Abuse, ARC, Book Review, Mental Illness

Get In My Head: Jared’s Story by S.M. Holland

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My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary via Goodreads: Abandoned by his family and made to live in a hellish mental hospital, Jared is forced to face the monster within himself. On the outside, he seems like your average teenage boy, but on the inside, his mind is threatening to tear him apart.

My Review: Quick, yet gripping read. I sat down to start this book yesterday after I was given the ARC by the author, and ended up not being able to put it down until I finished it. I love the book cover, the characters, and the tangible frustration and fear the main character feels throughout the entire story.

I was hesitant when the narrative turned into a journal entry. I’ve read too many stories written in diary or letter form, where the story drags on through telling instead of showing, but this story is well written and switches between the narrative and the Jared’s journal pov. There’s not one lag in the pace at all. The tension keeps you locked into the story, even when there are reflective, down moments.

I wasn’t surprised at the twist in this story. But, even being able to predict what would happen didn’t ruin the emotional reaction I had when the main character came to the same realization of events. Some of these events were a surprise, however, making the situation dark and uncomfortable, which I felt kept true to the realistic aspect of treatment many patients unfortunately face.

This book will make you cringe, maybe cry, and make you angry. It’s emotionally gripping until the end. I love how S.M. Holland includes the suicide helpline and other resources for those who may need them. She’s an understanding and loving author, who clearly cares for many who struggling through similar situations, and wouldn’t hesitate to extend a helping hand to those in need.

Thanks for the opportunity to read your new release. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended this eye opening story to everyone.

 

 

Apocalyptic, Book Review, Dystopia, Horror, Uncategorized, Zombies

Stage 3 by Ken Stark

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My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: Mason has lost his faith in humanity after a heart-wrenching breakup with Beck. As he returns from vacation, angry and alone, he confronts a world plagued by blindness, the first stage of zombie transformation. Forced from his home, he encounters a young girl, who gives him hope to fight on, for her sake if not his own.

My Warning: Don’t read this before bed, unless you plan on being up all night huddled under the covers in fear. 

I did just that. I don’t regret it at all, but still…I was terrified until the end.

I love zombies, and Ken Stark did a fantastic job of spinning his own horror story. He made Mason, an ultimately dis-likable character, likable. I’m so use to reading and watching zombie stories where the main pov character struggles to cope with the horror in front of them by cowering for the majority of the story before jumping into action and facing it head on. Mason did the opposite, and he’s smart. While he coped with loss and fear in his own way, he’s a strong character, who reacts realistically while also making quick decisions without hesitation. His redeeming qualities shine through as he protects a young blind girl, which makes him a sympathetic, caring character beneath his rough external personality and the internal conflicts he faces.

Spoiler ahead…

My only criticism: The overall point of the story is to show the ongoing struggle they face and the hope slowly slipping away from them, which is evident from how the book ends, but I was still disappointed that the characters didn’t succeed or fail in their main goal. Not meeting the goal is obviously part of the underlying theme of hope here, but still…I was left hanging, and I didn’t like it. It felt incomplete. Minus this disappointment, there were only a few places where the point of view switches in scene, which, for once, I didn’t mind so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was emotionally gripping with it’s fast pace. You won’t want to put it down. 

I read this for my own enjoyment, and highly recommend it.

ARC, Beta Read, Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Romance

Water Spell by Lizzy Ford

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

ARC: Kindle Unlimited Version

My Short Summary: 

Sela, a powerful water mage, wants to be free. Free of the overwhelming pull of her magic, demanding she submit to the depths of an ancient ocean. Free of her savage protector, Tieran, who she’s bonded to. And, free of the kingdoms and those who would abuse her powers. If she is to survive, to be free, she and Tieran must learn to trust each other, or risk drowning in her magic and the rage of war.

