Review: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather (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: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather (Blog Tour)Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch #2
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 3, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Hey everyone! I’m beyond excited to be on the blog tour for Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather!! I absolutely LOVED both How To Hang a Witch (book one) and Haunting the Deep (book two)! I hope you enjoy my review!


As much as I love the Salem Witch Trials, the plot in Haunting the Deep was even more epic than How To Hang a Witch. The writing improved a LOT – which is saying something, since there was nothing wrong with the writing in How To Hang a Witch. It just got even better in Haunting the Deep! And, most importantly (for me, since I’m such a character-driven reader), the characters felt more developed and epic.

I’ve loved getting to know Sam over the course of the last two books. She’s fierce and independent, almost to a point of being extremely stubborn. I get that she went through a lot (in book one), but as Alice pointed out, she wasn’t the only one who went through those things. Shutting everyone out – and pushing everyone away – wasn’t the answer. She needed, more than anyone, to have people she could trust and rely on. But she definitely grew and matured in Haunting the Deep.

Jaxon has frustrated me throughout both books. I felt like his interactions with Sam were awkward and forced in How To Hang a Witch. That improved in Haunting the Deep, but his attitude sucked. He went from being a charming ass in the first book to just an ass in the second. He was even more stubborn than Sam, super jealous, and completely close-minded. I know the things Sam went through were strange and crazy, but he could have supported her more. He did have his moments, though – I can’t deny that.

And that leads me to their relationship.. Sadly, I didn’t ship Sam and Jaxon. I really preferred them as friends. I didn’t feel a romantic vibe between them. At the same time, I DID like their banter and flirtations. I know that’s a huge contradiction but…. *shrugs.*

Elijah, on the other hand…. He was !!!!!!! I honestly don’t even know what else to say about him. He was just epic and swoon-worthy and I totally shipped him and Sam!

I loved the dynamic between Sam and The Descendants in this book. I especially loved Alice. She was bold and spoke her mind. Her dry, sarcastic humor was epic.

I also loved the banter between Charlie and Mrs. Meriwether. It was sweet seeing their friendship develop after they had been apart for so many years.

This book was such a fast, fun read. I read the first 170 pages in one sitting (5 hours) and didn’t want to put it down even when I was falling asleep in the middle of reading it! The ending was EPIC and INTENSE and full of !!!!! and “KNEW IT!!!” moments. It wrapped things up nicely, but still left me wanting a third book! Like, I REALLY REALLY hope there’s going to be a book three! I’m not ready to say goodbye to this world or these characters!

If you couldn’t tell from my review, I absolutely LOVED this book. If you love historical fiction – specifically books about the Titanic – this book is DEFINITELY for you!


Favorite Quote:

“You’re not allowed to try to fix me. I’m not broken” – Page 234 in the US ARC


About the Author:
Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.

Twitter | Get Underlined – Book page | Goodreads


Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

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: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana MatherHow to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 26, 2016
Pages: 358
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

The more things change in Salem, the more they stay the same.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous Witch Trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam is not exactly welcomed with open arms. She is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those Trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam finds herself face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff.

Soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting everyone with ties to the Trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first alleged witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

Those of you who know me, know that I’m OBSESSED with the Salem Witch Trials and all fictional (and some non-fictional) stories about them. So, of course, How to Hang a Witch has been on my TBR for a VERY long time. It ended up being an epicly amazing book and I’m SO SORRY I didn’t read it sooner!!! The plot was intriguing and the characters were incredible! Also, at times, this book managed to creep me out. You guys know I’m not easily creeped out by books, so the fact that this book pulled it off? *Bows to the awesome.*

I loved loved LOVED the atmosphere in this book – the cobblestone alleys and eerie black houses; the fact that the street Sam lives on is called Blackbird Lane; the wrought-iron fence with pointed spires; the bedroom, “everything’s antique and made of dark wood.” It gave me major Munsters vibes. Also, major Dark Shadows vibes.

I adored Sam. She’s strong, stubborn and resilient. I loved the way she just dove right into trying to unravel the curse. She also accepted help when she realized help was needed – from a ghost, but still! Speaking of ghosts, Elijah was !!!!!!! I don’t know what else to say about him, haha. I adored him! But the way his story ended had me !!!!!!!

Jaxon, on the other hand, frustrated me. He was basically a charming ass with a (sometimes) bad attitude. I feel like I’m full of contradictions in regards to my feelings on Jaxon and Sam. On the one hand, the romance moved way too fast, which was annoying. But on the other hand, Sam and Jaxon were adorable, so I didn’t mind. Also, normally I’d be super annoyed with a character going back and forth on whether her crush really likes her or has betrayed her to the “popular kids” (which Sam does a LOT in this book, re: Jaxon). But Adriana Mather wrote it so well, it was really believable. In the end though, despite my contradicting thoughts, I really didn’t ship Sam and Jaxon at all. Sigh.

