This is Not a Fairytale (Rebecca Kate)

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This is not a fairytale. This isn’t boy meets girl. They don’t fall madly, truly, deeply in love and live happily ever after after. If you were looking for a sweet romance, then turn around right now. This is a story of the one I should have loved, the one I never should have gotten mixed up with, and the one I always wanted but would never have. Of all the stories I’ve written in my life, this is the one that set fire to my soul. This is my story. This is our story.

You know what they say, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with…


 

Ultimately- I liked this book. I truly did. Do not let these three stars deter ANYONE from reading it because I think it’s a book that deserves a chance from every one.

THAT COVER LIKE-WOAH.

With me saying that let me explain a few things. One of them being how rushed this story was. Rushed is maybe an understatement. It was VERY quick paced and most of the time, that is okay with me but in order for me to establish some connections with the characters in this particular story, I needed it to slow down a little bit. I need that so that I could understand Scarlet a little more than what I did. Which leads me to my next point.

The characters were very frustrating and way more shallow than a shower. They were awful and real and completely disastrous. At times they were sloppy and not well developed but by the time I got to the epilogue, it all worked out. The way they were was completely necessary for the story to take the course that it did.

But all in all- this was a debut novel that was incredible. It was compelling and it hurt. It was a little too much at times but by the end of the book I let out a huge sigh of relief and felt nothing but love for Scarlet, Mason, and Ash.

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Redemption Island (L B Dunbar)

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The Island

Welcome to the island.
This is no fantasy.
You’ll face fears.
You’ll face travesty.
You’ll face yourself.

One deserted island.
Two heinous crimes.
Two convicted hearts.

When decent people do bad things,
there’s only one place for forgiveness:
Redemption Island.

The island knows what you’ve done.


A completely ridiculous read. The amount of eye rolls that I have don’t even do the book justice. 160 pages. 160 eye rolls.

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The actions of the main characters were so unbelievable. I skimmed a lot of the parts because I could not take them seriously. Every single interaction they had was a complete mess. Not even a good kind. And where is the story line? How do we have books with no plot or story line? Why was the male just known as “angry” all of the time? Why are these characters so dense? Was all of that saved for the second book? I don’t know, I won’t find out.

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*SPOILER* Most importantly- and I’m going to say this because I feel like the readers should know- the author turned a gang bang rape into smut. Plain. And. Simple. I am a firm lover of Stockholm Syndrome, sure. But this was not even what that was. This was a mess and it was very unbelievable. I know the author was hoping to achieve that in a believable way but it just didn’t happen that way.

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Maybe this is my fault. Maybe since I don’t read blurbs this was just something that I wasn’t expecting. I was hoping a fantastic story to fit that fantastic cover but I didn’t receive that.

 

Remember Me Forever (Sara Wolf)

32507774Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved and sort-of-maybe-definitely hated has dropped off the face of the planet in the face of tragedy, leaving a Jack Hunter–shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But the smile lasts only until he shows up. The menace from her past—her darkest secret, Nameless—is attending OSU right alongside her. And he’s whispering that he has something Isis wants—something she needs to see to move forward. To move on.

Isis has always been able to pretend everything is okay. But not anymore.

Isis Blake might be good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better.


I have successfully finished this series! But something about this book didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t like the finality of it all and the fact that I had about three very important unanswered questions that are driving me absolutely BUGGY. Not to mention the ending to the book (last chapter) was completely sloppy and rushed. I was so upset about that especially since I finally got what I wanted with Isis and Jack.

“Sometimes looking at Jack feels like reaching out to the horizon—I’ll never touch it, never hold it, but it’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

I still loved Isis. At this point, I think it’s a safe bet to say she was my most favorite thing about the entire series. To see her actually let go and FEEL this go around, was very cathartic to me. I needed to see that from here and Sara Wolf showed that to us very well.

“A lot of people in your life are going to tell you how they think you should live. Some might not say it outright at all. Some of them might just convince you without saying anything that you need to live a certain way.” She looks out the dark window dotted with stars. Don’t live any other way than the way that makes you happy. If you aren’t happy, leave your lover. If you aren’t happy, quit the job. If you aren’t happy, do more to make yourself happy. Because you are the only one who can make yourself truly happy in this life.”

