Review: Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

almost midnightTitle: Almost Midnight

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Summary: Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.

Review: 

Midnights is a beautifully written story, spanning many years, and all the same characters as they change throughout time. But some things, such as love, definitely stay the same, even flourish.

It is heart-warming, and wonderfully written by one of my favourite authors. Rainbow Rowell is a master when it comes to language, and making her readers feel something. This is sweet, cute, and to the point with a hint of nostalgia.

Kindred Spirits is a tribute to fandom, to the people that follow it, and love it, sometimes to their own sleepy detriment.

It is also a tribute to Star Wars, and what that franchise, and its characters has come to mean for the fans. It was sweet, and well written with just the slightest bit of conflict.

To me it was very Breakfast Clubesque, but with some awesome fandom references.

 

Review: Eliza and her Monsters


64Title: 
Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Genre: Romance, contemporary, YA

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea.

Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fan fiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace’s fan fiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Review: 

This book. This freaking book. This wonderful book. These characters. Please just take a chance on this if you have ever considered yourself a nerd, or a geek, or for a time or even now find the online world a more comfortable place to be than the real world. You need to go to your local book retailer, or your library, or online and get a copy of this book.

I will start out by saying that I bought this book two days ago and started and finished it in one sitting. I devoured the words on the page, and the illustrations and I adored the meta within.

The setting is standard, a girl’s bedroom, her computer, her art, her whole life encompassed in one room and school the interloper in that life.

It’s possible I felt an affinity for this character because she reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. I often felt more comfortable online, behind a computer screen, only instead of drawing I would write feverishly, words flowing out about my favourite characters in TV, movies and books. My friends, encouraging me from around the world.

I was never a big name though, but did seek comfort from my anxiety in that world. Sometimes I still do.

This book is reminiscent of Fangirl, which is one of the things that appealed to me about it. It is a familiar world in this genre now and I am not complaining as it does remain set apart, without seeming to copy Rowell’s work. Eliza’s journey is individual, and wonderful on its own without the comparison.

The story unfolds with each anticipatory word, skillfully written, and each artwork, beautifully rendered. There is immense growth within the characters, and a bleak, hopeless moment or two that had me clutching my eReader, half panicked.

It is not without flaws, sometimes the characters seem a touch pretentious, but then don’t we all when we’re teenagers, thinking we know everything? Their self-absorption is as real as the words on the page, but so is their character development and their gaining strength.

It is a real, and sometimes upsetting portrayal of anxiety that really impressed me in this, the symptoms and the feelings of that vivid, and possibly triggering.

Favourite Quotes:

“That computer is my rabbit hole; the internet is my wonderland. I am only allowed to fall into it when it doesn’t matter if I get lost.”

“Monstrous Sea is mine.
I made it, not the other way around.
It’s not a parasite, or an obligation, or a destiny.
It’s a monster.
It’s mine.
And I have a battle-axe waiting for it.”

“I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they’re still my friends. They don’t just hold Monstrous Sea together. They hold me together.
Max and Emmy are the reason any of this exists.”

What I plan to read next by this author:
The Children of Hypnos
Made You Up

Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

jane of austin

Title: Jane of Austin

Author: Hillary Manton Lodge

Genre: Romance

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away.


Continue reading “Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge”

Review: The Practitioner by Ronica Black

the practictioner

Title: The Practitioner

Author: Ronica Black

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 

Johnnie Hamilton has conquered a lot in life. An anxiety disorder, loss of her business, and homelessness have been difficult to overcome. But Johnnie has come through the other side to find success as an artist. Now, however, she’s lost her creative drive and she’s struggling to produce.

Elaine Taylor has an interesting job. She’s a “creative practitioner,” known to awaken her client’s creative side by using many different approaches, including a sensual or sexual approach. Most of her clients are male and she likes it that way. Women are the last thing she wants in her life, having lost the most important woman she’s ever known, her wife.

Fearing she’ll lose all she’s worked so hard for, Johnnie takes her friend’s advice and calls a lone number on a business card, steps into Elaine’s office, and shakes up both their worlds forever.

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

Continue reading “Review: The Practitioner by Ronica Black”

Review: True Colors by Anyta Sunday

TRUE COLORS

Title: True Colors

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance

Warnings: Descriptions of car accident, burns and death. Childhood bullying.

Silver linings of warnings: Beautifully written scenes in which the characters deal with the aftermath of such tragedy.

Overall Rating: 

Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.

But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.

Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.

Afraid of falling in love.

Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?

Continue reading “Review: True Colors by Anyta Sunday”

Review: Leo Loves Aries

leo loves aries

Title: Leo Loves Aries

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance

Warnings: None that I can think of

Silver linings of warnings: N/A

Overall Rating: 

A new person will enter your life in the early year, Leo. Look past any moments of frustration they might bring and laugh—this could be the start of a thriving friendship.

Theo Wallace usually laughs at the horoscopes his mom sends. Still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and practically friendless, this one begs him to reconsider. Because a friendship that stuck, that thrived…

Well, that would be a reason to leave past pains behind and look to the Bright Future.

When his sister Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo uses it as a chance to make new friends. Theo’s ex economics tutor and newest roommate Mr Jamie Cooper seems to be a possible and convenient match. Real convenient. Like written in the stars, convenient.

All he has to do is make sure this Jamie is good enough. Could really be the one for her, and the friend for him.

But watch out, Leo, the stars have a surprise in store…

Continue reading “Review: Leo Loves Aries”

Review: The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

the storied life

Pardon my French.

But this book, this fucking book. It’s beautiful. Just one word. Beauty.

The writing wove itself around me, bringing back memories of childhood spent in the stacks of my old library, of an old bookstore run by an older woman who genuinely cared about what people were reading and the impression it left behind.

I remember the way a mom and pop bookstore smelt, long gone from the area I currently live in and the one I lived in for 26 years, up until a few months ago. This book brought back memories of the heavy scent of paper, of dust, and the feeling of pages under my fingertips, even as I enjoyed the ebook I wished for a physical copy.

It was gorgeously written, and a tribute to readers, as well as writers and the emotions evoke within us. This book reminds me of time spent with friends, talking over books, gushing over what we were reading.

Those moments have come few and far between but I’m thinking maybe, next week, I might go to my local book club.

After all, some of the best ways to get to know people involve books, don’t they?

Review: The Waiting Game by J.L. Flynn

the waiting gameI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book isn’t perfect. Let’s start with that, but keep in mind that it was clearly written with love as you read it. And perhaps that’s what made me love it.

It delved into characters who had only been passing moments in the previous novel and novella. It was rich with emotion, and it was oh so enjoyable.

It evoked several emotions in me as I was reading, from apprehension in the beginning, as it didn’t quite grab me as the previous ones had, to excitement. Characters appeared who had been written about before and I rejoiced in the moments in which they joined this novel. There were moments where I nibbled on my thumb in worry, concerned for the characters though I already knew their end.

While not as fun as the previous two books, it is still good. After all, the tone of this novel could’t very well be a very happy one throughout, all things considered but the pacing and tone are wonderfully used to conduct the movements of the character and the threads of the story.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good romance, who likes happy and unhappy endings and just likes to be taken on a quick ride through someone else’s life.

Review: The Short Game by J.L Flynn

18680390**Received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

I tore through this novella like I was worried the words were going to disappear right off the page. I had wanted to learn more about Jimmy Boy after reading the first book and boy did I.

Here he become a more complex, fleshed out character with numerous flaws and an apparent heart of gold. It was such a quick, well paced read and filled with mystery.

It is the perfect bridge into the next book, I feel, which I really can’t wait to read because I have a feeling world’s will really collide.

The pacing was quick, as you would expect from a novella, but there is nothing lost in the brevity of this work at all. In fact, I think the fact that it’s so brief has in fact made it better because it really does leave the reader grasping for more and loving the characters.