Firelight by Kristen Callihan

3 out of 5 stars

Firelight; Kristen Callihan

“What is beauty or ugliness but a false front that prompts man to make assumptions rather than delving deeper.”

The beginning of the book brings us to quite an opening with our leading lady Miranda Ellis and leading lord Benjamin Archer, the setting to me is a little unrealistic given that Miranda is only sixteen and yet she’s found groping at a certain firmness under the shadowed figures body..

Flash forward to a cliche setting of a forced marriage to settle up a debt and Miranda finds herself the new Lady Archer.

There were hints of phantom of the opera as well as beauty and the beast. In a less well done fashion. Soon we discover that Lord Archer has been cursed! [Enter Beauty & The Beast as well as Phantom of the Opera!] He’s cursed and it is taking over his body at a rapid rate, this curse supposedly cannot be undone.

The character development was stunted, I felt Miranda strayed from her strong role and became that stereotypical romance novel woman where she begged to be lorded over. Either hot or cold, pick one lovely! Also Miranda is lovely, beautiful, which we are not meant to forget!!

I don’t have many qualms with Benjamin Archer, aside from his angst over himself. I felt the secrets were withheld too long for any anticlimactic end or rather predictable one.

In the end all was amended, I suppose. In the end it was really anticlimatic and verged more on a lesser rating of 2.5 versus the 3. The only reason I gave it a 3 is due to the lore that was twined in it and it hardly saved it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

3 out of 5 stars

Gone Girl

“I am rising to my wife’s level of madness.”

I don’t know where I should really begin with this review, because I had such a difficult time reading this book. I literally forced myself to read this and the only reason I continued to read on was due to the fact I wanted to know HOW and then WHAT HAPPENED AFTER.

Admittedly, I only read this book because it was a gift from my mother for my birthday and she was convinced that I would enjoy it. I don’t know why, this isn’t my typical genre and I really wanted to stab my eyes out most of the time.

To begin, I loathed both of the characters. I didn’t feel for either one, Amy seemed entirely fake and well.. you discover why. Then of course Nick… star boy Nick… I loathed him as well for every reason that is written IN the book.

Still, I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know why. The story overall was dull, boring and didn’t at all inspire me to continue to read outside of WHY, HOW, WHAT HAPPENS AFTER. I never saw the movie because I knew I’d end up wanting to read the book…

Toward the last part of the book that’s when I actually became intrigued. When everything becomes clear and another game begins, THAT is what interested me. Nick wound up growing by leaps and bounds in the end, while I didn’t enjoy his character still…I did enjoy that twist at the end. The end which is part of many many online debates and heated discussions in both online as well as offline book clubs. To me, the ending was the best part and no not where I shut the book and shouted “HA-HA! I am finished with you!” I mean, I really did enjoy the ending.

Would I recommend this book? Maybe. This isn’t my typical genre or style. The science behind the psychology is really what kept me going. Other than that.. this could have easily been a 1. However, I’ll throw a positive note in on this.. the ending was so intriguing that I would almost contemplate continuing the read – until I knock myself in the head and go “Did you not just complain about your brain weeping in boredom?”

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

4 out of 5 stars

“God gives us the ugliness so we don’t take the beautiful things in life for granted.”

ugly love

Upon first opening this book, I somewhat wondered what I had gotten myself into and if I was going to embark on a new “50 Shades.” Except, within the first few pages I found myself tugged into the wreckage of these peoples lives.

Before anyone starts on how “this man treats Tate…” let’s be clear, Tate Collins allows this to happen, it is her decision to embark on this agreement. This is her choice as a woman to be involved in a “no strings” relationship with a man who clearly wants nothing more, those are the rules and she understands this.


Miles Archer is a man filled with such pain and sorrow that he cannot bring himself to love, it isn’t revealed why until we begin seeing flashbacks. You steadily learn more about him and learn that there are several layers to this man, the more the story goes on the more you learn and the more you hurt for him. You know why he can’t and it’s frustrating.

This isn’t a fluffy tale, it’s a REAL tale about how ugly love can be at times, how there are so often not fairy tale loves or beginnings to true love. The good, the bad and the ugly of love.

While there were some little things that I could pick apart, like how the writing wasn’t the most exquisite but it did make it a quick fast read [I consumed it in 4 hrs.] Or how there wasn’t that much character development aside from Miles… it doesn’t matter, because the focus was the pain and the development of moving past pain. It was about forgiving yourself for past transgressions to that you may move forward. For all of that.. I give it 4 stars… because it really did hit me hard.

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Netherling logic resides in the hazy border between sense and nonsense.

4 out of 5 stars

What an amazing debut novel and the beginning of a series!

Alyssa Gardner’s life has been less than that of a fairytale. At a young age, her mother was placed in an insane asylum, Allison Gardner is clearly out of her mind. She constantly clucks her tongue, talks in riddles and when she isn’t in a zombie-like haze, she’s as mad as a hatter. What you later discover is that there is a family curse that only affects the females of the family, which means that poor little Alyssa has inherited this. She can hear bugs and flowers and as the story unfolds it looks as though her mother isn’t the only mad one in the family, interesting, right?

It gets even more interesting. There is a lot of world building in this book, to the point you can see everything vividly thanks to the colorful [and not over the top,] description here. A.G. Howard delivers a beautiful world, with morbid, eerie creatures that could possibly inspire nightmares. Splendid, really! On top of this beautiful world that has been created, she does breathe life into all of the characters, for better or for worse.

The entire book is akin to a Tim Burton movie.

Alyssa proves to be a valuable tool in this world, she is a strong character who strives to do right, this is clearly seen. You do see her struggle with two sides to herself throughout the book, it is noticeable and she won’t let you forget the struggle either. At times, she can be foolish, but let us give her a break, she is only seventeen. In the broad scheme of things she is sensible and strong for a young character.

Jebediah is her friend since childhood and here we are with a love interest, he is artistic, wounded character and you doubt his strength a time or two, giving Alyssa the appearance that she is the stronger of the two. He proves himself as a friend and potentially more, time and time again. His character can be a little overbearing and he lost my appeal only to gain it, this happened several times for me.

Morpheus is a childhood friend from another realm, he is a Netherling and also her guide in life. He’s an enigmatic individual who constantly has you guessing as to what side he is really on and if he has any other thoughts aside from himself and his desires. He’s a clever individual who has a big flaw, he isn’t human and he cannot begin to fathom how human’s work. Humanity is trivial to him and it is fun to see his character develop into something much…muchier.

There are other minor characters in the book and ones that people might find familiar from Alice in Wonderland, with a twist of course!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book and for that matter the entire series.  There are points at which have you rolling your eyes, but I feel as if that is what has become of the YA genre. I overlooked these little moments and chose to see this novel for what it was and that was a beautifully dark rendition of a story that I hold dear to my heart.




Hello all, my name is Sissy Lu and I’ll be reviewing some books in my spare time. I’ve recently begun devouring books and per request of friends as well as my family I’ve begun reviewing books for them and recommending reads. So, stay tuned for some reviews!

Sissy Lu.