Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Banish by Nicola Marsh

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Banish

Banish (Soul Retrievers #1)
Nicola Marsh
Published: 1st August, 2013; Rereleased: 26th May, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: YA Bound Book Tours

Summary:

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit… and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural…despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?

What I liked: I liked the way the story weaved together with its magic and mystery aspects. While, yes, there is romance in the book it is not the central focus of the story and is more of a side to it than anything (which is good for this book because I really think it would have just taken away from the actual plot of the story instead of adding anything to it), allowing the mystery that Alyssa gets swept up into be the part that was ever lurking and something that I looked forward to finding the end out. With so many Young Adult paranormal books featuring witches out there (which always tend to be a little more on the romance side than the mystery) it was nice that this book was so much more captivating than some of the ones I have read, and add in that the mystery was strong enough I wasn’t able to get things right when I did try to and it made for a good mix in my opinion. I also really appreciated most of the Wicca aspects to the story, especially when the religion was involved.

What I didn’t like: So for me, the romance didn’t work. The characters just didn’t really have that “spark” that goes off that gives the chemistry between two characters a more authentic and believable feel to it. So I just didn’t really get into their romance.

Overall Review: I feel like Alyssa was a great character, even though she was stubborn through many parts because she didn’t always want to believe what was true. This gave her a realistic quality in ways because it would undoubtedly be a little hard to believe at times. Her growth was a good thing to see in the book, seeing how the events changed her by the end. Despite a little drawback in the story it ended up being an enjoyable read.

Recommend?:Looking for a YA witchy read with mystery that might be interesting? Check this one out and see how it works for you!

Goodreads: 3.5/5 Amazon: -/5 Barnes&Noble: -/5

BookDepository | US Paperback | UK Kindle | UK Paperback | Kobo | iBooks

My Rating: 3.8/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 4
Idea: 3.7
Story: 3.8
Characters: 3.7

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!

Vanish

Vanish (Soul Retrievers #.5)
Nicola Marsh
Published: 19th May, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

Seventeen year old Alyssa Wood’s life is turned upside down when her boyfriend kills himself the day after she dumps him.
Blamed by the townsfolk of Broadwater and ostracised by her friends is bad enough. But the fallout from dealing with her mom’s increasingly frequent psychotic episodes sends her fleeing to New York City to live with her aunt, a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa doesn’t believe in magic, not any more.

She has a new life to lead: a new BFF in Seth and a major crush on Ronan, the sexy geek saxophonist who tutors music at her high school.

Can she leave her old life behind or will the ghosts of the past continue to haunt her?

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Check out the rest of the tour here!

nicola marsh

About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author and multi-award winner Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.

She has published 54 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.

Her YA urban fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won the 2014 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best Young Adult novel.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

GIVEAWAY*!

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*Books and Ashes is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or unreceived materials that you may win. Books and Ashes does not handle the materials, or have any input on who receives a prize. In the case of a Books and Ashes Sponsored Giveaway Random.org will choose the winner. US and international followers eligible where applicable.

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My So Called Afterlife series by Jamie Ayres

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18 Things

18 Things (My So Called Afterlife #1)
Jamie Ayres
Published: 24th January, 2012
Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Summary:

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled “18 Things”: eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.

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The Age of Alandria Series by Morgan Wylie

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Silent Orchids

Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria #1)
Morgan Wylie
Published: 5th May, 2013
American Majestic Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
From: YA Bound Book Tours

Summary:

A dying realm.

The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long?

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

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The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland

Book Reviews

Dragonet Prophecy; Wings of Fire

The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1)
Tui T. Sutherland
Published: 1st July, 2012
Scholastic Press
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Middle Grade, Young Adult
From: Purchased via Amazon

Summary:

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended…

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Revelation by Randi Cooley Wilson

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Revelation

Revelation (The Revelation Series #1)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 23rd April, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: YAReads Blog Tours

Summary:

A Divine Secret,
A Loyal Protector,
A Forbidden Love.

Eve Collins starts her freshman year at college blissfully unaware that one revelation will challenge everything she’s believed to be true about her family, life, and future, and right in the midst of it all is Asher St. Michael.

Mysterious and aloof, Asher is appointed to protect Eve at all costs. Bound by his oath of loyalty to mankind, loving her is forbidden.

Dark and enigmatic, Gage Gallagher may be even more dangerous to Eve than the demonic army that hunts her.

Caught in the middle of a centuries old war, Eve must choose sides knowing that the wrong choice will cost more than just her life.

Can Asher and Eve fulfill their destinies or will their love destroy everything?

What I liked: This story was rich and full of everything that it needed to stand out amongst so many other books I’ve read. Eve is a that ended jumping off the page for me. She was just so realistic, and relatable, and so incredibly different from other heroines who I’ve read about recently. She’s a girl who knew what she wanted, how she wanted to be treated, and she didn’t let anyone stand in her way it seemed like. She doesn’t just accept anything that changes instantly for her, she reacts, and does it in a way that made me think about how most people really would if they discovered something wasn’t what it seemed like. Not to mention the other character, they were all well written and didn’t just feel like stand ins to help the plot. They had depth and character and they were all interesting in their own way, even the ones who seemed a little off to me in regards to how they acted towards Eve. I also really liked the world building in this book. There was enough to keep me interested but not so much that I felt overwhelmed by it.The romance in this book was built up in a lovely fashion and I ended up adoring these two.

What I didn’t like: I felt it ended just a little strangely. It didn’t have enough “fall” to it at the end as I was expecting there to be. The ending has a rushed feel to it as everything spiraled towards the second book of the series. Even though its the first book in the series, I was expecting a little more from the ending!

Overall Review: This was a thrilling start to a promising series. With the twist that were put into place in this book it gave the entire story a different feel to it than what I had expected. The characters were great, and the romance between Eve and Asher was something that I really got hooked on. I can’t wait to see what the later books show in the build up of their relationship!

Recommend?: If you’re looking for a read that has a basis of mythology, with interesting twist, and characters you’ll really like, I recommend you check out Revelation and see how it goes for you!

Goodreads: 4.1/5 Amazon: 4.6/5 Barnes&Noble: 4.6/5

BookDepository | B&N Paperback | US Paperback | UK Kindle | UK Paperback | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

My Rating: 4.3/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 4.3
Idea: 4.3
Story: 4.5
Characters: 4.4

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!

Restraint

Restraint (The Revelation Series #2)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 22nd July, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A Forbidden Love Will Become Deeper.
A Loyalty Will Be Tested.
And Only Darkness Will Remain.

One revelation changed everything, turning Eve Collin’s world upside down. Now, she’s left to struggle with her identity and allegiance. Haunted by grief and tempted by her increasing attraction to her protector, will she ever truly be safe from enemies that refuse to give up?

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Redemption

Redemption (The Revelation Series #3)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 5th December, 2014
CreateSpace
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A Love Returns
A Loyalty Is Broken
And War Begins

For Eve Collins, darkness has descended after her love vanished into the night sky. A new protector has been appointed, one who challenges everything she’s believed to be true.

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Revolution

Revolution (The Revelation Series #4)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 31st May, 2015
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A King Rises
A Fate Seals
Realms Fall

Eve Collins has set in motion a chain of events that could destroy everything she’s ever loved. Surrounded by dangerous creatures, dark worlds, and the struggle to become who she was meant to be, Eve must complete her ascension and accept her destiny.

War has begun. Losing is not an option. With dangers lurking around each corner, and everything against her, will Eve sacrifice her own happiness in order to tip the scale of balance? Which side will rise to power, and which fall to fate?

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Restoration (The Revolution Series #5)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Releasing: August 2015
Genre: Supernatural
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

The fifth, and final book in The Revelation Series.

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Check out the rest of the tour here!

randi

About the Author

Randi Cooley Wilson is a “New Adult” Paranormal/Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets.

Links:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

GIVEAWAY*!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Books and Ashes is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or unreceived materials that you may win. Books and Ashes does not handle the materials, or have any input on who receives a prize. In the case of a Books and Ashes Sponsored Giveaway Random.org will choose the winner. US and international followers eligible where applicable.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Book Reviews

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Published: 7th April, 2015
Balzer + Bray
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age: Young Adut
From: Publisher ARC won via YA Romantics Freebie Friday giveaway; copy from NetGalley

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Content warning: minor sexual mentions Continue reading

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Book Reviews

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Published: 24th May, 2012
Broadway Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Age: Adult
From: Purchased from WalMart

Summary:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

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The Siren’s Realm by Megan O’Russell

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The Tethering

The Tethering (The Tethering #1)
Megan O’Russell
Published: 17th October, 2014
Silence in the Library Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
From: Xpresso Book Tours

Summary:

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover.

When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

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The Storm Siren trilogy by Mary Weber

SIREN'S FURY

Storm Siren

Storm Siren (The Storm Siren #1)
Mary Weber
Published: 19th August, 2014
Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: NetGalley; The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Summary:

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight…not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

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Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! by Kay Marie

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Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!
Kay Marie
Published: 18th May, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age: New Adult
From: YA Bound Book Tours

Summary:

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie, comes a new adult romantic comedy about a girl who’ll soon discover that some secrets can’t be kept forever, especially those of the heart.

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!

Confession #1: I’m a sex columnist. Hold on, that’s not really the confession. You see, I’m sort of a virgin…sex columnist.

Confession #2: I’m kind of in love with Bridget’s older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.

Confession #3: I’ve been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s my new roommate. So that night we’ve both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer.

And trust me, this is only the beginning.

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