Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghosts. Gods. And plot out the wazoo.

39679076._UY844_SS844_Annaleigh has just buried another one of her sisters. It seems as if her family had been in mourning for as long as she could remember. The islands they made their home believed there was a curse on their family. And when Annaleigh begins seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, she wonders if they may be right. But that’s not the only strange thing going on.

I want more of this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is one-in-a-million. While being incredibly interesting, it also holds quite a bit of a spook factor. There were times where I didn’t want to read it alone because it gave me the heebie-jeebies in the best way possible. Mixed with fantasy and romance, the characters are incredibly easy to fall in love with. And there was just plot twist after plot twist! It was constantly throwing me off track on what I thought would happen. I seriously can not wait for this to come out in hardback because I will be snatching it up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Clementine & Claudia

I’m a sucker for World War 1 books. I love the era and the culture of that time. So when I found a copy of Clementine & Claudia on NetGalley. I couldn’t wait to dig in! Cut to almost a year later, and I’ve finished it!

cover93699-mediumClementine & Claudia, two sisters, who couldn’t be more different. Clementine is a “plain Jane” who has devoted her time to the Red Cross movement and helping out in the war-time hospitals as much as she can. She’s compassionate, smart, and someone Alexander doesn’t expect to meet, let alone to turn his world upside down. Claudia is strikingly beautiful. Having had multiple beaus it’s no wonder that she catches Alexander in her snares. But as their wedding day approaches, Alexander unexpectedly meets her sister and falls in love with her. What follows is the tale of two lovers pitted against fate and fighting for their future and their country.

I wanted to throw this book across the room on so many occasions! Not because I hated it or because it made me disgusted. But because I got so frustrated with the characters. It seems like no matter what something always stood in Clementine and Alexander’s way! I love this book for that though! I love that I got so involved in their relationship that I was frustrated for them, cried with them, and laughed with them. While it felt like some bits of this story seemed a bit rushed or that the plot was suddenly “convenient”, I still enjoyed every minute of this spectacular novel. If I had to complain about one thing, I want more from the ending! But don’t we all say that?

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

I’ve never done one of these and thought it might be fun to check out others’ playlists. Since I’m almost always listening to music, and have more than my fair share of playlists on Spotify, I thought this would be a good one to try out!

Rules:
1. Put your playlist on shuffle and listen to the first 15 songs (no cheating).
2. Tag 10 others to play along.

So I didn’t do number 2 but if you want to play along, have at it!

1. Clavicle – Alkaline Trio

2. Lupen Tooth – Blitzkid

3. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

4. This Could Be Love – Alkaline Trio

5. Only Lovers Left Alive – The (International) Noise Conspiracy

6. America’s Suitehearts – Fall Out Boy

7. Pinball Wizard – The Who

8. 21 Guns – Greenday

9. I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

10. Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar

11. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

12. Death of a Bachelor – Panic At The Disco

13. Crushcrushcrush – Paramore

14. Revenga – System of a Down

15. Gimme More – Britney Spears

So obviously my musical tastes vary widely. And this is just from one of my playlists! See anything you like? Any suggestions for me to add to my lists? Leave a comment!

Review: Hazel and Holly

IMG_0944Hazel and Holly is the perfect novel for those who love witchcraft and magic. Living in a little place called the Grove, Hazel and Holly are sisters trying to find their way in a world without their parents. Their mother, Willow, passed away but has been trapped in a geas by their necromancer father. And now, Hazel has made it her mission to track down their father and make him release their mother’s soul so she may finally be at peace.

Filled with quirky characters and a compelling storyline, Hazel and Holly is the best of the magical worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, I did get a bit frustrated with the sisters here and there. Through making bad decisions and generally being annoying, they eventually became some of my favorite witches to read about.

There were a few moments where it felt as if the story dragged a bit but it quickly picked up again. I was expecting a epic ending to their journey but found it a bit anticlimactic for me. However, I do believe Snider left it open for more adventures from these two witchy sisters. Something I hope she delivers soon. Look for Hazel and Holly to hit shelves May of this year!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Why does it still feel like Monday??? I’m trying to get back into a normal schedule after being gone last week. My actual job is starting to pick up and so I’m trying to find more and more time to read. Thankfully, I’m managing because I (seriously) need to get through my huge stack of TBR books that have been gathering dust.

