5 Stars Review – The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

81L3hugGchL._SL1500_Have you ever read a book that just “sticks with you?”  No matter how much you really try, it stays in your head.  You read other books, but they aren’t enough to get this other book out of your mind.

This is what The Sea of Tranquility was like for me, even years after reading it for the first time.

It’s my go-to book for when I am stuck in a book slump and I need something to remind me of why exactly I love reading so much.

It is because of books like this that I continue reading.

My prince amongst a pond full of toads.

Nastya Kashnikov has been through something traumatic.  Something that has done damage to not only her body, but her life.  A once gifted piano player, Nastya is forced to give up this part of herself because she can no longer use her left hand to play.  But more than her hand was damaged by this trauma; her once comfortable and predictable life is taken from her by an event that she can not seem to make peace with.  When she begins to remember, she makes a conscious decision to stop speaking.  When she moves away from her former life and her family, to live with her Aunt, she also changes her appearance, with the goal: to make her as unapproachable as possible.

Josh Bennett has also been through some tough events in his life, losing too many people in too short of a time.  He is a loner, who would rather spend time building furniture than building relationships.  He does this to protect himself, fearing another inevitable loss.

In Josh, Nastya finds a hesitant friend.

As the story continues, Josh and Nastya become closer and their relationship grows.

Why do I keep coming back for more?

  • This story was so completely and utterly unique.
  • The story-building wasn’t rushed and things seemed to happen at a realistic pace.
  • The characters were believable and different from one another in a way that helped me become more attached to their individual stories.
  • The relationships that occurred between each character added depth/value to the story and did not seem fake.
  • The individual struggles Nastya and Josh go through were realistic and heartbreaking, making me empathize with the pain they felt during their prospective problems.
  • It’s a beautiful story.

You need this book in your life!

3 Stars Review – Under The Trees by Ashley Maker

23000308Under the Tree was a nice, short, young adult read. Even though it is fairly short, it took me about two weeks to finish it – I just couldn’t get emotionally invested, or care enough about the characters to read it quickly. Not completely the author’s fault; I guess I just need to be in the mood to read a Young Adult book such as this and I really did want to feel something while reading this.

Araya is a nice girl, who only wishes to escape from a kingdom that she does not wish to stay in, sparked by unwelcome advances from an untrustworthy Duke. She finds herself in Thor’s father’s kingdom, where Thor hides her away, so she may be safe.

For me, I would have enjoyed this book more if the characters were a little more built. I just felt like the characters were somewhat predictable and transparent, and I didn’t really see much of a difference between the two main characters: Araya and Thor. I suppose this was done to show how “right” they are for one another, which is completely fine.

Overall, I see the value in this story: very simple, straight-to-the-point and perfect for YA readers.

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Additional Book Cover Designs

I’ve been trying to spend some time building my book cover portfolio.  This is what I have so far!

Book Cover 3

Paperback 3

Book Cover 4

Book 4 paperback



5 Stars Review – Cold-Blooded Beautiful (Beautiful #2) by Christine Zolendz

20272153If you read Brutally Beautiful and loved it like I did, you most certainly must read this book. Christine is such a vivid writer, painting pictures with her daring and emotional words. She is not just a writer, but a realistic describer of pleasure and pain, which are both a part of life.

Through her words, she describes heartache and emotion, difficult for most people to process, and even more difficult for them to accept. Samantha is fierce, loving, and tough – a realistic main character, who any female can look up to. Kade is misunderstood, protective, and passionate – a man who has been through hell and back and lived to tell his tale. Both wrapped in a love so absolutely moving, my heart leaped for them in the most perfect way.

I think Christine could write the script for a cereal commercial and I would sit, enraptured by the story, absorbing every word she writes.

Her writing is just that lovely.

5 Stars Review – Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1) by K.A. Tucker

15990969It’s 4am and I just finished reading this. I read a lot of books and some are barely memorable. This is one of those books that I will remember. I was hesitant when I read the description because it seemed too dramatic and loaded with conflict, but don’t let that deter you. It was very well written and I never found myself rolling my eyes at the characters or how the characters spoke. I never skimmed through words to find just dialogue, but read with interest at descriptions of the scenes. It had mild sexual situations, but they were tastefully done and did not take away from the emotional integrity of the book. It had some funny parts, but it was also emotionally heavy at times (a nice balance). That is fine because it was incredibly realistic. The characters felt real and the situations were realistic (to a point). The truth is, a story doesn’t have to be based on possible events, sure it is great if it is, because it allows us to relate, but a story (especially Fiction), is supposed to take you beyond the life you are living, exposing you to other worlds. It’s pretty amazing when a story can transport you away from your life and into someone else’s. Life isn’t always easy, but authors know that and allow their audiences to escape life for a while. This book was a good solid escape. Read it, you most likely won’t regret it. Well worth $3.99 to at least give it a chance.