Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly-Hannah Jayne

3.5/5 Stars

Truly, Madly, Deadly-Hannah Jayne


She tore the envelope open and pulled out a matching mint green folded card, a tiny plain oak leaf embossed on the bottom. When she opened it, a clipped newspaper article slipped out. Sawyer didn’t have to read the headline to know what it said: “Local High School Student Killed In Car Wreck.” She swallowed down a cry and read the note on the card.

It said simply,

You’re welcome. 

Plot: Sawyer seemed to have everything going for her. She was the of the track team, a great student, and was the envy of most of the girls at her high school because she was dating Kevin Anderson, the most popular guy in school. But behind every outwardly glowing relationship are secrets that the public are not privy to, whether they’re good or bad is of little importance. Sawyer and Kevin’s relationship was not all smiles, roses, and happiness, it was dark, dangerous, and filled with angry insecurities. Sawyer’s real relationship with Kevin was a well-kept secret that not even her best friend knew about. When Kevin gets into a drunken card accident and dies, Sawyer is torn between feeling relieved and mourning her first love. School is full of memories, of constant reminders of Kevin’s death that rattle her to her core, but nothing could prepare her for the sinister surprise waiting in her locker one typical school day (see above quote). Sawyer is twisted into a paranoid, skittish mess constantly looking over her shoulder and full of heartbreaking doubt. When the police come to question her about a mysterious shoe found at Kevin’s accident that just happens to be Sawyer’s size, she starts to question her memories of the night of Kevin’s accident. Sawyer starts to receive several little presents all with cryptic notes geared to drive her insane. When people connected to her start dying, Sawyer feels her life start to spiral out of control. Someone is trying to frame her but with her life on the line, she doesn’t know who to trust or how to save herself from becoming a prime suspect.


  • There is a creepy, stalker-like vibe throughout the book with so much mystery and doubt that you will begin to question whether or not Sawyer actually is crazy and is blocking out the horrible murders. The fact that she’s on sleep meds doesn’t help.
  • The messages on the cards, the brutal pranks, and savage murders with very incriminating evidence will give you chills. The evil is overwhelmingly powerful.
  • Chloe is odd but so funny,she’s sarcastic and has very original lines.
  • The story is fast-paced, nail-bitingly suspenseful, and full of bad intentions.


  • There are several clues that act as foreshadowing. This is a little too obvious.
  • Sawyer is sometimes ridiculously stupid. She withholds information from the police that only makes her look more guilty, what she does tell them is half-truths and minor details, and it’s always just a bit too late. She’s occasionally flighty and her emotions, specifically her attraction or infatuation to guys is hot and cold in the most obnoxious of ways. Plus this makes her seem like a tease. Though Sawyer is determined, she is weak in several areas, dealing with conflict, coping with loss, and standing up to abuse both physical and verbal, she tends to shy away from and is far too accepting of her circumstances.
  • Sexual harassment is dealt with just like physical abuse in this book, as something that happens but is kept on the down low, something to be insecure and unsure of, and not to report. This is infuriating.

If you liked any of the following, you’d probably enjoy this:


Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz





Happy reading,


Shades of YA Super Updated Version


*** Reviews of Through the Ever Night, Masque of the Red Death, and Pivot Point are pending.

RED (Top to bottom) – Supernaturally by Kiersten WhiteRumors by Anna Godbersen; A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford;Die for Me by Amy PlumThe Elite by Kiera Cass; Asunder by Jodi Meadows; Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin;Requiem by Lauren Oliver; Insignia by S.J. KincaidPeriod 8 by Chris Crutcher


The Elite Review

A Touch Mortal Review

Period 8 Review

PINK – Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer; Fang Girl by Helen Keeble; Pretty Little Secrets by Sara ShepardCrush by Nicole Williams; Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell; Boundless by Cynthia Hand; Impostor by Jill Hathaway; The Amanda Project by Amanda Valentino and Melissa Kantor; Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block


Pink Smog Review

Pretty Little Secrets Review

Smart Girls Get What They Want Review

YELLOW –Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers; Deadline by Chris Crutcher; Balthazar by Claudia Gray; A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young; The Survivors by Will Weaver; Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver; Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon; Pulse by Patrick Carman; If I Should Die by Amy Plum; Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan


GREEN –The Beginning of After by Jennifer CastleEve by Anna CareyCross My Heart, Hope to Die by Sara Shepard;Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer; Insurgent Collector’s Edition by Veronica RothPretty Girl-13 by Liz ColeyThrough the Ever Night by Veronica RossiLies by Michael Grant


Pretty Girl-13 Review

The Beginning of After Review

Smart Girls Get What They Want Review

BLUE –The Selection by Kiera CassShatter Me by Tahereh MafiClash by Nicole Williams; Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison MoultonDestiny by Gillian ShieldsThe Other Normals by Ned Vizzini; The Ward by Jordana Frankel;Hallowed by Cynthia Hand; Mind Games by Kiersten WhiteUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi; Rise by Anna Carey


Wings of the Wicked Review

Mind Games Review

Rise Review

PURPLE –Slide by Jill Hathaway; Arise by Tara Hudson; Once by Anna CareyInk Exchange by Melissa MarrBlackwatchby Jenna Burtenshaw; Breathe by Sarah CrossanThe Calling by Kelley Armstrong; Endlessly by Kiersten WhiteShadow on the Sun by David Macinnis Gill


Breathe Review

GRAY –In the After by Demitira Lunetta; Spellcaster by Claudia Gray; Pivot Point by Kasie West; Unbreakable by Liz Norris; What’s Left of Me by Kat ZhangDivergent by Veronica RothThe Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna; Light by Michael Grant


BLACK –Reboot by Amy Tintera; Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins; The Lying Game by Sara ShepardErasing Time by C.J. Hill; Hidden by Sophie JordanIllusions by Aprilynne PikeBewitching by Alex FlinnThe Crown of Embers by Rae CarsonDead Silence by Kimberly Derting; Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza


Mila 2.0 Review

Crown of Embers Review

Bewitching Review

The Lying Game Review

TOTAL: 38/75

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want-Sarah Strohmeyer

4/5 Stars

Smart Girls Get What They Want-Sarah Strohmeyer


Maybe we were being a bit unrealistic, but we had this hope that if we could just get into the Ivy League, everything would be set. We dreamed of Gothic libraries and leafy green quads and romantic dorms with fireplaces and guys who were not only cute but also smart and charming, and quite possibly, British. In college, we believed, we’d finally find our people. 

Smart Girls Get What They Want is a feel good book for the nerdy, hopeless romantic in all of us. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll get embarrassed, but you’ll have fun and quite possibly discover a little something about yourself.

Plot: Best friends Gigi, Bea, and Neerja thought they had it all figured out, they’d slave over their grades, spend all breathing hours prepping for the SATs and get into their Ivy League of choice. There they would find their people, and finally have time to find boys worth dating (see quote). But one day, while helping their role model, Neerja’s sister, who just got into Princeton, pack for school, they found her high school yearbook buried under her bed. Beyond curious, they decide to see what her peers thought of her and are completely shocked to find all of the pages nearly blank, someone even asked who she was. For the first time, the girls start to question their plan, they didn’t want to be friendless, invisibles that people wrote generic yearbook goodbyes about, they wanted real, loving entries. The girls make a pact, that this year, would be about doing something crazy, something that would catch people’s attention and get them noticed, and save them from social suicide. Their goal had to be challenging, out of their comfort zones, and even borderline risky. Gigi is coerced into running for student rep after her academic honesty is questioned. When Gigi and resident funny guy Mike are accused of cheating and she finds out that there will be a note in her file that admissions officers will see, Gigi is infuriated by the unfairness and runs for student rep to try and change the system. Bea has always loved theatre but she’s never been the lead, always the girl in the background, helping people with lines, directing, etc., but this year she wants the lead in Romeo and Juliet. Neerja was en route to Olympic level skiing when her brother had an accident that nearly killed him, from that point on she was banned from skiing. This year, she wants to join the team, and doesn’t mind secretly going behind her parents back to do it. Meanwhile, there’s a new guy at school, Will from California, who can’t seem to leave Gigi alone. Pact made, plans solidified, these smart girls embark on a hysterical, endearing exploration into friendship, life, love, and growing up to realize that you really can get what you want if you put your mind to it.


  • There’s so much going on here character-wise. Each girl, and even the lesser characters have fully developed, unique storylines that flow seamlessly together. The high school is not an overly clichéd cesspool of stereotypes but shows that each person, no matter their spot in the social hierarchy is multidimensional, they all have dreams, and goals, and their own set of issues.
  • Gigi is the kind of girlfriend that loves and cares for her friends so much that she’s willing to make personal sacrifices to help them towards their goals. She joins the ski team, even though she’s only been on the bunny trails, she offers to audition for R+J, even though she has extreme stage fright, and goes out of her way to help anyone in need. She’s a sweetheart with a wacky French grandmother, and scientist mother who lives in Iceland. She’s bold, she’s bubbly, and she’ll have you rooting for her through all her silly assumptions, fails, and all out presumptuous comments that will have you shaking your head in wonder at just how wrong she can be.
  • Bea is that quintessential loud, opinionated, controlling friend who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and push you to go beyond the goals you’ve set for yourself. From a family of lawyers, she always has something to say and notices everything. She also has some of the funniest, sarcastic, yet surprisingly witty lines in the book.
  • Neerja is an Indian girl (let me just glow for a minute; I absolutely love when there are characters from such colorful, different backgrounds rich in tradition and their own quirks. Every time this happens, I fall a little more in love with the book) who is a teensy bit shy but wickedly smart, and a blushing mess when it comes to boys. She’s probably the nerdiest of all the smart girls but is the sweetest, most insecure, and has the biggest transformation at the end of the book.
  • Mike and Will. Both hot, both adorably dreamy, thoughtful, and playful enough to sympathize with Gigi’s boy troubles.


  • Slow at times but definitely worth mucking through.

If you liked any of the following, you’d love this:



the it girl



aprilynne pike..three

Pleasant reading,



Review: Breathless-Scott Prussing

3/5 Stars

Breathless (Blue Fire Saga, #1)-Scott Prussing


How long it lasted, she had no idea-minutes, hours, days perhaps-but when Rave finally pulled his mouth away she felt drained yet energized, lost but found, sated but wanting. And desperately, irrevocably, and joyously in love.

Plot: After her brother mysteriously disappears, Leesa applies to the same college, joins the same classes, and hunts down all of his former dorm mates to try to discover what happened to him. Despite the search for her brother, Leesa is still trying to succeed at her first semester of university life. She’s desperate to make friends, fit in, and have the greatest four years of her life. Leesa has a limp, she was born with a leg missing a fragment of bone. She’s self-conscious about her disability but always felt loved and accepted, thanks to her brother. As a child, her brother was her only comfort, he protected her from bullies, made her feel special, and gave her the love her mother was incapable of. For as long as she can remember, Leesa’s mother has ranted and raved about the one-fanged vampire that attacked her while she was pregnant with Leesa. Because of this, Leesa and her brother never had a normal childhood, their father left, and their mother was a regular recluse. She claimed the sun burned her skin, she only drank tomato juice, even pouring it on her cereal. Leesa wants nothing more than to get her brother back, but she never imagined that on her quest to save her brother she’d meet two handsome guys, learn that supernatural beings exist, and that they’re more common that she ever thought. Leesa learns about the Volkaanes, a group of vampire hunters that possess a blue fire capable of destroying vampires from the inside out, about the Mastens (the cult-like community of Volkaanes), a giant vampire coven on the outskirts of town, and of a one-fanged vampire haunting the camping trails. When girls start getting abducted from campus, and are found completely drained of blood, Leesa enlists the help of her two love interests, Rave (a Volkaane) and a vampire named Stefan, to help find her brother and stop the campus killings.


  • A one-fanged vampire. This is genius. Vampires are usually placed in one of two categories, absolute perfection or disgustingly violent monsters. The vampires of YA are the Stephanie Meyer versions or the Julie Kagawa/Holly Black, the beautiful, statuesque, glittering, objects of carnal desire or the decaying, angry, blood thirsty sadists who love to toy with their victims. An imperfect vampire, one who is deformed in a sense is pretty awesome. Mutated vampires are not really a new thing but I’ve never heard of one with only one fang until this series. Somehow, the fact that there is only one puncture mark is even more disturbing than usual. These vampires are the mistakes of the vampire world, they have barely any powers and though they thirst for blood, have very little ability to create other vampires. A vampire without the power to grant immortality is a being without purpose, a lonely, pitiful creature but still has the ability to kill and destroy lives.
  • Volkaanes. This takes the traditional vampire adversary to a whole new level. Usually, the immortal enemies of vampires are werewolves or vampire hunters but Volkaanes are vampire hunters with a blue fire that not only heats their bodies but is used to fill vampires and suck their life-force out of them, causing them to collapse into a pile of dust. Like the one-fanged vampire this is creative and just different enough to make it exciting and draw the reader in, wanting to know more about these anomalies.
  • Rave is a member of the elusive yet infamous Mastens. The Mastens are a group of red-skinned people whom many speculate about with wild tales of human sacrifice, cults, and haunting noises that seem to shake the foundation of the earth. They abhor technology and it is said that their kisses kill. The Mastens are a cover for the Volkaanes and yes, their kisses do kill. Rave is sexy, loving, devoted, and funny. Although he’s stalkerish in an Edward Cullen way, his willingness to help Leesa and to research all options for them to be together, is enough for you to fall in love with his character.


  • Mild rant coming, if you’d rather not hear the rage skip this. On the subject of virginity; there’s a point in a book, this may happen often or rarely really it depends on the person, when you read something, could be a single sentence, could be a theme, or scene, whatever, when you are tempted to put down the book and move on with your life. My moment has everything to do with how virginity is dealt with by the main character. She talks about being a virgin like it’s no big deal, which is a little odd, but what she says is so callous that it is completely at odds with her character. She says something along the lines of, I’m a virgin, I have a limp, but I’m sure I could find someone to do me. Whaaaaa…someone to “do” me?! I was shocked by this blatant, vulgar attitude towards her future sexual experience. Literally mouth agape, reread the sentence, face palm. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem, I understand that some girls don’t attach significance to their virginity but her character is the epitome of the girl who is an in-between person, she’s not quite nerdy, not quite hot, not quite popular, she wants to fall in love but rejects all peer pressure from her friends to dress like a slut and yet, having sex is NBD? It just doesn’t make sense.
  • The ending. One of the greatest disappointments when reading a book, is when you get to the end and suddenly, a random magical element is thrown in and everything is miraculously fixed. There’s a technical name for this but I’m blanking right now. While a happy ending is always nice, it doesn’t have to be easy. The struggle is half the battle to perfect happiness.
  • Weird word choice. It almost feels like the author meant another word that would fit better and that is close to the word chosen but simply used the incorrect one. Like ignition instead of initiative.
  • The vampire coven wasn’t scary.
  • Leesa is a wishy-washy character. Her exhilaration at her first kiss, at holding hands, is adorable. Her devotion to her brother is admirable and that she is willing to sacrifice herself for her brother is wonderfully brave. However, she is often outshined by her best friends, whose characters are far more vibrant, and have many interesting qualities, where it seems like the only thing Leesa likes is walking and Rave.

If you liked any of the following, you probably will enjoy this:



Darkness Falls-2katana copy (2)Pleasant reading,


Mid-Week Update and News

As you guys know, I’m a graduate student working on my MA. School started on Monday and already I am swamped with massive amounts of reading and research trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to write my thesis on because believe it or not the MA program is ridiculously fast. Because school, even in the first couple days, is so hectic, I’m trying to find a way to set aside time for blogging. It will be hard but I’ll definitely try by best. So, I figured by writing a mid weekly post, you guys can learn a little more about me, see what reviews are pending, and who knows what other random book related news I’ll find to throw in.


On that note, yesterday, I was nominated by the lovely girls over at Book Gossips for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much for the nomination! I’ve accepted and as an acceptor there are several things I need to do.  If you’re interested in accepting and I nominated you, here’s what you do:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog
  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award.
  4.  Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

First things first, 15 Nominations:

  1. Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf
  2. Such A Novel Idea
  3. In Libris Veritas
  4. Underwords Blog
  5. Shannon A Thompson
  6. Cray Cray for YA
  7. Happy Indulgence
  8. Bitten By the Lit Bug
  9. A Lot Like Dreaming
  10. Reading & Living
  11. Young At Heart
  12. The Grown-Up YA
  13. YA Crush
  14. Bri Has Too Many Books
  15. Endless Bookshelves


7 Interesting Things:

  1. I’m a fire sign, and I base many life choices off of my horoscope.
  2. I love Tarot cards and read them once a month, then check back at the end of the month to see if they were correct. Usually they’re spot on.
  3. When I was younger, I desperately wanted a pet owl. When I found out it was illegal, I cried.
  4. I sometimes freestyle rap.
  5. I love hand sewing. Earlier this month, I made a giraffe, a rhino, and a peacock.
  6. Gory horror films are my favorite but I secretly am more creeped out by things like Paranormal Activity.
  7. I celebrate Black Friday like it’s a holiday.

Upcoming reviews for this week:








Happy reading,


Review: Leaving Paradise-Simone Elkeles

2/5 Stars

Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)-Simone Elkeles


I want to scream at him for leaving me. I want to run up to him and forget being sane. Let us live in the streets together. As long as we’re a team, nothing can bring us lower than we were apart.

Plot: Maggie and Caleb use to be friends, but that was before he drunkenly smashed into her with his car and left her for dead. After her hit and run, Maggie suffered through over a year of surgeries that left her with a permanent limp and hideous red scars. Maggie’s life will never be what it was before the accident, she’s a freak and a cripple to her peers and she’ll never be able to wear shorts or a dress again. Caleb’s poor decision landed him in jail. He’ll never get the last year of his life back and all because of an accident. He knows he shouldn’t blame Maggie for his lost year but he does. When Caleb and Maggie see each other again, fury escalates into tears and promises of eternal hatred. Maggie will never forgive him for what he’s done and he can’t help but give into the urge to verbally hurt Maggie because of his stint in jail. Caleb is welcomed back into their high school with open arms by the popular crowd that Maggie use to be part of and now Maggie is just someone to laugh at. Maggie feels incredibly alone and she wants her old life back more than ever. She resents Caleb for his easy return to his past, a past that she can’t get back. When Maggie gets a job helping old Mrs. Reynolds in order to get money for a trip to Spain, she is surprised to come face to face with Caleb, who is hired by Mrs. Reynolds to work off his community service. At first Maggie and Caleb ignore each other but after getting trapped in the attic, things start to change. Maggie doesn’t know why she’s drawn to Caleb after all he’s done and Caleb, even though he’s got his beautiful ex to hook up with, can’t stop thinking about Maggie. This is a story of forgiveness, of starting over, and giving in to love.


  • Maggie is a strong character, although she doesn’t really seem like one at first. In the beginning she doesn’t try as hard as she should, she lets her anger over the accident consume her and many people would think that this is just something she needs to get over and move on with her life. It’s Maggie’s anger that makes her powerful. When she’s mad she let’s out her most truthful, heartfelt, and deeply desperate thoughts about her self-image, her insecurities, and her unhappiness with the hand she’d been dealt after the accident. She deserves to be angry and to yell, to not forgive. In seconds her entire future was altered by someone else’s idiotic choice. It’s completely unfair and she should scream about it. She can’t play tennis anymore, she can’t even wear girl clothes. It’s tragic when she goes dress shopping and can’t wear cute cocktail dresses because of her scars. While Maggie does forgive too quickly, it is through her anger that she learns to love and gains the ability to make the most of her life, to try harder, and to not give up on her dreams despite her disability.
  • Mrs. Reynolds is a brutally honest, funny, kind woman with a lovely past. She’s not afraid to insert her opinion and force people to face their problems.


