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 Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)?: Adventures and Agonies in Fashion by Brittany Gibbons

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Goodreads Summary:

A sartorial follow-up to her hilarious memoir in stories, Fat Girl Walking, internet personality Brittany Gibbons once again deep dives into the world of the plus size woman, this time chronicling her love/hate (but mostly hate) relationship with what fashion.

From Pinterest boards and Instagram posts to shop windows and ad campaigns, fashion is everywhere. We shop and dress for practical reasons like job interviews or to make a good impression at the board meeting. We shop and dress for more adventurous reasons—for dates, to woo a lover, to catch someone’s eye. Clothes are armor for women, and we wrap a lot of meaning in what we choose to wear.

As plus-size spokesmodel and blogger Brittany Gibbons knows, what we choose to wear is especially important, and especially emotional, for curvy women. This isn’t only because curvy women feel underrepresented and underserved by the fashion world. For the curvy woman who struggles with feelings of self-worth and a lack of confidence the feeling of “why bother” can come crashing in. You can’t help but think “wouldn’t leggings and a slouchy sweater just be easier?” Especially when we, like every other woman on the planet, are facing greater, real-life obstacles like raising kids, attending college, keeping your marriage together, paying bills, and a myriad of other daily struggles.

Everyone has those days where they hate their body, they hate their clothes, but self-confidence and strength can come from a great outfit. Brittany is determined to help women, curvy and otherwise, embrace fashion and all the bumps and lumps that come with it. An “overdue love letter” to her body, Brittany delves into the hilarity and the humility of her quest to find her own personal style—to break out of a rut of maternity underwear and men’s undershirts once and for all. From wardrobe malfunctions, to fashion advice, to mom bodies and the perfect pose, The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)? is the empowered battle cry all women deserve.

My Thoughts:

Brittany Gibbons, author of Fat Girl Walking, wrote another memoir! I interviewed her back in 2014, and you can read it here! She teaches confidence, and self love, and that it is okay when you don’t have those things.  Not only did I laugh, I cried, and made plans to clean out my closet. Brittany’s first book was epic, and a New York Times Bestseller. Ladies. LADIES. You need this book. NEED IT. (and her other book also, just get them both.) This book is like sitting down with your best friend, and having a long awesome conversation. This book is not just for plus size women, it is for ALL WOMEN. I am not plus size (anymore) and this book is still for me. This book is for everyone that has ever felt like they didn’t fit in. This book is about fashion, and it isn’t about fashion at all. I needed this book. The letter to her daughter is something I needed, for me, and something that all girls need.

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.”

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.

Dorothy Must Die Series by Danielle Paige

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I loved the first book in this series! I was very excited to read the first book.  I don’t feel like it was worth it to read the entire series, and this could be because it was so long.  I did read all 7 books at one right after the other.  So it is a pretty creepy retelling of the Wizard of Oz books, which I have never read, but I did watch the movie. I just loved the first book in the series so much. I like that it took the Oz that we know which is picture perfect and includes singing and dancing, and completely turned it on it’s head. So this book is set way way after the original Wizard of Oz, and is about Amy Gumm who also gets sucked into Oz by a tornado from Kansas, way after Dorothy. Dorothy, it turns out, is an evil villain who currently rules Oz, and all of the beloved Oz characters are pretty much evil, and torturing and killing people to tickle their fancy. I love fairy tales, and I love retellings, and this series was pretty good. I felt like it got a bit boring and the plot seemed to lag, but overall it was really good. The companion books were pretty cool because they had the origin stories of all of main characters, which was very cool. I love a good villain backstory. Overall definitely read book one, but go ahead and check out the entire series if you have time.

Breathless Series by Maya Banks

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This erotic trilogy was pretty good.  It is about three friends in New York who are super wealthy because they own a chain of hotels.  They have been best friends for years, and all of them have a BDSM lifestyle in common.  Gabe, Jace, and Ash are very involved in each other’s lives.  Jace and Ash actually share women almost always.  The first book is about Gabe and his relationship with Jace’s little sister, Mia.  I loved this book, so I bought the following two books.  Fever is about Jace and his relationship with Bethany, which puts a wrench in his friendship with Ash because they normally share women, and Jace does not want to share Bethany.  The final book was the worst of the series and it is about Ash and his relationship with Josie.  Each book follows the same basic plot line. The main guy falls for a girl that he should not and it affects his entire life and his friendships with the other two guys.  Overall It was a pretty good series. The first book was the best by far, and if I was ever to re-read any of them, that would be the only one I would read again.

Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

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There are 12 books in the series, and there is a spin off series. I read all 12 books.  This series was very good. I believe they are supposed to be middle grade, which makes them super easy to read. Each book is an epic adventure full of villains, danger, and excitement. I enjoyed the entire series. Halt and his apprentice, Will are great characters. I really enjoyed both of them. I like how they start out so different, and as the books progress and Will grows older, you can really see Halt’s influence on him. But you can also see Will’s influence on Halt, which I thought was done very well. The series is great, I think perhaps it went on too long. I did read all of the books one right after the next, but because there were so many I did end up getting a bit bored, and wishing it would be over. I never wanted to stop reading them, they were always good, but I think because I read all 12 at once it got a bit stale. I should have mixed it up and read a couple then a different book, then a couple more. The series was so good I didn’t want to stop reading though. Overall I highly recommend the series, especially for tweens.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1) by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel

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Goodreads Summary:

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house… there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort…

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

My Thoughts:

I loved the cover and the title so I bought the book. I have never seen the Youtube show. Okay so Sunshine is adopted because she was left at the hospital, and her mom was a nurse there. Sunshine develops the ability to interact with ghosts on her 16th birthday. Of course her house is haunted by ghosts. Two ghosts to be exact. One ghost is a little girl who drowned in the bathtub, the other ghost is far more sinister. Sunshine’s mom even becomes possessed by this evil ghost. Sunshine can’t be possessed because she’s special. The story was okay. I wasn’t in love with it, but I didn’t hate it either. It was average for a paranormal horror movie, I could definitely see this playing out on screen, which is probably why it has a huge (apparently according to the book cover) YouTube following. It’s not a great book, but I do love horror, and YA horror seems rare. Overall MEH.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My Thoughts:

This book was so cute. I loved it. When this book came out I feel like every book blogger I follow was recommending it, and it sounded interesting, but it took me FOREVER to read it. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? It was so good. Worth ALL of the hype. Simon is adorable. The romance aspect of the book was so cute. Simon and this online person, Blue, are too much. Blue is someone who goes to Simon’s school, but he doesn’t know who it is. The entire book you are guessing who Blue really is, which is fun. I love reading the emails back and forth, because I am super nosy, and because they were just so stinking cute. Simon has a really great friend group, except for Leah. I think she was a bitch. Overall this was a great coming of age story.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

My Thoughts:

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAS! Illuminae was amazing. This book was also fucking amazing. It was soooooooo good. I knew it was going to be great because Illuminae was just so fucking good! I read it when it came out, but apparently never reviewed it. BUT OMG GET IT BOTH BOOKS THEY ARE AMAZING. My non-reading husband even read and loved both books. AIDAN is back! YAY! AM I NOT MERCIFUL!? You are AIDAN, you absolutely are. AIDAN is the best thing about Illuminae, OBVI my favorite character. ANYWAYS. This book is a great sequel. It has everything you could want in a sequel including new equally great characters, old characters that you already loved, plot twists. stabby deaths. EPIC. New characters Hanna and Nik. Hanna is a secret bad ass, when she seems like a space princess. And Nik. SWOON. I LOVED HIM! Full of snarky comments and jokes. He’s the best. So the characters are all fucking GREAT. What about the plot? Well it is very similar to the first book in that you have two teens that you are rooting for who are trying to save everyone they can, but mostly each other. Murders and more murders, and then oh yah, murders. YAAAAAAAAAAS. I can’t wait for book 3!!!!!!!!!!!

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!

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.

review Heartsick (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #1) by Chelsea Cain

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Goodreads Summary:

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind–addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth–he can’t stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.

