Dr. Strange Beard – Penny Reid

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
Published July 30, 2018

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .


So last year I stumbled across these books. The Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. And oh. my. goodness. was I hooked. I couldn’t stop reading these and I read 4 books one right after the other until I got hit with the “you have to wait for the next book to come out” train. It was so upsetting, and I didn’t keep track of the release of this book, until the beginning of this year, I was in the mood for a quick little romance, so I checked in on the status of the book, and my lord, it was published! So naturally I decided to devour this book.

I did, it took me about a day and a half to get through this and it didn’t disappoint. You don’t get much of Roscoe in the previous books, to be honest, I feel like he and Billy are the two brothers who you don’t really get much info on as a whole through the series, so I was really happy to get to know more about this character.

I usually feel like the books in this series kind of fall flat in terms of plot, and I felt as though this book was the only book that really had an engaging plot/sub-plot throughout the book. And it might just be that side of me that’s obsessed with crime/drama so it totally hit the spot in terms of plot outside of the love interest plot.

If you enjoy reading romance/contemporary romance, and you’re looking for a new series, please pick this series up. It’s really entertaining, I’ve never felt unsatisfied from any of these books and they’re just really fun to read.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Published : February 23rd 2016

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…


Oh, you mean you didn’t know I like torturing myself by reading the sequel to a book that literally almost had me screaming and pooping my pants like 75% of the time?

WELL FOLKS, THERE’S A SEQUEL AND I READ IT. Yep. I did it.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this as much as I did You, but I always go into sequels expecting them to not be as good as the debut book. Hidden Bodies kind of let me down in the sense that I didn’t feel as urked as I did when I read You (WHICH IS REALLY WEIRD TO WRITE I KNOW, BUT IT’S TRUE). I didn’t really see the point to this book. And I guess there wasn’t as much suspense in Hidden Bodies as there was in You. I also felt a little weird about the fact that a lot of the women in this book actually LIKED Joe, like in You he actually had to insert himself into their lives and even then, it took them some time to warm up to him.

All in all with a few bumps in the road. Hidden Bodies makes for an okay sequel. Is it completely necessary? Not really, but still an entertaining read.

3/5 Stars

You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes
Published  September 30th 2014

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.


So, I SWEAR I wrote a blog post about this before but I guess not. Let me just begin with OH DEAR GOD WHAT DID I READ!?…in the best way possible.

HOOKED. SHOOKETH. MIND. BLOWN. I can’t even begin to explain what this book did to me. I felt so weird reading it but I couldn’t put it down. Not for one second. I just kept going and going and Joe was just the worst human being alive but I HAD to know what happened next. To be honest, I had a very big love hate relationship with all the characters honestly…except Peach I HATED Peach. But seriously, this book took me through an emotional roller coaster.

I even got one of my bet friend’s hooked on it and I think she might have hated me for it because it was just one of those books you absolutely love but at the same time CAN’T BELIEVE IT HAPPENED. I’m seriously proud that Caroline Kepnes is local to me here in Massachusetts. I love knowing there’s an amazing author like her around and from my state.

Seriously. If you like thriller/suspense books. Go pick this up. It’s literally a heart attack on every page.

5/5 Stars

Review : Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Published: September 29, 2015

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.


Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful few weeks into 2018, and have decided on their Goodreads reading goals (mine is 50 books for 2018) and are well on your way to reaching that goal. I for some reason decided to try and start my year with….a suspense/thriller, which is a bit interesting.

I have to say this book kind of fell flat for me but somehow kept me entertained. I HATED mostly everyone except Lydia. I found Claire to be obnoxious, and I kind of knew what was going to be happening as I kept reading. I just couldn’t get invested into the story because my dislike for Claire. Also, I found that a lot of the scenes were a bit unnerving. Like some seriously graphic scenes that made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

I somehow found myself continuing reading though. It was a really weird reading experience to be honest.  If you’re okay with some really graphic stuff, I’d say this is a good thriller for you, but I guess it wasn’t for me.

 

Review : Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

 Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
Published : October 10, 2017

Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note.


OH MY GOODNESS. This was such an entertaining and captivating read. I don’t know how I got sucked into the series because it’s not really in my wheelhouse, but I’m so glad I took a chance on it. This last book was AH.MAZE.ING. This book was like a western Ocean’s Eleven. It was so awesome and kept me so engaged and so invested in the story.

There were so many twists and turns and the end conclusion to all of it was just so satisfactory it was so great. I don’t think I’ve read a book by Rae Carson that I didn’t enjoy.  I think this might be my favorite series by her. She closed everything up SO NICELY and in such an entertaining way. I also love the use of another person with abilities, although I was hoping the series would continue so we could see the possibilities and origin of how people get their abilities etc. But it’s all good, I still got three really great books from this series.

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Published : August, 15 2015

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?


I absolutely love this series. Like above and beyond. This is SO GOOD. All of the work with the plot and the intertwining everything it’s so great. I literally could not stop reading this because I kept wanting to continue reading it.  There’s something so amazing about the way this is written and how EVERY character has something to connect with and just makes reading these books so enjoyable. I’ve also read Before The Devil Breaks You, and I’ll be writing a review on that as well, and it’s just as good as this book, even better.

I cannot recommend this book enough, pick up The Diviners if you haven’t and if you have let me know how you enjoy this series.

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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One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

 One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Published : September 19, 2017

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.


Ugh I loved this. More than I thought I would. I literally just flipped through this like there was no tomorrow. It literally took me two days to read this. I LOVE Blake’s writing and the characters in this book. Except for Katharine but I think that was obviously purposeful.

If you haven’t picked this up yet, please do. The writing is great. The flow is absolutely wonderful, there’s no gap or awkward portions of these two books. And the characters all work so well together, the relationships are great and I found myself wanting more and more as I kept going.

I think this is becoming one of my “go to” for recommendations and re-reads

 

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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