I’ve actually read so many good M/M reads, especially after my discovery of TJ Klune, that I was positive I was due for a dud and I thought Power BottI’ve actually read so many good M/M reads, especially after my discovery of TJ Klune, that I was positive I was due for a dud and I thought Power Bottom would be it. There wasn’t anything that made me think it would be bad, I was just bracing myself. My shining hope was that Power Bottom was a Dreamspinner Press book, and I don’t think think I’ve gotten a Dreamspinner dud yet.
Power Bottom wasn’t a dud at all.
There was so much to like about this book. First, I really liked Adrian. I have a thing for the awkward lead characters. The ones who know just how nerdy and not hot they are. I like this angle for a couple of reasons. First, it’s how most of us feel about ourselves. It makes characters like Adrian relateable. I am nerdy. I’m not ultra-cool. I don’t say the right thing, and sexual situations make me feel like I’m fumbling. (Or they would if I was the type to go try and pick some guy up in a bar. I don’t need to worry about those things, thank goodness!) Then, the best part, is when the two characters meet and smoking hot Wyatt thinks Adrian (the nerd) is the sexiest, most adorable creature to ever walk the earth. Who doesn’t swoon over that? What nerd doesn’t want to be desired like that? It’s the awkward character, paired with the a love interest who thinks his awkwardness is sexy that makes this trope so unbelievably romantic.
I also thought the dialogue between Wyatt and Adrian was sweet. I hate unnecessary drama in a story, and Power Bottom didn’t have much. The two characters tried to stay up front with each other, even when it was uncomfortable to do so. Even though neither of them thought the relationship would last long term, they didn’t needlessly stay away. (Not even when they thought they should.)
Unfortunately there were a few aspects of the story that did bring down my rating. I’m not going to dwell on them, just toss them out really quickly so I can say I was honest. First, the relationship felt like it moved too fast. The book starts with Adrian already in a relationship. His hookup with Wyatt was supposed to be about proving something to himself after being dumped, and from there it snowballed very fast into luuuurve. It’s understandable. The awkward one usually will fall fast, especially when their new lover has “a smile that’s pure sin”. -How many times have we read that line?- The speed with which they fell left me feeling more like this was a rebound story, and less like True Love.
Also, I thought the plot about the cops was a little contrived. We didn’t need it. There was plenty of good story with Wyatt and Adrian alone.
Overall though, I’d read more by Rowan McAllister. I was smiling and happy throughout the read. Highly entertained.
Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I knew as soon as I saw Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda that it was a book I need to read as soon as possible. If you’re a regular follower of this bI knew as soon as I saw Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda that it was a book I need to read as soon as possible. If you’re a regular follower of this blog, it should be obvious that I enjoy reading LGBT novels. Even if I tried, I couldn’t even come close to figuring out how many adult LGBT reads I’ve loved, but I can tell you that there has only been about 2 or 3 YA LGBT that I felt strongly about. I’m not sure why. If I were to guess, I think it probably has something to do with how authors write young LGBT voices. Sometimes, most of the time, I find them to be slightly stereotypical. I feel like, with some great exceptions, the authors are trying to hard to make their characters sound a certain way.
Still, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda screamed at me when I saw it. It begged when I read the synopsis. I just had a feeling that this book would be really, oh so good. I was right!
I guess they feel secure enough in their masculinity that they don’t care. I actually hate when people say that. I mean, I feel secure in my masculinity, too. Being secure in your masculinity isn’t the same as being straight.
What I thought stood out about Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was that Simon wasn’t the super popular kid, and he wasn’t the super unpopular kid. He skirted the popular group, had a lot of friends, and was well liked, but he was just a normal guy. I also really liked that he was a drama kid, but I also liked that he wasn’t the ‘star’ of drama. In fact, in their current play he didn’t even have any lines. It didn’t matter anyway, because regardless he was completely committed and he was 100% a drama kid. Since I’m on a role, I also liked that even though he was a drama kid, the author didn’t go overboard on making him the quintessential drama gay guy. He was just a guy who loved acting, and he happened to also like boys.
I also really appreciated the range of friends that Simon had. He was a drama kid, he had friends that were in the popular crowd and friends that weren’t. I loved that he had legitimate friends of color, and it wasn’t an afterthought. I sincerely applauded when they discussed people’s default perception of ‘man’ as being hetero but also white. I also enjoyed that, while there were assholes in the story, Simon’s core circle of friends and family were supportive and kind.
So, as much as I loved all that other stuff, what kept me up reading this until 1am was the emails between Blue and Simon. I’ve always been a sucker for YA books where the relationship starts through emails, or instant messages. The idea that these two characters met on a level that wasn’t physical just really pushes all my buttons. It was so cute, and sweet, and completely grammatical. (If you read the book, you’ll see what I did there.) I figured out pretty early on who Blue was, so I guess that makes me more perceptive than Simon. It didn’t really matter either way, though. Even knowing made it exciting!
I don’t really have any concrete reason for the lack of that last half star, in my rating. I guess it’s just that, even though I loved so much about this book, when I measure it to some of my other favorites it was just missing that last little flare. They had something that hit me in the feels just slightly more than this one. It shouldn’t matter though, I mean it’s nearly 5 stars.
I was honestly really excited to read this book. I think I have a fascination with YA Superhero novels, as apparent by my love of Renegade X. I love hI was honestly really excited to read this book. I think I have a fascination with YA Superhero novels, as apparent by my love of Renegade X. I love how you can play with current events in a fantasy element, which I know you can do in most genre’s, but there’s something almost accurate when you play with the black and white world of heroes and villains.
Anyway, that concept plus the idea of an LGBT main character, is what drew me to Junior Hero Blues. Javi was an unpopular gay kid at his school, starting to date an extremely popular kid, and in addition he’s dealing with having superpowers and working as a Junior Hero for the Legion.
What Junior Hero Blues had going for it:
Oh, the snark! Javi had a self-deprecating level of snark that made me laugh more than once. I enjoyed his outlook on himself, his best friend Kendell, and the jocks of the school. I appreciated how the author used her main character to highlight bullying too. I liked that Rick and Javi came from opposite sides of the high school spectrum.
I really liked Javi’s superpower. I thought it was a nice change to have Javi both proud of his ability, be pretty adept, and yet at the same time give him aspects of his power that even embarrassed him, like the bouncing. I loved the physical manifestation of Javi’s powers also. It was creative. I loved liked how Javi wanted an superhero costume that showed off his awesome new abs! I feel like that’s exactly what a teenager would want when they’re suddenly granted a super hot bod. He can’t show it off in his reality, but Blue Spark sure can wear a revealing costume!
What didn’t work in Junior Hero Blues:
I felt like Javi’s personality devolved a bit over the course of the story. While in the beginning he read as funny, by the end he felt whiney. It was a problem for me, because I’m such a character driven reader. When there’s a lack of substance, or consistency, in the character I notice and focus on it.
In addition, I didn’t believe the relationship between Javi and Rick. Their relationship started at the beginning of the book, and they only dated for a week. Javi even jokes about it. Yet, still they act like they’re madly in love at the end. I don’t even dislike whirlwind romances, if they’re done right. This felt too fast paced, and without enough one on one time to truly develop a romance.
I also thought not enough time was spent on Javi and his parents.
Really, I think my dislikes all boiled down to the rushed feeling, and not enough time marinating in the characters and the plot.
Thank you to Triton Books and Riptide Publishing for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
I don’t even remember requesting this book. I certainly didn’t remember what it was about. I knew it was Sci-Fi, mostly because it looks like it’s SciI don’t even remember requesting this book. I certainly didn’t remember what it was about. I knew it was Sci-Fi, mostly because it looks like it’s Sci-Fi, but for some reason that synopsis wouldn’t stay in my head. I would forget the premise moments after reading the blurb! I actually feel bad about it. What’s funny is that I’m pretty sure I requested this book because I thought the synopsis didn’t fit the cover. There’s nothing on the cover that says ‘this book is about a girl that can host spirits’. I think it looks more like aliens, or space travel. That’s what it’s about, though. Anna is a medium, but she carries the spirits of the dead inside her until their unfinished business is complete.
Regardless of my initial impression of the cover, which I do think is pretty even if I think it’s misleading, I was really surprised by how good this book was. As a blogger we tend to request a lot of advance books that were just okay, or worse. There’s not a lot you can tell by a story from the synopsis, and it tends to bite you more frequently than you like. This wasn’t the case with The Delphi Effect. I actually thought that the plot of the story was interesting, with new perspectives on psychic ability, and the action was elevated through the whole book.
First, I can’t really review this book without mentioning how Anna occasionally irked me. In one section of the story I wanted to shake her. Everyone knew she was making terrible decisions. The other characters knew, her friends knew, and we knew as the reader. Yet, she follows the same path even after she’s shown it’s wrong. Even after she herself admits that she’s probably wrong! I can’t handle stupidly stubborn characters.
Regardless, and without going into too much detail, there was a wider range of characters than the synopsis provides. The story is about more than just Anna, even if she is the MC. I found the rest of the characters interesting and unique. I am especially curious about Deo and where the story is going to take him. (And Aaron, of course. Because who doesn’t like the love interest.)
The best part was that when I got to the end I actually said ‘Oh Sh*t!’ out loud. To myself. In my dark bedroom. At midnight. That’s one of the best compliments you can give a book. It means that I’ll be watching for updates on the sequel.
I’ve already started.
Thank you to Skyscape, via NetGalley, for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Obviously there was something intriguing about Friendly Fire or I wouldn’t have requested it, but I was also prepared for disappointment. (Isn’t thatObviously there was something intriguing about Friendly Fire or I wouldn’t have requested it, but I was also prepared for disappointment. (Isn’t that the way it always is?) I loved the premise of second chances, and reinventing ourselves after our lives plummet, but I think I’ve also been burned one too many times by similar books. The ‘trained professional’ trope is popular, and easily goes south. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking Friendly Fire.
Starting with what was good: I really enjoyed the fact that Lennox was formerly from the army and well trained, but that he wasn’t a superhero sniper with the training of a lethal assassin. Where he was after leaving the army felt far more believable than what we normally get with this trope. He was a man who was trying to heal and spend time with his family and daughter. He didn’t want to work as a mercenary. He wanted peace and quiet. He also wasn’t always ‘the best’ at everything. Not to beat a dead horse, but he was realistic. I thought that was refreshing.
Elliot was the character that was more over the top, with his schmoozing and charismatic personality. There were times Elliot felt a little overdone, for some reason I kept picturing Tom Cruise with that fake overly wide smile, but for the most part I thought he was sweet. (I loved that he wore a fedora with his suits!) I also liked the history of Elliot, particularly with Willy.
Now, to break it down a little more, it was the pairing of Elliot and Lennox that felt slightly bland. The sex was hot, the chemistry and romance was only okay. It wasn’t horrible, because I’ve read horrible. It just wasn’t amazing. It was fine, okay, decent. They did have a good amount of cute banter, but I don’t think their actually relationship will stick with me. Lennox alone might stick with me, same with Elliot. Them together, probably not.
I was also bothered that all this time was spent talking about Willy, and about her fast connection to Elliot. (2 weeks at a rehab facility and she’s deeding him her house after her death, intriguing!) We were introduced to a lot of information about their friendship, and it was interesting. Then, it was forgotten about. It became irrelevant, in which case why was it included at all. Willy could have just as easily been an eccentric aunt of Elliots that left him her house. If it wasn’t going to matter it should have been on the chopping block.
So, I guess the bottom line is that I loved half of the story and was disappointed by half, which is why this book only gets 3 stars.
Thank you to Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more