Sunday, December 29, 2019

REVIEW: The Skin Factory by Lucas Pederson - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 12:00 PM 0 comments
Title: The Skin Factory
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Horror
Author: Lucas Pederson
Publisher: LVP
Publication: December 24th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided eBook

The Skin Factory by Lucas Pederson is the story of Chase and how he must overcome being a bodiless soul working in a factory in some twisted form of an afterlife to save his sister, mother and the girl he loves.

Chase is dead. Well, not DEAD, his soul still lives on, but his human body is very much dead. And if losing his human body wasn't bad enough, he was plucked off his path on his way to heaven to work in a twisted factory creating these robot type bodies for souls/creatures to inhabit in order to integrate themselves into life on earth.

When Chase finds out the bodies he and his fellow souls are creating are going to be used for the nefarious purpose of something called the Obsidious he decides that he must escape the factory in order to protect his sister and mother. 

With the help of Bal, the soul who removed him from his path after death, Chase jumps into one of the bodies he helped manufacture and warps back to earth. The problem is, Chase might have taken the wrong body. But no matter what vessel he is in he still has to save the people he loves and maybe even all of humanity if he is feeling up to the task.

One aspect of the authors writing that I really enjoyed was the fun 'cuss words' and phrases he made up for Chase to use. A few of my favorites being, fruitbatty, cheese'n'rice, thank the gods and crunchy peanut butter and, floundernuts of purgatory. These definitely added to Chase's smartassed attitude/behavior.

In the end, this was a very solid book and I just found out it's going to be in three parts so I can't wait to see what happens next. The only complaints I really have about the book are one, I wish it was longer and two, I wish his mom being in the asylum was more prevalent, I love asylums so I was hoping we would get a little more time there. Other than that, the book had minor spelling/grammar errors that you tend to find in self-published/indie books but they weren't insane like some of the ones I have seen that took away from the story. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Mini-Review: Reverie by Ryan La Sala - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 5:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Reverie
Genre: Young Adult LGBT Fantasy-ish
Author: Ryan La Sala
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: December 3rd 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided ARC + Finished Copy

Reverie by Ryan La Sala is a hybrid of a book. We get to follow Kane one his journey to get his memory back but along the way, we are shown some pretty epic fantasy worlds and some killer powers. This book really tested my imagination and I loved that.

Kane was recently in a pretty bad accident. An accident that caused the burning of a pretty important historical building, caused him to end up in a coma and caused him to lose his memory. But what if the accident wasn't what caused him to lose his memory? What is Kane has the ability to do something... magical? What if the life Kane remembers is just a ruse?

After the accident and Kane has had time to heal, he goes back to school only to realize that his memories are jumbled. Why does it feel like he knows some people when his memory is telling him that he hates or steers clear of them? Ursula, a girl he remembers not being friends with, ends up helping him out and that just opened up a floodgate of even more confusion and doubt.

This book is Magical Realism, at least by my definition. But when I went to check Goodreads, Magical Realism wasn't even remotely one of the genres listed for this book so that confused me. But I am keeping this review short because I feel like this is a book that needs to be experienced personally.

What I first picked this book up, I could not get into it. I have no idea what the problem was, maybe the fact that it was contemporary and I might not have been in the mood at the time but once I got past 100 pages I flew through the story. It was a wild ride about people's dreams/fantasies turning into something called a reverie which means it kind of comes to life but if it's not stopped it could end up destroying the people in the reverie. You know what, just read the book. 

In the end, I thought this book had a really solid storyline and plot but some things could have been written/portrayed better and there were some mistakes that transferred over to the finished copy of the book. I can't wait to see what the author writes next.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

10 Books/Series I am THANKFUL for in 2019

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 12:00 PM 1 comments
I am very grateful to all the authors who have put their beautiful words onto pages. I am very grateful to the publishers for buying and printing these books. I am very grateful to bookstores for selling these books. But what books/series from 2019 am I most grateful for? Well, how kind of you to ask. These are and aren't really in any order. I will count down from ten but the top few books will be in order. So, without further ado, here are the books I am most grateful for in 2019:

I wasn't even sure if The Cruel Prince was going to make it on to this list. There has been a lot of drama surrounding this author and I am honestly tired of the book community drama this year. But, after reading The Queen of Nothing, even though I wasn't entirely thrilled with the ending, I decided that I couldn't leave Jude and Cardan off the list. 
Stormrise just BARELY made this list, not because of how much I love it, but because of the fact that I just finished it recently and I almost didn't find out how much I love this book until after Thanksgiving 😱I am thankful for this book because it showed me that I can, in fact, enjoy a dragon story.
Oh man, Three Dark Crowns ended this year and this was one of those series where I kept buying the books as they came out but I promised myself I wouldn't read it until they were ALL out and I somehow succeeded. So, once the last book came out I devoured this series like it was water and I was trapped in a desert. This series spoke to my dark side so much and I LOVED IT.
This should speak for itself but just in case it doesn't, I am thankful for this book because it makes my dark little heart oh so very happy. STAB STAB STAB. I am also thankful for Aurora Rising for showing me that I can read more than two POV's without losing my ever-loving mind but I thought it was unfair for Jay Kristoff to hog 2 spots. 
Remember how at the beginning of this post I said these won't really be in any order except the first few? Well, this is a prime example of WHY. I LOVE THIS SERIES. I would die for this series. Okay, maybe not DIE but you get the idea. So why isn't this higher on the list? Because I can't have six number one books, or can I? All I know is I am devastated that I will never get anything more from my beloved Thomas Cresswell 😱😢
The Vanishing Stair is the second book in the Truly Devious trilogy and this book was fantastic. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for murder mysteries and Maureen Johnson did such a fantastic job on these books. I am sure you will see the last book/this series on next year's list.
It's only fair that the Renegades trilogy is on this list because, well, I read the first 2 books twice this year and the final book, Supernova, came out this month and I devoured that chunky thing in 1 day. Marissa Meyer will always hold a special place in my heart for a few reasons but this series shocked me because, unless it's The Avengers, I really don't like superhero stuff. I will miss this world and these characters but with how the book ended I am hopeful that there will be a spinoff series in the future... PLEASE?!
Now, TECHNICALLY, the Constellation trilogy is my number one series BUT I was not expecting books like The Grace Year or Sorcery of Thorns to come out so it has been deligated to number 3 even though it is just as important to me as 1 and 2. Claudia Gray is my number 1 favorite author. She has helped me through a lot of crap and for that, I am eternally grateful to her. I just hope I can meet her one day and have her sign my 25+ book collection, haha.
Sorcery of Thorns was definitely one of the books that surprised me the most this year. When I am reading I usually picture the story in my head like a movie and this story was a full-blown theatrical performance. I am usually pretty excited when a book is a standalone but this story could go on for fifty books and I would still be reading it.
I LOVE The Grace Year. The author is such an amazing person too so that just adds to it. I have read this book 3 times this year. Once as an ARC, once as a finished copy and once as an audiobook and I will never not love this story. I will definitely be rereading this book yearly from now until the day my books take me from this mortal coil.

Thank you guys for reading through my list. Books have always been something that has helped me get through some of the roughest patches in my life. I even have certain books I will always keep because I bought them on the day when something big happened. For example, my dad had a stroke back in 2015 and the day he went to the hospital my husband took me to buy a copy of Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I am really bad with remembering dates so if I do get a book when something special/bad happened I usually write the date and event on a sticky note and put it in that book. Books will always be apart of my life and because of that, I am so grateful to those who make books possible. What are some books you are grateful for in 2019?

Monday, November 25, 2019

REVIEW: Scared Little Rabbits by A.V. Geiger - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Scared Little Rabbits
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Author: A.V. Geiger
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: December 3rd 2019
Cover Rating: 3/5
Reading Format: Provided ARC
Scared Little Rabbits by A.V. Geiger is the story of Nora. She spent years preparing to apply to the Makers program at the prestigious Winthrop Academy and once she finally got in things couldn't have gone more differently than she had hoped for. Drama, coding, first love, and murder.

This is the first book I have ever read that starts on a cliffhanger. No, not the type you usually hear about when people discuss books, a literal cliffhanger. Well, I guess that isn't entire correct either considering the person hanging off the cliff was no longer there anymore... So we begin this story with a cliff that lost its hanger. 

Nora just arrived at Winthrop Academy to begin her summer program that she has waited years for. This prestigious program produced one of the world's most-used apps called Instalove. It is a combination of Instagram and... let's say Tinder. Nora downloads the app right before she arrives at the program so she is an entirely new user in a place where everyone has been using the app for a long time. But something else for the app is in the making and it's being tested during the duration of her summer program. It is a sort of virtual reality in a pair of glasses that also acts as your cell phone so you can send texts and call people. Nora enters the program with an idea to build something unique but somehow she gets dragged into the production of these glasses and quite possibly first love. All she has to do is fight off that first loves ex-girlfriend with the same name as her but that might prove to be easier than she thought.

