Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake

Title: Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake
Publisher: Vintage Wild
Release Date: April 2nd, 2015
Genres: Poetry
Medium: Paperback, Bought

After following Robert M. Drake on Instagram for months and enjoying his poetry every day, as I had quickly become a big fan, I finally had the opportunity to purchase one of his poetry collections. And boy, am I glad I did.

Initially, this had been on my wish list for the holidays, but after going Christmas shopping, I couldn't contain myself. (And what else should I have expected? Letting me run wild in a bookstore with cash has never been a good idea.) So I purchased the novel and began reading immediately. I can honestly say this is one of those books where it is easy to fly right through because it so enjoyable, but at the same time, you find yourself holding back because you are not ready to give up the emotional capacity of the words yet. I made myself take my time, as to enjoy each poem separately, and I enjoyed it even more. 

Robert M. Drake is a force to be reckoned with, and once you read some of his work, you will realize the same. His poems are original, dramatic, emotional, and above all, realistic. Each of his poems make you feel something or remind you of a certain moment, place or person. They're honest and raw, and I know there was several that I found great ties too. 

Overall, I can sit her all day and rave about how Robert M. Drake writes with a profound point of view on the world and how all of his work is a tour de force, but I won't. Instead, I plea that you go and see his work for yourself, and I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Title: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 27th, 2010
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, bought

Let me start off by saying I never DNF books. But with this novel, absolutely had to. I made it 136 / 340 pages in, and even at that, I couldn't finish it. It was 136 pages too many. I honestly can say I haven't attempted to read a novel this boring in a long time.

The plot was acceptable. I was imagining a quirky little summer romance novel, but instead, I got one of the most lengthy, dragging on novels ever. The story was slow and uneventful, & a little unrealistic. Everything seems so fake and forced. The characters are extremely two-dimensional and flat, and have absolutely no character development whatsoever. This reminds me of a soap opera, a terrible eventless soap opera. There's no real emotion or driving force, which makes the whole story nearly impossible to connect with.

The wedding was also very bland. Once again, I have found another number where the author seems to write with all this education, but at the same time, it's unnecessary. It seemed forced and rehearsed as well, a little too theatrical and over dramatic and fleshed out and too descriptive. It lacked depth and emotion and I felt as if I was reading a catalog. The writing improves my overall opinion of the story by a small margin, but not nearly enough to save it from DNF.

Overall, this is one of the in extremely seldom times I will DNF a novel (like, count on one hand seldom.) It felt like trudging through quicksand. The story had a lot of promise, but quickly ruins that within the first 4 pages. Wish this premise have been taken in a completely opposite direction.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Title: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Publisher: Grove Press
Release Date: August 31st, 2006
Genres: Romance, Drama, Historical
Medium: Paperback/audio book, bought

Cold Mountain is a literary masterpiece that truly deserves greater recognition. I have to admit, I actually watched the movie before reading the book, which is not something I usually do. But, after reading the wonderful novel, I will definitely have to rewatch the movie now.

The plot was amazing. There are so many unexpected twists, it's definitely hard to put down. The highly diverse characters make it so interesting and addicting. They're personalities and dialogue are so original, and you fall in love with their characters from the very beginning. And the romance between Inman and Ada... *swoon*

The writing was phenomenal. It was descriptive and imaginatioimaginative, and always painted a perfect picture in your mind. There was a lot of drama and even some humor, which made for an interesting balance. It amazed me how perfectly true to history this novel was. It was like stepping into a time machine.

Overall, though the novel is quite wordy and a bit slow at times in the beginning, it's definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns by John Green
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 22nd, 2009
Genres: Drama, Romance, Coming-of-age
Medium: Paperback, Gifted

It is common knowledge that I love and admire John Green and his work, and that I aspire to be as much of an impactful author as he is. This is my 5th John Green novel, and I must say that it ranks pretty high in his works, let alone in the list of books I have ever read. It truly is great. As an lover of travel, this novel was very absorbing and addicting.

The plot was fantastic. I can honestly say O have never read another novel like this before. It is completely and utterly unique, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every one of the characters were original and they all interacted beautifully within the woven plot. I loved the emotional rawness of the entire novel and how real it all was. The characters' connections with one another were very interesting to experience, and some of the supporting characters conflicts with the main character were very addicting. I could go on and on about how amazing the entirety of the plot was, how I love the underlying theme of traveling, young love, and life's subtleties, but I won't. I just recommend you read it and experience it yourself.

John Green, by popular agreement, is one of the best authors to ever bestow his work upon us. He ranks up there with legends like Hemingway, Twain, et cetera. He simply writes on a level of such intelligence, eloquence, and understanding, that is impossible to not feel emotional tied to the characters and stories he creates. The only problem I had with this bit of writing, was John Green's inappropriate use of the word "retarded" or the negative use of the word "autistic." As a sibling of a child with a disability, I completely resent the word "retarded" in any use. It is a dated word that hurts people. I understand that people on the other side of the situation with argue that he is just mimicking the teenagers in today's society that his novels will most likely appeal to. However, I disagree. I have read hundreds of novels that are written for young adults in the point of view of young adults that completely appeal to teenagers without using inappropriate words such of these just to appeal to that audience. I can also personally attest that not all teenagers these days succumb to such negativity, because a greater awareness and acceptance of handicapped people is today's state of society. More teenagers are educated in these situations now, and I feel as if using these negative words in mass-produced pieces of entertainment are simply steps backward in the wrong direction. Many people will say that everything he writes is pure gold, and I can't agree with that, as I haven't loved everything, but I can say that he definitely puts his heart and soul into everything he writes.

Overall, this was a fantastic novel of the emotional and dramatic that is teenage life and love, and clearly depicts young love and friendship in it's rawest, most comedic form. I recommend this novel to most everyone, just like I recommend John Green to anyone.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: A Second Chance by Angela Biera

Title: A Second Chance by Angela Biera
Publisher: Self
Release Date: September 30th, 2015
Genres: Drama, Romance
Medium: EBook

Angela Biera never disappoints and this is stunningly true with her new novel A Second Chance. Every time I read one of her novels, I think, "wow. This is amazing. Nothing will ever top this." Then her next novel comes out and I'm blown away again, as it becomes my new favorite novel. Her stories are fresh and exciting, packed with tear-jerking drama, heart-pounding action and steamy romance. Her writing is polished and crisp, descriptive, and some of the best out there. I can honestly say her work deserves so much more attention.

These characters are some of my favorites I have ever experienced. Their point of views are so interesting and unique, and very complex and deep. Their personalities are one-of-a-kind and definitely correlate with people you would want to meet in real life. And the relationships they forge within their stories... Completely addicting. Whether it's friendships or romances, they're perfectly imperfect and believeable, making them very hard to stop reading.

Overall, this novel is unbelievable. The plot is a pleasant rollercoaster of emotions, the writing is spot-on, and the characters and their story is impossible to put down. I can honestly recommend this novel to everyone in the hopes that Angela Biera gets the attention she deserves!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ARC Review: Perfect by Vincent Morrone

Title: Perfect by Vincent Morrone
Publisher: Self
Release Date: NA
Medium: ARC eBook
Genres: Fantasy, Drama, Romance, Action

Ladies and gentlemen, Vincent Morrone has done it again. Although I have never been disappointed in Vincent's work, this novel quickly became my favorite. It's an original & exciting mix of believable fantasy and sweet romance, full of twists and turns that I definitely did not see coming. 

I was supremely impressed with the tone, pacing, and wording of the novel. Morrone writes with obvious skill and experience. He has crafted a novel with an exceptional plot that readers of all genres will enjoy, especially those who are fans of the series I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, which the novel reminds me of. But in comparison with Perfect, Morrone trumps the popular series with the fact that many things that the series lacks, Morrone's novel has! What I loved most, was the fact that Perfect features an exciting love triangle that keeps you changing your mind. Normally, I don't like love triangles, but in this case, Morrone had me eating out of his hand. It was believable and realistic and I couldn't decide between the two male characters- not to mention, because of his supreme writing skills, the love triangle stayed balanced until the very end. I was so glad this novel was written that way. I am so used to novels where a love triangle is present and where the author makes it blatantly clear who the protagonist is going to choose early in the story. Thankfully, that was not the case with this novel. 

Another thing that I greatly enjoyed was the plot twists in the story. Not only was the plot fantastic in itself, with a grand mix of fantasy, action, drama, comedy and romance, but the plot twists within it were completely unexpected. Not to mention the last 20 or so pages simply blew me away. And that cliffhanger... Simply amazing.

I definitely recommend this novel to readers of all ages. This novel is exciting and new, full of fantasy, romance, and unexpected plot twists with every turning page. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel (as I have enjoyed every novel written by Morrone before) and I cannot wait for the sequel.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Title: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: February 1st, 2005
Genres: Drama
Medium: Paperback, Bought

First of all, let me just say I was not emotionally ready for this novel. This was one of the rare occasions where I watched the movie before reading the book, and I watched the movie a long time ago. So long ago, that I couldn't remember the ending. I was so suprised, I mean, I knew it wasn't going to be a happy ending, but I still bawled my eyes out anyway. It honestly was one of the most emotional and dramatic pieces of literature I have ever read.

The plot was immensely dramatic and packed to the brim with drama and so many different emotions, that I cannot begin to name them all. It honestly is one of, if not the, most riveting pieces of writing I have ever had the good fortune to read. Every single twist and turn in this novel had me on the edge of my seat, as I rushed towards the inevitable end. Then, at the end, I was terrified to finish because I (thought) I knew what was coming. It was even worse, and the raw emotion simply tore me to pieces and reduced me to a puddle of tears.

The writing was absolutely amazing. Jodi Picoult writes with style, skill, and emotion like no other. Every single word in this novel felt like it was specifically thought over and chosen to deliver the supreme level of emotion. Picoult also drives the point home with large amounts of thought-provoking imagery that will leave you unsure of yourself. One moment you are on Anna's side, the next you are on Kate's side. The author succeeded in crafting a novel with absolutely no bias, so that you can formulate and opinion yourself. It was so emotional and heartbreaking, while uplifting and heartwarming at other times, it left me absolutely wrecked. But also completely understanding of the situation and helped me to understand cancer patients so much more.

Overall, this novel is fantastic in every way possible. It is so thought-provoking and I recommend it to everyone. It definitely made my list of all time favorites. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 14th, 2014
Genres: Drama
Medium: Paperback, Bought

Thirteen Reasons Why was an emotional rollercoaster ride that had me hanging on the edge of my seat from page one. This novel touched me and impacted me in every way possible, and I am so happy I decided to read this one.

The plot is riveting. The theme of teen suicide is too relevant in today's society, and this novel perfectly told a too-true story of a girl suffering from a series of life-altering situations, all of which connect in some way. She narrates these stories on cassette tapes and is mailing them to the people behind the "thirteen reasons why" she was led to ending her life. Told through a series of chapter-like sections containing the sides of the tapes, and told in the point of view of one of the people responsible. It's a completely original and thought provoking novel that so powerful and emotional, I hung on to every word.

The writing was phenomenal. Jay Asher managed to weave a powerful story of such an emotional situation with elegance. The subject of suicide is such a touchy subject with some people, I imagine writing a novel about it and the repercussions of peoples' actions must be a difficult job. However, Asher does it impeccably. Every word was precise and told the story with perfect precision and pace. I enjoyed every dramatic second of it, and was happy how much it made me think. 

If you are looking for an original novel, and one that will make you really sit down  and think about your life and the lives of all the people around you, both acquaintances and strangers, then this novel will absolutely leave you breathless. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: Hardback, Purchased

I honestly wish I could have liked this novel better. It was okay... I was prepared to like it way more than I did. What I expected was a deep, touching coming-of-age romance with originality. Well, it was original, but wasn't that romantic or deep. I cannot express how much I wanted to like this novel!

The plot was definitely interesting. I love the fact that it is set in 1986, and features an unlikely couple who bonds over comic books and 80's rock mix tapes. I love that! And from that plot, I expected a fantastic novel that I would thoroughly enjoy, considering how much I love the 80s. Sadly, the way the plot was written did not grab me as I had hoped. With a plot that fantastic, you can go one of two ways. Either you can do the plot justice and really make me feel as if I am in the novel, really in the 80s, or... Well, there is no other option other than doing the 80s justice. Sadly, Eleanor & Park didn't do that.

The writing was acceptable. Honestly, there was parts I loved and parts I really didn't like. Several times during the novel, I was left thinking "why did she write that?" or "why did she add that in?" Some parts are descriptive, and some lack elaboration. The characters felt 2D and a little flat, and there wasn't nearly enough emotion between them. I honestly could not connect to them.

Overall, this novel was alright. I had so many issues with it, that I was overwhelmed by the thought of what it could have been, if it had been done differently. I just really wish I could have liked this novel. 2.5/5

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Title: Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Bought

As a lover of romance literature, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was nicely paced, original, and very descriptive. I really liked it! 

The plot was very unique. It was the first time I had read a novel involving Kentucky horse farms and races, and it actually really interested me. I was immersed in it the entire time, and with a steady plot, I was allowed to fully lose myself in the story. It was suspenseful and very dramatic, in the way that relationships and situations were constantly changing and emotions were always running high. It was almost like a soap opera, and honestly, I had a love-hate relationship with that aspect of it. There was a lot of instances where the characters overacted or even under-reacted. I had qualms with that. And the ending also bothered me. It was slightly confusing and just not what I expected.

The writing was fantastic. I didn't have a single problem with it. It was descriptive, dramatic, romantic, and overall, very sexy. It was all paced out perfectly and had some very interesting aspects to it. I personally write myself, so I loved how the plot was centered around creative writing and also set in New York City. It was impeccable.

Overall, sometimes the plot and the ending overwhelmed how great the novel could have been. There was a lot of promise. But the fantastic writing definitely renewed my opinion of the novel, and I did enjoy it. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Project Utopia by Pam Mosbrucker

Review: Project Utopia by Pam Mosbrucker
Publisher: Self
Release Date: February 9th, 2013
Genres: Apocalyptic, Drama, Action
Medium: Signed Paperback, Won

Project Utopia was an interested dystopian novel with a great plot, but wasn't executed the best. I loved the plot, but I feel as if the short length of the novel held the plot back. It was as if the author was writing the story in as few words as possible, making it a short and slightly confusing read. It was just too condensed.

The plot would have been great if there had been more writing. I love dystopian novels and I feel as if this one had real potential.  It needs to be lengthened and the plot could use some variation. Otherwise, it's a terrific story line.

The writing was okay. Again, it was too short, too fast paced. And I felt as if the unnecessary things in the plot were the most described, instead of the other way around. The subjects we needed to hear more about were the ones most briefly mentioned. I liked her style, just not her execution. 

Overall, I liked the idea of the story, but I just wish I could have loved the entire novel.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ARC Review: Vision of Serpents by Vincent Morrone

Title: Vision of Serpents by Vincent Morrone
Publisher: Silence In The Library
Release Date: June 1st, 2015
Genres: Action, Romance, Drama, Supernatural
Medium: ARC EBook, Received for Review

I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that Vincent Morrone has written one of the best pieces of fiction I have ever read. When I say that he has quickly became one of my favorite authors of all time. He has never disappointed me and likely never will. 

The plot was fantastic. Before starting this novel, I thought to myself, "there is no way that he can top Vision of Shadows." Well, I proudly stand to be corrected. Somehow, Visions of Serpents was even better than the prequel, a feat I originally thought was impossible. It was simply amazing. There are few novels that can throw me for a loop, and honestly have me on the edge of my seat. There was so many plot twists that literally had my heart racing. There is such an ideal mix of action, romance and drama, and a perfect amount of paranormal. Sometimes, novels have too much of the paranormal aspect and it drowns out the rest of the plot. That is definitely not the case with Vision of Serpents. I loved every second of this novel.

The writing was perfection, as I have come to expect from Vincent Morrone. Every word was precise and flowed perfectly. It was natural and smooth, so much, that I finished the novel in practically one sitting. It was that great. It was suspenseful, dramatic, and descriptive, and it made you feel as if you were right there inside of the novel yourself. The characters were effortlessly written and to experience their many relationships and emotions, whether it be friendships or fall outs, was an amazing feeling. Reading one of Vincent Morrone's novels is always an enjoyable experience.

Overall, I loved every single bit of this novel. I absolutely fell in love with the plot and the characters, and I was truly sad when I finished the novel. I hadn't wanted it to end. This novel truly is unique and a breath of fresh air in the literary world. I recommend it to everyone, no matter who they are. This novel is most definitely worth anyone's time.

Preorder it now at

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: Hushed by Michela DiMarco

Title: Hushed by Michela DiMarco
Publisher: Self
Release Date: November 12th, 2014
Genres: Romance, Drama, Action, Mystery
Medium: Signed paperback, Won

This novel was definitely not what I expected and I loved every second of it. It was action-packed, full of dramatic characters, packed with twists and turns I never saw coming, and so much more. The plot was riveting and the writing was flowing and addictive. I finished this novel in about 2 days. That's how much I enjoyed it.

The plot was exceptional. From reading the synopsis, you do not expect much, honestly. And if I am to be brutally honest, the cover photo also misleads readers. The cover (mixed with the vague synopsis) honestly gives off an abuse/rape vibe. That sounds odd, I know, but I'm being completely honest. I absolutely loved this novel, but I feel as if potential readers will be scared off by the cover and vague synopsis. That is the only thing I would recommend changing. The plot was perfect, there was so many plot twists and turns that made me want to give a standing ovation, and just the overall drama of the novel was perfection.

The writing was great. There was a bit of wordiness here and there, but for the most part, it was pretty spot on. I loved the descriptiveness and the ease with which the author placed you in the story's setting, making you feel like you were right there with the characters. It was so scandalous! I loved it. It flowed smoothly and was very addicting, as I finished it in a short amount of time.

Overall, I loved this novel and I cannot wait for there to be a sequel! (And there better be a sequel. I cannot go on without finding out how this ends!) I beg readers that love drama to look past the cover and synopsis, and instead, focus on the inside. (How cheesy does that sound?) It's a fantastic novel that I truly want to share with readers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

Title: The Returned by Jason Mott
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Action, Drama
Medium: Hardback, Won

The Returned was a fantastic novel of epic proportions. It was a wonderful mix of mystery, love, family, and faith. Honestly, when I began reading the novel, I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I did have somewhat of an idea. However, the novel turned out to be the complete opposite, and I'm not exactly sure how to feel about that.

First off, the plot was actually quite interesting. I loved the mix of mystery and religion, which is a duo you don't get to experience often. It was very exciting. The characters were so life like and very relatable, even though they were in such a perplexing situation. The plot of having the dead come back to life (and with such a wonderful religious take on it) was an absolute stroke of genius. It was completely unique and realistic. Honestly, I don't think the author could have better conveyed the emotions and actions of people if this situation actually occurred. At times, I did find it a little repetitive and boring, but for the majority, it was great!

The writing was also fantastic. The southern twist on the writing was an added bonus, and honestly, I found no faults with the writing. It was descriptive, emotional, and had several twists and turns I never saw coming. It was great.

Overall, I loved the novel. I definitely recommend it. I am very excited to hear that it will become an adaptation. I cannot wait to see this story play out on the television screen!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ARC Review: Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Title: Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore
Publisher: Ember
Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Genres: Nonfiction, Biography
Medium: ARC Paperback, Received for Review

Discovering Wes Moore is an educational and interesting read that dives deep into the author's life. It's a riveting look into life on the streets, African American discrimination, and how people can rise above their situation.

This novel had a great plot. It had several themes that flowed together perfectly, including discrimination, the apartheid in South Africa, life on the streets, drugs, military school, men in service, and people not letting their situation define them and their life. Unfortunately, at the end, the author compares another man (who shares his name) to his own life. Their lives are completely different and as the author delves into his doppelganger's life story, he begins to wonder what made their paths diverge in such completely different directions. It is a very interesting concept that I believe he explored well and it was quite nice.

The writing was sufficient enough. Not to say it was bad, just that it could have been better. It lacked the "ompf" I needed to thoroughly enjoy it. It just seemed lacking. And this one dimensional writing made the novel feel boring at times, which affected my overall experience. 

This novel has a great story and really talks about some pressing themes that were just as pressing years ago as they are now. It's a wonderful story that people of all ages and all backgrounds should experience.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: April 5th, 2012
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Gifted

I will start off by saying two things: 1) I don't how many John Green novels I have read now (I should really figure that out) and 2) I expected something a lot different when I first received this novel.

Also, I want to start off by saying John Green and David Levithan are two of my favorite all time authors. (Actually, David Levithan sits slightly higher on my favorites list with his novel Every Day, while John Green sits in second, with an incomprehensibly small amount of space between them. Maybe it's a tie. I'll never know.) Anyway, I love them both.

This novel was quite different than what I expected. What I expected was two Will Graysons and their chance meeting which would ultimately cause them to fall in love. However, I was quite off. And to be honest, I'm not sure I'm liked the way it ended up instead. I feel as if with a novel called "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" they emphasis is on the two boys with the same name. When it turned out that this was not the case, I was bummed to say that one of the Will Graysons slowly and gradually faded into being a background character. The most emphasis was on the character Tiny and with that being the case, maybe the title should have been different? Of course, naysayers will attest to the title being perfect, and the meaning for it being this: The story is not centered solely on Tiny. The "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" is about the connection and the way the two met, which ultimately is what brings the other characters together and in return, the two Will Graysons finally find themselves. I completely agree with that! I just hate that the one Will Grayson (the straight one) was metaphorically put on the back burner. The ending also didn't meet my expectations. I kind of left off on a cliff hanger, like it very vaguely told what happened to Tiny and has friends and his other ex-boyfriend/boyfriend that we never found out if they made up or not? I was secretly wishing for the said Will Grayson to jump into Tiny's arms. But all together, I loved the plot and idea of musical theater. It was great and I simply flew through the pages.

The writing was terrific and utterly perfect as usually. The two are amazing by themselves and simply extraordinary when paired together. They are a dynamite duo that never cease to amaze and impress me and I will continue to follow them, both together and separately. I cannot praise them enough. To understand how good they are, you'll have to read all of their work.

All together, this was a great novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and deeply satisfied me. I recommend this novel to anyone because it simply opens minds. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review: Initiation by Alex Duval

Title: Initiation by Alex Duval
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 27th, 2006
Genres: Drama, Action, Paranormal, Fantasy
Medium: Paperback, Bought

This story was substantially better than the prequel Bloodlust.  This had more suspense, more action and drama, and more plots twists. Although I did see most of the plot twists coming, they were still very interesting to experience.

The plot was very good. It picked up right where the other left off, but also reintroduced the characters so it could be read first with little confusion (although I don't see why you'd want to do that! This series is one you want to experience entirely.) It was action-packed, romantic, and full of paranormal drama, with plenty of vampire lore.

The writing was also very nice in this novel, just as it was better this time around. It was suspenseful and kept me rapidly turning pages as I hurried towards an unexpected ending that, although it isn't the most suspenseful ending, it still leaves you wanting more. 

Overall, I will definitely be checking into finishing this series. It's a great little vampire series that I predict will get better and better with each sequel. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: Bloodlust by Alex Duval

Title: Bloodlust by Alex Duval
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 1st, 2006
Genres: Drama, Action, Paranormal, Fantasy
Medium: Paperback, Bought

I'll agree with some of the other reviews I've read. Yes it's simple, yes there's nothing extremely differentiating between this novel and other vampire fiction and nothing really unique about it, but I did enjoy it.

The plot, like I've said, was very simple and expected. It is much like every other vampire  novel out there. The greatest difference, however, is that the main character is a male, and making it even more unusual, the girl he is crushing on is the vampire. Usually in vampire novels, I am struck with crazy hormonal teenage girls swooning over a big strong boring male vampire, which usually results in a boring and two dimensional romance. However, I was pleasantly surprised at this change in roles. Getting to experience this point of view was quite nice. I also loved several little features in this novel: the swim team, the things about these particular vampires that make them different from the rest, and the playing-hard-to-get romance. And oh boy, how do I love the main character's best friend who is film-obsessed and always has a camcorder in hand. I love that! Sounds like my kind of guy.
The writing was nice. It was flowing and really grabs your attention. It's very fun and light, and really holds your attention. I know I was addicted to it and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There was several plot twists and turns that I didn't see coming and that only grabbed my attention more.

Overall, I see a lot of promise for this series and I will continue to read it. It's very entertaining so far and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Remember Me by Stacey Nash

Title: Remember Me by Stacey Nash
Publisher: AUS Impulse
Release Date: October 1st, 2014
Genres: Drama, Romance, Action, Fantasy
Medium: Ebook, Received for Review

Stacey Nash has written yet another knockout. I've come to expect nothing less from her! This novel quickly became one of my absolute favorites and will definitely stick with me for a long time. It was powerful, romantic, and super dramatic.

The plot was utter perfection. I, of course, fell in love with Forget Me Not, and doubted a sequel could top that fantastic debut, but alas, I was pleasantly surprised. This novel exceeded all of my expectations and blew the sequel our of the water! It was edgy and left me on pins and needles. I have never wanted to bite my nails because of nerves so much. This novel pulls you in and leaves you on the edge of your seat. The memory loss is an amazing element. It's painstaking and nerve wracking, but perfect for the plot of the series plot. Getting to experience the "bad guys" for once was so refreshing and such a unique experience. You see a lot of character development here and it really changes your perspective.

The writing, as usual, was phenomenal. It was fun, emotional, and so very dramatic. I loved how easily Stacey Nash can switch over from a lighthearted and fun scene, to a deep and dark dramatic scene in literally seconds. It was so addicting. The plot twists and turns kept me turning pages at every spare second for two days straight. And that cliffhanger... This novel really is a nail biter from beginning to end.

Everything, from the characters (which were emotional and real in every way)  to the unique plot and fantastic writing, was perfect. I recommend this series to everyone! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Ups And Downs of Being Dead by Marsha Cornelius

Title: The Ups And Downs of Being Dead by Marsha Cornelius
Publisher: Self
Release Date: May 26th, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Action, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Received for Review via author

Overall, it was fantastic and I cannot stop singing the praises of Marsha Cornelius. The novel was fun, emotional, exciting and fresh. It was one of the most unique novels I have ever read. I've read science fiction before, usually about aliens or something unbelievable like that, and I never once expected that I would be reading a novel about cryogenic technologies. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

The writing and characters were spot-on as usual. Her writing was quick-witted, emotional, and suspenseful. I literally flew through the first 3/4 of the novel, then slowed down at the end because I didn't want the story to be over! It was that addicting. The ending was one I definitely did not expect and one that thoroughly satisfied my hunger for a fresh new novel!

This concept, while not completely new and unique, has been taken in a completely original direction by Marsha Cornelius. If you are wanting a fresh new novel with something that you've never experienced before, then this is definitely the story for you.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Secret Diamond Sisters turns 1 year old today!

I think it is a unique and hilarious coincidence that The Secret Diamond Sisters' novel shares the same birthday as my father. We are currently wishing him a happy birthday and celebrating!

I just found out that yet another birthday occurs on this day, and that is The Secret Diamond Sisters novel! Now I have yet another reason to celebrate. 

You can celebrate too! Go over to your favorite local book store, book retailer chain, or your favorite online shopping website and pick up a copy of The Secret Diamond Sisters and celebrate another great book birthday!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Title: Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Genres: Drama, Action, Romance
Medium: Hardcover, Purchased

What can I say? Katie McGarry has knocked it out of the park once again. She manages to bring impeccable reality to young adult fiction. There is so many 'happily-ever-after' stories out there; tales of unbelievable proportions that display teenage romance in unrealistic situations. It may be the happy ending readers secretly crave, but what good is it if it isn't realistic? Katie McGarry takes care of this situation. She crafts dramatic, steamy, and above all, realistic romance, and does it effortlessly. She really seems to understand that real romance isn't perfect; perfection is untainable. Katie McGarry understands this better than anyone, and pleases us all with her broken love stories that restore my faith in true love.

Her writing is on point, as usual. I honestly envy her writing abilities so much. She writes with the fluidity that most seasoned writers lack. Besides how natural she writes, she also harness the ability to connect with readers on such a deep and emotional level. She chooses subjects that most people would have difficulty writing about, or are simply too scared to try. She brings several important topics to light, and encourages people to embrace their uniqueness and fall in love with another's diversity.

Overall, this is yet another prime example that Katie McGarry is a force to be reckoned with. This novel is yet another witty, dramatic, and steamy installment in one of my favorite series. I recommend you pick it up as well, as it likely will become a favorite of yours too. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: H10N1 by M.R. Cornelius

Title: H10N1 by M. R. Cornelius
Publisher: Self
Release Date: April 12th, 2011
Genres: Action, Horror, Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Received for Review

Once again, Marsha Cornelius has blown me away with her writing. Her novels never cease to astound me. This novel is an emotionally gripping tale of survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland devastated by disease, featuring two of the most addicting characters I have ever experienced.

The plot was perfect. As a die-hard fan of shows like The Walking Dead and Helix, post-apocalyptic themes are my favorite. I was really excited about reading this one, and I definitely was not disappointed! It lived up to every expectation I had, and entertained me so much, I simply flew through the pages. It's fast-paced, packed with unexpected plot twists, and full of humor, romance, and action that will all take your breath away. There were several instances where my jaw was literally on the floor.

The writing was also spot-on, as usual. I have come to expect nothing less than perfection from Marsha Cornelius! Her writing is so consistent and so descriptive. She is quite skilled at mixing several different elements into one concise story. She effortlessly crafts a novel with conflicting personalities, steamy romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and edge of your seat action. This exciting mix makes for incredible writing and some of the most original characters ever. This, added to the already eye catching and original plot, makes for an novel of epic proportions. No other writer, nor novel, can compare. Marsha Cornelius writes on a level few others can reach.

Overall, I was impressed beyond words. I enjoyed ever page of the story and didn't want it to end. This novel is one that will stick with me indefinitely and one I recommend to all readers. If the plot doesn't hook you, the writing definitely will. Be sure to pick up this novel and keep and eye on Marsha Cornelius for future works. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: High Wire by Angela Biera

Title: High Wire by Angela Biera
Publisher: Self
Release Date: January 16th, 2015
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: EBook, Received for Review

First of all, let me start off by saying that the first novel in this series (Haywire) was one of the most amazing stories I had ever read. That novel simply blew me away. After finishing it, I remember thinking "no sequel can top this." Well I was so very wrong. This sequel blew Haywire out of the water, something I originally thought was impossible. I cannot put into words how utterly perfect this novel is. It is rare that I "fan-girl" over a novel so much.

The plot was effortlessly beautiful. You get to experience an amazing mix of gut-wrenching action, rollercoaster-of-a-ride drama, traumatic experiences, and steamy romance. This plot is one of the most addicting stories I have ever encountered. It is very hard for me to describe how emotionally powerful, hilarious, and suspenseful this novel truly was. I think my next words may get the point across: I finished the novel in one sitting. Yes, it was so delicious and addicting, I sat down and read it straight through. It was that great.

I can also attribute my addiction to this novel to Biera's wonderful writing. It literally astounds me how effortlessly she weaves a story that is as emotional and heart-warming as it is romantic and sexy. From page one, the novel will pull you in, and will not let you go, even long after you have finished reading the last page. This is a story that will stick with you forever. Her writing is spot-on perfection, and I don't think I have ever said truer words.

Overall, this is one novel you will not be able to put down. The characters are perfection, they plot is a once-in-a-lifetime rollercoaster ride, and the writing tied everything together beautifully. It is emotional and dramatic, and also the steamiest, sexiest novel I have read all year. One word: wow. Purchase this novel now. I can, without a doubt, promise you you will love it! Perfection.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Werewolf Nights by Mari Hamill

Title: Werewolf Nights by Mari Hamill
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Release Date: May 19th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Recieved for Review via author

Werewolf Nights is an interesting read that mixes multiple genres, including fantasy, horror, drama, romance, and of course, the paranormal. It's an exciting new twist on werewolves, one that is full of unexpected twists and turns, and a multitude of exciting characters.

I have to say that in the beginning, I wasn't very sure of this novel. The beginning is slow and a little confusing. Some of the writing is generic and parts of the plot were very predictable. In this sense, some parts of the werewolf lore used in this novel were very stereotypical and could have been better reinvented. I feel as if she focused more on a historic retelling of werewolf lore, rather than creating her own, and at times, the mixing of various werewolf tales was too much and created confusion, which clouded the overall plot of the story. However, aside from this, I liked the plot well enough. I thoroughly enjoyed the filmmaking aspect that was thrown in (as I work in filmmaking myself) but there was an inconsistency here. Sometimes, the filmmaking was simplified (which was a good thing, so that those unfamiliar with the industry could still understand the story) but sometimes this aspect was overdone and over the top. Other than that, I felt that the plot flowed quite nicely, and there was a good amount of unexpected plot twists.

