Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
AMAZON- http://amzn.to/2qMh551

4.5/5 STARS
This was a slow one to get into, but by Chapter 3, I was hooked. Talk about a wild ride packed full of grit, adventure, and sexual tension. The story was unique and the book world was quite magical.

Alosa is a female pirate and a total bada$$. She is also the daughter of the Pirate King. Growing up with him wasn't easy and she has many emotional and physical scars to show for it. Her rough upbringing has contributed to her fierce persona though and has left her battle ready. When she sets out on a mission to find a missing map, she finds herself in the middle of a ship full of hot blooded pirates with a handsome first mate. It is her intention to seek out the map and be on her way, but she is slowly drug into a world of pretending. She uses her nights to escape and explore and her days to interrogate those around her. She is full of snarky remarks and gives the guys a run for their money. Riden is the only one that is able to crack her tough facade. They share many fights, few kisses, and a couple secrets that lead to them being captured by yet another group of pirates. It is there that they are broke down and exposed. Alosa is forced to show her special skills and Riden is forced to show his true feelings. Together the fight to escape and end up face to face with the Pirate King himself. It is then that Alosa shines and takes control of the situation. She decides who stays and who goes and prepares for what I expect to be an epic journey. 

I really enjoyed the pirate theme, but I NEVER expected the siren twist, and man did it pull me under (pun intended). The scenic descriptions and magical skills really gave this gray story, color. I appreciated the poetic wording and I found the skills to be quite beautiful. I was intrigued by the stories and captivated by the beauty of something so fearful. I don't want to say much, but I will say this... If you love mermaids like me, then you MUST read this one. I highly look forward to the sequel! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. 
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.




I've been in a reading slump for months now so I'm happy to say that this one has pulled me out. I found the passion in reading again and quickly grew fond of diving into the fictional world filled with tragedy and first love.

Time travel was a new subject for me, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found myself so fond of Kale and his multi faceted worlds that I craved more. It was almost as if I could grasp his hand through the pages. I felt the tragedy wearing him down and my heart broke when he found out his future lied within the past. 

Harper brought that fierce heroine feel along with her own struggles. She was always strong for others, quietly burrowing her own problems away. As her and Kale grew closer, my heart ached for their happily ever after, but towards the end, I kind of craved a more devastating twist. Is that wrong? Yes, most likely it is... There's just something about a hero making history and leaving loved ones behind that gives a book that ultimate gut punch. It paints the characters' stories on your mind and leaves you with a feeling of desperation. I wanted to feel lost in the words after the final page, but that's just me. (I LOVE tear jerkers) <- probably the only reader out there that does?

Overall, I highly recommend it to all readers... I had a few problems with the plot flow and I found a lot of editing errors, but the big picture was beautiful and classic. I loved the romance, I was intrigued by the history, and I became addicted to the story quite instantly.

All In Pieces by Suzanne Young

 “Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own, a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself—except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.

BUY HERE -> http://amzn.to/2pROJn3


I am in awe as I write this review... I basically ripped my heart out and left it between the pages. This emotionally charged book has left me empty. Talk about epic level ya writing. 

Sutton is anything but your ordinary teen. She has anger management issues and rightfully so... Her family life is like a stack of Jenga pieces just waiting to crumble. Her brother was born with a disability and him being special has pushed her mother out the door and her father towards the bottle. It is up to Sutton to care for her brother and it's anything but easy. He often becomes upset and distraught, shining a bright light on their dark situation. She is kicked out school, harassed by an ex boyfriend, and left to battle her aunt for custody. While she knows her little brother's life is anything but desirable, she can't let go of him. When Cameron, the new kid at school, takes an interest in her she is confused as to why. She tries to push him away, but he is quite persistent. Together they weather the storm that is her life. He takes her moodiness, accepts her home life, and makes Evan (the little brother) a priority. He rescues her and eventually gets much deserved revenge.

It's a whirlwind read with so many raw moments. I found myself gasping, cringing, tearing up, and swooning. It's not at all a pretty book, but the overall execution is flawless.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.
My Review: 
4/5 Stars
Sarah Dessen is a mastermind at writing heart felt young adult books. This was my first time reading this one and it quickly became one of my favorites. The content touched on so many real struggles and the emotions ran deep. The words held me captive and the vulnerability had me clinging to the pages. It followed the normal Dessen flow, but brought new flaws into focus. 

Ruby is abandoned by her mother and has to fend for herself. The bills weigh her down and housework becomes her turmoil. When social services takes her away, it's her long lost sister that comes to her rescue. It's all confusing and a tad overwhelming...  Ruby has a hard time adapting to her new life of letting people in and learning to trust. The cute neighbor next door ends up being her undoing. While at first it's a friendship built on secrets, slowly it progresses to a deep rooted relationship that turns into so much more. Together they expose their demons and help one another conquer them. It's a story of family issues, new friendships, and first love.

While most of the book was your average teen read, there was also a strong focus on adult issues that made this book appealing to diverse readers. Being a woman that struggles with infertility, I found the parts about Clara to be really insightful. I felt connected in an emotional sense and comforted by the similar battle. This topic gets overlooked so much... It's always made out that pregnancy is easy, so shining a light on the darkness really made me appreciate the book that much more. I highly recommend it!

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Meet the Author:
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.
Be sure to check out Sarah's upcoming release Once and for All. Coming JUNE 6TH, 2017
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Dear Divorce Victim or Self Conscious Teen,
Are you looking for a book you can relate to? One that brings light to your dark situation? If so, I highly recommend this Sarah Dessen read! Why you ask? Well... when I was seventeen this tiny book brought a big solace. I found hope within the paragraphs and learned to cope by reading Haven's story. My parents were divorcing, my dad was happy with someone else, and my sister and I were left to navigate the storm. It was a dark time and while many tried to help, nothing seemed to work, so I escaped reality with books. When I stumbled upon That Summer by Sarah Dessen I didn't expect to find answers within the pages, but I did. Hearing about similar flaws and situations helped me to see that I wasn't alone. It talked me off the ledge and made sense of the crazy. I found a connection to the words and by the end the hurt didn't hurt quite as much. Now I'm not saying that this book will fix all of your problems, but after a thorough re-read I can tell you this... That Summer is filled with family struggles, negative body image views, and the truth about not being able to understand the unexpected. It brings a poetic, yet juvenile prose to tough situations. In my opinion, it's the perfect read for any struggling teen. It addresses a lot of issues, but also has a heart warming ending with clear progression. It may not be for everyone, but it helped me and I know it has the ability to help many others. I hope that if you take a chance, you find solace within the words too. -Love from a fellow reader

About the Book:

The more things change. . . 
As far as Haven is concerned, there’s just too much going on.Everything is changing, and she’s not sure where she fits in.Then her sister’s old boyfriend shows up, sparking memories of the summer when they were all happy and everything was perfect. . . .But along the way, Haven realizes that sometimes change is a good thing.
BUY LINK- http://amzn.to/2pNlKBc

Be sure to enter to win 
for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback
(ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

A Note from the Author:
I've been writing, in one way or another, for as long as I can remember. I was always a big reader, mostly because my parents were. I used to get frustrated with my mom because she bought me books for Christmas when what I really wanted were the gifts my friends got, things like sweaters and jewelry. But I did love to read. When I was eight or nine my parents gave me an old manual typewriter and a little desk in the corner of our den, and I'd sit there and type up my stories. I was the kind of kid that people always sighed over and said, "She has such a wild imagination," which usually meant "I wish Sarah would try to stick to the truth." I have a tendency to embellish: I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it's the best thing to which any writer can aspire. "As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, some lizards, and two dogs who are completely spoiled and rule me completely. I like to work in my garden---although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive----and, in my weaker moments, shop. I have a bit of an addiction to the Gap clearance rack, to be honest. I have this strange need to buy huge quantities of black pants. How many pairs of black pants does one person need? (Obviously for me, the answer is 11 and counting. But I digress.) What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that's a good thing. It's always more fun to make stuff up anyway."

Be sure to come back in a couple weeks to hear my thoughts on a Sarah Dessen book I'm reading for the first time ever!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche

When their too-adult lives lead them down self-destructive paths, these broken teens find a way to heal in this YA novel perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins.

With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.

Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.

As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them.


This was one of those stormy reads with a rainbow'ish ending.... Most of it was dark and gloomy with shocking reveals and painfully flawed characters, but there were tiny slivers of color that brought hope. The plot was pure grit, but the the execution was a flawless piece of art. 

I know this is something I probably shouldn't admit to, but Tessa was like a soul sister. Her pain hit home and I felt so connected to her chapters. The things she did were ugly, but the reasons behind them were real and raw. Often times pain dwindles self worth to the point of no return. It's hard to think positive when you are drowning in negativity. These are the circumstances that she faced daily. You may not like her as a character, but please give her a chance to grow. Her life is anything but easy and the bravery in ink is one every girl should read about. 

I think my only issue was Jack. While I loved his sweet, caring side... His rebel attitude and obnoxious jokes to get out of trouble didn't exactly click with me. I understand why he was the way he was and it was tender and emotional how much he cared for his mom, but cocky and me just don't work. It's not exactly a book flaw, more of a reader flaw. I know Jack had his reasons, but I would have liked to see him crack a little more with the authority to show the vulnerability that I craved. 

All in all, this book is top notch in the ya genre. It brought everything to the table and really pulled out the deep issues I love to read about. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows) by Sophie Jordan

The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.


I don't know if it's the fast pace, interesting plot, or abundance of dialogue, but this series stands out among other fantasies. The premise is so dark and eerie, yet the passion within the pages is fire! There are monsters of human and creature form and there are secrets hidden in every corner...
This sequel picks up where book one left off... Luna and Fowler are separated and it's up to Luna to fight the dwellers for Fowler's safety. When she finds him underground though, it is a tad too late. He needs medical attention which leads them both to a new kingdom full of controlling people and hate. When their secrets are revealed the King does everything in his power to betroth them and unite kingdoms. Enter Chasan: The cocky, yet sumptuous prince that favors Luna. I felt so guilty, but I actually REALLY liked him like A LOT. His exterior may have been hard, but beneath the tough layer, was kindness. Luna and Fowler play the King's games for a while, but their ultimate goal is to escape. When they finally break free it's not at all what you expect. HOLY CRAP, Luna is a BADA$$ and that ending!... Just one more reason to love this series.
Why 4 stars you ask? Well book one set the standards too high... In <i>Reign</i> we met new characters, found out secrets, and explored a new creepy world. It's pages of firsts and I don't think any sequel could live up to that kind of perfect. I'm not sure if the Author plans to write a book 3, but I'm pretty sure I'd read infinite books about these characters. It's a fantastic, unique world. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

This book can only be described one way, a classic. It's words were like a literary hug... Each one surrounded me, embraced, and slowly seeped into my blood stream. Their impact pulled me in with turmoil and surrounded me with tragedy. It wasn't an easy book to read, but it's one I will never forget.
Liesel may just be my favorite heroine of all time. Her gentleness and immaturity grew into raw bravery and her ugly journey was full of hope. Her story starts with her brother dying and her mother giving her away. She ends up with adoptive parents and a world full of questions. The aggravating boy next door becomes her best friend/first love and a jew moves into her basement. One thing ties all of these things together... Words. The simple, yet complex act of reading brings her family and friends closer. Her papa teaches her love through ink on pages and in the end she returns the favor. Stealing books becomes her thing and what a thing it is...
My heart was filled to the brim while reading this book. It's a different type of historical with a new take on the enemy side. I found myself confused, angry, and sad, but most importantly... overwhelmed by how educated I felt once I finished. The narrator was a unique twist and helped pack the hard punch the story needed. I don't want to say I loved it because to love a story so full of tragedy is a tad morbid, but I did love the overall execution and grit that lined the pages. I loved the love between the characters and I loved the bittersweet ending.

The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish #1) by Jessica Khoury

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world. . . .
 When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years--a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 


But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity--only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

I found myself consumed by the intricate world and overwhelmed by the unique plot... There is just one word to describe it and that word is magical.
It started out slow, but once Aladdin came along, the pace picked up and so did my heart beats. He was such a gorgeously flawed character. I swooned hard and fell more in love as the story progressed. If nothing else, you will love the love story. It's not exactly insta love because there is playful banter, but it's definitely a deep rooted thing that feels hundreds of year aged. It's gorgeous and tragic and just so many words wrapped into one.
I had a few minor issues with the plot, but the scenic descriptions and setting overshadowed those. The book world seriously stole my breath. I could see smoke billowing, darkness falling, and bright colors blooming. Each chapter painted a new picture on my mind and I was entranced to say the least. There were shape shifting Jinns... I mean need I say more? It was a crazy whirlwind adventure that mysteriously found a happily ever after.
I recommend it to middle eastern and retelling readers. The writing is seriously top notch.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2l9PSDK


This book was literally everything, everything I hoped for. It was John Green tragic with a quirkiness that left me smiling. Now normally... sarcasm is not for me, but with this book, each playful sentence had a deep rooted meaning. Each word punched you in the gut in the best way possible. I swooned at the epic first love and felt for the characters in a way that I can't quite describe. To say I was hooked is an understatement. I literally could not put it down. I kept saying one more chapter and ended up finishing it the same night.
It's a story about a girl that was raised with a sickness that kept her locked away in her room (a bit like Rapunzel in her tower). What she knows is what she reads and white is her safety zone. When a boy moves in next door though ... she starts seeing in vivid color, bright neons, and soft pastels. Olly, the parkour loving jokester tempts her in all the right ways. Their connection starts via window writing, progresses to emails, and ends with earth shattering, soul connecting touches. Maddy learns that love can overcome fear and that it can also make dying feel worth while. She starts to brave a new world with big ideas and eventually gets urges to feel the earth beneath her toes. Her mother is determined to keep her trapped though so deception is the only way to feel free. One big lie and an epic adventure later and her glass house is shattered.
I was obsessed and still am long after the final page. If you want a fast paced unique read, please go buy this one. I promise you won't be disappointed!
*Filled with family problems, growing up struggles, and control that is out of your hands....

Poison's Kiss (Poison's Kiss #1) by Breeana Shields

A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like-- a poison kiss-- and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2jMAcKo

As far as folklore and fantasy go... This one was top of the line. I found myself instantly sucked into the story and held captive by the twisty plot. The Author's words danced in my mind and the intricate story weaved it's way into my soul.

When Marinda was a child, she was fed on and poisoned by snakes to become immune. Her kisses were made to kill... Growing up she always believed her missions were for the greater good, but when she is given a mission she can't complete, she is forced to pump the brakes and look into her life. Horrific secrets are slowly revealed and when she tries to flee, her brother is taken by the snake king. Together her and the love interest, Deven, embark on a trip to visit the Raja in hopes of help. Help isn't exactly what they find though... Marinda ends up behind bars with a young boy as her only companion. She is determined to save her brother though and in the end, makes a great sacrifice to do so.

Poison's kiss was well written, fast paced, and for the most part, a very likable book. The anticipation kept me on the edge of my seat and the unique plot kept me turning the pages. I did however have a couple of minor issues... One, I needed more romance or at least a better build up to make the romance passionate and believable. Two, I felt the twists were a tad predictable. I knew in Chapter 2 what the next mission would be and I was slight bummed... However, the negative feels were slowly swept under the flawless book world.
The scenic execution was spot on. The pages truly painted vivid pictures in my mind. If I had to guess, I'd say this Author will slowly rise to the top of the fiction world. I look forward to seeing what's next.

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.
But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.
 AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2l5kV7E 

This book wrecked me multiple times on multiple levels. Tears filled my eyes and butterflies danced in my stomach... It pulled me in with it's lyrical prose and kept me hooked with the tragic details...

It's a story about an unloved girl trying to make it in her own world. Cass has survived family hatred, abandonment, and years in a mental hospital... When she gets a chance at normalcy (college, friends, classes etc.), it's not exactly as easy as one might think. Actually, it feels as though she is just continuing her never ending tread to keep her head above water... She nearly drowns, is pulled back into her mothers web, and slowly remembers horrors from the past. She wants a new friend and a new love, but can't help but push them away in fear of being used or abandoned again. It takes time, hard work, and a little self exploration, but eventually she finds the key to staying afloat.

This was seriously one of the best books I've ever read. It was gritty and real and everything I love about YA contemporary. There were flaws in the characters and hurt in the words, but the progression throughout the book was a beautiful transformation of pure bravery and ultimate survival. I loved it and highly recommend that readers of all ages read it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

One Moment by Kristina McBride

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.
Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can't she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie's memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

McBride delivers a novel of secrets that packs an emotional punch, perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Gayle Forman.

Going into this book, I expected teenage drama, lack luster emotion, and over the top metaphors.... What I didn't expect was a heartfelt story full of guilt, mystery, and life lessons. 

One Moment
opened my eyes to the things that are hard to acknowledge. It showed me that life is short, regrets are damaging, and forgiving is the key to one's well being. It gripped my heart in it's fist and squeezed tightly. I was consumed by the mind twisting mystery and overwhelmed by the reality that one moment can truly change everything. It made my mind race and my heart pound. I wanted the truth to be revealed, but then once it was, I wanted to hurry and bury it again. 
Maggie was an average teen facing adult problems. Her life turned upside down when her boyfriend died and her memory left with him... To make things worse, secrets slowly surface and her truth quickly turns to lies. As her memory fades in and out, she is left with the painful what if? question. Adam, her close friend is linked to the chaos in an intimate way and though Maggie wants to keep him at arms length, eventually the walls crack and true feelings shine through. 

There was bitter anger, painful goodbyes, but also new beginnings. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to all readers. It may be based around teens, but the message is clear for people of all ages.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.


As far as historicals go, this one was top notch. It had an educational story line with deep rooted emotion and a strong focus on faith/hope. It was about two military nurses and their lives during a tragic time. Each one was faced with their own battle, but in the end, it was courage and perseverance that guided them both to safety. 

To say this was a heavy read is an understatement. At times I became overwhelmed by the slow pace and vivid details, but I learned to appreciate the writing style and ended up really enjoying it. I appreciated the emotion that seeped from the pages and was intrigued by the behind the scenes look at the medical side of war. Not to mention, I found the lusty bits very important as well. If I had to pick, I'd definitely say Jo was my favorite. While both stories were empowering, I found Jo's to be a tad bit more emotional/real-feeling. I felt for Kay having to leave her loved one behind, but once that part passed, I had a hard time fully connecting to her. It didn't break the book for me, but it did push me to skim her parts a bit. 

All in all, it was a really strong, well written historical fiction. It may not be for everyone, but I recommend it to all readers looking to immerse themselves in an important piece of history. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.
AMAZON- http://amzn.to/2i3T9aw


I absolutely loved this book... It pulled me out of a month long rut and for that I am thankful.

It was a fast paced read with lush scenery and swoon worthy romance. When I say there was romance, I mean it had a VERY strong focus on romance. It went with the royalty/fantasy/magical theme, but there was grit and horror too. I really connected to the characters and found that the words were laced with rich emotion. I felt the fear and passion. I honestly felt as though I was within the pages... No to mention the twists. Oh gosh, they definitely proved to make things interesting! I can't say much, but if you read, I guarantee, you will be surprised.

Luna lives a sheltered life, under the protection of her guardians. She doesn't venture out of her tower much, but when she does sneak out, it ends up being a wild ride. She stumbles upon danger and offers up her protection. Her guardians aren't pleased with having visitors, but has to eventually learn to trust Luna's decision. Together Luna and Fowler embark on a journey through dark forests, stilt cities, and creepy lakes. Their relationship slowly blooms like a rose... thorns line the stem, but the overall picture is quiet beautiful.

It was a thrilling story with plenty of action. The ending will make some mad because of the cliffhanger, but book 2 releases soon! I can't wait to get my hands on it. Thank you Sophie Jordan for fueling my reading fire again.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Favorites from 2016

When it comes to reading in 2016, I will be blunt and state the truth, I sucked. After changing my Goodreads goal halfway through the year to 72, I still only read 71 books. (<- This is extremely low considering I read 100 last year.) Blame it on Heartland being on Netflix, or blame it on my reading mood... Either way, I struggled. I DNF'd a few, took weeks to get through others... However, I did come across some really fabulous reads this year. Check out my list below and feel free to comment with any questions! 

Simply click the links to view on Amazon
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Beauty and the Beast meets the Sea)
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood (Contemp. with dark theme and Taboo Romance)
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (Cult theme with strong focus on literature)
Beauty of the Broken by Tawni Waters (Emotional, Lesbian Romance, Tragedy, Abusive Father)

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (YA Western with slow bud romance)
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (YA Comtemporary, Romance, Deportation)
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto (YA Unique, Paranormal, Steampunk, & Romance)
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis (YA Fairy tale meets Reality, Emotional & Mind Baffling) 

Beast by Brie Spangler (LGBT Romance, Self identity)
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (YA Contemporary about life struggles)
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Western/Magical Bonnie and Clyde)
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez (Gut Wrenching Historical with Epic Romance) 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (YA, Magic Rugs, Arabian Feel, Forbidden Love) 
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Historical during a Tragic Time)
Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers (Ya Fantasy with Dark Elements and a Forbidden Romance)
I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe (Historical, War Romance, Fierce Heroine)

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace (Beautiful Poetry with Lyrical Prose)
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Dark YA, Cult, Orange is the New Black feel)
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (YA Fantasy with love triangle feels and a thrilling plot)
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (YA Fantasy with epic fight and Forbidden Love)
Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (Historical Fiction, Hope, Friendship, War Struggles)