Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jenn VS. Ash - ARC August

A little something sort of like contest between us two... 

Ash and I decided to participate in this. We have so many ARCs to get through so this sounds like just the thing. So here are our lists.  Of course, it's a big goal. I haven't found time to read like I used to so maybe this will do the trick for me... make me find the time.

Jenn's Reads: I am overly enthusiastic about how much I can get done! 

The Female of the SpeciesFalling Over SidewaysSpontaneousEnter Title Here
Thieving WeaselsThe OnesThe Graces (The Graces, #1)
Kingdom of Ash and BriarsThe FixesThe Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1)Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Dog Man: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #1)
28818228The ScourgeChildren of Exile (Children of Exile, #1)Memory Girl

Ash's Reads:

A Deadly AffectionGirl in PiecesDark Matter
The Hatching (The Hatching, #1)dotwavThe Initiation
The Littlest BigfootOur Chemical Hearts

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Title: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
Publisher: Point
Publishing Date: August 25th 2015
Pages: 344
Genre: YA  Paranormal Mystery Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…
Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.
But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.
And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.
Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.
But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.
From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.

A teenage girl goes to visit her recently passed aunt's house, where ghosts roam. 

What made me pick this book up?

A few things really. I love the author. I've read both bad girls don't books and they were fantastic. I also love anything creepy/horror/ghost, etc. So the fact that she's an amazing author and this book sounded like my cup of tea. I instantly wanted to read it.

What do I like about the cover?

Basically everything. I love the darkness of it. I love the red color pop (I'm a huge fan of color pop) I love how the female looks faded out. I also really like how the words look like blood. It just gives off a very creepy feeling. Fits the book well.

What made me read it?

As I mentioned above. The author is amazing. I love creepy. The end.

What did I like the most?

Oh ,what didn't I like, I'm going, to be honest, it's been a minute since I read this book, and I'm just now getting to the review because I'm awful. So I'm trying really hard to remember what stuck out to me because the entire book was just blastfully amazing. (I just made up that word, but I'm going to start using it now) I think I really liked the different characters and how the ghosts are from different times and they are written wonderfully.

Like I said, this book is amazing. The author is amazing. I absolutely loved it, I couldn't put it down and it's just amazing. I definitely think anyone who likes ghosts/creepy things should read this book. And I hope to read more from her soon.

Asylum (Asylum, #1)The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)

Katie Alender
Katie Alender (rhymes with “calendar”!) grew up in South Florida. She is the third of four children (three girls and a boy) and the child of three very loving and encouraging parents.

She attended high school at the Palm Beach County School of the Arts, studying Communication Arts. From there, she went on to the Florida State University Film School, which led her to her current hometown, a tiny hamlet on the West Coast known as “Los Angeles.”

She enjoys writing, reading, sewing (especially quilts), gardening, photography, and hanging out with her husband, her daughter, and her dogs, Scooter and Frodo.

Her first brush with publication was the article “So You Want to Live On Mars?” published in Sassy magazine in December 1991.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Please Don't Tell
Title:  Please Don't Tell 
Author:  Laura Tims
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: May 24th 2016
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Psychological Mystery/Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of ght and wrong.
This is going to be one of those books that are really hard to review. It was a great book. I was grabbed from the very beginning and I held on tight through every page. It was intense and it was plot driven. The characters stood and the writing was done well. It was a page turner and it was a very emotional read. It was a mystery. It was a book about sisterly bonds and trust and loyalty. It was a  story about coming to terms with the past. There was a lot to this book and those to me are hard to review. Especially when I can't give anything away. 

Grace and Joy are twins. They were very close up until recently. Things have happened in their lives and the truth of what happened has turned them in different directions. Joy wants to protect Grace. Joy is the outgoing. Joy is the dangerous one. Grace is the smart one. Grace doesn't lest other ins. Grace is the quiet one. Grace has a terrible secret. Joy may have a terrible secret too because Adam is dead. Joy blacked out and no one knows who killed Adam but maybe Joy does but can't remember for sure. Some else knows and remembers and wants Joy to pay to keep the secret a secret. 

This was a very well written book. I enjoyed everything about it. One of my favorite kind of reads is the ones that the pastor secret or mystery come out little by little as the chapters are read. These books keep me so invested in every word and I can't wait to get to more info so I just fly through them. I did fly through this one. I didn't want to put it down. 

The story was so intense and there were so much in it that were such horrible things. Lessons learned,  healing done, hope found. It was pretty serious stuff. It wasn't really a thriller or a drama or realistic fiction. It had a bit of it all wrapped in two big mysteries. What happened to Grace and did Joy do it. Of course what happened to Grace comes out first and after that I really hoped Joy did it... but didn't. It wouldn't be right but it would have felt good for me. Not for Joy though. 

One thing that I loved was the so complicated relationship between Grace and Joy. There were so many layers and I could see how unsettling it was and how damaging it was as the story unraveled. This time in their life was very complicated and very devastating to themselves, each other, and their relationship. This story was filled with bad ideas, bad timing, bad circumstances, and bad people. It made for a very hard read. I was troubled, I was emotional, and I was angry. 

This book was really plot driven but the characters were great too. The story was about the past... what happened and who done it. The characters were about the present. How they were dealing and if they were handling. I can say neither was handling but Grace was more put together on the outside and Joy was more put together on the inside. As Joy watched Grace all apart,she helped her hide it from the rest of the world. This kept Joy focused on the inside but on the outside, she was a mess. They were completely different and handled things completely different but really were just angry, hurt, confused, and didn't know where to go for help. 

This was a very good read. I think it would have been a 5-star read for me if the momentum didn't slow at the very end. It was an ending that wrapped everything up but I felt a little too unfinished. in terms of my emotions. Hard to explain but I didn't feel like all was going to be okay and it hurt. Really worth the read. So intense. 

So good so good so good. 

Laura Tims

Laura Tims is the author of PLEASE DON'T TELL, coming Fall 2015 from HarperCollins.
She's a mental health advocate, a cancer, and a reasonably cute organism. She likes Tumblr, anime, Neko Atsume, Homestuck, Steven Universe, and Undertale. She likes you even more.
She writes books about strange relationships, pain, and people who are scared but good. She loves to talk and if you also love to talk, find her on Twitter @laura_tims

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