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review 2017-09-19 03:51
Infected: Lesser Evils (Infected #6)
Infected: Lesser Evils - Andrea Speed

I just can't seem to stay in love with this series, but I am at least saying in like with it. Once again, there are lots of things I really like here, mostly with the characterizations and the relationship building. Holden and Scott were especially a nice surprise. But, and this is a big but, Ms. Speed just can't seem to decided where to take this story. The overall arc is well done - Roan's continued evolution/downslide as a virus child and how the virus is changing/being changed by him and vice versa. Other than that though, there are a lot of things that are introduced and then just sort of get shoved aside, forgotten or rushed at the end so at least something's kind of resolved. 

 

Still, I'm glad I'm reading these after they've all been released, because that cliffhanger is just cruel. CRUEL I SAY! 

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review 2017-09-19 02:01
ARC Review: Saved (Breaking Free #1) by A.M. Arthur
Saved: Breaking Free #1: An Omegaverse Story - A.M. Arthur

I've never read an A/B/O book such as this one. My only exposure to Alpha/Beta/Omega is in shifter books, but this isn't a shifter book.

In this A/B/O universe, there are no shifters. There are no females. There are Alphas who are in charge, Betas who are barren but are allowed to hold jobs and adopt children (usually Beta and Omega children), and Omegas who are the lowest of the low and whose sole purpose, it seems, is to be mated to Alphas and be good little breeders.

Hmmm... that sounds familiar.

In this dystopian future of the United States, the Federal Government is no more, constitutional rights are a thing of the past, and the country is broken up into small provinces which all have their own rules and laws. 

We first meet Braun, an Omega, 20 and close to his first heat, upon his father's death. Now a ward of the state, since omegas are third-class citizens at best, unable to inherit, unable to make any personal choices, Braun is sent to a group home for orphaned omegas. Beaten regularly by his father, abused not just physically but mentally as well, told all his life that his sole purpose is to become some alpha-hole's breeding bitch, Braun is certain that alphas cannot be trusted and that happiness is not something he can expect at all. His own brother Kell is mated to a horrible Alpha, and Braun knows that Kell's lot in life is his future as well.

This was a difficult book to read, and it's just as difficult to write a coherent review without spoilers. I would advise any potential reader to heed the warnings in the blurb. Be prepared to RAGE at the injustices within. There were numerous times when I sat in my chair, my Nook gripped in my hands, and my eyes blinded with tears caused by helpless rage. 

Consent isn't required between an Alpha and his Omega. Domestic discipline is within the law. Omegas have no rights to speak of, and little protection from abuse. 

Yeah, I raged. A lot. 

The themes in this book are rather comparable to our current political climate, and there are many parallels that can be drawn between what happens in the book and what's happening in this world today. 

I liked that Braun, despite his circumstances, still had fight left in him. I liked that Tarek (the Alpha who helps Braun) was considerate and kind and patient. He took the time to win Braun's trust, something Braun didn't give easily, and he helped Braun as much as he could. He wasn't perfect, far from it, but he tried and tried to do the right thing by the young man in his care, no matter how hard Braun fought believing that an Alpha could be kind. 

I also quite liked the two Betas who take Braun in and conceal him, and who help him through his first heat. It wasn't easy reading to watch Braun go through that.

None of this book was easy reading, though there is reason for hope that things may start to change to make the lives of omegas a little easier. 

Kell's book is next. That will likely be even more difficult to get through.

Despite the dark themes inside, I would recommend this series. 



** I received a free copy of this book from Indigo Marketing & Design. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-09-19 00:40
As always all good things must come to an end...for now...
The Art of Breathing - Sean Crisden,T.J. Klune

'The Art of Breathing' is the final audio book available in this series...for now and while I have absolutely and unapologetically loved revisiting this collection of some of the most incredibly interesting and entertaining characters that I have encountered. Sadly for now I need to say good-bye to Bear, Otter, the Kid, Dom, Anna, Creed, their friends and the family they've made. But I have little doubt that I will drawn back to these wonderful stories and the characters they contain again at some future date because unlike the good dishes, books aren't something to be pulled out only on special occasions, they are something we can pull out to make the occasion special. 

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review 2017-09-19 00:24
And I'm still indulging myself...
Who We Are - Charlie David,T.J. Klune

'Who We Are' is the second book in T.J. Klune's 'Bear, Otter and the Kid' series and this one found me enjoying the narrations of Charlie David and while I did enjoy this book, I have to admit for I enjoyed Sean Crisden's narration in the first book just a teensy, tiny bit more but this is probably as much a subjective opinion as it is anything else. 

 

I Ioved this series when I read it the first time and listening to it again on audio has only reaffirmed that opinion so I'm off to enjoy the third and final book available on audio as I anticipate the release of 'The Long and Winding Road' on audio...one day...soon...hopefully!

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review 2017-09-18 23:16
Still as good as the first time...
Olive Juice - T.J. Klune

When I first read TJ Klune's book 'Olive Juice' this was my review...

 

How TJ Klune broke me in less than 100 pages...

So this is going to be a short review because I am definitely keeping it spoiler free. 'Olive Juice' starts off on a heartbreaking but definitely an elusive note. It's only as the reader continues to read that the reason for the heartache becomes revealed.

As my friend and fellow reviewer, Todd said:

"Mostly, this story was about when "THE MOST TERRIBLE THING IMAGINABLE" happens."

"Olive Juice" is a story filled with the heartache and despair of two men as they struggle to survive and get past having their world torn apart...to find a way past it, living with the aftermath and reshaping their lives to find a way back to each other.

There really is no happiness and light with this one but I can't imagine not reading it. The writing, in true TJ fashion, is both gripping and compelling and while I definitely felt emotionally wrung out at the end I was also left with the tiniest spark of hope that said 'It's ok, they'll be ok." and maybe that's not the HEA that we all love so much but sometimes the HEA that life gives us isn't tied up with a bow or covered in rainbows and sprinkles... sometimes the HEA that we get is having gone through the storm and having the strength to put ourselves back together...to keep trying.

Be brave read this, it's less than 100 pages (on my Kobo), it's heartbreaking and amazing. It'll leave you saying 'thank god it's not me' only don't let yourself be fooled because sadly it could be you, it could be any of us and that's why you need to read this story.

 

Nothings really changed for me on this one except maybe that I would say...

"Be brave, listen to this audio book, it's only 5 hrs and 12 minutes long and Derrick McClain has done a very commendable job of capturing the sea of emotion that it contains and once again I found myself experiencing David and Phillips pain and anguish as I relived it through David's memories and ultimately through his bittersweet reunion with Phillip as I was reminded once again that life can't always give us the ending that we want...just the one that is possible.

 

I'm usually more prepared when experiencing a story the second time around and it's more often than not harder to get as much of an emotional response from me but it happens occasionally and in the case of 'Olive Juice' there was just no holding it back. This story was as beautiful and heartbreaking and emotionally poignant the second time around on audio as it was the first time when I read the story with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking. 


*******************

An audio book of 'Olive Juice' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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