Saturday, December 28, 2019

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu


Synopsis:
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
I've been wanting to read more graphic novels this year. It's something that I love to do, but don't do very often for whatever reason. I heard quite a few people on booktube talk about how good Mooncakes is so I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, I ended up not enjoying it as much as I had hoped I would.

Mooncakes had so much potential. The graphic novel is full of things I usually love reading about, such as witches, shifters, and LGBTQ+ characters. Unfortunately, the story fell flat for me. Throughout reading the graphic novel, I was confused because parts of it didn't seem to make sense. It almost felt like there was another book in the series that came before it that I should have read. However, when looking on Goodreads, it appears to be the only book in the series. There were references to things that had happened to the characters previously and inside jokes between them that I didn't get at all.

The other thing that I didn't like about Mooncakes was that the main characters didn't have distinct personalities. They were just cookie cutter and plain. Other than their physical abilities, there was nothing to make them stand out from other characters in the graphic novel, or characters I had read about in other books. In fact, I had to go slow and keep looking at the art work to remember which character was which because their personalities were so similar. I had to backtrack several time in the story line because I kept getting them confused.

I really wanted to love Mooncakes. It has all of the elements that I usually love in a story line. However, this graphic novel just wasn't for me. I found it confusing, and hard to distinguish between the characters. I would like to give this author another try in the future though because I know a lot of people that did love this graphic novel.


I give Mooncakes: 2/5.

Want to know more about the authors?
Suzanne Walker
Website: https://www.suzannewakeenwalker.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/suzusaur
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzisaur/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7008509.Suzanne_Walker

Wendy Xu
Website: http://www.artofwendyxu.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/angrygirLcomics
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artofwendyxu/

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover


Synopsis:
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors. I read Hopeless when it was first released, and have been addicted ever since. Therefore, it was no surprise to me that I loved her latest novel, Regretting You.

Regretting You is definitely in my top five books of the year. There's so much that I loved about the book. First of all, I love how Colleen Hoover can write crazy plot twists. I didn't read the synopsis at all, so what happens towards the beginning caught me completely by surprise. There were a few things after that that completely shocked me too. There's a certain thing that's revealed in the middle that I didn't see coming at all. I had to stop and re-read that part to make sure I was reading it right.

Also, I love the relationships that she creates between characters, whether it be a family dynamic or a relationship dynamic. Morgan and Clara might not always have the perfect relationship with all of the chaos surrounding their lives, but when it comes down to it, they have each other's backs. I like that the author shows that real side to all of the relationships in the book. Love, whether it be family or romantic, is always messy and complicated, but one hundred percent worth it in the end.

In fact, the only thing that keeps this from being a five star book is the ending. I found it to be a little lackluster after all of that build up, especially the way the school project ended. I just expected more. Other than that, I absolutely loved Regretting You. Although at this point, I'm pretty sure Colleen Hoover could re-write the phone book and I'd love it. I can't wait for her next release.  


I give Regretting You: 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://www.colleenhoover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenhoover
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleenhoover/
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/colleenhoover
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

I'm Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán


Synopsis:
Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been trying to get my TBR under control. I have a goal of reading at least twenty-five of my own books before I buy more, whether that be print books, or Kindle. Because of this, I decided to go through some of my NetGalley backlog. I've been loving the women's fiction books with cartoonish looking covers lately, so I decided to give I'm Fine and Neither Are You a try. I was surprised how much I loved this book.

I went into I'm Fine and Neither Are You with no expectations. I'll be honest, if it wasn't for the quirky title and the fun looking cover, I might not have even had much interest in reading the book. I thought at most, I might think it was okay. In actuality, It turned out to be one of my favorite books that I've read this year. I found the main character to be extremely relatable. I relataed more to her and what she was going through than any character I've read about in quite a long time. Most of the things she was thinking about, or struggling through, I have either been through, or know someone that has, especially the bits about marriage. Even though the list idea that Penny and Sanjay agree to was difficult, I think it's a genius idea that could help a lot of people in their marriage if they took the time to do it.

Not only was the book relatable on a way that I had never read before, it was also emotional. Maybe part of that is because it was so relatable. I don't remember the last time I cried so much while reading a book, especially towards the end. The author wrot ethe characters in such a way that the reader almost feels like they've known the characters for years. It feels like the reader is reading about close personal friends having these experiences, instead of made up fictional characters. It was easy to put myself in their shoes and feel every emotion that they're feeling while reading the book.

