Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Shack: A Review (Standalone)


Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone 
you know to read this book!

My Review:

I bought this book because the trailer for the movie caught my attention.

Man, was this purchase worth it.

Mac is a father of three, who's youngest daughter had been taken and murdered by the Little Lady Killer--a serial killer who actually existed. This book is in fact, based on true events. Although Young admits Mac's coming to God weekend may have not been physically real, it certainly was as real to Mac as anything else.

This book was beautiful. It taught what it meant to forgive. To love unconditionally. My heart swelled with the story.

Forgiveness is hard. So very hard. And Papa (aka God) asked Mac to forgive the Little Lady Killer, it was the only way he would be able to find his baby girl's body. Watching him go through this grueling process of understanding what it really means to judge others, to condemn them.

Mac and his relationship with his family was so heart touching. Not only was Mac going through a hard time, but so was his family. The way they all came together in the end, how they forgave each other and makes me wish we all knew the joys of forgiveness.

It was one of the best Christian books I've read about God in a long time. The emotion was so powerful, so touching. Incredible.

The movie was just as powerful. They did a wonderful job following everything Young described.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Fine Gentleman: A Review (The Jonquil Brothers #4)


London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. The woman is infuriating, pushing him to the limit of his legendary patience. However, her case seems simple enough—a small matter of inheritance. Or so he believes.

Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on Spain. She braved horrific perils and undertook dangerous missions on behalf of those fighting against the invading French army. But her greatest battle still lies ahead: after being separated from her family, Mariposa sets in motion a plan to reunite with her loved ones in England. To avoid drawing the attention of the French, Mariposa dons a carefully crafted persona to conceal her true purpose. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by the case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear.

When the truth of Mariposa’s quest is revealed, the couple is pulled into a mystery that will test the limits of their courage—and expose the true desire of their hearts.
My Review:

Yay! Another amazing book from Sarah M. Eden. Seriously, I love her books more than anything. Despite all her books being in the same time period, she manages to create vastly diverse and lovable characters. I admire how she does it. There's a reason why I only read Regency Romance, not write it.

Jason Jonquil is just as fine a gentleman as his brothers, but he hides behind a thick mask. A mask where he's all business, and has no emotion. (The reason behind this hurts my heart, but makes me love Jason all the more).

Mariposa Thornton is a victim of the Napoleonic war. She has survived horrible conditions, and has been separated from her family.

In the most oddest of ways, Mariposa and Jason become closely acquainted on the search for her family. They tease and joke with each other, although they sometimes cross the line. They are an interesting couple, and have a unique way of communicating with each other.

I love how in the end, they stayed with each other, even if they originally thought it wasn't the best idea. They resolved most of their differences and found a way to get along.

This was such a cute story. One where we not only enjoyed a love story, but were reminded of the horrors of Napoleon's reign.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin: A Review (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)


A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

  My Review:

Sarah J. Maas is such a talented author. Despite how dark things were getting, Maas kept us reading and hoping for the best.

Feyra and Rhys are faced with the hardest battle they will ever face. And that's saying something about a fey who's lived millennia and seen countless wars.

I love how the relationship between Feyra and her friends grow. How despite all the hard choices they have to make, they remain together and fight. They protect each other, always. How I would love to be a part of a group like them.

The ending was beautiful. It wasn't tied up in bows, but it was perfect for the situation.

Again, I love Maas writing. I just wish she would stop being so descriptive in the sex scenes. It's completely unnecessary and just, gag. Ya, we know Feyra and Rhys love each other, and yes, your writing skills are freaking amazing, but I promise your story will remain just as powerful without those nasty scenes. And the foul language, doesn't really fit the culture of the fey.

In Maas first books, she was more reserved, and I admired her fully for the ability to write amazing stories that were clean. Now, she still writes amazing stories, but I'm disappointed that she's resulted to so many sex scenes. Yeah, sex sells, but she has enough skills to not include those scenes.

I have to decrease my rating because of how many she's included along with the increased foul language.

3.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Void of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #3)


When banished Princess Maia is captured by her father and threatened with execution, it appears that all is lost…until the people rise in rebellion against their king. Suddenly, the cast-aside royal finds herself crowned the first Queen of Comoros. But enemies appear on all sides as her father’s conniving supporters assemble a new army against the fledgling ruler. While Maia struggles to keep the peace within her own walls, she rushes to form historical alliances with her neighboring kingdoms against an impending invasion of the ruthless Naestors—led by the cruel Corriveaux—who will destroy anyone Maia loves in order to ruin her kingdom and prevent the mastons from regaining power.

Realizing that Muirwood Abbey is once again her only hope for survival, Maia gathers her people there for protection. When she discovers an adversary greater than she’s ever known, she must use all the magic, strength, and wisdom gained from her life’s trials to prevent the Void that would bring destruction to herself, her true love, and the entire kingdom.My Review:

Maia has gained back her crown, she is now Queen. Only, despite having over thrown her father, she is now faced with the bursting tension of the Naesters. They are done staying behind the scenes, and they want what they think is rightfully theirs.

Maia is forced back to the safety of Muirwood Abby. Here she leads her people and tries desperately to keep them safe. She juggles her allies, the relationships with all very tenuous. Exhaustion begins to over take her, and she questions whether she is the right person to lead her people.

Honestly, Maia is a wonderful, strong female lead. When the battles begin, she stays strong, prepared to fulfill the covenant of Muirwood.

Through all of this, Maia continues to be kind. To be aware of what other's need and find ways to help them. She forgives those who have wronged her, and treats them with kindness; making her my idol.

The ending was beautiful. One of the best endings to a series I've read in a long time. It touched my heart and I wish to read it over and over again.

Jeff Wheeler and his awesome writing skills have captured my heart and I hope he one day comes back to the world of Muirwood.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cruel Beauty: A Review (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

  My Review:

This was a very interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. It was set in the real world, on an island that had been cut off from the real world. It was fascinating to have Greek Mythology tagged to the story, along with their rituals.

I'm not sure I liked this book as much as the hype did. Nyx was selfish and cruel, as was the beast. Two awful people meant for each other.

It does make sense, as to why the book is called Cruel Beauty, but... Nyx was so mixed on her emotions, where at one point she was nice, and then she was awful. She was an unreliable narrator, and it drove me crazy at points. I liked the beast more than I liked her, because at least he stayed true to his character, whereas Nyx was just a mess.

Her whole goal was to save the millions of people who had been trapped, but she started whining and complaining about how it was too hard, and why did it have to be me? Blah, blah, blah. Like, obviously your life sucks. Get over it. Are you really going to let your petty teenager wants destroy the rest everything you know? Gosh. Ignifex was a far better person than Nyx will ever be.

The story had great potential, but I felt it could have been executed better. I only finished it because my friends insisted it was a FANTASTIC book...

I mean, the cover is beautiful. I will give her next book a try, but I don't have high hopes.

2 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Ciphers of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #2)


From the moment she was banished by her father, the king, Princess Maia journeyed to seek sanctuary at Muirwood Abbey, the epicenter of magic and good in the land. Now safe for the first time since her cruel abandonment, Maia must foster uneasy friendships with other girls training to be Ciphers: women who learn to read and engrave tomes of ancient power, despite the laws forbidding them to do so.

As Maia tries to judge whom to trust, she makes a shocking discovery: her destiny is to open the Apse Veil and release trapped spirits from her world. Then she learns that her father is coming to Muirwood Abbey to celebrate the Whitsunday festival—and Maia’s estranged husband, whom she was forced to abandon, will join him. Torn between deadly political machinations and unstoppable spiritual forces, Maia must channel unknown powers within herself to save her friends, the abbey, and the entire kingdom of Muirwood.

My Review:

Maia is one of the best female leads I have read about in a long time. She has been through the absolute worst. Having been forced to marry, then abandon her husband, and travel a dangerous path to Muirwood Abby.

The Abby isn't the same as it once was in the original series. It is still being built (against the law) from the destruction that occurred so many years before. Yet, the power is still there. The Medium is strong, and the Aldermaston is just as strong as our original Aldermaston friend.

Maia has made some great friends, and continues to do so among the Ciphers, despite some of them being stupid mean girls. She is kind, she is compassionate, even though hardly anyone has treated her similarly.

The danger increases when Maia learns her father is to come to Muirwood. Her father, who is now threatening to name her a bastard and cut her off from her title as Princess. How will she face the father she still loves, yet hates her so much? To the point of wanting her dead.

This was another wonderful addition to the Muirwood series. I loved the original series, but following Maia has brought this incredible world back to life in ways the first series couldn't accomplish. I could revisit these books and never grow tired of the world.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Giver: A Review (The Giver #1)


This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he's given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
My Review:

I originally read this book when I was about twelve years old. I saw the movie when I was nineteen. When I saw the other books of the series for sale at this cute little bookstore, I realized it was time to begin this series again.

Now I'm a lot older and far more mature, I found The Giver had so much more meaning. Jonas was trapped in a world where they desperately wanted to control every aspect of every one's lives. There was no since of choice. Of agency. You lived, and you died. That was it. There was absolutely no substance to life.

All because of those pills they were forced to take. These pills suppressed every normal human emotion, blocked certain hormones from running through the body.

This book really opened up my mind to how we take to granted everything we have. All the choices we have. The choice we have to marry, to not, to LOVE who we want, to have as many children as we want, or to not have any, to live where we please, to enjoy what ever hobbies we love.

No wonder this book was once on the banned list, and still is in certain countries. It reminds you of the choices and freedoms life can give you.

I have never been so grateful for my life until after I read this book.

It's been a while since a book provoked my thoughts so deeply. I think everyone should read this book. Also, Lowry has mad skill with describing things without using color. I don't know how she did it, but wow; she's an incredible author.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Ask and the Answer: A Review (Chaos Walking #2)


We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

My Review:

Todd now knows more than he probably ever wanted to. He has been running from the evil Mayor Prentiss and his army of men. Viola has finally become comfortable enough with Todd, only to be nearly killed.

Now that they have reached Haven, Todd and Viola are faced with a whole new set of problems. Todd had no clue people still lived this far out in this world. They start talking more about the old world and how they have come to settle this one. In the beginning, the people of Haven seem normal, kind even.

Only some of them are just as bad as Prentisstown...because Mayor Prentiss had won the race to Haven.

Todd and Viola must juggle between who is right and who is wrong. Todd is taken down a path he wanted to resist, but found he couldn't help following. Viola is worried, but she is being kept separated from him.

Mayor Prentiss is as convincing as ever, and having gathered others from the various towns he had gone through, his army is stronger than ever. He begins to use Todd, and although Todd goes along as a spy, will he really stay strong enough to resist the charismatic Mayor, who seems better every day?

Who will win? The Ask? Or The Answer?

Again, another wonderful novel by Ness. Truly, this is a series to be listened to. The narrators are wonderful and capture the fear, joy, and anguish Todd and Viola go through.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Knife of Never Letting Go: A Review (Chaos Walking #1)


Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

My Review:

Lately, most books I have been "reading" are on audio book, because that's what I have had time for. Yet, I will say the Chaos Walking Series SHOULD be listened to. It captures the effect of hearing everyone's thoughts and you are left feeling just as worried and sometimes disoriented as Todd.

Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown. You become a man at age 13, and since he's the last "boy" he is very nearly an outcast. He has been raised by his parents two best friends, and he has known nothing but the men in Prentisstown. All who are a little on the strange side... especially the priest, Aaron *shudder.*

He has never seen a woman. At least, not in person. He's certainly seen the men's fantasies about women in their audible thoughts.

