#BookReview A Cinderella for the Greek by Julia James

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A Cinderella for the Greek by Julia James was an interesting take on the classic tale “Cinderella”.

This book didn’t sit well with me even though I really wanted to like it. The story itself is a classic that I love (who doesn’t love a Cinderella/Princess tale?) but what lies within the story is what bothered me. The big problem with this book for me is the comments about Ellen (our Cinderella’s) weight. She isn’t as thin as her step sister Chloe, and our male counterpart Max points that out a few times. The comments weren’t healthy criticism’s either, but he gets over her “ugliness” to be able to fall in love with her. It’s that part of the story that turns my thoughts sour on this book. Everything else within the novel is quite lovely – the tale, the romance, the plot lines – it’s all great but that little part. At first, Max does not describe Ellen as beautiful, but slowly he begins to love the way she looks. It felt kind of silly in my mind, since the description of her sounded to be nice (but comparing her to the thin step-sister…).

I liked that Max wasn’t forceful as many male leads are these days. He’s caring and tries his best (even if at times it seems a little forced). I liked that he was interested in Ellen’s charity and that he seemed to be overall a good guy. The other characters (like the Evil Step-Mother and Evil Step-Sister) were perfectly evil in every way. The plot line followed the narrative it should have as well.

I felt this book got a lot better once it moved forward and continued to grow the relationship between Max and Ellen. That adds an extra star in for me as a reader. I think there was lots of potential here, to be honest! I’d like to read more by Julia James because I’m sure she has gotten better as her writing has continued.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is a really good book, it’s just not for me! It is a lovely Harlequin Romance that should definitely be picked up if you love an ooey, gooey romance or a retelling of Cinderella!

Two out of five stars.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

If you enjoyed this review or book, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Always Been You by Sadie Allen

Give me a shout out on Twitter with your recommended reads! I’d love to hear them! @ReviewAlholic

 

 

 

Photo via Goodreads.

 

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#BookReview An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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An Abundance of Katherines was an interesting book by John Green – it’s the perfect mix of YA and contemporary fiction in my mind. While it’s not his best book (in my opinion), it’s still a really intriguing read. John Green knows how to write a unique narrative and pull in the reader. Although, his books all tend to be different so you aren’t guaranteed to enjoy this book if you liked his other novels. He does an excellent job at changing genres and narratives, and making different stories every time he writes a book.

Colin isn’t the most likable protagonist, but that’s why I liked him. He wasn’t the typical YA character we fall in love with, he had his flaws. His friends were more likable, but to me it made him seem more real. We don’t all love ourselves the way we should, so sometimes the protagonist should be more “realistic”.

As for the plot, it’s has a smooth flow and doesn’t build very much. It’s more of a contemporary fiction piece that follows the characters throughout. There’s no major plot twists or devices that jumped out at me. Yet, this book still worked well in this context! With most authors, I would have given up with a plot like this, but somehow John kept me hooked. That takes a fair bit of talent!

The best part of this book is that it is full of epic quotes. John Green knows how to make quote worthy books that relate to teenagers and adults alike. I have found countless quotes that I can either relate to myself, my situation or my friends and family. That’s one of the major things this book has going for it!

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as the first John Green book you read (unless you want to start off “weaker”). While I think it’s fantastic, it’s not the strongest book (in my opinion, yet again). Especially since this book is the type of novel that you either love or you hate (just look at all of the other reviews – it is split right down the middle). So, take a swing at this book once you’ve convinced yourself that John is truly remarkable through his other books first.

Five out of five stars – what can I say? I enjoyed it.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49750.An_Abundance_of_Katherines

Or purchase this book on Amazon: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

And check out my twitter for the most up-to-date antics about my blog! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli

The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli is an interesting niche novel that felt like a character study.

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would choose: niche. This book isn’t some hard hitting Star Wars novel or Notebook styled novel, it is truly in it’s own little world. For some people, this book will be incredibly hard to put down and it will be your binge-worthy novel but for others it just won’t sit as well. For me, it wasn’t as binge worthy as it was for other reviewers (seriously, some reviewers seem to be devouring this book and loving every second of it!).

I did love that this was a Canadian author because I absolutely love supporting my home country, but this book just wasn’t made for me. And, that isn’t a bad thing! There are people out there who will love this book so much more than me!

So why wasn’t it for me? For one, the book felt very slow and the conversation between characters was way to formal. I didn’t feel like people actually talk the way the characters do. It was so oddly structured and oh so formal that it was hard to feel for these characters. I just couldn’t connect with these people because they didn’t feel real to me. Maybe it’s because I’m from an odd, small town that isn’t really comparable to any other city I’ve ever been in! I did really appreciate the descriptive writing of the setting and Tom’s job, but the dialogue just didn’t connect with me.

I also didn’t like the female characters in any capacity. Johnny was this really unique character, but I’ve never met anyone like her. That being said, the fact that Johnny is so out there and unique is a good thing! Unfortunately for me, I need to connect with characters to be able to be whisked into the story. Johnny and Sally are religious and do not wish to sleep with anyone until they are married. Okay, cool, that’s normal! But announcing that the first time you meet a guy? Having this strong “love at first sight” feeling and announcing a potential marriage and children? It just didn’t seem real to me. I think this made her to be a truly interesting character to follow but she felt foreign. It was like I was watching a character in the Handmaid’s Tale television show – it feels so close to being real but wasn’t.

That negative for me can be a true positive though – this book is set in a realistic story with unique characters. Seeing them interact with each other and the surroundings was a fun character study. I think that’s where readers are going to get the most out of this book. It’s so different that it can be so good!

The biggest positive for me was seeing these characters grow. Dave, Tom, Johnny and Sally all change over time as you learn about their past and their present. Heartbreaks, happiness and tragedy can all be followed which is absolutely lovely. I like seeing characters grow and develop in books, and it’s nice to see Vic write that so effortlessly. The growth didn’t feel forced – it felt natural.

Overall, I think this story it cool. Vic Cavalli has crafted a really interesting story that will take you to a whole new world (within the one we’re already in).

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Vic Cavalli in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Coles/Indigo

Amazon.com

 

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#BookReview The F.L.U.B. Club by Richard Clark

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What happens when a kid wants to become a billionaire? Well, they create a club, of course! Marty Gundy wants to be REALLY rich, so he made a club called FIUB (but it turned into FLUB) so all of the future internet ultra-billionaires could hang out! Marty is a tech whiz, which is why he will eventually be super duper rich.

I love this book because as a kid I always wanted to create a really cool school club or be apart of one. It attaches to those feelings that most kids have. Richard Clark has done this in every book I’ve read by him so far – he knows how to write in the mind of a child and really connect and identify with the reader.

Now, this story is SHORT. It’s sweet and to the point, which makes it an excellent bedtime read for your youngings! It’s also enjoyable for adults, but it really meets the children’s novel/middle grade inbetween transition age where you want to read more advanced books but don’t want to commit to a long story. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I liked Richard’s other books, but I did think it was fun and a definite must read for anyone looking for a story to read their child! I highly recommend this book!

Overall, I thought this story was fun! It’s cute, funny and really smart! I’d love for more children’s books to be full of this level of intelligence!

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out this book, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

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

#BookReview The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande by Richard Clark

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This crazy adventure is another epic story by Richard Clark!

Half of this story is the actual adventure, while the other half is a journal. Having this dual point of view is a change from Richard’s typical story telling, but I found it worked perfectly within the story. Following Rudy and the wild shenanigans he goes on fit really well bouncing back and forth. All three of the boys in this story are hilarious and fun to follow along this epic journey. It almost felt like a cartoon I’d watch on the weekends when I was off from school as a kid! This is super high quality writing!

The action in this story continues at an excellent pace that keeps the audience engaged. I feel that this book is perfect for the middle grade audience! Although, I might not use this as a bedtime story. It’s so action packed that it seems like the perfect, middle of the day read to get everybody wanting to run and jump around! There’s also some truly incredible suspense (for a middle grade novel!) that really enhanced the story overall. I didn’t expect that from Richard Clark!

Some of the chapters are very short, yet they felt just long enough. The book is a light, soft read despite the exciting action among the pages. I would definitely recommend picking up this book if you’re looking for an Indiana Jones type read for your children! The comedy, action and adventure will really catch your young readers!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book, The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, on:

Goodreads – Loma Grande

Amazon.com – Loma Grande

Amazon.ca – Loma Grande

 

 

Find out about Richard Clark’s book HughTube, on:

Goodreads – Hugh Tube

Amazon.com – HughTube

Amazon.ca – HughTube

 

Check out another book by Richard Clark, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

Check out the cover artist of The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, Cliff Behum, on http://www.cliff.biz

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

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

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Leaving Home by Duane A. Eide

It’s time for another quick book review!!

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Leaving Home was an interesting fictional read.

This novel follows Shane Stenlund after an unfortunate injury that led him to not continuing his secondary school career. He goes off to the big city and learns that life is much different in the city than on the farm.

The story was definitely interesting, although I did not see the big picture or what the theme was. It seemed like it was just meant to be a good, fictional read to escape from reality with. If there was a theme, maybe it just wasn’t very obvious.

The character development and plot pace was A-grade. I felt like the story built well over time and nothing seemed to come to early or to late in the story. If anything, I would have liked there to be more interaction with Shane’s family but that was not a big issue.

Overall, it was a good read. I was impressed with the book and would suggest it to anyone who wants a good book to escape reality with.

Four out of five stars, due to the lack of evident theme.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite book that is less than 100 pages? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this book review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #LeavingHome to start a conversation on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye

Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye is a fun, cozy mystery that is perfect for binging!

I’ve gotta say, I have been yearning for some teacher centered reads lately (ironically, since school is getting out around now for the elementary school kids in my area). And what is my luck that Kelley Kaye has an awesome mystery series that’s full of teachers, silly antics and loads of thrills!

Our lead Emma working at a new school and meets Leslie, the current head of the English department. While being introduced to her new life as the high school English teacher, she discovers a murder! Leslie, Emma and a band of jolly characters must work together to find out who killed a beloved janitor and all of the secrets he held behind the scenes in his life.

The book is FULL of quotes – Star Wars and Shakespeare just to name a couple! I loved all of the silly references that I understood, and the ones I didn’t I got to look up and find MORE books to add to my never ending to-be-read pile! Add in the comedy that Kelley Kaye is clearly an expert at providing, and you’ve got yourself a fun time! Work your way through this book and try to solve the mystery, or just enjoy the giggles you’ll get from the wacky one liners!

For me as a reader, I couldn’t find much wrong with this book. It was short enough to binge it but long enough to feel fulfilling. It was also packed with everything I love – silly comments, epic quotes and fun characters. There’s drama, a splash of flirtiness and romance, gossip, thrills and chills. It hits all the notes I want in a sweet novel!

I would say this book is for 16+, due to some of the adult comments used in the book. That being said, if you’ve got a mature teen they will have no problem reading this book! It’s not R rated, it just has adult comments that you might not want to read to your children.

Five out of five stars! It was a fun ride that I definitely want more of! I’ll be searching for Kelley Kaye’s books on every bookshelf I can!

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

 

Check out this book on:

 

Check out the first bo on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below! What books do you find “cozy”?

 

Photo from Goodreads.