Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Croak by Gina Damico

Title: Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Series: Croak #1
Length: 8hrs & 16 mins/320 pages
Publisher: Audible Studios February 28, 2013
Rating: 4 1/2 STARS

Description from Goodreads:

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.

But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business.

She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice - or is it vengeance? - whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.

Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

My Thoughts:

               Lexington Bartleby is a juvenile delinquent. Her delinquent behavior and out lashes find home to all those around her without prejudice. In a last ditch effort her parents and twin sister hogtie her to the dining room chair with jump ropes and inform her she is going to spend the summer in the-middle-of-nowhere Croak with her estranged Uncle Mort at his farm. This is unacceptable, but Lex doesn’t really have a choice. When she first meets Mort she knows something is off and when she really takes a look at small-town Croak, Lex knows something is different about her new home. She soon learns that she has been sent to a town that is home to Reapers…yeah as in the Grim Reapers. Lex becomes a Grim in training, but it soon becomes apparent that Lex is no like everyone else. Her differences make her stick out and eventually make her a target. Something is wrong in the Grimsphere and Lex and her partner Driggs are on the forefront. Will she be able to avert disaster or will she join in the chaos?

               The first chapter of so of Croak didn’t really impress me. However, my opinion quickly turned around. Lex is definitely a unique character by any standard I can think of. She is rough, violent, mean, sarcastic, and I absolutely adored her. She says the kind of mean things I say to my siblings, but would never let anyone outside of my family know. Her fierce independence and tendency to follow her own beliefs makes her pretty awesome in my book. Other than Lex, what made this book so special was that each character truly had a life or spark of their own. Croak is the quintessential mash up of personalities that you will find in the not quite outcast, but fringe high school groups. Everyone couldn’t be more opposite, but the all have that one thing that ties them together. Think of Croak as a morbid updated version of The Breakfast Club crew. The last thing that truly sets Croak apart is the macabre subject matter and the way it is handled. This book deals with teens and adults literally being in the moment that first moment of death. As you know and can imagine many people do not go peacefully and Damico doesn’t shy away from these scenes. In addition, when dealing with these deaths the moral dilemma of bringing justice on your own terms to murders… is it the right thing to do? Along this same note, this subject matter can be pretty heavy. They are tastefully done, yet show how brutal death can be. Gina Damico balances everything out with a slightly morbid sense of humor that is absolutely hilarious.

               The narrator Jessica Almasy did a phenomenal job voicing Croak and all of it’s characters. One of the key things when it comes to audiobooks is if a narrator is reading as a 16 year old he/she not sound like they are in their 50s. Ms. Almasy was spot on and was able to convey the perfect level of amped up sarcasm and contempt for Lex. She is definitely a narrator I look forward to listening to in the future. Overall I absolutely loved Croak by Gina Damico and cannot wait to dig in to the next book Scorch. I give this book a 4 ½ STAR rating.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday

Hello Everyone! Today’s topic is …Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List (could be blogging related, book related etc. -- meeting authors, reading x many books per year, finishing a daunting book, etc.) I am loving this subject! I have a pretty good bucket list.


1.     Finish all of my unfinished series – I am horrible. The majority of my unfinished series I just need to finish the last book. I either put it off because I don’t want the series to end i.e. The Demon Trappers Daughter or it took forever for the book to come out and I would need to reread the entire series to remember what was happening i.e. Infinite Days.

2.     Clean my shelves of all books I will never read/finish – I have absolutely too many books and I just keep buying more. Currently I have 3 floor to ceiling shelves, a dresser filled with books two rows deep, my headboard is a bookshelf, and I have two mid-height shelves that are both stacked two rows deep and one of the resides in my closet. I need to prioritize.

3.     Go to at least one author signing – I am so excited! I might actually get to cross this one off in a couple of days! The university I work at is hosting three National Book Awards authors gene Luen Yang, Lucie Brock-Broido, and Tea Obreht. If you live in Texas and are interested Click Here .

4.     Reach the point where I post at least five times a week – Since getting a full time job I come home and I’m tired.

5.     Finish reading at least half of my TBR (it’s massive) – See number 2

6.     Own all of my favorite book to movie adaptations on DVD – I must own Pride and Prejudice, Austenland, Lost in Austen, The Vampire Academy, and eventually Morganville Vampires.

7.     Accept that just because I have half of a series in paperback and the rest in hardcover it does not mean I have to hunt down and buy the other half to match – For example. I first started reading The Vampire Academy series before they were being published in hardcover. They became popular and if I wanted to read the new one as soon as it came out I had to buy it in hardcover. So I gave my paperbacks away knowing I was going to buy the entire series in hardcover. I had books 1,4,5,& 6 in the Vampire Academy series in hardcover. I could not find 2 & 3 anywhere. So, what do I do? Give the hardcovers away and buy the boxed set. You’re welcome Richelle Mead. Sadly, I also own the audiobooks.

8.     I would love to start a reading program in my community – I have a ton of books I could donate to the cause and as fellow readers you know there is nothing more magical then discovering a book that changes your life. Sadly, not everyone is exposed to this.

9.     Find a part time bookish job - This is just because I want to be more active in the book world.

10.  Write a book – I was feeling particularly creative and have started 2 or 3 ideas, but I’m finding it hard to follow through.


What is on your Bookish Bucket List? Do we have any of the same goals? Leave me a link to your Top Ten in the comments below so I can check it out!


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (audiobook review)

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Series: The Goddess Test #1
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: audiobook
Length: 8hrs & 20mins
Description from Goodreads:
 Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
If she fails...

My Thoughts:

      Kate Winters has had to grow up fast. Her mother has terminal cancer and as her last request they have moved back to her hometown of Eden. Having given up her childhood and her senior year of high school to take care of her dying mother Kate isn’t exactly social. On her one attempt at being normal she attends a party, things go wrong, and tragedy occurs. In order to right a wrong Kate makes a life changing deal with potentially deadly consequences. She is introduced to the gods of the old world. Hades is in need of a wife and Kate is his last chance. She must pass seven tests to prove herself worthy, evade an unknown foe whom has killed all before her, and convince the god of the underworld to give their life together a chance. Will Kate survive a killer, will she fail and forget everything, or will she pass and become Queen of the Underworld? Death and betrayal lurk around every corner. What would you do for immortality?
      Kate Winters may not have superpowers or the ability to kick serious evildoer behind, but she is definitely someone readers can admire. She doesn’t give up no matter how hopeless a situation seems. As you read The Goddess Test you will notice that nothing will stand in the way of her doing the right thing. She is courageous and tenacious. The other main character in the story is Henry/Hades. His character is very dry and distant. The narrator does a wonderful job voicing him and lets readers get a real sense of how old, separated, and hopeless he truly is. Henry isn’t your typical love interest and the relationship between him and Kate isn’t the typical YA romance in general. As for the rest of the book…I really enjoyed it. The other characters really showed their personalities. My favorites were definitely Ava and James. Ava in particulary is enjoyable with her romance centric train of thought.  As for the mystery in the book, readers gradually get a hint of who the killer is. I liked that it didn’t come out of thin air and it actually seemed plausible. The only potential “negative” aspect about the book is that there isn’t a lot of action. There aren’t any “kick-butt” moments or awesome magical displays. It was a little dry in places. I just think that with a cast of mythology's greatest powers a more could have beendone.  Lastly, the ending drops a big bombshell (one I didn’t see coming) and I absolutely loved it! It is sure to make the next installments of the series interesting. The narrator was very entertaining and the story is intriguing. I will definitely be picking up the next installment. I give this book a 3 ½ STAR rating.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Girl in Love by Caisey Quinn

Title: Girl In Love
Author: Caisey Quinn
Series: Kylie Ryans (#3)
Length: 350 pages
Description from Goodreads:
She's living her dream...Kylie Ryans is the biggest thing to come out of Nashville since, well, since Trace Corbin. With a hit album and a powerful label behind her, she appears to be the girl who has it all.

But appearances can be deceiving.

Fresh out of rehab, Trace Corbin is ready to take on the world. Just not the girl he walked away from. Because if there's one thing he knows for certain, it's that the people you love are the ones who have the power to destroy you.

As their worlds collide, they'll have to make the ultimate choice. Follow their dreams, or give it all up for love.

They say love conquers all, but for Kylie and Trace, it just might wreck everything they've worked for.

My Thoughts:

Kylie Ryans and Trace Corbin, I feel so attached to them. It’s almost as if I hear them on the radio every day. I have been patiently waiting for the third and final book in this trilogy to come out and thank goodness it finally has. Girl in Love by Caisey Quinn reunites readers with our favorite drama filled country couple Kylie and Trace. This is a really hard review to write. I was so hyped after the ending of the second book and the way it ended…I just expected more from the third and final book. Don’t get me wrong I still loved every minute of it and the ending was perfect as it should be.
               Kylie has is now a superstar in her own right, but something is missing from her life. That something is Trace Corbin. It has been almost a year since he left her and she is struggling day by day. Certain events happen that force our two beloved characters to deal with each other. Their main struggle is the jealousy and a lack of trust on both sides. Kylie is jealous of Gretchen and Trace is jealous of Stephen. Basically the majority of the book Kylie has her head up her butt believing that Trace no longer loves her. This kind of bugged me/go really annoying because EVERYONE could see how much they both still cared for each other. It wasn’t just a misunderstanding, but a glaring neon country-music-done-broke-my-heart kind of obvious. Kylie and Trace not acknowledging their love story line was frustrating and after ¾ of the book went by it became monotonous. I was ready for them to be with other people. Speaking of other people…I loved Stephen in this book. He became someone I cared about, wanted to find a happy ending, and generally was more interesting than our main characters. Finally, in the last half of the book the story picks up and introduces new life by way of Trace’s sisters, Kylie’s evil step-monster, and the drama with the record label caused by all of their personal drama. Once all of that was over I was one happy reader. The best part of the book by far was the epilogue. I loved getting to see how everyone’s lives turned out several years in the future. By the end of the book I was thrilled with how everything ended and exhausted by the nonstop drama at the same time. All in all I loved this series and would most definitely pick up a companion series if there ever was one (fingers crossed). I give this book a 3 STAR rating.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

King Hall by Scarlett Dawn

Title: King Hall
Author: Scarlett Dawn
Series: Forever Evermore #1
Length: 280 pages
Format: Kindle eBook

Description from Goodreads:

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing:  survival.  Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings.  Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realizes the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.

My Thoughts:

Wow. King Hall by Scarlett Dawn blew me away. Lily Ruckler is not supposed to be alive. Hybrid abominations like her have always been killed at birth. Through sacrifice and friends in high places Lily has stayed alive. Attending King Hall Lily is close to graduating with a degree in creative writing and gets to see her mate everyday. Everything is going good for Lily. Then the future kings and queens of the Mysticals are announced, tragedy strikes, and Lily is thrust into mayhem and the spotlight. The Commoners (humans) are stirring up trouble with attacks on the mysticals. As tensions escalate it looks more and more like a second war is to come. With help from the other Prodigies (future kings/queen) Lily starts to overcome her grief, finds acceptance, and prepares for her own personal war of staying hidden.

     The world Scarlett Dawn creates has quickly become one of my favorite supernatural worlds. Mysticals consist of shifters, elementals, mages, and vampires that all exist in a tentative alliance with each other. Then there are the Commoners (humans) who went to war with mysticals years ago and a peace treaty was brokered. It seems factions are no longer happy with this peace and the commoners become more restless and more violent. Lily is used to hiding and she is has a hard time adjusting to being in the public eye and navigating the rules of a world she did not grow up in. Luckily she forms an unusual bond with the other prodigies Jack, Ezra, and Pearl. They help Lily heal and form a bond together that was amazing to see unfold. In a world where separation is key they come to love each other and are best friends. I have to admit their relationship was my favorite part of the whole story. They are all so different, but these differences together form the perfect personality/relationship. I kept hoping for some romance between the friends, but I have faith it will eventually happen. I swear the sexual tension was so thick I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
          Lily is a character that readers instantly feel a connection with. Throughout the entire book you are cheering her on, hoping she succeeds, finds love, and shows everyone she can kick ass just as good as they can. I loved her no nonsense attitude. She is witty, smart, and sees a future where all Mysticals can coexist. The other characters round out King Hall making a wonderful first book in a new series I will definitely be reading until the very end. After all, I staid up until 3 AM on a work day to finish it. This was one of those books that I loved so much I didn't do it justice. I didn't want to give away any of the amazing surprises. Please pick it up and give it a chance! This book gets a whopping 5 STAR rating.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: Catch Up Edition

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
Hello my book loving fellows! I have missed you all so much and am so excited to be getting back into the swing of things. I will be showing you this book haul in two parts. The first part is most of the books I have bought since the lasts STS (about 2 1/3 months worth) forever ago. The second part...well there was a huge sale on gohastings.com and I just couldn't stay away from bookoutlet.com. Next week will be from those two sites. Now, on to the goods! * = read
My Treasures
Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse
Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Dark Light by Sara Walsh
Legacy by Molly Cochran
Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
*Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Burning by Elana K. Arnold
*Rift by Andrea Cremer
Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
The Scarlett Dagger by Krystle Jones
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The 100 by Kass Morgan
Scorched by Mari Mancusi
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
*Texas Bride by Joan Johnston
Wyoming Bride by Joan Johnston
*Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Blythewood by Carol Goodman
The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
The Liberator by Victoria Scott
*The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
*The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
*Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
*The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
*Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
*Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock
Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner
Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Weather Witch by Shannon Delany
Becoming Red by Jess Raven & Paula Black
The Scarlet Dagger took a pic twice
Endless by Jessica Shirvington
Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
Covet by Melissa Darnell
Consume by Melissa Darnell
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Eragon/Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Brisinger by Christopher Paolini
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
*Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
*While It Lasts by Abbi Glines
*Fallen Crest Family by Tijan
*Avoiding Temptation by K.A. Linde
*Fallen Crest High by Tijan
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
*The Academy: Introductions by C.L. Stone (LOVE this series)
*The Academy: First Days by C.L. Stone
(I have this series on Kindle and am slowly collecting physical copies)
*Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
*Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
*Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
*Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
*Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
(I've listed to the series on Aubible and loved it!)
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks
The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Shimmer by Dallas Reed
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Merely Magic by Patricia Rice
When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck
*Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix
Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns
******The End******
I know this looks like I have lost my mind and spent my life's savings buying all of these books. I promise I haven't went crazy. Most of my books are used books bought from www.gohastings.com and the actual Hastings store. In addition many are from my local second hand book store Lottie's Books. One or two are from Wal-Mart/Target and the indie physical books are from Amazon. Leave me a comment and let me know if you have read any of these and a link to your book haul/STS!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 01/21/2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
Hello bookish people! I am back and what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a Top Ten? Today's topic is Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)
01.) Love Triangles- I don't care what everyone else says...I love love triangles! If this is mention I am twice as likely to read it.
02.) Girl falls for Older Siblings BFF- What can I say? Apparently I'm a sucker for the clich├ęs.
03.) Bad Ass Faeries/Fairies/Fairys- Whichever way you spell it I love me some kick ass nasty fairies! (Wicked Lovely for the WIN)

04.) Bad Boy Teaches Good Girl How to Be Bad- This is mostly in the historical romances. I love when a rakish lord teaches a young miss how to flirt and be "improper" in the hopes of winning some other guy and they wind up falling in love.
05.) Kick Ass Heroines- Nothing is more awesome than reading about a heroine who can take care of herself.
06.) YA Western Romance novel- I have never read a book like this. I cut my bookish teeth on my mom's romance novels she left lying around. I would like to see a YA Western Romance.
07.) BFFs Fall in Love- There is just something about best friends fall in love that I can't resist.
08.) Werewolves- I don't know why, but lately I have a thing for werewolf books.

And these are all of the bookish quirks I am going to admit to. Leave me a link in the comments to your Top Ten and let me know if we share any of the same tendencies.