Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love book review

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Synopsis

The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang’s real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia’s girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola. Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man’s world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter–and in many ways tougher and more ruthless–than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival.

Review

Soooooo this book…….. I found the central plot to be vastly entertaining. The writing was intriguing and Lola’s character was very well written. However my complaints outway my positives about this debut novel. My first problem was with all the things that was wrong from a medical stand point. I have to agree with another reviewer that these could have easily been fixed with a quick consult from someone in that field. I worked in the medical profession for several years and was nearly cringing at the HIPAA violations as well as other medicals problems that i will leave out for spoilers. My second complaint was that there were too many characters and relationships going on and it felt difficult to keep up with all of them and discern who was with who, etc. It also made it more difficult to relate to characters and to care enough to root for any of them. With all this being said this debut author I think can improve and I would love to read more as she progresses as an author. The writing was done well given the few flaws in the story and the plot was entertaining. Perhaps this would have been better if i was not in a reading slump at the time so for now 2.5 stars from me. Thank you Crown and BFB’s for sending me this in exchange for my honest review.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel book review

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Synopsis

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away. Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again. As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Review

This book is deeply dark and provocative. The key focus in this book is sexual abuse and it builds from there. This is one of those books that may be a trigger for some people. The big secret of this book is picked upon in the begging of the book. However i feel like this was a good idea as we get to look deeper into this family and how dark and twisted they are. This book definitely gives your heart a flutter all while you gasp and awe at each twist and turn, making this book hard to out down.While there was plenty of ficus in the main character, I would have liked a little more detail on the supporting cast and maybe a little more history. This book while being dark and disturbing will still suck you in as you want to know more as to why this family is so sick mentally and what happens to them. The book was a dark blend of poetry and immerse writing skills. 4 stars from me. Thank you Blogging 4 Books and Crown publishers for sending me this in exchange for my honest review.

 

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Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios book review

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Synopsis

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone. Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.  Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Review

WOWZERS! This book just wow! It blew me away. It really hit me in the feels as this book focuses on abuse. Relationship abuse from parents and her boyfriend. Poor Grace is such a smart cookie and i absolutely loved all the theater / music references in it! The book starts at the end of the relationship and continues on to describe how Grace came to be in this abusive relationship. This book was beautifully haunting and imaginative. Heather will send you on a roller coaster of emotions as you look deep inside the scary parts of toxic relationships. Grace was well written and you are instantly drawn to her because she is such a beautiful dreamer, funny, and charismatic. The supporting cast was well written and your emotion for them is to slap the crap out of them as they are just awful people. (awful character wise but very well written). I stayed up way late reading this beautifully written story as I could not out it down. I love emotional books and ones that cover dark things in life and this one is definitely on my top 10 list! Thank you NetGalley,  Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for sending me this book in exchange for my honest review. 5 stars from me!

Buy Me June 13th, 2017

 

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott book review

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Synopsis

DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.

CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

 

Review

This book is truly wonderful! I loved the cast in this book and how each one is so descriptively written. You can almost see the characters laid out before you and feels like you could reach through and touch them because she brings them to life on every page. Victoria is wonderful at setting a scene and building up a truly immerse world. Bulling, manipulation, and revenge? You got it! This book brings forward so much depth. Domino is probably my favorite character as she is so fiercely loyal to her best friend and she is a strong dreamer. She sees a better life for herself. This is a masterpiece of a YA psychological thriller.Thank you Entangled Teen and NetGalley for sending me this in exchange for my honest review! 5 stars from me!

 

Buy me May 2nd, 2017

 

Geekerella by Ashley Poston book review

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Synopsis

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Review

“Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite”. This has to be my favorite book thus far of 2017! This modern day take on Cinderella was just what i needed to pull me out of my book slump. Ashley is an amazing writer and I can see her quickly rising to the top 10 list. Geekerella was so fun for me as I am that fan girl, convention nerd, and misunderstood girl! She wrote a fun story told in alternating perspectives. The supporting cast was well written and make you love/hate them. You will find yourself rooting for Elle, as she endures an evil step mother ans evil step sisters all while trying to find her place in life and come to accept her fathers passing and that she really is her fathers child. Darien makes you wish you could just jump through the book and scream at all the people taking advantage of his stardom. I believe this book will quickly rise up in the book tube community, so i suggest everyone read it. This book was super, super cute and i loved every page of it! Thank you Quirk Books and Netgalley for sending me this book in exchange for my honest review! 5 stars from me!

