Review | Sentinel (Covenant #5) – Jennifer L. Armentrout

book review

sentinel

Sentinel

Jennifer L. Armentrout
297 pages

Synopsis:

It’s a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

Bullet Review:

5star

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“He was my strength when I needed him to be, my friend when I needed someone to talk me down, my equal in a world where by law I would always be less than him, and honest to gods, he was the love of my life.”

Can I just say how much I looooove Aiden?! He’s so perfect. I love Aiden and Alex, they’re perfect. This book’s perfect. Jennifer L. Armentrout is perfect.

♥ What can I say other than that Sentinel was the perfect ending that I could hope for the series. It was honestly so amazing how everything turned out

♥ Armentrout continues the series where it left off and keeps you wanting more and at the edge of your seat.

♥ The writing is just as amazing and it is the same Armentrout, witty type of dialogue that she loves to use in her books

♥ One of the best things about this book is that you really see the development of Alex’s character. She is so much more mature and level headed than when we first met her. I actually love her now. She’s uses her brain to make her decisions and is less likely to act on her impulsiveness.

♥ The best thing about this series is the dynamic relationship between Alex and Aiden. Let’s not kid ourselves, anything with Aiden is amazing. They are truly made for each other. They understand each other so much emotionally and they are in sync in battle. It was amazing to read.

♥ In every review for the Half-Blood series, I have swooned over the magnificence of Aiden over and over again. I mean, I even named one of my Sims kids after him! Ha I’m a nerd. He is everything you would want in a character. Very funny, dependable, loveable, caring, sweet, physically active and strong, loyal, and every nice adjective out there.

♥ The last time I brought up Seth, it was not good. I never really loved him as a character because he was so arrogant and I think what happens to him in this book really knocks him down a peg or two. I liked that he knocked down a peg or two but it made me feel for him. He’s got a series all to himself, I’m still deciding on if I will read it or not.

♥ The ending was fantastic and I wish it didn’t have to end. I wish I got to know more about the war and the relationships with the Greek gods and the future of all the other characters. But I know, the book can’t go on forever. We can only dream.

xoxo

Review | What We Saw – Aaron Hartzler

book review

what we saw

What We Saw

Aaron Hartzler
336 pages

Synopsis:

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

My Review:

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I got into the phase of reading YA novels that surround rape. We live in a world where rape culture is fairly popular and we’re starting to see more and more of it in YA books. I was really excited to read this one because it was inspired by a real life event where a female student was raped by a group of male students who eventually stood in solidarity, along with other members of the community, to not only hide the crime but to blame the victim. Just on that premise alone, you knew that the book would be powerful and emotional. However, I feel like some parts of the book missed its mark. It is such a heavy topic and doing it from another person’s point of view and not the victim is a new way for me. I think that making it that way lessened the emotional value for me.

Kate was a great character and I like how Hartzler made her into this compassionate character. I liked that she was different from everyone else. She wanted to find out the truth. Okay maybe at first it wasn’t for the sake of Stacey, the victim, but because she herself couldn’t remember what exactly happened at the party because she passed out. As things start to unravel and more information, like pictures and the possible idea that her own boyfriend could have been involved, it changes Kate. This book made me so angry because of the ignorance of the town and how quick they were to blame the victim and protect their classmates. I really liked how Kate goes through the struggle of wondering why she was able to escape the fate that Stacey didn’t even though they both passed out drunk.

It was truly heartbreaking but I couldn’t feel it in a deeper level because it wasn’t told in Stacey’s point of view. I think that this book would have been even more substantial and powerful if we got to read it through Stacey’s POV. I was so very interested in her story. I wanted to know how she found out. I wanted to know if she remembered anything. I wanted to know how she was coping. I wanted to know so much of Stacey’s story and we weren’t really given that. I just really liked that it delves into such a dark topic and it’s very important that it is talked about. Sometimes however, it felt like a PSA for rape. Either way, it was a good, solid read.

xoxo

Review | Things We Know By Heart – Jessi Kirby

book review

Things We Know By Heart

Jessi Kirby
304 pages

Synopsis:

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

My Review:

5star

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We lie together, quiet, under an endless sky, beside a bottomless ocean, and we don’t talk about how these are all the things that brought us together. We don’t talk about how we wouldn’t change any of them.We don’t have to, because these are the things we know by heart.

I have been wanting to read this book for the longest time. The. Longest. Time. But somehow it kept getting pushed down my TBR list until I finally just sat myself down and read it. I had high expectations for this one because the synopsis really drew me in. I was so not disappointed. If anything, it met and far exceeded my expectations. This book has become one of my favorite ever. It was so wonderfully beautiful yet heartbreaking. It was so easy to fall in love with it and get emotionally attached to the characters. The writing style was just fantastic and very beautiful. It made me feel so many emotions. I was also crying so much. Make sure to have a box sitting near you while you’re reading this.

I really enjoyed the plot. It can be a little predictable at times but what YA contemporary book isn’t. It’s a beautiful story of love and moving on from tragedies. I loved how well it all came together in the story. It’s definitely heart heavy. It starts depressing already, with Quinn seeing her boyfriend’s death. It was indeed traumatic and she starts going through the grieving process. I got very attached to Quinn and it was like whatever she went through, you felt it. There was a scene especially, when she starts to forget how many days have passed since Trent passed away and that scene was just so emotionally draining. She has a breakdown and feels so guilty about moving on, it just breaks your heart. I loved that Quinn had such an amazing support system after the tragedy, especially her sister!

I leave the last paragraph to Colton, the recipient of Trent’s heart. While I was 100% not okay with Quinn wanting to find him against his will, I understood her reasons for wanting to do so. However, them meeting wasn’t a part of a plan and that was sort of an accident, a funny one but an accident. So it wasn’t as bad. But Colton, wow. He was such an amazing character and the life that he leads is something that many people, including myself, wish to live. He’s loving, compassionate, outgoing, kind, and lives everyday like it’s his last day. I loved that we get to know more about his story and his story is just as equally emotionally draining, maybe even more. You will totally fall in love with Colton and this book!

xoxo

Review | The Mistletoe Promise – Richard Paul Evans

book review

The Mistletoe Promise

Richard Paul Evans
273 pages

Synopsis:

Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.

My Review:

5star

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I read this one in December and I am finally coming around to writing the review. Not because I didn’t enjoy it but just because I haven’t had the time. I only have glowing reviews for this book. It is the first Christmas themed book that I’ve read and it made me want to read more. During Christmas, I watch Hallmark Channel nonstop for their Christmas movies. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Lo and behold, The Mistletoe Promise was a movie and I enjoyed it. It was good by Hallmark movie standards. Then I found out it was a book and decided to get it immediately! And wow! What a difference. The movie is a loosely based adaptation, let’s just say that. I really enjoyed it because I’m in this phase where I absolutely love the whole Fake-Dating trope.

This book will really surprise you. It goes a lot darker than the synopsis shows. I was really surprised by how dark this “Christmas” book goes. It was a very bittersweet book to read because of the dark times that the main character goes through. Don’t worry though, it is a Christmas book, so expect some really great moments! The plot twist and Elise’s past were totally unexpected. I really didn’t see it coming. You can kind of guess what it is as it gets closer to the big reveal but you never really know until it’s there. I love the writing style of Richard Paul Evans and I love the little quotes from Elise’s journals in the beginning of the chapters. They were like little previews that hyped me up for the chapter. His writing was very easy to read and easy to understand. It pulls you into the story and makes you want to keep reading.

