Tag: 3.5 stars

Leah on the Offbeat

Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 24, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 13-16, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Jessica’s Review:

The whole gang from Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda are back for their senior year of high school and all the drama that will unfold with that important year: picking a college, prom, and for Leah: should tell my friends that I am bisexual? This time the novel focuses on Leah, Simon’s bff.

It actually surprised me that the focus was Leah, as of all the friends, she was the one I connected with the least, but that might have been because she was more of an afterthought in  Simon.  But we get to know her through this novel.  And even when I was done with Leah,  I still found her my least favorite character of the group.  She is an angry girl, who is also petty and uses excessive foul language.  I did enjoy how Leah is a self-taught drummer and there were constant musical references throughout the novel, including the title.

The one character I really had empathy for was Garrett, the poor boy was so clueless but no one would help him out.   I had some sympathy for Nick, but not as much due to his negative attitude. I wanted more Simon and Bram moments, they are just adorable! 

As the gang goes through their senior year they experience the changes that inevitably will come which includes growing apart and moving on by attending different colleges. The novel was just an ‘ok read’ for me until the ending.  The ending is what made me award it 3.5 stars vs 3.  The ending had me ready to see what happens next for the gang when college starts. Hopefully Albertalli will continue with their story. Now, in the same universe as Simon and Leah is The Upside of Unrequited.  In Upside the focus is Abby’s cousin Molly.

Due to the mature themes and constant foul language used, I would say this one would be for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Blog Blitz: Whisper to Me

Today I share my review for my stop on the blog blitz for Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe.  This one has a lot in the mix including a new wife and a vengeful ghost. There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

Author: Sherrie Lowe
Published: September 29,2018
151 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 3-10, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

On their 14th anniversary Theo and Tish have an interesting conversation:  She asks Theo if she were to die that he would promise that he would not remarry. She says she would not remarry if he died first.  His response during their conversation: “Ok, Ok I promise, but you’re not going to die.”

But she does….

Ten years later Theo has remarried and Tish is not happy about that. She is determined to do whatever it takes to get rid of this new wife, especially when they living are in her house!

I did not connect to the characters, though I did feel for the new wife, Sheena. I wondered why Tish would want Theo to be alone for the rest of his life: You are dead and he can move on in whatever what if he wants! Understanding Tish’s reasoning for Theo to not remarry would have helped me.  She was very serious about Theo not remarrying and determined to have Sheena leave. 

At times Whisper to Me was entertaining: It started with ‘cute haunting’ type hauntings, but for me Tish took it too far. Theo ultimately realizes what he needs to do and makes his decision.

I did enjoy the ending as we see what will happen next: and then we have that last sentence!  Though not totally for me, I would like to see what happens next.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords

About the Author:

I am a divorced mum of two adult sons and nana to three grandchildren, soon to be four. I’ve always had a notion to write but didn’t get round to it seriously until I became ill with M.E in 1995 when I was 40 and was too ill to continue my job as a learning support assistant in a mainstream high school. I was devastated to have to resign from my job but writing saved my sanity. My first attempt was a memoir, Shadow Across the Sun which covered the loss of my mum to breast cancer two days before my 13th birthday. When the rejections began to flow in from traditional publishers and agencies I joined a creative writing class and learned to write fiction. Whisper to Me is my 10th novel. I have a strong belief in the afterlife due to events following my mum’s death so most of my stories have some form of supernatural aspect to them.

Contact Sherrie:
Website
Blog
Twitter @SherrieLowe2

**International Giveaway!**

Win a Kindle copy of Whisper to Me (There will be 5 winners!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winners will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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An American Family by Jackson Baer

Author: Jackson Baer
Published: October 1, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened to: December 5-10, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Isaac Childs has the perfect life—until that life comes crashing down when his wife Ramie vanishes.

Isaac learns that his wife’s disappearance is the ninth in a string of similar cases. In the wake of this news, he struggles to cope, to be a good father to his daughter and college-bound son, and to reclaim something of an ordinary life even as he conceals his troubled past.

After the FBI makes an arrest, and his wife is presumed dead, Isaac begins to move on. Yet will his secrets catch up with him? Has he conquered his vices for good? And what of the FBI’s theory that the case isn’t completely resolved, after all?

Evolved Publishing presents the first book in the “An American Family” series, contemporary suspense thrillers that explore one family’s trials and tragedies.

Jessica’s Review:

An American Family is a character driven novel with a family of imperfect people. Each character has issues, the main focus is Isaac. It was hard to like and feel for him.  This family went through something terrible that no one should experience but Isaac’s faults just kept coming. 

The novel is far from perfect: the writing comes off as juvenile and could have been written better.  For example, in the first chapter there were constant mentions of the crime shows that Isaac and Ramie watch and enjoy. I found myself wondering what I got myself into… and then something unexpected happened: I became invested in the story! I am from Georgia as is Baer, so I think part of what drew me in to the novel was hearing about locations I know: Whitlock in Marietta, The Chicken and the Egg (I have not eaten there yet, but know about it).  I kept wondering if ‘The Big Chicken’ was going to make an ‘appearance’ in the novel. (It doesn’t but that would have been awesome!).

I wanted to know how each family member was going to cope and move on from their loss.  Many of the twists were predictable, except for that final twist.  There is a second book called Life After Death which you will want to start once you finish An American Family.  I am listening to it now and should have it done quickly with the review posted soon.

**Special thanks to the author, Jackson Baer for sending me an audio copy to listen to and review via Love Books Group Tours. This was not part of a blog tour.**

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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