Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prototype by M.D. Waters

Prototype (Archetype #2)Prototype by M.D. Waters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I devoured the first book and received an ARC yesterday for this book. I loved this story. Both books. Can't say much without it being a spoiler so I'll say that I felt unsettled and a little guilty when Emma was tricked by someone else and taken against her will to a place she really did not ever want to go. She arrived and started to fight and it was time for my husband and I to go to the gym. Emma stayed captive that entire hour I was gone. And it really bothered me. I needed to get home.

Character development is superb. Standing ovation for Leigh, Foster, and Miles. And definitely Dr. Malcolm. The main characters were fleshed out in the first book, although Emma becomes much more of an individual in this one.

Action packed and well timed, highly recommend to adults. Once again I stress adult content, although only one sex scene, a few "f" words, I still loved it and recommend for a surprising science fiction with a solid love story.

Prototype is book 2. For a link to book 1, Archetype, click HERE.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer of YesterdaySummer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana

Summer of YesterdaySummer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So many things I liked.

All of the things 1982. I've never been to Disney World but the description of the campgrounds and water park are wonderful. Included are the fashions, music, pop culture, and pace of the world in 1982.

The story had a great concept. Haley does a little Back to the Future blip and finds herself in 1982. She passes her parents, age 15 and 16, right at the beginning of their relationship. This is not the central part of the story. The central part is Jason, the 1982 19 year old. He's hot. He wears too short of shorts with piping and a gold chain. People feather their hair. Olivia Newton John is singing about getting physical. Blade Runner is coming out.

So I was a teenager in 1982. We did wear a lot of rainbows and our socks came up to our knees. To consider seeing an IPhone in 1982 would have seriously caused me to doubt my sanity. A little computer you carry in your pocket that makes calls, takes pictures, types messages, and plays games? No way. I was playing Asteroids at the Arcade. That was cutting edge. Pretty sure our telephones weren't cordless. Charlie's Angels had car phones but I didn't. It was fun to delve into that train of thought.

What I didn't like was the rushed ending. It could have taken so many different directions and it seemed like it took the easiest road that left more questions than answers. It was incomplete and rushed. I think there were too many strands left within the story and not enough pages to pick them up at the end. I have no problem with how it ended for Haley and Jason. It was just sudden and complete.

I think a major turning off point for me was that the central part of the story was Haley's and Jason's romance. There was the side story of Haley's in the wrong time and that part was fun. If that was moved more center stage, I think I would have enjoyed it more. But Haley is a thinking about how to lose her virginity to a guy who is well into his forties in her real time. Not okay with that. At the end Haley has some conclusions that I don't know how she reached because they weren't developed.

*Disclaimer* I read an ARC so the book was not final. I received a copy from Edelweiss for an honest review.

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Just Call My Name (I'll Be There #2)Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book I've read by Holly Goldberg Sloan, the first being I'll Be There which I loved. I thought the first book had to be a fluke. It was just really well written and the story was very well developed, particularly for a YA novel. Clean, too. Yep. It had to be a fluke.

So Just Call My Name is Act II. Sam and Riddle are settled into a "normal" life after growing up with a father who is a sociopath. Emily's parents take in Riddle and are working towards adoption. Sam is living in an apartment close to campus and Emily is finishing her senior year. The author stays true to each character. Emily is still kind-hearted by nature, although she is pushed just a little bit to the shadows with the introduction of Destiny, another throw-away child who has learned to survive. Her eyes seemed to have landed on Sam.

Meanwhile, Sam has the mentality of the kind of kid he grew up believing he was; undeserving. He questions how he got where he is and how he will probably mess it up. Meanwhile, the entrance of Destiny reminds him who he really is; a nobody. He has a lot of self doubt and Destiny is a temptation. She is a little bit of neon sex in the window, blinking like a lighthouse. So there is more innuendo in this book.

Then we still have Bobby whose ego is bruised from Emily leaving their date. He had big plans for the two of them and she just went home. Of course, on the way home, she met up with Sam who had just escaped his psychotic dad. But that was last book. Bobby still wants to get his game on and Destiny is presenting herself. It's not about sex, it's about... well, it's about sex but it's veiled. Destiny is about survival. Bobby is about redeeming his pride and reputation. Bobby is a fantastic character. Hilarious, actually. With a lot of redeeming qualities.

Last of all, we have Sam and Riddle's father. He's still alive but currently incarcerated. He's been greatly wronged, you know. He didn't do anything wrong. His kids are just rotten and they turned against him. Because of that girl and her family. But the man without a conscience is not without a brain. He has a plan. The author writes a very well developed psychopath.

The first book wasn't a fluke. It's really good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the FenceOn the Fence by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's cheesy. It's cute. It's sweet and it's fun. It's even clean. Can't tell you why I liked it except it was a good, clear reading experience with fun dialogue and easy to summarize characters that were neither too complicated nor cliche. Just a good, fun book.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ove is ornery and rigid. He doesn't like people. He loves his wife but she's gone. Ove is tired of his empty life. But that's not the way the story begins. We begin in the middle or more at the end where Ove is arguing with the sales associate over an IPad. All he wants is the best computer and it has to be an IPad and he's handed this little, flat box and he wants to know where the keyboard is. Computers have keyboards.

We then go back in time where the real story begins, at least as far as all the main characters are concerned. Ove is ornery, rigid, and tired. Ove has just been forced to retire so he's also rather irritated. Ove's life and how he came to be the Ove we know and also the Ove we don't comes in short flashes that are very clever and very enlightening. But first we have to meet Parvana.

Admittedly, I read this book weeks ago and I've already forgotten the names of everybody except Ove and Parvana. Because this book would not be a story worth reading without Parvana. A few things to know about this book is that it is Swedish. That helps marginally in putting it into perspective yet, for reasons I can not fathom, the translation is absolutely perfect for American English. Flawless.

So Ove is planning his death when he hears a horrible sound. He exits his place of residence which is in an HOA of some sort (this is important to Ove and to other characters) and finds Parvana, beautiful, Iranian, and very, very pregnant Parvana, looking incredibly peeved at her too tall, lanky, good natured husband who is in the process of backing up the trailer to their new home. Except he runs over Ove's mailbox.

The book is about Ove who the reader comes to love for all his quirks and his prickly personality issues but the book could not, absolutely could not be enjoyable AT ALL without Parvana. She barges into Ove's life, his orderly, deserted life, and makes him a part of a bigger community. She is high strung, high maintenance, feels absolutely no boundaries apply to her, highly ethical and she drags Ove into every real and slightly contrived crises of which he resents.

It's a "Feel Good" read which I recommend.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Plus OneOne Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus OneOne Plus One by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

My thoughts: There are things you need to know about this author's style before embarking on reading one of her books. First, she's incredibly gifted in writing. Second, she uses a fair amount of bad language. I would call it moderate so be aware. Third, she's British. English is not the same so there is a little translation between British and American. Fourth, her characters are unconventional and extremely likeable. Fifth, she is the best example I know of showing the reader everything in an incredibly entertaining manner.

One of the nearly main characters is Norman, a large indeterminate breed of dog that makes you want to hug him and run from him. He's also ten year old Tanzie's rock. Why do we want to run from Norman? It's not his size. That would be too obvious, although his size was supposed to be a deterrent for people like Jason Fisher, a bully that we definitely don't like. No, Norman sleeps a lot and takes up a lot of room so he's not scary. Moyes places him in an expensive Audi in the back seat where he sheds like crazy, his jowls droop open on the sides, and slobber drips from the gaps in his dog lips. Big, stringy drops. I mean, that's not exactly how the author describes it but her description left me with that vision I just wrote. Also, Norman has a problem with his constitution. He has a very large gastrointestinal system and the Audi is very, very small.

Imagine getting to know each of these characters via the author's little revelations. Like how eccentric Tanzie really is. She's a math genius. They have to get to Scotland. They have no money and a car that is not insured or taxes paid. Jess is a horrible driver. Description included. Ed, without thinking, offers to drive them; Jess, the optimistic mother, Nicky, the goth, sullen but gentle stepson, Tanzie, a math savant, and Norman. Don't drive too fast or Tanzie throws up. How fast is too fast? Under 35 mph. What happens if he pushes it? It was a lovely Audi, wasn't it? Before?

The characters are quirky. The story is quirky. The lessons learned are universal. I very, very much enjoyed reading the book but I did have to skip my eyes over quite a number of "f" words. I still liked it more than thought I would.

Friday, June 27, 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the FenceOn the Fence by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's cheesy. It's cute. It's sweet and it's fun. It's even clean. Can't tell you why I liked it except it was a good, clear reading experience with fun dialogue and easy to summarize characters that were neither too complicated nor cliche. Just a good, fun book.