Review of Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel (digital arc)



Summary from Goodreads:

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.


My thoughts:

What a fun, exciting read!  Angie had a rough life when she was growing up.  Her drug addicted mom took off with her.  Shortly after her dad found her again, her mom died from an overdose. She moved in with her dad in a small Pennsylvania town.  While she had a couple amazing friends, Deno and Lacey, she was sort of an outcast.  Angie was a band geek, but on the weekends, she transformed herself into a popular DJ.  I actually loved the story of her music and how it made her feel like she was better than what the bratty high school girls thought of her.

Angie’s new neighbor, Reece, is attractive, but strange.  Angie sees something odd with him and there seem to be crows everywhere since his family moved in.  It doesn’t take long for Reece to come clean with her and explain that he’s a harbinger of death and that there are also beekeepers around.  Her town is going to have a major tragedy and they are all there for it.  Reece and Angie start to fall in love, but he’s cursed and will need to move on after the deaths.  But the beekeeper thinks he can make Reece take his curse and figures a way to use Angie to do it.

The pacing of this book was great.  I sat down to read for thirty minutes tonight and ended up reading for an hour and a half to finish.  I just couldn’t put it down.  I found the myths of the harbingers and beekeepers so interesting.  Lacey and Deno were favorites. I also really love Angie’s dad and their relationship.  I will admit to freaking out hoping that her dog would be safe, too.  What can I say?  I’m obsessed with happy endings for pets.

I can’t really get into too much more without giving away important parts of the book.  I just hope everyone goes out and gives this one a chance.   Black Bird of the Gallows is set to be published September 5th 2017 by Entangled Teen.  I definitely plan on buying this one.

Thank you to the author, Entangled Teen, and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.  I gave this five stars.

I also posted an excerpt from the book here.

You can purchase Black Bird of the Gallows from any of these stores (and more):


barnes and noble

anderson’s bookshop

book depository

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  To participate, you just show off a random book from your TBR list.

This week I’m choosing a recently released book.  How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat.


Summary from Goodreads:

Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by HarperTeen
0062291750 (ISBN13: 9780062291752)
Edition Language

Standalone Sunday



Standalone Sunday was started by Megan at bookslayerreads.  It highlights one standalone book that you loved.

My choice this week is Here’s The Thing by Emily O’Beirne.


Summary from Goodreads:

It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.


My short review from last year:

I received a copy of this book from netgalley for review.

This is the second book I’ve read by Emily O’Beirne and I loved this one even more than Points of Departure. Ms O’Berine is definitely becoming an author to watch for me. There was no one part of this book that made me love it more than another. I liked the chapters that alternated between past and present. The drama part of the book along with the photography drew me in even more than the relationships did. It was just a great, well written book.

This book was published October 19th 2016 by Smashwords Edition.

Get it from Amazon here.


August OwlCrate Unboxing

The theme for August’s OwlCrate is Something Wicked This Way Comes.  My box arrived today and I love everything in it.


Each month there is a card with the theme on one side and a list of everything included on the other.


These Edgar Allan Poe socks are from Out of Print.


This fountain pen is from Ody and the sticker is a This Savage Song sticker designed by Evie Bookish.


This Six of Crows bookmark was designed by Treehouse of Books and the box came with two pins this month.


The Dark Arts inspired coffee was made exclusively by Happenstance Coffee.


There was also an extra book in this month’s box.  Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories published by Rock Paper Books.


This months’ book selection is The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones.  The cover is an OwlCrate exclusive.


The book came with a letter from the author and a signed bookplate.


The last item in the box is a card with next month’s theme.


First lines Fridays


First Lines Fridays is hostedy by Wandering Words.

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!


The numbers on my phone stare back at me.  Thirty more minutes of target practice before I can start my homework.  I take a deep breath and run the back of my hand across my forehead.  It’s still damp with sweat from my run and the hour of Krav Maga with Mom.  I shake out my arms.  The exhilarating buzz that comes from fighting is starting its slow leak from my veins as I stand alone in the silent shooting range.


Scroll down to see which book this is from.




Keep going…




Still more…




A little more…




Almost there





You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando.

Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice?

Published January 10th 2017 by Swoon Reads.