I really loved the Descendants. They gave me major The Craft vibes – especially Lizzie = Nancy. I just wish we could have learned more about them as individuals. I would have loved more backstory! (Hey Adriana… Maybe we can get a prequel book, a story about the Descendants BEFORE Sam arrived in Salem?!?!?! PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP!!!!)

I don’t even know if this makes sense, but the tone of this book completely remindED me of a 90s/00s teen novel, and I LOVED IT! It reminded me of an old-school Caroline B. Cooney novel, or an R.L. Stine novel or something. I’ve only gotten this vibe once before when I read To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough.

The ending was insane and twisted and unexpected. It’s rare that I’m caught of guard by an ending, so it was incredible to actually be shocked by the shocking ending.

So basically… I really just loved the crap out of this book (the plot and the characters), and I highly, highly recommend it for those who love witches and, specifically, the Salem Witch Trials!


Guest Review: The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh

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.

Guest Review: The Whisperer by Fiona McIntoshThe Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 14, 2015
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

In this adventurous retelling of The Prince and the Pauper, the lives of a runaway royal and a carnival worker become intertwined as each is compelled to fight for his life and family. Fans of The Sixty-Eight Rooms and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy won’t want to miss this.

Lute is a prince, next in line to the throne. Griff is a poor carnival worker who does the heavy lifting while the malevolent ringmaster orders him about. But there’s something special about Griff: he can hear the thoughts of everyone around him. And one day, he begins to connect with Lute’s mind, even though they’ve never met and are miles apart.

When Lute must run for his very life, Griff may be the only one who can help him. In a journey over land and sea, these heroes battle deadly foes and make unlikely allies, including a host of magical creatures and their caretaker, a bitter old dwarf, and a mysterious lady pirate. When the boys finally come together, they will learn they are connected in ways they could never have imagined, ways that may save them—or cost them both their lives.

A message from Meredith: Hey everyone! Today, I have True here with a guest review for The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh

You can find Leah on Wattpad and on Twitter!

Without further adieu, here’s True’s review! Enjoy!


The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh is about two boys from different worlds. Lute is a prince and Griff is a poor carnival worker, but Griff isn’t ordinary. He can hear the thoughts of everyone around him and that leads him him to connect with Lute’s mind. When trouble follows in the form of Lute’s uncle, Griff is the only one who can help.

I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t the best book ever, but that’s on me. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I did enjoy it for the most part. The writing was really good and so was the storyline, but I just couldn’t get into it.

It kinda reminded me of the princess and the pauper, but with a different plot. If you like adventure and mythical creatures, this read is for you. There are many perspectives to the book and each character deals with different struggles and situations. Parts of the book are humorous and will make you smile like when Griff hears the thought of people around him.

Overall, the book is pretty good and I encourage fantasy/paranormal readers to pick up a copy.


Review: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

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: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 12, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Oh, reader, what big teeth you have! The better to devour RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD!
Can’t get enough of the new fairy-tale-retelling trend? Don’t miss Liesl Shurtliff’s new dark, humorous stand-alone middle grade novel RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD (on sale April 12, 2016)!


Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.

But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump.

And don't miss Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, "a delightful story of family, perseverance and courage" (Booklist).

RED Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Red: The True Story of Red Riding by Liesl Shurtliff (April 12, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers) I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade. But the few I’ve read so far have been epic! And Red was no exception! I loved the mingling of fairy tales, as well as the world and the rules. I love twisted fairy tales and this book was the perfect combination of twisty and fun!

It takes a little while to warm up to Red. In the beginning, she’s a bit snippy, bossy and rude. But she was also fierce, brave and determined. I don’t know if it’s just because their stories stem from the same fairy tale or what, but Red reminded me a LOT of Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles! She definitely had a LOT of character growth from beginning to end!

Goldie was really chipper and kind, but also incredibly innocent (borderline naive) and just a touch annoying – especially in the beginning. She definitely means well, she just doesn’t seem to know how to express certain things. By the end of the book, though, I adored her and the friendship between her and Red!

I loved the wolf. From the very beginning, we were led to believe he was the bad guy. But I refused to believe it. You can judge for yourself when you read the book, but I loved his character and the way his story ended.

There were a LOT of secondary characters that I adored, but it’s hard to discuss them all without spoilers. So I’m just going to encourage you – again – to read this epic book!

There were also a LOT of life lessons in this book. Maybe I just noticed it more because I’m older, but it felt like each one was not-so-subtly shoved at the reader; however, this was a good thing because the life lessons taught were VERY important! The biggest life lesson this book teaches – in my opinion – is about fearing death and that you actually shouldn’t. Death is a part of life. It’s good to feel sadness in times of loss because it means we have loved and lost, but we’re truly alive. That death isn’t the end because we live on in the memories of others. Another important life lesson is that you should trust yourself and be confident in your abilities. The other life lessons I noticed are a bit more spoilerish, so I won’t share them – You’ll just have to read the book to discover them!

Red is a companion to Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but it can be read on its own. There were a few moments when Red mentioned Rump and I could see how reading Rump first might help, but I never felt lost or confused or like I HAD to read them.

My biggest issue with this book? I wanted maps! The land was described in such detail and Red and Goldie traveled to such amazing places, I just wanted maps of EVERY place they went! Desperately! (Dear Knopf Books for Young Readers: Please give me maps! In the book or as swag for the book.. I’m not picky! Just please give me maps!!!)

There were some epic twists and turns in this book. Some I expected, some I didn’t. But all of them kept me intrigued and dying to find out how things would end. I read it in a matter of hours because it was a quick, fun book and I just didn’t want to put it down!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I adored this book! If you love fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of middle grade! And if you don’t read much middle grade, I still highly recommend it – it just might change your mind!


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Liesl Shurtliff_credit Chad Barth Abot Liesl:
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy-tale.” – Hans Christian Anderson

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah the fifth of eight children. My seven siblings tortured me but I really like them now. I loved dancing, singing, playing the piano and reading books by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl. I also read Grimms’ Fairy Tales so often I wore through the binding. Today I live with my husband and three children in Chicago, which is a wonderful city except that it is decidedly flat and very cold in the winter. When I write, I often wander back to my childhood and gather the magic that still remains. I hope to share that magic with children everywhere.

If you would like to learn a little more about me (and even see some childhood pictures!), just click HERE.


Liesl Shurtliff’s first book, Rump, won over kids and critics alike, earning an IRA Award, a Texas Bluebonnet nomination, a Whitney nomination, and a starred review from Kirkus, proclaiming it “as good as gold.”

In RED, Liesl Shurtliff is at her best. New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Chris Grabenstein raves that “Liesl Shurtliff has truly out-magicked herself. Red is the most wonder-filled fairy tale of them all.” RED will capture the hearts of readers who like it Grimm, as well as followers of ABC’s TV show Once Upon a Time.

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Monday, February, 1: Bookiemoji, Author Guest Post
Tuesday, February, 2: Seeing Double In Neverland, Review
Wednesday, February, 3: MundieMoms/Kids, Review
Thursday, February, 4: BookHounds, Author Interview
Friday, February, 5: The Lovely Books, Review
Saturday, February, 6: I’m Shelf-ish, Guest Post
Sunday, February, 7: Kid Lit Frenzy, Review
Monday, February, 8: Mel’s Shelves, Review
Tuesday, February, 9: Once Upon A Twilight, Author Random Facts
Wednesday, February, 10:, Review
Thursday, February, 11: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, February, 12: Bittersweet Enchantment, Review
Saturday, February, 13: WinterHaven Books, Review except 18
Sunday, February, 14: The Cover Contessa, Review
Monday, February, 15: Pandora’s Books, Review
Tuesday, February, 16: On Starships and Dragonwings, Review
Wednesday, February, 17: As They Grow Up, Review
Thursday, February, 18: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Friday, February, 19: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist and Review
Saturday, February, 20: The Children’s Book Review, A Selfie and a Shelfie
Sunday, February, 21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Author Movie Cast
Monday, February, 22: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Review
Tuesday, February, 23: Words We Heart, Review
Wednesday, February, 24: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Author Guest Post
Thursday, February, 25: Confessions of a Readaholic, Review
Friday, February, 26: Bookish Antics, Review
Saturday, February, 27: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Sunday, February, 28: Valerie’s Reviews, Review
Monday, February, 29: Lili’s Reflections, Review
Tuesday, March, 1: To Read, or Not To Read, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, March 3: Cafinated Reads, Review
Friday, March 4: The Book Monsters, Review
Saturday, March 5: Twinning for Books, Review
Sunday, March 6: Curling Up With A Good Book, Review
Monday, March 7: The Compulsive Reader, Review
Tuesday, March 8: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Wednesday, March 9: Resch Reads and Reviews, Review
Thursday, March 10: Beauty and the Bookshelf, Review
Friday, March 11: Xpresso Reads, Review
Saturday, March 12: Diamond’s Reads, Review
Sunday, March 13: Blissful Book Reviews, Review
Monday, March 14: Vi3tbabe, Review
Tuesday, March 15: The Book Cellar, Review


Review: Uncaged by John Sandford & Michele Cook (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: Uncaged by John Sandford & Michele Cook (Blog Tour)Uncaged by John Sandford, Michele Cook
Series: The Singular Menace #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 8, 2014
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

#1 New York Times bestselling Prey author John Sandford and Michele Cook debut a high-octane young adult thriller series.

