Review|| The Little Star.

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The Little Star by Randy Richburg
5 out of 5 stars.

Description: The Little Star: A Story of Who and What You Are is an illustrated children’s book about the infinite persistence of a mother’s love. Across an ocean of stars, from one end to the other, a Mother Star’s words of wisdom and love will follow her child from the inception of the Universe all the way to the arrival of life on planet Earth. This book has especially appealed to scientifically enthusiastic young parents, and children alike. It is a must read for scientists of any age who may have a soft spot for touchingly tragic stories about life, death, beginnings, ends, transformations, and unconditional love.


The Little Star is a children’s book, but I thought it was great! It was sad, but it was also happy. I was actually able to meet Richburg back in December and he was such a cool guy and I had no idea at the time that he wrote books, but I am so stoked that I know now and was able to buy a copy. I don’t have kids and I honestly don’t know if I ever will, but I really enjoyed the book even without that experience. I got emotional reading it. I put myself in the child’s point of view and thought about my own mother. It was so easy to read and shows a mother’s love for her child perfectly. I really loved it and I think a lot of people would as well, regardless if you have children or not.

Now onto the illustrations! The illustrations were amazing and so colorful. I also love the space and galaxy vibe of the story and illustrations to match. The author illustrated the book himself, which I think is really cool. Here are a few pages from the book, so that you can see some of the awesome illustrations!

I love that they are so colorful and gorgeous. I am a sucker for science and space, so this book was perfection. The book is linked to Amazon (above) instead of Goodreads, because I didn’t see it on their site yet. I definitely recommend checking it out!

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| February.
Hello, Central Florida.
Review|| Just for Clicks.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Just for Clicks.

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Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell
5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom. Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .


I received an ARC of Just for Clicks from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It was just released on February 19th. 

I love books involving social media and the internet world, so I knew I wanted and had to read Just for Clicks. It did not disappoint and I actually ended up loving it so much! It’s so relevant for today with blogs, YouTube, going viral and becoming internet famous happening pretty much daily. I think a lot of people can relate to that. The story itself was fun and cute, but also had some real emotional and important moments as well.

I loved that there was a lot of focus on family and friendship. I really enjoyed Claire’s and Rafael’s friendship so much. There’s a slow burn romance as well, which was great. I liked that it was more focused on friendship. Poppy and Claire both struggle with internet fame in different ways, which I think is so true for so many people that are internet famous today. So many people handle situations differently and I think this is a huge one. I loved that we got to see a bunch of different sides of it between Poppy, Claire, and their mom. They love each other so much, but there are also so many dysfunctional aspects to their family as well, so you get to see all of that too.

Overall, I really loved Just for Clicks. I loved the characters, the relationships, and pretty much everything about it. It was fun and cute, but it also had its moments where things turn and I’m like “WTF IS GOING ON”. I did get emotional at times as well, because I was really invested in the characters and their stories. I personally don’t know if I would ever be able to handle being “internet famous”, but I love that you get to see all the positives and the negatives of that world and that life. I would definitely recommend reading Just for Clicks.


I am moving tomorrow (ahhhh!!!), so I may be a little MIA for a bit until I settle into my new house and new routine. I’ll still try to pop on as much as I can though, but just a little heads up if you don’t see me very often for the next week or two.

In case you missed it;
Friday Finds #75.
Review|| Comics Will Break Your Heart.
Random|| Life Update – New House!

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

Review|| Comics Will Break Your Heart.

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Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Miriam’s family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that’s what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Miriam’s life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam’s grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune. In her endearing debut novel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks pens a sensitive and funny Romeo and Juliet tale about modern romance, geek royalty, and what it takes to heal the long-festering scars of the past (Spoiler Alert: love).


I received an ARC of Comics Will Break Your Heart from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: Today, February 12, 2019.

I don’t read a lot of comics and I’m not really into the whole superhero thing either (I feel like everyone is except me, haha). I weirdly was really into Comics Will Break Your Heart though! There’s a lot of comic story talk because of TomorrowMen and the characters in the book being into the comics/series and also because of the family history with the comic as well. Comics Will Break Your Heart is more than just about superheroes and comics though, which I really liked.

I felt like the characters were really relatable and different aspects of the story itself was as well. Miriam struggled with what to do after high school and Weldon had to deal with two mostly absent parents in his life; his dad obsessed with his business and his mom just seemed really unstable. I liked the friendship that Miriam and Weldon eventually grew into. They weren’t sure if they should be friends or how it would all work out with the family drama between their two families.

Overall, I really liked Comics Will Break Your Heart. There were a couple things that I wasn’t that into though, one being that I felt the ending was left unfinished because there was no real resolution to the whole TomorrowMen situation between the families.  I still had questions regarding that situation. That aspect of the story just didn’t feel resolved to me. Everything else in the story was great though. It was a cute, fun, geeky, and even had it’s emotional moments. I really liked the characters and friendships. Great story and I would recommend.

In case you missed it;
Random|| Life Update – New House!
WWW Wednesday #56.
Wrap Up|| January.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| The Perfect Girlfriend.

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The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
3 out of 5 stars

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, make them.”

Goodreads Description: Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him. They are meant to be. The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants. True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain… Juliette has everything going for her: she’s young, pretty, and driven, and she’s training for an exciting new career as a flight attendant. The darkness in her past doesn’t matter, because she’s moved beyond all that, and she’s building a great new life for herself-one that will impress her ex-boyfriend, Nate, who left her in a foolish moment of commitment-phobia, one that he surely regrets now. But he’ll be so proud of her once he sees how much she’s grown. And he will see her. After all, he’s a pilot at the very same airline where Juliette is training. What kind of man wouldn’t appreciate the effort Juliette has taken to win Nate back? She cleans his apartment when he’s not there, and makes sure to leave all his favorite foods in the fridge. It’s only a matter of time before he leaves his airheaded new girlfriend and realizes Juliette is the only one for him. He will realize it. Juliette will make sure of it. After all, she is the perfect girlfriend.


