Review | Knights, Kings, and Betrayal

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

The King was dead.

His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.

Confined to darkness, Skylar’s captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It’s when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can’t suppress the memories of her family’s downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can’t hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.

With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar’s only hope is in the person who has gone missing — Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison’s walls, Skylar doesn’t realize that she will soon see why he’s one of the Benighted.

The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It’s how he’ll return.”

My Review:

If I’m being totally truthful (and I am), I would say that I started off by being impressed and then it kind of leveled off. The Benighted still received a 4/5, so, as you can see, it clearly wasn’t too awful though.

I liked Skylar. She was resilient, clever, humorous, a strong leader, and even though I can’t relate to her particular issues, I felt as if I knew her personally. Skylar didn’t really undergo character development, at least not in the normal, “selfish to generous” obvious kind of way. Rather, her experience throughout the book most definitely developed her in some way that readers will probably realize in the next book.

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Review | White Lips, Pale Face

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Kindle Price: $3.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“I broke the surface and gulped in air, running my hands over my face to push the water away. A raindrop splattered on my cheek. He did not rise. Seven more raindrops in quick succession splattered against my skin. And still, he did not rise. The heavens opened and rain fell like a sheet, blanketing me, cutting me off from the rest of the world.

I thought it was the end of everything.

But I was wrong.

Brothers, Ruben and Judah Mitchell, used to be close, but that was before they met Cara Armistead. Once she moved in next door, the brothers grew further and further apart until the tension between them led to an event which left one dead and the other branded by the aftermath.

One year later, after the death of her baby brother destroyed her family, Lennon Donnelly has moved back to her home town of Puruwai. While visiting the cemetery she finds a boy sitting on a gravestone, a boy with secrets in his past, but someone who finally sees her. Accused by the town as a killer, he reaches out to Lennon, but as their relationship deepens, the events of the year before present themselves in a way no one could have imagined.

In this compelling ya romantic mystery, Forever Blue tells of the intertwining relationships of Lennon, Ruben, Judah and Cara. Spanning over two years, Abby Wilder creates a story of intrigue and suspicion that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

This story contains mild use of strong language and references to underage drinking and smoking.”

My Review:

What…did I just read? I truly have no clue as to what I just read. What??

There’s weird. And then there’s upside-down-turn-around-backwards-sideways-and-insane weird. Forever Blue was the latter.

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Review | In Which a Dragon Isn’t Enough

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Kindle Price: $6.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“When a hero emerges in the Kingdom of Teravinea, he often rises from the ranks of the dragon riders. In the past, only one female has fit the profile. Until now … Fifteen-year-old Amáne finds herself witness to the hatching of a dragon egg. The painful linking rite creates a bond between the two that cannot be broken. She and her dragon, Eshshah, become the only dragon and rider in a kingdom that once abounded with the beautiful creatures and their riders. Amáne and Eshshah are thrown into a conflict that they do not yet understand. One thing is for certain — the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders…”

My Review:

Ugh. I’m on a 3-star rating streak that I really do not want to be on. What I wouldn’t give to find a couple of 5 star books…or even 4 stars. Anything.

I wanted so badly to be impressed by this book. The synopsis looked great, the cover was great too, but I just felt that the writing let me down.

I don’t really have much to say about the characters. I didn’t really connect with any of them. It might be because Amáne is fifteen and I’m eighteen, going on nineteen, but I just couldn’t relate to anything she struggled with. I also felt that she lacked character development. Amáne has an anger issue and that was clear, so I thought that maybe Trimble was going to have her develop a better temper, but instead her anger issue just goes away. One minute she’s a raging ball of anger and needs to learn how to control herself, next she’s just in control. What gives? Go through the stages like the rest of us, Amáne!

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Review: Water Bearer by Wendi Christner

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Cassidy unintentionally set the fire that destroyed her family. Now that she has graduated high school, she spends one last summer with her best friend before she leaves the tiny farming community she grew up in. But this summer will change both their lives forever.

The endearing characters and bittersweet, moving story of everlasting love and forgiveness linger long beyond the final page. Written by the author of Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story winner “Throwing Stones.”

My Review:

I actually liked Water Bearer. I didn’t know who the author was, I barely read the synopsis (the second time around), and I kind of just dived in without checking to see how deep the water was. But, I only mildly bumped my head, which is a lot better than it could have been!

I need a word that’s in between like and love. Actually, I need this kind of setup: Hate < New Word(1) < Like < New Word(2) < Love < New Word(3). I need these words!! I’m feeling New Word #1 for the characters in this story.

On one hand, Cassidy and her best friend, Jared, have a very intimate relationship. I don’t mean XXX rated intimacy, but intimacy that goes deeper than hormones can go. Specifically speaking on their friendship, I liked to read about it because of how they are friends. They argue, they tease each other, they’re both comfortable with being who they are around each other, before anything else, Christner showed me their relationship as close friends.

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The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Goodreads Synopsis:

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

My Review:

Truthfully, I am not impressed. Also truthfully, I am not disappointed. It’s like waiting for a pie to finish baking and it smells really amazing and you take it out of the oven and you cut a slice and the crust is crisp. Then you bite into it, and you think Hm. Smells better than it tastes, but it’s still pretty good.

The concept is truly spectacular, let me be clear. A society where being old is the equivalent of being ruined and therefore, at thirty-five, you are cast away into Tìr na nÓg, what I can only assume is Heaven. Quick had a great synopsis, which is why I read the book in the first place, and I don’t have any “harsh” complaints. The reason for my rating is because I wasn’t as engrossed as I [wish I] could have been.

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How to make your book reviews stand out (without wasting a million hours on finding and inserting GIF images) – Guest Post

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Step 1. Understand that there are two camps of review writing. 

There are 1) brutally honest, spoiler spilling, swearing filled, harsh yet humorous reviews and 2) there are kind, generally unhelpful, back-of-book, copy-pasted-3rd grade book-summary type reviews. You know the ones I’m talking about.

And sure, there are more review styles but I think they can be mostly summed up in two groups: nice and not nice.

And there’s a difference between giving an honest, bad review versus ripping the author a new one, calling them names and destroying their career as a writer.

I think there needs to be a happy compromise of nice-yet-honest, helpful-but-not-harsh, and no-spoilers-unless-absolutely-necessary (and even then, using the spoiler feature on Goodreads, for Pete’s sake).

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The Fountain by Suzy Vadori

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 0.5/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Careful what you wish for. It just might come true.
Ava Marshall, driven by a desire to learn more about her mother’s past, moved across the country to attend St. Augustus. But her mom’s secrets will have to wait, because she finds herself instantly hated for her family’s connection to her new school and is forced to fight alone against a classmate who is setting Ava up to be expelled.

Fleeing campus, she takes a shortcut to her Gran’s house through the forbidden West Woods and discovers a mysterious fountain that has the power to grant a wish and change it all. But can she live with the consequences? Or will she end up breaking every school rule and risking the love of her life to make it right…”

My Review:

What. Did. I. Just. Read. 

Can anyone tell me? Anyone? What did I just read? Because I have no clue. I just read a terrifying mess and Oh. My. Gosh, run for your lives.

Surprisingly, I don’t hate the characters. There’s definitely no love for them either, but there’s no hatred. Even still, I can’t stand them.

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There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane: Book Blitz & Giveaway!

 

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Stars.jpgSynopsis:

“Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?”

 

 

Kindle Price: $3.82

Official Rating: 3.5/5

 

My Review:

McFarlane, please forward my apologies to your co-worker, Ms. Kahla Dombowsky, for I am stealing her quote: This is so good!

There Once Were Stars was predictable, but unpredictable, and that’s not only possible, but also enjoyable.

Here’s what was predictable: Government of some sort is bad, inevitable love triangle, female main character with brown eyes and brown hair, lies, lies, and more lies, the main character getting upset when everything she knows is a lie, a smirking love interest, an I’ve known you my whole life and you’re sweet and comfortable love interest.

Here’s what was unpredictable: The government, the love triangle, the main character, the main character’s reactions to lies, the smirking love interest, and the comfortable love interest.

Are you interested now?

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Dissever by Tracey Ward

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Annabel Lee has her life mapped out for her. A pawn in her aristocratic father’s game, she goes where’s told and does as he says. And she’ll marry who she’s told to marry.

Roarke is an outsider. A member of a mysterious clan living at the edge of the distant wood, he would do anything for Anna. For the childhood friend he can know only in secret. For the girl he’s loved all his life.

As they grow older and Anna’s fate draws near, they’ll discover that nothing is as it seems. That the secrets and lies that have kept them apart are what will ultimately draw them together.

And even death itself can’t tear them apart.

A Gothic fantasy romance based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem ‘Annabel Lee'”

My Review:

Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked onto Dissever. The cover wasn’t impressive, it just looked like some girl who would of course be relevant in the story. I had bought the book who knows how many months ago, but I didn’t re-read the synopsis so I was going in blind. I was surprised to have enjoyed it.

Ward did something extremely unique with Dissever, something I wasn’t expecting and I adored. There are no petty enemies. This is important because she had two chances to make Anna have petty enemies and she passed them up. There’s a girl who is in love with the prince, but of course, Anna is set to marry him. Ward could have made Anna and the girl be sworn enemies because of it, but instead they become friends. The second person who could have been an enemy I cannot say, because it would be a major spoiler, but I was extremely pleased that he wasn’t an enemy.

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Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H. L. Burke

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician’s apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself forced into one last job. No one has entered Professor Dalhart’s secluded mansion in almost a decade, at least not and returned to tell the tale. If Nyssa wants to ensure her freedom, she’ll brave the booby trapped halls and mechanized maids. Nyssa has skills, but this house has more than its share of secrets. As she steps into the cobwebbed halls lined with dusty mirrors, she has to wonder. Is the House of Mirrors really abandoned?”

My Review:

Oh my. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my. I liked this book. I bought this last month because the synopsis had me interested and wow, Burke didn’t disappoint me. An excellent blend of adventure, mystery, and romance. Oh, I am swooning.

I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH A COMPUTER. That’s all I can say about that, no spoilers, sorry. 😉

Honestly, I hate a lot of 5 star books. Do you know why? Because I love them. And because I love them the review isn’t as fun because a) I didn’t write any notes because I didn’t have any complaints so I am totally writing by memory, b) it’s a lot more fun to write a negative review, and c) I never like to write 5 star reviews because it just kinda taints the book for me. Not really in a bad way, but just in an “it’s over” way. But no matter, I will write about this wonderful book.

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