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REVIEW // “Play With Me” and “Ryan Hunter” by Anna Katmore

14 Apr

 Today I’m reviewing two books together because they are the same story, in separate books, told by each of the main characters.

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Play With Me by Anna Katmore

(Grover Beach Team #1)

5 Stars

If you are in the mood for a super sweet innocent romance, this is the book for you.

 

Liza Matthews has been in love with her best friend Tony Mitchell since forever. The summer between Sophomore and Junior year he comes home from soccer camp and to Liza’s utter dismay, begins spending time with a girl she dubs Barbie.

 

Enter Ryan Hunter. He’s the captain of that soccer team responsible for stealing away her quality time with Tony. Hunter is a playboy, a new girl every week but when he begins paying special attention to her she begins to wonder if she could actually love someone else.

 

Play With Me is a super fast read. I could not devour this book quick enough. Liza is so likable and Hunter is dreamy. My favorite scene involves a shot of tequila and some karaoke.

 

My only minor “issues” with this book are my moral qualms. There is quite a bit of underage drinking and specifically drinking after driving. The parents seem to let their kids do whatever the heck they want, for the most part. There were also a few typos/grammatical errors but considering I’m pretty sure the author is not a native English speaker I’m very impressed with the quality of this book.

 

None of my minor “issues” would prevent me from recommending this book to someone to read, though I wish there was some sort of disclaimer stating that the author doesn’t promote the underage drinking and so on. (Yes, this is the parent in me coming out!)

 

BONUS: The cover is adorable and fits the feel of the story perfectly.

Add it on GOODREADS

Buy it on AMAZON

 

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Ryan Hunter by Anna Katmore
(Grover Beach Team #2)

3 Stars

“Ryan Hunter” is the counterpart to “Play With Me” in that it’s the exact same story but from the guys POV. I love stories like this because I get to enjoy a story that I loved (if I didn’t love it I would’t bother reading the counterpart!)

This one I didn’t love as much though. I liked being able to see into Hunter’s head, but I couldn’t get over the fact that all he had on his mind at all times was sex. In “Play With Me” Hunter was mysterious and sexy. In “Ryan Hunter” he’s kind of sleazy. I was really glad I read “Play With Me” first because I’m not sure I would have read it had I read this one first.

As I said in my review of “Play With Me” I didn’t care for the underage drinking and basically bad moral behavior. There were also a few more grammar errors in this one than there were in the last. Not enough to pull me out of the story, but enough to remind me that the author is not a native English speaker. Honestly though, despite the few errors, I’m very impressed with her ability to write so fluently in her non-native tongue.

I’d say if you really want to find out what’s going on inside Hunter’s head you should read this. If you’d rather he stay mysterious and sexy stick with the first book and leave a little to the imagination.

…. I also don’t care for the cover as much. The blue text on the blue jeans just does not stand out enough to catch my interest.

Add it on GOODREADS

Buy it on AMAZON

REVIEW // “Love You to Death” by Melissa March

11 Apr

I’ve been a terrible blogger, I know. I’ll try to do better. Off the top of my head I know that I have at least two other reviews that I need to post aside from this one.

Without further ado, my review of the brilliant New Adult novel “Love You to Death” by Melissa March.

“Love You to Death” by Melissa March

“Love You To Death” by Melissa March
5 Stars (MUST read!)
Contemporary New Adult

“Love You to Death” is the story of Seventeen-year-old Arden Elliot. Street name Cherry.

An orphan, Arden turns to the streets rather then live with an aunt who does nothing but trash talk Arden’s mother. She quickly forms a bond with Stewie, a young man in his twenties with the mental capacity of a nine-year-old.

When Arden meets Cass all of her warning bells go off, but Cass offer her food. Shoes without holes and clean socks. He helps her in her time of greatest need and soon enough, she’s his. Cass scares her and she knows that if she doesn’t escape, one day he will love her to death.

Along her great escape Arden meets Southern gentleman Gideon and while her heart is telling her yes, her mind is reminding her that she belongs to another and he will stop at nothing to find her.

I could not put this book down. Arden is smart and beautiful and has a real smart  mouth that I can appreciate. She’s so real that by the time I got to the end of the book I was almost crying because I felt like I had to say goodbye to some really good friends.

My favorite character in the book though was probably Sissy, Gideon’s grandmother. She’s a real country gal — overalls and all — and brings a lighthearted humor to the story.

March addresses a lot of deep issues in her book including homelessness and domestic abuse and she does it with such grace and tact that one has to admire her skills as a writer.

Seriously. This book is a must read and Melissa March is an author I’m going to be watching. I can’t wait to read what she comes out with next!

