For many years I’ve been aware of invasive species. Many of the trees and plants that surround my home town aren’t native to the area. In the middle of the desert we ever have golf courses can you believe that. In the summer you see sweating red faced people wondering around the dead brown grass in 120 degree heat. Or they go to the golf courses where they water every morning and every evening to try to keep the grass green. When you really think about it planting grass in the desert really. Who do we think we are…..now for grass to grow in someplace like a swamp makes perfect sense.

Summary: Bernice is working towards her masters in ecological studies with a speciality in invasive species. The day she meets Rebecca her life changes….

What I liked: I loved the whole thing. The characters are well written and are three dimensional. Morrison writes people so well. Bernice’s dialog sounds so much like what someone would actually say and do in many of the circumstances she found her self in. I love that the protagonist was a bit of nerd. Let your nerdy flag fly. The setting is well written and as you read it could almost imagine the sounds and the sights of the swamp. I love it when that happens. The premise of the story was fresh and something that I really enjoyed.

What I didn’t like: I would have like to know more about Bernice after she left Kevin’s house. (do you know how hard it is to say something that isn’t spoilery)! Also I can’t use an analog that another review used as it fits the story perfectly.

Star Rating: 5

My Thoughts: This is a great story which made me very happy in a weird way.  The ending for me was the best. I was sitting there staring at the screen going seriously. That thought is really going cross your mind. It was a fun a delightful dark romp through nature.

As always a BIG thank you to Black Spot Books for providing me a review copy for my honest review!

Crazy weather we have been having on this planet; snow in April in the Northeast of America. Makes you think about global warming, Al Gore and what can be done to stop this type of  man made natural disaster. No I am not going to argue whether global warming is real. I live in the desert. I have a good chunk of my life and well 120 degrees Fahrenheit is ridiculous. I don’t remember it being this hot as a kid. What if we combined that with some wars, technological misfires and genocide. These were all the things that popped in my head while I was reading Black Fish City.

Summary: Well….this is a little difficult. The story is told from multiple POVs. But they all surround the mystery woman who shows up with an Orca and a Polar bear to a dystopian type city.

What I liked: Miller’s world building was very good and I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of his world. The back story of how some of the characters were linked where was very good. Miller was also able to include diversity without it feeling forced or contrived. I also thinks that Miller introduces some interesting theme regarding technology and where the world is headed in his novel. I also liked the fact that Miller wrote in multiple points of view.

What I didn’t like: I am a little torn on this aspect. There were multiple backstories in the novel that all lead to the conclusion of the novel. But I feel like there were too many backstories. A couple backstories fell a bit flat as they were all suppose to be leading to this finish but they really didn’t do it and felt like they were rushed and didn’t really fit. But that is my opinion.

Star Rating: 4.5 stars

My thoughts: I really enjoyed aspects of this novel. The backstory of the characters and how they were linked was really well executed. But the first 2/3rds of the novel dragged a bit for me. The story picked up for me when Masaaraq started to tell her story but that was over 100 pages into the book.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Harper Collins and Ecco who provided me a Advanced Reader’s Copy for my honest review.

“Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked.” – Jane Austen…I love this quote. I don’t particularly care for people who are perfect in books. I think it makes for very flat characters. To be three dimensional a character needs to have faults. I am sure I am taking Jane’s quote completely out of context but I think it fits when discussing characters or scenarios. It truly fits that characters that are in And Then There Were Crows.

 

Summary: Amanda Grey has unleashed seven shades from hell and one moved in with her; well she still needs a roommate.

Things I liked: Leyva has a way of writing that feels like you are having a conversation with him in a coffee shop. I personally enjoy this type of writing style. It puts you the reader into the author’s headspace a bit. His characters are fleshed out and three dimensional. You don’t know who are the good guys or the bad guys; which makes the story entertaining and keeps you guessing. The pacing of the story is fast and doesn’t let up. You may get to take a breath here and there but the story just keeps coming. The writing is witty and intelligent…I found myself laughing out loud in many different parts of the story. I actually tweeted Alcy and asked what “ass plague” is. He so graciously responded.. (Thanks Alcy)!!

Things I didn’t like: Honestly, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like in this story.

Star Rating: 5 Go out and buy this book then buy the sequel!!

My Thoughts: Alcy Leyva is a great story teller. There is so much that is funny in this novel that yeah just yeah. Just read it. I want to talk about all the parts but alas no spoilers. If you want to read a fast paced, smart and witty story please with all that is bookish go out and buy And Then There Were Crows you won’t be disappointed.

Release Date: July 3rd, 2018 by Black Spot Books

In the past month I have read two completely different Snow White retellings. One set in space and one set in the old west. To different stories written by two different authors….What I liked was that there the perspectives of both authors was very different. There were some similarities to the Snow White character that I found interesting. However, what I found most interesting is the differences in the characters and the journeys the characters took.

Summary: A Snow White retelling set in the old west.

What I liked: I love the way Valente took Snow Whites story and twisted it to make it her own but you could still see the original story underneath. I don’t want to give away too much of the story but there are strong feminist underpinnings. I loved the twist with the Dwarves. The ending was amazing and I was not expecting it.

What I didn’t like: The story was slighty slow in the beginning but I think that it helped build up the anticipation for the rest of the story.

Star Rating: 5

My thoughts: I think that the story was told in such a way that it feels fresh and relevant in todays society. I truly enjoyed this take on Snow White. I was not surprised at the feminist undertone of the story but I think that it brings up a lot of important points that really make you think about aspects of society today.

“All houses in which men have lived, suffered and died are haunted houses.” – Mary Roberts Rhinehart. Who doesn’t love a story about a spooky house. That you read with minimal lighting and a cup of hot chocolate. If you don’t then what the hell is wrong with you. LOL. I was really lucky to have received this little gem of a book in the mail.

Summary: A man returns to his home town after a personal tragedy. (I can’t tell anymore or there will be spoilers)!!

What I liked: I liked the fact that this wasn’t just a haunted house story. There is so much more to it. The characters were very well fleshed out and are three dimensional. They each have good and bad traits which make them more human and likable. I also like how the circular the story was. Sorensen is a great writer and was able to convey very complex human emotions with words.

What I didn’t like: The only thing I was kind of unsure of is where the crow fit in. I would have liked a bit more explanation as too what the crow symbolized. But I am not going to use that to take away from my rating.

Star Rating: 5

My Thoughts: I really liked this book. I found myself getting profoundly sad for the protagonist towards the end. I liked the fact that this wasn’t just a spooky haunted house story. The story had real meat to it and I felt that Sorensen’s writing conveyed the horror and sadness that this story had. But there is some vindication there too. Which being me I love in a story. Such a good story I can’t read more in the series.

I want to thank Chris Sorensen for providing me a copy of The Nightmare Room for my honest review.

Have you ever started a book that you weren’t quite sure about but then it surprised you. Surprised you in a good way, not in a bad way. Anyone who has even glanced at my blog knows that I read a lot of fairytale retellings. Some good, some not so good. But this surprise was good.

What I liked: I like the whole series of books. I was really surprised by how Hamstead was able to take a very well known fairytale and make it something unique and her own. I loved the interweaving of technology and magic. The pacing of the book was very good and was well written.

What I didn’t like: I am never a big fan of the princess needs a prince to save her trope. There was a little of this in the book but I understand why because of the story Hamstead was telling. But this was the only real thing that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: 4.5

My thoughts: This was the third book of The Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles the other two books were provided by the publisher Quriosity Quills. I really enjoyed this retelling. I am not sure I am going to read the next book even though I enjoyed the first three. But they were fun and light reads that I enjoyed.

I have made a decision…I am no longer going to be making TBRs for the month. Okay I should probably rephrase that. I am no longer going to be making personal TBRs for the month. I have decided to fight the power. Let me explain why…Every now and again I see people talking about their TBR like it is a bad thing. For example: “ohhhh I have too many books to read..I am on a book buying ban, I need to read my TBRs”….or my all time favorite “My TBR is going to fall over and kill me in the night.” FYI this could totally happen. Especially if you have hoarder tendencies which I do not, but still it could happen.

So what started me thinking about TBRs (no I wasn’t going to Krispy Kreme this time), I was talking to an instagram buddy and she was complaining that she isn’t ever going to get through her entire TBR. I was flummoxed and my brain could not comprehend this. I proceeded to ask her if as readers aren’t we always going to have a TBR list/pile/entire rooms? Isn’t there always going to be books that you want to read? She ruminated on this idea for a bit and still held firm to the idea that she would like to read down her TBR. But in my head I was screaming “There are always new books being released and thousands of backlist books to be read. So the TBR is always going to be there.”

Not having a TBR is something I don’t want to even think about. The only people that I know who don’t have a TBR are people who don’t read. So, would mean by not having a TBR you would not be reading! Just think about that one for a second. No TBR…No reading. The thought actually makes me a bit queasy. Not having a stack of physical or digital books somewhere that can be read at anytime is not a world I would want to inhabit. Nothing about this TBR discussion makes any sense. So being the rebel I am I decided to screw the whole TBR list! I am fighting the power! No longer will I look at the stack of books that is tittering on the edge of my bookshelf and think HOLY SHIT I am never going to be able to read all of these books. Never again will I look at a book and think you know I really need to read this list of books before I read this one. So in essence I am not going to keep a list of personal books I need to read. I am going to read whatever the hell I want in whatever order I want to. If I want a new book I am going to get it. So here is me fighting the ridiculous notion that TBRs are a bad thing. TBRs just means you have books that you always have books you want to read.

*The only caveat I have are ARCs. I have a list of ARCs that need to be read per publication month*