Review: On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins!

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*ARC provided by Little Bird publishing in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by Kristan Higgins and I can’t believe it’s taking me so long to find her.
This book follows Ainsley and Kate, two not-so-close half sisters who are both dealing with different shades of grief. We get both of their point of views and they were intriguing with unique voices. I couldn’t connect to them as much as I wish I had since they were well into their 30’s but I absolutely loved their character developments.
There were a few problems I had with this book, one being that the dialogue got a little ridiculous at times. I really wished the characters had taken a couple breaks since most of what they said didn’t even register. I also foresaw a few things but it didn’t really take away from the experience of seeing them play out.
My favorite character in this novel goes to Daniel, hands down. He’s making me want to read this novel again all by himself, (If there is ever a book concentrated in his POV, I shall bet the first in line to read it) which I most definitely will in the near future so I can see him again. He has officially taken part in of the FUNNIEST bookish conversations I’ve ever read.
The second part of this novel had me giddy and smiling like a lunatic nonstop. I couldn’t tear my eyes away once I passed that threshold and I didn’t even try to. I absolutely loved how these two sisters found solace in the most unlikely of people. The turn of events couldn’t have made me any happier. I felt 99.9% fulfilled after reading this novel and it’s one of the best feelings ever. That ending left tears in my eyes and warmed my heart to no end. This was one of the rare novels that touched me so deeply, it gave me a much needed ray of hope for my own love life. It goes without saying that the epilogue was beyond beautiful and perfect. If you can dive into this without reading its synopsis AT ALL, do so. I completely recommend diving in without knowing anything.
It’s not everyday when your own review makes you want to pick up a book again right away but this novel is in a league of its own.

4.5/5 stars!

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Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich!

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This was my first read by Dawn and it will most definitely NOT be my last. Dawn has officially become one of my favorite authors of all time after reading this masterpiece.
This book is about an ongoing investigation of a fire that broke out and claimed a high school plus events that led to the death of 3 students before it. The suspect is, Kaitlyn, Carly’s alter ego who is referred to as ‘the girl of nowhere.’ The backstory to these two characters was a first to me since we Carly is only out in the day and Kaitlyn at night. It has been two decades since the fire happened when Kaitlyn’s journal is found amidst the rubble. The journal itself is one of my absolute favorite additions to a story that I have ever read. The video footage and articles only added to an already mesmerizing story.
I fell in love with Kaitlyn right off the bat and nothing ever changed that, unless it was to make me fall harder. My heart broke for her time and time again. Her personality was so genuine to me and her protectiveness only made her that much more appealing. Carly was a bit meh but I don’t really blame her. Kaitlyn was a phenomenal character and anybody paled in comparison.
I was completely taken aback by Dawn’s mind. I loved it so much that a part of me was jealous for not having written this work of art myself. It was captivating, resonantly creepy, visually pleasing, heart-breaking, and so much more. The twists and turns had me gasping and screeching out loud throughout the entire experience. My heart almost beat out of its chest and I just couldn’t read fast enough. I was completely terrified of how this book would end but I couldn’t look away either. We were kept guessing for most of the story until bombshell after bombshell was thrown at us. It was fantastically brutal, macabre, and deliciously disturbing. There are so many unanswered questions as well which have my mind spinning within itself trying to figure it all out.
It’s ironic, really, how I started and finished this book on Christmas. (That’s me in a nutshell. I desperately cling on to Halloween 365 days of the year.) I will never ever forget the amount of happiness this book brought me. I just wanted to crawl inside the pages and live in there forever, still do. Reading this has become my most favorite experience of my life and I have not stopped thinking about it since I read the first word. I felt as if this book was written especially for me since my love for haunted buildings and creepy stories knows no bounds. I desperately need to explore this school myself.

5/5 stars!

Review: Pretty Little World by LaBan and Melissa DePino

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*ARC provided by Little Bird publicity in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by these two authors and I was definitely intrigued ever since I first read the synopsis. This book is about 3 different families that live in houses that are side-by-side who decide to literally tear down the walls keeping them apart. As soon as I read the synopsis, I was expecting a lot of drama and my expectations were met for the most part. The characters gave me a bad feeling in my stomach right off the bat with the foreshadowing.
I read this book in one sitting; It was easy to get through but not easy to swallow. A lot of the behavior these characters took part in was completely unacceptable and I have to admit, some of them hurt me as if it was personal. The lines between these relationships blur so much and we are made to witness them without being able to help in any way. One relationship out of the 3 impacted me the most. So much so that I’m still reeling from how it ended. I won’t go into detail but I just wanted to mention how torn I was about it. I can’t imagine going through what this character did and I hope I never do. It is one of my worst fears, as it is for a lot of us, and I was made to see it play out. It was painful and soul-wrecking.
Besides all the wrongdoing, I really loved how each relationship was very distinct from each other. There were 3 different dynamics that were easy to follow. The ending most definitely has me asking for a sequel. That cliffhanger was completely out of the blue for me since I had already accepted the terms I thought the book was going to end in. But no, I was left reeling even more from a last punch Elizabeth and Melissa decided to throw in. Even though I was sympathetic to a certain character, I gave this a low rating because I couldn’t really relate to them as they were double my age. All in all, I am very glad I gave this book a try and I can’t wait to see what else these authors have in store for us.

3.5 stars!

 

Review: Roseblood by A.G. Howard!

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*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first A.G. Howard novel and I can’t wait to read more! If you don’t already know, this is a Phantom of the Opera retelling and I had huge expectations for it. I was beyond excited since I absolutely love the original story and the huge role that music plays in it. The beginning of this story was immensely intriguing and my mind was soon making leaps into predictions. A.G. Howard showed us a unique twist on this classic love story and I basically loved every moment of it.
This book follows Rune, our heroine who is possessed by music in every definition of the word. Her upbringing was a bit unorthodox and I was invested in it right from the start. Her hardships were so unique; I’ve never read about a character who has such an intense and negative experience with music. I loved seeing her character development play out and it might just be one of my favorites. I also really liked her relationship with her mom and would have liked to see more of it. I also wished I had seen Rune’s friends more than we did, they were all so distinguishable and interesting that I couldn’t get enough.
Speaking of distinguishable character, Thorn, our evading male character, was S.E.X.Y and the most unforgettable one. JEEZ-us, that guy drove me off the wall with his attractiveness and his beautiful heart. Give me a man in a sexy mask any day and I will love you forever, but give me Thorn in a mask one day and I will die of bliss forever. His tragic childhood had me crying without mercy and my brother can vouch for me. I read most of this book in our living room and he was there as I broke into pieces. I couldn’t stop crying whenever they so much as mentioned his childhood, let alone when they went into detail.
The chemistry between these two was nothing short of INTENSE. It was off the charts and it made me seethe with jealousy, repeatedly. I had to take breaks in order for the temperature in my room to become bearable again. I was surprised my Kindle didn’t catch fire in my hands.
This book did have a slow start but that might have been the fact that I had a splitting headache for the first few days I tried reading it, which in turn made me focus on something else other than the story. Besides the ‘slow’ start, it did have an unrelenting dark tone from the very first word that had me yearning for more. The entire time that the Opera school was being described had me itching to explore it and become one with it.
I was a bit confused by a couple of things and was going to give this 6 stars but I had to hold back since the ending wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful just… not what I expected? I was proud of every character in this story by the end but I also wanted more drama than I was given.
I think the fact that I didn’t read this in one sitting enabled me to miss the story with a passion whenever I wasn’t near it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it in every second of the day and I was replaying the story in my mind for more. If I had read it all in one sitting, I don’t think I would have felt the same way about it as I do. All in all, I am in love with this world and I would most definitely recommend it to every one who loves Phantom of the Opera!

5.5/5 stars!

Review: Hooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind

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SYNOPSIS:

Reality bites.  Hard.

The last time Raven did “real” was sixteen months ago, when she spent one unforgettable night with the tattooed, impossible sexy Nico, and then he disappeared the next day.  Since then, she’s kept her guard up and her feelings to herself.  She doesn’t have time for relationship drama when she’s busy searching for her long lost sister.

Nico hasn’t stopped thinking about Raven—her sultry curves, inked skin, or the fact that he ditched her after their night together.  Now that they’re living in the same city, he knows this is his chance to make things right.  What better way to prove to Raven he’s for real than helping her find her sister?  But when the lines between right and wrong start to blur, putting his job on the line, Nico has to decide if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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A small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario, Canada.  When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all.  She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

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MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This is my second read by Kelly and I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was hot, full of heart and heartbreak, and had everything else in between. It kept me laughing hard at times, and tearing up at others. Kelly showed us two struggling characters whose situations felt as real as the words in this post. This follows Raven and Nico who had a one night stand about a year ago and we get to see their reunion.
Raven is not your usual main character which was a massive plus for me. She sort of pissed me off at times but I also grew to admire her overall. Her point of view had me with a bad feeling in my stomach almost from cover to cover. I was a bit scared to continue reading in case I was proven right and I definitely was. Another thing I didn’t really enjoy was how the topic of sex made appearances in scenes that had no use for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for heavy and steamy but there is a time and a place, and I felt like there were a few red flags scattered around.
It also follows Nico, a sexy-as-sin cop with a heart of gold who kept gluing my jaw to the ground for too many reasons to count. His point of view was the most heartbreaking, in my opinion. His dynamic with his family was just stunning. I didn’t know how invested I was in him and his brother’s life, Josh, until I saw all the crap that life threw at them. The hardships they had to endure made me ache inside and brought tears to my eyes.
All in all, I was very happy with how everything tied up at the end and I can’t wait to read more by Kelly!

4/5 stars

Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova!!

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“… If they were mad, they were mad because they kept dreaming when the rest of Loom merely slept in stasis.”
This book has been one of my MOST anticipated releases of my entire life. Not only is this Steampunk, but it is also about Dragons and Chimeras, and it is written by my author Queen! So many amazing qualities were wrapped inside of this book that I will most likely not even be able to touch base on them all. I absolutely loved how the Dragons in this story were not the norm. Forget about the picture that just popped into your head when you read that word because it most likely isn’t accurate. The Dragons in this story have as many unique qualities as your typical dragons, and so much more! I never thought I would say this but… I am madly and irrevocably in love with a Dragon. (More on that subject later on.)
This book follows 4 different characters who have their own prominent and unique voice. If you are scared that they will blend together, I am here to let you know that they don’t. Not one bit.
We have our Chimera, Arianna, or as people call her, the White Wraith. She is an infamous criminal who is in possession of the most badass weapon I’ve ever read about. She not only uses her winch box to get from place to place, but she also wields it as a weapon. Every time she did so, I couldn’t help but hearing a faint echo in my mind from when I was watching Attack on Titan. (Which, if you haven’t seen the anime yet, you should!)
Then there is Florence, who is Arianna’s pupil. She is the most lovable character ever created and I couldn’t get enough of her and her non-conforming ways.
Next in the list is Cvareh, a Dragon with a sense of style who stole my heart even before I cracked this book open. I had to actively keep myself from swooning at every sight and line I read of him.
Last but not least, is Leona. The villain in the story who is unforgiving and tremendously loyal. Even though her loyalties were on the wrong side, I found myself respecting the entirety of what she stood for. I couldn’t help but cheer her on at times and was just awed at how unapologetic she was. This is one of the few rare books where the villain has sparked such positive feelings inside of me and I think it’s safe to say that I have found one of my favorite villains of all time!
I admired all of these characters to no end and in different ways. Each one had their very own purpose that they were fighting for and they were nothing short of warriors. I loved how even though they were strong individuals, they still managed to learn from each other. Their character developments have, and are, outstanding. We still have some ways to go in some departments but I can NOT wait to be reintroduced to these characters and this magnificent world. I also can’t wait to meet new characters!
This novel started right into the action, sucking me in from the very first word. This is one of the books where every page is outrageously better than the last; I couldn’t put it down to save my life. It was suspenseful, with a dash of romance, and so many perfect quotes that had me bawling. The ending was perfect and fierce. This book left me unbelievably giddy and proud with a resonating fulfillment to the core. My expectations were met and thrown out the window with such force that it made me look lame. I bow down to my Queen Elise for having birthed such an unforgettable novel, yet again.

6/5 stars!