Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 5th, 2016 by Random House
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

The thing is, Jessie does need help. It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live in LA with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel whose characters will come to feel like friends. Tell Me Three Things will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer Niven, and E. Lockhart. 

My thoughts…

This was such a wonderful book, I enjoyed all the characters and everything about the story.

Tell Me Three Things is about a girl named Jessie whose mother died a couple years ago from cancer and now her father has remarried a woman he meets in a bereavement group. She didn’t know her father was dating and it came as a shock to her that he remarried. Even more so when he sold her childhood home and moved her from Chicago to California to live with her new stepmother and stepbrother.

Jessie is having the worst time of her life trying to adapt to her new private school that her stepmother is paying the tuition for her to attend, also it’s the same school as Theo, her stepbrother, attends. Theo is not happy with the new living arrangements or his mother’s marriage and he doesn’t hide his feelings from Jessie.

One day Jessie receives an email from someone named Somebody Nobody or SN. The guy, SN, is someone who goes to her school but wants to remain anonymous. At first Jessie is freaked out by this anonymous messenger and thinks it is someone trying to make fun of her or prank her. Jessie eventually realizes that she might need help just to survive at her new school. SN gives her advice on who to become friends with and to stay away from and Jessie begins to rely more and more on SN, and as time goes by adjusting to her new school gets easier.

Jessie wanted to know more about SN and finally wanted to meet him in person. She was questioning herself on how is it possible that she liked someone she has never met. Finally, SN agrees to meet Jessie to reveal his identity, at the reveal I had a huge smile and so happy. I had my suspicions early on who SN was and I was so thrilled that SN was who I thought it was. Sorry, no spoilers, you must read this wonderful book to find out.

Tell Me Three Things is sweet and funny, at times sad. It was a perfect Young Adult read. Julie Buxbaum is a new author to me and I will certainly read more of her books in the future.

But sometimes a kiss is not a kiss is not a kiss. Sometimes it's poetry.

Happy Reading -J

Review: Tempt The Boss by Natasha Madison

Tempt The Boss by Natasha Madison
Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published April 1st, 2017
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Going back to work was supposed to be a painless transition, but when my new boss turns out to be an arrogant, cocky jerk, he quickly turns my professional life into a world of torture. Okay, fine, calling him an asshat before knowing he was my boss wasn't my finest moment. Hating him should be easy. I just never counted on him being so gorgeous or charming when he's not annoying me.

I expected my new assistant to be professional and punctual, but all I'm getting are dirty looks and rude comments. I should fire the little hellion, but instead all I can think about is bending her over my desk and breaking every rule I've ever made for myself.

One look. One touch. One night. If we break the rules, our lives will never be the same again.

Good thing rules were made to be broken. And besides, it feels so good to Tempt the Boss. 

My thoughts… 

Hmm… where to start. At the beginning of the story I thought I would really enjoy it. Lauren, discovers that her husband has been having an affair with their son’s teacher for the past seven months.

“I’ve come to attend my son’s parent/teacher conference only to be told his teacher is fucking my husband. Looks like in addition to tutoring her students in math, she also offers sex ed lessons to their fathers! She deserves a raise.”

I honestly thought forever meant forever, not till someone sexier waves their ass in my face and shows me attention.

After her divorce, Lauren finds herself a temp PA position. On her way to her first day of work, Lauren meets her boss (she doesn't know he's her boss yet) during a fender bender. Her boss was the one who hit her and she lets him have it after he asks her if she was drunk.

“What the hell is wrong with you? You just stopped!” I put a hand over my eyes to block the sun and see him. And boy, do I see him. My heart skips a beat when he whips his aviator sunglasses off his face.
He snarls at me, “Just give me your number.” I tell him my number, and when he asks my name, I gladly tell him. “The woman whose car you hit because you were texting while driving.” He looks at me and his eyebrows pinch together. “Is that name already taken?” I ask him, waiting for his answer. When I realize he isn’t going to reply, I ask him, “Now, what’s yours?” He shoots off his number, and I store it in my phone. I turn around to walk away. “Aren’t you going to ask me my name?” He puts his hands on his hips, his biceps bulging, and his chest looking impossibly broader. “Nope, no need. I just put you under ‘Asshat who texts while driving and hit my car.’” I smile at him. “Have a fabulous day,” I grumble, turning around and getting back in the car.

After the fender bender Lauren is running late, not a good impression for the first day of her job. When she arrives at her new work place, Barbara (Austin's former nanny who is his current head of HR) introduces her, she discovers that “Asshat” is her new boss.

Are you fucking stalking me? Did you follow me here?” I whip my head around to look at him. Just my luck. It’s the asshat from this morning, the one who hit me. Except now, the asshat is sitting behind the desk, the desk that, apparently, belongs to my new temporary boss.

I liked the banter between Lauren and Austin, but once the pranks started, it went downhill for me. I just think the work place isn’t a suitable environment for inappropriate, immature pranks. I’m okay with Austin moving around Laurens Post-it notes, but not Lauren adding Dulcolax to his drink or adding itch powder to his dry-cleaned pants. Unfortunately, the pranks in this book and the way the characters went about it, was enough to turn me off the rest of the book.

Happy Reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.

Last Saturday my niece was in town visiting from Denver and I mentioned to her all the books I found last weekend at the arc thrift store. Since she is an avid reader as well, we had to take a trip to the thrift store.

These are the books I added to my shelves this week from the thrift store (all hardcovers):

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - I have heard so much about Sarah Dessen, I just never had a chance to read any of her books, until now. Just Listen is the first book by her that I read and I really enjoyed it. I can now appreciate why Sarah Dessen is well known for her Young Adult Contemporary Romance novels, and I’m hopeful that I will enjoy her other books as well. 5 out of 5 stars and review will be posted hopefully soon.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I already own this book on Kindle, it is one of my favorites I could not pass up the chance to add it to my physical book shelves.

House by Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker – A supernatural thriller, both authors are new to me.

The Stone Flower Garden by Deborah Smith – Another new author to me, romance with a little mystery as well.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater - The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2, another book I already own and read on Kindle. I think this may have been the first Young Adult series I read about Wolves, I need to finish the last book in the series. I’m terrible when it comes to series, I also seem to put off reading the last book.

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott – When I read Little Women, I gave it 3 stars, hopefully I will find this one more enjoyable.

Yesterday I had an appointment at Nissan for an oil change and had some time to spare. I went to Barnes & Nobel to browse, big mistake, I can never go there just to browse and I also can never leave B&N empty handed. At least I could use two 20% off coupons for both hardcovers, yes, that is how I’m excusing it. These are the books I came home with: 
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck – I always I enjoy Historical Fiction and I just knew I had to read this when it was published in March.

Voices From Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich – Another must read for me even though I usually don’t tend to read nonfiction. Chernobyl always captivated me, it was the worst nuclear reactor accident in history and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens – Another thriller, after reading the synopsis I couldn’t resist.

What I added to Kindle this week:

Wounded by Abby Brooks - This is not your typical Popstar/Rockstar romance novel. Wounded is an emotional read that will make you fall in love, make sure to have your tissues nearby. 5 out of 5 stars, review will be posted soon.

Size Matters by Alison Bliss – I had originally saw a review posted by Carole at Carole’s Random Life in Books and thought I would be interested in reading it.

Wisteria Witches (Wisteria Witches #1) by Angela Pepper – I was tempted by the cover. It has great reviews at Goodreads, I’m sure I will enjoy it.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – When this came across my email as on sale this week I had to ‘one-click’, I have seen very positive reviews for this book.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood – A Amazon Prime Free read, I’m sure it’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve seen commercials for this Hulu series and I didn’t realize it was based on a book.

Maybe soon I’ll switch from Amazon Prime back to Kindle Unlimited, Unlimited always has a wider selection of books to choose from.

And the audiobook I borrowed from the library. 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater – Another book I own on Kindle, I just haven’t made it a priority to read. I’m currently listening while doing household tasks and I’m very much enjoying it.

Once again sorry for the long post. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week, thanks for visiting and happy reading. -J

Fur Baby Friday

Our little stinker Avery celebrated his 4th Birthday on Monday. Looking back at his crazy hair that he had as a puppy, we should have named him Einstein.

Here he is last week hoarding his toys, trying to keep them away from his brothers. He still has a difficult time sharing.

Have a wonderful Friday and thank you for visiting -J

Review: Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published July 7th, 2015 by Berkley
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…

Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.

But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it. 

My thoughts…

I can say that without a doubt this book was not what I expected, but that made it more entertaining and captivating. Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors in the Historical Romance genre, and well known for Christian Fiction. You can imagine my surprise when infidelity, love triangles and deceitfulness all made an appearance in Lady Maybe.

At the beginning of the book we meet Sir John and Marianna Mayfield, who are at the time leaving Bath because Sir John is desperate to separate his wife from her lover, Anthony Fontaine, that she refuses to give up. Marianna is also with child, her lover’s child. Sir John has released all the household staff because he wants to keep their move a secret in hopes that Marianna’s lover does not find her.

Then there is Hannah Rogers, who was previously employed by the Mayfield’s as Marianna’s companion. Hannah arrives the day of the Mayfield’s departure to receive back pay that was owed to her. Marianna, knowing she must leave for an unknown destination within hours asks Hannah to go with her as paid companion. And, surprisingly, Hannah Rogers does go, leaving behind the one person most precious to her.

Before they arrive at their destination, a storm moves in and instead of staying the night at an Inn and wait for the storm to pass, Sir John insists they keep traveling. There is a horrible carriage accident, the driver dies, Sir John is severely injured, Hannah has broken bones and a head injury causing amnesia, and Lady Mayfield is missing… so they think.

They thought she was Lady Mayfield. That she, Hannah Rogers, was Sir John’s wife.

On to the one of love triangles…

He pressed his lips to hers, hard and passionate. When she did not pull away, he angled his head and deepened the kiss. His ardor overwhelmed her and she was stunned by the desire that flowed through her in response. What sort of woman was she that she could be drawn to two men at once?

There is a lot of secrets and some plot twists, they kept me reading and guessing, in the end I was happy with the way things turned out.

Happy Reading -J

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 5th, 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship. 

My thoughts…

This the second book by Kasie West that I read, I can honestly say that I probably will not read another book by her for a while. It’s nothing against the author or her writing, I just have a difficult time relating to her characters and their issues.

I didn’t care for Gia at the beginning of the book, she was self-centered and was too concerned about what others thought of her. She was also insecure and unsure of herself, she hides it by not letting anyone get close to her.

Hayden was beside me and reached out his hand. I took a step away. This hurt worse than any breakup I’d ever experienced before and we were never even together. We hadn’t even kissed. This is what it felt like to let someone in, I realized, and to really get to know them, to really let them know you. This is how it felt to genuinely like someone and to have him turn his back on you. I never wanted anyone to have this much power over my emotions again. It was safer to keep to myself, to keep things on the surface. Things ended better that way.

I did like Hayden the fill-in, he was just perfect. He is a nice guy with a fun personality and I also like his relationship with his sister and mom.

I didn’t understand why Jules was so head strong to turn Gia’s friends against her, that was a very important part of the plot that was never resolved. Gia was aware she was weaving herself into this horrible web of lies, but she never took initiative to tell the truth before her friends discovered her lies.

Overall, I did like it and like Gia towards the end, but I think a younger audience would enjoy it more.

Happy reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks

Last week I had to give my daughter a ride to work since her car was in the shop, every day that I drove her to work I noticed an arc thrift store in one of the shopping centers. I see plenty of videos and blog posts of book hauls that come from the thrift stores, along with the discounted prices. Finally, on Saturday evening I decided to stop in and shop the book section. I couldn’t believe the huge selection of books they had, and imagine my surprise when I went to pay… most of books I purchased where half off the already discounted price, except two.  Apparently, every Saturday is half off, I know where I’ll be later today!

These are the books I added to my shelves this week from the thrift store:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Another one of my favorite classic novels that I already own, but I can never have too many editions of my favorites, right? 

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks – Darn you Mr. Sparks, every time I read his books I cry like a baby, but he remains one my favorite authors.

Sometimes, we make choices we didn't choose to make. Travis Parker, for example, wasn't looking for a relationship; from his perspective, his life was pretty close to perfect. And new neighbor Gabby Holland wasn't exactly dating material. This attractive redhead had a longtime steady boyfriend and treated Travis like an unwanted guest. But the unexpected can reshape our lives, shredding every well-laid plan into wedding confetti... Another masterfully nuanced relationship novel from Nicholas Sparks.

The Women in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – This was on my Amazon wish list, I’m always on the lookout for a mystery/thriller and I was pleasantly surprised to find it at the thrift shop.

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – I have wanted to read this book for years.

Anne Frank's the Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been a beloved and deeply admired monument to the indestructible nature of the human spirit, read by millions of people and translated into more than fifty-five languages.

Innocence by Dean Koontz – So far, I’ve enjoyed most books by Dean Koontz, hopefully this one will not disappoint.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen. She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

Also from the thrift store:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson – I have the first three books of the Millennium series on Kindle and enjoyed them immensely. I wanted to have them also in hardcover to go along with The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Millennium #4) which I have in hardcover. Now I just need to purchase book #1 and #2.

Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

I have never read anything by Sarah Dessen and I know she is a favorite among many. I found two books by her and I couldn’t pass up them up.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen - Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Another book that I have wanted to read for years, since my daughter read it when she was in high school.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

The Beer Taster’s Log by James D. Robertson – I don’t drink beer, since my husband does I picked this up for him. Come to find out my husband has an app on his phone for this kind of thing, this book will be donated back to the thrift store.

A guide to international beers includes ratings, descriptions of flavor, color, and body; details about alcohol content; names, locations, and histories of breweries; and explanations of beer styles.

And the audiobook I borrowed from the library:

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout -  I am absolutely enjoying this audiobook, so much that I’m considering purchasing the physical books to add to my shelves. I just love the interaction between Tink and Ivy. The only thing I’m not enjoying is that Ren’s passages are being read by a female, trying to sound like a male.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets.

Last Saturday my husband and I spent the day adding annuals to the flowerbeds to fill in between the perennials, we also turned the sprinkler system back on. We normally do all our planting after Mother’s Day because chance of getting snow isn’t very high. Next year I will wait another week after Mother’s Day because the weather in Colorado is so crazy… ugh. We had freezing temperatures Wednesday evening, that brought rain, graupel and later snow. I’m hopeful all the flowers will bounce back. This morning I went out and purchased more annuals, a rose bush and another peony.

Sorry for the long post. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week, thanks for visiting and happy reading. -J

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
(The Stars Never Rise Duology #1)
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 9th, 2015 by Delacorte Press
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her. 

My thoughts…

The Stars Never Rise was very interesting and certainly unique, it’s a fast-paced book. I had a difficult time putting it down and I truly enjoyed it.

The Unified Church now rules what was once the United States. After the war against the demons, many souls were wiped out of existence, and now it's a matter of saving the remaining souls against demonic possession. Exorcism was proven to be effective against the demons and with the Church having power, everyone must follow the Churches strict rules, sinners are punished, sometimes brutally.

"Degenerates were easy to identity. Fresh demonic possessions were much, much, more difficult to recognize, because when a demon possesses a human, it has access to its victim’s memories. Most demons are very good at impersonating their victims. They do it for years, until the soul of the victims has been completely devoured. If the demon can’t find a new host it becomes stuck in a soulless body, which begins to mutate and degrade, both physically and mentally. Eventually, the end stage possessions become degenerates."

Nina and her sister Melanie live in New Temperance with their mother. With her mother's health declining, Nina has been taking care of herself and her sister. Nina does everything the Church asks to not stand out because the Church might notice how her mother isn’t taking of Nina and Melanie. She does what needs to be done, from stealing food or bargaining for school uniforms. Nina may seem like a good girl, but inside she is strong and independent. Melanie and Nina are there for each other no matter what happens.

When Nina finds out that Melanie is pregnant, panic arises because pregnancy must be planned through the Church, an unlicensed pregnancy is forbidden. They also must have someone willing to provide their soul to the baby once it’s born. When their mother discovers the pregnancy, things don’t turn out so well. Nina kills a demon, who happens to be her mother. Their mother had plans to sell Melanie and use Nina as a new host.

Once Nina kills her demon mother, a boy appears, the same boy who saved her in the alleyway from a degenerate that morning. Finn, who has amazing green eyes. The Church is now after Nina to silence her, now that she can exorcist demons she will soon discover the truth that the Church has been hiding. To make matters worse, she also has degenerates after her.

This book focuses on Nina's transition into exorcism, along with Finns help. Finn introduces Nina to other exorcists, Maddock, Reese, Devi and Grayson. They are all good friends and are also hiding from the Church. There is somewhat of a romance between Nina and Finn, it’s different, weird and cute… unique. A romance that I haven’t read about before, Finn and Nina work around limitations.

I just ordered The Flame Never Dies in this duology. I’m so excited to see how the story ends.

Happy Reading - J

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Amy Rubinate (Narrator)
(Everneath #1)
Audiobook, 370 pages
Published January 24th, 2012
by Balzer + Bray
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

My thoughts…

Nikki was drawn to the Everneath (between Earth and Hell) by Cole an Everliving, and she has been sleeping alongside Cole in the Everneath for a hundred years. The Everlivings have found a way to be immortal, Nikki has become a Forfeit, she supplies Cole nourishment through her emotions, Nikki survives the feeding which rarely happens and now she is connected to Cole. Confusing… yes!

When Nikki was in the Everneath the only memories she retained were those of a brown-haired boy, her boyfriend Jack that she left behind. She wants to return to the surface to say goodbye to her family, friends and Jake before disappearing forever in the Tunnels, a sort of hell for Forfeits.

While she was sleeping, only six months had passed on Earth, and Nikki has exactly another six months before she returns to the Tunnels. Nikki came back mostly to make her goodbyes easier this time, but she didn't do anything towards that.

Since her disappearance with no contact, Nikki’s friends and family suspects that she was taking drugs. She returns to High School and mostly avoids being around her friends. Jack took her leaving extremely hard and never gave up looking for her. When they reunite she’s not sure how to handle her feeling or Jack, so she avoids him. Cole has also returned to Earth and he wants Nikki to go back with him to the Everneath to become the Queen.

It isn’t until she only has a couple weeks on Earth that Nikki chooses not to live without Jack and his never-ending love for her. Together Jack and Nikki try to find a way to keep her on Earth and not return to the Tunnels or the Everneath with Cole.

Everneath has plenty of mythology mixed in about Persephone and Eurydice, at times it was hard to follow along on audio, but I did enjoy it. I have yet to decide if I will continue with the series, if so, I will read it and not listen to it audio.

Happy Reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #8

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.

These are the books I added to my shelves this week:

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins – When I read The Girl on the Train I couldn’t put it down (the movie was dreadfully boring) and I was anticipating the release of this book.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – I’m finished this book and I truly enjoyed it.

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – I’ve been seeing this book everywhere and read good things about it. I’ve never read anything by Becky Albertalli so I’m looking forward to it.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – The first two books were enjoyable, of course I’ll read the third book.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon.

The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander – I thought the cover was pretty and then after reading the synopsis it seemed like something I would be interested in.

Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city's Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are fallen women unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.

And what I added onto the Kindle this week:

It’s only pretend… And it’s only three months. I’m in the midst of scrawling “I QUIT!” onto his fancy cardstock letterhead when my boss corners me. He needs a favor, he says. And then he asks how well I can act … Hudson Rutherford needs a fiancĂ©e.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week. Happy Mother's Day to all, wishing you a fabulous day, thank you for visiting and happy reading. -J

Fur Baby Friday

Human mom is upstairs reading, we must join her and nap. It happens all the time, if I’m reading they nap. Any other time they follow me throughout the house, up and down the stairs.  Although they have figured out that when I’m doing laundry I’m just switching loads and will be back upstairs shortly, they don’t even bother to come downstairs. It must be old age and a little laziness mixed in.

Have a wonderful weekend. -J

Review: Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 9th, 2015
by Crown Books for Young Readers
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic. 

My thoughts…

For a book with a topic this taboo, Even When You Lie to Me is extremely boring and was not what I expected at all from a teacher/student romance, there was no drama, basically nothing happened. It did have a good portion of tedious conversations between Charlie and her horrible best friend Lila and meaningless encounters with Mr. Drummond. I was disappointed.

Charlie has always had crushes on her teachers since sixth grade, English teachers are the worst because they liked books as much as she did. At the beginning of senior year, Charlie has a new AP English Lit teacher, Mr. Drummond.  

Lila poked me in the arm and said, “She goes by Charlie.” Mr. Drummond looked at me. I smiled, because it was the only thing I could think of doing. “You look more like a Chuck,” he said. The class laughed, and I felt my face heat up. Why had he singled me out? Was he making fun of me.

Thought out the entire book Charlie had a huge problem with how she saw herself and she had very low self-esteem. Charlie was jealous of her friend Lila for being beautiful and having every male’s attention, she couldn’t believe Lila wanted to be friends with her. At one point, she felt Mr. Drummond was interested in Lila because she constantly flirted with him. I didn’t care for Lila, she was a self-absorbed friend who only looked out for herself.

Charlie has an unhealthy obsession with Mr. Drummond and he doesn’t encourage any of her behavior towards him. Occasionally he would flirt but he flirted with all the students, male and female. There is no touching, secret meeting places or stolen glances and I just don’t understand how the “relationship” between Charlie and Mr. Drummond could turn into what happened when she shows up unexpected at his apartment.

This book just wasn’t for me and I wouldn’t recommend it.  

Happy Reading -J 

Review: Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein

Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published May 3rd, 2016
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

When Harry Met Sally for YA romance readers. This opposites-attract love story is perfect for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han.

June wants high school to end and real life to begin. Oliver is soaking up senior year’s glory days. They could have coasted through high school, knowing about—but not really knowing—each other.

Except that their moms have arranged for Oliver to drive June to school. Every. Single. Day.

Suddenly these two opposites are fighting about music, life . . . pretty much everything. But love is unpredictable. When promises—and hearts—get broken, Oliver and June must figure out what really matters. And then fight for it. 

My thoughts…

I thought this book was fantastic and truly enjoyed reading it, one of my favorites of 2017.

June and Oliver have known each other since forever, birth, their mothers are best friends since meeting in college. They hadn’t really spent time together since kindergarten when they got married under the monkey bars, consummated their marriage with a kiss and a couple hours later had it annulled with an argument in art class.

June and her mother recently moved about five minutes away from Oliver and his family. He literally passes right by her house on his way to school. Since June doesn’t drive and the bus is an hour and a half long, the moms came up with the plan for Oliver to drive June. June hated feeling like she was a charity case.

“I know you have amassed a certain amount of nice-guy cred, but you don’t really have to pick me up. It’s egregious. It’s excessive.” Belatedly, I remembered that Oliver might not follow my advanced vocabulary, and I dial back so he’ll understand. “It’s too much.”

June is surprised to find out that Oliver has an advanced vocabulary himself, a jock with a vocabulary, a jockabulary.

June is bit cynical and can’t wait for senior year to end, she believes that nothing in high school matters and life doesn’t really being until college. Oliver wants to live it up and enjoy every party, tradition, and moment of his senior year. They argue and disagree on almost everything from the get-go, everything from the senior prank, ‘family sciences,’ school, music and so much more. Oliver sets out to prove her wrong and show her that high school does matter. So, begins the playlist.

“You think high school doesn’t matter. I know that it does.” Oliver pokes me lightly in the arm. “Anytime one of us can find a reason to support our side of a particular conversation-”


“Whatever. We get to add a song to the playlist. Then we can let it shuffle and repeat in the mornings. More wins for you means more of your screamy music on the list.”

The banter between these two if mildly hilarious and had me smiling throughout the book. I just loved Oliver’s music selection, big haired 80’s bands.

They have the perfect friendship and promise each other that they will always be honest with one another, no matter what. Their friendship doesn’t go any further at the time, Oliver has a girlfriend and June has a boyfriend. But what happens when they are no longer dating other people and someone is keeping a secret and not being honest?

Love is unpredictable. Happy Reading -J