Thursday, November 20, 2014

Far From You


Far From You

by Tess Sharpe

Format: Physical ARC

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

I wasn't sure if I'd like this one when I started out. Infact, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to pick it up, but I fell in love within the first pages. Every second I spent reading it was well worth it.

This is one of those raw books that just tears at you inside as it progressive. It was so real and emotional, with intense mystery. It was amazing and the plot was masterfully spun. I was reeling with every turn and it was perfectly paced. I had my suspicions, but I was still surprised when all the pieces fell together at the end. The end was just as intense as the beginning and every second in between, it was utterly satisfying. 

Sharpe kept the writing perfectly simple, letting the story speak for itself rather than overwhelm it with fancy words. There was detail where it was needed and tasteful, but really Sharpe let the emotions shine through, and the story take over, and it was brilliant.

Characters. Ah Sophie. Sophie is possibly my favorite flawed character ever. She has so much going on and there are so many reasons she should be a totally unreliable character and far too flawed to be a good balanced character, but it didn't come out that way. I loved every single part of her, and especially her flaws. She was stunning and amazingly real. She also developed beautifully, the pace of the development was really great, and the progression/development ran so deep

All the other characters were brilliant even in their pain, misfortune, and fear. I feel like Sharpe really realized that if she was going to write such a dark story with so many negatives and flaws, then there needed to be some bright spots to help readers get through it and she did a great job of bringing those out and balancing the dark and the light. One of the ways she did it was through supporting characters, Sophie's friend and Aunt were so fun and positive and even though I didn't get to know them very well, or for very long, but it seemed I knew them the instant they were introduced, and they were spectacularly loveable, and surprisingly prominent for their roles.

Sophie's parents were actually involved and it was so cool to be able to see both sides of parent child conflict. Her dad was the sweetest thing and their relationship was so touching. Then you have Sophie's mom where the emotions are even more complicated, but still realistic and raw and just really added another dimension to the tale.

Last Thoughts: Overall, I ended up completely enamoured by this book, so much so that I couldn't see flaws. it is a truly heart wrenching, yet surprisingly empowering read that is sure to fascinate and ensnare. It will have readers holding their breath until the last page.

Note: This book deals with multiple powerful and tough issues and I would recommend that only readers that are about Sophomore age (or possibly Freshmen, depending on maturity) and up read it.

Although, my love for this one runs deep, I feel that four out of five stars or four and a half stars out of five is an apt rating.

Goodreads and Liberty Bay Books!


General Gif. Consensus: 





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Now That You're Here


Now That You're Here

by Amy K. Nichols

Expected Publication Date: December 9th, 2014
Form: Physical ARC

In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body--his own, but different. Somehow, he's crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee--a girl who'd rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom--may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she's only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there's something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

I am not hugely into sci-fi, but this one was great and sure to please both sci-fi followers, and romance lovers alike. It bridges the to genre's beautifully. There were a few times there was a bit too much math and science that was quite a bit over my head, but thankfully I didn't need to have a firm grasp on every math and science-y thing in the book, and when I did, it was broken down enough that even I could follow it. 

The concept with parallel universes was super cool, and something I hadn't really read before. Nichols did an amazing job and really embraced to concept. I felt like the sci-fi spin really took the romance to the next level as well. As I said above, the two elements were blended seamlessly.

The plot was done pretty darn well, it was a little slow at moments, but never painfully so. Sadly the ending didn't quite live up to my hopes and I felt like a lot happened kind of all of the sudden in the last little section. However, it kept me on my toes, and made me hunger for more, so in my opinion, mission accomplished. 

The writing was good, but honestly, I was so into the story, I didn't look too closely at it. 

I loved all of the characters they were so different. The parent situation, was strange, and her parents were even stranger, but I kind of loved the strangeness of it. Parallel universe Danny, Eevee and their friends were pretty quirky, but oh so sweet. Danny melted my heart, and honestly I didn't see him as a classic bad boy at all. Eevee was someone I could relate too, even though we are like two different halves of a brain. She was just as sweet as Danny, a bit quiet and awkward at times, but above all, a typical teenage geek. Her relationship with her parents was prominent and they were very involved, despite the highly atypical parental situation. (You'll see what I mean by that, when you read the book. ;)) 

Last Thought: This book swept me off my feet. It was intense, interesting, mysterious, and utterly sweet. Like nothing I've ever read, Now That You're Here took my by surprise, and left my dying to read the next book. I give it a strong four and one half stars out of five, and recommend it to lovers or sci-fi, romance, and anything inbetween. This is one read you won't regret.

Goodreads and Liberty Bay Books!


General Gif. Consensus: 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Short and Sweet Reviews


I have a review list a mile long (aka 10 books and growing) and while I'm dying to give them all a fill review and spill all my thoughts to you guys, I will burnout if I try to do that much, so I am going to do a few of them as Short and Sweet reviews. 

Many thanks to Liberty Bay Books for the ARC copies of these books. 


by Cindy Miles

So it was kind of cheesy and a little bit predictable at times, but it was still good! It was fun and a quick read. Everything about it was super cute and surprisingly creepy. It felt a little bit like it would have been a better fit for someone a bit younger (11 or 12ish?), but I still had a blast reading it and I really liked the characters.

2.5 or 3 out of 5 stars


by Jaclyn Dolamore

This one took a sharp turn into crazy town, but I still loved it. I was not prepared for where it went and I didn't really know what it was going to be like so it was a bit shocking and the concept is really weird. It is still a very cute story with strong themes and pretty fun characters. I had quite a few minor issues with it, but they weren't things that stuck or bothered me when I was reading, so I didn't feel like they really mattered. 

2.5 or 3 out of 5 stars.


by Alexandra Monir
Expected Publication: December 9th 2014

I haven't read Rebecca which this is supposedly based off of, so I don't have much to say on that front. I never really, really, connected with any of the characters and the plot was a bit wild and unwieldy at times, but it was really entertaining and intriguing. It was something unlike what I've read before with different mythology. There were almost two different plots going, the paranormal one and the regular life one, so that made it really interesting and thankfully I was never confused. 

3 stars out of 5.




The Girl From The Well


The Girl From The Well

by Rin Chupeco

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out. 

 I really, really  love horror type books. I haven't read many, but I must say every one of the ones I've tried has been totally worth it. The Girl From The Well was no exception, and worth every penny.

I thought it was going to be ALL about Okiku. Thankfully it wasn't. It was also largely Tark's story. I honestly don't think it would have worked as well if it had been all about Okiku 24/7.  There was a good balance that really helped take the book to the next level.

I loved every. Single. Character. Ok, that's not entirely true,  I wasn't a huge fan of Tark's dad. He wasn't really there, he cared, but it didn't really seem like he did. His actions felt conflicted. (I also wasn't a fan of the lack of parents all around.)

Tark was adorable. I felt for him. I didn't feel super-duper connected to him or anything, but I really did sympathize with him and I really enjoyed him.

Okiku was definitely my favorite, but I feel like that was because I got to know her best out of all of them. I loved how she was used as an unreliable narrator and the way she is so conflicted. Her struggle is so beautiful and she just makes you feel all the feels.

Callie was a really cool character she was kind, strong, and independent, and really a great role model. However, she wasn't setting standards insanely high. She was very normal and expressed human emotions and reactions to the situation like not trusting the creepy, murdering, ghost girl. Common sense folks, this girl had it. After a while I was kind of annoyed with her distrust though. Okiku had already proved she was trying to do the right thing. She'd always come through for Tark and Callie and their loved ones, she was helping souls, and the only people she hurt kind of deserved it. Yet Callie still won't trust or believe that Okiku won't do something crazy like posess them or murder her and Tark in their sleep. I get that she does some bad stuff but by the end we've pretty much established that she won't ever hurt them. However, that may just be because I am biased and love Okiku. I do understand Callie's distrust, I just was pretty much over it by the end, and I wanted her to be over it too. 



Miscellaneous things I loved:

-Plot. It was very suspenseful and mysterious. This one is a page turner. It was a bit heavy, but I still wanted to devour it.

-Revealing. The mystery was unparalleled. Chupeco did such an amazing job of dropping little hints and giving just enough information that it wasn't confusing, but you still didn't really know the whole picture. She didn't reveal it all so slowly that it was painful, and it never all came out in a big section of word vomit and info dumping.

-Writing/Style. The feeling of the writing and just everything about it from the perspective to the style was cool and creepy and intense. Not many books are written like this one let alone achieve that same chilling and suspenseful feel.

One last issue:

-The ending. I was so ready for a killer ending. I wanted it to be resolved but I wanted my heart to still be racing by the end. I wanted to be holding my breath and to have my heart twisted. None of that happened. It was resolved, but  maybe a little too much so. It was like everyone, or almost everyone rode off into the Disney sunset and all was right with the world again. It wasn't a bad ending, I just wanted it to be a bit more gritty, and more bittersweet after all I went through to get there. There was such build up then it just ended.

Last Thoughts: This book may or may not have claimed my soul. It was one of the creepiest and most successfully suspenseful and mysterious books I've read. Tastefully freaky, it will get under your skin and once it does, there is no stopping until you've read every word.

Four and a half or five stars, I can't decide. Either way it receives my highest recommendation and my utmost devotion. ;)

Goodreads and Liberty Bay Books.


Gif. Consensus: 




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Swoons

by Skylar Finn!
If you don't know what Sunday Swoons is, it's a weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and I (and anyone who links up) chat about all things swoon worthy every spectacular Sunday!

Rules:
1. You're welcome to use the button Skylar designed as long as you cite her as the source/give her all the loving credit she deserves!

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts ( it may only work on mine the first time because we are still working that part out.).

This week's topic is: Creepy Couples

I'm keeping it short today and just listing my favorite couples from creepy, horror, thriller, and ghostly books. 

Anna and Cas

They have to be my all time favorite (not like I've read that many in this genre that involve romance...) "creepy couple." Their romance is just so unique and heartbreaking and just adorable. Of course it's a bit creepy too but they are both so strange and creepy that it works together!

I loved them just as much, In book one as in book two!

I feel like there were times when they both felt like this:















Violet and River

Ahhh Violet and River! There are no words for how much I love this book, Violet, River and their romance. It could very well rival Anna and Cas. They are so tastefully quirky and sweet. I've never read a romance quite like theirs. I loved every min. of it!

The romance of the second book was pretty painful for me (and the last part of BtDatDBS) but I was still happy with the book overall and everything else about it.





Callie and That one Kid

I didn't like Callie and Oh-golly-gee-I-don't-remember-his-name as much as Viole/River and Anna/Cas, but the love triangle was handled pretty darn well. Also, they were a cute couple. They supported each other and were really there for eachother when it counted.

(By the way I am talking about the second guy introduced, the one from her school. The one that was kinda preppy, not sketchy.)










Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday Swoons

by Skylar!

If you don't know what Sunday Swoons is, it's a weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and I (and anyone who links up) chat about all things swoon worthy every spectacular Sunday!

Rules:
1. You're welcome to use the button Skylar designed as long as you cite her as the source/give her all the loving credit she deserves!

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts ( it may only work on mine the first time because we are still working that part out.).

This week's topic is: The Everybody Loves Me Syndrome

You'd think I was going to talk about love triangles with a topic name like that right? Well I'm going to be funky and tackle this one from a different angle. I've mentioned this before in previous Sunday Swoons posts but it is something that has always really bothered me so here we are talking about it again.

I'm talking about that classic best friend (typically a girl) that both goes for all the guys, and gets all the guys (or girls, I said guys because I have seen it most frequently with a girl friend hunting guys). They are fabulous and they know it, They flaunt it, they own it, they work it.

That's all fine and good. I think it is GREAT that they have that confidence! However, sometimes it goes to their head a bit and they get cocky. The worst thing is when they decide that it is impossible for someone to not be interested in them let alone interested in someone else or their best friend. 

How do you guys feel about these confident besties? Are some of them too full of it? Does their ego get in the way sometimes? What characters have you recently read that sound like this? Do you write characters like this?

Next week's topic: HELP! We need you guys to help us come up with some ideas! Pretty please with a cherry on top?





Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go

The Sound of Letting Go

by Stasia Ward Kehoe

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?


I don't typically pick up books like this, but Suzanne and Liberty Bay Books asked me to read it and gave it their highest recommendations. Also, the author is semi-local and I don't read many books by local authors. It's not like I avoid them, I just don't come into contact with them very much and when I do I don't typically notice because I don't really read author bios or look to see where authors are from.  

The synopsis makes it sound like the book is romance with a little struggle on the side. Really, the book is nothing like the synopsis makes it sound. It is a mixture of struggle, rebellion, romance, family, and all the other things the synopsis brings to mind. It is a perfect mixture. Kehoe did an AMAZING job of balancing all the different factors so that none of the pieces overrode or overpowered the other pieces. 

It was written in prose.  I know this is a bit controversial for people. Some people hate it, some people love it. I feel fairly neutrally about it. I don't dislike it when it is done well, but I'm not like going out of my way to find and read books in prose. I like that it goes quickly, and the way that Kehoe wrote it, it was light, yet heavy with emotion at the same time. It was utterly perfect for this story and simply decadent. For the first few chapters it felt a little...odd to read. It felt like reading poetry, but then after the first ten chapters or so, I realized that it didn't feel that way anymore it just felt like reading. 

Daisy was lovely. She didn't know exactly who she was yet, her interests weren't set in stone, she had identity crises and tried different styles and things, exactly like every normal teenager. She was quite possibly the most realistic, normal and most understandable/relateable character's I've read in a long time. m

Cal was not a huge part of the story. The second paragraph of the synopsis makes it sound like he is part of this intense love triangle and that he changes the course of the story and that we get to know him super well. All of that couldn't be farther from the truth. He doesn't come up a lot a lot, I mean he matters sure, but we don't see a whole lot of him or really get to know him. There isn't really a love triangle either, I mean Daisy has thoughts about Cal, but there isn't much of a contest. 

Dave and Daisy. I wanted to ship this so SO bad. Childhood friends reunited, childish love rekindled! However it didn't feel like love. It kind of felt like Daisy was using him and he was maybe using her a tiny tiny bit, but not really and it felt like a lot more lust than love. Which I get that some relationships are like that and all that jazz, but when their relationship was supposed to be more real, lovey and serious, I struggled to believe it because there was nothing before that to indicate they really felt that way at all. It was not my favorite, I don't know. I got it but I didn't love it. 

The story line and plot was really nice. The pacing was good and all of that was well done. It was raw, poignant, and something that every teen can relate to despite the extreme and rare circumstances. 

 Last thoughts: Overall it was b-e-a-utiful and I would highly, highly recommend it. Even if this isn't usually what you enjoy reading, I encourage you to give it a try. I had a few minor issues with it so I'm giving it a four our of five stars. 

Goodreads and Liberty Bay Books. 


General Gif Consensus: