#BookReview – Some Glow Brightly by John Palmer Gregg

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Some Glow Brightly by John Palmer Gregg

This novel was an interesting take on a very common YA trope – young narrator/lead has powers and only he can save the day (with the help of his companions of course).

We follow Red Snyder and his band of merry misfits in this YA novel. Red is special – he can see into the spiritual world – and after a tragic incident his powers are needed to help face the villain of our story.

I did enjoy this novel, despite the very common plot it was a well written universe that kept me interested. It didn’t blow my mind to rate it out of five, but it was a good read. I would definitely suggest YA readers who want something different/out of the norm to pick up this book. It’s well written, very descriptive and isn’t a romance based story. It has action, adventure and a bit of suspense/mystery in there as well.

If anything, I found that this story was a little slow for me. I like a fast paced story, and that dropped my rating down initially to a four. If it isn’t a fast moving story, it begins to bore me and makes it difficult to read. I did have to put this book down a few times for Facebook/Twitter breaks before I could go back just because it wasn’t super fast. But I was determined to finish it! This book was incredibly beautiful and John Palmer Gregg clearly put a lot of work into it!

I think John Palmer Gregg will developed into a great author – this book has so much potential and doesn’t fit the typical norm (despite the normal plot trope). The circus aspect of it intrigued me, and I would love to see this author expand into a more circus themed novel (not only the spirit world, although that plot line was en point as well). With all this potential, I definitely want to read more by John Palmer Gregg.

Overall, this book sat at a 3 by the end of the novel. It was fantastically written, but it was just to slow for me and the typical trope made me a little less interested. The spirit world and circus aspects deserve five stars though! Truly this was a beautiful book!! Keep writing John! I need more books by you in my hands ASAP!!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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#BookReview Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

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Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

Boy Robot is a unique read by Simon Curtis that should be a must read for young readers everywhere.

I would like to start off by saying this is not my favourite book – but it is good. Recently I’ve been finding more and more books I’m reading are fantastic, but just not in my wheelhouse. I did enjoy this book and I think it’d be a fantastic addition to another Young Adult/Young Reader bookshelf (whether personal or in a school) but I personally won’t be grasping and holding it dear to my heart.

This book has lovable characters, easy to follow story lines, deeper meanings and themes (I love a good theme <3) and a unique plot. The characters actually grow throughout the story, which is also nice to see in a YA novel. I find too often characters don’t grow, but this book fit this fantastic writing device perfectly into the story. There are layers of real things that happen to real people – not just cookie cutter back stories.

I also like that this book includes some LGBTQ+ into it. I won’t spoil, but it truly made my heart feel warm knowing that FINALLY books are realizing everyone is not a heterosexual male or female. Normalizing reality is fantastic, and Simon Curtis is earning bonus points for that alone. There are some reviews that seem to point at transphobia in this book – I didn’t read it this way, but be wary. If you need trigger warnings, then maybe this book isn’t for you? There’s rape, transgender individuals and general topics that some people just aren’t okay with. I was on the edge about reading about the rape, etc, and I still kinda am (I’m wobbling on the fence of unsure) – but I don’t see this as Simon Curtis attacking anyone purposely. I think it’s a plot device (maybe not the best plot devices…but that’s for you to decide).

I did find this book way to long. Personally, I would rather a book be shorter and end perfectly with everything that needs to be there rather than longer, more substance but not worth it. There were some story lines that were dragged out WAY to long. Some of the scenes were exhausting to read because I knew the story would be fine without it being there. But some readers absolutely LOVE substance, so take that with a grain of salt. I prefer a book that gets to the point or only leaves what’s essential.

I’m pretty sure this book will be a series. The way it left off just seems like it will continue on, or at least I hope so for other readers sake.

Overall, this book kinda left me confused. While it was absolutely fantastic, I do agree with some readers that some of the back story was a little brutal to be put in a YA. That doesn’t mean this can’t be one of the first novels to start introducing deeper/rougher content into YA but I just don’t know where I want to stand on it…

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain

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NYV: Punk by KD McQuain

I’m not sure what I thought of this novel. It seemed awesome via the cover, the synopsis and what some of my reader friends said about the book but overall this book wasn’t a hit with me.

This novel follows Christian, our lead who goes off in search of a coming of age story for himself. This book twists into an interesting fantasy novel that not only follows Christian growing as a character but involves some vampires and fantasy all splashed into these fine pages of this book.

I found this book to be super slow at the start, which made me drift off as I read it. Eventually, near the very end of the book, it picked up and finally peaked my interests but it just didn’t hit well with me. I love a book that’s fast paced or hooks me instantly, not one that takes ages for me to finally feel like I want to read it (not that I have to).

The writing style is great, though. The descriptions (in general, characters, violence, sex, all of them really) were truly unbelievable. For someone’s first book, it’s really memorizing. You almost felt like you were in the story – and I applaud KD for that. To be able to write and describe so beautifully on your first novel? Bonus points for you sir!

I really enjoyed reading K.D’s take on this story. The language and style fits right with the tone of the novel. I thought this novel was going to be a Young Adult novel, but then it got quite explicit at some times… Perhaps a better rating for this novel is needed? I saw it in an indie book store floating in the YA section… Maybe not?

This book is a series, and I do think it’s a worthy read. I just wanted something a little more fast paced. I found it to be a unique take on vampires and I really hope more people pick up this author! There’s talent waiting, and imagine what this author can do once he starts writing more? This is only one of the first books for this guy! Talent normally goes up, and this book was definitely well written.

I would definitely want to read the second book if I can ever get my hands on it. While this book bored me at the beginning, I’m definitely hooked now. Fantastic read!

Four out of five stars – due to the slow start of the novel.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

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Apocalypse the Memoir by C.S. Oliver

I am sad to say this book somehow got swept up into my house and disappeared for a while. I remember writing it down on my “to read” list and then being unable to find it. I went through all of my book shelves (there are many) and was annoyed and confused on where it could have gone. I gave up the search until I did a little spring cleaning and found it deep under a couch that didn’t seem like anything could have fit under it. Interestingly enough, I decided it was still in beautiful working condition and that my cats must have stolen it. So, many many reads later – here it is! My review of a book I’ve been dying to read for far to long.

This story centers around Indy, our 15 year old narrator who seems to be in a zombie apocalypse in Canada. It’s a humorous take on what seems to be a very common story now, but this book is unique. This book not only has crazy zombies, but a funny narrator, sassy side characters and an interesting back story.

This novel is brutal and definitely R-rated, but it’s fantastic in a sort of Deadpool way. While you’re cringing at the blood and gore, you’re laughing along with Indy’s thoughts and descriptions. The zombies aren’t exactly your typical slow moving, “let me eat your brains” zombies – they are nasty, predatory creatures that give you a movie-monster-esque vibe. I liked that aspect – slow moving zombies always seem kind of boring to me.

Bonus Points: Canadian cities (I’m a Canadian, what can I say?).

“Are hot dogs miracles?”

If that line doesn’t explain the whole book, I don’t know what does. Reading from the view of a 15 year old narrator, I can definitely say that thought is accurate. I am almost certain at that age that sort of thought would be randomly popping into my head.

This entire book seemed to be written with my sense of humour in mind. I don’t see all readers understanding it, but as I read along I couldn’t help but chuckle. I rarely find books funny, but I related with Indy, our main character, far to much. I really enjoyed her spunky thoughts and I wish more novels had narrators like her – different, odd and absolutely hilarious.

There were two “downfalls” to me for this book:

The biggest downfall of this book was that the conversations in this novel did not have quotation marks around them. That was probably the worst part of this novel – the story was fantastic, the humor was on point, but the lack of quotation marks threw me off a bit. To someone like me, it’s slightly annoying. To most readers? Probably not something that would turn them away from the book.

The second downfall or question I have – was this book all a metaphor? The first half of the book seems like an epic, film ready novel for a zombie dystopia/apocalypse. The second half seemed so interesting and more like a 1984 novel ready to be dissolved and taken apart in an English class. I loved seeing these two kind of smashed together into one book, but it gave me far to many questions. I want to march up to CS Oliver and ask so many questions… But maybe that’s a good thing.

Overall, this book is deemed worthy by me. I definitely want to read more by CS Oliver and I hope any more books created by CS are just as sassy and thrilling!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

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In Her Court by Tamsen Parker is a goofy, geeky read filled with

Tamsen Parker is not one to stick to the same plot over and over in every read, and that’s what makes this book so unique compared to the others. This time around, Tamsen has explored an F/F relation (or two females if you didn’t understand the acronym). Two girls at a camp fulfill a beautiful romance, in short.

These girls (Van and Willa) have character – one of them is getting a PhD, they are working at a tennis camp, and they aren’t your typical character without flaws and full of perfection. They seem realistic in the setting of this story! That’s a nice change from some of the F/F books I have read in the past – I like seeing characters who slowly build and get better throughout the story.

There is some R-rated language (a few F bombs) so if you don’t like any swears, beware! They aren’t dropped for no reason, they fit within the story, but know this book isn’t G rated. If you thought it was, you don’t know Tamsen’s writing very well…

Personal opinion: I felt like Nate and his character could have not been in the story and it would have moved just as well. Yes, he’s an introduction for both characters, but he didn’t seem wildly important – at least not to me. I would have liked to see a more interesting story line with him (a non romantic subplot, or something). I felt like there was more potential hiding in there. That being said, it wasn’t like he was supposed to be the main character of the story.

This wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (and by that I mean her super steamy romances), but it definitely ranks up in my favourite romances. I felt the introduction to the characters wasn’t the best (we found out a bit to much to fast, in my opinion) but it was still fitting and made the story work. That’s me being a picky Tamsen Parker/romance fan and nothing more. It doesn’t hurt the story, I just feel like it wasn’t Tamsen’s best out of all of her books (I remember a time when she only had three books out…just saying..now she’s all busy writing and forming a career ;D).

I found this was definitely a step out of Tamsen’s wild BDSM/crazy sexual books and more of a contemporary romance (as it says on Goodreads, which I noticed AFTER I read it – do your research first guys! Then you’ll know what you’re getting!). As a contemporary romance, it’s fantastic! It’s not the best romance in all of the world that I’ve ever read, but it’s a worthy read. A very worthy read indeed! There is still some steamy sexy scenes, just not as crazy wild as her other novels. But it’s still uber sexy and well written! And there is LOTS of it…Almost to much. At one point, there seems to be sex scenes in every single chapter!

Side Notes: I love geeky references and Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was present in this novel. Bonus points for Tamsen!

Overall, this book was great – it just wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (but can they all really be my favourite? Let’s be honest). This book is still a worthy read and I would suggest it to those looking for some steamy romances, but definitely pick up Tamsen’s other books while you’re at it. These books show how she can not only write crazy steamy BDSM, but lovely contemporary romances and some not so safe for work styled novels.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you Tamsen Parker for being amazing (as always!) and sending me a copy of this book!!

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

 

This book was also part of Camp Firefly Falls! I haven’t read it yet, but if you’re interested in more check out http//campfireflyfalls.com for more info!

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

 

#BookReview SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

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SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

I’m not much of a space person – I wasn’t impressed with The Martian (film, not book. I will eventually get to the novel…), and I have never been super into the whole “space” thing (unless it’s Star Wars). But, I love reading books in different genres! I don’t like reading the same old read every single time. I like spicing it up to see what authors are doing and how genres are changing! So SpaceMan seemed like the right kind of fit for me. It looked different, space-y and had a cool cover (come on, admit it, we all judge books by it’s cover).

This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic time and our main character is on on the Space Station. You see both Clayton in space and his family down on Earth, which gives some interesting points of views from all angles. I’ll be the first to admit I know almost nothing about the Space Station, so I cannot tell you how accurate the accounts of it are – but they seemed uber cool!

This novel is a fast moving, easy read, action-adventure. I enjoyed that aspect of it, despite not totally loving this novel in general. It’s a great read for those interested in space, action and adventure and who want a novel that sounds like it knows what’s it’s talking about (not random made-up babble about space. Tom seems to have researched some of this!). It’s a refreshing, different type of space novel – people are comparing it to the Martian, and I would compare it to the hype of the Martian. It’s smart, funny and different. It’s not just a Star Wars/Trek spin-off, it’s got it’s own vibe.

There is a sequel to this novel, and while I might not be reading it I would absolutely suggest this novel to other people. It’s just not my thing. I do think this could have been one stellar novel if the entire story would have been concluded in this book. My rating might have been higher if that had happened. I really enjoyed this book, but I felt it was just to incomplete. I like when a series has a story “complete” at the end of each book, but the universe is continued in the next novel.

Three out of five stars.

I received this novel from Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview Halfway Hunted by Terry Maggert (Halfway Witchy #3)

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Carlie is back again in Halfway Hunted by Terry Maggert!

This witchy tale brings more action, adventure and romance to this ever expanding world. These characters continue to delight me with each page that passes. While, to me, this book isn’t as fantastic as the last two, I think it has definitely put this series in a step in the right direction. To me, it felt like Avengers Age of Ultron compared to the Avengers and Civil War (for those Marvel nerd fans). It’s a great novel, but it seems like the inbetween book (just for me, it’s still absolutely fantastic and I’m sure readers of this series will love it).

This book is a must read for anyone who’s started this series. I would absolutely recommend this novel to those looking for some fantasy/magic/witchy books in their lives! It’s a great read!

Overall, I give this book three out of four stars. It was a fantastic read and it kept me interested, but it didn’t blow my socks off.