Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

nemesis

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

Being an undercover princess on the run from your family can be difficult – but being all those things PLUS being beautiful and having a major secret practically makes you a target for bad things happening.  Sepora is the last known Forger – her body creates and expels spectorium, a priceless liquid that can be made into materials for building, used in creating power, as well as a number of other things that make life run more smoothly.  But she’s tired of Forging for her father, the King of Serubel, who keeps her locked away from everyone so they don’t know she is the source of the precious substance.  And when she threatens to stop Forging for him, he locks her away in the dungeon – but her mother takes pity on her and assists her in escaping, while faking her death.  She doesn’t care where she’s able to run to, as long as it away from her power hungry father.  So she runs…

Being a prince not ready for his time to rule, but forced to be prepared upon his father’s untimely death from a mystery disease that kills with utter swiftness and is making its way through the kingdom of Theoria – hitting both old and young, male and female alike.  For Tarik, the now King of Theoria, his main concern is finding a cure for what is now called the Quiet Plague, and when Sepora ends up captured, sold into his harem, and demands to speak with him – from the moment he meets her realizes she is special in some way.  While he doesn’t realize her to be the presumed dead Princess of Serbel, he also knows that there is something about her – from the way she speaks to him, to the way she treats others.  That is partly due to the fact that Tarik is a Lingot, meaning her can distinguish a truth from a lie, and while Sepora learns how to speak with the intent of truth-telling, Tarik knows that while she is very special, she’s had a hard yet pampered path.  Throughout their trials together, the two begin to feel things for each other – but the fact that Tarik must marry a royal, but will love her is not something Sepora is willing to live with.  And while it’s found out that spectorium is at least a temporary fix for those with the Quiet Plague, never fully trusting Tarik and his intent leads Sepora on an emotional journey – one that could end up leading her right back into danger.  But it’s not a clear matter of right or wrong for Sepora, but rather of what is right for HER – meaning she makes a promise that no one will use her for her Forging powers, unless she deems them worth of such a gift (as she’s been used for it by her father for so long who does not use it for good most of the time).

While I’m not usually into more “historical” pieces (the whole story had a pharaoh mixed with the Middle Ages type feel), I loved everything about who Sepora was and the courage she had to find and make a new life for herself.  She was tough, intelligent, but still full of grace and clever words – enough so to make her way from runaway young lady, to captive, to the King’s harem, to the King’s Advisor’s attendant.  And Tarik, while smart, strong, and handsome, he still knows nothing when it comes to matters of the heart – but he wants to do right by his kingdom and its people, even if that means marrying a women he does not love – when the one he eventually does is in front of his face.  I thought the story was brilliantly written in a split POV between Sepora and Tarik, and their perspectives were important to the entire book.  I know Ms. Banks must have some amazing words up her sleeve to try to outdo the first part of Sepora and Tarik’s story, but I will try to keep my hopes low so she can blow me away once again!

Book review: Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

This book picks up 10 years after Callie plunged the needle into her chest, all the in the name of keeping her “little” sister (whom is really her twin that was just implanted into her mother ten years after Callie was born), Jessa, from the horrible fate that she sees in her future.  In a world full of knowing the future and future visions of what life will be like for their society, a then 16 year old Callie thought she was salvaging a childhood for the then six year old Jessa – as well as the rest of the world by killing herself.  As part of a “send/receive” team, as twins, Callie believes that it will break the cycle and keep Jessa and their mother safe.  Even if it leaves them broken hearted – along with Callie’s boyfriend Logan and several others that had come to know Callie at Harmony, a safe community outside of Eden City that is for those gifted with talents.

But the now 16 year old Jessa is left feeling like the wrong sister died ten years ago – that it should have been her instead of Callie.  Because of this, she tends to act out against the Committee of Agencies, or ComA.  Her latest stunt is to release all the lab rats from the lab within ComA – which just so happens to be for an experiment for a boy her age, Tanner Callahan, whom is a ward of ComA as his parents were killed in an accident when he was six.  And when Jessa gets bite by one of the rats, she becomes infected with a strange, unknown ability.  At this point, Jessa feels it necessary to find out from Tanner just what she has been infected with, but the first meeting doesn’t go quite as Jessa expected.  So when they start running into each other more and more, their friendship grows beyond just young scientist and juvenile delinquent …they become friends that share about their difficult childhoods, and beyond to possibly more – neither one is quite sure what to think of the other’s allegiance.  And when Jessa finds out that Tanner is keeping a secret so major, it could literally change not only her whole life, but that of their entire worlds, it shakes Jessa to the core.  But with additional digging into this new development, along with Chairwomen Dresden – the evil head of ComA and Tanner’s boss – Jessa finds a new reason to keep going, she knows she’s there is more worth finding.  And with Tanner, her mother, and her other friends from Harmony, she knows that with love, anything can be done, even if it is a matter of life and death.

While I vastly enjoyed Callie’s story, I think I almost found Jessa’s story a little more enjoyable/ informative.  I learned a lot more about Callie’s story through Jessa’s story, 10 years later.  It amazes me how strong and smart both girls are – even more so seeing as they are twins – but they are different in one simple way…they each think the other will better serve the future than the other.  This surprised me in ways I didn’t think possible.  They are both very giving, loving, courageous, and smart, but it’s their love for each other – for their twin – that makes that strength shine so true in both of their stories.  I simply can’t WAIT to see what happens when their stories really collide in the next book – they are both older and more mature, so I could totally see a multiple POV tale in store for the Stone girls!

Book review: The Chosen Knights (Book 2) by Mary Ting

About THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 2) A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as … Continue reading

Cover Reveal: Blood Of Stars And Gods by Melissa Petreshock with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Blood Of Stars And Gods (Stars and Souls #2)
by Melissa Petreshock !

Be on the look out for this upcoming release from
Swoon Romance!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Blood of Stars and Gods.v2

 

Forever does not go on unchanged.

Caitriona Hayden’s destiny as the Dracopraesi dragon’s North Star is no clearer to her than it was weeks ago. However, Cait’s eternal future seems a minor concern while the vengeful elves continue taunting the dragons, now using violence against the human population in their desire for war.

Battles of war aren’t the only ones fought.

King Corrin struggles to make peace with his coming end, and as his family bonds heal, stronger relationships and alliances form among Cait and her dragons. Theo may have won her heart, but Oliver fills a void long left by the passing of her uncle, and each dragon is a part of Cait’s family.

But a darkness bleeds through to change their world.

When faced with decisions of life and death, Cait, Theo, and demigod Dante must choose unpredictable paths, chance outcomes of eternal consequences, and make dubious promises. As Cait displays unexpected abilities, complications arise, more details of her destiny are revealed, and she discovers the inherent risks of fearing change.

Every era has a beginning and an end. There are things in the world no one is meant to stop.

BLOOD OF STARS AND GODS is book two in the exciting Stars and Souls trilogy, sequel to Amazon #1 Contemporary Fantasy: FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS!

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Blood Of Stars And Gods (Stars and Souls #2)
by Melissa Petreshock
Publication Date: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

 

About-the-Author2

Melissa A. Petreshock author photo 2016 - smaller

 

Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time wife, mom, and writer returned to her home state of Kentucky after a number of years spent living in Massachusetts. She spends quiet days writing, while her evenings and weekends are often spent involved with her children’s extracurricular activities.

When not busy with her family or writing, she indulges in too much coffee, loud music, random dancing, and lots of fandoms. Melissa favors causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention.

BLOOD OF STARS AND GODS is the sequel to her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS, and the second book in the Stars and Souls Trilogy. To learn more about the series, check out her website.

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

 

Fire of Stars and Dragons

 

A dragon’s fire cannot be tamed.

In 22nd century sovereign America, women should be seen and not heard. Unfortunately, twenty-one-year-old CAITRIONA HAYDEN didn’t get that memo!

Determined to make her way in the world following the death of her uncle, being “seen” is the least of Cait’s problems.

Someone’s trying to kill her.

Ordained to guard and protect her, when Theo Pendragon claims Cait as his ward, he finds more than he expects as the flames of passion ignite within the dragon for the first time. But Theo is not alone in his desire, and he must learn to fight for what he wants, even if it costs him his best friend.

Dante, a powerful demigod and beloved friend to Theo, has spent centuries pursuing intellectual endeavors rather than indulging in the heat of desire. But everything changes when Cait arouses an attraction he cannot deny.

But Dante isn’t the only one with a vested interest in Cait’s future.

America’s monarch, an ancient vampire named Corrin, puts no stock in the frivolity of love, and yet a proper queen would boost his approval rating amongst the people. Marrying Cait could hold the key to his survival.

Now, love, desire and need force Cait into an impossible situation with dire consequences.

Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to fighting for a future she never knew she wanted with a man she never imagined she could love. But the key to her future is held in the one secret she has yet to uncover.

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Release Day Celebration: Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Consumed (Barren 2)
by Elizabeth Miceli

presented by Swoon Romance!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Elizabeth!

 

Consumed Cover

 

Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.

But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.

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Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date: August 31, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

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*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***

Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.

This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.

