2-Star · Book Reviews

The Lost Soul by K. S. Marsden – Spoiler Free ARC Review

The Lost SoulTitle: The Lost Soul
Author: K. S. Marsden
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: August 30, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Sent by Author
Pages: 312
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Synopsis

Enchena’s history is written by the victorious. Through war and betrayal, King Hrafn’s reign has spread across the land. The rebellion is stirring again…

In a world where the evil nature of humans has infected the very forests and animals surrounding them, they are crying out for a new hope; a new hero.
Natural enemies must come together, to overcome the curse.

Two innocent people must be brought from another world. One will bring the rebellion the way to succeed; the other will be their destruction

Review

I will be 100% honest with you guys; I DNFed this book at page 173. I tried so hard to like it, but I just didn’t. Every time I went to read this book, it felt like an obligation and I trudged through it so slowly. This is not a long book. In my copy, there were only around 300 readable pages, but I was just taking way too long to get through it. I was actually starting to get bored reading this one. A book about magical lands and unicorns should not make me bored. Rambling aside, let’s break down what about this book just wasn’t for me.

First, the pacing. We are swept into the magical world 20 pages into this book. Normally, that would be great, we’d have some extra time to learn about the world and the characters as they figure it out, but nope. Instead, we’re swept into the world quite abruptly, it really comes out of nowhere, and then the characters are confused, trying to figure the world out, then nothing. They try to go home, that fails, so the MC decided to stay and help and that was where I stopped reading. Almost 200 pages in and the most I know about the world was from a couple pages of exposition and the synopsis (most coming from the synopsis). I honestly don’t remember them discussing why the world is falling apart or why they need a “Lost Soul” or why the Lost Soul can travel between the worlds. If they did, I missed it, but if they reveal it later then I guess I am just missing out.

Second, the characters were so unlikeable. Samatha and Dave are the two MCs for this one and they are basically just cookie cutter tropes. Sam is the shy nerdy girl (she doesn’t do anything nerdy, we’re just told that she is) and Dave is the popular jock. The two are not friends and only “meet” in the beginning of the book when Dave bumps into Sam and knocks her books out of her hands. The two meet ones again before Dave is taken into the magical world and Sam follows for no other reason except that she feels like she needs to save Dave. Now, I’m not condemning her feeling like she needs to help someone who was kidnapped. That’s fine. The problem is that she doesn’t know him and blindly follows him through a magic portal she knows nothing about with no help.

As the story goes on, the two get less likable. Dave turns into a huge jerk out of nowhere and Sam turns into a helpless heroine. In the first quarter of the book, Sam suggests using the passage ways under the city to sneak out. She’s told they can’t because no one has studied the passage ways and they can get lost. Like 40 pages later (I don’t know the actual count) another character suggests using the passage ways under the tunnel, another character produces a map of the tunnels, and they all decide to use them. Sam doesn’t say anything about this being something she suggested before, she just passively goes with it, even though the character that had the map was there when the suggested using the passages before.

We’re also over saturated with side characters. We have some Unicorns and a Mallus (a misshapen, humanoid predator) that are fine and some human side characters, both on the side of the villain and on the side of the rebellion. The mystical animals are fine, except I never knew if the unicorns were talking or thinking. The text went back and forth with no change in the font so it was super confusing. The idea of telepathic unicorns is cool, the idea of talking unicorns is also cool, what’s not cool is not letting me know what kind your unicorns are. Also, the Mallus spoke in a weird third person broken English, which is fine, it reminded me of Igor, except that it’s not consistent. The Mallus went between first and third person in the same sentence which was just distracting and annoying.

By far my least favorite thing about the characters is, like the world, I know NOTHING about them. Almost 200 pages in and I know nothing about these characters. I know that Sam has a stepdad, mom, and new baby brother and that her friends think a popular boy like Dave “can’t possibly like/want to date someone like her” and I know that Dave is a popular boy on a sports team and that’s it. One of them is the Lost Soul which is why they’re both in the magical world. As for the side characters, we don’t know much about them either. Maybe there’s some more development in the last third of the book I didn’t read, but in 170 pages (over half the book), I just wanted to know more.

Final Thoughts

To be fair, this book wasn’t bad. I just wanted a lot more from it and I have so much to pick on because I had such high hopes for this one. The plot sounded so interesting and for a duology, this book was short. I think there are only 600some pages between the two. I wanted an epic story to unfold; a quick read that would suck me in from page one and leave me begging for more. With fantasies, I’m a lot less forgiving when I don’t enjoy them because there were so many ways to engage the reader. I also know, I’m being really hard on this one.

Do I recommend this one? Honestly, no. Hell, I didn’t even finish it. But looking at other reviews, it looks like I’m in the minority. Maybe this one just wasn’t for me, but it will be something that you enjoy. The Lost Soul is just one I wish I never found.

Rating

⭐️⭐️ – 2/5 Stars* (DNFed @ Page 173)

*Normally DNFed books are an automatic 1 Star Read, but this one is getting two stars because the potential for a good story is there.


A huge thank you to the author for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review!

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2-Star · Book Reviews

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette – Spoiler Free ARC Review

The Girl Who Wasn't DeadTitle: The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead
Author: Samantha Boyette
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 209
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Synopsis

Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

Review

This book had a pretty interesting premise; not entirely original, but not something I’ve seen overdone. I was wondering how the author would reveal whodunnit, there were some really creative ways that it could have been done. Sadly, we just had the characters tell their side of the story. When I realized this was the way we were going to learn the story, I was a bit apprehensive. Did we really expect the “killer” to admit it? Really? I stuck with it though, seeing if it would get interesting or take any unsuspected twists.

I think my least favorite thing about this book was the characters. All of them were super unlikeable and unrealistic. These characters were written as dated stereotypes and their dialogue and actions were super unrealistic. These characters did some pretty awful things, but they were delivered in even worse ways. Every chapter is a new character’s point of view, but some are in the past and others are in the present. Chapters shift between third and first person (within the actual chapter), so it’s hard to assess what’s being said and what’s just there for the reader to absorb. Because of this, some details are lingered on or addressed in really weird ways

There was so slut shaming in here that did not need to be included. It’s part of the stereotypical and dated character portrayal I addressed earlier. One character wears a prom dress with a slit up to the thigh and is referred to numerous times as “looking like the queen of slut town” or something similar. Yes, we are not supposed to like this character, but holy damn, if she was slut shamed one more time, I was going to lose it. Also, the lack of consent in this book was atrocious. Several of the characters used drugs and alcohol to manipulate others and even a passed out character had nude pictures taken of her. Oh, and to top it off we had some gay bashing and fat shaming, so yeah that happened.

Actually, this is going to get its own paragraph. We find out pretty early on that Jenny was having a relationship with another girl behind her boyfriend’s back. Is Jenny bi? Nope, a lesbian. Which, I have nothing wrong with, except that we don’t get a lot of bi rep and because we don’t get a lot of back story of Jenny, it seems like a harmful representation of the community. Also, really, we’re going to have an “I don’t want anyone to know I’m gay so I’m going to cheat on my boyfriend” subplot in here? Really?

Characters a side, the plot itself just lost me during the last 20ish percent. By this point, several hints have been dropped as to who the “killer” was and it was kind of predictable. That would have been fine, except that this person does some stupid stuff afterward that turns this entire story on its head. It goes from being a slightly problematic 3-star read to a 2(2.5) star read. Without going into spoilers, this person just takes the reader out of the story and suspends any suspense that you may have felt up to this point. I don’t know if any of you have seen the movie Nine Dead, but this book did to me what that movie did; set us up for a unique-ish plot and completely ruin it in the last 10 minutes (or 10 percent).

Final Thoughts

Honestly, this book was one of my least favorites of the year. I had such high hopes for it, but there was just way too many problematic elements and the plot was just not that good. If you want to pick it up and check it out, I’m not going to stop you, but I think there are far better YA mystery books out there (*cough* One of Us is Lying *cough*). I really wanted to like this one. I really did, but it just was not doing it for me.

Rating

⭐️⭐️ – 2 (maybe 2.5)/5 Stars


**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Bold Strokes Books, and Samantha Boyette for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

Book Tags

Harry Potter Spells Tag – #BookTag | ANNOUNCEMENT​ – CONTEST FOR HP FANS

Hello everyone!

