Recent Reads: 1-27 April 2019

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It’s been a crazy reading month! I read 14 books while also DNF-ing a few thanks to a lovely reading slump.

I’m beginning to rise out of the slump, BUT I still feel very picky towards what books I actually get into.

Do you have any strategies for beating the slump? 

But in the mean time, here are all the books I got my hands on the last four weeks:

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Wednesday (3rd April)

Hearts and Bruises (Hearts #1) by A.M. Brooks  

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44010494“With love comes pain.
And with pain comes scars.

Believe me, I have had my share of it all.
After my mother’s death, my father couldn’t deal.
So once again, we’re moving.
To a town full of lies, darkness, and corruption.
All masked in sunshine and money.

But then I meet him…
My biggest mistake.
My biggest temptation.
A royal pain-in-the-ass.

And Darrian King is no prince.
He’s controlling, aggressive, and downright wrong for me.
But what he dishes out,
I give right back.
After all, love hurts.
And so do we


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Published: 19 March 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 319

Click HERE for the review!


Thursday (4th April)

A Pack of Blood and Lies (The Boulder Wolves #1) by Olivia Wildenstein

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A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES COVERThe primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

Fans of Kresley Cole and Cassandra Clare will devour A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES.

* Contains Alpha males.
* Not suitable for children under 14.


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Published: 18 April 2019

Publisher: Twig Publishing

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Romance

Pages: 362

Click HERE for the review!


Friday (5th April)

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

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43204703Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


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Published: 29 January 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Retelling

Pages: 496

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Sunday (7th April)

Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige & Stephen Bryne (Illustrator)  

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Mera.2From Danielle Paige, the New York Times best-selling author of Stealing Snow, comes a Mera and Aquaman origin story that explores Mera’s first steps on land as well as her first steps as a hero or a villain, forcing her to choose to follow her heart or her mission to kill.

Mera is teenage royalty, heir to the throne of Xebel, the other not-so-lost colony under the sea. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown, that of Atlantis. When the inhabitants of Xebel plot to overthrow their homeland of Atlantis, Mera is sent to kill the heir to the throne, Arthur Curry. As the unrest between their colonies grows, Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love…will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side in Atlantis, or will he die under her blade?

Mera by Danielle Paige is an astonishing story that explores themes of duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.


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Published: 2 April 2019

Publisher: DC Ink

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Retelling / Graphic Novel

Pages: 192

Click HERE for the review!


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He  

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41219451.jpgTyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


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Published: 9 April 2019

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 

Pages: 416

This is a DNF. I wasn’t a fan of the writing style which made it hard to get into the story. The pace was a little slower, and eventually I had to let this story go.


Monday (8th April)

The Stars in Her Eyes (Love in LA Quartet #1) by C.M. Albert

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EBOOK-TheStarsInHerEyes (1)“*** This is a Reverse Harem Novel ***

One woman. Three men. Some things are best kept secret.

When Creslyn Knight auditions for the role of a life time, she never expects three things:

1. To know the casting director—intimately.
2. To be insanely attracted to the three stand-in actors at the audition.
3. That she’d soon be putting her morals to the test when her resolve weakens.

Acting is in Creslyn’s blood, and she’s focused her sights on one thing: landing the role of a lifetime. But she’s always been told that everything comes at a cost. The casting director names his when he tells her she must make him believe she can surrender to a harem of men, or he can’t justify giving her the lead role.

Determined to prove him wrong and show him she can tap into a passion that deep, Creslyn throws herself into rehearsals. But the fine line between script and reality soon starts to blur, leading her and three men into unchartered territory. The only problem? She has a jealous roommate, a disgruntled mother, and a string of paparazzi hot on her trail, making Creslyn question the cost of everything.

In a world where some things are best kept secret, is the price of fame too high when it comes to the heart?


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Published: 24 March 2019

Publisher: FlowerWork Press

Genre: New Adult Contemporary / Romance

Pages: 408

Click HERE for the review!


Wreck: A Novel by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

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42119746Sometimes loss has its own timetable.

Set on the shores of Lake Superior, Wreck follows high school junior Tobin Oliver as she navigates her father’s diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Steve’s life as a paramedic and a runner comes to an abrupt halt just as Tobin is preparing her application for a scholarship to art school. With the help of Steve’s personal care assistant (and family friend) Ike, Tobin attends to both her photography and to Steve as his brain unexpectedly fails right along with his body.

Tobin struggles to find a “normal” life, especially as Steve makes choices about how his own will end, and though she fights hard, Tobin comes to realize that respecting her father’s decision is the ultimate act of love.


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Published: 2 April 2019

Publisher: Sky Pony

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary / Mental Health

Pages: 288

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Tuesday (9th April)

The Night House by J.C. McKenzie

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44093216“What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?


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Published: 22 March 2019

Publisher: JCM Publishing

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Pages: 327

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Wednesday (10th April)

Vanishing Summer (Unexpected Love #1) by Lora Richardson

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44590732.jpg“He disappeared four years ago, and I’m to blame. Now he’s back.

I call it the vanishing summer. Everett, my best friend and the first boy I ever kissed, was kidnapped; taken from right beside me. Three months later my mom died. They were both just gone. The bright, fearless spark inside me was gone, too—blown clean out.

I learned that the worst could happen at any moment and with no warning. I didn’t want to go outside anymore. I avoided the woods where Everett and I had played. I hated to let my brother and my dad out of my sight. For four years, I lived with a pounding heart and shaking hands.

But I’m sixteen now, and ready to find my way back to myself, to somehow move forward. Therapy is helping. I let one new friend into my life, and she’s helping, too. I’m trying this new thing where I act like the old me—unafraid and confident and bold. I’m doing scary things and trying not to let them scare me.

Then one night as I’m sitting outside in the dark, Everett walks through the trees and back into my life.


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Published: 25 March 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 276

This was another DNF. While I was really interested in the plot, the writing style didn’t keep me interested enough to continue on.


Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton

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35663364A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim…


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Published: 2 April 2019

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Romance

Pages: 304

Click HERE for the review!


Thursday (11th April)

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

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36430924“In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.


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Published: 9 October 2018

Publisher: Amulet Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 848

This is definitely a temporary DNF. During this time, I was diving head first into a reading slump with a very picky interest in what I was reading next. I read the first three chapters and was completely captivated by the story, but I was just wasn’t in the mood to read this book at that time. I will be re-borrowing it from the library soon.


Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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36206591Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.


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Published: 10 April 2018

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Pages: 432

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Saturday (12th April)

Forgiven (The Nash Brothers #2) by Carrie Aarons

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44451456“In a split-second, a car crash killed almost everything between them. Ten years later, can one accidental ride fix tattered spirits, uncertain futures, and broken hearts?

Lily Grantham has always done what she’s been told. The daughter of a senator, she grew up as the good girl of Fawn Hill, and carried that torch right on through to adulthood. Her only wild streak? Bowen Nash. She loved that boy since the day they laid eyes on each other, and it nearly ended them both. A decade later, and Lily still can’t move on. Even if Bowen has made it clear he doesn’t love her anymore.

Bowen Nash never wanted the life he’s trapped in. Destined for baseball fame and the love of his high-school sweetheart, that existence vanished in the flip of an old pickup. Now, he’s stuck in the town that produced his worst nightmare. Pretending to hate Lily Grantham guts him day in and day out. But to protect her from the ultimate secret, it’s necessary to break his own heart each time they pass on the street.

They’ve been fighting fate for as long as it’s been chasing them. And now, time is up.


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Published: 7 April 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance

Pages: 242

Click HERE for the review!


Monday (15th April)

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin *Currently Reading*

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10572“A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

Here is the second volume in George R.R. Martin magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R.R. Martin stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


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Published: 28 May 2002

Publisher: Bantam

Genre: Adult Fantasy 

Pages: 969


Wednesday (17th April)

Red Hot Rancher (Part-Time Cowboys #2) by Marie Johnston

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51xbyo+0xxL“Caleb is living the bachelor’s dream and staying rent-free in his best friend’s place, working as a fireman in his hometown while running his family ranch. Too bad it’s because he lost his house to a tornado and his best friend’s sister is the one that got away. Good thing she doesn’t come visit often.

Except she calls in an SOS. Her cheating fiancé kicked her out and she needs a place to crash. The only spot open at her brother’s suddenly too crowded ranch house? The bedroom next door.

Just in case Brigit wasn’t humiliated enough at her streak of bad decisions, she has to slink back home to nurse her wounds and find a job. There’s no way she can avoid the first love she walked away from years ago. He’s sleeping on the other side of her wall.

But it’s only a matter of time before she’s gone again. There’s nothing in this town for her. Except a fireman in cowboy boots that melts her heart and makes her consider love again.


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Published: 15 April 2019

Publisher: LE Publishing

Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance

Pages: 211

Click HERE for the review!


The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

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img_5021“1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.


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Published: 16 April 2019

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Historical

Pages: 352

Click HERE for the review!


Monday (22nd April)

Baby Mine: Hunter & Lennon #1 (Roommate Duet #1) by Kennedy Fox

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baby mine-ebook-NEW“I saw her first.
Blonde. Gorgeous. Feisty.
I was smitten.

But it didn’t matter because she chose him and he was my best friend and roommate. I’d never be able to compete with that, so I pushed her away instead. It was easy when she lived hours away, and I didn’t have to see her every day, but then she moved in with us.
Now, I’m screwed.

To her singing in the shower every morning, dancing in the kitchen while she makes coffee, and doing yoga in our living room, I can’t stop thinking about her in all the wrong ways. She’s not mine and never will be, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to push her against a wall and claim her mouth.

She’s constantly on me for making messes, bringing chicks home every weekend, and being a smartass when their PDA gets on my nerves. Considering neither of them know how I feel, it’s not fair for the way I act toward them. I should move out so I can get over her for good; however, the selfish part of me can’t let go.

And then the unthinkable happens…
When my best friend dies in a motorcycle accident, the two of us are left to grieve our loss together. Instead of pushing her away, I pull her closer.

Just as we come to terms with our new reality, she finds out she’s pregnant with his baby.
And I’m left to make the hardest decision of my life.

**BABY MINE is an angsty, emotional, slow-burn romance wrapped up in a heartbreakingly delicious love story. It’s book 1 in the Hunter & Lennon duet of the Roommate Duet Series and must be read first.**


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Published: 10 April 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance

Pages: 340

Click HERE for the review!


Thursday (25th April)

The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

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45149476“Sixteen-year-old Anna sees things from another world, the spiritual world, a skill that isn’t exactly useful in high school. It’s bad enough that her mother, possessed by a demon, took her own life when Anna was a child, a loss she remains tortured by. Now her father makes his living “clearing” haunted objects, and Anna’s job as his assistant makes her a social misfit. Most kids in her suburban New Jersey town refer to her just as “Goblin Girl.”

Only Freddy and Dor remain loyal friends. But Anna’s so focused on her own problems, she’s missed that her connection with Freddy is moving beyond the friend zone.

As junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights up the night skies and the citizens of Bloomtown begin to act strangely: Anna’s teachers lash out, her best friends withdraw, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. When Anna realizes she can harness this evil power, she sets out to save Bloomtown and the only family she has left.

But to do so, she must keep her own increasingly dark urges at bay.

Buy The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter today, and jump into the creepy adventure.


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Published: 13 April 2019

Publisher: East Side Press

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 218

The writing style for this book turned me away. There was a lot of repetition per page which distracted me from the actual story. I ended up DNF-ing this one.


Saturday (27th April)

The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters

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38101643“Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”


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Published: 26 February 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: Adult Fantasy / LGBT

Pages: 848

And for the final DNF of the month. This book reads exactly like the classic Edgar Allen Poe, and because of this, I was easily distracted. I think the reading slump turned me away from this one since it was harder for me to get invested. This book just wasn’t the right vibe I needed for now.


Lucid (Lucid #1) by Kristy Fairlamb

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Lucid by Kristy FairlambA terrifying power. A horrifying curse.

Lucy Piper lives a lonely existence on the precipice between life and death. She possesses the horrifying ability to resurrect real-life tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over, as if she were there, the last few moments before the victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy has seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day.

When Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked through their dreams, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. But Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and with this new knowledge, she will be forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.

Chilling, haunting and compelling, this novel is the first in a two-part series for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Hidden Memory of Objects that will leave you breathless for days.


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Published: 23 April 2019

Publisher: Lakewater Press

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Pages: 272

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Favorite Book of the Four Weeks: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

# of Pages Read: 4,627

Total # of Books Read: 14 Finished & 5 DNF’d


What will you be working on this week?? Did you read anything interesting?

Want to know what I thought of each book?? Subscribe below to be notified when the reviews have been released!

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Follow me on Bookstagram @treestandbookreviews and on Twitter @KatsTBReviews for even more exclusive bookish content!

Until next time..

Happy Reading,

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