Sunday, August 4, 2019

Book Review: THE REBOUND by J.R. Rogue

Title: The Rebound
Author: J.R. Rogue
Publication: June 13th, 2019
Pages: 254


Some love affairs aren’t meant for the public eye. Some love affairs won’t survive the fallout.

Calliope das Dores is not the perfect rebound, even if her name means "muse". She is not who I should be running to. But I want her anyway.

She keeps telling me my squeaky-clean image can’t handle the scandal, but this want between us is not black and white, and it never will be.

I don’t care that she’s my uncle’s wife—or that she shares my last name. After finding my girlfriend in bed with my uncle at the end of my worldwide tour, the truth is clear: Calliope and I are the only family we both have left now.

In the beginning, after flying to the Ozarks to tell her of our partners’ sins, I tell myself it’s just so she won’t hear it from someone who would lie to her. But my manager and best friend say I’ve wanted her since I was a kid, and now, finally, she is allowed to want me back.

She says we can get over them with each other—even if it’s in secret, for a summer—but I have to promise her I won’t fall in love. It’s not part of the plan. The details in our past deny us of any future we could have had. 

What starts out as a rebound for both of us eventually consumes me. But the flames don’t reach her.

My muse is consumed, too. But not with me.

**An ARC of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.**

Okay, now I have previously read a book of poetry by J.R. Rogue (you can check out my review of it HERE), but I had yet to read one of her full length novels, and though I was excited to check out The Rebound, I was also nervous since my experience with her in the past was only poetry related. As soon as I started reading though, all my worries went away and I quickly fell into the story. One thing that always drew me to J.R. Rogue's writing was that she could always somehow put a lot of strong emotions into her words and you are able to feel them as though they are your own. Very few authors have actually been able to make me feel emotions through their work as deeply as this author has, so I give major props to her for that because I believe that is something hard for authors to accomplish and Rogue seems to do it effortlessly. Calliope and Sean were absolute sweethearts and my heart hurt for them repeatedly over everything they had to deal with throughout the book.As much as I enjoyed the book though, there was something missing from it for me. And for the life of me, I don't know what it is, and I feel bad for even mentioning it, but that is the reasoning behind the 4 star rating. Though I'm not sure exactly what was missing for me, the ending just didn't feel enough for me. I wanted something more; maybe a more detailed ending? Not sure, but regardless, it was a good book and I can't wait to check out Rogue's other novels.


Friday, August 2, 2019

ARC Review: REWIND by Catherine Ryan Howard

Title: Rewind
Publication: September 5th, 2019
Pages: 304


Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

Natalie wishes she'd stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There's something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can't - not until she's found what she's looking for...

This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You've already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking...

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.**

I finished this book yesterday and I wanted to write the review as soon as possible..... But I also wanted to put it off, because I feel like when this review is done then I am officially done with the book. And I loved the book and don't want to move on so soon. πŸ˜‚ Which really tells me, and I believe you as well, something about this book. I absolutely LIVE for books like this. The ones that leave you in a book hangover, where you need time to really process everything you've read and what you've found out in this book, and Rewind was definitely one of those books.

This is my second novel by Catherine Ryan Howard (the first was Distress Signals, which you can read my review of HERE) and I loved her first one I read, so I was really excited when I got the opportunity to read Rewind. This book did not disappoint at all. It had the same suspense/thriller arc as the last novel of hers I read, which I loved. Catherine Ryan Howard does suspense so well, and I hope she never stops because I have really fallen in love with her books and how she writes. This book was so different, and I enjoyed how it jumped not only to different POVs but also different places at different times, and it didn't bring everything together until the very end. At first I had a pretty good idea of what had happened, but then that changed about midway through, and then at the end I was left with my jaw on the ground realizing that even when I knew, I didn't know. Such a great roller coaster ride, and I wish I could go on it again for the first time.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

ARC Review: THE GRACE YEAR by Kim Liggett

Title: The Grace Year
Author: Kim Liggett
Publication: October 8th, 2019
Pages: 416


No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.**

I have been procrastinating a lot with writing this review the last few days. Mostly because I still don't know what exactly I should write, and I don't want to come off as super gushy where it's not really a review. But honestly, if I gush, I can't help it, because I absolutely LOVED this book! I quickly became obsessed with the story, thinking about it when I couldn't read it, constantly trying to guess what was coming next, what the ending would be like. I really got into the story and the characters, I felt like I personally knew each character. The author did really well engaging the reader and drawing us into the story. I seriously devoured this book, and I still want more. SO. MUCH. MORE. I need all the information, all the details, everything that happens next. I NEED MORE. I was both completely satisfied and yet not satisfied at all by the ending of this book; even days later I am still thinking about it, wanting more, wondering what would happen next to all the characters I grew to know and care about. I have been thinking about it, and I really has been a good while since I have had a book affect me so much, and I think that's partly why I have been so reluctant to do anything with this book after finishing it. The Grace Year is one of my favorite reads of 2019, possibly my top favorite. I only had ONE issue with it, which is why I didn't give it a full 5 Stars. There was one scene towards the end of the book that just completely destroyed my heart. and I'm sorry but I just can't forgive Liggett for killing my feels like that. But isn't that how the best books always go? πŸ˜‚ You definitely need to give this book a shot, because it could become one of your favorites, too.


