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review 2018-07-05 09:27
Review: Watching You
Watching You - Shannon Greenland (S. E. Green)

There is a lot to unravel about Viola's story and I hope to do it justice. We meet Viola as she is starting at a most prestigious school that she's worked tirelessly to attend. From the first interaction with Riel we know that there is a spark between them but it is quickly doused with cold water when Viola realizes Riel is her competition for the scholarship that allows her to attend the school.

 

As Viola settles in at her new school she has a strong sense of impostor syndrome. She hasn't lived the privileged life most of her classmates have and if they only knew where she came from she would never be accepted, or so she thinks. This particular piece of of the story is so important. The need to fit in, to feel like you belong, is so strong as you enter into adulthood. This is Viola's chance to change her life and she's willing to fight hard, study furiously, and try to ignore her budding feelings for a certain boy. 

 

I really loved falling in love with Riel. His character has so much depth and passion that it's impossible to ignore. Viola deserves a beautiful soul like Riel and their story was enthralling to read. Of course, as with most relationships, there are hurdles to overcome and trust to be earned, but I was rooting for them from the first meeting. 

 

My favorite part of suspense novels is trying to figure out who did it, before it's revealed in the story. I was not successful in this case, which makes me love this story even more. Viola's stalker was a mystery right up to the reveal. So hang on to your hats, cause you're in for a whirlwind. 

 

I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good coming of age story with a lot of heart, and a great build of suspense. 

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review 2018-06-28 18:23
Review: The Truth Hunters
The Truth Hunters - Emilia Zeeland

Hang on to your hats friends, this is a roller-coaster ride. If you're looking for a page turner, then look no further. The STAR Academy series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. The Truth Hunters is book 2 in the series and you'll want to read book 1 before starting it. 

 

We pick right back up with Yalena and her friends as they return to STAR Academy for year two. Lots has changed as they prepare for whatever it is the Fians are up to. Yalena struggles to find her new place since she lost her leadership role, but eventually finds her footing again. With a few new freshmen to make things interesting, we follow the same cast from last year through their trials and tribulations. Except this time, there is even more at stake. 

 

In true trilogy fashion, this book gets to the heart of the issues. There is so much information to uncover about Yalena's past, and trust me when I say it will leave you speechless. A roller-coaster of emotions is the only way to describe her story. You will want to keep reading till the last page and then you'll want more. 

 

In addition to a personal quest for answers, we learn a lot about the nuances of the space world and everything really comes to life. Zeeland does a wonderful job of bringing you into the moment and making you feel like part of the story. There is a threat from the Fians that can't be ignored, but understanding the history makes it even harder to cope. 

 

I wish book 3 was already out, but alas, we will have to wait for the next installment. Grab this fantastic sci-fi story now. 

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review 2018-06-11 18:11
Review: Meh
Origin - Dan Brown

I have been a fan of Dan Brown since The Da Vinci Code and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of his books up until this one. This particular story was interesting in challenging our relationship with technology and perhaps opening a dialogue about our future as a species. The characters and story line just felt a little meh for me. 

Part of the charm of Dan Brown's stories are that they all take place in real places, and this is no exception. Focused in Spain our hero, Robert Langdon once again finds himself caught in the middle of an ordeal, this time focused on a former student of his. To say Langdon's character wasn't really necessary seems cruel, but that's how I felt. His particular expertise didn't shine through and his character could have been replaced with almost anyone with a similar academic background. His inclusion in the scandal felt forced at times and simply ridiculous at other times. 

Vidal was an interesting character and I enjoyed her contributions to the story. She really carried the story for me. A strong, intellectual, beautiful woman with ties to the throne, what could possibly be wrong with her? It was a remarkable commentary on her relationship with the Prince and how that all came together in the end. 

All in all I didn't love this particular installment of the series. I think fans of Dan Brown and his character Robert Langdon will find this interesting. The actual "discovery" is quite dramatic and very interesting and I would love to chat about it in real life, but alas the plot just didn't fit for me this time

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review 2018-05-15 22:20
Review: Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
Ray Vs the Meaning of Life - Michael F. Stewart

Ray is a typical teenager just trying to get through high school and find something he enjoys. He spends most of his time playing video games by himself and crushing on a neighbor girl. Then his grandmother dies and everything gets turned upside down. Ray finds himself suddenly responsible for an entire trailer park and all that it entails.

I'm a big fan of coming of age stories and this one does not disappoint. What seventeen year old is ready to discuss the meaning of life? I certainly wasn't. Ray's search for understanding leads him on a hilarious and sometimes disgusting path towards enlightenment. The author does not shy away from the muck that is part of the daily grind of running a camp full of miners and misfits.

I have to say one of my favorite parts of the story was the pool iceberg. The simplest of problems can become overwhelming if we don't manage our expectations of them, including how long it takes for ice to melt once the weather warms up. The symbolism of this and Ray's interactions with Penny really warmed my heart.

There is a lot of depth to this story, family struggles, helping those in need, taking responsibility and of course growing up. Ray's family is an eclectic group of misfits who motivate him, intentionally and not, towards finding his meaning of life. You'll want to join in on this hilarious "spiritual" journey.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a fun coming of age story with a lot of heart.

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review 2018-04-23 20:31
Review: The Fireproof Girl
The Fireproof Girl (Sophie Shields Book 1) - Loretta Lost

Wow. Prepare yourself for a roller-coaster of emotions when you pick up this fabulous book. I could not put it down and you won't want to either. The alternating timelines and narrators make a smooth transition from story to story filling you in on the sorted past of Sophie and Cole.

 

There is so much to unravel from their bond and love for each other that I don't think I would ever be satisfied with the amount of stories about them. The raw emotional power of the writing and the intricate descriptions of the minute details bring this story to life in a beautifully tragic way. I found myself lost in the writing and feeling the same things that Sophie experiences on her quest for answers.

 

I highly recommend you grab this amazing story, a hot cup of coffee, and a comfy chair that you won't want to get up from. You'll want to finish this in one sitting.

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