Category: Review

Book Review: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren

Published:  May 18, 2021
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021

Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not much of a romance reader; in fact, this is the first book I have read from writing duo Christina Lauren. (They are writing partners and best friends).  What piqued my interest in The Soulmate Equation was the similar concept to John MarrsThe One.   Other than the same basic premise, these are two very different books, and surprisingly I really enjoyed The Soulmate Equation! 

Basically dragged by her best friend into doing the GeneticAlly DNA test, Jess matches at an unheard of number with the founder, whom she has previously met and yes, they clash.  GeneticAlly says that they will pay Jess to spend 3 months with Pena to see what happens as the business is about to go public and stands to make a. lot. of. money.  And the business wants to capitalize on this match! Being Jess is struggling to make ends meet and take care of her daughter she agrees. 

This is one of those typical romance tropes (I hate you then later on maybe not), so you know where it is going and it was fun to see the journey. I did like that the main character’s name is Jess and her daughter’s name is even more unique: Juno.  There is even something unexpected that happens in the last quarter of the novel that I enjoyed.  

Remember that Jess is a ‘number person’ and there is a lot of science explained behind GeneticAlly where the reader can understand. I liked Jess and adored her best friend Fizzy: Everyone needs a Fizzy!  And as this is a romance book the chemistry gets hot and there are sex scenes which are not explicit, but enjoyable to read.

For not being much of a romance reader, giving it a 4-star review is saying something and the fact that I listened to it as often as I could and had it finished in just a handful of days says I liked it!  I enjoyed this novel and might just have to read more by this writing duo. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Patti Murin and she did a great job of bringing Jess to life for us. She might be another narrator for me to be on the lookout for! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Diary from the Lunatic Asylum by Mary Pengilly

Diary from the Lunatic Asylum
Author: Mary Pengilly

Published: November 2, 2012
28 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

DECEMBER.—They will not allow me to go home, and I must write these things down for fear I forget. It will help to pass the time away. It is very hard to endure this prison life, and know that my sons think me insane when I am not.

Kim’s Review:

So this isn’t a horror story; it’s not even fiction. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. However, once I figured out that this was an actual diary, written by a real woman who had been committed to a real asylum, I just went for it. It’s definitely not as good as Nellie Bly’s account, but it was interesting and informative. Mrs. Pengilly managed to write an account from a relatively neutral viewpoint, while still keeping a handle on all the problems. It’s a simple, easy to read report on her stay, the issues in the Aylin’s of her time, and a list of solutions. I looked up Mrs. Pengilly after I finished reading this book, and she went on to spearhead some cool movements to try to improve conditions for female patients.

It’s not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it’s a good personal story that I enjoyed reading.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Blog Tour: Children’s Book Review: Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much

Today I am part of the blog tour for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much. I really enjoyed this on and I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!

Book Description:

What happens when we outgrow our teddy bears?

Should we let them go?

Thomas loved his teddy bear, but over the years, Barty had become tatty and old.

However, Barty was no ordinary teddy bear, and he wasn’t about to give up on being loved.

Title: Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much
Author: Sue Wickstead
Illustrator: Jo Anne Davies
Published: October 27, 2020
38 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 10, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:
Barty Barton is just the cutest children’s book! We all had that most favorite toy when we were kids, but what happens to said toys when we grow up? This is the question that Barty Barton faces as his owner Thomas grows up and starts a family of his own.  Is Barty to worn out from Thomas’ love as a child for the new and upcoming generation? The answer is no if Mum/grandma has anything to do with it! 

I really enjoyed this short children’s book and thinking about some of my favorite toys growing up.  I really enjoyed the illustrations that are well done. I liked how the illustrations show a toy pillow bus, which references Wickstead’s picture book series about various buses.  Both children and adults will enjoy this picture book for different reasons and will leave a smile on your face. 

There are pictures of the **real toys** that the toys in the book are based off of. We also get to see pictures with Mum (the author herself) her son ane his young child. I always enjoy seeing how Wickstead’s stories seem to come from actual people, toys, buses, and events.

Wickstead’s picture books are recommended!

Purchase Links:
Website (UK)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Waterstones
Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author and writes children’s picture books with a bus theme. She has also written a photographic history book about the real bus, which is where her story writing began.

Sue once worked with a playbus charity based in Crawley. This led her to write the photographic history book about the project. The ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book was published in 2012.

Sue then began to write a fictional tale about the bus. ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name and has now been followed by more picture books (ten to date) which all indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.

Gloria is the most recent bus book and is based on the summer play-schemes which operated during the school holidays providing a safe place to play and to meet other children. (published 2020)

‘Barty Barton; the bear that was loved too much’ was also published in 2020. Barty was written for both her son and grandson.

Some of Sue’s books have been entered and shortlisted in ‘The Wishing Shelf Book Awards’, her book ‘A Spooky Tale’ was a silver medal winner in 2019. It is a story written with her class in school and is aimed at the younger reader.

Contact Sue:
Website
Twitter  @JayJayBus
Instagram @jayjaybusbooks

Facebook: Playbus Page

**UK Only Giveaway**

Win a Lego bear and some teddy bear colouring sheets, plus a few more goodies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner 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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