  • There was no build up towards their love, at least on the part of Caleb. Maggie had a childhood crush on Caleb that only simmered because of her conflicted emotions over the fact that he left her to die after the hit and run. It makes sense that Maggie, once she started being okay with herself would let Caleb back into her heart because it was an accident and her love helps her forgive him. Caleb is racked with guilt over Maggie’s torment but he says harsh, hurtful things to her that earn him a spot as the biggest jerk in the book and suddenly he’s head over heels for her? It makes zero sense. There should have been more interactions, more time, and more signs of Caleb’s attraction. It was lacking in the foundational gradual heightened sexual attraction and spiritual connection that blossoms into love.
  • The insults to Maggie were beyond mean, they were scathing, heartbreaking taunts that were so painful that I cringed, each and every time shocked at the cruelty.
  • The change in Maggie’s peers was startlingly quick. One moment they’re concerned, pitying her for her broken body and the next they have their claws out ready to attack. Because Caleb is out of jail her injuries are forgotten and she’s belittled for playing the victim when she was victimized and poor Caleb’s life was ruined because Maggie was being selfish? WHAT?! This was all sorts of messed up and isolating,making nearly every character unlikable.
  • Caleb is an ass. Besides some fleeting compassion for Maggie, he spent most of the book trying to forget she exists, hooking up with his ex on the side who is now dating his best friend when he knows Maggie can see him from her window. He completely disregards other people’s pain and thinks (for the most part) only about himself and if he does think about the wellness of other people it’s only to benefit himself. He’s absolutely selfish and definitely not the heroic, sexy male protagonist that he is played up to be.
  • It’s unrealistic and unimaginable that Maggie would forgive Caleb so quickly. Her life was destroyed by his stupid decision to get wasted and drive and she forgets that almost instantly because they’re both suffering?!
  • Leah has got to be the most pathetic, sorry excuse for a best friend ever.
  • The ending was predictable.

If you liked any of the following, you might like this:




Keep reading,


Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 8.0: Day 7

Monday 8/19:

Books Read: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories-Holly Black; The Girl with the Mermaid Hair-Delia Ephron

Number of Pages Read:

The Poison Eaters (212) + the first half of The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (156) =368 pages total

Tuesday 8/20:

Books Read: The Girl with the Mermaid Hair-Delia Ephron; Crash-Nicole Williams

Number of Pages Read:

The last half of The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (156) + Crash (215)= 371 pages total

Wednesday 8/21

Books Read: The Name of the Star-Maureen Johnson

Number of Pages Read:

The Name of the Star= 370 pages total

Thursday 8/22

Books Read: Fracture-Megan Miranda; Ink-Amanda Sun

Number of Pages Read:

Fracture (262) + the first half of Ink (163) = 425 pages total

Friday 8/23

Books Read: Ink-Amanda Sun; Breathless-Scott Prussing

Number of Pages Read:

The second half of Ink (163) + Breathless (254) = 417 pages total

Saturday 8/24

Books Read: Leaving Paradise-Simone Elkeles; Smart Girls Get What They Want-Sarah Strohmeyer

Number of Pages Read:

Leaving Paradise (303) + Smart Girls Get What They Want (348) = 651 pages total

Sunday 8/25

Books Read: Cities of the Dead-Jason Phillip Reeser; Kiss of Fire-Rebecca Ethington

Number of Pages Read:

Cities of the Dead (220) + first half of Kiss of Fire (176) = 396 pages total

Number of Books Completed:


Number of Pages Read So Far:

M(368)+ T(371)+ W(370)+ R(425)+ F(417)+ S(651)+ S(396)=  2,998 pages read


Poison Eaters Review

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair Review

Crash Review

The Name of the Star Review

Fracture Review

Ink Review

Smart Girls Get What They Want

Breathless Review

Leaving Paradise Review

Other reviews pending. If you’re interested, check back or subscribe 🙂

Keep reading fellow book-a-thoners! I had a wonderful time participating, and checking out everyone’s progress. Not to mention the creative posts to the challenges. Until January.