#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Driving on the Left is a beautiful character drama following a mother and a daughter on their trip in Ireland.

This beautiful story really blew my socks off – I wasn’t expecting this fantastic story in what sounded like a cheesey romance novel. Following Jackie and Becca and their somewhat parallel stories was breathtaking and addicting! Seeing two women develop over this novel and how their lives are intertwined was a real treat that I highly recommend!

When reading the book, I drew parallels to Big Little Lies in the character development aspect (not the murder or soap opera like story lines), and the elegance of The Crown. While the book was more heavily focused on growth and development (with a splash of romance) over action, this book was still fast paced and kept me hooked. Having Jackie and Becca switch point of views also gave unique perspectives into the same situations (both past and present). And seeing these characters make big, life changing decisions along the way was also so incredibly moving. It was a book I’d love to bring to a book club and digest with an entire group of women!

The background of Ireland was also incredible. I’ve never been to Ireland, so I had to do some research online to see what Gail was talking about, but I felt like she gave the right descriptions to set the tone. Her descriptions were breath taking enough that I want to go to Ireland now and have my own little adventure!

This book was easily read as a stand alone (but apparently it’s a part of a series!), and would be a great book to devour in one sitting. I want a sequel to see how these characters grow and develop more, since Gail did a tremendous job of making me fall in love and feel for these characters. She does it so flawlessly, and I didn’t even notice myself yearning to know these characters and relating to them.

My only con for the book is that I want more! I want more of these characters as soon as possible! This book tells a lovely tale of reminiscing and life changes through the ages. With the addition of a Mother-Daughter story on top of the drama and romance… yeah, it’s a real hit!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Gail Ward Olmsted in exchange of an honest review.

 

About Driving on the Left:

Jeep Tour

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To move forward, you need to let go of the past…. Jackie Sullivan decides it’s time for a fresh start, after her marriage falls apart and she loses her job. Meeting a sexy tour guide inspires her to build a new life for herself among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. But Jackie is looking for more than just romance. Fueled by an unflagging sense of humor and lots of caffeine, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and she plans to get it right this time. Jackie’s had her happy, now she wants her ever after!
Purchase the book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

Find Gail Ward Olmsted on her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @GWOlmsted & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below – what is your favourite romance novel?

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#BookReview Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange

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Jack Strange is, yet again, the master of the comedic horror genre.

“Having a dead chef as a front man would be a television first…” – a quote that perfectly summarizes this entire book in a nutshell.

I’m always impressed by Jack Strange – he is a unique writer that is easily able to attract an audience’s attention. His mixture of horror and comedy somehow works and draws me back to his work each and every time.

Some of the humor in this book really killed me – a pair of marigolds to get rid of the smell of rotting, human flesh? I always plant marigolds in my garden, and I know they are VERY strong smelling, so this made me chuckle. Even some of the comments said by the characters come off in a hilarious manner – most seem to be said with a hint of sarcasm (or pure stupidity on the character’s part), but it’s so good! It’s my type of dry yet dark humor, and I love it!

I also loved that Henderson is one of our main characters. He’s a cat. An undead cat, but still a cat! It’s something I don’t see very often (animals being main characters or having a personality that isn’t some weird talking/animated animal plotline), which adds some points to this read.

The insanity of this plot is exceptional and outstanding! It’s unique, strange and oddly satisfying. I would have never come up with like this! Zombies, celebrity chefs, a zombie cat, and R rated mischief? It’s a must read for those readers who are looking for something different that they have never come across before! That’s one of the best parts about Jack Strange’s writing – he’s so incredibly creative!

If I had to put this book in specific genres, it fits in many. Horror, comedy, satire, political satire, and fantasy are all shelves I could put this book on. There’s sex, gore, and sarcasm galore ridden throughout this novel. Even when the action is at it’s highest point, there’s a few fantastic one liners that will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time.

My cons are as followed:
1. My own personal con is the font was small in the version I received. Does that affect my scoring? Heck no! Was I slightly annoyed? Yeah. Is this a reason to not read the book? Nope! But I’m gonna include it as a way for Jack Strange to “improve” in his future writing endeavors!

Overall, this book is a true masterpiece! It’s clever, ingenious and seriously funny. I highly recommend this book to fans of horror, comedy and satire. You’re not going to be able to find another book like this unless it’s from Jack Strange’s catalogue.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author Jack Strange in exchange for an honest review.

 

Purchase this book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – CCZA

Amazon.ca – CCZA

 

Find out more about this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30120566-celebrity-chef-zombie-apocalypse

Or find out more about Jack Strange on his website: http://www.jack-strange.co.uk/

While you’re at it, why not give us both a shout out on Twitter if you read this review? @JackStrange11 & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite horror novel!!

#BookReview Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

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If you were wanting more Sunny in this book – YOU GOT IT.

This addition to the Blood Coven Vampires series follows Sunny (but don’t worry, Rayne is still kicking!). This time around, Magnus has to get a blood mate – and guess what? It’s not Sunny.

Sunny, who’s madly in love with Magnus, and her trusty sister Rayne have to work hard to try to get Magnus back to Sunny and away from this blood mate. Will they do it? I guess you’ll have to read to find out…

I really loved this book, it helps that Sunny is my favourite out of the two girls but I also really enjoyed the adventure and drama within this novel. It’s a big step up from the last novel in my opinion. This book hooks me instantly, made me not want to stop reading it, and desire more from Mari Mancusi ASAP.

This book had it’s faults – Sunny is definitely in love with Magnus, but I doubted his love for her. While Sunny’s actions and thoughts show how deeply in love she is, Magnus barely seems like she has the time of day (despite expressing his feelings).

Overall, this young adult novel was everything I wanted (minus the Magnus fault, but hey we can’t have everything we want). It’s silly, cute and totally unrealistic – but that’s what I want in a silly, YA vampire novel that’s filled with cute moments and teenage drama. Mari shows her true skill at writing as a teenage which makes this book even more “believable” within it’s realm. That helps this quick read continue moving at a super fast pace and become utterly addicting – what teenager didn’t think like Sunny and Rayne?

Five out of five stars.

 

You can find Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or swing by her website – Mari Mancusi’s Website

Want urgent updates from Mari? Check out her twitter! @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy this series? Check out it’s website!  Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

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Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

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I first read this book in my first year of high school for a book report (we could choose ANY book we want, and I was obsessed with the film version of this novel at the time). Since it’s been…well, years…it’s about time I finally give this book a review to add it to my collection!

This book was super popular and a sequel has come out (which is currently sitting on my to-read shelves waiting for me to dig into it) in recent years. For those who don’t know about the first book in this series, we are following Andrea (or Andy) who gets a job at a famous, fashion magazine (similar to Vogue) which is run by the insane workaholic Miranda Priestly. Andrea believes this is the step she needs to get into her journalism career! A job at a high end fashion magazine! But, as we all know, nothing is ever that simple.

The movie is not the same as the book, but I like the think the quality of both are insanely good! Despite being different in plot, tone and character personalities, both works were fantastic! If you haven’t read the book, I highly suggest it. It’s unique and dramatic!

Andrea’s journey involves her changing (and sometimes growing) along the way, as she encounters all of the antics of being in the fashion world: uptight assistants, overbearing bosses, deadlines, insomnia, and work/life balance.

This book is in it’s own niche market – it became really popular, but it’s not for everyone. The humor is a type of special, especially since you are following Andrea’s life fall apart. For me, it’s a five star book! It’s interesting to watch the plot spiral out of control as your begging the author to give Andrea some type of happiness in the end. But honestly? It’s kind of how life is – not perfect. Andrea is NOT perfect and she’s definitely not the most likable character, but I grew to like her knowing all of the horror she was going through.

Five out of five stars!!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes

Comment below – what was your thoughts on the book?
And follow me on twitter! @ReviewAlholic & maybe use the hashtag #briarsreviews if you read this review! 😉

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

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The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane is a unique space drama that follows the character development of Bethany Ann Crane.

This book was truly mesmerizing! It’s hard to describe how interesting this book really was for me to read in just words. I couldn’t put this book down since it was so unique and addicting.

Throughout this novel, you follow the character Bethany Ann Crane and her life experiences. The character study starts off when she is very young to her “older years”. On top of following this beautiful character, there’s a subplot featuring space travel that really hits the sci-fi genre. The small town of Grover Springs is transported to another planet and their aging and diseases seem to stop completely – yet this small town is expected to live and grow within their new community.

Having us follow Bethany Ann is a really interesting spin on this story line – she notices the small things like rainfall being the same everyday, and she manages to mature and expand her technical skills (like playing the piano and chess) because there isn’t much else to do in this small community. The older and more bored she gets, the more she learns and begins to question everything that is happening. The girl tries to mature and feel love, but in such a small community life becomes very difficult. Especially since no one can leave the experiment!

K. Kris Loomis always has themes in her books (which I am the biggest nerd for). There were some religious and spiritual comments in the book, which makes you question reality versus religion. Additionally, this young girl wants to grow and mature and be an “adult” (like some of the boys who see themselves as “men”) yet in such a small town where nothing can move past where they are… how can she? She’s young yet feels so different. Another side of his story is the sci-fi and technology aspects – is all of this development really good for the people? What happens when it “backfires” or we decide to stop using it?

