Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This was very different from the Netflix Film. Which isn’t a bad thing. Netflix painted everyone in a really positive light to tie up things nicely in the end whereas the book had a little more time to make things messy.

I have to say, the Laura Jean in the book is a whole lot less responsible than the Laura Jean in the movie. Something I really liked. She’s a little selfish, a lot mean to her younger sister Kitty and she really struggles with her day-to-day life.

She actually gets into a car accident early on in the film and that’s when she reconnects with Peter. Not when the letters get sent out. Also, Josh is a lot more confused in the book than he was in the film and Laura Jean doesn’t avoid him all the way until Christmas.

Not to mention, neither he nor Margot approve of Peter pretty much ever. And the fight between Laura Jean and Margot was a whole lot more explosive and during a huge party Laura Jean and Margot planned. It was kind of heart-wrenching, but the Song girls pull through.

The relationship between the three sisters is probably one of my favorite things about the book. Of course, I also love romance, but there is something about a positive sibling relationship that always gives me the feels. This one is no exception.

The one thing I thought the movie did a little better was it made Peter seem like a better guy. In the book he seems kind of ew. Plus, there was a video to accompany Laura Jean’s psuedo-sexual encounter and they wrap that whole mess up really quickly with Margot taking the lead and accusing Gen of being a giant twat.

In the book, that was really open-ended and very upsetting. Like, Laura Jean’s reputation is ruined. And Margot, instead of being on her side, believes the rumor with no evidence whatsoever. It hurt me and shook me to my core that Margot could think that of her sister. Everything works out in the end for them, of course, but that part was really touch-and-go there for awhile.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 💌💌💌💌
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of this series. I hear Netflix is doing another movie and I would 1000% watch that.

Get your copy of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Amazon!

Book Reviews: Love From the Barricade by Ashley Jean Granillo

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I recommend it to everyone! 

From my twitter account:

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and this:

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And now, without further ado 

The Review

This book is breathtaking. There’s no other way to describe it. I was swept up in Aijae’s story almost from the beginning. The storytelling is simply AMAZING. I couldn’t put the book down!

From Aijae’s false starts with all of her friends to her fanfiction to her obsession with ALL of my FAVORITE punk bands, I was LOST in the story.

Granillo is a fantastic writer and so true to her characters. Aijae’s voice is so real and raw and incredible that I spent most of the book thinking she was a real person. She is so likable and incredible that I read the book in less than 3 days which is the shortest time it’s taken me to read something in YEARS.

I am a HUGE fan of you, Ashley Jean. You’re incredible and I cannot wait to hear more from you.

Bravo. This book made me laugh, cry, and just THINK about the kind of life I’ve lead. There are so many quotable moments from this book like Aijae’s words have stuck with me. 

She’s an incredible character and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of knowing her. 

More about Love from the Barricade

For the majority of her teenage life, Aijae lived in her head, writing fanfiction about boy bands. In college, she meets an eccentric pair of friends who immerse her into the Los Angeles, emo music scene. But when she is noticed by Memorable Edition’s adorable lead singer, her dream life turns into a nightmare. 

Determined to work through the heartache and gossip, Aijae puts her past behind her and launches into a career as a music journalist. She also finds love again in a drummer for a New York-based indie band. 

However, in one night, Aijae has to make the biggest decision of her life: to stay with her friends in Los Angeles or relinquish the villainized image of herself and move to New York to be the woman she always wrote herself out to be. 

Get your copy here

Review of Marjorie Diaz from Lisa Stapleton!

This is my first review for Marjorie. So far as I know. Because Amazon hasn’t posted several reviews of my books in the past, much to the dismay of my fans. 

This is from the author Lisa Stapleton who wrote Soul Echo: Discovery. A book I ADORE. I was thrilled to see she read Marjorie Diaz. 

More about Marjorie Diaz

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to a place she never thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that all of the important people in her life has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

**THIS TITLE IS LGBT WITH A FULL LGBT AND POC CAST** 

Get your copy here

Book Reviews: Axiom – The Last Hope by Rachel Marie Pearcy

I highly recommend this book. My review below contains spoilers, but if you like lesbians in space then this is the book for you. Pearcy is an excellent writer and her characters are fantastic. 

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AXIOM: THE LAST HOPE***

It’s been a while since I read a story so compelling I didn’t want to put it down.

Pearcy creates a dystopian world full of fear. A world where biological warfare and a war-ravaged Earth forced everyone to flee to the moon under a tyrannical regime.

Ella and Carly are incredible and interesting characters and the friends they make along that way that both accept them and abhor them make this book so complex and wonderful.

Every twist and turn brought new insight into the characters and Pearcy fleshes them out really well.

I will say there were a few times where I felt like Pearcy fell into some issues with stereotypes. Mainly when Ella and Carly speak ill of STEM subjects like math and science while their male counterparts excel at them.

And again, when Paige is made out to be a shrill mean girl with no redemption arc. I understand that Paige was a strong candidate for that arc while her counterpart and husband, Phillip, was easier to redeem just in time to save everyone in the end. However, those are the small nitpicky things I have to say.

The relationship between the two main characters is heartwarming and fantastically written. Pearcy is a compelling own voices author of lesbian romance, not to mention she truly captures the fear of abandonment and judgment people in the LGBT community can feel when outing themselves to their peers.

Carly is exceptionally well-written and Ella is an excellent narrator.

I am a little sad Ella never gets to see her parents again even once everyone is settled in their new roles, but the ending was so sweet and amazing I’m willing to overlook that little tidbit.

I can’t help but think her dad would have made an excellent grandfather, though.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a truly compelling coming of age story that takes place on the moon.

More about Axiom: The Last Hope

Finally, all parts of the Axiom Series come together in one book.

Generations ago, the human species was driven to the brink of extinction, forcing those who remained to flee to the city of Axiom; a utopian paradise where all your decisions are made for you. The house you live in, your occupation, and even your marriage arrangement are all regulated by the Assembly, leaving the pressures of free will far behind you.

As Annabella Bower enters her last year of schooling, and the final step to adulthood, she’s blissfully unaware of the horrors her perfect city hides, but all that’s about to change. A spark between ‘Ella’ and her new dorm-mate Carly turns her world upside down and opens her eyes to the harsh reality around them.

Suddenly she can see students are dying, there’s a rebel group rising outside the school walls, and if anyone discovers her relationship with Carly, the consequences are dire. With graduation quickly approaching, Ella will have to make the hardest decision of her life- either continue to follow the laws of Axiom or give up everything for love.

Get your copy of Axiom on Amazon

Book Reviews: Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Most of you know that Scott Westerfeld is my favorite author. I post about him constantly on my social media and tweet at him and I’ve even been retweeted by him. Twice. 

So it should come as no surprise that I devoured his new book.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about a new series set in the Uglies universe. I thought the original trilogy was okay. I wasn’t even really a huge fan of Extras. I hardly even remember reading it save for the bits about Tally and a few of the more outrageous body mods.

On page one, I was apprehensive. Then I realized, without even noticing I’d somehow read 50 pages. Then another 50. And another 50 until it was suddenly 5am and I forgot to sleep. 

I was so interested in Rafi and Frey and their story and their sisterhood that I literally forgot to sleep. I’m a grown adult. I have a JOB. I had family in town from 3,000 miles away. But I literally couldn’t put this book down. 

The romance was great too. Scott Westerfeld is to date the only author who can get me to read and enjoy straight romance. This man is magic. But in all truthfulness, the way Scott gets me to read these kinds of things is by never once making the relationship or romance the sole plot of the story. 

Romance can be a bit nausea-making for me. Especially where purple prose is concerned, but Scott has a way of toning all of that down and focusing on his characters and making them so undeniably real you start to feel connected to them. 

This was a great read. It brought me back to 13 years ago when I read the first Uglies novel. When I became so connected to Tally’s story and her world that I devoured every book Scott Westerfeld has ever written. Frey and Rafi are so compelling as characters that it leaves me wanting more. 

Their story sparked something in me. I cannot wait to read more of this series and to see what else Scott Westerfeld has up his sleeve. 

More about Impostors

Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . two edges of the same knife. But Frey’s very existence is a secret.

Frey is Rafi’s twin sister and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.

When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth . . . and if she can risk becoming her own person.

With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies a world full of twist and turns, rebellion and intrigue, where any wrong step could be Frey’s last.

Buy it here on Amazon

Book Reviews: Corin by Ava Burkhart

The writing needs a lot of work, but for a debut short story, this was fairly good. I couldn’t really get a grasp on the characters or the world they lived in, so honestly, from my viewpoint, it could have been longer. I’m not a huge fan of vampires, but I do like supporting lesbian romance. However, I think the romance between Corin and Lindsay moved very quickly. I know there’s a lot of joking in lesbian culture about how lesbian relationships move very fast, but I find it hard to believe that Lindsay would have chosen Corin over her mother after hardly knowing her for a few weeks.

There were a lot of things I felt were detrimental to the story. There isn’t enough description or time to grow to like the characters. Magical realms need time to be set up, there’s a lot of world building required to write these kinds of stories. Also, the way the book was designed left a lot to be desired. You shouldn’t have both a paragraph indentation and a double space between every paragraph. It looks bad.

All in all, I did enjoy the story. There’s nothing like a heartwarming lesbian story about two unlikely people falling in love, but I hope in the future Burkhart will continue to grow and persevere to make their writing better. I know from experience how hard it can be to publish something on your own without an editor, cover designer, or someone to format your book.

You’ve made incredible strides, Ava. I wish you all the best and may your stories become even better moving forward. I’ll be watching and keeping up with your work. One LGBT author to another, we need all the support we can get. 

More about Corin

The daughter of a vampire hunter falls in love with the same vampire her mother is hunting. Lindsay and Corin are soon forced to pretend to be dating to keep her mother off their trail.
A pulpy, cheesy novella about useless lesbians in love. 

READ IT NOW ON AMAZON

Book Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of David S. Sparks by William F. Aicher

From start to finish, this book is a complete science fiction masterpiece. I was hooked right away. Science fiction is one of my all-time favorite genres and William Aicher knows exactly what he’s doing. 

He creates a world where David S. Sparks is dropped, with no memories, into a very dangerous place. He meets what is essentially a terrorist, who befriends him and takes him on a long journey through some really interesting places (as you can see I’m trying not to spoil anything). 

There is a lot of things that are super creepy and somewhat gross that happen to David on his journey, but they make the story so much better. There’s all this action and adventure and mishaps in this world David knows nothing about.

There’s a huge reveal about ¾ of the way through that I never saw coming. And, to be honest, I have a really easy time guessing plot points. The fact that William Aicher managed to keep me in the dark until he was ready for me to know that information is incredible. I actually had to stop reading for a few days to recover. 

The prose and overall writing structure of David Sparks flows so smoothly from one idea and one chapter to the next. The writing is incredible and so professional. This has got to be in my top 5 favorite books I’ve read this year. 

Great job, William, I look forward to reading more from you.

MORE ON DAVID SPARKS AND WHERE TO BUY

Who is David S. Sparks? Where is David S. Sparks? When is David S. Sparks?

In the aftermath of The Chemical Wars, nature has reclaimed humanity’s infrastructure. This world, lush with life – yet dangerously uninhabitable for mankind – houses the remaining population who ekes out an existence in quarantined cities anchored off the mainland.

David S. Sparks awakens into the chaos of this future world, unsure of his place in a reality wildly different from his fragmented memories. As the desire to retake the planet swells, so too does the question of how. Will the same mistakes be repeated? Can technology beat nature, or is it time for another approach? And what is David Sparks’ role in it all?

Dive into a wild, mind-bending journey as one man chases the ultimate question of self, discovering the truly elusive nature of reality. 

Buy DAVID SPARKS on AMAZON.