Review: Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful #1) by Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Published Date: September 21, 2010
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (3.5 stars)

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.


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Review: Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith

Sekret by Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (3.5 stars)

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia knows she must hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia. But if she sometimes manipulates the black market traders by reading their thoughts when she touches their skin, so what? Anything to help her survive.

Russia’s powerful spy agency, the KGB, is recruiting young people with mind-reading capabilities for their psychic espionage program. Their mission: protect the Soviet space program from American CIA spies. Why shouldn’t the KGB use any means necessary to make the young psychic cooperate? Anything to beat the American capitalist scum to the moon.

Yulia is a survivor. She won’t be controlled by the KGB, who want to harness her abilities for the State with no regard for her own hopes and dreams. She won’t let handsome Sergei plan her life as a member of elite Soviet society, or allow brooding Valentin to consume her with his dangerous mind and even more dangerous ideas. And she certainly won’t become the next victim of the powerful American spy who can scrub a brain raw—and seems to be targeting Yulia.

I liked this for the most part. The history of Russia was well fleshed out, the overall scheme was good except that the KGB seemed a little narrow minded, and the sci-fi part was interesting. However, as the action picked up, it felt like the book slowed down. There was more internal thoughting than actual actioning.

The romance had me tilting my head. I knew where it was heading, but I was really just hoping that entire train derailed. It wasn’t the most interesting part of the book. Not even a little.

BIG plus that Yulia was a strong female and worked to save herself and her family at the same time. The funny thing is that this book worked as a historical but with a little date changing, could also work as a futuristic novel as well.

I’m currently on the fence about finishing this series.

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Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Romance, Drama

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

Alright, strap in and brace yourselves. Whatever you do, don’t fall out the boat!!! There’s a negative review coming up.

I know, I know. Usually I’m gushing over how awesome the characters or how I’ll stalk the writer, and all my negative comments stay in the little box under the seat. Well, I do get books that I want to drown. I just don’t mention them. I hate marking books low because it takes a chunk out the author to put themselves out there to be criticized. I try and see where they were coming from when they wrote it. Sometimes we just don’t connect and I can’t find the fantasy land they started out from.

So starting here and moving forward, I’ll try and be nice, but no promises.

I feel like I need to add in an additional disclaimer with this review:
There are quite a few people out there who loved this book. So I’m marking this down as a “it was me, not you” situation.

I hated this book, even with the twist. I was going to wait a little longer before writing this to see what that light at the end of the tunnel was, but I swear I hear water coming. Maybe it’s one of those angler fish trying to lure me in and eat me.

First, there was not one likable character in the bunch. I could almost deal with Eve if I had to, but I would have happily set fire to Gabe (I’m sure he’s racist and thinks more of himself than he needs to), the father (he’s something that can’t be said in polite company) and the sister (takes after the father). Colin, I would just ignore, SPOILER: although I was upset about what happened to him. He almost had my sympathy. Yes, they all had their own issues, but everyone was so damn self absorbed and uppity that it made me want to hurl.

B.) I was done way before I made it to the twist. I thought maybe Kubica should have led with that, but that would have landed this book on my DNF shelf. Maybe if I had liked the characters more, maybe if it was shorter…

The writing style took me a minute to get used to but after that, it moved pretty smoothly. I did like that alternate points of view, especially since I didn’t have to stay in one person’s head too long. The mom’s POV was the most upbeat. She actually tried to stay positive and help her daughter out.

I think I just ran out of steam talking about the characters. I was really excited to read it, but it was like trudging through the mud trying to find the treasure and then it turned out to only be a copper coin.

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Review: The Healing Power of Sugar (The Ghost Bird #9) by C.L. Stone

The Healing Power of Sugar
The Healing Power of Sugar by C.L. Stone
The Ghost Bird #9
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA, Mystery & Thriller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From USA TODAY Bestselling Author, C. L. Stone, read The Healing Power of Sugar, the ninth book in The Academy Ghost Bird Series.

It’s been a week since Sang has attended any classes at Ashley Waters, and since then, everything has changed. Her school schedule has been turned upside down, and now, thanks to her absences, the school counselor, Ms. Wright, has suspended her. The fear of school officials getting further involved and looking to contact her parents has Sang and the boys forced into their best behavior. It seems that the once perfect student, Sang Sorenson, is now one of the school’s worst, and without explanation, because she needs to keep her lips tightly sealed. Academy secrets are becoming hazardous to keep.

