Review: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

32991569Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Published September 19th 2017

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.

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Unsolicited ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher

I wanted to like this book so much. I tried and tried to get into this book but it’s just not happening.
I’ve spent months trying to get through this book but the writing style is so odd, it threw me off. I don’t want to say it’s bad writing but… it’s not for me at all. I spent a lot of this book confused, especially the first few chapters, and I actually double checked to make sure this wasn’t a sequel because I felt like I started in the middle of a series.
I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and I struggled to even like any of the characters.
I know some people who really enjoyed this book but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they managed to get through this book. Jane, Unlimited wasn’t for me at all but maybe you’ll like it more than I did.

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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: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for. 

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I was sent an unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher.

I wasn’t expecting much from this book so I was pleasantly surprised by Haven in a few ways.
I really like that this was a fairly unique take on Beauty and the Beast where the guy isn’t the “beast”. I’ve never seen anyone else do that so major props to Mary Linsey.
However, this book was slow for the first quarter or so. The first few chapters were a struggle to get through and I didn’t start to like the book until much later on.
I couldn’t really connect to the characters and they seemed a little lack luster to me.
The writing was pretty good though. I thought the style was nice and very clear.

Overall, Haven was good read but not quite my cup of tea. Even though I really liked the original spin on a very over done concept, my inability to fall in love with the characters was the downfall of this book. I think if you’re a less critical reader, you’ll enjoy Haven a lot more than I did, especially if you like retellings.

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Review: Note to Self by Connor Franta

31443393Note to Self by Connor Franta

Published April 18th 2017

In his New York Times bestselling memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Exploring his past with humor and astounding insight, Connor reminded his fans of why they first fell in love with him on YouTube—and revealed to newcomers how he relates to his millions of dedicated followers.

Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he’s rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work In Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment—with others and himself.

Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.

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I really loved A Work in Progress so I was very excited to start Note to Self. I haven’t seen Connor’s videos so I’m not deeply invested in him which might be the reason I was so disappointed in Note to Self. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the photography in this book. Connor clearly has an eye for aesthetics and he’s work is really inspiring to me. But everything else in this book felt kind of boring and repetitive. I did like most of the poems but the essays just didn’t do it for me. Maybe because A Work in Progress was so open and Note to Self didn’t offer me anything new. I think people who are fans of Connor and love everything he creates will like this book much more than someone like me who just follows him on Instagram for his photography.

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Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

35606560The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Published October 3rd 2017

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

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I don’t know a lot about poetry and I don’t have a lot of experience reading poetry either so I don’t know how much stock can be put into my review. But I really enjoyed The Sun and Her Flowers, maybe even more than Milk and Honey. Even though I really liked Milk and Honey and could relate to many of the poems in that book, I felt like The Sun and Her Flowers was more my cup of tea. I was really inspired by a lot of the poems in this book and many resonated very deeply with me.
I do think The Sun and Her Flowers is worth reading, even if you’re not super into poetry.

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Blog Tour: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle + Giveaway

31456593Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Published August 8th 2017

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

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Review

I really enjoyed The Accident Season so I was super hyped for Spellbook of the Lost and Found.
I love Moïra’s writing style so much. It’s so unique, creative, and almost poetic in some ways. I fell in love with her writing even more with SotLaF. The plot is so entertaining, there’s diverse characters, and the magic is bomb.
The only thing I wasn’t really into was how many perspectives there was. I’m not a big fan of multiple perspectives to begin with so that part of this book kind of drove me nuts at times.
But overall, Spellbook of the Lost and Found is full of creativity, beautiful writing, and magic. It really stands out to me in the sea of YA books and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something distinctive and interesting.

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
 

About the author

 

Moïra Fowley-DoyleMoïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and lives in Dublin with her husband, their young daughters, and their old cat. Moïra’s French half likes red wine and dark books in which everybody dies. Her Irish half likes tea and happy endings. Moïra started a PhD on vampires in young adult fiction before concentrating on writing young adult fiction with no vampires in it whatsoever. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight, when she was told that if she wrote a story about spiders she wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore. Moïra is still afraid of spiders, but has never stopped writing stories. She is the author of The Accident Season and Spellbook of the Lost and Found.

 

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Review: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

31208654Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Published June 27th 2017

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

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I am shooketh.
I was NOT expecting to love this book like I do. I’ve never read anything by K.A. Tucker before and even though I’m a hardcore sports fan, I’ve always hated New Adult books with athletes in them. The athletes are always written to be massive d-bags that sleep around and never put any work into their sport. I’ve never found that to a be realistic portrayal for a majority of professional athletes and it has always been frustrating to me. But K.A. Tucker has renewed my faith in NA writers.
Not only is Brett Madden not a massive d-bag, he’s actually written like a normal human. And he’s totally amazing but that’s not my point right now.
The main character, Catherine, is a bad ass single mom who is so well written and a joy to read about. She’s complex, hard working, and definitely a great example of what a women should be in New Adult books.
I could go on and on about how perfect I found this book. I loved everything about it and I highly recommended it. Until It Fades has become one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more of K.A. Tucker’s books.
If you’re looking for a NA contemporary along the lines of Colleen Hoover, J. Lynn, Tia Giacalone, and J.A. Redmerski, you need to pick up Until It Fades.

