June 17, 2019

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Risking It All by S.M. Koz


Risking It All by S.M. Koz
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: I received an e-ARC from the publisher through Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you!
My Rating:

Synopsis: A high-achieving teen who’s determined to become a fighter jet pilot is matched up with an accused criminal at an elite military boarding school in SM Koz’s YA novel, Risking It All. Paige knows exactly what she wants—to graduate from Wallingford Academy and become a pilot in the US Air Force. She’s inherited her father’s no-nonsense attitude and whip-smart intelligence, all of which have made her the perfect Wallingford cadet. Wallingford Academy is the last place in the world Logan wants to be. But after his girlfriend borrows his car and commits a crime, Logan takes the fall and ends up there with hopes of striking a decent plea bargain. For him, graduation can’t come soon enough. When Paige is asked to mentor Logan, it’s the perfect opportunity to prove her leadership skills—but she doesn’t account for the feelings that start to develop or the baggage from Logan’s past which could threaten both of their futures.

My Review

I haven't read a lot of military academy YA books, and not only did I learn a lot (the author notes in her acknowledgements that she talked to many military family members and friends), but I found it very interesting. Although I like routine, I would never have lasted with such early mornings.

I automatically loved Paige, the hard-working, honest, goal-driven, cadet who is on her way to joining the US Air Force. On the other hand, I automatically disliked Logan. Although loyal to his friends, he was lazy and extremely rude. When Paige is asked to mentor Logan things get interesting. Not only did I enjoy watching Paige and Logan's friendship grow, seeing them work through their own feelings and grow themselves made them seem very realistic. The novel is told in dual POVs from Logan and Paige, which I think enhanced the story.

Although the novel wasn't perfect, which is rare to begin with, Risking It All was an enjoyable read. My only complaint is that sometimes the transitions between scenes were nonexistent, and I would have to go back and reread a few lines to ease my confusion.

The Bottom Line: Risking It All is a cute read with an interesting setting and realistic characters.

The Author

SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. SM Koz has written six novels. Although her stories differ by genre, ranging from contemporary realism to sci-fi to fanfiction, two things they all have in common are a young or new adult focus and romance. If you’d like to learn more about SM Koz, check her out on social media.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Giveaway


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1 comments
June 11, 2019

TTT #96: Unpopular Bookish Opinions


Books Everyone Seems to Love Except Me


After by Anna Todd
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.74 average rating out of 73,958 ratings


The Paper Princess by Erin Watt
My Rating:
Goodreads: 4.03 average rating out of 66,882 ratings


Blood Bond by Helen Hardt
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.91 average rating out of 1,943 ratings


Fallen by Lauren Kate
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.37 average rating out of 448,498 ratings


A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.84 average rating out of  49,112 ratings


The Selection by Kiera Cass
My Rating:
Goodreads: 4.14 average rating out of 723,188 ratings





What is a book you dislike that everyone loves?

4 comments
June 5, 2019

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

It consists on answering these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I'm Currently Reading

I am almost done listening to Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. It is a crazy story! I just started reading Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and even though I am only on page 86, I am loving it!


What I Recently Finished Reading

I just finished reading To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, and although it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I really enjoyed it. I also just read Verity by Colleen Hoover in one sitting. Reviews coming soon!


What I Plan to Read Next

I will be reading Risking It All by S.M. Koz for a blog tour, and I just bought a copy of The Beholder by Anna Bright. Both sound like they are going to be fun reads.



What are you currently reading?


3 comments
May 27, 2019

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Switchback by Danika Stone


Switchback by Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 28th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: I received a free copy of this book  from the publisher for this Xpresso Book Tours. This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating:
Synopsis: An epic YA adventure story about two friends lost in the Canadian wilderness from Danika Stone, the author of All the Feels. Vale loves to hike, but kind of hates her classmates. Ash is okay with his classmates, but kind of hates the outdoors. So, needless to say they are both fairly certain that the overnight nature hike with their PE class is going to be a hellish experience. But when they get separated from the group during a storm, they have worse things to worry about than bullies and blisters. Lost in the Canadian wilderness with limited supplies, caught in dangerous weather conditions, and surrounded by deadly wildlife, it’s going to take every bit of strength, skill, and luck they can muster to survive.

