Friday, October 20, 2017

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Publication: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.
Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.
Poignant and powerful, WITHOUT MERIT explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love.

Without Merit is very different from her last book, It Ends With Us.  This story is more on the Mature YA side.  Merit has a very unique family. She would probably even call her family dysfunctional. She struggles with depression and at times does things that could be seen as a cry for help. If anyone would notice her that is. There is a lot of family drama and airing of dirty laundry. Some of it can be expected when you have such a interesting and vocal group of people living under the same roof. But in a family that lacks good communication, how can they all coexist peacefully?

I liked Merit. She was a bit quirky and different. She’s basically your typical teenager. A 17 year old girl trying to rebel against her family and finding the consequences of her actions to not be what she expected at all.

Romance sort of takes a back seat in this book. And I have to say that I did not have a problem with that at all. Aside from that, the characters are unique and colorful. Colleens ability to write stories that not only entertain the reader, but have a sense of realness and depth to them amazes me each time I read one of her books. Without Merit took me on a emotional rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows. It is definitely a story that will stay with me.

RATING: 3 out of 5

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Prizing: Win 1 of 5 signed hardcover copies of WITHOUT MERIT! Contest is open until October 30th.
This rafflecopter will be live on 10/2 at midnight and will run through 10/30.

 (Photo credit: Chad Griffith)

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit
Twitter: @ColleenHoover
Instagram: @ColleenHoover
Barnes & Noble:
Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00
eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (J.J. Graves Mystery #3) by Liliana Hart

Publication: November 5, 2013.
Publisher: Liliana Hart/7th Press.
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Can ghosts really talk?
J.J. Graves is about to find out when her past comes back to haunt her. But before she and Jack can resolve her past, they need to deal with his.
Six years ago Jack was left for dead during a SWAT raid he commanded. He never speaks of what happened that day, but he doesn't have a choice after someone starts murdering his men. According to the FBI, Jack is either next on the list, or he's the one behind it all.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel picks up right where the last book, A Dirty Shame ended. J.J.’s father miraculously rose from the “dead” and wants something from J.J.. Life for J.J. had started getting back to normal for her. She just began a relationship with the town Sheriff, Jack and agreed to move in with him. That should have been enough. Now dealing with her father, investigating the death of a newly discovered body and finding out that Jack’s life could very well be in danger is more than enough to stress J.J. out. Life in Bloody Mary is anything but simple.

This was a good continuation to the series. I really enjoyed the mystery and trying to determine what was really going on and why. It wasn’t easy and I appreciated that. If you like your mysteries with a side of romance, then this would be up your alley. The romance scenes were fine, but it did feel like they were going at it like rabbits lol. It was a little overkill to me. But don’t get me wrong, I love J.J. and Jack together. They make a great couple. Even if Jack is a little hot-headed and I wonder if he can really be there for J.J. as she deals with her father, without him going into “Sheriff-mode”.

If you enjoyed the previous two books, then you would definitely want to pick this one up. And if you haven’t checked out the J.J. Graves Mystery Series, I think it’s worth taking a look at. The characters are interesting and Liliana Hart seems to know her way around a good mystery.

RATING: 3½ out of 5


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Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti Blog Tour!

Publication: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher.

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.
“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…
Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”
In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.
Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.
And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.
Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.
Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.

Married couple, Nate and Alecia have a good life. Living in a small Pennsylvania town, Nate is a math teacher who also coaches basketball and Alecia takes care of their 5 year old autistic son. By all accounts, they have a seemingly perfect marriage. But things aren’t always as neat and tidy as they seem on the outside. And once the blackbirds fall to their death on the baseball field, things are never the same again.

This book made me feel like I was living in Mount Oanoke. The author did a really good job of capturing that small town feeling. And in a small town where everyone knows everyone, your reputation can be everything. Nate holds on to his reputation with pride. People respect and admire him. That is until he is accused of having an affair with Lucia, an 18 year old student, that soon goes missing afterwards.

But Nate wouldn’t do such a thing would he? And even if he did have an affair with Lucia, that doesn’t mean he hurt her….Right?

Told from multiple POV’s, The Blackbird Season will have you second guessing Nate’s self-proclaimed innocence and the townspeople around him.

The Blackbird Season is a compelling book that slowly pulls you in page after page and leaves you wanting more. It was a fun and immersive read. I liked how the mystery and suspense gradually builds, the more I delved into the story. I have been a fan of Kate Moretti, every since I read The Vanishing Year. She has such a way with words and unique characters/situations. I look forward to her next story.

RATING: 3 out of 5

Atria Paperback | ISBN: 9781501118456| On sale: September 26, 2017 | 352 pages | $16.00
eBook: Atria | ISBN: 9781501118463| On sale: September 26, 2017 | 352 pages | $11.99


Photo Credit: Pooja Dhar at PR Photography

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year, Thought I Knew You, and Binds That Tie. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and kids. Find out more at
Twitter: @KateMoretti1
Instagram: @katemoretti1

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Publication: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Purchased my own copy.

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

“Trust me...Would I ever lead you astray?”

Quincy is the third final girl. Though she likes to pretend that she's not. She likes to pretend that she's normal, but I'm not sure how anyone can be “normal” after they've gone through such a traumatic experience like Quincy has. Even if she can't remember all of the details.  Her seemingly perfect life is going almost according to plan. That is until Sam, the second final girl comes into her life.That’s when things begin to take an interesting turn for Quincy…

I liked how the the story flip flops between present day events and the events at Pine Cottage 10 years ago, where Quincy and her friends was attacked. Quincy is a fighter, she has a temper, and she would do whatever is necessary to survive. But is there a limit to what she would do?
Sam I did not like from the beginning. She seemed very manipulative and I felt like she had an agenda and Quincy was all too easy to be manipulated and pressured into doing things. Which annoyed me. I don’t want to say too much about the storyline and characters because it’s fun to discover things yourself as your reading.

However, I will say that this book is labeled in the mystery, thriller, suspense category and I felt like it fit the bill perfectly. This may even be one of the better mystery/thriller books that I have read so far this year. I ended up listening to the audiobook version of Final Girls. There were two female narrators for this book; Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber. They both did a good job of bringing the characters to life.  It did start off a little slow, but I kept with it until it picked up. I am so glad that I did. Around 75% into the storyline I thought I knew exactly where things were going and how everything was going to be wrapped up. It turns out the author pulled a fast one on me and I ended up knowing nothing! There were surprises and twists to the story that made it even more interesting than it already was. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I cannot wait to see what the author chooses to write next.

RATING: 4 out of 5


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