Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

29981261The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Painfully Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Rape, Sisterhood

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BLURB:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding… Continue reading

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

28815474The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Mystery

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BLURB:

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist. Continue reading

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

25486998P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Publisher: Point
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Love-Hate Relationships

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BLURB:

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

22065080Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Folktale Retelling

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BLURB:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .
Continue reading

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

9781471147142The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, (Bad) Romance

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BLURB:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow ”Kill Me Now” Paced
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark

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BLURB:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? Continue reading

Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

28101540Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance, Agoraphobia, OCD

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BLURB:

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up. Continue reading

Sad Review: Crossing the Line (The Raven Files, #1) by Meghan Rogers

23566919Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Publisher: Philomel Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Espionage, Action, Mystery, Contemporary

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BLURB:

If Jason Bourne were a teenaged girl…

Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and raised in North Korea as a spy. When her agency sends her to the U.S. to infiltrate the very group her parents once worked for, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to turn double agent and finish off her kidnappers once and for all. She convinces the head of the American spy agency to trust her, but it’s not quite as simple as that: Jocelyn has to fight the withdrawal symptoms from the drug that the North Koreans used to keep her in line, and her new fellow spies refuse to trust their former adversary. Worst of all, there might be some new information to uncover about her parents – if she even wants to find out.

This action-packed spy thriller is part Gallagher Girls, part Alex Rider, and part Bourne Identity. Continue reading

Negative Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

25014114History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publication Date: January 7th, 2017
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Life and Death, Grief, Romance, Friendship, Coming-of-Age, Mental Illness

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BLURB:

OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold onto every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo’s last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he’s hiding something, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo’s death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth—both in terms of what he’s willing to hide and what true love means. Continue reading

Novella Review: Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

29569157Zenith by Sasha Alsberg

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: June 21st, 2016
Publisher: Mirabel Inc
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Novella, Space Opera, Action


BLURB:

Most know her as the Bloody Baroness, the captain of a fearsome glass starship called The Marauder. Androma and her crew strike terror in the hearts of those who cross them amongst the many corners of the Mirabel Galaxy.

When a routine mission goes rogue, the all-female crew is captured by a bounty hunter from Andi’s past and forced into a job that could, quite literally, start a war that will devour worlds.


Continue reading