Review: Poetical Veering

Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was an interesting collection of poetry. I liked aspects of it, but as a whole it fell a bit flat to me.

First off, the collection is divided into 4 chapters based on type of poem (Haikus, Tankas, Lune, and Senryu). It would have been more effective if they were broken into chapters thematically rather than by style. It have helped the collection be more cohesive. 

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As for the poems themselves, they weren’t my cup of tea. I understand the vibe the author was going for, but it just didn’t resonate with me. A lot of the poems felt disjointed like I didn’t quite get what they were trying to convey. However, I did like the ones I did understand. 

For example, this is one of the haikus I liked:

The unity of us

Our humanity

Seeks and identifies that 

We need each other

Lastly, since the collection is organized by style, the poems got repetitive. The haiku chapter was the longest and it got a bit boring reading haiku after haiku. It would have been better if there was more variety in terms of style. 

Overall, this was an intriguing collection, but it just didn’t click with me. 

Review: First Came Forever (The Angelheart Saga #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

So this book was a total roller coaster. 

It took me a while to really get into the story. The beginning was a little boring but once Erica got to United States the story got so much more interesting. 

This book has a love triangle which I typically don’t like but in this it worked well. Usually I find love triangles to be unnecessary but the one in this book actually made sense and felt real and natural. 

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I loved the supporting characters, especially Danny and Ricky. They’re precious. I loved Danny’s dorkiness and Ricky’s gay storyline. 

The ending of the book was crazy and ended on quite the cliffhanger. It was not what I was initially expecting to happen when I first started reading the book, but I loved it. I can’t wait for the sequel because I really have no idea how it will all play out. I just know that drama will be going down. Lots of it. 

Aside from the slow beginning, my only other issue was the few typos I spotted. They weren’t anything major; they just managed to get overlooked during editing. 

Overall, this was a fun romantic read with a ton of twists and turns at the end. 

Quarter year reading update

With the end of March, we’re about a quarter of the way through the year. How time flies! I’ve been reading a lot a the past three months so I wanted to give you guys a little reading update.

How many books have I read?

So far I have read 31 books, which is really good for me. I’ve never started out a year this strong.I’m currently on a gap year so that’s probably why. I don’t have schoolwork to worry about.

How have I been doing on my reading goal?

For my reading goal this year I did the same thing as last year, which was to start low and adjust as needed. I did this so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed and pressured to read. So far for these past two years, it’s been working great! I set my goal at 30, but once I got close I upped it to 35. I’m really happy with this method.

What have I been reading?

I’ve read all 8 of Jacqueline E. Smith’s books. She is an amazing Indie author who writes the best books. I’m seriously in love with her writing. I really recommend her book, Trashy Romance Novel. I’ve also read quite a few books from other Indie authors such as Control Freakz by Michael Evans and A Cactus in the Valley by Olivia Bennett.

Additionally, I finally read The Hate U Give and it was as amazing as everyone says it is. I also finally read Lolita and damn that was a crazy book.

I’ve loved most of the books I’ve read but a few of them (particularly The Echoes of Love and What the Valley Knows) were just so-so.

25 out of the 31 books I’ve read so far have been books I won in giveaways or review copies that the author or publisher gave to me and I am so thankful for that. Having a bookstagram and a blog has opened so many doors for me and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

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Some of the books I read so far this year

What’s next?

More books of course! I definitely have some books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for too long, like Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, that I’m hoping to read soon. I start law school in August, so that will affect my reading time. For right now, I’m trying to enjoy all this free time I have to read!


 

How are you doing this year in regards to reading? Are you on track for your goal? What have you been reading? What has been your favorite read so far? Tell me in the comments! 

xoxo,

Jessica

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Review: Spotlight (Boy Band #4)

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Click the picture to view this book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Jacqueline has done it yet again! This was another amazing book from her.

This book is technically the end of the of the series, but I’m still holding on to hope that there will be more. *fingers crossed* As a conclusion, this book was great. It wrapped up the main storyline of the Tara drama perfectly. I was very happy with what ultimately transpired.

I really liked how this book incorporated even more of Chloe and Kendra. They’re both super awesome characters and were a nice addition to the band’s inner circle. I loved the all-girl alliance that Mel, Joni, Chloe, and Kendra formed.

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Like the other books in this series, there were a lot of twists and turns. It kept me guessing the entire time. I literally had no idea how it was going to end. I got anxious in the last 30 pages because I wasn’t sure what would happen. But like I mentioned previously, it ended very well. I have zero complaints.

As a random side note, there was one paragraph in the beginning that I really loved. It’s when Mel is describing how hot Sam looks while shooting a music video. She remarks, “By God, he looks so good. He kind of looks like the Prince from Beauty and the Beast, but if the Prince was blond and like, a million times hotter. And not animated” (46). As you probably already know, I love Beauty and the Beast and I love any reference to it.

Overall, this was perfect!!

 

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Review: A Cactus in the Valley

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was an amazing book. I haven’t read a YA book this deep and emotional in a while.

First off, I loved the dual points of view. It allowed me to really get into the minds of both Terra and Wyatt and feel what they felt.

I also really loved the flashbacks. They were incredibly well done and were spaced perfectly throughout the novel. You learned more about the characters gradually, as opposed to being info-dumped with backstory. The author did a good job paralleling the flashbacks. I enjoyed seeing the connections between their stories.

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The writing style of the book was really beautiful. The descriptions were phenomenal. The author writes with such an ease. Two of my favorite lines (which also show the parallels) were “My name is Terra Lombardi, and I am a shooting star falling from the heavens” (24) and “My name is Wyatt Hartman, and I am a meteor crashing from the skies” (44).

The subject matter can be heavy and very mature at times, but it was all handled appropriately. Sometimes authors will throw in things like rape and abuse as a plot device, without doing the matter justice. This book did not do that and I really appreciated that.

Overall, this is a powerful story about survival and facing your inner demons.

Review: Between Worlds (Cemetery Tours #2)

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to read this book because it takes place in a haunted house. Fun fact about me: I LOVE haunted houses. My favorite ride at Disneyland is the Haunted Mansion and I often consider it to be my dream home. I also live super close to the Winchester Mystery House (which is totally awesome by the way). So already I was destined to love this book.

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I liked the first book in this series, but I loved this one more! I tend to like the second book in series more than the first because all the set up is already done. This book got straight to all the haunting fun and did not disappoint.

So first off, Stanton Hall Manor sounds like my kind of house. There’s a room called the Storybook Room and it sounds like the greatest thing ever. The book states, “The Storybook Room was designed like a book store, with antique novels lining each and every corner of each and every wall. It reminded Kate of the castle library in Beauty and the Beast” (90). That place sounds like heaven!

Character-wise, I really liked how we got to meet Luke’s ghost hunting team. I can’t wait to see more of them! Also, I really love Brink. He’s so precious and provides such great comedic relief.

The storyline was really good and as usual there was a good balance of the paranormal and the normal.

I also liked how natural Kate and Michael’s relationship felt. They make a very cute couple.

Overall, this was even better than the first. I can’t wait to start reading the third book as soon as I post this review.

Review: Control Freakz

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Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So first off this book was written by a sophomore in high school which is pretty impressive. His command of the English language is remarkable for a person his age. When I was in high school, I could barely write a 4 page paper, let alone a full length book so I just want to say kudos to him.

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This was definitely an interesting book. It started off a bit slow. It wasn’t until I was a hundred pages in that I got more invested in the story. There was also this weird 3 year time jump that was a bit jarring. However, by the time I reached two hundred pages, I was hooked. The book ended on a cliffhanger and it made me really want to know what happens next.

As for the characters, I didn’t particularly care much for any of them. Natalie was kind of annoying for most of the book. Her talk of dying got on my nerves because that was all she ever talked about. Ethan was a bit interesting, but Hunter was kind of bland. I did like Danielle because there was more to her than meets the eye.

What I really loved about this book was the sly political commentary that rings true today. There was one passage in particular that I loved. The book states,

“what they didn’t realize, was that the one thing they were told would protect them, with their tariffs, immigration bans, and walls that separated them from the horrible outside world, was really the most dangerous thing of all. It wasn’t immigrants who came from less-developed countries who were destroying America, it was the ignorance of America itself. It wasn’t labor outsourced to other countries that caused America’s middle class to dwindle. It was the rich, corporate tyrants like President Ash himself, who owned one of the largest investment firms in the nation, that sucked the wealth away from most Americans” (41).

I was not expecting to get such deep commentary from a high schooler. That was a really pleasant surprise.

Overall, this was a solid debut book considering the author’s age. I cannot wait to see what else he puts out in the coming years.

 

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Review: Cemetery Tours (Cemetery Tours #1)

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Rating:★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Paranormal is not a genre I typically read but with that being said, I did enjoy this.

When I first started reading this I was reminded of the hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion because the ghosts follow Michael home. So already this book was off to a good start.

I loved the mystery surrounding Gavin and Kate and their circumstances. I kept wondering, Who is this ghost haunting them? There was definitely a lot of intrigue there.

Luke Rainer was such an interesting character. At first I didn’t like him because he seemed so conceited but then he grew on me as the story went on.

I didn’t find anything particularly special about the romance, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For the most part it felt very average, but this is just the first book in the series so it has time to develop further.

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I didn’t know if I liked the ending, until the very end when I read the last page. The last page sealed the deal for me. The author ended the book at a very good place. It definitely makes me curious about what will happen next.

As I said before, I don’t typically read paranormal books, but I really liked this one because it wasn’t super paranormal. I have a limit when it comes to the amount of paranormal activity I can tolerate in a book and this had the perfect amount.

Overall, this was a solid paranormal novel with equal amounts of romance and mystery. The twists and turns will keep you reading until the very end.