Brittney's Book Nook


Wither (The Withered Series) (Volume 1) - Amy Miles

A sickness is spreading, turning everyday people into mindless zombies. Those who aren’t ill are either committing unspeakable evil acts or are trying their best to simply stay alive in sudden anarchy. Avery has found herself in the midst of a catastrophic epidemic and worst of all, she is all alone. Now she must find inner strength and find a way to survive in a nightmare situation.

I have to say that it has been a while since a book has completely captured my attention. From the very first paragraph of this book I was hooked by its fast-paced action and dark plot. This book contains everything an apocalyptic book should; zombies, dark story line, violence, action, and a touch of romance. That doesn’t even include the wonderful writing style, well-developed characters, and amazing story line. That being said, this book may not be for younger readers and parents should probably read it before hand to see if they find it appropriate.

Firstly, I found the story to be utterly captivating. I especially like that the book began in the early stages of the apocalypse. I felt like this made it more interesting. The cause of the outbreak as well as how it developed was creative and stimulating. From the beginning this book is full of action; the pacing of this book was sublime. It is always a bummer when the action fizzles out and boredom in sues ensues; however, with this novel that is not an issue. Also, I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next or how the story was going to end, and what an ending it was!

As far as characters go, I have to say that at first I wasn’t crazy in love with Avery. She seemed really ungrateful to those who had risked their lives to save her. However, as the story developed so did Avery and with that came an understanding of why she acted that way. I always appreciate a character that grows as the story progresses. She turns out to be quite the survivor despite my initial impression of her. I liked the other characters as well. Even though there were characters the ones I didn’t like very much, I still appreciated their roles in the story and the dynamics they added to the plot.

Also, I would like to mention that I love the cover art on this book. I thought it was breathtaking and an excellent representation of the story within.

All and all, I thought this book was epic and worthy of all five stars.


The Book of Ivy

The Book of Ivy - Amy Engel
  In the years preceding a nuclear war, two families fight for power in the small group of survivors. The Lattimers won and the Westfalls lost. In the decades that follow, as a way to strengthen a fragile truce, the daughters of the losing side are set to marry the sons of the winning side. This year is Ivy’s year to marry;however, unlike all the other girls Ivy is a Westfall and is betrothed to the President’s son, Bishop Lattimer. Now Ivy has one job, to kill Bishop Lattimer and restore her family to power. However, Bishop is not who Ivy thought he was, and may be the only person who has ever loved her for who she is. Now she must choose between the loyalty she has to her family, and the love she has for her husband.

This book is more than just another beautiful cover. I read this book in 4 hours without moving. I thought I would just read a few chapters before bed, and before I knew it I was almost finished. I love it when that happens. I loved this book from the beautiful cover art to the characters and the amazing plot!! My biggest problem with this book is that the sequel doesn’t come out until November 2015. It’s agonizing, really.

I love Engel’s characters. Ivy is strong while also being compassionate, and she has an appreciation for human life that I find admirable. She has a seriously sharp tongue that could get her into trouble. She is truly engaging. Bishop Lattimer is nothing I expected; he is kind and intelligent. Bishop is also taciturn; however, it makes him even more intriguing. I spent the entire book trying to figure him and his motives out.

The story line was compelling and imaginative. To be honest, it reminds me of a revamped, dystopian twist on Romeo and Juliet. I thought the romance was more realistic in this book than in many others I have read. Their romance slowly grew over a 3 month period instead of love at first sight. It was also subtle, not all at once, which may be more realistic in an arranged marriage. Furthermore, the inner turmoil! Oh, the inner turmoil! I was just as conflicted as Ivy. I kept questioning myself, what would I do? And then finally the moment of truth - the ending took me by great surprise. This book could have gone a number of different ways, but the ending was not what I imagined. I cannot wait for book 2!
The writing in this book was clear and easy to follow. The author presented the story in a way that made me care about the characters. The conflict was intense and the resolution was just as intense. I don’t know if it was a resolution so much as another conflict, but I digress. I loved that ending wasn’t something I envisioned as a possibility.

I give The Book of Ivy 5 stars


Bleed Like Me

Bleed Like Me - Christa Desir

Gannon is struggling for air in a world where she barely noticed. She is barely surviving by simply going through the motions. Until an unexpected whirl wind of a boy interjects himself into her life. Everything changes when Brooks enters the picture. For once Gannon isn’t a specter in her own life; someone sees her. Not only does Brooks see her, but he loves her. As their relationships rapidly progresses, the stakes raise, and Gannon finds herself in a place she never imagined. Now in the in the midst of a relationship based on possession, and addiction she must decide if this is what she wants.

Warning: This book contains adult content such as; drug use, violence, sex and other adult situations that may not be suitable for all readers.

To me, books with realistic undertones and high emotions are the hardest to review. If I hated the situations but the book was good, will I be able to be subjective? By the same token, if I enjoy the emotional parts of the book but it wasn’t well written, can I stand back enough to review it? This is one of those reads. This book is full of pros and cons for me, I dislike the characters for the most part, as well as, the situations in this book. On the other hand I realize that this is a decent portrayal of how some relationships really are. So, here goes…

I feel like this book is a fairly adequate representation of what could happen in an unhealthy relationship. The relationship in this book is intense to say the least.

As far as characters go I have to say that I didn’t really like any of them in this book, with the exception of Gannon’s boss. He to me, is the only one who had his head on straight. Gannon is really detached from the readers, however, this is probably intentional seeing as she is detached from everything. I found Gannon’s problems to have some merit, however, I found most of them to be blown out of proportion. Though I know teenagers are notorious for this, I thought her reactions were too dramatic in relation to the situations in her life. To me she was whiney and selfish. She also has a very prominent addictive personality trait to go along with her depressive traits. These traits together made her make less than wise decisions. I personally feel as though she had a mental disorder, and seeing as I work in mental health, I feel like I can recognize it when I see it. If her parents would have only gotten her help sooner. On the other hand, we have Brooks, who I can also say, has a mental disorder. He seems manic-depressive to me. I don’t particularly like him either. I found him to be possessive, controlling, and moody. To top it all off he is an enabler.

Together these two bring out the absolute worst in each other. They feed into each other’s mental illnesses and addictions, which is like a hurricane colliding with a monsoon. I don’t know if “love” is a good term for them. Rather, they are addicted and obsessed with each other. Their relationship develops so quickly Gannon doesn’t even know what’s happened until it’s too late and she has completely isolated herself.
The writing in this book is pretty good. It kept me interested. I read it in one sitting in a matter of hours. I didn’t like how detached I felt from the characters. I theorize that Desir did this on purpose, but I can’t swear to it. Furthermore, I felt like the ending was like running at full speed into a brick wall. It literally came out of nowhere. Granted, it wasn’t the ending I was expecting, but it also didn’t feel like if flowed well with the rest of the story. BAM! ENDING! What just happened? Also, there was not really a conflict resolution which once again I realize was most likely on purpose. Despite that it is still aggravating, especially in a stand-alone novel. This made me question what exactly the point of the novel was. Finally, the introduction of superfluous characters. My main example is the librarian. She was completely inconsequential in my opinion. Overall, since my cons out-weigh my pros, I would have to give this book three out of five stars.


Point of Retreat

Point of retreat - Colleen Hoover
  Point of Retreat is the sequel to Colleen Hoover’s Slammed. Now that Layken and Will can finally be together they have to figure out how to deal with the hands they’ve been dealt. The things that brought them together could be the things that tear them apart.

“Meh.” To me this book is “meh.” I do not hate this book,I love this book, nor do I really like it for that matter. This book did not leave any lasting impression whatsoever. It is so difficult to write a review on a book that did not move you in any one direction. I could go on for all day about a book that I hate and why I hate it. I could gush for hours, months even, about a book I love. However, a book that left me indifferent is quite the challenge. I read this book about two weeks ago and in that time I have been trying to decide how I would write this review and what I would say. I thought, “ Maybe I just won’t write a review”. In the end though, I decided if a book left me feeling this way that I should write about it.

So let us begin with the characters. To me, Kel, Caulder and Kirsten are this book’s saving grace. They literally made me laugh out loud (and get strange looks from my boyfriend). However, I was not happy about the route Hoover took with Will and Layken. First of all, Layken is raising her younger sibling yet, acts like a child this entire book. She throws temper tantrums like a spoiled, misbehaved child. Then Will acts as if that is a completely normal behavior for an adult. Despite the fact that Layken is 19 years old, she is still old enough to know better especially considering she is raising her young and impressionable younger brother. Also, the characters seemed to have made a drastic change from the first book. Will was a responsible man, who was concise in his decision making in Slammed. In Point of Retreat he is a controlling stalker who disconnects Laykens battery in her car so she would have to ride with him. Also, he also holds onto a gift from Layken’s dead mother in order to be able to see her. Who is this guy?

This book has too much nonsense going on. First, there is the saved virtue of the heroine that she will relinquish only after a year of them dating due to a request made by her now dead mother. Then we have the raising of children and trying to go to school. And of course what would a love story be without a vindictive ex-girlfriend bent on destruction. Then there is another conflict that I won’t discuss because it would be a spoiler. It’s simply too much going on. It makes the storyline muddled and unclear.

From the conflict to the resolution this book did not move me. The relationship between Layken and Will lacks any depth. They really don’t seem to have any chemistry and I didn’t feel like the love story was real. Furthermore, the characters have drastic personality changes from the first book. The story is overwhelming with side stories. I’m disappointed that bought the third book before I read this one, because I won’t be reading it. I give Point of Retreat 2 stars



Icy Pretty Love

Icy Pretty Love - L.A. Rose
  Rae is a call girl, but not for long. After this final job she is going to take her riches, run away and start a new, better life for herself. She has received a mysterious phone call from a billionaire who asks her to pretend to be his son’s fiancé. What Rae did not expect is the nightmare of the man she will have work with. Cohen is not just irritable, he is insufferable and blatantly mean. Everything and everyone irritates him, and he has no qualms about expressing it. Now, she all she has to do is tolerate him for a couple of months, and her life will be changed forever.

I loved this book so much more than I thought I would, which is always such a treat! From Rose’s quirky characters to her interesting plot line, this book held my attention to the last page.

First of all, I love the characters in this book. They were refreshing, quirky and interesting. Rae is fun, bold, and absolutely loveable. Cohen, on the other hand, is persnickety, curt, mysterious and irresistible. Together these two are a union of chemistry, humor and witty banter. It was so refreshing to read a story, particularly a romance where it didn’t contain the same cookie cutter characters as all the novels preceding it.
Furthermore, the storyline itself had an interesting premise, especially about a life style many of us know nothing about. The way the characters develop throughout this novel was done well and not rushed. The novel was by no means fraught with insta-love, for which I was greatly thankful. I was interested the entire way through and loved every moment.

The writing in this book was well done. I was surprised slightly about the amount of adult language in this book; however, it wasn’t overbearing or gratuitous either. I thought the pacing in this novel was very well done, and even throughout the book. My biggest, and possibly my only complaint about this entire novel is that when the conflict reached its peak and Cohen’s big secret was finally revealed it was a bit anticlimactic. I was like, “oh, okay.” Instead of being like, “OMG!!! NO!!!” Despite this, it really didn’t distract any from how much I enjoyed the novel and how much I would adore a sequel.




Ruthless - Carolyn Lee Adams
  Ruth Carver has a very serious problem, she has awoken in an unfamiliar dark place and has no recollection for how she came to be there. After a little time and some investigating Ruth realizes she is in the bed of a moving pickup. When the truck finally comes to a halt a large man yanks her out of the bed and ties her up. Little does she know she has just entered a deadly game of cat and mouse. Will she become his seventh victim? Or will he become her first?
Ruthless is a fascinating and thrilling young adult book that takes the reader on an adventure, page after page is filled with Ruth’s battle to survive against her kidnapper she calls “Wolfman”. This book is full of page turning action that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Adams begins the book after the Ruth’s abduction which automatically piqued my interest. Ruth is a tough, resourceful heroine and it serves her well, especially, while trying to outrun a monster. As the book continues it turns out Ruth isn’t really the nicest girl around her town, she very competitive with somewhat of a mean streak, hence her nickname “Ruthless”. Despite this the reader doesn’t have a chance to really meet that side of her due to her being in fight or flight mode the majority of the book. I really enjoyed that Adams showed major character growth as the story developed. No one likes a snot for a heroine. The entire story her captor is trying to break her yet, despite his best efforts she doesn’t let him. I really admire this about her.
“The Wolfman” as Ruth nicknames him, is an interesting captor. I feel like Adams could have dug a little deeper into his backstory. Though she does do so, I feel like it was a bit shallow for the depths of his depravity and lacked some detail. That being said, it was very nice to have the little bit that she provided. How often do people do heinous acts and we question why? Fortunately for us, Adams provided us with a bit of insight, despite it not being quite enough.
The writing in this story was interesting, Adams pulls you in from the very first paragraph. I enjoyed that quite a bit. I feel like Adams could have pushed the envelope just a bit in order to make this book truly memorable. Throughout the book there are several flashbacks of both Ruth and Wolfman from before this incidence, and I felt like Wolfman’s part of the story was lacking and Ruth’s was a bit superfluous.
Adams created an all too real situation, her book held me captive for all of 248 pages. It made me ask myself, “what would I do in a situation like this?” “What would my breaking point be?” It’s a terrifying situation to imagine yourself in, even for a moment.
I give Ruthless 4 stars.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”


The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant story about an ordinary boy who is just trying to find where he fits in the universe, and it is brilliant.


I have seen this book in book stores and glanced over it. I have seen the previews for the movie several times without giving it much thought. I honestly did not realize that I was overlooking one of the most well-written and amazing books of our time. I have been in a bit of a book rut. I have picked up the same book about 500 times and was about to my breaking point when I went out on a limb and picked this book up. And I am so thankful that I did.  I have read many young adult books in which the author attempted to write a realistic story about adolescence, but never have they even come close. This book however, was on point. This book does include drug use, sex, profanity and other adult situations. That being said, this book may not be appropriate for all audiences.


From the very first page I fell in love with Charlie. He is a bit strange for a boy his age I will admit, but that honestly made me love him that much more. He is thoughtful, observant, poignant, and a bit lost in his own head. I feel comfortable in saying that all of us have or will find ourselves in the state of mind when we are trying to find our place in the world, simply trying to understand who we are. This book captures that very state of being in a way which I have yet to see.  Charlie is remarkably easy to relate to and to like, love even. He has this naiveté and innocence that is curious and endearing, but most of all is he is genuine. Charlie could easily be the boy next door, the boy who sat behind you on the school bus, the boy whose name you never knew in school. Yet, he matters, he is significant and only by reading this novel can you truly understand why or how.


The writing style in this book is unique and lovely. There are times when I laughed, times when I felt embarrassed, sad and moments of absolute clarity.  The writing is easy to read and flows well; however, the story itself is full of issues that are anything but easy.  This isn’t the next Hunger Games, or Harry Potter. It isn’t action-packed and full of vampires or zombies. It has a subtle way of drawing you in and eases you into powerful and unforeseen ending. 


The ending of the book left me breathless. I couldn’t place where it was heading, but when I reached the ending it was most certainly not what I had expected. 

I give this book 5 stars because I truly love this book.