Thursday, July 19, 2018

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope.

But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Recently, I've heard great things about Julie Murphy's books. They've been talked about all over the internet. When it first came out, I got a copy of her debut novel, Side Effects May Vary. I've been trying to read through my backlog of books, and decided I would start her books that I own with her debut novel. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it at all.

My biggest problem with Side Effects May Vary was the main character, Alice. She was a complete bitch. I understand and sympathize with everything she was going through with her diagnosis. However, nothing justifies treating your friends and the people around you the way she did. She used some of her closest friends for her schemes, and then tossed them away like they were nothing. I felt so bad for Harvey. I just wanted to reach through the book and give him a hug because of the way she was treating him. I think Alice might be the most unlikable character I have ever read. She just completely ruined the book for me.

The only reason why I'm giving this book two stars is because I really did like Harvey. Even with all the shit he put up with, he was a really good friend. If I was him, I don't think I could have been that good of a person in his situation. While I don't agree with all of the choices he made ( I would have ditched Alice like a bad habit), I do find him to be endearing. If the book was only from his point of view, I might have liked it a little bit more.

Unfortunately I really did not like Side Effects May Vary. The main character, Alice, completely ruined everything for me. In fact, it almost makes me want to not read another Julie Murphy book. However, I understand that debut novels can be a little rough around the edges, especially when you compare them to the author's later works. I think I will try reading Dumplin'. However, if I find the main character in that book extremely unlikable, I think I'm done with Julie Murphy's books.

I give Side Effect May Vary: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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, July 12, 2018

Geronimo Stilton: Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Elisabetta Dami

Who Is Geronimo Stilton?
That's me! I run a newspaper, but my true passion is writing tales of adventure. Here on Mouse Island, my books are all best-sellers! What's that? You've never read one? Well, my books are full of fun. They are whisker-licking good stories, and that's a promise!

Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye
It all started when my sister, Thea, discovered a mysterious map. It showed a secret treasure on a faraway island. And before I could let out a squeak of protest, Thea dragged me into her treasure hunt! In no time at all, we'd set sail for the island. It was an adventure I'd never forget....
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Earlier this year, I read a Geronimo Stilton book. Unfortunately, I didn't like it. It was disappointing because that used to be one of my favorite book series when I was a kid. I decided not to give up on the series though. I wanted to try one more Geronimo Stilton book, Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye. I'm glad I did. It had everything I loved about the series when I was younger.

Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye took me back to my childhood. It brought back a lot of feelings of nostalgia. It had everything I remembered that made a Geronimo Stilton book great. It had a lot of the witty sarcasm and puns that I remembered. A lot of the cheese puns made me laugh. It was also action-packed. While it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, I'm sure it would have if I was younger. The only complaints I have is that I forgot how annoying Trap can be. He's definitely my least favorite character. I also found the book to be predictable, but that could be because I'm not the intended audience.

I'm so glad that I decided to give this series another chance. It makes me happy that I can read it with my nephews and nieces, and inspire a love of reading in them similar to what I had as a kid. I'm not sure that I will go out of my way to pick up these books because as I previously said, they are definitely out of my age range. However, if I do come across one, I will pick it up and read it with my nephews and nieces. Hopefully they will pass it on to their friends, and Inspire a new generation to love Geronimo Stilton.

I give Geronimo Stilton: Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye: 4/5.

Want to know more about the series?

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender.

Women rule the East. Men rule the West.

Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus.

Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet's life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes.

But one decision could save her life.

To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.

Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive.

But abiding by rules has never been Violet's strong suit.

When she's thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom ... including forbidden love.

In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive...
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Back when Kindle Unlimited first became available, I read the first 10 books in Bella Forrest's Shade of Vampire series. I loved them but sadly never got an opportunity to continue on with the series. I've had one of her other books, The Gender Game, on my TBR for a couple of years now. I recently read it, and did not enjoy it.

When I first started reading The Gender Game, I was really into it. I was loving Violet, the amazing female main character. She was incredibly kick-ass, and didn't let anyone bring her down. I thought she was a strong, empowering female character. I also liked the action in the beginning. It kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next and how Violet was going to get herself out of the situation she was in.

However, right around the time that she sneaks out of the bathroom window, things drastically changed for the worst. The plot became very slow and boring. At about halfway through the book, I was only reading 10 or 15 pages at a time. I kept putting it down because it wasn't holding my interest at all. Violet started doing dumb things that went completely against what her character was about, and that made me mad. Towards the end, the plot did pick up and get exciting again. At that point though, I didn't even care what happened to the characters.

All in all, The Gender Game just wasn't for me. The beginning of the book gave me high expectations, but then it fell flat rather quickly. Even the crazy cliffhanger ending of this book couldn't make me care enough about the characters or the plot to continue on with the series. I will probably try more of Bella Forrest's books in the future because I do like some parts of her writing style. I just won't be finishing this series.

I give The Gender Game: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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, July 10, 2018

DNF Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Recently I've been trying to read more of my books that I've had for a long time. I've been walking every day, so I've been borrowing them as audiobooks from my library. I've just been going through my list in the order that it's in on Goodreads. I recently tried to read Dear Killer. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish it. I didn't enjoy it at all. 

My biggest problem with the book was that it made no sense. When I started listening to the book, I was actually enjoying it. I thought it was interesting hearing the main character's thought process, and why she did what she did. However, as the book went on, I started to hate it. The main character started making stupid decisions that went against everything she had been taught as a trained serial killer from the time she was a child for no apparent reason. It drove me crazy, and finally, it got to a point where I just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't even finish the book, but I can almost guarantee that I can tell you how it ends because it was becoming so predictable once she started making mistakes. 

Dear Killer was just one of those books that wasn't for me. It was almost painfully frustrating to watch the main character make so many mistakes that went against who she was. It's like the author decided part way through the book to write about someone completely different. The book was also incredibly predictable in the way it was going to end. I don't think I'll be reading anything else by this author again.

I give Dear Killer: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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