Welcome to another #TagTuesday! Today I was in a HP mood (though when am I NOT in a Harry Potter mood?) and wanted to do a Harry Potter inspired post.

You can also check out my YouTube video of me doing the tag here:

One of the reasons I was in this HP mood is because Marta from Sweek contacted me. She asked me help her promote this AMAZING opportunity for Harry Potter fans. Currently on the Sweek website, there is a Harry Potter fanfiction writing contest! This contest is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the birthdays of both Harry and J. K. Rowling, which recently passed at the end of July.

Prizes

The prizes for this contest are insane! The best story (voted on by a jury of HP fans) will win $100 of Harry Potter goodies of your choice.* 

Entrants will also be able to show their house pride when they submit their story. The most popular story from each house (4 winners total) will each win a house scarf and hat! All the stories of the winning house will receive a very special letter delivered by a virtual owl as well!

Entering

Have I peaked your interest yet? Great! Entering this contest is super easy! All you need to do is upload an original piece of Harry Potter fan fiction to the Sweek website! The fanfiction can be something you wrote in the past or something you write just for the contest and can be any type of fanfiction – prose or poetry – and any length, just as long as it’s about the Harry Potter world!

When your story is ready to be judged, simply go to the Sweek website or App (IOS download here, Android download here), create an account or login, go to “My Stories” and upload your story to the website. In the “Story Description” box, make sure you use the tag #mypotterworld and tag your house (#HouseGryffindor,  #HouseSlytherin, #HouseHufflepuff and #HouseRavenclaw) in the appropriate section.

That’s it! Super easy!

The contest is open until August 28th and the winners will be announced on September 20th.

Submission Guidlines:

  1. You need to be 14 years or older to participate. Younger participants need their parents’ permission.
  2. The story must be tagged #mypotterworld and your house tag in story details
  3. No word limit
  4. The story doesn’t have to be exclusive, but needs to be newly uploaded on Sweek
  5. The story is written in English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Turkish or Portuguese
  6. The story must be created by you. You can also write with a friend if you want to, but in case you win, the prize will be shared.
  7. The story must be submitted and finished before the deadline: 28/08/2017, 23:59 CET
  8. You can participate with multiple entries
  9. Crowd prize is determined by the number of followers (all the allowed languages are participating). The deadline for the followers count is: 19/09/17, 23:59 CET. Falsification of followers will lead to a warning, followed by immediate disqualification if the behavior continues.

Today’s tag is the Harry Potter spells tag!

I LOVE the spells from the Harry Potter books and movies. They were some of the most unique spells I heard when I was little. Also they were super fun to say and easy to remember.

This tag is kind of old and was created by TurtleSympathy on YouTube. His video is no longer up, but jessethereader has completed this tag. If you want to watch his video, you can here:

Okay, enough procrastinating. Let’s get into the tag!

The Questions: 

1. Expecto Patronum: A childhood book connected to good memories

magic tree houseThis one is easily The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. This was one of the first series I read as a kid and I loved pretty much every book. They had a bunch of fun adventures and each story transported me to a new world.

 

 

2. Expelliarmus: A book that took you by surprise

Illuminae

For this one, I’m going to go with Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff. I heard nothing but good things about this book and I was so excited to see what the hype was about. I get it. This book. Wow.

 

 

 

3. Prior Incantato: The last book you read.

The Girl Who Wasn't DeadThe last book I read (and am still reading) was The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette. This is a mystery book about a girl who was presumed dead but comes back. She’s on the hunt to find out who tried to kill her.

I have some mixed feelings about this one so far. I’m only 30% of the way through the book and I’m hoping it’ll pick up by the end.

 

4. Alohamora: A book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before.

32571395I’m going to go with One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus for this one. I love this book, but I haven’t read many mystery/suspense books. The few I have read were Steven King books, like Misery. I want’ed to give the genre a try and I’m thrilled this is the “first” introduction I had to it.

I’ve talked about this book almost nonstop since I’ve read it, but oh my gosh, I loved it. Here’s a full review if you want to know more of my in depth thoughts.

5. Riddikulus: A funny book you’ve read.

gentleman's guide

This one HAS to go to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I have not laughed that hard when reading ever. This book is about Monty, an 18-year-old who is on his tour of Europe before taking over his father’s estate. Monty doesn’t want to take over the estate; he’d rather indulge in other luxuries. Monty also has unrequited love for his childhood best friend, Percy. At the end of the tour, Percy will be going to Holland.

All is going well on the tour until one of Monty’s decisions sends the group on a side tracked adventure they weren’t expecting.

6. Sonorus: A book you think everybody should know about.

The Hate U GiveThis is probably the easiest answer of this entire tag. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. People have said this book should be required reading and it really should be. Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, this book tells the story of Star, the sole witness to a shooting of her friend by a police officer. This book is a powerful look into this movement, shedding light on an issue we might now be aware of.

 

7. Obliviate: A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read.

51GKiqKV1qL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_

 

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Probably my favorite book by her, and I spoiled myself for a pretty important plot point. This happened maybe 6 years ago and I’m still mad at myself. It definitely took away from that scene.

 

8. Imperio: A book you had to read for school.

TheGreatGatsby_1925jacket.jpeg

I’ve read many books for school, but one I really detested was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott. Fitzgerald. I hated this book when I read it for school. I’m going to give it a reread to see if maybe I’ll like it more if I’m not forced to read it.

 

 

9. Crucio: A book that was painful to read.

A Child Called ItThe only book coming to mind is A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. I read this book back in Jr. High or High School since most of my friends were reading it. I haven’t been able to read the rest of the series because this book affected me so much. This book tells the story about an abused boy and some of the things he went through were absolutely heart wrenching. I remember several of the scenes from this book and it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve read it.

This one is not for the faint of heart.

10. Avada Kedavra: A book that could kill (interpret as you will).

2017-08-07 14.14.17.jpgAny of the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. I absolutely love Game of Thrones (the show), but dang there is a lot of death. I hear the book has more characters, so I assume more death as well. Martin is not afraid to kill characters. Literally, no one is safe, not even the main characters. When Jon Bailey called him “Fictions most notorious serial killer” in the Honest Trailer, he was right.


I hope you all enjoyed this tag!

Since this tag is super old, I’m not sure who has or has not done it.

I tag anyone reading this! Be sure to let me know if you’ve done it so I can see what your answers are!

Let me know what tag I should do for the next #TagTuesday!

Also what’s your Patronus? Let me know down in the comments!

Mine’s a sparrow.

Sparrow-patronus.jpg

4-Star · Book Reviews

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken – Spoiler Free ARC Review

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper ReddingTitle: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 272
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Synopsis

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

Review

I was so excited to read this one. The plot seemed interesting and I was curious to see how far they were going to go with demonic possession in a middle-grade fantasy book. I was not disappointed, this book was a lot of fun. There were some twists and turns that took me off guard and I’m so excited to see where the story leads in the sequel.

Prosper was a likable main character, although he came off as smug at times. Alastor (the fiend/demon) was super smug and arrogant, but it worked for the character. I got some slight season 7 Castile vibes from him (for my Supernatural fans out there). The author does a great job developing these characters to be more than cut outs or stereotypes of things we’ve seen before.

By far my favorite part of this book though was the actual plot. It’s a basic “rid yourself of the demon” plot, but has some fun twists. Without giving anything away, this story definitely plays with the reader’s expectations. There were some things that happened in the third act of the story that has set up for a great sequel. This book is coming out in September, and younger readers will love the spooky atmosphere of this one around Halloween.

My main issue with this book is that while this book was enjoyable, the plot is also forgettable. I had a lot of fun reading it, but I actually had to go back to my notes to write this review. I read it about a week ago and had trouble remembering some specifics of this story.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those middle-grade books that is catered to younger readers but will be fun for older readers. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding was a spooky, atmospheric read that is the perfect start to the Halloween season. The plot is rich with a compelling story and isn’t afraid to play with the reader’s expectations. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes this story.

Rating 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5 Stars


**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Disney-Hyperion, and Alexandra Bracken for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

2-Star · Book Reviews

A Beast’s Belle by J. Gambardella – Spoiler Free ARC Review | *Book Contains Explicit Content, You’ve Been Warned*

A Beast's Belle.jpgTitle: A Beast’s Belle
Author: J. Gambardella
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Publication Date: March 11, 2017
Genre(s): Adult, Erotica, BDSM
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 184
Add to Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis

A Beast’s Belle is a fairy tale retold – echoing the ground-breaking BDSM Beauty books by Anne Rice.

The novel offers a twist on a classic story; Isabel is the daughter of a widowed inventor and tinkerer, but leaves home to join the indentured staff of a manor. Upon arriving, she explores the rigid structure of domestic servitude and discipline in the manor, and eventually grows fascinated with the Master of the house, a feral man with curious proclivities and voracious appetites. Isabel tries to find her way in a new life at the manor, but quickly finds herself bound up with the Master of the house and engrossed in the lifestyle and ritual the manor’s occupants share. 

Review

I’m not going to lie, when I started this blog, I never thought I’d review an erotica book. I have nothing against the genre; it’s just not usually something I usually find myself wanting to read. Although, coming back from vacation made me want to read something completely mindless. After reading some threads and watching BookTube recs, I decided a bubble bath and a smutty read was the order of the day. This book is marketed as a BDSM, erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There are several parallels to the classic story, but not many; this is definitely its own thing.

*Trigger Warning for rape.*

The story was surprisingly slow and devoid of sex. Most of the erotic scenes were masturbation or spanking, reserving the only true sex scene for the rape scene. I saw that this book was the first of many and later books may “rectify” this, but it was something that I wanted to address.

I did like the fact that Isabel helped her father create the designs and help build the inventions in the shop, in addition to her being quite sexual. It was refreshing not to read about a main character that was innocent to the world and discovered this lavish lifestyle. While it was unclear if Isabel was a virgin, she clearly had fantasies about tying people up and seemed fairly fluid in her sexuality.

The other characters in the book were interesting as well. The Gaston character was as much of a prick as the man he was based on. The changes that they made to the character were fitting for the story. I also like the nod they made to Lumière by introducing a “human candlestick” aroused by fire play. The beast got very little back story (was he cursed? was he born a monster?) and played a surprisingly small role in the story. Kat was a fun new character though. She was an older maid that showed Isabella around the castle and taught her what was expected of her as a maid. It will be interesting to see what role she plays in later novels.

As I said above, the story was surprisingly slow. Getting Isabella to the castle and learning what her duties entailed was fine, but when in the castle, I was expecting more. Honestly, nothing really happened after she got there (with the exception of a couple of sexy scenes, again not trying to get into spoilers, but this is where the TW occurs).

Final Thoughts

As smutty reads go, this one was enjoyable enough but was surprisingly lack luster. I was expecting more with a Beauty and the Beast erotic retelling. The fantasies Isabelle described were erotic and the descriptions of the scenes were well done. That being said, little sex was actually in this story and it definitely read as though it was setting up for something more. Here’s to hoping that the subsequent books expand this idea more.

Rating 

⭐️⭐️✨ – 2.5/5 Stars


I have enjoined branching into this smutty genre. Honestly, these books seem like they can be a lot of fun and a great way to clear the mind after some heavy reading. For those that do read some smutty adult books, what are some that you recommend?


**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Riverdale Avenue Books, and J. Gambardella for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

3-Star · Author Spotlights · Book Reviews

Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman – Review

RevenantsTitle: Revenants – The Odyssey Home
Author: Scott Kauffman
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Genre(s): Adult, Historical Fiction, War
Source: Sent by Author
Pages: 306
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Synopsis:

ONLY BETSY CAN GET HIM HOME IN TIME; ONLY HE CAN BRING HER BACK BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother’s death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus’ journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do.

Review:

This book was so different from what I usually read. I normally don’t like war stories or adult fiction, but I wanted to venture outside my comfort zone and expand my reading. That being said, this book wasn’t my favorite. I had trouble connecting to the writing style and characters but mostly stuck it out because I was curious enough about where the plot was going to see how the story concluded.

