Badass Book Reivew: I Like You, I Love Her by J.R. Rogue

I Like You, I Love Her by J.R. Rogue

Coming September 27th!

In a lot of ways, I was one of the lucky ones. My high school crush liked me back. It should have been magic and fire, but it was tragic and brutal. I wrote it that way, anyways.
His name was Bryan Winthrop. He was our high school basketball star. The prom king. The most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on. He liked me — the theatre geek who never should have caught his eye — but he loved her.
It’s been more than 10 years since the homecoming dance. Since the night he kissed me, breaking both of our hearts for the first time.
After the scandal, after graduation, I left our small town and made a name for myself on Broadway, then in Hollywood. I didn’t mean for the play I wrote about our high school affair to blow up. I didn’t mean for it to reach all the way back to my roots, wreaking havoc, wrecking families.
Bryan Winthrop and I were not friends, not lovers.
But I’m back. And for one summer — if she lets us — maybe we can be.

Pre-Order on Amazon!

Review

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“It’s a time warp. Towns like this seemed to be stuck in glass jars.”

This book hit the suffocation nail of small town living right on the head and is easily a 4.5 star read! I grew up in a small, rural, midwestern town very similar to the one portrayed in I Like You, I Love Her. Severin’s story whisked me right back to my childhood, my high school days, and all the challenges that come along with growing up in a little town full of little minds. All the politics of living life according to who has the right money and the right last name.
When I say small town, I’m not talking about a town of 60,000, or 16,000 or even 6,000. I’m talking SMALL. I’ve come to realize that to the rest of the civilized world, the idea of a “small town” is far bigger than my reality — they can’t fathom that the town I grew up in — a town of 1,600 whose population dwarfed the remaining towns that comprised our consolidated school district. A school district where, by junior high, they bussed all our little towns to a school building in the middle of a cornfield every day just to maintain a full class-size. I’m not sure how a person who grew up in another way would relate to this book but for me, it was the epitome of my high school experience. My house sitting across the street from the grade school. My crush from the first day of junior high that lingered on well into my early twenties, who would never date me because — even though it was obvious he liked me — I wasn’t a cheerleader like his bitchy girlfriend with whom he had nothing in common. The boy who would kiss me in the dark of the auditorium during lunch and then walk down the hallway holding his girlfriend’s hand the rest of the day. The small-minded, small-town gossip that is the only shred of excitement for anyone who’s resigned themselves to repeating the same existence generation after generation. The mentality is hard to understand if you haven’t lived it but it’s like almost like a disease.
J.R. Rogue captured this world beautifully. She captured the surreal dread of how it feels to return to that world after having been gone, how time stands still and nothing and no one ever changes. The heartbreak that comes from being more than that world, from breaking yourself against those who will never understand your need to leave, to live, to want more than this unforgiving bubble you were raised in. I could see it and feel it and smell it – the stifling smallness trying to suck the air from my lungs and the ambition from my bones.
She also captured what it’s like to be pulled to someone who’s ultimately toxic, I call them addiction relationships when you know it’s not love, you know it’s not good for you but you can’t stop that person no matter how destructive they are. They give you tiny slivers of hope and you hang onto them desperately, until you’re just about to give up and move on and then they feed you another tiny sliver. I’ve often wondered if those relationships were another symptom of the small-town disease, not being able to see that there’s so much more out there, there are people who won’t keep you in the shadows.
Rogue’s words in I Like You, I Love Her are as beautiful and lyrical as ever and this story is ultimately triumphant, although heartbreaking. I hope every small-town girl reads this and sees their world for what it really is and what it can someday be, that they can do so much more than live their lives on repeat. I honestly prefer living in a small town (although NOT the one I grew up in), but I think it is so terribly vital to go out into the world and experience life so you know who you are and where you want to be.
Thank you for this story Jen, it gave a voice to some of my most anguished childhood experiences.

About J.R. Rogue

J.R. Rogue first put pen to paper at the age of fifteen after developing an unrequited High School crush & has never stopped writing about heartache.

She has published multiple volumes of poetry such as Tell Me Where It Hurts & Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, & two novels, Burning Muses & Background Music. Her third novel, Kiss Me Like You Mean It, will release 3/22/18.

Two of her poetry collections, La Douleur Exquise & Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, have been Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees.

Badass Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

sadie

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Badass Book Review: Sadie by Courtney SummersSadie by Courtney Summers
Published by Wednesday Books on September 4, 2018
Pages: 320
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Goodreads
four-stars

A gripping novel about the depth of a sister's love; poised to be the next book you won't be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she's left behind.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

“And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.”
As a new book blogger, I was thrilled to receive Sadie as my first physical ARC! I’m addicted to e-books, but every true book nerd knows there’s nothing like having an actual book in your hands every once in a while.
After I read the blurb I knew I was in for an awesome summer read. I love a good thriller so I couldn’t wait to dive in!
This is the first book I’ve read by Courtney Summers and it left me a bit heartbroken, and appropriately so. This isn’t a happily-ever-after, although, I’m not sure the story could have or rather, should have, ended any other way. Its overall theme is pretty much a tragedy. Sadie knows nothing except to live for her sister Maddie.
Sadie is not just well-written, it is very uniquely written. Alternating between Sadie’s POV as she tracks down the mystery surrounding her sister’s murder, and a transcript-like narrative of a podcast showcasing Sadie and Maddie’s story, you’re able to piece together the story from every possible angle and see it from the point of view of everyone involved. Yet, ultimately, you’re constantly left wondering what will happen next and where the story will lead.
As if the writing wasn’t unique enough – an extra-special addition to this novel is an actual podcast which has been released on iTunes entitled The Girls, just as it is in the book. Take a listen here!
For the most part, I’ve moved on from reading YA. However, this wasn’t your typical angsty and unrealistic YA romance. It was a very real and gritty read; a suspenseful mystery with a touch of thriller.
Anyone who loves true crime, vigilante justice, and strong female characters will love this book.
Has anyone else gotten the chance to read Sadie? Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

About Courtney Summers

courtney-summers

Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. At age 14, and with her parents' blessing, Courtney dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently. At age 18, she wrote her first novel and never looked back. Her first book, Cracked Up to Be, was published in 2008, when she was 22. To date, she has authored five novels and is best known for her unapologetic, difficult female protagonists. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine's 60 under 30.

Badass Book Review: Folsom by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Folsom: Volume 1 (The End of Men) by Tarryn Fisher, Willow Aster
on May 29, 2018
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five-stars

The nation as we know it is a thing of the past.

With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.

Until Gwen.

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution.

Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Folsom is book one of the End of Men series.

Contemporary Romance with a side of Dystopian

“Words are a powerful weapon and they never die.”
Folsom has been hard for me to review. I didn’t leave this book feeling like I’d reached the end. Cliffhangers are brutal and Folsom is no exception – but I still have plenty to say about this exciting new series!
First, I’ll admit that I went into this book full of cautious optimism. I was very excited but also a little unsure. When your favorite author ventures into a completely new genre it can be scary. I wanted to love all the things but I had no idea what to expect from this brave leap into the world of dystopian romance.
Simply put – dystopian isn’t my thing. I loved The Hunger Games trilogy but it took me FOREVER to force myself to read the books. I read the first chapter of the first book so many times I lost count and eventually had to watch the first movie before I could finally dive in and actually read. I haven’t read anything dystopian since.  
Of course, I should have known better than to have had even the slightest reservation! Everything Tarryn Fisher writes is gold. Add the talents of Willow Aster to the mix and Folsom was bound to be a recipe for perfection. I loved every minute of it. They instantly bring this vivid, female-ruled world to life and invest your heart in the possibility of Gwen Allison and Folsom Donahue. The originality and creativity contained in these pages is beyond impressive.
The fact that Folsom was co-written boggles my mind. You honestly cannot tell which of these ladies is responsible for their respective portions of the book. The process of co-writing is something that’s always fascinated me. Mainly because I’m a control freak and can’t imagine giving another person that much influence and control over my work. However, Fisher and Aster appear to have accomplished the task seamlessly.
So whether you’re into fantasy, dystopia, or romance – or if you think you aren’t into any of those genres, you should give Folsom a try. It’s definitely got something for everyone! 
Needless to say, I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series! The story isn’t over and there’s only a short wait to get our next dose of The End of Men series – Jackal is coming our way on June 29th and it’s at the top of my TBR!

About Tarryn Fisher

tarryn fisher

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington with her children, husband, and psychotic husky. Tarryn writes about villains.

About Willow Aster

Willow Aster is the author of USA Today bestseller, True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming; otherwise, the writing would never get done. She’s also an avid reader, and has been known to walk, cook, and clean with her nose in a book. She’s lived in Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, and California, but Minnesota has captured her now and doesn’t seem to be letting go. Although shy, this lifelong writer and artist is convinced that the best part of this career for her is meeting and connecting with readers, authors, and all of those in this community of lovers of words.

folsom

 

 

Badass Book Review: Hidden in a Small Town by Stacy M. Wray


hidden in a small town

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Badass Book Review: Hidden in a Small Town by Stacy M. WrayHidden in a Small Town: A Suspense by Stacy M. Wray
Published by Stacy M. Wray on June 14, 2018
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four-stars

She’s being attacked, losing her footing as she falls to the dusty ground littered with pine needles. Scurrying like a crab, she attempts to stand and then… nothing.

A cold sweat trickles down Slater Montgomery’s spine as he struggles to control his breathing. It’s been years since he’s felt them – years since he’s seen them. The visions which nearly destroyed his childhood. Back then, ignorance and getting high were his allies, providing a false sense of security. Now? He can’t get her out of his head. The girl with the wild curls and fear-riddled eyes – the girl of his dreams.

Except, Slater knows this is no dream. It’s too real, too raw. The details, her emotion… before he can convince himself not to, Slater finds himself packing a bag and leaving his picturesque Wyoming home in search of the woman haunting his every waking moment. He just needs to see her once, just to be certain she’s safe. Just to be sure he’s not losing his mind.

What Slater imagined to be impossible – actually finding the mysterious woman – proves to be just the beginning. As secrets are exposed, Slater finds himself trapped in a web darker than he ever could have imagined. One which he’s not quite sure either of them will survive.

It started as a vision. A dream-like scene flashing through his mind. The ending?

A nightmare.

Review
I have to say Hidden in a Small Town really took me by surprise. This is one of the best ARC’s I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. It was my first read by author Stacy M. Wray and it did not disappoint.
The writing drew me into the lives and worlds of Slater Montgomery and Nora Greer and a steamy, rural Indiana summer. Its originality is impressive and I always love a story that can keep me guessing until the very end. Hidden in a Small Town is a page-turner sprinkled with scenes that are truly heart-pounding. It’s full of suspense with a touch of mystery, action, and romance. A welcome departure from my usual genres. 
If you’re looking for a suspenseful summer read, Hidden in a Small Town releases June 14th! Pre-order now!  

About Stacy M. Wray

Stacy M Wray loves writing and reading anything romance - Judy Blume being one of the first authors she read in middle school. After all, a world without love, heartache, and angst would prove a boring place to live.

Lover of gray and white cats, craver of all things sweet, enthusiast of hiking and camping, wife of an extremely supportive husband, and mom to two amusing adult children, she realizes life is pretty damn good.

She also appreciates that it's never too late to try something new. Never.

Badass Book Review: Butterfly Trap by T.L. Fisher

butterfly trapThis post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Butterfly Trap by T.L. Fisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Can two tortured souls find the beauty in each other?

Party girl, Nikki Kraemer is terrified when she wakes up tied to a dirty mattress in a basement that bleeds and breathes death. Her reality grows more terrifying as she battles her addiction at the mercy of her deadly captor.

This is no ordinary day. Issac Burns has a dangerous secret that has eaten away his moral integrity for ten years. This is the day he will confront his inner demon . . . but Nikki is no ordinary woman. She is certainly not what Isaac expected.

This romantic thriller dives into some dark subject matter and is not for the faint-of-heart. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

“…we can’t escape our past, but sometimes in the dark mirror reflecting our life, we can heal and trace an outline of something resembling the person we were meant to be.”
In her Forward, T.L. Fisher describes Butterfly Trap as “a new and somewhat awkward pursuit” in comparison to her usual romance novels. This is the first book I’ve read from Fisher so I have no means of comparison, however, I will say the story is not only creative but also daring and brave. 
The story of Nikki Kraemer and Isaac Burns is a journey down some of the darkest paths any person could embark upon. As Fisher states in her synopsis, “read at your own risk”. Readers will likely find it hard to relate to some of the disturbing subject matter contained in these pages. However, the reality is that these are matters that are a very real part of many people’s lives. Abuse, addiction, life choices that send us down paths we never wanted for ourselves. So keep an open mind and let this book take you down some dark, often overlooked paths of our society. In the end, Butterfly Trap is a story of redemption, finding ways to forgive ourselves for our failures, and overcoming some of the worst of what life has to offer.
Add to that a rather unexpected yet steamy, whirlwind romance between two tortured souls and Butterfly Trap is a recipe for a very intriguing romantic thriller that is dark and ultimately, beautifully tragic. 

About T.L. Fisher

TL Fisher is an author of cruel love stories, so she uses the term romance novelist loosely.

She is an avid believer in the philosophy; life isn’t about finding yourself as much as it is about creating who you want to be. We are the architect of our own destiny.

When she tells a story, her main goal is to make you feel. If you haven’t laughed out loud, breathed a gooey sigh and wiped snot from your nose, she feels she hasn’t done her job.

Her motto in life is—when nothing goes right—go left.

Her best advice—never make eye contact while eating a banana.