Book Review: From A Distant Star

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Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | Young Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 256
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

 


Blurb

When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Packed with intrigue and emotion, FROM A DISTANT STAR is a riveting novel about loyalty and the power of love.

Review

4 Stars Black

 

I enjoyed this book from start to end. It was a light read and had some really fun elements. In spite of being a Sci-Fi, it was more on the side of Romance fiction (other than a stranded alien.) I loved the characterization and felt a connection with the lead character, Emma, and even Scout (to some extent.)
I loved the plot line and though it felt a little off at a few places, it managed to pull me inside the story from the beginning till the end. I even loved the other characters. They felt very realistic and that’s where this book scored for me. That and the fact that it was a fast read.

I liked the writing style as well because it flowed nicely and wasn’t complicated like most of the Sci-Fi books. And unlike most of the YAs these days, this book is standalone, which is a big plus for anyone who wants to read a nice little piece of fiction.

It also had a great ending, one that I predicted when I was less than half through the book. But the author still managed to keep me second guessing it right till the end. So, it was a pleasant reading considering everything.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: A Piercing light flashed across the sky and plunged to the earth, landing in a farmer’s field.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A fast YA read.

Book Review: Monsterland

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Author: Michael Phillip Cash 
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: YA | Adventure | Urban Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic | Horror>Zombies |
Paranormal>Vampires | Shapeshifter>Werewolves | Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Create Space
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569
http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569

The story line of Monsterland is really unique, fresh and, I must admit, quite chilling (esp. the werewolf part.)

It’s not scary in the literal sense as such but it does gives the chills at more than one occasion. The descriptions are wildly realistic and the images they paint is worth all the time and money spent on this book. I felt that I was the one visiting the Monsterland with my friends and not the fictional characters. The story is beautifully crafted and the detailing is commendable. Being a paranormal/shapeshifter/horror storyline, the author successfully captured the character backgrounds and successfully added layers to the overall concept.

I enjoyed the book right from the first line right till the very last one. The overlapping of the paranormal and horror genres is commendable because, despite my initial reservations, the author managed to woo me with his amazing story and its execution. It is a job well done on the author’s part.

I felt a connection with each and every character of this book. What seemed to be pointless discussions of monster-obsessed teenagers in the initial pages of the book, made more and more sense as the story progressed and finally when it reached the last act.

I also enjoyed the last connection that the author made between the characters. It’s a well thought out storyline with 3-dimensional characters and layers and layers of different elements.

All the elements blended perfectly well together (except for one little thing- why was Raoul the vamp scared of the zombies!?!? Well, this crossed my mind only for a second before I got caught in the thrill of the moment and my mind moved on to other characters who were literally fighting for their lives (when the story is as good as this, who cares?)

I love myself some badass zombies but this is the first time I actually saw them sympathetically as “victims” and poor sick people who are not someone to be shot or bashed in the head by any/everyone, but a sad bunch of unfortunate people who caught the plague.

http://weknowyourdreams.com/zombies.html
http://weknowyourdreams.com/images/zombies/zombies-07.jpg

By the starting of the end, I was actually feeling sad for all the three creatures- the zombies, the vamps and the werewolves- but by the end, all the other things faded from my mind and I experienced what I really wanted to (and why I really picked this book in the first place)  – a complete monster massacre.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The sky was a sparkling, power blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lilypads.

Memorable Quotes: 

Wyatt looked back at the main area of the park, feeling uneasy he was being led somewhere he shouldn’t be going.

Memorable Paragraphs: 

Wyatt glanced back in his rearview mirror and shifted uncomfortable in his seat, remembering why the sign unnerved him. It bore a stricking resemblance to a picture he has seen in his history book. The words were in German and read Arbeit Macht Frei– Work Makes You Free. It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

Highlights: Superb concept and amazing execution of all the elements.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A must read for paranormal and post-apocalyptic readers.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

 

Book Review: The Girl Without A Name

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Author: Sandra Block 
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Series: None specified
Genre: Mystery|Psychological Thriller|Suspence
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 368
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley invitation by Tiffany Sanchez
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Another gripping pageturner featuring psychiatrist Zoe Goldman, the protagonist from Little Black Lies.

