May 27, 2015

Saving Mercy by Nicole Tillman Review!

Ryan Callahan
Intelligent. Pensive. Reclusive.

Mercy Hunter
Ambitious. Optimistic. Independent.

Ryan thought he was on the fast track to his dream life. That is, until he woke up without a pulse. Realizing he has no way to leave the space where he took his last breath, he fears he is destined to spend eternity within the confines of his dreary apartment walls.
Mercy is certain she has left the clairvoyant tendencies of her bloodline behind. However, when she arrives at her new apartment in blustery Chicago, she is shocked to find that the previous tenant, Ryan, has stayed behind.
As their unique friendship blossoms, Ryan begins to think he's been left behind to act as Mercy's protector, but she doesn't seem to be the kind of woman who wants to be protected.
Meanwhile, Mercy is convinced it's her job to help Ryan cross over, but as she grows to know him, she's not entirely sure she's selfless enough to let him go.
As they struggle through the complexities of their relationship, they realize that the collision of their worlds isn't just coincidence. It's fate.

    Saving Mercy had a really great and captivating start, which is always a plus for me. I had no idea where the story was going, but I wanted to see what would happen since the synopsis was so vague. I realized when I started this book that it featured dual POVs. I'm not usually a fan of dual POVs, but for this book it made sense and it worked. Plus, it added something extra to the story.
    One thing I liked about this book were the characters. Mercy is headstrong, determined, and very intuitive. She is a character that you can relate to. Ryan, on the other hand, is a little harder to describe, but he made me laugh so he is a winner in my book. I loved his snarky attitude and quick wit; it was an added bonus to his character. I loved how sweet and passionate he was also. He was so sweet to Mercy and I loved them together. They made my heart happy.
    I liked how we started off not knowing where this story is going, but as we go along we begin to get hints that Mercy might need Ryan's help. It was like slowly unwrapping a present, and it built anticipation nicely. It was intriguing that Ryan, who is a ghost, could somehow help Mercy. I have to say, I'm not usually drawn to ghost books, but this one I liked until I got to the ending.
    One thing I would have changed about this book was how it all ended. I was left wanting more of Ryan and Mercy, and I felt a little in the dark. I can't say I liked how things turned out. We were left in the middle of nowhere with Mercy and Ryan before we picked up somewhere else with someone else’s story. I can’t give anything away without spoiling the book, but we really do leave Mercy and Ryan’s story behind and pick up on a story of two other people who were in their lives. I loved Mercy and Ryan's story, and I can't help but be sad that it didn't go the way I thought it would. This book took a complete 180 towards the end and left me feeling confused. Honestly, before that 180 happened this book was a four star book for me. However, when I was done reading Saving Mercy, it was a three star rating for me. If only the author would have stuck to the story I came to love then I would have loved Saving Mercy in the end. I can't say I understand that ending or the shift, but I have to give the author points for the plot twist. It's not easy to throw me through a loop like that, but she definitely succeeded with Saving Mercy. I think I will be checking out her other books just to see what else she has in store for readers. I give Saving Mercy three out of five stars.

May 26, 2015

In the Time of Dragon Moon by Janet Lee Carey Review!

