Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (February 28th 2015)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is where all the book nerds can post about the lovely (or not so lovely) books that they've got this week.

P.S. The covers take you to the book's Goodreads page!

Books I've Read in the Last Week

Checked Out from Library

From Book Outlet

There was a sale...


Thanks to Jean Book Nerd, MacMillan, The Midnight Garden, & Disney-Hyperion!
Also, I got a This Shattered World tote as well, but I forgot to take a picture! Just image a black tote with the cover on it!

Ebooks Bought

Books I Reviewed
(The covers are linked to my review)

I add books to my TBR pile so often, that I decided to include the new additions to my ever-growing list.
I DID NOT RECEIVE OR BUY THESE BOOKS. I only added them to my TBR list.

Ones Without Covers:
Pitch Dark

Anyway, what books did you haul in this week?

Friday, February 27, 2015

REVIEW: The Labyrinth by Allen Houston

The Labyrinth (Nightfall Gardens, #3)
Time is running out for Lily and Silas Blackwood in their hunt to destroy Pandora’s Box before the beings of Nightfall Gardens unleash its evil upon an unsuspecting world.

Loyalties will be tested and friends will make the ultimate sacrifice as the two face off against an army of horrors that live in the Gardens.

At the center of it all stands the Labyrinth, a maze haunted by dying gods and startling secrets that Lily must navigate to find Pandora’s Box. But will she be too late?

"The Labyrinth" is the nail-biting conclusion to the “Nightfall Gardens” trilogy.

I received an ecopy of this book  in exchange for an honest review.


This was such a great series and this was a great finale!

In the last book in the Nightfall Gardens trilogy. the evil within the gardens are amassing to break out of their prison. Finding, and destroying, Pandora's Box is even more important than ever. Lily, Silas, and the other friends and allies have to find the box along with trying to fight a war with the creatures inside the gardens.

Wow. A lot happens in this book! I felt like this book was very long, but how action-packed things were just made up for it! The ending was a bit rushed, but it was still a very great conclusion!

I must repeat myself from my review of the last book: the characters change so much! Again, I hate the circumstances that make them change, but if you were to compare the characters from this book to from the first book, they would be completely different. It is even more heartbreaking in this book what the characters must go through, which is horrible considering what has happened in the previous two books. This series is not all gumdrops and rainbows!

Overall, I really think this series is worth it! If you enjoy dark, gothic books, then this is a great series for you! I am very satisfied with this series!

I hereby give this book
4 Wheels
Meaning: It was amazing!

Cover Lust: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Cover Lust is something that I do every week where I feature a book cover that I absolutely love!

The Start of Me and You
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
 Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 Why did I pick this cover? 
I just love the colors in this cover! I love the brilliant pinks, blues, and yellows! The title treatment is also very well done and stands out nicely among the colors! Overall, such a beautiful cover!
What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

REVIEW: The Shadow Garden by Allen Houston

The Shadow Garden (Nightfall Gardens, #2)
Precocious Lily Blackwood carries a responsibility far greater than other people. As the last female Blackwood, she must keep the evils in Pandora’s Box from destroying the world.

With the help of her younger brother Silas, the dusk riders and her best friend Cassandra, she must protect Nightfall Gardens and ensure that the fairy-tale monsters, old gods and deathly shades stay separated from humanity.

But now, the creatures bound to the Gardens are gaining strength and threatening to break loose. Bemisch, a malevolent witch, has escaped into the mist land to join forces with Eldritch, a powerful nature god. The mysterious Smiling Ladies hold the key to a dark secret from the Blackwood family’s past, and something once again roams the halls of the manor, trying to kill Lily.

Worse yet, her fourteenth birthday is approaching and with it a dangerous rite of passage. Lily must enter the Shadow Garden, home of all that is nightmarish, and come face to face with her most terrifying threat yet.

I received an ecopy of this book  in exchange for an honest review.


I loved Nightfall Gardens, so I was quite happen to get into the next book right away!

