Jul 21, 2017

Review | Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

Title: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano
Series: Diary of a Haunting #1
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: August 25, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★

Synopsis: When Paige moves from LA to Idaho with her mom and little brother after her parents’ high-profile divorce, she expects to completely hate her new life, and the small town doesn’t disappoint. Worse yet, the drafty old mansion they’ve rented is infested with flies, spiders, and other pests Paige doesn’t want to think about.

She chalks it up to her rural surroundings, but it’s harder to ignore the strange things happening around the house, from one can of ravioli becoming a dozen, to unreadable words appearing in the walls. Soon Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house at all hours of the night, and there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor, who knows a lot more than he’s letting on.

Things only get creepier when she learns about the sinister cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost a hundred years earlier.
The more Paige investigates, and the deeper she digs, the clearer it all becomes: whatever is in the house, whatever is causing all the strange occurrences, has no intention of backing down without a fight.

Found in the aftermath, Diary of a Haunting collects the journal entries, letters, and photographs Paige left behind.


Thoughts: The idea of Diary of a Haunting creeps me out. Writing this review is kind of creeping me out, in all honesty. I couldn't read this book at night, because like with a scary movie, it would freak me out to try and go to sleep afterwards. The thing is, not much happens in the book.

Paige, the MC, moves into a creepy house with her mom and brother, and she notices some weird things. They can be brushed off as paranoia or her imagination, and since we are reading from a diary format, not much is explained which didn't work out that great for the story in some cases. The sense of dread scared me most, thinking that something really creepy was going to happen made it worse. Nothing really creepy happens, and then the ending was terrible.

I didn't give it a higher rating because the conclusion was both really weird and felt really rushed. It was like someone completely different wrote the ending and it just did not work out well. I don't want to spoil anything but the ending is probably complained about the most on Goodreads (seriously, go check it out.) But speaking of authors, I can't seem to find a picture of the author, or much of anything else. That probably creeped me out the most.

Jul 20, 2017

Review | When by Victoria Laurie

Title: When by Victoria Laurie
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: January 13, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:  Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?


Thoughts: I was really intrigued by When because it reminded me of a book I read years ago, Numbers. I didn't wait long before picking it up and read it rather quickly. Unfortunately this didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Maddie is more of a serious character, mature for a teenage girl, since she's dealing with issues in her home life. I definitely liked her, and I also enjoyed the idea that she could see people's death dates. The story itself though, was pretty unrealistic (besides the whole death-day-seeing thing) and also felt really predictable. I realized I knew what was going to happen next in every plot twist, and that made me just want to finish it off quickly.

It was still an entertaining read, but there wasn't much to the story that came as a surprise or felt that classified it as a "thriller" per se. Maybe it just wasn't for me. Overall though, it was an okay read, but my favorite part of it is definitely the cover.

Jul 16, 2017

Sunday Post #2


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I was hoping to read more than I did this week, but unfortunately that did not happen. I did somehow manage to find myself in the middle of 6 books. I put a few on hold, and am slowly working through the rest, but I am enjoying all of them. Also, I am pretty happy that I have been posting regularly.

I really liked this feature last week, and I found a few new blogs. After going through my blog feed I noticed that a lot of the blogs I used to follow are inactive and so I am looking forward to finding more blogs now that are active, as well.

On my blog this week:
- Review | Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
- Blog Tour + Giveaway! | The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke
- Review | Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Review | You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan

Currently reading:
- The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Boys Over Flowers, Vol.1
- Bang by Barry Lyga
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Finished reading:
Nothing! :(

YouTube: I finally uploaded a new video on my YT channel today as well, sharing my Summer TBR even though were almost a month into the summer. I wanted to upload it sooner but wasn't able to.


Hope everyone has a great Sunday and week. Happy reading :D

Jul 14, 2017

Review | You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan


Title: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: June 7, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:  Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.


Thoughts: You Know Me Well was one of the first books I've read that fall into the #OwnVoices category and the LGBT genre. But it was sort of a let down. The story was interesting, and it was told in a dual POV but I had a hard time connecting with Kate. I did like Mark, and wanted him to be happy, but also wanted him to stop pining over his best friend.

I got through the story really quickly because it was such a short book, told in about a night(ish) so it also felt like it needed a bit more. I still liked the book but wasn't all that impressed overall.


Jul 12, 2017

Review | Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


Title: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Series: N/A
Genre: Graphic Novels - Young Adult
Publication: May 12, 2015 by Harper Collins
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.


Thoughts: This was such a fun read! I definitely had to start there. I saw Nimona every where on Booktube and I really wanted to read a graphic novel that wasn't part of a series (cause those are usually super long) so Nimona was the perfect choice. And it was so great!

The characters are lovable, the story is fun and captivating, and there is humor but also some heartfelt moments that made this one of my favorite graphic novels ever! The art is so awesome too, it definitely made me want to read more of Stevenson's work.

I highly recommend Nimona to everyone, especially to anyone who has wanted to start reading graphic novels but has never dared to give them a chance. This is definitely a perfect place to start.

Jul 11, 2017

\\ Blog Tour \\ Excerpt & Giveaway | The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke


The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke

Synopsis: Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life...until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.


Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Excerpt: She sank into a curtsey. “Good morning, my lord. My sister wishes to convey her deepest apologies, but her son is ill, so she asked me to come in her stead.”

Bran registered the tidy upsweep of her dark brown hair and the green-brown of her earnest eyes as well as the simplicity of her modest slate-gray gown. She was rather monochromatic, except for that hint of green in her eyes, and the tiny gold flecks that danced near the pupil. He recalled that she was widowed, which perhaps explained her somewhat dour appearance. Or maybe it was just that he was used to warmth and vibrancy and colors that defied possibility in England. Barbados seemed like an imaginary world now.

“I see. Do you have children of your own?” he asked.

Pale swaths of pink highlighted her cheeks. It was the barest bit of color, but he caught it. How could he not against the dull palette she provided?

Dull?

No, that wasn’t an apt description. Her attire was dull, her hair a bit too severe, but she possessed an attractive, feminine form. Indeed, her breasts were perhaps spectacular. And she was pretty, with long, dark lashes framing her eyes and rose-colored lips that were just a bit too full. Not too full, he amended.

“I do not,” she said, drawing his attention back to his question about whether she had children.

“Then how can you be qualified to help me with this endeavor?”

“My sister sent a list of characteristics and requirements you should seek.” She straightened her shoulders and looked him in the eye. “She also sent me with her express confidence.”

He liked her fortitude. “Well then, I suppose you will suffice. Come along.”

Her nostrils flared slightly, and her eyes widened just the tiniest bit, the gold flecks seeming to brighten. As he turned to lead her to his office, he considered that he might have just offended her again. He had called her abilities into question, but why wouldn’t he?

He strode toward the back corner of the house, where his office was located. It was a large chamber with a wall of bookshelves and windows that looked out to the garden. He moved behind the desk and indicated for her to take a chair on the opposite side.

She slowly sat, her gaze wary and her mouth tight.

He frowned. “My apologies if I insulted you.”

“If you’d rather I didn’t stay, you have only to say so.” There was a steely set to her shoulders and a clipped edge to her tone as she spoke. “Nora wanted to help you, but I’ll understand if you decide I won’t suffice.”

He dropped into his chair. She had cheek to go with her fortitude. He liked that too. He’d been prepared to deal with milksops and featherbrains when he’d returned to England—people like his mother and brothers. Not that they really were milksops or featherbrains, but they liked to put on as if they were, thinking it was somehow attractive. He supposed it wasn’t fair to assume an entire population shared the same characteristics as his family.

“I’m afraid I must also apologize for the other day. I meant no offense. Sometimes… I speak without realizing how my words might sound.”

One of her dark, slender brows arched. “Forgive me for saying so, but I’ve found that’s a trait shared by most men.”
____________________________

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Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copy of The Duke of Daring and Swag
*If the chosen winner resides outside of the US, an eBook will be sent instead of the print book.*