Category: 2017reads

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

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I just finished this book and all I can say is whoa! The Enemy Within by Scott Burn is an awesome sci-fi story that is sure to leave the reader wanting more. I love a good sci-fi story and I knew I would like this one but I’m really surprised with how it surpassed my expectations. At less than 200 pages, it’s a quick read full of action and suspense with each page turn. Now that I have given so much praise, I should probably mention what the book is about. It is a story about a kid named Max who has had a rough life. On top of that, he also has terrible visions of a burning city and doesnt know why or how to drop them. Meanwhile a trio of teens are looking to team up with Max against a group that is after them. The 4 teens have something in common. They all have special abilities. Page turner and a fun ride from start to finish!

I loved this book and thoroughly hope that there will be a sequel. I’m grateful that the author, Scott Burn, sent me a copy to read and review however my thoughts and opinions are still my own. 4.5/5!

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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So this is one of my recently read books and let me just say…it was so raw and real. I went in not knowing what I would face but I love what I found in this story. The basic premise is that the main character Starr, is a black teen who lives in a rough neighborhood BUT she attends a private school that is primarily white. She is sort of stuck in between worlds and doesn’t quite fit into one world neatly. On one side, she is black in a predominantly black town but she differs from the kids there because she doesn’t attend the same school. On the other hand, she goes to the private school but the kids there are mainly rich causing a disconnect with her life because her family isn’t wealthy. A big event takes place in the story that deals with racial profiling which is a huge issue in society that many people face. Thomas delves into the mind of a black teen directly affected by racism and stereotyping. The reader walks in Starr’s shoes through her book and gets a glimpse of what it feels like to be judged. I thought it was a great story and it even has light hearted moments and a touch of comical relief to it. I give the story a 4.5/5!

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

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These things we do that others may live.

This book was such a nice read. I really enjoyed the characters of Samuel and Loo. Samuel Hawley is the main characater and has lived a life of crime, danger, and adventure. He has many bullet wounds and we learn the story behind each one as we continue reading. Loo is his daughter and in the present day she is a teenager and living with Samuel. The story goes back and forth between Samuel’s past and Loo’s present. Their stories even overlap at some points. I don’t want to give much away but the book starts off with lots of excitement and it never let’s up. It’s so thrilling and there is something crazy happening in just about each chapter. I loved how it all unfolded and am so glad I decided to pick this up. I will say it’s a real Heartbreakers but one heck of a story.

It was released yesterday and is available for purchase now! Go get it! I give it a 4/5 stars. I graciously received an ARC of this book from NetGalley but my opinions are still my own.

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

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I am blown away.

This book is so incredible. I feel like I just went to the best amusement park and spent the day riding thrill ride after thrill ride. It is so refreshing to read a book that doesn’t involve magic or a sappy love story. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy those types of books sometimes but this book was so real on such a deep level.

Lola is the main character of this story and she is a strong and loveable lead. Lola is the shadow leader of a up and coming gang in her neighborhood. In other words, she doesn’t show the public that she is the leader and to most, she just appears to be the leader’s girlfriend. Her boyfriend, Garcia actually appears to be the boss but in reality the gang follows Lola’s orders because she has proven herself capable of taking care of them.

Lola’s story is one that grips you. It’s hard to believe the things she has gone through and still goes through. I found myself cheering her on and hoping she would triumph in the end.

I was sent a copy of this book by Librarything and am so gracious to them for sending it! However, my thoughts and opinions are still my own. I give this book a 5/5!

Warning: The book contains violence and mentions drugs and sex and abuse. It is definitely an adult book.

Lala Pettibone’s Act Two by Heidi Mastrogiovanni

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My latest read was Lala Pettibone’s Act Two by Heidi Mastrogiovanni. I expected to be in for a fun, light hearted read and got exactly what I was after.

For starters, Lala Pettibone is a 40 something who is seeking her second coming. The title of the book depicts this as her “Act Two” which is meant to be the second part of her “play” in life. It give off very “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” vibes. She is looking for love and a happy life. While successful in her career, she has been a widow for some time and is looking to put an end to serial dating and a beginning on a new relationship. Lala is such a loveable characters and I just loved her antics. She is quite the character. I also loved that she loved animals and wanted to help them. She has a big heart and it showed.

The cover of the book was meh to me and I kept wondering why the author would choose this for her cover. However now that I have finished the book, I realize all of the bits and pieces of Lala’s story are represented on the cover. I now really like the cover.

If you are searching for a quick, light read with humor, some romance, and a fun loving main character, you should pick this up. This book is Mastrogiovanni debut novel and while not perfect, it was enjoyable. I give this book a 3.5/5 stars. I would read a followup book to this if released to see what became of the characters so I must have liked it some.

I received this as an ARC.
Thanks to NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for sending it to me.
This book is set to release February 21st, 2017.

Always by Sarah Jio

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Always by Sarah Jio is a romance novel that deals with love, heartbreak, and shows that the heart never allows you to forget who you really love.

