Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Holy shit. Sexy. Mysterious. Forbidden. Seductive. Feminist. Give. Me. More.

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

A satisfactory sequel with enough summary to make it easy to pick up the series months or even years reading the first one. I find that this book did a better job of explaining this world, the magic, and the battle facing the characters than the first book. There are nice character development and story progression without being too predictable. I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

This series ends exactly as I expected. There are no real surprises or suspense, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t satisfying. I applaud Ms. Roberts on her willingness to try something new, and I think she did a good job with it.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

What a creepy book! It did get a little too religious/preachy for my personal preferences. I don’t like it when stories like this become nothing more than a sermon about heaven and hell, but that is me. Still, I did enjoy it until they revealed the forces behind the disappearances, and it gave me strange dreams while reading it. That is what you hope to experience in any horror story.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Kiersten White is an author whose books I will preorder and read because I know I will always enjoy it. I love her refreshing takes on old stories and especially the feminist slant she builds into those stories. Her take on Camelot and the tale of King Arthur is particularly satisfying as she approaches the story from Guinevere’s point of view – with a fun twist. The story has a satisfying ending but with plenty of mystery and unanswered questions to leave us wanting more. I’m excited to see what happens next with Guinevere’s story!

Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

Another stand-alone young adult novel! Although this may be one story where I did want more because I love Astrid and how flawed she is. She is not that intelligent. She is not the most powerful character. But what she lacks in either she makes up for with grit and determination and sheer stubbornness. The idea of punishing a surrogate is horrifying, but the idea of losing all your memories with the chance to relearn about your life is fascinating. I found the whole thing well-written and exciting, giving you another way to look at the haves and the have-nots and the biases that are in every one of us.

NVK by Temple Drake

I was hoping for so much more than what I received. It hints at being a vampire novel, and I guess it is, but it is unlike any other vampire story I’ve read. I can’t say I enjoyed it, and it appears to be the beginning of a series. I’m not certain why.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

This is the second Shea Ernshaw book I’ve read that I have loved. I adore her ability to twist a story ever so slightly to allow us to see the entire situation in a completely different light. I remain impressed by the care with which she builds her world, providing backstory for the entire clan and allowing us to experience the wonder of the Winterwood. Atmospheric, intense, mysterious, and magical, I am quickly becoming a fan of Ms. Ernshaw.

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