My Thoughts:

My friend let me borrow this book. This book is so well written. I have a new-found love for mysteries and thrillers. The characters are very realistic and well-developed. This book is about Archie Sheridan who was a cop hunting serial killer Gretchen Lowell. He becomes on of her victims and she tortures him for 10 days. She ends up killing him, bringing him back to life, calling 911 to get him help, and turn herself in. Now he is addicted to pills to cope with the torture he went through. There is a new serial killer in his town, and he is asked to come back and head up the new task force. He agrees. So many plot twists will have you on the edge of your seat and unable to put this book down.

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.

Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

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Goodreads:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

My Thoughts:

I only read this book because my friend wanted to buddy-read it.  I wasn’t really interested in reading it, but fuck was I wrong! This book was SOOOOOO good! The author is also really nice. I have messaged her a few times about Roar on Twitter, and she has always responded! ❤ It’s ironic really, because the friend that wanted to read it, didn’t end up liking it.  I was totally obsessed with Cassius and then Roar runs away, and we don’t get much of him anymore. My main issue with the book is the huge cliffhanger and the end, and no release date for book 2. The storm magic was really cool. In real life, I am obsessed with the sky and with storms and I wasn’t sure how the storm magic was going to work, but I thought it was soooooo cool! I thought the book was going to be cliché where Roar doesn’t have storm magic even though she was born into, and so she runs away, and then of course she DOES have storm magic and surprise saves the kingdom, and her mom is finally proud of her. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS! And I was so glad for that. I was in love with Locke, because swoon, and how can you not be?!?! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL!

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

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Goodreads Summary:

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.

My Thoughts:

Okay this book is very good. I am being converted to suspense and thrillers as my new favorite genre. This is about Julie a 13-year-old who was kidnapped from her house at knife point. The only witness is her 10-year-old sister. 8 years later Julie returns. Or does she? Is it Julie or is it someone pretending to be Julie? This is a fast paced novel that I finished reading in one day. I was surprised by the outcome of who Julie really turns out to be. I live in Houston and was excited to recognize a lot of the places that were described in the book. I am also excited that the Joel Osteen character turned out to be crazy and evil. I laughed so hard about that. Loved this book.

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

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Goodreads Summary:

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

My Thoughts:

I have a couple of David Levithan books, but I haven’t read any of them until this one. I have over 1500 books because Sadness is a hoarder. Anyway, I decided to read this one, and I liked it a lot. Stephen is invisible and has been his entire life, due to a curse placed on his mother. Not even his mom ever got to see him. His dad left, but still funds his son, after his mom died a couple of years ago. Stephen lives in an apartment building in New York, and when a new neighbor moves in, he is shocked to find out she can see him. At first he thinks the curse is broken, perhaps he aged out or something, but it turns out that no, only she can see him. I loved Elizabeth and her brother. Laurie, her brother, was probably my favorite character in fact. Of course the only girl who can see the invisible boy has a relationship with him. He would obviously love her, but she loves him too. I loved the curse aspect, especially the bit about Elizabeth’s graphic novels. I liked the story.

Deadman’s Tome Final Contact

Amazon description:

Deadman’s Tome presents First Contact. This volume of galactic terror features stories that warn of the consequences of bold space exploration, exploitative mining, venturing too far, and contact with foreign entities. You see, dear reader, we are not alone, and our first contact might just be our last!

My thoughts:

I got this book for free in exchange for a review.  I loved this little collection of short stories. My favorites were A Layer Hidden by Candace Robinson, which had a great creepy twist, and A Slow Death by James ‘Grim’ Desborough, which was haunting. All together it was a very good collection of sci fi horror stories. It’s quick and all of the stories were easy to read. They all flow together nicely.

Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin

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Goodreads Summary:

“The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone.”

Karina has plenty to worry about on the last day of seventh grade: finding three Ds and a C on her report card again, getting laughed at by everyone again, being sent to the principal — again. She’d like this to change, but with her and her sisters dodging their stepfather’s fists every day after school, she doesn’t have time to do much self-reflecting. Finally her stepfather is taken away on child abuse charges, and Karina thinks things might turn into something resembling normal. The problem is, he’s not gone for good. And as Karina becomes closer with a girl at the community center where her stepfather is not showing up for his parenting classes, she starts to realize a couple things. First, for all the problems her family had tried to escape by immigrating from Haiti, they brought most of them along to upstate New York. And second, if anything is going to change for this family, it is going to be up to Karina and her sisters to make it happen.

