Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

This is one of those books that I am in complete awe of the author for creating such an amazing and fantastical world.  How Stephen Chbosky came up with the plot, characters, and events in this story is beyond my comprehension and I loved it.

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I am one of the slim few that have never read The Perks of Being A Wildflower and I’m a little ashamed to say it.  I had no clue what to expect going into this novel and I was definitely not prepared for what I experienced.

Don’t let the size of this book and the small print intimidate you, this story is amazing and twisty and dark but oh so good.  I loved the character of Christopher and how kind-hearted and what a protector he was.  He is such a sweet kid trying to help out his mom and also overcome all of the problems they’ve had in their life.  I know a lot of people were saying this book was way too long but honestly, I thought it was too short (I know, you would think over 700 pages is enough) but I didn’t want this story to end.  I wanted to read more about Christopher and his friends and family and find out about their lives after all the craziness went on.

All of the characters and events that went on in this book were executed perfectly and I honestly found myself gasping more than a few times with some of the crazy things that happened.  If you like almost paranormal, religious, fantasy I would say you would really enjoy this book.  It definitely is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I feel this was perfect as his big comeback novel.

Coral by Sara Ella Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was very excited going into this book because I love the original story of The Little Mermaid and love fairytale re-tellings so this sounded like a great story.  The cover immediately drew me in and the synopsis sounded great.

Let me first start off by saying my pros for this book.  I loved all of the characters for their own individual reasons, they were all well developed and I loved how each chapter was told from a different character’s perspective.  

I also loved the storyline of this book, it immediately intrigued me and the author has a whimsical, lyrical way of writing that I really enjoyed.  It is a little harder to read but I found by slowing down my reading speed I was able to fully understand everything and appreciate the story more.

Now we get to my cons; I didn’t really understand this story.  Quite a few times while reading this book I had to second guess myself and almost had to reread large chunks of it due to how confused I was.  What you originally think is three main characters in this book is actually only two but if you’re not paying close attention to what’s going on, you really don’t understand how two of the characters are the same.  

Another problem I had was how much this story jumped ahead without really giving you any warning.  All of a sudden we’re months ahead in the story without finding out the details or why it skipped ahead so far.  That was another thing that really threw me off when reading and I thought I had missed something.

I know the author tried to make it all a big plot twist at the end but I feel it fell a little short.  I might just be too used to reading thriller novels but it was a very anticlimactic plot twist for me.  

The only other con about this book for me was I felt like it could have been shorter.  There was a lot of information thrown in that I didn’t feel was entirely necessary.  

This still was a pretty good book overall and I commend the author for writing about the touchy subjects she did and bringing light to so many illnesses but this just wasn’t a great book for me.  The cover is very deceiving as it doesn’t deal much with underwater sea life so I feel like that will throw a lot of readers off.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker Review

Thank you so much to Lion Forge and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first graphic novel I’ve ever read and I loved it so much that I’m now hooked on them. The illustrations were amazing and the storyline was so good. It was the perfect amount of witchy and whimsical and I read it in one sitting. The characters were amazing, the plot was crazy, and I honestly couldn’t get enough of this book. This is definitely one I will reread over and over again.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones Review

5 STARS

Thank you so much to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for the free copy of this book for my review! 

This book is now one of my top favorite books of all time. It had the perfect amount of spooky, romance, and keep you on the edge of your seat creepy. I have never read a book like this before and I absolutely loved it. 

I would definitely classify this book as a dark fantasy with the rotting corpses and the dead coming back to life but it also had a lot of humor thrown in that surprised me. The writing was amazing and kept me entranced the entire time I was reading, it was so detailed and gripping. The world that Emily Lloyd-Jones created was richly-imagined but so simple at the same time, you could picture everything and that’s one thing I loved so much about this. 

I loved the characters of Ryn and Ellis, especially how Ellis was dealing with chronic pain throughout the book which is something I don’t normally find in fantasy books. Their relationship was so fun to read about and the ending honestly left me gasping and dreading for the outcome. 

Overall an excellent book that I highly, highly suggest reading. This was unlike any other fantasy book I’ve read and I doubt anything will ever compare to it. 

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I absolutely loved Katherine Center’s first book How to Walk Away and I was so excited when she came out with this one (and I love how much the covers almost match!). It did immediately entice me from the beginning and kept me interested for awhile and then I found myself almost bored in the middle of the book and for that reason this was almost a 3 star read for me. Then the ending came and it definitely redeemed itself and is well worth 4 stars.

This story follows Cassie who is the only female firefighter at a station in Austin. She loves her crew and they don’t treat her like she’s a girl, she’s proven how tough and fearless she can be. When her mom that left her at sixteen years old calls and says she’s sick and needs someone to help take care of her, Cassie must leave her career and all of her buddies to move to Chicago. She gets hired on at another station and these guys are less than thrilled that a female is working beside them. Cassie must prove that she’s just as good as they are and along the way learn to trust and forgive.

As I said before the beginning of this book really drew me in, a female working in a male dominant career field and having to prove that she’s just as good, any story about females being complete bad asses I’m all for. But then towards the middle of the book I felt that things were dragged on and I was starting to get bored with the story. The romance and everything was not all that interesting to me and really felt like just another trope.

Then I got to the ending of the book and immediately fell back in love with the story and that’s where the romance got better for me. The ending was so suspenseful and I could not tear my eyes away from the page, I had to know what was going to happen next. Katherine Center had me feeling all kinds of emotions; gasping from the suspense, angry at a certain character, sad, happy, then sad again, it was a whirlwind of emotions and I loved it.

Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the free copy of this book for my honest review!

I loved the prequel to this book, Grim Lovelies, and I was so excited to read this. Getting to follow along with the same characters again and see their next adventure after the first book left off on a bit of a cliffhanger had me dying to read it!

This story continues where it left off six weeks prior with the selfless Anouk trying to save her friends. She just recently discovered she has magic, even as a beastie, and has to turn her friends back from animals to humans. All while this is happening, she also somehow has to save the world from time loops and the plague.

Anouk is still absolutely my favorite character and her character gives me all the feels. She’s so genuine, caring, selfless, and has so many dreams, I just love her.

The romance in this book is what I have really enjoyed. Her slow building relationship with Beau has killed me at times with everything they’ve had to go through to be together. There were moments in this book where I honestly had tears in my eyes because I didn’t know whether they were going to make it or not and in the end I was so, so happy.

Megan Shepherd’s writing style is different than other authors I’ve read but in a very good way. Her writing is beautiful and lyrical and you can almost imagine everything unfolding right before your eyes it’s so descriptive. How she came up with the ideas for these books is amazing and I love the fairy tale aspects of it. The goblins were constantly cracking me up, they were a favorite part of the story of mine.

This is the first time I can say a duology has left me wanting more, I’m so sad there won’t be another book after this one. Thank you so much to Meghan Shepherd for writing such amazing books.

Blog Tour & Review for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

4 STARS

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for providing me with a free copy of this book and for inviting me to participate in the blog tour!

I’m a huge fan of game-type thriller and suspense novels and I absolutely loved this book!  I went into this book not knowing much about it and I think with this book, that’s what you need to do.  I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and was reeling from it for a while.

This story follows a group of employees that work in the cutthroat finance world and each of them seems to be at the top of their game.  They all live the life of luxury, but luxury comes at a cost.  When they are all invited to participate in an escape room challenge for team-building purposes, they have no idea what they’re in for.

I loved the beginning of this book and how it flipped back and forth between the characters so you felt like you really got to know them.  They were all well developed and I had a love/hate relationship with each of them for different reasons.

If you’ve ever seen the horror movie Devil, it has those types of vibes.  A group of people stuck in an elevator, trying to figure out how to get out, and they start dropping dead one by one with no idea who the real killer is.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the incredibility of some of the things the main character did as revenge.  It seemed a little far fetched for me and that’s the only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.