Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

Previously read:



Currently reading:  



Up next: 



What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales

  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Early Review: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

Title: The Midnight Dance 
Author: Nikki Katz 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
Published: October 17th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 
Summary: When the music stops, the dance begins.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late. 




The Midnight Dance probably has one of my most favorite covers of 2017. It is just stunning! This is a YA historical fiction; and though I had heard it was inspired by “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” I found it doesn’t seem to have much in common with the German fairytale at all. I liked the story and didn’t struggle with the writing – the plot itself is still intriguing: twelve young ballerinas in a creepy boarding house under the rule of the nefarious “Master” – but this book also didn’t blow me away like the beautiful cover did, either. And I think I know why. 

First, I want to discuss the things that I really did enjoy: There are young adult books that push the boundaries of young adult. This book does not. It is exactly what I think of when I think of a young teen reading, and I would absolutely put this into the hands of a young reader. It is clean; it has a sweet butterfly-spawning romance without overdoing it or going too far. The story lends itself to a bit of excitement but nothing that would be too scary or intense. Just the right amount of dark for its target audience. The young heroine Penny is brave; and not once does she give up, even when all hope seems lost. Her admirer Cricket is courageous and devoted. These two are incredibly sweet together, as well. 

So, what was it that didn’t work? Me. The reader. I honestly can find no fault with the story or the writing. I haven’t been a young adult for a very long time; and while I do enjoy some YA, it is usually those that push the boundaries I mention above. I am also a lover and reader of adult thrillers and mysteries so my mind hatched huge dastardly plots, abundantly deceitful characters, and unforeseen twists… and those things didn’t come to pass for me. 

All in all, I’m giving this book a solid three stars. It reminds me of the books I loved when I was a young girl. I couldn’t help but fall for Penny and Cricket. Their relationship is extremely endearing. Though I wish there had been more dancing and that the story was a tad more thrilling, I can still wholeheartedly recommend this for its target audience. And you know what? I’m buying a copy for my personal library anyway, not only because the cover is stunning but because this is a great addition to my YA section and I’ll be able to lend it out to several fellow readers that I know will love it. 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

Previously read:


I really enjoyed this sequel to Her Darkest Nightmare; you can find my review here.


Currently reading:  

  

This book isn't quite what I thought it was going to be. I'm enjoying some aspects but am on the fence with others.


Up next: 


Mckenzie and I always enjoy Cyn Balog's books, and this is being marketed as a must-read for lovers of Stephen King's The Shining. Count me in! Alone will be out in November.


Previous Posts: 

Mini-Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Waiting on Wednesday #74: Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5) by Patricia Briggs
Review: Hello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2) by Brenda Novak


What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales

  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mini-Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Title: Maybe Someday 
Author: Colleen Hoover 
Publisher: Atria 
Published: March 18th, 2014 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. 

Maybe someday… 

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal… 






I went into this book blindly, not even reading the summary. I had heard there was an intriguing musical connection, and I’m so happy that was the only thing I knew before diving into this story. It made a particular reveal around 13% all the more amazing and had me returning to the first page just so I could read it all over again with that new information. I highly recommend avoiding any spoilers for this story! Normally, I’d lament not reading a book sooner when it’s been out for a while, but I can’t do that. Some books happen for us exactly when they are supposed to. I read this book at a perfect time for me, and it touched my heart. 

“Words can sometimes have a far greater effect on a heart than a kiss.” 

Maybe Someday has all the masterful components a Colleen Hoover novel is known for but with a storyline that remains unique and refreshing. There is also the added bonus of a musical feature, contributed by artist Griffin Peterson. Fans of CoHo and of the New Adult genre, as well as romance and music lovers, will want to check this one out. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #74: Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5) by Patricia Briggs


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, previously hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.


Title: Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5) 
Author: Patricia Briggs 
Publisher: Ace 
Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: 

In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” (USATODAY.com). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…



I am so excited for more Charles and Anna!