“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”

Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.

Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.

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About-the-Author2

Elizabeth Miceli

 

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

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Book review: White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

white raven

White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

When 17 year old Piper losses her mother to a horrible tragedy, her elusive grandmother, whom she’s never met, requests the summer with her and her little brother TJ on an island off the New England coast.  But when Piper and TJ arrive, they never could have prepared themselves for the huge and elaborate home that their grandmother lives in.  With Piper’s standoffish attitude and feelings for her grandmother, she keeps to herself and tries not to enjoy the lavish lifestyle, still in mourning over the loss of her mother and best-friend.  While in her shell of solitude, Piper wanders around the coastal town and meets Zoe, who is bubbly and outgoing.  She invites Piper to a bonfire, where she proceeds to meet Zoe’s three brothers, Zack – Zoe’s twin brother, Zander – the oldest Hunter sibling, and Zane – dark, brooding, and a complete jerk toward Piper.  But of course Piper feels a strange pull toward Zane and his obnoxious attitude, even though she knows she shouldn’t want to be talk to him…or see him…or dream of him.

When Piper starts feeling like she is being watched and Zane keeps popping in out of nowhere to intervene when she faces anything/one threatening, she begins to look for answers as to why people call her grandmother The White Raven, why Zane keeps calling her Princess, and why he and others have seemingly “invisible” tattoos that she can see, but others can’t…and why everyone keeps referring to her as a “Raven”.  With the on again, off again sparks she feels from Zane, when the eldest Hunter, Zander asks her out, she gladly accepts – he is literally just the tall, dark, and handsome to give her a little fun, but then Zane shows up and puts Piper’s life into a real tail spin.  And when he delivers the news that his father is THE Grim Reaper – that he is the son of death – and Piper is from the long line of powerful reapers known as banshee or a White Raven.  Zane tells her that she has the power to take a soul with one touch.  As her fascination with Zane grows, so does the danger she is in, as well as the information that she finally learns about her heritage – that her grandmother has an enormous amount of power, her mother didn’t want the reaper life for her (which is why she left Raven Hallow when she was pregnant with Piper), and that Piper is now next in line to be THE White Raven, “Queen” of all the reapers.  And not only that, but Piper also finds out that she is betrothed to Zander to unite the two most powerful families…falling for Zane shouldn’t have been a part of the deal.  But with danger waiting around every corner, Zane Hunter’s lips looking more kissable by the minute, and  her impending marriage to the other Hunter brother – Piper’s life is about to get more complicated than she could ever imagine.

Let me start of by saying I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!  I thought that Piper’s character was well developed, she knew how to stand on her own two feet, but was still willing to trust and rely on others.  She was strong, funny, and even without knowing it, completely kickass!  Which leads me to Zane…hmm, how to describe him with his hard abs, kissable lips, and dark hair (ha!) – Piper gives us some pretty good imagery throughout as she falls hopelessly in love with him.  I thought that their banter was amazing, and even though their journey is far from over, it’s apparent that they are a team, bound by their souls in an amazing ride of love, life, death and all those things encompass.  Great series so far – can’t wait to see more butt kicking and lip locking for Piper and Zane!

Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra (Book 2) by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra (Book 2) by Michelle Madow

elementals #2

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

The team of Elementals is back and ready for some answers.  With their teacher Darius leading the way, Nicole, Blake, Kate, Chris, and Danielle begin practicing and honing their Elemental skills – and keeping their town safe from monsters that have escaped from Kerberos, the prison the Olympians locked them into after the Second Rebellion.  As tension rise among the team, as do feelings between Nicole and Blake – but they have to keep those feelings hidden so they don’t upset the balance of the team, more specifically, Danielle.  But when they come up with a plan to find out just how the monsters are escaping, catching and questioning one of them, tensions run even higher.

Now that they’ve figured out a temporary fix using the Books of Shadows, the adventure really begins – in Greece and the Aegean Sea.  They must retrieve three things: the seed of the lotus fruit, the milk from the sacred immortal cattle of Helios, and the blood of a slain hydra.  The only problem is that they ALL come with some kind of obstacle – the lotus fruit turns you into a glorified hippie, the immortal cattle don’t produce milk, and the hydra, well, it’s a hydra – with 5 different heads, poisonous breath and bite – not to mention that if you try killing it by beheading it, two more heads grown back in the one’s place.  With nothing more than their magic and the weapons Blake (the fire elemental) created, they set off to create the only thing that could help them get and keep a hold on the escaping monsters until they can figure out how to permanently close the portal to Kerberos forever.  With a few new friends they meet along the way, does the Elemental team have what it takes to complete this frightening mission?

 One thing I love about the first two books so far is that they start with action and it doesn’t seem to stop throughout the entire story.  Nicole and Blake’s crush on each other grows, Kate proves that just because she can “only” control plates, she is a complete bad ass, and we already knew that Danielle and Chris has amazing power and confidence.  This story is very imaginative, while still giving the reader a glimpse into the actual Greek mythology.  I also think that it’s great that the story is super interesting, has a lot of action, but keeps it clean as far as the relationships are concerned.  This series would be perfect for anyone from 6th grade and up – and while an imagination is also necessary, Ms. Madow does a great job of painting a great portrait of her characters and the settings.

Elementals: The Head of Medusa Michelle Madow Cover & Blurb Reveal

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Elementals: The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow Cover & Blurb Reveal

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

Title: Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Publisher:Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #3
Format: eBook and paperback

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Synopsis:

THE EPIC JOURNEY CONTINUES IN THE THIRD BOOK OF THE ELEMENTALS SERIES.

Moving to a new town wasn’t supposed to be easy. But for Nicole Cassidy, it meant discovering she was a witch with never before seen elemental powers. Mysteriously given a mission that could help save the world, Nicole and four other gifted classmates journeyed to Greece, where they battled ancient monsters and barely escaped with their lives.

Now Nicole and the Elementals have returned home, and while her relationship with Blake—the fire Elemental—is finally heating up, she can’t rid herself of the guilt that she’s responsible for the death of one of their own in Greece. But she must remain focused, because the portal to the prison world of Kerberos is weakening, and Typhon, one of Earth’s deadliest creatures, has escaped. Now the Elementals must retrieve the only object in the world that can destroy this dangerous monster—the head of Medusa herself.

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do beable to find the strength to continue?

Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals series, The Head of Medusa.

Pre-order: Amazon

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The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows!To learn more about the first book, and to read the first four chapters for free, click here!

The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free!

Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway:
Michelle is offering five (5) lucky winners an eCopy of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Want all three parts of the Transcend Time Saga—Michelle’s first YA romance series—for FREE?  Click here to learn about the series and claim your books

To get instant updates about Michelle’s new books, follow her on Amazon!

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Trial by Fire (Going Down in Flames, Book 3) by Chris Cannon

Trial by Fire (Going Down in Flames, Book 3) by Chris Cannon **I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review** 4 ½ stars Red-blue hybrid dragon shifter Bryn McKenna has just started … Continue reading

Holding Court by K.C. Held

holding court

Holding Court by K.C. Held

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

Cute, smart, and funny – of course with a huge helping of mystery and murder! High schooler Jules is out of a job for the summer when her mom closes up their family’s antique shop to do some work overseas – which is a bit of a problem for Jules. Especially as she is trying to save for a car, but given that she has Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome or PTS as her best friend Cami calls it – where she has random and bizarre verbal outbursts – employers are not very likely to give her a job. But when a local home is turned into a tourist attraction called Tudor Times – with everything from King Henry VIII and his wives to a crazy maid that has random psychic premonitions – Jules hesitantly (and with Cami’s strong nudging) looks to fill the shoes of the crazy maid. The only problem is, that most of Jules’s premonitions aren’t made up like her predecessor’s – and when she finds a secret passageway after trying to hide from her crush, Grayson Chandler whom also works at Tudor Times, only to find the body of a young lady she’s never seen before – Jules’s summer just went from bad to worse. Especially when the body “disappears” when the owner/ King Henry, Hank Bacon, goes in search of it in the secret passageway – coupled with the fact that no one is missing from the staff, it is swept under the rug.

But where there is one murder with no body, be assured there will be more – when another actual body is found, of course by none other than Jules herself again, the stage is set for some extreme mystery and intrigue, all pointed in Jules’s direction. But when some of her PTS start actually making sense, will she have blurted the wrong thing to the wrong person? There is a killer in the castle, and they are trying to make Jules silent, possible permanently. Can she figure out who is doing the killing before the killer comes for her?

This book was extremely entertaining – and while yes, it was a MURDER mystery, it was light-hearted and so easy to fall in step with poor Jules and her PTS. For me, Jules is just like every other teenage girl – she has insecurities and flaws – but underneath it all, she just wants to fit in and not feel awkward when blurts something like “Your nun is pregnant” for all to hear. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of Jules’s confidence throughout the story – while she is still self-conscience about her PTS, she starts to feel like people could really like her for just who she is, weird blurts and all. I would definitely recommend this “cheerful” murder mystery to anyone that has a little Nancy Drew in them – or wishes they did 🙂