Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Hidden Gems In Your Favorite Genre

It's time for another Top 5 Wednesday!! This week's topic is the Top 5 Hidden Gems In Your Favorite Genre. My list doesn't all live in one genre, but they are my favorite hidden gems. Some have more attention than others, but I feel that all five on my list need more love. Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Hidden Gems:


-- Altered (#1) by Jennifer Rush -- I've gushed about this series a lot, and I plan to gush more. If you like a good action book, this is it!! It's really fast paced, there are tons of secrets, and it's just really good. Plus, there are four very attractive, genetically altered heroes!! Go Read It!

-- Hemlock (#1) by Kathleen Peacock -- I feel like I never hear anybody talk about this series, but it's so good! It might sound like just another paranormal romance series, but it's so much more than that. There's a lot going on, a lot of darkness. It's such a good series. The whole thing had me on the edge of my seat. It has stuck with me. I need to know when Kathleen Peacock is going to write more books.

-- The Madman's Daughter (#1) by Megan Shepherd -- I really like Megan Shepherd. I've read almost all her books (which is only 7 so far, so I guess that claim is not that impressive, I mean, it's impressive that Megan Shepherd has written 7 awesome books! But not so impressive that I've read 6 of them). This series is dark and oh sooooo good. I really enjoyed it when I read it and I think you should read it too!

-- The First Days (#1) by Rhiannon Frater -- If you like zombies, read this! I still need to read the last book. The first two were awesome! Read it!

-- House of Ash by Hope Cook -- I feel like this one is truly a hidden gem. I loved this when I read it. It was dark, exciting, and just a good time to read. It's a shame that this doesn't have more love. Go Read It Now!!

So that's my Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Hidden Gems. I hope you go check out all the books I've mentioned, because obviously, they are all awesome. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should! Each Wednesday is a fun, new topic to think and talk about. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers HERE!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (#1) by Mark Frost

Title: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (#1)
Author: Mark Frost
Published by: Flatiron Books
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: A secret dossier found in an unusual chest. The Dossier covers many things, but the one interconnecting thread is Twin Peaks, Washington. Twin Peaks seems to be plagued by strange occurrences, colorful characters, and a crime that rocked the town.
The Dossier has been compiled by someone calling themself the Archivist. Agent T.P. has been tasked with discovering the identity of the Archivist, and that means reading through this Dossier of strangeness.
Starting with the Lewis and Clarke expedition and continuing on to the present. Strange events seem to happen in Twin Peaks, but why?
My Thoughts: This was a lot of fun to read. I knew I had to pick this book up as soon as I flipped through it. The way it was put together, the format, called to me. It's told as a cache of secret documents, with classified intelligence papers, pictures, a mysterious Archivist, and so many questions.
Twin Peaks, the show, had never really been on my radar. I didn't even know about the show until I looked a little more into this book. I did start watching the show while I was reading this book. I only finished the First Season of the show by the time I finished this book. I'd read reviews, and was aware that there were spoilers for the show in this book. I was so excited to read the book, that I didn't really care about the spoilers. But, Be Warned! There are SPOILERS!! They come in the last couple chapters of the book. I mean, the show did last air in the 1990's, so you could really encounter those spoilers anywhere.
One aspect that I'm loving about the show is the quirky, weird humor it has to it. The book didn't capture that humor, which I kind of missed. The book had a pretty serious tone throughout the whole thing.
This book is also a Conspiracy Theorists Dream! I would read something, be like, that never happened, look it up, and certain facts would be true!! Now, I know this is a fiction book, and it would be stupid for me to take things as fact in it, but, Conspiracy Theories can be fun! And this had so many about suspicious deaths (or are they??), alien cover up conspiracies, secret government programs, and just all kinds of things that make you question everything! I imagine this book took a good chunk of time to write, with a lot of research, unless he already had all those conspiracies floating around in his head. I feel like I learned a lot of obscure knowledge, and I enjoyed it!
I did get a little bogged down during the UFO section. The incidents kind of ran together, and peoples' names got jumbled in my mind. It was a little dense, and slowed me down.
This book was a lot of fun. I loved the journey and experience of reading it. The format was so cool! I never got bored or annoyed by it. I've heard that there's another book after this, and I'll definitely read it. I might just finish Twin Peaks Season Two first. And I do think if you had no interest in watching Twin Peaks, you could still read this. It has its own story that's fun to dive into
A Conspiracy Theorists Dream!

Monday, January 29, 2018

COVER REVEAL: True Storm (True Born #3) by L.E. Sterling

I'm super excited to be taking part in the True Storm by L.E. Sterling Cover Reveal! True Storm is the third and final book in the True Born Trilogy. The first two covers were sufficiently awesome, and I can't wait to show you what the third looks like.
This series is about a plague that wiped out much of the world population, damaging the genetics of those that survived. Some people wait to die, some people pay for expensive treatments that may prolong their life a little, and some people are immune. These people are called True Borns. True Borns are mysterious and feared. Twin sisters Margot and Lucy try to survive this world together. When Margot disappears, Lucy must find her, and that means getting help from the True Borns.
Here's what the first two books look like:


And now, the moment we've all been waiting for! The Cover Reveal for True Storm!
Here it comes!!


And there it is! The cover for True Storm! It's very pretty. I like that it sticks with the theme of the other covers. I like the color of it. I still haven't read this series yet, but I'm definitely going to! It sounds right up my ally. I even own the first two books, so I'm definitely going to read them.

About the Author:

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature - where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt - inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Thank you Entangled Teen for letting me share the cover of True Storm, and thank you for stopping by my blog! Come back anytime.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Reading Right Now! (150)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


-- Robin Hood's Dawn: Book 1 of The Robin Hood Trilogy by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer -- I was sent this for free for honest review from the publisher, so thanks to them! I was part of a blog tour for it, but I hadn't finished reading the book yet before my post date. This is a historical fiction book set in the 1100's all about how Robin Hood became the celebrated folk hero he remains today. I'm enjoying this book. I think it's fun. I hope to finish it soon. When I do finish, I will be posting my full review.

-- The Gauntlet (The Cage Book 3) by Megan Shepherd -- I'm also reading The Gauntlet by Megan Shepherd, the last book in The Cage Trilogy! I'm excited to see how it all ends. I love Megan Shepherd. I'm about 80 pages in, and so far it's been very exciting. I hope to get farther in this too.

And Then...

-- I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young -- I really want to read this!! It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun and I've heard nothing but good things about it.

That's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Robin Hood's Dawn by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer

I'm very excited to be taking part in the Robin Hood's Dawn, Book 1 of The Robin Hood Trilogy by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer Blog Tour! I will also have a post on my bookstagram account (@gotbookcitement) using my artsy side to show off a pretty picture. Well, I think it's pretty haha. Check out my bookstagram here if you want!!
I was kindly sent a review copy for free, to read and review, but this in no way influences what I think of the book. All my reviews are 100% honest and 100% my own. I do want to thank the publisher for sending a review copy my way though. Thank You!
So, my post for this Blog Tour stop was supposed to be a review, but I'm a bad peasant, and I haven't finished the book yet. I'm so sorry. So I thought I'd share a Reading Right Now! style post discussing my thoughts I'm having while reading it.

Title: Robin Hood's Dawn (Book 1 of The Robin Hood Trilogy)
Authors: Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer
Published by: Angevin World Publishing
Released: January 16, 2018
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Summary: OH MERRY MEN! This is the story of Robin Hood. Set in England in the mid 1100's, it tells the story of kings, betrayals, and revenge that spans generations. Robin Fitzooth leads a happy life as the Earl of Huntingdon. He is betrothed to marry the lovely Marian Fitzwalter. He loves his home, he loves his friends, and he loves his family. All is set into disarray when the new Sheriff of Nottingham arrives. A crime is committed and Robin is falsely accused, and sentenced to death! Rescued from the swinging noose just in the nick of time, Robin becomes an outlaw. He vows to rescue his lovely Marian, help the poor people of Nottingham, and get back against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and his henchman Guy Gisborne.
This is the story of how Robin Hood came to be. The forces and people that shaped him into the great folk hero he becomes.
My (preliminary) Thoughts: So, as I've said, I haven't exactly finished this book yet. I feel so bad about that. So, look for my full review when I have finished the book. I love the cover! It's so green and pretty.
Currently, I'm about 120 pages in. I'm enjoying it. It's a very historical look at Robin Hood, or more accurately a very historical retelling of the Robin Hood legend. I do feel like I'm looking down from above at 1150's England. All the fashion, all the pageantry, and all the customs. It reads like an adult historical fiction, which I do tend to enjoy. The writing is easy to get into. I'm liking it, I think it's a good time. I won't say it's a story that pulls you in and makes you a part of the action, I tend to feel like a spectator watching from above.
My Robin Hood knowledge comes pretty much from the Disney version of Robin Hood. Where everyone is a cute little woodland creature. So, I won't say that I'm super well versed on all the details of Robin Hood, but it has been nice seeing notable characters pop up, and how they came to be.
The Sheriff of Nottingham is AWFUL!!! Guy Gisborne is pretty awful too. I don't know how I feel about Robin Hood yet, he seems like a nice guy. I feel very bad for Marian. I can't imagine being a girl in the 1100's. Having no power over yourself and pretty much being at the whims of a man. Just doesn't seem like a lot of fun.
I found the beginning of the book to be a little jumpy. It was kind of setting up the whens and wheres and whys. There's a lot of politics at play, cashing in favors, and revenge!
So far, I'm enjoying Robin Hood's Dawn! I can't wait to read more of it and see how everything goes. Be on the lookout for my full review when I finish the book.

Thank you so much for checking out my Blog Tour Stop for Robin Hood's Dawn: Book 1 in The Robin Hood Trilogy by Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer. If this book sounds good to you, be sure to check it out!

Here's some links to check the book out for yourself

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Title: In A Dark, Dark Wood
Author: Ruth Ware
Published by: Scout Press
Released: August 2015
Source: Library

Summary: Leonora Shaw, also known as Nora, Lee, and other nicknames, is a crime fiction writer. She lives in a little flat in London, and loves it. She's a bit of a loner, happy in her routines.
One day, an email pops up in her inbox. It's an invitation to attend a hen party for her friend Clare, who she hasn't seen or spoken to in years. Nora wants to decline, but curiosity makes her accept.
It's a weekend retreat in an all glass house, in the middle of the woods. Nora feels awkward, realizes it was a mistake to come. Before she can leave, something happens on the property, something that will change her life forever.
My Thoughts: Meh. This turned out to be a mediocre thriller. I'm not saying it was bad, it just wasn't as thrilling and twisty as I wanted it to be.
I was kind of prepared for the averageness though. This is a hyped up book, but it has mixed reviews. This wasn't the thrilling ride I wanted, but I didn't hate it.
I did think it had an interesting start. A friend that you haven't spoken to in ten years invites you to a hen party, basically a bachelorette weekend. Why? Do you go? Do you decline? If that had been me, the curiosity would have been hard to resist.
There was also something about the weekend that felt so awkward. Stuck in a house with people you don't know or haven't talked to in years.
The setting of the house was pretty creepy too. Essentially in the middle of nowhere. So it had some intriguing bits to it.
I do feel like the story got so drawn out though, with the memory loss aspect. I can't say I was glued to my seat, flipping pages because I needed to know what happened next.
The ending also wasn't shocking or a major twist. It was fairly obvious who-done-it. The why it was done was just kind of ehh. I wasn't shocked or blown out of my seat by it.
I feel like this book would translate into a B Thriller movie. There's a great set-up, with a spooky setting, but then a really obvious ending. It's going to be okay to watch, but it won't change your life. It's not the best, most exciting thriller ever, but it's a way to pass the time.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Reading Right Now! (149)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

--Four Summoner's Tales by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry -- This is a collection of four novellas, were all four writers were given the same premise: A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead -- for a price... dum dum duuuuummmm. Each story is about 80 to 90 pages long, so they aren't too short, but they are not long either. I think it's really cool how they all have the same premise, but they've all gone in different directions. So far, no story has sounded like the other. I've read 3 out of the 4 stories, and so far, I've really been enjoying it. Kelley Armstrong's story was probably my favorite (so far), Christopher Golden's was very good with some twists I wasn't expecting. David Liss took a more fun approach, where the owner of the book is a thief, con man who uses his power as leverage to make some money. The only one I have left to read is Jonathan Maberry's story, and I'm already a Jonathan Maberry fan. His story is set in his Joe Ledger world, I think.
So far, I'm pretty pleased with this book. I've enjoyed each story that I've read, which can be really rare when it comes to short story, anthology kind of things. As of right now, I'd definitely recommend it. I think I will have it finished early into my weekend.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores (Issues #55-60) by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr.

Title: Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores (Issues #55-60)
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciller: Pia Guerra
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Published by: DC Comics
Released: 2008
Source: Library

Summary: Five years after the death of all males, except for two lone survivors, Yorick, the last man alive, is closer to finding his love Beth. Yorick and Agent 355 are on their way to Paris!
Hero is also on a trip, looking for her brother.
Some old enemies are still looking for Yorick too.
In this last Volume of Y: The Last Man, we see how Yorick's journey ends.
My Thoughts: I can't believe I'm finished with this series. Finishing a series feels so rare to me, most times because I'm always stuck in the middle of them. Y: The Last Man has been a comic series I've enjoyed. I don't think it's the best ever, but I've always been interested in the story. I've also formed attachments to some of the characters.
I was excited for this finale. I thought I'd get all the answers I wanted, and just feel a sense of satisfaction at the end. Unfortunately, this conclusion just left me unsatisfied, and wanting.
This conclusion just left me sad. It wasn't a happy ending, which is what I wanted for Yorick and the gang.
There were some shocking scenes that I didn't expect, wasn't ready for, and didn't like. I still feel really confused about what caused the whole plague and what the cure was. If you asked me, I couldn't tell you. Maybe they explained it somewhere along the series and I just forgot, or I didn't get it, but if that happened, it definitely wasn't a moment that stuck with me enough to remember.
This whole Volume just felt very sad. I don't think it's the ending that I wanted for these characters. It was also very unsatisfying. Not really what I wanted in the Final Volume. I don't regret reading this series, I just wish it had a better ending.
An unsatisfying end.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cover Reveal!! The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James

I'm excited to be able to take part in the Cover Reveal for The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James! Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources for letting me be a part of it.

Are you ready for it?

Here it comes!!

Here it is! I think it's really cute. I'm going to include the synopsis from GoodReads 

'Britain's answer to the best Marigold Hotel'
Let the shenanigans begin at the Best Boomerville Hotel...
Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision -- a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of 'a certain age' wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!
Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than its fair share of eccentric clientele: there's fun-loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn't found 'the One' herself.
With such an array of colorful individuals there's bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

It sounds like a cute, fun read.
It comes out March 13, 2018 from Ruby Press.

Caroline James

And that's the Cover Reveal for The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James. I'm happy I got to take part.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Title: The Leaving
Author: Tara Altebrando
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Six kindergartners disappeared one day, and for eleven years, their families sat with that mystery. Now, eleven years later, they suddenly reappear. They have no memories of their time away and one of them is still missing.
What happened to these kids? Where'd they go? Why have they returned? And what happened to Max?
My Thoughts: This was kind of a messy thriller for me. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like things could have been done better.
I'll start with the positive, a pro of the story. I found it to be very interesting throughout. I wanted to see what was going to happen next. It was also a pretty fast read. I would sit down to read, and end up consuming big chunks of it. So, it did keep my attention, and was interesting.
I thought the beginning of the book could have been stronger, provided more of a punch. The events that happened in the beginning could have been told in a stronger, more exciting way.
I also didn't understand why we only got perspectives from two of the returned kids. If five came back, why not give me chapters from all fives' points of view. I ended up forgetting who some the the kids were. They just felt like throw away characters.
I thought all the romances in this book were stupid. They didn't add anything. Some just felt annoying. And one, near the end, was out-of-left-field aggravating. I also didn't really love the characters of Scarlett and Avery. I didn't like Scarlett's chapters because they were told in this irritating, style over substance way. I also didn't like her because of her attitude towards her mom, and her dismissive, I'm smarter than you, attitude. Avery was just kind of childish. And she could be very rude as well.
The reveal of the why the kids were taken was disappointing. All this build-up, and then the ending just fell flat. I was expecting something bigger, and more exciting.
This book ended up being a mixed bag. It kept me interested, but I was meh about it at the same time. I think with different choices, it could have been a lot better.
I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Reading Right Now! (148)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is the same thing I was Reading Right Now! last week. So it's not exciting, but I'll tell you anyway.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle So my reading week hasn't been the best, oh well. I am almost done with this book though, so that's good. I'm definitely enjoying it. There's just something about Moira Fowley-Doyle's writing style that I really enjoy. It's got a magical or whimsical quality to it. It can take a story that might not be the most exciting, and turn it into something really interesting to read. It was the same when I read The Accident Season. There's this possibility of some kind of strange/magical element that turns out to be more mundane. I'm enjoying Spellbook of the Lost and Found even though I won't say it has the most page turning plot. I don't really know how to explain it. I just like it.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Title: My Sister Rosa
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Published by: Soho Teen
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Che is pretty sure his little sister is a psychopath. He's studied up on the subject, he wants to be a neurologist. Rosa exhibits all the classic signs of psychopathy; no empathy, fearlessness, no inhibition. Che feels a real responsibility to protect the world from Rosa. As his family moves to New York, that pledge to watch Rosa becomes a lot harder. It doesn't help that his parents don't believe him. How could sweet, cute, little Rosa be a danger to anyone?
My Thoughts: I found this book to be very addicting, and I liked it. There was this tension running through it. I was just waiting for something really bad to happen. I did feel like I ended up waiting for a very long time though. There was this weird compulsion to it, where I was just hooked, I can't really explain why though
I don't think this book was perfect, and I don't think this book is for everyone. Not a whole lot happened in it. It kind of had this slow pace to it. I could have used a little more excitement and some more intense events. Rosa is billed as a psychopath, which makes one think super evil little kid! And she was very unsettling, but she wasn't a murder everybody psycho. Don't get me wrong, she's definitely messed up, I just thought she'd do more bad things.
I felt bad for Che because of his family situation. Being moved place to place, being a kind of father to his little sister, and then not even really having a stable education. His parents struck me as kind of selfish. They were so into each other and their businesses, that the kids were just kind of an afterthought. They sounded like very hippy parents to me, which I'm always a little bit disapproving of. I think it's weird when kids call their parents by their first names, when the parents have trained them to do that. And it was also weird how the parents were living off the generosity of others, and not paying for really anything. It was just a very weird situation all the way through.
I just found the story to be very addicting though. I think I like how Justine Larbalestier writes. Even though it was slow going, and I was waiting for the crazy to really take off, I was never bored by the book. I'd put it down, but was always excited to pick it up again. It was a compelling read. I do feel like there was no gasp-worthy conclusion at the end. I feel like Rosa will grow up to do worse things, and I'm curious how her story will continue.
This book took me on an odd little journey. I was never bored. It surprised me at turns, shocked me at others. There is this sense of bad things are going to happen as I was reading through. I liked this book. Rosa is scary manipulative, but interesting to read about.
Oddly Addicting

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books I Didn't Get To In 2017

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday!! This week's topic is the Top 5 Books I Didn't Get To In 2017. There are soooo many, but I'm just going to pick out a few.


Just a bit of a random sampling here. There are soooo many books that I wanted to read in 2017 that just didn't happen. I just picked a few of them that were floating around in my mind.

-- Gemina (Illuminae #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff -- There's been a couple years of me letting this one sit on the sidelines. I want to read it. I will admit that while I liked Illuminae, I didn't think it was the best thing ever. I'm hesitant, yet excited, to go into the sequel. I hope I really enjoy it.

-- Rebel of the Sands (#1) by Alwyn Hamilton -- I've heard so many good things about this book and series! I'm a little miffed at the cover change. Why? This cover style was sooo pretty. I hope to read this in 2018.

-- Monster (Gone #7) by Michael Grant -- I was soooo excited when I learned that my beloved Gone series was getting a spin-off continuation. I snatched it, but I still haven't read it yet!!! I need to rectify this immediately.

-- A Darker Shade of Magic (#1) by V.E. Schwab -- Fun Fact: The only V.E. Schwab book I've read is Vicious and you all know how much I loved that. I need to read more V.E. Schwab.  Let's hope this gets read this year.

-- Shutter by Courtney Alameda -- I just want to read this one. The cover gets me. I keep telling myself, I'm gonna read it, I'm gonna read it, and it just manages to slip through the cracks. Hopefully 2018 will be the year! I love a good, scary, paranormal book.

So that's it. That's my Top 5 Wednesday. What are the books that you didn't get to in 2017 and are kicking yourself about? Want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun? Then do it!! Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers HERE!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Spotlight Tour: Busted by Gina Ciocca: Excerpt, Giveaway, and Guest Post!!!

Hey Hey, I'm excited to be on the Spotlight Blog Tour for the new book Busted by Gina Ciocca. This book sounds like a lot of fun to read! It's a cute, fun contemporary about a girl who's been hired to snoop on suspected cheaters! She's hired to snoop on a boy, but she quickly realizes that he might just be the boy for her. It sounds fun and cute. I can't wait to read it myself. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for inviting me to be a part of the tour.  Anyway.... here's all the stuff:

Title: Busted
Author: Gina Ciocca
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Released: January 2, 2018
ISBN: 9781492654292

Synopsis: Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby—until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation—and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take “cheater” to a whole new level…

Buy Links:
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

Meet The Author:

Gina Ciocca graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English, but in her mind, she never left high school. She relocated from Connecticut to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and son. When she's not reading or writing, you can find her taking long walks around the lake in her neighborhood. Gina can also be found online at, on Instagram as gmciocca, and Twitter as gmc511.

Marisa's Top 5 Tips For Sleuthing:

Hey there. Marisa Palmera, Private Eye here. Okay, so I don’t actually call myself that, and neither does anyone else. In fact, I never meant to become a sleuth-for-hire. But spend one night scaling your best-friend’s boyfriend’s house to take incriminating pictures, and suddenly everyone wants you to be something you’re not…and when they’re willing to line your sadly lacking pockets for it, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
So, should you find yourself an unwitting Girl Friday (or even a witting one... Is “witting” a thing?) like I did, here are some tips that just may save your butt:
  1. Always have a camera handy. Whether it’s your cell phone, or the fancy camera you borrowed from your school’s yearbook club, you never know when you’ll need to snap an evidence shot. Just, um, make sure you turn off the flash if said camera is aimed through a window into a dark living room. I may have learned this the hard way.
  2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Sounds ominous and dramatic, I know. But if someone gives you the vibe that they shouldn’t be let out of your sight? GO WITH IT.
  3. Think fast. Suck at lying? Me too. Get over it, because you’ll be fudging the truth a lot.
  4. But know when to say no. Weave enough white lies, and suddenly they’re a sticky, tangled web with you trapped inside. Know when it’s time to run, and do it like the flames of hell are licking your feet.
  5. Don’t fall for the person you’re investigating. Yeah. You’re just gonna have to do as I say and not as I do on this one. Oops.  
Pretty good huh? Here's an excerpt that will make it even more irresistible!!

My eyes darted from TJ’s dark, furrowed eyebrows to the logo on the left breast of his shirt and I sat up straighter.
“Um, where’d you get the Maple Acres shirt?”
His expression didn’t change. “Maple Acres.”
I fought the urge to roll my eyes. “Right. I meant, do you work there?”
“Yup.” He sat back in his chair and pulled at the logo, stretching the white cotton away from his chest before turning his attention back to the computer screen. “Long time now.”
As soon as he said it, my memory was triggered. I’d always thought he looked familiar but could never quite place where I’d seen him. As I thought back to every trip I’d taken to Maple Acres, twice a year since I was two years old, the image of a boy with dark curls stuffed beneath a knit cap and a heavy flannel coat that made him look like Paul Bunyan clicked into place. The farm stretched over two hundred and fifty acres, selling pumpkins and cider and offering hayrides and a corn maze in a fall, then Christmas trees that you cut down yourself in the winter. The place had a storybook quality to it that I loved, and I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to figure out TJ was a part of it.
“We go there for our tree every year. I think I’ve seen you.”
TJ kept his eyes on the screen. “Probably. I’m usually bundling the trees or in the checkout area. Sometimes I drive the tractor for the hayrides.” He glanced over long enough to shoot me a half smile. “Maybe you’ve seen the back of my head.”
That would’ve been an occasion I definitely hadn’t noticed him. The one and only time I’d taken a hayride had been the lone trip I’d made without Charlie or my dad, both of whom are allergic to hay. I’d gone with Jordan. Superman himself could’ve been driving the tractor and I would’ve been too busy drooling over Jordan in his plaid button-down with the sleeves rolled up around his gorgeous forearms to notice.
Vom, vom, vom. I pushed the chunks down and forged ahead. “So, that thing you didn’t want to do the last time we talked, is that… still an issue?”
“Uh, no. That fell through, so my article should be good to go on Monday.”
He’s not making this easy for me, that’s for sure.
“Take your time, really. I hope you didn’t cancel your plans because of me.”
He glanced over and gave me a wry smile. “No.”
“So, um, the tree farm. I go all the time.” I mentally slapped myself. Twice a year is all the time? “Do you live nearby?”
“You know the green colonial across the street behind the barn?”
“Uh huh.”
He smiled again. “That’s my house.”
“Wait, I thought the owners lived there.”
“They do. We have for my whole life.”
“Your family owns Maple Acres?” I blinked a few times, dumbfounded by my own dumbness.
“Well, co-owns. Have you seen the guy with the white hair who sneaks free gourds to all the little kids at Halloween? That’s my Uncle Roger. He’s there all the time, but my dad does more of the financial stuff.”
My face lit up. “That’s awesome! I love that place! I took a picture of the white barn from the top of the hill once and tried to sketch it. All the trees had snow on them, the sky was this amazing gray color and the pond was reflecting it” – I remembered mid-babble that I’d veered off course and reigned myself back in – “anyway, let’s just say it was magical, but drawing isn’t my strong suit. So, um, if you didn’t move, then why did you switch schools?”
TJ’s eyes slid back to the computer screen and his shoulder tensed ever so slightly, as if I’d brought up something he didn’t really want to talk about. Now I was getting somewhere.
“Our property is right at the intersection of three town lines. Technically, I could’ve gone to any one of the high schools.” He stabbed a few keys with his pointer finger, eliciting three clipped clicks. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I swore his jaw tightened. “I left Templeton because it was time for a change of scenery.”
“It must’ve been hard, though, transferring for your senior year.” And pretty odd, in my opinion. “I’m sure you had a lot of ties there.”
TJ’s fingers paused in mid-air over the keyboard and he looked at me. “Not that many.”
This time when he turned his attention back to the screen, I knew our conversation had ended. He ran a hand through his hair in a gesture that had a definite undertone of irritation. Whether it related to my question or some memory pertaining to the school, I couldn’t tell. But when I caught sight of the leather bracelet on his wrist, my desire to exclaim OMG THAT’S GORGEOUS WHERE DID YOU GET IT almost overruled my desire to ask what the hell his comment was supposed to mean. I’d been baiting him to say, “Yeah, my girlfriend goes there.” He hadn’t. What did that mean?
Maybe nothing.
But damn it all to hell, I suddenly had to know for sure.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga

Title: The Secret Sea
Author: Barry Lyga
Published by: Feiwel And Friends
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Zak thinks he has a guardian angel. He hears a voice in his head that sometimes warns him when he's in danger. He's also started having dreams of being on a ship. Unfortunately, after a slip-up that gets him into some trouble, his parents worry that he's crazy. They send him to see a therapist, where he learns of some dark family secrets.
The voice is getting more insistent. Compelling him to go somewhere. Soon begins a strange journey to another world, filled with danger and mystery. Zak must decided what to do, and what is right.
My Thoughts: This book, I didn't really like it. I didn't really enjoy the process of reading it. I thought this book was very messy, I didn't like how it was put together, and how events played out. I wasn't a fan. I really only liked one character. I just didn't enjoy this.
It took me quite a while to get into this story. The beginning was just kind of weird and frustrating for me. I found Zak very hard to sympathize with, he mostly annoyed me. I didn't like how he treated and viewed his parents. He kind of acted like a drama king.
I was also very suspicious of the people Zak was supposed to help, pretty much the thing that set the whole plot into motion. I just feel like if things had been thought through and not taken at face value, this whole mess could have been avoided. It was just very messy.
I'm also not really a fan of this alternate world. There was a whole smack-you-over-the-head feminism vibe going on, which I found annoying. Not a fan. I really got annoyed with Moira during certain points because she became such a man-hater so quickly. I feel like she took pleasure in beating up as many men as possible. I know that feminism is a popular thing now, but I don't enjoy being hit over the head with it. In all honesty, if this had been marketed as a feminist book in the synopsis, I wouldn't have even picked it up.
I think I also got annoyed with Moira because she was a know-it-all. I don't tend to like people or characters like that.
The only character I really enjoyed was Khalid. He was a good friend, he didn't jump to dumb conclusions, and he wasn't super judgey.
Apart from Khalid, the only other thing I liked was the author's note in the back. I found it very interesting to get an insight into how he came up with the idea for this book, and what real life events inspired him.
This book was disappointing, and I didn't really like it. Most of the characters annoyed me, the over-the-top Feminism aspect annoyed me, and the reason for the adventure felt suspicious from page one. Not a fan of this book.
What a Mess.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Reading Right Now! (147)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

-- Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle -- This is my next read. Technically, I haven't started it yet, but as soon as I pop open a book, it's going to be this one. I don't really remember what exactly this one is about. I think people lose things. I really enjoyed Moira Fowley-Doyle's The Accident Season, so I'm hoping I feel the same about Spellbook of the Lost and Found

So that's my reading plans for this weekend. What I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: The Gathering (Shadow House #1) by Dan Poblocki

Title: The Gathering (Shadow House #1)
Author: Dan Poblocki
Published by: Scholastic Inc.
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Five children brought to Larkspur House for different reasons. Poppy gets a letter from a great-aunt she never knew she had, inviting her to Larkspur. Marcus has been offered a scholarship to the Larkspur Music School. Azumi is haunted by her past, and picks a boarding school as far away as possible from her home, and the only school that pops up in her internet search is Larkspur. Dylan and Dash are twin actors who get an offer to film a horror movie at Larkspur.
Five different kids arrive for four different reasons to a strange house. It's empty, except for strange kids wearing masks. Larkspur House has secrets, dangerous secrets. Poppy, Dash, Dylan, Marcus, and Azumi are trapped in Larkspur with no way out!
My Thoughts: This was so much fun! Scary Fun! I really, really liked this. I love scary stories. In real life, I'm a wimp. I can't really do scary movies, but I love scary books. The Gathering is a creepy, haunted house read, where five kids are kind of lured there based on false reasons. The kids end up trapped there and start to find out crazy secrets about Larkspur House.
I really enjoyed every moment of this book. The scares were legit. I would be a shivering mess in that house, probably in a fetal position. This book delivered on the scares, which not every scary book can say.
I enjoyed all the characters and their backstories.
I also loved the pictures included! They added that little extra edge of creepy. I really loved the whole design of the book. The sooty kind of pages, the interactive cover, it was all just really fun.
The only con I would have is that there wasn't really an ending to the story, or any kind of wrap-up. I need the next book now! And I don't have it!!
Another cool thing about this series is that there is an app for it. The app is mostly a choose your own adventure, short scary stories, but it's still a cool thing to do.
This book was a lot of fun and I can't wait to read the next one. It was genuinely scary and creepy, and I had a fun time reading it. It was a super fast read. I need the sequel pronto. I definitely recommend.
Scary Fun!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1)
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Released: September 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Romeo and Juliet meet. Romeo and Juliet fall in love. It all ends in tragedy. They shouldn't even have met. They come from two families that hate each other, in a world gone to ruin.
The scene is the city of Viaraya. The only city alive after The Ruining. It's protected by the magic of the Sisters of Thorn. The magic relies on blood sacrifices, which happen every six months, and feed the city's defenses.
Runajo is a Sister of Thorn, and she's determined to save the city. She doesn't need anybody, until through a twist of fate, she's bound magically to a girl named Juliet.
Paris Castreou has always been a disappointment to his family, never destined for anything special. Then The Juliet's Guardian dies, and Paris has been given the honor of being a replacement. It all goes terribly wrong. Paris becomes magically bound to a boy called Romeo.
In a dying city, with zombies and necromancy, these two duos must work together to save what they can.
My Thoughts: I don't know what I just read. I can say that I didn't really like it. The world made no sense. I didn't get it. Everything was just really confusing. The writing wasn't bad, but in a way, this just felt like a waste of time read.
This whole story was just very confusing. It made no sense. I didn't enjoy the world building in it. Everything just felt really random and not explained very well. It was a very information dump world set up. Lots of things were being thrown at the reader: magic, zombies, a dying city, a deadly fog, and necromancy. A lot of people and names were thrown about too. People I tended to forget almost immediately, and races that I got mixed up. It was just very confusing. I didn't get it, and I didn't really enjoy it.
The book contains two separate character journeys. It's Romeo and Paris, and then Runajo and Juliet. My favorite duo was probably Paris and Romeo. Their adventure was more fun to read, and I enjoyed their dynamic. Runajo and Juliet were just kind of blah. Both girls were just kind of difficult to like, to sympathize with. I really didn't like Runajo, she seemed really unpleasant and mean. I felt like all the characters were kind of bland too. I never really got to know them.
The ending was kind of crazy, in that WHAT IS HAPPENING?!? kind of way. And it didn't feel like it really ended. I wasn't given a satisfying conclusion.
This was just disappointing and super confusing. I didn't really like it. The one pro I have is that the writing is good. I kept reading to see what would happen. I just didn't really like the story. This will probably end up being one of the most disappointing books of the year. I'm just very confused. I started off confused in the beginning and am still confused in the end. This whole book was just a very weird experience.
Nothing makes sense... nothing.