Review: Keepers by Sacha de Black

33297377Keepers by Sacha de Black

Published November 2017 

Eden’s life is balanced…
…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.


Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.
 

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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

This book is everything I want from a YA fantasy. It has awesome characters, great world building, a well thought out plot, and lots of action.
The world of Trutinor is so creative and such a refreshing change from the majority of YA fantasies I’ve been reading lately. Sacha built such an amazing world and she did it in a way that was easy to understand and I was able to picture everything clearly.
I absolutely loved the main character, Eden. She was so well written and complex.
There is a love triangle but I, hater of all love triangles, didn’t mind it at all. There’s just something about how Sacha wrote it that was so well done.
Overall, I really loved Keepers. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. If you’re looking for an action packed YA fantasy, I definitely recommend Keepers by Sacha da Black.

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Review: Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly

25814219Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly
Published: April 5 2016

The Middlesteins meets The Virgin Suicides in this arresting family love story about the eccentric yet tightknit Simone family, coping with tragedy during 90s New York, struggling to reconnect with each other and heal.

Claudio and Mathilde Simone, once romantic bohemians hopelessly enamored with each other, find themselves nestled in domesticity in New York, running a struggling vinyl record store and parenting three daughters as best they can: Natasha, an overachieving prodigy; sensitive Lucy, with her debilitating heart condition; and Carly, adopted from China and quietly fixated on her true origins.

With prose that is as keen and illuminating as it is whimsical and luminous, debut novelist Christine Reilly tells the unusual love story of this family. Poignant and humane, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a deft exploration of the tender ties that bind families together, even as they threaten to tear them apart.

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*I’d like to preface this review with the fact that I had this book reviewed in early October, but I scheduled it with the date of 2017 by accident, and it was brought to my attention that my review still was not posted, so I’m so so sorry!

I was very lucky to have Christine reach out to me and send my a copy of her book to read and review and I’ll have to admit that I was a very bad book blogger/reviewer because it took me forever to gain the courage to step out of my fantasy zone as well as in between wedding planning to pick this up . But thank you Christine for being so patient with me and I’m so sorry this took so long!

I don’t usually read these types of books but honestly, this book kind of reminded me of Parenthood, the TV show so if you liked that I feel like this might be the book for you. Although I’m mostly a fantasy reader, this was a wonderful read!

I saw a lot of people talking about the writing style in this book, and I think that’s what initially made me pick it up, I love a good “lyrical” writing style which is what a lot of people were mentioning when I scrolled through the reviews, and that’s when I finally picked this up and had the confidence to read it. And everyone was right. The writing in the book is absolutely phenomenal, lyrical and utterly beautiful, almost hauntingly so when hitting home with topics like mental illness ( I have experience in this realm, so it really did hit me pretty hard).

I think this book really gave a different perspective on a familial story because it was really multi-generations in this book starting from one generation and really growing through other ones as well. And I really liked that growth and seeing that diversity and difference between everything. It made it much more enjoyable and I really felt as though I knew all aspects of this family. Especially since there were three sisters and I am one of three sisters, it made this book much more relatable I think.

I would most definitely say that you really have to pick up this book. It’s really wonderfully written and very impressive for a debut novel. I’d have to say that Christine Reilly is really an author to keep your eye on. I would gladly read and review any of her books for the rest of my life. I can’t even express how impressed and wonderfully pleased I am with this book (even though it made me ugly cry)

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Review: Take the Leap by Derek Ryans

28601049Take the Leap: A Collection of Short Stories by Derek Ryans

Published December 31st 2015

If two lost souls were destined to meet, how does it take before fate steps in?
Ethan Winston makes an attempt to run away from his abusive father and finds himself in the streets, left with alcohol to keep him company. A stranger shows up one day with a guitar and a sign that reads, “Love, Music, Save the World,” and he watches her for 58 days. Explore the possibilities of love and destiny in these three short stories:

– 58 Days
– Shut Up and Kiss Me
– Love was in the Lost and Found

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I really enjoy short stories so I was really excited to read Take the Leap. There’s three short stories in this collection. My favorite one was 58 Days. All three stories were really nicely written and and cute concepts of love and destiny. I think maybe the stories could have been a bit more fleshed out. They did feel a little bit flat at times. But overall, I did really enjoy this collection.

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A copy of this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

 

Review: Mystical by Michael Weekly

27787105Mystical by Michael Weekly

Published December 8th 2015

When Eliza Rose found out she was a witch, she thought she’d be casting spells…

However, it turns out Eliza is on her way to becoming a mystical assassin. But first she has to start college with her best friend Dawn Roberts and her feline familiar Jared. If you think college is stressful, try finding your best friend being seduced—nearly to death—by a venomous fairy. Something is horribly wrong, and Eliza must find out what it is.

Knowing who’s who in the Mystical world can be a burden—or save her life…

Murderous mermaids, seductive fairies, and manipulative elves are terrifying enough, but pure witches can become corrupt…and they’re the most dangerous creatures of all. Eliza struggles to discover the source of this chaos, but is repeatedly attacked—and saved by a shadowy figure. On a very personal note, Eliza must learn whether corruption is beginning to claim her mother.

Her strongest ally might be handsome, enigmatic Donovan—but he is hiding a shocking secret…

Donovan wants nothing to do with his old gang—not after the things they’d made him do. But when he meets Eliza, he’s both frustrated by her amateur skills and impressed by her emerging strength, and he feels compelled to help her grow into the assassin she’s meant to be.

Every answer has a price, and there are beings born to corrupt the pure.

Eliza fights to master her skills before it’s too late, while Donovan must determine whether Eliza can be saved…or if she must die to keep her out of the hands of those who would use her powers to reign over all of Mystical.

I liked the concept of this book and the synopsis caught my attention at “murderous mermaids, seductive fairies, and manipulative elves”. I did feel like it was a lot like The Mortal Instruments in many ways but I didn’t really mind.
The writing was pretty good but I felt like the writing could have shined so much more if the editing was better. I really hated the editing. There was a paragraph that was the same sentence twice (how does an editor miss that?!) and several other scenes just made really terrible editing. It ended up being really distracting from the writing and I could never really get into the book because I felt like I was having to edit as I read.
I normally like it when readers learn about things along with the main character but I felt like there was very little world building. Eliza and the reader are kept in the dark so much, I felt like it was lacking any information at all.
I was annoyed and frustrated with Eliza for a lot of the book because she never seemed to ask the right questions and when she did ask questions, she never got answers. I wanted to move forward with the story but because Eliza was never able to grow as a character from learning about her powers, she never developed.
Overall, I could keep going on and on about this book. As a critical reader and someone who often edits for my writer friends, I couldn’t stop wanting to fix a lot of things in this book. If the editing was better, I think I would have liked this book so much more. I couldn’t really enjoy the story because I felt like I was editing the whole time. But other than that, I think this series has a lot of potential.

 

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Review: Storm Front by D.L. Robinson

27244148Storm Front by D.L. Robinson

Published October 15th 2015

In just a few short days Loriel has major concerns about her new job. First thought to be a dream career, she realizes the job she had so anticipated has placed a target on her back, and she will be lucky to come out unscathed. Without the help of Givanni, her boss’s nephew and the CEO at Shellbrook, her fate would have been sealed a few times over. But his world, though frightening, brings with it breathtaking sights, adoring family, and stronger feelings than Loriel wants to admit. And although making it out alive had seemed impossible, it becomes desperately more important to make it out together.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this book but I ended up really enjoying it.
This book caught my attention pretty quickly and it was really entertaining all the way though.
It was a lot more action packed than I thought it would be and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
I read though Storm Front really quickly so I could find out what would happen next.
Overall, definitely a fun and entertaining read. I can’t wait for the next book because that ending was crazy.

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Sent to me by author in exchange for an honest review

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ARC Review: Inconceivable by Tegan Wren

inconceivableInconceivable by Tegan Wren

Publication: November 16th 2015

A popular, young royal couple can’t produce an heir? INCONCEIVABLE!

When Ozarks native Hatty goes “whole hog” during karaoke, she catches the eye of Prince John. He isn’t what she expects the heir to a small European nation to be: he’s affable, witty, and isn’t put off by her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Their flirtation should be short lived, but a force stronger than fate—Hatty’s newspaper editor—assigns her to cover the royals. After spending time together, she and John soon begin dating, and Hatty finds herself making headlines instead of writing them.

But challenges loom that are even more complicated than figuring out how to mesh Hatty’s journalism career with life at Belvoir Palace. Hatty and John soon find themselves embroiled in an unusual sex scandal: they can’t produce an heir. Tabloids dub Hatty a “Barren-ess,” and the royals become irate. Hatty politely tells them to shove it. But beneath her confident exterior, she struggles to cope with a heartbreak that invades her most intimate moments with John. Pressured to choose between invasive medical procedures and abandoning John’s claim to the throne, the couple feels trapped until a trip to Ethiopia shows them happy endings sometimes arrive long after saying “I do.”

This was such a great read!
It’s so well written and I loved the plot so much. It’s both lighthearted and really deep.
It’s just a massive roller coaster, in a good way. I was so emotionally invested in the characters and their struggles. This is such a short review but I really only have good things to say about this book. I was so caught up in the characters and the story that I forgot to be a critical reader (like I normally am). I really just loved this book so much and I highly recommend it.

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This book was sent to me by the author for an honest review

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Review: New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

25895286New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Published September 18th 2015

After Phoenix, a 17-year-old orphan rogue, sacrifices herself for her loved ones, her world again takes an unexpected turn. She may have forgotten her past, but it hasn’t forgotten her. A war is coming and her role in it will be pivotal.

That is… if she survives.

 

 

New World series is definitely one of the best dystopia reads that I’ve come across in a long time!
It was fast paced and interesting. I loved the writing and the characters were awesome.
I really liked the first book but Ashes is insane. I couldn’t put this boo down and I would stay up late at night so I could find out what would happen next. I normally don’t like sequels as much as the first book but Ashes has blown me away. It’s just as good if not better than Rising. I loved the plot and the character development.
Overall, I highly recommend picking this series up. It’s amazing and one of my favorite series’ of 2015 for sure! If you’re looking for a new YA dystopia series, this series is perfect.

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Review: NYV: PUNK by K.D. McQuain

25884402NYV: PUNK by K.D. McQuain

Published September 2015

NYV: PUNK is an original coming of age story of adventure, music, romance and bloodthirsty horror set in the harsh 1980s New York Punk scene. 

For fifteen year old Christian, living in rural isolation with only his mother for company was as boring and bleak a life as he could imagine. Nothing ever happened and the most exciting thing to look forward to were monthly visits from the nice old lady who took his mother shopping in town. After being subjected to a bizarre and humiliating birthday ceremony, Christian decides to leave home to think things through. And when the opportunity for adventure presents itself, he jumps at the chance.

But being on his own is more terrifying than he ever dreamed. Barely surviving a brutal attack, Christian finds himself being hunted across the country by an ancient bloodthirsty evil, putting himself and those he cares for in mortal peril. He must learn to navigate the hazards of the tough Punk music scene if he is going to survive on the gritty streets of New York City long enough to discover his destiny.

Can he survive on his own? Will he find the life he hoped for? And what the hell does OMFUG mean anyway?

I have no idea what to say about this book. I have so many questions. This book made me question everything but in a good way.
I liked how this book was written, the writing style was really good, but at times it was vague and I couldn’t really grasp what was going on. The prologue has a header saying it’s taking place in Mexico City, 1984 but chapter one doesn’t say anything about what year it is or the location. It was little things like that messed me up.
I did start this book thinking it was YA but some scenes kind of made me wonder what genre NYV: Punk actually is. I think the combination of the main character’s age and the scenes with explicit sex and violence wasn’t the best fit. I didn’t have a problem with the sex and violence but paired with a 15 year old main character, I had a hard time making sense of everything.
The vampire aspect was actually pretty cool. I’m not a big fan of vampires but I really liked K.D. McQuain’s version of them.

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I received this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Don’t Forget To Breathe by Cathrina Constantine

24857899Don’t Forget To Breathe by Cathrina Constantine

Published February 6th 2015

Sixteen-year-old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloody body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Will Leo let her memories threaten her into a relapse or, will she fight to find her mother’s killer – only to become his next victim?

I’m so impressed with this book! The writing is really great and the characters are interesting and complex. I thought the plot was really cool and entertaining. Don’t Forget To Breathe is one of the best murder mysteries I’ve read and I can’t wait to check out Cathrina Constantine’s other books.
I did find the main character to be really teenager-y. She had the stereotypical “teenage attitude” and I felt like it was a little over the top. I did like Leo but I thought she could have been more real.
There was quite a bit of romance and a borderline love triangle so that was interesting. I’m not a fan of love triangles at all but I could deal with this one.
There was a lot of creepy stuff but nothing super scary so this would be a good one to read if you don’t like really scary books but still want some creepy.
Overall, Don’t Forget To Breathe was a fun, entertaining read. I read it in just a couple of sittings and I wasn’t bored at all. I wasn’t totally into the romance but it wasn’t a big deal.
If you’re looking for a creepy murder mystery, I’d recommend Don’t Forget To Breathe.

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Book provided by author in exchange for honest review

Review: New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

23364341New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Published August 14th 2014

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.” Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with either the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played. In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors’ motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

New World: Rising is definitely one of the best dystopia reads that I’ve come across in a long time!
It was fast paced and interesting. I loved the writing and the characters were awesome. There was some tropes that come along with YA dystopian but I didn’t mind it. The world building was pretty great. There was some info dumping in the beginning but that didn’t really matter because the world that Jennifer Wilson created was so interesting. Phoenix is a really cool main character. She’s independent, self aware, and really smart.
Overall, I read this book in just a couple of sittings because it was so fact paced and I really enjoyed it. I’m starting book two really soon because I can’t wait to see what happens next. If you love dystopian books, please pick this book up because it’s great.

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