City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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5stars

I have one foot in winter and one in spring.
One foot with the living, and one with the dead.

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1

Number of pages: 285 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The way the city is beautifully described.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Well, now I must go to Edinburgh. I must! Last year I was contemplating going, but the only month I could maybe go was also the most expensive of it all. After reading this book, though, I just know that I need to find a way because that city sounds both magical and spooky. I want to see with my own two eyes these haunted places. The graveyard sounds promising for some ghostwatching.

I always enjoy books meant for younger readers because we don’t get the usual, often forced, love storyline. You get to enjoy the story and its characters and that’s it. It’s refreshing to stop worrying about who loves who, so my focus was all on the ghosts and on the very sweet main character, Cassidy.

Cassidy has a best friend who is a ghost! Can you believe that? Sometimes I think stories in my head that stay there, and one of them was about a medium woman who has a sort of sidekick best friend who was a ghost. Loved the coincidence, loved the story.

Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

Victoria Schwab writes in a way that keeps you glued to the pages. I wanted to read and read and read until I reached the last page, satisfied and extremely curious about what was to come next. That beautiful woman hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I doubt she ever will. A woman like that will have my attention and my love for years to come.

With the details that went into describing Edinburgh, I’ll be surprised if the readers didn’t want to go visit. This book will boost tourism, and it certainly will contribute to the growth of young readers. The description of every single place, and people, had me daydreaming of me one day walking around those same streets with a hot beverage in hand and my eyes sparkling with curiosity and delight.

This book is an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. The story is deep, emotional, magical, a bit scary but not much, and no matter your age, you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

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Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

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5stars

“Everything about us was entirely normal, really. We were as ordinary as anything we might come across in this world.”

Title: Wonders of the Invisible World
Author: Christopher Barzak
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s written in a very magical way. I loved everything about it.
Bad things about this book: I feel that this is a kind of narration that can be hard to get into.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’ll give it a chance if I were you.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As I thought from the blurb and from the first chapters, I really liked this book and how the story unfolded, circled back, flashed forward, backwards or whatever. It has that touch of magical realism, spells, curses, a world beyond the world, harbingers of death, mysteries, everything that I love. Peculiar and magical with a love story as sweet as honey, the perfect combo!

It was pretty weird and sometimes it could be hard to follow with all the dreams sequences and memories, but I found it fascinating, so I focused really hard and enjoyed the ride. Aidan is such a sweet boy, trying his best to remember what’s been forgotten, while experiencing feelings he thinks he is supposed to find wrong but instead come to him as easily as breathing and seeing the invisible world.

“Here they were, the people we were becoming, about to knock on our front door, hoping they could undo the mistakes we were making at that very moment.”

Jarrod is one hell of a supporting character; he supports Aidan in all his crazy life with such sincerity and love, just because he cares and wants to be with this sweet boy who sees what other people can’t. Aidan’s mother was a bit of a pain in the butt with all her evasiveness and half sentences, but Jarrod comes to the rescue every single time, and he stole, not only Aidan’s heart, but also mine.

I get sad when I see a low rating of a book I’ve loved, but I understand where they come from; this is the kind of book that you love or don’t understand its meaning or purpose. It’s weird and full of details many may find boring and unnecessary. But if you come to understand it, you’ll see how truly marvelous and magical this story is and you’ll love it. That’s what happened to me, and I hope it happens to many other readers who’ll decide to give this book a chance.

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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4stars

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Good things about this book: Superpowers!!
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary solutions to easy problems, in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It took me some time to get into the story and start really caring about the characters. It took me most than half of the book to see the light. But then I read the last chapters and was “wth did just happen?”. I also read the synopsis of the sequel and WHAAAT!! What is going on? I don’t understand. I feel that there is so much that was left untold but needed to be told. I expected more but I’m still giving it 4 stars instead of 3 because I admired the potential.

Ruby is a likeable character, not as clueless as I thought she would be about the outside life since she’s been living in a camp since she was 10. I remember being 10; I wouldn’t have recalled the name of songs, singers, movies, etc, 6 years since I last heard them. Surely not if I’ve been tortured at exploited in a camp. That left me puzzled, but my experiences aren’t universal so, what do I really know about what a 10-year-old might know and remember about the world? I’m giving Ruby the benefit of the doubt about that.

The details of this dystopian world (more like only the US, more likely) are enough to give us a panorama of what the hell went down when kids started dying and the ones not dying started developing superpowers. It was only too obvious that, instead of helping them understand and maybe use their powers for the better, the grownups were instantly drawn to the most violent solution: death or/and internment camps. I can’t say I was surprised. So obvious I just rolled my eyes and kept reading.

The other kids Ruby travels with have all deep history and detailed background. I loved how they weren’t just left there to assist the main character. They were part of the story as much as Ruby was. Liam, the heartthrob with a heart of gold, blue eyes and a smile that melts you. A rebel with a sense of guilt as big as a mansion. Chubs and his bad attitude and rudeness that were only the protective shield he “activated” because he cares about his friends. And little and sweet Zu; a tiny human being that has already being through things a kid should never endure in all their lives. Because nobody explained her about her powers and teach her how to control them. Things could’ve been so much easier, otherwise. I blame the adults, as usual.

As much as I read it almost without pausing because I was curious about how things were going to work out in the end, I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would have. But I definitely liked it and, after that hell of a rollercoaster of a last chapter, I need to know what it’s going to happen next. But the second book will have to wait. I have so many other books to read!

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Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Restless Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #1
Number of pages: 204 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I just love how this author tells stories.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, there are ghosts.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Stayed up until 2am to know how this was going to end. I was hooked. I love ghost stories and this one was great, worth of losing a few hours of my beauty sleep! I wish I’ve found out sooner about this series by the amazing Jordan L. Hawk; I’m happy I now have started it. The characters are diverse, they come from different backgrounds and they all have their own opinions, being them frustrating or totally reasonable. Being set in the past I knew there were going to be things that’ll anger me, frustrate me to no end, and there were. Oh my, I could have punched more than a couple characters real hard!

Vincent and Lizzie are a very peculiar couple of friends, each one of them with secrets well hidden. Vincent is dealing with an exorcism gone bad and he is struggling to live his medium life, and the consequences of his “medium block” might be the end of his and Lizzie’s job and economic stability. When the opportunity to earn easy money with a haunting present itself, Vincent is forced by Lizzie to help her. They will find that the case is not at all as easy as they thought it was going to be.

Enter Henry and his cousin. Henry was scammed by a fake medium and has devoted his life to use science to get rid of ghosts and spirits. He thinks every medium is fake and will never trust any more of them. But then he meets Vincent and everything he has vowed himself not to do, is hard to follow because the temptation of this man, so beautiful and flirty, is throwing him off his science path.

I had a very hard time trying to like Henry: from the high of his white privilege, he didn’t see how his behavior could damage the people around him. Let’s see how he acts in the remaining books to see if I like him or not. If he deserves to be with handsome Vincent or not. So far, he has only angered me. He may be sweet, and I know he now cares about Vincent, not only because of his appearance but also because of the man he came to know during their days in the haunted mansion.

The second book promises to be just as good. What will happen?? I need to read it as soon as I can!

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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

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3stars

Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Sophie Cameron
Number of pages: 279 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of potential and it reads easily.
Bad things about this book: Too many answers left unanswered.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was a cute little book. I was expecting a bit more, though. I kept expecting something more to happen and it didn’t. Maybe it’s just me but I felt something missing. Maybe I have to be the one filling in the blanks. Maybe it’s a lesson as to how sometimes it’s better not to know everything. Whatever it was, I still liked it a lot, the mystery elements surrounding the Beings and Jaya’s mission to hide and heal one.

Have you watched The Leftovers? One day a lot of people just vanishes, no explanations given, no explanations found. This book is a little bit like that. One day the Beings (angels) start falling from the sky; skin that shines like metal, blood the color of gold, big broken wings. They fall and they die because of the impact. And people, seeing as they are the usual stupid human beings, start cults, sell the feathers online for a lot, become not fascinated but obsessed. They see what they want to see.

Our main character, Jaya, and maybe a few others, are curious about the real mystery. Not when are they going to fall, but why are they falling. What is happening wherever they come from that it’s causing them to fall? They are not things to be sold, dissected and sold to be studied. They are humanoids, they have feelings, they bleed, so why are people treating them like objects to be earn money from? I hate them all; Jaya’s father, his obsessions, the Standing Fallen and their dumb believes, and the followers. So many “souvenirs”, restaurants, merchandise, depicting dead angels. Why? Because it sells, they gain money from it. It’s atrocious but so likely that it made me twice as mad.

A being that doesn’t die because of the impact falls right in front of Jaya while she takes her dog out for a walk. From that day, it’s just days spent feeding the female looking being, trying to keep her safe, healing her broken wing, and getting her back where she came from. There’s no final goal but that. I guess I just thought more things were going to be solved. Call me mad, but I was hoping the being, Teacake, was going to sense sickness and cure it. I hoped she was going to draw the place she came from, give some insight. I don’t know, I just feel that we were left with more questions.

Yes, I know, Jaya was having a lot of grieving issues due to her mother’s recent death and her girlfriend leaving, and this was also a journey for her to find some peace inside and out. But the beings were so important to the story that I was hoping they would’ve been of more relevance to the solving of all the little issues present in the story. Maybe I just went in with the wrong kind of expectations.

