Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

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Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Mystery
Pages: 282
Series: None
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Date Read: February 23, 2016

2 Stars

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Every year, toward the end of October, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They try to be as safe as possible, getting rid of sharp objects and turning off electrical appliances, but injuries still happen and no one knows why. But this time, Cara will try to solve the mystery and maybe end the accident season.

But before she does that, I have a confession to make. I-only-read-this-book-because-of-the-name.

You know how some people buy and read books because of the covers? Yeah, it’s like that with me and names. If a book has an awesome and interesting name (I still maintain that ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?‘ is the best name ever), then I’m going to want to read that book. ‘The Accident Season’ sounded really interesting. Which is why I hate to say this, but I hated this book.

I just couldn’t, for the life of me, like anything. There was one point, near the 60-65% mark, when I thought it was starting to get better. But then chapter 12 destroyed everything. I don’t even know how I got through the last quarter. Oh wait, I do. I did it by skimming through it. And by sheer determination. Because nothing about the book worked for me. The basic plot, about the accident season, could have been interesting but it barely came into play. The whole book was just a series of random people doing random things, weirdness and smoking (weed, too). There was no explanation for things that actually needed explaning.

This book was so vague that it didn’t make any sense. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on half the time and the other half, I didn’t know what the thing that was going on had to do with the plot.

I also didn’t like the characters at all. Cara was childish and annoying, Sam, Cara’s ex step-brother, was there to be the love interest (am I the only one who didn’t find the relationship between Cara and Sam repulsive? Because a lot of people seem to). Their mom was irritating and a terrible parent, in my opinion. There were a few friends: Bea was… high, and Alice seemed almost sensible but then that got ruined as well.

I didn’t like the writing either. Not only was it more than a little incoherent, it felt like the author wrote about 12-year-old who got drunk often, smoked a lot and got high on ocassion. And all the illegal stuff that they were doing was mentioned so casually that everything came off as odd and out-of-place.

Finally, let’s talk about the cliche-ness of it all. This book had all the cliched horror tropes.

  • Creepy house ✔
  • Shop that’s only there so the main characters can go to it once ✔
  • Some person that may or may not exist ✔
  • Convenient Wind ✔
  • Things happening on their own ✔
  • Stupid characters who are stupid ✔

Pretty sure there were some other as well but these are all I remember for now.

And if that wans’t bad enough, the author had to through some YA tropes as well. Like a stupid-ass love triangle and an angsty, overdramatic female protagonist. Though to be honest, Cara wasn’t the only dramatic presence. A lot of the things about this book were overdramatic. Like the writing with the excessive use of metaphors-that-aren’t-really-metaphors-but-really-just-lines-that-sound-deep-and-have-no-meaning.

Overall, I didn’t give a shit about anything or anyone. And other than 10% of it that made me think that the book might be getting better, and the fact that it had could have been good if it weren’t so poorly presented, there was nothing to like. So unless you’re okay with a whole lot of weirdness and little sense, I wouldn’t recommend reading this one.

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Review: The Nature of Cruelty by L.H. Cosway

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Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 366
Series: None
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Smashwords
Date Read: February 10 , 2016

Note: I now get why authors rewrite whole chapters. There were so many things wrong with this review, editing was not gonna cut it.

2 Stars

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Lana used to be completely in love with her best friend’s brother when she was younger. But he was a royal ass who bullied her relentlessly and the day he moved away was probably the best of her life. Now, years later, he’s coming back. He’s going to be living in their house for a while and Lana is worried. But Robert regrets the actions of his younger self and wants to fix things. He’s determined to be her friend this time.

And that sounds like such a great redemption story, right? It’s not. This is really not a good book and the only things it’s really got going for it is that it’s written by L.H. Cosway, whose work (later work, that is) I really like.

The start was promising enough. Though maybe the word I should use is ‘mediocre’. It seems so thoughtful at times, like with its name and addressing cruelty, how it affects you and why people are cruel. But in the end, the entire novel is mediocre. The kind you read and think is just ‘meh’. Then you give it three stars and move on. The problem arised when it went from ‘okay’ to horrible, with moments that made me go, “Oh come on! This is bullshit!”

There were plenty of things that weren’t good. Lets start with the characters. I didn’t like either of them. Lana was okay usually but she was shown as such a damsel. She has an illness (I won’t reveal what it is, in case it’s a spoiler). It’s not a fatal one but it complicates her life. In the book, she was treated like an invalid because of it.

Robert is definitely the worse of the two though. Not only does he have a history of being really cruel to Lana, even the new him isn’t okay. He’s pushy, can’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer and has no respect for personal space. He’s also a total creep. And what’s worse is that the author acknowledges that he has a problem. Lana even told him that he needed help. But after that, his ‘fucked up’ state is pretty much ignored and no one does anything about it. This is the second time a character’s issues have been mentioned and glossed over (first was in Hearts of Fire) by L.H. Cosway. It’s infuriating and, next time, there will be a rant.

Next, we have the writing. Here’s how it went: “I did that and then I did that and then he did that and then…” No very good, is it? You can tell that the author needs more practice. And I’ll leave it at that.

The relationship between Lana and Robert didn’t work for me. Between Lana being little more than ‘good girl damsel’ and Robert being a creep, things were already bad enough. Then we got to revisit a popular romance novel trope. In which one half of the couple (usually the guy) wants the relationship more than the other. He tries everything in his power to convince the other person, until the other person agrees to be with him/her. I hate that. It ruins the balance.

When it comes to relationships, I wants both the people to be equally invested. With tropes like the one mentioned above, it’s like the other person goes, “I’ll be chore but since he’s so insistent and begging so hard, I’ll be with him.” That’s so not how it’s supposed to go!

Both parties must be equally willing to fight to be with the other. You might as well break up otherwise.

Last but not least, I didn’t like the conflict near the end. It it were done differently, maybe it could have worked but it just seemed very stupid to me. It’s yet another reason why I don’t recommend this novel. It was a disappointment. But you should check out the author’s other (later) works. Those are good.

Review: Her Private Avenger by Elle Kennedy

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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 217
Series: None
(Original) Release Date: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin

3 Stars

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I almost decided not to review this one It’s been over a week since I read it and it wasn’t an entirely memorable read and I just didn’t feel like reviewing it. But I’m doing it anyway. You’re welcome.

The premise (aka my least favourite part of writing a review) is that Morgan and Adam used to be in love. But Morgan’s asshole of a father was always trying to interfere and Morgan always let him. She always chose him over the guy she was supposed to marry. Finally Adam had enough and left her. That was two years ago. Now, Morgan is following the case of her friend who went missing, a cold case she’s been trying to solve for ten years. But when someone tries to kill her, it means she may finally be getting close to a breakthrough. And since Adam is a mercenary, she enlists his protection while she investigates.

Now first of all, how terrible an idea is it to (selfishly) enlist the help of the guy whose heart you broke? On top of that, her approach to getting him to help her didn’t really involve apologies and requests. It was more along the lines of, “I’m going into danger and if I get killed, you’ll hate yourself.” Safe to say, I didn’t like her methods.

Morgan was a little self-absorbed most of the time. It was more about what she was trying to do. But she understood that if Adam was giving her the cold shoulder, then it was her own fault. She also cared about him and did try to make amends. Just… not enough. She felt bad, but she didn’t act like she did. Adam, understandably, had trouble trusting her again and I wish the novel had spent a little more time on reestablishing that trust. I wanted Morgan to choose to not let her father ruin her relationship. Instead, she hated her father for reasons that affected her. That left the reader (i.e. me) wanting when it came to being assured that she wouldn’t take Adam for granted again.

But enough about Adam and Morgan. Let’s talk about the other plot. Finding out what happened to Morgan’s friend. It was a pretty big part of the novel. It was the reason Morgan was being attacked, why she and Adam met again, and it was a mystery.

It was Morgan’s case. She’s supposed to be a journalist who knows how to get to the bottom of things. But from what I can tell, she’s not very good at her job. I don’t know why, but we didn’t see her figure much stuff out. She came to the wrong conclusions and she wasn’t good at reading people. Adam on the other hand, was much better at his, and her, job. The case was interesting, but it was a bummer that I suspected only two people (one more than the other) and the result was pretty much as expected.

I did like the climax but the book was, overall, pretty ‘meh’. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It was a short read and not bad. I still love Elle Kennedy. But if you want to read something by her, I recommend starting with either Midnight Rescue (romantic suspense) or The Deal (contemporary romance).

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 323
Series: None
Release Date: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Read Date: January 17, 2016

3 Stars

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This novel is set in 1999. There are three main characters (no love triangle, don’t worry). All three work at the same office. We have Beth and Jennifer, two friends who often use their office e-mail to message each other back and forth, something all employees have been told not to do. Then we have Lincoln, the IT guy whose job it is to inspect all the e-mails to make sure rules are being followed.

At first, Lincoln reads the work emails as a fun distraction from his boring job. But slowly, he starts to fall for one of the girls. Now all he has to do is go introduce himself …as the guy who’s been reading her e-mails.

