What I’ve Read Recently

aka the time I gave up on Monthly Wrap-ups


Last time I caught you up on my reading, I only had 4 books under my belt for February. Well that changed. A lot. Here’s a run down:

FEBRUARY

Speak, Memory

One of the 20th century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. 

3 stars. Interesting enough, but I could have lived forever without reading it and missed nothing.


99 Percent Mine

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers. 

5 stars. I never thought I’d appreciate my relationship with my brother even more than I already do, but thanks to Darcy’s twin brother, I’m eternally grateful. Jamie is a douche, plain and simple, except where Tom was concerned. Infuriating. Also, Tom and Darcy’s relationship made me dizzy, there was just so much emotions happening. One minute they’re on fire, the next you could get freezer burn. Idk man, but I loved every whiplashing bit of it.


Howl’s Moving Castle

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

4 stars. I really wish that I’d discovered this one when I was younger. I’d have been even more enamored with it and with fantasy on the whole.


The Girl on the Train

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

3.5 stars. Definitely didn’t think it would end the way that it did. Kinda wished for *more*. More of an elevated pace, more suffering for our perp. More. That being said, I really enjoyed our unreliable narration. She knew nothing and so you were always just at the edge of discovery.


Only Human

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

5 stars. I’m so sad to say goodbye to this series, but it ended just the way a series as odd as this should. We finally have a clear glance at the beings that built Themis and humans proved that we cannot be trusted with anything more dangerous than a feather. Honestly earth, get it together.


Up From Slavery

“Up From Slavery” is an autobiography of Booker T. Washington’s life and work, which has been the source of inspiration for all Americans. Washington reveals his inner most thoughts as he transitions from ex-slave to teacher and founder of one of the most important schools for African Americans in the south, The Tuskegee Industrial Institute.

5 stars. My goodreads review verbatim:


There is very little about this man’s life that I can relate too, I’ve been born in a time and place too far removed from his reality. But the things that I do connect to, resonate. 

To know that he came from such soul crushing circumstances, and still managing to have philosophies such as ‘cast your bucket where you are’, never let someone damage your soul by hating them, to help others (even when he barely had enough to help himself)…well, if it’s possible for him then it should be for me as well.

He inspires me to try to be a better me.

Every Day

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.


It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone A wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

3 stars. I definitely want to read the third book in the series (and skip book 2). I didn’t get overly attached to any character but the writing style and the overwhelming NEED TO KNOW kept me reading and will keep me coming back for more.

Coming up to a total of 11 books for February, matching January for a winning streak.

MARCH

On the Come Up

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Angie Thomas is a miracle worker. I don’t know how she does it, but she does it every. damn. time! Easily 5 stars again, but for a different reason than T.H.U.G is five stars. Where Starr’s story was one that could be glorified, Bri’s story is one that is often looked down upon, unless you make it like the Jay Z’s and Meek Mills of the world. Bri is a survivor, a hustler, a queen. Even if she makes some risky choices to get to the top. Read this. Anyone who appreciates the struggle that trying to provide for your family can put you through.


Siege and Storm

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

3.5 stars. Mal is still the idiot that I believed him to be in book 1 and Alina is still a questionable hero. But…the intrigue is real. I need to see this through and I need the world that Kaz and Inej live in to take full shape.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. 

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

5 stars. The way this book ended! Gah. I immediately needed book 4 and I feel sorry for all those people that had to wait for The Raven King to come out.


The Raven King

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

5 stars. I can’t believe that it’s over. Except, now we get a Trilogy of Ronan’s stories. Gah. Can I have it RIGHT NOW?!!! I love that it doesn’t end with complete devastation.


Meet Cute

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

5 stars. I already told you all how I felt about this one here.


What Alice Forgot

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. 

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

3 stars. Thoroughly underwhelmed. Read it if you want…but…you don’t have to.


The Serial Killer Files: The Who, Where, How and Why of the World’s Most Terrifying Murderers

THE DEFINITIVE DOSSIER ON HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS!

Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes theultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.

Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers—from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:

WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh

HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.

WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . . 
beyond the frontiers of madness.”

PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.

For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats— this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.

I don’t know how to rate this. Ick. So disturbing, but so good. If true crime is your thing…then pick this up!

Breaking the streak, but 6 is still quite a respectable number.


What have you read recently?

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Backlist Review: The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #ARC

The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. 
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. 
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. 
Understood? Then let’s begin…

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

 

 

Anonymous – Our main character’s identity is hidden for a large portion of the book so, for the purpose of this review, they will be referred to as ‘Anonymous’.

 

Anonymous is transported from one host to the other in a quest to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder which proves to be both a help and a hindrance to their efforts. Some of their hosts were repulsive and I would have been happy without having entered their minds or learning their backstory. With that being said, there was a very interesting mix of personalities, all focused on one singular goal. I won’t name my favorite or least favorite because that’ll spoil the lists of hosts and we can’t have that…

 

How lost do you have to be to let the Devil lead you home?

Anna – Because Evelyn’s character is off limits.

 

As a character, she played her role well. She disappeared and reappeared at just the right moments to leave you unclear about who’s side she’s really on. She’s that one variable that you’re never quite sure of because your mind is telling you to trust her but your gut is telling you to be cautious.

 

Too little information and you’re blind, too much and you’re blinded.

I can’t name my favorite or least favorite characters for the same reason I can’t name the hosts, but, if you’ve read it and want to discuss then my inbox/mentions/DMs are all open ^_^.

 

 

 Whoa, boy, does this one have a lot going on. On one level there’s the mystery of who exactly Anonymous is, which would have been intriguing enough of a novel idea. But then there’s the question of who’s on your side, trying to unravel the main mystery. And, of course, never forget that we have a murder to solve!

Life doesn’t always leave you a choice in how you live it.

Not every author can pull off such a balancing act, but Turton does it masterfully. Each level intrigues you so thoroughly that while it is at the forefront, you almost regret having to change focus. Almost.

The last time I entered this forest, my mind never made it back.

Aside from a well managed plot, it should be noted that this story is told in a circuitous manner. Every thing is connected and you relive the same moments over and over and yet, it manages to not be repetitious.

 

 

 This book was thoroughly entertaining, keeping you on edge for the vast majority of it, with a blend of characters that you both love and loathe.

Pity’s a fog to become lost within.

There are some possibly triggering topics in this one though, so if: mention of drug use, mention of rape or violence aren’t something that you can handle, then please take note. I personally try to avoid books with rape in them, but this one was fine for me. It was just briefly mentioned in conversation. Of the other two topics, the violence was the most involved and married to the plot.

What I liked:

 

 All of it! The. End. K, thanks, bye.

Characters: 4.5 ( -.5 for THOSE characters).

Mystery: 5

Thrill/Horror: 4

Plot/Reveals: 5

TL;DR: Read this if you don’t need a chronological timeline, don’t mind being in the heads of a slew of characters and want to be two steps behind at all times. Don’t read if…you hate being entertained? IDK…

Amazon: 4.1

B&N: 4.4

Goodreads: 4.01

My Rating: 5 (more like this please) stars

See you soon ☺️

ARC Review: Wicked River by Jenny Milchman

aka This some white people mess…

 


 

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Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.

As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.

Published: May 1, 2018.

 

The characters

 

 

Natalie

Oh Natalie…how I wish you weren’t so easily swayed, then none of this would have happened. You would have had a traditional honeymoon, with accessible communication, and warm beds etc. Instead, you get lost in the middle of nowhere with a madman on the loose. It’s your own fault! It was sad to witness how easily she gave in to Doug’s every whim, how much she leaned on him for every aspect of her life, to the point that she no longer even had friends in her corner. And she certainly didn’t question enough.

However, I can say that without this honeymoon from hell she wouldn’t have the very visible character growth throughout. She goes from someone who is unsure of their every decision, to a woman who is firm and independent and sure of herself. It’s a wonderful change.

 

 

 

Doug

Honestly, he is everything that I don’t like in male MCs. He gets his way, or no one wins. His friends are creepy, he’s creepy and he completely overpowers Natalie. Okay, to be fair, it is clear that he really does love her, but yikes, let up a little. I didn’t trust him from the very beginning, but he does make up for it in his defense of Nat.

He’s one of those characters that you have to give a chance before making a judgment.

 

 

 

Mia

This. Little. Girl. She is an eyeroll in human form. Honestly, youth makes you reckless and cocky, but Jesus! Mia is Natalie’s precocious (almost) thirteen-year-old niece; they both dote on each other and so she is the first one to realize that something is amiss with her aunt’s honeymoon trip. Unfortunately, she rubbed me the wrong way throughout the entire story, which made her vital role as a story driver a tad annoying for me. I could, however, appreciate the change in her at the end of the novel.

On the positive side, I can say that her determination to find Nat and Doug was admirable.

 

 

Kurt

There is so much wrong with him as a person. As a character though? Well done Jenny! He is just what you want an antagonist to be: unlikeable with a logic so skewed that you can’t help but wonder how they function on a daily basis. Yet their logic is almost always fully understandable if you put yourself in their shoes. When he goes into his childhood trauma, you can’t help but understand why he is so broken as an adult. I wouldn’t go so far as saying I want to save him or hug him because he took his childhood to an unacceptable extreme, but I understand. 

I could definitely have stood to have more time in his head, as creepy as it was to experience.

 

 

 

The plot

 

From the very beginning, the idea of this story gripped me. The idea of a couple of newlyweds going on an adventure to start their new life together and somehow having to fight for their survival is intriguing to me. I was curious as to how something goes so far left that returning to civilization is a question rather than a certainty.

The plot jumps between three different POVs: Natalie, Mia and Kurt, the most intriguing of which was Kurt’s. However, the three different narrators gave the story a level of uncertainty as, for most of the story, neither of the narrators was experiencing the same things. Mia was our lead investigator back in the real world, Natalie and Doug were preoccupied with surviving while Kurt was…Kurt.

As far as plots and the formula for a good plot goes, this one works. Every time you something major is about to happen you can feel it. The moments when you think things are finally working in our couple’s favor, your hope is dashed, and I LOVED it! All in all, I’m here for it.

That hidden element, the driving force behind choosing the Adirondack as a honeymoon location, caught me off guard. Guaranteed, you will be too because by the time it comes up you’ll be so focused on Nat and Doug’s race for survival. It’s like a little bonus plotline for you.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

 

 

Kurt is certifiable, and not a ‘haha he’s just a little socially inept’ way (not that mental illness is EVER funny), in a ‘this man has gone too far to see how wrong his actions are’ way, so the way his storyline ends is a little unsatisfying for me. I wanted him to suffer more than he did, live HIS worst nightmare a little bit.

I also need to mention that this is not a situation that I could ever see myself getting into. EVER! Like, no judgment to people who love camping in the middle of ABSOLUTE nowhere, but that ain’t for me. On top of that, for this to be your honeymoon plan? Nope. Next. Nah. Honeymoons are for enjoying each other, not expending your energy paddling rivers.

The writing was enjoyable enough, with some lines that made me want to make quote prints and hang them all over my room. You could get lost in this world if you wanted to, I think. I just wish there was more of the world to get lost in, and less returning to civilization. Civilization is not what I signed up for, give me more wilderness!

 

 


TL;DR: The idea is intriguing, so if you don’t mind having a particularly obnoxious thirteen-year-old as a story driver, then go right ahead. But, if you’re here for a wilderness survival thriller…be warned, it’s not all you’ll be getting. There’s duplicity, family drama and questionable decision-making throughout.

 

Goodreads: 3.66

BN: 4.5

Amazon: 4.1

My rating: 3.5 doing-too-much stars.

Series Review: Small Town by Jessica Edwards

aka the series that keeps you coming back for more.

 


 

 

 

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One night, everything changes for eighteen year old Alice. 
When the full moon invades Small Town, where a young innocent Alice Smith is ending her shift at the diner, she comes face to face with a big terrifying wolf. 
When the wolf attacks Alice and runs away, leaving only a single bite, she has no idea what troubles lie ahead of her. 
Could it have been that she was at the wrong place at the wrong time or the opposite? 
When the school’s most frightening gang becomes interested in her, they will do anything to find out the truth behind Alice, especially their leader, Ryder King. 
Alice wants nothing to do with Ryder but when the time comes, Ryder could be the only one who can help her survive….

 

It starts off crazy(!), with our main character being attacked by a rogue alpha. Oh child, I was hooked from there! Every paranormal/shifter story that starts with a rogue alpha never ends well for the rest of the townsfolk, and this one was no exception.

 

Anna is then thrust into a world within her world, with no time to adjust to this new reality because someone is going around killing innocent townsfolk. Is this plotline new? No, but the execution is done well enough that that doesn’t matter.

 

In the beginning, I was not sure that I liked any of the characters, but as the story progressed I became so invested in the investigation that I didn’t care if I didn’t have a favorite.

 

Why were these very specific people targetted? Could the killer be someone we’d already met? A part of Ryder’s inner circle, or some unnamed townie? Will Anna ever learn to be one with her wolf?

 

Then bam! Cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.

 

 

 

 

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With her mother now gone and her father’s still a no show, Alice is unprotected, vulnerable and alone. 
How will she manage to survive without her mother’s protection? Who was responsible for it? Is Alice the murderer’s next target? If so, who will protect her? 
With the murderer still on the loose in Small Town, Alice must be prepared to confront the dangers around her in order to keep those close to her safe again, but can she do it after the heartbreak, betrayal and the loss she has already endured?

 

 

*name redacted* is a predator (sexual and emotional, among others). That’s all I’ll say about that. Oh, and all adults in these books are incompetent. UGH!

 

Now that that’s off of my chest, let’s talk about book 2. So, we’ve found our killer’s real target: Anna. Still no clue whodunnit though.

 

The angst between Anna and Silver was understandable I guess: two hormonal teenage girls focused on the same boy, one booted out for the other. Yikes. I wished that it didn’t have to be like that, but…such is life sometimes. If this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, it doesn’t get much pagetime as Anna is so focused on learning how to control her wolf and find out who killed her mother that she barely looks Silver’s way. Plus Silver is pretty good at pulling disappearing acts, only being mentioned when someone notices that she’s not around.

 

Child, when we got confirmation of who the killer and rogue Alpha is/are, I was fistpumping because I had figured it out. Yes, I’m one of those weird people that get happy when they figure out the plotline (it’s even better when I have to work for it though). Now, it was time for Team Anna to prove it.

 

Big fight scene, a death and a major injury. Plus there’s a character introduction. But, bam! Cliffhanger bishes.

 

 

 

 

 

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The last thing Alice expected to see that night, was her father. 
The man himself who abandoned Alice, when she was only just a newborn.
It’s the first time, Mark Smith has seen his daughter in eighteen years, but he has no idea the reason why he’s been brought back to Small Town, and back into his daughter’s life. 
Will Alice be able to forgive her father for the pain and suffering he has caused all those years ago, or will she put her feeling’s aside, and focus on killing the murderer of Small Town instead?

 

TW: rape, talk about suicidal/depressive episodes, physical/emotional abuse.

 

We now know for sure who the killer is, but still no way to prove their guilt. Gah! I felt Anna’s frustration in this situation. Especially since Ryder and Max insisted on treating her like a fragile flower, not giving her the chance to defend herself or even letting her in on the plan. Obviously, that works out well…right?

