Tag: Paranormal (page 1 of 43)

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Black Bird of the Gallows is definitely one favorite books from this year! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway, enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg KasselBlack Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece―and he’s not human.

What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Review:

Black Bird of the Gallows was hauntingly addicting, and I found myself completely mesmerized as the story unfolded.  The creatures and curses were not only unique, but an eerie combination that at times terrified me.  There were so many moments of subtle humor that had me laughing out loud and kept a smile on my face.  And when you add to that characters that won my heart, well Black Bird of the Gallows easily became one of my favorite books from this year!

What are you?” The question slips out— suddenly, vitally relevant.
For a moment , we just stare at each other, our mingling breath making white puffs in the cold air. He drops his gaze. I know, then, the answer is horrible. He’s kept his secrets for a reason, and that reason may be as scarring as the scene before us.

The book started out with Angie learning she has new neighbors.  And her first interaction with Reece, a boy about her age, had so many unexplainable moments.  He was speaking to a man whose face constantly changed, crows seemed to follow yet be playful with him, and he reminded her of something she couldn’t quite pinpoint.  Despite all that, they started towards a tentative friendship.  While there was a few bumps in the road, the way it developed felt so sweet and innocent.  But there was also moments between the two of them that made my heart race.  And I’m not one to usually talk about butterflies, but I SO did have them!  Watching Angie and Reece together made me feel like I was falling in love for the first time all over again.

I hold my breath and watch the crow glide away. It melts into the blackness, silent as a ghost. Lonely as the night.
Dark as a boy’s eyes.

Yet their relationship was forbidden.  It shouldn’t have grown the way it did.  It seemed like they were destined for broken hearts.  And because of them growing closer, creatures took interest in Angie.  That could only lead to horrific things.  You see, Reece’s arrival in her town was a horrible sign, since he’s a harbinger of death.  Once he was in her town, there was a shift in the demeanor of the town’s people.  Violence and chaotic events started to become more commonplace.  Then it all started to take an even darker turn.  I was terrified yet intrigued with how it would all play out.  Especially in regards to the bees.  When I fully understood the bees *shudders*, I realized that I will forever be haunted by them.  I can’t ever look at a honeybee normally again. *sobs*

He leans his terrible face close. Way too close . “He watches you. Why?”
My heart smashes against my ribs. His nightmare face is inches from mine, but no breath comes from that changing mouth. No puff of white in the cold darkness. Only the disorienting scent of honey and a skin-crawling drone that sounds an awful lot like bees. A lot of bees.

And while I LOVED the storyline, I was even more obsessed with Reece and Angie.  Oh my gosh you guys, Reece may be one of the most tortured souls I’ve ever read about.  He gutted me.  He broke my heart and then shattered it into the tiniest of pieces.  But he also had the ability to completely captivate my attention and melt my heart.  And did I mention he was full of secrets?  He was such a complex soul and was deliciously addicting!  I loved, loved, loved Reece!

Reece goes perfectly still. “You are important to me,” he says finally. “More important than anything any cursed creature thinks he could do to me.”

And then there was Angie.  From the moment Angie stated that she preferred footwear that wasn’t practical, I just knew her and I were going to be bffs!  But seriously, she had such a huge heart and a good head on her shoulders, I easily liked Angie right away.  While she had a troubled past, she tried her hardest to not let that define her.  And I was so grateful to see she had a wonderful support system with her two best friends and father.  The relationship she had with her father was realistic, and I loved that he played an active role in her life.  It was so refreshing to see that in a YA book!

His lips brush against mine in the whisper of a kiss. It’s different from any other. It tastes of certainty and sadness and promises that can never be made.

With curses, love, friendship, trust, and sacrifice, Black Bird of the Gallows truly had it all!  It was a page turner, it was impossible to put down, it made me sob out of happiness and sorrow.  And did I mention it reads as a standalone?!  So now I will patiently wait until I can read every single future release from this author.  She has made me a fan for life, and I’m so grateful I got to pick up this book and discover what was inside!

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

And to the first 100 people who leave a review on Amazon for Black Bird of the Gallows & fill out this form, you’ll received a Book Nerd T-shirt.  You can fill out your info here.

 

 

About Meg Kassel:

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 
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BOOK REVIEW – Death, and the Girl He Loves (Darklight #3) by Darynda Jones

BOOK REVIEW – Death, and the Girl He Loves (Darklight #3) by Darynda JonesDeath, and the Girl He Loves (Darklight #3)
by Darynda Jones
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The fate of the world is not something a girl wants on her shoulders, and that is especially true for Lorelei McAlister. Unfortunately for her, that is exactly where the world's fate has decided to take up residence. Lorelei has seen firsthand the horrors that lie beneath our everyday world. And those horrors are getting her friends killed. Because of this, she agrees to leave the sanctity of her hometown and is sent to a different world entirely. A boarding school. But even here she is being watched. Someone knows what she is. What she carries inside her soul. And on top of that she's seeing visions. This is nothing new for Lorelei. But these visions are something more: death, destruction, and the end of the world. Lorelei must face the fact that there are people who want her dead, and no matter where she goes, no matter how far she runs, the lives of her friends and family are in mortal peril. Lucky for her, her friends and family include the handsome Angel of Death, a fiercely protective half-angel, and a ragtag group of loyal supporters who aren't afraid to get a little dirty in the name of fighting pure evil.

Review:

***Spoilers from Death and the Girl Next Door #1 & Death, Doom and Detention #2 – click the titles to see my reviews of the previous books***

Death and the Girl He Loves wrapped up wonderfully, and those last few chapters had me smiling from ear to ear. But to get there, I wasn’t the hugest fan of some the parts of the journey. Especially since the first third of the book, we are away from Jared. Again. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I enjoy books where the couple are together a lot more. So while I loved the majority of the characters, the unique twist and that fabulous ending, I still struggled a little here and there. But my favorite aspects of this final book are:

A heroine who’s realistic, even though she’s been tasked to save the world.

I stepped to Jared, my heart breaking into a million pieces. “It’s today, isn’t it?”

While this trope has been used countless times, I loved how relatable Lorelei was. She didn’t want this burden. She just wanted her normal life back. So while she expressed her concerns about her being competent enough, she didn’t wallow in self pity. Lorelei continued to step up to the challenge at hand!

Strong friendships.

“…..Since when does logic enter into anything we do?”
“Exactly.” – Lorelei and Brooke

If you’re a fan of strong friendships, then you’ll probably adore the ones that fill this series. Lorelei, Cameron, Glitch and Jared created such a tight bond and they trusted one another with their lives. Their friendships withstood everything from betrayal, a battle, and the test of time.

A sexy book boyfriend.

Humans are unpredictable. Prophecies are not. So even though you believe with all your heart you’re going to fail, failure—” He looked up in thought. “How do they say it in the movies?” After a second, he fixed a mirthful grin on me. “Failure is not an option.” – Jared

Jared’s power, knowledge, secrets he revealed, the confidence in himself and Lorelei, and a question he asks Lorelei…..aww I loved Jared!! He was commanding, confident and I loved when he graced the pages with his presence.

A fabulous twist.

Fear didn’t consume me. It was there, but it didn’t consume me. Regret consumed me. The realization that we had failed consumed me. The war was starting and I didn’t stop it.

The huge twist in this book will definitely go one of two ways for you. I fell into the category of ‘oh my gosh I absolutely love this’, but it definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Some could be disappointed per say, but while I can’t explain why without giving it all away, just know that I loved this twist. It felt like a new idea to me, and I’m so glad the book went down that path!

So, all in all, this was a fun series and I’m glad I finally picked up this trilogy. It’s left me interested in her other series, Charley Davidson. But I’m adding that series to my “borrow from the library instead of purchasing” list, since I had some issues with this series. And the only thing I have left to say is, what in the world happened in the woods between Glitch and Cameron?! Oh. My. Gosh. For three books we heard about this incident, and then we never got to find out what happened?! Madness I tell you, madness lol! If you have any guesses, I’d love to hear them!!

BOOK REVIEW – Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight #2) by Darynda Jones

BOOK REVIEW –  Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight #2) by Darynda JonesDeath, Doom and Detention (Darklight #2)
by Darynda Jones
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

***Spoilers from Death and the Girl Next Door***

The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister's life didn't just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.

It went out with a bang.
Goodbye normal.
Hello dark and eerie.

While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan's second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren't bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei's dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it's too late?

Review:

***Spoilers from Death and the Girl Next Door***

With sarcasm, intriguing characters, a wonderful pace and some twists and turns, Death, Doom, and Detention made for a pleasant second installment.  While I still didn’t care for some of the characters *cough Glitch and the twins cough*, and I was saddened that Jared didn’t fill the pages nearly enough, it was still a fun book to read!

My vision blurred as hot tears pooled between my lashes.  I gazed straight ahead.  “I don’t want to do this anymore,” I whispered to myself.

This time around, Lorelei was struggling.  Bad.  First, she had Satan’s second in command, Mal as she refers to it lol, inside her body.  Second,  her bestie Brooklyn was making her practice her abilities at every single chance she could get.  And third, the one boy she was madly in love with, Jared aka The Angel of Death, turned their relationship into just a friendship.  At the request of her grandparents.  And while I loved what a huge role her grandparents played in the books, they were definitely hurting Lorelei with their decision.  It felt as though life couldn’t be worse.  Or could it?  Wellll, it did get worse.  Because there seemed to something hunting Lorelei, and someone switched sides midstream *break my heart won’t you!*.  

“I’m sorry I woke you up,” I said to him as my lids drifted down.
“You didn’t.” he looked out into the darkness.  “Something else did.”

With all of those pressing issues, there was a lot more action in this book!  And I’m grateful that there was more going on, because we didn’t get to spend as much time with Jared.  Oh, this made me heartbroken, because I loved him.  I wanted moments filled with chemistry and kisses, so I felt frustrated at times.  And it didn’t help that I could care less about Glitch or the twins.  When they were on the pages, I just wanted to scream give me Jared instead!  What can I say?  I get super attached to characters I love.  

I felt a sprinkle then, a drop of rain, and I knew everything I’d ever known was about to change.

Thankfully I enjoyed Lorelei, Brooklyn and Cameron, and we spent lots of time with them!  With new presences, a new ability, and a lot of unknowns, they constantly had to count on one another.  It was fun watching their trust and respect for each other grow.  Strong friendships for the win!  There’s also an element of who’s bad and who’s good thrown in throughout the book.  It didn’t feel as though they were safe around anyone.  Even the kids they went to high school with.  So I was always on edge wondering what was going to happen next.  So while yes, it was a fun book, I definitely struggled at times.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the final book flows a little bit differently, because I am nervous and excited to see how this series wraps up!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
death and the girl next door darynda jones
Death and the Girl Next Door #1
Reviews:

Jen
death, doom and detention darynda jones
Death, Doom and Detention #2
Reviews:
Jen
death and the girl he loves darynda jones
Death, and the Girl He Loves #3
Reviews:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones

BOOK REVIEW – Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda JonesDeath and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)
by Darynda Jones
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy―terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach―comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

Review:

Death and the Girl Next Door was so much fun and a quick read.  The story-line was easy to follow, and within those first few chapters I knew some of the characters and I would get along just fabulously.  There was  a wonderful mix of personalities, and I loved how many of them had sarcasm as their form of humor.  While I had a few hangups with some of the people, and not wanting info dragged out longer than should need be, Death and the Girl Next Door was still exactly what this paranormal lover was looking for.

Nothing would ever be fine again.

Lorelei has had visions for as long as she could remember and it would occur, at times, when she touched someone.  The visions would be a peak into that person’s life, whether it was a glimpse into their past or their future.  There were also times when the visions didn’t make any sense at all.  But regardless, I loved how she accepted that this was just a part of who she was.  And her two best friends, Brooklyn and Glitch, did too.

“Oh my god,” Brooklyn said.  She swung her surprised look at me.  “Just what did you two talk about this morning?”
I beamed, not daring to breathe as he walked towards us. “Oh, you know, the usual.  School.  The weather.  How many children we want.”
I expected Brooklyn to at least giggle, but apparently her current state of shock had immobilized her vocal cords.  What I hadn’t expected, however, was the faint laughter from Jared.  He lowered his eyes like before, as though embarrassed by what someone had said.  As if embarrassed by what I’d said.  No way could he have heard me.  Not from that far away.

But things started to get weird when the class loner Cameron, who they’ve known since grade school, started appearing everywhere Lorelei was.  Including outside her house all night long.  Creepy!  And then things become even stranger when we met the new hot guy at school, Jared.  Jared had a lot mystery surrounding him from just his name (I was like uhhh really, that’s how you’re going to play it?! Lol) to how he made Lorelei feel.  So when push comes to shove, and Lorelei’s whole world explodes on a city street, things got a lot more interesting!

He leaned forward and whispered in my ear.  His warm breath sent shivers cascading over my body.  “You intoxicate me, Lorelei McAlister.  You will be my downfall.”

I absolutely loved Lorelei.  So I was happy to struggle right along with her, with not only trying to figure out what some people were, but also who was good and who was bad.  Because while she’d always known Cameron, he acted a little psychotic lately.  And while she didn’t know anything about Jared, he made her heart do crazy things and I wanted him around just as much as she did.  So be warned, there was a little bit of insta-love going on in this book.  But regardless, I loved both of those boys!  Cameron and Jared were broody, grumpy, held on to their secrets extremely tight and I just wanted to learn everything about them.  And don’t worry, there wasn’t a love triangle at all.

“…..My desires are a bit more…self-serving.” he said with a wry gleam.  “So, no, Lorelei, I should not be here.  In a thousand different ways, I shouldn’t be here.”

Normally friends can fade into the dark when supernatural elements get involved, but thankfully Brooklyn and Glitch got to learn right along with Lorelei.  Btw, I loved Brooklyn.  She was funny, warm and I saw a lot potential for a possible future love interest for her.  But Glitch? *shrugs*  He never won me over, I never connected with him and I just didn’t care about him.  I’m sorry Glitch.  Another thing I never connected with were the twins, Ashlee and Sydnee, and I didn’t get Lorelei’s hatred towards Brooke – those were people they all went to school with.  But even with my issues towards not understanding feelings or not caring about certain characters, it was still so easy to become lost in their world.  I absolutely adored this book, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series goes!  Plus I can’t wait to spend more time with Jared so I can fall even harder for him, and Cameron too!

PS Yes, I know I didn’t talk a lot about what happened in the story, but but but spoilers.  It’s hard to say anything without giving everything away. 😉

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
death and the girl next door darynda jones
Death and the Girl Next Door #1
Reviews:

Jen
death, doom and detention darynda jones
Death, Doom and Detention #2
Reviews:
Jen
death and the girl he loves darynda jones
Death, and the Girl He Loves #3
Reviews:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine

BOOK REVIEW: Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel CaineGlass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1)
by Rachel Caine
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?

 

So. I’ve always been a lovey dovey vampire lover as opposed to the GRR, I’M AN EVIL BASTARD kind. But, as it turns out….I fell really hard for this book. And, instead of sexy bites shared between vampire lovers (or, rather, a human AND vamp), we had the scary as shit psycho vampires. Honestly, I was disappointed at first. I mean, really. Who doesn’t like a little neck biting action? WHO I ASK, WHO?! But as the story progressed, it gave me something….a little more.

 

 

-and Dad, who was glowering at Shane in the background, was as tall and twice as broad. “Is it him?” Dad asked. “Did he get you into trouble?”
“Not me,” Shane said. “I’ve just got that kind of face.”

I won’t say it wouldn’t be a cool future twist (I’m looking at you, book two *wink*), but, for now, I’m satisfied. Why am I satisfied, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Instead of sexy neck play between two lovahs, we have a million other things: Mean girls who are actually VERY mean, evil vampires that cause a lot of heroic romantic suspense, not one, but TWO sexy boys, and a cast of four characters that live in a house together, doing everything they can to protect one another. Oh, and there’s an EPIC twist somewhere in this story-I like. I approve.

For me to love books that are….well….paranormal, the author better be hella creative. In this case?? She was. And I even thought it was a BIT more addictive than my other vamp series I’m reading…but only by a hair! To me, that’s amazing. I LOVE Evernight-I love the atmosphere, the boy, the main girl (most of the time), but sometimes it’s a bit lighter and not as intense in the writing area. I love that, but starting this series certainly made my heart pound in ways that are completely out of this world.

This book was creepy as shit, but it doesn’t really kick up the scary SCARINESS until book two. Oh yeah, I’m running through these vamp series like candy, so, yeah, I’m extremely behind on reviews FYI. These poor books aren’t getting NEAR the reviews they deserve, I realize. But, I digress, my point is this: These books are a lot more adult. They aren’t really……mature, per se, but they do border that fine line where you’re like, shit, are they really going to burn this guy alive? And are they honestly going to kill off one of my favorite characters brutally? I really can’t say….and I kind of dig it.

Now, okay, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t defend my darling males. You’ve got Shane and Michael. Michael is who everyone seems to like. I guess I did, too? But that’s only because I let reviews influence me. From the very beginning it’s clear that Shane is totally into Claire and he is going to be uber protective of her. I love this. So, in essence, I LOVE Shane. He is nothing but sweet and kind and funny from the very beginning-And when things get serious, so does he. So…what’s not to like? I swear, people lol. Who cares!!! But. Anyway. Moving on. Michael is great, too, but….I don’t see the large hype for him??? Other than loving him as a main character-I do, too. I guess I’m just still trying to figure that one out. Not trying to dwell on it.

She didn’t look up.
He came a step closer, and his bare feet and sweatpants came into her vision. “Claire. You’ve got to promise me.”
“I can’t,” she said. “I’m not some little kid. And I’m not your sister.”
He laughed, low in his throat. “Oh, yeah. That, I know. But I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”

OH OH OH!!!! And, okay, I must say-these might be some of my favorite kissing scenes EVER. Or, at least, in a long long time. I just am extremely enamored with how she writes the exchanges-sexy, sweet, swoony, and then there’s how she explains the body? I don’t know…I just was very attracted to the way she described something as beautifully simple as kissing. It’s like authors forget how to, you know?? I have very high hopes for, ahem, future endeavors hehe.

God this review is so weird. I’m sorry guys-I’m sitting at work and going back and forth between work and writing this sad excuse for a review, so that’s likely it. I’d rather post something rather than nothing at all so, well….here you go. All I can really say is I adore this series very much and I am EXTREMELY excited to see what’s next for my darling Claire and Shane-I love Eve and Michael, too, but babies first!!! I think a lot of people are missing out on this-Yes, it’s silly. Yes, they get into some crazy situations….but it never once felt cheesy. So. Um. SCORE. That is all.

**************

Shockingly..I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!! I’ve been waiting FOREVER to try and I am so glad I waited until my comeback (from being sick) for my month of vampires….Though, these vamps are pretty mean lol And I ADORE Shane. EEPS.

RTC!!

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