Review: Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

My Review

This was my first Sarah Dessen book! My friend lent me it and mentioned that it was a quick read! She was definitely right! The story was sweet and emotional all the way through. It touched on all the toughest life subjects you can think of.

Lock & Key follows the point of view of Ruby, a teenage girl who was recently abandoned by her lowlife mom. She thinks she can handle things on her own but soon finds herself in the custody of her older sister whom she believed to have walked out on her and her mom years ago. Now her life has taken on a mind all its own, as she learns to adjust to a completely new world. Fortunately, she finds an unlikely friendship (or more than friendship) in the boy next door. However, she is determined to keep the secrets of her past from him, but she begins to wonder if he’s keeping secrets of his own.

This book was heart wrenching throughout. I felt for Ruby’s situation. She was so determined to be independent and keep herself boxed up, but life just finds a way sometimes to make you learn the most unexpected things about yourself. I loved all the characters too! Each one had their curves and edges all their own. I think Dessen did an excellent job of showing the ways in which you can be a product of your environment, which I am a sound believer of! I admit, I was expecting this book to be more centered around the romance, but that really wasn’t the case. It was more focused on self-discovery, and the ability to accept that you don’t have to be alone, and you can always ask for help.

If you are looking for an emotionally touching read, with a dash of romance, then I would most definitely recommend you read Lock & Key!

Buy it on Amazon!

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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Goodreads Summary:

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.


My Review

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this book until I saw the preview for the movie. The concept definitely intrigued me. I decided to listen to it on audiobook, and wow, just wow. This story was unexpectedly heart wrenching and real, so so real.

The story centers around the life and death of Samantha Kingston who has climbed her way to the top of the popularity tower and happens to be friends with the top dogs. She’s essentially a bitch and so are her friends. That becomes apparent immediately, however, when she wakes up in the morning after experiencing her death to find that the day she lived yesterday is on repeat, she soon discovers she is stuck in a loop unless she can do something to change her path and the situation around her.

It was so incredibly interesting to see Oliver create the same day in multiple different unique ways. I kept thinking throughout, how is she going to change it this time, how is she going to give this story a happy ending? Well folks, don’t expect a happy ending, but do expect an ending that makes sense and will certainly give you chills. Though I definitely disliked Sam’s character in the beginning, I began to appreciate her and her character evolution as her repeated days continued. She grew so much and developed into a wonderful female lead. And though I so wish the story had ended differently, I understand why it concluded the way it did. And even though it kills me inside, I am content in a certain way with the way things played out.

The message in Before I Fall is absolutely beautiful and makes you appreciate life and humanity. It teaches you to take in every small wonderful detail of your existence, because even the most insignificant aspects of life have a role to play, a role that could be so much more impactful then you ever realized.

I would definitely recommend you read Before I Fall if only to feel all the emotion that this story has to bring and appreciate it’s meaning. I can only hope that the movie brings that emotion to life just as well as the book.

Buy it on Amazon.

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Goodreads Summary: 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Review

Everything, Everything was a surprisingly refreshing contemporary romance! I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover!

I had seen this book all over bookstagram for months before I saw the movie trailer for the first time and realized what it was about. It seemed sweet and endearing, although I had a feeling about the direction the story was going to go in.

Everything, Everything follows the life and perspective of Madeline, a girl with a rare disease that requires her to never step outside for fear of it causing her body to shut down and kill her. She is resigned to her fate, that is until the day that Ollie moves in next door. She can’t help but feel drawn to him, and what starts out as a simple fascination grows into a real connection when they begin to speak over the internet. Soon she finds herself falling for him no matter how much she knows it’s doomed to fail.

As circumstances progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder how the author was going to play this out. Obviously the story could go one of two ways. Fortunately, and also unfortunately, the main plot twist is one I predicted from the very beginning. Though I was not a fan of the predictability, that did not stop me from feeling satisfied with the overall turn of events. The story was fast paced, the characters were absolutely lovely, and the style of writing was wholly unique. I listened to it on audiobook which was a little bizarre for the way it was written, but it still worked, and I found myself utterly gripped by the story.

I loved the writing in this book, and the characters stole my heart. I would most definitely recommend reading Everything, Everything. Especially if you are looking for a heartwarming contemporary read! I can’t wait to see the movie now, I just hope it lives up to expectations.

Buy this beautiful tale now!

Release Day Blitz & Review: With These Wings by Wendy Knight

 

Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Phoenyx was taken by the aliens who were supposed to save humanity. But Phoenyx didn’t die. She escaped.
Changed, different. Terrifying.
Now she protects the people she used to call neighbors and friends, despite the fact that they don’t trust her. She looks like the aliens—beautiful, strong, and winged. And that’s why those she protects want her dead.
She doesn’t blame them.
All the while, she’s searching for Cole, the boy whose arms she was ripped from the night she was taken. When he shows up at their compound with a new love, everything Phoenyx has been fighting for is turned on its head, and she has to figure out what side she’s really on and who she really is before she loses herself completely.
Never trust beautiful things.

 


***I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review***

My Review:

With these Wings snagged my attention from the start! When reading the blurb and seeing the cover, I couldn’t help but wonder, is this really about aliens or is it angels? And there’s romance, and an apocalypse, all things I love to read about! Needless to say, I had to get my hands on it. And boy was I not disappointed!

This unique story starts off right in the thick of things. The end of the world is in full swing and there is absolutely no turning back! When Phoenyx is taken by an alien race from her best friend and the boy she loves, she has no hope of seeing him again. Until the day, much later they suddenly cross paths. Only Phoenyx is not quite human anymore, and Cole whom she loved so wholeheartedly doesn’t react in a way that encourages their love. However, circumstances bring them closer together as their lives are continuously threatened by the alien races among them. And Phoenyx or Nyx as she now goes by is the only person capable of protecting the human race from all that lurks in the night.

Nyx’s character was a total badass throughout, if not a little dangerously stubborn. Her need to rush in to danger was commendable but definitely annoying at times! It was kind of sad to see her as being the only real thing that stood in the way between life and total destruction of what was left of the human race. Her relationship with Cole is nothing short of tumultuous throughout, but don’t fret readers, because there is certainly hope. And their love for one another remained strong regardless of their constant struggles to come to terms with their new unexpected reality.

As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but notice how non-stop the action and suspense was! There wasn’t a single dull moment, and as the ending hit, the events reached a stunning and satisfying peak! I thoroughly enjoyed With these Wings, and look forward to seeing more from these characters in the future! If you are looking for your next sci fi read, I would most definitely recommend this book!


Available on Amazon!
http://amzn.to/2ttPsjP
Snippet:
 Nyx scooted closer to the rocky precipice, and then just a bit further, so she could curl her toes around the edge. The wind howled, jerking at her hair and loose, black dress. She stared down, trying to estimate the drop. It was so far she couldn’t see the bottom in the darkness, but then, the moon wasn’t giving her much light tonight. She spread her arms wide, embracing the emptiness, and tumbled forward.She fell so fast that the mountainside blurred around her and the scream of the wind in her ears almost, almost, drowned out the roar of adrenaline. The ground raced up to meet her, seemingly hungry for her blood, aching for her death.Not today.Her wings shot out, jerking her to a stop mid-air, her feet almost grazing the ground that had moments before been a demon about to devour her alive.
Bio:
Wendy Knight is the award-winning, bestselling author of the young adult series Fate on Fire and Riders of Paradesos. She was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, no touching the knives…you get the idea). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big—her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.
The award winning author of Feudlings. Check out my newest series, Toil & Trouble! https://goo.gl/tZ2heG
Sign up for my newsletter and get a free ebook! https://goo.gl/5EVAKb

 

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Review: Defender (Night War Saga #2) by S.T. Bende and Leia Stone

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Goodreads Summary:

Allie Rydell left her life behind to protect the world from the Goddess of Night. But after weeks of training, hunting, and learning to use the life-giving power that inexplicably chose her, saving Midgard seems more impossible than ever. Nott’s followers have eyes across the realms, and they’re determined to collect the bounty on Allie’s soul. And the closer Allie and her protectors get to the pieces of the immortal weapon that could save them all, the more destruction Nott manages to unleash—not only on the world Allie loves, but on the friends she’d give her life to save.
Darkness is coming. And this time, it won’t leave any survivors.


 

My Review

Defender swoops in with another suspense filled Norse ride! After reading and enjoying Protector, I couldn’t wait to read Defender and see where Allie would go next on her quest to find the pieces of her weapon! And of course now that her relationship with Tore is in full swing, I was more than ready to see their relationship unfold!

Defender picks up around where Protector left off, with Allie still in the middle of her training after healing from her almost near death experience. However, now that she knows she has a real chance of healing her mom and being at last reunited with her, she is more determined than ever to kill Knott and bring the pieces of her weapon back together at last.

This second installment was full of development after development with all new worlds. Characters you’ve been waiting to meet are revealed, and the suspense was a constant! Tore and Allie’s relationship was absolutely adorable throughout! And of course there’s the rest of the gang of protectors charged with ensuring the safety of Allie. What I would give to have myself a group of hot men at my beck and call 24/7! Sounds like a sweet deal right? And of course all of them are such gentlemen! Defender brings with it more growth of these beloved characters, and new relationships are formed that are most certainly surprising.

This book was over before I knew it, the pace was swift and left me wanting more! And that ending?! I have so many questions! So.Many. And my heart is breaking for certain characters that I won’t name. But I most definitely look forward to reading the continuation of this adventure. And I would for sure recommend you read Defender! Pick it up on Amazon on July 16th! 

Review: The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary

It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.
l anyone survive?
What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.
The truth will be terrifying.
Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

The time for lies is over.


My Review

Before I get started, let me just say that I was not aware I was reading (or listening in this case) to the last book in the series until I was about 3/4 of the way through it. My bad. But honestly, I think I might have self sabotaged this series by listening to it on audiobook instead of just reading it. I just couldn’t really get into this book, I found myself indifferent through about 50% of it.

The Death Cure picks up with Thomas back in a cell in the hands of WICKED yet again. I mean come on it’s the constant cat and mouse situation with these books. The plot line is just so darn redundant. Before ya know it, Thomas and the gang are fighting back against their captors and escaping once more into a world that is still foreign to them, having not yet gained their memories back in their entirety.  As their lives become increasingly threatened, new secrets are revealed that change the game entirely.

This third and final book had so much potential to be amazing, and don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of plot reveals, some of which were emotionally heart wrenching, and others were just flat out predictable. I really wish I could have become more invested in the story and the characters, but I just wasn’t. I expected the ending to be a lot more spectacular and it was certainly intense, but it was also over before I knew it. The story ended and it wasn’t really a resolution, it was kind of a half assed conclusion if I’m being honest.

The Maze Runner was a thoroughly okay series, I loved the first book, but I couldn’t help but feel that as the series continued it fell into an endless loop of the same plot developments disguised as a new additions to the story.

If you’re looking for your typical apocalyptic series with a satisfying enough ending, then I would recommend you read The Death Cure. Buy it on Amazon here.

 

Reread and Repost (Plus Some New Thoughts): Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTR #1) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Be sure to scroll down to the very end to see my new thoughts after rereading it! 

 

My Review

I had seen so much hype over this book and saw all the wonderful reviews, that I definitely had high expectations! And sure enough, they were met!! A Court of Thorns and Roses is similar in some ways to Beauty and the Beast but takes on a life of it’s own as events progress!!

Feyre has been the sole provider for her family ever since her father lost his fortune. Day after day she is forced to hunt the forests for meals and trade what she can in the local village in order to sustain her family. That is until the day she accidentally kills a faerie and gets swept away to Pyrthian (the faerie lands) by the mysterious Tamlin, . While there her life is turned entirely upside down as she discovers more behind the truth about faeries and their dealings with humans, falling for Tamlin along the way.

Feyre was the perfect female lead! She’s a badass, and doesn’t wait for a man to step in to do what a woman can just as easily do! She is persistent and was a wonderful character to experience. Her relationship with Tamlin was definitely slow on the uptake but it was oh so worth it. Though I would have liked for the romance to be a little bit heavier, there was sill plenty for enjoyment. Besides SO much happens in this first book, that the lack of more intimate moments did not impede on the excitement of the story whatsoever.

The plot movement was constant, and kept me on my toes throughout. There really wasn’t a slow moment in the story. In fact so much happened and progressed, that it almost felt like I was reading book one and two! The last 150 pages were so insanely epic and emotionally strenuous that it felt more like the sequel to the beginning pages. The last half was definitely the most amazing, but the first half was lovely and the perfect set up for the conclusion. Maas created a beautiful world in A Court of Thorns and Roses, one that was both captivating and alluring, as well as intriguing and suspenseful! Though most the loose ends were tied up and the book didn’t end in a cliffhanger, I can still see how there will be a book two. However, with such a great beginning, I’m afraid a sequel might dampen things. Nevertheless, you can be sure I’ll be reading book two!!

I would definitely recommend A Court of Thorns and Roses to any fantasy fans out there!! I’d recommend it to anyone really! Buy it on Amazon here!

SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK TWO DON’T READ ANY FURTHER

New Thoughts, now that I know what I know from book two:

Finally book three in ACOTR is out!! So of course, I had to slow myself down from devouring A Court of Wings and Ruin and take the time to reread the previous books! Unfortunately, its taking me longer than I thought it would.

Anyway, OMG why didn’t I see this before?! Of course Rhysand loved Feyre from the very start and had a connection with her! It was utterly devastating to read the book knowing she would eventually be with him and yet having to endure her rejecting him! Rhysand clearly would have done anything for her from the get-go, which made me appreciate him as a character all the more. His side of the story is just as unfortunate as anyone else. In fact, I’d say he’s an even bigger victim!