I received an ARC of The Perfect Girlfriend from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date: March 26, 2019.

I’ve never read a Karen Hamilton book, but The Perfect Girlfriend sounded like something I would really like. I like twisty creepy stories and this one sounded like it would be.

There were a ton of twisty creepy things in the story, but I did find it pretty slow to start and not a whole lot going on at the beginning. I was impatiently waiting for crazy things to happen, but it didn’t happen right away. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way that the book ended, to be honest. I wanted more from the ending, but it just wasn’t there. Juliette definitely had a few screws loose and she made for a good character. Things happened in her past, which made her the way she was, which was actually a little sad.

Overall, I liked The Perfect Girlfriend. It had it’s twists and creepiness to it. I would have liked if more happened, but for the most part it was good and at times hard to put down. Even though I wasn’t happy with the ending, there were a lot of good things to make up for it and I was still invested in the story and wanting to know how it played out. It didn’t blow me away, but I also didn’t hate it; it was still pretty entertaining at times and pretty messed up other times.


In case you missed it, I have a giveaway happening on my blog for my four year blogiversary! You can win a book of your choice and it’s International! 😀 I’ll link it down below if you’re interested in checking it out and entering. It runs until the end of the month.

Four Year Blogiversary Giveaway!
Thoughts|| Famous in a Small Town.
Dr. Von D Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Famous in a Small Town.

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Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival. The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return. What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.


I received an ARC of Famous in a Small Town from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: today, January 15, 2019.

I’ve never read any books by Emma Mills before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Famous in a Small Town. I ended up really liking it and read it pretty quickly. Easy to read and hard to put down.

I really liked that it didn’t center completely around romance and it was more about friendship. A great cast of characters with so many different personalities and things about them, but all the friendships worked perfectly when put together. They all had me laughing out loud and also getting pretty teary eyed. There were a few twists that I wasn’t expecting. I had my ideas of how things were going to play out and which characters connected with Megan Pleasant, but I was wrong every time, so that was fun being surprised.

Overall, I really enjoyed Famous in a Small Town. I thought the story was cute and fun, but it also had it’s moments where things weren’t always so easy and fun for the characters. There were times when it was a lot deeper than I originally thought it would be. I happen to own a few other Emma Mills books, so I definitely plan to check out more of her books ASAP!

In case you missed it;
Dr. Von D Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.
4 Star Reads of 2018.
5 Star Reads of 2018.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| The Wicked King.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black
3 out of 5 stars.

I’m not posting the Goodreads summary, because I don’t want to spoil The Cruel Prince for those that haven’t read it yet. Read at your own risk if you haven’t read the first book, because possible spoilers of The Cruel Prince.

I received an ARC of The Wicked King from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date tomorrow, January 8, 2019.

It’s no surprise that I loved The Cruel Prince as much as everyone else did. The hype was real, you guys! I was so stoked when I was approved for the ARC of The Wicked King. I couldn’t wait to dive into it! I needed more of the story. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I needed more Cardan and Jude! I pretty much instantly fell in love with the story right from the beginning. There was excitement and things happening on every page. I was looking forward to more of that with The Wicked King.

It wasn’t there though. I didn’t instantly fall in love. Nothing happened until the last 30% of the book. It was a very slow start and with nothing that exciting happening. Nothing that really stood out to me or made me go “omg” or freak out like I did with The Cruel Prince. The last few chapters of The Wicked King were the highlight of the book and had the shock factor. I was disappointed with the story, because it lacked so many things that the first book had.

Cardan was even different. He didn’t have the same attitude or wickedness that he did in the first book. He was a bit of a bore. You didn’t see the old Cardan until the very end of the book, which was sad, because I loved his character so much! He’s part of what made the story exciting, so I was sad that it wasn’t like that this time. Jude was a bit annoying and whiny in this book, which sucked because I loved her in the first book. The two characters I loved the most were not the same to me. They just felt too different and maybe that’s because of what they’ve been through being thrown into being King and a new life.

But then with that being said…The Wicked King was a short book and felt rushed. I feel like so many other things could have happened or have been added if it was a longer book. Like more of Jude and Cardan right after the ending of The Cruel Prince instead of it taking place five months later. Not a lot of things were explained or shown. So we didn’t get to see the change in Cardan or Jude with their new roles and lives, because it started five months later and maybe that would have helped to explain why they felt like different characters to me?

I did like the book though, so it wasn’t a completely bad sequel. The ending had a lot of excitement and twists to it. One that even left me shocked. Overall, I liked it and it had it’s enjoyable moments. I was just really sad and disappointed that I didn’t fall in love with it like I did The Cruel Prince. I’m still really looking forward to the third book and can’t wait to get my hands on it to see what happens next. The ending left on a pretty crazy cliffhanger, so I’m still stoked.

In case you missed it;
Reading the Alphabet.
2018 Year in Books (Reading Stats).
2019 Reading Goals.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| The War Outside.

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The War Outside by Monica Hesse
3 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: It’s 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado–until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan. Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a “family internment camp” for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day, and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother’s health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis. With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone–even each other?


I was sent an ARC copy of The War Outside from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. It was released last month (September).

There is a book called Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse that I absolutely loved, so I was stoked when I was sent a copy of her new book to read and review. While I did receive the ARC, since it was already released by time I got to reading it, I ended up listening to the audiobook instead. The War Outside is a YA historical fiction book set in America in World Word II. While I didn’t absolutely love The War Outside, I thought it was a really great story and I enjoyed it. There were a few times where it was a bit slow for me and that maybe more could have happened. It just felt like maybe something was missing.

I really liked Margot and Haruko. They were both struggling with things in their own lives and families; but also at the same time things were a little similar between them and they could relate to each other on some level. One family is from Germany and one is from Japan, which lands them in a internment camp because of the war. I really liked Margot and Haruko’s friendship from the start. There were a couple surprises in the story, which were a bit sad. A lot of the story is heartbreaking when you really think about it and the things that happened.

I really liked the author note at the end of the book that mentioned all the similarities between the book and the things that happened in real life/history that inspired the story. The main characters and their stories are fiction, but they are based on events, stories, and things that actually happened. The camp in Crystal City was actually a real camp there at one time. It makes everything seem that much more real and can connect with the characters even more. Overall, I really enjoyed The War Outside. Great characters, friendships, and it really opened my eyes more into that period in time and events that happened during World War II that I didn’t know about.


I haven’t updated in a couple weeks, but I’ve just been busy and preoccupied with other things. I usually get busy and my mind wanders more during the holiday months though, so this is expected. I’ve been making a lot of progress on my Christmas shopping, which is nice. I think I should be done with it in a couple weeks! Anyway, I’ll have another update soon (probably early next week) about what I’m reading and life happenings. I’ll also catch up with all of your posts soon too. I hope you have a great day! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving tomorrow!

In case you missed it;
Random|| Reading & Life Update.
Unofficial November TBR.
Wrap Up|| October.

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Dear Evan Hansen.

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Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend. Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be? No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself. A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.


I was sent an ARC copy of Dear Evan Hansen from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. It was released earlier this month, so it is currently out now. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Dear Evan Hansen, because I never seen the musical or really heard much about it until I seen the book floating around the blogosphere and bookstagram. I am really glad I picked it up, because I actually enjoyed it a lot. It would be interesting to see the musical now that I have read it in book form.

Dear Evan Hansen is a really relatable story and deals with a lot of heavy things that a lot of people are experiencing every day; anxiety, depression, suicide. After Connor Murphy’s death, Evan gets mixed up in a lie that he never meant to tell. As events unfold, it’s harder and harder for him to get out of it or come clean. I really liked that the characters themselves were really relatable as well. It was easy for me to connect with Evan in particular, because I struggle with social anxiety myself. I really liked the characters in this book and I felt like they really made the story. I also liked that there are parts in the book where you get Connor’s point of view as well. His story was just as important as what was happening to Evan.

I loved the writing style and the communication between characters. While this book deals with some pretty important and heavy things, there were still happy moments and laugh out loud moments. Some of the interaction with Evan and Jared in particular were pretty laugh out loud. There were also times where I felt so much anxiety for Evan. The feels are real with this book. I think a lot of people will relate to it and the characters. I can see why so many people love the musical so much.

Even though I haven’t seen the musical or listened to the soundtrack, I am happy that I was still able to experience the Dear Evan Hansen story in novel form. Overall, I really loved the book and the characters. I found myself sucked right into the story from the beginning. There were a few times where it did slow down for me, but it didn’t take away from the story or my enjoyment of it. I highly recommend reading this book whether you seen the musical or not. It’s out now, so you should definitely go check it out!

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| October 11-17.
Random|| Picture Update.
Blog Tour/Thoughts|| The No-Good Nine.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

Blog Tour/Thoughts|| The No-Good Nine.

NoGoodNine_BlogBanner

Hey!

Welcome to my stop on the No-Good Nine blog tour! I am super stoked to be a part of this blog tour. I love a good middle grade book and one about Christmas at that! 😛 Continue reading to see my review for this book, more about the book, and a little about the author.

The No-Good Nine

The No-Good Nine by John Bemelmans Marciano
4 out of 5 stars.

They’re mad, they’re bad, and they’re about to ruin Christmas!”

Book Description: No kids get coal in their stocking these days. Do you know why? It’s thanks to The No-Good Nine! Pittsburgh, 1931. When Peter awakens on Christmas morning to find his stocking full of coal, he is outraged. After he finds the Naughty List, which contains the names of some other children who received no gifts, he decides they should band together and journey to Santa’s workshop to plead their case, as well as play with the toys intended for the Nice children. The ragtag band of misfits sets out on a series of wild misadventures as they travel by train, truck, dog sled, and boat, encountering thieves and bootleggers, in order to reach the renowned Toy Factory only to accidentally burn it down. More slapstick capers follow before the No-Good Nine extricate themselves and set out to find their next great adventure.


I was sent a copy of The No-Good Nine by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: October 16, 2018.

I had a lot of fun reading The No-Good Nine. It’s a middle grade book, but it was still a lot of fun to read even as an adult. There was a funny cast of characters like the Liar, the Brat, the Cruel, and so many more! The No-Good Nine go on a crazy adventure to get to the North Pole to confront Santa about being on the naughty list and receiving coal for Christmas and to play with all the toys that are meant for the nice kids.

There so are many crazy things that happen along the way, which make it all the more fun to read. There were a few things that happened that I questioned, but would most likely be overlooked by a middle grader, since this book is mostly intended for that audience. They didn’t take away from the story or anything, so it was still pretty great. There were so many laugh out loud moments and I flew through it pretty quickly. It’s perfect to read around Christmas time.

Overall, I really enjoyed The No-Good Nine. I thought the adventure aspect was a lot of fun even with some things being a little out there. For a kid though, I think they’ll get a kick out of it. I liked that there were a lot of funny moments and the cast of characters made the story even better. I plan to pass this book along to my nephew, because I think he would really get like it. It’s releasing on October 16th (next week), so be on the look out for it!


john bemelmans

 

About the Author:

John Bemelmans Marciano collaborated with Sophie Blackall on the middle-grade novel The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield as well as on the Witches of Benevento series. Continuing his grandfather’s legacy, John wrote and illustrated Madeline at the White House, Madeline and the Old House in ParisMadeline and the Cats of Rome, and Madeline Says Merci.

 

 

In case you  missed it;
WWW Wednesday #55.
Thoughts|| I Will Find You.
Photo A Day|| October 1-5.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

 

 

Thoughts|| I Will Find You.

iwillfindyou

I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime by Joe Kenda
5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Detective Lt. Joe Kenda, star of Homicide Hunter, shares his deepest, darkest, and never before revealed case files from his 19 years as a homicide detective. Are you horrified yet fascinated by abhorrent murders? Do you crave to know the gory details of these crimes, and do you seek comfort in the solving of the most gruesome? In I WILL FIND YOU, the star of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda shares his deepest, darkest, and never-before-revealed case files from his two decades as a homicide detective and reminds us that crimes like these are very real and can happen even in our own backyards. Gruesome, macabre, and complex cases. Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerizing you won’t be able to look away. The tales in I WILL FIND YOU will shock you like the best horror stories-divulging insights into the actions, motivations, and proclivities of nature’s most dangerous species. Don’t mind the blood.


I received I Will Find You from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s out in stores now. 

Well my, my, my…it’s not a surprise that I am a sucker for true crime. I love reading true crime stories and books. I love watching true crime TV shows and documentaries on TV/Netflix. I love listening to true crime podcasts. Detective Lt. Joe Kenda happens to be one of my favorites and I love watching his show “Homicide Hunter” on the Investigation Discovery channel. When I seen I Will Find You up on Netgalley, there was no way I was going to pass it up.

tenor

On Joe Kenda’s TV show he talks about all the different cases he’s worked on during his career as a homicide detective. In his book I Will Find You, he talks about the cases that are too gruesome to even air on TV. In his book, Joe Kenda also talks about crime scenes and what he does to determine the who, what, where, when, and how the victim died along with the motive and find out who the killer is. He also talks about life as a homicide hunter and how he became one. I also love that he talkes about himself and his family. I loved learning about other sides to him aside from just his homicide hunter days. Even his family members pop in from time to time to recount a story.

I Will Find You is creepy, scary, and it’s one of the most realist books that you’ll ever read.  If you love true crime, this book is definitely for you. The world is a scary place (it seems so even more these days) and humans are the scariest of all. Joe Kenda talks about how animals kill each other for need (hunger & danger, basically to survive), but some humans kill just to kill. That’s really terrifying to think about and it’s true. In this book you’ll see different reasons and scenarios why humans kill, which none of them are ever justifiable. Then there are some humans that kill just because they like killing.

“Even today, humans are the most ruthless, aggressive, and dangerous of species.”

There’s a lot of triggers and gory things in this book, so proceed with caution. There were even a few things that freaked me out and I don’t get freaked out by these things easily. I mean, I can watch a TV show about a murder, see the reenactments, bloody bodies, and still eat my dinner like I was just watching a normal TV show. 😛 Even though this book is quite serious, I like that Joe Kenda throws in a little humor too. You kind of have to have a dark sense of humor though. I love Joe Kenda’s personality on TV and as he comes across in his book and because of that, this book was easy to read and hard to put down in a writing stand point. The subject matter isn’t always easy to read, but it’s written in a way that it’s hard to put down.

Like I said earlier, it is the realist book you will ever read. It has it’s good moments and a couple happy stories, but a lot of it is not. This isn’t like the TV show “CSI”, this is real life. It’s terrifying and shocking. As dark as I Will Find You is, I thought it was a very good book and really eye opening. I think after having read this book, I will be looking over my shoulder a hell of a lot more than I already do. I will leave you with this quote from the very beginning of the book, because it’s 100% true about this book and you should be prepared if you plan to pick this one up.

“If you have an interest in the truth, you are reading the right book. If you don’t think you can handle the darkest aspects of human nature, then you might want to put this book down, because it will get real in a hurry.”

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| October 1-5.
Book Haul|| September.
Unofficial Halloweenie TBR.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

 

Thoughts|| Shadow of the Fox.

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Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
5 out of 5 stars.

“The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply…start. One step at a time.”

Goodreads Description: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos. Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn. Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll. There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart. With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.


I received Shadow of the Fox from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date October 2, 2018. 

Words….what are words? I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to writing about what I thought of Shadow of the Fox. My thoughts and my love for this book are everywhere right now. I was pretty hooked right from the start and by page 88 I was already feeling all the feels and even shed some tears. I knew from that point on this book was going to mean the world to me.

The world building was spot on and so detailed. I loved all the Japanese legends and culture so much. I was instantly filled with so much excitement while reading Shadow of the Fox. I thought it had a fairly fast pace and so much was going on. The cast of characters was amazing and I loved every single one of them. They all had their own little quirks and reasons why I loved them. I won’t go into too much detail about who they are, because they play parts in the bigger story and I don’t want to risk spoilers.

Yumeko is a Kitsune shapeshifter (half human, half fox) which is totally awesome! One of my favorite things about her is that she never left her temple before, so she knew nothing about the outside world, so she was curious about everything. She asked so many questions and it was funny at times, especially when she would fall for everyone’s sarcasm because she truly didn’t understand or know. Tatsumi and Yumeko are on this journey together and they meet some interesting people along the way (one of them becoming my favorite character) and run into so many crazy things and obstacles.

Overall, I loved everything about Shadow of the Fox. There’s lots of trickery, magic, secrets, and a few twists. There’s demons, witches, ghosts, spirits, samurai, and so many more things in this book. It’s quite the adventure and I had so much fun reading it. It had everything I need and love in a fantasy novel. Beautifully written and well executed to the end. The wait for the sequel is going to be so hard. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for everyone. There’s a couple characters that I feel are going to play an even bigger role in the coming books and I am curious to see if I’m right. I highly recommend reading!

“It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don’t do a great job of it.”

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| Not Even Bones.
Travel || Road Trip to Illinois.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Not Even Bones.

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Not Even Bones by Rebecca Shaeffer
5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far. But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again. Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.


I received Not Even Bones from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Released September 4th, 2018.

