#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Jeep Tour is another stunning women’s fiction novel by Gail Ward Olmsted.

Seriously, this lady KNOWS what I’m feeling and thinking! Just the quote alone “A series of unrelated and seemingly random events that can singularly cause stress and anxiety” is my life right now – college, working, life, EVERYTHING! Within this sweet, women’s fiction are words of wisdom I never would have appreciated until I became an adult and finally understood what “adulting” meant! The metaphor comparing whack-a-mole made it even better, to be brutally honest. That’s is how life feels sometime!

This novel is the first in the “series”, but like the rebel I am – I read Jackie’s daughter’s story first! So, it was only necessary to read Jackie’s story as well! The two books can easily be read apart, but if you want a little more sanity and understanding, reading them in order would be helpful. I do have to say, you can tell that Gail has improved in her writing (not that she was bad to begin with, but you can see the growth and I LOVE when that happens! I’m a nerdy little birdie for seeing authors grow and change into sophisticated and more talented authors!).

Now, back to the story!

Middle-aged Jackie is divorced from her husband and decided to go on an adventure and hop on a Jeep Tour. She ended up meeting uber sexy tour guide Rick, and he gave her his number! Rick is young, hot, and flirty!

I related to Jackie in many ways – troubles with her job, a “Linda” in their life, troubles with relationship and wanting to just run away. But the one thing I really liked about Jackie was her ridiculous sense of humor! “Waa-mbulance” was one of the best comments I’ve ever seen, and I will definitely be entering that into my verbal thesaurus for the next time life gets tough. The accounting metaphors also had me chuckling, since I’ve taken some accounting classes (and the comments really fit how I see some of my accounting friends…).

Even the relationships in this novel felt real, which was shocking! I don’t know many people who got divorced and started sleeping with their ex when the papers were signed, but Gail made me feel like I did! I felt like Jackie and Robbie could have been my neighbors or friends of mine! It was weird, but incredible. But that’s raw talent for you! Although, sometimes I felt like this relationship was a little bit… tumultuous, or not healthy. Knowing the contents of the second book made me feel better about it, but there was still this ache in the back of my head going “NOOOO JACKIE NOOOO YOU DESERVE BETTER – NICE GUY AND GOOD SEX! YOU CAN HAVE BOTH! DON’T SETTLE FOR ONE!”

The journey Jackie embarks on is definitely a beautiful story. The ups, the downs and everything in between will make you feel! It was a beautiful story to sit down, admire the summer air and fall into. It was a relaxing read, something that women’s fiction definitely needs!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a soft, simple read with a little splash of drama and romance. It’s a PG rated, flirty and fun book that will whisk you away into the life of a of truly incredible character. It’s a must read that will be added to my shelf!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads: Goodreads – Jeep Tour

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Jeep Tour

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Jeep Tour

 

 

Check out the sequel with Jackie, Robbie and their daughter in Driving on the Left!

Goodreads – Goodreads – Driving on the Left

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

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

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

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

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#BookReview Night School by Mari Mancusi

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Night School is another hit by Mari Mancusi that will leave you hooked and breathless.

So we’ve seen vampires, and we’ve seen lycan…but can you believe that Mari Mancusi added in another magical creature? Yup. She did! Fairies! When I initially read these books when they came out, I’ll admit I didn’t like the fairies that were added. But now, as an adult who constantly sees giant film and book universes I understand the need for such an addition – and it does, oddly, work!! I think it’s a cute addition, and I would like to see Mari build more into these ideas in future installments.

Rayne is our lead in this book, and her sassiness is there (as always). And, as always, this book is fast paced and kept me interested. Plus, on top of it all, Mari tops her plot lines and goes a little crazier. She always seems to know how to go bigger and better.

One thing I really like about these books is Mari seems to understand that it can be lengthy between the times you read her books – so she summarizes what happened last. In the first couple books it annoyed me (because I was reading them back to back) but when I realized that there is typically a wait in between and you might forget what our heroines were up to, then I was all on board! If this is something you don’t like, you can always skip!! But I think this is a nice addition that’ll help readers out.

I did have an issue with this book – we’ve grown to love Jareth and Magnus so much, and they weren’t in this book as much as I would like. Yes, they weren’t integral to the story but it was a shame to pick up this book and not have some epic storylines with them. They were still there, but not as much as they could have been.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari’s roster of books on Goodreads!  Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or visit her website – Mari Mancusi’s Website

See what Mari’s up to on Twitter – @MariMancusi

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

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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

#BookReview Guessing at Normal by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Guessing at Normal is a roller coaster ride of emotions from the ever-fantastic author Gail Ward Olmsted.

Gail’s writing just clicks with me – it pulls at my emotions, it keeps me hooked and has me addicted to every word on the page! Picking up this novel, which follows a rock star and his girlfriend, was a true delight that I have to share with everyone!

Jill Griffin is your everyday, normal girl working the hotel night shift. Then one day, in walks a rock star – James Sheridan. Everyone knows his name and his band Nomad, including Jill. These two fall in love, and their lives unravel throughout this soap opera-like story. This book isn’t your Harlequin, perfect romance – it follows the ups and downs of relationships and the rock star life. Relationships aren’t perfect, and this book highlights the true insanity that relationships can be.

The character arcs and development are to die for! Seriously, these characters go through so much throughout this novel. And on top of that, they aren’t perfect (which is a good thing)! The characters have flaws, there’s bumpy roads and fights that happen, and sometimes they aren’t squeaky clean Plain Janes. As the novel progresses, you can see Jill changing and learning to deal with the life she has chosen to live, and you can see how James embraces his rock star life. The book is mostly focused on Jill’s side of the story, but we do venture into other character’s lives briefly as well.

This book is an easy read, and has lots of drama to keep you busy. You’ll be guessing what will happen next, and Gail’s epic plot twists will keep you on edge. I find Gail’s writing to be descriptive yet soft – it’s not a book that you will struggle to understand. She picks the perfect words to describe the situation, but nothing so difficult that you are dragging out the Webster’s dictionary to understand the book.

I’d say this book is PG-13. There isn’t any hard romance scenes or erotica mixed in. It’s a fun book that even teenagers could enjoy. There are some drug and alcohol comments, but nothing too brutal that most teens haven’t heard about already.

Forewarning: bring a box of tissues if you are the light of heart! There are some sad scenes in this story, but it’s worth it in the end!

Overall, this is another gem that I’m putting on my must read romance pile! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel, some juicy drama, or celebrity/rock star based plots! It’s a fun book for a fantastic summer day!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com – Guessing at Normal

Amazon.ca : Amazon.ca – Guessing at Normal

 

Find out more about Gail Ward Olmsted on:

Her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gwolmsted

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Uninvited Quests by Lex Wilson

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Uninvited Quests is a comedic journey full of fantasy and hilarity!

If I had to describe this book with a quote from within it, “You’re a worrier, and I am a warrior.” It’s one of the best quotes of the novel, and the book’s tagline could easily be ‘Are you a worrier or a warrior?’.

At first glance, this book seems like it could be a children’s novel – but with the mention of brothels and “slurphy sounds”, I’m saying 13+. That being said, it’s a wild ride for adults to indulge in! It’s funny, it’s exciting, and it’s surprisingly wicked!

Have you ever played a video game and got distracted by the side quests? That’s what this book is! These heroes have a mission, but the side quests are just way more interesting to partake in! Our warriors, Lucan and Manrel, meet Brae along the way (who is a half-ogyr, half-human warrior all on her own) and get into amusing situations. I have to admit, I really loved the comedic take on conversations about religion. The lighter and funnier comments about the way people speak about religion was what really had me chuckling – especially when you consider some of the words we use can be seen in a different context depending on the way you interpret them.

The play on words reminded me of earlier Arrested Development episodes – everything is connected and taken out of context! Most of the time, I was either laughing or rolling my eyes at the horrible yet fantastic humor. The abundance of puns and play on words was ridiculous! But oh so good! If you’re looking for other comparisons – this book gave me vibes of the hilarity of Thor: Ragnarok or Monty Pythons: The Holy Grail.

Character wise: Lucan and Manrel are a fun pair. They are hilarious, bond well together, and will keep you on your toes. The silly adventures and their one liners (come on, who wouldn’t scream about slimy walls? That’s disgusting and horrifying if you are in the dark!) make this book fast paced and delightful. I could easily see this being a comedy show or film with it’s excellent writing and perfectly timed jokes.

Cons: Every book has them in some form, but this book’s single con wasn’t that bad. Personally, I found the prologue really interesting, but we weren’t introduced to our leads right away so it threw me off a little bit. That being said, it’s incredibly well written and connects well to the story once you’re reading it.

Overall, this book felt like an epic satire of a warrior’s quest in mythology. It was absolutely hilarious and a must read for anyone who loves comedy or satire! I highly recommend picking this book up if you want a good laugh! Or, if you miss the fun you had reading children’s novels! This felt like the adult version of the silliness in children’s books.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from Lex Wilson in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

About Uninvited Quests:

She’s a half-human paladin on an apology tour for a (formerly?) evil god. He’s supposed to be someone else’s squire. It’s up to them to save the kingdom. But first… another sidequest?

Check out Lex Wilson:

On Twitter: twitter.com/alexotica

Via the interwebs: http://lexwilson.com

Purchase this book:

Amazon.com – Uninvited Quests

Amazon.ca – Uninvited Quests

 

Comment below – what is your favourite comedic novel?

And while you’re at it, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Batman:Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison

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I love comic books, but this one didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn’t do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn’t let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy.

There’s footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn’t you be able to get the point across within the story?

At least there was a script at the end to understand what was going on. It just seemed really weird to me that I had no honest idea what was happening. It didn’t seem like a Batman comic, more like a parody of a Batman comic. Having to go back and forth between the comic and the script also left me incredibly frustrated. I don’t understand how this comic book was supposed to hit audiences.

The idea of having the inmates takes over Arkham Asylum seems awesome and this could make for the best story, but this art style didn’t do it justice. I could barely tell what characters were who, and I’m obsessed with Batman. I also didn’t understand the haunted part of the plot.

I get this book was supposed to be a psychological thriller/horror that was supposed to attract adult and mature audiences, but it just didn’t feel that way to me. The allusions and references went over my head, and I felt like there could have been so much more added to make it flow better.

Overall, this book was super frustrating for me. I wanted to love it (especially when I paid way to much to get my hands on this book) but I just couldn’t. I had high expectations and it came short.

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another? #BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain

Why not give me a shoutout while your at it? @reviewalholic

Check out Grant Morrison on Goodreads! Grant Morrison on Goodreads

#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 Vi by Kim Thúy

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Kim Thúy’s beautiful short story, Vi, is a must read for fiction lovers!

I won’t lie, the fact that this book is so short was what drew me to it. I needed a quick read to keep me occupied while I was in a waiting room and this book was short enough to devour in one sitting. While this book might lack in quantity, it hits a real punch on the quality. I’m honestly surprised Kim is not a bigger author, because this book was mind-blowingly awesome. And yes, I am making mind-blowingly a word.

The cultural impact is probably the best part of this novel. Often, you can see silly cultural stereotypes in novels but this one did it right. You could tell Kim knew what she was talking about with the depth and nature of her words. It didn’t feel cheap or obnoxious, it felt oddly satisfying to read about another culture that was not my own. Watching Vi’s story take place over these pages was a fantastic adventure, since Kim wove her words so beautifully and made this story dance in my mind. I absolutely loved it!

I would have liked a better ending, I found it kind of “blah” compared to the rest of the novel. This book had me hooked and obsessed with Vi’s journey and then the end just fell…well, flat. I would have liked something more. That was my only real issue with this novel. It is a translation (and my copy was an ARC) so there were some weird sentences with the translation but that wasn’t a con for me. I moved passed those issues really easily when reading it.

Overall, this charming read is a great option if you want a story that will move you and impact your understanding of culture. I 100% recommend this book!

Four out of five stars.

I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

 

If you read this review, use the hashtags #BriarsReviews & #Vi on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

Check out Kim Thúy on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3152466.Kim_Th_y

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt

Comment below with your most recent read!