M. Sindy Felin’s debut novel is the story of a young girl’s coming-of-age amid the violent waters that run just beneath the surface of suburbia — a story that has the courage to ask: How far will you go to protect the ones you love?

My Thoughts:

At first I didn’t like the voice of the main character, and I considered not reading it. I was intrigued by the story though, and I am glad I finished it. This book deals with a lot, abuse, cultural issues with people who moved to America, a neglectful mother. Karina suffers from blackouts most likely as a result of trauma at home. The Daddy beats her and her siblings. When her older sister almost dies, Karina has to figure out what to tell the police that show up, and whether she should tell the truth to the judge.I found the book to be very interesting.

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

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Goodreads:

Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter.

The stories are told by people who have all answered an ad headlined ‘Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months‘. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of ‘real life’ that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.

But ‘here’ turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world – and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell – and the more devious their machinations to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight.

My Thoughts:

So Chuck Palahniuk is my favorite author.  I loved the movie Fight Club, but I haven’t actually read that book yet.  I have read many of his other books and short stories though.Although this is a kind-of collection of short stories, it is actually a novel that the short stories make up. The characters in the book all have to tell their story, because they are locked together in an abandoned theater. This book is disturbing and fucked up like all the other Chuck Palahniuk books. There are a lot of blood and guts in this book, like many of his other novels. I love how each characters story has nothing to do with each other, but they are all connected through human depravity. I’ve heard that the author reading Guts aloud has made many people pass out. I don’t get that. I guess I am pretty messed up too, cause I don’t think that story was that fucked. I mean yes it was fucked up and gruesome, but not enough to make someone pass out. I don’t think. Oh and the cover glows in the dark, which was a bit of a shock to see a scary face glowing in the dark. Surprise.

Tokoyo Street Style, a coloring book. Review

This book is so cute!!! I got it free in exchange for an honest review from blogging for books. I can not wait to start coloring it! I love the diversity of the pages. Some are whole pages of prints and some are simple designs. The selfie girls are too cute!

New York Street Style: A Coloring Book by Zoé de Las Cases

 

This coloring book by Zoé de Las Cases is super cute. I love it as much as the Tokyo Street Style one I have. I like that it comes with an elastic to keep the book closed and a ribbon to mark your place. This one has a lot of great pages to color. Just like in Tokyo Street Style it has pages with full patterned images and some that aren’t full page. I love that it really gives a New York feel, and it isn’t just generic.

The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution

The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolutionby  Jonathan Hennessey and Jack McGowan

This is a graphic novel that tells the history of video games. I think this is a really cool book for a gamer. I’m giving it to my brother. The artwork is rendered very nicely.  While this book isn’t great for me, the history of video games is a bit boring for me, I think if you were super into games you would find it very interesting!

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.

Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor

Vault of Dreams

Goodread Summary:

Albanland. Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.
Morgance, Faer Princess of the Night.
And by her side, the fearsome Ultan Skölhammer, sworn Guardian of the Crown.
But Rhoswen, rightful heir to the throne, princess in exile, leads a final uprising from the depths of the forest, an uprising that twists together the lives of the most unlikely companions.
A notorious thief accused of a crime she did not commit.
A baird apprentice searching for the meaning of life.
A pair of brothers who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
And a gypsy bound to the ancient artifact known only as the Vault of Dreams.

My thoughts:

I did get this book for free for review from the author. This is not my favorite writing style. I do enjoy that it is a stand alone fantasy novel, because those seem very few and far between. I’m in love with series because you get so much more to the story, but I get tired of it as well. Im ready to move on and read something else or I’m tired of waiting for the sequel. Whatever. I like stand alones. I do love the cover of the book, and it is definitely one that would catch my eye at the store. I also like the title I would have picked it up for sure. I had a hard time getting into the story. I am usually someone that since I have so many books (over 2,000 physical books at my house, ot counting e-books) I don’t give books very long before I scrap it and move along, and this one does take a while to get used to the prose and a while to get into the story.

