We Are The Ants Review!

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There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

 

I don’t normally go for contemporary books because it’s not a preferred genre of mine but We Are The Ants sparked my attention from all the rave reviews, including reviews from people I have similar book tastes with. I was mostly interested in this book because there was a weird alien abduction aspect going on within the synopsis. Let me be clear, this book is about mental illnesses, loss, bullying, and a lot of other issues that need to be brought to light within the YA genre. What this book is not; scifi. Don’t let the aliens fool you, this is a contemporary through and through.

I liked the pacing of this book. It takes me an eternity to get through most contemporary novels but this one flew by. There were a lot of issues going on and every chapter I finished I felt like I needed to keep going to find out what was going to happen. I also enjoyed the authors dark humor for the most part, although sometimes it was a bit too much. I’m an adult who loves YA, mostly fantasy, so contemporary high school YA books really annoy me. I felt like that with We Are The Ants but not even a fraction as much as when I read most others in this sub-genre. Honorable mention to the fact that this is an LGBTQ+ book. We are finally seeing a lot more of this in books nowadays and I will ALWAYS appreciate a LGBTQ+ romance, especially when it comes to main characters.

The characters are something I’m always looking for when I’m reading a book. How well do I connect with the characters or how fleshed out do they feel is the question I ask myself during and after I finish. I did feel like I was on this journey with our main character Henry as he has to deal with all these awful yet very real problems. I felt like the “villains” so to speak were fleshed out as well. My problem was that everyone else was bland.

I overall rated this a four star because of the content within, the issues at hand, and the fact that a lot of what was talked about NEEDS to be talked about. I tried rating this from a different place than I normally would. Not exactly how much I enjoyed reading it, but how important it is instead. For my taste it was much more of a 3 star book for me, just okay, but I think it is important so I gave it an extra star. Be aware that there is a slew of trigger warnings in this book and do not read it if rape or suicide triggers you specifically.

Also I think it’s worth mentioned that this book did make me cry a little bit. It was heartfelt and I appreciated it. I’m not generally one to cry during a book (unless it’s Where The Red Fern Grows or Harry Potter) so We Are The Ants really hit me more than normal.

 

4 stars

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Strange the Dreamer Review!

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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

 

I want to begin this review by saying this was an easy 5 stars from me and I don’t see how any book this year can possibly top Strange the Dreamer. This is absolutely my favorite book of 2017.

Do you know how it feels to crack open a Harry Potter book and you instantly feel like you’re going home? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away from Hogwarts but when you return it’s like you’ve never left. That’s exactly how reading Strange the Dreamer felt to me, like going home. That’s not to say it’s comparable to Harry Potter in any way except for the feelings it gave me. I had to put down this book multiple times, close my eyes, and just smile because it was so wonderful.

This is my first book from Laini Taylor that I’ve read (I will pick up the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series immediately). My library called me the other day and said “Hey Brittany, we’ve got a few books for you here on hold. Come down and grab them.”. When I got to my library I saw that Strange the Dreamer was one of the books they put aside for me and I was a little confused because I never requested it. I took it anyways and gave it a chance and I’m SO glad I did. I have to give a huge thank you to the awesome women at my local library who knew when they got this book that it was right up my alley.

I opened the book and read the first two pages and looked at my boyfriend and said “I can already tell this book is going to be absolutely beautiful”. I wasn’t wrong. From the first sentence I was hooked. Laini Taylor’s words aren’t writing, they are art. The way this book flows isn’t like a novel, it flows like a slow trickling stream on a spring day. Flowing over river rocks and tickling your toes. What I mean is, the story is slow but it’s beautiful and there’s no place I’d rather be. It’s not an insult for me to say the story was slow, I think it’s meant to be slow. You’re supposed to read it slow to savor every word, every sentence, every bite that you can. I felt this way about The Night Circus as well. I wanted to open the pages and crawl inside and never leave.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot because I think the adventure of finding out is KEY to this journey. I included a small tidbit of the synopsis that Goodreads provides as some guidance. Just believe me when I say you want to open this book blind and let it completely envelope you. Lazlo Strange is (one) of our main characters in this novel and can I just say that he couldn’t be any better? He’s average and nerdy and has his head in the clouds. He’s a dreamer, a fairy tale enthusiast, and he is breathtaking. When Lazlo is introduced we find out he’s obsessed with the story of a lost city called Weep and I identified with that so much. As a child (and lets be real as an adult) I was enthralled with the idea of the lost city of Atlantis. I still will read or watch anything I can get my hands on that concerns Atlantis. The city of Weep seemed like Laini Taylor reached into my brain and scooped up everything I envisioned Atlantis to be and I love her for it. If there was every a Neverending Story and Atlantis mash-up, this is it folks.

I couldn’t love this book more and I am WAITING to get my hands on the next book. Laini Taylor could write 500 books about Lazlo Strange and the city of Weep and I’d savor every second of it. I’ve already returned my library copy of this novel but I will be buying myself of a copy and every fandom item I can get my hands on. Obsessed is an understatement. I haven’t been this excited about a story in many many years. If there’s anything you ever take from looking at my blog, let it be that you NEED to read this book.

 

5 Star Rating

Top 5 Wednesday!

My Top 5 Favorite “Unlikeable” Protagonist’s

  • I think everyone can agree that both Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights are extremely unlikeable. Both of them are horrible human beings yet you root for them. You want them to be together and love each other from beginning to end. As much as I hated them both as characters, I loved their love. I respected their love. I related to their tactics and hatred and all of their unlikeable qualities because I believed in them as a couple. But lets face it, they were a terrible couple as well.
  • America Singer from The Selection is absolutely atrocious to me. The entire series is trash, yet I’m trash for it because it is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I don’t know what it is about the authors writing but I will read anything she puts out into the world and hate/love it the entire time. America was SO unlikeable in my opinion but I was so with her on her journey through the selection. I hated everything about her personality but God forbid she doesn’t win the hand of Prince Maxon or I would die.
  • Beatrice Prior from Divergent also infuriated me. Was she supposed to? Did she get under anyone else’s skin? I don’t honestly know. But by the end of the trilogy I had still hated her, yet I was so on her team. No spoilers but once I finished the trilogy I was so angry I wanted to throw them all in a dumpster and set them on fire. If you have read the series then you know what the big ending plot twist was. Why the hell was I so angry when I absolutely hated her character? Probably because deep down inside I secretly loved her.
  • The Lannisters from The Game of Thrones series are also extremely unlikeable. Incest, betrayal, flat out terrible people. This is exactly why I love them so much. Do I want them to eventually turn out to win the throne? No. Would I be mad if they did? Also no. I was even sad to see Joffery go (after I was screaming in delight when it did happen). Hate or love the Lannisters but they are some hard ass characters and that house will either go down in some beautiful flames, or rule the entire world. Not even the fictional world, my world too.
  • Lestat from Interview with a Vampire was really one awful son of a bitch I’ll admit that. The entire time I was reading that book I was reading to reach into the pages and punch him in the mouth. But that’s the beauty of it, as you continue Anne Rice’s series you want to reach through the book and hug him instead. A back story can change everything, and in this case it really did the trick for me. I’ll always be completely in love with Lestat.

 

The Lady of the Rivers Review!

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Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of 19, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a new life for herself.

 

This is a prequel to the Cousins War series by Philippa Gregory but I visited Gregory’s Facebook page and she suggest reading them not in the order they were published, but in chronological order, so that is what I did. This book follows Jacquetta, the mother who will eventually give birth to Elizabeth, the Queen of England.

This is the second novel I have read by Gregory and again I was not disappointed in the slightest. I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction, especially when it comes to history and the English crown. King Henry the VIII is one of my favorite things to talk about so when I found out Gregory had a series about the rulers prior to King Henry I was intrigued. I’m always itching to learn more about history and historical fiction (with usual visit to Wikipedia while I’m reading it) is my favorite way to learn. The fact that Gregory solely focuses on the women of the dynasty as the main character is just a huge added bonus. Feminism for the win!

This story follows Jacquettas entire life, up to the very moment her daughter Elizabeth meets the future King of England. There were elements of magic in this story that I deeply appreciated. I think some people might be irked by the presence of magic in a historical fiction novel but I thought it was an added bonus. It really brought the characters to life in a way that they probably wouldn’t have if there was no magic.

I think it’s important to read this book before started the other books in The Cousins War series because if I hadn’t known the back story of King Henry the VI and his Queen and their issues, I wouldn’t have been able to get into the next book. Jacquetta was very close to the Queen of England during this novel therefore we get to see the court politics, some dirty laundry, forbidden romances, and the overall decline in a Kings mental health. There is something for everyone in this novel to appreciate and I think that’s the beauty of it. Not only are you learning something, you are fully invested in these people’s lives. Overall I loved this book as well as the beautiful writing. This is a solid 5 stars from me and I’m so excited to continue onwards! After reading this book I’m obviously rooting for the Lancaster line but who knows who I will be rooting for once I finish the series. It’s almost like a real life Game of Thrones, minus some dope dragons.

 

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Stealing Snow Review!

 

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Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

 

So I’ve taken a solid amount of time before writing this review to try and give myself some thinking space from the book. I was hoping after a break I would change my opinion and give it a higher rating but alas, even space couldn’t change my mind. Snow spends her entire life in a mental institution because as a young child she tried to walk through a mirror, bringing her best friend with her and causing them both harm. This was already a problem for me. Did snow run through the mirror with gloves of steel? How did two young children hurt themselves so badly by something that seems pretty easily fixable with a few stitches. Also, how does walking into a mirror at a young age constitute Snow being insane enough to live in solitude in a hospital her entire life? I like my fantasy to be a little bit believable, especially if some of it is taking place in the real world. I’ll tell you right now, no insurance on earth is going to provide for someone to stay locked up their entire life over something so petty. That’s just where the problems started for me.

This is an ice queen retelling and once Snow traveled to her own land things began to pick up the pace from there (albeit slowly). Snow is searching for her best friend Bale who is kind of her boyfriend and she certainly thinks he’s the love of her life. We don’t see much of Bale to confirm this but honestly from even Snow’s point of view I highly disliked his character. Once Snow finds out she’s able to produce snow and ice magic I started getting annoyed once more. Snow is told that the evil King ruling the kingdom has been basically ruining everybodies lives for many years now and she’s the only person strong enough to stop him. *Insert prophecy here* Snow flat out refuses to fight him, all she is concerned with is finding her boyfriend and getting out of dodge. But to go back to what? The hospital? For someone who was practically imprisoned her entire life unwillingly you’d think she’d be a little bit more keen to protect the people around her who are also theoretically being imprisoned. She knows what it feels like to be locked in a cage.

Then we all of a sudden have a love square? Snow has not one, not two, but THREE love interests. (Team Jagger). UGH. I’m not one to cry about the love triangle trope but good God, three is a little excessive.

Now with all that being sad I didn’t HATE this book. It took a long time for me to read, was certainly boring for a good chunk of it, but did have some fantastic plot twists towards the end. Overall the book just felt like something that I’ve seen over and over again in YA. There was nothing that stuck out to me or that I could carry with me over the years. I rated it 2.5 stars for sheer effort and those twisty plots at the end but I don’t recommend this book honestly. It’s really difficult for me to say that because I love to support authors with all my heart. This just wasn’t worth the time for me and I will not be continuing on at this point. The only thing worth mentioning was that Jagger was the best and only character that stood out to me. If I do end up picking up the second installment to this series it will be so I can see that little angel do good in life. (Also low key have some major skepticism about his character and wanting to confirm my theory).

 

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Top 5 Wednesday!

This Wednesday theme is to recommend five books that represent your Hogwarts house. My Hogwarts house is a firm Slytherin. I’ve taken every sorting quiz imaginable, including the Pottermore quiz multiple times, and I’ve always been sorted into Slytherin. I take GREAT pride in my house so I am excited to give you all a few recommendations based on what I think a fellow Slytherin would enjoy. The key words I’m focusing on today are cunning, ambitious, determined, and leadership.

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  1. The first book I’d like to recommend is the true crime novel Helter Skelter, which focuses on the Manson murders and cult that occurred during the late 1960’s in the United States. This book is the only novel to ever truly scare me and I love how well the facts were put together without a largely bias opinion. I think a lot of people see Slytherin’s as truly evil (which isn’t true) but I wanted to give a recommendation of a story that I did in fact find wholeheartedly evil. Manson himself meets all the criteria for the key words I wanted to focus on, the most accurate word being cunning. I think anyone who has a shred of interest in the Manson cult or the murders should check this book out as it was written by the detective who worked the case for many years.
  2. The second book I’d like the recommend is The Bone Witch. I have a full review for this book here on my blog but I think this is an interesting take on witches. Tea is the main character and she is a necromancer in a world where people fear her power. We follow Tea as she goes on her journey to learn how to control her powers and become an Asha. Tea is absolutely determined in everything she does and I think the ending truly represents the path a Slytherin would take in her position.
  3. Book number three is Heartless and it is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts. I also have a review for this here on my blog if you are interested in seeing more of my thoughts on this. Heartless follows the main character Catherine who only wants one thing in life and that is to own and run her own bakery with her best friend but circumstances throw her life off course when she is made to become Queen, but falls in love with someone who isn’t the King. I think Catherine is very ambitious and there is a lot of adventure in this novel. Catherine’s story also leads her down a rough path and towards the end we all know how the Queen of Hearts turns out (a villain). While I don’t think Slytherins are all villains, I do think that they can identify with the road Catherine took and why she became the way she is.
  4. The next book I’d like to recommend is not a book at all but rather a series and I’m sure you are all familiar with it, or at least the TV show. I’m speaking of the Game of Thrones books. There are so many different perspectives touched on during the length of these books but I think all Slytherins will love the premise, which is a political fight for the throne. There are so many twists and turns in these books and I think the most interesting part is the way these people play the game to win the power, which is something all Slytherins can find fascinating.
  5. The final book on our Top 5 Wednesday journey is The Six of Crows duology. These two books follow a group of criminals who embark on a wild and thoroughly impossible heist. We get to see so many points of view, why all these people are considered criminals (most of these characters I would mentally sort into the house Slytherin) and why these characters came to be the way they are. The theme in this story is dark and the adventure is incredible. Anyone can appreciate this story but I think a Slytherin especially will fall in love with the characters and their pasts.

 

That’s all for today folks! See you next week with another Top 5 Wednesday!

The Star-Touched Queen Review!

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Maya is a princess in her fathers kingdom with a knack for spying and an interest in her fathers politics but this isn’t why everyone hates her. Maya was born with a horoscope of death and destruction that follows her everywhere she goes, therefore people avoid her at all costs and treat her like street trash. All Maya has is her little sister and the stories Maya weaves for her at bedtime, and this seems to be a well enough life for Maya. This all changes the day that Maya’s father demands that she be married, no matter her cursed horoscope and her life is turned upside down. 

I think the most brilliant thing about this book is the writing style. Chokshi has an incredible literary voice and the way she brings her world to life is truly a gift. I loved the scenery, the dialog, the internal thoughts, the make believe Otherworld. Every single sentence was music to my ears. Sometimes authors have a whimsical approach to writing and it doesn’t go over well because it feels forced, this writing just felt flat out beautiful and I will continue to read anything Choksi writes. I thought the plot twists in this book were copious but not executed well. My one complaint about the writing style is that sometimes Choksi got so engrossed in the gorgeous writing that she didn’t explain things very well….at all. I finished this book still being utterly confused about some things and as this is a stand alone (with a companion novel following a different character) I felt like that was unacceptable.

As for the story line, if you’ve been following my blog you know I’m ALWAYS here for court politics and magic. Those are two of my very favorite things about books so of course The Star-Touched Queen was meant to be in my life. I don’t know if this was supposed to be a retelling of the Hades and Persephone mythology but it certainly felt like it. I loved every single character in this novel and I loved the fact that I was kept on my toes throughout the entire process. I had no clue who the true villain was until it was spelled out for me in the last few chapters. With this book, the villain could have been the main character herself (it wasn’t obviously). Now I know some of you might be put off by this but at first there seemed to be a severe case of insta-love that I wanted to SCREAM about but that became cleared up. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I feel like the less you know the better the book is but I had to give an honorable mention to Kamala the demon horse. I finished the last 100 pages or so at one in the morning and found myself shipping Kamala and BlackJack from the Percy Jackson series. That’s right, I was so completely exhausted that I shipped two fictional horses. That’s when I thought, you’ve really lost it this time amigo.

Overall I gave this book a 3.5/5 stars and I plan on picking up the companion novel as soon as I get my hands on it.

Reign of Shadows Review!

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This is a young adult book that centers around a young girl named Luna. Luna is a princess with a stolen kingdom, hiding away in a tower for her time to take back her crown and start her reign. The night Luna was born an eclipse happened, resulting in an eternal night for over seventeen years and the release of monsters that have been hiding underground for centuries. Luna’s mother and father were murdered in cold blood almost immediately after she came out of the womb. Luckily a maid named Perla and a Kings guard named named Sivo saved her and managed to get her to safety in a tower located in the middle of a forest that was always rumored to be haunted, therefore the forest was normally vacant. This is where Luna has been her entire night, never even leaving the tower by herself, and this is where our story begins.

I loved Luna as a character and I thought her name was very fitting for someone born on the eclipse of an eternal night. Luna is everything a future Queen should be. Luna is kind, brave, fearless, compassionate, and a skilled fighter in combat. Although she was born with the disability of being blind, she doesn’t let that hold her back. Luna acts as though she’s capable of anything anyone else can do, and she is capable. Her personality really shined through the pages and I loved following her throughout her journey into the world of darkness and monsters.

I thought this book was written very well and the most intriguing parts were the fight scenes. The fight scenes were written very effectively and these type of scenes usually lose me in other books. Sophie Jordan paints a vivid pictures of the monsters that dwell in the dark and sends chills up the readers spines. Another aspect of the story that I loved was the plot twists. Though there were very few of these I can admit that I didn’t see them coming which is always a huge plus to a reader. The author gives you enough clues to figure out the plot twists ahead of time yet keeps you distracted to the point where you don’t put it together until its directly in front of your face. This is a trait in a book that I appreciate deeply. One thing that I wasn’t thrilled about in this story was the instant love. Luna falls in love with a boy named Fowler who she saves in the forest in the beginning of the novel. I was okay with the instant love in this book at first because it was understandable. Of course Luna would develop feelings for this boy, he was the first boy she had ever met in all over her seventeen years of life. As the story progressed though, their relationship progressed rapidly and I found that to be a little unrealistic. Luna is a trusting soul so naturally I excused her character but Fowler is no stranger to heartbreak in the most extreme form so I was shocked to see how quickly his personality went from standoffish to head over heels in love. I think something that would have helped this issue is if we would have gotten more story out of their travels together and their budding friendship. It’s easier to accept a relationship when you see them start to grow on each other and unfortunately we didn’t get much of that here.  With all that being said, I did ship Luna and Fowler together. I thought they made a good duo and I’m rooting for their relationship in future books.

Going back to the supporting characters of Sivo and Perla I wanted to point out that though they only had small parts in this book, I absolutely adored them. The author really brought their personalities to life and I would have loved to spend more time with them or hear a little bit about their past lives. Fingers crossed that we get more of them in book two. When Luna and Fowler set out on their journey there is a big skip in the timeline (about a week) and I thought we really could have benefited from a heartfelt goodbye scene between Luna and Perla and Sivo. Afterall, these two people raised her since the day she was born and she was the only two people she had ever been with. I thought it was kind of incredible that the author skipped over such an important scene that could have brought the reader to tears or at the very least a scene like this could have really hooked the reader into the characters a little more. Nothing makes me attached to a character like tragedy or a cry worthy goodbye scene.

Another thing that threw me off was the fact that the dialog in the book went back and forth between eras. In the beginning of the book the dialog was modern, then towards the middle the dialog went into an older style of speaking, and in the end of the book it went back to modern. I have no idea how this happened but it was something I picked up on and it confused me. I also thought Fowler and Luna’s romantic kissing scenes could have been cut shorter. I would have liked more story line rather than reading about these two being passionately in love. One scene was more than enough.

To wrap this up I want to say that Digger the tree wolf was my saving grace and I hope he stays in the storyline. Yes, I have a soft spot for animals. Another thing I’d like to see continued in the story is Fowlers past, which sounds incredibly interesting. I cannot wait to get my hands on book two! Overall I gave this book a four out of five stars. Bring on the next installment because I am here for it!

True Blue Review

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This is a middle grade book set in 1972 Alabama. The book centers around a group of children named Jeana, Billy Joe, and Wade. These three have been best friends their entire lives but everything starts to change this summer. I found the setting to be pleasing. The setting struck me as a more modern day To Kill a Mockingbird. I use the word “modern” very loosely. The premise of the books is whether or not the three kids can remain friends after the boys start developing feelings for the same friend.

There was no real plot to this for me. It was all very boring and I loathe saying that about a book. I just really don’t enjoy a book when there is no crisis or twists. There was nothing really interesting about this that sparked my attention and the entire time reading it I was just counting down the pages until it was over. Unfortunately I have this book one star and I won’t be continuing on with the rest of the books. I do appreciate being sent this novel from netgalley and the publisher but this novel just wasn’t for my taste. This book would be good for someone who is interesting in reading a coming of age story but the pacing was extremely slow and there was very little, if any, action to speak of. If this book were a stand alone I wouldn’t judge it so harshly but as the plot went nowhere fast, I can’t imagine where the next books in the series are going to go.

Fred & Rose Review.

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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