REVIEW: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

*I received a free uncorrected digital version of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (I’m aware I’m very late in getting to it)

21524446Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Published: October 6, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Format: Ebook
Goodreads | Amazon

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

      A Thousand Nights is a beautiful story about a young unnamed female character who could not bare to lose her sister to the king who had killed 300 brides already, so she purposely made herself into a vision of beauty so she’d be taken instead. The entire tale is full of bravery, cleverness, and a strength that really brought the whole story together to make it feel as real as it possibly could. It’s infused with magic and love and darkness, though in the end, it all comes together.

The prose was elegant, and incredibly well done. The world-building was on point, too and very real (I assume, since I have never lived in a desert before). The desert tribes, their lives, were brilliantly written. I almost wanted to find one and join in! They work hard, they have tough lives, but they never complain and they are so strong. They sing and dance and have such lovely traditions, and they are incredibly wise from all that they have lived through. If our unnamed bride had not come from her home in the desert, I doubt she would have fared so well against the king. In fact, she probably would’ve died, but since her family had prayed for her since she took her sister’s place, she grew a strange power.

The King has a power too, though. It kills, and it destroys. He claimed at one point that they were the same, but she does not destroy or kill, she fixes things and tries to help to the best of her ability. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of her, but it became very clear early on that she is loyal, strong, brave, and clever. She was not bitter or angry with her life, even if her sister had a shadow she was supposed to live in.

      “I am not you,” I said to her. I was not bitter. She had never made me feel the lesser, and she had only scorn for those who did.

She couldn’t, for the life of her, allow Lo-Melkhiin to take her sister away when everyone loved her so dearly. She wanted to protect her sister, and her love for her was so fierce that she made sure she would be the one taken.

    “Lady mother, we must be quick if we are to save your daughter.”

My sister’s mother looked up and clung to the silk I offered to her.

“How?” she said to me, an I saw a desperate hope burn in her eyes.

Lo-Melkhiin took a little longer for me to really form an opinion on. He was cruel but clever, strong but weak in wanting power so much. He didn’t care about the lives he took, nor did he care that he took so many. He got power from it, so who was he to deny more? And yet there were glimpses of a kind man, of who he used to be. And it wasn’t until I read of how he was in the desert and came back changed that I realized what had happened. There were many twists that I did not see coming, and it kept the story fresh and me intrigued. I had a hard time putting the book down.

“It was never enough for me. I craved more.”

The magic never felt separate to the story, as it tends to. It was entangled in the stories told, entwined with each word spoken and unsaid, and it was a part of both King and unnamed bride. There were wonderful creations, lives destroyed, lives given back, and there was a strength that came from it. If Lo-Melkhiin decided to mess up the women’s crafts, she fixed it. If Lo-Melkhiin decided to make one of his guards carve stones with eyes that are wrong to everyone but him, so be it, but she will do her best to help the carver. And if Lo-Melkhiin decided to bring out his kind to take down many, she fought him until there was no more war.

The author did a magnificent job with this book, and I definitely intend to buy A Thousand Night and the companion novel when it comes out. This book is worth a re-read, which I almost never do. I definitely recommend reading it!

REVIEW: Playing Hearts by W.R. Gingell

29235125Title: Playing Hearts
Author: W.R. Gingell
Published: March 10, 2016
Format: Ebook
Goodreads | Amazon

It begins the way it has always begun: with a card on Mabel’s pillow. But Mabel has been in Underland–or Wonderland–before, and she’s not so anxious to go back. No matter what name it takes, Underland is always bizarre, always mad, always dangerous.
There’s the Queen of Hearts, terrifying, powerful, and possibly insane.
There’s Hatter, purple-eyed and undoubtedly mad.
March Hare has always been one sandwich short of a picnic, and Sir Blanc is missing his wits.
And then there’s Jack. Jack the aristocratic son of the Queen. Not quite mad, but not far off. Disinclined to help anyone but himself. A liar.
And, thanks to an ancient ceremony performed by the Queen, Mabel’s fiance.
Fall into the rabbit hole with Mabel as she climbs through tea-pots, battles the Jabberwock, and attempts to overthrow the Queen of Hearts herself.
Don’t lose your head.
And whatever you do, don’t be late…

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This is a lovely novella full of unique situations, great characters, and similarities to “Alice in Wonderland”. It was different in its own way though, despite the similarities, so I applaud the author for a job well done!

In the beginning, we follow Mable as she first visits Underland and is blood bonding to Jack at the young age of 3. We follow her journey all the way to the end when Jack is a month or so away from being 25. At first her visits are pleasant and happy, so she’s always eager to return, especially after she met Hater and Hare. But it gradually becomes a place full of terror as the Queen tends to love spilling blood when she’s bored. Mable’s presence leads to a rebellion, and when something terrible happens to a friend of hers, she swears never to return to keep them safe. However, the rebellion takes action.

I adore how the author wrote Mable’s gradual understanding of Underland. She goes from knowing how she gets there to figuring out better methods of visiting. Then she finds out she can see them through water, and then change things, and then hear them. She experiments with things until she finds out a new method of connecting with Underland, which I thought was well paced. Her voice doesn’t really change as she grows though, which was a little disappointing, but everything else that changed in her was well done. She takes action, finds out the truth, and she stands up for what she believes in, even if that’s freeing a bunch of prisoners or tricking the Queen.

Which brings me to the fight at the end. It was a little too lackluster for me, as it seemed so simple and made me wonder why Mable didn’t do it before but it was still good.

The pacing is fast at times, but it mostly maintained an even pace throughout the novella. I like how things happened and I wouldn’t change anything, not even to make something happen quicker or not at all.

The plot is great. Mable spends a large portion of the book learning things about Underland and herself, bettering her skill and getting stronger. She does that in multiple ways, whether it’s saving her friends from a creature or watching as things happen. This means that by the time she has to fight, she’s well prepared.

Overall, this novella is great, and I definitely recommend it to anyone.

REVIEW: Spindle by W.R. Gingell

*I received a free physical arc of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. (Sorry it took so long!)

Title: Spindle
Author: W.R. Gongell
Series: (Two Monarchies Sequence #1)
Publication date: August 10th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy. Young Adult

Synopsis [from Goodreads]:

She’s not a princess . . . but then, he’s no prince.

Polyhymnia is deep in enchanted sleep. High in a tower, behind an impenetrable barrier of magical thorns, she sleeps, dreams, and falls ever deeper into her curse.
Woken by a kiss, Poly finds herself in an alien world where three hundred years have passed and everyone she has ever known is dead. Luck, the enchanter who woke her, seems to think she is the princess. Understandable, since he found her asleep on the princess’ bed, in the royal suite, and dressed in the princess’ clothes.
Who cursed Poly? Why is someone trying to kill her and Luck? Why can’t she stop falling asleep?
And why does her hair keep growing?

Sometimes breaking the curse is just the beginning of the journey.

Format: Paperback ARC
Stars: 4.5/5

This book is incredible, as is the author. It took me far too long to finally read Spindle as I got much busier than expected, but now I have read it and I can say it’s definitely worth a re-read. I rarely re-read books.

The characters in this novel are so lovely you can’t help but fall in love with them! They’re well crafted, seem fairly real, and there’s this way about them that you just can’t ignore, nor explain. For one, Luck is far more than he seems. He’s not so fond of people (as was shown when he forgot about/ignored helping the villagers with their magical problems continuously [he’s the village wizard, as they call him]), is often in his own world (while he and Poly were traveling to his home he often had distant eyes and tended to ignore her), and seems to rarely care about those around him. However, he is extremely smart and always has a plan (he tricked Poly’s curse to wake her, and then fully broke it a long while after, as he did not wake her with a lover’s kiss as was needed), and he actually cares very deeply about those he considers family or loves (he did everything in his power to break Poly’s curse, as well as made sure she was safe and protected). That’s just one example of a well crafted and lovely character W.R. Gingell has created. And there’s plenty others to come, I’m sure.

I adore the world, the descriptions/imagery, as well as the plot. I admit, the story started off a bit confusing as we were immediately thrown into Poly’s confusion and lack of memories as the action happened around her, but it cleared up and we were left with a fantastically written world (shifting villages, houses that grew from nature and continue to, the Frozen Battlefield, The Forest, and the counsels: Wizard counsel, Black velvet.) with great descriptions. I honestly had a hard time putting this book down, and devoured 95% of it the day I started reading it.

I also adore how the author writes her curses. They’re never easily solved, and while they aren’t simple, they aren’t too complex either. I love how the curse needed a true loves kiss to be broken, and Luck was able to trick it and still wake her with a kiss without loving her. I also like how she kept falling asleep, and how the author went about writing it. It flowed well and I enjoyed the little things as much as everything else. I also love how a character hid magic and was able to get it back by travelling through certain timelines.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Spindle and I definitely recommend it!


REVIEW: Heir to the Crown by Ember Shane

*I received a physical copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Heir to the Crown
Author: Ember Shane
Series: (The Doyle Hawthorne Series #3)
Publication date: August 12th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis [from Goodreads]:
Doyle Hawthorne has two choices. He can sit idly by and watch his grandfather, fueled by revenge and hatred, destroy the world via a tidal wave of infection… Or he can form a temporary alliance with his nemesis in order to stop it…

Give him a minute. He’s thinking.

Heir to the Crown is the third novel in The Doyle Hawthorne Series and continues to follow Doyle and company as they navigate their way through the volatile atmosphere of royal subculture. Intended for audiences 18+ due to language and sexual content.

Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5/5
      Heir to the Crown is the third installment in the Doyle Hawthorne series, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I love the action, the writing, and I especially enjoyed how we got to read from multiple POVs: Chuck, Addy, Kai, and Doyle. I love this particular group of friends, and so delving deeper into their sides was something I liked instead of just endured. It wasn’t choppy or boring either; I was engaged the whole way through.
      What I noticed right away in this book, is how much Doyle has changed. He’s taken control and while he’s still fairly awkward about his position, he fits into it pretty well. He isn’t overcome by power or lost in greed, but he does take the action need when called for. In fact, many of the decisions he makes he thinks through, whether it has to do with his family, Addy, Chuck, or just keeping up appearances so problems don’t arise. He loses his composure some times, but honestly, with a bunch of people after you and another colony hoping to overtake the world with a vengeance plan, who wouldn’t?
“I don’t care. Leave. Her. Alone.” Doyle’s tone was a low snarl and I knew he was giving me a command as opposed to his opinion. [page 2]
      The next thing I realized is that this is probably my favourite in the series concerning romance. Instead of a more love-at-first-sight type of romance as we see in the first book, we really get to see the characters prove their affections and ease into a relationship. While they still struggle and have problems from time to time, it all comes together nicely and I was definitely rooting for a certain couple. It actually hurt my heart to see one particular character try so hard to fix his mistakes only to be turned down every single time. He’s changed too, but definitely for the better, as is obvious by the end.
      I can’t say much about the story itself as it would be considered a spoiler, and so I’ll just leave it at this: This series is fantastic, and I definitely recommend reading it. It’s full or action, romance, suspense, and zombies. What more could you want?

REVIEW: Hell Is Coming by N.P. Martin

*I received a digital copy from the author from a giveaway.

Title: Hell Is Coming
Author: N.P. Martin
Series: (The Watchers #1)
Publication date: October 24, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

Foster kid, Leia Swanson is eighteen and just getting her life together after a turbulent past that included losing both her parents when she was seven years old.

Then when people start turning into demons before her eyes and she feels a strange new power grow in her, Leia’s life begins to unravel, prompting her to visit her childhood home for answers.

Convinced a demon took her mother and killed her father, Leia soon uncovers her mothers secret past as a Watcher—a Nephilim demon hunter—and that she herself is also a Nephilim—half angel, half human.

When her twin brother, Josh is kidnapped and her foster mom is murdered, Leia is forced to enlist the help of her Uncle Frank, a man she has never even met before. Despite their rocky relationship, Frank agrees to train Leia as a Watcher and help her get her brother back while she tries to work out his shady past.

In the meantime, a powerful demon has been kidnapping Nephilim kids for his own evil ends, intent on unleashing a plan that threatens everything in existence.

Hell is coming for Leia and the rest of the world, but is she willing to give her life and possibly her soul to stop it?

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      Leia and her twin brother Josh grew up in foster homes due to their mother and father being killed by demons. No one believed Leia as she made her statement as a little seven year old though, and so she learned to keep her mouth shut. However, ever since turning eighteen, she sees things: the demons and their true faces even when they’re walking around in human bodies (which are called meat suits). She thinks she’s gone crazy. After following a trail her mother left her and scouring for answers, Leia’s world is rocked and hanging by a thread. Her brother’s missing, her foster mom is dead, and all she has left is the hope that an uncle she never met will help her fight demons and save her brother.
      If that doesn’t sound even a little intriguing, then you obviously won’t like this book as much as I did.
      I’ve actually had this in my possession for some months, and I have no idea why I waited so long to get to it. This book is amazing! It’s an action packed, fast paced, and full of supernatural creatures! It has great characters, awesome action, and a fantastic world!
      And so I’ll start with the characters.
      Leia is a great character. She’s strong, brave (so much so that she always gets face to face with danger), and yeah, she makes stupid choices at times, but she never gives up. She tries to, but she is always thrust right back into the action and realizes that she has too much to lose and she can’t stop now. She has a clear voice and I was rooting for her the entire novel. I can understand her character, why she couldn’t kill Kasey, why she let herself be tricked at times, because I feel like we really got to know her and that really helped. I can’t wait to see how she develops in the next book!
      Now Frank. After learning about his existence due to the trail her mother left her, Leia goes to stay with her uncle Frank. He’s a really great character as well. He’s strong, brave, kind, and while he doesn’t always show it in the best ways (he’s fairly awkward and anti-social around people, having been living in a secluded cabin for who knows how long all on his own with his only company a dog), he definitely cares about Leia. He helps train her and toughen her up, and I really loved seeing their relationship develop. And while at times anger and secrets were on the verge of breaking their relationship, Leia always came back because Frank is the only chance she has at getting her brother back, and Frank always let her because she’s family and he cares about her.
      Now, onto the world. It was infested with supernatural beings and I love it! There were clubs owned by demons in the ‘Perv District’, as they call it, abandoned houses where serial killer Vampires lurked in the basement, and even a place where vampires got high on human blood. It was weird, strange, and most definitely intriguing! All the normal places in our world, but instead of humans there were demons. Is that not a great world to read about? And I mean, obviously there were still humans, but the world seemed to almost be run by the supernatural, as they were everywhere and I love it! It was well written and I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.
Overall I love Hell Is Coming and I recommend this book to everyone, especially if you love paranormal, action packed, fantasy books.

ARC REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Expected publication date: September 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Format: eARC
Rating: 4.5/5

I knew I would like this book, but I didn’t know I would love it so, so much.


Because I felt with Maddy. If she was sad, heartbroken, happy, or even excited,  I was feeling it right along with her because the author did that great of a job bringing the characters to life. You can’t hate any of the characters (maybe his dad, maybe her mom). You can’t hate them for too long though because you’re so wrapped up in the romance and beauty of Maddy and Olly that you push the hate away to feel some of the love.

Actually, the romance left me feeling giddy because it was cute and sweet. Perhaps it could have been better (like all romances, let’s be honest here), but it’s pretty great just the way it is. I mean, I want my own Olly. Like, now. Pretty please? He’s sweet, and caring, and understanding, and he does some wicked cool things.

There’s also diversity. No conflict or anything, just diversity well handled. It’s fantastic!

There’s also graphics to go with certain parts of the book and I love them. They go with the story and help us connect to the story even more, in a visual way.

The only issue I really have with this book? It doesn’t come out until September. And I’m not exactly a patent person.

Overall, Everything, Everything is a fantastic book that I’m sure most everyone will love. I recommend it to everyone, especially if you love romances and books with great characters.


{It’s short only because I can’t express myself properly and this is what I got. Sorry.}

August TBR

These are the books I plan to read this month. If I can get through them all.

Xpresso Book Tours:




And, if all goes well, I definitely will try to read this one:

It’s a lot but I think I can do it. It all depends.

What are you guys reading?


BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Like Candy by Debra Doxer

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Like Candy Blog Tour. I received a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.


Title: Like Candy
Author: Debra Doxer
Series: (Candy, #1)
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult


Revenge is sweet, just like candy.
Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.
Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.
Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.
Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      I enjoyed Like Candy a lot more than I thought I would.
      Because It was so incredibly easy to fall into the story! When I started reading it, I only meant to read a chapter or two to get a feel for what I’d be reading the next day (because it was late and I needed sleep but I wanted to know anyway) and instead I’ve suddenly read six chapters and I don’t want to stop! (I did anyway, but I definitely didn’t want to.) And then I picked it back up the next morning and proceeded to finish it. Just like that. It’s because the writing flowed well the story hooked me easily.
      It was full of mystery, suspense, twists, and the likes. The mystery was who kept breaking into their home (even though they had an alarm set up and a locks), who wanted to hurt Candy and her father (because her father’s job is… sketchy), and who wanted to hurt Candy to get to her father (because of his job)? And then it turned to who is Jonah really? Because he’s obviously a pretty secretive person when it comes to himself, so why wouldn’t he be hiding something? Which brought the thought, who else is lying or hiding something? The suspense was trying to figure out who the person wanting to harm them was, what they would do next, and why exactly did they want to hurt Candy’s father. The twist was at the very end. Jonah’s secret, what he hid, wasn’t so shocking; the fact that people wanted to hurt her father also wasn’t shocking (because really, he kills people for a living. Who wouldn’t want to get revenge on him for killing their father or brother?); and the man’s identity (the one who wanted to hurt them) wasn’t so shocking either (because we hear of him, but are never introduced to him which inspires the question: why? And he’s good with computers, so who else could it be?). But it’s the fact that while her father was being chocked, she decided to do something her father never wanted her to do. And I won’t say what because it’s pretty much a spoiler, but her father was both disappointed and defeated in that moment.
      Like Candy also has a connectable female lead. Candy. And she is strong in the sense that while with her father she may at times back down, she always has a plan to try and get him to see her point of view, and other times she fights him until she no longer can. With others, the ones who betray her, back stab her, purposely try to hurt her, or just want to mess with her, she never lets them get the better of her without getting back at them. She always gets her revenge. She’s insecure in a way where at times she really does wonder if anyone can really love her. When she’s having a bad day or just feels like crap, she wears revealing clothes because at least no one will think she’s as miserable as she is if she looks good. Also, she’ll get attention, even if it isn’t the good kind. She’s kind because she feels bad for the kind boys who try to get with Parker or Lea and end up dismissed or hurt, she cares about her father even when he’s being nothing but cold and distanced from her, always worried about whether or not he’s in trouble, and she cares deeply about Theo and worries about him because of his chemo withering him away. She’s thoughtful in a way that while at times she may not always see it at first from other’s eyes, by the end she sees what they mean and puts herself in their shoes. She always ends up understanding or seeing why they might think or feel in that way. She’s also very eager for acceptance. She wants to please her father, to have him love her in an affectionate way although she knows he’s not like that. It’s rare to get a hug from him, and she feels alone because of that. If she is having a bad and just needs a hug, she can’t count on her father to comfort her. In fact, at times he tells her she’s being unreasonable or childish. She’s mischievous too, though, always quick to think up a plan for revenge. Her pranks are ones she thinks of quickly and can still pull off perfectly. She’s that determined not to let others get away with doing wrong by her.
      In this book, there’s a romance all girls yearn for. We all want that guy in our life who looks at us like we’re his world, the guy who’ll research places all night long just to find the perfect place to take us, the kind of guy who is a gentleman but also has a devious side to keep us on our toes, a guy who is nervous but confident, thoughtful, and always seems to know our thoughts and what’s best for us. We want the kind of guy we can connect with on a deeper level who will love us for who we are, even if we try to hide ourselves. And that’s what Jonah and Candy are, what they have. They get each other on a lever beyond one I can comprehend, and they just work. And while I hate that he lied to her and was at times pretty rude, I don’t want to see them apart. That’s how well the author wrote them; the author made us love them, rendering it almost completely impossible to hate them or think, I hope they ruin each other. I love it.
      The only things about this book I don’t like? The cliff hanger (obviously, because this book isn’t even published yet(or, it wasn’t when I read the book and wrote this review), so now I have to wait longer for the next!), and the utter importance for her to follow in her father’s footsteps. I get that she wants his love and acceptance, but to eagerly want to kill people? Even if you think they’re bad guys? Candy has a heart, a big, good heart. But her need to be like her father might ruin her. I don’t think she can kill someone in cold blood and then not regret it or relive it ever other moment after. And I don’t want her to have to.
      Overall, I really love Like Candy and so I recommend this to everyone. But mainly lovers of mystery and romance.