Monday, July 1, 2019

Book Review: THIS IS NOT A LOVE SCENE by S.C. Megale

Title: This Is Not A Love Scene
Author: S.C. Megale
Publication: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 320


Lights, camera—all Maeve needs is action. But at eighteen, a rare form of muscular dystrophy usually stands in the way of romance. She's got her friends, her humor, and a passion for filmmaking to keep her focus off consistent rejection...and the hot older guy starring in her senior film project.

Tall, bearded, and always swaying, Cole Stone is everything Maeve can't be. And she likes it. Between takes, their chemistry is shockingly electric.

Suddenly Maeve gets a taste of typical teenage dating life, but girls in wheelchairs don’t get the hot guy—right? Cole’s attention challenges everything she once believed about her self-image and hopes for love. But figuring this out, both emotionally and physically, won't be easy for either of them. Maeve must choose between what she needs and what she wants, while Cole has a tendency to avoid decisions altogether. And her failing lungs might not wait for either.

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.**

Okay..... I SO BADLY wanted to love this book. Really. I could not wait to start reading it, and I even rushed through all my other books I had been reading at the time just so I could focus 100% on this one. I was that invested.

Unfortunately I did not really care for the book. I thought the idea of it was great, which is why I was so excited to read it, but I ended up really disappointed. And it was mainly the main character, Maeve, as the reason. Now I have read novels where I didn't like a main character, and that's fine, it happens, I get that. But Maeve was just SO. INSUFFERABLE. And I have seen that a lot of people didn't like her character because of how "brash" or "outspoken" or "vulgar" she is. That's not what bothered me because as far as "teenager syndrome" goes, it was decently accurate. I mean really, you should have heard some of the things my friends talked about growing up. 😏 No, what bothered me was that she was SOOOOO self absorbed, completely ungrateful, and showed no respect for anyone who was genuinely just wanting to help her. She completely ruined the entire book for me, and I honestly don't know why she had friends or how anyone even liked her. Francois was the cutest though. 😊 So kudos for the good idea, but unfortunately the main character sucked and ruined the whole experience for me.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Title: Extinction of All Children
Author: L.J. Epps
Publication: June 4th, 2016
Pages: 244
Series: Extinction of All Children, #1


A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.

Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.

Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.

During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.

Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret. If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.

During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.

After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger. In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.**

As soon as I saw this cover on NetGalley, I immediately wanted to read it. Then I skimmed over the synopsis real quick (remember, I'm trying not to read those πŸ˜…) and I was hooked. I had to read this novel! Plus, I had seen that the author was L.J. Epps, and though I have never read one of her books before this, I had heard many good things about her work, so I quickly put a request in for Extinction of All Children and hoped I'd get approved. And I did!

Right from the beginning Epps sucks you into the story. I immediately took a liking to the main character, Emma Whisperer, and I found the world she lived in to be really fascinating and couldn't wait to see where Emma would go and what she would do. I am such a sucker for dystopian novels! And this novel did not disappoint. The writing did seem choppy at times, and I also felt a little rushed, but it was a pretty short novel with a lot of information and stuff in it, so I understand. And even with those couple things I noticed, it never really bothered me or take away any of my liking of the book in any way. This novel had great potential, I do think the author could have expanded on things more if she wanted, but I loved it regardless and have already downloaded the next two books in the series to read. 😁


Monday, June 10, 2019


So today I am doing something a little different with my book reviews. I have recently read/listened to three novellas by Stephen King, and I wanted to review them, even though much like the stories themselves, my reviews are short. So I decided to combine all three into a single review. Below are the three short stories The Sun Dog, Elevation, and Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King.

Title: The Sun Dog
Author: Stephen King
Publication: December 4th, 2018 (first published as part of the FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT short story collection in September 1990)
Pages: 208


#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s novella The Sun Dog, published in his award-winning 1990 story collection Four Past Midnight, now available for the first time as a standalone publication.

The dog is loose again. It is not sleeping. It is not lazy. It’s coming for you.

Kevin Delavan wants only one thing for his fifteenth birthday: a Polaroid Sun 660. There’s something wrong with his gift, though. No matter where Kevin Delevan aims the camera, it produces a photograph of an enormous, vicious dog. In each successive picture, the menacing creature draws nearer to the flat surface of the Polaroid film as if it intends to break through. When old Pop Merrill, the town’s sharpest trader, gets wind of this phenomenon, he envisions a way to profit from it. But the Sun Dog, a beast that shouldn’t exist at all, turns out to be a very dangerous investment.


I bought this book solely because it had Stephen King's name real big across the front of the cover. This story kept my attention just enough to read to the end, but it was definitely not one of his better works. To me, it just seemed to drag on, and as short as the book was, it took me quite a while to read it. But as only King can do, he ended the story in a way that left me wanting more.


Title: Elevation
Author: Stephen King
Publication: October 30th, 2018
Pages: 146


The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others


I listened to the audiobook for Elevation and it included the story Laurie as well. For Elevation, it wasn’t very interesting to me. I thought it was pretty cool that Stephen King himself was the narrator, and the story kept me intrigued enough to get through it, but it ended up being “just okay.” Laurie was a cute, simple story, and I liked it more than Elevation honestly.


Title: Drunken Fireworks
Author: Stephen King
Publication: June 30th, 2015


Alden McCausland and his mother are what they call “accident rich”; thanks to an unexpected life-insurance policy payout and a winning Big Maine Millions scratcher, Alden and his Ma are able to spend their summers down by Lake Abenaki, idly drinking their days away in a three-room cabin with an old dock and a lick of a beach.

Across the lake, they can see what “real rich” looks like: the Massimo family’s Twelve Pines Camp, the big white mansion with guest house and tennis court that Alden’s Ma says is paid for by “ill-gotten gains” courtesy of Massimo Construction. When Alden’s holiday-weekend sparklers and firecrackers set off what over the next few years comes to be known as the Fourth of July Arms Race, he learns how far he and the Massimos will go to win an annual neighborly rivalry—one that lands Alden in the Castle County jail.


This was not what I expected at all. Thought I’d get a quick, scary read and instead it was all comedy. But it was good! Made me chuckle to myself and I quickly became invested in the short, humorous story. Not my favorite, but definitely something to listen to.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Book Review: CROSSING IN TIME by D.L. Orton

Title: Crossing In Time
Author: D.L. Orton
Publication: April 21st, 2015
Pages: 412
Series: Between Two Evils


If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Isabel sacrifices everything for a chance to change the rapidly deteriorating present--and see her murdered lover one last time. When she arrives twenty years in the past, buck naked and mortally wounded, she has 24 hours to convince a stunned but enraptured nineteen-year-old to change their future. Definitely easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that's a heart breaker, save the world or not.

This offbeat tale is about falling madly in love when one is too cynical for such things, letting go of pessimism when it's the last life jacket on a sinking ship, and racing against the clock when one doesn't have the proper footwear. It's a coming-of-age story for old fogeys, a how-to-make-love guide for diehard celibates, and a laugh-out-loud tragedy with a hopeful twist.


So I first won the audiobook of Crossing In Time in a giveaway.....Like four years ago. πŸ˜… I remember when I first received it, I tried listening to it, but for some reason I couldn't get into it. I listened for.....Maybe five minutes?....and decided it wasn't for me. However, I wasn't into listening to audiobooks back then, so recently after finishing some others, I decided to give Crossing In Time another try. AND I LOVED IT!!!!! Omg, I really can't believe it took me so long to listen to it. And I'm convinced the only reason I didn't get into it all those years was because I didn't really like audiobooks back then. Because as soon as I hit PLAY, I was instantly hooked.

I'm trying something new, where I read (or listen to) books that I already have within checking the synopsis or reviews on it first. Fun trivia fact: I just organized and counted all my physical book copies.....And I have 375. Lol So as you can imagine, I have forgotten what a lot of the books are about, and sometimes even why I bought them in the first place. 🀷 And I have come to realize that reading the synopsis of a book can sometimes cause me to lose interest in it before I even start. Not because it doesn't sound interesting, but it just doesn't capture my attention at that time. But anyways! That is what I did when I chose to try Crossing In Time again. I didn't read any reviews or the synopsis for it, I just went right into it. And that I think is part of why I was soooo into it this time, because after I finished, I went back and read its synopsis and it actually confused me. I'm starting to much rather go in on a book completely blind rather than become biased before I see/hear the first word.

Sorry, got a bit sidetracked there. πŸ˜… So the book is told in multiple POV's, and so for the audiobook there were two narrators, Erin deWard and Noah Michael Levine. They are two of the best narrators I have listened to so far; their voices complement each other well and they made it really easy to distinguish which character was speaking each time. I loved Isabel and Diego's love in story. The struggles they had both faced in the past and how things between them soured then sparked again made the story so sweet.And though their love was an essential part to the whole plot, everything else didn't fall behind it. I also really enjoyed the Sci-Fi part of it, but I would probably have to say that the best part of the book for me was the incorporation of animals. 😊 Even if you read the synopsis and it throws you off, I would highly suggest you still give this book a try, as the same thing happened to me, but I ended up loving it.