The writing was also very nice. Hamill writes with obvious skill, and can easily project a scene into the reader's mind with just a few chosen words. Her writing flows nicely, but lacks description. 

I feel that one thing could have improved this novel immensely, is to have "fleshed out" the plot and the writing. I rarely say this, as usually, authors use too much filler in their stories, trying to fill up pages. That is not the case with this novel, as I needed more. I needed more description and more added to the plot in general. If this had been dragged out a bit more, some of the story wouldn't have been so sudden and confusing. I also would have liked to have seen more character development. The majority of the cast of interesting characters (including the main protagonist) felt very one dimensional. They lacked emotional connect to the reader. They rarely had anything to base their actions of words upon. It just seemed very mechanical. But I did enjoy the ending (which was a big plot twists, and one that I loved) and it left us with a fantastic cliff hanger.

Besides all the negatives, I do see potentional. Her writing was very nice and her storytelling-vibe matched the story's overall feel. Eventually, I could see this novel becoming a favorite of paranormal-fans. It's there, but it needs some work. But I really did enjoy it, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.

Friday, February 13, 2015

ARC Review: The Lynchpin by Jeffrey B. Burton

Title: The Lynchpin by Jeffrey B. Burton
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: MP Publishing
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery
Medium: Received for Review, Via Author

The Lynchpin by Jeffrey B. Burton is an exciting and fresh serial killer thriller that offers new mystery and action at every turn of a page. It's a scarily-realistic novel that makes you want to check and double check that your windows and doors are locked, and leaves you with a suspicion that you should be checking over your shoulder. It brings new meaning to "scary good." It's an ingenious mix of a murderous thriller, FBI crime drama, and James Bond-esqe missions. The Agent Drew Cady series is one we all definitely will want to follow.

The plot of this novel is one of the most exquisite, detailed and thought-out plots I have ever had the good fortune to read. The plot is so rich and life like (quite scarily, at times) you feel like a special agent yourself. As you turn the pages in this novel, you delve deeper into a thought provoking thriller that has mysteries so entangled, you'll be thinking of every character as a possible suspect. It really makes you think and brings out the inner detective in all of us. This engaging, rollercoaster ride of a novel leaves no stone unturned and never seizes to surprise. Just as you get comfortable, you'll be thrown for a loop and be sucked right back into suspense. You'll never want to put this novel down. Even the most seasoned action/thriller/horror fans will be thrown off guard with this one, and will be swept into the addicting story of special agent Drew Cady, just as I was.

The characters of this novel were spot on. Burton managed to create a cast of characters with a multitude of varying back stories and waring personalities. Each character played a vital part in the plot, and all claimed a special place in my heart. The subtle romance and conflicting personalities are clear evidence of Burton's outstanding writing capabilities and imagination. His ability to craft characters and weave a fantastic story around them, with virtually no effort at all, simply astounds me, not to mention leaves me wanting more.

I am simply envious of Burton's writing. He is able to write flawlessly, weaving a flowing, exciting tale that leaves readers speechless. Clearly, he is a force to be reckoned with, and one we will definitely keep an eye on for future installments in the series or new works. Whatever the case, his (and I don't use this word lightly) perfect writing has definitely brought out the fan in me!

Overall, this flawless novel that is an exciting mix of thriller, horror, and action genres, is one to be greatly acknowledged. Please do yourself a favor and pick up this novel as soon as possible. You will not regret it.

DNF Update

For the record, I decided not to finish the following novels that were sent to me from authors to be reviewed, or were part of a blog tour:

Exodus 2022 by Kenneth G. Bennett
Emissary by Thomas Locke

I'm not sure if I will every go back and finish the novels (because there is something inside me that makes it physically hurt to not finish a book) but with the multitude of novels I have to review piling up and other novels I have been waiting to read being released, I feel my time would be better spent there. I may return to these in the future.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Title: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 13th, 2010
Genres: Action, Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Purchased

Simone Elkeles has done it again! It seems like there is not a single thing that she writes that is bad. It is very rare that I read something that I can find no faults with. With every one of her stories, I fall in love all over again.

Elkeles' plots never disappoint. They are fast-paced, action packed, romantic, sexy, and thrilling, all rolled up in one. The amazingly addicting, flowing story makes this novel one that is extremely hard to put down! It literally pained me to have to take a break from reading it.

Her writing is fantastic as well. It's like every word was specifically chosen to portray the perfect emotions. The emotionality is what really shines through in these novels. I also loved the perfectly placed bits of Spanish language and culture. It's fantastic. The writing is polished and flows effortlessly, the language is true to teenagers, and the romance is so realistic and heartwarming.

Overall, this novel was amazing. The characters were amazing, the writing was perfect, the plot was exciting, and the romance was to die for. One word can sing all the praises for this novel: Perfect.