Blog Tour & Review: People Like Us by Dana Mele!

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SYNOPSIS:

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

[GOODREADS] [AMAZON]


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MY REVIEW:

*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, BULLYING
“DEATH IS A CHAIN REACTION, A BUTTERFLY EFFECT.”
At first, I was a little hesitant to start this novel only because it was being compared to Pretty Little Liars and I am not a fan of that show/book series. That probably sounds lame but I decided to give it a go since it was also being compared to Thirteen Reasons Why and I actually loved that book.
Boy am I beyond glad to have given this novel a chance because I have fallen deeply in love with Dana’s writing style.
This book follows our main character, Kay, who is in the middle of grieving both her best friend and her brother, but whose life only gets rougher as she and her friends stumble upon a dead body of a fellow classmate. Kay was a breath of fresh air to me when it came to main characters. I rarely get to read novels that follow a character who seems to be so unattached to everything, even their own emotions. I loved seeing her character develop and witnessing what exactly made her tick or close up. I actually found myself deeply terrified for Kay’s well being during this book which is saying a lot since I still don’t know how I feel about her. I don’t hate her but I don’t necessarily like her either. But I ache for her?
I know I make no sense but it’s Dana’s fault. She has rocked my world with this amazing book and my mind is still reeling from it all.
I really liked that this novel had a solid start. It threw us right into the middle of the chaos and the suspense/thrill didn’t let up for one second the entire way. This book is a revenge mission and a ticking time bomb to find whoever is responsible for so much grief and pain before an innocent person pays the price for it.
The main thing I loved about this novel was the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. that we were introduced to was beyond interesting. I never knew who to trust, if anyone at all, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to devour each of their life stories. If it were up to me, I would have Dana write individual books dedicated to every character I met through Kay. (Especially Greg.)
It’s rare when an author can make me fall hard for more than a couple characters but it’s lesser known when they have me deeply invested in the stories of ALL of their characters. Dana managed to do so here in the most flawless and poetic way. I can’t stress enough how much I loved the way Dana handled this story from beginning to end.
Oh, and did I mention this is a diverse book? Because it is. But not in a painfully obvious way. Like everything else in this novel, Dana executed that aspect quite beautifully.
The final deciding factor when it came to rating this book was Dana’s wonderful skill in manipulation. She made me question myself every step of the way and I loved every second of it. I was 100% sure that I knew who was responsible for Kay’s misery but as it turned out, I was proved way wrong.
This entire novel carried so much weight to it already due to the way it started but the last chapters carried it 6-fold. This was an intricate web of lies and deception that I’ll never forget. I found myself forgoing sleep (multiple times, I have the dark circles to prove it) in order to keep reading since I refused to set it down. My heart missed this book with a passion when it wasn’t in my hands and it was hard to focus on real life. So many secrets bathed the entirety of this novel that I often times found myself not knowing what was reality and what wasn’t.
Dana blew me away with this debut novel and I am itching to see what else she has to offer.

5/5 stars!


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ABOUT DANA MELE:

Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler.

[AUTHOR WEBSITE]


Who would I Reign the Earth with_ (1)

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

WEEK ONE
February 19 – Lindseyybooks – Review
February 20 – Bibliobakes – Review
February 21 – Bookish Bug – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
February 22 – Twinning for Books – Review
February 23 – The Bookish Crypt – Review
 
WEEK TWO
 
February 26 – Brooke Reports – Review
February 27 – Bookish Delights – Review
February 28 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review + Styleboard
March 1 – Never Too Many To Read – Character/Suspect Profile
March 2 – Dauntless Books and Penguins – Review
 
 
WEEK THREE
 
March 6 – Touch My Spine Book Reviews – Review
March 7 – The Night Owl Book Blog – Review
March 8 – A Simple Taste of Reading – Review
March 9 – Books.Tea.Quotes – Review + Instagram Picture

Who would I Reign the Earth with_

Kay is forced to seek revenge by deciphering clues from a blog.
If you want to follow along as you read,
click the link down below!
Click at your own risk…
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Review: Sun Warrior by P.C. Cast!

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“Isn’t death just another part of life- perhaps the most important part?”
This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it met some of my expectations and exceeded others!
This book picks up immediately after the events that happened at the end of Moon Chosen but even though there were a lot of things happening, I still felt like it had a slow start. It drove me a bit further into my slump but it was to be expected since it was the same situation with the first book. But I am grateful I got myself out of that mindset because here we are, writing a book for one of my favorite series ever.
This world is difficult to explain without giving away spoilers so I will just keep this review character based, like most of my reviews.
I really liked witnessing the relationship between Mari and Nik grow the way it did. Those two haven’t had it easy since I met them but they make me proud. They handle their situations with a grace and bravery that I hope to embody someday.
I also found myself super invested in Jaxom’s story line. My heart broke for him the most and I couldn’t control all the tears I shed for him and his situation. I wish I could have reached inside the pages to soothe his sorrow away but I can only hope the next book brings him closure for his happiness to shine once more. He doesn’t deserve what he’s going through and I hope Cast hears my prayers over his situation.
Oh, and I’m even more obsessed with lynxes because of Bast. I can’t wait to see more Antreas either! I love his wit and I am dying to see more of his story line develop in the next novel.
There are just so many phenomenal characters within this tome of a book that I can’t incorporate them all in this review.
The villain in this novel has to be one of the worst (or should I say best?) characters that I’ve ever read. Trust me, that’s a good thing. It’s a fantastic thing. This character terrified me beyond belief. His transformation was absolutely fantastic but I despise him with a hatred I haven’t felt in a long time. Let alone towards a fictional character. Cast has won me over with her ability to create some of the worst and rotten beings I’ve ever encountered in fictional worlds.
I had a bit of an issue with some of the dialogue (it felt unrealistic) but other than that, this book was all that I wish it was going to be and more.
This is one of the few books I’ve ever read where the side characters are just as intriguing as the main ones. No matter which point of view was thrown my way, I was completely immersed in their story, no questions asked. I was protective of most of them and I could only sit back and watch as this savage world Cast created threw bad things their way. This book had me scared of the way it would end and I was right to feel that way. I shed so many tears over it all and I can’t wait to see what the next book will hold for us. I can’t wait to meet new characters and territories!

4.5/5 stars!

Review: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather!

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This book follows Sam from How to Hang a Witch as she is thrown another curve ball. This book introduces new characters and new settings that I appreciated a lot more than the old ones. This follows the tragedy of the Titanic and of course, I was super excited for it. Anything that takes place in the ocean is my own slice of heaven.
I didn’t end up liking anybody else besides Sam, SOMEONE we met in book one, and the innocent Titanic passengers.
I didn’t care for Jackson from book one. I thought he would redeem himself in this one but no such luk. This book only made me dislike him even more. And the Descendants? I didn’t really care for them either. Something about them just prevented me from getting attached to them and I just learned to live with it.
Again, Adriana’s writing is super predictable, so I could in no right mind, give this 5 stars. I knew who the villain was as SOON as I saw them and I never wanted to be more wrong in my life. But alas, I was right, so the ‘big reveal’ was not in the works for me. I loved the setting and story line so much more than the first book but it still had a lot to be desired.
I really enjoyed discovering Sam’s family history and the way it related to the plot. I will never read/look at anything Titanic-related without picturing all the passengers from this novel. My heart broke for them time and time again. I always saw Titanic as something that ‘just happened’ but Adriana opened my eyes and made me see it in a whole new light. For that, I am grateful. I could feel the love Adriana had for her own history as much as Sam’s and I admired her for sharing it with us.
I just have to mention that I loved the way she decided to incorporate Titanic into this novel. I’ve never read a plot line like it and it was joy to experience it through Sam’s eyes. Yes, I have a few negative things to say for her plot twists but the plot itself? It was beautiful. Just writing this review makes me want to read it all over again and I’m sure that I will give in one day. To this day, I still can’t stop thinking about the events that went down in this novel.
Anyway, let’s just say that this won’t be the last book I of hers! (Especially if I get to see more of my romantic ship!)

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

4/5 stars!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ]


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Review: How to Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

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“If you come across someone sad and you do not try to make them smile, then you’ve disgraced your own humanity.”
This was Adriana’s debut novel and I wish I would’ve put that into consideration before diving into it. I think I wouldn’t have let my expectations get the best of me if I had done so. There were a lot of things in this book that I had problems with but there were also a few things that made me excited to continue with the sequel.
This novel began pretty solidly for me. I was loving the main character, Sam, and the fact that she spoke her mind instead of taking verbal attacks against her silently. I always admire main characters who have a backbone from the start. I was cheering her on page after page and I couldn’t get enough of her. But eventually she did some things that brought my like for her down a few notches.
And as soon as we were introduced to our ghost character, the excitement for this novel started to dwindle down. My first impression of our ghost was NOT pleasant whatsoever. The way he spoke grated on my ears since it appeared super obvious to me that Adriana was trying really hard to to make him sound… old? I have nothing against old language but I do have something against it if it doesn’t flow with the writing. Which it didn’t, at least not for me. I eventually got over my massive dislike for his language due to his actions. I didn’t focus on the things he said anymore, just on the things he did and the things he did melted my heart to no end. I grew super attached to him in the end and I couldn’t wait to get to know him more. So that’s what eventually saved this novel for me in the end. I also eventually found myself enjoying his story line a lot more than Sam’s. I was rooting for his ease of mind and soul every step of the way.
My absolute favorite parts were the flashbacks she had with her dad. They made me tear up due to how beautiful their dynamic was. The things her dad said to her were some of my favorite quotes ever and I enjoyed the breaks along the story where we got to witness them.
I also liked that this novel had really short chapters so it sped up my reading by a lot. It was easy to get through so I didn’t have time to focus on my dislikes. The last few chapters were a solid intense, gripping ride.
I really liked Adriana’s writing but I wish there was… more of it? As in, I wish she would’ve focused on the scenery as much as she did with all of the drama. I mean, I know this probably wasn’t meant to be a huge tome of a detailed novel, but I still would’ve loved to have seen what set this book apart from other settings. I think it might just have been my high expectations and massive love of Salem, but it just came up short in that department.
I also found myself predicting a lot of the plot twists in this novel. The story line was a bit too obvious for my liking and it impacted my reading way too much.

3/5 stars

 

Review: Lake + Manning by Jessica Hawkins!

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A home he built us on the unshakeable foundation we fought for.
A life of laughter carved out of heartache and betrayal.
A love story to stand the test of time.

But between a trust that can’t be broken, joy that can’t be bridled, and passion that would scorch the sun, the empty spaces are becoming more and more difficult to ignore . . .
Fears that keep Manning up at night as he slips from our bed.
Our complicated relationship with a man he respects and one I don’t know how to forgive.
And a sprawling, beautiful home with one small room I’m afraid I’ll never be able to fill.

Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
But I’ll beg the heavens for just one thing more.


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My review:

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“We were two stars forever locked in a triangle that only seemed to hurt us.”
Let’s see, what can I say about this book, this series, that I haven’t already said in the last three books?
I am madly in love with Jessica and this memorable love story that pulled at every one of my heart strings with every turn of the page. Lake & Manning are an unbelievable pair. Unbelievable in the way that I have read NOTHING like their love story. I lived through a lot of similarities but I’ve never seen them displayed upon the pages of a book like with this series. This is the official conclusion to their insanely angsty story and I’m not happy with that. But I guess will have to get over it someday, maybe in a few decades. Or not.
This book picks up a few years after the previous book. It follows Lake & Manning throughout even more struggles that they stumble upon within a decade after that. I wish we would’ve gotten every single minuscule detail of their stories instead of it jumping a few years every now and then but that’s just me being my ultimate greedy self. I loved reading about them in a whole new dynamic that we’ve never seen before.
Lake has gained such immense respect from me with every one of her actions that I don’t know where to even begin. I felt super protective over her before but she’s actually older than me now so I have toned it down to regular protectiveness. I am so proud of everything she accomplished in every single one of these novels. None of it came easy for her but it was all worth it in the end and she showed to be one of the strongest heroines ever.
“All I did was claim you. But you were already mine, weren’t you, Birdy?”
Uhm, you are so right, Manning!!! I mean, I know I’m not Birdy but I can pretend right? If I could describe Manning in one word, it would be: MAN. Not ‘man.’… but ‘MAN.’ His heart is absolutely ginormous. No words will ever describe the immense admiration I have for the way he righted all of his wrongs and devoted himself to Lake and their happiness together. I still will NEVER forgive him for the things he did in previous novels but, I will forget. I don’t think I’ve met a male character that loves with the capacity and intensity that he does. He has driven my already unrealistic expectations for real men even higher. I’ll just accept it right here that I will never find someone who meets those expectations. I thought he had already proven himself worthy of Lake to me in the last book but I was wrong. This novel made me see him in a much better light and I loved witnessing a new side of him.
I still can’t believe how far these two have come. I will always take their problems and heartaches personally. They deserve only the best of the best and it was heartbreaking to see them be anything less than happy.
I thought I knew exactly how this book was going to go but Jessica always managed to blow my expectations out of the park. This novel was no different. The way Jessica handled Lake & Manning’s story was utterly heartbreaking but with the ultimate pay off. The last book left a lot of loose ends but this one wrapped them up perfectly.
I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion.

Infinite stars/5 stars


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Lake + Manning Buy Links:

 [Amazon] [iBooks] [Nook]

[Google Play] [Kobo] [Goodreads]

[Audiobook Release Alert] [iBooks] [Amazon Series]

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Author Bio:

Jessica Hawkins is an Amazon bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in California and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

Review & $100 Giveaway: Derailed by Kacey Shea!

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Title: Derailed

Series: Off Track Records

Author: Kacey Shea

Genre: Contemporary Romance (can be read as standalone)

Trope: Rock Star Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36470285-derailed


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Synopsis:

NEW from USA TODAY Bestselling author Kacey Shea…

Sean Willis knows the difference between right and wrong. Sure, the bass player of Three Ugly Guys has made his share of mistakes, but when push comes to shove, Sean always chooses the high road. Now, even when things are unraveling with the band, he’s the voice of reason.

Until Jess.

She’s the only thing he’s ever wanted and couldn’t have. Not only is she his new roommate, but her boyfriend is the newest addition to 3UG. She’s more than off limits, she’s a temptress with her unaltered beauty and gentle spirit.

Jessica Moore has never been the center of anyone’s world. In fact, she’s familiar with being forgotten. Not too tall, not too pretty, not too smart; she’s just Jess. No stranger to scraping by for survival, she finds shelter in Coy Wright, a musician with dreams bigger than life. But when Coy skyrockets to stardom, Jess is thrust into a world in which she doesn’t belong.

That is, until she discovers an unexpected friendship. Sean treats Jess as someone special, important, and worthy of love. The feelings and desires he stirs within are dangerous, because despite Sean’s kindness and affection, she’s forever loyal to Coy.

What happens when doing the wrong thing feels right?

Jess and Sean’s friendship is put to the test, along with alliances in the band. Is love enough to derail their best laid plans, or will selfishness throw everyone’s success off track?

DERAILED can be read as a standalone or begin with Trent’s story in DETOUR.   


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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“Don’t waste another someday.”
This was my seventh novel by Kacey Shea and I just can’t get enough o her! I am having such a hard time disliking any main character she throws at me but I wouldn’t have it any other way! My heart will always belong to Tate but Sean has definitely given him a run for his money on this one. (If you don’t know who Tate is yet, then you need to get to reading Kacey’s novels asap!)
Anyway, this is the second book that follows the band members from Three Ugly Guys, but the best thing about all of them is that they can be read as standalones! I’ve said this before but I can’t stop appreciating the fact that all of these guys may be as close as brothers but the differences between their personalities is so obvious that I don’t even need the novel to specify who spoke a certain quote. It’s something I appreciate beyond anything else and it makes me absolutely excited for the next book following this group of men. Their dynamic is one of my most favorite things to witness and this book brought everything to a whole new level on that department.
This novel follows Sean, the TUG’s bassist, as he falls for another man’s girl, Jess. I fell for them very quickly as individuals, but they blew me away as a duo.
My heart ached for Jess even before I had the chance to find out about her past. The pain and sorrow radiated so intensely from her that I felt it seeping off the page. It was pretty brutal reading from her point of view due to the things she has experienced was still experiencing as the book progressed. I just want to point out that Jess is one of the best main characters I’ve ever read about and I think she could be an amazing role models to readers everywhere. I hope readers take a page from her book (literally) whenever they find themselves struggling with loving themselves.
I’ll have to take my own advice on that one for sure.
I couldn’t get enough of Sean so it’s his fault that I finished this book a A LOT sooner than I expected to. I refused to put this book down and ended up reading it in just a few hours. Sean has a tremendous heart and one of the best morals a man could have. I loved being inside his head and experiencing his deep affection and respect he has for those he loves first hand. He tries his hardest to do the right thing and he always made me proud with the way he handled himself.
I seriously wish authors handled relationships in books the way Kacey did in this novel more often. It was handled so beautifully that my heart swelled 8 times its size cause of how proud I was. I should probably get it checked out but for now I’ll just bask in the glory that is a perfectly executed romance. I will now compare every relationship I read about to Sean and Jess. Those two were too cute for words. Their physical chemistry was off the charts and their hearts spoke volumes about their emotional compatibility. If those two aren’t the embodiment of the perfect relationship, (that they worked hard for) I don’t know what is. They deserve all the happiness life can offer.
I don’t know if this will be considered a spoiler but skip this paragraph if you don’t want to take a chance: I am unbelievably delighted of the fact that they didn’t rush head first into a relationship but decided to give each other space in order to work on themselves first. God. I still can’t believe how perfect this execution was. I rarely see it in books and it was glorious to experience it as a reader. I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. If I have, I can’t remember.
I do want to include a few trigger warnings for many forms of domestic violence and substance abuse. This book touches upon some other very dark topics but I don’t want to give much away so please be warned before starting this novel. If you don’t think you are in the right mind set for it, this book will still be there when you are.
It was such a bittersweet moment when I reached the end but it was so worth it. Especially with a last chapter like that. It melted me into an unrecognizable pile of goo and brought happy tears to my face.
This book teaches readers that no matter how ugly and dark your past may derail your happiness, there will always be time for you to bounce back stronger than ever.

4.5/5 stars!


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Buy Links:

[Amazon[Amazon CA[Amazon UK[Amazon AU]

[Nook[Kobo[iTunes]

[Google Play[Universal


In The Series:

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Detour (an Off Track Records novel)

[Amazon[Amazon CA[Amazon UK]

[Amazon AU[Nook[Kobo]

[iTunes[Google Play]


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Author Bio:

Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.

When she’s not writing you will find her playing taxi cab to her children while belting out her favorite tunes, meeting friends or family for food and to share some laughs, or sweating it out in the gym. Kacey finds that picking up heavy weights repeatedly is good for her mental health as much as it is for the physical.

She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It’s just hot. On occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store.

Kacey one day aspires to be a woman hand model in a sexy photo shoot. You know, the woman’s hand raking across the muscular back or six pack stomach of the male fitness model. Yep, that hand.

Until that day comes she will continue writing sexy, flirty romance novels in hopes to bring others joy!

Kacey enjoys interacting with her fans so please feel free to stalk her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Social Media Links:

[Website[Facebook[Instagram[Twitter]

[Amazon[Goodreads[Book Bub]

[Kacey’s Closet Vixens (Reader Group)]

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