#BookReview The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews

The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews was a horrific, thrilling treat!

This psychological, thrill ride of a novel showcases a unique take on religion. If Fae crazy? She’s hearing voices and a Gift from her grandmother has led her into some tempting and daunting situations. Will she get out alive? Will her friends survive? You’ll have to read to find out…

I was honestly surprised by this book – it had so many layers to it that I had to re-read a lot of chapters to really get the point (in a good way, of course). When you look at all of the aspects of this book, you get a real good idea of how talented Stephanie is. Christmas Day, German roots, bountiful landscapes, religious views and arts, and a dark yet intriguing writing style all creates a dark yet vibrant story. I kept getting pulled back into the book as I left it since I really had to know what was going to happen. This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, which was nice.

Throw in a Frankie Valli reference, and I’m always game. On top of that, Stephanie is from Canada! It’s like this review was meant to be.

The genre of this book is hard to pick. It had a mixture of horror and thriller in there. I would recommend this book for at least 13+ if not an adult audience. There’s no crazy gore or R rated scenes, but the religion debate has a big influence on this novel.

If I had to summarize this book in one quote from the novel, it would be, “Sin is just what religious people call personal choices the church doesn’t like.” Seriously, that line gave me SHIVERS.

I don’t really have any negatives for this book, but I will say it’s a bit of a niche novel. It’s written beautifully, but some people might not like the themes. So, buyer beware (as always…) – research your books before you read them.

Overall, I liked this book. You could easily binge or set this book down, depending on your mood. I loved the prose and writing style Stephanie uses because it was absolutely perfect for the tone of this book. I’d love to read more from Stephanie in the future, because she’s clearly one talented author.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo – Canadian Retailer

 

Find out more about Stephanie M. Matthews:
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www.stephaniemmatthews.com
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*Photo courtesy of the author, Stephanie M. Matthews

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#BookReview Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books

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Schmuck the Buck is yet another hit by EXO Books!

Recently, I’ve been on a picture books/children’s books binge so of course I would be interested in another goofy, picture book full of Christmas mischief!

This book felt like my inner sarcastic child’s dream of a Christmas story. Forget the main reindeer team! Those losers aren’t as school as Santa’s Jewish reindeer, Schmuck the Buck! His real name is Larry, but we call him Schmuck. Because, let’s be honest, those nasty reindeer who called Rudolph names picked on everybody else too!

This poor reindeer is the biggest nerd in his high school, but that doesn’t bring him down! He got a degree in Accounting and even went to Yale! This is the type of awesome I strive to be!

The humor was down right hilarious. I was almost laughing out loud from the silly jokes and gags that littered this book. Texting the parents about batteries? That is the kind of hilarity only the goofiest kids would think of!

I felt like this story was the perfect way to show kids that you don’t have to be the popular “Rudolph” character. You can be super cool and get your own starring role as a normal kid with different interests!

It is a little “longer” – there are small paragraphs instead of just one word on each page. I think it was the perfect way to tell this story though! It’s a real winner! I would love to see this book alongside all of the Rudolph merchandise in my local book stores.

I’m not sure where to rate this book. It is satirical and ironic, but it also was pretty G rated. I think some older kids would find this absolutely hilarious, while younger ones could just enjoy the pictures. I’d maybe suggest reading this to children aged ten and up, because they would probably get some of this humor. But, it’s definitely something adults would love to read!

Overall, I loved this cheesey, funny and lovable story! It’s definitely worth the read! I mean, who wouldn’t love a book with an HR reindeer named Shirley? That just seals the deal.’

Five out of five stars!

P.S. Shout out to Karina Shor the illustrator! I absolutely loved the pictures. They were classic and elegant yet childish and fun!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Want to check out another book review of an EXO Book’s book? Then check out my review of The Last Day of Captain Lincoln! #BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

What else do you want to see on my blog? Let me know in the comments below, tweet me at @ReviewAlholic or tell me on Facebook!

Quick Book Review: Naughtier Than Nice by Eric Jerome Dickey

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Photo via Goodreads.

Naughtier than Nice was a fantastic read by Eric Jerome Dickey that is perfect for anyone wanting a soap opera feel kind of book.

This book is incredible! When I first started reading it I wasn’t sure what to expect. Is this book a romance? A drama? It’s both! This novel felt like one of the soap operas I used to watch on tv but instead in book form.

I couldn’t say there was much wrong with this novel, because it did seem like a soap opera. Something was always changing, there was always some kind of romantic action or spite between characters going on and it never seemed boring. There was times that I was quite frustrated with characters or where different plot twists seemed unreal, but if this book was aiming towards being a book soap opera than it did it’s job.

Overall, I was impressed. I would love more books like this where there is constant twists, drama and a big splash of romance!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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.