Stacking The Shelves (148) - October 31

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.


This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup

Title: This Ordinary Life
Author: Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Release Date: October 1, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around. 

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future. 

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her. 

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.


This Ordinary Life was just the book I was in the mood to read - not too serious yet not too light with a cute romance and lots of personality.

I was touched by how Jasmine took care of her brother Danny who suffered from epilepsy. And I applauded how well Jennifer Walkup educated readers on this type of condition. She didn't skirt around any harsh truths but at the same time, kept from diving in too deep. I can't say I've read too many books where not one, but two, main characters suffered from epilepsy and I love when books teach me something.

I also loved that Jasmine had a huge passion for radio and I was 100% behind her as she tried to pursue her dream internship despite the challenges her home life presented. It's fun watching an MC succeed at something he/she works hard for. Jasmine's dedication, positive attitude, and willingness to fight are just a few examples of why she is such an admirable and inspiring character to readers of all ages.

And I absolutely adored Wes, the love interest, who was sincere, funny, thoughtful, kind and all things good in this world. His attempt at courting Jasmine put smile on my face and kept it there throughout the book.  I especially respected the maturity with which Jasmine approached the Wes situation. She had just come out of a long term relationship, quite disastrously, and didn't want to move on to something else too soon. But what I respected even more was her honesty with herself when she questioned  whether or not she had the strength and courage to love another person with epilepsy. But these two were too perfect together to not be together...

This Ordinary Life was a quick read, which I think kept it from getting too heavy despite having a couple of more serious themes. The playful interactions with Wes and Jasmine's passion for radio also helped bring the mood up. Like I said, it was just the blend of feelings I was looking for and definitely a memorable experience. I easily recommend this one.


Beastly Bones by William Ritter

Title: Beastly Bones
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Source:ARC from BEA 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.


Fans of Jackaby will not be disappointed, Beastly Bones brings new adventures, eccentric characters, crazy phenomena, and witty conversation.    Jackaby's wild and unfiltered personality shines through the whole book.  His lack of social awareness and overall lack of politeness had me laughing out loud.  His eccentric personality is perfectly complimented by Ms. Rook's over thinking but strong personality. The character dynamics are one of my favorite aspects of the story.

The mystery afoot is a magical and supernatural one as expected and had me surprised until the very end.  The plot was full of action and adventure, never really slowing down in this quick read. There are a good number of characters introduced in this book, so make sure to pay attention, I did have to flip back a couple of times to ensure I had my characters straight.  Charlie, a character from book 1, does make a great addition to the cast of characters and I hope to see more from him in the future.  (Hopefully there is a book 3!) The reader even gets just a hint of romance!

Similar to Jackaby, Beastly Bones has a serious Sherlock feel to it but nonetheless is a fantastic read! It is a light-hearted fun mystery suitable for anyone wanting to laugh out loud while joining a detective and his assistance take on the unimaginable.


10 Perfect Reads for Halloween


Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer

Title: Hello?
Author: Liza M. Wiemer
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Source: BEA

Summary from Goodreads:
One HELLO? can change a life. One HELLO? can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).


Hello? was a book that hit me hard. The first character we meet is Tricia and she's fallen apart over the death of her grandmother. To say this hit close to home would be a sever understatement. I've mentioned before on this blog that my grandmother is my world and I can't imagine my life without her. Seeing Tricia grieve her grandmother was like looking ahead into my future and it was a pretty devastating outlook. But as tough as it was for me to start this book, my feelings are a testament to how honest the writing is. I connected with Tricia immediately.

Although I didn't personally relate to the other characters on as deep of a level, they were similarly real and I could sympathize with their struggles. Each character was going through something different and I was invested in their well being. This book really tackles facing your fears and trying to moving forward the best you can. It was about being honest with yourself and others. These characters all had a hard time of it but ultimately displayed so much strength that it was inspiring.

But what I thought made this book really special was how all of these characters connected and how they helped each other move forward. I wouldn't say every character lived happily ever after but there was hope and a positive outlook for each of them. I especially loved how Tricia and Emerson were brought together. It was a little storybook and a lot perfect. Hello? really celebrated life's mysteries and miracles which I found beautiful.  Like, I would like to think that my grandmother will always be looking out for me and I'll take comfort in the small signs, real or imagined.

I thought it was very creative that Brenda's chapters were written in screenplay format and Angie's chapters were written in free verse poetry. I don't know if I LOVED reading it this way but it definitely shook things up. This book was just so easy to read.

I think fans of contemporaries that have a bit of a darker focus but a lot of growth and healing will enjoy this one. There are so many diverse characters to relate to. I can definitely see myself revisiting Tricia's story to borrow some of her strength.


Stacking the Shelves (147) - Oct 24th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

What I'm Reading

What books are stacking your shelves? 


A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Title: A Madness So Discreet
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: October 6, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.


In my habit of not reading, or reading and forgetting, synopses, I didn't really know what I was getting into when I picked up A Madness So Discreet. I only knew that it was going to be good since Mindy McGinnis wrote it. And it was good, REALLY good. And so pleasantly unexpected.

Grace doesn't belong in an Asylum - she's there to keep her reputation in tact and hide a very dark family secret - but she prefers the harsh accommodations and mistreatment over returning home. So when a visiting doctor gives her an opportunity to escape her old life, she takes it, even if it means spending her days in silence at another Asylum and her nights mesmerizing crime scenes. I loved the profiling aspect of the murder investigation and how sharp Grace's character was. It was just yet one more thing to pull me into this story.

Grace went through a serious emotional journey over the course of this book, which is understandable considering what she's been through and where she was sent. She was pushed to the edge of her limits but was ultimately pulled back by those close to her, which I loved. And in the end she found her closure. Full disclosure, this book is dark and there were quite a few uncomfortable moments when we learn what happened to Grace and what threatened another character. But I'm not one to shy away from these kinds of stories and it always helps when justice is served in the end.

This book has such a wonderful cast of characters, both among the sane and the crazy, and I was interested in their well-being just as much as Grace's. I also really appreciated the mental illness focus because mental illness is something that is so easily misunderstood and often feared. And Asylum settings always add a certain creep factor to any story, and while the crazies and horrors were muted somewhat in this book, there were still a few scenes that gave me chills.

Really, this book has so much to offer a reader. It is very full and takes quite a few unexpected turns. The characters are wonderful and the suspense is at an all time high. I wouldn't expect anything less from Mindy McGinnis. A Madness So Discreet is definitely another hit.


First & Then by Emma Mills

Title: First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


This book was so easy to read with an undercurrent of humor and a fun Jane Austen meets Friday Night Lights theme. And it was undeniably cute.  Foster, himself, was a big reason for that, who was the kind of person who was easy to like without him trying to hard. He was completely unaccustomed to the attention he began to receive as Temple Sterlings new freshman varsity kicker, yet managed to stay true to his  quirky, unruffled ways. Devon and Foster's relationship was also great - initially she was unappreciative of him and often she was exasperated by him, but she was always protective of him and ultimately grateful for his new presence in her life. Especially since he was the reason she got to know Ezra better. Ezra, meanwhile, was a tough cookie to crack. He was kind and patient with Foster but closed-off to most everyone else. It took a while for Devon to crack his outer shell. In fact, it was downright painstakingly slow. But I thought Devon and Ezra were sweet together. . And I liked how Devon's feelings towards Ezra led her to realize that her feelings toward Cas were indeed just a silly crush.

But there was an off feeling about the story that kept me from loving it. I liked Devon well enough, but she never showed much emotion, which was a little unsettling to me. It was as if her personality was muted and this could have been because she was meant to be ordinary but regardless, I wish she had been a little more lively. The High School setting also didn't feel that real to me which could be contributed to the fact that I didn't find all of the relationships believeable. Too many went against the natural order of High School, which is sad but also true. But this was more of an observation than something that actually affected my reading experience because I still liked the relationships.

I think the very trait that made me like this story is the same trait that kept me from loving it - it's nonconformity. But this also feels like a "me" thing.

And at the end of the day, I enjoyed some of the messages that the author was trying to convey - about not being so quick to judge others and how we are all good at something, even if we seem completely average. I think many will enjoy this charming story, as many already have, myself included.


10 Wishes We'd Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is
"10 Wishes We'd Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me"

Nicole's Five Wishes

1. GIMME ALL THE BOOKS I WANT FO FREE. If this isn't on everyone's list it must be because you've got some serious dough. =P

2. SEND ME TO ALL THE AUTHOR EVENTS I WANT FO FREE. Again, I'm not made of money. That's why I have a big girl job and am limited to the Philadelphia area for author events. And  that big bully that is New York City takes most of the authors on tour. But wouldn't it be the dream to spend your days between books and bookish events. *happy sigh*

3. Bring Nikolai Lantsov to life and make him fall in love with me. Pretty sure this breaks two of the three genie rules (according to Aladdin) but the existence of genies breaks the laws of the universe so if that's possible JUST GIVE ME THIS ONE THING.

4. Make me like Celaena Sardothien. Or excuse me, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. Is this within a book genie's ability? I don't really know what I'm working with here...

5. Give me a Beauty and the Beast Library. I do need somewhere to put all my free books after all. See I can be practical.


Ashley's Five Wishes

1. Fantastic book to movie adaptions! I am not talking mediocre book to movie adaptions, I am talking just awesome rock star movies that truly do the book justice!

2. Awesome book to TV series.  While I do love movies, I actually might like tv series just a bit more.  I like the longevity and series aspect of tv, so I would love to see my favorite book series turned into well done tv series!

3. Automatic book organizer. I have my books shelved alphabetically and when I get a few too many new books I have to rearrange all my shelves.  Which I do not mind when I have the time to do so but when I don't have the time a magical book organizer that add news books to my shelf and makes them look good!

4. Beauty & the Beast Library.  While I do love our wall to wall bookshelves at home, I am with Nicole, I would love Belle's library!  A sliding ladder, yes please!

5. Send me to Hogwarts, for real though!   A magical, wizardy Hogwarts, with the floating candles, moving staircases, and of course Harry Potter! 

What are your top ten?


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 20, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?


I've always found alternate histories fascinating and the world in Wolf by Wolf was no exception. In Wolf by Wolf, Nazi Germany was never defeated in World War II. Instead Adolf Hilter is very much alive and has successfully conquered most of Europe, Africa and Asia. As a result, the Aryan race is at the height of society while all others have been oppressed to varying degrees. It was both a terrifying and interesting world to explore and the race was a great means to explore it. In glimpses, we see cities and cultures forever changed - some abandoned, some quieted - all according to Hitler's vision.

Yael, being Jewish, was sent to a concentration camp when she was just a little girl and experimented on until she developed the ability to skinshift as a side effect and used it to escape. Soon after she was recruited by the resistance and, fueled by those that she lost, spent the next 10 years of her life training to get her revenge. When finally given the opportunity to impersonate Adele Wolfe and assassinate Hitler, Yael thought she was ready, but she was never prepared for the relationships she would have fake, or the casualties that she might have to take, in her race to the finish line. The battle that raged within Yael was so well done. She hated these perfect examples of German-Japan dominance but at the end of the day these racers were somebody's family, friend, hope, and more. Despite what's been done to her and her people, her choices were never black and white and her conscience weighed on her.

But the fate of so many rested on her shoulders and that is why Yael did everything in her power to win the race. As a fan of competitions, I loved the unpredictability of the road ahead and the combined wariness and excitement over the obstacles she would have to face. There was no shortage of betrayals and close calls and I loved rooting for Yael through it all. The end did and didn't play out like I expected but I loved the surprises. I can't wait for the next book.

This book was almost impossible to put down. I thought about it all day at work and devoured it in matter of days. It was both plot and character driven with an interesting historical backdrop and touch of sci fi. I definitely recommend this one!


Stacking The Shelves (146) - October 17th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

Upcoming Reads

What books are stacking your shelves??


Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

Title: Last Will and Testament
Author: Dahlia Adler
Series: Radleigh University #1
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: May 19, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.


