THE HELP By Kathryn Stockett

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 HELP By Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published by Berkley on 4/5/11
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town..

Dear Friend,

Recently, I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely loved it! Why I didn’t read it sooner, I don’t know.

I picked up the book because its been my sister, Dani’s, favorite read of all time for a while now. It even holds a prominent place on her bookshelf.

I’ve seen the movie a while ago and thought it was very good. It never crossed my mind to read the book, though. Yet I’m so glad I did.

Seeing the movie beforehand didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. Even though the characters were described differently than their movie counterparts, I still saw them as the actors who portrayed them.

You won’t be surprised, of course when I tell you that the book is so much better than the movie! It’s richly detailed and you grow to know Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny on a deeper level. This story is rich with emotion, history, and relationships. The relationship between the main characters themselves, their families and friends, between blacks and whites, and maids and their employers.

After all I’ve said so far, you must know that I think you read this now. And if you’re like me, always looking for romance in what you read, you won’t be disappointed by miss Celia and Johnny.

I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Until next read 😉

Your Friend and fellow book-nerd,

Ali.

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THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED By Page Morgan

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 BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED By Page MorganThe Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published by Delacorte Press on 5/14/13
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties for Ingrid, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother, Grayson, was sent ahead to secure for the family isn't a house at all. It's an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson is missing.
Yet no one seems worried about his whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn't dead--she can feel it deep in her soul--but she knows he's in grave danger, and that it's up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.
The path to Grayson will be twisted, leading Ingrid to discover dark secrets and otherworldly truths that, once uncovered, can never again be buried.

Short and Sweet

After a weird accident Ingrid Waverly, her mother, and younger sister leave London and move to Paris. When they arrive they discover that Grayson, Ingrid’s twin brother who was to have arrived earlier has gone missing. Ingrid and Gabby vow to find their brother before its too late.

Characters

Ingrid: Our main character who discovers that her brother is missing and that there may be more to the accident that happened in London than she thought. Ingrid was a good main character she cared about those closest to her. The things she learns about in Paris are interesting it makes her think about things from all angles.

Gabby: Gabby is Ingrid and Grayson’s younger sister. Gabby as the younger sibling is impulsive, but she does mean well.

Romance

Ingrid and Luc: I loved these two Luc clearly cares a lot about Ingrid more than he has for anyone before and I think that these feelings have him confused as to why he feels this way mainly because gargoyles only protect their charges because its their job, but there’s something different about the way he feels when it comes to Ingrid.

Gabby and Nolan: I don’t know which couple I liked more Gabby and Nolan or Ingrid and Luc. There was romantic tension between Gabby and Nolan and I just wanted them to be together so bad! Nolan kept pushing Gabby away and she had feelings for him and this made me ship them.

My Thoughts

~ I’ve read a lot of paranormal books and this is the first one I’ve read that had gargoyles in it. I loved it, this book was so different and I loved the setting of 1899 Paris.

~ Each of the characters were enjoyable and I also liked their interactions with each other and how they all came together, because of Graysons disappearance.

~ The mystery surrounding Grayson’s disappearance was so intriguing to me, we do get some chapters in his point of view but we don’t know who took him and why.

~ I liked that there were two different groups the gargoyles and the alliance. They don’t like each other but they try to stay on good terms with each other in case they need each others help.

~ There’s also demons coming from the underworld trying to get to the sisters, because the same thing that took Grayson is looking for his sisters next.

~ One thing that really surprised me was when one of the characters turns out to be one we can’t trust.

Overall

This was an amazing read, I’m excited to read the sequel, which is on my shelf. The ending was great and left me wanting more and to see what these siblings will have to endure next. I think this is a great book for people who like paranormal books with a little bit of a mystery.

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UNFILTERED: NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, JUST ME. By Lily Collins

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.

UNFILTERED: NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, JUST ME. By Lily CollinsUnfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. by Lily Collins
Published by HarperCollins on 3/7/17
Genres: Autobiography, Contemporary, Nonfiction
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She's learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

Short and Sweet Review

Unfiltered was about Lily’s life and personal experiences, each chapter touches on a different subject and Lily’s experience and how she dealt with this issue. This was a book that I’m sure a lot of readers can relate to, there’s a lot of subjects that Lily covers in this book: relationships, self-love, eating disorders. Collins did a great job at just putting it all out there she wasn’t afraid to address what has happened in her past and how it has changed the present. There’s definitely an emphasis on making it to the other side, Lily went through things that are pretty dark but she tries to focus on how she has come out of that, she is also about self-acceptance and loving yourself flaws and all. My favorite chapter in this book was “We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve,” I think Collins did an amazing job at making such personal things in her life relatable to the audience. Unfiltered is one of the first book of memoirs or essays that I’ve read and I was impressed. I loved how personal it got and it felt like I got to know Lily on another level and even if I couldn’t relate to some of the essays it was interesting to see how she navigated through some of these issues and how she’s dealt with them. I recommend this book so pick it up if you have the chance!

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RUTHLESS By Carolyn Lee Adams

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.

RUTHLESS By Carolyn Lee AdamsRuthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
Published by Simon Pulse on 7/14/15
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 257
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decide just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

Short and Sweet Review

Ruth Carver wakes up and finds herself with a concussion and in the bed of a truck, come to find out shes been taken by a mysterious man and is now in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Ruth’s kidnapper is a psychopath and Ruth just happened to be his type, but what he doesn’t know is that he underestimated Ruth and that shes intelligent and willing to do anything to make it out of this game alive. This was definitely a thriller Ruth is in the woods alone with no one to help her trying to get away from her kidnapper. Ruth had amazing survival skills which helped her outsmart her kidnapper. We learn the kidnappers backstory and it’s sad but explains why he is the way he is. At some points Ruth does want to give up but she remembers what shes fighting for and continues to push on. While reading this book I did become worried for Ruth she was running from a kidnapper who seemed to know what he was doing and when she did seem to get away that’s when I got nervous for her because I was just wondering when he would pop up again. The writing in this book was great and the plot had me hooked it was just so intense. This was a great book if you like thrillers I would recommend this book for you!

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WITH MALICE By Eileen Cook

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.

WITH MALICE By Eileen CookWith Malice by Eileen Cook
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on 6/7/16
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Short and Sweet

Jill’s trip to Italy was supposed to be the time of her life, but when she wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the last six weeks she’s confused to learn that she’s suspect number one in the murder of her best friend. Now Jill has to try to remember what happened during her time in Italy and prove her innocence.

Characters

Jill: Our main character who doesn’t remember anything from her trip to Italy especially the accident. Jill was an okay character, she was frustrated during most of the book because she couldn’t remember anything that would be useful to the case. The one thing that bothered me about Jill was the fact that she thought she could never intentionally hurt Simone, like how would you know?

Simone: Jill’s best friend, who also went on the trip to Italy but didn’t make it back alive. The only thing we really know about Simone was that she was friends with Jill and that her parents thought Jill was the one who always set up the plans that had these two girls up to no good.

Romance

In America Jill does not have a boyfriend from what I read in the book it seems like Jill stayed away from boys like the plague. But you know what happens in Italy stays in Italy unless the boy you were involved with also becomes a suspect in the murder investigation. In Italy Jill met Nico an Italian student who works as a guide for the program Jill is in. We don’t really learn much about this relationship because Jill can’t remember anything, but we know for sure that these two got together.

My Thoughts

~ My favorite thing about this book was getting to see the police transcripts and learning other people’s perspectives on what happened in Italy with Jill and Simone especially because Jill doesn’t remember.

~ There’s a lot of twists in this book mainly because whenever Jill does feel like she remembers something we don’t know if it actually happened or if she was being influenced by what shes reading in the news about the accident.

~ Our setting in the book is a hospital and then a rehab facility that Jill stays in while she recovers. Jill also takes some therapy classes while there and I liked reading about these sessions because Jill tries to dig a little deeper into her feelings and her life.

~ Jill meets Anna in the rehab facility and I liked her character more than Jill. Anna seemed to be a realist and thought logically while Jill seemed to think everything would be okay.

Overall

With Malice was a good book overall, I didn’t enjoy the ending that much I wish there was more I feel like it was kind of rushed. I liked that the book had me guessing as to what happened in Italy and we have to piece it together, could Jill murder her best friend or not?

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ELEMENTALS: THE WRATH OF THE FURY By Michelle Madow

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.

ELEMENTALS: THE WRATH OF THE FURY By Michelle MadowElementals: The Wrath of the Fury by Michelle Madow
Series: Elementals
Published by Dreamscape Publishing on 2/23/17
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Mythology, Young Adult
Pages: 36
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Everything changed on the night of the Olympian Comet.

I’ve always known that I’m a witch. But I didn’t expect to discover that I have a mysterious power unheard of amongst my kind. My best friend Garrett — who I’ve secretly been wanting to become more than a friend — has one of these powers too.

We know something big is going on. But we didn’t realize that there are ancient creatures searching for us, and that they’ll kill us for what we are…

Short and Sweet

The Wrath of the Fury is a short story in the Elementals universe. In the book we meet new characters, Sydney, Garrett, and Kayla and these characters are in Las Vegas. Our characters are warned in the beginning not to go out because of how dangerous it might be but our characters go out anyway. Afterwards the characters run into some trouble and have decisions to make. I liked this short story a lot, it was fun to be back in the Elementals universe. There was action and even though it was short it was a great insight into the world. Sydney was a good character and was smart too I also liked her friends and I think it would be nice to see them in another book. This book was great and can be read before, during, or after reading the series.

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THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND By Kasie West

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 FILL-IN BOYFRIEND By Kasie WestThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on 5/5/15
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she decides to do the unthinkable…convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. The task is simple: two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

The problem is that days after prom, she can't stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend. But can Gia turn her fake boyfriend into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly destroying her friendships and her newfound relationship?

Short and Sweet Review

When Gia’s boyfriend, Bradley dumps her in the parking lot before walking into the prom Gia has to think fast and she decides to have a cute guy in the parking lot to be her boyfriend. Everything is fine until a few days later Gia realizes she can’t get him out of her head, now Gia wants to make her fill-in her actual boyfriend, but will this decision expose her lies or ruin her friendships? Bradley dumping Gia was clearly a big deal mainly because none of her friends have met Bradley and there’s a new girl in her group of her friends that seems set on bringing Gia down, after being dumped Gia worries that her friends will think she was lying about her relationship. Gia than finds Hayden and asks him to be Bradley for the sake of not looking like a liar in front of her friends. Gia finds her self falling for Hayden, which I didn’t mind at all they were cute together and had great chemistry. I liked the whole plot of this book Gia finding Hayden and pretending that he’s her boyfriend and falling for him and having to deal with feeling like her friends were being taken away from her. It was interesting seeing how Gia would handle all of the situations that were thrown her way. I found this book to be cute, I love all of Kasie West’s books! This book is perfect to read during the summer, its light cute, and full of fluff, pick it up and read it!

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BLACKBIRD By Anna Carey

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.

BLACKBIRD By Anna CareyBlackbird by Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Published by HarperTeen on 9/16/14
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

When a nameless girl wakes up on the subway tracks, she knows only one thing for sure: people want her dead. Can she find them before they track her down? This pulse-pounding contemporary thriller is perfect for fans of The Maze RunnerThe Darkest Minds, and Legend.

Things I Know Are True:
  • I am in Los Angeles
  • I woke up on the train tracks at the Vermont/Sunset station
  • I am a teenage girl
  • I have long black hair
  • I have a bird tattoo on the inside of my right wrist with the letters and numbers FNV02198
  • People are trying to kill me

Short and Sweet Review

A nameless girl wakes up on train tracks and has no memory of how she got there or who she is, all she knows is that she has this strange tattoo and that people are after her. Now she’s on the run and trying to figure out who she is. The main protagonist is “you” because the book is written in second person, but she tells people her name is Sunny. While trying to figure out who Sunny actually is we follow her around Los Angeles, she has a list of directions to follow and a knapsack full of things she may need. Sunny is already being looked for by police because she was on the train tracks but she then becomes wanted after being set up in an office building, after that is when things start to pick up. I enjoyed seeing how smart Sunny was and how good she was at evading those who were after her and watching her slowly get her memory back. Sunny meets Ben who becomes one of the only people she trusts and he was a romantic interest for her. The book ended on a cliffhanger which I didn’t like because I thought I would get more answers. Blackbird was interesting but I couldn’t stand the second person, I had to push myself to get through it because of this I can’t decide if I would want to read Deadfall or not. Overall it was a good book, it was short and interesting but the second person is kind of a deal breaker for me.

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TEMPESTUOUS By Kim Askew And Amy Helmes

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.

TEMPESTUOUS By Kim Askew And Amy HelmesTempestuous by Amy Helmes, Kim Askew
Series: Twisted Lit #1
Published by Simon Pulse on 11/18/12
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Realistic Fiction, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 226
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

After a mistake with big financial consequences topples her throne, former "it girl" Miranda Prospero is bitter: she finds herself stranded in a crazed new world, holding court among geeks and misfits at a mall Hot Dog Kabob stand. Then, she gets her chance for revenge. When the storm of the decade snows in the mall workers and last-minute shopaholics for a long winter's night, Miranda sets out to get back at the catty clique who was behind her exile. But there's a complication. She somehow gets handcuffed to sullen loner Caleb. With him (literally) bound to her side, Miranda learns more in one night about her own heart, and human nature, than she ever did as prep royalty.

Short and Sweet Review

Miranda used to be the “it girl” until a scandal brought her down. Now Miranda is working at the mall’s food court and trying to make it through being a social outcast. A snowstorm hits and leaves Miranda, her coworkers, and her former friends stuck in the mall together, Miranda thinks this is the perfect time to get revenge. There was a lot going on in this book, not only was Miranda stuck in the mall, she’s also trying to get revenge, throw a party for a coworker, and trying to figure out who in the mall is committing robberies during the snow storm. I liked that the setting was the mall I think it would be so much fun to be locked in a mall for the night. I didn’t enjoy Miranda’s character, she was so rude to people and didn’t give them a chance even if she just met them, we do get to see a change in heart from her but it was later in the book like the last 30 pages. Miranda’s coworkers were diverse and it was fun to learn what stores they worked at and getting to know more about them. We also get to see Miranda’s former friends, they’re pretty awful too, most of the book was focused on them and the revenge Miranda planned to get on them. The robbery was a minor plot in the book we hear about it once during the beginning of the book and then again at the end, it wasn’t really much of a mystery because most of the characters blew it off, they knew the person was still in the mall but they didn’t go looking for who it would be. Miranda also has a romantic interest in the book, I liked it mainly because of Caleb he didn’t let Miranda get to him, they were also handcuffed to each other during most of the book. I’ve never read The Tempest by Shakespeare so I don’t know how closely this book resembles it but overall I thought it was an okay read. The book was short and easy to read I just didn’t like Miranda’s dialogue, but I think some of the other characters make up for it.

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ALL THE FEELS By Danika Stone

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.

ALL THE FEELS By Danika StoneAll The Feels by Danika Stone
Published by Swoon Reads on 6/7/16
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life. When her favorite character is killed off, Liv Just. Can't. Deal. She launches an online campaign to bring her hero back to life. Step one: Bribe her best friend, Xander, into helping by making costumes for his steampunk cosplay. Step two: Balance her booming fandom life with school, parental disapproval, and her (nonexistent) love life. Maybe a trip to Dragon Con with Xander would help?

Short and Sweet Review

Liv is a college freshman and a fangirl of the Starveil franchise. Her heart is shattered when her favorite character is killed off, now Liv is determined to bring him back with the help of her fellow fans, Starveil fandom, and her best friend Xander. I enjoyed this book it was short, light, and a quick read. I found it interesting to read because of her love for this franchise and seeing how Liv interacted with the fandom online, I also liked how Xander wasn’t into the movies like Liv, but was into steampunk. I loved Xander he was quirky and he looked out for Liv and was the sweetest person to her. Liv was a good character too I found it funny how she was moping around because of Spartans death but she was determined to change that I thats what I liked the most about her. I felt bad that her mom didn’t understand why Liv loved Starveil so much, it was her only connection with her now deceased father. Liv continued to pursue her passion even though there was that disapproval lingering from her mom. I liked the transitions in the book, we get to see Liv in Boulder, and then follow her during her spring semester, and then her and Xander go to Dragon Con in Atlanta. Xander and Liv’s friendship made me swoon I loved them so much, they made a cute couple in the end and I was so happy! This book is cute and I would recommend it! We get fandom and steampunk and friendships and the life of a college student, pick this book up!

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