Book Review: All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

***I received a free copy to give an honest review***

Charly Bloom’s life took a wrong turn that has left her alone and frustrated. When she gets a call from an old flame, she returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearances of four children. The abductions are eerily similar to a set of previous crimes.

Two decades ago, Charly and her two friends decided to play amateur  detectives and help find a girl who was stolen from her home. Then, another girl went missing. Clues overlooked by the inept sheriff left only one child to survive: Charly. She managed to fight back and kill the Snatcher. Or so everyone thought…

Is the Snatcher back, or is there a copycat? Charly must face her past and her own personal demons in a race against time to save the latest victim.

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I really enjoyed this mystery. I loved that Charly, as a kid and as an adult, was badass. She wasn’t afraid to back down to bullies who were guys twice her size. She didn’t need a guy to protect her. She could protect herself.

The story kept going back and forth between the past and present. Since Charly helped catch the Snatcher when she was a kid, she was asked to figure out the killer now. Charly was a private investigator while her ex worked for the police department.

This book was written in Charly’s first person point of view. As a reader, you could see her excitement as she figured out clues, which made her endearing as a character. Her voice, in narration, sounded exactly the same to me whether she was a thirteen year old or a thirty-six year old. I wish the chapters which focused on her past would’ve made her sound more youthful.

The story was pretty intense. The villains were not playing around. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. No one was safe. There were two scenes that gave me the chills (in a good way): when the kids, Charly and Micah Lee, were snooping on Altus May’s property, and when the kids, Charly, Micah Lee and Bobby, went through the tunnel at night. Poor Bobby.

I absolutely, positively loved the twist! I hadn’t seen it coming. The author did an awesome job with all the red herrings. I also loved Charly’s interactions with her two best friends as kids, and how she always outsmarted the bike gang as an adult.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier

***Thanks NetGalley for providing a ARC for me to give an honest review***

Solving the case will avenge her sister–unless the killer finds her first.

It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.

Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth–and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.

When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.

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I loved this murder mystery. There were so many red herrings that I didn’t guess the correct serial killer until the very end. The suspense had me sitting on the edge of my seat. The author did great with character’s voice. I felt so bad for Claire losing her older sister that I wanted to give her a hug.

The author was also great with setting and description. I’ve never stepped foot in Maine, but I could picture every spot vividly. The story flowed nicely, and the mystery of who was the killer, taunting Claire and the other detectives had me intrigued.

After awhile, it got old seeing that every character, male and female, were having blonde hair and blue eyes. I think I might of smiled when a brunette male was finally introduced.

Noah and Claire were cute together. There was sexual tension even though she was trying to fight it. My favorite scene was when Noah was taking pictures at Claire’s crime scene. She blew up, rightfully so, because he wasn’t authorized to do so. He could’ve contaminated evidence.

The story had a good ending. It opened the door for another book in the series with a new case to solve.

I recommend this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Orchard View by Deborah J. Miles

Digging in the garden, builder and current owner, Bill Maynard, discovers some old bones. He worries that the discovery will upset his plans for renovating and selling the house. Fortunately, his neighbour tells him the whole area was a burial site at the time of the Black Death and finding bones is commonplace.

“Well, as they’re so old and the museums have enough bones already, I suppose we can ignore them. It’s not like there’s been a murder and we’ve just found the body,” he justified his decision.

But had they?

His discovery sets off a chain of unfortunate events.

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I  really enjoyed this contemporary fiction book. I loved that the house, Orchard View, was actually a character. Giving the home human characteristics was interesting.

The story foreshadowed that Etta May know a dark secret about those buried bones. The mystery motivated me to keep reading. Once the suspense built up with that twist…chapter four presented a backstory of Etta’s marriage and their neighbors. Then chapter after chapter showed the different residents of Orchard View. Some took care of her, some took advantage.

Chapter Fourteen brought the suspenseful present back. The circumstances made me wonder who out of Bill and Etta would win. It seemed like every character, especially the neighbors, had a dark secret.

I also wondered why the author stopped the action in chapter three to give all that backstory of Orchard View’s past. I guess because I love suspense and thrillers so much. My favorite part of the book was the ending when multiple characters went buck wild, trying to keep their secrets buried.

I recommend this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Hammond by Jonathan LaPoma

***I received an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) so I could give an honest review***

A group of troubled but charismatic boys in a tough Buffalo, NY neighborhood play basketball at a local park and dream of winning a state high school championship. Driven by raw talent and killer instinct, they dominate the court, but everywhere else, they feel like losers.

