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ReadRunRamble

Read, Run, Ramble

I'm just a girl on a mission - a mission to read many books, run (walk) many miles and ramble about it all! 

 

My main blog is on Tumblr, and I also have companion Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads pages.

Bulletproof (Clay and Tanner Thomas #3) by Jeff LaFerney

[(Bulletproof)] [By (author) Jeff Laferney] published on (July, 2013) - Jeff Laferney

Title: Bulletproof
Author:
Jeff LaFerney
Genre:
Mystery
Publisher:
Tower Publications
Publication Date:
July 6, 2013
Format:
ebook purchased from Amazon

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Clay and Tanner bring on the intrigue and mystery again!

 

As mentioned in my review of Skeleton Key, I was more than ready to move on and read Clay and Tanner #3, Bulletproof. I jumped right in because I simply had to have more of this father and son duo. I definitely got what I asked for in this installment.

 

First, I have to mention Jasper. I failed to mention him in my review of Skeleton Key, which is the book in which he first appears. Jasper is a-FREAKING-mazing. He cracks me up, but he also turns out to be a great friend to Clay and Tanner. He’s a self-proclaimed “little person” with some intense acrobatic skills! Seriously, readers will not find another character like Jasper out there – he is supporting character GOLD!

 

Now, I cannot mention Jasper without also mentioning Sherman who first appears in this novel and he is the absolute perfect counterpart to Jasper. Just wait. When you read it, you’ll get it. Sherman, like Jasper, starts out a little rough (though funny), but this story wouldn’t be what it is without him.

 

As for Clay, Tanner, Zander, and Erika, they are on point. Again, their stories are so interesting and fun to read that I had a hard time putting my book down. When I did, I often found myself thinking about them as I went about my day. Honestly, I’ll probably have them in my head for quite a while.

 

Even after all the growth from the previous two books, readers will find that Clay and Tanner are still learning to navigate the world with their abilities and as they figure it out, they simply become more and more loveable. These two make me smile from ear to ear. Erika and Clay face some conflict in this story, which I was happy to see. Every couple, no matter how perfectly they seem matched, will face conflict and LaFerney weaved some into this story for them. Additionally, Clay and Zander face their own set of conflicts. Again, I love to see this. When a novel has so many good-hearted characters, it can be a bit of a letdown (for me) if they are always “perfect”, so I greatly appreciate LaFerney’s gift for writing mistakes and major mess-ups with these otherwise squeaky clean characters without turning them into sleazy bad guys!!

 

The mystery – oh, let’s talk about the mystery!! I’ve heard it said that Bulletproof is the “best” of the Clay and Tanner novels. I think it really might be the best. This story had me guessing and wondering the entire way through. I don’t know where LaFerney gets these ideas, but his mystery-building mind is unbelievable. AND, he’s offered up another ghost story component in this novel. There are a few ghosts looking for resolutions and readers won’t be disappointed with their stories!

 

At this point, I have no idea if the Clay and Tanner series is complete or not, but I can say that I will jump at the opportunity to read more of their stories should LaFerney write them.

Skeleton Key by Jeff LaFerney

Skeleton Key - Jeff LaFerney

Title: Skeleton Key
Author:
Jeff LaFerney
Genre:
Mystery
Publisher:
Tower Publications
Publication Date:
July 6, 2013
Format:
ebook purchased from Amazon

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

I was so excited to get back into Clay’s and Tanner’s world and Skeleton Key gave me just what I wanted – intrigue and fun!

 

Clay and Tanner, still feeling the effects of the events in Loving the Rain, embark on a new mystery at the request of their friend and doctor, Zander. Through this mystery, both men explore their mental abilities and while finding some new “powers” also become more comfortable with how and when to use them. I adore that these two aren’t “power hungry” types who just go wild with newfound abilities. They are careful and thoughtful about the things they can do, which makes me appreciate them even more. Additionally, I enjoy that they have included the science and help from Zander. Having some explanation to what abilities they have obtained and how is fun and interesting!

 

If you’ve read my review of Loving the Rain, you’ll remember that I loved LaFerney’s ability to write a GREAT bad guy. Well, he’s back with another and like the first novel, the evilness finds its way into lots of crevices readers may not expect! I enjoy a well-written bad guy and LaFerney has that down solid for sure.

 

The mystery in this one, like other mysteries I’ve read from LaFerney, has twists and turns all over the place, but they are written and organized well. As new info came to light, I never felt lost or confused, but things were never so easy that the plot just bared its soul to me. For sure, I had some ideas of what might have happened, but until readers get through the end, there are questions.

 

Oh, and I cannot fail to mention the ghost story! Oh yes, folks, there is a ghost story woven in and it just takes the story and the plot to an entirely new level (not to mention Clay’s abilities which are impacted by this little added nugget).

 

Like the first novel in this series, Skeleton Key kept me up into the wee hours of the morning turning pages and I cannot wait to dive into #3 (Bulletproof)!

 

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

The Bitter Side of Sweet - Tara  Sullivan

Title: The Bitter Side of Sweet
Author:
Tara Sullivan
Genre:
Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Publisher:
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:
February 23, 2016
Format:
egalley provided by First to Read

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

The Bitter Side of Sweet is the first and only book I read in December. Yes, you read that correctly – first AND only. I’ve been in a horribly hard to shake reading slump. For months I’ve gotten very little pleasure from the books I’ve read and just generally haven’t felt up to reading. That feeling has left me scared to pick up books because I’m worried the slump will affect how I feel about the book and I don’t want to ruin any treasures with my poor reading mood!

 

I am delighted to say that nothing bad came from Sullivan’s newest work! I adored Seydou, Amadou, and Kadija. These children, though fictional, depict a very real scenario taking place in our current day world. They depict modern-day slavery as it is utilized in the cacao trade. Yep, your chocolate is laced with forced child labor!

 

Now, that isn’t to say that Sullivan’s writing was preachy or judgmental. She is not at all. Instead she has expertly woven a fictional tale with fantastically complex and strong characters to illustrate how some cacao farmers do their business. I won’t say that readers will walk away feeling no difference in their attitude towards chocolate and how its main ingredient is obtained, but Sullivan never tries to bully the reader into feeling a certain way or doing anything drastic. She is, however, very informational, which I found eye opening and heart breaking.

 

The writing is rich and the story intense. The children in this book will pull you in and make you love them in no time. I actually sat down (remember, I was in the midst of one of the worst reading slumps ever) and finished in two sittings.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers - Richard N. Bolles

Title: What Color is Your Parachute
Author:
Richard N. Bolles
Genre:
Non-Fiction/Self-help
Publisher:
Ten Speed Press
Publication Date:
August 11, 2015
Format:
Hardcover via Blogging for Books

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Practical, helpful advice, info, and resources in this edition. The updates made for the current job market are helpful – LinkedIn, Social Media, etc.

 

Though career changers are mentioned, the book mostly feels written towards those just out of school or beginning their search for a job and those who are unemployed for some other reason. More guidance/help for those in current jobs would be helpful since they are facing more time constraints and other similar road blocks when searching for a new job/career.

 

I haven’t gone through the petals exercise so my review is based solely on the content and not application of the method. I believe the exercise will be beneficial and eye opening, but as a person with a full-time career and a family, fitting in the necessary steps will be difficult and time consuming (hence my mention of those like me in the paragraph above. I decided I had waited long enough and needed to review the books’ content for now.

 

My true intent for requesting an ARC of this book was for my son who is nearing graduation and has no idea what he wants to do with life and seems to struggle a bit with it. I’m actually hoping the content and exercises in the book will help HIM. That is yet to be seen since getting him to read and apply the content will likely not be anything I can accomplish in the near future!

 

The book definitely gave me a lot to think about and assess, whether now or later – you never know where the job market will leave you, right!?

 

As it always has been, I think this book is a mainstay for those newly in the job market or quickly approaching it.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

 

Believarexic by JJ Johnson

Believarexic - J.J.  Johnson

Title: Believarexic
Author: J.J. Johnson
Genre:
YA Fiction
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers
Publication Date:
October 1, 2015
Format:
egalley via Edelweiss

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Definition of bulimarexia: an eating disorder marked by an alternation between abnormal craving for and aversion to food.

