Shadow (Book One) Book Review

34215534Author: L.A. Shine

Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing

Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 148

Ethan West had it all, great parents, a younger sister who he adored, an amazing girlfriend, best friend, and a college football scholarship.
That was until his entire world turned upside down when his family was brutally murdered.
Fast forward five years and Ethan is the best demon hunter alive, he will stop at nothing to find the demon that killed his parents even if it kills him.”

My Thoughts:

This book really surprised me. It was certainly different than what I was expecting, yet it was exactly what you think it would be after reading the blurb. Obviously with much more detail.
Ethan was a very strong character. For someone who’s whole life changed in a single night he was very tough. Too often we come across hero’s/heroine’s with sad back stories that are incredibly whiny. Which creates an awful tone for the book. A sort of nails on a chalk board if you will. It’s cringe worthy. Not Ethan! He was macho, he was brave, confident and a heck of a warrior!
As an indie book there were still a few things that needed to be worked on. Particularly the writing style. Some of the story didn’t flow together as coherently as other parts. Some of the characters just seemed unnecessarily hostile. I really appreciated that there wasn’t a lot of information dumping though. At the beginning it feels as though were thrown right into a bad dream, then we basically hyper jump years into the future. That part was really fun! I didn’t feel as though I missed out on anything due to lack of detail.
There are mainstream YA books that often lose my interest because of way too much information.

Recommend?

Absolutely 🙂 especially if you’re looking for with action. Believe me that was not lacking in this book. Despite being just under 150 pages, this was an easy read. It was short and sweet. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Rating:

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I gave this book 3.5 stars. It was good, but as I said some things just didn’t flow. I am really glad I had the opportunity to read this.

***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.***

You can get your own copy of this book via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Depository.

Masters and Beginners Volume One (The Order Of The Twelve Tribes) Book Review

20170510_231952.jpgAuthor: Daley Downing

Publisher: Daley Downing

Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 194

“When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…”

There truly is not enough hype for good indie authors in the world. Daley Downing did a SPECTACULAR job with her book. She built an incredible world. Not to mention the characters! Why did this book have to end???

My Thoughts:

Whoa talk about a fanciful book! The world of Fey has never before seemed so magical to me. There are Pixies, Elves and even Angels! (sorry teeny tiny spoiler there.) This world that we are transported to is so beautifully detailed that you feel as though it could truly be a part of our reality. Heck I wouldn’t be surprised if there really were Pixies dancing in my backyard every night.

Following the characters through this story to the very end, I felt as if I knew them personally. Sophie, Flynn and Cal have an impressive sibling relationship. All close to one another, they act more like best friends. Protective best friends. Specifically Flynn and Sophie when it comes to their love interests. It’s very cute.
Not one of the characters rubbed me the wrong way. All of them were extremely likable. Sophie seemed more like the brains of the outfit, though often times they seemed to brainstorm together. While Flynn seemed a little more comfortable taking action. Cal being the youngest one contributed as best he could.

The parents, Kate and James, were very much involved in this story. They also had a really great relationship. I got the feeling they were a dynamic duo back in their day and still have that reputation today. As you read you can feel how much they love and care for their children. Always worrying about them and hoping for the best out come. Yet they don’t coddle them. Instead they let them figure things out for themselves, though they are always there to help when/if needed.

At the beginning it was a little overwhelming how many characters were introduced at once. I flipped back and forth a couple of times because I forgot who someone was. As the book went on though everything came together and I was sad to see the book come to an end. Let’s just say waiting for the next book is going to be challenging. I can’t wait to find out what happens with the Council, the Order,  Sophie and Flynn. I wonder what new things will be introduced! It feels as though we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg that is a vast world of magical creatures.

Recommend?

Is the sky blue? Do birds fly?? Yes I recommend this! Everyone, everyone should read this. Not just those who like Fantasy. Anyone who enjoys reading about the bond of family, siblings or enjoys whole new worlds would greatly appreciate this.

Rating:

I gave this a 5 out of 5 stars 🙂 I really can’t wait to read the next book. Pretty positive I’ll read this again before the next one is available to hold me over.

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Daley Downing is one of the first bloggers I started following here on WordPress. She’s also one of the very first blogger friends I’ve made. I’m happy to call her a friend 🙂 and SO humbled that she sought me out as a first reader for her book. I loved reading this book. It was such a great adventure to be a part of. I’m only sad I didn’t get a chance to write this review sooner. This book has a special place on my shelf 😉 along side the beautiful gifts that were sent to me. (Except the scarf 🙂 because I’ll be wearing that out. Oh and the lovely necklace.)

Thank you Daley for sending me a copy. I LOVE that it was signed on the inside ❤

Follow Daley and all of her adventures here on WordPress, Goodreads, and even Twitter. Don’t forget you can also get your own copy here on gofundme and you can also make a small contribution.

What Are You Reading Wednesday

I’m just going to jump right into this, because I’m so excited to read this book.

What I’m Reading

I didn’t pick this one up because of the hype. There’s actually not a lot of that going around anymore. I picked this, because Belle has always been favorite Princess. She’s the only one I could truly relate to. Not just her looks but her mind and spirit as well. The way she prefers books to people, the way she feels the need to stand up for whats right when someone is being mistreated.

Beauty and The Beast Lost In A Book
by Jennifer Donnelly

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What I’m Watching:

The Little Prince

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Would you believe that I have never read this book? Heard of it yes. Over and over and over again. Not once have ever bothered to pick it up. When it showed up on my Netflix I added it to my list. I figured why not? I’ll eventually get around to watching it. So one day not too long age, that’s exactly what I did. Touching………..is how I might describe it? Thoughtful? Only because that’s the closest I can get right now to describing how much I loved this little story. I still think about this movie. It’s been weeks! Currently I’m ordering the hardcover for myself and another for my co-workers baby on the way 🙂 You know how some people advise that every one should read “so and so” book at least once in their life? Well, this is the so and so book/movie I advise everyone to read.

What I’m Listening To:

I have yet to see this musical. Pandora keeps throwing in random songs from this movie and I’ve loved every one so far. What can I say? My Pandora knows me 😉
So I’m currently on YouTube listening to the soundtrack. Can I just say how utterly fantastic Emma Stone’s voice is!?!? ❤ I was already in love with her but now I’m just plum head over heels! Who needs Ryan Gosling when you can have Emma Stone! (Never really liked him anyway. Please don’t shoot me!)

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What book have you picked up this week? Did you know The Little Prince was on Netflix? If you’ve seen La La Land how much did you like it?

What Are You Reading Wednesday

Is it really Wednesday? I’ve been off all week by one day. I even forgot trash day! Seriously I’m kind of losing my head this week. Any minute now the Red Queen will bark out orders to finish me off.
Well let’s jump right into thing shall we?

What I’m Reading:

34215534.jpgThis week I’ve picked up another ARC I received by indie author L.A. Shine. He kindly sent me a copy of his debut novel, Shadow.

“Ethan West had it all, great parents, a younger sister who he adored, an amazing girlfriend, best friend, and a college football scholarship. 

That was until his entire world turned upside down when his family was brutally murdered.

Fast forward five years and Ethan is the best demon hunter alive, he will stop at nothing to find the demon that killed his parents even if it kills him.”

A book about a badass demon hunter? Uhm, yeees! When I first read this blurb I thought “whoa. That got dark quick.” Already I’m really liking the story. Even though it’s short, there’s a mystery that grips your attention and holds it, keeping you on the edge of your seat. I can’t wait to reach the end and at the same time, I wish there was more to it!

Excerpt

Everyone turned their attention from me to Joshua, everyone except that one guy, so I took my chance grabbing a piece of chalk and began writing on the board as my old best friend spoke, “Mr. Caboloki won’t be teaching us this year,” he began the silence quickly escalated into nervous chatter while he tried to finish but before he could the guy next to him, the one watching me tapped Joshua on the shoulder even pulling on his shirt a bit desperately trying to get his attention. “what is it Erin?” Joshua asked seemingly annoyed at his friend for interrupting him. But all Erin did was point to the board with “Mr. Ethan West” written on it.

———————

I heard a few snickers before the man jumped over the desk, yup i made him angry, “Damian Kologe,” he screamed as he got closer and closer to my face, “my family’s demon hunting blood dates back as far as the Marie’s and if your so sure your Ethan West, prove it, princess!”

Well great, I’m not even a student and the first day of school I start a fight. Just my luck.

———————

They all seemed too scared to answer so I continued making a little show of putting my arms up in a what motion, “Oh come on, this is fighting class, what is it without a little practice? Don’t just stand there like pansies.”

What I’m Watching:

HPI don’t think I really need to explain why I’m watching this. Sometimes you just need a little Harry Potter in your day ❤ am I right?

 

 What I’m Listening To:

Since I’ve been quite the busy bee lately, juggling from one wedding to the other, I’ve decided I need music that has a good beat to it. Which means I of course called on my old friend………

And that’s what I’m to this crazy, busy, not slowing down anytime soon week!

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What are you up to this week? Got any big plans? Reading something fantastic? Let me know 😉 

Everything Everything Book Review

18692431Author: Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 310

“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.”

It’s no secret that I have been extremely eager to read this book. With the movie coming out in about seven days (six if we count the midnight release) I felt pressed for time to finish it. The reading slump was of course no big help. To say that I pushed myself to get through it wouldn’t be a complete lie. However it was the easiest time I’ve ever had “pushing” myself through a book. If I was reading any other book, I don’t think I would have gotten over this hump.
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Small Recap: 

Yoon does a wonderful job of presenting many strong aspects about family. The loss of family, the overwhelming love of family, and even the struggle of being in a toxic family. Most of the characters that she has created handle the situations as best anyone can hope for. Though she has written them as young teenagers, they handle their problems with a maturity beyond their years. As an adult, this made it very easy to understand and relate to the characters. That isn’t something often found in YA books these days.

Madeline is probably the worlds most sheltered girl. She has spent her entire life inside the confines of her own home. This thanks to her Severe Combined Immune Deficiency or SCID. The air is filtered, no one can come inside without her mothers permission. Even then they must undergo tests and walk through a decontamination chamber before setting foot in the house. Maddy lives with her mom/doctor and at home nurse Carla. She has a great relationship with Carla who has cared for her since she was an infant. Her relationship with her mother is close yet strained. They are each other’s best friends, there are no secrets between them. It probably helps to mention that they are all the other has now. (I won’t tell you why 😉 I’ll let you read the book and discover that for yourself.) However it’s easy to see that Maddy’s mother treats her as though she’s made of fine fragile crystal that could shatter at the slightest touch.
Maddy has accepted this lifestyle though. She does the same thing day-in and day-out with no complaint. Until of course Olly and his family move next door……

Want to know something impressive about this book? No. Insta-love. Finally! There is an actual development regarding the romance in this story.
When Madeline first see’s Olly there are no instant sparks or corny lines about him being “the one.” It’s more like extreme curiosity, on both ends. For Olly, who’s that pretty girl behind the glass? For Madeline, who’s that perfectly ordinary boy living a perfectly ordinary life? Her curiosity is driven by the desire for normalcy. To be a normal teenage girl who goes to school, makes normal friends and has real normal crushes. After they meet, which takes time, the two become a little obsessed with each other. That is Maddy constantly thinks about Olly. They spend hours talking to one another over IM’s and e-mails (Who remembers AIM? I feel old). Slowly but surely they get to know one another. Then, things get really good 😉 and I’ll end the recap right there.

My Thoughts:

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Let’s hear it for diversity!
There’s no lack of that in this story. Madeline herself is half Japanese and half African American. Can you imagine what a beautiful mix that would make in a person? There’s so much raw culture in that! Her dark colored skin and big curly hair are the most dominant cultural features she has. Maddy’s mother is Japanese, beautiful. Her at home nurse Carla, is Hispanic which we’re often reminded of with her accent and Mexican customs. Let’s not forget Olly, whose pale skin contrasts highly with his all dark clothes that he constantly wears. There haven’t been too many books about diversity that I’ve read. In fact I’d say that I can count them on about three or four fingers. This was truly a treat for me to read because of this alone.

Maddy’s character is the one that I enjoyed the most. Although she acknowledges that she’s stuck in a mundane life, she has a kind of secret strength about her. That strength comes out every time she tells herself not to hope for things she can never have. I couldn’t help but have all the hope for her. That carries on until the very end of the book. The illustrations Maddy draws also help us as readers to really get inside her head. Plus they are very intricate. It’s impossible not to get more hooked.

Olly’s character was very different from your typical YA romance heart throb. He was strong yet naive. His home life is tragic. It breeds frustration. I kept yelling at him to do the right thing by his family. When it came to Maddy he was sweet and romantic. He always wanted to believe in the best possible outcome for her. Let’s not forget that he’s described as having a sculpted body. Probably thanks to his hobby of parkour.

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This.

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Not this.

Recommend?

YES. Yes yes and yes. Yoon’s beautiful writing was so smooth. The entire book flowed perfectly. There was a very very brief moment where it slowed down a tad but it in no way affected the over all feeling of the book. I highly recommend this to everyone. Especially if you’re looking for a good, easy contemporary. One that doesn’t focus entirely on the romance. Instead this was focused on the main character.

Rating:

I give the book a whopping 5 out of 5 stars!!!! The first in a long time 🙂 it feels really good to read a book so deserving of this rating.
I’m so glad I read this book. It was incredibly rewarding. Absolutely lived up to its hype. I waited a long time to read this book and strongly feel that it was well worth it.
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Knowing my reading community, I think I can confidently say that everyone is pretty excited to see this movie. If it’s any bit as good as the book has been, we’re all gonna cry and laugh and even swoon a little together.

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Have you read this book yet? Leave your (non-spoilery) thoughts below and let me know what you thought of it 🙂 Do you currently have it on you TBR? Any plans to see the movie? Let me know!

What Are You Reading Wednesday

allergies.jpgCurrently I’m battling some pretty pesky allergies. I’m losing, slightly. Don’t worry! As we speak reinforcements are on the way! In the form of Sudafed. Let’s see if that works for me. So far I’ve tried Allegra, Allegra D, Claritin, Benadryl (which only makes me sleepy), and Zyrtec 😦 Apparently my body is immune to getting help, but not immune to allergies -_- yay.

Moving on to why we’re here. I feel as though I’m coming out of my reading slump. Having just finished Everything Everything and currently working on the review. I’m ready to dive into the next book, eager in fact. And may I just say that personally I’ve been waiting to read it.

What I’m Reading:

This weeks read comes from a special blogger friend Daley Downing over at The Invisible Moth. This audacious mother of two has graciously decided to share with me her debut novel! A book that is been in the works for quite some time. She’s also decided to share some cute little treasures. Let me just say, that writing a book in itself is no easy feat. But being your own publisher and editor too? Now that’s not only impressive, its astonishing! She has come so far and worked so hard. I’m thrilled to be one of her reviews ❤ 

Masters and Beginners Volume 1 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes

Synopsis

“When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving the existence of faeries. As she and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, Sophie discovers that one of her friends is protecting a dark and dangerous secret. Now caught between two equally imposing groups who are after the girl’s very blood, Sophie and her family must decide where their loyalty lies — and how to survive the choice they make.”

You can read an excerpt of her book on my spotlight post here. Keep an eye out for a review coming very soon 😉

What I’m Listening To:

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If you haven’t seen the movie yet it is an absolute MUST see. Since the Blu-Ray release is too far away for me to be without something I decided to pick this up form work. I listen to it in the car all the time. Love it. Love Emma’s voice.

What I’m Watching:

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Did you guys know this was on Netflix??? I’ve seen this movie twice already all the way through. Hand in hand with the first one I’m not sure which one I enjoyed more.

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Which Alice movie did you like more? How stuck are you on Beauty and The Beast? And what book are you currently reading?

Goodreads Monday

Wouldn’t you know it, I’ve never done a Goodreads Monday before! I’ve seen Danielle over at Books, Vertigo and Tea do this many times. Also I LOVE her blog. Thank you Danielle for this great idea. Honestly I love looking around and seeing what other people are reading so this is going to be a lot of fun 🙂

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and add your own links.

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Blurb

“A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.”

This book seems to have gotten some pretty good reviews, all averaging at least 4 stars. I’m really looking forward to reading this book!
Have you read Scythe? What are your (non-spoiler) thoughts? Let me know in the comments below 🙂