My Review

Switchback is a fast-paced survival story of two best friends lost in the Canadian wilderness during a school trip gone horribly wrong.

Vale is studious, kind, and is bullied. Ash is the class clown, a gamer, and has many friends, but Vale is his best friend. When they are forced to go on a class camping trip as part of their physical education class, they certainly didn't plan on getting separated from the group and getting lost in the mountains. Although their friendship grows and solidifies on this adventure, it was very awkward at times. I thought their dialogue although believable, fit more middle school aged teens than high school aged teens. (This opinion is based off the middle school and high school teens I work with as a Teen Librarian at a public library. I am not an expert, and every teen is different!) Overall, it was a nice change of pace to read a young adult survival book with a focus on friendship rather than romance.

From the weather and landscape to the wild animals, Stone does a great job at setting the scene with right amount of detailed descriptions of the wilderness. I was easily transported to the camping trip Vale and Ash are on, and was on edge of my seat during their times of struggle. They did not have it easy once separated from the group, and with each new obstacle they came across it had me hoping they would make it through to the other side unscathed.

Bottom Line: Switchback was a fun and easy read and is perfect for readers that enjoy survival stories. It also has aro-ace representation!

The Author

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: INTERNET FAMOUS (Macmillan, 2017) and ALL THE FEELS (Macmillan, 2016); and adults THE DARK DIVIDE (Stonehouse, 2018) and EDGE OF WILD (Stonehouse, 2016). 

Ms. Stone’s work has received both recognition and literary praise. In 2017, Chapters included EDGE OF WILD in “Our Favourite Canadian Fiction”, and INTERNET FAMOUS was nominated for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (2018) as well as selected as one of Fierce Reads’ “9 Perfect Summertime Reads” (2017). EDGE OF WILD (previously entitled TATHAGATA) was a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013), a finalist in the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize (2015), and took second place in the Publish or Perish contest (2015). ALL THE FEELS was selected for Swoon Reads’ fourth list (2015) and was nominated for YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2016), and for CYBILS’ Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (2016). 

When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.


Giveaway


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4 comments
May 12, 2019

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon: Sign-up, Goals, & Updates

I can never say no to a Bout of Books read-a-thon! I went through a rough reading slump last month so I am hoping this read-a-thon will boost my reading numbers. I also wanted to participate in the 25infive read-a-thon, but work got in the way. Will you be participating in Bout of Books?
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My Goals

Reading Goals
  • Read at least four books
  • Take notes to help with reviews
Social Goals
  • Participate in one Twitter Chat
  • Participate in one Instagram Challenge
Book Options
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang - I pre-ordered this one and it is finally here!
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - I don't think I really need to explain this choice.
  • Switchback by Danika Stone - I am participating in a blog to for this book.
  • We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson - I have an eARC.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - I have owned this forever. It would go towards the Beat the Backlist challenge I am participating in.

Update

I read two and a half books during the Bout of Books read-a-thon! I finished Aurora Rising and The Unhoneymooners, and read most of Switchback. I enjoyed all the books, but I think The Unhoneymooners was my favorite! It was really fun read and perfect for the warmer weather we are finally getting. I didn't really participate in any challenges or chats, but I got some reading done which was my main goal.

My Bout of Books post on Instagram!


2 comments
May 1, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I decided to highlight a new Meg Cabot book! I read everything by this author, and I can't wait for her new book, No Judgements.  Not only does the book sound like a great romance that also features animals, but the cover is so cute! Are you a Meg Cabot fan?

No Judgments by Meg Cabot (Sept. 25, 2019)
+ Add to Goodreads
Goodreads Summary: The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life… When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake. But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.


What are you waiting on?


13 comments
April 28, 2019

Book Review: After by Anna Todd (Spoilers Ahead)

After by Anna Todd
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 582 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Library
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to. But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper. Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her? Unless…could this be love?