 

 

Buy Me April 4th, 2017

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi book review

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Synopsis

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Review

In this follow up to The Star Touched Queen, Roshani keeps up with her excellent work as she writes such wonderfully diverse characters. She does such an intricate job of building a beautiful and lush world. I was afraid book 2 wouldn’t hold up as well as book 1 but it fully surpassed that and Roshani is quickly rising to be one of my top 10 favorite authors. She writes such well developed characters and gave great attention to the supporting cast, making you care about them as well. I’m so glad that St. Martins Press sent me this in exchange for my honest review. Roshani is a talented author and even her sentences are strung together lie poetry! 5 stars from me.

 

Buy Me on March 28th, 2017

Interview with Lisa Manterfield for the novel A Strange Companion

 

Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to read your book and to be able to interview you today!

 

  • So first off I truly loved reading your book! I know this is considered a standalone, but I’d love to read a spin off about Jon and Alex, or even perhaps even a prequel about Kat and Gabe. Any plans for this or maybe a novella?

Thank you so much. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the book. I have a lot of ideas spinning around in my head right now. All the characters in the book have more they’d like to say, including the old man Kat meets in the retirement home. He originally had a bigger role, so he may yet get his moment. But yes, even though it wasn’t part of my original plan, I think a spin-off is in my future.

  • I checked out your website and noticed your hometown was Sheffield. Do you think this helped in you writing some of the background to your story?

I do. Even though I played with geography and moved entire parts of the city around to suit my story, it helped to have real places in my mind as I wrote. And I love the surrounding countryside, so I enjoyed being able to share some of that in my writing.

  • What inspired you to write such a beautiful and an emotional story?

Where to begin? Originally, this was a story about past lives and how souls find one another over and over again. I was really interested to explore why we sometimes feel deep, inexplicable connections to people we meet. But stories have a way of evolving as you write. I’d been writing a lot of non-fiction on the topic of grief, and it began creeping into this story. Finally, I realized that the story was really about love, loss, and how Kat deals with her grief.

  • Did anybody in your personal life inspire some of the characters for this book?

Not specifically, but incidents and experiences, or things people said to me found their way into the story. I lost my dad when I was 15, so I gave some of my experiences to Kat. When I needed a worthy love interest for her in Owen, I borrowed from someone I’d known, who wasn’t a love interest of mine, but who would have been a worthy one. Mr. Scroggins, the cat that adopts Kat’s mother, is based on a stray cat who adopted me some years ago. He was a scruffy, spiky little thing, but we had a lovely, if brief, relationship. I had to give him a role.

  • Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

The story itself is purely fictional, but many of the settings are real. And the flirtation scene with Owen at the start of the book? Yeah, well, that actually happened.

 

  • What was your favorite part to write?

 

One of my favorite scenes is when Kat goes to see Gabe’s family, especially the scene where she takes Mai to meet Nonna. It was fun to write that character, with all her beliefs and superstitions. I was really pleased when a friend read the book and told me that Nonna was exactly like her grandmother.

 

  • How did you choose the title for your book?

 

The original title was The Skeptic’s Guide to Reincarnation, which I loved, but which was never quite right for the tone for the book. I owe the current title to my friend Becky. She is an amazing woman, who has suffered so much loss in her life and yet is one of the most upbeat, positive people you could ever meet. We were talking about grief and she said, “Grief is a strange companion.” I had this moment of “Oh, that’s my title!” She very graciously agreed to let me use it.

  • Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Yes. The Smallest Thing is the story of a 17-year-old girl, with big plans to escape her boring English village, who find herself trapped there by a government-imposed quarantine. It’s really a story about friendship, community, and what it means to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy. It was inspired by the true story of the village of Eyam, whose residents chose to quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of the plague in the 1600s. My story is present-day version, plus there’s a hot guy in a HAZMAT suit.

 

  • Is there anything you would like to add or to say to your fans and readers?

Just thank you. Without readers, authors are just weird people who make stuff up for fun. One of the greatest joys of being a writer is knowing that someone has read your story and heard what you have to say. There’ a strange, invisible bond that happens when you connect with someone you’ve never even met because of a shared story. So, thank you for reading.

 

  • What is the best way your readers can get in touch with you?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter, possibly more than is healthy. And there’s a contact page on my website. LisaManterfield.com.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Thank you, Lisa, again for this interview! It has been such a pleasure to have you on my blog!

 

If you would like to check out my review of her book you can do so by clicking here.