Friday, January 18, 2019

Audio Book Review: Crescent Chronicles by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Publisher: Tantor Audio
Format: Audio
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Buy: Flight | Focus | Found

Synopsis: 

Flight: Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Focus: Freshman year of college is hard even when you're not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she's with Levi or not, she's in far too deep to turn back.

Found: Levi might be hot and strong and have a cool set of wings, but it's not enough to make up for keeping Allie in the dark. Allie's tired of being left with more questions than answers. She's tired of loving a guy who refuses to level with her. Most of all she's tired of her life spinning out of control.
Desperate to save Jess no matter the personal cost, Allie has to face the possibility that the only one she can trust is herself.

Review:

I liked this shorts series.  Full of supernatural hotness set in the best city for anything otherworldly, New orleans, LA.  When Allie meets the cocky Levi she is instantly drawn to him and him to her, when she finds out that he isn't human and has a cool set of crow wings things get even better but when Levi gives her a gift, failing to tell her of its significance things start to spiral out of control.

In book 2 Focus Allie is trying to come to terms with her new position in the supernatural world, not sure if she can forgive Levi for his deception but still drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Her ex boyfriend Toby doesn't seem to be able to take a hint either stalking her and making my skin crawl every time they interacted.

In book 3 Allie figures out that her attraction to the supernatural might not just be a coincidence. It is also putting her loved ones in danger but she is tired of being a pawn in someone elses game and decides to take control of her destiny, and also give in to her desire for her hot sexy man with the black wings.

This is a fun series and I couldn't stop listening, I think I blew through all three of these in a day. There is a fourth book that is the same story told from Levi's perspective that I am saving for another time. Good fun mind candy. While there is quite a bit of sex and violence in these books they are definitely geared toward a YA audience.




Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARC Book Review: The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 288 pages
Genre:  Suspense / Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio

Synopsis:

A seemingly perfect marriage is threatened by the deadly secrets husband and wife keep from each other.

Susannah, a young widow and single mother, has remarried well: to Max, a charismatic artist and popular speaker whose career took her and her fifteen-year-old son out of New York City and to a quiet Vermont university town. Strong-willed and attractive, Susannah expects that her life is perfectly in place again. Then one quiet morning she finds a note on her door: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Max dismisses the note as a prank. But days after a neighborhood couple comes to dinner, the husband mysteriously dies in a tragic accident while on a run with Max. Soon thereafter, a second note appears on their door: DID YOU GET AWAY WITH IT?

Both Susannah and Max are keeping secrets from the world and from each other—secrets that could destroy their family and everything they have built.

Review: 

This book has many layers that are slowly peeled back. Max has a secret and there is no length he will go to to keep that secret. He is a charismatic chameleon and an up and coming newbie to the art world when he meets Susannah. Susannah is a widow with a son, she has her own secrets but they aren't revealed until 3/4 of the way into the book and they make things a bit more intriguing. She seems fragile and a little off. They have a good marriage even though it isn't exactly based on honesty. 

This book had some holes, and things that just jumped the shark for me. I was really excited about it but things just spiraled out of control a bit too fast for me and leaps were made that I don't think Max would have made so quickly since he is such a controlled man. The book is told from the alternating points of view of Max and Susannah each sharing their past and how they got to this moment. Susannah's son is barely a character until later in the book. I really wanted to like this book but the ending didn't sit right with me and neither did some of the other big moments. They just didn't make sense to me for either of the characters. 






Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Discover other books or products I like: https://www.amazon.com/shop/readinggrrl 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Ghosts of Kali Oka Road (Gulf Coast Paranormal Book 1) by ML Bullock

Release Date: December 29, 2017
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 4 hours 20 minutes
Narrator: Sean Crisden & Bailey Carr
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, mystery
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

The paranormal investigators at Gulf Coast Paranormal thought they knew what they were doing. Midas, Sierra, Sara, Josh, and Peter had over 20 combined years of experience investigating supernatural activity on the Gulf Coast. But when they meet Cassidy, a young artist with a strange gift, they realize there's more to learn. And time is running out for Cassidy.

When Gulf Coast Paranormal begins investigating the ghosts of Kali Oka Road, they find an entity far scarier than a few ghosts. Add in the deserted Oak Grove Plantation, and you have a recipe for a night of terror.

Review:

Cassidy is just discovering her strange ability to paint events that happened in the past.  She gets a compulsion to paint and can't settle until she has put the feelings on canvas and when she touches the wet paint is transported into one of the characters of her dreams. She stumbles across a flyer advertising a paranormal group that is looking for people to share their experiences. 

This is the start of Cassidy working with the Gulf Coast Paranormal agency that I missed when I accidently read the 3rd book first.  I like how we see Cassidy grow from an apprehensive person regarding her gift to embracing it.

It seems that each book starts off with a murder that has ties to the past. Through investigation and the help of Cassidy's painting the team tries to figure out how to let the ghosts rest.  Fun series, not the most literary or well written but a good fun read.  Sometimes you need mind candy and this delivers the spook and the fun.


Audio Book Review: A Piece of Cake: a memoir by Cupcake Brown

Release Date: April 12, 2006
Publisher: Random House Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes
Narrator: Cupcake Brown
Genre: memoir
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

Eleven-year-old Cupcake Brown woke up on the bicentennial and found her mother still in bed. She struggled to wake her up, pushing and pulling until she managed to tug her mother's lifeless corpse onto her own small body, crushing her beneath its dead weight. After squeezing out from under her mother, Cupcake calmly walked over to the phone and called her aunt Lori. "Lori, my momma's dead."

Here is the threshold of a hell for young Cupcake. Rather than being allowed to live with the man she believed to be her father--who turns out to have been her stepfather--she is forced into a foster home where the kids were terrorized, the refrigerator padlocked, and Cupcake sexually abused. She eventually fled the house, only to find herself wandering from misadventure to misadventure in the "system," while also developing a massive appetite for drugs and alcohol, an appetite she paid for by turning tricks. She settled down in Los Angeles and found a home in the Crips, where she was taken in and befriended by gangsters like the legendary "Monster" Kody Scott. For the first time she found a family, but when Cupcake was blasted in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun, she was once more taken in by the system.

At 16, her stepfather re-enters her life and engineers an "emancipation," in which the courts declare her an adult and free her, finally, from the child welfare system. Cup takes advantage of her new freedom to start a drug-dealing operation with her stepfather, who also manages a stable of colorful prostitutes. Soon she meets a man, falls in love, and gets married. He convinces her to get a real job and learn to speak proper English--but he also abuses her and introduces her to crack cocaine. Cupcake flits from job to job, miraculously, given that she never fails to show up without some cocktail of narcotics floating in her system.

She hits rock bottom when, in desperation, she steals crack from her drug dealer. He beats her nearly to death, rapes her, and then leaves her body behind a dumpster. Cupcake wakes up days later, not sure of how she ended up in this state and from that moment begins to turn her life around. She was adopted by a lawyer who ran the law firm where she "worked," and slowly he assisted her in kicking the habit--with the help of an eccentric group of fellow addicts who became, at last, a family to her--and catching up on her education. With the support of her new family, she eventually goes all the way to law school (although not without a few additional misadventures along the way) and joins one of the top law firms in the country.

Review:

Crazy, heartbreaking memoir of a young girl who was molested by her foster family, found drugs and spiraled out of control all while still trying to be a better person.  Its amazing that Cupcake was able to become a legal secretary despite being so addicted to drugs, hold even the few jobs she had and didn't die. She was shot, beaten, and had so many close calls its amazing she was able to get clean.  Its obvious that Cupcake was brilliant just from the way she was able to overcome and reach the heights she did all while having a severe drug problem.

After hitting the lowest of the low Cupcake finds her way back and goes to law school. I'm not sure I would call this memoir uplifting but I will say it is one of hope, that despite being strongly addicted to drugs Cupcake was able to bounce back and overcome to fulfill her potential as an attorney. I've read my share of recovery books and this one tops them all.  Filled with the usual horror story there is something different about this one or maybe it was just Cupcake herself.



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