I'm Fine and Neither Are You was one of my favorite books that I've read this year. Heck, I have a feeling that it become one of my favorite books of all time. It was one of the "realest" fiction books that I've ever read. I loved the author's writing style, and the great job that she did connecting the reader to the characters. I will definitely be reading more of her books that she's written as soon as I read enough books to meet my goal. 


I give I'm Fine and Neither Are You: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://camillepagan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillePaganBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cnoepagan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/camille_pagan/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4462824.Camille_Pag_n

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace


Synopsis:
"You cannot have a funeral for your mother without also having a funeral for yourself."  This book poses the ever-lingering question: What happens when someone dies before they're able to redeem themselves?

From the bestselling & award-winning poetess, Amanda Lovelace, comes the finale of her illustrated duology, "things that h(a)unt." In the first installment, to make monsters out of girls,  Lovelace explored the memory of being in a toxic romantic relationship. In to drink coffee with a ghost, Lovelace unravels the memory of the complicated relationship she had with her now-deceased mother.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Amanda Lovelace is one of my favorite poets. In fact, her books are what spurned my love of poetry. After reading The Witch doesn't burn in this one, I quickly devoured all of her books. When I heard that she had a new book coming out, To Drink Coffee With a Ghost, I knew I had to read it. It came as no surprise to me that I loved it.

To Drink Coffee With a Ghost was extremely personal to me. It felt like Amanda Lovelace took a peek into my life over these past few years and wrote my story. I also had a mother that I had conflicts with. She passed away two years ago, and I've been struggling to deal with the grief and emotions that I've had. This book actually helped process those emotions, and helped deal with some of my grief. Reading Amanda Lovelace's experiences taught me it's okay to feel the way that I'm feeling, and most importantly that someone else has had the same experience AND survived it. I'm not the only one that has gone through that specific situation.

I will always be grateful for Amanda Lovelace's To Drink Coffee With a Ghost. It was an emotional journey reading through her poems, but one I desperately needed at a time I needed it. Thanks to this book, I have begun to heal from my grief and experiences. This solidified Amanda Lovelace as one of my favorite poets in my mind. 


I give To Drink Coffee with a Ghost: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://amandalovelace.com/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetessamandalovelace
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ladybookmad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ladybookmad/

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi


Synopsis:
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
I love Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series. It was one of the first young adult audiobooks I ever listened to. I ended up listening to the whole thing in one day because I needed so badly to know what happened next. When I heard that Tahereh Mafi was releasing a contemporary book, I was excited, yet skeptical at the same time. I'm not usually a big fan of contemporaries, so I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. I loved A Very Large Expanse of Sea.

I think A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a book that's desperately needed with everything currently going on in United States, and throughout the world. It was one of the most thought provoking, ee opening books I've ever read. It teaches knowledge and understanding of a culture that can only be gained through first hand experience of that culture. I think that if more people read this book there would be a lot less hate of the Muslim culture, and a lot more love, understanding, and acceptance. It was absolutely heartbreaking to read about the things that Shirin went through. Even though the book is set in 2001, the things that happen to her are still relevant, and still happen to Muslim women all across the United States today.

There was something that was unexpected for me in A Very Large Expanse of Sea that I absolutely loved. I should have known it would happen with the year it was set in, but I loved all of the early 2000s references. This brought brought back so many feelings of nostalgia from growing up in that era. Hearing about the music from that time, and the electronics brought a huge smile to my face. I kind of forgot about text messages being expensive with the way things used to be back then because we take it for granted now. It's always interesting to see how much our society is progressed technologically looking back on it.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is definitely in my top three books that I've read this year. I couldn't find one single fault in it. It was a beautiful, heartbreaking, own voices book. I have a feeling that it's one of those books that will stick with me for years to come. I really wish it would be put on required reading lists in high schools. Maybe if it was, the world would have a little less hate, and a little more love. 


I give A Very Large Expanse of Sea: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://www.taherehbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shattermebooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaherehMafi
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/TaherehMafi/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/taherehmafi/

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo


Synopsis:
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Last year, I read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I thought it was a deeply powerful, moving book. When I heard that she was releasing a new book, With the Fire on High, this year, I knew I had to read it as soon as I possibly could. I recently just finished it, and I think I liked it even more than The Poet X.

With the Fire on High was also a beautifully compelling book. It tackled tough issues such as teenage pregnancy, falling in love after being hurt, and the challenges of raising a child with someone that you no longer have a relationship with. It really drew awareness to these issues, and made me think of them in ways that I hadn't before. I thought that Elizabeth Acevedo's writing style was beautiful. She writes in this lyrical way that make the words come off the page into the reader's heads. The whole time I was listening to the audiobook, it was like a movie was playing in my mind. I was picturing Emoni going about her morning routine with baby girl, or sitting there having important discussion with abuela. The romance in this was also beautifully written. I love who Emoni ends up with. He treats her so well, and is exactly what I think of when I think of the picture perfect book boyfriend.

I do have to admit, there are a couple of things that did bother me about With the Fire on High. The first one is a particular phrase. This is just a pet peeve of mine. I don't like the phrase "I let out a breath I didn't know I'd been holding", or any variation of it. It just feels too cliche to me, and overused in young adult and romance books. That phrase was in the book at least three times, if not more. The other thing that bothered me is that it felt like the book ended abruptly. Maybe it's because I wanted more of this world and these characters, but I wanted the storyline of what Emoni and Tyrone argue about (trying to be vague so I don't spoil the plot for anyone) to be further explored. I felt like there was an important discussion that could have stemmed from that, and it just didn't happen.

Other than a couple of tiny details, I really loved With the Fire on High. After reading this book, Elizabeth Acevedo has become one of my one-click authors. I will buy any book by her without even having to know what it's about. I am eagerly anticipating whatever she writes next. I'm sure it will be phenomenal, just like her other two books.  


I give With the Fire on High: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.acevedowrites.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/acevedowrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AcevedoWrites/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15253645.Elizabeth_Acevedo

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Guardians of the Taiga by Stacy Plays


Synopsis:
From StacyPlays, creator of the mega-popular YouTube series Dogcraft, comes a thrilling illustrated novel about a girl raised by a pack of wolves and her quest to protect their shared forest home. The first in a new Minecraft-inspired fantasy adventure series!

Stacy was raised by wolves. She’s never needed humans to survive and, from what she sees of humans, they’re dangerous and unpredictable. For as long as she can remember, Stacy’s pack of six powerful, playful wolves—Addison, Basil, Everest, Noah, Tucker and Wink—have been her only family. 

Together, Stacy’s pack patrols the forest to keep other animals safe, relying on her wits and each wolf’s unique abilities to accomplish risky rescue missions. But as the forest changes and new dangers begin lurking, are Stacy and the wolves prepared for the perils that await them?

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
My husband and I both love Minecraft. It's one of our favorite things to do together. Either we'll play Minecraft together, or I'll watch him play it while I'm listening to an audiobook or music. Therefore when I saw that Stacy Plays was writing a Minecraft inspired book series, Wild Rescuers, I knew I wanted to read it. The first book in the series, Guardians of the Taiga, was just an okay book.

I have to admit, when first reading the book, I didn't really like it. Maybe it's because I'm not the age range it's intended for, but it seemed almost silly to me. There were several times where I had to suspend my disbelief for things going on. It kept pulling me out of the story. Stacy's wolves are more human than wolf. They do things like help her with crossword puzzles, steal newspapers for her, and other things like that. I thought this was going to be a raised by wolves story, but it didn't feel like it with all of that going on. That being said, I think the reader will discover more things about her wolves in Escape to the Mesa that will explain why those things are happening.

However, as I got farther into the book, I did find Guardians of the Taiga to be a more enjoyable read than what I was expecting. I loved Stacy's passion for animals. I've been a huge animal lover all of my life, and could relate to what she was feeling at times. It's always upset me to see animals injured. There was a certain scene towards the end of the book where I wanted to cry along with her. No animal, no matter the situation, deserves to go through that. The author did a great job of making me feel every single emotion Stacy was feeling.

Even though Guardians of the Taiga was a hit or miss for me in parts, I did find it to be a somewhat enjoyable book. I definitely plan on reading the sequel because I do think it will change my opinion on some of the things that I didn't like about the first book. I also think it will answer the questions that I have. There were quite a few things that didn't get resolved in Guardians of the Taiga that I really want answers to. I also plan on checking out Stacy Plays' YouTube channel, which I didn't know about before this book.  


I give Guardians of the Taiga: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/stacyhinojosa
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacysays
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stacyplays/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/stacyplays
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/stacyplays
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17215894.Stacy_Plays

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg


Synopsis:
Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been trying to catch up on books that I've owned for several years. It always makes me feel accomplished to get backlist books off of my TBR, and to be able to clear space for new books. I've had Openly Straight since it released in 2013, so I decided to give it a try. I've missed reading LGBTQ+ books lately, and thought it would be interesting to read one of the first LGBTQ+ books in YA (that I know of). I loved this book so much.

I'm not sure what I loved the most about Openly Straight. I do have to admit, I was bored for about the first fifty pages or so of the book. I thought about DNF'ing it. I'm so glad I continued with it. Iafter those fifty pages, I loved the rest of the book. I thought Rafe was a great character. Even though he had his flaws that could be frustrating at times, I enjoyed reading about his interactions with others. I especially enjoyed his parents. As someone who is openly bisexual, I wish I would have had the great support system that he has when I was growing up.

Another part of Openly Straight that I loved was Rafe's friends. I have to admit I wasn't a big fan of Claire Olivia, although she did become more tolerable by the end. I did love his roommate Albie, and his friend Toby. They cracked me up. I especially loved reading about their scanner pong adventures. The one with the old lady had me losing it laughing while I was reading about it. Most importantly, I enjoyed Ben as a character too. Everything that happens between Rafe and Ben was so emotional that it felt real. The reader could feel everything they were going through together, including their chemistry. Certain scenes toward the end of the book between the two of them had me tearing up.

After a rough start, I found myself loving Openly Straight. I think it is one of the best LGBTQ+ novels that I've ever read, and I've read quite a few. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I'll probably start it as soon as I can. There's a cliffhanger moment for Ben and Rafe towards the end of the book, and I need to know how it resolves. I also want more of the wacky and fun side characters. 


I give Openly Straight: 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://billkonigsberg.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/billkonigsbergauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/billkonigsberg

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was ni no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez


Synopsis:
How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker? When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken--including his dead mother--and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors. I've read all of his books, some of them multiple times. When I heard that he was coming out with his own publishing company, I was so excited. I thought it would be amazing to read books by other authors that are similar to the genre he writes in, but with their own unique twist as well. The first book that I tried from his publishing company was Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. It ended up not being what I expected at all, but it was still a fun read.

When I first started Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, I had no idea what to expect. I expected a middle grade book about Cuban mythology, which isn't what I got at all. However, that's a good thing. Carlos Hernandez wrote a book unlike anything I could have imagined. It was definitely different from anything I have ever read before. I loved the humor in the book. The entire time I was reading the book, it seemed like I never stopped laughing or smiling at something that Sal did. I also greatly enjoyed learning about Cuban culture, and being a magician, both of which were things I knew next to nothing about before I picked up this book. After reading this book, I definitely want to do more research on both subjects. I especially find the superstitions around "brujas" to be fascinating in Cuban culture, and would love to learn more about that.

Even though I enjoyed reading Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, I did notice a couple of issues while I was reading the book. Maybe it's because I'm not the age range it was intended for, but I found the book to be over the top silly at times. The whole time I was reading the scenes in the hospital, especially the ones with nurse Sotolongo, I kept thinking to myself there's no way any of this would happen in a real hospital. Also, the thing with Gabi's dads was just a little bit over the top crazy, and confusing. When I was reading the book, it was hard to remember which dad was which, and what they did. Not even the nicknames helped. It made it harder to take the serious parts of the book seriously.

After finishing Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, I had mixed emotions. Parts of the book I really loved and was sad to be done with. Other parts, not so much. I know I definitely plan on picking up the sequel in March because I want to know what happens next, especially after the crazy that happened at the end of this book. I'm looking forward to reading more of Sal's quick wit, Gabi's bossy humor, and the rest of the crazy cast. I also plan on definitely reading more of the Rick Riordan Presents books as soon as I can get my hands on them.  


I give Sal and Gabi Break the Universe: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Carlos.A.Hernandez
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriteTeachPlay

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher


Synopsis:

Chief Jim Hopper reveals long-awaited secrets to Eleven about his old life as a police detective in New York City, confronting his past before the events of the hit show Stranger Things.

Christmas, Hawkins, 1984. All Chief Jim Hopper wants is to enjoy a quiet first Christmas with Eleven, but his adopted daughter has other plans. Over Hopper’s protests, she pulls a cardboard box marked “New York” out of the basement—and the tough questions begin. Why did Hopper leave Hawkins all those years ago? What does “Vietnam” mean? And why has he never talked about New York?
Although he’d rather face a horde of demogorgons than talk about his own past, Hopper knows that he can’t deny the truth any longer. And so begins the story of the incident in New York—the last big case before everything changed…

Summer, New York City, 1977. Hopper is starting over after returning home from Vietnam. A young daughter, a caring wife, and a new beat as an NYPD detective make it easy to slip back into life as a civilian. But after shadowy federal agents suddenly show and seize the files about a series of brutal, unsolved murders, Hopper takes matters into his own hands, risking everything to discover the truth.
Soon Hopper is undercover among New York’s notorious street gangs. But just as he's about to crack the case, a blackout rolls across the boroughs, plunging Hopper into a darkness deeper than any he’s faced before.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
 Stranger Things is one of my favorite tv shows. I'm obsessed with it. In fact, I binge watched the whole third season the day it came out because I couldn't get enough of it. Therefore, when I found out there was a book based on the show, I knew I had to read it. I picked up Darkness on the Edge of Town as soon as I could get my hands on it. I thought it was an enjoyable book, even if it had a few flaws.

At first, I was a little hesitant going into Darkness on the Edge of Town. Hopper is without a doubt my favorite character on the show. I wasn't sure if Adam Christopher was do his character justice. However, I had nothing to worry about. He wrote the character and the plot so well that when I was reading the book, I could see it playing out in my head, almost like it was an actual episode of Stranger Things. I loved hearing Hopper's backstory, and seeing him thrive in a different setting than what the viewers of the show are used to.

There is one major thing that I didn't enjoy about the book. Towards the middle of the book, Hopper gets caught up in a situation. I won't go into details about that situation in this review because I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't read it. However, after that certain part happens, I thought that the story became boring. It seems like when he was in that situation, it took forever for anything to happen. It felt like the story dragged on and on until about the last 30 pages or so. After that, it picked up again and became interesting.

Despite the pacing issues, I found myself really enjoying Darkness on the Edge of Town. I thought it was an interesting look into Hopper's life before Stranger Things begins. I enjoyed it so much that I want more. I would love a prequel show about Hopper's time as a detective in NYC, and more cases that he had. I also really want to see more of Delgado. I loved her character is this, and think it would translate well on a Netflix show.

I give Darkness on the Edge of Town: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://www.adamchristopher.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ghostfinder
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/590743.Adam_Christopher

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Seth's review of Recursion by Blake Crouch


Synopsis:
Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

Seth's Thoughts:
Lately, I've been reading whatever books my wife plops in my lap. Recursion is no exception to that. I asked what it was about, and she said science stuff. So, I picked it up and gave it a read through. It kept my interest most of the way through. The twist at the end is foreshadowed pretty heavily throughout the book, but it wasn't enjoyably executed. The thing is, I read a lot of sci-fi, and it wasn't something that hasn't been explored better by better writers in the past. Not to say the author didn't write a good story, but I literally have sci-fi anthology books that stack up as tall as me. I guess I'm just a jaded sci-fi reader. 

Seth gives Recursion: 2.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.blakecrouch.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blake.crouch.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blakecrouch1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/442240.Blake_Crouch

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Seth's review of Artemis by Andy Weir


Synopsis:
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

Seth's Thoughts:
Back in June 2014, I was exposed to Andy Weir with his debut novel The Martian. I read that book in the space of one or two sittings. His novel Artemis was the same. It's a page turner of a different sort. Back with The Martian you follow Mark Watney, an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars. In Artemis, you follow Jazz, a young woman trying to find her way on the only established Moon colony. Early on in the book, she's made an offer that would make her rich enough to not have to worry about scraping by. What follows is one of the better books I have read in 2019. If it turns out like the last book I read by Andy Weir, it'll be a great movie.  

Seth gives Artemis: 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.andyweirauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndyWeirAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyweirauthor?lang=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6540057.Andy_Weir

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Jess's review of The Murmurings by Carly Anne West


Synopsis:
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

Jess's Thoughts:
If you didn’t know I LOVE scary stories. I am addicted to anything that is going to freak me out, scare me, and totally make me want to sleep with the lights on, so this one hit that out of the park!! The Murmurings is one book that I will not soon forget. It was totally creepy and had a few twists that I didn’t see coming. Sophie was such a great character and what she goes through is just mind boggling. This is one story that would make a fabulous movie or tv show! So, if you're looking for a new paranormal story check this one out! 

Jess gives The Murmurings: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://carlyannewest.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarlyAnneWest1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5398571.Carly_Anne_West

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Bummer Summer by Ann. M. Martin


Synopsis:
With a new stepmom, sister, and baby brother in the house, Kammy’s summer can’t get any worse—until she goes to camp

Twelve-year-old Kammy Whitlock had been fine living with just her dad since her mom died when she was only four. Although she gets along OK with her new stepmom, the addition of a troublesome toddler and a crying new baby has pushed her over the edge.

Against her wishes, her parents have decided that Kammy needs a break from home life until her siblings have settled in. Kammy goes to Camp Arrowhead with the understanding that if she’s miserable, she can come home after two weeks. If not, she’ll stick it out the rest of the summer. But surviving even two weeks is going to be tough—she’s already gotten lost at night and made an enemy of Susie. Maybe Kammy just doesn’t fit in anywhere.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Ann M. Martin's Baby Sitter's Club series was one of my favorite series when I was a kid. I also really loved the numerous spin-off series that were created from that series. From the time I was in second grade until about sixth grade, I was absolutely obsessed. Recently, I got a chance to read one of her books, Bummer Summer. Even though I was not the intended audience, I did find it to be a cute, enjoyable book.

Reading Bummer Summer brought back so much nostalgia for me. I did not read the book when I was a kid, but just reading a book by Ann. M. Martin and experiencing her writing style all over again brought back great memories. It reminded me of all the weekends and summers I would sit at my grandma's house in her black recliner and read one of the BSC books from front to back in an hour or two because I couldn't put it down.

There were a few problems that I had with Bummer Summer. Some of the phrases and thoughts that are used made me cringe. For example the main character, Kammy, uses the word "slave" to describe/compare someone. That really didn't sit well with me. I know it's probably because it was more acceptable (although it's never been okay) to make that comparison in the time this was written (1986), but that should have been changed for the newer published version (2014), which is what I read. There were a few other things like that that made me cringe as well, and kind of took away from the reading experience.

Despite having a few problematic things in it, I thought Bummer Summer was a cute read. Even though I am not the intended audience, I found myself enjoying it. I think that it would be a great book for kids, especially kids adjusting to having new family in their lives, and in their homes. I think this would be a great tool for kids to relate to, and to get a conversation started about accepting new family members for who they are, and being patient as schedules adjust. 


I give Bummer Summer: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMMartinAuthor
Twiiter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAnnMartin

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Jess's review of Two and Twenty Dark Tales by Various Authors


Synopsis:
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

Jess's Thoughts:
This one was great! I love anthologies, and I could not put this one down. They are so much fun, and with these authors you just couldn't go wrong! I do have to say that none of the stories really stood out. They were all about the same. Each one was interesting, engaging, and I would love to read full length novels for each one.

Big 5 stars for this one! I love the cover too. It's always interesting to see how they are going to add all the authors names to the cover, and this way it's beautiful and doesn't take away from the cover art. Great Job!  


Jess gives Two and Twenty Dark Tales: 5/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?
  
I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Jess nor I were compensated in anyway for this review. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Love Unleashed by Jackie Braun


Synopsis:
Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?
The last thing Mia wants is a relationship yet the headstrong florist cant keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend. Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been trying to read more of my smaller books to get them off of my TBR pile. I've really liked all of the books in a novella series I've been reading, Billionaire Matchmaker, so I decided to continue with that series by reading Love Unleashed. I really enjoyed it. I think it might be my favorite book in the series so far.

For those of you that have been following me as I read this novella series, you know I've had mixed feelings about them. Some of them can be over the top cheesy, to the point where it reads like a bad Harlequin novel and is hard to finish. Others, I've really enjoyed. Fortunately, I loved Love Unleashed. It's my favorite book in the series so far. I love the two main characters backstory, and how Charlie brought them together again when it was almost impossible to do.

I really enjoyed the main character, Mia, in Love Unleashed. This is unusual for me. In the rest of the books in the series, I've found the main characters to be over the top, and have annoying personality traits. However, with Mia, I understand exactly where she's coming from. I don't know if it's because her story is a lot darker than the other female characters or what, but there's just something about her that I really relate to.

I greatly enjoyed Love Unleashed. It's definitely my favorite book in the Billionaire Matchmakers series so far. I enjoyed the main character, and the way she reconnected with her ex through Charlie, against insurmountable odds. I have one more book left in this series that I haven't read. I can't wait to read it, and watch Charlie bring more people together with his cute puppy shenanigans.  


I give Love Unleashed: 4/5. 

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jackiebraun.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjackiebraun
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackie_braun?lang=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/144074.Jackie_Braun

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Jess's review of Guardian by Heather Burch


Synopsis:
Vigilance. The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have. Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?
(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

Jess's Thoughts:
This sequel to the angel series Halflings was out of this world.  I loved the world building, and all the characters.  It did start out a little slower than I had anticipated but by 15% in I was hooked.  This one picks up where book one leaves off and it doesn’t disappoint at all.  The love triangle from book one is still going on in this one but by the end the characters pretty much know what needs to happen.  It kept me on my toes and I am so happy that I got the chance to read it.

Jess gives Guardian: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?+

Website: https://www.heatherburchbooks.com/home
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/heatherburchbooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/heatherburch
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4983102.Heather_Burch

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Jess nor I were compensated in any way for this review. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace


Synopsis:
Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet and USA TODAY bestselling author Amanda Lovelace presents the mermaid’s voice returns in this one — the third and final installment in her “women are some kind of magic” series, featuring a foreword from Lang Leav and 13 guest poems from leading voices in poetry such as Nikita Gill, KY Robinson, and Orion Carloto.

The mermaid is known for her siren song, luring bedroom-eyed sailors to their demise. However, beneath these misguided myths are tales of escapism and healing, which Lovelace weaves throughout this empowering collection of poetry, taking you on a journey from the sea to the stars. They tried to silence her once and for all, but the mermaid’s voice returns in this one.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Amanda Lovelace is one of my favorite poets. She is the reason that I started reading modern poetry, and liking it. When I heard that she was coming out with a new collection of poetry in her Women are Some Kind of Magic series, I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. I just finished the book, The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One. I really enjoyed it.

There's something about the poems in The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One that speaks to my soul. While I was reading, I found myself being able to identify with more and more of the poems on such a personal level. Some of the poems made my cry because I knew the trauma that the author had been through because I had gone through similar situations myself. Other poems inspired me. They made me want to stand up and take action, not just for myself, but to help those around me. I especially enjoyed a poem entitled Slay Those Dragons II. It was my favorite in the book.

There is only one reason why I'm not giving The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One a full five stars. In this book, Amanda Lovelace decided to do something different than her previous books. She also included poems from other people. Now, I understand why she did it. It did fit with the theme of the book perfectly. However, I found my self being unable to identify with some of those as well as I could her poems. There were a couple that I even skim read because I just wasn't feeling them. It took away from the enjoyment of my reading experience at times.

Despite the one issue I had with The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One, I really loved this book. I found it to be relatable, and incredibly inspiring. The Women are Some Kind of Magic series is completed with this book, which makes me sad. I do hope that Amanda Lovelace continues to write more poetry. At this point, I will read anything she writes.  


I give The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://amandalovelace.com/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetessamandalovelace
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ladybookmad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ladybookmad/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15225448.Amanda_Lovelace

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Rebel by Amy Tintera


Synopsis:
Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...

It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Recently, I read Reboot by Amy Tintera. I loved it. As soon as I finished the book, I started the next book in the series, Rebel. I just had to know what happened with Wren and Callum. While I enjoyed Rebel, I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked Reboot.

Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy reading Rebel. I thought it was an interesting sequel. Howeer, there was just something missing from the book. I'm not sure what it was. I think part of it was the duel points of view threw me off. I wasn't expecting that at all because in the first book, it was just from Wren's point of view. Also, there wasn't nearly as much action as the first book. I found myself becoming bored at times, and my attention started to wander to other things. While this book did have some action, it was more focused on relationship dynamics, whether that be humans versus Reboots, or in Wren and Callum's personal lives.

There were also things that I really loved seeing in Reboot. I enjoyed seeing Wren and Callum grow as characters. I loved seeing a more softer side of Wren that the reader didn't get as much of in the first book. It was interesting watching her learn how to deal with her feelings, and process emotions in a healthy way. Even though it was really off putting at first, after I got into the book a little bit, I also enjoyed Callum's point of view. It was interesting being inside his head, and watching his character growth. I think out of all the characters in the series, he's the one that grew the most.

Even though I didn't enjoy it as much as Reboot, I really liked Rebel. I thought it was a great finale to this duology. I especially loved the way the author wrapped everything up. I own another series by this author, the Ruined trilogy, and will probably start it sometime soon. I can't wait to read more books by Amy Tintera. 


I give Rebel: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.amytintera.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amytinterabooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amytintera
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytintera/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/amytintera/
Tumblr: http://amytintera.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768611.Amy_Tintera

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Reboot by Amy Tintera


Synopsis:
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
To catch up on books that I've owned for a while and am behind on reading, I decided to start listening to audiobooks. It has been a life saver for my reading goals this year, especially when I'm working on things around my apartment. I've owned the Reboot duology by Amy Tintera for a long time now, so I decided to get the audiobook of the first book in the duology from the library, and read it that way. I'm so glad I finally read it. I loved it.

I think Reboot might be one of my favorite young adult science fiction books that I've read in a while. Usually when I listen to audiobooks, especially YA ones, I find my attention wavering. I either miss part of the story line, or get bored, shut it off, and come back to it. That didn't happen with Reboot. It kept me intrigued from beginning to end. I started listening to it before bed, and stayed up way too late wondering what was going to happen. I finally shut it off and went to bed, but as soon as I woke up, I finished listening to it. It was action packed. The plot and alternate depiction of Texas completely fascinated me. I needed to find out how Wren, Callum, and the others were going to get out of the situations they were in.

Speaking of Wren and Callum, I loved the characters in Reboot. I thought it was refreshing to see a strong female character in a young adult novel. I know it does happen once in a while, but it seems like a rare oddity, especially with recent releases. Wren didn't need a man, or anyone for that matter, to tell her what to do, or to help her. She took charge on her own, and solved her problems for herself. There's a specific scene at the end of the book in a lab that I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't read it. However, in that scene, she was so kick butt that my jaw literally dropped listening to it. I think she might be one of the bravest, strongest female leads that I've in a while in any YA or adult book.

I loved Reboot so much. My only regret is that I didn't read it much sooner than now. There's a saying that the right book finds you at the moment it's meant to, and I think that's what happened with me and this book. I'm going to be starting the sequel as soon as I finish typing this review. I can't wait to see what happens with Wren, Callum, and the society in general, especially after that crazy ending.  


I give Reboot: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.amytintera.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amytinterabooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amytintera
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytintera/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/amytintera/
Tumblr: http://amytintera.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768611.Amy_Tintera

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken


Synopsis:
What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
This year, I have made it a goal of mine to catch up on my favorite romance author's books. I used to read a lot of romance, but have barely touched the genre in the past couple years or so until this year. Rachel Van Dyken is one of those authors. I decided to continue my reading binge of her books by reading one of her newer releases, Risky Play. I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it.

Typically, I'm not a big fan of instalove stories. However, Risky Play drew me in and wouldn't let me go. Just something about Slade and Mackenzie's chemistry made it feel like it was practically rolling off the page. I enjoyed their witty sarcastic banter together. They had me constantly cracking up, seeing who could be more petty. Speaking of cracking up laughing, I also enjoyed Slade's dog. There were quite a few scenes with him that I loved, but a scene in general that had me losing it laughing that happened after the dog had an altercation with a bird. I couldn't stop chuckling for a good five minutes after I read it.

Rachel Van Dyken handles a mix of her character's emotions very well. Even though the book was hilarious, it got serious at times as well. I think she found the perfect balance between the two. What happens to Slade at the beginning of the book is really tragic. I could feel his emotions when I was reading, which I think is a sign that the author is doing her job very well. I went through what he was going through a couple years ago, so I felt for him. I know how hard that can be to go through, and the author portrayed those emotions very accurately.

I really enjoyed Risky Play. It's definitely one of my favorite Rachel Van Dyken books I've read out of the ones I've read the past month or two. Heck, it might just be one of my favorites in general. I have an advanced copy of the next book in the series, Kickin' It. I intend to start it as soon as I'm done typing this review. I hope I love it as much as Risky Play, if not more. I definitely can't wait to continue my Rachel Van Dyken binge reading session. 


I give Risky Play: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.