MARIA’S APRIL WRAP UP (2015)

228198901. A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee ★★★★
Carter goes to a school for kids of the future that can time travel and read minds. When an explosion goes off at the Academy, Carter saves a girl by using his ability. Soon, he realizes that his powers are stronger when she is near. I have really been enjoying books about time travel. I highly recommend you check out this new author. 

120000202. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz ★★★★
I read this book in one sitting and loved it much more than I had expected! Both characters are very well developed and felt very real to me. Aristotle and Dante are extremely different, but become such amazing friends. I feel as though I learned a lot while reading this book. It also made me incredibly happy!

89091523. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★ REVIEW
Attachments is about a guy who falls in love with the a girl by reading her emails. It is a very light, funny read. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the things that Jennifer and Beth said in their emails. It wasn’t my all time favorite Rainbow Rowell book, but I loved it just the same.

115057974. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire ★★★★ REVIEW
Travis Maddox. What can I say? When I started reading this book, I thought that it was going to be dumb… But of course, I became enthralled with this bad boy like everyone else and ended up obsessing over this book.

157459505. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire ★★★★ REVIEW
This is the sequel to Beautiful Disaster. I picked it up immediately after finishing the first book, despite it being the exact same story told in Travis’s point of view. I grew a bit bored with the same dialogue, but also really enjoyed being inside of his head.

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6. Landline by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★
REVIEW
I am so glad that I picked this up! Another fantastic book about going back in time, or in this case – talking to your husband of the past through a magic phone. Landline has got to be one of my new favorite Rainbow Rowell books. I really loved it! I grew extremely attached to Georgie, the main character. This book made me THINK and FEEL a lot! I highly recommend it.

225572727. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ★★★★REVIEW
Such a thrill. I devoured this, not wanting to put it down until I had it all figured out. The main character, Rachel, is somewhat of an alcoholic who rides the same train day after day. She becomes fascinated with a certain house that she passes on her route, happened to be somewhere at the wrong time and ends up getting herself involved in a missing person case.

87095238. The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead ★★★★
It took me a little while to jump back into this vampire/alchemist world, especially since I haven’t been reading as much paranormal lately. Nonetheless, I always have so much fun while reading Richelle Mead’s books. So far, I don’t think I like the Bloodlines series quite as much as her Vampire Academy or Georgina Kincaid series, but that could change. I am excited to read the third book to find out more about Adrian and Sydney.
maria

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BOOK REVIEW : THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

22557272Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
336 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

The Girl on the Train is about a woman named Rachel, who takes the same train everyday. She finds herself staring out of her window, a gin and tonic in hand, observing the houses that pass. She becomes interested in one specific home, where a young couple are often found enjoying the morning with one another on the front porch. Rachel doesn’t really know these people, but she’s watched them for so long that she feels as if she does. When the woman goes missing, Rachel somehow becomes involved in this complicated case.

What made this story so interesting was definitely the unreliable narrators and the twisted plot. I felt so many emotions while reading this. I went from hating Scott, to liking him, from hating Anne to liking her, from liking Megan to hating her… As frustrating as the main character Rachel was, I always enjoyed reading from her point of view. She could seem a little crazy at times, but I still liked her character overall and I genuinely felt bad for what she had gone through. I sometimes questioned if what she was saying was true, due to her alcohol intake. I wanted so badly for her to remember the events of the night that Megan went missing, and hoped that she wasn’t to blame. Paula Hawkins did an incredible job at writing such complex characters. Every single one of them is extremely flawed and difficult to trust.

Not once did I have the ending figured out. The story flowed quite nicely and every plot twist had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I haven’t read a book that had me glued to every page like this since I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I think I may have been even more captivated by this one. After I read about Megan’s disappearance, I couldn’t put this book down until I had it all figured out. The Girl on the Train is worth all of it’s hype in my opinion. If you’re in the mood for a great thriller, be sure to pick this one up! 5 out of 5 stars!
maria

SERIES REVIEW: THE MARA DYER TRILOGY BY MICHELLE HODKIN

The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) ★★★★★
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2) ★★★★
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3) ★★★★
Source: Purchased
Spoiler free

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Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital bed, surrounded by her very worried family. She has no memory of what happened to her or of how she ended up in the hospital. Eventually, Mara learns that she was in a horrible accident, along with three of her close friends. A building collapsed and somehow she was the only one who came out of it alive. Her boyfriend, his sister and her best friend were very much dead. Mara has a really hard time dealing with this trauma and is informed that she is diagnosed with a post traumatic stress disorder. She moves to a new town in the hopes of getting better, but nothing helps her forget. Thing’s are hard for Mara Dyer. She has to be very careful and watch her behaviour closely to avoid being sent to a mental hospital. It’s hard to act normal when Mara has no idea what happened to her and the mysteries are only revealed piece by piece throughout this gripping trilogy.

The characters in this series are amazing.

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Mara is a beautiful, complex, confused young girl, struggling to understand what is wrong with her. As screwed up as she is, i’m really glad that she never let people walk all over her. This girl will stand up for herself and she isn’t afraid to have a little attitude either. I enjoyed connecting to a main character with so many flaws. Having a screwed up (somewhat crazy) teen as a protagonist makes it hard to know what’s real and what isn’t. As you read, you will ask yourself “Did that really just happen or is she having an other hallucination? Was it really her who did that?” Readers, you will be questioning everything about Mara Dyer.

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Noah. What can I say? He’s easily become one of my favorite male characters. Does anyone not love this character? Noah Shaw is dark, funny, handsome, respectful, kind, gentle (to name a few)… He is honestly the total package. Noah Shaw could make just about anyone fall in love with him, but yet he wants MARA DYER, the girl with problems. And he’s GOOD FOR HER, but she might be BAD FOR HIM. I loved his character throughout the entire three books.

Jamie is the best best friend that Mara Dyer could ever have. He is sarcastic, hilarious and always “tells it how it is”. I was so thankful that he was there for Mara through so much. Jamie added great humour to this series. I was so happy when he appeared in the second novel! Him and Mara made such a great team as the series progressed.

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The relationship between Mara and Noah is one of a kind. It’s not fluffy, nor is it easy. Both characters are dealing with major issues and are discovering what they are who they are. They go through a lot together throughout the three books in this series and Noah never once gives up on Mara. He wants to help her, to love her, and to make her life a little better. I really appreciate how respectful he is towards Mara. Not once did he try to pressure her into anything or disrespect her in any way. Don’t be afraid to pick this up if you aren’t a horror fan, because the romance aspect is truly wonderful.

Michelle Hodkin did a fantastic job at balancing the romance and the eeriness throughout the entire series. Some of the scenes in this trilogy really creeped me out, but it wasn’t exactly “scary”. Phoebee, a girl in the mental hospital, gave me the chills. For me, you can’t get much creepier than saying bloody murder and singing you are my sunshine. Oh, and I was glad that Mara’s weird doll wasn’t in MY room.

Michelle Hodkin is a brilliant author. I still don’t know how she constructed such a thrilling young adult book series. Her writing definitely does not fail at pulling the reader in. You are just as involved in the story as the main characters are, as they are also just figuring out the mystery as the story goes along. These books will mess with your mind and keep you on the edge of your seat. I am so happy to have finally found a YA psychological thriller book series worthy of that.

The SUSPENSE and the MYSTERY and the SUPERNATURAL and the ROMANCE was delivered so well throughout the three books. I just love it all so much. It is perfection in my eyes. The first book of the series was amazing (my favorite.) The second was just as addicting. The third would have been perfect if it wasn’t for one part that I disliked, but was still a great conclusion to the series. I am so happy to finally have the answers to my many questions regarding Mara Dyer.

I know that this review could have very well turned out being just a bunch of my ramblings, but I really wanted to share my love for this trilogy with you. I know that the Mara Dyer series can be a hit or miss for a lot of people. Personally, it blew my mind. If I could only recommend one book to my fellow paranormal romance fans, it would hands down be The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

Just to let you know, the Retribution of Mara Dyer is now also available as an audiobook from Audible Studios. I attached a clip of the audiobook below for you. I think that it would be a great audiobook to listen to because of the wonderful suspense.

Have you read any books in this series? Which one was your favorite? What are your thoughts on the series as a whole?
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