#BookReview The Edge of Whiteness by Joe Montaperto

The Edge of Whiteness by Joe Montaperto is a smashing read all about Joe’s school hijinks in the 1970s.

If you’re looking for a blast from the past, this book is for you! Joe Montaperto’s school life is full of misfits, hijinks, Sicilian heritage, hilarious name calling, amazing references and lots of hilarity.

This book centres around the race riots in high schools during the 1970s. It’s a different time with lots of flashbacks to Joe’s youth. There’s yelling, screaming, cursing, and lots of comedy all packed into this wonderful book. It reminded me of listening to a Director’s Cut of a movie. You see (or read, in the case of the book) all of the action but also get to hear the funny side comments and quips about the situation itself. That’s why this book is so enjoyable – Joe’s witty or snippy remarks about the situation as a whole.

The spiritual awakening part of this book is one of the more interesting parts for me. It all starting with a book, Siddhartha by Heran Hesse, is even more interesting. Throw that in with the struggles of youth in the 70s and it opens your eyes (or reminds you) of how the world was different many years ago.

My only note is that this book may come off as rude. There are offensive terms mentioned in this book that were fairly common back in the 1970s. Nowadays, the terminology is very offensive. So, trigger warnings ahead! Remember, this is a book about the 1970s which was a very different time with a different point of view (generations are all different). N words, fake Arab accents – the works. That is a point to keep in mind when thinking about reading this book.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Joe Montaperto, in exchange of an honest review.

You can pick up this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

Check out some of the work by Joe below:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.ca – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.com – Nobody Gets out of Catering Alive
Smashwords – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive

Check out another book in this series:
Goodreads – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos
Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

Check out other books by Joe Montaperto on my blog:
#BookReview Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto
#BookReview Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

If you’re seeking more reads, check out some of my other blog posts:
Top Books from 2019

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#BookRecommendations Children’s Picture Book Christmas Collection

I LOVE getting in the Christmas spirit, and reading cute and sweet Christmas books is the way to go! I have been able to pick up so many adorable Christmas books along the way this year, I felt it was necessary to include them on my blog. But there were just so many, so I felt like curating a little book review list of sweet children’s tales full of Christmas spirit was the way to go. Hopefully you find a book you’ll love below!

  1. The Elf Who Couldn’t Read by Sonica Ellis

This book is an adorable little tale about Jingles the elf, a young guy who can’t read!

I found this tale to be so wonderfully cute. It emphasized that struggles can be hard, but we can learn to overcome them. Not knowing how to read is tough, but it is a skill the little ones can master! Sounding out the words and taking your time can be a big help when learning how to read. This book brings positivity to this topic, and it was also just so cute and sweet as a Christmas tale. I would highly recommend picking this book up for your little ones.

I absolutely adore the illustrations. They are fun, colourful and totally fit the whimsical nature of this Christmas story.

Four out of five stars!

 

2. Where Does Santa Go on Vacation? By Kim Ann

This story asks where Santa and Mrs. Clause go on vacation when they get away after Christmas. It’s quite the little gem of a story. It asks lots of questions and show amusing little pictures of what this duo might be up to after the hubbabloo of Christmas time. It’s short, sweet and a quick read! Little ones will love this book! I can especially see ages 2 to 5 having a hoot with this story.

The illustrations are super cartoony and make for a fun visual aid to the story!

Three out of five stars!

 

3. It’s Not Easy Being Santa! by Pragya Tomar

It’s Not Easy Being Santa! by Pragya Tomar is an adorable little story that will fill you with Christmas cheer!

Bug wants to help out some children whose letters didn’t make it to Santa. He loves Christmas, so it’s only natural he wants to help! Once he’s made his wish that he could be Santa, the real fun begins!

This is such a unique tale and it filled me with so much glee and joy! Books like this is why I loved reading as a kid. I sure hope more books like this find their way onto mine and many other readers shelves. What a whimsical and lovely tale that I HAVE to share with everyone! How can I not share such a heart warming tale like this one?

The illustrations are a little kooky, but they are delightfully fun at the same time!

Five out of five stars.

 

4. When the Clock Strikes on Christmas Eve by Lisa Ferland

When the Clock Strikes on Christmas Eve is a fun rhyming book full of Christmas joy!

The book has every hour striking and something fun happening. Christmas cheer and joy is spread throughout the book, making it a fun and different way to get jolly if you are tired of the 12 days of Christmas.

The illustrations are colourful and fun, and they work really well with the story.

Three out of five stars.

 

5. Arial, the Secret Santa by Mary Nhin

Arial, The Secret Santa by Mary Nhin is a delightful book about kindness at Christmas time!

Arial’s family teaches her about kindness, and they put it into action by deciding to be Secret Santas everyday by sharing kind words and happiness to everyone. This book did feel less of a Christmas story, but it was a sweet premise. It felt more like a book about kindness with a couple Christmas pictures scattered throughout.

Fortunately, the messaging of being kind to each other was great! Educators and parents should grab more books like this to help teach kids how being kind and nice to each other is a good thing.

I absolutely LOVE these colourful illustrations that bring so much life to this book!

Three out of five stars.

 

6. The Worst Christmas Book in the Whole Entire World by Joey Acker

Ah, this is not your stereotypical children’s Christmas book. My goodness, it is comedy gold!

This Little Rock points out why this is the worst Christmas book in the whole entire world, and man it is! It’s absolutely horrendous, horrible and wickedly terrible. You’ll be so disappointed that you’ll be so impressed! Now hopefully you can read my sarcasm and comedy in that, because that is what this book brings: comedy and sarcasm.

I quite enjoyed this book. It’s not the typical Christmas picture book and I loved it because of that. It made reading my little Christmas binge so much more exciting! It’ll make you laugh and chortle and chuckle and giggle at all the fun nonsense that this book brings. Honestly, it’s refreshing. Comedic books like this deserve their time to shine.

Four out of five stars.

 

7. The Adventures of Pookie: Mission Fat Hearts by Rebecca Yee

The Adventures of Pookie: Mission Fat Hearts is a fun, thrilling little tale about dogs being enlisted by Santa to help with some missions!

Adults will get a chuckle out of some of the references to Mission Impossible and kids will love the adorable nature of this full of heart story. These dogs spread Christmas cheer throughout 25 days to help Santa get Christmas full of joy and love again. It’s a great little read with cartoon-y pictures. I think parents could easily use the listed missions as fun activities and ideas for their little ones. Or even educators!

Three out of five stars.

 

8. A Christmas Cookie Exchange by Sheri Wall

A Christmas Cookie Exchange is a sweet picture book with lots of rhymes and Christmas cheer!

We follow a little cookie named Phil as he sits on the dessert table. He’s sad because he’s not as fabulous as the rest of the cookies who have sugar and icing and sprinkles all over them. Our little cookie friend learns that everyone is special in their own way and can talk about how they feel. Looking important isn’t as important as how you feel inside!

What a wonderful theme and what a wonderful little book! It’s a great story for parents and educators to pick up.

Four out of five stars.

 

9. The Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann

The Magic of Friendship Snow is a heart warming tale about a little girl name Jojo trying to make some friends.

When the magic of snow gets used, friendship is formed! Tie this in with the gorgeous pictures, and you’ve got yourself a lovely little tale for picture book loving readers to devour.

Three out of five stars.

 

And with that, you have 9 lovely, little Christmas tales full of joy and cheer! These stories are great additions to your picture book shelves for Christmas time! Comment below if you have more Christmas stories to share.

 

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#BookReview I Told You So! Strike Three, You’re Out by Mark Gunning

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good middle grade novel. What can I say? I love being transported back to the nostalgia and fun of my youth! Middle grade novels are always so fun and creative, so I was pumped that an author even asked me to read one of theirs! It’s always so rare and exciting!

So, onto the review:

This is book four of the series, so I jumped in at a random time. It wasn’t too hard to jump into, but here’s what I got from the story:

William is our lead, and his buddy is out of the game and is in hiding. But, don’t worry! He sends him a text to meet him at a local skate park. I can already tell, they’re gonna get into some mischief! He has a plan, and it’s shown through great, little pictures within the book. The kids an artist and a great thrill seeker!

This group of kids decide they are gonna play a little baseball! It all seems exciting, right? Right?! Well, not until a few mistakes happen and things go a little astray.

They also get into more fun hijinks throughout the story, but I’ll leave the rest for you to read.

I think young readers who love sports will totally dig this book. I was always craving more sports related books as a kid growing up (there was mostly books about animals or fantasy… go figure), so it’s nice to see more now. This book isn’t too long and it’s exciting and fun enough to keep you hooked and entertained.

Plus, William, Thomas and their buddies are all fun and relatable. They’re kids being kids, and it’s great to see a book where it doesn’t feel like adults in kids bodies.

Fun side notes:
These kids live in Itchygooney, which is just one incredible name (if I might say so).
Halloween! Ah, I love a good Halloween shout out. It’s my fave holiday!
Personality filled comics at the back!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Mark Gunning, in exchange of an honest review.

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

You can find out more about the author, Mark Gunning, on:
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter @MGunningAuthor
http://www.itchygooneybooks.com/

If you’re looking for more middle grade books, check out my recommendations by clicking the links below:
Another amazing Canadian author: #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
Canadian author round 2: #BookReview Loki’s Wolves by K.A. Armstrong and M.A. Marr
And a graphic novel to spice things up: #BookReview Smile by Raina Telgemeier

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#BookReview My Hallowe’en Heartbreak by Melanie Ting

Okay, so if I have to pick one sentence to describe this book it would be: double finger guns of awesomeness!

My Hallowe’en Heartbreak is a fabulous romance novel packed with Canadian culture and kooky comedy!

Sophia goes to a Halloween costume party with her boyfriend Elliott, and of course he turns out to be jerk bag #1. He gets it on with some chick in a bathroom, and thus the relationship is over. Nothing sucks more than breaking up with your boyfriend dressed up as Pikachu. Well, there probably is worse things but that sounds kinda brutal, eh?

But, don’t worry! Sophia runs into her old high school crush Henry MacDonald, a super hot musician who ends up offering her a ride. They get kinda cozy, and things begin to blossom. Of course, along the way Sophia’s lawyer job has some bumps on the road, Henry’s superstar ex makes a play and Elliott is well… Elliott. Not a good dude. But it’s all good, because this romantic comedy will leave your heart swimming and head singing!

I really liked this book! Romantic comedies are totally my thing and having a Halloween themed one made it every better (it’s my fave holiday, what can I say?). Diving into this book was a nice way to escape and have a few giggles, plus… SO MUCH CANADA! Canadian indie band touring the maritimes? CHECK! Shout out to Justin Trudeau (and making fun of him, because us Canadians like to make fun of ourselves), CHECK! It just keeps piling up and makes me feel like this book is totally what I expect, and can respect, as a little Canadian book reviewer.

Add in the whole ‘seeing your crush again and having a second chance at love’ trope, and I’m totally game. It’s adorable, what can I say?

So, if you want a single line to pimp out this book, it’d be this:
This book has snarky comedy that gives romantic comedy movies a run for their money!

Five out of five stars!

Extra bonus points: Each chapter is the title of a Canadian indie song! Holy moly I’m so proud and impressed and this book deserves all the love! My goodness. Go Melanie!

I received this book for free from the author, Melanie Ting, in exchange of an honest review.

You can find this fantastically written book by clicking on the following links:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo
B&N

Check out the author, Melanie Ting, on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://melanieting.com/
Twitter @MelTing21

If you’re seeking some more romance books in your life, grab one of these books recently featured on my blog:
Another Canadian read: #BookReview Seeing Colour by Amber Faucher
A Sweet Clean Romance: #BookReview Love Comes for the Army Ranger by Savannah Adams
A Sassy, British Comedy: #BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview You’re Doing Great!: And Other Reasons to Stay Alive by Tom Papa

I discovered Tom Papa when he was on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and I instantly loved his humour. When I saw that he had a book coming out, I was thrilled! Not only was I looking for more comedy books but I could support one awesome comedian! And luckily, I was not disappointed! This book is incredibly amusing and super fun.

This book is a collection of silly stories from Tom’s past. It’s funny, light hearted and made me smile throughout. There’s also a really positive message about how we’re all going our best and doing a great job. Life isn’t easy, and some of these stories go over how it isn’t (but make it way more fun sounding) but it points out that life is a series of obstacles that we can make the best of.

Tom weaves his stories to make them enjoyable, easy to follow and addicting to read. I was shocked how fast I got this book done! I couldn’t put the book down and I found myself re-reading some of the stories because they were so good, so funny and just made me feel good. I wish self help books were as fun as this.

I will definitely be keeping my copy and sharing it with all of my friends. This book made me feel so good! It’s a light, fun read that you can either binge or just read in a series of short tales.

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

 

Looking for more comedy in your life? Check out these other books featured on my blog:
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis
Quick Review – How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad
Quick Book Review: People Who Need To Die by Victor Rook

 

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#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker’s hit The Perfect Fit is an amazingly British story that brightened up my day!

Mary Jayne is one of my newest, most favourite authors around. Her stories are full of romance and comedy, as well as so much British slang and jokes that I can’t help but be addicted to them! My childhood was full of family members from England, so I absolutely dig all of the British-ness packed tight into this story. Let alone, the fact that this story has an awesome plot and continues the story started in A Bicycle Made for Two.

This time around, Becky Finn is putting on a pantomime for charity! She came up with the idea after taking a special little girl to a special little production of Peter Pan (“Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arrrrrrre.” Seriously, this book is a gem, people!). Becky is engaged to a wonderful man but is feeling left out. She wants kids but he wants to get married first and he is always away. In walks Marcus – a friend who she may have some feelings for. Who will she end up with?! Will the pantomime be successful? Will there be more cheesey jokes? You will have to read to find out.

Although, I promise there are LOTS of cheesey jokes. Lots of innuendos too! My gosh, the innuendos were amazing…

This book definitely far exceeded my expectations. I find that most sequels are hit and miss, but this book did the impossible! It grew the story and made me love it just as much as the first one! I definitely want to continue picking up books by Ms. Baker (Mrs. Baker? Dr. Baker? Whatever). I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after reading books like this.

You definitely don’t need to read the first book to understand this one. Yes, there are some characters present from the other book in this series, but it doesn’t affect the story. As a reader, you are given all of the information you need to understand and read your little heart out! That being said, I would highly recommend reading the first book because it’s funny and romantic like this one!

But… you may be thinking… this review is way too positive! There must be some negatives! And there absolutely are. While I think this book is definitely amazing and worth reading, it falls flat with some of the character development. It felt very stereotypical, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I didn’t come for an Oscar-winning movie-esque book. I came for funny jokes, a splash of romance and lots of British slang. If you’re looking for the next Notebook, you’ve come to the wrong place. This book is all about fun! I was smirking most of my way through it because it was such a treat.

On a side note: I did enjoy that there was a lot of realism in this book despite all of the comedy. This book features a gay couple who adopts a beautiful, little girl named Pip and it felt very fitting. It wasn’t used as a joke or a gag, it just fit right in. Throw in the parenting struggles about adopting to begin with (since a straight couple is also trying to adopt) and having life pass adults by. All of those struggles are super real but addressed very well in this book. I applaud Mary Jayne for adding these. It felt really good to see them.

Overall, this book gets five inflatable boobs out of five inflatable boobs.

If you don’t understand the reference, read the book to find out!

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

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

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#BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

Oh, Mary Jayne Baker. It’s like you wrote this book just for me! It’s 100% British and took me back to my youth when my Dad used every British slang word and saying he could all day, everyday. Meanwhile, it’s a cute, comedic romance that reminds me I’m an adult. It’s safe to say, this book was a nostalgia trip for me and a half!

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be quirky! It doesn’t totally fit into one category for me, and that’s totally okay. It has a lot of comedy, a pinch of romance, some epic drama and lots of fictional heists to follow. Just labelling it one of those words (or genres) would be a tragedy! This book is just too good to be put into one little corner.

So, down to the meat of it: Lana Donati is our lead, but her brother Tom, friends Yolanda, Gerry, and Sue, a sexy television star named Hunter, and the love interest/former pro cyclist Stewart all take part in this story too. This book starts out seeming like it’ll be your typical romance: Lana and Stewart have a date but then… oh yes… the date goes sour. Stewart doesn’t call Lana and life goes to the pits. Her Father passes away and leaves the siblings his restaurant and the Tour de France is coming to town! Big things are coming Lana’s way…

For reference, I’m Canadian (half British, but good ol’ Canada is my home) so I don’t have many British references to give you. If I had to pick one that the masses from North America and the U.K. would understand, I’d relate this book to Coronation Street. It has the fun and quirky characters, the dramatic plot and British-ness I love about the show. But, sometimes that show can get depressing so imagine the funny and romantic storylines.

The banter itself is golden. I started highlighting all of the hilarious comments on my ecopy and I almost highlighted half the book (whoops!).

Since I don’t want to deal with too much copyright, here’s two excellent comments that made me laugh hysterically and giggle and chuckle and all of the fun laugh terms:

“Scott Spen, 26. Looks like a sheep, sounds like a sheep, may actually be part sheep.” Like, dude, who doesn’t look at dating profiles and think stuff like that?! Just me? Cool.

“A honking good pair.” Without context, sounds brutal. Read the book and you’ll be giggling along with me.

Comedy like THIS is what gets me laughing. Witty sarcasm is the best kind of humour, so I absolutely loved this novel.

Did I have negative? Of course I did! No book is perfect.

In some places online, this book was marketed more like a romance, and it’s not a pure romance. It’s more comedic romance, not Hallmark or Harlequin style romance at all. If a reader comes specifically for that romance, they will be let down. But… does that ruin the book? Heck no! That’s just my point of view.

Overall, this book is an absolute delight and totally fits into my wheelhouse! I love Mary Jayne Baker’s writing and will definitely be sticking around for the long haul. This book was marvelous!

Five out of five stars!

I received a book for free from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

 

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#BookReview China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Oh man, oh man, oh man!

I was SO PUMPED to find the last two books in this series at a local discount book store. I cannot tell you how exciting it was for that kind of find! I absolutely LOVED the first book and I adored the movie, so of course I would want to continue reading this series! Unfortunately, as a student I wasn’t in a place where I could get this book as quickly as I wanted… UNTIL THAT BOOK STORE!

So here I am! A couple weeks after my purchase since I totally binged this book. It was such a pleasant delight and I am happy to say I liked it! Buuuuut… (yep, there’s a but) it didn’t hit me like the first book did. It’s that funny little problem with middle books. It continues the story but doesn’t hit you with all of the good content until the last book. I’m almost certain the last book is going to knock my socks off, but this book just warmed my heart (and not much more!).

To start my review, I have to say that I LOVE Rachel and Astrid but I wasn’t as interested in Kitty’s story (although, she was quite the interesting character). I also have to say I now hate Michael and wish ill of him (what a jerk bag…), I have a strong fondness for Nick, Carlton seems pretty cool and I have a lot of sympathy for Charlie. NOW HURRY UP AND GET SOME OF THESE CHARACTERS TOGETHER KEVIN.

This story has a lot of interesting (and dramatic) plot points. Rachel’s Father is found by Eleanor (because of COURSE she found him) and he’s CHINA RICH. That’s really rich for those of you who haven’t dipped their toes into this magical universe. Rachel’s Father’s wife is not too impressed with his bastard child and wants her GONE… meanwhile Rachel’s half-brother Carlton got into a major accident but becomes quick friends with Rachel. Jumping ship to the next character, Astrid and Michael’s relationship is on the rocks while her former relationship with Charlie is blossoming. Also, Kitty tries to fit into more with society while giving some absolutely hilarious insight into her life.

AND IT KINDA ENDS IN A CLIFFHANGER BUT KINDA DOESN’T.

I found the first quarter and last quarter of this book to be fast and exciting, but the middle was a little slow and boring (as boring as a soap opera could be, obviously). That’s what is making me excited for the last book. You can tell something is brewing and coming down the pipeline but Kevin couldn’t give it to us yet.

I have so many good things to say about this book, so I’ll put some points down to contain my thoughts:

1. I like Kevin Kwan’s references. I am a Canadian with British and French roots, so I don’t know much about Asian culture. The languages, the social cues, and all the other information he gave was awesome! I felt like I was welcomed into this world and could enjoy this book so much more. It also made me really happy to know diverse books like this are being welcomed into the reading space and actually read by people!

2. This book is a crazy soap opera full of romance and drama. AND I LOVE IT.

3. I love these covers. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book based on it’s cover… but come on! It’s gorgeous!

Things I didn’t like:

1. Now that Awkwafina has cemented herself as Peik Lin in the movie universe… I WANT MORE OF THAT CHARACTER. She wasn’t in this book as much and that made me so sad!

2. The middle was too slow.

Overall, this book is FABULOUS and EXTRAVAGENT. I’m absolutely reading the next book soon (especially since I physically have it! I’m so pumped!). I would recommend this book if you love soap operas, books that have movie adaptions (seriously, I LOVE reading a book and then seeing the movie regardless of the genre… it’s fun!), or a book that will keep you hooked and is a lot of fun!

Side note: WHERE IS THIS BOOK AS A MOVIE?! OMG I WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS.

Three out of five stars.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

Check out my review of the first book in this seires:
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy too!
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade

 

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Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs

I was absolutely thrilled that I bought the first two books in this series together, because I NEEDED to continue this series. The first book, Virals, was an absolute hit for me and Seizure continued the insanity!

This time around Tory, Ben, Shelton, Hi and Cooper are off on another adventure…. except… get this… PIRATES. The loss of LIRI absolutely sucked because the loss of potential science plots devastated me. So I was reading it, hoping that somehow these authors had some cool science-y plot to follow and NOPE! But they got the next best thing – pirates and treasure!

LIRI is going to be shut down, so the Virals need to acquire some funds to try to help their parents keep their jobs. Otherwise, all of them will be moved around the continents and might never see each other again. This is a big problem since they are Virals with their crazy powers. In walks a famous myth about a female pirate and her treasure. And, of course, she buried it near the home of our lead characters! Our Virals decide to go on a treasure hunt, and get in LOTS of trouble along the way. And I mean A LOT.

I loved the sense of adventure in this book! I was hooked to every word and it was really difficult to put the book down. There’s a good mix of 75% action and 25% goofy, high school drama. Tori takes on Madison in this book and the drama is hilarious. I’ve never considered these books to be “serious” or “realistic” books (come on… Tori’s eyes turn yellow and she has magical powers), so I absolutely loved the angst that was added in this book. Also, cue in potential love triangle? Or square… Either way, I see one coming. It’s a YA book, you KNOW the romance is gonna be thrown in there eventually.

So, what are my cons?
1. Kit seems mighty dumb in this book. Did he really not notice Tori sneaking away so much? I know he works a lot and is busy… but dude. Kit is related to Tempe and he’s this dumb?

2. The bad guys were predictable and also dumb. I’m honestly not sure how Kathy could change this (I don’t have any constructive criticism about this, to be honest) but I have to say it. It was one of my cons.

But along with the cons, I have some mighty pros:
1. This series isn’t focused on romance like most YAs. There is a pinch (and I mean a PINCH, like a pinch of salt. Very little) but the story mostly focuses on friendship and adventure. That makes this book way more fun when you’re not worried about who’s gonna kiss who.

2. Riddles, myths and legends make everything more interesting. Some of the riddles are easy to solve, but some of them were a little more difficult.

3. This book has comedy in it! There’s some seriously funny quotes lined in this book that made the action and adventure just feel more fun. I’m tired of mopey YA books, we need more positivity in this world!

4. This book is super knowledgeable. Various animals species, the Gaelic language and more science-y info is shared with the reader. Kathy Reich’s books are always smart! It’s just another reason to love this series.

Overall, this book was AWESOME! It was a fun read for me and I really want to continue this series. It’s closer to PG-13 mainly because of the language (a couple swears) but the fun could easily be read by middle grade.

Five out of five stars!!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

 

Check out the first book, Virals, by clicking the links below:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Looking for something else to read? Here’s some other books I’ve reviewed that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview Virals by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

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#BookReview Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis is a fabulous romance novel.

When three sisters come back to Lucky Harbor to take over their deceased Mother’s former Inn, things go awry. The Inn is in shambles (both physically and financially) and the girls just can’t get along. We follow Maddie, a former L.A. resident who is running far away from her old job and ex, who seriously wants this Inn to get back on it’s feet. When she’s there, she almost runs over one sexy motorcycle rider who turns out to be more than what he says he is…

I really liked Maddie’s arc. She starts out as “The Mouse” and slowly works her way up to being a total bad a**. She has an attitude, knows what she wants and is working on making herself a stronger person. She absolutely deserves it after a trash of an ex. And lucky for her, Jax might be the man to help her realize love isn’t all that bad. Jax is sexy, a former lawyer and good with his hands (I mean carpentry… right?). He’s a character with lots of back story and isn’t the “perfect” man, which is why I loved him.

Oh boy! There is SO much going on in this book and I am SO frustrated it left on a cliffhanger. I need the next books in this series as soon as possible! I need to know what happens with Maddie, Chloe, Jax, Ford and every other kooky character from this series! Will Ford end up with Tara? I feel something heating up there. Will Chloe ever find romance during her asthmatic state (oh man, can I relate. I NEED HER STORY!)? Will Jax and Maddie end up happily ever after?! There’s so much going on and Jill has left me speechless!

If you like romance and drama, then this book is perfect for you! There’s a pinch of Christmas and comedy as well. Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. I was expecting a boring, old, romance novel but I was left with an addicting, quick read that is making me absolutely desperate for more of Jill’s work. Seriously, it’s worth the read. The title is Simply Irresistible, and that’s just what this book is – irresistible.

Five out of five stars.

P.S. This book is TOTALLY R rated. It has some super sexy scenes that are not suitable for your PG-13 audience. Just an FYI for anyone looking for something totally contemporary – it’s not! This book gets hot and heavy!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other romance novels you might enjoy:
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads