Hey Jealousy…NOT By the Gin Blossoms (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom.)

The Vampire Diaries: Phantom (The Hunters: Vol. 1)
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the skeletons coming out of the closet getting ignored and frustrating the hell out of you.

 

Dear Diary, I am home!

We did it. We saved everyone.

Everyone except Damon…

The supernatural damage and invasion from evil spirits have been erased from the destruction of the town to the trauma of the townspeople. Even those who died have been back from the dead. Almost everyone. Damon Salvatore who’d died saving everyone in the Dark Dimension.

Elena and her friends have been given a second chance. They’ve graduated high school and are determined to spend their last summer before going to college. Fun gets put on hold however when something strange begins to happen to everyone. Jealousies and tension rise between the friends, straining relationships and bringing about truths they didn’t expect.

As things come to light, Elena struggles with her dreams of Damon. That can’t connected be to anything though, right? Damon’s gone. It’s just her grief, right? Then why is she having this gnawing feeling that it’s more?

 

I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to the third part of the TVD trilogy of trilogies. It has been SO FREAKING LONG! Like, seriously. I finished Shadow Souls back in high school and then just couldn’t get to The Hunters until now.

This was not my favorite installation. Elena became so whiney and selfish and I was not having it. Not. At. All. NOPE. All of this shed such a harsh light on her and it made me feel so bad for Bonnie. It’s always been my belief that she deserved great things and when she admitted how she felt in regard to Elena and Meredith—small and living in their shadow—it hurt. It’s what I’ve believed since the very beginning and to hear her confirm it broken my friggin heart. She’s such a bubble of delight and so powerful and everybody just uses her and then dismisses her like she’s nothing! GAH! And this was the worst book to showcase this.

Scarlet Reader

Tumblr

I was so glad Bonnie got it off of her chest. It was also epic to see Elena fall flat on her face a few times too, both literally and metaphorically.

There was a new addition to the TVD-verse and her name is Celia. Alaric returns to the series with her, his research partner. She’s not my favorite and quite stuck up. But, she made for an interesting half-triangle with Alaric and Meredith.

The big bad being a demon is interesting, but I didn’t find it that well developed. It was very underwhelming. I didn’t get a good visual of it either. It was just…pathetic. Ugh. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There could’ve been so much more to make it more interesting. It fell so short.

Scarlet Reader

Imgur

 

Overall

A great start and such an interesting result, but the big reveal was not big at all. Not my favorite book of the series. So, low on the bar. On to the next one!

 

Quotables:

“We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone…Everyone except Damon…And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just…disappear.” (Elena, p. 9)

“He was a monster. He was supposed to be a monster, to take blood unflinchingly, to kill without a second thought or care.” (Damon, p. 275)

“They’ve doomed you, just like they doomed the one they really loved.” (Jealousy Demon, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

  1. S. Song today? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chats in the comments below!

Advertisements

Dorothy Must Die, The Series – A Review

Dorothy Must Die Series

Author: Danielle Paige

 

New Year’s Resolution: 2019

This year I’m taking on the challenge to read five book series I haven’t read yet but are on my TBR list. The first one to be completed is the Dorothy Must Die series. It consists of four main novels and several novellas. I stuck to the main story with the four books. I’m thinking about reading the novellas. I’m not certain I want to, but if I feel froggy enough so I’ll be reading them much later.

Scarlet Reader

The Scarlet Reader

Summary:

Amy Gumm Lands in Oz after a tornado wipes out her trailer park. Suddenly, she’s given the mission to assassinate Dorothy. Oz has become a twisted place since Dorothy has come to Oz. Can Amy fix it? With the help of the Order of the Wicked and other unexpected allies, she hopes so.

 

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die

Review: here

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting with this series. Twisted tales are my typical jam. An acquaintance of mine told me, “Dorothy’s the bad guy and she dresses like a hooker.”. LOL. So, Dorothy being the big bad of the story and Oz being turned upside down really garnered my attention.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise

Review: here

So, the plan to assassinate Dorothy failed and I wanted to see what would happen next. It’s in this book that there’s more of Oz revealed. It’s quite a spacious land. Wingless monkeys, a rainbow cathedral, and an island of lost things. The journey to eliminate Dorothy just got a little longer.

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

Yellow Brick War

Review: here

After the cliffhanger of The Wicked Will Rise, I couldn’t not read the next installment. Emotions were running sky-high. I needed more Amy and Nox. The chemistry between is so nice. But they’re also super stuck! Nothing worse and more enticing than forbidden love. That and Dorothy was really taking this war to new heights.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

The End of Oz

Review: here

I found this addition and conclusion to the series to show another side of the land of Oz in an even more interesting and horrifying light quite intriguing. The story could’ve ended with the last book, The Yellow Brick War, in a way, but this allowed for something fresh to happen.

 

My favorite book of the series is the third one because it was a major game changer to the series. That being said, my least favorite book was the second one. It fell short of what I was expecting and drawn out a bit too.

Overall, I’m glad I read this series. It’s not one that got my emotions in a wrenching knot or struck me with the desperate need to finish them because they’re so good. They were enjoyable and fun and, in some moments, a riot. They certainly weren’t a waste of time. Not at all. They just didn’t hit that peak for me. I do recommend the series if you love a good twist on tales and the complicated romance scene. The action was pretty great too! I was plenty surprised! Just a really decent story. I guess the reason it doesn’t hit the favorite shelf is that it just didn’t suck me in. It happens.

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

No Place Like Home (The End of Oz – A Book Review)

The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die #4)
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated W for wicked creeps in a land of complete horror where the food is dreadful.

 

Ding dong—Dorothy is dead.

But it turns out girls from Kansas are harder to kill than we look.

Dorothy is dead. Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, has finally returned to her right mind and her throne. Oz is free…not.

All was right, and now it isn’t. Amy’s old enemy turned friend, Madison is now stranded in Oz and the Nome King is sweeping in to take over Oz. Luckily, they are saved by Oz, but lead them to Ev, the gnarly kingdom of the Nome King. There they hope to find a way to defeat the Nome King there.

While Oz is still at risk, Amy is struggling with whether she wants to go back to Kansas or remain in Oz. Where will she call home?

 

The Dorothy Must Die series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 4 of 4

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die Review: Here

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise Review: Here

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

Yellow Brick War Review: Here

 

All series eventually come to an end. Except for series like Shadowhunters (Cassandra Claire) and possibly Morganville Vampires (Rachel Caine). LOL. They might be eternal. This is the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series and it was so different from the books that precede it. While the heavy feeling of the end was there, I really loved that if ever Paige wanted to come back to Oz later, she could. So, it was bittersweet, yet warming to my heart.

Scarlet Reader

Reaction GIFs

Amy and Nox are teaming up once again to save Oz once and for all. They have to be among one of the most interesting relationships I’ve read in a book. I like my pairs/relationships hot, steamy, and intense, but I find ones that begin in friendship with a solid steel bond that turns into so much more amazingly beautiful too. They’re more real. Amy and Nox were very real.

Madison has come to Oz! Whoa… Still pretty surreal, even now as I’m reviewing the book. I couldn’t stand her! I’ve definitely turned my leaf on her. She turned out to be kickass and that’s epic. I really love it when an enemy can turn out to be an ally and even a friend. The development is a splendid one.

Also, Ev was creepy AF. No joke. Ick and double ick. The reference to Return to Oz was on point!

“Return to Oz? It’s like showing a little kid Clockwork Orange. Fucked me up for life…” (Madison, p.31)

I’m just glad there’s no zombie/robot Totos. Eesh. The Wheelers were pretty messed up though. Just a lot of disturbing creatures in a disturbing world. I get a Castlevania mixed with The Dark Crystal vibe.

Scarlet Reader

giphy

Looking back on the past played a big part in this book. Each character, including some just being introduced, was looking back to what brought them to this point, Oz on the verge of another war. It’s shocking to look back at where this all began. So much has changed. It just stuns me. You know what I’m saying, right? That feeling? It’s crazy. And satisfyingly fulfilling.

 

Overall

A pretty good conclusion to an entertaining series. Magical and certainly out of this world. I had a lot of fun and was always surprised. Definitely a delightful and simultaneously disturbing twist on a tale I already find slightly screwed up. From wingless monkeys to wicked witches to ugly ass beetles that are easily offended. I was really taken with Amy’s journey and how it changed her life. So, maybe the story wasn’t the most exciting, but her journey was important and brave and well-developed.

 

Quotables:

“…I can’t erase our past but I don’t live in it. I am not ruined. I’m just done with it. What you did to me…it’s a part of who we both are, and I carried it for a long time. But if you still carry it, that’s for you to deal with.” (Amy to Madison, p. 199)

“No matter how many times I said it, I knew I’d never get used to the feeling of the words in my mouth. The knowledge that it was true. That I’d never feel this way about anyone else again as long as I live.” (Amy, p. 213)

“Nothing cures a broken heart like pie.” (Dorothy, p. 239)

“We are made of what shapes us.” (p. 251)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? A Place Called Home by Kim Richey.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Comet Cometh and Taketh Away (Riverdale: The Day Before – A Book Review)

Riverdale: The Day Before (Riverdale #1)
Author: Micol Ostow
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated S for secrets, the kind that ripples with grand cause and effect, leaving behind carnage in its wake. This is only the beginning.

 

We were separate but intertwined in ways we’d never see coming. Small, stupid butterflies, blindly flapping our wings. (p. 5)

Archie Andrews has been disappearing to who-knows-where, causing a growing distance between him and his best friend, Jughead. Jughead Jones is struggling after his mom leaves with his little sister, leaving him behind with his drunken father.

Betty Cooper is thriving at her internship at Hello, Giggles in LA. Her possible big break is an interview with the prestigious and royal Veronica Lodge, but it’ll take a lot of elbow grease to get a comment from the heiress. Veronica’s life couldn’t be more perfect, but perfection is fragile and life as she knows it is about to shatter.

 

This is a prequel novel based on the hit CW show, Riverdale. It’s a fun and quick read to feed your need for the core four: Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. Before Jason Blossom’s body was found in Sweetwater River there was already turmoil brewing in Riverdale and outside of it. Secrets had gripped the town and these four tight in its fingers.

Scarlet Reader

Resetera

I enjoyed this more than I thought, but not to the extent that I’m losing my mind over it. It was quirky and read exactly as if I was watching a mini-series of the show. The tone was just dead on and I could visualize everything perfectly. I’ve also read Betty’s story in here in one of the short comics, but the comparison of the written versus the comic is intriguing. Nearly on the dot, but subtly different. The transitions between each character were pretty cut and dry, but not in the sense of stale bread. LOL. It was just succinct and neat. Like scene cuts. Not noticeable. Very nice.

Scarlet Reader

BuzzFeed

Side Note: I still think Jason Blossom is alive. I don’t know how he would be, but I don’t for a second think he’s actually dead.

 

One of my utmost favorite things about this is that I got to get into the core four’s heads! You don’t really get that with the TV show. You get the surface tension and emotions. In the book, it’s so much deeper, and from each of their POVs no less. And yes, Archie really was that dumbstruck by Ms. Grundy. And yes, I meant dumbstruck, not love-struck. Poor ginger. Still, love him (and that fiery hair) though. It’s just one aspect that really drew me in. That and at the end of every chapter there was a snippet and/or clip previewing what’s to come on the show.

 

Overall

Not a half bad read. Really. If you love Riverdale then go ahead and read this. Sure, you’re not missing out on much, but it is fun and nifty to see what it was like the day before Riverdale was shaken to its core. Also, the cover art is phenomenal! Completely striking with Archie’s profile and creepy with the never-ending trees where one could get lost and never be found. Just chilling.

 

Quotables:

“Son, when you’re my age, dead is kind of the default. You learn to push through it. Try it.” (Mr. Andrews to Archie, p. 43)

“I’m not an idiot. I know that everything that happened to my dad, happened because of him. Because of his choices and his behavior. He wasn’t some innocent victim. No, he wasn’t innocent. But he was my father, and despite all the BS, I still loved him.” (Jughead, p. 233)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Airplanes Pt. 2 by B. O. B. feat Hayley Williams and Eminem.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

Wicked Comes to Kansas (Yellow Brick War – A Book Review)

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for stranded wicked witches in Kansas that are ultimately screwed.

 

Home was nowhere now…(p. 1)

Amy’s back in Kansas, unfortunately. And she’s not alone. Nox, Glamora, Mombi, and Gert are stranded in the flat, dusty state too. The only way to get back to Oz and to the war breaking out there is to find Dorothy’s original shoes. Yes, the silver ones.

