Posted in Book Love Reviews, Book Reviews, Books

Book Love Review: The Darkest Part Of The Forrest by Holly Black

A unique story that blends the modern day life of teen siblings, Hazel & Ben, with the not so secret world of the fairy folk. When the horned boy in the glass coffin awakes Hazel & Ben must figure out how he escaped and how it relates to the strange things happening in their town.  The duo must deal with the secrets of their past and games of their childhood in order to make sense of what is happening between the “folk” and the humans and uncover their own hidden roles.

 

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What I loved about this book:

  • The slightly strained sibling relationship that plays out as the teens uncover the lies and truths that have separated them over the years.
  • An excellent stand-alone story that manages to deliver an excellent plot, believable characters and enchant with fantasy elements.
  • A roller coaster of unexpected twists and turns.
  • I enjoyed the relationship between the “Folk” and the townspeople.
  • Hazel is a delightfully flawed character, who knows she is flawed, but struggles with her flaws and understanding why she does the things she does. By the end of the book, the reader will understand what triggered one of her flaws.
  • Jack. I loved this changeling, his evolving relationship with Hazel, and the way he is torn between his human family and the “folk” who traded him away.

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You Should Read This Book If:

  •  You are a fan of Holly Black
  • You enjoy contemporary fantasy reads that involve fairies or folklore.
  • You are fascinated with the idea of changelings.
  • You enjoy books with realistic sibling relationships
Posted in Book Love Reviews, Book Reviews, Books, Owl Crate, Uncategorized

Book Love Review: Before She Ignites

Watch the Video Review Of Before She Ignites

 

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Recommended by Stormie. Every time I try to get a shot of this book she bombs it.

Dragons. Intrigue. Memorable Characters. If I only had a few words to describe this book those would hit the mark perfectly. Before She Ignites is the first book in The Fallen Isles Trilogy by Jodi Meadows and the September Owlcrate selection.

 

Mira is the beautiful face of the peace treaty she is named for but her passion is for dragons. When she discovers a secret and speaks out she finds herself tossed in jail. Under the care of a cruel guard who wants to know her secrets,  she must come to terms with who she is, what the treaty really stands for, who her real friends are and find a way to protect the dragons.

Click Here to Watch the Video Review

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There is a lot to love about this book so I will stick to my favorite aspects of it without giving away to much of the plot.

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Mira is a well-developed character that will stick with me for a long time. By the end of the book, she finds an inner strength that she didn’t know she had. Mira has to learn to survive and dig deep into herself to accomplish goals she feels completely unequipped to deal with.
  • There is a full fantasy world packed into this novel. The author did an excellent job building this world and transplanting me into it without much confusion.
  • There are a lot of characters in this book and each gives it a bit a flavor without being overwhelming or confusing.
  • Mira’s love for the dragons and her loyalty to those she trusts are strong elements in this book that drive her, but she struggles to hold on to protecting them when faced with the cruel treatment from a prison guard and the treaty makers.
  • The book lived up to my expectations based on the cover, title, back & inside cover blurbs and the first pages.  I say this because it is rare that a book actually delivers everything I expect based on those things.
  • The romantic element is perfect.  Realistic. Tension. Swoon-worthy. I can’t wait to see what develops between them in the next book.

Watch Me Unbox this book!

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Who Should Read This Book”

  • Dragon fans and fantasy world lovers
  • If you like a book with flawed characters who struggle realistically in the face of cruelty to find strength and inner power.
  • If you enjoy a  romantic subplot that doesn’t take over the main plot but keeps you interested.
  • Even if you are not a big fantasy or dragon fan I recommend giving this book a read for excellent storytelling and compelling characters

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized

Book Love: The Night Circus – It is not what I expected

This book was not what I was expecting. It is not the type of book that I usually fall in love with. Yet, It has earned a place in my book love heart, and you may find a place for it in yours – if you are open to reading it and following it to the end.

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To boil this story down for you, without spoilers, is no easy feat but I will give it a go. This is the story of a different sort of Circus. A circus without animals but laced with magic. The Circus itself was created as a game board of sorts for two magicians who have been raised and trained to compete in a competition. The end game and the rules are not clear to them or the reader at times. Everyone involved with the circus is an unknowing part of the game, and their lives are affected by it in a magical and sometimes deadly way.  The story is full of secrets, performers, magic and a bit of romance.

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So first, let’s talk about what this book is not:

  • Fast paced
  • Action filled
  • An easy read
  • Typical
  • For everyone

If you can get past the things that this novel is not, you might find yourself emerged in the atmosphere of the mysterious circus. I will admit, I did have some issues falling in love with this book. At the same time, I was unable to abandon the book. The bits and pieces of the story came together for me at the end and left me satisfied.

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What I loved:

  • The idea of the story and how it came together at the end.
  • The use of colors. I always love it when writers use colors to enhance their story. I don’t know why I just do.
  • The way the author used detailed descriptions to enhance the atmosphere of the story.
  • Trying to figure out how all the pieces of the story fit.
  • It has a few delightful characters.
  • I enjoyed that some portions of the book are written in 2nd person, although I had trouble understanding why that view was used until the end of the book.

Who should read this book:

  • Those open to the 3rd person omnipresent and 2nd person point of view narrations.
  • If you can deal with lots of description, narration and slow moving pace.
  • If you are unsure about reading it, take a chance. I did, and I enjoyed it.
  • Magic lovers

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I listened to this book on audiobook.  The narrator ‘s voice fits the feel of the book perfectly, but I found it so soothing that I almost fell asleep a few times. I had to increase the narration speed a few times to finish the book with out napping.

Overall, this book is one that will stick with me. It is not a book for everyone and certainly not my typical read, but I am giving it 5 stars because it managed to make all of the plot pieces that are scattered about fit together.  The book provoked some deep thoughts and left me with warm feelings and the urge to eat caramel covered things.

So, tell me have you read this book? What did you think?

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Life

Confession: Book Grudge

As a book lover, I am ashamed to admit it, but I am guilty of having some pretty intense grudges against certain books. I am talking about long term grudges that result in a boycott of other books by that author.

First, let me be clear. Neither the books or the authors are bad. In both cases, these authors write best sellers and have huge fan bases. I loved prior books by these authors. I am not going to point out the authors or books in this post but you can watch the video  to get the low down.

I have a 7 year book grudge that has kept me from reading books from an author I loved
I have a book grudge.

So why the grudge?

I took the time to examine that question before making the video and writing about this.  It boils down to one thing. Not plot, character, or even writing style but expectations.  My expectations of the books and their respective authors were extremely high. This led to an intense emotional downfall when the books did not live up to my expectations. The end result is that I have no desire to read any more books by these authors because I don’t want to risk having another emotional disappointment.

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My expectations of these books and their respective authors were extremely high. This led to an intense emotional downfall when the books did not live up to my expectations. The end result is that I have no desire to read any more books by these authors because I don’t want to risk having another emotional disappointment.

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On an intellectual level, I know this is ridiculous. Disliking one book so much that I don’t read another one by that author for over 7 years is extreme. As an author, I know that I should not judge an entire collection of works based one or two books that let me down. I have a passion for books. I read over 100 books a year. In most cases, I can dislike a book without having a book grudge.

 

So, why are the stakes so high for certain books and not others? Again, it is all about my personal expectations and my emotional response to the book not furfilling my needs.  All three of these book grudges were birthed because the plot didn’t sustain me and the ending failed to connect with my expecations. I kept reading and waiting for something to happen but I did not get the emotional impact I desired.

So, tell me. Do you have book grudges? Do you take it to the extreem like me and stop reading books by that author? I would like to know!

 

 

 

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Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Goodies, Books, Owl Crate, Unboxing, Uncategorized

Book Love Review: The Sandcastle Empire.

This amazing book was the June Owlcrate selection.  Armed with a field guide to a mysterious island and a vial of her father’s blood and teeth Eden attempts to escape her war-torn world to find refuge and answers on the island.

Watch my video review

 

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What I loved about this book:

* It was a quick easy read.
* That it takes place on a mysterious jungle island that is more than it seems.
* The writing style is engaging and detailed without slowing the pace.

*  Chapters alternate between regular length and 1-2 pages.

*  Chapters alternate between regular length and 1-2 pages.
* The overall plot is interesting and it has a lot of neat world-building aspects.
* Excellent 1st chapter that grabs you and keeps you reading.

* Some details will stick with me forever. The Vial of blood and teeth. The beetles.

I rated this four stars instead of five for a few reasons that are a bit hard to pinpoint. There was nothing I disliked about this book but here a few reasons I didn’t rate it 5 stars.

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My Opinion:

* The world, although fascinating, didn’t work for me at first. After I started thinking of island in the terms of the tv series LOST instead of  I think of when I think of a Dystopian world it felt a little more realistic to me.
* The plot seemed to fall into place to EASY. There are many excellent setbacks and twists but something about it just felt off.  I never felt that the character was in grave danger even when she was in the midst of it but it was still interesting enough to keep me reading. Honestly, I think my expectations of what I thought the book was going to be was what caused me not to rate it five stars.  It was more sci-fi than I was anticipating.
* The end. I hope this is a series because the end left me hanging and not in a good way. I needed a little more resolution even if it is a series.

Want Owlcrate? Get it here.

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Overall, this is a fantastic book that is easy to dive into and get lost in. It has a lot of tech and sci-fi elements, suspense and  I can see this series blooming into something addictive.

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized

Book Love Review: Scarlet By Marissa Meyer

I hate reading series books out of order. I avoid it at all costs but sometimes it happens and I have to make the best of a bad situation. That is exactly what happened with Scarlet, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

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Here is how it happened. Sometime, long ago, I read Cinder. Fast forward to a few months ago when I needed an audiobook for my travels. The library was out of titles that appealed to me. Having just read, Heartless, I snatched up Cress, The Lunar Chronicles.  I I couldn’t remember if I had read Scarlet or not.

(Don’t judge – I read a lot. It is easier than you think to forget about reading a book. The worst? Cover changes. Not only do I judge a book by it’s cover – I remember it by its cover. Well. Sometimes. In hindsight, I read Cinder in ebook form. I think I read a sample chapter of Scarlet, which lead to the confusion. )

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It didn’t take long for me to figure out I had not read the prior book but I was already on the road so I continued on with Cress. Once I finished it I had a great debate. Go back and read Scarlet or move on to Winter?

I loved Scarlet & Wolfe in Cress, so I decided to backtrack and I am glad I did. So, on to the review. I am going to pretend that I did not already know the outcome of this book when I read it.

What I loved:

  • Scarlet. She is feisty, loyal, and determined. She falls hard and fast for Wolfe.
  • The relationship. Okay, I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but I know this romance may be called unhealthy by some. To some degree, I understand but in the context of the story and what Wolfe is I like the romance and connection between them.
  • Wolfe. I love that in finding Scarlet he finds a part of himself that he did not know existed.
  • Iko. She is one of my favorite characters even if she is a ship in this book.
  • Following Cinder, Ki, and meeting Captain Thorne are also high points in the book for me.
  • The plot is well written and interesting. It would have been better I were experiencing it first hand, instead of reading with knowledge of what happens in the next book.

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Who should read this book:

  • If you enjoyed Cinder you will want to continue the story with this book. Don’t skip ahead. Just don’t do it. You will kick yourself like I did.
  • Fans of Fairy Tale retellings will adore this take on Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Fans of Marissa Meyer, but that really goes without saying.
  • If you love a blend of fairy tale, fantasy, sci-fi, with a good dose of Cyborg tossed in you should add this to your reading list.

On another note, If I find this book on Audio at the library or have an extra audible credit I will be checking it out. I felt that Cress was well done on audio and I would like to experience this book in that format. Which is staying a lot, because I don’t reread most books. That is reserved ONLY for book with a special place in my heart. At this point, I don’t know if I would re-read this book but I would listen.

What books do you love in audio format?

 

 

 

Posted in Anxiety & Depression, Book Reviews, Books, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, vlog

Indie Spotlight: Anxiety Girl

Anxiety Girl by Lacy London

Do you struggle with Anxiety or know someone who does? The title of this book and the focus on Anxiety is what prompted me to read this book. I am glad I did. I deal with severe reoccurring depression and generalized anxiety and I enjoy reading books that address with those issues in a responsible realistic manner.

If you want to hear more about my personal mental health issues check out my Anxiety Girl Review on YouTube.

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While I did not click with the main character right away it did not take long for me root for here when she began to experience anxiety. The author did an excellent job portraying the experience of anxiety.

This story follows Sadie, a young woman who finds herself battling a broken heart but soon discovers that there is a lot more going on inside her. Anxiety takes hold and she no longer finds it easy to to hide her troubles. Deep in anxiety  with her life falling to pieces Sadie struggles with fear, shame, and comes to the realization that she needs help.

What I Love:

  • Realistic portrayal of anxiety
  • Supportive characters who help Sadie
  • The unsupportive characters show a realistic portrait of how people tend to misunderstand
  • Well written & Easy to read

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Who Should Read:

  • Anyone who deals with Anxiety or Mental illness
  • Anyone who loves and cares for someone with Anxiety or Mental Illness
  • Fans of Contemporary Fiction
  • Those who are already fans of this Bestselling Author

Get the book $2.99 or read free with Kindle unlimited

*price at the time of review