Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Agoraphobic: Inside Out by Sara Secora


Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for AGORAPHOBIC by Sara Secora hosted by YA Bound Book Tours and I'm pretty excited to be a part of it.

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below you'll find my review of the short story, the purchase links, author links, and finally the link to the rest of this blog tour if you fancy reading other people's thoughts on the book. Read on, bookworms!
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Rating: PG
Genre: Short Story
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 11
Stand Alone
Publisher: Kindle
Published: January 30th, 2017

28-year-old Kade hasn't been able to make it past his sidewalk in eight years. In this chilling short story, you will be given a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind as he goes through the process of trying to face his irrational, but very real fears. 

Experience firsthand what goes on in an Agoraphobic's mind and begin to understand the silent disorder that millions of people across the world struggle with.

Review:
PROS:
Source
1. I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to get from this short story since I haven't read that many of them but I was extra curious about it since it's written in a horror-style to describe agoraphobia. I imagine that it must be a truly terrifying experience for those who battle their agoraphobia on a daily basis and I really wanted to know more about the phobia, which was why I initially showed interest in wanting to read the short story. I was pleasantly satisfied with how the short story played out and while there's not much for me to review material wise, I still have a few thoughts I'd like to share with you all about this short story. Here's the review:

2. The story follows a 28-year-old man living with agoraphobia who has never stepped more than a literal fifteen steps outside of his home in years. The story starts off with the thoughts and emotions racing through Kade's mind as he begins his trek outside, determined to take sixteen steps past his front door into the outside world. While it's nothing at all to most people, Kade finds it as one of the most terrifying experiences of his life, the blood and adrenaline running through his veins, stirring panic and fear inside of him and consuming him as he fights to overcome his agoraphobia.

3. I loved how the story stayed focused on giving the reader the feelings and thoughts and levels of panic and fear for an agoraphobic mind. It allowed me as the reader to get a better sense of what goes on in the mind of someone with such an intense fear that I've never experienced myself. While agoraphobia affects people differently, Kade had a pretty severe case of the phobia and the writing kept a panicked feeling throughout the short story until the very end. Speaking of which, the ending was also satisfying, noting that every day is a new struggle for someone with agoraphobia and makes you meditate on what people living with agoraphobia go through.

4. I would totally recommend this short story to anyone wanting to know more about agoraphobia or simply to people who like reading about mental illnesses in general, especially those that are not talked about very much at all in YA literature. I really enjoyed this short story and I hope to see more from the talented author.



You Can Purchase The Book Here:
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About The Author:


Sara Secora has a passion for all things gamer and nerdy, as evidenced on her YouTube channel, AviGaming. She is also a well-branded voice over artist.

Secora has always been in love with writing, and nearly a decade ago, she finally turned her talents to the arduous endeavor of authoring an exciting fantasy trilogy. Her whimsical stories are full of enchantment, mystique, and insight—destined to intrigue readers of any age. 

Secora lives in Detroit, Michigan, where she continues to explore old and new avenues for her talent and hard work. 

Author Links:
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Song Of The Week #13


Hello, everybody! I hope you're all having a very lovely and happy March so far. I haven't had much time for blogging lately as I've been SUPER busy with life. Last month I had too much time on my hands and now I don't have enough. WHAT EVEN. I barely have time for reading these days, which I'm not too happy about, BUT I'm trying my best here!

I guess my first life update is that I'll be a little absent for the next couple of weeks on my blog while I catch up and recharge over the next few days with work. It's been a little tiring but luckily I have enough coffee to get me through. LOL!

The second life update I have is that I finally got over the cold I've had for about a week now. YAY, I'M STILL ALIVE. Not going to lie, it was driving me insane having to stay inside all week. I'm too outgoing for that. Anyhoo, that's about it on my front. I'm still very much obsessed with reading and Kpop, music and coffee, Oreos and everything related to eyeshadow so no need to worry! I'm still me. Still very weird and strange, but me nonetheless. Enjoy this week's song!


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Friday, March 3, 2017

Review: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe


Hello, everyone! I'm very exccited to bring you guys my stop on the blog tour for The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe hosted by The Audiobookworm.

I was sent a digital audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below is my review of the novel, the author and narrartor's links, and links to purchase a copy of the book should you fancy buying one for yourself. Party time!
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Rating: PG-13
Genre: Mystery
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 375
Stand Alone
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Published: November 3rd, 2015

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, she buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are covering up. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding.

Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.
 

Review:
PROS:
1. There was a lot about this book that caught my interest at first and I'm not lying when I say I was sold when the synopsis mentioned Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is one of my favorite tales to read and seeing as there are so many of them, I'm always on the lookout for any other books who tip their hats to the great detective. This one being set in 1907, before women had rights to vote, ankles were NEVER visible and makeup was scandalous, only added the cherry and whipped cream on top. There were so many elements that held my interest while reading the book and I'm excited to let you all know more about it. Let's get started.

