Behind Her Eyes Book Review!

behind her eyes

I checked out Behind Her Eyes from my library this week and when I finished it, I wish I had never read it. Let me explain. It is April, otherwise known as Spring, but here I am in the mood for thrillers and all together anything spooky. I get the Halloween bug as soon as the snow starts melting and to counteract any Halloween decorating 6 months too early, I read thrillers! This thriller looked as promising as any, I’ll certainly give credit to whoever designed the cover art because it is classically creepy, but this story was a huge let down. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be satisfied at the end because any time a book has “SHOCKING ENDING” written all over the front and back cover, I get skeptical.

Behind Her Eyes revolves around three main characters. Louise, Adele, and David have all becoming tangled in each others lives and the reader is left to put together the puzzle pieces of Louise and David’s past. Louise is a single mother who is down right lonely. There’s nothing very interesting about her life and she doesn’t have very much self esteem. David is a doctor with a shady past, and he also happens to run into Louise at a bar (where they hit it off and end up sharing a very romantic kiss). Fast forward a few pages and we find out that David is actually Louise’s boss, her married boss at that. Now here comes Adele, David’s fragile and innocent wife. Adele befriends Louise and now we have a very big secret!

Here’s what gripped me, Adele is a very unreliable narrator. I went back and forth about who was truly the sketchy one in the marriage (with Adele winning most of the time) but it was enough to keep me on my toes. I flew through this book because I wanted to know what happened to these characters. Adele had a strong sense of evil about her and yet the entire time I found myself rooting for her. Louise is made to look very pathetic and yet I wanted her to find herself in the end. Hell, I even enjoyed David despite the fact that he was made to look like to total piece of trash the entire book. For me to feel strongly about all three main characters is a compliment to the authors writing style because I felt fully involved in everyone’s lives.

The problem? The reader FINALLY finds out in the last twenty pages of the book. We find out what happened in Adele and David’s past to make them like this. Is Adele truly evil? Was David and abusive husband? How can Louise save this couple and which one will she pick? Her secret friend or her secret lover? All these questions are answered but when they were answered I was furious. You may have thought that this entire time you were reading a thriller when in fact you were reading a thriller AND a SUPERNATURAL. My problem with books like this is that I think I’m reading one genre and when you throw in supernatural elements to suite your ending, I’m not interested anymore. Keep it a thriller or make it supernatural to begin with. I do not want to spent 300 pages with a book and then find out that I’ve been played a fool with the “plot twist”. In a thriller I want an explained answer to my question that is realistic (to an extent) and plausible. What I don’t want is you to hypothetically give me a story and at the end say something like, SURPRISE ALIENS! (There are no aliens, that’s just an example.)

Overall I gave this book three stars out of five because I was invested in the characters, I did enjoy the writing, and I was fascinated. I docked two stars because I thought explaining this entire book with a surprise supernatural element was a cheap shot. That kind of ending is a poor way to execute a plot twist/ending and you know it. I don’t intend on reading anything from this author in the future without checking any reviews beforehand to make sure I’m not getting bamboozled. The only reason I never checked with this book is because I like to go into thrillers blind, as I’m sure most of you do as well.

Three stars

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Spectacle Vol. 1 Review!

Spectacle Vol. 1

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of Spectacle Vol. 1 in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis : Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn’t believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they’re sharing a body while trying to identify the killer.

This was a very interesting read for me and one of my first dives into graphic novels. I was extremely captivated by the gorgeous artwork. The circus really comes to life and the emotions of the characters were plain as day. The storyline was a typical mystery but one I enjoyed because I loved Anna’s character so much. Because Anna is an engineer she’s extremely logical and doesn’t believe in the supernatural until her sister is murdered and comes back as a ghost. This throws off basically all Anna stands for and she has to accept the fact that she can not interact with spirits and is not in fact insane. I thoroughly appreciated this entire novel and I cannot wait for Vol. 2 to be released.

4 stars

Project You Review!

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Project You is a self help book of sorts, mostly geared towards teenagers although I am an adult and found some very useful information inside. Even the way the book is designed and coordinated makes me feel less stressed out than when I picked it up. There are plenty of helpful tips and ideas to help someone who has anxiety or just overall stressed out. This book covers everything from yoga poses to nature journalism. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy! I will be buying myself a physical copy because I think this is the type of book that any sort of person should have on hand. For any parents out there with teenage kids, I highly recommend grabbing this for them. There is really something for everyone inside and whether or not you or your loved one struggles with anxiety, it’s always nice to find new ways to relax and de-stress.

4 stars

Glass Sword Review!

“There will be a reckoning. They will answer for this,” she hissed, her words tighter than any noose.

glass sword

Title : Glass Sword

Author : Victoria Aveyard

Genre : Young Adult – Fantasy

Publisher : HarperTeen

Number of Pages : 440

Goodreads Synopsis

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Review

This is a difficult book for me to review due to the fact that is the second book in a series and I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. I guess with that being said, please don’t continue reading if you haven’t already read the first book in this series. It’s hard to make my way around spoilers from the first book while reviewing this one.

This first portion of this book was a rocky beginning for me. I was getting way to much Hunger Games and not enough Red Queen. The character Kilorn was a literary doppelganger to Gale in The Hunger Games, I was glad to see his character continue to grow throughout the rest of this book. I thought the first third of this book was devastatingly slow but began to pick up speed as Mare goes on her journey to save other Newbloods.

Mare as a character was excessively annoying to me for most of the book but it was something I could deal with. I felt like her priorities were delusional and only the now dethroned Prince could help guide her. It’s repeated time and time again that Mare has no deep love for anybody in her life, including her family. I don’t find this to be true, I’m hoping the next book will clarify that for us. I don’t want to continue reading about a main character that pretends to be a hero but is extremely selfish. I felt that the story was trying to give you the idea that she was indeed heartless, but I’m crossing my fingers that book number three will clear that up for us.

The action scenes in this book is really where everything began to shine. I’m absolutely not into action scenes in my novels but Victoria Aveyard wrote them perfectly to my taste. While a lot of spots in this book reminded me of the journey in the Young Elites series, I think the ending left it open to become something much more.

I’ve seen book reviewers online calling this series trash or garbage. I don’t agree. I don’t think this is the most original fantasy series I’ve ever read. Not by a long shot. I do think that it has some really interesting ideals though and enough to keep me continuing with the story. I’m a Slytherin, I love the bad guys. This entire book was giving me too much good guys and not enough deceit. With the cliffhanger in the last chapter I’m hoping my evil Slytherin heart will be satisfied. Overall I think Glass Sword had second book syndrome. The first one was better in my opinion but I’m not opposed to see where the rest of the story goes. I certainly recommend these books to anybody who wants to relax with a fantasy novel without putting too much thought into it. This is a leisurely read and quick to accomplish. There is no fantastical magic system and although the politics are different than some fantasies I’ve read, the politics were there enough to keep me enticed. You’ll find throughout my book reviews that politics are something I get extremely excited for when it comes to finding new books. To wrap this up, I gave Glass Sword 3.5 out of 5 stars total.

Have you guys read this series? What did you think about it?

Where to buy the book :

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Glass-Sword-Queen-Victoria-Aveyard/dp/0062310666/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517004875&sr=8-1&keywords=glass+sword

Where to find the author :

https://www.victoriaaveyard.com/

Twitter handle : @VictoriaAveyard

Follow Me Back Review!

Follow Me Back

Genre : Young Adult

Synopsis : Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

First and foremost I’d like to thank Netgalley for sending me this copy for review.

I’m not sure how to approach this review because while this was a solid read for me, it’s not something I would particularly pick up on my own. I don’t think the synopsis was misleading but I requested to review the book based on the cover. I think we can all agree that the cover of Follow Me Back is extremely interesting. The two main characters are Tessa and Eric. Tessa suffers from agoraphobia, this is a condition that prevents her from leaving her home due to a traumatic event. Eric is a pop star, very reminiscent of Justin Bieber, and is under constant paranoia because a fellow pop star was murdered recently by a stan (stalker-fan). I’m no celebrity so I can’t speak on behalf of what it is like to live that type of lifestyle but I do think that the author seemed to capture that aspect of the story very well. I didn’t like Eric’s personality by any means. I know he is a teenager and therefore angst-y, I just really disliked him overall. Throughout the book he is basically reverse catfishing Tessa. I felt like this aspect really dragged on and the love story was very cliche. On the other hand, I loved Tessa’s character. I really felt like I could connect to her because I have severe panic and anxiety disorder, something that was fueling her agoraphobia. Tessa starts out with having a very emotionally abusive boyfriend in the beginning of the novel, which I thought was never properly addressed. He seemed like a filler character but I personally would have liked more on his behalf. At least someone acknowledging the fact that he was abusive in a way. Tessa’s mother was very absent as she seemed to be a hard working single mother but I hated the way that she was portrayed without any acknowledgment of how actually horrible she was. Any mother that is getting verbally and noticeably frustrated at their daughter for having a disorder and being unable to leave their house is borderline child abuse. Tessa’s mother knew something clearly horrible had occurred to make Tessa become this way and yet she treated her like disorder was a pest and actively showed how disappointed she was in her daughter for not being able to concur her anxieties quicker. I would have loved to see Tessa confront her mother or even speak to her therapist about how she felt when her mother belittled her for not recovering at the pace her mother preferred.

While those problems were minor inconveniences for me and didn’t really take away from the reading experience, Tessa’s therapist was frightening. There were a few red flags in the beginning of the novel (the therapist urging Tessa to talk to strangers on social media to help with her disorder) but the real kicker happened at the end and I feel like I NEED to address it for future readers. This behavior is NOT okay in a therapist.

MINOR SPOILERS ARE COMING

Tessa’s therapist agreed and encouraged Tessa to meet the stranger that she had been speaking to through twitter and even drove her to pick up said stranger. This all happened without the consent of Tessa’s mother as well. NO MATTER HOW COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR THERAPIST YOU ARE, DO NOT GET INTO A VEHICLE WITH THEM. THAT IS NOT THEIR JOB. DO NOT MEET STRANGERS BECAUSE YOUR THERAPIST SAID IT WAS A GOOD IDEA. Not only did this happen but the therapist picked up the stranger and then DROPPED THEM OFF AT TESSA’S HOUSE ALONE TOGETHER WITHOUT HER MOTHER BEING PRESENT. This is so harmful for teens who may be reading this and going through similar therapies or just therapy in general. There are rules in place for what a therapist should and could do with their patient, I want to make it plain and clear that none of this was acceptable or safe.

Now that we got that out of the way, there was a mystery aspect to this story that had me hooked. The ending came to a complete shock for me and once it was all wrapped up nicely with a bow, we got thrown a HUGE cliffhanger. I did enjoy reading this book and I would recommend it to others with the thought in mind that they are aware that a therapist should not be, in any way, like the one in this novel. I will be picking up the next book because I have to know how this is all going to turn out.

Three stars

Little Black Lies – Book Review

Little Black Lies

I decided to pick up Little Black Lies by Sandra Block because I was approved for the third book in this series on Netgalley. When I initially requested the third book in the Zoe Goldman series I didn’t know that there were two books that came before The Secret Room. I’ve been itching to start knocking out my Netgalley reviews and therefore needed to catch up on this series to do that accurately.

This is a mystery novel about a resident in training on a psychiatric ward named Zoe Goldman. Zoe is taking care of a patient named Sofia. Sofia is in the psychiatric ward because two decades ago she killed her own mother but she now appears docile and ready to be released. Meanwhile, Zoe is going through her own troubles because her adoptive mother has dementia and Zoe is trying to find out more information about her birth mother. Zoe starts digging into her own past to find this information and this is where the story takes off.

The first couple chapters of this were hard for me to stomach because I felt that the author didn’t give off good representation for the LGBTQ+ character she included. I decided to move past this and keep going forward as I do have two more books in the series to review. After I finished the book I was happy that I pushed forth because overall I thought her characters she wrote were very well rounded and vibrant. I felt like I knew each character, no matter how minor, very intimately. I particularly loved Zoe’s brother and his devil may care attitude.

While most of this story is focusing on Zoe’s search for information on her birth mother, there is a small love story on the back burner. Zoe is bouncing back and forth between wanting her very “sexy” French ex boyfriend and wanting to just move on. This part of the story doesn’t take up much room and I was pleased to see that. It was just enough love to make the reader care but it didn’t steal the show by any means.

Also you have the patient Sofia and her story to try and decode. This is basically two mysteries in one book. I wanted to comment on how well the pacing was done in this book. When you throw in so much information and searching into a mystery book it’s hard to get the correct pacing down, for me anyway. I get extremely bored of the endless search for answers and that’s why I don’t prefer to ready mystery novels. This book wasn’t like that. Everything was paced beautifully and I never found myself bored.

The ending of this book was wrapped up neat with a bow and I wasn’t sure if I appreciated that or not. While it’s a nice conclusion to a book it’s just something I’m not used to in my everyday reading. Without any spoilers, the mystery was solved very conveniently but I do have do admit that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. Overall I think this is a very solid and quick read. For mystery enthusiasts I could see this series becoming a favorite. As for me I will continue on with Zoe Goldman and her story.

Three stars

 

 

The Nightingale Review!

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Genre : Adult, Historical Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis : 

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. 

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

My Review : 

I initially thought going into this book that it was going to be more of a romance rather than a true historical fiction and boy, was I wrong. While there is two minor love stories, they are ultimately put on the back burner of the plot. I loved this aspect of The Nightingale because it really focused on history and above all, feminism. Two things that I absolutely love reading about. This was an interesting take on World War 2, as I’ve never read anything about France’s involvement. Once all the men were sent off to fight in the war, all of the women and children were left behind. While reading this we really got to see what struggles those people still living in an occupied France were going through, needless to say it was horrific.

The first 100 pages or so of this book felt extremely rushed. I was truly discouraged at this point but I pressed on and I became completely engrossed in the novel. We follow first and foremost, Vianne, a married woman whose husband is off at war and she is left to take care of her daughter and their home. It seems simple enough but when a German soldier claims his stake on their house and moves in it becomes a lot more complicated. Vianne in much of the book wanted to turn a blind eye to the politics and wholeheartedly believed that their French soldiers would keep the war away from their home. Unfortunately as time moves on, Vianne realizes this is not the case and she must do everything she can to protect her family, her friends, and eventually even strangers. I really enjoyed watching Vianne grow as a woman and as a warrior in her own way. Even though in the beginning of the book Vianne was unable to keep her sister Isabelle under control and they were consistently fighting, you could really see her motherly instincts and regret over it. Vianne felt human in a way that most characters in novels do not.

Moving onto Isabelle, the wild child, I couldn’t have been more obsessed with her journey. Isabelle starts out as a young woman, a teenager to be exact, who just wants the attention and love of her father who has shunned her from his life ever since his wife passed away. Isabelle meets a young man on her way to her sisters home in France because Paris is no longer safe, and from there we get a very short love story, as he abruptly abandons her when they arrive at their destination. From here on out Isabelle is completely engrossed in becoming a member of the French Resistance and fighting for her country in the best way that she can. This starts off as her delivering ‘terrorist’ newspapers to keep her neighborhood informed on what was truly happening in the war, and not what the Nazis occupying their city is telling them. From there, Isabelle hops a train to Paris and becomes ‘The Nightingale’. What this means without any spoilers is she risks her life day in and day out to fight her own little piece of the war.

At the end of this book I was sobbing, I was proud, I was heartbroken, I was more educated, and I was satisfied. I was excited to see after finishing that The Nightingale is being made into a move. (Please give us Emma Watson as Isabelle). I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future.

4 stars

 

The Young Elites Review!

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Genre : YA, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis : 

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Review : 

I’ve read Marie Lu’s previous Legend series and didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it. I decided to give this one a chance because I didn’t want to base one (okay) experience on an author. I enjoyed The Young Elites much more than her previous works but it still wasn’t something that blew my mind.

I absolutely adored the premise of this book, the blood fever, the malfetto’s, the very small amount of politics involved, and of course super powers. I also wanted to give this story a round of applause for having a villain as the main character as opposed to going on another heroes journey. This was something new for me as I don’t really read much from the bad guys perspective. The characters were pretty incredible, the setting was very atmospheric, and the plot was intriguing. What I didn’t like was the pacing. For the entire middle chunk of this book I was bored out of my skull but I’m pleased that I finished it (for the most part) because it picked up at the ending. Judging by the last chapter I think I’ll continue on with the next books in the series.

