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April 15, 2014

REVIEW: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

My Review
Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell was disturbingly addicting, completely ingenious, and so skin crawlingly good. I was drawn to this story about a girl who grew up to be a serial killer by her own mother. And I was even more fascinated to know her every thought and feeling. It was such an exciting and stimulating YA novel that had protagonist/antagonistic type of main character who didn’t have definite morals.



I was smitten with Kit Ward, not because of her perfect way of killing (though that is impressive in of itself) but because of her character. She had this cold calculating even frightening voice and her thoughts and feelings were dark and downright sinister. However, she was complex, layered and sometimes hard to define. It seemed like she was heartless and had no remorse due to her unconventional upbringing, yet she was not without emotion or even the slightest of guilts. We are privy to her malicious thoughts and justifications of killing, her confessions of enjoying it, her cocky way of knowing that she was indeed the best, along with her doubts of right vs. wrong and of her first flickers of feeling like a monster.

Ewell does an outstanding job of blurring the lines of good and evil and right and wrong. She allowed me to feel some sort of connection, sympathy, or empathy towards Kit that I cannot explain. This may be due to knowing how she grew up, the way she discovered friendship, and how there seemed to be two sides to Kit. I wanted Kit to change her mind, for her guilt to grow, for her to break down and be the teenaged girl she should have grown up to be and at the same time I wanted her to be caught and face the consequences and justice for all the people she killed. Kit really confused me because I felt for her, I really did. She felt so sure of what she was doing and why and then she would question so many things and I pitied her and was sadden by what she has become. I didn’t exactly consider her as evil because she was innocent in how she was stripped of being a regular girl, but she was definitely guilty for the murders she committed. 

Dear Killer had a slow steady pace that continually picked up little by little the further we delve into Kit’s mind and how she unraveled without her truly realizing it. This slowness works because of Kit’s detached and disconnect to her murders and how this changes along the way. The murders were described well enough and will surely make stomachs churn, but they are not brutally graphic. It was just enough to induce some kind of bothersome reaction. These murders were called perfect throughout the book and while some were believable, some were questionable at best. However, this really did not take away from my enjoyment at all. 



Overall, Dear Killer was so incredibly written from the in-depth development of Kit’s mind, body and soul to the descriptions of her murders. This novel was engrossing and hypnotic. It left me with unresolved feelings and thoughts in my mind that will continue to haunt me, but it ultimately left me enamored. 

*Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review

Favorite Quotes
"My name is Kit, but most people know me as the Perfect Killer. I kill on order. I am everyone's assassin. I belong to no one but the grim reaper herself."

"Do you remember what I said about not enjoying murder? That was a lie."

"It's hard to feel alone when you're me, when you can imagine the throbbing of blood through each of them and you know the way each of them breaks, like dolls lined up on a shelf."

"'You still don't understand. Silly Boy." I stopped in front of him and kneeling again. 'You see, ' I murmured, 'I'm the Perfect Killer.' He was at last afraid."

March 28, 2014

Mini Hiatus!

Hey guys!

This is very last minute update. A lot has happened over the week or so. I've been going through some serious family stuff right now so I have been absent. 

I'm writing this update because I will be gone for the next few days due to my International Experience for school. I won't have my computer and will have limited wifi in Germany to do posts. I'll still be reading and writing reviews, just won't have posts until I get back. 

I'll try to get back on track when I'm home bound. For now, standby. 

Love you guys lots for being super duper understanding and loyal. <3

Currently reading: Fix You by Christine Bell 

March 20, 2014

REVEIW: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Edelwiss via publisher*
Rating: 4/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N
With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

My Review
Oh how I adored The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer! It’s not everyday where I really truly enjoy a suspenseful book. Not only was this suspenseful, it was fun and odd and creepy in a subtle way. It definitely gave a Pretty Little Liars vibe just without the confusion. 

I’m going to start of with Lily Graves. I loved loved loved her times a million! She fascinated me and she totally made me laugh. She had a morbid sense of humor I was so down for. I really enjoyed her style and how she carried herself. She dressed differently from everyone else (black lace dresses all the time) and she read and breathed the dead... literally. She was different and she didn’t mind that at all. She didn’t let her fellow classmates put her down. I thought Lily was comfortable in her skin and that type of attitude was a breath of fresh air.

I also loved the family dynamics of this book. I loved how all of them worked as morticians. It was creepy, but hey, they dig it. Anyway, Oma, Aunt Boo and Lily’s mom loved and cared for Lily. They were overprotective, but super duper loving. They too, had a morbid sense of humor just not as much as Lily. They all just had a great bond as a family. It was nice to see some parental units who were more than around to guide Lily even though she was stubborn as hell.

The romance was wonderful and lovely and sweet and cute. I appreciated that Strohmeyer took her time to develop the relationship here with flashbacks and interactions. She gave enough to make me giddy, but she never took away from what was going on in the book and that was finding out who was Erin’s killer. 

The Secrets of Lily Graves definitely had a mysterious yet playful feel to it. It had very intense, descriptive moments that disturbed me along with moments that were light and humoring but still startling. The mystery and intrigue of who really killed Erin was always at the forefront. I continued to guess and theorize who did it and why. Lily was a great amateur investigator, she was just as in dark as any reader can be. She takes the reader on this ride where small hints are dropped and people become suspects in your mind. It was not as thrilling as it can be, but entertaining enough because the questions  keep running through your mind throughout the book. The closer I got to the end, the clues did start piling up and become clearer. However, I was still surprised and caught off guard. 

Overall, The Secrets of Lily Graves had me hooked in every way. I really enjoyed this strange mystery story and was even more taken with Lily herself. 

*Thanks to Balzer + Bray for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review

March 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: See Through Me by Sera Bright


See Through My by Sera Bright (Lose My Senses #1) 
Publication Date: May 2014
Age Group/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


Synopsis:
There's only one person I want to see when I return home. But I know he won't be waiting. It's the reason I feel safe enough to come back.

I’m so wrong.

Ash Townsend isn't the same quiet boy from next door. He's tall, dark, and demanding answers. He wants me, but he doesn't trust me. Who can blame him? When his own family tried to break him down, he still sheltered me in this town full of liars. And I repaid it by leaving him without a word.

Because I'll do anything to protect Ash. I have the scars on my wrist to prove it.


About the Author
When I’m not plotting elaborate schemes in my head, I’m having a fabulous time with my own real life story. That’s what happens when you have three awesome kids, two fluffy (useless) cats, and one very patient husband.

I can cook like a fiend but prefer to eat doughnuts with sprinkles for breakfast. Sprinkles make everything taste better. An avid reader of all genres, I shamelessly admit romance will always be my favorite. And while I enjoy the safe and familiar, I’m always up for an adventure.

My debut New Adult Contemporary Romance novel SEE THROUGH ME will be released in May. You can contact me at https://www.facebook.com/authorserabright, https://twitter.com/SeraBright, or through my website: http://www.serabright.com

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          See Through Me      

     

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            Giveaway ends May 15, 2014.          
         
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