To get them, Amy has to do the unthinkable. She has to go back to high school. So much has changed since she disappeared to Oz. Her mom is sober. Her enemy at school suddenly wants to be best friends. A tornado sweeping through Dusty Acres might just be the best thing too ever happen.

Amy must stick to her mission. She must kill Dorothy. Many have died because of her failures. When she returns to Oz, she won’t fail. She can’t.

 

The Dorothy Must Die series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 3 of 4

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die Review: Here

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise Review: Here

 

So much cool went down in this book. Right as I was beginning to wonder what was happening back in Kansas, POOF, Amy gets a quick trip home! While totally cringe-y, it was also engrossing! While magic is risky and is working to twist Amy into something dangerous, in Kansas she’s got nada in the magic department.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

And if it’s not one pain in the ass then it’s another. And this time, it’s another and it’s in Kansas. Who knew, right? But, without magic, can Amy stop it? Well, I can’t spoil that. But there’s so much tension and so much happening in this book! Feelings. Old enemies. Old friends. Broken hearts. Unexpected reunions. BATTLE!

This book didn’t wait to break my heart, not a single second wasted. Amy, and not just her, really got put through the wringer. I’ve really caught on to Paige loving to rip into the pain first and then keeping the sting of it alive throughout the story, and she does very well with it. My heart just kept falling

Side Note: This book really highlighted just how bad of a liar Amy is. It’s hilarious.

Scarlet Reader

Gfycat

The scenery is ever-changing. Really wicked too. I was as surprised and stunned as Amy with everything. It was like being in The Twilight Zone in Kansas AND Oz. “Is this really happening?” kept flitting through my brain as I read. Also, the further the book got the more horrifying it grew. I keep thinking this can’t get more grotesque but damn if it didn’t. I couldn’t feel worse for Toto especially. I mean, the little yapper is evil, but he got a nasty fate that no animal deserves.

 

Overall

The mission is getting darker and darker by the page. I’m always so taken with the action! Amy is such a fighter and a sassy one at that. It never ceases to impress me. Really. The young woman is a fighter and I’m here for it! She’s Oz’s vampire slayer and Dorothy is the apocalypse…little Buffy analogy there. Totally well placed in my opinion.

 

Quotables:

“If you want to help us get back too Oz, you have to go back to high school.” (Gert to Amy, p. 18)

“The world I grew up in is gone, too. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on it. Because if you give up—then what is there left to live for?” (Amy to Nox, p. 141)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? What Now by Rihanna.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

Pressing Buttons (Gwendy’s Button Box – A Book Review)

Gwendy’s Button Box
Author: Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for subtle mystery and the bittersweet nobody expects in life.

 

“Take care of the box. It gives gifts, but they’re small recompense for the responsibility.”

It’s 1974. It was a bright and sunny day in Castle Rock, Maine when twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson met a strange man on a bench. He gives her a box with special buttons and levers, promising that it holds gifts for her. He doesn’t divulge how long she is meant to hold on to it. Just that she takes care of it. Protecting the box changes her life in unbelievable ways.

 

Gwendy is given something remarkable and powerful. A box with buttons on it that if she presses make things happen. Or do they? It’s actually quite mysterious. The box, an unnoticeable thing, except to her, yet it has such a massive presence and effect on everyone around, and including, Gwendy. A real Pandora’s Box feel.

This was such a bittersweet read. It has that haunting veil hanging over it. It’s incredible. Not a top read for me, but a delightful one. I’m glad I read it. Also, the cover art is GORGEOUS and a perfect look into the important parts of the novella. It reminds a bit of Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block. Not the horrifying part, but the stairs.

Scarlet Reader

Tampa Bay

Real and raw, this novella shows the true test of humanity and our ability to resist temptation and handle power. The characters were incredibly beautiful and scary. It’s such an oxymoronic pair, but so true. I really admired how they were written. So basic, yet I got attached to them pretty quick.

There was magic that was indescribable. It wasn’t as I’ve read in the many paranormal books I’ve consumed over the years, and there’s quite a few. LOL. It was surreal, almost as if there wasn’t magic at all because I wasn’t sure that some parts involved actual magic. If it wasn’t just humanity inevitably doing what humanity does. But then, I was really wanting to see something big happen!

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

 

Overall

I think this a great read. I’ll have to look into other Castle Rock novels now. More to add to my reading list!! LOL. Certainly, a story that will pull at the heartstrings a little. I enjoyed the comical bits and especially the way it wasn’t over the top. Completely natural. And all in a one-day read. Hell, not even a full twenty-four hours. A two-four hour read, if you’re like me and enjoy taking your time.

 

Quotables:

“Stashed away in this world of ours, are great arsenals of weapons that could destroy all life on this planet for a million years.” (Farris to Gwendy, p, 23)

“Gwendy has a thought: secrets are a problem. They weigh on the mind and take up space in the world.” (Gwendy, p. 30)

“It’s wetter than a taco fart down there and just as smelly.” (Mr. Peterson to Gwendy, p. 83)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Drive By by Train.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Good VS Wicked (The Wicked Will Rise – A Book Review)

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2)
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated B for unexpected backstabbing and getting blindsides with loss of precious things you didn’t realize were precious.

 

My name is Amy Gumm and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

The moment Amy entered Oz she was put on a mission. To kill Dorothy. Turned out not to be as easy as she thought. While she now knows some wicked magic and is getting a handle on it, the Order of the Wicked has been scattered after a large battle in the Emerald City.

Now, Amy will have to devise a different way to defeat Dorothy and the Wizard may have just helped her out with that, but can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? Wickedness changes like the wind changes direction when it blows. For now, she’ll focus on her mission. She’ll need the Tin Man’s heart, the Lion’s courage, and the Scarecrow’s brain. Only then does she stand a chance against Dorothy…maybe.

 

The Dorothy Must Die series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 2 of 4.

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die Review Here

 

Not long at all after the events of the first book, Dorothy gets lucky and survives the assassination attempt and Amy is saved by Ollie, the wingless monkey. Yep, the one from the beginning of the first book! Given the temporary responsibility of taking care of the rightful ruler of Oz: Ozma, and going for round two against Dorothy, while also wondering what happened to the Order (but mostly Nox), Amy’s got her hands full. Ozma’s got a bit of a cracked gourd, but that doesn’t matter…right? And Dorothy’s got a lot more powerful than originally thought. Nox. Just thinking about him ties up Amy’s insides, but for good or bad?

Amy’s struggles only get more complex with this book.

Scarlet Reader

Vogue

The boundaries of Oz continue to be endless and surprising. The wingless ones and Polychrome, and her rainbow citadel come in on this part of the journey. It’s quite beautiful too. Very colorful and magical, especially, Polychrome’s “unicorn”. Beautiful scenery. I’m continuously swept away by it in this series. Brava.

Scarlet Reader

Gfycat

Also, Nox and Amy are getting some serious chemistry! In the first book, it was just a simmer, but it really puts its foot on the gas pedal this time. I did admire that it wasn’t the main plot point. It was on the side, but still really cool. Nox and Amy have a unique relationship. While their chemistry is fiery, they have a great partnership. Friends to lovers and all that. Always a BIG plus for me.

Magic became a villain that Amy officially struggles with. Turns out that being Wicked isn’t always good and neither is having magic powers. I never thought I witness magic being so evil no matter how good you are with it. For Amy, that’s what seems to be the case. Her struggle with magic is something that really grabbed my attention. The side effects and the study of it from Oz-ian POV is impressive. Also, it’s pretty creepy.

 

Overall

I’m still entertained and intrigued by this series. This installment was fresh and just action-packed. Amy is getting in deeper and deeper with Oz. It seems like Oz is becoming a home away from home and doing battle is the new normal, but is this really what she wants? So many questions. Like, what happens when Amy uses too much magic. It gets ugly. And, is the Wizard trustworthy? Is anybody? More so, I really enjoyed that this book took the time to give the characters even more depth and backstory. Big props for that.

 

Quotables:

“Remember—don’t be wicked. Unless you really have to!” (Queen Lulu of the Monkeys to Amy, p. 128)

“Faith: everybody knows it’s something you’re supposed to have, but it’s harder to put that into practice when your senses are telling you all hope is lost.” (Amy, p. 160)

“Amy gets a gold star. Dorothy wears the dunce cap for spinning foolish taradiddles.” (the Wizard, p. 284)

“I knew what would happen if I killed her. I would be accepting the mantle I’d been promised. Finally, I would be Wicked. Really Wicked. And there would be no going back.” (Amy, p. 289)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Headstrong by Trapt

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!