Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Title: The Glass Spare
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: Book One in the Glass Spare Series
Published By: Balzer + Bray (October 24, 2017)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

I've been meaning to try this author for awhile now and even though I have many of her books in my TBR pile, I decided this story would be the one I would start with first.

I'm so very glad that I did. I opened this expecting cliches galore and a little bit of the same old same old that the YA market has been flooded with and instead I found a read that was not only engaging but easy to pick up and hard to put down. I quickly became not only interested in the story line and what the characters had to reveal but  I becamecaught up in it. It quickly captured my attention and I found myself even thinking about parts of it while I had to step away from it to do other things. 

It was sad in so many ways that I wasn't expecting, I would even go as far as to say emotionally charged at times. 

Needless to say, this took me by surprise with how much I really enjoyed it. I couldn't seem to get enough of it and it didn't take me long to read through it and be left wanting more by the end. I'm truly excited about this series and can't wait for more. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I  was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, October 13, 2017

In Honor Of All Things Spooky...

I absolutely adore fall. Not only is the Earth alive with gorgeous color but the mornings (and nights) are crispier and the days are at just the right temperature. I get to pull out my beloved hoodies and sweaters but can still get away with wearing my favorite sandals and flip flops.

It also happens to be the season of Halloween, one of my most favorite holidays. Who doesn't love scaring the crap out of each other and getting free candy to celebrate a job well done? And even more importantly, who doesn't love a good ghost story? Or a good witch story? and since it is Friday the 13th today, what better way to celebrate than with some ghostly good reads?

In honor of Halloween and the fall season I thought I would share all my favorite authors, books, and series that all have to do with ghosts, witches, demons, and all things creepy and scary. Maybe you'll see something new or something you like and I am always up for recommendations so feel free to tell me some of your favorites as well. I would love to find new authors to try!  

At the very top of my list of all things ghost related is this series. Not only is it super funny bu the characters are completely endearing. I eagerly am awaiting the release of the next book. I devoured these suckers.

And next is this series by indie author Bryan's. You might not think these books can get creepy, but trust me, they get creepy and they seem to be getting better as they go. Again, I can't wait for the next installment. 

And what would Halloween be with some witches and demons thrown in? I've only read the first two books in this series (4 books total) and the novellas but I absolutely love it. It is so good and classic amazing Bennett writing.

Another indie author that I absolutely adore. This series is just so much fun and so well written. I really do wish more people knew about it. It reminds me a bit of the Stephanie Plum series but with a very paranormal edge to it. It's all about the ghosts and witches and a few others thrown in for good measure.

And okay it might be cheesy and maybe even a little cliched at this point but I don't care because I adore this series and even though everyone has heard of it, I had to include it anyways because it will always be my top favorite witchy read. 

This next series is one that I've only read the first book of but I really liked it and it definitely had the creep factor going on with ghosts and possession, yeah, it might keep you up at night looking over your shoulder.

If you want a series that is all abotu the demons, you must read this one. Not only is it told in the POV of the demon herself but she is completely kick butt and not a goodie two shoes. Nope, this demon is evil and she doesn't hide it nor is she sorry for it. I still adore Meda and it's been years since I read this series.

Another underrated series that most probably don't know about yet is so much fun. It is in the YA genre but don't let that detour you, it is such a cute, fun and even creepy at times series that I couldn't help but fall in love with.

I seem to like the underdogs here but that's okay because I've found some amazing books out there because of it. Here is yet another one filled with ghosts that will keep you on edge.

Another YA series that was a fun one and still managed to have the creepiness that I love. Ghosts and possessions are king in this series.

I would be remiss if I didn't add witches and vamps right? And maybe a whole slew of other supernatural creatures. I have to be honest though, I didn't love this series until after book three. I hung in there and then once I started book four, it was like Magic and I fell in love with everything. So if you tried book one and didn't love or even book two for that matter, stick with it, it will surprise you.

This next one isn't your typical ghost story nor is it told in your typical manner and yet I loved it. So good and like Lisa's other stories, some great messages thrown in to boot. If you haven't tried this author yet, do it. She is so good and her books are so lyrical in design. 

One of my top favorite series out there that is both paranormal, supernatural and historical is this series. It is so good and when it came out was all the buzz but I think it deserves some recognition again because it is so well plotted and designed. Seriously, this is one heck of a read and for all you UF lovers out there this has a bit of it all. Ghosts, witches, demons, vamps, you name it. It is just so good. 

And who can forget everyone's favorite son of Stan and Grim Reaper? Not me. this series is still a favorite for me and with book 12 on the way, you need to pick it up, you won't regret it, Reyes alone makes it worth it.

Another adult series full of ghosts and hauntings that you do not want to miss out on. This series is seriously creepy and so darn good. With historical NOLA as the setting, you don't want to pass this one up. Plus, all the books are out (with a spin off planned sometime soon) and it even ended super good. 

This next series (only two books) is a prime example of how a YA book can be YA centered but still read like an adult book and make adults everywhere fall in love with it. It is dark and sinister and not full of rainbows and sunshine. The ghosts in this story, or rather Anna, you don't want to piss off. 

Just to change things up, Bickle has written one of my favorite apocalyptic zombie stories out there. It isn't scary in the ghosts and demons sense but more in the what if sense and so well written. A definite series for those lovers of zombies and those that want something that will make them both think and relish every page.  Plus the setting is fantastic and not something you see every day in any genre.

Okay this series might be breaking the rules a little bit because it doesn't have ghosts or witches but it does have demons. Horrible horrific demons and it is dark. So dark it is good and sad and yet completely unputdownable. A very underrated series and the series that made most of us fall in love with Sarah's writing. Try it, you'll like it. Definitely not YA although the man heroine is younger. 

I love this series just as much for the ghostly tales as I do the historic setting. Another one that if you like your paranormal mixed with a great San Francisco historic setting, you must read.

This was just a fun series and book two was even better than book one. I do wish there would have been more books in the series. If you love vamps, this author also has a fantastic vampire series you should check out as well. 

The Lockwood & Co series is one that is pretty much suitable for everyone. Yes it is YA but adults love it too and it doesn't have to be adult to be a good creepy read right? The first book wasn't as creepy (for me) as the second one but it was really good and definitely one to look into. 

For those of you that like some romance thrown in with your witchy reads, I loved both these trilogies by none other than Nora Roberts. They were both captivating and so hard to put down! 

This is a newer series with only two books out but I've absolutely loved it so far and of course, the history nerd in me once again loves the historical seaside setting. 

This author actually has several stand alone novels, all involving ghosts and the paranormal with just a slight touch of romance. So far, I've only read two of her stories but I've really enjoyed them both and it's so nice to have a good stand alone once in awhile. 

Whew! That was quite the list. I tend to forget how many books about witches and ghosts I read each year. 

Those are my top choices (that I can remember!) for a good spooky Halloween-y read this year. I would love some recommendations for anything that I may have missed! I am always up for a book that will make me want to sleep with the lights on. :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mini Review: Alone by Cyn Balog

Title: Alone
Author: Cyn Balog
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire (November 7, 2017)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Horror
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school. 

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality… 

If there is one thing that Cyn Balog is famous for it is writing stories that are completely bizarre in the most perfect way. I can always count on getting something completely unheard of and something that more often than not, will throw me for a loop and make me think about it long after.

When I saw that her latest was a horror book, I knew, just knew I needed to read it and without a doubt would love it. And I absolutely did love it. It gave me chills, it made me think and it left me with an unsettling feeling I absolutely adored. It was everything I expected from this author writing in this genre and it was so much darn fun. I highly recommend it if you want a fast paced, easily read in one sitting horror story that will leave you reeling and wanting more and even slightly unsettled. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Being a huge CoHo fan it doesn't take me long to sign up for one of her tours and to jump at the chance to read one of her stories. Her latest was both something unexpected and also something so classic YA CoHo. I loved every minute of it and can't encourage you enough to pick it up and try it for yourself. 

Title: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published By: Atria (October 3, 2017)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)

Book Description:
In Colleen Hoover’s gripping novel, reminiscent of the bestselling works of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes, a young woman decides to reveal the dark secrets of her seemingly-happy family before she leaves them behind, but when her escape plan fails, she must deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth.

About the Author:

I detest bios, but this is what Wikipedia has to say about me.

Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels and five novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories.

Hoover published her first novel, Slammed, in January 2012. Since then, all her eligible works have become New York Times best sellers.

Colleen Hoover is published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Colleen also has several self-published titles.

In 2013, Colleen’s third novel, Hopeless, was the first self-published novel to reach #1 on The New York Times, where it remained for several weeks. Hopeless went on to become one of the top 20 bestselling ebooks of 2013.

In 2015, Colleen’s novel CONFESS won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. That was followed up in 2016 with her latest title, It Ends With Us, also winning the Choice Award for Best Romance.

Her novel CONFESS has been filmed as a series by Awestruck and is due to release this spring on go90. Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper star in the series.

Ugly Love is slated to begin filming in late 2017.

Colleen founded The Bookworm Box, a charity subscription service and bookstore, with her family in 2015. The Bookworm Box is a subscription service that provides readers with an exciting opportunity to receive signed novels in the mail each month from authors all over the world. All profits from the subscription service are donated to various charities each month. To date, The Bookworm Box has donated over $850,000 to help those in need.

Colleen’s next release is WITHOUT MERIT, a contemporary romance novel due to release through Atria Books in October, 2017.

Colleen’s current work-in-progress is an exciting revisit to a previous novel, not yet announced, due to release in early 2018.

CoHo never ceases to impress and even stun me with her work. Her books are always so emotional and moving that it is hard to not pick them up as soon as you get them, dive in and enjoy the ride. It is hard not to get chocked up, be shocked, cry, laugh, get mad, and a whole other slew of emotions. The woman knows how to bring them all out and she never lets me down.

With her last book she went into a territory that was not only a sensitive topic, but one that was near ad dear to her heart. Something personal and that emotional connection for her revealed itself to all her readers and we loved her all the more for it. 

Her latest release is just as mind blowing and is what I love CoHo for best. No matter what she writes, no matter the genre, she can do it and do it well and still leave it feeling fresh and new and even dare I say unique. She catches us by surprise and again, that is why we love her and anxiously await each new release from her. We know we are going to get something amazing and wonderful and something even heart wrenching. 

Time will stop while we are engrossed in her words, things will be left undone, meals may be missed, and sleep even lost and still, we will keep reading because once started, they are so very hard to put down. 

There is very little said in the description of this book and it should be left this way. It is best read with no expectations, with no idea of what you will get because it makes what comes, the emotion, the feels so very worth it and so satisfying. This isn't like her other stories and yet it is the same because once again CoHo poured her soul into it and it shows. It is real, it is raw and it is wonderful. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

Title: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Book Twelve in the Charley Davidson Series
Published By: St. Martin's (October 31, 2017)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the twelfth installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up. 

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect? 

If I said that I wasn't both eager and tepid to open this latest installment in the Charley Davidson series, I would both be a coward and a liar. I wanted so bad to get my hands on this story with the way that book eleven ended, it was heart wrenching but at the same time, I was so very nervous to do so. In fact once I got my ARC, I sat on it for a few days because I just couldn't bring myself to open it yet.

I didn't want things to change. I can't stand change and there was a big one at the end of the last book. A heart breaking oh my freaking heck change that I didn't see coming even though I probably should have. 

Sometimes denial is so great isn't it?

