The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes Book Review

Hey foxen,

So although this is a biography about Billy Milligan who was also diagnosed with DID (multiple personality disorder) I just did not connect with it like I did when I read Sybil.

The biography of Billy Milligan, a man with 24 different personalities, was a bit hard for me to read. Billy Milligan has several criminal personalities, and his life seems like worst case scenario for me in the future. It scares me to be perfectly honest. The book’s blurb “Twenty-four people live inside Billy Milligan. Philip, a petty criminal; Kevin, who dealt drugs and masterminded a drugstore robbery; April, whose only ambition was to kill Billy’s stepfather; Adalana, the shy, lonely, affection-starved lesbian who “used” Billy’s body in the rapes that led to his arrest; David, the eight-year-old “keeper of pain”; and all of the others, including men, women, several children, both boys and girls, and the Teacher, the only one who can put them all together. You will meet each in this often shocking true story. And you will be drawn deeply into the mind of this tortured young man and his splintered, terrifying world.” sums it up pretty well.

Do you think Billy should have gone to prison for his crimes?

 

 

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

This is book 1 in the Nikolai Duology that follows the Grishaverse books and the Six of Crows books. ❤ Kaz!

Check out my adorable Corgi butt bookmark that I got in China!

Anyway back to this book. Nikolai is now king of Ravka, and must find a way to protect it after the civil war with the Darkling, since threat from Fjerda and Shu are very serious. Nikolai still has the dark monster in him, it did not die when the Darkling did, and it is getting him into all kinds of trouble.

Poor Nina, that scene with Matthias. OMG. In happier news…..I totally ship Zoya and Nikolai. Zoyolai? The cliffhanger was crazy and I can not wait for book 2!

Have you read any of the Grishaverse books? Who are you favorite main characters? I would like to see Kaz get his own back story or future stories. Who would you like to see a spinoff book of?

Love from,

Nox

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace #1) by M.J. Arlidge Book Review

This was a really interesting thriller, reminiscent of the movie Saw. Two people get kidnapped and are left with one gun, and no way out. Only one will get to live! Doesn’t that sound like Saw a bit? Right up my alley. Detective Helen Grace was a well thought out character. She is fierce and no-nonsense. She also has a BDSM side. There are a lot of twists and mind games in the book. I definitely want to read the rest of the series, or at least check out book 2.

What do you think? Is this the type of book you like to read?

 

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads Summary:

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:

I love the covers on this series!!!! They are so beautiful! This book is so fucking good. This story starts one week after Six of Crows and that’s great because the cliffhanger on Six of Crows was the size of the grand canyon. All our favorite characters are back and just as awesome as ever. Kaz is darker and more tortured because they stole his lovel (even though is isn’t exactly sure he can say that yet or that it could even work) but HOW DARE THEY!? Kaz is all I WILL BRING THEM TO THEIR KNEES, THEIR WORLD WILL CRUMBLE. MWAHAHAHA. Although Wylan gets more fleshed out in this book, and he is super adorable, he still isn’t my favorite. This book is super long also, but it goes by so much faster than the first one. By this time you are so fucking invested in these characters stories you don’t want the series to be over. I NEED MORE. I am going to miss scheming face. I need more scheming face. Actually had almost tears about Matthias because HOW DARE THEY, but also thank god it was him because I ship Nina and Nikolai, and really only would have been okay with Matthias or Inej dying. I was surprised that one of my precious babies died, but none of the bad guys die? NONE OF THEM? I mean their world’s were ruined, but both could potentially recover, at least somewhere else. So…. just kill them. Whatever.
CAMEO ALERT. Sturmhond, Genya, Zoya, appear and David is mentioned, and even Tolya gets a mention (although not by name). Actually cried when Kaz shows Inej her family coming off the boat, because many boys can give you flowers, but only Kaz will give you your family. ❤

Quotes:

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.”

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”

“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”

“How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night.”

“And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have.”

“We meet fear. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen.”

“Suffering is like anything else. Live with it long enough, you learn to like the taste.”

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads Summary:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

My Thoughts:

First of all this cover is gorgeous. I love how the crow forms the cityscape.  This series is my favorite over the Grishaverse series.  This book is so good. I am so glad my friend made me read it. I’m sobbing over the fact that there are only 2 books in the series. There is everything awesome in this book, old-timey gangs, magic, and heists. So this book is a spin off of the Grisha series, and I had no idea that it would be even better! Good news too, you don’t have to read that series to read this one, although there are little spoilers for the other series, I think it’s fine to start here. Kaz is my number one favorite character here. He is the mastermind of the group, and he is epic and cold and amazing. Jesper is a huge flirt and the groups sharpshooter. Nina is the Grisha of the group, she is sassy and flirty and I love her, Inje is the former circus star, turned assassin acrobat. My Kaz-Inje ship has sailed and I’m not sorry. Matthias is viking like, and an obvious love for Nina, even though he hates her and hates everything. Lastly there is Waylan the merchant’s son who is last on my faves list. I don’t care about his character at all but I do ship Jespar and Waylan hard, because Jespar is so cute, and the only time Waylan can quip is when Jespar is talking to him. All of the characters were great. It did take me a bit because there are so many perspectives, and DAMN but all of the characters are very in depth and have backstories and you know so much about them that you love them all. I love tortured soul characters and here is a group of them, all hanging out. This book is soooooo long. SO LONG. Plus you have to have the second book right away because cliffhanger much? Yes. GRRRR.

