Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top 5 Tuesday- Favorite E-Books

E-books and especially self-published e-books are often treated like the red-headed step-child of the publishing world. No one wants to review them. No one wants to recommend them. The main reason is the fact that many self-published books are just not very good. They can be riddled with grammatical errors, formatting problems and unclear story lines. It can be tough to wade through the crap to find something worth while and many reviewers just don't have that kind of time. So, never fear, I have complied a list of five very different e-books that were honest-to-goodness worth the purchase (some are even free!).

The Fox by Arlene Radasky
Buy it on Amazon

This book follows a young girl, Jahna, living in the first century England, and a modern archaeologist excavating the Druid ruins, Aine. Only Jahna has magic powers that allow her to see into the future and guide Aine (without Aine really knowing) into discovering the truth about Jahna's tribe and how the Roman soldiers brutally destroyed their town.

The Fox is so good. The stories are incredibly intertwined and Jahna experiences so much loss that it is just a compelling read. Radasky does a great job in describing the ancient settings and rituals that it is almost mesmerizing. Her descriptions of Aine's excavations are equally well done and accurate according to current archaeological practices. It's just a beautifully well written book. I believe it is self-published so I can't promise there weren't errors, but I don't recall any. And if there were they didn't detract from the story enough for me not to love this book. I would recommend The Fox to any one interested in ancient cultures, time travel, historical fiction, magical realism, and multi-generation stories.
*Trigger warning for rape.

Memoirs Aren't Fairytales by Marni Mann

Buy it on Amazon

This fictional memoir follows 19-year-old Nicole down the dark and dirty path of heroin. Starting out as a recreational drug user who is introduced to heroin after she moves from her home to Boston with a friend. Nicole is soon drug down into a world of theft, prostitution, and death all in the name of chasing that next high.

I marthoned this book over Thanksgiving a few years ago. I could not put it down. It has still stuck with me. If you have ever known anyone that struggles with addiction, particularly heroin, this book will be an eye-opener. It is incredibly hard to read but Nicole is a sympathetic character and you want to believe that she will get out of this cycle, but she continues to repeat old patterns over and over. It's like watching a train wreck, and you can't peel your eyes away. Mann creates the most realistic character I have ever read. I do believe this is the first book in a series, but I will warn you that this is an emotionally draining book that is well worth the time. I recommend Memoirs Aren't Fairytales for any one that enjoys memoirs,  gritty contemporary fiction and adult fiction.
*Trigger warning for rape, pregnancy loss, overdose, extreme drug use, and prostitution.

Hollowland by Amanda Hocking 

Buy it on Amazon

This book follows Remy, who is trying to find her little brother during the zombie apocalypse. Her brother, Max, was evacuated from their shelter before it was over run with zombies and now Remy must cross the barren wasteland with a rag-tag group of survivors and a lion to get to him. Only zombies aren't the scariest part of the zombie apocalypse.

I loved this book. It was so much fun to read, full of excitement and twists I never saw coming. There is a lot of criticism on Amanda Hocking's writing, but I found this book to be so engrossing that the writing style never mattered to me. It was literally a movie in my head. Remy and Lazlo and Harper are so engaging and even funny at times that I could not put this book down. I recommend this book to all my friends looking for a good e-book because it's free AND so good. It also has a sequel novel that will knock your socks off in surprises! I recommend it for people who enjoy YA paranormal, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian novels.

The Rockstar's Daughter by Caitlyn Duffy

Buy it on Amazon
This book follows 15-year-old Taylor, the summer her mother suddenly dies. She is then whisked away by her famous, but absentee father, on his band's glamorous summer tour. Taylor doesn't know her father, step-mother or little sister very well, but is forced to adapt to this new and heart-wrenching lifestyle.

Taylor actually surprised me. As in I loved this character so much. Normally, I don't really feel connected to YA contemporary characters but Taylor was an exception. She was so fleshed out and acted the way a 15-year-old would in circumstances of peer-pressure, family scandal and even in grief. I could really see my 15-year-old self in her. There was no cheesiness to this story. Taylor faces some difficult situations and has to deal with some tough consequences for her actions. However, she really grows throughout the novel and you will be rooting for her by the end. I believe this book is part of series that follows other characters that all attend Taylor's boarding school. I would recommend this book if you like YA contemporary.

Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson
Buy it on Amazon

This book follows Det. Val Ryker after the body of previously solved murder case victim is found under the ice of a frozen pond. An innocent man must be in jail while a serial killer has run loose in their small Wisconsin town for the past two years. Val must retrace her steps in the previous murder case to find out who the original victim was, and who killed them both.

There are so many twists in this book that it is hard to put down. The book is inspired by the murder case surrounding Steven Avery from the Netflix hit documentary Making a Murderer. But Val is what makes this book so compelling. She doesn't like the fact that she messed up when the first case seemed so cut and dry. She's determined to right her wrongs. I'm not much for police drama books, but Val is so fleshed out that it doesn't feel like your typical cliched cop show. It's much more interesting. I would recommend this to anyone that likes thrillers, police procedural and mysteries.

Let me know what you thought of these e-books or if you have any recommendations!