Bring Me Home Review

Bring Me Home by Bree Howland

Synopsis:

While Kailey was growing up, she was sure of two things:

1. She wanted to devote her life to helping animals.
2. She would never be without her best friend Cole Martin.

When her father had them pack up and move two provinces away two years before graduation, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under her.

Now she’s in college, finally pursuing her interest in veterinary medicine. Even better, Cole is at the same school. But Cole has changed and so has she. Gone was the innocence of childhood friendship and easy conversations.

Between new friends, unexpected feelings, and a road trip, Kailey’s first year in college will be more eye opening than she ever imagined.

Review

I LOVED this book. I want to start out by stating that I am usually not a romance reader, but this is a story that should be on everyone’s TBR list. It’s not cheesy and it will not make you roll your eyes into oblivion. It is a sweet story that will make you believe in love and happy endings. I binge read this book in one sitting because it was that good. I suggest curling up in a warm blanket and settling in while reading this book, because you will not want to put it down.

Kailey (Kail) and Cole are wonderful characters. Their friendship and love feel real and in no way forced. All of Howland’s characters have great chemistry. You can picture yourself in college along side Kail and her friends and you can easily fit into the friend’s adventures and witty banter.

This is a beautifully written story that will leave you wanting completely satisfied. There’s friendship, true love, cute animals, and an atmosphere of pure delight. Whether you’re an avid reader of romance stories or a fair weather fan, you will find something in the story to connect to or believe in. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Rating: 5/5

I received this ARC from the author, Bree Howland, in exchange for an honest review

Bring Me Home will be available on January 1, 2019 

Preorder Links!

*Bring Me Home is also available on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author

Bree Howland lives in Atlantic Canada with her husband and two fur children, two finicky felines. When she’s not working, her life revolves around reading, writing and taking care of her foster cats. You will more than likely find her curled up somewhere quiet with a book or scrolling aimlessly through Twitter.

Be sure to check out Bree’s website and social media pages: Website; Twitter: Instagram; Goodreads

Fortunate Felines Rescue

If the story alone is not enough to convince you to buy and read this book, all proceeds from Bring Me Home go to the Fortunate Felines Rescue. If you would like more information about this organization, check out their Facebook or Instagram pages. 

Be sure to check out all posts on the Bring Me Home Blog Tour!
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The Darkest Star

The Darkest Starby Jennifer L. Armentrout

“That was what I wanted at some point in my life, for someone to look at me like I looked at tacos.”


Synopsis:

In the aftermath of the Lux war that changed the face of the Earth, there is still a stark divide between humanity and Lux, an alien race inhabiting the planet. As tensions rise in a small town, a string of murders take the town by surprise. The murders are suspiciously supernatural and the bodies are left where they are sure to be found. Seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher must decide what secrets are worth keeping and which ones she’s willing to share with those closest to her. As Evie gets mixed up with the Luxen, and a new guy, Luc, in her life, she questions everything she’s ever known. In a race to find answers, Evie and her friends are met with new threats and more questions at every turn.

 

Characters:

The characters are brilliant and dynamic, each in their own ways. As a reader, you know something is amiss about some of the characters and their physical traits. But we’re not told until well into the storyline the mystery we keep guessing at.

Luc is a mysterious bad boy with captivating violet eyes. He is tough, powerful, and everyone seems to be afraid or at least apprehensive of him. But there is more to Luc than meets the eye.

Evie is a painfully naïve teenager who gets more than she bargained fro when she joins her best friend, Heidi, at a club in town. This club, Forsaken, is special because this club allows humans and Luxen to intermix without judgment. But Evie’s life changes the moment she walks through the big red doors.

Sylvia & Jason are Evie’s parents, but both held secrets from her. Jason died during the war, and Evie and her mother moved

The rest of Evie’s friends fit into categories we know, without being a boring sterotype. You have the overprotective, semi-jealous friend, James. James is leery of Luc and everything unraveling, but he’s still supportive of Evie. April is loud and brash, quick to jump to her own conclusions even without having all of the facts. Zoe is calm and open-minded, and will do anything to ensure Evie’s safety. Heidi and Emery are more free-spirited, but both know more than they let on.

 

Review:

As a caveat: it has been quite some time since I’ve read a book by Armentrout. I forgot that I read part of the Luxen series until I read this book. However, I don’t think that reading the original series is a requirement to enjoy this spin-off series, as the characters in the Origin Series are not main characters in the original series.

I immensely enjoyed this book. While parts of the writing style read like the way a teenager would speak, I think this adds to the main character’s internal dialogue. You genuinely become immersed in Evie’s thoughts and the world in which she is living. Yet, Armentrout is still not predictable. The Darkest Starwill take you on an adventure of twists and turns. Once you think you have it all figured out, you’re thrown another curve ball. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

 

 

Rating: 4/5

**I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Darkest Star will be available on October 30, 2018 by Tor Teen Publishers.

 

Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Synopsis: Jesse Holmes lost her mother two years ago. Now, her father eloped with a woman he met online and up and moved his family from Chicago to California. Jesse is forced into a new life and a new school, Wood Valley High School. That’s not the only weird thing that happens, Jesse receives an anonymous email from someone at her school under the screen-name of Somebody Nobody (SN). This mysterious guy turns into Jesse’s “spirit guide” at school. As Jesse navigates the waters of her junior year, SN helps Jesse discover what truly matters to her. All the while, Jesse is determined to learn more about SN and who he is.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. I will say that there are a lot of cliche’s in this book, the hot blonde California stereotypes are strong in this high school settling. And Jesse is supposed to be like a “breath of fresh air” who catches the eye of the most popular guy. But, you know that’s the kind of story you’re getting into from the beginning. The emails are also a way to get to know this cool mysterious guy from another angle.

This book is not subtle, it is in your face and melodramatic. I like this about it because I genuinely laughed out loud at how ridiculous some of the situations are. This is not a realistic tale of someone moving from the Midwest and being forced into a Hollywood glamour lifestyle. In the first chapters, we discover just how ridiculous and painfully self-absorbed Jesse’s new stepmother is. And how loud, cruel, and stuck up the students are at the high school.

A small part of me hopes that this book is a means to make us laugh at how badly self-absorbed we can all be in the Internet age. Because these are not serious characters. They are outlandish and take stereotypes too far, from the hatred of costal elites to the need to fit in and be as skinny as possible. If you take it with a grain of salt, you’ll likely find this book funny. And you’ll probably love the ending–I know I did!

Rating: 4/5

Undead Girl Gang

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Synopsis:

Mila Flores loses her best friend and her whole world is ripped open. Everyone is saying Riley committed suicide, but Mila knows her best friend better than that. Riley would never commit suicide. It is also strange that two popular mean girls committed suicide in the same week. Mila sets out to prove that her best friend was not at fault and an investigation should be opened. Before Riley died, her and Mila dabbled in witchcraft. Shortly after Riley’s death, some mysterious book arrives with spells from the occult. It’s the kind of witchcraft the girls have never engaged in, but Mila takes it as a sign. She decides to resurrect her best friend and discover the cause of the three gruesome deaths.

Review:

This is the perfect fall read! It will put you in the mood for Halloween and make you wish you were sitting in a park wrapped in a warm sweater watching leaves blow around you. This is a tale of conjuring the dead and girl power. Strange friendships are formed between the undead and Mila.

June and Dayton are classic “mean girls” before their deaths. But after their resurrection, they learn that popularity is fragile. Both girls have secrets that they have kept to themselves and don’t want to get out. But as their time as the undead winds down, each girl must face up to the facts. If they don’t tell their truths, the mystery of their deaths will go unsolved.

The foursome forms the “undead girl gang” as an unlikely connection between Mila, June, Dayton, and Riley begins to grow. June and Dayton quickly become more likable and light-hearted instead of the stuck up girls they used to be. Riley is also different in the afterlife, she cannot remember what happened prior to her death and she’s not happy to be back. Mila learns to open her heart and tasks risk for the love of her best friend.

While this is a cute story, it is a little predictable. I guessed the “bad guy” in the first third of the book, and believe most people will see the final twist. Especially because Lily Anderson leaves some small hints scattered throughout. However, this story is enjoyable and light hearted.

If you’re looking for a story of witchcraft and strong friendships (both new and old) with a sprinkle of young love then this is the story for you! There is not a strong romance aspect, the majority of this novel focuses on the girl gang. I highly recommend this novel and think it should be added to your fall TBR (to be read) list.

Rating: 4/5

Royals

Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Synopsis:

Daisy Winters is used to living in her sister’s shadow. Her big sister, Ellie, is dating the prince of Scotland. Ellie’s face is plastered all over magazines and online tabloids follow her life closely. Daisy is used to her sister being in the spotlight and living her own life in the shadows. But once Ellie announces a royal engagement, she encourages Daisy to come join her in Scotland to keep the media frenzy at bay. However, both Ellie and Daisy get more than they bargained for during Daisy’s stay in Scotland.

 

Review:

This story is one cliché after the next. The storyline is predictable, there are no twists or turns you cannot see coming. Both the dialogue and characters are flat. I found myself skimming parts of the book wishing for some action or adventure.

Prince Sebastian and his “boys” are supposed to be shrouded in scandal. I expected some kind of mischief or just general debauchery, but no such things happened. The inside cover promised scandal and boasted about how it followed the Prince, but that is nowhere to be found in this story. There are some “oops moments” but nothing we have not seen in movies or shows before. I feel like Prince Sebastian and his crew is an amateur Gossip Girl.

There are some cute and feel good moments in this book. You do still root for Daisy and Miles and hope for the best. But the build of their relationship is too slow to keep your interest. There are no strong character connections and the arcs are too flat to care. I honestly mixed up the names of Sebastian’s friends because they were all interchangeable to me. No individual stood out enough to make a name for himself.

Take this book at face value: it’s a romantic comedy about a girl getting integrated into royal society to appease her soon-to-be-princess big sister and falling in love with a Scottish guy of her own. If you enjoy a simple story and a tale of quick romance, this is the book for you!

 

Rating: 2.5/5

 

Love & Luck

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

In the spinoff from the 2016 hit from Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Luck is an adorable tale of letting go and realizing who you have and keep in your life your life makes all the difference.

Addie is a young teen who is learning to live without her best friend, Lina. Lina moved to Italy and left Addie to fend for herself in her final years of high school. She winds up in Ireland because her aunt is getting married and must be in line for the picture-perfect wedding. After the wedding, she wants to travel to Italy to spend time with her best friend because Lina will know how to fix all of her problems. But nothing seems to be going Addie’s way. She has a secret she’s keeping from her mother, best friend, and everyone else. The only person who knows is her brother, Ian.

Ian pushes Addie to confess her secret before it blows up in her face, but she’s not ready to face the potential fallout. Instead, the two siblings fight and bicker. And their fighting threatens to ruin their aunt’s wedding. Their mother gives them an ultimatum. Ian and Addie have to get along in Ireland and then in Italy or both kids are off of their respective sports teams. This pushes Addie to behave. However, Ian has other plans.

Instead of going to Italy, Ian wants to go on a brand band-tour of Italy in anticipation a giant music festival. Addie is torn, should she ignore her brother and continue onto Italy without him? Or should she stay and make sure Ian doesn’t cause more trouble.

Addie learns that letting go of her problems at home is easier with a little help from friends, both new and old, as well as an old guidebook called “Introduction to Ireland for the Heartbroken: Unconventional Guide to the Emerald Isle.” Within the guidebook, Addie finds helpful tips and exercises to let go of grief. And lucky for Addie, most of the spots the author recommends line up with the stops that Ian wants to make as well.

I adored this story. I might have a bit of a bias because I love all things Ireland. But the connection that Welch creates between Addie and Ian is the perfect sibling relationship. There’s a little bit of rivalry, some protective big brother moments, but ultimately the two come together and their friendship is beautiful. It was also great to see some characters from Love & Gelato. We are faintly aware of the Lina and Addie friendship in the first book, but this one fills some gaps we weren’t aware of in the first novel. However, I do not think that reading one book is not a requirement for picking up the other. I do recommend this novel and it is a great read if you want to escape to Ireland!

Rating: 4/5

The Extinction Trials

The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

This book was an impulse buy for me. I saw the cover, the sticker that said this book is a mix between Jurassic Park and the Hunger Games, and I jumped at the chance to pick this book up. Not only did this book meet my expectations (and the description) but it surpassed them as well.

The Extinction Trials is a gripping tale. In a world that is quickly running out of resources, the powers that be look beyond their land to a territory that is overrun with primitive animals. Time and time again, champions have been sent to Piloria to collect data about the animals on the land and report back. However, most champions are not given the luxury of coming home. But now, the scientists believe they have found a solution and all that is need is dinosaur DNA. Who will be the one to go and retrieve the DNA? Will they make it back alive? Are there other dangers that the scientists aren’t telling the champions?

The story goes between the point of view of Lincoln and Stormchaser (Storm). The story is further split into several parts: the lives of Lincoln and Storm before the trials, the trials themselves, and the island of Piloria.

Lincoln has decided to enter the trials because he needs to money and rations that come with being a winner. Lincoln’s younger sister is dying and is in dire need of medical attention. While his mother can only do so much. Lincoln is the only hope his family has. And he will do whatever it takes to become a champion. Storm, on the other hand, is not sure why she entered the trials. As first, she was excited about eating well. But as the trials progress, she realizes she’s good and could possibly be the champion.

Once on Piloria, all of the trial champions are tested time and time again. The dinosaurs are vicious, they have little supplies, and their designated tasks are deadly. No one trusts each other, as most people have a hidden agenda. Not only are the animals dangerous, but so is the terrain. One wrong step, and you could die. Things are hidden in swamps, cliffs are abrupt, and the dense forest is riddled with secrets. Storm and Lincoln fight for their lives in a living nightmare.

S. M. Wilson has created a wonderful world full of danger—both human and animal. While some of the characters are not entertaining, they are dynamic. We learn what drives each champion; most want to help their families, some just want the fame and notoriety, while Storm wants to learn more about the animals on Piloria. The Extinction Trialsis a quick and gripping read. And one of the best takes on “dinosaur books” I have seen in quite a while.

Rating: 4.5/5

Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“To really be a nerd…you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”


Cather and her twin sister, Wren, are off to college and being separated for the first time. Wren has decided to request a roommate who is not her sister and becomes paired with Courtney. Cather is reluctantly paired with Reagan. Both girls have different college experiences and grow over their first year of college. And each sister’s roommate helps to shape their college experiences in different ways.

Fangirl primarily follows Cather in her quest to become a writer. Cather is the creator of a well-known Simon Snow fan-fiction. Her fans are all over the world and hang on her every word. But Cather is locked in a race to finish the fan-fic before the final book of the Simon Snow series is released. Cather struggles between what it means to be her own fiction writer and wanting to focus on her fan-fic writing.

Cather retreats into her fan-fiction and often loses herself in the characters. But, when Cather loses touch with her sister and her own life she struggles to return to the characters she knows and loves. Even more difficult, she struggles to write her own stories as she does not understand that the fan-fiction she is writing does not contain her own characters.

Cather comes face to face with problems she never thought she would experience and old troubles that are still haunting her. She struggles to finish her first year of college in the wake of the aftermath of her sisters problems and her father’s issues. She is also introduced to Levi and doesn’t know how to separate fictional feelings from real ones at time. So she introduces Levi to the fictional world she has fallen in love with.

In a story of first love, new friendships, and family drama, Rainbow Rowell creates characters that the reader grows to love and connect with. Anyone who has ever gotten lost in a fictional world or story will understand Cather’s love of Simon Snow and the magical world he comes from. Most of us have had out own “fangirl” moments, so Cather’s obsession with Simon is not something so far removed. I adored this story and Rowell’s writing. This is a beautifully written story that any fan of young adult fiction would love.

Rating: 4/5

Fates

Fates by Lanie Bross

“Only love is eternal, remember that.”

Fates is a story about young Corinthe who was sent to Earth as a punishment. She must collect the souls of the departed and return them to the sea so that they can make their way across the galaxy and fulfill their destiny. Corinthe’s final mission is to kill Lucas Kaller to fuilfill her own destiny so that she can return home to Pyralis Terra.

There is some romance, turmoil, and action but nothing that is too exciting. Everything in this book seems to fall short. From the short-lived romance, to the flat characters, and hastily described new worlds. You will likely walk away from this book feeling unimpressed because this is not a memorable story.

The first half of the book is tolerable. There is world building, character building, we want Corinthe to succeed and return home but then the “twist” in this book is a total turn off. Not only can you see it coming long before it’s revealed, but the villain isn’t even a complex one. This book had the making of becoming something beautiful. I was hopeful even. But the “one must live so the other must die” narrative is overdone and this is not a new story.

I did not like this book. The promise of traveling through different worlds was what hooked me initially, but I could not get into this book. This book is a giant cliché. It is the epitome of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, and then boy and girl have a quarrel and must work together to save the world.

The characters are un-relatable and there seem to be too many competing storylines fighting for attention. You have Corinthe vs. Lukas, Corinthe’s keeper and her ultimate goals, Lukas’s sister fighting for her life, and then Corinthe and Lukas vs. the universe. I felt myself rolling my eyes for the entire second half of this book. I cannot recommend this book and do not care enough about the characters or the storyline to continue this series.

Rating 2/5

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