Review of Cast No Shadows (Curiosity Quills Anthology)

28792510

I got this book from NetGalley (for free in exchange for an honest review) and it was a lot longer than I thought it would be. Sometimes I would read 4 or 5 stories and only get through 3% more of the book. The stories varied in length, but they were all about ghosts. They took place in haunted houses, cemeteries, back roads and other locations in New York, with a few taking place elsewhere. It took me a few months to get through this one.
To me, this one was just ok. The stories were alright, but none of them were particularly memorable and I got bored a few times waiting for something to happen. There wasn’t any blood, guts or scary moments, even in ones that should’ve been scary. I won’t be reading anything else from Curiosity Quills.

Advertisements

Point of Departure by Emily O’Beirne

30525098

Point of Departure is about five girls (Kit, her two best friends Olivia and Liza, her other friend Mai and Kit’s cousin Tam) who are spending the summer traveling to different countries (Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, England and Thailand) before going to law school together. Unfortunately, Kit has to drop out of the trip when she finds herself in debt and the other girls go without her.

The book is told in third person from the view points of four of the characters. We don’t get to see Mai’s point of view. Along the way, the girls have doubts about going, become closer friends, find love and have some neat experiences. I loved the descriptions of each city and the hotel or hostel that they’re staying in. I could picture each place.

If you like books about friendships, travel, family, and love, I’d recommend this one. This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I wasn’t disappointed.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Review of Blood Moon by M.J. O’Shea

blood moon

Blood Moon is about two friends, Noah and Zack, who grew up together after meeting at Harper’s lake where Zack’s family stays in the summer. When the book starts, Zack’s family is heading back to the lake and it will be his last trip before he goes off to college. He’s not really able to enjoy himself because he’s sad that he hasn’t talked to Noah since last year when they shared a kiss. The day after Noah said they couldn’t be friends or anything else. Then they reconnect and get back together, but Noah is hiding something.

I enjoyed the relationship between Zack and Noah and I think it was sweet, even if their reunion was a bit too easy. *shrug* I thought I had Noah’s secret figured out before it was revealed, but I only had part of it right. I thought both of their characters were really well written and Zack is pretty funny.

The story mostly takes place in New York City and I was able to picture all of the places that Zack and Noah visited from the nightclubs and bars to their friends’ house. Their friends are an interesting bunch and it was great that they were so accepting of the boys’ relationship. Of course there were some characters that weren’t.

A lot of things happened in this book and it was all entertaining and well written. Unfortunately, I can’t go into much detail without spoiling things. I want to read the other two books in the series. The only thing that took away from the story for me is that most of the chapters had some kid of sex scene and they are explicit, which makes this a “new adult” book instead of a “young adult” one. It’s not suitable for younger teens.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review of The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

25689042

I really enjoyed this book. The characters (even the bullies) and situations are well written and believable. I liked learning about Leo and David, seeing their friendship grow and watching them become who they’re supposed to be. I am so happy they had each other for support. Their families (David’s more than Leo’s) are pretty great too.

Some parts were a little predictable, but that was fine with me. I liked seeing how they got to where I thought they’d be. I realize that’s pretty vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

I think this book will be great for transgender teens, their families and allies. It might help people understand what it’s like dealing with what these teens (and adults) go through.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Heart of the Pack by Jenny Frame

30115175

Heart of the Pack is a paranormal lesbian romance book with werewolves in it.  Some common themes such as a mate being chosen at birth and having to hide their identity from humans are used, but some new things are introduced.

I love the setting of this book. Wolfgang County sounds like a nice, welcoming place. Everyone cares about each other and they’re like a big family. They own businesses, have families and just happen to all be werewolves. These wolves are a little different because they can shift, or partially shift, whenever they want to. No full moon required.

The book is told from three different points of view, but it’s all written in third person. The first pov is the main character, Caden’s. She’s second in command of the pack and she’s a “lone wolf.” The second point of view belongs to Selena, an anxious newcomer who’s trying to escape her horrible family, and the third is the antagonist Leroux’s. She’s the leader of a pack of bad werewolves. The characters are well written and they each have their own distinct voice. It worked pretty well, but I wish Leroux was a little more fleshed out.

There are a lot of side characters and most of them (the main character’ mates, Selena’s family) are well written with the exception of the “elite wolves” (soldiers).  I honestly didn’t know what gender half of them were.

I like that the couples were a mix of gay and straight and that they used the terms “mater” (for the submissive wolves) and “pater” (for dominant wolves) regardless of gender. The way mating worked was a bit odd, but also different than what I’ve read in other werewolf stories.

The only things I didn’t like were the sex scenes and the fact that not much was done about the bad wolves. I get why the sex scenes were included, but they were awkward and creepy. “Fill up my belly!” weirded me out every time.

I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. I’d read a sequel if there was one. I recommend it to people who like werewolf romance stories. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Wolfgang-County-Jenny-Frame/dp/1626395667?ie=UTF8&keywords=heart%20of%20the%20pack&qid=1463453615&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream by Scotty McCreery w/ Travis Thrasher

29101769

According to Scotty McCreery, “Go Big or Go Home” is a travelogue, not an autobiography. He covers his life from childhood until now though.

He starts off talking about his childhood love for Elvis and how that influenced his music. He also talks about how the American Idol audition process really works. I thought they just sang in front of the judges, but apparently there are a few more steps that they don’t show on TV. It shows how determined he was. I liked learning how and why he chose the songs that he sang on the show.

Scotty comes across as a humble and down to Earth guy, despite the fact that he’s rich and famous now. He talks about his love of his home town of Garner, NC, sports (especially baseball) and music. It’s cool that he’s still such a fan of music even though he’s part of the industry now. You can tell he really appreciates all of the opportunities that he’s had. Another thing that I like is that he talks about the charity work that he does. He doesn’t brag about it, but he does promote some causes that are important to him. Maybe it’ll help them get some more donations.

Mixed in with the chapters are little blurbs from his fans, called “McCreerians,” from around the world. He has fans ranging from kids to grandmothers. My own Gramma was a fan of him, though she couldn’t remember his name and referred to him as the “cowboy kid” when we watched that season. While most of the book is positive, he talks about the time him and his buddies were robbed at gun point. He doesn’t really dwell on it, but he mentions how scared he was and how much more he appreciated life afterwards.

My favorite quote in the book is “We can’t ever get five minutes of our life back. We can remember them in the music, however. We can replay them and allow them to transport us in sound and lyrics. We can find comfort and joy in the melodies.” It perfectly sums up music’s ability to remind us of a time, place, moment or person.

I’d recommend this to anyone that’s a fan of Scotty. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles and Mistakes on My Way Back to KoRn by Brian Welch

30040723

KoRn is one of my favorite bands, so I had to request this when I saw it on NetGalley. I was excited when I got approved and I read this in two days. The book is about Brain “Head” Welch’s decision to leave KoRn, get clean and raise his daughter. Along the way, he became a Christian, made some music, wrote books, and went through some hard times.

Unfortunately, Brian made some horrible decisions and ended up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. He really got swindled by someone he thought was a friend. Instead, the guy was using him for his money and got him in all kinds of legal trouble. It got so bad that he eventually had to file for bankruptcy.

I could tell how much he loves his daughter, Jennea, but he didn’t always make the best decisions for her. When he was touring he decided it would better if she was enrolled in an online school. She felt alone a lot, got addicted to getting attention on the internet and started cutting herself. As a former cutter, I know how hard that can be to deal with and I can’t imagine how helpless he felt. He was able to get her help, in the form of a group home for teens, and there is a letter from her at the end of the book. I thought that was nice since the reader hears (reads) a lot about her.

I was happy for Brian once things started getting better for him and I love that he’s back with KoRn now. I was surprised that he said he’d forgotten how to play their bigger songs like “Falling Away From Me.” I figured that after playing them thousands of times he’d just go right back to it, even if it had been eight years. He talks about how the other band members were either sober or getting sober and how nice it is that Fieldy, their bass player, is also Christian.

The books mentions religion quite a bit, especially at the end. It didn’t really bother me that much until the end where it seemed overly preachy. If you’re Christian or religious, that might not bother you. Brian also mentions that him and Fieldy pray with fans after their shows and at music festivals. I guess that’s cool of them, but I wouldn’t want to do that if I were at a metal concert.

Overall, it’s a good book about a guy who’s trying to get his life back on track. I gave it 3.5/5 stars. The book will be released on May 17th and can be ordered here.