Book Review: Unspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett

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Title: Unspeakable
Author: Michelle K. Pickett
Published: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”

On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of.

She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just…but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choice. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.

When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe?

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I feel a little weird saying that I really enjoyed this book considering the subject matter. That out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. The story is well written, the characters are engaging and have strong, solid voices. Willow really stood out for me and I really love how she grew and changed as the story progressed-it was refreshing to see her find her own footing and stand up for herself. Brody is a great character and he really works well with Willow. I love their relationship and how it changes both of them and really pushes Willow to stand on her own.

There were a few instances where I was a little skeptical of the authenticity of the story. Medical professionals are trained to recognize abuse, as are teachers, and most adults would question the amount of bruises/’accidents’, and injuries Willow happens to have. A few scenes slipped past me as well, as some of the abuse happened in front of witnesses. I understand Jaden’s hold on the school and student body, but someone would have spoken up at some point–and that could have been really interesting to explore. That being said, I did like how Willow didn’t instantly become able to stand on her own simply because Brody came into her life. It took time for her to be able to speak up, to do something other than suffer at the hands of her tormentors.

Overall: pink3 A well written, thoughtful read with memorable characters. I will be picking up more from this author.

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Marie Landry Cover reveal!


Title: Something in the Air
Author: Marie Landry
Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Synopsis:
Her life hasn’t gone as planned, but she’s about to realize that sometimes the best things happen when you stop expecting life to be a certain way…

When Rose Morgan put off her college plans to help her mother through a difficult time, she thought it would just be a bump in the road of her journey. She got a job to help pay the bills and started picking up the slack at home. But three years later, her bumpy ride hasn’t smoothed out yet, and Rose feels stuck. She’s working at a job she hates and living with a manipulative mother. She’s tired of feeling like her life has stalled, tired of the resentment and anger building inside her with each passing day.

Then Declan Connelly appears in her life, and even though the hot Irishman is seriously tempting, Rose is determined not to let him in. She’s afraid to suck anyone into her bizarre life, especially someone who seems too charming for his own good. She soon learns there’s more to Declan than his sexy accent and charismatic personality, though. He’s a good man, and he wants Rose in his life, baggage and all. He’s got his own, and he isn’t scared away like she originally feared he would be.

Everything in Rose’s life is changing quickly. It’s finally her time–time to figure out what she wants and what her future holds. Time to get swept off her feet and not fight it. But when her plans might take her away from all the amazing new things in her life, including Declan, Rose has to make a choice. Is she willing to chase her dreams, even if it means letting go of love?

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Messed Up and Magic Blitz post.


Title: Messed Up and Magic
Author: Holly Stone
Published:July 13, 2015

Synopsis:
Friday nights are about fish and chips, not finding sexy boys on your doorstep, particularly when the boy in question seems so lost.

Jack’s been Amy’s customer for years so they’re not exactly strangers, but he’s stunned when he finds himself homeless and she offers him a place to stay.

Amy’s desperate for change. Fed up with fulfilling her father’s expectations, she’s struggling to see a way out without letting him down. Suddenly faced with more issues than she can cope with, Amy turns to Jack for comfort. But as they get closer, and Jack’s troubles get deeper, he’s reluctant to make promises he can’t keep.

One lonely boy, trying to do the right thing.
One girl used to pushing her dreams aside.
Two hearts struggling with life and love.
Things are about to get all kinds of MESSED UP and MAGIC.

Book Review: More than Music by Elizabeth Briggs


Title: More than Music
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Published: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Createspace.
Disclosure: I was sent this book by the author because it is ‘damaged’. It was a gift, all opinions are my own.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

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This was an adorable, quick, fun little read. It took me on a wild and fantastical romp. I really got into Maddie’s head, and loved her story. It’s something that I’ve secretly always wanted to do–somehow get whisked away by my favorite band and play and tour with them. Plus, who hasn’t had a crush on a musician? Jared is one of those characters that I love to hate. He’s a good guy with a bad reputation of being a heartbreaker. What I did really love about Maggie and Jared’s courtship is while there’s intense chemistry between the two, there are just as many bumps and misunderstandings. It’s very natural rather than the two of them just falling into bed together and everything working out right away.

I love the support cast, and was really happy to find out there’s a novella about Kyle, and books planned for the other characters. In fact, according to goodreads the second book will be out soon, so I won’t be kept in suspense for too long. The main plot point revolving around the band on a reality tv show The Sound, very similar to the Voice. It was a neat twist on things, and the drama of the show really kept the story going. It added a few twists and turns, and in the end, really created something spectacular for Maddie and the rest of Villain Complex.

Overall: pink4 Looking for a swoony, rockstar day dream romance? Read this. The characters have scorching chemistry and the story moves quick with a great ending.

Book Blitz! Take Them by Storm by Marie Landry

Take Them By Storm (Angel Island #3)

 

Release Date: 01/06/15
Summary from Goodreads:
This book is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm. The books do not need to be read together or in order, but please note that this synopsis contains mild spoilers for After the Storm.
Sadie Fitzgerald has always been different, and not just because she makes her own clothes and would rather stay home watching Doctor Who than party with kids her age. When it’s time to leave Angel Island for college, Sadie is eager to put her old life behind her. Small-minded people and rumors have plagued her for years, but with the love of her adoptive family, the O’Dells, Sadie has learned to embrace who she is. Now she’s not afraid to admit the rumors about her are true: she’s gay.
For the first time in her life, Sadie feels free to be herself. She dives into college life and begins volunteering at the local LGBT center, where she discovers her small-town upbringing left holes in her education about life outside Angel Island.
The world is a bigger and more accepting place than Sadie ever imagined. She’s finally found where she belongs, but with the reappearance of someone from her past, an unexpected new friendship, and a chance at love, Sadie soon realizes she still has a lot to learn about life, friendship, and love.

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Links:

Book in this series:

(cover linked to Goodreads)

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About the Author
Marie has the
best job in the world—one where she gets to make stuff up for a living and shamelessly
eavesdrop on everyone around her. She writes happily ever afters while dreaming
about the day she’ll have her own epic love story to tell. Most days you can
find her writing, reading, fantasizing about traveling the world, listening to
U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her
nephews and niece. 

For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca.
She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her
@SweetMarie83 any time!

Author Links:
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Book Review: Every Breath by Ellie Marney


Title: Every Breath
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Tundra Books.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft’s numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft’s passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn’t right–and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he’s busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion’s den–literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again…

picadillypink Where to begin? I am undeniably, head over heels for this book. It’s not fair for me to review it, because my review is going to be filled with lots of squeeing and whining that I need the second in my hands right.this.instant. And the fact that there’s a third book in the works? Sign me up for more please.

Okay, down to business. Every Breath is a strong, brilliantly crafted character driven novel. There is mystery, action, intrigue and good old fashioned sleuthing involved but the thing that drew me into this novel, and has me going crazy for the sequels? The characters. Mycroft and Watts are two of the most tangibly written characters I’ve come across, and it’s damn near perfect. They’ve been friends for a few months, and we’re dropped right into the middle of their friendship. It’s real, believable–not forced, nothing strained. There’s no in-jokes that we’re supposed to somehow figure out on our own. Their friendship is real. Watts bringing Mycroft supper because she knows he forgets to eat is something that stuck with me early on in the book. They take care of each other in the only ways that they know how to. There is a spark between them, that is more than friendship, but doesn’t detract from the original relationship that they have with each other. Speaking of chemistry, these two have it in spades, and I very much want to smoosh them together and declare everything happy and sunshine and kittens.

The plot is carefully constructed, unfolding as the story progresses nicely. The pacing is really great, not too slow, and not giving everything away all at once. It’s subtle storytelling at it’s best and it’s something that I really love in a mystery book. Coming back to the characters, I really love what Ms. Marney did, in keeping the teenage aspect to it. They’re disturbed and rattled by the murder of Mycroft’s friend. They make mistakes, they have nightmares, they’re shaken and rattled by things that they discover. They’re smart kids, but the base of it is, they are kids. Their investigation is their own, and they figure things out without it coming off as contrived or handed to them.

There are parallels to Sherlock Holmes-don’t let that deter you from reading this book/series. Every Breath is that good. It’s quickly become one of my favorite books that I’ve read, and it’s one that I’m going to have a very hard time restraining myself from literally throwing it at people and going “READ THIS”. (Yes, I have done this before, and it’s more common than I’d like to admit.) These characters are their own beasts, and their story is beautifully written and unique.

Overall If I could give this more than five umbrellas I could. If I could read the next two books in the series right this instant I would. Read this book. Read it and come and talk to me about it. *Thank you Tundra Books for gifting me a copy of Every Breath.

Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

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Peter Pan is not one of my favorite stories from childhood. Which surprises me considering how much I was drawn to, and loved this book. I picked this up from the library, intrigued and focused on it because I’ve seen it pop up on a couple of people’s blogs. I’m really glad I took a chance on this book. It’s a beautiful interpretation of the Peter Pan story that we all know.

I am so very much in love with Anderson’s writing. It’s dreamy and ethereal, almost effortless in its descriptiveness and pacing. I adore the way the characters are presented, and the story they tell. There’s a darkness to the characters, secondary motivations.

Tiger Lily is presented as a wild child who lives on the fringes of her own people, an orphan raised by the shaman on the tribe. She has one true friend within the tribe, the misunderstood Pine Sap. She’s ostracized and mistrusted. Betrothed to the tribe bully, she’s forced to yield to Giant’s whims, and the whims of his mother. It’s heartbreaking to see the shift in Tiger Lily as she momentarily gives in.

Anderson’s choice to have Tinkerbell narrate this story at first seemed strange, but the more I read and the further the story progressed the more sense it made. Tinkerbell is an observer, who watches Tiger Lily and eventually Peter Pan when the three interact together. The love story between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan is heartbreaking and real. It’s a slow build both unsure of themselves, and the darkness they harbor. The characters are so great, so engaging and complex. The villains are villains fro a reason, and they’re much more twisted than anything Disney has come up with. Smee will give me nightmares for a few nights to come. The Lost Boys are brilliantly introduced and written. Each has a distinctive voice and way of interacting with Pan, Tiger Lily and eventually Wendy. Peter and Wendy follow in their path, falling in love with each other. Tiger Lily left behind, along with Tinkerbell as Wendy becomes such an integral part of Peter’s life.

This is a re-imagination of the story of Peter Pan rather than a retelling. I love the characters, and the almost tangible loneliness, despite all of them being surrounded by others. Darkness of character is a strong theme in this story, and it’s refreshing to see such human qualities to characters from fairy tales. Anderson creates such lush characterizations that I found it so easy to fall in love with them all. There’s real emotion written into the pages, and I need to own this book. I like the idea of Neverland being an island that’s nearly impossible to reach by the normal people. The ending is fitting and tragically beautiful.

I think this quote sums the book up rather perfectly: “”Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”

Overall: pink4 A wonderful re-imagination of a childhood classic. Worth picking up, I highly recommend this.