Mini 5-Star Reviews: Excerpts eARC #Netgalley

Hey all!

I was grateful to have the chance to read two amazingly good excerpts this week from Netgalley. I don’t often read excerpts but I’m so glad I decided to give these a try!

Maas is one of my all-time fav authors and reading a small snippet of Crescent City had me counting down the days until it’s fully released! I hadn’t read a book by Grace Burrows before this but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I adored her writing! I’ll be doing some back reading of her novels after this!

Publication Date: 3 Mar 2020

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. He’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

First off… you can tell this was Maas’ writing. Great pace, extensive world-building and intricate character dynamics set the tone for another highly engaging fantasy series.

It’s not always easy for authors to maintain their set standard and continuously create new worlds that differentiate from their others in significant ways. For the majority, Maas seems to have accomplished that in the beginning of Crescent City and I’m eager to see how the character arcs play out across the series, not only the first book. I have some predictions in place and I hope (in a good way) that I’m wrong about them. I love a good plot twist and surprise!

That said, this series seems to feature some classic Maas elements that made her first two series’ immensely popular. They are: kick -ass female MCs, easily likeable and interesting side characters as well as multiple small story lines merging in to a greater picture. Even from the excerpt it becomes clear that the side characters will play a fundamental role in impacting the main story’s arc. They’re definitely not just there for show or emotional value.

One thing that did have me a bit apprehensive during the excerpt was the extent of world-building. In some ways it felt almost too quickly introduced and bordered on being an info-dump but the events within the first five chapters required an extensive intro in to the new fantasy world. I’m hoping this settles down after the excerpt and allows readers to truly get a grasp on the setting and character dynamics as it was quite hard to follow at times due to its depth.

Nevertheless, Crescent City has all the hallmarks of Maas at her best and I’m excited (and impatient) to see how the full story turns out!

Publication Date: 28 April 2020

Nathaniel, Duke of Rothhaven, lives in seclusion, leaving his property only to gallop his demon-black steed across the moors by moonlight.

Lady Althea Wentworth has little patience for dukes, reclusive or otherwise, but she needs Rothhaven’s backing to gain entrance into Polite Society.

He longs for privacy. She’s vowed to never endure another ball as a wallflower. Yet as the two grow closer, it soon becomes clear they might both be pretending to be something they’re not.

As a huge fan of historical romance, I can tend to be quite picky and harsh in my assessments of them and yet this one was almost without fault! The only fault I had with this novel was that it ended so soon… I NEED MORE.

I found myself deeply immersed in the story of The Duke of Rothhaven and Lady Althea. His hidden kindness and her endless strength were the perfect match. I have such a weakness for stories in which characters’ personality types play such a vivid role. That was the case for this excerpt and it certainly caught my attention hook, line and sinker!

In an extended preview you tend to get a decent feeling for a story and the pace it will set. A Duke by Any Other Name set a jaunty, easy-to-follow pace that had me reading this all in one sitting! Honestly, if I’d have the full novel I don’t think I’d have stopped until the end. It’s safe to say I’m EAGERLY anticipating the full release!

Jen

Mini Review: The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E Ford #Childrens #IndieAuthor

✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

You guys… this book is SO FREAKING CUTE!!! Honestly, it’s hard not to gush because this little illustrated gem made my week. I’m not exaggerating (okay.. I am a little) but it’s truly a delightfully heart-warming and wholesome story of a little cockatoo’s search for his Mum and Dad. How can you not want a dose of goodness in your day with this book? Even if you’re old… even if you don’t have kids… this is worth the read. It’s adorably feel-good and one that I’ll be happily re-reading when I need a sweet pick me up!

Join Kian the cockatoo on his adventures around the world!

Can a childhood song about a shining star help him find his way home?

From the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall of China to New York City, wonders of the world are explored delightfully in this epic journey!

First off… I’m just going to admit that I literally have nothing bad to say about this book. I’m not being nice. I’m being honest. It’s so freaking sweet and adorable and just gave me ALL THE (HAPPY) FEELS!

Not only was the story a cute take on adventure and travel but it also included A MAP at the start and end. It was gorgeously done and showed a complete flight path of little Kian on his journey home. It’s such a great way to not only summarise the story but act as an educational aid for younger readers. As well as this there were ‘Fun Facts’ at the end which I thought was a nice little addition!

My hands-down favourite aspect of this story though were the graphics. As someone who enjoys reading graphic novels I find picture books to be quite enjoyable in their illustrative nature and wholesome themes. This book delivered on all of those aspects and quite a few more including: good rhyming (not overly cheesy or complex) and very good pace. Yes, even short stories can have pacing issues. The swift, repetitive flight of Kian on his journey home was easy to fall in to and the inclusion of illustrations of iconic landmarks as well as Kian’s outfits for the weather made me so happy! It was adorably sweet!

If you’re looking for a mid-week quick fix to cheer you up – then this is what you’re after!

Jen

Masquerade of Lies by Wendy Hinbest – eARC Book Review #IndieAuthor

Arc provided by author via LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

✰ ✰

Masquerade of Lies was an intriguing young adult thriller novel that kept me interested and invested right through to the end. While there were a few significant issues I had with this novel, namely to do with its believability and dark themes, the overall opinion I have of this book is that it was brimming with potential.

The story follows Hanna, a young woman with a history of mental illness starting afresh in a new town and school. The inclusion of dramatic side characters kept this story interesting and helped to alleviate the much darker, and unexpected depths, this story took.

Trigger warnings: death, suicide, attempted rape, self-mutilation, mental illness, verbal abuse.

I had not been expecting so many dark themes in this book, which were more often than not just shoved upon the reader with very little prior warning. While this had a shock and impact factor, it did have a hint of manipulation toward the reader. Some dark events should be presented as a shocking twist but certainly not all of them and definitely not without some prior warning in the synopsis. As is, this book has a very high potential to trigger people unexpectedly on some really dark themes. While some elements seemed necessary, a few felt like a cheap play for impact only and their repercussions, which should have been severe, were merely glossed over.

The drama within the book reminded me a little of the Vampire Diaries. Not in fantastical elements but in the way the teens seemed overly mature, yet continued to make incredibly immature decisions. While this can be mostly believable in some cases, there needs to be a significant portion of the writing devoted to developing the characters and setting to accomodate such a heavy plot in a young group of people. That wasn’t the case in this novel.

Instead, Masquerade of Lies proceeded to ‘show not tell’ the story, effectively making the teen drama come across as overdone and highly immature. More development of setting and characters to meet the darker themes of this book was necessary. Alternatively, an older age group and setting would have been more appropriate, such as making this a New Adult thriller as opposed to a Young Adult.

Overall, the story was still very interesting and I read this all in one sitting. It had good suspense and I wasn’t able to guess the killer until the end. While this had the makings of a good book, in the end I wasn’t able to overlook the badly executed dark themes and lack of necessary setting and character development to give it more than two stars.

Jen

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn – eARC Book Review

Arc provided by Kensington Publishing Corp via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

Publication date: Dec 31, 2019

This book y’all… it had me hook, line and sinker. I adored (pretty much) all of it and found myself wistfully drifting away in to the land of Meg and Reid. Seriously, if you’re in the mood for a heart-warming and hilarious love story then this is the one for you! If you don’t fully appreciate yet how much I adored this, then let this serve as a visual representation:

Synopsis:

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

This book was such a cute read! Within the first chapter I found myself fully immersed in Meg and Reid’s unusual relationship and begging for more of their semi-awkward, off-the-charts chemistry-filled encounters. Reid’s grumpiness and Meg’s nice girl personality were enough to have me wishing they’d get together already but the wait was oh, so worth it. This story is slow burn to the core and made every page seem like a delightful prelude to the final event.

The pace, character development and tropes were all a hit for me. I adored learning about the more subtle features of each character’s personality and how they influenced their daily interaction. I must say, Clayborn’s writing may not be for everyone. She detailed, in depth, the small gestural instances that we often miss in a story’s dialogue and conversation. Small, but ever present, descriptions of the subtle changes in body language really made me appreciate the glorious awkwardness of these two characters. They danced around each other for ages but I received just enough budding love and continuous intrigue to keep me highly interested in getting to the end. Bear in mind though, this may not be to everyone’s taste.

Really the only negative point about this story was the one side character, Meg’s best friend, and this was purely because she annoyed me so much. She did have a purpose and place in the story though, so it’s something I found easy to look over. Despite this, I would bet that this is a story I will gladly re-read many times. No just to get to the end but to savour the glorious slow-burn journey along the way to the HEA.

Jen

Everything my Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman – ARC Book Review

Arc provided by Amazon Original Stories publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

✰ ✰ ✰

Everything My Mother Taught Me was an atmospheric short historical fiction story that was deceptively simple to read and yet conveyed so much with so few words. As someone who doesn’t read many short stories, I found myself wishing for this one to be extended in to a full length novel. There are some short stories that can convey everything you’d want and need in a short span of words. Unfortunately, I think the quality of this story was sacrificed by making it short.

The sacrifice in making this emotionally-packed story short was the lack of detail and connection with events and characters, respectively. If this had been a full length novel (my bias is very present here, so please bear that in mind) I imagine I’d have fallen head over heels in emotional love for Hoffman’s latest work.

Synopsis:

In this haunting short story of loyalty and betrayal, a young woman in early 1900s Massachusetts discovers that in navigating her treacherous coming-of-age, she must find her voice first.

For fatefully observant Adeline, growing up carries an ominous warning from her adulterous mother: don’t say a word. Adeline vows to never speak again. But that’s not her only secret. After her mother takes a housekeeping job at a lighthouse off the tip of Cape Ann, a local woman vanishes. The key to the mystery lies with Adeline, the silent witness.

“There are those who insist that mothers are born with love for their children and place them before all other things, including their own needs and desires. This was not the case with us.”

Pros:

  • Adeline, named after French soap, had suffered a neglectful life at the hands of her selfish adulterating mother, after the death of her beloved father. Their journey to the seaside Lighthouse town in New England was evidence of the first opportunity for Adeline to truly be happy since the passing of her father. My heart ached for the compounded loss of her father and childhood home all in one fell swoop. The story’s premise was beautifully portrayed in events and insights in to Adeline’s psyche. I would have been very happy staying there for another 200 pages.
  • The writing, while odd and not a usual favourite of mine, was compelling in its simplistic nature. Told in past tense, with the inclusion of frequent foreshadowing, this story was unlike one I had read in a very long time. The combination of these two features may seem unappealing to read but Hoffman’s style was captivating. The lack of dialogue, as a result of Adeline’s selective mutism wasn’t a blinding loss throughout the story.
  • The ending of this story was deeply satisfying. Hoffman managed to get the perfect balance between just deserts and HEA.

Cons:

  • The shortened length of this book made the story, while still highly intriguing, feel rushed. This is one that would have thrived as a full length historical novel. The lyrical descriptions of nature and the rural New England setting were reminiscent of Where the Crawdads Sing’s writing by Delia Owens and it genuinely felt like a loss to not give the author free reign to explore and enchant us further with the beautiful setting.
  • The side characters felt (mostly) two dimensional due to a lack of opportunity to develop and establish their personalities further. This could have been a result of the lack of dialogue or a spotlighted focus on each character. It felt like the other lighthouse keepers and their family were only there to set the backdrop for Adeline’s story without truly contributing to it.
  • Some further insight in to Adeline’s selective mutism would have added an extra layer (that wasn’t entirely required) of depth to the story. Her father’s death was named as the catalyst but other than that there wasn’t much explanation on the development of it or the establishment of alternative forms of communication.

Overall, Everything My Mother Taught Me was an atmospheric read that captured my attention and left me satisfied right through to the end. A few changes in length or description of characters could have made this an exceptional story to never forget. I plan to read the remainder of Hoffman’s Inheritance Short Story Collection to compare.

Jen

Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis – ARC Book Review

☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2

Arc provided by Tor Ten via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Good Luck Girls was a book that took me by surprise. The beginning completely captured my attention, the middle lost it and the end had me eager to (FINALLY) find out what would happen. The dichotomy between the start and end with the lacklustre middle of the book was quite strange. Usually books start slow and build up momentum, or vice versa. Despite this, the story still made a positive impression and is one I’d recommend people read if they’re interested in kick-ass females, Western settings and a well-written cast of diverse characters.

Blurb:

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

The premise of this book sounded phenomenal. I mean, how can you go wrong with a cast of characters such as this and such an intriguing story line?

The focal character Aster annoyed me SO MUCH though. I can understand why she would be apprehensive of men after her traumatic experience working as a Good Luck Girl however, there were a few cases where her unchecked anger management issues led to the neglectful care and lack of consideration for those she was unofficially in charge of. Her change toward the end of the book and character development was refreshing and (mostly) redeemed my opinion of her though.

Added on to this, the POVs at the start of the book featured Aster as well as her younger sister Clementine. I love (LOVE) books that use multiple POV and was really excited to see this at the start of the book. Then…. it went away and all we got was Aster’s POV.

This felt like such a loss as the cast of characters were really interesting and unique. I would have loved to have learnt more about them as well as have an inside look at their relationships with other members of the group. Everything felt diluted by Aster’s anger though and it was a shame to have lost that potential. This is a story that could have been amazing had it been told from five perspectives. That’s just my personal preference and opinion though. I’m aware not everyone is a fan of reading in this format.

As I mentioned at the start of this review, the middle of this book was incredibly slow. Their journey to escape felt like it dragged on endlessly. We learnt about all of the small details of their journey. While some of it was interesting, there was quite a lot of it that I would have been happy to miss out on in order to speed up the pace of the book.

Despite this, the characters and world-building were really well done. It felt original and fresh. The beginning and ending had great pacing. I loved the inclusion of paranormal elements in to this story. It created a tension at the start and end of the book that was gripping and interesting to read about. I haven’t seen this take on a Western-set book before and I can see why some reviewers have absolutely loved this book. If you don’t mind pacing issues, you’ll most likely LOVE this.

// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //

Jen

The Earl’s Christmas Pearl by Megan Frampton – ARC Review

Pre-Order it on AMAZON. ARC provided by Avon Impulse publishing via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly surprised! It was quirky, had an adorable meet-cute and the perfect amount of scandal for a historical romance novella. I requested this ARC mainly because of the historical setting and Christmas element… It’s my favourite holiday of the year and I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on more romances like this. They add a certain extra cheer to the build up of my fav festive season! Yes… I’m the person who starts decorating in October!

The Earl’s Christmas Pearl was an endearingly sweet story of an awkward, grumpy man and a free-spirited young woman in search of independence from the constraints placed upon her life. The scandal was positively salacious and kept my full attention! This was quite a steamy read but nothing that overtook the whole novel. It was a slow-burn with witty banter and the inclusion of some hilarious puns. I’ll definitely give this a re-read sometime!

Blurb:

A duke’s daughter. An irrestible earl. And an energetic Corgi named Mr. Shorty. What more could you want in a Christmas novella by Megan Frampton?

It’s Christmastime in London, and Lady Pearl Howlett is eagerly ready for the festivities—until her family goes off to their country estate…accidentally leaving her home alone! But she’s not dismayed. Rather, she’s thrilled to do exactly what she wants. Unfortunately, this daughter of a duke doesn’t know how to do anything.

The Earl of Llanover has come to London to take refuge in his godmother’s townhouse, free to be as awkward and grumpy as he wants. With his pet Corgi, Mr. Shorty, for company, Owen Dwyfor is ready for a quiet holiday away from his mother and sisters who would have him married off. That is, until his godmother’s neighbor, Lady Pearl Howlett comes barging in to his solitude.