This book takes place right where Nightfall Gardens left off. Lily is now the protector of the gardens and most prevent the terrors inside from unleashing into the world. Though, she's not alone. She has her brother, Sila, and her best friend, Cassandra, along with others to help her. Now the siblings and friends are finding more and more dangerous secrets about the gardens and their home. Even worse, her 14th birthday is coming closer and she has to face the Smiling Sisters in the Shadow Gardens. A challenge that many of her ancestors did not survive.

Many of my thoughts of the first book continue with this book.This book series is still incredibly imaginative and, again, love the world-building! What I really loved about this book is how we get more information about the gardens ans the creatures! We got a whole bunch of information, that I loved, in the first book. but with this book being focused strongly on one of the gardens, I felt like I was getting do much more info and it was absolutely interesting! Although, I have to say this: this series is still very very dark, and I loved it. Of course.

I loved the characters in the first book, but in this book I see this grow so much more. It's sad, how they are changing, due to the circumstances, but I loved how strong these characters become. Lily, who was described as vain in Nightfall Gardens, has changed so much since the beginning! She has to change, and I hate that, but she has become so strong! Silas is the same way! I also need to mention Cassandra! She's such a great friend!

I am loving this series! It's such a dark, gothic, gory series, and I love it! While this was the 2nd book it a trilogy, it had no middle-book syndrome whatever and I am definitely looking forward to the conclusion!

I hereby give this book
4 Wheels
Meaning: It was amazing!

REVIEW: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)
Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned

There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?


For some reason, I was under the impression that this was the last book. I guess I'm so darn used to trilogies that whenever I read the third book in a series, I automatically think it's the conclusion. So, some of my feelings are clouded by the fact that I thought this was the conclusion.

This book takes place where Endless Knight left off. Jackson has been taken by the (sadistic) twins and Evie is determined to rescue them. Of course, the other Arcana are having trouble accepting her back, since she didn't kill Death. But there are able to become allies and to go against the twins, even teaming up with Death...

When I first starting this series, I had a really hard time keeping everything straight! I loved the ideas, but I had no clue what was going on half the time! When I picked up this book, The Endless Knight was a distant memory, so I was worried that I would be unable to get into this book. This book was actually very easy to get into! I was able to understand fully what was going on, something I would have never expected from my confusion with the first book, and was able to appreciate just how amazing and unique the whole series is!

The entirety of this book focuses on the Lovers (the twins). Evie and the other Arcana trying to save Jackson, along with trying to kill off the twins. That is much harder than it sounds. This book is not slow-going! There is a bit of slow areas in terms of romance (I'll get to that later), but everything else of action-packed and there were quite a few unexpected moments!

The romance was very confusing for me. In more of a "I don't know who to choose!" kind of way. This was what both Evie and I were like. Evie really does make up her mind at all in this book, which originally annoyed me since I thought this was the last book. She was constantly ping-ponging between Jack and Death. I kind of want her to end up with Death, but Death did some things to Evie in the last few books that are unforgivable, so I feel guilty about that. Then, Jack is just such a great guy! Evie, how do you choose????!

Fair warning, this book ends in a major cliffhanger! I actually had no clue that there would be a next book until that...

Anyway, this was a nice continuation to the series. It continues the ideas from the other books and it was action-packed! Though, there is a love triangle and a woozy of a cliffhanger! After that ending, you better believe that I'm reading the next book!

I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it.

Cover vs Cover: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

This week's pick is...

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1)VS.  Landry Park
Hardcover                   Paperback
This is a hard one because I love both of them! I'm leaning a bit more slightly towards the hardcover though, mostly because of my soft spot for text-based covers. In the paperback, I love the soft colors and the the contrast between the dress! The gold font is also lovely!
 Final Verdict: BOTH
Do you agree? Give me your thoughts on which cover is the best!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

REVIEW: Ensnared by A.G. Howard

Ensnared (Splintered, #3)
After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?


This is such a wonderful book series! I have been following this book series ever since I picked up Splintered. Even before that I knew how much I would love this series! Now I don't  know whether to be happy or sad. I'm happy because I just finished an amazing book, but sad because this series is over with!

This book picks up right when Unhinged left off. Alyssa is taking her dad to get his memories back. Her mom is stuck in Wonderland, as the only entrance has closed. Jeb and Morpheus are trapped in AnyElsewhere with Red. Alyssa has to find a way to fix Wonderland and save both Jeb and Morpheus.

I apologize ahead of time for this mess of a review. I love this book and this series so, so much! It's really hard for me to form complete sentences, that actual make sens, without full-on gushing about this book! First of all, this book is different than the others. This time, Alyssa has to travel to AnyElsewhere which is much darker than Wonderland if you can believe it. I really have to applaud the author's imagination in the whole entire series and it really shows strongly in this book! And the world is created so vividly!

The characters are also amazing, of course. What I really have to think about are the changes these characters go through since the beginning, but in this book alone they change so much!

Now, for the romance. Before I reread the books, again, I was solely on Team Morpheus. Because, come on, it's Morpheus! I still love Morpheus, but I don't like counting out Jeb. Yeah, Jeb isn't as awesome, but he is such a sweet guy and I feel weird admitting this, but I do believe that Jeb belongs with Alyssa and he really does love her! But Morpheus belongs with her too! GAH! No wonder Alyssa has trouble deciding!

The ending is a hit and miss, apparently, to most people, but I thought it was brilliant and emotional! (the whole series is brilliant)
**Spoiler time**
<highlight to view spoiler>I, honestly, think the book couldn't have ending any better. If Alyssa was unable to be with both Jeb and Morpheus, then it just doesn't seem right. It's odd that she can end up with both, I know, but I thought it was perfect. The whole series focuses on Alyssa's balance between her human and her netherling side, between Jeb and Morpheus. Being able to be with both brings the balance. I also thought that the epilogue was absolutely beautiful, but so very sad. I kind of wish Jeb got more screen time in the epilogue, I think it's a bit unfair to him that Morpheus kind of takes it over, but in the end it makes sense.<end of spoiler>
I love this book series so much! It's imaginative, stunning, a so unique! If you have yet to pick up this series, what in the world are you waiting for?! If you have read the previous books, let me just say that this final book will not disappoint.
It goes without saying that I really look forward to more books by A.G. Howard!

I hereby give this book

5 Wheels
Meaning: A new favorite!

Waiting on Wednesday:The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where you talk about whatever book you are IMPATIENTLY WAITING for!

This week I am waiting for...

The Stars Never Rise (Untitled Series, #1)
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
Release Date: June 9th 2015  
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

Why am I waiting?
I liked the Soul Screamers series, but I didn't love it.
After reading this synopsis, though, I really do want to read this book!

What book are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

REVIEW: The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

The Third Twin
Identical twins. Identical DNA. Identical suspects. It's Pretty Little Liars meets Revenge in this edge-of-your-seat thriller with a shocking twist.

When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia's guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything. The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they'd never, ever be with in real life.

Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect: Alicia. The girl who doesn't exist. As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer…or Alicia is real.

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I usually don't go for thrillers, because most of the ones I read seem to be the same thing, but this was a very entertaining read and much more different that other thrillers out there!

Lexi and Ava are twins and were adopted after being found in front of their, now father's, restaurant. When they were young, they made up a third twin, a triplet, named Alicia. Alicia was to blame when anything went wrong. Now that the girls are older, they pretend to be Alicia in order to get guys. After the guy guy attempted to rape her, Lexi wants to be done with Alicia. Then, just a day later, the guy ends up dead. Another boy Alicia dated ends up dead and the evidence starts piling up. All of it pointing to Lexi and Ava.

