Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2018

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

*I’ve traditionally included every book I’ve read in a month that hasn’t been reviewed, but I have decided that I am no longer going to include books that will have full reviews posted at a future date.*


Us Against You (Beartown #2) by FredrikBackman. Read September 3-8. 4.5 Stars.

Beautifully written. I was just as invested in all these characters as I was during the first book. I was really expecting this book to be more uplifting and focus on the recovery from the events that took place in the first book. And it still has those elements of hope and inspiration, but this story was probably even heavier than the first one. Backman portrays really well how much hate there is in the world today. I liked how he showed it’s easy to blame one person or one side, but it’s really everyone’s fault. 

I love the characters. Benji will always be my favorite, though. There were a few that played bigger roles in the first book that I would’ve liked to have seen more from in this one (David, Amat), but I liked getting to know others (Teemu, Richard Theo – who is either a genius or a sociopath (probably both)). While we do hear about a few far in the future endings, things were still left a little too open for me. This book was probably more of a 4 than a 4.5 for me, but I’m giving it that extra half star for all the emotion Backman managed to wrench out of me.


The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips. Read September 9-11. 3.5 Stars.

This was pretty cute and humorous at times. I thought it was going to focus more on the Bachelor-like reality show, but it’s more about what happened after. I thought the big conflict was kind of unrealistic, though. Hanna was nicknamed Holy Hanna because of her Christian values, but then Will insinuated that they slept together (when they hadn’t) and it completely ruined her life. While I do believe that the internet likes nothing more than someone’s supposed fall from grace, I don’t think the extensive tabloid coverage and all the hate mail would really be as extreme as it was. And while I liked that it portrayed a Christian going through a phase of questioning God and her faith, I thought the “come-to-Jesus” moments could’ve been a little better written. I thought the book was a little too long, but I was looking for something fun and light that I didn’t have to think too much about and this definitely entertained me. Would recommend to Christian Contemporary/Romance fans.


Just One of the Boys (The Chicago Falcons #1) by Leah & Kate Rooper. Read September 11-12. 3 Stars. 

This was a little uneven for me. Both the lead characters were really unlikable for long stretches at a time. But then there would be chapters here and there where I really enjoyed them. The story is pretty much the hockey version of the She’s the Man movie. I don’t really have too much to say about this one. I read the second book before this book. I might give the third one a shot whenever it comes out.



Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. This was just as cute as I remembered it.


Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I just read The Darkest Star (the first book in the spin-off series) and it made me feel so nostalgic for this book that I decided I should re-read this series. I love Daemon and Katy so much. I love the banter and the humor. It’s not going to win any great literary awards or anything, but it’s definitely a fun read.


Oblivion (Lux) by Jennifer L Armentrout. I decided to re-read this whole series and decided I would read Oblivion after each of the first three books. So I read Obsidian and then I read Daemon’s POV of Obsidian and then I was going to read Onyx, but I decided just to stick with Daemon’s POV for books 2 and 3. I enjoyed this just as much as I did the first time. It really reminded me that Daemon is one of my favorite characters. The only thing that kind of bothered me was the bonus chapter with Luc. After reading the spin-off book, I feel like this scene doesn’t make sense with the book. Maybe I still need to read the remaining books in this series to remember the timeline exactly, but I’m thinking this scene contradicts how things played out in The Darkest Star.



Fight or Flight by Samantha Young. DNF @ 11%. I just can not get into this book and I am really not in the mood to make myself try. I really dislike both the lead characters so far and the male lead’s Scottish accent is driving me insane. A couple of main words (like “to” and “didn’t”) are spelled out differently to show the accent and I’m just not feeling it. I think you need to do most of the dialogue like that or none at all.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2015

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads


Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon. Read November 6-7. 1 Star.

I am always on the look out for fake relationship books and when I saw this I thought it would be another cute story. It was not.

Hayley was one of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever read. She was super immature, bratty, delusional, and kind of a psycho. The way she treated Bryce, her blackmailed fake boyfriend, was crazy. And I think if roles would have been reversed and he treated her that way everyone would consider him a creepy, possessive, abusive stalker.

There’s a lot more ranting I could do about this book, but I really don’t want to waste any more time on it.


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Read November 8-11. 4 Stars.

