Review Rendezvous: 6/2/18

The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow by Alexie Aaron
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, mystery, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 342
Publish date: January 6th, 2012
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble


Little Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

The premise of this particular novel is certainly intriguing. I’m all for the story of an unwilling former gifted child dragged into a paranormal investigation. There’s quite a bit of mystery and suspense involved, but on the flip side there was also some out of place moments.

First of all, this is the beginning book in a series that has stretched to 19 books already, so the premise definitely has promise. The thing that really bugged me though about this book was how much focus was put onto romance relationships. Sure, add in some romance now and then to hooks readers who look for the kind of thing, but the main focus should be the mystery. Better yet, develop the kind of relationship throughout the series that has everyone going “Just get together already!”.

There also happens to be quite a few characters. I would expect to collect a large group of characters throughout the series as a whole, not in the first book. It was a bit overwhelming to try and read them all.

In the end though, it was a fairly good read. I did enjoy the mystery aspects, I ust wish it had been a little easier to follow the plot. I suppose I could try out the next one in the series, as it has the potential to be better. Although, the covers could use a bit of work, none of the books in the series look like they belong together.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 3/31/18

The House Always Wins by Brian Rouff
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 215
Publish date: October 10th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository


Anna Christiansen’s small-town life is about to go haywire. A young reporter stuck in a dead-end job, Anna falls head over heels for an interview subject, the bass player in an up-and-coming alt band. In short order, she pulls up stakes, moves to Las Vegas, gets married and pregnant, and moves into a big fixer-upper haunted by the ghost of a Sin City racketeer. That’s when she gets notice from a corrupt casino owner that he’s buying up all the properties on her street to make way for a parking lot. But Anna has poured her heart and soul into the house, and digs in hard to fight the system, not the easiest of tasks in a city where bribery, mayhem, and murder are standard operating procedures. 
Can Anna’s tough-guy ghost provide the help she needs to prevail in this dangerous cat-and-mouse game? Will Anna’s life be left in ruins? Or worse?

Stepping out of my usual bounds for a minute here. Despite the fact that I don’t read much adult fiction, I actually quite liked this. I can’t say I’ve read anything set in Vegas either, so I liked seeing a change in scenery.

At first I wasn’t sure what to think of Anna. She was a bit of a doormat and somewhat unlikeable, but I am proud to say that she did grow and change, settling into a much better persona. She’s not afraid to reach for the things life has to offer, even if that means ditching everything she’s ever known for a shockingly new start.

Her parents actually care about where she’s going, giving her new love the third degree before they even consider letting her step out of the door. But at the same time, it’s made very clear that she will leave regardless, so I applaud Anna for having a backbone. It’s that kind of thing that told me she wouldn’t take the rest of the book lying down.

Anna’s situation is the setup for every tragic backstory ever. She leaves her home because she’s in love with an up-and-coming musician. Barely a few months go by and she’s already pregnant, but in this case, her boyfriend – and soon husband – actually stays around. Of course, the moment when everything seems to fall into place is also the moment when a corrupt casino owner shows up with a notice that he’s going to buy out the properties.

There was much less paranormal involvement than I thought there would be, though there is some to a degree and it does factor into the climax. We also get several pages of the backstory of this ghost through flashback and storytelling, which was interesting but it felt like a lot of “telling” rather than “showing”. While it was interesting to read about everything the ghost went through, I feel like his involvement could’ve been expanded and information revealed more slowly, rather than all at once. Still, this book is good in its own right and I enjoyed it very much.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 3/10/18

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, paranormal, fantasy, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 452
Publish date: December 8th, 2009
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository


What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 

Get ready to fall . . .

So I’m about to admit to the biggest sin in book-kind: I watched the movie for this book before I actually read it. I mean, according to Goodreads I read this back in 2014, but it’s only after I just saw the movie that I really re-read it and got interested. So it’s basically the first time I cared for the story.

But I must say, I did enjoy the book much more than the first time I read it. The take on angels is quite intriguing, and I need to know more about how Daniel and Luce ended up back together, because that has to happen in the end. It’s basically required.

Anywho, quick spoiler-free summary before I continue. Luce has been called psychotic her whole life (at least, until she pretends that she can’t see the shadows that plague her), but it came to a head when a cabin spontaneously combusted and killed the boy she was with. That got her sent to reform school, because no one believes Luce is entirely innocent. Even her parents are on edge, but they still love her, which is refreshing to have for once instead of the entirely absentee parents seen so often in YA.

It is at Sword & Cross, the reform school she’s sentenced to, that Luce meets Daniel. She can’t get over the fact that she’s known him somewhere before, and also can’t fight her need to stay away. She’s shocked when he realizes what he’s been keeping from her, and thus the problems begin.

I will admit, there was a bit of the classic love triangle that I am not entirely a fan of. It’s bad fallen angel vs. good fallen angel. We’ll see if it stretches out over more books, because then I really might have more problems with it. But, I digress. There is also some of that insta-love going on with Luce, which is why I ended up docking two hearts even though I did enjoy the book. Those two literary sins are just two of my least favorite things as they’re quite unrealistic. But then again, so is the concept of fallen angels and soulmates being reincarnated for each other. Either way, I’m still reading the rest, so that tells you it’s good enough to pick up anyways.


Follow a dhampir vampire as she protects her royal best friend from danger
Dead Beautiful
An interesting take on supernatural beings and soulmates
A girl discovers she’s a witch and is sent to a school for all types of magical creatures

Review Rendezvous: 1/13/18

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 323
Publish date: March 2nd, 2010
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository


Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

This is one of the very first series that really got me into fantasy and magic. I actually read the second book first on accident, then went back to read the first, and promptly forgot about the series due to life changes. I finally picked up the last book just a few months ago, and boy do I wish I’d read it sooner! I love the voice that Hawkins has, and her world is quite intriguing.

The story contains romance, the contrast of best friends and school rivals, not to mention the overhanging potential for all out war. But Hawkins balances everything quite well, and I absolutely adored reading this series.

This first book is a great setup for the rest of the series, even if it is not as action-heavy as the rest. I 100% suggest it to fans of mystery and magic!


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Review Rendezvous: 12/30/17

Love Reborn by Yvonne Woon
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, romance, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 368
Publish date: January 7th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon – Book DepositoryBarnes & Noble


Renée and Dante are dying. The soul they share cannot sustain them both, and they’re quickly running out of time. 

But Renée has in her possession a legendary chest said to contain the secret to eternal life-if only they could solve the clues that lie within it. With both the Liberum, a Brotherhood of the Undead, and a team of Monitors, led by Renée’s own grandfather, in hot pursuit, Renée and Dante must keep the chest safe or risk having it fall into the wrong hands. 

With the help of a mysterious letter-writer called only Monsieur, Renée and Dante follow a series of clues that lead them on a treacherous journey across Europe. They seek the Netherworld, a legendary chasm where souls go to be cleansed. It’s their only chance at a fresh start, but with it comes a terrible choice, one they never imagined they would be forced to make. 

The third novel in the acclaimed Dead Beautiful series is a haunting story of sacrifice, loyalty, and a love that can never die.

If you haven’t read my review of the first book in the series, you can do so here.

This series was one of the first to get me interested in the more paranormal side of YA. Seeing as I have now read over 40 books in that category, I would say it was definitely addictive. The main reason I enjoyed this series so much is that it played out an entirely different kind of undead that those that we are used to seeing. Also, the fact that all of the undead are only under 18, it makes me a little creeped out to think of a murderous 10-year-old chasing me.

Anyways, I really enjoyed reading how Renée and Dante’s relationship played out as well. There’s a definite ‘soulmate’ plotline going on, but the twist on it (that they actually have the same soul) is quite intriguing. The history that the books brings into play with Rene Descartes (even though there is probably a lot of liberty taken with it) just adds to the richness of the setting.

When I first read the series, I could only get the first book from the library, so I kinda just stopped there since I wasn’t really following authors or book series at the time. But, by the time I remembered it, both the second and third books were out and I devoured them instantaneously. I actually just re-read this one about a week ago as well, since it is stored on my laptop. This book gets the honor of being the only book I have ever bought from Apple iBooks. I definitely buy more books now (bookworm problems), but back then, buying books was unheard of for me, so you know it must be good.

Honestly, I’ve been trying to think of downsides the entire time I was writing this post, but I am struggling to find any. I suppose the only one that I could mention is that there is a mysterious gentleman helping the group out, and without him they all would’ve been captured or died. He kinda seems all-knowing and does make things a lot easier for the characters, but they still have to struggle through and puzzle things out on their own, so I don’t think he’s as bad as other deus ex machina moments I’ve read or seen.

Anyways, you should definitely read this book series if you’re into the paranormal and undead. You won’t regret it!

This wraps up my series-conclusion-themed December reviews, so I hope y’all have enjoyed! Leave me a note down below as to what type of reviews you’d like to see in the future!


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

A girl is forced to attend a magical boarding school, where she learns there’s something a little more sinister to her than others.
A dhampir trains to protect her royal best friend, dealing with death threats, love interests, and the undead along the way.
Wren died. 178 minutes later she awoke as a Reboot.