Thus concluding, I really loved this series. Tremendously. And that is saying something for me because I don’t typically follow through with series. I just really wanted a couple of questions answered that I had wondered all throughout three books and I never got that.

Forget Me Always (Sara Wolf)

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All warfare is deception. Even in high school.

It’s been nineteen days since Isis Blake forgot about him. The boy she can’t quite remember. She’s stuck in the hospital with a turban-size bandage on her head, more Jell-o than a human being should ever face, and a tiny bit of localized amnesia. Her only goal? To get out of this place before she becomes a complete nutjob herself.

But as Isis’s memories start to return, she realizes there’s something important there at the edges of her mind. Something that may mean the difference between life and death. Something about Sophia, Jack’s girlfriend.

Jack Hunter—the “Ice Prince”—remembers everything. Remembers Isis’s purple hair and her smart-ass mouth. Remembers that for a little while, Isis made him feel human. She made him feel. She burned a hole in the ice…and it’s time to freeze back up. Boys like him don’t deserve girls like her. Because Jack is dangerous. And that danger might be the only thing protecting her from something far more threatening.

Her past.


OH MY GOD.

Usually when I read a series, the first book always blows me away but the second just…doesn’t follow up to the greatness that is that first book. But this one was the exception. It was still just as good as the first and I absolutely couldn’t put it down.

“It was like waking up from a coma, like coming up for air from an ocean dive. I was angry. For the first time in a long time, I felt something. My life wasn’t still and silent anymore. It moved. You made it move. You made noise when no one else could.”

It was more exciting to read on in this series because in the second book we got more insight to the things that you wanted to know in the first book. Did you want to know about Sophia? Oh good. You are in for a treat then. Did you want to know more about Avery and Wren? Well don’t you worry your pretty self! There are so many things that come to light in this book that my mind almost blew just from the slew of information we were getting. Your mind gets so full of information it could just…combust.

“There are only things, good and bad things, and they happen all the time, to everyone.”

The wit and humor that is Isis Blake did not fail m in the second book. She still didn’t bore me and she hasn’t gotten on my nerves which is strange because a lot of female main characters start to bore me before it’s all said and done but her spunk never falters. I love her for that. I also love Jack. I love him in ways I cannot explain. It would take me an entire day to explain the ways that I love him. And let’s face it, nobody has time for that.

If you haven’t read these books I really feel like you are missing out. The best part about this whole second book was the fact that it took a turn in a way that I didn’t see coming. I was literally shocked, my face would tell you the same and curse words at the end of the books would tell you the same as well.

Smoke and Mirrors (M Mabie)

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My best laid plans had backfired. I’d thought by putting miles between myself and my first love that she’d be free to live whatever life she’d wanted, but when I came back from serving my country and Faith was raising her little girl alone, it was time to make new plans.

In eight years, not a single day had passed when she wasn’t on my mind, and not a night went by when I didn’t miss her. She was fierce and stunning and didn’t need a man in her life, but when the time came—and she wanted one—the line would start behind me.

Like smoke, I’d let her slip through my fingers once, but I’d never forgive the man in the mirror if I let it happen again. She was the fire inside me that would never burn out.


M. Mabie sure knows how to make sure you meet every type of character that you can. That’s my favorite thing about her. She’s dynamic. She changes it up. She can write about anyone in any place and she succeeds in it. And in Smoke and Mirrors it’s no different.

“You’re a mom. It’s never going to feel like you’ve got your shit together. Ever. Every mom. Rich. Poor. Stay at home. Working full-time. Single parent. Happily married. They all feel like they could do better.”

A single mother. Mo nailed it. And Aaron is the type of guy is single mothers strive for. She did such a fantastic job tying these two together and telling their story, which they both so much deserved.

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The dual POV’s were a nice addition to this book. It really benefited the story in a way that needed to be done. We needed to know what was going on with Aaron but we also needed to know what was going on with Faith and the way she was coping with things and raising Delaney. And speaking of Delaney…

Delaney melted my heart. Whether she was with Aaron or Faith, she was melting my heart to the ground in a huge puddle. I have the hugest soft spot for her in every way, shape, and form.

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Everytime I pick up a M. Mabie book I know I will be in for a good time and Smoke and Mirrors was no different. I like the quick pace, small town living of this series and this book was no exception.

 

I’ll Meet You There (Heather Demetrios)

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If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.

Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.

What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.

Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.


Ever since I read Heather Demetrios last year (Bad Romance) I just knew there was something special about her writing. It stuck out and it grabbed you from the get go. And while I was reading I’ll Meet You There, it just proved what I thought to be absolutely correct. Her writing is crisp and punching. I love it. It eats me up and doesn’t even spit me back out. It savors me while I savor it.

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“How’s the sky today?”

I feel like this book could have gone either way. I would have been completely happy with or without Sky and Josh’s romance. Basically what I’m saying is their romance wasn’t what hooked me. It was their bond and their friendship that they established. It was who they were as their own person. Their struggles and their flaws apart from each other. It was so nice just watching them interact and be around each other, it didn’t even have to be romantically for me. I would have been happy had they ended up together or had they not.

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“He tastes like hope and healing. He tasted like the future.”

Hands down the best YA book I’ve read in a while. Heather has such a fantastic way of bringing so many characters (main and secondary) to life. They’re the type of characters you would see in your own day to day life and they always leave such a huge impact on the people they come across (Hey Marge, I see you girl!).

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I can say a million things about this book but ultimately- Heather is so talented. I could drink up all of her words one page at a time. She’s going to be that author that never lets down, not even once.

 

Love Me Never (Sara Wolf)

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Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.


 Hello. And welcome to Talon’s first five star read of 2018. A new to me author from a friend’s recommendation and I am completely obsessed. Well, until I found out this was a series and now I’m STUCK. I am stuck in the position that I hate being in. Now- I have to continue the series because the ending of this book has me RAGING. FULL. ON. RAGING.

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“If it’s a war you want, Isis Blake, it’s a war you’ll get.”

I have never been so angry in my entire LIFE. Not since the day I finished The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher. I loved that book, but I was angry. That’s me with Love Me Never. I loved the entire book but I’m still angry. I am also not sure genre wise what this would even be (a couple of people have asked me) but I’m leaning more towards YA every time I think about it. But, it was the kind of YA that had me on my toes every single step of the way. Not that, “oh these people are so immature” YA but like, Erin Watt’s Royal series YA (less all that sexual content).

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From the second I started this book I was hooked. High school shambles and drama and mix in some emotional turmoil and angst and I am LIT. So naturally- the deal was sealed for me on this one. But these kids weren’t immature for their age. They were, dare I say it…bearable and funny and enjoyable.

“It all happens so fast, like a shooting star, a lightning bolt; all the feelings I buried, all the things I wanted to say, all my fears batter down the bomb safe doors I’d been keeping over them, helped by booze and exhaustion and emotional bruises that left me soft and ripe for the picking.”

I’m doing a whole section of my review solely on Isis. That beautiful child. Every time she spoke it was with purpose and with a punch and to me that is so damn awesome. She was never dull, not even for a second and she kept every one around her on their toes at all time. Isis Blake has officially been promoted to one of my all-time favorite heroines and I don’t even care that she’s 17 years old. I call it like I see it- she’s a damn Rockstar. She knew her purpose and she knew who she was and what she wanted and she stuck her ground every single time.

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I’m also going to do a whole section on Sara’s writing because let me just tell you what! I loved it. That’s all I can say about it. The flow, the story, the banter, the wit, the feelings, I loved it all. I just couldn’t get enough. Every time I turned the page I was giddy with excitement with what she was going to throw at me next. I was ready for it I thought but when I kept reading I was just more blown away and taken by surprise. It was just beautiful.

I am excited to keep going with this series. I’m excited to learn more about Jack and what makes him tick and his past that he keeps well under wraps. ESPECIALLY with that catastrophic ending. I’m also recommending this book to everyone. Every single one of you should read this book. There, I said it.