Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Stealing Snow by Danielle

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

His words echoed in my head.  We breathe out the lies; we stutter the truth.
Page 267 of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige


What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1) 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

My Thoughts:

I really love fairy tale retellings!  At first glance, I thought this was a retelling of Snow White, which is my favorite fairy tale of all time.  It seems like this is more of an Ice Queen retelling though, which I still really enjoyed this book.  

Snow is stuck at Whittaker, an institute for those with sever mental health issues.  She is really all alone except for her nurse, Vern, her friend, Bale and her cocktail of pills, which she refers to as her seven dwarfs (see why I thought it was Snow White at first?).  After Snow and Bale share their first kiss, something strange happens to Bale and they are separated.  Now Snow just has her nightmares, Vern and a soap opera to keep her distracted.  But strange things start happening to Snow that she doesn't understand.  Then one night Bale disappears and between his disappearance and another patients distraction, Snow is able to escape from Whittaker.  

After escaping, Snow ends up in Algid.  Snow soon finds out that Algid is her real home and her mother took her to the "other world" to try to protect her.  Algid is in the icy hold of the King and everyone is looking to Snow to save to them but all Snow wants to do is rescue Bale and head back home...wherever that may be.

I liked Snow most of the time but found that she could be extremely stubborn and selfish a lot.  Some of the time I wanted to smack her to make her see reason.  She was never weak though and at the end, when she had to make a very hard choice after having quite the secret revealed, she did what needed to be done. 

I loved Gerde!  She was so sweet and caring and you really can't help but find her charming. Kai is very standoffish and cold.  He has his reasons but at first I didn't really care for him.  He cares a lot for Gerde though and helps both her and Snow.  I really hope we see more of both of them in the next books.  

The Robbers were my favorites.  I really enjoyed Jagger and can see the potential love interest there.  I am very curious about the masks that he wears and who he really is.  Fathom and Howl are also very entertaining.  Margot has an interesting back story and I ended up understanding her even though I didn't really like her.  

This story had a lot of little twists that kept it interesting.  Some things I could predict but there were a few things that totally surprised me like the Duchess and Snow's mother.  The beginning was a little slow but it quickly picked up and kept me entertained.  I will definitely be finishing this series!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date.
Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading.
Currently Reading:
Summer of My German Soldier (Summer of My German Soldier, #1)      The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #2)     Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2) 
Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene
The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2) by Michael Scott
Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery 

Just Finished:
Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1) 
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Reading Next:

He's Gone

He's Gone by Deb Caletti 

What have you been reading

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

The Women in the Walls 

Synopsis (from Goodsreads):

Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

My Thoughts:

I have really mixed thoughts about this book so this may be an interesting review.  I have not read this author's first book but it is definitely on my list after I have finished this one.  This book sucked me in from the very first page with Walter's suicide and kept me intrigued and not able to put the book down until I finished it, which took about 10 hours.  

Lucy is seventeen and lives in a huge, old house with her father, her aunt and her cousin, Margaret.  As the book starts, Lucy has found one of their workers who had hanged himself.  That starts a series of events that changes Lucy's life.  First, her aunt goes for a walk in the woods and never returns.  Lucy questions her father as to what he is doing about it and her father assures her that he is doing everything possible to find her aunt and yet Lucy has seen no police or anyone other some some men from the County Club looking for her aunt.  Then Margaret starts to lose her mind.  Margaret is pulling away from Lucy and claims she is hearing voices in the walls.  She does some horrible and disgusting things and Lucy is very worried about her.  After another crazy event (that I don't want to spoil for you), Lucy thinks she is going crazy as well.  She has only the new girl, Vanessa, to confide in.  Her father doesn't seem to care and Vanessa's mother, who has taken over Lucy's aunts responsibilities, has her own issues to deal with.  

I love a scary, creepy story and this definitely fits that description.  The house is huge and full of secrets.  I only wish we were able to get a better sense of the house and grounds.  I would also have liked for the girls to have explored the cemetery a little more so you could get a better feel for it.  I wasn't really sure if the house was modern or stuck in older times, other than the description of the wallpaper.  

Lucy and Margaret were both difficult to relate to.  They were seventeen but other than at the beginning when Lucy talked briefly about a homeschool project, there didn't seem to be a lot that the girls did.  They had no hobbies and really no interests.  They have no friends because Margaret got easily jealous.  It talks a bit about why they left public school but I really didn't even know where they lived or what time period they lived in.  I wasn't sure if they lived in the country, in the city, in a small town and I couldn't tell if it was current times or in the past.  The only clue we got to the time period was that there was Google.

I also was not satisfied with the ending.  The description of the "Mother" character was not appealing for me.  I don't want to give anything away but I didn't like what she was.  If she had just been some supernatural being without all the weird appendages then I would have liked it better but that just didn't make any sense to me.   

I thought the whole "Club" thing was not really explained well either.  I am still not sure what the "club" was or what exactly happened.  I know what happened to Clara but it just didn't explain why the grounds were sacred and who exactly the "Mother" was or what her part in all this was.  I was left questioning the point of the men in the "club" and why the men thought the grounds were so important (maybe just for the wealth and prestige??).  

Those were the things that I had some issues with but even with all that, it was a really fast read.  I could not put the book down and wanted to know what was happening and who the voices were.  It was a very creepy book that keeps you guessing until the end.  Just be prepared to be a little confused and have questions that aren't answered.

*Book provided by Around the World ARC Tours for review*


Book Review: Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Between the evil and the deep blue sea…

A historic cruise ship, a haunted ship, the Celtic American Line's Destiny, sets sail from the Port of New Orleans—with a killer on board. He's known as the Archangel Killer because of the way he displays his victims in churches. And how he places a different saint's medallion on each body. No one knows exactly who he is or why he's doing this.

Jackson Crow—head of the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, a special unit of paranormal investigators—is assigned to the case, along with local agent Jude McCoy. Then Alexi Cromwell, who works in the ship's piano bar, is drawn into the situation when a victim's ghost appears to her—and to Jude. She and Jude share an attraction, and not just because of their mutual talent.

There are many suspects, but one by one they're ruled out… Or are they? In the end, Jude and Alexi have to rely on each other to catch the killer and escape his evil plans for Alexi.

My Thoughts:

Jude is partnered with Jackson Crow to find the Archangel killer who has just struck in New Orleans.  As Jude and Jackson are looking over the crime scene of the latest victim, Jude notices a suspicious person and the two take off chasing him.  Jude and Jackson end up on the Destiny, a cruise ship, after the follow the man on board.  
Once on the ship, Jude and Jackson meet Alexi, a woman who is in charge of playing piano at the bar and who can conveniently see ghosts.  With Alexi's help, and those of her ghost friends, the agents have to try to figure out who the killer is before anyone else dies.

I have always liked Heather Graham's books.  They are an easy and fun read that you don't have to think a lot about.  You can just enjoy the mystery and romance and of course, the paranormal.  While I enjoyed this book, I wasn't crazy about the cruise ship setting.  There is just something about New Orleans, where most of her other books are set, that adds to the paranormal and creepiness.  This one just didn't have the same intrigue for me.  

I also wasn't crazy about the romance in this one.  Alexi is mourning the loss of her fiance, who died overseas.  It's been a year but she's still having a hard time dealing with his death.  Then Jude shows up and while it is mentioned that Alexi still loves Zach (her deceased fiance) and that she knows he wants her to be happy, it just seemed like she got over his death very quickly all of the sudden.  

There were several suspects on the ship and I wasn't able to predict who the killer would be.  I wasn't surprised at all when the killer was revealed but I hadn't narrowed it down to this exact person.  I would have loved for it to have been someone that totally shocked me and wasn't one of the original suspects.  It would have made the ending a lot more fun for me.

I also wasn't crazy about how almost everyone could see ghosts.  Alexi could see them, Jude and Jackson could see them and then Alexi's friend sees them (even though she doesn't realize she is seeing the dead).  There were just a lot of people that had the "sense" that made it slightly unbelievable to me.

With all that being said, I still enjoyed the book and the paranormal mystery.  It is a fun and light read that will keep your attention.

**Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book**


Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Review: Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can't believe Daemon stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

My Thoughts:

I finally finished this book!  It seemed to take me forever but it wasn't because the book was bad because, well, let's face it...I don't think Jennifer L. Armentrout could write a bad book if she wanted to.  It was amazing like all her others.  I just got caught up in ARCs, finishing school with the kids and life in general and maybe I knew when I finished it, the Lux series would be over for me so I dragged it out a little.

After Daemon left Katy to go with the other Luxen, Katy goes back with Archer and Luc and Beth.  Beth is pregnant and not doing well so Archer and Katy decide to run to the store to grab some vitamins.  While there, all hell broke loose and Katy ends up being captured by Luxen, or more  specifically, she gets captured by Dawson.  Dawson takes her back to the Luxen headquarters where she is reunited with a very different Daemon.

I don't want to give too much away so I'm not going to say anymore about what happens.  I thought Opposition was action packed and fast paced for the most part.  There were some slow parts and there were many times I wanted to smack Katy upside the head.  She put herself and others in danger SO many times because she didn't want to do what Daemon told her or didn't want to leave Daemon.  I thought there were many times when she was just plain stupid.  Daemon is as sarcastic and horny as usual.  There were many sex scenes, not graphic but still a lot that seemed at times to be too much. 

I loved Archer, Luc and Hunter.  Hunter is an Arum and he was probably my favorite character.  It's a toss up between Hunter and Archer.  I wasn't sure what was going to happen with Dee but I'm glad that she ended up the way she did at the end of the book.  Towards the end, I thought Katy and Daemon were a little corny with all their marriage talk and planning.  I was very happy to see Dawson and Beth have the happy ending that they deserved.

While this book has some minor flaws, I still loved it and how it tied up the whole series.  It had a ton of action and the end will keep you reading into the late hours of the night just to see how things turn out.