Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: CELL by Stephen King


Title: Cell
Author: Stephen King
Publication: January 24th 2006
Pages: 355






Synopsis

On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He's just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He's already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he will get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay is feeling good about the future. 

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

There is really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat... 

There are 193 million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn't have one? Stephen King's utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't just ask the question,Can you hear me now? It answers it with a vengeance.











Review


I love Stephen King. He is one of my favorite authors, though I have never read one of his full-length novels prior to Cell (except an attempt at Dreamcatcher when I was a young child, of which I got halfway through). I have read a couple of his short stories, and I've loved all his book to movie adaptations, so I thought if I liked his movies, I'd like the books they were based off of even more. So when one of my good friends bought me Cell, of which I have been wanting to read for awhile, I dove right in. And I was not disappointed.

I saw the movie version of Cell when it was first released, and I loved it. However, I heard from a lot of people that the movie was significantly different than the book. Naturally, it made me want to read the book more and see just what people were talking about. Holy shit, were they right, too. I loved the book so much. King has such a way with words, making they flow easily page to page, and drawing a very detailed picture in your mind. Now, usually with a book, it starts off with a lot of character building, leading up to the horrible act which is the reason you bought the book in the first place. Well, King threw all that out the window with this one. I was surprised that he jumped right in with the horrible act that the book is based on, then does the character building throughout the book. It threw me off, but I really enjoyed the change of pace from other novels. King's novels are always on the long side though, which is why I haven't read one of his books prior (I need a lot of preparation for long novels, Lol), but I loved the short chapters King put in the book. It made it easier for me to read, and I felt I was able to get through the book faster because of it.

I loved this book, though I didn't much care for the ending of it, but the story all throughout made it worth it. King's mind and the way he writes is a true work of art, and I can't wait to finish more of his novels.








**** 4 out of 5 Stars ★

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ipsy: May 2018

Hey, everyone! So I am back on my Ipsy subscription. When I was getting Ipsy before, I liked the products, but they started sending me a lot of products I didn't care for, so I stopped. However, I saw they updated a bunch of stuff, and it seems they tailored products more to each person, so I decided to give it another go.



First, the bag. The May glam bag is tan with passport stamps all over it. I think it's cute, but not something I would choose for myself.




When I got this face mask I was very excited because I love face masks. Like, LOVE them. The TonyMoly Painting Therapy Pack face mask was amazing. Came out of the tube very smooth, easy to apply, and came off easily with a washcloth and lukewarm water. It left my face feeling fresh and extremely soft, without drying it out.






So, I use four basic things when doing my makeup: mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and lip color. When I saw the Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara in my glam bag, I couldn't wait to try it out. I have heard of Doucce in the past, so getting the opportunity to finally try it out was fun. I liked the mascara itself; it went on my eyes well, didn't clump, and really made my lashes stand out. What I didn't care for was the brush. It made the mascara clump on the brush and I had to put in some work trying to figure out how best to apply it to my lashes.







A must-have in my makeup bag, I am willing to try any eyeliner thrown my way. Except liquid eyeliner. There's nothing wrong with it, I personally just do not care for them. So I didn't bother trying it out, but I sampled it on my hand. It went on very smooth, dried quickly, and didn't smear when I rubbed it.







Lip colors are probably my favorite makeup item. Lipglosses, lipsticks, lip creams, you name it and I have it. And one of my favorite brands is NYX. Their lip creams are my absolute favorite, and this London lip color was another one to add to my collection. Nude shades are what I tend to gravitate to most, so I when I got this one, I was pumped. It went on smooth, the color went great with my complexion, and stayed on for hours. The only problem I had was that NYX lip creams tend to be slightly sticky, but it wasn't enough to cause any problems and my hair didn't even stick to it.







Eye shadow is the one thing I own more of than lip colors. I have any shade you could possibly imagine, and I was happy to add this beautiful shade to my collection. It was very creamy, but I found difficulty in applying it from the brush to my eyelid.








