The Hating Game is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance, which is an unusual pick for me, but oneOriginally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
The Hating Game is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance, which is an unusual pick for me, but one I do not regret since it is one of the best contemporary romance novels that I've read in a long time. If you're in the mood for something light yet smart and sassy, The Hatting Game is a must read.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together. Both are assistants to two CEOs of a publishing house that has merged and it was not an amicable amalgamation. For Lucy and Josh it was pretty much hate at first sight. Lucy tried to befriend Josh and when that didn't work, the hating game was born. When you sit across from your mortal enemy each and every day it's quite natural to turn your mutual animosity into a childish game. However, things start to change when both Lucy and Josh are considered for a new position within the company. The best person might win, but it just might be at the expense of a newfound romance.
What to say about The Hating Game? There is so much to love about this book. It's funny (the exchanges between Josh and Lucy are fab), it's romantic, and it's set in a publishing house. I can't do the book justice on how much fun I had reading this book. I need more books like this one in my life. A big part of what makes The Hating Game a fun read is the character of Lucy. Since the book is narrated exclusively in Lucy's perspective she needed to be a strong yet perceptive character, and this is exactly the kind of character that she is. Lucy's quirky and emotional, which is the exact opposite to the seemingly robotic Josh. Soon both readers and Lucy come to realize that there's more to Josh than initially apparent. Josh might not be a ray of sunshine but he's there for Lucy when it counts.
What strikes me as odd now that I've finished the book is the fact that there wasn't much happening in the book. Other than the competition for the job, there isn't a lot of plot driving the momentum of the book forward. And that's okay. The author really focuses on the character of Lucy and her interactions with Josh and it is their relationship, in it's ups and downs, that keeps the book flowing. I was never bored while reading The Hating Game and I loved that the author really focused on how and why Lucy's perspective of Josh changed throughout the book. The Hating Game is a more subtle romance than most, mainly because readers have no real idea of what's going on in Josh's head, but instead of coming across as lacking, I found the romance to be rather fleshed out. This is exactly the kind of romance that I want to read about.
If you're looking for a lighthearted and funny read look no further than The Hating Game. While the premise might sound childish, the content is anything but. Sally Thorne will be an author to watch for....more
The Autumn Republic is the final book in McClellan's Powder Mage trilogy. Having enjoyed both The Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign, I was pretty confident that I would also enjoy The Autumn Republic. In the final book of the trilogy the author ties up loose ends and satisfactorily concludes the trilogy. However, I have since learned that there will be a new trilogy set in the same world with Vlora as one of it's main characters. Yay! So, I can also say that The Autumn Republic leaves enough room for this upcoming trilogy.
The Autumn Republic picks up right after the events in The Crimson Campaign. Tamas returns to the front after being presumed dead and gets right down to work fighting the Kez. While Tamas would prefer to search for his son, Taniel, who has also been presumed dead after capture, Tamas has to deal with the betrayal of some of his loyal soldiers. Taniel who is incidentally not dead makes his way to his father to rejoin the battle only to be thrown for a loop when his companion, Po, is kidnapped since she has control of a god. Those pesky gods are causing trouble again. Meanwhile Nila is learning to control her powerful skills as a Privileged and Adamat finds himself once again embroiled in investigative work for Tamas, although he's hoping that this time his family doesn't suffer for it.
Like the previous books, there is a lot happening in The Autumn Republic and the author keeps the momentum moving in all of these plot lines. And while I certainly have my favourite characters that I want to read about, all of the points of view keep the reader engaged. For such a large book, The Autumn Republic is a quick read because of the fast-paced nature of the narrative. There's lots of action, magic, fighting, and intrigue, but there's also a great emphasis to the development of the main characters, which is what drew me to the trilogy in the first place. In the case of The Autumn Republic, readers are treated to a greater presence of Nila in comparison to the first two books, I really liked that she was given a greater focus in this book. Nila was a wonderful character and her interactions with Bo gave this heavier book some much needed levity. Nila and Bo, my new favourites.
If you've enjoyed the previous books in the trilogy there is no doubt in my mind that you will like the final installment. The Autumn Republic is everything that I wanted the final book to be. The only bad thing about the book is that it had to end and now I'm forced to wait for the next trilogy to begin (yes, I'm hoping for some cameos from my favourite characters)....more
Sweet is a weirdly awesome horror tale. It's both funny and unrealistic, and the author owns that campy tonOriginally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
Sweet is a weirdly awesome horror tale. It's both funny and unrealistic, and the author owns that campy tone, making for an all around enjoyable read.
Over the course of six days a celebrity-filled cruise will embark on a televised experiment. Passengers on the cruise ship have been invited to try Solu, a new dietary supplement that results in dramatic weight loss. With Solu you can eat whatever you want and still lose those persistent pounds. Naturally, this drug is not quite what it claims to be, and soon the addicted passengers are ready to do anything for their next fix. Among these passengers we have two very different teens, Laurel and Tom, both of whom do not take Solu. Laurel was convinced to go on the cruise because her best friend, Viv, wanted her to join in. While Laurel is a little overweight she's content with herself and isn't unhappy when seasickness forces her to miss out on Solu, especially when she starts to see the side affects. Tom is a former child actor turned famous TV host. Tom is capturing the journey of Solu for those back home. Due to a supportive personal trainer, Tom would rather continue on with his own fitness and eating regime that try Solu. So, now we have two teens that are in the fight of their lives while they battle the zombie-like passengers who are addicted to losing weight!
Okay, yes, the premise to this book is ridiculous, but the author carries it off with such aplomb that I couldn't stop reading. There are so many moments when the author pokes fun at pop culture, those who devour it, and those who live in it. Those nudge-nudge moments are fantastic and I think once you start picking up on those, Sweet becomes a much more serious read than you would initially think. Sweet is less about a horrific cruise and terrible nutritional supplements, and more a commentary on how people see themselves and how pop culture influences that perspective. So there is a serious side to Sweet, but mainly I liked it because it was funny and ironic and had a cute romance. So sue me, I'm not always up for serious deep thinking when reading.
The romance in Sweet is predictably between Laurel and Tom. Their relationship is surprisingly adorable and filled with moments of seriousness as they meditate on appearance and fame amidst the killing rampages. Laurel is bowled over by Tom's handsomeness, but is less impressed with his need to play to the camera. Tom, for his part, is enamored of Laurel's honesty and his persistent awkward courtship is adorable. Considering the ironic ridiculousness of the rest of the book, I was expecting the same of the romance, and I'm happy to say that this wasn't the case. The romance was sweet and lovely and offered a more serious element to the otherwise campy tale.
Sweet is a strange YA novel, but a really fun one. If you like irony and a campy tone, Sweet is a must read....more
Monstress is the first volume in a a historical fantasy graphic novel series, and it's amazing. Like, reallOriginally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
Monstress is the first volume in a a historical fantasy graphic novel series, and it's amazing. Like, really amazing. The artwork is gorgeous and the storyline is compelling and mysterious. Fantasy fans out there will rejoice at the sheer level of complexity of the world that has been created in this graphic novel.
is a teenage girl who's out for revenge. She orchestrates her own capture in order to infiltrate those she believes to have the information that she needs. Something has happened to Maika and she finds herself changing, becoming more violent as she's influenced by an unknown force. Maika struggles to control the monster that is living inside her, but it's a constant struggle and at this point Maika doesn't have much control over the mysterious creature the compels her to do things she wouldn't otherwise. The world that Liu creates in Monstress is fantastic. A war has ended, but the division that brought that war still exists. It's a division between those that naturally have magic and those that do not. Because of this division there's a constant tension between the two sides, and that could break at any time and erupt into war. Maika is at the centre of that tension because it's clear that she has something that both sides want. Maika's strange abilities set her apart from both sides and it's clear that that inner monster that she's providing a home to could change the tide for either side. The duality of Maika's nature ratchets up the suspense in Monstress since it's anyone's guess whether Maika will use her powers for good or ill. And, readers don't exactly know who the good guys are. I personally have my doubts about certain individuals.
While I did enjoy the storyline and the character of Maika, what really makes this such an impressive graphic novel is the artwork by Sana Takeda. Seriously, the art is beautiful, dark, and expressive. All the themes that the author is trying to get across is emphasized by the art; they are a perfect accompaniment to the story, enhancing the tension and meaning of the author's words. The art alone will have me coming back for volume two.
The last thing that I'll mention is that the novel offers some fantastic secondary characters. When Maika breaks herself out of lockup she rescues a fox faced girl who provides a sharp contrast to the jaded Maika. This little fox is an innocent, and her capacity to care for Maika is lovely. Then there's the two tailed cat, who is snarkily funny. This cat offers unsolicited advice to Maika, and Maika's attitude towards the cat is downright hilarious. The moments of humour in Monstress are unexpected, but add an interesting texture to the book.
Monstress offers readers a rich reading experience, introducing readers to a mysterious heroine and a complex world. There are so many unanswered questions by the end of volume one, it's impossible not to want to more. Monstress is the perfect read for fantasy graphic novel fans....more
The Duke of Daring is Darcy Burke's most recent historical romance and it features a cross-dressing heroineOriginally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
The Duke of Daring is Darcy Burke's most recent historical romance and it features a cross-dressing heroine who is prowling gambling dens in search of a fortune so that she and her grandmother can retire to Bath. What this heroine doesn't count on is having her disguise discovered. Let the romance games begin!
Our cross-dressing heroine is Miss Lucinda Parnell, a spinster who has failed at the Marriage Mart. With finances now strained for her and her grandmother Lucinda decides that she needs cash and she needs it now. Having learned games of chance from her father Lucinda's hit on one method to get rich quick; however, she doesn't count on Andrew Wentworth, the Earl of Dartford discovering that she is a woman or her own attraction to the man. Andrew, being the gentleman that he is, decides that Lucinda can't be entering disreputable gambling dens on her own and makes a deal with the lady to accompany her on her adventures. Naturally, this close contact leads to an attraction, and just as naturally, it leads both the hero and heroine forced to reconcile their desire for each other with their reluctance to enter into marriage.
For the most part, I enjoyed The Duke of Daring. It was a cute and quick read featuring a likeable hero and heroine. Neither Lucy or Andrew is looking for a relationship and I liked how these two eventually realized that their reluctance could be set aside in favour of a partnership. The interactions between both characters were great and I loved the witty sense of humour that could be found throughout the book. Despite everything that I liked about the book, I did think that something was missing. The conflict between Andrew and Lucy seemed a tad contrived and I found myself loosing a bit of interest at the halfway mark. Andrew and Lucy seemed to come to terms with their respective hang ups perhaps a touch too quickly considering how much they focused on them. So, while I still enjoyed the read, I did find it a bit forgettable after finishing the book.
The Duke of Daring is an entertaining historical romp that does what it's supposed to. While I personally found it lacking in substance, it is an entertaining read and will appeal to readers looking for a romance that is not overly complicated....more
I picked up Ms. Marvel on the recommendation from a friend. I'd also heard a fair bit of buzz about the serOriginally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
I picked up Ms. Marvel on the recommendation from a friend. I'd also heard a fair bit of buzz about the series due to it's diverse main character and relatable storyline.
Kamala Khan is your average Muslim teenager living in New Jersey. She's struggling to find her identity and dealing with family and friend stuff. But then, Kamala gets superpowers!
After a mysterious fog cloaks the city, Kamala finds that she can transform into Captain Marvel, but the shift into the blonde and booted superheroine is not exactly what Kamala imagined it would be. Kamala thought she would be just like everyone else, but of course, it doesn't work that way. Most of volume one is about Kamala discovering that who she is okay and it's also okay not to have all the answers right now. The whole identity issue is a huge part of volume one and it sends a powerful message to readers. Kamala is struggling with her family's expectations and how they conflict with her own ideas and quite frankly this is a universal experience during those oh-so-fun teen years. On top of the fabulous "accept yourself as you are" message, volume one also sets up the big bad: The Inventor. When Kamala's friend Bruno's brother gets into some dangerous stuff, it's Kamala to the rescue! Those superhero powers aren't that easy to master, so the big rescue doesn't exactly go according to plan. Kamala doesn't foil The Inventor in her first outing or her last, the ending leaves readers with the message that The Inventor is still out there and he's coming for Kamala.
Ms. Marvel is the start of what promises to be a engaging and fun comic series. Kamala is a funny and relatable character and the writing is smart and sassy. I haven't read many graphic novels, but I'm convinced that Ms. Marvel is one of the best....more