So, I pretty typically avoid New Adult books because I haven't had the best of luck with them. Whether it's true or not, I feel like the genre is oversaturated with plots about broken MCs saving each other with a heaping side of really great sex and that's not the type of story I'm usually in the mood to read, especially over and over again. I have enjoyed a few lighter, more fun-focused NA books, but I usually don't bother to weed those out. So, it's safe to say that if it weren't for my book club choosing this book as our September read, I probably would never have picked it up, at least not anytime soon. So I owe a huge thanks to Betty @ BookRockBetty because color me surprised, I really really really liked this one.

Something about Lizzie just spoke to me. Maybe it's because she was someone who didn't kid herself or others and I could see a little bit of myself in that. Whatever it was, I LOVED her voice. She was also fun, witty, sexy, strong, caring and REAL. Maybe she was also a little bitchy to those she didn't like but I appreciated her occasional verbal smackdowns. Life handed her a really shitty (really sad) hand of cards and yet she carried forward and turned her life around in a way that was really, really admirable. She did the best she could for herself, her brothers, and really grew up in the process. I loved her character ARC.

Connor on the other hand might be every book nerd's dream guy - nerdy, smart, kind, patient, vulnerable, sexy, and really great in bed (yes, I said that). I loved how he was there for Lizzie when she needed someone to be, but that he was real enough to freak out over the fact that she was raising two kids (and then get over it). He was such a great guy and unbelievably swoon-worthy. And yes, maybe he was her TA and 6-7 years older but it never felt creepy to me in that teacher-student-relationship way. Then again, I don't count a TA as a teacher. To me, he was a grad student and that is totally within relationship limits so I had no problem with their relationship.

This book was heavy, obviously, but it didn't have the same feel that I tend to shy away from in NA. Probably because neither character had that "broken" or "mysterious" feel to them. Lizzie lost her parents and she grieved but she also kept going. She was pretty damn normal. And there really weren't any typical tropes present - no miscommunication or self-made problems or weird attractions (like when a guy and a girl never talk but gravitate toward each other because they have the whole "damaged" thing in common). I'm probably being insensitive towards the genre - and I apologize for that - but I've had quite a few frustrating reads which makes me appreciate this one all the more.

I'm glad I read it and I'm definitely going to be reading more of Dahlia Adler's work.


Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack

Title: Sanctuary
Author: Jennifer McKissack
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Source: Copy provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (Thanks Scholastic!)

Summary from Goodreads:
After the untimely death of her aunt, Cecilia Cross is forced to return to Sanctuary, a rambling, old mansion that crowns a remote island off the coast of Maine. Cecilia is both drawn to and repulsed by Sanctuary. The scent of the ocean intoxicates her, but she’s also haunted by the ghosts of her past—of her father and sister who died there, of her mother who was torn away from her and sent to an asylum, and of the vengeful spirit of a woman wronged. Flooding memories leave Cecilia shaken, desperate to run away and forget her terrible family history.

But then a mysterious guest arrives at Sanctuary: Eli Bauer, a professor sent to examine Sanctuary’s library. Cecilia is intrigued by this strange young man who seems so interested in her—even more interested in her than in the books he is meant to be studying. Who is he and what does he want? Can Cecilia possibly trust her growing feelings for him? And can he help her make peace a tragic past and a haunted present?

Luminous and evocative, Sanctuary is a remarkable exploration of love and loss—and the ghosts that come back to haunt us.


Gothic, haunting, and eerie.  Sanctuary immediately draws the reader into the mystery of Cecilia's family mansion, Sanctuary.  Cecilia feels this un-explainable draw to Sanctuary's grounds, the sheer unusual circumstances of her return and the death of her family members peaked my curiosity.

The haunting beginning had me flipping through pages but the plot began to slow and focus on the budding relationship between Eli and Cecilia.  While the reader still slowly learns more about the underlying ghosts of Sanctuary, the details are blended throughout the pages filled with character building, romance, and descriptive imagery. The descriptive imagery paints an eerie yet hauntingly beautiful scene that slightly reminds me of older (not too scary) ghost stories.  Even though there are some evil spirits lurking around the grounds, Sanctuary is not horror story, at its core its a good versus evil story.

