Review: Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House #2) by Kathleen Baldwin

Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House, #2)

 

It’s 1814. Napoleon has escaped his imprisonment on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And at Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, five young ladies are secretly being trained for a world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

Tess Aubreyson can’t run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Dreams bring nothing but death and grief, and Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her fellow students at Stranje House. Tess’s old friend, the traitorous Lady Daneska, and Ghost, the ruthless leader of the Iron Crown, have returned to England, intent on paving the way for Napoleon’s invasion. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?

 

REVIEW

This was an interesting book. Very unusual for me since I’m not really into historical books, but entertaining nonetheless.

I had some trouble at the begging, it was very hard to get myself involved into the story, mostly because it’s a second book in a series and I haven’t read the first book. I should have known the main characters from the previous book, which obviously I didn’t, and what had happen before to make it easier to understand what was going on. I still decided to keep reading and as the story keep developing it became easier to get myself into it.

The plot was interesting, I was a little indifferent to it at the start but as I keep reading it got better. The language seemed appropriate for the time. One of the times I disliked a bit about it was that the female characters seemed somehow older than they apparently were considering they were in a school. Maybe it got something to do with the place and time the story was set, but at times they just seemed much older to me.

The characters were a little bit underdeveloped, but I guess it might have something to do, again, with it being a second instalment on a series. I did enjoyed Tess and Gabriel’s relationship but I was underwhelmed by the romance part. I guess its ok since the book isn’t a romance. There was a characters I was most intrigued by and who I would love to know more about, Daneska seemed like the most interesting character for me, I’m not entirely buying her motives, I feel like there’s so much more about her to know.

Overall it was a good book, I might not too fond on historical books, but this was a really good one.

Review: Seven Cuts by Sam Tepes

Seven Cuts

 

When you can’t see through the dark there are no rays of light.

For as long as Adam can remember he has been a cutter.
But the pain isn’t enough.
Is it time to get something more?

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Self-Harm, Violence

 

REVIEW

 

I don’t know. It was just a no for me.

I’ve read another book from the author and I loved how twisted it was. This time, maybe the subject is just something I’m really not into.

I don’t know if the purpose was to create a sympathetic feeling towards Adam, but it just made the opposite for me. I felt extremely frustrated and enrage. I just couldn’t like him at all. Maybe it was just too real, because is this is not an unknown subject for me. Sure, the author made a great job getting some emotion from me, but maybe not the one that was being intended. Perhaps other readers would relate or care for Adam better than I did.

The book summary had some warnings, so beware before reading.

Review: Moonshine For Three by Lauren Gallagher

Moonshine For Three

 

It’s November, 1938. Prohibition is in full swing, and the California coast is lined with offshore casino boats looking to take advantage of the less restrictive international waters. Among them, the Miss Fortune, and that’s where Detective Paul Hansen’s headed tonight.

He needs to find Alice Durham because she’s his only lead on the whereabouts of one Robbie Parker. Paul is hot on Robbie’s trail because the man’s a bootlegger and a moonshiner—and Paul’s former lover.

He’s supposed to be investigating Robbie’s illegal doings, but Paul’s heart has never quite let go of what they had before, and instead, he wants to warn him that the feds are on to him. Robbie doesn’t trust him—why would a moonshiner trust a cop?—but Alice might be able to convince him to listen.

Assuming the three of them actually do any talking…

This 8,500 word short story was previously published as part of the Underground Erotica anthology.

 

REVIEW

 

This was a nice short story. First book I’ve read from the author under this pen name, but just as good as her other books. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I liked it.

The characters were nice. A little mysterious which was nice. I’ve only read MM from the author before and I thought I wouldn’t like the female character, but I was mistaken, she was very nice. It had an interesting plot, with great potential of so much more. It left the ending open to the reader’s interpretation.

The sex-appeale of the characters was great. There was some very steamy moments between the three.

Review: Just Another Season (The Blizzard Chronicles) by Avery J. Longley

Just Another Season (The Blizzard Chronicles)

Emma is just another sports reporter…except she hates sports. Ryan is just another hockey goalie…except an injury has his career in doubt. What happens when these two are forced to live with each other over the course of the year? Will it simply be Just Another Season or will sparks fly?

REVIEW

I enjoyed reading this book. It was very fun at some parts. It had a little bit of everything, romance, sports, family and fights.

The plot was nice. It had some conflicts but there wasn’t too much angst. I liked the beginning the most, I find it a lot more fun than the rest of the story. There was some humorous element that start fading as the story kept progressing, but still was easy to be interested on what was going on the whole time. A thing I disliked about it was the constant cursing used mostly at the beginning of the book, I was very glad that it was less frequent as I kept reading, but I don’t think most reader would have issues with that as much as I did. Perhaps it was appropriate for the subject of the story, but is something I have little tolerance for. There are some LGBT elements that I think were properly addressed but I guess I can’t say much without spoilers.

I loved the family dynamics that were shown in the story, it might be one of the things I loved the most about it. To see a very supportive family was lovely.

The character, well I have a lot of thought on them. In general they were nice, and there were so much characters with a lot of potential to be a MC. I’ll admit that I start reading without remembering the name if the male MC and every guy I found in the story seemed to be the one. I loved how it kept me guessing. I have some more detail thoughts on each of them:

Emma was difficult to understand for me. First she was so much fun and seemed so self-confident. But suddenly there was some shyness I couldn’t understand coming from her. And there was this over dramatic side of her that ended up making me disliked her.
Ryan was nice, sort of a perfect gentleman but not quite there. I had issues trying to get into his mind, I didn’t really perceived any feelings from him or Emma, which made it hard, for me, to really care much about their relationship
Luke was a great character. A little unpleasant at first, but I got to liked him a lot.
Trent was the one who got most of my attention, perhaps because of his contradictory way to act and because I truly couldn’t believe in him. I don’t think he was as nice as he seemed to be, there’s something about him I’m still trying to figure out. I did get mad at him because his constant intruding other people’s bossiness. Still I think he was my favorite character, is either him or Luke.

The siblings, friends and rest of the family, all great and a very nice supporting group of secondary characters that I enjoyed very much.

Overall an interesting story, I didn’t expect the ending, but I’m definitely hooked for the next one in the series. I do expect it to have a little more spotlight for another characters.

ARC provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Review: Self-Esteem for Teens: Six Principles for Creating the Life You Want by Lisa M. Schab

Self-Esteem for Teens: Six Principles for Creating the Life You Want

 

Blurb

 

Start feeling good about yourself! In Self-Esteem for Teens, best-selling author Lisa Schab offers six core principles to build a healthy, positive view of yourself as you face all the challenges of teen life.

How you feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life. When you have healthy self-esteem, you’ll approach people, situations, and feelings with confidence. You’ll have an easier time making friends, excelling in school, and interviewing for jobs. You’ll be able to see yourself more clearly—celebrating your strengths and accepting your weaknesses. And finally, you’ll be better able to accomplish any goal you set. This book can teach you how.

Self-Esteem for Teens will show you how you are in control of your own self-esteem. When you truly believe in your own worth, discovering and developing your authentic self gives you the power to feel good and succeed in any area of life. You can learn to turn any life situation into a positive one and see mistakes and hurdles as opportunities and challenges. You can develop inner strength and peace. And you can make choices in your thoughts and actions that lead to positive outcomes with friends, family, dating, school, jobs, and activities.

So, stop being unkind to yourself! Start cultivating a deep and abiding belief in your own self-worth. You can create the life you want! The principles in this book will show you how.

 

Review

 

This was a great book. It was organized in a way that was easy to know what to expect of it.

It used a simple language to explain its concepts.  I liked the examples it had, very appropriate for the age target, and the wisdom tales were so beautiful.

It was divided in two sections. The first one, core beliefs, oriented to understand where self-esteem comes from and how it’s in our hands. And the second, power-filled choices that helps to understand how to deal with the struggles we find in life. Each section contains principles that are very clearly explain. The way the sections were divided in learn, explore, become and affirm was very enlightening

 

Even though it was oriented to teenage, I think it can be useful, not only to that group but to any other readers. The examples and general language might be oriented to a younger public, but the concepts were universal and any reader can get great knowledge from it.

 

It was a very insightful book, I think it is important that the person who read it it’s willing to work and to deal with difficult emotions. It is not a book to be read in a hurry, it’ll take time and effort to get something out of it, but I think it can be very useful in someone willing to do it.

 

Overall it was is a good book, but its possibility of success remains in the hands of the reader. I would recommended not only to teens, but also to people who work with them, maybe in an educational, social or any other ambit. I also think any reader, regardless the age, can benefit from it.

 

*Book provided by NetGalley.

Girl Under Pressure by Michele E. Corriveau

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Blurb

Maggie Baxter has been keeping secrets for more than twenty years. They’ve taken a serious toll on her health and her marriage. Now the pressure of all those secrets is beginning to chip away at her sanity.
Maggie loves her husband, Alex, but she’s terrified that she will lose him and their children. When her past just included anorexia, stealing, and a mental institution, she had a chance to make Alex understand. But how can she explain rape, murder, and a pedophile? Every day she lives within a carefully constructed web of lies waiting for the perfect moment to tell Alex the truth. But perfect moments only happen in fairy tales and Maggie’s life is no fairy tale. The pressure is now so bad she’s beginning to hear voices.
When a tragic incident thrusts her family into the national spotlight, Maggie is forced to make a decision. If she tells the police everything she knows, all her secrets will become public knowledge. If she doesn’t, she will add another unbearable secret to all the rest. Maggie knows this could cause her to lose her last tenuous grip on sanity. Either way she knows she is going to end up in a very bad place.

Review

This was very interesting book. I think the blurb gives too much away, i had the book for a long time and i didn´t read the blurb recently, so it didn´t spoil it for me, but now seen it, it take some surprises away.
The story got my attention since the start, and it kept a realy good pace, alternates between past and present. I don’t think there was a moment were i lost attention, i think the author made a great job on that matter.
The conflicts the main character sees her self into, sometimes appear to be so simple, but she doesn’t have the ability to do things different to the way she is used to. Her emotions, fear, dispair but mostly anxiety, was so well transmited, i think that is one of the strong point of it.
I liked Alex too, sometimes he seem to be too perfect, but the events make him act different and made him more believable.
One issue i have was the fact that, sometimes, it felt like the person who telling the story was constantly changing and it made difficult to keep track.
Other than that, i think it was a really great book that makes a believable portray, not of a disease, but of the way a person and a family deal with a mental illnes, how hard, confusing, frustrating it becomes to deal with it.
It’s definetly not a happy book, but i think it’s an important one if the reader wants to have a better understanding of how a mental illness feels like.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

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Blurb

One school. Twenty voices.

Endless possibilities.

There’s the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who’s convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.

As he did in the highly acclaimed Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan gives us a world of unforgettable voices that readers will want to visit again and again. It’s the realm of possibility open to us all – where love, joy, and the stories we tell will linger.

Review

It was an ok book. I don´t like that much poetry and that was a big of a trouble for me. On other hand i found the character realy sweet and the stories they told, some also sweet and some kind of sad. I could´t care much for all the characters because there was  too much of them and that make difficult to make a real connections or get to fully understand each of them, mostly because some of them had very short chapters, but the ones that i got to love were so beautiful.  Other problem i had, but not with the book but myself, was the fact that sometimes it remind me too much some movies i have seen that have similar way to tell the stories, from the diferent points of view (like Gus van Sant´s Elephant and Murali K. Thalluri´s 2:37). Probably without seen this movies i would have had a better acceptance of the book. I do believe it was a good ook and i can see a lot of people loving it. It just wasn´t the right one for me.

Revisión

Fue un buen libro, pero no soy alguien a quien le guste mucho la poesía por lo cual fue un poco difícil leerlo.Algunas historias y personajes fueron muy agradables, pero también hubo algunas historias mas bien tristes, lo cual pareció apropiado. Algunos capítulos fueron muy cortos y esto hizo que, para mi, fuera fácil llegar a conocer realmente a los personajes, o llegar a sentir algo por ellos. Otro de los problemas que tuve con la historia, aunque no se cual vino antes, fue la similitud que tiene con algunas películas y series que he visto, en las cuales la historia es contada de esa misma forma, desde varios puntos de vista de los distintos personajes y poco a poco haciendo conexiones entre ellos. Probablemente si hubiera leído el libro antes de verlos, apreciaría un poco mas el libro.

Creo que el libro es bueno, simplemente no es el adecuado para mi, ya sea por la edad o por el la manera en que no pude evitar hacer comparaciones con las películas, pero en general creo que es un libro que puede ser disfrutados por varias personas.