Review: Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas

25789738Sugar Skulls

Authors: Lisa Mantchev, Glenn Dallas

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: Skyscape

Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

My rating: 5 / 5 Stars

I wouldn’t call myself a science fiction or fantasy reader. Every once in a while I will deviate from my normal romance reads to pick up a book from another genre that has great reviews, sounds interesting or someone has recommended to me. In the case of Sugar Skulls, I was fortunate to have won a copy from Goodreads courtesy of Amazon Publishing.

I’m so grateful I did! I truly loved Sugar Skulls. The book was well written and very interesting. It captured my attention from the beginning and kept it throughout. Sugar Skulls wasn’t like any other dystopian novel I’ve read. While it focused on the characters’ actions to survive the world of Cyrene, there was so much more than just that. There were twists and turns and connections I didn’t see coming.

I loved all of the Sugar Skulls characters. The authors did an amazing job creating solid relationships between the characters.Vee was so bad-ass and fun to read. Even when her character was going through tough times, she made it work for her. Vee wasn’t going to let anyone walk all over her. And her attachment to Little Dead Thing made me smile.

From the beginning, I rooted for Micah. He was such a great underdog. I wanted him to come out on top and get the girl. I didn’t realize his background was going to play so much into the story, but I loved that it did.

I’m really glad the authors decided to write Sugar Skulls in dual points of view. It added so much to the story to get to see what both Vee and Micah were thinking. I also like the way it was written in first person present tense. Sometimes that doesn’t work for me, but in this book it did. I felt like I was seeing the situation through Micah and Vee’s eyes.

As for the rest of the characters, I couldn’t help hate Damon and the people Micah dealt with. They were great villains and made the story even more fun to read.

One thing I would point out about this novel is that I’ve seen it categorized as Young Adult. It’s filled with sex, drugs and crime. I, myself, would categorize it as a New Adult Science Fiction novel. I wouldn’t recommend it those under 17, but maybe I’m erring on the safe side.

If you’re looking for an entertaining and fast-paced dystopian love story, I would suggest picking Sugar Skulls up.

**Thank you to Goodreads and Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy of Sugar Skulls in exchange for an honest review.


Review: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

26213915Dead Ringer

Author: Jessie Rosen

Publication Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital

Genre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn’t just anyone—it’s Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?

After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

My rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

I had a very hard time rating this book. The first half of Dead Ringer frustrated me. I’m still not sure if it was the pace at which things were revealed or my lack of interest in/dislike of the characters. (The only character I was really interested in was Amanda and she wasn’t even a narrator.) I know the author was trying to set up her ending, but I had to push myself to continue reading. I kept telling myself that since Dead Ringer was a psychological thriller, there would be a big surprise that would make it worth reading.

I was right! Dead Ringer picked up pace and the story got more interesting about half way through. I loved this part of the story. The plot twists were awesome. Some of the surprises I expected. Others completely shocked me. I wish the first half of the book would have been as exciting.

I don’t want to giveaway anything about this book and ruin it for anyone. I’m just going to say that I wasn’t completely happy with the ending. It left me a little frustrated.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, Dead Ringer is definitely worth reading.

**I received an electronic copy of Dead Ringer from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.



Review: Six of Crows

23437156Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Six of Crows in one word: EPIC.

I read somewhere that Six of Crows is Oceans 11 meets A Game of Thrones. I couldn’t agree more. The plot was amazing. It had a criminal mission like Oceans 11 and a cool world and multiple view points like A Game of Thrones. There were also so many surprises I didn’t see coming. And I love being surprised!

What really made this book outstanding, though; was its characters. They were all so different and interesting. I loved reading their backstories. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. It didn’t matter that they were criminals. I wanted them to succeed and find the happiness they were all searching for.

Six of Crows is surrounded by a lot of hype. In my opinion, it’s worthy of said hype. I more than loved this book. I don’t have the words to even describe how I felt about it. I’m going to be telling everyone (inlcuding you!) to READ.THIS.BOOK.

Side note: I borrowed an electronic copy of Six of Crows from my local library. I really wish I would have borrowed a physical copy for two reasons:

1) I would have liked to have been able to flip back to the maps at the front of the book while reading the story.

2) I didn’t realize the story was going to end at 85% completion. There are acknowledgements and a sneak peak of Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy at the end. I thought I had more story but got a cliffhanger instead!



Before the Blog: My True Love Gave to Me


Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

20309175My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book? 

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and this YA anthology is a really fun way to get into the spirit. Also, when I read this book I hadn’t read any of the authors except for Rainbow Rowell. It was a great way to find some great new authors.

 When did you read this book? 

December 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

YA readers

Review: Rebel by Elle Casey

Rebel Rebel (Rebel Wheels #1) by Elle Casey

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Publisher: Elle Casey


For college senior Teagan Cross, money has never been a problem. Her wealthy father has always given her everything and anything she wanted.Teagan always thought he would support her until she was able to support herself. But one phone call changes everything. Teagan has no money, no way to live. Now, she’s going to have to learn to survive without her daddy’s riches.

What Teagan lacks in job experience, she makes up with in determination and guts. She’s not about wind up in the gutter. So she starts her job search and ends up at Rebel Wheels.

Teagan can’t help but be attracted Rebel. He’s more man than she’s ever met before. But Teagan isn’t about to do anything to cost her the job she so desperately needs. She’s going to suck it up and stay away from the boss…

NOTE: This story contains sex, foul language, adult situations and violence. It is not appropriate for young readers.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Rebel from beginning to end. It was so entertaining! It had a little bit of everything. It was funny, mysteriously, romantic and super steamy all wrapped up in one.

Teagan’s point of view was so much fun to read. I loved her snarky toughness and determination. She knew what she wanted (most of the time) and went for it. I never thought it would be so much fun to read about someone losing everything, but it was.

Rebel…He was the perfect strong and silent type. His silence and lack of words amped up his sexiness. I also loved the way he took care of Teagan — even when he didn’t really want to. And when they finally get together? Just…wow!

But Rebel was more than just a New Adult romance. There was a very interesting mystery involving Teagan’s father, too. The mystery was suspenseful and kept me on high alert the entire book.

I truly loved Rebel. I didn’t want it to end! I definitely plan on continuing to read the rest of the series. Rebel didn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger, but there were some questions left unanswered. That being said, it could be read as a standalone novel.

If you’re interested in reading Rebel, it is FREE through until Monday only! Get your copy now!


**I received an electronic copy of Rebel from the author in for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

Before the Blog #14: The Weight of Blood

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book? 

The Weight of Blood had me on edge the entire time I read it. It was suspenseful and had me worried with Lucy’s every move to find the truth. I loved how the story wove past and present and different character points of view. I especially enjoyed Lila’s point of view.

When did you read this book? 

May of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

Readers who like a good thriller and books by Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins would enjoy The Weight of Blood.

Nostalgic Book Review Tag

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Thank you to Joey @ Thoughts and After Thoughts for tagging me for the Nostalgic Book Review Tag. The Nostalgic Book Review Tag was created by CW @ Read, Think, Ponder with the premise of reviewing a book you’ve read three or more years ago

Part 1: The Summary

First, (without looking it up) tell us a little bit about this book, and approximately when you read it. Write a summary (brief, long, anything you like!) of the book you are reviewing.

I’m going to pick The Memory of Water by Karen White. I’m not sure when exactly I read it. It was in 2011 after I had picked up Karen White’s The Beach Trees at Borders. I loved hanging out at the Borders in Puyallup while my mom watched my daughter so I could have some “me time.” I still miss that place. But anyways. I digress. I loved The Beach Trees and had decided to read Karen White’s backlist.


The Memory of Water is a story about a young woman returning to her childhood home. He father is ill and she moves home to be with him and help her sister. Being home dredges up old memories of the night her mother died. She goes on a quest to find out what happened that fateful night on the water.


I have no idea what the names are in this book! Ugh! I feel horrible about that. I do know there’s a woman, her sister and a dad.

Part 2: My thoughts

Share your thoughts on your chosen book. Reflect and talk about what you thought of the book back then.

It’s been a long time since I read this book, but I loved it. For anyone that hasn’t read a book by Karen White, I’ll tell you what you’re missing. Karen White does an amazing job of mixing past, present, multiple points of view, romance and mystery in the beautifully described South. The mysteries are my favorite part of her novels. She knows how to dole out clues little by little and keep me interested. The Memory of Water is my second favorite Karen White novel after The Beach Trees.

Part 3: The Epilogue

Here’s the fun part: now you can look up a summary of the book – find all those names that you couldn’t remember, those plot points that seemed pretty important – and all those things you might have forgotten. Don’t go back and edit the summary from the first part!

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: 

On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.

After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana’s ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.

Okay, so there wasn’t a dad. Well, I think there might have been. I swear there was. (Can anyone confirm this for me?) But I was right about the sisters trying to find out what really happened that night their mom died. All I truly know is that I loved it because of the writing and the mystery. If you haven’t tried a Karen White novel, definitely try this one or The Beach Trees.

I tag:

Aentee @ Read at Midnight

Arec @ Rainy Thursdays

Ashley @ Dear World

Carrie @ reading is my superpower

Dimple @ enthrallingdimple

Erika & Miedjel @ partnersinbooks

Jess @ Princessica of Books

Jessica @ Mud and Stars

Jordyn @ J. Bookish

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings

Kristy @ Kristy Reads

Michelle @ Mishi-Reads

Paige @ Page by Paige

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Sue @ Sue’s Reading Corner

Syc @ The Lit(erature) Mermaid

Tasha @ Head In The Clouds, Heart In The Books

The Candid Cover