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review 2018-02-24 23:50
ARC Review: New Heights by Quinn Anderson
New Heights - Quinn Anderson

Insta-love done right, this is.

James is traveling home from NYC to Charleston, SC, after attending a friend's wedding. Mika, pronounced Mee-kuh, is heading the same way as part of work. Except, they don't initially know this.

The meet-cute happens when both of them need a power outlet at the airport after their respective flights are delayed. James is hogging the outlet, and Mika is irritated. Then Mika hogs the outlet and James is outraged. 

It's difficult to flesh out your characters in what amounts to a novella, but the author succeeded in weaving plenty of background info for both James and Mika into the plot. It's also admirable how well this book worked for me, considering that most of this novel takes place in an airport - there's not a potential for change of scenery, and you're somewhat limited in what you can get your characters into. 

The characters had immediate chemistry, and none of it felt forced. The attraction burns brightly from the start, despite James' prank (that was so funny) and Mika snagging the outlet when James isn't looking. They have a rough start, for sure, but ultimately, they both call a truce, give in to the attraction, and realize that there might just be something there. 

I liked this a lot. It's a quick and easy read, and it just flows and flows, and before you can blink, they're in the family bathroom doing not-so-family-friendly things. Which, as fiery as the attraction was, isn't really a surprise.

The sweet epilogue just sealed the deal on this book - that was fabulous.

Recommended for when you need a little pick-me-up for a long lunch break or some such. This was a lot of fun to read.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-02-24 23:42
Tin Men by Mike Knowles
Tin Men: A Crime Novel - Mike Knowles Tin Men: A Crime Novel - Mike Knowles

A big thanks to ECW Press and NetGalley who provided this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

 

This is a dark, crime-fiction novel set in Hamilton, Ontario that tells the story of three morally ambiguous cops and the murder that binds them together.  Woody is the most likeable of the trio who turns his anger at the injustice of the world in on himself.  Damaged, likely from his time in the military, Oswald turns his anger outward and uses vigilante justice to punish criminals at every opportunity.  Dennis, brought up by a single parent father who was over-bearing, misogynistic and critical of his more sensitive son, is constantly out to prove himself to his fellow cops and deludes himself into believing that the only reason he isn’t liked is because he is so good at his job.

 

Overall, a pretty unlikeable team.  What makes this book interesting however is the subtle connection that each of them has to the murder victim, a fellow officer who was 8 months pregnant at the time of her death.

 

As a Canadian, I also love stories that are set in Canada so I wish that the story spent a little more time providing more details about the surrounding city as the mystery played out.  Hamilton is an interesting city, the ninth largest in Canada and the producer of sixty percent of Canada’s steel.  Canada’s version of “steel town" has been the focus of much redevelopment in the recent past with new building in the downtown core generating an interesting and vibrant mix of artistic and blue collar.

 

The story was fast-paced, the writing good and as I note above, the mystery kept me engaged.  The ending felt a bit rushed to me and while the characters were difficult to like, I cared enough about them to want to know “what happens next” with each of them.

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review 2018-02-24 23:06
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
Freedom Summer - Deborah Wiles,Jerome Lagarrigue

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles is a beautiful story of friendship between John Henry (a young black boy) and Joe (a young white boy) in the 1960s. The two boys spend their entire summer together, going on adventures and making unforgettable memories. As the boys spend time together, Joe begins to notice all of the things John Henry can't do and all of the places he is not allowed into simply because of this skin color. But despite this, the boys become close friends and embrace each other's differences. This book has a great variety of vocabulary that readers can learn from and excellent illustrations that paint an accurate picture of the South during the 1960s. 

 

I would use this book during a Social Studies lesson and ask students to compare and contrast John Henry's and Joe's lives before and after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Using historical facts learned in previous lessons and the book, I would ask them to compare/contrast what they could and could not do and what their daily life would look like. What changed? What stayed the same? They would write their response in a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation that they could share in class. 

Lexile Measure: AD460L

 
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review 2018-02-24 22:56
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) by Brooklyn Ann
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) - Brooklyn Museum

This is the fifth book in the Hearts of Metal series but I promise it can definitely be read as a standalone. I know this because I’ve only read the previous book yet I never felt lost. 
I love how the author was able to weave so many characters into one book without making it feel convoluted. All of them felt true to their nature, including “slutty” Cliff, who can still be a jerk at times but now that we start seeing things from his POV it’s impossible not to have feelings for the guy. Christine’s independent spirit causes more trouble than not but even so she was a lovable character because it was not mischief what drove her but an honest will to live her own life. 

I felt this book centered more around the dynamics of the band’s members and their personal struggles, but even so it did not lack in the romance department. Christine and Cliff’s relationship may take a backseat at times but it’s always present throughout the book. Their emotions are all palpable and when they were together it was all but fire on the pages! The mix of drama and funny, laugh-out-loud moments made this book pretty enjoyable. And the fact that we get to visit with all of the other bands, including Rage of Angels (from the Bride of Prophecies series) makes it a memorable one as well. In short, I think this story is the perfect tease because if anyone picks this one up before the previous books in the series will want to get them all and start reading them asap. 

***I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2018-02-24 16:18
Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Written In Red - Anne Bishop

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the earth and whose prey are humans.

 

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

 

Shape-shifter SImon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg a job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide whether she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

 

I had this book sitting on my shelve forever along with the three next books. I just never got around it. So now that I finally have I think I’m totally hooked on the series, well based on the first book. I loved pretty much everything about it. The fantastic world building, the characters, the writing, the story that is different than what I read before alongh with the plot twists.

While the overall tone is fairly dark, with humans being the prey and could end up as a meal anytime for the Others at any time, we still get plenty of humor and heartbreaking and warming moments. We also get plenty of action and suspense along the way as we get to know the world of the Others. I loved that no matter how far we get they still remain a threat t  humans, no matter how much the deal with them and they. If not maybe a little bit more the more we get into it.

I went blind into the book and I really enjoyed that not knowing much and discovering this world and characters as I went along.

I loved all the characters, the good, the bad and the ugly . I love that it is very clear early on who and or what the villains are.

I really enjoyed Meg, while she is a bit naïve but that is part of the story and she is supposed to be, I love her will. She learns fast and also has a way to sneak into your heart. She is strong and will fight for what she believes in is right no matter the cost to her. I loved learning with her and I also loved how she found a way to work with the others. Overall I can just keep going how much I enjoyed Meg, even with all her flaws if not even more so. I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Sam.I loved Sam but his story also broke my heart a bit. But again I loved learning and coming back from trauma with him. I cant say too much without giving anything away so I just leave it as is and say I love the whole dam storyline, the good and bad.

Simon, ugh … I did really like him but there were a few times that I really didn’t and just couldn’t make up my mind about him. Overall I really enjoyed him and his internal struggle about Meg or really any human but mostly Meg. He is also someone I can’t wait to read more about.

The different clans ,the Crows, Owls, Wolfs, Bears and so on, is also something I enjoyed. They all brought something new and different  to the story and while all are different they all have a common enemy , the humans.  

Tess, was also one of my favorite characters and it was made clear early in that she is something completely different and we learn more and more throughout the book and get some hints on what or who she might be. I just really enjoyed her charterers arc.

While not Other , the elementals were a huge part and I reckon will be a huge part of the story arc . I’m really looking forward t read more and get to know some more of them as we move along in the series.

The Ponies were so much fun, unlike Asia. Ugh I really did not like that weasel and I kept waiting for a special at the butchers to show up.

We of course meet a few humans along the way besides Meg, obviously some good some are not so much. But I enjoyed getting the POV and their thoughts about the Others.

Overall I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book and if you have not read it yet and like Urban fantasy I highly recommend it.

I rate it 4 ½ -5 ★

 

Image result for werewolf howling gif

 

 

 

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