I had a lot of trouble connecting to the characters and the plot. There were times where the plot picked up and I was invested, then a couple of pages later, the writing slowed down and I had trouble connecting again. Also, there were times where it was confusing as to which character was speaking since some chapters had the POV change and some did not. The writing also went between third and first person. That aside, the over arching story was a tragic kind of beautiful. The odyssey parallels were subtle and addressed directly in the book if you had trouble detecting them, but were not what I was expecting. This is more of a mirrored theme interpretation of the story rather than a loose retelling as the book was marked. If you do not look at this story with any connection to Homer’s epic poem, the stand alone journey reads as a better story. At least in my opinion.

Betsy starts off as an incredibly unlikable main character as first, but she grows as the story progresses. Watching her solve the mystery of who the mysterious patient is was great to read about. His back stories were a little less interesting, but watching everything come together was a lot of fun. I guess I just wish there were more consequences when the identity is discovered. I felt like that part was kind of brushed over.

I also really like that there was no romance in this book. The story didn’t need a central romance and Scott was wise to leave one out. While he did hint at attractions forming between some of the characters, nothing was explored or fleshed out. I also like how he included an epilogue, following the characters into their later years after the events of the story. It really added to what we were reading and felt like the perfect way to wrap everything up.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the story Revenants gave the reader was tragic and at times, beautiful.  A mystery leads a girl to overcome grief and helps a soldier find his way home after fifty years. I personally just had trouble connecting to the plot and characters due to writing style. I also think that this genre is just not for me; I tried this book to branch out and expand my reading tastes. For those that truly enjoy this genre, I feel like you will enjoy this book.

Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.5/5 Stars

Author Spotlight:

Scott KauffmanScott Kauffman claims his fiction career began with an in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer’s eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, he failed to read the book. An exercise of imagination was required. Scott snagged a B, better than the C he received on his last report when he actually read the book. Thus began his life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Scott is the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences, and a recipient of the 2011 Mighty River Short Story Contest and the 2010 Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. He is now at work on two novel manuscripts and a collection of short stories. He is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses on white-collar crime and tax litigation with his clients providing him endless story fodder. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and in the upper ten percent of his class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws.

Scott’s late wife serves as a muse for this story and that definitely shines through. Beautiful and slightly haunting, Revenants is a great pick for historical fiction fans.


Disclaimer: Although the author, Scott Kauffman, contacted me personally to review his novel, I was not compensated for my review. Furthermore, my review is comprised of my personal thoughts that were in no way influenced by the author or publisher.

TBRs

More Read-a-thons?! | Mid-month Check in

Hey everyone!

Sorry about another TBR post instead of a review. I have some in mostly completed draft form, so stay tuned!

So it is currently 3:30 am here in New York and I found myself pondering my reading for this month. We’re almost half way through August and I’m just having a weird reading month. I did a 24-Hour Read-A-Thon towards the beginning of the month to jump start my reading and had a great experience! I read three books and started a 4th in a span of 24-Hours, which was great. I then finished that 4th book and read a 5th book.

Then nothing.

I haven’t picked up anything since that last book (feel free to stalk my GoodReads!) and don’t quite feel like I’m in a slump, but feel like I need to get everything back on track so I don’t not read for the rest of the month. To get my reading back on track, I decided to do ANOTHER 24-Hour Read-A-Thon to help get my reading back on track.

I will be doing this 24-Hour Read-A-Thon on Sunday, August 13th from midnight (EST) to midnight. I’m not going to have this be an official thing, by any means. That being said, if you want to join me, let me know! I will be doing most of the updates on Instagram, so make sure you’re following me to follow my reading. This is going to be a super informal thing, the hashtag will probably be something simple like #24HourReadAThon. I just want to jumpstart my reading for the rest of the month.

Going along with that, I want to try to do the 7 in 7 reading “challenge”. I first say Lala from Booksandlala talk about this challenge. You can watch her original video here:

This challenge was created by saidthestory. You can learn more about the challenge and watch her announcement video here:


Over this 8 days of reading, I’m going to try to knock down my TBR and read these books:

The Lost SoulThe Lost Soul by K. S. Marsden. 

This book is turning into one that I have on too many TBRs and I just want to finally sit down and read it.

Pages: 312

 

HalaydaHalayda by Sarah Delena White

This is a book I got from NetGalley and actually forgot that I requested until I got my Kindle and transferred all the books over. This cover is absolutely stunning and the plot sounds super interesting. I’m super excited to try to get to it.

Pages: 438

across the darkling seaAcross the Darkling Sea by K. Ferrin

This is another one I requested on NetGalley because the cover looked pretty and the description sounded interesting. I did a quick skim on Goodreads and saw that the book has been getting some mixed reviews, but I’m super excited to check it out.

Pages: 159 Pages

mask of shadowsMask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

I love the premise for this one and the cover is stunning. This is another one that has been getting some mixed reviews, but I’m hoping it lives up to my expectations.

Pages: 352

 

the last magicianThe Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Again, this cover is stunning, the plot sounds epic, and it’s a thick fantasy book. What else is there?

Pages: 512 (oh boy 😬)

 

For the last two books, I’m not sure what I’m going to be in the mood for. As you can see, there is nothing but fantasy on the list so far, so to break it up, I’m going to read:

The Girl Who Wasn't DeadThe Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

As of checking on GoodReads on August 12th at 3:02 am (EST), this book had one review on GoodReads. One. So I have no clue what to expect from this book. I’m going in completely blind and I’m stoked. I’m not 100% sure on the genre other than YA (my guess is mystery/thriller).

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

Pages: ???

13 Minutes13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

This book has been out for a while. Also a YA Mystery Thriller, this book follows a girl who was dead for 13 minutes. She doesn’t know why and suspects her friends are behind it.

Here’s the full Goodreads synopsis:

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

Pages: 320

These two books are two new ones I got from NetGalley for review and sound like interesting books that will break up my fantasy binge.


I’m not 100% sure what books are going to get read when. My tentative TBR for the 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is:

Books: 5

Pages: 1261 + TGWWD

Realistically, I think I get can through 3 or 4 of these books and will bump the others onto my TBR for the 7 in 7. If I some how complete all these books before the 7 in 7 is over and am pining for more, I will read some graphic novels for the rest of the week. I  have some cool eBooks that are classics retold as manga-styled graphic novels that I want to read/review for NetGalley. I currently have Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, and Great Expectation in this format. I’ve only read P&P, but it was so long ago that I don’t remember most of the plot and I think this will be a fun way to read these classics.


How is your reading going this far into the month? Are you satisfied with your reading?

Let me know down in the comments!

Also, let me know if you’re doing any reading challenges this month or if you want to join in on any of the ones I’ve already talked about!

Shop Spotlight

Mallemir.com – Shop Spotlight

Hey everyone

The only thing I’ve learned to dislike about the bookish community is that there are WAY too many bookish shops and my wallet contains a very limited amount of money to spend. Despite this “problem,” I have tried out some products from various bookish shops and will showcase some of my favorites on my blog.

The first company I want to showcase is the company I’m currently repping for, Mallemir! I first learned of Amber’s jewelry company back in June and fell in love with her shop. Her jewelry is both affordable and is made with an impressive quality. Her designs cater to several fandoms and she ships world wide! For those not interested in jewelry, Amber just released some bookmark designs which are available for preorder.

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Since discovering her company, I have started to form a small collection of her pieces. These pieces are great complements to outfits and make exquisite props for bookstagrammers. Once my bank account replenishes a bit, I’ll be ordering some bookmarks from her too!

Be sure to check out her shop and remember to use my code CCBOOKS15 to save 15% on all orders during the month of August!

**I make no commission from this code. This is just a little something for you!**

Book Tags

Chocolate Book Tag – Tag Tuesday

Hey Everyone!

Happy Tag Tuesday! For this week’s tag, I wanted to do the Chocolate Book Tag. This tag has been around for a while and was created by Faye over at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts (blog)/A Daydreamer’s Ramblings (YouTube). You can check out the original video below.

 


The Questions

🍫 Dark Chocolate — A book that covers a dark topic (abuse, domestic violence, rape, loneliness, bullying, death, etc)

Eliza and her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters covers some pretty dark topics in this seemingly light-hearted read. The two MCs both have mental health issues including anxiety/panic disorders. Topics surrounding mental health and medication/treatment. I will give a Trigger Warning for suicidal ideation. There is a scene when a character contemplates suicide briefly, although no actions were completed.

🍫 White Chocolate — Your favorite light-hearted/humorous read

gentleman's guide

This is my most recent read and oh my gosh, a book has never gotten me to laugh this hard before. Monty was a flawed, yet humorous narrator. I was told to listen to this one on the audiobook and I agree, the narrator (Christian Coulson, aka Tom Riddle from Chamber of Secrets) does a great job bringing Monty and the story to life!

🍫 Milk Chocolate — A book that has a lot of hype that you’re dying to read.

Unknown

Everyone on BookTube talks about this duology and I’m dying to finally check it out! Now that I have the books, I’m hoping to get to them by the end of this month.

🍫 Chocolate with a caramel center — Name a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it.

Upside of Unrequited

I really enjoyed this one! It was a fluffy contemporary that was super easy to read. I wasn’t the biggest fan of some tropes that this book fell into near the end, but overall, I really enjoyed this one. (Full review here if you want to know my thoughts!)

🍫 Wafer-free Kit-Kat — Name a book that surprised you lately.

32571395

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this one. A murder mystery book using a Breakfast Club style format sounded interesting and I was excited to pick this one up. Holy crap, it was better than I expected. I have a full review here, but I highly highly recommend this one!

🍫 Snickers — A book that you are going nuts about.

Strange the Dreamer

I haven’t shut up about this book on Instagram since I’ve read it. Honestly, I’ll be shocked if this one doesn’t make it into my favorites list at the end of the year. This story was gripping and beautiful and the audiobook was amazing. I’m impatiently waiting for the sequel to see what happens next.

🍫 Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows — What book would you turn to for a comfort read?

Geekerella

I will have a full review of this one coming soon, but this book was cute. It was a retelling of the Cinderella story set in a modern, nerd-centered setting. This book follows the Cinderella format almost exactly, so it’s a bit predictable. That aside though, its super cute and a great comfort read.

🍫 Box of chocolates — What series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and a little something for everyone.

Harry Potter Books

I tried so hard to think of a book series that WASN’T Harry Potter for this answer. I haven’t read many series that can relate to so many people though. Harry is a likable main character and the side characters are great as well. Hell, this series has defined a generation!


I thought this tag was super cute and I would love to see your answers for it!

I’ll officially tag: Kristie over at Tales of a BookWorm

I also tag anyone reading this post. I’d love to see your answers!

LitJoy Crate Unboxing · Unboxings

LitJoy Crate Unboxing – July 2017

Hey everyone!

This past month, I wanted to give a new subscription box service a try. I’ve heard amazing things about LitJoy Crate and thought that they were a perfect choice. Also look at the graphic they chose for this month. How could I not?

LitJoy Crate Slight of Hand

July’s theme was “Slight of Hand”

🎩🃏Spoilers for the July 2017 LitJoy Crate!🃏🎩


The contents of the box were:

2017-08-07 20.53.41

2017-08-07-20-53-10.png🃏Jane Austen playing cards created by Prospero Art

2017-08-07 20.53.13🎩We also got some orange blossom perfume created by @wickandfable that smells amazing!

 
2017-08-07 20.53.17🃏A book locket necklace inspired by the book of the month. The book is inspired by the Ars Arcana or the Book of Mysteries.

2017-08-07 20.53.28🎩New York Jazz coloring book created by @walterfoster inspired by the 1920s setting of the book. I LOVE coloring books and getting this panorama style coloring book was amazing!

2017-08-07 20.53.24🃏Inej Artist Print created by Stephanie Brown (@offbeatworlds). This print. Oh my gosh. The book in this month’s box reminded the LitJoy crew of Sox of Crows (and from what I got from the synopsis, I can see why!)

2017-08-07 20.53.33🎩The book for this month was the Last Magician by @lisamaxwell13 (published by @simonteen). We also got a book mark with the book’s cover on it, a letter from the author, and a signed book plate!

 

 

 


LitJoy_simple_logo-13

What did you think of the contents of this month’s box?

Interested in September’s box*? Subscribe to LitJoy Crate here**.

You can purchase one box or subscribe to one of three plans (monthly, 3 months, or 6 months) for YA, Middle Grade, or Picture Book boxes! Plans start at $29.99 USD.

* August boxes are sadly sold out. September boxes are on sale now!

**The above link is just a link to the LitJoy Crate website. I make no profit off of it, I’m just trying to spread the book love!