Trap Jam by Steven Barwin | Review

27788156

c-2

Olivia is living a double life — high-school student by day, drummer by night. Olivia doesn’t know when hanging out in clubs and drinking to appear older and enjoy the music scene became a habit, but she finds herself hungover at school and sneaking alcohol at home. Her bandmates Eddie and Lucas think she is older, and Olivia keeps up the pretence even as her real life starts to fall apart.
When Lucas catches Olivia talking to her friend Raymond in the women’s washroom, he beats up Raymond in a jealous rage. With Raymond unconscious and seriously hurt, Lucas tells Olivia that Raymond’s criminal brother is looking for them for payback. They go on the run, sleeping in a borrowed van and stealing to get by. Lucas keeps Olivia drunk and off-balance, telling her he loves her and pressuring her to have sex with him — even when she reveals she’s only sixteen. Still, through an alcoholic haze, Olivia sees that Lucas is delusional and dangerous. When she finally discovers that the story about Raymond’s brother is a lie, she realizes she has to get out of Lucas’s obsessional trap.


*I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*

The idea for Trap Jam was inventive enough, but there was too much going on for the human brain to properly process. It seesaws between themes of pursuing your dreams, lying, obsession, alcholism, etc., but nothing is fully developed and is terribly chaotic. The writing is really spacey and unfocused, which also makes for a bad reading experience. There were multiple times I’d be reading and wonderded how the protagonist went from playing the drums to randomly riding a bike. There is some diversity in this, if you’re hardpressed for a POC protagonist then Olivia is your girl. I believe she’s either an Afro-Cuban or Dominican – I really can’t remember – and she’s also a female drummer which is cool. To conclude this review, I’d declare this to be a book new, teen readers. If you’re an experienced reader and mature in age then I’d skip it.

Quarterback Sneak by Bianca Dean | Review

22195033

c-2

What happens when a chance encounter thrusts two very different people from very different backgrounds together?

The school is going crazy with Celt Fever, and Alceo Russell is right in the middle of it. He’s on his way to leading his Division I football team to a national title, but something is missing, and to keep his head in the game, he needs to find it.

Shy and timid Galynn Pierce is just trying to survive college. Always in the background and always unnoticed Galynn can’t fathom how her life is about to change.

[Source: Goodreads]


Ahhhhhhhhhh…………

This review will be short for two reasons: a) I read this a long time ago, so I don’t remember much, b) the little I do remember was not pleasant.

Alceo is a college jock, “built like a division 1 player” (that’s literally a quote from the book), but he’s tired of constant partying and the revolving door of girls.

Galynn is plus-sized, and insecure with her weight and looks and college hasn’t been kind to her.

Alceo sees Galynn and is immediately drawn to her *warning bells* and he knows it’s serious because he’s not usually attracted to black girls…………

“Usually, he wasn’t attracted to black girls. He wasn’t adverse to them; he just had never found anyone that had roused his interests. That’s not to say he hadn’t had sex with a black girl before – hell, he’d had sex with everyone he could get his hands on his freshman year. But for some reason, he could feel himself being pulled to Galynn.”

PAUSE

I’ve gotten the comment, “You’re pretty for a black girl,” before, and to me this is even more offensive. Let’s just move on.

Resume

Galynn has secretly harbored feelings for Alceo (totally looks driven) her entire college term, but thinks a guy like him would never like a bumpkin like her.

After helping her home after a completely convenient accident, they head back to his dorm room (where no other girl has ever been of course) where somehow they have sex

Following the encounter, Alceo cannot stop thinking about Galynn, and tries to convince her they should try hanging out. After many failed attempts, Alceo convices her to let him tutor her in her biochemistry class (haha, let’s get real).

They have a lot of dramatic, explicit, contortionist sex.

Deciding to date, they begin with Gaylnn’s ever evolving insecurities, especially since  EVERYONE wants to see them break up because she’s fat… since mixed-weight couples don’t exist at this college

So, a bunch of stupid stuff happens until his ex-girlfriend convinces the heroine that he’s ashamed of her and that he cheated. She whines a lot, then uses this as an excuse to run home to daddy who tells her she shouldn’t have dated an athlete. That is until  he apologizes on national tv (the boyfriend not the dad) and she forgives him.

Later on, at another game, he proposes, she says yes and they live happily ever after.

Fin

2016 DNF Compilation | Reviews

 

randomness-3


25647300

Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…


Down with the Shine is guilty of cover distraction. The simplest definition of this common phenomenon is becoming enthralled with a novel based solely on the beauty of a cover. This happens quite often among book reader’s and although it can be avoided sometimes, it can sneak upon you like a serpent waiting to attack simply because – it’s beautiful.

What the hell am I talking about?

Valid question. I was so amped to read this novel after looking upon this beautiful, magically enhanced cover. To be honest, the blurb was also exciting, therefore, my hopes and expectations were high – wrongly placed.

I didn’t get far, therefore I’m declining to give it a rating, however, I refused to continue. The premise was extremely intriguing, but I smelled the stank of the following:

1. Love Triangle

2. Hot guy too beautiful that heroine just drools

3. Figuring out how to cure the bad mojo, hence, boring fact digging

4. Cliché outsider looking in but beautiful

I’m so sick of books like this – bursting with nonsensical trite passing itself off as an exciting fantasy. This might seem a bit harsh, but my reading time is precious and reused formulaic style themes in YA are becoming dangerously close to the precipice of trashy fiction.

Continue reading

Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

20312462

b

 

 

 

 

 

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.



Regrettably, the original review for this novel mysteriously disappeared – after someone forgot to save it – and since Microsoft sucks old, sweaty socks, I’ve been forced to retype and remake the entire review…

omgcw

 

So, I apologize for this even suckier review than normal, I didn’t have a whole bunch of time to redo this, but I had to do it. You know the saying,

“If you can’t do it right, do it anyway”

(is that not right?)

Disclaimer: My rating of a 3.5 (B+) is graded on a curve because this was the debut novel of Mr. Ritter

Jackaby is a fun novel. Throughout, we follow the partnership of Abigail and Jackaby. She’s a rebellious runaway following her dreams of adventure and fulfillment, whereas Jackaby is an eccentric, witty, sometimes charming sometimes rude, supernatural (consulting) detective. She sees the normal and he sees the unnormal unusual, because he’s like a seer or something.

The best thing about Jackaby has to be the unorthodox fantasy theme Ritter gives us. It’s very original because it’s focused around folklore (which I love) that Jackaby attempts to pass off as science. Jackaby would also have to be a positive point of the novel because I was definitely getting Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who vibes, however, he was lacking in many areas and just didn’t capture the true essence of the aforementioned characters. Another positive point would be the lack of real romance and the extremely platonic partnership between Abigail and Jackaby. Abigail does have a budding love with a certain young detective (cop?), but it’s occurring in the shadows, besides he’s got his own secrets.

The worst things about Jackaby was the lack proper action. The book is short – appx. 299 pages – so, having to read half of the novel for anything exciting to happen (or really anything at all) was quite boring. This also accounts for the fact that Abigail isn’t a great narrator, with her stale observations and dull chatter. Don’t get me wrong, she had her moments where I enjoyed her narration, but mostly I wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, the story is interesting and it’s fun to read about them finding the supernatural murderer…which Jackaby should have figured out much sooner than he did.

This is a series so I expected book 2 to advance above this novel…I’ve read book 2 but I didn’t get that…you’ll just have to wait for that review……

I know this review isn’t great, but I suggest you check out this one —> Jackaby

 

Special Forces by Brynn Paulin | Review

136356281a-3

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia Barker and Keon Munro are about to meet face-to-face for the first time. With F-16 butterflies dive-bombing her belly, she nervously awaits her soldier and the promises he made over the internet. Fresh off deployment, Keon is ready for some one-on-one action with the woman who captured his heart through cyberspace. Too bad she’s not who he thinks she is. Either way, she’d better be ready for his special force. He’s been dreaming of this night for months, and her sweet behind is his.


What can an 18-page book really accomplish, apparently a nice little story. Although it doesn’t include complex characters, or a particularly engaging plot, it still surprised me because it was so condensed. The gist of the story is simple; Amelia Barker has been pretending to be her fickle sister to a military pen pal, Keon Munro, after she completely ditches him. Feeling bad and adventurous, she decides to keep up the charade his entire deployment, until she realizes he want’s to meet her (since they kinda began a relationship) and remembers she’s not her sister.

Continue reading

The Martian by Andy Weir | Review

18007564

a-2

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.

But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.


Let me begin by commending the adaptation of this novel to the big screen! The Martian (movie) was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen – it was wonderfully done.

Now onto the review.

The Martian is a charming book.

Unlike some science fiction novels, The Martian has a great balance of humor to scientific mumbo jumbo. Although there is a great amount of science-talk and mathematical calculations  that can be distracting at first, it gets easier as the novel progresses.

Since it’s easy for a novel centered around a singular character alone on a desolate planet to be quite boring and dreadfully detailed (like A Princess of Mars), it really surprised me how entertaining this story was. However, if I’m being honest, this is largely due to Mark Watney, our protagonist, who is hilarious!

“I am smiling a great smile. The smile of a man who fucked with his car a didn’t break it.” – Mark Watney, The Martian

Continue reading

Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods (Sweet Tooth #1) | Review

6954438★ ★ ★

A cross between Bambi and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, SWEET TOOTH tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father he’s left to fend for himself . . . until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find ‘The Preserve’ a refuge for hybrids.
[Blurb: Goodreads]

 


I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with reviewing Graphic Novels – the pros are cons and vice-versa. On one hand, I’d like to assault your beautiful eyes with the illustrations of Jeff Lemire’s characters and setting, however, after awhile, you’d overdose on the images and this review would just be congested. But on the other hand, it’d be sacrilegious to not show images of the novel since it’s a graphic novel! Here in lies my problem, and why I rarely write reviews for graphic novels. Now that that rant’s complete, shall we get to the review?!

Out of The Deep Woods (Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1) is a really freaking weird novel, even for a post apocalyptic, dystopian. Featuring animal/human hybrid children and the world going to shit – I’d hope that would be the only reason animal/human hybrid children exist – after a disease known as the Affliction (ominous right!) killed off billions people. So, a new species is fabricated known as animal-hybrid children. However, these children are hunted, by hunters, to be hunted….hehe.

IMG_0609

The story follows the journey of a sweet, deer animal-hybrid kid named Gus, aka Sweet Tooth, and his mountain-like savior Jeppard, after saving Gus from the aforementioned hunters. Along the journey to the safe haven for hybrid children like Gus called The Preserve, we don’t meet a copious group characters, but we do encounter a few: mock animal-hybrid prostitutes, hunters, and savage hyena-looking murderers.

FullSizeRender-1

This novel being so short didn’t leave much room for development of any kind. Since this is Volume one I kind of expected to learn a bit more about the characters or story line, however, I didn’t learn anything. The only storyish foreshadow is that animal-hybrid children exist because of a disease, which hasn’t been explained, killed most of the people. There’s a few fighting scenes that, I guess, shed light on both Gus and Jeppard’s characters. Mainly we got the emotional impact of a world without rules, morals and ethics, through the eyes of this boy who’s the foil of this whole world in a way. He’s sweet, innocent and compassionate in a world that’s done away with all those things. The end is also unsatisfying but that’s due to there being a Volume two.

 

Ballers: His Game (Ballers Series #1) by Blue Saffire

27836143A

For Him she was the one from the moment he saw her. He just didn’t know it would be so hard for her to see him, but when she does he takes his chance. He would never regret it, but what he would regret is walking away. Then she appears in his life again and he is floored by all he truly walked away from. It will never happen again, no matter what.

Football had been his life, not anymore and if walking away from it all is what it takes to have her and all that comes with her so be it. He has left it all out on field, now it is time to leave it all at her feet.

Because Tamara is his for keeps!


*Warning: This review will not be like my others. Since this is a New Adult novel, I will have adultish comments about it. For once I’m acting my age :d*

https://d.gr-assets.com/hostedimages/1380908892ra/3176413.gif

Normally one-night stand romances don’t interest me; they usually suffer from paucity in both validity and plot since it’s normally about sex alone. In spite of my concerns I jumped off of the proverbial bridge and read Ballers. My reasoning lie mainly with the unfortunate truth that I was in a dry spell in the book department, so I surmised that a quick, cheesy romance novel would get my book mojo back. However, when I finished this novel I was pleasantly surprised.

Ballers is a sweet adult-fiction, sports romance novel featuring a football player theme. The novel goes something like this:

Boy meets girl. Girl tells boy she’s not interested.

Boy doesn’t let that deter him. Girl is like well, he’s not so bad.

*One-night stand ensues*

Boy thinks girl doesn’t really like him – although he likes her tremendously – so he bolts (not so smart hombre)

Girl wakes up to an empty bed – she’s sad. She really liked him.

Girl finds out something that she keeps from boy (dun dun dun, we all know what that is)

*A bunch of years past*

Girls a successful agent, boys a successful football player.

They meet again, however old wounds heal slowly – but not in this case!

They feel like they never broke up, but life keeps finding a way to tear them down.

Girl pulls away, sad and afraid to hurt the man she loves

Boy pushes girl because his love for her exceeds all else

Sometimes football isn’t so forgiving to the body or the mind, just like life.

 

Now, to explain why I wrote the review in this odd fashion, I must be candid:

I read this book in January/February, in consequence this review isn’t the one I wanted to write but I was forced to alter my previous ideas.

Like all books (except Jane Eyre) there’s good and bad material in this novel. Sometimes the writing was off, others the story line seemed stilted, however these things didn’t take away from the strong characters of Tamara and Brad and their love for each other. It also didn’t diminish the sweet moments and the truth, in the sad reality of our worlds views.

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353

C+

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.


I’d like to begin by explaining that I watched the movie before I read the book. I know, I know, but I’d put off this book for so long that it was becoming a dwarf planet, which basically means not important and forgotten. So, I took the plunge, watched the movie and fell in LOVE

https://media.giphy.com/media/ruw1bRYN0IXNS/giphy.gif

However the book wasn’t as solid as the movie, in my honest opinion. I know it’s rare for the movie to surpass the book, but when you read it you’ll probably understand why. But, I’m not going to spend this entire review commenting on the movie, in fact, this will be the last time I mention the movie. Since, It’d be rather repetitive for me to basically retell what the summary already does, so I’ll just get directly to the meat – this will be extremely short.

Continue reading

As You Breathe Again (The Walker Boys #2) by Molli Moran

As You Breathe Again (The Walker Boys #2)

 D+
★ ★

Delaney Shaw isn’t looking for anything complicated. After her teaching career is put on hold, she decides to spend the summer in Georgia with her best friend. Lanie lives for the here and now, and she isn’t thinking past the end of the summer. She’s never had any problem being unattached, because she learned a long time ago that life is safer that way.

Until Reece Walker decides to change her mind.

Almost a year after his ex-wife’s death, Reece is still reeling from her passing. He’s devoted himself to raising their son and working his family’s farm to keep himself grounded. Reece feels like he’s lost sight of the man he used to be, and he’s not sure how to find his way back.

Everything changes when the woman he’s unsuccessfully tried to forget walks back into his life.

Even though she’s fighting their sizzling chemistry, Lanie is losing the war. But love isn’t always like it is in the movies, and they have real issues. Lanie is terrified Reece’s small town won’t accept their interracial relationship, and she doesn’t know how to let him in.

Lanie has had years to build her defenses, but Reece isn’t the sort to give up without a fight. If he can counter Lanie’s fears with the future only he can offer her, maybe they can both learn to breathe again.


Note: I received this advanced reader’s copy  via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This book had loads of potential that was totally wasted. It’s a tragedy that I didn’t enjoy this book because it could’ve been a real contribution to the New Adult genre that also featured a multicultural romance,  but the execution wasn’t there. Being part of a series I was skeptical about reading this without reading book one, however the blurb expressed that it could be read as a standalone. I don’t think it should be read without reading book one because I felt disconnected with everything.

I’m guessing there was this foreshadowed romance that developed between Delaney and Reece in book one, however it didn’t translate well. The romance seemed unrealistic and like insta-love, which means it’s cheesy and their connection wasn’t based on anything. Not once did I ever feel like their love wasn’t forced, or like love at all to be quite frank. But this might’ve been because, as I stated previously,  I didn’t read book one, or it could be the one-dimensional characters in the book.

Sometime one-dimensional characters hide in the silhouette of  complexity. Delaney Shaw was that type of character – I couldn’t relate to her. She’s  afraid of commitment because of her past experiences, which she allows define her future. Fun and carefree, no one knows the real Delaney beneath the mask except Reece who has his own demons. These simple truths weren’t the reason I didn’t liker her character, it was the lack of realism. She didn’t feel real to me – her character was supposed to be vibrant and full of life, but she just seemed dull. Again, this could be because I didn’t read book one.

Another issue I had was with the inconsistency. She’s supposed to be this strong woman that’s slowly allowing her weaknesses to show and open-up her heart, but it wasn’t balanced enough. There were times I felt as though I was reading a different character with her mood and attitude changes. After completing this novel I still didn’t understand who she was and what motivated her besides Reece.

Reece wasn’t bad. There’s nothing amazing about him or memorable. Everyone of importance seemed like minor characters and minor characters that don’t add any substance to the book. Let’s just get off the characters.

Plot? Hmm…this book lacked the length needed for a journey of self-discovery, nor was it a straightforward romantic love story. It’s fast-paced and but seemed to drag on FOREVER.

This seemed like the first draft of a really good final product.  I’m just saddened by how much I didn’t like it.