Shay Remby arrives in Hollywood with $58 and a handmade knife, searching for her brother, Odin.

Odin’s a brilliant hacker but a bit of a loose cannon. He and a group of radical animal-rights activists hit a Singular Corp. research lab in Eugene, Oregon. The raid was a disaster, but Odin escaped with a set of highly encrypted flash drives and a post-surgical dog.

When Shay gets a frantic 3 a.m. phone call from Odin—talking about evidence of unspeakable experiments, and a ruthless corporation, and how he must hide—she’s concerned. When she gets a menacing visit from Singular’s security team, she knows: her brother’s a dead man walking.

What Singular doesn’t know—yet—is that 16-year-old Shay is every bit as ruthless as their security force, and she will burn Singular to the ground, if that’s what it takes to save her brother.

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Uncaged blog tour! Today, I’m sharing with you my 4-star review of this epic young adult thriller. Enjoy!

Uncaged is unlike anything I’ve ever read and it’s definitely not a genre I usually gravitate towards. However, I enjoyed every single second of this thriller; it was a fast-paced read that kept me on my toes, dying to know what happened next. I would sit down, intending to only read a handful of chapters and I would end up reading a huge chunk of the book in a single sitting – I just couldn’t put it down!

At first, I really didn’t connect with Shay, the main character. However, I liked her right from the beginning – does that make sense? Normally, when I can’t connect with a character, it ruins the story for me. But I had nothing against Shay, so I still enjoyed getting to know her and seeing her story and her journey. She was never weak or defenseless. She was always strong and able to take care of herself, but I definitely still saw a lot of character growth in her from beginning to end. She starts out as more of a loner, in desperate need to find her brother. From there, she really opens up and begins to trust the people she has come to consider friends. And before that, trust was definitely not something Shay gave easily to anyone besides her brother.

Odin was interesting… From the synopsis, it seems like Uncaged is his story, but it’s really not. His actions get the story going, but it’s really Shay’s story. Odin is more in the background. Shay had to go looking for him and he’s the reason Singular goes after Shay. Without Odin doing what he did, Shay never would have gone to California and never would have met Twist, Cade, Cruz, Emily, etc. So, as I said, his actions get the story going, but this is truly Shay’s story.

I loved, loved, LOVED Twist. When we were first introduced to him, I was completely confused and uninterested. I mean, Shay describes him as looking like the Cat in the Hat and below is one of the first interactions we have with him:

“‘Assault on me is an insult to Dum and Dee,’ the Cat in the Hat said.”

I mean… What?? But as time went on, I pretty much adored him and everything about him. Clearly, this book is some kind of take on Oliver Twist. The hacking, the group home, the leader (Twist) – and obviously his name alone incites comparisons. To be honest, my first thought was “This book reminds me of Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes… And that was a loose take on Oliver Twist. So if that’s the case, this must be a take on Oliver Twist, too!”

I loved West. I don’t think I was supposed to.. I mean, technically, he’s not one of the good guys – at least in the beginning. But there was just something about him from very early on that made me adore him. I can’t explain it beyond that without risking spoilers. I will say, though, that the way his story ended in Uncaged… It broke my heart!

I loved the secondary characters in this book, as well. Cade, Cruz, Emily – and yes, X, especially! They, along with Twist and Shay, were like a family. Maybe not in the beginning, but they came to be. They always had each other’s backs.

Despite how much I enjoyed Uncaged, I did have a few problems with it, as well. The plot and timeline were not straight-forward. We’d have two chapters in a row that were from Shay’s story. Then, we’d skip to Odin’s story and it was something that took place hours (sometimes days) prior to Shay’s chapters. It was really confusing. Also, there were too many characters and too many plots and I just couldn’t keep track of what was going on and who was who most of the time. I still can’t sort out who half the Singular characters are… However, over time, I did get used to the writing style and it became easier to understand what was happening.

There was also a lot of technical jargon that I didn’t understand and I had to stumble my way through it. It wasn’t so confusing that it ruined the story for me; however, the story would have been MUCH better if I’d understand it.

Finally, I’m a HUGE animal lover. Going into this book, I knew it dealt with animal experimentation and lab experimentation and I tried to look past it because the overall plot sounded epic, but certain scenes just absolutely broke my heart, so that was difficult.

But then that ending.. WOW! That ending was insane, action-packed, crazy… I could go on and on. My heart was in my throat for much of the ending. Several things happened that I didn’t expect. I love the set-up for book two, though, and I’m really, really excited to see what happens next!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had an interesting plot and intriguing characters. Plus, it’s not something I normally read and it was nice to discover a new genre. I definitely recommend this book to fans of Oliver Twist, as well as to fans of books that feature computer hacking and Oliver Twist-like plots, such as Remember Me by Romily Bernard, Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes and Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon.