T10T: (First Ten) Books I Ever Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic – (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga, Book One) – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review

Wow!!! So many emotions upon finishing this book…it’s a very strong piece and not straightforward at all, which made me want to read it all the more. Some parts of the story were a bit confusing, but seemed to be resolved by the end of the novel. Yes, there are stereotypical aspects to the story, but the originality to the majority of the story far outweighs the cliché. There always seem to be so many things happening beyond the immediate issue and the author always keeps you guessing. The strong female character is my favorite part of the novel. It’s nice to see a storyline in which the lead character is not only female, but independent, yet flawed. I love it and truly cannot wait to see what happens in the next novel.

Solace – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to get into and interesting, but….

This was a very hard read….emotionally, I mean. As someone who knows multiple people who have been to war, I can totally identify with Corina, albeit not to the same extent as her actual experience. The plot is extremely well developed and satisfying, even if it doesn’t turn out to be the perfect ending. There’s conflict and danger and high emotions, and it all comes together in such a way as to leave you feeling as though there might be a silver lining in most outcomes given the right perspective.

Therin Knite is an amazing author and I really look forward to checking out other novels in the future. I would highly recommend Solace and hope to hear your take on it.

The Forgotten – June 2016 3/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

This book was truly a struggle to read for about the first half to three quarters of the story. I simply could not get into it. The writing was very strong (I do like Jennifer’s style), but the story itself was hard to finish due to the explanation and detail she put into it; and I actually read several other books to procrastinate finishing this. I feel that too many aspects were repeated throughout the novel that should have been obvious.

Of course, I’m bound to come across books now and then that I’m not complete enthralled by, but it could have been worse, I suppose. The last bit of the story, when it all starts to come together, was decently interesting and I would consider reading the next novel in the series to find out what happens to Emilie and Will, as well as Kell and Jakob. The characters were the main redeeming quality of the story. Especially the children themselves. Some of the characters were seriously terrible and I wished them ill, which ultimately happened.

The plot was really dark and sad, so I couldn’t get myself very interested in reading. There was quite a lot of fantasy aspects, which was great since fantasy is one of my favorite genres; however, a lot of the fantastical creatures were not well explained and so I could not clearly picture them as I read.

Sivec herself is a pretty good novelist, it seems, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work. This novel, however, was a trial and I cannot highly recommend it.

The Lost Soul – June 2016 4/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book because it’s not what you would expect and each time you think you’ve gotten it figured out, something changes to throw you a bit. It turns out that, even in fantasy, not everyone is redeemable. Sometimes, there are simply factors that cause people to be lost from us. Yes, this title probably refers the THE ‘lost soul’ of Echena, but I wonder if the author meant it to apply to more than one character in her novel, as many of them are ‘lost’ in one way or another….

The development of the lead character throughout the novel was inspiring. She goes from a 16 year old, sheltered schoolgirl to this independent, strong, and capable lady of the land and leader of what the establishment considers a rebellion. However, it all becomes clearly a battle for human rights once you get into it. I won’t go into much more because that would spoil it! I will say, though, I love her companions and that they are very atypical.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in the series: The Oracle. The ending of The Lost Soul sets up a whole lot of action to occur in the next installment.

Marked – June 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely loved this book!! I got so stuck into it that I read it in just a few hours. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about what might happen next… Right up my alley with all the mystical creatures humanised and the lead character being so relatable. Not only is the author wonderful, but she is also hilarious and capable of writing the story of a strong female lead who may need the guidance of her companions in the new world she comes to, but is still more than able to take care of herself and kick some ass when needed.

I love when characters are multidimensional from the beginning and progress throughout their stories. Miss Tingey made all of that happen and more. I did realise within the first couple of chapters that Kayla is not all that she appears, but that really becomes obvious near the end of the novel. There’s always something that doesn’t add up throughout the course of the story; too many coincidences that are obviously not coincidental. Then, when one problem is solved, another arises. And, of course, as the story ends, she has the decision of a lifetime to make…

Will definitely be reading book 2 of the Soulseer series! As a matter of fact, I just downloaded it…

Bury the Living (Revolutionary #1) – July 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely DEVOURED this book! It was an amazing read – so gripping I actually couldn’t put it down until I was basically falling asleep.. McIsaac made Nora and the rest of the characters in the story come alive for me – I was cheering her on like I would any real person. I felt like I was right alongside her at times. She really makes you love the characters she brings to life for the novel. I was especially into it because it’s one of my favorite topics – Irish history. I find the history so rich and interesting, the fairytale aspect is so enchanting, and for her to combine both the way she did was so appropriate for the time period in which it was set – like adding magic to the real world. Then to make one of the characters an actual person taken from a fairytale? Unreal..

It was in the same realm as Outlander and Exit Unicorns – being a historical fiction – and a good way to fill the gap between those. While I feel it should have been longer and more in depth, that’s probably me being selfish because it didn’t last nearly as long as I wanted it too. I wísh there had been more detail, though, because more of the history could have used explanation – especially for those who know nothing about the time period. I got really into it, but felt it moved along too fast in some instances. I truly cannot wait for the second installation of this series. I believe it could be as good as the other series I mentioned above. I truly hope the next one is longer and more detailed! She’s an amazing author and this is going to be a classic series some day.

Of Fear and Faith (Death and Destiny #1) – August 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

Oh my steaming goodness!! This was such a great book… I enjoyed it from start to finish and wanted nothing more than to sit and read my book, damn the reality!

Anyway, a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have some form of god/goddesses and mythology in them – this was no exception, but, damn, was it amazing! Such an original storyline and I loved the characters created by ND Jones. There was so much complexity to both lead characters and loads of secrets going on! Loved seeing the way they interacted with each other and gave a little while holding back a lot. It was interesting to try to figure out what was happening when the writing went really vague in order to not give it all away too early. I loved the mystery and romance and suspense! Would definitely recommend this to mature readers!

Obsidian (lux #1) – September 2016 5/5

To be completely honest, the moment I found out Obsidian was about aliens I nearly stopped reading. I am simply not a fan of alien novels. Not really my thing. However, since a really good friend recommended this to me, I decided to read at least the first book in the series. I am SO glad I did!! Daemon + Katy FOREVAH!

I am so in love with these two + Dee + a few other characters. This story is rife with love + betrayal + so many difficult stories. Also, I love that she’s a blogger! I totally connect with her character. ❤ She’s so real and complex, but all the characters are multi-dimensional through the story. How else would you be drawn so far into this world of aliens and alternate universes? I also believe that if the bad guys aren’t complex, they’re not realistic at all. So when I find myself truly wishing a character ill, I feel it’s an amazing story.

On of my favorite scenes in this first book is when Katy goes to the neighbor’s house since the kids living there are around her age. She’s simply going to ask directions, but the ulterior motive is to try to become friends with one or both teens. And man, there is some serious chemistry from the first interaction! I’m rooting for them from the beginning.

Armentrout has seriously made me an alien fan with this series, which is really saying something because any time I’ve experienced alien fantasy, I’m bored. This…well, I think aliens are pretty fantastic now! You’re gonna want to at least try the sample, but you’ll be sucked in within the first chapter if you’re anything like me!

Tied (owned #2.5) – November 2016 4/5

<strong>What if your hero was a bad, dark man?</strong>

That’s Charlie in a nutshell. He doesn’t think he’s good enough to be worthy of anything, but oh is he wrong… Vera + Charlie are perfection. My only complaint is this novella was too short!

eARC REVIEW | Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title: WICKED SAINTS (SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY #1)

Author: EMILY A. DUNCAN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, POC, DISABILITY | TWs: SELF-HARM, ABANDONMENT, ABUSE BY A PARENT, VIOLENCE

“You could be exactly what these countries need to stop their fighting. Or you could rip them apart at the seams.”

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

This has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 – and it completely exceeded my expectations! I am so glad to have gotten this beautiful book! It filled the gap in my heart that was left by the ending of the Bardugo Grishaverse, and I can safely say I will be 1-clicking the rest of this series as they go live for pre-order! The writing was stunning and completely brilliant. I absolutely devoured this story and nearly died when I reached the end – I couldn’t believe it! The plot points and big reveals were phenomenal. I can’t say I ever saw any of it coming.

Duncan owns my heart now and I can’t wait to see what these characters do next! Nadya is amazing, of course! A talented girl who can speak to the gods and wield their magic? Totally impressive. She’s also hilariously funny – her banter with the gods is comical. And Malachaisz – the blood mage – just…whew! He’s dark and beautiful and surprising and obviously hiding an assload of secrets! I loved him even though I knew I shouldn’t because something was going on in that stunning mind of his. And boy, I sure was not disappointed.

“Are we so different, Nadya?” He lifted his hand, fingers tipped with long claws, and pressed his thumb against her lips. “We both long for freedom. For power. For a choice. We both want to see our kingdoms survive.”

 

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Photo credit to Waricka Art

 

Moral ambiguity – do you love it or would you rather more black and white personalities? You’ll be very happy with this novel if you love a characters with questionable morals. I honestly love when characters are little..twisted and they make it hard for the reader to figure out their motivations. These aren’t your traditional characters – Duncan has taken this fantasy to a new level and created a unique and compelling story.

While there is a hell of a lot going on, this dark, twisty novel is, at it’s heart, about a war between religions (differences) and how that has impacted the shaping of their world. While both sides are similar, one side feels they were justified by the gods, while the other depended on their innate power. It’s interesting to see the power plays among acquaintances and interconnectedness of various characters in the story (because I can’t wait to see how certain things play out!).

I have honestly thought about this book SO MUCH since I finished reading it. I’ll definitely be reading it again. I feel like my words don’t do this beautiful book the justice it deserves, but you MUST GO BUY IT IN ALL FORMS! I have the audiobook that I cannot wait to start on asap… I only wish I could rate this higher than FIVE STARS.

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A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Thank you so much to Emily A. Duncan and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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eARC REVIEW | You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Title: YOU’D BE MINE

Author: ERIN HAHN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Rep: POC | TWs: DRUGS, SUICIDE, DEATH, GRIEF, ALCOHOL ABUSE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE

“I wrote this song for a boy. A boy I fell in love with against impossible odds. So this award is for you, Jefferson. If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.”

Oh my goodness, what a super cute story! I really loved Annie and my heart truly went out to Jefferson/Clay. It was so well-written and sweet. I felt it truly captured the modern country music scene, as well. Annie’s backstory is heartbreaking, but not too far off my own childhood. There is so much grief in this novel! Both Annie and Clay are dealing with loss in very different ways (you could actually argue he isn’t truly dealing with it) and trying to cope while also taking on the country music scene and everything that goes along with it.

The alternation of chapters really allows you to get inside both of their stories rather than being entirely one sided. This truly is a story about them both and their intertwining journey to healthy places in themselves. They are truly beautiful together and I love it. Annie worries that her relationship with Clay will end up being as co-dependent as her parents’ marriage. Clay thinks he’s not good enough for Annie, seeing her for what she’s worth. I felt that essentially tells you all you need to know about this story. There’s a lot more to it, but they are so damaged in the beginning. This story shows them allowing each other to grow, amongst several setbacks, and heal from their individual traumas. It tells a story of how people respond very differently to trauma, but, when you have support, you can overcome nearly anything.
My favourite aspect was the theme of being better than your parents were. It reminded me a lot of my own journey. My parents both had their separate issues, but I like to think I’ve overcome my upbringing to become more successful than I could have been if I’d followed either of their paths. I saw a lot of myself in Annie. I also have a parent with a drug problem and it’s hard to live with the thoughts that come with that. It’s very clear the drugs come first and children are an afterthought for those types of people. There’s nothing we (as their children) can do to change it. People have to want help before they’ll get clean. It’s definitely never easy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the addition of song lyrics. Although, I think the duet they sing is Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton (not Dolly Parton – that was a different duet).

I’ve told so many people to add it to their lists, so if you haven’t already, go check it out. I loved this FIVE STAR read.

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Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Thank you so much to Erin Hahn and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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BLOG TOUR | ARC Review | In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

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Title: IN ANOTHER LIFE

Author: C.C. HUNTER

Publishes: 26TH MARCH 2019 BY WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: YA CONTEMPORARY FICTION/MYSTERY

My Thoughts

This was unexpected. I knew I would enjoy it, but was unaware exactly how much I’d love it! Both Chloe and Cash are exceedingly relatable for different characteristics and I loved them both. Chloe is going through her parents’ rough divorce, as well as a move during high school, so she’s very much struggling to cope with all the changes in her life. Plus, we find out her mother has been very sick lately and struggles with depression, so there’s already a lot going on with her. Cash is a kid who’s been in the foster system for years and has learned to trust no one because they probably won’t stick around. He also thinks people are inherently trying to pull tricks on you due some things that occurred in his childhood. Match made in hell, right? But I felt it worked well.

The theme of foster homes and adoption (which I don’t really see much in YA) really got to me, as I had my fair share of touches with the system growing up, making for an emotional read. Both Chloe and Cash are affected by the care system in different ways, which is kind of the main aspect of the story and why they are connected in the first place. Chloe’s biological parents are Cash’s foster parents, so he knows who she is as soon as she steps into him. I’ll admit, I was shocked by the beginning scene… I couldn’t figure out why it was related at all, but that quickly becomes apparent once we see more of Cash’s scenes. There was also a particular scene I loved between Cash and his foster father about consent and I loved the SHIT out of it! So good!

This story is told in alternating PoV’s chapter by Chapter, so we get both Chloe and Cash telling the story. I thought this really added to the experience, as we get details from one that we might not necessarily get if it was just one PoV or the other. It is a VERY fast-paced novel with a lot of foreshadowing to keep you invested as you read. I read this in less than 24 hours because I simply could NOT put it down. I needed to know what happened ASAP.

Complete FIVE STAR read for me!

Will you be reading it?

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What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life?

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?


Chapter excerpt

1

“What are you doing?” I ask when Dad pulls over at a convenience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living. My voice sounds rusty after not talking during the five-­hour ride. But I was afraid that if I said anything, it would all spill out: My anger. My hurt. My disappointment in the man who used to be my superhero.
“I need gas and a bathroom,” he says.
“Bathroom? So you can’t even come in to see Mom when you drop me off?” My heart crinkles up like a used piece of aluminum foil.
He meets my eyes, ignores my questions, and says, “You want anything?”
“Yeah. My freaking life back!” I jump out of the car and slam the door so hard, the sound of the metal hitting metal cracks in the hot Texas air. I haul ass across the parking lot, watching my white sandals eat up the pavement, hiding the sheen of tears in my eyes.
“Chloe,” Dad calls out. I move faster.
Eyes still down, I yank open the door, bolt inside the store, and smack right into someone. Like, my boobs smash against someone’s chest.
“Crap,” a deep voice growls.
A Styrofoam cup hits the ground. Frozen red slushie explodes all over my white sandals. The cup lands on its side, bleeding red on the white tile.
I swallow the lump in my throat and jerk back, removing my B cup boobs from some guy’s chest.
“Sorry,” he mutters, even though it’s my fault.
I force myself to look up, seeing first his wide chest, then his eyes and the jet-black hair scattered across his brow. Great! Why couldn’t he be some old fart?
I return to his bright green eyes and watch as they shift from apologetic to shocked, then to angry.
I should say something—like, add my own apology—but the lump in my throat returns with a vengeance.
“Shit.” The word sneaks through his frown.
Yeah, all of this is shit! I hear Dad call my name again from outside.
My throat closes tighter and tears sting my eyes. Embarrassed to cry in front of a stranger, I snatch off my sandals and dart to a cooler.
Opening the glass door, I stick my head in needing a cool-down. I swat a few stray tears off my cheeks. Then I feel someone next to me. Dad’s not letting this go.
“Just admit you screwed up!” I look over and am swallowed by those same angry light green eyes from a minute ago. “I thought you were . . . Sorry,” I say, knowing it’s late for an apology. His look is unsettling.
He continues to glare. An all-in-­my-­face kind of glare.
As if this is more than a spilled slushie to him.
“I’ll pay for it.” When he doesn’t even blink, I add an other, “I’m sorry.”
“Why are you here?” His question seethes out.
“What? Do I know you?” I know I was rude, but—hotness aside—this guy is freaking me out.
His eyes flash anger. “What do you want?” His tone carries an accusation I don’t understand.
“What do you mean?” I counter.
“Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.”
He’s still staring me down. And I feel like I’m shrinking in his glare.
“I’m not . . . You must have me mixed up with someone else.” I shake my head, unsure if this guy’s as crazy as he is sexy. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I said I’m sorry.” I grab a canned drink and barefoot, carrying sticky sandals, hurry to the front of the store.
Dad walks in, scowling.
“Careful,” a cashier says to Dad while mopping up the slushie just inside the door.
“Sorry,” I mutter to the worker, then point to Dad. “He’s paying for my Dr Pepper! And for that slushie.”
I storm off to the car, get in, and hold the cold Diet Dr Pepper can to my forehead. The hair on the back of my neck starts dancing. I look around, and the weird hot guy is standing outside the store, staring at me again.
Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.
Yup, crazy. I look away to escape his gaze. Dad climbs back in the car. He doesn’t start it, just sits there, eyeballing me. “You know this isn’t easy for me either.”
“Right.” So why did you leave?
He starts the car, but before we drive off, I look around again and see the dark-­haired boy standing in the parking lot, writing on the palm of his hand.
Is he writing down Dad’s license plate number? He’s a freak. I almost say something to Dad but remember I’m pissed at him.
Dad pulls away. I focus on the rear-view mirror. The hot guy stays there, eyes glued on Dad’s car, and I stay glued on him until he’s nothing but a speck in the mirror.
“I know this is hard,” Dad says. “I think about you every day.”
I nod, but don’t speak.
Minutes later, Dad pulls over in front of our mailbox. Or rather Mom’s and mine. Dad’s home isn’t with us anymore. “I’ll call you tomorrow to see how your first day of school was.”
My gut knots into a pretzel with the reminder that I’ll be starting as a senior at a new school. I stare out at the old house, in the old neighborhood. This house once belonged to my grandmother. Mom’s been renting it to an elderly couple for years. Now we live here. In a house that smells like old people . . . and sadness.
“Is she home?” Dad asks.
In the dusk of sunset, our house is dark. Gold light leaks out of next door, Lindsey’s house—she’s the one and only person I know my own age in town.
“Mom’s probably resting,” I answer. There’s a pause. “How’s she doing?”
You finally ask? I look at him gripping the wheel and staring at the house. “Fine.” I open the car door, not wanting to draw out the goodbye. It hurts too much.
“Hey.” He smiles. “At least give me a hug?”
I don’t want to, but for some reason—because under all this anger, I still love him—I lean over the console and hug him. He doesn’t even smell like my dad. He’s wearing cologne that Darlene probably bought him. Tears sting my eyes.
“Bye.” I get one slushie-­dyed foot out of the car.
Before my butt’s off the seat, he says, “Is she going back to work soon?”
I swing around. “Is that why you asked about her? Because of money?”
“No.” But the lie is so clear in his voice, it hangs in the air.
Who is this man? He dyes the silver at his temples. He’s sporting a spiky haircut and wearing a T­-shirt with the name of a band he didn’t even know existed until Darlene.
Before I can stop myself, the words trip off my tongue. “Why? Does your girlfriend need a new pair of Jimmy Choos?”
“Don’t, Chloe,” he says sternly. “You sound like your mom.”
That hurt now knots in my throat. “Pleeease. If I sounded like my mom, I’d say, ‘Does the whore bitch need a new pair of Jimmy Choos!’” I swing back to the door.
He catches my arm. “Look, young lady, I can’t ask you to love her like I do, but I expect you to respect her.”
“Respect her? You have to earn respect, Dad! If I wore the clothes she wears, you’d ground me. In fact, I don’t even respect you anymore! You screwed up my life. You screwed up Mom’s life. And now you’re screwing someone eighteen years younger than yourself.” I bolt out and get halfway to the house when I hear his car door open and slam.
“Chloe. Your stuff.” He sounds angry, but he can just join the crowd, because I’m more than mad—I’m hurt.
If I weren’t afraid he’d follow me into the house all pissed off and start an argument with Mom, I’d just keep going. But I don’t have it in me to hear them fight again. And I’m not sure Mom’s up to it either. I don’t have an option but to do the right thing. It sucks when you’re the only person in the family acting like an adult.
I swing around, swat at my tears, and head back to the curb.
He’s standing beside his car, my backpack in one hand and a huge shopping bag with the new school clothes he bought me in the other. Great. Now I feel like an ungrateful bitch.
When I get to him, I mutter, “Thanks for the clothes.” He says, “Why are you so mad at me?”
So many reasons. Which one do I pick? “You let Darlene turn my room into a gym.”
He shakes his head. “We moved your stuff into the other bedroom.”
“But that was my room, Dad.”
“Is that really why you’re mad or . . . ? He pauses. “It’s not my fault that your mom got—”
“Keep thinking that,” I snap. “One of these days, you might even believe it!”
Hands full, chest heavy, I leave my onetime superhero and my broken heart scattered on the sidewalk. My tears are falling fast and hot by the time I shut the front door behind me.
Buttercup, a medium-sized yellow mutt of a dog, greets me with a wagging tail and a whimper. I ignore him. I drop my backpack, my shopping bag, and dart into the bathroom. Felix, my red tabby cat, darts in with me.
I attempt to shut the door in a normal way instead of an I’m -totally-pissed way. If Mom sees me like this, it’ll upset her. Even worse, it’ll fuel her anger.
“Chloe?” Mom calls. “Is that you?”
“Yeah. I’m in the bathroom.” I hope I don’t sound as emotionally ripped as I feel.
I drop down on the toilet seat, press the backs of my hands against my forehead, and try to breathe.
Mom’s steps creak across the old wood floors. Her voice sounds behind the door. “You okay, hon?”
Felix is purring, rubbing his face on my leg. “Yeah. My stomach’s . . . I think the meat loaf I had at Dad’s was bad.”
“Did Darlene fix it?” Her tone’s rolled and deep-fried in hate.
I grit my teeth. “Yeah.”
“Please tell me your dad ate a second helping.”
I close my eyes, when what I really want to do is scream, Stop it! I get why Mom’s so angry. I get that my dad’s a piece of shit. I get that he refuses to take any blame, and that makes it worse. I get what she’s been through. I get all of it. But does she have a clue how much it hurts me to listen to her take potshots at someone I still sort of love?
“I’m going to sit out on the patio,” she says. “When you’re out, join me.”
“Uh-­huh,” I say.
Mom’s steps creak away.
I stay seated and try not to think about what all hurts, and instead I pet Felix. His eyes, so green, take me back to the boy in the store. Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.
What the heck did he mean?


Author Bio
C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel.

Christie’s books include The Mortician’s Daughter series, Shadow Fall Novels and This Heart of Mine.

CC Hunter_Author Photo

Reviews
“Hunter deftly delivers a complicated back-and-forth point of view between Chloe and Cash, building suspense along with a steamy sense of attraction between the two teens.” — Kirkus

Social Links:
http://www.cchunterbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CCHunterFans/
http://twitter.com/CCHunterBooks

Buy Link:
http://wednesdaybooks.com/the-real-deal/in-another-life/

https://amzn.to/2Cgehmd

eARC REVIEW | The Dysasters by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

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Title: THE DYSASTERS

Author: P.C. CAST, KRISTIN CAST

Released: 26TH FEBRUARY 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY

REP: PoC, LGBT+ | TWs: Abuse, Addiction, Abandonment, Death

To be entirely honest, I wasn’t a massive fan of this introduction to their newest series. It took me ages to get into, and wasn’t very interesting. After reading their House of Night novels, I fully expected more from the Cast’s in this book. I think it was quite possibly mostly the writing style of this installation. It just didn’t seem up to the same standard of HoN. Or maybe the blandness of Foster and Tate? They were boring and the only redeeming quality for each was their relationships with secondary characters. And there were also SO MANY people to keep up with in this series. You have Foster and Tate, obviously, then the FUCKTASTIC FOUR (totally my favorite phrase from the book) and their maker who are chasing them, the caretaker of Strawberry Fields and his partner, then at least seven others. It’s a lot for a first novel.

I also disliked the lack of background information and I know with a setting of the USA they don’t have to do much world building, but more building would have been helpful. Like we don’t find out much about their powers until at least halfway through the story, and I felt that would have really shed some light early on for a few scenes, as well as add to the interest level. I felt lost for a lot of the novel… and what I did understand didn’t really keep me interested. I’m not sure if I care enough to continue the series… Charlotte and Bastien, though, might tempt me. They seem WAY more intriguing than Foster and Tate.

All that said, this was only a THREE STAR read for me. Will you be picking it up?


P.C. and Kristin Cast, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the House of Night phenomenon, return to the scene with The Dysasters—the first action-packed novel in a new paranormal fantasy series.

Adoptive daughter of a gifted scientist, Foster Stewart doesn’t live a “normal” life, (not that she’d want to). But controlling cloud formations and seeing airwaves aren’t things most eighteen year olds can do.

Small town star quarterback and quintessential dreamy boy next door, Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor has never thought much about his extra abilities. Sure, his night vision comes in handy during games, but who wouldn’t want that extra edge?

From the moment Foster and Tate collide, their worlds spiral and a deadly tornado forces them to work together, fully awakening their not-so-natural ability – the power to control air.

As they each deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, they’re caught by another devastating blow – they are the first in a group of teens genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements, and worse… they’re being hunted.

Now, Foster and Tate must fight to control their abilities as they learn of their past, how they came to be, who’s following them, and what tomorrow will bring… more DYSASTERS?

Thank you so much to P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the ARC.

3 stars

 

RELEASE DAY! ARC Review | The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Title: THE GILDED WOLVES

Author: ROSHANI CHOKSHI

Published: 15TH JANUARY 2019 BY WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: YA HISTORICAL FANTASY

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

I’ve been hearing loads about Roshani Chokshi for months! She’s an author I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages, so when I had this book come my way, I was all for it! I’m not generally a massive fan of Paris, but I love historically set novels so figured I’d love this. I was not wrong! The characters are so lovable and well designed, the world and magic system wildly interesting, and the plot itself was steeped in intrigue. I also thoroughly enjoyed Chokshi’s storytelling – the multiple POV set up really brings you into the world and allows you to understand each characters’ motivations. Some people have complained a bit about being thrown right into the middle of the world with little to no explanation, but I didn’t find it to be a hindrance to my enjoyment of the book.

Séverin and his crew (read: found family) are planning a job to reclaim an item that will help him reclaim the birthright stripped from him previously, not realizing it’s about to set them on a much bigger heist that will impact their entire society. Laila, Enrique, Zofia, and Tristan are all massively important to Séverin and each other. Hypnos also embroils himself in the madness. They are all such diverse characters and so wonderful! I loved each and every one of them for their quirks and individuality. It’s fabulous to see the varied representations included here, which I won’t go into because so many others have already done that. Suffice it to say you’ll love the whole crew.

There is a romance aspect to this novel, which felt quite sweet. It’s not a major point or focus to the story, it simply is, but also adds a small je ne sais quoi to those particular character arcs. See what I did there? 🤪 Anyway, my favorite character is a tie between the baker with a secret life, Laila, or the landscape artist with a soft spot for creatures, Tristan. Although, all of them were beautiful.

This darkly entertaining novel is one we’ve all been waiting on to arrive. And I simply cannot wait for book 2! I had to give this one FIVE STARS, of course!

Will you be reading it?

T10T: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’m happy to say I’ll be participating in T10T once again, and I am so excited for some of the upcoming topics! This week is most anticipated releases of 2019 January to June! Here we go – in more or less chronological order

  • 1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – this was a really great read!
  • 2. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – so compelling! Very good story.
  • 3. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I’m in love with the Grishaverse, so very excited to get this story!
  • 4. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – ugh, she killed me with this story!
  • 5. The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I got to read the excerpt, which was good. I just love her style of writing.
  • 6. The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman – looks phenomenal, so of course!
  • 7. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan – what can I say about this, except WOW! I just completely loved this book!
  • 8. The Wise and The Wicked by Rebecca Podos – Russian-inspired is EVERYTHING!
  • 9. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – definitely excited for an Arabian novel!
  • 10. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – GIRL ASSASSIN and Indian-inspired, so obviously!
  • We’re getting such wonderful stories in the genre this year and I am so excited!
  • Go preorder these ASAP! Totally worth it 😊 Have you read any of them yet? Tell me in the comments which is your most anticipated!