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.


August 3rd
Book Snacks
A Bookish Escape
The Boundless Book List
Evermore Books
Bad Bird Reads
Mortal Moments

August 4th
Books Can Take You There
Bookworm for Kids
Library of Books {Me}
Musings of the Book-a-holic Fairies, Inc.
Mama She’s Crazy About Books
Bibliobibuli Young Adult Book Blog

August 5th
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure
Book Briefs
Confessions of a Y.A. and N.A. Book Addict
Million Book Mill

August 6th
She Reads New Adult
The Angels Pearl
Biblio Belles Book Blog
Ali’s Books
Escape Reality with Books

August 7th
The Petite Book Blogger
BCS Reviews
Latte Nights Reviews
Book Fanatics
books are love

August 8th
Lekeisha The Booknerd
City of Friendship Fangirl
Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
Confessions of a Bookfreak
Marebare’s Book Shelf
Alexandra Florence Books



REVIEW: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Series: (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)
Expected publication date: August 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”

Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed

Heartbreakers CD… for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like…

Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Format: eARC
Rating: 4/5

If you like quick, perhaps slightly unrealistic romances, then this is definitely the book for you. And, it’s pretty much the perfect summer read.

I had absolutely no doubts about this book. Why? Because I was lucky enough to have read the first draft on Wattpad before the author even began the process of publishing it. I loved it then and I love it now. Sure, there’s instant love between Oliver and Stella, but it works. And they don’t get together right away. They have so many issues to go through first, considering he’s a famous singer in a band and she’s just a normal teenaged girl trying to get through life with her photos and sister who is a cancer victim.

      But that’s also why it’s unrealistic: I mean, she’s a normal girl, and he’s a famous pop star rock star, and they so happen to meet in Starbucks before his huge signing and they’re flirting, and then later that night she finds out they’re staying in the same hotel as her and her brother and the next thing you know, the whole band is in an elevator with her. I mean, he still gives her his number even after she yelled at them all in the elevator…
      So why, you may ask, do I love it so much if I hate instant love (as I have mentioned so many times before in other reviews)?
      It’s simple really. Why? Here you go: family and friendship. Those themes were abundantly clear throughout the novel.
      Stella’s sister, Cara, is horribly sick; she has cancer. And it’s pretty bad. Stella blames herself, wondering why she hadn’t seen the signs sooner, and so she can’t bring herself to leave her and go to college in another city; she’s too afraid she’ll miss something, that Cara will get worse and she won’t be there. But since their birthday is coming up soon, Stell and Drew have the best idea as to how to make Cara truly happy this year; get her a bunch of singed merchandise from her favourite band in the whole world: The Heartbreakers. And though Stella herself despises the group and their music, she goes on a trip with eh brother anyway because Cara is a die-hard fan of The Heartbreakers and it’s the perfect opportunity to get something Cara will definitely love and cherish.
      The fact that Stella decided to put her life on hold just for her sister is truly beautiful, because not many others would do that. She doesn’t want to miss out on Cara’s life in case there’s no Cara left to live anymore. And I adore that her and Drew care so much, enough that they’d drive hours away and wait another few hours in a line just to get Cara a gift signed by a band both Drew and Stella can’t stand. They sacrificed their ears (seriously, they hate their music) to make sure Cars would be happy.
      And that’s just family. For friends, wow. I adored the time Stella spent with the band. They were having fun!  Everything was so light and completely enjoyable. No matter what happened, you were left admiring how they formed such a strong friendship bond. Secret of life; people change people. And that shows clearly throughout the book as the band returns to their former glory (or, they’re starting to take risks to be who they really want to be) and Stella bursts out of the shell she cocooned herself in, in order to stay with Cara. She grows and becomes more confident in her work and being away from Cara.

     Heck, even Cara’s illness was a pleasure to read about! Sure, she was sick and so close to dying at times, but she was always so optimistic and full of life! She was never moody or brooding or just plain rude just because she was sick. She was energetic, bursting at the seams with energy that her body couldn’t seem to stand! She was a great character, and it was easy to fall in love with her, as well as the others.

      Overall, The Heartbreakers is a sweet, fun and light read that I definitely recommend. That is, if you don’t mind a good insta-love and slightly unrealistic story.