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These Words Tell a Story...

I am the author of the Amazon bestselling young adult post apocalyptic novel, PODs. 

"Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others gargle."


Lengths - Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt I don’t know what I expected when I started reading Lengths, but it sure wasn’t that it would blow me away. I loved the book. It’s that simple. It is an awesome story of guilt, learning to forgive oneself, the power of love, and learning to accept and rely on the people who love you for who you are—faults and all. Even when the faults you think you have aren’t really faults at all.

The writing style was excellent. I loved it. It fit the characters personalities and I could picture them through the prose the authors used. The dual points of view between Whit and Deo was nicely done and I enjoyed seeing things from both perspectives, especially Deo’s.

Deo, oh wow. He was something. I laughed out loud several times at him. He’s cocky, but in a way that you can’t help but love him. He’s charming and lovable and he has faults like any other person does. He relatable and likable—and oh so hot. Deo was one of my favorites in the book. Did I mention he was hot? Because he was. Hot. Like, everything about him…the whole package. You know the saying: “All that and a bag of chips?” Well, Deo had all that and a bag of chips…and the chip dip to go with it. Yum.

Whit. She’s tortured and drowning in guilt and shame and won’t let anyone in. But the authors wrote her character well because she doesn’t come off as whiney and irritating like some characters would. Even with her many faults and the things she did that made me want to slap her upside the head, she’s still likeable and I found myself rooting for her. I wanted her to find peace.

Deo’s mother is a secondary character in the book and I love that we get to see a lot of her because, man, is she a trip. I loved her. She was probably one of my favorites. She had me laughing out loud several times.

Deo’s grandfather and his pistachios kind of reminded me of my dad. I liked him, too. Especially how fiercely he loved his wife. It was so sweet.

The book was just full of characters that jumped off the page and pulled you into their world. They were so well written and had personalities of their own, problems and faults of their own. They were just outstanding. I can’t say enough about the characters in Lengths; they were just amazing.

Lengths was definitely a book worth my time to read—and I have very limited time to devote to reading so I’m very picky.

Lengths gets FIVE stars all the way. (Deo gets ten!)
Anomaly - Krista McGee As anyone who’s read my reviews already knows (and is most likely sick to death of hearing), I am huge on first sentences of books. I base a lot of my decision to read or not to read a book on that one small sentence. Right or wrong, there it is. And Anomaly had a killer first sentence. Score one for Ms. McGee—she had me at hello, to quote a really over used line (I hear you all groaning.)

The second thing Anomaly had going for it was the plot. I loved the concept—a world without emotions. Could human beings live with emotions taken out of the equation? Could emotions be bred out of us? Can we be taught not to wonder why? Not to question, but only do what is expected of us without thought? That’s the question raised in this science/fiction, dystopian novel.

Thalli finds that she, in fact, is not able to live a life without questioning the things that go on around her. Why does she have to do this at exactly this time on this day? When it’s discovered that she is behaving inappropriately, it is decided that she must be disposed of. Well, I don’t like to give away too much of a book’s story line away in my reviews so I’ll just leave it at—someone intervenes and she is given a reprieve from execution…but the question is, for how long?

I really enjoyed Anomaly. It has a very heavy religious aspect to it that may turn off some readers, but I feel works well in a dystopian world when we are supposed to be transported to a place where belief and traditions are far different than our own.

I had a slight disconnect with the story because I felt there was too much exposition (hence the 4 stars). I would have liked far less of that. Otherwise, I found Ms. McGee’s Anomaly quite enjoyable and highly recommend it.

Anomaly is full of suspense, twists and turns and is an unpredictable read.

**I received an ARC of this title in exchange for my unbiased review.
Searching for Someday - Jennifer Probst I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

I really enjoyed “Searching for Someday”—much more than I thought I would. I primarily read young adult and new adult books since those are the genres I write, but this was a nice change up.

I really loved the idea of the "touch" and the matchmaking company combined. It was a cute idea and the author pulled it off wonderfully without making it too cheesy.

I liked the characters, although sometimes I found Kate's interactions with Slade a little too uppity, but it really fit the story so it was easy to overlook and I still loved Kate. She seems to have it altogether, but she has issues that run deep. She’s loving and loyal to her friends and she has a huge heart, and we see that in her relationship with Robert. Robert was one of my favorite “people” and his and Kate’s relationship was a great one and held a lot of meaning in the story; it was very touching.

Slade is cocky and a little arrogant. Mostly in a swoony way, but not always. He has an ego to match the six-pack he’s rockin’. I liked him a lot. He made me giggle a few times. But he’s got depth beyond the cocky, lady-killer exterior. He’s fiercely loyal and protective of those he loves, and I think that’s what makes him so easy to like.

The secondary characters blew me away. I LOVED them. Usually secondary characters are shoved into the background and we see very little of them. That is somewhat true here, but the secondary characters play a bigger role in this book than most and I loved them all, especially Kate's mother. I wish she would have played a bigger role in the book. She was hilarious and completely zany. It was almost impossible not to fall in love with her. If I had to pick a flaw of “Searching for Someday” it would be that I wanted more of Kate’s mom.

Overall, I thought the writing was great. The character development was excellent. They were flawed and imperfect, just as people are. I rooted for the main characters even when I was so frustrated with them I wanted to reach into my Kindle and strangle them both (that's a good thing for me). I like it when an author can pull me into a book and make me care what happens to the characters enough that even when I want to knock their heads together, I still love them enough to keep reading.

Bottom line: A fun, cute, and funny read. I enjoyed it a great deal. Worth your time.

Five stars!
Wicked Games - Jill Myles, Jessica Clare This was just a really fun, light read. I thought I was cute and liked how it kind of poked a little fun at reality Tv.
Playing Games - Jessica Clare,  Jill Myles I really enjoyed the book. It was a fun, quick read. But I have to be honest, I loved Wicked Games so much more. I just bonded with the characters better. Still, "Playing Games " was a good sequel in the "Games " series.
Escape from Eden - Elisa Nader Escape from Eden was a very different young adult dystopian novel. It pushed some boundaries, I thought, and did it quite well. I loved the whole cult/Jim Jones angle. I haven’t seen that topic tackled yet (doesn’t mean it hasn’t been, but I haven’t seen it) and I loved how Ms. Nadar handled it. The religious aspects of the story were done well, keeping in line with the need to align the story with certain religious aspects, but without sounding preachy, which would definitely be a turn-off for a lot of readers.

I enjoyed “Edenton” and thought the author thought out the whole dystopian world very well. She used good imagery and I was able to visualize most areas of the camp without too much difficulty while reading. This includes the few areas we were introduced to around Edenton, although there weren’t many.

Mia and Gabriel are two wonderful characters. Mia is sheltered and naïve, having lived in Edenton since she was ten, but she is strong, both physically and mentally. She questions everything instead of following the rules of Edenton with blind faith. She needs to know why things are the way they are, what purpose they serve, what’s beyond Edenton. What she doesn’t know is that asking these questions puts her live in jeopardy.

Gabriel is the streetwise bad boy that appears in most young adult novels. He fills somewhat of a stereotype: Good girl/bad boy type thing, but he isn’t a cardboard cut-out character by any means. He comes with his own set of problems, his own history to deal with and his own reasons for being at, and wanting out of, Edenton.

Together Mia and Gabriel make a great pair. He’s snarky and witty. For a bad boy, and he even considers himself one, he’s intelligent, which makes reading his parts fun and humorous. I loved how Gabriel egged Mia on. But she was no slouch. Despite her lack of street smarts, and understanding of sexual innuendo, which Gabriel tended to use frequently, she still gave him a run for his money in their verbal sparring. It provided a lot of sexual tension throughout the book and made a nice backdrop for their growing relationship.

Well, as most people know, I don’t give lengthy outlines of what happens in books I review. You don’t want to read my watered down version on the book—reading the book will be much more worth your time. And in this case, Escape from Eden is well worth your time. The writing is superb, the characters are flawed and believable, the story is fresh and new, and the topic is one that hasn’t been touched on. There are enough twists and turns throughout to keep you on your toes and turning pages long past your bedtime. In my opinion it’s a great read and shouldn’t be missed.

Bottom line: More than worth your time.

*in the interest of full disclosure, I was given an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion, nor did any monetary reward change hands.
Ruin - Rachel Van Dyken What an emotional, heartfelt, story of love, life, friendship, and conquering fear. I cried, laughed, and felt like I was living through the events alongside the characters.

this was the first book by Rachel Van Dyken I've read, but it certainly wont be the last!

Five HUGE stars. I loved it!
Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker I enjoyed this book and eagerly look forward to reading the next in the series.
The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood) - Trisha Wolfe Review to come.
Working It Out - Rachael Anderson When I heard about the blog tour for Racheal Anderson’s new book I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I first read Racheal’s work in [b:All I Want|15837452|All I Want|Jolene B. Perry|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1345478921s/15837452.jpg|21576312], which was a collection of three short stories based on the Christmas Holiday season. Work by Jolene Perry and Kaylee Baldwin was also included in the book.

The second opportunity I had to read Racheal’s work was in [b:The Reluctant Bachelorette|15776704|The Reluctant Bachelorette|Rachael Renee Anderson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1343713469s/15776704.jpg|21488844]. I fell in love with that story. It was a clean, sweet, romantic comedy. The characters felt like real people and I connected with them in a real way.

So when it came time to join the blog tour for [b:Working It Out|17876517|Working It Out|Rachael Renee Anderson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367428660s/17876517.jpg|25031797] I was so happy!

Racheal has a talent for writing likeable, real characters. They are flawed. They do and say stupid things sometimes. In other words, they act like real human beings. I think that’s why I love them so much. I don’t want to read about the “perfect” heroine and “super perfect” super-hero. They aren’t real and I can’t connect. Racheal gives me real people. People I feel like I can call up on the phone and invite over for barbeque (if I cooked). And that’s the characters in [b:Working It Out|17876517|Working It Out|Rachael Renee Anderson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367428660s/17876517.jpg|25031797]. They are real down to earth characters, dealing with real world issues.

Seth and Grace had perfect chemistry from their first meeting and it escalated at the right amount over the right time period. Their relationship was not perfect, nor was it the “insta-love” we sometimes see in romances. It was tastefully done, had conflict like a real relationship would, and ultimately left me smiling when I flipped off my Kindle.

I also must praise Ms. Anderson on her supporting cast in this book. Alec and Lanna were essential characters to the story. They were seamlessly woven into the plot—I can’t imagine the book without them. They added so much. I loved them both. Sometimes supporting characters are overshadowed by the main characters, but Rachael gave them their share of the spotlight and it needed to be done to move the story along. It was wonderful how it was handled.

Bottom line: Another win for Rachael Anderson. Why are you still reading my review? Seriously! You should be done reading the first chapter of [b:Working It Out|17876517|Working It Out|Rachael Renee Anderson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367428660s/17876517.jpg|25031797] by now!
Friday Night Alibi - Cassie Mae Very cute, but this had more of a YA feel than NA. The main character seemed immature and hadn't made the move from "high-school" living (still with mommy and daddy) to venturing out on her own. There were some funny areas, but, again, the humor seemed geared more toward highschoolers.

Kelly was slightly immature and it came out in her thoughts and inner dialogue. I didn’t find anything about this book to attract the new adult audience.

That being said, I did love the idea of the Friday night alibi girl. I thought that was a new, fresh idea. It was cute and I think a lot of teens will enjoy the concept.
The Avery Shaw Experiment - Kelly Oram Super cute read. I loved the dual perspectives. Found myself laughing out loud at some of Grayson's parts. Loved him.
Romancing the R.A. (Campus Crush, #1) - Ashelyn Drake 4.5 Stars! Super cute, but I didn't realize it was a novella until I started reading it. I thought Noelle's feelings were a little "over the top" for just meeting Andy. A bit of insta-love. But still a super cute and quick read.
Sovereign (Sovereign, #1) - E.R. Arroyo Review to come, but it's fair to say I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Nearly Broken - Devon Ashley I really wish Goodreads gave use the ability to give 1/2 star ratings. I'd rate this a 4.5 stars.

“I methodically tugged at the bottom of my sleeves, pulling them down as far as they stretched, covering the horrors hidden beneath its thick cotton.” (First sentence, Nearly Broken)

I liked Nearly Broken, but I’m not going to lie; the subject matter is dark, deep and very, very, emotional. Some people may be turned off by it. Others may learn something from it. And to others it may be freeing.

I fell somewhere in the middle of the scale. It dealt with a subject I knew existed, but attributed it as “something that happens to someone else.” I never let myself see how much it happened right here in my own state…my own hometown, even. It was sobering.

In Nearly Broken we meet Megan. She’s running from something. Hiding in a small town waiting tables at a diner, barely making enough money to survive, but she’s too scared to venture anywhere else. Because like I said, she’s running from something…and someone.

I liked Megan’s character. She was damaged, both physically, which is odd to find in NA contemporary. They’re normally filled with beautiful people who are slightly damaged on the inside, leaving their beauty intact outside. Megan wore her scars, even if she did try to hide them.

Megan is also damaged mentally. So much so it’s almost hard to read. But when you know Megan’s story and the events that bring her to the point in her life the story focuses on telling, you understand her and it’s almost impossible to stop reading. Because she’s the type of protagonist you don’t just want to root for, you HAVE to root for.

Nick was a good character, as well. Although I felt a slight disconnect with him. When we first meet Nick at the diner he’s kind, compassionate, funny and protective of Megan. Afterward, he remains all these things, but something about him changes. I just didn’t get the same “feel” for his character. It was like there were two sides to him.

Some of the secondary characters I really loved and others I felt oddly detached from. Again, this could almost be labeled the first part of the story and the second. The first part of the story there were a few great characters that I loved. The second part of the story, the characters fell a little flat. Although they had a scene here and there that was touching, it wasn’t enough to draw me in. But overall I think the secondary characters of the book were likable.

I’m not a big fan of giving away too much of the story when I write reviews, so I’m going to end here. I enjoyed Nearly Broken. Would I recommend it? Probably, to a mature YA 17+. Would I reread the book? No. Not because it’s a bad book, but it’s a heavy book. I think it was a strong story, with good writing. My biggest complaint is the ending was very rushed. Otherwise, Nearly Broken was a great, but not light, read.