Review--The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning


I went into Kimberly McCreight’s The Outliers expecting an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. While it was still a thriller of sorts, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. There were a lot of flashbacks incorporated into the story and I failed to see the point of some of them and then to top it all off, there was a rather large psychological/science-y edge to it. And science has always been my worst subject!

Wylie is definitely an interesting character. Her mother just died in a car accident a few months ago, she and her best friend have been drifting apart and seeing her spin into self-destruction becomes too much, her father and brother have been sort of distant, and to top it off, she’s always had some anxiety issues, and they’ve only gotten worse for her since her mother’s death. After all the normal chaos she endures, she is startled when her best friend, Cassie, goes missing. Adding to that, Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper comes to Wylie’s house because he got a text from Cassie telling him to do so. And then Wylie gets a text from Cassie saying she needs her help and that Jasper will help her too.

And so begins the bizarre road trip of sorts as Wylie and Jasper race to find Cassie who has holed herself up in some abandoned campgrounds. Her text messages get direr as she talks about the people holding her and fearing for her life. Though it’s not long before Wylie and Jasper run into their own trouble. It becomes incredible hard for them to know who they can trust in this crazy scenario they’ve found themselves in.

This book was kind of odd, I’ll admit. The beginning was rather slow, that’s where there were a ton of flashbacks happening that didn’t really help to paint our current picture. Some of them did have merit, I’ll admit, but others I couldn’t figure out why we were needing to see said flashback. The story picked up once Wylie and Jasper were on the road to find Cassie and ending up finding more and more trouble. And then at the halfway point, things take another turn, which is when my confusion started as there was more of all the psychological talk. I won’t get into details, I can’t really remember much of them anyway or what their highlights were! I guess this is what happens when you stick to the fantasy and paranormal reads! Modern day science and psychological topics make for incredible hard to understand reading!

The latter half of the story also dragged for me, because it was more about applying what we learned from the situation and what to do next. A few more plot twists come along that did make for more excitement and then that ending! Totally surprised by it, yet at the same time, I was expecting it after everything that happened! LOL!

I am sad to say that I don’t think I will be continuing this series. While the ending does give you a bit of a twisted and edgy cliffhanger, I couldn’t help but remember all my struggles that have come beforehand. You would think I could grasp some of these neurological happenings what with my personal background, but honestly, I didn’t. It was just so overwhelming, much like my own experiences. In a sense, I did get a little bit of what was going on. But just all those details went way over my head, I could only grasp the vaguest of ideas. And what confused me plays a huge part in the grand scheme of things. Sadly, all the shock value of the story wasn’t enough to keep me invested with the series. I just don’t think I’ll mesh well with the remaining books. 


I will however still recommend this one if you like thrillers. Especially ones with a psychological twist, one that’s more focused on the science of said psychology!


Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars—a slightly better than okay read




 

Random Thursday

We once again travel back to That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser and learn more useless, but intriguing information! LOL!



(image borrowed from YachtWorld.com)
"The most common name for privately owned boats is Serenity. The second most common is Wet Dream."

That second one! LOL! Really?


"'What in tarnation!' derives from the expression 'What in eternal damnation!'"

That's a new one!


(image borrowed from Ancient Symbols)
"The infinity symbol is called a 'lemniscate'."


Did not know that either!

EDIT: Sorry about that! I had a typo and didn't catch it! Thanks Sjhigbee!


(image borrowed from Conserve Energy Future)
"Despite being made famous by Dutch paintings and Spain's Don Quixote, windmills originated in Persia before the tenth century."


Another new tidbit!


(image borrowed from Overstock.com)
"Wedding rings date back thousands of years. The ancient Romans and Egyptians both believed that a vein called the vena amoris ran directly from the ring finger to the heart."


Also interesting!








Review--Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

Miss Layla Starling, the young, beautiful, and extremely wealthy heiress, is the talk of London. Until now, she's managed to evade the marriage noose. Despite the fact that she is unfortunately American, she's received a staggering number of offers. And turned down every one.

St. John Evernight does not want to admit the relief he feels every time he hears that she has rejected one of her suitors. Which is unfair of him. Layla deserves to be happy. But he can not offer her happiness. He will never be normal, never be anything but a freak in her world. So St. John resolves to keep his distance, until he is recruited by the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals to guard Layla. For she is in grave danger, and he is about to learn the full extent of his powers.




It was a bittersweet moment to begin the finale Darkest London book by Kirsten Callihan. The author who introduced to me what I call Historical Paranormal Romance! Lol! Truly it’s labeled Historical Romance, but come on, werewolves, demons, angels…this is paranormal people! Forevermore is Sin’s story as well as Layla’s. Sin was the brother to the initial three, Miranda, Daisy, and Poppy. He had a rough go in life and lost touch with his family, but it was the paranormal problems that they deal with in London that brought them all together again.

Layla and Sin were once the best of friends in their youth, and only drifted apart when Layla was forced to move with her guardian. Years later they are reunited when Augustus, Layla’s guardian wants Sin’s help in protecting her. Layla is very special you see, and there are evil forces who will try to hurt her and make her theirs. He initially wanted Sin to marry her, but Sin refused that idea and instead decides to play bodyguard while she tries to find herself a husband at her guardian’s request, but you can imagine how that will turn out.

I positively adored Layla and Sin! I swear every time I read one of these Darkest London books, my favorite couple changed to whoever was the current one! LOL! What touched me the most about Layla and Sin was that they had a past friendship as children. And sentimental that I am, that hit home to me in some ways, but sadly I never got to see my childhood friends again after a move happened. Layla makes her lingering feelings for Sin clear, but Sin’s darkened past keeps him from seeking happiness. What he endured under Mab’s hand broke him in many ways, but he still can’t seem to let Layla go even if he isn’t so willing to have her as his.

It felt like a proper sendoff to the series to see most of the couples returning. We had all of Sin’s sisters returning as well as Mary and Jack. Though I did miss seeing the remaining two couples, just to have that feeling of full circle and whatnot, but then it would also feel like trying to be over-pleasing. It works out well in the end with seeing the amount of characters that we do. As we know from all the past novels, they are in their happy endings. Though the current problems may be trying wreak havoc on them and disrupt that happiness.

We also get a few extra points of view in this one other than Sin and Layla. Augustus, Layla’s guardian—and Final Judgment, I figured we’ve seen him previously, but obviously can’t remember that! LOL!, Archer, and Lena who is Layla’s mother. It was quite interesting this time around because we essentially get two couples aiming for a happy ending but there are dark forces constantly at play trying to prevent that from happening.

What I truly enjoyed the most was watching Sin and Layla fall in love. Sin has his issues to work through and a bit of self-acceptance that needs to happen, but with Layla all that becomes possible. And as per usual I was a swoony mess watching these two and their interactions. Some were quite comical too, as Layla is one of those head-strong heroines who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants or says what’s on her mind!

The ending was once again, bittersweet! Knowing that this is the absolute final book of the series put a tear in my heart, but I truly loved how this one ended. Since each book stands alone you expect there to be resolution, but we got a little bit more added to this one. And with any series that ends, I am left with the happy thought that these characters are done with their adventures just because they aren’t being written about. It truly was a most perfect kind of ending! And if Kristen should ever decide to come back to this world I will be more than eager to return!

If you have not yet read this incredibly amazing series, I highly recommend it! It’s Historical Paranormal Romance people! A genre that we definitely need more of! While you can read these in any order, there are always some details that will come about that are better understood if you read in numerical order. But that’s always been my way of reading series anyway! Forevermore was a delight from start to finish and I would absolutely recommend this series if you are a fan of any of the above mentioned genres!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars




 

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.


In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth...
 
Dangerous tides ahead...
 
When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.

But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...


I am massively behind in nearly all my paranormal mystery series!! Really need to get caught up in them! So naturally, I'm looking forward to a series of binging! LOL!


PUBLISHER: Berkley
GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2017




 

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker





Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



"'It isn't James' fault.' Rage filled me. How dare they blame him for the evil of his father? I was sick and tired of people viewing James that way.

'Who said anything about James?'" Kindle loc. 70%*



*This quote comes from the ARC therefore it and its location are not final.








TITLE: Forged in Light
AUTHOR: Alyssa Rose Ivy
PUBLISHER: Self 
GENRE: Paranormal NA
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017 




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



This week's topic is: Summer Reads Freebie: Top Ten Books I Hope to Read this Summer!



10. A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas--yes I still need to read it! Trying to find the perfect long weekend where I can read it, but one has yet to come up!
9. IT TAKES ONE by Kate Kessler--still want to read this one as well! I loooove Kate and her many pseudonyms and I love a good thriller, so it's bound to work out!
8. A GHOUL'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER by Victoria Laurie--haven't read this finale yet either and I really need to get on that as well because I adore this series yet I don't want to say goodbye yet either!


7. THE OUTLIERS by Kimberly McCrieght--really need to read this one asap as she's coming to St. Louis the first week of June!! Eep!! :D
6. TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray--really need to finish this series as well! I was determined to wait out most of my trilogies before finishing them and they're now all finished and I am wayyy behind again! LOL!
5. THE SWEETEST BURN by Jeaniene Frost--it's FINALLY coming out!!! Been waiting ages for this one!!!


4. THE CHESS QUEEN ENIGMA by Colleen Gleason--the series isn't dead!! I need to read this one before the next one comes out!!
3. ROARING SHADOWS by Colleen Gleason--really need to finish this series too!
2. THE DEAD LIST by Jennifer L. Armentrout--I can't believe I haven't read this yet!


1. TORN by Jennifer L. Armentrout--that I have any of her books on my TBR pile shames me!




ARC Review--Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy

A love that can transcend time...

James has accepted the darkness, sealing both his and Ainsley's fate. 

The only thing that can save them now is another chance, and only Elron can provide one.

With nowhere else to turn, they must journey to the realm of the dead to meet Ainsley's father, but that journey is nothing compared to the sacrifices they will have to make before they have a chance at a happily ever after. 








I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


I absolutely love Alyssa Rose Ivy’s paranormal New Adult titles! They are always so delightful and fantastic reads! Forged in Light is the final book of The Forged Chronicles and brings Ainsley and James’ story to a conclusion! This one was far different than I anticipated, we’re talking time traveling folks!

Elron, the elven prince, has decided he is going to help Ainsley and James with their predicament. Ainsley was poisoned and James was being possessed by his father and things were utterly chaotic with Charlotte leading an army to attack them! Elron gets the idea to go back in time and rearrange things. And we find ourselves back at the beginning of the night when Ainsley meets James when he decides to visit Charlotte’s house where Ainsley had been housesitting.

A new adventure of sorts starts out. While Ainsley is reintroduced to James and his world, she finds that there’s a familiarity to it all. While Elron tries to explain the matter of things, this version of Ainsley isn’t sure what to believe. Until a connection with James is formed. It’s Elron’s belief that if this find this magical flower, than it can be used with Charlotte’s help to help rid Ainsley of her poison and James his father’s spirit.

James and Ainsley still have the same intense chemistry that they had before, but once again, I’ll say everything is still new to them. The time traveling scenario really throws you through a loop sometimes, but Alyssa handles it well. The only part I struggled to understand was when even with the new changes happening the past timeline and the one we currently read about align and things are as they were previously. Like when Ainsley is poisoned and needs James in order to fight it off. And when James’ mood suddenly gets darker hinting at his father’s possession taking over him, slowly but surely.

What I continue to love about these series Alyssa writes are the characters! They are so much fun and are relatable on multiple levels. Ainsley was a great heroine and I admired her perseverance in always trying to get through the troubles life throws her way. And of course there’s James who just has that overall nice guy charm to him. It doesn’t hurt that he truly is a nice guy.

My only other issue was the ending. It felt too rushed. Once we crossed over one hurdle and we should have one or two remaining, I found that we were in the midst of the ending itself. I wasn’t quite sure how we got there without overcoming the remaining obstacles. I have a few working theories of what might have gone down and why they weren’t exactly shown to us in writing, but you never know, right? And I’m a reader that likes to know! If you end the story with someone dying, I kind of want to know if they make it or not! That wasn’t necessarily the case here, but there were at least two things that come to mind that weren’t really explained on how they were resolved. But despite that, I enjoyed the happy ending that came into fruition! I’ve come to expect happy endings from Alyssa when she ends a series and so far she hasn’t let me down!

This is another fantastic paranormal NA series from the one and only Alyssa Rose Ivy! I highly recommend checking out her numerous titles. And if you aren’t sure which one to start with, I always recommend beginning at the beginning!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Forged in Light is out now!






ARC Review--Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.


I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


If you haven't already figured it out, Rachel Vincent is one of my all-time favorite authors! Ever since I picked up her first book, Stray, I've been hooked! Her newest series, Menagerie, is quite fascinating! it will really change the way you look at supernatural beings and humans. Spectacle is the second book of the  trilogy and it will hold you captivated until its very end!

Delilah and the Metzger's Menagerie have been running things on their own for a few weeks now and they're just barely making ends meet. They've been rescuing other supernaturals from captivity by buying them when they're able. Its put a strain on their financial situation, but Delilah and her friends aren't going to quit it just yet. But that's when Fate takes action into her own hands. Delilah and her friends are essentially kidnapped by Willem Vandekamp, owner and proprietor of the Savage Spectacle. And if they thought that Metzger was a beast, they're about to learn that Vandekamp and his wife out-trump him by a mile.

The Savage Spectacle is a different kind of show entirely than what Metzger's Menagerie was. Instead of just putting on a show and paying to gawk at the "creatures", here the very, very wealthy pay for interactions. From gladiator style battles to one-on-one situations, the Savage Spectacle in nothing short of a nightmare. Vandekamp has outfitted the supernaturals with collars that basically control them, and are fitted to their species. Not knowing what Delilah is exactly presents a challenge for him. But it's not long before she is collared properly too.

The action in this story truly picks up--not to say that it was dull before, because in some ways it was like when Delilah was first thrust into the Menagerie, except this is a whole new kind of circus-hell, so don't think that things aren't enticing prior to part two--in part two when Delilah has no recollection to what's happened to her. She still knows she's a prisoner and all that, but her new cell and suddenly healthy meals are causing her worry. And what she learns is even more terrifying than she could ever suspect!

Much like its predecessor, Spectacle will change the way you see humanity. In these books, I've been quite appalled at our fellow man. The supernatural folks who are deemed "inhuman" are more humane than the actual humans. It's quite the head-turner. But I think that's part of its allure! Plus after spending time with Delilah, Gallagher, and their friends, you really start to care for them and you want to see them tear off their enemies' heads!

Spectacle is a very character driven kind of novel, and I truly enjoyed that. While there's not bouts of action, there's plenty of tension, drama, suspense, and dicey moments.The action comes as needed and trust me, the buildup is worth it!

There still isn't very much romance in this one. That may or may not change somewhere down the line. Who knows? Besides Rachel that is! I kind of recall thinking there was some tension between Delilah and Gallagher that could possibly lead to the romantic kind. Is there evidence of seeing that in this one? Well...you'll just have to read and see for yourself! It's truly up for interpretation, I'd say! LOL!

While we sometimes fear the second book of a trilogy to read very middle of the road, you don't have to worry about that with this one! Spectacle was full on incredible! True, our heroes are caught in a similar situation as in the first book, but trust me when I say, it's very, VERY different! You won't see a repeat of things that have already come to pass. If you were enthralled with the first book, you'll be hooked into this one right away!

The ending I will say was awesome! And all praise Rachel for avoiding those killer cliffhangers. It ends in a way that you're satisfied with the current events, but anxious to see where our heroes will go next. And that truly is the best kind of ending when it comes to mid-series installments! Spectacle was one amazing kind of read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different kind of paranormal read that will leave you questioning who the real "monsters" are! Though be advised, it is a trilogy and reading Menagerie is kind of necessary in order to understand who our characters are and what they've been through. Besides, binge reading is always highly satisfying...even if you must wait for the final book. You'll be okay, trust me! Spectacle is a must read!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Spectacle releases May 30, 2017




 

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

Replica by Lauren Oliver (4 stars)
Ringer by Lauren Oliver (ARC)--Review to come at a later date


Currently Reading:

Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy (ARC)


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Forevermore by Kristen Callihan


Other Posts of Interest:





 

Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!



This was a pretty good week! I got nearly all my books from my Abe Books order! Only one more to go! I have a bad book buying problem you guys, but I can't seem to help myself! 

Here's what I bought:

Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy. A little upset that the cover was more damaged than I was led to believe. Would not call this one "Very Good". That's the problem with buying used books online. Sigh..
Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer--UK copy


Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott--keeper copy
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh--keeper copy
Dreamfall by Amy Plum--keeper copy
Blood Kissed by Keri Arthur
The Beast by Lindsay Mead
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye--keeper copy 

and look! I'm in the acknowledgements!! So cool!! Loved this series!




For review from the author I received:

Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy (ARC)

 
THANK YOU Alyssa!


Contest win from the 2017 Discussion Post Challenge! I chose an underrated book, which was one that had less than 2000 reviews on Goodreads!

Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz--so behind one her books! Need to get caught up!


THANK YOU Shannon & Nicole!


Then in a books for trade I got myself an ARC of Stalking Jack the Ripper! Continuing my obsession of collecting favorite books of ARCs who had a different original cover art! Lol!



THANK YOU Katie!


And then I got my preorder swag for The Crown's Fate too!

Stickers and a bookmark!!


THANK YOU Evelyn!


It was a positively awesome week! Minus the 24+ hours without power! LOL! What did you all get this week?