Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: The Cellar by Natasha Preston


Nothing ever happens in the town of Long Thorpe – that is, until sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson disappears without a trace. No family or police investigation can track her down. Spending months inside the cellar of her kidnapper with several other girls, Summer learns of Colin’s abusive past, and his thoughts of his victims being his family…his perfect, pure flowers. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out….


My stomach dropped as a tall, dark-haired man stepped into view. Had he been hiding between the trees?

"No. Sorry." Gulping, I took a step back. "I'm not Lily."

He shook his head, a satisfied grin on his face. "No. You are Lily."

"I'm Summer. You have the wrong person." You utter freak!

I could hear my pulse crashing in my ears. How stupid to give him my real name. He continued to stare at me, smiling. It made me feel sick.

"You are Lily," he repeated.

Before I could blink, he threw his arms forward and grabbed me. I tried to shout, but he clasped his hand over my mouth, muffling my screams. My heart raced. I'm going to die.


This book was a total impulse buy back last year while I was perusing the book aisle in Target. I can't visit Target and not take a quick peek (read: at least 15 minutes) at the book aisle. The Husband does not understand this rule, and when I have to go to Target with him, I leave feeling empty because I don't get to stop by and see my friends in the book aisle.


It's no secret that I'm very picky about what contemporary books I will read, especially YA. I need more in my plots than some girl wondering if the boy likes her or not...which seems to be the majority of YA contemporary (okay sure, there's some coming of age stuff in there, but since I've already came of age and surpassed it, I'm good, no thanks). So, when I read the synopsis and learned it was about a girl who gets kidnapped, I was sold.


The beginning of this book was so slow for me and I just felt like all Summer did was whine. I know, totally justified, but that girl spent an obscene amount of time crying. I found myself skimming over the chapters in her POV, which is ridiculous since that's where all of the good/horrible stuff is supposed to be happening. I even found Lewis's search for her more interesting. I wanted more from Colin's POV. I wanted more about his childhood with his mother who supposedly made such an impact on him that it drove him to severe OCD, killing prostitutes (chill, it's not really that big of a spoiler), and kidnapping the girls. So your mom caught your dad running around on her...totally not enough basis to turn into a psychopath, for crying out loud. I dunno. I'm just on the fence about this one. I gave it 3 stars because at about 70%, some drama ensued and I couldn't put the book down because I just had to find out how it all ended. Honestly, if I wasn't going through withdrawals from Criminal Minds (I marathoned all 10 seasons and can't find season 11, *sad face*), then I probably wouldn't have picked it back up.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: The Whispers by Daryl Banner


This book can be read as a standalone. Although reading the Beautiful Dead Trilogy would enrich your experience, it is not required.

Jennifer needs to know the truth about the Beautiful Dead. Do they really exist, or is it all a lie?

She faces punishment from the university if she pursues her forbidden Undeadly studies - but she could also change the world. One reckless decision (that may or may not be totally illegal) sends Jennifer and her friends embarking on an adventure of adeathtime to find the truth at last.

She did not expect, however, to discover the fate of all humanity resting in her little Living hands.

The Beautiful Dead Trilogy

The Beautiful Dead (book 1)

Dead of Winter (book 2)

Almost Alive (book 3)

Or snag the box set!

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange 
for my honest review.*


I don't even know where to start with this book. It's a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one lovely package. I was so excited to get my hands on this book. I most definitely was not ready to say goodbye to Winter & Co., so when the chance to get an ARC was presented to me, I pounced on it right away. That being said, I think I went into this one with my hopes up just a little bit too high. But let me explain!


I was hoping for more backstory on how the Undead came to be and I was hoping for more glimpses of Winter and John *SPOILER* even though I knew they literally blew away in a cloud of glorious undead dust at the end of Almost Alive. I clung to the false hope that maybe Jennifer or John (come on, his name is John!) would have some confusing dreams about Winter and John (which has yet to be confirmed that they are, in fact, Winter and John reincarnated, but I'm going to assume/hope/pray/beg that they are). It just felt like something was missing for me. I think it's because I'm still so attached to Winter and John. And this is my fault.


Now that we've gotten the hard part out of the way, let me tell you that The Whispers will draw you in just like The Beautiful Dead trilogy. You don't have to read The Beautiful Dead trilogy to understand what is going on in The Whispers, but ohhhhh I highly recommend it. Trust me. You will get so much more out it if you do.


Having read The Beautiful Dead trilogy already, this book made me so nostalgic for that world. I loved all of the little nods to the trilogy throughout the story. I was so eager to breeze through the book and see what would happen that I'm sure I missed a lot of the references. It was like finding little Easter eggs. I'm going to have to do a reread, take my time, and make a list...but first I'm going to have to reread The Beautiful Dead trilogy so that all of its wonders are fresh in my mind.


 The Whispers completely whetted my appetite for more stories in this world. I have several conspiracy theories about why Jennifer wasn't allowed to further her research on The Beautiful Dead and present all of her truthful findings. I have theories about just who Professor Praun and President Vale really are. I just have so many theories and questions, and the book was only about 200 pages, which wasn't nearly enough. I'll never have enough of this world.


Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl

Monday, November 30, 2015

Blitz: The Scarlett Legacy by K.N. Lee

The Scarlett Legacy

Woodland Creek Shifters
By- K.N. Lee
Genre- YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Woodland Creek Series.
30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories.

Wizards. Shifters. Murderers.
Welcome to Woodland Creek where one family of wizards gives new meaning to organized crime.

Evie Scarlett wanted two things: marry Parker Drake and leave Woodland Creek. But when Hugh Prince, a dangerous crime boss, is mysteriously murdered while awaiting trial for her father's murder, all eyes turn to the Scarlett family.

The arrival of Hugh's youngest son, Avalon brings a century-old feud to a dangerous climax. This vengeful wizard gives Evie's older brother a choice: die or give Evie to him.

When Evie's plans for escape are broken by familial duty, she must find a way to protect those she loves and win back her freedom. What she finds is an ancient power that she never knew she had.

A power that might change everything she thought she knew about her family.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: In My Dreams by Cameo Renae


The dreams were happening again. 
It was something seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Hayes thought she’d outgrown. She didn’t want them anymore; detailed premonitions of how people would die. 
One night, Lizzy’s worst nightmare occurs. She dreams of her boyfriend, Michael Young, and soon discovers his car was found in a river, along with his lifeless body. 
Confusion settles deep within when Michael appears alive in her dreams. He warns her, attempting to keep her safe from the very person who murdered him. 
Awake, Lizzy must pull on her inner strength, not only to save herself, but also her friends whose lives are in danger. 
In My Dreams is a story of trust, friendship, courage, and true love that lives beyond the grave


I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Looking for a smooth, easy read to get yourself out of a reading slump? This book is for you!


In My Dreams has it all. A strong heroine, swoon-worthy hero, a lovable best friend, interesting story line, detestable villain, and a bittersweet ending. The action was great and the story flowed well. Ironically, my least favorite parts were when Michael would visit Lizzy in her dreams. It all just seemed too perfect and too sweet, like give you a cavity sweet. I mean, I get it. I understand these are her dreams and anything is possible, but it was just a little bit over the top for me. It wasn't enough to keep me from finishing the book in one day though. There was a small plot twist involving Tyler that had me rolling my eyes. I just felt like there were so many more possibilities for his backstory. When I read the basis for his choices, I experienced a snort of derision moment akin to Sheldon Cooper.


The too-sweet dreams and Tyler's plot twist are why I knocked off a star. The ending was, by far, my favorite part of the entire story. I'm not going to elaborate because of spoilers, of course, but the last 10% had me glued to my Kindle.


We get a glimpse of a few of the characters from another one of Cameo's series and it was fan-freaking-tastic. It made me eager to dive into her Hidden Wings series. 

*plugs in Kindle and clears schedule*


If you've read the description, it goes without saying that is book is quite a tear jerker. I teared up a couple of times in the first half of the book, but from 60% on, I gave up fighting and just let the tears flow.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith


Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn't even know his name. 

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she'll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?


I was given a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

Another book that just did not work for me. I'm considering making a "nope" shelf. 


 This was me for more than 75% of this book.


Amelia was downright annoying. Her internal dialogue was exhausting to read. And the whining!! Oh my goodness! We get it. Your free will is gone. You're betrothed. The world is going to end because you got dealt a raw deal. Life just isn't faaaaaaaaaaair! She never let up. It seemed like her lack of choice was mentioned at least once each paragraph. And don't get me started on her flip flopping romance with Aidan. I just wanted her to make up her mind!


And then everyone is so damn cryptic! "I want to tell you this vital information but I'm not going to. I can't tell you but I'm not going to give you a valid reason why not."


Amelia gets so pissed that "everyone" is keeping secrets from her but yet she turns around and does the same exact thing. 

There was more I should have told Cole....But every time I opened my mouth to speak, warning bells went off and the words stuck in my throat. 

Derreck and Cole grilled me over breakfast, yet again, about my dream. Something about it felt so weird and personal that I decided to hold back. 

I told them I had no idea what the dream was about or why I was screaming. Would he be the one to tell me the truth? Or would he only tell me the parts he wanted to share like everyone else had done?



There's talk of Amelia having a mate (methinks Aidan, but admittedly, with only 34 pages left I just couldn't do it anymore) and then ALL OF A SUDDEN, the seemingly ordinary "human" she's been dating turns out to have powers. This makes no sense considering all Mages can supposedly sense when another Mage is near. Both Micah and Cole have spent copious amounts of time with Aidan but yet neither one of them sensed him? Just seems a little too convenient for me. After that, I was just done. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Rarity by D.A. Roach


Brogen Mathers can’t deal with teen drama… 

As an empath, she is constantly bombarded with other people’s energies. Despite coping techniques taught by her psychologist mother, it’s often too much to bear, forcing her to avoid most activities a typical high school junior would enjoy. 

Jay Wilken won’t let his past define him… 

A dead mother and an alcoholic father brought Jay to Stanton, but he doesn’t want pity. His good looks, charisma, and friendly nature quickly win over the whole student body, but he has his eye on one girl…Brogen. 

Brogen can’t believe anyone could be so genuinely nice. It has to be an act, right? But when Jay literally saves her from deadly jaws, she has to admit he’s exactly what he appears, and he’s worth risking the potential emotional upheaval. 

“Drama” might as well be Becca Grant’s middle name… 

Another newcomer to Stanton, Becca’s blonde beauty and abundant attitude shoots her straight to the top of the popularity charts—and she believes Jay belongs right there beside her. Accustomed to getting exactly what she wants, she launches a relentless mean-girl campaign to shake up Brogen and claim Jay for her own. 

Everything changes with a devastating diagnosis… 

When Jay learns he has a rare and potentially fatal disorder, he keeps it secret and begins to push Brogen away to spare her future pain—which is exactly the sort of opening Becca is waiting for. 

As Jay’s well-meaning deception unravels, 

Brogen realizes there is much more than her heart at stake… 

But how far is she willing to go to fight for someone she loves?


I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

There may be spoilers. Read at your own risk.


I had high expectations for this book. The synopsis boasts a teenage girl with empathy, a sweet new guy, and a mean girl. I envisioned some kind of spin on Mean Girls, and I guess I'm partly to blame for that, but this book just did not work for me at all.


It seemed like there was this underlying bitter current about the "pretty girl" always getting the guy. The word 'blonde' was overused to the point of annoyance. We get it. Becca was blonde and pretty. But blonde does not equal popularity, no matter how many times the author tried to stress that point. Brogen's dad cheated on her mom with a "pretty blonde" and now she refuses to go near Jay because Becca, who is a "pretty blonde," has her sights set on him. It was so damn superficial. 

(Brogen is reflecting on the fact that her dad is dating the "Blonde-squad's" newest leader's (aka Becca) mom) 

Linda was the adult version of Becca. She was so unlike my mom, exact opposites. I was like my mom. Why did the attractive blondes always get the guys? Even if I dyed my hair blonde, I still wouldn't land the guys. I didn't have that goddess look-long and thick wavy hair, big bosom, curvy hips, and long legs. I was trim from all my running and had muscular calves and thighs, but I got short changed in the boob department. My hair was dark brown, long enough for a pony tail, but nothing remarkable.


Becca was supposed to be the mean girl, but aside from being blonde, having big boobs, having friends, being interested in the same guy as Brogen...she didn't really do anything that mean. Brogen walks past Becca & her group of friends a couple of times and she overhears the word 'loser' but given that Brogen is a self-proclaimed drama avoider and doesn't care about what other people think about her, I would think that that wouldn't bother her that much. The word 'slut' was painted on her locker with nail polish. THAT is the only true 'mean' thing that was credited to Becca and Brogen brushes it off like it's no big deal. I just don't see where the 'mean girl' hype is.


The most realistic part of the book was Jay. I felt like his reactions to his diagnosis were spot on and understandable. The guy has just found out that the life expectancy for his disease is 38 years old. Of course he's going to be conflicted and emotional. 

And I'm once again reminded why I avoid the YA contemporary genre.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: Through the Fire by Michelle Irwin


Evie Meyers’ life is one spent on the run. Every minute of every day, her life is in danger if anyone should suspect the truth about her ancestry. Her father was willing to risk everything to keep the truth hidden, even from her, but the lies he fabricated were exposed when her high school crush, Clay Jacobs, inadvertently stumbled upon her secret. His discovery puts Evie at risk from a secret organization tasked with washing the world clean of nonhumans—and Clay is one of its deadliest soldiers. Forced into a war she doesn’t understand, all because of what she is, Evie is left with no choice but to flee with her father to escape persecution. 

When Clay reappears in her life, battle scarred and mysterious, Evie is unprepared and terrified as he forces his way back into her heart. When the battle catches up with her, and a tragic accident tears apart the peace she discovered, she finds herself alone and without the protection of her father, or her lover. Now, she needs to keep her secrets hidden and learn to survive on her own in a world that wants her dead, all while searching for the missing piece of her heart.


I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was pitched to me as Romeo and Juliet meets Supernatural. I'm a sucker for forbidden romance but the potential of a Supernatural vibe sent me over the edge, and I just had to read this book.


So here's the nitty gritty. We've got Evie, nineteen years old and not human. She's got unusual red and violet eyes. She always seems to be running a fever.


She's spent her life on the run with her dad, hiding from a society of hunters called The Rain. I was lucky and didn't read any of the reviews that spoiled what Evie is, and so I won't do that to y'all either. Suffice to say though, she is oh so special.


And then there's Clay. *swoony face* Clay is a member of one of the most influential families of The Rain. It has been drilled into his head practically since birth that any creature that isn't human is a monster and needs to be eliminated. He battles with his feelings for Evie and the only way of life he has ever known. Plus, his family won't let him go without a fight.  


This story was straight up crazy. There were so many twist and turns. Just when I thought I had figured out where the story was going, boom! It would change on me. I don't think I've ever rooted so fiercely for a fictional couple to be together. And when Evie and Clay finally "get together" (nudge nudge, wink wink), it was...phew.


 The ending left me....emotional. I just. I can't. I have no words.