My Review

**SPOILER WARNING** This review contains spoilers for After by Anna Todd.

I don't get the hype for this one. I know there are a lot of fans of this series, but I can now officially say that I am not one of them. This book was not for me. If you are a fan of this series, that is perfectly fine and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. I'm just not a fan myself.

After is pretty darn long, and I 'm honestly not sure if anything actually happened in its 582 pages. I chose to read this book via audio and the narrator was great, it's just too bad the characters and story were not. The format for this review is a little different than my normal style. In chronological order, these are the various opinions I had while reading the book. I am usually generous when giving star ratings and rarely harsh in my reviews. I can't say that for this one.

My Thoughts While Reading After:
  • Not a fan of the slut shaming. Come on! Let's not do that. Tessa is very judgmental. 
  • Hardin is pretty much just a straight-up jerk. I don't get the appeal.
  • Tessa cheats on her boyfriend, Noah. Not only am I not a fan of cheating, but she is a really big jerk too. Example: Noah, her actual boyfriend, comes to visit her after she insists/begs him to. Then she takes Noah's car without a good excuse because Hardin "needs" her, and leaves him behind. THEN she stays the night with Hardin instead of going back to her boyfriend who dropped everything and drove two hours to see her!?! Rude much?
  • Hardin tells her how she should dress and act. Ew.
  • Tessa keeps saying this is the "last time" she will talk to Hardin, and then immediately goes back to him and does whatever he says.
  • When Tessa is forced to come clean to her boyfriend, she blames Hardin for everything at first. I just yelled at the book "Tessa, it is called consequences! It takes two to tango!" 
  • Do Tessa and Hardin do anything but fight? I'm thinking no. Oh wait, they make out. That's healthy.
  • She is still dating Noah? Why? To torture him?
  • "Today has been the best time I have ever had with Hardin, despite his multiple outbursts." - Okay.... sure. Sounds like a fun day.
  • These two are giving me a headache. How am I only a little more than halfway done?
  • Hardin keeps grabbing Tessa's wrist/arm when she tries to walk away from him in a fight. Not loving that. He also never seems to understand what NO means. Does he have any redeeming qualities? Still undetermined.
  • This EXACT scene happened earlier in the book. Ah, this is why the book is so long. It is just a whole bunch of repeated scenes.
  • After 11.5 hours of listening to this audiobook, Hardin finally does something nice without being asked. Mind blown.
  • Oh. They have been dating for a hot second and now they are discussing marriage. Of course Hardin doesn't believe in marriage. Come on, Tessa! Are you really surprised?
  • This book is just too much.
  • More fighting. 
  • I have now set the speed to x 1.5 on my audiobook so I can get this book over with faster.
  • Hardin apologized! Whoa. Maybe he is, dare I say, getting some character development?
  • How is there still an hour left in this book? How?
  • Hardin is more than just jealous. He is controlling. He is rude. He is obnoxious. I take back my earlier comment about character development. I spoke too soon.
  • Tessa never told her one of two friends that she moved in with Hardin? Weird.
  • This whole book is basically just these two fighting and then having sex.
  • The author used an old romance trope from the 90s for the climax of this book? It wasn't even a good one, but a super problematic one! AND HE KEPT THE SHEETS FOR PROOF? WTF?!?! NOOOOO!!!!
  • The worst part? I am pretty sure they get back together in book two. I don't get it.
  • No, I won't be reading any more books in this series. Their relationship is toxic, everyone is a jerk, and the plot was surprisingly nonexistent given its length. It was just a whole bunch of the same scenes over and over again.
The Bottom Line: I can't with good conscious recommend this book to a single person. There are better New Adult Romance books out there if that is what you are looking for. This is just reads like a bad 50 Shades fanfic.

1 comments
April 22, 2019

ARC Review: The Lovely and the Lost

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Freeform
Source: I received a free ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. Thank you! This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Kira Bennett’s earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her perfectly. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along with Cady’s son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world’s most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home. But when Cady’s estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child—one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months—the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it’s like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone. But this case isn’t simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira’s memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

My Review

The Lovely and the Lost in Three Words: Captivating. Dogs. Mysterious.

I don't believe I have quite read a YA book like this one before. Since I don't want to give too much away, and because I want you to actually read this review, I am writing my review in short bullet points.

Reasons why you should read The Lovely and the Lost:
  • It's a unique story
  • There are search and rescue dogs
  • The excellent writing makes for a seamless reading experience
  • Features a solid mystery
  • The main character is extremely compelling
  • Family secrets are abound
  • It's a real page-turner
  • Did I mention the dogs?!

The Bottom Line: If you don't want to buy a copy, although you should, then at least request a copy at your library!

1 comments
April 14, 2019

ARC Review: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (April 16, 2019)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Thanks Simon Pulse for an ARC of Serious Moonlight! This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately. Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel. In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel. To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

My Review

Mysteries. Pies. Kisses. Oh my! Serious Moonlight is sure to be another contemporary romance hit from author Jenn Bennett.

Birdie Lindberg is relatable and adorable. Birdie is often anxious and awkward, and is always worried about being embarrassed. I totally get where you are coming from, Birdie! She is also kind, unique, a mystery buff, and so much more. She is continually growing and figuring her self out after living a pretty sheltered childhood. We also have Daniel, Birdie's love interest. Daniel is sweet, dorky, outgoing, loves magic, and appears to be the exact opposite of Birdie. Although they are both dealing with some heavy personal stuff, they always seem to be able to have fun together. The romance component of Serious Moonlight was refreshing. I can't say more since I don't want to spoil it, but I can say that it was a nice change of pace compared to the many other romances I have read.

Serious Moonlight was a delight to read! It features a fun mystery, an adorable romance, and reminds you that although life is complex and will throw you curve balls, it can still be manageable. The setting takes place in unique places in Seattle, giving readers a different view of the city. There are also many fun mystery novel references throughout the book. Although the pacing of the book was just fine, I did feel at times like the romance and the mystery aspects of the book were fighting for attention in the spotlight. However, I think that reflects on Birdie's feelings, so I was okay with it.

The Bottom Line: Serious Moonlight is another Jenn Bennett book you won't want to miss. Grab a piece of pie, sit back, and enjoy Birdie's story. A perfect read for a rainy day, Serious Moonlight is in fact, sweet as pie.


Other Fantastic Titles by Jenn Bennett:

       


1 comments
March 29, 2019

Let's Chat: Bookstagram

My first post on Instagram was on August 11, 2016. I had more time back then so I was posting pretty often. When I started my full-time job and was still in grad school I barely posted at all. Now, as I am getting used to the full-time gig and since I no longer have grad school to worry about, I am trying to post a few times every week. I am working on getting more followers, but the algorithm is against us all. I know my photos aren't the best, but they aren't bad either. I know the algorithm is crap because so many people that I do follow I never see their new posts... it is so frustrating! With that being said, let's talk about some ways I have and haven't tried to get more followers, and if they worked.

Does all the Instagram advice you see out there actually work to get more followers? Here is what I have and haven't done, and the result.

  • THEMES: Although I don't necessarily have a theme, which I know is supposed to get you more followers, I usually keep my posts more minimalist with only three different types of set ups. So I guess, this advice could work if you actually follow it, but I do not. I am not sure I will ever decide on just one theme for my account.
  • CHALLENGES: I have also been told that joining monthly challenges will help, and maybe it does a little, but I have yet to see a big increase in followers that way either. However, I will keep joining in and following the hashtag for the month because they are a lot of fun, and I find new accounts to follow that way. A few accounts that host challenges you should check out: @thereaderbee, @loriimagination, @wildbookbabe, @fictionaladventures, @book_junkee, @bookchelle
  • COMMENTING: I enjoy commenting on other people's posts, especially if I love the photo or book or enjoy the topic they are discussing. Maybe a couple of people have followed me back after commenting, but no big increase there either.
  • HASHTAGS: I mainly use #bookstagram, #bookphotography, #yalit, #bibliophile, #booknerd, and #bookstagrammer. I use other ones depending on special events such as #stacksaturday or #shelfiesunday.  I have no idea if this helps others find my posts, but I do like to check out the hashtags from time to time to find new accounts to follow.

Do you have any additional advice for me? Will you share your secrets? If you have a bookstagram that I should be following please comment bellow! I am always looking for new accounts to follow. I love seeing all the pretty photos of books, and love finding new books that were not on my radar before. I currently have 323 followers, but I hope to hit 500 by the end of the year. Fingers crossed! If you would like to follow me you can find me here: @itisabooklife

My Most Recent Photos


8 comments
March 27, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I have decided to feature The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I am a fan of this author and just got approved to read this title on Netgalley. I can't wait to find the time to read it! I have been in the mood to read all the mystery/thrillers lately. 

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (May 7, 2019)
Kira Bennett’s earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her perfectly. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along with Cady’s son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world’s most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home.

But when Cady’s estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child—one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months—the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it’s like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone.

But this case isn’t simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira’s memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

What are you waiting on?


7 comments
March 25, 2019

ARC Mini Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing (March 26, 2019)
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller
Length: 359 pages
Publisher: Brekley Books
Source: The library I work at received an ARC from the publisher. This did NOT affect my honest review. Thank you Berkley!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored. We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with. We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive. Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

My Review

When a couple murders together, they stay together?!?! My Lovely Wife is an enthralling contribution to the psychological thriller genre. It gives Gone Girl a run for its money. It has interesting characters I loved to hate, plenty of twists, is dark, disturbing, and will give you goosebumps. This debut author deserves some high praise for writing this wild unputdownable story. Even when I could predict a twist correctly, there would be an extra surprise, or two, or three, that I didn't see coming. My Lovely Wife may perhaps even make you second guess how really well you know the people in your life. This is a must-read thriller, and will probably make it on my best of 2019 list. What are you waiting for? Grab a copy and prepare to be shook.

If you liked My Lovely Wife try:

  

0 comments
March 23, 2019

ARC Review: Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira Ahmed (March 19, 2019)
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Length: 400 Pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher. This did NOT affect my honest review. Thanks Little Brown!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Rebellions are built on hope. Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards. Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

My Review

Internment is the politically charged YA fiction title we all need to read. Although it hits painfully close to reality, making it a challenge to read, it's an important message of fighting back and speaking up against what's wrong. Islamophobia and racism are happening today, in 2019, and we need to be aware and speak up against those that say and do horrible things. We can't be silent.

Ahmed does an excellent job at creating a horrifying yet pretty believable near-future America where Muslim American citizens are forced into an internment camp. After reading this book, I am even more aware of the importance of speaking up against hate, to vote, donate what I can, be an ally, and pay attention to what is happening in our country. Readers will find many powerful passages inside the pages of Internment. The author's note at the end of the book shares the horrible shit our country has done in the past and what is currently happening in our country, and how this inspired her novel, a way to bring awareness to these events.

Layla Amin is a Muslim American teen who decides to stand up for her rights, and for those who were also forced into the internment camp that may be too scared to do so. I have seen some reviews floating around saying that Layla makes some rash decisions and cares too much about her boyfriend. I disagree. Layla acts like a teenager, which she is. Just a small reminder to those adults out there reading YA books, which is awesome and please keep doing it, (I too am one of those adults), that these books are written about teens for teens and that may just be why the main characters act like teens. Layla is brave. If anything, I was more annoyed with the parents in this book and their decisions, although I can also understand their point of view as well. I liked Layla, her family, the friends she makes, and found their story thought provoking. 

The pacing of the plot is steady and captivating enough that I read the book in one day. The setting of the desert is described in rich detail, emphasizing the conditions the people are forced to deal with in the camp. 

The Bottom Line: Buy it. Read it. Borrow it. Do whatever you must to give this book the attention it deserves, and which will in turn hopefully spark some important discussions about our current political climate.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent terrorist attack on Mosques in New Zealand. Support the victims here: United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings

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