Tag Archive | 2.5 Stars

REVIEW: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdone

Read: April 18-May 3, 2017

Format: eBook ARC

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . .

 “This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women, but without ever once breaking the law.”

Essex, England, 1645

With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth—but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too—frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene—and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission—and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils—before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience.


REVIEW

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

 

I’ve had a fascination with the Salem Witch Trials since I first heard about them, ages ago. So when I saw The Witchfinder’s Sister available on NetGalley, I thought this was a perfect read for me. It may not be the Salem witch trials, but they were still witch trials.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is based upon a real man named Matthew Hopkins who actually did put over a hundred women to death. This book is a fictional account of what happened, told from the first person perspective of his (fictional) sister, Alice.

This book started out solid. I loved the details of Alice’s life, from before she left home, while she was away with her husband, and then as she returned, a (secretly pregnant) widow.

But while the details of this story were engrossing, the plot never completely came together for me. Alice is, for the most part, an outsider watching her brothers actions but unable to do much. After all, she was just a woman and in the 1600’s they had no power. It’s possible this story could have benefited from being told in 3rd person, because then we could have seen past Alice’s limited view, but I honestly don’t know if that would have helped.

What I did really like was the way the author weaved a possible explanation for Matthew’s actions. His mother (Alice’s step-mother) is described as basically having a mental illness of some sort. Of course, back then, that wasn’t a thing. However, Alice at one point wonders if their mothers “weakness of mind” could have passed on to Matthew. Of course, there are also supernatural possibilities thrown in as well, but those never felt completely valid to me.

Overall, for a book that promised to be “haunting” and “spellbinding”, it really wasn’t. There was minimal interaction between our narrator and the accused witches. The one accused she did spent time with, never really seemed like a woman who had just been, essentially, sitting on death row. The feelings never felt genuine. I never felt the fear or the anguish of those who knew they were going to die, and most of that was because we very, very rarely saw it happen. I suppose you could say, for a book about women being accused of witchcraft, the accused were very secondary to anything else.

 

Would I recommend this book? Eh… not really. I mean, if you have interest in this particular witch hunt and want to read a fictionalized account of Matthew Hopkins, you might enjoy this. But for this reader, it was unfortunately pretty forgettable.



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QUOTES
(From an advanced release copy. Final text may vary.)

I am resolved to mark the season in the old way, but making a Christmas gift, and my gift will be to myself. It will be the chance to tell the truth. I will set it down now, while my memory holds. There is nothing to prevent me, for though I am imprisoned, I am not forbidden writing materials: ink, and pens, and paper have been brought to me without complaint. I fear it means they do not intend to let me go.

 

“Mary says the master has greater learning than any round here. She says he has as much knowledge of religion as the minister and of the Bible also. He has a book as well that has the names of all the witches written down in it. Mary says.”

 

I think now that to be close to someone can be to underestimate them. Grow too close, and you do not see what they are capable of; or you do not see it in time.

 

But there had been no spates of witch hanging for many years. Such things were a matter for Scotland, France, wild places across the sea or north of the border.

 

Names were how it had begun. One woman accuses another in a fit of grief or rage. And once you have said a name, there is no unsaying.

 

I wonder, not for the first time, whether Mother’s weakness of mind could have passed to him in the blood. Whether he was himself quite well.

 

“I think in truth I am here so that the good folk of Manningtree cannot come where I live and torch me in my bed.”

 

“We called a physician out, once. He said it was a brain sickness,” the night nurse told him. “But I do not believe in brain sickness. She is entirely the devil’s creature.”

 

It was a sin, the worst sin. But to say the truth, I would do the same again.

 

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, as far as I can reckon, is one hundred and six. He accomplished it in two of our short English summers, and the months between. One hundred and six women, through Essex, Suffolk, and beyond: that much is certain.

 

 

REVIEW: Crossing The Barrier by Martine Lewis

Crossing The Barrier by Martine Lewis

Series: Gray Eyes #1

Read: July 14 – 21, 2016

Format: Ebook (Kindle)

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: March 22, 2016

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance (with a minor touch of paranormal)

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?


REVIEW

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

 

I went into this book expecting a YA paranormal romance, instead I got a YA sports romance with a touch of paranormal.

Right off the bat I have to state that I hate sports. So reading about sports doesn’t interest me, already that puts this book at a disadvantage for me. I’m a paranormal girl, I like to get lost in worlds where I need to extend my imagination and suspend belief. Contemporary novels, for the most part, don’t hold my interest. I get enough of reality in the real world. I want a little bit of magic.

The paranormal in this book comes in play with the main female protagonist, Lily. She’s an Empath, meaning she can sense / feel other peoples emotions. Normally she has mental shields to block the emotions out, but early on in the book she loses those shields. What I found more interesting about Lily is that she’s basically living a Cinderella life. Her father has passed away, leaving her alone with a mother who never wanted her. Anyone would be able to see just how unwanted Lily is by her mother Beatrice, but by being an Empath, Lily can feel every evil, nasty, vicious thought and feeling toward her. It’s a classic case of both physical and emotional child abuse with how badly Lily is treated. A girl growing up being treated so badly, you’d think she’d be forced to grow up pretty quickly, but I was actually surprised at now painfully naive she was at times. At one point I wanted to throw my Kindle at the wall and yell at her.

Meanwhile, Malakai, has his own demons at home. His mother left when he was a child and no one has ever told him why. His father is military, constantly leaving him home alone for weeks or months on end since he turned seventeen. Malakai starts out as a very good and chivalrous guy, but by the end of the book I really didn’t care much for him. He became almost controlling of Lily, and though from the thoughts that are presented to us through both his POV and Lily’s Empath ability, we know his actions are in no way malicious, but they just rubbed me the wrong way. He also became full of self-loathing. What happened to the confident boy in the beginning? I wasn’t feeling that.

I ultimately failed to love this book for a few reasons. The first being the aforementioned genre, it reads very contemporary and the paranormal is very light. That’s just not for me. The other things that drew me out of the story were the follow:

  1. As is common in YA books, there is a good amount of info dumping in the very beginning. Things I’d rather see happening than be told about.
  1. The author uses a lot of passive language which prevented me to actively engage with the events as they happened, i.e.: “She had wanted to go with him…. Lily had wondered….”
  1. I never could fully grasp what the central plot was. I think it was the romance between Lily and Malakai, but I’m not sure. In the beginning Wes and Zoe were sort of the villains, then they disappeared until the end when I’d all but forgotten them. Beatrice then became a bigger villain, shifting the focus from Wes and Zoe. Then we touch on Malakai’s parental issues. For me, all of the different conflicts never really “meshed” together well enough for me. I guess I just prefer the 3 act story arc formula.
  1. Malakai’s reactions. I mentioned above about the self-loathing, but Malakai has something happen near the end of the book and he reacts in a way that seemed completely out of character for him. Because we read half the book in his POV this shift in character could easily have been explained with his own internal monologue, but instead we’re given nothing. I actually had to stop and think, wondering if I’d somehow skipped ahead in the book and missed an important chunk of text that described his internal emotional turmoil. But I didn’t. I checked.
  1. The ending (before the epilogue) was cheesy. I think young teens girls will eat it up. For me personally, it didn’t work. It felt too soon and out of place.

That seems like quite a list of things that I didn’t like or didn’t work for me, but there were things I did enjoy. This book touches on a lot of relevant hot topics including bullying and racism, which is important to me. It’s obvious that the author really cares about her characters and though she gives them obstacles, it’s easy to root for them to get past them. I will also say this. Despite all of my grievances with this book, the epilogue piqued my interest (and seems to show that the series will PROBABLY be going in a more paranormal or sci-fi direction and I will quite likely read it and hope to see the author continue to grow as a writer.

Final thought: If you are a fan of contemporary romance (especially sports romance) you might enjoy this. I think younger teens will enjoy this book more than older teens and adults due to the writing style.



