Posted in Book Reviews

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Ahh….who doesn’t like a feel-good story.  I loved Geekerella!

geekerellaGeekerella is a modern day Cinderella tale starring Elle Wittimer, a geeky 17 year old, who feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere.  She is orphaned when her father dies and forced into virtual slave labour by her demanding stepmother and twin stepsisters.  Elle escapes her bleak reality by losing herself in the fantasy world of Starfield, an old TV show, which she used to watch with her dad.  She even writes extensively about all things Starfield on her blog, Rebelgunner.

Elle discovers that her favourite show is being remade into a film.  She is extremely disappointed to find that Darien Freeman, a soap star, will be playing Federation Prince Carmindor.

Elle hears that the producers of Starfield are hosting a CosPlay contest, which she is desperate to win as it could be her ticket to a brighter and better future for herself.  She has been scrimping and saving behind her stepmother’s back so that she can pay for her ExcelsiCon ticket and expenses.

Elle works part-time on the Magic Pumpkin food truck with Sage, her green-haired, best friend, who helps her on her quest to go to ExcelsiCon.  Sage, together with Elle’s newfound text “friend”, embolden her to open up and take charge of her life.

Meanwhile, Darien is reluctant about having to participate in this year’s ExcelsiCon as the “true” Starfield fans have written him off as just another shallow heartthrob, totally unsuitable to play Carmindor.  What they don’t know is that Darien is a closet nerd and a Starfield super fan.  Under pressure from his father, Darien is frustrated by the constant burden of having to maintain his superstar image.  He really just wants to be himself.  He wants someone in his life, who will understand and support him without judgement.  Someone like the girl he’s been texting, by accident at first, but it feels right as he can be himself with her – except he can’t reveal his identity.

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Conclusion

This book pays homage to the fandom culture and I highly recommend it.  I was charmed by the references to Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, amongst others.  The Cinderella retelling made me feel nostalgic and happy.

This book helps us to understand that we are all unique and deserve to be loved.  We discovered how much the characters learnt about themselves and despite being scared, they were brave enough to stand up for what they believed in and what they wanted.

The advice then is:  You have a voice, so use it to stand up for yourself.  This is your life.  Take charge and unlock your potential.  Surround yourself with people who care about you and distance yourself from those who seek to trample all over you.  You also deserve a happy ending.

This feel-good book deserves

Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Demon Leap (The Specials #1) by Tricia Owens

I really enjoyed this paranormal thriller!  Demon Leap is a uniquely interesting and imaginative story that will have you mesmerized from page 1 right up until the end.  The characters are well written and interesting.

demon leapThe main character is Arrow and she’s driven to expose the government conspiracy of how her parents and thousands of others died in the War.  To do so, Arrow has to align herself with dangerous criminals known as the Specials.  “They are magic misfits and criminals, recruited and blackmailed to fill ordinary positions within the Sinistera Hotel.”

Arrow is a magically highly skilled person with some very important secrets. Her grandmother, one of the warriors that fought against the demons in the War, is now hidden away in a nursing home.  Her mind was broken by government methods to strengthen her magical abilities and Arrow pays for her care and medication, which isn’t cheap.

Arrow is framed for a couple of murders and finds herself in a situation where she has to take a job at ‘The Sinistera Hotel’.  This is a scary place where the majority of the inhabitants are menacing and dangerous criminals. She is given the position of head of security, a job she is not quite sure that she is capable of.  However, The hotel is the only place where she might just have the chance to survive if the residents or the other Specials (people like her) don’t take her out first.

This is an exciting and fast paced story.  Arrow is an engaging and interesting character and I enjoyed her interaction with the other characters in this book.

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I am looking forward to exploring the rest of this series as it has intrigued me. I love the author’s style of writing and I really enjoyed the excitement and intrigue of this story.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.

This book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Firebolt (The Dragonian #1) by Adrienne Woods

I really enjoyed Firebolt and am looking forward to the next in series. What an interesting blend of medieval fantasy tempered with some urban fantasy.  I had such fun reading this book.

fireboltSo, the story…Elena is constantly on the move with her father seemingly running away from something.  On one particular night, they are attacked by dragons!  In the next minute Elena finds herself in another world without her father, who has been killed.  Apparently Elena is special and there are great expectations for her potential so she is enrolled into the School of Dragonia.  Here, she learns of magic, dragons and Dragonians amongst other things.

Now, bear in mind that Elena is just your seemingly normal run-of-the-mill average teenager, who is clumsy and only excels at one thing (which she doesn’t like), which is riddles.  She is the opposite of what you’d expect from a heroine.

Surprisingly, her new world is very similar to our world in that it has cars, museums, shopping malls, modern technology, etc., but on an advanced level.  But half of her new classmates are dragons in human form and…they have dragons in this world.  Her school reminds me a bit of Hogwarts with a mixture of regular and magical subjects.

The characters are interesting and I enjoyed their interaction, i.e. Sweet Sammy, Prince Lucian, Flirty Brian, Brave Becky and, of course, the mysterious Blake.

I read this book quickly as I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was very entertaining and well balanced.

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Adrienne Woods created a whole new world for us to explore with an interesting back story to boot.

If you enjoy fantasy books with dragons, friendship and some romance, then you will enjoy this book.

This book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Detention Land by Susan Orion

“Detention Land” by Susan Orion can only be described as an unusual read.

detention landThe story had potential but it lacked appeal for me, sorry to say.  You may enjoy it as I think that we all like different stories for different reasons.

Roger is a 15 year old boy, who appears to be constantly in trouble, which causes him to be placed in endless detentions, where he is in dialogue with an anonymous person via an intercom system.

The story alternates between when he is in detention and him writing in his journal. The impression I received form this story was that Roger was a very troubled youth, both emotionally and psychologically.  I think that it showed that he used his imagination to cope with the reality of his troubled life.

It sounded like his parents were possibly neglectful and abusive but this was seemingly downplayed by the anonymous speaker so I was left wondering about this.  Was Roger being bullied?

I’m hoping that some of the confusion I felt in reading this book will be clarified in the next book in this series.

 

I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Book warrants

Posted in Book Reviews

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Thank you to Linsey Miller, Sourcebooks, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this free copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

mask of shadowsThis is an original and intriguing story about Sal, a street fighter and highway thief, who auditions for a place on the Queen’s Left Hand, her trusted band of assassins.

She/He is given a mask with the number Twenty-three as identification for the audition.  Sal has to learn to become a killer/assassin, but unexpectedly also falls in love. It’s a battle to the death as there are very few rules.  Unless stated otherwise, you may attempt to kill your rivals outside of the challenges.

The androgynous concept in this book is interesting and will appeal to YA readers.  Although the plot was violent, it was full of clever intrigue. I really enjoyed reading this gripping story line.

I’m looking forward to the sequel!

This book deserves

 

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Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

bookishly ever afterThank you to Netgalley, Isabel Bandeira and Spencer Hill Press for allowing me to read and review this book.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.  I really enjoyed reading Bookishly Ever After as it reminded me a bit of my own childhood teen angst.

Phoebe is the epitome of a devoted bookworm.  She make notes of dialogue and quotes from her books to use in real life as she is very shy and not good at communicating, especially with boys.

Her book obsession and constant book referencing is just so relatable but she takes it to another level when she actually dresses up to go to author events. It made me sad, though, that she felt the need to go to her books for answers to real life problems and relationships.

Her hobbies include band practice, archery and knitting.  Phoebe spends a lot of her time (when she’s not reading) knitting herself costumes related to her favourite character in her books.

Without going into detail, there is a boy interest or two.  Phoebe is trying to decide which one she likes more.  Her best friend intervenes and tries to push her towards one in particular.  Just it happens like in real life if you had friends like these!

Phoebe is a very likeable character and I think that she is easy to relate to.

Bookishly Ever After is an easy and enjoyable read for teens/YA but I bet that there are adults out there that will enjoy it too.  I was entertained and really liked the story.

This book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Thank you to Netgalley, Juliet Lyons and Sourcebooks Casablanca for allowing me to read and review Dating the Undead.  I loved it!  It was a sassy and funny read with a dollop of intrigue and adventure.

dating the undeadSilver Harris is kicked out of a New Year’s Eve party for throwing her drink over a woman she catches kissing her date and a well-placed kick directed at her date’s unmentionables.  While out on the street, she meets a gorgeous man, who walks her home.  They get along really well and end up sharing a sizzling midnight kiss to celebrate the New Year.

Silver soon realises that her sexy Irish man is a vampire but she doesn’t mind, even after he bit her, as it was the best kiss of her life.

She tells her step-sister, Jess, the next day about her exciting night.  Unfortunately, Silver had no way of contacting her vampire (she didn’t get his name) and had given him a false address when he had walked her home.  Jess mentioned that there was a vampire dating website called V-Date so Silver decides to join in the hopes that he is on the site.  Silver goes on a few dates with vampires from V-Date but she doesn’t connect with any of them and finds herself incredibly bored.

Meanwhile, the vampire that Silver is besotted with, Logan, has been tasked by his head vampire (boss) to track down human women dating on V-Date.  It is imperative that Logan glamour these women to forget about vampires so that they can keep their secrets.  Ironically, the first woman Logan is instructed to glamour is Silver but he can’t bring himself to do it as he doesn’t want her to lose interest in him.  This could get him in serious trouble with his boss but he thinks Silver is worth it.

At the same time, Silver is contacted by the police as they want her to go undercover on V-Date to obtain information about the vampires that she meets.  She decides to do it once they agree to re-investigate her mother’s death which happened when Silver was just 9 years old.  The police set up a fake account for Silver and she starts meeting up with vampires in the hopes of extracting their secrets.

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Things get a bit tense with Logan ignoring his “boss’s” directive and Silver informing on the vampires to the police.  Despite this, they can’t help falling in love.  Where will this lead?

To complicate things further, Logan’s original sire appears on the scene.  She wants to punish him for not being the murderer that she wanted him to turn into.  How will this affect Silver and Logan’s romance?

After reading the blurb for this book, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable, fun read.  I like Silver’s feistiness and sense of humour.  I appreciated how Logan managed to maintain his humanity after all those years.  The author did a great job of writing their romance and developing their characters.

This books deserves a fabulous

Posted in Book Reviews

Breakwater (Broken Tides Book 1) by Catherine Jones Payne

Thank you to Netgalley, Catherine Jones Payne and Fathom Ink Press for allowing me to read and review Breakwater.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

breakwaterI liked that this story had strong female characters, who weren’t afraid to stand up for the less fortunate and speak the truth as they saw it.  I think that this story has political parallels evident in our own society.

Jade is a seventeen year old mermaid, whose father is one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors.  Everything in her life is wonderful and she is preparing to marry her handsome fiancé, but her bubble is about to burst.

She witnesses her fiancé murder a naiad and he and his family try to stop her from reporting it.  Of course, Jade does the right thing by breaking off their engagement and reporting him at great personal cost to herself and her family.

This incident plunges the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar and tensions flare between the mer and the naiads (the lesser water race).  Jade learns too late that the choices that she makes have far reaching effects for her family and her city.  The fragile peace is shattered and the mer guards are killing naiads to get them under control.  Jade is caught between trying to help the naiads and keeping her family safe.

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Jade, as the protagonist in this story, can come across as naïve, which could be irritating in parts as she doesn’t seem to grow in character and she foolishly thinks that she can save everyone by sacrificing herself.

There is a hint of a developing romance between Jade and a mer, who lives amongst the naiads and is a long-time friend.  I am presuming that this will be elaborated upon in Book 2.

This book offers plenty of intrigue, authentic characters and interesting plots.  It will leave you wanting to find out what happens next.

This story earns a solid 3 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Stone Quest (Book 2 of The Middengard Sagas) by June Wilson

I love The Stone Quest even more than The Stone Keeper !  Action packed and full of twists and turns!  This book has kept me guessing from beginning to end.

stone questThe Stone Keeper (Book 1) was a riveting and enjoyable read but Book 2 has left me wanting even more.  I need to know what happens next!

In Book 2, Alice is back in Melbourne, mourning the loss of her cousin, Toby, and wondering if her friend, Jess, is okay.   Somehow, her stone was returned to her after she had thrown it away but she is unable to return to Middengard.

While out on a walk during an unexpected weekend away to Portsea with her relatives, Alice finds herself transported back to Middengard.  War is coming and it is imperative that Alice finds the other Doom Stone so that good can conquer evil.  Only the Stone Keeper can sense the stone, which has been hidden by the Aetheling (Gods).

Who can she trust?  People aren’t as they appear.  Events begin to unfold and there are some interesting character developments,  but we will have to wait for Book 3 to unveil the rest of the mysteries.

 

This book ends on a HUGE cliff hanger!  It’s a very exciting read and I can’t wait to find out what happens in Book 3.  June, please put me out of my misery soon!  I am loving your series!

This awesome book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

I enjoyed reading Like Other Girls and I think that Claire Hennessy dealt with several difficult issues faced by teens/YA sensitively.

like other girlsLauren is a 16 year old girl, who thinks that she doesn’t fit in.  She feels like she doesn’t have any real friends at her posh all-girls school.  To make matters worse, Lauren’s mother is recently been appointed as head teacher.

She has fallen out with her best friend, Steph or should I say Evan?  Lauren is confused about her sexuality.  Although she has a boyfriend, whom she feel just uses her for sex, she is also attracted to girls.

Lauren feels overwhelmed by the stress of trying to deal with her friendships, family and her love life.  As a result, she starts to drink heavily to escape from her feelings and makes some risky choices.

One drunken night, Lauren breaks up with her boyfriend only to find out that she is pregnant.  She doesn’t know who to confide in and feels totally alone.  The problem with living in Ireland is that it is impossible to receive any meaningful help so she decides to fly to England for an abortion.

Having gone through this procedure all alone and being unable to talk about it with anyone, Lauren continues drinking heavily and finds her life spiralling out of control.

In an effort to help Lauren, she is convinced to meet with a counsellor.  At first, she doesn’t think it will help but slowly comes to realise that it will help her deal with her issues.

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Eventually, Lauren confides in her mother and her friends and attempts to take back some control of her life by campaigning for better help for Irish women who find themselves pregnant and in need of intervention. And the best news for Lauren is that she reconciles with her best friend, Steph.

Conclusion

I think that the subjects of teenage pregnancy, abortion, gender identity, sexuality and alcohol abuse are dealt with in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner in this novel.

Teens and young adults should read this book as it explores many subjects that they struggle with.

I would like to thank Bonnier Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book rates a deserving