What They Don’t Know Review

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • ISBN-10: 1492672653

 

Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise’s journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

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Tawney’s Review: This was a very emotional book that drew me in immediately.

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I will warn readers that this book does discuss rape and if you have a hard time with the subject it might not be for you. In the first chapter you find out that Mellie was raped and is pregnant. She is considering her options but belonging to a large family with a father running for mayor and part of a very strict Christian church who is pro-life she might not have many. She has always followed her family beliefs but after the rape her eyes are opened to a whole different world.

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Lise is fierce with her beliefs and standing up for people. She used to be friends with Mellie until they were driven apart due to Mellie and her church’s belief. Now Lise wants to help Mellie. Told in alternating views of each girl the reader follows a journey of two very different girls that are brought together under tragic circumstances.

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This book was very realistic on a horrid subject and the struggle teenage girls go through each day. I deeply connected with both girls. Lise and Mellie both had to deal with different problems but in the end they came together to help one another. The author does a wonderful job at making the characters real and playing with the reader’s heart.

Should you read it? Yes! A beautifully tragic book every teenager should read regarding some tough subjects with a dramatic story of friendship and how we are not alone in the world.

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FYI: I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own

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A Sorrow Fierce and Falling Review

  • Series: Kingdom on Fire (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0553535986

It’s time for war.

After suffering terrible losses, Henrietta and Lord Blackwood have led their warriors to Sorrow-Fell, a vast estate where only those invited by a Blackwood may enter–and the ideal place to plan a final assault against the Ancients.

It’s time for a wedding.

Henrietta nervously awaits her marriage to Blackwood, but when the ritual to become his bride reveals a dark secret, she realizes that Sorrow-Fell is not a safe haven; it’s a trap. Convincing the sorcerers of this, however, is not easy. So with Maria, the true chosen one, and Magnus, the young man who once stole her heart, at her side, Henrietta plots a dangerous journey straight into the enemy’s lair. Some will live. Some will die. All will be tested.

In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future. While battles rage, the fate of the kingdom rests on her decision: Will she fall or rise up to become the woman who saves the realm?

It’s time for Henrietta to make her stand.

 

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Tawney’s Review:  It’s so good to be back in Henrietta’s world!

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Jessica Cluess wraps up a wonderful trilogy nicely but not without adding stress and emotions to the reader. We pickup right after the second book ended where Henrietta and Lord Blackwood fled to Sorrow-Fell. Henrietta and Lord Blackwood’s relationship is also tested, even though they are planning their wedding, as they both have different views defeating the Ancients. It’s heartbreaking to see but adds a depth of realism as some people might not fit together after all.

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Filled with adventure, deceit, and love this fantasy will keep the reader turning every page until the end. The pace is quick as things need to be concluded and once you read the first chapter you are sucked in until the very last page. Jessica does a wonderful job at drawing the reader in with vivid description.  A whirlwind of emotions from rage to grief to happiness will be played. The conclusion of the series ended perfectly and I have no complaints, only just a few disappointments, but everything was wrapped up nicely.

 

Should you read it? Yes! A wonderful fantasy with a great conclusion to an epic trilogy.

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The Storm Runner Review

A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents!
Zane Obispo spends every day exploring the sleeping volcano in his backyard. “The Beast,” as he calls it, is the one place where he can escape other kids, who make fun of him because he has a limp and walks with a cane.
After a twin-engine plane crashes into The Beast, a mysterious girl named Brooks shows up at Zane’s doorstep, insisting that they meet at the volcano, where she will reveal a terrible secret. Zane agrees, mostly because beautiful girls like her don’t usually talk to him. Brooks tells him that the volcano is actually a centuries-old prison for the Maya god of death, whose destiny is directly tied to Zane’s. No way, Zane thinks. He’s just a thirteen-year old nobody, and destiny or no destiny, he wants nothing to do with any of it, especially some god of death.
But Brooks opens his eyes to the truth: magic, monsters, and gods are real, and Zane is at the center of an ancient prophecy that could mean the destruction of the world. Suddenly finding himself entangled in a web of dangerous secrets, Zane embarks on a quest that will take him far from home and test him to the very core.
Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.

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Tawney’s Review: I’m a big fan of mythology and thanks to Rick Riordan Present’s we get to see more than just the Greek and Roman mythology.
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Zane Obispo lives in the desert and is home schooled due to being bullied but on the plus side he has a volcano in his backyard! He also is disabled with a constant limp due to having mismatched legs, which he uses a cane for. Zane doesn’t know that he is the son of a Mayan God and might fulfill an apocalyptic prophecy until a demon crashes in his volcano.
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The Mayan mythology was so refreshing to read and Zane was a fun character to follow. He’s a great role model for young readers because he never gives up and doesn’t let his disability keep him down. The secondary characters are just as fantastic from a shape shifter named Brooks to Zane’s Uncle Hondo. Together they go on an adventure of epic battles to save the world. This book is full of humorous and lovable characters, action and a fast pace plot that keeps you reading until the very end.
Should you read this? Yes! With a Hispanic disabled MC and Mayan Mythology this book screams read me!
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Blog Tour: Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage Review

Today I am excited to share with you a wonderful book that really left a mark on me. A diverse set of stories that anyone can find inspiring with powerful messages with each turn of the page!

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  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524771961

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity–but persisted.

 

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Tawney’s Review: This book couldn’t come at better time. Our world is somewhat in chaos from politics to racism so reading this book gave me hope and many of the stories had an affect on me. What an encouraging way to see these authors tell their story of persistence, to never give up.

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A wide diverse collection of stories from holocaust survivors to athletes, to the disabled, to realizing you’re gay, to how mass shooting effects the families and so much more. These are people from all walks of life overcoming obstacles and still perusing their dream.

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The stories are short and the pace swift. The voices are very different from each other and you can relate and feel for the authors emotionally. You connect to their pain and persistent to never give up. I loved the diverseness of each author and the variety of subjects spoken about in the book. The stories were uplifting and each had a very powerful messages. I highly recommend reading this book to encourage those feeling a little lost in this world to never give up. Peruse your dream.

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Should you read it? Yes! An enjoyable read full of diverse emotional stories of persistent hope of never giving up that will leave readers gratified.

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#MurderTrending Review

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Freeform (August 7, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1368010024

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

 

When seventeen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

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Tawney’s Review:  I like murder.  I like the whole mystery of who did it and the twist and turns the stories can take you. It’s like following a twisted path on a yellow brick road paved with blood.

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Murder Trending was a fast pace, edge of your seat book. McNeil never disappoints in her thrillers. Dee Guerrera was convicted of murdering her stepsister…which she didn’t but with too much evidence against her she is sent to Alcatraz 2.0. This book is like the Hunger Games for murderers!

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Alcatraz 2.0 is a reality show that is televised of convicted murders living and surviving on an island. There are also serial killers on the island killing the murderers, which reminds me almost like Battle Royal. The book starts off quick with Dee facing the serial killer Slycer in his maze. With cunning survival she makes it out and is introduced to the Alcatraz world and to Nyles, who supposedly killed his parents.

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But something is off about this world, everyone seems to be Dee’s age or younger. McNeil does a wonderful job at keeping the reader’s attention and also letting the reader know what the outside world thinks of Alcatraz 2.0 with tweets throughout the book. It’s a realistic concept in such a social world we live in. McNeil brought humor and mayhem to this creative world with vivid description and a connection to the characters. It was a page turner that I couldn’t put down. The ending was a wonderful horrific surprise and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Should you read it? Yes, a fast pace thriller that will leave you horrifically satisfied.

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The Cruel Prince Audio Review

I love books about fairy, whether they are adult books like Laurel K Hamilton Meredith Gentry series or Sarah J Maas A Court of Thorn and Roses series (this is an adult book, not YA due to all the sex. It should never have been labeled YA in my opinion) or YA books like Holly Black other fairy series Modern Faerie Tale series and Julie Kagwa The Iron Fey series.

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I decided to do something different in regards to my review for this book…I actually listened to it on audio! I never listen to audio books because I find them rather boring and I read so much faster than the narrators…but I was completely drawn into Holly Black’s world because of the narrator Caitlin Kelly. Her voice changed for every character and she brought emotion and action to the story that kept me waiting for more.

Let’s take a look at The Cruel Prince Audio.


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him – and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Tawney’s Review:   The moment narrator Caitlin Kelly spoke Jude’s words I was entranced. Her voice was smooth and full of emotion that brought Jude to life.

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Jude is a mortal living in Faerie with her twin sister Taryn and half-faerie sister Vivi after their parents were murdered by Madoc, Vivi’s real father and now their guardian. Growing up in Faerie isn’t easy, especially for a mortal child.

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Jude wants to be part of the faerie court, especially as a knight. So when Prince Dain, heir to the throne, ask for  her to be his spy, humans are good at lying, she accepts. But there are obstacles in her way, such as Prince Cardan and his gang who love to torture Jude.

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I was spellbound by the story that Black weaved from court intrigued, to murder to a suspenseful ending. It was vivid with description and I loved that she made the faerie court ruthless. Unlike some other books I’ve read that romanticizes faerie this book kept the cruelty of it alive. To be human in such a court isn’t safe but Jude manages to use her mortality as an advantage and inches her way to her goal as being part of the court.

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The narrator Caitlin did a wonderful job at bringing Jude and all the characters to life. I felt a part of Jude’s story while listening exercising and on my commute to and from work. I had no problem distinguishing all the characters as Caitlin changes her voice for each one, much in reminiscence of The Harry Potter audio books narrator Jim Dale. Every detail described to ball gowns and weapons down to food could be imagined. Every emotion felt by Jude was felt by Caitlin. I felt anger, hate, despair, hope and deception.

The only thing I felt lacking was the twin relationship between Jude and Taryn. Being a twin myself, 3 minutes younger, I found some of what happened between the sisters disappointing. Twins are really close so I found myself not believing some of the outcomes in the book between Taryn and Jude. Twins most definitely would not let a boy get between them…our bond is much greater. If they weren’t twins it could be realistic but the relationship between Jude and her twin disappointed me. This is why I couldn’t give it 5 stars.

Should you read this? Yes, give the audio book a chance because you will find that Caitlin brings Jude’s voice to life with much emotion and realism sweeping the reader on an epic fantasy within a cruel faerie court.

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The Dark Beneath The Ice Review

I love horror.

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Today’s review was an enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down. Let’s take a look at The Dark Beneath the Ice.


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  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (August 7, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492657077

 

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

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Tawney’s Review:

Sometimes a good horror book comes along that surprises you. The Dark Beneath the Ice was a great horror that was creeptastic.

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Marianne is haunted, that much is clear but it takes her a while to figure that out. She moves from home when her parents separate to live with her Aunt. This thing, entity wants to destroy everything in Marianne’s life.

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Marianne has anxiety, just like me, so it was nice to see her try to deal with that with therapy. But given that she is haunted her anxiety level goes to the extreme. I love that the book delves into that. I also love the supporting character Ron. She was exactly who Marianne needed in such a crisis.  Strong, faithful and caring. The connection between the two is on fire!

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The ghost story was unique and maybe that was why I liked it. I didn’t much care about Marianne’s parents drama but that was just more of a backstory to the haunting unfolding. And the haunting is scary with possession and moving objects. Things come together at the end where you are just as surprised to find actually why Marianne was haunted.

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Should you read it? Yes! A creeptastic horror book that had me turning every page and keeping the light on at night.

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