Wednesday, March 20, 2019

My Weekly Pull [62] & Can't Wait Wednesday [32]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

 Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4 by Tom Taylor, Juan Cabal, Andrew Robinson
Miles Morales Spider-Man #4 by Saladin Ahmed, Javi Garron, Marco D'Alfonso
West Coast Avengers #9 by Kelly Thompson, Gang Hyuk Lim, Gang Hyuk

Firefly Bad Company #1 by Josh Lee Gordon, Francesco Mortarino, Diego Galindo

Firefly Bad Company is supposed to be about Saffron (Mal's wife or ex-wife), but I'm not familiar with her character. I'm assuming she's in other comics, but I don't remember her from the television series, which is the only Firefly knowledge I have. It's also written by someone else (Greg Pak has been writing the ongoing series), so I'm curious how their writing will compare to what I'm used to. I'm not a huge fan of the cover for this one, and wish there had been other options (that weren't super expensive). 

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #92 by Tom Waltz, Michael Dialynas, Kevin Eastman
Guardians of the Galaxy #3 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, David Marquez
Spider-Man Life Story by Chip Zdarsky, Mark Bagley, Skottie Young
Venom #12 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, that highlights upcoming releases that we're anticipating and excited to read. It's a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Expected publication: May 7th 2019

Synopsis (via Goodreads): From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

The Poet X was one of my favorite reads last year! I listened to the audiobook, which Acevedo narrates herself. It was amazing! Acevedo was able to convey a lot of emotion with very few words, and I really enjoyed the poetry aspect of the story. It was unique, amazing, and something I'll always remember. Hopefully, With the Fire on High is equally phenomenal!

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading! If you want to link up, please leave your URL in the comments below. The site I've been using recently did an update, and they no longer offer the old format. I'm in the process of looking for an alternative method, and would love to hear your suggestions!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter
[Blog Tour: Review]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the In Another Life blog tour hosted by Wednesday Books. I'm thrilled I get to share my thoughts on this book with you! I've really enjoyed C.C. Hunter's books in the past, and this one was no different!

Title: IN ANOTHER LIFE
Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub. Date: March 26th 2019
Buy Link: Click here 
Goodreads: Click here

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they're kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I cannot remember the last time I read a book in a single day, but In Another Life was a page-turner! I wanted to know how Chloe's story would end, and if Cash would finally forgive himself. They were both really interesting characters, even if they did tackle something that was way over their heads. 

I think my age is showing, or I've hit a reading growth spurt, because teenage angst is becoming more and more intolerable these days. Chloe and Cash made decisions based on their age and experience, but an adult's perspective would have been a welcome addition the story, and likely saved them a lot of trouble. They could have offered insight and assistance that would have kept the two teens out of danger (or at least made it less dangerous). However, Chloe doesn't want to tell her parents, and Cash respects her wishes, so they try to solve their problems without anyone's help.

Lindsay was the closest thing to a secondary character we see, but her appearances were infrequent, and her dialogue was very simple. I wish she had been developed more, and played a larger role in the overall story. Mostly, we see Chloe and Cash, her parents and his. It made the story feel somewhat flat. Cash doesn't have any friends at school, just a guy that he works with (we see him briefly for quick conversation), and Chloe only talks about the friends she used to have. They both seemed very alone, and only had each other to talk to.

The mystery aspect of the story was actually really sad. I have a hard time with books that involve child abuse, abduction, death, etc., and it was hard to think about all of the nameless faces in this story. The villain(s) were twisted and disturbing, and profited off the hope and misfortune of others. One of them leers at Chloe through a window, and his comments made my stomach turn. He makes similar comments afterwards that made feel terrified on her behalf. What makes it so scary, is that there are people like that in the world.

Despite all of this, I really enjoyed the story. I was glued to the pages waiting for Chloe and Cash to hit an obstacle they couldn't overcome on their own. I knew that meant their parents would get involved, and then everything would be out in the open. Chloe and Cash have a secret that not only impacts their lives, but the lives of everyone they care about, so I thought it was only right that they all knew about it. Besides, the two were in way over their heads from the start.

C.C. Hunter knows how to play with heartstrings and frustrations, and she does just that with In Another Life. Chloe was torn between what she's always known, and what she fears might be true. Cash had a troubled childhood, full of abuse and abandonment, which left him feeling like he didn't deserve anyone's love. They were beautiful and broken, and I enjoyed both of their perspectives.

In the end, I would definitely recommend this one. The mystery was subtle, but it impacted the characters in a big way. It was mostly about Chloe and Cash, their traumatic childhoods, and how those formative years (even if unremembered) shaped their lives.



About the author:

C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She is lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel. Christie's books include The Mortician's Daughter series, Shadow Fall Novels and This Heart of Mine.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Small Town Hearts blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. I'm thrilled I get to share my thoughts on this book with you! Thank you for stopping by, and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Title: SMALL TOWN HEARTS
Author: Lillie Vale
Pub. Date: March 19, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Find it om: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy. 

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?


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I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Small Town Hearts had me swooning for the summer boy, and was deliciously adorable! I really enjoyed the small town vibes, the food (this book made me super hungry, and often), and even Babe's life as a barista. It was such a heartwarming story! A true summer read that made me forget we were in the middle of spring -- loved it!

The characters were amazing, and I really liked both Babe and Levi. They were well-developed and easy to relate to. Babe has no desire to go to college, and is happy exactly where she is. Levi is more confused about what he wants, and it was fun watching everything click into place for him.

I wouldn't say their romance was forbidden, but it did feel that way. Babe has sworn off summer boys, because they always leave (as you've probably guessed by now) at the end of the summer. She doesn't want to have her heart broken, and her reservations are totally understandable. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the two, and wish the book had ended a little differently.

As for the secondary characters, they were a great addition the story. There were a few that I loved to hate, and others that were a joy to read about. It was a nice balance! Overall, Small Town Hearts was a wonderful read that had me craving coffee and sunshine!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Remind Me (Magnolia Sound, #1) by Samantha Chase
[Blog Tour: Review]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Remind Me blog tour hosted by InkSlinger PR. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you! 

Title: REMIND ME
Author: Samantha Chase
Series: Magnolia Sound, #1
Release Date: March 12, 2019

It’s been years since Mallory Westbrook set foot in Magnolia Sound, but the death of her great-grandfather forces her back. Two weeks to get his affairs in order then she would return to her life in New York. The perfect plan, if not for Jake Summerford—her first love who broke her heart.

Jake always regretted the way things ended with Mallory and now that she’s back in town, he’s hoping they can put the past behind them. As they reconnect, old feelings resurface and Jake realizes that friendship is only the beginning of what he wants from Mallory.

With one foot out of the door, Mallory is looking for any excuse to leave Magnolia Sound behind. Forever. Will Jake’s plan to replace the old, painful memories help him finally show her their love deserves another chance? 
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I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I read the prequel, Sunkissed Days, a few weeks ago and enjoyed everything except the ending! I dislike it when characters have problems because of a lack of communication, which was the source of most of Mallory and Jake's problems. They both leave things unsaid, and it causes a rift between the two. However, I do understand that they were both younger and this problem needed to be there to set up the first book in the series, Remind Me.

Mallory and Jake have both been through college (yay for Jake making it work after six years!), and have been living separate lives. Jake is back in Magnolia Sound, which I love, because I feel like it's a place they're all meant to be. It was important to Pops that his family stayed around the area, and he considered Jake to be family, too. Mallory has been avoiding Magnolia Sound, and cancelling her plans to visit, because she's worried about bumping into Jake. It was sad that it took a hurricane to bring everyone together, and only when it resulted in more than just property damage.

I will admit to being wary about this one at the start, because it's clear that Jake lied about something in order to push Mallory away after the last book, but we don't know what the lie entails (I thought it was going to be something cruel or shocking, but it wasn't). If I dislike a lack of communication in books, a single lie that the story revolves around is worse. However, the story doesn't depend on the lie, but it does impact Jake's relationship with Mallory. She doesn't fee like she can trust him with her feelings, although she has no such reservations about her body (seriously, they were like rabbits).

I still really like Sam and wish he'd played a more prominent role in the book. Maybe he'll get his own story one day? He's constantly moving from place to place, and it almost feels like he's running from something. He's relationship with Mallory is solid, and I love that she thinks they have some sort of twin telepathy.

I did have a few small issues with the story, but they were easy to overlook and didn't really impact by overall feelings about the book. At the beginning, when Mallory first bumps into Jake, she tries to leave and Jake grabs her and forces her to stay. He tightens his hold when she tries to get away, and that bothered me. She never asked him to let her go, or told him to stop, but it was clear she was trying to leave and he was preventing her from doing so. It rubbed me the wrong way. Also, some of the language felt weird. The characters were more thoughtful and well-spoken than most people, and it made some of the conversations feel unrealistic. Lastly, everyone was always making a sandwich! ;)

Occasionally it felt like the story was going in circles, and it lacked real confrontation and conflict. It was like reading a play-by-play of people living their lives in a small town, complete with unnecessary details. Basically, Mallory needs to decide what she wants to do with her life (stay or go), and she repeats the same internal debate throughout the book. All of the characters were a little too dramatic for me, and sometimes they felt interchangeable. When the characters "fight" with each other, it's just them talking loudly about the things we already know they've been thinking about, and it's over within minutes. We turn the page, and it's like it never happened.

In the end, Remind Me filled me with fluffy feelings (totally not a bad thing you naysayers), and also really made me miss my grandfather. Pops was a huge part of the last book, and his absence was significant throughout this one. He's clearly impacted the town, townspeople, and his own family in a very profound way. I love that Jake and Mallory are committed to honoring his memory and his legacy.

If you're looking for a quick romantic read, I would suggest giving this one a shot. I'm curious where the series will go from here, but I'm not sure I will revisit Magnolia Sound in the future.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Slayer (Slayer #1) by Kiersten White

Narrated by Madeleine Maby
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

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I read Slayer even though I've never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because it sounded like something I would enjoy (and I did). There were references to Buffy, so I'm sure fans will love those little tidbits, but I liked seeing Buffy through Nina's perspective. I'm tempted to watch the show now to see how the two relate, but the book was solid on its own. 

Unfortunately, I never felt connected to the characters. Nina was eager to please everyone, and it took her forever to finally start thinking and doing things for herself. She wants to follow the rules that everyone else ignores, and she's constantly defending herself against verbal attacks from her peers. Artemis, her sister, should have stood by Nina and supported her, but it was clear she was jealous and acting petty about not being Chosen. The two loved each other, yes, but their relationship was broken and never fully repaired.

One of my biggest issues with this book were the interrupted conversations. Whenever a character tried to share something important, tell a secret, or just generally convey information, they were sidetracked. A monster would show up, or another person would appear out of the blue, and no one ever said anything that really mattered. A lot of problems could have been avoided, if the characters had been allowed to finish their thoughts and sentences. As soon as someone opened their mouth to spill a secret, I knew an interruption was coming. It was almost as frustrating as the secrets themselves.

It wasn't too terribly difficult to determine the villain in this story, although I was a little surprised by the ending. We see an unknown POV randomly throughout the story, and their identity wasn't something I figured out. However, I felt like the author tried too hard to point us in the wrong direction, so the one that felt "right" was super suspicious. 

I liked Doug (a demon), and Killian (a regular human). They were both hilarious and added some much needed humor to the story. I don't think Doug tried to be funny, but his personality was enjoyable. Killian loved puns, and didn't seem phased by anything that happened around him. He was easygoing and just went with it.

I was pretty disappointed with the ending (it felt anticlimactic), but I did like how the author wrapped everything up. There's definitely room for more, although I feel like Slayer could have easily been a stand-alone. If everyone had been a little more forthcoming from the start, we wouldn't have gone in so many circles, and more of a story could have been squeezed into this book. A lot was left open and unsaid, but I did like the final two chapters. They made me feel better about the book as a whole, and curious about what would happen next.

I wish I had liked the characters more, but even at the end they left a lot to be desired. Artemis should have been better, but even when faced with the facts, she still made poor decisions. Nina shouldn't have allowed people to push and pull her whenever and wherever they wanted, and she should have been willing to listen to others. She was so caught up in herself, she missed the things that were important. The story was fun, although I would have liked more monsters and fighting! Isn't that what a Slayer is supposed to do? Again, it was a solid read, but I wanted something more from it.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Beware the Night blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. I'm thrilled I get to share my thoughts on this book with you! Thank you for stopping by, and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Title: BEWARE THE NIGHT
Author: Jessika Fleck
Pub. Date: March 12th 2019
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.

Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island.


But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.

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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Pro: I really enjoyed the lore behind the Sun and Moon worshippers. It was unique, interesting, and  believable (for the most part). I liked the various stories and the history the author created for the world. Some of the concepts felt vaguely familiar, but not in an off-putting way.

Con: There is a love triangle. I haaated how much time and energy Veda wasted on trying to decide which boy she liked more. They're living in a very life-or-death situation, and she's too concerned with who likes who and how she feels about that. Her feelings regarding the two boys should have taken a backseat to everything else that was going on.

Pro: The character development was good, despite my issues with the love triangle (imagine what could have happened if that had been left out...). I thought they were fleshed out, and each given very specific identities. Even the world-building was detailed and conveyed an authentic new environment for the story.

Con: I went into this one thinking it was a standalone, but the ending suggests there will be another book. Honestly, this one could have been a little longer and wrapped everything up. I don't think a second book was necessary, especially if the love triangle is going to persist (which it definitely is) throughout a second book. 

Pro: It was a quick read with lovely writing. It didn't take me very long to get through this one, and it was easy to follow.

Overall, I enjoyed Beware the Night, but there were definitely a few things that made me grind my teeth. I don't have an issue with conflicted characters, because a person's feelings are complicated, but unnecessary love triangles that take up a large portion of the story really bug me. On the other hand, the character development was good, and the story was engaging.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My Weekly Pull [61] & Can't Wait Wednesday [31]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Runaways #19 by Rainbow Rowell, Andres Genolet, Kris Anka
Star Wars Age of Republic General Grievous #1 by Jody Houser, Luke Ross, Mike McKone

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder In Hell #2 by Mateus Santolouco, Kevin Eastman
Transformers #1 by Brian Ruckley, Angel Hernandez, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ron Joseph
Hit-Girl Season Two #2 by Kevin Smith, Pernille Orum, Francesco Francavilla
Little Bird #1 (of 5) by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram
Amazing Spider-Man #17 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, Leinil Francis Yu
Punisher #9 by Matthew Rosenberg, Syzmon Kudranski, Greg Smallwood
Spider-Man Deadpool #47 by Robbie Thompson, Matt Horak, Will Robson

I don't even want to talk about how behind I am on comics, ugh. My stack just keeps getting bigger and bigger, but there's not enough time in a day. I have to sleep eventually, haha. They're right next to the computer, so they're always staring at me when I find a moment to sit down and blog. I blame Daylight Savings!

After getting my first ever Star Wars comic last week, I decided to keep it going with Star Wars Age of the Republic General Grievous. Jacob has a ton this week, and I know he's really looking forward to the new Transformers. The last one had one hell of an ending, and apparently they're starting over from the very beginning! I might have to give it a shot.

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, that highlights upcoming releases that we're anticipating and excited to read. It's a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4)
by Ilona Andrews
Expected publication: August 27th 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads): From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

I love this author duo, and I've really enjoyed this series! I didn't realize the books were going to switch perspectives (from Nevada to Catalina), but thought Diamond Fire was really great! The beginning was told from Nevada's POV, but it quickly shifted over to her sister. I liked Catalina, and I'm excited to see where the story goes with her, but it'll be hard to top Nevada and Conner! Although, I guess those two deserve a HEA.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!