~~Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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High school can be brutal.  Even more so when you’re the new girl.  Finding new friends can be a lifesaver.  Or not…

Kacey’s only known the dysfunction of life with her mother.  So when she moves in with her dad, things are shockingly normal. Including her stepmother and step siblings.  She even makes new friends, tops among them being Bailey and Jade.  Amazing how quickly they took her in and made her one of their own.  Maybe a bit too quickly?

When Bailey goes missing, all eyes turn to Kacey.  What does she know about Bailey’s disappearance?  And does it have anything to do with the legend of that creepy ghost lady everyone likes to talk about?  Kacey soon finds out that her new friends aren’t at all what they seem to be.

This is mean girls at its finest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and all that.  The real thrill, though, comes from the many twists and turns along the way.  It’ll keep you guessing up until the very end.  And after you’re done guessing, you’ll just be shocked.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Little Monsters

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Review: The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1) by Edward Rutherfurd

This is my second Rutherfurd book. I admit that I should bump this and give it 4 stars. The history is there, however, I just didn’t care for any of it…okay…I lied…I loved the start of the book and the Druids…after that I quickly lost interest and although I found a couple of the characters enjoyable, I never really connected or deeply cared about any of them. They were forgotten as soon as Rutherfurd stopped writing their names.

There are some really fantastic historical writers out there that really know how to engage the reader with a mixture of facts and fiction. My favourites that come to (my) mind are, Cornwell, Penman, Follett, and now Rutherfurd. Just because I didn’t care for this book doesn’t mean that I don’t love Rutherfurd.

Reading his novels is both depressing and refreshing. It’s depressing to realise yet again that once we no longer walk the earth that we are soon forgotten. That we can spend our entire life devoted to bettering our world and our family’s fortune (a fortune not always need be counted by gold coins mind you) and as soon as we pass, that family we strove so hard to provide for may not even know our name…

OTOH, it’s refreshing to know that we, as individuals, can make change for future generations…even if they do not know our name or the sacrifices we made for them.

I can’t wait to dive into another Rutherfurd book, even if this one wasn’t to my liking.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd

Review: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

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I can’t remember the last time I read a book with such a fitting title.  I mean, when you’re talking about navigating the world of high school as a confused and misguided teenager,  it truly does become the most dangerous place on earth.

The story really begins a few years before.  Something very tragic happened in middle school.  And while certain people were definitely to blame, very few will admit it.  Fast forward to high school.  Same kids, different problems. Switching back and forth between several characters, we hear it all.  Bullying, both face to face and online.  Drug and alcohol use.  Hooking up.  Hooking up with teachers.  Being ignored by parents.  Just because your parents are loaded doesn’t make these problems, and a myriad of others, any less damaging. Some people are resilient and able to move on.  Some people pretend they’re okay but they aren’t really.  Who you are in high school and what you choose to do can determine the rest of your life.

This story is dark. It’s depressing.  And it leaves little hope for the state of the American teenager in today’s world. But it’s also very realistic as much as parents and other adults might want to think otherwise.  The issues presented are happening.  Maybe not all at the same time and in the same school but still.

I must also caution that, although this is described as a young adult book, I would leave it for older and more mature teens only.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

Audible reads

Lately I have found myself listening to books instead of rereading them. In fact, I have listened to four books this month, when normally it takes me a month to even finish just one! I’ve been getting a start on my holiday crafts, so these have given me a nice distraction and kept me focused. I usually only listen to books I’ve already read, so I don’t get sidetracked and miss something. With kids, that happens quite often. But this month I took a chance on two different books and listened even though I never read them. What an experience!

queenMy first relisten was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. In preparation for the release of Empire of Shadows, I needed to reread QoS in order to remember the finer points. But I’m so glad I decided to listen instead. It was so much more exciting. I was actually able to grab the Throne of Glass coloring book early and I spent a few nights coloring the pictures for the scenes I was listening to. I think I’ll do another relisten of the entire series, next year before the final book releases. Grab Queen of Shadows HERE.

fallen I read the Fallen series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Super fun and exciting YA series. And after my QoS relisten I wanted another fantasy book to keep me motivated, so I went to my Overdrive system and starting searching for anything that fit the bill. As soon as I saw the cover, I KNEW I needed to grab it. Since it’s been a few years since I read this, I really didn’t remember any of it. I get the gist of it, but not the finer points, so it was sorta like reading it for the first time. And then when the movie trailer released, I was even happier with my decision. Such a romantic story! I highly recommend it. Grab Fallen HERE.

six Next on my listening list is Six of Crows. It’s a spin off of the Grisha series, which I read last year. It’s part of a duology and the second book, Crooked Kingdom, releases today, so I needed to read this book first. This is one I never read before, so I’ll admit I was a bit nervous listening. I was afraid I would get confused with all the many points of views, but it’s told in a way that’s easy to keep up with. In fact, it has seven different narrators! SEVEN! I was completely sucked into this book and then kicked myself for waiting so long. I have a feeling I’ll be grabbing the audible for CK also, even though the DTB is being delivered today. Grab Six of Crows HERE.

every And last but not least, Everything Everything. I actually listened to this in one day. I spent all day Sunday carrying around my phone as I did chores and some crafting. I’ve heard great things about this book and I know it’s getting made into a movie, so I asked my friends if I should read it or just wait for the movie. Well, you can imagine what they said. Lately I’m not one to read straight YA or NA books. I want fantasy. So I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as they did. Honestly. But I found myself giggling and smiling, and a few times gasping. I was hoping my daughter would read this, but there’s so much love I fear the book would get tossed in my face, so I think I’ll wait and convince her to read it when she’s older. But if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It was really sweet. I wish there was just a wee bit more at the end, but all in all, I was happy. Grab Everything Everything HERE.

If you’ve never heard of Overdrive, I hope you look into it. All you need is a library card. In fact, I get many of my books from there and this month made me realize how many audibles they have also. I think I’ll be utilizing them more often. Check it out HERE.

~Melpomene

Review: Ascension Trilogy by Gaelen Foley

01 asc Lately I’ve been feeling kind of blah with my reading. I’ve read so much this summer and most of it is blurring all together, not making an impact on me whatsoever. I was ready to turn in the towel and just swim all day, even though I HATE swimming, I was that fed up. I wanted something new. I wanted something real. Basically I wanted something with emotion, and not all the angst and unrealistic emotions that my recent books have been giving me. I thought I was in the mood for something different, perhaps historical romance, or even pirates. Surely this will help. 01 asc3I could escape in a world of adventure and romance, without the crass language and over the top craziness. So I went to one of my book clubs and asked for some recommendations and someone mentioned Gaelen Foley’s Ascension trilogy. I grabbed my computer and checked my overdrive system and low and behold, they had a million of her books. Well, not a million, but a good chunk. The book gods were smiling on me, because they had most of them ready and waiting for me to check them out. No holds needed. So I grabbed the Ascension trilogy, downloaded them to my kindle and sat down, hoping to be wowed. Well…..I was.

01 asc2This trilogy was just what the doctor ordered. I was in heaven. It had all the action I wanted. Pirates, princesses, kidnappings and sword wielding warriors. And of course, romance. I gotta have my romance. I wanted the epicness of Outlander, but with a quarter of the pages. I love the fact that each book is about the same family. The first, The Pirate Prince, is about the parents. It’s the start of this entire family. It introduces us to one of the main characters in the next book, but we have no idea. The second book, Princess, is about the daughter(obviously) and about her fierce protector. I adored this one!! I love the friends to lovers books. They tend to have so much love already, this would be the next step in their relationship. Book 3, Prince Charming was just right. It takes place almost 10 years after Princess and we get to see how the son gets healed by someone he least expects. That book was perfect.

While I never cried in these books, my heart was still very happy. So if you’re looking for an epic romance, with swoon worthy men and women who know how to fight for what they want, you must try this series!! Now, I’m about to grab another series by Gaelen, and I have high hopes that this will keep the book blahs away from me.

~Melpomene

Buy The Pirate Prince (Ascension Trilogy Book 1)
Princess: (Ascension Trilogy Book 2)
Prince Charming (Ascension Trilogy Book 3)

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy

01tameYES!!! It’s Lily’s turn in the spotlight. Well, technically she’s always in the spotlight, but it’s not for the right reasons. But I’ve been patient, and I’m quite happy I was. This story was filled with secrets, lies, a hefty amount of heartache and quite a bit of romance. All in all, I am very satisfied with the ending of this series.

SYNOPSIS
I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and the sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. And soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s who I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—and what-ifs be damned. . . .

Lily has always wanted love and respect from her family. After losing her mom, in a very selfish way, and having her dad ignore her, unless she was bad, has left her feeling lonely. She has no one in her corner. No one to defend her. No one to support her. And when she gets herself into major trouble, she runs away, cuz she knows she’s on her own to fix it. What she isn’t planning on was finding Max.

“Keep me wild.”

For once, she may have found someone to put her trust in. Or has she? As she grows closer to Max, she finds herself wanting to tell him everything. All her deep dark secrets. But she has always been alone, so trusting someone is quite difficult for her.

Max has a way of tearing down some of her walls and soon she’s falling for him, faster than anyone before him. Their chemistry is off the charts hot. The sexual tension is so thick, I was squirming in my seat. But I loved every minute of it. But Max has a secret of his own. And when Lily finds out, her world is flipped and she’s beginning to question if there’s anyone she can trust.

I just want to be free. To fly. To lose myself and let this man to whatever he wants to me. I just want…to feel nothing.

And everything. All at once.

I enjoyed reading quite a few scenes with her sisters and brothers in law. I did wish, however, that her father somehow manned up and told her that he loved her. But I doubt that relationship will ever be like that. But that’s alright. She has the love of her sisters and Max, and that’s all she needs.

~Melpomene

Release date: July 7, 2015
Buy Taming Lily: A Novel (The Fowler Sisters)

Review: Grey by EL James

01 grey Let me start out by saying I haven’t read Fifty Shades in over 3 years. I read them before the hype in 2012, so I had forgotten many of the smaller points. I’ve seen the movie twice, so I have the gist, but still I missed a lot. I was actually planning a doing a reread during my vacation next week. That all changed when EL James announced she was releasing a book from Christian’s POV. I was debating on rereading still, but decided on going in fresh. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did!! She gave us what we wanted, and I couldn’t be happier.

Grey is a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey. A retelling. This means you will get a lot of the same scenes and even the same conversations. And let’s not forget those fun emails. SHOUTY CAPS and Twitchy Palms. But the best part is now you get to see what goes on in his head. I like that. I’m a girl. I know how we think, but I have no clue how the male mind thinks. Christian Grey is NOT your typical male. So to have glimpse into his brain is very intriguing. I liked his vulnerability. I liked the way he was so unsure of himself. Every time someone would gaze at him or he would look in a mirror, you saw his reaction and how he felt about himself. It was sad at times, yes. He had a rough beginning, so his self esteem isn’t where it should be.

I was completely lost in his feelings for Ana. He adored her. He wanted to be the one for her. His feelings were overwhelming to him. He couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that she was willing to be with him, for love and no ulterior motive.

I went back and forth between listening and reading, and let me tell you, if you have the extra audible credit, get it. Zachary Webber does a fantastic job as Christian. I mean, holy crap, that was HOT!!! Yes, some parts were super sexy and I needed a minute to compose myself, in public, when I was grocery shopping. Word to wise, don’t listen while grocery shopping, unless you wanna end up standing in the frozen food section in front of an open door, for a few minutes. But no only are sexy parts super sexy, the sad and emotional parts will tug at your heart. His dreams, and memories of the past, are what make him who he is, and when you hear them, it’s way worse than reading them. So, I’m warning you now.

She’s mine. She’s heaven.

My most favorite parts of this book were the smiles and strange glances from those around Christian. They knew what was going on with him, even before he did. He’s so clueless, it’s hilarious. He had no idea why they kept looking at him like that. I was smiling right along with them.

I’ve come alive since I’ve know her. These last few weeks have been the most exciting, the most unpredictable, the most fascinating in my life. I’ve been enticed from my monochrome world into one rich with color-and yet she can’t be what I need.

Since this is a retelling from just the first book, you know how it ends. It’s not pretty, but it makes me even more excited for my vacation reread. I look forward to reconnect and remember how he changes and grows.

Thank you, EL James, for listening to us die hards and giving us what we begged for. Now I’m crossing my fingers that she decides to give us the rest of the books also, and perhaps a prologue from 10 years later. Crossing my fingers.

~Melpomene

Buy Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian