How She Died, How I Lived Blog Tour Plus Review

HOW SHE DIED, HOW I LIVED.jpg

HSDHIL Cover.pngAbout The Book:

Title: HOW SHE DIED, HOW I LIVED

Author: Mary Crockett

Pub. Date: November 13, 2018

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie–beautiful, saintly Jamie–was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed.

On the eve of Kyle’s sentencing a year after Jamie’s death, all the other “chosen ones” are coping in various ways. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.

Now she finds herself drawn to Charlie, Jamie’s boyfriend–knowing all the while that their relationship will always be haunted by what-ifs and why-nots. Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead? 

My Review

The main character is beating herself up because she feels that Kyle should have killed her, not her friend Jamie. She almost went to meet Kyle, and it could have been her. Now, a year later, Kyle is getting sentenced. She has to go with her other four friends and testify against him, and she will see him for the first time since he killed Jamie. She doesn’t know how she is going to deal with it, or her attraction to Charlie, Jamie’s ex-boyfriend.

This book is about the main character and her friends healing. There are many side plots, including the trouble that her friends get into as they are grieving. I will not give any names besides Charlie, for spoiler purposes, but the side plots make up the majority of the book. This book is definitely important for YA readers. Sometimes things happen and people die. Sure, not everyone has one of their semi-close friends murdered in high school. But whether it be in high school or college or young adult life, almost everyone is going to see someone they know die unexpectedly. Whether it is something as big as a murder or as normal as a car accident, it will happen. People will have to deal with it. I liked how the main character noticed her own stages of grief and learned how to cope in her own way, instead of just allowing herself to drown.

One thing that was a little strange was Charlie’s emotional outbursts. I thought that we would get some sort of clarification as to why he was so upset. Like, we understand that your girlfriend died, but sometimes he was acting a little crazy. I thought that he would come out and say that he and his girlfriend had a fight right before she died, and so he felt like he was the reason that she saw Kyle that day. Or that his girlfriend had been cheating on him with Kyle. Something to warrant him being so unstable during the time, more unstable than I considered to be normal. But no surprising details were given. He was simply upset. This was even a lesson for me about grief, that it sometimes isn’t “normal.”

Then there was a bit of a love triangle, but luckily it sort of went away by the middle to end of the book. I was able to overlook it and focus more on the better parts of the story.

This book had so much to offer, and even though it felt very long to read, I thought that the read was worth it. If the book had been paced faster it might have been quicker to read, but I don’t think we would have gotten all the details that the slower pace allowed.

Overall, this was really an enlightening read. It wasn’t a fun or easy read, but it was realistic and important. I would recommend this book to lovers of YA fiction.

I received an advance copy of this novel.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Mary.jpgAbout Mary:

A native of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Mary grew up as the youngest of six children in a family of misfits. She has worked as everything from a history museum director to a toilet seat hand model.

 In her other life, she’s an award-winning poet and teaches creative writing at Roanoke College in Virginia.

 If you tweet at her, chances are she will tweet back.

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | Tumblr | PinterestGoodreads

Giveaway!

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of HOW SHE DIED, HOW I LIVED, US Only.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2844/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/12/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

11/13/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

11/14/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt

11/15/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review

11/16/2018- Pretty Deadly Reviews– Review

 Week Two:

11/19/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

11/20/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review

11/21/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review

11/22/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review

11/23/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review

Death By The River Blog Tour Plus Review

Death by the River Tour Banner.jpg

Death by the River.JPGSYNOPSIS

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse which could be upsetting.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

My Review

Even though the synopsis has a trigger warning, I want to emphasize it here. Even though the characters in this book are technically in high school, this book deals with some very dark issues. This is DEFINITELY not a YA novel. This has graphic depictions of sexual assault and abuse. I will be discussing these depictions to some extent in this review. That being said, if you feel that you can handle this, then read on.

This book is told from multiple points of view. The three main viewpoints are Beau Devereaux, Leslie, and Dawn, Leslie’s twin sister and Beau’s girlfriend. This is definitely the best way to tell this story, as the readers are able to see what Beau is thinking, and then compare it to how close the other characters are to solving the mystery. You are left in the dark about certain things, but you aren’t left in the dark about everything. This also allows you to see what the twins are thinking as they fight with each other.

Beau’s point of view was a bit skewed to me. He viewed himself as a victim, and there was a storyline about him trying to fight to follow his dreams and not join the family business. I wasn’t sure whether to feel bad for him or not, given the type of person he was. It also made it clear that he suffered from some sort of mental illness, and while it is debatable to make the “villain” have a mental illness, it sort of worked to make the story seem like it was set in the real world.

