Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Review: Black Iris

Title Black Iris

Author Leah Raeder

Release Date April 28, 2015

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all.

When I read Unteachable by Leah, I was impressed. When I read Black Iris, I was blown away.

I love this book. I love this book so hard.

Love. Sex. Revenge.

It's beautiful. It's raw. It's messy. It's perfection in book form.

This isn't a real review. This is me loving a book too much. This is me wanting more. This is me trying not to completely fangirl over Leah Raeder and her amazing book.


5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Marrow

Title Marrow

Author Tarryn Fisher

Release Date April 16, 2015

In the Bone there is a house.

In the house there is a girl.

In the girl there is a darkness.

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When a neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.

What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.

But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.

As soon as I read the blurb for Marrow, I knew I had to get my hands on it. After waiting (very patiently!) for a few months, it was finally out!

I thoroughly enjoyed *most* of this book. Like, 95% of this book was amazing. It was the twist that I didn't enjoy... mostly because I'm not completely sure I understand. Not understanding tends to lessen my enjoyment of something (as I believe it would for most people). However, it was still an amazing book. I love this one even more than I love Mud Vein. However, this is one of those books that I find hard to recommend. Some will absolutely love it and some won't. I understand that (even if I totally disagree).

Tarryn Fisher is pro at writing these books that are dark and twisted and complex. I think she's an incredible writer. I will certainly continue to read her books.

Favorite Quote
Judah says that where we’re from is in us—in our marrow. You can put us anywhere else in the world, but we carry our origin with us everywhere we go. If he’s right, I’ll never fucking get away.


4.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review: Tease

Title Tease

Author Amanda Maciel

Release Date April 29, 2014

Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

After I finished reading Tease and before writing this review, I read some reviews on Goodreads. I noticed some people say that the reason they didn't enjoy this book was because of Sara being such an unlikeable character. Well... duh! She's selfish and cruel and, frankly, thoughtless. She wasn't supposed to be the likeable best friend character. She was supposed to be the realistic mean girl. And while part of Sara knows that what she's doing to Emma is wrong, it's the part that bullies Emma that she feeds. After all, it's much more enjoyable to give into the things that make us feel better about ourselves than to admit what we're doing is wrong. So, yes. Sara is completely unlikeable, but I think that should be expected. However...

Overall, I think Tease was a good book (even if the ending didn't work for me). I think it provides a realistic and gritty look at how out of hand bullying can become. While it's not a nice and easy read, it was worth it.


4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review: Blood of My Blood

Title Blood of My Blood

Series Jasper Dent, book 3

Author Barry Lyga

Release Date September 9, 2014

Jazz Dent has never been closer to catching his father.

Jazz has been shot and left to die in New York. His girlfriend, Connie, is in the clutches of Jazz's monstrous father, Billy--the world's most notorious serial killer. And his best friend, Howie, is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's new home.

Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy.

But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son? Who is the true monster?"

From New York City to the small town of Lobo's Nod, the chase is on, and this time, Jazz is the hunted, not the hunter--while Billy Dent lurks in the shadows.

And beyond Billy? Something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.

I've been meaning to read this book for some time now. I'm not sure why it took so long to get around to it, but I'm really glad I did. This book was an awesome ending to the Jasper Dent trilogy!

First, there were a couple of things that I didn't figure out. I love when mystery books can stump me. Who likes easy? Second, I love these characters. Jasper, Connie, Howie (who's still my favorite!), G. William... and yes, even Billy. These are realistic, convincing characters. Third, I actually enjoyed the way everything wrapped up. The epilogue made me happy and I feel like the story is complete. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Jasper Dent series and I don't *need* more. This is truly rare.

If you're looking for an awesomely creepy young adult thriller, this series is it! Definitely give it a try.


5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Review: None of the Above

Title None of the Above

Author I. W. Gregorio

Release Date April 7, 2015

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

I loved this book! I always enjoy reading books that differ from the "norm," books that explore topics that most people just want to sweep under the rug and ignore. It's those things I find fascinating to read about. It's those things that I advocate. No one deserves to be pushed into a closet, bullied, ignored, or treated as less than. And while diverse books (gay, lesbian, transgendered, etc.) are becoming more popular and accepted, there are VERY few about intersex people. Kudos to Mrs. Gregorio for writing such an important and amazing book!

This is a fantastic book. Even though the plot may have been a little typical (there is a happy ending), it's still worth reading. Kristin being intersex took the story to a different level and it's certainly something out of the ordinary for most people. I wholeheartedly recommend this book! If you'd like more information about what being intersex means, you can check here and please don't allow something that may be new and confusing to stop you from reading a really good book.


5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Review: Fuel the Fire

Title Fuel the Fire

Series Calloway Sisters, book 3

Author Krista & Becca Ritchie

Release Date April 1, 2015

Protect your family. At all costs.

It’d take the impossible to hurt Connor Cobalt, even for a moment.

Protect your family. At all costs.

At twenty-six, his narcissistic tendencies have made room for the people he loves.

Protect your family. At all costs.

And he loves Rose. But when his love is threatened, when his greatest dreams with her are compromised — what is the cost then?

Protect your family. At all costs.

Love will guide his choices.
For the first time in his life.

Fuel the Fire is listed as the third book in the Calloway Sisters series (and it is), but it is also the eighth book in the Addicted series. While it is technically possible to read only the Calloway Sisters series, I highly recommend that you read the entire Addicted series. All of the books are absolutely amazing! Here is the recommended reading order (along with my reviews) for the Addicted series.

Krista & Becca wrote on Facebook that they think Fuel the Fire is their best to date. I, without a doubt, agree (although Addicted After All comes extremely close in my opinion). This book is ~460 pages of absolutely amazing nerd star awesomeness. Krista & Becca have exceeded any expectations I could have possibly had. Each book is better than the last. These girls know how to write!

Every time I read one of the Addicted books, I try to think about which couple is my favorite. Which couple do I ship more than the others? Which couple is my OTP? And I can never answer myself. I love them all. These characters are so realistic, so relatable, that you just can't help but love them all. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Seeing the characters grow and evolve as time moves on is fantastic. They are all people that I've grown to love and there's no way I could pick just one couple to love more than the others.

The end of the series is drawing near with only one more book to go. I know that I'll love it just as much as I've loved the others, but it'll be sad to let these amazing characters go.

I know that a series with nine books might seem a little daunting to some, but I promise that it's worth it! If you love New Adult, if you love Romance, please give this series a chance (the first book is even free on Amazon right now)! I truly believe you'll fall in love with this series just as much as I have.


5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: Rothaker

Title Rothaker

Series Everett, book 2

Author Jenifer Ruff

Release Date April 1, 2015

Another school… another disappearance…

Brooke is thrilled to be a first-year medical student at Rothaker. Committed to winning a coveted scholarship for future surgeons, she has vowed not to repeat the “necessary”, but extreme acts from her years at Everett College. She is also intrigued by a classmate, the mysterious Xander Cross, a former college football player and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, hiding dark secrets of his own. Thanks to her single-minded obsession with excellence and achievement, Brooke’s plans are rolling along smoothly, until her integrity is questioned by Rachel, a rival student.

Does Brooke discover a soul-mate when Xander is forced to confront the truth of his haunting past? Or, will her determination to vanquish all obstacles, remain unscathed, and come out on top be her undoing?

This chilling mystery of psychological suspense will have readers wondering just how well they actually know their friends, neighbors, or classmates.

It's rare that a second book is better than the first, but I think that's the case here. Everett paved the foundation for a great suspenseful and thrilling series and Rothaker is continuing on the same path, but in a more pronounced way.

Brooke has a goal and she will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. Her incredible ambition has lead her to do some rather devious things, but that's okay. None of it bothers her anyway.

Without a doubt, I am looking forward to the continuation of Brooke's story. I just can't wait to see which obstacles she encounters next.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *