Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys || Some Letters Shouldn’t Be Opened

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D E A D   G I R L S   S O C I E T Y

Author: Michelle Krys

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Published: November 8th 2016 by Delacorte Press

Synopsis:

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

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

When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.

But the Society isn’t all it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement.
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The Secret Of A Heart Note by Stacey Lee || What If Love Was Just Right Under Your Nose?

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T H E   S E C R E T   O F   A   H E A R T   N O T E

Author: Stacey Lee

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Magical Realism

Published:  December 27th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Synopsis:

An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs. Continue reading

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill || The Long Wait Is Over

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E V E R   T H E   H U N T E D

A U T H O R : Erin Summerill

G E N R E : Fantasy, YA

P U B L I C A T I O N : December 27th 2016 by Harcourt Childrens Books

F O R M A T : eARC

S O U R C E : NetGalley

S Y N O P S I S : Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

(**Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of Ever The Hunted in exchange for an honest review.)


MY THOUGHTS

Can you tell this isn’t going to be a positive review?

Maybe not.. but I just feel like warning you ahead.

Despite my initial confidence, I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in a book than in Ever the Hunted. Just ask my best friend. She knows how gaga I’ve been over this book since the first time I saw it. And yet, when I finally managed to grab my hands on an ARC, the excitement dwindled down as I read the first few chapters.

It only got progressively worse the farther I read. There were so many things that prevented me from enjoying it such as the plot, the characters and the writing itself. I found myself glazing over some of the pages which doesn’t usually happen, even with terrible books. The pace was agonizingly slow.. and inconsistent. And most of the plot elements used in the story are ones I’ve already encountered before.

I also found a lot of contradictions within the story, such as Britta and Cohen’s characters. They’re supposed to be two of the best hunters in the kingdom and yet they didn’t convince me. They were far too impatient, reckless and overdramatic – traits that just don’t coincide with my idea of a real hunter. To top it all off, Britta keeps getting complimented for every little thing or deed she does, which in my opinion, isn’t much.

And then there’s the romance. I’m pretty sure either Lief or Captain Omar would make much more interesting love interests for Britta. Unlike Cohen, I understood their personalities in the short pages they appeared in. Cohen, though, is your typical handsome, young guy who thinks he knows what’s best for a woman, and among other things, a blasted hypocrite. I plainly dislike him. It’s getting tiresome to keep hearing the I-just-don’t-want-you-to-get-hurt kind of excuse, which in this case, is not even convincing anymore. I’m also irritated by the way Britta acts around him. She always acts like a flustered high-school girl. Even when she gets mad at him, her anger melts right away after a little groveling on Cohen’s part. It’s a wonder how my eyes managed to stay in their sockets the whole time I’m reading one of their cheesy scenes. ‘Cause I swear, they made me roll my eyes heavenwards. My point is, the romance aspect just seems to overwhelm the entire plot and I’m sick of Britta gushing nonstop over Cohen when all I wanted was for the story to focus on the hunt and the impending war.

The hunt – if you could call it hunt – was solved in about one-third of the book. Early on, I already guessed who the real murderer was and sure enough, I was right – though it took the characters to figure it out only in the last chapters. The predictability of it all just took the joy out of me and just led me to resign myself into seeing through this book. In some ways, this book also reminded me of The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins, which to be honest, was a lot better since it had an element of surprise and more reasonable plot twists. In Ever the Hunted, the author took out one of my favorite characters – one of the ONLY FEW – which just made everything worse.

It’s just a shame because most people in the minority like me thought this book had a lot of potential. There’s a lot of major adjustments needed to be made and I could only hope that the final edits and the sequel would be infinitely better.

So if you’re looking for a high fantasy or a great adventure, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I think Ever the Hunted would appeal to readers who are newer to the genre, and most especially to girls looking for a fantasy-romance (though the romance in my opinion isn’t really much great).

I’m still open to reading Summerill’s books, don’t get me wrong. I’m just disappointed that this didn’t turn out to be the debut novel I was hoping for.


R A T I N G

Dreadful (⭐)

Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet || Tackling Poetry

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B I T T E R   S W E E T   L O V E

A u t h o r : Michael Faudet

P u b l i s h e d : December 1st 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

G e n r e : Poetry, Romance, Fiction, Adult

F o r m a t : eARC

D e s c r i p t i o n : Bitter Sweet Love is the much-anticipated second collection of internationally best-selling poet Michael Faudet, author of Dirty Pretty Things, a finalist in the 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards.

Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories. Continue reading

Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle || Book With A Greek Myth

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S U M M E R L O N G

A u t h o r : Peter S. Beagle

P u b l i s h e d : September 6th 2016 by Tachyon Publications

G e n r e : Fantasy, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Mystery, Adult

F o r m a t : eARC

S y n o p s i s : Beloved author Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) returns with this long-anticipated new novel, a beautifully bittersweet tale of passion, enchantment, and the nature of fate. Continue reading

Black Moon by Romina Russell || Stunned, Drowned, and Slayed

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B L A C K   M O O N

A u t h o r : Romina Russell

O r d e r : Book #3 in the Zodiac Series

P u b l i c a t i o n : December 6th 2016 by Razorbill

G e n r e : Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance, YA

S y n o p s i s : Book 3 in the breathtaking sci-fi space saga inspired by astrology that will stun fans of the Illuminae Files and Starbound series.

One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth be enough to destroy her first?

Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared.

But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars.

When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.

Continue reading

A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe || Reversed Special Snowflake

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A   M O R T A L   S O N G

A u t h o r : Megan Crewe

P u b l i c a t i o n :  September 13th 2016 by Another World Press

G e n r e : Fantasy, YA, Fiction, Mythology

S y n o p s i s : Sora’s life was full of magic–until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

(***Special thanks to Netgalley and Another World Press for providing me an ARC of this book.)


M Y   R E V I E W

A Mortal Song was one of my greatest anticipated reads, especially after seeing it for the first time on NetGalley. I was just drawn in by the Mulan-like cover and the discovery of a brand new author. The synopsis promised a heroine with a supernatural upbringing, but the truth is she is just an ordinary human, swapped at birth with the real kami princess in an attempt to delay a prophecy.

It’s really refreshing to see how Crewe took the special snowflake syndrome and twisted it so that instead of getting the usual character who discovers he/she is special, we get instead a protagonist who finds out she’s not really special at all.

As the heroine of the story, I really admire Sora. She’s smart and level-headed and she’s not the type to get vindictive or hold a grudge against others. Even after learning about her true heritage, she remained good all throughout the book though I wish I’d seen a little bit more reaction out of her.

Only, my main issue was the author’s writing. It doesn’t possess the FLAIR I was looking for, nor did it portray the depth and emotion I needed. The characters fell flat and most of their dialogues and interactions fall completely on a basic level. I’ve only seen one side of the coin, so I wasn’t able to sympathize much or connect with the characters.

I should also probably mention the combined insta-love and love triangle in this novel, which I have to say is a horrible combination. It just didn’t work, and I couldn’t find anything redeeming about Sora’s love interests. Fortunately though, she sorted out her feelings earlier than I expected and made a quick choice between the two guys. But still, I would’ve preferred if the story just focused on Sora’s acceptance of her true identity.

The connections and relationships in this book just felt abrupt – it simply didn’t feel like this aspect of the book was given much time to work on.

Another is the history of the kami. I didn’t get a real feel of their culture, their lifestyle and other things you’d expect from a different kind of world. I also can’t fail to notice that the estrangement of the kami from other supernatural beings were left unexplained. And when crisis came, these other supernatural creatures came to help without any hesitation, which is weird, considering the kami never interacted with anyone except among themselves.

Not to mention the battle scenes. I dreaded these scenes every time – not because of fear for the characters’ lives or something like that, but because I couldn’t feel ANYTHING towards them. There’s no thrill or action – what I got was just a bunch of kids throwing paper talismans at their enemies. And the enemies – the ghosts – they just suddenly appear out of the blue and flood into one place, attacking Sora and her group.

All in all, I still feel like there’s so much missing in the story. To me, A Mortal Song is just like a raw diamond still waiting to be polished. There’s so much room for improvement, and I can only hope that the published edition was much more better than the ARC. However, one thing I can assure you is that this novel’s heroine goes beyond the stereotype. And that was enough reason for me to stick with it.


R A T I N G

Poor (★★☆☆☆)

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover || My 8 Naked Truths

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I T   E N D S   W I T H   U S

A u t h o r : Colleen Hoover

P u b l i c a t i o n : August 2, 2016 by Atria Books

G e n r e : Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

S y n o p s i s : Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.


R E V I E W

“It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.”

Hello again, lovelies! Thanks for stopping by.

Naked truths are a primary feature in this novel written by CoHo. Therefore, I’ll deliver this review as well in naked-truth-style. So, without further ado, here are my naked truths:

1. I think Colleen definitely outdid herself this time. Her latest novel, It Ends With Us, is truly a great masterpiece.

2. You can tell right away that it’s special – unlike any of her other books. You see, of all the novels I’ve read written by her, I think It Ends With Us is the only one that will stay with me forever. It’s hard to forget that kind of story and that alone is what makes it a great book.

3. I was already caught from the moment I read that dedication. It intrigued me, to say the least, and I wondered what she meant by that. Realization dawned on me as I read through Lily’s story, and I was heartbroken and crying even after the story had been concluded.

4. And just when I thought I couldn’t be moved any more than that, I saw the author’s note and wept some more.

5. I was perfectly satisfied by how the conflict was resolved. It made perfect sense and it saved their relationship from total ruin.

6. I should also mention the cleverness behind that cover. I think the crushed petals perfectly symbolize Lily and the abuse she went through. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to look at too. I would definitely want it on my bookshelf.

7. I was initially apprehensive over reading this book, not just because of all the hype surrounding it, but also partly because of the disappointment I felt towards CoHo’s previous books. Turns out I need not have worried at all, because It Ends With Us was absolutely great and more! It restored all my faith in CoHo’s writing skills.

8. Heartfelt, endearing and utterly realistic, It Ends With Us is a book you should definitely read right away!


Favorite Quotes

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“He pulls back to look down at me and when he sees my tears, he brings his hands up to my cheeks. “In the future… if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… fall in love with me.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Naked truths aren’t always pretty.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“I feel like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we’re all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“And as hard as this choice is, we break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“You can stop swimming now, Lily. We finally reached the shore.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Maybe love isn’t something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“I’ll keep pretending to swim, when really all I’m doing is floating. Barely keeping my head above water.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“You are my wife. I’m supposed to be the one who protects you from the monsters. I’m not supposed to be one.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Sometimes even grown women need their mother’s comfort so we can just take a break from having to be strong all the time.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“Our eyes, locked together, speak more naked truths than our mouths ever have.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“You’re the most important part of my life, Lily. I want to be what brings you happiness. Not what causes you to hurt.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

“But then this morning I had to tell him goodbye. And he held me and kissed me so much, I thought I might die if he let go.
But I didn’t die. Because he let go and here I am. Still living. Still breathing.
Just barely.”
Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us


R A T I N G

Outstanding (★★★★★)