An epic fantasy about dragons, dark secrets, Pendragons, and magic
On the southernmost tip of Wilde Island--far from the Dragonswood sanctuary and the Pendragon Castle--live the native Euit people. Uma, who is half Euit and half English, and not fully accepted by her tribe, wants to become a healer like her Euit father. But the mad English queen in the north, desperate for another child, kidnaps Uma and her father and demands that he cure her barrenness. After her father dies, Uma must ensure that the queen is with child by the time of the Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake.
Terrified and alone, Uma reaches out to her only possible ally: the king's nephew Jackrun, a fiery dragonrider with dragon, fairy, and human blood. Together, they must navigate through a sea of untold secrets, unveil a dark plot spawned long ago in Dragonswood, and find a way to accept all the elements--Euit, English, dragon, and fairy--that make them who they are.
    This book just sucks you in and doesn't let you go. Every moment is filled with something interesting, whether it be secrets, hidden motives, mad Queens, or stolen kisses and crazy plots. This book took me to another world. As I read In the Time of Dragon Moon, the real world fell away and I was swept into Uma's world. I was hooked on this story by the second chapter. From then on, there wasn't a moment that my heart didn't hurt for Uma or cheer for her to succeed. I felt like I was walking in her shoes. I felt like I took her place in this book. Everything about In the Time of Dragon Moon just seemed magical. The descriptions were magical and the atmosphere this book seemed to emit was captivating. Not to mention the fact that dragons are very much a forefront in this book so you know I was going to go crazy over that.
    The trouble and hurt that Uma had to go through was heartbreaking to read, but it made everything feel more real. Her struggles kept me turning every page and as soon as I met Jackrun, I was even more determined to find out what would happen to Uma and him. I was instantly in love with Jackrun, not only because he came in riding a dragon, but because he is so kind to Uma, where others were not. He is another added interest to the story, that's for sure. I could not handle how perfect Uma and him are for each other. That ending had me fangirling over them, I'm telling you. I'm in love with their love, seriously.
    Another thing that I love about this book is that it features a lot of different places and castles. It gave me a feeling of recall as if I was there before. It made the book feel more real to me because Uma traveled and walked to a lot of places. Plus, it added to the adventure of the story. It seemed like every page turned we were going to experience someplace new and it was exciting. In the Time of Dragon Moon also made me feel so many things. This is one book that will seriously captivate you and transport you to that world. I can't talk about it enough because it is so amazing. Every beautifully written chapter had me engrossed more and more until I felt like I was in Uma's shoes. I think it's safe to say that this book is definitely a favorite of mine
    Honestly, I loved everything about this book. It had everything I needed or wanted in a book. It had dragons, of course, but it also had mystery, magic, adventure, and a slow burning romance that had my heart in knots. I loved how beautifully this book was written too. Every word sucked me into the story more and more, and by the end of the book I was aching to go back to that world or for the book to continue on. I also loved how this book had a balance of everything. There was not more adventure than there was romance or mystery. This book had the perfect combination of everything that makes a book great. I easily give it five out of five stars.

May 25, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Review!

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
The beginning of this book really draws you in. If you haven't read about Shahrzad's story before then either way you want to know what happens and why she wants to kill the Caliph. I love how descriptive and lyrical this book is. It's written beautifully. Just like Shazi's story telling ability, Ahdieh has the ability to weave a beautiful story that will leave you wanting more and more.
This story is so beautiful and full of culture that you cannot help but love it. I felt like I was practically there with Shazi and Khalid. I was transported into that world through Ahdieh’s words, and I was blown away. Shazi has made it her mission to make Khalid pay for what he has done to the girls before her, but she starts to realize that that may be harder than she thought. I loved how different this book is. I have never read a book that features such a diverse bunch of characters and it is really refreshing. The fact that this book is full of adventure and mystery also had me loving the story. Shazi is not one to sit around idly and Khalid is determined to find out what she hides behind her beautiful stories and pretty smiles. I just love everything about this book down to the adventure and action to the way Ahdieh describes the simplest things like the way Shazi's heart pounds when Khalid is near or the way Khalid's demeanor changes when Shazi opens herself up more and more. It's really a beautiful story and after I finished I was desperate for me. Honestly, I would have given anything for this book to be longer. THAT ENDING KILLED ME. I expected to like this story, but I never expected to love it so hard and so much as I did. This has to be one of the best books I have read this year. It's the kind of book that stirs up all kinds of emotions and leaves you screaming for more. I cannot explain how amazing this book it. It's complex, mysterious, romantic, and so much more. I just can't stop thinking about Shazi and Khalid. I need more of them.
Speaking of Shazi and Khalid, I loved the characters. Shazi is so bold and fearless that you cannot help but be proud of her. She is the only one willing to stand up to Khalid and she is amazing. Then we have Khalid who is this mysterious and seemingly cold Caliph, but he soon he begins to shows signs of being human and full of passion as the story goes on. He is a conundrum, but I can't help but want to know more about him. As the story went on, I fell in love with him slowly, like Shazi did. He was just so sweet and caring when he finally let his guard down and when he called Shazi his queen, my heart melted. Also, Despina is hilarious. She made me laugh out loud more than once. She is definitely one of my favorite characters in this book after Shazi, of course.
If you are looking for a book that will have you hooked from to start to finish and even beyond that, then The Wrath and the Dawn is for you. This book is full of complex emotions, a mysterious but loving Caliph, a loyal and brave Calipha, and a whole lot of plotting that will leave you speechless. This book is without a doubt going on my favorite books of all-time list. If you take nothing else from this review, just know that you need to read this book. For Shazi's sake, read this glorious book! Of course, it deserves five stars. This book needs to be a best seller.

May 22, 2015

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge Review!

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.
Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)
One thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. As many of you might know, the cover of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is one of my all-time favorites. So when I saw the cover of Crimson Bound, I wanted it. Then I read the synopsis and knew I had to have it. I absolutely love retellings and I know for a fact that Hodge is great at retelling fairytales.
When I started this book I had no idea what was in store for me. I had learned from reading Cruel Beauty that I can never even start to guess what is going to happen in a book written by Hodge. This book is no different. I went in with an open mind and I was blown away. The characters in this book are so complicated and complex that you can read the whole book and feel like you only scratched the surface of them. Rachelle is a character that I didn't expect to admire or cheer for as much as I did in this book. She has a heartbreaking past and even sadder outlook on her future. That made me become emotionally attached to her in so many ways. She is a character that is so strong when anyone else would break. I love characters like that because they emulate what I want to be. Rachelle is a bad ass heroine that can wield a sword and throw daggers with scary precision, and I can't think of anything I love more than a heroine that kicks ass and takes names.  Then there is Armand. He was a character that I didn't expect to love. However, as soon as I got to know him later in the book I fell in love with him. Then when all of his secrets are revealed I began to admire him for his strength. This book is full of strong characters and an even stronger plot.
 Everything about this story kept me hooked. I stayed up until 3 AM reading it because I just couldn't stop. Crimson Bound is a beautiful blend of action, assassins, love, and sacrifice. The plot had me hungry for more with every chapter I finished and even though the story seemed to reach a short lull in the middle, the beginning and end of the story were amazing. There is also a plot twist in the book that will have you thinking you are crazy. I questioned my sanity after the plot twist was revealed. Every moment was a guessing game because I could never predict what the characters were going to do, and that made the book all the more interesting. I am so SO happy with this book to say the least. The good guys in this book are ones you will root for and the bad guys are the ones that will make you wish you could strangle them. That's when you know a book is good.
 Overall, I loved this book so hard. I knew I would like it because I loved Cruel Beauty, but I really loved Crimson Bound. It had everything I love it a book from a heroine with a heartbreaking past to an explosive ending that will have you almost in tears. It totally earned five out of five stars from me!


May 19, 2015

Run Away by Laura Salters Review!

“Ignorance is bliss...until there’s blood involved”
Drenched in blood and sitting in the sweltering interview room of a Thai police station, Kayla Finch knows that Sam, the love of her life, is dead. It doesn't matter that there's no body. All that blood can only mean one thing.
It isn't the first time Kayla's had blood on her hands. After finding her brother dead by his own hand, she tried to outrun her grief by escaping to Thailand. Heart-broken, the last thing she expected was to find love on the smoggy streets of Bangkok. But everyone Kayla loves seems to wind up dead.
Returning home to England, Kayla is left with a barely-functioning family, a string of gruesome nightmares and the niggling feeling that nothing is as it seems. And as she confronts her brother's suicide, she starts to suspect that something is very wrong.
Three months. Two tragedies. One connection: there's more to both cases than anyone is willing to admit. And Kayla’s determined to uncover the truth…no matter what the cost.
I have to say, the beginning of Run Away really draws you in. It's rare that I read a book that has me hooked instantly from the first page, but this one had that kind of beginning. Run Away alternates in view from Kayla’s present to past. I'm usually not fond of that, but in this book it is needed and it just fits. As you read about Kayla’s past you get to learn more about her and Sam, which is crucial. We get to understand the real Kayla because the present Kayla is full of grief. Then as the story goes on we get to know who Sam is, which is painful because we already THINK we know what happens to him. However, it was so fun reading about their adventures together. They both have great senses of humor and there were many times that I had to laugh at their antics. Kayla's story is one to break hearts. Every pages turned is like a knife to the heart because we learn more about what she went through with her brother and Sam, and then we discover her growing relationship with Sam. However, knowing something bad might have happened to him makes their growing relationship in her past POV a little painful to read about.
One thing I like about this book is that it really explored the feelings of loss and grief. It's so raw and real that it makes the story seem more real as well. Honestly, reading this book was intense. There was a constant buildup of anticipation from the beginning until the very end. Every page was a mystery uncovered and one step closer to figuring out what happened with Sam. It's really captivating. There was never a moment that I was bored. I could practically feel Kayla's determination and pain through the whole book and it made me want to read more. It made me want to find out what happened to Sam too. I don't usually pick up murder mystery books, but I'm glad Salters approached me about reading her book. It makes me want to read more books like it.
 Run Away really took me by surprise. I NEVER expected the ending that I was given, and I never expected the crazy ride I was taken on. The shift in POVs from before the "event" and after throughout the book drove me crazy but in a good way. Every time I felt like we were getting somewhere in Kayla’s present POV Salters would switch back to the past POV. It was an interesting way to write this thriller and in the end, I loved it. Everything builds up until the very end where the story seems to explode with action and answers. I now remember why thrillers excited and infuriated me. I was kept guessing throughout the whole book, and I didn't know what was going on until the very end. This book really keeps you on your toes, and it will blow your mind in the end. I have to say, I can't wait to see what Salters has in store for me in her next book. The fact that Run Away is her first novel just blows me away. This book is so thought out and complex that it doesn't seem like a first novel to me. I guess that just attests to the fact that Salters is a damn good writer. I was hooked on this book from the beginning and it totally deserves five out of five stars.

Laura Salters
Laura Salters is a YA/NA suspense author (represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media Inc) from Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England. Her debut novel, RUN AWAY, will be published by HarperCollins (Witness Impulse) on May 19. When Laura isn't writing, reading or thinking about writing or reading, she's a music lover (and terrible singer), pet cuddler, beach-goer, runner (*cough* jogger), passionate foodie, caffeine addict, tennis player, lipstick wearer, Harry Potter fangirl (yes, still), housework dodger and relentless chatterbox.

Check her out on all of her social media accounts! She is a sweetheart.
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If you think Run Away is a book that you would love like me then check it out!

May 11, 2015

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin Review!

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.
Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.
But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends--the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

    One of the Guys had a hilarious start, which is always a way to capture my attention. You can never go wrong with a funny introduction to a book. The plot was extremely interesting and it was bound to cause problems for the characters. That's why I loved it. Every moment of this book had me intrigued. There wasn't a moment that I was bored or wondering when the fun would begin because this whole book is fun and romantic and different. I felt all sorts of emotions from while reading this book like happiness and sadness, to anger, hurt, and so much more. I instantly because attached to Toni so everything that happened to her felt like it was happening to me. This story made me feel like I was in Toni's place experiencing mixed feelings about a friend who is a boy and it felt so real.
    Speaking of Toni, I loved the fact that she never changed in this book. Sure, she started painting her nails and wearing her hair different, but she stayed true to herself. I've read too many YA romance novels about girls having to change themselves "to get the guy" and I was so extremely happy that this book wasn't like that. Toni stayed her usual crazy, determined, thoughtful, hardheaded, caring, and belch prone self. The only thing that changed was the way she saw herself and that's what is important. I think this is the kind of book that young girls need to read because this book doesn't advocate changing your appearance for a guy. It does just the opposite; it promotes accepting yourself. I also loved how unpredictable Toni was. Every so often she would do something that took me by surprise and it made the story that much more interesting. I was always wondering what crazy things she would do next.
    The other characters in this book were always doing things I never expected also, and I loved how complex they were. I loved Loch and Cowboy. They were so easy going and Cowboy was super shy which was so endearing to me. Ollie, on the other hand, I did not like for reasons that I cannot say because of spoilers. However, I can tell you that I got over it in the end. However, I was not happy with him through most of the book. Another character that I did not like was Brian, Toni's step-father. I did not like him at first mention because Toni did not like him, but then he grew on me. I understood him better in the end. It was great reading this book and seeing how all of these characters changed. Anyway, back to the part of this book that I loved the most, Loch and Toni.
    Every scene with Loch and Toni made my heart race a little because I wanted them to realize how perfect they were for each other. They just fit so well together that you just wanted to shake them and make them realize they love each other. I have to say, I was always surprised at Toni’s actions when it came to Loch. THAT SCENE WHERE TONI AND LOCH WERE IN THE MOUNTAINS AHHHH! I melted. Just know that you will squeal if you read that part. I know I did! The ending had me melting too. Basically, this book is one that will keep your mind off of things and it is sure to take you on a crazy ride. Needless to say, the plot definitely falls into my quirky taste in books, which I made a blog post about, you can read it here, My Quirky Taste in Books . It did not disappoint me! Everything about it was so sweet and cute. I only wish that we got to see more of what happened between Toni and Loch in the end, but the ending still satisfied me. I give it four out of five stars.