June Releases

bba18-bookreleases

June 12:

36536878

The Merciless #4

The fourth book of the scream-worthy cult series The Merciless combines Stephen King level terror with true crime stories like the Amanda Knox case.

The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive?

When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she’d end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her. (Source)

.

 

June 26:

36137794

House of Furies #2

The chilling second book in the all-new graphic horror series from New York Times bestselling author of Asylum follows Louisa Ditton, a teenage girl who finds employment as a maid at a boardinghouse in northern England—only to discover that the owner is executing his own brand of dark justice on the guests.

Louisa Ditton doesn’t know who she is anymore.

After the gruesome events of last autumn, she has settled into her role as a maid at Coldthistle House but struggles to control her new changeling powers. Is she turning into a monster like her employer, the devilish Mr. Morningside, or did her last act of heroism redeem her?

As Louisa grapples with these weighty questions, Mr. Morningside plans a fete—one that will double as a trap for an End of Days cult that wants him dead. But then Upworlders, angelic beings who look down upon Mr. Morningside’s monstrous staff, arrive, and they’re prepared to take over Coldthistle. And one brother-sister duo named Sparrow and Finch is bringing their own brand of self-righteous justice. Even a man claiming to be Louisa’s father has a role to play, though Louisa can’t quite tell what his true motive is…yet. (Source)

.

June 30:

37801970

Cainsville #5.5

Mallt-y-Nos. Matilda of the Hunt. The lone woman who rides with the Wild Hunt, tasked with finding killers who’ve escaped justice and letting the hounds reap their souls. For Olivia Taylor-Jones, Matilda isn’t just a legendary figure from Welsh lore. She is Olivia’s past, and her future, one she’s finally embraced.

Having accepted her role as Matilda, Olivia must now lead her first Hunt. Seems simple enough. But when she questions their target’s guilt, the Hunt is halted, her mission failed. Still, it’s just a matter of getting Gabriel’s help and investigating the man’s past to reassure herself that he’s guilty. He must be. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a target. But the deeper she digs, the more problems she finds, until she must question everything she knows about the Hunt and the choice she’s made. (Source)

 

.

Not too many books I’m anticipating this month! Hopefully July (my birthday month) will be a little more exciting. Speaking of Summer, I have just landed my first full time job. That being said, I might run a little behind on posts. I’m trying to get a head start now so that it doesn’t happen, but we’ll see.

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Witch

28956873Title: Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unaplologetic

Author: Lisa Lister
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Genres: Non-Fiction, Spirituality

Summary

A witch is a wise woman, a healer. Yet for so long the word “witch” has had negative connotations. In this book, third generation hereditary witch Lisa Lister explains the history behind witchcraft, why identifying as a healer in past centuries led women to be burned at the stake, and why the witch is reawakening in women across the world today.

All women are witches, and when they connect to source, trust their intuition, and use their magic, they can make medicine to heal themselves and the world. This book is a re-telling of Herstory, an overview of the different schools of witchcraft and the core principles and practices within them.  Discover ancient wisdom made relevant for modern witches:

The wheel of the year, the sabbats, the cycles of the moon.
Tools to enhance your intuition, including oracle cards and dowsing, so that you can make decisions quickly and comfortably.
Understanding the ancient use of the word “medicine”.
How to work with herbs, crystals, and power animals so that you have support in your spiritual work.
How to build and use a home altar to focus your intentions and align you with seasonal cycles, the moon cycles, and your own intentions for growth.
Cleanse, purify, and create sacred space.
Work with the elements to achieve deep connection with the world around you.
In addition, Lisa teaches personal, hands-on rituals and spells from her family lineage of gypsy witch magic to help you heal, manifest, and rediscover your powers. Above all, Lisa shows that we really are “the granddaughters of the witches that they couldn’t burn”. (Source)


Review
Content: I’m going to preface this by saying that I am Wiccan. Not many people know this, but I feel it is important to note in reviewing this book. I consider myself a witch, and if you want to know more about what that means, this book gives a good introduction to that. In one sentence, this book explains what it is to be a witch. Whether that is something used to empower you, or a full on spiritual practice. This book goes into the witchcraft religion in talking about sabbats, moon cycles, spells, divination, and so much more. She also talks about witchcraft as being a reclamation for women. Something to empower you and take back the word “witch” to mean something good.
.
Author: Lisa Lister is an amazing woman. She has dedicated her life to feminism and empowering women. She is also a third generation witch, giving her a unique perspective on spirituality and magic. I think that is one of the things that has given this book such a power and a life. She speaks passionately in every single chapter. She combines her spiritual practice with her feminist beliefs in a way that I think goes hand in hand together beautifully.
.
Cover: I love this cover. It sets the mood perfectly. It is simple, black, and witchy looking. My favorite part has to be the moon in place of the c on the front. I feel good just holding this book. My only problem is that the cover shows fingerprints really well. A small price to pay for the beautiful little black book.
.
Closing Thoughts: I truly loved this book. There were small problems I had with it. For example, she talked a lot about magic coming from a woman’s womb. However, not all women have wombs. And not only women can be witches! But as a woman with a  womb, I did find her words empowering. There were also chapters where she was so energetic, it bordered on being sloppy writing. But all in all, this is a book I loved. I keep it in my bookshelf with my journal, notepad, and other important books go. If you are interested in Witchcraft/Paganism/Wicca/anything else like that, this book could be a fun introduction. If you are looking for a book full of women empowerment and encouragement, I recommend this as well. For me, this book was way more powerful than when I read “you are a badass,” but that’s just me.
Where to find Lisa Lister:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

The Hearts We Sold

36070854Title: The Hearts We SoldAuthor: Emily Lloyd-Jones

Series: N/AFormat: HardcoverRelease Date: August 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?(Source)


Review
Plot: This book has a pretty unique plot, which made it very interesting to read. The whole time, I wasn’t sure where it was going or what was going to happen. Basically, Dee lives in a world where demons exist and people know they can make a deal with one to manifest pretty much anything. All they have to do is give up a limb or two. Dee makes a deal with a demon in order to stay at the school she desperately loves. Now, you may be thinking, “she sold her heart to stay at school? That’s insane!” But there’s a lot behind it. Firstly, school is highly important to her (something I can relate to). Also, school is her escape from her awful, abusive family. Those things combined made her desperate for the money to stay at her safe haven. In a way, it like if Harry Potter sold his heart to stay at Hogwarts. However, throughout the book she is placed on small quests with a gang of others who made the same deal. As time goes on, she has to come to the realization that it may not have been worth it.
.
Characters: It was kind of weird for me, but almost every chapter I was left thinking “Dee is exactly like me.” She’s not the badass, strong, female empowered character we’re used to. She really just wants to live a normal life. She wants to go to school, get good grades, stay under the radar. She’s shy, quiet, and insecure about everything. What’s interesting is that she doesn’t really redeem herself in the end. She doesn’t magically become a super confident, brave girl. But that’s what made me like her more. She’s not whiny or selfish, she’s just average and introverted. She was real, and I loved her.
.
Cover: I got the exclusive Owlcrate cover, which basically means the font was red, rather than white. I actually prefer this because it stands out more and has meaning in the novel. The cover is perfect. The blurry figure in the back gives it kind of a discomforting feel, and the stitching additions are cute. In my Owlcrate box, I also got a little heart pin that says “I chose this.”
.

Closing Thoughts: This book stole my own heart and cut it up into a million tiny pieces.I was not expecting to be so emotionally affected by this quick read. The romance is beautiful and sweet. It’s something that feels sincere and innocent (after reading all those smutty Sarah J. Maas books). It also created a new motto for me, “I chose this.” I found myself muttering that phrase as I struggled in school or at work. “I chose this” is something so simple, but it’s true. You make your own decisions in life and even if they are the wrong ones, you have to stick with them and own up to this. It also reminded me that I am in control of my life, something I feel like I lack oftentimes. This book was wonderfully written and something I really connected with.

Where to find Hillary Monahan:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Mother’s Day Reading

church-backgrounds-mothers-day-1080x628

Happy Mother’s Day! I thought for this occasion, I would share some books with strong mother figures in the story. This was actually weirdly difficult. It seems that in a lot of books I read, the mother is either awful or dead. I’m not sure why that is, but here are some I thought fit the theme.

 

136251Maybe it’s because I just reread these books, but I can’t ignore the amazing mothers in this series. Lily Potter, Molly Weasley, and even Narcissa Malfoy care deeply for their children. The reason I specifically picked this last book is because there seems to be a lot of deep love that shows itself in this book. Lily comes back as a ghost to help her son through his own sacrificial death. Molly Weasley yells “not my daughter, you bitch” as she saves Ginny from Bellatrix. Not to mention, doting over Harry (who isn’t even her child). Narcissa spends the latter half of the series trying to protect Malfoy from Voldemort. Honestly, I’m sure I could think of tons more examples of good mothering in this series.

.

1934Little Women is a classic, with an amazing mother figure. Margaret “Marmee” March is a mother who is taking care of her family single-handedly while her husband is away. We often forget about her, because she isn’t the protagonist of the story. She is just a supporting character who is always there for her daughters and acts as a guide along the way.

 

 

 

.

26109391This book has both a good mom and dad in it, so it is double the fun. I think Solomon’s mom in this book is incredible. While Sol has become agoraphobic and struggles to do anything at all, she remain supportive of him throughout it all. It isn’t easy to know how to handle a child with mental illness, but she never becomes upset or angry at him. I think that this is a really positive way to write a parent in a book like this.

 

 

.

43867b03ab13cd1ae31fb3e54141a48f

I could not mention mother’s day without mentioning Jane Austen. My mother got me into Jane Austen when I was just a kid, and I have loved her books ever since. On my “about me” page, Austen is even listed as one of my favorite authors of all time. Not only was it recommended to me by my own mother, but there are a lot of good mothers throughout these stories. Take Pride and Prejudice for example: Even though the mother is a little crazy and obsessed with finding her daughters husbands, she very clearly loves them and cares for them more than anything. She takes care of her family and supports them no matter what. I will never stop recommending Jane Austen because these books are beautiful, though slightly difficult to read.

.

13496

Because I mean… what mother is more badass than Catelyn Stark?

 

 

 

 

 

.

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Daughter of the Pirate King

33643994Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #1
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King. (Source)


Review
Plot: Believe it or not, this book is about the daughter of the pirate king. Alosa is sent on a mission from her father: get kidnapped by a rival pirating crew to steal from them. Once aboard the ship, she has to use every skill she has to sneak around, lie to the crew, and complete her mission. The only problem I have with this book is that it is a little repetitive. It follows the same pattern: she’s locked up, she sneaks out, she can’t find the map, she get locked back up. This happens many times throughout the book. Of course, there is character development and conversations between, but it gets a little boring after a while. Not only that, but the plot is not too surprising. I can guess what is going to happen most of the time. However, these flaws are very minor in the enjoyment of the book as a whole. I would say they make it 4/5 stars, rather than 5 full stars. I still highly enjoyed it!
.
Characters: Possibly the best part of this book is the amazing characters. Alosa is… well she’s fantastic. I’m in love with her. She is fierce, strong, and stubborn. She’s the captain of her own crew (who is all women by the way) and she fears nothing. But that doesn’t stop her from liking to dress up, flirt, and have some fun along the way. She’s bloodthirsty in the way a traditional pirate would be, and it’s refreshing. She doesn’t really have any morals. She doesn’t mind killing to get what she wants. Normally, that wouldn’t be a good thing in a character for me. But she’s just so cool! I’m just so excited to read book two and get to know Alosa’s women crew better.
.
Cover: The cover is nice, but nothing special. I like the font of the title, and how it looks like it’s written on a scroll (or maybe a map). The art is cute mixed with creepy, which I feel is a good representation of Alosa herself.
.

Closing Thoughts: This book reminded me why I used to love pirates so much. As a kid, I would run around pretending to be a ninja or a pirate. I loved Pirates of the Caribbean, and was sad when that series kind of fizzled out. This book has given me a new thirst to read about pirates. This book is sexy, thrilling, and just plain fun to read. I liked how near the end, they just threw in the fact that Alosa was part siren. There were hints leading up to it, but it wasn’t some big reveal. It just kind of happened. I love mermaids, sirens, and pirates. I am incredibly excited for book two!

Where to find Hillary Monahan:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

May Releases

bba18-bookreleases

May 1:

31076583

A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1

The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it. (Source)

.

28006096

The Trials of Apollo #3

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . . (Source)

.

35997816

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. (Source)

.

May 15:

27188596

Red Queen #4

VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive. (Source)

.

May 29:

29456569

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

.

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

You Are a Badass

15843166Title: You are a Badass

Author: Jen Sincero
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Genres: Non-Fiction, Self-Help

Summary

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass. (Source)


Review
Pros: This book is kind of the classic self-help, how to book of our generation. I know tons of people who have read this book and praise is highly. The book is split up into 5 parts: How you got this way, How to embrace your inner badass, How to tap innto the motherlode, How to get over your B.S. already, and How to kick some ass. I will say that this book is very inspirational. While you’re reading it, you feel unstoppable. You find yourself thinking “yeah, she’s right, I can do anything!” I think that if you are someone who need a switch up in your life, some motivation, inspiration, etc. this book will be very positive for you! My favorite part is that at the end of every chapter she reminds you to love yourself, with a different tagline or reasoning.
.
Cons: While this book can be very positive, I have a few problems with it. The main problem being that it is clear that the author doesn’t have a lot of experience with mental illness. She makes many references to the idea of “if you’re depressed, just pretend you’re not and then you won’t be!” I think the idea she was going for was to fake it till’ you make it. But it came off really annoying to me. As someone with both anxiety and depression, sometimes you can’t simply just pretend like you’re not.
Another issue is that a lot of her solutions are good in theory, but not necessarily in practice. For someone with a family to support, being in school, struggling just to survive, you can’t just hope to put good vibes out and expect everything to be okay. She writes in a very privelaged way where she can make these risks and trust that the universe will look out for her.
.
Overall: I think this book is alright as long as you don’t take too much stock in it. It is uplifting and can give you a little boost of inspiration. But I’m not going to drop out of school with positive intentions guiding me. I also am still quite annoyed about her views on depression. In total, I think there are a lot of better self-help books out there. I don’t totally understand all the hype of this one.
.
Where to find Jen Sincero:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

MARY: The Summoning

17661402Title: MARY: The Summoning

Author: Hillary Monahan
Series: Bloody Mary #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Summary

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late? (Source)


Review
Plot: This book’s plot isn’t anything original. It is about a group of teenage girls who summon Bloody Mary in a ritual. They do it once and it’s a rush of fear and excitement. But then they try again, and everything goes wrong. Mary escapes and starts to hunt them all down. The rest of the book is the girls trying to figure out how to get rid of Mary, while also trying to survive.
.
Characters: The girls were probably the worst part of this book. Maybe if I had read this when I was younger, I would have enjoyed it more. But the characters were all really selfish, fearful, whiny teenage girls. They would argue about things like boys and friendship drama while an actual bloodthirsty ghost was chasing them down. Just a little immature for me.
.
Cover: The cover is creepy, but not overly so. I, personally, am terrified of Bloody Mary. So I feel like they could’ve made the cover even creepier to look at. This cover didn’t particularly terrify me, but it was fitting.
.

Closing Thoughts: After reading Penpal, I decided to try out another creepy book. I have been terrified of Bloody Mary since I was a child, so I thought this book would definitely get me. What was funny was that while the characters were annoying, the plot was actually incredibly scary to me. Basically, Bloody Mary could get you from any reflective surface. This meant water, glass, mirrors, reflections in doorknobs, you name it. It had me checking my surroundings and realizing just how many places she could jump out at me. I found the writing to be very thrilling and suspenseful. Even thought this isn’t the best book I’ve read (pretty low rated if I was going to rate it) I think it did the job that I wanted it to do. I wanted to read a creepy book, and this definitely got me. I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book in the series, but I think this is a fun book to read around Halloween.

Where to find Hillary Monahan:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Penpal

14578407Title: Penpal

Author: Dathan Auerbach
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 2012
Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller

Summary

Penpal began as a series of short and interconnected stories posted on an online horror forum. Before long, it was adapted into illustrations, audio recordings, and short films; and that was before it was revised and expanded into a novel!

How much do you remember about your childhood?

In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, tragic, and horrific occurrences of his childhood in an attempt to finally understand them. Beginning with only fragments of his earliest years, you’ll follow the narrator as he discovers that these strange and horrible events are actually part of a single terrifying story that has shaped the entirety of his life and the lives of those around him. If you’ve ever stayed in the woods just a little too long after dark, if you’ve ever had the feeling that someone or something was trying to hurt you, if you remember the first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was, then Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try. (Source)


Review
Plot: This book is a little different from my usual reviews. My boyfriend recommended this to me because he knows I like creepy pasta (which is scary stories I read on Reddit). Penpal started as a creepy pasta on Reddit that was told in a series of posts. It then got turned into this book by Auerbach. It is about a boy who is being stalked by someone. Is it a ghost? A monster? Or just a regular person? This book keeps you on your toes about what exactly is happening to this boy. The narration jumps around in time throughout his childhood, showing snapshots of his life.
.
Characters: There aren’t really characters per say in this novel because of the nature of the writing. However, I will touch on the fact that this story feels very personal to the author. I think the idea is that when he wrote it, he wrote it as if it was a real thing that had happened to him. Throughout reading it, it felt like something that the author really had been in. You can feel the terror, confusion, and trauma in the storytelling.
.
Cover: The cover isn’t anything special. But for some reason, it makes it even more creepy to me.
.

Closing Thoughts: My main problem with this book is that it is not well written. Probably because it started as social media posts, it isn’t written like a novel. There are a lot of errors and issues with the story that make it confusing and hard to read. I think Auerbach would have benefited going through a few more proofreads and drafts. Maybe even re-writing portions of it. However, I did find this story very creepy and reading it with the mindset of a creepy pasta let me look at it through a different lens. I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend this book. It’s one I think you could do without reading. But if you are a fan of creepy stories or like creepy pastas, this might be a fun and quick read for you.

Where to find Dathan Auerbach:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

This Savage Song

23299512Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Summary

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (Source)


Review
Plot: This book is told in the point of view of two contrasting characters: Kate, a human, and August, a monster. The story follows to somewhat separated plots. Kate is trying to prove to her father that she is tough a ruthless like he is. She doesn’t want to keep getting sent away to different boarding schools, but to help her father rule the city of Verity. She moves back into town and starts going to school and begins to “rule” the school. August, on the other hand, is sent on a mission to watch Kate and see what she is up to. He doesn’t really want any part in his family’s war, he just wants a normal life where he can go to school and make friends. It’s hard to draw out a concrete plot. It didn’t seem to follow a specific story line, more just learning about the characters and the world they live in.
.
Characters: Kate is one of those tough-as-nails girls who just doesn’t give a fuck. Her drive comes entirely from wanting to impress/be better than her father. (It kind of reminds me of Zuko’s quest for honor in The Last Airbender). I really just found her kind of annoying and try-hard.
August I liked a lot more. I felt like his character was really deep. He was a monster who didn’t want to hurt others, who just wanted a normal life. I also found the use of music and his violin really beautiful. It made his character so much more gothic and gave it a terrifying beauty. I found myself skimming Kate’s sections, but genuinely enjoying August’s. I wonder if I would have enjoyed the book more if it was only in August’s point of view.
.
Cover: I do really love this cover. I actually thought this book had a completely different plot just because I got this cover confused with another book. I bought this book in part because I loved this cover and also because I had heard great things about it.
.

Closing Thoughts: I know I am completely in the minority when I say I just am not as hyped about Schwab as the rest of the YA community. I DNF’d A Darker Shade of Magic a few years ago because it just didn’t capture my interest. This book I did enjoy, but it wasn’t anything special. I think I might read the second book, but only to finish the story. I didn’t rush to get the next one and I think I’ll wait a while and read some of the books I own before buying that one. If you’re a fan of Schwab, I’m sure you’ll like this book. If others out there are like me and aren’t huge fans, I would say it’s a quick read, but nothing special.

Where to find Victoria Schwab:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke