#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

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This book was written in Nova Scotia, and as a Canadian I AM SO HAPPY I AM READING A CANADIAN BOOK. That cannot be understated – I love helping other Canadian authors out. It’s so near and dear to my heart.

Rebecca McNutt’s novel Bittersweet Symphony was an addicting read for me. Her descriptions and tone in her writing was something that just clicked with me. Her tone was somewhat professional, yet it worked so well within this novel. It almost sounded like the perfection my English teachers in high school wanted us to achieve, but never could. The level of how descriptive her writing is made me feel like I was there with the characters. I could see this being “too much” for some readers, but I love description when it’s paired with a good story (and it’s not just one hundred pages describing how the characters look).

I like how the story is essentially an allusion for real events, and the little splash of ghosts thrown in as well. It makes it real yet not real, believable yet not believable all wrapped up into one. This book is in it’s own little corner, AND I LOVE IT.

I would say this book has some “mature” themes, revolving around language and some things that are referenced (without spoiling). Although, that doesn’t mean you have to be 18+ to read it. The book isn’t to graphic, so I think teenagers could easily read this book and relate to it.

Pros:
1. Unique story telling – Rebecca doesn’t follow your stereotypical, simple writing style. It’s hard to explain, but it’s different. I like the term “gothic” for it, but that’s not 100% on point with how she writes. Essentially, I love an author that writes in their own style and doesn’t follow a norm so I REALLY liked this book.

2. Short and Sweet – This book isn’t 1000 pages long. This book reminded me of the original Star Wars trilogy: the information that needed to be there, was there. There was no fluff, it got to the point and made an effective story.

3. “Black as the ace of spades” – The language is BEAUTIFUL in this book. I’m obsessed with it. Can Rebecca McNutt write my life story while she’s at it?

4. Interconnecting Stories – I’m obsessed with Cloud Atlas (one of my all time faves of interconnecting stories) so it seems fitting that I’d enjoy another book that interconnects everything. Bravo!!

5. Relatable – This book was relatable on so many levels. Just reading how the lawyer says that they are snakes until someone needs their help, and then suddenly they are their best friend – yeah, that one hit me where it hurts. It’s so honest, and so true.

6. Shocking Twists and Turns – Some of this book you don’t see coming, and I can respect an author that can actually make that work in a novel.

Cons:
1. Dialogue – The dialogue can appear “rigid” or “stiff” to some readers. For me, it worked within the story and how Rebecca was telling her story, but that might turn off other readers.

2. Personal con: Madson. I keep wanting to call it “Madison” or anything but Madson. It was driving me insane as I was reading it because my brain didn’t want to comprehend the name. Major personal con here (and an amusing con at that).

I’m amazed that people are saying Rebecca McNutt was 19 when she wrote this. That’s a lot of talent for that age, so I can only imagine Rebecca getting better the more she writes and the more time she has to practice. This book doesn’t seem like it’s written by a 19 year old – it’s incredibly mature.

Overall, this unique book had me hooked and addicted from it’s first page. I’m so glad I read it, because I haven’t read a book so unique and actually good for a very long time!

Five out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book from the author Rebecca McNutt in exchange for an honest review. Everything here is my own, honest opinion.

Side notes: If you want to read this book, the author posted her own “review” offering copies out. It’s a great opportunity to read and review an awesome book. Not many authors offer opportunities like this, so hop on it if it’s still available!!!

 

Will you be reading this book? Or do you have a book recommendation? Comment below!

Check Rebecca McNutt out on Goodreads! Rebecca McNutt on Goodreads

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If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

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#BookReview Immortal by Gillian Shields

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Here’s a quick #FlashbackFriday review featuring a YA novel!!

 

Immortal by Gillian Shields is a fantasy YA novel focused on witches.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (aka this book, Immortal). The take it has on witches was different than what I had read about before, and I enjoyed it’s uniqueness. It wasn’t on my top list of YA books I read years ago, but it’s still a good book.

Gillian Shields is a skilled writer, and I really want to pick up more books from her. This novel isn’t an A+ book, but I can only imagine how much she has grown since she first wrote this book. With so much potential, it’s hard to believe she won’t write an even better book in the future.

I did think there was a pinch too much romance in this book. If there was more focus on the plot line and witches I think it could have peaked up to an even higher rating on my end. I’ll have to pick up the rest of the books in the series again to see if it gets any better or if my ratings change from when I first read this series. It also features some cliche characters and plot lines…

So, for me, it’s a little bit boring.

It’s still a sweet book, and I think there’s lots of room to grow for Gillian. Hopefully she has more books out because I absolutely LOVED her writing style within this. Her books are easy to read and move at a relatively fast paced!

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out Gillian on Goodreads! Gillian Shields on Goodreads

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

Did you enjoy this review? Here’s another you might like! Book Review: Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

#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 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 You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

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#ThrowbackThursday time! Here’s another Katie MacAlister fave of mine!

 

 

Katie MacAlister first book in a riveting series is golden for romance/fantasy lovers everywhere.

