Book Review: This is Not a Test (Book #1)

Author: Courtney Summers
Pages: 326
Published: June 19, 2012
Genre: Ya, Horror, Zombies
Rating: 5/5

Sloane is trapped in a world she doesn’t want to live in anymore. After suffering through years of abuse at the hands of her father and then being abandoned by her older sister, Sloan wakes up one morning only to be confronted with a world overrun by zombies.

Now, along with a group of fellow students that she never interacted with prior to this moment, Sloane is taking cover in the local high school until help arrives. When it seems that may never happen, Sloane is faced with the decision to sacrifice herself to the zombies or continue pushing through in the hopes of one day seeing her sister again.

A gut wrenching story of abuse is played out throughout this story of a suicidal young girl as she faces a zombie apocalypse along with some fellow students. This book was fantastic. I’ve only read a few zombie novels prior to this one, but this quickly became my favorite. Courtney Summers tackled some very intense issues beautifully and I cannot wait for book 2 (Please Remain Calm) to be released! 5/5

Book Review: Cloud Riders

Author: Nick Cook
Pages: 338
Published: May 5, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy/Sci Fi, Steampunk
Rating: 5/5

After reading the description of this novel I was drawn in. Cloud Riders is book one in the Cloud Rider series and begins the story of Dom. Dom lives with his mom in Tornado Alley and helps out at their family diner. His father disappeared in the last tornado that they had and since then they have had an insane drought.

Finally, a storm appears in the middle of the night. But with it comes something unexpected, an airship. After helping them land their ship, Dom embarks on a crazy journey to uncover his heritage and what happened to his father.

This book was utterly fantastic. I expected to enjoy it, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. The author is amazing and sent me a copy to review and I could not be more grateful. I haven’t read many steampunk type novels and am now completely hooked on Nick Cook’s Cloud Riders series. I am highly anticipating book two and will be following this author for hopefully the rest of his writing career. His world building was one of my favorites of 2014 and I can’t recommend this novel enough to anyone that loves sci/fi or adventure stories. Cloud Riders absolutely deserves the 5/5 that I gave it.

Book Review: Deceived (Soul Keeper Series #1)

Author: L. A. Starkey
Pages: 505
Published: August 28, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5/5

Let me start off by saying that L.A. Starkey has quickly become one of my favorite authors of 2014. All I knew going into this novel was that it was about soulmates and omg did I ever make the right choice picking this beast up!

Sam was adopted as a young child along with her best friend Julie, but to different families. Luckily, they were able to stay best friends while attending separate schools. Sam quickly builds a relationship with the quirky womanizer Ken through showing off her basketball skills. But she has always had a mini crush on Julie’s older brother Brent.

Two guys is hard enough to balance, that is, until the gorgeous Nick and Marcus show up. Something is different about them from the start and it isn’t until Sam loses her best friend in an accident that she begins to uncover the mysteries behind Nick and Marcus’ sudden appearance in her life.

There are so many layers and so many characters within this novel that it definitely helps if you make a chart as you read to keep track of them all. Yet even with crazy amounts of character and world building, L.A. Starkey was able to tell a freakin’ fantastic fantasy story about a young girls journey to discover her soulmate(s).

Book Review: Shutter

Author: Courtney Alameda
Pages: 384
Published: (Expected February 3, 2015)
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

GAH! This novel was absolutely amazing. Since I first saw the cover months ago I knew that I need to get my hands on a copy. The amazing author was kind enough to send me an ARC for review which I devoured.

Micheline Helsing is a descendant of Van Helsing and as such is also a freakin’ ghost hunter. But what is awesome about Micheline, is that she is a tetrachromat. Which means that sees the auras of ghosts on a spectrum. The differing colors of the ghosts tells her how dangerous it will be to fight.

After a hospital is inhabited by ghosts, Micheline and her long time friend and fellow ghost hunter, Ryder, make the decision to go into the hospital before back-up arrives to eradicate themselves. After being infected by the soulchain curse, Micheline and Ryder must do whatever they can to survive long enough to finish what they started.

This book. Gah. This freakin’ book. I loved it so much. I absolutely need more of Micheline & Ryder. Courtney Alameda is a brilliant writer and I am looking forward to reading everything from her in the future!

Book Review: Archetype (Archetype #1)

Author: M. D. Waters
Pages: 384
Published: June 24, 2014
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5/5

This book was able to bring me out of about a month long reading slump. M. D. Waters writing style is amazing and I knew after the first chapter that this would be the book to fix my slump.