 

 

I personally would not have let *name redacted* leave my sight, especially not so soon after discovering their treachery.

 

I don’t know if I agree with Alice’s decision to shut Mark out. Yes, he was an absent parent, but he deserves to know what happened to his wife. He’s bound to find out anyway, why not be the one to tell him? Be hurt, but don’t lose sight of rationality. Like, now is the PERFECT time to find out why he left, which she always wondered, and yet…

 

A lot of the time I couldn’t relate to the characters’ reactions. Things that I would let slide causes a huge blowout, and then times when I would throw down, nothing. This is especially true for Alice. I did finally understand why Silver became the person that she did. A tragic situation only made worse by poor decisions.

 

The last 75 pages or so weren’t my favorite, the feud between Max and Ryder became tiresome. Plus Alice gets mad at the wolves for not listening to Max’s side of the story, yet it’s what she’s doing with Mark. Girl!

 

Buuuuut, the final fight scene redeems it for me. And that cliffhanger!!!! Hello! It made me count the weeks until I could read book 4. (The mark of a good series in my honest opinion. It has staying power.)

 

 

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It’s my fault she died a year ago. 
It’s my fault I went out to the woods that night.
It’s my fault that her family suffered. 
And it’s my fault Kellan’s heart remains broken. 
She’s the reason why I can’t go on with my life.
She’s the reason why I can’t sleep at night. 
She’s the reason why I relive that night in my nightmares. 
And she’s the reason why her brother wants me dead.

 

 

Truth starts off exactly where Chasing the Alpha ends off and I’m even more confused this time around. Like, where did homegirl’s memories go? Or is this some kind of ruse to catch Max off-guard? What’s happening here?! Am I right to be worried for Max? All these questions had me fighting myself because all I wanted to do was skip ahead to get some clarity. It also made me wonder if this was Jessica’s way of introducing new mythical characters (witches/fairies) maybe?

 

What I did discover in book four was the fact that Ryder’s parents are awful! Even more so than when we learned that they blamed him for Anna’s death and basically disowned him. What kind of people could do something like that? Well the kind that we see here ( when you get to that point you’ll understand).

 

And, if you guessed cliffhanger, you’d be right! Gaaaah! What even?!!

 


 

CHARACTERS:

What I can definitely add as a positive to Edwards’ series is the fact that the characters have stayed true to themselves all throughout. I can appreciate the continuity because logically a person doesn’t change drastically over such a short time span (the books take place over a series of weeks).

 

Alice wasn’t my favorite character, but what surprised me was the fact that Max, who I started off hating and mistrusting, ended up being my most liked. I wanted more of his story/POV, which I got with book four (where is part two Jessica???? Don’t rush, but…hurry!) Unfortunately, he ends up making the same types of questionable decisions as Alice. Why won’t these characters learn to communicate? Quit withholding information and your lives would be so much easier.

 

The adults could use some work, Ryder could use a chill pill and Kellan could get some more airtime. Bane too, I guess.

 

PLOT:

These books were fast reads, that kept me engaged and constantly ready to reach for the next book in the series. The plot wasn’t overinvolved, so you don’t need to think too hard about what’s happening, but that’s perfectly okay. The fact that you needed to solve a murder and find a way to get justice for all those dead people was more than enough.

 

 

CRITIQUES:

There were the typical pitfalls of self-publishing which can be forgiven because when we’re our own editors we tend to miss things: specifically pacing and grammatical errors.

You know that trope where characters fail to communicate and thus causes everything to escalate beyond all control? This is that in series form, so if you cannot stand that trope please bear that in mind.

 

What I’m hoping for in TRUTH Part 2: Closure.

 

 

 


TL;DR

If you love paranormal romances, a bit of a whodunnit mystery and teens saving their own damn selves, pick these books up. If you can’t stand poor communication between your characters and sometimes questionable decision making, maybe give the first one a peek and decide if it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dee ^_^