ARC Review: Daughters Unto Devils-Amy Lukavics

51xvQS37eCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Goodreads/Amazon/B&N

synWhen sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

review3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Harlequin:Teen

+++Contains: Mature themes, gore, graphic imagery, and what may be considered triggers- miscarriage 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for something chilling and unexpected
  • You’re not afraid of disturbing images, gore, and/or devils
  • You like M. Night Shyamalan 

Daughters Unto Devils would make a terrifying horror film. Amy Lukavics has perfected the use of blunt and abrasive images that are just enough to shock and haunt. There’s no need for explanation or excessive description, the brutally detached imagery will give you goosebumps. 

PROS:

  • Amanda has a profound and stunning voice. She voices her dark and twisted thoughts, voicing them, letting herself accept that her deepest desires are not always pure or even remotely nice. Amanda admits to herself that she’s morbid, sinful and a little insane. That she owns it makes it 10x more compelling. Sometimes her thoughts are sickening and startling, that someone could wish harm and death on others if pretty off-putting but Amanda’s candidness with herself (and some self loathing) almost make her more likable. She’s hardly perfect, far from it, but she sees the world for the vile and rotten place it can be, she picks up on darkness when others are oblivious, mainly because she has it tucked so close inside her. 
  • Spine-tingling, hair on edge images that blur the line between paranoia and reality, there’s something sinister in the simple images. The scenery is bleak and haunting. The snippets of ghost stores and memories that may or may not be real add an air of suspicion. You won’t know of they’re insane, paranoid or possessed until the last moment.
  • Twists that will leave you reeling.
  • One scene in particular was Excorist-worthy terror at its finest. 

CONS:

  • Some sections are slow and drag quite a bit when there’s not something sinister on the horizon. 
  • The whole situation with Henry and the Amanda is naïve and sort of grotesque. The descriptions of bulges and writhing were too much for me. Amanda’s wild-eyed wonder at this man was understandable at first but after everything that happens to have her still hoping that he’d accept the situation was crazy.
  • What happened in the cabin, the clues and tidbit scenes were spaced far apart and didn’t go into enough detail to truly capture the hysteria. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Spooky reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Lost Girl-R.L. Stine

26236387._UY500_SS500_Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synGenerations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine’s bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine’s avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael’s friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press

+++Triggers: Graphic violence and assault

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You grew up on R.L. Stine and are feeling nostalgic
  • You’re looking for a spooky Halloween read
  • You’re NOT terrified of horses
  • Gore and violence don’t make you squeamish

Stepping into The Lost Girl world was a trip to the past in more ways than one. For the people like me, who grew up on R.L. Stine, who lived for Goosebumps and shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? you’ll feel transported back to childhood, I was flooded with memories. That, and the story jumps from 1950 to present day 🙂 As someone who is just a little terrified of horses this was HORRIFYING. 

PROS:

  • The sickening, disturbing bit of horror and shock that R.L. Stine is known for is back with a vengeance (though, I don’t think there was enough of it). Some scenes are extremely graphic and disgusting. The first horror scene was so intense and terrifying I don’t think I’ll EVER get it out of my head. It’s so real, you can picture every little detail. Prepare for nightmares.
  • The cat and mouse game that follows a surprising accident is unexpected and edge-of-you-seat thrilling. You won’t know who is next until it’s too late. 
  • Michael’s infatuation with Lizzy is irresistible and disquieting. There’s something dark beneath the soft, clumsiness she exudes. Michael is confused and dazzled by Lizzy, so much so that even her bad behavior is temptation in human form, a mere curiosity that intrigues him even more. 

CONS:

  • There wasn’t enough interaction with characters or back story to make me care about their fate. They were typical and forgettable. Gabe, Kathryn, and Pepper, apart from her fiery redhead stereotype, seemed to be there for the purpose of eventual torment and not much else. A firmer establishment of their friendship, maybe some memories that connected them to Michael would have made their ordeal more emotional instead of sheer spectacle. 
  • Points could have been strengthened to get at the terrible power Beth possessed. Instead, it felt like a random fact. Lizzy’s super sketchy stalker attitude was played up as whimsical and sort of quirky and everyone was oblivious to her weirdness. 
  • Characters are far too easy going and dismiss incidents that should have had them running to the police. The hysteria missed its mark entirely as did the suspense.
  • There was a massive amount of telling. Description was strong only to showcase the gore. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Shattered Blue-Lauren Bird Horowitz

Shattered BlueGoodreads/Amazon

synFor Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?

review4.5/5 Stars

***I recieved this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Skyscape.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re alive and breathing, if you’re a ghost, animal, vegetable, mineral…read it. P.S. It’s available on KindleU and on Amazon only $3.99. Worth every penny.
  • You love dark stories bursting with hope in unexpected places.
  • Fae. Fae galore and in a new way.

PROS:

  • This was probably the most cruel, vicious, and explosive book ending I’ve EVER read. Mouth-hanging open, shocked and heartbroken as each new revelation spiraled out of control, I could barely process let alone grieve. Wow. Stunning. Mind-blowing. 
  • I love fae. Sadistic fae, violent fae, predatory fae, loving fae but I’ve never experienced fae like this. Each faery is represented by a color that signifies their unique powers. Red, Blue, Green, and Clear, each faery has incredible abilities that are as lethal as they are compelling. 
  • Every single character is memorable, no matter how fleeting and leaves an impression.
  • Noa is a poet. She’s in tune with her feelings in a way that is uplifting and magical. The poetry included in the story is mesmerizing and beautiful. If you’re a fan of Jandy Nelson’s style, Emily Dickinson, or bewitched by the dark depth of Poe, pick this up. 
  • Judah. Holy hotness. He’s jaded, mischievous, a little evil at times but good grief he’s magnetic in the same way Draco Malfoy was. The brokeness inside him, his ferocious desire to prove himself, his heartache, the way he looks at Sasha and sacrifices…it’s almost too easy to overlook his past transgressions. He evolves and grows and there’s something breathtaking about watching it happen. 
  • Loss and memory are everything in this story and funnel through pure love. The tragic loss of Isla is coupled with the little things that echo in absence of the person who once filled up a space within Noa and her family’s heart.
  • Every emotion, good and bad shoots off the pages. The feels. It’s brutal and eye-opening.

CONS:

  • Callum and Noa’s romance was insanely fast. Almost to fast to build the emotions necessary to ship them. Their scenes together are light and playful one moment and harrowing and emotional the next. They pour their hearts out to each other and yet, when it comes down to it, the thread that connects them is fragile because it almost feels compounded. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Keep reading,

Jordan

Review & Contest: Bitterroot Part 1-Heather Hildenbrand & SM Reine

bitterroot_part1_smallAmazon/B&N/Goodreads/iBooks

synSeventeen year-old Regan Vuk has lived her whole life under the shadow of her future: the pack alpha. She is fast, smart, and determined. According to her own pack members, she is a shoo-in. But Regan’s dad has a secret.

Seventeen year-old Charlie spent her adolescence drifting from place to place with a mother desperate to hide her illegitimate daughter from the unforgiving reality of werewolf pack dynamics. All Charlie has ever wanted is to know her father–and the family that’s been kept from her all these years. But most of all, she wants a place to belong in the world. Where she doesn’t have to pretend she can’t sprout fur and paws at will. Being kidnapped on her way home from prom was not she Charlie had in mind.

When Charlie finds out the only way to fit in with her new family is to defeat her long-lost sister for the role of alpha, she refuses. That is until she learns that the strange and alluring vampire she’s befriended, Owen, is the same vampire prince that’s been promised the winner.

Regan has no doubt that, although she loathes the vampires, it will be her who “wins” Owen.

Only problem: Charlie’s already fallen for him.

Bitterroot is a Young Adult Paranormal with a dose of sibling rivalry… Who will you root for?

teaserBitterroot Part 1 teaser 6

review2.5/5 Stars

***I recieved this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the authors

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for something quick and entertaining (this is just over 100 pages)
  • You’re a sucker for the classic vampires vs werewolves conflict 
  • You watch The Vampire Diaries, Bitten, or Twilight

PROS:

  • Secondary characters were full of personality and quirks, so much so that it outshone the main characters. I found myself leaning towards characters like Brent, Bevin, Carter and even the vicious Sheridan.
  • The vampire in the woods is intense. That scene was a total adrenaline rush made of terror and attraction. It was PERFECT. He’s deep, talks about serious things, thinks things through before he speaks, and that sort of broody, flirty charm is there to sweep you off your feet. He’s not merely looks, it’s his sincerity, his willingness to listen that makes him attractive. 
  • Just short enough to leave you hungry for more and long enough to suck you in.

CONS:

  • The plot was predictable and lacked any twists or surprises. What should have been a big reveal was easily called from the beginning of the story or if you read the synopsis (I didn’t beforehand). 
  • Regan and Charlie were hard to root for and even harder to get to know despite being told from each of their POVs. So much focus is placed on the situation that the tiny details that make their personalities were missing. Their preferences, how they feel about basic things like clothes or music, anything like that was strangely absent. It’s like they had no life before this moment in time and nothing to attach them to the world. Charlie and Regan are crazy oblivious to what is right in front of them. It’s all sorts of frustrating.

Contest! Help spread the word about Bitterroot!

Share the following message on Twitter, FB, or IG OR follow me (Heather Hildenbrand) on any of these platforms and get entered to win a signed swag pack including a paperback of Seasons of the Moon by SM Reine & Dirty Blood by ME! Contest ends 9/26!*

2 sisters. 1 vampires prince. Can family survive forbidden love? #Bitterroot for .99. http://bit.ly/Bitterroot1

*Contest not affiliated with FB, IG, Twitter, or any other outside entity. Must be 13 years or older. Void where prohibited.

Keep reading, 

Jordan

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Brazen-Christina Farley

BRAZEN cover

Today we’re celebrating the release of BRAZEN by Christina Farley! BRAZEN is the third and final book in the Gilded series about a sixteen-year old girl who must use her martial art skills and wits to save her family, friends, and country from an evil Korean god.

To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series website. Watch GILDED’s book trailer here!

Be sure to pick up the letter for this stop at the end of this post to earn extra points in the Kindle Fire or $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Collect all the letters during the blog tour to spell out the secret message to earn more points.

review
*** I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author 🙂 
From the beginning of this series, I fell in love with the rich Korean culture and myths that leapt off the pages and made reading magical again. The balance of light and dark, the lies, the danger, and suspense all culminate in an explosive and unexpected finale. 
PROS:
  • Jae has come so far from the sort of timid girl we were  introduced to. The fate of the world rests in her hands, her love for her heritage, her culture, and the legacy of her family propel her through dark and harrowing times. Jae is faced with horrific decisions, she’s incredibly real, she makes mistakes, and at her heart is a fierce young woman with her heart on the line asking to be loved. 
  • A dizzying combination of suspense, matrial arts, legend and Korean gods, the beautiful, structured portrait of South Korea interwines with the etheral, whimiscal worlds of the “good” gods and the sadistic, twisted one of Kud. 
  • Some parts are edge-of-you-seat thrill rides mixed with BA fight scenes and epic magical battles. Others are moments of heartache and loss. As Jae collides with her past, her sacrifices become more raw, more painful. She starts to wonder if what she gave up was worth it? Jae is resourceful and courageous, she butts heads with the gods and refuses to back down, and while she can’t be sure of her choices, she questions and I love tha about her, she won’t go down without a fight.
  • The tension between Jae and Kud is suprising and a little horrifying. Humanity is at odds with knowledge. Their antagonistic, playful, and yes, sometimes violent interactions were a twist that had me questioning what would happen next.
  • Marc and the other warriors are full of awesome traditions and the keepers of history. As if that’s not cool enough, their marital arts skills are on point. Marc is at war with himself. His history with Jae, the wounds that are still fresh, and feelings that never melted away make him choose a side in an impossible situation. Moments between Jae and Marc are complex BUT SWOONY. 
 CONS:
  • Parts were action after action in style and it felt a bit robotic. Especially the first few chapters but as the story progressed, things flowed much better. 
auth
CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio’s 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. Christina’s adventures sparked her to write stories, infusing the real world with fantasy. Currently she writes from home in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.


To celebrate the release of BRAZEN, Christina is giving away a Kindle Fire (US only) and a $50 Amazon gift card (international). The letter for this stop is _E__Collect all the letters from the blog tour to earn more points!

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Sale: Initium-Courtney Cole

INITIUM Nocte Prequel by Courtney ColeThe end is coming. LUX is almost here. But everything has a beginning. A beginning before the night. Before Finn. Before Calla. Everything starts somewhere.

This is where the darkness is born. ANOTHER STORY.

INITIUM (Nocte #2.5), a Nocte Trilogy between-the-books novella, is now available…and only $0.99 for TODAY ONLY! Includes an exclusive FOUR CHAPTER sneak peek of Lux (Nocte #3)!

Initium, Front CoverAmazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Add it on Goodreads

synI never knew what the consequences would be.
I say that like it’s a defense, an excuse.
Itís not. It’s simply the truth.
I never knew what he would become to me.
Through everything, he’s become everything.
My rock, my air, my love.
My everything.
And then…
Things changed.
Because it was wrong.
Because sometimes, our sons must pay for the sins of their fathers.
Or their mothers.
I’m afraid that I’m lost,
that I’m damned.
After you read this, you’ll probably agree.
Really, it doesn’t matter.
All that matters is that I save him.
Because he shouldn’t pay for my sin.
Judge me if you like.
But keep reading.
This is our beginning.
This is where the darkness truly starts.CourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserLetter-WithShadowteaserCourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserMeme2CourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserMeme1

Get NOCTE, the first book in the trilogy
Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo†| Audible Audiobook

Get VERUM, the second book in the trilogy
Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo†| Audible Audiobook

LUX, the final book in the trilogy, is coming October 28, 2015.

Keep reading,

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Blind Trust-Peiri Ann

BlindTrustBlitzTour: Blind Trust by Peiri AnnAmazon/Goodreads

Blind Trust by Peiri Ann
Publication Date: September 24, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller

synLoving someone has never been so deadly.

Valerie Harper has one assignment, one mission. Assassinate her mark and everyone he loves. But what happens when she finds that she loves him too?

Her instructions are simple; do not fraternize with your target, observe at a distance, and never engage with the enemy. However, as things take an unexpected turn in Val’s world, these simple instructions begin to change.

Refusing to be a puppet, Kyle Shultz walks away from his old life and settles into the college routine. But the life of a student is more difficult than he imagined. Making friends and attending parties are as foreign a concept as showing a target mercy.

The lines between the state of the job and the affairs of the heart are blurred as Valerie and Kyle’s worlds collide. With a maze of enemies and hit lists to navigate, will these two young adversaries proceed wide-eyed and alone into the fray? Or will they blindly trust the feelings they can no longer ignore?

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authAuthorPeiriAnnPeiri Ann shares a love in the creation of new worlds, different creatures, and unwritten possibilities.

Writing is a passion. I fell in love with it when I was a child and I am privileged to share it with you. I love writing fun/tragic adventurous novels with strong romantic elements from YA to New Adult. (reachme@peiriann.com)