Leah's Bookish Obsession

Leah's Bookish Obsession

I'm a work in progress, I think I'll always be...

 

 Spoiler-free, and smaller, pocket-sized reviews.

All my ratings start at 5 Stars and go down from there.  Because every book deserves to start out at the top.

Review
4.5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 "Meda Rules" STARS
Crossed (Soul Eater) (Volume 3) by Eliza Crewe (2015-08-13) - Eliza Crewe

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Crossed

Eliza Crewe

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War is here.

 

Full-scale war has erupted between the Crusaders and demons and even Chi has to admit isn’t going well. Like any sensible rat, Meda’s eager to abandon the sinking ship but, unfortunately, her friends aren't nearly as pragmatic. Instead, Meda’s forced to try to keep them all alive until the dust settles.

 

As the Crusaders take more and more drastic measures, the tables turn and Meda suddenly finds herself in the role of voice of sanity. No one is more horrified than she is. When old enemies reappear as new allies and old friends become new enemies Meda has to decide—again—whose side she’s really on.

 

And then the Crusaders decide that Meda should go to Hell. Literally.

 

Can’t a monster ever catch a break?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A completely spoiler free review for all three books in the series.  I have a couple of questions for Eliza Crewe…

 

  • The first one…was your proofreader so into this story, that they ended up missing a ton of typos because there were so many?  They kept taking me out of the story…so annoying.  Ugh.  I don't remember the first two books being this badly in need of proofreading.  Anyway, other than getting a tad preachy, this is my only complaint about this book.

 

  • The second question…how come you've never written anything else besides this series???

 

This series despite those typos is exceptional.  It's not only darkly imaginative, it also has one of the best heroines ever.  Meda's so unapologetically snarky, and she does so without making my eye's roll…which I've found, lately, can be difficult to do.  The rest of the characters round out this ensemble quite nicely.  And the interesting dynamics going on this edition of The Soul Eaters Series made this to be a splendid finale.

 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.7/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.8/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.8/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's not quite as awesome as the first two covers in this series…but it'll do.

Series~ Soul Eaters #3 Overall Rating for the series 5 Stars because it's so worthwhile.

Setting~ Maine and Hell

Source~ I own Kindle eBook

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Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 "a movie and a book" STARS
Winter's Bone: A Novel (Audio) - Daniel Woodrell, Emma Galvin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Winter's Bone

Danial Woodrell

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The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.

 

Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley. But the house is all they have, and Ree's father would never forfeit it to the bond company unless something awful happened. With two young brothers depending on her and a mother who's entered a kind of second childhood, Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive, or else see her family turned out into the unforgiving cold.

 

Sixteen-year-old Ree, who has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. She perseveres past obstacles of every kind and finally confronts the top figures in the family's hierarchy.

 

Along the way to a shocking revelation, Ree discovers unexpected depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Initially, the spare writing, left me constantly trying to fill in the blanks.  I was hoping that watching the movie would fill some of those in…and it did a few, actually.  I mostly just picked out the differences between the movie and the book, though.    There were quite a few, including the most obvious one; Ree's siblings.  The movie has a boy and a girl, where the book has two boys. 

 

Despite that, I would say that this story made an impression on me.  With the harsh living conditions and indelible characters, and the hopelessness of Ree's situation, I really felt for her.  Ree is poignantly portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, and actually, the entire cast is spot on.  I think the book is better for the obvious and usual reasons but I also think watching the movie rounded out my experience of the Winter's Bone altogether.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Character~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5

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Book Cover~ Movie Cover…

Narration~ ☆4☆ for Emma Galvin, her voice was perfect for this.

Setting~ Rathlin Valley, The Ozarks

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
4 Stars
4 Out of 5 STARS for this Novella to the Wolf by Wolf Series
Iron to Iron - Ryan Graudin

Taking place before the events of Wolf by Wolf, but should still be read after that book, in my opinion.  A worthwhile read at 104 pages, of which 86% is the actual story, which is fairly good for a novella, usually it's only half that.

 

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Book Cover~ Love it.

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ The AxisTour Route

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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Review
5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 "skin-shifting" STARS
Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Blood for Blood

Ryan Graudin

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There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

 

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Non-spoiler-y review for both books.

 

The narration for this series is fantastic, she does German words and accents with ease, all while staying completely comprehensible.  Yes, even for me.  I highly recommend the Audio version for this series.  Although, the novella Iron to Iron is only available in book format, but well worth the read anyway.

 

An alluring, atmospheric, alternative historical where the Germans and Japanese win WWII.  In the first book Wolf by Wolf, the resistance recruits Yael a skin-shifter (Sounds a bit paranormal-ish…but it's really more like Science Fiction with the way it's done.) to impersonate Adele Wolfe, a racer in the Axis Tour, to assassinate Hitler.  Things end on a cliffhanger and Blood for Blood picks up where the first book leaves off.  From there it's a race of a different kind.  To not only live but follow through on killing the real Hitler.  The writing is captivating and the characters are inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ No, not at all.

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Christa Lewis...so good!

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ Japan & Germany

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 "Norco-induced paranoia" STARS
Obscura - Joe Hart

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~BOOK BLURB~

Obscura

Joe Hart

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In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similarly inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Obscura is one part psychological thriller, one part critical journey into deep space, and another part scientific search for a cure for a devastating disease, with a dousing of Norco induced paranoia; tossed together with mostly likable characters.  I should have fully connected with this more than I did.  Maybe it was the lackluster characters or the narration, or that it was to science fiction-y for me.  Maybe…it’s a little of each.

 

I will say this…Obscura could be awesome as a movie, I'm quite certain it would hold my complete attention in that context.  While I definitely liked this, I just always felt somewhat detached while listening.  You know when you're watching something on TV while scrolling through social media on your phone.  It was kind of like that, basically, I was easily distracted.  But seriously, what I'm really trying to say is you should totally give this a try if the synopsis sounds good to you.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

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Book Cover~ It drew me in…

Narration~☆3.5☆ for Christina Traister...she was okay, I guess.

Setting~ Outer Space --between Earth and Mars, mostly

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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Review
4.5 Stars
4.5 Out Of 5 "opposites really do attract" STARS
The Difference Between Us: An Opposites Attract Novel - Rachel Higginson

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Difference Between Us

Rachel Higginson

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I'm cursed.

 

At least when it comes to finding Mr. Right.

 

I'm tired of men that only want one night stands or blind dates that are nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I'm tired of avoiding inappropriate text messages and the constant disappointment of always meeting Mr. Wrong.

 

After all these years of dates that lead nowhere, I can admit that it's me. I'm the problem. I'm shy and picky and cursed. Definitely cursed.

 

So I've decided two things.

 

The first? I'm giving up dating and relationships and men in general. Maybe, possibly, forever.

 

The second? I'm going to have to try harder to avoid Ezra Baptiste.

 

If I couldn't hack it in the kiddy pool of dating, I certainly can't swim in his deep end. He's too successful. Too intense. He's all man when I'm used to nothing but boys pretending to be grownups. He's everything I'm afraid to want and so far out of my league we might as well be different species entirely.

 

So he'll need to find a different artist to paint his mural. And a different graphic designer to help him with his website. He'll need to find someone else to glare at and flirt with and kiss.

 

It can't be me.

 

We're too different.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is the second book in the Opposites Attract Series and I think I liked this one more than the first one (The Opposite of You).  Apparently, a lot of others felt the opposite of me, though…huh, the irony...

 

For me, Molly was a great heroine, quirky, funny and oh-so insecure, and yeah, she did have a tad to much inner dialogue, but she felt real…and I was hoping she would learn to stand up for herself.  She really was the complete opposite of Ezra.  I even ended up liking Ezra too…I didn't know if I would, he came off rather untouchable in the first book…but damn, he's not half bad once you get to know him.  I'm really liking this series so far…mainly because it doesn't have any over-the-top drama and the relationships have a slow build to them.   There's no using sex as a plot here...

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Series~ Opposites Attract #2

Setting~ Durham, North Carolina

Source~ Kindle eBook (KU)

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Review
3.5 Stars
3.3 Out Of 5 "world gone mad" STARS
Folsom - Willow Aster, Tarryn Fisher

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Folsom

Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

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The nation as we know it is a thing of the past. With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill. 

 

Until Gwen. 

 

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long-hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving. 

 

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution. Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them. 

 

Folsom is book one of the End of Men series. 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was very intrigued by the premise of this and at first, I was totally into it, I even found myself telling my husband about it (and he actually listened).  It felt different, edgy and made you think. 

 

Then about the halfway mark…it fell apart for me, it just felt so rushed, like frantic.  I was clenching my teeth while I read it, even…and then there was that ending.  I'm not upset that it had a cliffhanger, either…only how it played out.  Ultimately, the world Fisher and Aster created just sort of felt too crazy and too sad for me.  Despite that, I think I will read the next book, Jackal.  Probably soon, since my super cheap 3 months of KU is almost done.  I have to know how this ends, at least I think I do...

 

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~MY RATING~

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~4/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 3/5 Cliffhanger~ YES!!!

