Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication: April 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Children's 

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they're not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.

Letters to the Lost ended up being my new favorite book by Brigid Kemmer. This is saying a lot because I don't read a lot of contemporary YA, it's just not a favorite genre of mine. And also before I read this amazing book her Elemental series was my favorite. So yeah, Letters to the Lost completely stole my heart!

Like I said I don't read a lot of contemporary YA but when I do it's most likely to be a pen pall romance, like this book. I don't know why but I love those type of romances most of all. But with this book I think it's extra special. 

I adored the main characters right away. I loved how Declan and Juliet first started writing each other letters and later on they switched to texting. I really had a soft spot for Declan because I could just feel how bad he felt inside with everything that happened to him. Don't get me wrong, I loved Juliet as well. Her story as well as Declan's was quite tragic but I don't know... there was just something about Declan that I connected with.

I was not surprised to see that there was also a really great cast of secondary characters because I'm used to that from a book by this author. But damn, I loved some of those characters so much. I'm probably not the only one who thought Rev was their favorite secondary character, right? I loved him so much and I can't wait to read his book, More Than We Can Tell. 

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer is not just a romance. There's so much more to it. There's family, there's friendship. Grief. Loss. The story was sweet and heartbreaking all at once. It was quite a rollercoaster for me. But I loved it all.  

About Brigid
BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Annika Martin

He’s a powerful billionaire CEO who built the family business into an empire. The money doesn’t matter to him, but the company is his life. And then his eccentric mother wills it all to her tiny dog.

I’m Vicky, the dog whisperer. (Not really, but that’s what my elderly neighbor always says.) When she dies, she surprises everybody by leaving a corporation worth billions to her dog, Smuckers. With me as his spokesperson.

Suddenly I go from running my Etsy store to sitting in an elegant Wall Street boardroom with Smuckers in my lap. And my neighbor’s son, Henry Locke, aka New York’s most eligible bachelor, glaring across the table at me.

Rumor has it Henry’s a business genius who’s as talented in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. Sure, he’s gorgeous. Sex-in-a-seven-thousand dollar suit. But…

He’s arrogant and infuriating.
He refuses to listen to me when I insist I didn’t con his mother.
He thinks he can bully me, buy me off, control me, even seduce me.

Henry may have the women of Manhattan eating out of the palm of his hand, but I'm so over entitled rich guys who think they own the world.

No way will his wicked smile be charming ME out of my panties.

His wicked...devastating...impossible-to-resist smile.

Oh well, who needs panties anyway?

*** A sexy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy standalone! ***

When I saw that Annika Martin is releasing a new book I added it to my wishlist right away. I was even more excited to learn that it'll be a romantic comedy. I love those. And it sounds like so much fun!

What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Darkness at the Edge of Town
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: Iris Ballard #2

Genre: Thriller
Publication: November 14th 2017 by Alibi

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

A complicated, charismatic forensic psychologist tries to rescue her brother from the clutches of a maniacal cult leader in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the author of Beautiful Maids All in a Row.

After catching an infamous serial killer, Dr. Iris Ballard has become a TV sensation. Exhausted from her appearances on the talk-show circuit, she’s looking forward to some quality time with Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and on-again, off-again lover. The last thing Iris wants is to get pulled back to her dying Rust Belt hometown, but after the frantic call from her mother, she doesn’t have a choice.

Iris is a disgrace in Grey Mills, Pennsylvania, but her twin brother has gone and outdone her. Billy has abandoned his fiancée, drained their checking account, and quit his job to join a cult called the New Morning Movement. Expecting to find something sinister at play, Iris is eager to destroy the quixotic hold they have on her brother. And that means outwitting the cult’s cunning, sadistic founder, Mathias Morning.

Iris has logic and reason on her side. But Mathias doesn’t play by society’s rules. Just as Iris begins to lose hope, her investigation leads her to cross path with the DEA. And now she needs to save Billy’s life before they’re both caught in the crossfire.