Only when he is out on his normal escapades, does he stumble upon the first woman he has ever seen.
The minute he finds her, is the minute his life will never be the same again.

This was a fun adventure. Following Todd, Manchee, and the girl was not only fun, but filled with intense moments. Apparently being friend with a girl was the worst thing Todd could have done. 

Patrick Ness is an incredible author. I was riveted the entire book.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Escape from Asylum: A Review (Asylum #0.5)

In this terrifying prequel novel to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, a teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline psychiatric hospital and must find a way out—before he becomes the next victim of the evil warden’s experiments. With the page-turning suspense and unsettling found photographs from real asylums that led Publishers Weekly to call Asylum “a strong YA debut,” Escape from Asylum is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

The nightmare is just beginning.

Ricky Desmond has been through this all before. If he could just get through to his mother, he could convince her that he doesn’t belong at Brookline. From the man who thinks he can fly to the woman who killed her husband, the other patients are nothing like him; all he did was lose his temper just a little bit, just the once. But when Ricky is selected by the sinister Warden Crawford for a very special program—a program that the warden claims will not cure him but perfect him—Ricky realizes that he may not be able to wait for his mom a second longer. With the help of a sympathetic nurse and a fellow patient, Ricky needs to escape now.

Set long before Dan, Abby, and Jordan ever walked the hallways of the Brookline asylum—back when it was still a functioning psych ward and not a dorm—Escape from Asylum is a mind-bending and scary installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide missing puzzle pieces for series fans.

My Review:

Ricky is sent to Brookline Hospital back in the 1960’s when it was in its prime. Warden Crawford is conducting his experiments and is highly interested in Ricky.

I was terrified as I learned historical background of what most likely happened in asylums similar to Brookline. It also made me so sad to think of people being treated so badly because people thought they were “sick.”

Ricky is strong however, and with his friend, Kay, they work together to try and overcome the evil workings of Crawford—though not without death in tow.

I really liked this installment of the Asylum series until the end. I felt it was too easy and didn't fit the story or Crawford’s attitude toward Ricky. It was a good read, however, but I probably won't read it again due to the ending.

3 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Banished of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #1)


In a stand-alone series set in the world of Muirwood, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and heir to the throne. As a result of her father’s ceaseless need for authority, she was left disinherited and forced to live as a servant in her enemy’s home. When the king invites chaos into the land by expelling the magical order known as the Dochte Mandar, Maia finds herself on a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret—despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it. Hunted by enemies at every turn, Maia realizes that danger lurks within her, too. Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself free and save the realm she loves—even if that realm has forgotten her?

My Review:

Maia is the great-something-odd granddaughter of Lia and Colven. She has inherited her great-something-odd grandmother’s personality and strengthen. Her father is a monster and has disowned her, so now she travels with an assassin, a carpenter/hunter, and his dog as she goes about finding safety. Only, she learns she will never be safe until she handles what has been growing inside her. 

I was so excited to renter the world of Muirwood. Although Maia is from Comoros and is royalty, she is drawn back to her ancestral home of Muirwood. Which I'm excited to read about in the next installment.

I appreciate the references to Lia, even though this is a stand-alone series. Jeff Wheeler has once again written a clean fantasy full of page-turning adventure.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crystal Storm: A Review (Falling Kingdoms #5)


The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

My Review:

It's about freaking time that everyone started working together instead of against each other.

Now with the threat coming from Amara and her Empire, forces them to work together to try and overcome her.

We learn more about our beloved characters and their backgrounds. We learn more about their motivations as they are faced with trials harder than ever.

This isn't the last book, but now I'm dying to know if this series can end happy. I really hope so, because I've grown attached the the characters that have survived this far…

Which probably means they'll all die. Every character I start liking too much dies.

Sigh. I guess we will see what the Kindred have in store for these guys in the next installment. This one already gave me so many surprises, I'm wondering if there is possibly anything I don't know now. I must know how this series ends!

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Table for Two: A Review


Being a legal secretary is not exactly Jana Barrowman’s dream job, so when recently widowed Alex Steadman contacts her about the résumé she sent in more than a year ago with a job offer for a creative consultant position, she puts some serious thought into accepting it.The problem is, if she takes the new job, she will have to move to another state and leave her mom and dad behind. But when Jana determines that the move can help her get away from Brad—the overly adoring man in her life who she really doesn’t have any feelings for—she decides to go.

When Jana arrives for her new adventure, both Alex and his young daughter, Elise, are easily enamored with her—as is Jeff, the ward member who becomes Jana’s first date in her new town. However, Jana is not so sure about her feelings for any of them. And as she works side by side with Alex to transform a shabby house into a charming boutique, it becomes clear to her that Alex wants more than a friendship. Though Jana resists, she knows she has to work out her confusion before she loses everything that is becoming so dear to her. Will she be able to come to terms with the fact that Alex’s deceased wife, Vanessa, will always be a big part of his life, as well as Alex’s and her differing religious convictions and so many other complications that might not fit at a table for two?

My Review:

What you must understand is that this is an LDS, VERY cheesy, but very WONDERFUL love story.

Jana has been hired to help repair a craft shop for Alex’s dead wife. The decision is hard, but eventually she leaves her family and moves states away to take the job.

And let me say, I want to marry someone like Alex. He is so kind, so good to his daughter, Elise. Although he's a local celebrity, he is genuine and cares for others. He loves deeply with his whole heart and is so protective. *swoon*

Can I please marry an Alex Steadman?

Anyways, Jana is hesitant to fall in love with him because he is not a member of the church. Yet, she begins to discover her attraction to him undeniable.

And I love how patient Alex is. How understanding he is. And how receptive he is to listening to her speak about the gospel.

This was such a beautiful love story about a man coming to find God and a girl coming to learn that life will never be what you expect it to be. Seriously, I could re-read this book a million times and never tire of it.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores: A Review (The Merciless #2)


Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else . . . until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish.

Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a creepy Catholic boarding school in Mississippi. There, seemingly everyone is doing penance for something, most of all the mysterious Jude, for whom Sofia can’t help feeling an unshakeable attraction. But when Sofia and Jude confide in each other about their pasts, something flips in him. He becomes convinced that Sofia is possessed by the devil. . . . Is an exorcism the only way to save her eternal soul?

Readers won’t be able to look away from this terrifying read full of twists and turns that will leave them wondering, Is there evil in all of us?

My Review:

Shudder. This book wasn't as fast paced as the first, but it was certainly creepy and a bit terrifying.

Sofia’s mom is dead and now she is sent to a Catholic boarding school where things aren't running like they probably should be. Her roommates are kind, but strange and awful things keep happening to them. And then there's Jude.

I didn't like him from the beginning. And I didn't like how fast Sofia fell for him, because duh, there was obviously something wrong about him.

But then again, Sofia is very stupid and very weak minded. Why I keep reading is because of the compelling story. Like, this crap is happening to Sofia not because she's stupid, but because someone is literally hell bent on turning her evil.

The end was very chilling and I'm kind of worried about what the next book will bring.

3.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Scourge of Muirwood: A Review (Legends of Muirwood #3)


The Scourge of Muirwood is the final installment of the Muirwood Trilogy.

Upon discovering she is the lost heir of Pry-Ree, Lia is forced to leave the protection of Muirwood once again. She embarks upon a perilous journey across the kingdom where she avoids capture and begs passage on a ship bound to Dahomey. Lia's safety is in further jeopardy when she finally reaches Dochte Abbey and learns the hetaera have taken control. Lia must gather all her strength and muster the courage to defeat them, for if she fails, the consequence would be a world in ruin and the shattered lives of those she loves.