This book was very interesting to me because it involved a lot of coding and computer work which I am very fond of. I think if it wasn't for the mental intrigue I would have given the book a little bit of a lower rating considering I spent the entire book yelling at Nora to be brave. I remember texting my friend who read the book a few days before me how much Nora was frustrating me. I understand that that is who she was as a character but something about week women characters just bothers me. By the end of the book, she redeemed herself so that was another saving grace.

When I saw the cover reveal floating around for this book I got so excited. Does that say A.V. Geiger?! Yes, yes it does. HECK YES! I requested this book so fast. You see, I was given the chance to review the author's previous two books and I LOVED THEM so I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to read and review her next book. While I can say that I did not love this book as much as her previous duology I did enjoy it. It was very different from her first book but her writing style and character development were all the same and that is what drew me in from the start.

In the end, this book was a fantastic new addition to the author's works. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with in the future. She will always be an auto-read author for me.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Friday, November 8, 2019

COVER REVEALS: The Deceivers and Scammed by Kristen Simmons #SCAMMED #THEDECEIVERS #GetInOnTheScam

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments

The Deceivers(paperback) and Scammed(hardback) BOTH come out on FEBRUARY 4th 2020!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

REVIEW: All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell - 3.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 12:00 PM 0 comments

Title: All the Things We Do in the Dark
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/LGBT
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: October 29th 2019
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading Format: Provided eARC - Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon

All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell is the story of Ava and how a horrible event that happened to her at the age of 9 will forever shadow her decisions she makes in life. This is a story about her highs and lows, her PTSD and the scars this event left her with, both internal and external. This story is about pain but also about healing. This story is about the horrible things we as humans do to each other. This story IS.

I am going to be upfront with you guys, I could not connect with Ava AT ALL. That made the book a bit hard to get through. It took me over two weeks to read this short book but I knew I had to finish it because even though I didn't connect with the main character the story/meaning behind this book was still important. Ava is the product of her tragic past but she is also the product of her attempts to heal from her past. 

Ava's past and her PTSD are the main reason why, when she is on her way home and stumbles upon a body, she doesn't call the police. She is afraid and worried about what they will do to Jane, the name Ava gives the poor dead girl. Ava doesn't want Jane to become another statistic to these people but she doesn't seem to realize that Jane is already a statistic just by being born female.

So the book is pretty much Ava trying to figure out what happened to Jane and her chasing ghosts and ending up in trouble. But I think Jane happening to Ava was a good thing because it seemed to break her out of her monotonous path. I think Jane helps Ava heal but she also drives her insane at the same time.

This book has a lot of LGBTQ+ representation and the way the author writes the romance is very natural, as it should be. Most of the time I shy away from queer books because I always get a weird feeling that the relationships aren't natural because the characters have to explain how they ARE queer and blah blah blah but Sandra Mitchell wrote things as they should be. They just end up together, drift towards each other, there is no huge build-up or declaration of sexuality. It. Just. Is. This was one of the reasons I kept reading the book. 

This section will be a tad spoilery but not really BUT I loved the idea of the whole 'gamer girl visiting people she met online only to have something bad happen' considering I have been a gamer girl my whole life and I even met my husband on World of Warcraft 10 years ago. This plot right here would make an excellent book on its own and is one of the other reasons I kept reading the book instead of DNFing it.

In the end, the premise itself sounded like it was going to be amazing but with my inability to connect to the main character the story just fell sort of flat. But I did enjoy the romance and how natural it was and I enjoyed the mystery/thriller portion of the book so if you can connect with Ava more that I did then you will definitely enjoy this book.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

REVIEW: The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett - 3 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Title: The Last to Die
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Author: Kelly Garrett
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: November 5th 2019
Cover Rating: 2/5
Reading Format: 

The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett is the story of six rich teenagers who are trying to find new ways to have a thrill. It's the story of what happens when those thrills end and someone is bitter about it. It's the story of going too far and revenge.

A group of friends decides that they want to have a bit of fun so they come up with the idea of breaking into each others houses when they are away on trips. It's really fun and exhilarating at first but it starts to become boring. So they up the ante. Breaking into other people's houses? Maybe. But what happens when someone wants even more excitement and almost gets one of them caught? What happens when some of them decide it's not worth the risk and wants to call it quits? What happens when someone does want to let them quite and ups the ante even more. What happens when the bodies start piling up?

As a little side note, I have absolutely no idea what the cover has to do with the book. I understand the house representation but the fact that it's in the middle of what looks like water with a lone girl looking out the window really confuses me. I normally don't talk about the covers outside of my initial rating in the book information above because authors usually don't get to pick their covers but this cover just.... what?!

In the end, this book was good but it didn't have a real ending and we all know how much of an annoyance that it. We never find out what happens with the biggest plot point of the book and THAT KILLED MY SOUL.

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars.

Monday, October 7, 2019

REVIEW: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett - 5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Title: The Grace Year
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication: September 17th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided eARC

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett couldn't come out during a better year. With all the things happening regarding women's rights this book is very eerie. In this story, women are pretty much property and our main character, Tierney, feels like marriage is a fate worse than death. So when her Grace Year comes up she is more than happy to work the fields instead of being wed. But her best friend betrays her trust and now her entire Grace Year might be in jeopardy. She has a target on her back all because of a future she didn't ask for. 

Tierney is the middle daughter, the wild child, living in a world where women are property and feared to have magic so they are sent away for their 16th year in order to get rid of their magic. But none of the girls know what to expect for their Grace Years because the previous girls aren't allowed to talk about it. Tierney is ready to get her Grace Year over so she can come home and start working in the fields but her plans are thrown out when her best friend lifts her veil during the Grace Year ceremony, pledging to marry her when she comes back.

Thirty-three girls are sent to rid themselves of their "magic", but thirty-three girls will not be coming back. I had no idea what to expect at this part of the book but the author took this book through some amazing twists and turns. I was following everything on the edge of my seat, devouring page after page without putting the book down. I haven't read a book with this much excitement and commitment in a very long time. 

The girls are taught to fear the Poachers, a group of people who cut the girls up and sell their body parts to be used as aphrodisiacs. These Poachers are the reason it is believed that all the girls don't come back but there is something much more sinister at play. The minute the girls are alone, Tierney tries to get them to work together but another girl comes into her "magic" early and other girls side with her. This book shows how twisted the relationships between girls can become and how things aren't always how they appear to be.

In the end, I could not believe the amazing, beautiful and savage story I just consumed. I was watching Dragonball Super with my husband when I finished the story and I slowly sat my Kindle down and just groaned. My husband laughed because he knew that meant the book ended when I wasn't ready. RYKER!!!! 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars. AMAZING!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spooky/Halloween Reading Recommendations 2019

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 5:00 PM 0 comments

Okay, I know, I know, A POST ABOUT HALLOWEEN READS RECOMMENDATIONS ON SEPTEMBER 1ST?! ARE YOU CRAZY? Well, yes, yes I am, but that is an entirely different conversation for another post. But I have recently come across some people, my kind of people, who love the spoopy just as much as I do, and gosh darnit, I am going to spoop all over your screen. Too much? Ehh, this girl starts celebrating Fall/Halloween on September 1st, earlier actually considering I just we super Halloween shopping at Michaels yesterday, I will add 2 pictures of my haul below but I will make another full post with individual pictures after this. If anyone is looking for a quick list please scroll all the way to the bottom, I have made a written list for you.

I love how the crow is yelling at the viewer, lol.

A little side note, I created a new Instagram profile for SPOOKY BOOKISH THINGS so if you guys want to follow that I would really appreciate it, @terrifyingtomes

So, yeah, without further ado, here is my EPIC(yes I think that highly of myself) list of Spooky/Halloween reads..... Oh, and if you click on each book's picture it will take you to the  Goodreads page so you can read the synopsis for yourself but I will also be including a little excerpt of why I liked the book. 

I was going to start this off with Libba Bray, don't worry she will come next, but then I REALLY thought about it and while I completely love and adore her writing, one Duology just stands out in my head above all else and that is Mary: The Summoning and Mary: Unleashed. These books are a Bloody Mary retelling, if you couldn't tell from the covers, and I ADORE THESE BOOKS. I reread them EVERY Halloween ever since I found the first book 4/5 years ago. This author and her books are THE PERFECT representation of Young Adult Horror, in my God honest opinion. I wish she could pump out more books just to feed my black heart. 

When I first read The Diviners many many moons again, okay maybe like 6/7, I fell in love. I was engulfed in a spooky historical world and that just made me very excited. At the time, I didn't really know it was going to be a series and it's now been 7 years since the release and the last book was recently announced. I am usually VERY impatient but the level of work the author puts into these books is definitely worth the wait. They are so intricate and beautifully written for something so horrific and spine-tingling. I think the only gripe I have with this series is the fact that the cover has changed so many dang times when the first books cover and under the cover was literal perfection. -sigh-

If Stephen King wrote Young Adult Horror this would be his book, but this book belongs to the wonderful Cyn Balog. While this book IS horror, her other books are more mystery/thriller, so they are still relevant I am picking this book to represent the pack. This book is definitely great and it was inspired by The Shining!

I am not recommending a book so much as an author here. Dawn Kurtagich can write some pretty freaky stories. I have a love/hate relationship with her books but either way they pack the horror punch a lot of us are looking for. Now, I have never outright actually hated any of her books I just had a hard time swallowing her last one, And the Trees Crept in. It wasn't a bad book AT ALL I just found myself going WTF?! a lot. I have no read her most recent book, Teeth in the Mist but it's on my Halloween list for this year. I can't wait to see what else this author's twisted mind can come up with in the future.

This is another author recommendation. Amy Lukavics has written some pretty gruesome and horrific books, THANK GOD. I have enjoyed all of her books enough to put them on this list but they still lack that ultimate horror level for me. Then again, I have been watching horror movies since I was 7 soooo, these books would be great for someone who isn't as well versed in the horror world as me.

Now this book, this book was freaky. It isn't so much horror as it is freakshow. This story was so awesome and earned a place on my favorites shelves. 

Here I am recommending another author but there is a catch this time. I have not personally read any of her books. I own all the ones that are currently out but I haven't read them. I plan to remedy that this year so stay tuned for next year to see if any of her books actually make the cut onto my personal recommendations list. This is just an in general recommendation 

This next author recommendation is a personal favorite of mine and she is the lovely Gretchen McNeil. Ya'll need to read her books NOW. I love #Murdertrending and Ten so much. I love her other books but the titles are escaping my mind. 

Now this series is weird for me. When I first read the books something made me dislike them. But I reread them when the last book came out and for some reason I ended up loving them. It might have something to do with the fact that I watched the Asylum season for American Horror Story(this is also a Halloween recommendation even though it's a TV show and not a book it still counts for SPOOPY) but we shall never know. Either way, Asylums = Good Spoopage. Yes, I am making up words now. 

This is another good asylum type book. I really enjoyed this one when I read it a few years ago. I might have to reread it this season, we shall see.

For some reason, I don't remember much about this duology, only that I enjoyed it. I have bits and pieces floating through my head so this one will definitely need to be reread.

Now this one I personally HATED but I am putting it on this list because someone else might love it and I'm all about people finding books they love. Always remember, just because you didn't enjoy a book doesn't mean someone else will feel the same way. But if you want my opinion on this book, it's like a bad version of Scream and the author should have stuck to Contemporary Romance. 🤷🏼‍♀️

And lastly, I have saved the best recommendation I can give. This series is more macabre than anything but that still earns it a place on this list. The books in this series are bizarre and twisted and not to be missed! The last book, Capturing the Devil comes out on September 10th so now is the perfect time to read these books! Thank you Kerri Maniscalco for writing these amazing books! 

This is not the end of the list, I am sure I will add more later as I think of them but this is a good enough list to get you guys started. Please feel free to let me know either in the comments here or on Instagram @terrifyingtomes if you have or plan to read any of these and what your thoughts are if you have read or after you do read any of the books!

Each year I will have certain books I recommend over and over again but I am going to try my best to add new spoopy reads to this list. I will probably just do a repeat of this post with a new introduction and then add the new reads at the bottom. I have been hoping more authors will write some YA horror so maybe my wish will come true. Either way, I hope you enjoyed my post and may these books bring fear to your hearts and pee to your pants!

Here is the quick Halloween list for anyone who doesn't want to read all my jibberjabber. 

Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
Mary: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan
The Diviners series by Libba Bray
Alone by Cyn Balog
Any book by Dawn Kurtagich
Any book by Amy Lukavics
The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood
Anything by Courtney Almeda
Anything by Gretchen McNeil
Asylum series by Madeleine Roux
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Welcome to the Dark House duology by Laurie Faria Stolarz
There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

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