Retribution Rails

Secrets are like bullets. Ditto the dark, personal stuff. Folks say they’ll take’em off yer hands, share the burden, but really they just load ’em into their own weapons so they can use ’em against you later.

Title: Retribution Rails

Author: Erin Bowman

Series: Companion novel to Vengeance Road

Publication:  November 7th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

See it is an assumption universally made that any beautiful, brilliant, single woman who is rich as hell will be in want of a husband.

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Series: Standalone

Publication: October 17th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 240

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?


Thoughts and Feelings:

I’m going to admit flat out that I am not the biggest fan of the original Pride and Prejudice to begin with. I think it’s silly when it’s praised as a beautiful romance, because it’s not – it’s a satire on Austen’s society cloaked within a romance because that was the only way she could get it published as a woman at the time. Mini rant aside, Pride and Prejudice is amazing as a satire – and I love it as such. Melissa De La Cruz has taken that satire and turned it into a satire of that romantic satire, and it’s great.

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Taken by Storm

“I thought I might actually cry. That was so unlike me, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare didn’t get sad. She got mad. Or better, she got even.”’

Title: Taken by Storm

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: Raised by Wolves #3

Publication:  May 22nd 2012 by EgmontUSA

Pages: 314

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

In the eye of a storm stands Bryn, the alpha of the Cedar Ridge werewolf pack. She is young. Female. Human. Physically weaker than any werewolf, she could never survive a battle with another alpha, the strongest, fiercest, and canniest of his pack.  
 
Yet she cannot refuse a summons from the werewolf Senate. A rogue werewolf is attacking humans. The risk of exposure threatens to destroy pack life, and the center of the crisis is Cedar Ridge territory—her own lands.
 
Bryn has no choice but to attend the meeting, a gathering of the most powerful werewolves on the continent.  The subject is the rogue wolf, but Bryn knows the other packs want what she has. Her territory. Her females. Her pack. 
 
They want her death. 
 
Werewolf law prevents the other alphas from making a direct attack. It also prevents her former alpha, the mysterious and powerful Callum, from coming to her aid. But it doesn’t prevent Bryn from knowing what she wants. To keep her lands. To protect her pack. 

To survive.


My Thoughts:

This is it. The series finale to end all series finales. I know Taken by Storm has some hate, and I totally get it -this is not a happy book. This is not a happy end, wrap it all up with a pretty romance bow. This book is brutal, it rips your guts out. Taken by Storm is the epitome of a bittersweet end. It hurts, but you learn to live with it. It is so fitting, so perfect, for the world Barnes created with these wolves. Ugh, I love this series so much.

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Trial By Fire

“Hierarchy was like breathing: the only time you thought about it was when something went wrong.”

Title: Trial By Fire

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: Raised by Wolves # 2

Publication: June 14th 2011 by EgmontUSA

Pages: 357

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were.  With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.


A Gif List of Feels:

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Raised By Wolves

“Nobody knew what it was like to be torn between what it meant to be human and what it meant to be Pack better than me.” 

Title: Raised By Wolves

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: Raised By Wolves # 1

Publication: June 8th 2010 by EgmontUSA

Pages: 432

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two.  

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?


My Thoughts:

This is one of my favorite book series of all time. It’s not perfect, it’s not the best, but reading it is like coming home after a long, long time away. These books, Bryn’s story, is just so darn good. It pushes and pulls and takes from you until you’re not sure you’ve got anything left to give. It makes you scream and laugh and cry, really cry, because this series is the epitome of a bittersweet ending. I honestly don’t know why I reread these when I know what’s coming… oh wait, yeah I do, CAUSE THIS SERIES IS FREAKEN AMAZING!

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A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

“People got tired of mental illness when they found out they couldn’t fix it.”

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Author: Krystal Sutherland

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 5th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Pages: 256

Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them. 

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares. 

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • This book is unexpected, in a great way. It’s long for a contemporary, but also worth it? It sort of just… catches you by surprise.
  • It’s cute and also has its ups and downs. It’s more than a romance – it remains true to itself. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is a detailed story about mental illness without sacrificing the quirks that make it more than just another YA contemporary about mental illness.
  • I really love bucket list based books. There is something so fascinating about planning out your worst fears or deepest desires and then trying to follow through with them in some way. Plus, there is always another addition for the plot.
  • My favorite part of the book had to be Esther and Eugene’s relationship and her discourse on depression. It was simple, yet profound and accurate and it was refreshing to read.
  • The fantasy elements provided an eerie sense of magical realism to the novel – readers are left unsure of what is fact and what is made up… and it’s quite disconcerting in the best way possible for a book of this type.
  • One downside is the lack of concrete setting till about halfway through the book. I was very confused, which might have been intentional but I’m not really sure. I had a hard time placing the characters in the real world, or any world, really.
  • The characters and the exploration of mental illness, and the different kinds and ways it affects people on an individual type basis was handled well. It was detailed, informative, but not nuanced. Most issues were given the time and space they deserved.
  • The romance was super cute, enough said, right? CUTE! Just Jonah is precious and I love him and I kind of want one.


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The Book Jumper

“The paper slid smoothly over my cheeks and along the bridge of my nose until it covered my eyes. The letters were far too close up to read. They swam before my eyes, melting into an inky whirlpool. They swirled around each other; they changed shape. Words flexed and twisted apart to form bushes and foliage. And then they came pattering down like raindrops: a shower of words raining down on me.”

Title: The Book Jumper

Author: Mechthild Gläser

Series: Standalone

Publication:  January 3rd 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 371

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.


Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. Amy learns that she is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever the cost.
 


My Thoughts:

The above gif is a representation of me while I was reading this masterpiece/trainwreck/ amazing/ dissapointing adventure of a book. I have such a love hate relationship with this book right now. I WANTED to fall head over heels in love with The Book Jumper. I mean, the whole premise is a girl who can jump into the stories she reads. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I want to jump into my favorite books and meet my heroes, though I probably wouldn’t last a week. However, the amazing premise and original idea and execution couldn’t make up for the severe lack of character and world building.

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