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Book Cover~ Hot guy…

Series~ End of Men #1

Setting~ Red Region

Source~ Kindle eBook (KU)

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Review
3.5 Stars
3.7 Out Of 5 "why you should never get black-out drunk" STARS
The Flight Attendant: A Novel - Chris Bohjalian

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Flight Attendant

Chris Bohjalian

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Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean—or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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The Flight Attendant started with a murder and then chronicles the events after, centering around the flight attendant who woke up next to the murder victim.  Interspersed with stories from her past giving us the full spectrum of the kind of person Cassie is...from there we get a compulsively readable/listenable story.  Just listening to how Cassie kept screwing up everything, with one bad decision after another and seeing everything unfold, was like watching a reality show.  Pure effing craziness.   But, ultimately, the twists and turns leading to the ending felt lackluster and kind of lost me a little bit…and the epilogue really threw me.  I wouldn't be opposed to seeing the movie, though…especially with Kaley Cuoco starring in it.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5

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Book Cover~ It's dizzying…

Narration~ 4.5 for Erin Spencer & Grace Experience with Mark Deakins was excellently done.

Setting~ Dubai, New York, & Rome

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 "simply wild" STARS
The Simple Wild - K.A. Tucker

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Simple Wild

KA Tucker

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City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

 

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

 

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

 

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

 

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Once Calla arrives in Alaska, I was hooked on this story.  The sexual tension, the scenery, the desolation of Alaska, the lies, the misunderstandings, and the tears, just all of it.  I really came to love these characters and their stories.  All of them, especially, Simon, who is only a secondary character, but he is the best Step-Dad ever…if you have to have a step-dad than Simon can't be beaten.  Even Calla says "everyone needs a Simon in their lives". 

 

Nobody does angst quite as well as this Author, and this story has its fair share of it.  Even with the sad-as-hell cancer storyline, this felt refreshing and current.  It's also not weighed down with unnecessary drama.  The Simple Wild is exactly that…simply wild and now it's one of my favorite KA Tucker books.  I highly recommend to everyone.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5+/5

Secondary Characters~ 5+/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5

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Book Cover~ Not the best part about the book, by far, but It's okay.

Setting~ Bangor, Alaska & Toronto

Source~ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Review
4.5 Stars
4.5 Out of 5 "world gone dry" STARS
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

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~BOOK BLURB~

Not A Drop To Drink

Mindy McGinnis

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Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn't leave at all.

 

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

 

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

 

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I've seen this book many times while looking for something else to add to TBR, and I've skipped over it.  I think that was due to the fact that it centered around a shortage of water.  Maybe, I find that premise too likely to happen in actual life.  Anyway, this fits a reading challenge I had going on, so I was like…WTH might as well try it out.  So happy that I did…because Not A Drop To Drink is a very well done dystopian.  There are 4 reasons I believe this to be true…

  • Despite being the first book in a duo, the ending of this has closure. 
  • The narration was subdued but excellent. 
  • The romance is only a splash and sweetly done. 
  • The world-building and explanation for how the world became this way, was impressively done. 

 

Overall, I should've read it long ago, because I really liked it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.3/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.8/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really, but there is a second book.

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Book Cover~ It's stunning

Narration~ 5 by Cassandra Campbell was fantastic!  A new favorite.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #1

Setting~ I'm not sure, near Lake Erie…maybe

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
2.5 Stars
2.5 Out Of 5 "twisted af" STARS
In Her Skin - Kim Savage

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~BOOK BLURB~

In Her Skin

Kim Savage

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Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest scam of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecraft's, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine. 

 

When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecraft's welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This was really weird, it had this vibe to it…that felt very un-YA, and really rather risqué.  I feel like I both disliked and liked it…well, sorta liked it.  The premise of the con didn't seem to be believable…but as the story plays out, it becomes more believable and twisted…fairly f*cking twisted.  I flew through this, thanks to the narration.  Despite listening to the last hour of the book two times, I still feel like that ending left me confused, maybe something was missing or maybe it was just me.

 

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~MY RATING~

2.5STARS - GRADE=D+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 2.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 2.5/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 2.5/5

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Book Cover~ It's eye-catching…

Narration~ 4 for Sandy Rustin…she wasn't too bad, actually.

Setting~ Boston

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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June Re-Cap
Gunslinger Girl - Lyndsay Ely, James Patterson The Opposite of You - Rachel Higginson Every Single Secret - Clara Emily Carpenter Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon, Ilyasah Shabazz The Surviving Trace - Calia Read Wake of Vultures - Lila Bowen Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

 

 

 

 

So many books this month, probably won't have as many next month, though. Unfortunately, I have to go back to work sometime this coming month.  June has been a fairly mediocre reading month for me.  I'm pretty sure my average is around 3 stars...maybe I'm just getting more discerning.  I did end the month with a couple 5 Star reads and added two books to my favorites.

 

 

 

 (Audiobook) Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Finish Date:  06/05

 ☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Kindle eBook) The Opposite Of You by Rachel Higginson

Finish Date:  06/06

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  06/08

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Netgalley eArc) Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

Finish Date:  06/10

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

Finish Date:  06/11

☆1.5☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon

Finish Date:  06/14

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) The Surviving Trace by Calia Read

Finish Date:  06/17

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Wake Of Vultures by Lila Bowen

Finish Date:  06/19

☆2.7☆STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Finish Date:  06/20

3STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Novellas KU) by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  06/21

3STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Disturbed by Jennifer Jaynes

Finish Date:  06/21

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Mermaid by Christina Henry (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/24

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Finish Date:  06/25

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) In Her Skin by Kim Savage

Finish Date:  06/26

☆2.5☆STARS - GRADE=D+

 

(Audiobook) Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Finish Date:  06/28

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Simple Wild by KA Tucker (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/29

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

10 Audiobooks, 2 Novellas, 2 Kindle eBooks, and 3 Netgalley eARC's, 17 books total.

4,910 pages (including Audio) 

 

Review
4 Stars
4.2 Out Of 5 "I was born in the year of the Dog" STARS
Under a Painted Sky - Stacey Covington-Lee

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~BOOK BLURB~

Under A Painted Sky

Stacey Lee

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A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity 

 

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is my second book by Stacey Lee, the other one being Outrun the Moon, and I have to say that her stories show the harshness of the times they depict without showing the darkness or the bleakness of those times. They have this soft blurry edge to them.  Which makes them very suitable and engaging for all ages. 

 

Under A Painted Sky is a beautifully written, uplifting tale about the power of friendship.  With a splash of romance and the trials of tribulations of life on the western trail, while being on the run from the law.  Overall, this story was endearingly sweet.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ Beautiful

Narration~5 by Emily Woo Zeller was perfect.

Setting~ Old West on the trail to California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 "lonely eyes" STARS
The Mermaid - Christina Henry

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Mermaid

Christina Henry

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Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

 

  1. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

 

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid. 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This was truly fantastic!  A beguiling, slightly fantastical tale about a curious mermaid, and where her curiosity took her.  Taking us from the coast of Maine to New York, Charleston and beyond. Amelia, the name she picked for herself, is haunting and alluring and you can't help but love her.

 

Centered around a reimagining of a hoax played by P.T. Barnum about the Feejee Mermaid, in early 1840's New York, with a tour ending in Charleston, SC.

 

 -Advertisement for the Feejee Mermaid from the Charleston Courier, January 1843

 

The Mermaid is a story about what it means to be human or humane, actually.  It's also about love, friendships, and loyalty. I highly recommend.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5+/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's very good

Publisher~ Berkley Publishing

Setting~ New York City, 1840's

Source~ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Review
2 Stars
2 Out Of 5 "I'm going to make this quick" STARS
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

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~BOOK BLURB~

Disturbed

Jennifer Jaynes

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On Halloween night five years ago, Chelsea Dutton’s college roommates were viciously stabbed to death, and Chelsea was critically injured. She was found hiding in her apartment’s bathtub, barely clinging to life.

With only fragments of shattered memory, she’s been trying her best to move past the nightmares ever since. Now in Boston, she lives a somewhat reclusive life, working from home as a medical transcriptionist and bingeing on mindless television shows.

She can’t shake the fear that her attacker is out there, waiting to finish what he started, and Elizabeth, a nurse she met after the murders, is the only person she can trust.

When someone from her past reemerges, Chelsea starts receiving disturbing messages and worries that her every move is being watched. As the messages mount and her memories begin to return, she’s led to a very terrifying and lonely place. But she needn’t be afraid. She won’t be alone there for long.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A formulaic plot with overly bland characters.  The declarations of love after one night of sex…eye-roll worthy.  The twist at the end was unexpected, but even that didn't up my level of enjoyment adequately.  At least it was quick one at six and a half hours.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 2/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2.5/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Originality~ 2/5

Ending~ 2.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's quite awful, actually.

Narration~ Carly Robins

Setting~ Boston, MA

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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Review
3 Stars
3 Out Of 5 "this is more like a plea" STARS
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney

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~BOOK BLURB~

Sometimes I Lie

Alice Feeney

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My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 

  1. I’m in a coma.
  2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
  3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If anyone out there who has read this can please answer a few questions about this…PLEASE let me know because I don't understand how this all plays out…she lost me somewhere along the line.  I might raise my rating if I could just figure out the twists.

 

Sometimes I Lie is a twisty, diabolical read…and I was totally into it.  Somewhere towards the last third, I started getting a little confused and by the end, I was like…wait a minute…what the what?  After thinking for the next hour or so upon finishing, I felt like I needed to re-listen to parts of it…but unfortunately, I had already deleted it, which also returns it to the library.  So, here I am…feeling lost.

 

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 3/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 3/5

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Book Cover~ It's okay

Narration~☆4☆ for Stephanie Racine...not too bad.

Setting~ England

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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