Monday, February 20, 2023

The Headmaster's List by Melissa de la Cruz REVIEW

The Headmaster's List
by Melissa de la Cruz


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Blurb

When fifteen-year-old Chris Moore is tragically killed in a car crash, Argyle Prep is full of questions. Who was at the wheel? And more importantly, who was at fault?

Eighteen-year-old Spencer Sandoval wishes she knew. As rumors swirl that her ex, Ethan, was the driver that fateful night, she can’t bring herself to defend him. And their messy breakup has nothing to do with it – she can’t remember anything from that night, not even what put her in that car with Ethan, Chris, and Tabby Hill, the new loner in school. Was it just a night out that went very wrong? And is it just a coincidence they were all part of Argyle’s esteemed honor roll, the Headmaster’s List? In a place ruled by pedigree and privilege, the answers can only come at a deadly price.

Set against the glitz and glamour of an elite LA private school, Melissa de la Cruz's first YA thriller is an addictive mystery perfect for fans of Gossip Girl and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Headmaster's List wastes no time getting into the thick of things. From the very first page it grabs your attention and drags you along on a wild ride with second guesses and secrets at every turn.

The only thing I didn't absolutely love about this was the ending. It was very YA Mystery Thriller, which is fine because that's exactly what it is, it just didn't give me anything exciting or different. It was still enjoyable, just average and predictable.

I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA Mystery thrillers but especially to those that enjoyed the Confessions series by James Patterson. The main characters and the storyline all give similar vibes despite the differences in the two stories.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Automated Daydreaming by William Pauley III Audiobook REVIEW

Automated Daydreaming
by William Pauley III
Narrated by Connor Brannigan


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Blurb

This is a cycle.

Unalleviated, its components are connected by electricity and fed through the rage of lightning. Insect and road monsters scour the desert. Bodies morph into new constructions, only partially human and searching for conclusion. Tongues entwine in an embrace of benthos, while mermaids and jellyfish glow in tandem.

The moon is waiting. Dream.

Review

I was given a free audiobook in exchange for an honest review. The following thoughts and opinions are my own.

I enjoyed the story. The concept is really interesting. It's a well written weird book. BUT (yes there is a but) I did not enjoy this narrator. I did not enjoy the listening experience and couldn't wait for the book to be over. I think I would have enjoyed this so much more if I had of read it myself.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame by Meg Long REVIEW

Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame
by Meg Long


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Blurb

A girl hellbent on finding the friend she lost. A planet on the brink of total destruction. Only one way to find answers amidst the chaos: team up with a traitor to stage a revolution, in Meg Long's Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame.

After a mission gone awry two years ago, Remy Castell has been desperately searching across worlds to find the friend she failed to save—the friend who changed her life by helping her overcome the brainwashing she was subjected to as a genetically engineered corporate agent.

Since then, she’s been chasing the only lead she has: fellow genopath Kiran Lore, the same secretive ex-squadmate who left her for dead when she compromised that mission. She nearly caught up to him on Tundar before joining the infamous sled race alongside outcast Sena and her wolf companion Iska. Now, all three of them have tracked Kiran back to Maraas, the jungle planet where Remy lost everything. But nothing on Maraas is how it was two years ago. Syndicates and scavvers alike are now trying to overthrow a megalomaniac corpo director, which Remy wants nothing to do with; fighting against corpos is as useless as trying to stay dry in the middle of the giant hellstorm that encircles the planet. But the storm—and the rebellion—are growing stronger by the minute.

When Remy finds Kiran, he doesn't run away like she expects. Instead, he offers her a deal: help with the revolution and he'll reunite her with her friend. But can she really trust the boy who betrayed her once before? With the entire planet on the edge of all-out war, Remy will have to decide just how far she's willing to go to save one girl before the impending storm drowns them all.

Review

Thank you to the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

To start, SWIFT THE STORM, FIERCE THE FLAME is Meg Long's second book. While the two books are related you don't need to read her first book, COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES, to understand what is going on in this one. I would, however, recommend reading it just because it's really good.

I love the chosen family aspect of the story. It's one of my favorite tropes in books and I think Meg Long did it so incredibly well. Another thing I enjoy is how Long is able to paint me a world I can easily picture and feel through her words without bogging down the story. I feel like it's such a delicate balance between enough detail and too much but this was great.

This was a really fun story packed with adventure and good times. In her goodreads bio it says Meg originally wanted to be a spy and I think that really comes through in this book in the best way. If you're ready for an adventure this book may be exactly what you need.

Purchase Link:
 
*Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book through this link I will receive a small commission. This does not change the price of the book at all.
 

