Quick Review: Hashtag Magic: Blue Screen of Death by J. Steven Young

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Hashtag Magic Blue Screen of Death was a sweet novel that bordered on paranormal and fantasy fiction.

Blue Screen of Death seemed like it was trying to be the next Harry Potter for middle school aged children but with the desire to also be a Young Adult novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot line and the writing style, which seemed to be aimed at the Young Adult spectrum. Although, the plot itself seemed geared towards a younger audience.

I really enjoyed reading the novel, but I found that the plot became to confusing and needed a lot of explanation. Despite thoroughly reading this novel, I kept going back and re-reading parts to understand what was going on. What were these Runes described? Why was there a blue cat? There were far to many questions for me than answers.

Despite these minor issues, I really enjoyed this novel. It was cute, well written and well planned out.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Review: The Castle of Desires by Neale Osborne

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The Castle of Desires was an interesting book that had two main plot lines: reality and stop motion.

The italics of the story was based in stop motion, at least that was my impression. The stop motion story was very strange and hard to follow in my opinion, but was well written. It wasn’t a story that I would want to read again, but I would suggest people read it due to the nature of the story. Two stories that link but don’t appear to.

The actual story following the real life adventures of Max, who isn’t what he appears to be. The story starts out very boring and slow, but picks up pace about 80% of the way in. Once you’re there, you are hooked and don’t want to put the book down!

Overall, the story was well planned out and written well, but it didn’t keep me to interested. At about half way through the book I was tempted to put the book down but I struggled through it. Neale Osborne could improve with his next book by putting more twists or action into his plot to keep it interesting.

It was good, and I liked it, but I would label it as “okay”. It didn’t stand out to me like other books have in the past. But still a great novel! Neale Osborne is a fabulous writers!

Those interested in Hollywood, fiction, and original stories would like this novel.

Two out of five stars.

I received this novel for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Pin Drop by Roz Monette

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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** spoiler alert ** Pin Drop was shockingly incredible and was far from what I expected it to be!

I hate to say it, but Pin Drop is one of my favourite books in a long time! It has many wonderful elements that flow smoothly together and make it a fantastic read.

To begin with, this novel has a sarcastic sense of humor. Not an incredibly rude one, but a perfectly timed sense of humor. I loved this aspect of the novel. The main character, Pin Drop, has great timing and makes a comment at just the right time to brighten the novel up with a splash of humor.

Then, the story has an excellent set of characters. These characters are all unique and have different backgrounds, which is a good start. But, Roz Monette continues to build on these characters by adding more to their back story and personalities. None of the characters act out of place and they all grow throughout the novel. I appreciate that in a novel, and this brings this novel up another level compared to other similar books.

Roz Monette also adds to this novel with a beautiful, realistic plot. A young girl left to fend on her own in the current age – it happens more than you think! This plot shows how strong a girl can be and what people will go through to keep themselves safe.

Within this plot, to make my inner girlie girl happy, Roz throws in a small love story. It was sweet, cute, and also realistic for this time period. There were a few bumps in this, seeing as an adult man was willing to stay with a teenager, but that to happens in the real world so it didn’t affect the novel to much. I just see that bothering some readers in the future – but it’s not a terrible flaw, it shows character within the love interest. He actually likes the woman, not the looks or reputation it will give him (it’s not like she’d 13 and he’s 25, she’s almost an adult – 17 -so it seems very realistic)

If that wasn’t enough, the overlying theme of the entire novel was fantastic! If you work hard, stick to your guns and be strong, you can get through this. The many layers to this story show the main character going through hard times, but she continued to work through each of them. Yes, she had hiccups and speed bumps along the way, but she kept working to keep herself safe. She was determined to move her life forward, and that’s what she ended up doing.

Overall, I loved this book! I wish it were longer and had a billion sequels because I loved these characters so much!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

 

 

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Rachel Vincent has done it again with Menagerie!