Quotes:

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

“She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.”

“He needed to tell her…what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn’t pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near.”

 

Ruin and Rising (The Grishaverse #3) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads Summary:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

My Thoughts:

See my review for book one here. and my review for book two here.  The end of the trilogy. I’m both happy and sad. Happy that I loved the series and sad that it is over (for now.)

So my love of the Darkling ending in Book 2 with my new love Stormhund, and because the Darkling just gets creepier and creepier, and it’s hard to love him anymore. Nikolai needed to be in this book WAY more. How can you give him to me in Book 2 and not have him all throughout this book. HOW DARE YOU?! My friend told me there will be a Nikolai book next year though, so YAY. But NO a year!?! Damnit man. I didn’t like how they were stuck in the cave for so long it was boring and drawn out. I still hate Mal and after the huge plot twist, I was LIKE YAAAAAAAS stab him Alina. GET HIM! But even that did not work out. Lame.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Goodreads Summary:

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

My Thoughts:

This book is so short, so it is a very quick read. This book is so important. This is not my culture at all, but I think it is so important to read about different cultures. Justyce is a great character. He is trying to be the best he can be, despite what is going on in America, and despite where he comes from. You can tell he wants to change the world, and is actually smart enough to do so, but he doesn’t have everything figured out, so that makes him feel real. This is a tough book, it is not a fun and quirky story. I did love it. I love books that touch on real issues, and this one is beautifully written. I love how the book is mostly dialogue. There are no long detailed paragraphs. I don’t think it needed that. I love that this book talks about racism and classism so realistically.

Quotes:

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you. When it comes down to it, the only question that matters is this: If nothing in the world ever changes, what type of man are you gonna be?”

“People often learn more from getting an undeserved pass than they would from being punished.”

 

Siege and Storm (The Grishaverse #2) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads Summary:

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

 My Thoughts:

THIS SERIES! I reviewed the first book earlier. So I was iffy during the first book because of all the Russian style words and names, and I’m not good with stuff I can’t pronounce. BUT OMG IT WAS SO GOOD. So of course I started the second one immediately after, and it was still so fucking good. STURMHOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Swoon so hard. I LOVE HIM. My friend told me her favorite character was Nickolai, and I was like well I haven’t gotten to him yet, but how are you not mentioning Sturmhond, because he’s the best. So she was all

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I like that Alina is getting these darker style powers and really getting into it. I know you aren’t supposed to like that but I still ship Alina and the Darkling….so there’s that. She’s a bad ass. I still don’t like Mal. I feel like he is such a dick. He is jealous and not understanding at all. Just grrrr. Grow the fuck up MAL! I am glad that I have book 3 already because there is no way I am waiting to dig in.

Quotes:

“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”
“What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.”
“Oh, and the easiest way to make someone furious is to tell her to calm down.”
“Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you’re human, but never when you feel it.”

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) by Mackenzi Lee

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Goodreads Summary:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Thoughts:

Not my style. DNF I checked it from the library and it didn’t hook me right away so I took it back since it was getting close to due date. lots of great reviews. maybe i should try again?

 

Should I give it a second chance?

 

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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Goodreads:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“With more twists than a bag of pretzels, this compelling family saga may make you question what you think you know about your own relatives.”
Cosmopolitan

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My Thoughts:

Haunting. I could not put this book down. I read it in about half a day without putting it down at all. This book is so dark. I like dark. I know a lot of people won’t be a fan, because of the disturbing aspects of the book. The fact that most of the characters act like everything is okay, is going to be hard for people to accept. I got this book for free from blogging for books. Wow. Okay so the main character is Lane. She is hard to like. But it is also hard to fault her, when her childhood and life is so fucked up. I did love Allegra though. She is the manicpixiedreamgirl. All of the Roanoke girls have a fucked up childhood. On top off all the dark history and suicides, is the mystery of Allegra’s disappearance. I did ship Lane and Connor and was glad that they were able to end up together. I like how the story is told in different time periods, and how there are different chapters on each of the Roanoke girls. The ending surprised me, which isn’t common for me. Overall loved it.

Quotes:

“You can’t outrun what’s inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try and turn it into something better. I may not know exactly where I’m headed, but this time I’m choosing my own destiny.”
“…sometimes you have to hurt people just to prove you’re alive.”
“We’re all fucked up, Lane, one way or another. It’s only a matter of degree.”
“Sometimes it’s a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness.”
“No one had to explain to me the power our childhoods had over us, even when we fought like hell against them.”
“I understand how sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it.”

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

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Goodreads:

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.”

“My baby boy…” she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, “henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose…” Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

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My Thoughts:

I did see this movie when it came out and I thought it was okay. I don’t know how I got this book, but because my book club members had not read it yet, this was my pick for January.  I don’t like history. I don’t usually enjoy historical fiction.  This was written just like a historical biography. I am not a fan of historical biographies. I really only like memoirs. The concept of this book is really intriguing. I mean Abe Lincoln, hunting vamps with an axe.

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Pretty epic. The Photoshop photos were well done. They were pretty funny, I did end up googling some facts about Abe Lincoln to see if any of the book was true. So I guess in a weird way the book made me slightly smarter? Although I didn’t like the book and there is no way I would read it again. I did read the entire thing, and normally I DNF books pretty quickly. It was interesting enough to read the entire book.

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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Goodreads Summary:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

My Thoughts:

I read The Language of Thorns and I LOVED IT SO MUCH! So I knew I needed to read the Grishaverse books. I started this book in 2015 and DNF, but I was literally another person back then. I did not like it enough to finish the first time through, because of the names. I don’t like it when the names are unpronounceable to me.  The city names, the name of the Darklings guards. GRRRRRRRRRR. Oh fantasy, why do you do this to me?

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BUT I LOVED LANGUAGE OF THORNS! And my friend Candace recommended this series, so I gave it another shot. I still had trouble with all the names, because I don’t know how to pronounce  things at all. Putting that aside, this plot and the characters were really good! I don’t really enjoy many fantasy books because of the name thing. I do like how this was set in an old world (like many fantasy novels.) All of the city names, and foods seem very Russian. I even had to looked it up to see if the author was Russian, but no. The story was great. I love that she didn’t go into too much detail on every page, but you still get fully immersed in Ravka. I loved Alina. She is sassy, and self-deprecating. She was very well written. Mal is her childhood best friend, and love interest. AND I HATE HIM. He is charming, and charismatic, and gets the girls. Alina pines after him, and he is oblivious. UNTIL SHE GETS POWER! Then she stops being sickly, scrawny, and weak. So now Mal is all Hey girl, and Alina comes running. BUT FUCK THAT. It reminds me of the girls on Maury who have an extreme makeover so they can get their childhood crush, and then the crush is like oh yah I can see what a great person you are now that you are hot. NO. The Darkling. I admit, I shipped it. Obviously it doesn’t work out, but in the beginning. Alina also becomes friends with Genya! YAAAAS. I loved her. She is a Grisha servant to the Queen, but she is full of snarky comments, and style.

Quotes:

“The problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”
“They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea.”
“This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.”

 

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

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Goodreads Summary:

Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of 2017

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend Judith Carrigan can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

My Thoughts:

I did not like this book. It was a DNF for me.  I did get it from Blogging for books in exchange for a review.  I thought that the summary and the cover looked great so I was really excited to read it, and I don’t know if I didn’t like it because I read it right after some really amazing books or if just isn’t my style.  The first chapter just seemed to draaaaaaaaaaaag on forever. After reading the reviews on Goodreads, I am surprised it got such high reviews, because even in the higher star review the reviews seemed to be more negative.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Sara Kipin

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Goodreads Summary:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

My Thoughts:

OMG THIS BOOK YOU GUYS! I haven’t read the other books in the Grishaverse, but now I have to. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. All of the fairy tales were soooooo good. I loved recognizing the stories I am used to mixed into these like, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. I love how it isn’t Disney style fairy tales. The princess does not always marry the first prince that she meets. Good does not always triumph. The villain isn’t always who you think it is. AND THE ARTWORK! IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL! I love that it shows women can be beautiful, and good, and evil, and dark, and cunning, and just anything.

Quotes:

“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled – not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it as the boy did.”

“We were not made to please princes.”

“This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always ones who do.”

“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”

“She held each sorrow like a chafing grain and grew her grudges like pearls.”

“But hope rises like water trapped by a dam, higher and higher, in increments that mean nothing until you face the flood.”

“A thousand desperate wishes have been spoken on these shores, and in the end they were all the same: Make me someone new.”

“I can bear ugliness, I find the only thing I cannot live with is death.”

“Wanting is why people get up in the morning. It gives them something to dream of at night. The more I wanted, the more I became like them, the more real I became.”

How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1) by Adriana Mather

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

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.

My Thoughts:

I’ve always been fascinated with the Salem Witch Trials. I want to visit Salem soooo much. I think this is one of the only history things that actually interests me. I love that the author actually has this history in her family. Plus she has a Titanic survivor in her family, and book two is about the Titanic. I can’t wait to read it. There is kind of a love triangle in this book because Sam has a thing going with a Ghost and with her neighbor Jaxon. Anyways, I really liked this book. The villain of the story did not surprise me, but I think it was well written. I loved all the witchy and ghost elements.

Quotes:

“Almost everything worth believing in cannot be seen. Love, for instance.”

“Sometimes you do things because you believe in a person, and not because you believe in everything they do.”

“If a man fears dogs, he may beat one with a stick when he sees it. As is the nature of all creatures, that dog will bite him. And then he may tell everyone that he was right about dogs, that they are evil. But I ask you, who is at fault in this scenario, the man or the dog?”

“My dad always says that you don’t get to choose what happens in the world, only how you react to it.”

“But sometimes people need to be believed in more than they need to be told what is so.”

“To really care for another is a reason to live. When that beauty was blotted out of my world, I no longer wanted to be in it.”

The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano

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Goodreads Summary:

“It’s dark magic brings him back.”

Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family—it’s their generations-old land the Burns have “stolen.” But none of that seems to matter after Tori witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.

Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it’s clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events—including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter’s cousin—that seem to point back to Nathaniel.

As Tori digs for the truth—and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel—she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the centuries-old curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family’s oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried… at any cost.

From award-winning author Elle Cosimano comes a haunting, atmospheric thriller perfect to hand to readers of the Mara Dyer trilogy and Bone Gap.

My Thoughts:

I love the cover, and the title. My friend Candace read this and recommended it to me. I do enjoy books where there is self harm. The main character does cut herself a lot in this book. I read a lot of reviews that people hate the book because of the self harm aspect. While this is something I enjoy reading about, I do understand that some people don’t. However, I think people are way overreacting about this. We should include this in some books because IT IS A REAL ISSUE! People do self-harm. This should be represented. I think it is shitty that people are giving this book 1 star because of the cutting aspect. If you don’t want to read it fine, but to rate the book 1 star solely based on this, I think that is shitty. Just because you don’t understand it and think that people shouldn’t do it does not mean you should ruin the books rating for the author. FUCKING ANYWAY. There is a lot going on in this book. The main character’s dad died and she and her mom move into a house in a small town that was mysteriously given to them. Also there are chapters from the past from the point of view of an indentured servant, who in present time, digs himself out of a grave. There is magic and mystery. Overall great story.

Manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen

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Goodreads Summary:

Sometimes the most dramatic scenes in a high school theater club are the ones that happen between the actors and crew off stage.

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Darcy’s dream of being a writer is starting to feel very real now that he’s sold his first short story to a literary journal. He should be celebrating its publication with his two best friends who’ve always had his back, but on this night, a steady stream of texts from his girlfriend Sidney keep intruding. So do the memories of his dream girl, Becky, who’s been on his mind a little too much since the first day of high school. Before the night is over, Ty might just find the nerve to stop all the obsessing and finally take action.

My Thoughts:

I love the title, but I don’t love the cover. So I was okay with this book, but I hated the main character. Tyler starts high school, and falls in love at first sight with a girl, but does not actually meet or talk to her. He basically just stalks her for the entire book, even while he has a girlfriend. She knows he is love with the other girl, but she figures he is never going to hook up with her because he can’t even talk to her so she is probably fine. I am torn between liking the book, and hating Tyler.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Goodreads Summary:

#1 bestselling author John Green returns with his first new novel since The Fault in Our Stars!

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My Thoughts:

I grabbed this at the library when I was checking out some other books, and truth be told I had not even heard of it, but I was intrigued by the cover and the title. AND OMG I GOBBLED IT UP. I read it in just a few hours, because I literally could not stop reading it. I LOVED IT. I have not read any John Green books, but I do own a couple, and I am going to need to read these right away because this book was just so fucking good.  This book did make me questions things I thought I knew about OCD. This is the second time in as many weeks where I have heard of these “intrusive thoughts” (our main character calls them invasives) and this is something I actually have that I didn’t even know what a thing. I learn more from fucking fiction novels about my own health than I do from real doctors that I see. Fuck. Anyway. I love the explanation of the title. Aza is perfect. She is stuck in her head and dealing with invasives and trapped in thought spirals. Her OCD is one of the most honest portrayals of mental illness that I have read in contemporary fiction. She also very clearly has depersonalization disorder, but neither of these diagnosis are mentioned. I thought that was a little weird. The way she makes you experience her OCD with her is brutal and shocking. I out loud yelled at her about putting fucking hand sanitizer in her mouth. I am so glad she got caught, because girl you need help. Also a nod at Lexapro which I was taking and totally helped me, but like Aza, felt like well I don’t really need it anymore, because I should just get to be who I am and not have to use medication. This book made me call and get an appointment with my doctor. I need help too. I fucking hate her best friend Daisy. How dare you write your friend into your fac fiction (and lots of star wars talk because she writes Star Wars fan fiction, and I could not care less, I never watched the movies) that is so fucking mean. Maybe you need an outlet to deal with how your best friend is mentally ill, but to make her the garbage character in your stories that thousands of people apparently read. Fuck you. Write that shit in your diary or private blog. Not for thousands to read. Rude AF. Davis is so cute though. He was such an adorable character. I loved all the metaphors, and why can’t I find a therapist like hers. I need someone like that in my life. I actually emailed a bunch of new therapists in the area and am trying to find someone new. I am not going to give up this time. Thanks book. I like that Aza doesn’t just “get fixed”, and that being with a guy doesn’t change her, because none of that shit is realistic with mental illness. This book was amazing. I yelled, I cried, I loved it.

Quotes (it’s really hard to limit this because this book was just so FUCKING good):

“Your now is not your forever.”

“We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”

“True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”

“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”

“The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.”

“Actually, the problem is that I can’t lose my mind,” I said. “It’s inescapable.”

“It’s a weird phrase in English, in love, like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in. You don’t get to be in anything else—in friendship or in anger or in hope. All you can be in is love.”

“One of the challenges with pain–physical or psychic–is that we can really only approach it through metaphor. It can’t be represented the way table or a body can. In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.”

“Our hearts were broken in the same places. That’s something like love, but maybe not quite the thing itself.”

“And we’re such language-based creatures that to some extent we cannot know what we cannot name. And so we assume it isn’t real. We refer to it with catch-all terms, like crazy or chronic pain, terms that both ostracise and minimise. The term chronic pain captures nothing of the grinding, constant, ceaseless, inescapable hurt. And the term crazy arrives at us with none of the terror and worry you live with.”

“Most adults are just hollowed out. You watch them try to fill themselves up with booze or money or God or fame or whatever they worship, and it all rots them from the inside until nothing is left but the money or the booze or God they though would save them. Adults think they are wielding power, but really power is wielding them.”

“Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome.”

“People always talk like there’s a bright line between imagination and memory, but there isn’t, at least not for me. I remember what I’ve imagined and imagine what I remember.”

“We always say we are beneath the stars. We aren’t, of course—there is no up or down, and anyway the stars surround us. But we say we are beneath them, which is nice. So often English glorifies the human—we are whos, other animals are that—but English puts us beneath the stars, at least.”

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”

“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.”

“Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really – just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body”

“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can’t visit, some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments”

“I would never slay the dragon, because the dragon was also me.”

“It’s so weird, to know you’re crazy and not be able to do anything about it, you know? It’s not like you believe yourself to be normal. You know there is a problem. But you can’t figure a way through to fixing it. Because you can’t be sure, you know?”

“I couldn’t make myself happy, but I could make people around me miserable.”

“Dr. Karen Singh liked to say that a unwanted thought was like a car driving past you when you’re standing on on the side of the road, and I told myself I didn’t have to get into that car, that my moment of choice was not whether to have the thought, but whether to be carried away by it.
And then I got in the car.”

“I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person, and that they have no superpowers and can’t actually protect you from getting hurt.”

“Imagine you’re trying to find someone, or even you’re trying to find yourself, but you have no senses, no way to know where the walls are which way is forward or backward, what is water and what is air. You’re senseless and shapeless—you feel like you can only describe what you are by identifying what you’re not, and you’re floating around in a body with no control. You don’t get to decide who you like or where you live or when you eat or what you fear. You’re just stuck in there, totally alone, in this darkness. That’s scary.”

“You feeling scared?”
“Kinda.”
“Of what?”
“It’s not like that. The sentence doesn’t have, like, an object. I’m just scared.”

 

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

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Goodreads Summary:

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, binding them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

I love love love the title and the cover. Delia and June are BFFs and then they quit talking to each other. The next year Delia burns herself to death, and there is a memorial at the school for her. Her boyfriend claimed she was murdered, so June investigates to find out what really happened to Delia. There were a lot of twists and turns in this book. I am writing this review almost a full year after reading this, and I am having trouble remembering everything about it.

 

 

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Goodreads Summary:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

My Thoughts:

This book was so fucking good. I love the writing style in this book! This book is told in three points of view, and is full of whimsy. I really like books that are told in multiple POVs. Midnight is such a cute, sad character. He puts up with Poppy and, just no. Speaking of Poppy, she is a sociopath or something. She is so mean, She’s basically the devil. Wink is Midnight’s neighbor who reminds me of Luna Lovegood, if Luna was also evil. She is the whimsical one, who is basically feral. She believes in magic and her mom reads tarot cards. And she is also a fucking psychopath. Poor, poor Midnight. AND Oh the plot twist. Honestly I felt so bad for Midnight, and then on the other hand I was like get the fuck out of there you complete and total idiot. Anyways I loved it.

 

Acid by Emma Pass

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Goodreads Summary:

The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna’s violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary.

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn’t know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

My Thoughts:

I got this book at the dollar store. I love finding books there, because they are usually hard cover, and they are only $1, and they are brand new! Normally when I get books for that cheap it is at a thrift store or library sale, and sometimes the condition isn’t pristine. Although this book is full of action I just didn’t really connect with any of the characters. There are a ton of dystopian elements to the book, but it kind of seemed thrown together. Jenna is in prison for killing her parents, and even though she is a teenage girl she is in general population at an all male prison for some reason. Jenna’s doctor helps her break out of jail (without her knowledge, until it has already happened), and she ends up in a different facility. No one will tell her why she is there or why she was broken out of prison, and it gets pretty annoying. She has surgery to look different, and is trained to have a new identity. She has to pretend to be married to a guy who is a total slob, and he runs out on her, which is illegal apparently, and she is afraid of going back to jail. While out looking for him she gets robbed, and kicks the guys ass. It turns out it is the doctor’s son, who is a drug addict, so she decides to take him in because she feels guilty. He gets sober, and they go on the run together, and pretty much fall in insta-love. Then of course he finds out who she is, after falling in with a group of terrorists, and he throws a huge tantrum. She goes back to jail, and is offered a new identity, with memory alteration and another surgery, or death. She takes the new identity. The people who broke her out, end up kidnapping her, and she gets her memory back. She fights the evil government and wins. Oh yah, she has another surgery that makes her look how she originally looked. It was way too much going on dystopia wise and severely lacking in character development.

 

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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Goodreads Summary

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

My Thoughts:

A lot of the bloggers I follow LOVED this book, but I don’t get it. Sid goes on a ski trip with her classmates, and meets a cute older guy on the ski lift. She decides to sneak out, against her friends advice, to meet him at a party. When she gets to the house, she finds out there is no party (the guys gives excuses) but he wants her to come in for a movie. She thinks the guy is cute, and is really excited to have the attention from him. She decides to go in. Once there he drugs her drink and rapes her. She wakes up the next day, and makes it back to the ski lodge, where she doesn’t tell anyone what happened, but gets in trouble for sneaking out and going to a party. She ends up having a lot of emotional problems from the rape, and from keeping it a secret. She starts to develop anorexia as a way to control her life. She ends up meeting Corey, who is labeled as a loser and a stoner, and it turns out he is a really great guy. She learns a lot about him, and through that learns a lot about herself. She eventually is able to come to terms with what happened to her, and the rapist is brought to justice (not because of her, she reads it in a newspaper), and tell her friends and her mom.  This book tackles a lot of the themes I enjoy reading about in realistic fiction like eating disorders and abuse, but it fell flat for me. Meh.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

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Goodreads Summary:

One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .

My Thoughts:

I got this book for free from TLA, and my bok club chose to read it. I am so glad. This book is amazing. I added the author to my follow list, because It was great. The cover is beautiful. Three teens find a spell book and decide to use it to find lost items. The problem is that the spell requires things to be lost for things to be found. The book has a lot of characters and a lot of points of view. It is a little hard to keep track of in the beginning while you are figuring out who’s who. Laurel, Ash, and Holly are one group of characters with Laurel being the narrator of this group. Then there is Olive and Rose, with Olive narrating. Lastly there is Hazel, her brother Rowan, and Ivy, with Hazel narrating. Hazel is my favorite character. She is tough and angry, and flirty. The writing is beautiful. It’s a quick and fun read. I love the plot twist, and didn’t expect it. I love that there is some girl/girl romance in this book. Honestly loved this book, and look forward to read more from this author.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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Goodreads Summary:

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

My Thoughts:

This book was great. I loved it. It did take me until chapter 3 or so before I really got into, so if you started it and didn’t like it, give it some time. I am so ready for the rest of the series to come out. I guess I really like middle grade novels. They seem so full of whimsy and fun. Morrigan Crow was born cursed, so she is an outcast. Also she is going to die when she turns eleven. A real bummer. Luckily she receives an invitation to join the Wundrous Society, and is whisked away to Nevermoor before she is about to die. In Nvermoor, she has to complete three challenges to prove she is worthy to join the Wundrous Society. I love how mysterious everything was. The Wundrous Society is not a secret society but it IS full of secrets. LOVED IT!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Goodreads Summary:

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932 illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Award for Most Popular Book.

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons.

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.

Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

My Thoughts:

This book is amazing.  I love circus books I guess!   This book is told from the point of view of Jacob set in modern time when he is in a nursing home and is either ninety or ninety three (he doesn’t remember) and also set in the 30s when Jacob worked for a circus. In modern times Jacob is a really terribly depressing, but also surprising funny character.  The circus comes to town, just down the street from the nursing home, and it reminds Jacob of when he used to work at the circus during the Great Depression.  The story is told beautifully. I love how it alternates between the past and the present, and how the story really unfolds.  It was quite the page turner for me.  I haven’t seen the movie, period films and romance films are not my usual forte, also I used to be deathly terrified of clowns (IDK why I am not anymore) but after reading this, I definitely want to check it out.

Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty #4) by A.N. Roquelaure (pseudonym), Anne Rice

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Goodreads summary:

Before E. L. James and Sylvia Day, there was Anne Rice: Discover Beauty’s Kingdom, the fourth novel in the bestselling Sleeping Beauty series

Mega-bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A. N. Roquelaure, returns to the mysterious kingdom of Queen Eleanor in this new chapter of her Sleeping Beauty series. When the great queen is reported dead, Beauty and Laurent return to the kingdom they left twenty years before. Beauty agrees to take the throne, but she insists that all erotic servitude be voluntary. Countless eager princes, princesses, lords, ladies, and commoners journey to Beauty’s realm, where she and her husband usher in a new era of desire, longing, and ecstasy. Provocative and stirring, Rice’s imaginative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth will be adored by her longtime fans and new readers of erotica just discovering the novels.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I was absolutely in love with the original trilogy. I have read book 1 probably 10 times. It is my absolute favorite erotic novel. The entire trilogy is pure gold. I was so fucking excited when I heard about this book. This one though….well it was just meh. I wanted to love it so much, but it just wasn’t amazing like the other books. Honestly it’s a huge disappointment because the other books were THAT good. In this book Beauty and Laurent are retired to the countryside from running their own kingdom, when they find out their old masters the Queen and Crown Prince have perished in a boating accident and left the pleasure kingdom to them.  They return and take over control of the kingdom, and make several changes to pleasure slavery.  Should have been amazing. Wasn’t.

 

 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (Illustrator)

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Goodreads Summary:

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

 

My Thoughts:

This is my first Neil Gaiman book and I LOVED IT! I loved it immediately. Nobody Owens is such a cute character! EEEEK! Plus how fucking cool is the name Nobody?! Way too fucking cool. He goes by Bod for a nickname, but he should just stick with Nobody because it is awesome. When he is a baby, his entire family is murdered by a man called Jack. Bod escapes (not on purpose, but Jack left the door open, and he just wandered off) and ended up in the graveyard. There he gets the protection of the graveyard and full adoptive family of parents, a godfather, and endless friends, all dead of course. During the book you get to see Bod grow up, as every few chapters he is a couple of years older. I did not want Bod to grow up, but alas, we all do eventually. This book was quirky and unique, and I loved it.

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

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Goodreads Summary:

Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back–a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

Liz Coley’s alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing—and ultimately empowering—page turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

My Thoughts:

This book is about Angie who is kidnapped when she is 13 years old. 3 years later she shows up at her house, mysteriously returned with no memory of the past three years. As it turns out Angie gets dissociative identity disorder to help cope with being kidnapped. Angie doesn’t experience any of the cruelties that happened to her, because her alters took care of her. The story was very good. This book deals with a lot of tough issues including mental illness and rape. Not only the rape she experiences while being kidnapped. There is childhood trauma from prior to the kidnapping. I love how the book has the cabin that the alters and talk to each other at because this resonates with me. I don’t have a cabin in my head, but there is a hallway and at least one room. I also liked how she knew there were some alters but didn’t know about all of them, because that is realistic for me.Very good book.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver Review

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Goodreads Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

My Thoughts:

Funny use of the word altered in the summary.  I am going to ruin this book with spoilers so don’t read this if you don’t like spoilers. This book was great. The writing is impeccable. This is another haunting story about DID. This is a book I couldn’t stop reading. The book is told in the point of view of each sister. Nick is the older sister who is the perfect sister. Bookwormish and over achieving. Dara, the youngest is the party girl. Of course there is a love triangle with each girl falling in love with the same boy and it ruins their sister-ship, and everyone’s friendship with the guy. Of course. Then there is a car accident that changes everything. Each sister has the same view of the other one, they both think the other is more loved, more perfect, and better than themselves. I did think the beginning of the book was a bit slow, and the plot twist was expected for me *spoiler coming up*
because I knew that one of the sisters had DID, but I just didn’t understand how that was possible because the book didn’t seem to discuss it. BUT DARA FUCKING DIED IN THE CAR CRASH! and so that means Nick has been living as both sisters after the crash, because she develops DID. WHAT THE FUCK. That was out of left field. Love the way it was laid out. Plus there is a whole side plot of a missing 9 year old girl, and an underage porn site that has something to do with Dara and a club.

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich Review

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Goodreads Summary:

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. The formatting is really interesting. It is written in diaries, interviews, and film transcripts. I’ve been reading a lot of books about dissociative identity disorder. Some good some bad, most seem to be some sort of thriller or horror style. This is no exception. As someone who has DID I found this book very interesting and haunting. This book is about Kaitlyn and Carly Johnson. Two alters of the same person. Carly is stuck in the day, while Kaitlyn rules the night. I connected with Kaitlyn a lot. I couldn’t stop reading it. It was thrilling and a page turner. This book absolutely had me freaked out, which surprised me, but I think I was so connected to the characters that I was just entranced with the story. Loved it!

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

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So I have decided to go ahead and write about some books that I am reading, because fuck it, and Sadness doesn’t own book blogging, and I feel the need to prove wanting to write whatever the fuck I want on my own thing, but on the other hand I feel like I obvi don’t need permission.

