Review: Toffee


This will probably be a quick review as this was a super quick yet incredibly powerful read. I have yet to read a Sarah Crossan book that didn’t shatter me on every level.

I have to state that there are TRIGGER WARNINGS within this story: abuse, domestic violence, mental illness. That being said, these topics are tough, raw, and hard to read, but they were handled with the utmost care and delicacy. They were not thrown in to help move the story along, they were necessary and beautifully woven into the story in a way that made the story heart-warming yet gut-wrenching at the same time.

Allison’s character was complex, well developed, and believable. I swear Allison was someone I could have known in real life, someone I could have grown up living down the street from. I want nothing more than to be able to help her with a kind word, a hug, or something more. Either way, she was utterly amazing and I connected with her from page one.

The overall story was so full of emotion that I could not turn the pages fast enough. I just had to know what happened to Allison and the lonely lady, Marla. Their story gripped me and never let me go. While this was a gripping and unafraid story, it was not for the faint of heart. I cannot stress that enough – there were some pages/chapters that were downright horrific to read, but that did not make them any less important. Everything in this story was raw and I loved it. I am upset that I did not read this sooner.

I will forever be a Crossan fan and I will urge everyone to read her books. Nearly all of them are written in verse and will stay with you for a very long time (in the best way possible). Please give this a chance if you have not already.


Books Left Unread #178


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my 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 week’s post is dedicated to:

Death Prefers Blondes by Kelly Caleb Roehrig

Death Prefers Blondes

Gah, no good reason I haven’t read this yet. Have you read it?


Rockstar Book Tours & Freeform Books Presents! The DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Cover Reveal

Today Freeform Books, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for her upcoming YA Mystery Book, DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS, which releases on November 5, 2019! We’re also revealing the new cover for book 1 in the series, LITTLE WHITE LIES! Check out the awesome covers and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 

Title: DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS (Debutantes #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pub. Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Freeform
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 352

“Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League-by way of Skull and Bones?”

Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group’s ranks may have the answers she’s looking for. Things are looking up… until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family’s summer home–and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.

No one is quite who they seem to be in this twisty, soapy, gasp-inducing sequel to Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ unputdownable Little White Lies. 

Title: LITTLE WHITE LIES (Debutantes #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Freeform
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 390

“I’m not saying this is Sawyer’s fault,” the prim and proper one said delicately. “But.”

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off. 

About Jennifer: 
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including graduate degrees from Cambridge University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and Yale University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2012. Jen wrote her first published novel when she was nineteen-years-old and sold her first five books while still in college. In additional to writing YA novels, Jen has also written original pilot scripts for television networks like USA and MTV, and she is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of fandom and the cognitive science of fiction and the imagination more broadly. Jen is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she holds a dual appointment in Psychology and Professional Writing.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a paperback of LITTLE WHITE LIES, US Only.

Giveaway ends July 31st, midnight EST.

ARC Review: Heartwood Box

Heartwood Box

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**

This was blurbed to be Stranger Things meets The Lake House. How does a reader say no to something like that?! Sign me up! It was a valid description, however, the overall story itself felt messy, jumbled, and crammed with too many side stories. I was confused as to what the overall focus of the story was supposed to be. I read sci-fi, contemporary, mystery/thriller, and coming of age. Make up your mind! This would have been so much better as either a sci-fi or mystery/thriller, but certainly not all four genres forced into one.

The contemporary side of the story lacked any real emotion or depth. I never felt a romantic connection between Araceli, the protagonist, and the random boy she was writing letters to. It came across as insta-love and we all know how I feel about that topic. If this had been a contemporary by itself, I would have DNFd without giving a second thought.

The mystery/thriller side of the story was lacking as well because I never felt a sense of urgency. I never felt that Araceli and her group of stereotypical friends were ever in any danger. They were disappearing but I was more curious about why but I wasn’t loosing sleep over this question.

This story had potential but the execution was what ruined it for me. The story had no flow whatsoever. The conversations between character felt forced and awkward. I found myself skipping and skimming a lot of the dialogue just so I could get through this. By the time I got to the end of the story, I was so disappointed. The ending felt rushed and unfulfilling.

I was not able to connect to any of the characters as they felt shallow and undeveloped. I didn’t know their likes, dislikes, characteristics, or anything substantial. I only knew the basic information on Araceli so I could not ever get behind her or her actions. Everything that the characters were good at felt convenient. There is a dance team at the new school Araceli attends and it’s the peak of popularity? Oh good! Because Araceli happens to be amazing at dancing. There are a lot of people disappearing in this new town that Araceli moved to? Swell! Her parents happen to be investigative reporters and know their way around war zones so she knows just what to do! Give me a break. Solutions just came too easy and they were not believable at all.

I am not upset that I read this book, I adore this author, but the overall story that I read was not what I expected.

Waiting on Wednesday: House of Salt and Sorrow

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:

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows

From Goodreads:

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. 

Doesn’t this sound great??


Books Left Unread #177


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my 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 week’s post is dedicated to:

Somewhere Only We Know by Kelly Maruene Goo

Somewhere Only We Know

I think I haven’t read this one yet because I’m waiting for the audio… have you read it yet?