Review: Hot Dog Girl

Hot Dog Girl

Y’all… this was the adorkable squishy read that I needed in my life. It filled a missing something I had that I wasn’t aware was empty. I loved it and want to scream from the rooftops how great this is!

There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. Let me start at the beginning. The protagonist, Elouise, has a summer job at the place to work at in her small town: Magic Castle Playland. At the start of the new summer season she discovered that she did not get the coveted Princess position, rather, she was selected to be the Hot Dog Girl. She did moan and complain but did not let it stop her from dreaming and scheming of ways to get with her crush, Nick, who happened to be the Diving Pirate at the park. Elouise formed a somewhat type of plan to get Nick to notice her and dump his girlfriend. Elouise enlisted the help of her BFF, Seeley, to help her pull this off. How, you might ask? By Elouise and Seeley posing as girlfriends and going out on double dates with Nick and his girlfriend. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

While I said all of that about the character plots, there was another side story taking place – it was announced that the park will shut down after the summer. Elouise bands a lot of the other park members together to form a plan to help save Magic Castle Playland. When Elouise finds out the real reasons behind the park shutting down, she started to realize what really is important in life.

Elouise was such a shining start in this story. While she was nothing short of spunky, outspoken, fierce, and loyal, the girl was fragile and empathetic. She was also hard headed, stubborn, clueless, and selfish but nobody’s perfect, right? There were several times I really felt bad for her because she really had a lot going on. I won’t give all of the details here because I want you to read the book, but she was juggling so much – both at her job and at home. She handled most of them with the grace of a bull in a China shop, but that’s what made me adore her. She felt so real. Her BFF, Seeley, was also a treat! I adored this girl because she was loud, out, and proud! She also knew who she was and what she wanted. While she was tough on the outside, she was a softy on the inside (don’t tell her I told you that). These two together were like peanut butter and jelly – they worked in the best way possible.

The two story lines were brilliantly done. They wove together in a way that felt fluid. I was hooked from the beginning and could not get enough while I was reading it. I won’t lie, I had moments when I rolled my eyes at the ridiculous things being said/done, I groaned when bad puns were used, and I teared up towards the end. I’m not completely heartless (regardless of what my exes may say).

If you were on the fence about this story, I’m here to shove you to the side that makes you pick up this book. You need this in your life – hands down, no questions about it. This is the summer feel good that you need! Who knows, you may realize you’re a little bit of a Hot Dog Girl as well.

Review: Angel Thieves

Angel Thieves

I have a really strong feeling that I was not the right reader for this book. Why do I start my review that way? Simple: I did not understand what was going on and therefore did not enjoy the book. I wanted to because it had everything necessary to make a good story, but it never hooked me. I really believe one of the reasons I did not enjoy this as much was because one of the POV voices was that of a river. You read that right… a river.

I believe this story was about several smaller stories woven together throughout time to make one larger story. Those are difficult to manage and for me it was not successfully done here. There were three voices that I could pinpoint: a river, an ocelot, and some’s life that has something to do with an angel headstone. I know that’s rather vague, but the entire story felt vague. While the strange POV chapters – and I do mean strange, an ocelot as a voice? – felt scattered and flat, the entire story itself was not told in any particular order. I’m a pretty open minded reader but I could not get behind an ocelot and a river going on about how they keep their secrets year over year.

The bigger part of my reader brain really wanted more focus on the historical side of this story – the angel headstone. I wanted that to be the focus and while it was, the writer took the long way around her thumb to get to her elbow. Meaning, she took way too long to get to the point. There were several chapters that felt very unnecessary and went on for much longer than they needed to. I wanted character development… no, I needed it but it was nowhere to be found. I wanted the story and history of why the angel headstone was so bloody important to be given more depth but it was just not meant to be.

While this was a very quick read, it was the most confusing thing I have read in a long time (aside from Welcome to Night Vale). I’m not sorry I read it but I am gravely disappointed by what I read. I know several other readers have read and sincerely loved this book and it makes me wish I could have read it through their eyes. This was just not for me.

Review: Not If I Save You First

Not If I Save You First

I have had this book on my radar since before it came out. I adore Carter and have read a lot of books by her. But when I read that this was a survival story, I nearly lost my mind. I had to get my hands on it! Sadly it took a while for me to get it checked off of my TBR. And what is sadder than that is that this was just an okay story. I had a lot of issues with it and I’ll explain why.

The characters typically make or a break a story and in the case of this book, they broke it. The characters were superficial, flat, and unrelatable. I wanted to connect with Maddie and Logan after what they experienced as children because that had to have been something to witness, but I couldn’t. Why? Maddie was shallow and seemed obsessed with glitter, while Logan was a spoiled jerk (the President’s son) who liked to break the rules because he could. Nothing trope about that at all. These two had the beginning of the perfect friendship to romance but tragedy happened and they were forced to grow up apart. Maddie wrote Logan letters but he never wrote back. It was never truly explained in a way I am good with why Logan never wrote back. He chose to ignore Maddie and what she was going through when all she wanted was her best friend to let her know she wasn’t alone. Did Logan do that? NOPE. Maddie ended up growing up bitter and untrusting of people (for obvious reasons) but that did not make her a 100% likable character. She was still the bedazzling idiot from her pre-teen years but she was able to take care of herself. (Now that was the only part of her I did like.) What really and truly irritated me to no end was how self-absorbed and chauvinist Logan portrayed himself to be. He would not ever let Maddie be the one to save him. Not once would he back the heck off and let her do what she knew to be right. He always had to run in guns blazing and be the bull in the China shop. Why could he not take a step back and realize that just because he was a male that he was right or strongest or smartest? It was maddening!! He knew that Maddie knew the woods, knew the wilderness and how to survive but he just could not be shown up by a girl. GAH. I’m still upset over it because it was unnecessary.

Alright … moving on. Sorry for that tirade. That topic always lights a fire under me. The reason for the attempted kidnapping/hostage situation was weak at best. I believe I knew where Carter was coming from but more clarification would have been great. You want me to believe that after six freaking years these Russians are still holding a grudge against the President’s Son and the only daughter of the Secret Service agent that stopped them? UH… *hold please* I’m going to have to get back to you on that one because I’m still scratching my head. The ending was rushed and nothing was explained at all. I needed so much more.

This was a super quick read and had some good moments/scenes but overall it was not what I was expecting. I was hoping for a high stakes badass survival story like I Am Still Alive. Now that story blew me away and what I was hoping for. This was just an okay read and not one I will pick up again.

Review: Sawkill Girls

Sawkill Girls

I have been struggling to write my review because I enjoyed this book so much. It was dark, disturbing, haunting, and nightmare fuel. All of these are a bonus for me.

The island of Sawkill Rock has seen its share of evil. People from outside of Sawkill Rock would never know of what goes on in this town but it is not pleasant. For generations and generations, girls from the town go missing. I don’t mean they disappear for a wild weekend, oh no. They go missing and are never seen or heard from again. POOF. Gone. No clothing, no shoes, no nail scratches on trees, no blood, nothing, nada. It was as if they never existed to begin with. These cases could not be solved. How could they? There was nothing to go on.

This story revolves around four girls: Marion – new girl to Sawkill Rock; Charlotte – Marion’s sister; Zoey – lost her best friend the year before but is desperate to find her; and Val – a Sawkill Rock lifer who is beautiful and knows it by using it to her advantage. These four girls seem to have nothing in common but that is what makes the story that much more grand. They will have more in common and become important to each other in ways they never would have dreamed of.

Now I would love to dive into the nitty-gritty of the plot of the story, but I cannot without giving away way too much. I’m not here to ruin anything for you, I care about you too much! ❤ Try to think of the most dark and twisted story you can think of with delicious turns you could never see coming and you’ll come close to the memorizing tale LeGrand wove. I never thought I would enjoy a horror story but this novel changed my mind.

LeGrand is an absolute master of her craft. This author can write – I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. She wove a tale that had me on the edge of my seat. She not only gave us a horror tale, she gave us wonderfully diverse characters. If you have been on the fence about this one, I’m here to push you over the edge. This was a bold, bone chilling, hair raising story that has stayed with me long after finishing the book. I want everyone to read it and then come back to fangirl with me.

Books Left Unread #150


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:

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell


This sounds like it should be right up my alley since it’s a retelling but I haven’t picked it up yet. Have you read it?


Review: Anger Is A Gift

Anger Is a Gift


I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started this one but had a feeling it was one I needed to read. I’m not entirely disappointed in what I read but it was just not what I was hoping for. I felt it was lacking something. I know that sounds terrible as this can (and probably is) seen as an important book. However, for me as a reader it wasn’t everything I was hoping for.

While this book does have an incredibly diverse cast of characters (gay characters, bisexual/biromantic characters, trans characters, non-binary characters, and more!) I felt there may have been just too many characters. This story follows so many of them around that their voices began to sound the same. It was difficult for me to keep them straight. Their individual story lines were blurred and I quickly lost track of who was talking and what their story was. 

The other thing that lead towards my struggles with this story was the fact it was a really long book. I know, I know. I’m the type of reader that will finish off an 800+ page book and love it but this was not one of those times. As noted above about the size of the cast of characters, this book went on much longer than it needed to be. With confusing details and under-developed individual story lines this book seemed to go on longer than it should have. It often felt far too wordy for what the author was trying to say and the point he was trying to make. 

There was strong content matter so this book was not a light read. There were moments where it felt emotionally unnerving and difficult to continue with the story. That’s the sign of a great story teller! Be warned, it does described in detail graphic violence against both teens and adults. It felt unsettling because events like that happen every day in real life and having that realization gave me pause. I guess most of the time I don’t want to think about those things happening simply because they can be overwhelming. However, for those very reasons I applaud the author for including them because people need to be aware.

In the end I really liked the overall story but it was the lack of individual character voices/stories that bothered me. If either the number of characters were reduced or individual stories better developed, this would have been a home run for me. I do hope you will give this a go if you have not already.

Books Left Unread #149


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:

Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

Please Don't Tell


This cover is stunning! I am so attracted to it but apparently not enough to read it. Have you read this?


Waiting on Wednesday: Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

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:


Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful



From Goodreads:

Set in our world, spanning the near to distant futures, Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is a novel made up of six interconnected stories that ask how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Deeply thoughtful, poignant, horrifying, and action-packed, Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is groundbreaking in both form and substance.



I need a copy of this NOW.


Top Ten Tuesday: Lowest Rated Books I’ve Read In 2018

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…

Y’all, I have been struggling with the recent TTT topics and this week is no exception. I’m not feeling today’s topic of “Platonic Ships” so I am going to make up my own:

Lowest Rated Books I’ve Read In 2018


Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over







These Rebel Waves

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)



One Small Thing

One Small Thing



A Heart In A Body In The World

A Heart in a Body in the World



The Traitor’s Kiss

The Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1)



A Blade So Black

A Blade So Black



Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)



Don’t You Cry

Don't You Cry




Everlife (Everlife, #3)



I could keep going with this particular topic as there were several books I gave low ratings to this year. I was quick to DNF if I wasn’t feeling a book and even quicker to give a 1 or 2 star rating because I promised to be honest with how I felt about a book/story. Do you have any books you gave low ratings to? Are some of them on my list?



Books Left Unread #148


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:

Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)


I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Price at the RT Convention when it came through Dallas back in 2015. She is one of the most gracious authors I have met! However, I cannot figure out why I haven’t read this one yet. 😦 Have you read it?