ARC Reviews – June 2015

This month, half of my ARCs had a musician love interest, which is funny, but also says a lot about me personally.

  • Grunge Gods and Graveyards – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “I was intrigued by the cover, and I’m automatically drawn to books where the love interest is a musician (it was an bonus that he also happened to be a ghost), so I figured I’d give this one a shot. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would!” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Lady in Blue – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “..since I was intrigued by the Lady in Blue in [Grunge Gods and Graveyards], I was more than happy to find out a little bit more about Lana Bloom.This self-published sequel came out a couple of months ago and it does a fine job of filling in the gaps.” (5 interrobangs)
  • Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez: “It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • Fractured Dream – K.M. Randall: “It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read ever, but I couldn’t really get into it (despite finishing it!). I’m certain there are people who will devour this, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone enough to care what happened to them.” (2.5 interrobangs)
  • Date with a Rockstar – Sarah Gagnon: “This was one of those books where part of me was going “wow, this is cheesy/dramatic/over-the-top” and another part of me was going “I LOVE EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW”.” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Heartbreakers – Ali Novak: “If you’re in the mood for a fluffy fanfic, then this will be your jam. There are some serious moments (Cara does have cancer, after all), but it veers around truly emotional territories.” (2.5 interrobangs)

Overall, it was an interesting month for ARCs, with a nice mix of hits and misses. What have you read this month?

ARC Review: The Lady in Blue – Kimberly G. Giarratano

The Lady in Blue – Kimberly G. Giarratano

25465559The Lady in Blue stole a car and fled Ash.
Out on Devlin Road she emerged from a crash.
She wandered the woods with her head dripping blood.
Then drowned in the river in water and mud.

All her life criminology student Liz Bloom has heard this rhyme, meant to scare young campers. When she’s about to take on her first cold case, Liz learns the eerie song is about her great aunt Lana. Liz isn’t big on studying, but she does have one advantage most criminologists don’t — she can speak to the dead.
In 1955, Lana Bloom was an eighteen-year-old beauty with Hollywood dreams who fell in love with a stranger. When Lana died in a bloody car crash, all signs pointed to the mysterious man who was never seen again.
As Lana unravels the details surrounding her last week of life, the tale she weaves for Liz is one of desire, betrayal, and murder. But if Lana can’t identify her killer, not only will a murderer escape punishment, but her ghostly form will cease to exist. And Liz will have failed the most important assignment of all – family.

Release Date: April 30th, 2015

First of all, a huge thank you to the author, Kimberly G. Giarratano for sending me a copy of this book! I read (and really enjoyed!) the “prequel”, Grunge Gods and Graveyards, and, since I was intrigued by the Lady in Blue in that story, I was more than happy to find out a little bit more about Lana Bloom.

This self-published sequel came out a couple of months ago and it does a fine job of filling in the gaps.

What I liked: 

-the plot (I feel like there’s a pun there, since the majority of the book technically takes place in a graveyard…). As the synopsis mentions, Liz interviews her ghostly great-aunt in order to get to the bottom of her decades-old murder. Lana’s memories are interspersed with present-day interactions with Liz. I found it funny that Liz’s reactions – which occasionally included swearing – often startled Lana who was not used to girls talking like that.

-I suspected something was off with Andrew right away, but that didn’t stop me from completely falling for their relationship. The setting – the 1950s – was perfect for their old-school romance and it made the epilogue that much more sweet.

-the culprit. I didn’t guess who it was until the very last clue. I wanted to blame a particular character because he was horrible, but I was satisfied with how everything tied together. It made sense for this person to be the murderer and I loved how Lana got her revenge in the end.

-the writing. It’s smooth and draws you in. There aren’t too many unnecessary details and you always end up liking the characters – or at least rooting for them. I finished the first book in a day, and with this being so short, it didn’t feel like any time at all.

What I didn’t like:

-I can’t think of anything in particular that bothered me. Maybe the length, because I really liked Liz and wouldn’t have minded hanging out with her for a bit longer, but since it was Lana’s story, it made sense that Liz had (relatively) limited screen time.

If you’re looking for a short ghost story, I recommend this one – but I’d definitely read Grunge Gods and Graveyards first!


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