Category Archives: Book Review

September Wrap Up & October TBR

As you’ll notice in my blog by the lack of actual ‘book review’ posts during September and going into October, I’ve been going through a reading slump. I started three different books and only finished one.

I’d like to blame my book reading slump on the fact that my own novel release was taking up most of my time, but it wasn’t. I still had plenty of time to read, just couldn’t find the desire. Instead, I filled my time up with binge watching Bates Motel.

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September and October also hold the busiest months for me (on weekends) because I have a ton of birthdays in the family and all the haunted houses and Ren Fests that I want to attend. I do most of my reading on weekends, so, you can see the issue.

So, guess how many books I finished in September….

Zero.

Well, that’s a lie. I did read my own book because I was editing it before it was published. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I wrote some funny parts in my novel. It’s a cutesy summer YA read and if you like Jenny Han or Katie Cotugno, you might enjoy my novel. It comes out October 1st! I’ll probably have a page on my blog where you can order a signed copy from me, sooner or later.

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October TBR

 

For October, I decided to try and get in on a Halloween Read-a-Thon that Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews is doing. I’m hoping this will take out my reading slump for the month of October. We shall see! Lauren is also doing a giveaway, so go check out her post!

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So this is actually a erotica novel that I got for free and started in September but got distracted. It’s not creepy, but the cover does creep me out and the main male character isn’t human, I’m not sure what he is actually…

I guess I’ll find out…

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I don’t normally read scary books, so there’s nothing on my TBR in that genre that I’ve been putting off, but I might as well finish up books that I’ve started and try to get them off my reading list. This one will be a decent treat… if you know what I mean… haha!

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Of course I’m going to be watching scary movies this month! I also have a blog post coming up in October about my top favorite horror movies. I think I’m going to try and finish the original IT for this challenge, I only have about an hour left of it. We all know I’ll be watching the usual Tim Burton collection though!

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Easily done, the only time I really have time to read is after dark. I always read between 8pm-11pm. 🙂

 

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I guess you could say this book series is a bit paranormal…

Hoping to read all three, but we’ll see what happens.

Nevermore-Kelly-Creagh

 

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Meh, I don’t really have one that I’m interested in at the moment.

 

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Book two in the Nevermore series hopefully!

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Let’s do this!

 

 

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Cover Reveal and 10 Fun Facts About The Last July!

With the upcoming release of my very first novel, I thought it would be fun to share some facts about The Last July as it went from it’s very rough first draft to the final edit. Today is also my birthday, and for my birthday, I’d like to share my cover reveal with my blog followers! This has been a long time coming!

  • The Last July was originally in two different POV’s, Penelope and Sampson’s.
  • In the first few drafts, TLJ was a story about a romance between a camper and counselor. It wasn’t until the final two drafts that Penelope was almost 18 and Sampson was slightly younger.
  • The very first draft of TLJ was written in the Spring of 2014 during Camp NaNoWriMo, I didn’t go to finish it until April 2016 when it was only 31k words. It still wasn’t finished! So it pretty much took me three to four years to write this novel, I just took many breaks. Too many breaks.
  • Some of the camp activities in the novel are my favorite things that I did at camp when I was younger. Swimming, hiking, capture the flag, even the mashed potato mohawks!
  • Camp Arthur is based off of the camp I attended as a kid/teen in Ohio, but is set in Tennessee because it’s one of my favorite places to vacation.
  • I’ve hiked Abrams Falls (twice) and it’s a very tough trail! But the waterfall is so worth it!
  • I wrote about five different final chapters, never sure of how I wanted Sampson and Penelope’s story to end. I finally went to my husband to give me their ending. Yay for having a husband who is also an author!
  • In one of the many drafts, Penelope’s friend, Jenny was supposed to be a camper who suffered an awful fate of a bee sting. I quickly realized that was a bit too morbid, I was watching Game of Thrones at the time.
  • TLJ is a stand alone, but I do plan on writing in the world of Camp Arthur again one day.
  • The authors that I got some inspiration from over the years were Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno. I love their contemporary summer romances! Hopefully, one day I can inspire someone the way they inspired me!

 

I also made a blog post for the songs that inspired some scenes in the novel, find that one here. And a sneak peak that can be found here.