I loved the characters. I see some of me in Elise and I really liked her character. After the circumstances with her ex-husband, the whole being cheated on, and the plot twist, I understand why she is the way she is. I understand her distrustful nature and her depression and Christmas loathing self. It was so hard because I always picture myself as the main character. She goes through a rough patch. It’s not even a rough patch, it’s a rough streak. Dan is a piece of crap person. I don’t even care about how the plot twist affected him, that guy is a dirt bag. He still is! Is he even human? Now Nicholas … okay, it’s hard to just instantly trust someone who comes up to you and asks to fake date him with a contract. But as you get to know him, he’s an amazing guy. I wish someone like Nick would do what he did for Elise for me in real life. Did I even make sense? Doesn’t matter. Read the book! Even if it’s no longer Christmas season!

xoxo

Review | Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

book review

miss-peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs
352 pages

Synopsis:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

My Review:

3star

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I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.

Miss Peregrine’s has been a book that has been recommended to me time and time again. The first time I picked it up and looked through the book, I immediately put the book back down and said that I wouldn’t be reading it. The pictures, which is something that really makes the book stand out from the others, is what made me not want to read them. I am a pansy and I am easily scared. I admit that. So seeing these black and white photos with children wearing old school clothes gave me the creeps. I didn’t even read the synopsis. Eventually, that fear wore down because I saw the trailer for the movie and saw that Eva Green was playing Miss Peregrine. It interested me then.

To be honest, I thought that the book could have been better. It was really slow at time and I mean really slow that I couldn’t even bare to read it. I would have stopped reading it but the plot really was interesting. I did enjoy the fact that there were pictures, even though I didn’t exactly stare at them too long. They still give me the shivers even though I know that they are just pictures of peculiars. The beginning picked up real fast because it surrounded the death of his grandfather, Jacob’s first encounter with hollows. It was exciting and fast-moving and then Jacob goes to Cairnholm to find out more about his grandfather and that’s where it lost me. It was so boring for me. It finally started picking up when he meets the peculiars and starts interacting with them more and more.

I just felt like the pace of the book was bringing me down. At some parts, it was fast and exciting and then other parts just kept dragging on. I think one of the major letdown for me was the main character. I thought he was very one-dimensional. He was really boring and there was nothing in him that I could relate to and I had trouble being able to jump into his mind and be the character. The other characters kind of fell flat for me, too. None of them, other than Miss Peregreine, really stuck out to me. I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. I’m not talking about the accuracy and how closely they made the adaptation to the book. I just felt that the movie pulled more on my feelings than the book. The actors gave the characters life. I still felt like Jacob was boring but honestly it was all worth it for Eva Green’s performance as Miss Peregrine. I actually cried in the movie! If it wasn’t for the movie (and the fact that I bought the trilogy box set), I probably wouldn’t be looking forward to reading the third book.

xoxo

Review | A Tangled Web – M.L. Sparrow

book review

Don’t Look Back

tangled-web

M. L. Sparrow
94 pages

Synopsis:

Japan, 2011

Taiyo is a normal high-school girl living with her Grandmother in Sendai. She goes to school, partakes in club activities and hangs out with her two best friends, twin brothers Ryuu and Kairi. However, her perfect world is shattered when she begins dating Kairi but quickly discovers she’s already in love with Ryuu.

A tangled web of lies surrounds the pair, but everything is suddenly knocked into perspective on March 11th when they are caught up in a natural disaster that devastates the country and robs thousands of their homes, their possessions and their lives…

My Review:

5star

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First and foremost, I’d like to say HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to A TANGLED WEB!!! Yes! Today is the official date of publication!! Go on Amazon and buy it!!

I am always excited when Sparrow asks me to review her books. I am a fan of her writing style and I have enjoyed all of her books I’ve read. I was worried because this time around it would be a short story. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough time to really get engrossed by the story and really feel for the characters. I shouldn’t have been worried because it was such a wonderful read. I mean, it was depressing me because it surrounded the real life tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. I really loved the way it was written. The book started before the tsunami and I love how the book was separated by date and it further emphasized the normalcy of their days that was all of a sudden disrupted. The crazy thing is that there was no warning, at least not enough of a warning. Unlike in Miami, where I live, we get plenty of warnings before a hurricane hits us. We can get reinforcements and have time for evacuation. But a tsunami, of that size and magnitude, what is there to be done?

The closer the novella got to the date, the more anxious I got and I loved that the book affected me this way. I love how Sparrow wrote the story, that even though we’ve only been given 94 pages, we knew Taiyo’s story and her history and relationships with Ryuu and Kairi. I don’t know much about the Japanese culture and honestly didn’t even know much about the tsunami and Sparrow only heightened my curiosity. I love that there is so much Japanese culture in the novella. I really loved that we had a glossary in the end to help us with the Japanese words used in the book. I’m serious guys, I actually looked into the tsunami. I watched videos and researched the whole thing. It is a really interesting topic that I have yet to read about and I am so glad that Sparrow wrote on it. I enjoyed the characters. They were very unique and the love story was very believable in its progression.

xoxo

Review | Don’t Look Back – Jennifer L. Armentrout

book review

Don’t Look Back

Jennifer L. Armentrout
384 pages

Synopsis:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all – popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the truth about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory – someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

My Review:

5star

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I was stuck in a life I didn’t remember, squeezed into the shell of this girl – this Samantha Joe Franco – and the more I learned about her, the more I was starting to hate her.

It’s always a challenge when you read a book from one of your favorite authors, especially when you’ve constantly given their books 4-5 star ratings. It places a lot of expectations on the next book. It makes you wonder if this will be the book that breaks the high rating streak. I was indeed nervous about Don’t Look Back because I have loved all the JLA books I’ve read before. I was worried that I wouldn’t like this one as much, especially since it was contemporary and I was used to reading fantasy and science fiction from JLA. However, after the first couple of chapters, it was clear that I didn’t have anything to worry about. JLA always had the ability to transport me to the world she writes but Don’t Look Back was different. It was like I was the main character. It left me in more suspense than I could have imagined. Guys, I am beyond serious. There were moments were I was living each day as Samantha, that I was about to have panic attacks. I was worried I actually was going to start hallucinating! I was sweating, anxious and panicking. My heart rate was incredibly fast and it was just a wild ride.

Sammy, the new Sammy, was very likeable. I think that it would have been different had we met her before her amnesia. It was crazy because you sort of feel this disconnect between the Sam she was now and the mean, bullying Sam she was before. I liked how bold and confident she was. She went through a very traumatic experience and she came out strong. If I was in her place, I know I’d be a mess. I’d be crying all day and not wanting to face the school, the world. Sammy was a terrible bully before and honestly, if we met her at that state, she probably would not be a likeable character. Since we met her after the incident, she kind of gets a clean slate. What I love about her is that when she remembered how terrible she was, she was regretful and she wanted to change.

Scott, her twin brother, is just amazing. I am in love with him. I love how supportive he was and it seems like he was always supportive of Sammy, even when she was a monstrous person. I love protective he was over his sister without being overbearing. I loved his relationship with Julie and I love how he wasn’t like the other “rich” and “snobby” kids in school, including his past sister. Carson, Scott’s best friend, was also incredible. Even from the beginning, you could tell that he didn’t have the best relationship with Sammy yet he still gave her a second chance at redeeming herself. He is a total sweetheart and I loved every part that he was in. As for Del the Dick, Sammy’s boyfriend, well … he’s given that nickname in the book for a reason. Wow. I honestly hate his guts. As for Cassie, we’re only told about her through Sammy’s memories and from other’s opinion of her and let’s just say she wasn’t popular for being sweet. She’s pretty much the most hated person in the school so the suspects weren’t exactly a short list.

Other than the characters, the writing really shined for me. I love the way JLA wrote the book and how she paced it. She made it more suspenseful and I love that you don’t expect what is coming next. She made it so mysterious and it definitely helped me love the book even more. The plot twist in the end was just surprising! It was a real shocker. I had a couple of suspects along the way but I just didn’t have anything to stick it to this person. It was just really surprising! I felt like I was Sammy, I couldn’t trust anyone because I didn’t know who to trust. Overall, the book automatically became a favorite of mine and I’ve been doing nothing but recommending it to all my friends!

xoxo

Teaser Thursday | A Tangled Web by M.L. Sparrow

teaser thursdayWhen I first started my blog, I never imagined that I would ever get this far. In a month or so, this blog will be running for two years! Along with that, I never thought that I would actually have followers, much less authors or publishers contacting me and asking me to review their books. M.L. Sparrow, author of Ghetto, The Demon Inside, and No Rest for the Wicked, was one of the authors that first contacted me. I am extremely lucky and grateful for her consideration. I have enjoyed all of her books and I am so excited to be giving you all a teaser for another one of her works, this time a short novella called A Tangled Web.


tangled-web

A Tangled Web by M.L Sparrow

Expected Publication: February 1st, 2017

Click here to purchase a copy of A Tangled Web.

SYNOPSIS

Japan, 2011

Taiyo is a normal high-school girl living with her Grandmother in Sendai. She goes to school, partakes in club activities and hangs out with her two best friends, twin brothers Ryuu and Kairi. However, her perfect world is shattered when she begins dating Kairi but quickly discovers she’s already in love with Ryuu.

A tangled web of lies surrounds the pair, but everything is suddenly knocked into perspective on March 11th when they are caught up in a natural disaster that devastates the country and robs thousands of their homes, their possessions and their lives…

atw-teaser-2

EXCERPT:

Everything was perfect until the ground began to shake. There was no warning. The warning system on their mobiles didn’t begin to sound until after it had begun.

Jishin!” people shouted above the low, grumbling roar beneath them. Earthquake.

A red car skidded into a blue one at the top of the road, both of them trembling and bouncing.

Dropping her school bag, she grabbed Ryuu’s hand and tried not to fall. He dropped into a crouch to keep his balance, taking her down with him. She kept thinking it would be over in a minute, but it never seemed to end. Someone screamed and across the street a man lost his footing and fell to his knees. A crack appeared in the pavement, inching towards them. They scrambled away and her heart jumped in her chest as the road split open.

Roof tiles rained down, shattering on the ground and another crack appeared, this time in the wall of a small shop. Dust and plaster billowed from the crack and the wall began to buckle.

Taiyo didn’t know how long it lasted, it must have been minutes at least, but it finally subsided to a shivering tremble before petering off all together. Everyone looked around, holding perfectly still, afraid to move.

“That was a big one,” a lady near them, clutching a little boy, said fearfully, glancing in the direction of the sea, “should we move to higher ground?” Around the coast there was always the risk of a tsunami after an earthquake and they’d learnt about their country’s devastating history with the huge waves in school.

“It’s all right, the seawalls will protect us,” someone else answered.

Taiyo glanced at Ryuu nervously. In turn, he looked around at the locals, many of whom were gathering in little clusters.

Anxiously she bit her lip, her stomach twisting itself into knots; something didn’t feel right. Like all Japanese people, she was used to earthquakes, however, she couldn’t remember ever experiencing one quite like that.

Several people rushed into houses and reappeared with bags, chivvying along children or their elderly parents, before getting into their cars and driving away, but the majority of people remained.

A few houses and shops had crumbled, but looking around no one that she could see appeared to be seriously hurt. One man had been hit by a falling roof tile and was bleeding from a gash to his forehead. Sitting on the pavement, he was being attended to by neighbours.

It looked like the worst was over, but then someone shouted and they all turned to look out over the grey-blue sea. At first Taiyo didn’t know what she was seeing, but then the breath caught in her lungs.

The alarms began to blare.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

sparrow

M L Sparrow is currently the author of four full length novels, a novella and a slew of short stories published in various anthologies. She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance!

As well as writing, she enjoys travelling and has been to some amazing countries, where she never fails to gather inspiration and has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…

Find her on: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | M.L. Sparrow

Don’t forget to get your copy of A Tangled Web here on February 1st, 2017!

xoxo