Book Review: Siren by Tricia Rayburn

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Siren (Siren, #1)Book Synopsis:

Siren #1
Published Jan 2010 by EgmontUSA
Fantasy, YA | 344

Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.  

But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.  

Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb, but what Vanessa discovers might mean the end of her summer romance, and life as she knows it.

Book Review: ★★★★

Being in the mood to read a good mermaid book I found Siren through Goodreads and was really caught by the beautiful cover and the description. It sounded almost like a murder mystery and I really wanted to read it. The story was a bit slow in that you don’t really find out the whodunit till near the end. Regardless I liked every minute of reading the novel. I liked getting to know Justine before her untimely death and reading about how Vanessa, her sister, copes with it all. The mystery portion was very well done. We slowly learned new pieces of information while even more bodies continue to wash on shore. The end and the big reveal was really well done. I didn’t see some of the big twists and am really excited to see where the second book leads us.

I really liked the characters as well. Vanessa was very shy and scared but was still very determined to learn why Justine had gone back to the cliffs in the bad weather. I liked how she grew through the story and built up the courage to do things that needed to be done. I also really liked how after she overcame one of her huge fears, she still admitted that it didn’t solve all her issues. She was still afraid of certain things and I liked how it wasn’t ‘oh now she’s perfect and will always be strong’. I liked how Rayburn made it realistic and show that it’s a slow change but a change nonetheless.

I also loved the Carmichael boys. I loved Mr. Science-Guy and the adventure boy. I loved Paige and her upbeat nature and loathed Z and her over-controlling issues. Each of the characters were unique and very well done.

Overall it was a really good book and I’m already looking to buy the next few books in the series.

Feb/Mar Wrap-up & April Reads

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Hello lovelies,

Sorry for the longer-than-expected hiatus. I know when the year started I had planned to put in more effort into this blog and keep the consistent schedule. But after having losing someone dear to me, there’s little else I want to do than watch mind-numbing tv. I didn’t expect to be hit as hard as I have been but I’m hoping to get back into the rhythm of things this next month. I’m hoping to read more and get back to my usual schedule of weekly blog memes with reviews here and there. (If I read consistently and fast enough my hope is to have a book review up at least once a week). So with that all said and done, let’s move on to the important stuff.

February Wrap-up

I actually read a lot during this month. Being on vacation for two weeks and reading really good books definitely helped with that. The books I read were:

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)Inhale (Just Breathe, #1)Everblue (Mer Tales, #1)The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness, #1)The Keeper (Brilliant Darkness, #1.5)The Defiance (Brilliant Darkness, #2)Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Divergent (Divergent, #1)

However, while I read all these books I didn’t write reviews. Not for all of them yet anyways and I have yet to actually put the ones I did write on this blog because I’m a bad blogger. I will get to that later on this week and hopefully have them scheduled to be posted in the following days. I still plan to write reviews for all of them and have only four (I think) left to write. I was really happy with Cress and loved where the story has gone. I have a new pairing I ship and I can’t wait for Winter to be released so I can read it. I loved The Scourge and the books that followed in the series. I picked it up on a whim and was immediately in love with the story. I also can’t wait for the next book in the series to be published. And I have finally read Divergent which I’m sure Isis is really happy about. After finishing it I immediately went and purchased the rest of the trilogy from the airport book store. I haven’t read them just yet but I hope to do so soon.

March Wrap-up

March was an extremely slow reading/blogging month for me. I came back from vacation and was put right back into work and then had to face all the emotions that I had shoved away during February and while on vacation. Needless to say I didn’t feel like reading much and only managed to read The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector. I received the book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. You can find my review for that here. I continued to read A Little Night Magic by Lucy March. I have about 100 pages left but it’s a rather cheesy books (which I knew going into it) and haven’t been in the mood to read it. So in the meantime I’ve been slowly making my way through Siren by Tricia Rayburn (which I actually just finished tonight so it falls in the list of books I finish in April).

April Reads

For this month I have quite a bit I want to read (which I probably won’t get to all of them but at least I have a list). My random reads are:The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)Paskagankee (Paskagankee, #1) The first was given to me by Isis and has been sitting on my shelf since I don’t even remember when she gave it to me. I think it’s one of her favorite series and it’s a mystery so I’m looking forward to that (also the cover is beautiful and I just love the shade of green they used). The second is my random eread. I actually purchashed this book for free and then later purchased the second one (also for free) without realizing they were part of the same series. The cover is intriguing and I remember being really interested after reading the synopsis. For the Genre Reading Challenge I have to pick a book under Fantasy. Which, honestly, isn’t that hard because all I read is fantasy/paranormal really. Cyndere's Midnight (The Auralia Thread, #2)So to get two books with one stone I’m choosing Cynder’s Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet. It was given to me by the author over a year ago and I still haven’t read it. It’s on the top of my books to read for review so I’m hoping to get to that finally. Books that I’m currently reading and have yet to finish are A Little Night Magic by Lucy March and The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. I’m also going to be reading The Elite by Kiera Cass (book two in The Selection series) with Isis. That brings me up to a total of 6 books to read this month. Doable if I actually read every day (which I haven’t been). So we’ll see how this goes. I’m also behind on my 65 Book Challenge by two books (ok I actually had to look that up and thought I was behind by a lot more than that). So I’m hoping to catch up on that challenge and get back on track/maybe a bit ahead?

How was your reading progress in March? What are you planning to read in April?

ARC Review: The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector

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The Rich and the DeadBook Synopsis:

Published March 18, 2014 by William Morrow & Co.
Mystery, Scifi? | 310

In exclusive Star Island, Miami, money and power can’t protect you… In collaboration with branding powerhouse Alloy Entertainment comes a thrilling new series featuring a former Miami PD detective on the hunt for a mass murderer, who must face the past she thought she left behind.

On New Year’s Day 2015, twelve powerful, wealthy people were found dead—shot in a lavish Star Island estate. In 2018, the murderer remains at large.

As a detective and lead investigator on the case of the century, Lila Day was consumed by her hunt for the Star Island Killer. But that was before she was pushed out from the force, and her life unraveled.

Years later, down on her luck and no longer a police officer, Lila is approached by mysterious billionaire Teddy Hawkins. He has a job for her, he says—solving the Star Island murders. Lila laughs. After all, how do you solve a crime when all the leads have long grown cold? The answer, Teddy tells her, is to be there before it happened. He is going to send her back in time.

With nothing left to lose, Lila travels back in time to 2014, determined to stop the Star Island killer once and for all. There’s one catch: she must gather the evidence to bring the murderer to justice in her own time, without trying to save anyone. Easy enough, until she starts to care for the people who are destined to die. Now Lila must be willing to say good-bye—or risk setting into motion events that could change the future forever.

Book Review: ★★★★

“Lila slipped Kiyoshi a hundred-dollar bill with the instructions to ‘make those drinks as stiff as a corpse.’” – The Rich and the Dead page 87

I picked this book up on a whim and was immediately drawn in by the cover and the title. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I love both the simplicity and use of colors. The title is perfect for this novel and really catchy in my opinion. I’ve never heard of Liv Spector and for her debut novel it was very well done.

The writing is perfect mystery novel writing. It sucks you in and gives you the perfect mix of detail, dialogue and intrigue. It was so easy to just wrap yourself up in the mystery and go on this adventure with our protagonist – Lila Day; also known as Camilla Dayton. I loved seeing how she had to adjust, not only to having time traveled and being over three years in the past, but also to change her entire persona to adjust to the lives of the 1%.

The mystery was also very intriguing. I liked the idea of this secret society of philanthropists who donated money to charities every year. I was really curious to find out not only who killed the twelve victims but mostly what their motive was. I’m glad to say that I had no idea about the motive until the last 20 pages. I accidentally guessed the person as a ‘it would be funny if ___ turned out to be the killer’ kind of incident. I really liked how Spector made it that (despite this random guess) I still didn’t really think it was said person until the end. The idea had just flitted through my mind and then I was back to wondering who could do it and why.

Even though you have to wait until the very bitter end to find out everything, and it may seem like the mystery was dragging on, it never felt that way. I was swept up with each new lead and each new possibility, all the while wondering and wanting to know. The story just flew by and before I knew it the big reveal was happening and I couldn’t read fast enough.

