Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Wilder Girls by Rory PowerWilder Girls by Rory Power
Published by Delacorte Press on July 9, 2019
Pages: 353
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

This book was such a wild ride. I honestly still don’t really know how I feel about it. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it but it was weird but it was intriguing but but but… I really don’t even know. I think this is the most conflicted my feeling have been over a book in a VERY long time, if ever. The writing was very choppy and hard to follow in the beginning, but I got used to it after awhile. I was kind of meh on the characters, but started really enjoying it when we got Byatt’s POV.

I really loved the idea of the Tox and wanted more. I wanted to know what it was, how it came to be, why it effected everyone so differently, etc. When it came to the Tox, I was suspicious of literally everyone and everything. I kept thinking there was going to be some kind of huge reveal about it, like that the government had released it by accident (re: The Crazies), or maybe even on purpose. I was truly intrigued by it, and I’m still not sure if I was satisfied or not with the final reveal of what it was. Plus, I was a bit thrown off by some of the science and logistics because some of it really didn’t make sense. I can do the whole “suspension of disbelief” to a certain extent, but there were too many questions with this one.

The last 80-100 pages were the most thrilling/intriguing. A lot happened, a lot was revealed, and a lot was left unanswered. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say the ending was left pretty open-ended. It almost reminded me of a horror/thriller movie where they do the same thing, and you’re left with more questions than answers.

So, overall, I think I liked this book more than I expected to, but it still had some meh moments. I think it would make an excellent movie. It’s very visual and I’d like to SEE some of that visual. I also want more stories from this world, but I want DIFFERENT stories from DIFFERENT characters. Even different time periods, like before the Tox (but like BEFORE Hetty, Byatt and Reese were on the island.. Maybe we’ll find out this has happened before). I’d also like to see a story that’s set after the events of the book but with different characters. My favorite would be if there was a sequel set maybe 50 years later, and the island is abandoned and then some teens decide to spend the night partying there and share ghost stories of what happened, and then they all suddenly get infected or get haunted by the spirits of the dead, or the wildlife and animals attack them, or the girls who went “feral” are there and attack them or or or… *Clears throat* Can you tell I watch too many made-for-TV horror movies? Hehe. But in my defense, this really would all make an EXCELLENT horror movie.

Anyway.. So, yes.. I think I can safely say I recommend this to anyone who loves creepy thriller horror dark books and movies. This one will def leave you with lots of thoughts and questions. I don’t recommend it if you don’t like cliffhanger endings in stand-alone books, though. Because it definitely leaves you guessing.


Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Blog Tour)The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press on September 25, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Hey everyone! I’m beyond excited to be on the blog tour for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White!! This book was SO good!! I hope you enjoy my review!


I hated reading in school (because it took away from my own personal reading time), but Frankenstein was one of the few books I was forced to read and actually loved. And as you guys know, I LOVE retellings – especially creepy/dark/twisted ones. So for me, this book was wickedly delightful, creeptastic and intriguing!

Elizabeth is a manipulative bullshitter, a charmer. She’s blunt and to the point. She’s mean, by her own admission. But I love it. She’s flawed and that’s okay. She does what she has to to survive. She has no use for anyone or anything that doesn’t help her or advance her in some way, but considering the time period she lived in, and the things women endured – what we saw her endure – I get it.

Victor is… a complete psychopath/sociopath. I mean, that’s obvious to anyone who has read Frankenstein. But seen from Elizabeth’s perspective, it’s even more obvious.

I adored Justine and her friendship with Elizabeth. She was the one person Elizabeth truly loved, and remained friends with for reasons other than selfish ones. I completely related to her, hardcore, for various reasons. Her fate broke my heart.

Another character I absolutely adored was Mary. I had a weird theory I was desperate to prove, but alas, we received no confirmation on this one. I still loved her. She was strong and fierce in the face of personal turmoil.

I loved the ending. It left things a bit open-ended. I don’t see there being a sequel, but it allows your mind to wander and come up with your own wild theories, re: what happened next.

As always, Kiersten’s writing was phenomenal. She’s one of my favorite writers – has been for years, and always will be. I’ll read anything she writes, and am especially excited for her upcoming novel, Slayer (I mean, I’m a HUGE Buffy fan, so this should come as no surprise!!).