The more that Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North try to protect her, the more inevitable her downfall seems to be. They do their best to make sure Sang stays in school and when she returns to classes, try to help her get back on the straight and narrow—she can’t afford to screw up anymore.

But then fate deals out a setback that cripples the whole team, and they need to make a move, it turns into a risky one. There’s no way to predict the outcome. If they fail, the boys may lose the job they were sent to do, and worse, they may even lose Sang.

Everything gets more difficult when it’s revealed there might be a traitor amidst the group. Desperate to fix things, Sang needs to stop the group from spilling secrets and find out the truth.

And why all fingers seem to be pointing to Luke.

The Academy, Magnanimous

If you haven’t read the first 8 books, skip this review. These books must be read in order to understand what’s going on.

Book 9 and I’m still like a kid on Christmas day when digging into the new book. I have no clue why this series hooked me, but now I’m invested with feelings and emotions and hopes for the future.

Thanksgiving is coming, the school admins are still horrible and a guest appearance leaves you frustrated. I was rather glad to see somewhat of a lull in all the action and drama going on. Sang only has to deal with a school counselor and Luke acting weird. She and the guys can handle that!

We get a little more into Sangs feelings on the plan and the hangups involved in moving forward, get to hang out with Mr. Blackbourne and Sean, and you can’t forget football. It’s the best part of the season.

First Kiss is next and it promises things I’ve been waiting on for a long time!!

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Review: Shattered by You (Tear Asunder #3) by Nashoda Rose

Shattered by You
Shattered by You by Nashoda Rose
Tear Asunder #3
Release Date: June 21, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (4.5 stars)

What started out as a deal quickly became a friendship that conquered monsters.

I killed, but I escaped hell.

Emotionless. Disconnected. Cold. A mannequin. It’s what I’d become in order to survive the years held in captivity. I was able to endure the abuse and devastating loss as long as I remained detached.

But he wouldn’t let me.

Crisis, the bass guitarist in my brother’s rock band, Tear Asunder. He’s cocky, rude, a total man-whore. But the rock star has far more beneath the surface of his inked skin, and he’s determined to make me laugh again.

He made me a “deal”, but really, it was blackmail.

His terms were simple. Until his playful honesty became the building blocks to something unexpected. Something strong enough to pull me from the eye of the storm.

Because even though I escaped years of abuse, it didn’t mean I was free.

*For mature audiences only.

Shattered by You is written as a standalone, however, it is recommended you read Book 1 and 2 in the Tear Asunder series.

Trigger warning: abuse of a minor, rape, violence
Disclaimer:ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Haven’s had a hard life. She’s numb from all the years of abuse and barely surviving. She wants to stay numb even as her brother, Ream and the rest of the group try to gently pull her out of her void. That and she wants is to be normal and free to make her own choices.

Crisis likes to play the bass guitar and have sex. Getting the ladies is easy. It helps that he’s in the hit rock band, Tear Asunder. There’s way more to Crisis than he shows the public.

Crisis sees Haven and what’s really going on. He wants to be there for her. A friendship evolves and deepens and brings out something in them that they were both trying to hide. The pace of the story was great for these two. The friendship turned romance was beautiful, heart-breaking, sweet. Crisis has a great sense of humor and is so natural that Haven doesn’t think twice about certain things because that’s just the way he is.

I’ve been in love with this series since the novella and now the long, dark wait for Kite’s story begins.

This can be read as a standalone, but I’d say you kinda do need to read Ream’s story to know what’s going on with Haven. But why are you even contemplating missing Sculpt’s and Ream’s stories in the first place?

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Review: Accidentally in Love with…a God? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Accidentally in Love with...a God? (Accidentally Yours, #1)Accidentally in Love with…a God? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book because of the blurb and I liked the cover. Turns out this is the start of a series I could get into. Even for the struggles going on in the book, it was a light read. I liked the one-liners, Emma was cool most of the time, and I’d like to see more of Tommosa. It’s a pick-me-up novel which kept me laughing.

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

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Review: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden SpellsGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I think I misunderstood what I was getting into with the blurb, but I picked it up. I like that the fantasy of the story was normal in the universe it was set in. I loved seeing Claire open up and Sydney find her way back home. I can’t wait to see how the second book progresses.

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