Book Review | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schawb
Cassidy Blake #1
Release Date: August 28th 2018 by Scholastic
Genre: Middle Grade > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: Bought
Format: Ebook
Summary:

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’ve had Victoria’s titles on my TBR for wayyyyy too long and I JUST now read her work. And I get what the hype is. This book sucked me in big time. I ended up doing the audio book and I don’t regret it at all. I may just do the rest of the series in audio!

The concept of this book was so interesting. I had stopped reading it when I first picked it up cause I’m a wimp and it sounded like it was getting scary. But it’s really not. It’s so freakin interesting. Cass can see ghosts, something about almost dying and being saved BY a ghost saved her life. And because of that save her best friend who never leaves her side is well, a ghost. Named Jacob. How that works is beyond me.

Cass’s parents do things that have to do with the paranormal world. I couldn’t figure out if they really COULD see ghosts or if they really did believe in them? Either way their jobs take them to Scotland and I had no idea Scotland was so… haunted. A lot of weird stuff happens there, but a lot of interesting things as well.

It was a peak into historical fiction, going from what was now to what was then and it was so cool to see the author bind the two together. The concept of what Cass is was also fascinating, the theory is ghosts have a ton of reasons of why they stay behind, and the idea of sending them to the other world is also pretty sad.

I absolutely loved the idea that each ghost who was left behind lived in a constant loop of their last moments or why they’re kept here. As a kid I had a ton of questions about ghosts and the afterlife that I would ask my grandfather. I always wondered if they lived in an eternal loop of their lives or a certain part of their lives. To see that on paper in a book was… I don’t know, refreshing? As a kid people tell you your idea’s or theories are silly or don’t make sense. But honestly some of them have stayed with me my whole life.

I wish we got to know a bit more about Jacob as well. Where is he from? How did he get there? How old is he? I’m really hoping we get to know him more in the next book.

I love a book that makes me question my mortality!

Book Review | The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons

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The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons & Vicky Alvear Schecter
Release Date: January 14th 2021 by Serial Box
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Serial Box!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

In Victorian England, a savvy spiritual medium must outsmart the most important client of her career: a scientist determined to expose frauds like her.

But their game of wits has fatal consequences when a vengeful spirit answers their summons. If they cannot put aside their prejudices—and growing passion—and find a way to banish the ghost together, one of them could be its next victim.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I had no idea what this was but if you put “haunting” paired with “Rachel Hawkins” I won’t ask questions, I’ll just read it lol.

I’ve been on a bit of a historical fiction kick so, even better.

The summary pretty much tells you all you need to know about the book and at the 23 page sampler I got there isn’t much to really say beyond that. The murder that happens in the beginning did confuse me a bit; I’d like to know what drove that to happen since it seemed a bit random. Or at least it was a random part to place the opening of a book.

This is part 1 of a 9 part series. I suppose sort of like the Amazon exclusive “Faraway Collection” of fairy tale retellings they did.

Beatrix is a “spiritual medium” and I’m curious to know how something like that came to be so popular in those days. They weren’t a person to be feared or questioned but they were actually searched for. James really need a hobby. “Debunking” other peoples way of living is not his business lol. James, who hurt you?

The sneak peak ends right when things get good; Beatrix starts hearing and seeing things. Even finds proof a ghost might had been warning her. As she pulls up to the manor in question, she suddenly feels a very dark force.

I can’t wait to see what happens while Beatrix is there, sorry B. But that is the driving point of this whole series. And like I said I hope we get more of an insight of what happened in the beginning!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

I don’t know how I feel about this graphic lol. I feel like it’s too… empty?

First Monday of 2021 and I’m not doing a Manifestation post; probably because I have a million “Hello 2021” posts to post lol. If that isn’t throwing things into the universe then I don’t know what is! Besides it’s only the 4th day of 2021 and I’ve already read 3 books (at the time of writing this post), I’d say that’s a pretty awesome start right?!

Books I Read;

I’m so sad I ever put down City of Ghosts, it’s such an interesting read/concept! And it probably just kick started my historical fiction needs. I didn’t find this book creepy at all, just super interesting the whole way through! Jacob was the best part of this book. Wish I knew what the cat was about on the cover.

Maybe it’s my fault I waited seven years to finally finish The Lynburn series and read Unmade. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. However, I am glad I finished it and I can honestly say this was my least fav book of the entire series. The whole time I was wondering wtf was even happening and can Rob just like, idk. Disappear? The whole thing was just WEIRD to me. Like how can a whole city just let this happen? It sort of gave me Bella-in-Breaking-Dawn vibes. If you know what I mean.

I don’t even want to talk about The Prince and the Troll. This series has such captivating covers but this book was just… bad. I was literally confused the whole time waiting for some big huge reveal only to get… even more confused?? I don’t even know honestly.

Books I Plan on Reading;

These are books I’ve already started.

The Archive has been on my TBR FOREVER. I keep passing it up because I love the idea so much and I’m scared I’ll hate it. But after reading City of Ghosts I now see why everyone loves this author’s work. Her writing is hypnotic. No joke.

I’m doing the audio for Among The Beasts & Briars and while it sounds super interesting the narrator isn’t doing it for me. I may just stick with it cause currently it’s convenient but I do eventually want to start reading it myself. Too bad there isn’t a book copy on Scribd.

And one NetGalley book for review. I mean I have 2 so I might read them both but I haven’t started the other one yet. I’ve been staying away from NetGalley until I can get my ratio back up. And since I really have a lot of books to read as it is… I don’t need to go and request a bunch of others I probably won’t get to in time. I’m trying to be more realistic this time around.

What books have you finished or are planning to read next?

Book Review | The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles

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The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Owl Hollow!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….

Amazon* | Goodreads

I love the idea of historical fiction however, I don’t pick it up enough and I’m not really sure why. The Poppy & the Rose not only brought me back to the Titanic (something I’m always fascinated with) but also gave me one of my novel weaknesses: duel timelines.

I’m not going to recap what this book is about, that’s what the summary is for. Though it is hard to remember not to for like word count reasons.

Whatever, anyway, we’re placed in London by Taylor who somehow ended up there just to figure out who some lady in a photo with her father was. Her father passed away btw, and while I get it… I mean I have a ton of questions for my own father who recently passed away; she could had easily I don’t know? Asked a family member? A friend of her dad’s? Like you really went and hopped the pond for that? I’m adventurous but I don’t think I would had went to THAT much of an extreme.

Our second timeline we’re boarding the Titanic with Ava and her father who seems to also be hiding shit from his daughter. See a theme here? Daughters with daddy’s who keep secrets. Daddy’s, DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM YOUR DAUGHTER. You think their mama is bad? She ain’t got shit on a curious daughter let me tell you. Parents who don’t provide full transparency get on my nerves; ya’ll always the ones messing up some shit!

Of the two timeline’s I gotta admit, Ava’s was the one I was most invested in. I felt like Taylor’s entire trip just didn’t make sense. She meets up randomly with an older woman named Lady Knight who ends up passing away the day that Taylor is set to have afternoon tea with her. Some of her servants blame Ava… somehow… even though she just met the lady WHO ASKED HER TO COME OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE and she didn’t even know where this manor even was before that day.

So you spend the book wondering who killed Lady Knight? Who IS Lady Knight? And does Lady Knight know Taylor’s dang daddy or not? And how the hell does this have anything to do with Ava? Well it does. But when all of this is revealed, you should had seen how flat my face fell. Like that’s it? That’s the big secret? It wasn’t the big reveal I was hoping for, or that I had assumed it was going in the direction of, but it definitely reminded me that even though I think MY family has problems (both sides are obsessed with money and so on and so on), there are some families who are just manipulative for fun.

Back to Ava; there were so many different characters and stories and potential endings… I wanted to know where Ava ended up later. I mean it’s lightly covered but I wanted to know KNOW what her life after the Titanic looked like. There was a huge twist I didn’t see coming when it came to Ava and it had something to do with the bigger part of what drove her. My heart broke when her dad decided to slap her with reality. Loss is hard for everyone but I think her dad was 100% selfish.

If Ava ever gets a spin off novel or if we get a peak inside the life of Lady Knight after Titanic, I’m so here for it all.

Book Review | You by Caroline Kepnes

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You by Caroline Kepnes
Release Date: August 18th 2018
Genre: Adult Fiction > Contemporary
Source: Scribd
Format: Audiobook
Summary:

When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I listened to this on audiobook via Scribd and loveeeeeeeeeeeeed it! Every single minute of it! I tried to make it background noise but I found myself stopping what I was doing and just staring at the wall listening to the audiobook. I feel like Joe’s inner thoughts are everything everyone thinks even though they’ll say they don’t. I get that we weren’t suppose to like Joe and I get that most people find what he did creepy but I may be in the minority here when I say “eh, it coulda been worse.” I mean come on, people read horror and thriller books with way worse stuff but Joe is a creeper. Okay.

I guess I say this because I definitely Googled my husband when I met him. I found his sisters social media, his address, saw his house on Google Maps… I mean if you know the right key words then yeah, you can find anyone. And people are curious. Beck had all her shit public so it’s not like she was trying to aim for privacy to begin with. Second of all, realistically who keeps 2 phones active knowing you dropped the other one and ANYONE could have it? KNOWING you’re logged into EVERYTHING on that phone?? I would not. Once I got a replacement that shit would be off and all my saved settings would be wiped! Like WHO does that?!

And I mean you have to admit; the people Joe went after really really had to goooooo. Esp the second one cause goodness they really got on my nerves. Like, seriously. Beck herself got on my nerves a lot. Joe coulda did so much better. There’s a whole world out there and you choose Beck? She doesn’t even know what she wants when it comes to… well anything. Like Joe dude, this girl is tiring by the chapter! MOVE ON!

Overall, this is the first book in AWHILE that actually totally caught my attention and one I looked forward to reading/finishing. I’m on the fence about reading the second book in the series and I barely started watching the show… I really need to set aside more time to watch shows. But I wasn’t really freaked out or anything from this book/concept.

I absolutely admire that the author somehow made it so that we cheered for Joe, it’s crazy. And crazy talented. Also, the audiobook was SO MUCH FUN and it’s read by the guy who plays Hans in Frozen. Not my favorite person, but he did an amazing job.

It’s also probably worth mentioning that Joe’s Tweets were freaking hilarious, just saying.

Have you read You? Were you rooting for or against Joe?

Winter 2020 TBR

As I mentioned before I’m aiming to read at least half of the 9 NetGalley books I have to review as well as a few fun reads on my TBR I’ve been putting off. I know I won’t get through all of these (hell I might not even get through the half for NetGalley) but ya girl is a dreamer so we’re gonna see how well we do at the end of the month!

NetGalley TBR

I have the other 2 books in The Conjurer series but I heard you don’t have to read these in order.

I previously reviewed the sampler for Lore and ended up being approved for the full copy; I had mixed feelings by the end of the sampler so we’ll see how this goes!

I’m currently reading The Poppy and the Rose and The Last Tiara is one I really want to get to even though it doesn’t release until Feb. I’ve just in the mood for duel time frames lately.

Scribd TBR

I LOVE Scribd. Like it’s insane how much I love Scribd. But it’s such a great resource esp when buying new titles start to add up. Most new releases are audiobooks but there’s no wait list or hold time or anything which is nice!

This is a mix of holiday reads and some titles I’ve wanted to read that I feel like still fit the theme of “holidays”. For some reason I think of the Grim Reaper during Christmas? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I’ve always had a Gregory Maguire on my TBR but haven’t gotten around to reading one of his titles yet, this one sounds perfect for the holiday season.

Kindle TBR

I thought I had more on my Kindle TBR but thankfully I only have 2 lol. The Haunting of Beatrix Greene is a lay over from Halloween, I tend to read most of what Rachel Hawkins writes. I loved Hex Hall so much so I’m down for anything supernatural she writes! I just love Sophie Kinsella (honestly who doesn’t)! Love Your Life has been on my radar for the last half of 2020, for sure.

I’m sweating from how ambitious this looks already. I can barely sleep and I really think I’m going to read all these books?! Well yeah, duh. Don’t I always? Ya’ll, send me good thoughts this month lol.

What are you looking forward to reading this December?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Another Monday. Another new week! I’ve been struggling with my mental health lately which is why the blog has been a bit quiet this week but I have a mental health evaluation today so hopefully they can help!

I did somehow manage to finish two books last week but I’m still struggling with a few other titles I started for October.

What I read;

| You by Caroline Kepnes
Amazon* | Goodreads

I finally finished the audiobook of YOU by Caroline Kepnes and I started the show on Netflix. But I’ve only gotten like half way through the first episode cause well.. toddler. If it’s not Paw Patrol or Daniel Tiger she won’t sit quietly. I LOVED this audiobook! I loved being in Joe’s head. I loved how the author manage to make you feel sorry for Joe. I absolutely hated Peach and Beck honestly. I have so many things to say about Beck. I was really cheering for Karen.

I rated it 4 stars and probably one of my favorite reads of 2020. Review coming soon!

| Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Amazon* | Goodreads

This was a middle grade read my husband got for me a while back. It’s about a kid in a stressful situation and suddenly this imaginary cat friend shows up. When I overly stress, aware of it or not, I hallucinate small things. Mostly a black cat that likes to stare at me from doorways and flick it’s tail around. It started in Dec of 2014 when I had a mental breakdown from my ex husband lying and not coming home. My husband now has never ever made me feel crazy or think that this cat follows me around insane. So he got me this book as a comfort read. And I absolutely love that he did.

I love middle grade books that have super hard topics and this is definitely one of them. There were so many times my heart broke for these kids. The reason why I rated it 3 stars is because of the ending.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020;

Finishing 2 books this week put me at 17 books for 2020 out of my goal for 20. Thankfully I’m on track. I know my goal is super low this year but I wanted to be realistic. As small the goal, I’m super excited I’m finally on track!

What I Plan On Reading;

Tbh, I don’t know!

Here are a few options of what I plan on choosing from. I’m disappointed I’m struggling so hard with Unmade considering how much I love the Lynburn bois, esp Jared. And I hate how Ash is growing on me. But I really hate how much I’m struggling with this read. This is what I get for taking 7 years to finish the series.

The Invisible Life of Addie Laure, The Midnight Library and The Haunting of Beatrix Greene (cause I read everything by Rachel Hawkins) are high on my pick up list but I have no idea what I’m in the mood for!

What did you finish last week? What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

October Reading Challenge 2020

This post is sooo late, I know.

This post contains affiliate links used to support this blog, my daughters snack problem and coffee for one tired mama.

October is such a weird month for me this year; I’m trying to get back into the swing of the things I usually do since my meds allow me to think more clearly and more for myself. But with that I’m so overwhelmed with how much I’ve missed through out the last few years.

Healing is a journey, not a destination.

Something I try to remind myself whenever I feel myself “disappointed” with my lack of progress. But I’m starting to rebuild things, retry things and reapply for things. One being something that’s always been super important to me, my October Reading Challenge.

And tbh, writing this is a challenge all on it’s own with the baby trying to get on my lap then off my lap then on… CHILD I’M WRITING lol. My ORC has always been important to me because it’s the one month of the year I force myself to read all my “scarier” books. I’m such a wuss and anxiety/intrusive thoughts literally don’t make it any better but I LOVE reading scary/suspenseful books! I always have! I grew up reading Fear Street ONLY. And of alllll the books in that 90’s series, there was only one scary part I remember. It was one of the cheerleader series books; some cheerleaders sister was taking a shower and a ghost or whatever had turned her shower water too hot and killed her. As an adult now I have so many questions at how that was possible. But as a kid, I was freaked out lol.

I’ve found my favorite reads through this challenge over the years including Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, and Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton and a ton of books I thought would be scary but I completely enjoyed like Amber House or The Ghost House or Vines.

October Reading Challenge 2020;

Continue reading “October Reading Challenge 2020”

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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I know I said I was going to start book blogging on Readarella again; but I didn’t really have a MMM topic to think about this week. And I’m feeling super behind on my October TBR (which I still haven’t even finished that blog post yet either) so I figured this would push me to read more this week. My October Challenge is what usually introduces me to my next favorite book or series and after the last few years lacking in reading I’m really hoping this year I can try to build it all back up.

My TBR is never ending as it is, so why did I rejoin NetGalley and request books for review? Cause I’m clearly on some bullshit lol. Maybe running from demons I can’t identify at the moment. A sure way to tell is compulsive shopping or taking on another 5 projects.

But I also seem to always push myself the hardest in Fall/October. And without being able to decorate for Fall how I want to because of the move and replacing things I guess I decided to just jump into more projects.

That’s anxiety for you; half the time you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, your soul is just doing its own thing and you’re like “oh ok, I guess this is what we’re doing this week,”

This week I’m trying to work through a few books;

Continue reading “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?”

Book Sample Review | Lore by Alexandra Bracken

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: Jan 5th 2021
Genre: Young Adult > Retelling
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Hyperion!)
Summary:

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’m so sad to say that as many books of Bracken’s I have on my Kindle and forever TBR, I haven’t read anything of her’s until now. I’m a sucker for Greek Mythology and maybe it was because I’m watching Great Greek Myth’s on Amazon Prime (which I just watched the episode about Gorgons which I had no idea were a group of sisters! The story of Medusa was much shorter than I had thought and was really sad. The irony that Athena is the one asking for help.

The story for me had a bit of a slow start. We meet Lore who goes by Lauren and she’s a street fighter. That’s how she makes her money, and how she I guess deals with her demons. She’s successfully avoided all this crap the mortals and God’s are in until an old friend finds her. I had a hard time grasping what was going on since we only got bits and pieces of her past. We’re introduced to her friend Miles who is seriously friend goals to the max. It wasn’t until Athena shows up that starts finally started to make sense. And things start to get interesting.

In this short book sampler we’re introduced to the basics of the story and the main characters. I’m definitely going to pick this up on release day! I need to know more!

Are you into mythology/retelling’s? What is your favorite one?