Darkness at the Edge of Town is the second Iris Ballard thriller by Jennifer Harlow. I think I preferred the first book a little bit more but I still thought it was a great thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

This book felt more personal to Iris because it involved her twin brother Billy, who joined a cult and disappeared on his girlfriend Gia and his own family. To find her brother, Iris infiltrates the cult, which is not without its dangers, obviously. I really liked that this story involved a cult because it made for a nice change from the first book. I really dislike it when thrillers keep being the same theme with each book so it made everything pretty intriguing. 

I'm also glad to say that I also still am a big fan of Iris Ballard. She's one of my favorite heroines from this author's books. Iris is not a perfect person at all, but I totally love her sarcastic and witty side. I was also glad to see her relationship with Luke grow a bit more through the story, especially towards the end. I've been shipping them since the first book.

I have to admit that there wasn't as much suspense as there was in the first book. Don't get me wrong, there definitely was suspense but it wasn't on the same level as the first book, in my opinion. The writing was also really great, just like in the first book. Not that this was a big surprise to me becaue I've always loved the author's writing style.

Overall, Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow is a thriller you definitely need to read. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the eerie feel of the cult.  

You can read my review of the first Iris Ballard book, Beautiful Maids All in A Row here

About Jennifer:
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Atlanta home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by HarperCollins

The girl with the power to kill with a single touch now has the world in the palm of her hand.

Juliette and Warner’s story continues in the electrifying fourth installment of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander of North America, and now has Warner by her side. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her.

Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good?

I'm both excited and nervous for Restore Me. Excited because yay another Shatter Me book and more Warner! Nervous because as with every book it can be either good or bad. I really don't want this book to be disappointing. The cover is lovely, at least!

What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Publication: August 31st 2017 by Penguin Books Ltd

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Book Depository

Rating: 3/5

She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning...

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.

Alia is a Warbringer - a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.

To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.

So... eh. I'm a bit disappointed with Wonder Woman: Warbringer. This book was so hyped and it's written by Leigh Bardugo (I love all her other books) so I had expected to totally love it but I obviously didn't. I feel like I missed something in it that everyone else did see. Did I like it? Yes, I did but I had expected more from the story and the characters. 

I actually really liked Diana. She was wonderful and I really enjoyed reading about her. I also liked all the mythology stuff, which is no surprise if you know me just a little bit. And the story in general was also pretty good, in my opinion. Honestly, I wish it had focused just a little bit more on Diana.

So with all of these possitive things why didn't I like this book more? Well, I actually couldn't give a damn about any of the other characters (aside from the Amazons). Alia, Nim, Theo, Jason... I just didn't care about them. Sure, they had their moments and I enjoyed their banter but other than that I was all "meh" about them. 

I do have to mention that the big plot twist was pretty good. I hadn't seen it coming at all and that's always a good thing for me. This character in particular took me by surprise in that way. I have to give some points for that. 

All in all, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo was an okay read. Nothing spectacular and true, I was slightly disappointed but it had some good moments for sure and I adored Diana.  

About Leigh:
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thorns— with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including The Best of and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and the forthcoming Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Los Angeles, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Stacking The Shelves: October 7, 2017

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

Kindle version bought for $0.99 on Amazon

To the Ends of the Earth by Skye Warren
Kindle version bought for $1.84 on Amazon. Weird price, right? But still cheap!

For Review:
The Brightest Sun by Adrianne Benson

I thought this sounded amazing + it's set in Africa.

If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow
Had to grab this free Kindle book because I heard good thing about it. It's still free, by the way!

Have you read any of these books or which ones do you think look interesting? Share your thoughts!

Have a great weekend, everyone! ♥

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review: The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins by Susan Hamilton

Title: The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins
Author: Susan Hamilton 
Publication: May 6th 2015

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction
Purchase Link: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Book 1 of the epic space opera reveals how the vampire legend is the result of a secret alien invasion/colonization that began with a crash landing in Transylvania in the 15th Century and a First Contact that went horribly wrong.

The Vambir discover human blood is a nutrient, but it is also highly addictive. Ingesting blood brings about a physical transformation that enables them to pass as humans. Impressed with their superior strength and vicious fighting skills, Prince Vlad Dracula welcomes them into his inner circle, where they attain power through him.

I knew that The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins would be a really interesting read for me. I love historical fiction as well as science fiction and I'm always intrigued when a book features the historical Vlad Dracula. I was a little worried, though, that the whole mix of these different themes would be a little too much for me to handle because I like my books to be historically accurate. But I ended up not being able to put this book down. And it's been ages since I read a book where I just had to stay up late to finish it.

The story starts with the Vampir, an alien race leaving their home planet after a natural disaster made it uninhabitable. Some of these aliens end up on Earth in 15th Century Romania, and this is where Vlad Dracula, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, comes in. 

So like I said before, I like the historical fiction that I read to be as accurate as possible and although this book some alternate history woven in, it is in fact partly historically accurate because some of the events involving Vlad the Impaler and Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, did actually happen. Needless to say this is something that really made me happy and why I devoured this book so quickly.

I do have to admit that at one point some of the story got a little bit hard to follow because this book is written in quite a few different points of view, which I don't mind actually but sometimes it all started to blend together a little bit so I feel like you really got to keep yourself focused on the story or you might get confused. I did really like the whole mix of aliens and vampire folklore. It was just such a different and original story. I was totally hooked!

Overall, The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins was definitely a one-of-a-kind book. Susan Hamilton created a unique blend of science fiction and historical fiction with a story that I really liked. I'd recommend it to readers who love aliens, vampires and/or alternate history.

Follow Susan Hamilton on:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Caligula by Simon Turney

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Caligula by Simon Turney
Expected publication: March 8th 2018 by Orion

Caligula: loving brother, reluctant Emperor and tortured soul.

The six children of Germanicus are cursed from birth. Father: believed poisoned by the Emperor Tiberius over the imperial succession. Mother and two brothers arrested and starved to death by Tiberius. One sister married off to an abusive husband. Only three are left: Caligula, in line for the imperial throne, and his two sisters, Drusilla and Livilla, who tells us this story.

The ascent of their family into the imperial dynasty forces Caligula to change from the fun-loving boy Livilla knew into a shrewd, wary and calculating young man. Tiberius's sudden death allows Caligula to manhandle his way to power. With the bloodthirsty tyrant dead, it should be a golden age in Rome and, for a while, it is. But Caligula suffers emotional blow after emotional blow as political allies, friends, and finally family betray him and attempt to overthrow him, by poison, by the knife, by any means possible.

Little by little, Caligula becomes a bitter, resentful and vengeful Emperor, every shred of the boy he used to be eroded. As Caligula loses touch with reality, there is only one thing to be done before Rome is changed irrevocably...

A book about Caligula by Simon Turney? SAY NO MORE!

What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, October 2, 2017

New Releases ~ October 2017

New Releases
October 2017
This is a bookish feature where every month I will spotlight new releases that I'm excited to read. ♥

{Click on the covers to add them on Goodreads}

I can't believe it's October already! This is one of my favorite months and I'm so glad it's finally fall. There are a lot of great books coming out this month too so that's another bonus. I'm most looking forward to A Sea of Sorrow. I have it pre-ordered already so as soon as it releases it'll appear on my Kindle. I can't wait, it's going to be epic! I'm also really excited for Tamed by Alice Roberts. It's a bit pricey so might have to wait a little before I can buy it because I want the hardcover but I'm sure it'll be wortht the wait. :D

October 3, 2017 Brooding YA Hero by Carrie DiRisio
October 3, 2017 Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz
October 3, 2017 The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
October 17, 2017 ► House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick
October 17, 2017 ► A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus by by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield and Gary Corby (Introduction)
October 19, 2017 Tamed: Ten Species That Changed Our World by Alice Roberts
October 19, 2017 A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris
October 24, 2017 The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

What new releases are you looking forward to this month?