THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE By Colleen Gleason

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

THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE By Colleen GleasonThe Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #2
Published by Chronicle Books on 10/7/14
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 360
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you're the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak.

After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa appear lunatic using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected?

As Uncle Sherlock would say, there are no coincidences. It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.

Short and Sweet Review

In The Spiritglass Charade, Mina and Evaline are asked to investigate who is trying to get a young heiress’ fortune. There’s also the mystery of a missing brother and vampires coming back to London. In this book we still have the same characters we met in the first book. This time both of the girls are eager to show that they have the skills to solve this mystery. The mystery surrounding Willa was well done, it wasn’t obvious who was trying to get her fortune. Mina was a hard character to connect to mainly because she comes across as smug  whenever she makes a deduction. I like Eva but during this book she made a lot of reckless decisions. Pix was also in this book and he’s just a big mystery. Who is he working for and what is he up to? Grayling is also back and I just love his character I want more of him he takes his job seriously and keeps Mina on her toes. I thought that Grayling’s scenes with Mina were cute I liked when they were together. The Ankh doesn’t make an appearance in this book but she was mentioned. I love mysteries and this series is great, I can’t wait to read the next book!

THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB By Colleen Gleason

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

THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB By Colleen GleasonThe Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #1
Published by Chronicle Books on 9/17/13
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 356
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business.

But when you're the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there's no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: the strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high.

If Stoker and Holmes don't unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they'll become the next victims.

Short and Sweet Review

Mina Holmes is the niece of Sherlock and Evaline Stoker is the younger sister of Bram. These girls live two totally different lives, Mina has the same great observation and deduction skills that her uncle has, and Evaline has strength and quickness which helps her to fight vampires. The girls meet at the British Museum and meet Irene Adler, who informs them of a mystery. The mystery being young women who have either disappeared or have been found murdered. Both Evaline and Mina have to work together to stop the evil that is going on throughout London. These two girls did not mesh Mina thought that Evaline was impulsive and Evaline thought that Mina was a know it all. I enjoyed this book it’s so different, its a steampunk novel that takes place in London. The mystery itself kept me on my toes we get to see a bit of Egyptian mythology as well. There’s a lot of character development in this book and though we do get to meet male characters they’re not the focus of the book. I love mysteries and this one was so interesting the steampunk aspect and the two main characters. This book is worth reading!

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HUNTED By Meagan Spooner

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

HUNTED By Meagan SpoonerHunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on 3/14/17
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones--and in her blood. 

Though Yeva grew up with the city's highest aristocrats, far from her father's old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who's ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there's no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas...or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva's father's misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he'd been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters' protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory--a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva's only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Short and Sweet

Yeva lives in the city with her two sisters and father, but when her father makes a risky business decision that goes wrong the family is forced to move to her father’s lodge in the forest. Her father used to be a hunter and takes it up again once they arrive at the lodge, but he starts to lose his mind and goes missing in the woods. Yeva goes after him and the beast that he mentioned before he went missing.

Characters

Yeva (Beauty): Yeva is family oriented and she loves them a lot and she’s willing to make sacrifices that she thinks will help her family. Yeva is graceful and intelligent, she has a love for nature and hunting.

Beast: We get to read from the beast’s POV and we see that he’s conflicted with fighting his animal side and human side.

Romance

Yeva and Solmir: He was one of Yeva’s suitors he was rich and willing to help her family. He and Yeva built a friendship over time and Yeva tries to find feelings for him, so that she might take him up on his offer of marriage. When Yeva goes looking for her father she makes a deal with Solmir that if he looks out for her sisters when she comes back she’ll marry him.

Yeva and Beast: This was a slow building relationship. Yeva was being held captive by the Beast and their interactions were tense at first, but they soon began to understand each other and show more compassion.

Quotes

“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

My Thoughts

~ Let me be completely honest, I’ve never watched Beauty and the Beast so going into this book I didn’t know much about the original story.

~ I think the book started off slow but once I got to the point where Yeva and her family moved to the lodge things started to pick up for me.

~ Yeva was always looking for something more in her life but whenever she thought about what that something was she didn’t know. The Beast was also the same way and that was what led him to being cursed.

~ I liked seeing the relationship between Beauty and the Beast develop it was slow and it took time. Beauty’s presence helped Beast regain control of his human side.

~ Beauty was intelligent and knew that the Beast couldn’t tell her about the curse so she did some inquiring of her own around his castle whenever she had the chance.

~ I loved the setting, it was somewhere in Russia and we get to go through the seasons and it felt like I was there with the characters.

Overall

The writing was beautiful and as soon as I got into the book I couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters and their different personalities and getting to see Yeva grow. This was a great introduction to Beauty and the Beast for me, and I recommend it!

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UNRIVALED By Alyson Noel

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

UNRIVALED By Alyson NoelUnrivaled by Alyson Noel
Series: Beautiful Idols #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 5/10/16
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Everyone wants to be someone. Layla Harrison wants to be a reporter. Aster Amirpour wants to be an actress. Tommy Phillips wants to be a guitar hero.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her own a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Short and Sweet

We follow Aster, Layla, and Tommy as they work as promoters for Hollywood’s hottest night clubs. Only one will win the competition, each of them thinks this will help kick start their careers.

Characters

Layla: A wannabe reporter trying to make it to a journalism school in New York, she also had a blog where she wrote about celebrities.

Aster: Aster wants to be an actress and this not follow her parents dreams of her either being a doctor or a lawyer. Aster thinks this competition will bring her stardom.

Tommy: A boy from a small town in Oklahoma who moved to LA to start his music career.

Madison: Hollywood’s “It girl” who has a mysterious past.

Ira Redman: Owner of the clubs.

Romance

Okay so first I’ll start with actual relationships and then move to hookups.

Layla and Mateo: They were in a relationship before the Layla joined the competition, but their relationship becomes strained the more Layla focuses on the competition and not Mateo.

Madison and Ryan: So both of these characters are celebrities. This relationship was set up by their agents hoping to get both of them some more publicity. You can tell from the beginning that this relationship isn’t working, they’re both basically using each other, not the kind of relationship where you would look at them and say, “aw they’re so in love!”

Aster and Ryan: I don’t even know where to start with this. This was one of those things where the girl knows that the guy has a boyfriend but the guy was like no no I don’t really like the person i’m in a relationship with. So basically these two hooked up and it was front page news.

Layla and Tommy: These two just shared a drunken kiss on the dance floor.

Quotes

~ “I came here to win, same as you. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.”

My Thoughts

~ There are four POVs and I feel like once you read through all of them in the first couple of chapters, it’s not hard to keep up with which one you’re reading. There wasn’t a particular person I liked reading more than the other mainly because each of them was exciting and held my interest. each character had something going on in their lives outside of the competition.

~ The competition was changing everyone’s life and we get to see how far they’ll really go just to win. You can even see some of the characters losing themselves and even though they knew right from wrong they were in it to win it.

~ Each character was unique and different in their own ways they each came from a different walk of life. I feel that Aster and Layla went through more character development than Tommy did.

~ So the mystery aspect of the book didn’t take part until the 65% point. And this isn’t a spoiler but I feel like there is still so much that was unanswered and I hope most of those questions are answered in the next book, Blacklist.

~ Madison was an interesting character, she’s mysterious and I want to know more about her. I’m sure everyone in the book wants to know more about her. Madison’s past is a mystery in and of itself and what she’s hiding must be big.

~ I thought the competition aspect was okay. There were three nightclubs and each main character worked in one and they had teams. At the end of the week someone would go home.

Overall

This was a really solid book I loved it and it was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slump. It’s fast paced and full of secrets, lies, blackmailing, and mystery. This book held my attention from the very beginning to the end. Definitely recommend it!

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#FAMOUS By Jilly Gagnon

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

#FAMOUS By Jilly Gagnon#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 2/14/17
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

In this modern day love story: Girl likes boy. Girl snaps photo and posts it online. Boy becomes insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent photo turns into a whirlwind adventure that forces them both to question whether fame—and love—are worth the price…and changes both of their lives forever.

Short and Sweet Review

One faithful day at the mall Rachel takes a picture of Kyle and she post the picture on Flit a social media website and it ends up going viral. Kyle becomes a sensation and people want to meet him and take pictures and he even ends up on a talk show. Rachel on the other hand got a lot of backlash people were vicious. I enjoyed the storyline, it was cute and light. We have to see how these two navigate whats happening to them, Rachel with dealing with mean comments and Kyle with the stardom. We also get to see Kyle and Rachel be put together because of the talk show that Kyle goes on. I think they were both okay characters we don’t see much growth from them but we see how they deal with their struggles, Rachel with trying to accept herself while others are putting her down and Kyle with not losing himself and his current reality with everything that is happening. The ending was great and things were wrapped up nicely. This book was cute, light, and a fast read it would be a good read for the summer, just two teens dealing with stardom.

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DREAMOLOGY By Lucy Keating

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

DREAMOLOGY By Lucy KeatingDreamology by Lucy Keating
Published by HarperTeen on 4/12/16
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

Short and Sweet

Since Alice was little she has always had dreams with Max in them. In these dreams Alice and Max go on adventures and travel the world. Of course Max isn’t real because he’s only in Alice’s dreams, but everything changes when Alice walks into her new school and into class and sees Max. This Max is different than dream Max he’s doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Alice. Now Alice is determined to find out why they dream about each other, because things from their dreams are starting to seep into their reality.

Characters

Alice: Our main character who has dreams about Max, and is trying to fit in at a new school. She also has a few family issues, due to the fact that her mother left her at a young age and hasn’t returned. Alice is a dreamer, she’s adventurous and not afraid to admit it, she was out there. When Alice put her mind to something she didn’t stop until she got it.

Max: The boy Alice dreams about. Max is very different in the dreams and reality. Dream Max is fun and adventurous. Max in reality is a little stubborn and reserved he likes to think things through.

Romance

Obviously in their dreams Max and Alice are in a relationship, but in reality Max has a girlfriend Celeste, which complicates a lot of things. They both have feelings for each other but Max is taken so its complicated.

My Thoughts

~ My favorite part about this book was reading about Max and Alice’s dreams, they go to the most amazing places and have the most adventurous dreams. In one dream they were going down a river of milk with a Cheerio and Froot Loop as a tube.

~ I kind of felt bad for Alice she finds out that Max is real but he’s nothing like the Max she knows in her dreams. I also felt bad for Max’s girlfriend Celeste, her boyfriend has been dreaming about another girl since he was little.

~ Oliver was probably one of my favorite characters. He was known as a rule breaker and he was swoon worthy. He was one of Alice’s first friends at her new school. He was also the main source of humor.

~ Okay so the problem Alice and Max are facing is that their dreams are starting to bleed into reality and if they don’t put a stop to it they could possibly lose their sense of reality.

~ Max and Alice discover the Center for Dream Discovery (CDD) which is where they went as children to deal with the fact that they couldn’t sleep. Here Alice and Max try to figure out whats going on with them.

~ Finding out what happened that made this two dream about each other was so interesting, I also thought it was crazy that because they’ve been doing it for so long it was starting to become dangerous.

Overall

This book was cute and it didn’t take long to read at all! I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed it. This book is different and I think now is the perfect time to read it, it’s almost the summer and this book is light, funny and cute! Pick it up!

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FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy Zhang

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

FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy ZhangFalling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Published by Greenwillow Books on 9/9/14
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

She would be an object in motion that would stay in motion, even if it meant flattening everything in her path.

One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? This haunting, nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High's most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn't understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn't understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Liz Emerson has been in an accident of her own doing, which began long before she ran her car into a tree. We go from present to past and back again to delve into Liz’s life and that of her friends, Julia and Kennie, to see how actions and interactions have the power to impact ourselves and those around us.

Amy Zhang has written a raw and mesmerizing story that’ll have you loving and hating Liz Emerson and her two best friends. They come across as typical superficial high school girls, but we come to see them as multi-layered characters who came to be a product of circumstance.

Falling Into Place is emotional and comes across as true to life. I’d recommend to not just YA readers but to those who have been or are now where Liz Emerson found herself, thinking the world would be better off without them. Engaging and heartfelt, readers will continue to ponder on this story even after the end.

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME By Beth M. Honeycutt

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

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME By Beth M. HoneycuttWhat Dreams May Come by Beth M. Honeycutt
Series: Dreams #1
Published by Beth M. Honeycutt on 5/28/14
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 249
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

He knows her darkest secrets, sees into her dreams. Math class will never be the same.

Reality is overrated. Or so Ellie Cross believes. She greatly prefers the dreams she shares with her lifelong BFF and secret crush, Gabe, to her real life. And okay, so yeah, lately Ellie’s noticed that Gabe’s kinda hot. Make that incredibly hot. But that doesn’t mean she’s crazy or anything. And so what if she happens to have an itsy-bitsy crush on her reality-challenged friend? Who’s it hurting, really? Even better, since he isn’t real, she can tell dream-guy-Gabe anything, without ever worrying that he’ll ditch her for someone cooler or embarrass her by blabbing her secrets.

But things are about to get complicated, because there’s a new guy in school—a guy with hauntingly familiar eyes. A guy who knows things about Ellie that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing…

Short and Sweet Review

Ellie has been talking to Gabe in her dreams for a while. No one believes he’s real except for Ellie, so when a new student named Gabriel seems to know more about Ellie then he should she starts to question if her two worlds can actually collide. So I’m trying to figure out how to write this review. I liked this book I feel like maybe if I was younger I would like it a lot more than I did. I don’t know Ellie was an okay character to me she didn’t have a lot of self esteem which I can understand because she’s been bullied, but at some point in the book I just got annoyed by her. She kept pushing Gabriel away mainly because she wanted to stay loyal to Gabe, but it took her a while to figure out how similar they really were. If Ellie just took the time to get to know him instead of avoiding him all would have been easy breezy. I would commend Gabriel and his patience to gibe Ellie time to come around. I liked Mitzi and her care free attitude and how she was definitely the opposite of Ellie. Anyway it was a cute story, it’s really short and you can read through it quick, the only thing I didn’t like was how whiny Ellie seemed at times. By the way I just realized this is only an ebook. Would I recommend this book? Sure maybe to readers in high school but as for me it just wasn’t something I liked at this age (I’m only 20).

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FRAGILE SPIRITS By Mary Lindsey

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

FRAGILE SPIRITS By Mary LindseyFragile Spirits by Mary Lindsey
Series: Souls #2
Published by Philomel Books on 1/23/14
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Paul has always known he was a Protector, fated to serve a Speaker who could hear the voices of spirits lingering after death and help those souls find peace.

Vivienne ignores the voices of the dead.
Paul has always followed the Protector's rule book, preparing diligently for the day when he'd be matched with his Speaker and fulfill his destiny.
 Vivienne never does what she's told.
So when Paul is matched with Vivienne, they both find the pairing less than satisfactory. But a kidnapping, a malevolent spirit and a power stronger than both of them may just prove that they are two halves of the same whole.

Short and Sweet Reviews

When Paul finally gets to meet his speaker Vivienne, she’s not what he expected at all. Paul follows the rules right out of the book and Vivienne she just like to go to the beat of her own drum. When the two get together to start helping souls find peace it’s a pretty rocky start, but as soon as they get to know each other things start going smoothly. This book is the sister novel to Shattered Souls. Most of the characters from the first book are in this one. The relationship between Paul and Vivienne really makes the book, (opposites attract). I love how this book involves characters from the last book. The ending was really good I loved it I especially loved it how everyone works as a team. If there is another book in this series I would buy it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Paranormal, and Romance.

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SHATTERED SOULS By Mary Lindsey

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

SHATTERED SOULS By Mary LindseyShattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Series: Souls #1
Published by Speak on 12/6/12
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Short and Sweet Review

Lenzi’s dad recently died he committed suicide, because he couldn’t get rid of the voices in his head. Now, Lenzi is starting to hear things and see things too. One night in the graveyard Lenzi meets a stranger named Alden,who tells Lenzi that she is a Speaker, she has the ability to speak to lost souls and help them to find rest in death by freeing them from the problems that keep them bound to Earth. Alden is her Protector, he protects her from Malevolents, violent spirits who don’t want to be helped, but who could potentially possess Lenzi’s body, using it to take out their rage or revenge. The problem is there is a malevolent spirit who wants revenge on Lenzi and she doesn’t know why. I loved this book it was like Ghost Whisperer in book form. I liked seeing how Lenzi had to adjust to this new life of being a speaker and learning how to do things again. This book had so many elements I liked, my favorite thing would have to be learning about Lenzi’s past lives as a speaker. It was interesting and it also helps us find out what this malevolent spirit wants from her. Alden is sweet and charming although he does have his moments where he can be awkward. The plot is great and had me hooked the book is creepy and has a bit of a mysterious vibe to it. Definitely pick this one up if you like books about ghost or want a book with Ghost Whisperer vibes!

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