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The Beast is an Animal by: Peternelle Van Arsdale

Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of adults who are terrified of their power, and who cower behind high walls and grim rules. Fear of the soul eaters—and of The Beast—rules their lives. Even more, they fear the ways in which The Beast may lurk among them—and within a girl like Alys.

For Alys has a connection to the soul eaters, and The Beast. And she hides a truth about herself that she can reveal to no one, for fear she will be called a witch. As the threat posed by the soul eaters grows, Alys must undertake a journey through the wild danger of the fforest. But the greatest danger is not outside her. Alys’s secret about who—and what—she is terrifies her most of all. And in order to save her world, she must also risk losing herself.”

3.5 stars (Almost got 4 stars, but faltered at the end.)

I was really excited when I found out that my local library not only had this book, but that it was in stock and available for checkout without having to sign up on a wait list.

I absolutely adore the cover and it was a big reason that I wanted to read this book. I really didn’t know what to expect beyond the Old Byd Nursery Rhyme on the back of the book, which drew me in and pushed this book to the top of my TBR list.

The book moves along at a slow but steady pace, which I was ok with. It had the feel of an old fairy tale, dark and creepy. At times it even reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately once the romantic interest was introduced to the story it lost a bit of its creep factor. The story was still good, it just developed a different feel. I also felt like the end of the book was a wee-bit of a let down. It just didn’t have the bang that I was hoping for based on the creepy way the book started.

On a positive note, this book is a stand alone. It’s gotten harder and harder to find stand alone books now-a-days, so I was happy when this book had an actual ending and not a cliff hanger. This is Peternelle Van Arsdale’s first book and I did enjoy it enough that I will be keeping an eye out for her next book so I can give it a read.

 

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Sonya Loveday is also the author of the amazing The Six series. You can check out all of her book over on her Goodreads page.

Casted  by: Sonya Loveday

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BBDescription

Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide. With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well. Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love. Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?”

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4 stars (contains mild romance, nothing overly descriptive.)

As one of Sonya’s first books you can see where she got her start writing action scenes. Though Casted is not as suspenseful as most of the books in her Six series end up being, it’s still full of tension, action, and even some romance. I found most of the characters fun and very likeable. This book moves along at a pretty fast pace and never left me bored or wondering when something exciting was going to happen. The only warning that I can give is that it ends on a cliff-hanger and you’ll probably want to have Spelled on hand before reaching the end of Casted. 😉

 

Spelled by: Sonya Loveday

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BBDescription

Releasing Elinor from the spell book was only the beginning for Jade. When a surprise visit from Lorenzo sets off a downward spiral of events, Jade’s ripped from the confines of Edge’s home and plunged into the madness of the Triad. Confused by the turn of events, Jade is only sure of four things: My name is Jade Kinsley. I’m 20 years old. I’m an Enforcer for the Triad. And I have a debt to settle with Original Coven. Will Jade be able to break through the spell her Grandfather put on her and remember who she is, or will she become just another piece in Lorenzo’s game?

BBReview

4 stars (contains mild romance, nothing overly descriptive.)

Spelled picks up right where Casted left off. You jump right back into the action and the pace never seems to slow down. There are more twists and turns with every chapter. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but after thinking about it for a few days I think I’ve come around to liking it. As a longtime reader of Sonya Loveday’s books it was fun to read some of her early work and be able to see where she started and how she has honed her skill.

 

Casted & Spelled are also available as an ebook boxed set.

 

TopBookRelated

My reviews of other Sonya Loveday books:

The Summer I Fell

End Note

If Ever I Fall

Relevance

The Vows We Make

Love Always

 

 

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Anna Dressed in Blood by: Kendare Blake (Anna #1)

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BBDescription

“Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

BBReview

4.5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. It was pretty fast paced with lots of action and a splash of gore thrown in here and there. I think any fan of the tv show Supernatural would really enjoy it.
I will definitely be reading the second book in this series.

 

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Radiance  by: Alyson Noel (Riley Bloom #1)

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“Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley.”

BBReview

3.5 stars
Fun quick audio book with a good message about being who you are, enjoying the life you have, and not always wanting what others have in life. Though this book deals with death it still manages to be an uplifting story that can tug at your heartstrings. The haunting in the book is only mildly creepy and should be ok for most middle-grade readers.

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Magick Weaved on a Samhain Eve by: V. J. Chisholm

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Alexia is a lively, single, sassy and sexy coven witch yet she finds herself and her sex life (or lack of it) the hot topic of her fellow coven sisters after one of the coven’s full moon meetings. Add to the mix the discovery of an old spell and Alexia’s life starts to change very quickly as a spirit named Lance appears. Combine the heat of the full moon and a hint of destiny, life will never be the same again for Alexia.

 

BBReview

3 Stars

This is a fast paced, mildly sexy, short story with a fun plot. I haven’t read many books about witches, but I enjoyed this quick glimpse into their world. It could use a tiny bit more editing, but nothing that takes away from the story line too much. I would definitely be willing to read more by this author.

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The Husband’s Secret by: Liane Moriarty

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BBDescription

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.”

 

BBReview

3 Stars (Adult – Contemporary romance/Mystery)

I had high hopes going into this book, I was a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping for a really good mystery that would keep me guessing. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book and the fact that you get to know all of the characters and get a glimpse at their daily lives before the secret is revealed, but there were some characters that I really didn’t care for. This book involves 3 women and ties their lives together in some manner. I really felt like one of the women and her part of the story was just there to fill pages. I felt like her story line barely connected with the other 2 women. I really didn’t like her or pretty much anything that went on in her part of the story (2 wrongs don’t make a right.) On the plus side, I read this book during a rough patch in my life and her story line did provide me with fictional characters to vent my frustrations on. That’s probably why I gave it a 3 star instead of a 2 star rating.

That being said, I did enjoy this authors writing style and I am still interested in reading more books by her.

 

BBBookLinks

Goodreads

–  Amazon

 

BBAuthorLinks

Goodreads author page.

Amazon author page.

Liane Moriarty’s web site.

 

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The Darkest Part of the Forest  by: Holly Black

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“Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?”

BBReview

3 stars — YA Fantasy (mild M/F romance and M/M romance)

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It moved along at a fairly fast pace and had some very interestingly described scenes. I usually don’t say this about books, but I actually think I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been longer. I really liked the concept of a town where humans and the Folk have come to an agreement and are able to coexist. I think it would have been neat to read more about that relationship and how it changed over the years. There were a few flashbacks dealing with that and I found those scenes very creepy/enjoyable, I really wish there had been more of them. Holly Black’s description of the revel was one of my favorite parts of this book. She did a great job of describing the creatures and their surrounding and I was easily able to imagine the entire celebration. Unfortunately though, I felt like the end of the book was a bit rushed, it just felt like things wrapped up a bit too conveniently for my liking.

Over all this book wasn’t as creepy as I had been hoping for, but I’m glad I took the time to read it. I already have another book by Holly Black and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

 

BBBookLinks

Amazon

Goodreads

BBAuthor

“Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.”

BBAuthorLinks

— Holly Black’s Amazon author page.

— Holly Black’s Goodreads page.

— Holly Black’s web site.

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