Friday, September 22, 2017

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass book 6)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first five books in the series, Stop! I don’t want to ruin my favorite series for you.

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the series.


This is Chaol Westfall's story and it takes place during the same time frame as book five, Empire of Storms. Fans of this series will gain an in-depth view of what makes Chaol tick and drove his decisions in the previous books. Lots of new characters are introduced and information is learned that sets up the final book in this series.

The series is scheduled to conclude in 2018.

Visit Sarah J. Maas’ website.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno

“Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie
begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.

Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers.

In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Lottie Reaves is dealing with the death of her beloved aunt Helen, the best-selling, well-known author of a series of children’s books about an immortal brother and sister. (Aunt Helen, think J.K. Rowling famous!) With her high school graduation looming, Lottie suffers from severe anxiety and only her best friend Em and Helen know. After the funeral, the family meets with Helen’s lawyer for the reading of her will. Leaving personal effects behind for her family, everyone is shocked when Helen leaves Lottie a series of letters with very specific directions. As Lottie opens each letter, she finds that her aunt wanted to push her out of her comfort zone as well as divulge a huge secret that she had carried around for years. Lottie soon meets the mysterious Sam, who is also devastated over Helen’s death and has a secret of his own. Interspersed with scenes from Helen’s novels, readers will travel along with Lottie as she mourns her aunt’s death.

Visit Katrina Leno’s website.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

“Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.” - taken from Goodreads.com


I don’t know why it has taken me so long to read/listen to a Morgan Matson book. I had heard great things about Amy & Roger's Epic Detour but they didn’t do the book justice. Amy Currie is still reeling from her father’s death a few short months earlier. Her twin brother Charlie is in North Carolina at a drug rehab and her mother has taken a job in Connecticut. Amy was left behind in California to finish out her school year. With money tight, her mother decides that a family friend’s son can drive their car and Amy across the country. Amy is not too thrilled with the prospect of four days with a total stranger but she has no choice. When Roger Sullivan comes to her house to start their trip, it isn’t too long before the two decide to deviate from Mrs. Currie’s plans and head off on their own.


As they travel across the country, Amy and Roger begin to fight and heal from their own inner demons. An epic road trip ensues as readers discover what exactly happened when Amy’s father died.

Visit Morgan Matson’s website.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott (Court of Fives book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Court of Fives and Poisoned Blade , Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Choose between your parents.
Choose between your friends.
Choose between your lovers.
Choose who you are.

On the run from the murderous King Nikonos, Jessamy must find a way for her beloved Kalliarkos to take his rightful place on the throne. Only then can he end the oppression of the Commoners by their long time Patron overlords. But Kal's rise to power is fraught with manipulation and shocking decisions that make Jes question everything they promised each other. As their relationship frays and Jes's family and friends beg her for help, will she cast Kal and her Patron heritage aside? Will she finally join—even lead—the rebellion that had been burning among the Commoners for years? - taken from B&N.com

This book was a fantastic ending to the trilogy. Heartbreaking yet hopeful, Jes realizes what role she must play, even if it means betraying Kal. Kal must also decide what path his future will follow. Fans of the Court of Fives trilogy will not be disappointed by this final installment.

Bright Thrones - companion novella

“Bettany has always been an outsider in her family: the angry one, the wild one, the daughter who refused to accept the dominance of her Patron father’s people over her Commoner mother’s. When her family is torn apart by a vengeful lord, Bettany makes a dangerous choice to accompany their household servants being transported to the mines, hoping she can keep them from suffering a fate worse than death. Their only chance lies with a stuffy foreign doctor who may be able to help them escape, but can Bettany trust him? Her instincts tell her there is much more to this man than meets the eye.

Find out what happened to Jessamy’s missing twin sister in this beautifully written Court of Fives companion novella!” - taken from Goodreads.com

I wish that Buried Heart had addressed Bettany more, but this short story does give her version of the events that transpired in Poisoned Blade.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lucky In Love by Kasie West

“Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?” - taken from Goodreads.com

I LOVE Kasie West’s book. The romance is always so sweet between the main characters. I don’t know if my problem was that I read a similar book about a female lottery winner from another one of my favorite romance writers, Jennifer E. Smith’s Windfall, just six weeks earlier but it did take me awhile to get into the groove of this book. Although both books are about how life changes after a major lottery win, Lucky In Love, is told from winner’s point of view as she deals with her sudden influx of money. Once I really got into the story, I just couldn’t put it down.

Visit Kasie West’s website.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite stories for you.

“The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.”

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.“ - taken from Goodreads.com

Readers will be unable to put down this epic conclusion to what I see as an underrated series. The ultimate battle has begun between, good and evil, dark and light, Avicen and Drakharin. Echo is determined to stop Tanith’s power play once and for all. Guided by her love for her friends, the final showdown between the two is not only satisfying but heart-breaking as well  A definite recommendation for fantasy lovers everywhere.

Visit Melissa Grey’s website.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Monsters of Verity book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, This Savage Song, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for refresher on the first book.

“THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Things get darker for August and Kate as they attempt to take back Verity from Sloan and his monsters. But when a new monster comes upon the scene that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen, Kate and August, as well as his family, will have to learn to work together to stop it in its path. Readers will be turning the pages to see how this story ends.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The Crown’s Game, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for refresher on the first book.

“Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Approximately two weeks have passed since Pasha forced the end of the Game between Vika and Nikolai. The stakes are high with Vika now the Imperial Enchanter and Pasha awaiting his coronation. With the real threat of revolution and a claim for the throne, Vika, Pasha, and Nicolai are once again pitted against one another in the fight to rule Russia. The author notes at the end that the story is loosely based on the aftermath of Tsar Alexander ‘s death and the Decembrist revolution. I wasn’t expecting the ending but it did tie up this duology nicely.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist book 1)

“The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.“ - taken from Goodreads.com

Wow! I cannot believe that I didn't read this when it first came out. I loved everything about the story. Mariko wants to be seen as more than just a female in the male dominated society of feudal Japan. When her convoy to meet her betrothed is ambushed and she is the only survivor, Mariko sees her chance to break free from her family and find out for herself who wanted her dead. Meeting the Black Clan disguised as a boy, she is taken in as a possible recruit. As Mariko learns more about her family and society, she not only sees the truth about her family but finds that her heart has been taken. I cannot wait to see how it ends after that conclusion.

Visit Renee Adhieh’s website.

Legion by Julie Kagawa (Talon Saga book 4)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first three books in the series, Talon, Rogue, and Soldier, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all--dragons do not suffer human emotions--let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she's capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante--the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.” - taken from Goodreads.com

After the double cliffhanger of the last book, Soldier, readers will pick up the action immediately where it left off. Told from several points of view, fans of the Talon Saga will find out the mission of the Talon organization and Ember’s part in it. After another shocking but more satisfying ending, readers will be eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the story with Inferno in 2018.

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks book 8)

SERIES ALERT! This is the eighth and FINAL installment in the Hundred Oaks series. Some characters from previous books do appear but they in no way spoil the story.

“Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series will speed through this latest and final installment involving the students of Hundred Oaks High School. This book features swimming as the sport. A great read about relationships not only with friends and potential romantic interests but about peers who attempt to undermine you. Several past characters from previous books, but not all, make brief appearances. The best part of this story is the addition of Jordan Woods, from the first book Catching Jordan, as Maggie’s physical education teacher. The epilogue to this story provides a great conclusion to Jordan’s story.

Seeker by Veronica Rossi (Riders book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Riders, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for refresher on the first book.

“When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth. She wasn't losing her mind, she was gaining the Sight the ability to see the future. If she just paid attention to the visions, they'd provide her with clues and show her how she could help people. Really help them. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first and worst mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael the last surviving demon in the Kindred guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It's up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on her instincts, her intelligence, and on blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil? The very fate of humankind rests in the answer.” - taken from Goodreads.com

The ending to this duology turned out to be a satistfying end to the story that fans will devour.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Song of the Current book 1)

“Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.


Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.” - taken from Goodreads.com



A little slow to start with all of the sailing terminologies for me and I kept getting distracted by a couple of other titles. Once the story had me hooked, I couldn't put it down.  Caro is a determined young woman who is left with a nearly impossible task to complete in order to save her father. When she goes against the orders she received, Caro is quickly pulled into political drama that changes how she sees her place in the world. A slow burning romance also occurs. Now I cannot wait to see what the next book holds.


The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring

“Team Statistics:

Caleb McCleary. QB. Following in his brother’s “baller status” footsteps.

Tessa Dooley. Any position that needs filling. Her motto: “Be afraid.”

The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship…and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country.

But all their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn’t want to end her career as a loser. She really enjoys playing, and if she’s being honest, she likes it even more than running. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb? Or between Tessa and her two best friends, who are counting on her to try out for cross-country with them? And will her parents be upset that she’s decided to take her hobby to the next level?

This summer, Caleb and Tessa figure out just what it means to be a boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, best friend, and someone worth cheering for.” taken from Goodreads.com

A quick read with an awesome message about what it means “to win” and about oneself. Tessa and Caleb’s soul-searching journeys with resound with readers about the demands one places on themselves and what our families and peers demand of us. A quick read.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

“Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Another cute read by Jennifer Smith that will wrap readers into Alice’s story as both she and Teddy struggle with what winning the lottery means to their lives. Alice also must come to grips with her parents’ death and how it has affected her choices in life. The growth of both Alice and Teddy into adulthood is a journey that readers will devour.  

Visit Jennifer E. Smith’s website.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

"Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong"--Provided by publisher.

“Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.” taken from Goodreads.com

This is the truth. This is history.
It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.
You know what I mean.

Grasshopper Jungle is a book that has been on my TBR pile since it first came out. I finally listened to the audio version and I found it hilarious. Austin is writing not only the history of his ancestors but the events that transpired in Ealing, Iowa when Contained MI Plague Strain 412E  is accidentally released into the town and Unstoppable Soldiers, aka six-foot-tall praying mantises, are formed. I will warn readers that language and adult situations occur throughout. The story does switch constantly back and forth between the past and present, which could confuse some. Overall, this was a pretty good read/listen that is in development for the big screen.

Visit Andrew Smith’s website.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read Lady Midnight, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you. It will also help if you have read the previous books in the Shadowhunters’ world to avoid spoilers.

“Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?”

“A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Once again, Ms. Clare knocks this latest installment in the Shadowhunter universe out of the ballpark. Readers are thrust back into the world of Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family in the aftermath of Malcolm Fade’s betrayal. The action picks up immediately and leads to the jaw-dropping, cliffhanger end. Fans will be left hanging until 2019 with Emma and Julian’s story will wrap up with Queen of Air and Darkness. In the meantime, readers will be able to begin the Last Hours trilogy with Chain of Gold in the fall of 2018.

Visit Shadowhunters.com