A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beauty & the Beast retellings are my favorite, and this one was pretty sweet. There was a Cinderella element woven into the story as well.

Feyre (Fay-ruh) encounters unusual prey in the stark winter woods. She hunts to feed her family, but her latest kill puts them all in danger. A monstrous beast barges into their home & takes her to his home to live out the rest of her days. It’s the same B&TB premise set in fairy land. Of course, Tamlin is an alluring beastie & things are mysterious.

Feyre does some foolish things in the Fae world that land her in danger, but overall she’s a likable MC. Tamlin made me swoon. I loved the banter between Lucien & Feyre, he was my absolute favorite character. Rhys was compelling, I can’t quite decide if I should trust him. I love a mix of good & bad in my heroes & villains. Very well done.

I figured out the fairy riddle right away. I think Sarah Maas does it that way so we can feel clever. There’s a bit at the very end that leaves the door open for another book, but no cliffhanger. I’d pick up a second installment in a heartbeat, I hope there’s more to come.

Highly recommended.

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I need to think about this. Deep thoughts & stuff.

Okay, I’ve mulled it over, and I’m giving The Sin Eater’s Daughter 5 stars. Beautiful writing, interesting story. He love triangle wasn’t angst ridden or really a big deal at all. The concept of sin-eating is new to me, I’ll have to find out if it’s an actual cultural thing or if the author invented it for the story.

Twylla was raised and trained by her mother, the Sin Eater, until she was 13 years old. I use the term ‘raised’ very loosely. Mom popped out babies from unknown fathers, but didn’t take care of them. She’s been training Twylla her from an early age to be the next Sin Eater. The Queen has a different destiny in mind for her and shows up at her front door. She’s offered the choice to leave her family behind forever and become the Queen’s daughter, and so begins her new role as the kingdom’s goddess.

She is now Daunen Embodied, immune to poison, and engaged to marry the prince. Future Queen. Her touch is death to all but those of the pure royal bloodline. When her complete roll is revealed a few years later, it’s a terrible thing. The Queen tells her that the gods require it, and Twylla obeys.

Twylla has always been isolated, in both her lives. At the castle, the only friend she ever had was violently taken from her. I was able to accept her character’s naive, sometimes foolish behavior because of this. No one can touch her, they flinch away in fear when she walks by. She’s starved for even the smallest kindness.

She’s 17 now. The Prince, a stranger, returns after several years abroad. Twylla is suddenly in the awkward company of her betrothed much of the time. She’s never been around ‘boys’ and now – here they are, several, and she has no idea how to even converse normally with them.There’s a sick, evil plan nestled deep in the Queen’s heart. I will tell you no more.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending. I had to think on it because I wasn’t 100% satisfied. It leaves the door open to the next book without feeling like a cliffhanger. I won’t withhold a star, what I will do is grab the next book when it’s published.


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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m all full of warm fuzzy happiness. This dark, once upon a time-ish tale was just right. There’s a deep friendship between Agniezska and Kasia that doesn’t include mooning over boys. In fact, the one man that looms large in their lives is a monster they avoid talking about.

The Dragon is a wizard and a hermit. He comes every 10 years and selects a girl to take. The villagers allow this. In return, he protects them all from the dark power of the Wood. The girls have known their entire lives he’s going to come and take one of them when they turn 17. Ten years alone with him in his tower and they assume he’s a crusty old pervert who will force himself upon them. He always picks the beautiful, talented girls. Kasia shines above all others their age, so they all assume it’ll be her. Agniezska is an unapologetic mess. Things take a surprising turn when The Dragon comes down from his tower on the feast day and makes an unexpected choice.

The Dragon is not friendly. At all. He’s bitter and mean. He reminded me of a younger, attractive version of Severus Snape. A very dapper Snape with clean hair, overly concerned with appearance. He is not sweet or sentimental and he never becomes so.

Obviously, I love him. He rivals young Magneto, singleminded, bent on fighting and destroying a threat to them all. The Wood.

“The power in the Wood isn’t some blind hating beast; it can think and plan, and work towards its own ends. It can see into the hearts of men, all the better to poison them.”

I love this book. I will read it again. You should read it. Do it. Do it!

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The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In BoyfriendThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Kasie West! I will read every single book she writes.

Gia isn’t a mean girl. Her life is shallow, both at school and at home. She makes a few new friends that she’s more real with and begins to question herself and her relationships with friends and family. She tries to be a better person.

There’s a swoony boy, a teriffic new friend, and lots of KW humor to make Gia’s tale super enjoyable. I read this gem in one sitting. It gave me happy feels & put a smile on my face.

Highly recommended!

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Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer’s Bride

Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer's Bride (Transformation of the Shelley Sisters, #3)Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer’s Bride by Louise Allen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Hero walks by Damsel’s bedroom door and hears some sort of struggle. He bursts into her room to rescue her from…her bedsheets! A nightmare caused Celina to thrash around and get her sheets wrapped tightly around her neck. She sleep-claws poor Hero’s hands up while he’s saving her life. Hero needed his hands bandaged up and Celina required a scarf to hide her bruised neck. The moral of the story is USE NAIL CLIPPERS! Also, the importance of having safe sheets can never be stressed too much.

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Firefly Hollow by T L Haddix

Firefly Hollow (Firefly Hollow, #1)Firefly Hollow by T.L. Haddix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was super cheesy. Like, Nicholas Sparks cheesy. I did some serious eye rolling. I’m not gonna lie, I’m slightly ashamed of having given it 4 stars. Maybe I was in just the right mood, maybe I’m losing my edge.

There was a lot more going on besides a slow burn romance that oozed Velveeta. I loved the mother daughter relationship and the other family ties. I liked that the uber bitchy sister actually had hidden depths. The paranormal element wasn’t actually a large part of the story.

Total Gary Stu/Mary Sue thing going on as well. As much as it pains me, I’ve got to be truthful and rate it on how much I enjoyed it. It should be a 3, but help me, it’s a 4.

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Losing It By Cora Carmack

Losing It (Losing It, #1)Losing It by Cora Carmack
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After hearing that this was a cute book, despite the porntastic cover & blurb, I gave Losing It a read. It didn’t hurt that I got it for free! Honestly, I was expecting the same kind of crap I found in Falling too Far. I usually skim to the end or just put it on the DNF shelf if its too lame. I really hated the whole, “Virginity is such a burden, I’m going to go have sex with some random stranger so I can be like my friends” premise. That’s why I was ready to toss this one in the plunker pile before I even started it.

Surprise! It was a trick. Bliss (yep, that’s her name) does something silly rather than something stupid & dangerous. Am I the only girl who got the Stranger Danger talk along with a can of pepper spray from her parents? Anyway…her almost one night stand turns out to be her new teacher. She finds this out when she arrives late to her theater class the next day. Ooooh! Talk about a walk of shame. Garrick has 1) The same name as my brother, which was weird, and 2) A British accent, which was sexy. Anglophile. Can’t help it. There’s some predictable hot-for-teacher stuff, no surprises, but still an entertaining little story. I like awkward situations and Losing It delivered a few good ones.

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Book Review and Personal Stuff about Anxiety

After Math (Off the Subject, #1)After Math by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about After Math. Scarlett has severe social anxiety and panic attacks. She had a crappy childhood & excelled in school, specifically math, to get herself out of the trailer park and into university. She took advantage of free counselling on campus for 14 months, & has learned many techniques to calm herself down. Scarlett has a tutoring job in the math lab, which works well with her social anxiety. One on one, small environment. She has two close friends, one a roommate, but avoids going out. No crowded, unfamiliar places. Everyday situations can cause her to panic. She does equations to calm herself down, guided imagery too.

I was impressed by how accurately the author depicted this kind of disorder. I can relate so much to the main character, as I have social anxiety myself. My brother & I used to joke and call it Walmart-a-phobia. It’s gotten harder to deal with as I’ve gotten older (although middle and high school were so so difficult), and I found out it’s a real thing. Acute Agoraphobia. I feel safe when my environment is controlled and familiar. New places & people make me nervous, even when everyone is friendly. I use some of the same coping mechanisms Scarlett describes. Not equations – I’m only good with the basic math used in my every day life. I would’ve spotted BS, so the author either did her research well or has some type of personal experience.

So why 3 stars? From me, 3 stars means I liked most of it but had some significant dislikes. The writing was good, markedly better than The Substitute by the same author. I was skeptical of the way that Scarlett & Tucker recognized something in one another. It actually developed into a nice and healthy friendship, they helped each other in different ways.

The romance was super needy and unhealthy, and it moved way too fast. I hate the idea that another person can heal you. Granted, Scarlett took some serious steps with therapy, but I didn’t understand why she no longer went. She’s not fixed. There’s mention of the medications that the MC wished she could afford to take. That was a blunder, because there’s assistance available that her therapist would’ve alerted her to. She qualified for free campus counselling, and she’s clearly not able to function normally, even with the calming techniques.

Tucker was an emotional mess. Drug addicted mother. Abusive foster homes. Self destructive behavior, like binge drinking and sleeping with all the girls. He even has a temper problem that results in emotional, if not physical abuse.

Seriously, why are there so many romances about emotionally damaged people healing each other through love? My issues sometimes affect my family. I’m thankful that my husband, while not perfect, doesn’t suffer from anxiety or problems from a violent past. My kids know what I deal with and see me being proactive about dealing with my panic attacks. Having a calm, confident spouse helps enormously. We’ve been at it for almost 20 years, and I can tell you that regular marriage has enough hard spots. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but the odds aren’t ever in your favor if you have 2 people with major unresolved issues try to live happily ever after.

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