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/melissamarch/loveyoutodeath.html

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21825370-love-you-to-death

 

** Note: This book is published by the company I work for, I did design the cover art and do receive royalties for each copy sold, however I would never give a positive review to a book that I have not read and/or would not recommend. This book is a gem!

 

REVIEW // “Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

6 Nov

Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in writing!

It’s November which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short.
For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, people who dream of being writers set forth to torture themselves for a whole month. This torture hopefully results in 50,000 words that mostly make sense and make up the first draft of a novel. The goal is to write 1667 words every day for 30 days to reach the ultimate 50,000 word goal.

I am participating for the 4th year. I gave it a shot in 2009, 2010 and 2012. (I skipped 2011 since I had a 2 month old baby at the time!) For the first time ever I am right on track and thrilled beyond words. Someday I hope to see my book featured on book review blogs!

If you’d like to follow my progress you can check it out on the sidebar and also right at the NaNo website here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/faerietears

So, because I’m tying up all my time in NaNoWriMo + regular work + my weekend job, I’m going to share with you a review that I have on my Goodreads account from September. I’ll see about getting the review for the sequel written up soon as well.

Without further ado………………….

Review MAY contain minor spoilers – nothing I don’t think you’d guess just from reading the synopsis though!

 

“Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

4.5 Stars // “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

When I first picked up “Waiting For Dusk” and started reading, I was sure I wasn’t going to like it. The first couple of chapters were kind of boring and Katie was just irritating. But oh boy am I glad I stuck with it! After those first couple of chapters, once the story got going, I was SUCKED in!

When Katie complains about being bored because all of her friends have “abandoned” her for summer vacation, her mom gives her a book to read. Katie isn’t too thrilled, she hasn’t read a book that wasn’t required for school in forever.

However, Katie does read the book then falls asleep… and wakes up in 1927!

I’ll start with what I did NOT like about the book:
As I said above, the story didn’t grab me right away. I love a book that hooks me from the first chapter or, even better, the first page!
I also didn’t really care for Katie’s attitude, she acts like a typical teenage brat – which is fine – except that I don’t think an 18 year old mature boy, like her love interest is, would be into that.
I also thought that the characterization of Tyson was strange. I get the importance of his character arch, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere, I feel like Katie should have had a clue about how he felt about her considering they’d been best friends since they were 8. He came on too strong. But hey! Maybe I just didn’t like Tyson! I also wish there had been more interaction between Katie and Drew before they begin professing their love for each other, it is implied that weeks have gone by, but we don’t really SEE much of that interaction. I wanted to read more about their courtship.

What I DID like about the book:
While a lot of the story was predictable, it was still very fun and there were still twists that I did NOT see coming! I loved the supporting cast in 1927. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something in this book that just grabbed me and would not let go. I literally spent almost an entire day laying in bed reading this book, getting up only to feed my child and change her diaper. I read it aloud to her when she craved my attention, because I couldn’t put it down.

If you have read the Time Travelers series by Caroline B. Cooney (Both Sides of Time, Out of Time, For All Time, Prisoner of Time) you will LOVE the Waiting for Dusk series. It’s got a lot of the same elements without repeating the same story that Cooney told. I would happily have both sets of books on my bookshelf.

I’m looking forward to reading Call of the Canyon, the second in this series, because the end of Waiting For Dusk left me craving more. (OK, who am I kidding? I literally finished this book and then went and downloaded the second onto my Kindle!)

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/nancypennick/WaitingForDusk.html

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17279864-waiting-for-dusk

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

REVIEW ~ Into the Deep (#1) by Missy Fleming

22 Oct

“Into the Deep” by Missy Fleming

5 Stars “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

*** This was an ARC and will be released Wed Oct 23 at the publisher’s website as well as Amazon Kindle. Other vendors to follow.

I am a huge fan of Missy Fleming’s book “Happily Never After” so as soon as I had the opportunity to get my hands on the ARC for her new novel, “Into the Deep”, I jumped at it. I abandoned the other 3 books I was reading and dove right in.

On the outside, Into the Deep is the story of Zoey, a young girl who has just turned 16 and discovered she’s actually the daughter of a mer-king. This story is so much deeper than that though.

This story tells the tale of a young girl learning to accept who she is, flaws and all. When Zoey was six years old she was attacked by a shark and lost her leg. She’s spent 10 years learning to adapt to a prosthetic leg, but has never felt whole. She always felt out of place and awkward, like a spectacle among her peers. Becoming a mermaid allows Zoey to become comfortable with her body, and in finding love with her mermaid form, she also comes to love and appreciate her scarred human form.

This is also a cautionary tale to humanity about the destruction of our plant, especially our oceans. The emotions Zoey experiences as she witnesses first hand the pollution to our oceans is tragic. I could really feel her pain.

But don’t worry, this is not overly in your face PSA’s! I feel Zoey’s emotions, but I don’t feel the author shoving the message down my throat.

I can’t say enough good things about Missy Fleming’s writing. There was a scene near the beginning of the book, where Zoey is at the aquarium and something scary happens, and had I not been laying in bed reading, I would have been on the edge of my seat!

Also, have no fear, there is a touch of romance. The first merman Zoey meets is Nerio and be still my heart, I have a crush! He’s a guard in Zoey’s father’s kingdom and therefor, not an acceptable merman for her.

There’s also Xander, an acceptable match, as his family is second in power to Zoey’s. Their match would be one the kingdom would rejoice over. Xander made me a little uncomfortable at first, he felt like the popular boy at school who’s nice to the shy awkward girl, and she feels like he must be playing a trick on her. Especially compared to Nerio who was so honest and genuine. After reading about Xander a bit, it danwed on me just who he reminded me of – Adrian from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series (but less mentally unstable!) His level of confidence can be overwhelming.

And, amidst the boy drama, Zoey also has a step-mother and half-sister who are cold to her and won’t even acknowledge her presence if they don’t have to. And the oceans? Yeah, they’re rising in both temperature and level, causing disastrous effects to both the humans on land as well as the inhabitants of the sea. The cause is a merwitch named Calandra who is taking over the kingdoms of the ocean one at a time, will Zoey’s kingdom be next? Will her people be able to stop the witch?

The ending? Yeah. You’re going to love/hate it. Pretty much everything Zoey has known her entire life has changed. You think you know where it’s going and then BAM! Ms. Fleming pulls the rug right out from under you. I can only keep my fingers crossed that the next book gets written asap. I need to know what happens next.

The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there was some repetition of Zoey’s thoughts, but not enough for me to dock a star or even half a star.

Five stars.

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/missyfleming/intothedeep.html (Oct 23, 2013)

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18689912-into-the-deep

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

** Secondary Note: I designed this cover, though I can’t take credit for the awesome mermaid, I did do the text layout and added the dolphin. 

REVIEW ~ The Bleeding Crowd by Jessica Dall

27 Aug

“The Bleeding Crowd” by Jessica Dall

5 Stars “It Was Amazing”

“The Bleeding Crowd” is a dystopian New Adult novel that brings a new spin on feminism.

Dahlia is a young woman who has never seen a man before in her life. Her world is dominated by females and the men are kept locked away in “camps” and are only allowed out for the “physical needs” of the women, and for procreation. Most women don’t give them a second thought.

When we meet Dahlia she has just turned 20, the age at which a woman is allowed her very first encounter with a man. Five men are essentially put in a lineup in front of her, behind a two way mirror, and she has to pick one. Dahlia has no interest in men whatsoever, so she simply chooses one who is attractive enough and closest to her own age.

That’s not to say that Dahlia is a lesbian, oh no, all women are tested early on in life and if you are a lesbian you are quickly removed from society and sent to train to be a guard at the men’s camps because, obviously, lesbian’s cannot be corrupted by the men. Right?

Enter Ben, he has been chosen by Dahlia and is hers to be called upon for booty calls whenever she wants for a set period of time, before she is required to switch him out for “another model.” (Wouldn’t want any of the women to get too attached now would we?). Ben is a rebel, looking for anything to help the cause. However, he falls for Dahlia. Hard. But will Dahlia fall for him? Will she give up everything to be with a man? Fight for a cause she’s not sure she believes in?

I loved this book. The dialogue is cleaver and witty. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about this book.

I loved the relationship between Dahlia and Ben. At one point, I chucked to myself because what popped into my head was the Taylor Swift song “The Way I Loved You” – specifically the lines “but I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain and it’s 2 AM and I’m cursing your name, you’re so in love that you act insane and that’s the way I loved you.” I think that about sums up their romance. They are both so stubborn, if they’re not fighting, they’re loving.

The other character that I really loved was Jude, Ben’s best friend. I’m not sure exactly what it is about him that I enjoyed so much, but I’ll tell you this, I wouldn’t mind reading more from his point of view!

The world itself is nicely built, I felt like this could in fact be a reality if humanity let things to that far.

To sum things up, If you like Dystopian NA (New Adult) romances, this is the book for you.

*** NOTE: This book does contain swearing and sexual content. Nothing graphic, but it is certainly for 18+

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

Buy it here:  http://melange-books.com/authors/jessicadall/bleedingcrowd.html

 

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