2. I adored Anna's character. She was definitely a girl who didn't like being underestimated but also used it to her advantage. She was smarter than the men and women around her thought, cunning, mischevious, and had a good strong head on her shoulders that I found to be a very powerful character trait for a female lead. She was definitely the type of young woman who could handle herself well, fight her own fights, and maybe even start a few along the way. Trouble always seemed to find Anna as she begins getting wrapped up in real-life mysteries and crimes and she handles them with wit, grace, and even a little bit of laughter and a few smiles. She was a spunky girl that kept me entertained as the story progressed and I found myself wishing that Anna was a real person, thinking she'd be a very interesting person to talk to.

3. The setting of this book was just perfect. The descriptions strewn throughout the book never let you forget the time period with their old sayings, slang, figures-of-speech, descriptions of clothing, buildings, ways of travel, trends and so much more that were relevant in the 1900's. It was all so easy to picture in your head and it makes you feel like you're actually there in Los Angeles during that time period when so much change was just beginning to unfold and take place. Anna was a girl with impossible dreams that were unachievable for women in that time so it was a perfect setting and I applaud the author for having a beautiful writing style that fit the tone of this book.

4. Anna tests the waters of social morals and values and it made for a very entertaining read. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction but this one is pretty high up on the list of my favorites. It reads very easily, especially if you choose to listen to the audiobook which the narrator does an AMAZING job at telling! Her voice was clear, smooth, and had just the right amount of energy to really bring Anna Blanc to life and made it feel as if Anna herself was telling the story. The book had a very nice pace throughout and kept the energy it had from the very first page to the very last. I think Anna is a great example that even though you're a woman living in a man's world, sometimes it takes a woman to do a man's job. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:
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About The Author:


Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.



Author Links:

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About The Narrator:
Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She's won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible's prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”



Narrator Links:
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)


Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for THE SECRET BILLIONAIRE by Teymour Shahabi hosted by YA Bound Book Tours and I'm really excited to share this book with all of you lovely people!

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below you'll find my full review of this book, the purchase links should you fancy buying a copy for yourself, the author's links, as well as a GIVEAWAY! Yay! Hope you all enjoy this review!

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Rating: PG
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 370
Stand Alone
Publisher: PageWing Inc.
Published: September 29th, 2016

1960s — March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere... Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?
 

REVIEW:
PROS:
Source
1. I was first interested in this book when I saw the cover. It looked dark and ominous so it roped me in pretty quickly, making me read the synopsis and leaving me feeling like I just HAD to get my hands on it! I'm such a sucker for a good mystery novel of any kind really so this one was impossible for me to pass up. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book but I was a little surprised that I liked it more than I was expecting. Especially since I wasn't really in the mood for reading a mystery novel. I'm a mood reader so sometimes that affects my enjoyment of a book. Anyhoo, let's get onto the review!

2. The characters in this book were really well written and developed. Our MC Andrew didn't really belong among the crowd of rich kids and didn't pretend like he belonged either. He mainly kept to himself but made friends easily with Olivia and Cameron. I thought his character was very realistic and although he was a young teenage kid attending an elite school, he was smart, clever, and didn't crack under the pressure of not only being in a strange new place but also with unraveling the mystery of Lucian Baker and the lost fortune of Lyndon Surway. Together with the help of his new friends, Andrew takes on a pretty hefty task of solving this age-old mystery in a way that kept the book entertaining. As he learned the ways of the school, their traditions, the town, the people, it kept the story moving forward and made me get a little attached to Andrew as a main character.

3. The writing was also so well done. The descriptions the author gives made it feel as if you as the reader were actually there and it was detailed but not lagging or info-dumpy. The author has an amazing talent for character development and world-building and that's something I really appreciate, especially when it comes to this book. To be honest, the book didn't feel at all like a debut novel but rather a book written by an author who knows what he's doing. It's been a really long while since I read a debut novel that didn't feel like one with the way it was written. The story was fun and had a certain energy from the very beginning that hooked me in right away. Not to mention that the mystery surrounding the Surway fortune and the mysterious Lucian Baker had my head spinning with thoughts along with the characters. 

4. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel as a whole. The reason why I didn't give this book a five-star rating is because while I enjoyed this novel, the energy that we have from the beginning and middle of the book seemed to drop and slow down towards the end. It just didn't have that certain oomph that was present for most of the novel and it slowed down too much. I think if the ending had been a little more exciting, I would have enjoyed it more. It does also end on a cliffhanger that I have mixed feelings about but I haven't quite settled on a feeling about it. It had a good plot, great characters, an entertaining mystery, and had a good narration to it. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:
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About The Author:



Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris in 1985 of Persian parents. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He currently lives in New York City, where he's spent the last few years among serious grownups who probably have no idea he’s doing this. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book. 

You can watch (and help) him try to figure out writing and life at www.youtube.com/PageWingChannel.



Author Links:
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Book Haul & Wrap-Up!


Hello, everybody! Today, it's my favorite time of the month. When I get to share with all of you lovely people the books I acquired one way or another throughout the month. YAY QUE PARADE AND CONFETTI.

Now, this month I've been quite busy so I haven't had much time to read or even look around for review copies. TIME MANAGEMENT. Sometimes adulting is just too hard. Because I've been busy with life, I decided to take it easy with the book buying since I wasn't going to have time to read them anyway. I'm actually quite proud of myself for not having purchased many books this month, thank you very much. 

Next month probably won't be the same story but for now, I'm feeling good. Well, not really since I'm currently fighting a cold but YOU GET MY POINT. Here are all the books I read, bought and recieved this month! Followed by all the CDs and music I purchased as well because I have a music buying problem too. What is my life?
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REVIEW COPIES:
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BOUGHT BOOKS:
32075723009011302562481357613233231785

By Your Side by Kasie West -Barnes and Noble- $9.00
We Can Be Mended (Divergent #3.5) by Veronica Roth -Free With "Carve The Mark" Pre-Order

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WRAP-UP:
302354463011956331122208333766913323178532600071


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CDs/DIGITAL DOWNLOADS
Image result for you never walk alone bts album

LOTTO by EXO (The 3rd Album Repackaged) -Google Play- $5.57
You Never Walk Alone by BTS (Left Side) -Amazon- $31.99 (Included photocards, poster, and more)
Know-It-All by Alessia Cara (Deluxe Edition) -Thrift Shop- Gift from a friend
Flight Log: Departure by GOT7 -Amazon- $19.90 (Included photocards, stickers, poster, and more)

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So that's it! My haul this month is so small and cute, I LOVE IT. Have a good month everybody! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: The Last Shadow Gate by Michael W. Garza + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)


Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for THE LAST SHADOW GATEby Michael W. Garza hosted by YA Bound Blog Tours and I'm really excited to bring you guys my review for today.

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below you'll find my review of the book, purchase links, release dates for the future books in the Shadow Gate series, author links

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Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 264
Book #1 of The Shadow Gate Chronicles
Publisher: NeverHaven Press
Published: March 3rd, 2017

Summer vacation was never supposed to be like this.

It was bad enough Naomi had to be shipped off to her dad's home for the summer and deal with her half-brother Gavin, but when the siblings are forced to spend their break with their great-grandmother in upstate New York, everything changes. An investigation into the strange disappearance of their great-grandfather forces them to retrace his footsteps. They discover a gateway between worlds and encounter extraordinary creatures in a land where the people are desperate to escape the coming of a shade lord. To survive their adventure, Naomi and Gavin must settle their differences and find the elusive shadow gate that will take them home again.

THE SHADOW GATE CHRONICLES: 

Book 1: The Last Shadow Gate 
Book 2: A Veil of Shadows (Coming 2017) 
Book 3: The Shadow of War (Coming 2018)

Rating:
PROS:
1. This book sounded a little like NARNIA meets SPIDERWICK when I first read the synopsis. I love fantasy books that are filled with fun adventures so this one caught my attention pretty quickly. Not to mention that I was in a bit of a fantasy mood so the timing for this book was spot on and I'm really happy to bring my review of this story to you guys today. Here's the review:

2. Right off the bat, I really liked the characters. I thought Gavin was a very fun loving kid and had a bit of a thirst for adventure and exploring. Although his older sister Naomi wasn't as thrilled as he was about exploring, they both took it in stride and thought it was the perfect and only way of entertaining themselves in their otherwise boring stay at their great-grandmother's home for the summer. Of course, they quickly find out that there's an unsolved mystery surrounding their great-grandfather's disappearance and it's up to them to find the answers.

3. This book is a fast-paced fantasy adventure with a great setting and description of the world Naomi and Gavin discover. Filled with characters who are half horse, magical, half spider and much more, I thought it was really unique and tons of fun to read. There's definitely a lot of action strewn throughout the book that keeps it moving while also giving the reader enough information about the world and creatures who live there. It doesn't have any info-dump moments which I greatly appreciated but rather gives the reader basic information that's easy to understand to get the gist of what's going on.

4. The writing style is also very reader-friendly and is simple to understand and makes for a smooth reading experience. It has a bit of a classic feel to the story such as the feel you get from other fantasy books such as NARNIA and SPIDERWICK which is probably why this book felt reminiscent of those novels. The characters are realistic, especially the relationship between the step-siblings, had a few humorous moments sprinkled in for more entertainment, and had great structure, a good pace, and was overall a fun fantasy story that I think will capture many people's attention. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:
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About The Author:

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them. 

Author Links:





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