Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 29th, 2014
Pages: 460
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?)

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into Big Little Lies, but I was surprised by just how much I ended up liking this story and characters. This murder mystery surrounding a group of mom’s and their kindergarten kids had more depth and humor than I thought a murder mystery could. Moriarty spun such a well-crated story with brilliantly written characters. This has become of those books that I want to recommend but also one that I have continued to think about despite finishing it a few days ago.

I can’t quit raving about how well the characters were in this book. It may be because I had pretty low expectations for the characters but they were so well done. Each character was completely unique and realistic. While some aspects of a character were done a bit over-the-top, such as Madeline’s complete dedication and involvement into anything that stirs up a bit of drama down to her saying how much she loves conflict and seeks it out, it was done in a comical way that didn’t actually feel over-the-top.  Each character had their own story arc, that never dominated the overall story. 

Since this book is so character-driven, it did lack a bit of plot. While it wasn’t really slow, there were some points where things felt a little mundane. Like a small argument among the mothers, or some mediocre drama in one of the families. There were some bigger plot points that came along and at least one twist I didn't see coming. The “big” twist at the end seemed really obvious to me after reading a third or so of the book. That didn’t make it any less exciting, though. I was completely into this story and loving every minute of it. 

I had picked up this book because I wanted to see the show. I knew which actors were portraying which characters and that made the story much more real to me in a way. I could picture each actor portraying the character, and in a good way. They chose the actors for the characters brilliantly. I’ve watched the first episode and really liked it. It seems true to the book thus far, but I’m only one episode in. I’m excited to continue with the show and see how it compares to the book. 

Moriarty does a fantastic job of bringing topics to think about to light with a side of humor and drama. This would be such a perfect book club book as there are many elements to discuss. (I desperately want to talk about them but I don’t want to spoil anyone :)). If you like murder mysteries with great character development, if you’re a sucker for some mom drama (especially among moms whose children attend private school), or if you're looking for an entertaining read, this would be a good one to check out!  

Blog Tour + Review + Playlist: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

GeekerellaTitle: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Retelling

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again? Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Geekerella solidified my love for Ashley Poston and any story she writes. The last book of hers I read and reviewed was We Own the Night and if you haven't read that one, it's high up on my recommendation list.

This book is what I wish all books which promise a contemporary, summer lovey-dovey (with substance) escape would be and do. Because this one promised and delivered. Poston's characters are just so damn lovable, while providing depth. Elle is so adorable – witty as she is empathetic – and Darien was absolutely the best! Her writing always gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling that smacks a permanent smile on my face the entire time I’m reading.

This is a retell of the classic Cinderella story but was different enough to truly enjoy. The beginning felt very much like the beginning of the tale with the introduction of Elle's classic “step-monster and twin step-sisters” who longs for the days her father was around. She’s also stuck cleaning and shopping and basically serves as their beck and call.

But the backdrop of this one involves the great fandom world and the show Starfield is at the center. It's a show that she got into because of her parents, who actually met while engaged in cosplay. Her father was also the founder of ExcelsiCon, a convention similar to ComicCon, where tributes to the show dates back at least 30 years. So, when they announce that pretty-boy Darien Freeman is supposed to play Carmindor, the title role of the show, Elle is severely disappointed and doesn’t hold back on her blog, Rebelgunner.

A series of unfortunate events leads to Darien and Elle getting to know each other while still remaining anonymous to each other. And as far as retells go, I won't spoil what makes this one unique and fun and just so interesting. Unfortunately, some of the things that occur are a bit predictable as is expected but the twisty way this story was told made it worthwhile for me.

I liked that the book offered diversity in terms of the characters. I loved that Ashley Poston truly wrote this as a love letter to the fandom world and everyone who lives there. Truth be told, I was very touched by her acknowledgements section. It brought back memories of long ago when I wrote a certain corporation to stop them from canceling a certain show. They canceled it anyway and my heart was broken but I remember feeling so passionate about that story that it even affected the clothes I wore and my posture back in high school because I wanted to BE that certain character. Still, after all those years but although not that intense, I'm a fangirl at heart and carry a love for storytelling and worlds created by talented people to this day, 

So thank you Ashley Poston for that reminder! This one hits shelves on April 4 and is perfect for those months leading into summer, especially if you enjoy a great retelling. And don't ever forget to
Ashley Poston

Ashley Poston's fangirl heart has taken her everywhere from the houses of Hollywood screenwriters to the stages of music festivals to geeky conventions (in cosplay, of course). She lives in South Carolina, where she hangs around the internet tweeting at @AshPoston.
Geekerella Playlist 
I always make playlists for my books. The funny thing is, I never listen to them while I’m writing—I wait until I begin to edit the book. It helps me keep the tonal feel and overall mood of the novel, as I shift from one part of my brain (the fun sandbox side) to the other (the puzzle-solving side).
·         Level Up by Vienna Teng. (If Geekerella were ever to become a movie, I would want this to be the ending credits song.)
·         Budapest by Peter Hollens
·         Disaster Hearts by I Fight Dragons
·         Live Your Life by MIKA
·         Go Big or Go Home by American Authors
·         Here’s To The Zeroes by Marianas Trench
·         Oh Cecilia by The Vamps
·         Lonely People by Orla Gartland
·         Figure Me Out by The Summer Set
·         Let’s Not Be Alone Tonight by R5
·         Another Night on Mars by The Maine. (This is Darien’s theme song.)
If you wanna know some of the other songs I listened to while writing Geekerella, you can find the entire playlist here! And you can find my profile with sneak-peaks to my other projects here!
Happy listening, and I hope you enjoy Geekerella!

The Novel Hermit On March 21st 

Papertrail YA on March 22: UK 

Brittany’s Book Rambles on March 23rd 

Bibliophile Bookclub on March 24: UK 

The Book Bratz on March 27th
Mile Long Bookshelf on March 28: UK 

Owl Always Be Reading on March 29th
Holly, Quills, and Ivy on March 30: UK 

Wondrous Reads on April 3: UK 

LilyBloomBooks On April 4th

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.
This week pick is:

Dark Breaks the Dawn

Dark Breaks the Dawn

Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Expected Release: May 30th 2017

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price. 

Paperback Release Day Blitz: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The paperback release of The Glittering Court is here.

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One of the reasons I wanted to read The Glittering Court was because Richelle Mead had said it was somewhat inspired by the show Reign and I loved Reign. The dresses, the friendships, the romance and betrayals make this book one hell of a read. To me, The Glittering Court is about fighting for a better future for yourself no matter the obstacles.

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1) 
Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths..
Richelle Mead 2009
Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 28, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

Title: Lifeblood (Everlife #2)
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy


With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.
I always find that writing a review for a second book in a series difficult.Not only do I not what to spoil anything for those of you that have yet to read the second book, but I also don't want to spoil the first book in the series for those of you that have not read the first book in the series. Which if you fall into the latter category...what, what, what rock have you been hiding under?

Lifeblood picks up IMMEDIATELY where Firstlife ended, and thank the gods for that! If you read the first installment, you know the epic turmoil that Gena left us in, and the turmoil spills over into Lifeblood.

In Lifeblood, Ten has to deal with the loss of a loved one, the betrayal of a close friend, loosing Killian in her choice to join Troika, and adjusting to her Secondlife and her new responsibilities. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Here is what I can say without spoiling anything. Lifeblood does not suffer from that "second book syndrome". It is just as good as the first book in the series. Lifeblood is well written, fast paced, and action packed. It is quite literally unputdownable.

If you are a fan of Gena Showalter and have not picked up this series yet, you must. You will love it just as much as her other books.
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Intertwined Novels, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Everlife Novels, among numerous novels for an adult audience as well. Her stories have been praised as “unputdownable.” Gena lives in Oklahoma with her family and a menagerie of dogs. Follow her on twitter @genashowalter and visit her website at

Waiting on Wednesday: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.
This week pick is:

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

Author: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls
Publisher: Lauren Karcz
Expected Release: July 25th 2017

Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn't been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.

Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.

Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can't take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.
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