Monday, February 6, 2023

No Home For Killers by E.A. Aymar REVIEW

No Home For Killers
by E.A. Aymar


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Blurb

The chilling story of two conflicted sisters, their murdered brother, and the secrets a family hoped they’d never have to face.

The murder of jazz musician and social activist Markus PeΓ±a doesn’t come as a surprise to his estranged sisters. Melinda and Emily PeΓ±a know their controversial brother had enemies. After all, even they hadn’t spoken to Markus since their mother’s funeral two years ago.

Who killed Markus? Was it someone trying to keep his latest protest song from publication? Was it the powerful and secretive uncle of his ex-girlfriend Rebecca? Or was it one of the other women Markus had callously abandoned?

To unravel the truth, Melinda and Emily must first face their own demons. Melinda, a former social worker, suffers from PTSD—haunted by the people she failed to help and unable to maintain meaningful relationships. Emily also pushes people away—afraid she’ll get hurt and afraid they’ll find out she’s Three Strikes: a masked vigilante who violently punishes abusive men.

Markus wasn’t a good man, but he was family. And it’s up to his sisters to uncover his lifetime of lies and the truth of his death.

Haunting, gripping, and relevant, No Home for Killers explores the conflicts that tear families apart—and the tragedies that force them back together.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I enjoyed this book so much. I was completely hooked on the story to the point where I couldn't read it fast enough. There were so many aspects to it that I felt like there was always something happening to keep me focused. It had violence, revenge, family drama, cheating, breakups and so much more. I struggle with big books but this one was the perfect size for the story it told. I'd definitely read more by this author.

No Home For Killers is a really good book but it does deal with heavy topics such as violence. I suggest checking trigger warnings before reading if you are someone who requires them.


Sunday, January 1, 2023

2023 Four Moon Reading Challenge


Hi everyone, I know it's late but I was finally able to post my 2023 Four Moon Reading Challenge!!! Here are the prompts and the links for Storygraph and Goodreads!

Enjoy!


Prompts:


1. A book about/involving mental health

2. A book involving magic

3. A book involving the road not taken (this can be a book character thinking about or reliving a what if situation OR a character Who lives a life you once considered living)

4. A book your favorite bookish social media personality loved in 2022.

5. A book with a candy related term in the title (sweet, sugar, sour, hard, chocolate etc.)

6. Grab a random book you've never heard of OR dont know what its about. You can grab it from a book store, a library or your bookshelf, or literally anywhere.

7. 2022 Repeat Prompt!! Read a book and write a review!!

8. A book with bones on the cover

9. A book with a Shadow or reflection on the cover

10. A book with a title that begins with a vowel

11. A book about a controversial topic

12. A book by a bipoc, lgbtq+, indie author

13. A book that has 290-300 pages

14. A book that reminds you of something else, anything about the book could remind you of literally anything. Ex. A books side character reminds you of someone you know or the shade of blue on a cover reminds you of the sky. Use your imagination and have fun

15. A book with a foot on the cover

16. A book you would consider trashy or a guilty pleasure

17. A book that was gifted or borrowed

18. A book with multiple POV

19. Pick One! A Sci-Fi or Horror book (you can pick a genre or a book that is both)

20. Pick One! A Fantasy or Romance (you can pick a genre or a book that is both)

21. Read two books that look alike - book 1

22. Read two books that look alike - book 2

23. The Next book in a series

24. A book that has a name in the title

25. A book with a title or cover that has something Ocean related (ex. sea, salt, fish, wet etc.)

26. 2022 Repeat Prompt!! A Retelling

27. A book that reminds you of a song

28. A book with your favorite trope or on your favorite topic

29. A book with a cover that makes you happy

30. Read a book and recreate the cover through any art form you like


Thank you for much for taking the time to check this out! Please let me know what reading challenges you will be participating in this year. If you decide to take part in this one and post about it on IG please use the hashtag fourmoonreadingchallenge so I can show your posts some love! 


Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/fourmoonreviews/

Friday, December 9, 2022

Hound on a Scrounge by Maria Bucci REVIEW

 Hound on a Scrounge

by Maria Bucci


Blurb

Hound on a Scrounge “Sniff, Snuffle, Sniff!”“Can you smell the delicious aroma coming from this book?It’s time for afternoon Tea...Slurrrp!” Meet Buddy. He loves food, food and more food. But he’s not just a hound on a scrounge–Buddy has a wonderful true story about afternoon tea that he would love to share with you.“I hope you can join me...ooh, but hurry! They’re bringing out the food...Woofety Woof!