Somehow, despite K. Kris Loomis having all of these “big” questions and heavy hitting plot lines, this book didn’t feel difficult to read or too much. It all was woven into a really lovely tale that makes you think and pick apart the story. I truly found it engaging and would suggest anyone who wants a book that will make them think to pick it up! That being said, if you want a mindless read then this probably isn’t for you. It’s very thoughtful, like a book we should have read back in high school.

I couldn’t find many faults with this story – sometimes the story got a little slow, but since this book is more of a character development/big question type of novel, it doesn’t affect my overall rating that much. I might have liked some more background into the science and technology of the experiment, but that’s me picking it to pieces and being picky.

Overall, this book was really cool! It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read and I love it! K. Kris Loomis has a real talent!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find K. Kris Loomis on her website: http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Or give both of us a shout out on Twitter! @KKrisLoomis & @ReviewAlholic

 

Find this book:

On Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40131752-the-sinking-of-bethany-ann-crane

On Amazon.com – Amazon.com

On Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca

 

And check out another book review of a K. Kris Loomis novel on my blog: #BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis
Comment below – have you read anything by K. Kris Loomis?

 

#BookReview Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

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Literature is a unique read that whisks you away to a dystopia where fiction is no more!

The writing style and plot line of this book work so well together. I had never imagined a plot like this, and I loved it’s creativity! Guillermo came up with such an interesting idea and it’s not to be missed! This book can be seen as a drama or comedy in my opinion, or a lovely brand of satire.

Billy’s life felt like it could have been a short black and white or noir film that we’d see at Cannes or a big festival. I would love to see more in this universe, because the critique of art was so cool! I couldn’t see the ending coming, which was also a nice change.

I highly recommend this read! It makes fun of today’s art yet feels like something that could happen. The word choice by Guillermo also paints this story’s beautiful picture inside of your head – I felt like I was in the story. This commentary on today’s society is a must read from me!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

About the book:

We don’t know exactly when Literature® takes place and we don’t know exactly where. All we know is that Philip Marlowe would fit right in. We don’t get Marlowe though. We get Billy Stringer. And Billy is on nobody’s trail. He’s the prey. The day hasn’t begun very well for Billy. He just messed up his first big assignment, he’s definitely going to be late for work, his girlfriend won’t get back to him and, for reasons she has something to do with, he’s dressed like a clown. Also, he’s pretty sure someone is going to kill him today. But then, that’s an occupational hazard, when you’re a terrorist. He’s a bookworm too, which wouldn’t be a problem–or particularly interesting–except that in Billy’s world, fiction is banned. Reading it is what makes him an outlaw. Why? Because people need to get to work. It’s fight or flight time for Billy and he’s made his choice. But he has to see Jane, even if it’s for the last time–to explain it all to her, before she finds out what he has become. That means staying alive for a little while. And the odds are against him.

Publisher: Nineveh Editions

You can check out the website at www.guillermostitch.com 

Find Guillermo on twitter! @GuillermoStitch

And give me a shout out on twitter too while you’re at it! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

Comment below – what is your favourite novella?

#BookReview The Father by Brett Williams

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The Father by Brett Williams is a unique take on a generational story.

I did not enjoy this book as much as I hoped to. The book was written in a tone that just didn’t fit with me personally, but it is a great book. The story follows a family through the generation, with each section building on each other. I found the first section of this book to be incredibly hard to read, and I felt very bored. I put this book down many times because I just couldn’t get into it. There were sentence fragments all over (it didn’t help that I was editting my English paper during the week I was reading this book), and it just didn’t connect with me. The second and third sections of this book were a lot easier to read for me, but I worried that I was just going to give up on the book in the first section when I couldn’t connect.

The second half of the book is where all of my interest picked up. If there was anything I could recommend for this book, it’s for Brett to capture our attention early in the novel so readers don’t put the book down. I understand the first bit of the novel was needed to introduce a lot of the back story, but this could have been woven in throughout the story.

The story does look at a lot of themes and issues throughout the over one hundred year span. I really loved how descriptive and interesting the topics and thoughts were throughout the novel. Those comments are often lacking in novels nowadays, so seeing some sensitive topics touched upon was a nice change.

The “unevenness” for this book is the reason why my score is lower. I easily got bored and confused as I read the novel, and when I pulled myself away from it for a couple days it was just as hard to get back into it. I hope the next novel in this series keeps the faster pace and is more exciting, because I think Brett Williams is a good writer! This series definitely deserves some love!

Overall, this book was not for me. The style and tone didn’t match with my reading style, but it was still a great book that is probably someone else’s favourite novel!!!

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Comment below with your favourite fiction novel!

Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheFather to chat about this review on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

Check out this trilogy now! http://www.thefathertrilogy.com/