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2015 December Wrap Up

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Total Books = 4
Average Rating = 4

Yet another uuuuberrrrr 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* (yes, I repeated last month – what about it?)  Also, I forgot I never posted a review for Dear Mr. You so be on the look out for that!

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

1.)  Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz – 3.5/5
2.)  Dear Mr. You by Mary Louise Parker – 4/5
3.)  This Raging Light by Estelle Laure – 5/5
4.)  The Tales of Beedle the Bard – 3/5

Hope you guys have a safe and wonderful New Year!  Here’s to a year full of books!

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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 🙂

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

Identity Crisis!

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Formally:  Kay_Reads

So as you can clearly tell, I’m having a sort of “identity crisis..”  When I originally started this blog, I was so eager to write my book reviews that I just picked the most uncreative name I could think of.  I was never a fan of “Kay_Reads,” it didn’t speak to me, it didn’t stand out… it was just something to use for the time being.  I read everywhere that changing your identity was a bad idea, blah blah blah.  But the only thing I had to change with every platform I was using were the user names!  I didn’t lose any of my wonderful followers, I didn’t have to ask anyone to ‘like’ this one, follow this new page, and the best part of all, I didn’t have to spend several hours customizing and reposting everything 😀

So I apologize for any confusion, but the new name is here and it is here to stay!

So with that, I re-welcome you to the not-so-new:

TheNerdyBookmark

Thank you for your understanding & Happy Reading!

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal **WARNING: Slightly Spoilery**

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Book Description:

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn’t even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he’s able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it’s been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn’t been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm.

Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings…

My Rating: 3.5/5

Although I enjoyed this read, the first 3/4 of the book are not that entertaining. I wouldn’t call it boring – because I wasn’t bored – but it definitely lacked any inkling of excitement. Let’s just say the ending really made this book for me. A majority of the story is rather s-l-o-w. I want to say the author did this on purpose though because there’s a few hints throughout the majority of the book as to what’s leading up to the end. It’s almost like he purposefully wants you to forgot so you can get smacked with a nice surprise in the end!

On to the plot twist – !!! I was SO happy and lost in the tranquility of this story and then BAM! I completely forgot about the past references to even connect the dots.. I’m thrilled and heart broken at the same time.. I believe I forgot because they didn’t really focus on the missing children but more so on Jeremy and Ginger – which I came to love.

And I swear those prince cakes kind of had me disappointed. I really thought they were going to be made of children.

I did yearn for the ending to be a little more dramatic though. Why didn’t the baker get whats coming to him? Why did all of the kids, including Possy live? I feel like there should have been SOME type of death or sad/brutal/shocking moment and for my taste, there just wasn’t -_-

All in all, this story lacked and left a lot of questions hanging in the end. Speaking of the end, this is what made me go from a 3 to a 3.5. Maybe not a huge jump to some, but to others it makes the difference (like myself). I’m not sure if I’ll ever re-read it again, but I might hang on to it for a bit. I wouldn’t cross it off that list just yet. I would definitely recommend it to people who want to read a lighthearted “creepy/spooky” book but aren’t interested in gore or really the horror genre in general.

Notes that have nothing to do with the story:

  • The book jacket = pretty sweet. Simple but effective.
  • Beautiful cover. It’s what drew me in (like most of my books, teehee).
  • Love the perspective through Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s ghost, Jacob Grimm. Clever way to tell the story!
  • Pg. 160: The Dauntless reference.. I recently finished the Divergent series – WEIRDUH! – Okay, maybe not that weird but I enjoy little tie ins like dis ^_^

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Happy reading!

2015 October Wrap Up

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Total Books = 7
Average Rating = 4

Overall, a great month for reading! 😀

1.) City of Words by Steven J. Carroll – 3.5/5
2.) Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 5/5
3.) Four by Veronica Roth – 4/5
4.) The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin – 4/5
5.) Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
6.) Breed by Chase Novak – 3/5
7.) Far Far Away by Tom McNeal – 3.5/5

How many books did you get through this colorful month?

2015 October Bookhaul

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Welcome to my October 2015 Bookhaul! Wooo! I think I have to put on the brakes after this one though cause in the last 2 months I’ve acquired 52 books that I gotta get through… eash. Plus with Thanksgiving around the corner (which my husband and I host for our military family) and then Christmasssss, oye!

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: 24
Total Amount Spent: $72

Barnes & Noble – $14
1.) The Host by Stephenie Meyer; paperback
2.) Fiend by Peter Stenson; hardcover
3.) Beautiful Chaos, Bk. 3 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; paperback

The Book Exchange$22
1.) The Sea of Monsters, Bk. 2 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan; paperback
2.) Reckless, Bk. 1 (Mirrorworld) by Cornelia Funke; hardcover
3.) Redwall, Bk. 1 (Redwall) by Brian Jacques; paperback
4.) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling; hardcover
5.) Deep Blue Bk. 1 (Waterfire Saga) by Jennifer Donnelly; hardcover
6.) Asylum, Bk. 1 (Asylum) by Madeleine Roux; paperback

Half Price Book Store$7
1.) The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; paperback
2.) Stoneheart, Bk. 1 (Stoneheart Trilogy) by Charlie Fletcher; paperback
3.) The Awakening, Bk. 2 (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong; hardcover
4.) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Bk. 3.5 (Twilight) by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover

BookOutlet$30
1.) Dreamspinner, Bk. 7 (Nine Kingdoms) by Lynn Kurland; paperback
2.) House of Secrets, Bk. 1 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
3.) Battle of the Beasts, Bk. 2 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
4.) Eve & Adam, Bk. 1 (Eve & Adam) by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate; paperback
5.) The Calling, Bk. 1 (Endgame) by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton; hardcover
6.) Storybound, Bk. 1 (Storybound) by Marissa Burt; paperback
7.) Dream A Little Dream, Bk. 1 (The Silver Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier; hardcover
8.) Crank, Bk. 1 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
9.) Glass, Bk. 2 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
10.) Quintessence by David Walton; paperback

Giveaway Books FREE
1.) Haze, Bk. 2 (The Rephaim) by Paula Weston; paperback

ARCsFREE (I get these from work)
6 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*