I would’ve loved an epilogue: I still think that some things were missing and maybe an epilogue would’ve helped. Cute book, though. A fast read.

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Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d watch the world burn if it meant keeping you safe!”

Title: Hoarfrost
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #6

Number of pages: 232 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how cute were the couples: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander.
Bad things about this book: It bothers me a little that Whyborne isn’t studying more spells. He doesn’t know how to do much!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t wait much longer so I started another one of Whyborne & Griffin’s book! I read there are going to be 11 and now only 9 are out. I read this one that is the 6th so I still have a few to read slowly. I’m going to miss them so much when it’ll all be over. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

Whyborne and Griffin are now happily married and are enjoying some time of peace, until a letter informing Griffin of his father’s death put him in a whirlwind of emotions and nightmares. He never reconnected with his father after he found out about his love for Whyborne and he doesn’t want his mother to leave this Earth without seeing her again. Then one day, his biological brother who works in Alaska, sends him a letter asking for help identifying a weird relic and our crew leaves Widdershins for a long and cold journey north.

This book introduces, for the first time, chapters from Griffin’s point of view. I liked reading his thoughts, his feelings, his love for Whyborne. I also loved how we now know what torments the poor man, why he continues having nightmares about that fire in Chicago and the creatures in Egypt. Griffin hasn’t got an easy life but his love and life with Whyborne has given him a new reason to live and to fight for what he has, no matter the consequences.

There are a lot of surprises in this book; new interesting characters, the obvious bad guys that you can see from miles away but it still surprise you a little when they’re revealed, and more whiny but adorable Whyborne. I just want to know why Whyborne doesn’t know more spells since he’s had that damned book for years. He should be the most powerful sorcerer of the world but he doesn’t study!! Pick up the book and do your homework, Whyborne!! I’m not sure I like what happened at the end of the book but I’m curious as to how that will change the following books.

I will read the next book next month. I don’t want get to a point where I don’t have more Whyborne and Griffin to read. I can’t have that!

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[ARC] Lock Nut by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

Did couples buy each other wedding presents, anyway? I mean, he’d be getting me, which some might say was quite enough to be getting on with.

Title: Lock Nut
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5
Number of pages: 330 (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 14th 2018
Good things about this book: Tom and Phil!! The ending!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes yes yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

I may have already mentioned it but I requested this book from NetGalley because I thought it sounded interesting and when I got approved and was ready to read it, I noticed it was the fifth book of a series. Bad luck? Au contraire, I’d say! This mistake made me discover one hell of a book series I have fallen in love with. There’s always room in my heart for more fictional characters to love and cherish.

This book was really sweet (besides the murders) and, surprise surprise, Phil wasn’t a bum in this one. After four books of him being the broody melodramatic man our Tom loves, I was ready to slap him if he dared do anything to upset my boy. He did, of course he did, but it wasn’t like in the first books when their love was just beginning. I forgave him almost immediately.

“You’ve got him well trained,” Dave said with a smirk.
“Too right. Want to see him come when I call?” I winked in case he hadn’t got the innuendo.

Cherry and Greg got married, left for Scotland for a pretty cold honeymoon, so now it was Tom and Phil’s wedding countdown. With only a few months to spare and a lot to plan, Tom is overwhelmed and overthinking. This led to some misunderstanding but not something to be worried about. Tom and Phil are super in love and it shows. There weren’t the steamy scenes we got in the first two books and I was weirdly okay with that, with only imagining how they had fun when nobody was around. I knew they were all over each other and that they loved each other so much they wanted to protect the other from harm.

There’s nothing easy about this protecting from harm business when they are always involved in murder investigations, though. First one man dead, then another, and Tom and Phil are once again among suspects they want to trust but can’t, seeing as it could lead to them getting badly hurt, again. Like that never has happened in the past.

Giving us a polite smile was a young man—early twenties, I’d guess—who set my gaydar pinging off the scale. So going by past results, he was probably happily married to his second wife and with a baby or six on the way.

I love the idea Phil has about Tom’s abilities being evolving because he’s using them more. I want him to stop thinking himself a fraud and try experimenting at home to see to what extent he can find what’s hidden. This will help him in the future and it will make their lives much easier when someone hires Phil for a job.

The ending was precious. Nothing over the top with forced tears or forced emotions. You find yourself truly invested in the lives of those two men and the feelings you are having are authentic. You are really happy they found each other again even if when they met at first one was the living nightmare of the other. The part where Tom reveals something hard about his past as a bullied boy, broke my heart. I think Phil needs to know this, not to make him feel guilty but I think he needs to know this part of Tom’s past. I think it’s important and I wonder why Darren, having witnessed the speech, didn’t say anything about it. I wonder if we’re going to come back to it in the next book. Because there’s going to be a next book, right? I need Tom in my life! I need more of him!

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