IMG_0921Lara Jean is in love….or was in love…or at least thinks she was. Things are changing and it’s hard to cope with everything. Her big sister Margot is moving across the world for college. She’s starting her junior year in high school. And somehow, the love letters she’d written for the five boys she’s ever loved have been mailed out. Lara Jean is mortified and confused and now must somehow figure out how to navigate the fact that her biggest secrets have been released into the world.

When I first started reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I wasn’t sure what to expect and honestly, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. It seemed to much like a teen drama for me to enjoy. (I’m in my 30s for those curious.) And while I did get a bit bored in the beginning, it wasn’t difficult for my curiosity to be piqued. I wanted to know how Lara Jean would deal with all the things life was suddenly throwing at her. I got a bit annoyed in certain parts because it felt like the author was trying to move the story along without actually connecting the plot points. But it didn’t bother me enough to stop reading. I was especially annoyed with the ending of the book…because now I have to go buy the second one to find out what happens!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a cute and quirky teen romance novel, mixed with a bit of coming-of-age story. Jenny Han pulls us into a family filled with love, laughter, and everyday relationships that anyone can relate to. It was an easy read with quick chapters. Overall, a typical love story with a unique twist. I’m just not sure it’s enough to make it stand out from other novels of its genre.

Review: Shatter Me

264 days. That’s how long Juliette has been in isolation. No one knows what to do with her or even what she is capable of. After accidentally killing a little boy, just by trying to help him to his feet, she’s been locked away until someone can figure out what to do with her. That is, until the day she wakes up to find Adam Kent in her cell with her. Then things begin to get interesting.

IMG_0901In Shatter Me, society has fallen. What’s left of civilization has been broken up into sectors. Food is scarce and families are broken apart. A young man named Warner has taken a special interest in Juliette and her power. She is taken to his home and introduced to the world that she’s been away from for so long. It’s nothing like what she remembered. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Warner now wants to use her as a weapon for his own personal gain.

Shatter Me was a pleasure to read! I loved every minute of it. I’ve been on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick lately and this fit right in with my mood. Mafi creates characters that make you want to read and her prose is beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading just to admire the wordsmithing. Beautiful! Uniquely written and kept on the edge of my seat, this book was a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. While I felt that the romantic relationship seemed to move a little quickly in Shatter Me, I still appreciated the connections made between characters.

Overall, an excellent read and I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series!

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

Is there anything better than reading in the mountains? I’m out in Colorado (heading home today) for my real job but I still found some time to cozy up with a book and get some major reading done.

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The Girl With All The Gifts is a post-apocalyptic tale focusing on a young girl named Melanie at the center of a chilling science experiment. The world has ended. People have been infected and are turning into “hungries”. Except the children. The children still seem to hold a sense of self-awareness and no one can explain why. But Dr. Caroline Caldwell is determined to find the answers, no matter what’s at stake. Meanwhile, Miss Justineau, a teacher for the children, has become attached to Melanie which causes issues in itself. When the base they are inhabiting is attacked, the three of them along with two soldiers must find their way back to civilization (or what’s left of it) without falling victim to the infection that has killed most of the population.

img_0841I’ll be honest, I was not expecting a zombie novel when I first picked this book up. I did what they always say not to do and I judged the book by its cover. Still, I’m glad I picked it up. M.R. Carey managed to write a not-so-typical zombie novel which kept my interest and had me on the edge of my seat through some of the situations these characters had to go through. Each character was easy to get attached to (or despise with a fiery passion) and I felt fully involved in each of their separate stories. I did, however, get a little lost in the scientific talk throughout the book but could understand enough to get the basic gist of it.

All in all, I highly recommend picking up The Girl With All The Gifts if you’re looking for a newer take on the zombie story, or if you enjoy reading post-apocalyptic novels.