Now onto the gritty stuff. I was definitely not expecting the sexual violence scenes to be so graphic. There’s one scene that happens within the first 20% of the book, so it isn’t even a spoiler. It is told from Beau’s point of view, and you only saw the effect on the girl after the fact from the point of view of other characters who talk to her. Even as a person who doesn’t consider herself to be easily affected by scenes in books, I had to skim through these parts. They were simply too graphic for me to read. For the most part, since I didn’t harp on these scenes, I still thought that it was an excellent horror thriller.

This book does raise important issues about how abusers start.  Leslie is verbally harassed by Beau throughout the entire novel, and her boyfriend knows about it, but nothing would have really been done if they had tried to report Beau. If Beau had gotten in trouble at the start of the novel, he wouldn’t have had the chance to hurt anyone else.

The other parts of the story were addictive, and I couldn’t put the story down once I started to read it. I thought that the very end of the book seemed to be a bit rushed,  but the build-up to the climax was well-paced, and the events immediately after the climax were well-paced.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an adult horror novel but who isn’t affected by graphic sexual violence scenes.

I received an advance copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Praise for DEATH BY THE RIVER

“… a thrilling psychological work … Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel and 13 Reasons Why … a horrifically brilliant book … Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation … much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal.” ―K.C. Finn, Multi-Award-Winning Author

“Rare is the story that simmers and rises to a boil so naturally and constantly that the reader manages to be repeatedly shocked … a full-speed rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final page. Employing an evocative setting, powerfully defined characters, and taking along hard look at the darker side of human desire, this novel will catch your breath and hold it until the very end. RECOMMENDED” ―Michael Radon, US Review

“While the authors have written a chilling story here, there’s more to Death by the River than thrills. It’s actually a fascinating study into the effects of good and bad parenting on children. Do it badly and parents, children and society as a whole pay the consequences. This book is not just an exciting read; it’s a sobering one.” ―Viga Boland, Retired high school English teacher and Author of No Tears for my Father: Viga’s true story of incest

“While the story follows compelling characters, it also plunges readers into an intriguing setting. It is ironical that the horrors are taking place along the river that runs so close to a seminary, an establishment that should evoke a powerful sense of God and reverence for life. The characters are sophisticated and readers will learn to honestly hate the villain of the story — he is well imagined and developed with skill. In a subtle way, the authors allow his crooked mind to reveal itself. Like most serial killers, he is a charmer and an intelligent young man, but beneath the cool surface is a cauldron of simmering evil. Weis and Astor have written a riveting crime tale with strong psychological underpinnings. Death by the River is ingeniously plotted, written in gorgeous prose, and featuring a strong conflict that propels the narrative forward. The suspense intensifies as the story moves on, with the reader always feeling as though something awful could happen at any moment, and this feeling grows in intensity until the explosive climax. A real thriller!” ―Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“A suspense-filled thriller steeped in equal parts atmosphere, insanity, and revenge.” ―Mary Ting, Award-Winning Author of ISAN: International Sensory Assassin Network

“Weis and Astor have created something so dark, edgy, and gritty, it will stay with you long after you close the book.” ―Julieanne Lynch, Dragon Award Finalist: Horror (2018)

“… a crime thriller that pulls readers into the twisted mind of the protagonist and holds them engaged till the exhilarating finish. The writing is flawless … Death by the River is psychologically engaging, emotionally rich, and utterly absorbing.” ―Christian Sia

Giveaway Banner Two.JPGABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of over twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

Lucas Astor, Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALEXANDREA WEIS AND LUCAS ASTOR

WEBSITE: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/
TWITTER: @alexandreaweis
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/alexandreaweis/

 

Giveaway Banner.JPGGiveaway

–Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 2 Winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENDS: NOVEMBER 12, 2018

BOOK TRAILER

Tied to Deceit Review

Tied to Deceit“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise.” ― Kirkus Reviews

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.

As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.

Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.

This book starts off with a woman working as a doctor finding out that the woman her husband was cheating on her with was pregnant, and then that woman is randomly murdered. The more you hear about this woman, Devika, the more you will dislike her. This gives the case plenty of suspects, and no one seems any more likely to have become fed up with her and murdered her than another.

This story did start out extremely slowly, which is always a turn-off for me. I was dragging by the 40% point, but then it seemed to pick up pace afterward. I’ll admit, I got addicted to reading more about her past life, and flew through the part of the story where Sharma was questioning her family. Devika had ruined a lot of people’s lives by abandoning her responsibilities and ignoring her family.