My Review:

Lizzy Ford’s excitement over this book is palpable, and now I know why. Water Spell is an exciting fantasy adventure full of well-rounded characters. I didn’t want this book to end, and I was giddy to read the titles of the next books to come in this series. You’re going to want to add the beautiful hard-copy to your fantasy collection. Lizzy Ford is one of my favorite authors, and her characters are so memorable

I wasn’t sure I’d like Sela or Tieran, but I anticipated a deeper connection between them from the start. Their external display of tension masks their individual internal desires. Both have a clear goal, which becomes harder to reach as magic bonds them together. By the end, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if their relationship would come together or break apart.
Sela’s need for freedom, to reach the water, made me thirsty. I ached to be in her world, reaching for the seas, the wells, the streams, etc. It made me want to go to the beach! I want to be her, controlling water with magic. This part of the book reminded me so much of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I loved it.
 
For Lizzy ♥ 
My only critique of this book is on the first chapter. As much as Sela’s previous mage-warrior influences her, I wasn’t captivated by his pov as much as hers. For me, the story didn’t start until Tieran took his oath and Karav left. I liked the tension caused when Tieran finds out his new ward is a woman. But, I didn’t feel Karav’s thoughts and worries over Sela aided me in feeling the bond between mage and warrior.
There is a lot of redundant thoughts from Karav on the Inlanders being barbarians. These descriptions and examples through his pov didn’t help develop Tieran. Tieran’s reactions and behavior toward Sela is enough, as well as her reaction to the people in his land. Experiencing this through Sela is more gripping without Karav’s scene set-up.
The world-building and back-story was overwhelming in chapter one, almost info-dumped. This flows well enough throughout the rest of the book through Sela’s pov, though, and I loved the map!
Thanks for letting me review the ARC of Water Spell! I enjoy reading, reviewing and promoting all of your books.
Book Review, Vampires

A Wicked Hunger by Kiersten Fay

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Short Summary via Amazon:

“Coraline’s survival teeters on the whim of a devastatingly handsome VEA agent named Mason as she is hunted by those who would see her dead, but can she trust her mysterious vampire bodyguard?”

My Review: 

I don’t mind the cliffhanger at the end of this book, especially since I know it’s in a series, but I missed the answers to the central conflict… Was there a central conflict? The book is one giant cliffhanger, with little to no resolution of the original problems introduced in the beginning. 

After a while, I did get hooked to the story because I enjoy Fay’s writing style and her steamy sex scenes. I loved the Shadow Quest series, so I was looking forward to reading something similar. 

Knox’s character is what makes this story more intriguing, and I wish he had been introduced from the beginning. Cora is too weak, relying on Mason most of the story. I don’t really like her character until the end, where there is conflict between the three of them, in addition to what we learn about Cora. Hopefully this new self-discovery will help her become a stronger, independent character, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens with Knox. 

Overall, I wasn’t blown away, but I want to know more. I read this book for my own enjoyment. Kindle version. 

Angels, ARC, Book Review

False River by H.G. Reed 

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary via Amazon:

“When the devil slinks into a small mountain town seeking a favor from a familiar face, a haunted farmer strikes a deal to restore the soul he sold over ten years ago. But secrets never stay buried, and Joe Lawson is willing to risk everything to save his family from the devil’s wrath, even if it means working with her again…and killing for her. When angels intervene to lend their aid, Joe must confront his past, present and future before his forty days are up, or else lose everything that matters in this world.”

My Review: 

I enjoyed this inspirational and thought-provoking story of a man who needs a miracle to save his soul, family and land. In the end, he learns his freewill remains intact, and it’s his choices which determine the outcome of his story. God is ultimately in control, even when Joe feels his life is spiraling out of it. 

My only critique is of the background storytelling of Joe and his wife Catherine. There’s so much of it, it slowed the pace of the action in the first few chapters. The story, for me, starts when the angels arrive. I wish it would have started here, filling in the backstory as it goes without so much telling. This being said, the characters are well-developed and the pacing picks up, keeping you emersed in the story until the end. 

Reed’s writing style makes this book a quick and easy read, while discriptively building up to the climax, where the Angels go to war with the Devil over the soul of man. 

I was given this ARC free for review, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Congratulations to H.G. Reed on her book release. I hope it’s one of many to come. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.