‘Rise of the Chosen’ by Anna Kopp

Title: Rise of the Chosen

Author: Anna Kopp

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Zombies 

Format: eBook (I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Description (Source: GoodReads):

In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the blood lust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

Overall Assessment:
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It wasn’t your typical “zombie” storyline, which I appreciated. I was also surprised at the f/f romance. Not in a bad way,  but just an ‘oh, ok then’ kind of way. Just a head’s up for those of you who need it. 🙂 I will definitely be picking up the sequel, as this ended on a pretty big cliffhanger. I’m excited to see what happens to Sam.

Rating:

 

‘Taking on the Dead’ by Annie Walls

Title: Taking on the Dead

Author: Annie Walls

Genre: Horror (I guess?), Zombies, Romance

Format: Audio and eBook

Description (Source: GoodReads):

Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed.

She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It’s the only way to survive. The only way not to draw the living dead. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes. Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes that the world has moved on without her. Only it’s not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread. While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever. Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles. In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, it is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.

Overall Assessment:
Meh. I’m not sure what else to say overall. I was very underwhelmed. I’m sure I’ll read the next two books eventually, but I’m in no hurry.

Rating:

 

‘Dark Before Dawn’ by Monica McGurk

Title: Dark Before Dawn: Book Three of the Archangel Prophecies

Author: Monica McGurk

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Format: eBook (I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Description (Source: GoodReads):

It’s darkest before the dawn . . . and that can be very dark indeed.
Twelve years have passed since Hope Carmichael helped fulfill the ancient prophecy that permitted the Fallen Angels to return, forgiven, to Heaven. Now a lawyer at twenty-eight, Hope—along with a resurrected Michael, the archangel who loves her—has been presented by Heaven with a choice: one that could either result in Hope never seeing her family again, or the world losing its greatest angelic protector. At the same time, Hope’s young sister Aurora struggles to help a school friend resolve her dark personal issues, all while being observed by a sinister adversary from Hope’s past, working on a plan for revenge that may soon plunge the entire extended Carmichael family into tragedy.

Overall Assessment:
So this review is a little different. I read the previous two books and to be honest, I didn’t really like them. I won’t post the reviews here for the purpose of brevity, but the links to my reviews on Goodreads are here –> (Book One: Dark Hope; Book Two: Dark Rising).

Why did I read the third book in a series I didn’t like so far, you ask? Oh, just because I have a crazy compulsion to finish a series. After the first book I had hoped the second would get better. It didn’t. I disliked the main female character intensely. I begrudgingly chugged along through the second book like I did with the first. When I was provided the third book I almost dreaded reading it.

I’m so glad I read it. One of my biggest gripes in the first two books was the immaturity of Hope. This book picks up 12 years after the second book ends, which gives way to a much more mature Hope. She is no longer the whiny teenager and has blossomed into a successful and thriving adult. I know there are many similar reviews to mine about the first two books so I wonder if the author may have taken the criticisms to heart and used them to create this book.

Rating:

 

‘Devil You Know’ by Max Henry

Title: Devil You Know

Author: Max Henry

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Description (Source: GoodReads):

I should never have jumped that fence, and I most definitely should never have kissed her. Living on the streets, I had to make some hard decisions to stay alive. I signed a contract with the devil, and because of that, I choose to live alone. But after listening to my neighbors fight every night for years, it’s finally gotten to me. Now I’ve gone and done it – I’ve broken my only rule—never get involved. I want to save the beautiful woman next door with the sad eyes from his abuse. I want to take her away from all of this, but what do I have to offer when my hands are stained with the sins I’ve committed? How can I offer a broken woman peace and safety when those two things don’t exist in my world?

Overall Assessment:
I liked it. It was steamy read, but deals with issues such as abuse which added depth.

Rating:

 

‘Mechanic’ by Alexa Riley

Title: Mechanic

Author: Alexa Riley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Description (Source: GoodReads):

Everything was fine until that innocent little rich girl walked into my garage. Since the second I laid my eyes on her, all I’ve wanted to do is get my dirty hands on her pure body.

There’s one minor obstacle standing in my way, but I’ve got a plan. All I’ve got to do is claim her, and she’ll be mine forever.

Mechanic by [Riley, Alexa]

Overall Assessment:
I deserve this for buying a book by it’s cover. The book had good reviews so I decided to give it a chance. I really do not understand all the good reviews. My standards are not high in this genre; I’m not reading romance novels for depth and self-actualization. I only need something to entertain me without making me feel like I am a witness on Law and Order: SVU.

Rating:

 

‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian

Format: Audio

Narrated by: Amanda Dolan

Description (Source: GoodReads):

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Overall Assessment:
This was a really fun read and I read it quickly because of that.

Rating:

‘Cinder & Ella’ by Kelly Oram

Title: Cinder & Ella

Author: Kelly Oram

Genre: Chick – Lit, Fairy-Tale Retelling, YA Romance (no dirty scenes)

Format: Audio

Narrated by: Kirsten Leigh

Description (Source: GoodReads):

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her-her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. … Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement-or his fake fiancée-but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Overall Assessment: A different spin on ‘Cinderella’ than I’ve ever read before. It was enjoyable and maintained a sense of lightheartedness, even when dealing with heavy issues such as suicide, bullying, and physical disabilities.

Rating:

‘Keep’ by Kaye Blue

Title: Keep (Romanian Mob Chronicles #1)

Author: Kaye Blue

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Description (Source: GoodReads):

HER:
I thought the only thing I feared was living another day in the hell my life had become. But when I looked at his hulking, tattooed body, the icy brutality in his eyes, I realized I was wrong.

HIM:
Familie. My clan.
I’d fight for it, kill for it, die for it. It’s all that matters to me. But her innocence, only barely hidden by thick layers of makeup, the curves that her tight dress can’t hide, calls to me.
So I’ve decided to keep her.
No matter how deadly the consequences.

Keep (Romanian Mob Chronicles Book 1) by [Blue, Kaye]

Overall Assessment: decent, but predictable

Rating: 

How I Do Book Reviews

I started this blog because I wanted to have a central place to post my thoughts on the books I have read and/or want to read and to connect to other book enthusiasts like myself. I love listening to audio books too, they are the best for commuting and cleaning.

I am a busy person, but I read or listen to between 60-75 books a year (on average). I work full-time, I have two young children (5 & 7), I am married, and I’m addicted to Netflix binge watching so sometimes I don’t read as much as I would like. I am starting the blog by posting a few book reviews I have already done on Goodreads or NetGalley; I will try and update as I read, but sometimes that just won’t happen.

I have a general format for books that I like to follow below:

Title:

Author:

Genre:

Format: (eBook, physical book, audio, etc.)

Description: The source will either be from Amazon or a short description from myself. I will source Amazon if it is the former.

Overall Assessment:

Rating: I use a rating system using the below criteria.

= Hated it.

= Eh, it was okay. I don’t think I would recommend it though.

= Liked it, but there have been some things that I couldn’t get past (plot inconsistencies, movement of the story, etc.). Overall, I would recommend still.

= Loved it! It’s one of my new favorites

= It was amazing and I couldn’t stop thinking about this book.  Go purchase this book right now. I do not give out 5 stars lightly. Books that are rated 5/5 by me earn it.

What I liked:

What I didn’t:

Additional notes:

Link to purchase book:

Please feel free to comment (respectfully) or discuss with me! Thanks for reading!