Review for Grasping At Eternity (Kindrily #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper

Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

TITLE: Grasping At Eternity
SERIES: Kindrily #1
AUTHOR: Karen Amanda Hooper
PUBLISHER: Starry Sky Publishing
PAGES: 328 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows

Maryah Woodsen is just an ordinary girl. Her family actually comments on her commonness, in the most affectionate manner possible, of course. Then her parents and twin brother are brutally murdered and she is shipped off to live with her godmother Louise Luna. A woman she has never met, but who welcomes her in to her family’s home as if she has always been a part of her life. The Luna clan are a odd group of individuals. The oddest being Nathan, one of Louise’s sons. What Maryah doesn’t know (yet) is that these people are reincarnated souls and Nathan is actually her soulmate. The Luna family is determined to make Maryah realize that she is part of their clan and they are desperate to spark her memories. Can they bring Maryah up to speed, or is Nathaniel doomed to live his lives without his soulmate?

I could immediately relate to Maryah. She’s the normal twin. Her brother is perfect, great at everything. Sports, school, people skills, the whole thing. Maryah, on the other hand, is ordinary looking with no remarkable skills or abilities beyond a talent for remembering useless things. When her family is killed and she is injured, so prays for a swift death so she may join her family. Wish denied, and she is shipped to live with the strange family who she just doesn’t understand. They all act as if they know her, but she knows none of them. Carson is surly at best and Nathan is so hot and cold with her that she doesn’t know what to make and then he does something idiotic, seriously endangering her life, she turns from attracted to him to hating him. But even as she hates him, she can’t get him out of her head. She constantly has strange dreams about him. And here, we get an actual reason for that. There is no mysterious attraction that has no reason. We see Nathan’s perspective and we know they are soulmates, making it understandable that she would be attracted to him, even against her better judgement.

Nathaniel was a character that rode the fence for me at first. He seemed sweet enough and he obviously loves her, going to great lengths to save her life and make her comfortable at the Luna house, but the balloon ride thing? When she is complaining about missing her family and confesses that sometimes she wishes to die so she could be with them, her plight is understandable. And his anger about her not caring about his families love for him must have been devastating, but the poor girl barely knows them! How can he expect her to accept their love in lieu of her real family when she doesn’t know the truth? That bit angered me a great deal, but beyond that, he is a great male lead. He has that whole bad boy look with a sweetheart inside. And his love for her does win me over in the end.

The rest of the cast were a bit much to take in. There are so many people in this extended family that I had a hard time keeping them straight. The ones that appear a lot are easy, like Faith and Harmony and Louise and Carson, but Dylan and Amber we more elusive for me. Every time they were mentioned, I had to rack my brain to remember who they where. It’s not a bad thing, just a bit overwhelming. The whole reincarnation concept was a bit much to take in and not explained enough to completely satisfy me. BUT, compared to some of the things I’ve read lately (::coughs::The Brokenhearted::coughs::), it has much more explanation that I could have been given. Plus it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to crowd Maryah’s brain with too much information too fast. They only concept I had a hard time grasping was how you choose who you are going to be and the relations. Louise is Nathan’s mom in this generation, but she was a sister in a previous life. That’s fine. I get that the same family ties won’t follow into new lives, but for her to be his mother, she has to be a great deal older and I guess I just don’t completely understand the logistics.

Beyond those issues, this was an enchanting read. I once again want to say that I loved how we got to see the reason Maryah was drawn to Nathaniel. It could have easily fell into that instant attraction for no reason if it had been entirely told from Maryah’s perspective and I love that it wasn’t. It also could have fallen into that horrible love triangle area. It does have a minor one, between Maryah, River, and Nathan, but we can all plainly see that Maryah is never going to have romantic feelings for River, no matter how much he wants her too. I loved Maryah’s reaction to all the crazy as just that, crazy. She is scared to tell anyone about her dreams or her “visions” of Nathan from her near death because she knows they’ll think she is insane…and normal people would.

I must apologize for taking so long to read it. It has been sitting on my digital shelf for far longer than I’d care to admit. I requested and downloaded it forever ago because it sounded interesting and I really liked the cover but other things just got in the way. I promise not to wait nearly as long to start the next one. The cover, by the way, is perfect. The peacock feathers have such meaning in the novel. It’s one of those covers you appreciate so much more once you’ve finished the novel, which is amazing because most covers are the opposite.

So what what do you really need to know? This little novel packs a big punch, with a relatively unique concept and enough creativity to keep you guessing. It has a lot of heart (and heart-ache) and that must keep reading quality that won’t allow you to concentrate on any other book until you finish it. I was supposed to spend the weekend reading Kelsey Sutton’s Where Silence Gathers, but I didn’t get more than 10 pages into it before switching back to this. I really enjoyed it and if the other two books keep going in this direction, I’m sure to love them as well. 🙂

****Thank you to Starry Sky Publishing & All Night Reads for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
Tabitha's signature

Review for Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1) by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

TITLE: Enchanted
SERIES: Woodcutter Sisters #1
AUTHOR: Alethea Kontis
PUBLISHER: Harcourt Children’s Books
PAGES: 308 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Audio Book Sync
RATING: 5 bows

Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, so her life was destined to be magical. However, beyond having everything she writes somehow come true, Sunday’s life is on the boring side with her large family. Until she meets Grumble, a talking frog who insists on hearing the stories about her family’s past exploits. After a few days and a magical kiss, Grumble transforms back to Prince Rumbold of Arilland. Too bad Sunday was too far off to see the transformation and has no clue…also that her family hates the Prince. Now he returns to his life of privilege determined to find Sunday and make her fall in love with him in human form. The task will be far from easy, but the can’t live without he’s lady.

I’m a bit unsure what to say here. This is the first novel that I’ve “read” entirely via audiobook. I’ve listened to quite a few novels, but I always end up lapsing back to the physical or ebook form within the story because it’s faster. Or because it’s easier to sneak and read during class or while waiting than it is to get out headphones and start listening again. I can say that the narrator was amazing. Katherine Kellgren has this great British accent and different voices for each character. I don’t know why audiobook form makes it harder for me to review, but it does. Let’s see what if I can work my way through it, shall we?

Sunday was quite an interesting character to follow. She’s a bit more mousey than the heroine’s I’m used to, but still brave enough to stand up for herself when the moment is right. Her strange family and magical ability made her a bit unique from her siblings. She does get a touch insta-lovey with Grumble because they are only acquainted a few days before her kiss magics him back to his human form which is far too quickly for love to blossom in my humble opinion, but this issue is solved when Rumbold spends so much time and energy to woo her back to him.

Rumbold is a prince easy to sympathize with. He finally gets back into a human form only to realize that he was a much better individual as a frog than as the bratty prince he used to be. He desperate wants Sunday to love him as he is but is terrified she’ll only see the prince he was. He wants to just demand that she marry him so he can have her by his side always but can’t bring himself to do anything so drastic and take her choice away.

The two make an adorable couple, once they jump through all the necessary hoops. My only real complaint is that this was a bit too short. I hear/read a lot of people complain that too many things are too long and how they prefer books that are 250-350 pages. I can completely understand that logic because it’s quicker to get through if it’s terrible, but it’s still enough space to adequately tell a story, but with stuff like this, it always feels too short. There are many characters here and we don’t get enough time to marvel in the wonderful world Alethea has created.

All you need to know is that this is the best kind of fairy tale retelling and if you like that sort of thing, give it a try! I’ll be reading the next one shortly, you can bet on that!

Tabitha's signature

Review for Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3) by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

TITLE: Dark Frost
SERIES: Mythos Academy #3
AUTHOR: Jennifer Estep
PUBLISHER: K-Teen, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 1 star

Gwen Frost is on a mission to find the Helheim Dagger, the last mythological artifact the Reapers of Chaos need to open a portal to Loki’s prison and set him free. Her mom hid it long ago and all she knows for sure is that the Reapers believe it is in the Library of Antiquities, though Nickademes swears it isn’t. One thing is certain, things are going to get much more complicated in this installment of the Mythos Academy series.

This novel is everything you would expect from the next Gwen Frost novel. It’s got spunk, mystery, humor, and a good amount of sadness. Gwen seems to be a little down on her game. It’s not so much that I saw exactly what was coming at every turn, but quite a few “big” plot twists were very predictable and our big brave Gwen should have had some sort of inkling that SOMETHING wasn’t right, even if she didn’t know exactly what was wrong. I realize that a good bit of this novel is about Gwen’s failure in a lot of ways, but there were so many clues that she missed it is hard to believe she didn’t catch on until it was too late.

It was also a bit tiresome to watch her and Logan play the on again, off again game. I get there is so much at stake and Logan is scared of her learning his secret and blah blah blah. I’m a bit more tolerant of this types of situations in a fictional setting than I am in real life, but we’ve watched them dance around each other for two entire books now. Either get it on or get over it! What makes it worse is that I KNOW there is so much more relationship drama ahead of me.

These things don’t add up to a terrible novel. In fact, I found a good portion of it amusing, filled with Gwen’s signature snarkiness and good writing that keeps you interested. The reason it gets one star may seem juvenile to most of you, but it angered me and I am a woman of my word. In the last novel, Gwen befriends a Fenrir wolf and I was quite pleased when said beast shows up in this novel. She names her Nott and things proceed in great way from there….until the end. I won’t spoil the rest of the plot, but I will say that the wolf dies. ****SPOILER****Saving Gwen, and isn’t resurrected. She does leave behind a very adorable wolf pup that Gwen will care for, but that doesn’t excuse her death or my statement that I would give this book a one star review if she died. I don’t care about the bullshit answer Nike gives about her being poisoned and dying anyway. To put it succinctly, FUCK. YOU. Oh, and also BULLSHIT. This is a fictional story about war and I accept that certain people will die. I have a hard limit, though, on animals and characters I like being some of the deaths. My rules are simple. None of the main characters can permanently die. Yes, playing the resurrection game can get a little tedious, I mean, just LOOK at Supernatural, but it’s entirely better than the alternative. Repeat after me authors: “I am NOT J K Rowling and I will not kill my characters for no reason beyond my own pettiness.” Got it? Good.****END SPOILER**** Needless to say, that pissed me off enough to downgrade this from the 3 or 4 stars it would have received otherwise.

All in all, this isn’t a bad book. I just find certain things unacceptable and animal death is one of those things. Remember that authors.

Review for From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valorie Thomas

TITLE: From What I Remember
AUTHOR: Stacy Kramer & Valorie Thomas
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group
PAGES: 462 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / Hardback
SOURCE: NetGalley / Library
RATING: 5 stars

Kylie Florres is freaking out. She just woke up in a bedroom in Mexico half naked next to an equally unclothed Max Langston with a fuzzy recollection of last night. Graduation is a scant few hours away and she and Max both have wedding rings on. What the hell happened last night?!? Okay, so that tinsy summery is a tad cliché, but that’s exactly how the novel starts off before jumping to 2 days prior when all the shit started. The whole crazy mess gets started because Kylie is a perfectionist, so when a teacher gives an assignment during the last week of class for each student to interview a predetermined classmate and write a paper on the books that have influenced them most, she has to do it. She may be the ONLY one doing it, but she must keep her valedictorian spot. The assignment really becomes her downfall, leading to a chain of events where her computer gets stolen and she chases the thief, and somehow manages to end up in the back of a Uhaul full of stolen electronics on its way across the Mexican border….with Max in tow. From there, this crazy ride just gets worse…or is it better? And Kylie ends up learning more about herself (and Max) than she ever imagined.

Can I just say wow? My sister keeps using the phrase “mind-blown” in her reviews and I must say I feel the need to borrow it now because that is exactly how I feel. Here, I’ll express it in a language we all understand:

…okay, I’ve got to stop. But you get the point, right? I loved this, I mean seriously, LOVED it. It was exactly what I have been looking for. It gives me hope, just like My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling did, that sometimes there are amazing books that made wading through all the terrible ones worth it. Okay, okay, enough fangirling. Let’s get on with the review, shall we? I was lucky enough to be approved to for this via netgalley, but unfortunately at the time I was having issues with my internet and wasn’t able to log on to download the eARC until after it was archived. Boy am I kicking myself now. I saw that my library had a copy and was excited to give it a shot.

Characters seem to be what I focus on these days, so let’s start with Kylie Flores. Despite the fact that I’m not overly fond of her name, I really liked her. She’s uber smart, whose goal in high school isn’t simply to climb the ladder of popularity, but to actually learn and get into a good college. She spends her downtime taking care of her little brother, Jake, who has Asperger Syndrome because her mom works all the time and her dad is well, just absent either physical or mentally all the time. She is so incredibly patient with him that I was amazed. Most teenagers would just ignore him, but not Kylie. She takes it all in stride though, soldiering on and even making valedictorian.