The main character is Kailey Crane and she living with a man named Ryan. They are serious and are planning a wedding. As the story goes on, we find that while Kailey and Ryan get along well, there is something missing. They just don’t seem to be as in love as would be expected from two people who are getting married. They each seem consumed with their jobs and their romance just isn’t the stuff that makes a good romance novel.

In comes Cade McAllister. He is a homeless man who the couple encounters while out to dinner one night. Upon further glance, Kailey realizes that the homeless man is none other than Cade, her long lost love. Kailey and Cade had a wonderous, magical romance back in the day until one day, Cade disappeared. Kailey never knew what happened to him until now. Gone is the uber successful and handsome man she loved in her past life, and he is replaced with a man who is broken, down on his luck, and a shell of who he once was.

The book alternates between present day and Kailey and Ryan’s life together and the past where Kailey and Cade exist as a couple. As the book continues on, we find out what caused Cade’s life to spiral out of control and we also find out where Kailey’s heart truly lies..and with whom.

The story was an interesting one and I loved how it alternated between the past and the present. However, it felt a bit sappy to me. I won’t spoil the mystery of Cade’s disappearance and his apparent fall from society but I will say that it was kind of…shall I say it? Soap Opera-ish. And then Kailey’s struggles between the two men(not a spoiler, it is evident this will be a central theme from the story if you just read the blurb), is kind of eh. They make Ryan out to be such an unlikeable character(in my opinion) that you just want her to be with someone else just because its emphasized so much that they don’t have that magic spark and that its a relationship of comfort, not true love. Its pretty cookie cutter and the ending is pretty predictable. The main part that I thought would be interesting is when we find out what leads up to Cade’s disappearance. And I will just say that part fell flat and we waited too long to hear who was involved only to be let down by what we find out. I give this book a 3/5 stars. Solid, quick read but a bit sappy and predictable.

I was given the opportunity to review this book when I received a free e-book advance review copy from NetGalley and Ballantine Books. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is set to be released February 7, 2017 so be on the lookout!

Happy Reading!

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

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Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

-Gwen Cole

Let’s get into this! So I have just finished reading Cold Summer by Gwen Cole. I will say that I enjoyed the book and felt like I read it fairly quickly. That’s always a sign that I’m into it and enjoying it. I wouldn’t say I devoured it and loved it though. BUT I wanted to. That counts for something right?

I really liked the premise of the book. Time Travel is dear to my heart(Dr. Who, Outlander). So when I read a book blurb that involves time travel, I’m pretty much already invested in it. This book is about a young guy named Kale(like the greens) and a girl named  Harper(unique names huh?). They grew up together and were good friends but basically Kale has an issue getting in the way of them being more. While they both like each other alot and with Harper’s move situating her closer to Kale’s home, you would think they would just take the plunge and start dating. The problem is Kale is a time traveler. Yup, full fledged yearhopper. So the truth of the matter is, he’s always time traveled. But it has always been short,safe trips and then he comes back home. Now, he’s traveling more frequently, for longer stretches and he’s going to a dangerous time/place. He’s traveling back to World War II, as a soldier in the war. Say what?! Yes, he leaves modern day and is sent back in time to the middle of war. Scary and dangerous and unavoidable. And he feels as though he has no control over the situation.

So I enjoyed the way the author had alternating chapters for both Kale and Harper. It is really nice to get each of the main characters’ perspectives. I thought that the story was really nice but I felt like something was off or missing. I really can’t put my finger on it but in an effort to be honest, I feel like it has to do with the story being sort of flat. The characters are fine but it wasn’t quite deep enough. The kid is traveling back in time into a war zone but each time it doesn’t feel as in-depth as it should. Sure there were gunshots and people were injured just as it would really have happened then but I wish that Gwen Cole would have gone deeper into the storyline. I wish we had learned more about everything. More. I also feel like I knew it would tie up in a nice neat bow by the end. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good happy ending to a story and maybe I’ve been reading too much lately, but it felt like everything was going to perfectly fix itself before the book was over and…well I’m not going to spoil anything. Suffice it to say that I felt like it needed more..of something. All I can do is be honest. I loved the premise of it but maybe if it had been fleshed out more, it would have been a more solid read. Either way, it gets a 3/5 stars from me and I did enjoy it for the most part.

I was grateful to be able to receive this advance review copy of the e-book from Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss. It was provided to me at no charge in exchange for a honest review.

This book is set to release May 2, 2017 so be on the look out!

What are your thoughts on this book?

 

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

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I just finished The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti and I must say it was quite a whirlwind. I feel like this book had lots of highs and lows and to be honest it isn’t going down as one of my favorites but it was a decent read. I’m glad I read it though. I feel like it was missing something and up until we learn about what happened with Lizzie Lovett, it was actually dragging a bit. I did enjoy the main character alot though!

For starters, Hawthorne Creely(whose first name is incredible if I may add), is a down to earth and relateable character. I really felt it when Hawthorne was sad and when she was happy. I feel like she is like a lot of girls in high school. Not everyone is a cheerleader or even has a niche they fit into. For all those girls, there is Hawthorne. She is sometimes irrational and jumps to conclusions..but shes so darn loveable. And she kept me going while I waded through the river that was this book. And let me tell you, the current was strong at times.