This book is about a girl named Domino who lives on the street who has DID. She has an alter named Wilson, who is a much darker personality than Domino. She gets picked up (not kidnapped or anything) by this woman named Madam Karina who runs a girl’s entertainment place in West Texas. Domino chooses to go with her, and then since Madam Karina seems nice to her, she decides she needs to perform better and better, so that she can move up through the levels of the house, and get in better favor with Madam Karina. Also at the house, along with a bunch of bitches, who all have their own reasons for being at the house, is Cain. Domino decides to leave the house, but discovers that leaving isn’t really an option, and has to figure out how to escape. I really liked this book.  This is the first book I have read about DID and even though it is fiction it was very interesting to read about.  The room inside of Domino’s head where she talks to Wilson, is very real to me, I have a room in my head that Sadness sleeps in, so that was pretty realistic.

Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary by Polly Whittaker

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Goodreads Summary:

Over 13 years ago, Polly Whittaker began forging the new frontier of sexual expression. It began as a simple idea: to create an environment in which people could express themselves sexually in a social context in a way that’s not seedy or creepy, traditionally the case when talking about sexuality. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, she built Kinky Salon, a creative and sex-positive environment, that has since turned it into a global movement, with events happening in a dozen cities all over the world.

San Francisco is the home of the sexual revolution, and the community that has evolved around Kinky Salon over the past decade is an important chapter in that history. By spearheading this intentional community-building, Polly has laid down the foundation for an evolution of how we view sexuality in our modern world.

Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary, is a no-holds barred look into this incredibly creative world. It’s a book about modern relationships, counter culture, a quest for family, and a real-life glimpse into this little corner of the sexual revolution.

My Thoughts:

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Recently read Letting Ana Go by Anonymous

Recently Read

I love diary style books, probably because I am nosy and like to snoop in other people’s business (I guess).  This is written like a diary from a teen girl who suffers from anorexia.  My favorite books deal with social issues like eating disorders, drug abuse, suicide, and violence.  IDK what makes me so interested in that type of book, so this book was especially good to me. Continue reading “Recently read Letting Ana Go by Anonymous”

Recently read Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Recently Read

 

 

WOWOWOWOWOW, is this book good!  It is written in free-verse poetry format, which I didn’t think I would like, but I loved this book.  I actually liked it so much that I went out and bought 4 more books by Ellen Hopkins. Continue reading “Recently read Crank by Ellen Hopkins”

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock

Review

 

Title: Angelkiller
Author: H. David Blalock

Publisher:Seventh Star Press, LLC
Pub. Date: 11/28/11

epub:        pages:  128
Genre: Fantasy
How obtained?: Review copy from Publisher

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He Answered by L.V. Robinson

Review

Title:  He Answered
Author: L.V. Robinson

Publisher: Outskirts Press
Pub. Date: 12/8/11

Paperback:        pages: 62
How obtained?: Review copy from the Author

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Doris in Dreamland by Cindy Argiento

Review

Title: Doris in Dreamland
Author: Cindy Argiento

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Pub. Date: 4/15/07

Paperback:        pages:  30
Genre: Children’s Book (?????????????)
How obtained?: Free Review copy from Dorrance Publishing

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The Bridge of Deaths by MCV Egan

Review

Title: The Bridge of Deaths
Author: MCV Egan

Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing
Pub. Date: 6/14/11

PDF File:        pages  326
How obtained?: I received this as a review copy from the author.

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The Brotherhood of Dwarves by D.A. Adams

Review

Title: The Brotherhood of Dwarves
Author: D.A. Adams

Publisher: Seventh Star Press
Pub. Date: 2/6/12

Epub (Nook Book):        pages 175
Genre: Fiction; Fantasy
How obtained?: Review copy from Seventh Star Press

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Constantly Craving by Marilyn Meberg

Review

Title:  Constantly Craving
Author:  Marilyn Meberg

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: 3/13/12

Paperback:        pages 240
Genre: Nonfiction; Self-help
How obtained?: Review copy from Book Sneeze

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Review

Title:  The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub. Date: 9/14/08

Paperback:        pages 374
Genre: Fiction; Fantasy
How obtained?: purchased at Walmart

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No Life ALone by: Shelley M. Hollenbeck

Review

Title: No Life Alone

Author: Shelley M. Hollenbeck

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Pub. Date: 8/1/05

Hardcover: pages 495
Genre: Fiction

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Night Shift Diary by R. August King

Review

Title: Night Shift Diary
Author: R. August King

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Pub. Date: 06/16/10

Paperback: 43 pages
Genre: Biography/Memoir;  Nursing
How obtained?: Review Copy from Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team

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Book Review In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Review

Title: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
Author: Erik Larson

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pub. Date: 5/10/11
Hardcover: 464 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Historical Biography
How obtained?: Purchased at Barnes and Noble for my Book Club (Smart Bitches Who Read) meeting.

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