Book Review: Tainted Luck by Cynthia Austin #BookReview #TaintedLuck #Halloween #Horror

Title: Tainted Luck
Author: Cynthia Austin
Publisher: Britain’s next bestseller
Date: July 30th, 2018
Pages: 129
Format: eARC
Source: from Author for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Levi Kast was content living his life in the shadows. He didn’t want much, just his dad’s attention and the girl of his dreams to notice his existence.

Instead, he got more than he had bargained for.

Taylor James was the new student at Kennedy High. She was eccentric, impulsive, Gothic and…dark.

She always got what she wanted, and she decided instantly that she wanted Levi Kast. He became her obsession.

Despite Levi’s initial response to retreat from her other world presence, he was eventually drawn to this girl and her obsession of death and ghosts.

But Taylor had skeletons in her closest, including a dead boyfriend, and before Levi could understand them, he found himself her next victim.

Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about suicide and mental illness.

This book is short, so I’ll try to make my review short as well.

I have to admit that if I haven’t been contacted by the author I would probably never read this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, but because I simply haven’t heard about it before.
This is why reviews are so important.

Tainted luck is a story written from Levi’s POV, about a new girl in the school who is mysterious but also a bit addictive.
It has paranormal elements and talks about witchcraft in bits.
If you ask me, the biggest part of this book centers around mental illness.

The story itself is good. I loved how it was developed, from one atmosphere when everything was mysterious and cutesy to the other when it became dark and dangerous.
I loved that, and the whole story was really good. Yes, it had some problems and holes that could be easily fixed, but my main problem (and I hate to say this) lies in the writing style.

I really feel sorry to say that, especially because I was contacted by the author, but I feel that if the story was told in a different, better way it would be so much better.
It had potential to really become Britian’s next bestseller, but sadly, I don’t think it will.

It wasn’t just the writing, I had some issues with characters too.
Levi was not totally unlikeable, but he was annoying at times. However, I would ascribe it to the writing style. With his unpleasant comments he would throw on almost every time when talking about Taylor or describing certain situations.
One sentence even made me feel uncomfortable, and I am quoting it here for you, so you can get the picture what I’m talking about.

“…I turned to her, my patience as shaky as an anorexic supermodel…”

Taylor was unlikeable and rude. This is the was she talked to her own mother:

“Yeah, whatever Mom. How about doing your fucking job and put some dinner on the table?”

What is even more troublesome, that sentence right there made Levi see Taylor in a different way, he started to respect her because from then on.

As for others, they were just stupid most of the time. Didn’t have the courage to stand for themselves, but let that Taylor girl do whatever she wanted, even though their destiny was in question.
I don’t think that anyone could start a seanse in my presence against my will.

I won’t say anything else, I think you got the idea.

Even though you maybe wouldn’t say from my review, I am glad that I read Tainted luck.

I would recommend it to fans of paranormal and to those who want to read something quick and easy, since it has only 129 pages and it reads pretty fast.

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Book Review: Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis @PHRGlobal #partner #GiveTheDarkMyLove #BookReview

Title: Give the Dark My Love
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Give the Dark My Love (#1)
Publisher: Razorbill, Penguin
Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

Review:

Trigger warning: this book contains graphic surgical operation scenes, talks about deathly disease and also has some scenes with animal cruelty.

 

Give the Dark My Love was one of my most anticipated books this year. 
In all honesty, the first thing that appealed to me was this gorgeous cover, then the synopsis.

This was my first time consciously reading an anti-hero story, and God I loved it so much!
I’ve heard before from many readers how anti-heroes stories are the best ones, but I guess it takes one to read until he’s proven right!

I’ll tell you this, and I mean it wholeheartedly: Give the Dark My Love is one of the best (if not even the best) books I read this year and it will surely be in my top 10 books I read in 2018.
I loved so many things about it, and I am on a mission to tell you everything, so you’d pick it up and hopefully love it as much as I did.

