Author: Ashley

Half Wild

Posted February 15, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review, Reading Challenges, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Half WildHalf Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Carl PreKopp
Length: 9hrs 33min
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
on March 24th 2015
Pages: 412
Published by Viking Juvenile Goodreads

"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

This book was so good. I listened to the audio book (as I did the Half Bad) and Carl Prekopp delivered an epic performance yet again. Prekopp is a vivid storyteller who leaves nothing to be desired. Sally Green…ugh this story. Part mystery, part romance, part science fiction and just all around amazing. The cover, let’s talk about the cover. On the cover of Half Bad you see a profile who I presume to be Nathan in red blood or smoke. On the cover of Half Wild you see the profile of a wolf or dog in green smoke.   Now, if you’ve read this book, or the series you know what is really happening on the cover. I LOVE the way the covers tie back to the story so beautifully.

Before I continue, let’s get through this character list:

Nathan: 17, half white witch, half black witch, main character.

Gabriel: Black witch stuck in a fain body, Nathan’s best friend.

Annalise: White witch, on the run from her cruel family, attended school with Nathan.

Marcus: Most famous for killing witches and eating their hearts to gain their powers. Mostly estranged from Nathan.

Van: Black witch helping Nathan find Annalise, saved Gabriel.

Nesbitt: Van’s assistant. Half black witch, half fain.

Mercury: Powerful black witch, holding Annalise in a death like state in exchange for Marcus’s heart.

Half Wild begins pretty much where Half Bad left off. It’s been four weeks and four days since Nathan met his father for the first time and became a full witch. It’s been four months since he slashed his Hunter sister Jessica’s face and left her to bleed. Four months since Nathan has seen, or heard from Gabriel. The book opens with Nathan hearing that all too familiar cell phone buzz and he knows Hunters are near. Nathan has been waiting for Gabriel at the rondevu point but Nesbitt shows up instead, and he says he knows how to find Gabriel. As Nathan and Nesbitt make plans to return to Van and Gabriel they are attacked by Hunters. Nathan and Nesbitt have to kill the Hunters in order to survive. Unfortunately the Hunter Nathan has to kill is very special to Annalise and Nathan knows this could change everything between them.

Once Nathan and Nesbitt are back with Gabrielle and Van they began to work out a plan to get Annalise back from Mercury. What Nathan doesn’t know (but soon finds out) is that everyone wants him to join the Alliance of Free Witches or AFW and they want Nathan to get his father to join too. White witches are experimenting on black witches and killing them seemingly for sport. An alliance of black witches and white witches might be just what’s needed to bring down the evil white witches and let everyone live in peace. But Nathan won’t join the alliance until Annalise is safe from Mercury, now the story really begins!

This book is a whirlwind of adventure. From cover to cover. I am absolutely on the Nathan and Gabriel ship…just if you’re wondering. I actually finished this book almost two weeks before I wrote my review because my emotions were so raw after that ending. I sat down to write it once and had no idea where to start. I will begin Half Lost this week and hope to god I survive it! I will say this though, Sally Green is now on my auto buy list. I will read anything she writes.

Check out this video of Sally Green talking about Half Wild:

Have you read Half Wild? If so, let’s chat!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted February 7, 2017 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 0 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s topic is ten books I wish had more or less of something. I decided to do ten books I wish had less pages. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the books (in some cases it totally does) but mostly I thought the story could have been told with less pages. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here so here they are in no particular order.

      

    

      

I know some of these books are loved by a LOT of people and I really did enjoy them but I still feel like they could have been told with fewer pages!

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? If so, lets chat!

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Nightmares!

Posted February 6, 2017 by Ashley in Middle Grade / 0 Comments

Nightmares!Nightmares! (Nightmares!, #1) by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller, Karl Kwasny
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Middle Grade
on September 9th 2014
Pages: 355
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers Goodreads

Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!
Charlie Laird has several problems:1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.
What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.
[This is the first book in a trilogy.]

