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Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Saturday, September 24, 2016
In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Timesbestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.

Evie has fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jack was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, Evie realizes that there is a war brewing between the teens who’ve been given powers following the apocalypse, and it’s kill or be killed. When Evie meets Death, the gorgeous and dangerous Endless Knight, things get even more complicated. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history. One that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. Evie is drawn to Death, but in love with Jack. She is determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers, and in the process, struggles to accept her place in the prophecy that will either save the world, or destroy it.

Goodreads Summary

Kresley Cole's ability to create a world that is so fascinating I had to finish the book in a single day is mind-boggling. I love Evie and Aric together. I hate love triangles and the only way I can stand for this to work out is if Evie gets to have two husbands (right, sister wives?). Evie and Jack and Aric are the only way this well end well for me. Evie was empathetic, intelligent, and brave. I liked how the author scattered remnants of her past, horrific lives throughout the book. It was fascinating to see who Evie was and who she has the potential to become. The scenes with her and Aric were so intense and felt so real. Her gradually building up a relationship built on trust and dedication was fascinating to watch (until she practically wrecked it). I am definitely Team Aric and I rarely am team anyone. 

I love the idea of the Major Arcana and the descriptions of their powers and fights. The book went by lightening fast for me. The beginning, middle, and end had no drag and left me running to the store for the next book (somewhat literally). I was a little surprised by what Matthew and Aric revealed to Evie. Jack was not exactly the man I thought he was. I still get a bit of a bad vibe from Matthew and I wonder if he's going to one day try to destroy them all. Selena, Finn, and Lark and wonderful supporting characters. I loved the dynamic of their relationships to each other and that "fly by the seat of your pants" thing most of them have going on. I absolutely can't wait for the last in the series (better be the last) to come out!

5 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.
 

Goodreads Summary

Ivy was lucky enough to have escaped (presumably) her parents' killer as well as the psychotic initiator of the Dark House. However, she escaped without her friends and her love interest, Parker. Against all reason, Ivy desires a return to the horror and mayhem she escaped to have a fighting chance of rescuing her friends. Along the way, she reaches out to Taylor, the girl who ran before the Dark House even got started. Initially, Taylor exhibits more brains than Ivy and strongly resists, but when the clues pour in and Ivy is determined to go, Taylor does not want to abandon her newfound friend.

The book is told from Ivy and Taylor's perspectives. I really liked Taylor's character more than Ivy's this time around. Taylor was funny and tried to inject enthusiasm and humor during the more trying moments of the book; Ivy had this weird single-minded focus that was both admirable and slightly mentally ill. I liked that both girls were brave, but I would have preferred one or both to take different approaches to what ultimately happens in the book. Natalie's perspective is also injected at random times. Her resilience is truly amazing. Her ability to survive despite being captured by the Nightmare Elf is incredible. I liked that the author added a fourth and more mysterious perspective that gave the reader clues into the Nightmare Elf's head. Although I had a good idea of what was going to happen in the end, I still found this an intriguing and fast-paced read.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

A World Without You by Beth Revis

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What if finding her means losing himself?

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

Goodreads Summary

It's difficult not to use my Neuroscience background to analyze this novel (whenever I do that it tends to ruin all fiction novels). Bo is a teenage boy with a serious delusion disorder. He believes that he can see the "timestream" and that he can choose to go back in time. He tampers with going forward in time and wants to change what has already happened in the past. He believes that he is attending a school for gifted children who have certain powers. The other children don't matter nearly as much to him as Sofia, a young girl with a serious depressive disorder whose mother and two sisters were killed in an automobile crash. When she commits suicide, Boy is convinced that he actually dropped her off in time somewhere and has to go back in time to go and save her. 

Although the summary does not say much about Phoebe, a good chunk of the novel is written from her viewpoint. She has to endure having a brother with special needs. She's just a teen herself and gives up a lot because of her brother. She knows that it is important that he "heal," but she can't help but think sometimes that he is selfish. I preferred Phoebe over Bo's delusions and sometimes willful choosing of his delusions (debatable in the science community). 

The author did a decent job at describing an unspecified mental disorder. I could tell that she had looked into several disorders that could somewhat fit Bo. Often, it is not possible to identify a disorder that fits perfectly with the given symptoms. I could go into why Bo wasn't a fully accurate representation of a true disorder, but I do believe that unless we have experienced it ourselves we cannot fully say one way or the other no matter what traditional science says. I liked how the other students at the school for "exceptional" children fit into his delusions and hallucinations. I really did love how the author fit Bo's hallucinations like puzzle pieces into the plot of the story and into reality. I spent about a day reading this book, but I think I will remember Bo for much longer than that. I was not surprised by the ending, but it's rare to find a book that is truly shocking.

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

In-Between Days by Vikki Wakefield

Seventeen-year-old Jacklin Bates believes the only way to soar beyond her life is to drop out of school and move in with her free-spirited sister, Trudy. But Jack quickly discovers her sister isn’t the same person she used to be. And when Jack loses her job and the boy she loves breaks her heart, she’s desperate for distractions.

She strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pope, a lost soul camping in the forest behind her house, and begins a fragile relationship with Jeremiah, the boy next door. Together, over an endless summer, they fix up the abandoned drive-in theater at the edge of town.

Deep down, Jack knows she can’t stay in limbo forever. But sometimes the hardest part of starting over isn’t choosing a path…it’s figuring out how to take that first step forward.

Goodreads Summary

Although I hated the character (Jacklin), I really enjoyed the plot. I never really thought about what actually happened to high school drop-outs. Jacklin drops out of high school to go live with her sister who, as the story goes, ran away to Europe before returning to their small town. Their relationship is far from perfect, but it works in a sisterly way. The descriptions that Jacklin has for her sister, her town, her life, etc...are so intriguing. I could literally feel what she was feeling through her descriptions. She meets an old high school friend who might turn into something more despite her confusing feelings for her old boyfriend. She also meets Pope and worries about him since he is camping in a forest where many go to commit suicide. Throughout most of the book, she mostly meanders through life. There are quite a few times where she is given choices, but often remains stagnant. I really did enjoy the ending.

Jacklin was definitely not one of my favorite characters. She was slovenly, rude, and didn't seem to care much about other people or even her older dog until it was too late. She isolated herself and alienated nearly everyone around her at one point or another in the novel. She literally dropped out of high school for no real reason to take a job that didn't even have enough money to pay her (and she soon lost that job). It was almost like watching someone just spiral all the way down and then remain in a constant loop. I was able to guess what was going to happen at the end so it wasn't really a huge surprise. I think I liked the simplicity of the book despite Jacklin. It was a small town with a bunch of characters and the author had a way of truly making me feel as if I was really in that little town of Mobius. I really enjoyed how the author turned simple events into something that I found worth reading.

4 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