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review 2017-11-22 23:39
I want an open road summer...
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

 

Book Title:  Open Road Summer 

Author:  Emery Lord

Genre:  YA | Contemporary Romance

Setting:  On the road across the USA

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  4.5/5

Pacing:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  4/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5: 2

Total: 4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

A super-cute YA romance/coming of age story.  Effortlessly readable, with characters that felt real and were likable.  A realistic look at a celebrities life from their side of the camera.  Seriously, It would suck to read about your supposed life on the front of a magazine cover at the grocery store…the price of fame, I guess… While the ending had a bit too much drama, especially when the book had stayed away from overdone drama most of the way through, I found this a refreshing read, and just what I needed.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yeah, I may do so soon, actually.

 

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review 2017-11-22 17:31
Lack of World Building Causes Problems in Defy the Stars
Defy the Stars - Claudia Gray

I think I should have known there would be a problem when the book just starts off with one of the characters (Noemi) going into why her planet (Genesis) is at war with the planet Earth. We hear about a fatal run they are gearing up to do, Noemi worries about her best friend, and only friend it seems, and then we segue into another character (Abel) who we find out is a mech (not human, a robot without a soul or some thing). 

 

I don't want to get into it too much cause I am ready to head home and eat my face off for Phase I of Thanksgiving 2017.

 

I just really didn't like this one much. We have Noemi and Abel eventually meet and they both go around realizing that they care about one another though Noemi knows it's impossible.

 

They also fly around to other planets and see what Earth has done to them and a resistance starting to form. I just felt like there was way too much happening here in book #1.

 

The writing was perfectly serviceable, I just think that things needed to be explained a lot more since the world building wasn't that great. I didn't understand a lot of things with the planets. Maybe in the next book Gray can include an illustration that shows all of the planets or something. Or a prologue that even describes how Earth started a war. 


The flow was off. The first 1/3 of the book just moved slowly. And then it dragged once Noemi got into trouble (no spoilers) and a deux ex machina showed up that made me roll my eyes. 

 

The ending also didn't work for me either. I think I was supposed to feel moved. I just don't think that we got a chance to know and even fall in like with either Abel or Noemi. 

 

I am confused about so much that I started to make a list. 

1. I still at the end do not even get why Earth started a war with Genesis.

 

2. I don't get how Noemi is considered human still and then it took me several chapters later that Genesis people left Earth behind to form their own colony (I think that's what happened). 

 

3. I also don't even get why Genesis thought yes let's send children off to do a fatal run and than go yes we care about lives. It was such a contradiction. I think that Gray was trying to work a little Ender's Game in here, and it just fell flat.

 

4. I really don't understand how Abel was made unique from the other mechs. I am supposed to buy he has a soul or some sort of empathy? I just think it was sloppy storytelling that didn't get a chance to resonate. 

 

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review 2017-11-22 17:18
Infected: Epitath (Infected #8)
Infected: Epitaph - Andrea Speed

I should've just skipped to the last chapter to see if Roan got to retire and live, or if he was killed by his own pigheaded stupidity. 

He gets to live. And just move up to Canada and buy property up there without having to worry about immigration laws. What?

(spoiler show)

 

I admit, I was burnt out with this series by this book, and I did actually skip a lot of the "we're so macho because x,y,z" paragraphs that the characters like to ruminate over again and again and again. Yeah, we all got it the first time. You don't have to keep rubbing it in. It's as if Ms. Speed is afraid the readers would somehow forget basic information if she doesn't constantly remind us about it every other page, or like we won't know we're supposed to be impressed if she doesn't tell us how impressive they are all the time. (I'm not impressed; I'm bored now.)

 

And for the last book, we didn't really get to see much of the supporting characters as I'd hoped we would, though we do get to see them. And there's this weird detour to see Roan's friend from his teens who he hasn't thought of in years and we only heard about in passing once. And why?

Just to find out Collin named his son after Roan? Big whoop. What was the point? That's page time that could've been used for the characters we already know and actually care about.

(spoiler show)

 

I don't know. I'm not sold on the shifter genre at this point. THIRDS went downhill mega fast and I gave up on that one after the third book (how are there already ten of those things?) and this one just sort of petered out. Ms. Speed relied on cliches and stereotypes for much of her world-building, we never got any definitive details about this cat virus that infected people, and Roan's transforming abilities reached critical mass of ridiculousness a couple of books back.

 

Like I said in my review for the previous book, much of this felt like it was treading water, and I can't help but feel this series should've ended two or three books ago. It might have helped if she'd followed the traditional case-per-book narrative device - there's a reason it's so successful - instead of jamming two, three or even four cases into one book, none of them getting much attention and many of them going unsolved. It's admirable to want to show that yes, sometimes cases don't get solved, and yes, detectives and investigators often have more than one case going at a time, but she never quite settled into a cohesive way to handle all this juggling. The end result is that it all feels kind of random, and if she'd cut out even half of the "we're so awesome and crazy" self-congratualatory nonsense, she'd have had a lot more page time to dedicate to other things.

 

And I still don't buy Roan and Dylan as a couple. *shrug* Even the Scott and Holden stuff was boring by this book. 

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text 2017-11-22 16:45
First Star I See Tonight By Susan Elizabeth Phillips $2.99 Fun!
First Star I See Tonight: A Novel (Chicago Stars) - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.

 

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.

 

Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”

 

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants of fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.

 

And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

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review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

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