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

© at A Belle's Tales

  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Release Day Review: Hello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2) by Brenda Novak

Title: Hello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2) 
Author: Brenda Novak 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Published: October 3rd, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: New York Times bestseller Brenda Novak's second novel in the Evelyn Talbot series, HELLO AGAIN, sees the return of psychiatrist Dr. Evelyn Talbot in her purpose-built facility housing America's most terrifying psychopaths. This is SILENCE OF THE LAMBS meets Karen Rose...

SHE CAN MAKE SENSE OF A COMPLEX CRIMINAL MIND.
Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world's worst serial killers. But she's about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered--or he is wrongly convicted.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CRIMINAL CAN SEE INTO HER OWN?
When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except...Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends--and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again . . .




It’s been almost a year since I last visited Hilltop, Alaska, and Brenda Novak’s intriguing and multifaceted characters. I’ve longed to return to the story not only to see what Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her delicious boyfriend Sergeant Benjamin Murphy, aka Amarok, have been up to but also to check in on another riveting character. I’m reluctant to admit it, but that character is Jasper Moore. Jasper is the ex-boyfriend-turned-serial-killer who tortured Evelyn and her friends for days when they were just teenagers. Jasper was never caught, and Evelyn is the only one of her friends who survived the horrific nightmare. That terrible tragedy is what ultimately led Evelyn to her line of work – studying and unraveling the mysterious minds of psychopaths at the newly established Hanover House. Jasper is not a Dexter Morgan-esque vigilante serial killer – you don’t root for him by any means. He is a terrifying individual, which may be why I feel the need to keep tabs on him. 

In Hello Again, Evelyn is just beginning to work with newly convicted inmate Dr. Lyman Bishop, a man reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter. He is a highly educated biomedical researcher who stands accused of performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims to make them more compliant before killing them; but with new evidence coming to light, it’s possible Dr. Bishop has been wrongly convicted and, if so, could very well have his conviction overturned just as Evelyn has begun to get under his skin. And in the midst of these gripping events, Amarok’s tireless work may have finally paid off in getting him closer to locating Jasper Moore. Or is Jasper the one who is getting closer?

This second installment in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles is an outstanding follow-up to Her Darkest Nightmare, filled with suspense and thrills but still allowing for a more personal storyline with the romantic relationship between Evelyn and Amarok (though I could do without the return of Amarok’s ex-girlfriend…. Can we ship her off to a warmer climate asap?). But it is the ending of this sequel that will leave readers aghast and on the edge of their seat – not a cliffhanger but a glimpse into what’s about to happen next. Those last lines are so brilliant and shocking that I can hardly wait for the next book. Ms. Novak has set it up to be a mind-blowing rollercoaster of a story, and the anticipation is both sweet and agonizing. I recommend this series for thriller lovers, though I advise you to start with book one, Her Darkest Nightmare, to fully appreciate the growth of the characters and the evolvement of the story. You can also grab the short novella Hanover House for a closer look into Evelyn and Jasper’s history for free here or at Amazon for only $.99. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

My eyes were a mess last week. I struggled so much with my vision that I only managed to publish one of the posts that I had planned and I was unable to visit or comment, but I'm hoping to stop by and catch up with everyone this week. The last time we posted an It's Monday! What are you reading?, we introduced you to our newest addition, the kitten that found us - Loki. Before I get to the books, a quick update on our little hellion darling.

   

He's growing fast and ruling the house. My allergies are under control, and the biggest thing we're still working on is trying to get him to play nice with the other pets. He is living up to his name. Now, on to the the books!

Previously read:

   

Tower of Dawn was brilliant! Such an amazing addition to the series! Sarah J. Maas is a writing wizard!
Crazy Love You was my third Lisa Unger book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait to read another one by this wonderful author!

Currently reading:  


I'm so excited to get back to Dr. Evelyn Talbot and the Hilltop community but also to find out what the terrifying Jasper is up to!


Up next: 

  

Looking forward to both of these!

What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales