21 Best Book Deals for 2/23/19: Twelve Years a Slave, A Study in Charlotte, The Alienest, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

Black Panther: The Young Prince by Ronald L Smith

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Less than $2

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A Nielsen

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Less than $3

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt


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Book Deals 2/23

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TTT | Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads
The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody – 522 ratings

I really enjoyed the “trading up” aspect of this book.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy – 1,000 ratings

Almost every chapter was a different format (regular text, graphic novel, graffiti) and I really liked that about it.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Trusting You and Other Lies by Nicole Williams – 1,007 ratings

So many summer camp feels!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson – 1,287 ratings

This is such a satisfying travel/wanderlust type book.

My Review | eBook | Paperback

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen – 1,320 ratings

I don’t read a ton of epistolary novels and I didn’t know this was one when I picked it up, but I really liked that format!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan – 1,322 ratings

This was an interesting fantasy book–I still need to pick up the rest of the series.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith – 1,520 ratings

This is probably my favorite Jennifer E Smith book! It’s a cute romance and it features baseball, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti – 1,578 ratings

Deb Caletti is an underrated author imo. I love the retirement home group.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 1,608 ratings

Sneaky debutantes and secret contracts!

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria – 1,836 ratings

Such a great female friendship story!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover

Bonus: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – 650 ratings

Okay, this is kind of cheating because there are only so few ratings because it just came out. But it still has less than 2,000 ratings!

eBook | Hardcover

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TTT Underrated Books

 

11 Best Book Deals for 2/9/19: This Savage Song, Longbourn, Bloodwitch, and more

Book Deals

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

Haven by A.R. Ivanovich

Less than $2

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Longbourn by Jo Baker

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Less than $3

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Bonus Deal

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – Preorder the hardcover for $12.91! I just finished this last night and if you liked the first two books, this is completely WORTH IT.

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Book Deals 2/9

Teenage Girl Outsmarts Terrorists (The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [ARC])

This is the second book in a series and may contain spoilers. For my review of the first book, click here: The Fixer

TThe Long Gameess is not your average high school student. Despite her best efforts, she’s known around Hardwicke Academy as a fixer–just like her mother. When people need their problems to go away, they come to her. Not only that, but now everyone knows that she has the blood of William Keyes, the kingmaker, in her as well. Now she’s doubly dangerous. With such powerful family members, Tess can’t help herself from investigating the shooting of one of her classmates especially since one of her friends is being framed for it. She just doesn’t anticipate how deep this investigation will really go.

First of all, this cover is awful. Not attractive at all. Despite that, I thought this book was pretty good. It was really similar to the first book in tone and overall feel. I really like that Barnes writes unique books in the YA genre. The Fixer series is basically political thrillers for teenagers while The Naturals series are criminal thrillers for teenagers. It’s refreshing to read something so different every once in a while. It feels like romances are always at the forefront of a lot of YA books, but in both The Fixer and The Long Game, there’s barely a hint of it and what little there is takes a backseat to the rest of the plot.

All of the issues I had with the first¬†book¬†kind of came back in this one as well. Tess is super powerful for some reason. She has control over certain things that I don’t feel like a teenager would actually have control over even with her powerful relatives. So you’ll have to suspend belief for a bit in this book, but the plot is so engaging that you barely notice. Also again, I wish that we’d seen her do a little more low-key fixing. We get a couple of glimpses of it, but I almost wish¬†that was the plot of the book instead of something big and crazy.

I like the way that characters are developed in these books. We have obvious protagonists, but¬†they’re¬†still not black and white. Tess lies to some of her best friends to keep them “safe” in her mind. Ivy sometimes has to do questionable things in order to do her job. No one has clean hands in this series. I thought the cast of secondary characters was great as well. I really enjoy how different they all are. They each have a unique voice and it makes them seem that much more real. The only thing about the characters is that they’re a little too witty for my taste. It comes across a little forced and unnatural.

Overall I thought this book was a great read. There’s some adult(ish) content, but nothing comes across as crude, crass, or smutty. I would definitely recommend this series especially if you enjoy other political thrillers whether books, movies, or TV shows.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy (a lot of violence, but not much gore)
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [ARC]

Tess has been trying to hide her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s from her sister, Ivy. Unfortunately, Ivy has found out anyway.¬†Tess is yanked from the ranch where she used to live with her grandfather to her sister’s house in DC. Now she goes to a swanky new school populated by the children of the political elite. Everyone seems to be afraid of her sister, but Tess has no clue why until she’s told about her sister’s job. Apparently, Ivy is a fixer. Someone who will make any problem (situation or person) disappear.

