A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 416 pages
Published May 5th, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So, when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

My thoughts…

I had never read any of Sarah J. Maas' books prior to picking up this one, even though I have the complete Throne of Glass series. I was hesitant to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, in the past I’ve had problems with finding books about fairy lore interesting. When I heard that it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is one of my favorites, I knew I just had to read it.

I’m pleased to say that Sarah J. Maas did not disappoint. I really appreciate all the groundwork for the political posturing that took place between the courts, the world building was amazing. I especially enjoyed the slow burn relationship between Feyre and Tamlin, I’m worried about what is going to happen between them and Rhysand in A Court of Mist and Fury.

I also liked that there was plenty of action mixed in with the romance. Amarantha was such a wicked character. When Feyre had to complete the three tasks in order to win back Tamlin, I was so nervous that something horrible was going to happen.

I was surprised that I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to see where this story goes.

Happy Reading -J

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Brittany Pressley – Narrator
Audiobook, Duration: 10:41:34
Published March 7th, 2017
by Random House Audio Publishing Group

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.

My thoughts…

When I started listening to the audio version of The Roanoke Girls, I had no idea that this story was going to be so dark and disturbing. I knew from the synopsis that the family was dysfunctional, but dysfunctional doesn't even come close to describing this family.

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
― Amy Engel, The Roanoke Girls

When Lane Roanoke’s mother commits suicide, Lane ends up at the beautifully home that her mother had fled from. The Roanoke family has dark secrets that go back generations. After spending one shocking summer at the poisonous Roanoke house, Lane learns the horrific secrets and flees. Lane wants her cousin Allegra to come with her but Allegra refuses to leave Roanoke. Lane vows to never to return to her Grandfather’s estate, where dysfunction breeds and forbidden secrets are meant to stay hidden. Eleven years later, Lane receives a call from her grandfather, Allegra is missing. Lane is drawn back to the estate determined to find her cousin.

Although the subject matter was dark and disturbing, I was unable to stop listening to it and I was gripped from the beginning. The story is told mostly from Lane's point of view, but we also get perspectives of the other Roanoke girls and their stories. It flowed easily back and forth between past and present. There are potential emotional triggers present and one should take caution before reading. I felt that the author handled the issues with sensitivity and didn't try to play up the things that happened. I am looking forward to reading more from Amy Engel.

“The real danger has always lived in my granddad's kind voice, his soft caresses. All of it masquerading as innocent, but really just a gateway drug for girls starved for affection, desperate for someone to love them. He doesn't force us with a heavy hand. He manipulates with a gentle touch, guides us exactly where he wants us to go. So, in the end, we blame only ourselves.”
― Amy Engel, The Roanoke Girls

Stacking the Shelves #62 (December 9 - December 15)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the latest books I have added to my shelves; may it be physical or virtual. I can include books I buy in a store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, audiobooks, gifts and of course eBooks. All book title links will direct you to Goodreads.

Stacking the Shelves #62:

I added three physicals books to the shelves this week. I finished reading Craving (Steel Brothers Saga #1) by Helen Hardt and enjoyed it. I pick up book #2 and #3 to find out what is going to happen between Talon and Jade. After reading Lotte’s Book of The Week post, I also added Crime and Punishment.

Books purchased:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I’m seriously thinking about starting up my Kindle Unlimited subscription once again. I noticed that all four eBooks that I purchased this week, are available for free with Kindle Unlimited.

eBooks purchased:

Across the Horizon by Aly Martinez
Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata

Borrowed from the library:

Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers
You Don't Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark

Have you read any of the books I have listed? I would like to hear what you thought of them.

Happy Reading! -Jovita

Never Knowing, Sometimes I Lie, I See You

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 22nd, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find closure.

But some questions are better left unanswered.

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother---only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: Her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.

What if murder is in your blood?

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman's quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive…

My thoughts…

Last year I read Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens and really enjoyed it. Never Knowing wasn’t as suspenseful, but I still found it entertaining. The first half of the story was good, but a slow at times.

Sara and her daughter are both characters that I didn’t care for, but I did enjoy the story. Ally was a bratty child that needed discipline. After all the warnings from her fiancĂ© and birth mother, Sara is determined to meet her birth father, she can’t believe that he is the Campsite Killer. Once her birth father contacts her, the manipulation begins. Dead bodies start turning up near her area she realized that maybe he is dangerous. Ally disappears which heightens the terror that Sara is feeling.

I’m very much looking forward to reading other books by Chevy Stevens.

I am NOT an affiliate marketer.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published March 13th, 2018 by Flatiron Books

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

My thoughts…

1. This was an excellent psychological thriller!
2. I loved trying to figure out what the lies were and who to trust.
3. The characters are all unlikable, with flaws and secretive.

The story alternates between the present and the past. It’s intriguing and fast-paced. Sometimes I Lie is a must read if you enjoy psychology thrillers.

I am NOT an affiliate marketer.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Rachel Atkins (Narrator)
Audiobook, Duration: 10:58:41
Published February 21st, 2017 by Penguin Audio

The author of the award winning, smash bestseller, I Let You Go, propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world...

Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her, a grainy photo along with a phone number and listing for a website called findtheone.com.

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they've become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including rape and murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad's twisted purpose...a discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. For now, Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

My thoughts…

When Zoe sees her face on an ad in the newspaper for the website findtheone.com, she's alarmed. She's convinced it's her in the photo, but her family thinks it's someone who looks like her. The next day, another photo of a woman appears, and every day after. When one of the women from a photo is murdered, Zoe is now fearful that she will be the next victim.

I See You is a book about a family living their everyday lives, and there just happens to be a murder. I listened to the audiobook version and I found it difficult to tell each character apart, the narrator used the same voice for each character. I took me awhile to get into the story, once that happened the story became a bit more interesting. I found myself second guessing all the characters and trying to figure out who was behind the website findtheone.com. I did not see the twist at the end coming, when all was revealed I felt all the scheming was not very realistic.

Overall, it was mostly enjoyable but not a favorite.

I am NOT an affiliate marketer.

Happy Reading! -Jovita

Books from the Backlog: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf or e-reader unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link at Carole’s Random Life in Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book:

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Hardcover, Collector's First Edition, 570 pages
Published March 19th, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Margaret K. McElderry

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?

Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.

A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

Why did I add Clockwork Princess to my bookshelf?

I purchased this book when it was released in 2013. I read the previous books in the series, Clockwork Angel & Clockwork Prince, and enjoyed both books tremendously. I really want to finish this series, then I can move onto The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare.

I’ve realized not long ago, that I have a problem finishing the last book in series. It’s a habit that I’m trying to change, after all, I did finish The Mortal Instruments series a few months ago.

What are your thoughts? Have you read Clockwork Princess or any books by Cassandra Clare? Would you recommend this book to others?

Happy Reading! -Jovita

Stacking the Shelves #61 (December 3 - December 9)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the latest books I have added to my shelves; may it be physical or virtual. I can include books I buy in a store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, audiobooks, gifts and of course eBooks. All book title links will direct you to Goodreads.

Stacking the Shelves #61:

Early in the week my daughter Riley introduced me to this wonderful store, EntertainMART. Riley has been going there for years to purchase video games and record albums. They sell movies, music, video games and such, new and used. Apparently, they recently added books to the inventory, I’m not sure if books are in every store or just in the Colorado Springs location. I picked up three new books and three used books. It was nice to browse because they had books I don’t normal see at B&N, and they had many complete series’. I signed up for text message coupons, I’m sure I will visit there once again.

I made a trip to Barnes & Noble with my mother yesterday and purchased books there as well. I’ve never read any books by Neil Gaiman or Helen Hardt and I’m very much looking forward to reading those.

Books purchased:

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling
Beginnings: Obsidian & Onyx (Lux #1-2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Pact by Jodi Picoult

eBooks purchased:

White Rose, Black Forest by Eoin Dempsey

Books Gifted to Me:

Raziel (The Fallen #1) by Kristina Douglas

Borrowed from the library:

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I did go a little crazy with my purchases this week, once the new years comes I MAY limit myself on book purchases. Have you read any of the books I have listed? I would like to hear what you thought of them.

Happy Reading! -Jovita

Books from the Backlog: Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf or e-reader unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link at Carole’s Random Life in Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book:

Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Hardcover, First Edition, 529 pages
Published September 22nd, 1998 by Scribner Book Company

Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love's enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.

Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans' isolated summer home.

He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath -- held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here -- and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

As vivid and enthralling as King's most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls "the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination." It's no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones -- described by Gloria Naylor as "a love story about the dark places within us all" -- he proves to be one of our most moving.

Why did I add Bag of Bones to my bookshelf?

It’s Stephen King, was only 50 cents, and a standalone novel. I picked this up in Cheyenne at Meals on Wheels thrift store. All the money they collect from their thrift store goes back into the Meals on Wheels program. A program that delivers hot meals in person to the elderly, disabled, the ill and the at-risk homebound. When I get a chance, I make sure to stop in and donate.

Last year in 2017, I read my first Stephen King novel, 'Salem's Lot. I would like to read more of his novels and I tend to pick them up when I happened to find them reasonably priced.

What are your thoughts? Have you read Bag of Bones or any books by Stephen King? Would you recommend this book to others?

Happy Reading! -Jovita