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Review: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

31450752Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Published July 11th 2017

Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

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I really love the idea of this book. To pair up people in the book community with bestselling authors is such a cool idea. I really appreciated the recognition of vloggers/reviewers as important contributors in the book world. I’ve seen some people have issues with the Booktubers being involved in the book but I personally have no hard feelings towards them. I think it’s really cool for them and it’s too bad that others are holding negative feelings towards them just because they’re successful in an unconventional way.

The stories themselves are pretty hit and miss with me. There was a few that I really loved but others I didn’t like and skimmed over them. My favorite stories were Beautiful Venomby Cindy Pon and Benjamin Alderson and Death Knell by Victoria Schwab and Jesse George.  I think this book is worth reading just for those two stories, especially Cindy and Ben’s story.

Overall, this book was pretty much what I was expecting. I feel like a lot of short story collections are hit and miss with most people so it didn’t surprise me that Because You Love to Hate Me was no exception to that for me. If you’re really excited about this book and love the authors and Booktubers, I think this is worth buying. If you’re a very casual fan, like myself, you might want to go to your local library or borrow it from a friend before spending your money.

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Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

32895291The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

 Publication: July 25th 2017 

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

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ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is my favorite book from Ruth Ware so far. I loved The Lying Game so much more than The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood.
I loved the plot, the writing, and the pace of The Lying Game so much.
I thought the plot was the most original of Ruth’s books and it really stood out to me. The writing in The Lying Game is fantastic. The pace is a slow burn (if you’re into fast paced thrillers, this one probably isn’t for you) but I was very entertained and it kept me reading on to find out what was going to happen.
Even though I didn’t love the characters, I liked them so much more than the characters in Ruth’s other books. I thought they were more relatable and complex.
I was expecting a bigger end to this book. I was hoping it would really pick up the pace and have a big boom for an ending but it didn’t.
The Lying Game was kind of predictable but for me, it was more about reading how everything would unfold.
Overall, this is my favorite book from Ruth Ware and if you’re wanting a fun mystery/thriller, The Lying Game is a book you’ll want to check out.

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Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

15797848There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Expected publication: September 26th 2017

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

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ARC was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Review is from advance partial reading copy

I was very curious to read There’s Someone Inside Your House. I’ve read a couple of Stephanie Perkins’ other books and this sounded nothing like her normal fluffy, cute romances and I’m 100% down for authors trying new, unexpected genres.

There’s Someone Inside Your House starts off with bang. The first chapter has the first murder and it’s fairly fast paced. My advance partial reading copy was 151 pages and if I remember correctly, it took place in a week’s time or close to a week.
The murders are very gory and horrific but of the ones I read about, they weren’t overly detailed. They are described bluntly but not with a ton of graphic details. It would also be easy to skip over the gore if you really didn’t want to read that.
I liked the main character, Makani. I thought it was very cool that she was a PoC and there was diversity in this book. She talks about being African American/ Native Hawaiian several times through out the book and addresses a few of her experiences as a PoC.

I’m not easily scared when it comes to reading horror books but a couple of the murders had me a little paranoid at night. I was surprised how scary this book actually was.
I loved the setting of this book. It’s set in a small town in Nebraska and as someone from a nowhere town that’s 20 minutes from Nebraska, I could relate to a lot of the things going on in this book.

This has nothing to do with the book or the author but I’m really annoyed that the publisher sent out advance partial reading copies. I was sent There’s Someone Inside Your House in an elaborate PR box along with four other ARCs of their biggest fall releases and I was very disappointed to see that only 151 pages of the book was included. None of the other reviews I’ve read mention that their review is from a partial ARC so either they decided not to mention it or they all had complete copies. It doesn’t make sense to me to have both complete ARCs and partial ARCs and it’s unfair that some reviewers would have an advantage with complete copies. As it is, I can’t give a real review because I only have 151 pages. Granted, I did really enjoy those 151 pages but I can’t fully review a book I can’t finish.

I do have a theory of who the killer is. There was a pretty big hint with one of the murders. Honestly, it was such a big hint towards a character that it took away a lot of the mystery. I can also see that its a fake hint. It points to a character so directly that it could be there just to try to throw off the reader.

I’ll update my review and give a rating when I buy a finished copy on release day. From the 151 pages, I’d give There’s Someone Inside Your House four stars.

 

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