The Last July is set to come out very soon, fingers crossed. Follow the blog for updates on the release, deals, and pre-order!

This is an exclusive blog post that I won’t be sharing to any of my other social media platforms! So you guys get to be the first to hear the news!

Guys, now I’m starting to feel like an author!

Here’s the cover! Tada!

received_10212052203755287

The Last July Pre-Order Is Up!

Guys! The time has come! My very first novel is up on Amazon for pre-order!

 

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I can’t tell you just how excited I am for this! I have been working on The Last July since 2014 and now it’s out there for your reading pleasure! If you go pre-order it right now, it’s available on Amazon for 99 cents! What a deal! A full novel for less than a buck! Oh. My. God!

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Don’t prefer eBooks? Well, you’re in luck! It will also be coming out in paperback too!

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I’m so thrilled! Happy reading, guys! I hope you enjoy! Summer doesn’t have to end just yet, get some last minute summer reading in with The Last July, you’ll have a great time visiting Camp Arthur and getting to know Sampson and Penelope!




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Nestled in a small Tennessee town is Camp Arthur, a summer camp with mountains of possibility. At least that’s how the new owners see it. Penelope has dreamed of being a counselor at Camp Arthur ever since she was a young camper herself. And this July finally brings her chance: an opportunity to be a counselor in training with a cabin full of campers under her watchful eye.

Things get complicated when a fellow counselor jogs right into her life and takes her eyes off her job, and if that wasn’t challenging enough, news from her parents knock her even further off course.

What was supposed to be a fun summer transition between childhood and her adult years turns into something altogether unexpected. Can Penelope balance a budding summertime romance against the drama of a jealous ex and her own family troubles, or will she really have her last July at Camp Arthur?

Wanderlost by Jen Malone Review

Title: Wanderlost26244548

Author: Jen Malone

Genre: Young Adult (super YA)

Rating: 2/5 Stars




 

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.




 

I’m not 100% sure what it was about this book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Possibly the first issue I found with it was the boy on the cover did not match the description of the boy in the novel (I don’t see any curly hair on our cover model…) I don’t know who that boy on the cover is, but it definitely was not Sam.

And I was constantly annoyed with Aubree… or is she Elizabeth…. or Lizzie? I felt like she let the lie of who she was go on for way too long and she had so many opportunities to tell the truth.

The old folk were probably the best part of this book, especially Mr. Fenton and Bento. I have no idea what Bento was saying in Spanish, but I think that’s what made me like him so much.

I didn’t start to enjoy this book until 75% of the way through. I think that’s when we start to see Aubree begin to mature. Part of me could relate to her, being terrified of going to a new country and eating new food, but I also thought she was being a tad overdramatic most of the time.

The rating I gave this book was probably the lowest of any book I read this year, but I think that’s only due to the content being for the younger crowd. I could see someone in their early teens really enjoying this book, but as a 27 year old, it wasn’t up to my standards of what makes a YA book good.

With that said, I think Malone did do a good job of describing the European cities that Aubree ventured through, that was the one thing that saved this book from getting a one star (other than the Mr. Fenton plot, loved his character).

 

Cover Reveal and 10 Fun Facts About The Last July!

With the upcoming release of my very first novel, I thought it would be fun to share some facts about The Last July as it went from it’s very rough first draft to the final edit. Today is also my birthday, and for my birthday, I’d like to share my cover reveal with my blog followers! This has been a long time coming!

  • The Last July was originally in two different POV’s, Penelope and Sampson’s.
  • In the first few drafts, TLJ was a story about a romance between a camper and counselor. It wasn’t until the final two drafts that Penelope was almost 18 and Sampson was slightly younger.
  • The very first draft of TLJ was written in the Spring of 2014 during Camp NaNoWriMo, I didn’t go to finish it until April 2016 when it was only 31k words. It still wasn’t finished! So it pretty much took me three to four years to write this novel, I just took many breaks. Too many breaks.
  • Some of the camp activities in the novel are my favorite things that I did at camp when I was younger. Swimming, hiking, capture the flag, even the mashed potato mohawks!
  • Camp Arthur is based off of the camp I attended as a kid/teen in Ohio, but is set in Tennessee because it’s one of my favorite places to vacation.
  • I’ve hiked Abrams Falls (twice) and it’s a very tough trail! But the waterfall is so worth it!
  • I wrote about five different final chapters, never sure of how I wanted Sampson and Penelope’s story to end. I finally went to my husband to give me their ending. Yay for having a husband who is also an author!
  • In one of the many drafts, Penelope’s friend, Jenny was supposed to be a camper who suffered an awful fate of a bee sting. I quickly realized that was a bit too morbid, I was watching Game of Thrones at the time.
  • TLJ is a stand alone, but I do plan on writing in the world of Camp Arthur again one day.
  • The authors that I got some inspiration from over the years were Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno. I love their contemporary summer romances! Hopefully, one day I can inspire someone the way they inspired me!

 

I also made a blog post for the songs that inspired some scenes in the novel, find that one here. And a sneak peak that can be found here.

The Last July is set to come out very soon, fingers crossed. Follow the blog for updates on the release, deals, and pre-order!

This is an exclusive blog post that I won’t be sharing to any of my other social media platforms! So you guys get to be the first to hear the news!

Guys, now I’m starting to feel like an author!

Here’s the cover! Tada!

received_10212052203755287

August Wrap Up & September TBR

August Wrap Up

It wasn’t a great reading month for me, I kind of felt myself going into a reading slump. Finally toward the end of the month, I kicked it into gear and managed to finish some books. I did manage to knock out two of my paperbacks that I wanted to get out of the way.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone– 2/5 Stars. Kind of disappointed with this novel. I’d say my favorite character was Mr. Fenton and Sam, they kept me reading on. If it weren’t for them, I probably would have stopped reading. Full Review coming soon, FOLLOW my blog to get notified.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon- 5/5 Stars. This might be my favorite book that I’ve read this year. I finished it in three days! I wanted to finish it before I watched the movie so I could do a double review on it (coming soon) and it was glorious. If you haven’t read this one, you need to. The relationship between Olly and Maddy was beautiful.

Dirty by Kylie Scott- DNF I wasn’t feeling this book as much as I thought. I made it 40% through and I might come back to it later, we’ll see.

 

 

 

September TBR

 

 

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino- It’s been on my Amazon wishlist for almost a year, finally it went down to 2.99, so I couldn’t pass up the deal!

Dearly Departed, Dearly Remembered, & Dearly Beloved by Rachael Rawlings- I’m going to kick off my fall reads by marathoning this series by a local author. I have high hopes for this one, it was recommended to me by my husband.

Trust by Kylie Scott Book Review

Title: Trust34776338

Author: Kylie Scott

Genre: Young/New Adult

Rating: 3/5 Stars




 

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.




 

I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Lately, I haven’t been breezing through books, but this one, I did! From the very first chapter, I was drawn in and couldn’t put the novel down. That being said, it wasn’t great writing either. It wasn’t beautifully written like the latest Sarah Dessen and it wasn’t ‘life-changing’, but it was very interesting and I’ll give it a ‘okay’ rating for that.

This wasn’t an insta-romance either, which was surprisingly pleasant since I love that troupe. It was more so, ‘insta-crush’. Edie and John go through a traumatic event together, but they don’t immediately want to date. John tries to protect her from his bad boy image, worried people will judge her for being associated with an ex-drug dealer.

I kind of got tired of hearing about the weight of our main character. In my eyes, she wasn’t fat, I couldn’t tell if she was huge or just a little chubby. I don’t think the weight of our character matters much unless it’s part of the plot like in Dumplin’. I feel like in order to make her weight a bigger deal, more people should have been picking on her for that.

The constant underage partying was also an issue for me. I get high schoolers party on occasion, but it felt like that was all Edie and her friends did. Constant underage drinking, sex, ect… I would classify this book as new adult, rather than young adult, because of these topics.

I loved John in the robbery scene, but he fell short after that. During the robbery, John was so kind and social, but after that, we just got grunt responses from him. He seemed to act like Edie was pesky to him. I know John was going through a lot with his brother, and the robbery, but he changed a lot from the guy he was at the gas station.

I’m  also pretty sure Kylie Scott might be a pen name… possibly Kevin/Hedwig from Split has written this book, with all the etceteras in the beginning….

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Overall, I did like the book, but I felt like it had a lot of issues that still needed to be worked out. I plan on reading more from Kylie Scott in the next few months. Always willing to give an author a second shot!

 

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen Book Review

Title: Once and For All32731231

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young Adult (though, I’d recommend over the age of 16 to read this one due to some content).

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.




 

I thought this was going to be just another lighthearted, summer YA by Dessen, but parts of it had my heart racing with fear. Though I didn’t love some of the content in this novel, there’s no way I could give this book any less than a 5 star rating because of how beautiful Dessen’s writing is.

The mother/daughter dynamic in this novel reminded me a lot of Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls, which I adored. I love when authors remember to keep the parents of a YA novel involved with their child and this one did great at that.

There were also a few side characters that I enjoyed, mostly her best friends brother, Crawford. Though he had few lines, he had me cracking up with his honesty.

And it’s not a Dessen book without the love interest… or shall I say, not so much of a love interest. I was not a fan of Ambrose for the most part, this was the first time I’ve not been interested in the main characters potential suitor. I hated how he was a serial dater and was way too friendly with every woman he met.

And then there’s Ethan… he seemed like the perfect boyfriend but sadly, the unthinkable happened and I just could not handle his storyline. This was probably the most troublesome plot (emotionally) that I remember reading from Dessen.

 

 

Book Review: Bad Penny by Staci Hart

Title: Bad Penny35109577

Author: Staci Hart

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3/5 Stars




 

Nothing good comes after the third date.

Date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he’ll get weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked or that he can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.




 

Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the norm and ready a fun and easy romance novel. This did just that for me. This book pulls you in with its wit from the very first chapter title, literally, I laughed out loud when I saw it. Penny is an all around happy, independent woman who knows what she wants in life, that is, until she meets Bodie. I’m so used to the tame, girl next door type going after the bad boy in these types of novels, so it was cool to see a badass tatted girl in a novel getting involved with the nerdy gamer (who is also chiseled beyond belief). I admit, I saw the cover and that’s what pulled me in, I don’t think I even looked at the synopsis.

With alternating chapters, we get to see both POV’s, which I loved because we got to know that Bodie wasn’t just using Penny like she was using him in the beginning.

If you’re not a fan of ‘insta-romance’, this book isn’t for you because the romance starts off within the first two chapters. There’s no build up at all. If you’re looking for erotica, this book also isn’t for you. The sexual scenes in this novel were very tame in nature, but they did exist.

I rated this lower than my normal reviews only because there wasn’t enough conflict to keep me involved and concerned for the characters. And when there was conflict, it was rather annoying and self-inflicted.

Would love to see a second book in Veronica’s perspective. Who is she dating?!

The ending was perfect, but I feel like the characters (or at least Penny) didn’t act their age throughout the entirety of the novel.

 

What are your favorite adult romance novels? Looking to fill up my kindle with some reads similar to this.

 

 

Book Review: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

Title: Long Way Home (Thunder Road #3)30738170

Author: Katie McGarry

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.




 

Book three of the Thunder Road series was possibly my favorite. I feel like books 1 and 2 set book three up perfectly. I wasn’t so sure that I would enjoy reading from Violet and Chevy’s perspectives but I think they were the best. This one also starts out with way more action than the first two. That’s what I really loved about it.

We see Violet on occasion going against the MC because of her father’s death, during her few scenes in the first two, but finally getting in her head and watching how strong she is was incredible.

Most reviews on GoodReads seem to agree with me on the fact that they weren’t sure they were going to enjoy a book with Violet as the main character but they all ended up enjoying it. I honestly found myself noticing more motorcycles and wanting to be a part of that world while I was reading this book.

Spoilers Ahead

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It did leave me with some questions though, like what Chevy’s mom thought about him going to see his half brother and possibly not becoming a member of the MC when he turns 18. I figured her reaction should have been a big deal.

I also wondered what happened with Addison. I thought this was supposed to be the final book, but McGarry seems to set it up well for another one featuring Addison, Breanna’s friend from the second book. We’ve heard about her troubling home life many times and even hear it mentioned that someone in the MC has their eyes on her.

Please let there be another book!!