Amber Sky: A Review

Amber Sky by Claire Warner

My Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Raven Press

Publish Date: October 8th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

““You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive.”

Opening Sentence: “It was November, and soot-laden fog obscured her progress as Taya strode along the busy street.”

Musings:

Every time I had a Goodreads vote on what to read next this book won. I didn’t understand why until after I finished reading when I realized that this book had one of the most intriguing concepts I have ever read and it was executed very well.

What I found to be most interesting was the unique class systems based around ratings even among the wealthy. This made for some interesting social dynamics where no matter who you are your rank is never safe and it is possible for you to loose all your status.

I also loved the imagery of the Amber Sky in this book and the fact that the sky ever having been blue was almost one thing of myths for them. It was almost difficult to grasp in my head because all my life I have thought of the sky being blue and to think of it being any other color was a bit strange. What I liked mot about the Amber sky however was that it is almost a representation of the secretive and oppressed state of the people in this story.

Our heroine in this story is also a bit of an unusual one because she does not seem to even want to be a heroine. She was mostly coerced into it because she did not want any more of her family getting hurt for the resistance cause anymore.

This book for me was a mix of political and octal intrigue, mixed with a rebel cause and a little bit of romance to make for one of the most unique storylines I have ever read. Amber Sky has a lot to offer and I am so excited to see what happens next in book two!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Advertisements

Poison’s Kiss: A Review

Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: January 10th, 2017

Received: I borrowed an e-book from my library

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

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.

Opening Sentence: “I’m not a bad person.”

Musings:

I read this book almost in one single sitting. It was everything that I have always loved in fantasy novels with a poisonous assassin falling in love. This is the kind of trope I will always love and I don’t think I will ever apologize for it. I had so much fun reading this. Books like this are my hearts joy.

Marinda is a visha kanya a girl who carries poison on her lips. After her lips touch yours know that you only have a few hours left until you die a horrible death. Marinda may actively use her ability, but every time she does the guilt of it consumes her.

One thing I wish was different about this book is the fact that the guilt consumes her so much. All I wanted was for her to be a more confident assassin who truly believes her kills are for a good cause and for her to have a more dramatic, but gradual change of heart to make for a bit stronger of a storyline. However, as the story is now I did really love it, it felt like how Fantasy was for me when a was a little bit younger, drunk with the magic of a distant world.

What made me happy about this book was it being inspired by Indian Culture. I think we don’t see enough of that in young adult books and it made the magic and setting feel all the more beautiful. I think we need a lot more cultural representation in ya including Legends, settings, food, and traditions from every culture out there. It would be amazing to see us all accepting and finding beauty in the diversity around us through ya books and I also think that books like Poison’s Kiss are a part of that.

If your looking for a light and enjoyable fantasy with a diverse setting and lore pick up Poison’s Kiss. It is romance and death combined for a hopeful yet turbulent narrative.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

The Breathless: A Review

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Publisher: Random House Children’s

Publish Date: October 10th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

For fans of the dark family secrets of We Were Liars and the page-turning suspense of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Breathless is a haunting tale of deeply buried secrets, forbidden love, and how far some will go to bring back what’s long dead.

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead

*subject to change*

Opening Sentence: “It isn’t a night for raising.”

Musings:

The Breathless, the ones who cannot join us in the living, the dead, and sometimes the dying. The Breathless is mixture of dark magic, death, and what happens when you love too deeply. It sheds light on the darkness we sometimes have in our souls and how hope can sometimes lead you to do bad things.

What I enjoyed most was that this book was a big mystery to me at first. From page one I didn’t exactly know what to expect and what began to unfold before my eyes ended up being a dark and turbulent chain of events that blurred lines between right and wrong. However, there were some times I got confused about the storyline (which is admittedly my own fault for only glancing at the synopsis and not getting myself acclimated with how this story was going to go). I was expecting this to be a bit more paranormal, but instead it was very witchy and I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline I got.

I felt very in the mood for Halloween while reading this and the spookiness of it made me very happy. I think that the best way to experience this novel is going in only knowing the synopsis and just a little bit about the general vibe this book has.

With atmospheric descriptions, a unique storyline, and a old spell book connecting past and present, The Breathless will delight and scare you until the very end. This book will jar you and make you question what is really going on and even what you would do if you had a chance to bring a loved one back from the dead.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

The Year They Burned the Books: A Review

The Year They Burned the Booksby Nancy Garden

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media

Publish Date: September 5th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From the author of Annie on My Mind comes an unflinching novel about prejudice, censorship, and homophobia in a New England town.

As the editor in chief of the Wilson High Telegraph, senior Jamie Crawford is supposed to weigh in on the cutting-edge issues that will interest students in her school. But when she writes an opinion piece in support of the new health curriculum—which includes safe-sex education and making condoms available to students—she has no idea how much of a controversy she’s stepped into.

A conservative school board member has started a war against the new curriculum, and now—thanks to Jamie’s editorial—against the newspaper as well. As Jamie deals with the fallout and comes to terms with her own sexuality, the school and town become a battleground for clashing opinions. Now, Jamie and the students at Wilson need to find another way to express their beliefs before prejudice, homophobia, and violence define their small town.

Opening Sentence: “Despite a foggy beginning, it had become too nice a day—a soft September afternoon—to be cooped up arguing in the Wilson High Telegraph’s tiny office.”

Musings:

We need to see more books like this on our shelves. Books that talk about a group of people standing up for their beliefs despite a heavy opposition where even those people that you are supposed to respect oppose you on a fundamental level. This book covers censorship and the value of opposing opinions and how someone who holds power can often cause a lot of harm disguised by supposed good intentions.

I really enjoyed having this story be about high school students hosting a newspaper and deciding to talk about an issue that starts a controversy that goes deeper then they could have thought. It is a novel for the modern generation, a generation that struggles to find the lines between new and old belief and where the lines should be crossed.

The Year They Burned the Books is a novel that will inspire your rebel side and give yourself something beautiful to believe in. We can be a change for our communities. You don’t ever have to give up in the face of opposition.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. What is something you believe in?

-Till next time!

13 Minutes: A Review

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Publisher: Flatrion Books

Publish Date: October 3rd, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

Natasha doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this—it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal. Her two closest friends are acting strangely, and Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before when she got popular, to help her figure out what happened.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart.

Opening Sentence: “It’s so cold, it’s so cold I can’t breathe and I panic hard in the water that is like shards of glass, and for the first time I think I might be in serious trouble.

Musings:

13 Minutes was a massive thrill ride. It flipped on its head and took me on a twisted journey of betrayal and growing madness. I don’t think I’ve read a book where I hated all the characters, but still loved the book, but this one masters the idea that having unlikeable characters isn’t always a bad thing.

What I loved about this book:

  • This is the first ya thriller I have read that felt like a real thriller
  • Just when you think the book is coming to an end you realize it is only halfway through and there are many things that have yet to come to life that change everything
  • That even the one character you kinda like at first ends up being a person you would never like in real life
  • The writing sucks you into this demented storyline and makes you think that you have to know just a little bit more until you reach the conclusion
  • It felt like I was watching some sort of heart-stopping horror film that is very good with its camera angles
  • Partly told via text, diary entries, and regular text, everything mixes together so well that the whole thing becomes amazingly satisfying

13 Minutes is an affair you will never forget. When your dead and want to know why then you gotta know that the killer is never quite who you think it is.

Thanks for reading! I hope that you read this novel so that you can be shocked and horrified in all the ways that I was. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Goblins of Bellwater: A Review

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Publish Date: October 1st, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A tale inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market”…

Four neighbours encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

*subject to change*

Opening Sentence: “With not quite enough gold in his pocket, Kit Sylvain trudged through the underbrush, trampling salal and fern under his hiking boots.”

Musings:

The Goblins of Bellwater is a unique, light, and fun read perfect for fantasy lovers everywhere. I have never read a book that was quite like this, but I loved it from its magically forestry beginnings to its ghoulish ending.

This a love story where the couples initial coming together happens in disaster till a point comes where no one knows what to believe and what not to. The first couple Livy and Kit have a more lighthearted and quick burning romance that they don’t know how to balance with the rest of their lives. Then there is Skye and Grady whose romance starts with a animalistic curse that draws them to each other like starving magnets. Their dive into romance is dipped in very real and very spooky magic till they don’t know if their love is just from a spell or if they were truly meant to be.

A love story like this one is another one of my guilty favorites. It isn’t strictly fantasy or romance, nor are the genres mixed in the usual way. It’s something that teases out a wilder part of your heart. The Goblins of Bellwater will try their best to entrance you just beware of taking the Goblins magical paths lest you be stuck in their world forever.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have enjoyed this review. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Berserker: A Review

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Publishing

Publish Date: October 10th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“Are Hanne’s powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”―she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. Now, Hanne and her siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, they use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes can teach her how to control her drive to kill?”

Opening Sentence:

October 1883 Norheimsund, Norway

“The hog snorted at the two young trespassers in his pen.”

Musings:

Berserker is a brilliantly violent story that keep me up till two in the morning aching to finish it. Berserker is a mix of horror, historical fiction, fantasy, and dark western combined to make a story that I could not put down no matter how hard I tried.

The descriptions in this book are grotesque yet somehow beautiful and it made my eyes dance across the page to see what would happen next. Before this book I never had the desire to pick up a western set novel (even though I grew up watching little house on the prairie), because westerns never looked interesting to me. However, I think I’m regretting that thought because this book was just too good to resist. Plus, the western elements were done incredibly well and I really enjoyed the cowboy aspect and traveling down the old American West.

The romance in this novel was also a sweet touch that made me even more connecting and invested in this story. It felt so hopeless because of how grossly violent Hanne’s powers as a Berserker were and how calm and different our helpful cowboy was. I also really enjoyed the family tension that their growing interest started to create, especially with Hanne’s little sister. It was cool to see the anger and worry build as they all worked out if Owen (our handsome cowboy) could be trusted with their family secret or not.

The families magical gifts added another layer of fascination for me, especially with the horrid consequences that come from using those gifts. The contrasting details of how gorgeously the use of the gift were described and the horrid nature of their punishment made for a deliciously rich narrative.

This book is one of my favorites of the year. The way Emmy Laybourne spins together words into music made this story very special. I don’t think I could ever get enough of it.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Till next time!

October 2017: TBR

October is a month of great happiness for me. I love the horror of it and I am fascinated by the twists and darkness that this time inspires. It gives spark to a twisted part of our creativity and I love it!

Netgalley October Reads:

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

“Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.”

I read and reviewed this book yesterday and I really really didn’t like this book. I’m sad I had to start off my month with this one, but at least I know that it can only look up from here. Here is a link to my review.

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

“Are Hanne’s powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”—she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.”

I just finished reading this book and I think I’m in love! It’s really violent and shocking, but it is perfect for the vibe of this month. I’m really intrigued by the mixture of the American West, Norse Gods, and frightening powers. My review will be up very soon!

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen

“For fans of the dark family secrets of We Were Liars and the page-turning suspense of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Breathless is a haunting tale of deeply buried secrets, forbidden love, and how far some will go to bring back what’s long dead.

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.”

I’m so excited to read this book! It sounds creepy and fun and just right for October!

Amber Sky by Claire Warner

“”You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive.”

A sci-fi fantasy that I’m also very excited for. I don’t know why I kept putting it off last month, but I’m definitely reading it this month for sure!

Mick & Michelle by Nina Rossing

“Fifteen-year-old Mick Mullins has a great life: his parents are sweet, his sister is tolerable, and his friendships are solid. But as summer descends on Queens, he prepares to turn his carefree existence upside down by disclosing a secret he has kept long enough. It’s time to work up the courage to reveal that he is not a boy, but a girl—and that her name is Michelle. Having always been the perfect, good boy, Michelle is terrified that the complicated truth will disappoint, hurt, or push away the people closest to her. She can’t continue hiding for much longer, though, because her body is turning into that of a man’s, and she is desperate to stop the development—desperate enough to consider self-medicating with hormones.

Most of all, Michelle fears that Grandpa, who is in a nursing home after a near fatal stroke, won’t survive the shock if he finds out that his favorite grandchild, and the only boy, is a girl. If she kills her beloved Grandpa by leaving Mick behind, she isn’t sure embracing her real identity will be worth the loss.”

This sounds like it’s going to be an emotional read. I know that it will be a nice change of pace from all the horror and paranormal books I’m going to be reading.

Alone by Cyn Balog

““A bloody, wonderfully creepy scare ride.” -Kirkus Reviews

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

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

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

I have no idea where this story is going to go or what terrors it will entail, but I know that I am ready. I’m so so excited for this!!!

I Like You Like This by Heather Cumiskey

**Disclaimer: this book includes material that could be sensitive to some, including drugs/alcohol, emotional abuse, explicit language and sexual content.

“In 1984 Connecticut, sixteen-year-old Hannah Zandana feels cursed: She has wild, uncontrollable hair and a horrid complexion that she compulsively picks, and as if that weren’t bad enough, her emotionally unavailable parents mercilessly ridicule her appearance and verbally shame her.

Wanting to change her pathetic life, Hannah attempts to impress a group of popular girls—an ill-fated effort, except that she captures the attention of Deacon, a handsome and mysterious boy who also happens to be her school’s resident drug dealer. Suddenly, Hannah’s life takes an unexpected detour into Deacon’s dangerous and seductive world—but when her relationship and family unravel around her, she is forced to reexamine what she believes about herself and the people she trusts the most.

Perfect for fans of Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I Like You Like This is a poignant young adult read about addiction, sexuality, peer pressure, and first love.”

Dark in another sense of the word, I hope that this book is as good as I think it will be. I can’t wait to see how it goes!

Frankie by Shivaun Plozza

“A genre-hopping, darkly funny novel about searching for the truth, finding yourself, and falling in love.

Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who’s tired of giving second chances.

When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie’s half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn’t want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes, a criminal record, and secrets of his own.

Frankie’s search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything.”

This sounds like a cute contemporary that will be the complete opposite of most everything I will be reading this month in a good way. This will be the light and joyful reprieve I need after all the dark and spooky stuff that I will be devouring.

Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda

“From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a suspenseful psychological mystery about one girl’s search to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s death. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars and 13 Reasons Why.

Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere–in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.

His mother asked her to pack up his things–even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.

But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.

Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?”

A psychological mystery sounds like a fabulous addition to my October reading list. The idea that all you’ve even know about someone you were close to is a lie is fascinating and terrifying. Call me intrigued.

Run Away With Me by Mila Gray

“Two friends fall into a passionate romance, but first they must confront a painful past, or else lose out on the one thing they’ve been searching for in this heartrending novel from the author of Come Back to Me and Stay with Me.

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but as their friendship starts to morph into something more a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them.

Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years later, Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping run her family’s business. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembers—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away.

Forced to work alongside him for the summer Emerson can’t help but fall for Jake, and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate romance that neither of them wants to end.

But both Emerson and Jake know that if they’re to have any kind of future they must first confront the past—a past that most people want to stay buried.”

I’m not sure what genre this is romance? Thriller? Something else? But I’m very excited for it. The plot sounds like it’s going to be intense and juicy and I think I’m going to love it!

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

“Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.”

This sounds like a light a fun book to add to be another offset to many of the other reads on this list. It sounds adorable and I’m happy to be reading it!

Beyond The Surface Book of the Month

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

“More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed super powers via starvation.

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.”

My book clubs book of the month is so incredible sounding and I just know I am going to find myself being in love!

Special Case:

Because You Love to Hate Me

“Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!”

I will be reading this book in the 13 days leading into Halloween from October 19th to October 31st! What’s Say Halloween more then 13 tales of Villainy!

Other books I plan on reading:

Crazy House by James Patterson

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca’s told to fit in and shut her mouth… but Becca’s never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.

Becca’s only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:

They took the wrong twin.”

I’m not sure I have to explain why I want to read this particular book this month. I think the covers creepy vibes say it all.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

“Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?”

I think this may be my Halloween read? What do you think?

The Summoning Trilogy

Paranormal fiction for a paranormal Month I’m excited to dive into these!

The Gemma Doyle trilogy

Another paranormal trilogy, but this time from someone who does it best Libba Bray!

These are all the books I hope to read in the month of October. I think I have an amazing mix of books here and I am so excited to get to reading!

Thanks for reading! What books are you thinking of reading in October?

-Till Next time!

Beyond The Surface: October Book of the Month

Beyond the Surface is a young adult mental health centered book club created by myself and fellow blogger Indy to help spread awareness and discussion about mental health.

This club which began in August began while first reading My Heart and Other Black Holes and then The Goldfish Boy has been something that has grown to be very close to my heart.

For October, Indy has chosen one of my most anticipated novels of this year, The Art of Starving centered around a boy with an eating disorder.

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

“More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed super powers via starvation.

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.”

Why I am excited for this book:

  • It is magical realism mixed with mental health creating something extraordinary and I can just feel with my soul that this is going to be a beautiful novel.
  • I read the first chapter on epic reads first 5 and the writing in just that first chapter was impeccable.
  • It is an LGBT read and we all need to read more novels with LGBT representation.
  • The whole premise of this book is fascinating to me and I really want to see how the author handles the eating disorder while mixing in magical elements.
  • That cover is my kind of aesthetically pleasing… I mean just look at how simple yet gorgeous it is!!!

Interested in joining the Beyond the Surface Book Club and being a part of our discussions during the month? Click here to join on Goodreads!

Thanks for reading! I’m so excited to read this book and discuss it with all of you at the end of the month!!!

-Till next time!

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead: A Review

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

My Rating: 1 very sad and lonely star

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:

Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

Opening Sentence: “One moment Jenny was gazing at the stars.”

Musings:

I’ve never read a book that I honestly hated, but I stuck it out with this book because I kept hoping that it would get better and that if the end was ok I could at least give this 2 stars and call it a day, but this book never got any better and I am here to tell you why.

Different POV’s but same exact story:

There was so many pov’s in this story and they all recalled the exact same night and most of the time in the exact same way with a lot of the exact same word for word conversations. By the time you get to the end you want to scream enough already because you’ve heard the same thing too many times to count just from a slightly different perspective.

Every character is toxic:

There is not one good character in this novel and no one had any redeeming qualities and while it’s ok to have all characters be imperfect there has to be something there to make the reader care about who they are reading about and in this book there was nothing good about anyone.

The narrative itself and the way characters see certain things is toxic:

The whole time I was reading it there were so many instances where I was dumbfounded by how weird/backwards the logic was. Some of the things characters say and think in this book just made me cringe and I truly believe that this is a bad representation of not just lesbians, but people in general.

The diversity in this book was severally negatively represented:

At one point one of the characters says that they could frame one of the other characters who is African American because they would be “Just another Black who went crazy and shot people.” Then the way they kept talking about lesbians being butch and the way the lesbian relationship was portrayed was awful. There were so many red flags in this department and it just made me feel completely uncomfortable.

The outlook on cheating:

The characters cheated in this book an cheated proudly. It was actually shocking how much everyone was always using each other with no repercussions for anyone at any point. All of the going behind each other’s backs was left to be a’okay in the end and I was not ok with that.

The biggest red flag of them all:

*trigger for sexual assault*

At one point there was a girl was drunk and asleep in the bathroom and part of her dress was down and one of the characters molests her and takes pictures all while she is sleeping. While the characters at the end do say this was not ok, the fact that there was no repercussions for that either in the end made me so angry. The characters all stay friends and are all forgiving about everything when something like that should have been handled very differently.

Overall this was an interesting premise with a really bad execution and this book is definitely one I would not recommend in the future. This book is extremely problematic and I am sad that a book I had such high hopes for ended up being as bad as it was.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!