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Review written by the alter of Kattie the Vivacious Hobo.  For more information go to www.kattiesalterego.wordpress.com

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty

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Goodreads:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Thoughts:

My #otspsecretsister bought me this book as one of my gifts.  I read it right away, but it has taken me FOREVER to review.  I read it on the plane to and from my vacation to Cancun.  I love Sherlock Holmes, I watch all of the shows and movies of late, and recently read Warlock Holmes.

Lock and Mori is a really interesting book.  It is about Sherlock and Moriarty as modern day high school students. Moriarty is James Moriarty, a girl!!, who goes by Mori.  She meets Sherlock, who she dubs Lock.  He challenges her to solve a string of murders with him, the only rule is they have to share all of their information with each other.  Sherlock is exactly how you would imagine high school Sherlock to be, observant and odd. It’s so cute how he starts falling for Mori! Swoon! It’s not hard to solve the case and figure out who the killer is from an early point in the book. Despite this, the book is very interesting, and it’s cool to see how everything tied together.  I’m excited to read the next book in the series. I love how this book is told from Mori’s POV. It tells all about her home life, with a drunk and abusive police officer father (her mom died.) The entire book is dark with the growing relationship between Lock and Mori being the only bright spot in an otherwise very dark tale.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and normally I loathe Mycroft in all of the portrayals I have seen him in, but I found him to be delightful in this book! Watson was also in the book, but only briefly, so I expect to see them both in future installments. I am concerned for the couple because they are mortal enemies in the other Sherlock Holmes renditions I have seen. I don’t want to see Sherlock get crushed by Mori, but I do anticipate that to happen eventually.

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The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers #5) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

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Goodreads Summary:

Aidan and Sarah Cooper have no idea what they’re getting into one afternoon when they discover a mysterious coded document in a secret compartment of an antique English desk their father recently brought at an auction. Something about the document seems familiar to Sarah, and that night she realizes what it is: the document seems to be referring to some books she has read – the Starcatchers series, about the origin of Peter Pan. But how could that be? The document seems far older than the books. And of course, the books are just stories….

Curious, Sarah and Aidan begin to decipher the mysterious document. At first it’s a game – unraveling the mystery piece by piece, each piece leading them to a new, deeper puzzle.

But soon the game turns strange – and scary. They discover that the “stories” are real, and that what they thought was a fictional battle between good and evil is still going on. And the scariest part is: They have become part of it.

Pursued by a being that can take any form and will stop at nothing to get what it wants from them, Aidan and Sarah embark on a desperate, thrilling quest for help – a quest that leads them to some unforgettable people in some unlikely places, including one that’s not supposed to exist at all. At each step they must solve new puzzles and escape new dangers, all the while knowing that is they fail, the evil they are fleeing will be let loose on an unsuspecting world.

My Thoughts:

This book is set in modern times, so about 100 years or so after the last book! Sarah and Aiden Cooper are siblings that have read the Peter and the Starcatchers books (kind of weird, like Inception of books.) One day they discover a hidden message in some old desk, and discover that it is taking about the Starcatchers.  At first they think it must be a hoax, because the books aren’t that old, and they are just stories, but they decide to investigate just in case.  They are going to London on a family vacation and decide to do some sleuthing to see if the note is real and if they can find the starstuff.  It wouldn’t be much of a book if they didn’t. After almost being devoured by Magill’s wolves they make it out with the starstuff. The problem is that Ombra is now after them having sensed the presence of starstuff. This was my least favorite of the series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  None of the characters we love are in the beginning half of the book, which is disappointing. Although it was interesting to see how modern people would handle starstuff.  I did like how they utilized the Peter Pan ride at Disney World, which I love! What happened to Neverland and why no one can find it now, that tied in quite nicely.  I felt like Peter was less like the Peter from the first 3 books and more like the Peter from the fourth book or the original Barrie novel.  I didn’t like Sarah and Aiden, and didn’t connect with them.  Their constant need to argue was annoying.  It is worth checking out, only if you are a completist.

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