Tag: 4 stars

Blog Tour: Dark & Fluffy Volume II

Today I am part of the blog tour for Dark & Fluffy Volume II by Janet Stock. This is her second collection of short fiction pieces.

Book Description:

Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.

Author: Janet Stock
Published: December 15, 2018
67 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 30-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Dark & Fluffy: Volume II is the second short story compilation written by Stock.  You needn’t have read the previous Dark & Fluffy as they are all individual short stories. There are nine stories and something for everyone: Some are ‘cute-ish’ while some leave you needing more (we can say Death by Testing!?!?!)

What I really liked about Dark & Fluffy is that Stock wrote a brief introduction talking about each story.  This is a short book around 70 pages so it can be read in an hour or two. 

Dark and Fluffy: Volume II is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.

Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.

I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.

My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.

Contact Janet:
Website

Oh My Goth

Author: Gena Showalter
Published: July 4, 2006
256 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A fiercely individualist Goth girl wakes up to discover that the whole world has gone Goth and she’s actually — gag — popular.

Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They’re considered the “freaks” of their high school. But when Jade’s smart mouth lands her in trouble — again — her principal decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.

Taken to a remote location where she is strapped down and sedated, Jade wakes up in an alternate universe where she rules the school. But her best friends won’t talk to her, and the people she used to hate are all Goth. Only Clarik, the mysterious new boy in town, operates outside all the cliques. And only Mercedes, the Barbie clone Jade loathes, believes that Jade’s stuck in a virtual reality game — because she’s stuck there, too, now living the life of a “freak.” Together, they realize they might never get back to reality…and that even if they do, things might never be the same.

Kim’s Review:

This book was great! I have read some of Showalter’s adult romance stuff and I really enjoyed them. Oh My Goth sounded interesting, so I went for it. The cover is gorgeous! We are going to have an amazing 2019 Most Gorgeous Cover Tournament! I’ve never been goth, but I have been different and weird. My high school years were full of trying to fit in and be popular and failing miserably at it. There’s a reason that I think teenagers are idiots, because I used to be an idiot teenager, the worst kind! If I could redo my high school years, 1. I wouldn’t, and 2. I would embrace my weirdness and celebrate it.

Jade is different, but she’s damaged. I felt incredibly sorry for her. She’s one of the very rare ones that didn’t have me saying, “oh grow up already! You’re not the only one who has suffered!” The whole point of the book was her learning that her coping mechanisms were indeed hurting others. I guess the difference in this book is that the idiot teen actually learns her lesson and becomes more mature. Plus, the idea of “outcast” becoming popular hurt my brain. I’d like to think that being unique is what makes us weirdos interesting, so to be popular is diametrically opposed to who we are. Shoutout to Big Bang Theory for making “nerdiness” popular and bringing in all the posers!!

But I really liked this book and considering the hardcore culture of goths, it was surprisingly clean! I would absolutely let younger teens read it and hopefully they can learn good things from it! I guess my only issue with this book is that the philosophizing and learning gets a little repetitive. A couple of places start to feel a little like a morality lecture, but those are few and far between. Overall, an excellent and emotional read!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 11, 2017
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 24-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Jessica’s Review:

Please Note: To shorten the review instead of saying the entire titles throughout the review, I have shortened them to one word:

Upside- The Upside of Unrequited
Simon- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Leah- Leah on the Offbeat

Upside is not part of the ‘Simon’ series, but it is in the same universe as Molly is Abby’s cousin. I listened to the audio of Upside after listening to Simon and Leah.

I liked Molly; she is what Leah could have been. Also being  a ‘fat girl’, Molly has had many crushes (26 exactly), but nothing ever came about them. Then suddenly two guys come into the picture: One Molly meets via work and the other via her friends. I know who I was rooting for Molly to end up with by the end.

I enjoyed how Upside was connected to the other books through Abby; She and Simon even make some appearances throughout the novel!  I did not like the narrator’s portrayal of Abby: she made Abby seem whiny with the way she narrated Abby’s voice.  I enjoyed the narration of Abby’s voice much more in Simon.

I really liked Molly’s moms and enjoyed hearing from them; they are just as important to the story as Molly is.

As with the other two novels, Upside has foul language including the ‘f’ word. The language is not as extreme as it was in Leah. Of course, Of course, this series is about teen drama so be prepared for lots of it; if that’s not your thing it may be disappointed.

I enjoyed reading these three books, Simon  is my favorite.  If you read and enjoyed Simon, give Upside a read. Becky Albertalli: Please write more books with these teens! I really enjoyed them over the course of the three novels!. 

The Upside of Unrequited is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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