Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review - The Decaying Empire (The Vanishing Girl 2), by Laura Thalassa

When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.


Last year I had the priviledge of reading the first of this series and reviewed The Vanishing Girl here.  I enjoyed the concept of this novel, but it was a little overshadowed by the budding relationship, sex and slight airheadedness of the main female protagonist. The plot though, was intriguing enough that I grabbed the second in the series.  Glad to say that I actually enjoyed the second book more than the first!

So in keeping this review spoiler free, I will write in generalities about what I really enjoyed about this novel, and hope that is sufficient to get your interest. The book blurb itself is quite a bit of a spoiler... so here goes!

Continuing in great cinematic fashion (BONUS), this book takes off from the major cliffhanger that we were left with from the first book. HATE major cliffhangers, but I had access to the next book immediately, so I didn't have to wait very long to continue the story.

Ember is much more likeable to me this time around. I didn't find her to be so damn clueless as before, which had annoyed me to no end.  Caden tells part of the story from his own POV which is interesting, and I found myself feeling more enamored with the guy than I thought I would be. And of course... I am a sucker for romance!!! And these two have insane chemistry.

I found that this one was action packed from beginning to end, and I tore through it as I usually do with books I can't put down. It does end with another cliffhanger though..... SIGH. So underhanded, I tell ya! I have no choice but to join the ranks of other eager readers impatiently waiting for the next installment. 

An easy 4 stars, cliffhanger and all.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Relaunch Giveaway Winners

Thank you all for entering, following and showing us your support during our Relaunch Giveaway. Winners have been chosen, and contacted via email to claim their prizes. 

We could not be more thrilled for these ladies and hope they enjoy their new books!


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bully, By Penelope Douglas

My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.

But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

I'm not going to let him bully me anymore.

I was not expecting this book to be so captivating, I found it for free on Kobo and thought I would give it a shot. It starts off with a lot of bullying... A little too much at points. A few extreme situations that should never happen to anyone, I have to say there is a fine line between love and hate. In these situations they are not motivated by love at all. However once you get past the bullying its a book I couldn't put down. I needed to know what was going to happen, would Tate, the main female character, ever trust Jared, the main male character, again? Could Tate really get past the hurt and pain the constant bulling caused? I don't know if I personally could ever get over some of the things Jared did or said.

So much happened in this book, I felt like I read 2 books with the amount of drama and detail shoved into it. Which I really loved, I never got bored or felt like it could've ended sooner. I actually didn't even want it to end. I do have to say I hated Jared and his friends at first but once I continued reading I was really in love with these characters, I went through ever emotion with them, and still wanted to know more about them.

I cant say enough how much I loved this book! Penelope Douglas did an amazing job painting a picture and leaving me wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I cant wait to read the other books to the series. This was a 4 star rating for me, and a definite must read!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review - The Walled City, by Ryan Graudin

730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

Like many other readers, I began reading this one thinking of it as a dystopian novel. However, it did not feel like a dystopian at all. It seemed to be in a category all of its own. Though it did have some similar elements to the genre, it felt like this city could be set in our real world, though secluded away from prying eyes.... a true "city of sin", where no one dares to enter, and no one is able to leave, and everyone outside of it turns a blind eye and pretends it doesn't exist. Oppressors rule and victims hope to live another day or wish for death in some cases; this is the every day of the Walled City. Bonus that this is inspired by a real city as well, which adds an intriguing twist for those curious enough to look into it.

Every character in this book was fleshed out and real. The separate storylines came together nicely and flawlessly. This book delivers as promised; from the first page it is, indeed, adrenaline filled, as our main characters, with different weaknesses and strengths, survive the ruthlessness of the cards that they have been dealt, with hope of escape. 
It was hard not to read this novel in one sitting. The plot was well written in cinematic fashion, and it felt like I was putting a riveting, action filled movie on pause multiple times. Hands down, one of my favorite books of the year! 

It is rare that I give out a 5 star rating, but this one deserves it. If you have not picked this one up yet, I highly recommend you do.

Happy Reading!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Perfect People, by Peter James

John and Naomi Klaesson are grieving the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but when they find out they are both carriers of a rogue gene, they realize the odds of their next child contracting the disease are high. Then they hear about geneticist Doctor Leo Dettore. He has methods that can spare them the heartache of ever losing another child to any disease - even if his methods cost more than they can afford. His clinic is where their nightmare begins. They should have realized that something was wrong when they saw the list. Choices of eye colour, hair, sporting abilities. They can literally design their child. Now it's too late to turn back. Naomi is pregnant, and already something is badly wrong ...

The cover of this book is what drew me to it.  It looks suspenseful, captivating and intriguing.  I then went to Goodreads to check out the synopsis and some of the reviews.  The synopsis completely sucked me in.  This book was bound to be amazing!

The concept of this book is stellar, the execution...not so much.  If the character development was half as good as the storyline itself, James would have had a best seller for sure. 

The characters were well thought out and had the potential to be amazing.  What it did lack was the emotional connection from the characters to the reader.  There was not a single character that I felt the connection with...which as you all know is the number one way to win me over with a book. 