The basic premise of this story is that a girl named Lizzie Lovett who used to attend Hawthorne’s school has gone missing. Lizzie was a cheerleader and basically the opposite of Hawthorne. She was THAT girl in high school…but after high school we’ll just say she didn’t continue to impress. She became a waitress in a neighboring town before going misisng. Hawthorne decides to trace Lizzie’s steps in life so to speak in an attempt to figure out what went wrong. However, a few romps in the wood with Lizzie’s ex did not turn up anything and the book begins to get stale. Somehow I am still attached to finding out what happened to Lizzie and follow Hawthorne’s journey on what I believe will be one of self exploration. It does get quite a bit better when we find out what happens with Lizzie and while I still was ready to be done, I did enjoy the plotline that explained Lizzie’s fate. I liked alot of the other characters well enough but I couldn’t deal with the monotony of the story however, Hawthorne is so likeable that I had to see how it ended. Each chapter leads us one step closer to learning more about Lizzie and Hawthorne and the last 20-30 percent of the book was great. I also really liked the beginning of the book. The middle was the meh part for me.

All in all, I would recommend this book but if you go in with high expectations, you may be let down. I was. I would give this book a 3.5/5 and I will end with saying what I’ve said already…Hawthorne is a great character and I feel like Sedoti really nailed it when she created her.

I received this e-book as an arc from NetGalley for no charge and I really appreciated the chance to read/review it! However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

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“No two objects can occupy the same place at the same time.”
-Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

I cannot even begin to describe how incredible this book was. I was so very captivated with the story from start to finish. Samantha Sotto stated in the book that, Isaac and Andrea’s connection was “unbreakable, timeless, and absolute.” This is a perfect description of them. I’m sure you are asking..Who are they? I feel like I can both tell you and not tell answer this. I love these characters so much that I feel like I may not do a good job describing them. I hope I can do them justice in giving some information about their story.

So for starters the book is about a girl named Andrea and a boy named Isaac. Isaac Newton that is. Heard of him? Yes, that’s the guy. Law of Gravity. And many other accomplishments. He’s a pretty well known guy in history and has contributed so much to science. But back to the story. Andrea and Isaac. Andrea is a child prodigy and plays the cello wonderfully at a young age. She plays the cello in her bedroom and essentially opens a time rift in which she meets Isaac…..in his own time. Say what?! Andrea in our time meets Isaac in his time. And they are able to interact somewhat. They can’t hear each other though. But it is still pretty incredible that they are able to see each other. They each get a glimpse of each other’s worlds. But it is a small glimpse and it fades away quickly. Now Andrea meets Isaac quite a few times through the rift and as they both grow through the years, they fall more in love and can’t seem to let each other go.  Ready for a wrench to be thrown in? Andrea has a childhood friend named Nate who has grown up with her and they are in a bit of a complicated relationship. Andrea has feelings for both Nate and Isaac. That’s where the top quote is from. She can only give half of her heart to each and that isn’t fair to either guy or to Andrea herself. But how can you choose? The man you grew up with and who has been a friend for so long, who knows you in and out? Or do you choose the one who you can never have but who your heart yearns for despite time and circumstance? Can you have both? Should you? So many questions! No worries though, the book answers everything and it all ties up by the ending. I felt the ending was very appropriate and even found myself shedding tears for the characters.

This book gets a 5/5 stars from me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not one to go back and reread books because I just don’t usually enjoy them enough to read them again but I have a few that are sacred to my heart and I just added this one to that list. If you love romance, suspense, time travel..read it! It gives off sort of an Outlander vibe if you are a fan.

This e-book was provided to me free of charge from Netgalley and I am so thankful for this! However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.The book is set to release February 7, 2017 so be sure to add it to your Goodreads and purchase a copy!

Hinges of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano

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Broams Eld. Is. The. Coolest. Place. Ever.

I just finished reading Hinges of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano and let me just say, it was incredible. I feel like I got ducked into this world she created and never felt like leaving it. I hated to see it end but the sequel will be out in March and this is going to be a series so there are more adventures with Livy to come. I wrote a review for Amazon and here it is:

Amazon Verified Purchase

Oh my gosh. I had the most amazing time reading this book. This is a wonderful fantasy for all ages and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I began reading however this was quite the adventure. Livy Hinge is the main character and is such a relate able character. Jennifer Cano creates a lively cast of loveable characters who are woven into the world of Broams Eld. I wish I could visit this enchanting world! I loved the twist and was totally blindsided with the revelation of the villain. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Harry Potter or Fablehaven. Trust me, you will love Livy and everyone in Broams Eld (and Terra too!) My husband and son are currently reading it as well and are just as hooked as I am. Can’t wait to get the next book!

I know this wasn’t on my TBR but the cover is so nice and I really wanted a good fantasy. This certainly fit the bill and was a great read!

Happy Reading guys!