Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell! This is a humorous story about Cassie and her discovery of zombies and how she dealt with this not-so-great turn of events. While she travels across the country with friends, she spends the time pondering how the zombies came to be and observes how each person deals with the tragedy in their own way. Cassie’s personality makes the story funny and lightens the dystopian mood. 4 stars for this action packed fun zombie story!

Redux by A.L. Davroe

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Redux by A.L. Davroe! Redux is more action packed than Nexis, the previous book in the Tricksters series. Ella is on a tumultuous ride between virtual reality and actual reality and her friends keep flip-flopping so she feels completely alone. Her society is in shambles and she wants to do everything she can to make it better and to make up for the problems that she feels she caused. The story is smoothly transitioned between the events taking place and the reader is given concise background information from the first book. The action has been pumped up to even include cannibals! Creepy, sci-fi dystopian fun. 4 stars!

Proof of Lies by Diane Rodriguez Wallach

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach. Anastasia lives with her sister Keira in their family home after their parents died in an accident a few years earlier. Keira gave up medical school and works as a nurse to take care of her younger sister. The morning after a party, Keira disappears, leaving behind a bathroom full of blood and no sign of a body. A distraught and depressed Anastasia knows Keira is alive and needs help. Their mutual best friend Charlotte is amazing with technology and she’s helping with Keira’s case. Charlotte’s parents are Anastasia’s legal guardians now. As Charlotte and Anastasia hunt for clues, the mystery deepens and more people become a part of the mystery, either as suspects or helpers or both. I love this book and it made me realize how much I enjoy mysteries. Proof of Lies became unputdownable and I was pulled into Anastasia’s life and her searches across the globe. The author’s writing is flamboyant, smooth and believable. The clever writing and word play are entertaining, such as, “It felt like I was one giant headache lately – eat, sleep, breathe, Tylenol.” Great humor! I appreciate the facts at the end of the story and the excerpt of book two of the Anastasia Phoenix series, Lies That Bind. Clean read worth 5 stars!

Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon, the fourth book in the Going Down in Flames series. It has been a while since I read the first three books in this series, but the author’s writing brought the setting and the characters all back seamlessly and I was happy to be back in Bryn’s world again. The humor is refreshing and makes the story even better. The young dragons have now paired with friends to make temporary bonds that strengthen both individuals. Each class of dragon has a pair and together they are searching for hidden doors beneath the library that conceal artifacts and weapons from generations of dragons. The Directorate wants to study these finds and keep on top of any rebellions that might pop up. Bryn continues to stir things up in the stuffy, uptight dragon society while she continues living with her grandparents. She seems to be softening her grandparents up also. I can see this series continuing because of the added plot twists and surprises. This enjoyable fantasy series is fun and intense at the same time – 5 stars!

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell! The story begins by showing the setting of captured girls and young women kept in cages. Some women are forced to entertain, they are called flowers, while their cage mates, called the wilted, take the punishment when the flowers do something wrong. The captured young girls are being trained to become flowers or wilted when they are teenagers and the cycle continues with young girls being kidnapped, trained and eventually taking the places of the flowers and wilted that are no longer serving their entertainment purposes and are expired or killed. The Gardener runs the Garden with a strict hand and his helper, Shears, enjoys the violence and gladly harms the entertainers. Entertaining is forbidden by the Emperor of Imperial City, but he has seemed to have recently changed his mind. After Rose’s friend Fern is killed, Rose decides to plan a distraction during entertaining the emperor so she can escape and eventually free all of the other girls. Rose uses a member of the audience as a hostage and runs. Little does she know that her hostage is the leader of the rebellion against the Emperor, Rayce. Rose is harboring a secret and she’s terrified to trust any man. She also has a lot to learn about the rebellion and the histories of the people involved. The intrigue and secrecy kept me interested and I liked the unique story line. I grew to care about several of the characters and found myself rooting for them when they were up against danger. I figured out some of the back story on my own, but not all and I appreciated the unpredictability-4 stars!

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

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Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger is a unique story involving mythology characters that control the weather. Vane lost his parents in a tornado when he was younger, while he was saved by a mysterious girl that haunts his dreams. Now she’s interfering in his social life, but he isn’t sure what’s going on. She, Audra, shows herself to Vane and he’s relieved that she is real. At the same time, he’s confused about what she’s telling him he is and what they have to do. Audra blames herself for the death of Vane’s parents and her own father. Audra and Vane have to conquer the Stormwalkers and they have a limited amount of time to prepare. Their relationship goes for a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but they learn to trust each other and build strength together. I give Let the Sky Fall 4 stars, for the first in a series that brings romance, action and fantasy together for a clean read!

Shades of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

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Thanks to NetGalley and Blink for the ARC of Shades of Doon by Carey Corp! I didn’t enjoy the beginning of this book as much as I did Doon and Destined for Doon. It took me 100 pages to become interested in the story and for it to really get going. The first part of the book was too cutesy for me and contained too many plugs for Disney movies. I love Disney, but that did get annoying. Once the action started, I enjoyed it immensely. The story came alive and the main characters (Verranica, Makenna, Jamie and Duncan) made the book enjoyable. Each book has a mission for one of the main characters and in this third book, Kenna and Duncan are separated from Vee and Jamie. I am looking forward to the fourth book of the series, and I give 4 stars to the Shades of Doon for the comfort of familiar characters!

Mona Lisa’s Secret by Phil Philips

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Mystery Thriller Week and Phil Philips for the opportunity to read and review his book, Mona Lisa’s Secret. The action begins immediately with a supposed attack on the Mona Lisa painting hanging in the Louvre. In 1911, the real Mona Lisa was stolen by Joey Peruggia’s great grandfather, Vincenzo. Joey and his girlfriend, Maria, discover a secret room in the mansion he inherited and, lo and behold, they find the Mona Lisa inside! They plan on returning the original painting to the Louvre, but things quickly get out of hand. Full of action, adventure, twists, surprises and suspense and even allusion to more mystery, which makes this book fun for any mystery and action reader. The author’s descriptions of the France scenery and historical sites made me feel like I was actually there seeing it all in person! This written for adults story is a fairly clean read with a few swear words that are used as dialogue in swear worthy stressful events. I highly recommend this enjoyable mystery by giving it 5 stars!

Configured by Jenetta Penner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Configured by Jenetta Penner is about Avlyn who lives in an all out dystopian society that does not allow anyone to choose their careers or future spouses, stilts all emotions and will not allow relationships with anyone that you cared about or knew before you became an adult. Avlyn’s twin brother, Ben, died when he was four years old and she doesn’t understand why. She misses him daily and wants to know what happened to cause his death. Anytime she asks questions about Ben, her foster parents become angry and tell her to not cause problems for the two of them. They do not seem to care about Avlyn at all, once they have completed their duty of raising her. Avlyn is asked to join a rebellion and actually feels like she has been pushed into it at the beginning. She eventually sees more of what is happening in her society and begins to understand that a rebellion is necessary. Configured is a science fiction, action-adventure in a dystopian society with an intense rebellion in the making – 4 stars for originality!