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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes

Analee, In Real Life
Author: Janelle Milanes
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 

Book Description:
Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. With a best friend who hates her and a dad who’s marrying a yogi she can’t stand, Analee spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game.

Through Kiri, Analee is able to express everything real-life Analee cannot: her bravery, her strength, her inner warrior. The one thing both Kiri and Analee can’t do, though, is work up the nerve to confess her romantic feelings for Kiri’s partner-in-crime, Xolkar—aka a teen boy named Harris whom Analee has never actually met 
in person.

So when high school heartthrob Seb Matias asks Analee to pose as his girlfriend in an attempt to make his ex jealous, Analee agrees. Sure, Seb seems kind of obnoxious, but Analee could use some practice connecting with people in real life. In fact, it’d maybe even help her with Harris.

But the more Seb tries to coax Analee out of her comfort zone, the more she starts to wonder if her anxious, invisible self is even ready for the real world. Can Analee figure it all out without losing herself in the process?

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MY REVIEW

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, especially after the first book I read from the Riveted by Simon Teen free read selection did not go over well, but I must admit, I quite liked being entertained by Analee and her crazy antics.

Analee Echevarria is a sixteen year old trying to get control of her life that somewhat spiralled after her mother passed away a few years ago. Following that traumatic, life altering event, Ana lost her best friend, Lily, who, from Ana's perspective, just shut her out of her life after starting a relationship with one of the popular boys at their school, Colton. If that wasn't bad enough, her father decides to invite his girlfriend, Harlow, and her eight-year-old daughter, Avery, to live with them, making her feel out of place in her own home. To add insult to injury, after only eleven months of dating and six months of living together, Ana's father announces his engagement to Harlow. Thankfully, Ana has her friend, Harris, to vent out all her frustrations. It's also a bonus that she has deep feelings for Harris, who may also feel the same way about her. The only problem is that she's never met Harris in real life, so she has no idea what he looks like or if he'll like what he sees. To complicate her life further, when her lab partner and school heartthrob, See Matias, suggest that they pretend to date each other to make his ex jealous and so Ana can become best friends with Lily again, Ana jumps at the chance to get her life back on track. The more Ana hangs with Deb, the closer they become to being friends and possible more than friends, which leaves her feeling more confused than she has ever felt since her mother's death.

I enjoyed Ana's journey as she tried to figure out who she was and what she wanted from her life. I liked the fact that there was a lot of interacting and bonding between Ana and her family as I feel that is often neglected in many YA books, so it was a refreshing addition. The only thing about this that had me not jumping out of my seat is the subtlety of plot and character development (not to say there wasn't any development as there was) and the lack of a climactic moment to leave a lasting impression. I liked Ana as a character, especially the fact that she wasn't a whiny character (thank goodness), and I am glad that her problematic situation wasn't fully resolved as though life can be fixed by a magic pill, but I would have liked more of a drive from her in terms of taking charge of her situation and taking risks (not with Seb, I must clarify) to accentuate her growth a little more. At the end, she still felt like the girl who was thinking too much instead of self actualising her thoughts as we saw in the beginning. Still, I did notice some growth despite its subtle portrayal.

A good and simple story about a girl on.a journey of self discovery.

VERDICT:


Rating: 3 Star
Source: Riveted by Simon Teen

Friday, 17 September 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Demon Huntress: Love Me To Hell And Back by Elizabeth Mason

Demon Huntress: Love Me To Hell And Back
Author: Elizabeth Mason
Publication Date: September 18th, 2021
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Book Description:
A search for a cure. A journey fraught with danger. A fateful bond.

Determined demon-hunter, Maeve, must risk everything to obtain The Book of Raziel—a font of spells, divine magic, and ethereal knowledge—to cure her work partner of a deadly supernatural virus. And though she isn’t surprised to discover that the book is in the Garden of Eden, she is surprised to learn that the garden is situated in Hell!

Now Maeve faces her biggest challenge: fighting her inner demons¬, or be lost to the wanderlust of Hell forever.

Broken and reclusive, Ezra Virunas has one goal—kill the demon who stole the Sacred Seals, and, in return, he would regain his freedom. Never mind that Ezra has to use Maeve’s soul as bait to close the case, Ezra knows just how deceitful women can be, and he is convinced Maeve is no different. But he is mistaken, and despite fighting against it, her pure heart soon becomes a light to his darkened past.

As Maeve and Ezra’s bond deepens, so too does the danger awaiting them. Will they emerge from Hell unscathed?

Love Me To Hell And Back is a haunting tale of self-reflection and forgiveness.

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Monday, 13 September 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Ultraxenopia by M.A. Phipps

Ultraxenopia
(Project W.A.R., #1)
Author: M.A. Phipps
Publication Date: December 1st, 2020
Genre: YA Dystopian

Book Description:
Betrayed by Family. Tortured by the Enemy. Destined to Destroy the World.

Wynter Reeves lives by three rules: Don’t stand out. Blend in. Remain invisible. In a world where individuality is dangerous, being forgettable keeps her alive.

Until she begins showing signs of a rare disease, drawing the unwanted attention of the State’s sinister research facility, the DSD. Apprehended against her will for testing, Wynter becomes the subject of the mysterious Dr. Richter, who is determined to make sense of her condition.

However, Dr. Richter’s intentions are less than noble, and after months of horrifying experimentation, Wynter jumps at the chance to escape her captors. But freedom isn’t what she expected, and as her symptoms worsen, she must make a choice. One that will determine not only her future…

But the fate of the world.

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Sunday, 12 September 2021

BOOK REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA Coming of Age / Contemporary
Publication Date: 13 May 2014

Book Description:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
 

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MY REVIEW

I've had this book on my TBR list for so long, I'm glad I finally got the chance to read it. It was definitely worth the wait. I love the cover. It's the first thing that caught my attention, and after reading the blurb, I had to add it to my TBR.

We Were Liars follows Cadence Sinclair ("Cady") as she explores the dynamics of love, friendship and family and always feeling as though she can't quite get a grasp on her reality or her life. Every summer, Cady and her mother vacate to her family's island where she spends her days with her two cousins, Mirren and Philip, and Gat, who is almost but not quite family. The four call themselves the liars and are inseparable. They trust each other and love each other dearly. Behind the beautiful paradise, however, lies a very deep-seated resentment and envy among the adult members of the family surrounding the family inheritance, which threatens to come between the Liars, until one eventful summer when everything changed, leaving Cady injured and at a loss. The problem, however, is that Cady can't remember the events that took place, and no one is willing to share after her mother warned them that the doctor wants Cady to remember the events at her own pace. With everyone walking on eggshells around her and keeping themselves at bay, Cady begins to feel ostracised. As the memories of that eventful summer day start to return, Cady realises exactly why the Liars and the rest of the family have kept their silence. The truth might do more damage, damage Cady may never be able to overcome.

This one was a slow burner for me. I wasn't convinced at first, but I found my mind always wandering back to it after reading and wondering about the characters and their interactions. Albeit I did figure out the big twist before the big reveal, which is usually a turn off for me, but it wasn't in this case. The writing style and the characterisation won me over. The subtlety of prejudice and pride that plays throughout the book brought a sense of authenticity to the story that added much depth to the characters so that even if you don't like a character or you're not too fond of their mannerism, you're still able to reflect on their actions and comprehend their intention, which helps to better understand their reasoning.

This story is emotionally driven, and I believe it's because of the narrative writing style that we're able to get lost in Cady's world and feel as disoriented as she felt. While we may not necessarily be able to relate to her situation, speaking for myself, we can at least appreciate the weight of the burden on her shoulders.

An enjoyable story with an ethical dilemma.

VERDICT:


Rating: 4 Star
Source: Prime Reading

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Cover Reveal - The Unbroken by Destiny Hawkins


The Unbroken
(The Descendants, #3)
Author: Destiny Hawkins
Publication Date: April 2022
Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy / Dystopian / Science Fiction

Book Description:
Best-selling author Destiny Hawkins brings you the third installment of a gripping dark fantasy where a powerless girl must survive in a society that doesn’t accept the weak…or the defective.



About the Author
Destiny Hawkins is a multi-genre author with a dark imagination and a love for magic.

She enjoys cooking, running, swimming, listening to music, reading, and of course watching anime filled with fantasy! Her favorite genres to read and work in are Fantasy, LGBT, Paranormal, Romance, Dystopian, Sci-fi, and young adult. She’s been a writer since she was nine years old, with Caged being her very first novel, and she has more to come!! Much...much more.

Author Links:


Cover Reveal Organised by:
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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Wanting by Lynn Burke

Wanting
(Forbidden Obsession, #1)
Author: Lynn Burke
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Gideon is a big bad wolf who doesn’t bother with sheep’s clothing, an overbearing jackass who hates our combined families as much as I do.

I shouldn’t secretly love his possessiveness over me at school.

I certainly shouldn’t enjoy the unwanted way my body reacts to him.

My sweet sixteen culminates in the first kiss that I always dreamed of. The nightmare that follows, however, leaves me cold and aching.

I go from wanting…to needing.

But Gideon is gone and I’m about to face the real threat to my innocence.

Alone.

WARNING: Wanting is the first book in the Forbidden Obsession Duet and does not end happily ever after. It’s a forbidden romance that contains triggers and mature themes. Recommended for 18+.

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Monday, 6 September 2021

BOOK REVIEW: This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

This Lie Will Kill You
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: YA Thriller / Crime / Mystery
Publication Date: 11 December 2018

Book Description:
“Will keep readers on edge from start to finish.” —Kirkus Reviews

Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all? 

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MY REVIEW

I had never heard of this book prior to it being brought to my attention by Riveted by Simon Teen as one of the free reads for the month. After reading the blurb and seeing the Riverdale reference, I was tempted to give it a miss, but it sounded intriguing enough that I was convinced to give it a try.

Five teenagers who attend the same school receive an invitation to compete in a contest in a bid to win a $50,000 Burning Embers Scholarship. Although skeptical about the event, they attend and it's not long before they realise they've been set up by someone hell bent on finding out the truth about the death of fellow student, Shane Ferrick, who died at a party a year ago. To survive, all they have to do is tell the truth: Who killed Shane?

The book started off well with a lot of mystery and intrigue. The characters all had different personalities and their dynamic was interesting. They're close enough to care what happens to each other but not close enough to call themselves friends. At least, that's the situation between Juniper and Ruby, who were best friends until Juniper reported Ruby's dad to the police for physically assaulting his daughter, after which point, Ruby's dad up and left. Juniper's relationship with Ruby hasn't been the same since then. Juniper's and Ruby's friendship isn't the only dysfunctional relationship among the group as it appears everyone in one way or other is hiding their true feelings for another person among the group. Not being able to see these characters in their natural habitat made it a little hard to establish a deep connection with them or establish whether or not the communication or relationship between them is based on affection or deception. They just didn't feel fully developed in order for me to make an evaluation on their character, so it was hard to connect with them or care enough about their motives.

You get a real "I Know What You Did Last Summer" vibe from the get-go, and if I recall correctly, the film was referenced in the book, so it seemed the teen slasher, mystery atmosphere is what the author was aiming for. However, there wasn't much in the way of terror, as it appeared a lot of the focus was on the sexual tension between the characters and the emotional connection they had for one another. Considering the theme and the topic, I wanted to feel the element of threat that was promised. There was a menacing presence in the opening chapters, but it quickly fizzled out, so I never felt as if the characters' lives were actually in danger, which is what I was expecting to feel. Honestly, I wasn't very fond of the characters or their connection to Shane. I was more interested in discovering more about the incident that took place surrounding Ruby and her dad than I was with finding out what actually happened with Shane.

It was just an okay read for me.

VERDICT:


Rating: 2 Star
Source: Riveted by Simon Teen

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Combustible by Al Riske

Combustible
Author: Al Riske
Publication Date: May 16th, 2021
Genre: Coming of Age

Book Description:
It’s that summer between the end of high school and the start of something else. Dean Stockton and Curt Hutton are best friends, and more often than not you can find them rowing on the Rogue River at dawn.

Together they experience something they will never be able to describe adequately. But then they won’t really need to. Not to each other. It’s that moment of swing when rowers find the rhythm and everything falls into place. The shell seems to lift right out of the water.

Enter Isabelle Smiley. She’s beautiful yet insecure, knowing yet innocent, and crazy about Curt in a way that no girl has ever been crazy about Dean. She wants Curt to choose a college closer to home than the one he and Dean have selected—and she can be persuasive.

“I’d never be able to hold out against a girl like Smiley,” Dean admits.

“Don’t say that,” Curt replies. “I told her she’d have to convince you, too.”

Everyone is conflicted in this story of friendship, lust, and life-changing choices. Only one thing seems certain to all of them: If Smiley strikes a match, Dean will catch fire.

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Friday, 3 September 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Of the Lilin by Paulette Hampton

Of the Lilin
(The Sage Chronicles, #1)
Author: Paulette Hampton
Publication Date: September 1st, 2021
Genre: YA Paranormal

Book Description:
While dealing with depression, Sage attempts to pull herself into the light. What she finds is better left in the dark.

After the loss of her mother and her stepfather’s mental breakdown, Sage Frankle agrees to move in with her aunt and cousin at the Englewood Inn. Soon, her aunt arranges for Sage to begin working through her trauma with a psychologist. As time passes, Sage finds that she is far from healing and begins to slip from reality into a realm of darkness she is unable to escape. After the arrival of her cousin’s intriguing acquaintance, Sage is forced to realize she is indeed trapped, not by her mind, but by her bloodline.


Buy Links:

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

September Group Promo - FREE & Discounted eBooks

Welcome!

Check out all the free and discounted ebooks and giveaways on offer below. Sharing is caring. I truly appreciate your support.

Happy Reading!

FREE & DISCOUNTED EBOOKS


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GROWING UP SCI-FI (KU READS)

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Monday, 30 August 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Vic Vaughn is Vicious by J.A. Huss

Vic Vaughn is Vicious
Author: J.A. Huss
Publication Date: August 31st, 2021
Genre: Adult Comedy / Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
My name is Vicious. God-given name, I cross my heart.

And it fits.

I’m a hot-as-f, inked-up tattoo artist at the trendiest shop in the Rocky Mountains.

I have the looks, I have the bike, I have the reputation.

That means I get the ladies.

Sure. There are lots of women out there who hate tattoos. Wouldn’t be caught dead with guys like me. And that’s fine. I’m not looking for girls like that.

I’m looking for that other kind of girl.

The wild one, the bad one, the crazy one.

Funny thing is… the one I fell for isn’t that girl.

She’s the Good Girl.

And maybe back when she was nineteen I came off as a ‘maybe’, but after seven years of distance I am now the definition of ‘not a keeper’.

But I can be a keeper.

can make the good girl swoon.

can be the dream guy she never saw coming.

If she would just… not press charges… I’m pretty sure I can turn this whole relationship around.

Vic Vaughn is Vicious is a bad-boy-trying-his best-to-win-her-back romantic comedy about a misunderstood tattoo-artist-biker called Vicious and a good girl named Daisy who ghosted him seven years ago after she came to her senses. It’s filled with funny twists, dreams of grandeur, and all seven members of the most inappropriate family in all of Colorado.

Buy Links:
Amazon | UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Audible

Sunday, 29 August 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Kilwade Tragedy by Terry Keys

The Kilwade Tragey
Author: Terry Keys
Genre: YA Coming of Age
Publication Date: 6 August 2019

Book Description:
Terry Keys, USA Today bestselling author of Lie No More and The Missing pens his most captivating book to date. This is the heart-breaking story about a small-town boy who’d taken everything from everyone until he could take no more.

Seventeen-year-old Blaze Planter is a Jr. at Kilwade, High School. 
His parents have recently divorced. 
His grades are slipping. 
His anger is growing with each day. 
Relationships with his closest friends are failing. 
Secrets about his life are being uncovered. 
No one understands what he is going through. 
And everyone who has betrayed him needs to be taught a lesson. 
So now he stands with the one friend that has never betrayed him. 
The one friend that does what he asks every time he squeezes the trigger. 
The only friend that he can depend on. 
Tragedies don’t just happen. The signs are simply overlooked every day until it’s too late. 

After the read be sure to review the author’s note where resources for additional help are listed. There are also discussion questions to generate conversation & get adults and student’s talking. 

Buy Links:


MY REVIEW

This was a very interesting story that centres on the deteriorating mind of 17-year-old Blaze Planter, who feels as though the world is caving in on him and no matter how much he tries to fit in, he just can't seem to find a place for himself in the world. The only person he confides in is his best friend, Mark, who might be the only one that can stop him from unleashing catastrophe on fellow students at his school.

I liked the fact that the protagonist of the story is also the culprit of the story. It's a bold move, and while I thought the author handled the subject matter well and with care, I found the characters could have been developed a little more to add more substance to the reasoning behind Blaze's ultimate breakdown. I liked the characters and their portrayal to a certain extent, I just didn't connect with them as I would have liked to because there wasn't enough depth to them for me to analyse their behaviours and interactions to get a more rounded depiction of them. I did not enjoy the head-hopping. It made the story feel disjointed and made me feel disconnected from certain characters.

I thought the pacing of the story was good to begin with, but as we got three-quarters of the way, the events that unfolded started to feel so rushed. It just started to feel underdeveloped and did not have the desired effect it should have. The topic was always going to be a tricky one, but I have to say, I thought the author's approach was delicate and well handled. Keys chose to focus on the deterioration of a young man's mind, and I believe there are some lessons to learn here about paying closer attention to the people close to us and learning to speak up when you feel something isn't quite right.

Overall, it was a good read. It didn't have me jumping out of my seat, but it grabbed my attention enough to keep me reading until the end.

VERDICT:


Rating: 3 Star
Source: Author

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Crimson Soul by Lyra Winters

Crimson Soul
(The Crimson Demon, #3)
Author: Lyra Winters
Publication Date: August 26th, 2021
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance / Reverse Harem

Book Description:
Lilith Whitlock was destined for a Hell of a lot more than she bargained for. Her being The Crimson Demon entailed immense power, and the longer it took her to figure out exactly what that meant, the more danger she was in.

The enemies she’d faced until now were pawns. With a puppet master pulling the strings, a malicious threat loomed over her, and there was nothing her four supernatural men could do to stop it.

Once her true nature was exposed, she was taken to Heaven and locked away. Lilith was a weapon stronger than anything in all the realms, but with her magic sealed, she was at the mercy of the angel that ended her life a millennium and a half ago.

What they didn’t realize was that Lilith was no one’s weapon. She was her own being, and she would slaughter anyone standing in between her and the men she loved.

As soon as she gained access to her powers again.

Crimson Soul is book three of three in the Crimson Demon Trilogy. It is a paranormal why-choose romance centered around three vampires and one demon. It contains mature subject matter that might not be suitable for all readers and ends in a happily ever after.

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Monday, 23 August 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Seventeen Butterflies by Anna Katmore

Seventeen Butterflies
Author: Anna Katmore
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
The embarrassment of being the only unkissed girl in high school is something Sandy Cardington refuses to accept. The first kiss project is her foolproof plan to finally get rid of the status at her 17th birthday party, while her parents are out of town.

With several kissable boys on her guest list, this should be a walk in the park. But she didn’t count on her older brother returning from college and throwing a wrench into her plans. To make matters even more complicated, he has a friend in tow, and the cute hockey player stirs unexpected butterflies in her stomach every time their paths cross.

While Sandy moves heaven and earth to make her party and project come true, it looks as if Thane Griffyn has his own plans to teach her the real meaning of a first kiss…

A compelling, sweet high school romance, perfect for fans of Kelly Oram, L A Cotton, Cassie Mae, and Erin Watt.

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