Friday, January 20, 2017

The Queen B* and the Homecoming King by Crista McHugh


The Queen B*, Alexis Wyndham, has only three rules when it comes to dating the star quarterback, Brett Pederson:

1. No obligations to spend every waking moment with each other.
2. No public displays of affection while at Eastline High.
3. And absolutely, under no circumstances, will she ever go to the Homecoming dance.

But as her life is completely upended time and time again, she begins to wonder if some rules are meant to be broken.

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Book 3
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆☆
5 coming-of-age stars.

Alexis is transforming before the reader's eyes. Turning from a hard young woman who refuses to compromise, to the version of herself Brett brings out – compassion and empathy. The ability to see a situation from more than just her perspective. She is learning how justice may be blind, but it's blinding her to everything outside of herself.

The truth may be black and white, but the emotions are hidden in the shades of gray. No longer closed off, Alexis is feeling more about everything and everyone in her life, learning how to compromise.

Brett isn't at the forefront of this installment, as through Alexis we see where their friends and family's lives are headed as well. Comfortable in their place in one another's life, Alexis is no longer fighting Brett's pull. She takes up a supportive role in her boyfriend's life, showing she is more than a protector and pessimist.

The characters are flawed but teeming with realistic human emotion. Heavy subject matter is explored in this novel and the previous one, done so in a manner in which it is realistic for the target age group – scary things which happen to teens every day, showing how resilient and strong they can be when faced with these situations. This may be a guide and comfort to those who may have experienced the same.

After reading all three books in a singular sitting, I am pleased overall and left wanting more. I look forward to reading more by this author, and highly recommend it to young adults and their more mature counterparts. We adults need to feel that spark of warmth only a budding crush can bring on.

Young Adult age-range: 13+. Parental discretion due to a handful of profanity/hate speech (realistically shown). Kissing. Heavy subject matter dealing with assault/bullying.


Also Available in The Queen B* Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Confessions of a Queen B* post.


Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our The Queen B* Strikes Back post.



Crista McHugh is an award-winning author of fantasy and romance who writes heroines who are smart, sexy and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (including the Greater Seattle Chapter and the Seattle Eastside Chapters), and Romance Divas.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

Connect with Crista

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Brought to you by


Erica reviewed her personal copy of The Queen B* and the Homecoming King (The Queen B* #3) by Crista McHugh for this post.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout


I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen...

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Book 1.5
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Jordan☆☆☆☆☆
Jennifer L. Armentrout (JLA) is one of my favorite authors and she has yet to disappoint me in anything she writes. I've read all of the books in the Lux series including Obsession, which took place in the Lux world, but was geared towards adults. Lux #1.5 follows Katy and Daemon's story from Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal, but entirely from Daemon's point of view. I would definitely recommend reading at least Lux #1-3 in order first, or even the entire series, but you could just read Obsidian and then hop to this one if you really wanted.

The Lux series is one of my favorites, which means I had to read Oblivion and I enjoyed every minute of it! Daemon is one of my all-time favorite book characters and I absolutely loved getting to know his character on a new level. It was great finally getting to see some of my favorite moments throughout this series from a new perspective. At this point I'm convinced JLA couldn't possibly write something I wasn't completely smitten by. Oblivion easily grabbed my attention from the first page to the very last and had me wishing for more. JLA definitely has the perfect recipe for a swoon worthy book crush and I can't wait to see what she does next!

I think Lux fans will have no trouble devouring this book! 5 stars for Oblivion. If you haven't started reading some of JLA's other series, such as the Covenant series or Wicked trilogy, I would highly recommend them!



#1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories…which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel Don’t Look Back was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Connect with Jennifer

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Brought to you by


Jordan reviewed her personal copy of Oblivion (Lux #1.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout for this post.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Queen B* Strikes Back by Crista McHugh


Alexis Wyndham isn’t quite sure what to think about her “friendship” with star quarterback, Brett Pederson. Sure, he has more intelligence than the entire football team combined. Not to mention that fact he’s a great kisser. When he asks her to help him with his college admission essays, she isn’t sure if he’s doing it to spend more time with her or if he’s just using her for her brains. But after her nemesis, Summer Hoyt, makes it clear she’s not finished chasing after Brett, Alexis begins realize how hard she’s fallen for Brett. Now the war is on, and the head cheerleader will find out why she should never take on a Queen B*.

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Book 2
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆☆
5 deliciously angsty stars.

After reading Confessions of a Queen B*, I immediately jumped into the next in the series – also reading it in one sitting. Hard to imagine, but I found it even more addictive, pages clicking by at a rapid pace.

Alexis is trying to keep Brett in the friend-zone, due to fear after the betrayal Summer dealt her. With her sister and Brett both acting as Summer's minions, she finds it difficult to trust two of the most important people in her life.

Alexis is a justice-seeker, the protector of the bullied, the girl who rights the wrong by showing those being led astray the errors of their ways. We all need an Alexis – the devil's advocate, the voice of reason, the harsh reality that removes the pretty lies we tell ourselves.

BUT, in her own life, Alexis is a train wreck due to the fact her fear won't allow anyone in. She listens to her gut, but then she ignores it when it matters most, showing she isn't a superhero after all. The heroine of this tale is a high school girl, but she tries her hardest.

This series is heavy with the morals, dished up in a way that no one would realize they were swallowing a heaping helping. As for the morality bent, it's shown in a realistic light – the pros and cons of any given situation. There is no element of preachy-ness to it whatsoever.

Brett is truly a good guy, but he suffers from being a 'guy.' They seem to be blind to the manipulations girls use. But in this, I kind of lose respect for Brett, because no guy is THAT blind. Instead of frustration, I rooted for Alexis when her inner monologue mirrored exactly what every young woman, and grown alike, need for self-respect.

Off to read the conclusion – I already one-clicked and was writing this review as it downloaded on my Kindle. As of right now, Alexis is one of my favorite young adult heroines. Let's hope the conclusion keeps her in that top position.

Young Adult age-range: 13+


Also Available in The Queen B* Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Confessions of a Queen B* post.



Crista McHugh is an award-winning author of fantasy and romance who writes heroines who are smart, sexy and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (including the Greater Seattle Chapter and the Seattle Eastside Chapters), and Romance Divas.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

Connect with Crista

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Brought to you by


Erica reviewed her personal copy of The Queen B* Strikes Back (The Queen B* #2) by Crista McHugh for this post.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall


Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.

Add to Goodreads



Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela☆☆☆☆☆
Under Rose-Tainted Skies was a fascinating read. I’ve had a difficult time as of late, sitting down and actually reading a book. I’ve turned to audiobooks more and more in order to feed my need for entertainment. This marks the second book of the year to suck me in and earn five stars. Norah’s agoraphobia, OCD, cutting, and other forms self-mutilation insured that my professional brain would be engaged, but Gornall takes it one step further by complicating Norah’s mental health issues with a crush… on the boy next door… who just might have what it takes to sneak past Norah’s walls and worm his way into her heart. After all, the guy who can make her contemplate holding hands and kissing has to be something special.

As an introvert who suffers from grief-induced depression, I saw myself in some of Norah’s behaviors. As someone who works with persons with autism, I saw some of my clients in Norah’s behaviors. As someone who has a family tree filled with addictive personalities, I saw some of my family members in Norah’s behaviors. Why? Because mental illness affects more people than we realize, and while it may share features among people, it’s different in each person. One of the many, many things I appreciated about Under Rose-Tainted Skies is that Norah’s thoughts would occasionally swirl around others’ past comments that she doesn’t look mentally ill. Far too often, persons with mental illness are dismissed or doubted because they don’t “look” ill and/or they’ve become accomplished at putting on a brave face in front of others. Although significant progress has been made, society still tends to unfairly judge people with a mental illness. But by using a seventeen-year-old girl whose issues have made her prisoner in her own home, held hostage there by her own mind, Gornall humanizes mental illness in a very effective way, especially when the reader is trapped in Norah’s whirlwind thoughts that she knows logically conflict with one another, are downright ridiculous, yet can do nothing to stop them – well, short of hurting herself, that is. I wept for Norah. Repeatedly. But I also laughed with Norah because the author does not paint her in a stereotypical manner as a pathetic human being who is so crippled by her illness that she cannot do for herself. No, Norah is a very capable girl who excels at her studies and who possesses a quick wit with a sarcastic bite to it (even if her mouth doesn’t always cooperate to let her say what she means) – and I loved her for it.

