Book Review – Smother by Lindy Zart

goodreads-cover

Smother
By:
Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 5/12/2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Blurb:
You won’t like me.
I am not the nice girl.
I am not your friend.
I don’t care about you, but most of all, I don’t care about me.
Go ahead, hate me.
We all have secrets.
I have them as well—dark, terrible secrets.
The only time I can breathe is when I forget.
I need to be numb. You don’t want to know how.
But as long as I can breathe, the past cannot smother me.

*~*

I appreciate that I can always count on Lindy Zart to deliver a great story. I know that when she’s working on a project, one of her many WIPs, it’s going to be something good. And they’re all so different from one another, keeping her readers on their toes, that we don’t really know what to expect next.

I’ve been a little busy lately; between editing, school, my full time job, and growing a baby so I really haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like… but I made it a point to bump Smother to the top of my list. This was a “before bed” read – you know, the kind that you’re already tucked in tightly under Displaying smother14.jpg.pngthe covers, between the walls of your pregnancy pillow, and you tell yourself “Just one more page” and swipe your finger across your Kindle about 25 more times, repeating this mantra as your eyes droop closed? Ya, this was that kind of read.

I love Smother. Beyond love. There’s something about a darker novel that takes you to a different place. I don’t often opt for the darker stuff, but I’m so thankful I did with this one. Zart conveys the struggles of the effects of the past on a person with grace and realism. The past can haunt us in so many ways and how that manifests itself is different with each person. Zart does an excellent job building the characters in this story and really driving their flaws home. I went into this novel with preconceived expectations, “You’re going to hate the main character at first.” However – it was quite the opposite. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. And boy did Zart deliver! The details are all there, the darkness doesn’t have many flecks of light, and the dialogue is shifty and true to reality. Each character has their own speech patterns and pesky little habits that make them stand out, or blend in.

Another thing I found to be intriguing and wished there was more of was the use of art and pictures to depict what the mouth is unable to say. This story is truly a showstopper and is rough around the edges (in such an excellent way), just like the characters. The notion of only allowing ourselves the things we believe we deserve hits each of us in some way; most of us have been in a dark place because of one thing or another. Those dark places can remain dark for a day, a week, years, or even a lifetime. Good doesn’t always manifest itself from bad, we need to feel we deserve it and accept it. These are the challenges so many face, and Zart’s Smother makes you think so much deeper about these notions.

Great job, Lindy Zart! Can’t wait for the next one.

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Ending 4.5/5 Stars

Total: 4.5 Stars

 

 

Book trailer link:

Goodreads TBR Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23657398-smother

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, Bloody Marys, and pizza.

smother6You can connect with Lindy at:

Lindyzart@gmail.com

Twitter.com/lindyzart

Facebook.com/lindyzart

Lindyzart.com

Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com

Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com

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Blog Tour | Review | Roomies by Lindy Zart

Roomies
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: November 21, 2014
Genres: New Adult Adult, Rom-Com

*I received free ARCs of Roomies from in exchange of an honest review.

Blurb

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let’s move on.). He’s also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.
I love him. I mean, I’m pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.
And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he’s the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he’s leaving soon, and Graham’s the one I want. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn’t have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I’m something yummy and he’s starving.
Here’s a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.
*~*
I loved this book. Without a doubt. Then again, I tend to love everything that Lindy Zart writes. This book was refreshing and fun. This was a stress-free read that hit many high notes. I understand Kennedy’s language and have a Graham of my own, so this was even more enjoyable to read on my end.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 5/5 Stars
Love me some Lindy Zart characters. They are always so well thought out and complex. Even the less important characters have a great story. There’s something great about a story that every character could have their own spin-off. Anywho – Kennedy is blunt with an excellent tongue-in-cheek way of thinking and speaking about the world. She’s lived with Graham for the last two years and is madly in love with him. Instead of flinging herself at him, she hides behind her wit. Graham is quiet and polite, with a dash of Kennedy’s sarcasm and wit. They’re pretty opposite of one another. In comes Blake, mixing things up a bit. Blake is wonderful. Ha. Both of the guys are. I love how they all play off each other and really drive this story along.

Dialogue – 5/5 Stars
There were very few moments when I wasn’t laughing out loud at Roomies. The witty banter between Kennedy and any other character simply threw me into fits of giggles. Words tend to just fall from her lips in the same way mine do, so I get it. All of the characters have their own speaking style and attitude that is well conveyed in their conversations. My favorite moments were those between Kennedy and either of the Malone brothers.

Plot – 5/5 Stars
Roommates shouldn’t date. It’s, like, the golden rule. It could ruin everything. Besides, there is no way that Kennedy’s feelings are reciprocated. Right? I adore that there is SO much more to this story than what appears on the surface. It has all of the right ingredients to make this a winner: great characters, witty dialogue, a bit if angst, a lot of humor, and conflict. Oh, and attractive guys don’t hurt this story either.

Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Zart does well with the imagery in this story, though there is definitely more emphasis on Kennedy’s wit and the dialogue. That’s perfectly fine. There were some excellent moments, such as anything occurring in the podiatrist’s office where Kennedy works.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
The ending has the perfect amount of closure, while still leaving the story open to a sequel. There’s a lot to be said about endings, especially in Zart’s books. Always reliable and never disappointing.

My Favorite Quotes: (Please keep in mind that these are from the ARC, so they may have changed slightly.)

“Your crazy makes my crazy make sense.”

“A cool wind plays with my hair, making me think it might have a thing for me. I hug myself against its advances.”

Total: 23.5/25 Stars

R3.jpgYou can connect with Lindy at:Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Amazon.com/author/lindyzartListen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an ebook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
*~*
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#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.

Blog Tour- Review – “Unlit Star” by Lindy Zart

Unlit Star
By: Lindy Zart
Copyright: 2014
Format of Book: E-Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance

*I received a free ARC of Unlit Star in exchange for an honest review, however, once I began reading this story, I purchased my own copy. THAT’S how much I love it. I will hopefully have the paperback at some point, too (maybe signed?) Once I have money, that is. But, I digress…

Read on, fine literary friends.

 

Synopsis
Rivers Young was the popular guy untouchable by reality. He was like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and Rivers Young was no different.

He fell far and he fell hard.

Delilah Bana was the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the dark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers fell from the sky, she was the night that caught him. In the darkness, they found one another. Together they melded into something beautiful that shone like the sun.

Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.

ussoon.jpg

I am a HUGE fan of Lindy Zart. She’s one of the first authors that I started reading on my e-Reader. I love the Anthing But series and the Complete series. When I see there is a book coming out of hers, I hop right on the blog tour because I know I’m about to take an adventure into something amazing. There’s something very human in all of her work that is relatable and I am very drawn to that as a reader, reviewer, and writer. So here begins my journey with Unlit Star.

Now – those who know me know I am often quite wordy… verbose.. erratic, even, with the English language.. But this book had me speechless for quite some time. This is one of those books that I couldn’t put down. I was enveloped in Rivers and Delilah’s story, knowing full well what I was getting myself into. Once finished, I had to take that deep breath and release the tension I’d held from word one. So let me really start this by saying “Thank you” to Lindy Zart for another incredible read. Unlit Star is beautiful, lasting, and brutally honest.

Read on for my breakdown of this incredibly heart-wrenching and utterly human novel.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 5/5 Stars
This story has everything going for it, but the most well-thought parts are the characters. There isn’t a single person who enters this book that doesn’t have a beginning, middle, and end. Lindy Zart puts so much thought into each entity that comes and goes, regardless of how pivotal a role they play.

Delilah is filled with awe of the world and thinks far deeper than most of us dare to go. She’s trying to save the world, one little piece at a time. Her desire to fix things, even when they are beyond repair, is noble and endearing.

Rivers is struggling to pick himself back up after tragedy strikes. He’s not the same person he once was and he doesn’t know how to move forward from there.

These two imperfect characters lives irrevocably change because of fate and need for one another.

Dialogue – 4/5 Stars
Simply stated – I love the way each of these characters talk. They have their own patterns, habits, and personalities and all of this comes out well in their interactions with others. Zart also played with internal monologue for Delilah, which was a refreshing tactic to see. We don’t always need to see characters talking to each other – sometimes seeing what is going on in their head is dialogue enough for the moment.

Plot – 5/5 Stars
When two people who come from, what seem to be, two different worlds with their own challenges come together, the story is set up for success from the get-go. Once the idea is created, it is up to the author to let that story fester and grow into something bigger. Zart does just that; the worlds of Delilah and Rivers collide to create such a wonderful combustion of life and vitality, and love. I love everything about this story. I understand this world, while I can’t completely empathize. Sometimes you need someone to pull you out of the dark and to give you a reason or purpose. I knew what was going on in this story early on, but that didn’t change how it made me feel.

Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Delilah sees the world in such a way that, after reading this novel, the reader is influenced to see things that way, as well. Though I already see the world through similar eyes, it was nice to have a reminder of the things that we often take for granted.

“Have you ever noticed how many different colors of green are in a single strand of grass? There are all these lighter greens that meld into the darker ones, even hints of yellow within them. It’s amazing. The most beautiful things in the world are right in front of us in the beautiful of the actual world.”

I love that there is such a wonderful picture painted on each page. There’s a new experience, something to see. I am one of those people who take a moment to look up at the night sky and take in the awe of the stars. I stop and look at flowers and appreciate their intricacies and fragilities. Life moves so quickly that, sometimes, it is nice to just stop and take it all in.

Ending 5/5 Stars
As said before, I knew what was going on through this story. I got it. I hated and loved it all at the same time. The ending was wonderful. It was perfect. After finishing the final pages (including the bonus!) I sat there for a little bit and decompressed. Sometimes you have to sit down and let the hangover wear off. Thanks, Lindy Zart, for such a welcome Book Hangover. I will surely read this again, as I do all of your books.

Total: 24/25 Stars

Final Thoughts:
Some of us enter this world, live in it, and see where the journey takes us. Others fear what is unknown and don’t truly live. And some of us live to leave a footprint and make a difference. I am one of those who don’t just want to live in this world to be here… I want to live in it to make an impact and help people. Sure, I’m afraid of what’s around the corner, but what is the point of fearing the future when we have the present? 

Story gold for Zart.

A+.

Kudos.

And maybe a movie deal? (I want to play Delilah, though.)

 

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Cover Reveal for Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Release date: 8/29/14
Cover art by: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22051310-unlit-star

Genre: New Adult

Blurb: Rivers Young was the popular guy untouchable by reality. He was like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and Rivers Young was no different.

He fell far and he fell hard.

Delilah Bana was the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the dark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers fell from the sky, she was the night that caught him. In the darkness, they found one another. Together they melded into something beautiful that shone like the sun.

Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.
Unlit Star Cover

Complete by Lindy Zart – Blog Tour – Giveaway In Post

CompleteCoverKeep - CopyComplete (Incomplete Series, Book 2)
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance

Blurb

If the truth sets one free, why does Lily Jacobs feel so trapped?

She’s learned doing the right thing isn’t always best and now she is living the consequences of her greatest sacrifice. Every day since Grayson Lee left is one she wishes he hadn’t. Years have gone by since their friendship turned to more and then was eradicated by Lily alone; enough time for their young love to fade. Only it hasn’t, not for Lily.

Now he is back and seeing him is devastating to her at the same time it is rapture. She tries to accept that they cannot be together, but everything inside her shouts that they should be; that they only fit with each other. And so she has to accept the greatest truth of all: She loves him still. She loves him enough not to let him go this time.

Excerpt

He wordlessly holds out a hand to me. His chest is rising and lowering from jumping around and heat emanates from him as he holds my gaze. As I fit my hand in his, the song changes to ‘Everything Changes’ by Staind. The scent of home wraps around me as he pulls me into his strong arms. His palms span the width of my back as though each finger of his has to be in contact with me.

I vaguely hear Aidan say something about pancakes and then he leaves the room with a grin on his face. My attention is immediately back on Grayson. He is singing to me, bringing me tighter into his arms, his mouth close to my temple. Pinpricks of cold awareness trail up and down my back and arms. I close my eyes, clutching him to me; the front of me pressed to him. It isn’t enough. Overwhelming emotion washes over me like the hands of regret.

“Can I tell you something?” he whispers by my ear as the song ends.

I whisper back, “Do I want you to tell me something?”

His lips smile against my forehead. “Does that ever matter?”

Pulling back, I look into eyes that have loved me and haunted me. “Not usually.” I smile.

Grayson brings his mouth close to mine, never releasing my gaze, and tells me, “You weren’t my first love.” He pauses and my heart cracks at his declaration. “You were my only love.” And it is repaired and whole just as quickly.

My Review

Complete picks up a few years after Grayson and Lily’s story finished in Lindy Zart’s first book in the duo – Incomplete. If you haven’t read that one yet, I highly suggest it. New Adult Romance has quickly become one of my favorite genres, especially when you throw in a great author such as Lindy Zart.

In their first installment, Incomplete, Lily and Grayson were best friends growing up and discovered that maybe there was something bigger for them. [ Fun side bar – my husband and I were best friends in high school. 🙂 ] Complete takes place a few years after the previous story. Lily and Grayson have both graduated and moved on with their lives. It is a beautiful and witty story about two people who were best friends in love and what happens when life gets in the way.

    The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
All of the characters in this story are very well-developed. Of them all, Lily is the most dynamic. She has a beautiful soul and has grown up quite a bit since the last time we met her. Grayson and Lily are still battling their demons, though they’re more complex now.

Lindy Zart does a great job building the history of each of her characters. The struggle with an alcoholic family member continues to be an issue for one character, while another struggles with their identity. One unsung hero in the midst is Stone; he’s ultimately one of my favorites. I love that he loves his grandfather, is a tasteful flirt and isn’t pushy. I’d have loved to see more of him (spin-off, maybe?)

Each character in Complete has a purpose. I’d love to be a part of their circle.

Dialogue – 4.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in Complete is a wonderful mix of playful banter, tragic confession and beautiful romance. I love those books where I can be laughing at one minute and crying at the next – this is definitely one of them. Grayson and Lily may be older now, but they seem to pick up where they left off. Zart used the dialogue in this novel to drive the story; this is fitting, since communication is key in any relationship – romantic, family, friends.

Plot – 4.5/5 Stars
When a story makes me feel like my own life is written in it’s pieces, I can’t help but fall in head first. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I am always going to root for best friends in love, even if something has pulled them apart. Complete has pretty much everything I want in a romance – friends, family, conflict, music, sex. There are moments here or there that pulled me away from the story, but for the majority I was completely enthralled.

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I enjoy when as author gives me just enough detail to have a great foundation for what to see, but leaves space for me to come up with things on my own. Between Grayson’s bad boy style, Lily’s out-of-comfort outfits, a beautiful middle-of-nowhere feel, and everything in between, I had no trouble “seeing” the story. Visually, the story is just as beautiful as the dialogue. There are moments, such as Grayson and Lily’s stolen glances, that draw you in just a much as the conversation.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
All I will say is – you should read it yourself.

TOTAL: 21/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you:

like romance
have ever been in love with your best friend
want to make it big in the world
have every settled for anything less than you deserve
or just love to read
You will find something to love about this book. The struggles are all realistic, the love story brings you pain and joy, and you find yourself rooting for someone. Who? Well, that’s for you to decide. Everyone deserves true love, it’s just harder for some to see that. I absolutely love this book.

*I received copy of book for honest review.

Links

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18461474-complete
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Incomplete-Lindy-Zart-ebook/dp/B00IZRAPKK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395587260&sr=8-1&keywords=Lindy+Zart
Smashwords- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418916
Nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-lindy-zart/1118922206?ean=2940149221042

About the Author

Lindy Zart has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.

Links-

Twitter- https://twitter.com/lindyzart
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/lindyzart
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/lindyzart
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/author/lindyzart
Blog- http://lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Smashwords Author Page-https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lindyzart

Giveaway Info

Rafflecopter Code-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link- http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjVhMDE3YTEwNjQ1M2Q4YzVlNjEwYmY5ZWQ2ZGE1Ojcw/