If you know me even a little, you know I judge a book by its cover, this is exactly how I discovered Nightmares!. I was shelving in the Young Readers section and it immediately caught my attention. The purple with the mansion and the giant moon in the background. It’s hard to see with this image but the hardcover edition has the title and authors in shiny silver which really makes everything pop. Speaking of the title, the font used is so beautiful! I set it aside for purchase even before I read the synopsis.  I didn’t know who Jason Segel was (I KNOW, I’m sorry) but it didn’t really matter because the book sounded good and I had to buy it.

Charlie has lived in the small town of Cypress Creek all 12 years of his life. It’s a small boring kind of town with not a lot to do. When Charlie was 9 he became intrigued by the giant purple mansion on top of the biggest hill in town. He starts asking questions about the house and discovers his mother has actually been inside it! When Charlie asks his mom about the house, his mother shuts down,  and visibly pales at the thought of it. She promises to tell Charlie everything when he is older, but she never gets the chance. Just a few weeks after that conversation, his mother becomes ill and passes away. Charlie then becomes obsessed with the purple mansion, asking everyone in town about it. No one knows much about it though, it’s pretty much a mystery. Three years later, the worse thing that could possibly happen to Charlie happens; his father gets married to the lady who lives in the purple mansion!

Not long after the move Charlie begins having nightmares and he is scared to sleep because of them. In his dreams Charlie is visited by a witch (that resemble his step mother) and her cat. Each night the witch tries to take Charlie into the Netherworld but she always seems to fail. One night when Charlie is preoccupied, the witch takes Charlie’s brother Jack instead. Charlie follows the witch into the forest but quickly losses her. Charlie must find his brother and bring him home, but it’s not going to be easy. Along the way he meets a colorful cast of characters including killer bunnies, giants flesh-eating bugs and a crazy clown, just to name a few.

I thoroughly enjoyed going on this adventure with Charlie and I really want to read the rest of the series.  This is a book that anyone at any age can really enjoy and it might be a great suggestion for a young reader who has recently lost a family member.

four-stars

Have you read Nightmares!? If so, let’s chat!

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Top Ten Graphic Novels on my TBR List

Posted January 31, 2017 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 10 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they suggest a theme, usually bookish related, and invite bloggers to join in. This week is Ten Graphic Novels on my TBR. I was SO EXCITED to participate this week because I’m fairly new to graphic novels and there are a lot on my wish list. Here are the ten I’m most excited to get my hands on.

There is absolutely no question, I am extremely excited to get this Lunar Chronicles graphic novel in my hands. I’ve been addicted to the series for some time now. I own them in hardcover (SIGNED thanks to Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide) and audio and I’m probably going to start picking up the paperbacks as well. I love this series.

I’ve read this book and listened to the audio and I love them both, so what not add the graphic novel to my collection? Plus the illustrations look so cool!

The first time I read the Outlander series was in 1997, I did a re-read and catch up in 2010 but I’ve never even seen this beauty in real life, I am going to have to change that. I am most interested in Jamie’s POV. Who knows it might spark another re-read!

I’ve heard so many good things about this one and the illustrations are supposed to be gorgeous so I must add it to my collection.

When I started reading graphic novels and asking for recommendations this is one everyone told me to read, so I must!

Joe Hill, enough said right!? PLUS a super creepy mansion with doors that transport you places and a monster who lives inside, all from the mind of Joe Hill. DONE. SIGN ME UP!

I have yet to read the Legend series (though I own them all) but I really want to read this graphic novel too. They all sound so amazing.

Fables is another one that everyone told me to read. I love fairytale retelling and this one has all the fairytale characters living in exile in NYC-I am totally curious about this!

I was gifted Gloomcookie by the lovely Kristen over at The Book Monsters and I totally fell in love. I must have more!

Another recommendation from Kristen. A mysterious plague wipes out all the Y chromosome carriers on earth except one…yeah I need read this.