After some reluctance, the two come together for a joyous—and steamy—Christmas they won’t forget.

Characters:

Lady Pearl Howlett – Pearl’s enthusiasm for life and trying to accomplish tasks on her own was endearing. I couldn’t help but support her attempt to live on her own without maids or assistance. She’d been sheltered her whole life and the stifling nature of it tore at my heart. This story made me appreciate how much freedom I have in my life, especially when Pearl’s greatest excitement was being able to learn how to cook her own eggs. At the age of twenty! I’m not a good cook ( AT ALL ) but I’ve finally found someone who shares my same enthusiasm and lack of skill. I’m so glad she ended up with a man that was respective of her wish to be self-sufficient and willing to help her achieve it.

Earl of Llanover – Owen was a breath of fresh air from the usual scandalous rakes that fill these books. He was awkward, shy and grump as all get-out. His injury was not seen as a weakness nor was it ignored in this story. Owen’s character was embraced for all of his imperfections and he was no less masculine or capable for it. I loved how Frampton was not shy to include a stubbornly grumpy hero that wasn’t above letting Pearl gain independence and control. He completely stole my heart and made this book go from average to so so charmingly sweet!

Overall this was a VERY CUTE and FUN read. What held my rating back was the fact that the setting was not as well done as it could have been, nor did the story include some elements at the end that I had been waiting the whole book for. The characters, their budding love and witty banter were all there though! If this had been a full length novel with some added depth including better writing of the setting as well as additional characters it would be a 5-star. As these elements can’t always be realistically added in to a novella of this length it was understandable and still enjoyable!

//have you a fan of historical romance or Christmas romances? which are your favs? //

Jen

A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting – Book Review

Buy it on AMAZON. ARC provided by Montlake Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ STARS

First off, let me just start by saying I LOVE SPORTS ROMANCES. Even the horrendously bad ones will keep my attention and most likely leave me in a fit of gleeful giggles. This was not a horrible book. Not by any stretch of the imagination! It was fun, flirty and had that perfect Bridget-Jones’ level of awkwardness. If you’re after a quick and adorable HEA read with a nerdy, shy-as-all-get-out gal and hunky, considerate, athletic guy then you’re in the right place!

Helena Hunting delivers a steamy and super sweet romance AGAIN and if you’re a fan of her previous work, you won’t be disappointed with this!

First off, let me just recap my bias: Sports romances are like crack to me. I once went through a phase of reading about a hundred or so (check my Goodreads if you don’t believe me) so I think I can say I’m a good judge of quality for this genre.

Besides, Nen and I take sports SERIOUSLY. Ain’t nobody (seriouslynobody) going to get between me and my favourite team. The Penguins are for life and that’s that. If you don’t know who they are (be ashamed…. I’m joking. Mostly.) you should probably look them up. I just did you a favour. What I’m really trying to say is that this wasn’t some mere sports romance. It was HOCKEY ROMANCE. Practically gold in my eyes and never rated less than a 2 star!

I digress… back on to the review!

When RJ’s (Rookie) season ends, he decides to take some time away from the limelight of being an NHL team captain to escape to the Alaskan coast in an effort to rekindle the lost tradition set by his father. Along the way he meets Lainey. Incredibly intelligent, beautiful and just a TEENSY bit awkward. What starts out as a sweet summer fling to keep them entertained in the quiet, stunningly beautiful background of Alaska soon becomes something more. When a family emergency forces RJ to leave Alaska early he has no choice but to go. Except… he forgot Lainey’s number and has no way to contact her.

Pining for his lost chance at the perfect fling and someone who could have been a whole lot MORE, RJ is shocked to run in to Lainey a year later. Except nothing’s that simple. Caught in a tangle of white lies Lainey and RJ’s secrets might just be the ultimate game-changer!

My thoughts:

This story caught my attention immediately and held it throughout the book. I managed to finish ALFAL in one sitting and was reduced to a romantic fangirl by the end of the book! The story was well paced and the dialogue was hilarious. Honestly, Lainey’s AWKWARD dialogue kept me laughing and engaged the whole way through.

While this was an enjoyable read it was by no means original or unpredictable. There were a few moments that REALLY caught me by surprise and improved my opinion of the book but this wasn’t a new take on the genre. If anything, I would say this was the perfect read for someone expecting the cliches and cut and dry summer fling romance story line. Not to say that it’s not worth reading though! Just… what the premise reads is what you get.

The characters were your quintessential opposites attract and I loved that! They weren’t overly original or really even all that memorable but what really sold this book for me were the tropes. Without giving much away, let me just say that this has a great selection of my ALL TIME FAV tropes in it and if they’re yours too then you’ll be leaving this book smiling!

I’ve rated this four stars because I GENUINELY LOVED it and found myself smiling/laughing/giggling/ranting all of the way through. I was engaged. I was happy. This is feel good and it’s great! If you want me to be critical and rate it as if I didn’t love all of these tropes, HOCKEY ROMANCES and blah characters then I’d rate it maybe a 2 1/2 stars. So… bear that in mind I suppose.

But really… when I go in to a sports romance I’m after certain tropes and character dynamics (I’m not looking to remake the wheel). This book perfectly displayed those and was a joy to read!

// what’s your fav Helena Hunting book? are you as mad for sports romances as I am? //

Jen

Our Stop – my first 1-Star rating of the year

Arc provided by Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Buy it on: AMAZON

☆ ONE STAR

Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me. I really, really wanted to like this book. I mean, look at the cover art! It’s bright, gorgeous and paired with the premise seems like the perfect rom-com in a book. Sadly, there were just one too many things in this book that didn’t quite gel for me. I’ve read some reviews that are a complete 180 to mine though, so perhaps it was just me who didn’t get the FEELS with this book.

This story follows always-unorganised Nadia and completely organised Daniel in an opposites-attract romance. When Daniel decides that his unrequited love for Nadia, the breathtakingly beautiful woman on the train, has gone on long enough he posts an ad in the local newspaper’s Missed Connections. To his surprise, Nadia replies! What ensues is a slow-burn (emphasis on sloooooow) romance about two people who connect through Missed Connection posts and a sequence of convenient near-misses, before they finally meet.

So what prompted me to give this seemingly delightful rom-com my first 1-Star rating of the year? It was boringly slow and a bit vulgar. While I adore the idea of writing messages and falling in love without meeting (see my reviews of The Flat Share and Top Secret), this story just didn’t do it for me. The messages seemed a bit contrite and the chemistry just wasn’t there.

Daniel always seemed to be more involved in the relationship (or… their Missed Connection) while Nadia never seemed to make up her mind. Quite frankly, almost nothing had happened at the half-way point in the book and I was sooo close to a DNF. If this wasn’t an ARC read I would have quit. As it was an ARC, I felt obliged to finish but certainly didn’t warm up to the book.

While I didn’t feel the chemistry between Nadia and Daniel, I’ve still enjoyed books in the past that had this problem. I’ll admit, I generally  prefer character-driven stories. Usually an action-driven plot can still make up for this but unfortunately this book was just so slow and hardly got anywhere. Plus, the humour was quite offensive to me and vulgar. I just couldn’t relate and this is what stopped me from rating this book 2-Stars.

“The most memorable bloke was Period Pete, a friend of a friend, who liked performing oral sex on menstruating women, and who the three (of us) collectively decided must have an undiagnosed iron deficiency.” 

CHARACTERS:

Nadia – A perpetually late, unorganised and intelligent woman. This intelligence is surmised from the fact that she worked in a robotics lab. Her emotional intelligence however was a bit stunted. She got petty and jealous over the smallest things and pined for her ex when she still apparently didn’t care for him. She was still a kind, considerate person though.

Daniel – He was a shy, romantic guy that had a secret level of confidence that was quite contradictory to his shy nature. His initial thought to message in the Missed Connections was sweet and that’s probably the adjective that best describes him: sweet.

I have to admit, I feel absolutely awful about writing this review and have been putting it off for a while. I’ve genuinely tried to find something to say about what I enjoyed in this book. Lorenzo was the only character that I actually enjoyed reading about. He was straight-forward, snarky and a total junkie. His advice and comments were actually funny and I enjoyed the chapters that involved him.

 While there were issues with pacing and character development during this book, it was still well-written in the sense that the sentences flowed easily. I would consider reading another book by this author in future, as it could have just been these particular characters that I didn’t enjoy and an odd bout of weird humour.

// have you read this book? what causes you to rate a book 1-Star? //

Jen

WWW Wednesday!

Hello lovelies!

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This meme was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm but was revived by Sam from Taking on a World of WordsIt’s a place to talk about the books you’ve been reading, plan to read and have read. I don’t usually keep track of my reading, except for my Goodreads Challenge, but I’ve found this meme to be really helpful with keeping me on track.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?

What have you recently finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading

I’m currently going through a YA fantasy/ sci-fi phase, as you can probably see from the titles above. As a young adult, I was drawn to reading a lot of fantasy, due in part to my obsession with the Mortal Instruments. This series made me enjoy reading so it was only natural that I would stick to the genre. It’s been a long while since I’ve ventured back in to the YA fantasy world but with the quality of the books I’m reading this week I can’t understand what has kept me away for so long.

These three books count toward my Hogwarts House Battles Read-a-thon (Ravenclaw, always). Catwoman Soulstealer counts as my Care of Magical Creatures class, as the book has a cat on the cover. Aurora Rising counts for History of Magic as it’s set in an alternate generation in space – it seemed fitting with the gorgeous cover of this book! Strange the Dreamer counts towards Muggle Studies as I’ve heard the hype on it for years.

You can buy Catwoman Soulstealer here, Aurora Rising here and Strange the Dreamer here.

Recently Finished

This past week has had its up and downs in terms of book quality. The Reaper Man was my book club read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t often venture in to Discworld but when I do I’m always grateful that I did. It’s such a refreshing change from what I usually read. The Sun is Also a Star was also a great read. I was expecting it to be good since I’d heard so much about it. Plus, the cover caught my attention and I couldn’t resist giving it a try! The Bride Test was such a sweet, quirky read. I’m glad I decided to give it a try!

Our Stop and Wicked Prince were my most disappointing reads of the week (2 stars and 3.5 stars). While Our Stop started off well, it just went down hill from there. I had a rough time trying to finish this book! I was highly anticipating Wicked Prince and quite let down when it didn’t meet my expectations. Stealing Her and The Bride Test were the stand-out reads of the week. I wasn’t expecting such emotional, heart-warming stories but I got them. I was pleasantly surprised!

You can buy The Reaper Man here, Our Stop here, The Sun is Also a Star here, The Bride Test here, Wicked Prince here and Pre-order Stealing Her here.

Reading Next

The books I’ve chosen for this next week tie in with – you guessed it – the Hogwarts House Battles Read-a-thon. As my Alchemy read, Poet X was recommended to me by the lovely Hannah over at Alpha-Beta-Hannah, and I can’t wait to give it a try! For Divination, the challenge is to read a predicted 5-star reads. I’ve chosen Illuminae for this as I’ve heard about it everywhere, for years. It’s safe to say my expectations for this one are high! For Charms class, I’ve chosen Ellie and the Harp Maker. This is a book that’s new to me (I’d never heard of it before) but I was immediately drawn to it’s cover when I was doing my regular library haul. Internment isn’t really part of the challenge but I was drawn to it’s premise.

You can buy Internment here, Ellie and the Harp Maker here, The Poet X here and Illuminae here.

// are you participating in the Hogwarts House Battles Read-a-thon? have you read any of the books on my www? //

Jen