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review 2017-10-05 01:01
Switched
Just One of the Boys - Leah and Kate Rooper

Alice AKA "Al" and her twin brother try out for a local hockey team after moving to Chicago.  She wants on this team so bad she will literally do anything.  There she meets Hayden. She is immediately attracted and the sparks fly between them anytime they meet.

 

Hayden does not want to be interested in his teammates sister.  This is typically taboo behavior among hockey players.  He just cannot help how he feels anytime she his near.

 

This is an original story with an unusual twist.  Surprises are inside!  I love the characters banter and the heat between the MC's nearly leapt off the pages.  I devoured every page and then wished there were more.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and the publishers.

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review 2017-09-03 21:00
A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards #9)
A Wizard of Mars - Diane Duane

It was never going to be easy to follow up Wizards at War, so I can cut Duane some slack for the unevenness of this book. It takes a long time for the central conflict to show up, and then the climax is a bit rushed. The expanding role of Carmela into this world felt forced and she nearly veers into Mary Sue territory. The whole thing with Nita and Kit maybe starting to have feelings for each other didn't exactly come out of nowhere but since they've been kept apart for most of the previous few books, it felt unearned. There was a great deal of telling versus showing when it comes to their friendship. Plus the fact of them not talking and comparing notes as a way to get all this stuff to happen on Mars in the first place just didn't feel authentic if they're supposed to be such tight friends. 

 

Still, even if this wasn't up to her usual standards, it still has all the things that have made Duane's other books in this series such good reads: imaginative settings, lush descriptions, personal conflict and stakes, and more background into a newly discovered alien race packed into a couple of hundred pages than most tv shows can manage over their entire runtimes. She makes the Shamask-Eilit real, and the use of the LP here is certainly unlike any we've seen in the previous books too, which is something I've been asking for for awhile.

 

This is far from my favorite, but once things started picking up, it made up for the somewhat slow and uneven beginning. 

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review 2017-08-29 03:30
Openly Straight (Openly Straight #1) (Audiobook)
Openly Straight - Bill Konigsberg

Rafe is openly gay, has supportive parents (a little too supportive), a fairly inclusive community (a little too inclusive) and a great life. So what does he do when he realizes that his entire life has become about him being gay and nothing else? He goes to boarding school clear across the country and drops all labels that define him. 

 

This was a fun book, and often funny. The supporting cast were great, especially Alfie and Toby. It was interesting to see Rafe navigate his way through his no-labels experiment and realize that whether you use them or not, they still define you and to deny them is to deny yourself. He makes a lot of mistakes, including some big ones with his bromance bestie Ben, but he learns a lot about himself and life along the way. 

 

The narrator did a decent job. He got Rafe down perfectly and did a good job with the main supporting cast. There could've been more variation in the voices he used for the other characters, especially the girls. But he knew when to keep it light and when to get more introspective without getting schmaltzy. 

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review 2017-07-10 06:10
Connected
Tied Up In You - Erin Fletcher

This is book #2, in the All Laced Up series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this great series in order.

 

Malina and Luke AKA Jackson, have been best friends a long time.  They used to do everything together.  Lately, school and other commitments have kept them further apart.  So when they do spend time together, they seem to fight a lot.

 

Jackson knows he should not be feeling attracted and hot over his best friend, but he cannot seem to put aside his feelings.  When they go on a double date, jealousy gets the better of him and he almost self destructs!

 

There was so much to love about this story, where do I start?  The characters were amazing.  They were real, flawed, and felt all the feels.  The banter was so much fun.  I laughed out loud, I cried, I just basically enjoyed this novel right to the very last page!  I give this book a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers, in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2017-07-10 06:05
Burned
Artificial Sweethearts (North Pole, Minnesota) - Julie Hammerle

Tinka & Sam are neighbors with a common cause.  They are sick of others trying to set them up with people completely unfit for them.  They mean well, but really, who can choose but you for a significant other?

 

Sam is interested right away.  Only he has virtually no experience with which to entice Tinka to be his.  So he goes along with the scheme he unwittingly started out of desperation.  Along the way, they start to feel more real.  If only they could both be on the same page.....

 

This book was seriously what we call a slow burn.  I was really turned off by how shallow and petty most of the characters were.  I was about to put the book down - when, would you believe, it started back the other way.  I felt every feel with this story and at the end was never so happy to get my HEA.  At least I think I got one.  Anyway, I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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