Liv Spector’s debut novel has met all my expectations. The description made me want to read this book immediately and I’m so glad I got a copy. I absolutely loved it and loved Spector’s writing. It seems on goodreads that there might be another novel with our lovely Lila Day and I really hope that’s true. Regardless I do plan to read anything else Spector publishes.

The Rich and the Dead was published March 18, 2014 and is currently available on Amazon (Kindle|Paperback), Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository.

W…W…W…Wednesdays (34)

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W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Siren (Siren, #1)The Elite (The Selection, #2)Since the last time I’ve made a WWW post I’ve read a few books. I finally finished A Little Night Magic by Lucy March. It was a cheesy and yet still interesting paranormal romancish novel. It’s the first of the series and I’ll be writing my review for it soon. I also finished Siren by Tricia Rayburn the first of this month. I liked it a lot and you can see my review of it here. I also finished reading The Elite by Kiera Cass (the second in The Selection series). I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first, but I was glad to see there was more action with the rebels. I look forward to the last of the trilogy because I hope we find out what the rebels really want. Yet another review I’ll have up shortly (I hope >>). Most recently, I’ve finished reading Chasing Mercy by Stacy Claflin. It was provided by Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review. Sad to say I didn’t like it at all. If you want to read my opinions on it you can do so here.

Paskagankee (Paskagankee, #1)I’m currently working my way through Paskagankee by Allan Leverone. It’s a creepy, horror mystery novel and so far it’s been a lot of build up. I can’t wait for the real action to start. I still have The Cuckoo’s Calling on the backburner but I’ll get to that eventually >>

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)Up next is Cyndere’s Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Both of them are on my list of books to read this month and are sitting on my nightstand so I’m sure I’ll be starting those soon. I also have another Story Cartel book – Poe: Nevermore by Rachel M. Martens – that I will also be reading soon.

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

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top-ten-tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.  Each week a new top ten list is posted, and to participate all you have to do is fill in YOUR top ten for the list. This week’s list is:

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That You’d Like to Own

 

1. Personal Library Kit – Because a lot of my friends borrow my books and then never return them/forgot they borrowed it
2. Sprout Pencils – they have seeds at the ends so when you’ve gotten to the very nub of the pencil you just stick it in a pot and a plant will grow :D
3. I want a marauder’s mug. This one or the other popular choice.
4. A T.A.R.D.I.S bookcase because how awesome does that look. (Pretty freaking awesome is the answer)
5.  Magic Spells Notebook – it would be awesome to use these as book journals :D And it would match my Witch Spells TBR minichest
Sea Serpent Metal Art Bookends - Free USA Shipping6. Bookends - this person has a bunch of different bookends on their etsy. This is one of my favorites. (because the sea serpent looks super cool here)
7. Dragon Egg Cookie Jar – I think it’s rather self explanatory
8. Hufflepuff Uniform – just because ;)
9. Personal Library – I will have this one day. It will either be a room or just a section but I definitely want floor to ceiling bookcases/shelving
10. Reading Nook – and to go along with said library I want a reading nook that’s near the books and by a window with lots of pillows and maybe a shelf where I can put my laptop/food/drink/other random things I may need

What’s on your bookish wishlist?

Book Review: Chasing Mercy by Stacy Claflin

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Chasing Mercy (Mercy, #1)Book Synopsis:

Mercy #1
Published May 2013 by author
Paranormal, YA | 214

The summer after graduation should have been the most exciting time of Mercy’s life. 

Instead on the way to an exciting overseas trip, she barely survives an accident that kills the rest of her family. As soon as she’s released from the hospital, a creepy hooded figure with black skinny jeans begins to chase her. 

At home, Mercy experiences other ghostly encounters. Kit, her neighbor who happens to run a paranormal blog, thinks that her brush with death has made her more sensitive to life on the other side. She discovers what the hooded figure is hiding and decides to try and stop him regardless of the danger. 

Book Review: ★

*A thanks to Story Cartel for providing this book in exchange for an honest review*

With the good reviews and the interesting synopsis I had started this book with an open mind expecting to be shocked, thrilled and perhaps a little bit scared to be reading this in the middle of the night. I was none of the above. It started out well enough. The story began with decent writing and a good introduction to the character. Mercy wakes up from an accident in which the rest of her family has perished and leaves to go attend the service and funeral, only to be chased away by ghosts. Interesting enough for a start I have to admit. But that’s when things started to go very downhill.

Once we meet Kit, her new neighbor who just happens to be a cute guy, I started to realize that the characters are flat and one dimensional. The beginning of the book started without much dialogue and the descriptions were okay. But when Kit arrives then the book turns into just dialogue. There is barely any descriptions when the two are together and if there is, it’s minimal and unimportant at best. The dialogue was boring and I had a hard time telling who was talking because Kit and Mercy sounded exactly the same.

!!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! SUPER SPOILERY AS IN I REVEAL EVERYTHING !!!!

The plot could have been good but it wasn’t. The big plot issue is that her father’s ghost has been captured by the other ghost that had been chasing her at the beginning (who she so uniquely has named Creepy). It’s a decent enough plot idea but it wasn’t executed well at all. The way Mercy finds out is through a memory/dream in which she remembers seeing her father’s ghost being taken away. Her reaction wasn’t as freaked out as I would think most people would be. There isn’t any ‘well maybe it was just a dream’ or anything like that. It was just ‘OH THIS DEFINITELY HAPPENED AND NOW I HAVE TO SAVE HIM!’. So then Mercy and Kit go on a mission to save her father. This leads to another 80 pages or so in which they spend 30 of it actually doing something and the other 50 is Mercy falling for this guy. Who then happens to be gay. But instead of moving on with the ‘must save dad’ idea, she convinces herself that he’s delusional about his sexuality and how can she get him to fall for her. Priorities, right?

The big showdown at the end wasn’t impressive. It didn’t leave me quacking in my boots, it wasn’t action packed and it wasn’t thrilling. It was just a lot of ‘Give me my dad back!’ (because demanding things from the bad guys without any leverage totally works). The big reveal at the end just pissed me off really. (Turns out she was dead the entire time).  Mostly because it just didn’t make any sense when it came to ghost lore. There wasn’t any instances of missing time/time skipping and she could interact with anything around her – people and objects. I mean have you heard of a ghost taking a shower and changing clothes???? (oh and of course the gay guy falls in love with her) I wish I could say there was a redeeming factor to this book but for me there wasn’t one at all. I feel cheated and lied to and really pissed off about it. I’m sorry if I offend anyone with this review, but it’s my honest opinion. I didn’t like this book one bit.

You can check on goodreads for good reviews or read the book for yourself and see what you think of it if you like.

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

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top-ten-tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.  Each week a new top ten list is posted, and to participate all you have to do is fill in YOUR top ten for the list. This week’s list is:

Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read (maybe the MC was really different, maybe it was the way it was written, a very unique spin on a genre or topic, etc.)

1. The Scourge by A. G. Henley - I pick this book/series for two reasons. The first is the main character and the view from which we read the book. The protagonist, Fennel (aka Fenn), is blind. And yet despite all that we still get a beautiful image of her world. Henley does an amazing job at describing the world from the point of view of a blind person. The second reason is the twist to a very common idea – zombies. DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED I liked that instead of an infectious disease, the cause for zombies (which turns out they aren’t actually zombies in the sense of walking dead) is poison in the water. This poison has caused people (overtime) to become disoriented, dilusional and extremely sick. However, it also makes everyone see them as rotting, flesh eating monsters. So really the zombies are the walking dying. 

2. Sorceress by Celia Rees - this is the sequel to Witch Child. In the sequel we continue the story of Mary Newbury but now from the perspective of a relative many generations later. Agnes – her distant relative/part of the same native clan (it’s not really stated that they are blood related) – starts to have visions of Mary and her life when she left the colonies. It’s a great sequel to a great novel because we get to see the rest of Mary’s life as well as how Agnes deals with her new visions. It’s also great to see how Agnes copes because she has been trying to move away from the traditions of her Native American life and join the ‘modern’ world (one that doesn’t resort to medicine women for help). It’s a great book and one I highly recommend.

3. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - this series is extremely unique and one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s a fairy tale retelling with characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White, but aside from some of the basic plot points of said tales, the books are so drastically different. The world that Meyer has created is so unique and so enticing with it’s deadly disease and ‘magical’ Lunars. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t already read it.

That’s all I got really :p

What unique books have you read?

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