Sunday, March 31, 2019

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

To Best the BoysTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber

I was sent an early copy of this through Booklook Bloggers. I look to be the unpopular opinion on this one. I was really in the mood for a fantasy, so I decided to pick this up. I really liked that this was a standalone, so I could jump in without feeling overwhelmed with so many more books to the story. Unfortuntely, I could not get into this one. I read about 50 percent and decided to DNF. I really hope an audiobook will be coming out though, as I would like to try to finish this that way.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly

Little Lovely ThingsLittle Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was sent an early copy from the publisher.

What a ride! I had heard great things about Little Lovely Things, but I was not prepared for this one. Within the first 20 pages, my heart was pounding with what was going to happen to Lily and Andrea. When the girls are kidnapped, I thought that was the end of their story (from their POV). I was wrong. The author was genius as you continue to following the children as they were with the kidnappers. There is even the perspective through the eyes of Andrea at four years old.

This story is told in three parts. Part one was so intense and a non-stop ride. The author was not scared to take different directions with the story. It will leave you shocked. If I had to rate this off of part one, it would be five out of five stars. It was amazing. However; the intensity of the story does calm down in part two and three.

Part two took a different turn than the first, and did not live up to the exceptional first part. I was starting to lose interest and I wanted to skip ahead. There was a lot of details that really were not needed. Same with part three. I wish there was more around the ending. I feel it could have been just as intense and impactful as part one, but I was left feeling underwhelmed.

Again, I give part one 5 stars. I give part two and three, three stars. I am giving this 4 stars overall.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 25, 2019

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful ThingsAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very hesitant to pick this up as it has been a very controversial read within the book community. People either tend to love it or hate it. I ended up finding it for $2, so I decided to give it a try. This does have triggers for child abuse, substance abuse, and pedophilia.

I am pretty critical when a story deals with child abuse, as I work within the field. However; the beginning of this story was heartbreaking due to how accurate it was to other stories I have seen/worked. The conditions described how Wavy was living and watching out for her younger brother was very accurate with how children live today in some drug exposed homes.

There are several different perspectives. I am glad I listed to this on audiobook, as it was easier to look at the chapter name to understand who’s point of view we were on. I normally am not a huge fan of this, but the story continued on with each perspective and did not take on a different story. It was easy to follow and it worked better than I thought it would.

I understand where others feel the relationship with Wavy and Kellan was inappropriate. I think the first half of the story was just an older man who was taking care of an abused child. He was there for her when no one else was. As the story continued and Wavy got older, there were things that happened which were inappropriate. Wavy was a vulnerable child and Kellan was a grown man. He should still have known better. Other adults do acknowledge their relationship is inappropriate as well. As their romance grew, your anger will grow. I was hoping the ending would be Wavy moving on in life. I would have liked a different ending.

I do disagree with others that saying you liked this story means that you were ok with what happened with Wavy and Kellan. I really enjoyed this story, but it does not mean AT ALL that I agree with what happened. It was a great story. It was heartbreaking. It makes you angry. It makes you think about what is happening. That is what makes this a great story; not what happened.

Overall, this was really good and I think it is an important story to tell. I saw some other reviews saying this would never happen in real life; unfortunately it does.

View all my reviews

The Certain Hope by EC Jackson: Book Tour with Review

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel

The Atlas of LoveThe Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel

I went into this not really knowing what it was going to be about. I was not expecting this to take the turns it did. There are triggers for abortion and pregnancy.

This started off strong with finding a newborn baby at a shopping center. I thought this was going to be such a strong read, but once the story started it lost me. This deals with college age (master level) friends in which one ends up pregnant. There are trigger warnings around abortion discussions. This had everything I would normally love in a story, but I was just bored. I felt there was no movement or development within the characters to have me care about their story. I ended up DNF this one.

View all my reviews

Neliem by Clare Di Liscia: Cover Reveal

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter: Lori Zaremba: Book Tour Spotlight

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the ListLove, Life, and the List by Kasie West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I tend to really enjoy Kasie West books, but I have been holding off on this one for some reason. There was so much hype around this release, and I did not want to be disappointed. I was starting to get into a reading slump though, and I needed something fun and light so I thought I would try this.

This is probably my favorite Kasie West book yet. It was just such a cute and fun romance, but with a little more depth to the story than most of the other books of hers (that I have read). This one deals with family and a romance. It is about facing your fears, looking into things at a deeper level, and personal growth. I loved seeing Abby grow as a character. I also really enjoyed her friendship with Cooper.

This also deals with family and mental illness. I loved the email communication with Abby’s father (he is deployed), and her banter with her grandfather. The scene at the end with her father and the rock and making up with her grandfather…melt my heart! Her mother is dealing with a mental illness as well. I wish the story would have went into a little more detail around her diagnoses, but I still liked what it brought to the story.

Over all, this ended up being exactly what I needed right now, and I loved it.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 18, 2019

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say NextWhat to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had previously read Julie Buxbaum’s Tell Me Three Things and loved it. One of my favorite BookTubers raves about What to Say Next and since I really enjoyed the other book, I knew I wanted to pick it up. The beginning was a little slow and I was not really sure if this was going to be for me though. However; I was wrong.

This story does follow the story of two teenagers: Kit and David. Kit is grieving the loss of her father. David is a high school student with Asperger’s and dealing with being different and bullied in school. Their stories collide as you witness the beginning of their friendship/romance.

This had some twists and turns along the way. It was so real in many ways, but others was a little unbelievable. It made me smile and it made me sad. There are things that happen that were unexpected. I ended up loving this.

Overall, I think this was another amazing read from the author.

View all my reviews

Emerge by Tobie Easton: Book Tour Spotlight

Risking Forever by Tara Gallina: Book Tour Spotlight

Friday, March 15, 2019

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be HonestTo Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw Chelseadolling Reads talking about this a while back, but I never heard much from anyone else. I really wanted to read based on what she had to say, and I am glad I did.

Was this a mind-blowing story? No. But, it is a story with a fat character which is very rare in stories today. I tried reading some others in the past, and felt they were still putting fat representation in such a negative light. I really enjoyed this one though. It was realistic in so many ways. I also really related to Savannah in so many ways especially when it comes to her love life, or her lack of confidence in herself when it comes to boys/relationships.

Overall, I really enjoyed this.

View all my reviews

Blood Lust by LM Mountford: Book Tour Spotlight

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate ListHate List by Jennifer Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

This was one of the older books on my shelf, so I decided it was time to pick it up. I knew going into this that it was going to deal with a sensitive subject: school shootings. I was not expecting this to be as impactful as it was.

This is a book that I think everyone should read, especially school aged children. This story really shows how your words can kill. Valerie started a Hate List with her boyfriend Nick. She never took it at face value, and made comments and talked about these people dying. Imagine her horror when Nick opened fire at school to take out the list of people. This story was very emotional and had me in tears more than once. There were times I was crying, mad, shocked, and happy. You see villains turn into hero’s and friends.

Overall, I loved this.

View all my reviews

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

I was very hesitant to jump into this series, as people either seem to love it or hate it. I went into it with low expectations and knowing that this does not actually deal with Jack the Ripper. I actually really enjoyed this and read it in one sitting.

After hearing so many people talk about this, I was not really sure what it was going to be about. I was not expecting this to actually follow murders, but it does. I am not sure why I have heard others say it does not, as that is the main mystery following our characters. I thought it was fast paced and addicting. I wanted to know what happened with the murders and the romance within the story. It was nothing mind blowing, and it was predictable but still worth reading.

Overall, this surprised me and I am happy that I own book two as well. I will be starting that one next.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer: Upcoming Release March 19, 2019

The Things We Cannot SayThe Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever picked up a book not really sure if it was going to be something you would love, but then ended up loving it?! That is exactly what happened for me while reading The Things We Cannot Say. I am going to try to sum up my feelings around this story, but all I can really say is that it was beautiful; beautiful writing and beautiful story.

This story follows two different voices, but they are connected. I do not want to give away too much. Kelly Rimmer does an excellent job looking into Autism and the social stigmas/misunderstandings around it. It tells an important story around understanding what others may be facing and not to judge or assume you know what a child needs (a child just needs discipline). I teared up within the first chapter and that is not where the tears ended.

This also follows WWII in 1942. I have read several other books in this time frame, but Kelly Rimmer did an amazing job bringing the emotions to the scenes with the Nazis. Everything happening was so heartbreaking and I found myself tearing up at almost every chapter. Characters will survive, face heartbreak, and characters will die. The author was not afraid to take the story to the scary realism of the times back then.

There were a few points where I did feel like the story was dragging on and a little repetitive. However; this did not take away from the story or the emotions I was feeling the more I read.

I could go on and on around this story, but the main takeaway is go read it! Even if you do not love historical fiction, go read this (it has modern times as well). Overall, I loved this and I need more from Kelly Rimmer!

I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher; however this did not influence my review.

View all my reviews

Phoenix Falling by Laura Bickle: Book Tour Spotlight

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The One Real Thing by Samantha Young

The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #1)The One Real Thing by Samantha Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

I know! I know! How is this my first Samantha Young read? I really wanted to read On Dublin Street as so many people rave about that series. However; I accidently purchased a copy in Spanish. So, I started with The One Real Thing since I ownded the first two books in the series.

I really enjoyed how this story started off with Jessica working in the prison. I was not expecting this to take the road it did, but I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would. I did not understand how she gave up her whole career as she figured out she was not happy. I did not get that from the beginning of her story. I wish she would have gotten offered the medical job as that would have worked better than just giving up her whole world after only a few weeks.

I was not a fan of some of the plot devices thrown into the story. There are triggers for suicide and abuse. I thought these were thrown into the story as an afterthought and did not really mesh or go with the story. I would have preferred the story to stick to the letters, the romance, and Cooper's past.

I liked some of the side characters, so I look forward to reading more in this world.

Overall, I enjoyed this and I will continue on with the series.

View all my reviews

Palace of Ghosts by Thomas S. Flowers: Book Tour Spotlight