The Beautiful- Renée Ahdieh

42265183New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

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My Review:

“Never forget this as long as you live. Words are weapons. And nothing else matters when the Devil has you by the balls.”

I love Vampires. They are dead, heartless, and like to drink blood. Can anything be more dreamy? So I was excited to see that they are bringing back the Vampire genre again. But if this is the beginning of what’s to come, then I want no part of it.

This was the first book that I’ve read by this author. There’s a huge cult hype about her but I was very underwhelmed by this. The best thing about this book was the cover.

Not much happened in the Vampire department. I was waiting for gallons of blood to be spilled, Vampires lurking in every dark corner, and to be spooked out of my mind. None of that happened. A little here or there but nothing like I imagined.

All of the characters weren’t memorable. None of them stuck out and I felt nothing as some of them found themselves in dire predicaments. They were just so blah.

Sébastien Saint Germain showed up and was mysterious as all hell. I was waiting for him to be so swoony that I would add him to the list of fictional boyfriends. He would be right up there with King Cardan but his character was very poorly written. He was a side character at best.

The Beautiful started off promising but took a backslide into boring after a hundred pages. It never dug itself out of that hole. I was so glad when it was over. I dislike that this is the start of the Vampire genre making its way back, fingers crossed for better Vampire books in the future.

*Review* Cadaver & Queen- Alisa Kwitney

35140600    When Lizzie Lavenza enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn’t have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she’ll have to go above and beyond to prove herself. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-mechanical–one of the mechanized cadavers created to service the school–she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program.

Only this Bio-mechanical isn’t like the others. Where they are usually empty-minded and perfectly obedient, this one seems to have thoughts, feelings… and self-awareness.

Soon Lizzie realizes that it is Victor Frankenstein–a former student who died under mysterious circumstances. Victor, it seems, still has a spark of human intelligence inside him, along with memories of things he discovered before his untimely death.. .and a suspicion that he was murdered to keep that information from getting out. Suddenly Lizzie finds herself intertwined in dark secrets and sabotage that put her life, and the lives of Victor and their friends, in danger. But Lizzie’s determined to succeed–even if that means fighting an enemy who threatens the entire British Empire.

My Review:

“Arrogance is what thick people call the truth when they don’t like it.”

This is Tales from the Crypt meets Stalking Jack the Ripper with deeper and darker secrets. I love Tales from the Crypt and it’s still one of my favorite shows to watch. Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of those books I hated and it drove me crazy. So this got stuck right in the middle for me.

The cover and spine for this book are stunning. It definitely is the draw to capturing your attention. The synopsis hits you because of the feminist retelling. Even though it doesn’t read like a retelling of Frankenstein much but of another book and tv show.

Elizabeth, Victor, and Henry do make their appearances and the banter between them was great but the story in between could get kind of stuffy. I felt bored with some of this and the twists really didn’t shock me. I expected more but got mediocre.

Cadaver & Queen was an okay read but I don’t see myself reading it again. It definitely doesn’t need a second book and I’m probably going to skip that one.

Beware of the beautiful cover!!

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*Arc Review* All Your Perfects- Colleen Hoover

“When you meet someone who is good for you, they won’t fill you with insecurities by focusing on your flaws. They’ll fill you with inspiration, because they’ll focus on all the best parts of you.”

I’m such a sucker when it comes to books written by Colleen Hoover. Her books bring so many emotions out of me that her book is the only one I can think about for awhile. This one kind of disappointed me.

Bits and pieces of this book filled me with joy and right after it would drag be below the water and I lost interest. It was a back and forth pull with me eventually losing in the end.

Hoover knows how to write a story where it feels like you were punched in the gut and you’re breathless. I just wish that this one followed in its footsteps.

Graham and Quinn’s relationship is anything but normal. They met under strange circumstances but they knew that nothing would stand in their way of being together. We get alternating chapters between now and then. How they came to be and how their life together now weathers the storm. And I loved that aspect of the story. The Then was the best part of this book. The Now bugged me more than I wanted to admit.

CoHo is such a fantastic writer and I will recommend her books to anyone that’s willing to listen to me gush about her books. This one I would hold off on.

In the end we must ask ourselves, What are your perfects?

The Hazel Wood- Melissa Albert

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Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

My Review:

“When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her.”

Don’t let this beautiful, dark, and shimmery cover fool you. I was almost fooled into preordering this book and I’m glad I wasn’t persuaded.

We all know my infatuation with Alice in Wonderland. I even have it tattooed on my body, but I wish authors would leave Alice in Wonderland alone! 🙄🙄

With the hints of Alice and her crazy adventures in Wonderland, it reminded me a little bit of Furthermore. And we all know how much I enjoyed that book. (Heavy sarcasm) (Maybe an eye roll) It left me with a lot of questions of why!?

Deep into the story, we come to find out about a deeply horrorish fairytale that may hold the clues to Alice’s life or one she never knew about. But I wish that maybe this book was just that disturbing fairytale. The more quotes from the fairytale shared between the characters, the more you would rather read that instead of this.

The main character, Alice was a bit ostentatious. She was flawed from the beginning and didn’t grow as other characters would have. At times you just wanted to slap some sense into her for being so vapid. She was too trusting of others at times where she should have been the most terrified.

What irritated me the most was the big name/company drops. The author seemed to love to drop names of things that were already highly adored. Like other books, songs, and stores. And the most gagging of all was her mentions of Alice in Wonderland. No thanks, name dropper! Just stop trying to be something you’re not!!!

My favorite part of this book was the cover. With its shimmery captivating creepiness. Those tricky bastards!

Do you dare enter The Hazel Wood?

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