Review: The Truth She Knew

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Title: The Truth She Knew [Book #1]
Author: J.A. Owenby
Publication Date: Sept 12, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.
For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.

I finished this book and wanted to scream like WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ENDING!?!? I can’t even. WHY.

Lacey believes that she is possessed by demons because that’s what her mother says. And she also believes that her mother has a special relationship with God. Lacey believes that God tells her mother what she does when she’s not home, because her mother somehow knows everything.

Enter Walker, normal guy, normal life, relatively normal family. When he meets Lacey, he begins to show her that maybe her family isn’t “normal.”

As a whole, this book was both insanely what-on-earth and yet amazing. Lacey’s belief in her mother’s “relationship” with God is astounding – and it’s sad to think that there are people who live like that. If their family is all they know, they will never be able to tell what’s “normal” and what’s absolutely, totally, insanely wrong. Lacey doesn’t realize that her family is crazy simply because it’s been something that she grew up with, lived with, and has been reinforced through her sister and her mother’s “friend.” There are so many things wrong with Lacey’s perception of the world, and I think this book does a great job of showing how skewed it can be and how much of an impact family can have.

Note: I’m not saying her family is crazy ’cause they’re religious (I mean, I’m Christian, and I’m like 90% sure I’m not crazy…), they’re crazy and dysfunctional for very different reasons…

Lacey grew A LOT throughout this book, and her character grew to be better, stronger, more resilient. Then there’s Walker… Oh man. There’s so much about the second half of the book that I want to just toss out there, but it’ll spoil the book. BUT I WAS SO ANGRY. LIKE… F U R I O U S.

In part, I get why it happened, kind of. But it really flipped some of my initial judgements on their head. I actually got so mad at the end, and then the book was suddenly done. AND I WAS SCREAMING. Ask my roommate.

I mean, it’s one thing to have that happen and for the book to progress, but everything just hits the fan, and the book ends only like 20 pages later.

LIKE WHAT?

YOU CAN’T DO THAT — JHLAKJHFLKAJSDHKAJDH

Anyways, so the book ends – I fly to GoodReads, and I’m both frustrated and relieved to find that this is actually the first book in a series.

Now I’m waiting for the next book to release and am hoping that we see a lot more of Lacey as she tries to navigate the world with her new perspectives (and a few dashed hopes).

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.46/5

eARC obtained through Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Becky Banks’ Holiday Blog Tour

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Welcome to Becky Banks’ Holiday Blog Tour, hosted by Roger Charlie!~

author-becky-banks-serendipity-of-fateTitle: Serendipity of Fate
Author: Becky Banks
Genre: Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

It’s been two years since Cason McPherson watched his best friend die in his arms. With shrapnel in his hip and a war behind him, he keeps focused on building a civilian life and not on what he wants most: the woman of his dreams, Savannah. If only she’d stop bringing up topics he has to keep secrets about.

Savannah Sparling has no time for baggage, and Cason McPherson brought home a matching set in scathing green—with a carry-on duffel bag full of lies. He’s the childhood friend who enlisted with her brother. He came home, and her brother didn’t.

Balancing work with demanding clients while fulfilling a personal vendetta against Cason consumes Savannah’s already full schedule—until a series of unstoppable events leads to a collision between Savannah’s work and personal lives. Her carefully structured path in the world is crushed, her own blood is spilled, and passion between her and an unlikely bedfellow ignite.

Cason and Savannah find the only the people strong enough to save them from themselves is each other. But will either one of them accept the help—and the love—that’s offered?

Buy Links:
Amazon

Playlist:

Take a peak into the music behind the book- checkout Serendipity of Fate‘s playlist here!

  1. Bad Mood Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. Green River – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  3. I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
  4. Glitter & Gold – Rebecca Ferguson
  5. Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene – Hozier
  6. Push It – Garbage
  7. Feel Invincible – Skillet
  8. Little Black Submarines – The Black Keys
  9. Faded [Odesza Remix] – Zhu Odesza
  10. Be Together ft. Wild Belle – Major Lazer
  11. Powerful ft. Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley- Major Lazer

Excerpt:

Interested in the book? Checkout the first few chapters here!

Buy Link:
Amazon

About the Author:beckybanks-1-of-1

Becky Banks grew up, like the generations of Bankses before her, in the Hawaiian Islands. With the islands as her roots, Becky was raised within the time-honored tradition of “talking story” before a backdrop of grassy fields, blue waters, and cloud-clad mountains. She moved to the mainland after high school to attend Oregon State University, where she studied forestry, natural resources, and science education. One fateful day she realized that her decades of scribblings promised the makings of a romance writer. Becky’s first novel, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, achieved the Night Owl Reviews Top Pick Award and Amazon’s Best Seller for Historical Romanc

Becky lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Keith, and their wild toddler, Sammy.

Author Links:
Author Website | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon | Virtual Tour Page 

Giveaway:

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Becky Banks has partnered with It’s All In the Dee-Tales to host this amazing giveaway. Up for grabs are:

  1. Ebook + US Flag Bag w/ Lollia No. 25
  2. Ebook + TokyoMilk Dark w/ Red BootPeep Boot Toppers
  3. Ebook + Margot Elena’s Love & Toast Gift Set
  4. Ebook + Dee-Tale’s Prize Pack w/ US Flag Hood Scarf
  5. Ebook + Cupcakes, Champagne & Dreams Prize Pack

Enter by clicking the Rafflecopter image below!

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Cover Reveal: Until It Fades

Welcome to the cover reveal for Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker! Are your eyes ready for this cover’s beauty? ;)

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Tada!

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Title: Unitil it Fades
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

A sexy new romance about a small-town woman who saves the life of a mysterious man, and finds herself unexpectedly thrown into a whirlwind love affair, featuring bestselling author K. A. Tucker’s signature “well-constructed, pulse-pounding suspense” (USA TODAY).

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population three thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | BAM | Indigo/Chapters | Book Depository

About the Author:_mg_9315-edit-crop-1

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 books, including Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water, and her latest Adult Suspense novel, He Will Be My Ruin. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube | Pinterest | Instagram

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Book Blitz: To the Ends of the Earth

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Welcome to the To The Ends of the Earth Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

tteoteTitle: To The Ends of the Earth
Author: Skye Warren
Genre: Adult Romance
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Another rundown apartment. Another job that pays cash. Every new city it becomes harder to hide but I can’t stop running.
There are two men after me. One wants to save my soul. The other wants to claim my body.
Part of me wants Luca to catch me, even knowing what he’s capable of. An enforcer. A fighter. The only language he speaks is violence.
How far will he go to find me?
What will he do once he does?
A wild glance over my shoulder. The shadows are moving. I’m about to find out.
Start the Stripped Series Today: http://www.skyewarren.com/books/

Buy Links:
Amazon

Excerpt:

He gestures to the bed. “What do you think is going to happen tonight?”

That’s a loaded question. I don’t want to whisper my fears aloud. I’m afraid I might be right. “Whatever you want?”

My voice curls up at the end, turning it into a question.

He grunts. “Get underneath the blanket.”

This part I’m used to. It wasn’t so cold in Harmony Hills, but I know how to lie on my back, how to squeeze my eyes shut. I know how to stay completely silent no matter what he does.

There’s a soft rush of air as he lowers himself next to me. I feel his size like a looming shadow in the room, as large as a mountain. I’m a trickling valley stream, about to be crushed. Except he doesn’t lay his body over mine. He lies next to me. He pulls me close, until I’m half on top of his body, my head pillowed by his chest.

“Sleep,” he says.

My ear rests right by his heart. I can hear the steady thump thump. In contrast my heart beat’s a mile a minute. My eyes are wide open, looking at the plain white apartment wall. A wall I’ve seen a thousand times but never like this. Never cradled in the arms of a man who could crush me.

I’ve slept with a man before. The proof of that is in the bedroom.

But I’ve never slept with a man before.

I bite my lip. “How—”

“Go to sleep, little bird.”

It’s impossible. He smells like the outside, like ice and pine—with a metallic undercurrent that I think might be blood. His chest moves steadily with his breath. It’s like resting my head on the ocean.

And I never sleep well. It’s not the carpet that bothers me. It’s softer than the whitewashed wood slats in Harmony Hills. The memories haunt me most at night, when my hands aren’t busy, when my mind is still. That’s when I remember what Leader Allen did to me when everyone thought we were praying.

Luca’s hand moves over my hair, brushing softly, petting. The rhythm combines with the motion of his body, lulling me into a kind of trance. His muscles are brick hard. They shouldn’t be comfortable at all, but he’s hot. Burning. A rare comfort in a cold frontier.

I press my face into him, my very own pink and purple pillow. My stuffed unicorn in the form of a hard-muscled man. My hand clenches a fistful of T-shirt, holding him there.

“Shh,” he murmurs. “I’m watching over you. I’ll keep you safe.”

That’s the last thing I hear before the night falls away, replaced only with deep, dark waters. They swirl around me in an endless tide, back and forth, dreamless and warm.

Buy Links:
Amazon

About the Author:skyeprofileimage

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.
Author Links:

Giveaway:

Blitz-wide giveaway, open internationally. Enter to win a signed paperback of The Pawn (Skye’s next novel)!

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Review: Kisses on a Paper Airplane

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Title: Kisses on a Paper Airplane
Author: Sarah Vance Tompkins
Publication Date: May 14, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Drama student Hannah Evans isn’t kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She’s determined to share the perfect first kiss — with the perfect boy — in the perfect place — or she’s not kissing anyone at all. When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he’s ‘The One.’

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he’s worried she’s just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?

Kisses on a Paper Airplane is a quick, simple read, but I honestly did not enjoy it.

Hannah Evans is travelling home to attend her mother’s wedding. Her step-father-to-be got her a first class ticket from London, and during her time in the first-class lounge, she catches the interest of a good looking pop star AND FAINTS BECAUSE HE’S SO BEAUTIFUL.

There’s instalove and there’s over dramatics. How many people do you know see a good looking person and pass out. Like, I’m sorry, what?

Once conscious, she captures Theo’s heart and they get massages together, they sit with each other on the plane, and then become besties on the verge of an instalove relationship during the like three days of travel and 5 minutes of her mother’s wedding.

On top of the absolutely unbelievable story line, she talks like a fourteen year old. She’s in college/university now, and she keeps talking about “the one” and saying like “is he my frog prince?” “Maybe I have to kiss a bunch of frogs to get my frog prince.” I don’t know if this book was supposed to be a kind of retelling of the Princess and the Frog, but it was so overplayed and the language was trying way too hard to be “relevant” and “cutesy”.

Overall, probably wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, unless you like fluff language and instalove…

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 1/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall: 1/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.71/5

eARC obtained via Inkspell Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Review: Not Quite So Short Stories

27857855Title: Not Quite So Stories
Author: David S. Atkinson
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Short Stories Fiction
GoodReads

Synopsis:

The traditional explanation for myth (including such works as the relatively modern Just so Stories by Rudyard Kiping) is an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. That’s crap. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is to proceed on with our lives in the face of that. The stories in this collection proceed from this idea, examining how the different characters manage (and/or fail) to do this.

Not Quite So Stories was one of the oddest books I’ve ever read, in the best possible way.

Let me try to break it down for you – have you ever seen those twitter trends where tweets take a twist in the 140 characters allowed? Well this book is like that except with short stories. Each story was unique, and each story had me absolutely confounded by the end – some due to awe at how deep the short story got, some due to absolute confusion as to why it was even a thing, and some due to annoyance ’cause I really wanted an explanation to why it was a thing (even though the synopsis states clearly that that’s literally the reason why is was written).

I enjoyed about 90% of the stories in this books, the other 10% were okay, but just didn’t appeal to me. Something that was hard to work out for me was taking the work as it was. Often times, I’d flip back pages to figure out if I missed something, when I didn’t, it’s just that the “weird” part of it all wasn’t explained. This both added and detracted from my reading experience.

On one had it was really interesting to read the stories and think, “Hey, that’s really weird and funny” or “I see what you did there, interesting”, while other times I’d be like, “What??”, and then re-read the story from the beginning – leaving it no less confused than when I had read it the first time.

Overall, definitely would recommend. The stories get you thinking about everyday life, as well as get your spirits up. This isn’t a book you have to sit down for a while to read either – each story gives you a dose of happy! My top three stories talk about rolling oranges, toilet paper, and disappearing houses, haha. Check it out – I think there’s something in this book for everyone!

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover
: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.48/5

eBook obtained via Roger Charlie in exchange for an honest review.

Book Tour + Review: A Mortal Song

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Welcome to the reveal for Megan Crewe’s new project – A Mortal Song, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

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Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess. As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Buy Link:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

Review:

Okay, just to get it out of the way – there are characters named Haru and Jun – I actually grow to like Haru, and Jun is just a name mentioned in passing. That’s right, this is a book about Japan where the characters are Japanese (and Japanese spirits) AND they aren’t named Jun. Rare, right?

This story is about Japanese “spirits” called kami, who are trying to save their kind from an evil spirit. In order to do so, Sora and Takeo need to find the true heir to the kami throne to help defeat the evil spirit. On top of this, Sora needs to come to terms with the shocking news that she is in fact human, and what that means in terms of her relationship with Takeo, and her new band of human friends.

I found this to be a fantastic book about adventure, friendship, love, and self-discovery.

Although Sora has to learn how to cope with being a mere human, she doesn’t get too angsty about it – instead she is strong, resourceful, and open to seeing the world from a different point of view, a human point of view. An honestly, even without the powers, she is absolutely kickass throughout the novel.

To be honest, Takeo as a character was meh to me. He was like wallpaper, and I honestly didn’t see what Sora could be attracted to, save for their childhood history. His character could have also been like this because he was kami. Honestly, I loved Haru and Keiji so much more. As humans, they had more personality and more diversity in responses than Takeo, and they stole the show from him. I loved the characters, overall – they all really complimented each other well, both in skill and wit, and that really helped keep the story moving.

This book got a lot of things right – there was no instant love, but a beginning to something; there wasn’t a special snowflake, but an “oh-crap-I’m-not-actually-special-what-do-I-do-now!?” story line; and there was a lot of culture and time put into world building for the book. Granted, I found that the end was very abrupt and cheesy, the story itself is well worth the read.

The overall concept of the book was fascinating to me, as I’ve never heard of kami before. The concept was new to me, but I loved how it was executed and how it was brought back to the human level of understanding. There was a lot of introspection throughout this book, mainly done by Sora, and I found it to be pretty insightful.

Overall, definitely would recommend!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

eARC obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Link:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

About the Author:

Megan

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Japan Media & Treats Prize Pack

ENTER HERE!~

Megan Crewe’s Secret Project Reveal

AMortalSongRevealBanner

Welcome to the reveal for Megan Crewe’s new project – A Mortal Song, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

SONG-finalcover

Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Buy Link:
Amazon

Pre-order Deal:

Everyone who pre-orders A MORTAL SONG (in any format) and submits their receipt at http://bit.ly/SONGpreorder will receive an exclusive gift package including a digital booklet following Sora’s journey through Japan with behind-the-scenes travel photos and author commentary, a 25-page story giving a look at a key sequence in the book from another character’s POV, and a high-res digital poster of the cover signed by the author. They’ll also get access to a bonus content area with deleted scenes and a chance to earn bigger prizes. And for the entire pre-order period, the ebook is only $0.99!

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About the Author:Megan

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Review: How Many Letters Are In Goodbye?

26404153Title: How Many Letters Are In Goodbye?
Author: Yvonne Cassidy
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
GoodReads

Synopsis:

It’s been almost eleven years since Rhea Farrell last wrote to her mother.

It was a Friday night ritual – until Rhea’s father decided it was stupid to write letters to a dead person. That was the summer before the accident. The summer before Rhea began to keep her first secret.

Now about to turn eighteen, Rhea finds herself alone on the streets of New York with nobody to talk to about the future, or the past. So, just like she used to do as a little girl, she begins a letter with the words ‘Dear Mum’ and tells her mother the things she can’t tell anyone else.

In the city where Allison Farrell was born, her daughter begins to delve into her past. And as she uncovers more about who her mother truly was, Rhea starts to figure out exactly who she herself wants to be. And that sometimes it takes longer than you think to say goodbye…

Did I pick this book up because of its intriguing cover? Maybe… But did I stay for the story? Definitely.

I saw this book and thought of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, and thought I’d give it a shot. To be perfectly honest with you, the beginning of this book took me about two weeks to get through. It was difficult getting into the story – Rhea begins as a curious, but fairly bitter character – she’s an orphan and has been scorned by the only family she has left, it makes sense. However, this is probably where the story loses a few points for me. As it was so hard for me to get into, a fair amount of the first third of the book was something I had to push myself through.

That being said, as time went on – as she met new people, gained better influences, and got back into the world – Rhea really began to grow on me as a character – I actually began to like her!

This book really depicts how people can change people – given the right opportunities and the right support, anyone can come back from the darkness they’ve shrouded themselves in. This book was a roller coaster of emotion. It made me love her family, and then hate them for backstabbing her. Then I loved a few of the other characters, and again trust was broken. Scorned, betray, distrustful – I understood all these emotions through Rhea and I felt for her – as new characters began popping up, I approached them with the same distrust she did. It’s hard to be let down so many times without becoming jaded.

The story unfolds slowly, but very well. While I believe the pacing could have been better (i.e. this book could have been a lot shorter), I liked that I got to know Rhea so well. I liked that they really dug into her history and what made her her, but also put focus on the future – who she was, how she could grow, and who she could become one day.

Of the novel, there was one point in particular that surprised me – mainly because it wasn’t advertised, and it was done so well – it was so subtle that I felt it was natural. Of course that was it, of course that happened – why wouldn’t it?

As a whole, How Many Letters Are In Goodbye was very well crafted and very well done.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.46/5

eARC obtained via Flux via NetGalley

Review: The Raven Boys

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Title: The Raven Boys [The Raven Cycle #1]
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Published: September 18, 2012
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Since the final book just came out, I decided to give this series a chance.

A friend was the first person to tell me about this series – how did I miss the absolutely stunning cover? Well, I didn’t really, but I saw Maggie’s name on it an walked away.

No offense to Maggie Stiefvater, but her Shiver/Linger/Forever series bored me to tears. I read all of them, despite becoming greatly disinterested about 25% way through. The series was just too cheesy and repetitive and cliche for my taste.

That being said, I really enjoyed The Raven Boys.

The novel’s synopsis really doesn’t do the book justice. It’s not a dumb book about love, it’s more of a paranormal mystery.

Blue is from a family of psychics, except all she can do is act as an amplifier to her powers. Otherwise, she’s about as useful as a stool (when it comes to paranormal oddness). As such, she finds herself an accessory when it comes to her aunt seeing the dead, or her mom doing a particularly difficult reading. That is, until she’s recording dead spirits into a book, and suddenly sees one for herself.

His name is Gansey, and though she’s never met him, her aunt tells her that if she can see his spirit, then she either kills him, or is his true love.

Cheesy right? Not really.

Because once she meets Gansey, they do not really mesh – instead it’s his friend Adam that courts her.

Now on to Gansey and friends. The Raven boys are the “privileged” – identifiable by the school crest on their sweaters. They’re the sort of people whom you can smell money rolling off of. Except Adam, but we’ll come back to him.

Gansey is the leader, generally chill and level headed, and hell bent on finding Glendower – an ancient king who supposedly possesses enough power to have lay in a sort of stasis since he disappeared hundreds of years ago. Due to this Gansey has an odd interest in ley lines and magic things.

Then there’s Ronan, generally rough around the edges, and in the edges, and everywhere else for that matter. He actually became one of my favourite characters simply because he was such an enigma. Throughout this book, you never really find out much about him, but still find yourself loving his character.

Adam’s next. While he goes to the richy rich school, he’s actually not rich – just smart. And he works damn hard to be. But his life isn’t easy as pie, and he finds himself resenting Gansey for the money he has (and sometimes flaunts). Adam is determined to escape his circumstances on his own, without anyone’s help or charity – i.e., his pride is surprisingly bigger than all the richy rich people.

And lastly, there’s Noah. Oddly my favourite character, despite the fact that he rarely speaks. I love him so much, and I can’t even tell you why ’cause spoilers.

Overall, this book sets up the rest of the series – we learn a lot about what they’re looking for and how they’re going to find it, and about all those who tried to do so before them. While there was a lot of information, I didn’t find it totally overwhelming, likely because it was spread out throughout the entire novel. That being said, there were times where I had to read sections over again ’cause it just didn’t process the first time.

The book also has a lot of background for characters, and I actually felt like much of the storyline was Adam’s, instead of Gansey’s and Blue’s. Although they presented a lot of background information, Adam really stood out in this novel for a great number of reasons. Also helped that both Blue and Gansey thought about him a lot.

Overall, this novel was more of a mystery than a romance – there was actually very little romance in it in general. There’s a lot of intrigue and surprises, and it honestly kept my interest the entire time. Definitely would say to give it a chance, it might surprise you.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.04/5

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    Ah! It was so good! I love the little guy who kept grabbing all the shiny things. I think it might be my spirit animal haha!
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