His Series by Mariah Dietz

Book I: Becoming His

Sometimes life’s unforeseen paths lead us to discovering sides of ourselves we never knew existed.

Ace Bosse has always found solace at home, but when she returns for the summer from college she builds an unexpected relationship with the reckless Max Miller.

Three years ago, Max left for Alaska to find what he thought he’d lost, but now he realizes just how much he left behind.

Max teaches Ace that sometimes a little crazy is exactly what life needs while learning that some chances are worth taking, regardless of the risks.

But how do you know when you’ve met the right person? And will they be prepared to experience one of life’s biggest obstacles?

Falling in love isn’t easy, but holding on to it is where the real challenge lies.


This was an interesting story for me. Max has the reputation of a womanizing bad boy, who secretly abhors abandonment issues stemming from his father leaving when he was a kid. Ace is the beautiful, youngest daughter of a seemingly perfect family, whose major flaw is that she tends to run from conflict. So what happens when you put a guy with abandonment issues together with a girl who runs from problems? Magic? Not quite. The truth is that these characters are so opposite that they shouldn't work, but somehow they do. There is plenty of drama along the way to keep things interesting and highlight the differences between them. Some of the drama irked me a bit. It seemed silly. Nothing that some good old fashioned communication couldn't fix, but it served to move the couple to their breaking point. In the end, everything that was brought together is blown spectacularly apart in an ending that I didn't see coming. Good start to the series.


Book II: Losing Her

“I loved her and she left. Maybe I wasn’t enough. Maybe I’ll never be enough.” I’ve been thinking these words since before we even got together.

Everything is new. The old no longer has a place here. Physical items are easy to replace. I'm constantly battling the ones that aren't.

Every thought and memory I have is stained.

By you.

You weren't even there for half of them.

How is she still present even though she left?

I can do this. I’m going to survive losing her.


This was a unique book for me. It is told from Max's POV and picks up where the previous book ends. I don't want to given too much away, but this book is about Max's attempt to survive Ace's departure to the East Coast. I really liked how Mariah chose to tell this story. It combinations the retelling of events from the previous book from Max's POV, as well as what happens as Max attempts to pick up the pieces.

I have to admit that it took me a long time to get through this book. It was just sooooooo dreary and depressing. It was hard to live in that head space for extended periods of time. I found myself having to put it down, read something else, and come back to it. While this may seem like a negative comment, the truth is it is really a testament to the emotional depth that Mariah was able to develop in and communicate through Max's character. The downside is that it made it difficult, at least for me, to get through it. Not that I always felt compassion for Max. There were several situations in the book that mad me quite mad at him and his apparent lack of faith. I had to keep reminding myself that the happy ending (fingers crossed) was on the other side of this book.

I can't really say that I "enjoyed" this book. It was too emotionally draining, however, it left me with enough hope to want to continue on to the last book. I'm hoping that all this emotional turmoil will be worth it in the end.

**I received ARCs in exchange for an honest reviews.

2015 Reading Challenge: A trilogy 


Grey (Fifty Shades #4) by E L James

In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?


Oh, Fifty, Fifty, Fifty! What can I say? You remain a complete and total guilty pleasure for me. I was so excited when I heard that she was going to release this book (I totally did a happy dance!). For me, this series is all about Christian and I loved the opportunity to see things through his eyes. He is by far the more compelling, complex, and dynamic character. This book did not disappoint at all. In fact, I think that I like the story from Christian's perspective even more. Don't worry, if you are a fan of the original POV, you still get all the good stuff. 

This book is also by far and away better written then the previous three books, which although I love, are in need of a professional editor. It is clear that Ms. James now has a team behind her, and the result is a much improved writing style. There is still the occasional "one to many times" repeated phrase, but not nearly as many as the other books. It also has an amazing cover.

Grey only covers the first book and there is no word on whether or not James will be releasing the other two books from C's POV. I sincerely hopes that she does. There are so many more scenes that I would love to see through Christian's eyes. I guess we will have to wait and see. If you are a fan of this series, then Grey will not disappoint, in fact, it left me wanting more...

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Harper Lee's classic novel of a lawyer in the Deep South defending a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century.


Every once and awhile, a book comes along and marks you forever. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books for me. I first read it in eighth grade, and I have never forgotten it. In fact, I still have the copy that I bought in eighth grade on my bookshelf. The pages have yellowed, my highlights (no doubt quotes for my essay) have faded, and it now has that amazing "old book" smell - dust, paper, and memory. There have been books that I have loved as a child that I have reread as an adult which have lost some of their luster, but To Kill a Mockingbird just gets better and better each time I read it.

Atticus Finch is my hero, and I love the sassy Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley. It amazes me that this Harper Lee's only (soon to change with the release of Go Set a Watchman in July!) novel. Lee perfect captures small town life and the systematic prejudice that unfortunately still permeates our social and justice systems. As well as what it's like as a child who is growing up and beginning to understand the imperfections of the world around them. 

This book is such a treasure. It could be a very dark and accusing story, but I always come away from it with a sense of hope. It is a simple story that has profound meaning that resonates even today. I am in awe of Harper Lee's talent when I read this book. How amazing to create something with such longevity and importance. In my opinion, everyone should be required to read this book. 

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It touched my heart when I was twelve years old and continues to touch it every time I open its pages. 

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner #1) by Denise Grover Swank

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.


Just to show you how much of a book nerd I really am, I agreed to join a second book club, and this was the pick for the month. One thing that I really enjoy about being in a book club (or two) is that they often push you to read books that you would normally not consider. This book definitely falls into that category. Had I come across this book on my own, I confess that I might not have given it a read. The mystery genre is just not a genre that I tend to gravitate to on my own. Nothing against it, I’ve read some really good mysteries, it’s just not my first pick.

This is what I would call a "beach read" - one of those books that doesn't require a lot of thought, has a fairly predictable (but not boring) plot line, but is still enjoyable. I confess that if I found myself in the same situation as Rose, I would also probably make a "bucket list" of sorts (I'm too Type A not to!), although, I would hope that mine would be a bit more adventures than wear a lacy bra. At times, Rose's naivete was unrealistic and annoying, but for the most part, I found her to be an endearing character. I think I would have bought the whole "sheltered from the world" thing a little bit more is she was younger. I also wish Joe had a sexier name...I'm sorry, but "Joe" just doesn't do it for me.

The plot was fairly predictable, but written well. I had the book pretty much figured out about half way through. Nevertheless, it kept my attention and I was able to read it straight through in one day. There are several more books in this series and I do foresee myself checking them out eventually. If you are looking for an easy read to pass the afternoon with, this isn't a bad one to try.  

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.


My first impression of this book? It’s long! Be prepared for a commitment if you decide to pick this one up, but I do believe that you will not be disappointed if you do. I was engaged in the story from the very first chapter, and at no point while reading did I feel like picking up a red pen and slashing unnecessary passages. At no time was the author overly verbose, the book is long because Theo’s story is involved.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started to read this book, but my idea of the story that developed in my head after reading its synopsis, is not the book I ended up reading. The story is very cyclical in nature and Theo often finds himself circling back to people and places from his past at different times. Theo is a complicated character and I found myself alternating between dislike and pity as his story unfolded. At some points, I was overcome with compassion for the tragedy that forever changed Theo’s life, but at others I couldn’t help but shake my head at some of the choices that Theo made, especially when he himself knew they were not the best ideas. The story line was unexpected and so intricate that for the most part, I had no idea where it was going. I do wish the ending had been a bit happier/more complete, but other than that I really don’t have any complaints.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book with more than 500 pages

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Born into a poor family and raised by an oppressive aunt, young Jane Eyre becomes the governess at Thornfield Manor to escape the confines of her life. There her fiery independence clashes with the brooding and mysterious nature of her employer, Mr. Rochester. But what begins as outright loathing slowly evolves into a passionate romance. When a terrible secret from Rochester's past threatens to tear the two apart, Jane must make an impossible choice: Should she follow her heart or walk away and lose her love forever?

Unabashedly romantic and utterly enthralling, Jane Eyre endures as one of the greatest love stories of all time.


Jane Eyre is a very close second to Pride and Prejudice for my favorite book of all time, and I can’t even remember how many times I have read it (I reread it almost every year). When my Reading Challenge called for a “classic romance,” I knew instantly which book I would be pulling off the shelf to read again (especially since I had just recently reread P&P). For me, this book is the epitome of what a classic romance is. It’s the kind of romance that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling all over. Their love story is impossible on so many levels, yet fate finds a way to bring them together. I love it!

I love Jane. She is so simple and unassuming, but at the same time full of spirit and sass. I admire her unwillingness to compromise herself, even if it means walking away from the one good thing in her life. I also admire her ability for forgiveness. I’m not sure I would have been so forgiving if life had dealt me the same hand as her. Mr. Rochester falls just behind Mr. Darcy as the ideal leading man. I appreciate his desire and determination to carve out a small parcel of happiness for himself, despite his bleak circumstances. Neither character is perfect, but they are perfect for each other. They complement each other so well, and every time I finish their story I can’t help but to sigh and hug my book.

2015 Reading Challenge: A Classic Romance

10 Years Later by J. Sterling

It’s been ten years since I've seen him. Ten years. I have no idea what he’s doing, where he’s been or if he’s even still single. Have I thought about him over the years? Of course. Absolutely. But that doesn't mean anything, right? Just because you think about the boy you used to be in love with doesn't mean you’re still in love with them now. Does it?

I haven’t seen her in ten years. She’s the whole reason I’m even coming to this reunion. If it wasn't for her, I would have stayed home. I made mistakes back in high school. Hell, I was just a kid then. But I’m here to right my wrongs, tell her I’m sorry and win her back. She changed my whole life and she doesn't even know it. It’s time she knew.

J. Sterling delivers a truly sweet story with this one. I loved the ten year reunion plot line and appreciated the fact that she stayed focused on the relationship, and didn’t turn it into a “cop drama.” I loved the characters and was completely wrapped up in their story from the very first page. Dalton’s no Jack Carter, but he is a great leading man. Cammie is sweet and I liked how her history played into the story’s plot. Overall, a fantastic read!

Found (The Missing #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he's never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who's also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere - and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip's lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?

With Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix begins a new series that promises to be every bit as suspenseful as Among the Hidden, and proves her, once again, to be a master of the page-turner.


This was the final Battle of the Books read for me. As far as YA Fiction goes, it wasn’t a bad book. It was not a very difficult book and is definitely appropriate for lower level readers. The plot was well developed and the characters were relatable. It had some mystery, intrigue, and a bit of sci-fi. At times I found the author’s style to be too simplistic and unsophisticated, when I compare it to other YA series that I have read. I liked the idea behind the series, and its historical twist. However, I wasn’t caught up in the series, and I was not left with an overwhelming desire to seek out the next book. I haven’t ruled out reading the next book, but I won’t get to it any time soon as I have several more books that I am dying to read instead.