Zenith (The Androma Saga #1), by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings ~ 1.0 Stars


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Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

534 Pages

Synopsis: Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

From it’s gorgeous cover to the science fiction premise starring an all girl crew, I really thought I was going to love Zenith, but for me it turned out to be a bloody mess. 

First, a trigger warning and a spoiler. There’s a female character who for some reason that’s never fully explained, has the power to compel people. And in one scene, she compels a male character into having sex with her. It’s technically not aggressive, nor is it explicitly described, but to me that’s rape, pure and simple and I feel like it would have been remiss of me not to bring it up. There’s also a lot of violence, so this is definitely meant for older teens.

As for the rest of the story it has way too many characters and POVs (six) that sound too much alike leaving me utterly frustrated. The worst one of all is Andi who simultaneously looks forward to killing people because of the sense of power it gives her, yet wrings her hands and bemoans her actions, until the next time that is. The other characters are for the most part no better, and many of their actions made no sense and bordered on being ludicrous.

As far as the plot goes, nothing, absolutely nothing happens until the last 40 pages or so. This made it tortuous to read and to be honest I would have given up before the halfway mark, except that I was sent this by the publisher and felt obligated to try to finish it. Adding to all this is lazy, derivative, uninspired world building in which I could easily pick out scenes that were eerily reminiscent of ones like for instance, the Mos Eisley cantina in Star Wars.

I could keep going, but I’m stopping now because I’m getting steamed up again just thinking about it. I think you all know by now that I hate slamming a book like this. These two authors no doubt spent a lot of time creating this. In my humble opinion though, Zenith had no business being published in its current form. The only reason I can think of that could explain why it was pushed through, is because Sasha Alsberg is a celebrity Booktuber. The co-author, Lindsay Cummings is a fairly well established YA author and I’ve read a few of her books and enjoyed them, so I’m not sure what happened here. I’m absolutely floored that the editor gave their stamp of approval to this. I’m giving Zenith 1 star for the admittedly cool concept and pretty cover. Otherwise, I’m sorry. I simply cannot bring myself to recommend this to anyone. Needless to say I won’t be picking up the sequel.


Happily, by Chauncey Rogers ~ 4.5 Stars


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Thank you to Chauncey Rogers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: April 3rd, 2018

314 Pages


If the shoe fits, wear it.

If it doesn’t, make it.

Laure is a street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests., if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and live to tell the tale.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you know you’re reading something special when you’re doing everything you can to put off getting to the end of a book. Happily is one of these treasures. 

Back in January, I read Chauncey’s thriller/horror novel, Cleaving Souls, which kept me up reading until the wee hours of the morning. Happily did the same thing only for entirely different reasons. This isn’t quite a fairytale retelling, as Cinderella doesn’t even make an appearance until the end of the story. To give you an idea of how different this book is, here’s how it opens:

Before I start, however, we need to get a few things straight. First, I don’t like questions. They get people off track, they almost always would have been answered if the person had just kept listening, and they’re usually stupid. Yes, stupid. Whoever says otherwise is an idiot. Second, I’ve been told to tell you my story. Not my life story, so forget about learning about my childhood. Just the story of the glass slipper and my engagement to the prince—-the whole story. I don’t want to do this twice; let’s get it right the first time, shall we? There are only a few hours until the wedding ceremony, so sit down, get comfortable, and let’s get this over with—-that way you can leave, which will be great for both of us. Because the third, final, and perhaps most important thing for you to understand is this: I don’t like you.Try not to take it too personally—-I don’t like most people. Really, you’re probably in good company. You’re probably in pretty bad company, too, since there are a lot of idiots, creeps, and perverts who I don’t like either. There’s a group of people that I particularly dislike, however, and my story starts with them.

And that sassy, sarcastic voice belongs to Laure, the snarky, stubborn, cranky heroine of this book. As the story begins, she’s a street urchin who thinks of no one except for herself. But as the story develops it’s obvious that behind her self-absorbed exterior lies so much more. When she meets up with the adorably sweet Luc, he brings out the best in her and before you reach the halfway point, it’s obvious these two are soulmates.

As always, I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say the story has a lovely romance, rollicking adventure, plenty of humor, fantastic world-building, and one of the most imaginative plots I’ve come across in a very long time. The only reason why I’m giving this less than a perfect 5 stars is because I thought everything came together a little too quickly at the end. But this is a very minor complaint.

In the end, I cannot recommend Happily highly enough for children and adults. Chauncey has taken an often retold story, and given it a unique and refreshing spin, filled with teachable moments. If you’re a fan of fairytales like: Ella Enchanted, Ever After (with Drew Barrymore), The Princess Bride, and Aladdin, you need to read this ASAP! It’s a beautiful escape from real world woes, and I guarantee you’ll be utterly captivated. And if you read this review Chauncey, I’m putting in my request for a sequel now. PLEASE! Oh, and I’d like to thank Chauncey’s young daughter for requesting that her dad write a story for her. Because of her wish, we are all beneficiaries of this fanciful tale.


World Poetry Day 2018


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Pain Ends

Breathe in the fresh air,

Put your mind at ease.

Let down your hair,

Let it flow in the breeze.


Let your eyes wander

To all the beauty to be seen.

If those toxic thoughts you still do ponder,

Then let out a scream.


Scream until the pain is gone,

Until you no longer feel afraid.

Open your eyes to a new dawn,

Let the darkness fade.


Pick the sadness up off the floor,

Sweep it into the wind.

Close the door on self-hatred.

Never let it back in.


For the lies it would often tell you,

You will no longer agree.

Happiness and love are what you should hold on to.

They are whom you should give the key.


Pay no attention to the toxic thoughts,

Listen to those who adore everything you are.

Overthinking was what you once were taught,

But now those thoughts you put in a jar.


Focus on your goals,

Never lose your fight.

It’s time to open new scrolls.

Everything will be all right.


~ Katy A. Brown ~

Donald Trump Synchronized Protest Music Video! Incredible Japanese Group World Order’s Latest Video – From Synchronized Seattle!

I’m not sure where I’ve been, but I’ve never heard of the Japanese group, World Order until reading John’s post. You guys have to check out this new video of theirs!


World Order Synchronizes Seattle!

The incredible Japanese group World Order, led by Genki Sudo, is back with an incredible music video that takes a shot at President Donald Trump!

Using some of Seattle’s most iconic locations, the talented group took aim at the US President!

SoraNews24 broke the story about the latest synchronized music video from the amazing group World Order…

“Let’s Start WW3” is the title of the video, featuring six Japanese salarymen dressed in business suits all crammed into a tiny little apartment, watching Donald Trump’s inaugural speech as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Here are some of the lyrics:

“A man who claims
To end our boring days
And save our world
Has finally appeared

He’s rich and tall
He’s a pro wrestler and smart
Just like those found in the movies
He’s a real hero

Let’s start a World War III

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Happy Spring 2018!


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It’s officially Spring, yet our 4th Nor’Easter of March is forecast to hit New England tomorrow, bringing almost another foot of snow. But that’s okay, because Mr. Winter, your days are numbered!


So, as the snowflakes are flying and the winds are howling, I’m going to be thinking of sunshine and flowers.


That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea ~

The Price Guide to the Occult, by Leslye Walton ~ 4.0 Stars


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Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: March 13th, 2018

288 Pages

Synopsis: The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight “original” settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns’ supernatural powers. That’s perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—-her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Nor hopes the curse has played itself out through enough generations that she’ll finally be spared the drama. But when a mysterious book comes out promising to cast any spell for the right price, Nor senses a dark storm headed straight for Anathema—-and straight for her.

I loved Leslye Walton’s glorious debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, so I’ve been looking forward to The Price Guide to the Occult for the last year. While I didn’t think it was quite as magical, I think it’s a solid sophomore book.

What I loved about the previous book was the author’s exquisite and lush style of writing and storytelling and that’s definitely on display here. The protagonist, Nor, is someone many readers will relate to with her mix of vulnerability and steely determination. A word of warning, though it’s handled with care and sensitivity, self-harm is part of her story, so this could be a trigger for some. It’s an understandable outcome to a trauma in her past, and it’s written very realistically.

Some of the secondary characters aren’t quite as well-rounded. I loved Nor’s gruff yet loving grandmother, and her quirky best friend Savvy. The others, though, I just got to know enough, to want more, especially Nor’s sweet love interest.

The setting of the rainy Pacific Northwest is the perfect backdrop in terms of atmosphere, and the mythology behind Nor’s family as well as the plot is well written, albeit a little slow at times. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the ending and found it a little vague, but after reading the epilogue, I’m hopeful there may be a sequel.

Despite a few issues, I thoroughly enjoyed The Price Guide to the Occult and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a second book.


The Bad Daughter, by Joy Fielding ~ 3.0 Stars


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Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review review.

Release Date: Available Now

368 Pages

Synopsis: What first appears to be a random home invasion reveals a family’s dark secrets in this domestic ticking-clock suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of See Jane Run.

A hostile relationship with her sister and a complicated past with her father’s second wife have kept Robin estranged from her family for many years. But when her father’s new family is attacked in their house, with her father, his wife, and young daughter in critical condition in the hospital, she returns home to await their fate and hopefully mend fences. It looks like a robbery gone awry, but as Robin spends more time with her family members, she learns they all have their secrets—-and one of those secrets may have put them all in horrible danger.

Joy fielding has been one of my favorite authors in the genres of mystery, suspense, and thrillers, but I have to admit that despite the exciting sounding premise, The Bad Daughter was disappointing for me. 

The pace was much slower than what I’ve come to expect from this prolific author. It’s a domestic drama (which most of her books are), with a mystery thrown in, but not much of the suspense that I’ve come to expect from her. None of the characters are well developed, but the one who annoyed me the most was Robin. She was entirely too bland and passive for me, and I was unable to connect with her despite her suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. The majority of the story focuses on Robin’s dysfunctional relationship with her one-dimensional angry and aggressive sister Melanie. I would have liked a couple of the secondary characters to have been given bigger roles, especially Blake who was the sole voice of reason, but alas, it never happened. 

To me, the villain was fairly obvious early on, and I couldn’t believe no one guessed who it was, particularly Robin, as she’s a therapist. There’s some weak reasoning provided to try to explain this, but I just didn’t buy it so the ending turned out to be anticlimactic for me.

While The Bad Daughter wasn’t my favorite novel by Joy Fielding, she’s been a bestselling author for over four decades, so I’m by no means giving up on her. I’m already looking forward to her next novel. 


Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1) by Aden Polydoros ~ 4.0 Stars


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Tbanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

372 Pages

Synopsis: Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight—Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

Project Pandora is the exciting and promising beginning to the Assassin Fall series, and I easily breezed through it in two sittings. It took me a few chapters to acclimate myself because not only are there several characters, when they’re under the influence of the sinister society who has brainwashed them, they’re known by Greek code names. But this is a fairly minor complaint, because from the first page, I was immediately sucked in. What I appreciated most of all is that all the action took nothing away from the characters themselves. The ending is a cliffhanger so I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, Project Prometheus which is due out sometime this year. 


“The Spoon Theory”

I had never hear of the Spoon Theory until Deanna told me about it a few weeks ago. Thank you my friend for thinking of myself and others who suffer from chronic illness and pain, especially when you’re suffering as well.

Dee's Rad Reads and Reviews


I’ve noticed recently that a lot of my wonderful blogger friends have been struggling with a variety of  chronic health issues. Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Migraine Headaches, Chronic Pain, and many more.

I’ve also seen that many bloggers feel guilty if they can’t post more often, reply to comments, blog hop etc.  As I also suffer from chronic health issues, I understand these feelings. Although of course, we are all different.

Blogging, reading, writing reviews. and interacting with others has been incredible for me.  I’ve met some fantastic reviewers, readers, bloggers, authors, and publishers.  All of it takes me away and gives me a sense of purpose.  I’m starting to feel confident about writing a good review.

I am really thankful for this blog. However, there are some days where it is just too much for me. Sometimes I need to take a break and I’m learning that it’s okay.

I think…

View original post 230 more words