Review: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Book Title: The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Author: Leslie Connor
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This book frustrated me a lot. 

Abuse was prevalent through the majority of this book and I was so aggravated by Bettina’s behavior towards it. Brady was an asshole. Plain and simple and yet Bettina would blame herself and say things like “Well maybe if I encourage him more” or “Maybe I need to change.” Yes I know abusive relationships are incredibly hard. I’ve never been through one so maybe that was why I didn’t have any sympathy towards Bettina. I think the only reason she kept dating Brady was because she wanted a boyfriend and he was the only one her parents (particularly her very strict Greek father) would approve of.

“This kind of thing hurts a boy’s feelings if you go out when he cannot be with you.”

I hated Bettina’s father. He was so strict and Bettina was so scared to tell her family that Brady was hurting her. Not that she thought her father would hurt her, but she was still scared to tell them. I wanted her mom to stand up for her. I desperately wanted Bettina to be brave enough to tell her family about Brady hurting her.

And “Cowboy?” Ugh, ugh, UGH. No, no, no. I didn’t have an issue with the cheating only because Brady was abusive. If he hadn’t been abusive, I would have had an issue. The age difference was icky, but again, I didn’t have a major issue with it either. The biggest issue for me, was the lack of chemistry. Whenever they were together, I was bored. 

Really the only guy Bettina had any sort of chemistry with was Tony. I liked that there was nothing romantic there. I liked that Bettina had a male friend. Opposite sex friendships are so underrepresented in YA.

Overall, I was very unimpressed with this book. I kept wanting it to be over. Even the ending didn’t save it for me. I’ll be giving it 2 stars. Lackluster romance in every way and frustrating characters ruined the book for me.

Stacking the Shelves #44

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This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you. It’s been, yet again, two weeks since I posted a Stacking the Shelves post. The past few weeks have been nice and slow in the way of review books. Probably a good thing as I am bending over backwards to catch up. I did buy one book and got another book via NetGalley. But the biggest stack came from my library haul.

Bought
Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Received for Review

-NetGalley-
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Gifted

Won

Library Books

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan
The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) by Cristin Terrill
Take Me On (Pushing The Limits #4) by Katie McGarry

So let me know if you’ve read any of these and which one I should read first. If you haven’t read any of the books yet, then let me know if you are looking forward to any of them.

Relaunch Blitz: Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry

http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca/p/blog-page.html

Welcome to the Blue Sky Days Relaunch Blitz!

Contemporary new adult
Add on GoodReads

A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn’t have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn’t know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn’t helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it’s time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she’s stepped back in time. 

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before, the kind of man she didn’t even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don’t always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you’re meant to be.  

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it’s time for her to help Nicholas the way he’s helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
June 27th is the 20th anniversary of my dad’s death from leukemia. For a long time I’ve wanted to honour him in some way, and I thought having the relaunch of Blue Sky Days, a book that was partly inspired by him, would be the perfect tribute. My dad was a wonderful man—smart, funny, kind, and loyal. He was an amazing father, husband, brother, and friend. Even before he died, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and he would listen to my crazy made-up stories with the patience of a saint.
From the 27th-30th of June, half the proceeds from all sales of Blue Sky Days will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. If you already own a copy, maybe you’d consider buying the book for a friend or family member? Or buying another copy from a different retailer (like Smashwords, which offers the book in every format)?
I greatly appreciate the support of the online reading/writing community for helping me honour my dad.

Thanks to eight incredible sponsors, there’s a huge blitz-wide giveaway! There will be three (3) $20 PayPal cash prizes. Three chances to win – not too shabby, huh? This giveaway is open internationally to people aged 18+ who can accept PayPal cash.
Jessica @ Thoughts at One in the Morning
Follow Jessica on Twitter
Author Molli Moran @ Books and Whimsy
Follow Patricia on Twitter
Follow Mickey on Twitter
Rachelia @ Bookish Comforts
Follow Bookish Comforts via email or BlogLovin’
Follow A Diva a Day! 


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Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She’s a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie83 any time.
Find Marie online: {Blog || Twitter || Facebook || GoodReads|| Instagram}

Review: Boomerang (Boomerang #1) by Noelle August

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Book Title: Boomerang (Boomerang #1)
Author: Noelle August
Publish Date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: NA/Romance
Series: Book 1 in Boomerang trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen, with no-fuss, no-commitment matchups and where the action on the job is steamier than any random hookup

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post-hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower, courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against coworkers dating. And second, they’re now competing for the same job opening in the fall.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?
Disclaimer: I received this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Normally I am very picky about my NA that I chose to read. It just seems like every NA book follows a similar format. Man & woman meet and then spend the rest of the book in bed together. Boomerang was a wonderful surprise as it had two independent people who valued hard work, family and friends.

I loved Ethan. He came from a modest background, but he was close to his family and had friends that he always made time to see. He coached kids soccer, which I loved. A man who willingly helps kids in his spare time wins all kinds of brownie points in my book. Usually I don’t go for the athletic types, but damn Ethan was swoony.

Mia was awesome. Like Ethan, she was close to her family and always made time for her friends.Her family was more well off than Ethan’s was which lead to some potentially sabotaging moments for herself because she felt like Ethan needed the job more than she did. She had a grandmother with dementia which was clearly hard for her. I often wanted to just hug her. It was clear that she felt a closeness to her grandmother that had started at a young age.

Mia had two wonderful friends by the name of Beth and Skylar. They were absolutely not afraid to tell her exactly what she needed to hear. These ladies were the type of friends that all women need and I was glad that Mia had them in her corner.

“But with boys, you act like goddamn Sleeping Beauty. Like they’re the only ones with choices to make.”

Mia’s track record with men isn’t great, but the last thing she wants to do anymore is wait around for Ethan to come to her. She wants to chase him, pursue him. Only question is, after that wild night together, does he want something more? She knows Ethan’s the one she wants, but after Ethan’s ex, Alison comes back into the picture, she’s no longer sure if he really wants her.

“I want someone who just wants me, without question.” 

This book was incredibly hot and sexy. Really, this book should not be read in public unless you take some enjoyment out of getting all hot and bothered in public places. The sex scenes were tasteful without taking over the entire book. They were actually small pieces in a book that was primarily about friendships and work and family, which was a great surprise to me.

I was totally surprised by this book. Happily surprised, and it definitely didn’t hurt that Veronica Rossi co-authored this book. I am giving it five stars and I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out and dazzle me like this one did.

Dear Sperm Donor

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I was going to name you as Dad in this post, but I just cannot do that. The name Dad is sacred and it is not something you ever took seriously. You treated Mom like shit, you endangered my life. You chose drugs and alcohol over my mom and I. Someone who does those things does not deserve the title of Dad. I have not seen you since I was 18 months old and my mom was finally able to get away from you. I don’t remember ANYTHING about you. Nor do I want to. You were the sperm that took part in creating me. That’s all.
As a child, I used to question so many things. Especially when I’d see other kids with their dads and I didn’t have one. Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t you fight harder to stay in my life? Those thoughts continued on through middle school and high school. In high school the questions were mostly, why wasn’t I important enough for you to get yourself clean and sober? By the time you reached out to me in 2006, I was 20 years old and I had no desire to ever have any sort of contact with you.
But then my nephew was born. And then my niece and then another nephew. I realized that you were slowly getting back into the lives of my half siblings. Then another round of thoughts swirled around me. Why now? Why are you desperate to have a part in your grandchildren’s lives? Why are they seemingly more important than your eldest? Is it because I’m single & childless? Or, and I’m pretty sure this is the reason, is it because I have severe health issues that you don’t know how to deal with?
Every day, I have to remind myself that I made this choice. I didn’t call you back in 2006. I deleted your Facebook friend request. I want you to have no part in my life. Yes, I communicate with your sisters & nieces & nephews. I even communicate with my half siblings. You know why? They never endangered me. They never hurt my mom. They never left her in favor of other girls, drugs and alcohol. I refuse to punish them just because you are a shitty excuse for a human. 
In your absence, I became an amazing person. I was raised by the best possible mom in the universe and you had no part in that. You can’t ever take credit for the way I turned out. My mom gets all the credit. She loved me, protected me and fought for me my entire life. Things you never did. I’m happy, well-adjusted and forever grateful to my mom for getting us away from you.
Cordially,
Alexia
Father’s Day was, once again a forgettable day for me. It always is. It was a day that brought me a lot of sadness as a child, but as an adult, I’ve grown to indifference.I’m not going to lie and say, it never ever hurts, because it does. It sucks that he couldn’t love me enough to shape up and be there for me. It sucks that my mom had to go through so much with me. I wasn’t ready to write this letter until this morning. I also wasn’t sure I was going to post it, I’ve found it to be very cathartic. If you have an amazing dad in your life, be grateful for him every second of the day.

Top Ten Books On My Summer 2014 TBR List

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This feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish
This list excited me, although it should have thrown me into a panic given how behind I am in reading.I really could have made this entire list be about my review books but I wanted to include personal reads as well. I have a feeling that the list will be longer than expected (maybe even double the number) I’m okay with that.
-Review Books-
Bleed Like Me by C. Desir
-This book has been on my radar for months and I’m very excited about it.
Feral by Holly Schindler
-Another book that has been on my radar for months. Hoping this book is as good as it looks-
The Returned by Jason Mott
-The premise of this book excited me instantly so I had to snatch it up-
Rites Of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
-This type of story is not usually my thing, but Crystal has been raving about it-
Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
-Yup, yet another dark contemporary. I ADORE dark contemporaries-
The Body In The Woods by April Henry
-YA murder mystery? Yes please- 
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
-This one is one of my most anticipated reads. Really hope it delivers-
Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
-I had written this one off recently, but have also heard GREAT things about it-
Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend by Katie Finn
I wasn’t sold on this one UNTIL Emma wrote her review for this book-
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
-I’m kicking myself for still having this one on my review pile. Must read it-

-Personal Books-
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
-Nope, I still haven’t read this one yet. Don’t kill me Giselle & Gillian-
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
-So excited to finally start this series-
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
-Bought this with my birthday money six moths ago and have yet to read it-
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
-Apparently this book is good. Cannot wait to dive in-
Defiance (Courier’s Daughter #1) by C.J. Redwine
-Excited to start this series as well-
Deception (Courier’s Daughter #2) by C.J. Redwine
-Need to read this before I start my e-ARC of Deliverance-
The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
-Very thankful to Lena for sending me this and I cannot wait to read it-
Parallel by Lauren Miller
-I’ve heard amazing things about this book-
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
-No Andi, I have yet to finish this book-
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Angie sent me this book for my birthday and I still have yet to read it-
So let me know if we have any of the same books in common and if you did a Top Ten list this week, please leave me the link so I can stop by your posts.

Review: That Night by Chevy Stevens

Book Title: That Night
Author: Chevy Stevens
Publish Date: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night. 

Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.

Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.

But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

Disclaimer: I received this print ARC from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I was unbelievably excited to receive an ARC of this book. I fell in love with Chevy Stevens’ books last summer so I was eagerly anticipating her newest book. I got a major surprise when I got a package from St. Martin’s Press with this book inside of it. I hadn’t emailed a request or anything, so it really was a shock to get it.

The first 80 pages were really slow and I was upset about that because it was a far cry from her previous books that had just jumped right into the twists and turns. This book spent more time setting the scene. Actually the readers were being told too different scenes. Toni’s jail time and what happened before she ended up in jail. Thankfully, it was written so that there was no confusion on the timelines. I knew exactly where she was in each of the flashbacks.

I felt it hard to drum up any sort of sympathy for Toni. Plus I really didn’t like Ryan either. I actually liked Nicole best, even though we didn’t get to see much of her. Shauna was an awful girl. Both in the flashbacks and in present day.I did get the feeling that Shauna was the ringleader of the “Mean Girls” and that the other girls were probably afraid of her.

I did feel a bit of sympathy when it came to Toni’s parents.I mean, holy crap, her mom was awful to her and I actually found myself defending Toni when it came to her mom. I mean, yes it’s got to be awful to have your youngest daughter murdered, but why turn your back on your oldest daughter? I mean favoritism was clearly shown in this book and that made me angry.

Ryan was so underdeveloped as a character. I wanted to know more about him, his time in prison and who he thought really murdered his girlfriend’s little sister. I think Ryan really got the short end of the stick when it comes to character development. We only heard about Toni’s time in jail, when I know that Ryan’s imprisonment must have been even harder.

