Drowning Instinct (Ilsa Bick)

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There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules. 

Well I’ll be damned…

This book. Ugh. Bobby-O, this book was just superb. Insanely good. Addicting. Gripping. All of the words! What’s even better about this book is by the time you finish it you just sit there and stare at your ceiling like “WHAT. WAS. THAT?”

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The writing was my most favorite part out of everything inside of this book. I loved how the author played out this story through Jenna and her voice. The way the chapters are structured, the way Jenna explains everything so vividly, to her humor and wit.

I’m not telling you a thing about the story line. You can go in blind just like I did. All you need to know is I absolutely tore through this book and I never do that. Ever.

I’m also not telling you why I was such a sucker for this story. It had my top favorite story line in the history of story lines, maybe that will tell you something.

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I’m so glad I was given the chance to read this book. I know it will stick with me forever. Shout out to Emily for knowing just what to send me in my time of need.

Ms. Bick, you got me. You got me real good. And I liked it. Mitch is all I see now too.

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The Widow (Fiona Barton)

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When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…

 

REDUNDANT REDUNDANT
REDUNDANT REDUNDANT
REDUNDANT REDUNDANT 

Did you find that annoying? If you said yes, then this book is not for you because the repetition and the redundancy is absolutely ridiculous. The whole time I was reading I kept thinking to myself “GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!”

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Here’s the thing: there are no plot twists in this book. If something is going to happen, you will guess it. If a character is going to do something, you will guess it. There is no suspense in this book whatsoever. In fact, I laughed at the characters. They were laughable. The story line was all over the place. Here then there then up then down. It was just very sloppy and scattered and not even in a way that benefitted you.

I felt no connection to any of the characters. Even though we are given different POVs I just felt…blah. Like I didn’t belong with this book and I needed more. I guess maybe if I liked incessant flashbacks I would have clicked more with the book as a whole but nope.

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This books gets two stars only because I finished it. Stop comparing it to Gone Girl. You need to compare it to Girl on the Train because that one and The Widow were both disasters. I’ve never been so happy to finish a book. TOODLES.

Pretty Girls (Karin Slaughter)

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More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago .

. . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today. 

I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this book. From the characters to the writing to the suspense to the length. Ugh. So good. I don’t read blurbs so I originally went into this blind and I’m so proud that I did. I would actually recommend that to anyone.

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Once I started this book, I was automatically drawn to it. Oh my god, I had instalove with a book! I actually never wanted it to end. Thankfully, there was no lulls either. I felt like I was reading and not getting bored and not having to push myself to finish like with most books I read.

“Tell me you want this.”

If you have a faint heart or a weak stomach I wouldn’t read this. It’s gory and disturbing but the more gore and disturbances are the better for me. The uniqueness of this story is what drew me in from the start though. The boldness helped too. The ability that Karin has developed to write with no fear or an ounce of holding back is just so exhilarating to me.

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Each character is different. Each character has a secret or ten or twelve. And each character gets their own POV which was brilliant in my honest opinion. The truth is disturbing and a tad hard to swallow but it’s great nonetheless. Even if you guess what’s going to happen, the writing will keep you drawn to the story. There isn’t just one climax, there’s at least 10.
If you have marked this as “to be read” move it up, open it up, go to your library, check your overdrive, READ IT. Just do it.

Tell Me Where It Hurts (J. Rogue)

I’m not too crazy about poetry. A little bit here and there in the book I am reading is good enough for me. But J Rogue has a way with words. She manipulates and twists them into the type of words your soul needs to hear at the right exact time.

I read these poems off and on for about two weeks.

Slowly. Calmly.

I embraced them and swallowed them whole. Don’t read this all in one setting! Savor it and make it last. Make it count.

Maybe it was the frame of mind I have been in these last couple of weeks or maybe I just needed this collection. Either way, it’s a great read.

Poesy (Mary Elizabeth)


Living on the right side of the tracks can be cruel. 
Poesy Ashby lives a dysfunctional life to prove it. Determined not to turn out like her parents, she’s gives up seeking their approval and focuses on breaking free. But abiding by the rules is nearly impossible when corruption is in your blood. 
Before Poesy Ashby becomes a renegade on the run, she’s a girl from the suburbs who finds acceptance for the first time in the most unexpected place: between rose petals and thorns. 
Bonnie and Clyde have nothing on her love story.


I am just really baffled because the Poesy that was in THIS book is completely different than the Poesy that I read in Low. Which Poesy is it? I didn’t feel like she was consistent at all with the first story I read, which I loved.