 

Definition of believarexia: a pervasive alternation between craving for and aversion to belief in oneself.

 

*Both definitions obtained from the author’s website for the book.

 

Johnson, using her own journals from a previous hospitalization for an eating disorder, offers a raw look at life while battling eat disorders while under psychiatric care.

Believarexic paints a clear picture of the food/life dynamic – how much of life really does revolve around food and what that does to someone who battles with one or more eating disorders.

 

Treatment and disease are not glamourized or glossed over here, but the author also doesn’t dwell on gloom and doom. Johnson, through her own experiences, shows readers that it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows, but that there are some definite silver linings.

 

There were no magic tricks or pills to making Jennifer, the main character, suddenly healthy and/or cured. This story is realistic and it doesn’t paint any delusional pictures. Jennifer does indeed ask for help on her own in the beginning, but she struggles just like anyone would when she realizes that treatment is going to be work and it is going to suck. She’s scared, angry, and confused. She even wants to back out at certain points feeling like she can’t do it or that she’s putting her family through something they do not deserve.

 

This book is solely about Jennifer’s time in hospitalization for her disease. While some aspects of her personal and family life are discussed throughout the book, there is never a lot of time spent diagnosing why or how Jennifer became bulimarexic. I quite loved this approach because here’s the deal: there are so many people with so many struggles in life that offering just one way or reason someone began struggling with the disease only gives others who struggle a way to compare their struggle and their disease to that which they are reading. The author is very clear that these comparisons only make matters worse. She stays away from listing specific weights and sizes and she doesn’t focus on specifics of or details surrounding Jennifer’s arrival at the center. This book is about understanding that there are so many issues and events in life that lead us down the paths we travel, but everyone can and should get the help they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life on their terms. This isn’t about being the sickest or having the most disorders or beating anyone else, it is about focusing on YOU. Yes, Jennifer’s family has problems, but her therapists often ask her to determine how she can look at or deal with things differently in order to relinquish the control those situations have over her.

 

Johnson includes resources for those who might be reading and need help themselves. This isn’t just a novel written for fun or closure. Johnson wants to help. She wants others out there suffering to know there are better ways to live. That they too can move forward. She’s built an entire website around the book that includes definitions, resources, Chuck’s mixtapes (SWEET), and so much more. Check it out at www.believarexic.com.

 

This book is truly a gem. One that hope many read and learn from.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

 

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny - M.J. Arlidge

Title: Eeny Meeny
Author:
M.J. Arlidge
Genre:
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:
New American Library (NAL)
Publication Date:
June 2, 2015
Format:
Paperback (purchased used)

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

If you’re looking for a creepy mystery, here it is. Eeny Meeny will keep you up at night, both reading and then later thinking about the massive craziness you’ve read.

 

Helen Grace is after a serial killer who is giving victims one Hell of a crappy choice. While investigating the case, she’s balancing some personal and career demons as well. Alternating POVs provide background to the story as well as Grace’s past, which is littered with unhappiness.

 

Helen is a strong, tough investigator, but she’s also troubled. Though I didn’t really like the Jake scenes, I do understand the author’s choice. Helen wants to punish herself, that is clear, I just am not a fan of how she chose to do so (I’ve never understood the behavior or the draw to the scene). I’m glad the scenes were at least minimal. Readers can get a sense of why Helen is doing what she is doing without being overwhelmed with scene after crummy scene.

 

There were many outlying characters in this novel and I did get lost a few times – I simply couldn’t keep up with everyone. However, I think Arlidge did a good job of offering up a quick reminder when needed so that readers could quickly regain details of any characters re-entering central stage.

 

As the first in a series, Eeny Meeny, offered a good introduction to Helen Grace and the horrible world she’ll be investigating and fighting. I plan to continue and read along as the series continues.

 

Liar - Lia Fairchild

Title: Liar
Author:
Lia Fairchild
Genre:
Romance
Publisher:
Lia Fairchild
Publication Date:
November 3, 2015
Format:
egalley provided by author

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Thank you, Lia Fairchild, for providing me with a copy of this book!

 

Okay, I need to start with this – I LOVE Daniel and Gray. Compulsive (book 1) and Liar are my favorite Romance EVER. Yes, you read that correctly, EVER.

 

Fairchild took the genre and made it her own and I loved every word. Gray is a strong heroine and while she does fall in love, she never loses herself or her strength. She very clearly wants and needs to be with Daniel, but never will readers feel like if she can’t be, she won’t be able to move on with her life. I think that is important to me. Daniel is definitely strong and handsome, but never a cliché muscle-bound, must-have-her-now goon. He cares for Gray, that is clear, but again, he doesn’t lose himself.

 

Now, in Compulsive, Gray’s demons and secrets bring her and Daniel together, but now in Liar, Daniel’s secrets threaten to tear them apart. Lia built in some great backstory and history that everyone will be eager to read. These characters are nuanced and fun – there’s so much to love about all of them. None of that isn’t to say that readers won’t see a ‘bad guy’ or two – keep your eyes peeled; not everyone is in Gray’s and Daniel’s corner!

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sexy scenes. As a beta reader for this book*, I was watching closely for the sexy scenes. I’m pretty critical of them actually, but in this book, I absolutely ADORED them. Fairchild wrote with expert balance. There’s not too much sex, or silly language used, or over-the-top situations. I know writing these scenes, whether they include sex or not, can be difficult for an author and I applaud Fairchild in handling them the best I may have ever seen then handled!!

 

Fairchild’s writing, creative story weaving, and on-point character building combines into one spectacular Romance. Even if you aren’t a fan of the genre (it is FAR from my fave), you’ll love this one.

 

*Thank you for trusting me with your words and the world you’ve built, Lia. It was an HONOR.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin’
Author:
Julie Murphy
Genre:
YA Fiction
Publisher:
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:
September 15, 2015
Format:
egalley via Edelweiss

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Thank you, Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book!

 

I quite enjoyed Dumplin’! The protagonist is funny, smart, and big (and still happy with herself). She’s just what YA lit needs right now!

 

The author did a great job with body image issues in this novel, covering not only those who suffer due to being fat/big, but also those who have imperfect teeth, those who are too thin, and even those with physical disability. These characters show their weaknesses and insecurities, but also their courage and strength – just in being themselves, there’s no grand transformations that make all their problems go away.

 

Willowdean, the protagonist, is one of the most fun and positive main characters I’ve read in a long time. She faces tough times with her mother, aunt, best friend, a cute boy or two, and even herself. She navigates all the chaos with finesse, humor, and above all self-confidence (though not as much as she thinks she has – there’s a big learning curve for Willowdean in this story).

 

And then there’s Dolly Parton who provides a fabulous backdrop for Willowdean’s life and several of the important relationships and connections in her life.

 

Murphy has given readers an excellent cast of role model characters who are inspiring and important. Pick it up – you won’t be sorry!

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw - Aaron Hartzler

Title: What We Saw
Author:
Aaron Hartzler
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction
Publisher:
Harper Teen
Publication Date:
September 22, 2015
Format:
egalley provided by Edelweiss

 

Synopsis

 

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Thank you, Harper Teen via Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book!

 

I knew from the second I read the synopsis of What We Saw that I had to read it and that it would be a monumental book. I wasn’t wrong, and it was every single magnificent thing I thought it would be AND more.

 

Aaron Hartzler has taken on an issue we’re facing in our society all too often. He handled it with moving words, well thought out storylines, and without stereotypes or preachiness. This novel is simply real. Within a few pages my heart was in my throat and there it remained for the next several hours as I devoured the entire book. Additionally, it was less than halfway through when I became emotionally involved – anger, sadness, disbelief, disgust. By the end, there was also some hope.

 

Kate and the other students in a small town in Iowa are forced to face a lot of facts and reality when a party gets out of hand. As an investigation begins, Hartzler shows how the media, a town’s misplaced allegiance, and society’s blindness to the culture around them (a culture propagated and often supported by all) mix together to create a group mentality that easily blocks the truth. He shows how quickly even the innocent are wrapped up in the herd and just doing and saying what they’re told is correct. He shows how simple things we hear, watch, and support every day build a culture that allows this group mentality – this protection of the accused vs. protection of the victim.

 

Kate’s character is a refreshing view. Readers will follow her through varying feelings as she tries to navigate her memory and others’ to determine what happened. It is the Kates of the world that make a difference. Someone willing to look past the view everyone wants the world to see. Someone willing to look for the truth even when it hurts. Hartzler was brave with Kate and it made a world of difference in the book. She’s unapologetic about her choices and decisions. Though they hurt, though they take her places she doesn’t want to go and separate her from those she loves, she does what she feels is right and she does it with courage and strength. Though she is often confused and scared, Kate is one of the strongest and bravest protagonists out there in YA right now.

 

This book needs to be read. It needs to be on shelves across the nation. Its content needs to be discussed and understood … and felt.

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

— feeling amazing

Well, this happened tonight! I met Garth Stein - LOVED him. Excellent event.

Eve by Wm. Paul Young

Eve: A Novel - WM. Paul Young

Title: Eve
Author:
Wm Paul Young
Genre:
Christian Fiction
Publisher:
Howard Books
Publication Date:
September 15, 2015
Format:
egalley via Netgalley

 

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

 

My Review (originally posted at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Thank you, Howard Books via Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

 

I’m sorry to say that this novel was a struggle for me. I spent most of the book quite confused and bored.

 

Eve was a weird book. The Shack was weird too, but I read and enjoyed it because it took normal theology and gave it character, personalization, familiarity – it helped it make sense and feel comforting. Eve didn’t do that for me. The book felt confused to me – bouncing between the time of Creation and some futuristic state as well as current day. The bouncing in time made everything feel disjointed and I had a hard time just understanding exactly what the book was trying to do or tell me.

 

I’m not sure if the lack of character depth and my inability to connect with any of them (including what should have been a protagonist that stole my empathy and heart right off the bat) was also due to the chaotic storyline or not, but I was also less than impressed with the cast.

 

I will say that the alternative view of theology is interesting. Because the story fell so horribly flat for me, I don’t really have any strong feelings about it, but it wasn’t off putting. Though, I do imagine biblical purists won’t necessarily like what Young presents. I do think the difference just added to the confusion though – readers are jumping all over in time, reading a mix of traditional theology and alternative ideas from the author, while also trying to keep up with a plethora of names for God (many I’d never even heard…YIKES).

 

There were a few things about Lilly (protagonist) that were briefly mentioned, but never fully disclosed or explained. These items left me wondering and wishing they had been explored. Without giving too much away (no spoilers!!) I will say that there is a DNA storyline and a betrothal storyline that are both mentioned in relation to Lilly, but nothing more…literally nothing. Both are mentioned in ways that leave readers thinking it means something, but when nothing else happens, it just leaves questions and confusion.

 

Honestly, I thought about giving up several times. I did not and I’m glad that I finished because some things did get a little clearer by the conclusion of the story; however, it wasn’t until the last 10% or so. For that reason I’m sticking with 2 stars – this book just wasn’t one I enjoyed.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

Ms. Marvel to become first audio graphic novel!!

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona

I think it is FANTASTIC that Ms. Marvel will be the first audio graphic novel! Kamala Khan is kicking butt and blazing trails all over the bookish world!

 

Listen to the preview/sample and tell me what you think.

 

 

Ms. Marvel Generation Why

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why - Jacob Wyatt, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona

Kamala is pretty awesome and the storyline definitely picked up in this one. I'll continue to follow Kamala Khan.

There was much less teenage stereotyping in Generation Why, which I appreciated. Additionally, there was less cultural stereotyping ... also appreciated.

*One problem I had in this one was the "off" way Wolverine was rendered - he looked fat and squatty in some of the panels...WEIRD.

Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Those Girls - Lauren Saft

Thank you, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

 

Those Girls is not for me. I tried over several weeks, but in the end, I had to give it up (around 73%). I know, that is actually pretty late in the game, but I kept hoping there’d be some redemption or improvement. I’ve been skimming since 50% in an attempt to finish and life is just too short, folks.

 

The last paragraph of the Goodreads synopsis says, “Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.”

 

For all of our sakes, I hope this isn’t what is going on the minds of very many teenage girls; it certainly wasn’t going on in mine (and to be clear, I was no saint).  Basically, from the beginning, it was superficial, non-stop bad girl/mean girl antics. Sex, drugs, rock and roll with privileged, yet somewhat broken teen girls is the name of the game – if you’re looking for anything else, it isn’t here.  And really there is no substance to the bad/mean girls. Readers get a hint of why the girls do and say what they do, but never any actual discussion or real content.

 

Next, these girls are supposed to be friends and I know there is definitely some catty backstabbing that takes place in high school, but this book glorifies it and pretty much hinges on it. From start to the 73% I completed, these girls wanted nothing but to tear each other down – I never got the sense that they even remotely liked each other (they are “best friends”). The book definitely gave new meaning to the phrase, “With friends like these, who needs enemies!”

 

Additionally, I didn’t find anything hilarious or though-provoking (see original quote). Quite the opposite – I felt like the important issues were glossed over and seriously minimized. Readers are led to assume that there are some serious issues at play here (eating disorders, depression, abandonment, drug addiction, etc), yet none are actually brought out in the open or really dealt with. Instead, there is often shaming or even bullying represented.

 

I felt like this story jumped from one bad behavior/decision/person to the next. I never felt the need to finish. I never liked or even remotely connected to any of the characters. I did, however, often feel disappointed and saddened by the over-the-top shock tactics.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

Compulsive by Lia Fairchild

Compulsive (Liar Book 1) - Lia Fairchild

Title: Compulsive

Author: Lia Fairchild

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Lia Fairchild

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Format: egalley via Lia Fairchild

 

 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

My review (published at Read, Run, Ramble):

 

Thank you Lia Fairchild for providing me with an early copy of this book!

 

Anyone who follows me in any capacity knows that I generally enjoy Lia Fairchild’s novels and short stories. I would recommend any of her books to just about anyone who likes to read. Compulsive has now joined the ranks of her other stories and I’ll tell anyone who listens to read it.

 

Labeled Romance, I was leery at the beginning because I typically am not a huge fan of the genre. I’ll read them occasionally, but they aren’t often a go-to for me. But Fairchild broke the mold and I absolutely adored it. Typical of Fairchild’s work, she made the genre her own and it really worked – creativity and fabulous writing just ooze from the novel.

 

Fairchild’s well-developed characters have some of the same issues seen in other romance stories – tortured love, unrequited love, and even sketchy pasts, but let me tell you, this isn’t your mother’s or your grandmother’s romance and it isn’t a swoony, drippy, loaded-with-sex sap fest. This thing has some serious substance and intensity (and no, I am not slamming books that have all that other stuff – they just aren’t for me).

 

The main characters have secrets – it is clear that there is something going on from the very beginning and the suspense is almost palpable. I was flipping pages (I mean, the best one can “flip” when reading on a device) like a maniac trying to figure out what in the heck was going on and what Gray was hiding. In my opinion, Fairchild handled both the vagueness of the secrets and the revealing of all info in the book with precision.

 

Additionally, this romance doesn’t have some brooding, bad-for-you guy that is also perfect for the heroine. There are some sexy guys and like their chiseled and unrealistic counterparts they say and do the perfect things at the perfect times, but this book is never predictable; never trite or stiff.

 

For me, this book is just the right amount of romance mixed with just the right amount of Lia-ness and that balance equals perfection! Do yourself a favor and give this one a try. Do not let the label fool you; if Romance isn’t your typical read, this book is still for you because it breaks the mold in just the right places.

 

I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.

 

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Tricks - Ellen Hopkins

One of the most uncomfortable and hard to read books I've ever finished. Hopkins has no trouble uncovering the hidden and taboo and bringing it into full light. Tough to read, but even tougher to know that it actually takes place.