Will Bixby, Kylie’s one and only friend, is an out of the closet gay guy who prides himself on shocking his small community. He’s spent his entire high school career cross-dressing just to make the people around him uncomfortable. He has also spent his entire high school career saving Kylie from herself. He spends most of his weekends with her, having never-ending movie marathons while trying to push her out of her comfort zone. So when she calls him to say that she’s ended up stranded in Mexico with no way home, stuck with Max Langston (aka the most popular, hottest boy in school), he’s thrilled.

Max Langston is exactly what you’d imagine the most popular guy to be, hot, arrogant, rich, and a total dick….or is he? There is more to him than meets the eye, though he does play the jackass role extremely well. So when Kylie storms up to him and calls him on his shit, he’s pissed and…a little impressed. Most people just allow him to get away with murder and this chick clearly isn’t down for that….maybe there is more to that outcast than he initially thought.

The other two “main” characters are Lily Wentworth (Max’s girlfriend) and Jake Flores (Kylie’s brother). I didn’t care for Lily at all. Bossy, prissy, and a complete bitch, her tale of woe didn’t garner a shred of sympathy from me, but it was good to see the other side of the story. Jake was an interesting character. The Aspergers makes his thought process a little different, but I liked seeing his side of things too.

The whole crazy romp is told via alternating first perspective. You mostly get Kylie and Max, but there are several chapters from Will, Lily, and Jake. I honestly don’t think I could pick a favorite character because they were all so great, but I think if I had to, it will be Max because he’s so perfectly flawed that it’s crazy. I think I knew when I started reading this that I would love it because each chapter starts with a movie quote. I’m such a film junkie (it’s almost as bad as my book addiction) and the fact that Will & Kylie are film nerds too just made my day. They quote movies to each other (something my husband and I have a habit of doing) and their very friendship was formed over a quote from The Breakfast Club. Some of my favorite movies are used, such as Fight Club, Fired Up, Easy A…then they quote 10 Things I Hate About You towards the end and I fell in love all over again.

It’s amazing for many reasons, definitely for more than just the movie quotes. The characters all felt vivid and real. I can definitely add both these ladies to the list of female authors who can wrote a believable male perspective. The plot is complex and takes me both exactly where I thought I would go and places I didn’t expect. It’s also highly addictive. Once you get about 50 pages in, you just can’t put it down. I stayed up later than I should last night to finish it. I kept glancing at the clock. I remember look around 10:30 and thinking “Just a few more chapters and then I’ll stop for tonight”…yeah, that so didn’t happen.

Bottom line? If you are looking for a fun romp in Mexico, this is for you. If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, this is for you. If you are looking for a book that is deeper than you expected, this is for you. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think this novel has something for everyone and I think there will be many people out there like me who will treasure it.

****Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Exiled (The Never Chronicles #1) by J.R. Wagner

Exiled by J R Wagner

TITLE: Exiled
SERIES: The Never Chronicles #1
AUTHOR: J R Wagner
PUBLISHER: Greenleaf Book Group
PAGES: 246 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 2 stars

Let me start off by saying that I really wanted to give this book 3 stars, but I just can’t. It was so bloody boring that it was nearly impossible to get through and even though the plot finally picks up in spots, it was too difficult to make it there for me to really have enjoyed it. I almost felt like I deserved a medal for making it to the half way point, much less beyond.

James is a sorcerer, maybe the best one ever, certainly one that has been prophesized about for centuries. With that in mind, you can imagine that James’ life was never normal, always expected to save the Faithful’s (aka the wizarding worlds) existence from the Epoch Termiuns, which is the beginning of the end for the Faithful. Beyond that, I can’t really say much because the whole plot is so drawn out that I don’t know what would be considered a spoiler and what wouldn’t.

I had two big problems with this book which is why this review is so late. I received a digital copy of this from the publisher sometime last year and tried to read it then but just couldn’t get into. Recently I have seen a ton of blogs doing “Review Copy Cleanups” and that kick started me to finish up all the eARCs/review copies I haven’t read yet, whether I am drawn in initially or not. With my renewed fervor, I set out to take this book out rather quickly and not let it set unread any longer. I promptly realized that this endeavor would be a bit arduous because my first issue is that the writing style is a little boring. Think about the beginning of the first Harry Potter book. No, not the bits where Dumbledore and McGonagall where dropping baby Harry off at the Dursleys doorstep, the rest of it. The following Mr Dursley around during his day job where weird shit keeps happening. The writing was all cut and dry and rather dull, right? That’s how most of this is written. I didn’t become particularly attached to the characters, I didn’t invest in their lives, and I certainly didn’t feel their emotions. I just felt rather bored. I will admit that I found the world of The Never fascinating, especially the bits on the Severed Heart, but it wasn’t enough to keep me dying to find out what happened next.

My other problem was all the flashbacks. Every other chapter was a flashback. Every. Single. One. It opens in “present” day then the next chapter is a flashback, then back to the present, then another flashback. The flashbacks aren’t even consecutive memories, just seemingly random bits of James’ past. In one flashback James is 5, then he is fourteen, then he is ten, and there is one that isn’t about James at all. Each flashback ends in a mini-cliffhanger-y fashion, but the subject is never touched on again! There is one where James’ mom goes to get him up one morning and he has run away and then end of chapter, back to present day.

And every chapter ending before going to flashback-land ends with a mini-cliffhanger. One minute James is dangling on a rope in the middle of a waterfall and then you have to read a whole chapter of boring, non-essential info before you are allowed to find out if he falls to his doom or not.

On a whole, I just can’t bring myself to really want to recommend this to anyone or read the sequel. I am vaguely curious as to what happens next because whole thing ends with a dreadful cliffhanger. I just found it too dull to truly love.

****Thank you to Greenleaf Book Group, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evin by Wendy Higgins

TITLE: Sweet Evil
SERIES: The Sweet Trilogy #1
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 453 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Won from Chapter By Chapter
RATING: 4 stars

First off, I want to thank Maryann at for hosting the giveaway where I won this (well, really she hosted a giveaway where I could win my book of choice from TDB and I chose this, but still). Thank you!

I am beginning to think I’m going to be disappointed in every book I read right now. It’s not the past few books I’ve read have been bad, it’s just that they haven’t been amazingly good either. Sweet Evil falls into that category. Can anybody suggest something amazing to get me out of this mediocre funk?

Anyway, Sweet Evil is about Anna, the daughter of an angel and a demon (or rather an angel and a fallen angel because in this world, all demons are fallen angels). She is unaware of her heritage, since she was adopted as an infant and though she has unusual powers, she chalks it up to random genes and leaves it to that. Until she meets Kaiden who can obviously do the same things she can. Once he explains their background, she is off on a whirlwind adventure across the country to meet her father and find out the whole truth, once and for all.

I will say this, it was addictive. From moment one, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. But I had too many issues to really love it. The number one issue was Anna. She was just too much of a goodie goodie for my likening. I know, that’s part of the point, but seriously, part of being a teenager is to rebel a little! She was also so naïve that I wanted to punch her in the fucking face. Hello? Little girl? There are big dangers out in the world, so stop being stupid! Ironically what irritated me about her is what drew Kaiden’s attention. His never met anyone like her and she fascinates him.

I really liked him. Kaiden is the son of the demon of lust and boy does he radiate sex appeal. He’s a drummer in a band and he’s British, need I say more? Despite the fact that I didn’t like Anna, watching him try to seduce her was magical. Boy, can he turn up the charm. He really was the bright light in this book that made me keep reading. I wanted to see how his and Anna’s relationship turned out.

Well, without giving anything away, it doesn’t end well. I specifically picked this book to read next to avoid love triangle land, and while I don’t think it has one, the closer you get to the end, the more you see a budding attraction between Anna and someone who isn’t Kai. I think book two is going to be a love triangle fest.

But while trying to avoid one shitty gimmick, I fell face first into another. Cliffhanger central people. This story doesn’t end well, at all. And since it is book 1 in a trilogy, I guess I can expect book 2 to be cliffhanger central as well. Does anything live up to my standards anymore, or have I set the bar too high?

Anyway, the bottom line, is if you are looking for a hunky guy who will steam up the page and an adventure that you can’t put down, then this is for you. Just beware of bad endings ahead!

Review for What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

TITLE: What I Didn’t Say
AUTHOR: Keary Taylor
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 326 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Jake Hayes life changes forever when he stupidly decides to get into a car with his friend when they are all drunk. Four days later her wakes up in the hospital with limited memory of a car accident that hast literally left him speechless. During the crash, a T post skewed him through the throat and damaged his vocal cords to the point that what was left had to be removed during the surgery’s that saved his life. Angry at life and trying to deal with is new disability, Jake withdraws from everyone until Samantha, his dream girl, starts tutoring him in ASL (American Sign Language). Once he learns that things could have been much worse, he starts to live again and learn more about Sam than he ever thought he could.

I was hooked into this book from the first moment of Jake’s accident. I am fascinated by sign language and I found myself franticly scouring the internet looking for the symbols for the words Jake was learning, wishing that the eARC I received from netgalley would have came with a small glossary of simple sign language. It’s hard to see the story take place in your head when you have no idea what kind of motions Jake, Sam, and the rest of the cast are performing. This angsty novel quickly turned thoughtful and poignant as Jake and Sam grow closer and Jake truly sees that he isn’t the only one who has a hard time in life. I felt like Jake’s frustration with his muteness was very well portrayed. His frustrations when he couldn’t even defend himself in arguments or when for a moment he would forget and try to speak before he realized he was no longer able.

Sam was, by far, the most interesting character. She’s smart and pretty and so fucking determined to get a scholarship that she won’t let anyone stand in her way. She’s also sweet and caring. Oh, and she doesn’t believe in love. I found this idea both intriguing and hard to follow. She doesn’t believe in love? Any kind of love? I get that having an alcoholic father who bails on you early in life can cause issues, but how can you not believe in love? Especially when it is very apparent that you love your mother very much?

My only issue with this novel isn’t a major one. Jake didn’t read like a guy to me. I have a hard time believing a guy uses no foul language or crude descriptions of women in their inner thoughts. Is that sexist? Probably, but since I’m a girl and occasionally think of guys in a crass manner, I assume they do as well. Plus, I’ve read several YA’s lately that have parts through the male perspective that felt very truly male (like Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry). Like I said, not a big deal, I just wanted to put that out there.

This novel definitely had a unique premise and the writing lives up to the idea. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a peak behind what it’s like to be mute or just wants a touching love story that will make you grateful for all you have.

****Thank you to Keary Taylor for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Wilde’s Fire (Darkness Falls #1) by Krystal Wade

Wilde’s Fire by Krystal Wade

TITLE: Wilde’s Fire
SERIES: Darkness Falls #1
AUTHOR: Krystal Wade
PUBLISHER: Curiosity Quills Press
PAGES: 326 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 3 stars

I was somewhat disappointed by this novel. In the beginning, I was bored by the story line. I was irritated by the fact that I am reading yet another paranormal novel where the main chick has a gorgeous male friend who is head over heels for her and she is too dense to see it or acknowledge it. The further I got, the more irritated I became. I kept thinking, “great, here is another novel where the main chick has be ‘chosen’ to save the world for no apparent reason.” Even though this novel is not about vampires, I could not stop myself from making comparisons to Twilight and the House Of Night series (especially the HON series) and that in and of itself is not a compliment.

That being said, somewhere in the middle, the story captured me. For a small portion of time, I was enraptured and I had to know what was happening with Arland and how they were going to cure Brad and just what would happen in general. So somewhere along the way, the plot and action pick up enough to keep me mildly entertained.

Then towards the end, I was once again having to fight myself to keep reading. I think a lot of my problems are with Kate, who deliberately ignores Brad’s feeling for her when her family and friends tell her over and over again that he is in love with her. In fact, I found her to be a lot like Zoey from the House of Night series, except for the whole promiscuous bit because whereas Zoey seems to redefine the word, Kate is still very chaste in her relationships. In the end, I guess this novel just wasn’t for me. It’s well written, but the characters feel a little flat and it ends with a horrid cliffhanger. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy it more than I did.

****Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

TITLE: Second Chance Summer
AUTHOR: Morgan Matson
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 468 pages
RATING: 3 stars

This novel follows the story of Taylor Edwards as she is forced to take a final summer vacation with her family to make the most of her father’s last summer. He has cancer and he is going to die (this is not a spoiler because you are told this from page one). Her mom, dad, ballet obsessed little sister, and super genius older brother are in this summer house that isn’t nearly big enough and since they are exactly a close knit bunch, it’s more than a little awkward. This is increased by the fact that they haven’t been here is 5 years and when they left, Taylor made a mess of not only a strong friendship, but also her first romantic relationship. As the title implies, this summer gives her a second chance at family, friendship, and love.

This novel fell somewhere in the middle for me. I can completely relate to Taylor’s desire to run away from things that are going to be stressful or difficult but I fault her for actually running. The more I learned of her past screw ups, the more I wanted to yell at her for just ignoring her friends and not trying to work things out. The situation between her, Lucy, and Henry could have easily been dealt with if she would have just spoken up and tried. But it’s a moot point since even in the beginning of this novel, it is part of the past. I also liked that this novel is told from the “normal” character’s perspective. Taylor is the middle child with no special talents and it was very refreshing to read about someone who wasn’t the chosen one or had been studying to be a doctor since preschool or whatever.

This book reminded me a bit of the movie The Last Song. It was interesting but it wasn’t something I was dying to continue reading. I wanted to know how it ended, but in a sense, I already knew exactly where it was going so there was no mystery to it. It also didn’t have much humor which isn’t shocking because how can a book about cancer be humorous? There was a point where I wanted to stop reading near the end because Taylor was being an idiot and did the same idiotic thing most heroines do when things get hard and though I won’t ruin it for you, I wanted to run her over with my car. ****SPOILER****She breaks up with Henry! She’s “getting too attach” and “things will just be harder later” and “blah blah blah”. GRH Stupid stupid stupid!****END SPOILER****.

In general, I liked this novel, but I didn’t love it. Though I knew going into it her dad was going to die, I still wasn’t thrilled when it happened. If you are looking for a book that will break your heart while giving you hope, this is it. If you are looking for something to make you laugh, well, go read You Wish by Mandy Hubbard.

Review for Wrecked by Anna Davies

Wrecked by Anna Davies

TITLE: Wrecked
AUTHOR: Anna Davies
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, a division of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 336 pages
RATING: 1 star


This whole ranty review is written on the presumption that this novel is a standalone. If I find out that it has a sequel, I **might*** bump the star rating up one, but that won’t be much improvement. On the whole, I was disappointed in this novel. The gorgeous cover promised a good mermaid story and it just didn’t deliver. Miranda has a wonderful life on the island of Whym until a tragic boating accident kills four of her friends and leaves her boyfriend in a coma. After this accident, everyone turns against her. They all blame her because it was her boat and she was driving. This was hard to believe. When I say everyone, I do mean the entire town save her grandmother and her little brother. It’s like they had secret town meetings on how best to humiliate her. I just find it hard to believe that so many rational adults would shun a teenager who is by all rights recovering from her own injuries and grieving the loss of her friends.

Putting that aside, Miranda is saved during the accident by Christian, a betwixted man (a form of merman), who sees her drowning and is so drawn to her that he can’t let her die. After this, the ruler of the merpeople, Sephie, claims that she wanted all the souls and demands Christian kill Miranda and bring back her soul. As you can guess, enter the starcrossed lovers scenario. Christian goes Up Above to attempt to kill Miranda, but just can’t bring himself to do it. The two are instantly attracted to one another and Miranda spends every possible moment with him. This whole thing culminates with Sephie luring the town to her boat for a gala where she plans on killing Miranda and Christian as well as the other survivors from the wreck. Somehow Miranda manages to light Sephie’s boat on fire and the sea witch supposedly burns to death.

This all powerful sea witch is taken down by a miniscule teenager? I don’t buy it. Beyond that, Miranda’s grandmother has staged an intervention where they basically tell her that she has gotten out of control and they are shipping her to boarding school. Seriously? Give the girl some time to breathe and heal! All the relationships just seem twisted and unrealistic to me. I was very disappointed.

To make matters worse, it has a terrible ending. Christian was only allowed to roam freely on land to claim Miranda’s soul for Sephie and now must return to the ocean or die. So that’s how it ends, Christian returns to the water and Miranda is off to boarding school in Arizona…far away from the ocean. The fucking end. Yeah, see this face? It’s not a happy gnome face!