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review 2015-10-16 22:46
the supernatural mixed into the zombie apocalypse for good measure!
Four (Their Dead Lives,1) - Zack Scott

I received a copy of this book for an honest review. You can find my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

"We leave as four."

FOUR is a zombie story to be devoured, heh heh. But seriously, this was a great zombie read with well developed characters and a well written plot. There's even something extra thrown in supernatural-wise besides the zombies, which had me turning the pages to find out what it was because it isn't revealed for quite a while.

The four main characters - Jeff, Scot, Alec, and Kale - are friends from high school who are like the four Musketeers, but they've had drama where two of them hate each other and they all four generally drifted apart after high school. They organize a reunion of sorts, and pretty soon everything goes to hell. Literally.

Scot's a player. He has a sort-of girlfriend, and I say sort of because he cheats on her, constantly. He's a douche, but I didn't totally hate him. I disliked him greatly, lol.

Alec is sweet and ready to settle down with his high school sweetheart. He's having trouble with his dream of becoming a firefighter. I liked him quite a bit. He seems to make solid decisions and be a caring person.

Jeff was transferred from the regular military to a special military that's kept quiet from the public. He got into great shape after high school after spending that time wishing he was stronger.

Kale doesn't seem to have grown up much after high school. He has a roommate, and they play video games a lot. He's pretty gung ho about being a hero and won't let the other guys forget about the mysterious event that happened when they were younger, and I was glad for that. I HAD to find out what happened and what it meant for them in the present time.

Watching these guys try to put the pieces of their friendship back together was riveting. There was a lot of baggage there they could either work through or choose not to. The characters were well written, the plot well developed, and the action with touches of romance was balanced well.

Something happened when they were in high school, and there were hints here and there that it was a supernatural occurrence of some kind and what it was could help in the zombie apocalypse. I was DYING to know what it was and couldn't wait to find out.

Oh, and of course the zombies! The zombies were scary AF. Some were super fast, others were slow, and you basically didn't stand much of a chance against them. The totally, totally skin crawling, shiver inducing, look-under-your-bed-before-sleeping kind of zombies. Ah, George Romero would be so proud!

If you're a zombie/horror fan, you really need to snag a copy of FOUR. I would NOT steer you wrong! Plus, I'm picking up the second installment asap. :D

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review 2015-10-09 16:17
intriguing and surprising mix of angels, demons, nephilim, and fae!
Matchbox Girls - Chrysoula Tzavelas

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.

MATCHBOX GIRLS was a pleasant surprise to me. The concept of angels, demons and nephilim isn't new, but when the fae were also thrown into the mix, I was intrigued. Tzavelas took these beings and infused new energy into them and the urban fantasy genre.

I connected with Marley right away as someone who also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. Worries that seem illogical or not so bad to other people is catastrophic to me, especially worrying about something really bad happening. This is what Marley worries about the most - something terrible happening to someone.

I loved to see great friendships among Marley, Branwyn, and Penny. It's rare to see strong female relationships in novels nowadays, and when I do come across them, I savor them!

And oh the twins! I loved how Marley struggled a bit with the chaos they created when she first took care of them. It made the story so realistic because 4-year-old twins would be a handful. I've only had one 4-year-old at a time, so I can't imagine having two! They sound like cute girls, and I'd protect them like a mama bear as Marley does. Marley is super smart and has great instincts. She follows her gut feeling - if something doesn't feel right, she knows something is wrong, which was so refreshing to see in a heroine!

The mystery disappearance of the twins' uncle, Zachariah and wondering how Marley would keep the girls safe from those beings who were after them kept me on the edge of my seat. I read MATCHBOX GIRLS in about three sittings, only because I had to sleep, lol.

My only complaint is hard to explain. Some of the action was a little hard for me to picture because of the way it was described. It wasn't a huge issue or anything, and maybe it's just me.

If you're looking for a fresh take on angels, fae, and the like, I recommend you pick up a copy of MATCHBOX GIRLS. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, INFINITY KEY. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed MATCHBOX GIRLS so much, I've already bought the sequel so hopefully I can get to it soon!

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review 2015-04-08 13:30
a zombie to love
Zombie-saurus Rex: What if Your Romeo is Already Dead - Mark Souza
I received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

Zombie-saurus Rex was a really cool zombie story. Full of originality and fun, I cared about Rex. A lot. And I really wanted him to get a happy ending. I know, I know. He's a zombie. But he isn't like any other zombie I know, except maybe R from Warm Bodies. But Zombie-saurus Rex is completely different from Warm Bodies - in this novel, zombies can still do things like speak and go to school, but humans are leery of them, to the point where some in the military want to put them in internment camps or just go ahead and kill them all.

In a sense, I could understand people's trepidation, after all, what are zombies infamous for craving? But if Rex gets to eat his calf brain for lunch and has snacks here and there (snacks he's brought with him!) then there's no reason to panic about him coming after you. He just wants to graduate high school and maybe go to college. The problem is, Rex and his mother have had to move so many times he finds himself behind in school academically sometimes, plus it's difficult to learn when you have to deal with other kids harassing you.

I love Ariella! And I love that Rex does end up making a male friend, Howie. Ariella wants to be different, so much so that she goes out of her way to try to stand out from everyone else. I had forgotten she's the daughter of the Chief of Police, and so I cracked up when he knocks on Rex's door looking for her. Poor Rex had no idea! The two of them were what I thought of as the dynamic duo. I don't think there was anything Rex could have done that would've phased Ariella or made her stop liking him. Nothing. And that's the kind of friend you need at any age.

Zombie-saurus Rex does an excellent job of giving you an escape from the real world while at the same time giving you food for thought (pun intended) about dealing with the presence of discrimination and adversity. I highly, highly recommend this book no matter if you're a fan of zombies or not. If you aren't a fan of them, then you will be after meeting Rex. Promise.
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review 2014-11-12 20:39
a really cool urban fantasy
Family Heir: A Bigfoot Novel - Sara M Drake

I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

Family Heir is a really cool urban fantasy novel that left me craving more. The cover drew me to reading the synopsis, sounding like a book I'd love - and I was right! The writing was awesome, the world building was creative, and the characters were a LOT of fun to read about.

Kelley is on a date when her ex, Troy, comes storming in to find her. They're needed to hunt down a killer. Attacks are increasing in frequency, and they're gory. Innocent people are being killed, even very young children. Kelley and Troy are divorced, but you don't find out why for quite a while. I was dying to know why and actually found myself wanting them to get back together when I didn't know why they split up in the first place.

In their world, scientists have confirmed the existence of creatures such as vampires and werewolves. The vampires and werewolves don't trust the government as much as they do the Families of Hunters spread out around the world. They work in conjunction with the Hunters to make sure any dangerous rogues are arrested or even killed if necessary. There was even mention of two mermen who had to be killed because they were raping and killing tourists. *shivers*

Kelley and Troy are Hunters, and their Family is based not far from where they currently live in Wyoming. They've trained as partners since they were kids. Even though they're now divorced, Troy refuses to work alone or with anyone but Kelley, which led me to start thinking he might not have wanted the marriage to end. I was looking forward to seeing how they work together and also with the addition of a newbie federal agent (Brent) whom Kelley thinks is cute and loves making him blush furiously.

Kelley is a character I loved instantly. She's witty, intelligent, and fierce when she needs to be. Troy is one of the most interesting characters I've read about - he speaks in one to two words at a time. That's it! But Kelley knows him so well she can fill in the blanks for others who don't know what he's talking about.

With everything Family Heir has going on - the interesting dynamic between Kelley, Troy, and Brent unfolding, the tension with the unlikely trio hunting down the killer, the mystery of why Kelley and Troy divorced, and the reaction Kelley has to getting sucked back into the world of werewolves and vampires that she was trying to leave behind - there's never a dull moment in this novel. There was so much I wanted to find out and had a wild ride to get there, which I'd take again any day. I highly recommend this book to fans of Urban Fantasy or to anyone who wants to escape with some really awesome characters into a suspenseful story.

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review 2014-11-05 18:25
drew me in right away - a fun and light read tackling the subject of bullying
Starlight - Chelsea M. Campbell

I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

I'm a sucker for beautiful covers. And starlight. Put the two together, and you've got me hook, line, and sinker! Starlight is a fun read that draws you in right away; I love it when I begin a book that's so easy to get into quickly. There were times I laughed and other times I felt like punching those popular bullying girls even though I'm not a violent person. (I swear I'm not!)

Chelsea M. Campbell brings plenty of humor into Starlight - for instance, I couldn't help but laugh when Adrienne's genie, Saiph, insisted on staying at her house which leads to her hiding him in the attic away from her mom. When he sees that her bedroom is decorated in unicorns (she hasn't redecorated since she was six years old), he teases her about needing help with style. I personally would love for my bedroom to be decorated in unicorns, but I don't think my husband would like that too much! Those scenes had me giggling.

I liked the light and non-preachy way the subject of bullying was dealt with which in my opinion made a greater impact than if it had been presented in a hard hitting way. Bullying is so rampant nowadays, and Starlight shows both sides. You see the ugly way the popular girls behave towards Adrienne, and the way she shrinks into herself when those girls go out of their way to insult her.

The shenanigans (there's really no better word!) that go on with Saiph around made me laugh, especially when Adrienne had to scramble to cover his presence around her mom, in front of her coworkers, and at school. There are also cute moments, too, where she realized he treated her with dignity and respect, something no one has done before. While reading about Adrienne and thinking of all the different ways she could respond to those stuck up girls, I was taken back to my own high school days where I wish I had defended myself instead of letting a small group of other girls push me around.

When she starts to fall for him, I was dying to know what was going to happen. Would he fulfill her wishes and then leave? Would he find a way to stay with her? The possibilities were endless! Starlight was exactly the kind of book I needed after reading so many dark and heavy stories lately, and I recommend this to anyone looking to lose her/himself in an uplifting and fun story.

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