Book Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The pining between Ten and Killian was kind of drawn out for a little too long, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

I picked it up because the cover looked like one I’d done sketches of for a book I wrote. Plus, I love YA so reading about Ten and her fight against her parent’s wishes was right up my alley. Right out of the gate, this book is entertaining as heck!

I think my favorite part was the song Ten’s Aunt Lina sings and how that helps her later in the story. I knew it would come back to do something awesome and I was not disappointed. Ten is totally awesome in this story and I’m really glad Showalter didn’t opt for an Archer/Ten/Killian love triangle because I would’ve DNF’d this book so fast.

Instead of relying heavily on romance, Showalter tells a story worthy of her heroine. It is dark, intricate, full of action, and full of glittery beasts (done right, of course).

This was an excellent read!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

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

I’m struggling through the second one right now, so I wish book 2 was a little better, but book one definitely held my attention very well!

Review: Not Your Villain by C.B Lee (Audible)

I got this title on audible like I do most of my traditional publishing reads and as much as it pains me because I adored the first one, I’m going to have to DNF book 2.

I love Bells and I would have loved to follow his story especially his whole Chameleon thing, but C.B Lee doesn’t do anything interesting with him. Most of the book he pines over Emma in the most annoying way possible.

Then he whines when she gets a boyfriend and starts acting like a bad friend. Which was so annoying to me and made even more annoying by the voice actor they had reading the book that I had to stop listening.

Not to mention, Lee completely mischaracterizes Jess. It’s like this book was written by a completely different person. In book 1, Jess loved running and training and she wanted to be a hero. In book 2, Jess is a whiny lazy grump who is useless on most missions.

This turned me off so badly because I really genuinely loved Jess and seeing her stripped down to a whiny comic relief archetype was horrible.

You’re better than this, C.B Lee and I really agonized over giving this book a bad review because I loved the first one so much, but I cannot continue to struggle through reading this.

Overall rating: ★
(1/5 Stars – DNF)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍
Plot: 😄
Characterization:
Boredom meter:

I really hope the next novel C.B Lee puts out is better than this.

Book Review: Not Your Sidekick by C.B Lee

I listened to this book on Audible as I do with most of my traditionally published reads these days.

Also, has anyone else noticed my penchant to read Asian Authors who write LGBT? Malinda Lo, Stephanie Ahn, Natasha Ngan, and now C.B Lee.

Not Your Sidekick is a book that follows Jessica Tran, a very awkward disaster bi (who is openly bi in the book) with a crush on the beautiful Abby Jones.

Now with the whole crushy crush business out of the way, allow me to tell you, while there is plenty of cute mushy (and awkward) moments between Abby and Jess, most of the story revolves around Jess trying to find out if she has superpowers.

There has been a crazy influx in superpower books being published as of late. I know, because I’ve read a bunch of them. Because for some reason, and thank god for this, a lot of them are LGBT (with a focus on FF) and this one did not disappoint.

Not only is bisexuality represented, so is homosexuality, transsexuality, and heterosexuality. Hell, there’s probably a few ace people sprinkled in, but I’m only listing what people openly identified as in the book.

The story is excellent. There are times where I felt it was a little too juvenile for me, but since I’m well over the age of the main characters, this was to be expected. This is an excellent YA title with LGBT themes.

I absolutely adored the awkward slow burn between Abby and Jess and the side flirtation between Bells and Emma. I am really, REALLY looking forward to the second book with Bells as the narrator: Not Your Villain that is on my TBR next!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars.)

Rating breakdown:

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

I loved this book, but sometimes the characters could come over really whiny or one-dimensional. And I’m really mad about what happened to Claudia.

Book Review: The Wild Ones by Louise Czarnobai

I was actually a beta on this story for most of last year! The BEST Beta. Ask anyone.

Where do I even begin with my praise for this excellent book? The way Czarnobai eases us into this incredible supernatural world astounds me. The lead-in at the beginning with what is, essentially, a state of the union address was absolutely sublime.

