Book Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

47590265I am shaken after this read. Wow. I feel so lucky to have received a copy of this book for an early review by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. Thank you! My heart is still pounding.
There’s nothing more satisfying after a good read than the chills left in the wake of a captivating story. The Night Swim is a contemporary mystery novel that follows Rachel Krall, a famous true crime podcaster known for her superlative ability to crack unsolved and unjustified crimes, where she puts the audience in the jury box. Rachel is summoned as an unbiased jury member to cover a trial in a small town called Neapolis, where a town favorite, golden boy and Olympic prospect name Scott Blair is accused of a sexual crime against a sixteen-year-old girl.
Rachel accepts and travels to Neapolis and decides to dedicate her third season of her highly praised podcast, “Guilty Or Not Guilty” to it.
Rachel encounters more adventure than anticipated upon arriving to Neapolis. Barely hours making it into town, a strange letter appears on her windshield at a truck stop. It’s from a listener named Hannah Stills, desperate for help to solve her older sister’s death from exactly twenty-five years ago to this date. Hannah believes her sister, Jenny, was murdered, but the case was blown off by police and trials, never had a chance to be investigated. Rachel doesn’t scare often, but as hard as she’s worked to maintain her anonymity and privacy, always mindful of never revealing her face or location, she’s slightly shaken by this letter. How has she been found? And to add to that, no one other than her assistant, Pete, knew Rachel would be in Neapolis.
Rachel tries to forget about this letter but Hannah is unrelenting. Rachel wakes up each day to a new letter, left feeling violated as she discovers one by her hotel room door and the likes. One day, Rachel decides to entertain one of the letters, where Hannah requests to meet up with her and talk more, but Hannah is a no-show, only leaving a letter in the meeting place before Rachel has a chance to arrive.
The Scott Blair trial begins shortly after the first couple letters, and while on jury gathering the facts, and Hannah’s further description of the mysterious death of her sister, Rachel begins to feel a little empathy and begins notice similar details in both cases and becomes heavily invested in solving what she believes to be a strong case. Rachel starts digging around town for more information on Jenny and Hannah Stills and the Blair case. And let me tell you, Rachel is relentless in her own aspect. Rachel has the patience of a saint and a steadfast will, and she won’t stop or scare at anything to get confirmation of the answers she knows to be true. She masterfully connects the dots along the way. I thought I knew who killed Jenny Stills by 60% in the book, but dang, was I wrong.
The book is mainly written in third person under Rachel’s POV, but podcast episodes have their own chapters and are written in first person wherein Rachel describes the Blair trial with information she’s allowed to speak of — which is a fun experience for the reader, allowing us the experience to tune in to the show. Then, Hannah’s letters also have their own chapters, written in Hannah’s first person POV, which feels like an interlude from the main story while still appropriately connected to it as well.
Megan Goldin is a master at writing an emotional and mysterious novel and covers a dark yet serious topic that gives you an insight to the heartbreak families are thrown into during a traumatic experience such as the one presented to us in this novel. Lives are ruined, a true tragedy that even once justified, no one can return to the life they once knew. This is a hard review to write because of the lives in our world that have been deeply affected by such a horrendous act. My words can’t give justice to expressing the empathy I feel for those affected. This was a truly gripping and emotional book. Incredibly tense and enlightening.

Short Story Review : Haunting Olivia by Karen Russell

A photograph of a boy's reflection in a pondWhen life gets hectic and there’s little time to sit back and relax for a long read, short stories come in handy. On one of my lunch breaks recently I discovered this gem on The New Yorker (another site that never fails to entertain me).

It doesn’t take so many words for Karen Russell to paint a vivid world, and her short stories feel like so much more. Her storytelling is phenomenal!

In HAUNTING OLIVIA, Two young island boys venture to the shore where their little sister, Olivia, disappeared two years ago, searching for clues where her body might be. They come across these pink goggles which seem to give them insight to another world under water, a view of the dead.
A conversation with the grandmother gives the reader a hint that maybe their family is something more than just human. I don’t think the boys picked up on that hint, though. I don’t even think the grandmother thinks anything of the memory she had. It feels like a secret between the writer and the reader, and I just love the sense of mystery and depth this short story is packing.

Read it here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/06/13/haunting-olivia

I’m now on the hunt for every thing she’s written!

 

Book Review – Stolen Hearts by Marci Bolden

48632532._SY475_Wow, where do I start with this review? I ate this book up in less than twenty-four hours!

Stolen Hearts is book three in Marci Bolden’s empowering series The Women of Hearts.  The HEARTS Agency is a team of private investigators lead by women who are all fighting for a cause, devoting their lives to bringing justice to all cases brought their way, all while fighting their own demons.

In Stolen Hearts, Alexa Rodriquez is hired by Dean Campbell whose nineteen-year-old sister has gone missing without a trace. Alexa has a soft spot for missing persons’ cases—in fact, they’re what drives her, and what has made her into the woman she is today. She has a big heart, and even bigger determination.

Dean Campbell’s life is falling apart all around him. He lost his mother to cancer and now his baby sister has vanished. The police won’t listen, not even what’s left of his family; they all insist she’s an adult and has simply chosen to escape the pressures of life and college. Dean knows better though, she would have told him if that were true–no one is as close to Mandy as he is. Or so he thought.

There’s a perfect blend of romance, mystery, and suspense in this novel, but most importantly, this book brings light to two important topics that are very real and happening every day in our world: the youth lost to drugs and human trafficking. The more mysteries Alexa unfolds in Mandy’s disappearance, the darker Dean’s world grows, but Alexa is his shining beacon, keeping him afloat on their mission to save his sister.

When Alexa took on Dean’s case, she never fathomed putting her job, or her client, at risk. But when a case hits so close to home that you’re forced to relive your worst fears, and the only person who can relate is the one person you’re under strict policy to not engage any sort of relationship or bond with, more than hearts are jeopardized.

The characters in this book are so full of life and each have their own defining, unique qualities. While this is book three in a series, I didn’t feel lost or felt like I was missing anything crucial, it’s written like a standalone novel brushed with enough backstory to make the previous books’ characters feel warm and welcoming. With that being said, I haven’t read the previous two books yet but that is the next thing I do after this post! I LOVE this series!

Thank you, NetGalley for a copy of this book! Definitely found a new addition to my favorites!

Amazon purchase link: Stolen Hearts

For more purchase links, visit Marci Bolden’s Goodreads page! Marci Bolden – Goodreads

I’m back! (Book Review Blogging)

Hello there!

I’m excited about this post! The last few years I’ve been juggling my own writing and reviewing books on a smaller scale, my art, other factors in my life keeping me constantly on the go. I’ve finally reached a point where everything is more manageable now. Then, a couple nights ago, I was lying in bed reading and scribbling away in my reading journal about a scene that blew me away, and it occurred to me how much I miss sharing my reading experience, and all the ranting and raving that comes with it.

And now, here I am. *waves*

Within the next week, you’ll see more reviews on this page, on my GoodReads (Sky’s GoodReads Profile), on my Facebook Pages The Booknatics and Scribbling Sky, and my Amazon pages, if you’re interested in what stories I will be diving into.

I’m also a proud supporter of writers and want to do everything in my power to help uplift a book, something a writer exhausts so much patience, hard work, and a tide of emotions to complete. With this being said, if you’re in need of a book review, or need a blogger to post and share marketing / promotional material, let me know!

Email me (Attn to Sky) at TheBooknatics@Gmail.com with any requests related to books or blogging!

I post the following:
Cover Reveals
Book Tours
Release Blitzs
Marketing Material
and most importantly: Reviews

Fellow bloggers: If you’re looking for a partner and need an extra helping hand to share material and news, or need an extra blogger for Book Tours/Blitzs, also email me at TheBooknatics@Gmail.com

Can’t wait to share my next post! Stay tuned and keep in touch if you have any reading recommendations!

-Sky

 

 

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Hi, friends! Maybe you saw my last post that my friend Krystle and I combined blogs recently for our Booknatic blogging finally. I will continue to post the reviews here as well because I really love chatting with you guys and still hoping to slowly bring awareness for you guys to join us there. That blog will host Giveaways/Author Promoting, Reviews and fun chat/threads. http://thebooknatics.blogspot.com/

Recently, I finished the first two  books of The Vampire Academy, and here’s my ecstatic review for it!

I am so incredibly late starting this series, and believe me when I say I regret it!
 It was just that I am such a huge fan of vampire novels, and it seemed like everyone started jumping on the YA Vampire Bandwagon after Twilight, and the mythical race was slowly being ruined for me after every book I gave a chance to. Well, I am catching up fast now! There is a lot of high school-ish drama in this book but it does not over-shadow the fantastic power of this story!
 
This is probably one of my most favorite vampire worlds to this day. So totally different, so creative and original. This is a Y-A book that reads like an adult book at times, told in the first perspective of Rose Hathaway, a strong-willed, unruly, sarcastic yet very intelligent and badass heroine! (can you tell I love this character?)
Richelle’s vampires are divided upon the Royal Vampires, Moroi-Mortal vampires who are amongst families who are in line for the crown by rankings.   Then we have, Dhampir’s. Half human, half Moroi vampires who are raised to be guardians of the Moroi, assigned to their subject in their younger years at the Academy. They are to learn to protect their assigned Moroi from the Strigoi’s…The bad, immortal  vampires who were once Moroi, but betrayed their bloodlines for power and immortality and seek to destroy  the Moroi’s.
Rose is best friend and assigned to Lisa, a royal Moroi who has powers not many other vampires contain. A few years before the story takes place, Rose and Lisa were in a car wreck that killed Lisa’s family and Rose severely injured… Lisa’s mysterious power when she cried for her friend, resurrected Rose and a bond was formed. Rose can now feel and enter Lisa’s mind/emotions. When Rose suspects someone is after Lisa shortly after, she made the rash decision of taking Lisa and running away.  They lived amongst humans at a college campus for two years before being caught by the enigmatic, powerful and quiet, (and hot) Russian Guardian trainer, Dimitri.
When they are brought back to the Vampire Academy, life changes drastically for both Lisa and Rose. Something is not right in the air, and it seems everyone is after them, especially Lisa. But why? Rose is assigned to afterschool training sessions with Dimitri to catch up on her missed years of guardian training, leaving Lisa alone after hours, trouble finding her every time they turn their heads. 
The tension between Rose and Dimitri is electric!
The series of events and conclusion left my jaw hanging wide open. Unexpected turns and reveals left and right before we are taken to the next book in the series.
I found this first book entirely captivating hanging on to every word to guess what’s going on, who is after Lisa and Rose, and keeping my fingers crossed for Rose to get to Dimitri’s heart wholly when she becomes legal, that is!! X_X
I also love how there is romance that keeps you on your toes, but unlike most YA series of the likes, this story does NOT revolve around it!
 
Richelle Mead has me spellbound, I now must own every book of hers in my collection, and read them over and over! Thank you, THANK YOU for making such a strong and willed successful heroine!  Rose is amazing through and through!

 

New Blog on Google! YAY!

Hello fellow, Bloggers! Thank you for all your support on WordPress over the last few months! As you know a friend and I run a blog together called The Booknatics, and we have officially created a new merged blog on Google!

It would mean the world to me if you follow us there! Things to look forward to are; Give-Aways, News on new releases and movie announcements, fun reviews by the both of us, promotions for authors and other fellow bloggers, Google+ Hangout chats with friends and authors, and make great new friends! The Booknatics isn’t just a place for Krystal and I to do reviews, but for book fanatics every where to make new friends and discuss books. Come join in on the fun, and thank you in advanced! We’ll follow you back if you’d like, just let us know. 😉 Hope to see you soon! Here’s our links

http://thebooknatics.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/thebooknatics
https://www.facebook.com/TheBooknatics

and follow us on Twitter  @Thebooknatics @Solaisky and @krystle_watts

Follow for follows!

What I’m Reading…

So, I am doing that Goodreads reading challenge again this year, and I decided that I would do 150 books. But lo and behold, I’ve been slammed with so many other projects and just crazy overtime at work, but I’ve managed to read “68 of 150 (45%)” thus far. Am I ever going to manage more time to read and complete my goal? *dun dun dunnn* Going to damn well try. Anyhow, I do love to have multiple books to read at a time due to my annoyingly inescapable ADHD. My imagination and I love to have a different world to hop in from time to time, and being a quick reader, I am not hindered by the sudden change of atmosphere(genre,plot,characters etc.), just makes my nerdvana a happier place to be! Soooo, this week, I have a reread by the one and only JR Ward:

And let me tell you… I read this before the Black Dagger Brotherhood, so when I read the Fallen Angel series the first time, I kept having those moments like, “I feel like I missed something…”everytime she introduced a character real quick, places, etc. It all makes sense now! I just about busted out laughing when Marie was walking out of the bible group, and the Neurotic Anonymous members were coming in after her, and we were introduced to a tall, strong man with wild and long multi-colored hair. I shouted, “OHURY!” There’s BDB Characters crawling ALL OVER THIS BOOK! Rehv at the club, Trez, all of them. It finally makes sense to me! Thank goodness for re-reads! And might I add, this story is just as magical the 2nd time as it was the first. I love love love love….you get it… Jim.

And as for my second book I am using as another get-a-way, is:
frostbite
I know I am behind reading this series, and trust me, after reading the first one, I regret it big time! It was just that I am such a huge fan of vampire novels, and it seemed like everyone started jumping on the YA Vampire Bandwagon after Twilight, and the mythical race was slowly being ruined for me after every book I gave a chance to. Well, I am catching up fast now! My only issue about this book and the first, is the highschool drama, but I know what I am getting myself into by reading YA, but I also trust it will all tie into the big plot eventually. Till then, I absolutely love Dimitri, and our main heroine Rose. She’s feisty, strong, and willed. And Richelle Mead’s vampires are absolutely original and refreshing.

I also found a freebie on Amazon which I am enjoying thus far:

I am just now beginning it, but so far I love it! It’s narrated in first person, and we have a picture of her painted as a big, badass b*tch/witch in prison and no one has an idea how powerful she actually is.

Well, there’s my rambling for today, I am anxious to dive back into one of my few picks and live in a fantastical world for the day!

The Booknatics GoodReads.com Group May Books of the Month

Hello everyone! I am very excited about this months group read, mainly because this is our first group activity since starting the Booknatic blogging! We had our members vote on a poll filled with different books from a variety of genres, and the two that won May’s featured books are:

May 2013 book of the Month

May 2013 book of the Month


Cinder by Marissa Meyer:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

May Book of the Month

May Book of the Month


Fallen by Lauren Kate:
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story

I have already read the Fallen series, which was captivating in it’s YA genre, but have not yet read Cinder. If you have read either of these, or plan to, why don’t ya join us on goodreads and join in the bookly fun? =D
Link to our Goodreads group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/89180
Discussions can also be found on our TheBooknatics.facebook.com page and Also on Twitter. Hope to see you guys soon!

The Pharaoh and the Curator by Sophia Jones -Naughty Book!-

Can't get any hotter than this... WOW.

Can’t get any hotter than this… WOW.

Some of you by now know that I am completely obsessed with Ancient Egypt mythology. I was ecstatic when a copy of this story was offered to me. Of all the day dreams I’ve ever fantasized of the Ancient Egyptian times with all its art, artifacts, Gods, and architecture, I never once imagined such an exotic and risqué passion of the Gods of those times. Which made this read all the more pleasurable for me.

This is a short story set in Modern day Egypt, Michelle Beaumont works as a curator and has an undying love for Ancient Egypt, and it’s no coincidence. After a thrilling chain of events, she learns that she is not exactly who she thought to be. She is one part of a God’s soul (ka). The one and only, leopard skin bearing, Ra.
The Egyptian Son God is resurrected as Michelle and her team finishes repairs on an ancient and damaged Obelisk. Michelle feels the undeniable and magnetic pull instantly. This is the man of her dreams…literally. More importantly, Michelle learns this encounter with Ra isn’t the first time they’ve been united.

*Cue’s suspenseful music* Read to find out!
(Oh, now come on guys. You know I don’t like spoiling! And this is definitely worth every page to find out for yourself!)

But just as quick as Ra appears below the newly repaired Obelisk, danger is in their sights and to Michelle’s disbelief, the person who is destined to jeopardize Ra’s and Michelle’s relationship, was under her nose all for the last two decades. Will they ever escape the vicious cycle of their perpetual curse?

There is one naughty scene, where the awakening of Michelle’s long lost powers return to her, and man, it was sun-sizzling hot and naughty!
Sophia Jones is absolutely brilliant! The story was riveting, witty and surprisingly hilarious but most notably, a profound sentimental value of undying love. The awesome thing about this book, it has all the key elements to keep the reader on the edge of their seat; mystery, thrill, romance, comical dialogue, and exotic location! My geeky heart is a happy one today.

Get yourself a copy here!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Pharaoh-Curator-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B00CJGB0ZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367029283&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Pharaoh+and+the+Curator

See this post for more information on the Author
Click Here

New Release by Sophia Jones! The Pharaoh and the Curator

Can't get any hotter than this... WOW.

Can’t get any hotter than this… WOW.

Sophia Jones has a new hot and exotic book hot off the press today!
“The Pharaoh and the Curator”
I am particularly very excited about this because of its setting. Egypt and all its artifacts have always been a fascination of mine, and adding a sexy love story to it, I am totally there! I am very much looking forward to endulging this read, hope you might take a copy for yourself! Happy release day to you, Sophia! And happy reading to the rest of you!

Synopsis: Unlucky in love museum curator Michelle Beaumont finds herself in Egypt where she contributes to god Amon Ra’s resurrection. His burning heat soon has her throwing caution to the desert winds, but a lurking danger threatens both of their souls.

You can find the book here!!http://www.amazon.com/The-Pharaoh-Curator-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B00CJGB0ZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367029283&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Pharaoh+and+the+Curator

Website: http:www.sophiajonesromance.com/
Twitter: Https://twitter.com/SophiaJRomance
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sophia-jones/40648616100942