REVIEW: Superstition by Lucy Fenton

Superstition by Lucy Fenton

Series: Arden St. John #1

Read: July 27 – August 16, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Lucy Fenton


 

ABOUT THE BOOK

What happens when your childhood nightmares of being bitten by strange creatures in a dark wood aren’t just dreams?

Sixteen-year-old Arden St. John’s life takes a strange turn when she finds an unusual animal injured near her new house on the south east coast of Australia. When she takes it to the local vet, a terrible truth is inadvertently exposed to her. She discovers a secret underworld, where witches are commonplace and trolls masquerade as queen bees, terrorising the other students with impunity. A world where vampires traffic in the lives of children, draining their bodies once they reach maturity. Where adults auction their own children to extend their lives. Arden finds out she’s one of those kids, her life traded by the mother she never knew. Now she’s caught up in this ancient and corrupt economy operating just below the surface of modern society. She’s a hot commodity, and it’s only a matter of time before the vampire who bought her comes to claim his prize. But Arden’s not going down without a fight.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Superstition is an ambitious novel. There’s a lot going on and I respect the author for what she tried to do.

Arden is a teenage girl who has moved with her dad to a seaside town, what she soon discovers is that she’s actually a witch. There are also vampires. And she falls for a boy, who happens to be dating the resident mean girl, who happens to be a total troll. (Seriously.)

All of that sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? It is. And the author tackles each subplot just fine. The trouble I have is that it felt like I was reading pieces of multiple books. The subplots weren’t woven together as seamlessly as I’d have liked. First we deal with the witch thing, then the mean girl, then the vampires, add in some ghosts, then back to the witch thing, and so on. It felt like when Arden was dealing with one problem, all of the other problems ceased to exist. They conveniently moved to the back burner. Weaving together so many subplots is not easy though, so I give her points for the effort. I know she must have worked her butt off at it.

I also had trouble connecting with Arden, especially because we’re told that she’s sort of gloomy and never smiles. Somehow she had friends at her old school, but can’t figure out why she doesn’t have friends at her new school. It actually took me by surprise when Arden realizes why nobody wants to be her friend, there really wasn’t much foreshadowing, which sort of blindsided me. Ultimately, I just really couldn’t connect with Arden at all.

Despite not connecting with Arden, I loved her interactions with Nick. He was a genuinely nice guy, and I think he was the Yin to her Yang. I loved their friendship / relationship / connection / whatever. I really don’t see what Nick sees in her, but I like her better when he’s with her.

What I did love was the lore the author has written into this book. The witches powers are awesome. Each witch is different, their powers unique to them. It was really interesting to see this unique take on magic. It was also super cool when Arden’s powers were finally unleashed. I also loved her version of vampires (no, they don’t sparkle, but they’re also not Dracula!)

My favorite character was probably the resident mean girl, Georgia. I loved to hate her. I loved her interactions with Arden, especially…. Well, I can’t reveal my favorite part, because it’s kind of spoilery. 😉 But ultimately, I think Georgia was the most developed character.

I think readers who love paranormal YA novels and can overlook an overabundance of exclamation marks and other editing issues would probably enjoy this book. It really left me with mixed feelings in the end, so I would consider reading the next book in the series, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of my TBR pile.



Get the Superstition here:

Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

 Arden rode home slowly, the warmth of the setting sun on her back, struggling to make sense of what Sophie had said. She said Arden was a witch, though she didn’t seem to be able to do anything but look antisocial and disappear.

But if witches were real, why not vampires too?

Focusing on him, she could sense hostility and defiance and drew them gently away.

The words sliced through Arden’s protective mental layer to bleed the soft flesh beneath.

(The vampires) are ugly as sin and suck the life out of you to sell it to other people.”

When nothing more came by, she went in search, wanting more of this intoxicating, exhilarating feeling. Nothing had ever felt this good, this freeing.

 

REVIEW: Truthsong by Elisabeth Hamill

Truthsong by Elisabeth Hamill

Series: Songmaker #2

Read: 2015

Format: Uncorrected Draft

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Telyn’s song magic freed ancient spirits of the Wood, it also awakened a long-slumbering evil. Now she and her beloved Mithrais must battle a spreading shadow that ignites crippling fear, and deal with the unexpected consequences of magic’s return.

More danger arrives with a royal delegation to the forest realm, sweeping Telyn back into court intrigue and the sights of a murderous lord. Mithrais may be forced to choose between his service to the Wood or the obligations of his royal blood.

As Telyn’s bond with Mithrais grows, she is torn between her love for him and the freedom of a wandering bard’s life. But when dark magic plunges the Wood into chaos, she must balance the two halves of her heart—or the Fates may take Mithrais from her forever.


REVIEW


Truthsong
brings us back to the world of Telyn and Mithrais; music and magic.

Telyn is a bard, exiled from court. Mithrais is her lifemate, a ranger of an ancient order. Together they helped bring magic back to the world, awakening the tree spirits who were dormant and dying for so long. But with good comes evil. A dark presence has taken hold deep in the woods. Together the pair must work to discover what this evil is, and try to stop it.

While I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as Song Magick, it is absolutely worth reading. Especially for fans of high fantasy. There is magic, romance, court intrigue, assassination attempts, and dragons. Yep, dragons.

Telyn loves Mithrais, there’s no doubt. But she’s conflicted. She longs for the life of a traveling bard, but being tied to Mithrais would mean putting down roots. Meanwhile Mithrais has his own conundrum, he is a ranger by birth and choice, but now he must face the possibility of having to give that life up for reasons I won’t give away.

I think what I love the most about this book is the tree spirits. They really are a character in and of themselves. They’re so much fun to read about. The dark presence is really cool too, and I can’t wait to read what happens next in book 3.

Ultimately, this is a book for fans of fantasy. If you don’t like fantasy novels, you’ll hate this book. If you expect a lot of lovey dovey romance, you’ll probably not enjoy this book as much as you’d like. BUT, if you like fantasy novels with magic and mystery and good and evil, then you should give this book a try. (But read Song Magick first! You’ll probably be lost if you don’t.)

P.S. There’s a Goodreads giveaway going on for this book HERE!

 

NOTE: I work for the publisher and designed the cover of this book. This in no way affects my rating and review. All thoughts are mine and do not reflect those of the publisher.


Get the Truthsong here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Print

~ Add to Goodreads ~

 

Catch up with book 1, Song Magick, here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Print

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

Once trapped by an ancient spell, her magic and life force bought their freedom.

“All magic is dangerous.”

The dragon opened a maw full of deathly white teeth – and yawned.

“I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I am now. Something besides dragons woke here.”

He smiled at her with pride. “Be yourself, as always.”

He turned toward her and rose up on one elbow, pale eyes gleaming in the starlight.
“Another story of darkness defeated by love.”

His forehead touched hers, voice husky with emotion. “You led me out of the darkness. I am yours, body and soul.”

 

REVIEW: Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm

Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm

Series: Big Sky Cowboys #2

Read: July 10 – 26, 2016

Format: Print Book (Goodreads Win)

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. This in no way affects my review or rating.


Now, I’m not a big reader of contemporary romance. Especially adult contemporary romance. However, I ended up really enjoying Outlaw Cowboy.

Caleb and Delia are both a little rough around the edges. She comes from an abusive home and has spent the last ten years finding ways to get her four younger sisters the hell away from their abusive father. Meanwhile Caleb is haunted by something his mother said, just before she walked out on the family forever. Both spent their teens getting into trouble, and both are trying to find their way as adults.

Caleb wants his family ranch. His older sister, Mel, is married now and no longer a Shaw, so he wants Shaw in his name, to be his legacy. In order to prove to Mel that he can handle running Shaw and bring the finances out of the red, he agrees to a land rental deal with the contingency that he must NOT have any dealings with any unsavory characters. And that’s exactly what Delia is.

Delia meanwhile is running from the law, and trying to find a way to get her youngest sister away from their father. After taking shelter in Caleb’s old cabin on his property, things get hot.

Now, the first almost half of this book is each of these characters internal monologues repeating over and over again what they need to do: “I need to get my sister out” or “I need to prove to Mel that I can run Shaw” etc. Had this not been a buddy read with Katie @ Just Another Girl and Her Blog, I probably would have quit. I’m glad I didn’t though, because about halfway through, things pick up. The story starts to move. It almost feels like the author needed to add to her word count, so she just repeated the same internal dialogue over and over again for the first half. But after that first half, it’s so worth it!

I actually really did like both of the characters. They were tough on the outside, but gooey on the inside, though they didn’t even realize it at first. I loved the history they had together, there were sweet moments and not so savory ones as well. In the end, they just fit. All of the problems were resolved in realistic ways. Toward the end I thought there was no way the author could wrap this up, but… she did. And well.

I’m not sure I’d go back and read the first book, about Caleb’s older sister Mel, but I’d certainly read one about younger sister Summer, she was a breath of fresh air amidst all the angst in this book!

This book also contains the longest sex scene I’ve ever read. It wasn’t super smutty, but I think it was hot enough to make romance fans happy. It was also very humorous. Yep, sexy and humorous. That’s a win!

I think fans of contemporary romance will eat this one up.

 


Get the book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

“You can’t go in there alone.”
“Why not? I’m a man with a gun.”
“You’re the one who said she could be dangerous!”
“I repeat, I am a man with a gun.”

(Re: a banging noise coming from outside)
A shadow lingered, but without any kind of light he couldn’t make it what it was.
Tree? Raccoon? Bloodthirsty thief?
He rolled his eyes at himself. Because bloodthirsty thieves were known for knocking on doors.

“But if you had something that was yours, that made you who you are, that gave you a reason to get up in the morning, wouldn’t you do everything to keep it? Wouldn’t you fight to keep the thing that made you feel like you weren’t a complete waste of space?”

“I know you don’t think of yourself as much of a knight in shining armor, and you’re kind of a dip shit, but you did save my life…”

But last night Caleb had fussed over her and put her in one of his T-shirts, and had not copped one feel.
Asshole.

…Time and time again, life had given her Caleb in her darkest moments.
Now  she was going to make sure he was there in the lightest ones too.

 

Deja Revu – August 29, 2016

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Contemporary

Fantasy

General Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

 

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Contemporary

Romance

 

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General Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

Woman’s Fiction

 

REVIEW: Squirrel Bait by Chip Davis

Squirrel Bait by Chip Davis

Series: Chip’s Dollar Dreadfuls #1

Read: June 3 – Aug 18, 2016

Format: Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 3 Stars

Genre: Humor / Horror

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Tonya has an unusual passion for books, even for a librarian. When her books are harmed she takes it personally. When people turn up dead over damaged books, there are questions to answer. When the killer is a weresquirrel, the questions become more confusing.

There is a certain pretentiousness in classical literature. Elegant writing filled with meaning both astounding and sublime. This is not that. Not horrific enough to be horror, nor humorous enough to be comedy, welcome to Chip’s Dollar Dreadfuls. There may not be any fundamental truths, but there will be blood…so much blood.


REVIEW

So, I kept hearing about this book. Chip Davis is a notorious presence on a Facebook page I often frequent (usually on Thursdays) so I went ahead and finally purchased and read his short novella, Squirrel Bait.

This is the story of a library. Well, sort of. You see, when people damage the books in the library, librarian Tonya gets very upset. She doesn’t go into homicidal rages, no, she just becomes very emotional. Her books are her precious. I’m not sure what’s wrong with this town Tonya lives in, but people just seem to walk into the library and damage books for no reason other than they want to. It’s a little odd, but in a book like this, we forgive things like that. Anyway, police reports are filed and the punks names and addresses are logged at the library. But at night, the punks have begun being murdered. Obviously Tonya is the #1 suspect. Oh yeah, and her boyfriend is a cop, so of course that makes things especially awkward.

The way this book started, I honestly thought there would be no plot. That it would literally just be squirrels killing people. However, I was pleasantly surprised when there was a small twist around 20%, and then there was a full backstory as to where the Weresquirrels came from and so on.

This isn’t a deep thinking book. If you’re looking for a literary masterpiece, Chip Davis will probably be the first to tell you that this is not it. This is a humorous horror book, in line with something the Sci-Fi (or is it still Sy-Fi?) channel would produce. But it’s better than Sharknado. I mean, there are murderous squirrels. SQUIRRELS! Tiny, furry, scurrying squirrels. Desecrating people! If you can’t handle comedic violence, stay away.

There were some minor errors that would have been caught by a good proof reading of the book prior to publication, but nothing that will really pull the average reader from the story. It’s a quick read, and for those who like B-movies, this novella will be well worth your 99 cents.

(By the way, the last two pages are THE BEST.)


Get the book here:

Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

“I’m going to marry the densest cop on the planet. What did I do to deserve this?”

“You’ll marry me?” Steve was getting more confused by the second.

Tonya smiled at him. “Yes, Steve, I will marry you. Thank you for finally asking.”

~

“How hard can it be to kill one squirrel?”

 

REVIEW: Lexie Maxwell & One Spooky House by Heather Balog with Tara Balog

Look at me on a roll with another book review!
I actually have a number of reviews written up, waiting for me to find the time to post.
Additionally, I finished two more books last night, so those will soon be added to the queue.
Why are there only 24 hours in a day people!

In other news, I started training at my new job this evening. I’m leaving retail (woohoo!) and moving onto hospitality, working the front desk at a hotel. Just call me Lorelei Gilmore. (But with less power. And less coffee running through my veins.)

Without further ado, below is my review of a fun young readers novella that my 9 year old daughter really enjoyed reading with me.


Lexie Maxwell & One Spooky House by Heather Balog with Tara Balog

Series: The Lexie Maxwell Diaries #1

Read: July 11 – August 10, 2016

Format: Print Book (Goodreads Win)

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Children’s Books (9-12 years)

 

I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

 

I win a lot of books from Goodreads and some excite me more than others. This was one I was pretty excited about because my oldest daughter is the perfect age to read it. I ended up reading this book aloud to both of my daughters at bedtime and they were both engaged in the story (my 9 year old more than my 4 year old). When we finished reading each night I’d get some whines accompanied by “Just ONE more chapter?”

Lexie Maxwell is spending her last summer before starting middle school trying to write a story for a contest but she keeps getting interrupted. Her mother is always demanding her attention for one thing or another. Her older sister is so annoying. Her brothers are loud and obnoxious. And was that a ghost and and her best friends saw in the empty house across the street???

Part of this story is actually the story Lexie is writing for her contest. It’s a really cute detective story about a missing dog. I especially enjoyed reading these sections aloud because I got to use the over dramatic mystery voice over. The kids enjoyed this part too because it was a mystery surrounding a missing dog.

The rest of the story takes place in the real world with Lexie and her friends trying to solve the mystery of the ghost. The mystery is solved in the end, but it was a little anticlimactic. Still, there was closure.

The only negative I can really say is that there were enough editing errors for me to take notice. Nothing a good proof reading couldn’t fix. Despite that, I would still recommend this book. In fact, as soon as we finished reading tonight, my older daughter snatched the book from my hand and said, “I want to read it again!” followed by, “I want to read ALL the books in this series!” So, you’ve got a new fan Heather and Tara Balog!

 


Buy the book:

Free on Kindle Unlimited or only 99 cents!

Amazon

~ Add to Goodreads ~

 

You can also snag book two, Lexie Maxwell & Two New Kids now as well!

Amazon

~ Add to Goodreads ~

 

Deja Revu – August 15, 2016

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Picture

Contemporary

Fantasy

Paranormal

 

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Romance

Woman’s Fiction

 

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Contemporary

Paranormal

Romance

Science Fiction

Suspense/Thriller

Woman’s Fiction

 

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Woman’s Fiction

 

REVIEW: Friday Night Brides by Samantha Chase

Friday Night Brides by Samantha Chase

Read: May 9 – August 1, 2016

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Friday Night Brides is the story of four best friends. For the past 20 years they have modeled wedding fashions in a bridal show every Friday night. Now in their mid-twenties, we get to follow their (mis)adventures in love.

I love that this story followed four different main characters and the author did a great job weaving their individual stories into one cohesive book, and in making them stand out as their own person.

Hailey’s mom owns Enchanted Bridal, the whole reason for the Friday Night Brides existence. She’s in lust with the perfect Logan, who has never shown even an inkling of returning the attraction, and can’t stand Jackson, the long haired, tattooed bad boy who models in the shows as well.

Becca always falls for the wrong guy. She has self esteem issues because she doesn’t have the slim figures of her friends. When she meets Max though, her luck seems to turn around.

Angie doesn’t really have a filter, she tells it how it is. When her ex comes back into her life, she has to decide if she can forgive him and try again.

And finally, Ella: she and her boyfriend Dylan have been together since middle school. With their wedding looming before them, and growing out of control thanks to their families, she’s beginning to doubt being with just one man EVER.

The only reason this book took me so long to read is because I started reading too many at once. Once I dedicated myself to finishing this book toward the end of July I sped through it. I needed to know what was going to happen with each of the women. And I was not disappointed. This book reads like a drama on The CW – in a good way!

I wish I could say that one couples story was more interesting than another, but I loved them all. I would say Ella’s probably resonated with me most because she’s marrying the man she’s been with since forever. I also married my high school boyfriend and have experienced some of her same feelings about wonder what, if anything, she/I missed out on by not dating other people. As far as character growth, I feel like Hailey grew the most as a person.

If you’re looking for a fun contemporary romance that’s a little different than others, this is it for you. I was honestly afraid at first it might read like chic-lit, but thankfully it does not! (At least not the chic-lit I’ve read in the past!)

 


Get The Book

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

 Okay, I was so engrossed in this book I only highlighted one passage because it spoke to me!

“You want to know how I see us? I see us as people who work hard and are planning for our future. While everyone else is running around—or sleeping around—we’re committed to each other. We’re not pissing away our money at bars and clubs. … You’re looking around and thinking ‘look at all we’re missing’ and acting like it’s a bad thing. I’m looking at the same people and thinking about it all with relief! You know what, El? I bet if you asked any of them they’d all rather be us!”

 

BEHIND THE COVER, Vol 2: Unhinged by Shelley R. Pickens

 

Since 2011 I have been honing my talents as a cover designer for a small press called Melange Books, LLC, as well as their subsequent imprints, Satin Romance, and Fire & Ice YA Books.

It’s been five years and hundreds of covers, and I’m still evolving as a digital artist.

As a cover artist, I am charged with creating an eye catching cover design that accurately represents the theme of the book, while remaining visually captivating to the potential reader, and satisfying the author.

In this series of blog posts, I’m going to showcase some of my cover designs and explain what inspired them; why I chose the elements/images I did, and how they relate to the books theme or tone.

I’d love to hear your questions and comments below!

 

I did not intend for so much time to pass between my first Behind the Cover feature and the second, yet here we are.

I’ve been busy as a bee with my (not so new) part time job, plus my work for Melange Books. Last night I added more to my plate, starting a new in depth revision on my teen paranormal novel, Blood & Magic.

But enough of all that, today I’m here to talk about the process that went into designing the cover for Unhinged by Shelley Pickens.

This cover was created using 2 pieces of stock art; the girl, and the tornado.

Unhinged is another cover I had the opportunity to read prior to publication, due to my job as acquisitions editor for Fire & Ice YA Books.

This is the second in a paranormal/horror series about a girl named Aimee with the power to absorb ones memories with only a touch. In this particular book in the series, Aimee’s loved ones are being trapped in their own minds, poisoned by horrific memories that have been placed there by the story’s villain. Aimee must save her friends by going into their minds herself and removing the memories.

The girl on the cover is, obviously, Aimee. Her powers are being tested to their limits, she’s and she’s not really in control, which shows in the girls pose. She’s becoming Unhinged.

The tornado in the background is both metaphorical and literal. Metaphorically, Aimee’s life has turned completely upside down. It is in total upheaval. The tornado represents the chaos that is taking over her life. On the literal end, when Aimee travels into her loved ones minds, she encounters a literal tornado that she must face in order to save them.

I chose to give the cover that sepia toned look because storms are often devoid of color, and visually it is easier for the eye to focus on the basically two-toned elements.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 7.28.58 PMAs for the text, the font was an easy choice because it had already been chosen for the first book in the series. I opted to use a white font with a slight drop shadow / glow because the sepia color pallet was so dark I wanted the text to pop.

I love this cover, and it’s honestly one of my favorites I’ve designed to date.

This cover also earned me the bragging rights of ‘Award Finalist’ for the 2016 EPIC Ariana awards.

 

You can see more examples of my covers on my website: www.carolineandrus.com/design/covers.html
And my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CarolineAndrusDesigns

I’m also available for hire. Shoot me an email or Facebook message!


UNHINGED by Shelley R. Pickens

Being normal isn’t always a good thing, especially if it ends up killing you.

Aimee, the sixteen year old girl who can see your every memory with just one touch, is fresh out of the torture room after risking everything to capture a killer. Despite her instinct to avoid contact with others, she tries her best to find a new normal at school—perhaps even a boyfriend. But for those who are cursed, happiness and normality aren’t easy to obtain. A bizarre illness spreads like wildfire through the school and causes those around Aimee to lose their sanity before falling into a coma. Slowly, all the people she loves succumb to this strange disease.

Alone and terrified, she must use her curse to find a way to save her family and friends. As she delves deeper and deeper into their memories, she realizes David, a delusional person from her childhood, is the bigger threat that could destroy her. Despite the danger that surrounds her, she struggles to solve the puzzle before it’s too late to help those she cares for the most. But as David moves closer to eliminating her, one puzzle still remains. Will she be able to save herself?


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WATCH THE TRAILER


READ AN EXCERPT

I wouldn’t say Mary is a delicate flower per say, but her stint in the hospital almost dying from smoke inhalation has definitely made her more fragile. Hell, it would soften most people. Most normal people at least. For a freak like me, facing death and coming out the other end damaged but alive, changed me. It has made me hard, unbending, and unwilling to let anything I love come to harm. Some would call that strength. Most would call it stubborn. I just call it my life.

“Mary, are you okay?” I ask in a soft voice, careful not to startle her.

Her eyes are vacant as they stare off into space. She begins to rock back and forth in her chair, both hands cradling her head. She begins to murmur to herself, but I can’t make out what she’s saying. The scene from the lunchroom today comes flooding back. I have never been more scared in my short life than I am right now. I have no idea what to do; helplessness consumes me. Then I remember what happened to Logan in Dejana’s basement and how my touch brought him out of his trance. I get up out of my seat and slowly approach her. I gently put my hand on her shoulder, hoping it comforts rather than startles her.

“Mary,” I repeat in a soft whisper. “Please, tell me what’s wrong. What can I do to help you?” I ask, desperate to find a way to get through to her. I’m not sure if she feels my hand on her or not. She doesn’t try to remove my hand, but doesn’t acknowledge it either. Panic boils up inside me. Okay, enough of the careful approach; time for more desperate measures.

“Dammit, Mary, stop it this instant!” I scream in the best scolding mom voice I can muster. I even stomp my foot on the floor for good measure. My voice must have gotten through to her because she stops rocking, removes her hands from her head, and begins to look around. Confusion marks every feature of her face. When her eyes land on me, her sweet smile returns as she pats my gloved hand still resting on her shoulder.

“Aimee, dear, why are you up from your seat? You know you can’t be excused until you’re finished with your food. Is everything alright? Do you need something else to drink, sweetie?” she asks, clearly unaware that five seconds ago she was murmuring to herself like a lunatic.

“Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I’m not very hungry right now. Can I be excused please?” I ask, hoping she doesn’t notice how my voice shakes.

“Well, of course dear. I’m not feeling well myself, either. I think I may go ahead and go to bed. Do you mind cleaning up the kitchen for me?” she asks, her voice normal with no hint of confusion or idea that something was off.

I nod, still confused by what just happened. Maybe I just imagined it. There’s that avoidance therapy again, rearing its ugly head.

“Thank you, sweetie,” says Mary, giving my head its usual pat since she learned from the beginning I don’t like to be kissed, even if she’s never understood why.

I watch her walk away, my heart heavy with worry for her. I have no clue what’s going on today with people acting so strangely. I am no fortuneteller but I have a bad feeling that something terrible is coming. And I have no idea how to stop it.

REVIEW: The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer

The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer

Read: June 9-13, 2016

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 3 Stars

Genre: New Adult – Modern Pride & Prejudice

 

I received an ARC of this book from Penguin First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

 

When I saw this book up for grabs on Penguin First Reads, I had to have it. Pretty girl in a dress? Debutantes? Yes and YES!

And then I received the book and started reading. Wait a minute…. She’s in college? Wait… How could her parents FORCE her to do this whole debutante thing if she’s a legal adult no longer living under their roof? I was confused.

Early on there is a legitimate reason for Megan going along with her mothers desire for her to make her debut among Texas society, but it still felt like sort of a stretch.

As I read in another review on Goodreads, the targeted audience for this book is confusing. It’s listed as a young adult novel, but it deals with a lot of adult themes that I don’t think most high school kids would identify with. There’s also a lot of sex talk, nothing too graphic, but also really not something all that appropriate for teen books. (Yes, I believe in clean teen reads! I don’t like casual sex in books at all, especially teen books!)

Anyway, once I was able to get past the whole NOT REALLY A TEEN BOOK thing, I started to enjoyed the book. It’s not one that’s going to stay with me forever, but I certainly enjoyed looking for the parallels between this book and Pride & Prejudice. I thought the chapter headings were the best part of the book, witty little one liners such as, “In Which Megan Takes a Long Look in the Mirror” and, “In Which Megan Puts Away Serious Groceries.”

I did appreciate that Megan, who was incredibly prejudiced in the beginning, looking down on the debutante society and all they stand for, was able to gain a new perspective in the end. As I said before, this story won’t stay with me forever, but I always appreciate when the protagonist of the story grows into a better person, and that was very much the case here.

The other thing that bothered me was the lack of interaction between the “Elizabeth” and “Darcy” characters. I wanted more interaction between them, especially earlier on, to really base their relationship/interactions on.

So, would I recommend this book? Yes and No.

I would not recommend The Season to younger teens, but those nearing 18 and through their early 20’s would probably enjoy this book.

Special thanks to Penguin Publishing for the chance to read an advanced e-galley for review.


The Season goes on sale July 12, 2016

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QUOTES

 

Several girls used this pause for a dainty sip of tea. Prissy bitches.

 

If I had to put myself in someone’s hands, better this French lunatic than my mother.

 

I ran for hours, lifted weights, rode my bike everywhere, and now this broad was threatening me with standing for five minutes? Bring it on!

 

“NO! I AM NOT OKAY!” Was I shouting? I couldn’t hear very well because my ears were frozen, but my voice sounded really loud. “I am cold and wet and I look like road kill!”

The douche bag laughed.