ARC Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright


3.5 Stars

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

This book. There are so many amazing things happening in this book.

The diversity, acceptance, portrayals of various sexualities and lifestyles. If only our world was that inclusive.

World-building is off the charts. Space. Domes. Gargoyles. Hubs for different specialties. Focus on science. Folklore. The exploration of “Earth culture.” Military training, cool technology, the Moon as Mother. So much is there and it feels natural. A lot of the time with intense world-building in sci-fi/fantasy, it’s forced and overwhelming. You’re slammed with details and history to the point where it becomes a tedious, info dump. This is not like that. It fits. It flows. It works insanely well.

27 Hours is told from multiple POVs. Typically when this happens, there’s at least one character you loathe and try to skim through. Game of Thrones is plagued with this half-formed and irritating characterization but Tristina Wright has created bold, flawed, introspective and interesting characters that are easy to invest in.

What’s more, there are none of those fleeting, non-characters that are designed to fill space. Everyone has a personality, purpose, and place within the story. Some of the secondary characters were so intriguing that I longed for more of them. Initially, it was a little hard to keep track of everything because there are so many characters and plot lines, it takes a bit but it’s worth it.

I loved these characters. Like full on emoji with heart eyes, adored them. Which is why it kills me to say this, but despite everything this story has going for it, it took a turn for the mundane. It almost felt like a cop out. Things were headed in an action-packed and truly unforgettable direction, the characters omg. And then it became a romance. Now, I like when there are relationships, everyone deserves and should celebrate love, but it became like every other page was angst and tension and exploration. There’s a whole section where characters are just hooking up left and right. I understand, there’s war, people and chimera are dying, emotions are off the charts and there’s an overwhelming compulsion to express all the things. But the plot faded away. It got buried and tangled in this how fast can we tear off each other’s clothes that went so quickly from attraction to like to lust. It got to the point where I wanted to skim and that’s not okay because I was living this story. I was in it. 100% and then it felt rushed and confused and like the sole purpose of the book was to bring these hormonal teens together. I don’t know, I guess I’m just disappointed.

The ending. Cliffhanger from deep space. After everything the characters have went through, the revelations, all they’ve lost, this is another plot twist that definitely left me wanting more.

I’m also puzzled by this cover.

Let me know what you think!

As always, happy reading and happy new year!!! May it be full of great reads.



Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott



synIt’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott! 

Sloan is a hunter.

So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.

When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.

But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .


Enter for your chance to win ONE of TEN copies of Hear the Wolves. US ONLY. Ends Monday, August 8 at midnight.

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Fierce reading, 


ARC Review: This Is Where It Ends-Marieke Nijkamp


syn10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won’t open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire

Contains triggers: School shooting, abuse, assault, sexual assault, violence. 


  • I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention but I actually felt bad for the shooter. His sister is self-absorbed and dealing with her own issues. She left him to flail. The pressure from the community to conform. The dislike from his peers, the literal beatings from some characters who were meant to be seen as heroes. The glimpses into his past from the other POVs show a hidden depth and softness that was corrupted by loss, grief, and misunderstanding. 
  • Diversity was all over the place. From tragic car accidents to Alzheimer’s to lupus to different ethnicities and lesbian characters, there’s a huge range and they don’t feel like “token” diverse characters. I appreciated that. So many times I’ve read books where it feels like characters have no function beyond the diversity in the book and each character functions as a regular teen with issues like anyone else. 
  • That last 10% nearly gutted me. OH MY GOD. The feels between siblings were heartbreaking and like a hard slap in the face. All the things we miss when we are so focused on the general drama in our lives. 


  • Logistically, some of the particulars were a little off and didn’t align with the culprit. The shooter is eagle-eyed, perceptive, and a skilled sharpshooter. His motives are clearly planned and he has targets in mind. This act is not random. Somewhere in the middle of the book, this all goes haywire and an escape plan is hatched. It floored me how easily students were able to sneak when in the beginning, every little moment was caught and punished. 
  • The story is told from more than 4 POVs, unlike what it says in the synopsis. There are blog posts and tweets (these were particularly confusing and hopefully the formatting is improved from the ARC version). The main characters relate events like you’re supposed to know their back stories. At first, I felt bombarded with information and it was hard to keep things straight. There are so many little details inserted offhandedly that it’s too easy to forget. At the halfway point, everything starts to fall in place and there are reminders of subtle, underlying issues like lupus or Alzheimer’s . 
  • It might have been the numerous POVs (doubtful) or the interpretation of the shooter but for the majority, I’d say 90% of the book, I felt barely a spark for any of the characters. Each character’s section was too short and flipped quickly to another. Just when you’d start to feel something it was on to another. 
  • For a book that is told in real-time and spans less than an hour it felt surprisingly slow. The terror wasn’t potent or as devastating because it kept moving from character to character and their life stories-flashbacks. 

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




ARC Review: Not If I See You First-Eric Lindstrom

not if iGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synThe Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

review2.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Poppy

Not If I See You First impressed me from the first page. The author does an amazing job getting you into the mindset of someone who is blind. From the little ways that Parker has had to adjust and the issues that she faces, especially the part about being unable to read and listening to books to learn things like trig, to the various ways in which people make assumptions about blindness, it’s the kind of story that makes you think and might give you some perspective. 

That being said, there are so many issues that took my star rating from 5 to 3.The story is about a girl who is mourning. Not only has she lost her father recently to what may or may not be suicide, her mother made a mistake that caused her blindness and died in the process, and she’s lamenting the loss of her best friend/ex-boyfriend. Parker is made of loss but she doesn’t let it get to her. Her blindness is something she’s mastered and she refuses to let anyone treat her like she has a disability. She embraces her blindness as if it were an accessory that only adds to her uniqueness. I LOVED that about her. She’s quirky and blunt, she tells it like it is without fear of repercussion because in her mind, what more does she have to lose?

Here’s the thing, while Parker does have some amazing one liners, she’s a sarcastic, brash, and extremely rude person on several occasions. She spazes out and makes assumptions NONSTOP while judging everyone else for being SO judgy. It’s irritating and takes away from her character. She misses so much that’s right in front of her not because of her physical blindness but the mental kind. For someone who claims to be there to listen, she doesn’t hear anything. She makes up her mind and runs with it in a very self-involved way. 

The whole deal with Jason. I don’t even know where to begin. There’s a light love triangle but really it shouldn’t qualify because it’s so obvious what will happen. She really likes this guy, they have great chemistry, and yet, she’s dismissive, judgmental, and barely gives the guy a chance. She’s mean to him, cuts him off, and pushes him away in a really horrible way. 

The clichéd mean girl. It wasn’t anywhere near necessary and felt like filler. 

Secondary characters that could have been an asset to the plot faded into the background and had barely any involvement in the storyline. Just when they start to get interesting, bringing in diversity and issues like neglect, depression, etc., they’re dismissed for Parker’s “problems”. 

Parker was dealing with serious issues, the loss of her best friend/father and in the beginning, you feel that emotional pull. She talks to him, she asks him things, and the loss is potent, but as the story progresses that too fizzles out in favor of a love story. 

Scott is a sweetheart. He’s incredibly swoon-worthy, the way he looks out for Parker is adorable and so thoughtful. He’s attentive and sees beyond her blindness to the best friend and girl he fell in love with. Scott is also realistic, he understands the difference between nostalgia and reality. Sometimes, something we think is there is a memory and others, it’s something buried that can be rekindled. He’s the rational one that will have you reevaluting everything you think you know. 

What started as something special and important about loss and blindness, self discovery, growing, and appreciating friendship turned into a lukewarm romance that missed the original point entirely.

Keep reading, 




Blog Tour & Giveaway: Gabe-Evan Grace

Gabe (Heartbreaker #1)-Evan Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published Date: August 18, 2015
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Jasmine Nichols is a control freak.
When she graduates from college as valedictorian with a degree in social services, her friend and mentor Jill Swanson offers her a job, but with one condition. She has to take two weeks off and just have fun. Taking the instructions to heart, Jasmine goes to a club called Debauchery and has a sizzling encounter with a sexy stranger.
Ex-pro football player Gabriel Johnson is done playing the field.
Gabe is tired of meaningless relationships, but when he meets a mysterious, beautiful, blue-eyed blonde at Debauchery and the chemistry is undeniable, he knows he’s finally found the one. What he didn’t expect was for her to freak out and run off. 
Jasmine thought she made a clean getaway, so needless to say, she’s shocked when she finds herself face to face with the hot guy from the club once again. 
He’s Jill’s. Half. Brother.
Gabe wants to pick up right where they left off and doesn’t waste any time convincing her. Jasmine’s blown away by the intensity of their relationship. How can she control something that makes her feel so wild and uninhibited?
But Jasmine can’t handle the pressure.
First, she’s confronted with old insecurities. Then suddenly, her brother has a secret he’ll only share with Gabe, the father who abandoned her shows up—at Gabe’s instigation—and a professional tragedy is the last straw. 
What happens when it all falls apart?
Is being with Gabe more than she can handle? 
 “I enjoyed this book very much. Jasmine was such a strong character and Gabe was the perfect freaking specimen ever. Hewas strong, smart, sexy and knew what he wanted. I loved the chemistry between all the characters and the story pulled me in right away.”~ 2 Girls Who Love Books

“Hellooooo hotty!!! Gabe is totally LICKABLE!!!”~ Author Groupies

“First I will say that this is my first book by Evan Grace and it will not be my last!!! Instantly I was pulled into this story… OH MY OH GABE how I loved thee let me count the ways!!!”~ Book Happiness

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A Midwesterner and self-proclaimed nerd, Evan has been an avid reader most of her life, but five years ago got bit by the writing bug, and it quickly became her addiction, passion and therapy. When the voices in her head give it a rest, she can always be found with her e-reader in her hand. Some of her favorites include, Shayla Black, Jaci Burton, Madeline Sheehan and Jamie Mcguire. Evan finds a lot of her inspiration in music, so if you see her wearing her headphones you know she means business and is in the zone.
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Keep reading,
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ARC Review: Lair of Dreams-Libba Bray


cooltext1889161239 copyAfter a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


  • You’re hungering for diversity. Lair of Dreams lights on class issues, politics, disability, abuse (trafficking), racial issues, eugenics, and LGBT relationships. 
  • You love historical fiction or history in general. There are so many important issues raised that you quickly become engrossed in the colloquialisms, manners, expectations. Everything is made of speakeasy lingo and the old time euphoria of the early 1900s. 
  • You’re looking for something creepy crawly and horrific. The mixture of multicultural folklore, ghosts, and governmental coverups will make your skin crawl. 
  • You adore Libba Bray. Each book is a new, wonderful surprise with multidimensional and unique characters set in intriguing places rife with crime and mystery. 


  • Diversity galore. Early 1900s beliefs and politics couple with each character. They all have something to overcome and work through. Historical truths like the Chinese Exclusion Act, the rise of the KKK, and raids on underground LGBT clubs all find their place in this unique story. Not only do we get to see conflicts that are relevant and the United States struggles with to this day but you get the different perspectives. From the extremely religious, from the Chinese restaurant owner, from a young gay lover who wants to find his place, and a woman who is hiding from an abusive past. There’s a little bit of everything and you’ll feel for every single character. 
  • Mysteries that started to develop in book one are even more prominent. The clues are everywhere. Everything is connected. The layering is astounding. 
  • The ghosts are out of this world horrifying and totally ghastly, a cross between malicious poltergeist and zombie, between their hunger, the chilling sounds, the music box song, and the general way they skitter and widen their jaws to eat people alive, have fun trying to sleep with the lights off!
  • Evie is far from the focal point. Each character has his or her part. I loved the mix of culture and drama. Romance is on the horizon for each character. It’s messy, complicated, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, another twist is thrown in. 
  • The dreamwalker world is intensely detailed and vibrant. You can picture everything and here, the emotions are larger. Desire meets desperation and happiness goes from total ecstasy to utter devastation. It’s a rocky, bittersweet, and often scary place. 
  • Ling and Henry quickly became my favorite characters. Their situations are fueled by haunting encounters, desire, and a strong thirst for freedom from the oppressive gaze of society. Ling is unexpected. A young girl with a disability that she won’t let rule her, she pushes past the bullies and the bigots, she uses her brain and things of science, working on becoming a future famous inventor. Henry’s past is intoxicating. His life on the bayou, his romance, the strict upbringing all took me by surprise. 
  • Sam. You can never really know a person. Just when you thought that Sam was an insufferable flirt with fast hands and a tendency to rob people blind, always looking for the next con, the past comes out like a slap to the face. Suddenly Sam has all this hidden depth that you don’t quite know what to do with. His hurt, confusion, and determination all center on his missing mother. He’s got feelings, true, brutal emotions that lurk just under the surface of his carefree attitude. 


  • There are even more character POV swaps than the last book. Though all engrossing stories with their own contributions to the plot, it can be a little overwhelming, especially in a book 600-odd pages. The constantly flip-flopping back and forth actually left way more questions than answers. 
  • It took ages for the clues to build up to the point of uncovering the truth. For a novel that is set during a time span of less than a month, it felt much longer. 

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



2140278420934582The-EmpathJPG e-book Awoken by Sarah Noffke

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Promo & Giveaway: Spinner-Michael J. Bowler

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Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.
In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.
They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.
The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.
The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.
If he survives…
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Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.
He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.
His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.
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There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following: A Spinner Mouse Pad  Giveaway is US only.

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Happy reading,
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