Monday, April 9, 2018

Book Review: H.P. LOVECRAFT'S BOOK OF THE SUPERNATURAL Edited by Stephen Jones


Title: H.P. Lovecraft's Book Of The Supernatural: Classic Tales Of The Macabre
Author: Stephen Jones (Editor)
Publication: June 25th 2007
Pages: 384







Synopsis

"For anyone interested even faintly in good horror writing, what we have here is pure gold: Lovecraft's own selection of the best the genre has to offer, along with his comments on the individual stories. Talk about the horse's mouth! This book is long overdue."
- Peter Straub

"Lovecraft opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me -- Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, and Ray Bradbury among them. The reader would do well to remember that it is his shadow, so long and gaunt, and his eyes, so dark and puritanical, which overlie almost all of the important horror fiction that has come since."
- Stephen King 

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear."
- H.P. Lovecraft

In 1927, Howard Philips Lovecraft published a 30,000-word essay titled "Supernatural Horror in Literature." In it, the father of American horror writing  whose tales  presented one of the earliest scholarly studies of the supernatural in fiction, defined the horror story as one in which "a certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present." Those authors discussed in Lovecraft's seminal essay were used as the basis for the 1993 anthology H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror, edited by Dave Carson and Stephen Jones. 
With H.P. Lovecraft's Book of the Supernatural, Jones uses that same essay as inspiration for a new anthology of nineteen new selections, each preceded by an excerpt from Lovecraft. Included here are works from authors as varied as Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson. While these stories may carry a classical pedigree, their contents remain just as chilling and disturbing as anything cooked up by modern-day horror writers. The book also includes a short essay from Lovecraft himself, "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction," in which he lays out tips and rules for mastering the form.











Review


So, when I first saw this book, I snatched it up right away, thinking it was a book of H.P. Lovecraft's own tales. I was wrong. It is actually an anthology of short stories, picked by Lovecraft. It may not have been what I wanted, but it was still an interesting read as you got to experience what Lovecraft considered to be the best in the genre.

There were 20 short stories in the book, one being Ms. Found In A Bottle by Edgar Allan Poe, but the one story that really stuck out to me was The Red Lodge by H.R. Wakefield. The reason I believe I enjoyed that story so much was because it really had that old time spookiness about it, which was what I was looking for, and the other stories seemed to lack that. The stories were all good though, in their own way. It was a nice read for short stories, and I really liked getting to read from older authors and see what their takes were on the supernatural genre.

What I really liked about the anthology was that before each story there was a foreword from H.P. Lovecraft explaining what he thought about it, even though on more than one occasion there were spoilers within it. That never bothered me though, and I still liked the stories. So if you're a fan of the supernatural, and especially H.P. Lovecraft, I would recommend this interesting anthology.








*** 3 out of 5 Stars ☆

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cover Reveal: ECHOES by Alice Reeds

Let us know what you think of the cover for Echoes by Alice Reeds, which releases August 7, 2018!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

About Echoes:

"Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story." —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to. Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them. Something that won’t let them leave alive. Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Echoes by Alice Reedstoday!

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About Alice Reeds:

Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let's plays and figure skating videos.
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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Book Review (ARC): APPALACHIAN PREY by Debbie Herbert


Title: Appalachian Prey
Author: Debbie Herbert
Publication: February 1st 2018
Pages: 256








Synopsis

Star-crossed lovers on Lavender Mountain…Danger awaits them both.

After her father’s murder, pregnant Lilah Tedder dreads facing deputy Harlan Sampson, her child’s secret father, who left her heartbroken. Though she still wants him, Lilah knows his professional ambition won’t let him associate with a moonshiner’s daughter. But when a killer targets Lilah, Harlan becomes more than her protector. Now they must uncover old family secrets or pay the ultimate price.

Star-crossed lovers on Lavender Mountain…Danger awaits them both.

After her father’s murder, pregnant Lilah Tedder dreads facing deputy Harlan Sampson, her child’s secret father, who left her heartbroken. Though she still wants him, Lilah knows his professional ambition won’t let him associate with a moonshiner’s daughter. But when a killer targets Lilah, Harlan becomes more than her protector. Now they must uncover old family secrets or pay the ultimate price.










Review


Wow. I feel like I read this book forever ago, but really it's only been a week. I won this book in a giveaway (shout out to the author, thanks Debbie!), and when I received it in the mail, I fully intended to add it to my TBR pile and move on. But something drew me to this book right away, and before I knew it, I found myself setting everything else aside in order to read it.

I'm really glad I chose to read this book when I did. Everything else I was reading at the time was longer and I had been reading them for awhile, so taking a break from them all and diving into the story of Appalachian Prey was just the distraction I needed. It was a quick, easy read. Action-packed, full of intrigue, with some romance mixed into it, it felt like a guilty pleasure of mine and I couldn't put it down.

When reading romances, it's always a catch 22 with me because though I love the cheesy romance aspect of them, I don't much care for graphic sex scenes. So when I went into this I prepared myself for the worse. No worries here! The scenes were very classy and not graphic at all (which I loved!), and it just made me love the book even more. Debbie Herbert continues to wow me as an author - her writing is smooth, everything flows nicely, and she creates lasting characters. If you haven't already checked her out, I suggest you start with Appalachian Prey.









**** 4 out of 5 Stars ★

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review (ARC): INSEPARABLE by Siobhan Davis


Title: Inseparable
Author: Siobhan Davis
Publication: January 8th 2018
Pages: 450







Synopsis

A childhood promise. An unbreakable bond. One tragic event that shatters everything.

It all started with the boys next door…

Devin and Ayden were my best friends. We were practically joined at the hip since age two. When we were kids, we thought we were invincible, inseparable, that nothing or no one could come between us.

But we were wrong.

Everything turned to crap our senior year of high school.
Devin was turning into a clone of his deadbeat lowlife father—fighting, getting wasted, and screwing his way through every girl in town. I’d been hiding a secret crush on him for years. Afraid to tell him how I felt in case I ruined everything. So, I kept quiet and slowly watched him self-destruct with a constant ache in my heart.

Where Devin was all brooding darkness, Ayden was the shining light. Our star quarterback with the bright future whom everyone loved. But something wasn’t right. He was so guarded, and he wouldn’t let me in.

When Devin publicly shamed me, Ayden took my side, and our awesome-threesome bond was severed. The split was devastating. The heartbreak inevitable.

Ayden and I moved on with our lives, but the pain never lessened, and Devin was never far from our thoughts.

Until it all came to a head in college, and one eventful night changed everything.

Now, I’ve lost the two people who matter more to me than life itself. Nothing will ever be the same again.

A standalone new adult contemporary romance with a happy ending. Only suitable for readers aged eighteen and older due to mature content and possible triggers. 











**I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest reivew.**


For those of you who have followed me for awhile know I hate love triangles. However, when I read the synopsis of this book.... I don't know, something just drew me in and I had to read it. Cue feels. This book put me on a wild rollercoaster of emotions. I was feeling happy, sad, angry, sometimes all 3 at once. There was so much going on at once that I was entirely caught up in the story, and I didn't want to put it down for anything. Unfortunately, work got in the way. But that actually helped to show me how invested I was in this book. You know those books where you want nothing more than to read them, and when you're not, you're just thinking of the book and what could happen next? That was Inseparable for me - when I wasn't reading it, all I could think about is what could happen next. It was great.

As invested as I was in this book, I didn't really like any of the characters. Devin holds a place in my heart, but he also pissed me off to no end, and more often than not I wanted to smash his head against a wall for how he treated Ayden and Angelina. Ayden just seemed like a pushover and a door mat for Angelina, and she just acted completely oblivious to the fact that both guys would go to the ends of the Earth for her. As much as I hated each character, that somehow didn't take from the story at all, and when something horrible happened, I realized that maybe I didn't hate them as much as I thought.

I've never read anything by Siobhan Davis before, but I've heard of her, and when the opportunity came to read and review one of her books, that combined with the irresistible synopsis, there was no way I could say no. It's obvious to be now why so many people love her book - she has a way of writing characters and storylines that keeps you wanting more, regardless of what you've already been put through. She's a very talented author, and this may have been my first read by her, but it certainly won't be my last.









***** 5 out of 5 Stars! 🌟

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Book Review (ARC): PRETTY DEAD GIRLS by Monica Murphy


Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Publication: January 2nd 2018
Pages: 300










Synopsis

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she's next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she's never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There's something he isn't telling her. But there's something she's not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.










**I received an ARC of this book from Entangled Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**



Do you like Pretty Little Liars? Because Pretty Dead Girls gave me a major vibe of PLL, in the best way possible. Fun, fast-paced, and full of drama, this book really knows how to keep you going until the end. One of my favorite parts of the book was the random POV of the killer - it made the book that much more interesting. The writing and the characters were done very well, and even though they weren't the nicest of people for the most part, I still liked reading about them. And Cass!! He was by far my favorite character in the book. A brooding bad boy, he caught my attention from the get go, and I was so excited when he and Penelope started getting closer, even though she pissed me off at first because of how stuck up she was towards him. Given the nature of the book though, it definitely made sense for her to act that way, so I'm not knocking the book for that. As for the killer? I had my suspicions, and the book was pretty predictable, but I was never able to guess who the real killer was, which I applaud the author for because I'm usually pretty good at that stuff. However, everything with the killer being unmasked felt rushed. Throughout the whole book there's this great story, then it's like BAM! this is the killer and the end. For me, that was really the only downside to the book, as I really enjoyed the whole thing. I couldn't put it down, and I've been raving about this book ever since I finished it. I've already looked up other books by Monica Murphy and plan to read some because she wrote really well. So if you're a fan of teen slasher flicks or Pretty Little Liars  mixed with Mean Girls, I'd definitely check out Pretty Dead Girls!








***** 5 out of 5 Stars! 🌟