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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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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ARC Review: The Last Girl on Earth

The Last Girl on Earth

 

**I received an ARC from the publisher and this in no way affects my thoughts/comments.**

 

I have been craving more sci-fi books lately so when I heard about The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier, I knew I had to read it. Aliens and other planets and one human left in existence? Sign me up! While I was super excited to start this book, I did not share the same excitement when I finished. This story is rather light on the sci-fi, weak on the world building, and heavy on the romance.

Short recap: Li is hiding in plain sight. She is the last human but she has to keep her identity a secret. She is living with and being raised by her adoptive Abdolorean family. Her adopted father trained her from day one to be as smart, as strong, and as tough as the other Abdoloreans. Can Li continue to keep her true identity a secret even after she graduates and goes off to the serve her planet?

Pretty intense, right? Well… not so much.  When it comes to world building, believe me when I say it is pretty non-existent. I knew nothing much about this universe/world other than the people on this particular planet are super smart (they never need to study), they are rarely hurt, they love to swim, they look exactly like humans except that they have gills. The ecosystem is the same as Earth (but Earth and humans are bad! BOO! YUCK!) so Li is able to mesh in with society like she belonged there. Her adoptive father had her fake gills surgically implanted when she was small so for some reason they know to grow with her as she gets bigger? I didn’t understand that but it wasn’t explained. Actually, there is not a lot explained. I just had to accept it and frankly, I’m not that kind of reader. I had questions that would never be answered.

I never really fully connected with this as I never connected with the characters. Li felt badly underdeveloped. I knew she was constantly afraid of being “discovered” because she had inner monologues with herself about it all of the time. When she wasn’t obsession over fitting in, she was worried about regular teenage stuff: fitting in at school, being popular, and the hot boy liking her. Oh goodness did she obsess over the boys. Enter trope mysterious hot new boy: Ryn. Ryn was the son of military parents and as a result they moved from planet to planet. Because he was new to Abdolorean, all of the girls wanted him. OH NO, he only had eyes for Li. Now Li and Ryn have instalove like I have never read about before. It was not pleasant. These two immediately became joined at the hip and they could think about nothing other than each other. That would be great if this had been a contemporary story from the start. The instalove these two had overshadowed the entire story. I almost cannot remember what else took place because all I read about was these two wanting to spend time with each other. Ryn wasn’t a bad character, but he had an answer for everything and was just too cool for school. You name the planet in the universe and Ryn had already lived there with his family. You named an experience and Ryn had a better one with his family. In a silent way he was a one-upper while still trying to be cool and mysterious.

Let’s not forget Li’s bestest friend. I don’t even remember her name because she was very self-absorbed and a snot. I didn’t like her. If she was really a best friend she would not have treated Li the way she did. Li spent so much time trying to protect her identity that it prevented her from going out and doing stuff with her friends. Li’s best friend was so rude every time Li could not join. She made the worse comments and was just too snide for my tastes. Even in the end, this friend was nasty and she got what she deserved. Now did any of these characters develop and go throughout the course of the story? Not that I saw, but the story was just north of 250 pages. That isn’t a lot of time to properly world build, establish a plot, and develop characters.

Another thing that really stood out to me while I read through this was how far too much detail was given when it really wasn’t needed, and not enough detail was given where it was necessary. Example: Li is training to become a part of Abdolorean’s army, which is dispatched throughout the universe. Minute detail is given to every training scenario Li goes through, but no detail was given to why Abdolorean felt the need to wipe out the Human race? Why they felt everyone on Earth needed to be destroyed and having cows was a terrible thing? AND THAT ENDING. WHAT? Blogier crammed nearly all of the action and climax into the last 20 pages of the book and never explained anything. It all happened way too fast and when it was over, I set the book down and said, “What just happened.” I wanted so much more from this story.  I walked away with far more questions than I started with and I know I won’t ever get those answers.

Don’t go into this story expecting a blockbuster sci-fi because I’m afraid you won’t get it. I know I didn’t. Maybe if you read it you’ll like it better than me. Sadly this was just not for me.

 

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ARC Review: Unearthed

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)

 

If you ever tell me that Spooner and Kaufman are writing a book, you can bet your last dollar I will buy/read it. These two wrote the Starbound trilogy after all and I adored that series. I was super excited to get an ARC of this immediately started reading. It took me far longer to finish than it should have and I’ll explain why. This was an entertaining story but that was as far as it went for me.

This was pitched as Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft IN SPACE. Everyone lived in a time when aliens had made contact 50 years previous and invited people of Earth to visit their planet for treasures and knowledge. Nobody could resist that but it would not come without a cost. Mia was a smuggler on a mission to save her younger sister from a horrible life. Jules is the brilliant prodigy that was a linguist and the son of a famous scientist that swore that traveling to that planet would be a trap. Nobody listened so Jules was hellbent on restoring his father’s reputation. Together these two unlikely friends trudge forward to uncover untold secrets and mystery.

The first thing that stood out to me while reading this story was the overall plot. It is an entertaining concept but it was not delivered well. The “traps and tasks” sprinkled throughout this story are super weaksauce. They were supposed to be a bit part of the story but we were only given really small glances at what they were. Then, shortly after they were “discovered”, BOOM they were solved. magic… As the story progressed, the characters continued to solve these riddles but we were not ever told what they were. We read about it as the character said something like, “The day wore on and we solved several more puzzles, most were like the previous ones and easy to figure out.” UH, how about you let the reader know what they were like? Bring us along for the adventure, don’t just tell us that they were there. It made me feel disconnected from the story.

Let’s not overlook the characters and their involvement in this story. Mia and Jules were just okay characters. Neither one completely blew me away but they played their parts. One thing that really wore on me was the constant inner monologue these two characters had. They were constantly rehashing everything over and over and over throughout the entire book, as if reminding the reader of what took place just pages before. I get that Mia was worried about her sister but how can she progress as a character if all she does is repeat the same thoughts about her sister? The same goes with Jules. He tried to keep his identity a secret but you can’t expect me to believe a 17 year old boy is the master of nearly every language in the Universe and people won’t figure out who he really is? Talk about being convenient. Things for these two character just felt too convenient. They are stuck in a chamber and have no way out? BOOM. Mia can suddenly pick up on Latin and read tiles to figure a way out. They need to fill pipes with water so they can cross a dangerous bridge? BOOM. Mia just happened to have done this when she was younger and knows exactly what to do. I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes when that happened because it did not feel believable in this story.

Let us not overlook the romance we knew was going to bud in this story. It’s a trope that could not be ignored. Did I buy the developing romance? Not really. I didn’t feel the chemistry or connection between these two. The banter was just alright but would would have liked more. At the best of times it felt forced and awkward, like two teens meeting for the first time trying to be cool. It didn’t work for me.

This is a very short book yet it took me nearly a week to finish. Why? I never connected to what was happening. I wanted so much more from this story given Spooner and Kaufman’s track record with character development and engaging stories. Also, do not be fooled into thinking LaRoux doesn’t make an appearance in this story. Tie in, perhaps? Maybe we will see the ever lovely Lilac and my book boyfriend Tarver? Gosh, I hope so. That would be a story I would devour in a day. As it stands, I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series even though the ending was somewhat of a surprise.

 

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Review: Three Sides of a Heart

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles

 

I do enjoy a good anthology but one about love triangles? Am I crazy? (Nope, new year – new me.) I borrowed this from my library and while I did complain to myself about how bloody long this audio is (over 14 hours if you listen at 1x playback), I found myself simply compelled to finish.

The absolute takeaway I had from this (besides the fact that I still don’t like love triangles) was how incredibly diverse these stories were. They were all completely different in the aspect of race, sexuality, settings, genres, and more. It blew me away. This wasn’t just boy likes girl who likes boy. This was so much more. I believe it was the variety that kept me going until the end. I will go through each of the stories below. I do have my absolutely favorites, of course.

 

 

-Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno – ★★★

This was about a queer girl who recently came out to her family and is struggling with the aftermath. She feels her family sees her differently but in truth, they adore her just as much as before. She falls for her brother’s best friend, who is also her unrequited love. Katie’s stories are usually hit or miss for me. I liked this story but I wasn’t in love with this story. I didn’t feel the love triangle so much so that was a bonus.

Dread South by Justina Ireland – ★★★

This was an odd story for me, but in a good way. This was about an alternate history after the Civil War that involves zombies. AAHH! I love zombies! In this version of history, the Native American and African American children have to learn combat skills in order to protect the white children from the zombies. The main girl is “gifted” a girl to protect her by the boy that fancies her. The triangle is that the main girl, Lousia, thinks she is to marry this boy but soon realizes that she has feelings for her protector.

Omega Ship by Rae Carson – ★

This was not my favorite story. This type of plot has been done so many times before so I sort of zoned out when it was on. This is about a colony of people that boarded a spaceship because their planet was going to be destroyed. The set out in search for another planet to call home. Along the voyage the ship ran into difficulties and only three teens were able to make it off safely. Once on the new planet, the last survivors formulated this plan: since there were two boys and one girl, the girl would immediately start repopulating the planet with offspring. You read that correctly. She did the math and realized she would need to have close to 20 babies in order for their race to start over. Insert my shock here. The triangle in this story is who is the girl going to sleep with first. No lie, that’s it. This was not a love triangle story I would have ever thought I’d see printed in YA.

La Revancha del Tango by Renee Ahdieh – ★

I love Renee but this story just did not do it for me. Honestly, I didn’t understand what was going on. This was about a girl who, after graduating high school, traveled to Argentina by herself before meeting up with her brother. She stayed at a hostel and suddenly made a bunch of friends and went salsa dancing? It was so random and made no sense. There were a lot of references to books but that was it. I didn’t sense the love triangle at all.

Cass, An, and Dra by Natalie C. Parker – ★★★

This was an incredibly odd story. This was about a girl, Cass, that had a gift to see all possible outcomes to questions. If she was wondering what shirt to pack, she could see exactly what events would take place while wearing that shirt. She spent a majority of the story over-analyzing and fussing over which girl she should be with – An or Dra. That is the love triangle in the story – who will she pick? She would not leave anything to chance or “destiny”, she had to know what would happen. I read in another review that this story and the characters may be a giant metaphor for Cass’ identity as the names spell CassAnDra. Just let THAT nugget sit with you for a while.

Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy – ★★★★★

I really loved this story. This is a story about an outcast at school being a kissing expert. She has made it her job to help people become better kissers. The catch? She is picked on and made fun of for being over-weight. Nobody knows she is the “Kisser Fixer” because everything on her website keeps her identity hidden. Everything changes when her latest client turns out to be her former best friend and crush. Will her former BFF go through with the kissing lessons to stay with her boyfriend, the “PK” or Preacher’s Kid, or will she realize her true feelings for the Expert? This story was nothing but perfection. Julie knocked it out of the park.

– Triangle Solo by Garth Nix – ★★

This was another miss story for me. The very short recap is this is about two teenage boys lusting after the same girl. The girl left many years before and comes back a major hottie. Apparently this is set in space but I never got that vibe because the world is not really set. They talked about being in low gravity but that was it. It was a boring and lack-luster story at best.

– Vim and Vigor by Veronica Roth – ★★

This was another story I zoned out on. It did not grab my attention at all. It is about a girl who fell out of friendship with three best friends. They became friends over an all girl comic book team. Sadly, one of the girls dies on a simple drive for sugar and everyone just drifts apart. With all that said, this story is still about a girl who has to pick between two different boys to go to prom with. Just too much was trying to happen and I couldn’t jive with it.

– Work in Progress by E.K. Johnston – ★

Holy Second Person, Batman! This story was just ODD. It made less than zero sense. I think it was actually three separate stories, if that is even possible. That’s all I can tell you about this one.

– Hurdles by Brandy Colbert – ★★★

I really like Brandy Colbert’s stories but this just didn’t blow my hair back. This is a very sad story wrapped in a story of how your parents expect or want you to be when you grow up. Stay with me now. The MC in this story is a girl who excels at running and has a big race coming up. Her dad pushes her hard, all the while she is distracted by the boy she has a crush on. This boy also happens to have an addiction problem. See, far too much and probably far too heavy of a story. The ending is what really set me off. It was so incredibly unresolved that it almost made me mad.

– The Historian, The Garrison, and the Cantakerous Catwoman by Lamar Giles – ★

This is another story that I had no clue what was going on. Like, I’m not even sure what it was about. Call me crazy but I didn’t get it.

– Waiting by Sabaa Tahir – ★★

I love Sabaa’s writing but I do NOT like how this story ended (hence the two star rating). The girl STRAIGHT UP picked the wrong guy. This story is is the exact reason I do not like love triangles. I expect them to end up this way and that just makes me mad and upset.

– Vega by Brenna Yovanoff – ★★★

If you have ever wanted to be in Vegas or visit or live there, read this story. If Yovanoff can do one thing, it is world build. Outside of that, I could not believe what the triangle in this story was really about. I cannot and will not give it away but you have to read it and make up your own mind.

– A Hundred Thousand Threads by Alaya Dawn Johnson – ★

This is another example of not knowing what was going on. Maybe Johnson was trying too hard? Whatever the reason, it was an absolute miss for me. It was flat, boring, and very predictable.

– Before She Was Bloody by Tessa Gratton – ★★

This story just did not do it for me. I felt it was too wordy and flowery for a story that was about a princess who wants to be more. She used people like they were tissues and had no regards for anyone. I wanted to like this more but couldn’t. Maybe if it was written into a full book I would like it. The backstory and development would have made a huge difference.

– Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen – ★★★★★

This story shattered my heart and left me in tears. Oh my every loving God this slayed me – no pun intended as this is about vampires. (See what I did there?!) I will not say much more about this because my words will not do it justice. All I can say is that you would have to go into this trusting me when I say you will not close the book with dry eyes.

 

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ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls

Pretty Dead Girls

 

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts or reactions to this story.**

 

I am the type of reader that loves a good mystery whodunit. This pitched to me as a thriller that was along the lines of With Malice, which I absolutely adored. While this was a super fast read, it just didn’t have the absolute hold on me that With Malice did. I’ll get into the details of why.

Short recap: Penelope is having the best Senior year she could possibly have. She is the President of the Larks, a very exclusive and prestigious all girls group within her school, she is very popular and has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. Everything changes when her close friends and fellow Larks members (fellow Seniors!) are mysteriously murdered. Is there a serial killer on the loose targeting members of this group? It certainly seems that way….

This story had a lot of promise. Murphy is a heck of a writer but I felt this story could have used a little more work. The characters were hard to connect with as they modeled Mean Girls in every way possible: selfish, vapid, shallow, and only had boys on their minds. Penelope (or Pen or Penny) was the protagonist of this story and everything told from her POV, except for the few chapters that are from the killer’s POV. Those chapters I found interesting. Penelope was very hard to connect with as she felt wishy-washy with her thoughts and feelings. That girl had the worst inner monologue that went on forever. She had full on debates with herself. (I later found myself skimming or just skipping those parts.) In short periods of time, she would be deeply concerned with her safety as it is clear the Senior members of the Larks were being murdered, but in the very next breath she would wonder if Cass, the boy she liked, had feelings for her. Sorry, what? The girl was instalovesick like I haven’t seen in a while. She spent a majority of her waking time thinking more about Cass, the new mysterious boy at school. Girls liked him because he was quiet and mysterious, while the other guys hated him because he was quiet and nerdy. Cass did have his secrets, but when they were revealed they were nothing to write home about. I guessed them long before he said them outloud. How they linked back to the murdered girls was just too convenient and unbelievable. Penelope and Cass together was just… odd. I didn’t feel that the reason they got together was truly organic. I don’t feel they were good together at all, I felt no chemistry between them.

The one thing that absolutely took away the suspense (in my mind) was just how obsessed and boy crazy Penelope was. All that girl did was think about Cass and his “dreamy full lips” and his “perfectly imperfect hair”. Uh… Penelope… I’m going to need you to focus as there are girls being murdered all around you, m’kay? Make sure you are safe from harm, figure out who the killer is, and then go after the boy. Deal?

If you remove the budding romance (which really did not need to be in this story, in my opinion), the murder/mystery was really well done. I figured out pretty quickly who the killer was but that might have just been me. There were times when the plot slowed down, which were almost always due to the teenage hormones and inner monologue chats Penelope had with herself, but it the story was still a very quick read. There was just something that held my attention when it came to this story. I just had to finish no matter what. Hence the reason I skimmed or skipped parts. I do think many people will also find this story gripping, thrilling, and memorizing. It really was a well written story… if it had just been about whodunit and not so much about romance. Again, my lovely readers, that was just how it read for me.

Do I recommend this book? You bet! I do think I may be the lone wolf with my thoughts to this book and if so, great. I want everyone to give this a shot and let me know if you read it differently than me. This book deserves to be loved and given a chance. Please borrow it from your library or purchase a copy for yourself. Read it and then let me know what you think.

 

 

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MAD MAGIC Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway!

MAD MAGIC

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About the Book:

IMG_6193Title: MAD MAGIC

Author: Nicole Conway

Pub. Date: November 14, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Pages: 300

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

Mad Magic is a beautifully dark and rich Young Adult fantasy from Nicole Conway, bestselling author of the Dragonrider Chronicles.

Josie Barton is a high school student living in terror. Invisible creatures torment her everywhere she goes, constantly getting her into trouble at school, and even haunting her apartment. But just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse… she meets the guy from across the hall.

Zeph Clemmont is a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a curse that threatens to end his life. Survival means he will have to swallow his pride and trust Josie with all his darkest secrets.

With the help of a gun-slinging shaman and the enigmatic Prince of Nightmares, Zeph and Josie are only a heartbeat away from defeating one of the most diabolical faerie villains their world has ever known.

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Review:

This book pleasantly surprised me! This story was packed full of romance, danger, evil villains, magic (so much magic…), and attractive fae. I’m quickly finding my place in the fantasy-reading population and therefore found myself enjoying this more than I thought I would.

I really liked the characters and felt they were very well developed and complex. Josie, the protagonist, was living a life where she was constantly getting in trouble for things that either were not her fault or out of her control. She lived in a world where she was being tormented by invisible creatures. Things went sideways when she met Zeph, the handsome bad boy across the hall from her haunted apartment. Zeph is the typical swagger filled handsome dreamboat dripping with “I’m nothing but trouble” from every inch of him. Did that stop Josie? NOPE. These two were so much fun to read! Josie tried to ignore her feelings for Zeph but when his secret was revealed, everything just got more complicated. Things get more complicated when Eldrick is introduced into the story. Eldrick was your standard swoon-worthy tall drink of water with just enough mystery to make a girl forget who she is. The adventure that lies ahead of these three is one you just have to read for yourself. With the help of Zeph and Eldrick, Josie discovered who she was supposed to be and her place in her crazy life.

There was not a moment of this story where I was bored or skimming just to finish. This held my attention and left me wanting more from this author. There is a huge battle at the end that let my head spinning, but know it was in a good way.

I’m trying so hard not to give anything away! Keeping spoilers out of this review is tough, let me tell you. Please add this to your TBR if it isn’t already there. Great characters, engaging plot, and twists & turns everywhere. It really is a must read for fantasy lovers.

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About Nicole:

NicoleConwayPhoto-300x204My name is Ashley “Nicole” Conway. I’m originally from North Alabama and attended Auburn University where I earned a BA in English with a concentration in Classics & Mythology. I’m happily married and have one son, Ethan.  I also have a cat, Mr. Darcy, and a dog named Phoebe.

Writing has been a passion of mine since childhood, and to be able to do it as a full-time career is something I take as a great blessing and honor. My heart is in children’s literature, specifically middle-grade and young adult fantasy. I’m best known for my MG/YA fantasy series THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, which is published by Month9Books. The second series, THE DRAGONRIDER LEGACY, just launched this fall!

My other works in include MAD MAGIC (2017), THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (2017), SCALES (tbd), and SHATTERBEAST (tbd).

I am represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel.

Look for my books on Amazon.com and at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

 

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, US Only.

1 winner will win a finished copy of MAD MAGIC, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2680/?

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Tour Schedule:

 

Week One:

1/1/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/1/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

 

1/2/2018- Wandering Bark Books– Excerpt

1/2/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

 

1/3/2018- Lost in Ever After– Interview

1/3/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

 

1/4/2018- Book Briefs– Review

1/4/2018- Ikram Reads A Lot– Review

 

1/5/2018-  Books and Ladders Review

1/5/2018- Rambling Reviews– Review

 

1/6/2018- Just Commonly– Review

 

Week Two:

1/8/2018- Once Upon a Twilight– Excerpt

1/8/2018- Step Into A Book World– Review

 

1/9/2018- Blushing Bibliophile– Review

1/9/2018- Book-Keeping Review

 

1/10/2018- Novel Novice– Guest Post

1/10/2018- Pervy Ladies Books– Review

 

1/11/2018- My Crea Bookish Kingdom– Review

1/11/2018- The Book Recluse Review– Review

 

1/12/2018- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

1/12/2018- Abooktropolis– Review

 

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