ARC Review: “Vengeance Bound” by Justina Ireland

Vengeance boundVengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Goodreads | Amazon

The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge… no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

2 1/2 stars

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title is now available.

There was a time I thought this book could be something great. There was a time I thought this concept was the best thing since sliced bread. But then everything fell apart.

The book starts out with the most awesome concept. This girl, Amelie, has a bit of a problem. There are a couple of Greek Furies in her head, and they constantly want her to kill people. Well, they call it “handing out justice.” (It’s still killing people, evil though they may be.) Amelie was once in a state of distress, and the Furies answered her call for help. Now she can’t get rid of them. Her entire family is dead. In the book’s prologue, we find her a medicated vegetable under the care of a doctor who isn’t helping at all—only hurting. The Furies help her escape, and then the book cuts to a couple of years later where Amelie, as “Cory,” is still in hiding, trying to track down that doctor to enact vengeance. However, the Furies are getting more powerful and threatening to take over her mind. So what does she do to stay sane? She enrolls in high school.

That chunk right there, which I just summarized, was the best part of the book. The sad thing is that it’s basically the first two or three chapters, and they’re all set up. I should have had alarm bells go off when Cory/Amelie decided that English class was more important than enacting justice on murderers, rapists and the like. But I kept reading on, so sweet was the promise of those first few chapters.

Enter Cory/Amelie’s trio of girl friends. Each one of them is more terrible than the last. One is a complete witch, the other is a surprise witch, and the other one is so emotionally unstable she is constantly having nasty little break downs. You’d think the Furies would be the only insane and malicious girls in this story, but you’d be oh so wrong. I hated every single one of them with a fiery, burning passion. Even Cory/Amelie didn’t seem to like them. They made little to no sense at all.

Then enter a boy named Niko, who actually makes the Furies stay quiet for once. Drum roll please for INSTA-LOVE! Other than the fact that he makes the Furies stay quiet, there is literally no reason of Cory/Amelie to be attracted to him. We never learn anything about him. His entire character is built to love Cory/Amelie for no reason. Literally none. He’s as flat as a piece of paper.

Last but not least, the ending. That wasn’t an ending. I had made it all this way, hoping and praying for redemption but I just started shouting. That wasn’t an ending. It was … convenient. There was no real triumph. There was no real end. Things were just … released to go as they would. There won’t ever be any retribution for it, either, because this is a stand alone. This is just … it. That wasn’t an ending.

Frankly, I’m just disappointed. I really am. The first two chapters had such great promise, but things fell apart so fast and never even tried to self correct. The characters were all completely 2-D, the love interest wasn’t a relationship at all, and that wasn’t an ending. I hoped and expected so much more from this. I had originally rated this 3 stars on Goodreads, but I think I’m actually going to stick with a 2.5 rating.


Blog Tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand – Review + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand Book HighlightHey there everybody! Welcome to the tour for Farsighted and Open Heart by Emlyn Chand! This is going to be part of a special two part post on My Life is a Notebook! For more goodies, check out the tour schedule HERE. Today, we’re giving you our review for Farsighted! There’s also a GREAT giveaway for a KINDLE or a NOOK. That’s right! You heard me! Let’s get this party started!

Blog Tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand Book HighlightFarsighted by Emlyn Chand

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

*This review was written by guest reviewer Em from Easy Reading and Damn Hard Writing!*

Maturity Level: Recommended for 13+. Some gore, violence, and kissing, but little to no sexual content.

I’ve been reading a lot of self-pubs on my Kindle app recently, and I have to say that so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the selections that I’ve made. Sure, there were a couple of duds, books that I could only stand about a chapter of— the stereotypical “bad” self-pubs, complete with bad formatting, an apparent lack of any sort of editor, and a definite lack of any real sales potential.

Then, there are books like Angelfall and Farsighted—books that you could totally see showing up on a bookstore shelf and actually being better than 75% of their genre. These are books that have been self-published because that is part of the author’s artistic vision (see this post by  Chand) rather than being self-pubbed because there is absolutely NO CHANCE of a major press EVER accepting them. The latter is what self publishing has become (and also, what people tend to think when they sit down to read an indie); the former is what self-publishing was to begin with and what it should continue to be.

That said, on with the review!

Alex Kosmitoras is an abnormal guy in a depressingly normal situation: his parents are struggling financially, and there’s a bully who seems to have it out for him no matter what. On top of that, he’s blind—and, apparently, able to “see” the future. Simmi is the new girl from India, who is not only the friendliest, most accepting person Alex has ever met, but also has powers of her own. Alex is starting to think that this is actually going to be okay—that he has a shot of being friends with Simmi (and maybe more)—when he starts having visions of Simmi dying in various terrible ways and vows to stop it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It paints a lovely tableau of multiculturalism against a small-town background; as someone who lives in a truly tiny town, I can appreciate this. Chand also manages to twine the paranormal element neatly into Alex’s everyday issues with school, parents, etc while drawing on mythological elements that made the 13-year-old-me-who-read-Edith-Wharton’s-Mythology-obsessively-for-about-a-year incredibly happy. There were points where the pacing seemed a little slow, but there were also times when I literally couldn’t put it down. It’s definitely a book that I’d recommend to people who are tired of the vampire/werewolves/angels that tend to overpopulate YA paranormals.


  • Alex’s POV. I have a weakness for blind protagonists, especially those that are still major badasses. Which Alex definitely is.
  • Simmi. I kind of fell a bit in love with her right alongside Alex, which made her a wonderful romantic lead for the book.
  • Shapri. I might have fallen in love with Simmi, but I would definitely be more like Shapri. I liked how Chand handled her reluctance to admit to her gifts, and I loved that she was not “the bad guy” in Simmi and Alex’s relationship just because she had a bit of a crush on Alex. Nice.
  • The runes and how they connect to the story. I’m actually incredibly interested in runes/tarot, so I loved reading the description of each rune and then figuring out how it connected to the chapter I was reading.
  • Caffeine-assisted visions! I love explorations of how drugs/chemicals would affect theoretical psychic powers.
  • The multicultural viewpoint. ❤


  • Some of the transitions were a little choppy.
  • Occasionally, Alex fails to take action that moves the plot along and waits for other people to move it along instead. It seems just a little OOC, since he spends the majority of the book being a badass, but it wasn’t enough to disrupt the book entirely, so it’s all good.

Star Rating on Goodreads/Final Grade: 3.75 stars, rounded up for GR. A-. Would reread, will definitely read other books in series.

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! You could win a Kindle or a Nook HERE!
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