First off, the idea behind this book is very interesting. Many people, myself included, have made up imaginary 'friends' as a child and put all of the blame on them. Lexi and Ava did this as children and then later decided to become her, using Alicia as an alternate identity. I disagreed with them doing this, although it does sound like fun, but I thought it was a very unique idea. Then add on the idea that Alicia may possible be real, and you have a very engrossing book!

Lexi is our main character and I liked her character. She isn't shy, but she's more reserved and she feels more free as Alicia, who isn't afraid of anything. Ava is more of a party girl. I liked their relationship. There definitely acted like sisters, as they didn't always get along, but they did love each other. I was annoyed with Lexi as she was so quick to point fingers at Ava. I know, all the DNA points at the two of them and she knows that she didn't do it, but I would think that she would have trusted her more.

The mystery was actually very surprising! I thought I had it all figured out, but in reality, I was completely wrong. I do think the book ended oddly. I don't know how to explain, but some of the revelations near the end felt off to me.

If you want to read an interesting and surprising thriller, than this is the one! It was a fairly quick read and very different from other thrillers. I did have a few issues, but I still enjoyed it overall!

I hereby give this book
3.5 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

REVIEW: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


Honestly, I loved Splintered, so I was fully expecting to love this book. And I did love it, of course! And A.G. Howard surprised me again!

Alyssa is back at home, finally able to have a semi-normal life. Not really. Her mom is out of the asylum and she's dating Jeb, but her work in Wonderland isn't done. She is part Wonderland after all. But Morpheus becoming a student at her school doesn't make things easier. Especially since Queen Red isn't entirely gone.

This book does have a bit of a middle book feel to it, but it's still exciting! This book has a completely different vibe than the first book. This book takes place in the real world, with Wonderland seeping in from time to time. It was very interesting and well done! And it was still very imaginative!

It was very interesting seeing Wonderland in the real world, especially Morpheus. I still love Morpheus, even though I still can't tell what exactly his motives are. I like Jeb. I honestly think Jeb gets too much, not hate, but dislike? from all the fans of the series. He's a really sweet guy and obviously loves Alyssa. Morpheus is still awesome.

Overall, this was a really great sequel! A.G. Howard does it again! If you loved the first book, you will not be disappointed by this one! If you haven't read the first book. what are you waiting for?!

I hereby give this book

5 Wheels
Meaning: A new favorite!

Monday, February 23, 2015

REVIEW: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered, #1)
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

This is my third time reading this book and it was just as amazing this time as it was the other times! This is such an amazing and imaginative series!

Alyssa's mother has been in a mental institution ever since Alyssa was a child and she constantly worries that she will become insane just like her mother. It doesn't help that she can hear the whispers of bugs and flowers, just like her mother. Madness runs in the family. It's been that way since Alice Liddell. In order to help her mother and save her future, Alyssa has to stop her family curse and in order to do that, she has to go done the rabbit hole. She has to pass a series of tests, undoing what Alice did in Wonderland. While doing this, she will discover the truth about Wonderland and her family.

I don't know a whole lot about Alice in Wonderland. Most of my knowledge comes from the original Disney movie. But even with my limited knowledge, I could enjoy this book. And I did! It's so hard for me to review this book without full-on gushing! While this is based on another story, it is still so very imaginative! A.G. Howard completely transformed Wonderland to something completely different and dark. Really, I applaud her world-building!!

This book is also very action-packed and so fact-paced! You really won't want to set this book down! This book is also very surprising and full of twists!

As far as romance, this book does have a mini triangle. Not as much in this book, but there is one. Jeb is a really great guy, and I learn to like him more as the series goes, but he's kind of the average love interest. Then there's Morpheus. Gosh, I love Morpheus, but you can never really tell where his hear lies. That's all I'm saying. Though, I still love him.

READ IT!! I love everything about this book! If you want an amazing, imaginative, retelling, then you really need to pick up this book! Heck! If you love amazing books, give this one a try!

I hereby give this book
5 Wheels
Meaning: A new favorite!