Review: Fade to Us by Julia Day


*ARC provided by Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review*
This was my second novel by Julia and I am sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first one. A lot had to do with the fact that it excluded a lot of vital (at least vital to me) details that would’ve enabled me to delve deeper into the characters and connect with them. The writing tended to skip around a lot.
I didn’t really have a strong reaction where Brooke was concerned. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t hate her either; It was sort of a weird experience. But I will say that I really liked reading the thought process she had when it came to her step sister, Natalie. I enjoyed following along as Brooke took care of her. Her step sister (who has Asperger’s) ends up moving in with her for the rest of her summer vacation and we get to witness as that alone turns her world upside down. I will say though that I felt for Brooke when I witnessed how she was putting Natalie’s happiness before her own. It was sweet and thoughtful and very, very unhealthy… But I admired her for it nonetheless.
I feel like Natalie was more interesting to follow. She was blunt (which I enjoyed) and seemed to steal the show in every way possible when she appeared. I kind of wished we got to see her point of view in this novel since it made me super curious to witness her thought process when it came to certain things that she had to deal with. It must not be east to juggle two different family dynamics, let alone when you are dealing with a mental disorder.
I felt like some details about the characters came so out of nowhere that I couldn’t take the author’s word for it. Some other details were too obvious to spark any emotion from me other than a shrug. Also, some of the conversations that the characters had seemed a bit too juvenile for my taste.
I really loved the topics Julia decided to tackle in this novel since some were new to me and some weren’t. With that said, I feel like the execution fell short. It had a lot of potential but the exclusion of certain details really put a damper on things.
Another thing I really liked was the development between our main character and her step father. I felt like Julia did that relationship justice and I couldn’t be happier with the way things were wrapped up in the end for both of them.
I also really liked getting to know Micah, Brooke’s love interest. Even though a lot of the scenes that were skipped resulted in me not being able to be on board with their relationship, I still liked him as his own character. I really wish I could’ve seen his point of view as well. But I am more than happy with everything we got to see from him nonetheless. There was ONE line he said close to the end that completely tore me apart and made me cry but I’ll keep it to myself because of spoilers. I didn’t like the way Brooke treated him and I honestly still think he deserved better but whatever makes him happy makes me happy. I had nothing but respect for him and for everything he has accomplished for his age.
Anyway, I’ll definitely be on the look of out for the next Julia Day novel. I am curious to see what other topics she chooses to tackle next.

3/5 stars


Review: What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner!


*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
I am still raw from all of the emotions this novel just tore out of me but if I don’t type this review out after finishing this a few minutes ago, I will go crazy. I am so scared!!!! But we will get back to that soon. For now, let’s rewind to the person I used to be before Kandi ruined me.