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REVIEW: Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith

I’ve been slacking in all departments lately.

Blogging, writing, my publishing job, life.

I started a new job at the beginning of September in the hospitality industry and I LOVE it. It’s a part-time job, but these past two weeks I’ve been given full time hours to compensate for just how crazy busy it’s been. No complaints though, who couldn’t use a little extra cash in their bank account, right?

Things have started to slow down a bit now, which means more time to get stuff done. Including reading. When it’s super slow at work and I’m all alone I can fold laundry and listen to my Kindle read to me. That’s how I got through the book I’m reviewing below. Hopefully that means I’ll be posting more reviews more frequently! (I do have 5 other reviews written and ready to post, plus a couple to be written.)

So that’s what’s up with me. What’s up with the rest of you? Leave a comment below, I’ll make time to reply. 🙂


Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith

Series: A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #5

Read: September 12 – October 2, 2016

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Caprice’s house staging is disrupted by Drew Pierson, a caterer who opened Portable Edibles, a business in direct competition with her sister Nikki’s Catered Capers. Nikki turned down Drew as a possible partner and he seems determined to undermine and bury her. However his successful launch of a deal for his blackberry barbecue sauce must have stirred up his enemies.

When Nikki visits the house where Drew lives with his grandmother to resolve differences, she and Caprice find him dead—murdered with the base of a valuable Tiffany lamp.
Caprice discovers clues about Drew’s sly business dealings—from stealing recipes from another chef, to friends who hold grudges, to a sister who will now inherit half of her grandmother’s estate since Drew is dead. In the midst of her own romantic relationship upheaval, helping her uncle set up his pet sitting-business, assisting a friend care for a pregnant stray cat, Caprice follows the suspect trail, inadvertently putting herself in danger once more.


REVIEW

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

 

Earlier this year I read my first Cozy Mystery – Kernel of Truth by Kristi Abbott. I loved it. It was like, murder mystery-lite. A quaint small town and a regular gal trying to solve a murder mystery. After that, I went on a binge entering to win more cozy mysteries from Goodreads, and even requesting this cozy mystery from NetGalley. However, like all books, no two are created equal, and unfortunately for me, Silence of the Lamps did not reach the bar that Kernel of Truth set.

Now, I’m jumping into this series late. This is book 5 in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mysteries. Right off the bat, Caprice attends a family event and the reader is bombarded with details of her large family. At first it was a little difficult to keep them all straight, but I caught on quickly enough. It’s possible that the characters were introduced gradually in book 1, so I won’t fault the author/book too much for this because as book 5 it would suck for those who have read since the beginning to have to go through the introductions all over again.

The writing in this book is fine, I can’t complain about that, but the content is where I had issues. This book is so full of mindless filler I actually had to put the book down a few times and read something else. I was just bored. If you’re not an animal lover, you’ll hate this book. Caprice is absolutely obsessed with animals, which is all fine and well, but she’s to the point where she constantly has people “babysit” her dog. Every chapter. It’s fine that she does this, but as the reader, do I really need to constantly hear about it? And don’t even get me started on her outfits. I got it after the second clothing description, Caprice has her own sense of style, she only wears vintage, that’s cool and all, but after half a dozen times I’m ready to throw my Kindle at the wall. I really don’t need a head to toe description of every pair of bell bottoms the woman owns.

Onto the murder—there were so many possible suspects that by the end, when the killer was revealed, I had already forgotten who that person was. I still can’t recall the interaction with the killer prior to the ending.

I did like the ending though. It was dangerous and suspenseful. I really feel that with a lot of the unnecessary filler cut out (especially about Caprice’s family, pets, and her damn wardrobe descriptions!!!) this book would have been stronger. I thought I was reading a mystery surrounding a home stager, but that ended up being an aside to pet side plots.

So, would I recommend this book? Probably not unless you really love animals and want to read more about them than murder.

I would consider reading the first in this series to see how it compares, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim.



Get the Silence of the Lamps here:

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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!)

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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: Up Over Down Under

Up Over Down Under by Micol Ostow & Noah Harlan
Series: S.A.S.S.
Read: January 6 – February 15, 2016
Format: Paperback
My Book Rating:  2.5 Stars
Genre: Young Adult

I bought this book from my library’s used bookstore because it looked cute. It’s the story of two girls taking part in an foreign exchange program based on environmental issues. Billie from Australia is swapping places with Eliza from Washington, DC.

I expected this to be a cute read and maybe learn a little about Australia in the process. I thought it would be about the girls trying to fit in with their new environments, and it kind of was, but mostly it was about their environmental projects.

The first half of the book is setting the stage, getting to know Eliza and Billie in alternating chapters as they acclimate to their new home for the semester. HALF. THE. BOOK. Nothing happened in the first half except what we knew was going to happen, the girls swapped homes.

Finally, a little after halfway through it started to get better, but the plot was still entirely lackluster. Eliza takes the chance away from her home and strict parents (her dad’s a big wig with the EPA, reputation matters) and gets into trouble. Meanwhile Billie, always straight and narrow, rebels in her own way by taking a stand against the actions (or lack thereof) of the EPA.

Really, this book is like an after school special. Maybe if I were in middle school I would have enjoyed this story, but in the end, I wonder why I wasted my time. I guess I figured by the time I hit 50%, I’d already invested so much in reading this I may as well just finish.

I gave it 2.5 stars because the characters were mostly likable and the writing was decent. It was the lackluster plot that deducted the remaining 2.5 stars.

REVIEW: The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand
Read: Feb 27 – March 11, 2016
Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)
My Book Rating:  2.5 Stars
Genre: YA Humor

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

This book… the cover is awesome. The description is awesome. But the book…. It fell short of expectations.

The story is about Justin, a high school freshman who sets out to make the greatest zombie movie ever. He has almost no budget. He has no script. He has literally nothing except himself and his two best friends and a total of about 12 days from start to finish to complete the film. Of course it’s going to be a disaster.

Now, there were plenty of good things about this book. The warning at the very beginning set the tone and had me laughing out loud and reading parts of it out loud to my husband, much to his dismay. Justin’s mom has some very funny lines. Justin trying to B.S. his way into convincing the principal to let them film in the school, and the actors audition scene, were both pretty darn funny. In fact, there were a lot of laugh out loud moments.

At first I really couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me about this book. It held my attention enough to keep reading, but when I wasn’t reading, I never felt like I WISH I was reading this book.

Then it hit me, the reason I had trouble with this book was because in my opinion, all of the characters were the same. They all acted/reacted/spoke in very similar manners to one another. At any given time, any character could be speaking and without the dialogue tag, it would be anyones guess. And yeah, it was funny at times, but after a short while, it was too much. Also, aside from Justin’s parents, all of the adults in this book were pretty terrible excuses for human beings. Maybe that’s just the 15-year old main characters view of them, but I’m going off of the direct quotes from them. The adults in this book are terrible. From Justin’s Grandmother to his friend Bobby’s uncle. Every last adult (aside from Justin’s parents) were pretty awful.

And finally, this book was just too long. I got to a point where the humor was just irritating.

All of that said, I think pre-teen boys would get a kick out of this book. I have a 14-year old nephew and I could see him in a lot of these characters and how they acted.

So… would I recommend this book? Yes, but only to pre-teen/teen boys. Or people with the humor of pre-teen/teen boys.

REVIEW: Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

I recently joined NetGalley, which if you don’t know, is a service that allows authors and publishers to offer their books to reviewers. Anyone can join, but you have a better chance if you’re a blogger. So, I joined. Then felt guilty because I started my full time job and didn’t think I’d have time to read any of the books I was approved for. Then I discovered I could use text to speech on these books and listen to them while working! I don’t feel so guilty now, because while text to speech narration is pretty terrible, at least I’m getting the reading done! (And my local library’s audiobook selection is severely lacking the type of books I want to read.)

Below is my review for the first book I received from NetGalley. Unfortunately, my first experience was not a very enjoyable one, but I have hopes that I’ll be approved for some books I will enjoy.

 


 

Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

Read: August – September 2015

Format: Ebook ARC (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

 

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

Confession. I got about 30% through this book and didn’t think I could finish. Then, I realized I could use the text to speech feature on my Kindle and listen to the book at work. Multi-tasking at its finest. If not for text to speech, I probably would have quit this book.

When I saw Ghost for Sale on NetGalley I had to read it. I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, about a girl who can see, hear, and touch ghosts. In Mediator, the heroine moves into an old house with her family and discovers a ghost from the 1800’s living in her bedroom. The romance is a slow build throughout the series and the characters have more to their lives than just thinking about how hot the other is. Like, mediating ghosts and helping them cross to the afterlife.

While Ghost for Sale starts out great, with our heroine Caitlin’s cousin/roommate, Marcy, receiving two test tubes in the mail, supposedly containing ghosts, and upon opening said test tubes only Caitlin can see said ghost. From there, it goes downhill.

For starters, despite being told multiple times that Caitlin’s cousin Marcy is so beautiful and rich and all the guy want her, every single male in the book asks Caitlin out. In the beginning, in the club, she dances with and is asked out by two guys, minutes apart, if that. She gets hit on by a cop who pulls her over. Don’t even get me started on the “not really her boyfriend” guy who dates her, while seeing other girls because he “has needs” and Caitlin won’t sleep with him. It was downright unbelievable that the author couldn’t add in a single male character who didn’t fall all over himself for Caitlin.

Caitlin herself was completely impossible to relate to. See previous paragraph, then add in how shallow she acts. One guy actually tells her something along the lines of “you act ditzy, but I know you’re actually very smart” – how??? How does he know this because she acts like an idiot for 98% of the book. As stated before, we’re told multiple times how beautiful and rich Marcy is, and how Caitlin’s family doesn’t have money like them, yet her parents can afford to buy her a custom pink VW Bug for her birthday? Maybe she’s not as well off as Marcy, but it was irritating to be led to believe she’s not rich when she is.

Then, let’s talk about clothes and coffee. On second thought, let’s not. It felt as though every other page Caitlin was drinking coffee or thinking about coffee or her ghost, Liam, was bringing her coffee. Every time she changed clothes we had to hear what she was wearing, down to her jewelry and nail polish choice. As well as every other character. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE WEARING! If it’s not relevant to the story, and doesn’t drive the plot forwards, why waste my time?

Speaking of the story, after the promising opening, it slowed. It didn’t pick up again until almost halfway through. The beginning was us being told how much Caitlin loves Liam despite him making sexist comments and basically kind of being a jerk in my opinion. All while she’s dating this AMAZING guy she met in the club, Patrick, who was sweet, kind, caring, fun and most importantly, ALIVE.

I don’t want to give the whole story away, so I’ll be vague here. Basically, everything is tied up all pretty with a bow with our heroine basically having to do nothing at all, things just fell into place. The “villain” backed down in about two seconds. And Caitlin reacted like Bella in Twilight when Edward left her. At least Bella had the excuse of having had an intense relationship with Edward, whereas Caitlin knew Liam about a week. She was a complete drama queen and I never bought the romance for one second.

The ending…. Let’s just say there’s suspense of belief in fiction, and then there’s scoffing at the absurdity of what the author wants us to believe.

In all, I feel Cox has potential as an author, but this story didn’t work. There wasn’t enough of a plot to work with – it actually felt like most of the beginning was added as filler to make the book longer—and though she tried to build a romance between Caitlin and Liam, it just didn’t work. I didn’t believe it. When the characters act one way and the other characters don’t react reasonably, it just doesn’t work for me.

Ultimately, I’d say skip this one. If another book by this author appears on NetGalley I’d give it a shot, but I won’t expect much.