Tag Archives: adult

The Mirror Sisters

The Mirror Sisters Book Cover The Mirror Sisters
V.C. Andrews
Pocket Books
October 25, 2016

From the legendary New York Times bestselling author of The Flowers in the Attic and My Sweet Audrina series comes the first book in a new series featuring identical twin sisters made to act, look, and feel truly identical by their perfectionist mother.

Alike in every way...with one dark exception.

As identical twins, their mother insists that everything about them be identical: their clothes, their toys, their friends...the number of letters in their names, Haylee Blossom Fitzgerald and Kaylee Blossom Fitzgerald. If one gets a hug, the other must, too. If one gets punished, the other must be, too.

Homeschooled at an early age, when the girls attend a real high school they find little ways to highlight the differences between them. But when Haylee runs headfirst into the dating scene, both sisters are thrust into a world their mother never prepared them for—causing one twin to pursue the ultimate independence. The one difference between the two girls may spell the difference between life...and a fate worse than death.

Written with the taboo-breaking, gothic atmosphere that V.C. Andrews is loved for, The Mirror Sisters is the latest in her long line of spellbinding novels about mysterious families and tormented love.



“The Mirror Sisters” is the beginning of a new series in the long line of V.C. Andrews novels.

Haylee and Kaylee are what you expect from V.C. Andrews characters: wealthy, beautiful, really really screwed up mother.  In other words, everything those of us who have read the novels since “Flowers in the Attic” have come to know and love.  The plot premise also follows in the creepy family vibe with a mother who takes the word “identical” way too literally when it comes to her girls.

Unfortunately, almost the entire book felt like it was building up to something way bigger than the climax.  It was a letdown.  That being said, I will still read the next in the series and hope that it lives up to its promise.

“The Mirror Sisters” is recommended for anyone who enjoys V.C. Andrews books.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

No content warning as I still view V.C. Andrews novels as adult books.  Still, it’s a V.C. Andrews book.  I’m sure you can figure out the content.

The Last One

The Last One Book Cover The Last One
Alexandra Oliva
Ballantine Books
July 12, 2016

"She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens--but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them--a young woman the show's producers call Zoo--stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game"--Provided by publisher.



3.5 Stars

One of these days we will be granted half stars, but until then I will have to decide whether to round-up or down.  “The Last One” was too good to give three stars but had a few problems that keep it from being a solid four.

The premise is a game show meant to scare the contestants and audience, complete with fake scares and stranding people alone in a horrific world.  As could be predicted, something real goes horribly wrong.  “Zoo” is left alone to try to survive.  I loved all of that, but there were disorienting jumps between her and the production team that did not always align with the same timeline.  It also had a tendency to drag at points.

That being said, “The Last One” is still a fun and creepy read that will satisfy those who enjoy those sorts of things.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things Book Cover All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Bryn Greenwood
Thomas Dunne Books
August 9, 2016

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy, a strong-willed girl of ethereal beauty, knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, Wavy finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold. Surrounded by addicts and a culture of debauchery, their relationship doesn't set off any alarms until Wavy's parents are murdered and a well-meaning aunt steps in. Facing a charge of statutory rape, Kellen may not be completely innocent, but he's the one stable companion Wavy and Donal have. Instead of playing it safe, Wavy has to learn to fight for Kellen, for her brother, and for herself.



“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” was not a book that I actually enjoyed, but I had to give it four stars for the beauty of the writing and the solid plot.

This book is gritty and difficult.  Nothing in it is sugar-coated.  The character development is well-done and does not waver in continuity as the characters age.  There is an extremely uncomfortable age difference in it that deserves a warning.  It was a tough read all the way around.

If you’re looking for a light read, “All of the Ugly and Wonderful Things” is not for you.  If you’re looking for a book with teeth and can handle the subject matter, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Curious Minds

Curious Minds Book Cover Curious Minds
Knight and Moon, Book 1
Janet Evanovich, Phoef Sutton,
August 16, 2016

Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring charmingly eccentric Emerson Knight and professional go-getter Riley Moon.



“Curious Minds” was a fun, quick read that featured all of the humor and wit for which Janet Evanovich is known.  She and Phoef Sutton make a great writing team.

The new characters of Emerson Knight and Riley Moon are quite a bit different from others we have seen in previous series.  The quirkiness of Emerson is especially intriguing, and I can’t wait to read more about him.  They play well off of one another.  The plot moved fast and it can easily be read in a sitting or two.  There were a few sputters in character development, with few detailed background characters, but all of those can easily be fixed and filled in with the next installment.

I can easily recommend “Curious Minds” for any Janet Evanovich fan or for someone looking for a new humorous mystery series to enjoy.

This honest review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

As this is an adult book, there are no content warnings.

The Summer That Melted Everything

The Summer That Melted Everything Book Cover The Summer That Melted Everything
Tiffany McDaniel
St. Martin's Press
July 26, 2016

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil. Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town. When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.



“The Summer That Melted Everything” is a book unlike any other I have ever read.  If you aren’t a fan of literary fiction, turn back now.  This book isn’t for you.  If you are a fan of literary fiction, you are in for a masterfully written book that a review can’t do justice.

As with most literary fiction, the plot is meandering.  Characters drive the narrative and everything from their names to their actions carry a level of symbolism that makes it almost impossible to take everything in on one reading. Set in 1984, many of the events of the period are covered, including the emergence of the AIDS crisis, homophobia, and racism.  The parallels drawn to today’s society are subtle and disturbing.  Given the current political climate, I honestly can’t think of a better time to release “The Summer That Melted Everything.”  There is a lot of food for thought, and the most uncomfortable parts will come when you realize that we are all guilty of some of the actions, purposefully or not.  The Devil didn’t just come to Breathed; he lives inside all of us.

The writing style is descriptive enough to make you feel as if you are there experiencing the oppressive heat of the town for yourself.  Even the most depressing of settings were painted in a way that made me feel at home there, and none of it slows down the pacing of the characters.  Fielding Bliss, the narrator, has a unique voice that both remains consistent and changed in the transitions between the past and his present.

The tone ranges from one of hope to an extreme darkness.  This is where I will note for the readers that request I do so that there is a disturbing animal death, as well as quite a bit of racism and homophobia.  I can promise that absolutely none of it is gratuitous, though.

“The Summer That Melted Everything” is one of those rare books that will always stick with me.  I feel like it made me a better person for having read it and hope my fellow literary fiction fans will try it and enjoy the experience as much as I did.

This unbiased and honest review is based upon a complimentary copy.

Strange History

Strange History Book Cover Strange History
Bathroom Readers' Institute
Portable Press
June 14, 2016

This exciting title from the folks at the Bathroom Readers' Institute contains the strangest short history articles from over 30 Bathroom Readers—along with 50 all-new pages. From the 20th century to the Old West, from the Age of Enlightenment to the Dark Ages, from ancient cultures all the way back to the dawn of time, Strange History is overflowing with mysterious artifacts, macabre legends, kooky inventions, reality-challenged rulers, boneheaded blunders, and mind-blowing facts. Read about…

*The curse of Macbeth
*Stupid history: Hollywood style
*The secret LSD experiments of the 1960s
*In search of the lost “Cloud People” of Peru
*The Swedish queen who declared war on fleas
*Unearthing the past with the Outhouse Detectives
*The Apollo astronaut who swears he saw a UFO
*How to brew a batch of 5,000-year-old beer
*The brutal bloodbaths at Rome’s Coliseum
*Ghostly soup from ancient China
*The bathroom of the 1970s

And much, much more!



“Strange History” is a fun history book filled with facts and stories that will have you either laughing, horrified, or thankful you don’t know what crazy stuff is going on right now behind-the-scenes.  All of the stories are short and can be read quickly.  It definitely makes history fun and accessible.  In fact, I recommend it for teachers or parents to get interesting anecdotes they can throw into relevant lessons to keep students engaged.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus Book Cover Lily and the Octopus
Steven Rowley
Simon and Schuster
June 7, 2016

Combining the emotional depth of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" with the magical spirit of "The Life of Pi," "Lily and the Octopus "is an epic adventure of the heart. When you sit down with "Lily and the Octopus," you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. "Lily and the Octopus "reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all. Remember the last book you told someone they "had "to read? "Lily and the Octopus" is the next one."



Friends, let me tell you right now, if you are a dog or an animal lover you are going to flat-out ugly cry over “Lily and the Octopus.”

I mean snot running down your face, inconsolable, nothing-will-ever-be-ok-again sobbing.

The other thing I will tell you is that you will be so, so glad you read it.  It’s a beautiful work of literary fiction about the nature of life and love told with a lot of humor and sadness.  As the description says, the joy of this particular book is in the reading of it.  A summary will not actually convey what it’s all really about, and aside from the crying, I think everyone will take something different away from it.  This is definitely one of those novels that is colored by what the reader brings to the table.

What “Lily and the Octopus” gave me was the memory of the pain of loss, but most importantly, the memory of love and it all being worth it.  Animals and humans alike, they’re worth it in the end.

I can’t recommend it enough.

This unbiased review is based upon a copy of the book won through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program.


Content Warning:

As this is an adult book, there are no content warnings.

Morning Star (Red Rising Book 3)

Morning Star Book Cover Morning Star
Red Rising, Book 3
Pierce Brown
Del Rey Books
January 5, 2016

"Born a lowly Red in the mines of Mars, Darrow lost his beloved wife to the treacherous Gold overlords. Vowing to fight for the future that his wife believed in, Darrow joins a secret revolutionary group and is remade into a Gold so that he can infiltrate the ruling class and bring them down from the inside. Now, after years of hiding amongst the Golds, Darrow is finally ready to declare open revolution and throw off the chains of oppression. Nothing in Darrow's world has been easily won, and this final fight will be the most harrowing of all"--



Mr. Brown, if you’re reading this, please know that there is an intense need to see Dylan O’Brien play The Jackal.

I’m serious.  If he can’t be in the actual movie please try to film a home video or something.  I’m ok with shaky cam.  Snap chat.  Instagram.  I know you have a bunch of Teen Wolf cast friends who also love your books.  Give me my fix, man.

The only other things I can say are perfect ending to a perfect trilogy.  Also, I’m really glad we don’t have to leave this world behind.  How many days now until “Iron Rain” is released?

You Had One Job!

You Had One Job! Book Cover You Had One Job!
Beverly Jenkins
Andrews McMeel Publishing
July 12, 2016

You Had One Job! is a collection of hilarious pictures features job-related disasters and general ineptitudes. If someone hangs a stop sign upside down or paints crooked lines on a highway, count on someone else to snap a photo and post it online. You Had One Job! is a collection of hilarious pictures features job-related disasters and general ineptitudes. All of these new, never-before-seen images will be accompanied by witty captions.



“You Had One Job” has many pictures in it that had me literally laughing out loud and scaring the animals.  It also seemed a bit on the short side and had too many photos that have been over-exposed online.  A bit longer and with more original content and it would have been a five-star book.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Nookietown Book Cover Nookietown
V.C. Chickering
February 23, 2016

A funny, emotional and at times racy novel about a service connecting married men (with their wives' consent!) and divorced women.



My first instinct was to give “Nookietown” two stars, but then I reconsidered because there is a strong possibility that this is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” book syndrome.

I requested it because the plot seemed like a fun and easy read.  It was an easy read in the traditional sense of the phrase, but I despised the characters so much that I found myself dreading trying to finish it.  There was also quite a bit of suspension-of-disbelief required, which is to be expected in a book about husband swapping, but it went way beyond what was to be expected.

That being said, I really do think quite a few people will enjoy “Nookietown” and find it the perfect summer beach read.  Don’t pass on it just because of my review if the premise sounds interesting to you.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

As this is an adult book, there are no content warnings.