[Monthly] October ARCs

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kindly provided, in exchange for an honest review.

So much work to do this month! I am trying to bring my ratio up so I kind of have to burry my nose in these books.

1 . The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire by C.A. Harland

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Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.

Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.

2. Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn

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When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

3. Closer (Closer #1) by M.C. Vann

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When Alexandria Summers (Ally) bumps into Henry Pearce during the Sunny Valley Tulip Festival, she never thought she’d see him again in her hometown, the Windy City. Despite several warnings telling her to stay away, Ally finds herself falling deeper for this strange man. But little did she know, their fated encounter is just the beginning of a larger scheme.

This beautiful man was flawed.

He was real … real in a sense that he was human after all.

Fragile. Pitiful. Lonely.

Henry was all of these things — elements that I never could imagine him having.

The more I got to know Henry, the more I realized how much of a mystery he was.

A dark, but beautiful mystery.

*** Trigger Warning: Intended for audiences 18 and older. Contains situations some readers might find objectionable. Ends on a cliffhanger.

4. Ekata: Fall of Darkness (Ekata #1) by Dominique Law

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On Ekata, a utopian world where violence is unthinkable, Asher has been plagued with visions of death and darkness since childhood. On his eighteenth birthday he is confronted with a life-changing prophecy which tells of a threat not only to his world, but to Earth as well.

Alexis has always felt she doesn’t belong. When an extraordinary stranger appears on her doorstep, it raises more questions than answers. If everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie, who is the real Alexis? And how could she possibly be part of an ancient prophecy?

Through startling transformation and grief, the pair defy all expectations. But when everything changes, can Asher’s humanity survive? The fate of both worlds may depend upon it.

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Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve in Netgalley?

Thank you for reading!

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[Monthly TBR] October 2017

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Coming back determined to read as much as possible… but baby steps. Here is a short list of the books I will (hopefully) read.

1 . Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars – The Force Awakens) by Claudia Gray

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

2. Firebolt (The Dragonian #1) by Adrienne Woods

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Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena’s in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a Prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh. And the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe – in herself.

3. Storm (Phantom Islanders #1) by Ednah Walters

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Pirates no longer roam the seas.
Phantom Islands don’t exist.

Nanny to a wealthy family, eighteen-year old Alexandria “Lexi” Greendale sends most of what she earns home to support her disabled brother. She is determined to help him get the surgery he needs to walk again. Her dreams come to an abrupt halt when she rescues a man from drowning.

How does he repay her? Captain Storm Orath abducts her, claims her as his chosen mate, and takes her to a magical island that is centuries behind times with barbaric customs.

For Lexi to make it home to her family, she must fight the lure of the man and the island he controls, and escape, or stay trapped forever.

This is Part I of a 3-Part New Adult UF Serial about a woman and her journey of discovery, adventure, and unforgettable love.

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Can’t wait to hear your opinion about these books. Have you read them? Do you think I should read them?

[Review] Fantastical by Kristen Ashley

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Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.

The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.

At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.

Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.

But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.

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3stars

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I accidentally started reading the third book because I thought it was the first, which is stupid. Thankfully they’re standalones. I gotta say… I enjoyed all the freaking plot holes. I found them amusing actually. It’s one of these books you enjoy reading even though they’re a bit horribly written. Hahaha I really like how awful it is. Can’t explain it.

Writing Style

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So much wasted potential because of the writing style. The book was written in first person POV, which is always what I prefer. I like that I was able to be in Cora’s head but sometimes it was, kind of, too much… I felt like I was reading the diary of a 15 year old girl instead of a book written by an adult…

The fact that the lead was actually in her thirties, made it even worse. What do I mean exactly?

[Another slap on the ass. Serious ouch. God, I hated it when he did that.]

Really? Serious ouch? I expect a better description about how she felt at that time.

[“Put your hands on me”, he commanded, his knee pressing between my legs.
Oh my!
“Um, okey dokey,” I whispered again and slid my hands up his arms and around his shoulders.]

Who writes okey dokey during a sex scene, expecting to take the book seriously? I was facepalming and laughing instead of enjoying reading it.

[Tor’s room were the shit. In fact, his entire castle was the shit. In fact, his entire princedom was the shit.]

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Do you guys understand what I am trying to say? This description was definitely not the shit.

Not to mention ALL the awkwardly written sex scenes… All the awkward talking and questions like “who am I?” and “who are you?” in every single scene. Yes, we get it. He is your prince, your husband etc. and you’re his wife and princess. How many times do I have to skip these kind of scenes to avoid reading the same stuff again and again?

Plot

The plot had so much potential. The world building was actually pretty amazing and unique. There was this extraordinary, magical world with pretty colors and beautiful scenery. Cora was transferred into that world and tried to survive while she had to endure all the things that went wrong because of this change. (Not gonna spoil). So if the book was written in a different way, I would have loved it.

The plot holes frustrated me a bit to be honest but secretly I found them entertaining and I ignored them.

For example when Tor was transferred to Cora’s world, he demanded he drive the car.

[I showed him around the console, explained the basics, he started up the car and away we went. No joke. He was a natural. He even figured out the road signs and traffic signals and only asked what a few of them meant.] 

This can’t be. Nobody can be a natural when it comes to driving, especially someone from an entirely different universe where cars are not even close to be discovered.

Because the number of silly things like this was huge, I decided to ignore them and just focus on the main plot.

Characters

Cora Goodie is not the worse female character out there. Ignoring the fact that she annoyed the hell out of me at some points, she was most of the time a strong female lead. She was opinionated, (kind of) determined, brave, friendly and fought for her rights and her loved ones. I enjoyed the fact that she could be emotional and not ice cold when she had to. Vulnerability is not always a weakness.

She was annoying when she was acting like a teen in front of Tor but I forgave this behavior because she had to do with the other half of her soul. Love makes us all fools sometimes. Plus, adults need a break from adulting.

Tor was not my type of book boyfriend. I accept that he was a prince, taught to order everyone around but I can’t accept how possessive he was. I felt like I needed space. What saved the situation was his sweetness and all the caring. He was rational and smart apart from handsome and well build. He was the voice of Cora’s conscience and thankfully her protector from all the evil out there.

Overal

I pushed the strict side of me away. I was going for one star but because of all the potential and the little details I enjoyed I decided against it. I admit that I had fun reading it, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

abouttheauthor

[Kristen Ashley]

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Thank you all so much for reading! Can’t wait for your opinion. Have you read the book? What do you think? Would you read it?

[Review] A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

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Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

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4stars

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I wasn’t really expecting to actually like the book. I was pretty interested in the plot but for some reason I was expecting it to be a failure. I couldn’t be more wrong… The book was fantastic!

Writing Style

Well written and easy to follow the story! I enjoyed reading it so much that I actually finished it in one day. The flashbacks were beautifully attuned with the plot, thankfully! I am usually disappointed when it comes to flashbacks because they get me out of the current story but this time I was really into them.

The author gladly used first person POV and I was more than happy to be inside Marguerite’s head.

Plot

I am super excited about world building! I got to see so many different versions of Marguerite’s life and I can’t wait to see more since the possibilities are infinite. I am not the right person to judge because there were many scientific things I didn’t get (I’m kind of stupid), but I think there were no plot holes.

Last but not least, I am a sucker for a good romance and I got what I asked for. Marguerite and Paul are perfect and since there was no hint of insta-love I am really really satisfied.

Characters

I’ll be completely honest. I am not really crazy for any of the characters but I am not disappointed at all. I mean, none of them were annoying but they were a bit predictable. I was expecting the “plot twist” since the beginning but I did enjoyed it when it finally happened.

Marguerite is not really a badass but she is not the lady in distress. I would say she is so realistic that I could relate to all of her reactions. I enjoy that kind of characters, with human reactions.

I need to read and explore more about Paul though. Sadly we only got glimpses of the “real” him throughout the story but I loved all the interactions he had with Marguerite.

Overall

I am a fan of Claudia Gray and her writing. I am really interested in the series and I hope you will all give this book a try.

abouttheauthor

[Claudia Gray]

Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn’t choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn’t), because I’d always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven’t) or even because I’m hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I’ve been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

[Review] The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

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2stars

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I don’t know…

I think it was one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. I was in the verge of stop reading every three pages.

Writing Style

To be honest, the book was so well written that left me in shock. There was third person POV and usually I hate it. I think you need to be an excellent author to be able to pull off the third person POV. So I am happy to announce that I am really satisfied. I can’t really explain what is going on in my head but I felt like the writing was aery and pretty! Loved it.

Plot

The plot is well known to all of us. It’s the classic “A thousand and one nights” story, so pretty much I knew what was going on. The thing is that I was expecting something more since it was a retelling but I was completely disappointed. I mean to me it seems that there was no plot at all. Like the author decided to write the story but didn’t know what to write and went with the flow. Nothing makes sense and it was supposed to be awesome.

The thing that actually bored me and brought me so close to dnf the book was the stories. Yes, I get that Shazard was supposed to be a story teller but for crying out loud, I don’t care about other stories. Why invest so many pages to the stories Shazard was telling? Get to the point of the actual story. I skipped so many pages and I felt so bad for doing so. Such a pity…

Characters

Shazard is the type of female character I thoroughly despise. Through the whole book there was this buzz about her and the things she was capable of accomplishing. She was admired and respected by everyone and here I am asking you all, why?

Was she a great story teller? Probably but I skipped the stories; I was bored.

Was she smart? Let’s see… she offered to kill a fearful king without even having a plan. She counted on her stories to stay alive and then what? What if the stories weren’t good enough? Girl… really?

Was she determined? She sure was the first day. A couple of days in the palace and she’s already in love with the killer of her best friend.

Not to mention that she was in love with Tariq since forever and threw that love away like it was nothing… Please!

Overall

Based on most of the reviews the book is thrilling and I was expecting it to be that way. It was not…

Maybe it’s just me but if I really wanted to read the “A thousand and one nights” story I would pick the original. No need for a retelling if it’s almost the same thing (or worse).

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[Renee Ahdieh]

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[Blog Goals Wednesday] New, come back goals

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I can’t have a come back if I’m not organized, right? I thought it would be wise to start with a Blog Goals Wednesday and smoothly be back with you guys.

weekly goals

~Blog everyday for a week no matter what

I need to get used to my routine again!

~Get in touch with most of my friends in the blogsphere

I’ve missed you all.

~Review 3 books

One is already reviewed!!

~Reach 300 followers

18 more! So so so close~

So I know I can make it back but I am nervous. I had really serious reasons that were preventing me from blogging but I need to do this for me. I love this. You guys are my motivation and I hope everything will be back to the way it was.

[Review] Bully by Penelope Douglas

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate…

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He’ll barely refer to me at all, and he’ll hardly ever speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way I’ll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have.

It’s time to fight back.

When one brave young woman stands up to her best friend Jared, now tormenter, the consequences go beyond anything either of them ever would have imagined…

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3stars

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Nope, this book was absolutely not for me. I would have rated it lower but I gave it three stars because I enjoyed it at some point.

Writing Style

Not even one complain here. Everything was great and I actually liked the way the book was written. There was a flow and the description of feelings was really awesome. I am a huge fan of authors who manage to make me feel and relate to the characters. There was first person POV, which I prefer at most times, because in order to write in third person and do it well requires skill and usually it’s a failure. I am not implying that Penelope Douglas has not talent, please do not misunderstand. The first person POV is safe in general. So what I am saying here is that the book was really good in this domain.

Plot

Here come my issues with this book. Bullying is bad but I don’t really blame the bullies all the time. I happened to be bullied back in junior high. A guy liked me, I rejected him and he bullied me to the point that he even started throwing rocks at me every time we happened to meet. He usually was trying to assault me by groping me in public and then there were the rocks. I should have stopped him earlier but I was just avoiding him. When a rock actually hit me and injured me I realized that this kid is a fucking asshole and he needs to be stopped. I talked to my parents and they talked to the police and that kid never bothered me again. What I am trying to say is that victims should not be victims and I understand that it’s difficult to speak to someone about being bullied, I’ve been there and I know, but we all have to be brave and stop this from happening. I blame myself for not stopping him the very first time he tried to do this to me and it’s really my fault that I let this happen.Bullies should be stopped. We need to be brave for our own good and we need to prevent these psychotic jerks from ruining our lives. We can do this.

At least there is a logical explanation as to why Jared was a bully and why Tate fell in love with him. I won’t spoil anything but I’ll just say that I’ve finished it because it was realistic and because Tate didn’t just accept this. She found the strength and fought back and stopped her bully. That’s what we’re supposed to do. If I was in her shoes I would have stopped this earlier but better late than never. We’re not all the same and for some people it’s harder to be brave. Eventually it has to be done.

So, the pace was good and the plot made sense. In general the story evolved perfectly well. There was suspence and I had so many questions that were answered the right time. Technically the book was perfect.

Characters

Both Jared and Tate made me so mad at first. I was so rooting for Tate, I was relating and I wanted her to be free of this torture and happy. I had high hopes and expectations and she was driving me crazy. Thankfully at some time she opened her eyes and realized some things and fought back. I was not disappointed.

Jared on the other hand… I wanted to punch his face every single time his name was appearing in front of me. I loved how determined, strong and smart he was was but at the same time I hated his jerk side. You can’t just treat a person like that. So when things got clear and I realized the hows and whys of his personality and all the reasons behind his stupid behavior, I kind of forgave him. Tate got it as well!

Overall

The book was not bad, actually. I’ve enjoyed parts but I was facepalming most of the time because of my own experience. So the reasons behind my own behavior and rating are mostly personal. I also realized that I should prbably avoid that kind of books. Not good for me.

abouttheauthor

[Penelope Douglas]

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Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. Her books include the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame). Please look for her recent standalones, Corrupt and Misconduct. Available now.

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