My main reservation is the plot pacing, the book started off with a fast paced plot that quickly slowed down until the last 40ish pages.  The last bit is where all the action happen but it felt rushed and underdeveloped. While I did not guess at the couple of plot twists, there was looming sense of deceit throughout the book.  The imaginative writing and haunting story came to a quick abrupt finish leaving me with an unresolved feeling.   Ultimately, Sanctuary is a shorter book with quick chapters, beautifully Gothic writing, and a haunted family ghost story.


Top Ten Author Duos We'd LOVE To See Write A Book Together

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is
"Top Ten Author Duos We'd LOVE To See Write A Book Together"

Nicole's Top Five

1. Jay Kristoff and Pierce Brown - I can't even image the shit that these two would come up with and how much damage they would do to my soul. They might be my top two favorite male authors so a bromance between them would be a dream come true.

2. Jay Kristoff and Ernest Cline - Yep, Jay Kristoff again. Yep, another dreamed-up bromance.  Can you imagine a book that combines Cline's geek-tastic stories with Kristoff's epic plotting? The world probably couldn't handle it.

3. Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard - So I know they have an online project for The Starkillers Cycle but I would die for an actual book from these two. Like seriously I would lose my mind over it.

4. Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo - These ladies' books are at the top of the fantasy genre. Can you imagine a collaboration between them? Oh, the imagery and action and wit and swoons.

5. Emery Lord and Kasie West - Emery and Kasie have become two of my favorite contemporary authors in such a short amount of time. I don't really think it gets much better than them but if they wrote something together? It might be the best contemporary book of all time.

Ashley's Top Five

1. Cora Carmack and Jennifer L. Armentrout - These two authors write some fantastic new adult books with s great balance of humor and steamy scenes.  I am sure they would come up with something fantastic together.

2. Meg Cabot and Megan McCafferty - Together these two could write an amazing longer series.

3. Taylor Jenkins Reid and Rainbow Rowell - The witty conversations and blend of slightly heavier topics - these two ladies could easily make a strong adult novel.

4. Maggie Stiefvater and Naomi Novik - Epic world building with beautiful prose without fail.

5. Veronica Rossi and Sarah Rees Brennan- I imagine an epic romance, epic world building and unique and funny characters! 

What are your top ten?


The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Masked Truth
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
In this heart-stopping suspense thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong proves herself to be a master of terror and suspense.

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.


This book was bloody brilliant. WOW. I could not read fast enough nor put it down. And my mind is still reeling from what happened. It was amazing and I loved it and everyone needs to read it.

Armstrong doesn't waste any time before kicking this story into high gear. The masked men show up on page 21 and it's all suspense, anxiety, uncertainty, anticipation, and other thriller-y goodness from then on out. Shit hits the fan around page 56 and that's when Riley and Max team up and begin looking for a way to escape. But even after they escape (it's in the synopsis so I didn't spoil anything!), they aren't safe and that was one of the things I loved most about this book. The last third or so was perhaps the most exciting as Riley and Max (and readers) try to figure out what the hell is going on. At this point, I really couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I was so curious and really had no idea what was to come.

I LOVED the incorporation of mental illness into the story. I think that is a large part of what makes this book so brilliant and why Armstrong deserves a HUGE pat on the back. Not only does having unreliable narrators add to the suspense - at times I questioned everything and found myself preparing for reality to turn on its head - but Armstrong simultaneously highlighted some very prevalent stereotypes and prejudices. It was so incredibly well done and relevant and eye-opening - seeing what individuals with these conditions might go through and how the world might react to them. Everyone can learn something from this book.

And Riley and Max... these two were incredible. Just good human beings through and through. I was so easily pulled into their struggles - their voices rang so true - and amazed at how they approached  and dealt with their situations. And together - they just melted my heart. I wouldn't say there is romance in this book, not really, but a relationship built on trust and understanding and desire does develop and it is so freaking beautiful. They are definitely going to stay with me for a while. I love them.

This book is perfection. On the surface, it was a very well-executed thriller with ample amounts of action, mystery and suspense. But then there were the layers and layers of depth that gave readers a very real glimpse into mental illness, human nature and choices. I'd have to agree with Danielle @ Love at First Page and say that this might be one of the best books I've ever read, especially in this genre. It easily deserves every one of those 5 stars. I'll leave it at that.

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