Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Solitaire(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

Well, this book was pretty dull, the ending was less than satisfactory, and I wasted several hours playing solitaire because of this book. Not all that successful of a read for me.

Tori was an odd character, and I grudgingly liked her, but only because I could relate to her a bit. She seemed to be suffering from teen depression in my opinion, which made me able to see where she was coming from. However, she really wasn’t an easy person for other people to be around.

"My hobbies are drinking diet lemonade and being a bitter asshole."

She was sullen, she often totally ignored what people said to her, refused to do things that were in her own best interest just because she was being stubborn, and was generally not a very happy person. The number of things that she told us she hated was pretty big (including reading), and she generally pretty prickly.

“Sometimes I hate people.”
“Year 9’s and 1’0s always seem to be happy. It makes me hate them a bit. Then again, I hate quite a lot of things.”
“I hate the phone. It is the worst invention in the history of the world, because if you don’t talk, nothing happens.”
“I hate the Beatles.”
“I hate questions that need not be asked.”
“I hate books.”
“I hate school”
“I hate Jack.”
“I hate tea.”
“I hate that everyone thinks you need to go to university.”
“I hate the bus.”
“I hate parties.” – “I hate them, and I hate people who go to them.”
“Sometimes I hate the internet.”

I have to say that I was a bit like this at high school as well, and it really doesn’t endear you to anyone. This girl needs treating for depression.

The storyline in this was a little bit lacking for me, and the pace was too slow too. Other than wanting to know what the heck was actually going on, and waiting to see who Tori would p*ss off next, I found this pretty dull, and inevitably kept putting this down to play solitaire instead. Unfortunately I wasted hours and hours playing solitaire instead of reading, which is really quite annoying.

The pranks that this ‘solitaire’ bunch played were pretty poor really, and they must have been pretty darn clever to be able to do it anyway; hacking computers and stuff. All fairly dull though unfortunately.

The ending wasn’t all that great either. I didn’t really feel that everything had been resolved, but I was glad that the book was over.
Overall; fairly dull,
6 out of 10

Monday, 30 March 2015

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Cemetery Boys
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.

Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.

Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Cemetery Boys(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was an okay story, but I lost interest.

I didn’t really liked Stephen, although he did improve a bit towards the end. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t relate to him, and I didn’t really care what happened to him. He didn’t seem to have all that much respect for the adults in his life, and was generally a bit of a rebellious teen.

The storyline in this just bored me. I didn’t think it clever that the kids called the cemetery ‘the playground’ – I mean have some respect for the dead! Most of the jokes weren’t funny, and half the residents in the town were nuts.
There was some romance, but I wasn’t a fan.

The ending did have a couple of plot points that I thought were interesting, but mostly I was just glad that it was over. Maybe teen boys would like this?
Overall; not for me,
5.5 out of 10

Sunday, 29 March 2015

King (The Dragon King Chronicles #3) by Ellen Oh

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
King (The Dragon King Chronicles, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes—Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.

Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.

King by Ellen Oh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

King (The Dragon King Chronicles, #3)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was an okay end to the series, but I did lose interest in places.

Kira continued to be strong in this story, although she did break down at one point. I understood her devastation over what happened though, and she proved that at heart she was both a fighter, and a human.

The storyline in this was okay, and it wrapped things up nicely. I did lose focus at points though, and the romance didn’t really interest me. There was a bit of an unexpected twist in there that Kira didn’t take well.

The ending was good, and Kira finally got what she wanted!
6 out of 10

The Scavengers (After the Apocalypse #1) by Gen Griffin

Blurb (from Goodreads):
It has been 28 years, 14 weeks and 9 days since a virus had turned more than half of the world's human population into zombies. More than 95 percent of the population died within 6 months of the initial infection. Those who survived holed up wherever they could find safety. My parents found their safety in the Cube, a building that was originally built as a prison for violent criminals. Mom and Dad have always told me the sacrifices we made to live in the Cube were worth it because we were safe. Its been 13 days, 12 hours and 42 minutes since my parents disappeared without a trace from our apartment inside the Cube. I'm going to leave the Cube for the first time today. Maybe I'll find my parents. Maybe, I'll be eaten by the zombies.

The Scavengers by Gen Griffin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The ScavengersDownloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk

“I shuddered hard but it did nothing to dislodge the growing suspicion that everything I’d thought I’d known about the world outside the Cube was wrong.”

This book had a bit of a slow patch at the beginning, but did get better as it went along.

Pilar was an okay character, although she did seem maybe a bit naïve. It was brave of her to stand up and ask what had happened to her parents though, even if the explanations were lies.

“It’s been 13 days, 12 hours, and 42 minutes since my parents disappeared without a trace from our apartment inside the Cube.
In two hours, I was going to leave the cube for the very first time in my life.”

The storyline in this followed the scavengers as they went out scavenging through zombie territory, looking for canned food, and trying to fix their truck. Some of the characters died, some of them turned out to be complete nutcases, and some of them were killed by said nutcases!

“Connor was laying on the ground at Kennedy’s feet with his arm ripped off his baody. The arm was laying in the dirt next to the bus.”

The ending to this was a bit of a cliff-hanger, as although some things were revealed, lots of things weren’t resolved. It will be interesting to find out what happens to Pilar next.
6.5 out of 10

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Gargoyles were created centuries ago to protect mankind, but something went horribly wrong. Now only the sentinel—a mortal chosen to control the stone beasts—stands between them and their human prey. When the latest sentinel is killed, Kate Mercer is destined to take his place. But Kate has enough going on in her life—like a skyrocketing film career, a delusional ex-boyfriend, and a crazed stalker who will stop at nothing to get to her. But the powers that be have decided, and Kate is transported to Shadow Wood, a mysterious castle that serves as a sanctuary for the supernatural. Although beautiful, Shadow Wood is no safe place for a mere mortal. Yet Kate is drawn not only to the gargoyles but also to Ian McGuire, a charming novelist who might be in the greatest danger of all. As Kate decides whether to accept the most perilous role of her life, she discovers there are more secrets than answers within the castle’s walls. Her survival and Ian’s depend on her ability to master the gargoyles before time runs out. Is fate really cast in stone?

Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Of Shadow and Stone(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley.)

There wasn’t anything horribly wrong with this book; I just lost interest.

My main complaint with this book was just the amount of stuff in there that didn’t need to be in there. I’m all for world-building, and setting the scene, but sometimes we don’t need to know quite so much. Fair enough, tell us what the character is wearing; but I personally don’t need to know every detail down to what shade of lavender her knickers were.

“Once showered, she popped open the wardrobe closet to see what outfit would magically appear. The wardrobe contained a pair of black jeans and a silky lilac sweater. Next to the blouse hung a butter-soft black leather jacket, and at the bottom sat a pair of black hiking boots. In one of the smaller draws she found pale lavender underwear, a matching bra, and black socks.”

Likewise, I don’t need to know the entire contents of someone’s fridge, wonderings over whether the character watched DVD’s or watched digital copies of films, or whether the furniture was Shaker style or something else.

As for the rest of the storyline, I felt like it just got drowned in all these details that kept being thrust upon me, and I just got really bored. I didn’t come across anything that really offended me, or bothered me, I just felt ambivalent, and then bored.
5 out of 10

Friday, 27 March 2015

Weeping Willow - Part One (Weeping Willow #1) by Sandra Madera

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Being teased at school, Chloe was awkward socially, finding it hard to relate to her peers. As an only child of a single mother, she had her share of loneliness. But when her mother buys a fixer upper on a large lot just outside of town, Chloe feels the she is on the cusp of change. Dreaming of another world and a handsome but alien stranger has her questioning who she really is, and what is real....

Weeping Willow - Part One by Sandra Madera

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Weeping Willow - Part One (Weeping Willow Stories, #1)Download for free here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

“You summoned him,” She cried. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I had done. Or, how to fix it. Before I could react, she began to cry hysterically, “Why did you do it?”

I am so glad that the author sent me a copy of this book to read and review, because this was really good!

I liked Chloe/Willow, and I thought she acted appropriately when confronted with danger – she ran! This girl was no idiot, she knew that she was no match for a big guy with a sword or two and did the sensible thing and fled. No walking into danger on purpose for this girl!

“Fear trickling back into my numb body, I ran in the direction of home, hoping my mother was there so I could warn her.”

The storyline in this was really good, and I loved the action! Poor Chloe/Willow seemed to have no shortage of unexpected encounters, and I loved how I didn’t know what was coming next!

“It was him!
It was the intruder, disguised as a police officer! He had found me.”

There was some romance, and I’m guessing that some people might call it insta-love, but to be honest, although Nalin seemed to like Chloe, she didn’t immediately return the feeling, and there wasn’t any huge declarations on her part, and nothing physical at all.

“Seeing her again, even for a few fleeting moments, made my heart stop. I was overwhelmed with a feeling although I couldn’t comprehend which one. I had found my twin soul, and we were at the meeting once again.”

The ending to this was a bit of a cliff-hanger! I’m glad that the second part of this story is already available and free on smashwords! Yay!
8.5 out of 10

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children's and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation. There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl. And though the killers were caught they walked free. Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating. But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant. Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate. Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes. To survive she has to stay close to him. To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Conspiracy Girl(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children's and NetGalley.)

This was an okay story, but I just had trouble concentrating on it!

Nic was a bit of an irritating character at times. She seemed a little full of herself, didn’t help when she could have at times, and didn’t even apologise when her dog pooped on someone’s carpet!

The storyline in this wasn’t bad, but I just found it really hard to keep focus on. Even the action couldn’t keep me interested, and I just found myself zoning out all the time. I cared less and less about what was going on the further I got into the book, and even the romance didn’t appeal to me.

The ending was alright, and I hadn’t guessed who it was who was trying to kill Nic, that might just have been because I had such problems paying attention though.
6 out of 10.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Guardians (Wasteland #3) by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
This heart-pounding final book in the Wasteland trilogy is filled with dramatic twists and turns!

No one dares leave the District—the towering structure of glass and steel that is their protection against the unruly bands of Outsiders that roam Mundreel and the deadly rain that carries the disease that kills all over the age of nineteen.

This skyscraper stands amid the urban devastation, the city rumored to have once been called “Montreal.” Esther and her allies have created a haven on the rooftop, a garden that flourishes, and a home for her new baby, hidden from all but the very few who know her secret.

But as Gideon’s power grows and factions form, an unlikely leader learns to control every action of the District’s people. As the ultimate darkness is born from greed, Esther must find a way to save the citizens from themselves.

Guardians by Susan Kim

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Guardians(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was an alright story, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

This series for me keeps going off in very different directions with each book, and this book was once again different to the 2 before it. While the first was a survival story, and the second about moving on, this one was more about human nature, and the way things developed with regards to money and how one person once again wanted to be in charge and have power over others.

The characters in this were okay, and I felt quite sorry for Esther at times. She came across as quite a nice person, who wanted to do what was in everybody’s best interests, but she was fighting an uphill battle really. Gideon turned into a not-nice person, and I wasn’t impressed with his methods.

The storyline in this was okay, but once again, it went in a very different direction to what I expected. I can’t really say that reading about people discussing pieces of green glass (their currency), people playing God, and killing people, to be all that exciting unfortunately, and after the half-way mark this story really dragged. There were also quite a few deaths in this book, some of them unexpected and fairly brutal! It seems like no-one is safe in this series!
The ending to this was good, and it was quite a positive ending. This book just wasn’t what I expected though.
Overall; okay story, but not quite what I was expecting,
6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis, thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Liars, Inc.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
It all starts with one little lie…

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Liars, Inc.(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis, thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Max and his friends Preston and Parvati are known at the high school for being able to fake parental signatures on school documents for a price, so when Preston wants Max to cover for him while he goes to Vegas to meet a girl, Max agrees.

When Preston then disappears, and Max is implicated in his disappearance and possibly murder, Max and Parvati know that it’s up to them to solve the mystery of what happened to Preston, before it’s too late.
Where is Preston? Is he dead? And can Max and Parvati work out what is going on before Max is arrested?

This was an interesting mystery story, and I liked trying to work out what was going on!

Max was an interesting character, and it was obvious that his life hadn’t been easy. I felt really sorry for him when it looked like he was being framed for murder, although his actions didn’t help him look innocent!

The storyline in this was good, and I was impressed by the way Parvati knew so much about hiding out and avoiding cops! I liked the mystery aspect, even though I guessed what was going on at points, and I liked how things weren’t straight forward.
There was some romance, but it was a side-story rather than the main storyline, and was connected to the plot a bit rather than being tacked on for the sake of it.

The ending to this was pretty good, and I was happy with the way things worked out.
Overall; interesting mystery story,
7 out of 10.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Raine (Elemental #2) by M.M. Roethig

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author M.M. Roethig.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Starting her senior year of high school, Raine Patterson is content with being invisible. That is, until the mysteriously handsome Kaden transfers in and turns her world upside down. Drawn to him in ways she can’t understand, Raine finds herself falling for him, regardless of his harsh stares and mixed signals. When she discovers a hidden ability to control the elements, she finds herself the target of a madman, and Kaden is the only one who can help her. Can she trust him? Kaden Williams has hated Elementals from the time he lost his father to them as a young boy. Chosen to protect Elementals, Kaden turned his back on his duty, swearing to rid the world of them instead. Meeting Raine was no accident, but his feelings for her throw him into turmoil and threaten to change the way he feels about Elementals. When Raine becomes the target of an unknown aggressor, Kaden is forced to decide which path he will follow. As the struggle for knowledge unfolds and the beginning of a pending war looms closer, Raine and Kaden must lean on each other to discover the truth and survive.

Raine by M.M. Roethig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Raine (Elemental #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author M.M. Roethig.)

“What is it that Elzar wants?” “He wants you.”

This was an okay story, but I lost interest after a while.

The characters in this were all okay, but I didn’t really love any of them. Kaden was quite stubborn, and set in his ways, and Raine was fairly normal and made some questionable decisions at times. How on earth she thought that salad was divine I don’t know. Pizza, ice-cream, chocolate – I’ll let you have that, but SALAD? SALAD?

“Their salad is divine if you like salads.”

The storyline in this was about Raine discovering her powers over the elements and learning about her heritage. I found that quite a bit of stuff was repeated from book 1, but because we were told it rather than being shown it, it all felt a bit heavy and dragged a bit.

“My dear, over the years Elementals have become a hunted species by those who don’t understand us. They have sought to kill us and, as Kayla says, they deserve nothing less.”

I was disappointed with this book partly because it was so different to book 1. Elemental princess was pure fantasy, with a bit of romance, whilst this story was more paranormal contemporary, and I just didn’t like it as much as Elemental Princess.

There was a little bit of romance, but it didn’t interest me, probably because I didn’t really care all that much for the characters.

“Kaden deepened the kiss as he slanted his mouth over hers, his hands firmly pressed against her back.”

I didn’t really feel like much was tied up at the end, but I was ready for the book to finish. Apologies to the author, but I feel this was maybe a case of wrong book wrong person.
6 out of 10.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

All That We Have Lost by Kate Ashton

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kate Ashton.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Juliana flies to Paris in an effort to say a final goodbye to her husband who died on a top-secret mission—or that’s what she was told because a body was never found. When she bumps into a man who looks like her husband but has no memories, she starts on a journey to find the truth. A journey filled with emotional peril and danger, a journey only she can take. But she’s not alone. Daniel wanders, lost, unable to remember anything of his past, except for the horrific flashbacks. Lucy, estranged from her family, works as a fortuneteller, unable to receive a vision on what matters most to her. The one thing that could bring her family back together. Mia leaves her crumbling marriage to support her mother in Paris. She's forced to face the grief of losing her father, but she’s challenged to rise above to rescue a lost soldier, and possibly, be a hero. In this story about rescue, restoration, and second chances, all four will face their past—the heartache and the pain—in a moving rescue mission like no other.

All That We Have Lost by Kate Ashton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All That We Have Lost(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kate Ashton.)

This was an okay story, there was nothing wrong with it; it just wasn’t my sort of story though. I have to say that I have read books by Kate Ashton before, and really, really loved them; I think this story literally just wasn’t my sort of thing.

There were several characters, and the writing jumped back and forth between their pasts and presents, and this told the story nicely, and showed where each character was coming from. More things were revealed as the story went along, and the relationships between characters became more obvious as the pieces fit together. Unfortunately though, I couldn’t really relate to the characters, I couldn’t get a good feel for any of them, and I didn’t really feel involved in their problems at all.

The subject matter of this book was about men who had gone missing whilst in combat, and the women back at home left missing them and wondering if they were dead or alive. Whether I didn’t connect with this because of my disinterest in war and such things I don’t know, but I just didn’t feel anything. I had hoped that I would get sucked into this story, that I would feel the women’s hurt and desperation, that I would feel a burning need to find out what had happened, and what was still happening the way they did, but I just didn’t feel anything.

The ending to this did have some surprises, but again, I just didn’t feel anything, and had really lost interest by the time I got to the end. To feel really bad saying that I didn’t enjoy this book, when I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous books, but unfortunately this one just wasn’t for me.
6 out of 10

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Bell Sound Everlasting by J.Z.N. McCauley

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author J.Z.N. McCauley and RMS.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
It is only in music that Evelyn Bell allows herself to let go. She is happily spending her days as a professional pianist--until her life is suddenly turned upside down when, during a public performance, a mysterious vision appears before her. After Evelyn locks eyes with a strange young man she has never seen before, she is returned to reality as quickly as she left--and without any answers about his identity. As she stands and receives applause from the audience, Evelyn cannot forget the man's beautiful, intense eyes that seemed to stare directly into her soul. But who is he? She returns home, only to be plagued with odd flashes of light that leave her reeling. She attempts to go about her life, although she cannot help but wonder what else awaits her in what is becoming a bizarre chain of events. She has no idea that the man's mysterious appearances have only just begun. In this compelling tale, a woman seeking answers embarks on a journey of self-discovery through her memories, where she must learn to embrace loss, change, and her true destiny.

A Bell Sound Everlasting by J.Z.N. McCauley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bell Sound Everlasting(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author J.Z.N. McCauley and RMS.)

“Music is said to be one of the most beautiful things of the known world. It’s in music that I allow myself to let go, to let myself flow through it as if dancing.”

This was an unusual story about a woman who discovers she not only has a past life, but that her past life might mean something for her future life.

Evey was an interesting character, it was clear how much she loved her brother and his wife, and how much her parent’s deaths had affected her. I could also understand her worry and confusion when she began to think that she was hallucinating.

“And when I say flash, that’s just what it was, flashes of light glaring through my eyelids. I rabbed my head kneeling to the floor next to my bed.”

The storyline in this was quite unusual, and it wasn’t quite what I expected. It must have been very difficult for Evey to deal with when she suddenly started having hallucinations and passing out, but unlike the nurse she spoke to, I wouldn’t have immediately asked her if she was experiencing past life memories!

“Ahead appeared to be a figure of a tall man, and a large horse. They both seemed to blend into the scenery, dressed and coloured to be masked amongst natural backgrounds.”

There was romance in this, but it wasn’t real the typical sort of romance that I would expect, but more a bit of a mythical romance almost. (Sorry, bit difficult to describe it without giving too much away.)

“His gaze never left mine, he didn’t even seem to blink,”

The ending to this was a little bit of a happily ever after, but not exactly the sort of happily ever after that you would expect, it was a happily ever after in much more of a surreal way, in that Evey had to give up a lot to gain something that she wanted.
7 out of 10

Bleak Devotion by Gemma Drazin

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Janeal Falor and Gemma Drazin.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Jessica doesn't know how long it's been, only that it seems like forever since she's allowed her feelings to show. Ever since they attacked her city. Monsters which appear human but are void of any expression, and seem bent on destroying all signs of sentiment in others. Their lethal blades shred anyone who shows even the slightest emotion. After her only remaining friend is killed, Jessica flees the city hoping to find a place where emotions aren't fatal. A place to grieve those she lost and live out her meager existence. When she discovers the world of the emotionless creatures isn't what she believes, the love it leads her to may also be the path to her own death.

Bleak Devotion by Gemma Drazin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bleak Devotion(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Janeal Falor and Gemma Drazin.)

“The monster was silhouetted above her. Six thin, crescent-shaped blades protruded from the backs of both of its arms, screaming death with their every move.”

Apologies to the author, but this book and I did not get along.

The main character in this irritated me a bit. She walked a friend who she knew didn’t have a poker face straight into a store full of aliens who rip you apart if you show emotion, and then wondered why she ended up a shish kebab. Some friend she was.

“A gruesome metallic slash clanged through the air. Slowly, she turned, dreading the familiar bloody sight she knew awaited her.”

She then happened upon some kind people, who were still human, and when they told her two days later that they had an alien living with them, she went ballistic and told them they had to get rid of it, or she wouldn’t stay. Er, he’s been there a lot longer than you have love.

“If you aren’t willing to accept his presence and treat him with respect, you can leave.”

Did it not occur to her at all, that seeing as the other humans are still ALIVE that this alien might not be the ‘monster’ you keep referring to him as? That if he wanted to kill you he’s had the past 2 days to do so? That if he hadn’t saved these humans and looked after them, that you would have been dead from exposure two days ago? Talk about gratitude.

“How can you possibly know that he won’t do you harm?” Jessica tried to keep the hysteria from her voice. “You can’t.”

It wasn’t just Jessica that annoyed me though; no we also had a predictable romance, and a really unnecessary love triangle. I really disliked the fact that one moment Jessica was calling Blade a monster and trying to attack him,

“The only thing she wanted to do was run screaming at this monster who had ruined her life.”

and a couple of chapters later was in love with him! I mean really?! He wasn’t even supposed to have emotions!

“Of course I liked Blade. Everyone likes Blade. You can’t help but like Blade. He’s completely too likeable.”

Then there was the love triangle, and to be perfectly honest I couldn’t really blame the other guy for thinking that he and Jessica would get together – them being a similar age, and two of the very few humans left on earth as far as they knew. But no, Jessica is in love with the alien!

“You can’t really be choosing that monster over me, or even Ben for that matter. There’s no way you would pick one of them.”

(Oh yes she would)

Oh, and did I forget to mention, that these alien’s have no emotions, and if they do feel an emotion, 12 blades pop out of their arms so that they can destroy whatever caused said emotion, and oh yes, if you show emotion in front of them, you will face the same fate? So what does Jessica do? Oh yes, she tries to make out with one.

“Agony rent Jessica. The torment centered on her midsection, radiating out to fill her entire body. Her vision darkened.”

Well, that was your own darn fault you silly girl!

So how did the ending go? Kind-of like beauty and the beast, if the beast never became human, and most of the rest of humanity had been slayed by more of the same beasts. Ugh.

“Somehow in a world where emotions were deadly, they could make love work.”

Of course you can love.

4 out of 10.