First of all, character development: I loved, loved, loved how the characters we met at the beginning of the story were totally different persons at the end.
There is nothing that I love more in my books then a good character development, and this novel has it at it’s best.

Second: It explores grief and human relationships on such a strong level that even though this world our characters live in is so different from ours, we still empathize with them, understand their feelings and grief with them.
This is fantasy, but still it feels real in a way.

Third: The world is unique, different, dark and gives you creeps. It is perfect for those who like dark fantasies, but it is also perfect as a pick for a spooky read, especially in this time of the year when everyone wants to have that Halloween feeling.

Fourth: Exploring alchemy and necromancy is very interesting in this book, that I even had a feeling I was learning something new.

Fifth: Political games also play part in the story, as one fantasy wouldn’t be complete without it.

Sixth: What kind of story set in high school would it be without little high school drama? Give the Dark My Love has little drama in it, but it is nothing too big and it has it’s reason, but it’s also entertaining at time.

And seventh and final: The writing style is sooooooo good, you will fly through this book and it will keep you interested from the start to the end.

Overall, I am so pleased I have read this book. I had so much fun reading it, but it also made me emotional and I can’t even tell you how many times I have said “OmG, this book is so good!” while reading it.
The start and the first half are pretty good, but the second half is what made this book exceptional!

I would recommend this book to lovers of dark fantasy, adult and young adult.
I would also recommend it to readers who would like to try to read fantasy and to those who like stories about anti-heroes.

I can’t wait for the second book to come out!

Movie Monday: Hereditary #MovieReview #MovieMonday #Hereditary #Halloween

Movie Monday is a feature here on my blog, in which I’m rambling about movies I’ve watched lately.

This weekend I watched Hereditary, the horror drama so many people recommended to me, that I don’t even know how come it took me so long to finally see it.

 

Hereditary

As I already stated in my introduction, I don’t even know how many people recommended Hereditary to me.

In case you didn’t know, horrors are my absolutely favs when it comes to movies, and it takes a lot for a film from that genre to scare me or impress me.

What I like to do the most is watch horrors alone or with other horror lovers.
Since I live with my fiance who does not watch horrors, I watched this movie alone.

And guess what? I wasn’t scared, not at all! But I was impressed.
People around me do know me, and I was fascinated with the movie itself, especially with the way how it was encircled in the end.

I loved the actors. Honestly, before watching the movie, I had no idea how many popular actors actually were in the film. I love Alex Wolff and I was so happy to see him starting here (I kinda lost track when it comes to my favorite actors and their latest releases, so I’ll have to catch up with them ASAP).
Also, MIlly Shapiro who played that little girl Charlie really gave me creeps, so from that I conclude she’s a good actress.

As I already stated, I was not scared, but there was one particular scene in the movie that made me stop eating my porridge for a while, because of it’s brutality.

However, I have to stress out that even though this movie is amazing as a whole, it does have some boring parts, and I don’t know if that was the reason, or maybe I was too tired, but I caught myself falling asleep during watching.
Like, you know that feeling when you start to fall asleep but then your leg or arm moves on it’s own? Yes, that was happened to me.

I’d say that Hereditary is smart and interesting piece of work, and one of better ones I watched lately.

What gives me creeps is that after I finished it I went online to see what others think about it, and then I read that there are really people who worship the same figure as the ones in the movie.
I think that is the scariest part of it all!

Book Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White @PHRGlobal #partner #BookReview

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Penguin
Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Review:

I think The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein was my most anticipated book of the year, when it comes to ya titles.
I do have to admit that I lack when it comes to that genre this year. I feel like so many books came out and after my blogging/reviewing slump that started last year and lasted until August this year, all I try to do is catch up, by trying to see/read what was popular and what still have to come out, I feel kinda lost. The struggle is real!

Reading this novel was a relaxing pleasure for me. This time I didn’t go blind into the book (I know, shocking!) and I liked it that way.
I have already watched/read other reviews so I kinda knew what to expect, but that didn’t ruin my reading experience. If anything, it made it even better.
Why?
Because I already expected a slow plot developing so it didn’t bother me.

The other reason why I wasn’t bored by the slow plot is that I knew this is a retelling of a classic, and most classics that I’ve read were pretty slow when it comes to plot developing and pace.

Character wise, this book was excellent.
Elizabeth was an amazing protagonist and I enjoyed reading her POV. I loved how everything she did was based on her purpose to survive in the best conditions possible.
I also liked side characters, but also Victor, who was likeable and mysterious.

The whole time I was reading I felt like the author was hiding something from readers, something important.
I didn’t understand why Elizabeth and Victor were connected on such a strong level, and I loved the feeling of the hidden mystery, of the atmosphere it created.

The writing style was great. This book reminded me how much I loved White’s writing in Paranormalcy.

Also, I chose the perfect time to read this book. Now when everything is in Halloween decorations and spooky books/movies are desirable, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein came as the best option.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of retellings, spooky books and young adult genre.

Book Review: While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins #BookReview #BookLovers #WhileIWasSleeping

Title: While I Was Sleeping
Author: Dani Atkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: July 26th, 2018
Pages: 543
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): What if someone else was living your happy ever after?
When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can’t remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.
She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.
But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep …

Review:

Going into While I Was Sleeping I thought I knew what I’m putting myself up to.
I have heard good and not so good things about it, and one main thing everyone stated about this story was how emotional it is.

My expectations were not so high, but they were still there.

I know this will probably sound stupid after everything I wrote before this, but what took me by surprise the most was how emotional it was.
I know, I know, I just told you how everyone stated how heartbreaking the novel was, but I did not expect for this story to hit me as hard as it did.
I am not a crier when it comes to books, but my eyes were blurred with tears while I was reading this novel, and the tears appeared on multiple parts of the story.

The second thing about this book that took me by surprise was that it was written from two POVs: one is Maddie’s, and the other is Chloe’s.

The story is written in such a beautiful way. I think the writer knows how to use the words that hit heart, and I praise her for that.

Maddie was my favorite character, she was the only character I truly cared about and even though I can’t even imagine what she went through, I could connect with her.
Her happiness was all I cared about.

Chloe is the one who lived the life Maddie planned to live, before the accident took everything from her.
I didn’t like how it was so easy for her to put Maddie’s shoes, and I didn’t like how goody-good she was.
It was like she was some saint or angel sent from above to fill Maddie’s place, and then she took it completely.
I still can’t accept the fact that Chloe’s happiness was built on Maddie’s  misfortune.

Ryan was my least favorite character. I would use a word hate to describe my feelings for him, but then again I think that word is too strong and wrong.
I know it’s not his fault that he fell in love with someone else while his fiancee was in coma, but how he treated Maddie after she woke up was what made me angry and hurt.

This book is one of the rare books that stayed with me even when I wasn’t reading.
I kept thinking about it over and over again, couldn’t wait to have some free time to read at least one more page.
Even after I finished the book, I caught myself longing to read at least one more page, and then I had to remind myself that the story is over and that all the pages were already read.

This could have easily be a five stars book for me, and I wish it was, but I can’t make myself like it that much because the end ruined everything to me.
It took me few days (even weeks to be precise) to finally write my review because my emotions were all over the place and I was so angry, but still I didn’t want to write something I would be sorry about later, and I was afraid that because I hated the end I wouldn’t be able to tell you how beautiful and interesting everything else was.

In the end, this is a four stars book for me, and all of my feelings about the end you can read in the spoiler section down bellow:

Spoilers!!!

So this is how I feel about the end: I hate how the author didn’t give Maddie a happy end, but instead decided to put her into a long sleep again.
I wonder if she killed her would it be less painful? It probably would.

The only good that could come out of it (and I would never welcome that kind of story) was if the author decided to write a sequel in which Maddie’s daughter was sick and then Maddie would up and save her life because her daughter would need an organ or something).

This story could have a happier ending. Why Maddie didn’t start a relationship with Mitch??? They could have been a perfect couple.

This way Chloe got everything, all the happiness in the world, and Maddie didn’t even get crumbs. She got crumbs of crumbs, and I can’t put my head around why the writer decided to put her through so much pain and didn’t even give her at least that little happiness that she deserved.

Book Review: Our House by Louise Candlish #BookReview #THATlastline #Suspense

Title: Our House
Author: Louise Candlish
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Date: September 1st, 2018
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: from Publisher for a review and to give away

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. 

Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it. 

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

Review:

I feel like Our House took our blogging community by the storm. Ever since it first came out in April, all the amazing bloggers who review adult titles rave about this novel.
Some reviews are very positive, but there are also ones that do not think Our House is the best book written.
Me?
I think this novel is very good and I am so grateful that I had chance to read it.

I would like to thank Sara-Jade Virtue for sending me a paperback copy of Our House to read and pass on to someone else in the #ibelieveinbookfairies project, where people leave books in different places for other people to find it.
I left mine on the Model of Zagreb in Kaptol, Zagreb, Croatia.

Every now and then I would come across a review for this story. You can’t help it when you read blogs and book reviews on regular basis. However, I was good when it comes to avoiding spoilers, so I still found myself surprised while reading.

First thing that surprised me was that Our House is actually more of suspense then a thriller.

Second thing was the way it was written.
You see, this novel does not have that regular, every day way of storytelling.
In fact, it is told from two POVs, one written as podcast and the second one written as documents (that actually sound more like a diary or confessions to me).
There is the third way of storytelling that unites those two POVs into one whole.
Never before have I ever read anything similar to that, so I welcomed it.

The story follows Fiona who lost her house and her husband Bram who is the reason why she lost it.
I don’t want to tell you too much about it because I feel like the less you know the more interesting reading experience you’ll have.

I have to stress out that during the reading process I didn’t have anything to think too much about, like, there was no mystery to be solved.
The story itself was interesting enough, but was is not puzzling as I assumed it would be.

The characters of the story were pretty memorable but not one of them was likeable. However, I feel like that was author’s goal, to give us unlikeable, realistic characters that we can not trust.

The story itself has some dull and boring moments, but I highly encourage you to keep reading because once you get to the end, it is all worth it!
The end is the best part of this novel, so unique, and one of the best endings I read in a very, very long time.

Movie Monday: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #MovieReview #MovieMonday #TooAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore #Netflix

Movie Monday is a feature here on my blog, in which I’m rambling about movies I’ve watched lately.

These days I haven’t been watching many movies, so I decided to give you my two cents when it comes to To All the Boys I Loved Before, the Netflix movie that took twitter by the storm.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

If you’re active on twitter, there is no way you haven’t heard about the movie called To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

It was long anticipated, and once this ya comedy came out, everyone talked about it on twitter, and everyone seemed to love it.

I have read Jenny Han’s book the year it was published and I loved it so much, I even rated it 5 stars. It is a perfect young adult contemporary story and even though I think that in this case the book is better, the movie was also amazing.

The story follows Lara Jean who used to write letters to boys she liked, and kept those letters under her bed.
One day all of her letters were being sent out and now she has to find out how to manage the situation. What makes things more complicated is that one of the receivers is her sister’s boyfriend.

As I already stated, I loved this book, and I also loved the movie.
I watched it with my sister and my fiance and I have to admit that they were not as delighted as I was. They both said that the movie is good but nothing special, and my fiance also stressed out that Love, Simon was “way, way better”.

When it comes to actors I thing that Lana Condor who plays Lara Jean was excellent. I don’t usually comment on one’s acting skills while watching the movie, but I couldn’t notice how great she was.
I also couldn’t notice how not-so-good Israel Broussard who plays Josh was.

I was so glad to hear that Netflix will film the sequel.
I wasn’t a fan of that book because I think that the guy Lara Jean chose has been treating her badly, but I hope that in the movie his sins would not be as heart hitting as they were in the book and that the movie will be better.