I liked The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes pretty good so 22929578when I saw The Fixer on NetGalley, it was a no-brainer request. The premise was super intriguing to me. I thought it was going to be all about Tess following in her sister’s shoes (but not like…doing illegal things or anything). I was really excited to read about Tess “fixing” things for her high school classmates. Unfortunately, that isn’t really what this book is about. I was pretty disappointed that we really only see two instances of Tess doing any fixing. The book is mostly centered around another plot point–the possible murder of and conspiracy behind a chief justice’s death. This plot point was interesting too…but it almost seemed less realistic to me. Like, okay, that only ever happens in movies. Maybe it just felt a little far-fetched.

One thing I really liked about his book was no romance! There’s definitely something brewing between her and Henry, but we really haven’t seen anything come from it yet (maybe in the next book?) Honestly, when they introduced Asher, I was sure that he was going to be the love interest (and I was kind of rooting for it a little bit). But seriously, it was just so refreshing to have a book with no romance in it. A lot of times a good romance¬†can contribute to a story, but sometimes it just feels like it gets¬†thrown in there just because. No, thank you.

Another thing I liked was that the book got going right away. We meet Tess and then we’re off and running. Tess is a pretty likable character. The reader is definitely rooting for her and Ivy to work through their issues and become sisters again. I liked that both Tess and Ivy were independent, strong people. They definitely did not need men to save them–they could save themselves! Another thing I really liked was Tess’ vendetta against bullying. Preach it sister! I also thought Barnes did a good job of not making Tess too angsty. I feel that the level of angst present suited what was going on in Tess’ life. I’ve found that a lot of time authors make their female leads too angsty and it just makes them seem not¬†confident and weak.

I did have a couple other issues with this book besides what I mentioned earlier…just as far as some realism goes. First, it seemed like Tess, Henry, and Asher were able to manipulate the adults in their lives far too easily. Teachers and the principal (or was it a headmaster or dean?) would try to crack down on them only to be foiled by some clever wording. No. That doesn’t happen. Secondly, it seemed like Tess was REALLY good at reading people through observation. How did she come to possess this talent? I think early on in the book it talked about her being able to read horse body language? Maybe that carried over into her being able to read human body language? Maybe, but we never really know because it’s not explained.

Overall, this book was pretty good and I did NOT see that twist coming. I liked it and will be reading any sequels that may come out. I enjoy reading books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes because they feel a little different from the YA books that I typically read. She writes mysteries and political thrillers and I find myself greatly enjoying them.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate. A little gore.
Sexual Content: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [Audiobook]

Cassie’s mom was murdered. Ever since then, she’s been living with her Dad’s family and trying to fit in. When she receives an opportunity to work for the CIA as a profiler, she leaps at the chance. Almost as soon as she begins her work for the CIA, a serial killer in the DC area starts killing women that either look like Cassie’s mother or were in the same line of work as a psychic or medium. Cassie demands to be put on the case, but the CIA says it’s too dangerous.
naturalsdrop

This was the first audiobook that I listened to on our massive Disneyland road trip. The narrator was okay. Sometimes her voice was a little annoying, but overall it wasn’t so bad. The characters were all very interesting to me. All five had an interesting skill-set and distinct personalities. What I didn’t like was the forced love triangle between Michael, Dean, and Cassie. I liked Michael and Dean as characters, but I didn’t particularly like them as people and I ESPECIALLY didn’t like either of them as love interests. I feel that this book could have been greatly improved without the romance element. The romance made Cassie seem a lot weaker than I think she actually was. She’s working on some tough stuff as a profiler but there were still times when she just seemed like a wuss.

My other issue was that it’s never explained to us how “naturals” come to be. Cassie’s skill is explained and Dean’s is too somewhat, but how did Michael get so good at reading emotions? How did Leah get so good at lying and discerning the truth? How did Sloan get so good with statistics and remembering facts? What makes some people naturals and not others? And why do naturals peak during the teen years? These are questions that would seem important, but were never answered.

I felt that the plot was pretty suspenseful. It kept me wondering nearly the whole time. I started to figure things out in the last few chapters, but I still hadn’t put it all together when the reveal came. I don’t read a ton of mystery books, but I feel like a good mystery book has clues scattered throughout that the reader can put together as the characters are solving it. I wish this book had a little more of that, but that’s my only complaint in the plot area.

Overall, the book was pretty good. I just discovered that there are actually two additional books after this first one: Killer Instinct and All In which comes out November 3rd. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll read the other two. I think I would if someone just gave them to me, but it’s not a priority of mine at the moment.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy. A lot of gore, but not explicit descriptions.
Language: None
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None