Readers Choice: All Things Crazy -- BOTM Announcement!

I know this announcement is coming a bit early, but since I have alot to read next month, I figured I would give myself a head start on my TBR. I was happy to see that quite a number of you voted within this time frame, and because I have enough votes, I will now announce which of the 6 titles will be my April BOTM. 

And you guys have chosen . . . 

I'm not surprised that this title won, to be honest I knew it would be a tight run between this and YOU by Caroline Kepnes, (I had my fingers crossed with high hopes YOU would win) but I'm super excited to dive into this novel, especially since my mom just finished and said it was CRAZY good with pretty messed up characters. Now that's my type of party!

Thanks for participating guys! See ya next month with the theme:

Never Would I Ever

I'm pretty sure you can guess there will be 6 titles I probably would NEVER pick up on my own. This shall be very interesting. 

YA vs NA vs Adult : Genre Throwdown! -- The Confession Hour (Episode 1)

Oh looky looky, my very first discussion post here at fANGIRLconfessions! I've been wanting to start some discussion posts -- literally since I started blogging, but (1) I could never think of a good topic to start off with, and (2) I never sat my ass down to think of a good topic to start off with. So today as I was staring at my blog, (am I the only person that does this?) I thought of not only a topic, but a cool theme to go along with it.

To kick off my first episode of The Confession Hour, I came up with the idea to go with a typical video game scenario . . .


that's right, in this discussion post  (I like bookish chat better), these genres will be going head to head, as us readers choose which genre is the best, and of course which is our favorite. I'll start things of by elaborating on which genre I think is better, which is my favorite, followed by four recommendations from whichever genre I've chosen. YOU however, will give me your input by taking my trusty poll. (I freaking love this thing)

After enough answers are documented, I'll then compose another post, showcasing some of the answers along with recommendations given by the participants! So enough of all of this rambling, let's begin!

Player One . . . Go!

Which genre do you think is the best/your favorite?


New Adult is a genre that's easily passed up. There are plenty of cliche stories within this category, so it's no surprise that some readers tend to kick it to the wayside without given it a chance. But trust me, you SHOULD. What I love the most about NA, is the fact that the characters are around my age. I'm 25, so often times I'm reading about stories that are between the 19-26 age range. This makes it easier for me to relate to not only the story, but to the characters I'm reading about. This genre is usually mixed with situations I've experienced myself, allowing me to connect with my fictional homies on a better level than with Young Adult, and sometimes even Adult.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I share an equal love affair with Adult, but YA and I have a pretty strong love/hate relationship. I don't know if any of my readers who are around my age experienced this, but I find some YA characters to be a bit overbearing and immature. I've read plenty of stories where the characters were 16 or 17, but read like they were 12! I get so annoyed by this, especially when I'm struggling to connect -- let alone like the character. Now don't get me wrong, these type of instances can be found in all genres, NA & Adult included, but I personally only seem to stumble across this problem with YA novels. * sigh *.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

We all know that within these three main genres, we have what we'd call " sub genres ", and my favorite just so happens to be Psychological Thrillers. I review a ton of contemporary here on my blog -- well actually, my blog is pretty eclectic when it comes to the books I've reviewed, but nothing beats a nail-bitting, on the edge of your seat thriller. I love when characters are deranged, crazy . . . just all around fucked up (excuse my language) with storylines that are dark, sinister, and even more twisted. So if you know of any books that fit my description, don't hesitate to point a sista in their direction lol.  

Interested in reading NA but don't know where to start?

Here are 4 recommendations of some great NA titles I've previously read.

Ugly Love -- You can't go wrong starting with the queen of New Adult.
Bad Romeo -- A great start for a newbie to the genre.
Find Me I'm Yours -- Perfect for the readers who aren't read to jump into the " Graphic " side of NA. 
The Mason List -- Appeals to lovers of all three genres. It crosses both YA & NA, starting when the characters are 8 all the way to 26.

Now it's your turn. Use " Tipee " (yes I named the poll, don't judge me) to share your input on this topic. Once you're finished, head back here to the comment section, so we can further discuss our 
genre throwdown!

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The Ring & The Crown Review -- A Royal Pain In The #!%

The Ring & The Crown | Melissa De La Cruz
Pages: 384
Genre(s): YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Published: April 1, 2014 | Disney-Hyperion
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Regina @MEReadALOT

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

I never realized how much I enjoy the Historical Fiction genre until I started watching the TV show Reign. I was so fascinated by the era -- the fancy dresses and gowns, the extravagant balls, the cute princes & annoying princesses . . . I was just so intrigued by it all. Suddenly I found myself purchasing books from the genre, and was absolutely ecstatic when Regina from MEReadALOT offered to send me The Ring & The Crown in exchange for an honest review.

I won't lie and say that my expectations weren't through the roof, because they were, and the beauty of Historical Fiction that I just knew I was diving into, ended up being a brick wall of . . . nothing. A true disappointment. I don't want this review to come across as " ranty " or anything, but there were so many things wrong about this book, that it'll pretty much be unavoidable for me. Let's just get this over with . . .

* Le Sigh *

Welcome To High School

The first 50 pages of The Ring & The Crown were really good to be honest. Within these first few chapters, we spend our time getting to learn about all 5 of the MAIN characters. I thought I would like this aspect, mainly because I tend to love stories that are told in alternate perspectives, but the 5 POV's got old . . . and pretty damn quickly. My biggest problem with the story was that I couldn't stand majority of the characters. Only one stood out to me -- Wolf, the street fighting prince, but other than him, all the other characters were completely ridiculous. Our sickly princess Marie-Victoria complained to much, Aewlyn was just . . . blah, Isabelle was a damn fool, Ronan was just okay, and Leo -- who might I add didn't even have his own POV, was the prince set to marry Marie, and was the biggest asshole I've ever read about. I literally liked NONE OF THEM, except for my dear Wolf. I adored the fact that he wasn't a typical prince -- like his brother -- instead he was rough around the edges, and had such a cute & charming air about him.

The perspectives weren't told in any particular order, and while this wasn't difficult for me to follow, about 100 pages in, I was tired of the flow. One minute I'd be reading about Wolf, and sadly I wouldn't get back to his POV until everyone had their turn in the rotation. It was just too much, and proved to be utterly impossible to connect with any of the childish characters . . . not that I wanted to anyway.

" Now he was on top of her, kissing her again, and she wriggled underneath him, and found she was crying. She was crying without making a sound, the tears streaming down her face as he kissed her, just like the first time, when she had been unable to ask him to stop. "


Off With My Head . . . Please

I was pre-warned, (is that even a word?) about Melissa's writing, but I've never been the type to turn a blind eye to a book, especially if I want to read it. Unfortunately, all the warnings I received deemed to be true, as the storyline, plot, and everything else this book consisted of, feel pretty flat. In entirety, it seemed like EVERYTHING was lacking in this story. Besides the characters being incredibly stupid, (which is a word I NEVER use to describe characters) the storyline itself was just . . . I don't even know. There was enough romance between the characters to last us a lifetime, but none of it made any sense. I had this nagging feeling that there were going to be love triangles, and to be honest, I would have much rather dealt with that, then to get slapped left and right by insta-love between people that DIDN'T MAKE SENSE! The lack of emotion from the characters made every kiss, every hug, every stupid cry, every weird sexual encounter UNBELIEVABLE. I rolled my eyes, and facepalmed so much while reading this, that I eventually ended up with an headache. 

After a certain point, I had to fight against the urge to DNF with only 50 or so pages left, and instead just focused on finishing. It wasn't too hard, the story moves rather quickly, which in this case, is a blessing and a curse. The last 30 pages were so rushed that after reading the last sentence in the book, my reaction was:

" Wait, WTF happened ?" Imagine wrapping up a handful of pointless plot twists, mysteries, and or secrets in the last couple of chapters! There was this huge plot twist that caused me to sit the book down in frustation, (It's too pretty to throw) and after a couple of major reveals, I was completely flabbergasted by how NOTHING ADDED UP. NOTHING MADE ANY TYPE OF SENSE

" I am glad he is dead, -- he was evil, Marie. He was a sorcerer -- he was poison through and through " . . .
" I knew, I saw it in him when we met again -- "


So, to wrap up this review before it turns into a full-on rant, The Ring & The Crown just wasn't my cup of tea.

Readers Choice: April BOTM - All Things Crazy!

Welcome back to Readers Choice!

Below you will find the poll to vote for 1 out of 6 books, that you think should be showcased as my book of the month for April. I decided to use themes from now on -- I figured that would be a fun way to categorize the titles, so this month's theme is . . .


Vote as many times as you like, tell a friend that will tell a friend, & remember

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What Lies Between | Inter-review With Jenniee From Books & Teaa

What Lies Between | Charlena Miller
Pages: 336
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Published: February 28, 2015 | Red Bicycle Press
Format: E-ARC
Source: Author

Set in modern-day Scotland and laced with adventure, romance, and hope, What Lies Between reminds us that love and belonging are often discovered in the most unexpected places.

Trust has never come easily to Ellie Jameson. A broken past taught her that self-reliance is the only option—no one sticks around for the long haul. When a fateful letter arrives with news of an unexpected inheritance, she sees a silver lining in the tragedy that seems to follow her. Anxious to leave American city life for the rugged Scottish Highlands, she sets off to claim her fate in a whirlwind of determination. Captivated by the land of stunning lochs, fiery whisky, and a particularly charming Highland local, it seems things may finally be turning around . . .

But nothing could have prepared Ellie for what awaits at the Glenbroch estate, where she soon discovers very little is as it seems. The rugged, romantic Highlands harbor old secrets and vengeful enemies, entangling her in a web of lies and betrayal. As the line between ally and enemy blurs, Ellie is in danger of forfeiting her inheritance—as well as her heart.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.  This opinion is my own, and will not be affected by this.

Before I begin rambling, I want to take the time to thank Charlena Miller. She approached me with her request at a time where I wasn't accepting copies for review, and her pitch game was so strong, there was noway I could say no. What I liked the most about Charlena, was that she paid attention to my blog. She knew my interests, and had sent the request mainly because they tied in perfectly with her debut novel. This book was nothing like I expected, and even though the story had a few flaws, What Lies Between still proved to be strong contender . . . 

I teamed up with my girl Jenniee from Books and Tea to tackle this review in style.

After being a couple of chapters in, what were your first impressions w. this novel?


I was quite impressed to be honest. Diving into the book, I didn't really know exactly what to expect, mainly because the novel itself wasn't a popular title, & I hadn't heard any opinions of it prior to receiving my copy for review. After a few chapters, I was so surprised to discover that What Lies Between wasn't the coming-of-age, self-discovery adult novel I assumed it would be. (In some ways it was) Instead it was a wonderful contemporary, with a ton of mystery/suspense elements blended in. I was definitely not expecting that.


When I began reading this I wasn't too impressed. There was a lot of description and I felt that caused the story line to drag on a lot, plus it was quite slow in general. However the pace did pick up and I began to feel more intrigued about the mystery and I really enjoyed the romance between Ben and Ellie.

Briefly describe the concept/plot and writing. Were they a hit or miss?


Well the story is about an American woman named Ellie, who after her father passes away, finds out that she has inherited an estate in Glenbroch, Scotland. The estate once belonged to her grandparents, and was then passed down to her father to keep the home and land from being sold to outside parties. After finally landing in Scotland, she discovers that her father burrowed loans from different people, mainly from his childhood friend, John MacIver who was already in the process of buying out Ellie, in hopes of having the estate in his possession. But our main character wouldn't go down without a fight right? She busted her ass meeting up with lawyers, and also jump started the renovations to the house with some crew members, with the intentions of saving her family's land from being swept from under her. With some natives against Ellie succeeding, the suspense kicks in as strange things begin to happen around her, and her life is suddenly put into danger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

The writing was definitely a bit up and down for me. It was good, I most certainly can't deny that, but the descriptive text was very hard to get into for half of the book. I think it was more so a dense and heavy read, which caused the story to drag through a couple of chapters, but once you push through that, it begins to lighting up. Either that or you get used to it. I really enjoyed Charlena's ability to allow us readers to feel as if we were in Scotland alongside the characters. From her experience being in the country and her descriptions, you were truly able to see how wonderful the culture is, and how friendly and hardworking the natives seem to be. With the story dragging in some places, but with the writing being so vivid and engrossing, I'd have to say the writing/plot was more so a hit, than a miss. 


Besides the large amounts of description, I really liked Charlena's writing style. I was really curious as to what was going to happen once the pace kicked it and the mystery kept me hanging on.

Let's chat about the characters. 


I think because Ellie was one of those characters who didn't really let people in, and had a hard time trusting others, it really made you think all of the characters were shady lol. I spent half of the book side-eyeing everyone, because I couldn't tell right away who was being honest & loyal. I did however, have a hunch that Ben MacIver, (the son of the John who is trying to steal the estate from Ellie) was being truthful throughout the entire story. He just had such a genuine air to him, that I would have been blindsided if he turned out to be any different. As weird things started happening to Ellie, such as her being ran off the road by a mysterious driver, I started looking at everyone with close eyes. Sadly not too many of the characters are rememberable, but I will say my favorite was Ben. I loved how he didn't stop proving to Ellie that he didn't have a hand in any of the dirt surrounding the estate, (not literally dirt guys lol) and their romance ended up being one of my favorite aspects of this story. I also enjoyed the friendships Ellie formed with Ben's mother Anna, she was such a sweet woman, and no-nonsense Maggie, who made the perfect friend.


I thought the characters were really well written. I loved seeing how the characters unfolded and how their true personalities started showing as the novel progressed. I think my favourite character was Ben, he was so charming and romantic and really lovely. He never gave up trying to prove things to Ellie, despite their quarrel early in the beginning. I liked how the characters weren't always what I expected and they were all rather unpredictable.

What were your likes, dislikes?


As I mentioned before, I truly loved how Charlena was able to give us a taste of Scotland in just a few pages. I loved the descriptions of the foothills, even the grass was vividly described. I loved the language, which I attempted to pronounce and failed horribly, and I loved the talk of food! A Scotland holiday causes for a ton of food, whiskey (I never put a little water in my whiskey, might have to try it) and wonderful people. It's definitely a country I would love to visit.

My only dislike to this story would be how it dragged in multiple places. It wasn't anything serious that would cause you to put the book down and DNF it, but you will have to be in the mood for a more heavier storyline if you want to truly enjoy this book.


I really, really enjoyed the ending! It was so unexpected and I was not ready for what unraveled. The story line was also really intriguing and there were many twists that kept me hooked. The mystery was also created really well because even at the end when the truth was discovered, I still hadn't predicted what was going to happen!

The only thing I didn't like was the structure. The novel took a while to get into the basic plot and there was a section in the middle where I wasn't as intrigued. But then there was a very good twist and things picked up again so it has it's goods and bads!

Overall thoughts and finally your rating


I would recommend What Lies Between to any reader that enjoys a great Adult Contemporary. It consisted of all the elements I enjoy in Adult, rich culture in an amazing setting, a good mystery, and a slow-burn romance, so it's definitely worthy of what I call a pass-along.

Now for my dilemma. This story definitely ended up being a bit difficult to rate. My thoughts are very much still conflicted, mainly because of the dragging -- it took me a week in a half to finish, but I'm leaning towards 3.5 - 4 stars since it still managed to be such a pleasurable read.


It's a bit of a love-hate relationship with this book. I really liked the characters and the suspense that was incorporated the whole way through however the structure and description slowed things down for me. Overall I would recommend it to those who like mystery, but prefer something with a slower pace. 3.5 STARS

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows | Review

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows | M.J Rose
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy . . .
Published: March 17, 2015 | Atria Books
Format: E-ARC
Source: Inkslinger PR

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The following opinion is my own, & will not be affected by this.

As humans, we all know there's a big difference between loving something or someone, and being in love with that something or someone. Often times people blur the lines of both emotions, but not I. Whether it's in real life, or within this book community, I know that while one brings me great joy, the other rattles my bones, flushes my cheeks, and will have me on cloud 9 until I wish to come down. So when it comes to The Witch Of Painted Sorrows . . . 

People, I am in love.

Beautiful Nightmare

Don't become like me. Don't light any fires . . . too easily the flames leap out and lick you.

I adore Adult Fiction, but I will admit -- I've been neglecting the genre. Not intentionally or anything, but for some reason I've been reading more YA & NA than anything. Thank goodness at the last minute I was able to review this novel, because this is most definitely a story you can NOT pass up.

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows, is one of the most incredibly written books I've read in all of my blogging career. It's written in a fairy-tale like manner, blending fact with fiction so magically, you'll question your own mental state in determining what was real and fake. We jump right into the story alongside our main character, Mademoiselle Sandrine Verlaine. In an attempt to discreetly leave her awful husband, she flees to Paris, France to reside with her grand-mere, with great hope she'll be kept safe. Things take an interesting turn, when we discover that Sandrine's grand-mere doesn't want her in Paris. She's quick to convince Sandrine to return back to the states to her husband, in fear that she'll fall victim to both the power and passion that the city holds. But it's not only Paris her grand-mere is afraid of.

The story switches gears, and as we begin to plummet into the darkness of La Lune, I couldn't help but to hold on for dear life.

Shall we dance, dear La Lune?

And as I drew, I heard words . . . her ruby-red words flowing . . . flowing like blood . . . as she whispered to me. I understood the words, but not their meaning, but I used them as part of the composition, weaving each letter of each word into her long curls, into the fabric of her elaborate skirt. Finally to love. Finally to end the pain. Finally to find the secrets of my soul.

I believe in spirits. I also believe that older homes, house the spirits of those who used to occupy it. As I moved deeper into the story, and began dusting off the secrets of the Maison De La Lune, (grand-mere's house) and Sandrine's ancestry, it was no surprise that I found myself completely fascinated by the witch's character. The creep factor was cranked up high, as Sandrine began to be possessed by the firery La Lune. Once a frail, frigid woman, she now was a lively character, filled with confidence, passion, and even lust for a man, although betrothed to another woman. This very possession allowed her to take risks -- to find herself -- to know what it means to love with your very soul . . .

but when the darkness of La Lune slowly took over Sandrine's innocence, it wasn't long before we knew who she was up against, and how this spirit would stop at nothing to get what she wanted . . .

Make of a powder, life everlasting . . .

When I went a day without him, I felt actual pain, like hunger pangs you suffer when you've gone too long without food. While this kind of feeling was new and marvelous, it was terrifying to be in it's grip.

I'm such a contemporary junkie -- especially one that enjoys a great romance no matter the genre, and because of this, I CRAVED Sandrine and Julien's relationship. Yes it was a bit scandalous, (who doesn't like a great scandal?) but the fire between these two were inextinguishable -- the passion undeniable. I felt like a little kid reading their scenes . . . eyes wide -- mouth open, giddy because I knew why Sandrine was hungry for this love, and even though it was wrong, and also kind of weird, it felt perfectly right. The amateur level of swoon in the YA & NA novels I've been reading, couldn't hold a candle to what I experienced with these two characters. No offense.

This book opened my eyes to the very realization -- I've been missing the beauty that comes with novels like this. The Witch Of Painted Sorrows consisted of writing so rich, flawless, and impeccably executed. An engrossing storyline/plot with subtle twists that still left you on the edge of your seat. Gripping characters, two of whom ignited an explosive romance, and one who created the darkness for this story, raising a few hairs on my arms.

If you ask me for a recommendation . . .

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows will be my answer every time.

Monarch Madness Giveaway!

Hey Guys! Remember in my introductory post to the Monarch Madness blog hop? Ya know, the post where I mentioned that I will be hosting a giveaway in lieu of this event? Well good to those of you wonderful readers who were paying attention!

The theme for this year's Monarch Madness event was royalty, so I thought, " Mmmm what book could I giveaway that ties into this theme? " I had the sudden idea to giveaway 2 books, one book may or may not actually fit the theme, (I was given the go head, don't worry) and the other book that popped into my head, is a title that readers have been ranting and raving about since it's release. So I thought again, " Why the hell not? " They're e-books, and I won't have to worry about the post office losing my giveaway package . . . again. 

Only one book will be displayed on Rafflecopter, the other will be a surprise for the winner!

 So without further ado . . . 

Drum Rolls Please . . . 

Monarch Madness Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter away lovelies  

The Witch Of Painted Sorrows | Release Day Blitz + Giveaway!

Feeling Lucky?

Want to win a copy of The Witch Of Painted Sorrows? Head over to M.J Rose's website & fill out the form to be entered in the giveaway. Good luck!

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother's Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it's dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine's deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten--her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She's become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse. This is Sandrine's "wild night of the soul," her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

"Haunting tale of possession." —Publishers Weekly 

"Rose's new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting." —Kirkus 

"Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored."—Library Journal (Starred Review)


Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn’t followed.

I stood on the stoop of my grandmother’s house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenth- century stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon.

I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand’s palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.

The knocker had obsessed me ten years before when I’d visited as a fifteen-year-old. The engravings on the finely modeled female palm included etched stars, phases of the moon, planets, and other archaic symbols. When I’d asked about it once, my grandmother had said it was older than the house, but she didn’t know how old exactly or what the ciphers meant. Where was the maid? Grand-mère, one of Paris’s celebrated courtesans, hosted lavish salons on Tuesday, Thursday, and many Saturday evenings, and at this time of day was usually upstairs, preparing her toilette: dusting poudre de riz on her face and décolletage, screwing in her opale de feu earrings, and wrapping her signature rope of the same blazing orange stones around her neck. The strand of opal beads was famous. It had belonged to a Russian empress and was known as Les Incendies. The stones were the same color as my grandmother’s hair and the high- lights in her topaz eyes. She was known by that name—L’Incendie, they called her, The Fire.

We had the same color eyes, but mine almost never flashed like hers. When I was growing up, I kept checking in the mirror, hoping the opal sparks that I only saw occasionally would intensify. I wanted to be just like her, but my father said it was just as well my eyes weren’t on fire because it wasn’t only her coloring that had inspired her name but also her temper, and that wasn’t a thing to covet.

It wasn’t until I was fifteen years old and witnessed it myself that I understood what he’d meant.

I let the hand of fate fall again. Even if Grand-mère was upstairs and couldn’t hear the knocking, the maid would be downstairs, organizing the refreshments for the evening. I’d seen her so many nights, polishing away last smudges on the silver, holding the Baccarat glasses over a pot of steaming water and then wiping them clean to make sure they gleamed.

Dusk had descended. The air had grown cold, and now it was beginning to rain. Fat, heavy drops dripped onto my hat and into my eyes. And I had no umbrella. That’s when I did what I should have done from the start—I stepped back and looked up at the house.

The darkened windows set into the limestone facade indicated there were no fires burning and no lamps lit inside. My grandmother was not in residence. And neither, it appeared, was her staff. I almost wished the concierge had needed to open the porte cochère for me; he might have been able to tell me where my grandmother was.

For days now I had managed to keep my sanity only by thinking of this moment. All I had to do, I kept telling myself, was find my way here, and then together, my grandmother and I could mourn my father and her son, and she would help me figure out what I should do now that I had run away from New York City.

If she wasn’t here, where was I to go? I had other family in Paris, but I had no idea where they lived. I’d only met them here, at my grandmother’s house, when I’d visited ten years previously. I had no friends in the city.

The rain was soaking through my clothes. I needed to find shelter.

But where? A restaurant or café? Was there one nearby? Or should I try and find a hotel? Which way should I go to get a carriage? Was it even safe to walk alone here at night?

What choice did I have?

Picking up my suitcase, I turned, but before I could even step into the courtyard, I saw an advancing figure. A bedraggled-looking man, wearing torn and filthy brown pants and an overcoat that had huge, bulging pockets, staggered toward me. Every step he took rang out on the stones.

He’s just a beggar who intends no harm, I told myself. He’s just look- ing for scraps of food, for a treasure in the garbage he’d be able to sell.

But what if I was wrong? Alone with him in the darkening court- yard, where could I go? In my skirt and heeled boots, could I even outrun him?

About The Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors -

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe | ARC Review

The Tragic Age | Stephen Metcalfe
Pages: 320
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, COA
Published: March 3, 2015 | St. Martin's Griffin
Format: ARC - Paperback
Source: Publisher

This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.

Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. 

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This opinion is my own, and will not be affected by this.

Young Adult Perspective Survey

In YA novels, do you prefer to read from the perspective of a male or female?

To answer, check the appropriate box.

Outside of the blogging community, I'm one of those people who has a ton of friends. The difference between me and other bloggers I know, is that I have more MALE friends than female. I've always chalked this up to the fact that, when I was younger I was a huge tomboy -- well, to a certain extent, I still am. Instead of talking about getting my hair done, or about nails, makeup, clothes, accessories, and boys, I'm chatting about what video games I want to buy for my PS3, how I would bust anyone's ass in Mortal Kombat, or I'm arguing about how Grand Theft Auto 3 will forever be the best game in it's franchise. So to make a long story short, I have more in common with boys I know, than I do with the girls I know IRL. Weird right?

Obviously, this has transferred into my bookish habits, because I've begun to realize that within the YA genre, I typically enjoy the book more when it's from the male perspective. This is probably why every book I read with a male lead is pretty much a home run for me, and The Tragic Age delivered a near perfect pitch.

Chef Boyar-Stephen

Grab a bowl. Mix in 

5 Cups of a dysfunctional family. 4 cups of a unorthodox teenage boy with a wiseass personality. 3 Tablespoons of a deceased sister who still lives within dreams.
2 Teaspoons of a unusual set of friends that include: a nerd so pathetic I wanted to slap him, a rebel newcomer with anger issues, an overly sexual girl who wasn't a friend . . . but then she sort of was, and finally a good girl who was completely oblivious to it all.  Finally add 1 stick of a mind-blogging plot twist.
Bake on 500º for an hour and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.

But a good disaster always makes for a delicious meal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

With an alcoholic dad who won 37 million dollars in the lottery, a mother who is oblivious to everything around her, and a sister who passed away too young from Leukemia, Billy Kinsey was pretty much left to his own devices. He was a know-it-all, mixing fiction with factual statements in a surprisingly not-so-annoying manner. I'm usually put off by people with this type of personality, but it was really easy for me to like Billy's character. Right off the bat I knew he would be an introvert, keeping to himself or with a handful of friends, but I wasn't truly expecting him to be this entertaining. I laughed quite a few times at his ridiculousness, and because he was so good at not allowing things to appear as they seem, all the troubling issues he was dealing with, only seemed to surface when he wanted to present them to you.

Up In Flames

What made this book for me, were the friendships, (if you can even call them that) Billy made with the supporting characters. Twom, Deliza, Ephriam, and Gretchen were as odd and uncomfortable as a stripper in church bright & early on a sunday morning. Not too mention incredibly unhealthy. Gretchen, an old friend of his twin sister Dorie, became Billy's girlfriend later on in the story, and was the only one who had any damn sense. I adored their relationship, mainly because it reminded me of how wholesome young love can really be. Being the dummy most adolescent boys are, (no offense, but we all know it's true) Billy couldn't just settle for a normal life with the girl he knew he loved but wanted to push away, instead he fell into the adrenaline rush of chaos his other friends offered.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Enter dumb, dumber, and dumbest.
Ephriam, the nerd I mentioned earlier, is suffering from depression (I picked up on this early) and is the hacker of the group. Twom is far from the brain of the operation, but he offers enough muscle for everyone, and Deliza is just there to get her rocks off with the school's new bad boy. Things kick into high gear and actually get a bit exciting, as the ragtag group of misfits begin to break into the homes of their surrounding neighbors. I was a bit surprised to find out that this was Billy's idea, and was easily engrossed by the thrill of it all. I had this strong feeling they would all get caught, but I never would've guessed things would end as badly as they did. Shit completely went up in flames . . .

The Night Visitors

Unlike other books that are compared to The Catcher In The Rye, The Tragic Age wasn't at all what I expected. The writing was pleasant, with characters I would call my guilty pleasure, all wrapped in an explosive plot twist that went from 0 to 100 real quick, (10 cool points if you knew I quoted Drake) leaving my mouth literally gaping open. With all that I loved about this book, I will admit that the ending was probably my biggest disappointment. I'm a huge fan of crazy, and that's exactly what Stephen was giving me . . . until the very end. Things left off on a pretty good note, and to be honest, that's the complete opposite of what I was expecting, and what I actually wanted. I assumed things would continue to go south -- to blow up Billy's face. I had images of jail cells, and crying parents, but nope. Everything ended nice and dandy, which really isn't such a bad thing . . .

The Tragic Age was the perfect book I needed to pull me out of my Young Adult slump. It was a light, fast-paced, refreshing read, that all lovers of YA and The Catcher In The Rye would enjoy . . .


The Friday 56 (5) | The Witch Of Painted Sorrows

Hey guys! Welcome back to another installment of The Friday 56! This meme is hosted by Freda's Voice, and it consists of the following rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
     2. Turn to page 56, or 56% in your e-reader. (If you have to improvise, that's okay.)

     3. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. Post it.

     4. Add your URL (post) below in the Linky (on her blog). Add the post URL, not your blog's. 

I'm Currently Reading

I'm only on 35%, but I decided to go ahead and skip ahead to give you guys a little glimpse of what this book has to offer.

" Do you know what you did? " She asked in a shaking voice.
" I didn't do anything. I couldn't have. " I didn't feel as sure as I sounded. Had I somehow been responsible in some way?
" You fought him. What is inside of you fought him.
" You sound crazy. " I said. " There is nothing inside of me. " Even to me, my voice did not sound certain.

This book is so beautifully written, with a concept I've never read before, and just the right amount of creepiness. I'm definitely enjoying it!

Feature & Follow Friday (4) | Memes & Features

Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this blog hop is to gain followers, discover new blogs, and make new friends! 

Congratulations to both bloggers who are featured this week, including Shaunna over at Books Over Bros! She's been blogging for about 6 weeks, and I must admit, her blog is easily one of my favorites. Congrats New Adult twin!

This week's question is:

Have you come up with any special memes or features on your blog that you'd like people to visit more? - Take me away

I was quite the busy girl in February! I came up with 7 features for my blog.


Click Title To Visit Post.

In lieu of Valentines Day, my blogger bff's and I, came up with the idea to have a huge read along amongst each other, and a blog hop for other bloggers to participate in. It turned out to be such a fun event, that we've decided to do it annually! Shout out to my girls Jenniee, Mal, Blessie & Ang!

Anddd That's Ahhhh Wrap!

Click title to visit post.

Andddd That's Ahhh Wrap is a monthly wrap-up feature that will allow me to showcase what I accomplished or read during the month to my readers.

The fANGIRL Remix

Click title to visit post.

The fANGIRL Remix is a feature I use whenever I'm in a review slump. (a.k.a feeling to lazy to do a full in-depth review) It's also a cool way for me to collectively review a group of titles I've recently read.

Readers Choice

Click the title to visit post.

Readers Choice is a feature where YOU readers are involved. The last week of each month I'll post a poll that'll consist of 6 books. You'll complete the questionnaire by picking which of the 6 titles you would want me to showcase as my BOTM (Book Of The Month). Special thanks to everyone who voted for my March BOTM which is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

The Confession Hour

I created the Confession Hour mainly for discussion posts, but I do have other ideas up my sleeve for this feature. I haven't been able to compose any posts with this just yet, but they're coming soon guys. Promise.

Now I know what you're thinking, " Wait Tika, didn't you say you had 7 features? "
Yes! two of them are still in the works, meaning I haven't had time to design their thumbnails, but don't fret ladies, Tika will have her ass in gear soon enough, and they'll be displayed very, very soon. 

Stay Tuned !

Monarch Madness | MEReadALOT's First Annual Blog Hop!

So I'm lurking on twitter late one night, when I came across Regina 's tweet to join their annual blog hop. After reading what the instructions entailed, and finding out that the theme was " Royalty ", I was pretty damn excited. I'm in the mood for some royal reads, so I thought why not? 

Monarch Madness is a blog hop that will take place from March 16th - 31st. Each participant is required to add their name to the linky found here, and guess what? Everyone who joins will be hosting their own giveaway! The instructions specify that the giveaway can be of the book you're reading/reviewing for March Madness, or any book of your choosing, as long as it matches the theme. Do you have to offer a physical copy in your giveaway? Of course not! Add an E-book, or Gift Card, it's pretty much up to you! Remember Monarch Madness will run the last two weeks of March, and all participants can post their MM post on whatever day during this time period. 

Want to know what I'll be reading for Monarch Madness ?

That cover ! *Squeals *
Thank you so much to Regina for sending me a finished copy of The Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz for review! My official Monarch Madness post will be covering this beauty, so make sure you guys stay tuned!

I'm also excited to be giving away an E-ARC copy of . . . 

Hehehe, I'm quite evil aren't I?

Liebster Awards | 2015 Edition

* Catches rose thrown on stage * Thank you everyone, you are all far to kind.

So I've done quite a few Liebster Award posts in the past, especially around the time I first started blogging. A couple of months ago, I really avoided doing these awards, mainly because I had already answered majority of the questions being asked, which kind of threw me into a huge tag slump. Since I've been tagged twice for this award by two amazing bloggers, I figured why not? I have a better following now, and this would be a great way for my new readers to get to know a little about me.

Special thanks to sweet Bee, (yes I gave her a nickname) over at Bee Reads, and the extraordinary Simona over at Sky's Book Corner for the tag! Thank you so much for being so patient ladies, everyone knows I'm shitty at this lol.  

I'm sure you guys know the rules, so let's get this poppinggg!

Bee's Questions

What is your favorite book?

This is definitely a hard question picking just one, but I'm going to go with mt favorite at the moment:
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Favorite Blog?

I follow so many blogs that I love, it would be impossible to choose just one, so I'll say mine to be safe lol

Favorite Author?

I hardly ever talk about this author but I absolutely love his work -- Patrick Ness!

Do you have any pets?

I used to own a Shih-Poo named Chu-Chu. I talked about her in my Feature & Follow Friday Post.

Who is your favorite Disney character?

Umm. I don't really have one. But I'll go with Jasmine from Aladdin, I always liked her.

Any other hobbies other than blogging?

I'm really into interior designing. Whenever my friends or someone who knows me wants to do a re-design of a room in their house, I'm usually the person they call. Other than that, nothing really. I consider eating a hobby. It takes alot of skill to put away as much food as I do lol.

What country do you live in?

United States baby! Born & raised in Washington, DC, residing in Maryland.

Salty foods or Sweet?

Mmmm, I like both actually. Like I love kettle popcorn that's sweet lol. Oh & I really like caramel popcorn that has the salted peanuts stuck to it! & Hersey chocolate with freaking almonds!

What are you goals for your blog?

I just want to be a great blogger. I feel so proud of myself when people say, "Hey, I look up to you, or your blog is one of my favorites. " My main goal was to connect with other readers and bloggers, and I've accomplished that in so many ways. It's only up from here ya know?

What was the last book you read?

The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe. Review coming soon!

Who inspires you?

My mom! She's been through alot in life, but she's incredibly strong! I can only hope that I'm half the mother she is when I'm older.

Simona's Questions

List 5 things you want to do before the year ends.

1. Attend a bookish event. I so want to go to YallFest this year in November!
2. I want to travel more. First stop, my 3rd trip to New York.
3. Have a meet up with all my bookish friends.
4. Purchase a PS4. This should be at the top of my list really lol.
5. I sooooo, just drew a blank lol.

None of the things I want to do this year are super important wth lol.

What do you value most in a friend?

Hands down Loyalty and Honesty. I can't stand a snake or a liar. & a bad liar at that!

List atleast two things you like about yourself.

1. I'm super outgoing. I was told that because of this, I have a great ability to bring the best out of people.
2. My perseverance. I'm one of those people that when I get knocked down, or when a door is closed in my face, I stop at nothing to get myself back up. Us Leo's are fighters honey!

Where would you like to travel?

I've been wanting to go to New Orleans for sooo long. It's always been a dream of mine to visit Paris as well.

What fictional character reminds you most of yourself?

Hysan Dax from Zodiac. We just shut shit down when we come through, you know what I'm saying? lol

What was your favorite tv show as a kid?

Ah man, where do I begin?
Sailor Moon, Recess, Arthur, Dragon Ball Z, My So Called Life, Degrassi, Captain Planet, Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Doug, Hey Arnold, Ed-Ed&Eddy, Power Rangers, Gargoyles, Magic School Bus, The Big Comfy Couch, All That, SMACKDOWN . . . 

I got so carried away with that question. Those are just a few that came to mind lol.

What is the first thing you'd do if you were the opposite sex for a day?

Ummm, I have NO CLUE!! I would probably just be standing there in utter shock, staring at my new penis or something. Hopefully it'll be a nice size. Nobody wants a small penis ya know.

If you had to get a tattoo on your face to save your life, what would it be?

OMG NOOOOO! Okay, I love tattoos but on the face ?!! 
This is easy though, I'd get the famous lightning bolt so I can match my ex boo Harry. I'll get it super small so it won't be completely noticeable lol.

What is something you find romantic?

Food. Give me food, I'll love you for life. I'm not very hard to please lol.

Do you focus more on the past, present, or future?

I focus on both the present and future. 

How many languages can you speak?

English and the rare language of Ratchet. I'm very fluent in Ratchet. 

A book you can read over & over again.

I actually don't like re-reading books, but if I had to choose one, it'll be Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. 

So that wraps up my Liebster Award Tag! Thanks again to both Simona & Bee for the nomination