Emma woke up having no idea where she was or who she is. Surrounded by doctors she has been told that her husband is one of her doctors, but then why does she have memories of being with another man?

This is book one in the Archetype duology and I highly recommend that everyone that enjoys science fiction novels pick this one up. There is a huge twist at the end of the novel that I did not see coming and I can’t wait to pick up the second one, Prototype! A well deserved 5/5.

Book Review: Wintergirls

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 278
Published: March 19, 2009
Genre: Ya, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health
Rating: 5/5

Lia and Cassie used to be best friends. After a falling out, Lia distanced herself from the unpredictable Cassie. Ultimately, Cassie’s life ended too soon from an apparent overdose that was affected by her eating disorder.

Now Lia is on the road to some sort of recovery from her own eating disorder while being haunted by the memory of Cassie.

This story was gut wrenching. It was written almost in verse and was captivating from the get-go. This is my first experience with Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing and I really enjoyed it. I chose this novel to read to help support a research paper for one of my grad classes, and am definitely satisfied with my choice.

Fair warning that this book deals heavily with eating disorders and may be triggering.

Overall I enjoyed it and I gave it a 5/5

Book Review: The Murmurings

Author: Carly Anne West
Pages: 384
Published: March 5, 2013
Genre: Ya, Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

After reviewing Carly Anne West’s new novel, The Bargaining, I knew that I wanted to read more from this author. The Murmurings was her first novel and was a great start to what I’m hoping will be a long horror career.

Sophie has to cope with her sister Nell’s apparent suicide. Everyone believes that Nell began hearing voices and ultimately made the decision to end her life as a result of this, but Sophie knows better.

Uncovering the secrets of what Nell went through during her last few months on Earth, Sophie uncovers a web of cover ups that she never anticipated. Now everyone believes Sophie is suffering the same fate as Nell, but can she convince them otherwise?

This story was fantastic. It drew me in right from the start and I loved every minute of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of her newest novel, The Bargaining, but her writing style is very strong and I am very happy with my decision to read her first novel. A well deserved 4/5 for this haunting novel.

Book Review: Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1)

Author: Hillary Monahan
Pages: 256
Published: September 2, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

A brilliantly executed Bloody Mary story, Mary: The Summoning will keep you on your toes from the first page to the last. Jess and her group of friends decide to summon Bloody Mary in typical teenage fashion. But what her friends don’t know is that Jess has been doing research on her own to determine the most successful way to summon Blood Mary.

Now her friend Shauna is being tortured by Mary, and everyone is at a loss for how to stop this. Shauna must uncover the history of Mary to determine why she has come through so strongly and why she latches on to whoever summons her.

This was my second Bloody Mary retelling that I read so far this year and honestly it was my favorite of the two. Hillary Monahan wrote a terrifyingly awesome novel about Bloody Mary that will pull you in from the first chapter and leave you wanting more at the end. The sheer brutality of this story was what I loved the most about it. Right from the start Mary is out of the mirror and ready to make your life hell. An awesome YA horror novel and I absolutely cannot wait until the second one! 5/5

Book Review: Creed

Author: Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
Pages: 264
Published: November 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

After their car breaks down on a back road in the snow, Dee, Luke and his brother Mike are forced to leave the car to look for shelter and gas. Dee planned this weekend for her anniversary with Luke and had to bring Mike with since he agreed to help her. Now the three must navigate their way through a neighboring town that appears to be abandoned to find safety.

After a young boy approaches the group and says that he can help them, they follow him outside. Things seem to be turning around for the three until they realize this young boy is the son of the cult-like ruler of this small town. Dee, Luke, Mike, and Joseph now must fight for their lives against Joseph’s father Elijah while trying to save Joseph’s younger sister from the wrath of Elijah.

This book was absolutely fantastic. It dealt with so many tough issues in such a delicate but fascinating way that I devoured the story. Absolutely deserves a 5/5.

Book Review: Servants of the Storm

Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Pages: 384
Published: August 5, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

This was a fantastic read that absolutely deserved a 5/5.

After watching her best friend die in Hurricane Josephine, Dovey has a psychotic break. Now everyone avoids her and her parents have her on a very strict medication schedule. Dovey feels that it should have been her that died and not Carly. But somehow she is now seeing Carly in the flesh again.

Haunted by memories of the hurricane and visions of Carly, Dovey relies on her childhood friend Baker to accompany her on the journey to uncover why Carly has come back from the dead.

This book was written beautifully. Such a creepy story with so many horror elements that I love. Highly recommend!

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