Burning September by Melissa Simonson

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author for an honest review.

Title: Burning September
Author: Melissa Simonson
Genre: New Adult
Release date: September 8th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder.
Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions.
Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and lies might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.


Continue reading “Burning September by Melissa Simonson”

Advertisements

Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Kingdom of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: November 27th, 2015

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.


The Kingdom of Oceana is an adventure teeming with Hawaiian culture about two brothers’ rivalry and the fight between good and evil. It stands as a light, entertaining read reminiscent of Percy Jackson, though some aspects left me wanting for more depth.

Continue reading “Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles”

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Release date: July 26th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


I know I’m really late to the party, but I’m finally reviewing this one!

Dark Matter is a page-turner that offers a new perspective on the multiverse hypothesis. Through an action-packed plot and a strong main character, it highlights how each choice we make matters and all that a man is willing to risk to find his family and continue his path in life. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down and that makes you wonder what you’d do if you found yourself in the same situation. Continue reading “Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch”

Review: Making Tracks by Ian Harding

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Making Tracks
Author: Ian Harding
Genre: Poetry
Release date: August 16th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Ian Harding’s second collection of poems is a celebration of learning through observation. Life’s journey leaves an indelible print carved from the beauty of love and nature with many laughs, questions and twists with each stride. There are poems that offer readers simple observations where others delve deeply searching truths.


Continue reading “Review: Making Tracks by Ian Harding”

Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams
Author: Jeff Russell
Genre: Thriller
Release date: September 30th, 2015

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

What if a person could live in their dreams? What if the power of imagination could erase the inequities of life? The staff at Eden Perpetual Life Care makes that possible and Katrina Hammond turns to them when nothing else can ease the pain of her mother’s progressive illness. The residents of Eden live in a medically-induced dream state, a fantasy world based on their secret desires. They are freed from the torments of their physical existence but at a terrible price, for where her mother goes Kat cannot follow. When Eden offers Kat the position of in-house neurologist, letting her pursue her vocation while watching over her mother’s dreams, she reluctantly agrees. And when investigative reporter Morgan Brewer shows Kat what it means to be young and alive her own dreams start coming true.

But dreams are not always what they seem. An anomaly in the brainwave patterns of some residents suggests subconscious distress, and when Kat defies management’s order not to probe deeper she discovers something sinister taking place behind the pristine walls of Eden. Unsure of what to believe or who to trust she must now find a way to rescue her mother and the other residents before she herself becomes trapped in their perpetual nightmare.


The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams holds an interesting premise: What if we can live on in our dreams? An idea that reminded me a bit of Black Mirror’s San Junipero. Though I loved that concept and appreciated how realistic the author made it sound, the novel failed to develop all the other aspects I was interested in.

Continue reading “Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell”

Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Ugly Teapot (Book One: Hannah)
Author: Fred Holmes
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Release date: March 30th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.  She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.


The Ugly Teapot is a cute novel filled with action and both a heartwarming and heartbreaking message about family and loss. The best part? We’ve got Hannah as our main character – a realistic 14-year-old girl experiencing grief after her father’s death and trying to cope with it. Though in the end I found the story a bit clichéd, I thought it was an interesting way to deal with the theme of grief and moving on. Continue reading “Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes”

ARC Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: Michael Faudet
Genre: Poetry
Release date: October 25th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories.


Continue reading “ARC Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet”

ARC Review: Fallen to Grace by A.J. Flowers

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author for an honest review.

Title: Fallen to Grace (Celestial Downfall #1)
Author: A.J. Flowers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: December 2nd, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Azrael’s a wingless angel, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s the only one with a functioning conscience. Her bi-color eyes mark her as a moral hybrid, and when she breaks her enslavement to Manor Saffron by making a deal with a demon, she doesn’t expect to become Queen. She’ll have to survive her new royal magic, convince a legion of angels she’s worth fighting for, and find the breach in her Faustian deal, or risk a new master with horns.


Continue reading “ARC Review: Fallen to Grace by A.J. Flowers”

ARC Review: A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: A Deadly Affection (Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #1)
Author: Cuyler Overholt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Release date: September 6th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

In 1907 New York, a psychiatrist must prove her patient’s innocence…or risk being implicated in a shocking murder

As one of the first women practicing in an advanced new field of psychology, Dr. Genevieve Summerford is used to forging her own path. But when one of her patients is arrested for murder-a murder Genevieve fears she may have unwittingly provoked-she is forced to seek help from an old acquaintance.

Desperate to clear her patient’s name and relieve her own guilty conscience, Genevieve finds herself breaking all the rules she’s tried so hard to live by. In her search for answers, Genevieve uncovers an astonishing secret that, should she reveal it, could spell disaster for those she cares about most. But if she lets her discovery remain hidden, she will almost certainly condemn her patient to the electric chair.


This book introduces a slow paced mystery with an array of complex characters set in the fascinating New York of 1907. Sadly, despite the characters being quite realistic, I never really warmed up to any of them and I felt like the mystery was unremarkable. I did enjoy the writing and I was impressed with how fleshed out the characters got to be, but in the end, there was something missing for me. I would recommend it to anyone interested in mysteries with character development and with a medical focus.

Continue reading “ARC Review: A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt”

Review: Spring Delusions by Zahra Ammar

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Spring Delusions: Chaotic Poems of Despair and Blooming Hope
Author: Zahra Ammar
Genre: Poetry
Release date: September 19th, 2016

| Add to Goodreads |


Description:

Words are our only tools to express the physicality of the chaos in our minds. It is tedious and painstaking process to create something, anything. Emotions are not words, hence, to put them as such, requires quite a bit of searching, meandering and stumbling. I believe my affair with these alphabets will never be satiated. Yet, I have tried to sing some broken tunes, sketched some bleakness and shared fragments of my inner hope.

I have often had a love hate relationship with poetry. Its enigmatic power has often left me confused but also enlightened me. Although rhymes are fun and easy to tap your foot to, it is the rhythm or sometimes, the lack of it that can truly sear through the heart. For me, simplicity is key. It is graceful. It is alluring.

Each poem is handwritten, followed by typewrite for easy bookmarking and commenting and is accompanied by an illustration, meticulously and thoughtfully crafted. I refuse to acknowledge that illustrations are for children’s books only. There is no age limit to vision. Seeing is as much a part of feeling as reading and imagining is. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in making them.

The poems I write do not follow any rule in particular. Although well-versed in writing verses, I opt to experiment with a variety of things, from alliteration to repetitions, and rhyme to meters, and mirroring to collating. Some poems have written themselves. Some, I have agonized over for days and nights. Writing and rewriting, getting it just right and then starting all over again. It is an organized pandemonium of the human self.


Continue reading “Review: Spring Delusions by Zahra Ammar”