I Swallow Books Whole

I Swallow Books Whole

I Swallow Books is brought to you by one 21-year-old lady whose bread and butter is in between the covers of true crime, (mainstream/erotic) romance, erotica, science fiction, horror, and anything else that interests me.

4 Stars
Black Widow: Forever Red
Black Widow: Forever Red - Margaret Stohl
I really enjoyed Black Widow: Forever Red and loved the narration performance by Julia Whelan.
3 Stars
Babysitting the Baumgartners
Babysitting the Baumgartners - Selena Kitt
Selena Kitt has always been one of my favorite erotica authors, even though plenty of her stories could be considered Porn Without Plot. This story had a not very complex plot line, but it didn't need one. It was just a short story of the sexual adventures Mr. and Mrs. Baumgartner get up to with their babysitter in the Keys.

I enjoyed this story for what it was: a one handed read. I would definitely re-read it and I'm glad I picked this freebie up.
3 Stars
His Favorite, Vol. 1
His Favorite, Vol. 1 - Suzuki Tanaka
This was a super cute yoai high school manga read. A little immature, but I kind of like that about YA mangas. Will definitely be reading more of this series in the future.
2 Stars
A Demon and His Witch
A Demon and His Witch - Eve Langlais
For some reason, I didn't enjoy A Demon and His Witch as much as I thought I would. I LOVE Eve Langlais. Never had any issues with her other books. Maybe this one just didn't call to me like I thought it would.

I do think I want to read the next book. I love the secondary characters. And Lucifer's plan to rebuild his army? Hilarious. The Friends references were cute too.
4 Stars
The Obsession
The Obsession - Nora Roberts
As per usual, I loved THE OBSESSION, even though I was able to pinpoint the bad guy from the moment he showed up. I want more sexy rugged guys and strong-willed heroines from Roberts!
5 Stars
The 5th Wave
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
4.5 stars

Why did I put this book off for so long?! I LOVED IT! I started listening to the audiobook, but it was so good that I was to impatient to listen to the audiobook, so I borrowed an e-copy from the library. If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction like I am, give The 5th Wave a shot.

2 Stars
Did I Mention I Love You? (Did I Mention I Love You
Did I Mention I Love You? (Did I Mention I Love You - Estelle Maskame

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

2.5 stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Did I Mention I Love You was a book that gave me many mixed feelings. I’m still not sure about the rating. On the one hand, once I got far enough into the book, it was difficult to put down. On the other hand, the characters were a mess. They made some dumb choices with reasons that were just not good enough, in my opinion. I did enjoy reading the story, but in the end the bad outweighed the good.


The Romance: It was slow to build and the sparks were flying! I like that in a romance, especially when YA romances are known for insta-love. Tyler and Eden made a great couple, despite that they both had character flaws I did not always enjoy.

The Snark: This book was somewhat of an emotional wringer, so it was nice being able to chuckle over the characters’ witty retorts. I felt like the author gave us a good balance of humor and heartbreak.

“You’ve got to learn to mind your own business, kid.”

“Stop calling me kid,” I warn. “You’re only a year older than me, and you’ve got fewer brain cells.”

The Taboo: I actually didn’t have a problem with the romance between step siblings. It would be rather hypocritical of me to say it’s wrong when I firmly believe that people should be allowed to love who they love. I felt that Maskme realistically portrayed the angst and heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a step-sibling.


The Writing: I had a hard time getting into Did I Mention I Love You, because it felt like the book started out wordy and repetitive. Not only that, but there were a few times where I though, “Hmmm, this is awkward.” There was a disconnect between the writing and the author’s voice and I had a difficult time moving past it.

Thankfully, I was able to move past the writing issues, but it was a struggle there for a while.

The Characters: I have a lot to say about the characters of Did I Mention I Love You and not a lot of is kind.

Eden Monro is spending the summer in California with her estranged father and brand new step-family. She is not a happy girl and it is clear from the first chapter. She knew she would hate California the moment she arrived, and she spent the first part of the book nit-picky and negative about everything that has to do with her new family on the west coast.

A lot of her anger and resentment is justified — I would be angry too if my dad walked out on my mother and I and never tried to contact me for three years. And her shiny new family is definitely not perfect. It was not easy to like her, even though I felt sympathy for Eden. But she made some dumb choices in this novel, and having a crummy father figure doesn’t excuse them all. She also had a lot of body image issues and borderline starved herself. It felt like the author just brushed these issues off and never properly addressed with them through the course of the novel.

Tyler, however, has a damn good excuse for his mess of a life, but his personality was so very hard to look past. He is a real jackass for most of this book and even though he wound up worming his way into my heart, he was not my favorite person. He made a lot of dumb choices to distract him from his traumatic childhood and while I understand it, he hurt a lot of people and that is not okay.

Not only did I have issues with our main characters, but they had some really crappy friends! The backstabbing, the jealousy, and the manipulation was just astounding. If these are the kinds of friends you have, who needs enemies?! Even Eden’s friends at home were terrible. Gah. There were two friends out of their whole group that I actually felt good people and they didn’t have nearly a big enough part in Did I Mention I Love You for my satisfaction.

The Cheating: I understood the reasoning behind the cheating, but it’s never okay. It caused a lot of unnecessary drama that could have been prevented if Eden and Tyler just decided to wait until he sorted his shit out.

I really struggled with the characters in this story, which majorly affected my opinion of the book, because Did I Mention I Love You had a character driven plot. There was some much-needed character development in the last few chapters, but not enough for my liking. I do plan to continue the series, just to see how things turn out. I have an inkling I’m not going to be 100% pleased with the teaser the epilogue threw at me. Still, I’m glad I gave the book a shot, because there were some good things about it.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

2016 Blogger Shame Review Challenge
2016 New to You Reading Challenge
2016 Reading Bingo Challenge
3 Stars
Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1
Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1 - Hisaya Nakajo, David Ury

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

3.5 stars ~
Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1 is a book that has sat on my bookshelf untouched for longer than I care to admit. I find that I have to be in the right frame of mind to began a new manga series, mostly because I like my shojo romances totally opposite than my usual reads—cheesy, unrealistic with lots of fluff. It’s a guilty pleasure that I discovered in middle school, and I just can’t help snatching up a cute looking manga when it comes my way. Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1 did not disappoint in the cheese department and so I unsurprisingly became enamored with the story fairly quickly.


Mizuki Ashiya moves from the U.S. to Japan to follow her dream of going to the same school with her high jumper idol, Izumi Sano. There’s just one small hitch in her plan: Sano goes to Osaka High Private School – an all boys school! Mizuki won’t let that detail stop her befriending her obsession idol; she cuts off all her hair and disguises herself as a boy! When she finally arrives, she learns that not only will she be going to school with her stalkee idol, she’ll be rooming with him too!

Okay, so it’s more than a little creepy for a girl to go to such drastic lengths to meet her “celebrity” crush, and typically, this sort of obsessive behavior would totally turn me off. But for some reason, it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of this book at all. She’s just so upfront about her reason for going to so much trouble and freely admits that she came all this way to meet him, it’s hard not to enjoy that kind of straightforward honestly. Plus, it’s super hard not to fall in love with all the characters. Here’s why:
~ Mizuki Ashiya is super naive and not all that smart when it comes to boys or their feelings in regards to her. She sees the best in people she’s ridiculously slow to figure things out. This causes her to walk into some weird, wacky, but ultimately entertaining situations. But what she doesn’t have in worldly knowledge (or common sense for that matter), she makes up in enthusiasm, loyalty to her friends, and eagerness to lend a helping hand—even when they really don’t want it. And she’s so humble it’s almost a weakness.
~ At first, Izumi Sano seems like a cold, standoffish dude, but the more I learned about him, the more I realized that he’s a kind and caring friend. He appears aloof, but he’s actually just private and closed in about his feelings. He’ll go to any lengths to keep his friends out of trouble, but he’s just quiet about it. He also falls asleep in weird and unusual positions and reminds me a bit of Kiri Koshiba in Beauty Pop.
It took me a bit more time to truly fall for his character, but fall in love I did.
~ Shuichi Nakatsu is a character that I knew I would enjoy from his very first appearance in Hana-Kimi. He’s goofy, loud, enthusiastic, and positive. He’s a person who has a hard time hiding his feelings so he comes off as a guy with a flair for the dramatic. He makes for an entertaining read, because when you add in his infatuation for Mizuki and his inability to see personal boundaries around people he cares about, well… he’s a funny guy to have around. You guys know I love a goofball, so Nakatsu swiftly became a favorite of mine.
~ Minami Namba is the resident advisor (RA) for Dorm 2, the dorm building that Mizuki and her friends reside in. He’s nephew to Dr. Umeda and shares the pervy gene is known as a womanizer. He takes to Mizuki quickly, which causes some tension later on.
~ Yujiro is dorm 2’s canine companion whom quickly takes to Mizuki (he likes girls). Even though he’s considered Dorm 2’s “mascot” he’s mostly tended by Sano and Mizuki.

The quirky and fun characters of Hana-Kimi are what makes this series so much fun. I had a great time meeting them in this book, and as the series moves on, they grow more important to the plot.

Though I loved Hana-Kimi, it isn’t without flaws. There’s all those major plot holes that makes the book unrealistic (not including the entire plot). How the hell does Mizuki even get accepted into an all boy’s school with her parents in the dark about it being boys-only and without the school knowing? I don’t know how it works in Japan, but there are so many health forms, birth certificates, immunization records, etc. that go into enrolling for school these days, I’m not sure how she could possibly get past those.

This book was cheesy, unrealistic, and pretty pretty stereotypical when it comes to shojo romances, but I still wound up loving it. I can’t help myself—these kinds of manga are my guilty pleasure. I enjoyed Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1 so much that the very next day I went to the used bookstore and bought every book they had in the series. I recommend this book to those shojo romance fans that don’t mind fluff as long as they come with a healthy helping of awwwwhs and adorable characters!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

- 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge
- 2016 New to You Reading Challenge
- 2016 Reading Bingo Challenge

4 Stars
Shatter Me
Shatter Me  - Tahereh Mafi

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

I buddy read Shatter Me with Seann and Anna of YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥. I had fun, girls! Can’t wait to read more with you guys!


Shatter Me is a book that has been on my TBR list for years, so I was excited—and terrified—to finally give it a shot. I have to say the experience was a real shock for me. It had all the classic hallmarks of a YA dud and it somehow became a book I couldn’t get enough of! What is the witchcraft?!

While I was reading this book, I never would have expected to give Shatter Me a rating above three stars. Let me explain why:

Purple. Prose. Oh god, guys, I had a real hard time with it in the beginning. It seemed like every sentence was flowery nonsense this and stupid metaphors this. Like this:

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slap.
And this one:

The moon is a loyal companion.

It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
And another one:

“What are you writing?” Cellmate asks again.

These words are vomit.

The shaky pen my esophagus.

This sheet of paper my porcelain bowl.
Now, it’s totally fine here and there (well, sort of…) and I love a good metaphor as much as the next person, but after five chapters of nonstop flowery writing I just wanted to shout GET ON WITH IT!!!!

Insta-love! I wasn’t as butt hurt about the insta-love as I was about the purple prose, but I wasn’t sold on it (at first). I had so many doubts about Juliette and Adam. View Spoiler »

The dreaded love triangle! Y’all know I am not a fan of these. They are messy, overly dramatic page-fillers.

So how does this train-wreck turn into a solid four star review?

Yes, the purple prose was hella annoying and I had a ton of doubts about Juliette and Adam as a couple (I kind of still do), but there was just so much more to enjoy about this book. By the time I had finished it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to just stop at book one.

The characters were mesmerizing and shrouded in mystery (especially the ones that seemed unimportant to the story and the plot, but more on those later).

Juliette is your typical Cinderella-esque YA heroine. Juliette is ignored, abused, hated, and tossed in a cell in insane asylum and left to die, until one day a beautiful hunk is tossed in with her and everything changes. It was hard not to feel for Juliette. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve pitied a fictional character more (okay, maybe Acheron, but he’s a whole ‘nother story). It was heartwarming to watch her learn to embrace her differences and to see her powers not as a curse or a disease, but as a way to fight back against the Reestablishment. I couldn’t help but cheer her on! And for being a depressed heroine (for good reason), she wound up being surprisingly funny at times.

I had conflicting emotions for both Adam and Warner all throughout the novel. It wasn’t always clear which one was the good guy and which one was the bad guy, and I kind of enjoyed it. My feelings were really wishy-washy, because with every new reveal about their pasts, I had a dozen more questions. In the end, there was a clear bad guy and I finally got some much-needed answers about Adam’s past. Warner’s past is still a total mystery, and the girls and I agreed that we NEED MORE WARNER! Or at the very least, we need his back story.

My all time favorite character? At first, he appeared to be a largely unimportant character to the plot, but he wound up being crucial to the plot. Kenji was a big, lovable goofball and pretended to be dumber than he actually was, all for a genius reason that you’ll just have to find out for yourself. :) I’m guessing he will have a bigger part in book two, and I absolutely can’t wait!

“I’m just messing with you guys. I like seeing psycho chick get all intense.” He glances at me, lowers his voice. “I mean that as a compliment–because, you know”–he waves a haphazard hand in my direction–“psycho kind of works for you.”

Another reason this book wound up a winner, is because Mafi made me question everything I knew to be true about this book. At first, the writing did not impress me, but in the end, I couldn’t question her talent any longer. The purple prose might have been a turn off at first, but she really threw me for a loop by the end of the book—several loops. I may have doubted her writing in the beginning, but the unreliable narration sold this book for me. Every time she revealed a plot twist or revealed an answer to my question, she proved how much I underestimated her ability to shock, amaze, and write a well-thought out novel. By the end of the book, nothing was as it seemed and I loved it!

I’m glad I was able to look past the flaws, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to add it to my 2016 Favorite books! If you are a fan of flawed, but surprisingly twisted books, give Shatter Me a shot. You may not enjoy it as much as I did, but you’ll definitely feel something.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

2016 New to You Reading Challenge
2016 Reading Bingo Challenge
3 Stars
Classic Goosebumps - Return of the Mummy
Classic Goosebumps - Return of the Mummy - R.L. Stine, Kirby Heyborne

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

R.L. Stine was one of my first favorite authors growing up and the goosebumps series my first fiction love. When I saw my library had the new classic goosebumps audiobooks, I was thrilled! I never did read every single goosebumps book like I wanted to, and I have wanted to delve back into the series since I have found a new love for middle grade books this year.

Return of the Mummy is the second mummy book in the classic goosebumps series. Gabe's Uncle Ben, a famous archaeologist, invites him back to Egypt to explore a new, previously undiscovered tomb. He is thrilled he might be part of uncovering a new tomb, but he's not thrilled to have to put up with his know-it-all cousin Sari again.

You might not be aware of this, but I love all things Ancient Egyptian so it was exciting to be on this journey with Gabe and Sari, even if their teasing and pranks made me roll my eyes a bit. Mostly because it felt a lot like growing up with two annoying brother. ;)

The plot was pretty simple, but it's expected with these books. It didn't get in the way of my enjoyment and there was a few plot twists that really shocked me! I would have given this a solid four starts if it wasn't for that classic, but super annoying cliffhanger that R.L. Stine is known for. I saw it coming, but siggghhhhhh. Cliffhangers really bug me these days.

I was planning to scour my favorite used bookstores for more goosebumps books, but after enjoying the narration that Kirby Heyborne brought to this book, I so want to see what Scholastic Audio has in store for the rest of the series! He really made Return of the Mummy come alive. I just borrowed the first mummy book The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and it looks like he's narrated this one too. I'm so excited to visit Egypt with Gabe again and see what sort of spooky mischief he and Sari got up to in this one.

I recommend Return of the Mummy to anyone who loves middle grade horror. If you haven't tried R.L. Stine's classic goosebumps books, what on earth are you waiting for?!

5 Stars
George - Alex Gino, Jamie Clayton

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

George is a book I picked up when I was looking for something to listen to as I was organizing the bookshelf last weekend. I realized my library had an audio copy of this book that had been on my TBR list since it first came out and I quickly snapped it up and downloaded it right away.

George is a poignant middle grade novel about Melissa, a transgender girl who longs to play Charlotte, in her fourth grade class production of Charlotte’s Web. I really loved this book! It was heartbreaking, but I grew to see Melissa as a real child struggling to show her family and the world that she’s a girl, not the boy she’s perceived to be. She is an inspiration and I was so proud of her for standing up for her dreams.

George stopped. It was such a short, little question, but she couldn’t make her mouth form the sounds.
Mom, what if I’m a girl?

George was narrated by Sense8's Jamie Clayton. While I haven't watched the show, she did a great job narrating the characters of this book. She added an extra dimension to this middle grade book and I could believe the emotion in her voice. I hope she continues to narrate books because I would love to listen to more from her! I could tell each character apart and its clear she spent time on her performance.

Though the book was clearly written to a younger audience, it teaches an important lesson that we could all learn from: BE WHO YOU ARE. Alex Gino says that they wrote George because “the hole in children’s literature was clear, and they knew how they wanted to fill it,” and I have to say it was a success! This is a book that should be in all school libraries. It is important, relevant, and teaches readers to love and celebrate who you are. I will definitely be reading more from Alex Gino!
5 Stars
Not If I See You First
Not If I See You First - Eric Lindstrom

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

This was a buddy read with Elizabeth over at ♥YA Buddy Reads Corner♥. I really enjoyed dishing about the book with you, girl!

I was first introduced to this book when it was chosen as Grace’s (from Rebel Mommy Book Blog) My TBR List pick. She RAVED about it and I am loving diversity in books so I quickly snatched up a copy for myself. There was so much to love about Not if I See You First. I read it super quickly, but I have struggled with how to put my love of this book in words.

I read a lot of YA romance but this has to be the first in a long time where I loved the entire main cast of characters. They were all so important to the story and they were all so different. Not only that, but they were realistic and they each had a clear, distinct personality. Let me introduce you to them:

Parker is a girl who follows the rules. Her rules. She may be blind but she can see right through your bullshit and she won’t hesitate to call you on it. And even better, she’s a kick ass heroine who ISN’T AFRAID TO ADMIT HER OWN FAILINGS. *gasps and flails* Can you even imagine?! A heroine that actually finds fault in her mistakes?!

But she’s not perfect, either. It takes some personal growth to really see how much she’s closed herself off from her close friends, her remaining family, and her own emotions. That’s the main thing I like about her. She grows as the novel moves on. It might be a slow growth, but by the end of the novel, she’s definitely learned a thing or two about her inability to trust easily and more importantly, she learns to forgive and move on. Nothing makes me happier than to find a YA heroine that learns from her mistakes. It seems like the romance genre is lacking in this department.

Scott ~ Scott is not the guy you think he is and he’s far from perfect. Sure he’s made his mistakes but he recognizes them and he’s sure as hell learned from them. He more than recognizes them, he kind of wallows in them. For a while, that is. It’s clear he is a mature guy - one of the most mature guys in a YA roman - in any sort of romance - that I’ve ever read. He is such a sweetheart, too! Gah, I love the guy. I wish he were a real guy.

Sarah and Faith are Parker’s two closest friends but they are all three pretty opposite from one another. Faith is popular, outgoing, but still can be counted on when her friends need her. Sarah is more introverted and less put together but she has her own problems. She bottles up her own personal issues and never wants to talk them through with Parker, which causes some tension throughout the book but eventually it all gets resolved. Molly becomes a close friend as well and it was fun watching them all grow close to another member of the circle.

I didn't just love the characters, either! I loved the slow building plot, the slightly unreliable narration (for a reason, guys!) and experiencing a book through a blind narrator. It’s a whole nother experience and a great way to get a feel for what the blind go through. It teaches etiquette and that’s important, even in fiction.

All-in-all, Not if I See You First was an exciting, unpredictable read. It was also a real tear-jerker so BE WARNED. Be sure to bring the tissues because if you’re anything like me, you are in for some real ugly crying! I can’t wait to read more from Eric Lindstrom. I can tell he’s going to be another automatic buy for me.
3 Stars
Evernight - Claudia Gray

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

It’s not often that I pick up a book expecting a sappy, predictable read and wind up wowed, but this was my experience with Evernight. Let’s back up a bit, though. I tend to go a bit crazy at used bookstores. I picked up this book acknowledging that I haven’t been in the mood for vampire romances in a LONG time, but I couldn’t pass up the good deal (It was $5.40 but since I have standing credit there, I only paid $2.70 for the book). YA books tend to be on the expensive side, so when I see a popular read that other bloggers have reviewed, I pick it up.

So, six months later and stuck in bed with a sore ass, I decided to give Evernight a shot. I wanted a book that would entertain me, but I didn’t really want to read anything with too much substance, because I seem to be in a perpetual book slump as it is! While I wouldn’t say the book has much in the way of substance, it definitely surprised me. I certainly underestimated Claudia Gray’s talent!

Bianca is forced to attend Evernight Academy when her parents accept teaching positions and moved her away from her small town and the only home she’s ever had. She hates everything about the Gothic boarding school and she’s pissed that her parents forced her to move, knowing how nervous she is around strangers.

Bianca meets Lucas as she’s in the process of skipping school to show her parents how wrong they were to move her to the snobby school for rich kids. *cue eye roll* After their intense and awkward meeting, the brooding blonde haired, green-eyed boy warns her to be careful and that he’s not good for him. Of course, like all teenage girls dazzled by a hunky boy, she fails to listen and they start to bond over their common disdain for being forced to attend Evernight Academy.

“I’m so sorry I hurt you.” A hot tear trickled down my cheek. Poor Lucas, always trying to protect me from danger. He’d never guessed that I was the dangerous one.”
Okay, I had my doubts that Bianca would be an enjoyable heroine. She’s naive, she doesn’t head clear and obvious warning signs about Lucas, and she acts like a spoiled kid because the world isn’t fair and why does she have to move and get to know all the snobby “kids” of Evernight Academy when she clearly doesn’t belong? Sigh. I did my fair share of eye-rolling at the beginning (and towards the middle and at the end). Okay, so I questioned a lot of Bianca’s not-so-brilliant moves, but as the book moved along and I am finally privy to one of the most WTF PLOT TWISTS I HAVE EVER RUN ACROSS (which was really just a family secret that Gray was cruel enough to hide from us), I began to understand how a 16-year-old girl could really be so clueless. It’s partly her parents fault for her being so ignorant about her own heritage, so I can get over my less than pleasant thoughts over Bianca.

He said, “I like the gargoyles, the mountains, and the fresh air. That’s it so far.”

“You like the gargoyles?”

“I like it when the monsters are smaller than me.”
Putting my issues with Bianca aside, I really didn’t have *that* many issues with Lucas, other than the fact he was clearly hiding something. View Spoiler » My true love was for Balthazar, and you won’t convince me otherwise. I really don’t see what Bianca sees in Lucas, anyways. She knows nothing about him and has waaay more in common with Balthazar. I am totally team Biancazar.
4 Stars
Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund: Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire
Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund: Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire - Ryan Beauchesne

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

My obsession with Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund began the way many addictions begin for me: my mother tagged me in a Facebook post. It was a cold and windy Saturday and I was developing an icky sinus infection. My mom and I were on our way home from a get-better-soon shopping trip to Barnes and Noble and I noticed a notification on my Facebook App. The moment I saw that adorable video of Crusoe in an Easter bunny costume, I was hooked! I quickly subscribed to his Facebook page, tracked down his blog, and once I learned he had written a book, well, I WAS SOLD. I guess Mom got tired of dealing with my drool stains, because she was kind enough to buy me a copy of his book!

When Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund finally showed up I was in wiener dog heaven. Here is a sneak peek at what you might find between the pages of his book:




There is so much to enjoy in Crusoe's "memoir." He tells us stories from his childhood, stories about growing up in the country and takes us along with him on some wacky adventures! My personal favorite moments from the book is when he dons his chef hat and cooks us up something yummy! Crusoe has many hobbies and the best part is probably all his little outfits!

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is such an original read! When you read through it like I did, it can seem a bit slow, but I couldn't miss Crusoe's adorable (albeit slightly unreliable and very biased) narration! :D I felt as if Crusoe was really telling his story. I also enjoyed meeting the rest of his furry family, Oakley (his wiener dog brother from another mother) and Laffie, the French Brittany Spaniel who was like a mother figure to him.

I hope Crusoe continues to write about his many extraordinary adventures, because he has made a life-long fan of me. You can also check out his blog (link in author bio) to get a sneak peek on his writing style. I recommend this book to EVERYONE! Pet lovers, kids, adults, wiener dog enthusiasts (such as myself). This book could appeal to all who loves a little humor mixed with adorable animal adventure!
0 Stars
SHADOWS OF DEATH: A Teen Death Paranormal Mystery Adventure Where Four Friends Unwittingly Release a Supernatural Epidemic!: Death Comes with Fury (and Dark Humor) To a Small Town South of Chicago
SHADOWS OF DEATH: A Teen Death Paranormal Mystery Adventure Where Four Friends Unwittingly Release a Supernatural Epidemic!: Death Comes with Fury (and Dark Humor) To a Small Town South of Chicago - Carl S. Plumer
Couldn't finish this audiobook, unfortunately. It just could not keep my interest so I moved on to something that could.
5 Stars
Nil Unlocked
Nil Unlocked - Lynne Matson

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

Warning: If you have not read Nil, I do not recommend reading Nil Unlocked until you have. While the story would work okay as a stand alone, its best to experience this story as a sequel as some of the important aspects of the setting will probably be lost to you.

Boy, what an emotional roller coaster! Lynne Matson took me on a nail-biting, action-packed adventure that I could never have dreamed up in a million years. Nil Unlocked was the perfect sequel to Nil, and I regret that I put off reading it for so long!

"The ground shook like Hadies had lost his temper.
Or his favorite toy. Or both."

Nil Unlocked began on Nil in the exact place we left off in the previous book, with a stunned Rives and an angry grizzly bear. It was wonderful to be back on the island, but it soon became clear that Nil has changed in scary, unpredictable ways. As exciting as it was for me to be back, with Rives as Leader of Nil City, fear and anxiety soon warred with my excitement as my concern for the characters grew. Nil is no longer what it used to be and all the rules that the teenagers learn to survive by seem to be changing drastically. While I was overjoyed by the happy ending of the first book, it brought about some irreversible changes to Nil that the teenagers have to survive, along with Nil's unexpected and seemingly deadly reaction to Skye's sudden presence.

While Nil Unlocked is very similar to its predecessor, it's very different in the best of ways.

For one, the island felt like a completely different place. The havoc Nil wrecks in this book made Nil island of book one look like cake compared to this one. It was like coming home one night to finding your house changed into a huge ass mansion, and you have to learn how to navigate it all over again. It's not a bad change, but its a hell of a surprise that makes you wonder if you're really just going insane.

Unsurprisingly, the edge-of-your-seat danger sky rocketed (no pun intended) and the complex and impossible mission Skye an Rives faced made for a slower building romance than the first book offered, which I totally understood. They had a few more concerns that were more important than playing kissy face. It gave me more time to get to know Skye and Rives as separate main characters and I began to question who really was the bigger bad ass; the new Leader of the city that is determined to make sure every one of his charges survive or the newest addition to the group who seems to have more skill, bravery, and self-awareness than any teenager in her place would?

Not only is there more danger and romance, but a new group of Nil inhabitants are revealed to the survivors that adds more complexity to the mysterious existence of Nil (as if it weren't complex enough to have a random island that doesn't show up on a map that magically kidnaps teenagers) and with the new inhabitants, came new questions about the origins of Nil. So much happened in Nil Unlocked that I would have felt lost and confused with a less talented author, but Matson managed to reveal answers, new challenges, and more questions in crazy complex world-building, but easy to follow writing. It couldn't have been an easy feat and I'm mightily impressed!

Also, I'm more than slightly book hung over and worried that this review makes absolutely zero sense. (Oh, well. What's new?)

This is the second novel I've read from Matson and its becoming clear that she enjoys creating heroines that are bad-ass but down to earth enough to enjoy. Skye recently moved in with her astrophysicist father after her mom left for a new dig in Africa. Her father is also a survivalist obsessed with the weird and unexplained, which so happens to help Skye adapt to living on a nonexistent island where your days are literally numbered fairly quickly. She understands Nil and it was nice to have a main character who knows what she wants and has a no-nonsense attitude about going after it.

"I'd now spent 241 consequative days in this deadly arena, more conseqative days than I'd spent in any place ever. Staying in one place so long implied roots, at least to me. But I damn sure wouldn't call Nil home."

Rives has been a fast favorite of mine since I met him in Nil. He's a handsome devil who has a wicked sense of humor that is unfortunately dampened a bit in Nil Unlocked. I wasn't disappointed, because who wouldn't find face a personality change in a new and intense responsibility. Oh and don't forget that impossible new mission that he's supposed to help with - before his 365 days are up. He is dealing with a painful loss and a new, and fierce attraction to someone who seems to have more secrets than Nil. This boy does not have it easy, I'm afraid.

As you can tell, I really loved this book. I loved the crazy new changes that I didn't see coming, the character development, the world building and most of all, I loved how personified Nil became as the story developed. I learned a lot about the characters and the island and I'm impatient (and terrified) of what Matson has planned for the characters in Nil on Fire. This book was fantastic and I recommend it to any and all readers who love adventure, danger, romance, and adversity.The year has just started but I can already tell Nil Unlocked is making it on my 2016 Top Ten Favorites list!