Monday, September 28, 2020

~Mini Book Review: Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash~


Kindle Edition336 pages

Published March 10th 2015 by Putnam Juvenile

Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her best friend, Delilah. At least it was—until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library. Her suburban high school had become one of those places you hear about on the news—a place where some disaffected youth decided to end it all and take as many of his teachers and classmates with him as he could. Except, in this story, that youth was Alys’s own brother, Luke. He killed fifteen others and himself, but spared her—though she’ll never know why.

Alys’s downward spiral begins instantly, and there seems to be no bottom. A heartbreaking and beautifully told story.

My Review:

Welcome to the worst day of your life.  What starts out as a normal day ends in terrible tragedy.  While in the library, Alys hears what is believed to be gunshots.  During all the chaos she discovers that not only does she know the shooter, it is her own brother, who spares her life.  This book tells the story through the eyes of the grieving family that not only lost a son and brother that everyone deems a monster.  It shows how everyone deals with grief and loss differently.  From losing your best friend to losing your boyfriend, Alys sometime wishes that she would have died too in the library that day.  But she is alive and her parents are alive and they must figure out how to go on and live in the same town where they are deemed murderers!

Friday, September 25, 2020

~Mini Book Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin~


The Night Swim
Megan Goldin
352 pages
Published August 4, 2020

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

My Review:

I just knew that this was going to be a 5 star read for me.  This book has been recommended to me and it is all over YouTube.  I really enjoy listening to podcast and thrillers are one of my favorites.  It does a great job tackling the sensitive subject of rape.  This book has a great twist at the end and makes you question humanity but it was not a 5 star for me.  I would definitely read more books by this author and I do recommend it to others.  

Thursday, September 24, 2020

~Mini Book Review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell~


Hardcover, 209 pages

                                   Published August 27th 2019 by First Second

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

My Review

What a cute story to kick off the Autumn Season.  
It is Deja and Josiah's last night of working at the pumpkin patch before heading off to college. Instead of working their regular scheduled shift, they decide to explore parts of the pumpkin patch they have never seen.  While looking for love in all the wrong places will Josiah and Deja find what they are looking for?  A cute fun graphic novel that you are sure to enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

~Books I Received This Week~

I received a lot of new books this week and can't wait to dive into them!  I am so excited for the fall season!  Leaves falling, pumpkin spice and cool weather!


~Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty~

                                Hardcover357 pages

Published July 9th 2019 by Mulholland Books

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain. 

My Review

This book started out great.  The idea is fresh and new but fell short at the end of the book.  A stranger has kidnapped your child and you have a limited amount of time to meet their demands or your child will be killed.  A very slow ending that surprised no one.  Long and drawn out.  A nice, quick thriller for a fall night!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

~Review: The Center by Molly Stokes~

The Center (A Harper Hellions Novel)
Molly Stokes
Kindle Edition189 pages
Published September 29th 2017

Seeking a fresh start, college junior and recovering optimist Nora Lovell moves closer to home to start the new school year at a tiny private college in New England. She is desperately seeking solace from a demented ex-boyfriend who spent the past year blackmailing her and she has sworn off dating until she feels like her life is back under her own control. Her new next door neighbor and all around delicious captain of the school's hockey team, Adam Hamilton, hasn't gotten that particular memo yet.

Adam has spent his life following a strict, self-imposed set of rules and he doesn't have time for attachments, he has bigger things to focus on, like his future career in the NHL. When he meets the newest addition to the house next door, he can't help but question that stance. Adam tries to maintain his distance but as circumstances continue to put him in compromising positions with the irresistible soccer player and he begins to unravel Nora's past, he finds his resolve weakening.

“What about you, what position do you play?”
“Center,” I say proudly. “Looks like we both like to score.”

About the Author:

A New Jersey native, Molly Stokes currently resides in a quiet NYC suburb with her adorable husband and supportive dog, or should that be the other way around? She is a Rutgers University graduate and wannabe archaeologist. On the weekends she can be reliably found holed up in her room and hunched over her writing desk.

She is the author of the new adult hockey romance series, Harper Hellions.

Molly writes angsty new adult romance with the heat turned all the way up. When she is not writing she is busy dreaming up new characters and the great loves that will challenge them.

A wonderful first book in a new series and an amazing debut novel.  Nora has moved back home to attend college with her best friend and be closer to her father.  She is also running from her crazy, psycho ex boyfriend that has left her with many emotional scars.  She has sworn off boys!  School and soccer is all she is willing to concentrate on.  Until she gets a peek at her next door neighbor and hockey captain, Adam.  Adam has always been the love them and leave them type, only caring about partying and hockey, until he meets Nora.  She is sweet and he can't seem to quit thinking about her or stay away from her.  When Nora's past catches up with her will she stay and fight or run again?

There is nothing much better that hot hockey players.  This is a wonderful start to a series and I hope there will be plenty more Harper Hellions to come.  So many more stories to be told.  Nora is a strong character and shows just how strong she can be.  She may even be able to learn to love again.  Adam (swoon) is perfect being her protector even if she doesn't want one.  I hope to read many more books by Molly Stokes.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.  All thoughts are my own.

~Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn~

The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn
Hardcover448 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by William Morrow

What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

My thoughts and review:

Dr. Anna Fox has not left her house in almost a year.  Ever since a horrible accident she has been confined to her house watching the world go by through her windows.  All alone, she spends her days self medicating, drinking her worries away and watching old black and white movies.  She has hardly no contact with the outside world until a new family with a teenage son moves in across the park from her.  One day, Anna sees something shocking from her window or does she?  No one believes her and their is no evidence to support her claim.  Did Anna really see something?  Who will believe her?

This is a wonderful book that starts out strong.  You really feel for Anna after all she has been through.  There are some surprises along the way that I can't give away.  The ending is great.  I really did not see this one coming.  I should have.  All the clues were there and I missed it.  This book has been compared to Girl On A Train but in my option it is much better written.  Grab a copy and a warm blanket and prepare to read an excellent book!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Goodreads.  All thoughts and reviews are my own.  I receive no compensation for my reviews!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

~Review: Busted by Gina Ciocca~

Paperback352 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published January 1st 2018)

Marisa wasn’t planning to be a snoop for hire—until she accidentally caught her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. Now her reputation for sniffing out cheaters has spread all over school, and Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

But when ex-frenemy Kendall asks her to spy on her boyfriend, TJ, Marisa quickly discovers the girl TJ might be falling for is Marisa herself. And worse yet? The feelings are quickly becoming mutual. Now, she’s stuck spying on a “mystery girl” and the spoken-for guy who just might be the love of her life…

My thoughts and review

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

By chance, Marisa happens to spot her best friends boyfriend on a date with another girl.  So what does she do, she takes a picture for proof, of course.  This is the one event that spirals her high school life out of control.  Word travels fast and when an old "friend," Kendall, from the past wants to hire her to spy on her emotional absent boyfriend TJ,  Marisa may have more to deal with than she ever imagined.  

Marisa is still hurting from her breakup with her ex boyfriend, while still trying to be friends with him while he is dating someone else.  Her best friend, Charlie is about to be expelled from school for something she had nothing to do with. To make matters worse, Marisa may be falling for one of the guys she is supposed to be spying on.  This is high school drama at its finest.  It shows you how mean girls and boys can really be to each other and the lengths they will go to cover their tracks.  Just when you think you have figured it out, it will surprise you!

This is one book I read in one night.  A very quick, fun read that you can't put down until you find out what happens at the end.  I love the Marisa character but she needs to mind her own business and stop trying to make things right with her old friend, Kendall.  There is a reason they quit being friends and she needs to remember this.  She can be a pushover at times.  

All in all a well written book that I will recommend for many days to come.  Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcefire Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book for a fair and honest review.  I receive no compensation.  All thoughts are my own.

About the Author
Gina Ciocca

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

~Review: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet~

Hardcover224 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers


My thoughts and review

Meet Cute is an anthology of stories by some wonderful authors about how random strangers meet each other under unusual circumstances.  We, the reader, figure out or hope that things work out between these characters.  This book did not live up to my expectations.  With the wonderful authors, I expected more.  It wasn't a horrible book but it wasn't great.  Most of the stories were good, solid writing.  I am going to break down the book by stories to give my opinion.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno - My favorite story in the book!  Hailey, the popular girl and Wolf, the outcast get stuck together during a house party.  Will romance be in the air? I need more!

Print Shop by Nina Lacour - Evie gets a job at an old print shop.  One of her jobs is bringing the shop into the 21st century through social media.  When an order is screwed up, will Evie go to all lengths to make everything right for the cute girl she has met?

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi - A cute short story about finding out who your real friends are and maybe finding Mr. Right when you least expect it.

Click by Katharine McGee - In the world of Internet dating, Click is a new app using your social media and search history to bring people together.  When Alexa meets her Click date Raden, she is sure their has been a mix up.  And she may be right!

The Intern by Sara Shepard - Good read!  Clara is a new intern at her father's record label.  When she is assigned to entertain the next hot recoding star for the day, she may get more than she has bargained for.

Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo - Great story with a great message.  You can't always judge a book by it's cover.  

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton - I was enjoying the book up until this point.  This story was awful.  I could not even finish it.  Not my thing!

Oomph by Emery Lord - Cass is stranded in the airport on her way home from college.  She is dreading waiting it out until she meet a cute girl to occupy her time.

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout - A librarian has been trying to get a customer to return a book for months.  When he final does, she is in for a big surprise.  I liked this story but did not love it.  I expected something bigger from Jennifer.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies - She sees a cute boy on the subway almost every day so what do we do?  We use this an an experiment in our AP Statistics class.

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan - On a job interview for a Mars missionPhillip meets Blythe. After having a bad break up she may just give him the push he needs to start dating again.

Something Real by Julie Murphy - When two girls go on television to compete for a date with a hot young singer, they may both end up dumping him.

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick - The preppy, rich boy has the hots for the poor dinner waitress but there is a twist to their story.  I love everything Huntley writes!!

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon - I loved her last book.  This story, not so much.  Confusing and could not get through it. Sorry Nicola!

This is a solid book if you like anthologies.  I would probably not recommend it to my friends.  The only story that was a solid 5 and worth reading was Siege Etiquette by Cotugno.  

I want to thank Netgally and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for giving me a copy of this book for review.  I receive no monetary reimbursement for my reviews.  All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

~Review and Giveaway: The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison~

The Sweetheart Sham (Southern Charmed #1)
Danielle Ellison
Publication Date:  December 4, 2017 by Entangled Teen: Crush

Purchase Links:

In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship…and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,” a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.


“Beau Montgomery, what on earth!” someone, I think it’s Will’s mom, says with a squeal. I can’t single it out because my heart seems to stop beating.
Everyone scoots toward the patio entrance and gathers around. Will drops my hand to move closer.

And then I see him.

He’s standing behind Mrs. M next to his dad, a big smile on his face, and he’s tall. Real tall. His dark hair is longer and nearly falling into his hazel eyes, definitely a length that Orry won’t like much. His jaw is strong, some muscles pressing under his polo. He looks nothing like the boy I remember.

And suddenly I’m a little self-conscious. What am I wearing today? I can’t even remember. I could look down but that would mean looking away from him, and thenmaybe when I look back he won’t be there. I don’t know if he even sees me, but I see him. Clearly. After more than twoyears of nothing.

“Beau, is that you, boy?” Orry calls. Beau steps around the rest of the family toward his grandpa. He’s closer now, and I can get a better look at his face. My eyes explore his features and rest on his lips, which break out into a small smile and—Dang, is it hot out here?

“Hello, Granddad.” Orry pulls him into a hug and Beau has to lean over to reach him properly. Orry looks like a kid in his arms.

Cheese and rice, even his voice is sexy. Deeper but still with a familiar feeling that it stirs up in me, and an accent with a hint of Georgia twang instead of South Carolina
I like it. Lord help me, I like it.

Orry holds him out at arm’s length and examines him before giving him a pat on the shoulder. “You look more like your daddy than I expected. How tall are you?”

“Six one, sir,” Beau says.

“You look good, grandson, real good. Atlanta treating you well?”

“Yes, sir, it is.”

I want to move, but I can’t. My feet are stuck to the ground, not that I should move anyway. I don’t reckon I trust myself around him. Especially not right now when I’m not sure if I want to hug him or kick him somewhere that would hurt. I’d do a good job of it too and make darn sure my kick was as painful as him not showing up that night.

“When’s your momma coming?” Mrs. M asks him.

“Not until closer to the wedding,” he says.

I watch as Will hugs him. They’re both smiling, and it reminds me of before when he was here. They were inseparable—we were—and now I’m just standing here like an idiot. Which I am. Will looks in my direction, and then Beau’s eyes are on me, too. It’s even worse when he’s looking at me, especially now with a hidden glimmer in them. It’s not how he said hello to the others; it’s almost like his eyes hadn’t seen me before, and now he’s hyperaware. Just like I’ve been since his dad yelled his name.

He takes a step toward me.

My thoughts and review:

Georgia Ann is a sweet, smart southern belle who would do anything to please her parents and other adults in her small southern town.  Her best friend, Will has entrusted in her a secret that he has to hide from his old fashioned family.  Will is gay and no one will understand except Georgia.  His family, especially his grandfather, has made it known that he doesn't care for people with alternative lifestyles.  When Will falls head over hills for a secret guy in town, he hatches the perfect plan.  With the help of Georgia Ann, the whole town will believe that he and Georgia are dating while he is free to spend quality time with his crush.

This plan is working perfectly, until, Beau, Will's cousin and Georgia's old flame returns to town.  Beau still has feelings for Georgia and was hoping to reconnect until he finds out Georgia and Will are now dating.  Georgia wants to tell Beau the truth, that she still loves him and Will is only her fake boyfriend but she would never betray a friend.  

What a complicated and sweet story.  Being from a small town myself, I love the setting.  It reminds me of my hometown childhood.  Georgia Ann's problem is that she wants to please everyone and puts everyone else's feelings before her own.  Will asks so much from her especially being her best friend.  But sweet Georgia Ann finds it hard to tell anyone no.  In the end it doesn't really matter what you do, family will always be family and (unusually) they will accept you know matter what.

I absolutely love this book.  I want to thank Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for sending me a copy of this book for review.  The only think I didn't like is that I want more of the story.  I can't wait to read more of this fascinating town and wonderful people.

About the Author
Danielle Ellison

Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

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Giveaway Details:

The Sweetheart Sham Prize Pack (US):
-Pampering goodies (sweet southern soap and bath bombs)
-a “peanut butter <3s jelly” mug
-ice cream erasers
-heart shaped sunglasses
-a copy of “Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit” by Jaye Robin Brown