Joe is not a Joseph. In fact, Joe Knowe is not a male at all. Nor is she a Josephine, a Mary Jo, or a Joanna. What she is, is a special girl with a spJoe is not a Joseph. In fact, Joe Knowe is not a male at all. Nor is she a Josephine, a Mary Jo, or a Joanna. What she is, is a special girl with a special talent that is both a blessing and a curse.
What first grabbed my attention about Joe is that like me, Joe has a stutter. Though hers is much more pronounced, it helped me related to her sis a character. It seems that characters with pronounced flaws are easier for me to relate to, as they seem much more real. It was nice to see an author understand the frustration of someone who stutters who has an important message, and be able to convey it to others who don't.
I'm a big fan of using multiple character viewpoints to tell a story, but I have very mixed feelings about how it was done in this book. With so many characters, it can be hard to distinguish the characters from one another or to figure out who is telling which chapter. Gordon does a great job with listing exactly who is narrating at the beginning of each chapter. It took a lot of confusion out of reading. However there were a few characters you didn't hear much from, and it was easy to forgot about their story lines. Overall, I think Gordon did a great job creating memorable characters, and establishing the importance of characters that you didn't know much about.
There were a few things that made Joe a bit tricky to read. First was trying to get through the stuttering. Like I said, I suffer from what I think of as a sometimes-stutter. And while it can be hard to speak at times, there is no stutter in my thoughts. While Gordon had to be able to depict Joe's stutter, it made her dialogue incredibly hard to read. Another thing that made it hard to read was where Gordon would interject the characters thoughts to complete a sentence, which would then be completed in another way on the next line. I found myself re-reading lines quite a few times, though every time the sentence took on a whole new meaning.
As my TBR pile begins to dwindle, I will definitely find myself reading the sequel to this book. I really enjoyed Joe. It had great characters, really got you involved in the story, and had a clear (and engaging) climax to it. I am giving Joe five stars, and I encourage my readers to check it out. You will not be disappointed. ...more
Anna's engaged, which is great news to everyone except her best friend Robin, who has been pining for her for years. How will his attempts to sabotageAnna's engaged, which is great news to everyone except her best friend Robin, who has been pining for her for years. How will his attempts to sabotage effect his and Anna's friendship?
This was a quick read for me, but it was a fun one too. It reminded me of how horrible things could go in wedding planning. Oddly enough, right now I am helping plan a small destination wedding for my sister, so this book did hit home a bit. Luckily, my sister's future mother-in-law is nowhere near as crazy and domineering as Doug's mother is.
Mia Epsilon really did a great job with this novel. It was funny, quirky, and pulled at your heartstrings. There was plenty of romance, but the characters didn't just float through the story. I thought that the backstory of Anna and Robin was particularly great. The thought of a friend so great that they not only stayed with you all through college but actually got a teaching job at the same school, in the same hall as you? I wish Epsilon were writing my life story.
While it was a great book, I did have two small issues with Wedding Belle Blues. The first is that while the circumstances of Anna and Robin's meeting put a smile on my face, it's a bit hard to believe. The other problem I had is that the book was entirely too short. I would have loved it more if there were more to the story, more drama leading up to a bigger climax (though Epsilon definitely nailed the climax).
This was a great book, it really was. I enjoyed reading it and simply wished there had been more to read. I recommend this to anyone who likes "chick lit" or anyone looking for a quick summer read. I am excited to see what else Mia Epsilon has to offer, because I definitely enjoyed this one. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book in order for me to provide you, my lovely readers, with my 100% honest views and opinions....more
Typically when I do a review, I give out both the good and the bad feedback. Sometimes there are characters that just make me cringe. Sometimes authorTypically when I do a review, I give out both the good and the bad feedback. Sometimes there are characters that just make me cringe. Sometimes authors try to speed along the character development and end up with characters who are simply lacking. Sometimes they try to speed the plot along too much and just make the entire story unbelievable. This time, as I wrote out my pro and con list, I realized that as hard as I tried, I couldn't think of any cons.
