#BookReview Return to You by Samantha Chase

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This romance novel is a fun page turner that I couldn’t put down! Return to You follows James Mongomery and Selena Ainsley as they slowly reconnect with each other. The two have a dramatic past that is slowly revealed throughout the novel, instead of most novels where it is all delivered up front. This wonderful idea by Samantha Chase gives the novel a little extra boost in making the novel more interesting. As a reader, it made me want to continue reading and discovering what happened to James and Selena in their past as it is explained and revealed chapter by chapter.

The novel focuses on the present day and how James and Selena learn about how their view of events is very different from each other. Their relationship and circumstances seem very realistic, and well thought out. I didn’t see any of the characters being over exaggerated or boring. The characters are an amazing aspect of the novel!

The plot line is also intriguing, but could have used a bit more action or drama. I found the plot line to be very predictable and obvious as the novel went on, and even made some of the chapters slow and boring. Once I was past those chapters, I became instantly interested in it again.

Overall, I felt like a little more action and drama could have been added, but it was a good quality book. The novel moved smoothly and kept me interested!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite romance novel series? Comment below!
Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheMontgomeryBrothers to start the conversation on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Blood Ties by Mari Mancusi

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Here’s a quick book review for one of my fave authors: Mari Mancusi!!!

Another round of Mari Mancusi’s Blood Coven Vampires?! Yes please!

I adore Sunny and Magnus, and lucky for us these two are back together! They are one of my top YA couples and we’re SO lucky to get another book with these two characters interacting!

The drama in this book is intense – a love triangle between Sunny, Magnus and Jayden is clearly occurring. But, as we all know, Sunny is meant for Magnus and they adore each other to no end. The excitement that ensues includes fighting, kisses, biting (vampire alert!), misunderstandings and teenage romance and drama!

I loved this book! It’s fast paced, has fun teenage angst and lots of ooey gooey romance with my faves Sunny and Magnus!

This is a YA book, so don’t go expecting adult drama and storylines. Mari does a great job making this series fun and exciting in the realms of the unbelievable. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t read it! It’s one of the best, fun YA novels out there is you want something lighthearted yet addicting! It’s one of my go to series for when I have a bad day (because it’s rarely depressing).

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out Mari Mancusi on her website: http://www.marimancusi.com/

And give us both a shout out on twitter! @MariMancusi & @ReviewAlholic

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi

Leave a comment below – what is your favourite YA novel? Give us some awesome recommendations to include on this blog and on our shelves!

#BookReview Goodnight, Swampy the Little Monster by Ellie J. Woods

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Goodnight, Swampy the Little Monster is an adorable picture book full of colourful art!

I loved the colour contrasting in this book! For me, having adorable pictures with bright, exciting colours if a must for a children’s book! The oranges and blues really hit me, which I appreciated! Having Swampy be a light green was also a nice addition that contrasted the orange background.

I also really enjoyed the fact that some pages were just pictures showing the story. For me, I can see those pages being talking points with parents and children together. I would have loved to use this book for reading buddy time back in grade school to be able to use it for teaching experiences! Overall, I think the art and storyline are super adorable and work really well together!

There is rhyming involved in this book, and if you’re not a stickler for perfect rhymes then you’ll be fine with this book. I can see little kids loving the cute rhyming scheme and singing along with it. There are points in the sentences where the number of syllables didn’t match, but it doesn’t take away from the book.

The story itself is how Swampy gets ready for bed. I think it’s a lovely story and has lots of room for conversation with children. It’s fun, rhymes and has good themeing. It didn’t switch it’s theme halfway, and works really well!

Overall, this book is super cute! I’d definitely put this book on a child’s bookshelf or recommend my local libraries and schools pick it up!

Five out of five stars!

I managed to score this book via BookBub!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Swampy

Amazon.com – Swampy

Amazon.ca – Swampy

Check out Ellie J. Woods on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16733954.Ellie_J_Woods

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

Comment below – what is your favourite children’s novel?

And while you’re at it, give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

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The Black Mzungu was a fantastic non-fiction read about the author, Alexandria Obsorne’s, incredible change in scenery.

I was shocked by how much I liked this book. I rarely find myself enjoying non-fiction or biographies, but this novel hit all the right notes with me. The author does a fantastic job retelling her life story of marrying a man from another country and moving there. Each chapter details the ups and downs of moving to a third world country and building a home there.

There are a lot of cultural insights and introductions to Lindi, Tanzania. Different terms and traditions are introduced in this novel and it gives an absolutely incredible insight into a world that is different compared to a First World Country.

Overall, I was impressed. I didn’t see anything wrong with this novel – it moved at a good pace, each chapter had a different story to tell that connected the entire novel together and it seemed real. Nothing seemed out of place or out of the ordinary.

I loved this book! I would love to read more about the author’s life in the future!

Five out of five stars!

I received this boook for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite non-fiction novel? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheBlackMzungu to start a conversation about this book! @ReviewAlholic

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

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Today is October 10th – World Mental Health Day! To celebrate and make people aware, check out my review of a book that focuses on mental health awareness (and general health awareness too!).

 

 

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.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Find out more about Kelley Kaye Bowles on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye Bowles

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter to let me know you read it! @ReviewAlholic

 

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

#BookReview Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

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This sequel is another thrilling yet cozy mystery that is set in the halls of a high school!

We continue on in this book with Emma and Leslie in yet another pickle. This time around, a student was murdered! The suspense is excellent in this story – I felt myself being pulled in even farther into the story as each page went by. It really hooks the reader and makes them feel committed! Throw in some A grade comedy, fantastic character development and lots of education allusions and you’ve got one epic book!

These two sleuths are basically the adult versions of Nancy Drew! The wittiness and cuteness of this book makes it the perfect relaxation novel. I also found it to be the perfect binging novel (although you could easily put this book down and jump back into it). It’s also a G to PG rated book – there’s nothing graphic or overly worrisome. Teens and adults alike will easily be able to read and enjoy this book!

It was a real delight seeing Emma and Leslie and their fantastic chemistry together again! The two of them make the perfect best friends for a fun, cozy story! I can almost feel them radiating their positivity off the pages! And on top of that, they are hilarious! I also have a strong love for the secondary characters as well! The other teachers are all interesting and truly characters.

Hunter was a real breakout character for me. I loved seeing more of him in this novel and I hope in any future books he’s hanging around more!

I loved all the quotations between the chapters – that’s one major part of this series that raises it above all the others! The Shakespeare quotes always get me! I love it!

My final comment – I loved that adoption became a big part of this book. The awareness of adoption, while out there, isn’t spoken about enough (in my honest opinion). Thank you Kelley for expanding the conversation!

Kelley Kaye is the Queen of cozy, comedic mysteries! I will definitely be looking for more books by her and I highly recommend picking up this must read novel!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Poison by Punctuation

Youtube – Book Trailer – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.com – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.ca – Poison by Punctuation

 

Check out the first book in this series, Death by Diploma, on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Gold Shadow by L.C. Perry

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Gold Shadow is an enchanting story full of contrasts.

If I had to use metaphors to explain this book, I would use contrasting words – light and dark, the sun and the moon, soft and tough, etc. This story follows Ebony, a rough-around-the-edges type of girl who is apart of the rebellion, and Princess Irene, an innocent princess. While Ebony has seen the darkness in the world and is matured beyond her years with a tough exterior, Irene is quite the opposite! She is a foolish princess who doesn’t understand how the world works because she’s been ‘locked in her tower’ (in a sense).

Ebony’s story is more centered around dystopia and rebellion (it reminded me of Divergent and The Hunger Games, for references) and Irene’s a was a royal fantasy (think The Selection). I liked having the two separate stories within this world, but sometimes I got confused on who I was following. Most chapters said the lead character’s name in it, but some took pages for me to be able to tell who was being followed. My only request would have been for the chapters to have titles or names to make sure I didn’t get lost or confused when I pulled myself away from the book.

This book has serious potential to be the next big YA novel. It touches on many topics that most YA readers like – dystopia, destiny, romance, fantasy. It also has a diverse cast of characters that draw you in and make you feel for them. Irene was my favourite, but Ebony, Gavin and Aurora also stood out. There is also some massive world building within the book, since L.C. Perry is clearly setting up an epic series for these characters to partake in.

If I was to have any major cons about this book, it’s that it took me a while to really sink my teeth into it. This is because of the world building with L.C. setting the scene for the reader. This shouldn’t be much of a problem when the series continues, so it’s only a ‘minor’ con in relation to the whole series. I also found there were many characters to follow, so when I pulled myself away from the book and threw myself back in, I couldn’t fully remember all of them (similar to my Game of Thrones problems – so many characters, so many back stories – it can get tough!). That being said, I’d recommend binging this book. I read it in bits and pieces, and I found it really hard to remember some of the lesser viewed characters.

The book is a little bit dark at times – there are swear words, there is beating and humiliation and torture – but it is a dystopia. If you keep that in mind and you aren’t a soft at heart reader, then you’ll easily be able to enjoy this novel.

L.C. Perry’s writing style is very easy to fall into and read. She’s great with descriptions and character development. I haven’t dipped my toes into YA for a while, so it was a bit of an adjustment for me, but the book was absolutely fantastic! I’d highly recommend this book if you love YA and fantasy (with a pinch of dystopia).

Finally – the ending. If you like books with cliffhangers, this one is for you! This book is definitely meant to be read in a series and not as a standalone. The ending closes enough to make you feel settled to wait for the next novel, but not enough to leave the book alone and be happy with the ending. There’s truly no finale for these characters (yet).

Overall, this book was fun! It’s a nice, YA dystopia that will be a great addition to your shelf!

Three out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author L.C. Perry in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gold Shadow – Goodreads

Amazon.com – Gold Shadow – Amazon.com

Amazon.ca – Gold Shadow – Amazon.ca

Check out L.C. Perry on:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/L.C.-Perry/e/B01H4Z1N0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/LPanimefreak5

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – what is your fave YA novel?