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Wild Horses on the Salt by Anne Montgomery

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Wild Horses on the Salt immediately caught my attention. The author reached out to me and me and offered a copy in exchange for my honest review. Set in the wilds of Arizona, I figured it would be for me. Let’s get to the review!

When Rebecca Quinn flees from her abusive husband, her only option is to head to Arizona. There she meets Gaby, her aunt’s best friend. Becca finds refuge at Gaby’s inn located in the Tonto National Forest. There Becca settles in surrounded by new friends. Becca’s new life is suddenly shattered when her husband tracks her down.

My Thoughts on Wild Horses on the Salt

I enjoyed this one. I loved the whole found family aspect. The main character definitely needed love. She came from an abusive childhood and marriage. Throughout the book, Becca copes with post-traumatic stress disorder because of that.

In one part of the book, a character (I can’t remember who) described Becca as hard to get to know. As a reader, I found that to be true. She did feel a little one dimensional. I would have liked to see a little more character growth, but overall I liked her.

I loved the fact that nature played a large role in this. There were chapters woven in that was set from the perspective of one of the wild horses that live in the Sonoran desert. While the life of the horse and Becca didn’t intersect in a big, dramatic way it did show all of the little ways that humans and nature interact. I loved that the author had a lot to say about the environment and wildlife conservation.

I feel the need to mention that this is very much a slow burn read. However, I found it necessary. Becca was healing from trauma and that takes time. The climax didn’t really happen until Becca’s husband returned near the end.

Lastly, let’s talk romance. It’s obvious that a romance is being set up. While I liked the romance, and her potential partner, I didn’t think it was completely necessary. I wish it had focused more on personal growth and healing.

I really liked Wild Horses on the Salt. It’s not an easy subject to read about, but Anne Montgomery wrote it well.

My Rating: 4/5


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We Must Save Jepson by Mark Petersen Review

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I received a copy of We Must Save Jepson in exchange for my honest review. It was a fun concept, so let’s jump into it.

H.R. Huxtable is off to save Jepson. His crew is a bit odd, but yet they persevere. Will they save Jepson?

My Thoughts

First, I love the formatting. This book is a collection of letters from and to H.R. Huxtable. It was a great way to tell this story. It felt like the reader was included in the adventure.

Despite my love of the letters, the plot fell flat. It was titled We Must Save Jepson, but I don’t really even know who Jepson was. I also don’t really know why he needed saving. Plus, how did a librarian become the head of a search and rescue group? There was a lot that wasn’t really explained, or if it was I completely missed it.

This book is quite clearly satire. I mean it does say it on the cover. The humor is overblown, but I expect that from a satire. There were several humorous moments. However, there were some bits of humor that didn’t work for me.

Overall, I don’t think this book is for me. But it was still a quick, easy read with a fun format.

My Rating: 2/5


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The Butterfly Effect by Rachel Mans McKenny Review

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The Butterfly Effect is out of my normal comfort zone, but it was what I needed in the moment. I jumped in after reading Darkdawn and it felt like a breath of fresh air. Let’s get to the review.

Greta Oto is not a social butterfly. She is nowhere close. She tends to prefer the company of bugs to humans. When her twin brother Danny is hospitalized, due to an aneurysm, she has to give up a lifetime research gig. When she comes home she has to face the people she has been avoiding for years. Through it all, Greta works on completing her dissertation, and she might even learn a little about the people in her life.

My Thoughts on The Butterfly Effect

Let me start by saying, Greta is the most infuriating character that I have ever met. But don’t let that scare you away from The Butterfly Effect. This book brings out so many emotions, especially anger. As annoying as Greta was, I could feel the hidden depths of her emotions. Greta had been hurt many times in the past, so she used her personality as a defense mechanism. It doesn’t excuse her behavior, but it made me understand it.

Another thing I enjoyed was the depiction of a family health crisis. My family has been through some health problems and it can feel isolating at times. It was interesting to watch how the characters reacted to similar situations. Everyone handles things differently and I enjoyed seeing a new perspective.

Lastly, Greta’s character growth is great. Toward the end you can tell she is trying to improve herself. I really appreciated that part. I also liked the slight hint of romance. It was refreshing.

All in all, this was a great read. It was real. It was raw. And it was what I needed in the moment.

My Rating: 4/5


Thanks to the author for gifting me a copy of The Butterfly Effect in exchange for my honest opinion!

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The Silver Box Review and Blog Tour

I am so excited to be participating in the blog tour for The Silver Box! I had a lot of fun reading this middle grade series back in October. Let’s jump into my thoughts.

Francie’s life has changed completely. Cryptic clues have lead her to this point and now she just has to piece them all together. The trials life will put her through are hard, and possibly deadly. While searching for her mom, Francie gets wrapped up in a mystery involving plant thieves. They are on the hunt for something Francie has in her possession and they want it now.

This series has been so much fun. The Silver Box brings it to a great conclusion. I love the mystery involved, but I especially love the environmental aspects included. It’s a great way to learn about real environmental issues that actually take place. The author does a fantastic job bringing those elements together. She also references cases that inspired the book on the last couple of pages.

I was a little iffy on Francie in the first book, but her character development was great. I also loved that she found this rag tag group of friends. That really helped add some life to the story.

I hope you get a chance to check this series out! It’s definitely worth the read! Plus, look how beautiful the covers are! Don’t worry about the fact that it’s middle grade. There is plenty of action to keep your interest.

Don’t forget to check out my reviews for the first two here! And check out the other blog tour stops below!

My Rating: 4/5


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The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates Review

I wanted to read something scary for Halloween. I have read a lot of spooky books, but nothing actually scary. So on our way in from vacation I stopped and grabbed The Haunting of Ashburn House. It was everything that I wanted The Haunting of Hill House to be.

Ashburn House has been the talk of the town for years. The owner, Edith, wouldn’t allow visitors. The town talked from afar. After she passed, her niece, Adrienne, was her sole heir. Adrienne doesn’t believe in ghosts, but it’s hard to deny their existence at Ashburn House. As she learns more about the house she begins to believe that something has unfinished business.

My Thoughts on The Haunting of Ashburn House

The Haunting of Ashburn House is not for the squeamish. There are some very creepy scenes. It begins like a lot of ghost stories. The main character lost her job and Ashburn House is her only option. A few of her aunt’s creepy possessions linger. They set off the ominous feeling perfectly.

Then the tension begins to build. It starts a little slow, but then it picks up nicely. The deeper in the book I read the more unsettled I became.

Further into the book, the main character started making questionable choices. However, she acknowledged her dumb choices. I kind of enjoyed that. It made it a little less infuriating.

The mystery surrounding the original family was well thought out. I loved the way the author used newspaper articles, letters, and other documents to make her big reveals. I’ve always enjoyed it when an author does that.

By the ending I couldn’t put the book down. It was so fast-paced and terrifying, but I also needed answers. The conclusion was satisfying and quirky. The Haunting of Ashburn House was just what I needed to get into the Halloween mood.

My Rating: 5/5