Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge


Friday, January 18, 2019

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#BecRereads2019

I had forgotten how fantastic this one is! It’s full of history, mystery, romance, and ferocity, with a big twist. I’m sitting here wondering how I could go about getting my own hellequin. There just has to be a way. . .

Now, I can’t wait to dive in and read COURTING DARKNESS, out February 5, 2019.

Book 27 read in 2019

Pages: 444

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
Love this series! Different and refreshing.

Off Limits by Jules Barnard

Off Limits (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, #1)Off Limits by Jules Barnard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't find that I was drawn into this book. A situation would come up and it felt like the author didn't build from that or explain very well before she moved onto something else.

292 Pages

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Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Everneath by Brodi Ashton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Nope. This was absolutely not for me.

With writing, there’s diving right into the action to grab everyone’s attention in a good way, and then there is diving right into the middle of something too fast without making the world, parameters, and situations clear enough for the reader to easily follow along. This book falls into the second category, and while I applaud that it wanted to grab my attention right from the start and power forward with only the most relevant action, it fell short of being clear and cohesive, so the start was rocky, which meant it actually took me longer to settle in and become invested in this one.

I initially thought this was a decent read, but that opinion degraded the longer I read. The transitions between sections and scenes feels rough and too abrupt at times. Sentences are often very clipped, which makes this book a hard to listen to. It also was hard to remember the information presented, and because I had to interrupt myself at chapter 7 to finish up three other books, I had to go back and start this book over again when I returned to it after only a 4 day break from it (as nothing stuck out or stuck with me).

Once I restarted it, I fared slightly better. I think the best solution for new readers would be to block out a decent amount of time to read and get fully invested in this story before you put it down for the first time, so that you don’t risk getting confused, or irritated, and becoming unwilling to return to it.

For someone who lived 100 years in the underworld, this MC feels pretty immature, not to mention Mr. 1000 years old. And seriously? She pined for some old boyfriend for all 100 years? I’m the queen of hanging on long past the point in which you should in regards to feelings and relationships, but even I draw the line well before a decade, let alone a century. While her voice may be appropriate for YA, something about this whole setup rang false for me.

Plus, her old boyfriend is just all kinds of boring. Meh. No thanks. I still do not even understand why she is obsessed with him, or why he even loves her, and the side characters have very little depth. I can barely even tell them apart. Most of the character development is weak, and there is no real character growth.

Also, most of the mythology is shared through long-winded sections of telling, which is about the most boring way ever to hear it, especially when the majority of it all seems to come at the end of the book, which is way too late to be interesting or relevant.

I have read far better YA paranormal novels about the underworld (Give me Sarah Fine, or give me Death—preferably both), so I don’t plan to continue on in the series. Honestly, I was ecstatic when this finally ended. I think at the end of the day, it just feels more contrived than authentic, and that made me hold the book at an arm’s length, rather than want to pull it close and get invested in the characters.

Book 26 in 2019

Pages: 370

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane JacobsBeing Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one charmed my socks right off, which was the last thing I expected.

It's a classic Parent Trap situation, where two teenagers, both named Sloane Jacobs meet up. One Sloane is a hockey player, and the other is a figure skater. They've been exiled to Canada to attending skating camps, against their wishes. When they have a luggage mix-up at the hotel, they have to meet up to sort things out. That's when they decide they look similar enough that with the same names, they could totally swap places, in order to avoid spending the summer working towards things they both dread, for various reasons.

Since I'm a sucker for all things Parent Trap, this one really clicked with me. You get to see both the girls change, grow, and confront their own personal demons. Plus, it has a really delightful ending, as should any Parent Trap-eque situation.

This book made me happy.

Book 28 read in 2019

Pages: 352

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1)The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started off really enjoying this book, but as it went on I found that I didn’t feel as hooked when I first started. I really enjoyed the first half of this book than the second half I just lost all interest and felt like the story wasn't going any place. I might come back around and see if book 2 offers more to the story, but right now I am moving forward.

324 Pages

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The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3) by Amanda Stevens

The Prophet (Graveyard Queen, #3)
by Amanda Stevens

3.5/5

347 pages

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward

Gentleman NineGentleman Nine by Penelope Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good friends to lovers story with a tragic backstory and some interesting plot complications.

Book 24 read in 2019

Pages: 252

Managing the Bosses Series by Lexy Timms

The Boss (Managing the Bosses #1) The Boss Too (Managing the Bosses #2) Who's the Boss Now (Managing the Bosses #3) Gift For the Boss (Managing the Bosses #3.5)

Managing the Bosses Series by Lexy Timms

The Boss 154 Pages
Who's the Boss Now  173 Pages
The Boss Too  176 Pages
Gift for the Boss  86 Pages

I really wanted to enjoy this series but there was just something missing for me. I did finish all 4 books about this couple, hoping that I would get the answers I was looking for. But even after completing the first 4 books I still felt like there was something missing from the story. 

On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

On a Tuesday (One Week, #1)On a Tuesday by Whitney G.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t understand how this has an average score of 4.03. It has me flummoxed. Apparently, other readers saw something in it that I just didn’t. Keeping that in mind, you may want to take my review with a grain of salt, since I am the odd woman out and the majority of readers liked this book.

This is one of those stories that I almost quit in the first few chapters, but I persevered, for better or worse. The story starts out with straight up telling and backstory, which made me think that perhaps this was going to be no better than the roughest of rough drafts.

In fact, I almost quit the book, right then and there, because I figured that starting the story in such a way probably meant that the author doesn’t know how to construct a decent story. I was wrong, though. This is an acceptable story, because after that opening pile of steaming backstory and unnecessary telling, this evolved into something mostly readable.

It was clear throughout that the author didn’t do thorough research or have knowledge of all the things discussed and/or mentioned in the story, so there are a lot of discrepancies in the small details. Those will likely fly past some readers, but if you have knowledge on some of the topics, you will see them for what they are---failure of the writer to do 60 or 90 seconds of proper research when adding details to the story. This bothered me, but it may not bother you. Clearly, it did not bother the majority of readers.

Now, despite all these writing and researching issues, the actual story is somewhat readable. You just need to be able to shrug off a lot of randomness and rough transitions and move forward. Not everything makes sense, so don’t expect it to. Threads are introduced and then dropped again without being tied into the story or resolved, so just don’t expect everything that comes up in the story to be of value.

For those who are in this for the romance factor, you may not care about the rough writing. Personally, I have the same standards for romance novels that I do for any novel, so the poor construction bothered me with this one.

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

144 pages

4.5/5

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university's slogan, "What starts here changes the world," he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

Admiral McRaven's original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life's darkest moments. 

Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige

Mera: TidebreakerMera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I absolutely love graphic novels, but ultimately, this one was disappointing. It has an uncomfortable or confusing start that is hard to settle into, followed by a storyline that is at first convoluted, and then so simplistic that it is boring and completely predictable.

For a medium that should be perfect for showing, there is so much telling in this story. I got tired of looking at flat scenes, while reading endlessly long bubbles explaining the story and backstory and how everyone was feeling. For goodness sake, just show me something worth caring about. Anytime there was an action scene, which was rare, it was rarely clear what exactly was going on in the scene, based on the artwork, which I also found frustrating.

Don’t expect to get attached to any exciting side characters, as they are all undeveloped and feel one dimensional. They just seem to be there as tools for the main characters to talk at.

At first, I thought the artwork had a dramatic and moody feel about it, which was great. Then I realized that the orange hair and lipstick for the MC was necessary because the artwork is so inconsistent from panel to panel. None of her features remain set throughout the novel. In one moment she has a bulbous nose. Then it is pointy. Then it is upturned. Then it is downturned. None of her basic features are drawn consistently, especially not the shape of her face, which varies widely throughout panels. I thought the hair and lipstick was there to make her stand out, but it turns out it was a necessary tool to identify her, since she continually looks like a different person.

As for the instalove, which I’m totally good with when it is done well, or is followed up by emotions that feel real, this was absolutely unconvincing and boring to boot. It almost became preachy, and I had to force myself through some of the scenes which were tedious and repetitive and just wouldn’t end. Then there is the actual ending of this meandering story, which is completely anticlimactic and full of blah, so don’t expect to feel satisfied when you close the novel.

This novel releases in April of 2019. I do thank Netgalley for allowing me to read this novel in advance, but overall, I think graphic novel and superhero fans should pass on this one, as there are far better options.

Book 25 read in 2019

Pages: 192

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hate Notes by Vi Keeland

Hate NotesHate Notes by Vi Keeland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After careful consideration, I dropped this down to 3 stars.

I like the characters, but the story feels a bit disjointed, almost like it has two different personalities that don't mesh. I think they tried to throw too many concepts into one short book, and instead of that being exciting, it is too much. I would rather have had one well done concept or trope than multiples.

That being said, the writing itself is solid, even when the plot points become a bit tiring or repetitive, and the characters are interesting enough. The audiobook is also good. I like this one fine, but I would never reread it.

Pages: 305

The Summer Games Series

Settling the Score (The Summer Games, #1)Settling the Score by R.S. Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book!! A lot of sports romance books don't have much talk about the sports, it was nice to see that this book actually talked about the sports that they played.

432 Pages

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Out of Bounds (The Summer Games, #2)Out of Bounds by R.S. Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this couple more than the first!!! I wish they would keep this series going! Just like the first one I was happy that they actually talked about the sports.

442 Pages

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True Crime Addict by James Renner

  The author delves into the bizarre disappearance of Maura Murray. He spends way too much time talking about himself than the actual mystery of Maura and I was left more confused than when I started the book. 
Rating: 1.5/5
Pages: 300

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#BecRereads2019

Sybella's story is so difficult, but I love her character so much. Pair her with Beast, and it is a magnificent combo of strong, stubborn characters.

I love how the information we know about Death slowly unfolds across the series. I forgot how upset the nuns made me in this story. I'm really glad I revisited this one before moving on to COURTING DARKNESS (out Feb 5, 2019).

Book 22 read in 2018

Pages:

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
I liked this one even better than the first one.

Beast.

Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity by Kathi Lipp

Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity
by Kathi Lipp

240 pages

5/5

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it's possible to move from "out of my mind" to "in control" when you've got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?

Kathi and Cheri want to show you five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don't often work, and how you can finally create a plan that works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you'll become equipped to trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite replace fear of the future with peace in the present. You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#BecRereads2019

I'm revisiting this magnificent trilogy before picking up COURTING DARKNESS, which releases on February 5, 2019. I already have it on my Kindle through Netgalley, but I decided it would be a big shame if I didn't reread this trilogy first, since I haven't been wanting to revisit it since last year.

It's still fantastic. I love the historical feel, the strange mythology of being handmaidens of death, and the world building and intrigue are top notch. I'm so happy I reread this one. I only wish I had reviewed it in 2015, so I could see how my thoughts and emotions changed since then.

Also, I love Beast, so I'm stoked that his story is next. *insert all the heart eyes*

Book 20 read in 2019

Pages: 549

The University of Gatica Series

The Recruiting Trip (The University of Gatica #1)The Recruiting Trip by Lexy Timms
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a quick read! I am excited to see where the series goes from here. I went back and fourth on what rating to give this book, because it was so short. It was really good for how short it is.

153 Pages

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Faster (The University of Gatica #2)Faster by Lexy Timms
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this, but I just feel like something is missing from the story.

145 Pages

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Deep State (Nathaniel Cade, #3.5) by Christopher Farnsworth

Deep State (Nathaniel Cade #3.5)
by Christopher Farnsworth

83 pages

5/5

It’s been four years since a new president ascended to the White House. Zach Barrows has not seen Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire, since being fired from his position as Cade’s handler and sent to a small, cramped office in a government building in Nebraska.

Once, he and Cade fought a shadow war against the monsters, spies, and demons that threatened the United States. Now Zach pushes papers and listens to conspiracy theories from people who have no idea how dark the real world can get.

Then Zach is summoned to the Situation Room by President Lester Wyman, who is both the commander-in-chief and a possible traitor.  But he and Cade are bound to follow Wyman’s orders. They are told to find out why a top-secret missile silo has gone offline. If they fail, a nuclear warhead will launch, and the world will die in a hail of fire.

In other words, it’s just another night on the job. 

After a long absence, Cade and Zach are back in action together — for what might be the last time.

Love.  I have been waiting for an addition to the Nathaniel Cade series for AGES.  Seriously.  And this short novella did not disappoint.  Mr. Farnsworth - please, please, please write book #4!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Repeat by Kylie Scott

RepeatRepeat by Kylie Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a delightful second chance romance where girl gets amnesia. Then girl meets boy (again). Boy tries to help, despite his previous heartbreak and serious reservations, and girl falls head over heels in love with his charming dog, Gordon (again).

Girl + Dog = Perfection

Book 18 read in 2018

Pages: 336

Repeat by Kylie Scott

RepeatRepeat by Kylie Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed how the story came around full cycle, and she seems to come out being a better person than she was in the past. I figured out pretty fast what was going on but other than that. Another great book!

336 Pages

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and LonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This was the BEST retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I’ve read to date. Now, I know you’re thinking, how many could she have possibly read? Well, I can think of 6 other YA retellings of Beauty and the Beast that I have read in the past few years, some of which were also very good, but none that topped this one.

I’m now going to look up everything Kemmerer has ever written and give it a try, as this was pure magic. It was just spot on from start to finish. It took me through the full range of emotions. The world building was superb. The character development was excellent. The plot was fast paced and exciting. I loved the blending of the two different dimensions. There was just so much to love with this one.

The MC has cerebral palsy, and she was so kickass. She just tackled things with so much courage and conviction, and she didn’t take shit from anyone. She also didn’t tell herself she couldn’t do things, just because she had a limp. I absolutely adored her. She was so strong but also always true to herself and her own feelings and ideas.

I will definitely reread this one, probably many times. In fast, I think I’m headed over to Audible to see if I can pre-order a copy right now.

PS: I read an advanced copy of this novel through Netgalley, and release day for this novel is January 29, 2019. Go pre-order a copy now, because this one will not disappoint.

Book 19 read in 2019

Pages: 496