’t depend on anyone. Nothing is true in this apocalypse. Those with the prettiest of faces are the worst offenders of all.

The Devil cannot have me…but that won’t stop him from trying.

A Betrayal so Cruel is the second in The Reckoning trilogy, an Urban Fantasy/Apocalyptic mashup perfect for fans of Buffy, Supernatural, and quirky characters!

I loved A Mark Unwilling, just how different it felt from your typical UF. Yes it has monsters and supernaturals and yes there is magic and danger but it still felt some how unique and like a story I hadn't heard before which is why after reading it, I had no hesitation whatsoever picking up book two. 

I'm so glad I did because if I thought book one was good, it was nothing compared to book two. A Betrayal So Cruel was so much...more. More danger, more deceit, more lies, more mystery, more romance, just..more. 

I loved all the Greek mythology mixed in with the supernatural. Being a huge lover of both, it just made this read so much more fun and it wasn't long before I found myself quickly devouring it page by page. 

I'm so excited to see what book three will hold and where they all will go from here. 

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: The Bird and The Blade by Megan Bannen

Title: The Bird and the Blade
Author: Megan Bannen
Series: Stand Alone

Published By: Balzer + Bray (June 5, 2018)
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of ... even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen. 

I honestly can't remember the last time a book tore my heart out and stomped on it as hard as this one did. 

I can't remember the last time I cried, truly cried and didn't want to stop because of  the emotions that I felt not only all through this story, but especially at the end.

Oh my poor heart and soul. I may never be the same again.

Filled with beautifully rich history and a strange friendship that blooms and grows, this truly was a wonderfully heartfelt , wonderfully written story that should be experienced by everyone.

Magnificently done and presented, this will be one that I won't soon be forgetting. I adored absolutely everything about it, even the agonizing and heartbreaking ending. 

*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 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.*