Always forever maybe book cover

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea ErnshawThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Published by Simon Pulse on March 6, 2018
Pages: 320
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

I think my reading experience for The Wicked Deep was doomed from the beginning. My expectations were too high because of the many ravings by bloggers, authors, and the already announced Netflix adaptation. Don’t get me wrong, this book wasn’t horrible, but I felt like it should have been better.

I’m not 100% sure why this book didn’t workout for me, but I suspect it mostly had to do with the fact that I was often able to correctly guess where the story was headed. I try not to, but more often than not, I find myself scrutinizing characters, guessing the decisions they will make, and contemplating what the most logical and/or shocking outcome the author can conjure up . I really need to learn how to kick this bad habit, because it’s helped ruin too many books for me.

This review was purposefully left mini and vague, because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone interested in reading this book. The Wicked Deep is built on WTF moments, and I don’t think it has much else going for it once they are revealed.

If you love macabre, supernatural books, and aren’t the type to scrutinize story-lines, you might enjoy this book.

*One last irrelevant thought – this book cover is stunning! It’s a bummer I didn’t love this book, because it would have looked gorgeous on my bookshelf.

two-half-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

May 2018 New YA Release (INT) Giveaway Hop!

This giveaway will run May 1st-May 31st and is open to anyone who can receive books from the Book Depository. Check here to see if your country is listed. 

There’s so many awesome books coming out in May! The ones that I’ve already pre-ordered are: Onyx & Ivory, Legendary, and of course, A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT. I can’t wait to see the winner’s choice!

Enter below for your chance to win one May 2018 New YA Release (up to $18.00 value)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Checkout the other bloggers participating in the hop!

Always forever maybe book cover

The Book Slayer’s April 2018 Recap


April was a good, yet agonizingly slow month. I probably wouldn’t have felt so tortured by it’s length, if it wasn’t for the following three things May is bringing:

1. A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT
2. LEGENDARY
3. Baby chicks!

Chicks… huh?  Well, on Thursday, May 3rd, I will be receiving a shipment of 8 baby chicks, making me a first time chicken mom. When I first thought about getting chickens, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of responsibility, but after reading 4 books, endless blog surfing, and encouragement from other chicken owners, I finally decided to take the leap and order 8 chicks. Because I live in New England where it can snow in May… ugh… and get to 90 degrees in October.. double ugh… I had to make sure the breeds I picked would be hardy in winter and capable of keeping cool in summer. Picking the breeds was so much fun! I got 4 different kinds; 2 Easter Eggs, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 Black Australorps. Anyways, enough about chickens, checkout my April blog recap below. 

Reviews:

Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1) by Claudia Gray
Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller
Everless by Sara Holland
A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca
Fracture Me (Shatter Me, #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi
Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Favorite book of the month:

Features:

My top 3 auto-buy authors
My top 4 favorite book womances
My top 6 favorite book quotes
Book Tag – Zombie Apocalypse

Upcoming May reviews:

The Wicked Deep
Ash Princess
Paper Princess
Ignite Me
Tell Me Three Things

How was your April?
Always forever maybe book cover

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Company on June 5, 2012
Pages: 358
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.


I dragged my feet with starting The Grishaverse series, because there’s such a huge, intense fandom that loves it, and I was afraid I’d be that odd duck who didn’t. I’m glad I finally read Shadow and Bone, because it was a good read, but like I feared, I didn’t think it was amazing. I ended up feeling like it was  just an average YA high fantasy. You can see some of my likes and dislikes below –

I liked:

Alina, because her character was well-conceived. She doesn’t suddenly become a formidable bad-ass because she discovers she has powers. Alina has very little physical and emotional strength to begin with, so when it’s revealed that she has the potential to be great, and make a difference in the world, she spends the rest of the book strengthening her body, mind, and magical abilities.

The mystery surrounding The Darkling was really intriguing and exciting. He’s that dark, brooding, mysterious and attractive male character who always draws my interest in books. His motivations and agenda was so hard to grasp, and it made me want to understand him desperately. He seemed to toe the line between light and dark, but maybe he didn’t? Maybe he already had chosen a side but he wouldn’t or couldn’t reveal it? He’s a really deep character, and it drove me nuts not knowing who or what he really was.

There are some magic-wielding Grishas who can control fire and wind – been there done that – and then there’s some who have the really cool ability to manipulate and mold materials like metal and bone. That was so cool! So unique!

What I didn’t like:

The pace was very slow. A good chunk of this book takes place at the Grisha palace, where Alina is strengthening her body and her powers. This section bored me. The Darkling is off doing mysterious things, and I constantly wished that he’d return. The story felt dull when he wasn’t apart of it.

Alina and Mal… ugh. I liked their friendship, their shared childhood history, and interactions, because it’s super heartwarming, but the idea of them romantically involved just rubbed me the wrong way. There’s comfort and sweetness there, but no passion. Their relationship was familiar and steady, but lacked sizzle. I much preferred the idea of Alina and The Darkling getting together, because they’re both the most powerful magic users in the world, and therefore relate to each other in a way they can’t relate with anyone else.  Plus: The Darkling bursts with sex appeal and allure  – yum!

The ending of Shadow and Bone was really surprising, and a tiny bit epic, so I really hope book two builds on that and ends up being smashing.

three-half-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

Book Tag – Zombie Apocalypse


Ashley @thriftybiblio did this and it looked like so much fun so I had to do it too!! *I wish I knew who the original creator was so I could credit them too*

The Rules:

  1. Choose five books
  2. Set up your books in any order
  3. Flip to a random page and write down the first two names you see
  4. Put the names in order in the categories down below
  5. Watch the world burns

Books I Chose:

  • Unravel Me by Taherah Mafi

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

  • Daughter of the Pirate Queen by Tricia Levenseller

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber

  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Categories:

First Person To Die – Castle

No surprises there. Castle is docile and you need to be savage to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The Person You Trip To Escape The Zombies – Warner

Omg! Nooo. Sorry boo <3

The Person That Trips You To Get Away From The Zombies – Amren

HAH. Well that just figures.

The First Person To Turn Into A Zombie – Azriel

Damn it! Thank god zombies don’t retain their human knowledge and motor skills because a sword-wielding zombie Azriel would be terrifying.

The Team Idiot – Draxon

LOL. Well. Duh.

The Brain of the Group – Riden

This bodes well! He’s thinks outside the box.

The Team Medic – Julian

Uhh… I hope nothing happens to me because Julian has no medical knowledge.

The Weapons Expert – Scarlet

Oh gawd! We’re gonna die…

The Brawler – Lorcan

YES. Things are looking up! Lorcan would shred those walkers.

The Team Leader – Elide

SCORE. Elide would be an amazing leader! She’s quick-thinking, clever, and a proven survivor of horrible things.

I’m like 80% sure I could survive this apocalypse maybe closer to 85% if I shave off Draxon and don’t get injured.

I tag . . . anyone! This is so much fun 😀