I should note that I also wept for Luke. When he gets caught up in the moment and forgets to respect Norah’s boundaries, I was as devastated for him as I was for her. What made Luke such a good fit for Norah was that he’s learned to accept and live with his father’s wanderlust, so he didn’t see Norah’s OCD as the glaring oddity that she did (or many others would have). He knew Nora was different and accepted her behaviors as the eccentricities that made her who she was and did so without having to know every detail about her mental illness. But it was because he was so accepting of Norah as she was, that Luke made the mistake he did, and his remorse when he realized what he did was immediate and obvious. The notes he wrote to her broke my heart and made me cry for the both of them. Yet despite the wedge that incident drove between them, Luke was there for Norah when she was forced to face one of her worst nightmares come to life – a scene during which I wanted to chew my fingernails off because my anxiety for Norah was off the charts. While there is a lot that I loved about Under Rose-Tainted Skies, I think that perhaps the thing I enjoyed the most about the book is that the author didn’t try to “heal” Norah at the end. This is likely due to Gornall’s own struggles (revealed at the beginning of the book), knowing that to do so would have been beyond unrealistic considering the time frame of the novel, but I still appreciated the authenticity of Norah’s treatment and her daily struggles. I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed Under Rose-Tainted Skies except to say I anxiously await the author’s next book.



My name is Louise, and I write YA books. Sometimes contemp, sometimes horror, sometimes thriller. My debut YA contemp, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, will be published by HMH/Clarion (US), and Chicken House/Scholastic (UK) in the fall 2016/17.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is about this chick, Norah, who suffers from agoraphobia, OCD and depression. Her life is one long blur of cheese sandwiches and trash tv, until she meets the new boy next door, Luke, and he starts to challenge her way of thinking.

Connect with Louise

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


https://www.netgalley.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall to read and review.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh


Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen B*tch.

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

Add to Goodreads


Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆☆
Crista McHugh is a new-to-me author, hooking me from page one. The writing style was fluid, with swift pacing, causing me to read feverishly to see what happened next.

Our narrator is Alexis, the crusader of truth. After being betrayed/bullied by her childhood best friend – only a best friend has the ammunition to truly annihilate you – Alexis formed, not only a thick skin, but the persona of a Queen B*, not to be confused with Queen Bee.

Alexis is harsh, unforgiving, seeking justice, not vengeance/revenge. She is just, sticking up for the those who are bullied and treated poorly, especially by the popular crowd in school. But her world is knocked off its axis when she has to partner in Health class with Brett – the golden boy, quarterback, presumably the boyfriend of the ex-BFF-betrayer.

Alexis blogs the dark and dirty of the popular crowd, naming names, including the faculty of the school for their wrong-doing, but she's a difficult girl to get to know.

This fast-paced read took the reader on a journey as Alexis had to find a balance between being so guarded she didn't allow anyone in, but not so open she allows herself to get hurt. She tries to keep her ethics in check, when normally something so black and white isn't as it appears to be.

The storyline is a bit more mature than most, but I believe it's appropriate for younger readers, as they are in the trenches of junior high and high school, experiencing these events on a daily basis. Alexis shows the reader right from wrong, and all the various shades of gray in between.

There's no doubt about it – I'm off to one-click The Queen B* Strikes Back.

Young Adult age-range: 14+



Crista McHugh is an award-winning author of fantasy and romance who writes heroines who are smart, sexy and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (including the Greater Seattle Chapter and the Seattle Eastside Chapters), and Romance Divas.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

Connect with Crista

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Brought to you by


Erica reviewed her personal copy of Confessions of a Queen B* (The Queen B* #1) by Crista McHugh for this post.