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Sunday, September 18, 2016

#BookReview Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres

Sula's Voyage
by Catherine Torres

Genre: Adventure, Contemporary, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication:  May 2016 by Scholastic
Format: Paperback, 226 pages
Source: Author, Publisher
Connect: Website | Facebook | Goodreads
Fifteen-year-old Sula has always known she is different. Even though her parents have shown her nothing but love and acceptance, she sees her dark skin as a reminder of how she doesn’t fit in with the rest of her family.

What’s worse is she also feels that her parents are hiding something from her. After getting expelled from school, Sula reluctantly goes to stay with her mother’s friends. There she unexpectedly finds herself on a journey of self-discovery — a journey that keeps drawing her to the sea. Sula must not only figure our her parents’ secret, but also just how different, and possibly magical, she really is.


Sula has always been different than her parents. She often wondered why her skins are darker than her family. Because of her difference, it was hard for her to fit in with her schoolmates and the rest of her family. When Sula's father went away to further his career, Sula and her mother headed to Puerto Galera and stayed with her mother's friend. There, Sula began to learn about herself. What makes her different and special.

I enjoyed the book. The story flowed really well. I love the elements of fantasy and mystery in the book. I love Sula. She's one of the girls who always got bullied at school, and that made her stronger. I love the way Sula and her parent's dealt with the school. The side characters were really great and memorable. I especially love Pablo and Mira.

Sula's Voyage is definitely a page turner. I enjoyed reading about Philipines and its culture. The truth about Sula and her family was what I have expected, but still, I truly enjoyed Sula's adventure to self-discovery. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#BookReview The Goodbyes by Leslie Welch

The Goodbyes
by Leslie Welch

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publication:  Published July 12th, 2016 by Blue Moon Publishers
Format: ebooks. 226 pages
Source: ARC, Netgalley
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Since he was thirteen years old, rockstar Webb Turner pined for Bree, the enigmatic girl across the street. He captured her in his songs, but never in his orbit. His lyrics about her propelled Webb's band to superstardom, but his fame came with the price of finding real love.

When he discovers that Bree is dying, Webb leaves a stadium full of adoring fans to be at her side. As a blizzard batters the east coast, will Webb succeed in his fight against the storm and the mistakes of his past for a chance to say one last goodbye?


If I was judging this book by its cover, I'd say that this is a thriller read. But it's not. The Goodbyes is a story of love, self-discovery and growing up. The story is told in Webb Turner's point of view. Webb received word that Bree, the girl across the street that he love is dying. He abandoned everything and rushes home to be with her. Along the journey home, Webb is having a flashback on his relationship with Bree. 

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. Mainly because of most of the rockstar in books I read always acted like an ass. I'm just glad that Webb isn't like that. He's more down to earth kind of a rockstar.

Webb and Bree's relationship is a rollercoaster of emotion. I get frustrated at their relationship sometimes. A part of me wanted them to be together, and another part of me don't. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their relationship and what made them who they are at the present. What I really love about the book is the unexpected ending. I'm just glad that the book end with a happy ending.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#BookReview : The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything
by Tiffany McDaniel

Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Fiction
Publication:  July 26th, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Format: ebooks
Source: ARC
Connect: WebsiteGoodreads
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him.

As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be.

While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.


I have to admit that I wasn't so sure about reading this one. I mean, the synopsis sounds great, but, The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel is not the kind of book I usually pick to read. But I do think that reading this is definitely a good change of pace. 

Fielding Bliss remembered the summer of 1984 in Breathed, Ohio. The weather is scorched and that's when a boy , Sal appeared from nowhere, claiming that he's a devil. The book was written in Feilding's perspective. Because this isn't the type of book I usually pick up, I was a bit worried about how the story going to turn. The story grabbed me with the first few chapters. After that, I was a bit lost with the story at first with how some of the chapters went away from the year of 1984. But, after a while, I got used to how the story was written.

I enjoyed reading about the Bliss family and the rest of Breathed residences. There's no denying that Tiffany McDaniel is good with words. I thought the pace of the story was a bit slow, but the way the book was written beautifully keep me engage towards the end. I thought that I was going to read a book about the Devil. But, The Summer that Melted Everything isn't really about the Devil. It was more than that. I can't really say anything much without giving the story away, so, you will have to read the book to know what the book is all about.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BookReview: The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

The Goat Children
by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication:  March 23rd, 2016 by CHBB Publishing
Format: ebooks
Source: ARC
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
When Keziah’s grandmother, Oma, is diagnosed with dementia, Keziah faces two choices: leave her family and move to New Winchester to care for Oma, or stay in New York City and allow her grandmother to live in a nursing home miles away.

The dementia causes Oma to be rude and paranoid, nothing like the woman Keziah remembers. Each day becomes a greater weight and love a harsher burden. Keziah must keep Oma from wandering off or falling, and try to convince her grandmother to see a doctor as her eyesight and hearing fail, but Oma refuses to believe anything is wrong. Resentful of her hardships in New Winchester, Keziah finds herself drawn to Oma’s ramblings about the Goat Children, a mythical warrior class. These fighters ride winged horses, locating people in need while attempting to destroy evil in the world. Oma sees the Goat Children everywhere, and as Keziah reads the stories Oma wrote about them, she begins to question if they really exist.

I have previously read a few fantasy works from the author and I absolutely love them. I was a bit worried when I pick up this book because the story is a bit different than the author's other work, but I have to say that I'm glad this book didn't disappoint me. 

Keziah volunteered to look after her Oma who was diagnosed with dementia. It was hard for Keziah to look after Oma, especially since dementia caused Oma to be paranoid about things around her. When her Oma was in a better mood, she would tell Keziah about Goat Children, the mystical creatures.

Keziah loved her Oma and choose to stay with her Oma even though Oma treated her badly because of dementia. Keziah is a growing up teenager who should be experiencing a normal life with school, friends, and romance. But instead, she had to look after her Oma. I've never had to deal with anyone with dementia before, so I didn't know how it would be. But I sympathized with what Keziah had to go through. But still, it was nice to see how Keziah love her Oma. I love reading the memories Keziah had with her Oma back from when she was little.

The author did a great job in writing The Goat Children. The story is a bit slow at certain parts, but I love the pace. What I like about The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek is that there are bits of fantasy. The world of the Goat Children fascinates me. It sounds magical what with the wing horses and the fight to destroy evil. I think I wouldn't mind reading a book about the Goal Children if the author decided to write about them.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#Spotlight: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel - #Q&A

The Summer That Melted Everything
by Tiffany McDaniel

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Literary Fiction
Publication:  July 26th, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Connect: Website | Goodreads
Buy: Amazon
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
Q&A with Tiffany McDaniel

  1. Please introduce yourself and your book.
    I’m an Ohio poet and novelist who wants to live on the greenest summer leaf on the highest tree.

  2. How do you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?I always say the ideas come from the elements that make me. All those tiny little connections, all those big bangs, rippling my soul, crafting its edges and turning its center. Somewhere in that chaos and that impact, there’s an origin of the story. Whether it be a deep well or high mountain peak, the ideas exist there only to drift toward me like smoke I can’t grasp but can decipher. I know this answer is very dream-like, but to me, the craft of story itself is a dream.

  3. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    I wrote The Summer that Melted Everything in a month. I have eight completed novels and on average they took me about a month. One novel, Because of the Indians, I wrote in eight days. I’m still not sure how that happened. And another novel, When Lions Stood as Me, took about four months. It’s a novel that takes place during WW2 so there was more research involved and I had to be a bit more concrete with dating.

  4. How do you set up your book? Do you outline them first, or did you just spin the story?
    I never outline or pre-plan. I like the natural flow of allowing the characters and scenes to come out on their own. It’s like setting up a lantern on a dark porch and waiting for the moths to chatter around the light. I listen to that chatter, capture it, all the while the moths freely fly in their own good time.

  5. What did you like most about writing this book? 
    What I like about writing all my books is being introduced to the characters for the first time, falling in love with them, and feeling like I can never let them go, hoping I’ll never have to.

  6. What's the best thing that happened to you since becoming an author?
    It hasn’t happened yet. And that is when I’ll get to see my novel on the bookstore shelf for the first time. I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen and didn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine, so it was eleven years of rejection and fear I’d never get published. I honestly never believed I would. I know I’m very fortunate to be in the position I am, about to see my book on the shelf for the first time. I feel for those authors still on the journey to publication. To them, I say it will happen. Have faith that the best thing as an author is yet to happen to you too.

  7. Grade your book. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give the reason too.
    This is a dangerous question. If an author answers they’d give their own book five stars, they may appear over-confident or egotistical. But if an author rates their own novel too low, then why should a reader even bother reading it? So I’ll tiptoe around the danger and say I’ll leave the rating up to the readers who, in their fair and honest judgment, can best rate the novel.

  8. What are you working on right now?
    The novel I hope to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with is When Lions Stood as Men. It’s a story of a Jewish brother and sister who escape Nazi Germany, cross the Atlantic Ocean, and end up in Ohio of all places. Struggling with the guilt of surviving the Holocaust, they create their own sort of camp where they punish themselves, realizing in the end, it was each other they truly had to survive.

  9. Please say something to your readers.
    You readers have all the power. It’s not the agents or the editors or the publishing houses as a whole that determine a writer’s career. It’s the readers. Without readers buying books, there are no novelists to be had. Readers give meaning to an author’s words. So if you like a book, tell everyone you know. Be that book’s champion because if you do, you’re being a champion for the author herself. My only hope is that readers like what I’ve written. That they can count on me to deliver a story that is worth both their time and their hard-earned money. Nothing would make me happier than to know a reader has finished one of my books with the pleasure of having read it. That’s what I strive for as an author. To be someone’s favorite author as so many authors have been mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

#BookReview Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler

Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale 
(Seasons of the Sword #1)
by David Kudler

Genre: Historical, Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication:  June 15th, 2016 by Stillpoint
Format: ebooks
Source: NetGalley, Stillpoint Digital Press
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Can One Girl Win A War?

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan -- or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn't possibly have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?

I wasn't expecting much when I first read the book. I was afraid that it was going to be a letdown. But after reading Risuko, I have to say that I'm impressed with this book. I think the author did a very good job in writing the book with a strong heroine and magical world of the Kunoichi. 

Kano Murasaki or Risuko was a child who grew up without her father. She was taken away from her family and was brought to a school. She was a likable character. She's strong and curious. She sounded a bit like a child now, but I have no doubt that she was going to grow up fine. The secondary characters made the story much more interesting. I love her friends and will be happy to see more of them. I'm excited to see Risuko and her friend grew as Kunoichi.

I was intrigued with the book after the first few chapters, although it slowed down a bit in the middle. It wasn't draggy, but slow. Soon, the story picked up its pace with a whole lot of action, mystery, secrets, and twists. The book was lacking in romance, but I'm fine with that because I truly enjoyed Risuko's growth within the story. I'm glad that there was going to be a continuation from this book. Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is definitely a one of the best historical fantasy book I've read.

I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for my review.

Monday, July 11, 2016

#BookReview All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Adult
Publication: 28 Jun 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Format: ebooks
Source: NetGalley, Simon & Schuster
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

I was intrigued after reading the description. It was interesting to see how the story was going to be told backward, from the time Nicolette (Nic) Farrell returned home. All the Missing Girls tells the story of the disappearance of two missing girls, Corinne, Nic's best friend who disappeared years ago, and Annaleise, who went missing shortly after Nic's return to Cooley Ridge.

Cooley Ridge holds a few secrets with Corinne disappeared. When Annaleise too, went missing, shocking truths about Nic's family and friends resurfaced.

I was a bit worried about the story at first with how the story was told. I was afraid that it wouldn't make sense, but surprisingly, the story worked better with how it was told. I admit that the story was a bit confusing at the beginning. But after reading the book, I think the author did a great job with the storytelling. It was clever to write the story backward with each secret unraveled slowly as the story goes. In the end, I feel like I wanted to reread the story again - from the way it was written and from the correct chronology.

All the Missing Girls is definitely a great crime thriller read. The writing was brilliant. There's a lot of twists that I didn't see or expect. I just didn't know who to trust in the book. It was shocking to find out the truth about the missing girls. I will definitely look forward to the author's other books.

I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley & Simon & Schuster in exchange for my review.

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