Beauty and the Beast, Lost in A Book by Jennifer Donnelly

I’ve always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast so I was very excited to read this retelling with a twist. I felt good to be reunited with the adorable characters. My favorite are Mrs Potts and Chip. I love how the story was familiar yet different at the same time. It was like being in the original story but with more depth of the building relationship between Belle and the Beast. The story is about a bet placed by Love and Death. Love is certain that Belle will learn to love the Beast and break the curse set upon the castle many years ago. Death, who hates to lose will stop at nothing to prove Love wrong. She plays dirty by sneaking an enchanted book into the library that Belle loves spending all her time in. Belle soon discovers the enchanted book and steps into a whole other world full of adventure. All Belle wants to do is stay in the other world but things are not as they seem. Belle becomes trapped and must find a way to get back to the castle with her beloved friends and the Beast.

I gave this book four stars. I thought the book was well written and accurate to my vision of Beauty and the Beast. I would love to see another book come out on this story. I feel like there is so much more adventure that could be had for the characters. I could never get enough of the characters. I hope more of the life of Beauty and the Beast is produced.

How to Hang A Witch – Adriana Mathers

I was drawn to this book by the synopsis alone. I love any story that takes place in Salem. The story is about the descendants of the victims and accusers of the Salem Witch Trials. The town of Salem has been cursed ever since and various descendants die mysteriously over the years. It’s not until one descendants Samantha Mathers, related to Cotton Mathers, who played a big role in the witch trials, moves to Salem. Her arrival in Salem makes the curse much worse and she must team up with her enemies to break the curse and save their families.

I gave this book five stars. I was hooked, sucked in from the first chapter. I knew I was going to love the book after reading the first chapter. There are ghosts, witches and spells. I loved how the book described real places in Salem and provided a bit of history of the witch trials. Although the book is fiction, it was very informative. It also inspired me to finally make a trip to Salem and explore.

The author also wrote a second book called Haunting the Deep. It featured the same characters including the main character Samantha Cotton however it was more about being haunted by the ghosts of Titanic. I gave the book three stars. I loved the character but the whole Titanic plot kind of lost my interest a bit. I would still read any other books that are part of the series if another one came out.

Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson

Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson

I read the Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson. I received a signed annotated copy from Page Habit. The story is about a high schooler Mila whose best friend Riley was found dead in the local creek. Everyone thinks it was a suicide given that just a week prior, two other high schoolers, June and Dayton were found hung from a tree in a park. Mila is not convinced Riley would commit suicide and is adamant she was murdered. With no evidence to back up her theory, she turns to witchcraft to bring back Riley from the dead in hopes of solving the mystery but instead of bringing back just Riley, she also brings back June and Dayton. Together they become the Undead Girl Gang who start their own investigation on what happened.

This book gave us a wide range of emotion from funny, sad and disgusted. I would describe it as Hocus Pocus meets Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets the Breakfast Club. The plot had a lot of twists and turns and was unpredictable. The author did a great job on incorporating the topic of bullying and the negative outcomes that can come from bullying. I gave this book four stars and am definitely glad I read it.

Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

I had the great opportunity to meet Rachel Hollis at Bookcon this past June and receive a signed copy of Girl, Wash Your Face. I was really looking forward to reading this book because based on the description, I knew it was going to be different from what I normally read and I had high hopes that there would be a lot I could take away from this book. Rachel talks about different misconceptions and judgements she has struggled with throughout her life and how she overcame them, discovered her true self and became someone she was proud to be. Rachel was brutally honest and open in her writing. It felt like we were sitting across from each other and we were having a conversation as friends. A friend who shared lots of wisdom and advice based on her stories and experiences. I really appreciate how much Rachel opened up and graciously shared her personal life with us. There was a lot of different emotions, throughout the chapters, some funny, embarrassing, happy, sad, weak, strong, shocking, motivational and inspirational. This book has something for everyone that they can relate to and find some great advice in. I admire the courage it must’ve taken to share such personal things with the world but I feel like that is what makes this book so successful. I gave this book four stars and am looking forward to checking out the Party Girl series from Rachel.

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

I’ve been so excited to read this book ever since I discovered it at Book Con. The cover alone just drew me in and when I read the synopsis, I just knew I needed to get my hands on this book. Thanks to the book community for helping me out with an advanced readers copy. The book comes out on October 2nd 2018. The story is about three best friends Mia, Summer and Brynn who are obsessed with a book called Lovelorn. They are so drawn into the story and of the magic of Lovelorn that reality starts to get blurred. One day, Summer is murdered and Mia and Brynn are the prime suspects. Although they were never convicted due to lack of evidence, that doesn’t stop them from being alienated from school, their community and the rest of the public. Five years later, nearing the anniversary of the death of Summer and in their lowest moments, the friends are reunited and decide to find out the truth once and for all what happened to Summer and solve the mystery of Lovelorn. I give this book four stars. I enjoyed all the characters even with their good and bad traits. The development was well done and had a smooth transition throughout the story. Lauren took me on a interesting journey and sometimes I even had trouble determining what was reality. There were lots of elements of surprise and I felt the ending was far from predictable. I’m really glad I got the chance to read this book and I highly recommend picking up a copy in October.

Light Years by Kass Morgan

I received an advanced readers copy of Light Years by Kass Morgan in my Illumicrate book box subscription. I would describe the story as Sci Fi Young Adult. It made me think of Star Wars meet Degrassi Jr High. The story is about an Academy in space that takes in several students from various different planets. These students train to become part of the space military to protect against attacks from enemy species. Throughout the story, students of different planets clash while having to work together in teams as part of their training. There is drama, secrets and romance all blended in with a bit of adventure. The character development was so good that I was emotionally invested in each one of them. The story was well written and the ending left me begging for more. I’m hoping for a sequel because I feel like they definitely left room for one. I gave this book five stars. I was a little hesitant to read this one because I’m not big into sci fi but this book had the perfect balance. I would definitely read more from this author.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

I was approved for this book on NetGalley and boy was I excited to read this one. I would describe it as a suspenseful mystery. The story is about two sisters, Sadie and Mattie. Sadie grew up taking care of young Mattie while her unfit Mother was out drinking and doing drugs and bringing home various boyfriends over the years. Mattie is murdered and then later, Sadie goes missing. The story takes you back and forth between Sadie’s point of view and then the point of view of West McCray, a radio personality who has taken on the investigation as part of a podcast series. This story takes you a harrowing journey of Sadie’s before her disappearance.

This book was a heavy read but was beautifully written. I was immediately sucked into the story. The podcast dialogue was unique and made it very interesting to read. I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter after the next to find out more as it continuously left you at the edge of your seat. I liked how the author slowing unraveled the pieces of the puzzle. Based on the ending of the story, I’m really hoping for a sequel to the book. I gave this book five stars. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed!

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

I was fortunate to pick up an advanced readers copy of Rule by Ellen Goodlett at Bookcon this year. It is about a dying King who recruits his three daughters to train to become the heir to inherit his throne. All three sisters must compete to see who the king will pick to rule the kingdom however they each have secrets that could prevent them from sitting on the throne. They think their secret is safe until someone starts blackmailing all of them to leave the kingdom or have their secrets revealed. The sisters must work together to find out who their blackmailer could be.

I really enjoyed this book. The story had a great balance of drama, humor, romance and fantasy. The setting was unique and felt like a place I’ve never been before yet was very relatable to current events. I’m excited that this book is the first of a series and will be anxiously waiting forever for book two. The ending of the book left me in shock and at the edge of my seat. I kept looking for more pages of the story. I couldn’t believe it was over. I feel like I need the second book now and am so sad to think about how long it’ll be before I get some much needed answers. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Ellen Goodlett. I give this book all five stars!

A Room Away From The Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

I had the great opportunity to meet Nova Ren Suma at Bookcon this year and get a personally signed copy of A Room Away From the Wolves. I was really excited to read this story. The cover is very enticing and the description gave me the impression that it was going to be an interesting, adventurous drama.

The story is about Bina, a teenager who is drawn into the stories her mother told her of a magical place called Catherine House where she spent some time years ago. A refuge for young woman needing a place to go. When Bina and her Mother’s relationship become strained, Bina ventures out to find her own piece of magic from the Catherine House, however when she arrives, she begins to discover that things are not as they seem.

I found this story interesting but also found it very strange and sometimes had difficulty determining reality versus dream/hallucination. I could feel the depressing, anxious confusion of the character in this story. I was not expecting the outcome of the story which was a nice surprise. This book was the exact opposite of predictable. I would describe it as a psychological drama. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a thriller but it certainly has a good creepy vibe. I give this book three stars.

A Gathering Of Secrets

I gave A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo four stars. The book is about a Chief Detective who use to be Amish and is looking to find the suspect(s) of a gruesome crime in the Amish community. The story reads a lot like an episode of Law and Order in my mind. I really enjoyed the insight of the Amish and how the story picks up right in the beginning. There were lots of plot twists and the ending was not how I was expecting it to go. Just when you think you have all the answers, more information comes to light. I think the book was well written and would definitely read more from this author. This book is number 10 of the Kate Burkholder series and I will be looking into reading more of the series. I also like how although it’s part of a series, it was able to be read as a standalone book.

I will be hosting a giveaway of my copy of this book in my facebook group Tyson’s Bookshelf so feel free to join! Once I hit 50 members, I will post the giveaway.