Saturday, December 29, 2018

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker

A twisted family affair...


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


One night five years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.


๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


I've read reviews where they call the MC of a book an unreliable narrator, but I've never quite grasped what that means...until now, that is.  I think it's when they (the MC) is not giving you; the reader, all the information despite it being from their pov.  For instance, in this book, Cass doesn't give anything away, other than conveying that you "don't know the whole story".  Do I like this approach?  Maybe...my feelings are mixed on this.

This was an okay read, despite anti-climatic ending...nothing spectacular...but I mostly liked it.  The narrators were decent too.  The topic of narcissism was not only interesting but also something quite different and it felt well researched.  It was a worthwhile listen just for that alone.  Which is good because the characters were somewhat unlikable at best...and the rest were quite obnoxious, although, some of them were that way on purpose, for sure.

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE=B



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4/5
Main Characters⇝ 4/5 
Secondary Characters⇝ 3.7/5
The Feels⇝ 4/5
Pacing⇝ 4.2/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.7/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4/5
Originality⇝ 4.3/5
Ending⇝ 3.7/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It freaked me out at first, it kinda looks like an exorcism, because you have to look closely to see that her face is actually facing forward.
Narration⇝ ☆4.5☆ for Therese Plummer (as Abby) & Julia Whelan (as Cass)...they were both quite good and also had distinct voices.  I've listened to them both many times in many different books.
Setting⇝ Connecticut
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
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Friday, December 28, 2018

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Love the title...and I know everyone is hanging out without me, I see the evidence on my Facebook, after all...


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 



Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka



๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


I don't usually read many memoir type stories, and I really only listened to this because I needed a title that ends in a question mark.  I would say this more the musings of a comedian than a memoir, though.  I've never seen The Office or The Mindy Project, but I don't think that matters entirely, at least not to enjoy this.  I laughed out loud many times and if I didn't laugh, I at least smiled.  I can't really say anything bad about something that makes me laugh...

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 


3.7STARS - GRADE=B



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Pacing⇝ 4/5 
Addictiveness⇝ 3.5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.5/5
Did It Make Me Laugh⇝ 4/5
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Pretty...
Narration⇝ Mindy Kaling...It was good, I mean who else is going to narrate your book about your thoughts properly other than you???
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Bring Down the Stars by Emma Scott

I thought I knew early on...how this first book would end...but I was still surprised at the way it went down.


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow.

I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor-sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away.

But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them.


๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


I love Emma Scott's writing, her characters and their stories are always so palpable, so real.  Bring Down the Stars is no exception, either.  You will seriously love all of the main characters...Weston, Autumn, and Conner.  Ruby is also pretty likable as Autumn's roommate.  Their love triangle is a very traditional type of love-tri but it's depicted in a way that is so heartbreaking to read...which is why I didn't give this five stars...I struggled with reading this because it hurt to read that kind of anguish.  Weston's anguish gutted me.

I also received an eARC of the second book, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts and I plan to start that next, I don't think I can wait for too much longer than that to see how this all plays out. 


๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4/5 
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 4.3/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Oh yeah!
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's cute
Series⇝ Beautiful Hearts #1
Setting⇝ Amherst College (mostly)
Source⇝ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Bonus Feature:  The end of  the Audiobook has an illuminating interview between Rebecca Solar and Marissa Meyer


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 



Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.


Winter despises her stepmother and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.




๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


It took me forever to finish this series...and it's all because of this daunting book.  Seriously, this is like 23 hours long on Audio.  833 pages on kindle...but, hey I finally did it, and in December, no less, the busiest month all year long for me, and most everyone else.  Was it worth the 23 hours (technically more like 17 with the speed I listened on)  I spent on it...yeah, mostly.

While I liked Jacin fine, I wasn't especially fond of Winter, she has this naivety, almost child-like demeanor that kind of got on my nerves.  Thankfully, the story isn't always from her pov.  We have lots of different pov's in this final book of the quartet, not including Fairest and Stars Above...the novella's as MM calls them.  The ending of the climactic battle scene has a scene that had me thinking Cinder deserved to be dead for her blatant stupidity...but I can't say more, just in case someone out there hasn't read these books.  Overall, fav characters in this series will always be Carswell Thorne and Iko, but that seems to be the case with everyone.  If MM ever decides to do a spin-off series...I would love some adventures with Thorne...as long as Cress can grow a backbone, she can be involved too.


๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.2/5
Main Characters⇝ 4.5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4.5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4.5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's cool...
Narration⇝ ☆4☆ for Rebecca Solar, I didn't always like all her voices in this series, but honestly in this book that bothered me the least because this is from so many different perspectives.
Series⇝ Lunar Chronicles #4
Setting⇝ Luna
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
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Friday, December 14, 2018

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (reread/listen on Audio)

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?
Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.



๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


This series...I'm so sad that I'm completely done with it...bbbuuuttt...I'm happy I own all 3 books plus the audio versions so I can always read/listen to them again.  Because, Damn.

Check out that stellar full-cast list of narrators, below...it's quite the collection of voices, and they all make this phenomenal on Audio.  I'm going to keep this short and sweet and end with a...THANK YOU, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for an amazing journey.


   A Bookish Obsession Favorite   

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

5+STARS - GRADE=A++



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 5/5
Main Characters⇝ 5+/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5+/5
Pacing⇝ 5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5+/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5+/5
Ending⇝ 4.8/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Love them all...
Narration⇝ Olivia Taylor Dudley, Carla Corvo, Johnathan McClain, Lincoln Hoppe, MacLeod Andrews, Erin Spencer, Andrew Eiden, Lisa Cordileone, Matthew Frow, Olivia Mackenzie-Smith, Ryan Gessel, Vikas Adam, Sile Bermingham, Mike Chamberlin, Feodor Chin, Charlotte Cole, Kimberly Farr, Kaleo Griffith, Hillary Huber, JD Jackson, David Jung, Greta Jung, Joshua Kane, Jolene Kim, David H Lawrence XVII, Nick, Martorelli, Donnabella Mortel, PJ Ochlan, Ray Porter, Ray Shappell, Emily Woo Zeller, Dan Zitt 
Series⇝ Illuminae #3
Setting⇝ Deep Space and Kerenza
Source⇝ I Own Audible Audiobook
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Monday, December 10, 2018

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Please tell me if this gets better as the series goes on???


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.



๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


I've seen this series all over my feeds and I thought, I might as well try it, people seem to like it.  Well...I'm afraid that I didn't love and I'm not sure I even liked it.  Maybe it was due to the overly bland voice for the narration...I just couldn't stay focused on the story for anything.  It was too easy to tune it out, unfortunately.  I did have some moments where I almost kind of liked Murderbot, though...he was developing a sense of humor at least.  I just need to know, does it get better with the next book?


๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 


2.5STARS - GRADE=D+



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 2.5/5
Main Characters⇝ 3/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 2/5
The Feels⇝ 2.5/5
Pacing⇝ 2/5
Addictiveness⇝2/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 2.7/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 2.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 2.5/5
Originality⇝ 2/5
Ending⇝ 2.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Meh...it's fine, I guess.
Narration⇝ 2☆ for Kevin R. Free
Series⇝ The Murderbot Diaries #1
Setting⇝ Deep Space ???
Source⇝ Audiobook (Scribd)
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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Unloved by Katy Regnery

The wonderful characters more than make up for the implausible elements of the plot.

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


My name is Cassidy Porter...

My father, Paul Isaac Porter, was executed twenty years ago for the brutal murder of twelve innocent girls.

Though I was only eight-years-old at the time, I am aware - every day of my life - that I am his child, his only son.

To protect the world from the poison in my veins, I live a quiet life, off the grid, away from humanity.

I promised myself, and my mother, not to infect innocent lives with the darkness that swirls within me, waiting to make itself known.

It's a promise I would have kept...if Brynn Cadogan hadn't stumbled into my life.

Now I exist between heaven and hell: falling for a woman who wants to love me, while all along reminding myself that I must remain...

Unloved.


๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


At first, the narration took some getting used to, especially for Cassidy's voice, with his Maine accent.  Eventually, I did get used to it, which is probably due to the insane amount of love that I had for this guy.  The feels, OMG!  (Maybe, I was partial to Cassidy because I really love that name, after all, I named my daughter Cassidy.)

Seriously, I loved these characters, both Cassidy and Brynn pull at the heartstrings, and I was totally rooting for them...and then the twist at the end comes about and I kind of felt like it was a little too much to believe.  But all in all, I couldn't let it take my love for this story away.

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 


4.3STARS - GRADE=A-



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.2/5 
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4/5
The Feels⇝ 4.3/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.7/5
Originality⇝ 4/5
Ending⇝ 4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's a bleeding heart...for crying out loud.
Narration⇝ ☆4☆ for Maxine Mitchell & Joe Arden, I definitely liked the female voice more than the male voice.
Setting⇝ Mount Katahdin, Maine
Source⇝ Audiobook (Scribd)
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Friday, December 7, 2018

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Shaeffer

THE SOUTH AMERICAN SETTING IS JUST ONE OF THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE THIS SO UNIQUE...


๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏


Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Then her mom brings home a living specimen, and Nita decides she wants out. But there’s a problem: Nita herself is a supernatural being and a prime target for the black market if anyone ever found out. When Nita decides to help her mother's latest victim escape, she ends up taking his place instead. Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she needs to escape and make sure no one can ever sell her again. And to do that, there’s no line Nita won’t cross. 


๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


Not Even Bones is unlike any other paranormal book.  Nita is unlike any other heroine I've ever read, too.  It's kind of in a league of its own.  Some would classify this as YA, but I'm not one of them.

Sometimes paranormal or supernatural will read sort of like fantasy...but not this, it feels like a more realistic world where supernatural beings just exist, anywhere from a Unicorn to a Dolphin Girl.  It's super wild and freaky strange.  Then there this seedy underbelly where some will sell body parts of the supernatural beings...all I can say is this is one hell of a freaky AF ride.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot...this has a cliffhanger that will have you thinking...seriously, WTF!

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 


4.2STARS - GRADE=B+



๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.2/5
Main Characters⇝ 4.2/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4/5
The Feels⇝ 4/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Yes!
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ I like it.
Series⇝ Market of Monsters #1
Setting⇝ South America
Source⇝ Kindle eBook (Library)
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 


Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . . 

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .


๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 


A well deserved 5 stars.  The jump between two different time periods can be exceptionally difficult to follow, especially in audio format, but this book pulled it off flawlessly, despite having one narrator.  She had a different cadence to her voice for each of the MC's, and I was always able to know just whose timeline I was in throughout the entire story.  With a very intricately woven plotline, and dynamic characters, The Broken Girls is a must listen.  I found the way she worked the ghost into the story made this more of a realistic story with a splash of paranormal instead of a paranormal story with some realistic aspects added to it.  For me, this worked perfectly.


   A Bookish Obsession Favorite   

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 


☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+




๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 5/5
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's amazing actually
Narration⇝ ☆5☆ for Rebecca Lowman
Setting⇝ Barrons, Vermont
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
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