Review: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the Storm

 

This book threw me for a loop. I mean that in both good and bad way. As always, I am a sucker for a cover like this. It just screams at me to read it. It also helps that the premise of the book sounds amazing. Demons invading a small town and battling over souls? Count me in! To my dismay I was not completely in love with this book. There were certainly parts that had me rolling my eyes and skimming to skip others, but I pressed on because I had to find out what was going on.

Servants of the Storm is a story that starts with two best friends, Dovey and Carly, doing their best to survive a terrifying hurricane, Josephine, as it rips through their small town in Georgia. When the storm is over, Dovey survives, while Carly does not. For the next year, Dovey swears she sees her best friend all over town, ducking in and out of alleys and doorways. Fearful for their daughter’s safety, Dovey’s parents put her in therapy where she is given heavy medication. Something clicks in Dovey’s head and she decides to take herself off of the medication. That is when she starts to see her beloved hometown and the people in it for what they truly are – demons.

The world building in this story was simply amazing. Delilah S. Dawson really did a great job of interweaving horror, demons, paranormal, and unassuming small town life to make this the shining part of the story. The way the demons were presented was refreshing. Each demon had a separate story, with a clear personality. I enjoyed finding out more about each demon, what their rules are, and how they came to be.

With that being said, we need to discuss the main character, Dovey. While I enjoyed a strong female lead, I did not completely connect with Dovey. I felt annoyed with her at times for usually letting her emotions guide her decisions. That means the ever bothersome love triangle showed itself. A very unnecessary love triangle, at that. I still have not figured out why the author felt this needed to be a part of the story because it did nothing to enhance the reading experience. I did not feel swayed to cheer on one boy over the other, as they each had their separate roles in the story.

Overall I did enjoy this book. It was a 3.5 stars read for me. The ending left me scratching my head and wondering if I had missed a few pages. It did answer my questions but certainly not all of them. Rest assured this is a stand alone book so do not look to a second for any answers. You, the reader, are left to come up to your own conclusions. Although the questions will probably leaving you screaming, “WHAT?”

 

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Books Left Unread

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread #1

I want to start a new type of blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This post is dedicated to the Thorn of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.

This series has been taking up residence on my shelf for a while… I mean a long time. Anyone who has seen my Tweets has seen that this series and this author intimidates me. I am so afraid to read them for fear of 1) the series not living up to the hype; or 2) not understanding the series at all. I have even had the intense pleasure of meeting Ms. Maas at a local Texas book signing event! She autographed my books, she was sweet as Texas tea, and still that has not pushed me to read them. Instead, I see them every time I go into my library to hunt for my next read. And every time I come face to face with these beauties. I sigh, tilt my head to admire them, take one down to ensure the inscription, and then gently place it back on the shelf thinking I will start them next time. Alas, that has not happened yet. I do not know when, or if, that will happen for me. I certainly can hope one day I will finally say yes to this series. Until then, I will continue to gaze upon this series like this:

 

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Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Little Peach

 

Little Peach is a very short read (just over 200 pages) but holy smokes does it pack a punch. Do not let this book cover fool you – it is an incredibly powerful and disturbing story.

Prostitution is a very, very tough topic to read about, even more so when it is happening to a young teenage girl. The MC, Michelle, is just a girl trying to be a normal teenager when she is force to uproot her life. Her mom is a drug addict that sells herself to pay for her addiction. Michelle’s home situation becomes too much when one of her mom’s “boyfriends” tries to make a move on Michelle. She decides to leave for New York City to live with one of her friends. Once in the big city she finds out the hard way that she doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does and she is all alone. That is, until she befriends Devon, a cute boy who seems very nice and eager to help Michelle get on her feet. Devon is quick to give her food, clothing, and shelter. Little does Michelle realize this will lead to a life she did not want, a life of child prostitution.

As hard as this topic is and as graphic as some scenes in the book are, this is a really good read. I felt I could not turn the pages fast enough. I read this as a testament to human spirit and the willingness to never give up. I found myself connected immediately to Michelle, tearing up within the first 30 pages. I was invested in her journey, struggles, and battles. When I finished the book, I had to step away from things for a while and try to remind myself that there is good in this world.

I could not give this terrifying and gripping book any less than 5 stars. It is that powerful and I feel it is one of those few stories that stays with a reader for a very long time.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Untamed by A.G.Howard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Untamed (Splintered, #3.5)

Untamed by A.G.Howard

Published: December 15, 2015

From Goodreads.com:

“A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.

Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared‘s epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.”

Why am I so excited for this book to come out? Simply because Splintered was one of the best retellings I have read. Plus, I fell head over heels for Jeb and want to read more about him. *wink*

What is your “waiting on” pick? What book are you most excited to be published?

Top Ten Books I Am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week we’re listing our…

Top Ten Books I Am Thankful For

10. The Illuminae Files.
 
9. These Broken Stars trilogy. TARVER. *swoon*
8.The Winner’s Curse series. Why? Because Arin.
7. The Grisha Trilogy.
6. The Angelfall Series. YES, PLEASE.
5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyers. This series hit me in the feels.
4. The Legend Series. I ship June and Day so hard.
3. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. WHOA MAMA. This series will make you beg for a vampire invasion!
2. The Twilight Series. You read that correctly. If it wasn’t for this series, I would not have started reading YA.
1. All books Harry Potter. My love for Harry Potter knows no bounds. I am so thankful I chose to pick up this book and begin the magical journey that stays with me 15 years later.
What books are you thankful for? Do you see yours on this list? If not, let me know what it is in the comments below!

YA Book Subscription Boxes – Which is better?

By now, we all have heard about the various YA book subscription boxes that are available. But which one(s) might be better? IS one better than the other? The honest truth: No. They are both equally awesome and here is why.

Uppercase

From their website, “Incredible Book Mail For Young Adult Readers. Get The Best YA Books and Bookish Items Every Month.” This is a very true statement. This is an incredible YA book subscription service. They send new books that have just been released, along with other adorable book goodies. Here is what they sent for the November box:

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Pros: Newly released books; adorable bookish gifts (necklace, keychain, etc); lovely prints; personalized note; the book is marked with notes that can help enhance a reader’s experience; and signed bookplates

Cons: Sent via USPS so you will not always receive it within two days of shipment.

The cost for Uppcase is $23/month before taxes. You can upgrade to the higher plan where they send you personalized book selections. They also have a cheaper plan, $17/month, but you will not receive the bookish items.

Observation: Recently I have seen people post their Uppercase boxes on social media and seen they have received a different book than I have. Is that an issue? Not really unless I wanted to read that book more than what I received. Is there a way to exchange the books for what someone else has received? No, there is not.

Owlcrate

From their website, “Can’t get enough YA in your life? OwlCrate to the Rescue!” I will be very honest – I have an obsession with owls so naturally I wanted to see what this one was about! The really fun thing about this subscription – they have monthly themes! November’s theme was “Fantasy”; October was “Spooky”. Knowing there is a theme makes you really anxious to find out what book and goodies are being sent. Here is what they sent me for my November box:

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Pros: Newly released books; adorable bookish gifts (necklace, keychain, etc); lovely prints; other bookish items like seen above; monthly themes.

Cons: Sent via USPS so you will not always receive it within two days of shipment. The subscription spots fill up fast so you cannot always sign up for the month you want. (I was on the waiting list for 3 months before a spot opened up for me.)

The cost for Owlcrate is $29.99/month before taxes. There is only one plan available.

I know there are other subscription boxes available and I only have experience with one: Bookworm Box. I supported them from the beginning because all proceeds went to charity. I received their first box when they had just started, before it became a true subscription service. It was no secret that I was not happy with what I received. The premise was not clear on what type of book and goodies one would receive so it felt like the luck of the draw. I was surprised, to put it nicely, when I opened the box to find two adult/mature books that I had never heard of. I am not ever opposed to reading an adult/mature book but this was just not what I was expecting. Everything in the box was adult themed and I felt let down. I contacted the service via email and expressed my feelings of being somewhat disappointed. They were quick to respond and apologize. They also sent me two more books, adult fiction based, at no charge.

Overall, I have been VERY happy with the two subscription boxes I have. I have had to inquire once or twice when my subscription box would arrive but that was because the postal system chose to deliver a week or more late. I look forward to these boxes every month because who doesn’t love getting book mail? Plus they feel like little pick-me-ups during the month. I do not favor one over the other, I enjoy them both so much. If you have it in your budget to try one, I would suggest you try it.

What do you think? Do you have a book subscription box that arrives each month? If you could sign up for one, what would it be? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

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Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

 

This is one book you need to add to your TBR stack NOW if you have not already. This story gave me all of the feels and in the best ways possible. I almost wish I could read it again for the first time.

Dumplin’ is the story of Willowdean and her struggle with being an overweight teenager in a small Texas country town. That may not sound like much but growing up in a small town is tough, I can tell you from experience. Willowdean has accepted and embraced the fact that she is overweight. She is not out to be the most popular or follow the crowd, which is very refreshing. All of that changes quickly and Willowdean struggles to stay true to herself.

I felt a connection to Willowdean having grown up overweight myself. I wish I had half as much self-confidence as she has, it might have made my younger years a lot easier. The rest of the characters had their voices and quirks, some of which were not so enjoyable, but you still found yourself cheering for them all.

There were parts of the romance within this story that felt like they hit too close to home, they were that realistic. At the same time, I felt like some of the story was left out because I could not figure out how or why Willowdean and the love interest, Bo, went from happy to mad at each other. I kept flipping back a few pages to make sure I did not miss anything. The ending felt a wee bit rushed, and again, made me feel like I missed something.

Overall, this was just a fun, inspiring, and entertaining read. I cannot say that enough. The pages will keep turning and you will find yourself giggling at parts, while swooning at others. This was such a refreshing contemporary read. I recommend everyone pick it up now. I gave his book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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