#BookReview Scarlett by Marissa Meyer

I almost NEVER buy books full price because as a university student it’s just not in the budget. BUT AFTER THAT AWFUL CLIFFHANGER IN BOOK ONE I COULDN’T LEAVE THIS BOOK ON THE SHELF! I mean, I did get a good sale on the book BUT I STILL BOUGHT IT FROM A FANCY SMANCY BOOK STORE!

So, dear Marissa Meyer, you have crafted an excellent story that forced a university student to find the money in her budget to continue this series. ONLY FOR YOU TO LEAVE IT ON ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER AND I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD DO THIS TO ME. Since this time, it’s not in the budget to get the next book. So, poor little me is going to be waiting and waiting until I can find this book on sale somewhere.

UGH.

This book is absolutely delightful, despite my epic rant. I think Marissa Meyer has crafted a wonderfully epic story that is packed full of wild, fairy tales! Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, the Wolf and a Han Solo-esque man have made me fall in love with this book more than I did for the first novel! It’s a rare feat in my reading world, so someone give Marissa ALL of the awards! Okay?!

This book continues on with Cinder’s story but we also have another character, Scarlett (Red Riding Hood) to follow along with two. Their stories intertwine near the end and make for one epic finale (not a finale for the whole series, just this book – calm down epic readers! We’ve got two more books to go!).

I really enjoyed Scarlett and Wolf, especially the twist on the typical Big, Bad Wolf story. I thought they were quite cute and reminded me of a Leia meets Han Solo vibe (I love Star Wars too, I think Marissa and I would make great Star Wars buddies). Also throwing in our Captain Thorne who gives SERIOUS Han Solo vibes… Yep, this woman has crafted a story made for me! Why in the world did I wait so long to pick up this book?!

If I had one negative in this book, it was that Cinder and Prince Kai don’t get to interact. I was really hoping for a reunion but I don’t think we’ll be seeing one until the next book. I really liked their interactions in the first novel and their relationship, but such is life… Cliffhangers galore.

I didn’t exactly see this ending coming, but I did have a good guess. I still really enjoyed it despite there being a few predictable parts of this book. I honestly haven’t loved YA this much in a while. I got tired of the tropes and predictable lines, but Marissa has sparked my love for YA and fairy tales all over again. We need authors like her who make these amazing stories that any age can love. Just because it’s in the YA aisle doesn’t mean it’s only for Young Adults (I mean… I’m a Young Adult still, but I tend to move towards the adult aisles more).

This book is all around great! Pre-teens, teenagers and adults alike will love this book! There are some rougher scenes so I’d put this in the PG folder, but I think this would make a great book for parent and child bonding time. Because, why not?

Overall, I loved this book! I seriously needed to continue this series and I’m a little frustrated and flustered that I’m going to have to wait until I find Cress and Winter.

Five out of five stars! Heck, give it six or seven! I love this book! I hate when authors make me love books this much, I’m an impatient person and I don’t want to wait!

 

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Check out my review for Book 1: #BookReview Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Looking for some other books you can read? Click the links below!
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Something Like Love by Sara Richardson

 

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#BookReview The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith

If you’re looking for a book full of mystery, thrills and deceit then The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith might be for you!

This book was action packed, fast paced and full of intriguing characters (all of which seem to meet at the final climax of the book). Not only that, but Timothy Jay Smith had such a way with words that it was hard to put down! To just quote the opening lines of the book, “their steel girders boomed thunderously” had me hooked, and his way with his prose continued to be spotless and marvelous!

In this book, we follow Jay Porter the FBI agent while he is in Poland. Dead men are popping up everywhere and they all have very specific pieces of evidence about them suggesting there’s a murderer on the loose. Throw in the 90s setting with Russia, Poland and nuclear weapons, and you’ve got yourself a great start to a thrilling mystery novel. Along the way we meet characters who seem to belong to the mafia, a lovely lady named Basia who feels like a Bond girl, and lots and lots of deceit.

This book gave me Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and James Bond vibes. It’s really intriguing and dark yet still made me feel totally hooked on the book. I read it all in one sitting because I NEEDED to know how it ended. To top it off, having the incredible writing style of Timothy was just amazing! It was enchanting to read the story and see it happening in front of my eyes so well! He’s so descriptive!

If I had to give this book a rating, it would be R. There’s blood, guns and sex (lots of sex, among different genders too!).

If I had to list some of the “cons” of this book, it would be as followed:
1. There’s a lot of small side plot/comments that may throw some readers off. For example, Jay’s trouble with his ex-wife and son pop up briefly a few times. It’s not totally necessary to know all of that information to know about Jay, but it’s there. I could see that being a distraction for some readers.
2. Jay and Lilka had more chemistry than Jay had murder-solving capabilities, in my humble opinion. I would have liked to see him work a little harder on his crime solving abilities or flesh out the romance full out. But that’s just me – I like romance novels and I like mystery novels and I find them hard to mix together.

Overall, this is one great addition to your mystery and thriller shelf! I would 100% recommend this book if you like a good mystery novel or want something to spice of your reading! And, it’s relatively short! The copy I received was under 300 pages which made it nice and quick for me!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Timothy Jay Smith, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find out more about this book on:
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timothyjaysmith.com
Skyhorse Publishing

 

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#BookReview The Comeback by Marlene Perez

The Comeback by Marlene Perez is a Mean Girls styled novel aimed at the teenage demographic.

This book was not made for me, but I was determined to read this book since I was given an ARC copy of the book. That being said, I have no idea if the book has changed since this ARC was made!

I found The Comeback to be a book that I would have loved back in my pre-teen years. It was overly dramatic, full of mean girls and gossip, and showcases drama class (*insert teenage ‘oooooohs’ here*). The popular girl, Sophie, is suddenly not so popular anymore when a new girl comes to town. When her boyfriend breaks her heart, a not so new boy grabs her attention and the drama club spin her in a tornado like fashion, what will she do?! Well, she goes Regina George/Mean Girls on the high school, obviously.

I wish I would have read this years ago because I would have loved it back in my youth. These days, adult me found it a little bit kiddish. Luckily, it wasn’t made with my demographic in mind so it’s not a major negative for the novel. I think it would be grade for those Grade 6 girls to read a fun, goofy book like this that’s full of the angst pre-teens have. It literally felt like a day in the life of 12 year old me (minus the high school shenanigans, but it is how I imagined high school would have been back in the day).

If you’re looking for a teenage soap opera novel, this book is perfect for you! It is really well written, but it’s full of high school drama so it won’t sit well with every adult. Just know what you’re getting into and make sure you research before you pick up this book (if you’re an adult). Remember, it’s YA! It’s supposed to be fun and full of drama and insanity!

To point out the things I DID like:
1. Monet. What a gem! I wish I had a friend like that growing up! She’s seriously the bomb and an awesome side character!
2. Dev. What a hottie! He has his flaws, but he’s a fun romantic interest for the book!
3. Sophie’s ending was well deserved – she tried her best and that’s enough!

Two out of five stars – solely on the fact that it wasn’t a book for ME. For pre-teen me, it probably would have been a solid 4.

 

Check out some other books you might enjoy if you liked this book (or review!):
#BookReview Virals by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

 

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#BookReview Vampireville by Ellen Schreiber

Vampireville, the third book in the amazing Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber, is another excellent addition to my bookshelf!

I love this series and I have a very obvious bias towards it. This series was a big part of my teenage years and it’s hard to not jump back into this series and fall in love all over again. Alexander and Raven’s epic romance is one of the best YA couples around (go ahead and argue that with me) and I can’t help but shout from the hills about them. Jumping back into these books as an adult cemented my love for this series. It’s still just as good!

Vampireville is a young YA book – the maturity of this novel isn’t strong but that’s why I loved it. Lots of YA books take themselves way too seriously, so having a book like this that is so much fun is a real delight. Raven is your stereotypical goth girl (Hot Topic shopping, black lipstick, loves black, black cats, in love with a vampire, etc.) but that makes her so cool. She’s the ideal of every 13 year old girl who wanted to be a goth but her parents wouldn’t let me (haha… me!). She’s sassy, makes mistakes and feels more real than most YA heroines.

Raven and Alexander continue facing a very bumpy ride, but the ride is fun! I highly recommend binging the whole series as soon as possible. I didn’t enjoy these books all on their own: I liked reading the entire series from beginning to end to really get this series. It helps that all the books are relatively short and written in a nice form so you can easily jump from book to book.

Five out of five stars! I love this series and I want more!

 

You can find this book on:
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Check out Ellen on Goodreads: Ellen Schreiber on Goodreads

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If you enjoyed this book, check out another you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber
#BookReviews Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi
#BookReview The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

 

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#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda is an excellent start to a new series I will surely be addicted to.

King Arthur. Round Tables. Medieval Fantasy.

My gosh, this book is packed TIGHT with everything I love about Ruth Miranda and her writing. Epic fantasy, a potential romance, drama, “echoes from the past”, murder, and an epic tale. Seriously, this series already has me hooked and IT LEFT ON A DARN CLIFFHANGER.

I swear, Ruth Miranda sits away at her computer knowing full well I’m going to be pulling my hair out and screaming while I wait for the next book. It may be a little egotistical, but she’s totally doing it to me, on purpose. And I fall for it every time! I can picture her with evil, maniacal laughter filling the room as she typed the final words in Part 1…

But, that’s not the meat of this review. Avalon Hall centers around King Arthur being from Scotland, where the wonderful Avalon Hall (a present day academy for witches and fey) sit. 30 years before modern day, a young woman named Stephanie Miller was murdered and 30 years later there’s been yet another murder. Fortunately, this time it was just some jerk. That being said, Stephanie’s murder brought lots of attention on this hall that only wanted to be seen as a hippie community that studies tarot cards and astrology. Atticus Downe, the new head master, wants to keep it that way. Oh, and he’s hiding a vampire named Emrys in the attic.

Along comes Yseult, a beautiful witch, to Avalon Hall 30 years after Stephanie’s death. She begins seeing ghosts, these “echoes from the past” and sees some ghosts from her present too (like her abusive ex Gary).

Part one is all about Yseult and Avalon Hall. Seriously, this was the best opening for this story. I was truly hooked in and was totally addicted to the book with this opening. It had a fair bit of drama, with mean girls and crushes, alongside the fantastical elements of the story. Also Emrys and Yseult are totally end game for me. Seriously, I need to know what happens next! I also really liked that Ruth expanded on Nora Bell’s character. I was expecting her to be some mean girl, but she’s not all she seems to be.

Then we move into part 2, which brings us back to King Arthur’s actual birth. There’s a lot of back story on his family in this one. The worst part for me was trying to pronounce any of those names. It brought me out of the book a few times because I couldn’t decide on how I wanted them pronounced and I didn’t like google’s pronunciation either. Confusing names are hard, okay? But, I digress, this part of the book was REALLY good. The lore, the back story, and the fast pace of the story. I loved every second of it.

I really hope this series continues and I can get my hand on the next book. Ruth Miranda’s writing style is marvelous – it’s fast, she has a talent for weaving her words into beautiful sentences and she makes up excellent plots. Plus, she’s really good at horror, romance and action.

Overall, this book is a 100% recommended book from me. If you like myths and lore, action and adventure, and a pinch of romance, then this book is for you! I’m definitely going to be continuing the series so you might as well start it with me!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Ruth Miranda, in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Check out Ruth Miranda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15263413.Ruth_Miranda

 

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#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

I’m so torn on this book!

The Hypnotist’s Love Story is a marvelous stand alone by the author of Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty. This book is full of deceit, stalkers, a very strange love story, and life lessons. Oh, and did I mention a little hypnotherapy? It’s kind of obvious, since it is in the title, but it’s one of the biggest parts of this novel!

I found this book to be an interesting mix of chick lit, drama and contemporary fiction. There were times I was laughing, there were times when I was cringing, and at the end I felt like I was missing something. I wanted just a little more of Ellen and Patrick’s story instead of the abrupt ending. There was so much strange insanity in this book (Patrick having a stalker, Ellen being a hypnotherapist, Patrick’s former wife Colleen, Saskia’s past…) that I was left feeling slightly empty. All of these story lines were epic, but none of them had the big follow through I was hoping for (especially in a book as long as this one!).

Ellen starts dating Patrick and their relationship moves very fast. Soon enough, she learns that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend Saskia is stalking him and that he is a widower. He idolized Colleen and the son, Jack, that they shared together. Ellen gets the feeling she doesn’t live up to Colleen and she seems to be intrigued by this stalker. All throughout the book we follow some of Ellen’s hypnotizing shenanigans and meet some of the clients. Of course, that doesn’t go too well either.

This book has the best concepts – all of that paragraph makes me really excited! To me, I just wanted more follow through. Why does Saskia feel the need to stalk? Why does Patrick feel like the type of guy Ellen should have just dumped? How did Ellen become a hypnotherapist? Why was hypnotherapy working on certain clients?

All of that being said, this book was still a real treat. If you love drama and a splash of romance, this book would be perfect for your shelf. Not every book can be utterly perfect in a reader’s eye and I do expect a lot (I grew up watching soap operas, so I kind of expect the real dramatics). Liane also has a wonderful writing style that makes the book fluid and easy to read (and man, having a 400 page book as an easy read is a real feat, so don’t underestimate this woman!). I will one hundred percent be reading more books by Liane Moriarty. Her ideas are incredible, her writing style is flawless and she writes realistic, believable characters REALLY well!

Three out of five stars!

P.S. “Knit, don’t stalk” is the most solid life advice I’ve ever read from a book. It is also now my favourite line I’ve ever read and I’m going to live by it.

 

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Check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy!
#BookReview Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner

 

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#BookReview Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

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Amazon Sale – Down in the Belly of the Whale

 

Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles is a witty and ingenious Young Adult novel that addresses a multitude of tough subject matter in an eye-opening manner.

I don’t know how Kelley does it, but she always manages to impress me. This time around, Kelley has a Young Adult novel that addresses so many tough subjects in one go! Topics such as self harm, child abuse, Multiple Sclerosis, loss of innocence, suicide and not so supportive parents are just some of the many that are tackled in this book. Each “issue” is brought into the story seamlessly and has plot lines throughout the narrative to deal with the issues. Most Young Adult books stay away from the tough yet so very real topics like these, so I have to applaud Kelley for taking the big leap in her story!

My teenage self would have loved a book like this, and I could have learned a lot in the process. On top of the subject matter, the book is written in the voice of a teenager (and it feels oh so real!). Just some of the quotes, such as “I’m going to wear a stunning pair of very expensive jeans that hug my curves like a two-year old with separation anxiety” make this book hilarious! This sitcom-like book creates a fantastic balance between realism and dark topics alongside the silly and goofy one-liners to make the book less depressing.

I did like the character development in this story – both Cora and Harper grow throughout. The change in their attitudes and view points was very obvious as the book went on! I think Kelley did a great job making these characters feel real and like teenagers. Bravo!!

The fantastical side of Harper being able to “sense” when someone is sick, and she’s able to sense mental illness is a big step forward. Mental illness is not always seen as someone being “sick”, rather it’s just an issue to be dealt with. Having a book directed towards teenagers have this point of view makes me very happy and very proud of Kelley’s writing.

Now for the tough part – the negatives. Were there negatives in this book for me? Yes. I felt the ending was rushed, which made some of the pieces being tied together feel less real. Is it necessarily a bad thing? No. It was just something that stuck out to me. Kelley ties up some of the loose ends nicely, but I would have loved a few more pages dedicated to these storylines. Other than that, this book felt flawless.

Would I recommend this book? Heck yes! This book was a fantastic Young Adult novel that I actually got into! I didn’t want to put it down, and I didn’t. I easily binged this book in one sitting, but it could easily be read in bits and pieces. If you like Young Adult novels, books that tackle dark subject matter (in a light-hearted way) or a splash of comedy, then you will love this book! I’d even recommend this to many adult readers, because of it’s amazing way of tackling the rough subjects.

There is a bit of an asterisk on the recommendation side – this book could be a major trigger for some people. Keep that in mind if you plan to pick up this book! The darker sides of this novel may not be suitable for all ages and maturity levels!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Kelley Kaye Bowles in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Find out more about Kelley Kaye Bowles on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye Bowles

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

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And if you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis