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Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Format: eBook
Pages: 668
Source: Purchased

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I’m so freaking glad I finally decided to read Tower of Dawn. I love this series to pieces, but I admit that I was meh-ish about reading this book when I discovered it follows Chaol and his journey to Antica. I never disliked Chaol or had anything against him, it’s just that he felt more mundane than the rest of the characters. I just wasn’t that interested in him. However, I knew I needed to read it in order to continue with the series.

What really pushed me to read this though, was the fact that it involved the healers of Torre Cesme, which I knew would lead to Yrene, whom we first met in The Assassin and the Healer. It was obvious she would eventually become an important fixture in what was to come, so I’ve eagerly waited for her to reappear. And appear she does!

Holy cow, I shouldn’t have underestimated SJM’s skills. First of all, I grew to appreciate Chaol and was glad to see the growth he experienced, especially when it came to his understanding of Aelin. I was not expecting certain relationships to go the way they did, but I was extremely happy they did. It was complex and realistic but also needed. I really liked getting to know Yrene too, and seeing how she solidified her place as an important asset. She was definitely worth the wait, and I know even bigger stuff is coming her way. I wasn’t expecting Nesryn to have such a large role, but she really surprised me too.

I loved getting to know this new kingdom and the new players. A lot happens and some major revelations are brought to light that will greatly impact what is occurring back home.  Oh, boy, is it going to go down! Also, this takes place concurrently with the Empire of Storms timeline, so it’s cool and heartbreaking knowing what is happening.

What I love so much about this series is how the women are the most powerful & badass in their own way. It’s totally a girl power series! There’s still another character who was in The Assassin and the Desert that I’m looking forward to. She’s been briefly mentioned in previous books, but I just know it’s going to be good when she is brought in.

Anyway, I loved it and shouldn’t have waited. I’m so pumped for the final book!

*sigh* I just realized I didn’t even review EoS. Oh, well! It was nothing less than amazing.

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White Trash Zombie Unchained
Author: Diana Rowland
Series: White Trash Zombie #6
Published by: Audible Studios
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Allison McLemore
Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
Source: Purchased

Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list.

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitos, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

I always have the best time with these books, and White Trash Zombie Unchained is no exception. It was indeed another great time filled with laughter, excitement, and outstanding characters.

I love zombies! Always have and always will. However, as I said many times before, this is not your typical zombie book and is great for people who normally shy away from the whole zombie thing. The Walking Dead this is not! This definitely has more of an urban fantasy feel.

I can’t even tell you how much I adore Angel! She is without a doubt one of my favorite heroines. Angel started out as an underdog, but certainly proved she’s not to be underestimated, even proving it to herself. The growth Angel went through makes me so freaking happy! She’s smart, loyal, scrappy, has a huge heart and always stood up for what’s right. Oh, and best of all, her snark is on point!

This series is filled with a lot of wonderful characters beside Angel. Just as Angel evolved, so do the rest of them. I love the fantastic dynamic she established with so many of them, and what a kick-ass support system they became. These supporting characters really do take the series to another level.

This does appear to be the final book in the series, and if it is, then I feel completely content and happy with the way it ended. I truly enjoyed the story in White Trash Zombie Unchained, but it also did a great job closing the overall series storyline. However, I’d love more Angel!

I can’t recommend listening to the audiobook enough! If you’re a reluctant audio listener or think they aren’t for you, this is one of those series/narrators that will prove otherwise. Allison McLemore is queen! I do listen on a faster speed, but I do that with all audiobooks.

Also, the cover is freaking badass and GORGEOUS! It’s absolutely my favorite of the series.

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The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Published by: Berkley
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

I absolutely loved The Kiss Quotient! I saw the book floating around and getting a lot of praise, but didn’t know the details of the story. I didn’t even read the blurb. It was just that feeling, ya know? Oh my gosh, even though I expected it to be good, I was totally surprised!

I completely adore the characters. Stelllaaaa! Sorry, I always channel A Street Car Named Desire when I hear/see that name. Anyway! What a refreshing and much-needed character she is. She was the biggest surprise for me because I wasn’t at all expecting her to have Aspergers. But her disorder does not define her. She’s a highly intelligent, successful woman who is determined to solve any problem she faces. I can’t tell how much I enjoyed getting her perspective. And Michael totally melted my icy heart with the way he treated Stella and his family. The chemistry between Michael and Stella gave me major feels!

This book was a total delight. It has a bit of a Pretty Woman thing going on with a twist, but way better. It took me through a range of emotions with a very touching, sweet, sexy, and at times humorous story. I can’t wait to read what Hoang writes next!

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LIFEL1K3
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: Lifelike #1
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher

On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn't looking for trouble--she's too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she's on the local gangster's wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she's discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she's ever had a worse day, Eve can't remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day--one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel--called a "Lifelike" because they resemble humans--will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves...and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

Okay, I initially thought LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike) was the first Kristoff book I’ve read, but then I remembered that I read Illuminae. So this was technically the first book written only by Kristoff that I’ve read. Then I immediately downloaded more of his books.

Honestly, I went into this rather reluctantly. Nothing against Kristoff or anything, I just didn’t think I was feeling it at the time. I decided to give it at least a couple of chapters, already trying to decide which book I’d read instead. Pfft … I couldn’t stop once I started. I got totally sucked and had a great time with it.

It’s like this crazy post-apocalypse world that I found completely engrossing. I know there are tons of books like that out there, but this one really stood out for me. I love the mix of this darker gritty world mixed with the advanced technology that got weirdly cool sometimes [View post to see spoiler].

These characters! I love them all, even the seedy bad-guy characters were done really well. I am so freaking here for the friendships!! I will take a solid, down ass bitch friendship over a romance 80% of the time, and this has one that makes me so damn happy. Eve and Lemon are honestly my favorite thing about this book. Then mix in Cricket … yeah, this trio is the best!

Seriously, Kristoff impressed the hell out of me with this book. There’s just all kinds of awesomeness that kept me glued to every page – action, humor, fun banter, friendship, romance, mystery … it has it all! I desperately need the next book!

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Lake Silence
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #6
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Format: eARC
Pages: 414
Source: Publisher

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

This series is so damn good! I was bummed that Lake Silence would shift to different characters in a different area because I love Meg, Simon and all the rest of the Courtyard inhabitants and would miss them. However, I knew Bishop would still give us something great. I mean, it’s still the freaking Others! Bishop definitely has a certain formula she prefers to use in her books and it’s easy to see the parallels, but she still manages to make them feel fresh and unique.

When are humans going to learn they are not in charge? Human laws only go so far. The terra indigene run this shit and allow the humans to exist. Thank goodness for good humans like Vicki and Grimshaw, though, or they’d all be goners. I really enjoyed these new characters and watching them try to navigate their surroundings and it’s inhabitants while dealing with some pretty slimy people who deserve a trip to the wilds.

I love that the Others are truly something to be feared and respected. Elementals are still my favorite type! Fire truly portrayed it well, he can be helpful and protect but is also dangerous and not to be trifled with. At the same time, it can be very entertaining and humorous when the humans and certain terra indigene interact.

I really enjoyed Lake Silence and look forward to the next book. While I suppose this could stand on its own, I highly suggest starting with the first book.

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Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Format: eARC
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Holy crap, do I ever LOVE THIS BOOK TO PIECES! So, so much because of the phenomenal characters, the dialogue, the different relationships, the amazing setting that’s near & dear to my heart (camping in the Sierras, baby!), and many more reasons. I honestly don’t even know how to adequately convey how wonderful Starry Eyes is.

Zorie and Lennon were best friends at one time, but something goes down that turns them into enemies. It gets interesting when these two get stranded on a camping trip and spend a few days alone. They are super adorable together! Even when they don’t get along because their bond is so evident. And the banter is delightful! It’s seriously impossible to not love them.

It isn’t only them that makes the story so wonderful, it’s also the moms. All of them, including grandma! I’ve praised Jenn’s portrayal of parents in previous books, and she deserves even more with this one. The women truly rock. I love how they were all there for each other and their children no matter what.

I love that the setting is California, more specifically camping in the Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Forest area. That’s my jam! I could seriously nerd out on it. Jenn does a wonderful job portraying the beauty (and dangers) of our national parks here. You have to experience the area at least once in your life! Also, the inclusion of astronomy is a major bonus. Oh! And the maps! I have a thing for maps, and the ones in this book are freaking adorable.

I honestly love every little thing about Starry Eyes. It’s perfection! If you haven’t read anything by this author yet, then you are sorely missing out.

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