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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

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

 
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My Rating: 5/5

THIS SERIES IS TOO GOOD FOR WYRDS!!  <—heh heh heh…

But seriously, just like the first book (Throne of Glass) and the novellas (The Assassin’s Blade), it’s full of the feels!  I’m happy, I’m ‘dawwwww‘ing, I’m angry, I’m crying – reallllly crying, I’m gagging cause it’s so awesomely disgusting!  When we first start this book, Celaena is throwing severed limbs on to the floor – how awesome is that?!  I totally love how brutal these books can be!  And the throwback to the Endovier slaughter is badarseee >:]

I love that we can go from gore and blood and slashing to complete heart melting moments.  This is what I really love about these books is this diversity.  I thought it was sooo cute of Dorian to give Celaena Fleetfoot, granted he could save ALL the puppies from there on out, but whateves.  And my SWOONWORTHY moment – when Chaol catches Celaena sneaking off from her post only to find her dancing by herself and then JOINS HER!!  I’m a Chaol/Celaena fan all the way so this scene had me grinning from ear to ear and hugging my book to my chest whilst rocking it back and forth.  Totally not weird.

Then the “ERMERGERD!” moments – being 2 huge ones!  I’m not even going to get into the one but it was insane, is was gross, it was sad.  Lastly, the way this book ends revealing a HUUUUGE secret is insane!!  I’m so excited to jump in to Heir of Fire – you can’t just say these type of things and leave me hanging!  I also kind of wish I waited till ALL of these books are out because this seems to be a common theme and I don’t want to have to wait!

HEIR OF FIRE, HERE I COMEEEE!!

 

+Side note:  I LOVED how the Throne of Glass picture turned out, that I think I may have found a theme for my book reviews!  For more random pictures – please see my bookstagram found on the right of the front page or via my Get To Know Me page!

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

My Rating:  5/5

Wow… just… wow!  And to think these are only the novellas!
I feel a little sorry for anyone who wasn’t able to start off with this in the series (which, obviously, I chose to and not fro).  Not that it’s a terrible thing to read it by release date, I just can’t imagine you’ll have the same mind blowing experiences I had!  Reading it later on and not FIRST will definitely spoil a lot of great events.  Still readable though.

If this is just a glimpse of what’s to come, I can’t wait.  I’ve already jumped in to Throne of Glass.  So far, these books are living up to the hype!

The love for books Celaena has is all too relatable:

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I really hope in the future we run in to Ansel again.  I really adored the relationship her and Celaena had!  Of course you can imagine I was crushed when she was betrayed (in her own friendly kind of way) but at the same time, like Celaena, I can’t put that arrow through her neck.  I’m rooting for you Ansel!  Turn your life around and do the right thing!  ILOVEYOU!!!!

On to Mr. Sammy Sam Sam.  I didn’t really quite get him at first.  I could easily put him off to the side.  He did nothing for me… but as his relationship with Celaena grew, my relationship with him grew as well and I am in UTTER shock at what happened to him.  I won’t give away spoilers for those who haven’t read this series yet because it is a good one to not know about.  As sad as I was for this, thank you Sarah, for not being a baby and doing what you did.  Respect.

This book was interesting in the fact that it was an upward slope to jaw dropping greatness!  Just when you think you read the best novella out of the book, the next one greets you with a slap across the face saying, “NO BITCH, IT GETS BETTER STILL!”
And do I need to point out the cover?  SWOOOOOON!!

Please please please, if you have not started this series and are wondering whether or not to start with The Assassin’s Blade, do yourself a favor – START HERE!

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

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Book Description:

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

My Rating:  5/5

Hands down.  If you’re a Once Upon A Time TV Series/Disney nut/magical geek like myself, then definitely grab this book (as if you already needed convincing after you’ve SEEN THAT BEAUTIFUL BOOK JACKET – what the heck is that?!).  I had originally intended on grabbing another book that day, but the cover of this book drew me in and once I read that jacket and found out it was about some of Disney’s best evil villain’s children – what?! SUPER DUPER SOLD!  Definitely a younger read, but it’s fun.

I absolutely love the idea of this book!  Not only are there the 4 main characters mentioned above, but there’s random “guest” appearances throughout the story and every time they introduced another, I would just “EEEEEE!!” with excitement!  This was definitely a fun blast-to-the-past read for me.

**Fun Fact:  I found SO many errors from spelling to grammar to extra words.. doesn’t take away from the book but it’ll make you giggle.  See if you can spot them!

Happy Reading! xo

Waking The Dead by L. Sydney Fisher

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Book Description:

In the Spring of 1867, Henry Lynch was tormented by something so evil it killed him. Now over one hundred years later, Natalie Bradford finds herself battling the very same demon that haunted Henry Lynch on the property that she now calls home. Terror awaits as Natalie discovers the property’s tragic past. The 150-year old cabin holds the truth behind the hauntings, and as Natalie uncovers the past she exposes a terrifying family secret that has been guarded for over a century. Natalie struggles against forces greater than herself until she summons the help of Clara Adams, a natural healer and medium who performs a cleansing ritual to clear the land. Natalie has become a conduit for paranormal activity. During a final showdown with the demon, the truth behind the hauntings is revealed. Inspired by true events, Waking the Dead is the second part in the series, The Haunting of Natalie Bradford. Remember, denial can be deadly. What is haunting you?

My Rating:  1/5 (heck, it’s my blog – 0/5)

Before I get to my review, I would like to start off by saying that I received this book for free as a giveaway winner via Goodreads.com (sponsored by the author/publisher/other individual or entity) and by no means does this impact my 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.  And with that, I thank you!

When I received this book, I was surprised to find out that it was the 2nd book in a series.  Usually I won’t enter giveaways if they don’t include the 1st book nor if I have no intentions of reading it.  I think I see where I got confused, because the book description doesn’t make it sound like a series, so I took a leap of faith and assumed I could read this book without having to read the first one (because although I was interested in reading this, I am not drawn in enough to want to read a book prior to this one unless I have to).  The beginning of the book was a little confusing.  It jumped around a bit from one person’s encounter to another.  When it introduced Anna and Timmy, it didn’t specify their age group.  I think by the 3rd (?) chapter in, they finally mentioned Anna being 9 yrs old and being younger than Timmy (never found out how old Timmy actually was).  I was definitely confused at who was older so for a wee bit, I pictured Anna as being the older one. Either way, WHY DOES TIMMY HAVE A MACHETE?!  I don’t care how tall the grass is, if I had kids, they would not be carrying around machetes!  Also, I feel like this book jumped WAY too fast into random sounds and shadows in the night.  I get they just left Lindenwood but any self respecting ghost/entity story still has a build up moving into a new home.  Assuming Lindenwood was from the first book, why are they all still skeptical about “ghosts” and what not if they have already encountered this sort of thing in the first house?  I’m so confused…… and this was only 30 pages in.  I really don’t like when the story is being told from the children’s POV, that 90% of the time, when they are referencing their mother, they use her name Natalie.  They don’t call their mother Natalie, so it does get confusing.  Also, there’s a lack of time definition.  There’s mention of it being night and day so one can assume a couple days have passed but then a few pages later, it mentioned something about a few weeks time span.  But when did that happen?  I’m not sure how to describe it but one second I’m reading about a few days and then I felt like it time traveled to the future (without my knowledge) and now they’re talking about the weeks past to when they first moved in to this house.  What what?!  Where did the time go??  And why did Natalie freak out when Timmy mentioned playing with the Ouija board?  The “spirit(s)” were there prior to him playing, so why did she act like it was his fault?  This lady doesn’t sound like a very good mother.

I feel like there was no passion or even a thought put in to this book.  I feel like this was written for the sake of saying, “Hey look, I wrote a book!”  There was no story telling.  I was left confused.  It’s a puzzle with missing pieces.  I need more pieces!!  The beginning was confusing (actually the whole book was because of the poor writing), the ending was so dull; boring.  I read this as quickly as possible just to be done with it.  Thank goodness it was only 152 pages (154 since they counted a “Don’t Miss This” page and a picture of the author), which also makes me question why on Goodreads it’s listed as 254.  Either it’s a typo or book 1 was only 100 pages.

All in all, I won’t be picking this book up again or picking up any other part in the series… or anything from this author.  Ever.

**SIDE NOTE:  This was one of the first reviews I ever put up on Goodreads and was immediately attacked by the author.  The problem was resolved, GR had my back and it did end.  I was completely appalled by the lack of professionalism from this “author.”  Not every person is going to read your work and like it.  Harsh or not, I will always be honest and feel that no one should ever have that right taken away from them.  If you can’t take criticism on BOTH good and bad ends, then I suggest not going in to a profession where you put yourself out there for just that.  This happened several months ago so I won’t drag this out, I would just like it to be aware.  I would not recommend this book to ANYONE at this point cause god forbid you dislike any of her work and say you do, you might get called “rude” and a “liar” among some other things.  This book is going to the garbage or I’m turning it in to a craft, but I’m not even sure it’s worthy of that.

Have any of you reviewers been victim of an attack based on a negative review?  I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Reading!  xo

2015 November Bookhaul

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I literally bought 0 books this month and somehow I still acquired a decent amount.  Unfortunately, most of them were ebooks which sucks because I really dislike reading ebooks (although I’m still grateful) so it’s gonna be hard getting through some of them and I might end up pushing them to the side for a bit for that reason alone 😦

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 10
Total Spent: $0

Thanks to LibraryThing & The People Hosting The Giveaways FREE
1.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 & 2 by Antara Mann; ebook
2.)  The Brazen Blade by Billy Wong; ebook
3.)  Flames of Auriel (Not Shown) by Erin Bedford; ebook
4.)  World of Shawn by Jordan M Ehrlich; ebook
5.)  The Wish Thief by CD Verhoff; ebook

Thanks to the author FREE
1.)  Mystical by Michael Weekly; ebook

Physical BooksFREE
1.)  Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz; paperback; thanks to Random House
2.)  After Alice by Gregory Maguire; signed hardcover; thanks to Shelf Awareness
3.)  Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis; hardcover; thanks to Crown Publishing
4.)  The Truth by Jeffery W. Johnston; paperback; thanks to Sourcebooks

+5 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

2015 November Wrap Up

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Total Books = 4
Average Rating = 4

Uuuuuberrrrr slow month for reading.  Between the holidays and work and other lifey things there just wasn’t as much time as I normally have to devote to this wonderful world *le sigh*

With that being said, here’s my sad, little finished reads for the month of November:

1.)  Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
2.)  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 4/5
3.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 by Antara Mann – 5/5
4.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 2 by Antara Mann – 3/5

Hope you guys who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving!