Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

The Lake House by Kate Morton

Title: The Lake House
Author: Kate Morton
Publication date: October 20, 2015
Number of pages: 678
Series: none
Synopsis: From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I can’t express my love for this book enough. While I usually don’t read mysteries, the genre is among my favorites to read if written and paced well. In my opinion, mystery books are both hard to read and write because the author has to know what happens without making it blatant to the reader from the beginning. This book definitely kept me guessing and second guessing myself. Another thing I like about this book was the cozy aspect of it as it was set in a small town.
Firstly, I loved how unique the book is, or at least to me it is, in that it switches between the present and the past to convey the story. This switch was especially interesting because it added more mystery to the plot. Since Morton switched between time periods, I was left wondering what would happen next, whose version of a story was true, and how everything connected. Again, I like how Morton wove this story because I wasn’t exactly sure of the timeline of events until the very end.
Second, I really liked the writing style, characters and plot in this book. The characters were all likeable, and each had a story of their own that needed to be told. The characters also had their own issues that were resolved in some way through their interactions with the other characters in the novel. Each characters’ story also helped to develop that specific character as well as the rest of the characters and plot. The writing in the book was full of details and I found myself trying to dissect each one for a possible clue to the mystery. Each detail was divulged at the moment when I thought I had the puzzle figured out, causing me to analyze the new detail and try to fit it into what I already had. The contrast between the cozy setting and the overarching storyline was well written, giving the book both a sense of comfort and a deeper sense of foreboding. I know, it seems confusing, but I promise that if you read the story you’ll understand what I mean.
My only complaints with the book would be the pacing and ending. In terms of pacing, I found it a little slow at times. Sure, it was mostly great, but sometimes I felt there were extra descriptions and details that weren’t needed. The beginning of the story had both too many details and too few details, which made it a little hard to get into. While I can understand Morton might have done this on purpose to create that sense of foreboding and comfort and give people cause to overanalyze everything, I found it to be a little overwhelming at times. In my oppinion, the balance between too many and too few details was a little distorted, detracting from the beginning and some middle parts. While I liked the ending and how things turned out for the characters, I felt that the last chapter/epologue could have been expanded upon a little. Still, I really liked how Morton wrapped everything up.
Overall, this was a great mystery that incorporated past and present in a unique way. It’s plot, characters, and writing style all helped to develop the mystery and a sense of intrigue. I would definitely recommend this to mystery lovers looking for the action and suspense of a mystery, while having a cozy setting.

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication date: June 28, 2005
Number of pages: 377
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Number in series: 1
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is exactly what comes to mind when I think of middle grade bordering on yung adult books. Not only was it extremely well written, but the character and plot development, pacing, and humur really made this book what it is. The incorporation of Greek mythology into today’s society also makes this book really unique because it uses the myths and our society to create a new version of our world. Without changing much of our world, Riordan weaves the myths into it in a believable way that doesn’t seem overly outlandish.
Percy Jackson, the main character, is absolutely one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read. I really enjoyed seeing things through his eyes as it helped me connect with him and appreciate his humur. The male perspective was also really refreshing, and in my opinion adds something different to the genre. Most mythological retellings I’ve heard about are usually told through a female’s perspective, so the fact that this wasn’t adds a new dimension to the retelling and myths. Percy’s age also makes this book unique as most retellings are either told from an older teens perspective or from an adult point of view. Plus, his age makes the books enjoyable by everyone as it engages younger readers, older teens, and adults who might want to remember their youth.
The other characters in the novel were also really unique and added their own touches to the novel. Annabeth, a child of Athena, added brains, wisecracks, and her own special humor to the novel. As an experienced demigod Percy meets at Camp Halfblood, Annabeth is able to help him navigate the newfound parts of the world and their politics. She is also amazing at explaining the myths to Percy, and in turn, the reader. Grover, a satyr, is integral to the story because he introduces Percy to the world he’s a part of. He also helps out along the way, and acts as a mediator between Percy and the Greek world to ease Percy into everything. All three of these main characters’ developments was so much fun to read about because they all had something they needed to develop–whether it be knowledge, people skills, courage, or faith in themselves and others. Lastly, these characters were integral in the development of the plot and the rest of the characters and events that happened in the book.
Again, the inclusion of Greek mythology is amazing! I especially like how the myths are explained without prior assumptions that the reader will know them. Even for knowing most of the common myths introduced in this book, I had forgotten, or didn’t know the full story. Riordan also does a great job at shaping old myths and current events in the book around our past and current society. Events such as storms, hurricanes, and wars were shaped around the Gods, Greek myths, and demigods. Even so, Riordan shaped these myths into the events in a credible way that didn’t change the events themselves, but added a touch of magic to them.
The pacing in this book was well written and didn’t feel bumpy–it wasn’t overly fast or slow. I didn’t feel as if I was missing chunks at the beginning or that it was too rushed. Riordan kept the pacing consisstant throughout the novel, slowing and quickening at the proper parts while keeping the action level high throughout the book. Even at the end, the writing and characters kept the pacing steady.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to Greek myth enthusiasts. If you’re an adult and are hesitant to pick this up because of the age classification, all I can say is to give it a try because the writing in this book offers something for everyone.

Review: Someone Like Him by Ann Herrick

Someone Like Him by Ann Herrick

Title: Someone Like Him
Author: Ann Herrick
Publication date: March 3, 2016
Number of pages: 125
Series: none
Synopsis: City girl, country guy. Will opposites attract—or clash?
When New-York-City girl Emily visits her cousin Janelle in Oregon, Emily wonders how she’ll survive the wilderness. Janelle wonders if the wilderness will survive Emily’s visit—and if she can convince her cousin to help save part of an old-growth forest.
Meanwhile, Emily also wonders if a big-city girl can get along with a county guy—named Bret. Under forest canopies and by crystal-clear waters she struggles with her growing attraction to him. But they’re so different. Whoever thought she’d fall for someone like him?

I received a copy of this book from the author on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I really liked how lighthearted and sweet this book was. Seeing the events that went on through Emily’s point of view helped me connect with her and appreciate her growth as a character. She really changed, learning to appreciate the wilderness and the differences between her lifestyle and that of her cousin. I also liked seeing her growth from a New York city girl into an open-minded girl who broadened her knowledge and wasn’t so quick to dismiss things. Seeing her cousins development was also really interesting because she really got out of her shell. As a somewhat shy person myself, seeing this played out really struck with me as I struggle to let loose sometimes, which like Janelle can make it hard to talk to people.
I also really enjoyed seeing the development of a sweet romance between Emily and Bret, and Janelle and Seth. The romance was slowly built, allowing me to see all of the parts, the slow growth of a crush, and then the romance itself. Sadly, I can’t really say much because the book was so short. Still, I thought the romance was well written and would have liked to see more of each phase as well as each of the girls’ thoughts.
Like I said, my biggest complaint with this book had to be the length; I thought this book was extremely short and would have liked a longer book to see more of the development in Emily, her cousin, Bret, and Seth. Had the book been longer, I think the author could have made a five star book that showed Emily’s full development as well as the development of all the relationships in the story. Due to the length of the book, I felt the development of all of the characters, although well-written and sweet to read about was extremely rushed, leaving out details that truly demonstrated their growth. I honestly felt that I would have appreciated the development more if it had not been so sudden–one second I was reading about Emily being a city girl with no appreciation for the wilderness and the next, she really appreciated it. The story itself would probably have been a little smoother had it been longer as the author could have given more background on Emily and her cousin’s homelife.
The second problem I had with this was minor, but still really annoying. I can’t believe that Emily didn’t know what S’mores or bigfoot are. Sure, she’s from New York, but still… They sell S’more flavored cookies, s’mores, and other things in stores. Also, with the internet around, as well as documentaries, I find it hard to believe she’s never even heard of bigfoot. She may be from the city, but these things she supposedly didn’t know are extremely hard to believe. To me, this was an exaggeration of what a city girl placed in the wilderness is like.
Overall, I thought the romance in Someone Like Him was really cute and liked seeing the development, but I found the book extremely short and some things a little unbelievable.

Review: The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson

The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson

Title: The Boy With Words
Author: C.E. Wilson
Publication date: April 23, 2016
Number of pages: 490
Series: The Boy With Words
Synopsis: Two Books in One Volume! (Five Seven Five & Five Seven Six)
White Frost has only ever known the darkness. Everything outside of her closed society is The Unknown – a strange and dangerous place accessible to only a chosen few. White’s only glimpse of the world beyond comes from her beloved cousin in the form of mysterious collections of words that hint at astonishing wonders. When an accident upends her simple existence, she’s given an unlikely chance to see the truth for herself.
What she finds is greater and more terrible than she could have imagined, and before long she is forced to make the most important choice of her life: does she accept her safe, limited world that she’s known or take a desperate gamble in a world not meant for her with the Boy with Words?

I received this book from the author on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When I first began the book, I was pretty intrigued. Right away, I could tell that this society was different–one in which people feared the unknown and were fed a story about the world they lived in. However, I found the writing and world building at the beginning a little dull. I had a hard time connecting with White, the main character and sympathizing with her situation.
As the book progressed, I began to really get into the society. I can’t say much without spoiling, but suffice to say that Wilson brings up some really interesting concepts about humans, their attitudes towards differences, and science. If closely examined, the society White lives in reflects some of the same problems in our society and made me really think about various things. The character development in this book was not only really well written, but it was also sweet to read and actually be able to see and imagine the characters developing.
Although I initially disliked White, she definitely grew on me by the end of this book. I felt a connection with her because she was extremely curious and wanted to experience things she was told she couldn’t. As a blind person, I am constantly told I can’t or shouldn’t do certain things, which makes me feel more curious. Seeing White’s curiosity grow throughout this book was really what made the plot move along and what shaped her development as a character.
Another thing I found unique about this book is the fact it is two books in one, but reads as one book. The individual books are called 575 and 576, which I found as weird titles, but whose meanings become clear at the end of the book. Knowing that this was two books in one volume, I was worried that the story would be a little disjointed in order to set up the next book, but I actually found the transition to be quite smooth
I know this review is extremely vague, but I can’t say much without going into detail. If however, you want a more detailed review with all of my thoughts, let me know and I can do that for you as I really think it’s worth discussing and would like to discuss this with people.
That said, I did have a few problems with the book. Mainly, I felt the writing could have been a bit smoother, thereby fixing some of the pacing issues I had. Again, I felt that the beginning of the book was rushed in order to get to the more exciting middle chunks. Personally, I would have liked more background at the beginning and would have liked to see more of Shade. I also thought the ending was really rushed and would have liked a little bit more–especially smoother writing and more details. I felt as though the book was just wrapped up, but the bow, or a piece of the wrapping paper was left off.
Overall, I would recommend this book for people wanting to read about science, humans, and a different, yet similar society. Again, let me know if you’d like a more in-depth review.

Review: The V Girl by Maya Roberts

The V Girl by Mya Robarts
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the author for giving me the chance to read this. Be sure to check out the rest of the reviewers on the tour here.

Title: The V Girl
Author: Maya Roberts
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Number of pages: 363
Series: none
Synopsis: In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love.

Lila’s coping mechanism to cope with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.

With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is?
Book links:

Add it to Goodreads
Buyit on B&N–Nook
Buy it on Ibooks
Buy it on Amazon–US
Buy it on Amazon–UK
Buy it on Amazon–CA
Buy it on Amazon–AU
Buy it on Kobo


Mya Robarts is a bookaholic who regrets nothing.
She spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually she realized that she enjoyed writing her stories rather than dancing to them.
Robarts is obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon-worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.

Author links:


I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours and Maya Roberts on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Throughout most of the book, I had a hard time deciding how to rate it because I wasn’t all that engaged. However, as I read on, I began to realize that the action and world building I usually enjoy in dystopian societies aren’t what make this book stand out. Instead, the slow build up of trust, relationships, and love are what make this book unique. Its exploration of rape, consentual sex, love and trust within oneself and others, and PTSD really blended together to create a story about a girl who learned to trust in herself through the interactions she and her family had with other members of their society–both good and bad.
I especially liked seeing how the author explored the notions of rape and consentual sex in a way that brought out the severity of the issues, while also developing the characters and story around them. Roberts slowly built up each concept, exploring their differences through the characters development, but especially through Lila’s growth.
The discussion questions at the end of the book really helped put the story and current societal issues into perspective. As stated in one of the questions, the issues in the book are exagerated to reflect their severity and, in my oppinion, make readers reflect on the story and current societal issues. If simplified, the concepts in this book really resonate with issues of rape and consent in today’s society. The beliefs in Lila’s town, Starville, somewhat reflect certain perceptions our society has about rape, consent, and the roles victims–men and women, perpetrators, and society play.
While the world may have been a little complicated to understand because of the way information was dispersed, I didn’t feel like I was missing all that much. Sure, I would have liked some more explanation on exactly how and why the war started and a better understanding of the different armies, but the book explored different aspects of the world and armies, focusing on them rather than on the world building. Again, it chose to explore aspects of the society which, although exaggerated–as pointed out in the discussion questions–can be simplified to reflect some of the current issues in society.
Overall, I really liked the slow build up of the story, because it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the issues in the society and connect them to our own. It also told the story of a girl who needed to find love and trust in herself and others, in order to push past her fears and be able to heal. Although it sounds cheesy, I really believe this book explores both Lila’s story and current issues in such a way that, at least for me, left me reflecting not only on what I read, but also on the society we live in. Lastly, the discussion questions at the end really made this book stand out, and if for nothing else, I recommend you read it just to be able to understand and reflect on the questions.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
•2x $25 Amazon gift cards
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Vanquished by S.E. Green

Vanquished by S.E. Green

Book: Vanquished
Author: S.E. Green
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Thriller

Synopsis: Where society’s elite go to explore their darkest desires. And where promises of freedom are just manipulative lies.
For a price, the world’s most powerful people can have their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean, they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.
Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.
Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.
After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.
But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

Book links:

S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of several novels including the teen thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, and the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

Author links:
Shannon Green’s Website

Blog tour information:
Xpresso Book Tours
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the oppurtunity to review this book. Check out the other bloggers on the tour here. Read on for a giveaway at the end of this post.


I received this book on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The first thing that caught my eye about this book is it’s unique premise. It’s warning about being for mature audiences also caught my mind. I was also intrigued by the underlying premise of human and sexual trafficking.
Having read the summary and warning, I was excited to read the book, but apprehensive because I was worried it would be too explicit. However, I found the level of description to be just right. I felt that Green balanced the levels of description in such a way that I was able to understand the seriousness and depraved nature of the situation Valoria and the other characters were in while not making the descriptions extremely gruesome.
The pacing throughout the novel was just right for the situation and helped me connect with the characters better. It started out fast paced and kept the pacing consistent during the whole novel.
However, I rated the book four stars because I thought it could have been longer and that more information could have been conveyed. Despite having suspicions of the setting in the book, it took a while for them to be confirmed, which made things a little confusing.
Overall, I really liked Vanquished for its unique plot and sincere exploration of sensitive issues.

Prize/s: $25 Amazon giftcard and 3 eBook copies of Vanquished
Ends June 16
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Book: Those Girls
Author: Lauren Saft
Series: none
Publish date: June 9, 2015
Number of pages: 336
Summary: Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can’t help but stab you in it.

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.
Rating: 2.5 out of 3 stars

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review.

When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be about some popular girls and their drama, how they ruled the school, and how they manipulated others as well as each other. However, the book ended up being about three rich, popular girls and their sex lives. If it had revolved on their sex lives and had a little more plot, I think I would have enjoyed it, but the fact that it revolved on their sex lives and the other plotlines were just side plots made the book less enjoyable for me.
First, the story is told in three points of view: those of Alex, Molly, and Veronica–the three popular girls and supposed best friends. While I usually like a book told in multiple points of view, I was not able to enjoy this or really connect with any of the characters. It is stated that Alex and Molly have been best friends and that Veronica joined their little group late, which is very clearly shown by the way the other two exclude and talk about Veronica to her face and behind her back. Each point of view was not seamlessly connected with the others, and I felt myself passively reading the book.
Secondly, I felt the way Veronica was portrayed as a slut who just put out for everyone was horrible. Sure, she did have sex with a lot of guys and crossed a lot of lines, but I felt that the other characters, who were supposedly her friends, shamed her because of it. Their language to her was awful. I understand that the author was trying to portray high school life, but some of the things she said were over the top and seemed unrealistic.
Lastly, I couldn’t connect or feel anything for any of these girls and their situations. I was also unable to believe the things they did and the lines they crossed. As I said, the book felt forced and unrealistic to me–a former high school student. Most of all though, the ending was extremely unbelievable considering all of the circumstances that happened throughout the book.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book and read it passively, waiting for it to end.

Do I Belong? – The Reason Behind My Absence.

Hi all,
As you may have noticed, I’ve been absent from my blog for quite a long time. Yes, part of it was due to college finals, medical issues, and catching back up at the beginning of second semester, but a majority of the reason is because I’ve been questioning my place in the bookish community.
For quite a while now, I’ve been questioning whether or not I really belong as a true part of the bookish community. For me, it’s not even about not having anyone to talk to. Instead, it’s about whether I can stand with all the other amazing bloggers and whether or not I can keep up with their reading pace. Part of it is also because of the number of ARC reviews I see people posting.
Yes, I know it isn’t about reading all the ARC’s or getting higher ratings–it never started off as such for me. At the same time though, I’m a little fearful people won’t like my blog because I DON’t have as many ARC reviews up or don’t post as many author interviews, guest posts, etc. Even now, I am not considering getting back into blogging because of the ratings or ARC’s at all. I want to blog because it’s something I like doing and because at least one person gets something out of the content I post. I want to know that even though I don’t have the time to read and review as many ARC’s because of school, that people will still find me relevant. But mostly, I want to have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m making a difference for someone and that my opinion matters.
This brings me to my next point–reading became a task for me. Since I wasn’t sure people enjoyed my blog for the reviews I posted that weren’t new releases or ARC’s, I felt that I had to read those kinds of books as quickly as possible to keep up with them all. Thus, I started feeling that I had to read as quickly as possible in order to keep up with the new releases I wanted to read–and that I thought people wanted to read about on my blog. Not only did this make me unhappy, but I started to feel as though I wasn’t proud in what I was putting out on here for people and began questioning my place in the community.
Lastly, I questioned my place in the community because of the reduced amount of books that college has made me able to read. In high school I could easily read and review six books a month and still be able to keep up with my school work, but now I can only get through about three on a good month. Maybe it’s just an adjustment period, but I needed to come to terms with that and appreciate what I can do in a month. Basically, I needed to take time to reflect on the new changes college has brought about.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I do want to get back into blogging, but I want to start fresh. I want to be happy with what I’m producing and know that it doesn’t matter if I have old books or new books on here. Yes, reading ARC’s would be nice, but I’m going to limit myself and not participate in blog tours in order to stabilize myself and get back to where I want to be. I want to be happe doing what I love–reading and reviewing books so that more people find out about them. . In short, I’m coming back to blogging, but I’m going to start out with one or two posts a week, and I’m not going to worry about reviewing the newest and latest books.

I’m sorry for the extremely long post, but I’ve been fighting with myself on whether to write it and what people would think. I’m honestly scared to post this, but I’m hoping that doing so will make me feel better about my decision and will help me come to better terms with the fact that I’m reading less.

Sidenote: i’m having one surgery for sure in May so I’ll be able to do lots of reading and I might have another in June so look out for more books.:)

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Publication date: August 16, 2007
Number of pages: 332
Synopsis: Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When it comes to paranormal fantasy, I’ve got to admit I absolutely love the genre if written right. Vampire Academy was one of the paranormal fantasy books I’ve really liked in a while.
For one thing, I really like the innovative idea Mead came up with by introducing the Moroi and Strigoi vampire battle with Dhampirs thrown in the mix. All the distinctions between the different races were well-explained and I was never confused as to what each race was.
I also really liked the fact that Vampire Academy was set in a high school as I feel it gave me a better understanding of the Moroi society. Being in high school myself, I was able to understand what Rose and Lissa felt and the motivations behind their actions.
Next, I really liked both Rose and Lissa as main characters and liked how Mead developed their relationship and explained the reasons behind their friendship. Both girls were distinctly unique while still being relatively similar. I was able to connect with both on different levels and understand their struggles as they related with each other as well as the rest of the society.
The development of romantic relationships between Rose and Dimitri and Lissa and Christian was also well-executed and I appreciated the fact that the relationships did not take up the whole story. Each relationship was slowly developed and I liked how Mead took time building the trust and substance of the relationships.
The rest of the characters in the novel were also unique, well-developed, and each enhanced the story in a certain way that kept up the action and/or helped explain the society, other characters, or develop new plotlines. I never once got confused with characters or forgot who was who as they were all distinct and each had a purpose in the story.
Lastly, I really liked the action and pacing of the book. Although the book wasn’t entirely action, the bits that weren’t fight scenes or action packed weren’t boring at all. Since the storyline, characters, and world were being developed, scenes that weren’t filled with action were welcome and necessary for my understanding of the book and my overall enjoyment as they prevented me from getting confused or frustrated. That said, all of the action scenes were well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat. The balance between action packed scenes and non-action packed scenes made this book have a perfect pace and kept me interested the whole way.
Overall, I really enjoyed Vampire Academy because of the relatable characters and setting, well-developed world, characters, and plot, and the excellent balance between action and non-action scenes. I am definitely going to continue the series to see what goes on with Rose and the rest of the characters.

SST 4 – Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang

Title: For the Record
Author: Charlotte Huang
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Number of pages: 320
Synopsis: If Almost Famous were a YA novel… a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

**I received a copy of this book on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the SST, the publisher, and author for the opportunity.**

For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading For the Record because of it’s light nature and topics. I absolutely love singing and music so reading a book about a girl who joins a popular band and the adventures, ups and downs, and drama that ensued was wonderful. The book was a fun read and I definitely enjoyed reading about the tour Chelsea and the rest of the band took.
I also really liked the characters because they all had their own personality and little quirks that made them different from each other. Chelsea in particular was really easy to connect with for me because I could understand where she came from–being bullied and wanting the fame of being in a band/singing. She was also just very easy-going and got with the flow of things very quickly. At the same time, I thought that some of her actions were a little annoying, but can’t completely blame her for them as I’m not sure how I’d react to so much fame. Overall though, I really connected with Chelsea.
The other characters in the book were also really easy to connect with and I liked most of them. While I liked most of the characters, there were a few I didn’t care for much, but whom grew on me by the end. However, there was one character in particular that shrunk on me so to speak and whom I just couldn’t stand in the end.
I really liked the plot and pacing of the novel and would definitely recommend it. However, the only reason for the 3.5 instead of 4 is because of the ending! I won’t say anything except I need more! If you’ve read this, please discuss with me because I just can’t deal.
Overall, I really enjoyed For the Record and would recommend it for people looking for a light, dramatic and romantic read. I will definitely read more of Huang’s work in the future as I really enjoyed her writing style.