Monday, August 29, 2016

Madame X by Jasinda Wilder


Synopsis:
Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.

But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.

Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now...

(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Jasinda Wilder is one of my favorite authors. I read her Delilah's Diary trilogy several years ago, and devoured every book she's ever written shortly after that. I was excited to see that she had a new book coming out, Madame X. Fortunately, the publisher was kind enough to approve me to read a copy. The book was slow to start, but by the end, I loved it.

Madame X got off to rocky start for me. The first 25% of the book was really confusing. It almost felt like the book needed a mini prequel novella/short story to explain some things. I had no idea what the heck was going on. However, after that first 25%, things started making sense. I became really emotionally invested in the characters.

Jasinda Wilder always writes amazing characters in every one of her books. However, I think the characters from Madame X might be my favorite. I was emotionally involved in every single one of them, especially Madame X. I think I liked her the most because I could easily relate to her. We both love to read. I found myself feeling anxious for her when she was having a panic attack. When she was happy, I found myself smiling while reading. In the book, something happens to all of her books. As a fellow book lover, I felt a lot of anxiety for her. I don't know what I would do if that were to happen to me. As for the rest of the characters, I loved all of them... Well almost. I hated Caleb. I think he's a despicable human being, but I appreciate what he adds to the story.


I wasn't happy with the decision that Madame X made towards the ends of the book, but it should be interesting to see how that decision plays out in the future. I have so many questions and theories. I hope to get some answers in the next book, Exposed. I'm also looking forward to seeing some of my favorite characters, especially Jonathon. I have a feeling that we aren't completely done with his story yet. My advice for anyone that reads this book if to stick it out at least until the 25%-30% mark. After that, you're in for one hell of a ride.

I give Madame X: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://jasindawilder.com/#&panel1-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJasindaWilder
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JasindaWilder
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasindawilder/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521173.Jasinda_Wilder

I received this ebook from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Somber Island by T. Lynne Tolles


Synopsis:
Phoebe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her life gets turned upside down.

When she arrives at the manor on a small island, she finds the beautiful place abandoned and only a note waits for her explaining her duties, the strange dietary requirements, and sleeping habits of her new master.

The very first night in her new home she's haunted in her dreams by a woman who clearly does not want her there and a strange blue-eyed man-wolf creature that follows the woman. Her dreams become more and more violent and mysteries start to be uncovered about a woman who was killed in a fire on the island, a creature that preys on anyone that comes to the island and a love story gone wrong that dates back over a hundred and twenty two years.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:

The moment I saw the cover for Somber Island, I knew I had to read it. I fell in love with the cover. The way Phoebe's red hair contrasted with the blue/dark grey background was almost magical. After reading the synopsis, and learning that the book is about a girl with a disability, and vampires, I knew it was the book for me. I loved it. Days after reading it, I still couldn't get the way it ended, or the characters, out of my head.

The thing that really made the book a great read for me was Phoebe, the main character. She had a disability that was difficult to manage, but she never let that get her down. In fact, she had quite a bad lot in life. She had a crippling disability, and her uncle was a jerk. His daughters got everything they wanted in life while she got nothing, and he sold her off to someone from a different country to practically be a slave for someone she had never met before. Throughout all of that, she always kept a positive attitude. I don't see how she did it. She definitely earned my respect and admiration.

As for the storyline, I don't even know where to begin. If I didn't know better, I would say that the author graduated from Hogwarts. That's the only explanation for her ability to write a story that captivated me so much. It was like magic. That's the first time a book has made me feel that feeling in a very long time. From the very beginning, I was so invested in Phoebe's world. I needed to know more about her, her "boss", the mysterious lady that kept showing up in her dreams, and so much more. I was on the edge of my seat. Every time a new twist was revealed, I was shocked. There was only one plot twist that I saw coming beforehand, and that was because the author made it very obvious.

I loved Somber Island. It's the only book I've read so far in 2016 that I felt myself get truly immersed in. The book ends in a way where I don't think a sequel is possible. However, I want one desperately because I need more of these characters in my life. I recommend this book to everyone, regardless of age or gender.

I give Somber Island: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

Website: http://tlynnetolles.me/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/T.LynneTolles.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tlynnetolles
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4132968.T_Lynne_Tolles

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

ARC Review: The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine


Synopsis:
R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong. 

