Top Ten Tuesday

I haven’t done this in a while but I LOVE quotes so here are my favorite book quotes in no particular order:

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish


“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”


“The thing about falling is you don’t have any control on your way down.”




“We all make mistakes… but it’s also a step in the right direction. If nothing else it’s a step away from the wrong one.”


“Macho Nachos be damned!”

harry potter 1

“It does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

six of crows

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

nick and norah

Technically it’s from the movie and not the book but I’m using it anyway-LOL

“I refuse to be the goody bag at your pity party.”


“They love their hair because they’re not smart enough to love something more interesting.”

winner's curse

It’s more contextual than profound

“I don’t care.”


February Reads-Any Bangs?


February was a slow month which caused me to lower my Goodreads goal from 70 to 50-YIKES. But I don’t want to stress myself out when October approaches and I’m 30 books behind.

I read some shitty books and one fantastic book.  As usual, click the picture or the title for a full review.

last beginning

The Last Beginning by Lauren James

I read this for SLJ (School Library Journal) so I can’t review it until after it is published.

losing leah

Losing Leah by Tiffany King

DAMN this book was disappointing.  Leah’s development was poor and there were no answers to her issues.  The pacing was bananas and some things were unrealistic.

Bang Bang Rating: bomb

elena mendoza

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

Great premise but the execution…Too many people giving Elena too much advice-it dragged down the plot.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb 3/4

immortal reign

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

I stopped caring. I’m just glad it’s over.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb


Furyborn by Claire LeGrand

So this book is pretty great. There’s strong female friendships and complicated villains and uncertainty of identity and cliffhangers and a fascinating world and secrets and you just need to read it.

I want all the SWAG and I want to meet Claire.


February TBR

  • Finally reading Lord of the Rings.  I haven’t seen any of the movies so I know nothing about it.
  • Kiss of Deception is in the top five favorite fantasy series of all time and I’m really excited to read Pearson’s new series. If you haven’t read Kiss of Deception, I highly recommend it but it is not a fluffy read-be prepared to take notes.
  • I highly recommend The Case For Jamie if you love Sherlock Holmes-great character development.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

elena mendoza

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

By Shaun David Hutchinson

Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal/LGBTQ

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Elena Mendoza was born from a virgin birth and since she was a child, objects have been speaking to her. At first it was small things like make friends with Fadil but then the voices began to tell her to heal people to save the world.  Sound interesting? I thought so too until I read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed We Are the Ants and I also like genre blending stories so I was excited about Hutchinson’s new book.  I personally think he got gipped in the award department with Ants and I think he thought so too and tried to write an award winner in Elena but I think he tried too hard.

The paranormal premise of Ants was the idea of pushing the button to save the world or not pushing the button to doom mankind and Elena was faced with the same decision except it wasn’t a button it was listening to inanimate objects.  With that being said, Hutchinson needs some fresh ideas.  Elena started off quickly with the shooting of her crush in the first couple of chapters which was good.  I also liked the voices; I thought they were bitchy and funny but after the first quarter of this somewhat different book, it went downhill.  The main characters talk about finding the shooter who vanished into the sky ad nauseam but they don’t do too much to find anything about him.  A good chunk of this book and when I say chunk I mean about 75% is basically different people giving Elena advice about making choices.  It’s all a bunch of introspection and that’s fine but her mother gives advice, then her shitty step father, then her best friend, then her crush, the a rando cop, then her mom again, then best friend, then her crush, then her crush, then her neighbor, and on and on and on. And they are all kind of telling her the same thing but using different words.  Actually Dumbledore gave us this advice-“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” This book is 430 pages too long.

While all of this advice is happening, Elena is developing relationships with her crush, Freddie, and her ex-Javi.  Freddie began as an interesting character but because of all ass dragging plot I didn’t care about their budding romance I just wanted Hutchinson to tell me the connection between her life saving abilities and the choice theme.  Usually this is the type of book where I don’t want to author to tell me the point but because the middle was just people giving advice, I just wanted to be told everything and not have to think.

Her best friend Fadil was okay but their friendship was nothing new.  He got a new girlfriend and he felt Elena was too dependent on him and blah blah blah. Then there was Javi who only wanted sex and then slut shamed her after she broke up with him. There was a moment when he asks her out and Elena has to tell him why he was a total dick and then she constantly had to tell him she wasn’t going to get back with him like several times over different events.  I don’t understand why that was in the book.  I don’t understand what Hutchinson was trying to say? Guys need to be told ten times that you don’t want to fuck them? I don’t know the point.

I think the ending was supposed to be this huge epiphany for Elena about choices and free will but I feel like teens kind of know this.  He seemed to try to make this point through a supernatural story and I applaud the concept but final message was not new info especially since Elena was getting advice about choice and free will for 200 FUCKING PAGES!  In Ants, he left it up to the reader to decide if the MC was being abducted by aliens or if it was imaginary but in Elena, he bashed us over the head with the theme.

Hutchinson is a good writer and I think he has a lot to say but this just was not it for me.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb 3/4

Losing Leah

losing leah

Losing Leah

By Tiffany King

Genre: Thriller/Child Abuse

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Losing Leah is told in two POVs, Leah and her twin Mia.  Mia was abducted when the twins were six years old by a woman who has held her captive in a basement for ten years.  Mia has been told that she has a sun sensitivity disease and her parents abandoned her because of it and this nurse adopted her.  During Mia’s chapters, we witness physical and emotional abuse which are tough to read and realistic but to readers who have never suffered abuse, we don’t learn anything new.  I’ve never been abused but I have a very basic idea of the affects of abuse by watching TV and reading books.  This book doesn’t add anything new to the narrative and that’s a shame because it’s a missed opportunity to dig deep into the mind and lives of the abused.

During Leah’s chapters, we are told that her parents have been affected by the loss of their child but we never see the parents.  There’s actually a reason why we don’t see the parents but it’s weak.  Leah has a boyfriend and a best friend but their presence does not impact the plot.  Leah suffers from debilitating headaches and seeing shadows but once again, I didn’t understand the significance.   Leah’s chapters could have been a discussion on how abduction affects a family but once again-missed opportunity.

Mia is rescued and reunited with her family but while she’s in the hospital, she meets a boy-of course she does.  I don’t understand why authors feel the need to write a romance.  Mia had a very strong relationship with her brother and I would have much rather the focus been on that or even a female patient living the same nightmare but no.  At one point, Mia is release from the hospital but she has to return for therapy but she never goes to see the love interest even though she claims he helped her.  I won’t say why but her psychologist SUX.

After a month or so in the hospital, Mia goes home and immediately returns to school-WHAT!!! This book is 320 pages so as you can surmise, the pacing is BANANAS!!!  Of course people are staring at her and calling her names but that’s the extent of her experience.  I won’t say more because it’s a spoiler but I’ll say that Mia’s brother who goes to the same school also SUX because he never checks up on her and meets her new friends.  It’s not her brother’s fault, it’s the authors fault for writing big plot holes.

This book was trying to do too many things.  First of all it’s pegged as a thriller/mystery but it lacked intensity.  The main characters are abused and suffering loss and have absent parents.  The main character is rescued and there’s a romance and she goes back to school.  The author should have chosen a couple of event of focus and develop them or WRITE A LONGER BOOK TO SUPPORT ALL OF THE EVENTS.  This book was too big for this author.  She had a good idea to write a thriller about an abused/abducted girl but she didn’t know how to execute it.

I haven’t read a lot of books about abuse but if you are looking for a slightly better book about physical and emotional abuse, read List of Cages by Robin Roe. If you are looking for a good thriller, read Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas, Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro or The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Bang Bang Review: bomb


January Reads

Any bangs in January?  Nope, NOT EVEN CLOSE!

I read 24 books in November & December to meet my GR goal of 90 so as a reward, I did not read anything for two weeks.  And I don’t regret it.  So because of my reading moratorium, I only read three books in January-that’s a new low. Click the book cover for full reviews.

the queen's rising

Bang Bang Ratingbomb1/2

Same old story us fantasy fans have read a hundred times.

dark of the west

I read this for School Library Journal and cannot comment until my review appears in the journal.

list of cages

Bang Bang Ratingbombbombbomb

This is a basic story; it’s not a real thinker but a decent discussion starter.

I’m back on the book horse and will try to read at least six books in February.


I’m currently about 45% in and it’s REALLY GOOD so far.  It is a lot of story so I hope the author can control it.  It’s on par for five stars if she can pull it out.  The world is somewhat unique; the heroines are pretty awesome and well developed; and the pacing is great.  If you have the ARC sitting on your shelf, I say start reading it now.

true queen

Pretty good series.  Book 1: The Impostor Queen was one of my favorite fantasy books of 2016.  Book 2 wasn’t as good but I’ve heard great things about the series finale so I’m excited.  I highly recommend this series.

immortal reign

OMG…finally the last book.  This was supposed to be a trilogy but then the author got to extend it to six and FINALLY after SIX YEARS I will be able to finish this series.  And I didn’t binge them; I read book one in 2012 and book two 2013 and so on and so forth.  If you are looking for a fluffier Throne of Glass type of a series that has a great heroine and hero, I highly recommend it.  It will get a little bananas in book five tho.

orphan monster spy

Don’t know much about it but it sounds good.

smoke thieves

I wasn’t a big fan of her first series, Half Bad, but it was because of the execution.  I think Green is a good storyteller so I’m excited to read her new series.

last beginning

I have to review this for School Library Journal.

Queen’s Rising

the queen's rising

The Queen’s Rising (Book 1)

By Rebecca Ross

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Bang Bang Review

When I told my co-worker Elise that I was going to read this next, she enthusiastically asked me to see something.  With bated breath, I waited for her to pull up her eBook where she eventually showed me four pages of family trees, definitions, more definitions, maps, and more definitions.  She decided at that point to not read the book and I should have listened-DAMMIT!!

Brienna (already forgot her last name) has dual citizenship of Valenia and some other land-I don’t remember.  Her mother died and she doesn’t know who her father was so she was raised in an orphanage until she was ten when her maternal grandfather takes her to matriculate at Magnolia House.  The Magnolia House is a school for FIVE girls who study Passions (OMG, this book said passion sooooo many times) and they study for SEVEN years.  So in other words, for SEVEN years there are only FIVE people at this school.  How do they make money?  It must be THE most expensive school ever.  And a good 25% of the book was in this school where we meet these girls and none of it impacts the plot-maybe one girl. Anyway, Brienna has no skills but she must be special because they admit her immediately and after failing at all the other passions, she settles on knowledge.  Since there’s one student to each teacher and Bri is the sixth girl in the school, she has to share a teacher with her classmate who out of nowhere gets real bitchy when Bri seems to be favored by their teacher.  Oh and I forgot the most important detail, when Bri touches a mysterious book she has these visions of a princess who lived hundreds of years ago-okay.  Oh I forgot to mention that Bri has a crush on her teacher.

Anyway, these girls are studying for SEVEN years so they can apprentice but Bri is conveniently not chosen and must remain at the school. But something happens and she has to go into hiding and it has something to do with her father she knows nothing about.  She travels and has visions and meets people and reveals that she has visions and trains to control her visions but fails and she meets this evil king who we keep hearing about and who is supposed to be the most evil king ever but we meet him once.  You can’t write a villain off page and expect the reader to fear them.

So the entire book is Bri looking for a stone and a scroll to overthrow the king.  She conveniently finds the stone after a vision showed her where it was.  I call deus ex machina on that bullshit.  The scroll was also conveniently found and then the battle for the throne literally takes five pages.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I READ A 460 PAGE BOOK FOR A BATTLE TO TAKE FIVE FREAKING PAGES?  The ending was a pretty bow and I shouldn’t have read this book.

So if you are looking for a book that says passion five hundred times, a poorly written villain, and a Mary Sue, this is the book for you.  If not, read Children of Blood and Bone-similar book but with better characters and execution.

Bang Bang Rating: bomb 1/2

December 2017: Any Bangs

The last two months have been super crunch time to meet my Goodreads goal and although I completed my 90 book goal, technically I finished my 90th book on January 1st.  But I was 2/3 of the way through and I’m counting it.

This was a rough month meaning no bangs but it ended strong.  Click on the title for full reviews. (Not all books have reviews).

one of us is lying

One of Us is Lying

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb

I wasn’t expecting a critical read but I was expecting a good mystery considering this has been on the NY Times bestseller list for weeks.  It began pretty well but then it dragged ass and that ending-WTF?  I was legit going back to the crime scene to figure out who was doing what and that didn’t even matter. UGH!!!

see what i have done

See What I Have Done

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb

I like many are fascinated by Lizzie Borden and this debut was a good try but unfortunately, Schmidt used the small amount of evidence available and tried to fill 300 pages.  Too repetitive.

loneliest girl

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

I reviewed this for SLJ and you can catch it in a future publication.

love hate and filters

Love, Hate, and Other Filters

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb

This is an okay light hearted romance with a bit of Islamophobia.  The ending was a bit too unrealistic.

rebels of gold

Rebels of Gold

Bang Bang Rating: DNF

I loved the first two and this one was good but it was all about an impending war that I could predict the outcome and I was just not interested.  I got about 2/3’s in and skipped to the end and I was right.  It’s still a good fantasy and I highly recommend it.

dear martin

Dear Martin

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb

Not very deep.

you bring the distance near

You Bring the Distance Near

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb

Too much telling and not enough showing.



Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb 3/4

A little info dumpy but the idea was interesting.

batman book


Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb

Solid story but it was a bit boring.



Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 3/4

I don’t know why I waited so long to read this but it was GREAT! This book was a struggle because we are conditioned to pick a side and root for them but both characters were monsters and they both had good points.  I went back and forth-FRUSTRATING but good frustrating.

I’m tired and I’m not reading a damn thing for two weeks.  When I do decide to read, here’s the rundown.