Book Review- The Disappearances

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
Expected publication by HMH Books for Young Readers on July 4 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Mystery
Pages: 400
Goodreads
Amazon

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up

The Disappearances was an interesting book. I don’t really know how else to put it.
This book takes place in the 1940’s, but honestly there was nothing that really made me think that the events were happening in the past (besides the lack of phones). I actually kept having to remind myself that it was in the past; it just really didn’t feel like a historical book at all.

Besides the weird time thing, the book was pretty entertaining. I had a hard time getting on board with the disappearances and variants (the herbs and various other things that counteracted the disappearances), but I went along with it. There was a mysterious aspect to the story, and Aila spent a lot of time trying to figure out both her mothers life and how she is connected to the disappearances.

The characters were alright, although some of them were a bit one dimensional. Nothing about any of them was really surprising, and I didn’t really care much for anyone. It took more than half of the book for me to really feel anything for the book, and I really only started to enjoy the story during the last quarter.

I don’t know if it was the concept of the disappearances themselves that threw me, or if it was the weird time placement (that is really just bugging me for some reason) that made me not love this book as much as I could have. I do think that some people will fall in love with this book, but it really just wasn’t for me.

I am going to give The Disappearances three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

*I was given an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Most Anticipated Debuts of 2017 part 2

The first half of 2017 has flown by! So many amazing books have been released so far this year, and there are so many more to come! Although there are WAY more than 10 books I am waiting to come out this fall, I decided to limit my post to 10, just like I did in the beginning of the year. However, unlike the first half of this post, I am going to talk about both debut and previously published authors. And, just so you know, my list is in no particular order. I’m just so excited for books!

If you missed the first half of this post (books that came out in the first half of 2017) be sure to check it out here!

My Most Anticipated Books of 2017 (pt. 2)

  1. 33784373Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco (September 19)

    Seeing as I just finished Stalking Jack the Ripper (read my review here) and LOVED it, I am so excited for the sequel: Hunting Prince Dracula! If this is anything like the first book, it’s going to be spooky and dark and beautiful and full of swoons that might actually kill me. If you haven’t gotten to Stalking Jack the Ripper yet, you don’t know what you are missing out on!

  2. 34219875Expelled by James Patterson and Emily Raymond (October 23)

    Will Foster and three other kids get expelled from school because of a picture. Now Will has to find out who took the photo and why he was targeted.
    This book sounds like a great mystery, and promises danger, suspense, and romance. What more could I want!?

  3. 27258139The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (August 1)

    Winter’s father goes missing in the dark and poisonous woods, and she sets out to find him. She meets Henry in the woods, who seems to know more than he should.
    The Wood is Chelsea Bobulski’s thrilling debut, and I could not be more excited to read it! It promises to be an eerie and enrapturing read.

  4. 30046340The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin (August 29)

    Danielle has it all figured out… until her life starts to fall apart. She didn’t get into the college her “psychic” mom predicted, and nothing else is going according to plan. Now she needs to figure out how to stop her life from crashing, and get it back on track.
    This book promises to be cute and quirky, and it is Maggie Ann Martin’s debut novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

  5. 29923707One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (September 19)

    It’s no secret that Kendare Blake is one of my all-time favorite authors. So, it should be no surprise that I AM SO EXCITED FOR ONE DARK THRONE!!!
    I fell in love with Katherine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella in Three Dark Crowns (read my review here) and I am dying to find out what is going to happen to them next!

  6. 25876985Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock (August 1)

    Okay guys, this book sounds so adorable! It’s a “classic spin on the smart-girl-and-bad-boy set up” but Jenny and Chance’s romance is based on one very big lie: they both think they are “Just Friends.”
    I can seriously already feel the swoons. My heart may or my not survive this book.
    I am so ready for Tiffany Pitcock’s debut novel!

  7. 29359948A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor (August 15)

    Two sisters who used to be inseparable now are wrecked. Then they get stranded on a beach with Alex, a boy who has his own secrets. Can the sisters find their way back to each other or will they never be able to fix the tear between them?
    This book sounds like it is going to be emotionally charged, and I can’t wait to dive into the pages!

  8. 33414246When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter (September 12)

    When Ruby’s brother dies she is devastated. So devastated that she calls him back from the grave, unaware of the consequences. Ruby’s brother begins to possess her as she sleeps, intent on persuading her twin brother to submit to possession as well.
    This story sounds so creepy and scary and altogether amazing. I am so excited to read When I Cast your Shadow!

  9. 30040068A Short History of The Girl Next Door by Jared Reck (September 26)

    So I actually got an ARC of this book thanks to Jared Reck and his amazing publicists, and it is AMAZING so far. I seriously can not stop laughing.
    I am so excited for this book to come out because then EVERYBODY can read it and love it as much as I am loving it so far!

  10. 32320750Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (July 25)

    Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls, and at first it is great. Then, her friends start getting distant, and she can’t help but feel that she intentionally wasn’t invited to the biggest party of the year. So maybe Broken Falls isn’t so welcoming after all.
    This psychological thriller promises to be amazing, and I can’t wait to read it!


Obviously there are SO MANY MORE BOOKS being published in the second half of 2017 that I am excited for, but if I included them all this post might not ever end (seeing as I find another upcoming book to be excited for almost every day!).

What upcoming books are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review- The Forbidden Wish

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Published by Razorbill on February 23 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Pages: 352
Goodreads
Amazon

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

OHHHHHHHHH MY GOOOOOOSH this book was SOOOO BEAUUUUUTIFULLLLLL

I went into this story without any expectations. I hadn’t heard a lot about it and to be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect at all. But OHHHH what I in for a wonderful surprise. The Forbidden Wish swept my off my feet and threw me into a magical world where anything is possible.

The beginning of the book was a little slow (but that could have just been me being reluctant to start a book that I didn’t know much about) but soon I was completely wrapped up in the story. The characters were so multi-dimensional and interesting, and I can not think of a better example of PERFECT character development. Everything was delivered at exactly the right time, and these discoveries were usually delivered with an emotional blow to the gut, a squeeze of my heart, or the feeling like I want to go run in circles and scream (happily) at the sky. THERE WERE JUST SO MANY FEELS I CAN’T EVEN.

The plot too was incredible. I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Aladdin’s fairy tale/Disney story (I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever seen the movie….) so I can’t tell you how much of the plot was inspired by that version. But the version I got in this book (which was missing a Jasmine, but still) was INCREDIBLE. Just so touching a beautiful and heart wrenching.

If you like or are even slightly interested in any of the genres of this book, GET IT. READ IT. LOVE IT. I don’t know what you are waiting for. Now excuse me while I go read it again and again and again….

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I am going to give The Forbidden Wish five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Published by Jimmy Patterson on September 20 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Mystery, Horror
Pages: 326
Goodreads
Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

HOLY ALKKJDNVQERGNALJAL MY LIFE IS OVER. THIS BOOK HAS KILLED ME.
Phew, okay I think I got that out of my system…. (but seriously a girl named Emma was killed so like…. I was killed?)

As you can probably tell, I loved this book. Just everything about it was so beautiful and dark and mysterious and sexy and beautiful (yes, it needs to be said twice).

Audrey Rose is amazing. Just everything about her. She is such a strong and independent person, yet she is still very feminine. She is witty and strong minded and sassy and just all together a really fun person to read about.

Now Thomas *sigh*. He is adorable. I literally want to just burst with adoration for him and his relationship with Audrey Rose. By himself, Thomas is amazing, but the whole courtship between the two of them just added this romantic side to the story that was just TOO CUTE. I AM LITERALLY DYING OVER IT.

All of the characters are just so dimensional and interesting and amazing. Even the characters that don’t play a major role are well developed. They each had a unique voice and story that were somehow conveyed even if they were only present for a scene or two. I loved how the victims of Jack were given a story and a voice as well. And I loved how Audrey Rose reacted to the murders. It was just perfect.

The historical aspect to the book was also breathtaking. I felt as if I was thrown back in time to London circa 1888. Everything was so exquisitely described and portrayed. And I loved how historically accurate everything was regarding Jack the Ripper (all of the liberties taken by Maniscalco were disclaimed at the end) and how seamlessly Audrey Rose and all the other characters were put into the story to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper.

There was a lot of rather graphic descriptions of the murdered girls, but honestly I can’t imagine the book without them. They added this darker element to the story that balanced out the light flirtations between Audrey Rose and Thomas. They also added an urgency and realness to the story that it would have been incomplete without.

So, I kind of guessed who Jack was in the beginning, but that really didn’t take anything away from the story. Everything about this book was just amazing. I don’t know how many times I’m going to say that, but seriously that is the only thing going through my mind right now. It really was just so amazing.

I waited wayyyy too long to read this book, and unless you really don’t like graphic descriptions of mutilated bodies (okay, that sounds really bad but I promise its not that bad) you need to go get this now and understand the beautifulness of this wonderful book. Seriously, just get it. Read it. Love it.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is easily one of my favorite books. So, it should be no surprise that I am giving it five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Scarlet

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 454
Goodreads
Amazon

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

After reading Cinder, I knew that Scarlet was going to make or break this series for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Scarlet, Meyer’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, turned out to be AWESOME. Her character was tough and determined, and the combination of her and Cinder (even though they are not facing the world together) make for a very interesting story.

I was worried (mostly based on the title of the book) that the continuation of Cinder’s story wouldn’t be explored in detail. But I was wrong. Both Scarlet and Cinder went on awe inspiring and heart pounding journeys, along with some pretty awesome side kicks. I loved the mystery of Wolf and Captain Thorne’s personality.

The character development in Scarlet really surprised me (in a good way), and the plot was amazing. This is one of the few books where both the characters and the plot drew the story onward. There was this beautiful balance of the two that made Scarlet a wonderful read that I had a hard time putting down. And even then I finished it in two days!

If you read Cinder and aren’t quite sure if you should read Scarlet, DO IT. SCARLET WAS SO MUCH BETTER.

I am going to give Scarlet four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag

The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag

Hey guys! It has been forever since I’ve done a tag, so I am super excited to finally do one again! I wasn’t exactly tagged to do this (shhhhh….) but I first saw it on The Little Contemporary Corner blog (link here) so be sure to check out their post too! So, without further ado, lets get to some unpopular opinions!


1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like.

10429045Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

I tried to read this book about a year ago, and I really just didn’t enjoy it. Nothing about the story really appealed to me (even though I usually enjoy dystopias). But this series does seem to have a huge amount of people that love it, but this book really just wasn’t for me.

Second place for this one is tied with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, and The Moral Instruments by Cassandra Clare

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love.

You know, I’ve been trying to think of a book for this one, but I honestly can’t. I don’t think that I have ever really loved a book that the majority of people have hated.

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.

2767052Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games Trilogy

Why did I not love this pairing? I have no idea. I just really didn’t. I wanted her to end up with Gale. Honestly it was the relationship between Katness and Peeta that ruined this trilogy for me.

Also, my second choice (because I feel like I need to say this) is Edward and Bella from Twilight. I am 100% team Jacob. Although I did like how the series ended, so that’s the only reason this pairing wasn’t my first choice.

4. A popular genre that you hardly reach for.

Suspense.

I don’t really know why I steer away from suspense novels, because I do love a good suspense film. Maybe I just need to pick one up and go for it, but I have yet to do that.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

24755483Joss Byrd in Unscripted Joss Byrd

I really wanted to like Joss. I really did. But for some reason she just came off as whiny and kind of annoying. I actually didn’t really like any of the characters in this book, no matter how much people are falling over themselves about it. I guess the book itself wasn’t bad, just the characters rubbed me the wrong way.

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

11870085John Green

I read A Fault in Our Stars a few years ago, and since then I have never picked up another John Green book. I just couldn’t do it. His style of writing just doesn’t appeal to me, and I haven’t read an interesting enough book blub from him that has inspired me to pick up another one of his books and try again.

So, for now, I am John Green free.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing.(examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

The whole “love at first sight” and “destined to be together” thing

Like when a character sees somebody else across the room or brushes their hand or something and is just like “a bolt of lightning shot through my body and I knew that I was in love with this person that I have known for .2 seconds.” It just gets on my nerves. Like stop. Just stop.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

6068551.jpgThe Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

I’ve known about this series for years, and have never even considered picking it up. It just doesn’t interest me.

Second place for this is the Matched series by Ally Condie. I just don’t think that there is anything there for me.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

mortal_instruments_city_of_bones_ver11_xlg.jpgThe Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Book series by Cassandra Clare)

Okay, so I really don’t like the Freeform Shadowhunters TV show, but I really did enjoy the movie. I actually saw the movie before I tried to read City of Bones (oops!). And when I loved the movie (which seems to be another unpopular opinion) and decided to read the book, I ended up not really loving the book at all.

So yes, I liked the movie more than the book.


And there we have it! My unpopular opinions. Which ones did you agree with? Which ones did you not agree with? What are your unpopular opinions?

If you haven’t done this tag yet, consider yourself tagged. I would tag individual people but since this tag has been around for so long, I have no idea how many people have done it!

 

Book Review- Fallen

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Fallen by Lauren Kate
Published by Delacorte Press on December 8 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 452
Goodreads
Amazon

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

The prologue was the best part of Fallen. Honestly, the rest of the book was a painfully drawn out version of those first few pages with a different ending.

I barely finished this book. When I first started it, I was excited by the prologue. It was dark and sexy and made me think that this book was going to be awesome. I WAS SO WRONG. SO WRONG.

Honestly Luce annoyed me. Daniel annoyed me. Cam annoyed me. EVERYONE annoyed me. They were all just annoying characters. They were flat and boring and didn’t make me interested in them AT ALL. It was like trying to care about the romantic life of a mosquito. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.

When Luce wasn’t ogling over Daniel, Cam, or both at the same time (which happened quite frequently) she was crying about something. About what you may ask? I have no idea because usually it didn’t really matter to the plot in the long run.

The whole romance aspect of the book was cringe worthy. It wasn’t cute or sexy or anything. It was just painful. There was no spark between any of the characters except what was said out loud… and even that was painful to read. I just couldn’t get on board with it.

Also, although there were moments thrown into the book that were meant to be shocking, they ended up just being kind of boring and didn’t have the surprise factor that they were meant to. This book was just a flop for me. Needless to say, I won’t be reading the next one.

I am going to give Fallen one out of five hearts.