So I had to put my big girl panties on and finally break down and crack it open. Armed with a bag of chocolate, a water bottle and a whole heck of a lot of Kleenexes, just in case. 

This book. This series. This freaking author. 

She knows how to both make me laugh, make me angry, and tug at my heart strings and she did all of them, sometimes all within the same chapter. 

This group of friends, this family, once again proved how incredible they are. How I want them, every single one of them, in my life, if you know, they weren't all fictional and potentially hazardous to my health. 

I loved every single minute and once again Jones pulled no punches. She tore things open, exposed them, bruised them and they tried to knit them all back together again only to repeat the process. She is cruel, and mean, ad I love her for it.

The ending, was once again, brutal and once again, left me longing for me.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, September 29, 2017

Top Books I Read This Summer But Never Reviewed Here

So I would like to say I post a review here every time I read a book but the (very) sad FACT IS I don't, even when that book is fabulous. I do try to post on Goodreads and Amazon (when I remember Amazon) though because I think the author deserves that much but when it comes to here, not so much. 

So I thought it might be fun to post those top reads I read this summer that I absolutely loved but didn't get around to posting about here but that definitely deserve some love. 

Even though this hasn't been my genre lately, I took a chance and read this, and oh boy, did I love it. Like, love loved it. Seriously read this one, you won't regret it. 

And of course because I tried her YA book, I had to look into more of her reads which leaves this series. To imagine, I almost overlooked this series and I don't even know why I did other than the simple fact that book three is so hard to find and very expensive in kindle format but because I loved the first two, I broke down and got a copy anyway. I don't regret it. I still have the last book to read but so far, I have loved them all, even the novella. There is just something about UF that has a family dynamic (even one made up of friends), that  I just adore.

This next series is another that I overlooked (silly me) because I loved it too! Seriously, so much fun. Why do I overlook all these fabulous reads? 

After having fallen in love with The Bourbon Thief earlier, I had to try something else by this author and her next book, did not disappoint. I love the mystery and drama in these, so much fun.

This next one is labeled as YA but it is more historical and a mystery than anything else. Yes the main characters are teenagers but they don't act like them, maybe because this takes place during WWII? I don't know, either way it was a fun read and took me a little by surprise with it's originality. 

I love the In Death series but I'm seriously behind on them. I think the series is over 40 books strong and I haven't even made it to 20 yet but I do love Eve and Roarke and I truly do try to make time for them when I can.

This next series I am deliberately behind on. Why you ask? because I save them for when I really need a laugh. This series never fails to crack me up and put a huge smile on my face, I love them all and it has some of the best fleshed out characters I have ever read. They are all so lovable and memorable. I actually read three of these over the summer, I couldn't help myself I wasn't ready to put the series back down yet. I loved all three of them and was tempted to pick up the next but I resisted, just barely though.

This is one I couldn't resist reading (I actually just read it, so not quite over summer but close). It is a beautifully written ghost story with just the right amount of historic detail (set in the early '20's) and romance to keep me up late turning the pages.

You know those YA cliches that you tell yourself you are over with? Well, this is a case of those cliches, through and through and yet, I wanted to continue reading this story so on a whim late one night, I picked up this book and, I'm (almost) ashamed to admit, I had a really hard time putting it down. I once again fell right back into the story and all the tropes and cliches didn't even matter anymore, I was sucked in. *sigh* Now I have to finish the darn trilogy and novellas, all because I need more. Plus, I just saw on Goodreads that a fourth book is planned for early next year... so yeah, darn the author. 

I wasn't too sure about this series but I have yet to read anything by Caine that I haven't really liked so I gave it a chance. Book one was good but book two was even better. So glad I gave it a chance. 

So that's it for this summer, at least I think so. I could add so many books over the years that I've read and never reviewed here, it is so shameful but what's a girl to do right? I can't review them all! Well I could but who has time for that some weeks?

So are you guilty of this too, please say you are because if not, I will feel even worse and you don't want that now do you? ;)