The biggest issue I think that I had with this book was that the main character was never completely clear. At first, I thought the woman whose husband was unfaithful was the main character. Then, the investigation for the murder started, and Sharma was the main character. During the investigation, the POV continues to switch between the people being investigated. This constant switching never really allowed me to get connected to any character in particular. I felt like I was just reading the story, and not actually invested in it. It also made me confused about a few of the plot points. For example, it took me a chapter or two after the murder to even realize that Devika was the one who had been killed.

There was some character development on Devika’s part, as we learn more and more about what kind of person she was, but there wasn’t much more for any of the other characters that I really noticed.

Back to the pacing of the story, the plot was super slow at the start, then sped up once the murder happened, but then it slowed down so much that I struggled to finish it. Usually, mystery books are full of suspense and make me want to rush to the end, but I didn’t feel any of this with this novel. I just coasted along for the last 30% of the novel.

Overall, I can’t really recommend or reject this book. Maybe it just wasn’t for me and someone who likes these really in-depth and partially confusing mystery novels. This story definitely had a lot of potential, and you might like it if you overlook the slight flaws.

I received an advance copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4 Review

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: THINGS JUST GOT SO REAL

Archie’s Red Circle is failing, as the Principal promises to disband the football team until they make an official apology and eliminate the group. Many of the players say that they are going to quit the group, but Archie is determined to get revenge for Mrs. Grundy and his father. He goes into the SouthSide with his gun, spray painting red circles on the buildings. He scares off some Serpents with his gun but he scares himself in the process. Veronica has to go to the school to retrieve it for him, and she tells him that she threw it away. Then, when the football players come to Archie to apologize, they get into a fight in the Serpents, which ends with the Serpents being scared off by the gun that Veronica took from Archie, and one of Archie’s friends being stabbed in the leg by a Serpent.

Betty receives a letter from the Black Hood saying that he was inspired by her Jubilee Ball speech and that included a cipher that only she could solve, in order to find out where his next attack would be. At first she doesn’t tell anyone about the rest of the letter, but then she trusts Jughead in order to solve the cipher, and in the end has to tell the other town officials after the Town Hall meeting turns out to be the Black Hood’s next place of attack.

My favorite part of this episode was definitely seeing Veronica be a bit responsible. Archie is going completely off the rails, yet no one is noticing because they are all going a little crazy due to these attacks. I hope that someone notices how bad he is getting before he kills someone.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3 Review

 

Meet The Parents - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3

Kevin hears the gunshot in the woods from Midge & Moose’s car and goes to see what happens. Moose covered Midge, so only he got shot, but he is rushed to the hospital and survives the attack. After this, Archie decides that the football team, filled with the strongest boys in the town, ought to form their own team to try and help fight the Black Hood. So he forms the Red Circle, and films an intimidating (ish) video where all of the members of the football team stand bare chested with red hoods on their heads and vow to protect Riverdale.

Alright, so the Red Circle video was hilarious, I found a clip of it, just skip to the end, I was just laughing. Like in the show it was supposed to be intimidating but it was simply funny to me.

Anyways moving on, Betty and Kevin are having a spat of their own, as Kevin keeps going into the woods to find men to…well to find men to hook up with, there’s no better way to put it. Betty believes that this is dangerous, as the woods are where people think the Black Hood is hiding, plus the men might be dangerous. However, Kevin is feeling lonely as one of the few gay men in his hometown, so he does it until Betty tells his father and Kevin almost has a dangerous encounter.

Jughead is still at the Southside High, where he has befriended Toni, a female Serpent, and has restarted the school newspaper. He doesn’t want to be associated with the Serpents, but he soon realizes how dangerous it is for him to be alone.

My favorite part of this episode was definitely Kevin’s arguments with Betty. Even though Betty was butting in and eventually really hurt him, she did end up possibly saving his life, by giving him a sense of caution when he was going into a car.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 2 Review

‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 2 — ‘Nighthawks’ | TVLine

Because Archie’s father was almost murdered there, Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe is on the verge of shutting down. It has been a staple of Riverdale for years, and so Betty and Veronica are determined to save it. In order to do this, they must convince Cheryl to lend them the Cheerleading Squad, and convince Josie and the Pussycats to perform.

Archie feels guilty for the death of Ms. Grundy, and he want to do something about this killer who is going around trying to eliminate citizens of Riverdale. He is so determined to be prepared for the next time the Black Hood strikes, that he buys a gun from one of the shadier students at his school, and tries to train himself in shooting it.

Veronica is still debating whether or not to trust her parents again, letting the past be the past, but by the end of the episode she seems to be on the side of trusting them more than questioning their every move.

Lastly, the episode ends on a cliffhanger of the Black Hood shooting Moose and Midge as they do drugs in their car in the woods.

This season is coming together quite nicely, and I cannot wait to see how far Archie will go before he completely snaps.

Overall Rating: 5/5