Saturday, October 5, 2019

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns Book 2)

Description:



The battle for the crown has begun, and the unforgettable events of the Quickening have left a mark on each of the three sisters. Katharine, once the weak and feeble queen, is curiously stronger than ever before. Arsinoe has discovered a secret about her gift which could be her salvation or her undoing. And powerful Mirabella, believing that Arsinoe has betrayed her, is finally ready to fight.
As time runs out on the Ascension Year, the triplets face attacks that will make them question their destinies and their paths to the throne. Friends and foes alike are forcing their hands, pushing them toward a shocking outcome that forever changes everyone involved.

*Note: Spoilers for those who have not read the first book.

Shenie's Review:

The second installment of THREE DARK CROWNS intensifies as Arsinoe and Katherine discover the hidden powers inside them and Mirabella finds the fire within to take on her sisters. The brutality that the first book teased at pertaining to the upcoming battles definitely lived up to the hype as the fighting between the sisters was always intense and exciting. Adding to the excitement was the roles the girls loved ones played in backing their queens. Jules especially can be seen taking on a greater role in the series.

Speaking of Jules, I find the drama between her and Joseph, due to Joseph cheating on Jules, to be slightly frustrating. I know that it might possibly be Arisone's and Madgical's magic that may be causing the rift between the couple, but, still. I think I'm speaking for almost everyone when I say that Jules deserves way better than Joseph and I hope she will find someone who will treat her how she deserves to be treated.

In terms of romance, I did like reading about how Katherine and Peityrs relationship turned out after he betrayed her, and I loved the chemistry that brewed between a certain boy and queen. But to find out who and if the queen will live long enough to be with her love you will just have to read the sequel to find out who takes the crown.

Verdict: ☕☕☕☕☕

Available on Amazon

Available on BarnesandNobles


About the Author:

Kendare Blake grew up in the small city of Cambridge, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. She loves to travel, is an advocate for animals, and cheats a lot when she plays Final Fantasy. Adopted from South Korea at the age of seven months, she arrived with the following instruction: "Feed her chocolate." Though not medically advisable, she and her parents are eternally grateful for this advice.

Kendare is the author of six novels: the contemporary SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, YA horror duo ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (2011 NPR Top 5, Kirkus Top Ten), and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES (2012 Kirkus Reviews Top Ten), and the Goddess War trilogy (ANTIGODDESS, MORTAL GODS, UNGODLY). 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Marité's Book Review: Six Months Later



Description:

"Recommend it to fans of Gayle Forman's If I Stay." —Library Journal

She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory...
When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.
Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...

Marité's Review: 

Rather than beat around the bush, I am going to go out on a limb here and cut to the chase. Six Months Later is an easily forgettable read surely due to disappear from my memory in six-months time. To hit the nail on the head, Chloe is sorely lacking in the originality department. Her inability to communicate her thoughts and emotions without relying on a list of common idioms and phrases was utterly dumbfounding for someone who wishes to major in Psychology. Not only was this confusing as to why someone who is so interested in Psychology can be completely out of touch with her emotions that she can't even describe how she is feeling in her own words, but the lack of her trying to come up with a new way of describing things other than picking from a list of phrases I googled in two seconds (see all of the examples above) made her come off as totally apathetic to how she viewed her predicament despite what was said to the contrary. Her word choices were so dry in fact, everything else became dull. Making it so that I couldn't care enough to like this book or care enough to hate it either.

Verdict: Verdict: ☕


About the Author:

Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) She later misplaced her writing dreams in a maze of cubicles and general office drudgery. Natalie never forgot about Barbara or those dishes, and eventually she found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. When she's not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband and their three children, who inspire her every day to stick with her dreams.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas


Description:

  Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister. 
   Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.
   Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn't exactly feel like an accident.
    But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.
    Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.




Shenie's Review:

The title LITTLE MONSTERS accurately describe the girls in this novel. I found all of the girls to be incessantly irritating, especially Kacey who followed Bailey and Jade around like a puppy vying for praise and attention. This did serve a huge part in why Kacey was caught in the middle of the investigation for her missing friend, but I just wished that all her troubles could have befallen her due to some factor other than desperation and patheticness.

Kacey described everything she was watching with wonderful descriptions but when it came time to speak to anyone she had a limited vocabulary and it felt like getting a word out of her was like pulling teeth. When she did choose to speak she drove me nuts with how she could not stop lying about her whereabouts to the cops and then how she would get frustrated at them, after all the lies, for not believing her when she was telling them the truth about not having a clue where Bailey could have gone. Granted, I understood the reason for her lying to the cops in the first place was due to her being worried that her stepmom, who is actually really nice, would get mad and send her off if she told her the truth of where she and her younger sister actually were the night before. I can see Kacey's point of being afraid, to tell the truth, but when she believes herself the main suspect in a missing person case I would have thought being sent off versus being sent to jail would put things in perspective.

Other than the annoyance I felt for the characters, the storyline was killer. I felt that the diary entries of Bailey's helped build the intensity of the story and gave insight on how her, Jade's and Kacie's, friendship dynamic worked. The subtle clues kept the mystery going nicely and the unpredictability of the characters made me suspicious of everyone until the shocking unveiling which pretty much saved this story for me, hence the three cups of coffee instead of two.


Verdict: ☕☕☕

Available on Amazon

Available on BarnesandNobles


About the Author:

Kara Thomas is a true crime addict and the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, LITTLE MONSTERS, and THE CHEERLEADERS, all published by Delacorte Press. You can find her on Twitter (@karatwrites), Instagram (@kara__thomas), or at www.kara-thomas.com.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Taís's Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins





Description:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged fatheran elusive European warlockonly when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.



Taís's Review:

Hex Hall is the sort of story you are left with when a classic trope has been sucked-dry of any originality. The magical school filled with monsters felt like a cheap knockoff of Hogwarts, and the main character Sophie Mercer is a basic cliche of an angsty teenager pinning for the most popular guy in the school.

Despite my disappointment concerning the unoriginality with the storyline, I read on so that I may find out who was behind the murder sprees in the boarding school. Soon that even lacked the excitement as the main character's attention seemed to fixate on the boarding school's drama rather than worry about the killer's identity or the fact that her fellow classmates are being murdered. The suspense to the murder was so nonexistent that I found myself just wanting to finish reading this book, no longer caring to find out who was the killer, so that I may review it and end my boredom.

Granted there were a couple of twists I did not see coming, including the ending, the intensity between the events lagged and I felt that the dialogue was just used as a filler. While on the subject of fillers, the group that is dedicated to killing the Prodigium, among some of the other plotlines, seemed to be just thrown in and does not considerably tie in at the end. Even though some of the loose ends should most likely be divulged later in the series, all the climaxes fell flat in this book.

Overall, I would say this book is not my cup of coffee and is most likely suited for young adults who do not mind reading stories pumped out onto fan forums in the magical school genre.


Verdict: Verdict: ☕

Available on Amazon


Available on BarnesandNobles


About the Author: Rachel Hawkins (www.rachel-hawkins.com) was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama, and is currently at work on the third book in the Hex Hall series. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree....















Saturday, July 27, 2019

Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Blake




Description:


In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
Don't miss Five Dark Fates, the thrilling conclusion to the series, coming in September!


Shenie's Review:

THREE DARK CROWNS takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level. The story is told in the third person with each chapter alternating from the points of view of the three queens starting with Katherine. Katherine, raised harshly and the least favorite queen of the land, has a heart full of jealousy and hatred toward her sisters. She is always trying to prove herself to Natalia, the only motherly figure she has ever known, and the rest of her kingdom that she is worthy of the crown. But, by attempting to prove this her heart hardens and she is not just willing to kill her sisters but she rather enjoys the thought.

The next queen introduced is Arsinoe, a fiery free spirit, who doesn't care if she doesn't act very queenly as long as she has her best friend Jules, Jule's familiar Camden, and Joseph. Arsinoe just wants to be free of the ever-looming fate of having to forcibly fight to the death for a throne she does not want or be killed and lose the ones she loves.

Last to be introduced is Maribella. She is the queen that the majority of the people of Fennbirn and the priestesses believe to be the Queen Crowned. She holds herself with the mannerisms of one that already has won the throne. She basically has the title in the bag if it wasn't for the memories of her sisters from years before coming back to haunt her, pulling at her heartstrings. Torn between taking destiny or taking her sisters lives, she concocts a plan to escape her fate, and with the help of her best friends Elizabeth and Brie she might just get away with it. But, all actions have consequences and hers will affect her sisters for better or worse.

If it wasn't for Blake starting off the story in Katherine's perspective, I would not have had the sympathy that I do now for her character. Although, I am not voting for her to take the throne. I, however, am not sure who I would actually want sitting in the throne because I love both Arsinoe and Mariabella and I definitely will mourn the tragic loss of either one of them. Filled with plotting and secrets from political agendas from those seeking to rise in the rankings if their queen is to be chosen, each chapter will bring about a new twist that will leave everyone's fate hanging in the balance and have you hanging onto every word until the ink runs dry.

Verdict: ☕☕☕☕☕

Available on Amazon

Available on BarnesandNobles


About the Author:

Kendare Blake grew up in the small city of Cambridge, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. She loves to travel, is an advocate for animals, and cheats a lot when she plays Final Fantasy. Adopted from South Korea at the age of seven months, she arrived with the following instruction: "Feed her chocolate." Though not medically advisable, she and her parents are eternally grateful for this advice.

Kendare is the author of six novels: the contemporary SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, YA horror duo ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (2011 NPR Top 5, Kirkus Top Ten), and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES (2012 Kirkus Reviews Top Ten), and the Goddess War trilogy (ANTIGODDESS, MORTAL GODS, UNGODLY). 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Chills and Creeps (Vol 1) by Nick Clausen





*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Taís' Review:

Description:

Reading CHILLS AND CREEPS VOL. 1 can be likened to having a series of whimsical nightmares as the stories themselves are very visual. These short stories are an interesting medley of tales and is a total throwback to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I enjoyed the details the author added at the end of each story relating to the conception of the story's creation. Overall, this book is a fun and easy read for those who scare very easily. As horror goes, I would consider this to be in the soft horror genre.

Verdict: ☕☕☕

Available on Amazon


About the Author:

Started writing at the age of 18 with a promise of doing 1,000 words a day until I got a book published. Kept that promise 18 months and 13 manuscripts later. Done +25 books since then. Lived as a full-time writer since 2017. Started translating my books into English in  2019. Prefer horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Reside in Denmark. Anything else you want to know, please get in touch. Happy reading!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

They Come at Night by Nick Clausen



Description:

Four teenagers. A cottage by the beach. A scary secret kept by the locals. And those who come at night...

A classic teen horror story in a gothic setting told in a modern voice, They Come at Night was orignally published in Danish to great reviews, and is now available in English.


*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sheníe's Review:  

They Come at Night is a wicked tale that will leave anyone heading to the beach with the lingering question: what lies beneath the water? The story begins with a group of friends who decide to take a vacation for the weekend at one of their parent's beach cottage's. Everything starts out light and fun until night falls and things begin to take an eerie turn. Someone or something from a local legend is stalking them and it is up to them to heed a local's warning or suffer the fate of the non-believers.


They Come at Night is a refreshing read that will quench any book lover's thirst for horror. I found myself completely engrossed in the story from the get-go. Extremely well written, the descriptions Clausen gave about the unknown assailant painted a vivid image in my mind. Make sure to add this one to your summer reading list.


Verdict: 
Available on Amazon

About the Author:

Started writing at the age of 18 with a promise of doing 1,000 words a day until I got a book published. Kept that promise 18 months and 13 manuscripts later. Done +25 books since then. Lived as a full-time writer since 2017. Started translating my books into English in  2019. Prefer horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Reside in Denmark. Anything else you want to know, please get in touch. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Dreamland by Nick Clausen




Description:

Some nightmares never end

In his sleep, Louie starts visiting a magical world where he meets his father, who died when Louie was still a baby. But nothing turns out to be what it seems, and great horrors loom very close by...

*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sheníe's Review:  


This story starts out to be a heartwarming tale that slowly takes a sinister turn. In fact, the phrase too good to be true came to mind when reading this novel. The story first starts out as a literal dream come true when Louie meets his long-dead father through a place he dubbs Dreamland, but as his relationship with him seems to grow Louie's relationship with his mother Ellen begins to falter. Ellen is uneasy about Louie talking to his father John and attempts to deter Louie from speaking to him. And she is not the only one. As the story continues Louie discovers that the ghost of his father isn't the only supernatural being attempting to make contact with him and whoever or whatever the being is it is determined to keep John and Louie apart. 

The mystery to the story I thought was well planned out and I appreciated the way Clausen uses the characters reactions to hint towards the mystery surrounding John and Dreamland. I felt the subtle change to Louie's character due to the influence of his father and Dreamland created a real sense of foreboding. However, I did feel that certain parts of the story that were supposed to be hair raising lacked the ability to bring me chills. I felt the story was less horrifying and more a fantastical mystery.

Overall, I did like the story and I believe fans of Dawn Kutrich's AS THE TREE'S CREPT IN would appreciate the author's style of writing.



Verdict: 

Available on Amazon

About the Author:

Started writing at the age of 18 with a promise of doing 1,000 words a day until I got a book published. Kept that promise 18 months and 13 manuscripts later. Done +25 books since then. Lived as a full-time writer since 2017. Started translating my books into English in  2019. Prefer horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Reside in Denmark. Anything else you want to know, please get in touch. Happy reading!


 




Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rise of the Twinkling Heir by O. C. Jaime Kickstarter


Update: Thanks to everyone's help O.C. Jaimie was able to reach his goal of $10,000! He has now set of goal of $15,000 with only 8 days to go! Help spread the word to help this author achieve his goals!

Today's post is a little different than our usual posts. This is not a book review rather I wanted to share an exciting opportunity to help a fellow author publish his book so that fantasy lovers alike can enjoy. There are 15 days left to go with $7,326 pledged towards his goal of $10,000. Want to help bring this book to life? Head to his Kickstarter page RISE OF THE TWINKLING HEIR.


Description: 

Hermium Everling never wanted to be an Imaginent, and he never wanted to be a redhead either, but such was his lot.  He was the boy that built things in his sleep.  


All he wanted was normal, like every other thirteen-year-old living on the North Star who had aspirations about getting into his favorite Thunder.  Thunder cadets were cool!  And those who got into Glimmeroc were the coolest of all! 

The odds of that happening for Hermium however would take an act of the Gods, and an act of the Gods is precisely what is needed.  

For a great evil now threatens Hermium’s world.  Folk are disappearing.  The talk of spectrals and fangists spreads.  Even the heavens have been touched by what now festers in secret.  There is but one answer: the Gods must seal Hermium to his purpose, and it must be Glimmeroc, and it must be quick. 

Because Molderaac stirs, growing signs are everywhere, and with him the Darkening.  And only a light of creation can defeat another light, and only an Imaginent can hold that light’s key.  

Of course, Hermium doesn’t know that yet, but he will…  

About the author: 

O.C. is the author of the new YA fantasy series, the Seven Thunders, and of his blog, "Inklings from the Thunderlands." He is a member of the Writer's Center and the Steampunk Writers and & Artists Guild, and with the help of his amazing creative team, is creating the fully-realized world of the Seven Thunders, with exciting multimedia content as the animated YouTube prequel series entitled Age of the Warlock. He is a senior analyst with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and lives in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife of 32 years.


About the author: 

O.C. is author of the new YA fantasy series, the Seven Thunders, and of his blog, "Inklings from the Thunderlands."  He is a member of the Writer’s Center and the Steampunk Writers & Artists Guild, and with the help of his amazing creative team, is creating the fully-realized world of the Seven Thunders, with exciting multimedia content such as the animated YouTube prequel series entitled Age of the Warlock.  He is a senior analyst with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and lives in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife of 32 years.




Monday, December 17, 2018

Shenie's Book Review—Drake Peters: One Minute to Midnight by Kingsley Benjamin


Description: 

When a spaceship crashes into his schoolyard, Drake Peters not only discovers that aliens exist but they have been here all along.

Drake is a Mindone of a select few with superhuman abilities who must join the fight for control of Earth. He is brought to Clover Academy, where a faculty of extraterrestrials teach him how to control his powers and develop into a future leader of humanity. There he meets Ripley, a volatile but brilliant engineer, Ivy both the looks and the muscles, and Encel a talented but naїve leader. Together they are put through a series of physical and mental challenges that push them to the edge, and beyond, in order to reach their potential. 
But as they join the battle for control of Earth's future, the question for Drake iswhich side is he on?

Shenie's Review:

*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.



DRAKE PETERS: ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT was a very creative and intriguing story with likeness to Orson Scott's, ENDER'S GAME. However, I felt the beginning of the story was a little rushed, and my interest wasn't fully piqued until Drake went to Clover Academy. The trials he and his teammates faced there were brutal, almost as if the Game Makers from the HUNGER GAMES had conjured them up. Unlike the HUNGER GAMES, the trials that Drake and his team faced had them working together and the tribulations they faced weren't used for ill intent. Rather, the purpose of these trials were to hone in on and discover hidden superpowers that certain members of the team, including Drake himself, possessed.

Although reading about Drake's school life at Clover Academy was very entertaining, I felt that the main threat of the story, the space agent that caused Drake to become a MIND, wasn't focused on enough until the very end of the story causing it to feel a bit anticlimactic. Even so, this is an enjoyable read for anybody who likes young adult science fiction.


Verdict: 

Available on Amazon



About the Author:

Former British Army soldier and graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Kingsely now lives and works in Darwin, Australia with his wife Nicola. When not writing books, he works as a Project Manager in the Civil Engineering industry, building roads across the Northern Territory. 
He is a mad football fan from the North East of the UK and enjoys a good drink. If you asked him what his favourite author was he would say Terry Pratchett, without missing a beat. If you haven't read any discworld novels, then put this book down, slowly back away and go read one - you won't regret it.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sheníe's Book Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


Description: 

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Shenie's Review:

Tensions rise when four teenagers suspected in the murder are picked apart by the police and hidden secrets are revealed. The teens find solace with one another as they try to uncover the truth surrounding Simon's death, but can you really trust someone you do not really know? Especially, knowing someone that day in detention had to have killed Simon?

ONE OF US IS LYING is told in the four different viewpoints of Brown, Addy, Nate, and Cooper. By breaking down each chapter by each person the reader is able to connect to each character and understand the reasons behind the allegations. Also, by allowing the killer's identity hidden across the different points of view, but without revealing too much information until all was revealed in due time.

Intertwining with the drama of the police investigation is the romance that blooms between Brownyn and Nate that would have been juicy news worthy of a blog post on Simon's gossip app if he wasn't already dead.

This is one book that I hope turns into a movie. Fans of Dana Mele's PEOPLE LIKE US are going to want to read this.


Verdict: 


Available on Amazon


About the Author:

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn't working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McManus loves to travel with her son. The New York Times bestseller One of Us Is Lying is her debut novel. To learn more about her, go to her website, karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Marité's Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp



Description:

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated—and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets—chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...

Marité's  Review:

BEFORE I LET GO is a novel as dry as the ice that covers Lost Creek. From the moment Corey steps off of the plane and lands in the town of Lost to the moment she steps back on the plane the reader is blown from flashback to flashback with no character development made whatsoever or little to no relevant information divulged to further advance the story which takes place over the period of five, I quote, "...endless nights, endless days" that seemed to stretch on for forever when one is forced to read this book due to pure determination to write this review. The theme of endless nights, endless days continued further into the storyline as the reader is introduced repetitively to a moment in which a passage was "first mentioned" in an effort from the author to provoke a sorrowful, emotional response. However, all this incited, besides boredom that was as constant as the snowfall, was irritation and confusion. Irritation, yes, from the interactions of the cult-like townspeople, but mostly from the books pretense of accurately representing a diverse cast of characters which in the end appeared as a thinly veiled ploy to diversify the book. Even Kyra's bipolar disorder which played the integral role of this story was only semi-relatable and the dialogue that surrounded it appeared to have been written from something researched from a professional standpoint rather than an authentic viewpoint of someone who suffers from the mental illness, or someone who has a first-hand account. ( I being the latter.)

To make matters more confusing, a lot of the incidents that took place concerning the hallucinations or-what-have-yous did not hold a deeper meaning to the true storyline and only served as a spooky mystery that was left unanswered. Leaving the reader to wonder how much was actually happening or how much was due to the harsh conditions Corey was subjected to. To describe this reading experience was best said by Kyra when she said: "And no matter how hard they tried, they could not escape being lost." As will be any reader who picks up this book.

Verdict: 

About the Author:

Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. 

Marieke's debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends, a contemporary thriller that follows four teens over the course of the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in January 2016. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Taís's Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

How to Hang A Witch by [Mather, Adriana]





Description:


The #1 New York Times bestseller!


Salem, Massachusetts, is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves the Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?


If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.


Taís's Review:

How to Hang a Witch slowly but meticulously builds into the main plot of the story with the elements of horror, romance, and a thrilling mystery. 
I loved how the more and more secrets Samantha Mather unveiled, with of course the help of a reluctant ghost, the more I was enraptured. I was playing a game of Whodunit trying to solve the mystery before I finished reading, but ultimately I was completely thrown when the culprit was revealed.


One thing I especially liked was how Samantha Mather's father was in a coma the whole time, but you still learn about the strong relationship they had. Whereas, the relationship between her and her stepmother grows apart. Another reason I love this book is how the unlikely friendships between Sam and the descendants of the witches grow as they learn they are on the same side. Altogether, with everything going on be it the romance or the chaos or the confusion I would have thought the author would have left loose ends, since other books with too many things going on commonly do so, but in this book I found that it was all tied up in a nice bow, packaged and ready for the sequel.


Verdict: ☕ ☕  ☕ 

Available on Amazon

Available on Barnes&Noble


About the Author: 


Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, with family roots stretching back to the first Thanksgiving, the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and the Titanic. Adriana co-owns Zombot Pictures, a production company that makes feature films. In addition to producing, Adriana is also an actress. She lives in Los Angeles where she has a life full of awesome, cats, and coffee.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sheníe's Book Review: The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser



Description: 

Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she's convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon.


As it turns out, Emma hasn't seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma's way: anything she writes in the book comes true.
But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn't the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they'll stop at nothing to succeed.
A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma's unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.


Sheníe's Review:

THE FORGOTTEN BOOK is a charming mystery interlaced with magical elements akin to HARRY POTTER but with a touch of ancient Scottish folklore and an underlying romantic theme straight from Jane Austin's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Gläser did an amazing job pulling inspiration from Jane Austin and using her work to build off of to create her own drama between Emma and Darcy and their friends. Gläser's writing style is vastly detailed, allowing me to feel as if I were trampling along the forest alongside Emma as she uncoverd the mysteries surrounding the magic book.  


Fans of Mechthild Gläser's THE BOOK JUMPER will definitely want to read THE FORGOTTEN BOOK. 


Verdict: 


Available on Amazon



About the Author:

Mechthild Gläser is an award-winning author in her native Germany. The Book Jumper is her first book to be translated into English.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Marité's Book Review: Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman



Description:

The town of Glory is famous for two things: businesses that front for seedy, if not illegal, enterprises and the suicides that happen along the Indigo River. Marsden is desperate to escape the “bed-and-breakfast” where her mother works as a prostitute—and where her own fate has been decided—and she wants to give her little sister a better life. But escape means money, which leads Mars to skim the bodies that show up along the Indigo River. It’s there that she runs into Jude, who has secrets of his own and whose brother’s suicide may be linked to Mars’s own sordid family history. As they grow closer, the two unearth secrets that could allow them to move forward . . . or chain them to the Indigo forever.

Marité's Review:

Along the Indigo is not a thrilling read, nor is it heart-pounding, rather its a novel that slowly builds like the heat of a lazy summer day until you are wrapped in it, and, once it is finished, you are left with the impression of satisfaction and the warmth that comes of knowing you just read a really great book. Like the ginger that the people of Glory just came to associate with the covert, Mars harsh reality filled with prostitution and suicide became something she associated with normalcy, and by creating this type of reality the sensitive subject matter of suicide and prostitution was not romanticized. Instead, it was presented to the reader as just another cold, harsh reality of life in a place where there is not much of one to be found. Emphasizing the limited options there are of ever leaving a place like Glory and the desperation that would lead anyone to do loathsome acts. Making anybody wonder, how far would one go to get out of a place like Glory? Or the real question, how much of our sins can be forgiven?

The budding romance between Mars and Jude served as the real attention-getter of this book for me as most of this book was built around the drama of Jude uncovering Mars secret. Also, for anyone who is of color, such as myself, it was nice to see a romance between a biracial couple. The only other book that I have read having done so was The Astonishing Color of After by X.R. Pan. But, unlike X.R. Pan's protagonist, Mars was not so uncomfortable about being biracial than she was by being easily recognized as the descendant of a mad man. To make this book even more relatable to me and more unlike others, Mars did not wish to embrace one side of her more than the other which most biracial characters are shown to struggle with, but instead her only wish was to shake the labels forced upon her by the town of Glory and the legacies of her ancestors so that she could become her own person. Even if one of those legacies may have included being able to more or less talk to the dead, which I mean, come on, is kind of cool.

Verdict: ☕  ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕

About the Author:

Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, British Columbia, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of arts in English literature. She currently lives in Tokyo with her husband and children. She is the author of the young adult thrillers Dualed and Divided.
 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Sheníe's Book Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser


Description:
Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.
Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever cost.


Sheníe's Review:


THE BOOK JUMPER was a mellow, fun read for me. I believe readers who like literary fan fiction and fantasy will want to read this book. For me, the book was interesting, but lacked the overall excitement it had the potential for. I was exited to see what book Amy would jump into and with whom she would interact with, but I was left a little disappointed when I realized that the characters she interacted with were basically actors in a play and when the curtain went down they had different personalities then what we would traditionally read. This book did have a good mystery that had me guessing who was stealing from the stories and why they were after Amy, but I was aggravated when Amy and her love interest Will kept letting their suspects get away. The ending of the story fell flat as it felt rushed and left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

Verdict: ☕ ☕ ☕ 


Available on Amazon



About the Author:

Mechthild Gläser is an award-winning author in her native Germany. The Book Jumper is her first book to be translated into English.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Still Reading Due to Book Signings and the Art Walk



Marté hiding THE MERGING OF SHADOWS between Olympia, Washington's KISSING STATUE.
Sheníe (me) hiding our book outside of DANGER ROOM COMICS for Independent Bookstore Day.

Sheníe hiding our book outside of BROWSERS BOOKSHOP for Independent Bookstore Day.

Marté hiding our book outside ORCA BOOKS for Independent Bookstore Day.

Book drop outside of PSYCHIC SISTER experimental, metaphysical vintage clothing shop.
Marté doing another book drop, this time at our favorite coffee shop BURIAL GROUNDS.



Taís selling books, book bags, and her prints at EARTH MAGIC.

Our books, book bags and prints are now permanently residing at EARTH MAGIC.



Friday, April 27, 2018

Taís's Book Review: One Was Lost by Natalie D.Richards

One Was Lost by [Richards, Natalie D.]




Description:

For fans of In a Dark, Dark Wood and Survive the Night comes a pulse-pounding, psychological thriller from the author of Six Months Later.

Damaged, Deceptive, DangerousDarling. When a group of teens wake up in the woods, these words are inked onto their skin. Are they labels? A warning? They must find the truth before a killer finds them.

While on a mandatory senior field trip, a flash flood cuts off Sera and three classmates from their group with no way to call for help. But they're not as alone as they thought...



Taís's Review:

One Was Lost is an amazing, heart pumping, oh-my-God-they-are-all-going-to-die, read. By the first page I was utterly entranced and found the book impossible to put down. The beginning drops you right into the story, but unlike other books, this was done perfectly without the story being rushed or the characters underdeveloped. You will be mislead, scared, paranoid, and second guessing everyone and everything. The panic you will inevitably feel along side the characters as they flee, well ... stumble their way through the woods, will get your adrenaline going. This is just one of those books you wish will someday turn into a movie. 


Verdict: ☕ ☕  ☕ 

Available on Amazon

Available on Barnes&Noble



About the Author: 


After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her second novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Marité's Book Review: The Astonishing Color of After



Description:

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

Marité's  Book Review:

The Astonishing Color of After paints a imaginatively beautiful story about life, death, and re-birth by entwining all the colors of emotions experienced through grief and the hope that Taiwanese lore offers in their interpretation of rebirth and the after life. Emily X.R. Pan's ability to capture the pain in suffering a loss of a parent was extremely relatable and the emotional turbulence and the chaos that follows as the world one once knew crumbles seemed to be written by someone who has actually experienced that kind of a loss. Something that I very much appreciated as I have never came across a book where a character appeared to know what I had gone through in the aftermath of my Dad's passing. Admittedly, I at first thought Leigh was a brat because she always seemed to be in a bad mood, but upon reflection and further reading I came to the realization that her anger and her frustration were well founded as depression — even if it is not your own — can cause major isolation.

The only thing that I did not quite care about, from someone who knows very little about colors, was how Leigh assigned random colors to express how she is feeling. But, by doing that I found it a little off putting as I could not feel completely immersed in the text as I was always trying to figure out what color she was mentioning and how that may have applied to her mood. Although I may not have been able to appreciate her artistic expression, I believe those who appreciate the arts will really love this book.

Verdict: ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕

Available on Amazon

Available on BarnesandNoble

About the Author:

Emily X.R. Pan currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, but was originally born in the Midwestern United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan. She received her MFA in fiction from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She was the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine, a 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Djerassi, and is co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. Visit Emily online at exrpan.com, and find her on Twitter and Instagram: @exrpan.