“Die For Me”—A Book Review

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“There was something dangerous about him, as there was about all the revenants. Just knowing that a fatal accident could be right around the corner must make humans more cautious, a trait that Vincent and his fellow revenants didn’t possess. Their lack of fear of injury, or even death, gave them a reckless confidence that was both thrilling and terrifying.”

Die For Me by Amy Plum completely plunged me into the romantic world that is Paris: Tiny cafés, the Seine River, The City of Lights. Now just add to that a romance with an otherworldly, dangerous, beautiful guy and you have yourself a recipe for a thrilling, amorous tale!

Both of Kate’s parents have died, leaving her and her older sister Georgia to pack up their New York lives and move to Paris to live with their grandparents. While Georgia deals with her grief by partying and being a social butterfly, Kate closes herself off to everything and everyone, finding solace only through the escape of reading.

“I had begun to feel like I was encased in a layer of ice. I was cold inside. But I clung to the coldness for dear life: Who knew what would happen if I let the ice thaw and actually began to feel things again?”

 “My mom said I was an escapist at heart…that I preferred imaginary worlds to the real one. It’s true that I’ve always been able to yank myself out of this world and plunge myself into another.”

But then, Kate meets Vincent: dark wavy hair, piercing blue eyes, chiseled features all over. As Kate starts to spend time with Vincent, slowly the ice begins to melt. However, when things seem too good to be true, it’s usually because they are.

You see, Vincent isn’t a normal human guy. He and his “family” have a specific destiny they are ordained to fulfill. This particular fate scares the crap out of Kate, and she tries to run from it—tries to wall herself up in the confines of her bedroom. But in the end, she just can’t resist the call to be with Vincent—finally ready to open her heart again.

Will Kate risk it all just to have her heart crushed again? Is letting herself love again worth the risk? You’ll just have to read this book and find out 😉

Four out of Five stars for this intriguing Paranormal Romance with a fascinating new lore.

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“The Ruining”—A Book Review

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If you like psychological thrillers, The Ruining by Anna Collomore is definitely a tale for you!

Annie takes a nannying job for the seemingly perfect Cohen family on the outskirts of San Francisco.  This seems like the perfect start for her: get away from her drunk mother, repugnant stepdad, and leave behind the plaguing nightmares of the little sister that died while Annie “should have been watching her” (even though Annie was just a child herself and their mom was home). Now Annie can move far away, go to college (funded by her perfect new job), and maybe even start up a romantic relationship with the hottie neighbor boy.

Annie bonds instantly with the adorable three-year-old Zoe (her new charge) and she idolizes Libby (Mrs. Cohen). Libby immediately takes Annie under her wing, giving her hand-me-downs (which are practically brand new and expensive as hell), telling her she knows all about her past and telling her she can trust her; they will be great friends. And everything seems to be going fine…for a little while.

Annie tries to ignore Libby’s weird mood swings and the fact that she never really goes near Zoe, but never lets her infant son out of her sight. And she still tries to defend Libby and rationalize her mistreatments, such as when Libby starts asking her to skip classes to babysit, work on her days off, and not to mention her erratic tendencies to snap for no reason, accusing Annie of things she didn’t do.

But when Libby’s controlling behaviors start to build to a crescendo, even to the point of trying to keep Annie away from the neighbor (perfect gentleman Owen), she starts to question things a bit more:

“Why did Libby have her eyes trained on me? There was something odd about the way she took an interest in me, the way she vacillated from concerned and caring to cold and disapproving. And the way my happiness in Marin County hinged on her approval wasn’t right. I knew it. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it pathological, but I had to get a grip, to form a social life outside of the Cohen family.”

This book takes you through a psychological journey of manipulation and exploitation at its finest. It felt like I was trapped in a horror movie, right in the walls of my own head—I wanted to scream at the victim “No, don’t go up the stairs, you crazy girl! RUN!” This book is definitely a pulse-hammering, edge-of-you-seat kind of read that fans of Sara Shepard’s popular Pretty Little Liars series are sure to enjoy.

Five stars for making my head whirl and making me question my own sanity at times!

(No, but seriously, I could hear the *screech screech screech * noise from Psycho in my head while I read most of this book.)

“13 Little Blue Envelopes” –A Book Review

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13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson is a sensational summer read! This quirky novel is sure to bring out the adventurous side in everyone.

One day Ginny, a New Jersey native, gets a letter from her Aunt Peg (who died three months ago) containing $1,000 and instructions for her to buy a backpack and a plane ticket to London, then go to a Chinese restaurant in New York to pick up envelope 2.

The instructions for what to bring along to the UK are as follows:

Rule #1: You may bring only what fits in your backpack. Don’t try to fake it out with a purse or a carry-on.

 Rule #2: You may not bring guidebooks, phrase books, or any kind of foreign language aid. And no journals.

 Rule #3: You cannot bring extra money or credit/debit cards, traveler’s checks, etc. I’ll take care of all that.

Rule #4: No electronic crutches. This means no laptop, no cell phone, no music, and no camera. You can’t call home or communicate with people in the U.S. by Internet or telephone. Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged.

Now all Ginny has to do is pick up envelope 2, go to London, and see what kind of adventure her (dead) whirlwind aunt has in store for her over the summer vacation. Of course it was hell trying to convince her parents to let her do this, not to mention that it goes against everything well-organized, practical Ginny stands for. But it’s her aunt, and the promise of these 13 little blue envelopes is the last thing on earth Ginny has of her. Thus, she strikes of for the UK.

The premise of this entire Teen novel is for Ginny to travel around the UK in search of these envelopes that her aunt has left for her. With each new envelope comes a new set of instructions: Places to go, people to find, things to do.

Along her journey, the envelopes send Ginny to England, Scotland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece, giving her whacky activities to complete throughout her voyage.

And of course, Ginny meets a peculiar artist along the way that she can’t stop thinking about, and who appears throughout her expedition. To give you a taste of the adorableness of this book, here is a quote from a letter she sends to her best friend back home.

“Keith was HERE. In PARIS. And HE FOUND ME. I know it sounds impossible, but it’s true, and it’s really not that magical of an explanation. But what matters is that we made out in a graveyard and slept on a park bench.”

This entire novel is not only charming, and adventurous, but it also gives you a window to the soul of a young girl dealing with grief for the first time. I cannot say enough good things about this tale. I give it five stars!

*And it does have an open ending, but thankfully she decided to go ahead and write a sequel. The Last Little Blue Envelope is equally awesome! 🙂