Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sisters of Blood and Spirit (The Sisters of Blood and Spirit, #1) by Kady Cross

Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living. 

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife. 

Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

Okay so, here we go, I'm going to attempt to write a review...

Sisters of Blood and Spirit. I can't really recall what originally attracted me to this one. I think it was something about the cover, regardless of that small detail--I picked it up.

Now knowing the story features a ghost, might have deterred me--there's something about ghost stories that I don't typically gravitate towards. I don't have any real reason, it's just a strange fact. 

Anyway back to the story, Lark's twin sister, Wren, is dead born. She never made it to this side of the plane. But, she manages to still be able to cling to the living, spending most of her time here on earth in spectral form.

Lark on the other hand wanted to die at one point, feeling an odd sense of belonging to the dead--I think it has a lot to do with never feeling like she belongs. Plus, in the "afterlife," she'd have her sister.

So, one day she tries to kill herself, and fails--thwarted by Mace--who finds her with the help of her sister, and medium Kevin. But now Mace--and his friends need Lark's help. They're being stalked by a dead serial-killer--who's decided even in death he'll kill.

It's like an episode of Scooby Doo. 

The story itself was pretty fun. The ghost catching, and the romance--but it would have been better suited for a younger YA reader. I definitely think this is story I would have enjoyed more, as a newer YA reader. When I was just testing the waters. Now as a seasoned YA reader, I would probably pass on these kinds of books.

Why: Romance:  Sweet but better suited for younger readers.
The story: Fun but predictable. I mean we all thought Scooby Doo was fun but, we knew what would happen at the end.
The ghosts: Not all that scary, but amusing.

Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad story just pretty middle of the road.

The characters themselves were pretty cookie cutter--aside from the twins. They were pretty bad a** in their own right. They had a good sense of humor, and I liked their closeness. 

All in all it was a decent book, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. But if you like ghosts, and might be interested in reading another series. I'd give this one a try. Just keep in mind, it's probably not gonna blow you away, but you'll probably have a good time with it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West Book Review


What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

* A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*
This review can also be found on YOUNG ADULT BOOK CENTRAL
PS I Like You--thank you for saving me, saving my blog--because I was beginning to fear I'd never be back. 

This book was cute with a capital cute--and that's saying something, because I did not like On The Fence. I thought I would read, On The Fence, and be done with Ms. West. Because I was not impressed. I didn't hate the book but I thought she might be one of those authors that wouldn't live up to the hype.

She surely shut my mouth with this one. I really enjoyed this, let's get into why:

WHAT I LIKED: The characters, they weren't very, like, out there or anything but they felt very real,and very true to real life. Everything about them seemed like something, or someone I can actually see, and feel. They felt real. So, A plus. 

The letters: I was a total sucker for the letters, the secrecy--the whole secret admirer vibe. It made me swoon, and I was just as excited to see who the other person was, as Lily was.

Isabel: She was never catty, or overly pushy. She wasn't the standard best friend that seem to jump into the pages of some of these novels. She was supportive, even when she might not have wanted to be. She was a true friend, and I can get with that.

Her family: Aww man, they were so dysfunctional--but they were stars of the show. Her brothers--were so, brotherly. Her Mom and Dad were funny. I kind of wish there was more of them in the story.

Discovering who the letters were from: This was the cutest part of the book, the reveal. I don't want to get into it because it feels spoiler-y but it was the cutest of cuteness. I really liked how it all concluded.

I don't have any dislikes or qualms, I was happy--and it finally got me to write a review so win-win.

A nice addition to any YA contemporary lovers shelf.

Friday, July 8, 2016

YA Mystery Mini Reviews: With Malice by Eileen Cook, and The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer

The Blood Between Us
Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.

Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.
For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.
Positives: I like the whole hate-hate thing the brother and sister had going on. That is one of the weirdest things I'll say about a book on this blog. But, I liked the dynamic it kept me on my toes. You didn't know what the other would do, so there was that. It brought up a lot of questions, sure one of them is adopted--but why all the animosity? Did they know something that had yet to be revealed, and that kind of thing.

The Uncles: It was nice to see two young-ish take on the responsibility of raising two teenagers--that--even though we didn't see it all couldn't have been easy. And, even harder because they couldn't stand one another. I just particularly liked their characters:

Adrien, was a confused soul--and I think some people will really relate to his story. It was interesting watching him sort of stumble around--coming to terms with both being adopted, and now the death of his adoptive parents. Not to mention all the inner turmoil, he was going through.

Grace--was okay, but I do not believe she was written for you to like her, so there's that.

Negatives: The story kind of drags, there's this big lead up--but the ending, for me was a let down. I can't say I was impressed. If the authors were going for surprise, I was indeed surprised--but not pleased.

The mystery's big reveal--is the make or break moment for me, and although the reveal wasn't disastrous, it was--oh okay, kind of moment.

With Malice
It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Positives: The intrigue: Obvs' the best part of this book is the mystery, what happened, how did it happen, why did it happen--that whole thing.

Memory loss: I have this weird thing about memory loss, it always fascinates me--the brain is a marvelous thing.

The friendship between Simone and Jill--there was something weird about their relationship from jump, at least that's how I felt--and to be honest it fascinated me. What was going on in their friendship? Was something wrong? Did they really like each other? What did really happen in Italy?

The mother: I liked Jill's mom, she was a pretty contemporary mom. Her husband left her for someone younger, and now she's a single mom--struggling to raise her daughter on a single income. I'm kind of glad she was the way she was. She needed to be this kind of mother to deal with everything that was going on.

The build-up: It was the build up to the big reveal that kept me going. I set aside everything else at one point because I really needed to know--what really happened.

Negatives: The reveal. I don't know. It wasn't that it was wholly disappointing but I wasn't thrilled. I was looking to be blown away, it was a tad bit surprising--but I kind of felt about this one, the way I felt about We Were Liars. Out of the loop or something. The ending is pretty genius but I still felt meh about the whole thing.

I'm sure there are a ton of people that will be completely thrilled about this one, so I'd highly recommend if you've been feeling YA mystery has been pretty lackluster lately. This is definitely the better of the bunch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch Quickish Book Review

A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she's starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it's too late?

I'm sorry. I don't care what anyone says, Amanda Panitch, writes YA mystery the way it's supposed to be done.

Never Missing Never Found tells the story of Scarlett, a girl who's attempting to go back to her normal life after spending a large chunk of her childhood with a kidnapper. From the ages of about 8-15 Scarlett, lives with her captor--thinking her family doesn't want her, and never knowing the truth.

One day she gets away, and things are back to fairly normal. She gets a job at an amusement park, a boy actually likes her--her brother still adores her. It's okay, well aside from the fact that her sister hates her, and she's still feeling the residuals of being kidnapped--oh and now another girl is missing.

Things get pretty crazy for Scarlett, what, with another girl being missing. But what I really liked is how she was able to deal with everything. It's pretty much a realistic tale of a girl being returned after being stolen--but with the most crazy twist at the end.

It's always so hard to write reviews for mysteries, because you want to tell everything, but you can't tell everything. I will say this, though, sure the story seems a little dull initially--but by the end you'll be satisfied, especially if like me, you didn't see it coming. 

Panitch, has a way with twisting a story, and make her characters unreliable--which I tend to like in my mysteries. I just like the way she does this mystery thing. Her characters are suspicious, and the endings are always delicious.

I'm sure a lot of you won't be impressed because well it tends to go that way. But if you liked Damage Done, you'll love Never Missing, Never Found. I sure did.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan Blog Tour

Secrets, Lies, & Scandals
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.

Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.

Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.

Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.

Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.

Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.



Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda is an avid volleyball player and spends time playing both indoors and out. When Amanda isn't writing, she enjoys being entirely too busy and trying new things. Endeavors as of late include appearances in music videos, TV, and movies, rock climbing, and attending as many concerts and shows as her schedule allows.

Amanda headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief.


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