Review: Love, Life, and the List

Love, Life, and the List

 

I don’t know about you but when I think of contemporary books I tend to go right for Kasie West books. 9 times out of 10 they are super adorable, lovely, and just all around good fun. Sadly, her last book (By Your Side) was not my favorite and it made me hesitant to pick up her newest love story. I’m happy to report that this book was everything I wanted and more.

Short recap: Abby is a bright, up and coming artist in her town. She wants desperately to enter the local art show and get her big break. The problem is that the curator tells her she needs more depth, more experience. Enter… The List. Abby devises a List that will help her achieve more depth and insight to become a better artist. Along with the help of her best friend (and unrequited love) Cooper, they tackle their own Lists and discover more than they expected along the away.

This book was just so sweet and adorable! I really liked Abby as a MC even though I struggled with her in the beginning. Why did I struggle? Because she thought that completing 10 list items over the course of a few summer weeks would give her “depth and experience” so she would become a better artist. Well, I’m sorry to burst that bubble, pickles, but one does not magically develop or gain depth in just a few weeks. That was the only part of this entire story I didn’t completely jive with. I appreciate the fact that she wanted to at least try new things and have new experiences, but I still didn’t buy that she could suddenly feel her paintings differently after having gone to a fish spa. You know what I mean? Abby did have some growth and came into herself (more) as the strong continued. I felt bad for her as she was madly in love with Cooper, her BFF, but he didn’t feel the same way about her. The girl watched her love interest try to date other girls so that could not have been easy. At the same time, I liked Cooper but it felt as if he was leading her on most of the time. He knew how Abby felt about him and yet he couldn’t stay away from her. Either you are or you aren’t into her, Coop. Pick a side!

With all of that being said, West did a really great job of interweaving some serious topics into this story: social anxiety, a child being raised by a mom who has diagnosed agoraphobia and other social disorders, a father who is overseas in the military, and unrequited love. Those are tough topics but West handled them with style and grace. There were times I wanted to grab Abby’s mom, shake her, and yell at her to wake up. She was doing so much harm to her daughter! I felt bad for Abby in these situations as she sacrificed so much for her parents and asked for so little in return. I felt these topics were not brushed over at all. They were meaningful to the story and they were given the resolution they deserved.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… This was the first Kasie West book that made me cry. I did not think I would be that emotional but something about this book grabbed my heart and never let go. Maybe it was the brilliantly written relationships within the story, or the way I truly felt heartbroken for everything Abby had to go through daily. Either way, the ending made me leak tears from my eyes.

Guys, I’m trying so hard not to give too much away with this story. If you take anything away from my review, let it be this: the progression and development of the characters was well done and the overall story tore my heart out. The topics covered were not easy topics but were necessary for this story. They were exceptionally well done and this is now one of my favorite West stories. If you have not picked this up yet, or are on the fence about reading it, please give it a chance. I walked away thankful I put the time into this story.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of the Siren Queen

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:

 

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2)

 

 

From Goodreads:

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

 

The first book was amazing and so much fun that I cannot wait to read the next book. Is this on your TBR?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Resolution/Goals for 2018

TTT
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Book Resolution/Goals for 2018

 

  1. Join more book tours
  2. Read 250 books  (I’m already at 85 for the year so I may be on track for this)
  3.  Comment on more blogs
  4. Follow more book blogs
  5. Grow my blog followers
  6. Grow my Instagram followers (www.instagram.com/agingerlyreview)
  7. Interact with my Twitter followers more
  8. Do more Twitter/Blog/IG giveaways
  9. Read more books that have been sitting on my shelves
  10. Read at least 5 books that intimidate me

 

 

This was NOT an easy list to come up with! One would think it would be easy to come up with 10 things but how many different ways can I say, “Tackle my ever growing TBR” or “post more”? Plus, those are constant goals for me. I am going to try to push myself in 2018. What about you? What are some of your goals?

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ARC Review: Reign the Earth

Reign the Earth (The Elementae, #1)

 

**I received a ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback. This in no way affects my comments or this review.**

 

I was not 100% sure what to expect from the first book in a new fantasy series as, yet again, I have trouble with certain fantasy stories. I’m happy to say Gaughen did a masterful job and I enjoy it more than I thought I would. This was not an easy read but it was really, really good.

Short recap: Shalia starts the story being prepped for her arranged marriage. She is the daughter of the people of the desert and she is on her way to marry someone from the Bonelands. She willingly sacrifices this unknown in order to bring her desert people some peace. This starts a trying and often terrifying time for Shalia. The horrors she endures are too much to mention, but she does it for the sake of her people. She finds out that her new husband’s mission in life is to find all of the people known as Elementes, people with power to control one of the four forces in life- earth, wind, water, and fire. Unbeknownst to Shalia, she finds herself with one of these powers and must do everything to hid them from her husband or things could not end well for her. Can she keep her secret and bring peace to her people?

What a wild ride of a story. This was a griping and emotional story from start to finish. However, it is not an easy read. It has to be stated that there extremely heavy topics in this book: verbal, emotional, and physical abuse, forced physical relations, and  violence. I want that to be stated at the beginning of my review because these are never, ever easy topics to talk about, let alone read about in a book. Being an abuse survivor, I feel the author handled these topics with grace and dignity. She did not sugar coat anything, as those topics are never pretty in real life. They are not easy to read and some paragraphs/passages made me cringe, but that proved to me how much mastery Gaughen has over the English language.

I loved Shalia’s character. She was fierce, fearless, and oh so strong. I admired that so much about her. Not only was she always willing to stand up for what she believed, she was willing to sacrifice everything for the good of her people. This woman never grew up knowing harm or hurt, only love, and she wanted that to be passed on to the people of her new kingdom. The way she grew and developed over the course of the story was very well done. As for her husband, Calix, I kept waiting for someone to drop a house on that miserable sack of crap. That would have been a waste of a house but worth it in the end. As much as I deeply despised Calix and everything about him, he was brilliantly written. He was an excellent villain to hate. Again, well done, Gaughen. I’m not sure how much I can say about Calix. I despised everything about that man. You’ll just have to read the book to find out exactly what I’m talking about. As for the rest of the  characters, they were a wonderful supporting cast. Shalia’s family and best friend were so loving and supportive, it was refreshing to read.

The world building was brilliantly done. I felt as if I was in the desert with Shalia the entire time. I could have sworn I was on those carriage rides with her. Everything was so well written that it felt like a real place. That also includes the magic found within this wonderful world. The way the Elementes displayed their power was fascinating. I wanted more as I felt it was a little thin. I’m holding out hope that Gaughen will write more of that into book 2. The other thing I found myself really enjoying was the slow-burn romance within the pages. I won’t give anything away but OH MAN it was good! I cannot wait to see how that story line plays out!

I’m not sure how many more good things I can say about this book. You want magic and forbidden romance? BOOM. You want twists and turns around every corner? Done. You want to be left on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen? This book as you covered. I felt it really was the the total package when it comes to fantasy books. Again, there are some very tough topics covered but they are woven and necessary to the plot of the story. You may try to skim those paragraphs or overlook them altogether, but I promise you they are there for a reason. If you have not already added this to your TBR, please do so now. You don’t want to miss this first book in a captivating new series.

 

 

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Books Left Unread #108

Wallpaper-Books

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:

The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

The Assassin Game

 

Doesn’t this cover look amazing?! It looks like a chilling thriller of a story but I haven’t picked it off of my shelf yet… have you read it?

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Hinder Book Tour: Review and Giveaway

HINDER

 

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About the Book:

HinderCoverConceptTitle: HINDER

Author: Kristin Ping

Pub. Date: May 15, 2018

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Pages: 443

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksKoboGoogle Play Books

 

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.
Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

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Review:

This will be a down and dirty review as I am going to keep spoilers removed. Just know that no matter what, this was a fun read.

I liked this more than I thought I would. I felt it was geared towards older YA readers and some NA readers, but it was still good. I’m always open to new and unique stories and this one fit the bill. The idea of magic wielders and benders sounded like so much fun! All of the characters felt very well rounded, developed, and wonderfully complex. I connected with them right away and that made me enjoy the story so much more. The plot was action packed and moved quickly. It felt like a non-stop ride! This was such a visual story that it held my attention the entire time. The ending did set up perfect for book 2 so I’m anxious to see how everything plays out and develops.

See? Short, sweet and too the point without giving anything away. Characters were good, plot was fast moving, and the story itself was fun. I do hope people will give this a chance.2950337_orig.png

About Kristin:

Kristin

 

Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house. She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing. When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

 

Want to win a Mac. Every two to three months, Kristin Ping is giving away a mac, all you have to do is subscribe to her newsletter, confirm to the confirmation email that will either be in your inbox or spam, and open the letter. Find the secret facebook group, join and enter the giveaway. It’s as easy as that. We even give you extra entries by inviting your friends to subscribe too. We already gave away the first laptop.

There are two ways to do this.

 

  1. Follow by filling in this doc. https://goo.gl/forms/ENPbGUh8IiawMoVy1
  2. Go to http://www.authorkristinping.com and wait for the pop up to subscribe.

 

Pre Order Giveaway:

 

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in it’s first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to it’s normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW AND CLAIM YOUR GIFT: CROWS OF WINTER.

 

Crows of Winter Pre Order Prize

CROWS OF WINTER is a bundle of three stories. Two of them were exclusively written for Hinder Pre-Orde drive. They will not be up for purchasing.

Lucian’s Ascension written by Adrienne Woods, Venom, a Novelette also by Adrienne Woods and introduction short story of Guardian of Monsters written by Kristin Ping.

 

You will need to fill in this form in order to claim your free gift.

http://www.subscribepage.com/u4n4w1

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Tour Schedule:

 

Week One:

1/1/2018- Book-o-Craze – Review

1/2/2018- Darque Dreamer Reads– Review

1/3/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/4/2018- Jen Brown Writes– Review

1/5/2018- Book Huntress’ World– Review

 

Week Two:

1/8/2018- Books and Ladders– Review

1/9/2018- Fire and Ice– Review

1/10/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/11/2018- The Inked In Book Blog– Review

1/12/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

 

Week Three:

1/15/2018- Hooked To Books– Excerpt

1/16/2018- Pervy Ladies Books Review

1/17/2018- books are love– Review

1/18/2018- Literary Musings– Excerpt

1/19/2018- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

 

Week Four:

1/22/2018- A Reader’s Life– Review

1/23/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

1/24/2018- SimplyAllyTea– Review

1/25/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Review

1/26/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

 

Week Five:

1/29/2018- Blushing Bibliophile– Review

1/30/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

1/31/2018- Abooktropolis– Review

 

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Rockstar Book Tours Presents – HER DEBT Cover Reveal

 

Today Rebel Rose and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for HER DEBT, which releases March 6, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
On to the reveal! 
 
 
Title: HER DEBT (Lock and Key Series Book 1)
Author: Rebel Rose
Pub. Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Scarlet House Novels
Formats: eBook
Pages: 256
My entire world changed the second that I saw her in my casino.
 She’s a professional gambler. And a cheat. A damn good one… but not good enough. And now she owes a debt to me. A debt that only her body can repay.
I’m restless with lust and need and desire for this thing of beauty not in my possession. My mind and cock are obsessed with her.
 When I spank her for the first time, I know that I’m right.
She is the one.
The woman that I’m going to break. The woman that I’m going to train for only my particular tastes. I’m going to shatter her into a million pieces and then rebuild her into everything that I want and need and desire in…
 My next submissive.
Pre-Order the rest of the series!
 
HIS DEAL:
THEIR DESTINY:
About Rebel: 

 

Rebel Rose is a decadently dark romance author living in the beautiful city of New Orleans. She prefers anti-heroes over Prince Charmings and often uses her own sexual experiences in her novels.
She can typically be found somewhere in the French Quarter enjoying a cup of
coffee while people watching.
Keep up to date with Rebel Rose at:
authorrebelrose.com
 

Website
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Facebook
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Author Page
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Giveaway Details:
1 winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, US Only.

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