Bateman has created the ultimate relatable character. Laney is a 17-year-old girl who recently graduated high school. Though she's gone through great changes in the recent year, she has always been a typical teenager. She was always carefree, enjoying her life and making her own choices (even if they weren't always the best.) Recently, she's started doubting her plans for the rest of her life and has decided to spend the summer with her father and best friends trying to figure out what comes next. I feel like I've just described my early adult life.
The refreshing thing about this book is that Bateman doesn't put Laney on a pedestal or try to hide her flaws. Laney and her friends make the same stupid choices we all did as teens, and just like us, they don't know when to ask for help. I think that this is the part that resonated most with me. It seems like every teen has a time in their life where they really should ask for help but just don't know who to ask or how. Bateman has managed to create a character that could easily be 90% of us.
I'm undecided about who to recommend this book to. I have worked with high schoolers for a few years, and though there is a lot to this story that would be appropriate for them, there are other parts that I would find questionable. As a teen reader, I think that I would have fallen in love with this book. As a parent, I would cringe if my daughter read this book. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to find a relatable character, but caution readers that there are adult themes addressed in this book....more
A demon and an angel walk into a highschool. Sounds like the beginning if a corny joke. In fact, it's one of many strange events in The Book of Bart.A demon and an angel walk into a highschool. Sounds like the beginning if a corny joke. In fact, it's one of many strange events in The Book of Bart. The whole story revolves around a demon, Bart, who is working with an angel named Samantha and a Templar determined to kill him, but only after he helps complete the mission. Ryan Hill has written a winner with this one.
First things first: I hate the cover of this book. The image of Bart on the cover was borderline haunting and definitely bothersome. It even shows up at the beginning of every chapter. I'm typically one of those no-good scoundrels who judges books by the cover, but I'm definitely glad I have this book a try.
I like to think that the Book of Bart is written in the same style I tend to write. It's full of sarcasm with characters that tend to pick at each other. Hill manages to find the humor in every situation, which unfortunately means that poor Bart goes through an awful lot of nice suits through the story. I liked how he didn't focus in on the small details, which would make the book rather violent, but instead focused on the big picture. His style keeps the reader focused on the main plot and doesn't let them get tied up in those small details.
The only downside to this novel is that the plot takes so many twists and turns it gets a little confusing. There were a few times when I would have to re-read earlier pages in order to understand what is going on in the later pages. I feel like this is a story I would need to read twice to fully comprehend everything that was going on, but luckily I was able to make it to the end with some idea of what was going on.
The Book of Bart is being marketed as a young adult book, though I wouldn't suggest it be added to the high school library where I work. There is a lot talk of drinking and sex involved, as well as a chain-smoking demon main character. I highly encourage people who like stories that are out of the ordinary to read this story. If you are reading about a demon who was kicked out of heaven, you can pretty much assume that there will be some debauchery. This book was a great read, go check it out....more
This book is way different that most I've read. Different in a good way. Marc's story isn't told in a linear fashion, but rather through a series of fThis book is way different that most I've read. Different in a good way. Marc's story isn't told in a linear fashion, but rather through a series of flashbacks. We start and end at the end of his story, and the middle is dedicated to everything that led up to that point. It actually reminded me an awful lot of the novel We Need to Talk About Kevin (which I highly recommend if you haven't read!) which is also told in past tense as a recollection of events. Or even like Memento (a favorite movie of mine.) My point is that the format definitely kept me interested, since the book opens with the ending. I've decided that if someone was to draw a timeline of this book, it would need to be drawn by someone who builds roller coasters.
This book was translated from Dutch and for the most part takes place overseas. Unlike other translated books I've read, there wasn't a lot of foreign words that were difficult for me to read. I had worried about that when I realized it was originally in Dutch but it was not an issue at all.
One of the most interesting things was how Marc's thought process worked. It reminded me a lot of my own. While Koch would be writing about an event Marc was remembering, he would interweave other events and memories, including other experiences that he felt were similar. It made the scenes play like a movie in my head, and kept me engaged.
It seems like recently, all of the books I have read included an assault on a young woman. This book is no different. And though Koch made it a major part of the storyline, I felt like it wasn't dealt with properly by the characters. In fact, I feel like the victim was wronged twice by the lack of justice she was given. I did like how Koch dealt with the aftermath of the attack and showed how the life of the victim was effected.
Overall, I found Summer House with Swimming Pool to be a very engaging and different read. I especially enjoyed the format and felt it was a refreshing change of pace. I give this book five stars and would recommend it to anyone who might be getting burnt out on reading. ...more
Adorned by Georgeann Swiger is an incredibly engaging book. Personally, I think it was too short. I felt like from the moment I picked it up, time fleAdorned by Georgeann Swiger is an incredibly engaging book. Personally, I think it was too short. I felt like from the moment I picked it up, time flew by and it was over in a flash. It was really entertaining and a very fun read. I really liked the characters used, especially Eli (who I think any reader will enjoy.) The story was very complex and occasionally left you stumped, but all was answered through the course of the book.
While you might be thinking that any story about angels can’t be relatable at all, trust me on this one: it is. A teenage girl is protected by (someone who looks and acts like a) teenage boy, who has to protect her from the torment and bullying of another teenage boy. Though the main story is about angels, it’s also about high school life and the struggles everyone goes through.
I’ve become quite an avid horror novel reader, but the last thing I was expecting in a young adult novel about angels with a high level of gore. It’s definitely there. I was shocked at how gory the story was, but mostly I was shocked because Swiger makes the readers become attached to all of the characters before stuff hits the fan. I didn’t mind it as I’m growing accustomed to it, but I can imagine that teenage Me would have been sick to her stomach reading about it all. I don’t know that it had a place in young adult fiction, but it is there and there is no escaping it.
There is one scene which really bothered me. Anya has learned a method to take away her pain from Micah, who was simply trying to help protect her from her constant headaches. But the “spell” used leaves her in an almost drugged-out state where she is completely incoherent and definitely not herself. While she was acting drunk, another character assaults her. I’m getting tired of reading about girls being taken advantage of in stories, and feel like male characters are being allowed to do so. What exactly is forgiving your assailant or keeping your mouth shut going to teach our girls? I wish authors would consider this before they choose what actions will be taken against the assailants, because all they are doing is teaching young people (females and males as well) to be victims.
I really enjoyed this story, and after reading the summary of book two of the series, I’m really excited about it as well. I would have given the book five stars for an amazing story, but felt a bit offended by how certain events unfolded. I would recommend this to any fantasy or paranormal fan, but teens especially should be cautious if they are sensitive to gore. ...more
I have major mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, I loved it. However, there was one major, MAJOR flaw with it that nearly ruins the entI have major mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, I loved it. However, there was one major, MAJOR flaw with it that nearly ruins the entire thing for me. However, let me talk about the positives first.
I’m really happy that this book wasn’t a young adult novel. Don’t get me wrong, I love young adult fiction. But seeing more adult elements to a book dealing with teenagers was a refreshing change. I also loved how in depth Bayliss explained her characters. They were all very complex characters, but not complex enough to throw you off or confuse you. Though they were complex, they were very unique and distinct characters which were developed very well.
I also really liked how in-depth Bayliss was about explaining the magic and the use of it. For her, it wasn’t enough to simply say “then this was done.” There was a full explanation of some of the bigger uses of magic, including why, how, and where it was done. I’ve read many paranormal books that leave you guessing about how or why things were done, so it was great to get all of the details. It let me truly understand the characters’ actions.
The part that really bothered me was dealing with an assault that happened. I cannot give too many details about it without ruining the story, but let me just say that it was not dealt with in a real-life manner. As a victim of a similar type of assault, I was disgusted with how it was brushed aside and the assailant was not brought to justice. However, I will say that this character had a key role in another aspect of the story. I’m hoping that in the next book of the series, this character will get what they deserve and the victim of the assault will get their justice.
Destruction was engaging from the very first page to the very last. I would recommend it to any mature paranormal reader, though some of the more adult scenes may be too heavy for younger readers who may otherwise be interested in this book. I enjoyed this book, but must say that certain things must be addressed in the second book for this reader to continue the series. ...more