I admit I have been severely disappointed when I first found out that Karin Slaughter’s most recent two books have not been a continuation of the Will Trent series. However, just like with Cop Town before it, Pretty Girls definitely makes up for any disappointment I had. It’s a smart, suspenseful mystery with very well-developed characters. Twists are given away subtly so they sneak up on you and pack a punch. Even when I suspected something, Slaughter still wrote it in a way that surprised me when it happened and there were several other moments where I honestly did not see things coming. Even though the subject matter was often dark and heartbreaking, I really enjoyed this book.


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. Read November 16-19. 2 Stars.

I did not care for this book anywhere near as much as I thought I would. I feel like 2 stars is being generous. The main character is extremely unlikable. She was selfish, not very nice, hypocritical, and I hated how she treated Mitch and even how she treated Bo much of the time (though I liked Mitch much, much more, even though it’s supposed to be Bo we fall in love with). I felt that Willowdean’s path to self-acceptance was disconnected and a little unrelatable, especially when I really thought her story would resonate with me. It did not. I also thought the end was very poorly done.


Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer. Read November 24-27. 3.5 Stars

The review for this will post closer to it’s release date next month. Like all of Kemmerer’s books, I hate the cover, but love the majority of the characters.




To get ready for Oblivion coming out, I re-read Obsidian by JLA. I believe it’s still free through the end of the month, btw, so go get it if you haven’t yet!

Prepare for the Daemon Invasion

Daemon Black | Obsidian:

As you all know, the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout is one of my favorite YA series and my favorite book of that whole series is the one that started it all, Obsidian. Right now, to prepare us for JLA’s new book, Oblivion, which is Daemon’s POV of the first three novels in the series (books 4 and 5 gave a dual perspective from him and Katy), Obsidian e-books are free until November 29th!


Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

Get it for your Nook or Kindle!

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited to get to visit Daemon and Katy again in Oblivion!


Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

Oblivion will be available December 1, 2015!

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

I was looking for a fun book tag and thought I would give this Zombie Apocalypse Tag a try.

The Rules

  1. Pick 5 books (preferably ones you’ve read or know the characters).
  2. Write the name of the books on pieces of paper.
  3. Put the pieces of paper in a hat or container.
  4. Pull one piece of paper out to choose your first book.
  5. Open to a random page and use the first name you see to answer question 1 (under “Your Zombie Team”).
  6. Use the same book for question 2, but turn to a different page.
  7. Pull one piece of paper out to choose your second book.
  8. You will use your second book to answer questions 3 and 4.
  9. Your third book will answer questions 5 and 6.
  10. Forth book with answer questions 7 and 8.
  11. The fifth book will answer questions 9 and 10.


The Lazy Version of the Rules (because you shouldn’t work so hard on a book tag)

  1. Pick 5 books and use a random number generator to pick the order.
  2. Pick the first two characters that come to mind and follow the above steps (5-11) to get your Zombie Apocalypse Team

Books I’m Using:

Obsidian (Lux, #1)  Illusions of Fate  The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)  The Fill-In Boyfriend  Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

1. Who is the first person to die? (Illusions of Fate)

Jessamin 😦

2. Who is the person you trip to get away from the zombies? (Illusions of Fate)

Finn! Oh no! I suck! But he’s resourceful, so I’m sure he’ll be ok. Plus, he’ll need to avenge Jessamin.

3. Who is the first person to turn into a zombie? (Obsidian)

Katie 😦

4. Who is the person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies? (Obsidian)

Daemon. He’s probably just acting out from Kat turning into a zombie. I can forgive him.

5. Who is the idiot of the team? (Cress)

Captain Thorne. But he’s really smarter than he acts.

6. Who is the “brains” of the team? (Cress)

Cinder. No surprise there

7. Who is the team’s medic? (The Best Man)

Levi. I feel good with that.

8. Who is the weapons expert? (The Best Man)

Faith.  Oh dear, I don’t see that going well.

9. Who is the brawler? (The Fill-In Boyfriend)

Bec. I can see that.

10. Who is the Team Captain? (The Fill-In Boyfriend)

Gia. Again, I can see that.

If you think you would enjoy The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag, consider yourself tagged!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Re-reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie, so I’ve decided to go with my Favorite Re-reads. Those books that I can go back to again and again. The ones that save me from my reading ruts.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)    The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)    Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)    In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

1-4. The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. Kristan Higgins books always make me happy. They’re enjoyable and addictive and I love re-visiting the characters again and again.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

5. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is my favorite book of the series and just one of my favorite books period. Kami’s humor never gets old.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This books is just adorable and fun and yes I MIGHT skip over some of the more drama-filled moments, but I love the rest.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

7. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout. This was my first JLA book and it’s my favorite. I love re-reading about Daemon and Katy: the early years.

I've Got Your Number

8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Probably my favorite chick-lit book.


9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Levi are one of my favorite book couples and I love reading about them.

Northanger Abbey

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I love this book so much! I love reading the banter between Catherine and Henry.


Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME Favorite Authors


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors.

Rainbow Rowell

1. Rainbow Rowell. Her writing is beautiful, her characters are amazing. Everything she writes is pure magic.
Favorite book: Attachments

Linwood Barclay

2. Linwood Barclay. My Go-To author for great mysteries.
Favorite book: No Time for Goodbye

Maggie Stiefvater

3. Maggie Stiefvater. She writes some of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read.
Favorite book: The Raven Boys

Jojo Moyes

4. Jojo Moyes. Another writer with beautiful writing and amazing characters.
Favorite book: One Plus One

Kasie West

5. Kasie West. She writes really adorable YA that’s always fun to read.
Favorite Book: On the Fence

Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Jennifer Armentrout. She writes characters with funny, snarky dialogue that I love. Plus, Daemon Black.
Favorite Book: Obsidian

Marissa Meyer

7. Marissa Myer. Every book she writes just gets better!
Favorite Book: Cress

Gillian Flynn

8. Gillian Flynn. She writes really compulsive reads with amazingly psychopathic characters. Now can she please write a new book!?
Favorite Book: Gone Girl

Erin Morgenstern

9. Erin Morgenstern. She wrote one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Can she write a new book already, too?!
Favorite Book: The Night Circus

Kristan Higgins

10. Kristan Higgins. My favorite of all romance writers. Her books are full of fun and family and love.
Favorite Book: The Best Man

What are some of your favorite authors? Have you read any of mine?

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. In no particular order, they are:

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

2. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Illusions of Fate

3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

One Plus One

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

5. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

6. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

I've Got Your Number

7. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella

Defending Jacob

8. Defending Jacob by William Landay

Gone Girl

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Get Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout for FREE today!

Obsidian (Lux Series #1)

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you know I have a lot of love for the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout. If you haven’t checked it out yet, the first book in the series, Obsidian, is being offered as a free digital download right now through Entangled Publishing! Don’t let the cover art put you off! This is such a fun series!

When I just looked Obsidian up on my Nook store, it wasn’t showing as free. So I had to go to the Entangled link I gave above and click on the Barnes and Noble icon to get it for free. So if you just search for the book at your book store of choice, you might not see it for free. Or maybe it’s just me? But anyways, it’s free! And I’m not sure how long that will last! So go download it!

The last book in the series, Opposition, comes out next Tuesday!

30 Day Book Challenge = 1 Survey


So I’ve seen several people do the 30 Day Book  Challenge hosted by The Chronicles of Radiya. While I think it’s fun, I just don’t think I have the patience to do it everyday, so I turned it into a survey, all 30 questions in 1 post. Enjoy.

This one is hard because I feel like the only type of fantasy worlds I read are dystopian, and as much as I love the books, you obviously don’t really want to live in them. I’m going to go with Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (and I apologize if this book comes up in a lot of answers). I want to work at a newspaper and e-mail Beth and Jennifer and be friends with Lincoln.

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout has become one of my go-to books when I need a break from something else, or just to pass the time.

            I have so many that I love, I don’t know if I can pick just one. But I think The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is really at the top of the list. So many books I love, but don’t know if I would recommend to everybody. I feel like The Hunger Games has such broad appeal and solid writing.

            Though the Twlight series seems like an obvious answer, I’m going to go with the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Bad casting (I love me some Daniel Craig and he’s wonderful at everything, but he’s not at all how I pictured out-of-shape Mikael Blomkvist). They changed the ending. And I really don’t think anyone who hadn’t read the book would be able to follow the plot.

            I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. This is a perfect light, fluffy, weekend read. As everything from Kinsella, it’s a little on the ridiculous side (ok, a lot on the ridiculous side), but it’s sweet and I enjoy it.

I've Got Your Number
Mockingjay by Susan Collins. The last 2 books of the series are kind of depressing. When people start reading Mockingjay I tell them to prepare to never be happy again.

            Northange Abbey by Jane Austen. It’s one of my favorite Austen novels, but I never hear anyone else talk about it. It seems to everyone else if you mention Jane Austen they only think of Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

            The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I’m not saying that it’s not a fantastically written, fast-paced, page-turning book. Just all the hype that surrounded it when it first came out. People treated it like it was gospel – and I always felt that’s what Brown wanted – despite the fact that it’s riddled with inaccuracies.

            Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It’s one of my mom’s favorite books and she suggested it to me several times before I finally gave in. And it’s great.

Redeeming Love
            Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t read this until I was out of college and couldn’t believe it took me that long.

            The Innocents by Francesca Segal. I HATED this book. The writing was wonderful, but the characters were pretty horrible. Adam, the main character, finally proposed after dating his girlfriend for a decade (or close to it), but then gets distracted by her younger, more beautiful, more adventurous cousin. He kind of falls instantly in love with her, but I don’t ever feel like it’s any kind of real love. He’s in love with his idea of her, not actually her. But he still cheats on his wife with her and is ready to leave his wife, until she tells him she’s pregnant and knows that it will keep him from leaving. Things end with the cousin, but none of them really have a happy ending.

            The Twilight series. I actually credit these books for getting me back into reading again. Despite all the haters, it’s still, overall, a sweet love story. But after I moved on to other books and series I tried to come back to these and re-read them, but could hardly get through them.

            This seems like an impossible question. There’s so many that I love. I’m going to go with my newest favorite – Linwood Barclay. I’ve only read three books by him so far, but he’s so consistently good. He hasn’t let me down yet.

            Anne M. Martin. I read soooo many Baby-Sitter’s Club books.

            This is impossible. I reserve the right to change my mind on these.
            1. Lincoln O’Neil (Attachments by Rainbow Rowell).
2. Henry Tileny (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen).
3. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games by Susan Collins).
4. Martin Rilke (The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock).
5. Four –AKA Tobias Eaton (Divergent by Veronica Roth)

            I read such a mix of genres that it’s hard to pick one. But overall, I probably read more YA Dystopian than anything else.

I don’t often remember a lot of quotes from books, so I’m going to use the same answer I did in the A to Z Survey. It comes from The Passing Bells from Fenton Wood-Lacey. Up to this point in the book, I wasn’t sure if I really liked Fenton or not. I wanted to, but I just kept thinking he was going to let me down. It came to a point where he was alone with his friend’s wife – who also used to be someone he thought himself in love with – and she’s coming on to him. He considers it but then says, “Everything is becoming so shabby these days. So lacking in worth. I just don’t like feel joining the trend.” And that made me fall in love with him. (For that book anyways. The Wood-Lacey’s broke my heart in the second book.)

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)
            Attachments. The e-mails between Beth and Jennifer are great. It’s what made me want to be best friends with Rainbow Rowell.

            The Hunger Games. While it wasn’t perfect, I thought that overall it was a really great, faithful adaption. I can’t wait for Catching Fire!

            The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen. Where so many romance books these days focus more on lust and an increasingly alarming bent towards the erotic, this is a sweet, honest story of real love.


As I mentioned earlier, I read a ridiculous amount of Baby-Sitter’s Club books.

            Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. She’s a psychopath, but incredibly entertaining to read.

            Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I really don’t know why I haven’t read this yet, I just never have.

            Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. The Green Sky trilogy are books I read as a kid and loved, and just recently came across them again.

            Lincoln in Attachments. He’s in his late twenties, in a dead-end job, and just generally doesn’t know what to do with his life.

            I’m going to go again with the Twilight series. It changed my opinion on reading for fun. It had been years since I really did it and that series got me back to it.

            The end of Variant by Robison Wells. It was a great cliff-hanger type of ending, I just wish the sequel would have been a little better.

            Sweet Tooth (Ian McEwan). It’s a very misleading title, but that’s what I read the book.

            Then we Came to the End by Joshua Ferris – an office satire.

            And the last impossible question. I don’t think I can pick just one, but I think I’ll go with the one I’ve mentioned several times throughout this survey – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

Saturday Showcase (August 3, 2013)

Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

My pick for this week is the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Onyx (Lux, #2)

Opal (Lux, #3)





The Lux series is a YA paranormal series about aliens, called Luxen. Katy is a human teenager that befriends Luxen siblings Dee and Daemon. Throughout the series Katy and Daemon’s love/hate relationship grows as she becomes more immersed in the Luxen’s dangerous world.

I read a lot of YA, probably more than an-almost-30-year-old should, and this is one of my favorites series. The characters are likable and the stories are well paced – mixing romance with action and suspense. I’ve never met anyone else that’s read the series, but I expect that will change in the future as the first book, Obsidian, has been optioned for a movie.

The next book in the series, Origin, comes out later this month.

Origin (Lux, #4)