I have loved every minute of blogging. I am so happy to have found this passion and community! When I started Reading in the Wildwood, I never imagined it would grow into this. I’m so thankful and blessed! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
With that being said, let’s move on to my exciting news! I’m rebranding! I’ve spent countless nights praying and planning, and now I feel like it’s time to take that leap. I love Reading in the Wildwood with all my heart, but it’s time to introduce the next chapter. I will now be blogging at Wildwood Reads! It’s still the same concept. I will still talk about my love of books and nature, but I have so many plans for the future! I hope you guys will join me in this new journey! Be sure to check out the new blog and subscribe. I have a ton of announcements coming your way! Starting today, all of my new content will be at Wildwood Reads. As always, thanks for the love and support!
I wanted to love The Devil All the Time. I tried so hard to love it, and I did in the beginning. However, things fell apart pretty quickly.
Set in 1960, Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a unique cast of characters. Willard Russell returned from World War II tormented by the carnage. But the hardest thing he will ever face is the death of his wife. He prays and offers sacrificial blood, but nothing calms the cancer. Then there’s Carl and Sandy Henderson who travel the country looking for models to feature in their deadly photographs. You can’t forget to mention the spider handling preacher and his sidekick who are running from the law. Finally, there’s Arvin, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up in the thick of it all.
The Devil All the Time starts well. It’s atmospheric and gritty. It has the promise of a great story. In the beginning I was hooked.
Unfortunately, the more I read the less interested I became. I could care less about most of the characters. I also thought Arvin would be more involved. He really didn’t become prominent until the end.
Basically, everything happened at the end. The pacing felt off and the payoff comes late. It just kept building and build. And frankly, I got bored. In the last few pages everything finally started to come together, but by that point I’d lost interest. I’m bummed that I didn’t like The Devil All the Time more. I had high hopes for it.
I went into The Child Wore Pearls expecting one thing, but got something so much better. I’m being vague because I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s better to go into this one without knowing too much.
June Randolph and her father make a seamless team at their family owned jewelry store. Unfortunately, June has never had that kind of relationship with her mother. At seventeen, June is ready to live life outside of the store. When a new customer comes in, June’s life will change. The women is kind and attentive. She draws June out of her shell and nurtures her. But secrets don’t stay hidden. Her mother’s passed will change June’s future.
First, I want to say that I’d love to visit this little town. It feels so quaint and cozy. And the family owned jewelry shop also made for a fun setting.
When a customer of the jewelry shop befriends June, she starts to come out of her shell. I loved the heartfelt moments between them. June’s character development is substantial. She really is a different person by the end.
The climax of the book was completely unexpected, but it was believable. There were signs pointing to it, but it was subtle. I loved, loved, loved the way the author executed it. The Child Wore Pearls was planned well. Every detail was calculated and perfectly executed.
I’ve wanted to read Kingdom of the Wicked for a long time. I finally sat down and made the time for it. Here are my thoughts.
After the murder of her twin, Emilia is out for vengeance. Emilia and her family are witches who live secretly among the humans. She will find her sister’s murderer at any cost, even if she has to use dark magic. This forbidden magic leads her to Wrath, a prince of Hell. Wrath claims he is on Emilia’s side, but the Wicked can’t be trusted.
The beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked is amazing. I love the world building and magic system. It is everything I look for in a story about witches. It’s full of herbal spells, tinctures, and candles. I love the cottage core vibes.
Plus, the food sounds mouth watering. I was hungry during a majority of the book. I also loved the hustle and bustle of the family restaurant. It was quaint and cozy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last.
The murder of Vittoria completely changes the book’s direction, obviously. Emilia begins to lose interest in the family business. She only wants to find Vittoria’s murdered and make them suffer. She starts using dark magic, which is where Wrath comes in.
I really liked Wrath. I like the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath. However, their relationship didn’t develop as much as I wanted. I know this is a series, so I hope that comes in the later books.
Another thing I didn’t love was the big reveal. I guessed who the murderer was in the first few pages. Sometimes that can be saved if the motive was fulfilling, but I didn’t feel that way about this one. It just seemed lackluster to me.
All in all, I think this was a decent start to a series. On it’s own I didn’t love it, but I like what it set up for the next book.
In Unparalleled, seventeen-year-old Natalya Wells has one mission-to kill the monsters over the graffiti wall and rescue her best friend, Eve, who is held captive by Ascendants, the rulers of the fourth dimension. A dying land where children become victims of starvation and violence. When the Remnants, evil red-eyed demons, invade the fourth dimension, Natalya is transported to the next world.
The fifth dimension is a place where grass shrivels, dies, and regrows all in a matter of seconds. The heat of the sun cannot be felt because the sky is encamped by a mural of glass. Natalya meets Jance, who belongs to a superhuman race called Raidens, warriors who heal with invincible scars. Jance holds a deadly secret about what the scars on his body truly mean, and why his own father is determined to kill him.
Eve returns to the fifth dimension and meets Jance’s best friend, Ronan, a boy with no memory of the world he came from before. The three of them bind together to help Natalya become a Raiden. As Natalya endures this grueling transition, she discovers the secrets her friends are hiding, along with the unjust laws and dangerous manipulations that are poisoning this world. After a raging war divides the Raidens against one another, Natalya and her friends must reveal the darkness within themselves and embrace their unique gifts. Natalya’s power may not only shatter the glass world but someone she loves.
I’m so happy to be featuring Unparalleled today. I had a lot of fun with it! It’s a bit more sci-fi than I usually go for, but it was fun to get out of my comfort zone. If you liked Divergent, I think this would be for you. The world was gritty, raw, and really well developed. The characters in Unparalleled were also a lot of fun. I love some good angst. It made me reminiscent of books that I loved as a teenager. It was so much fun to get back to that feeling.
Meet the Author
Jenna Hebert has spent her life imagining different worlds. For the past 6 years, she has been crafting UNPARALLELED and finally decided to release the book into the world. While growing up, schools claimed she had dyslexia and ADD. Against the odds, she began writing and refused to give up. UNPARALLELED is her debut novel and Jenna spends her time in local coffee shops working on new novels.
So for my February bullet journal I decided to go with an ocean theme. I thought I would see if watercoloring the whole page would work. I like the way it looks, but it definitely caused the whole page to wrinkle. You can tell in the video that they were slightly stuck together. I’m not sure if I will try that again, but for now I like it.
I found this cute like octopus that I colored in with colored pencils . I tried drawing my own, but that was just a mess. Then I went in with my gold stamp set for the headings. Overall, I’m happy with the way it turned out. And keep a look out in the video you’ll catch a glimpse of my sneaky cat, Spark.