This book was perfection in just over 400 pages! I wasn’t sure what to expect going in with such an odd idea behind the book, but it was incredible! Rachel Vincent never lets me down!

The book follows Delilah, a human who is forced to perform in the Metzger’s Menagerie of strange creatures. When she is pulled away from her normal, everyday life to suddenly becoming a circus animal, how will she take it? Rachel Vincent helps you find out!

Overall, I loved this book. I found the first half of the book very slow to get through, but the second half was a breeze. While it did take me a while to get through the first half of the novel, it’s still worth it. The first half isn’t boring, it’s just a little slow with introductions, character development and shocking plot devices. The second half has a lot more action and intrigue in it.

I loved this novel! I would recommend it to everyone and anyone! People who love fantasy, supernatural, shapeshifter, and story’s that open your eyes to touchy subjects will love this story!!

Five out of five stars!

Quick Book Review: The Darby Shaw Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Liberty Speidel

The Darby Shaw Chronicles was a great mystery read with just a pinch of fantasy/supernatural!

At first I wasn’t super hooked into this book – I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It was a detective/crime story, but then suddenly the main character had supernatural powers. In the beginning it seems like some cheesey plot line just to get more people to the book, but once you actually get into the novel (about half way through the first book) you realize how genius the idea actually is.

As cheesey as it seems when the supernatural reveal happens in the beginning, Liberty Speidel then does an excellent job expanding the story and eventually series.

I did love these books. Each book got better, and they left me wanting a fourth one! Liberty builds her characters so you feel for them, but are also very cautious. With all the politics involved in both crime and supernatural possibilities, I felt very informed and not confused at any time during the books.

I would definitely suggest this book to anyone looking for a crime or supernatural novel. It’s the perfect mix of both, with the tiniest splash of romance in there.

If there is anything Liberty Speidel could have worked on, it would be the supernatural reveal. I did find it cheesey compared to the rest of the book, which seems to be siding on serious half the time and light hearted the other. But, this wasn’t a major issue, it just seemed like a change in tone compared to the rest of the books.

Four out of five stars. I can’t wait for the next book!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check them out on:
Goodreads – Darby Shaw
Amazon.ca – Darby Shaw #1-3
Amazon.com – Darby Shaw #1-3

Quick Book Review: The Little Washer of Sorrows by Katherine Fawcett

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The Little Washer of Sorrows was an excellent collection of hilariously crafted tales.

This book is a compilation of many funny stories. This world of fiction is written in such a way that you do not see the ending of each story coming. I loved not knowing what was going to happen, and seeing the hilarious spin Katherine Fawcett puts on these funny stories.

Some of these stories are better than others, but they all left me feeling amused and impressed. Quite often it is easy to see an ending coming, but Katherine took me by surprise every time. Even when I thought I guessed the least likely scenario to happen, this wonderful author managed to twist the ending in a completely different angle.

This playful book was fabulous. I can’t think up one negative thing about this book. Each story is just the perfect length and doesn’t seem to be lacking any information. These stories also aren’t to long – they are the perfect length to keep the reader interested.

The stories do not seem to connect, so if you want to skip around the different stories you can.

I would definitely suggest this book to others! Especially to those who want a good, comedic read that doesn’t need much commitment!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Private by Kate Brian (Private #1)

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Private by Kate Brian is a dramatic, teenage angst drama perfect for the Young Adult audience.

This novel is a great turn in the Young Adult genre. Why? Because it’s not supernatural. I love that this book is not part of the supernatural trend, and it is all about teenagers and their petty drama.

We follow 15 year old Reid Brennan in Easton Academy where she is a scholarship student among many rich kids. It is full of the typical teenage drama – popular cliches, boys, silly drama, high school angst and gossip.

It is entirely what you expect it to be – dramatic and fun! An outside girl is trying to fit in with the popular girls, and of course she will do whatever she wants to be apart of them! And of course you throw a hot, bad boy into the mix and the drama and gossip gets juicier.

I absolutely loved this book. It moves at a fast pace – something is always happening! Sometimes it’s romance, sometimes it’s drama, sometimes it’s both! But it doesn’t leave you feeling bored!!

I find it hard to pick up a Young Adult novel that doesn’t go on and on about plot lines we don’t actually need. Private gets to the point, pulling every piece of drama out of Kate Brian’s magical dramatic bag.

It does have it’s low points – our main character does not have a back bone like many teens to do today. She is pushed around easily and her emotions get the best of her. School work isn’t mentioned that much, but in a soap opera type book who cares about the grades and studying parts of Reid’s “real life”?

It’s a great read for someone who wants a teenage soap opera. It is for sure, very entertaining!

I would suggest it to anyone who likes novels such as Pretty Little Liars, but with less murder. If you are not interested in petty drama, silly high school drama and soap opera like plot lines, it is not the book for you. It is a book that requires little thought to read, and I find it great only for the amusement – I don’t have to follow any crazy plot lines or insane theories. It’s just a soap opera! So do not expect Gone Girl with plot twists and awesome endings. It is definitely your cookie cutter drama. Our main character is going to complain about being a teenage girl and she’s not going to try to change. Our cast of characters are all very cookie cutter as well, we don’t have any awesome background stories – this book isn’t going to be made into an Oscar-worthy movie, that’s for sure.

This book would sit well with young readers – it’s the type of book they need at aged 13ish. It’s relatable to that age group, but if you are an older teen or an adult it will seem pretty lame. It’s not realistic to the adult mind, but to a pre-teen reader who deals with this type of drama at school, it’ll hit a home run right to home base.

It’s quick. It’s scandalous. And it’s mindless for the adult reader.

Four out of five stars! I would love to pick up the next book soon!

Quick Book Review: Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection #2) by MQ Barber

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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If I could give this book 10 out of 5, I would. It is probably one of the most incredible romance novels I have ever gotten my hands on. And by romance, I mean erotica.

This novel is centered around Alice and her two handsome, hunky roommates Henry and Jay. But there’s something different about them…they really enjoy having three in the bedroom.

The story follows Alice engaging in some fun time with her two roommates, and boy is it hot.

If you are looking for some hot, dramatic erotica with two super hot men this is for you! This book will definitely satisfy some females who are looking for a book that is all about taking care of the women in the bedroom and not the man!!! It is kind of like your BDSM 101 course, as it is slowly starting out with some of your basics in the genre.

Our one love interest is kind of a puppy dog and is very silly, while the other speaks professionally (which can either be very hot or seem very stupid depending on how you like your novels).

This novel isn’t meant to win some crazy literary award or go for an Oscar, so don’t expect it to woo you with her literary language and metaphors. It is a hot romance!! Keep that in mind!

Overall, I enjoyed it. The book is not meant to be a realistic take on your average bedroom play. But it does give your imagination some very happy thoughts.

Five out of five stars! I want like a thousand more books in this series please!

Book Review: Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason

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Title: Happy Ever After in Christmas
Author: Debbie Mason
Date Read: July 27th-September 10th, 2016
Date Reviewed: September 11th, 2016
Spoilers Ahead?: Yes!

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I love a good romance, and Debbie Mason did not let me down! It took me a while to really get into this book since I haven’t read the rest of the series, but once I was in I was hooked and couldn’t get out!

Quick Summary: Jill Flaherty is almost thirty, and won’t admit to herself that she is hopelessly in love with her brother’s best friend Sawyer Anderson. Deputy Jill has to hop through some hoops to finally admit her feelings for the bar tender. Jill will have to be quick, because other women’s eyes are looking to woo Sawyer…

Evaluations: For a romance novel, this book was incredible! There’s no cheesy love triangles, there’s nothing that seems out of place or unrealistic. The book focuses on friendships, family, and love. It is definitely worthy of high marks, and I want to read the rest of the books.
Is it cheesy and a total Nora Roberts sort of romance? Yup. Did it say it was anything but that? Nope. The book is exactly what you expect from it, and that’s great! Debbie Mason knows how to make a good, realistic romance with a bit of drama, tensions and tiny twists!

Plot: The plot is pretty straight forward – Deputy Jill has to do her job, and admit her feelings for bar tender Sawyer. They find it hard to admit their feelings for each other, but over time they grow and grow. There are some minor hiccups at first, and then a few major ones. These major hiccups make the two grow as a couple, and eventually we get the happily ever after that these characters deserve! Each aspect of the plot are realistic, you can see them happening in real life: issues at a nursing home, custody issues, pregnancy issues, etc. Nothing seems out of place!

Characters: Jill is a strong character who sometimes has her issues as a character, but for a romance novel she fits the trope. She is headstrong and does not let people tell her what to do, but she keeps putting the possible relationship off so many times it’s pathetic. In real life, a guy would probably have given up on her by the time her and Sawyer actually get together. But, this is a romance novel and every woman wants a man falling all over her. This might be unrealistic, but it makes for a good book!
Sawyer also seems to not be your typical, everyday guy. He falls for Jill hard, he chases after her, and he even seems to have a bit to close of a relationship with Brandi. I can’t place his personality on any of the guys I know, so he isn’t totally realistic. But, again, this is a romance novel and he fits the role perfectly.

Themes/Creativity: Family and friendship is a strong theme in this book and you can tell. Family sticks together and friends help each other. Friendship and family always comes first! I like this theme, seeming as there are rarely themes in romance novels. But, this theme is very easy to see!! A+ on theming in a romance novel Debbie! Great job!

Uniqueness: It’s not totally unique for a romance novel. There’s your typical love story, headstrong female, man chasing after her, possible love triangle, big issue that sets the couple apart, they get back together, happily ever after. The only uniqueness I can point out is the theming. Other than that, typical romance!

Strengths: Themes. Themes. Themes. Again themes. Have I mentioned the themes enough?
Weaknesses: It’s your typical romance. While it’s written beautifully, it can easily be compared to other romances.

Score: 5 out of 5. While it is a common romance novel, it was well written and wow-ed me! I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, and many romance novels get put down in my household. I love Debbie Mason and I’ll be reading the rest of her books as soon as I can get my hands on them!

Recommendations: I would love Debbie Mason to try to write an out of the box romance novel. Her writing is fantastic and clearly she is the expert on the common romance, but I would love to see her try something different!!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Hardpressed (Hacker #2) by Meredith Wild

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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** spoiler alert ** Meredith Wild has made a great sequel full of hot, steamy romance and fast, exciting thrills!

Hardpressed did not wow me as much as the Hardwired did, but this book was still great! I didn’t get bored and I didn’t feel the need to put the book down.

Blake Landon was mega hot in this book, yet again. He’s still quite the brute, but he fights for his girl. His intentions are in the right place, even if he comes off as a controlling character.

Erica, on the other hand, seems like quite the depressing heroine of this story. She seems to give up to easily, doesn’t ask for help and assumes a lot. She annoyed me a lot in this book, but it didn’t turn me away just yet. I’m hoping she’ll grow in the next book from this weird state she’s in.

Our villains were excellent – they were scary, threatening, and obviously the bad guys. If anything, I wish our bad guys would have had some more character. And by that I mean that the bad guys just seem to want to do bad things, their intentions aren’t in the right place. When you can understand a bad guy, and see why they are so bad, books can transcend!

The plot itself was quick moving, always had action, and involved lots of steamy romance! If anything, Meredith Wild has up-ed the sexiness factors of these books! I loved how Meredith Wild told this story, so I will definitely be picking up the next book.

Overall, it didn’t live up to the first book, but it came in a close second to it!

Four out of five stars!