Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18509623-the-girl-from-the-well

My Thoughts

I am always up for a good creepy story. I love them. While this was a bit creepy. It was hard to get into. I liked the second half much better than the first. I felt like the beginning of the book was kind of all over the place. We are going through the book in eyes of the ghost. She goes from one thing or person to the other for a while and it's a bit hard to really grasp things. Once things end up back in Japan, it was much more enjoyable. We get more streamlined in the story to focus on the root of things. I didn't feel like the character development was very great either since we are just kind of watching others through Okiku, which is the ghosts name.

Though this is told from the voice of the ghost, I felt it was really the story of Tark. He has an evil spirit trapped in his body from an odd ritual when he was a boy. This is what catches Okiku's attention. She wants to know more about this other spirit who is with him. He can see her, but he is not afraid. He knows that Okiku is not there to hurt him, and he even forms a weird friendship with her. Okiku is not as nice a spirit as we think though. She murders people. Though, the purpose is for good because they are people who have murdered innocent young people. Anyways, she follows Tark around, and wants to keep him safe. She knows that the evil spirit in him may very well kill him, and she refuses to let that happen.

This is a really hard book to review in a way that makes sense. Kind of like the book, I feel like I am a bit all over the place. I didn't enjoy the style it was written in at all, but I did like the imagery that I got from it. I could imagine the spirits and what was happening. A certain scene in Japan gave particularly creepy mental images. I just didn't connect with any of the characters, and by the time the story actually wasn't all over the place, my brain had already decided that it didn't care much anymore how it ended up. For a short book, it felt like it was never ending. I really wish I had liked this more. It had a lot of potential, but in the end, the writing was not a type that I enjoyed all that much.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18634726-the-vanishing-season?ac=1

My Thoughts

Going into this, I thought it was going to be a murder mystery type book, but it was actually a really odd love triangle story. It did keep me interested because I wanted to know who was behind killing these girls, and why this ghost or spirit is hanging around. It was much different than what I expected. I can't really say that I enjoyed this book much unfortunately. It seemed to be going nowhere, but I kept reading for hope that it would get really interesting. In that aspect, it did, but not until the very end. The end was great actually. Not at all what I was expecting, but also it seemed a long winded story to get there.

It starts off with Maggie moving to an old decrepit house in this middle of nowhere place. Her family has financial issues, so this is what it has come to. She becomes good friends with Pauline, a rich girl who lives near her, and her best friend, Liam. She has feelings towards Liam, but he has been hung up on Pauline since they were kids, though she doesn't seem to return the feelings. After Pauline stays out too late one night and gets sent to her aunts until the serial killer is caught, a new bond forms between Liam and Maggie. They are pretty much inseparable. I don't really feel like I got to know Maggie much throughout the story, but I did like her.

Pauline is a bit of a harder one to like. I mean, she's pretty much perfect, but she seems unhappy all the time. She has dreams of a future away from there, but knows that she probable will never do what she actually wants. Her relationship with Liam is frustrating. She obviously cares for him, but is afraid to lose their friendship because she needs him in her life.

Liam pissed me off. He is totally into Pauline, but then the second she's gone he is all about Maggie. When Pauline returns, it's like he totally forgets about Maggie and is all about Pauline again. He is sweet and romantic, but he flips like a switch from one girl to another. I almost did feel bad for him though, because Pauline and Maggie were the only people he really had besides his dad. Since his dad is a bit of a weirdo, everyone just labels Liam as someone to stay away from too.

The romance is sweet, but it is basically the whole book. Whether it be him pining over Pauline, or being with Maggie. Okay, so the friendships they form are a huge part too, but I was so distracted with all the romance and lying, and deceit to really care about their friendships anymore.

I really wanted to enjoy this book more, but it just wasn't for me. I was hoping for a mystery, but instead got a romance story with a random serial killer story thrown in the background. We don't ever find out anything about the killings, it just was there. We do get to see the friendships form, crumble, then get put back together though. What was the best, was how it all ended. It was a very unexpected end, that was actually really creative. I never would have thought the book was going to end the way it did. Sadly, it wasn't a saving grace for this book and I wish there had been more substance to the whole thing. I really needed more connection to the characters, and more depth to the story. The writing was very beautiful, but this book in general just didn't do it for me.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 7/8/2014
  • Series: Remnant Chronicles Series , #1 
  • Source: ARC Provided by publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18490681-the-kiss-of-deception

My Thoughts

I don't read a lot of books like this, but I am so glad that I read this one!! While not perfect, I still really loved it. I really enjoyed that Princess Lia was not willing to just give in and be a prize for a random prince. She wanted to make her own choices in her life not end up in a loveless marriage to a man she has never met. There is a bit of a love triangle, but it wasn't nauseating to me like most are. I also loved the friendship aspect of it. This is told from three POV's. The Princess, The Prince (Rafe), and The Assassin (Kaden). Sometimes, the same thing ends up repeated, just from a different POV, but it didn't bother me too much. One thing that I noticed (which I don't know if it was on purpose or will be corrected in the finished copy if it's not) was that at the beginning of the chapters, sometimes it would say The Prince and others it would say Rafe. Since they are the same person, I was a bit thrown off by that. It did that with The Assassin/Kaden as well. Not a huge thing I know, but something I noticed.