Ashley’s appearance felt random. I mean, I know how she was supposed to be connected to the story, but it felt too convenient. I liked her, but I didn’t really understand why she was necessary to the story. At times, it kind of felt like she was an afterthought.

The twist at the end seemed cliched. It felt like it was a twist that I had seen in a dozen other thriller books. So I wasn’t shocked or surprised by it. Actually I was annoyed that the author chose to make this the twist, rather than think outside the box. So I’ll be giving this book 3 stars. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely was not her best book.

Stacking the Shelves #43

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This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Hi guys! I took last week off because I had only gotten one book and that was a finished copy of a book I absolutely adored. But this week I got a huge box of books in the mail. All of them were purchases I made on Book Outlet’s online store. And I think I’m in love with this store. I was able to get 13 books for under a $100. That is not possible on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. So YIPEEEEE!

So my book purchases are the only new things I added to my shelf this week. Go check out what purchases I made.

Bought
The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young
Find Me (Find Me #1) by Romily Bernard
Under The Never Sky (Under The Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard
Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) by Susan Dennard

 

Parallel by Lauren Miller
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Defiance (Courier’s Daughter #1) by C.J. Redwine

 

Deception (Courier’s Daughter #2) by C.J. Redwine
How To Love by Katie Cotugno
Golden by Jessi Kirby

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Received for Review


Gifted

Won


So let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you are planning to. Leave me the links to your Stacking the Shelves posts & vlogs.

Review: The Half Life Of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Book Title: The Half Life Of Molly Pierce
Author: Katrina Leno
Publish Date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depsitory

Synopsis from Goodreads:
You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering. 

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I’ve always been fascinated by Dissociative Identity Disorder. To the point where I gobble up anything that has to do with that. Books such as Sybil, Where Rabbit Howls, The Flock & All Around The Town. I’ve watched movies that have to do with it, documentaries, pretty much anything I could get my hands on about this illness, I read or watched. So when I saw the blurb for this book on Goodreads, I knew I just had to have it. So I waited anxiously for it to go up on Edelweiss and finally it did. I downloaded and then just waited for the right time to read it.

I picked it up a few days ago and I was immediately hooked. Chunks of time is missing in seventeen year old Molly’s life. She wakes up and doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. Usually the blackouts only last a few hours but sometimes they can last for a full day. 

She’s there when a boy named Lyle is in an accident and is in serious condition. She stays with him until they arrive at the hospital. She calls his brother at Lyle’s request and when Sayer arrives at the hospital, Molly can’t shake the feeling that she knows him somehow. Lyle’s death is the catalyst for Molly to realize that something isn’t right. She knows she’s never met these boys before, but she can’t help feeling like she knows Sayer and that she knew Lyle.
What’s weirder is that she feels her parents and siblings, Clancy & Hazel know something she doesn’t know. She starts to feel like maybe, they know that she’s not as normal as she tries to pretend she is. Maybe they know about her blackouts and missing chunks of time even though she’s tried her hardest to keep them from knowing about it.
Normally the stream of consciousness writing style would have driven me crazy, but in this particular book, it works. It flowed in a way I wouldn’t expect stream of consciousness writing to flow. So that definitely made me happy. Sometimes writing style can make or break a book. Thankfully, this time it made the book better.
This book was very character driven, which I really liked. The character development was well done.I do wish we had gotten to see more of Erie & Luka though. It seemed like most of the book was focused on finding out the truth about Molly, Lyle and Sayer. I also wished we had gotten a longer ending. I liked how it ended, and it was definitely much different from any of the other books about this disorder had ever been, but I wanted something just a tad bit longer.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a short book, but definitely a well written and fascinating book. I am going to give it 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it to others. I definitely plan on buying a finished copy of this book. 

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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This feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish

This was a fun list. I didn’t have any problems coming up with the Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year. My list is overwhelmingly filled with contemporaries, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1) by Anne Blankman
The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting
My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door #1) by Huntley Fitzpatrick

So let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you want to. Also, if you did a TTT this week, be sure to leave the link to your post in the comments.