Part of the description of Not Even Bones over on Goodreads is “Dexter meets This Savage Song” and I was so down for that. I don’t even know where to start with this, because I just want to fangirl like crazy with how freaking amazing it was. I finally found a book that blew me away! It’s been way too long. Not Even Bones was dark, it was creepy, it was face-paced. I had so much fun reading this book and it me on the edge of my seat quite a bit. I loved the writing style and it was so easy to read and so hard to put down.

I enjoyed the main character Nita so much and was rooting for her the entire time. There were characters you wanted to hate, but couldn’t help but to love. All the different types of “monsters” and special powers they have was really interesting. There were a lot of gory aspects to it as well, but I love that kind of stuff. So if you like that kind of thing, this book is for you! There was no insta-love, which I especially loved. It didn’t focus on a romance much at all. It left it open for something in future books though and I am actually happy with the possibility.

Overall, Not Even Bones was a perfect read. It was so exciting and so many things are happening. There’s a few twists and it’s so fast-paced and action packed. I love dark and creepy books and that’s exactly what this one was. You’ll be sucked in right from the very first page. I am so stoked that I was able to get the chance to read this book and I can’t wait for the sequel. The ending, holy crap! It’s perfect if you want to add it to your Halloweenie TBRs. 😛 Not Even Bones is out now, so I highly recommend picking up a copy! I plan to go buy my copy as soon as I post this review.

Not related to review above: Two posts in one day? Who am I? Haha. 😛 Lately I’ve been lucky if I even get one or two a week. I need to find some new inspiration for blog posts. I’ve been lacking as far as figuring out what new content I want to post on here and even on Bookstagram, sigh. Earlier today I posted a reading update (linked below), so feel free to check it out!

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #54.
Travel || Road Trip to Illinois.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| #MurderTrending.

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#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0. When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one? 


I received #MurderTrending from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Released August 7th, 2018.

I am going to do a quick review of this book, because it’s better to know very little when going into it.

#MurderTrending was so dang good! I was sucked in fairly quickly. It felt really fast paced, which I love. Lots of different things going on and a lot of mystery behind it. Some things I did figure out, but it was exciting saying “I knew it!!”. It also kept me guessing a lot too and that was fun. I loved the characters and was rooting for them the entire time. It gets pretty gory at times, but I actually like that kind of thing. #MurderTrending was right up my alley.

Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this one. I loved that it was fast pace, kept you guessing, and had great characters AKA the Death Row Breakfast Club. 😛 It was hard to put down and I would #HighlyRecommend reading this one.

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #52.
Travel|| Lake Placid, FL.
Book Tag|| Meme Book Tag.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Be Prepared.

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Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!


I was sent a copy of Be Prepared from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was April of this year (2018).

Be Prepared is a middle grade graphic novel. For it being middle grade, I really enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp as a kid, but never had the chance to experience it. Vera gets the chance to finally go to a summer camp like all her friends get to do every year. She’s already having a hard time fitting in at home, so when she gets the chance to go to a Russian summer camp she is really stoked about it, but it ends up not being like she expected it to be.

Be Prepared is sort of like a true story, because it’s about the author’s time at summer camp from the bits and pieces that she can remember and piece together. I thought that was really cool. She even included real letters from her and her brother’s time at camp. The story itself was great. I really enjoyed the characters and there were a lot of funny moments. In a way it was also a bit sad, because Vera is trying to find her place at camp and it’s not that easy at the beginning. She doesn’t have the easiest time as her brother did.

Overall, I really liked this story and the characters. I loved the illustrations. It was fun and even some life lessons mixed into it. It’s a great summer read, especially for the younger crowd. I’m way past middle grade years, but it was still enjoyable as an adult as well. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have little ones. I think they would enjoy it. My nephew is perfect age for this one, so I will be passing this one along to him.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

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All Summer Long by Hope Larson
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.


I was sent a copy of All Summer Long from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was May 1st of this year (2018)

I first want to point out that All Summer Long is a middle grade graphic novel. I don’t read a ton of middle grade books, but I do like reading them from time to time. I’ve been wanting to branch out to more graphic novels as well, so it was exciting that All Summer Long was a graphic novel. I really enjoyed this book and the illustrations were great. Bina’s best friend Austin went away to soccer camp so she has to figure out how she was going to spend her summer and how to have a fun summer without him. It’s a really quick read, but still such a fun book.

All Summer Long had me missing when I was a kid and had summer vacation from school. I really liked Bina and totally awesome that she plays guitar! I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar. I love that she is so into music too, because I LOVE music. I could relate to her on that level and obsessing over my favorite bands. I was happy to see Bina bond with Austin’s sister, although at times I wasn’t his sister’s fan. There were a ton of fun (and funny) moments that happen throughout the story. Overall, I thought it was a quick, cute, and fun story. It’s perfect for summer. Even though it’s targeted for middle grade, I personally still thought it was a good book.

In case you  missed it;
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Before I Let Go.

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Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger. Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…


I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date was January 2nd, 2018.

I was really excited about Before I Let Go, because I really loved Marieke’s book “This Is Where It Ends“. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what to make of Before I Let Go. It was interesting at first, but then it started to get really weird and kind of not making too much sense. I couldn’t really figure out where Nijkamp was going with the story and I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. I guess for me it wasn’t. I wanted some kind of idea, but I had no clue. A lot of people will love that about this book and I usually do, but I was more frustrated than anything. I just wanted to know what the heck was going on and I felt like it took ages to get there.

It’s hard to really talk about without giving out spoilers. A plus about this book was that the chapters were really short, so it was really easy to read through it pretty quickly. Another weird thing about this story was the way that it was told. It was mostly in the main character’s point of view, but then randomly there will be a narrator telling the store. It was just thrown in randomly and it was in a weird format where it was kind of like a play script when the narrator was talking. It’s hard to explain, but it was weird to me. So I started to wonder if everything that was happening was real or not.

Overall, Before I Let Go was okay. I can see why a lot of people would like it, because of the mystery aspect of it and it did keep you guessing. It just wasn’t for me though and I was getting a little bit of We Were Liars vibes from it and I honestly did not like We Were Liars at all. This book might be for you though, so definitely check it out if it sounds interesting to you.

In case you  missed it;
WWW Wednesday #50.
Thoughts|| Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over.
New Camera.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over.

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Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong? After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev! When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart! 


I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: Today, May 15th.

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over was such a fun book. It was really fast paced, which I loved. I flew through it in just a few days. It had me laughing out loud quite a bit. I always love when a book has me cracking up.

I really enjoyed all the characters in the book as well. Sari was a lot of fun and was willing to do anything to make it back to New York City, which lead to some pretty crazy and funny events. Zev, you wanted to dislike him so bad because Sari was hurt from catching him with his ex-girlfriend…but there’s just something about him. It was way too hard not to like him. Fitz and Dylan were great! They added another fun element to the story. Sari’s best friend Trina was also another great character as well. She was a trooper, that’s for sure. Sari was heartbroken after things happened with Zev, so Trina did whatever she could to help her out and be there for her even a thousand of miles away.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book so much. It was quick, it was fun, and it had it’s cute and disastrous moments too. I would recommended this book, especially if you’re looking for an easy to read, cute and funny contemporary.

In case you missed it;
New Camera.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Favorite Color Book Covers.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Hot Mess.

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Hot Mess by Emily Belden
4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Twenty-something Allie Simon never imagined she’d fall for a recovering drug addict—but that was before she met Benji Zane, Chicago’s hottest up-and-coming chef, who’s known as much for his hard partying ways as for his unparalleled culinary skills. Six months into their relationship, the food and chemistry are out of this world, but the reality of living with a cooking wunderkind hasn’t exactly been all hearts and flowers.  Still, Allie’s convinced that her love is the key to fixing this talented man’s broken soul—so when Benji is offered his dream job as chef de cuisine for a new restaurant opening on Randolph Street, Chicago’s foodie hot spot, Allie agrees to invest her life savings in his future. But less than a month after she goes all in, Allie learns a heartbreaking lesson: addicts lie. Benji cracks under the pressure, relapses and disappears, bagging out not only on the restaurant, but on her, too. Left with nothing but a massive withdrawal slip and a restaurant that absolutely must open in a matter of weeks, Allie finds herself thrust into a world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.


I was sent a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I read Emily Belden’s first book Eighty-Sixed and really enjoyed it, so I was so excited when the publisher reached out to me and asked if I wanted to read and review Hot Mess!

Hot Mess was pretty fun to read and at times it got a little intense. I was sucked into right at the start. The story is told in Allie’s POV and I instantly liked her. Right from the start Benji seemed a little sketchy to me, but Allie was in love with him and willing to do whatever to make sure he never relapsed; even looking past all the red flags that were popping up and intense situations between them. I couldn’t believe she was willing to invest her life savings into Benji and the restaurant and of course it takes a turn for the worse. Now Allie is stuck trying to figure out the food business without him.

There were times in the story when it did slow down for me and was a bit hard to get through. It was probably around the time that Benji disappears after he relapsed. I felt like the pace slowed down and some things weren’t as exciting as before. I still really enjoyed it for the most part though and I loved all the funny conversations and things happening between Allie and some of the other characters. Allie grows throughout the book, which I love and she tried to push on with life even after Benji up and disappeared. It’s not at all an easy road for her.

Let’s talk food! Hot Mess is all about the food industry and restaurant business. I honestly don’t know that much about any of that (aside from watching all the cooking shows on Food Network :P), but it was interesting to learn about. AND ALL THE FOOD DESCRIPTIONS! I was hungry about 90% of the time as read this book. I wanted to climb in the book and just eat everything. Overall, I enjoyed Hot Mess so much. It was fun, a little crazy at times, but it had a mix of everything you could want in a contemporary. It did slow down a little bit for me, but I seen other reviews that actually thought the opposite, so maybe it was just me? I would recommend reading this book, especially if you love a good contemporary and FOOD!

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| 20 Questions.
Random|| Picture Update.
Thoughts|| Invictus.

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Invictus.

invictus

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.  But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


I originally received Invictus from The Novl and from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t get around to finishing it last year (more later), but I decided to check out the audiobook from my library and finally finish it.

So why did I not finish it last year? Honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I started to get bored early on and decided I needed a break from it. I didn’t want to force myself to read it when I wasn’t in the mood for it, because it probably would have made me hate it. I set it down and it got lost in the pile. I finally finished it though, so at least there’s that.

Fast forward to this year and I finally finished Invictus! I am not entirely sure what to say in this review, so it may end up being a short one. As you can see, I gave it three out of five stars. The boredom still lingered at the beginning and at some parts throughout the book. I didn’t feel enough excitement. The second half of the book was a little better though and I did enjoy it. There’s a lot more going on and things to get a little excited for. I felt like I didn’t click with the characters as much as I hoped I would. They were likable, but my connection to them just wasn’t that strong. There were some “feels” moments and laugh out loud moments with them. Not enough for my liking though.

Overall, I did enjoy the second half of Invictus a lot more than the first half. While I didn’t love the characters in the story, I did like them. There were some fun moments and a couple interesting twists. I’m sad I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped I would, but I am still glad that I finally picked it up again. This was my first time reading a book by Ryan Graudin, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t a bad story at all and I can see why so many people loved it.

Have you read Invictus? If so, what did you think?

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #49.
Thoughts|| Huntress.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Huntress.

huntress

Huntress by Julie Hall
4 out of 5 stars.

“Life, and even the afterlife, is a dance between being prepared and letting go. The wisdom is in knowing how to prepare and when it’s time to let go.”

Goodreads Description: No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s―at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity. She’s convinced God’s made a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons. It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. And just when Audrey and Logan appear close to developing an amicable relationship, a decision made under duress pushes their hearts in a direction neither of them saw coming. Despite her sub-par fighting abilities, an ancient weapon of unparalleled power chooses Audrey as its wielder, attracting the cautious gazes of her fellow hunters and the attention of Satan himself. With Satan’s eyes now fixed on Audrey, a battle for the safety of the living looms in the shadows.


I was sent a copy of Huntress from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was participating in a IG Tour & Giveaway for the final book in Life After series (Dominion), so I was sent copies of the books to read and review as well. There’s still a couple days left for the giveaway (ends April 12th) if you check out my Instagram account (foreverbookish_) or the author Julie Hall’s Instagram account (julieghall). Now onto my thoughts about the first book in the series, Huntress.

As you can see above, I rated it four out of five stars. There were a lot of things I really loved about this book. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the world building, and it was such a fun book to read. It gave me a lot of Supernatural vibes with the demons, angels, and demon hunters. I was pretty addicted to the story and wanting to know what was going to happen next. There was a lot of information to take in and the first book really set everything up. There wasn’t a whole lot of demon hunting (which was a bit of a disappointment), but understandable since the main character had to train to be a hunter first.

With this story being about angels and demons and having God and Satan thrown it, it became a bit preachy at times; especially certain conversations with God himself. I felt like I was in a bible study class or something, lol. I am not religious at all and I felt like the entire exchange between Audrey and God was so weird. Aside from that, I really enjoyed Huntress. I thought it was a really fun read and trying to figure out what the heck was going on was making me crazy (but in a good way). I plan to continue with the series, because it was actually really good. A lot of things unanswered as well, which I am looking forward to seeing how they play out. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to.

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| April 1-4.
Wrap Up|| March.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Love and Other Carnivorous Plants.

 

Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves
3 out of 5 stars.

“She makes me feel like I’m not myself and more myself at the same time. She devours me in the best way and kills me in the worst way, but I’m happy to be killed by her because she’s heaven too.”

Goodreads Description: Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny’s life. She’s failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.


I was sent an ARC of Love and Other Carnivorous Plants from The Novl. (Check out their monthly newsletters for chances to win books from them!) It is expected to release May 15th of this year.

I have mixed feelings about this book and writing this review is so difficult. It’s not that I didn’t like the book, because I did like it. I would even recommend reading it, because it talks about a lot of important things; such as eating disorders, mental illness, alcohol abuse, questioning your sexuality, and a few other things as well. It’s jam packed with important things.

As far as the characters go, I liked the characters. They were all going through something different. They were all struggling with something in their lives. Danny was really sarcastic a lot of the time and she tried to use humor to cope with some of the things happening in her life. I really liked her relationship with Bugg (the girl she meets in rehab). Bugg was a really cool character. Danny’s best friend, Sarah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of hers. But again, she was also going through a lot as well. I can see how it could change her.

This tragic event that happens, I honestly wasn’t expecting it at all. I think that’s also where the book took a turn for me and where my mixed feelings about the story came into play. The pace of the book started to slow down. I was waiting for things to happen and they just weren’t happening or at a decent pace anymore. It was taking awhile to get there. I was also hoping for a little bit more with the ending and for certain things to go differently. Like the tragedy that happened, I personally felt like that didn’t need to happen. It’s hard to really talk about it without giving spoilers though.

Overall, I liked Love and Other Carnivorous Plants. I thought it was a good story. It dealt with a lot of pretty important and tough things. For the most part they were handled pretty well. I liked Florence’s writing style and it was easy to read. I wish the pace didn’t change in the second half of the book, but it was still a good read. I would still recommend reading it.

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In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| March.
Travel|| Butterfly World.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| The Roanoke Girls.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
4 out of 5 stars.

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

Goodreads Description: After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away. Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again. As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.


I was sent a copy of The Roanoke Girls from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

I am having bit of a struggle to write a review for The Roanoke Girls, because it was beyond twisted and disturbing, and dysfunctional. You want to go into this book with as little knowledge as possible, because it makes it that more interesting and twisted. The more I read it the more I was like “what am I reading, what is going on, SO MANY SECRETS”. It switches between the past and the present, which helps you to figure out what the big secret is early on but that didn’t make it any less disturbing or twisted. I was hooked and addicted from the beginning. I had this need to know what was happening and especially what happened to Allegra.

I enjoyed this book, it had me hooked from the beginning. It was addicting, but also really messed up. It’s hard to review a book like this because of some of the things that were going on. It’s hard to say that you enjoyed something that is so messed up! I did though. It was a good story. If you like twisted and disturbing, then you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s emotional and it’s shocking. It has all the things needed for a really great book. I don’t want to give too much away, so that’s all I’m going to say about The Roanoke Girls. I would recommend reading it.

In case you missed it;
Random|| Photo Update.
Wrap Up|| February.
Photo A Day|| February Part Three.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

 

Thoughts|| A Taxonomy of Love.

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A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen
4 out of 5 stars.

“Sometimes you have a day that is so epic that you know, even before it’s over, that it’s going to be one of the dozens that you remember forever.”

Goodreads Description: The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too. Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.


I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date was January 9th, 2018.

A Taxonomy of Love had ALL the feels. It was cute, it was happy, it was sad (omg, was it sad!), it had me tearing up, it had me laughing, there were times I was annoyed, and times I was angry. Like I said, it had all the feels. I think all that makes for a good book, especially if you’re able to connect with the characters and experience all of the feelings and emotions they are going through. I felt that when I was reading this book and Rachael did a good job with writing it.

The book stars off with Spencer and Hope being in just seventh grade and it following them all through high school. It was really cool getting to see all the characters in this story grow and navigate life and high school. It wasn’t always easy for Spencer (especially in his younger years) since he has Tourette Syndrome. I felt so bad for him a lot of the time and I was rooting for him every page. It felt like he had to try 100 times harder than everyone. Hope had her own struggles through the years as well. It wasn’t always easy for her, but I think in ways both Spencer and Hope got through things because they had their friendship.

There were also times where Hope made me pretty angry as well. I felt so protective of Spencer, so anything that was against it made me mad or annoyed me though. So many other great characters in this story as well as the MC; like their families, although Dean (Spencer’s brother) was questionable at times. There were also times I did think things were a little weird or didn’t make sense to the story. It also jumped around quite a bit without warning. Like first they were in seventh grade and then all of a sudden it would be months or a year later without warning. So had to figure that out. I’m also not sure if that’s just the way that the e-ARC was setup, because there weren’t always breaks or headers other than “chapter numbers” or when Spencer created a taxonomy list.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I am really happy that I was given the opportunity to read it. There were a lot of things to take away from this and it was interesting to learn a little about Tourette Syndrome. I haven’t read any books that had a character with TS, so that was also cool about reading this one. New experiences and learning things I don’t know a whole lot about. It was just released earlier this month, so definitely go check it out!

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #45.
Photo A Day|| January 9-12.
Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleypink

Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
5 out of 5 stars.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

Goodreads Description: Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I was sent an ARC of The Cruel Prince from The Novl. (Check out their monthly newsletters for chances to win books from them!) It was just released earlier this month.

I was BEYOND stoked when I got an ARC of The Cruel Prince in my mailbox. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it and I was dying to check it out myself. Most of the time, hyped books aren’t usually my cup of tea. For some reason I never love hyped books as much as everyone else. I was definitely nervous going into The Cruel Prince because of that reason. It’s totally a curse and I don’t know why!

BUT! If you can’t tell by my star rating, I freaking loved The Cruel Prince! This may end up being more a post of me fangirling than a review, just a warning! I got about 30% into the ARC and then I rushed to Barnes & Noble the next day and bought myself my own finished copy. It was so freaking good, you guys! Personally, I thought it was flawless. So many feels! So much excitement on every page. The twists! Holy crap! There were so many of them and quite a few I didn’t see coming at all!

I love the world that Holly Black painted with her words. I loved the characters and I had a love/hate for a couple of them too. You want to hate them, but you secretly love them more. Jude was pretty much kick-ass! I loved her personality, I loved how much a fighter she was. She was hands down one of my favorite characters. Honestly, probably one of my favorites in any book in such a long time. I was rooting for her the entire time.

Taryn and Vivi; Jude’s sisters. I really enjoyed them as characters, but at times Taryn  (Judy’s twin) made me a little angry, especially when it came to certain things with Jude; like Jude standing up for herself with the Prince. There was a lot of character developments, like Prince Cardan. He’s wicked, he’s cruel, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Lots of character development with him and I can’t wait to see how he continue to develop as the series goes on. Madoc is one of those characters where you don’t know if you like him or hate him. There are so many characters in this book though! SO MANY!

Overall, I thought a The Cruel Prince was EVERYTHING! There were so many things happening and it kept you on the edge of your seat and flipping through the pages at top speed. There are so many secrets for Jude to uncover and it gets pretty crazy! I loved this one and I highly recommend picking up a copy! It’s out in the world now, so no excuses! If you want the black cover like me, I got it at Barnes & Noble. I plan to buy the original white cover too, because I loved it that much. 😛

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| January 5-8.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I meant to read in 2017.
Travel|| Lakeland…again.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Being Fishkill.

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Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer
5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Born in the backseat of a moving car, Carmel Fishkill was unceremoniously pushed into a world that refuses to offer her security, stability, love. At age thirteen, she begins to fight back. Carmel Fishkill becomes Fishkill Carmel, who deflects her tormenters with a strong left hook and conceals her secrets from teachers and social workers. But Fishkill’s fierce defenses falter when she meets eccentric optimist Duck-Duck Farina, and soon they, along with Duck-Duck’s mother, Molly, form a tentative family, even as Fishkill struggles to understand her place in it. This fragile new beginning is threatened by the reappearance of Fishkill’s unstable mother — and by unfathomable tragedy. Poet Ruth Lehrer’s young adult debut is a stunning, revelatory look at what defines and sustains “family.” And, just as it does for Fishkill, meeting Duck-Duck Farina and her mother will leave readers forever changed.


I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date was November 14th.

I seen Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King) talking about Being Fishkill and how amazing it was, so I had to check it out! I love his books, so anything he recommends, I’m down to read. I was super excited when I was approved for it on Netgalley and I am glad that I was finally able to read it, because it was so amazing.

I instantly fell in love with Fishkill she was only thirteen years old, but she felt so much older to me. She had to grow up pretty fast with the life that she had to live her first thirteen years of life. It wasn’t easy for her and when she met Duck-Duck and Molly, things seemed a lot brighter for her. I was rooting for Fishkill and so badly wanted her to have the life that she deserved. Fishkill and Duck-Duck had this amazing friendship and you could feel all the love between them and Duck-Duck’s mom Molly.

I can’t even count on one hand how many times I cried while reading this book, there are SO MANY FEELS! 320 pages of feels, you guys! Good and bad. Fishkill’s story is really sad. The book as a whole is really sad, but there are still happy moments too. It was so well written and I flew through it pretty quickly. It was hard to put down. It was beautiful and it was sad all at the same time. It was everything you could hope for in a good book. It was so easy to connect with the characters, fall in love with them, and go on this emotional roller coaster with them.

Overall, I really loved Being Fishkill. It’s hands down one of my new favorite books now. Although it was so sad, I still enjoyed it so much. The ending was a shocker to me and so unexpected. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I keep thinking about the book and I keep wanting to cry every time I do. I think this will be a book that sticks with you for a very long time. I know it will for me. I highly recommend reading it. It’s out in the world now, so you should definitely go pick it up!

In case you missed it;
Friday Finds #71.
Travel|| Disney World.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

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