My Review:

Lia is now faced in a world overtaken by the evil hetaera--an evil group of women bent on destroying the world and the Medium. Lia must resist the call of their evil persuasions. Again, Colven has been separated from Lia, having to protect the fake heir of Pry-Ree. It kills me that Lia is forced to keep quiet about the truth... if only Colven knew the truth...

What's worst of all is everything and everyone is depending on Lia. The Aldermaston has helped Lia as much as he can and again, she is on her own. Her power in the Medium is stronger than ever, though.

This was a fantastic ending to a wonderful series. Although I wouldn't say it was exactly happy, it was perfect. This will series has made it to my mental list of favorites--which is a hard thing to do, mind you.

Again, another clean, awesome fantasy by Jeff Wheeler.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dating Never Works... until It Does: 100 Lessons from 1,000 Dates


Tired of mixed messages, confusing signals, and of playing the dating game? Dating expert Zack Oates has experienced it all in this comical guide that will keep you happy and laughing. Perfect for audiences in dating situations of all kinds, these encouraging steps will help you find your celestial mate.

My Review:

Oh my goodness. This was perhaps the funniest dating book I have ever read. Granted, it's the only dating book I've read, but hehe. Zack Oates knows how to get a point across while being hilarious too—which helps me remember the lessons he taught better.

This book has some great advice. It's nice to know how you're not wrong or crazy in certain situations and how we all can improve in the lovely world of dating.

This really was a well done book.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Scorpio Races: A Review


It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Review:

Puck Connolly is a strong-willed, hard-working, and honest girl. She stands for what she believes in and no matter who laughs or jeers at her, she will do what's right. After she and her two brothers have been orphaned by the infamous water horses, she Gabe and Finn work their butts off to keep their home.

Only…her older brother Gabe is the biggest jerk-wad on the planet and decides—without telling them—that he's going to leave the island. So, scared out of her mind, Puck joins the races to try and convince him to stay...and to make enough money to save her and Finn.

Sean is a five time champion of the Scorpio Races with his water horse, Korr. He's back in the Races and very intrigued by Puck’s entrance.

Together Sean and Puck prepare for what seems like the hardest race of their lives. Puck has to deal with a loser brother and take care of her younger. Sean has to decide what kind of man he is and what he will do with his future.

This was a beautiful book about hard decisions and growing up. I admire Sean and Puck’s strength.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Blight of Muirwood: A Review (Legends of Muirwood #2)


Rising from her humble beginnings as a lost orphan, Lia is summoned to be Muirwood Abbey’s protector and special guardian for Ellowyn Demont, the lost heir of the fallen kingdom of Pry-Ree. After the death of the ruthless king at the battle of Winterrowd, the great Aldermaston and Abbey leader calls on Lia to use her mystical talents to save Muirwood from two new threats—a vengeful queen accusing the Abbey of her husband’s death and a deadly plague threatening to destroy the land.

Amidst the turmoil, a battle ensues, and soon Lia learns the world’s magic has begun to falter. As a blanket of dread envelops the Abbey, hopes are tested, and Lia will be forced to come to terms with a secret that will change her life forever.

My Review:

Lia is now 15 and has been appointed the Hunter for the Abbey. I must admit, I was surprised at how good she was at it. She didn't rely on her power with the Medium as she trained, but rather she focused on building her physical strength and endurance.

And then when Colven comes back. Gah. I learned to love him from the first book but man, he just made me angry in this one. He couldn't admit his love for Lia because she wasn't a Maston like him, and he could only marry a Maston. So heaven forbid he reject her in a nice way, but no...

He should have had more faith in Lia.

But in this novel, Lia is forced to rely mostly on herself. She grows so much, it's incredible to see the change from the Lia of the first book to the Lia at the end of this one.

Again, such a good, wholesome, clean read. The fantasy world was so vivid, I wish I could visit.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Wretched of Muirwood: A Review (Legends of Muirwood #1)


In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write.

All but doomed, her days are spent toiling away as a kitchen slave under the charge of the Aldermaston, the Abbey’s watchful overseer. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the kitchen’s doorstep, an opportunity arises.