This book felt different from some of Kiersten’s others, but in a good way. It had more of a gothic fiction/classic feel to it and I liked the pace and how things played out. I do wish the atmosphere had been a touch darker and creepier, and I wish there had been a bit more thriller/edge-of your-seat-type intrigue, but I still really enjoyed it.

The only thing that frustrated me was that I couldn’t remember enough of Frankenstein. And that’s NOT a point against this book, that’s just me remembering bits and pieces and flashes, and wishing I could remember more. I had some theories and it was hard to develop them when I couldn’t remember certain things (for example: why did I blank on who Henry Clerval was?!? I read Frankenstein like 3 times. The name rings a bell but ???). But again, that’s NOT a negative or a point against this book. I just wish I could have remembered, because I think it would have made certain things more intriguing.

Overall, I really really loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is already a fan of Kiersten White, as well as to anyone that loves horror, classics, retellings and especially – obviously – Frankenstein.


About the Author: 
KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the And I Darken series, comprised of And I Darken, Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn; the Paranormalcy series; Slayer, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times.

Website | Twitter

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And now for the giveaway! Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN! US Only. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below!

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Blog Tour Schedule:

Week One:
10/15/2018 – Under the Book Cover – Review
10/16/2018 – Simply Daniel Radcliffe – Review
10/17/2018 – Novel Novice – Review
10/18/2018 – My Fangirl Chronicles – Review
10/19/2018 – Pandora’s Books – Review

Week Two:
10/22/2018 – Jessica Writes – Review
10/23/2018 – Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review
10/24/2018 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
10/25/2018 – Savings in Seconds – Review
10/26/2018 – Vicky Who Reads – Review

Week Three:
10/29/2018 – Smada’s Book Smack – Review
10/30/2018 – YA Books Central – Interview
10/31/2018 – For the Lover of Books – Review
11/1/2018 – Malanie Loves Fiction – Review
11/2/2018 – Oh Hey! Books. – Review

Week Four:
11/5/2018 – The Hermit Librarian – Review
11/6/2018 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
11/7/2018 – BookHounds YA – Review
11/8/2018 – Eli to the nth – Review
11/9/2018 – Portrait of a Book – Review


Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly (Blog Tour)No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
Published by Delacorte Press on July 18, 2017
Pages: 352
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

Hey everyone! I’m so, so excited to be on the blog tour for No Good Deed by Kara Connolly! You guys know I LOVE retellings of any kind, so you know I JUMPED on this book when the blog tour invite showed up in my inbox. So, without further adieu, here’s my review!

I’m REALLY loving this book!!! Unfortunately, life has been a little hectic lately and I haven’t been able to finish reading it yet. That said, I’ve read 50% and feel confident I can write a partial review that will honestly reflect my thoughts and do the book justice. Once I finish the book, I’ll update my review.

I’m getting a lot of different vibes from this book: Robin Hood: Men in Tights vibes. Xena/Hercules vibes. The Witch Hunter vibes. I think these comparisons come from the similar time periods and settings, rather than plot – except for the Robin Hood vibe, the reason for that is obvious!

I really love the characters in this so far. Ellie reminds me of Emily from Make It or Break It – mostly because of the short hair and “Olympic hopeful” thing. James seems swoony so far! The Will Scarlet and Little John characters have me cracking up! I have a feeling I shouldn’t like Guilbert, but I kind of do really like him because I have a feeling there’s more to him than meets the eye!

So far, the plot is incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to see what happens next! The writing is epic, too – I’m really getting sucked into the story because of it and the plot. I think Kara Connolly is going to be an author to watch and I’m already excited to see what else she does!

So far – and assuming this book continues being epic – I definitely do recommend it to those who love retellings! Also, I was told it has a similar vibe to Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, so if you’re a fan of that book, I recommend checking this one out!

UPDATE (8/8/17): So I FINALLY finished the book. I’ll admit, I struggled with it a little – the middle dragged a bit. But I’m not sure if it was the book or because of life being hectic and my reading slump, so I’m not going to blame the book. It really picked up at the end and I ended up really enjoying it. My favorite parts were the ones with Eleanor of Aquitaine, especially the part that took place at 76% (in the US eARC version – I think it was chapter twenty-one). I also REALLY LOVED Will Scarlet. He was hilarious and I loved his friendship with Ellie.

The ending was a bit rushed, but adorable and fun. It wrapped up nicely, but it left room for my mind to wander and imagine what happened AFTER. In my opinion, the best standalones are the ones that end in such a way – nicely and with no loose strings, but with enough leeway to picture the “after” however I like.

I still highly recommend this to anyone who loves Robin Hood and retellings.


Blog Tour Schedule:

July 17:
Cafinated Reads

July 18:
Istyria book blog
My Guilty Obsession

July 19:
Stories & Sweeties
The Book Monsters
Urban Fantasy Investigations

July 20:
Seeing Double In Neverland
Love is not a triangle
A Backwards Story

July 21:
Take Me Away
Feed Your Fiction Addiction

July 24:
Beauty and the Bookshelf
Mom With a Reading Problem

July 25:
Teen Lit Rocks
Peace Love Books

July 26:
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
The Hollow Cupboards

July 27:
Adventures of a Book Junkie
A Midsummer Night’s Read

July 28:
Gone Pecan
Mommy Ramblings

July 31:
By Valia Lind
Pandora’s Books

August 1:
Cracking the Cover
Jessabella Reads

August 2:
Bookish Lifestyle

August 3:
Twinning for Books
Ms. Yingling Reads

August 4:
Lisa Loves Literature
She Dreams in Fiction
Zach’s YA Reviews


About the Author:

Kara Connolly loves history, though she has never time traveled. She lives and writes in Arlington, Texas.

To learn more about Kara and her books, visit her website or follow @readKaraC on Twitter and @readkaraconnolly on Instagram.


Review: Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys (Blog Tour)Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
Published by Delacorte Press on November 8, 2016
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

A slick thriller from the author of HEXED, perfect for fans of THE CELLAR by Natasha Preston and PANIC by Lauren Oliver.

You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.

Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college.And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.

When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she just might win some real money.
But the Society isn’t all that it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement.

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys (November 8, 2016 – Delacorte Press). I absolutely LOVED this book!!! It was an enthralling read and I’m really excited to share my review with you! Enjoy!


Dead Girls Society was an amazing thrill-ride of a book – intriguing and a bit terrifying. It was like The Skulls meets The Breakfast Club meets I Know What You Did Last Summer. I was excited to read it from the second I learned about it and it definitely didn’t disappoint!

There are a ton of characters in this book and they’re all intriguing and unique. I really liked the main character, Hope. She was brave and foolish and fierce and insane, all at once. Hartley was fearless and tough. The way her story ended shocked the crap out of me. Farrah surprised me in more ways than one. She broke the stereotypical mold she started out in and quickly became one of the more intriguing characters. I feel like we learned the least about Nikki, so it’s hard to say much about her. And Lyla… I don’t even know where to begin…

As for the guys, I wasn’t a huge fan of either Ethan or Tucker. I understand the reasons behind their actions, but Ethan acted like a child, more times than not, and Tucker just… I guess he wasn’t so bad, but I never fully liked him. I shipped Hope and Ethan in the beginning, but by the end, I just wanted Hope to tell both of them to eff off. I didn’t trust either of them, so that probably effected my feelings towards them a bit..

Every time I had to put this book down, I didn’t want to. The suspense was so intense – trying to figure out who’s behind this and who we can trust – and agonizing! Situations often escalated quickly and I reached a point where I was just didn’t trust anyone – and, as it turned out, I had good reason not to trust anyone! I had so many crazy theories and they were all over the place.

And then that ending.. The big reveal… HOLY CRAP. I never saw it coming. Once all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, it made perfect sense. But before that? I never even got close to figuring it out. The very ending, especially? HOLY CRAP IT WAS SO I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER AND I LOVED IT AND I NEED BOOK TWO NOW, PLEASE!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I LOVED this book and everyone needs to read it ASAP! I was already a fan of Michelle Krys from reading Hexed. But this book and its intense thrill-ride has solidified my love for this author and her amazing stories.


Blog Tour Schedule:


Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Pages: 484
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

I’ve been SO excited for this book ever since I first heard about it. A YA historical? YES, PLEASE! A “what if?” YA Historical? EVEN BETTER! But a YA “what if?” historical about Vlad the Impaler.. As a girl?!?! GIMME GIMME!!!!!!!!!!! And this book did NOT disappoint. I enjoyed it SO MUCH and I can’t wait for book two!

In a Q&A Kiersten did for her launch party at Mysterious Galaxy Books (and which was transcribed in Stacee’s recap on her blog, Adventures of a Book Junkie), Kiersten discussed the insane amount of research she did for this book – and it definitely shows! This book takes you back in time and makes you feel as though you’re living in the Ottoman Empire in the 1400’s-1500’s. It was so atmospheric, the story so richly detailed.. I fell into this world with ease.

The characters were intriguing and complex. It’s hard to say whether I liked them or not, but I don’t think the author’s goal was for the characters to be likable. It was more about understanding them and their actions and decisions. As Kiersten said in her Q&A for Mysterious Galaxy Books, “If you get to the end of the series and you’re wondering why you like [Lada], I’ve done my job.” This statement is SO TRUE – not just for Lada, for all the characters. But especially our main three: Lada, Radu and Mehmed.

To be blunt, Lada was bratty, scary, nasty, mean and stubborn.. She BITES people. But through all that, she’s fierce, feisty and determined. She refuses to let the fact that she’s a woman stop her from doing – and getting – what she wants.

Poor Radu started off as the runt of the litter – ignored, picked on and beaten up. But he changes SO MUCH, it’s not even funny. He goes from being a scared, crying, sheltered little boy to… This man. This strong, clever, cunning man with a heart of glass who covets what he can’t have. His boyishness still comes through at times. But otherwise, from beginning to end, he becomes a completely different person. His most interesting quality? The diplomatic way in which he talks himself into and out of various situations. He inserts himself into people’s lives and conversations in such a smooth way, they don’t even realize what he’s doing until it’s too late.

The unshakeable bond between Radu and Lada is proof that home is not a place, but that it is where your family is – and that family is what you make it. They might not have always shown it in words or gestures but they loved each other – and it was very endearing.

There were a LOT of other characters that I could talk about, but then we’d be here forever! So instead, I’m going to offer shout-out’s (whether for good reasons or not-so-good reasons) to: Bogdan, Nicolae, Nazira, Kumal, Lazar, Ilyas and Salih. I’m sure there are other characters I could shout-out, but these are the main ones I was either truly intrigued by or truly despised (give or take a few I left out).

Again, it’s hard to say whether or not I liked these characters, but I definitely liked their interactions with one another, as well as their various relationships. I especially loved the way Radu’s relationships – and everything that goes along with that – were handled.

I read a lot of mixed reviews about this book (before I read it) and I think I know why: This is unlike anything Kiersten has ever written. It’s pure historical fiction. That means it’s a little slow to get through because there’s SO much world-building involved. And I admit, it had a slow start and was a bit too long. But otherwise, it’s intriguing and absolutely a coming of age story – finding one’s place in the world, etc. And Kiersten did SUCH a great job with it.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell from my review, I LOVED this book SO MUCH and I CAN’T wait for book two – which you can get a sneak-peak of here! I HIGHLY recommend this for fans of historical and “what if?” historical. If you’ve read Kiersten’s previous books, prepare yourself for something COMPLETELY different than you’ve ever read from her before!


Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara ThomasThe Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Published by Delacorte Press on April 19, 2016
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

As a huge fan of psychological thrillers, it bums me out that there aren’t a lot of them in YA. So whenever I DO find one, I freak out and get grabby hands! The Darkest Corners was one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and, though I enjoyed it, I wanted MORE from it. The ending totally blew me away, but I felt really disconnected from the characters and the plot was intriguing, but not very suspenseful.

Tessa and Callie are both main characters, but the story was told from Tessa’s point of view. In the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of Tessa. But as the story went on, I appreciated how driven to discover the truth she was. She found herself in some crazy (and scary) situations, especially near the end. And those moments in the end were crazy and intense.

Callie was incredibly self-destructive in the beginning. I didn’t necessarily connect with her, but I felt bad for her and the things she went through. She didn’t have it easy and she dealt with those memories and emotions in the only way she knew how. Like Tessa, she found herself in some crazy and scary situations – again, especially near the end. I definitely feel like she had a lot of character growth from beginning to end. I would have loved seeing some of the story from her point of view. I think it would have made things more interesting.

The last 45 pages were a whirlwind of action and revelations. I was really hoping for more suspenseful moments, but there were still a lot of intriguing moments that had me thinking and guessing, coming up with wild theories, dying to know how things would end.

I think I put this book up on a REALLY high pedestal because of how excited I was for it. And maybe that was part of why I feel a bit let down by it. I was expecting so much – hoping for so much. Maybe I set the bar TOO high with this one. Maybe if I had gone in with lower expectations, I would have enjoyed it more. Who knows? It still had some great moments, but I wanted MORE great moments.

Overall, this was an intriguing read. I wish I had been able to connect with the characters more and I wish there had been more suspenseful moments, but the last 45 pages made up for a lot of that with how insane and intense they were! I loved seeing all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and I loved the explanations and resolutions. I can’t wait to see what Kara Thomas writes next!


Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang (Sunday Street Team)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang (Sunday Street Team)For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Published by Delacorte Press on November 10, 2015
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

If Almost Famous were a YA novel . . . a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?


Sunday Street Team is hosted by Nori @ ReadWriteLove28

Hey everyone! Today, I’m reviewing For the Record by Charlotte Huang for Sunday Street Team! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


For the Record has been on my radar for over a year now. After reading and loving Open road Summer by Emery Lord, I was eager to read something similar. For the Record ended up exceeding my expectations. I loved the plot, the characters, the pacing and Charlotte Huang’s writing style. I enjoyed this book so much, if I could, I’d re-read it right now!

I really liked Chelsea because she was relatable and down to earth – an average girl living her dream. I wish she’d been a bit more sure of herself and I wish she had stood up for herself more often. I get it, she was excited to be in the band and didn’t want to rock the boat or risk getting kicked out. But she was always doing things to please others, always making sure she toed the line. That’s not to say she didn’t have ANY moments where she stood her ground, because she certainly did. I really liked the way her story ended and I’d love to see what happens next for her, whether it be in another full-length book, a novella, etc!

I liked Mandy but I never fully trusted her. Some of the things she did really made me sad and, at times, angry. She kind of redeemed herself near the end but I’m still annoyed with her. I will say, though, the double standards near the end with her and a certain someone were ridiculous and unfair.

I adored Beckett and I shipped him and Chelsea from very early on. He was one of the only band members who made Chelsea feel welcome. He had his jerk moments, but they were few and far between (especially compared to the other guys!). He had this tendency to speak the hard truth – which Pem did, too, but Beckett had this way of doing it in a gentle but firm way, whereas Pem did it in a cruel, harsh way. I’m REALLY excited with the way Beckett’s story ended and it makes me even more desperate for a second book, spin-off, novella, SOMETHING!

Pem was an asshole. I know he had his heart broken and stomped on, but that doesn’t give him the right to treat Chelsea the way he did. He acted like she was to blame for everything that went wrong and, let’s be real, Melbourne was doomed from the start – so that certainly wasn’t Chelsea’s fault. He really treated her like dirt and some of the things he said to her were completely out of line. I didn’t even feel bad for him when the reason behind his “rules” was revealed because he was such a stuck-up, snobby snob. Malcolm was a total playboy and a bit of a jerk, yet I couldn’t help but like him. I really don’t know what it was, but he had this goofball side that I loved and that cracked me up.

In the beginning, I really liked Lucas – he was sweet and funny! I shipped him and Chelsea at first, despite being 100% Team Beckett, until roughly halfway through the book, when he started acting clingy and needy. And super attention whore-ish. Then I kind of wanted to slap him.

The pacing of this book was spot-on. Chapter one jumped right into the action and the first few chapters had a great, easy set-up. This allowed Huang to jump into the heart of the story very early on. Still, there were a few things that caused the pacing to stagger. For example, the Lucas story line, which took up too much valuable page space and ate away at the rest of the plot. I think the book would have benefited from a shorter Lucas story line and more Chelsea, Beckett and Melbourne scenes.

That aside, this book was amazing in every possible way. I LOVED Huang’s writing style! It was smooth, rich and really pulled me in. It was detailed enough that I could visualize everything, yet it wasn’t weighed down with too many details. Finally, I just want to mention the tour guide appendix (featured at the end of the book) real quick. This was such a fun, creative element! I’m especially excited to see how it looks in the finished, physical copy of the book (as opposed to the eARC I was reading)!

I definitely recommend this book to those who loved Open Road Summer by Emery Lord! For the Record has a similar vibe and epic characters, as well as Huang’s gorgeous writing. The ending had this happily ever after – but still realistic – wrap-up that I really, really loved! Huang is definitely a debut author to watch out for and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


Review: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren MorrillThe Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte Press on December 8, 2015
Pages: 272
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey...

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

It always makes me sad when I have to give a book 2 stars. Mostly because below 3 stars is usually a DNF for me, so it’s rare that I have to actually rate and review a book that was a 2-star read. It’s happened a handful of times, though, and the reason I review these rare 2-star reads is simple: Though I didn’t enjoy them as much as I’d hoped to, I was still pulled in enough that I couldn’t bring myself to DNF. In those cases, I like to review, so I can explain my thoughts and feelings. And that’s the case with The Trouble with Destiny. I wanted to love it, since I really enjoyed Morrill’s Being Sloane Jacobs. Sadly, I had many issues with it.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the characters. I’m super character-focused, so if I don’t like the characters, I have trouble enjoying the book. I always try to keep an open mind while reading, but this book made it difficult. Our main character, Liza, was whiny and bossy. I loved how determined she was to win the competition and save her beloved marching band, but she definitely went about it the wrong way and she ended up being in her head the whole time and basically ignoring the thoughts and feelings of everyone around her. There’s nothing wrong with being focused and determined, but it felt like she lost sight of her true goal and the more she tried to get back on track, the more she sank (Sorry, couldn’t help it!).

I could NOT stand Demi. She just barely redeemed herself in the end, but it was done in a unrealistic (in my opinion) way. First of all, I’m SICK BEYOND WORDS of the mean girl trope in YA. Mean girls aren’t mean girls – they’re bullies! And no one seems to want to acknowledge that. Second of all, I’m even more sick of the “_____ is my ex-best friend. We are now mortal enemies” trope. From my experience, when you stop being friends with someone, you completely ignore them and forget about them. You don’t attack them and bully them. But maybe that’s just me. And then the resolution with their friendship at the end was ridiculous. Yes, I’ve had epic, massive fights with friends and then we’ve made up. But it’s not that simple and things don’t just go back to how they were. You need to talk out what happened and resolve the underlying issues. I get the miscommunication they experienced and how each felt ditched by the other – That was realistic. But Demi was SO nasty to Liza, the things she said and did SO horrible… No, I could forgive the miscommunication but not the nasty bullying. You don’t just go back to being friends after that. But again, that’s just me.

The Russ/Lenny thing was one of my least favorite love triangles ever. I mean, it kind of broke some of the stereotypes that surround love triangles, which was nice, but it was just poorly done and pretty predictable. I knew almost immediately how it would end. Also, I didn’t like Lenny at all and I got more of a friend-vibe from Russ. So there’s that, too.

Characters I did like? Huck and Hillary. Huck was hilarious, epic and had good taste in karaoke music. We didn’t see a lot of Hillary, but she seemed like a great friend.

Character issues aside, the things I DID enjoy about this book? Morrill’s writing. Her writing flows and pulls you into the story. The plot really intrigued me and that’s what kept me reading, more than anything. I really wanted to see what happened with the cruise ship and if the marching band would win the competition in the end. The pacing was fairly well done, as well. It’s a short, easy read.

I have a lot more thoughts on this book and I could discuss them all in great detail. But, as always, I hate thinking that my reviews might discourage someone from reading a book. I might not have enjoyed The Trouble With Destiny, but someone else might love it. I will NEVER tell someone NOT to read a book, though I won’t go out of my way to recommend it. So if you were excited for this book, give it a chance. You might love it! I truly hope you do! If you’re a fan of Morrill’s other books, you’ll likely love it! And if you like cute, easy reads, then this one is definitely for you! If you DO read it and DO love it, let me know in the comments – tell me why you loved it!


Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys DaytonSeeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
Series: Seeker #1
Published by Delacorte Press on February 10, 2015
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

*Fair warning: There might be mild (or major, depending on how you view it) spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk!*

When it comes to Seeker, the name of the game is curiosity. Because even though I didn’t like the writing, the plot OR the characters, my curiosity kept me reading. Which says a lot since I’m very character-driven and not liking the characters can often mean an automatic DNF. Yet I was so desperate to see what happened and get answers to my many questions that I read the first 150 pages (all of part one of the book) in 5 hours – which is slow for me, actually, but not bad considering how many times I debated DNFing. Yet, it then took me 5 days to finish the Interlude and parts two and three. I didn’t even want to pick it up some days because I’d heard a lot of people say that part two is where they DNF’d and I was nervous to keep going. By the end, Seeker turned out to be an okay book with an intriguing ending.

As I mentioned, I basically couldn’t stand any of the characters. I didn’t totally hate Quin, though she was such a stagnant character for about 90% of the book. Yes, I get it, she was lied to for most of her life by the person she trusted the most. By three people she trusted, honestly… Okay, everyone in her life lied to her or kept secrets. But once she knew the truth, instead of wanting to fight to fix things and make them better, she sort of… sunk into herself and hid from it. She ran away, ignored the problem.. She just didn’t want to deal with it. She comes alive near the end of the novel and I saw a small spark in her that I think will grow in book two, so I’m excited for that.

Shinobu was kind of a useless character… He really didn’t do much, especially in the second half of the book. I mean, the story couldn’t have moved forward without him but that’s really all he was good for. Just as Quin ran from her problems, Shinobu drowned his problems out with various… vices. He left those he loved vulnerable and, sometimes, his running from his problems put his loved ones at even greater risk than if he had stayed and fought. He definitely comes into his own in the end. I think he had the most character growth of the three main characters, to be honest. But that’s not saying much because he was kind of forced – to a certain extent – to clean up his act and help. He had this one “awakening” moment where he realized he had to change, though, so that was good.

John was just an ass. I’m sorry, but he was. He was also the most dangerous kind of villain because he’s so convinced that what he’s doing is morally right and for the greater good that he’s blinded to the consequences of his actions. He hurt people, he killed people.. He let his own men slap Quin around, while still claiming he loved her and wanted her to chose him. He was jealous beyond what was logical of her and Shinobu (and they really didn’t even get together in the book…) and had a nasty temper, too. Really, most of my review notes on him just say “Yeah, he’s an ass.” It’s sad, though, because he had an interesting back-story, but his voice was dull and boring and he was an ass most of the time.

Maud was by far my favorite character. I loved her back-story, her voice, all of it. I was terrified for her at several points, but I’m really intrigued with how her story ended and I can’t wait to see where it takes her in book two. She definitely provided the most entertainment and I kind of wish the book had been narrated more from her perspective than anyone else’s.

There were a lot of secondary characters and it’s hard to talk about them all. But I’ll give a few quick shout-outs: Briac was horrible and I wanted to punch him. I mostly wanted to punch Alistair, but then I felt bad for him. Fiona was an intriguing character and I would have loved to learn more about her. Gavin was.. odd.. But I’d love to learn more of his back-story. Same goes for Maggie and Catherine. And I think that’s everyone… Oh, The Old Dread, as well.

I think my biggest issue with the characters, aside from not liking/connecting with them, was that they all changed SO drastically from part one to part two. The only ones that really didn’t change were John and Maud. But Quin and Shinobu acted like completely different people in part two. Honestly, part two was like a totally different book altogether, not just character-wise. And the interlude felt unnecessary – most of that information could have been interspersed into the rest of the book. As weird/boring as part two was, part three actually picked up and was very interesting. A lot of epic things happened and some of my favorite moments were in part three. Some of the characters got more interesting, some of them got what they deserved and some of them finally achieved character growth.

Despite all the things that annoyed me – the characters, the plot, the writing – I couldn’t stop reading. Yes, I contemplated DNFing SEVERAL times. Yes, I complained about the bad parts a lot (in my defense, the bad parts were TRULY bad…). But there was still something about this book – as small as it might have been – that kept me reading. Like I said in the beginning of my review, my curiosity got the best of me and I was determined to see it through to the end. And, to my complete shock, the ending was kind of intriguing! Book two’s release date is a year off, so I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not, but the ending of Seeker definitely picked up enough that I’m considering it.

Would I recommend Seeker? I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it and I can’t claim I loved it, but I would definitely say give it a shot. The love triangle (which felt forced, in my opinion) was compared to the love triangle from Hunger Games. So if you liked Hunger Games and you like books that focus more on the romance than the world, then this may be the book for you and you might want to read it. If you do, I truly hope you enjoy it more than I did! It wasn’t AS BAD as some said it was, but it definitely wasn’t amazing. Others might love what I didn’t. I would never tell someone not to read a book they were interested in reading. So read it! Give it a try and see for yourself! It might surprise you and end up being one of your favorite books of 2015!


Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Suspicion by Alexandra MonirSuspicion by Alexandra Monir
Published by Delacorte Press on December 9, 2014
Pages: 368
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

"Take The Princess Diaries and add magic, murder and mystery, and you've got SUSPICION. A delightful read!"—Amy Plum, author of the of the international bestselling Die For Me series

"If Alfred Hitchcock had directed Downton Abbey, the result would have been this book. Alexandra Monir takes us on a gripping, nonstop thrill ride with just the right amount of supernatural and an ending that you definitely won't suspect. I devoured it in one sitting."—Jessica Brody, bestselling author of the Unremembered trilogy

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Suspicion blog tour! Today, I’m sharing with you my review of this creepy, magical murder mystery. Enjoy!

I was really excited to read Suspicion when I first read the description and saw that gorgeous cover – It sounded epic and exactly like the kind of book I would love! And Suspicion EXCEEDED my expectations. It was such an amazing, fun, creepy and thrilling book, I wish I had a physical copy so I could hug it and re-read it!

First of all, Suspicion is described as The Princess Diaries meets Downton Abbey. One friend described it as The Princess Diaries meets The Secret Garden. And as I read, I pictured it as The Princess Diaries meets What A Girl Wants. So, which is it, you ask? All of the above! I could completely feel the The Princess Diaries vibe of the book from very early on and I completely agree with my friend about it also having a Secret Garden feel. And then, about 29% into the book, I got the whole What A Girl Wants vibe, since Suspicion has a young American girl who is suddenly thrust into the British Peerage system.

I’ve always loved YA historical fiction, especially when it’s set in the 1800s and early 1900s and especially when it has royalty, castles, fancy gowns and ballrooms, horse-drawn carriages, etc. But I must say, reading Suspicion – which takes place in present-day – really opened my eyes. I love ANYTHING to do with England and royalty and that whole world. I think that’s one of the reasons I loved this book so much. I was completely fascinated by that part of the book.

I really liked Imogen. She had a great voice, a great personality and she was relatable. The beginning of the book is a bit odd because we have a prologue and then the book starts off in the past, when Imogen was ten-years-old. It’s only for one chapter, to give the reader context. But it threw me a little bit. I had a hard time relating to a younger Imogen, although the back-story was intriguing and a bit horrifying – and something we definitely needed before moving forward with the book.

Imogen was committed to honoring her family and her duties. She may have run from Rockford Manor when she was younger, but now that she’s older, she accepts that she can’t let her father’s legacy be ignored. I admired that about her. She was, essentially, leaving everything she knew and everyone she loved behind to go to a place that she hadn’t been in almost a decade, a place that held bad memories for her, just to do what she knew had to be done. She also didn’t just sit back and accept things as they were. She dug into her family’s history to discover the truth.

Sebastian was… an interesting character. I wasn’t crazy about him in the beginning. There was just something off about him and his temper was scary. I also couldn’t see him and Imogen as a couple in the beginning. But then, when there was a major plot twist with him, I didn’t believe it at all, despite my not trusting him. I really liked Theo, though, and really shipped him and Imogen for awhile. But by the end, I was totally Team Sebastian!

I didn’t trust Maisie or Mrs. Mulgrave from the absolute beginning. There was something about them that irked me out. I chalked it up to Mrs. Mulgrave being a creepy, bitter woman and I was half-right. Now that I’ve finished the book and I’ve discovered the truth about the two of them, I feel like I need to re-read the book and read the parts with them more carefully the second time around.

Other characters worthy of being mentioned were Oscar and Alfie. They were like the father/uncle/brother-figures for Imogen. And they were so loyal to her. I never doubted them or suspected them for a second.

The ending was… an insane Parent Trap-esque thrill-ride that had me scratching my head and thinking back on everything that had happened. So many revelations!!! This is a stand-alone and the ending was brilliant. A few things were left open-ended, just enough to hint at what could come. But there weren’t any huge cliffhangers or unanswered questions that left me feeling annoyed or wanting more, though I’d LOVE a sequel, if there’s any chance it could happen. I’m not 100% convinced the supernatural elements were necessary to the story, but since I love supernatural/paranormal books, it was like an added bonus.

Overall, I do highly recommend this book. If you’ve read the reviews, you might be skeptical, but I urge you to put those thoughts aside and give it a chance. It might just surprise you! I really loved it and can’t wait to read more from this author!