Review: After the End by Clare Mackintosh

This was such a great story, and so very different from what you’d expect.

The illness of a child, something that parents don’t even want to imagine. But here it is, Max and Pip dealing with the harsh reality of Dylan’s cancer. And even when things are very bad, they still believe that it has to get better.

It doesn’t get better, though. And if the doctors are to be believed, it won’t ever get better. So Max and Pip are faced with a decision that no parent should ever have to make. What happens if they decide differently?

This much alone makes this such a deeply compelling story. But the author does something unexpected. We are presented with two different endings, two different paths the story could have taken. And the most intriguing part is, we never truly find out which was the actual outcome. It leaves you wondering, which in this case is a great thing!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: After the End

Review: Just Lucky by Melanie Florence

I’ve been accused by some of being overly generous with my five-star ratings. What can I say? If a book grabs me enough to keep me reading, not wanting to put the book down, picking it up as soon as I wake up in the morning, then I deem it worthy of five stars.

Lucky has a somewhat untraditional family. Her mom skipped out on her when she was very young, but she has the love of her grandparents as they raise her. All that changes, however, when her grandpa dies and grandma is no longer able to live alone. Lucky finds herself in the foster care system. She just tries to survive, knowing that each home she lands in is only temporary.

This was a great little book. I say little because I finished it in less than one day. It’s a quick, easy read that’s well-suited for younger and older adults alike.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Just Lucky

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This is definitely not the Barbie version of the 12 Dancing Princesses. 🙂

Annaleigh’s sisters tragically dying. She’s been in a constant state of mourning for years. But the worst part is that the deaths getting more traumatic. She knows there’s something wrong happening and takes it upon herself to try and solve the mysteries surrounding them.

I had no idea what was happening! I never wanted to stop reading. Annaleigh’s character was so impressive. She may have been scared but she loved her sisters fiercely and would do anything for them. Things are not what they seemed in her world. Something sinister was brewing and she needed to discover what it was. Annaleigh risked her life on more than one occasion just to figure out what was going on.

There is a bit of a romance sprinkled in this tale. I was very happy with it. I mean let’s be honest, with all those girls, someone needs to be finding love! I don’t wanna say anything else, but I loved how everything transpired.

If you like fairy tell retellings then you will definitely like this one. It was twisted and creepy and very intriguing. I couldn’t put it down. This will be added to my daughter’s reading list this year. She’s all about the creepy books and I know she will love it.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

I don’t know how this one slipped by me. I love Karin Slaughter and always greedily snatch up her latest books. And yet I missed this one…

A shocking crime. A mother and her two daughters are held at gunpoint, victims of a revenge crime. Some escape, one does not. But nobody comes out of this tragedy unscathed.

Flash forward twenty plus years. Another shocking crime, and Charlie finds herself involved yet again. This time, not so much a victim. Still, old memories come rushing to the surface.

Once again, the author has written a can’t-put-it-down kind of story. It’s fast-paced, has great characters, and includes a few little twists and turns. Everything you’d want in a thriller!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Good Daughter

Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Another amazing book set in the same world as Sky in the Deep. It was fabulous to see some familiar faces and see what direction their lives went in. While this is a standalone, and reading Sky in the Deep is not necessary, I would still recommend it. You understand the characters a little bit more, since you’ll have a bit more of their backstories from reading it.

From the first page I was immediately sucked in and didn’t wanna stop reading. Every time I was forced to put this book down my heart squeezed. The story was calling to me and begging me not to stop.

Adrienne has this way about her writing that makes you feel like you’re standing in the middle of everything, a character in the story. So vivid and magical.

Halvard and Tova are two amazing characters. Halvard bares the weight of his clan and must do everything he can to protect them from losing the war that’s headed straight for them.

Tova is a girl without a family. She was pulled from the sea, not knowing how she got there, and raised in a world where people fear her, but yet they need her. But when her circumstances change and she’s forced to set a course she knows is wrong, she will do whatever it takes to forge a new path.

Without spoilers I will say that I loved watching these two. They connected, even from afar. They worked together, even though they shouldn’t. This was not a romance but the undertones were there. This was a fantasy that will grab you and not let you go.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

As a headmistress of an all girls school, Elizabeth Black wrote in her spare time. She’s know for her “silver fork” novels. And being a woman, this was acceptable. But what they didn’t know was that she also wrote “penny dreadfuls” under the name of Mr. King. If people knew she wrote those, her school would be ruined and so would she. So she kept it secret and used all the funds to help out her school.

Now the men who normally write those were part of a secret society who used their wages to help those in need. So when Mr. King starts to worm his way into their earnings, they take it upon themselves to discover who it is. They can’t risk not having the funds when they need to plan rescues and such. So their leader, Fletcher Walker asks Elizabeth for help. As a fellow author he hopes that she’ll know things he doesn’t.

I enjoyed watching these two. They both were doing things for the right reasons, but neither one could let their secrets be known. And while working together they grew closer. Amid all the mysteries and suspense, romance was blooming. And it was sweet.

This is another Proper Romance that I adore. I can’t get enough of these. They’re a nice breath of fresh air in the midst of the stress of life.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

Preschoolers become the best of friends, along with their parents. Preschoolers grow up and go through a multitude of dramas and changes along the way to becoming high schoolers. No longer friends, but not enemies either. Just casualties of life happening.

And then tragedy strikes. When a plane carrying all, actually almost all, of their parents crashes they find themselves thrown together to deal with the aftermath.

A good story, delves deeply into teenage emotions. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief for part of it, but overall enjoyable.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Year They Fell