The nefarious Sheriff Almaguer soon starts a manhunt for Colvin, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her fate. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right.

At once captivating, mysterious, and magic-infused, The Wretched of Muirwood takes the classic fantasy adventure and paints it with a story instantly epic, and yet, all its own.

My Review:

This fantasy adventure was such a wonderful breath of fresh air. Not only did Lia and Colven’s story keep me up late at night, but it was so clean. There wasn't any language or dirty scenes. It has been a while since I've read such a good, wholesome book. Jeff Wheeler reminded me how you can write a good story without foul words or dirty sex scenes.

Now, for this story, Lia is about 13 years old and Colven about 17. So I appreciate that even though Lia had a crush on Colven, nothing happened beyond friendship. Because she's 13!

What I also loved was the world building. I walked beside Lia and her friends, I was there in battle with them, there when she discovered how to have more control over the medium, and there through her pain of being a wretched.

Lia is so good. Despite the lot she's been given in life, she loves with her whole heart and always strives to do what's right.

I also love the Aldermaston. Although I hated him at first, I learned just how an amazing mentor he is.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Away From the Dark: A Review (The Light #2)


Nine months ago, Sara Adams awoke with no memory. The man holding her hand told her she’s a member of The Light, a tight-knit religious group led by the terrifying and charismatic Father Gabriel. As a woman in the community of The Light, her duty is to be unquestionably obedient and to submit to the will of her husband.

But as Sara’s memory starts to return and she remembers her past, she sees that everything she’s been told is a lie. The Light is an insidious and dangerous organization, and its corrupting influence reaches well beyond the confines of the remote campus where Sara is being held.

With everything at stake, Sara struggles to sort out her true memories from her indoctrination. The desire to escape consumes her, but who can she trust? And which other followers of The Light were forced into this life, brainwashed to believe they belonged? The more she remembers, the more it becomes clear that Jacob, the man who calls himself her husband, is keeping shattering secrets of his own.

But Sara cannot flee alone, leaving innocents behind. She must fight to extinguish The Light.

My Review:

*There are spoilers here if you haven't read the first book*

Sara begins to get her memories back, and we discover she is actually Stella. She stops taking her birth control (which has the memory suppressant drug) and escapes...only to learn more truths she wasn't expecting.

Despite everything Jacob has done to her, it now looks like he is her only hope. Although I still don't like him, I do appreciate what he does for her in this book. Plus, you learn more about him....but that still doesn't excuse the way he treated her or the other women in the cult. Gag.

This book was filled with intense moments where I feared if Sara/Stella would be okay. Sure Jacob was in danger too, but I don't really care if he dies. Blech.

This sequel's language was worse than the first and the sex scenes even more descriptive. Again, something I don't appreciate, but I skipped over them and did my best to enjoy the real story.

I'm still debating if I'll read the next book, but I am dying to know what will happen to The Light after what Sara/Stella did.

3 out of 5!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Into the Light: A Review (The Light #1)


Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news from the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella digs for answers—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price.…

  My Review:

Cult's are terrifying.

Into the Light just shows how terrifying they are. The amount of brain washing, the creepy way they treat their people, and the abuse that goes on.

Sara is in a world where men are in control, where if you don't obey your husband or any other man, you are beat. She has no memory of her previous life, but she comes to trust her husband, Jacob.

I hate Jacob. He disgusts me. He talks about how much he loves Sara, but if he really did, he wouldn't beat her or yell at her, or force her to kneel when he comes home from work. Gah.

Outside of the The Light (the cult), Stella is doing her best to discover what exactly is going on...only when she gets to close...

This story was really good. However, there is a LOT of language, especially the "f" word, gag. And the sex scenes are a bit too descriptive for me, although they do demonstrate the culture of this cult... *shiver*

Despite my qualms, this was a captivating story.

3.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crooked Kingdom: A Review (Six of Crows #2)


The hotly-anticipated sequel to the Carnegie Medal 2017 nominated SIX OF CROWS, this is GAME OF THRONES meets OCEAN'S ELEVEN in a fantasy epic from the number 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn - and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld.

As gripping, sweeping and memorable as the Grisha trilogy - SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING - this novel is perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Kristin Cashore and GAME OF THRONES.

My Review:

Trouble is on the home front for Kaz now. After his awesome heist, and after being burned...he has a lot to deal with.

It's a good thing he has his friends.

The first book, Six of Crows, was full of adventure and intense moments, but here in this novel, even though we still have these moments, we get to know more about the characters and their stories--especially Kaz.

I came to love them all more than ever. Truly, I don't think I'll ever forget this series. I may forget the character's names after some time, but not the awesome people they were, despite their lifestyle.

And, may I say, it was about time Kaz and Inej did something about their not admitting they liked each other!

This book was filled with sorrow and happiness, wins and losses. If you loved the first book, you will definitely love this one.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Merciless: A Review (The Merciless #1)


Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
My Review:

To be honest, this bright pink cover with the upside down, golden pentagram is actually what caught my interest.

Now, I'm not a fan of exorcism books or movies, but this was calm enough that I really liked it. In fact, I liked it so much I couldn't put it down.

Sofia Flores has moved a lot due to her mother's military service. In this new town, she meets and befriends some girls...only....

None of them are what they seem to be.

*Shiver* if the description of this book doesn't clarify enaough, then I'll just tell you it gets scary. These girls are all messed up in the head. They all need help, even Sofia.

We learn dark secrets about everyone and learn how no one is truly good, but no one is truly bad either.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was Sofia's love just didn't seem to have a part in the story and was too much of an "insta-like" and then he just disappeared, so I don't even know why he's in the story except for his truck (which Sofia needs at one point).

I will say though, this book was definitely a thrill.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The List: A Review


Ashley Barrett doesn't want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn't care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college -- the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that's why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals -- from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi -- she'll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master's degree). But when Matt decides he doesn't like the "leaving" part, Ashley's carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down —- or might set her free?

  My Review:

I actually won this book at the American Night Writers Association Conference a few years back and only recently got to it. I actually had Melanie Jacobson sign it, she's an awesome lady.

So, Ashley has a list of 25 goals she wants to accomplish before she gets married. She has older sisters who haven't exactly had the greatest time with their marriages thus far, and Ashley's become afraid of commitment. Her List is her safety net...

Until she meets Matt.

*Swoon* Oh Matt. This guy is basically perfection. Like, obviously this is a romance book because no one is as perfect as Matt. But that's okay, I went into this novel knowing it was a cheesy, but well written romance.

Needless to say, Matt teaches Ashley some lessons about life, about how to trust, and how to look beyond the List and see people for who they really are.

It was a quick, lovely read. If you like cheesy romances, I highly recommend this book!

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Six of Crows: A Review (Six of Crows #1)


Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first.
My Review:

Kaz Brekker is probably the coolest bad guy I've ever read about. He's known for his gloves and his cane. He is feared throughout his city, for he owns it, and now...he needs help acquiring money beyond his wildest dreams.

The team Kaz puts together is filled with ruffians and scoundrels who walk the streets, stealing, gambling, plotting, killing. And when put together, they make a deadly group. They also make a hilarious group. Not all of them get along, and it makes for some good laughs--however sometimes their fights worried me. I like all of them together.

So Kaz, being very full of himself decides he needs to break into the unbreakable. Kaz's genius is shown throughout this whole book. He boggles my mind. If he were real, I might try to befriend him (he'd probably scare me too much to get too close to him though...)

If you love a story filled with magic, thievery, and well-rounded characters then this book is for you.

5 out of 5!

Let's take a moment to appreciate the fan art here too. I can't really chose a favorite, but Jesper is perhaps the funniest, and if I were in this series, I would be Inej.