The ending of this book....well it fell flat.  It ended without any excitement.  Sort of like taking a hike and coming to the end of a cliff.  Nobody jumped off the cliff, nothing exciting happened at the cliff....the cliff was just there and the hike ended.

Because the concept of this book was really well thought out and had the potential to be something amazing I gave this book a....

I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys James as an author or anyone who can get past the lack of emotional connection with the characters.  It could be something you would really like.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Stolen Life, By Jaycee Dugard

In the summer of June of 1991, I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother that loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.

For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.

On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim, I simply survived an intolerable situation.
A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.

Okay, so I was really looking forward to reading this book... a true survival story can always capture me. The book started off great, a small back story on what happened in her life the morning before the kidnapping... then it goes right into the "good stuff". The beginning is somewhat graphic/disturbing. However she broke up the disturbing parts with a some reflection, which gave you a nice break in between certain points. These reflections gave a amazing perspective into how she felt while writing those certain pages from the book. Which my mind was always curious about.

I liked that she threw in pictures throughout the book. It made for a even more dramatic read. Seeing the innocent face of the child who had all of these horrible things done to her made me feel even more emotion. She also put in her "cat diary"( what was happening with the cat she has while being held captive), and her own personal journal from when she was being held captive by Philip & Nancy. These journal entries were a nice touch at first but I felt, especially about the cat diary, that these went on a little too long. It really just got boring after a while.

Certain parts of this book had me screaming in my head, how in the world people didn't see all this happening made me very angry. Now the part of the book that tells about her rescue was less dramatic then I had expected. I was expecting to feel so much emotion and for there to be this big bomb that explodes. The ending was very drawn out and way too long... she could've cut a lot of that out and you wouldn't have missed it.

This book gets a three star review from gave too much in certain points and lacked detail at others. But in the end I still cried, like a baby, when she finally got to see her mom, and then cried again while reading her touching acknowledgements. All in all it was a good book and I would recommend reading it... as long as you can handle the parts written about the abuse.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review - The Troop, by Nick Cutter

Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected...and one another.
Winner of the inaugural James Herbert Award, THE TROOP is a novel that will not fail to get under your skin...He felt something touch his hand. Which is when he looked down. For the scouts of Troop 52, three days of camping, hiking and survival lessons on Falstaff Island is as close as they'll get to a proper holiday. Which was when he saw it. But when an emaciated figure stumbles into their camp asking for food, the trip takes a horrifying turn. The man is not just hungry, he's sick. Sick in a way they have never seen before. Which was when he screamed. Cut off from the mainland, the troop face a terror far worse than anything they could have made up around a campfire. To survive they will have to fight their fears, the elements ...and eventually each other. 'THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. Not for the faint-hearted' Stephen King

  Wow, what a crazy ride!
This novel hits you in the face from the very first chapter with promises of yuck and eek. And if you think the poor sucker that started it all on this island is the most disturbing part of this book, you are in for a surprise.
Hang on to your stomachs people! Pretend you are going swimming and wait half an hour before taking your brain for a backstroke in this one. I am usually a strong stomach type of person, able to pick up some really disturbing stuff, but even I turned green and teared up at some parts of this novel. And why such strong reactions?
****** SPOILER ALERT ******

Monday, May 1, 2017

Autism Goes to School, by Sharon A Mitchell

After suddenly receiving custody of his five year old son, Ben must learn how to be a dad. That fact that he'd even fathered a child was news to him. Not only does this mean restructuring his sixty-hour work week and becoming responsible for another human being, but also Kyle has autism.
Enter the school system. Under the guidance (and bullying) of a gifted teacher, Ben and Kyle take tentative steps to becoming father and son.

Teacher Melanie Nicols sees Ben as a dead beat dad, but grudgingly comes to admire how he hangs in, determined to learn for his son’s sake. Her admiration grows to more as father and some come to rely on Melanie being a part of their lives.

Purchase from Amazon here.
Purchase from Kobo here.
Purchase from the Book Depository here.

Ummmm...what did I just read???

I found this book for free (thankfully!) on the Kobo site. It peaked my interest because it was about a child who has Autism,  which you all know is one of my passions.  As with every book I have interest in, I looked on goodreads to see what the average rating was, and took a little peak at some of the reviews.  The people who rated and reviewed this book was either a family member/friend of the author, or this was the first book they ever picked up.

I thought I could look past the title of the book, but it turns out I couldn't.  I despise when someone labels a person as a disability.  Why did this book have to be called AUTISM goes to school??  The boys name is Kyle!!!  I found this offensive and unnecessary.  Although it really bothered me, this is not the reason the book failed.

It's so disappointing, the storyline had so much potential!  A successful business man becomes a Father to a 5 year old boy who has autism overnight.  He is lost, there is so much to explore here...through both the father and sons eyes.  The story fell flat to say the least. 

I think it actually could have made for a stellar short story.  The characters were interesting, well developed and the medical aspect to the story was true.  Mitchell did a great job depicting the mannerisms of a 5 year old who has autism.  The run on sentences drove me insane and paragraphs were repeated 2 or 3 times throughout the book.  It was unnecessary and likely could have ended the novel 60 pages earlier.

I think the worst thing about the novel was that you couldn't tell it had been edited.  There were SO MANY grammatical and spelling errors.  It drove me insane!!  At one point in the book the main female character was called by a completely different name. 

Can you guess what my rating is??

It truly blows my mind to think that there are three more books in this series.  I sure hope the writing and editing gets better as they go on.  I certainly wont be reading them to find out!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It's Always Been You Series, by Pamela Ann

                          Purchase Lily's Mistake from Kobo here.                  

After reading a little about these books, I was excited to read them. Well, my excitement flew out the window once I started reading. This series fell flat, leaving me wanting and hoping for more.

There really wasn't enough of a foundation set with the main characters, Lily and Drake. The way the book flipped back and forth between the present and past was annoying to say the least! It would've made for a better read, for me personally, if Pamela Ann would've started with them as teens and kept the story going from there.

The sex scenes... oh the sex scenes!! I found these really disturbing, and a little creepy. There are a lot of parts in these books (especially the first one) where it talks about how painful the sex was for her. Then with Drew mentioning how tight she is and how he wants to "break her open" (his words not mine!) it just really threw me off. It kind of felt rapey and gross, not sexy at all!

Now the second book... What second book??? The so called second book was very pointless, and way too short. If you want to make a second book to a series you could add more of a storyline to it! Otherwise just don't waste your time, or mine for that matter.

The third book  pissed me off the most, I was just so confused and finished it wondering why in the hell Pamela bothered to write this into a three part book when it really could've been one. You were left with no closure, wondering what is going to happen, and why certain things happened. Honestly I was just so confused. But then I did my research... I found out somehow I had an unfinished copy of the book. After reading some reviews of the compete story I decided I didn't even want to continue reading the story. I just took it as a loss and started reading another book.    

Lily's mistake... No, I think reading this was my mistake! This series was for sure a 1 star for me...I felt the whole series was rushed and not properly pieced together. You didn't have time to feel the characters emotions because she was jumping to the next scene so fast. If this series was written properly it could've really been a great read. She definitely could of got 2 solid books from this story line, instead of the 3 smaller books that were poorly written.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review - Cobweb Bride, by Vera Nazarian

Many are called...
She alone can save the world and become Death's bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death's ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary "pocket" of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill....

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness... Her skin is cold as snow... Her eyes frozen... Her gaze, fiercely alive...

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war... A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father ... Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court.... Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living...

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars...

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death's own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North...

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Purchase from Amazon here. (FREE as of date this post was written)


Seriously? I have all these feels!!

This story was AWESOME in soooo many ways.

But the weird part is, as much as I wanted to read this initially, it took me FOREVER to finally start reading it. As in... months. Why did it take me so damn long to pick this up?? 

In what feels like ages ago, I read the description for this novel. Not even sure how I came across it, to be honest with you.  I was certainly very intrigued. Death wants a wife, and until he gets one, nothing can die (regardless of their current physical state – ya… think about it… highly disturbing possibilities here!). Anyway… what’s not to like?? So when I got the opportunity to get this through Netgalley, I was so very much excited! I promptly downloaded the novel onto my tablet… where it remained for months….. And why do you ask? 

The cover.

I know… I know… How very shallow of me.

I knew I wanted to read it, but the cover didn’t call to me. As the months passed I forgot about the book description (one unfortunate aspect of an e-reader is you can’t flip the book for the description and be reminded of why you wanted to read it so much in the first place), and when I came across the cover in my ever growing list, I would say… “Oh yeah! I want to read this one… looks too ‘renaissancy’… not in the mood for that genre right now…”

Finally, one day I thought… I’ve had this for a while, let me start it to see how it is… and I.could.not.put.this.down.

Excellent story. 

Fantastic plot flow and character development. A few storylines going on parallel to each other, before our main characters come together at last to continue the story/quest, but it flows so well, it's seamless, and not at all confusing. 

Love the characters because they are so fleshy and alive in my mind. Percy is undeniably my favorite, being so clearly the underdog character in this story – mistreated by her own mother, feels plain (maybe even ugly) and made to feel worthless… yet she develops into such a warrior in this story. Love that! She alone is fantastic, but there are so many great characters that just add so much to this story, but I was also kept very riveted by the storyline itself. Especially once Death stopped its work, and people - or animals, or any living thing really -  could no longer die regardless of their state… 

 Think about it. You are off in a war and get pelted with arrows, or sword through the belly… Can’t die! Butchered pig, chicken or turkey… Can’t die!

Gross and disturbing I tell ya!

The imagery was absolutely awful… and you can’t help but hope that Death finds/chooses his bride, so that everything can be put right again, for the sake of all living things in limbo.

If this novel doesn’t give you nightmares, it sure will keep your interest and on the edge of your seat. This was EXCELLENT storytelling and I am really looking forward to continuing the story into the next book.  I certainly will not be waiting very long before opening that one up though. THAT is a promise!! 

This is an easy

Happy Reading!


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