Hammond is told through the eyes of James Lombardi, a precocious but mentally ill boy who believes winning a championship will ease his “Evil Thoughts” and save his family, long haunted by generations of substance abuse, uncontrollable rage, and suicide.

A dark but humorous coming-of-age novel, Hammond, offers a poetic and disturbing look inside the complex mind of an adolescent boy as he slowly learns that having the heart of a champion can sometimes be more burden than blessing.

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I really enjoyed this coming-of-age novel. It starts with Jimmy, and his friends Ray, Gerry, and Tony being in the sixth grade. Jimmy had a crush on Julia who ended up breaking his heart. With so much drama and angst packed into this novel, Jimmy never really recovered.

Even though Jimmy was the main character, I felt something more for his older brother Dan. Maybe because he was a mystery. Dan was depressed, and I felt bad for him, wishing someone would help him, at least listen if he wanted to talk. Jimmy had issues too. He was very mean to his little brother and sisters. He was broken inside due to his evil thoughts, and because his dad always took out his anger on him.

My favorite lines: 1) The family machine was in gear, and nothing could slow it down. No time to check on cuts or bruises or shattered egos. 2) It ends in tragedy. It ends in death. Don’t fool yourself for a second, thinking it can happen otherwise. 3) I had no idea I was now both superhero and villain.

I wish there had been more dialogue during some scenes, especially the pretty intense ones. Once I started imagining the story as Jimmy’s journal entries instead of actual scenes happening in the present, it was easier. The story really started to pick up and become more interesting after the time jump when they entered Kirkland High.

I felt so bad for Gerry. I wanted to give all these boys a hug because they all seemed so lost. The author did a great job with characterization and voice. The drama and angst was very well done as well. I prayed for them to win the basketball championship so they could have something good happen in their lives. Did they win? Did they lose? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I RECOMMEND the book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: No Heroes by Jon Mayo

***I voluntarily received a free copy to give a honest book review***

The Locke twins possess a peculiar power: they can pass pain and injuries to one another. Despite this flaw, Aries Locke dreams of becoming a superhero one day, to the chagrin of his twin, Ezra. But after performing a heroic deed they soon learn why there are no heroes in the world.

With the help of their mother, they run away from the shadow of The Purity Project–an organization devoted in controlling and regulating superhumans.

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I loved this book that was divided into three parts. Part One showed Aries and Ezra living with their mom, Gracie. She turned out to be more than a pill-popping, sad person. She had been hiding a secret forever. Part Two showed the twins as teens, growing up with their foster sister, Caylee. She had a secret of her own. Part Three focused on Barry and Theo of The Purity Project–the villains.

My favorite lines: 1) It looked painful, but he knew that all origin stories began with trauma. Aries just got his. 2) “Suffering is part of life. It is what makes us strong.” 3) It was a murder scene without a corpse. 4) There was a chill that crawled up Aries’ back. 5) One bullet shattered his breastbone. Another popped his right eye open like a squeezed tomato.

I loved Aries and Ezra, and I was really rooting for them throughout the book. It was a wicked scene when Ezra fell from the tree but Aries’s arm got broken instead. I also really enjoyed when Aries saved a cat from a fire. After that, it was nothing but drama. The author did a wonderful job of showing how crappy their life was, always on the run with their mom. I was sad about what happened to Gracie.

I thought it was a cute moment when the twins met Caylee for the first time. I’ll admit in Part two I was asking myself: is this book a super hero origins story or a romance? But, the devastating scene Ezra and his loved one faced broke my heart. This section of the book made sense at the end. Readers needed to feel Ezra’s pain to understand why Aries was gung ho on becoming superheroes.

I really enjoyed the ending, but Part One was definitely my favorite section of the book. It was cool that the book ended on a cliffhanger.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Book Review: Merry Murder by Angel Gelique #WomenInHorrorMonth

It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating Women’s Horror Month last year with blog posts. With a blink of an eye, it’s a year later and February has arrived again! Celebrating Women’s Horror Month, my first blog post is dedicated to one of my favorite horror author’s, Angel Gelique. I was lucky enough to win her book Merry Murder in a Twitter contest. Loving the book so much, I ended up buying it on Amazon too. I’m not lying when I say I’m a strong believer in writers supporting other writers 🙂

Poor Paul McKenna. He just wants to enjoy the holidays. But with an obstinate teen-aged daughter, Heather, and an unreasonable wife who enables her, Paul is anything but jolly. Heather has her heart set on getting the latest cell phone for Christmas. The only problem is Paul can’t find one within the acceptable price range. He simply refuses to fall victim to holiday price-gouging. He has every intention of buying the phone weeks after Christmas when it’s half the price. Surely, Heather will understand…right?

In this tale of vengeance, a well-intentioned father will find that sometimes it’s better to appease an incorrigible teen daughter–no matter the cost–rather than incur her wrath. 

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I loved this pretty intense book! The story was told in Paul’s first person point-of-view. I felt so bad for him. He was surrounded by–excuse my french–straight up bitches. Oh my goodness, I hated Heather and his wife Maeve with a passion. The author did a wonderful job making those two ladies enormous bullies. They were the perfect villains. I was happy for Paul when his son visited for the holidays. Finally a peace of mind, even if short-lived before Heather’s extreme temper tantrum ruined everything.

I loved getting inside Paul’s head. He knew something was wrong, but there was nothing he could really do about it since his wife kept taking their daughter’s side. I wanted to punch Heather in the face; that’s how great Angel Gelique made that character a bad guy. As a reader, I was also quite scared of Heather. She was a narcissist to the core–a psychopath too. Who could have ever thought what would happen because of a cell phone? The story blew my mind (in a good way)!

My favorite line:  Though to be fair, she’s only grown grossly intolerable over the past couple of months since her last cell phone began showing signs of electronic Alzheimer’s. I truly loved the ending. Does Paul’s wife have a change of heart? Does Heather still make your skin crawl? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

***I hope you enjoyed the book review. If you know of anyone who wants to celebrate Women’s Horror Month, please let me know. They can write guest posts for me, and I’d love to reblog from other wonderful writers. Let’s celebrate Women’s Horror Month in style!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

Book Review: Not Broken by Meka James

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

Calida Jokobi doesn’t see it that way. Surviving an abusive relationship with a sadistic, manipulative man changed her. She has spent the last two years carefully constructing her new persona with two goals in mind: to keep the remaining pieces of her heart safe and her deepest secrets buried. One man puts it all at risk.

Malcolm has been a part of Calida’s life for as long as she can remember. A friend. Her first teenage crush. Now he’s asking for something she swore she’d never give again: her heart.

Calida must decide if she should risk the fragile facade she’s created and give Malcolm the chance he’s asking for.

They say love can heal all wounds…

Malcolm Frankel wants to prove to Calida it’s true. She survived a hell most people couldn’t fathom. He’s been by her side fulfilling whatever role she needs him to play. All except the one he wants most. It took nearly losing her to make Malcolm realize he couldn’t keep denying his feelings.

He knows no one goes through an ordeal like that and comes out unscathed, but the closer they get, the more he learns just how deep Calida’s wounds go.

She’s the only woman he’s ever loved, and Malcolm is ready to put his own heart at risk for a chance at mending hers.

**This novel is a follow up to my debut book: Fiendish. I have constructed it so that it may work as a standalone for new readers.**

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I loved this romance novel. It switched between Calida’s first person point-of-view and Malcolm’s first person point-of-view. Calida was my favorite character because of her inner-strength. It took a lot out of her pretending she was normal in order to please her family and friends. I loved every scene of Calida opening up to her therapist. As a reader, it gave me relief that she’d make it.

Meka James provided great sexual tension throughout the book. Malcolm was a total gentleman, loving Calida but respecting her boundaries of not liking to be touched. But, oh boy, when Calida felt comfortable around Malcolm toward the middle, those sex scenes were sensual, explosive, and hot, hot, hot!!!

From beginning to end, the book had interesting conflict, inner-struggles, and lots and lots of drama. I shed a tear when Calida was drunk and finally revealed to Malcolm what her abusive husband did to her in the bathroom. I wanted to give Calida a hug throughout every scene.

My favorite lines: 1) This kiss held emotion, it held promise, it held hope. This kiss was a new beginning…Our beginning. 2) I didn’t want to go into the dark and empty place alone, but that was my only choice. 3) With each passing day, he looked more and more like Seth. He haunted me through our son. 4) “Calida, stop shutting me out. Please. I’m not the enemy. I promise you.” 5) How had I lost control? Did I ever really have control?

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby