#BookReview We All Fall Down by Eric Walters

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This #ThrowbackThursday is from over a decade ago for me. Oh how time flies!!!

We All Fall Down by Eric Walters is a tale of struggle in a fictional version of a real event.

Warning: Spoilers below.

Eric Walters came to my elementary school (yeah, I feel old, I read this YEARS ago initially) and brought a giant amount of his books. I ended up reading quite a bit by him and I wish I could find more because I remember loving him. The worst part about this book for me (back in the day of course) was one of my bullies in school did a book review on it as well and used his book review to make fun of me for reading the book. Which basically left me with a sour taste in my mouth for this book (despite it not being this book’s fault).

But now for the real review…

This book is sad. Really sad. But when you look at the events it is based off of, it’s understandable why it’s so sad. Especially when it’s introducing a young audience to such a big event! But I think Eric did a great job with this novel. When I first read this book when I was younger I did NOT understand how big this event was. I was pretty young and didn’t understand what explosions and twin towers were (I was more focused on Power Rangers, Sailor Moon and if there was a new Disney movie coming out). Having this book and having conversations with my parents, teachers and classmates involving this situation was a BIG step for me – and I applaud this book for making it possible.

Overall, this is a unique book. I like that it brings tough events up to a younger audience and leaves room for conversations. Is it totally realistic? Absolutely not. Did it need to be? No. As a kid, I don’t think I would have been prepared for these characters to die – I couldn’t contemplate death. Having bad things happen within the realm of reality was a much better alternative.

This book isn’t just made for kids as I keep saying, but as someone who read it as an adult and as a child, I truly respect it. It’s hard to write a book about real events, have it written in a respectful and truthful way, and have it be good. Good job Eric!

Five out of five stars.

Find Eric Walters on Goodreads: Eric Walters on Goodreads

Visit his website: Eric Walters.net

Or give him a shout out on Twitter! @EricRWalters

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview Restless Ambition by Cathy Curtis

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Restless Ambition: Grace Hartigan, Painter

This novel took me a VERY long time to finish – partially because it’s long, and partially because it didn’t draw me in. I love a good biography, but this book didn’t do it for me as much as I would have thought it would. That being said, it was well written and it’s a great read for those who like non-fiction.

Following a painter in the 1950s is the main path of this book. Grace’s life definitely deserved a book – the ups and down this woman goes through it more interesting than most soap operas. Her marriages and her motherhood are two of the more interesting parts of this novel, alongside knowing she was a female painter in the 1950s (which seems like it would be harder than today – there was no social media to show off your skill back then. You had to work hard to get noticed!).

This book is informational and seems like it was highly researched. I appreciate a biography that sounds more than someone who watched a couple YouTube videos and figured they could write a story about the person. It seems like the type of novel I would have loved in my art classes in high school – it’s researched and has incredible information I could have used for an essay or two. And considering I didn’t know anything about this author (or knew she existed) before reading this novel I was thoroughly impressed.

Overall, this was a great book. I definitely suggest it to those who enjoy non-fiction books and biographies.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Check out Cathy Curtis on Goodreads! Cathy Curtis on Goodreads

Or check out her website: CathyCurtis.net

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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And now for a #ThrowbackThursday review of a book I read YEARS ago. I’ve reread this book and given a new review for it!! Here’s The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead.

 

 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead in a great addition in the Vampire Academy universe.

Typically, when an author breaks off from the original series and creates a prequel/sequel series it’s not very good – Richelle Mead is one of the few authors that has created a hit. She stands alongside JK Rowling with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Cassandra Clare with TMI and TID and many other greats.

Bloodlines became my guilty pleasure when it came out. After striking gold with Vampire Academy and having me hooked there, of course Richelle had to create a story centered around everybody’s boyfriend – Adrian Ivashkov. With Adrian and Sydney leading this series, we have two strong, able leads who always keep things interesting.

Our leads grow a lot within this book – this appears to be the book mainly for character development. There is still an epic plot, with fast paced action and over the top drama, but the main part of this book that kept me interested was how the characters were changing and growing. Richelle always seems to have one book in her series that has a strong sense of character development, and it always ends up being one of the better books in the series.

This book does lack a lot of the friendly side characters we grew to love, but don’t worry! They appear in later books!! This book’s main focus is Adrian and Sydney. There are a few new characters introduced to make up for that empty space – and that includes a little witchcraft! While I didn’t enjoy these characters as much as our typical brood (Angeline, Eddie, Jill, etc) they were still a nice edition to the story.

Overall, this supernatural story is a definite recommended read from me! Start from the beginning (Bloodlines) or the VERY VERY beginning (Vampire Academy) if you want some great reads to fill your time. They definitely are worth it! Keep in mind these are YA novels – so there is lots of young adult love and drama, and of course this book has vampires. Not your typical vampires, but still…vampires. There was a trend a few years back, if you can’t remember. Vampires were “the thing”.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Richelle on Goodreads: Richelle Mead on Goodreads

Or visit her on her website: RichelleMead.com

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview In The Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

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In The Company of Vampires is a romantic tale told by Katie MacAlister.

I love Katie MacAlister – she’s not your typical romance novelist. She writes about vampires, some of them from other times with very silly/interesting points of views, and her books are always hot and steamy. One summer, years ago, I binged as much of her and Gena Showalter as I could get my hands on (it helped that I didn’t have a part time job at the time, so literally all of my time was allocated to Katie, Gena, Rachel Vincent, and a few other novelists).

Fran and Benedikt are the leads of this book – if you haven’t picked up Katie MacAlister before, these two leads were going to be the main character in her Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend YA series that didn’t go very far. I absolutely loved that little series, and was broken-hearted when I discovered it was not being continued. But then, Katie did what all the best novelists do, she brought them into the adult romance genre.

And OH MY GOODNESS did she deliver. This book was hot and steamy and everything I wanted it to be. She starts it off in a great manner – these characters haven’t seen each other for a while (which makes sense since the YA was cancelled and we never knew what actually happened to them, since it was a sudden stop). The drama, romance and steamy sex scenes that follow will melt you.

This book is fast paced, and it’s absolutely hilarious. Katie always adds a sense of humor into her books – so it’s not a serious romance novel. When you have vampires, crazy unrealistic drama and the supernatural around, you might as well add in some humor! All of that together ties in for a perfectly good guilty pleasure read! I’ve picked up this specific book quite a few times, because it’s my favourite out of all the Dark Ones series. And if you have read her previous books, yup, the vikings are back. Katie has a thing for vikings… You’ll figure that out the more you read her novels.

Overall, I love this series. It’s one of my giant guilty pleasures that I reread when I’m having a bad day. I definitely recommend this book if you want something easy to read, something funny, romantic or fast, or just want something that isn’t your typical romance novel.

Five out of five stars.

On a side note: I signed up for a lot of her goodies on her website years ago and I still never got it. I even got confirmation I would receive it. So I’m kinda sad, because I am OBSESSED with this series. But what can you do? Just keep in mind if you are trying to sign up for some of the goodies on her website.

Find Katie and all of her books on Goodreads: Katie MacAlister on Goodreads

Visit her website: KatieMacAlister.com

Or give her a shout out on twitter! @KatieMacAlister

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy: Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

#BookReview Love on the Tracks by Tamsen Parker

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Love on the Tracks is another top tier romance by Tamsen Parker that should not be missed!

I’d hate to say it, but I love this book WAY more than The Compass series (and I was overly obsessed with that book). I didn’t think Tamsen could make me love a book or series more than her original, but she did!

This novel is a contemporary romance that follows a female sports star and a male pop star – something that makes so much sense, but I haven’t seen much in the books I’ve read. Our leads, Rowan and Zane, are a perfect duo that I definitely want to see more of in the future. Our setting, The Snow and Ice Games, introduces us to a unique setting – competition, sports stadiums, Olympic tones, etc. Our antagonists are not bad guys, and are merely trying to do their best under what they think is the right thing. Every inch of this story feels more realistic than most romances I’ve torn through in the past few years.

Positives:
1. Luge/Sports – I really liked the introduction of a sport that most people don’t really think about on a day to day basis.
2. Strong Female Lead – Yes, India was an excellent character written by Tamsen but she had her faults (which is what made her so good, FYI) but Rowan is stronger, knows what she wants and has her head on straight (for now, anyways).
3. Lighthearted, Engaging Story – I enjoy a sweet novel that doesn’t make you cringe at every turn. This book is so sweet, so simple, and an overall lovely story to make you feel good.
4. Respect – Also, if you haven’t noticed many novels don’t have the level of respect between the two leads like this book does. A+ for effort Tamsen!!

Negatives:
1. Speed – I found some portions of this book was a little fast (no spoilers), but there are more books in the series to explore different issues among characters, competitions, etc.

Overall, this book is a fantastic, romance read for all you romance enthusiasts! This book does not disappoint!!!

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this story through NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Check out Tamsen Parker on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

Or visit her website! TamsenParker.com

#BookReview Twisted by Gena Showalter

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Gena Showalter’s Intertwined series is still one of my top YA series EVER…I’m almost heartbroken to write this review knowing that we may never get the final book…

Anywho, here we go! Here’s my review of Twisted (Intertwined #3) by Gena Showalter.

This book is a five star book from me despite the MANY issues this book seems to have. It’s five stars because I find the book highly addicting and really enjoy Gena’s writing. That being said, looking back on this book and knowing that there’s no final book…it really doesn’t deserve the five star rating (in my opinion). I will keep it at it’s five stars, but I will give an updated more recent (like 7-8 years later?) post-rating since I’m going through this book again.

Positives:
1. This book is a lot darker than the previous two, which helped make this series pop out and become more addicting in my mind.

2. Epic cover. What can I say? Sometimes you DO judge a book by it’s cover.

3. The sudden changes in the characters are both a positive and a negative. I liked the changes, it made some of the characters more likable and it developed their characters. But…the rest is said in the negatives. Of course, there’s a “but…”.

4. This book is action packed, and is definitely one of Gena’s best series. It moves fast enough to keep me interested.

5. I love the couple pairings in this series. This book doesn’t disappoint for expanding on these relationships and make them more addicting.

Negatives:
1. Our characters personalities seem to have randomly changed in this book. It didn’t follow as smoothly to the second book as the second did to the first. I would have loved a final book to explain why this happened…

2. Cancelled series. Yup – if you aren’t happy with cliffhangers, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If I would have known, I probably wouldn’t have read this series. I absolutely HATE books that end in cliffhangers or where plots are never resolved.

3. The ending.

The positives and the negatives are pretty even for this series, to be brutally honest. It’s a great read for someone who wants to get into Gena’s writing and see the different sides of her that aren’t just her giant Lords of the Underworld series. I would suggest this to those who want a quality YA read!!!

My new rating would be closer to 3.5, especially since Gena never even gave a hint to what the ending would be (since the next book is apparently “never” coming out, and it looks like a literal never at this point).

 

Visit Gena Showalter on Goodreads! Gena Showalter on Goodreads

Or visit her website! genashowalter.com

Visit my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or check out another review you might enjoy! Quick Book Review: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by JR Johansson

#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran

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Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.

Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.

The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother’s grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible – our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book – and it shows how talented this author is.

I’d hate to say this book is like a “slice of life” novel, but it is – but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don’t think about – like how you just get used to grief and it doesn’t get better – are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don’t realize how true those sayings really are. You don’t realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who’s in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there – they don’t exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.

I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.

<spoiler> When her husband comes home from work only to get changed to go out for drinks for work, leaving Sim behind when she really needs someone (and her daughter goes back to school and won’t even hug her mother goodbye) speaks to me on so many levels. All of my friends and family ditched me as soon as my Father died, leaving me alone for the final month of high school. Literally alone. It speaks to me so much on so many levels to see THIS IS REAL. This was not just my small reality, but this can be others as well – even if this book is fictional. </spoiler>

Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.

This book shows the gradual change in grief – immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what’s best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.

This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief – those self help books are rarely helpful, let’s be honest.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads! Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Gurjinder Basran

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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