Review: Strain of Resistance

Strain of Resistance Michelle BryanStrain of Resistance (Strain of Resistance #1) by Michelle Bryan

Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Details: Paperback, 262 pages
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781530475360
Source: I received a copy from the author.

Michelle Bryan:
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Bixby was 12 years old when the world ended. A mysterious mist had blanketed the earth, turning most of the world’s population into blood-sucking monsters. The remaining survivors plummeted to the bottom of the food chain. Now, eight brutal years later, these survivors face another challenge-a new threat is turning the tide of war between humans and the infected. This threat may very well spell doom for the last vestige of humanity. In a race against time, Bixby and her crew battle to stop the decimation of the human race at the hands of these new mutations. They are the last strain of resistance.


I received a copy of Strain of Resistance from the author for an honest review and I am so glad I did. It was awesome!

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked this one up to start reading it. I was hoping I would enjoy it, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting to really like it. I think I’ve just been let down by so many books this year, that I didn’t go into this one with high expectations. So needless to say, I was blown away.

Strain of Resistance was such a fun read. There is so much action and I don’t even know how many times I laughed out loud. I couldn’t put it down and flew through it in a day. I actually got slightly annoyed anytime I had to put the book down for a bit and I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again.

The only negative thing I can say about this book, and the reason I had to give it four stars instead of five, is there are a lot of typos. Other than that, this book was incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Just before writing this I saw that there is a prequel, Grand Escape. I don’t normally read e-books because they give me migraines, but I might need to buy that one and give it a read. I also hope there will be a book two soon because of that ending. I need more.


Review: What We Hide

What We Hide Marthe JocelynWhat We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn

Publication Date: October 13th 2015 (first published April 2nd 2014)
Details: Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books
ISBN: 9781770496439
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing.

Marthe Jocelyn:
Website | Goodreads

Buy What We Hide:
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Jenny and her brother Tom are off to England. Tom to university to dodge the Vietnam draft, Jenny to be the new girl at Illington Hall, which the students call Ill Hall. This is Jenny’s chance to finally be special and stand out, so when she arrives she tells everybody a lie. But in the small world of Ill Hall, everyone has secrets. Jenny pretends she has a boyfriend. Robbie and Luke pretend they don’t. Brenda won’t tell what happened with the school doctor. Percy won’t tell about his famous dad. Oona lies to everyone. Penelope lies only to herself. Deftly told from multiple points of view in various narrative styles, including letters and movie screenplays, What We Hide is a provocative, honest, often funny and always intriguing look at secrets.


I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing and I meant to get to it right away, but I just didn’t get the chance. Which is probably a good thing. It took me a really long time to get through this book. If I would have tried reading it when I got it (I was sick), I probably wouldn’t have finished it. That would have drove me crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever not finished a book. I might put them down for a bit, but I always go back to them. This one, I don’t think I would have picked back up.

What We Hide wasn’t horrible, it’s probably an okay read. It just wasn’t for me. I really didn’t enjoy it, and I couldn’t wait to finish it. I just wanted to be done with it. I found it incredibly boring, because nothing really happens. To be completely honest, I actually fell asleep in the car while reading it. I was so bored that I was having trouble staying awake, and I wasn’t even reading in bed. I was in the car! I also found Jenny’s chapters annoying. I understand that she’s an American, that she is now going to school in England, and she was learning new words. Every single time it said something meant something, I wanted to throw the book across the room.

“Great jumper!” Penelope ran her fingers along my newly fluffed hem.
Jumper means “sweater.” – Page 20

“I dunno how you ever snogged either of them.” said Kirsten. Snog means “kiss.” – Page 21

For where to send it, I had to ring Tom.
Ring means “call.” – Page 118

It was clear by day two that the maths they were learning in England (maths means “math”) was far beyond what we’d been doing in the States… – Page 120

I really wanted to like this one. Obviously when you start a book, you want to enjoy it. For me, I wanted to like it because the author lives near me, and I find that kind of awesome. Unfortunately I found it boring, and Jenny’s chapters were super annoying. This one just wasn’t for me, but I will give Marthe Jocelyn another try. I’ve wanted to read Folly for years. I will give that one a read someday. However, I don’t think I will be running out to buy it anytime soon.


Review: Children of the Vampire by Jeanne Kalogridis

Children of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) Jeanne KalogridisChildren of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) by Jeanne Kalogridis

Publication Date: September 1st 1995
Details: Hardcover, 301 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385314121
Source: Either I bought it or my mom did. 🙂

Jeanne Kalogridis:
Website | Goodreads

Buy Children of the Vampire:
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It is Amsterdam, 1871, twenty-five years before the start of Stoker’s novel, and twenty-five years following Arkady Tsepesh’s flight from his family’s ancestral castle with his wife and young son, Stefan, after learning that he and his family are bound by an ancient covenant to serve their ancestor, Prince Vlad Tsepesh, who is also known as Dracula. For Vlad is a vampire, and the fated firstborn sons in every generation must bring him the victims he needs to survive. Arkady had tried to break the covenant and failed. He is now a vampire, separated from his beloved wife and son, with one all-consuming desire – to destroy Vlad before he draws Stefan into eternal service through the blood ritual. But Arkady has come too late to Amsterdam. Vlad kidnaps Stefan, and spirits him away to the castle in Transylvania to undergo the blood ritual. Arkady enlists the help of Stefan’s stepbrother, Abraham Van Helsing, in his thrilling battle against Vlad, as he seeks to free his family and put an end to the age-old blood covenant – even if it means he must destroy his own son.


I’m not sure what exactly I can say about this book that I didn’t say about the first one. I came out of this one feeling basically the same way. I thought it was well written. I was pulled right in from the first page and I didn’t want to put it down.

I will say that, just like with the first book, there was a character that annoyed me. It was a different character and he wasn’t as bad as Arkady, but I still wanted to smack him at times. I also found this one to be predictable. I guessed everything, so I wasn’t surprised by anything. That was a bit disappointing and why I dropped my original four star rating down to three.

Other than those couple of problems, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So far this is an amazing vampire trilogy and I’m so glad that I’m reading it. I can’t wait to read the third and final book, Lord of the Vampires, but at the same time, I don’t want it to end. Maybe I will wait a bit before picking it up. I’m just not sure how long I can wait. I want more.

3 out of 5 stars

Review: Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat

Queen Victoria Demon Hunter A.E. MooratQueen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat

Publication Date: October 15th 2009
Details: Paperback, 376 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781444700343
Source: My mom bought it for me. 🙂

A.E. Moorat:
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Buy Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter:
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The novel takes you to the smoggy, cobbled streets of Victoria’s vile and villainous Britain, but not as you know them …A layer of horror will be seamlessly woven in to comedic effect. You’ll meet Queen Victoria not as the bitter old widow forever draped in black, but transformed into an ass-kicking killer of evil creatures. It will be so scarily convincing that you’ll be certain that in the dark days of Queen Victoria, it was more than just the pick-pockets you had to look out for.


I don’t even know how long I’ve been wanting to read this book. All I know is that it’s been years and I can’t believe I have finally read it. After reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when it came out, and loving it. Then reading Romeo & Juliet & Vampires a couple years ago and not liking it, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one. I was hoping I would enjoy it, but I wasn’t going into with the expectations I had for it when I first found out about it and added it to my wish list.

It was so good. I didn’t want to put it down. I lost track of time while reading it and stayed up until 2 AM. I can’t even remember the last time that happened. It was so funny and had great action. There were so many times I was laughing out loud. There were times when I just had to go read bits of it to my dad. I couldn’t wait to see how it would end, but at the same time, I didn’t want it to end.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read more by this author. I’ve had Henry VIII, Wolfman on my wish list for years as well. I might need to pick that one up soon.

If you want a fast, funny read, with strong female characters and you enjoyed books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you should check this one out.

4 out of 5 stars

Review: Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel B. Smith

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety Daniel B. SmithMonkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel B. Smith

Publication Date: July 3rd 2012
Details: Hardcover, 212 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781439177303
Source: My mom bought it for me. 🙂

Buy Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety:
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Daniel Smith’s Monkey Mind is the stunning articulation of what it is like to live with anxiety. As he travels through anxiety’s demonic layers, Smith defangs the disorder with great humor and evocatively expresses its self-destructive absurdities and painful internal coherence. Aaron Beck, the most influential doctor in modern psychotherapy, says that “Monkey Mind does for anxiety what William Styron’s Darkness Visible did for depression.” Neurologist and bestselling writer Oliver Sacks says, “I read Monkey Mind with admiration for its bravery and clarity….I broke out into explosive laughter again and again.” Here, finally, comes relief and recognition to all those who want someone to put what they feel, or what their loved ones feel, into words.


This is not an easy review for me to write. How exactly do you review a memoir? I guess I will just make this somewhat short.

I have really bad anxiety. I had to drop out of school, I can’t work, I live with my dad and I have no friends. I can’t do much for myself. To be honest, even blogging is difficult for me most times. When it comes to my life, anxiety is in complete control. So when I first heard about this memoir, I knew I had to read it.

It was a good read. I flew through it. It even made me laugh out loud a few times. It was nice to finally see what anxiety is like for someone else. However, I have to admit that I wasn’t blown away.

If you want a memoir that you can read in a couple of hours, you might want to check this one out. It was good, just not as amazing as I was hoping it would be.

3 out of 5 stars

Review: Little Girls by Ronald Malfi

Little Girls Ronald MalfiLittle Girls by Ronald Malfi

Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Details: Paperback, 331 pages
Publisher: Kensington
ISBN: 9781617736063
Source: My mom bought it for me. 🙂

Ronald Malfi:
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Buy Little Girls:
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From Bram Stoker Award nominee Ronald Malfi comes a brilliantly chilling novel of childhood revisited, memories resurrected, and fears reborn…When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods…

At first, Laurie thinks she’s imagining things. But when she meets her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail, she can’t help but notice her uncanny resemblance to another little girl who used to live next door. Who died next door. With each passing day, Laurie’s uneasiness grows stronger, her thoughts more disturbing. Like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Or is something truly unspeakable happening to those sweet little girls?


I’ve been wanting to read Little Girls since I first heard of it. I was expecting it to be a good read, and it is. It was really good. I didn’t want to put it down and probably would have read it in one day if I hadn’t been sick.

I think the only complaint I had with this book would be the kids. They all seemed younger than they were supposed to be. Susan is supposed to be ten but at times she seemed like she was six or seven. Same with a little girl at the park. She is supposed to be about seven or eight, but she came off more like three or four. Or maybe I’m just crazy. I’m just going off of myself when I was a kid and my cousins kids. That’s my only problem with this book. The one thing that bothered me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I might actually re-read it someday.

4 out of 5 stars

Review: Spirit Level by Sarah N. Harvey

Spirit Level Sarah N. HarveySpirit Level by Sarah N. Harvey

Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Details: Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
ISBN: 9781459808164
Source: Won a copy from LibraryThing. 🙂

Sarah N. Harvey:

Buy Spirit Level:
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Harriet is a donor-conceived, an only child. She has never considered her family unusual.

But things change when her longtime boyfriend chooses New York over their relationship, and her best friend leaves her for Paris. Level-headed Harry can’t keep it together.

Maybe it’s time to do something other than cry into her pillow and wallow in smoothies. Maybe it’s time to think about the bigger picture. Maybe it’s time to find some half-siblings and redefine her idea of family.


I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this book. It was kind of meh and I don’t really have much to say about it.

One thing I liked was the fact that it was diverse. That was awesome. But I didn’t really like the main character, Harry. I thought she was kind of judgmental.

I don’t think there is anything else I can really say. It was an okay read. If it sounds like something you might like, check it out. It’s not very long and I flew through it. So if you pick it up it shouldn’t take you long to read. If it doesn’t sound that interesting to you, skip it.

2 out of 5 stars

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King Jeff ZentnerThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Details: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780553524031
Source: Won a copy from Goodreads. 🙂

Jeff Zentner:
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Buy The Serpent King:
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Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.


The Serpent King is such a good book. I couldn’t put it down. It had me laughing out loud on one page and crying a few pages later. There were times when I was hugging the book and gushing about how much I loved it. There were also times were I wanted to throw the book across the room because it ripped my heart out.

I couldn’t get enough of this book. Even though my eyes were starting to bother me and I was getting a headache, I still couldn’t stop reading. I was so invested in the story and the characters that I had to keep reading. I couldn’t wait to see how it would end, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end.

I think my only complaint is how Lydia treated her dad. It wasn’t that bad but I feel like she could have been a little bit nicer. Instead of telling her dad what to do, maybe she could have asked. That was my only problem, which isn’t really even much of a problem.

Overall this was a fantastic book and I am so happy I read it. It was my first five star read of the year. I can’t wait to read more by Jeff Zentner.

5 out of 5 stars

Review: Lottery Boy by Michael Byrne

Lottery Boy Michael ByrneLottery Boy by Michael Byrne

Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Details: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763679965
Source: Won a copy from Goodreads. 🙂

Michael Byrne:

Buy Lottery Boy:
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In a gripping thriller with a hint of Oliver Twist, a street kid and his dog are chasing an unlikely fortune — and dodging the thugs who would steal it.

Twelve-year-old Bully has lost his mum and his old life. Living rough on the streets of London with his dog, Jack, he can’t imagine a future. But one day he finds, tucked inside his most cherished possession—the last birthday card his mother ever gave him—a lottery ticket he bought her. And it’s a winner. Abig winner. Suddenly there’s hope, if only he can get to his prize on time! But just as Bully’s prospects open up, peril closes in. Now ruthless gangsters are in hot pursuit, and everyone wants a piece of him. Whom can he trust to help him retrieve what’s his? And even if Bully does claim all that money, will he really be winning what he needs most? Michael Byrne’s thrill-packed debut delivers the emotionally charged story of a boy whose luck has changed for the better, if only he can survive long enough to claim it.


It took me a very long time to get through this book. I just wasn’t into it. At first I was going to give it two stars, because I guess it’s an okay book. However, while writing this review I realized that I just didn’t like it.

I didn’t really like any of the characters. I didn’t even like Bully. I know he’s a kid, that he lost his mom, and her boyfriend is an ass, but that doesn’t mean he needs to be an ass. He just rubbed me the wrong way and I honestly didn’t feel sorry for him at all. I don’t think there is anything about this book I actually liked.

I’m not saying don’t read it, because you might enjoy it. It is a descent read, it just wasn’t for me.

1 out of 5 stars

Review: Covenant With the Vampire by Jeanne Kalogridis

Covenant with the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #1) Jeanne KalogridisCovenant With the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #1) by Jeanne Kalogridis

Publication Date: September 1st 1994
Details: Hardcover, 324 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385313131
Source: Either I bought it or my mom did. 🙂

Jeanne Kalogridis:
Website | Goodreads

Buy Covenant With the Vampire:
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A sensual, terrifying, incredibly accomplished first novel, this fascinating prequel to the classic and most popular horror novel of all time, Dracula, focuses on Dracula’s great-nephew, who inherits the job of managing his great-uncle’s estate…and his appetite. Written in diary form as Dracula is, this compulsively readable book has revelations that will shock and delight readers of the original. More erotic than Anne Rice, Kalogridis is a major new voice in vampire fiction. The first chilling tale in an exciting new trilogy is a rich and terrifying historical novel set fifty years before the opening of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. At the castle of Prince Vlad Tsepesh, also known as Dracula, Vald’s great-nephew Arkady is honored to care for his beloved though strange great-uncle…until he beings to realize what is expected of him in his new role. It seems that either he provides his great-uncle with unsuspecting victims to satisfy his needs, or Vlad will kill those Arkady loves. He is trapped into becoming party to murder and sadistic torture. And it is in his blood. When Arkady learns that his newborn son is being groomed one day to follow in his footsteps, he knows that he must fight Dracula, even if it means death.


I have wanted to read this book since I found out about it back in 2007. So needless to say I was beyond excited when I walked into Goodwill last year and found the whole trilogy just sitting there on the shelf waiting for me. I am so happy that I own all three because Covenant with the Vampire was great and I can’t wait to pick up the second book.

It took me an entire week to read this book because I’ve been having trouble recently with concentrating. I have had a lot on my mind and it’s been making most things, especially reading, very difficult. However, I have no doubt that if I wasn’t having this problem, I would have read this in a day.

The only problem I had with this book was the fact that Arkady drove me insane. There were so many times I wanted to reach into the book and shake him. I might have even said to my dad once or twice that I wanted to smack Arkady because he’s an idiot. Of course I just got a weird look.

Other than that, it was an amazing book and I hope to get to the next one very soon. If you like vampires, you should check this one out.

4 out of 5 stars