5 Stars Review – Love and Decay (Love and Decay 1 #1-12) by Rachel Higginson

18596633Every 19167968once in a while, I’ll read a book based on the Zombie apocalypse.  I can’t help it, I am a fan of The Walking Dead (even still), and I have read Warm Bodies and every zombie book by Carrie Ryan.

Love and Decay is pretty much just as good – maybe even better than every Zombie book I’ve read so far and I’ve read 15 (Goodreads told me so).

Although it is obvious by the title that Love and Decay is a love story – it’s not just that.  It is the story of a courageous young woman, Reagan, who must make it through the Zombie apocalypse alive.  She and a slew of other characters battle some scary zombies and even scarier humans, making us ask the question, “What if this actually happened to me?”  They also find themselves in some hairy situations – and do not escape them un-scarred.

Rachel Higginson is a talented writer, who pretty much had me hooked from the beginning.  She describes awesome fight scenes, complex characters, and a love story unlike any I have read so far.  Her description of Reagan’s varying inner turmoils is fantastic – and help to remind us that we’re imperfect creatures.

If you are looking for a story that mixes humor (there was plenty of that), romance (this season was pretty PG-13, but Reagan’s love-life unraveled organically and was not always the primary focus of the story), action (Reagan and her companions do kick some Zombie and human butt often), psychology (we learn a lot about Reagan’s mind, which makes us think about how we would act and react to certain situations), with Zombies; you should give this series a shot.

Side note:

I purchased the first volume of this book (with 336 pages) for FREE on Amazon and once I was done with it, I purchased the next volume of Season One (with 375 pages) for $3.99.

I enjoyed it so much that I purchased the complete Second Season (with 735 pages) for $6.99.  Completely worth it.

& I am sure I’ll be getting season three as well 🙂

5 Stars Review – Here’s to Falling by Christine Zolendz


So, I love Christine Zolendz.  She could probably write about the theory of Quantum Physics, and I would be captivated.   She’s just that good with words.

Whether it’s writing about Angels, or two people who find each other in the darkest of times – she rocks my socks off with her writing.

Poetic and heart-wrenching, Here’s to Falling made me fall in love with the amazing story being told, and all over again with the author telling this story.

The best advice I can give you regarding this book is to have some tissues handy during a few points in this story – and although the synopsis is vague, believe that this story is worth reading.

We begin our story with a 24 year-old Charlie reminiscing about her childhood.  We learn that she loves her best friend, Joey and, while she does not live in the most nurturing environment, she survives because she has Joey and the love he returns to her.

Then a new boy, Jase, moves in next door and…He. Is. Trouble.  He is also the love of Charlie’s life.

Throughout the story, we are moved back and forth – from the present, to the past.  Ordinarily, this would really annoy me because I tend to enjoy reading about things occurring currently, but the swap back and forth was just so relevant and important to the story, that is was not annoying for me at all.  I loved learning about Charlie’s life as a child, as an adolescent, and eventually into adulthood.

We learn about Charlie’s past, slowly and naturally.  We discover why she is the way she is – what has shaped her into the woman she has to be.  What trials she has faced and how she made it out alive.  You’ll cry because her story is not always a pretty one, and your heart will inevitable break for her circumstances.  But you will continue reading because you are so captivated by her story, you’ll want to know how everything turns out for her.

The realities in this story are harsh, but need to be told nonetheless.  They need to be understood for what they are and recognized as truths.  Harsh and ugly truths.

We live.  We love.  We lose.  Repeat.

I once watched the whole series of Six Feet Under and the last episode gutted me because it reminded me of my own mortality.  This book will do this for you and that’s why you need to read it.

You’ll also smile, too, because the love in this story is pretty epic.  It is truly beautiful.

4 Stars Review – Gus (Bright Side #2) by Kim Holden

23389993This story is a follow-up to Bright Side, which was an amazing read. If you haven’t read that yet, I suggest you stop reading this review, read the review I wrote for Bright Side, and get yourself a copy of Bright Side – because this review is going to have major spoilers.

Gus is a twenty-something rocker dude who is trying to get over the loss of his best friend, Bright Side. Some people seek therapy to cope with loss, while Gus self-medicates with a lot of alcohol, cigarettes, and briefly uses cocaine. On tour with very little else to calm him, these three things, combined with meaningless sex, seems to do the trick…or at least masks the pain for a while. Unbeknownst to Gus, his behavior has made it possible for Scout to obtain much-needed employment…as Gus’ babysitter. Scout, or as he refers to her, “Impatient”, is getting over something also – and in this darkness, they come to find the light in each other.

Why didn’t I give this five stars?

Although I absolutely loved Bright Side, I found that there were a few things in this story that bothered me:

1. Although Gus has an addictive personality (he uses alcohol & cigarettes heavily), Gus begins using cocaine…but surprisingly, stops almost instantly. It is really hard to believe that someone with an addictive personality would be able to give such an addictive drug up so quickly. It seemed as though he had a harder time giving up nicotine than he did cocaine.

2. We are introduced to someone who has caused Scout pain in the past – but it didn’t seem like there was closure to this negative relationship. Yes, restraining orders were filed – but that isn’t a “magic fix-all” and the accused usually comes back for more. This guy didn’t at all, which seemed unrealistic to me, especially with how he pursued the relationship initially.

3. At one point in the book, it was mentioned that Scout doesn’t like making eye-contact. But then in another, it is mentioned that she communicates non-verbally with Gus through eye-contact. I found this inconsistent because when someone is hesitant to make eye-contact, they won’t suddenly make it part of their communication pattern. Maybe every once in a while, but not constantly, and not with someone they clearly don’t like very much.

What did I like about it?

1. I enjoyed the organic development of the relationship between Gus and Scout. I don’t like when characters develop relationships instantly – and Gus and Scout seemed to realistically fall in love.

2. I liked the re-introduction of characters from Bright Side. It has been a while since I read the first book and reminding me of the characters and who they are was helpful.

3. The writing was beautiful and the editing was well-done.

4. The way Holden describes the relationship between Gus and Bright Side – and Gus’ feelings about his loss was really beautiful and heartbreaking.

5. I loved the relationship between Gus and his mother. It was really lovely.

I know there is more to what I loved about this story and I am sure there is more that you’ll love, too!

Take care & happy reading!

5 Stars Review – Rumpelstiltskin (Timeless Fairy Tales Book 4) by K.M. Shea

23761088I really do love the way K.M. Shea writes, especially her take on the classic fairy tales we all grew up listening to, or watching on television.

This specific book is about a girl named Gemma who is an exceptionally talented seamstress. Others in the village of Verglas are skeptical of her talent however, and one night her father, the town drunk, brags to those skeptics that Gemma can turn straw into gold. The crazy King Torgen is informed of this and requests that she do just that, or else forfeit her life and the life of her father. A craftmage, Rumpelstiltskin (Stil), learns of this and begins to help Gemma turn flax into gold in exchange for various objects.

Throughout the book, Stil begins to fall in love with Gemma, and will do whatever he can to protect her from the fate that awaits her.

My most favorite part of this story was the romantic element. I am definitely a sucker for romance, and this book delivered in such a way that was believable and clean. You won’t read about that instantaneous love, which is really nice, nor will you read about anything happening in the bedroom.

Although I like books with romantic elements, this book had more than just a romance between Gemma and Stil. We really learn a lot about the type of person Gemma is throughout this book, and we can’t really help but like her. She is smart, kind, and a whole lot of other positive traits.

It is also nice that K.M. Shea weaves the mention of other fairytale characters into this story, as a way to show the connection to each story in her little universe.

There is no cliffhanger in this book, and it is most definitely a HEA. Suitable for Young Adults, as well as Adults who are in the mood for a whimsical story with a kick-ass main character.

3 Stars Review – Clear: A Death Trippers Novel by Jessica Park

24393633I began this book not really knowing what to expect.  I have really mixed emotions about what I discovered on my journey through the pages.  I really did like it at first because Stella seemed to be a victim and no matter how she acted, I can not dislike a victim.  She went through a lot and had a mother who did not treat her like a mother should, and she just sort of wanted her mother’s love.  After her sister, who has some issues herself, tells her to run away; Stella runs away.  She meets a man (Sam), who does not seem to be a nice man at first, and they eventually fall in love with each other.  He has a secret, which is really, really unusual and she accepts him in spite of it.  (I was still okay with the book, even after learning about this really weird secret).  I actually thought this was really unique.

Eventually, however, things became even weirder and  I couldn’t really finish it.  I can’t really give much information because that would tell the story…and I don’t want to do that.

I will say that some things happened that annoyed me and I just couldn’t continue.  I tried.

If you don’t mind weird love triangles and unusual sex situations, along with a confusing at times plot, then you have found your book.

It really wasn’t all bad.  Just a little.