This was the first novel I’ve read of Kandi’s and of course, it won’t be the last. BECAUSE THE SEQUEL TO THIS COMES OUT IN A FEW WEEKS AND IT MINUS WELL SHOULD BE A FEW YEARS!! No, but really. I absolutely loved Kandi’s writing and I can’t wait to meet more of her characters. Just as I thought I had this story figured out, I was left trying to grasp fragments of what I believed to be solid as it all crumbled around me without warning. The way she chose to execute every word made me feel as if this were my first love story to ever have the pleasure of reading. This is definitely a gem I am glad to have stumbled upon. Sort of.
This story is love triangle.
Angst galore.
We have Charlie, who is married to Cameron. Charlie is a teacher and Cameron works for her dad but their marriage is put to the ultimate test as our boy, Reese, walks back into Charlie’s life after having walked out of it 14 years ago.
I took a liking to Charlie almost immediately after starting this novel. She’s struggling with her desire be appreciated and comforted by the one person who vowed to do just that for the rest of her life.A part of me connected to her through the pain of being deprived of such things. We follow her not-so-happy marriage and I felt protective of her as the story progressed. My heart hurt to no end as I uncovered the things she has been going through since her wedding.
“In my brain, there was always music.”
My heart belongs to Reese without a doubt. The things he used to do for Charlie when they were kids and still does for her in their adult life were nothing short of heart warming. I also was a goner the moment I connected to him through his immense love for music. He’s a piano teacher and it was a pleasant surprise to have my memories from my piano classes resurface through him. (I wouldn’t have minded to have had him as my teacher. Maybe then I actually would’ve continued learning. *waggles eyebrows*) I want nothing but the best for him, especially after all the things he has gone through as well.
I can’t even see him with anyone other than Charlie. Not that I want to anyway. I swear, if my ship doesn’t sail… I will stop reading forever. Just kidding. But I WILL take a break from reading to mourn my choice of trusting so many authors with my feelings. That’s seriously how intense my own personal happiness is tied to these two and I hope I am not let a devastated excuse of a human after this duet concludes.
My heart went out to both of them in different ways and it was so obvious they belonged to each other. Especially with the way that they interacted with each other. The genuine trust between them was palpable beyond belief. I also felt like Kandi took the most important parts of me and sprinkled them into a garden that sprouted these two characters. My connection to both of them was another welcome surprise.
Also, I want to point out that I listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman on a loop while reading this (still am) and I’ll be damned if From Now On and Rewrite the Stars didn’t fit perfectly with the story.
All I have to say now is that, Kandi, if you’re reading this, you asked us to trust you… And death almighty help me because I hope I’m not making a huge mistake by doing just that. I am beyond TERRIFIED of you, Kandi. But my heart is in your hands nonetheless. And after that ending… (WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, KANDI?!?!?!) I don’t even know what to expect from you. But… I will T-word you and wait (not so patiently) for What He Always Knew to hopefully hit my kindle soon. Don’t worry, I’ll start refreshing… now.

5/5 stars!


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Review: Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray


*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“Love isn’t isn’t a tap you turn off when you don’t care anymore. It seeps into your soul, wears a path to your heart, and leaves an unbearable emptiness when it’s gone.”
This was my first novel by Tamsyn and it follows Jonny and Neve. Their story was like nothing I’ve ever read before. The premise was so beautiful that it made me have high expectations for it.
Sadly, one of the main reasons those expectations weren’t met was because of how much I struggled to connect/like these characters. I sympathized with their situations but they were a lot younger in age than I’m used to reading.
Neve’s twin brother was the original owner of the heart that now beats in Jonny’s chest.
Even though I had difficulties connecting to these characters, I managed to connect to Jonny through our love for anime/manga the most! (I haven’t read much manga but he was reading some based on my second favorite anime, Fairy Tail!) I really loved his sense of humor and some of the things he did melted my heart. I had a few problems where his actions were concerned but his character development took care of them. I absolutely did NOT like the way he was treated throughout most of the novel. I wanted to take care of him and shelter him from harm. (And from Neve.)
Neve on the other hand, I did not like her attitude 99.9999% of the time. I know her traits were probably chosen on purpose, but it could’ve been toned down, in my opinion. I just had too much of a difficulty feeling for her when she acted the way she did. I mostly wanted her gone from the story, if I’m being honest.
If I had to choose a favorite female character in this novel, it would be, Emily. I kind of wished she would’ve taken Neve’s place. She had such an amazing personality, I couldn’t get enough of her!
Anyway, I absolutely loved the ending! It was so perfect. It made me cry and wish for more!
I can’t wait to read more by Tamsyn!

3/5 stars

Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer!

“We all push sometimes, just to make sure someone is on the other side, pushing back.”
This is the sequel to Brigid’s Letters to the Lost and I was more than happy to devour them one right after the other. All of these characters own pieces of me that I didn’t know I had left to give.
Letters to the Lost followed Declan and Jules, but this book follows Declan’s best friend, Rev, and Emma, a stranger to the trio. I loved how the letter/email aspect from the last book was carried over to this one in a whole different, and unique way that was for Emma and Rev alone.
Emma is a gamer girl who has created her own game that has hundreds of players playing it. I had a lot of respect for her because of it but it took me A LOT to actually grow to like her. I couldn’t stand her for most of this novel, she said and did some things that had me in fits of rage due to how uncalled for they were. I wanted to knock some sense into her more often than not and it wasn’t fun. Just when I was starting to like her, she would put her foot back in her mouth and it had me going back to square one. But I loved that Brigid gave her an amazing character development. Eventually, I learned to respect her due to how far she came. I was almost scared I would finish this book with a major chip on my shoulder but I’m just glad that didn’t end up being the case.
And then we have Rev. Boy, where do I even start? I LOVE YOU, REV!`(But like a brother, Declan is my love, sorry.) Rev tore me A.P.A.R.T. from beginning to end. We got a hint of his background in LttL but this book went into so much depth that I couldn’t even handle the pain and emotional toll it was having on me. Yes, I devoured this like there was no tomorrow but I still had to take so many breathers in between chapters. Brigid kept stealing my breath away with the way she expertly pulled at my heart strings. One of the things that kept me sane throughout all of the torment was his relationship with his adoptive parents. It was so beautiful and inspiring that it brought me endless joy to know that he had them in his life.

Both of these poor souls almost had to move mountains in order earn their happiness and I couldn’t have cheered them on harder than I already was. Their hardships scraped me raw. No book has ever come close to changing my life just as this one has. Brigid has officially made me want to live a life that would make Rev proud.
This book covers a lot of serious and relevant topics that should be spoken about more often instead of being swept under the rug. This covers the major impact the internet can have in our lives and personal safety, both the good and the bad. It covers the difficulties adopted and abused children deal with most of their lives and a lot of other things. This is a cautionary tale for the world we live in now. I can only hope every reader that opens this book leaves richer in knowledge about what to do if they stumble upon situations like these.
Another thing I loved about this novel was that we got glimpses into Declan and Jules’ further character developments. I loved seeing what happened to them after book one and I never wanted to leave them. They kept making me proud just like Rev and Emma were.
This book was infinitely times more raw and devastating than the last. If the last book had me mostly in happy tears, this book had me mostly in heartbroken tears. It still had the amazing humor Brigid so easily weaves into these devastating plot lines but those rare glimpses were my only saviors amidst such devastation.
And again, I’m going to be greedy and hope with everything that I am that there will be another installment in this series. I can’t live without these characters any longer!

5/5 stars!

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer!

So, I’m probably going to keep this short and simple because I just noticed that I wrote down more quotes than actual thoughts and this is the first time this has happened in a while… if ever.
This was my first book by Brigid and she has now become an author I deeply admire. The way she writes is a truly lyrical experience and I couldn’t rip my gaze away from the pages long enough to blink.
Who would I Reign the Earth with_
The emotion every character was feeling easily bled through the pages and made their way deep into my heart. Brigid had me smiling like crazy and crying uncontrollably until pain consumed me from the outside, while also seeping into me with every word. This book was extremely difficult to put down and I couldn’t stop myself from wishing this were turned into a movie. I ached for so much more; I wanted to be able to witness every breath, every facial expression, every body twitch… I could almost see it all as vividly as if it really were a movie.

I am seriously growing to love letters in books. For some unknown reason, I always seemed to stay away from them but lately I’ve been loving the extra connection we get to the characters through them. There is something so raw and vulnerable about reading the words a person so delicately chose to write down on paper instead of a text in the heat of a moment.
This book follows Jules and Declan as they’re both grieving in different but similar ways.
Jules loved to write letters to her mother and she still does so after her passing. But all that takes a turn when Declan replies to one of the letters she leaves at her grave. They end up corresponding with each other from there and we get to follow along as their stories weave and unravel into an emotional ride.
I really liked Jules and I found myself really enjoying her thought process throughout the novel. The things she went through in this novel were nothing short of somber and it all seemed to suffocate me with how intensely it affected me. The only thing that kept me sane was her wonderful sense of humor throughout it all. She had me clutching my stomach from laughter way too many times to count.
Both of their lives were heartbreaking in many ways and I related to both of them differently but I feel like Declan’s situation was the most similar to mine when it came to his relationship with his family. He’s way too good of a person to have gone through everything mentioned in this novel.
Their character developments had me cheering from the sidelines. I wanted nothing but the best life for them and Brigid did an exceptional job at fulfilling my wishes. These two broke me apart and mended me many, many times. They were so real to me that I felt somewhat uncomfortable reading their letters to each other. I know they wouldn’t have been okay with such an invasion of privacy and it made me want to apologize profusely when I finished the last page.

I wanted nothing more than to remain deeply rooted in between the pages of this novel. Not even the rough ride it thrust me into could deter my reluctance to see this novel end.
Basically, if you picture a girl laughing out of her bed and ugly crying into her pillow with heartache all in the span of one minute in a never-ending loop… That would be a perfect representation of me as I read this novel. This was the most perfect blend of epic humor and grief and it made an addict out of me.
I had a feeling I was going to really like this book but I didn’t anticipate the tremendous impact it would have on me.
(Did I keep it short? I don’t know if I did. My fingers turned possessed when I started writing this.)

5/5 stars!

Review: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer


*ARC provided by Glasstown Entertainment in exchange for an honest review*
This was my very first book by Lexa and at the beginning, I didn’t know what to think of her. I didn’t really end up with an opinion until I passed the 2/3 mark of this novel and I ended up really liking her writing. The only thing that was keeping me on the fence about this novel was the fact that I spent the majority of it confused out of my mind. I don’t know if it was meant to be that way or not so I don’t know if I should be blaming myself for that. What I will say is that my confusion is slowly going away. I have a few unanswered questions even after finishing this novel but I am hoping the sequel answers them for me!
This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling and it was my first one of that particular fairy tale. It’s divided into four parts and I really liked how Lexa turned this story line into something unique to her.
Like I mentioned, the world had me somewhat confused for the most part but that doesn’t mean I was less intrigued. IOn the contrary, I couldn’t stop reading since I wanted to understand this world Lexa created as much as I could. I feel like I have a good enough grasp of it now to say that I really liked it. This world is unreliable and it brought a certain type of excitement to my reading experience because of it. It had short chapters so it was super easy to get through and left me wanting more.
This book follows two sisters, Aurora and Isbe (Isabella) as they are separated by a curse. The bond that these two shared with each other was an insanely beautiful thing to witness. There is no limit to what they would do for each other and it’s something that should be seen in YA a lot more often.
Aurora is the beautiful princess everybody fawns over and Isbe is the King’s bastard daughter that everybody else would easily dispose of if given the chance. I couldn’t choose between the two sisters but there was one moment in the book that made my choice for me, and that was in favor of Isbe. My tremendous protectiveness over her only increased as the plot developed. I am so addicted to it, I can’t even put it into words. I have been feeling like I’m having separation withdrawals from her ever since I read the last page. I can’t even imagine where Lexa is going with her story line but I am excited to find out!
This also includes a lot of other different POV’s from characters that Aurora and Isbe stumble upon in their search back to each other. I was completely surprised by just how much I enjoyed every single POV that was thrown our way. I was interested in every single one of their stories and they really gave our main characters a run for their money. They have all become instant favorites and I can’t wait to see more of them.
This book packed a few punches that I didn’t see coming and tore tears out of my eyes without warning. One moment I was confused and the next I was crying as my heart broke into pieces. I can only give props to Lexa and hope she does it all over again in Winter Glass.
I can’t wait to read the sequel which, thankfully, is sitting in my Kindle as I type this. I’m also terrified of what it’s going to have in store for me. I kind of don’t want to be caught up to this series in case it ends in a major cliffhanger but I’m a weak soul and I MUST continue on! There is a specific POV that left me reeling (and crying) and NEEDING more of it!
Lastly, another reason why I didn’t give this four stars was due to the fact that the ending was predictable from the very first page. I was kind of hoping for another loophole but I hope the sequel surprises me more than this one did.
3.6/5 stars!

Review & Giveaway: Waterfall Effect by K.K. Allen!

Waterfall Effect Teaser 11

Release Date:

February 28, 2018

Cover Design:

Sarah Hansen / Okay Creations



Lost in the shadows of a tragedy that stripped Aurora June of everything she once loved, she’s back in the small town of Balsam Grove, North Carolina, ready to face all she’s kept locked away for seven years. Or so she thinks.

As one of the victims of a string of mysterious disappearances in the small, picturesque Appalachian Mountain town, darkness has become her home—her safe blanket when the world reveals its true colors. But as the walls of darkness start to move in on her, she knows the only way to free herself from her past is to face it, head-on. She just needs to figure out how.

Upon arrival, Aurora isn’t expecting her first collision to be with the boy she left all those years ago. The boy who betrayed her trust with no regrets. The boy who is no longer a boy, but a man with the same stormy eyes that swept her into his current before she ever learned to swim.

She’d thought he was safe. He’d thought their path was mapped out. Turns out neither of them was ready for the crash at the bottom of the cascade.


Purchase Links:

[Goodreads] [Amazon US ] [Amazon UK ]

 [Amazon CA ] [Amazon AU ]


WaterfallEffect Amazon

My Review:

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“He gave me adventure when the rest of the world gave me rules.”
If you’ve been following my reviews for a while then you know my epic love for K.K. Allen right? Well if you didn’t then welcome to a(nother) glowing review for this wonderful woman. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the masterpieces she manages to put out into the world. Each story she comes out with is tremendously better than the last even though they were already amazing to begin with. I’m so proud to say that this was no exception.
I was already half in love with this novel due to its title. Give me any word that relates to water and I am yours. With that said, my expectations were already way too high before diving in but a part of me just didn’t want to admit it in case I was insanely let down. But I shouldn’t have worried since K.K. Allen only managed to blow my high expectations to smithereens and left me gaping like a loser. Her writing is always incredibly addicting but here it only increased in momentum with every page.
This story introduces us to 18 year old Aurora who is the only survivor of serial disappearances that happened in her town. She is forced to leave everything she used to find solace in behind because of it. Then the story skips 6 years and we follow her as she is forced to face her dark past once again. I loved and appreciated Aurora as a main character to no end. It was one of the most interesting rides I’ve ever been on as we got to discover who she was alongside her. She broke my heart way too many times every time she questioned her own darkness. I wanted nothing else than to hold her tight and chase her demons away BUT, that’s where my second favorite character comes in.
My beautiful Jaxon.
Aurora and Jaxon have a past that got in the way of their happiness once but we got to see their relationship develop into something beautiful and enchanting. I couldn’t get enough of Jaxon’s heart and passion. The way he treated Aurora had me tearing up and melting into goo. His patience with her as she struggled with panic attack after panic attack made me sob like crazy. I didn’t only fall in love with his heart but I also fell in love with their relationship. All I have left to say is that I loved the way they ended up and I couldn’t be happier for them. The ending of this book was the least they deserved and I will forever hold this book close to my heart because of it.
Now, let’s talk about the setting of this novel.
Waterfall Effect takes place in an Appalachian Mountain town that is mush too beautiful for words. I was ultimately excited to see how the title would tie into the story and I couldn’t have asked for a better move in K.K.’s part. The way she described the details surrounding this town made me feel as if I was actually there, right beside these wonderful characters. I never wanted to live inside a book as badly as I did in here. Another reason I bonded with Aurora was through our overwhelming love for waterfalls. The only difference between us was that she actually got the opportunity to spend time among them, unlike me. From now on, whenever I feel like experiencing a waterfall, I will surely pick up this novel so I can live vicariously.
Also, this novel was FULL of sharp twists and turns. I felt like I couldn’t even get a chance to catch my breath before K.K. threw another epic turn at me. I still can’t believe how masterfully she wielded every plot line in here. She had my undivided attention even after I had finished the book and that’s the least I could expect from an author. I will definitely be recommending this book to everybody I stumble across.
I can’t wait for the next one!
“Perhaps it wasn’t the darkness that kept me from remembering. Maybe I was just avoiding the light.”

5/5 stars!


About the Author:

K.K. Allen is an award-winning author and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt and inspirational Contemporary Romance stories mainly about “Capturing the Edge of Innocence.” K.K. currently resides in central Florida, works full time as a Digital Producer for a leading online educational institution, and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

K.K.’s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.’s love for inspirational and coming of age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.


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Who would I Reign the Earth with_ (1)


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