Interesting premise, right? And a really fun book too. That’s why it was hard to rate. I had problems with it, but I also really like it. There were many good things. The writing, as expected from Rainbow Rowell, was great, with the right amount of emotion and humour. The format of the book was great too. I was so upset when the e-mails finally stopped.

I liked all the characters and getting to know them. Lincoln, for example; even though I knew what he was doing was wrong, I couldn’t not like him. He was such a cute, likable and relatable character. So were both Beth and Jennifer. I adored their conversations. They were funny and completely trivial at times. Other times they were meaningful and sweet. Beth and Jennifer’s relationship with each other was precious. We don’t get to see female friendships like this, often.

I also liked getting to know Lincoln’s mom and his sister. They were entertaining. Though I’m surprised Lincoln hasn’t going crazy with the two of them constantly being pushy and trying to shove their opinions down his throat.

Honestly, the only drawback of this book, for me, was the romance. And that’s why it was a book I found hard to rate. Because while I want to say that it was just one thing and, therefore, not a big deal; it was a big deal.

This a contemporary romance novel. Saying it’s okay for the romantic aspect to be lacking is like coming from watching a horror movie and going, “It was a great movie but it wasn’t scary.” It’s the key aspect. And the reason it didn’t work was because I didn’t see it. I didn’t see Lincoln falling for Beth. Yeah, he said she was kind and funny and stuff, but those are such general things. I just couldn’t feel it with them. I could see him liking her, but love? Yeah, I didn’t buy that.

Another thing, that also comes under romance, was the ending. I didn’t like it. And it’s not that I didn’t like where they were in the end, I just dislike how they got there. It felt wrong because it came out of nowhere. The series of events was all wrong and very rushed. I kind of wrote an alternate ending for it in my head. An ending I like better. They still end up where they do, but in a different way. No offence to anyone who likes the original ending, but it didn’t work for me.

And that’s all I have to say about the book. I do recommend it because it was a very enjoyable read. But I think it’ll work better for romantics and, while I read a lot of romance novels, I would definitely not consider me a romantic.

Review: Nights with Him by Lauren Blakely

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This cover isn’t exactly better than a random shirtless dude.

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 350
Series: Seductive Nights #4 (Can be read as Standalone)
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Publisher:  Lauren Blakely Books

3 Stars

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I was so glad when this book finally ended, and the sad things is, that’s (almost) totally on me. You see, I’m not an ‘erotic romance’ person. I can’t deal with more than two or three sex scenes at a time and, with romances, I read the book in one sitting. And since erotic romances have way too many sex scenes, I try to steer clear (with some exceptions).

What happened with this novel is that there was a novella (One Night With Her). I didn’t check anything about it, just started reading. Turns out, the novella was a prequel to a full-length novel and I was already invested enough that I wanted to read the whole story. I mean, you have a guy, Jack, whose fiancée died a year ago but is still struggling to move on with his life (as the CEO of a company that makes sex toys), and we have a girl, Michelle, who’s trying to move on from an urequited, decade long, crush on her best friend. They meet, there’s a one night stand and then, at the end of the novella, he goes to meet his new therapist and it’s the girl he had sex with just over twelve hours ago. Like, at the end, they’re standing there on either side of the (open) door of her office. What else was I supposed to do, than read the freaking novel?

So I started reading. She refused to be his therapist and hooked him up with a different one. But they were very attracted to each other so they decided to help each other out (with sex) for a month; no strings. We all know how well that works out, especially since both have issues they need to deal with. More Jack though. Michelle is pretty well-organised. She’s self-aware, she’s smart and she has a good idea of how far she’s willing to go and when to walk away. I really liked her.

And the plot of the book was so interesting. I wanted to know these characters and read about how they deal with their problems. Only… their problems took a back seat to all the sex. I feel like they got lost a bit. We’d be having some serious-time and the next second, they’d be fucking each other’s brains out again. And it wasn’t just the sex — I can skip those scenes. What made things really exhausting was that they were constantly horny! I swear to God, the guy couldn’t eat a fucking sandwich with getting a boner. And I don’t even wanna think about how uncomfortable Michelle would’ve been in her panties.

I get sexual attraction, but unless someone’s been putting some kind of drug in their water supply, I don’t buy it.

Other that the sex problem, things were good. I like Lauren Blakely and I like her writing. The few moments we did get with the characters (when they weren’t horny, that is) were really good. Also, like I said, I really liked Michelle. There was a political sub-plot that was good and I liked the main conflict near the end. This isn’t a bad novel. It just could’ve done with a little more realistic portrayal of sexual attraction. Read at your own risk, I guess.

New Releases: December, 2017

The last ‘New Releases’ post of the year and I can’t believe how fast the year has gone by. Though 2017 has been so crappy, I’m glad it’s almost over. Before that happens though, these new (potentially awesome) books will coming out. As usual, covers linked to the GR pages.

 

35451741The Good Samaritan by John Marrs – Dec 1

A mystery about a woman who works on a suicide hotline but, instead of helping people, she wants them to kill themselves. She’s had a difficult life and she takes it out on others.
Ryan’s pregnant wife commits suicide, hand in hand with another man. He wants to know why and Laura will do anything to make sure he never finds out.

 

35233721The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites – Dec 1 

A book about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance, an engraved music box made by a Jewish silversmith, with the power to bring them back together.
This is supposed to be a hopeful novel about war. And I can’t help but be intrigued by that.

 

34466910Roomies by Christina Lauren – Dec 5

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker repays him by getting him an audition with a big-time music direction. The tryout goes better than expected but Calvin’s visa has expired. So naturally, Holland offers to marry him. And at some point in their marriage of convenience, their love stops being pretend. They just don’t know it yet.

 

36535656Man Hands by Sarin Bowen and Tanya Eby – Dec 11

Brynn is reeling from a divorce. Her friends want her to “get back out there” but she’s not interested …until her ex shows up with his new arm candy. The result is Tom, a stranger, having the hottest experience of his adult life. Then Brynn disappears on him, leaving nothing but a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them. And he’s set on finding her.

 

36398892The V Card by Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente – Dec 13

CJ is a 25 year old business women, and she’s still a virgin. She wants to change that little detail and she’s got just the man for the job — her brother’s business partner and best friend, Graham.
The agreement is seven days for Graham to teach her all he knows about the bedroom. Cue feeling, love, etc.

 

33413929The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle – Dec 26

Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s. She’s intrigued by him. When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person?

 

35068742Love, Life and the List by Kasie West – Dec 26

This is a young-adult contemporary, romance featuring Abby Turner. She has an unrequited crush on her best friend, she can’t manage her mother’s growing anxiety issues, and she’s been told her art “has no heart”. When she gets another opportunity to show her paintings, she makes a list of things to do in a month that will give her work that depth it seemingly lacks.

 

…And that’s a wrap! I know the list is somewhat romance-heavy but I’ve been in a mood lately. If there’s any books, specifically, from this list that you want me to review, leave a comment. Also, which book are you anticipating for December?

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

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Genre: Young-Adult, Science-Fiction
Pages: 386
Series: Across the Universe #2
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill

4-25-stars

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A year and a half later, I finally read the sequel. Yay! Though keep in mind, just because it took me a while, doesn’t mean I didn’t like the first book.

The ending of Across the Universe left is with lots of revelations, like who really woke Amy, and a dead Eldest. Now, Elder is the leader of a ship with too many secrets still, and one that might be very far from reaching its destination. Even with years of training, he doesn’t know what to do. Besides, the training was given by Eldest and we all know how good a guy he turned out to be.

In the beginning of the first book, the Elder we were introduced to was naive in so many ways. He was just a kid. But he grew up a lot. In this novel, he grows up even more. He learns truths about many more things and he learns how to be a leader, and what it means to be one. Honestly, the progress we’ve seen with him is beautiful and I was so proud of him. Amy… she’s still a complicated story. She’s grown as well, but not nearly as much as Elder. I no longer hate her though. Instead, I’ve kinda accepted the kinda person she is.

You see, if there’s one thing I have to give Beth Revis credit for, with Amy, is the consistency. Amy is a flawed person. She has trouble seeing beyond her own concerns and when things don’t go her way, she gets angry, she yells, and then storms off. But she’s learning, very slowly, that there are other people around whose lives, choices and opinions also matter. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.

As for the story, I can’t tell you much. It’s about Elder and Amy trying to figure out what’s really going on with Godspeed. And with Eldest gone, that might actually be possible. But in-between that, there’s also the factor that a sixteen-year-old has to lead over two thousand people and those people have very recently been taken off a drug that made them docile. Meaning they’re getting their first taste of freedom. Not to mention, they’re all older than the man (or boy, really) whose supposed to lead them. It’s a clusterfuck alright. But one that I liked reading about. The author did a very good job with it.

The romance, I’m still not totally onboard with. I feel like the only things that attracted Elder to Amy was how different, how animated and loud, she was. Which makes sense since almost everyone else he knew was on drugs, and older than him. That doesn’t mean I don’t have hope for them. The ending of this novel made me very excited, and hopeful, for the future of the series. Finger crossed!