Lost Girls Reviews

Lost Girls Reviews

We are insomniacs, book hoarders, wine tasters, occasional cosplayers, thrill seekers, oncers, ringers, collectors, gamers and explorers with a terrible sense of direction. We came, we saw....we're lost!

3.5 Stars
The Idea of You
The Idea of You - Amanda Prowse
Lucy is nearing 40 years of age, has a fantastic career and a wonderful new husband. She is the happiest she's ever been, the only thing missing from her life is a baby of her own. This book deals with some very difficult subject matter, so you may want to bring along tissues for this heart wrenching roller coaster ride. After recently having multiple miscarriages, Lucy is grieving the losses of her babies while preparing to finally meet her teenage step daughter, Camille, who is coming for a visit. Cam clearly doesn't like Lucy despite everything she does to make Cam feel welcome and at home, which throws her already strained marriage into further turmoil. 
I personally have never experienced Lucy's pain, I do have friends and family members that have been through similar circumstances and the way Amanda allows us to journey inside Lucy's head and better understand what she is feeling was very enlightening. Often times, well meaning friends and family will say the wrong thing and cause more pain than comfort.
Lucy grows a lot by the end of this book and there were interesting reveals about her life which you will most likely see coming as we get many clues along the way. At times, I noticed the dialogue didn't feel completely natural and neither did her husband's reactions in certain situations, but Amanda's story telling made up for it and the book was hard to put down once I got started. This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone, but I would recommend it to anyone who may relate to the subject matter.
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
5 Stars
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco, Hachette Audio, James Patterson, Nicola Barber

This book was incredibly surprising! It's dark, gory and I really enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for over the top gore, but I do love a good murder mystery from time to time. 


The story was set in the 1800s, Audrey Rose is 17 years old, lives with her father and brother, but is secretly studying forensics with her Uncle, against her father's wishes. If her father knew she was up to her elbows in gore while assisting with autopsies and helping solve murder mysteries, he would lose his mind. Audrey Rose is not the proper young lady she was brought up to be.


I adored Audrey Rose, especially her feisty nature and her stomach of steel. Stomach of steel compared to any normal female of that time period and many of the men as well. Speaking of the men, another fantastic character is Thomas Cresswell. He is confident, incredibly intelligent and does an awful lot of "deducing." He would make a wonderful young Sherlock Holmes! I enjoyed their flirtations and banter so much.


I loved the setting and the creepiness of hunting down a deranged killer on the dark Victorian London streets. Even though I did guess who the villain was I did not guess anywhere near how cringe worthy it played out in the end. There were enough surprises to keep me on my toes and the ending left things wide open for the next book in the series, Hunting Prince Dracula. The cover art on both of these books is beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2.




4 Stars
Waer - Meg Caddy

An amazing debut by a talented young author. When I first heard that Meg Caddy was mentored by the wonderfully talented, Juliet Marillier, I knew I had to give her book a try. I am so glad I did. She presents the werewolves in her world as gentle, peaceful creatures. I immediately fell in love with them. The world she created was beautifully done with many surprises and twists thrown in.

This book is a standalone and I am partly sad because I would love to journey back to Caddy's universe and revisit these characters. The story wraps up nicely and you are not left with any lingering questions. Things aren't wrapped up in a neat little pretty bow. This is a story of heartache and loss, battles won and lost, redemption, love and forgiveness.

The story is told in alternating POVs mostly through Lycaea and Lowell's perspectives. Lycaea is waer, but she was not born that way. She was turned against her will. I found her to be rough and tortured and not particularly likable at first. She has gone through many horrors and feels betrayed by those close to her. It wasn't long before I began to understand and care for her character. Lowell was born waer and he lives with his family in peace until he finds Lycaea washed up by the river. His character is kind and gentle and I absolutely adored him from the very beginning.

There was enough action and danger to keep me on the edge of my seat, especially toward the end. The romance was slow burning and did not take over the story. It was incredibly well done and I am very much looking forward to Caddy's next book.
I received a copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.