Purchase Links




Review

Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources and the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This book is so cute! Our guide for this adventure is Buddy, an adorable pub with so much to teach us. Sophie and I laughed so much while reading the story. We had a lot of fun following along from beginning to end.

Your child will have a wonderful time following and playing along with their new friend whole learning an interesting fact about history.

Author Bio


I have always loved children’s books and, after studying various picture book courses, I decided totake the plunge and write my own. Hoping to educate and entertain, as well as involve the youngreader, my debut alsoincludes a bit of history. When I’m not writing, I enjoy taking the real Buddy hound on long walks and spending time with my family. I also love to bake, sing and paint but sadly, I have not mastered doing all three at the same time!


Tuesday, December 6, 2022

All Hallows by Christopher Golden REVIEW

 All Hallows

Christopher Golden


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Blurb

With the 80's nostalgia of Stranger Things, this horror drama from NYT bestselling author Christopher Golden follows neighborhood families and a mysterious, lurking evil on one Halloween day.

It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, horrifying secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them...and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?

New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales...but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.

All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask...

Expected Publication Date: January 24, 2023

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

What a deliciously creepy book! I really enjoyed almost all of it. The ending kind of went a little sideways for me but only because of one minor detail which of course I can't say because it would spoil so much.

This book is a great option for a Halloween read or even just something to tie you over until Halloween comes back around.

Just a warning, if you have an issue with gory books involving children don't even bother with this one. On the flip side, if you like horror involving family (especially children), drama and a pretty good amount of gore then read this one!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Maame by Jessica George REVIEW

Maame
by Jessica George


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Blurb

It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.

When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it's not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils––and rewards––of putting her heart on the line.

Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.

Expected Publication Date: January 31,2023

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Oh my goodness could this book of gotten any better? Honestly, probably not, it was pretty damn great.

Maame is such a beautiful story. We follow Maddie, our late bloomer, always dependable main character. When the story starts Maddie is quiet and hasn't really lived yet. By the time we say goodbye she has grown into a strong confident woman and her journey isn't one you'll want to miss.

The writing was beautiful. The story was wonderfully told. There were moments of laughter, moments of sadness and moments of total shock. Maame is one I highly recommend adding to your TBR if you haven't already.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Jiu-Jitsu Girl by Jennifer Dutton REVIEW

Jiu-Jitsu Girl
by Jennifer Dutton


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Blurb:

What’s more terrifying than being forced into a coed combat wrestling martial art by your own mother? Sixth grade.

Angie Larson hates Jiu-Jitsu. Like many twelve-year-old girls, she fails to find the glamour in a martial art that embraces zero personal space and choking as an end goal. Seriously, people choke her, drip sweat on her face, and even wrap their legs around her neck. It’s the worst. Instead, she idolizes the seemingly perfect kids at her school who do “normal” activities like dance or soccer. But just when it seems like Angie is about to be accepted by them, her mom enrolls her in a Jiu-Jitsu tournament and begins a relationship with the sweatiest coach on the planet. And to make things more complicated, Angie develops a close friendship with a boy who is definitely not part of the “cool” crowd.

Angie must decide who she is while making some painful decisions both on and off the mat. Is she a dance girl, a soccer girl, a nothing girl . . . or a Jiu-Jitsu girl?

Expected Publication Date: January 24, 2023

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I absolutely adore this book! I can't think of a single thing I disliked about it.

Angie was such an awesome main character. I really liked how she was written as such a normal kid. She messed up multiple times before finally finding her path and I loved it. So many times you see young characters do not-so-childlike things or have these weirdly grownup attitudes, but Angie is a simple kid. She's a wonderful character for kids of all ages to read about and relate to. Heck, even as an adult I still found her relatable at times.

As a reader I was overjoyed to be reading this. As a kid who was a bit of a loner I felt empowered while reading this. As a mom, I'm so happy writers like Dutton exist to create characters like Angie that my own daughter can grow up with.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Doomed: Sacco, Vanzetti & the End of the American Dream by John Florio & Ouisie Shapiro REVIEW

Doomed: Sacco, Vanzetti & the End of the American Dream

by John Florio & Ouisie Shapiro


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Blurb

In the early 1920s, a Red Scare gripped America. Many of those targeted were Italians, Eastern Europeans, and other immigrants.

When an armed robbery resulting in the death of two people broke headlines in Massachusetts, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti - both Italian immigrants - were quick to be accused.

A heated trial ensued, but through it all, the two men maintained their innocence. The controversial case quickly rippled past borders as it became increasingly clear that Sacco and Vanzetti were fated for a death sentence. Protests sprang up around the world to fight for their lives.

Learn the tragic history we dare not repeat in Doomed: Sacco, Vanzetti, and the End of the American Dream, an action-packed, fast-paced nonfiction book filled with issues that still resonate today.

Expected Publication Date: January 24, 2023

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Doomed is the true heartbreaking story of two Italian immigrants who were wrongfully executed for murder. Before reading this book I had never heard of these men, now I will never be able to forget them.

I really like that this book is short and to the point with this case. It's easy to follow along and isn't filled with legal jargon. The story is descriptive enough to transport you back in time without loading you down with unnecessary information. 

Overall, I think the authors did an amazing job at shining light on this case. If you're into true crime I suggest giving this one a shot.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Hex You by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast REVIEW

 Hex You

by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast


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Blurb

Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, direct descendants of the Goode family, the founders of their town. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds--ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.

Mercy and Khenti are trapped in the Ancient Egyptian Underworld and need Hunter’s help to escape. But while Hunter searches for a way to save them, other evil threatens Goodeville. Amphitrite is still looming–and she wants vengeance against Hunter. With the gates rapidly weakening, Amphitrite lures out a deadly creature and sets it free on the residents of Goodeville. It will take everything in Mercy and Hunter’s power to stop the goddess and seal the gates once and for all.

Expected Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is the third book in the Sisters of Salem series. I would highly recommend starting from book 1 'Spells Trouble' if you want to read this book. They all connect and one starts where the last one ends.

I really enjoyed this series. I like how the three books flow together seamlessly. The ending was satisfying with everything tied up but not worked out in a fairy tale wrap up sort of way. Once again I enjoyed the writing and the characters. This trilogy is a great choice if you're looking for something fun and witchy.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki, translated by Alex Dudok de Wit REVIEW

Shuna's Journey
by Hayao Miyazaki
translated by Alex Dudok de Wit


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Blurb

From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English!

Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a mysterious western land, he sets out to find the source of the golden grain, dreaming of a better life for his subjects.

It is not long before he meets a proud girl named Thea. After freeing her from captivity, he is pursued by her enemies, and while Thea escapes north, Shuna continues toward the west, finally reaching the Land of the God-Folk.

Will Shuna ever see Thea again? And will he make it back home from his quest for the golden grain?

Review

Thank you :01 First Second Books for my review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I absolutely adore this book. From the artwork to the story I simply love everything about it.

We follow young Shuna as he goes on a quest to find the golden grain and help his people. Throughout his journey Shuna travels across many lands and meets many people both good and bad. Shuna is tested is many ways and his journey is one you will want to relive again and again.

Coming in at about 160 pages, Shuna's Journey is an incredibly fast read. It took me less than an hour to read and I was hypnotized the entire time. I feel like this book could have went on forever and I would have happily continued.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman REVIEW

Summer Bird Blue

by Akemi Dawn Bowman


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Blurb

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Aching, powerful, and unflinchingly honest, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about insurmountable grief, unconditional love, and how to forgive even when it feels impossible.

Review

Summer Bird Blue is the tragic story of how one girl's life gets ripped apart and thrown upside down. When Rumi, her sister Lea and their mom are in an accident Lea dies and instead of grieving together their mom sends Rumi away to go live with an aunt she hardly knows. Angry, sad and confused Rumi must find her own way to heal, to forgive and to move on without letting go.

My heart completely crushed for Rumi. The way she was abandoned by her mother so she could deal with her own grief really frustrated me. While there is no right or wrong way to deal with grief, the mothers choices really caused my heart to ache. It was beautiful watching Rumi grow and become a stronger and better person through everything.

One of my favorite things about this book is Rumi's exploration of her sexuality. I absolutely love the way she didn't become that girl who "realized love was what was missing all along" but instead she just became a stronger person. She's figuring it out and not sure what she wants. AND THAT IS FINE!! I hate when books take teenage characters, make them fall in love with another teenage character and bam all problems solved! This one is so opposite of that I could seriously recommend it on that alone. However, there is a lot of other stuff to love so read it anyways.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

We Are The Light by Matthew Quick REVIEW

 We Are The Light

by Matthew Quick


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Blurb


LIFE IS FULL OF GUARDIAN ANGELS.

Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero—everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an eighteen-year-old young man whom the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’s backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most important, themselves.

From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, We Are the Light is an unforgettable novel about the quicksand of grief and the daily miracle of love. The humorous, soul-baring story of Lucas Goodgame offers an antidote to toxic masculinity and celebrates the healing power of art. In this tale that will stay with you long after the final page is turned, Quick reminds us that guardian angels are all around us—sometimes in the forms we least expect.

Expected Publication Date: November 1, 2022

Review

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Matthew Quick for a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

We Are The Light is told through a series letters from a man to his Jungian analyst in the aftermath of a tragedy that shook their entire town. This story deals with grief, trauma, mental health and healing.

I loved Quick's book The Silver Linings Playbook and have wanted to read another of his books ever since. I love the way he puts his readers inside the troubled minds of his main characters. It feels like you're inside the characters mind, know they are suffering and it's going to get worse but you're just the reader so you have to sit back and let them experience everything. I love it when the author gives just a touch of predictability to emphasize tension and pain in a story. Like they give you enough information where you know something is going to be revealed for sure and then it is but it goes further than you imagined.

This book is so dramatic and tense. If you're looking for something emotional and raw I recommend giving this one a chance. I know I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler REVIEW

 A Shadow of Love

by Amy S. Cutler


Blurb:

A Shadow of Love is a paranormal romance story of an abused woman and a dead poet. When Annabelle flees her abusive husband and moves into an 1860's farmhouse, she soon learns that she is not alone; she shares her home with Christian, the ghost of a poet who killed himself in 1917.

Christian, wanting nothing but solitude, tries to scare Annabelle away, but once they come together while she is dreaming, they fall in love. The clock is ticking for Christian, for moments after his hanging his fiancΓ© magically cursed his spirit to be stuck on earth for one hundred years, and his time is almost up.

With Annabelle's ex threatening her and the spirit she has fallen in love with on the verge of disappearing, Annabelle becomes obsessed with staying with Christian, and will do anything to be with him.

Being in love with a ghost is bad enough, but for Annabelle, discovering that her true love will be crossing over at any moment pushes her over the edge of reckless behavior.

Review

Thank you to the author and WOW! Women on Writing for having me on this blog tour and providing me with a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A Shadow of Love is about a woman named Annabelle who leaves her abusive husband, moves into an old farm house and falls in love with the ghost of the man who died there. Even knowing all that going in I still didn't expect the story I received.

The way things happened in the story were done in a way I was not expecting. This story had something so unique about it.

It is a short book so things did happen rather quickly. Nothing is really fleshed out much, it's basically a jump in and go with it type of book which I really enjoy. A Shadow of Love is a good choice when you would like a romance with disturbing elements.

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Suicide attempt, domestic abuse

About the Author


Amy S Cutler, author of A Shadow of Love earned her master’s degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Most recently she was published in Slut Vomit: An Anthology of Sex Work and featured in the Tales to Terrify Podcast, among others. Her writing focus is suspense, horror, science fiction, and ghost stories. She can be contacted through AmysHippieHut.com. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Blog Tour Calendar

October 3rd @ WOW! Women on Writing
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

October 5th @ Sadie's Spotlight
Sadie spotlights A Shadow of Love and features an excerpt from the book.

October 6th @ Create Write Now
Mari L. McCarthy shares a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the importance of learning how to self-market. A must-read post for authors!

October 8th @ Life According to Jamie
Jamie reviews Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love. Don't miss this exciting book!

October 10th @ Amy's Booket List
Join Amy as she reviews Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

October 12th @ Word Magic
Join Fiona as she shares a guest post by Amy S. Butler about the importance of finding a writing community.

October 15th @ What is That Book About?
Find out more about A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler in this book spotlight.

October 16th @ Celtic Lady's Book Reviews
Read a review of Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

October 17th @ Jill Sheets' Blog
Join Jill as she interviews author Amy S. Cutler about her book A Shadow of Love.

October 18th @ A Storybook World
Deirdra features Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

October 19th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Bev reviews Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

October 20th @ Knotty Needle
Join Judy Hudgins for her review of Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

October 21st @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Join Bev as she shares a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the story behind the haunted house in the novel.

October 22nd @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews
Join Lisa as she interviews author Amy S. Culter about her book A Shadow of Love.

October 24th @ Girl Zombie Authors
Read a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about why ghost stories are so popular.

October 25th @ Four Moon Reviews
Join Samantha as she reviews Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love. You can also win a copy of the book too!

October 27th @ Girl Zombie Authors
Come by Chris' blog again and read a review of Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too!

October 29th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog for an in-depth interview with author Amy S. Cutler about her book A Shadow of Love.

October 31st @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog for Amy S. Cutler's guest post about finding a publisher.

November 1st @ Choices
Join Madeline as she features a guest post by Amy S. Cutler about the first draft process.

November 2nd @ Jessica Belmont's Blog
Jessica reviews Amy S. Cutler's book A Shadow of Love.

November 3rd @ Write Advice
Read Amy's guest post about how she found the idea for Shadow of Love and turned it into a story.

November 4th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Read Anthony's review of A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler. A paranormal book you don't want to miss!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese REVIEW

Hester
by Laurie Lico Albanese


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Blurb

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Edinburgh for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they've arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward's safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

In this sensuous and hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples with our country's complicated past, and learns that America's ideas of freedom and liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven with Isobel and Nathaniel's story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a "real" American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, and atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of "unusual" women being accused of witchcraft. Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Hester is a timeless tale of art, ambition, and desire that examines the roots of female creative power and the men who try to shut it down.

Review

Thank you to the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This was such a new and refreshing take on the classic tale The Scarlett Letter. In Hester, we don't actually focus on Hester, but rather the woman who inspired Hester's character and the novel The Scarlett Letter.

The writing is simply exquisite. The story is so beautiful and enchanting. It's almost as if Isobel Gamble has placed you under her spell. Set in Salem this witchy tale flawlessly takes you back and forth between our main characters present time and the Salem witch trials. The tiny flashbacks to the Salem Witch Trials add a haunting and chilling feeling to the overall story.

Hester is the perfect thing to pick up if you're looking for a spellbinding read. It's the perfect tale for October or any time you'd like a haunting witchy tale.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The White Hare by Jane Johnson REVIEW

The White Hare
by Jane Johnson


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Blurb

For fans of Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton, The White Hare is a spellbinding novel about mothers and daughters finding a new home for themselves, the secrets they try to bury, and the local legends that may change their lives.

In the far west of Cornwall lies the White Valley, which cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea at White Cove. The valley has a long and bloody history, laced with folklore, and in it sits a house above the beach that has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation and a strange atmosphere, which is why mother and daughter Magdalena and Mila manage to acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda has grand plans to restore the house to its former glory as a venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for cocktails and for bracing walks along the coast. Her grown daughter, Mila, just wants to escape the scandal in her past and make a safe and happy home for her little girl, Janey, a solitary, precocious child blessed with a vivid imagination, much of which she pours into stories about her magical plush toy, Rabbit.

But Janey’s rabbit isn’t the only magical being around. Legend has it that an enchanted white hare may be seen running through the woods. Is it an ill omen or a blessing? As Mila, her mother, and her young daughter adjust to life in this mysterious place, they will have to reckon with their own pasts and with the secrets that have been haunting the White Valley for decades.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

There is something so timeless and classical about The White Hare. From the moment I laid eyes on the cover until I finished the very last page was like a trance.

The White Hare is a beautiful story. The three main characters in this book are the daughter, the mother, and the grandmother. While the two books are extremely different, this one still gave me Flowers In the Attic vibes. I adore the mother and daughter characters. I loved the way the grandmother's bad behavior is explained but not excused. We get to see her mistakes, hardships and regrets that allow us to see her as human but in a way that romanticize her behavior. This entire book is just excellently crafted. It has a great plot, a great flow, great characters, just great everything. With a hint of magic this captivating story will steal your heart and make you believe in happy endings.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoy Hallmark movies. It has everything a Hallmark movie lover could ever wish for in a book.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang REVIEW

If You Could See the Sun
by Ann Liang


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Blurb

Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student among China’s most rich and influential teens. But then she starts uncontrollably turning invisible—actually invisible.

When her parents drop the news that they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship, Alice hatches a plan to monetize her strange new power—she’ll discover the scandalous secrets her classmates want to know, for a price.

But as the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if it’s worth losing her conscience—or even her life.

Review
 
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Full disclosure, I went into this totally blind. I saw the cover and had to read it.

If you could turn invisible, what would you do with your ability? When Alice Sun is faced with this question she chooses what any desperate broke student would do, exchange secrets for money. When a big job goes terribly wrong Alice is forced to ask herself if the payoff was worth the price.

I have to say, I quite enjoyed this story. At first I didn't think I was going to but by the time I hit halfway I was invested. I really liked Alice as a main character. She was relatable and easy to root for. I enjoyed the way we got to see her struggle with herself when deciding if she was going to go through with the final job when so much was depending on it.

Overall, it wasn't a bad read. Once you get to the end there are a lot of typical YA clichΓ©s that come out but other than that it was pretty good.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Misery by Stephen King REVIEW

Misery
by Stephen King


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Blurb:

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.

Review:

I have such a weird relationship with Stephen King's books. While I almost always enjoy the story, I almost always find it way to dragged out.

Misery definitely fits both categories. I love Annie as the villain. She's well written, creepy and insane af. The storyline is deliciously creepy with the perfect amount gore to keep you scared and hooked. Once again King has created this insane character that is able to get under your skin and disturb you in the best ways possible.

Aside from the parts that dragged this was a dam good book. It's a great choice for the scary season. While not my favorite it's definitely up there with the best King novels.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid REVIEW

Carrie Soto is Back
by Taylor Jenkins Reid


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Blurb

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Sorry this review is so late.

I had the hardest time getting into Carrie Soto is back. I picked it up numerous times and just couldn't get into. Finally I decided to just push through and I am so thankful that I did.

I really disliked Carrie. I did not want her to make any sort of comeback at all and rooted against her like something fierce. I was surprised I had finally found a TJR book I really didn't enjoy as she is one of my favorite authors. Except, now the book is over and I'm so happy with how everything went and I'm once again applauding a truly great author. Carrie's character arc was absolutely splendid! There was also a great character arc for Carrie's father. The story leaves you satisfied and fulfilled, as long as you can get past Carrie and her crappy attitude long enough to reach the finish line.

I adore this book and hate that I kept putting it down instead of just reading it. If you're a fan of TJR I recommend at least trying this one. I know it won't be for everybody but it's certainly worth a shot.

Friday, September 23, 2022

A Haunted History of Invisible Women by Leanna Renee Hieber & Andrea Janes REVIEW

A Haunted History of Invisible Women
by Leanna Renee Hieber & Andrea Janes


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Blurb:

Sorrowful widows, vengeful jezebels, innocent maidens, wronged lovers, former slaves, even the occasional axe-murderess--America's female ghosts differ widely in background, class, and circumstance. Yet one thing unites them: their ability to instill fascination and fear, long after their deaths. Here are the full stories behind some of the best-known among them, as well as the lesser-known--though no less powerful.

Tales whispered in darkness often divulge more about the teller than the subject. America's most famous female ghosts, like New Orleans voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and Bridget Bishop, the first person executed during the Salem witchcraft trials, mirror each era's fears and prejudices. Yet through urban legends and campfire stories, even ghosts like the nameless hard-working women lost in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire --achieve a measure of power and agency in death, in ways unavailable to them as living women.

Riveting for skeptics and believers alike, with humor, curiosity, and expertise, A Haunted History of Invisible Women offers a unique lens on the significant role these ghostly legends play both within the spook-seeking corners of our minds and in the consciousness of a nation.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Where do I even begin with this one? It's an incredible account of different women throughout history. When I say different I mean no two women in this book are the same. From the scandalous to the misunderstood we get to know them all. With passion and fire A Haunted History of Invisible Women will have you seeing ghosts everywhere!

Hieber and Jane take the stories of these women and tell them in a way that demands they be heard. The way they wrote about these women feels almost as if they breathed life back into long forgotten ghosts.

This audiobook was narrated by Linda Jones. Honestly, I really don't think anyone else could have brought this story to life the way she did. Her voice and tone made her the perfect selection to read this book.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Something Bright and Burning by Whitney Amazeen REVIEW

 Something Bright and Burning

by Whitney Amazeen


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Blurb

For some, knowing the truth is worse than living a lie.

Everly Martin, eighteen years old and fiercely ambitious, takes pity on Nicolai after accidentally swiping right on a dating app. She doesn't have time for love, not with her desperation to finish college and earn enough money to help her single mom pay the bills. But from the moment they meet at a coffee shop, Nicolai terrifies her with the instant connection they form. He couldn't have come at a worse time, because that same morning, Everly learns she's pregnant. And to make matters worse, she isn't sure who the father of her child is.

Though Everly is determined to stay far away from Nicolai, he reappears in her life, this time in a way she can't ignore. While fighting her growing attraction for him, Everly is haunted by the knowledge that her baby's father might actually be a terrible person. She's willing to find out, even if learning the truth ultimately ends in heartbreak.

Nicolai might not have a place in Everly's future, but when he helps her discover a shocking truth about her past—a truth that could either change everything for the better, or destroy it even more—Everly must decide what's more important: giving her child the life she's always wanted, or following her heart and choosing love.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

What The Actual F.....?!? OK, that was a roller coaster that's going to take some time to process. I started this book and didn't put it down until I was completely finished. I couldn't help it, I was invested from the first chapter and then things escalated and I just couldn't stop.

The plot twist really got me. By the time I figured out what was going to happen I was right on top of the reveal. Not going to lie, I hated the twist and wish the author would have done literally anything else. Don't get me wrong, the writing is amazing, I just hated what happened here.

Something Bright and Burning is not for the faint of heart. There's so much that happens and if you're someone who needs trigger warnings I highly suggest checking them before reading this.

In a nutshell I thought this book was captivating, well written, infuriating and heartbreaking. Lately I've been finding it difficult to become immersed in stories but this one really captivated me. If you're going to read it make sure you have time on your hands so you don't have to put it down until you're finished.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

I'm The Girl by Courtney Summers REVIEW

 I'm The Girl

by Courtney Summers


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Blurb

When sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley's older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty—but who is guiltiest.

A spiritual successor to the 2018 breakout hit, Sadie, I'm the Girl is a masterfully written, bold, and unflinching account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it?

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

While the situations in this book are not fun to read about, I thought this was really well done. I am in awe of how blunt and raw this story actually is. Behind the words of this story lies the painful reality for too many women and girls. This is one of those stories that demands to be told.

One thing I think was done really well was the portrayl of sexual coercion. The situation we witness shows how sneakily someone can be coerced. In the book there are no outbursts of rage or pleading, he just talks his way around the situation to make it almost look like he is doing her a favor.

Overall, was it perfect? No it wasn't. But I do recommend this book for anyone who is looking for an dark thriller that will engage their mind and hurt their heart.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Gingerbread Witch by Alexandra Overy REVIEW

The Gingerbread Witch
by Alexandra Overy


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Blurb

Maud has grown up in a house made of gingerbread, wanting nothing more than to be a witch like Mother Agatha. But just like all of Agatha's creations—from the magical house made of sweets to the chocolate mousse squirrel, right down to the little sugar mice—Maud will turn back into gingerbread if anything ever happens to Agatha. After a terrible fight, Maud storms off only to return home to learn that Hansel and Gretel, a pair of witch hunters, have pushed Agatha into the cottage's oven.

To save herself and the other gingerbread creations, Maud will have to go into the dangerous forest of the Shadelands to find the First Witch's spellbook. But with witch hunters on her trail and other people interested in the book for their own means, it'll be far from easy. Can Maud claim the book and bring back the only mother she's ever known…or will witch hunters capture her before she can save her gingerbread family?

Expected Publication Date: September 13, 2022

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
This was such a fantastic book! It has everything you could ever want. Magic, adventure, battles, new friends, animal (well, sort of) sidekicks, family and of course Gingerbread!

Maud wants to be a Witch, and she even has the Witch mark but creator, Mother Agatha, still won't teach her magic. When Mother Agatha ends up being killed in an oven Maud must go on the biggest adventure of her life to try and bring her back and find out once and for all why she was never allowed to perform magic.

I had such an amazing time reading The Gingerbread Witch with my daughter. It's such an exciting and fantastical story. The writing is engaging, the characters are lovable and the retelling aspect is done so incredibly well. If you're a fan of retellings and adventures I strongly recommend giving this one a shot. The magic within these pages is perfect for all ages.

Gingerbread has never been so delicious!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Flip Turns by Catherine Arguelles REVIEW

Flip Turns
by Catherine Arguelles


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Blurb

Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate, Lucas, to leave her alone. He keeps asking her out—as if she hasn’t already said no a thousand times! Focusing on her competitive swim team, the Electric Eels, Maddie tries to ignore him, hoping he’ll go away.

But then, when someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool—glass on the deck, ketchup in the pool, followed by a “code brown”—Maddie worries it’s her “admirer” trying to get even. After Maddie’s parents rule the problems at the pool just harmless pranks, Maddie and her best friend Ez decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas? And how can Maddie get him to leave her alone once and for all? The future of the Electric Eels and Maddie’s family legacy are on the line.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I adored this book. The characters felt as if they were real. The relationships were incredibly well done and believable. There were some amazing decisions made regarding the storyline that really worked to emphasize the delicate situations and human behavior. I think this a great conversation starter for so many important topics that need to be talked about more such as dealing with anxiety, what is sexual harassment and parental pressure. The situations within this story are dealt with in a way that will connect with the intended Middle grade audience.

This is one of those books that really does a lot right, however, it certainly isn't perfect. What I didn't like about Flip Turns was the fact that there was a love interest. I feel like this book could have been more effective without it.

In the end, I think this is one of those books I think every Middle grade (or even younger and older) should have access to. There's a lot to appreciate about this book and I highly recommend giving it a shot.

The Headmaster's List by Melissa de la Cruz REVIEW

The Headmaster's List by Melissa de la Cruz πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ‘ Blurb When fifteen-year-old Chris Moore is tragically killed in a car crash, Argy...