arc reviews

2016 February Bookhaul

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Total Books = 16
Total Price = $13.62

I almost forgot my early month thrift going when I first started putting my books together!  Somehow, I forgot to add them to my haul list :O *gasp*

Barnes and Noble – $7.50
1.) Doctor Who The Encyclopedia by Gary Russel; paperback

Thrift Store – $6.12
1.) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan; hardcover
2.) Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling; paperback
3.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; paperback
4.) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson; paperback

Giveaways – FREE
1.) Emotions by Arnulfo Cantarero; paperback: A special thanks to the author, Arnulfo Cantarero, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!
2.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback (via Goodreads giveaway)
3.) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling; paperback (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
4.) Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
5.) Orchards by  ; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
6.) Delirium by Lauren Oliver; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
7.) Unwind by  ; paperback (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
8.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Mists of the Three Lakes by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback: (A special thanks to the author, Miguel Lopez de Leon, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!)
9.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback: (A special thanks to the author, Miguel Lopez de Leon, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!)
10.) Atlantia by Ally Condie; hardcover: (special thanks to @author_jenniferparr Instagram giveaway)

ARCs – FREE
1.) America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie; paperback

Not a bad month guys, not a bad month…

Happy Reading! xo
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The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

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Book Description:

Lie, torture, kill—there’s nothing Chris and Derek wouldn’t do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he’s trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek’s little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris’s story won’t change. It can’t. There is far too much at stake…
Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn’t deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother’s killer is the only way to the truth, than he’ll go to extremes. But Chris’s truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

My Rating: 2.5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston for free via Sourcebooks Publishing in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

Let’s start off with: the dedication – his kid was inspiration?  Either they have a crazy back story or he means inspiration to keep writing.  Let’s hope that’s what he means 😛

I’m kind of tired of reading these books about siblings that get along.  I grew up with 2 brothers.  That’s now how it works when your 10 and 16.  Especially angsty 16 and confused 10.  Even through tragedy, it’s usually short lived.

^Okay so, I tend to write out my thoughts as I go and if I’m being honest, my opinion did change a bit on this.  I later understood more of the “protective brother” thing at the plot twist.  Turned out to not be as cliché lame as I thought BUT it did also make me think the main character was a little nutso.

This book wasn’t HORRIBLE – but it was a little predictable and I just clearly couldn’t relate (besides the main thing happening here, I also dislike most sports SO sitting through all of the baseball parts was a bit of a struggle,  I really didn’t care), nor was I feeling any emotion the author was going for.  I didn’t feel sad/scared/anxious/sympathy… I really just wanted to see how the book ended.  And yes, it made my eyebrows rise, it was worth reading once, but then I threw it to the side and probably won’t ever touch it again.

And for the sake of being petty, I hate the page breakers.  I looks like someone dropped their fat tipped marker on the page.  Ew.

I don’t typically like these type of stories, but if there’s a HUGE twist in the end that blows my mind, then of course I’m gonna love it!  But this just didn’t have that and it just fell kind of flat.  I personally wouldn’t hand this out as a recommendation.

If you read this, let me know what you think!

Happy Reading! xo

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

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Book Description:

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

My Rating: 5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received This Raging Light by Estelle Laure for free via HMH Books in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways/work materials do not impact my reviews.**

I received this ARC from work and boy am I glad I decided to snag this one!  This Raging Light is emotional, raw and so inspiring!  I could not put it down!  If I weren’t getting slammed at work, I would have finished it the first day I picked it up.  Still, it only took me a few days and what a great few days it was.

When I first picked up this book, I really was expecting a dark, depressing ride through a story of 2 girls abandoned by their parents.  After I finished the first chapter, I was put in my place and found that this book was going to have it’s fun moments as well.  Even with the unfortunate circumstances that these girls have dabbled in to so far, I’ve still managed to giggle and relate.  At this point, I was only going in to the book with little curiosity.  After the first chapter ended, I needed to find my way to the end of the story.

I think Estelle Laure does a fantastic job with mapping out the relationships between Lucille and Eden – Lucille and Digby – Lucille and Wren… she made them real.  A real best friend shuts down for unknown reasons at inconvenient times.  A real crush who’s involved in another relationship will give out mixed signals, will be confusing as all hell, will not be what you need them to be WHEN you need them to be.  A real sister-to-sister fighting for survival will do all that they can for each other but will also come with peeves and hardships.  I don’t want to read about the super awesome bff who’s always happy and is always there for you even when there’s a gun to her head or the crush that drops everything the very second the girl hes crushed on finally shows interest.  Save that for the fairy tales.

I will be watching this author for more books in the future (so please write more :] )

If you want a real book full of struggles, break downs, conflicting emotions, good day one minute – bad day the next, if you want a book that focuses on REAL relationships whether is be with family or friends or love interests, get your hands on this book when it comes out on December 22, 2015!

Happy Reading! xo

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

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Book Description:

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

My Rating:  3.5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz for free via Random House Publishing in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

I would like to start this review by pointing out that this is my first Dean Koontz book – ever.  Being a first time reader of his, I was not left disappointed.  This book was fun to read and I love the use of vocabulary.  I was given plenty of new words without it taking away from the story.  I can’t stand when author’s try to get to fancy with their words.  This book starts off with the first 100 or so pages basically reiterating the jacket description.  This is what makes this book so interesting because from there on in, you’re taken for a ride of dark turns and crazy loop-de-loops!

That being said, I’m kind of happy that I can’t quote this book being the copy I have is an ARC, otherwise half of what I’ve read would be quoted already!  There were lots of clever/relatable moments that I think many people will agree with.

This book has short chapters – THANK YOU!!  Sometimes when I read, I get interrupted – a lot.  Sometimes I can’t read as much as I was planning.  This makes for an easy put down and an even easier picker backer upper (? this makes sense in my brain lol) this allows me to always know where I leave off and remember what happened.  I really can’t stand when I’m forced to stop in the middle of the chapter because the chapter is 40+ pages long.  I usually have trouble finding where exactly I left off so I end up rereading several sentences and then once I find my place, it takes me a minute to remember why I’m reading what I’m reading as opposed to starting from the beginning of a new chapter and having it start anew or recap for me.

Not only did I love the chapter break downs, this book was written from multiple POVs jumping from adult Bibi to young Bibi to her husband Paxton…. which was done so well.  It’s by no means confusing.  It’s clear who you’re reading, whose perspective and you remember what happened the last time you read as them.  Very well done as this can get confusing real fast and make for an unenjoyable read.

And not that this is relevant to the story but I enjoy the size of the book.  It felt good holding it and added to my experience overall.

This book comes out tomorrow, 12/8/2015 and I HIGHLY suggest you grab it!  Even if you’ve never read Dean Koontz like myself, get it.  I will definitely be looking in to more of his work after this.

Happy Reading! xo

**FUN FACT:  This picture was purposefully taken next to a Navy Ship (my husband’s in the Navy) – Bibi’s husband Pax is a Navy SEAL so it was only appropriate 🙂