Through Her Eyes (Ava Harrison)

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One phone call changed me.
Three simple words and I was shattered.
Damaged.
Broken.
Alone.
So I started over.
And my journey of rediscovery led me straight into his arms.
Chase Porter.
The stranger who showed me life from a different perspective.
But we both had secrets…
His would destroy my world.

Cool cover. That’s about it if I’m being honest.

Four weeks. It took these people four weeks to fall madly in love with each other. Like, “I’ll die without you love”. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not one to judge. But the author didn’t even make it believable. There was nothing that connected me to the characters and made their “love” believable to me.

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My biggest peeve about this book was the dialogue. The characters spoke immaturely and very boringly to each other. Childish, that’s the word that I am looking for.

The characters weren’t my favorite, to say the least. I didn’t like Chase at all. Point blank. He spoke in philosophical quotes that you can find on google or inspirational posters. It was very original and boring. He also really frustrated me when it came to Parker. His lack of compassion and sympathy was a huge turn off from the get go. Aria was dull and complained literally the entire time. Every single page. So, now I’m 0/2 on characters that I don’t like. Uh oh…

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The book was just dull, nothing exciting happens. It was also very predictable. It could not have been over with soon enough.

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So Much More (Kim Holden)

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Love is strange. It comes out of nowhere. There’s no logic to it. It’s not methodical. It’s not scientific. It’s pure emotion and passion. And emotion and passion can be dangerous because they fuel love…and hate.

I’m now a reluctant connoisseur of both—an expert through immersion. I know them intimately.

When I fell in love with Miranda, it was swift and blind. She was the person I’d elevated to mythical status in my head, in my dreams.

Here’s the thing about dreams, they’re smoke.

They’re spun as thoughts until they become something we think we want. Something we think we need.

That was Miranda. She was smoke.

I thought I wanted her. I thought I needed her.

Over time reality crept in and slowly dissected and disemboweled my dreams like a predator, leaving behind a rotting carcass.

Reality can be a fierce bitch.

So can Miranda.

And I can be a fool…

who believes in dreams.

And people.

And love.


Um, I’m sorry but can the real Kim Holden please stand up? Because there is no way my sweet, loving, amazing-hug giving Kim wrote a person as awful as Miranda or a book so raw. There is no way. HOW?

“Puzzles don’t work when you only have half of the pieces. Same goes for hearts.”

I was nervous to read this book, I can admit that. I’ve had it for a while. I always am so hesitant when so many people love a book and no one hates it. How do you top All of It and Bright Side and Gus? Does that even happen? I will take back those three sentences and just say that it can be done and it has been done. Kim topped those books.

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Kim’s writing in So Much More was poetic. It was soothing and it was mind blowing. No matter what perspective you were reading from, you were enthralled with the way the words ran across the pages. That’s all I can say about that. I was blown away from the writing alone.

But here is why I liked this book. Romance didn’t over run or dictate this book. This is not a romance book. This is not a smutty, dirty, romance that you would see out there these days. This book is struggle and its hurtful. It’s truthful and blunt. You will hurt. If you don’t, you’re a Miranda. Bottom line.

“Everything wilts. Emotions, organs, thoughts, memories, hope…it all wilts. Like a leaf wilts due to lack of water or sunlight, they all turn in upon themselves until the edges are curled grotesquely and shriveled into something unrecognizable.”

Characters. Boy, did this book have a broad range of them. We will start with Seamus. The good. His character wasn’t much of an effect on me but it was nice to read a man’s perspective. I always enjoy their POV’s and their thoughts and his were no exception. Miranda. She was so interesting to me. She is the kind of character you hate, but you want to know SO MUCH MORE about her. I want to know all of the things. What makes her tick? Why? She was interesting, toxic, and poisoning but it was nice reading that. Especially coming from Kim. What place did she have to go to to write THAT!? Faith. She is Kim. I just know it. Her good vibes just spread and radiate everywhere, just like Kim’s. I hurt for her and I wanted to take her up on her free hugs every time she offered them. That says a lot coming from a person who likes to avoid physical contact LOL.

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I see online where a lot of people are always “scared” to read Bright Side. And that’s okay! My recommendation to you is that if you are afraid to read Bright Side, you should read So Much More. You should get Kim’s words into your system any way that you can. Have a blessed day.

Turtles All the Way Down (John Green)

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Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.


Truth be told, I hadn’t really been interested in picking up any more of John Green’s books since I read Looking for Alaska. I just didn’t necessarily care for that book or the style of it so I had just assumed I was finally “over” John Green. I didn’t plan on even buying this book but in all actuality, I am glad that I did.

Well, I’ll tell you right here first: I’m obviously not over him. And I am so happy that I continued to read what he put out because Turtles All the Way Down was so incredible.

“I like short poems with weird rhyme schemes, because that’s what life is like.”
“That’s what life is like?” I was trying to get his meaning.
“Yeah. It rhymes, but not in a way you expect.”

I am Aza. I have so much of Aza inside of me and I seen so much of myself inside of her. BUT, by saying that, I have a Daisy and a Davis. I have those understanding, patient, and protective friends/husband in my life. And John Green nailed that. Honestly, he did. We all need those type of friends. No matter how much you want to be alone and no matter how much you get lost, we all need to have those friends to help keep us grounded and where we need to be.

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The writing in this book was way above par for me and what I’m usually used to getting from John. It was much more readable to me and the use of metaphors all throughout the book was in-genius. Especially when I am a huge love of books that contain USEFUL and realistic metaphors.

“You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, and that nothing in this world is deserves except for love, that love it both how you become a person, and why.”

Aza’s mother. I think she was my favorite. Her involvement and constant protectiveness over Aza is just what kids need and as a parent that is what we should be doing for our children. Asking how Aza is feeling, asking about her life, if she’s feeling anxious. Children need to be heard. Even us, as adults, need to be heard. And Aza’s mother takes the time to let her daughter be heard. Every child should have that. Every PERSON should have that.

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All in all, Aza’s character seemed very realistic to me, yes, but so did the others in the book. The character dynamics and growth felt personal and to me I just really enjoyed that. I think everyone will relate to Turtles All the Way Down on some sort of level because the story grapples with the types of realizations we all face while growing up and even what some of us grapple with as adults. So to read a book, and not feel alone, is an overwhelming and wonderful feeling.

If He Had Been With Me (Laura Nowlin)

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If he had been with me everything would have been different…

I wasn’t with Finn on that August night. But I should’ve been. It was raining, of course. And he and Sylvie were arguing as he drove down the slick road. No one ever says what they were arguing about. Other people think it’s not important. They do not know there is another story. The story that lurks between the facts. What they do not know—the cause of the argument—is crucial.

So let me tell you…

I think I could could have really loved this book, but some of the things just didn’t sit right with me. A few of the characters actions, the ending, then inconsistencies just to name a few.

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If He Had Been With Me was a story full of what ifs and regrets and unfinished business. It’s terribly sad. It’s a SAD book. The tone is sad, it’s all just sad. The title gives you an idea of what happens, but while you’re reading the story so much is going on that you completely forget about that. And then you’re just sad again.

The story was enjoyable, the characters were decent, but things didn’t start picking up for me until about 70%. The beginning of the book is terribly slow.

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And then the ending happened. I didn’t like it. All of that reading for THAT. The author took the easy way out to end this book and then threw the reader a bone afterwards and practically said “there, take that and be happy with what you got because that’s it.”

My favorite part about the whole book was the authors writing. For a YA I quite enjoyed it and I typically don’t say that. It flowed very easily and it was nice to be in Autumn’s head to see what was going on in her life. Finny’s POV would have been MUCH appreciated though. Maybe some of my unanswered questions would have gotten answers.

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There is just a lot of things going on to take in while reading this book. There are so many things going on with so many characters and it’s not very consistent. It’s almost sloppy. The reader is left out of many important things which in turn leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions. And not the good kinds. Nonetheless it was an emotional read that I’m glad that I finished.

The Ghostwriter (Alessandra Torre)

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Four years ago, I lied. I stood in front of the police, my friends and family, and made up a story, my best one yet. And all of them believed me.

I wasn’t surprised. Telling stories is what made me famous. Fifteen bestsellers. Millions of fans. Fame and fortune.

Now, I have one last story to write. It’ll be my best one yet, with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave them stunned and gasping for breath.

They say that sticks and stones will break your bones, but this story? It will be the one that kills me.

HOT DAMN!

The Ghostwriter is Alessandra’s best writing to date. Hands down. I’ve read all of her books with the exception of one but I still feel confident in saying this. The writing was refreshing, the story line was compelling, and the twists were breathtaking.

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“A perfect morning. A perfect husband. A perfect daughter. A perfect lie.”

The Ghostwriter will stick with me for so long simply because of the way Alessandra’s unfolded this story. The anxiety she provokes. The deep breathing in between chapters. The suspense. The “what happens next”. All of the things a great book should have, this had it and so much more.

“I didn’t realize I was lonely until I met him, until he fused himself into my life so completely that there wasn’t Helena and Simon, but only US. And once I got used to US, I didn’t want to be alone any more.”

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The Ghostwriter reminded me a lot of Tarryn Fisher’s Mud Vein book but on a whole different level. A level I didn’t think could be reached. Helena is the type of character you don’t want to like. She’s awful. Wretched. Standoffish. She’s not a whole person. She’s a shell. But when you go down the road she does, the one she writes out for you, chapter by chapter…you get it.

BLIND
BLIND
B L I N D.

Please go in blind. Don’t read those spoiler reviews. Don’t ask people what it’s about. Buy the book. Sit down. Open it. And read it all in one day like I did.

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A good book is a book that you start and cannot put down. This book is the epitome of that. Alessandra has reached her peak of writing and it’s astounding. She can only go up higher from here.

Lies She Told (Cate Holahan)

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Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Jones has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing down in both her professional and her personal life, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone providing for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, Beth sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the river.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the Hudson and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.


Unreliable narrators are some of my favorite ways to read books and Liza and Beth were no exception to that rule. It was really hard for me to decide which characters head I wanted to be in because I enjoyed spending my time in this book wondering what was real and what wasn’t. And I got to do that with two different people, even better!

“I don’t invent my characters. I steal them from my surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day, I rob myself blind.”

I feel like Lies She Told is a fantastic example of how thrillers should be told. Quick. To the point. Detailed but not too detailed. Page turning.

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“It’s a story.” I plead. “It’s only a story.”

But is it ONLY a story or much more? The coolest part about was how Beth’s thoughts would creep into Liza’s during real time. It felt much more connected, story wise, when that happened. Like Liza had connected with Beth in a way that needed to be done and helped provide readers with a sense of direction.

Even though most of the things in the book can be predicted, I still loved seeing the way that both of the stories within the book unfolded. Seeing it all unravel was that much more exciting to me. The writing was captivating and the characters were all going in different directions and I actually really enjoyed that.

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The book isn’t long at all which means it’s a pretty quick paced story but as a reader, my personal preference is for books to be like that. Right to the point and no beating around the bushes (hehe if you’ve read this you’ll appreciate the pun).

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go scope out this authors other works.

Fault Lines (Rebecca Shea)

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At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.


Fault Lines is a quick type of read I usually lean more towards. One that I can read in one or two sittings and one that has enough angst and emotional drainage to hold me over until my next binge.

My one and only issue with this book was the faulty (see what I did there) communication. It’s a pet peeve of mine, as a reader. Communication goes a loooooong way but not in Fault Lines and it was dragged a little too long which made it not so interesting to me. I got bored and I was antsy for the climax to hit.

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A really cool aspect of this story, though is the connection between the title and the story itself. It was cool all of the ways Rebecca linked the title to the characters and the situations that arise within the story. No irony should be lost on anyone!

Another thing I liked about this book was the secondary characters. Namely Carter. *wink wink* They drove not only the characters motives and actions in this story but they drove the story itself. They were the people I wanted them to be and they said the things to the main characters that I wanted to say since I couldn’t be their word of reason. When I wanted to call Cole stupid, Carter was right there doing it for me!

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I feel like Rebecca can stem off of this book in many ways. There are quite a few characters who need their story told and I hope that their time comes.

Love, loss, lies, and forgiveness is what you’re getting into when you open up Fault Lines. Sometimes that is just the type of book I’m looking for and I’m so glad that I found it within these pages.

Touched (Mara White)

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-Does your sister let you touch her, Gemini?
-Barely, but, yes, more than anyone else. I remember even in preschool when the teacher would grab her hand, she’d stare at the spot where their skin connected as if it were an affront to her existence. Just stand there and glare like she wanted to hurt someone.
-Junipera suffers from a rare phobia.
-Please, what does June not suffer from?
-When did she start chasing storms?
-In third grade she started obsessing about the rain. Full blown? I’d say after hurricane Katrina she never looked back. And she didn’t just chase them, June became those wild storms.

Junipera and Gemini Jones, Irish twins born during the month of June, survive a childhood of neglect and poverty by looking out for one another. Destined for a group home, the girls are rescued by a rich aunt and uncle who move them from Northern Minnesota to Fairfield, Connecticut. One sister thrives while the other spins out of control. A violent assault leaves Gemini searching for clues, but what she finds might be questions that are better left unanswered.


JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER.

I am screaming Mara White’s name from all of the rooftops, here and there and everywhere. If you haven’t read any of her books, you’re definitely missing out!

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Mara is a master story teller and not only can she tell bomb stories, that girl can WRITE. And not only THAT but she crafts three dynamic characters that were so deep I needed my arm floaties! I do need to say this: Junipera was incredible. The intensity that her presence created throughout the story was just unfathomable. She engulfed me whole.

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“He gave Gem his lonely heart and she ate it.”

My only kink with the book was the POV’s and time frames. It was a little jumpy and took me more time than what I would like to catch up to speed on what was going on. I had to turn back a page or two a couple of times and in turn that takes a lot more time than I’d like.

“The storm had seduced her sister and she could see it clearly in her eyes. My sister is in an intimate relationship with Mother Nature.”

The title of the book fits the theme of the story to a T. The irony shouldn’t be lost on the reader in ANY way. If you finish the book and don’t see how the title fits in with the story of the book you’re missing a sliver of the story that is so important.

“It felt alive, like being in the center of the storm. Potential to rip you apart limb by limb, tear your head off if it wanted to, but there in the moment, it’s just pure connections. A connection and at the same time, a perfect solitude.”

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Mara White could write in her sleep. I’m convinced she can do this job like it was no big thing. Like she was just writing down a grocery list. Easy peazy. I loved her other books and I loved Touched. I love her, who am I even kidding! Let me love you, Mara!

 

The Evolution of Ivy: Antidote (Lauren Campbell)

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“It should have been easier.

I changed everything. Became the beauty I didn’t think he’d resist. Lived the lie I thought he could love.

I sacrificed my soul to recover the years that she took from us, yet I’m still empty-handed.

But he’s mine. I’ve earned him. It’s time to collect my prize, and I’ll be damned if I let anyone come between us this late in the game.

If only I’d known my greatest obstacle would be me.”


Listen. I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s work and her individually and I’m also a huge fan of Ivy and Brooks. The first book in this duet was INSANE! But it was a good type of insane. It was an insane that entertained me and kept me flipping pages all through the night. But let’s just cut to the chase with this book, Antidote…

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It was exhausting. That is the only way I can think of putting it, honestly. If it wasn’t about Ivy coming up with ways to be a damsel in distress for Brooks’ attention it was about Brooks internally telling himself over and over again NOT to sleep with Ivy. Not to be with Ivy. Ultimately, I’m a smart reader, I get it. And personally, I really loved Brooks in the first book, Poison. And besides him constantly talking to himself internally, he was still my favorite.

Where was my OG Ivy at? The determined one? The one who fought with teeth and nail and didn’t have to resort to petty actions? The one who KNEW what she wanted and how she wanted it. Bring her back because “oh pity me…oh pay attention to me Brooks…oh help me Brooks!” wasn’t cutting it for me. GIRL, WHERE ARE YOU!? The one in the first book seemed like a completely different character than the one in the second. And I didn’t even see the growth. It sort of just…happened.

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This book still has fantastic writing. I’m in awe of Lauren’s capability to plot and construct such a great story but redundancy was a huge issue for me in this book. Cycles. Repetitive. Then you get an exciting moment three quarters of the way. It was so much repetition which in turns makes me want to skim the book. And let’s face it. That is no good. I think the cause of this repetition was because the book was rushed. All of the events taking place seemed like they were just thrown together.

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For an author who was originally going to put out three books and downsized it to two, I feel like Lauren made the smart choice. These characters are ones that I will always enjoy but the story line in Antidote I just…didn’t.

Final Girls (Riley Sager)

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Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


I liked this book. Full on, enjoyed it. I found it hard to put down two nights in a row. You just gotta push past the first few chapters.

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Quincy. Girl, you are one cray-cray person. Give me some of those Xanax.

The author did a great a great job at constructing characters the way they needed to be displayed to the reader. They made you question every single motive and action they had and I love that. I love not being able to trust anybody and unreliable narrators. It’s my favorite thing! Using my mind as my own. So awesome.

Ugh…Some things I guessed. Flat out nailed it. I won’t even lie to you right now. BUT!

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Some things I didn’t. The balance of the predictions and non-predictions were enough to keep me on my toes full force. And the way the author wrote the book, with flashbacks and timeframes, were a nice touch to keep me hooked enough to keep going.

Although the first couple of chapters are slow building, once you push past them the pacing is incredible. The turns and twists are on every page and you pick up so many things that in turn take you to the end. Did you guess it all? Some of it?

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Final Girls is one of the better thrillers I have read this year and I was not a bit disappointed. The author took a fantastic premise and wove a nice little story leaving the reader to use their brain and play out all of the possibilities and I’m a huge advocate of that.