Thursday, May 29, 2014

Etched on Me

Oh, lambs. SUCH a good book. Seriously, SUCH a good book. I'm telling you right now- book club read.

Etched On Me - Jenn Crowell
Etched on Me
On the surface, sixteen-year-old Lesley Holloway is just another bright new student at Hawthorn Hill, a posh all-girls prep school north of London. Little do her classmates know that she recently ran away from home, where her father had spent years sexually abusing her. Nor does anyone know that she's secretly cutting herself as a coping mechanism...until the day she goes too far and ends up in the hospital. 

Lesley spends the next two years in and out of psychiatric facilities, where she overcomes her traumatic memories and finds the support of a surrogate family. Eventually completing university and earning her degree, she is a social services success story, until she becomes unexpectedly pregnant in her early twenties. Despite the overwhelming odds she has overcome, the same team that saved her as an adolescent will now question whether Lesley is fit to be a mother. And so she embarks upon her biggest battle yet: the fight for her unborn daughter.

Can I tell you right now that I couldn't put this book down? I was drawn in immediately to poor Lesley's story of sexual incest abuse. That's what it boils down to and basically how the entire system basically fails her. 

Lesley is sexually abused by her father for years and after realizing her mother isn't going to help her, she decides to run away and find help. She finds a sympathetic case worker that gets her set up in a hostel and over time, she begins to cut herself to cope with what her life has turned into. It's one thing to get a person out of that situation, but to provide absolutely no support for the mental anguish she's obviously dealing with, is almost cruel. Then one day she goes too far with the cutting and she ends up in ICU and then through various psychiatric hospitals. Eventually, she is able to overcome her demons and completes her schooling and everyone applauds her on being a survivor, a success story for them all. 


Until one day she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. And as it states at the very beginning of the book, she wants this baby. She wants this baby so much it's almost an intangible feeling yet it's there and it's like her life line. It's the one thing in life she has to forever cling to. All of the people who regale her as a success story now question her ability to be a good mother and are actively trying to relinquish her rights. 

I won't tell you if she is able to keep her child or if her child remains in the care of the surrogate family- it ruins the entire thing. What I will tell you is that this book will horrify you, it will make you want to scream on Lesley's behalf, you equally want to shake her and hug her, and you just want something good to happen to her. Just absolutely anything good because dammit, she deserves it. If being a mother is going to be the light of her life, then why can't she have that? Well, we learn more about her time in psychiatric care and all of the facets of what sexual abuse does to a person so you find yourself rooting for both sides at time. 

It's a really amazing book. I can only imagine the conversations book clubs would have about this because this is something that can be a really polarizing topic for people. Even I found myself struggling through parts when I would flip flop my opinions and it's never a cut and dry situation. Talk about blurred lines, really. Not to mention, the writing? Amazing. Jenn Crowell gets you right there and you feel like you are literally watching this play out in front of you versus words on a page. 

I absolutely, totally recommend this book. Seriously. Get this on your to-read list, it's pretty gripping. 


Book review time! Let's break up the downer posts this week with a review, shall we?

Broken - M. L. Young
Bailey Wrenn is a small town girl with a big back story. Her mother left when she was young, leaving her in the care of an out of touch alcoholic father that barely noticed her existence. After trudging through life with no clear direction, she begins to wonder if she needs to leave this scarred memory of a town behind and finally move on. When Bailey hears from her friend Julie that life in Chicago is great and she should come out sometime, she takes that open invitation, and comes to visit her old friend with no idea of when she’s going to leave. 

One night, after Julie drags her from the apartment to see a local fight, she sees Kyle, a mysterious MMA fighter with a winning streak and an elusive personality. He doesn’t talk to anybody after his fights, and disappears faster than Bailey can blink. One day during a chance encounter filling out job applications, Bailey runs into Kyle at his work, and the electricity between them is bright enough to light up the city. 

It’s only when they begin to get close, though, that things are turned upside down. An old boyfriend and a brutal and devastating past makes Bailey believe she can’t be close to another man ever again, even if he seems perfect. She feels alone. She’s broken. 

HEA and no cliffhanger! This is a standalone novel. 
*This book is recommended for readers 17 and up for violence, language, and some adult situations.*

I had actually been pretty excited to read this book and then I started reading it and yeah.... nothing really comes together. It's certainly not the worst book I've read. I will say there are a lot of areas this book could have some improvements to make it a better book. The dialogue is not great, it comes off of very... teenager angsty, which doesn't make sense since it's not geared towards teenagers persay, it does have violence and other things I wouldn't want my teenager to read. 

Bailey basically has a pretty crappy life. Her mom is missing in action, her father is a drunk who has checked out on being a parent, and she basically has zero guidance. So she leaves and heads to Chicago where she meets Kyle (well, she mostly sees him at first and later meets him) and things are kind of fun between them. Then we start learning more about Bailey's back story and her ex-boyfriend who's just a complete ass, and he essentially starts stalking her, which is ruining her life change in Chicago. But on top of all of this, she's trying to develop a relationship with Kyle and it's just really awkward to me and very.... vanilla. Not that I expected this to be a blazing romance, but to plan out a passionate evening weeks in advance? That's kind of weird, right? I mean, do people do that? I know I've never done that. 

Overall? Lots of improvements to be made on this book. I think the potential of a good story is 3 stars, the execution of it is 1, maybe 2 stars. It's just not what I had hoped it to be. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bee Summers (and giveaway!)

Hello, lambs! The next couple of weeks is going to be kind of busy and I have some planned posts, some more book reviews and some much needed updates for you all. Bear with me as I'm still trying to make some decisions and once I do, I'll fill you all in.

Bee Summers - Melanie Dugan
Bee Summers
The spring Melissa (Lissy) Singer is eleven years old her mother walks out of the house and never returns. That summer Lissy's father, a migratory beekeeper, takes her along with him on his travels. The trip and the people she meets change her life. Over the years that follow, Melissa tries to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance and struggles to come to terms with her loss.

I will tell you upfront that the reason I chose to review this book is that when my mom was younger, her mother just up and left the family. Now, my mom and the kids all turned out fine, but it's always fascinated me how a mother could just seemingly leave their families behind and just not think twice about it. I think that no matter how well adjusted a child is, that does something to them and you can't always fix that. 

In this book, Melissa is only eleven when her mom just disappears and never comes back. She holds hope for the entire summer that her mom is at a rally, or maybe she has cancer and is just going to come back when she feels better. She embarks on a trip with her dad on his annual bee runs and she meets a variety of characters along the way. She sees another side of her dad and she can't help but think they know where her mom is and she worries she's doing the wrong thing by befriending some of them. In the fall, when she returns to school, it seems like the entire town knows about her mother and the whispers and bullying start. She loses her best friend who is too embarrassed to be with her and even still, her dad gives her no information and she's encouraged just to forget about mom and move on. 

So she moves on, but she never stops wondering what happened to her mom. 

As she gets older, things get easier and she finds a life of her own. When she has her own family and her dad remarries, she feels resentment and angry towards him and they never fully come back together. I can't tell you much beyond that but it's a bittersweet ending. I feel bad for her dad because I think he really thought what he was doing was the best way to handle it. Sometimes people don't think kids can handle the truth, I guess. 

I kind of adored this book. I felt terrible for Lissy, but given the circumstances she did pretty well for herself. She got some closure and though not all of her questions were answered, she was able to move on with her own family. It's not a long book, it's kind of sad, but it's also kind of triumphant because Lissy could have ended up badly, she really could have. She could have made a series of bad choices and gone in a hard direction for life but she didn't. She didn't let her parent's choices threaten what she wanted out of life and that's pretty darn admirable. 

Also interesting, is that this book can be purchased on Etsy through Upstart Press. What a creative outlet to sell your book for one, it certainly is handmade, and a unique way to get yourself out there. For one of my readers, you'll get your very own copy of Bee Summers!


1. Must be a follower of this blog via BlogLovin (see button below to make it quick and easy)
2. Leave a comment on this post and be sure to include your email address. 

Winner will be announced on Monday, May 26! I'll even open this up to International readers since I'll be mailing this out myself. 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The Unfinished Child

Wow, wow, wow.

The Unfinished Child - Theresa Shea
The Unfinished Child
Theresa Shea's first book explores female friendships, prenatal testing, infertility, and Down syndrome. Shea tackles a complex moral issue with great sensitivity. This is a must read not only for parents in the Down syndrome community but for all parents, and for anyone who appreciates masterful story-telling.

When Marie MacPherson, a mother of two, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at thirty-nine, she feels guilty. Her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. Marie's dilemma is further complicated when she becomes convinced something is wrong with her baby. She then enters the world of genetic testing and is entirely unprepared for the decision that lies ahead.

Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were defined as "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts back and forth through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship, and motherhood.

I can't even fully tell you how much I loved this book. This book had me from the first chapter all the way to the end. You have no idea what's happening but when things start clicking together at the end it just feels... perfect. Between the difficulty of pregnancy, have an imperfect child decades ago and now, friendships between women and even abortion- it's just everything you need to read. All at once, right here. 

The best part about this is that I hated both Marie and Elizabeth, the two friends highlighted in the story, but it doesn't take away from the story at all, it just makes it better. I felt terrible for Margaret, who gives birth to her first child only to be presented with a devastating ending with no real possibilities. We see what it was like to have a "mongoloid" child (Down's Syndrome) in 1947, where that child was sent to an institution and forgotten. Except Margaret can't forget her child, and eventually- she visits in secret and is subsequently horrified. But it doesn't stop her until one day she makes a heartbreaking and terrifying discovery and she knows she can't go back. 

Fast forward to present time, and Elizabeth so desperately wants a baby of her own but with multiple failed fertility routes, her marriage is falling apart, and her friendship with Marie is a mess. Marie has children of her own but isn't really maternal and struggles with the changes of being a mother, when she suddenly finds herself pregnant a third time, she feels equal parts terrified, doubtful, and guilty. Once Elizabeth finds out about the pregnancy, she's obviously upset and struggles with that. Then when it's clear Marie's pregnancy isn't the standard pregnancy and she's faced with an impossible choice. It puts their lifelong friendship at risk. But it gives light to how some friendships just fade away, life changes you and sometimes what was a good fit at one point in your life, isn't a good fit later on. Especially if you feel as if you are in some kind of competition with that person. But then we learn more about Elizabeth and her history as an adopted child, and how that gives her a new direction. 

What an emotional story. There was a passage in the beginning of the book that I tabbed off because I felt like it just grabbed at me, and you could maybe relate to it as well: 

"Finally, Barry quietly came upstairs. Marie regulated her breathing and pretended to be asleep. They had performed this scene so many times in their married life- she pretending to be asleep, he pretending to believe she was sleeping. But maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time he would apologize for his remark and seek some kind of reconciliation. It wouldn't take much, just a light touch on the small of her back, or a brief kiss on her cheek. Just a small acknowledgment that this pregnancy was not simply hers to deal with, now was it a way to measure her life against her best friend's. Why didn't he ever just say that she was doing a good job, that she was a good mother? But when he emerged from the bathroom he slid slowly into bed, careful not to bounce the mattress. The he turned over, his limbs contained to his side of the bed, and within minutes began to snore.

Sometimes loneliness was a physical pain that was worse than any cramp or contraction she'd ever had."

God- who can't just read that and feel what that means because we've all been there at some point? I didn't like Marie, but damn- I could relate to her right here. The struggle she goes through is awful and it's not something you would ever wish on someone or ever want to deal with on your own. What was sad to me was towards the end there was some conversation about how back in day, children with disabilities were often forgotten in some institution to be abused and neglected. Then we have a time where parents were encouraged to bring them home and love them. Now we're at a point where you can terminate a pregnancy and it begins an argument is that even right? I think some people cannot raise a disabled child, and it shouldn't be forced. It's just a hard decision with so many life long repercussions. 

I really recommend this book to really any woman, mom or not. It's such a fascinating story of womanhood, parenting, marriage, friendship and self doubt. So excellent, I can't rave enough about it. 

Monday, May 12, 2014


Oh, I'm worried about tomatoes being thrown at me, so I'm wearing a helmet, just in case.

Nash - Jay Crownover
Nash (Marked Men, #4)
Will their past determine their future?

Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down... and now he’s trying to do it again.

Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

You know I'm a fan of Jay Crownover and her Marked Men series. I really am, I think she is tapping into a whole area of Young Adult that is exciting, new, and fun. Big fan. 

Not a big fan of this book. 

I will start by saying I loved Nash- he's a great guy. I think he legitimately is a good guy that tries to do good by others and keeps his life on the straight and narrow. I really hated Saint. Quite frankly, Nash can do a whole lot better than  her. I've read on some book blogs there is quite a bit of "Saint Hate" going around and the author herself basically refuses to acknowledge or read negative reviews. (Which, that's  her prerogative, but I think if you want to keep in touch with your actual fans instead of the ones who'll kiss your ass and tell you you are the best thing ever, you need to read those. There are some critical things they point out that should be worked on.) Saint is really awkward and shy, which in some female leads is kind of endearing. In this case, it is ridiculously frustrating. Saint has focused her entire adult life based on one party, and one thing Nash said back in high school. Just like anyone else who walks half way into a conversation, you can't base everything you know about a situation because of one statement. That's reckless and rude. But nope, Saint does this. Despite Nash doing everything for her and proving time and time again he really is a stand up guy there to pick her up whenever she needs, she essentially uses him and then goes bananas and runs away. 

And I wish she would have stayed. Unlike all of the other books that have a similar story line (couple meets, couple is sexually compatible, couple struggles, big blowout, someone runs away, they come back together, same recipe for every single book), Saint never really redeems herself with me. She comes back and is all, "I really DO love myself", um, no. You don't just decide, "hey- I'm going to love myself today", it's a process and it takes time. I just felt really frustrated with this book. I like the buildup for the next book, Rowdy, but this one fell flat for me. It's easily the least favorite of the series so far for me. Which is really unfortunate because I have really liked Nash's character throughout and I thought we'd have better for him than Saint. 

Also? As exciting as it is to have these books come so quickly after the last one, it makes me feel like she's rushing through them just to get them out. Now we have another series coming and I don't know if I'm even going to read that because every description has the main character, Bax, out and proud as a badass, sometimes asshole. Um, great? Because who isn't attracted to that? Eye roll. 

I hold hope that Jay can pull it together for Rowdy. Mostly because it's hard to keep an entire series successful as it is, and this... this didn't meet the expectations of the others. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It will always hurt. No matter what.

I know a lot of things about Matt. He's intelligent, he's shy, he's a hard worker, he's a good dad overall, and he's also really terrible when it comes to feelings. Specifically, when it comes to feelings towards anyone else, or anyone else's feelings, he just doesn't have that capacity. I don't know why, it used to be there, but it's gone now and I know that right now, I suffer the most. I'm mindful enough to know that someday, the kids will pick up on this and I don't know what I'll do when that happens.

I feel like I am a pretty good about being selfless. Sure, there are times when I'm selfish but people can be that way sometimes. Not all of the time, there are definitely times where you have to ignore what you want and feel and do for another person. You just do it. It's not something someone teaches you, something inside of you as a person triggers this and we have the ability to ignore it, which hardens us over time, or to go with it and maybe grow into a better person.

It is currently 10:20 at night and I'm alone, downstairs, feeling all kinds of sorry for myself. My babies are tucked into bed and adorable as ever. My husband is sleeping soundly upstairs as if nothing in the world is wrong.

But it is.

You see, today was Mother's Day. I don't expect grand gestures. I'm leery of them by nature and I don't know why. But there are only three times a year where it's nice to be recognized: my birthday, our anniversary, and Mother's Day. I don't know why every year I give my hopes up thinking that this year? This year Matt will finally take a few minutes to figure out how to do something nice for me. At the bare minimum, he could easily call my mom, ask my friends, or even ask our own kids what can he do to make the day a little bit special.

But no.

He doesn't do any of those things. Instead, he acts like an asshole all day to me, snaps at the kids, and never once says happy Mother's Day. No card, no flowers, no nothing. Doesn't offer to take us out to dinner, doesn't offer to make dinner, doesn't do anything nice to say, "hey- you work so hard keeping this family together, let me do this while you sit and relax."


Instead, it takes Jackson asking him why he didn't do anything nice for me for Mother's Day. Why did you get mommy a card? Or a present? And that? That breaks my heart. It physically pains me to think that Matt is teaching Jackson that this is how you treat someone you love. I have to work double time to re-write the lessons his father gives him.

So Matt, feeling shamed by his six year old, runs to Target to get me some shit card and a book off the clearance rack as if that's some kind of penance. It's not. In fact, I left it all on the counter with a note that said, "too little, too late". That was around 7 tonight. He's avoided me since but I see that it's all gone. I hope he feels shame. I hope he feels like once again, he's let me down. I hope he understands that yet again, I sit down here crying because it's yet another year where no acknowledgement at all happens. Even if he had said he didn't get me a gift because we don't have money, but that he really appreciates what I do and how  hard I work at being a mom and a wife- that would have been enough. I would have understood and I would have at least felt like I was loved.

But tonight I feel none of that. I just feel really sad.

In my head I know that Matt just isn't wired like some guys. In my head I know that these things don't come to him and he has no idea how awful he is sometimes. In my heart though, I still hold hope and it hurts every single time. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result? So maybe I'm insane. But every year, I hold out hope that he'll remember how badly I felt the year before and he'd think maybe he should do something differently.

But no.

Every year it's the same. Every year it hurts.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vodka Warrior

Oh don't worry, I haven't fallen off a wagon or started drinking. My liver is pink (or whatever color it's supposed to be) and happy.

Vodka Warrior - Mickey J. Corrigan
Vodka Warrior
The Hard Stuff: Book #2

A lonely divorcee living in a tacky development in Dusky Beach, Florida, Theresa Tierney is an educated hick and her own worst enemy. She has a wild streak and a bit of a drinking problem, both leading to a few too many bad choices.

When her neighbor’s new roommate arrives, a good-looking body god, Theresa is both curious and disgusted. A brash New Yorker, Vario Fumesti says what he's thinking and looks sexy as hell doing it. The brawny mountain of pumped muscle is mega alpha male. But his frequent hot tub parties with friends from a local strip club fire up Theresa’s anger. In fact, Vario continually makes her feel and do things she isn't expecting.

A series of screw-ups, lust, and love set Theresa on a rollercoaster ride that’s out of control and threatening to jump the tracks.

I haven't read the first book so I can tell you this can be read as a stand alone, though it is part of a series. It's also around 55 pages of text (at least on my Nook), so you can get this done in less than an hour if you're looking for a waiting room read. 

I didn't love it though. I actually read it twice thinking because I read this immediately after a really fantastic book with beautiful words and sentences that maybe I was being overly critical. So I gave it a few days, then came back to it. And still... I didn't love it. I think my main issue is that I really didn't like the main character, Theresa. Mostly because she's an alcoholic, she makes poor choices, she's brash, and she is a terrible tutor for a high school boy (how did his parents not ask for references or ask why she got fired from her teaching job?!) and that turns out to be a nightmare. Then in moves new neighbor, Vario, and he's kind of an asshole. I was expecting hilarious story line, and there was only one incident I cracked a smile and the rest.... maybe I'm really snobby and don't see the humor. Admittedly, I'm not one to enjoy drunken antics so that might be my issue here. But in walks Vario and sexual tension ensues. Except Theresa is basically a hot mess. But somehow, they make that happen and the ending? Felt rushed. I can't tell you what happens since that's a spoiler but it kind of reminded me of an episode of Teen Mom, featuring Jenelle. You know what I'm talking about. 

I am clearly the odd ball out because reviews for this book are 4 and 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. I have to be honest, I'm a one star on it because it's not one I'd read again and it's not one I would gift or tell a friend she has to read this. (If you know me in real life, you know a few things about me. 1. I always have a book (or two) with me at all times. 2. If you ask me what you should read next, I'm going to give you like five options. 3. I gift books all of the time. I'm a book giver. And 4., if I don't like it, I'm always honest.)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ugh.... feeling like poo and 26.99%?!

With my surgery coming up in June, I'm trying to get as much stuff done ahead of time so I'm not worried about being an absolute lump on a log once I have it. I'm fairly certain I won't want to do much for at least a few days, so I'm planning accordingly basically.

Because I have a bone infection right now, the oral surgeon put me on an anti-biotic (Augmentin) to take from now until then and probably a little beyond. Augmentin is no joke. I know there are even stronger antibiotics out there but hot damn. I was on this earlier this year because of my face and I got sick for nine weeks after that, not related. Except now I'm thinking that maybe my bout of vomiting for three days wasn't just the flu, I think it was the medicine. I'm back on it and I swear to you, I feel like death. I feel like I'm on the verge of getting full body flu and I have non stop nausea. Within minutes of taking it I will either throw everything up from the day or feel like it.

Cue cold sweats, feeling like I have a fever coming on and let us not forget- the yeast infection from hell. In which I can't take anything for. It's going to be like this for all of May and most of June.

Also I get to deal with my never ending period and my ultrasound for that is next week. I just hope all of these weird symptoms is from the medicine and not something worse.

But in order to prep for my surgery, I have to figure out how to pay for it. It's just shy of $4000 for both surgeries, and I don't have that kind of money. So my next option is Care Credit. Which is great, I qualify, but holy HELL, the interest rate? 26.99%. Good god. I can't even fathom that. Here's hoping we win the lottery between now and oh... June 19.

Witch Dark

You guys!! Guess what I spent last night and this morning doing? Oh, reading yet another fabulous book by TL Spencer.

Witch Dark - TL Spencer
Witch Dark (Powers of Witch-Haven)
Destroy the bond of thine enemy and darkness shall spread...
In the town of Witch-Haven where mortals and magic often collide, an evil like no other is brewing; the dark witches that once held so much sway over magic want their power back, and they'll do anything to get it. Even if it means destroying everything around them.

Megan Warren is a normal human girl surrounded by forces she can't control; Derek Jacobs is the necromancer her heart beats for and whose powers she relies upon to aid her save her friends. But even as love blossoms and friendships grow, darkness threatens to consume them.

As people disappear and young boys are sacrificed to an unknown evil, paranoia grows rife throughout the town, and with betrayal and suffering at every turn, will the powers of Witch-Haven be enough to conquer the encroaching evil... Or will the shadows reign?

I absolutely loved this book. I am such a fan when a paranormal book brings in multiple beings into the mix. The primary story line of this book is about the beings slowly figuring out that dark witches are back and really pissed off. Pissed off to the point where they'll murder and kidnap to regain the power they lost long ago. Except only a human Megan doesn't know what's going on around her and doesn't understand the full extent of what a disadvantage she has by being just a human. 

THANKFULLY, she has a really great boyfriend who is teaching her the ropes and he just happens to be a necromancer. I mean, this is a first for me, having a necromancer in a book, and I absolutely love it. 

We spend the entire book trying to figure out who the traitor in their group is, and what exactly is going on in Witch Haven. People are murdered, violence all over, romance brewing, people kidnapped and an ultimate battle at the end where questions are answered, we have more death and violence, and a happy ending (kind of) that we want. 

This very much feels like the start of a series because not all of the loose ends are tied up and the last chapter signals more to come. But it's not the kind of cliff hanger where you want to throw the book because it leaves you absolutely hanging with no satisfaction until the next book, but it's a very smooth transition. It's like, the much needed break after so much major action that you really need. Anything more would overwhelm you. I loved it. If you are a fan of paranormal, you are going to love this. I forgot that I also read her other book Blood Prophecy and I loved that one as well so I'm adding her to my list of authors I watch for new things. 

You should absolutely check out TL's website, her Facebook, and of course her book on Amazon

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea

LAMBS! Oh lambs. I am utterly exhausted today and my eyes are literally burning to produce tears so my eyes don't look like I'm a zombie. All because I could not stop reading this book last night, and like the junkie I am- I kept it going.

Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

It won't surprise any of you that I wanted to read this book solely on  the cover. Then I realized it's kind of like a YA gothic/paranormal thriller and I'm all in, just take all of my money already. I have read stories with a multitude of paranormal beings but.... the Devil? I can't say that I have until now and frankly, I'm not even sure that's what I would classify River but who cares, take all of my damn money. 

The story is about Violet, who like Bella in the Twilight Saga, makes impeccably terrible choices with her life. Between letting an absolute stranger of a boy move into her guest house, to actually taking a nap with him on the first day, then catching him in so many lies you can only refer to him as a pathological liar. He speaks in riddles sometimes and clearly, something isn't right with the boy. Yet... she literally cannot help herself. Even when he admits to being a bizarre vigilante murderer which we all know is coming, and she learns of his "gift", she cares, but not enough to say, "you know, maybe I could do better in a boyfriend". 

When you really think of the magnitude of River's gift, it brings a whole new meaning to "the Devil made me do it" because literally- that's what is happening here. I think the suicide we read about in the book is a bizarre way of River showing affection for Violet but he never fully recognizes the effects of his action. He only sees the good side of it, not really the fallout and the domino effect it has on other people. 

It's the first in a series and I'm basically a junkie at this point. A lot of people on review sites are really polarized- they either love it or they hate it. If I were to break it down to writing style, maybe it isn't the best. Maybe there are some parts where you roll your eyes because it's almost too much. But overall? I unabashedly love it. I don't know that I would really call it a gothic thriller, it's more of a bizarre paranormal romance with some violence. And dammit, I know River is basically a bit of a sociopath and he probably doesn't even know the truth of things anymore, but I still root from him and Violet and I don't know why. It's a terrible relationship, far worse than Edward and Bella and yet... I can't even help myself. But so help me god, if book two goes anyway like New Moon did for Twilight, I'm going to be over the top angry. Because I'm getting that vibe based on Neely still being there and Violet's comments towards the end. Don't go there, April Genevieve Tucholke, don't go there.