COVER REVEAL: THE BEST KEPT SECRET BY WENDI NUNNERY

The Best Kept Secret_Wendi Nunnery_CoverTitle: The Best Kept Secret
Author: Wendi Nunnery
Publication: June 2015 by BookFishBooks
Click here to find it on Goodreads

In high school, everyone has secrets. Even well-brought-up Emma Fraser.

Emma’s sophomore year started out all wrong. First, her best friend Andy confessed to losing his virginity leaving Emma all alone in the V-Club. Then the rest of her friends got weird and suddenly Emma finds herself feeling like the people she knows best have become total strangers. And total strangers are becoming friends.

When Deegan Burke, a rich, gorgeous senior, asks Emma to be his date for the prom, Emma thinks her luck has begun to change. But rather than being able to bask in this newfound glory, her whole world starts to unravel. And when secrets that once seemed so innocent start to take a very dangerous turn, Emma discovers that true friends are friends no matter what…and some secrets aren’t worth keeping.

The Best Kept Secret_Wendi Nunnery_Author Photo

Wendi Nunnery is the author of The Mayfield Family Story. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and The Simply Beloved, a lifestyle website for women of faith. She is a proud alumna of Georgia Southern University and, at any given time, you can find her with a cup of coffee and a book. She lives, loves, and mothers in Atlanta, Georgia. The Best Kept Secret is her first novel.

Find her online:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wendinunnery
Twitter: @ladynunnery
Instagram: @ladynunnery
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ladynunnery
Blog: www.wendinunnery.com

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BOOK DISCUSSION: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES BY JENNIFER NIVEN

18460392Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Published: 2015 by Knopf
388 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

“You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.”

Caution! Spoilers ahead!

Thoughts before starting the book?
Mackenzie: I didn’t really know what it was about or what to expect. The lady at the bookstore recommended it to me and said it was very good and I heard good things online. I also heard they were making a movie adaptation and that got me interested because it’s not too often that a new release already has a movie in the works.
Mallory: I don’t even think I had heard of it until you guys suggested it. I was a little upset that they made the comparison to The Fault in Our Stars because let’s be honest, we all know someone is going to die when that happens.
Maria: I sort of had high expectations because of it being compared to The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.
Marissa: I didn’t know anything about it going in so I just kind of blindly jumped in.

What were your first thoughts on Finch?
Mackenzie: Finch I really liked but he was a weird character. I loved how he cared so much about Violet. It was interesting to hear his point of view about like and stuff.
Mallory: I adored Finch right from the get go. He seemed to have such positive thoughts about everything, even after we learned about his growing up. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to change his personality from week to week and no one could bring him down.
Maria: I wasn’t sure how i was going to feel about Finch. The fact that he was so “out there” and had suicidal thoughts made me wonder if I would be able to connect with his character. The more I read, the more I loved him! He was smart, funny and full of adventure. He narrated his parts of the story amazingly! I don’t think I will be forgetting his character for a long time.
Marissa: I really fell in love with Finch’s character. He was so easy to picture and seemed like a loveable guy.

And Violet?
Mackenzie: Violet was just okay for me, though I felt bad for her loss, she was like every other high school student except she wasn’t living life until she met Finch.
Mallory: With Violet I felt so bad for her, Finch was exactly what she needed to bring her life and joy back to her.
Maria: I thought that Violet was a sweet girl. I was glad that she was there for Finch. She understood him more than anybody and accepted him the way he was.
Marissa: I wasn’t sure about Violet at first because I was worried she’d be a super annoying and popular girl, but I started to like her more once we got more of her story.

What did you think after Finch talked Violet down from the balcony but she continued to let everyone call him Theodore Freak?
Mackenzie: I understood because she didn’t know him well, but she could have stood up for it. It really frustrated me that she went with the popular kids and ignored him.
Mallory: I was really disappointed in her character then. I understand she didn’t want everyone knowing it was her but it really bugged me how she let everyone keep calling him that. I think if someone saved my life I’d be forever grateful and would stand up for them no matter how unpopular they were.
Maria: I didn’t really think too much of it… I don’t think I expected her to change right away, or to defend him right away either. The pacing was done right in this book. It wouldn’t have seemed as “real” otherwise.
Marissa: I really thought she’d be the bigger person and stand up for him. Super disappointing.

What did you think of the wanderings?
Mackenzie: I really liked it and that’s when I started liking Violet as a character and loving Finch. Even though he has problems he is a great person. I loved their adventures and how it brought them together. Violet finally started to live after her sister’s death.
Mallory: Sooo cute. So so cute. Like better than any date I’ve read in a story. The wanderings made me so happy I found myself smiling the whole time they were out. It really got Violet to live a little more and you could really see both characters coming out of their shells a lot more.
Maria: I thought that this was an awesome part of the book. It took the characters on so many adventures. They didn’t stop at just two, they kept finding new wanders to visit. These places brought the characters closer together and helped them be themselves despite what they were going through. It makes me want to go on my own wanders.
Marissa: It was so fun since they were so unusual. I thought it was pretty great that Finch was able to get Violet in a car again after the accident.

Did you like the use of the alternating chapter points of views?
Mackenzie: Yes because they were two very complex characters that had two different stories and two different points of view. If there wasn’t both of their points of views, especially Finch, I think it would have ruined the story.
Mallory: At first I only liked Finch’s chapters. So getting to Violet’s got a little slow for me. But once I started liking her I found that it made the book fly by a lot faster than if it had been just one point of view.
Maria: I think that it was done really well! Both characters were written so good, they really each had their own voice in the story. I especially loved Finch’s point of view.
Marissa: I really liked getting a boys point of view, it was a nice change.

What did you think of the writing style?
Mackenzie: I loved it! It was beautiful and I loved the metaphors that Finch had and it felt a lot like John Green and Rainbow Rowell mixed together which I loved. This book should be put into schools. It could help so much and give others information.
Mallory: You can tell the author has dealt with this in her life (if you read the authors note at the end you will find this information). So much emotion came through her words. It makes a whole different story when you can feel the emotion they are conveying through the story telling.
Maria: I absolutely loved it. It surprised me so much.
Marissa: I liked it a lot. It was almost poetic. And I agree with Mallory, so much emotion was conveyed through it all.

Did you like the parts about the use of post it notes? When Finch would have them all over his walls and then Violet started using his method?
Mackenzie: Yes it was a nice twist to the book and very creative and original. It was cute. This book would have really affected me when I was younger and it would have been great to read it while I was still in school.
Mallory: It’s cool things like that that really stick out to me in a book. Staring at the cover I wondered how the post it notes would come into play. And it’s funny how them writing simple little words on them would hit me right in the the feels. I loved the part where they would write good words and post them and then write bad words and crumple them up.
Maria: It was definitely a unique part of the story. Finch was a unique character so of course it fit well. I agree with Mallory, it’s these little things that are going to reach out to young readers.
Marissa: Yeah it made me want to cover my room in post it notes!

Did you think Finch was going to kill himself? And if so, how did you think he was going to do it?
Mackenzie: I wasn’t sure. I kept going back and forth. I thought Violet would have helped him get better. After he left and barely answered I knew he would since it was only Violet’s perspective. I really think he could have gotten better, it was so sad. I had no idea how, he changes his mind so much I couldn’t even guess.
Mallory: Yes and no and yes and no. My mind was so back and forth with this. I kept thinking no, even after he swallowed the pills. I didn’t think he was going to leave Violet like that, especially after having helped her get over the death of her sister. After him leaving I knew he would. But how really stumped me. I thought he was going to crash his van.
Maria: I don’t know how to answer this at all! It was definitely in the back of my mind the entire time that I was reading the story, but I fell so hard for the characters that I couldn’t help by HOPE that the author wouldn’t do that to me! I actually cried when it hit me, and I felt a bit of hatred towards Violet for telling her parents (not going to lie). Basically, I was sitting on my couch, crying, saying no no no no no, please be alive, you have to help Violet, you have to finish the project, you have to LIVE!
Marissa: I sadly knew he was going to, I just didn’t know when or how. I wanted it to be a happy ending but after he moved into his closet I definitely knew it was going to happen. I kind of thought he was going to crash his van by going too fast.

Did you like the use of the back story? Eg Finch’s dad beating him and Violet’s sister dying in the crash (showing us that anything can drive someone to think that suicide is the only answer).
Mackenzie: Not really because it was sad but his dad really didn’t make a difference at all and I hated him. It was interesting to hear about Violet’s sister because it played a big part in her story.
Mallory: It makes me feel so bad knowing the one thing can make such a harsh difference in someone’s life. I want to help all the people going through suicidal thoughts.
Maria: I appreciated it. It had me putting myself in their shoes and understanding their situations a lot more. The whole mental illness aspect of the book really had me interested. It really hit me hard and opened my eyes up.
Marissa: The back story let us see into Finch’s world so much and how he felt alone in his family which I liked a lot. I wanted to know more of Violet’s story other than just her sister.

What was going through your mind when Violet went to find him?
Mackenzie: That I hoped he was alive and she could bring him back home but I knew deep down that he was already gone. I reread it at least three times.
Mallory: I had such a dreading feeling. I didn’t want her of be the one to find him. I looked ahead a few paragraphs and when she said she found him I thought he was alive and felt so relieved. Then kept reading and the dread settled in a little more. I can’t imagine the haunting feeling of finding someone like that.
Maria: I was freaking out. Hardcore. It was like I knew what she was going to find, but I didn’t want to bring myself to believe it. I read that part of the book over again just so I could deal.
Marissa: I felt so sad for her the whole time especially since Finch’s mom made her go find him. It was so sad.

And final question, were you happy that she was brave enough to finish the wanderings without him?
Mackenzie: Yes, I knew that she would find something he left behind when she went. It was so beautiful but so sad.
Mallory: The way she did them and found all of his little clues was so adorable it made my heart hurt. But it was nice to see her not coop herself up and away from everyone, but go out and get the closure that she needed. I think for the heaviness of the story the ending was a lot happier than I expected it to be.
Maria: Yes! I was really sad and I don’t know how she did it, but I was so proud of her. I was happy with what Finch left behind for her and I think that finishing the project helped her heal.
Marissa: I loved that she had the courage to do so and was able to get a final goodbye through them. I was reading the last wandering in my religion class and was crying when she read the song he left. So sad but so romantic.

Can we just take a second to also appreciate the name UltraViolet ReMarkeyable?
Mackenzie: Yes!! That was so cute!!
Mallory: If a boy ever gave me a name like that I would cry. Sooo adorable.
Maria: Yes! Everything about this story was so flipping cute and original
Marissa: Gah, so adorable!

Rating on Goodreads?
Mackenzie: ★★★★★
Mallory: ★★★★
Maria: ★★★★★
Marissa: ★★★★

BOOK REVIEW: DARK LEGEND: THE SUPERNATURAL CHRONICLES

22036395Title: Dark Legend : The Supernatural Chronicles
Author: R.A. Reene’
Published: August 2014
300 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Alex, was raised as a pure witch by her grandmother and aunts. It isn’t until her fifteenth birthday that she learns the truth about herself: she is a hybrid, half fairy and half demon. Alex is forced to move to a supernatural town and start magical schooling. Being the new kid is even harder than usual because Alex is now known as the demon girl. She manages to make a few new friends and gets used to her new life there. Throughout the book, she discovers more and more about her family and her past. All of her life, she was told that her parents were dead, but she never really knew what had happened to them. Alex also finds out about her evil uncle Sama’el, who is trapped in the underworld, and she does everything she can to stop him from getting out.

I have a special place in my heart for paranormal/supernatural books, so when we were asked to read this book in exchange for an honest review – I was beyond excited. I found the storyline really intriguing. It was never boring, and the pacing was done really well. It especially picked up towards the end of the book. However, I have to admit that I did not feel attached to any of the characters. I liked Alexandria, Eleanor, Emilie and Kat, but unfortunately I didn’t find myself connecting with them. Overall, I thought that this book was a decent quick read. I enjoyed the dialogue, the magical school setting and the supernatural elements. I just wish that I would have been more “wowed” by the character development. The ending leads readers to believe that the author may be releasing a second instalment, so if any of you are interested in a new YA paranormal series to read – keep your eyes open for that!

3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mallory’s thoughts:
At 14 years old, Alexandria Grimaldi finds out that she has been lied to her entire life. She is not the witch she thought she was, but rather a demon. Her parents were both thought to be killed shortly after her birth, so Alexandria lives with her grandmother and two aunts. What Alexandria also doesn’t know, is that her evil uncle Sam’ael is looking for her, to kill her. When her family is under attack, they seek refuge in a supernatural community. Since Alexandria is a demon, they don’t really want them to live there, but finally grant them permission. As Alexandria attends her new school she tries to go through her normal life while trying to keep away from her uncle.

To be honest, the synopsis of this story made me so excited. The plot was like nothing I had heard before. Yet this was a major let down for me. I was interested up until the fourth or fifth chapter. From there, the lack of grammar skills, the drab and boring characters, and the inability to provide proper descriptions to tie up loose ends had me shaking my head. Nothing seemed to happen for a reason and the plot jumped around more than anything I’ve ever read. I dragged through this, feeling as though it was a chore to finish this book and there was no action to live up to my expectation. By the end, I felt like nothing had really been cleared up and I felt relieved that the story was finished. If there is another instalment, I will probably not be interested in reading it.

Unfortunately, I had to give this one a 2/5 star rating.

BOOK REVIEW: RED QUEEN BY VICTORIA AVEYARD

17878931Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: Published February 10th 2015 by Orion
320 pages
First in the Red Queen series
Source: Purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Mare is a red blood. She lives with her family, who struggles to get by financially, and spends her days pick pocketing. Unlike her sister, who has the talent to sew and work for the silver bloods, this is the best that Mare can do to help her family. Mare knows that if she doesn’t get a job soon, she will be sent off to war like her brothers. One day, as Mare makes her rounds outside of a bar, a boy catches her. Instead of getting her punished for trying to steal, the boy gives her the money. Little did Mare know, the friendly boy that she had encountered was actually a prince. Thanks to him, Mare gets her a job at the castle, serving the royal silver bloods. Mare discovers just how different she really is when an accident occurs in front of the King and Queen. That is when she finds out that she is not like any other red blood. She bleeds red, but also has the powers of a silver blood.

Maria’s thoughts:

This book pulled me in so fast. I was completely enthralled by Red Blood from the very first page. I absolutely love books about super powers (as if I don’t say that enough) and for me, this was like the Hunger Games with awesome superpowers and princes. The writing style was wonderful, the world was incredibly captivating, the characters were both very relatable and interesting. I loved reading from Mare’s point of view. She was an amazing, courageous, female lead. The boys in this book stole my heart very early on and I could never choose which one I wanted Mare to end up with. Honestly, I still don’t know. The ending took me entirely by surprise and left me wanting more. Talk about a big plot twist… You really don’t know who to trust after that, and I can’t wait to see what is in store in Red Queen #2. I may even re-read this before then – it is THAT good! It is getting hyped up for a reason people! You want to pick this one up!

I’m keeping this review short and sweet. I don’t want to say too much, because you really should go into this book knowing as little as possible. Just know that I don’t have anything bad to say about Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel and that I can’t wait to discuss SPOILERS with those who have read it already.

I absolutely devoured this book. 5 out of 5 stars, all the way!

Mackenzie’s thoughts:

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Months before it was released, there was so much hype about Red Queen and I was intrigued to know more about it. Red queen sold out at my book store 3 times before I got a copy and then I wanted to read it even more. Going into it, I had high hopes and expectations. I really enjoyed the writing. It didn’t read like a fantasy, it felt almost like a dystopian. It was very easy to understand. For once I could keep up with battle scenes in a book. The author did an amazing job at helping the reader really picture the battles. I really liked the characters and the whole concept of the book. I’m a little confused about some things, but they are supposed to be better explained in the next book from what I heard. I can’t believe how much the author packed into a 320 page book. The plot twist was crazy. You don’t know who to trust and who not to trust. I’m really looking forward to the next instalment to get more answers and to see what happens from where it left off. I highly recommend this book!

5 stars on Goodreads.

MARIA’S UNREAD BOOKS

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1. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

2. Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3) by Charlaine Harris

3. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4) by Charlaine Harris

4. All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #7) by Charlaine Harris

5. Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks

6. Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid #2) by Richelle Mead

2429135620234210194157157269971270079016130641

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson and Reg Keeland

8. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

9. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) Leigh Bardugo

10. Darkest Fear (Birthright #1) by Cate Tiernan

11. Spellcaster by Claudia Grey

12. The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

92846559662386784934171716371159507218053962

13. Tiger’s Curse (The Tiger Saga #1) by Colleen Houk

13. Tiger’s Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) by Colleen Houk

14. Tiger’s Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3) by Colleen Houk

15. Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

16. Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1) by Kai Meyer

17. Arcadia Falls (Arkadien #2) by Kai Meyer

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18. Forget You by Jennifer Echols

19. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

20. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Twenty books isn’t so bad… So what should I read next?

FRIDAY READS (#20)

It’s finally the weekend again!

It has been a crazy busy week for me. With getting back to the gym, business and resume classes, job interviews, it’s been hectic.

Tonight is my last class for the week and then it will definitely be time to indulge in some binge reading.

10025305I’m currently four chapters into Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, the second book in the Infernal Devices series. You can click here to find it on Goodreads. I am really enjoying this series so far. I just finished Clockwork Angel and my review will be coming up for that soon so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

8755776Next on my list to read is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Going back to the Mortal Instruments series, this is the fifth book in the series. You can click here to find it on Goodreads. I’m so excited to get back into this series and to figure out what my main man Jace is up to.

Other than that I don’t have much else planned. I’m in the mood where I want to read every single book in the world right now so I have no idea what I’m going to pick up next!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, let me know what you are reading this weekend!
mallory-name-design-1

BOOK REVIEW: TREASURE DARKLY BY JORDAN ELIZABETH

23399901Title: Treasure Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1)
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Published: February 16th 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press
289 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Clark and his mother are doing everything they can to get by. They don’t have very much money, but they live a happy life together. That is, until Clark receives the ability to awaken the dead and his beloved mother is brutally murdered. Suddenly, the army is after him, wanting to use his new ability, so he is forced to go into hiding. Clark then decides that it is time to meet his birth father. Growing up, he had heard few stories of the man who had left his mother. He only knew what his mother had told him over the years. Clark had only one thing of his fathers: a letter that was addressed to his mother. When Clark shows up on Mr. Treasure’s property, convinced he is his father, he shows him his mothers letter. Mr. Treasure recognized the letter that Clark brought with him, and he and his family welcome the boy into their home with open arms. When Clark gets a visit from a ghost named Eric, claiming that he is Clark’s birth father and not Mr. Treasure, things start to get a little crazy. He must collect his real birth father’s inventions, avoid the army, convince everyone that he is a Treasure to remain in hiding… and on top of all of that, he is falling in love with Amethyst – Mr. Treasure’s daughter.

Whew. There was never a dull moment in this book. I believe that it may have been my first steampunk read, so I was a bit hesitant going into it. I worried that I would not understand everything, but after a few chapters I was more than okay.

First of all, the cover is stunning and the characters are awesome. Clark was an interesting main character that I highly enjoyed reading about. I liked that he was different from the Treasure family. He was always protecting and saving people. Then there’s Amethyst, who is pretty badass for a rich girl. She wanted to learn to use a gun and to defend herself. She was curious and wanted to go on adventures to learn more about what’s outside of her world.

I loved that Clark could confide in Amethyst. They had a very honest and open relationship. They made a great team. It was really odd at first when Amethyst kept coming onto Clark, because I honestly believed that they were related. However, once I learned the truth, I loved the relationship that had blossomed between them. She may have tried throwing herself at him, but for the majority of the book they were simply really good friends. More like partners in crime. Clark had known that there was a possibility of him falling in love with her, but of course everyone believed that they were brother and sister. This forbidden romance aspect made for an even more interesting read.

The more I think about this book, the more I like it. It was so different than what I typically read. In this world, people are not afraid to kill. They just get rid of the bodies and they move on. The action in Treasure Darkly was great and kept me on my toes throughout the entire novel. I highly recommend this book to those who want to get into the steampunk genre! I rated Treasure Darkly 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was such a delight to read and review this book for the author.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Clark has been running away from the army. Drinking a potion he thought was absinthe made him the biggest tool that army could use. He has the power to bring the dead back to life. And finding out he is the bastard son of Garth Treasure is just the leverage he needs to use to his advantage. Seeking the Treasures out, he thinks that being under Garth’s wing will protect him from the army. Little does he know that his adventure is only beginning.

A steampunk novel mixed with the Wild West, this book will be sure to satisfy your action expectations!

I was a little nervous going into this book. I’m not a very big western fan and on the other hand I know very little about steampunk. But there was just enough of each aspect that I didn’t feel scared or overwhelmed by it. It was a nice way to ease myself into new genres. I found the first couple of chapters to be a little slower, but from there the story really picked up the pace. I felt myself reading through chapters at a pretty quick speed. There were a few times where I would ask myself “why is this happening?”, only to have it resolved later on in the book. So it was nice that nothing felt strained or out of place.

The characters were very distinguishable. Each had their own views and attitudes and felt very thought out. In my mind it felt as though I could hear them each talking through the chapters, it really brought the book to life for me.

I look forward to more in the series to find out more about the characters and to see what kind of trouble they get themselves into next time!

4/5 stars from me!