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Book Review: The Sound of Stars

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a wonderful debut novel by Alechia Dow! I love alien stories, I really just adore anything to do with space. I grew up watching things like Star Trek and Doctor Who, so when I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to read it as quickly as I could. 

From the first page, I was immediately transported into Dow’s fantasy world. Dow is phenomenal at world building and I really felt like I was right there.  I did feel like the book dragged a bit during the middle, but overall it was fantastic. 

I loved that the book contains real life issues we are facing in today’s society and how they were weaved in and out through every chapter. There are tons of current pop culture references throughout this book, so it is not really something that can be  “timeless” read. However, the story would have been really lacking if those references weren’t a part of it. I love the general theme of music can help you get through tough situations. 

The relationship between Ellie and Morris was my favorite. It felt so genuine and unique. It wasn’t rushed or forced it was just pure, innocence, beautifully organic. Dow’s writing style keeps you wanting more. I really do hope we see a sequel to this. Maybe I am a sucker for a series.. But I really want to know more about Morris and Ellie and their future together. 

Thank you so much to Alechia Dow, NetGalley, and Harlequin TEEN Publishing for allowing me to review this book.
Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley

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Feathery Updates

Greetings Nerds! I wanted to give you all a bit of a life update this beautiful Sunday morning! I want to start this out by letting you all know that the baby birds are doing just fine! We had an incident on last Sunday morning regarding Gizmo and Bowie, but I want to assure you that they are in the most pristine health and are being well cared for.

                Last Sunday I got up as usual and fed all the feathered freeloaders and changed the babies bedding as I do ever morning. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at all. About an hour later, I went into my office to do some writing and I noticed that the babies were outside of the nesting box. I went to check on my little baby goblins and I noticed that they had blood on their heads. Stella and Dusty had been over preening them that morning. (You can actually see where their little heads are bal-d and where they were over preened. Don’t worry, their feathers are already growing back. I double checked the babies for any other injuries and I noticed that the parents had not fed them that morning. I knew then I needed reinforcements.

                I called my good friend who raises babies and she walked me through how to hand feed them. I know how to hand feed, but I have never hand fed babies that are completely dependent on hand feedings. My main concern was my work schedule. As an everyday job, I am gone for several hours and the babies would need to be fed during this time. My friend told me I could bring them to her house, and she would care for them for a week or two until their feedings were more regular and further spaced. I am forever in her debt for caring for my little babies!

                They have changed so much in the weeks they have been on this little planet. They may be small but the spark they have put in my heart is something that will be there always. They are so so so very special. I cannot wait until Thursday, because I will be picking up my sweet babies! I have missed them so much!! Gizmo is such a ham! He loves food and is all about eating and snuggling all the time. Bowie is the feisty one, he likes to act like a tough guy.

                Sorry for all my baby bird rambling, I know this is a book blog, but it is also an outlet for me as well! If you guys want more bird stories or have any bird related questions, you can let me know down below or check out their Instagram which I update daily! (link will be below!) I love being able to share my birdly life with you all!

Click Here for a Feathery Surprise!

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Book Review: Loved

The world won’t stay safe for long…
Reunited in Tulsa after a year apart, Zoey and the Nerd Herd are ready to celebrate her eighteenth birthday. But it seems nothing at The House of Night is ever as quiet as it seems.
With rabid red vampyres closing in, the friends must come together again. But a year is a long time. Have they grown too far apart?
When the world fractures and allies become enemies, will darkness devour friendships or will light save those Zoey loves?

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve always been a big fan of House of Night! The series itself is such an easy read with a good slow burn of a story and loved was just the same. I love the recapping that kinda takes you back to into the story.

My favorite part of this book (and most of the House of Night series) is the friendship tropes throughout the story. The story line is easy to follow and enjoyable to read. I really love that the pop culture references were toned down in this new trilogy. I always felt like they were too excessive in the previous books, but this really tones it down.

House of Night has a total cult following and will live on within us forever. This book was great, I loved everything about it. I love how easily it continued Zoey’s story. I love that she is now an adult in this creative universe. Honestly, I cannot wait for the next book.

Thank you kindly to P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast for creating this unique world that I love getting lost in time and time again, Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus publishing for allowing me to review this title.

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Book Review: A Longer Fall

In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what’s inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am going to start this review off by saying I am a bit biased for Charlaine Harries. I have and I will read anything she comes out with (including her grocery list!) A Longer Fall feels so much different than most of her series. There is less magical and fantasy (although there is some mixed in) and more realism. I really enjoyed the first installment of the Gunnie Rose stories. I love how Harris doesn’t make things easy for her heroines. They struggle.. They struggle a LOT. 

I loved the honest take Harries took with this story. She took the issues of today and built an immersive story around them. We are a split US country at the moment and she built this amazing dystopian world around it. The pacing of this book is wonderful. It was fast and kept the story exciting and thrilling. It keeps you at the edge of your seat. 

I really just could not put this book down. I just wanted to stay in this world that Harris created and keep reading. I cannot wait until the next book! As with any Charlaine Harris, you can’t get too attached to the characters as no one is safe!!! 

Thank you so much to Charlaine Harris, Saga Press Publishing, and NetGalley for making this review possible.

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Book Review: The Night Country

In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors of The Hazel Wood. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.
With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors—and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and—if he can find it—a way back home…

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Night Country and its predecessor is such a controversial book. People either really love it or really hate it. Personally, I really love this series. I will say, I loved The Hazel Wood a bit more than The Night Country. One thing I did not like about The Night Country was that there was no real recap or anything to bring you back to the story of The Hazel Wood. It just jumps immediately back into the story, so I would highly suggest reading the first book right before you start the second. 

I really feel like The Night Country was very well written. Melissa Albert has come up with such a unique world and just does a beautiful job of immersing you into it. Even though there was no real recap, the story did continue beautifully and the characters were just well written. The story line is not rushed and felt very natural and organic. 

Overall, The Night Country, was everything I had hoped for and more. It is still dark and wonderful. I will absolutely suck you in from the beginning. I loved the alternating perspectives, I love how when you shift to a different view it leaves you with tiny little cliffhangers. 

I love this book, I love this series, and I love this author. Thank you kindly to NetGalley, Melissa Albert, and Flatrion Books for allowing me to review this dark and wonderful story.

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My bundles of joy!

It has been an exciting two weeks in my household. Most of you all know that I have quite a flock of birds that I care for…. well that number just increased by two! I am happy to announce that my cockatiels, Stella and Dusty, are the proud parents of these two little cuties!!

After much debate and 239420342309 name changes, I think I have finally settled on Gizmo and Bowie for their names. They are so sweet! If you want to keep up with their progress (and see how weird they looked just 10 days ago) check out their instagram www.instagram.com/NerdyBirds_

It has been super exciting watching them grow so fast! I have been hand feeding them (along with the parents) and it is almost like having a real newborn! They eat every two hours (and they definitely let you know when they are hungry).

I just wanted to share this little piece of my everyday life with you!

❤ Sari B.

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Book Review: Unspeakable Things

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.
All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.
One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What an interesting read…It was borderline uncomfortable at times. The title really has this story pegged. A lot of what happens is very unspeakable. This story should really come with a trigger warning. There is incest, molestation, abduction, and swingers parties. 

Although the story itself is dark, it is very well written and very compelling. As I do with most books, I don’t like to dive too deep into the guts of a book because I don’t want to give away spoilers. I was not immediately pulled into this book, it took me quite a bit of this book to get into it. 

I would say this isn’t an easy read just because of the premises alone. It has a lot of very hard to swallow subject matter, but it was executed well. Thank you kindly to Jess Lourey, Thomas & Mercer Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this title. 
Cover art and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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Book Review: This Light Between Us

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France—a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic—and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.
From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited when I got the notification that I would be reviewing this book. I was completely hooked from the synopsis and I couldn’t wait to dive in. This book is so full of emotions. I felt absolutely everything. I felt sadness, anger, happiness, bewilderment, and embarrassment. Even though it was an emotional read, it wasn’t overly sentimental.  

I read a ton of historical fiction and I will almost always pick up anything written about WWII but this one grabbed my attention in such a way that to be honest, I just cannot explain. It was so raw and heartbreaking in such an organic way. My one complaint (usually) with historical fiction is the lack of research on the authors part, but Andrew Fukuda did such a beautiful job 

Alex and Charley’s story made my heart ache for them. They made me laugh and cry. I worried for them. I hurt for them. I wanted to know everything about them. I rather enjoyed reading this from Alex’s perspective. I feel that the story really couldn’t have been as compelling if it had been from Charley’s perspective. Even though you only really hear from Charley when you are reading the letters from her to Alex, you really get to know her deeply as a character. 

The ending was completely unexpected but it was still an amazing read and I feel it should be on everyone’s TBR list! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Andrew Fukuda, and Macmillian-Tor Forge for letting me review this wonderful story. It broke my heart, but I still really enjoyed it.

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley

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Book Review: Jane Anonymous

Seven months.
That’s how long I was kept captive.
Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. And when I finally escaped, I prayed I’d never see him again.
Now that I’m home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don’t understand that dining out and shopping trips can’t heal what’s broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom. Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own form of therapy—but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened—and will it break me forever?

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

God what a book. I haven’t cried this hard in a LONG time. This book was so intense and I just found myself hurting for Jane. Her story is so provocative and scary. This is one of those stories so raw and painful that it’s almost hard to read. I could feel my chest tighten and a lump in my throat through most of it. I had to step away a few times to compose myself. Laurie takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and even though this book is not one of those action-packed thrillers, it still takes you for a ride. 

Laurie does such an amazing job of telling Jane’s story both before during her captivity and while she is trying to get her life back after. I really enjoyed the journal type format. I felt like it really kept me in suspense and I felt like a friend of Jane’s peering into her life from her diary. It almost felt uncomfortable in a very invasive way like we were invading Jane’s privacy again after all that she had been through. I loved how Jane spoke directly to us, it just made the story feel almost too real. 

I found myself a big fan of Laurie’s writing style as well as her character development and plot structure. I would highly recommend this novel! Thank you so much to NetGalley, Laurie Faria Stolarz, and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to review this title.

Image and synopsis taken from Netgalley

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Book Review: A Love Hate Thing

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation, and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book just didn’t grab me. For me it was kind of boring. I felt it lacked depth and was overall very predictable. I find I have a problem with most contemporary books, so I don’t blame the author at all. 

It was well written, but for me it fell flat. I did love the racial diversity depicted in this book. It also had a lot to do with adoption which is another trope we don’t see very often. It was a cute book but it is not one that will stick with you after. I would consider it a good pallet cleanse. 

The author does touch on trauma and that can be triggering for sensitive viewers, especially the parts written from Tyson’s point of view. That part was a bit heart breaking. We can all resonate with that self deprecation, so with that being said this book is very relatable. 

Tyson’’s story is also super emotional. He dealt with so much survivors guilt and watching him go from losing his whole family to basically a new life was both inspiring and gut wrenching. I didn’t really connect with Nance at all but I did really enjoy Tyson’s pov. 

Thank you so much to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this title.

A Love Hate thing is now available for preorder at all your favorite retailers! Get yours ordered before January 7th!
Cover art and synopsis taken from NetGalley.