5 Stars
Illuminae - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

I don't normally read books like this, and it's not because I dislike sci-fi. I love watching sci-fi movies and tv shows, but as far as reading about happenings in outer space, it doesn't call my attention very often. This book caught my attention because the format is vastly different than any book I've read. The story is told through a series of interview transcripts, emails, official documents, the inner musings of a possibly insane AI, diary entries, spaceship diagrams and space artwork.

I wasn't sure how all that was going to work out for me and I was a tad skeptical, but I'm always up for trying new things. The story starts off with the interviews of two teens who's planet had been invaded. I can't say I fell instantly in love with Kady and Ezra. Kady's personality seemed a bit bland and the dialogue between her and Ezra left much to be desired. Maybe it was just the format. It's difficult to convey emotion through text or instant messages.

Once her skills as a hacker emerged and I was able to see her strengths, bravery and intelligence I liked her more and more. Kady and Ezra are stuck on two different ships separated from each other and their families, just trying to stay alive. They are all fleeing a large ship intent on attacking them. Ezra's ship is under the control of AIDAN, the AI with a mind of its own focused on seeing to its own agenda, and to make matters worse, we have a virus outbreak turning people into creepy, weapon wielding, zombie-like creatures who can think, hunt and kill the uninfected.


Did I mention those guys are creepy? The beginning of the book didn't draw me in. It took some time before things picked up for me, but when they did, I couldn't read fast enough. I loved the plot twists, but at one point toward the end, let's just say I was livid! I almost put it down. I'm glad I pressed on, because that ending was fantastic!

I also have to mention that AIDAN is a great character. If I had to choose, I'd say AIDAN was the most interesting, poetic and complex character in the whole book.

“Before this moment, I have never wished to be something other than what I am. Never felt so keenly the lack of hands with which to touch, the lack of arms with which to hold. Why did they give me this sense of self? Why allow me the intellect by which to measure this complete inadequacy? I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

There were so many unique twists and turns. I  definitely loved this book and the authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, are wonderfully talented, kind and gracious individuals which I had the immense pleasure of meeting at YALLFEST.

Jay personalized my book with words to live by



"Fight like a girl!" And I certainly will.

Gemina book 2 is sitting on my nightstand (it's so beautiful) just taunting me to come read it.

We received free copies of this book at First in Line's biscuit brunch event at Yallfest
4 Stars
Mona Lisa's Secret
Mona Lisa's Secret: A Historical Fiction Novel - Phil Philips

Mona Lisa has a secret or two, and Joey Peruggia, the great-grandson of Vincenzo Peruggia, the man who actually stole the original Mona Lisa in 1911, is about to discover exactly what they are. Secret rooms, hidden messages, a priceless painting, edge of your seat, non-stop danger, this book did not slow down.


I'm carefully tiptoeing around the plot, I would hate to give away spoilers, so forgive any vagueness on my part. To me this story was a mixture of the Da Vinci Code, National Treasure and a little Indiana Jones. When I finished reading around 3 am, I felt about as exhausted as the characters after having been shot at, run off a hill and forced to swim across a freezing lake to escape death, just to name a few of the inconvenient situations they find themselves in.


Joey and his girlfriend, Marie, journey from California to Paris in search of answers, before long they are deeply entrenched in danger and running for their lives. After making a deal to rent Boyce's boat in an attempt to rescue Marie, the two form a partnership. I enjoyed the relationship dynamic between Joey and the resourceful, quick witted teen.


This was a fast paced, exciting read full of adventure, relentless villains, stressful situations and a bit of humor.

Many thanks to BookTasters and the author, Phil Philips, for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.



5 Stars
Heartless - Marissa Meyer

I loved the Lunar Chronicles, and when I heard that Meyer was writing a book about the Queen of Hearts, I was thrilled! Catherine wants nothing more out of life than to open her own bakery with her dear friend, Mary Ann. Unfortunately for her, her parents have other plans. Cath has caught the King's eye, and her mother is determined to see Cath become Queen at any cost.


Cath is not in love with the simple minded King and has absolutely no interest in becoming Queen. When she meets Jest, the charming, handsome, witty Joker, who whisks her away to late night tea parties and begins popping up in her dreams, the King becomes more of an annoyance than anything else. At times I almost felt sorry for the poor dolt.


This book will rip your heart out. Yes, I went there. Despite knowing where the story is inevitably heading, you can't help being drawn in. With the cast of familiar Wonderland characters including, Cheshire cat, the Mad Hatta, the White Rabbit, and many more, Meyer did a wonderful job bringing them all to life.


My favorite scene had to be the game of hedgehog croquet involving unruly flamingos with shrimp breath and the bone structure of a noodle being shaken by their scrawny legs.


"We practiced this, you foul fowl!"


I love Meyer's sense of humor, her writing style and her ability to breath new life into old tales. Meyers is great with happy endings, but I was curious to see how she would handle a much darker tale. I was not disappointed! Heartless is heading straight to my favorites list.




5 Stars
Three Dark Crowns
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

Every generation there is a set of triplets born, each one having the gift of being a poisoner, elemental or a naturalist. When they are very young they are separated and taken to be raised by their respective houses and trained in their gift. When they are 16 they will attend a ceremony and use their gift to fight and kill each other. Last queen standing wins the crown.


Katharine is my favorite of the three sisters. She is a poisoner, and while she is very adept at making poisons she has not been able to build up a resistance to ingesting the poisons. She is the smallest and weakest of the three sisters from years of basically killing herself from all the different poisons she has taken.Despite being the weakest of her sisters, she is the most ruthless and determined. She has been raised and trained by the Arron family who has held control of the kingdom for many years and are not about to give up control now. Natalia Arron brings in her nephew Pietyr to help Katharine become strong and confident and the two end up falling for each other.


Arsinoe is the naturalist, although not a very good one. An awful one actually. She is supposed to be able to make flowers bloom and have a "familiar" pet. Her gift has yet to make an appearance. She is very headstrong, maybe even a little rebellious, but she is fiercely loyal to those she cares about. Jules is her best friend and the most powerful naturalist in decades. Joseph, Jules' love interest, has served 5 years on the mainland as punishment for trying to help Arsinoe escape 5 years earlier. When he returns he brings another boy back with him. Billy is a suitor and is supposed to introduce himself to all 3 queens as a potential king-consort. He becomes friends with Arsinoe and while they each say that there is no love between them there is definitely something there. Billy is devoted to Arsinoe and helps her to escape right before the Quickening.


Mirabella is an elemental and the strongest one of her sisters. She is taken in by the priestesses who are ruthless and will stop at nothing to see their Queen crowned. I found it very interesting that despite being the most powerful of her sisters, she does not want to kill them. She knows that as a rule queens are not supposed to love their sisters but she remembers her time with them as children and still cares for them.


The book did start off a little slow. At the beginning I found it hard to keep up with so many secondary characters but they are essential to the story. It seems as though it is the individual houses and the priestesses that are vying for power and control over Fennbirn and the queens are more of a figurehead. I do wish there had been more world building. Billy comes from the mainland, there is no magic or anything there and Fennbirn is becoming something of a myth. But there was no explanation of how they are able to get to the island sometimes and other times they are kept out by a fog. How do they even know of Fennbirn?? If I knew there was an island full of magic I would be on the next boat over there! Maybe in the next book there will be an explanation and more info about the island and the magic inside it.


Overall I really enjoyed this book! There are so many twists and sub-plots to keep you hooked. That ending was totally unexpected and I can't wait for the next book to see what happens!



5 Stars
The Mirror King
The Mirror King (Orphan Queen) - Jodi Meadows
This book picks up right where The Orphan Queen left off and the action never stops. I was holding my breath so much while reading this book. Tensions are already high with the coming destruction of the wraith and now Wil's identity has been revealed to everyone in the Indigo Kingdom and she struggles as she tries to control her magic and take back control of her kingdom.
Wil is a continuously growing character. She wants to be the queen that her people need but she's struggling with how to become that person. How do you go from being an orphan, living on the streets and fighting to survive to being a queen and being responsible for an entire kingdom? She manages, but not so gracefully at first. It's a learning experience for her and her friends as they navigate how to run a kingdom and deal with the wraith. 
Wil and Tobiah's relationship is what made this story for me. I'm not big on romance but I just couldn't help it with these two. No matter the obstacles that get in their way they keep coming back to each other. And Tobiah's list at the end was just...Wow... I cried happy tears.

I am so glad we got to see more of James in this book! The mystery surrounding his miraculous healing in The Orphan Queen is finally revealed and I was completely blown away. Did not see that coming. I can't say much without spoiling the ending but James is a true hero with unyielding loyalty for those he cares about. The wraith boy, Chrysalis, worked his way into my heart. He is like a child, only wanting to please but he goes about it the wrong way and without thinking of the consequences. He was so devoted to Wil. I wish she would have showed him a little more attention because that's all he really wanted. I can't help but wonder if she HAD shown him more affection, would he have acted differently? Grown more compassionate and sympathetic, even more human? The ending was perfection. The entire book was a whirlwind of emotions. Of love and loss. Of adventure, action, magic and best of all, hope. This is one of those series that will stay with me for a long time.
4 Stars
Gathering Darkness
Gathering Darkness - Morgan Rhodes, Michelle Rowen

There are so many twists in this series! There are times when I can see it coming and I know someone is about to betray someone else. Other times it's a complete surprise. I love it when a book can keep me on my toes. Characters I was sure would make it to the end of the series are gone. Characters I was sure would be killed off by now are still going strong.

The Kraeshian siblings, Ashur and Amara, play a bigger role in this book and I was pretty unsure of their intentions until the end. I am very eager to see what will come of their involvement in the next book.

Princess Cleo is still Cleo. She believes she's an excellent liar, but most of the time she's completely transparent. When she does manage to manipulate circumstances, it's not long before someone figures out it was her. She never admits to anything and maintains her innocent demeanor, but once again no one is fooled.

Princess Lucia is still a wild card in my book. I have no clue where her character is heading. How dark will she go? King Gaius is hiding in his kingdom, showing fear for the first time. He knows he's mortal and needs the kindred to become all powerful.  I was very pleased to see some weakness show in him for once.

Prince Magnus is finally, finally heading in a direction that I'm very happy to see. I am crossing my fingers. I hope some good things come from it. Once again, there was so much action I had no time at all to get bored.

I won't go into much more detail, even though I could go on and on about this series. I'm trying my best not to give anything away from the previous books. I'm very excited to start the next book. Before I read the very last sentence I already had book 4, Frozen Tides in hand and ready to go, so off I go.



5 Stars
The Orphan Queen
The Orphan Queen - Jodi Meadows
Wilhelmina is an orphaned princess, her parents were murdered and her home kingdom of Aecor was conquered by King Terrell of  the Indigo Kingdom 10 years ago in what is known as the One-Night war. Now she and her band of refugees, known as the Ospreys, are preparing to take back their kingdom. Wil and her best friend Melanie are infiltrating the palace under the guise of a duchess and her companion from Liadia to obtain information that will help them reclaim Aecor.
Wil has developed many talents over the years. She is an excellent fighter, a spy and a thief, master of forgery and a magic user- more specifically she is an animator, she can bring objects to life and command them to do what she wants. Magic is forbidden now and this is a secret she has kept to herself. Magic has created the wraith and it is slowly spreading across the world, poisoning the land and turning animals and humans into enormous monsters.
Black Knife is a masked vigilante in the Indigo Kingdom. He is feared by some and commended by others. He spends each night apprehending criminals and fighting wraith monsters that enter the city. I suspected his identity early in the book and I'm glad I was right. Black Knife and Wil's relationship has to be my favorite part of this entire book. I fell in love with him instantly and enjoyed following Wil along as she slowly did too.

The rest of the characters were pretty one dimensional to me. I would have liked to learn more about Patrick and Melanie and even Prince Tobiah. Maybe we will get more of them in the next book?

Overall, The Orphaned Queen is a spectacular fantasy world full of magic, romance and secrets. Well written and kept me hooked from the beginning.  Oh and that cliffhanger ending- How could you do this to me, Jodi??? Starting the next book right away!
5 Stars
A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

This book surpassed my expectations in so many wonderful ways. I originally gave A Court of Thorns and Roses five stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was completely blown away by the twists and turns this series has taken. Can I give this book more than five stars?

I was feeling very disappointed in some of the characters and their choices from the previous book, but I came to really love the new friends that Feyre makes, the Night Court and the beauty of Valeris. If only it were possible to visit fictional places. The world-building was amazing. We see so much of the realm, including the chilling Court of Nightmares, the Court of Dreams and more.

After all the horrors that she survived, Feyre now has to heal and move on. She grows and changes so much in this book. Some of my favorite parts were watching her discover and attempt to master her new powers and seeing how incredibly powerful she really is.

What can I say about Rhysand? I knew he was something special from the moment he was introduced in ACoTaR but he also exceeded my expectations in many glorious ways. At first he is strength and power, mystery and darkness, but then we get to learn about his heartbreaking background, the caring and compassion he shows for his people and the things he did to keep them safe. The way he supports Feyre and allows her to make her own decisions, the respect and honor that he shows her makes him such an easy character to fall in love with.

That ending! I was not expecting after 640 pages to be left THERE. Like THAT. I certainly hope Maas is furiously writing away because I don't know how I'm going to stand the wait for book 3. Once again, her book is going straight to my favorites list.



5 Stars
The Reader
The Reader - Traci Chee
I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to read this beautiful book. From the lush and vivid landscapes to the action and adventure, this story was wonderfully done. The characters were so easy to fall in love with. Sefia has lost her family and she is on the run, trying to stay alive, rescue the only person she has left in the world and keep the book safe. In this world reading is a rarity, books are magical and assassins, pirates and sharpshooters abound.     
"This is a book"
The writing sucked me into this book in such a way that I felt as if I were a part of the adventure. I enjoyed finding and piecing together the little hidden clues sprinkled throughout the pages. I felt less like I was reading the book and more like I was experiencing it. For a moment I even felt a little like Bastian while he was reading the Neverending Story. I loved it! I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this masterpiece. This book is going straight to my favorites list and I have a very good feeling that this will be a wonderful series. I can hardly wait to find out what book 2 of the Sea of Ink and Gold series has in store for us.
Many, many thanks to Putnam and the First to Read program for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
4 Stars
Rebel Spring
Rebel Spring - Morgan Rhodes
This is book 2 in the Falling Kingdoms series and there is, once again, a lot happening. We get plenty of action, new characters, some shocking deaths and we learn more about the Watchers. King Gaius is as bloodthirsty and relentless as ever. He is determined to find the Kindred at any cost and become an immortal god. This man doesn't ask for much in life. Nope, not much at all.

Jonas is leading his small army of rebels and he is out for revenge. He is determined. He is angry. He is ready for action, but the man is incapable of executing a plan! Every time he has a brilliant idea, disaster strikes. At this point I'm not even sure how he's still alive. If he survives to the end of this series, I will be shocked. Absolutely shocked. I just hope at some point, the poor guy will accomplish something.

I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with Cleo. She's been through so much and she is still going strong. She smiles and plays her part for the people. She acts as if everything is just fine, but she doesn't actually fool anyone. King Gaius knows it's an act, Magnus knows it's an act, pretty much everyone who meets her, knows it's an act. She also has (actually I've lost count of how many) men falling in love with her, but I haven't figured out what, besides her beauty, is so fascinating. At times I feel like she just isn't very bright. For example, she continually fiddles with and draws attention to her super special ring that she doesn't want anyone to know about. "My ring is glowing you say? What ring? Oh, this old thing? It's just a trick of the light." Sure, Cleo. Absolutely no one is suspicious now. Can you please be a little less obvious?
Magnus and Lucia's relationship is now strained and I'm hoping that someone else just may capture Magnus's heart. I love that his character is really growing and changing throughout this book. Lucia, on the other hand, is becoming more and more like king Gaius. Is she up? Is she down? Is she good? Is she bad? I don't even know anymore but I'm looking forward to seeing where she is heading.

The new characters such as Lysandra, Prince Ashur and the Watchers are keeping things interesting. The various POVs don't bother me at all, and I haven't had any trouble keeping up with all the different characters. I enjoy trying to figure them out and discover their secret agendas. For me, this was definitely another fun read and I'm already off to book 3, Gathering Darkness.
3 Stars
The Smaller Evil
The Smaller Evil - Stephanie Kuehn

I was immediately drawn into the story. Kuehn kept me guessing right up until the final page. Arman suffers from anxiety, self loathing and a host of other issues when he meets Beau. Beau is a father figure to Arman, who offers him a chance to change and grow. To become a new person. Arman journeys with Beau, and a couple of other kids he knows from school, to a retreat in the mountains of California. Not long after they arrive, things begin to fall apart. Beau goes missing and Arman no longer knows what is real or who to trust.

Arman's character was believable. I sympathized with him and felt his pain and anxiety. Kuehn's writing was gripping. I couldn't put the book down. I just had to know how it ended. This book will definitely mess with your mind. I admit, once I finished this story I was still a bit lost. I had to go back and reread many of the passages and attempt to put the pieces together. The vague ending left me with a few questions and a lingering feeling that I may have missed something important.

I'm very curious to hear what others think of this book and the insights that they glean from it. I enjoyed Kuehn's writing style and I fully intend to check out more of her work.

Thank you Penguin Random House and the First to Read program for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  



3.5 Stars
The Cure For Dreaming
The Cure for Dreaming - Cat Winters

Set in Oregon in the 1900s, a young girl named Olivia Mead, lives with her controlling father who feels that her headstrong behavior needs to be snuffed out. He hires a hypnotist to put her under hypnosis and remove her rebellion, but instead, Henri gives her the gift of seeing the world as it truly is. Olivia has dreams of going to college and standing up for women's rights in a time when women were expected to be obedient, quiet little homemakers with no goals aside from finding a husband and raising children.

Henri's character was a bit mysterious and kept me guessing throughout the book. Olivia's father was infuriating. I wanted to feel sorry him, his wife left him alone to raise their daughter while she ran off to pursue her own dreams, but his attitude was so vile that I felt only contempt for the man. Olivia was strong minded and intelligent. She was a likable character, even if I didn't feel like I entirely connected with her.

There were added elements of horror when Olivia sees people's true nature as visions of beasts and vampires, but none of it was particularly terrifying. The romance in this book was sweet and didn't overpower the story. The pacing was great and I never lost interest. I think there could have been more depth to the story and the characters, but this was still an enjoyable read.



3.5 Stars
Me Before You
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
I was in the middle of a book I've been dying to read, and trying desperately to finish, knowing a book I preordered and have been anticipating for years would be arriving any time. I suddenly get a ding from my library that Me Before You is available for download. Hmm
I really wanted to read the book before I watch the movie so I took a peek at the first couple of pages of Me Before You, trying to decide if I should set my original book aside and start this one, and before I knew it I was on the last page sobbing over my kindle asking, "How could you do this to me, Moyes? How?" 
 Louisa Clark is 26 years old and has just lost her job working at a cafe. She has no real hopes or dreams or ambitions in life. She finds herself working as a caregiver for a man with quadriplegia named Will. Will lived an incredible life filled with adventure prior to his tragic accident.
Will challenges Louisa to try new things, to take risks and get out of her comfort zone while Louisa does everything in her power to make Will smile, laugh and want to get up in the morning. This is not a sappy romance by any means. There was far less romance than I originally expected and there was certainly no love at first sight, which I thought was wonderful. 
I knew this was going to be a heartbreaking story but I wasn't prepared to laugh as much as I did. Louisa's quirkiness and her banter with Will made the story enjoyable and realistic. It's the kind of story that will stick with you long after you've read it.
I was hoping for a bittersweet story with an inspiring message. 
"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible."
I didn't feel like this book achieved that for me. The story was bittersweet, the writing was beautiful, I loved the characters but the story left me feeling torn and a little disappointed.

This book deals with some controversial subject matter which I will not get into even though the movie trailer itself is fairly spoilery. Aside from that, I did enjoy this book very much. It will make you think and it will make you feel, whether you agree with the decisions that these characters make or not.