The Ash Family by Molly Dektar

The Ash Family: A Novel by [Dektar, Molly]

2 Stars

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: April 9th, 2019

Genre: General Fiction

Where you can find The Ash Family: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

When a young woman leaves her family—and the civilized world—to join an off-the-grid community headed by an enigmatic leader, she discovers that belonging comes with a deadly cost, in this lush and searing debut novel.

At nineteen, Berie encounters a seductive and mysterious man at a bus station near her home in North Carolina. Shut off from the people around her, she finds herself compelled by his promise of a new life. He ferries her into a place of order and chaos: the Ash Family farm. There, she joins an intentional community living off the fertile land of the mountains, bound together by high ideals and through relationships she can’t untangle. Berie—now renamed Harmony—renounces her old life and settles into her new one on the farm. She begins to make friends. And then they start to disappear.

Thrilling and profound, The Ash Family explores what we will sacrifice in the search for happiness, and the beautiful and grotesque power of the human spirit as it seeks its ultimate place of belonging.

My review:

When I was approached to review The Ash Family, I was a little hesitant about reviewing it. As weird as this sounds, I didn’t like the vibe that I got from the blurb. But, since I don’t reject publisher book requests through my email, I accepted. Now that I have read it, I wish that I didn’t. It bored me.

I could see why Berie/Harmony was such an easy mark for Bay. She was naive. I could also see why she was able to fall under the sway of Dice. She was searching for a father figure. But, I didn’t like her. She came across as selfish. Her memories of her mother cemented that fact. Her behavior while in the cult highlighted it also. She refused to learn other jobs. She tried to form a relationship with Bay when it was against the rules. There were points in the book where I had doubts if they would keep her. To top it off, her actions at the end of the book disturbed me.

The plotline was slow. It crept along. I can’t tell y’all how many times I fell asleep reading this book. Even the exciting parts, like the Queenie’s miscarriage or the end of the book, were boring. I had figured out what Dice’s deal was early in the book. So, I had to push myself to finish reading it.

I do think that the story had potential, which saved this review from being a 1-star review. But it was bogged down by the slow plotline and unlikable characters.

I also liked how the author showed what life would be like in a cult. I also liked that the author explained what life was like living off the grid. She didn’t sugarcoat anything.

The end of the book left me scratching my head. I had no clue what was going to happen to Berie/Harmony or the cult. Well, I had a good idea of what happened to the cult. But Berie/Harmony? No. Nothing was wrapped up. I didn’t get to see if Berie/Harmony got help or even reconciled with her mother. It was disappointing for me to read.

I would give The Ash Family an Adult rating. There is sex (nothing graphic). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age 21 read this book.

I would not reread The Ash Family. I also would not recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Ash Family.

All opinions stated in this review of The Ash Family are mine.

Have you read The Ash Family?

What were your thoughts?


What are your thoughts on them?

Let me know

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast by Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie, and Cote Smith

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

3 Stars

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: November 13th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Limetown: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

On a seemingly ordinary day, seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock hears the news that will change her life forever: three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is Emile Haddock, Lia’s uncle.

What happened to the people of Limetown? It’s all anyone can talk about. Except for Lia’s parents, who refuse to discuss what might have happened there. They refuse, even, to discuss anything to do with Emile.

As a student journalist, Lia begins an investigation that will take her far from her home, discovering clues about Emile’s past that lead to a shocking secret—one with unimaginable implications not only for the people of Limetown but for Lia and her family. The only problem is…she’s not the only one looking for answers.

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie are first-rate storytellers, in every medium. Critics called their podcast Limetown “creepy and otherworldly” (The New York Times) and “endlessly fun” (Vox), and their novel goes back to where it all began. Working with Cote Smith, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Finalist, they’ve crafted an exhilarating mystery that asks big questions about what we owe to our families and what we owe to ourselves, about loss, discovery, and growth. Threaded throughout is Emile’s story—told in these pages for the first time.

My review:

Lia is a high school senior when she hears the news about Limetown. Limetown is a town where three hundred people disappeared without a trace. Among those who disappeared, Lia’s estranged uncle, Emile. Fueled by the need to find out what happened, Lia starts an investigation. What she finds during her investigation makes her question everything that she has been told. What happened at Limetown? Why is Emile at the center of it? How is her mother involved? Who can Lia trust? Where did those people go?

I was pretty excited to start reading Limetown. Even though I haven’t heard the podcast, I figured that I could follow the prequel easy enough. I mean, prequels give information that’s isn’t known in series that follows. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. While Limetown was an interesting read, it left me with more questions than answers.

I didn’t care for Lia. She came across as self-centered the entire book. I did admire her tenacity. She stuck with finding out with what happened to the people in Limetown and her uncle Emile. But her personality was awful. There are very few times where I don’t like the main character and this is one of them. I also didn’t get why she treated her mother the way she did when she found certain things out. She failed to see that everything her mother did was for her. Saying that I do wonder what she is like in the podcast.

I did like Emile. Actually, I pitied him for 75% of the book. His ability made him an outsider. Anytime he even got close to someone, they either got hurt or turned out to be not what he thought they would be. Even his relationship with Lia ended up badly and she was a baby. I did wonder what happened to him at Limetown at the beginning of the book. I can’t say what I thought by the end of the book because I will give away the ending. Let’s say that any pity I felt for Emile went out the window.

I did find the storylines well written. But they failed to hold my attention. My mind kept wandering off mid-paragraph and I had to force myself to focus on reading. Which, in turn, took away from my pleasure in reading the book.

The end of Limetown confused the heck out of me. This is where I wish I had listened to the podcast because I had zero clue what was going on. But, I did know that Lia’s foray to Limetown wasn’t going to end up well. I didn’t expect it to go that bad.

I have Limetown a 3-star rating. I thought the book was well written and an interesting read. But, it failed to hold my attention and left me with more questions than answers. Even though it is a prequel, I would recommend listening to the podcast first.

I would give Limetown an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They are child abuse, drug use, parental abandonment, the death of a parent, unsolved disappearances of the loved one. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21.

I am undecided if I would reread Limetown. I am also undecided if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Limetown.

All opinions stated in this review of Limetown are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read Limetown?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

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The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic: Book 0) by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic: A Novel (The Practical Magic Series Book 1) by [Hoffman, Alice]

Title: The Rules of Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: October 10th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, fantasy, paranormal, romance

Number of pages: 384

POV: 3rd person

Series: Practical Magic

The Rules of Magic – Book 0 (prequel)

Practical Magic – Book 1

Where you can find The Rules of Magic: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood-red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start, Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City, each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic: Book 0) by Alice Hoffman”

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful: A Novel by [Hoffman, Alice]

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: February 9th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Coming of Age, New York

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible |Apple Books |WorldCat

Goodreads synopsis:

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

I cried while reading this book. I, unemotional as a rock, cried while reading this book. The heartbreak that is portrayed is mind-numbing. But what rose from the ashes….well, that was something special.

The writing was fantastic. I love a story that draws you in and makes you feel for the character, and this one does. I felt for Shelby. She was broken, and she managed to piece herself together. Not perfect, but perfect for her right then.

The ending wasn’t what I expected, but it went well with the book.

If you enjoyed reading Faithful, you will enjoy reading these books:

King’s Ransom (Eyes of Darkness: Book 7) by Christy Poff

King's Ransom (Eyes of Darkness Book 7) by [Poff,  Christy]

Publisher: Torrid Books, Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: October 1st, 2010

Genre: Paranormal, fantasy, erotica

Series: Eyes of Darkness

Dante’s Flame—Book 1

Spark of a Wolf—Book 2

Love Hurts—Book 3

Red Fire—Book 4

White Ice—Book 5 (review here)

Night Wish—Book 6 (review here)

King’s Ransom—Book 7

Winter Fire—Book 8

Where you can find King’s Ransom: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

“When a young upstart alpha werewolf moves in on Ardalyn Hunter’s grandfather’s region, she finds herself in the center of pack politics while coming into her own as the Huntress.
Ryman King becomes an unwitting pawn in the alpha’s plan when he uses him to lure Ardalyn into the open.

Will Ardalyn and Ryman’s relationship be worth a king’s ransom?” 

What I liked about King’s Ransom 

  1. Again (as with the last couple of books), it had hot werewolf sex.
  2.  The characters were somewhat relatable.
  3.  I liked Perrin’s character a lot. He cracked me up for some reason.

What I didn’t like about King’s Ransom 

*The sex. I was burnt out on the sex by the time the characters got around to it

*The plot. It confused me. The book starts with a werewolf trying to take over all of the packs. It ended with Ardalyn and Ryman’s relationship.

* I was not too fond of Ardalyn’s character. I wanted to reach through the pages and bitch slap her. She was this tough woman until she met Ryman, and then it was the opposite. Plus, she started acting like a spoiled brat.

Night Wish (Eyes of Darkness: Book #6) by Christy Poff

Night Wish (Eyes of Darkness Book 6) by [Poff,  Christy]

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Erotica

Date of publication: April 1st, 2010

Publisher: Torrid Books, Simon & Schuster

Series: Eyes of Darkness

Dante’s Flame—Book 1

Spark of a Wolf—Book 2

Love Hurts—Book 3

Red Fire—Book 4

White Ice—Book 5 (review here)

Night Wish—Book 6

King’s Ransom—Book 7 (review here)

Winter Fire—Book 8

Goodreads synopsis:

“Hayden Beaumont is unique in so many ways—his eternal birthright, his good looks—everything about him. Searching for the right woman to share his life has been a never-ending task until he meets an artist on his return to Paris. Chandra Richards has an interest in a man she barely knows, but after meeting him one night at the top of the Eiffel Tower, she finds out what never-ending love means. When an angry vampire from his father’s past comes after Hayden, the city of Paris literally rocks. Will the Beaumonts’ past come back to haunt them? Or will their night wish be granted?” 

What I liked about Night Wish:

  1. It had hot vampire sex. Lots of hot vampire sex. Even the bad guys got it on and had paragraphs devoted to their sex. Plus, whenever they had sex, they caused earthquakes or thunderstorms. Which, to me, was interesting.
  2. I did like the story between Hayden and Chandra. Stripped down to the bones (ie, no hot vampire sex), it was adorable.
  3.  I also liked that Hayden wasn’t your typical vampire.

What I disliked about Night Wish:

  1. The hot vampire sex got old after a while. I could take only so many hot vampire sex scenes before I started giggling.
  2. The fact that they had sex and drank each other’s blood kinda skeeved me out. Strike that. Not kinda skeeved me out….110% skeeved me out.
  3.  I wish the ending didn’t seem so rushed, and they didn’t kill the main villain off so fast.

White Ice (Eyes of Darkness: Book 5) by Christy Poff

White Ice (Eyes of Darkness Book 5) by [Poff,  Christy]

Genre: Fantasy, Erotica, Romance

Date of publication: December 15th, 2008

Publisher: Torrid Books, Simon & Schuster

Series: Eyes of Darkness

Dante’s Flame—Book 1

Spark of a Wolf—Book 2

Love Hurts—Book 3

Red Fire—Book 4

White Ice—Book 5

Night Wish—Book 6

King’s Ransom—Book 7

Winter Fire—Book 8

Where to find: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

“Sascha White heads to Vermont to ski and enjoy life away from the frenzied world of modeling.

Damon Holt is in Vermont to do some snowboarding and escape pack politics and tourists at home in Aspen. While there, he learns he is destined to find his mate, one who has a complicated future at best. 

What I liked about White Ice 

  1. It had werewolves. It had sex. It had werewolves having sex and rough sex to boot. Enough said.
  2. The plot was pretty interesting. It was the first shifter erotica that I have read.
  3. The shifters can reproduce. I haven’t read a book where they have. I do think that Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series comes close. But I can’t remember if anyone gives birth.

What I didn’t like about White Ice 

  1. The sex. As much as I enjoyed it, it got repetitive. And I got kinda creeped out when the author had the main characters have sex as wolves.