I liked this book, I didn’t love it. I don’t know why I felt this way. Nothing was adherently wrong with the writing or anything, I just didn’t connect with any of the characters personally. I do believe as the series goes on I will enjoy it more though, fingers crossed. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a Young Adult Fantasy lover. This is a good ride and a fun time.

 

3 stars

This Savage Song Review!

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There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake.

This book has been hyped up all over Instagram, Goodreads, and Youtube so when I saw it at the library I decided to give it a go. The premise of this book is that once a heinous crime has been committed, a monster will be created. There are three different types of monsters, one that is a classic eat your face off monster, the other is a vampire type, and the last and most rare is one that steals your soul with a song. One of our main characters is the type to steal your soul.

Kate is one of the main characters and when she was introduced I couldn’t stand her. She was stand-offish, rude, crabby, and all together unlikeable. As her story went on the reader is able to collect information on why exactly she puts on this facade but still by the end of the book she just seemed cookie cutter young adult bad ass female to me. Nothing truly stood out in her personality. August, our other main character, is a monster who wants nothing more than to be human. I had better luck with Augusts character which is surprising because normally I don’t particularly enjoy the heroes of the story. August struggles with what he is and how he has to feed to keep his composure and it’s all very basic.

The only thing that stood out for me was the setting. I’d like the future novels to delve into the other cities surrounding Verity. I am interested in seeing the main characters travel and to learn more about what was once the United States. I always find a dystopian setting extremely satisfying so now that we got a small taste of the world I just want more.

As far as plot twists go, there were many of them. I saw most of them coming from a mile away but at the end I was pleasantly surprised. The ending was the only thing that made me want to continue on with the series. It just spiked my curiosity. One thing that was a relief for me is that our main character Kate figured out relatively quickly that August was a monster. I think if she hadn’t been so fast in that realization it really would have drove me insane. For all my fellow young adult readers out there, you know how annoying it is when a main character is clueless or voluntarily blind to obvious clues. (Twilight for example, it was so obvious). Overall I gave this a three star rating because it had me involved enough to make it a quick read but nothing was really spectacular about it. I’d recommend reading it to others if the plot seems interesting to you. I’ll be picking up the next book, Our Dark Duet, when it becomes available at my library. I don’t intend on ever spending my own money on these books but I’m not opposed to the authors other works or future novels.

 

3 stars

Throne of Glass Review!

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After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

This is technically my second time reading Throne of Glass but it’s been so long and I wanted to continue on with the series so I decided to read it another time. The first time I rated this a four star book, this time it’s a solid 3.5 stars for me. I think I gave it less of a rating because I’ve read two other Maas books and they’ve set the bar higher for me and her writing.

Throne of Glass starts out and reads as any typical young adult fantasy book. The overall feeling felt like something that wasn’t out of the ordinary but as it progresses it became more unique. This book is truly set in its own unique world and the magic system was different than most, I really appreciated that aspect. The world building was slow but thorough and I felt like she really constructed her own atmosphere at a perfect pace.

Our main character Celaena is an assassin, headstrong, stubborn, and blatantly violent. Those were the characteristics that were presented to us in the beginning of the book but throughout time we saw that Celaena enjoyed getting dolled up, she was narcissistic, she enjoyed elaborate balls, she had musical talent, and really loved engrossing herself in a good book. At first I thought these personality traits really contradicted themselves but once I thought about it I felt like Celaena’s hardened exterior was for a reason and therefore valid. You’re allowed to be a stubborn hardass but also enjoy being dressed up and flattered.

Our two love interests were both equally interesting. I don’t even think I could pick a favorite of the two if I had to because they both serve a special place in my heart. I thought the writing of their love triangle was exactly how a love triangle should be written. It was part of the story but it wasn’t revolved around them.

Celaena also develops a nice yet shaky friendship with a princess from a neighboring country. I loved seeing the similarities between the two girls but also how they contrasted and worked together.

I thought the overall plot was fantastic. There were side characters I’d love to see more from in future novels. The conflicts were many and the outcomes were full of strife and heartache. There were twists, there were turns, and there were moments of complete awe. I think Sarah J Maas was really onto something when she wrote this book and I can’t wait to get back into the world with book number two. I know it just gets better and better from here.

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