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review 2019-04-20 14:29
2.8 Out Of 5 STARS for Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick
Drowning Instinct - Ilsa J. Bick


๏ ๏ ๏  Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏ 

Taboo Romance
Older YA

๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏


Goodreads | Booklikes | BookDigits

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes&Noble 

GooglePlay | IndieBound


With Audio Performed by Kathleen McInerney


๏ ๏ ๏  My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏ 

The cover and the narrator are the only recommendable aspects of this story...everything else is questionable...except maybe the ending.  I found the ending to be almost perfect, everything except for how they got there in the first place...

Overall, for me, the story has believability issues...so many aspects of the story just didn't sit well for me.   I'm surprised I gave it a chance at all...because teacher/student romance isn't really my thing...especially when dealing with high school age kids.  Just goes to show what an excellent cover can do for a story, at least for someone like me.

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 




๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝  2.5/5
Narration Performance⇝  4.5/5
Main Characters⇝  2.5/5
Secondary Characters  2/5
The Feels⇝  2.5/5
Pacing⇝  4/5
Addictiveness⇝  3.8/5
Theme or Tone⇝  2/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝  3.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝  4/5
Originality⇝  2/5
Ending⇝  4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nah...
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Striking, love the color...
Setting⇝ Wisconsin near Lake Michigan
Source⇝ Own Audible Audiobook
๏ ๏ ๏


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review 2017-01-22 02:35
Greatly Recommended!!! Loved this book
Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick

At the end of this book I was yelling out: OH MY..EFFEN GEE WHY DID IT END THIS WAY WHY WHY WHY? Because it was EXCELLENT! AND I STILL CAN’T GET OVER IT.


Finally, I thought to myself, as I closed this book, a post apocalyptic plot that’s more realistic with no sugar coating and it’s all about survival. I felt myself turning the pages and staying up late to finish just one more chapter. It was so engaging and the plot itself was so well written it kept the reader near the edge of their seat.


For almost every chapter, there was always something new Alex would encounter and she would have to find a way out to survive or overcome. She’d have to be one of the most strongest and resilient characters I have ever read without acting like a lovesick naive twit like you do in some post apocalyptic YA’s out there. There was only one moment where Alex seemed to have forgotten about both of her companions from her journey but, I suppose she was sidetracked for good reason. I especially enjoyed the particular moment where Alex develops her skill to “smell”.

So what am I going to do? I think it’s about time to pay my library fines and take the second book out of the library (I’ve been slacking off about that) because I need to know what happens next!!! I most definitely recommend this book it’s an awesome read!!!

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review 2016-09-15 01:08
Review for White Space by Isla J Bick
White Space - Ilsa J. Bick

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


Summary from GoodReads:

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.


Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.


Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.


Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.


Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

Okay, I know I never rarely ever just pull a summary straight from GoodReads. I cannot summarize this novel. I cannot do it. There is too much that goes on between it’s plethora of pages to pick just a few parts to give you. The GoodReads description is pretty adequate anyway. Also, WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!


So, character-wise, I’m not sure what to say. I liked all of them, but I wasn’t head over heels for anyone. Plus, they start killing them off pretty early on, so I didn’t want to get overly attached to anyone who bites the dust. Hint, that’s everyone but Emma. They all die. They all die bloody, gory, terrible deaths. This, obviously, irked me. I like my characters to ride off into the sunset happily ever after style and that is NOT what happened here. Each character brings their own set of qualities and skills to the table, allowing the ever-shrinking group to survive as long as they do, but it’s not enough in the end. So, you know, don’t get attached.


My main problem with this was it took too long to explain itself. It keeps talking about nows and bookworlds and panops (I don’t know the proper spelling, I listened to the entire thing on audio) and even halfway through the book, you still aren’t sure what it all means. You don’t get an explanation until the last quarter of the book and even then, I’m still not sure. What I do know for sure is that there had to be a better way to do that. I don’t know what because I a shitty story teller, but there had to be a better alternative.


I also think this is a case of reading the wrong genre. I’m not really a horror fan. I like some gore in movies and shows, but it doesn’t come across well for me in writing. That coupled with the tendency to murder all the characters and you can see why this would not be the novel for me. I honestly think I only downloaded it because I was still in the early stages of reviewing and wanted to read anything and everything I could for review. This gem was up for immediate download, no annoying wait for approval or denial. Just click here and it’s yours! I don’t know if I even read the summary. I should have.


I really think that if you like gore and death and mystery, this novel is one you’ll enjoy. But it wasn’t for me! It also ends on a mind-breaking cliffhanger, but I can’t say I’ll be picking up book 2!


Audio Notes:
Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy this novel overall, I loved the narrator! Kathleen does an amazing job, creating voices and characters and sound effects. She even does fantastic accents and I was enthralled despite my less than enthused reaction to the story and the plot. I honestly don’t think I would have finished this had I been reading a physical book, but Kathleen is awesome. I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future!


****Thank you to Egmont USA for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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review 2016-03-25 00:00
Cenizas - Ilsa J. Bick Cenizas - Ilsa J. Bick 3,5 stars.

Even though it did disappoint me at first, the book improved after about 150 pages. Some of the mysteries were a bit predictable and it's obvious that there's more going on in Rule than everybody is saying, but the ending is a great plot twist. I had considered that possibility, so it wasn't a complete surprise, but I wonder how the small village fits within a world-wide plot.

All in all an ok book. I'm glad that I didn't DNF it and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the story.

Longer review soon.
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review 2015-12-24 07:11
The Ashes Trilogy #2
Shadows - Ilsa J. Bick,Katherine Kellgren

Honestly, I listened to this audiobook in the car but I don't think I ever really got completely into it. I don't know if it's because I've been so busy with Christmas and my mind was elsewhere or if it was just the book. Probably a little bit of both but it was so hard for me to follow. It was all over the place and it's told from multiple view points which made it even more difficult for me to keep up. I found myself having to rewind numerous parts to back track and listen again. It just didn't do a whole lot for me. I liked the first one a lot better which isn't saying much. And of course with my luck, there isn't an audio at my library for the third book only the first two so if I want to finish the trilogy I'm going to have to read the last book. One of my biggest pet peeves is to have to switch back and forth, from audio to hard copy in the middle of a series so I don't know, at this point, if I'll finish it or not. 

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