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Colin. When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is dead - and she has killed him. 

But if Colin is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party? 

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:

R.L. Stine was one of my favorite authors as a kid. My favorite series by him was definitely the Fear Street Cheerleaders series. When I heard that he rebooted the Fear Street series for a new generation, I really wanted to give it a try. It turns out that I loved it just as much as when I was a kid, which surprised me. As an adult, I usually have a hard time getting into children's books.

From the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. R.L. Stine created an interesting character in Caitlin. She was likable, and easy to relate to. The instalove between her and Colin was really annoying and unbelievable. That's the only thing that I hated about the book. 

I loved everything else about The Dead Boyfriend. Caitlin's best friends were great. I enjoyed the relationship between the three of them. I also enjoyed Deanna Fear. She was creepy, mysterious, and the perfect villain. I hope she appears in more Fear Street novels. 

At first I was skeptical about R.L. Stine rebooting his Fear Street series, but I liked it just as much as the original, if not more so. Although I don't recommend reading it before bed. I had some really weird dreams after reading the casket scene. Not scary dreams, just weird. The ending was a bit confusing because he left it open ended. I really hope that means he's writing a sequel. I would love more of these characters. I recommend The Dead Boyfriend for adults and kids alike.

I give The Dead Boyfriend: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

Website: http://rlstine.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rlstine/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RL_Stine
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13730.R_L_Stine

I received this eARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


Synopsis:
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. 

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:

A few weeks ago, it seemed like everyone was posting about The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend on Instagram. It was in close to every one out of three posts. Then, I would go to Twitter, or Facebook, and it would be all over there. Everyone was talking about it all over Booktube as well. I finally decided to break down, and read it to see what all of the hype was about. Unfortunately, the hype monster got me on this one. It was just okay for me.

Everyone was saying that Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was for people who love books, so I went into it with high expectations. I came out a little disappointed. From that description, I thought it was mostly going to be about books. While there were parts in it about books, that wasn't the main theme of the book. The book was mostly about the inner workings of a small town, friendship, and falling in love when you least expect it. It made the book a very slow read, and quite boring. There were several times when I wanted to DNF it, but I kept going in hopes that it would get better.

The book wasn't all bad though. I did like the bookish references that were in there, even if there weren't as many as I wanted. I found a couple of books to add to my tbr. Some of the characters were quirky, which I loved. Caroline made me chuckle quite a bit. She was definitely my favorite. I didn't agree with all of her view points, but I loved how much she had developed as a character by the end of the book.

While the book didn't live up to my expectations, I didn't hate it either. I would recommend The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend to anyone looking for a light, fluffy, sometimes over the to nonsensical read. I don't know that I would recommend buying it, but if it sounds like it would be your thing, it might be best to rent it from the library.

I give The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend:  3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

Website: http://katarinabivald.se/en/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7205478.Katarina_Bivald

I received this ebook from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Into the Light by Aleatha Romig


Synopsis:
Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Aleatha Romig is one of my favorite authors of all time. I've also found cults strangely fascinating most of my life. When I saw that her book, Into the Light, which is about a cult, was able to request on NetGalley, I had to request it. I'm so happy that I got approved. I loved the book. I read it a week ago, and still can't get it out of my head. Its definitely in my top five favorite books this year.

Aleatha had this magical way of story telling. I don't know how to describe it. All of her books are captivating. From the first few sentences, the books hook me in, and I don't move until I'm finished. Into the Light was no exception to that rule. In the book, there were some crazy plot twists and turns that had me flipping pages until about four a.m., trying to figure out what was going on. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, she would throw something else in, and make me rethink everything I thought I knew.

The characters were so wonderfully written. They were complex and deep. There were several times I wanted to get into Jacob's head because I had no idea what he was thinking, then holy crap! When I finally did get a glimpse inside his head, I was blown away. 

The ending of the book left me astounded and speechless. I had no idea that was going to happen. After I finished the book, I sat there completely dumbstruck. I wanted there to be more so badly. I can't wait for the sequel, Away from the Dark, to be released. I will definitely be picking it up day of release.

I give Into the Light: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received a review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated on this review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Seth's review of On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis


Synopsis:
January 29, 2035.

That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).

Seth's Thoughts:
It seems no matter the book I read it all boils down to the main character is unusually self sufficient and in most cases perfectly able to handle situations thrown at them. This trope seems especially evident when reading my favorite genre of science fiction. Upon picking up On the Edge of Gone, I admittedly was expecting the same thing. Had I read the back cover I probably would have been pleasantly surprised, but I wanted to go in blind. At first, I didn't know what was going on in the head of the narrator, but it was made clear pretty early on that she has some form of autism. Which is admittedly a pretty broad diagnoses that isn't clarified much in the book.

Denise, the main character, has a pretty big issue outside of her control to handle. A problem most 'normal' people would have trouble dealing with. There is a comet coming to hit the Earth, beyond a doubt. Predictably, people freak out. The global economy stutters to a standstill. Gasoline is something people get robbed of constantly because none is being produced in significant quantities. Oh, and to make matters more complicated for Denise, she has a drug dependent mother. But wait, it gets more complicated when her transgendered brother is added in to the mix. So, let's recap. Drug dependent mother, transgendered brother, autism, and the apocalypse occurring. But it doesn't stop there. Her mother is also constantly late for everything, even the trip that Denise and her need to make to the comet impact survival shelter. Personally, were it me in her situation I would do like she does at times in the book and grab my knees and rock back and forth. So, Denise finally gets her mom out the door and on the way to the shelter entirely too late. On the way, they pass by two women on the side of the road. One who broke her leg, and the other who is trying to help her along. Denise wants to keep going, but her mom stops and they pick them up. This is where things get interesting. The two women aren't heading to a shelter, but a generation ship. They tell Denise and her mom to keep it quiet and they can stay up until they launch. So they continue on to the new shelter of the hidden ship and wait out the impact. What follows is a quite enjoyable read of the efforts and lengths a person will go to to ensure their own survival along with the survival of their family. I got the book and read it in one sitting, which I don't normally do much anymore (I blame the release of some aaa game titles recently). I recommend it to anyone looking for a new twist on some science fiction writing.


Seth gives On the Edge of Gone: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.corinneduyvis.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/corinneduyvis
Tumblr: http://corinneduyvis.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4632663.Corinne_Duyvis

I received this ARC from the publisher, Amulet Books, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Empty Jar by M. Leighton

Cover Reveal



The Empty Jar
by
M. Leighton

Releasing May 8, 2016


Today is cover reveal day for M. Leighton's upcoming release entitled The Empty Jar.  She wanted to say a little something about the cover before we reveal it and the description, so here she is.

First of all, a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you amazing women who are helping me reveal this cover today. I appreciate everything you do for me, for authors in general and for this community.  As a reader, I love you, too:)

Secondly...

OMG OMG OMG!  IT'S FINALLY TIME TO REVEAL!

I feel like I've been waiting AGES to share this with you!

This cover... GAH!  Y'all, it took me forEVER to get it just right. There was a certain "feel" that I wanted to achieve with it and I wasn't happy until I felt that "feel" jumped right out when I looked at it. I wanted the cover to speak of the book. I wanted it to show the highs and lows, the sweet and the poignant, the depth of it, if you will.  And finally...finally, I feel like it does:)  You might not realize just how much NOW, but once you read this story, you'll be like, "Yeah.  That cover is perfect for this book!"

When I got the paperback proof in the other day, I held it in my hands and I just stared at it.  Not only is this story extremely special to me, but this is probably my favorite cover of all my books.  Ever.  When I look at it, I see so much more than just a picture.  I see all the things that I find in life, as well as what I put into the story that is The Empty Jar.  It's a blend of happy pinks and brooding blues. It's light and it's dark.  There are highs and there are lows.  There is morning and there is night.   But if you notice the sky on this cover, there are little flickers of brightness in the bodies of the lightning bugs. Life is that way, too. Even in the darkest part of the night, there is a spark of hope.  There is beauty.  There is the romantic glow of a full moon, the silvery face of your mate, the delicate twinkle of fireflies. It's all there if we look closely enough—that balance of beauty and tragedy.

And love.

Always love.

Below is a little more about the book. It's hard to tell you much without spoiling anything, but I think you can get a feel for it.  It's such a special story.  So raw, so real. I honestly can't wait for y'all to read it! I hope you love IT and the cover as much as I do:)

If you want to know more about how it came about, you can read my blog post about it here.

But before I get to that...THE COVER!

Description




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