Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Accident Season

What first attracted me to The Accident Season was the cover.  I saw it on another blog and immediately wanted to know more about it.  The teaser drew me in enough to make me purchase the book.  It sounded like a unique and original story. Click on the book cover to see the synopsis from Amazon.

I enjoyed the book and would probably give it about a 3 out of 5 if I had to rate it.  The writing was imaginative and creative at times but as a whole, it was a bit more YA than I had originally thought. It seems to have a paranormal aspect to it but you can never really prove that it exists. We as readers are left wondering what was real and what was not. The story also however, has a dark edge to it that comes from the family's past and doesn't surface until about two-thirds of the way through the book. When it did however, it answered a few of the questions I had from earlier in the story.  The book actually reminds me of a movie I saw a few years back called Suckerpunch, where, just like in this story, the line between fantasy and reality is thin and a bit confused.  All in all, it was a decent book with an original plot idea.  I'm not sorry I read it but it also isn't one that I will read over again.

This was my second book for the Beat the Heat Readathon and now I am on to my third!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train was the first book I read for the Beat the Heat Readathon and I picked it up because so many people have said how fabulous it is. I now agree. What a roller coaster ride! The story was completely engrossing right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. The main character, Rachel, was painted perfectly as a woman who was at her lowest and just couldn't seem to move on and let go of her past.  She was truly pathetic at this time in her life; making such terrible decisions that I would cringe, and yet at the same time, I found myself secretly hoping that she would break free from her torment and begin the journey back to normalcy.

As you move further into the story, the plot thickens and the dramatic intensity increases significantly. Once I got to the final third of the book, I knew I wouldn't be stopping until I finished and there was no guessing what the end would have in store until you were almost on top of it.  The possibilities as I read seemed endless and once the mystery was introduced, I found myself jotting down all of my theories and then crossing them out as I came upon something to lead me in another direction or change my thinking. When I finally had my "Aha!" moment, I was pretty close to the end.  It was very well written and I'm looking forward to reading other books by this author.  I will definitely be adding The Girl on the Train to my top ten for 2015.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

3rd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon!

This challenge was a lot of fun and I was able to catch up on some reading.  I read 4 books in two weeks. Looking forward to the next one!

This will be my first time participating in this challenge.  I'm a bit behind on my reading for the year so I'm hoping this will help me to catch up a bit!  

Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads
You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for the grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 28th.

The rules:
The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 24th at 12:00 AM to September 6th at 11:59 PM. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!

There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!

To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky here! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide in the kick-off post as well.)

In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.

Follow along on Twitter and share your progress with the hashtag #BtHReadathon!

Happy reading everyone!

My Progress:

Monday, August 24th
Currently reading: The Girl on the Train
Pages read:98
Books completed: The Girl on the Train
Book started: The Accident Season

Tuesday, August 25th
Currently reading: The Accident Season
Pages read: 100

Wednesday, August 26th
Currently reading: The Accident Season
Pages read: 190
Books completed: The Accident Season
Book started: Truth or Beard

Thursday, August 27th
Currently Reading: Truth or Beard
Pages read: 106

Friday, August 28th
No reading... Day trip to Dorney Park!

Saturday, August 29th
Currently reading: Truth or Beard
Pages read: 45

Sunday, August 30th
Currently reading: Truth or Beard
Pages read: 56

Monday, August 31st
Currently reading: Truth or Beard
Pages read:20

Tuesday, September 1st
Currently reading: Truth or Beard
Books finished: Truth or Beard
Book started: none

Wednesday, September 2nd
School started... no reading.  :(

Thursday, September 3rd
Book started: A Curious Beginning
Pages read: 8

Friday, September 4th
Currently reading: A Curious Beginning
Pages read: 50

Saturday, September 5th
Currently reading: A Curious Beginning
Pages read: 56

Sunday, September 6th
Finished: A Curious Beginning

Feature and Follow Friday (August 21st)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by two blogs, Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.  This week, I have the honor of being the featured blogger... yay!!

Part of my job as a feature is to answer a few questions about my blogging life so, here are my responses:

When did you start blogging?
I started blogging about three years ago and it was instantly addicting.  It was an entire new world of ways to share my book thoughts with others who share the same passion. Love it!

What is your favorite part of book blogging?
My favorite part of book blogging is the ability to share my thoughts.  When I read a good book and I come across something that strikes me, I want to share that moment with others. I don't come from a family of readers so I now feel like I have a community or readers who blog just for the purpose of sharing their books and thoughts with others.

What type of books do you blog about?
I review a lot of the books I read, some ARC but mostly my own purchases. I especially love anything with a paranormal element to it.  I also enjoy many other genre as well.  You can see from my blog archive that I have a mix of YA, Urban Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Historical fiction, etc... Right now, I'm reading The Girl on the Train and it is fabulous!  I often participate in other memes such as Teaser Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday.

What are your favorite books?
Favorite books, hmmm.... that's tough so I will just list a few that I love (well, maybe more than a few).  Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, and Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Oh! and all of the Percy Jackson books, Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments... too many to choose from!

What has been one of the best things that has happened to you because of book blogging?
One of the best things to happen in my blogging world aside from just joining this great community of readers is becoming part of the She Reads Blog Network at  I love being part of this group and sharing the reviews for our club reads with other bloggers.

And now... this week's question
If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you pick?
Well, I think I would choose a Savannah Cat.  
This is a mix between a wild Serval and a domestic cat.  It's big and acts more like a dog and has beautiful markings.  You can read about them here if you like. 

Feel free to add your link below and leave a comment. 
I always follow back! :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review: Josie Jameson and the Stone Witch

A while back, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of what was then titled Four Rubbings (now Josie Jameson and the Fourth Tombstone), a story about a young girl and her three friends who visit a graveyard and rub four different graves. Each grave takes one of the teens on a journey, especially Josie, who learns about an accused witch from the past and her own family connection to magic through her mom, who died when she was young.

This second book, Josie Jameson and the Stone Witch, continues the story of Josie and her friends as they help Josie figure out what is happening to her. Is something trying to possess her? Is someone following her? Why is she having dreams that seem so real?  The story is fun and incredibly engaging. I knew almost from the start that I would be finishing it in one sitting. The reader gets a nice mix of teenage drama, a little bit of history, and a supernatural edge.  A lot of what Josie learns through the dreams take place in the 1800's and are from another point of view which adds a nice historical feel. You can definitely tell as you get further into the plot (and to the cliffhanger at the end) that things will be escalating in the third book and I can't wait to see what happens. No spoilers here so you'll have to grab the books yourself but I would recommend them for any middle or high school student as well as any adults who enjoy the YA genre.

I also want to say thank you to Jennifer Hotes, the author, for giving me and several others the honor of sharing our opinions about the final cover decisions for both books. It was great fun to help with this!

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday (August 14th)

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!  
The goal of the Feature and Follow is to gain more followers and to make some new blogging friends. I love followers of all kinds and always follow back. Thanks!

This weeks question: 
If you could have an endless supply of food, what would it be?

Well, that is a tough one.  I thought about choosing pizza because, well, there are few people who don't love pizza.  I think I would get sick of it after a while though. Too greasy.  I think instead, I am going to go with cheese and crackers (I know that is technically two foods but they go together so I am counting it as one).  I can eat this all the time and there are tons of different cheeses and cracker creations out there so I would never be bored.

Happy F&F Friday!

Review: Dead Mountain

I first saw this book in my Bloglovin' feed and it immediately peaked my interest.  I've always loved reading about true events that have an element of mystery to them.  I had never heard of this tragedy so I researched it online a bit further and then decided to purchase the book. A very interesting read to say the least.

So, as I said, I never heard of The Dyatlov Pass Incident before.  Partially, I'm sure, because it occurred way before I was born and partially because it happened in another country.  Nine hikers went on a journey into the Ural Mountains and never returned. After searching for weeks, their bodies were found but under very strange circumstances.  The hikers were found away from the tent, not dressed properly, and with various bodily injuries.  This book follows the trail of the hikers until the last day of their lives and also follows the author, a man who re-examines the case in present day and retraces their route looking for answers.  The chapters flip flop from past to present, putting the reader in both the past and present.

I really enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to hear about all of the evidence and the possible theories about what really happened to the hikers.  The author does a really nice job of telling their story up until that last night.  I also really liked the way he takes his most probable theory and writes a last chapter about how that final night may have truly played out.  While the book doesn't have the action/suspense of a fiction novel, I still found it to be quite the page turner and commend the author for the lengths he went to trying to find the truth.

The cover photo above will take you to the synopsis on Amazon. I would completely recommend this to anyone who likes unsolved mysteries or cold case files.

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Audible Reviews: The Silenced and The Forgotten

Have you ever gotten stuck in a book series and each time a new installment comes out, you have to grab it right away? Even though you know that every book in the series follows the same pattern? You know there will be a happy ending, boy gets girl or vice versa, and the mystery is solved, but you still keep reading?  The Krewe of Hunters books are that series for me. Now, it might seem from what I wrote above that these books may not be good but that is not the case at all. I actually love them!  

For those who have never read a book in this series, there are a few things to know. First, all of the books follow a specialized unit of the FBI called the Krewe of Hunters, who investigate cases that have an element of the strange or paranormal.  Each member of the Krewe has an ability that lends to the solving of these cases and new members are being added to the group all the time.  So, even though new characters are the focus in each new installment, the original characters are almost always play a role in the stories as well. Second, if you haven't figured it out already, every book in the series has a paranormal element to it. While they do follow a basic crime-solving mystery format, most of the books have a mild horror element to them and almost always involve the ghosts of the dead helping to lead the way.  Some of them also have a historical element to them as well, which is an added bonus for me. Finally, the two main characters always become involved with one another about midway through the story so there is definitely some romance as well.  Usually, the books are in sets of three but almost any of them can be read as a stand alone. 

These are fairly quick, fun reads and perfect if you need a book for the beach or a weekend getaway.  I love to read them in between deeper books because I know I can count on Heather Graham to give me a spooky story that won't disappoint.  The next Krewe of Hunters book comes out in September and I will await it as patiently as possible.

I listened to both of these books on  I've just started listening to books but I still enjoy reading the actual books more. When I read, I imagine the voices of the characters and it adds to my enjoyment of the story.  When I listen to one person do all of the voices, including those of the opposite gender, it just isn't quite the same so I'm not totally sold on audio books yet.

Click on either of the books to see the synopsis for each on Amazon.  Click here to see all of Heather Graham's books, including the Krewe of Hunters books and their order on her website.  Enjoy!

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