“He’s hard where I am soft.
He’s big where I am small.
He’s calm where I am crazy.”

I don’t remember Poesy being “crazy” in Low though. It’s actually very depressing to me because Mary’s books are always a MUST BUY for me. But to me, this book was definitely unnecessary for me. It really didn’t tell me anything different than what I read in Low (plot and POV wise).

The good thing is: it’s a novella, so it was super short. The bad thing was: it didn’t leave an impression on my quite like Low or her other books did.

Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)


Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


WOW!

What a fantastic read. I told myself I was going to branch out more this year and I am proud of the fact that I have done so well and had great successes with the ones I have read thus far. I have a couple more checked out from my local library that I will also be reading.

This book is different. I am talking magic, smarts, hormones, and trickery different. But I feel as if that’s a good thing with this book. It was all very exciting and new to me. The shenanigans in the book were so great! I feel like heist books have to be written very delicately and at the same time not be too overdone and the author executed that perfectly.

“We are all someone’s monster.”

The characters were very much well thought out and portrayed and the depth of them was unbelievable. The diversity between all of the characters was even better. I felt like it was the Suicide Squad but with teenagers. Maybe even a young version of Ocean’s Eleven. I think their interactions with each other was my favorite part.

Not to mention I have a huge, fat girl crush on Inej. And if I had to rate Matthias a number 1-10, he would get a 20.

“You may still die in the Dregs.” Inej’s dark eyes had glinted. I may, but I’ll die on my feet with a knife in my hand.”

My only issue is that I am still trying to get the hang of Young Adult. I’m trying and I am still new at it. So, in a sense I had to think more along the lines of their ages.

Overall I felt like Six of Crows was a thrilling and fun ride. It was new and different for me and I felt it held up to its all-around hype in the book industry. My most favorite thing was how well the author focused mainly on the PLOT. It made me feel so much more connected to the story and the characters journey. I hope if there is anyone that is reading this review and wanting to branch out into a new genre, they give this book a chance. I am so glad that I did.

Now, how soon until I get the next one…*side eyes*

Knot (M. Mabie)

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He knows everything.
She has all the damn answers.

I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.
I crave control, but with her it’s far more.

He’s a power hungry climber.
Her wealth could buy and sell me.

It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.
She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her.

When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.
Her crooked smile cripples me.

He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.
She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong.

A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.
She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name.

I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.
My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back.

Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.
I miss the days when she was just down the hall.

He’s better off without me, and it hurts.
The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me.

Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.
The lies we told ourselves killed it.

Together, we found Nirvana.
We learned it was all a mirage.

I ruined him.
I broke her heart.

I keep coming back.
I can’t let her go.


I feel like 3.5 is a fair enough rating for this. It’s not terrible either. I feel like three stars can be very strong ratings.

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But my underlying issues with this book was more so the instalove. With as long as the book is, I felt like Reggie and Nora could have packed in quite a bit more time getting to know each other. Which in turn, could have led to a much more emotional read.

Instalove is a hit or miss for me. Sometimes it makes or breaks a book and sometimes it doesn’t. It was hard for me to catch on to the relationship with this one.

I hardly felt a spark of connection to the characters or the storyline. I just felt like it could have been…more. I didn’t quite understand why the climax was such a big deal to Nora and why things escalated like that did.

I did like the ending. I liked the last sentence. I got goosebumps. And I love Mo. I just feel like this one will be a hit or miss to a lot of her fans.

So, if you want a read that has a sexy alpha and some drama and angst (not too much) and a head strong female lead then this is a great book to pick up. I would totes recommend it.

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Full Tilt (Emma Scott)


“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…” 
Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it. 

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing. 


I feel so…….let down.

I’m a huge fan of Emma’s work. Rush is one of my top reads of the year but for some reason I felt this was a generic read of Bright Side. And A Thousand Boy Kisses. And every other book in 2015-2016. Except in this one, I couldn’t stand the main heroine, Kacey.

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I didn’t get a redemption point for her either. Not a single one. And Jonah was your typical character who was experiencing trauma and was trying to look on the positive side of things. All of this going on while they are pushing each other away, remaining “friends”, and fighting feelings.

There was instalove. It wasn’t make or break but with the size of the book I feel like the author could have let these character have more time.

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In true Emma style, her writing was very well executed I just wish the story had remained original. I think if you’re looking for a read that tries to portray unconditional love within four days of meeting its for you.