Lia is a very strong headed woman. She wants to be in control of her own life and will do what she has to in order to have that happen. Only after she flees, she realizes that it may have been a mistake and she has put her loved ones in danger. She loves her freedom in the village she is residing in. She doesn't act like a princess and in fact embraces being a barmaid and cooking and cleaning. She is there with her closest friend, and makes a lot of other friends. Two most notable are the hunter and the farmer, who are really the assassin who has been sent to kill her, and the prince who she was arranged to marry. She does act very childish at times, but she has her toughness to her too. And she is stubborn. For the most part, I really liked her.

Since I mentioned a love triangle, I should give a little input on it. Keep in mind that Lia doesn't know who either of the men really are, and they are both very admiring of her. The men don't know who the other really is either. The Prince went in search for her with every intention of not speaking to her, but upon first meeting, he starts to fall for her. She is nothing like he expected. The Assassin also begins to fall for her, which doesn't bode well for the fact he is supposed to kill her. Lia is smitten with Rafe, aka Prince. She is most definitely falling for him, but that doesn't stop her from being very friendly with Kaden. She has her moments when she wants to give in to the urges, but really, I didn't ever think she would choose Kaden over Rafe at any point.

There was a lot going on in this book from her escape, to all the entertainment in the village, to fleeing back home to fix things, to trying to escape capture. There was no shortage on adventure. I think that there was too much focus on the romance, and a lot of it was silly, but overall this story was really great. It is a rather large book, but I finished it in two days of reading because I needed to know what would happen. There is a cliffhanger for an ending, so if that's not something you enjoy, I would wait until the next one comes out before reading this. Despite the issues that I had, I was fully invested in this book and it still rocked! The little oddities and things that did bother me a little didn't take away from the story as a whole for me. If this is a genre that you enjoy, I highly recommend it.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Release Day Blast: Entangled (Bliss Imprint) Titles!!

The summer is warming up with two new releases from Bliss this month.  One is our latest Red-Hot Bliss, Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg, which throws the bedroom door open. The second is a traditional Bliss, Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris, which while it's a behind closed doors story it's definitely not lacking in sizzle. I loved this one!! You can see my review here.  Plus, Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris is on sale!   See below for more details.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17926006-accidentally-married-on-purpose?ac=1




About Accidentally Married on Purpose:


One ring plus one wild night equals one crazy love
Sherry Robicheaux loves men. She loves love. And she loves an adventure. So when she meets a mysterious man while working backstage at a country music concert in Vegas, she’s all about what happens in Vegas</ span> staying there.
Country music superstar Tyler Blue just wants a weekend of anonymity...though there’s something about the spunky waitress with the streaks of purple hair that tempts him like no other. Until the next morning, when they both wake up with fuzzy memories...and rings on their fingers.
Convincing Sherry to maintain the ruse for his public image isn’t the hardest part—it’s reminding himself that their time spent playing husband and wife in her small town of Magnolia Springs can’t last. Tyler’s first love will always be music—and the road is no place for a sweet downhome girl.





 Enter Rachel's giveaway



http://bit.ly/1sluxoM



About Her Secret, His Surprise:



Conflict of interest is an understatement...
Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up...until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.</ span>
Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded...and then he meets Cass’s daughter.







Enter Paula's giveaway



PLUS...

Pick up a copy of Seven Day Fiance this week only for just $.99!


http://bit.ly/VIz8qD

About Seven Day Fiance:


One bad boy. One good girl. One unforgettable week.

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning him at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.</ span>

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little fiancé game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.


Pick up your copy of Seven Day Fiance before it goes back to full price! 
 


Review: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
  • Publication date: 7/14/2014
  • Series: Love and Games 
  • Source: eARC Provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

One ring plus one wild night equals one crazy love

Sherry Robicheaux loves men. She loves love. And she loves an adventure. So when she meets a mysterious man while working backstage at a country music concert in Vegas, she’s all about what’s happened in Vegas staying there.

Country music superstar Tyler Blue just wants a weekend of anonymity…though there’s something about the spunky waitress with the streaks of purple hair that tempts him like no other. Until the next morning, when they both wake up with fuzzy memories…and rings on their fingers.

Convincing Sherry to maintain the ruse for his public image isn’t the hardest part—it’s reminding himself that their time spent playing husband and wife in her small town of Magnolia Springs can’t last. Tyler’s first love will always be music—and the road is no place for a sweet downhome girl.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17926006-accidentally-married-on-purpose?ac=1

My Thoughts

Oh my! This was such a sweet and fun romance! I absolutely loved this. Rachel Harris is amazing at writing swoony love stories, and this was one of my favorites. Very low drama, very sweet, and very entertaining. Sherry and Tyler's story took me away on a whirl-wind romance that I didn't want to step out of. Both were amazing characters that I easily connected with and I enjoyed being in their heads. Most stories like this have some type of major drama that is usually a stupid misunderstanding before the HEA comes, but this one didn't have that. Yes, things weren't totally smooth, but there was no fallout that makes things crazy. (or crazier) I loved that the most about this.

Sherry is a character that I instantly liked. We meet her in the previous books, but don't really get to know her. We already knew she was a little feisty and fell for the bad boys, but we get to know her on a deeper level. She is in love with love, just not so lucky in it. She falls fast and hard and usually gets her heart broken. She makes a promise to herself that she will settle down with a boring nice guy...after one last fun fling in Vegas. She is instantly drawn to Tyler, not knowing he is the famous lead singer of Blue, a super popular country band. After a fun and wild weekend, she wakes up on the bathroom floor of a hotel room with some major bling on her left hand. She goes along with a plan about how to deal with the whole marriage thing, but as she gets to know Tyler, she knows she is in over her head and it will lead to heartbreak. It is just a ruse after all, right?

Tyler Blue was amazing!! Instantly stereotyped as a man whore, he's anything but that. True, he has no desire to settle down, and this crazy marriage is the last thing he wanted, but he's a total romantic (leaving post-it notes with sweet messages) and super sweet (he's great with kids). As he gets to know Sherry, he knows that she is the perfect wife, but his lifestyle isn't the type of thing he would want her involved in. Being a country star is his dream, but she has her own. He knows that he is falling for her, and the more time he spends with her, he can't help wanting her for real.

This romance was so perfect. Complicated due to their situation, but not really drama filled at all. It all starts when Sherry and Tyler have a fun weekend in Vegas. She thinks he is just a hot roadie on the tour and decides he is her perfect final fling. He is intrigued that she doesn't know who he is, and liked that he can have a fun time and act normal. When they end up married, it's disaster for both of them. Except it's perfect publicity for him and he has a plan. When he goes to her hometown to stay with her for a month and act happily married, they both are fighting the real attraction they have for each other. They are both falling, but don't think the other is. When it comes time for him to go back on the road, of course we know it will be heartbreak for both of them, but hope that they will both be brave enough to go for what they really want.

I adore romance that has you swooning and this totally did. It was fantastic from start to finish. I loved both of them and their personalities. Their chemistry was off the charts!! I also loved having the characters from the previous novels so present. You don't have to read them to enjoy this one at all though. It does not change this amazing story one bit. Rachel Harris is totally my girl crush for awesome romance novels! She has done it again with this, and I hope for many, many more to come in the future!!


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (98)

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews

Hello loves!! Sorry it's been a while since I've done one of these. I haven't really had much so I figured I would wait to post. As you see, my blog name still hasn't changed, but I am still changing it to Book Loving Me sometime soon. Anyways, I have some really awesome books in this StS so I will get on with it.



Books Mentioned

Review
Purchased/Free
 Thank you to Entangled Publishing, HarperTeen, Hachette, Avon, Abrams, Tor, Netgalley, and Edelweiss. Can't wait to read these!!

I didn't post a lot this week. With some schedule changes coming at work, I've been a little preoccupied with my thoughts. I will also blame it on Big Brother. The live feeds are so crazy addicting that I can't help myself sometimes. Unfortunately, my reading and blogging suffer from it lol!! I did have my review of Body in The Woods post and a cover reveal for The Social Media Experiment.

Thanks for stopping by! *hugs*

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Social Media Experiment by Cole Gibsen

Hello everyone!! I am excited to take part int the cover reveal for The Social Media Experiment by Cole Gibsen. This book will be released September 2nd, 2014 by Entangled Publishing.

The Social Media Experiment official blurb:
On the surface, seventeen-year-old Reagan Fray appears to have everything. She's popular, Ivy League–bound, and her parents are rich enough to buy her whatever she wants. Behind the scenes, Reagan is a girl with an anxiety disorder struggling to hold the fraying threads of her life together. It takes work to stay on top, and when that fails, Reagan's learned from her politician mother that a little social espionage never hurts. That is, until the day Reagan finds all of her texts and private messages printed out and taped to every locker in her high school.
Finding herself ostracized from her friends and on the receiving end of the bullying she used to dish out, Reagan won't settle into her new role as social pariah without a fight. Determined to get back in with her friends and reclaim her social status before her mother finds out and sends her to boarding school, Reagan has no choice but to team up with outcast Nolan Letner.
But the closer Reagan gets to Nolan, the more she realizes all of her actions have consequences, and her future might be the biggest casualty of all.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20613726-the-social-media-experiment
I like the cover. Though, the spark looking things in the title are a bit weird. Maybe there's significance somehow. 
Pre-order: Amazon ~ B&N 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

At seventeen, Cole found herself homeless with only a beat-up Volkswagen Jetta and a bag of Goodwill clothing to her name. The only things that got her through the nights she spent parked in truck stops and cornfields were the stacks of books she checked out from the library along with her trusty flashlight. Because of the reprieve these books gave her from her troubles, Cole vowed to become a writer so she could provide the same escape to readers who needed a break the reality of their own lives.


Additional links to Cole’s pages: