Category: Paranormal

Keeper of the Bees (Black Bird of the Gallows #2) by Meg Kassel

Summary: A tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Release Date: September 2018
Age Group: YA, Paranormal, Entangled Teen
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:

The cover got me. 

                I judged it. 

                      I went in blind. 
                       
                                    🐝’lieve me, it was a fantastic wild card.

Right off, I felt the sweeping romance of a Fear Street Saga by RL Stine… did you just have the feels?! Me too. 

I mean, come on, a small town, a beautiful crazy girl (certifiably nuts), a boy with a changing face and body full of bees AND a freaking straw man straight from your nightmares… It SERIOUSLY takes talent to make all that work.

I have read a lot of paranormal YA and it can feel repetitive but Keeper of the Bees was such a treat– wonderfully odd, creepy and unique! The writing was engaging, the plot was fast-paced and the characters were so unbelievably interesting. It is sure to be a favorite for fans of paranormal YA.  

It MUST be on your TBR list!


_______________________________________________

Now, here is the real kicker– I had no idea that this was the second in a series. I have a very strict rule that I never read out of order! I didn’t discover this little tragedy until I got on Goodreads to snag a picture of the cover! I was like what the WHAT!?! 🤔

Lucky for me KoB can be read as a standalone. THANK GOODNESS. But I will be reading the first, Black Bird of the Gallows, because I got a little taste of that story and wanted to know more. I’m coming for you Reece. 🐦🐝🐦🐝🐦
 

Book Review: The Reader by MK Harkins (The Immortal Series #1)

Summary: Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Release Date: August 2016
Age Group: YA, Paranormal
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I’ve read several Harkins contemporary books, I like the easy flow of words and the angst she gives her characters when it comes to love. However, the cover of The Reader is what initially caught my attention, the freckles reminded me of our middle grade reviewer Macy Kate. A simple, raw beauty. When I realized that it was Harkins work and her shift into the paranormal/dystopian genre I was interested!

Y’all, THE HOOK! Nothing like starting right off with a little amnesia, hot guys and bullets flying! This is the stuff YA dreams are made of… #allthefeels

At first the world building seemed simplistic and a bit mysterious but it didn’t take long to realize that this was headed into a paranormal setting. The premise of genetically superior humans, divided by divine roles felt a tiny, tiny bit mythological/historical and it worked. The hidden city in the mountain was written very vividly and I really could picture the beauty of it all.

Humans with unique gifts, long life expectancy, bad guys, love triangles and mind reading is really what every woman YA teen girl pines for, right?!

The MC, Ann, is both strong and flawed. She isn’t too go to be true but relatable… you know, she will scissor kick you in the throat if you cross her yet she can’t make a decent judgment on a guy.

Devon & Archer were so Edward and Jacob for a hot minute but it worked. The character development was pretty steady and the plot twists kept making me love someone one minute and hate them the next. Good stuff.

The ending was a bit anti-climactic for me BUT that’s because it isn’t over yet! This is a duology and concludes with The Jack!

Overall, The Reader is a nice addition to the YA genre and fans of dystopian & paranormal lit. will enjoy its fast pacing and unique imagery.

If you liked: Gameboard of the Gods, Perfected, Uncharted  you will enjoy The Reader.




*I waited FOREVER for book 2… I started to loose hope. But one morning BAM! there it was on NetGalley, just waiting for me to download!– review coming soon (*spoiler: it was better than The Reader #sorrynotsorry).

BOOKtober Fest: 5 Must-Read YA Thrillers 👀

__________________________________________________________________________
Read the Reviews if you must, but a thrill you will find come dusk!

{Click titles for reviews}

1. The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

2. Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

3. Missing by Kelley Armstrong

4. Need by Joelle-Charbonneau

5. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry


I’d sleep with the light on… and watch your back because you know someone is following you… just sayin’ 

 

Book Review: Uncharted by Erin Cashman

Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

Release Date: September 2018
Age Group: YA, Mystery, Folklore
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I loved Uncharted right from the prologue! It was a unique storyline that did a great job of blending several genres, I actually had a hard time deciding where to “shelve” it. 

The Mystery.
Right from the start my mind was coming up with all sorts of theories, all of which were wrong. I’ve read enough dystopian and paranormal books that it takes all of 5 seconds for me to turn any character suspicious. Sometimes I feel like I’m re-reading a story plot, like running in a circle, but Uncharted was fresh and new. I kept thinking of mystery islands, every TV show I’d ever watched as a kid that had a treasure map and referenced my crime show toolbox too (I’ll always have a little Nancy Drew in me)!

Character Development.
It’s rare in a standalone book that I feel like I was adequately introduced to all the characters. But Cashman doesn’t waste time and lets you know enough about each person to leave you feeling something– suspicion, regret, loss, sadness, hope. 

Annabeth was raw and real. I felt for her, was sad for her, cheered for her bravery and was hopeful for her. That’s a lot of emotions for one character in 400 pages! I really enjoyed her growth and development; she wasn’t perfect and she knew it.

Griffin. He will be a book boyfriend of every teen girl that picks up Uncharted. He was good looking, broody with a tender side and tortured. Just how we like them, right girls?! I would love to read a novella of his back story. *cough, cough hint to Cashman*

Love.
You know I need a little love interest, always. I’m happy to report there was no love triangle or instalove. It was subtle and obvious from the outside looking in but it didn’t take away from all the mystery or thrill.

Parents.
I LOVE that this book had two sets of parents that loved their children. They weren’t absent or totally aloof to what their kids were doing. There was a protectiveness that I related to with almost all the adults attached to Griffin and Annabeth.

More Please.
So the big question… will there be a book two… or three?! I’m intrigued. I’m invested. I hope it gets weird(er). I want to experience the mystery.


Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén