Fred & Rose Review.

fred and rose.png

A BIG THANK YOU TO NETGALLEY AND OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA FOR SENDING ME THIS BOOK FOR REVIEW, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. 

Genre: True Crime

The true crime bestseller about Fred and Rose West a couple virtually unique in British criminal history who loved and killed together as husband and wife.

During their long relationship the Wests murdered a series of young women, burying the remains of nine victims under their home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, including those of their teenage daughter, Heather. What was left of Fred West’s eight-year-old stepdaughter was dug up from under the Wests’ previous Gloucester home; his first wife and nanny were buried in open country outside the city. Several victims had been decapitated and dismembered, their remains showing signs of sexual torture. These twelve are just the ones the police found when the Wests were arrested in 1994. There may be more whose bones have not been located.

My Opinion: I think it’s important to start out by pointing out the triggers. This book contains abuse in every way possible and described in great detail.

Fred & Rose will haunt me for the rest of my life. Last year I gave a 5 star rating to the book Helter Skelter and decided that I was very interested in the true crime genre. After reading this book however I am shaken. I had never heard of the husband and wife serial killers prior to reading this book and every single page I was more and more disturbed. We are introduced to Fred and Rose in the beginning of this novel, starting with their childhoods. While reading about their childhoods was extremely hard to go through, they had been through tremendous amounts of abuse, the rest of the book gets even worse. Once Fred and Rose meet, it became the perfect human recipe for disaster. Both of these individuals were not intelligent, had been through traumatic childhoods, and had a taste for destruction. The things these two did to other people, including their own children, will never escape my mind. A few times I actually had to book this book aside and decide whether or not I could continue. About halfway through I thought I wasn’t going to be able to read any longer I was so disgusted and saddened. I have never in my life heard of a more terrible serial killer, not to mention this was just not one person. This was two people who loved each other very much and worked together to sexually abuse children and young adults and eventually murder many of them. The author paints a vivid picture of Fred and Rose, it is clear that he had done extensive research to write this book. I don’t think this story could have been told any better. It was not bias, it was only the facts of the case and the facts of Fred and Rose’s lives. I cannot imagine being the author of this book and not adding into the story the level of disgust I had for these human beings. This book is perfect for anyone who is a lover of true crime novels, or anyone who is interested in the minds of these two extremely demented and disturbed human beings. While reading this I wanted to cry, I felt physically sick, and completely shocked that two people like that existed. I recommend this book in the highest regard for people who think they can stomach the torture of these girls. The author does not shy away from any given detail no matter how terrible. If you have a weak disposition, I recommend giving this book a pass.

4.5 stars

Gardenia Review!

gardenia.png

THANK YOU TO NETGALLEY AND DIVERSION BOOKS FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF GARDENIA FOR REVIEW, ALTHOUGH ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

Genre: Teens & YA

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Erickson has one month, twenty-seven days, four hours, fifty-nine minutes, and two seconds to live.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been able to see countdown clocks over everyone’s heads indicating how long before they will die. She can’t do anything about anyone else’s, nor can she do anything about her own, which will hit the zero hour before she even graduates high school.

A life cut short is tragic, but Ivy does her best to make the most of it. She struggles emotionally with her deep love for on-again, off-again boyfriend Myers Patripski. She struggles financially, working outside of school to help her mom and her sister. And she struggles to cope with the murder of her best friend, another life she couldn’t save. Vanessa Donovan was killed in the woods, and everyone in town believes Ivy had something to do with it.

Then more girls start disappearing. Ivy tries to put her own life in order as she pieces together the truth of who ended Vanessa’s. To save lives and for her own sanity.

The clock is always ticking. And Ivy’s only hope is to expose the truth before it runs out completely.

MY OPINION: 

I’m sure you can guess that my favorite aspect of this book was the fact that Ivy can see countdown clocks over peoples heads, ticking down the seconds until their deaths. Ivy has always been able to see these clocks but didn’t fully understand her condition until as a young child she saw her grandmother have a heart attack and die in front of her. This was Ivy’s first experience with the clocks, and with death.

Ivy as a character really irked me sometimes. She volunteers at a nursing home, presumably so she can spend time with people who are almost at their last moments of life. She obviously wants to give them a good send off and a better death. Yet, she’s seen her best friend Vanessa’s clock counting down their entire lives and doesn’t try to intervene. She knows exactly when Vanessa will die, only a few short months before Ivy’s own death, and yet doesn’t even attempt to change fate. I find this particularly unbelievable but I understand it was necessary to the story line. If any of you out there has lost a best friend or family member, you know you’d do absolutely anything to prevent their deaths. As far as I’m concerned Ivy never truly knew if someones destiny was set in stone. I’d give my own life for the people I love and this part of the story really drove me nuts. You can’t be thoughtful and caring as a character and stand back while your best friend is obviously going to die.

I noticed about halfway through the story I was extremely confused about which character was which. I think all the characters or suspects should have been fleshed out more in the beginning of the novel rather than later. It makes it a lot more entertaining while reading a mystery to really get to know the people and their motives early on in the book. With that being said, the ending and ultimately when we find out who the killer is fell flat. Through the process of elimination there was really only one person it could be. I would have been okay with that if the killer had an actual motive. For me the story really centered around the clocks and Ivy closing her chapters with everyone she loves before she dies. I think the theme of this part of the book was beautiful and the way Ivy talks about time you really have to think to yourself how much time you are wasting. You never know what could happen and I’d never want to pass away without the people I loved knowing I cared for them and I was happy. The part of the book I didn’t like was the mystery. It really was very bland and not thought out.

Did I like this book? Absolutely. This was a quick one day read for me and pulled me out of a massive reading slump. I stayed up until 3 A.M reading because I had to know if my predictions about who the killer was correct. While there is definite problems with the story, I do recommend it to anyone who seems remotely interested. I did enjoy reading this I just wish it had been a little bit more developed in the mystery area. I give this book huge credit for getting me out of that dreadful reading slump. I really needed something fast paced and intriguing. This did the trick for me.

One last honorable mention to the character Miranda Raspberry for being a complete doll.

P.S – trigger warning for anyone who deals with or has dealt with self harm or suicidal thoughts. While I appreciate this book not shying away from mental illness, I just want to warn other readers before they dive in.

3 stars.jpg

The Bone Witch Review!

the bone witch

THANK YOU TO SOURCEBOOKS FIRE AND NETGALLEY FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF THIS FOR REVIEW, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN.

GENRE: Teens & YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy

Goodreads synopsis: 

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

MY THOUGHTS:

I had a strong feeling going into this book that I was going to fall completely in love with it, I was not wrong. Typically my favorite books to read are YA Fantasy so The Bone Witch immediately grabbed my attention (not to mention the beautiful cover). My favorite aspects of this book was the hierarchies, the politics, and the customs of the world that Chupeco built. A great deal of this novel focused on fashion and the steps on becoming a full fledged asha. The fashion theme was very strong and greatly reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha in that sense. Although I could appreciate the strong fashion theme, it did become a bit overdone shortly into the story. I can only care about what someone is wearing for so long.  The story is woven perfectly on two different timelines. We get to see a grown Tea (our MC) who has ultimately been exiled and has possibly turned her allegiances to the dark side. We also follow Tea from the moment she realized she had magic at the age of 12 when she accidentally resurrects her dead brother from the grave. I thought the way the story was told on these separate timelines was genius and really kept my reading pace motivated and thirsty for more. I have become sincerely attached to a great deal of the characters and some others fell flat for me. With that being said, I believe the sequel will give me everything I want in regards to some characters who weren’t as fleshed out as others. I’m not so patiently waiting for book two to be released, as this may be my new favorite YA series. (&& please dear god keep my baby Fox safe!)

For all fantasy lovers out there, this book is absolutely worth the read. I even started to feel sympathy and love for the monsters we were supposed to hate by the end of my reading experience. This novel was brilliantly put together and I JUST WANT MORE!

4.5 stars

Ensnared Review!

ensnared

Ensnared, a futuristic new adult novel, by Rita Stradling is a unique take on the classic story Beauty and the Beast. Alainn Murphey is 24 years old and kind of an outcast among her family. Her brother and father are both extremely intelligent while Alainn works a mediocre job to keep their family afloat. In the beginning we learn that Alainn’s father has a gambling addiction and is facing a jail sentence unless he delivers Rose, a robot, to the mysterious Lorccan who lives in a secluded tower nearby. All of this could have been avoided of course if Alainn’s father wasn’t consistently gambling away all of their money.

Rose, the robot, devises a plan in which Alainn (an exact replica of Rose) goes to Lorccans tower in her place so that Rose and Alainn’s father can finish up a new Rosette model robot. The plan is that Alainn would spend a few days maximum posing as a robot in Rose’s place and they would then replace her with the new Rosette model and succeed in an escape plan for Alainn. But once Alainn arrives she realizes that things aren’t really what they seem. Maybe Lorccan isn’t the beast she thought he was, and here our romance begins to bud.

What I liked the best about this book was the futuristic setting. There’s something that draws me in and keeps me hooked when the setting is strong and intriguing. Ensnared really did this for me. I loved getting to see the tower, the robots (lets be real, Blue was the best part of this book, awww) and how the world would work if it was ran by robots in the place of humans for necessary jobs such as police work. I also absolutely loved the characters. Alainn was a strong women but also had a tender heart and would do ANYTHING for the people she loved. As for Lorccan, I love a good bounce back story. One of my very favorite characters in a book is the anti-villain and he was a perfect one. At first I was skeptical about Shelly as a character but grew to love her immensely because the author did not shy away from any aspect of living with crippling anxiety. A huge round of applause for accurate representation of a mental illness in this novel. I think the plot was very gripping, it had me at the edge of my seat for the better last half of the book. Overall I gave this book a solid 4 star rating on Goodreads and thought it was spectacular.

Some things I didn’t like about the book was that I wished we had gotten a little more from the original Beauty and the Beast story. Believe me, there were elements from the classic in there such as the rose theme reappearing but I just wanted a little more from it. Maybe I’m a little bias being that Beauty and the Beast is easily one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I also felt like if some of the steamier scenes in this book were chopped, it would make a fantastic YA novel. I’m used to reading YA so when scenes like this pop up it brings me back to those bitter 50 Shades of Grey days and I’m just not into it. I don’t know why it makes me feel so uncomfortable, I’m a grown adult with two children I should be okay with things like that, but I just thought this book should have been marketed and written as a YA book rather than New Adult. The ending was also a little sloppy for me. It wrapped up rapidly and sometimes I caught myself saying “why did this happen” or “how did this come to be”.

Overall I LOVED this book and will wholeheartedly be back for anything else Rita decides to write.  For lovers of the Lunar Chronicles who don’t mind shying away from the YA genre, this is PERFECT for you.

Also a big thank you to netgalley for sending me this book for review. It was a hell of a roller coaster ride and I enjoyed every second of it.

The Song of the Stork Review !

Fifteen-year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

 

I was sent this ebook ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a historical fiction novel set in a very heartbreaking time in history, WW2. Our main character Yael is a young Jewish girl on the run from the Germans and completely alone as our story begins. Yael eventually (forces) her way into being sheltered by a man named Aleksei, who is a mute. While their relationship began rocky because Aleksei didn’t seen very keen on harboring a Jew, it eventually bloomed into a romance and our story takes off from there.

I had a hard time with this story for a variety of reasons. The writing just didn’t flow for me from the beginning. The first half of this book was agonizingly slow and I felt that the conclusion didn’t give the book any justice either. I felt that the book wrapped up very abruptly with huge cliffhangers on where some of (my personal favorite) characters ended up. I appreciate any novel written about such a tough subject but this one was just not my favorite. I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters. There was one small plot twist that I definitely appreciated but the rest was very cut and dry. I loved seeing Yael grow from a young girl into womanhood and seeing the hardships that she had to endure. It was a brutal position to be in during that time and I can respect the way Yael blossomed into a warrior. I am constantly rooting for a strong female lead and I loved Yael for becoming that person for me.  I think my biggest gripe with this book was that Aleksei was continuously referred to as “the mute” rather than his own name. I think it would have been sufficient to explain briefly one or two times that he was unable to speak. I don’t know why this irritated me so badly but I almost felt offended that his proper name wasn’t used frequently. I don’t think a persons handicap defines them, nor should they be solely labeled as one.

I think this story would be very beneficial to somebody who isn’t familiar with World War 2, or someone who has a particular interest in that period of World history. I gave this book a solid 3 star Goodreads rating and I would recommend it to anyone remotely interested in historical fiction.

I want to leave off with a big thank you to Netgalley, Legend Press, and the author for sending me this for review.