It’s hard to believe You Slay Me was one of the first books in Katie MacAlister’s giant dragon universe (does it have an official name? All of the series within this universe? It probably does…). This book was the first of many cute, sexy, fantasy filled books focusing on dragons. And it’s safe to say – it’s fantastic! This is one of my many guilty pleasures that I keep on my shelf for when I’m having a rough day. It always makes me smile because it’s so sweet!

Katie is a funny writer – she’s not super serious, and that’s what makes this book work. It’s out of the ordinary (obviously, it has dragons and all sorts of crazy creatures in it) and totally addicting. It’s fast paced, full of ooey gooey romance, completely silly and filled with sexy men. It’s solid chick lit!!

I can definitely see some readers having faults with it – the book doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s full of funny tropes and understands that it’s a lighthearted, romance novel. But for me, it’s everything I want in more in a romance novel. I want happy endings, sexy scenes, hot men, quirky jokes and strong, sassy leads. Drake is a bit of a jerk, even I’ll admit that, but I like how his character progresses. I’m not sure how else Katie would have introduced these two in the realm of what this universe is, to be very honest.

So, overall, I love it! I’m kinda annoyed I haven’t been able to get to the very newest 2017 book yet because these books always make my day!

Five out of five stars.

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

Like this review? Check out another one you may enjoy! Book Review: His Custody by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain

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AMYM: The Mamluk Who Defied Death (1.5 in the New York Vampire Series) is a new novel/story by K.D. McQuain!!

I’m very honored that K.D. McQuain sent me this story/novel (how long have I been doing reviews and I never get the correct wording for what a book technically is) and I was super excited to pick it up! I had to hold back since I was busy and had to actually “adult”, so when it was finally my day off it was one of the first things on my to-do list!!

I love the font that the chapter numbers are written in – it doesn’t affect the story, but the vibe and style it gives it is excellent!

K.D. McQuain is one of those authors that you don’t really hear about, but when you come in touch with his work you are BLOWN AWAY. Not only does this man write a great fantasy/vampire novel, but his erotic/romance scenes are beyond what I expect from someone writing a vampire novel. You don’t see very many authors who can combine multiple genres (if you wish to word it that way) together. His story telling is so descriptive, and not in a bad way. It’s not like layers and layers of adjectives, it’s as if you are in the story. And he’s only on “book two” of his writing career? That’s hard to believe! The talent radiating out of this author is absolutely ridiculous.

It gives me a Game of Thrones kind of vibe, but these stories are so much easier to get through. There’s paranormal aspects, the vampire side (obviously), some action/adventure, and steamy scenes.

I find the plots and subplots of this story work well with each other. Amym wanting to rule, his relationship with Ketevan, his relationship with his mistress, and the general “day to day” life of Amym all work together and weave together perfectly in this short story. I didn’t find myself getting bored or confused like I have in other stories that are written in similar fashions.

The only part of these stories I have “issues” with is all the terminology. I’m okay with going back through a previous book or looking up words I don’t know, but I’m not sure if all readers will be okay with that. The lore and mythology of these stories are one of the great aspects that I enjoy, but some readers may not be as interested in all the terminology that appears in these novels.

Overall, this book was great! I really enjoyed reading another tale in the New York Vampire series and I can’t wait for more K.D. McQuain to give us some more books to read!!

Four out of five stars.

Check out this book on Goodreads: AMYM on Goodreads

Or…check out this website for more information on KD’s Books! K.D. McQuain’s Books

Find K.D. McQuain on Twitter! @McQuain_kd

Check out my page on Goodreads for more up to date reviews!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain

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NYV: Punk by KD McQuain

I’m not sure what I thought of this novel. It seemed awesome via the cover, the synopsis and what some of my reader friends said about the book but overall this book wasn’t a hit with me.

This novel follows Christian, our lead who goes off in search of a coming of age story for himself. This book twists into an interesting fantasy novel that not only follows Christian growing as a character but involves some vampires and fantasy all splashed into these fine pages of this book.

I found this book to be super slow at the start, which made me drift off as I read it. Eventually, near the very end of the book, it picked up and finally peaked my interests but it just didn’t hit well with me. I love a book that’s fast paced or hooks me instantly, not one that takes ages for me to finally feel like I want to read it (not that I have to).

The writing style is great, though. The descriptions (in general, characters, violence, sex, all of them really) were truly unbelievable. For someone’s first book, it’s really memorizing. You almost felt like you were in the story – and I applaud KD for that. To be able to write and describe so beautifully on your first novel? Bonus points for you sir!

I really enjoyed reading K.D’s take on this story. The language and style fits right with the tone of the novel. I thought this novel was going to be a Young Adult novel, but then it got quite explicit at some times… Perhaps a better rating for this novel is needed? I saw it in an indie book store floating in the YA section… Maybe not?

This book is a series, and I do think it’s a worthy read. I just wanted something a little more fast paced. I found it to be a unique take on vampires and I really hope more people pick up this author! There’s talent waiting, and imagine what this author can do once he starts writing more? This is only one of the first books for this guy! Talent normally goes up, and this book was definitely well written.

I would definitely want to read the second book if I can ever get my hands on it. While this book bored me at the beginning, I’m definitely hooked now. Fantastic read!

Four out of five stars – due to the slow start of the novel.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.