 

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Behind Her Eyes

Posted January 31, 2017 by Ashley in Adult / 0 Comments

Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Format: ARC
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
on January 31st 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Flatiron Books Source: Publisher
Goodreads

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes?
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

I’ve read a lot of mysteries and I’ve seen a lot of shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order. This can sometimes make it hard for me to discover and enjoy a good mystery book. I’m very judgy when it comes to the cover and the content of a good mystery novel. So when this book landed on my doorstep I was intrigued but not dying to read it. I causally added it to my TBR pile. I have to be honest though, I had never heard of Sarah Pinborough nor had I heard about this, as the publisher puts it, “WTF ending”. Stay tuned, I’ll get back to that in a minute. The story is told through different characters POV and it bounces back between the past and the present. This isn’t as confusing as it sounds. Two main characters tell the majority of the story, Louise and Adele with Adele narrating the “THEN” chapters.

Louise lives in a drab apartment with her son Adam. Louise is divorced but mostly civil with Adam’s father Ian. After dropping Adam off after a weekend visit, Ian blurts out his wife is pregnant and the two want to take Adam to the south of France for an entire month. Adam is Louise’s entire life, what will she do for whole month with out him? She decides to try to reinvent herself, hit the gym, try to find the man she kissed at the bar a few nights ago.

On the outside Adele looks like the perfect wife. She is beautiful, well spoken, caring and devoted to her husband David. We learn more and more about Adele through the “THEN” chapters and slowly start to piece her life with David together. Adele and David are new to town and with David starting his new job, Adele is a bit lonely and is looking to make a new friend.

In the first few pages of the book you learn that David is actually the man at the bar and Louise is Adele’s new friend. This can’t be good you think, and you’re so very right. The more time Louise spends with David the more she falls for him. But the more time she spends with Adele, the more she questions David. Who is David really? Why won’t Adele leave David? Is David hurting Adele?You will definitely ask yourself WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THESE TWO!?

The ending really did make me say “What the F@CK!?”. I mean it, I said it out loud and started flipping pages to find more words. Any words, and epilogue, hints at a second book, anything. I didn’t see it coming. AT ALL. I will say the marketing team for this book did an amazing job creating that hashtag and the letter they put inside the ARC. Without that letter I wouldn’t have read this book before it’s publication date, it would have sat on my TBR pile for weeks. I can’t wait for publication date because I’ve recommended it to so many people and I NEED to talk to SOMEONE about it without spoiling the story. So if and WHEN you read this book PLEASE comment so I can discuss!

 

four-stars

 

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The Littlest Bigfoot

Posted January 30, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review, Middle Grade / 0 Comments

The Littlest BigfootThe Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner
Format: ARC
Genres: Middle Grade
on September 13th 2016
Pages: 304
Published by Aladdin Source: Publisher
Goodreads

From New York Times bestselling of Hungry Heart Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.
Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.
But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.
Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.

Twelve year old Alice lives with her mother and father in New York City. She is good at one thing, making herself disappear. She thinks her teeth, hands and feet are too big and her hair too unruly. Alice’s mother is small and elegant and father is always dressed perfect. Even though her mom (who she can’t call mom, she has to call her Felicity) doesn’t work she is too busy to pay much attention to Alice. So Alice just keeps getting sent off to boarding school after boarding school (she keeps getting kicked out). For all of the schools Alice has been to, she has never made one friend, not a single one and this is her only wish, her only dream.

Millie is a Bigfoot who lives in the forest with other Bigfoot in her clan. Millie’s father is the leader of the Yare clan and Millie is destined to take his place when he can no longer perform his duties. She will lead just like him, she will keep the clan in the forest just like her father did and his father before him. But Millie doesn’t really want that, she wants to be with the No-Furs (humans). Millie watches No-Furs on t.v. and she is completely fascinated. She is determined to meet No-Furs and befriend them.

When Millie can’t take it anymore, she decides to sneak out and visit the No-Fur school across the river. Millie quickly learns she’s not a very strong swimmer. Millie makes it half way to the school of No-Furs and begins to drown. But then from out of nowhere, Alice grabs Millie and drags her to shore. From then on Mille and Alice become friends.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here because there really is some magic that happens at the end of the story and I really don’t want to ruin it. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is “different” no matter what age. Littlest Bigfoot is an amazing story that teaches us that just because someone looks or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they have it all together or are not going through something on the inside. I think this book should be added to some required reading list or summer reading list, it has such a good moral story to tell. My daughter will be reading this one for sure!

four-half-stars

Have you read Littlest Bigfoot? If so, let’s chat!

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