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Book Review: A Real Kind of Love by Bella Jay

Self Published
Published Feb 11th 2019
143 Pages

Avelyn Russell didn’t do love. Never did, never wanted to and as far as she was concerned, never would. She lives her life proud to hold the title as the ‘break up queen’ and for never letting love get her caught up in being an advocate of false hope fairytales. But her extreme methods to avoid love are put to the test by the one person able to tap into her cold little heart and Avelyn has no clue how to handle it.

Dasiah Stokes – charming, handsome, and not afraid of love. The complete opposite of Avelyn and the moment he reveals his true feelings for her, she bolts leaving him to fight for their love. He’s willing to do just that – until he’s not, leaving them both to figure out if it is or isn’t the end of their love story. – Goodreads

*rolls up sleeves* Let’s jump into this.

The beginning took my breath away and that is because I thought the author was going in a direction I wasn’t up for. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case but it was a huge visual and a metaphorical foreshadow for what was coming. What I mean by this is do you know when people talk about anxiety attacks and they describe it was drowning because they is how they visualize it? Yeah, that is what kinda happens with that opening.

Moving forward, I hated Avelyn. She didn’t know what she wanted and she was okay ruining someone else’s happiness, life or moments because she was an ass. Yes, she has some issues . . . some deep deep underlying issues but man if Avelyn was a man, there would be pitch forks and mobs trying to kill her off. Also Avelyn was just mean to anyone that came her way when she wasn’t in the mood. Not a good look at all. It makes you wonder what Dasiah sees in her.

Despite my strong dislike for Avelyn, I enjoyed the book. I liked how it flowed with a purpose. Avelyn wasn’t written where she would be accepted for who she was. There was a growth and it was realistic growth. This was something I appreciated. Do I wish there was more details in regards to the methods she used to become a better person? Yes; I feel that they were a bit glanced over.

The romance itself was alright. I didn’t feel a spark for Avelyn and Dasiah but it was good to look at ;) I wished that I was able to read his point of view but I also wish that we didn’t jump into the middle of their relationship. It would have been nice to see that heat grow.

Overall, its a solid first novel in the series. It was a quick read that could have been a bit longer if certain things took its time.

3 Pickles 

Book Review: The Fading Dusk (Smoke and Mirrors, #1) by Melissa Giorgio

Self Published Published July 1, 2015
Self Published
Published July 1, 2015

17 year old Irina is a street magician’s assistant. The magician Bantheir saved Irina’s life from a homeless existence. So when he is accused of using real magic and murder, Irina cannot help but be shocked. If that isn’t bad enough Irina is arrested and charged as his accomplice.

Captain Leonid isn’t sure how to take Irina. Although he says he believes she has nothing to do with the murders or magic, he doesn’t believe Batheir is innocent. With no choice Irina must work with the police to provide the innocence of herself and Bantheir. But what at what cost?

This was an extremely frustrating read. What made it so frustrating was the fact that it was a good read. I really enjoyed it. But I didn’t enjoy Irina nor did I enjoy the nothing ness for most of the book.

Starting with Irina; from the beginning of the book and literally until she is slapped in the face with the truth, she praises Bantheir and everything that comes out her mouth is Bantheir. This was the most annoying thing any author can do when writing about a character. Irina’s life revolves around Bantheir, which is alright considering that he took her in when she was young and saved her from a much more difficult life. But Irina for most of the book, didn’t care what she did or said, who she put at risk as long as her beloved Bantheir’s reputation was not tarnished.

Most of this book takes place in the prison. Therefore, nothing happens for most of the book. Which is completely unfortunate because I love the premise of the book. I love the author’s writing style as well. But some poor choices was made. For instance,

Irina, the whiner, the selfish

Most of the book took place in a prison, therefore a lack of diverse setting

Semi-Predictability i.e. there were certain things I saw coming from chapter 2

These are some huge issues in regards to this book, but I was so intrigued by the other characters that I kept reading. Giorgio is a talented writer and I say this because she took the care to develop other characters and surprising villains. These characters was why I finished the book and I am really said that she gave a cliche main character.

I am looking forward to book two. I am looking forward to huge character development especially in Irina.


3 Pickles




NetGalley Review: Darkest Dawn (Willows Lake, #1) by Katlyn Duncan

HarperCollins Publishers, Carina UK Published Sept. 17, 2015 175 Pages
HarperCollins Publishers, Carina UK
Published Sept. 17, 2015
175 Pages

11 years after the death of her mother Sloane Baker returns to Willows Lake to discover the truth about her mother’s accident. What she isn’t expecting to find is someone that looks exactly like her. Brianna Taylor has lived her entire life in Willows Lake and her world has seemed safe and secure until she sees Sloane.

Unable to figure out how they are connected, Sloane and Brianna must find the truth about each other and find a way to save their life and the life of those they love.

Not a bad read. *Nods head in approval*  Let’s get straight into this.

Sloane is awesome; fierce no bull type of girl. Brianna is her soft spoken other half. I loved how the author showed this without having to say it.  Did Brianna get annoying after a while? Yes, she did. The author wrote her as this fragile girl that needs to be protected even from the littlest things. Not my cup of tea.

I liked the fact that author didn’t go with the most obvious reasoning for Sloane and Brianna’s existence. It minimize the predictability and it made me want to read the second book. I had some issues though with the surrounding characters. Their feelings didn’t seem genuine and in some scenes it felt like they were forced to be there.

The romance in the story could have been a lot stronger. Actually all the relationships in the story could have been stronger. Especially Sloane’s relationship with her dad. His appearance was lack luster, his “anger” or outrage was fake and I didn’t appreciate how the author made him come and go all within two pages.

The ending was a mess. It was like the author wasn’t sure how to end it since this was a series, so she gave the simplest ending possible. I wanted more much much more.

However, despite this I liked the book. The pace was great even though I would have preferred a little more action. I am hoping the author does more character development in the next book; not necessarily with Sloane and Brianna but with the surrounding characters.

3 Pickles


NetGalley Review: The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles, #1) by Farah Oomerbhoy

Wise Ink Creative Publishing To Be Published Aug. 15, 2015 488 Pages
Wise Ink Creative Publishing
To Be Published Aug. 15, 2015
488 Pages

16-year-old Aurora Darlington hasn’t had a life worth bragging about. Not only is she an orphan, she is bullied at school and hated by her Aunt and Uncle.

When she is kidnapped through a magical portal with mages, faeries and a evil Queen looking to kill her, Aurora’s old life isn’t so bad.

Determined to learn the truth of her past and take control of her future, Aurora must fight through ancient magic and a complicated political war.

Unexpected joy came out of reading this book. It was extremely perfect in every sense of the word. Let’s start with the pace of the novel. In every chapter there was something going on; this doesn’t necessarily mean heart dropping action on every page but what the author did was made it so you didn’t feel like something valuable was missing. No, this did not lead to predictability because there wasn’t any in this book.

I liked Aurora. What I loved about her was the fact that she was a 16 year old girl with a huge responsibility on her back. In most YA books it is hard to tell the age of the characters even though it is stated but the author reminded the reader that Aurora was a young girl not with reckless actions but with her frustration in not wanting to do things. I liked Aurora because she was smart with a mixture of rebellion. I didn’t even mind her getting into things she couldn’t finish because she was naive and again 16.

I like how the book didn’t solely focus on romance; it was there but it was done in a way that I appreciated. I grew to love Aurora and her budding romance.

I have no complaints with this book. I was not expecting such a well created picture with a simple and reoccurring theme.  This book is in its own category and it should be read by everyone who loves magic.

Looking forward to book two. Hope I don’t have to wait long.

5 Pickles

Book Review: Hereafter (Hereafer, #1) by Tara Hudson

         Harper Teen   Published Jan. 1, 2011             404 Pages
Harper Teen
Published Jan. 1, 2011
404 Pages

Amelia knows that she is dead. She also knows that she drowned. But Amelia does not know anything from her past life. When a boy name Joshua falls into the river, Amelia rescues him by willing him to live at this point her whole non living existence changes. However, things aren’t easy for the two as they get closer. Dark forces are after Amelia and the ring leader Eli wants Amelia badly.

I thought the concept of this book was interesting however it is just not my thing. A ghost falling in love with a human is really nothing new. However, in these books there is a light at the end of the tunnel; some way the two can be together on the same playing field so to speak. With this book I did not see no end. Amelia has been roaming for years with no intention of finding out is there something more or can she find out who she is. It isn’t until she saves Joshua’s life that all of a sudden she needs things now. No she does not have a desire to live at any point in the book. She just needs Joshua and the dark forces are stopping her from being with Joshua . . . also his Grandmother who thinks she is evil.

The author wrote the story well in the beginning but Amelia was just too one dimensional. After she meets Joshua she has this spunk, this fight that you would have never guessed she had before. It felt like it came out of no where. I guess you can say that it was a sign of her becoming more like her old self once she met Joshua but I wasn’t too okay with that route.

Also the love between Joshua and Amelia was way too easy. She’s a ghost that falls in love with a human almost the moment that they met . . .  no complications at all.

Overall the score of this book is: 2.5 Pickles

Book Review: Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

        Amulet Books    Published Jan. 1, 2013            371 Pages
Amulet Books
Published Jan. 1, 2013
371 Pages

Alyssa Gardner is the great-great-great daughter of Alice Liddell, the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. It is known that the women in the family are crazy but so far Alyssa has been able to contain that craziness.

That is until a routine visit with her mom (who is at an asylum) takes a turn for the worst and Alyssa discovers that not only is the family cursed but there is more to the story then what Lewis Carroll told and there is a way to break the curse on her family.

So down the rabbit hole Alyssa goes but wonderland is a lot creepier than she once read and in order to survive she needs her crush Jeb and a former childhood friend Morpheus, who is all grown up.

This story was creepy. Kudos goes to the author for freaking me out. The story was an awesome read. I was heavily invested into this story and I loved every minute of it. The details was perfect. The suspense and drama came towards the middle of the book, which was no problem at all.

However, I was pissed off. Jeb is controlling and Alyssa is an idiot. The only character that made sense was Morpheus. Alyssa is in love with Jeb. Jeb loves Alyssa but decides to baby her considering that her mother is in an asylum and Alyssa is emotional. Alyssa allows Jeb to control her every move when they are in wonderland. She doesn’t stand up for herself and she is constantly looking for Jeb to save her. Seriously! THE ENTIRE BOOK SHE REFUSES TO GROW A PAIR TO JEB.

I couldn’t stand their relationship and to be honest still don’t understand why the heck Jeb was in wonderland with her anyway. The only time Alyssa stands up for herself is when Jeb has been gone for about three chapters. My issue with this is Jeb is the one she should have stood up to. I couldn’t stand their relationship.

Morpheus was my man! Loved everything about his character; even though he was being portrayed as a villain in the middle and towards the end he was the most loveable character in the story. Everything he did had a purpose which is exactly how it should be.

One other thing I didn’t like about the book was this love triangle/final decision. Why can’t we get a story in which the female lead doesn’t have it both ways? It bothered me that Alyssa was able to get exactly what she wanted because to be honest she,one, didn’t deserve it and two, has responsibilities to take care of. This is why there is always a second book . . . because she’s not taking care of home.

Despite all of this I loved this book and it receives a 8 out of 10, which is pretty high considering I hated the main characters.

Love, Tanya