Top Ten Tuesday: Recommended Books Ashley Loved

11th Oct 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommended Books Ashley Loved

This weeks topic really speaks to me because I’ve come a long way when it comes to taking book recommendations from people. I used to be super picky about what I read (5 years ago I’d never touch a YA book, now it’s about all I read). I used to only read from certain genre’s (mystery and fiction) and would never venture outside my comfort zone. Now I’m a sponge. I take everything into consideration and from almost anyone, customers in the store to Twitter peeps online and everyone in-between. Here are ten books I’ve recently read and loved.

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11/22/63 Stephen King: A very long book but one of the best I’ve ever read, I love the historical aspect too!

A Study in Charlotte Brittany Cavallaro: A modern-day Sherlock story, totally loved it.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld: This was actually my first Westerfeld title and I’m completely hooked!


audioelegance cinder rpo undone


The Elegance of the Hedgehog Muriel Barbery: My very first audio book ever. Great performance and the story was suprising!

Cinder Marissa Meyer: I wouldn’t have read this without ALL the recommendations. I thought robots, not for me…

Ready Player One Ernest Cline: I was on the fence with this book for a while, recommendations pushed me to pick it up.

She’s Come Undone Wally Lamb: I love this book and the author so much. One of the books that really started me collecting.


beautifullies giveyouthesun hotelbittersweet


Beautiful Lies Lisa Unger: One of my favorite used bookstore owners forced me to buy this, I was not disappointed!

I’ll Give You the Sun Jandy Nelson: Customer recommended, I could totally hang out with these characters!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford: History, romance and WWII need I say more?


What books were recommended to you that you ended up loving?


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

5th Oct 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Published by Amulet Books
Pub Date: April 19th 2016
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover | Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

To earn a secret so profound, I would need to tell momentous lies, and make as many people as possible believe them…

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is modest and well mannered—a proper young lady who knows her place. But inside, Faith is burning with questions and curiosity. She keeps sharp watch of her surroundings and, therefore, knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing—like the real reason her family fled Kent to the close-knit island of Vane. And that her father’s death was no accident.

In pursuit of revenge and justice for the father she idolizes, Faith hunts through his possessions, where she discovers a strange tree. A tree that only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit, in turn, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder. Or, it might lure the murderer directly to Faith herself, for lies—like fires, wild and crackling—quickly take on a life of their own.

Faith Sunderly and her family have just moved to the remote island of Vane. They fled their former home in Kent when Faiths reverend father made a discovery at a dig site that was not received well. Faith is a 14 year old well-mannered young lady on the outside. On the inside Faith is far more interested in science than housework and she has a ton of scientific questions she is dying to find the answers too.

When her father is found dead on the island, Faith knows it was no accident and she is determined to find his killer. Though Faith has a few ideas of who would hurt her father, she has no proof. Faith begins to run out of time proving the murder. In a desperate fit, she begins to rummage through her father’s belongings and discovers his biggest secret of all, a tree. Of course this is not an ordinary old tree, this is the sole reason Faiths father was murdered. This tree has the ability to reveal a truth to you, but in exchange you must tell it a lie. Once you tell it a lie, and the lie takes hold in the community, the tree produces a red fruit. Eat the fruit and it will send you into an opiate dream-like state where the truth is finally revealed. The tree must remain in very dark conditions though and to properly care for it, Faith has to sneak out in the middle of the night and somehow avoid leading her father’s killer directly to the tree.

I ran across this book at BEA this year and immediately fell in love with the cover and the premise. I admit I did have a little trouble getting into the book, it starting out a bit slow for me. I was immediately annoyed with Faiths father and his nonchalance toward her; Harding portrays the sexism of the time in almost every chapter. It’s completely accurate but frustrating none-the-less! I love Faith and her hunger for knowledge; her fierce persistence made her a woman to be feared in her time.  I did feel like the ending was somewhat abrupt, maybe I just wanted more. I do think this could easily be made into a series, I’d love to know more about what happened to Faith!

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

29th Sep 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Nevernight by Jay KristoffNevernight by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books
Pub Date: August 9th 2016
Pages: 429
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Nevernight is a book that will take you on the craziest ride of your life. When I first saw the cover for this book I knew I was going to read it before I even knew what it was about. I was lucky enough to receive an eARC from NetGalley and it prompted me to pre-order both the US and the UK versions; I NEVER preorder anything. With that being said, I’d like to start this review with a cautionary note. Nevernight is a book that lives in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the bookstore, not Young Adult. I’ve seen a lot of talk on Twitter/Goodreads and several reviews confusing this idea, please don’t. If Nevernight was a movie it would be rated R for violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality. Anyhow…on to the good stuff!

“Be advised now that the pages in your hand speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music. Who did to happy ever afters what a saw blade does to skin.”

Mia Corvere came from a wealthy family but after her father is publicly hung for being a traitor and her mother jailed, she begins to live a much different life. While on the run from the very men who killed her father, Mia runs into some trouble and is nearly beaten to death in an alley.  This is how she meets her mentor Mercuiro, he saves Mia and takes her under his wing. It doesn’t take long for him to learn how badly Mia wants vengeance against the men who ruined her family so he begins training her to be an apprentice in the Red Church. This is a church of a different kind, it teaches and trains assassins. Once you’re accepted to the Red Church there are only two ways out, you either die or graduate and be initiated as a Blade.

“Never Flinch, Never Fear and Never Ever Forget” 

There are 28 acolytes fighting for the coveted title of Blade. Of those 28 only 4 can become anointed. Which means everyone will do whatever they have to do to be one of those 4 left standing. The Red Church is unique and has a Harry Potteresque feel to it. Long winding passageways, ghosts and monsters hiding in the shadows and a history that goes back centuries, a potion ‘s professor. But that is where the similarities end. Nevernight is a revenge story and Mia will stop at nothing to avenge her family even if means she doesn’t become a blade.

I loved this book for many reasons. Mia Corvere is a cold-hearted killer on the outside. She has been through some serious shit and her determination is a force to be reckoned with. While she is perceived as heartless, she really isn’t. She ends up being the only acolyte who really cares about her peers and despite her need for revenge. Oh! and she has a familiar, a cat named Mister Kindly who appears shortly after her father’s death.

Even though I stand by my 4 star rating on Goodreads, there were a few things I was less enthusiastic about. The beginning of this book was hard to get into, it seemed a bit slow and I wasn’t impressed with the first few chapters. There are footnotes in this book. Yep, you heard me, footnotes. Since I read the eARC the footnotes were impossible to keep up with, I had to scroll back and forth and by the time I got to the end of the chapter, I wasn’t sure what the footnotes were talking about. To be honest, I stopped reading them. It didn’t seem like they mattered a whole lot to the actual story so I just opted out. Overall though, I am glad I read Nevernight and I will be continuing with the series.


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

17th Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah BiancottiZeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes #1
Published by Simon Pulse
Pub Date: September 29th 2015
Pages: 546
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Six Californian teens have powers like super heroes only not, which is why they call themselves The Zeroes. Their quirky dysfunctional group consists of:

Ethan (a.k.a. Scam) whose power affectionately is known as “The Voice”, can scam Ethan out of any situation, or into the arms of any girl. The Voice knows things about people even they don’t know.

Kelsie (a.k.a. Mob) has the ability to project her feelings into a crowd, so when she is happy and upbeat, so is everyone around her, but when she is sad or angry…so is everyone around her.

Riley (a.k.a. Flicker) is blind, as in she can not see, with her own eyes that is. Flicker has the ability to use the eyes of those around her to navigate through her surroundings.

Chizara (a.k.a. Crash) has the ability to shut down any electronic device in her general vicinity including cell phone towers, medical equipment and cars that heavily rely on electronics to operate.

Nate (a.k.a. Bellwether) has the ability to bend the will of individual people as well as groups of people and crowds, he is also the groups leader.

Thibault (a.k.a. Anonymous) Thibault’s ability is to remain unmemorable to everyone he meets. You could see him walk into your house and rob you but moments later you’ll have forgotten he existed.

After a year of not speaking, the Zeroes are thrust back together when Scam’s Voice gets him into some big trouble with some major mobsters; he accidentally stole a duffel bag full of money. Once Scam discovers the money, he decides the only way to hide it is to deposit it into the bank. Wouldn’t you know it, the bank gets robbed while Scam is waiting his turn in line flirting with a girl. Since someone triggered the silent alarm and the bank vault wasn’t unlocked as planned, the bank robbers decide to start taking money and jewelry from the hostages. Just before a robber tries to look into Scam’s bag, Scam unleashes The Voice on him and turns all the robbers against each other ending the robbery with gunshots and a dead robber. This is only the beginning of Scams troubles as he is hauled down to the police station for questioning. The story plays out as expected, the Zeroes come up with a plan and they begin to execute it but mobsters and police detectives keep getting in the way.

Told from 6 POV’s, I was pretty confused at the beginning of the book, especially because each chapter is named for it’s characters code name. For example: the first three chapters are called Scam then the fourth is called Mob. It doesn’t become clear until later that Scam and Mob are characters in the story.

I enjoyed this book for several reasons but I really like the zero vs hero storyline, it was different. The group has the ability to help people, they just lack the knowledge to make it happen without hurting themselves or others. Though I gave the book 4 stars, I did think it was unnecessarily long. I would have enjoyed reading more about characters individually. I’m not sure if this is a stand alone or not but it could definitely be made into a series and I would probably read the next installment.


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

13th Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: The Girls by Emma ClineThe Girls by Emma Cline
Published by Random House
Pub Date: 14 June 2016
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult Fiction, Historical
4.5 Stars

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an indelible portrait of girls, and of the women they become.

When I first opened the ARC of The Girls and read the editorial note from Random House (it basically says the book is amazing and the editor couldn’t put it down) I thought “yeah, that’s what they all say”. Then I flipped the page and began reading, before I knew it I was half way through the book, completely entranced. On the back of the book there is a blurb that says something about “Clines first novel…” I kept thinking there was no way this is a debut author, NO WAY! I love the way Cline writes, she is such an amazing story teller. I don’t consider myself a picky reader by any means, but if a book doesn’t move quickly, if something doesn’t grab my attention in the first 50-60 pages, I’m out. I don’t want to sit and read about nothing, I want to be intrigued, mystified, scared SOMETHING or I will simply put the book down and never think of it again. The Girls is not a fast paced book, but Cline gives you just enough from chapter to chapter to make you want more. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about cults and susceptibility of impressionable young girls, myself at that age, the shit I got myself into, what I did to feel like I belonged. I even spent a few hours down a Charles Manson rabbit hole, then a few hours down a Emma Cline rabbit hole as well. I was VERY excited to discover this will not be a stand alone novel, it has been bought (for a very handsome sum) to be a three book deal including a second novel and a short-story collection.

As it turns out, the Random House editor (Kate Medina) was right (are you surprised? Me either.) This book is unputdownable. It’s weird too because this novel isn’t that surprising really, we all know what happens in cults, we know how crazy it was in 60’s, yet there is something about the way Cline develops the story of these women, their bond, the friendships, it’s simply amazing. I drank the Kool-Aid and I think you should too!


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Ashley’s 2016 BEA Recap!

4th Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, BEA

Ashley’s 2016 BEA Recap!

Book Expo America was in CHICAGO this year woo! I was kind of excited and kind of not and here’s why. Since I live closer to New York I was able to drive last year (my first year) and not have to worry about airplanes, airports and luggage restrictions. But I have family that live close enough to Chicago so my brother and my nephews were able to meet me and stay the weekend, which was so nice because I haven’t seen them in a while. So pros and cons for both cities as far as I am concerned. The one thing I noticed this year was even though the opening lines were bad, it didn’t seem like the convention itself was as busy this year. I did a quick Google search and found the Top Ten Largest Convention Centers in the US…McCormick Place is the biggest (like twice the size of Javits!) and the Javits Center doesn’t even occupy space on that list. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem as busy?

The Books

Here is a link up to the books I brought home this year, in no particular order.

The Littlest Bigfoot Jennifer Weiner
The Great Shelby Holmes Elizabeth Eulberg
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart Lauren DeStefano
The Mighty Odds Amy Ignitow
Warp Lev Grossman
Thieving Weasels Billy Taylor
The Wonder Emma Donoghue
Stalking Jack the Ripper Kerri Maniscalco
The Lie Tree Frances Harding
The Lost Property Office James Hannibal
Blood for Blood Ryan Graudin
Caraval Stephanie Garber
The Forgetting Sharon Cameron
The Hawkweed Prophecy Irena Brignull
Leave Me Gayle Foreman
Three Dark Crowns Kendare Blake
The Secret Keepers Trenton Lee Stewart
A Shadow Bright and Burning Jessica Cluess
Stealing Snow Danielle Paige
Replica Lauren Oliver
Gerties Leap to Greatness Kate Beasley
Spare and Found Parts Sarah Maria Griffin
The Movie Version Emma Wunsch
Gemina Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

The People

This year I was excited about the book and the authors but I think I was more excited to finally meet some blogger friends ( I finally met Jess and Morgan!) in real life! Here are some pictures, again in no particular order.


The Sites

Of course I had to have real Chicago Deep Dish pizza, visit the Bean and even got to see the beautiful views on top of The John Hancock Center.


When it’s all said and done, I enjoyed Chicago more than I thought I would and I’d go back but I will definitely be at BEA New York next year! See y’all!


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke

2nd Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve TucholkeSlasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial Books
Pub Date: August 18th 2015
Pages: 385
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.


Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Short stories and anthologies aren’t really my thing, to be fair I probably haven’t really given them a fair shot until now. I have to admit, I started by reading  my favorite authors first then going back to the others. I’m happy to report that I would give other anthologies like this a chance. Since the book has 14 short stories, I am going to touch briefly on each of them.

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma

This one was so creepy, like everyday creepy. A male next-door neighbor is photographing young girls in the neighborhood. As if that’s not enough, there is a bird twist to the story that literally gave me the chills.

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the story follows Cassidy Evans through her teen years and her obsession with something very deadly in the clearing in the forest behind her house. {shudders}

Emmeline by Cat Winters

Set in Northern France in 1918, a historical story inspired by All Quiet on the Western Front, Nosferatu and Kiss Me Again Stranger. Definitely creeped me out.

Verse Chorus Verse Leigh Bardugo

This was one of my favorite stories. A disturbing inside look into celebrity rehab with a crazy twist.

Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd

Another great story, inspired by one of my favorite movies The Crow. A game of hide and seek with death himself.

The Dark Scary Parts and All Danielle Paige

When your the dorkiest girl in high school and the most popular boy begins to show true interest in you it’s like a dream come true, right? It is until you find out who he really is.

The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke

Probably my least favorite of all. Inspired by Stephen Kings “Carrie” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and it read just like the movie.

Fat Girl With A Knife by Jonathan Mayberry

Very Mayberry in the zombie sense. Zombies take over a local high school and the girl with the pretty name who isn’t pretty fights them off with a knife.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

I couldn’t help but think about how real this story is or could be. Online dating with the worse outcome, almost.

M by Stefan Bachmann

One of my favorite stories in the book. Murder, mystery and revenge!

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu

Probably my favorite story of all of them. Downright creepy in every sense of the word. Every action has a consequence and when you try to ignore that consequence it will come back and haunt you.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman

A plague is killing woman and those it doesn’t kill are being kidnapped and sold, until a determined woman takes matters into her own hands.

Stitches by A.G. Howard

What if you could cut the bad parts off your body and replace them with good parts? If your feet lead you astray, cut them off and replace them with ones that will not lead you astray…this story is wicked!

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake

Revenge is strong in this story. Again, so close to reality and horrible things that really do happen but with a ghostly twist.

Overall I enjoyed the book, even though there were a few stories I wasn’t all that impressed with. I’ve definitely been reminded why I steer clear of anthologies, I always end up wanting more.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Plan to Read at the Beach

31st May 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday


I’ve decided to divide this one into two categories: ARCs I’m dying to read and backlist books from my TBR list I’m excited to read, all of which will be great reads on the beach! Here is my list:


The Girls by Emma Cline

“Girls—their vulnerability, strength, and passion to belong—are at the heart of this stunning first novel for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.” The cover alone caught my attention but after reading the description I knew I had to add it to my TBR list.

The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio

Set during the Second World War, Julianne Westcott has a great life full of silk ball gowns, plenty of money and prominent men looking to court her. But when she discovers she has a brother who has been institutionalized since birth, her entire life shatters and her family falls apart. When I first discovered this book I checked Goodreads for reviews, out of 57 ratings and 45 reviews this book has an average of 4.77 stars. If you like historical romance, you must check this one out!

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin has been a go to author for me for years mostly because of her portrayal of relationships. Her new novel is about sisters torn apart by a tragedy and when the anniversary of that tragedy approaches they must come together and overcome their differences.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman’s first novel for adults and it sounds pretty damn good. Here is the first line in the description:

“Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein.”

I’m in, I’ve definitely been there before and I can’t wait to see how this book comes together.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I don’t think I have to say much about this one. It was my most anticipated book at BEA this year and I know I will not be able to wait until closer to it’s October release date before I dive in.


Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

A contemporary YA about a teen who spends most of her time online writing fan fic. I have heard mixed reviews on this one but it stands pretty solid on Goodreads with a 3.68 rating and since it showed up in my May Uppercase Box I’ll give it a try.

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Though I haven’t read anything else by Paula Stokes, I think this one sounds pretty interesting, a girl who believes she has the worse luck ever.  “From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.”

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

A story about a curious girl who starts looking into her fathers death and discovers it wasn’t an accident. While investigating she discovers a tree that only produces fruit when she tells it a lie and that fruit, in turn, delivers a truth which may be the only way she discovers the truth about her fathers death. Sounds interesting!

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book! A story of Frankie Presto, the best guitar player who ever lived and the lives he touched. I’m told it’s an emotional roller coaster and you get completely sucked into the story and become one with the characters.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I had never heard of this book until my amazing secret sister (it’s autographed!) sent it to me in a Sherlock Holmes themed box, now I’m dying to read it! It’s a modern day Sherlock story, squee!


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

18th May 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary KubicaDon't You Cry by Mary Kubica
Published by Mira
Pub Date: May 17th 2016
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession 

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

I’ve had a few Mary Kubica’s books on my TBR for a while now, so when this one came across my desk, I decided to give it a try. The book is broken up into days Sunday through Thursday (when Esther goes missing) and told in alternating points of view between Quinn and Alex.

Quinn wakes up on a Sunday morning to find her roommate Esther missing. With her bedroom window open and her alarm blaring, Esther is no where to be found. Whats more odd is her purse and phone are still at home. Even though Quinn knows something is wrong, she isn’t quite sure what to do and when the police tell her she has to wait to file a missing persons report, Quinn decides to start her own investigation. Ransacking Esther’s room Quinn discovers things about Esther’s past that makes her begin to question her own safety.

Alex was supposed to be starting college this year but he has to stay behind and take care of his alcoholic father. He works at the diner in town and knows mostly everyone who comes in, except the mysterious brunette who always sits by the window and watches the houses across the street. Alex becomes obsessed, he can’t stop thinking about her and even waits hours after his shift end just to catch a glimpse of her. When he does end up finding the mystery girl, she’s in an abandoned house across the street from his own house. The more Alex gets to know the woman, the more mysterious she becomes, and when he discovers who she really is, his whole world comes crashing down.

I enjoyed reading Don’t You Cry, it was very well written and fun to read. The way Kubica weaves the story and the character had me running in circles trying to figure out what was really going on. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a good mystery, it’s not too scary or gory, and I love the creepy-ish cover!


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Five Star Reads

28th Mar 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Five Star Reads


Ok, so I had to scroll a bit to find my most recent five star reads. In fact, these are books I read between September 2015 and now! It’s crazy to me that I don’t have more in these last six months… I have a lot of four stars though. Anyway, here are my picks:

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes – It was the book I didn’t know I needed. (Full review)
Anything for You (Blue Heron #5) by Kristan Higgins – All my Blue Heron peeps are happy now! (Full review)
The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitzpatrick – This book really exceeded my expectations!
The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey – I was NOT expecting to like this as much as I did!! SOOOO GOOD! (The movie was good too, but the book is WAY better. And I never say that because I believe in separating the two mediums, so that should tell you something.)
November 9 by Colleen Hoover – It was my first CoHo read and I LOVED IT! (Full review)



Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams – The fact that I rated this a 5 star is surprising even to me because I was really leery about reading it. It was the ending that got me though, I’m pretty sure I was actually biting my nails.

Winter by Marissa Meyer – I was a little late getting into this series, the only book I had to wait to be released was this one, and it was totally worth it. To finally be able to get to know Winter was awesome, but to finally see the end of Levana was even better. I didn’t want this series to end so that was hard but the way it ended was SO good!

Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristof – THIS BOOK THOUGH! I literally stumbled on this book at BEA last year, I kept seeing it in the Penguin Random House booth; stacks and stacks of them, everywhere. I walked by it several times and finally grabbed one simply because I thought if they were pushing it so hard something about it must be good. I’ve heard a lot of authors boast about how their book is “like nothing you’ve ever read before” but this one is FOR REAL! (Full review)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – I looked back at my Goodreads status updates on this book, one of the last ones I posted is “ Oh Gods NOOO! What the hell!” One of my favorite things about this series is how it all feels like one huge story, yes yes I know there are 4 books but it really doesn’t feel like it, it’s like a really long movie, or like you and your bestie are catching up on life. I know some people don’t like how much Aelin has changed, they don’t think she is “herself”, it’s because she isn’t! The character growth in these novels are amazing and I find it refreshing. I really could go on and on about this book but I won’t but I absolutely loved it.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Out of all the books in the Raven Cycle, this is the only one I rated with 5 stars (all the others got 4). Ronan can actually remove things from his dreams…how awesome would that be? I think this one is my favorite in the series because it answers some of my questions from The Raven Boys and it literally left me with my mouth hanging open.



Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Don’t Talk About Enough

21st Mar 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Don’t Talk About Enough

Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) By Deborah Harness – This is one of the only books I have reread again and again. I read it a few months after it came out, then made everyone else I know read it too. Witches, daemons, vampires and the love story….swoon!

Ready Player One Ernest Cline – Okay, so it hasn’t been that long since i’ve read this book but I really don’t gush about it as often as I should, really. I want to live in the OASIS, I should have gone to high school in the Oasis, it’s an introverts dream!

Rook by Sharon Cameron – Sophia Bellamy is not who you think she is, or is she? GAH, I love this book so much. There is a new revolution taking place where Paris used to be, and if you oppose it, you will meet your death. That is unless you are lucky enough to be rescued by the mysterious Red Rook

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld – Afterworlds is a book about a writer writing a book. No wait, it works really! It’s told in alternating stories between Darcy, the writer and Lizzy, Darcy’s main character. I loved this book because you get to follow Darcy through her real life while tagging along with Lizzy in one of the most epic adventures ever. I really didn’t want this book to end.

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French – Tana French, and this entire series, easily falls into my all time favorite category. Set in Dublin, Detective Rob Ryan must investigate a murder case involving a 12 year old girl, but here’s the thing, 20 years earlier, detective Ryan was found in those same woods covered in blood with no memory of what happened to him or his missing friends. It’s SO GOOD!


11/22/63 by Stephen King – I first read this book in the summer of 2013 and for a long time, it was all I talked about. I was so taken aback by the characters, the writing, the settings…everything really. The size of the book is a bit daunting (842 pages) but it really didn’t feel like it at all. I’m planning a re-read this summer before I binge the show.

The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Steadman – Oh this book! Tom and Isabel are lighthouse keepers on a remote island. After years and years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby, one washes up on the island with it’s deceased father. They keep the child as their own, but at what cost? I ugly cried reading this before ugly crying was a thing.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer – This was the first “letter” novel I’ve ever read. Juliet is looking for her next book subject, she finds just that in a letter from a man she’s never met. I think it’s cute, charming and romantic. A fun quick read.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – I love this book for so many reasons. The dog as the narrator, the race car driving dad, the father daughter dynamic and the dog humor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sad as hell but is also very good!

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb – Do you have that one character that came into your life when your were a teenager and just stuck with you, even now? Delores Price is mine. I related with Delores in several ways growing up. This is a coming of age book with a pretty messed up story, though I should caution, it’s not for the faint of heart.



Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

14th Mar 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: January 5th 2016
Pages: 486
Format: ARC | Source: Author
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever 

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

Let me start by saying I waited for this book for what seemed like forever! It was on my list of books to grab at BEA last year, and when I didn’t get it I was pretty sad. Then I heard Alexandra Bracken was going to be at Y’ALL Fest (which is a mere 8 hr drive) I knew I had to go in hopes of getting this ARC…and I GOT ONE! I only had to stand in line for four hours but it was totally worth it!

Ashley Passenger

I have to admit, the beginning moved more slowly than I usually like in a book. Etta is lives in current day New York as is preparing for a big concert, as she plays her piece, she is drawn to a noise only she can hear. When she investigates the noise, she is suddenly transported back in time. She finds herself onboard a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1776, she’s in strange clothing and dripping wet with no recollection of how she got there.

It is on the ship she meets Nicholas, a teen about her age but from a completely different time. When it comes to Nicholas though, I kept going back and forth: I like him, I hate him…nope I like him, he means well…uh no he doesn’t…back and forth. I’ve decided I like him. (I think).

While on the ship, Etta learns she comes from a magical family that can time travel. Can you imagine? How cool would that be!? She also learns that she’s been kidnapped by a man called Cyrus (who I think of as The Grandfather) an old man who is the head of the family, the leader if you will.

Now that Etta knows who she is and what she has to do, the adventure really begins! Together her and Nicholas must find the only remaining astrolabe, the magical object used to create new portals, if Etta doesn’t find the astrolabe and return it to Cyrus someone Etta loves will die.

I’m telling you…this is the good stuff! Etta travels from Bhutan 1910, New York in 1776, 1940’s London, 1685 Angkor, Paris 1880 and Damascus in 1599. Each place she visits she gets closer and closer to the astrolabe and each place she visits she encounters people who want the astrolabe for themselves.

Now this book is well over 400 pages so it’s not a quick read, and the beginning is slow to get started but don’t discount Passenger just yet. Once you get started and the time traveling really begins, you won’t want to put it down!


About Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William&Mary in Virginia. Alex now lives in New York City, where you can find her hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that’s perpetually overflowing with books.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

14th Feb 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

I’ve added quite a few books to my shelves these past two weeks, mostly due to a spontaneous visit to Book Outlet!


Book Outlet

The Discovery of Witches boxset by Deborah Harkness
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor
Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

From Barnes and Noble

We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Valkyrie by Kate O’Hare
The Night Gardner by Jonathan Auxier
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford



Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

12th Feb 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Bitsy Words: The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

Bitsy Words: The Truth by Jeffry W. JohnstonThe Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: February 2nd 2016
Pages: 240
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he's trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek's little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris's story won't change. It can't. There is far too much at stake…

Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn't deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother's killer is the only way to the truth, than he'll go to extremes. But Chris's truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

When the story starts, Chris finds himself duct taped to a chair in a strange room with Derek, a high school drop out just out of juvie. Chris only knows who Derek is because he killed Derek’s brother in a robbery gone bad. Now Derek wants answers only Chris can give him, if he doesn’t tell the truth, Derek will cut off his fingers with a pair garden shears. After hours of interrogation, Derek finally concludes Chris is leaving something out and he escalates the situation to the next level, putting someone Chris loves in danger.

I liked the format of this book, I found it easy to follow and interesting enough to keep my attention. Told from Chris’s point of view both as the story is happening and as he walks Derek through the events of the past that led up to his brothers death. A fast paced quick read that could totally be an episode of Criminal Minds!


Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

10th Feb 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf BfYR
Pub Date: October 20th 2015
Pages: 599
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

This is the most unique book I have ever read, seriously. It took me a while to get into the book because it is so different and it took me a while to get into it. But let me tell you, once it grabbed me, I finished it all in one sitting. I don’t think I could accurately describe how amazing this book is so I’m going to do my best to  show you.

The Cover: One of my favorite things about a hardcover book is discovering what is under the dust jacket. The dust jacket alone is see through and fiery, it kind of looks like someone took a black sharpie marker to it to block out certain words and sentences, just like the rest of the book!

Do you see what I mean? Ugh, I just love it so much!

The Pages: Not only does this book tell an amazing story, it is full of pages that look like these…

I think you can tell how unique this book is by the pictures. The story is just as unique. From start to finish this book will never cease to surprise, taunt, anger and amaze you. Oh, and you might not want to start it unless you can devote an entire day to it!

Check out this book trailer:

I am so glad I decided to finish this one and am anxiously awaiting the next one!

Oh and it’s been announced it’s been optioned for a movie how cool!



Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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