Review: “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert

Ok.  So we have a main character named Alice and there’s a fairytale world, The Hinterland, that she has to find her way to via the Hazel Wood (Of course it’s to rescue a loved one.  I swear!  Why do you always ask questions you already know the answers to?)  But I know what you’re thinking, “Jaime.  This is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ retelling isn’t it?  C’mon.  You can tell me.  I won’t be angry.”

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Review: “City of Saints & Thieves” by Natalie C. Anderson

Tina’s mother was murdered and she knows exactly who pulled the trigger – Mr. Greyhill, her mother’s employer and father to Tina’s half-sister Kiki.  Since that tragic day, Tina a.k.a. Tiny Girl has been running the streets of Sangui City with a solitary goal – revenge.   By stealing for the local gang, The Goondas, she is able to scrape by and bide her time.  When a job opportunity takes her back to the scene of the crime, Tina is determined to finally exact her revenge on Mr. Greyhill.  There she is reunited with Michael, her childhood friend and Mr. Greyhill’s son.  With the help of Michael, Tina searches for the truth behind her mother’s murder and but she also begins to question whether or not she has her sights on the true killer.

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Review: “Starfish” by Akemi Dawn Bowman

“…you can’t spend your life trying to make a starfish happy, because no matter what you do, it will never be enough.  They will always find a way to make themselves the center of attention, because it’s the only way they know how to live.”

So let me get this off my chest:  I spent half of the book being angry for Kiko and I spent half of the book being angry at Kiko.  I realize that maybe I’m not being fair.  Kiko has not had an easy life:  She has a mother who is manipulative and verbally abusive, she suffers from severe social anxiety, and she was sexually abused by her uncle as a child (not a spoiler, even though they build it up like one.  The pervert uncle is mentioned in the summary).  Oh yeah, and she’s half-Japanese living in Nebraska, her father is pretty much absent and she is still pining over a boy who moved away 8 years ago (yup, EIGHT).  Let’s be honest:  Kiko is a hot mess.

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Review: “The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories” by Michael Andreasen

Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Edelweiss free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review. This book is scheduled to be released on February 27, 2018 by Dutton Books.

I enjoy short stories.  Short story collections, however, are always a gamble.  On one hand, if you chance an anthology containing stories of an already dear author (say Stephen King) you go into the ordeal knowing that you will be disappointed on one level or another.  Sure there will be a few brilliant stories but the rest just end up feeling like a chore.  On the other hand, if the compilation contains a selection of different authors, the chance of discovering that rare, new author within sometimes makes the work worth the effort.

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Review: “Over Raging Tides” by Jennifer Ellision

Arr! A hearty Thank Ye to Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Now, on we go!

Having recently read “Daughter of the Pirate King” by Tricia Levenseller I cautioned myself before digging into “Over Raging Tides”.

“Jaime” I whispered (I only speak to myself in hushed tones. It draws just the right amount of attention), “You just read a book about female pirates. Don’t you think that it might be overkill? That you might tire of reading about the swashbuckling, grog-filled, treasure hunting adventures of a posse of cussing, devil-may-care ladies who don’t need no man to get shit done?”

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Review: “Welcome to Night Vale” by Joseph Fink

My first introduction to the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast was through a friend (isn’t it always?).  I’m not really a podcast person but I found myself charmed with the 20-odd minutes spent with Cecil Baldwin – the voice of Night Vale’s community radio.  I was excited, therefore, when the book was announced.  I mean, quirky, supernatural, AND tongue-in-cheek?  What’s not to like?!

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Review: “Liv, Forever” by Amy Talkington

When Olivia “Liv” Bloom receives an art scholarship to the prestigious Wickham Hall, she never expects that her world will collide with Malcolm Astor – boys from distinguished, wealthy families like Malcolm Astor don’t mingle with plain, foster care rescues like Liv.  She also never imagines that only weeks after arriving at Wickham Hall she will be brutally murdered.

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