Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Hunting Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Release Date: September 19th, 2017
Read: August 24th-26th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2
Format: ARC, 434 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review



Description from GoodReads:


   Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

   But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again. 


Review:


   Catch me if I fall, all right?
   I really wanted to love this book, the same went with the first in the series, Stalking Jack the Ripper.  I had so much hope, only to be disappointed.
  I read Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula back to back, and honestly, that was way too much for me. The writing was easy enough to read, the way Kerri Maniscalco would describe things was phenomenal. It was super intriguing to learn and read about how morticians do their work, especially during the time the series takes place. My only problem with her writing was that it was insanely predictable. You could tell who Jack the Ripper was so easily, and it made the protagonist look as if she was daft. It didn't help that her character was just annoying in the first place.
   I couldn't stand Audrey Rose, she has got to be one of the most annoying characters I've ever read about. All her actions, and views on thing were just so all over the place. She was constantly jumping to conclusions, thus making the worst out of a situation. If I counted, I probably groaned at least 300 times when reading about something that involved her character. 
   All that aside, the historical aspects of the story were amazing. Had I not read Hunting Prince Dracula, I would have never known about the secret society involved with Dracula or about the secret passages of death that resided in the castle. If you were able to put aside everything else I said above, then you are definitely in for a treat with the historical aspects of the novel. 
   Hunting Prince Dracula was certainly not for me, between my hate of the protagonist and the predicability of the plot, I do not see myself picking up any more of the sequels in the future.
    

Rating:



Favourite Quote:


"The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy: 


Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Sherlock Holmes, Romance



Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review: North of Happy by Adi Alsaid

Release Date: April 25ht, 2017
Read: August 6-9th, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Source: Bought




Description from GoodReads:


   His whole life has been mapped out for him…

   Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the US, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family, where he attends an elite international school. Always a rule follower and a parent pleaser, Carlos is more than happy to tread the well-worn path in front of him. He has always loved food and cooking, but his parents see it as just a hobby.

   When his older brother, Felix—who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel—is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother’s voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father’s plan for him. Worrying about his mental health, but knowing the voice is right, Carlos runs away to the United States and manages to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef. As he works to improve his skills in the kitchen and pursue his dream, he begins to fall for his boss’s daughter—a fact that could end his career before it begins. Finally living for himself, Carlos must decide what’s most important to him and where his true path really lies.

Review:


   What a world.
   As most of you know, I am the biggest Adi Alsaid fan. I own all his books, and am always impatient for his next latest and greatest. It was no different with North of Happy.
   One thing I learned right away from North of Happy, was that I was going to be constantly hungry while reading the book. The book is about Carlos, a kid with a love of cooking and food. With saying this, you get a lot of different recipes that keep popping up while you read, the same with at the beginning of each chapter. The book starts out with a recipe to start off each chapter, so you get somewhat of an idea of what each character is eating and of what you suddenly want to eat. One thing I didn't enjoy about the book was that the recipes were not whole/complete recipes, so you were left wondering how to actually make the dish.
   There are a lot of times when in YA when the character does and acts a completely different way than teens do in real life, by them being the "outcast" or "stood out from the others". North of Happy actually has realistic characters. Carlos and his friends did things that I would have done right before going into University, drinking after work, hanging out late into the night, making the mistake of choosing one thing over another, heck, I still do all of that. It was refreshing to actually be able to relate to a character for the first time in a long time.
   Finally, I really enjoyed how the novel showed how Carlos got over his grief. Grief never goes away, you just have to learn how to live with it, and that's exactly what Carlos did. The grief was always a constant in the novel, and how Carlos eventually came to terms with it. It was all nicely written and I couldn't have done it better myself.
   North of Happy has quickly become one of my favourite contemporary novels, and like always, I can't wait to see what Adi Alsaid has in store for us next. 


Rating:


Favourite Quote:


"Plain Omelet: 3 eggs, who the fuck knows?"

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Food, Grief, Being hungry while reading



Friday, October 6, 2017

Blog Tour: Invictus by Ryan Graudin


   Hello and welcome to the Invictus Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I am so happy to be apart of the tour, and an not wait to introduce you to the book! I'm a huge fan of Ryan Graudin and I hope you will be too! Today I have for you my review of the book as well as a giveaway, I hope you enjoy!


Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Release Date: September 26th, 2017
Read: September 20th-28th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Standalone
Format: ARC, 464 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for honest review



Description from GoodReads:


   Time flies when you're plundering history.

   Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

   But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


Review:


   Make a wish. Make it count.
   Three years ago I received a copy of Wolf by Wolf and could not put it down. It was full of action, adventure and mystery. Since then Ryan Graudin has become an instant buy for me, Invictus was one of those buys.
   I couldn't help but fall in love with the story of the time keeper and gladiator. The small bits we got at the beginning of the novel and at the end just weren't enough to satisfy me. I honestly could have read an entire book about the two of them, if Ryan announced a book tomorrow about the two of them I'd be the first one to pre-order.
   I found Invictus to be a little different when it came to the romance aspect of the novel. Most of the time the main characters will find love at some point in the novel, but in this case Far was already in a relationship when we met him. The developing romance were more focused on the secondary characters, and I couldn't have been happier about that. Everything about the romances in the novel were exceptional, they weren't the main focus of the novel, and they weren't anything but innocent and fun. I found their relationships rather fun to read.
   The story itself was exciting to read, I loved that they were able to time travel to whenever they wanted just because of the bargain they made. I understood how and why Far failed his exam, but I couldn't help but wonder what the story would have been like if he had passed. That's another book I would gladly read, an actual story about a time keeper going through time recording things. If she just wrote the story about Far's mom and the gladiator, and how she records time I would be so happy. 
   Time traveling pirates, that's what I was expecting from Invictus. The description of the book tells us about a time traveling team who steals artifacts from historic events, oh and the captain just happens to be the product of a roman gladiator and a time traveling time keeper. Even with not particularly enjoying time travel, the premise sounded perfect. Unfortunately after reading the book I feel like the synopsis of the book did not suit the overall story that took place in the novel. In fact I feel like it put your heart in a different direction than what actually happens in the novel. Or at least, that's how it was for me.
   Invictus ended up being something completely different than what I initially expected, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I can not wait to see what Ryan Graudin has in store for us next! Hopefully it'll be the story of his mom.... just saying.

Rating:

Favourite Quote:


"Are you you without your memories? If not, who do you become?"

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Time Travel, Saving the world, Villains turned hero, alternative universes, Guardians of the Galaxy



Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at www.ryangraudin.com. 


3 winners will receive a finished copy of INVICTUS, US Only.



   Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the tour!







Week One:

9/25/2017- Mary Had a Little Book Blog- Review
9/26/2017- The Petite Book Blogger- Review
9/27/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review
9/28/2017- Mom with a Reading Problem- Review
9/29/2017- That Book Gal- Review

Week Two:

10/2/2017- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review
10/3/2017- The Book Nut- Review
10/4/2017- Omg Books and More Books- Review
10/5/2017- Wonderland Novels- Review
10/6/2017- Ohana Reads- Review


Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Release Date: March 6th, 2017
Read: September 6th-7th, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Standalone
Format: ARC, 320 pages
Source: McNally Robinson



Description from GoodReads:


   Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

   Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

   Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

   Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

   Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

   But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


Review:


   Do you ever think about leaving this town?
   I am always subconsciously seeking out mermaid and witch books, that is how The Wicked Deep came to my attention, and of course the gorgeous cover. I'm a sucker for covers with moons, stars and trees. 
   When it comes to villains or the bad guy, I really enjoy learning about their story and how they get to where they were, how they became who they are. The Wicked Deep was perfect for that because we got two different kinds of chapter styles, flashbacks to the past, which focused on the three sisters' history, and the present with the protagonist Penny. Shea Ernshaw wrote the two kinds of chapters perfectly to the point where they both blended together in the end. 
   I couldn't help but fall in love with the sisters and their story. They were three independent sisters that would sometimes cause a little mischief, but didn't deserve to die the way they did. The mysteriousness to the sisters made them all that more appealing to me, and I couldn't help but look forward to their chapters. 
   I really enjoyed how Shea Ernshaw give the little town the same mysterious vibes as she did the sisters, it made everything that much more entertaining and intriguing. I've read a lot of stories that take place in small unknown towns, and after a while the trend burnt me out, but The Wicked Deep was a refreshing twist on the trend that I'm glad I gave a chance. 
   Then finally, I loved the little witch hunt that occurred in the novel. Where all the students attempted to hunt down, and figure out which sister was stowed away in whomever's body. It was a thrill to read about, and I was continuously trying to figure out what sister was where before the characters in the book did. Boy was I wrong!  
   Normally standalones don't appeal all that much to me, I, for the most part feel that standalones don't wrap up nicely the way the author intended them too. The Wicked Deep sure showed me differently. The story kept me intrigued, surprised and in love throughout the whole novel. 
   The Wicked Deep was a thrilling and magical witch hunt that I'd recommend to all lovers of witches and possibly mermaid tales. I look forward to what Shea Ernshaw has in store for us next!


Rating:



Favourite Quote:


"If only love were so easily conjured, there wouldn't be so many broken hearts."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy: 


Young Adult, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery Vibes, Magic, Courses, Redemption 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Read: July 8th-18th, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: The Witchlands, #2
Format: ARC, 384 pages
Source: Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review




Description from GoodReads:


   After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

   When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

   After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.


Review:


   It is always easier to blame gods or legends than it is to face our own mistakes.
   I had picked up Windwitch a week or two after reading Truthwitch, with the first book not having impressed me much, I didn't really care to pick up the sequel. But eventually I did, and it took me just as long to get into this one as it did its previous book. 
   Windwitch had a different vibe than Truthwitch did, going right into the book you knew that it'd be different than the first in the series. The vibe went from magic and survival to revenge and power. Comparing the books, Windwitch was certainly easier to get into than Truthwitch, I didn't find myself bored constantly, and when I was unhappy with a point of view I could easily read through the chapter and move onto the new point of view. I even found myself enjoying the opposite perspectives than I did in Truthwitch. It was like the characters I found boring before finally became interesting, and the interesting characters became boring.
   I feel as if Dennard built up this anticipation in Truthwitch, but completely dropped that antiquation when we opened the first chapter of it's sequel. So much happened in the end of the first novel, and we barely encountered any more information that furthered the plot along in Windwitch. It didn't help that the first chapter of the book literally just threw us in a random storyline without any background information to how we got there. The beginning of the sequel felt as if two or three chapters were missing, I was not satisfied, and couldn't explain how confused I was.
   Windwitch was the third Susan Dennard novel in which I've read, and I continue to think that her books are just not for me. I can not see myself picking up anything else of hers in the future.
   

Rating:


Favourite Quote:


"Mhe varujta. Trust me as if my soul were yours."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Witches, Royalty, Powers, Death, Betrayal



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Reunited by Colleen Houck


   Hello and welcome to the Reunited Blog Tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I've been the biggest fan of Colleen Houck, since her Tigers series, as most of you all know by now. So of course I jumped at the chance to be apart of the blog tour! Today on the tour you'll see the top ten things Colleen is excited for you to look forward to in Reunited, as well as a giveaway! So I hope you all enjoy! 

Reunited by Colleen Houck


Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Reawakened, #3
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages



Description from GoodReads:


   After surviving her otherworldly adventure, Lily wakes up on her nana’s farm having forgotten everything. Her sun prince, her travels to Egypt, and her journey to the Afterlife are all distant memories.

   But Lily is not the girl she once was. Her body is now part human, part lion, and part fairy. And if that isn’t bad enough, she must now harness this power of three and become Wasret: a goddess destined to defeat the evil god Seth once and for all.

   With the help of her old friend Dr. Hassan, Lily departs on her final voyage through the cosmos and across the plains of Egypt. On the journey, she will transform into the being she is destined to become.

   Reunited is the heart-pounding conclusion to the Reawakened series. 

   It is time for Lily to find her sunset.

 


Top Ten Things to Look Forward to in Reunited!

1. Ahmose-Though Ahmose makes an appearance in all three books, you really get to know this tall, dark, and handsome stranger in Reunited. Ahmose is a quiet man. He tends to keep his thoughts and emotions to himself, but he feels deeply and a lot is going on beneath his calm demeanor. There are many sweet scenes between Ahmose and Lily and I think you’re going to love him.

2. Cherty-My ferryman returns in Reunited. We learn more about his job and get to see him in action once again. He’s one of my absolute favorite characters. I love this surly cosmic sea captain and hope you do too!

3. Apep-The scary snake of Egyptian mythology finally rears his head, literally. As you know I’ve now included snakes in both of my series and though Fanindra can be frightening, this guy will have you shaking in your golden sandals. With fangs larger than spears and the ability to hypnotize you with his eyes, mortals don’t stand much of a chance.

4. People Eating Plants-There is a frightening world in Reunited where things aren’t quite right. The flora is quite nasty and has a terrible habit of luring in the unsuspecting with beauty and scent. Lily must learn how to navigate this dangerous landscape.

5.The Dreamworld-For those of you who are familiar with my series, you know that Asten is called the Dreamer and he has the power of entering the dreams of others. For the first time, you get to experience the dreams of my three heroines and see what they truly wish for through Asten’s eyes.

6.Seth-You finally get to meet the god Seth in this book and figure out how he’s been trapped all these centuries. His prison is not a pretty one and when he emerges, he’s ready to seek revenge once and for all. 

7. Unicorn Battle-Yes, you read that right. There is a pretty awesome battle and the unicorns join in. What’s even more amazing than a unicorn battle? A celestial unicorn battle. 

8. Heart Scarab-In Reunited you’ll learn what a heart scarab truly is and how the creation and trading of a heart scarab is a key that unlocks many things.

9. The Devourer-My evil queen of the dead returns in Reunited and she’s formed an army. I think the Devourer is my favorite villain. She’s just so bad, it’s almost good and I look forward to every scene she’s in.

10. The Waters of Chaos-In Reunited, you’ll not only learn about but visit the Waters of Chaos. This is the place where all the gods were created. It’s the origin of the cosmos and it’s the setting for the climax of the series. 

I hope you’ll enjoy this conclusion to the Egyptian series and love it as much as I do. Hop on to the back of your unicorn and head off on an adventure where danger lurks around every corner and your destination is the stars.

-Colleen Houck



Don't forget to check out the books that started it all!



   New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.



3 winners will receive a finished copy of REUNITED, US Only.


   Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you all will love Renuited! A don't forget to check out the next and previous stops on the tour! 



Week One:

7/31/2017- YA Books Central- Interview
8/1/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
8/2/2017- YA and Wine- Guest Post
8/3/2017- a GREAT read- Review
8/4/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

Week Two:

8/8/2017- Ohana Reads- Guest Post
8/9/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review
8/10/2017- The Cover Contessa- Interview
8/11/2017- Riddle's Reviews- Review