Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter ~ #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 12:43 PM | 1 Comment so far

May 1, 2017

Title: Beauty of the Beast
Series: Fairy Tale Retellings #1
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publication date: March 15, 2017
Source: Copy for review from author

My Rating:,13816826


Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of
Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *
Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

* * *
Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18. Beauty of the Beast is a slow-burn romance that features a descriptive, richly detailed, and atmospheric writing style.

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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens ~ #BookReview #netgalley

~Jennifer~ | 6:31 PM | | Please comment!

April 12, 2017

Title: Never Let You Go
Author: Chevy Stevens
Publication date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating:,13742228


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

With Never Let You Go, Chevy Stevens delivers a chilling, twisting thriller that crackles with suspense as it explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

Never Let You Go is the first book I've read by Chevy Stevens, and won't be my last. I've noticed the covers of her novels over the years and have always been captivated by them, making me wonder what stories lie within. She is an excellent writer, ramping up the tension at the right moments and causing you to question what you think you know about the characters. I loved it.

Never Let You Go is a gripping thriller that delivers a punch to the gut. Told from Lindsey and Sophie's (Lindsey's daughter) POVs as well as alternating between the past and present, I wasn't sure at first how all of that was going to work. However, I thought including scenes from the past was genius because they illustrated just how much danger Lindsey and Sophie were in with Lindsey's ex-husband (and Sophie's father), Andrew.

Andrew operates in an insidious way, and his subtle threats wouldn't have had the same impact if Lindsey had simply described her past. The reader needed to see and experience the various methods Andrew used to make sure Lindsey was under his control and miserable. During those scenes, Lindsey's suffocation from her controlling husband was palpable - I experienced those feelings right along with her.

I couldn't imagine having a father like Andrew, so when he gets out of prison, it's understandable for Sophie to desperately look for anything redeeming about her father despite everything her mother has told her about him. Still, I wanted her to stop making what I considered to be dumb decisions that could put her and her mom in danger.

I also thought it clever for the author to include other characters that had the potential to be a threat to Lindsey and Sophie. My only issue was that there might have been too many, and I started figuring out what was going on before I wanted to. I wanted to be kept guessing right up until the very end. I still highly recommend Never Let You Go for those like me who are constantly seeking new thrillers to sink their teeth into.

Trigger Warning: There's a scene where a puppy is harmed but not injured or killed.

Tweet: Newest thriller by Chevy Stevens is perfect for fans of 'The Girl on the Train' and 'Gone Girl.'
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Caraval by Stephanie Garber ~ #bookreview #youngadult

~Jennifer~ | 9:37 PM | | Please comment!

April 2, 2017

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: Flatiron Books
Publisher: January 31, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating:,13662335


Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

I was super stoked when I was approved for Caraval on NetGalley. Like jumping up and down excited because I had a strong feeling this was going to be an epically awesome story, and my instincts were right. As a matter of fact, when I was 20% into the book, I loved it so much I went to the store and bought a copy.

I was entranced by Caraval just as the main characters Scarlett and her sister Tella were in the book. The rich, well developed world building made me feel like I was really there, experiencing the game along with Scarlett. It's a magical place where nothing is as it seems. How can I tell you how spectacular this novel is?? I'm trying to describe it but am failing miserably. You'll have to read it. Please, I beg of you.

Caraval is a debut novel with incredible writing, and I have a feeling there will be more to come, not just from Stephanie Garber but also from the world of Caraval. I'm looking forward to every future word.

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The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu ~ @NetGalley #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 12:53 PM | | Please comment!

March 27, 2017 

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating,9580993


Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.

But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?

It's true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

The Truth About Alice is a quick read, and I was able to read it in one night. It was well written but also painful because I could see the direction the story was headed, and it wasn't going to be a good place. My heart went out to Alice right away.

Told from the POV of four different (yet stereotyped)characters, The Truth About Alice is a brutal and realistic look into how horrible teens can be to one another. The way Alice was bullied was heartbreaking, and by the way, she received no solace at home because her life there wasn't much better with a mom who's checked out mentally and physically.

I fully expected to hate the popular girl who threw the party, Elaine, the most, but I ended up hating Kelsie, Alice's ex-BFF, more. I felt the rumor Kelsie began spreading about Alice was way over the top, and while she did it out of sheer desperation, I still wanted to wring her neck. I mean, wow. That was messed up.

The friendship that blossomed between Kurt, stereotyped as a social misfit, and Alice was a breath of fresh air. I think Kurt was my favorite character because he was there for Alice when no one else was. I knew what he was thinking and that his motives were pure since I got his POV.  

Josh, the survivor of the car wreck, was just kind of blah for me. I thought the secret he was hiding was interesting, and I caught on to it right away; however, he didn't have much of his own personality.  

My mind is blown by how simultaneously amazing and scary one lie can snowball into so many and ruin so many people's lives in the process. Just when the rumors seemed like they couldn't get any worse, they did.

I couldn't put The Truth About Alice down. The deeper I became immersed in the story, the more information I was given which allowed me to start piecing together what really happened that night. There were some surprises along the way, and once I finished reading, I took some time to digest it all.

I did take off a star for the characters being entrenched in stereotypes. Otherwise, I do recommend The Truth About Alice, especially to teens who can likely (and unfortunately) relate to the bullying and rumor spreading that goes on in this book.

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To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough ~ #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 9:00 AM | | Please comment!

January 31, 2017

Title: To Catch a Killer
Author: Sheryl Scarborough
Publication date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Special Note: I received a preview of the first 14 chapters and will rate the book once I've read it in its entirety. :)


Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late. 


I received a 14 chapter preview of To Catch a Killer from Netgalley via the publisher, and I can't wait to read the entire novel. I'm dying to finish Erin's story and am definitely going to buy a copy when it's published, which isn't too long from now. *flails*

The length of the preview was more than I expected, and I kept an eye on how much was left so when it ended I wouldn't be too jarred and traumatized. ;) I'm invested in this story and the characters, and am anxiously waiting to find out how everything is going to play out.

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The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox ~ #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 1:36 PM | | Please comment!

January 30, 2017

Title: The Other Inheritance
Series: The Inheritance #1 
Author: Rebecca Jaycox
Publication date: February 1, 2017 (first pub Nov. 2014)
Publisher: Aelurus Publishing
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

My Rating:  


One girl. Two worlds. Hunted in both.

Seventeen-year-old Reggie Lang is used to dealing with her alcoholic mother and fighting school bullies, but fate has thrown her a curve ball.

A biker dude shows up in her dreams, babbling about magic and a world called the Other. As the incidents keep piling up—like bringing a frog back to life in class—Reggie has to confront the mounting evidence that she’s not the normal girl she craves to be.

Reggie's life is changing, and she has no idea why. Or whether she should believe the man in her dreams, who claims she's in danger and that only he can keep her safe. But if there's one thing Reggie will learn, nowhere is safe.

The Other Inheritance delves into the YA world of fantasy and sci fi with a plot that brings you into the story quickly. One problem I had was that the pacing felt way too fast. I needed time to get to know the characters and what was going on before the action took over.  

I didn't hate this book but didn't love it either. As a main character, 17-year-old Reggie is ok - she's tough as well as vulnerable, yet doesn't speak or think like someone her age, which I'll explain in a minute. She was also too trusting of strangers and was okay almost immediately when she found out there's another realm called "the Other." That would take some time for me to digest, personally.  

I'm no prude. Sexuality and cussing in YA books don't bother me, but in this case they did. Reggie cusses every other sentence, and she can be completely crass. I cringed when she called another girl's breasts "tits" in order to insult her. Granted the girl was a bully; however, I just don't see a young teenage girl saying that to someone to insult them. I also know teenagers cuss, but every other sentence?

Also for a girl who recently lost her virginity, Reggie sure is comfortable talking about it openly, and sometimes sex is mentioned by other characters in a crude manner. I found it unbelievable and unnecessary. Reggie only just met the guy.

The action scenes were well written, and I liked the world building. While I wasn't connected to Reggie, I ended up being connected to one of the characters she meets in the Other.

The ending of The Other Inheritance was abrupt even for being the first book in a series. I was shocked when it ended and felt like it almost ended in the middle of a sentence. I am planning on reading the next novel to see if the loose ends from this novel will be tied up and to find out what happens next.     

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick ~ #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 4:51 PM | | Please comment!

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?
Series: Blade Runner #1
Author: Philip K. Dick
Published: 1968
Source: Borrowed from library

My Rating:,107659


By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can't afford one, companies have built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They've even built humans.

Emigrées to Mars receive androids so sophisticated it's impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government bans them from Earth, but when androids don't want to be identified, they just blend in. Rick Deckard is an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job is to find rogue androids and retire them, but cornered, androids tend to fight back--with deadly results.

I can't remember where I heard about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as I've never seen Blade Runner but am so glad I read this book. One of my favorite things about science fiction is that it delves into an exploration of human existence and what can go right as well as what can go horribly wrong. It gives me a lot to think about, and I really like that.

In a post apocalyptic San Francisco, a man named Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter assigned to kill, or retire, androids ("andys"). As you'd imagine, it's a depressing world where most of humanity is either dead, sick from the nuclear fallout or have emigrated to Mars. Animals have pretty much died out except for a select few which are super expensive to own. To buy one you have to take out a loan as though you're buying a car.

There were really cool twists I didn't see coming. Who's an android and who isn't? Rick has to give a test that's designed to tell an android from a human, but how effective is it? I thought about how hated the androids are and how afraid humans were of losing what's left of humanity. I think that's always been a very real fear as long as humans have been around.  
Sometimes there were a few spots where I wish things had been explained a little more clearly, such as Mercerism, which was like a religion. It probably just went over my head, haha.

Ack, I wish I could explain how I felt and what I thought after finishing this novel. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is written so well, and my review can't do it justice. If only you guys could see into my brain for just a quick minute! My thoughts are so complicated, I can't even. Can't. Even. 

Read this book! It's especially fitting with the struggles the world is now facing and will be facing in the future. 
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