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.**

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: 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.

The Defiant Heir

Ok, you guys, I am obsessed with this trilogy. And it kills me that there are only three books to this amazing story! Why?!?!?

img-0812The Defiant Heir is the second book of the Swords and Fire trilogy. Amalia Cornaro has made her way to Callamorne with Zaira, the fire warlock, and Marcello by her side. Their mission: attempt to find out what Prince Ruven is planning and, hopefully, stop the impending war. But when a Witch Lord offers to court Amalia, what’s a girl to do?

I could not get enough of this book! I literally did not want to put it down and, if I didn’t have to sleep, I probably would have finished it in a day. Melissa Caruso is killing me you guys! She has such a good creative mind and it blows me away that she has created such an amazing world. I want to stay in Eruvia forever! Honestly, I don’t have any complaints about this book. Except for maybe the fact that I finished it. I’d love to go back and read it again with the same fascination I had the first time.

If you’re looking for a good fantasy trilogy, I highly recommend picking up The Defiant Heir (after you’ve read The Tethered Mage of course). The final book in this trilogy is set to be released April of this year and you can bet it’s at the top of my most anticipated books for 2019. I can’t wait to see how she wraps up Amalia’s adventures!

The Snow Gypsy

One of my absolute favorite genres to read is historical fiction. I usually enjoy anything written in the Victorian era and set in England. Although recently, I’ve enjoyed reading a good American Revolution era novel. So when I found a free copy of The Snow Gypsy, I did what you’re not supposed to do. I judged a book by its cover. And as I began to read it, I realized this was not a book I would have chosen for myself.

img_0799The Snow Gypsy follows the intertwining stories of two women, Rose Daniel and Lola Aragon. Rose is living in London as a veterinarian during the aftermath of World War 2. In the years of the war, her brother Nathan joined the fight. But the last letter Rose received from him was eight years ago. Now she is determined to find her brother and get the answers to the question that’s been nagging her for years: what happened?

Lola is a young flamenco dancer who also lost her family in the war. As a gypsy living in Spain, she meets Rose in a stroke of fate. Between the two of them, they form a bond stronger than any could fathom and help each other to heal the wounds the war has left behind.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I found the plot to be unique and held my interest almost to the end. The characters were well developed, however, I didn’t find myself getting attached to either of them. While I appreciated the history side of things, and loved that this book put me outside of my comfort zone (I don’t usually gravitate towards books set in Spain), I was disappointed with the last few chapters. I felt that the author was unsure how to end the story and therefore the ending fell flat. Also, there is a touch of romance in this book that I felt was unnecessary. It didn’t really add anything to the characters or the plot and felt more like filler.

If you’re looking for a good historical fiction, pick up The Snow Gypsy and let me know what you think. I’d love to get someone else’s take on this story.

**I received this book through Amazon’s First Reads program.**