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review 2015-10-28 01:53
Tangled Up In Tuesday: (Book 4 in the Page Turners Cozy Mystery Humorous Womens Fiction Romance Series) (A Page Turners Novel) - Jennie Marts

3 Stars!  #TangledupinTuesday  @JennieMarts

This was a charming little small town cozy mystery that was pretty entertaining. However, for me, there was a little too much romance, which is my fault, not the authors. It was labeled romance and I was too absorbed in the cover and missed that part. HA!

Nonetheless, after skipping those pages, I did find the story interesting and some of the characters pretty funny. Everyone needs a purse like Grandma. I think she has everything but the kitchen sink in there. She might even have that in there and it just wasn't mentioned. As I said, some of the characters were pretty funny to just down right quirky. I even got a few chuckles out of the story.

I'd like to thank the author and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. It was definitely an entertaining read.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-09-09 17:09
Book Review : The Mark Of Noba By GL Thomas
The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series) (Volume 1) - G.L. Tomas

 

The Mark Of Noba  By GL Thomas

 

 The Mark of Noba Cover

 

The Mark Of Noba By GL Thomas (Book #1 of The Sterling Wayfairer Series)

Cover by: Alice Bessoni

Available for purchase on Amazon

 

 

In preparation for a slightly long-winded review, I’ve opted to put all the main details at the top of this post instead of at bottom since this story and series has a lot of context to it. I also decided to include the full Goodreads synopsis instead of a short, piecey and inconclusive one below:

 

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction. Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra. If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive…

 

Reading gifs for blog post

 

I was lucky enough to have received my copy of The Mark of Noba through a giveaway from the authors of the book, GL Thomas. With out a doubt, anyone can sit down with this book and not realize they’ve been reading for six or seven hours without stopping. 0__0 I do not want this to turn into an essay or anything, but there were a lot of things that were so great about this book.

 

OVERALL:

 

The GL Thomas duo have fashioned a realistically believable, angsty yet pleasingly comical Young Adult/ Science Fiction story that takes place on an alternate Earth-like planet called Geo.

 

The authors were smart to not only give us First Person POV, but give us the story from both Tetra and Sterling’s POV so the reader is able to immerse themselves in the story from two different angles without any of the mystery or the story being blatantly obvious or ruined. In addition, the reader will not feel ridged or confided to feeling like they’re reading a YA fiction that’s just for boys or just for girls.

 

I thought it was funny that when I got to the back of the book, the writers ask the reader which team they were on, #TeamTetra or #TeamSterling, but as it goes back and forth between the two of them in the book I found that I couldn’t just choose one side. The writers do a great job at exploring each character individually as well as they do a unit.

Dutch & Johnny From Killjoys Tumblr site

 

Without giving too much away, I do not want to say that Tetra and Sterling end up as a couple, because they aren’t. It's just that while reading this book you get to see something so genuine; their relationship and connection is so much more than words. The two of them have this amazing bond {do you see what I did there? ;-) }

 

If you are the type who enjoys reading/watching a thing/a connection between two people grow, I guarantee you that The Mark of Noba is the book for you.

 

 

Moreover, it you are the type of reader who just enjoys reading about characters whose friends, family, or their life in general takes comedic jabs at them, then this is the book for you.

 

Sterling’s character is clearly the reader/audience of the book as we, like him leave normal, or what we perceived as the norm, after officially meeting Tetra in the book. And although the POV goes back and forth between the two, in Tetra’s POV the reader is not privy to all the answers that Sterling (we) has through out the book. With him, we get to revel in his actions and reactions because he’s basically an average senior at CCI (City Collegiate Institute) that you cannot help but root for while simultaneously laugh at.

 

 

Haha, I cannot remember the last time I felt so much second hand embarrassment for someone.  And to be fair, it wasn’t all second hand embarrassment. Reading about Sterling’s life growing up with a Mother whom suffers from schizophrenia is also another enthralling aspect about both him and The Mark of Noba.

 

Tetra’s character on the other hand is clearly the objective voice in the book o for the reader as she contradicts the social standards and restrictions in Geo that parallel our own.

 

Needless to say, often reading Tetra’s POV was one of my favorite parts about The Mark of Noba because she strips away and exposes the baseless and fallacious foundations of nearly every reason or excuse Sterling presents to her for ‘how’ or ‘why’ things were the way that they were on Geo, particularly in regards to gender.

 

Which completely differentiates from Tetra’s home planet, Noba, where its people function in a way that wasn’t rooted with gender barriers, a person—no matter who—is defined by their skill set and their skill set alone.

 

I am known for my over analyzing things---

 

but there were a lot of great things about this story.

 

 

However, there were a few things about this book that I did not like or felt if-y about but they DO include spoilers, so if you want to continue with a spoils-free impression about The Mark of Noba, then please stop here.

 

 

Spoilers for The Mark of Noba

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-09-06 17:30
Book Review: The Occasional Diamond Thief By J. A. McLachlan
The Occasional Diamond Thief - J.A. McLachlan

Brief Synopsis: “16-year-old Kia must learn the secret behind the magnificent diamond her father entrusted her with on his deathbed – without letting anyone know she has it.”

 

J. A. McLachlan has created a highly addictive, inspiring, and adventurous Young Adult/ Science fiction story with The Occasional Diamond Thief. The main character, Kia, is smart, stubborn, analytical; free willed, strong and 100% an independently thinking individual whom still exhibits truly the most moving moments of venerability as the result of an a strained relationship with her family, excluding her brother, Etin.

 

Despite all of this, the young, inquisitive minded teen still manages to make friends and gain a few trusted allies across the universe on a semi-technology backwards/basic planet called Malem, whose people openly reject and dis-trust foreigners. While unknowingly developing a truly heart-warming bond with a (unique) Select–Agatha—who fills the maternal absentness in Kia’s life she was not aware she needed.

 

Another thing I appreciated about this book was the fact that it not only revolves around a strong female protagonist of color, but that it equally balances differences in Culture/Languages, Social Standards and Religion with Morality, Identity, and Humanity without losing it’s comedic, adventurous and mystery elements. There are just so many quotable/memorable moments from this book that you can relive over and over again.

 

 

Itohan—his name means ‘mercy’. My father was Itohan Ugiagbe, I want to say to the Malemese hurrying about their business, ignoring me, a foreigner in their midst. He came here and suffered like you. I watched him die all the years of my childhood and I didn’t understand.

 

Every time I pass another death house, empty and boarded-up, I understand a little better my father’s long despair. What would he have been like if he hadn’t come to Malem? I never really knew him. Already his image is fading in my memory. I look around the dirty streets as I walk.

 

They stole him from me, but they might also be able to give a little of him back. If I can find out what happened to him here, I’ll know him in a way I never did. The Malemese diamond must be mixed up in it somehow.

“Tell me,” I whisper to the cold, gray streets. “Tell me who my father was.”

(spoiler show)

Excerpt From: J. A. McLachlan. “The Occasional Diamond Thief.” iBooks.

 

It is one of best YA books I have read in a really long time and I wish I could have read a book like this when I was younger. As I followed Kia through this book and read her learn not only more about her a strained father’s past but learn to have more confidence in herself and trust in others, I found that I too was learning with her.

 

Besides the fact that I am sad that the book ended at all, I give this book 4.5 stars because we were not able to see any resolution between Kia and her family when she finally left Malem. (Unless that’ll be in the next book? *crosses fingers*)

 

But at some fundamental human level where the fear of not being understood touches us all, Central Ang ties the human universe together.”Excerpt From: J. A. McLachlan. “The Occasional Diamond Thief.” iBooks.

 

As a person who finds comfort in my studies and in moments of solitude when being around my family or friends feels like I am an outsider or a stranger, I recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t belong.

 

If it were not for sleep, eating and work I do not think I would have taken breaks reading this book. It is a true page-turner. I was fortunate enough to win this as a free e-book from Librarything.com, but I’ve purchased a hard copy of this book also to have on my bookshelf forever! Ms. McLachlan, if you see this please, please bring Kia back for another adventure :-) . I will wrap this up with one last quote from the book:

 

“Malem isn’t on the cyber link.”

“God doesn’t need the cyber link.”

I let that one lie. Excerpt From: J. A. McLachlan. “The Occasional Diamond Thief.” iBooks.

 

 

Thanks for reading ^__^ (It feels good to be back). Until next time,

Gia.

 

 

 

 

NOTE: You can pick up your own copy of The Occasional Diamond Thief following the links below. Be sure to check out J. A McLachlan’s  Goodreads account & her website too. :-)

 

Purchase your own copy of The Occasional Diamond Thief at EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Books  OR  Buy The Occasional Diamond Thief at Amazon

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review 2014-10-06 00:00
The Page Turners: Blood
The Page Turners: Blood - Kevin T. Johns Many kids have been in Nate's shoes. He and his friends are the representative teens who are misunderstood, who get pushed aside and bullied and who have personal issues at home. They live for their books and support each other. There is drama surrounding each one of them and their problems are an integral part of the story, helping the reader really connect to each boy and empathize with what they are dealing with. I found myself routing for them throughout the entire story.

The story is fast paced and easily read in one sitting. Part of me wished it were a bit longer and I would have liked to see more of Danny's sister. The book reminded me quite a bit of the movie Fright Night and the basement scenes with the coffin and Marie gave a definite nod to some older Dracula movies as well. The story had some very dark parts to it and the fear the boys felt was almost palpable. As you read, there seem to be three tiers to the story. The bottom tier is the boys and their personal dramas, the middle tier is the vampire story and their fight to save Marie, and the upper tier is a bigger story, the story that hasn't really had a chance to start yet. The reader is given small clues such as a police officer's strange phone call, lights in the sky, an inkling of a larger part of the spell that the boys released. This upper tier however, will be left for the next installment of the story. It will be interesting to see these boys again and how they deal with the new threat.

This is the first book in a trilogy. If you enjoy YA supernatural stories and don't mind some teen angst thrown into it, this is an engaging read.
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review 2014-02-10 00:00
Easy Like Sunday Mourning (A Page Turners Novel) (Volume 2)
Easy Like Sunday Mourning (A Page Turners Novel) (Volume 2) - Jennie Marts First things first: I need to mention I received this book from GoodReads giveaways.

A single mother Maggie Hayes found a man of her dreams: a super nerd turned a game company owner hunk Jeremy Rogers. As soon as their relation entered stable phase, there was a murder in Jeremy's company with him being a prime suspect. What would poor Maggie do?

This book belongs to chick-lit genre first and foremost. Let us count the genre cliches present here:

* A husband leaves his wife after twenty years of marriage? Check.
* A single mother of two boys has enough men falling all over her to build a middle-sized army? Check.
* All of these men being very good with her kids? Check.
* The said woman still being afraid of any form of commitment because of her ex-husband's betrayal? Check.
* This woman is a successful lawyer (who else?) who built her carrier herself, but when it comes to her boyfriends she is really weak and dependent? Check.

Speaking about her men, she chooses the richest one to date; makes me wonder why we - the guys with middle income - even bother. My point here is: when it comes to chick lit the book has it all.

Why four star rating then? Two reasons: the character of Edna and the mystery part. I will discuss both in details.

Edna really steals every scene she appears into. Imagine Agatha Christie's Miss Marple on serious steroids, or better yet a cross between Jessica Fletcher from TV and book series Murder She Wrote and Rambo. She is more than 80 year old, but she can kick with the best of them. The content of her bra makes famous Batman's utility belt look like a toddler's toy: she rightfully assumes nobody wants to search her underwear. Imagine her going undercover in a Comic Con dressed as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter books in school uniform... actually, forget I said that: it might give you nightmares considering her age. She actually pulls it off!

The mystery part: the mystery itself while being fairly simple after it was revealed has so many red herrings it was really impossible to understand what is going on until the very end. Well done, Ms. Marts!

I also need to mention there were some humorous moments present; while I never laughed out loud, I chuckled from time to time. The lesson I learned from these parts: despite what the makers of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper want you to believe, the real bears are not impressed by this particular brand and as such it makes a really ineffective weapon against them.

After everything I said above, I still want to give the book 4 stars, just for the mystery part and Edna's antics.

This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/786749/chick-lit-or-cozy-mystery-you-decide-
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