// My Top Reads of 2018 //

We are getting too close for 2018 to end, and while I’m looking forward to another fresh year, it wasn’t such a bad year for me. I’ve had major ups and downs. I’ve laughed, cried, been angry, anxious, all of the emotions out there, I have been through it. It’s easy to look into all the bad, but I choose to look at all of the good, because it outweighs the bad for me. I still have a ways to go, but I’m doing better.

I thought I would gather up my top 5 reads of 2018. It was difficult to narrow down, but I believe I came up with a good list. I’m looking forward to more in 2019 – Maybe I’ll actually set a goal for 100 books and actually keep it that way, lol. Continue reading “// My Top Reads of 2018 //”

Book Review // Nice Try, Afton (The Afton Morrison Series, # 3) by: Brent Jones

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Title: Nice Try, Afton (The Afton Morrison Series, # 3)

Author: Brent Jones

Publish Date: September 17, 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense

Summary: Is evil a matter of choice, or are we born that way?

After a string of brazen arsons overwhelms Wakefield’s first responders, the town is placed on lockdown, rendering Afton and her companions vulnerable to attack.

In a last-ditch effort to protect her inner circle, Afton attempts to establish an improbable truce with her archnemesis, leading her into a deadly trap more than a decade in the making. Survival will mean choosing to embrace her dark side, once and for all.

Continue reading “Book Review // Nice Try, Afton (The Afton Morrison Series, # 3) by: Brent Jones”

Book Review // The Reluctant Healer by: Andrew Himmel

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Title: The Reluctant Healer

Author: Andrew Himmel

Publication Date: October 8, 2018

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press

Genre: Fiction

Summary: The Reluctant Healer tells the story of a young attorney who is torn between mounting evidence that he has the spiritual ability to heal others and his life-long skepticism of alternative views. Will Alexander is cautious and conventional. But when he meets Erica, a beautiful, intense energy healer, he becomes troubled not only by her unorthodox endeavors but also by the limitations of his own existence. Amidst this turmoil, Will is startled to discover that he may possess metaphysical gifts of healing that confront the narrow doctrines of his regulated life.

​The Reluctant Healer paints a portrait of a reasonable man who traces a path between skepticism and belief. Flawed, funny, and agnostic, Will distrusts much of the alternative world, even as he struggles internally with phenomena that challenge both his sense of self and his orderly perspective. Will’s love for Erica, the exposure to her world, and his newfound powers place his life in a state of uncertainty, teetering between disruption and liberation.

Continue reading “Book Review // The Reluctant Healer by: Andrew Himmel”

Book Review // The Classroom by: A.L. Bird

Title: The Classroom
Author: A.L. Bird
Publication Date: September 16, 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital

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A big thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Book reads summar:

Letting go of your daughter for the first time isn’t easy.

But the classroom is the one place she should be safe.

Isn’t it?

My Review

Kirsten brings her daughter, Harriet, to class for the first time and meets her new teacher, Miriam Robertson – unknown to Kirsten, or anybody else, Miriam has her own agenda…and it includes Harriet.

The story was a bit difficult to get interested at first. This was mostly because of the formatting of the ARC. The paragraphs were separated at odd points of the story, and some punctuation was off – but that doesn’t have anything to do with the story itself.

I like the different take on a story like this. Miriam has her eyes fixated on Harriet as the perfect and beautiful little girl. A few twists in the story come about that I definitely didn’t see coming, but for the most part…I really didn’t care for Miriam. And it’s not for reasons that would be obvious, although they are in those reasons for not caring for her.

She deluded herself into this fairy tale of hers that she’ll take Harriet and they will all be happy together. Nobody seems to REALLY think about the child in the story. Kirsten and her overly childish husband, Ian, don’t see eye to eye on anything and it got frustrating – I almost thought maybe Harriet was better off with Miriam after all.

I give the story three stars. It was a good story to tell. The characters (adults mainly) were not likable and quite honestly…I felt more sorry for Harriet for being put in the middle of something that she neither deserved or asked for.

It’s obvious that these three adults do love this little girl, but have some odd ways of showing it. It was an all around good story to read. If you are curious as to what Miriam’s plans were and how Kirsten and Ian were truly a part of it, the book is available for pre-order and will be published on September 16.

Book Review // The Woman in the Window by: A.J. Finn

Title: The Woman in the Window
Author:
A.J. Finn
Publication Date:
January 2, 2018
Genre:
Thriller/Mystery/Suspense

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Imagine being too afraid to leave your house for one reason, then another reason entirely. A.J. Finn’s debut novel about a woman suffering from Agoraphobia and depression and witnesses a crime in her neighbors house.

Continue reading “Book Review // The Woman in the Window by: A.J. Finn”

Digital Reads Blog Tour // Book Review // In Servitude by Heleen Kist

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“I struggled to decide what had shocked me more: that Glory had been scheming behind her husband’s back or that she’d confided in our father, and not me.”

Title: In Servitude
Author: Heleen Kist
Publisher: Polock Glenn Publishing
Publication Date: August 31, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Summary: Continue reading “Digital Reads Blog Tour // Book Review // In Servitude by Heleen Kist”

Least Favorite Tropes

I had to really think about this topic. I’ve seen a few of my friends and favorite bloggers talk about the different tropes that they are tired of, or just flat out dislike. After really thinking about it, I thought I would provide my own list of least favorite tropes. Some of them will not be YA related, but for the most part, they will be YA.

I am guilty of still reading books with these tropes on occasion, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t at least try to appreciate the author for writing the story even if it isn’t my favorite. Continue reading “Least Favorite Tropes”

Book Review :: Not Her Daughter by: Rea Frey

Title: Not Her Daughter
Author: Rea Frey
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Fiction

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I’ll start this off with a summary from Goodreads:

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

So, the gist of the story is this woman sees how Emma is mistreated by her mother and instead of calling the police, or child services…she kidnaps her. I’m not going to lie, the summary had me hooked and I was excited when NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin Press approved me to read and review the book.

I did also have a bit of a difficult time finishing it for a few reasons, but I will get to those.

Thoughts in the Beginning:

At first I was intrigued. The story is told in two points of view and takes place in two different time frames. Before and After – in Amy and Sarah’s POV. Sarah is the woman who kidnaps little Emma, and Amy is her mother. You learn a bit about Sarah and her life.

She had an absent minded father due to her mother just up and leaving one day.

She dated and lived with a man named Ethan for a long time and became obsessed with why he never asked her to marry her so they could become a family.

I understand Sarah’s want to be a family because she does want children, but the whole scene when she confronts Ethan about marriage had me a little baffled.

I did discuss this in a previous post a while back. The whole scene was odd because she says ‘you don’t want to get married’ and he actually responds with, ‘who says I don’t want to get married?’ Nowhere in there does she actually ask, ‘do you want to marry me?’ There were a lot of assumptions and statements, but that question NEVER came up, not even from Ethan.

So, Sarah ends the relationship and is heart-broken. I understand you’re sad…but why didn’t you just ask him out right if he wanted to get married? And to add, she found a ring in his drawer and you find out later WHY he never gave it to her…and it was an idiotic reason.

I won’t spoil it.

Thoughts During:

Sarah’s heart was in the right place, but kidnapping is a HUGE no no! I felt bad for Emma. You find out Amy’s side of the story and you want to feel for her, but it’s difficult because…well she never wanted to be married and never wanted to be a mother.

Although, she had a second child whom she likes better than Emma (yes she does say this in the story), but all I want to do is just yell at the book about why did she even get married. Naturally there’s more to the story…but I won’t spoil it, again. I’m trying hard here.

Not to mention she absolutely HATES her husband. She can’t stand him. They sleep in separate rooms, and from the way he’s portrayed, he’s a bit of whiner. He’s not a deadbeat father, however, but I can almost see why he would work someone like Amy’s nerves.

There are a lot of back and forth between time frames and sometimes it kind of got exhausting. Sometimes there were no obvious breaks in the chapter when Sarah talks of one thing, and then something entirely different that happened in a different time frame. Amy’s was the same way, so I almost got lost for a moment.

Thoughts in the End:

The story was pretty detailed. For this kind of plot, it would have to be. I will say four stars. The author did great with the story, you know who Sarah is and kind of want to root for her, because there is a positive change for Emma – cause she doesn’t want to go home to her mother.

It was difficult for me to give any kind of sympathy to Sarah at the time (during the whole engagement not engagement fiasco) and it was hard for me to feel that way with Amy. The ending…I won’t say it wasn’t a bad ending, and I won’t say it wasn’t good. For this kind of story, I honestly couldn’t imagine how you would end it at all.

I will agree with how it ended. The book will be available on the 21st of August, so I would definitely look into getting your copy. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin Press for giving me this opportunity.

Sums Up Sunday :: My Reads So Far

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I’m sorry for the lack of posting the last couple of days. I was sort of taking a mental break and I think I’m on the right track now. I’ve had some difficulty finding some motivation for reading and posting – even on my Instagram and Twitter, but I’m the only one that can pull myself out of that hole and I’m trying hard to do that.

Anyway, I did finish a few books and I have some books still to come that I’m excited to read. I feel like I’m starting to put myself back together and remain focus on the present and not letting my mind wander and get lost.

I’ll explain more on that on my Mindful Monday post.

All right, enough mush talk!

Just Friends (Friends, # 1) by: Monica Murphy

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This was a book that I got from FreeBooksey and I finally got around to reading it. I do plan to write a review on this book, but here’s the summary for this book.

It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times—and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.

So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.

Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.

So…this book completely baffled me, and not in the good way. First off, I got REALLY sick of seeing the words ‘Hooked Up’ or anything similar to it. From my perspective, and when I was growing up, hooked up meant that you hooked up with someone for sex. In this book, it’s changed to ‘we messed around but not had sex’. I got so confused by that because that’s not what the phrase meant.

Second off, Olivia, the one telling the story, was so confusing and contradicting. I say this because she would say one thing and then get all confused as to why people thought it as well and why they thought it. Like, this guy she has her eyes on. She KNOWS he’s flirty, she KNOWS he wants sex, she KNOWS he’s a douche – she has witnessed this and he has said this to her and yet…when someone says I hate him.

She asks why do you not like him? I don’t get it. I’m like…really? You do get it, so why are you playing stupid?

I’m getting riled up just thinking about it. I didn’t know it was the first of a series, but I don’t have plans on reading the second book. I’ll elaborate more on a solo review. It wasn’t a bad story, but I got too confused by one thing and then it changing to something completely different and not making sense.

Not Her Daughter by: Rea Frey

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I FINALLY finished this book before it was published. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book. Although, it took me a long time to read it, I did finish it and I’m glad I finally did and stuck with it. Here’s a quick summary.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

One of the reasons it took me so long to read this story was because there were parts in it that were so drawn out. It’s important to the story, but there are some things that kind of dragged that really didn’t need to, and my mind tends to wander. However, I’m glad I stuck with it because you start to wander, how does a story like this end.

And it’s an odd ending…but it’s the kind of ending that I’m not sure how else it would end. The story will be published August 21. Check it out.

I don’t have any current reads right now. I have a few anticipated reads but I don’t have them lined up just yet. This will be my second review for NetGalley so I have a lot of catching up to do if I’m going to have a high rating. Stay tuned for my solo reviews for these two books.

Thanks for reading and supporting!! Have a good day!!