Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Impostor: A First-to-Read Review

     I received the book for free in exchange for an honest review.  
WARNING:  It will be brutally honest!  You have been warned!
 I really tried to get into this book (Tried THREE times) but was unsuccessful. The author had way too much about himself and why he chose to write the book. 
*SPOILER ALERT* Eric Marco was a total imposter for years!  That's pretty much the entire idea of the book.
The memory of all those killed in concentration camps deserve to be honored better!!!

♥ out of 10 with a grade of "F"
I hated this book. It was lacking in every aspect. Could not finish and have nothing positive to say; use this book to see if your pens still have ink

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Intercepted: A First To Read Review

Sometimes, a girl just wants a cheesy romance story where she knows what to expect and it all comes together perfectly. This was perfect for that.
There -were- plenty of of typos in this copy that were annoying. There were lots of corny, profanity-laced one-liners that caused me to roll my eyes. Martin broached some heavy topics, but tread very lightly over them. I felt that story-line quite predictable.

It was funny and sexy, though a little bit oddly paced. The Chris thing stretches out a bit longer than I'd like at the beginning, I really couldn't wrap my head around why Marlee was with him when he treated her so bad. Then that blows up and Gavin comes along. I expected more of a chase or the 'wait I'm not ready for a relationship', even though a bit of time passes it does seem a bit soon after getting out of a long term relationship. Continuing on with the pacing thing, it didn't flow as well as I would have liked. weeks/months go by in a sentence and I'm like, wait, slow down. I think we missed some of the fun falling in love stuff, which sucked. There were a lot of conflicts, possibly too many. The mean girls got a bit old. I think Madison could have been enough, though the whole Courtney thing was funny at the beginning, but the sister too and the southern girl that is nice in the beginning... It was just a lot. I don't know.

The hashtags got old super fast. I thought it was funny at first but then just became grating. Especially at really dramatic points - 'he made this huge decision without telling me' #personalfoul. like wtf? i tried to ignore them but they just stood out. They might have been less annoying if there weren't so many, or weren't used when they shouldn't have been.

Now all this complaining and it sounds like I hated it - not at all! I really debated on giving it 5 stars but the things I mentioned above are what knocked it to a 4 star for me. But it had a lot going for it. It was a fast read, and when I couldn't sleep - I was able to finish it very quickly.Though I note all of these issues and problems, I found this a compelling story. I'm not the biggest fan of football stories. Like I said, I read it in one sitting and I rarely do that if I hate the book. the epilogue was gah, so adorable. LOVE. I definitely recommend this one and will 100% read more from this author.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ out of 10 hearts. A "B - " grade. This book is good, and I liked it okay. There are several noticeable flaws. Not perfect, but overall enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Touch: First-to-Read Review

  Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from www.firsttoread.com. This review is also posted on www.goodreads.com 

    Touch is an essay in the guise of a novel, and the big ideas had already been laid out in the first 50 pages, and it became clear what would happen and who would do what. In that sense, it was not suspenseful. But I kept reading because it was well done, a story well told, in the end. So it's a bit simplistic. But like I said, there are enough interesting characters that Maum actually had the makings of a truly insightful novel, but I feel like she never quite took advantage of them.  The weird part is the time it takes place in— at points I thought the story took place in the present, and at others a sort of alternate present (self driving cars with uncanny AI seems possible but we’re not quite there yet).

    The theme is fantastic in exploring technology and its pitfalls. This book was extremely thought provoking. With so much technology in the world, there were some interesting parallels. As a society, we are becoming poor communicators and there needs to be more of an effort to get back to our roots. I liked the concept of this novel.   I had a hard time with the story itself.

♥♥♥♥♥♥- Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back
B+ = This book is good, and I enjoyed reading it. However, there are some flaws.

How to Servive a Summer: First-to-Read Review

 Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from www.firsttoread.com. This review is also posted on www.goodreads.com

Will "Rooster" Dillard was one of several teenage boys at a camp to "cure" their homosexuality, tortured until one of them ended up dead. The survivors, years later, have tried to put the experience behind them, made difficult by one of the camp counselors writing a book. And then a movie is made from the book, controversial and one everyone is talking about. The past entwines with the present, and the different viewpoints of the people who were there--two of them have gotten their chance to tell the story, and now it's finally Will's turn. As you might expect, this a bit of a sad story at its core. Will, especially, wanted to be "cured" to please his preacher father, and the struggles of his youth are pretty painful. But his present is a different story, when he's found some acceptance of himself, and finally facing his past helps him move past his issues and find happiness in his future. That hope carries you along through the worst of it, though it's still a bit ambiguous in regards to the movie. The purpose behind it, after all the talking, seems to be more plot related than having anything deeper.

This feels to me like a semi-autobiographical first novel where the author maybe needed some more emotional distance from the subject matter before he decided to write about it. White does a good job of capturing the feeling of a time and place, but the story and character development felt undercooked to me. Turning real life events into a novel using a first-person narrator who's basically a stand-in for the author is such a go-to for young writers but is so hard to get right. This is a good start but I'd like to see what White can do with different subject matter.

5 hearts: Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book (x)
C = This book is okay, and I finished it relatively quickly. It didn't blow me away, and something was definitely lacking (characters, plot, dialogue, etc.)

Californium: First-To-Read Review

Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from www.firsttoread.com. This review is also posted on www.goodreads.com

The "Coming of Age" genre focuses on identity. Who you are, who people think you are, and the multiple identities you walk in among your peers, family, and the larger circles around you.  As the novel progresses, we get to see Reece transform from the new kid in school who's trying to find a way to fit in, to a young man who is starting to understand the complexities of life. Written by  R. Dean R. Johnson, CALIFORNIUM had a lot of elements (pun unintended) that should have added up to something good, but in the end, it was a little lackluster. While I was compelled to keep reading because I wanted to see how it all turned out, I never felt truly connected to the characters. In some places, it felt like things were moving too fast, especially the post-DikNixon show climax. Other things, like the frequent calling out to elements or the way that Reece and his friends talked to each other, felt wildly off the mark. I found Treat to be way too forced a character, as if he was supposed to remind us that it was the 80s--a tactic that didn't really work. It honestly felt like this could have taken place in any era after the rise of punk music, so I wish there had been more to make me feel like it taking place in the 80s was important to the feel of the story.

Stunningly mediocre. A perfect 4 on the ph scale. No strong feelings one way or the other. The stereotypical thing you think of when you think of YA fiction.

5 hearts: Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book (x)
C = This book is okay, and I finished it relatively quickly. It didn't blow me away, and something was definitely lacking (characters, plot, dialogue, etc.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Only the Hunted Run: First to Read Review

    I LOVE thrillers!  Only the Hunted Run certainly didn't disappoint.
Neely Tucker wastes no time getting started, dropping the reader right in the middle of a shooting at the U.S. Capitol.
    Sully Carter happens to be in the building when the shooting starts. Being a newspaper reporter, instead of evacuating, he pursues the shooter and the story. We follow Sully throughout the book as he digs deeper into the story, trying to determine who the shooter was and their motivation for the crime. The novel is fast paced, and took a few turns I wasn't expecting along the way. It started out so quickly, I was hooked from page one. I liked that Sully is a reporter, giving him a different perspective and motivation for his inquiries than you see in a typical detective mystery.  Without saying too much the shooter is soon captured and his apparently crazy rantings in courts send him to a mental hospital for evaluation while he is awaiting trial. Meanwhile Carter heads to Oklahoma, where the shooter hails from, and starts peeling layers off the onion and it soon turns out that things are a lot different from what they first appeared to be and this continues as Carter returns to Washington.
    While the story line is fascinating and appealing, I didn't quite get as hooked as I had hoped to be. Sully Carter is an interesting character, a flawed persona with good instincts for reporting and investigating. Although right now I'm not sure, I may return to the earlier volumes in this series to learn more about Sully.
Only the Hunted Run by Neely Tucker is an outstanding story which hardcore thriller lovers will enjoy.  Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back

All in all:
♥♥♥♥♥♥ and "B-"This book is good, and I liked it okay. There are several noticeable flaws.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Wolf Road: A First-To-Read Review

      The Wolf Road is an intimate cat-and-mouse tale of revenge and redemption, played out against a vast, unforgiving landscape—told by an indomitable young heroine fighting to escape her past and rejoin humanity. The world as we know it has come to an end. Governments, buildings and infrastructure have crumbled in something old-timers call the Big Stupid, leaving the few survivors to fight, to claw, for survival. 
    As we follow Elka on her journey North, we get a rare glimpse into the hardships of solo travel and the loneliness that abounds in an uncaring world.  The Wolf Road is a narrative about survival of the body and the mind. It is ruthless, chilling and dark; but at times it is also compassionate and merciful.
I became surprisingly invested in the characters and their motivations.   
 I really did enjoy The Wolf Road and am keeping my eyes open for what Beth Lewis has next.

All in all, I give this book
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (9 of 10) hearts and an "A" for effort.  If I had actually bought the book, it would be one of my go-tos.
 I managed to be one of the lucky few to get to read this book as a reviewer. These are my honest opinions. 
 First To Read