Author Archives: Mare~

About Mare~

We love to read, and we LOVE to review books! We eat, sleep, and talk BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! Mare- Lover of all things romance, mafia, alpha, but I especially love MM reads

How to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore

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Blurb: 

Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do–through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change–but it’s impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne’s war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won’t go down without a fight–not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what’s left of herself.

Goodreads: 

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Buy Links: 

amazon

kobo

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“There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.”

My, my, my….. What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. This book was on a next level. Like another plane. Dear Lord I pray I was not this viscous in high school. This book should be the hand out of What Not To Do and How Not To Act and What Does Obsession Mean To You.

I got Devore’d this weekend. I devoured both her books in a mere sitting. She writes these books where you’re really not sure if you like any of her MCs and wonder how the hell, and what the hell and WTF moments. If you read for puppies and rainbows these books probably aren’t for you. There is romance. Its just not conventional? Its not virgins and billionaires. Its snotty ass teenagers that have a mean streak a mile wide. Its girls that use sex as a weapon. Its boys that sleep with your BFF to get your attention. Its your BFF sleeping with your boy cause she can’t take the attention that you get. What the hell happened to the girl code yo?????

There is death and anxiety and LGBT issues and small town mentality. There is football and cheerleaders and its straight up some Mean Girls for your pleasure.

I didn’t have a playlist for this one cause honestly I don’t have any songs that are as mean as the characters in this book.

It was a ride that I 100% enjoyed.

Mare~

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Filed under LGBT, Mare's Review, YA

Winner Take All by Laurie Devore

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Blurb:

For Nell Becker, life is a competition she needs to win.
For Jackson Hart, everyone is a pawn in his own game.
They both have everything to lose.

Nell wants to succeed at everything—school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is somehow one step ahead. They’re a match made in hell, but opposites do attract.

Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. But when a devastating secret exposes their relationship as just another game, how far will Nell go to win?

Visceral and whip-smart, Laurie Devore’s Winner Take All paints an unflinching portrait of obsessive love, toxic competition, and the drive for perfection.

Goodreads:

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Buy Links:

amazon

kobo

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Sometimes I read books and can’t help but make playlists to go with them. Sometimes I read epic books and sometimes they are just… ok.

This book is my 1st 5 star of 2018.

This book was soooo fucked yo!

This book was all this….

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Yellow diamonds in the light I was standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive 

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It’s the way I’m feeling, I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go

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I could do this review in all Rihanna Gifs but I won’t. If you want to full effect of how the book will make you feel watch the video on YouTube.

This is not your typical YA love story. This was cutting, sharp, toxic and unputdownable. This broached a lot of different issues, from anxiety, to drugs to drinking to self sabotage.     Throughout the whole book I didn’t know whether I liked the MCs, if I liked the secondary characters, if I liked anyone at all.

BUT! Laurie Devore wrote this book so freaking good that I just did not want to stop reading and “We Found Love” was on a constant repeat in my head because that toxic burn of knowing something isn’t good or right for you and wanting it anyway?

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As a mom of a teen I pray to God my daughter does not have this kind of savage drive to best someone. But she is my mini me so I can’t guarantee that won’t happen. But not anywhere close to Nell.

And my worst nightmare is being like Nell’s mom. Or making my daughter feel like how Nell felt. I don’t want perfection, I just want someone who knows right and wrong, left from right, north to south. I don’t want my mini me to ever feel like she has to slip some pills or worry about the boy she’s dating cause I would hate him. I mean I might right? God lets pray that doesn’t happen LOL. But not because he’s a rich privileged white kid. He was born into that.

I won’t try to make her decisions for her though.

As a mom I don’t want a toxic relationship for my kids. But as a mom who was a teen I know all about toxic love and maybe just maybe this is why I couldn’t wait to see how it ended and then I didn’t want it to end because then it would just be the end….

As a blogger it really sucks when you can’t formulate into words how great you thought a book was. All you can do is make your friends read it and then make your friend’s friends read it. And then you know, those friends, they your people.

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Mare~

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The Upside to Being Single by Emma Hart

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Blurb: 

If anyone asks, I knew better than to flash my boobs for Mardi Gras beads.

I still don’t know why I did it.
Maybe it was the dare from my two best friends.
Maybe it was the guys on the balcony saying they’d throw Fireball shots with the beads.
Or maybe it was the quiet guy in the corner of that same balcony with piercing gray eyes, wavy dark hair, and a smile so tempting I wanted to climb up there and lick it off his face.
Maybe it was because I never thought I’d see them again.
Not that it matters. Not today.
Because the hotel I manage was finally bought—and the guy who walks in and introduces himself as my new boss is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent.

There are many upsides to being single.
Your new boss knowing what your boobs look like?
Not one of them.

(THE UPSIDE TO BEING SINGLE is a standalone, romantic comedy from the author who brought you MISS FIX-IT and BEING BROOKE.)

Buy Links: 

amazon

kobo

Publish Date: 

Published January 30th 2018

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This book is probably not the best book to be my 1st review of 2018.

But alas, we can’t win them all they say.

Now don’t get me wrong, The Upside to Being Single definitely had great perks about it otherwise I never would have finished it.  It was funny, there was no angst, there was no woman hating shaming, there was 2 people getting to know each other and like each other. The other plus was that it took up to 95% before the 2 MCs had sex. I know lots of people need sex in their romance novels. I really really don’t! Personally I prefer sexual tension and the feelings that are associated with the struggle and the lust. The I want you so fucking bad I’m gonna go out of my mind. Those are the best kind of stories for me.

So now why was it just ok? I prefer more of a show don’t tell. I need to feel the feelings that are coming off the pages and honestly I just didn’t with this book.

Also this book needed to be edited. I don’t have a problem with spelling mistakes because I am able to get the gist of the story but this one missed words and some sentence structure was messed up. I still was able to finish it so it wasn’t that bad…

In essence I liked the blurb way more than I loved the story.

And I will read book 2 cause even though its a stand alone the 2 best friends look to be getting a story.

~Mare

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Filed under Mare's Review, NA romance, Standalone

The Best of 2017

I’m about 9 days late but alas it was a very busy time.

It was a time of good cheer, family, food, merriment and more food.

If you’re like me its also about books 🙂

2017 was a rough start personally for me and books. It was a fight to find a good book and then I did and then I didn’t and then I did. I love how as a reader we are able to think we will stick to 1 genre and then you start reading something that you normally wouldn’t and you find the upmost joy and wonder what rock you were hiding under and what ever possessed you to think you should only read 1 genre all the time!

I had a wonderful time this year reading YA books. I say it over and over again that YA and I is a mixed bag of love and hate. I love to hate it and I hate to love it. I just sometimes feel… yucky? weird? I don’t know but this stupid notion that a grown woman should not find so much pleasure in teenage romance. HA.  I also fell in love with Thrillers! GAH!!!!!!!!!!! Suspense and gore! Give me more!

2017 was also about re-reading my favorites. There is something so comfortable about spending time with your favorite characters. Its like sitting beside a fire, with a coffee, wearing your reading socks, cozy blanket… you are just wrapped up in warmth!

With that said, here are my fav’s for 2017 and you can check out my review by clicking on the pic.

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Unstrung by Laura Spinella

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9:

Wait For It by Mariana Zapata

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Vicious by L.J Shen

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The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

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6:

Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

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5:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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4: 

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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3:

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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Honorable mentions to my fav’s that I can read over and over and over again and never get bored!

 

Mare~

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Will Trent Series Books 1-8 by Karin Slaughter

Buy Link:amazon

Goodreads:

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Mare's Review

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I’m unsure of how effective this review is going to be to show my love for all things Will Trent. He is honestly one of the best on page characters made. He is the essential bad boy that all us girls read about and drool about however he does not have 1 mean bone in his body and he is so so vulnerable that you just want to hug him, wrap him up and not let him go.

I’m devastated that the ride is over. I have been immersed in Karin Slaughter’s worlds for 21 days and I am unsure how to move on. Wanna talk about a book hangover???? I read 3 of Slaughter’s books in 24 hours. These are not small books. These are massive and very detail orientated that you can’t allow yourself to miss anything otherwise you are left in the dark.

I’ll start from the beginning. The 1st 3 books were good. The characters again and their dynamics are so well developed that you love to hate them. I can’t pick a favorite. I really can’t. I loved and hated them all with a passion. I lived, breathed, and slept with Will, Amanda, Faith, Angie, Sara and all the other characters that graced the pages of these books.

The 1st 3 books set the premise for the other 5 that followed. I loved how Slaughter brought us into these characters lives and we got to see the good the bad and the ugly. The sarcasm ran aplenty with them, your heart ached, your cheered and you fought along side with them.

See how do I move on??????

Book 4, Broken, brought us back to Grant County. Of all the books I believe this one disappointed me the most. I thought we were going to get some closure on Jeffrey’s death. I thought at least we would find out what happened in the prison, how the GBI took care of one of their own. I thought the book would go one way and it went the other. Le sigh. I cant say I wasn’t happy to be back with Lena. She’s so messed you guys. Its so sad its funny. And how she ended up with Jared kills me. I know. It makes me laugh because Dr Sara Linton HATES it.

Book 5, Fallen, made me love Faith so much. I cant explain how Slaughter makes her characters so real because they are messy, complex and down to earth. Faith for sure is the best partner Will can ask for and vice versa. They work so well together. Like a well oiled machine. This book also sets book 6 in a way where we figure out Amanda, Deputy Director GBI, a little more. Sometimes the hardest thing is to take the personal out of the job.

Book 6, Crminal, was the best book so far in this series. I gave it the 5 stars it truly deserved. We delve into Will’s past, in the orphanage and group home and see how much Amanda and Will’s lives intertwine. How much she loves him. How she started. The Amanda rookie cop vs the Deputy Director. Whoa! Huge HUGE difference. I like the DD better than the Rookie let me tell you!

Book 7, Unseen,  I will gloss over. We see Lena and Jared again, I  will just say I really really did not like Sara in this book.

Book 8, The Kept Woman, the last book? in the foreseeable future? brought us to Angie. God she really was someone I do not like. She tortured poor Will for I dont even know why.  Her own unhappiness was her downfall. Her shitty family, her upbringing broke my heart. Will and her, 2 different sides of a coin. The good the bad and the ugly. How it all wrapped up…. was Will the dad??? Will we ever find out??? Is there a book 9???? WHEN???? Where????????

So so so many questions.

Read this series ya’ll. You wont regret it. I promise!

Mare~

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Filed under A Must Read, Mare's Review, Mystery-Thriller

Grant County Series Books 1-6 by Karin Slaughter

Buy Link:

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Add to Goodreads:

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Mare's Review

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There is something so rewarding sometimes when you step away from your Go To Genre and open your eyes to things you would have turned away from in the past. I”m usually not one for sick and twisted, blood, gore, depraved humans. Shit if I wanted that I would just turn on the news right? But yet I love opening myself up to CSI and 48 hours. I love how the mechanics work between good and evil and the in between. I love how minds work, the clues, and the jigsaw puzzle once all the pieces start to fit.

I am really really late to the Karin Slaughter fan club. I have to say though, that if you are that fan that waited a year between books I’m in awe of you. I could not have waited between Grant County and Will Trent. There is no way possible.

I started Karin Slaughter with the 1st 3 books in the Will Trent series. WRONG WRONG WRONG I know. Stupid really some would say because now I knew exactly how the Grant series would end. To be honest I am glad it happened this way. Because I know there are some that were in the Jeffery camp while my camp was Will and I would not change that for a thing.

Karin Slaughter wrote characters that you loved to hate. I cant say that there is 1 character in the Grant County series that didn’t make me want to shoot them in the face. The characters, and their flaws, were so well done. So well done!

Sara Linton.

Jeffery Tolliver

Lena Adams

They were all very complex characters but I will admit I liked Lena the best. She was a total survivor and was the type to jump in both feet first and ask questions later. She was a rape victim, a product of being raised in poverty with an “uncle” who was a heroin addict. Her twin is murdered. She hooks up with a Nazi supporter, she is beaten, scared, tortured and yet still went to work and kicked ass. She was so complex, hot and cold, total contradiction of all things female that I totally voted for her as opposed to against. She did some really stupid stuff but I did not blame her for what happened to Jeffrey. He was hot headed and did what he wanted. I could see that.

Sara bothered me immensely.  Her thought process in her own personal life was questionable. I get the whole woman scorned but if you take him back and forgive you also need to get over it and not have that man live under that cloud for the rest of his life.

Jeffrey made me hot and cold. I didn’t necessarily approve of how he solved crimes or how he treated his staff but then again I’m not from a small town and I do not have small town mentality. As a woman married to a man of color these books disturbed me the most for the rampant racism in America especially in their Southern states. I’ll tell you this there is no way I would drive through Grant County if it was real.

I enjoyed these books but my heart was in Atlanta with Will and I could not wait to dive back into that series. With that said I enjoyed most how these books intertwined with each other.

If you like murder, mayhem and lots of forensic science, lots of twists and turns, these books are for you.

Trigger Warnings:

Rape, racism, violent deaths, rape again, pedophiles, and more.

Mare

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by | August 1, 2017 · 7:44 pm

Pre-Release Review: Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

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Blurb:

Per her 537 rules, Harper Campbell keeps her life tidy—academically and socially. But the moment Sterling Lane transfers into her tiny boarding school, her twin brother gets swept up in Sterling’s pranks and schemes and nearly gets expelled. Harper knows it’s Sterling’s fault, and to protect her brother, she vows to take him down. As she exposes his endless school violations, he keeps striking back, framing her for his own infractions. Worst of all, he’s charmed the administration into thinking he’s harmless, and only Harper sees him for the troublemaker he absolutely is.

As she breaks rule after precious rule in her battle of wits against Sterling and tension between them hits a boiling point, she’s horrified to discover that perhaps the two of them aren’t so different. And maybe she doesn’t entirely hate him after all. Teaming up with Sterling to save her brother might be the only way to keep from breaking the most important rule—protecting Cole.

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Release Date:

June 6th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Pre-order Here:

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Mare's Review

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Thank you Netgalley and Entangled for a copy of this e-arc.

I’m not sure where to start with my review Ha! This book was… Im gonna say strange but not in a bad way. It was…. different I guess.

Think the Hating Game for teens and 1st love.

I don’t think it is explained where the location is located? I know that the school was big on lacrosse….. I know there is a headmaster… and I know there are 537 Rules that Harper follows.

Harper was hilarious. It’s a deep rooted problem for truly honest people to be labelled as sarcastic. I know. I’m one of them. Although I am both deeply honest as well as sarcastic so I guess for me those labels fit.

I love slow burn- enemies to lovers book and this one filled both slots with a X.

I want to tell you guys that YA is a hard limit for me but because I’m truly honest YA has been my go to read since Fall 2016. There is something refreshing with reading about first love and those nerves and those butterflies that the general romance can give you but when everything is a cliche of another you don’t feel those flutters in the pit of your stomach really.

So if you liked the Hating Game and if you liked Carry On I would say you’re gonna enjoy this one.

Mare

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Mare's Review, NetGalley, YA