In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe’s treatment is the last hope to discover the girl’s identity.

When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe’s family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers.

The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding…and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences.

Rating

TRB 4 stars

Review

Plot/Story:

In one sentence- I enjoyed reading Girl Without A Name. Though it wasn’t a complete thriller, still it had its moments where it really stood out. It’s a slow paced story taking the reader through the ups and downs in the life and times of Dr. Zoe Goldman, which I must agree, was quite interesting.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the mystery and how all the small-small elements that snaked around the main plot, came together at the end beautifully making complete sense. Even though I’m a little bit disappointed with the fact that it was a subtle read and not a mind-boggling thriller, I still enjoyed this book, mainly because the ending took me by surprise. And that’s really rare! So, I really like this book.

Characters:

Dr. Zoe Goldman is a memorable character. I really enjoyed her witty nature and stark comments. She felt like a real character and the idea of showing her so vulnerable really managed to make a place in my heart for her (as a character.)

I’ll be reading the prequel to this one soon as I’d like to know what really happened with Dr. Zoe in the previous part.

Romance:

There was no romance worth mentioning but there was quite a lot of emotional stuff involving Zoe, her brother, and her deceased mother. The emotional angle added up to the advantage of the book in terms of character development, as it really added a new layer to Zoe’s character.

Writing:

The writing is simple and subtle and it made reading this book a pleasant experience. It’s good enough that I won’t mind trying out other books by Sandra Block.

Begining:

I was drawn into this book right from the very start. I really enjoyed the quirky banterings of Dr. Zoe. Her wit kept me entertained for the better part of the book. The starting of this book gave me an impression that there is going to be one hell-raiser of a mystery in the later part of the book but, to my annoyance, there wasn’t.

Ending:

The book ended with a real bang but, as I just said, I was expecting a lot more. I initially thought of this book as a thriller mystery but as it turned out it was just a mystery (with nothing really thrilling about it.) And that too a cozy mystery at that. Still the book managed to surprise me at the end, so there’s that to look forward to.

Blurb:

The blurb is good enough, though, I feel that it does give a slight impression that this book is a fast-paced thriller (or maybe it’s just me.)

Cover Art:

The cover art could have been a lot better but considering it’s a mystery read, the fog on the cover really does give an apt impression of the genre (at least.)

Other Stuff

Opening Line: We call her Jane, because she can’t tell us her name.

Highlights: The ending.

Lowlights: Slow pace of the story.

Final Thoughts: A slow paced, enjoyable mystery read.

Book Review: Quiet Neighbours

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Author: Catriona McPherson
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: Mystery
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors.

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything.

Rating

TRB 1 star

Review

DNF’ed at 20%

I just can’t get into this book. I guess a few sentences are plain weird to say the least. Things seem to happen out of nowhere and I have no clue where the hell this book is headed.

I’ve previously read The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson and absolutely loved it. So, I was expecting a lot from this one as well, but sadly, after a few pages, only everything went south.

I like the author’s writing style but for this book what didn’t work for me was the characterization and the desperate need to bring out the characters’ love for books. It felt quite forced to me.

Hopefully, the other books will be better than this one, cause I really liked TCG, and want to read more books like it.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was the last thing on her mind when she fled across London.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and NetGalley.


 

Book Review: Nirvana (Nirvana #1)

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Author: J.R. Stewart
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Series: Nirvana
Genre: Young Adult|Sci-Fi|Dystopian|Fantasy|Mystery|Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 186
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking oan entire government to do so.

Rating

TRb 3 half star

 

Review

Plot/Story:

Nirvana is an amazing YA read with a really fresh plot line and a great new dystopian world setting. I loved the characterisations and the fast pace of the story.

I was really impressed with the storyline and the world-building concept of Nirvana, though, it lacked a little behind when it came to the execution of these two concepts. I enjoyed the book (no doubt about it) but somewhere I felt that if the second half of the book can be tweaked a little bit then it can be at par with the best-selling YA reads of today.

Characters:

I loved the lead character, Kenders, and was able to feel a connection with her. Though, in the second half of the book I felt that connection slipping (as soon as Serge comes into picture.) I loved Andrew, the male lead, as well but sadly the same thing  happened with him.

Romance/Kills:

This book falls in the romance genre as the plot depends on the romantic relationship between Kenders and Andrew. And like any other dystopian book there is a love triangle (Kenders, Andrew and Serge) but thankfully it’s not a farfetched one. It starts and ends within an acceptable time frame and now I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

Writing:

I enjoyed the easy flow of author’s style of writing. It’s simple yet relatable and makes reading this book a pleasant experience. Having said that, I’d like to point out that I felt that the first half of the book was excellent whereas the second half lagged a little behind not only in terms of the plot line but also in terms of the characterisation and flow of the story.

Beginning:

I started enjoying Nirvana right from the first sentence and continued to do so halfway through the book. Everything was just amazing and I had no issues with anything (but only till the first half.)

Ending:

The second half of the book along with the ending felt quite weak to me. The plot went on to some other uninteresting tangent and ruined an otherwise excellent story. I really hope that the sequel will be better than this one.

Blurb:

The blurb is good, but I felt that it actually revealed a major spoiler about Andrew’s fake death. I would have liked it better to have come across  it while reading the book instead of the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is marvellous. I really like the eerie feeling it radiates. It’s just perfect.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Eight-year-old Larissa Kenders pulls a doll tighter toward her and opens one eye.

Highlights: Plot line.

Lowlights: Second half of the book.

Final Thoughts: A decent dystopian read with a rather weak ending.

Book Review: Cold Girl (West Coast Crime #1)

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Author: R.M. Greenaway 
Release Date: March 26, 2016 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Crime Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher:  
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

Smart urbanite RCMP Constable Cal Dion isn’t designed for snow, silence, and deep, dark woods. But that’s where he finds himself after a life-altering car crash: coping with brain damage and posted in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. But how can he find his footing in a new life when he can’t find his own keys?

Detective David Leith has his own demons to tackle. Forty-two years old and a dogged investigator, he’s seen a lifetime’s worth of cruelty on the job, and his conscience has taken a battering. And now a monster is murdering young women on his turf.

Kiera Rilkoff, a popular young singer, is missing. Has she also fallen victim to the so-called Pickup Killer? The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two. It isn’t until the bitter end that Leith discovers who is the coldest girl of all.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Cold Girl is one of those books that you can either love or hate. And for me, fortunately, it’s the first one. I really enjoyed the story and relished the way it ended. The plot is not only outright gripping but quite unique as well but in its own subtle way. Cold Girl has a character driven plotline and the author successfully pulls it off. The plot line is simple enough, but the twists and the turns scattered throughout the book makes it a fairly complicated one but in a good way.

The writing is a little different, which took me a fair amount of time to get used to, but by the end I got the hang of it. The story flowed well and the pace of the story was also good. But, in spite of everything being great, I thought that the book was exceptionally lengthy. In my opinion, it can be reduced to 3/4th of its length and still have the same impact. This little fact bugged me to no end because it was a really, really time-consuming read.

So, if you have enough time on your hands, then go ahead and read Cold Girl, as it’s a superb detective fiction.

Characters:

As I just said Cold Girl is a character-driven book and the author has managed to create something that I call as “awesomeness.” The main characters, Leith and Dion, are the life of this book and I can still picture them moving around and doing stuff in their daily lives –  that’s how powerful the characterization in this book is. I was totally able to connect with them and the bond that formed is a really strong one.

When we have two male leads who hate each other there is bound to a favorite. Mine is Dion. His vulnerability is what draws me to him and I’m sure in the coming books he’ll emerge as a really strong lead, even more than Leith.

The other characters such as the Law brothers, other constables and DCs, the victims and the suspects, each and everyone had a unique personality and surprisingly I was able to relate to them all. Full marks for characterization!

Romance/Kills:

There is no romance as such, but a major part of the investigation revolves around the relationship of the deceased and the suspect.

There is also a considerable number of killings prior to the main case which involves a serial killer. It serves as a great diversion initially and later on connects beautifully to the case-at-hand.

Writing:

The writing in this book is a little different than what I’m normally used to. Some of the sentences felt a little awkward at times but later I realized that it had more to do with the author’s style of writing than glitches. Fortunately, after reading half of the book I found myself getting used to it.

Having said that I would have definitely enjoyed the book more if the editor had straightened out those awkward sentences and made them a little less painful to read.

Still, I enjoyed the book and the amazing characterization totally made up for whatever problems I had with the writing in the first half of the book.

Beginning:

The book started off perfectly well with an intriguing prologue and then continued on a high note that kept me engaged the entire time. I enjoyed the detailed insight into the police procedurals and enjoyed the overall suspense that kept on building till the end.

Ending:

The ending of the book was perfect considering that it’s a part of a series. In fact, I’m really looking forward to how things are going to shape up in the next part. The mystery also ended well. A classic example of a simple situation going out of hands.

Blurb:

The blurb is apt and gives a really clear idea about what to expect from the book. If I had come across this book in a bookstore then I would have definitely grabbed it after reading the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is good but not excellent. It could have a been a lot better.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She was the only patch of stillness on the planet, to Dion, the dark-haired girl sitting on the far wing of the bleachers, second to lowest tier, watching the band play.

Highlights: Exceptional characterization.

Lowlights: Length of the book.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant but lengthy read.

Book Review: The Child Garden

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Author: Catriona McPherson
Release Date: September 8, 2015 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Scottish-Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, its grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives there in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.

When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn’t hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak—it was murder, they say.

Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Child Garden has an amazing plot story full of well-timed twists and turns. I enjoyed reading it t and tremendously and felt compelled to read it in one go. I was sucked right into the book from starting to end. The main suspense of the book is also mindblowing and there is no way in hell one could have guessed that the things will turn out the way they did.

The pace of the story is great and the writing proceed smoothly without interfering the flow of the story. I really liked the deliberate slow progress of the investigation as it kept me intrigued throughout the book. One more thing that I’d like to add is that the small part of the book where the author used a little demon reference was the stroke of a genius. Why? Because it really made me put down the book at the night. it was a really small part (maybe a few pages,) but it really gave me a good scare.

Characters:

In spite of liking the story, I wasn’t able to feel entirely connected to the main character, Gloria. The story is written in first-person but still I felt a little detached from her. In fact, at one point I felt that she herself was the murderer. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it just felt that the narration was responsible for the detachment I felt.

The other main character is that of Stig and I really liked him, though I felt a little irritated at times to find out that in spite of whatever Gloria did for him, he  continuously held back the truth from her. Still, I liked him a lot and enjoyed the amazing foods he dished out.

Romance/Killings:

There was no romance, but there were a number of killings. Though at times the murders were a little confusing (maybe because of Scottish names and surnames or the fact that a few names were similar,) I still enjoyed the book thoroughly. All the killings really intensified the pace of the story and left me wanting for more.

Writing:

As I mentioned earlier, the writing is good and flowed beautifully without interfering the reader’s imagination. Though I felt the characterization was a little (just teeny-weeny) weak. I would have enjoyed more if the MC would have been a tad more relatable but nonetheless I still enjoyed the story.

The attention to detail is remarkable!

Beginning:

This book hooked me right from the beginning. It started with a beautiful prologue and carried on with the same effect.

Ending:

The ending is mind blowing and I was completely spell-bound by suspense that was revealed at the end. Though I felt that the story was a little rushed right before the suspense was revealed.

Book Cover:

I love this book cover because it really gives me the willies! I picked up this book because of the cover and the blurb.

Blurb:

Okay now, this is where it gets a little ugly. The blurb is quite misleading. I thought that the book is a supernatural one (as the blurb says) but it is NOT. It’s a suspense-thriller book.

You can also read this review at:
 Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was far from silent in the dark wood.

Highlights: Amazing storyline and suspense.

Lowlights: Characterization and misleading blurb.

Final Thoughts: A really good suspense read.

Book Review: Southern Solstice

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Author: Sarah Sadler
Release Date: June 2, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 404
Publisher: Blue French Press
Source: NetGalley (Requested by Tammi Weed, Director of Media Relations, Modern PR.)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

As rich and distinctive as the Lowcountry itself, Southern Solstice presents a clever and charismatic journey of love, heartache, adaptation and emotional fortitude as told through a patina of family heritage.

When twenty-four-year-old Larken Devereaux is left brokenhearted by her fiancé on the West Coast, she reluctantly returns to her charmed aristocratic roots in Charleston, South Carolina to rebuild her life and gain self-determination in a prominent southern family that offers everything and requires nothing.

As her impetuous mother orchestrates a reunion with a first love, Larken becomes entangled in a dilemma where she must choose between an intriguing, passionate plastic surgeon—who is anything but superficial—and the annoyingly irresistible man who has silently loved her forever.

Rating4half-stars

Review

Plot Story:

The plot-line of this book is really impressive considering it’s a contemporary-romance story. I enjoyed reading this book and would felt myself pulled into the story from the beginning till the end.
I had a great time reading it and this book will make an excellent summer read. I’d recommend to anyone who loves the genre. I’m not a huge fan of romance novels but this book really stood out. The simplicity of the plot is commendable and so is the rich writing and characterisation.

Characters:

I absolutely loved the characterisation in this book. I was able to feel a strong connection with the lead character- Larken Devereaux. I also loved the male leads – Jackson and Miles.

To be honest, I loved all the other characters as well and felt like I’d known them forever. Each and every character had substance and spoke for itself making the reader feel so comfortable reading the book that you’d want to loose yourself in it.

Romance:

It’s a romance fiction… so figures. The sizzling chemistry between Larken and Jackson is to die for. But when Miles comes into the picture, everything gets upside down and that’s when the the subtle bond between Larken and Miles starts to shine through. It’s amazing how the author not only successfully pulled off a love triangle but also ended it on a brilliant note.

To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the little moments of lovey-dovey stuff without actually cringing away from it. And that’s how, at least for me, a romance book should be.

Writing:

The writing is rich, as I already said, with a few new and heavy words sprinkled here and there. I enjoy this type of writing and I’m looking forward to read more books by the author. The book is written in third-person omniscient narration and the imagery created by the author is brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed narration. That said, yes, there were times, especially in the second half of the book, when I skimmed over a few lines here and there. But maybe that’s because I was so curious to find out how it all comes together in the end.

Beginning:

I thoroughly enjoyed the book from the beginning. The emotional turbulence at the very beginning of the book pulled me right in and instantly connected me with the female lead – Larken. After that as I read further the story got more and more interesting with each and every page. I love books with powerful beginnings as they draw me inside from the start and this book did just that.

Ending:

The book ended on a brilliant note and the ending itself was quite surprising. Generally, in romance novels the ending is pretty predictable but in this book but in this case it came as a pleasant surprise and it beautifully pulled out Larken from the web of a love triangle.

Cover Art:

I absolutely adore the cover art. I think it’s pretty classy and goes well with the theme of the book (esp. with Bunny’s quote – Jewels anyone crown.)

Blurb:

The blurb seems perfect to me. I accepted the book based on the blurb itself.

You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Don’t make this harder on me than it already is, Larken.”

Highlights: Brilliant plot.

Lowlights: A little too descriptive in the second-half.

Memorable Quotes:

Jewels On Your Crown.

And then she thought of Dr. Miles and the scar he had promised not to leave. Then she realised in a strange, hopeless way that he had left one anyway. Men always do.

If the shoe don’t fit, run barefoot the other way.

When you trouble yourself to be obligated to someone, they better have already proved their worth to you.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant summer read.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Novella Review: Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island

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Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Release Date:  2013 
Series: None 
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Suspense 
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 137
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Source: NetGalley 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

Rating

4-stars

Review

 

Story/Plot:

This book has a really unique plot-line and I enjoyed it pretty well. It was a mild read but at times it really gave me the creeps. The concept was really good but I feel that the story could have a little ore better towards the end. Still, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent suspense or horror read.

Though I felt that despite of having a great start to the book, the ending was a little week.

Characters:

It took a few chapters to establish a connection with the protagonist, Paul, but once it was done, I was able to enjoy the book without any difficulty. I really felt sorry for the situation he was in – dead wife and three children to care of and then dead wife coming back to ask for help. The other characters were also good but I wasn’t able to connection with anyone else.

Romance:

There was no romance as the lead’s wife dies, but there was a whole book full of love. It was really sweet to read a horror story which was completely driven by only one main emotion – love.

The author did justice to the theme.

Writing:

I’d like to commend the author on the simplicity of the book. The writing was simple yet relatable and I’d like to read more books by the author.

Beginning:

The beginning of the book was probably the best part as it drew me right in. I was able to get the feel of the whole situation and could clearly see where the story was going.

Ending:

The ending, for me, was a bit confusing and week. I felt that with such a great concept the author should have really pulled it off with a great ending (connecting the dots and all) but to my disappointment the story felt quite rushed at the end.

Cover Art:

I like the cover art and it compliments the theme of the book perfectly.

Blurb:

The blurb is quite good and summarises the story perfectly well.

You canals read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Paul turned from the dark window, twitching the drapes back in place.

Highlights: Beginning of the plot.

Lowlights: Ending.

Final Thoughts: A decent read.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Missing Melissa

25401874

Author: Alretha Thomas 
Release Date:  5th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: NA | Mystery |Relationships | 
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 301
Publisher: Divers Arts Collective
Source: Author (Thanks Alretha!) via NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Twenty-two years old with a journalism degree from UCLA and a promising entry level position at a television station, Madeline Patterson is ready to take on the Universe. Raised by two loving parents, adored by her grandmother, protected by her dog, Pepper, and supported by her best friend—Madeline has it all. There’s only one thing missing—literally missing—her identical twin, Melissa.

When Madeline and Melissa were three-years-old, their mother was carjacked in broad daylight while taking them to a doctor’s appointment. She was able to get away with Madeline in tow, but the assailants left the scene before she could rescue Melissa. A long and massive search ensued, but Melissa was never found and is believed to be dead. However, a dream Madeline has on her twenty-second birthday, wherein Melissa appears to her as a grown woman pleading for help, convinces her Melissa is still alive. Against her parents’ wishes, Madeline vows to find her twin. However, in doing so, she unknowingly stumbles upon a series of startling clues that point to her parents’ possible involvement in Melissa’s disappearance. Paralyzed by fear, Madeline doesn’t want to face what could possibly be the ugly and grim truth about her parents. However, her desire to find Melissa propels her forward—but nothing could prepare her for what she discovers.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

I enjoyed the plot a lot. The pace of the story was good, it was neither slow nor super fast, just the way a my. Everything happened at the right time. So, the timing of the twists were really good to keep the readers hooked.

I really enjoyed the little pieces that kept on twisting the plot. It really kept me on the edge right till the very end. There were so many possibilities that came in mind and I suppose, that’s how a really good mystery is supposed to be.

Characters:

I was able to relate to all the characters. I loved all the characters, especially that of Madeline, her BFF Ruby and her pet Pepper. There was such a beautiful connection between Ruby and Pepper that I fell in love with them right from the start. Ruby is a friend to die for, and a one who’ll die for you.

I felt a real connection with Madeline and still feel that she’s a close friend or a real person (which is really rare in mystery books.)

I loved the Madeline’s family as well and the last part of the book focused beautifully on the unique relation between the twins. I enjoyed knowing all the characters as each and every one of them had a unique spark to their personalities.

Romance:

The relationship between Madeline and Sam was really cute. It was a refreshing given the mystery involved in the book.

It developed slowly (which was perfect given Madeline’s situation) and Sam was a perfect gentleman. I really enjoyed the subtle growth of their relationship and the way it took shape at the end of the book.

Plus, it really justified Sam’s interest in a long lost case inspite of all the weak and insufficient evidences.

Writing:

Alretha Thomas’ writing had a very easy flow to it. I loved it and the fact that she kept it subtle. No unnecessarily complex words as I hate digging the dictionary again and again (even on Kindle.) You can just start the book with an unexplainable ease. Her writing, or to put it correctly, her story-telling helped me glide through the entire book smoothly. I enjoyed reading this books and now I’ve decided to read all her other books as well.

Beginning:

The biting had a great pace and I was sucked into the plot right from the start. I loved having the descriptor of most of the characters’ personalities in the beginning itself. I was

Ending:

I enjoyed the ending a lot. The mystery was brilliant and there no way I could have guessed who was actually behind the kidnapping. It was totally unexpected and I loved it.

Blurb:

The blurb for Missing Melissa is just perfect. I accepted this book for review after reading the blurb. As soon as I read it, I knew I really wanted to read this book.

Cover Art:

To be honest I have mixed feeling about the cover for this book. It’s not excellent but it’s not even dull. I like the mirror reflecting the chic as it symbolises the twins but for a book this good there should have a much serious cover that can radiate the feeling of mystery.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She’s not dead.

Highlights: Brilliant plot-line

Lowlights: None

Memorable Quotes:

God help me to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Normal is a setting on a washing machine and not what our lives are supposed to be.

Final Thoughts: A refreshing mystery.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn And The End Of Days #1)

15863832

Author: Susan Ee
Release Date: January 1st, 2011
Series: Penryn & The End Of Days
Genre:  Young Adult | Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic | Fantasy | Paranormal > Angels
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing and Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Followed By: World After (Penryn & The End Of Days #2)

Book Review: The DUFF

8989348

Author: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: January 1st, 2010
Series: None
Genre:  Young Adult | Contemporary |  Chick Lit. | Fiction
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 370
Publisher: Machete Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

Graphic Novel Review: A Glance Backward

25111831

Author: Tony Sandova
Illustrator: -
Release Date: 12th May, 2015 (I received an ARC)
Series: -
Genre: Fantasy | Comics | Dark
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 90
Publisher: Magnetic press
Distributer: Diamond Book Distributors 
Source: NetGalley

Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead #2

23388348-2

Author: Jay Faerber
Illustrator: Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Release Date: 1st April, 2015
Series: Copperhead
Genre: Science-Fiction | Western | Mystery | Suspense | Action | Comics 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 77
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors (Image Comics)
Source: NetGalley 
Preceded By: Copperhead #1 (A New Sheriff In Town)
Followed By: Copperhead #3

Graphic Novel Review: Copperhead: A New Sheriff In Town (Vol. #1)

23901106

Author: Jay Faerber
Illustrator: Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
Release Date: 11th March, 2015
Series: Copperhead
Genre: Science-Fiction | Western | Mystery | Suspense | Action | Comics 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: NetGalley

Graphic Novel Review: The Bigger Bang

25069009

Author: Vassilis Gogtzilas
Illustrator: Unknown
Release Date: 26th May, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | YA | Comics
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: NetGalley