How To Experience Death For Beginners by Jessica Branton

how to experience death for beginnersHappy Valentine’s Day, Night Owls! Today’s review will be on How to Experience Death for Beginners by Jessica Branton. This is her debut, which she wrote when she was fourteen and is just now getting it published. In this book, we follow a girl who can enter people’s minds the moment they die. I gave this book 2/5 stars. I was kindly sent an ARC from the publisher for an honest review so, a big thanks to them for sending me a copy.

Casey Darling is quiet teenager who just started her senior year of high school in a small town in Georgia. Casey isn’t your average teenager, she can see the very moment someone dies. Everything seems to be going well until this new kid, Cameron, has moved to town from sunny California. Cameron’s arrival has brought a serial killer to town. Now, Casey has to deal  with Cameron’s interest in her, catch the serial killer with the help of the FBI, and graduate from high school.

The concept of this book was really interesting to read, but it did have its faults. I didn’t really understand how Casey inherited her powers and whether or not Christina had powers too. Normally, I enjoy reading first person narration, but “I” was overused throughout the book. There were strong number of well-developed character arcs, but some of character arcs, like Christina and Danny, needed more development. For instance, I did not realize until halfway through the book that Casey and Christina were twins. What I did really enjoy was when the identity of the killer was revealed because that was unexpected.

While this wasn’t the best thing I’ve read, if you want a quick read than this is for you. I definitely think Jessica Branton has great potential as a writer. This story just wasn’t for me.

 

Happy Reading Night Owls!  

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More Than Bones by Craig David Singer

more than bonesHey, Night Owls! It’s Kat here with my first review of 2019. A few months ago, I was sent an ARC of More Than Bones by Craig David Singer from the publishers at MindBuck Media. I want to give a big thanks to them for sending me the ARC. In this book, we follow a doctor whose life gets turned upside down by a mysterious amulet. I gave this book 5/5 stars because of how relatable the main character, Emily, was and how easy it was to follow Singer’s writing style. I was quite surprised to find out that this was his debut novel.

Dr. Emily Norton has just moved to Baltimore after graduating med school. She’s got it all because she has a fiance who is also a doctor, landing a surgical residency position at a hospital, moving to a nice neighborhood, and her cousin living in the area. Since Emily is a doctor, she does not believe in religion and the supernatural. That is until one day her next door neighbor gives her this amulet that supposedly harnesses some mystical power. She ignores his warning because she thinks it’s bullshit. Now, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Emily gets in trouble with the administration staff at the hospital on her first day, her fiance ends things on her birthday, and she almost loses her job because of scandal involving a former patient’s suicide. All of this seems to have happened because she did not listen to warning about that stupid amulet.

My favorite part of the book had to be Emily’s character arc. When we first meet her, Emily is very closed minded and cold. She did not like working at a religious hospital because religion is a big issue with her father, a super religious Baptist preacher. This causes Emily to be very cold to some of the staff at the hospital. Throughout the book, Emily grows into a warmer and open minded person.

If you like books that dip into a little magic, this is the book for you! If you like the TV shows ER and Charmed, this is also the book for you! It was released yesterday, so go to your local bookstore to pick up a copy or order it online.

Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

Happy 2019 Night Owls! With a new year comes new books. So, I thought it would be fitting for my first post of the new year to be my most anticipated releases of 2019. This list is an assortment of YA and Adult because I’ve been reading both to expand my tastes. Hopefully, I get the chance to read all of them!

 

  • If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (April 23rd)
  • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (May 7th)
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (November 19th)
  • Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen (May 28th)
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (October 8th)
  • The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason (February 19th)
  • Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (July 2nd)
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (April 9th)
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (January 8th)
  • Daisy Jones & The Sixes by Taylor Jenkins Reid (March 5th)
  • Slayer by Kiersten White (January 8th)
  • Better Than The Best Plan by Lauren Morrill (June 25th)

Favorite Books of 2018

Hey guys! 2018 is almost over and that means it’s time to share my favorite reads of the year. Since this has been my biggest reading year, narrowing this list down to a reasonable number was very challenging. So, I’ve narrowed the list to 10 books. There is not particular order to this list. If any of you share the same favorites please share your thoughts in the comments!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

raven boysHey Night Owls, I finally finished The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater a few months ago! You guys are probably thinking it’s about damn time. I loved this book so much. If I could, I would give it 6/5 stars but Goodreads only let me rate it 5/5 stars. Plus, I’m super excited for the television adaptation! 

Blue Sargent has been told if she kisses he’ll die. That same year, on St. Mark’s Day, Blue is with her mother as they see the-soon-to-be-dead, people she hasn’t been able to see until this year. A boy directly talks to her. His name is Gansey.

Gansey is an Aglionby boy, which means he goes to the local private school in Henrietta, Virginia. Blue has a rule to to stay away from Aglionby boys, otherwise known Raven boys, because they bring trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey because even though he has it all, he’s looking for something else. Something more than money, good looks, and devoted friends.

Gansey’s friends are Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, and Noah. Adam is the Henrietta native who has a scholarship to Aglionby and hates the privileged students there. Ronan is the bad boy with the Celtic cross tattoo. Noah is quiet, but observant.

 I listened to the audiobook and let me say, Will Patton did not disappoint with his narration. He was excellent! This wasn’t my first time listening to an audiobook by Will Patton because I also listened to On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

The main reason I fell in love with this book was because it takes place in my home state of Virginia. I really related to Gansey because he was from the Northern Virginia area which is my homestretch.

Please pick up this book because it is magical and you will not regret it! It’s the perfect back-to-school read. Guys, promise me you’ll read this book. If you have read it leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Fall Playlist

Hey, Night Owls! It’s been awhile since I shared some of the music I’ve been listening to while I read. It’s November and Fall is almost over so it’s the perfect time to share my Fall playlist with you guys! These songs are very chill so they’re perfect for reading with a cup of coffee by the fireplace or during a long car ride.

  • Halfway Home by Lori McKenna
  • Daylily by Movements
  • Canceled by Born Without Bones
  • So, What Does This All Mean by Goody Grace
  • every day (stripped.) by Jeremy Zucker
  • Better Than That by Cyberbully Mom Club
  • Treehouse by Sam Lachow
  • Flannel by The Cardboard Swords
  • Dying in a Hot Tub by Palaye Royale
  • Northern Downpour by Panic! At The Disco
  • Drunk on Halloween by Wallows
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana
  • One Day by Scenic Route to Alaska
  • Miscommunication by Arms Akimbo
  • Glycerine by Bush
  • Plowed by Sponge
  • My World by Avril Lavigne
  • Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill
  • Touch, Peel, and Stand by Days of the New
  • Flare Guns by Quinn XCII

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

saint anythingHey Night Owls, I’m back and ready to get back into reviewing! I actually mean it this time. Getting back into my school routine was harder than I thought, but I’m ready to start blogging again. I finished Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen earlier this month! Reading it got me out of a huge reading slump. 5/5 stars for both the story and audiobook narration!

 Sydney and her family have been going through some rough stuff lately. Sydney’s older brother, Peyton, has just gone to jail on a drunk driving conviction because he paralyzed a teenager. Their parents put all of their attention on Peyton because of the trial, leaving Sydney cast away in the shadows. Sydney also seems like the only person in her family who cares about the teenage boy that Peyton paralyzed. 

Ames, Peyton’s friend, has also gained attention from Sydney and Peyton’s parents. Especially, their mother because she treats him like another son. His presence startles Sydney because he seems to want to get too close to her.

Sydney’s parents put her into public school because of the fallout from the Peyton scandal. At her new school, Sydney takes awhile to make friends, but quickly makes some after stopping to get a slice of pizza on her way home from school one afternoon. Sydney meets, brother and sister, Mac and Layla at their family-owned pizza restaurant. Not long after their meeting, Sydney joins their friend group. Sydney, finally, feels like she can be herself around Mac and Layla because their family and group accept her without any questions.

I absolutely loved this book! Sydney’s character was very relatable because like her, I also lost touch with some of my friends when I changed schools. The only event that made me uncomfortable while I was reading was Ames’s character because from his first scene I knew he was creepy. It really annoyed me when Sydney’s mother kept encouraging Ames to come around, but by the end of the book I was happy to read about her change of heart.

If you’re looking for a nice book to ease you back into the school year, I highly suggest you pick up this book. If you enjoy audiobooks, the narration for Saint Anything was fantastic! This book got me out of a huge reading slump, so if you’ve been in a reading slump, please this book up!

Happy Reading!!!!!

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

sacrifice boxI hope your day has been going well Night Owls because it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a review. Today’s review is The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart. I’m participating in a blog tour that’s promoting the release of U.S. edition. The lovely people at Penguin Teen, gave me a copy for a review, so a big thank you to them. I gave this book 4.5/5 stars because of a few minor details.

   It all started the summer of 1982, when Sep, Hadley, Arkle, Lamb, and Mack made their sacrifices at the Sacrifice Box. They vowed never to visit the box alone, never open the box after sundown, and never take back their sacrifices. The group later went their separate ways. Everything changed in 1986.

   All of the sudden strange things are happening- mirrors are breaking, the electricity keeps flickering, and people are getting really sick. Yet, the group hasn’t spoken to each other since that summer. Someone must’ve broken the rules. It turns out the group sacrificed more than their objects. They also surrendered their secrets and fears, and those are coming back when corpses begin to pile up, as murderous toys from the past, and as undead pets.

   Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was quick-paced and action-packed. It did take me awhile to realize the book took place in Wales; at least that’s where I think it took place, please correct me if I’m wrong. The writing style intrigued me, and the characterization was phenomenal. Sep and Hadley’s arcs developed the most, but Arkle’s arc also grew, too. However, I wish there was more development on both Lamb and Mack’s character arcs.

   The U.S. edition was just released on August 28th, so go get yourselves a copy! Besides, it’s not only is it a horror story, but also a coming-of-age story. We need more coming-of-age stories set in the 1980s!

Discussion Corner: Book Buying Bans

Hey Night Owls! Today, I’m introducing “Discussion Corner” a new series where I ramble about a certain topic that’s on my mind. I’ve been contemplating about starting a “Discussion” series for awhile but I’d always blank when I’d try to write a post. So today is the day I finally share with you guys. I was supposed to post a month ago but I forgot, oops.

Today’s discussion is about book buying bans. For those who are unfamiliar with book buying bans, they are periods of time when you ban yourself from buying books. Receiving books from publishers and authors doesn’t count because obviously you didn’t buy the book.

For the month of July I put myself on a book buying ban and let me tell you it was a challenge. Not only because it’s the month I usually read the most books, but because there were so many new releases that I really wanted to buy.

At the beginning of July, I decided to reread the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. I usually reread this series in December, but I ws just in the mood to read some PLL. Rereading long series is a great way to get through a book buying ban! I read 11 out of the 16 books in the series. I also listened to a lot of audiobooks!

Speaking of audiobooks, they are another great way to get yourself through a book buying ban. All of the audiobooks I listened to were from Overdrive. Overdrive is an app that connects you to your local library’s audiobook and ebook collections. During my ban I listened to a total of 7 books. I know that’s a lot, but it was so worth it.

To wrap this discussion up, here is a quick summary. Rereading a book or series is a great way to get yourself through a book buying ban. Another way to get yourself through a book buying ban is to borrow books from your local library. You could also borrow library books via Overdrive.

2018 Mid Year Freak Out Tag

Hello Night Owls! I can’t believe we’re already more than half way through 2018. Where did all of the time go? I don’t know, but it’s been almost a year since I did a book tag, so figured why not do one. You’ve probably seen this tag on different blogs and booktube, but I saw this tag on emmmabooks YouTube channel a couple of weeks ago. This tag is basically a recap of what you’ve read throughout the first half of the year. Since, I’ve finally stopped rambling let’s get to it!

 

Best Book You’ve Read So Far?

nice try, jane sinner

Hands down it’s Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke. I was blown away that this was a debut because this book was so well-written. The book was so funny, but also serious when it needed to be. If you want to know more about my thoughts, please check out my review from earlier this year.

Favorite Sequel You’ve Read?

privateschoolmurders

This is hard because I haven’t read that many sequels this year. I’m going with Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. This wasn’t my favorite in the series but I think it was better than the last two books. You guys should so read this series!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, but You’re Really Excited To?

love songs & other lies

I haven’t read Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington yet, but I’m really excited to get my hands on a copy!

Most Anticipated Sequel Coming Out Later This Year?

queen of air and darkness

Come on, guys we all know which book I’m gonna choose. Of course my most anticipated sequel is Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. I love all of Cassie’s books and after the cliffhanger in Lord of Shadows I need to know what’s gonna happen. December 4th needs to come sooner!

Biggest Disappointment You’ve Read?

fragments of the lost

I’ve loved most of the books I’ve read this year so for this question I’m going with Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda. This book didn’t click with me while I was reading it, but I did finish it. The story was really slow for me. I’m actually considering picking this book up again because maybe I’ll enjoy it the second time I read it.

Biggest Surprise You’ve Read?

the wrong side of right

That would have to be my most recent read, The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. I liked it so much the it’s become one of my favorite reads of the year! My more in-depth thoughts can be found in my review.

Who is Your Favorite Debut or New to You Author?

frat girl      nice try, jane sinner

I’m actually picking two authors for this question because I love them so much. The first author is Kiley Roache. She wrote Frat Girl and it was so good! Please read it! I can’t wait to pick up her next book. The second author is Lianne Oelke who wrote Nice Try, Jane Sinner. Her writing style just flows so easily and is extremely funny.

Who is Your New Fictional Crush?

This is really hard to answer because Will Herondale, Jace Wayland, and Daemon Black will always have a special place in my heart. If I had to choose someone it would have to be Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door. He’s just so creative and sweet. I can now say Cricket has officially made it into my top four fictional crushes.

New Favorite Fictional Character?

afterlifeofhollychase

Holly Chase from The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand. I really enjoyed how she grew throughout the story. Sure she was shallow at times, but then she’d start to share her true feelings. Just remember not all people are who they seem to be. I knew I was going to love Holly because I mean hello she’s the main character in a retelling of The Christmas Carol.

Book That Made You Cry?

tales from shadowhunter academy     angels twice descending

Ok so this wasn’t a novel, it was a novella I read in a bind up so I’m counting it. “Angels Twice Descending” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman. It’s the last novella in Tales of Shadowhunter Academy and OMG this book. Someone died and it destroyed me. Cassie has done it again!

A Book That Made You Happy?

lola and the boy next door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Yes I’m extremely late on the Stephanie Perkins band wagon, but I’m so glad I read this book. It was fun, sweet, and the perfect summer read. Hopefully, I can get to her books later this year!

Favorite Review You’ve Posted This Year?

scream all night

This really hard because I love all of the reviews I’ve posted this year. If I had to choose one it would have to be Scream All Night by Derek Milman. This book is very special to me because it actually comes out on my birthday. Derek was so kind to reach out to me and ask for a review. Of course, I said yes and had such a fun time writing a review for this book!

The Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought or Received This Year?

emergency-contact

For this question I’m going with Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi. The cover design was absolutely beautiful with its pink background and main characters on the front. The tattoos on Sam’s arm were drawn with perfection. The story itself was also very beautiful!

Books You Need Before the End of the Year?

Ugh! I have so many books on my TBR. It was really hard, but I’ve narrowed my answer to three books. The first book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Yes, I know I’m really behind when it comes to iconic YA. If all goes as planned I’m gonna try to read this book in the Fall. It seems like the perfect back to school read. The second book I plan to read is The Diviners by Libba Bray. I can’t wait to read this series because I have heard nothing but high praises. I’ll probably read this book in October because it sounds like the perfect Halloween read! Ok guys you’re get so mad that I haven’t read this third book. The third and final book I promise that I’ll read by the end of 2018 is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefavter. I’m planning on reading this book as soon as I can because I currently have it on hold on Overdrive.