(Vicarious #1)

Paula Stokes

5 ★ – Intense, Twisted and Mind-blowing!
Published by Tor Teen August 16. 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Sci-fi, Thriller
Pages: Hardcover 336
Buy Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

DAMN.. That was one intense and wickedly awesome ride!!! I binged this duology and LOVED every moment. I honestly don’t even know where to begin.! My mind is still reeling and I’m seriously having a hard time moving on…

Vicarious is haunting, riveting, and absolutely fantastic. Paula Stokes not only manages to keep you guessing and on the edge, but she also excels in creating complicated, but lovable characters. Winter, Gideon, Jesse…they’re damaged to some extent, but that’s what makes them so real for me. No one is perfect and we all have our own demons to fight.

Winter is such a wonderful heroine and my heart ached so much for her. She thinks she’s broken and undeserving of love and affection so she’s always guarded and slow to trust. What she doesn’t realize is just how strong she really is and that she’s capable of so much more than she believes. Despite living through some of the most horrific and traumatic life situations, Winter keeps on fighting for what she wants and challenges herself. She’s resilient, focused and determined. She’s so kickass and she doesn’t even know it.


Throughout Vicarious (and Ferocious too), my heart raced so fast I thought it would burst out of my chest. The plot is thrilling, action-packed and full of twist that will completely blow your mind! I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but Stokes surely knows how to keep you on your toes. The mystery, the secrets, the drama, the action, the slow burn romance (yes! there’s a little romance and it’s so sweet) had me flipping the pages way past my bed time. And that ending … WOW!!! That totally took me by surprise. Wish I could say more than that, but my lips are sealed. Just trust me, you’d want to experience everything for yourself.

As a fair warning, Vicarious does deal with a very sensitive issue that was quite difficult to read at times. Winter and her sister, Rose, experienced extremely horrible situations so there are many parts that are dark, heart-breaking, and just really sad. Stokes doesn’t shy away from showing you the worst and it does get ugly, but she does it in a way that is genuine and respectful.

I’m so utterly in LOVE with this series and I honestly can’t recommend it enough!

Follow / Connect with Paula Stokes: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Sincerely Karen Jo

First Lines Fridays


I saw a blog post by Kristi of Confessions of a YA Reader for First Lines Fridays which is hosted by Wandering Words. Such a fun idea so I thought why not!?

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
Copy and paste the text and banner (or make your own!) above for your own First Lines Fridays posts.  Make sure to comment your first lines below so that other people can check them out!

Here goes!

Emma Larsen had been known to cry over animal shelter commercials and ads about starving children, so it came as a shock to remain dry-eyed when her mother died. The ambulance came and went, leaving behind the empty wheelchair and pink empty rooms that suddenly felt even larger without Evangeline’s oversized presence. Emma drifted numbly through the aftermath and the clearing up and the funeral arrangements. She answered condolence cards every night until she could no longer keep her eyes open and, more from force of habit than anything else, rose each morning in the silvery dawn hours to pull weeds in her kitchen garden.

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Bell of Eternity (Celtic Legends #2)

by Martina Boone

Expected Publication: September 25, 2017 by Mayfair Publishing

Love beyond time, an island castle in Cornwall, a cast of delightful characters, dangerous secrets, and a handsome kilt-wearing chef make the perfect recipe for new romance from the award-winning author of Compulsion and Lake of Destiny.

Emma Larsen put her life on hold after the accident that left her famous mother paralyzed and cost a man his life. For four long years, Treave Nancarrow, the deceased man’s son, has often been the only friend Emma had to lean on. But when he suddenly proposes marriage after her mother’s funeral, Emma can’t help being dismayed. She’s already trying to decide between transforming her home cooking hobby into a profession or going back to college. She can’t afford to jump from one commitment to another before she’s had a chance to find out what she really wants. Still, when Treave begs her to accompany him to a wedding at his family’s castle in Cornwall so he can show her how compatible they would be, how can she refuse?

She falls in love with the romantic Cornish coast, a world rich with legends, hauntings, and ancient superstitions—like the one about the ghostly bell that tolls only when a pair of lovers are destined to be together forever. When a tragedy rocks the small community and everyone pitches in to help, though, Treave seems like a different person—one Emma begins to fear. Then, too, there’s Brando MacLaren, the handsome, kilt-wearing Scotsman who shows her the possibility of a love she never dared believe in and makes her feel adventurous and alive. But Brando has his own healing to do. He also has a secret, one he’s keeping from her. Can Emma afford to trust him with her heart? Can she trust either one of the men? An ancient Cornish legend might help guide her choice between them—if she can find the courage to trust her instincts and believe in herself.

A timeless, modern romance set in a magical castle in Cornwall, filled with food, small town warmth, heart, and intrigue. Perfect for fans of Poldark, Nora Roberts, Susanna Kearsley, Sarah Addison Allen, Susan Wiggs, and Debbie Macomber

I LOVED Lake of Destiny so I’m really excited to be reading this. I’m about 40% into the book and so far it’s really good.

Sincerely Karen Jo