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 Stars
4.2 Out Of 5 "Diabolic's Rule, & The Grandiloquy Drool" STARS
The Empress - S.J. Kincaid

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Empress

S.J. Kincaid

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It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

 

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

 

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I really loved the first book in this series and like most people I thought it was going to be a stand-alone.  I was fine with that, but someone must've really wanted this story to continue…and continue it did. 

 

One of the things I loved about the first book in this series was its darkish feel and unfortunately this was missing that darkish-ness most of the way through, added to that, the first half was way too political by far.   I was really leaning towards a 3.5 Star rating on this, right up until the end. 

 

That ending saved this from a lower rating…because…I loved that ending.  Thankfully, Nemesis pulled through and oddly enough, Tyrus did too, in a way.  I can see a lot of readers not liking where this book was going by the end, but I am not one of them.  I'm really intrigued to see where this story goes in the final book…I'm hoping since it was mentioned, that it will involve going to Earth in some way…I just wish they would have someone else narrate the audiobook.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ definitely a "to be continued"

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Book Cover~  It's okay…

Narration~ 3 for Candace Thaxton, I don't really like her voice…too nasally and I wish this series was done by someone else.

Series~ The Diabolic #2

Setting~ Outer Space

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Halloween Bingo 2018 --My Tentative Reading List

I've always wanted to play, I just didn't know if I would be able to find enough books that I want to read considering I don't really like scary books.  Lately, though, I've been branching out with my reading, and I couldn't be happier with that...so why not give this a try.  Thank you, Moonlight Madness & Obsidian Blue for hosting this challenge.  BTW, I've always thought your graphics for your cards are fabulous.

 

MY HALLOWEEN BINGO CARD

 

 

 

 

 

#1~AMATEUR SLEUTH - This mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement.

Planning on Hunting Prince Dracula by Carrie Maniscalco

 

 

 

 

 

#2~COZY MYSTERY - A subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.

Planning on A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Ann Lindsey

 

  

 

 

 

#3~MODERN NOIR - Mystery with noir elements, including authors like James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc. 

Tentatively planning on Snow Blind by Ragnar Jonasson or Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

 

  

 

 

 

#4~NEW RELEASE - Mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/17.

Tentatively planning to read Sunburn by Laura Lippman or Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman.

 

 

 

 

 

#5~13 - Any book that relates to bad luck, superstitions, including (but not limited to) black cats, ravens or crows, or the unlucky number 13, either in the title, series, book cover or page count.

Planning to read The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

 

  

 

 

 

#6~MURDER MOST FOUL - Any murder mystery. 

Tentatively planning on A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer or Ten by Gretchen McNeil

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7~ROMANTIC SUSPENSE -Any romance which has a significant subplot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense. 

Tentatively planning on The Swan & The Jackal by J.A. Redmerski

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8~DEAD LANDS - Elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants. 

Tentatively maybe reading The Burning World by Isaac Marion.

 

 

 

 

 

#9~CREEPY CARNIVALS - Horror/mystery/supernatural/suspense set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival.

Planning to read FantasticLand by Mike Bockoven

 

  

 

 

 

#10~TERROR IN A SMALL TOWN - Any mystery, supernatural, horror or suspense that takes place in a small town.

Planning on Wayward by Blake Crouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11~DARKEST LONDON - Any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. 

Planning on reading Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan

 

  

 

 

 

#12~DOOMSDAY - Anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world.

Planning to read In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

#13~FREE SPACE - I'm leaving this one open for now...

 

 

 

 

 

#14~FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP - Mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, shipwrecks, and/or sharks.

Tentatively planning on Sea Witch by Sarah Henning or Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

 

 

 

 

 

#15~A GRIMM TALE - Any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc.  Planning to read  All the Ever After's by Danielle Teller

 

 

 

 

 

 

#16~DIVERSE VOICES - Written by an author of color.

Planning to read Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

 

 

 

 

 

#17~SOUTHERN GOTHIC - Mystery, supernatural, suspense or horror set in the Southern part of the United States. 

Tentatively planning on Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#18~SPELLBOUND - Books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerers, and witchcraft. 

Tentatively planning on A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

 

  

 

 

 

#19~GOTHIC - Any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. 

Tentatively planning on Alice by Christina Henry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#20~SUPERNATURAL - Mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects. 

Tentatively planning on A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa

 

 

 

 

 

 

#21~TERRIFYING WOMEN - Mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural written by women. 

Tentatively planning on City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong or Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 #22~SHIFTERS - Werewolves, skin-walkers, and all other therianthropes. 

I tentatively haven't planned anything, because I don't really like shifter stories, I am open to suggestions from anyone, though.  I might use the wild card here...

I found one!  Planning to read Winter by Marissa Meyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 #23~GENRE: SUSPENSE - Anything that fits into the suspense genre. 

Tentatively planning on An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

 

 

 

 

 

 #24~GHOST STORIES - Any story involving ghosts or hauntings, including haunted houses, buildings, graveyards, etc.

Tentatively planning on Darkhouse by Karina Halle (maybe).  This one I'm not sure on...

 

 

 

 

 

#25~RELICS AND CURIOSITIES - Concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spell books, talismans or swords. 

Tentatively hoping (Netgalley request) reading The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell or the Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

 

 

 

 

& MY MARKER WILL BE...

 

Review
3 Stars
2.8 Out Of 5 "what the what and who the who" STARS
Like Never and Always - Ann Aguirre

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~BOOK BLURB~

Like Never and Always

Ann Aguirre

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On a hot summer night, Liv, Morgan, Clay, and Nathan are on the way home from a party in Clay's convertible. Best friends dating brothers? It doesn't get better than that. But the joyride ends in sudden impact, a screech of brakes, and shattering glass. On that lonely country road, four lives change forever.

 

Liv wakes in the hospital. At first, she's confused when they call her Morgan, but she assumes it's a case of mistaken identity. Yet when the bandages come off, it's not her face in the mirror anymore. It's Morgan's.

 

Morgan always seemed to have a perfect life. But as Liv tries to fit herself into Morgan's world, she discovers endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety and a dark task to finish...if she doesn't lose her mind first.

 

Forced to confront the disturbing truths that Morgan kept hidden in life, Liv must navigate a world of long-buried murder, a dangerous love affair—and a romance that feels like a betrayal.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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The cover is brilliant, and the blurb for it seems like a fantastic idea, but the execution…was off.  I wanted this perfect explanation for what was going on, even if it was something that dipped into the supernatural, but it just kind of fizzled. Also, sometimes the odd love triangle this had going on felt seriously awkward.  While it had its suspenseful moments, and the characters were mostly likable (especially Clay), the story ultimately left me confused and let down.  There was this tidbit of a plot twist thrown in at the end of the story that just leaves you feeling like…wtf was that all about?

 

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~MY RATING~

2.8STARS - GRADE=C-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.2/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 3.8/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 3.5/5

Ending~2.5/5

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Book Cover~ Very Cool…way cooler than the story.

Narration~4.5 for Emily Bauer, her pleasant voice may have influenced the overall rating of this book.

Setting~ Renton (not sure of the spelling because I only had audio version)

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
4 Stars
4 Out Of 5 "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" STARS
Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

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~BOOK BLURB~

Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett

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The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

 

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

 

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

 

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was worried, despite the multitude of glowing reviews that I would find this annoying and juvenile, but it was actually quite good.   It might have felt like it was even going in that direction, early on.  But it soon became a story of substance.  After reading the blurb above, it comes off as being a story about IM's between two people, but that’s really only a small portion of the story.  Overall, the story has a lot more to offer than that and it was a really sweet and worthwhile listening experience.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's Okay…but it doesn't represent the story.

Narration~ Amy Melissa Bentley

Setting~ Coronado Cove, California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
3.5 Stars
3.7 Out Of 5 "Untamable Demdji" STARS
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton

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~BOOK BLURB~

Hero At The Fall

Alwyn Hamilton

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When gun slinging Amani Al'Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she'd join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn't have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untamable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn't exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I have struggled with each book in the Rebel of the Sands Trilogy when I first start them, there is a lot of characters to keep straight and the story is really complex, but I have always managed to get "with" the story early on…at least with the first two books.  This third book…not so much.  It has too many small stories within the main story itself, to keep it all straight.  I also believe it could have benefitted from a list of characters, I have just learned that the book does have a list…unfortunately, the audio does not.

 

Overall, I'm glad I finally managed to listen to this final book, and I think I it was satisfying ending to the series, at least once it got to the actual story.  I would have liked it to be a tad shorter, without all those other mini stories.  I still love the characters, Amani and Jinn and lots of others who have joined the rebellion along the way.  They are what makes this story so memorable.

 

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~MY RATING~

☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~3/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.8/5

Backdrop (World-Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ This one is cool…I like it. The actual cover for the audio version is not so cool.

Narration~ Soneela Nankani, she's perfect for the voice of Amani.

Series~ Rebel of the Sands #3

Setting~ Miraji Desert

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
4.5 Stars
4.3 Out Of 5 "Surprising" STARS
Gentleman Nine - Penelope Ward

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~BOOK BLURB~

Gentlemen Nine

Penelope Ward

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Growing up, the three of us were friends. 

He was the nerd. 

I was the playboy. 

She was the beauty. 

 

Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits. 

 

He lied. 

 

I went off to college, and he got the girl. 

Amber never knew how I felt. 

They were together for years—before he broke her heart. 

 

Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch. 

When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room. 

 

Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men. 

One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings. 

Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity. 

Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message. 

She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.) 

 

Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel. 

When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I purchased this as an Audible "Deal of the Day" and it surprised me.  Early on it felt like it was going to be everything I hate about this genre, but it actually turned out to be a story with substance.  The characters were fairly likable and while their chemistry wasn't off-the-charts hot, it was still hot. They had real-life issues and not some overtly contrived dribble.  It won't be that for everybody, I'm sure…but for me, I liked it.   A few elements of the story actually resonated with me, personally.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ That guy is seriously hot…

Narration~ 5 for Sebastian York & Andi Arndt, these two are masters at this genre, especially when they are together in one book.

Setting~ Boston and a little Chicago

Source- Audible Audiobook

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Review
5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 "Cult Of Personality" STARS
Away from the Dark (The Light Series) - Aleatha Romig

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~BOOK BLURB~

Away From the Dark

Aleatha Romig

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Nine months ago, Sara Adams awoke with no memory. The man holding her hand told her she’s a member of The Light, a tight-knit religious group led by the terrifying and charismatic Father Gabriel. As a woman in the community of The Light, her duty is to be unquestionably obedient and to submit to the will of her husband.

 

But as Sara’s memory starts to return and she remembers her past, she sees that everything she’s been told is a lie. The Light is an insidious and dangerous organization, and its corrupting influence reaches well beyond the confines of the remote campus where Sara is being held.

 

With everything at stake, Sara struggles to sort out her true memories from her indoctrination. The desire to escape consumes her, but who can she trust? And which other followers of The Light were forced into this life, brainwashed to believe they belonged? The more she remembers, the more it becomes clear that Jacob, the man who calls himself her husband, is keeping shattering secrets of his own.

 

But Sara cannot flee alone, leaving innocents behind. She must fight to extinguish The Light.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A non-stop roller-coaster of suspense.  Although this lacked the crazy twists that the first book had, it still had plenty of WTF moments.  This second book was all about the answers and the "can we pull it off" moments.  It also lacked the explicit sex scenes, only one short one, so I was super stoked through the entire book…until the end.  It's not that our characters didn't have closure, they mostly did, it was kind of rushed, though.  Also…there is a definite opening for a whole new set of books…with that cliffhanger-ish ending and I'm not really sure how I feel about that...

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5+/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Mostly no, but not a completely.

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Book Cover~ It works for the story.

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Erin DeWard, Kevin T. Collins & David Ledoux, it was seriously good.

Series~ The Light #2

Setting~ Alaska and Bloomfield, Michigan

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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Review
5 Stars
Don't start this unless you have immediate access to the second book...
Into the Light (The Light Series) - Aleatha Romig

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Into The Light

Aleatha Romig

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Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

 

Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

 

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A thrilling and unputdownable ride teeming with twists and turns, especially at the end. With one I suspected and another one that blew me away.  My only complaint is overly explicit sex scenes, they were awkward to listen to with where the story was.   I could have been happier if they were just mentioned, instead.  I know this Author writes those types of stories…it just had such a dynamic plotline, it didn't need them.  Overall, this was really addicting and I immediately dived into the second book…because OMG, that was one hella cliffhanger.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.8STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.8/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.8/5 Cliffhanger~ YES! A hella cliffhanger…

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Book Cover~ It's Okay

Narration~ 5 for Erin DeWard, Kevin T. Collins & Noah Michael Levine, the different narrators set this story apart.

Series~ The Light #1

Setting~ Detroit Area and Alaska

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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July Re-Cap
The Flight Attendant: A Novel - Chris Bohjalian Folsom - Willow Aster, Tarryn Fisher The Difference Between Us: An Opposites Attract Novel - Rachel Higginson Obscura - Joe Hart Iron to Iron - Ryan Graudin Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin Winter's Bone: A Novel (Audio) - Daniel Woodrell, Emma Galvin Crossed (Soul Eater) (Volume 3) by Eliza Crewe (2015-08-13) - Eliza Crewe Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion The Good Liar - Catherine McKenzie

 

 

It was a good month of reading with 17 books total read and listened too, actually, a lot of those were Audiobooks.  I've found something new I can do while listening, it's an app called Sandbox and I have it on my Samsung tablet, so easy to do while listening, especially since I'm always icing my foot.  The reason I'm always icing is foot is because I went back to work two weeks ago (only 4-hour shifts, though) and it's kicking my ass.  I just finished my last book of the month today, even.  (I had this post all drafted up and had to add it in at the last minute...)

 

 

 

(Audiobook) The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Finish Date:  07/02

☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Kindle eBook) Folsom by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

Finish Date:  07/03

☆3.3☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Kindle ebook) The Difference Between Us by Rachel Higginson

Finish Date:  07/07

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Obscura by Joe Hart

Finish Date:  07/08

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Kindle eBook Novella) Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin

Finish Date:  07/09

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Finish Date:  07/11

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Finish Date:  07/12

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Kindle eBook) Crossed by Eliza Crewe

Finish Date:  07/16

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Finish Date:  07/17

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

Finish Date:  07/18

☆4.8☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Damselfly by Chandra Prasad

Finish Date:  07/19

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Finish Date:  07/21

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Finish Date:  07/23

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Finish Date:  07/24

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Kindle eBook) Jackal by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

Finish Date:  07/26

☆3.2☆STARS - GRADE=C+

 

(Audiobook) This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Finish Date:  07/27

5STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Into the Light by Aleatha Romig (review pending)

Finish Date:  07/31

☆4.8☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

17 Books Total, 12 Audiobooks, 5 Kindle eBooks, one of the ebooks was a novella and No Netgalley eARC's this month.

 

Plus 1 book that I DNF'd (Audiobook) The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Not because it was bad per say, it just wasn't for me...

 

 

From my Goodreads Pages Challenge

MY GOAL FOR 2018: 42,000
MY TOTALS: 31,676/42,000

 

JULY PAGES READ: 5,225

07/02 {345} The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian☆3.7☆
07/03 {210) Folsom by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster☆3.3☆
07/07 {284} The Difference Between Us by Rachel Higginson☆4.7☆
07/08 {348} Obscura by Joe Hart☆4☆
07/09 {104} Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin☆4☆
07/11 {496} Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin☆4.7☆ 
07/12 {225} Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell☆4☆
07/16 {346} Crossed by Eliza Crewe☆4.7☆
07/17 {256} Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion☆4.3☆
07/18 {373} The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie☆4.7☆
07/19 {277} Damselfly by Chandra Prasad☆3.5☆
07/21 {342} Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller☆4.8☆
07/23 {352} Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott☆3.2☆
07/24 {242} We Were Liars by E. Lockhart☆3☆
07/26 {238} Jackal by Tarryn Fisher☆3.2☆
07/27 {433} This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada☆5☆
07/31 {354} Into the Light by Aleatha Romig☆4.8☆

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian Folsom (End of Men, #1) by Tarryn Fisher The Difference Between Us (Opposites Attract, #2) by Rachel Higginson Obscura by Joe Hart Iron to Iron (Wolf By Wolf, #1.5) by Ryan Graudin Blood for Blood (Wolf By Wolf, #2) by Ryan Graudin Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell Crossed (Soul Eaters, #3) by Eliza Crewe Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1) by Isaac Marion The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie Damselfly by Chandra PrasadDaughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2) by Tricia Levenseller Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Jackal (End of Men, #2) by Tarryn Fisher This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada Into the Light (The Light, #1) by Aleatha Romig
 

 



Review
5 Stars
5 Out Of 5 "hacker-if-ic" STARS
This Mortal Coil - Emily Suvada

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~BOOK BLURB~

This Mortal Coil

Emily Suvada

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In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

 

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

 

That’s no surprise since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

 

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

 

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This book is amazing, one of the best dystopian's I've read in a while and absolutely a new favorite.  For a book involving gene hacking, splicing, decoding and lots of technical terms and such this is completely comprehensible and seriously compelling.  It also depicts a plaque virus with walking dead-like creatures that will explode and then infect anyone in a certain radius, plus some crazy plot twists that will blow your mind.  This book is pure genius.  There is also some romance…but it is done well and does not dominate the story, at least in my opinion, but I like some romance.  Book #2, This Cruel Design, comes out at the end of October.  I totally 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~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ I Love It!

Narration~ 5 for Skye Bennett, I really liked her voice, she made this a breeze to listen to.

Series~ This Mortal Coil #1

Setting~ A Futuristic United States & some in Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
3 Stars
3.2 Out Of 5 "the jackal and the phoenix" STARS
Jackal - Willow Aster, Tarryn Fisher

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Jackal

Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

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Jackal Emerson has never taken himself seriously. Dubbed the “orgy king,” he’s renowned for his reputation as the wild End Man. But with the uprising on the horizon and his best friend missing, Jackal is having a hard time living the same carefree existence. 

 

And then he meets a thief and everything changes.

 

Phoenix Moyo, principal dancer of a notorious ballet company, lives a life of rigidity. When her world collides with Jackal’s, their chemistry is evident to everyone except her. Forced to work with him to steal the most precious commodity of the Regions, she realizes too late that there is no escaping Jackal’s charisma. 

 

When unimaginable crimes come to light, the Regions begin to crumble. No one is safe. Families divide and secrets are exposed, danger running rampant on every side. For some, sacrifice costs everything.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm not going to lie I'm having multiple issues with these books so far, and yet, I'm still mildly fascinated with them…It definitely has to be due to the f*cked up world they are set in.   It's an oddly engrossing and a disturbingly titillating prospective world that they have created here.  It could also be due to the fact that they leave the reader completely hanging at the end of each book, some serious cliffhangers going on here. 

 

The little facts of animals sex lives and courtship rituals at the beginning of each chapter, always kept me going and laughing throughout, like this little gem...

 

"Female hyenas have a clitoris that's so long it's sometimes mistaken for a penis"

 

...these were by far the best part about this book.  They made Jackal and Phoenix's story infinitely more appealing.  I wonder, though, if the Authors added these because of the play on names (Jackal? Phoenix?)...maybe so...either way, I loved them.

 

Honestly, though, the writing is not up to par with what I've read from Tarryn Fisher so far.  It's almost as if they tried to keep each book in the series as short as possible, so they've streamlined the stories to the bare essentials because both stories so far have left me feeling like something is missing from them. 

 

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~MY RATING~

3.2STARS - GRADE=C+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.3/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.7/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 3/5 Cliffhanger~ Yeah, and then some…

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Series~ The End Men #2

Setting~ Blue Region & some Red

Source~ Kindle eBook (KU)

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Review
3 Stars
3 Out Of 5 "I only read this so I could know what all the fuss is about" STARS
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

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~BOOK BLURB~

We Were Liars

E Lockhart

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A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If you go into this completely blind then it's possible you could have your mind blown by this story…maybe…and if you want to do that than you should stop reading this, or any other review for it.  Not that I really give anything away.  But, if you're part of a large number of people who've already read this or if you've already read some reviews like I had before I listened to this, then read on. 

 

I knew it had a twist, so when it came…I was like, oh, so that's where this is going, I've already been there and done that.  Ultimately, this is really a story of some rich, somewhat bratty, teens who try to fix a situation with drastic results.  Overall there is some substance to the story, I even felt some real emotions.  So if you're on the fence about reading this, I would say give it a try, it's a very quick read or listen and the audio for it is quite decently done.  At least then, like me, you'll know what all the fuss is about.

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3/5

Secondary Characters~ 2.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 2.8/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Ending~ 3/5

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Book Cover~ Kind of wishy washy…

Narration~ 4 for Ariande Meyers

Setting~ Beechwood Island

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
3 Stars
3 Out Of 5 "something was lost in translation" STARS
Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott

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~BOOK BLURB~

Give Me Your Hand

Meg Abbott

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A mesmerizing psychological thriller about how a secret can bind two friends together forever...or tear them apart. 

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane's academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them. 

More than a decade later, Kit thinks she's put Diane behind her forever and she's begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~
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 The characters are written so well they are smart and driven, and flawed.  But I just felt underwhelmed by their story, and the ending felt anti-climatic.  I felt confused from the time that Diane reveals her secret to Kit and I kept waiting for something to clear it up, but I must have missed it.  I probably should have rewound the book and relistened, but I wasn't invested enough in their story to do so, and I always think it will get cleared up eventually.  So I kept listening and I only became more confused.  Basically, most of my issues with this can't be said without spoiling the story, and since I try not to do that, all I can say is others seemed to like this…maybe this is another case of it's not you, it's me...

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 2.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Ending~ 2.3/5

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Book Cover~ It could be better...

Narration~ 4.5 for Chloe Cannon, she was quite good

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
5 Stars
4.7 Out Of 5 "Pirates vs Sirens" STARS
Daughter of the Siren Queen - Tricia Levenseller

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~BOOK BLURB~

Daughter of the Siren Queen

Tricia Levenseller

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The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

 

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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What an awesome ending to this duology.  I love these characters Alosa is a fiery girl pirate, whose not afraid to do what needs to be done.  I love how she interacts with her crew. Rilen is freaking adorable…love him.  I also loved the sweet, but not sickly sweet, romance between these two.  If I have any complaints about this second book at all, it's Alosa's indecisiveness or waffling regarding her feelings for Rilen.   How could anyone doubt his loyalty?

 

It feels like the author really loves the Pirates of the Caribbean and this story was born from that love.  I recommend it for your pirate fix, as long as your not looking for the bodice-ripping pirates, because this keeps it pretty PG…maybe, slightly PG-13.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. I believe this is a duology.

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Book Cover~ Love it…reminds me of my fav scene in Finding Nemo…"I wanna touch the butt…"

Narration~5 for Marisa Calin, she was quite amazing, actually.  Perfect for this series.

Series~ Daughter of the Pirate King #2

Setting~ The Ocean

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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Review
3.5 Stars
3.5 Out Of 5 for this re-imagining of The Lord of the Flies
Damselfly - Chandra Prasad

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~BOOK BLURB~

Damselfly

Chandra Prasad

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Their survival is in their own hands...

 

Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she's alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team across the Pacific for a tournament. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they find the others, they set up shelter and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the teens realize they're on their own, stranded on an island with a mysterious presence that taunts and threatens them. Soon Sam and her companions discover they need to survive more than the jungle... they need to survive each other.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I never read The Lord of the Flies…I wasn't even sure what it was about…until I looked it up when I was about a third of the way through this.  The author has a spot at the end of the book where she talks about her inspiration for the book and as an author.  She calls this a Lord of the Flies with a diverse cast of strong female characters.  It does have male characters also, but they are definitely secondary to the females.

 

Damselfly is a story of what happens to a group of kids when they are suddenly stranded with no rules…or adult supervision.  Told from the pov of a shy Indian girl, it addresses some tough subjects really well.  Unfortunately, though, this felt under-developed to me and left me wanting something more from it; from the characters to general storyline.  Overall, this was just an okay read for me, despite, loving the cover.  It did remind me of the first few episodes of Lost (the TV show), so that was cool.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 2.5/5  Cliffhanger~ It kind of did…

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Book Cover~ It's very compelling, it's definitely what drew me in.

Narration~4 for Soneela Nankani…I like her, but she could use some work on her voices.

Setting~ Deserted Island, somewhere between the Mainland and Hawaii.

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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Review
5 Stars
4.8 Out Of 5 "Liar, Liar, Liar" STARS
The Good Liar - Catherine McKenzie

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Good Liar

Catherine McKenzie

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Can you hide a secret with the whole world watching?

 

When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are forever altered.

 

A year later, Cecily is in mourning. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend inside. Kate, now living thousands of miles away, fled the disaster and is hoping that her past won’t catch up with her. And Franny, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building.

 

Now, despite the marks left by the tragedy, they all seem safe. But as its anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that terrifying morning become dangerous triggers. All these women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was totally absorbed in this cleverly plotted mystery-thriller, and I finished listening to it in two days.  The characters were easily relatable…even when they were being slightly or not-so-slightly evil.  It was filled with twists and turns, some that had me gasping, others that had me contemplating if it was going in a certain direction.  With its "I-knew-it" moments and its "O-my-gosh-no-way" moments; this was turning out to be my kind of mystery.  Coupled with an ending that left me somewhat awed.  I think when I finished, I even said out loud, to no one in particular, except maybe the dog, Wow, now that's an ending!

 

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~MY RATING~

4.8STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

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)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's okay…not overly compelling, but I think it goes with the story.

Narration~ 4.5 collectively for Teri Clark Linden, Kate Rudd, Whitney Dykhouse, JD Jackson was excellently done.  I really like each person having their own voice.

Setting~ Mostly Chicago &  some in Montreal

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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