Jaclyn’s Review: Gamer Girl by Glynis Astie

Gamer Girl

Gamer Girl
written by Glynis Astie
published by Tikinou Publishing, LLC, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
This one took some time. I did, eventually, really like this book. It was hard to get into at first because the beginning of each chapter starts in an alternate video game reality. The main character, Meri, escapes into this video game to live an alternate life–one where she isn’t so introverted, one where she doesn’t have to deal with the reality that her parents died when she was just a child. Throughout the course of the book you are introduced to an eclectic cast of characters. You will find yourself simultaneously feeling sorry for Meri for the tragedy she endured at such a young age and envying the family that she has around her. The budding romance with Morgan is nearly unbelievable–but you WANT to believe it, so you ignore the improbability. About halfway through the book, I started to get into the video game part of the narrative and it really added to the story. This was a pretty big hurdle to overcome, but I loved what the author did with this part of the story.

 

Would I recommend it: Yes, I would absolutely recommend this book. The video game part is a struggle, but power through that part–it’s worth it at the end!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn’t in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger.

But when Meri meets Morgan, equal parts gorgeous and goofball, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to rejoin the so-called real world. Channeling the bravery of her fairy warrior alter ego, Meri slowly lets Morgan beyond the protective walls she’s built around her heart. Just as she finds a comfortable groove in an uncertain world, Morgan succumbs to insecurities of his own, leaving her lost and confused. Through her battle to regain her equilibrium, Meri will discover that even in reality, things aren’t always what they seem.

Will Meri win the battle raging in her heart and summon the will to rescue her knight in shining armor? Or will she give in to the fear and find her game over?

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Whatever After by E.M. Tippetts

 

Whatever After (Someone Else’s Fairytale, #5)
written by E.M. Tippetts
published by E.M. Tippetts, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
It wasn’t a bad addition to the Someone Else’s Fairytale series. (You can find my reviews here: Someone Else’s Fairytale,  Nobody’s Damsel, Break It Up, A Safe Space, and My Wicked Half-Sister.) It was a quick read; I finished it in just over a day.

I love Chloe and Jason. They are a great couple, normal, down-to-earth despite Jason’s celebrity status and Chloe’s past. However, I missed them in this book. There just wasn’t enough of them together for me. At one point, I was ready to DNF this book, but I kept reading. On the whole, the story was just a bit too much for me. I would have liked it if it was just about her best friend’s wedding and problems happening with it. Or just the issue with her brother. Some parts felt rushed. I did like how the author showed the scenes that Chloe wasn’t a part of. We were put in those scenes, not just told about them via dialogue. That was a nice way to give the readers a bit more of the action.

I do want to read the next book in the Someone Else’s Fairytale series. I want to see how they handle the next phase of their life.

 

Would I recommend it? I liked the other books better. If you want to keep up with Chloe’s story, then read this one.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Chloe’s got it all: a happy marriage to Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, her first child on the way, and the chance to be the maid-of-honor in her best friend, Lori’s, upcoming wedding. The stresses of the past year are behind her… almost.

Chris Winters, Chloe’s half-brother, still isn’t in jail, even though he’s the main suspect in a double homicide. The police don’t have enough hard evidence to charge him with the crime, but Chloe is certain it was him. After all, he tried to kill her when she was a child.

When Chris begins to stalk Lori, Chloe is furious and decides it is past time he was locked up for good. She has the best security team money can buy, yet she knows they’re missing something, and mistakes in this business can be deadly. The deeper she digs, though, the less the facts add up.

Chloe’s got mere weeks to figure out how to keep her best friend safe, save the wedding from disaster, and get Chris back in jail where he belongs. That is, if she can gather enough evidence before he strikes again.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Worst. Book. Ever. The Awesome Adventures of Max Power. by Wayne Basta

Worst. Book. Ever. The Awesome Adventures of Max Power.Worst. Book. Ever. The Awesome Adventures of Max Power.
written by Wayne Basta
published by Wayne Basta, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
It’s so bad it’s good. If Gilmore Girls was a book, it would be this. The sheer number of pop-culture references is in itself amazing, and I’m in awe of Mr. Basta’s ability to write an entire storyline–complete with vampires, raptors, robots, time travel, and pirates–that builds up to what’s essentially a “your mom” joke. It’s epic. Aluminum falcon-Gandalmore-side-trip-just-to-make-an-Archer-joke epic. Read this book. Read. This. Book.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Inside a large stone room, we came face-to-face with a mighty black dragon. Its eyes glowed a deep red, and smoke billowed from the giant creature’s nostrils. A metallic groan sounded as it moved, scraping its mighty claws on the stone floor. I must admit, even I was awed by the size of the creature. I held up a banana as I stood there, taking in the sight of the mighty beast. Beside me, Zink leaned in close. ‘Why do you have a banana?’

‘For scale.'”

 

 

Would I recommend it? Absolutely. You’ll LOL IRL. For realz.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Max Power, secret agent, Nobel Laureate, private eye, is a big damn hero. But when Femfa Tall, a rising starlet with a big problem, comes to him for help, he finds himself up against his arch-nemesis the evil Doctor Guy… again. No worries—ninjas, time travel, rebels with their own flags, robots, evil clones, Double Entendre, and pirates can’t make a dent in Max Power’s awesomeness—or can they?

 

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Melissa’s Review: Scythe of Darkness by Dawn Husted

Scythe of DarknessScythe of Darkness
written by Dawn Husted
published by Dawn Husted, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I’m struggling to answer this question. You know how sometimes you watch a show you’re not really that excited about because it’s the only thing on? This book was kind of like that for me. I read the ARC, so I’m hoping editors will catch the usage errors (peddle vs pedal, for example) and, you know, the fact that Mia wears glasses in the book but apparently doesn’t need them on the cover. Plot-wise I’d say this book is basically Twilight with a few tweaks–a little bit creepier, certainly, but a little bit watered-down as well. I’m placing it firmly in the “decent, but not worth reading again” pile.

 

Would I recommend it? Nah.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
For Mia Hieskety, surviving high school meant focusing on exams and avoiding stupid parties. After breaking up with the only boyfriend she ever had, dating was off the agenda. That is, until Thanatos came along.

Inexplicably drawn to Thanatos, she’s determined to find out who he is and why he insists on wearing gloves to school. Something is off about him. And it’s as if she can feel him when he’s near.

Without warning, she’s thrust into a sinister world and discovers a truth that she never expected. When a supernatural connection puts Mia’s life at risk, she doesn’t know who to trust—especially Thanatos. But what if she’s in love with him?

Bold, irresistible, and beautifully written, Scythe of Darknessexplores a star-crossed destiny in a whole new way. Don’t miss this hot YA urban fantasy!

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: A Pinch of Ooh La La by Renee Swindle

A Pinch of Ooh La LaA Pinch of Ooh La La
written by Renee Swindle
published by NAL, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I liked this book. It had a cute plot and kept things moving at a good pace. As a music lover, I enjoyed all of the jazz references. There were a number of times I got pretty upset with the main character, Abbey–it was obvious she was entering into an unhealthy relationship and I wanted to slap some sense into her! I guess the fact that I was so concerned about her is a sign that the character is well written! I liked that this had a happy ending, yet left things open ended.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Sure, this was a fun, quick read. There wasn’t much here that would turn off a general audience. The characters were well written, and the story moved at a good pace.

 

jaclyn

Have you read A Pinch of Ooh La La?

 

About the book – from Goodreads: To get to happily ever after, sometimes you need to start from scratch….

Abbey Ross, who runs her own bakery in Oakland, California, is known for her visually stunning wedding cakes. But lately, Abbey’s own love life has become stale. According to her best friend, Bendrix, Abbey’s not the spontaneous young woman she was when they were teenagers listening to the Cure and creating attention-grabbing graffiti. Of course, her failed relationship with a womanizing art forger might have something to do with that. Nevertheless, it’s time for Abbey to step out of the kitchen—and her comfort zone—and Bendrix has even handpicked a man for her to date.

Samuel Howard is everything Abbey’s dreamed of: handsome, successful, and looking to raise a family. But a creamy icing might be needed to hide a problem or two. When Samuel complains about disrespect for the institution of marriage, Abbey’s reminded of her nontraditional family, with thirteen children from various mothers. And when Samuel rails about kids having kids, Abbey thinks of her twenty-year-old sister who’s recently revealed her pregnancy.

Soon Abbey is facing one disaster after another and struggling to make sense of it all. Her search for love has led her down a bitter path, but with the help of her unique family and unwavering friends, she just might find the ooh la la that makes life sweet.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)Gilded Cage
written by Vic James
published by Del Rey Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
Gilded Cage is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read this year. I loved it. It’s like a mix of Divergent and The Hunger Games, but with magic! Sweet! I’m on tenterhooks waiting for the next installment. I didn’t think the world was big enough for yet another dystopian trilogy, but I was so, so wrong. Read this book. Do it!

 

Golden Lines

“Always look at the people, not at the mass. A face, not the crowd. Look at the world, not at the ground. Every little detail you see is a victory.”

 

 

Would I recommend it? Absofreakinglutely.

 

Melissa

 

Have you read Gilded Cage? Will you be adding it to your TBR?

 

About the book – from Goodreads: In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . . .

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave (Chrissy’s review)

 

Hello, Sunshine 
written byLaura Dave
published by Simon Schuster, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I did enjoy this read. It wasn’t quite what I expected, and I’m happy about that.

Hello, Sunshine starts off with the leading lady, Sunshine Mackenzie, telling the readers not to like her. And I questioned that from the beginning. And that questioning kept me reading until the end. This book moved. Sunshine’s fall from the top was swift and merciless. And then she had to rebuild her life . . . whether that was the same life or a different life or an old life, she had to come back from the bottom. I liked the road Sunshine took. It wasn’t what I was expecting. The reveal toward the end was a surprise for me. I didn’t see it coming at all. This book had a few other surprises, too. I definitely read it every free chance I had.

Hello, Sunshine was my first Laura Dave book, but it won’t be my last. I have Eight Hundred Grapes sitting on my shelf. I will be reading that soon!

 

Would I recommend it? Sure! If you like chick lit/women’s fiction, definitely pick up this one!

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.

 

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

The Madwoman Upstairs
written by Catherine Lowell
published by Touchstone, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy it? Oh my goodness, I love this book! Let’s ignore the plot for a minute–this book is just written WELL. I enjoyed reading it. It’s clear the author is intelligent and highly educated. Sentences, paragraphs, and chapters were well thought out. I’ve read books where it sounds like the author just figured out how to use the thesaurus function in the word processor–big words that don’t make a whole lot of sense with the book. This isn’t the case here.

Now let’s talk about the plot. This is painful to admit, but I’ve never read a single Brontë book. Not one. I was a little hesitant to read a book about the Brontës. Would I need to understand the books to understand this one? Nope! You get sucked into these characters and the plot pretty quickly. Throughout the entire book you are left to wonder what on earth Samantha’s inheritance might be. The plot starts to slow down in the middle of the book, but it picked back up and raced until the end. The ending tied in perfectly with the beginning. I’m not sure there has ever been a more well thought-out book. Perhaps one by the Brontës? 😉

 

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I love this book! I didn’t think that there was any part of the plot that was questionable for a specific age group. However, the writing is quite advanced. I have already recommended this book to others and will continue to do so. Read this book!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she’s rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë’s literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that’s never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn’t exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world’s greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë’s own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella
written by Ashley Poston
published by Quirk Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did enjoy this book. It had me reading every free chance I had.

Geekerella is a modern retelling of . . . you guessed it, Cinderella. I love so many things about this book. I love that Elle is a Starfield geek. I love that Darien is a geek, too. I love that Elle works for a food truck called The Magic Pumpkin. Her coworker, Sage, is great, too. I wasn’t sure I was going to like her, but I really did. She was a wonderful friend to Elle, even when she was reluctant to make friends. You have to feel bad for Elle and her situation. It would be hard to lose both of your parents and to be raised by a stepparent that doesn’t like you. The stepsisters were interesting, too. They weren’t exactly what I expected.

This is a retelling I’d love to see as a movie, especially the contest and the ball at the convention.

I have to say that I really loved this book. It was such a fun read.

 

Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

 

 

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Blog Tour: This Is Not The End by Chandler Baker (Chrissy’s review)

This Is Not The End
written by Chandler Baker
published by Disney-Hyperion, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did. I read this book every free chance I had and finished it in a few hours. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that fast.

This Is Not The End is a future-ish story (the timeframe isn’t specified, but it fits in today’s world) where scientists have developed the ability to resurrect someone who has died. You can only resurrect one person on your 18th birthday, though. So, there are a lot of decisions and ethics and other factors that come into play.

Lake Devereaux tells us her story from the perspective of how many days until her 18th birthday . . . the day she must choose whether to resurrect someone and, if she chooses to do so, whom to resurrect. After surviving a horrific car accident, Lake has to decide between her best friend, her boyfriend, and one other person. Can you imagine? She learns a lot about those closest to her. I liked Lake. She wasn’t weak, but she had a lot to learn, and at times she was a bit naive, but I thought she was a great character. I didn’t like her parents throughout most of the book, but I could kind of understand what they were going through. I understood even more as Lake learned more. I really didn’t like her brother Matt for most of the story. He had some great moments, though. All the characters played their roles well.

I don’t want to give away too much of this great story, so I will just say that this book grabbed from the first page and didn’t let me go until the end.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.

On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?

 

 

 

About the author: Chandler Baker grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband, though her heart remains at the beach. She strongly believes that writing quality improves vastly if done while staring out at a large body of water and daydreaming. Chandler is the author of the young adult thriller Alive, as well as the High School Horror series.

Find Ms. Baker here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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