However, the real story starts when we’re introduced to the charming and handsome lawyer, Louis and we get to see him in action. He’s a secret super who tries to help other supers get off of insane charges with his law degree. However, because of this, he gets into a little trouble himself. This is what leads him to SINS and ultimately to the stunningly sexy, Lucas.

And once those two get together it is allll downhill from there. In a good way, that is. Their sexual tension and bantering really had me hooked! It was impossible to look away from all of their spicy encounters. I found myself almost to the point of frustration, screaming at my Kindle for them to kiss.

What a well-done romance story! I wish there had been more SINS stuff in there, though! I can’t wait for the second book with more epic action and romance.

An excellent debut for Louise Czarnobai.

Book Review: Lucid Dreaming by Heather Blair

This book brought me to Quinn Kaneko levels of obsession. I rarely read anything this fast, but holy heck I devoured this book.

I don’t think the word “enrapture” is too strong a word for what this book dud to me. Every single word on the page screamed to be read. There was not even a single letter out of place and very few passages that gave me pause.

Every second I spent reading this book was rapturous. Heather Blair’s prose is delectable!

I absolutely adore Alison and her family (with one obvious exception). It is so rare that I find a book with a well-written female character in a story with a predominantly romantic plot, but Alison is IT. She is strong-willed, she is smart, she is everything I want my female MCs to be. She gives as much as she gets and even a little more to Quinn and everyone around her, but she is by no means perfect. Her flaws are what make her so well-rounded and incredible.

The love scenes were otherworldly good. Blair definitely knows her way around well-written smut. I have not read a smutty book I’ve enjoyed the way I enjoyed Lucid Dreaming in years. The love scenes were exciting and full of description and care between the two characters.

God, I especially loved how Blair handled the break up between Alison and her first boyfriend, Logan without demonizing him. Sure, Logan has his moments where he isn’t a great guy, but Blair never takes him too far. She never makes him abusive or shitty and she definitely doesn’t kill him off. That meant the world to me.

Thank you, Heather Blair, for your astonishing novel, Lucid Dreaming. I cannot wait for the sequel.

Review: Starlight Taxi by C.M Lanning

This book was actually a surprisingly entertaining read. I’ve known C.M Lanning for years, but only just managed to get around to reading his books and to be honest, I’m really mad about that because he’s an incredible author.

I seriously recommend his books to anyone who likes paranormal, but his foray into the world of science fiction with Starlight Taxi is, *kisses fingers*, delicious!

There are a few things I don’t agree with in the narrative, but I won’t focus on that since I know the author will update them when he rewrites this short!

First off, let me just say, I was not expecting to like this nearly as much as I did. A story about a taxi driver seemed really weird to me. However, from the very beginning I was hooked.

It kind of reminded me of the strange people you meet driving for Uber! I thought the writing was fantastic and the story was so compelling and interesting that it easily kept my attention.

The ending seemed weirdly rushed and I would have liked to see that expanded more, but you run into that a lot with writing novellas. I am no stranger to writing them myself and you are constantly running out of space.

All and all this is one of my favorites by Lanning. Or, at least, my favorite he has published on Amazon. Cannot wait to see what becomes of The Last Fire Mage!

5/5 Stars.

More on Starlight Taxi

Take a ride with the driver as he goes from planet to planet, picking up fascinating passengers and dropping them off at their destinations. 

Being an intergalactic cab driver isn’t the worst job in the world. He gets to meet new people every day as he adds their tales to his own. 

Set in the future, mankind no longer exclusively inhabits Earth. Instead, people left and terraformed other celestial bodies in the galaxy. When those people need a lift, they call Starlight Taxi, and the driver comes to pick them up.

Buy it HERE, only on AMAZON.

Book Review: The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge by Rena Marin

The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge was a great read!

In my opinion, there is so much lead up to the actual plot that felt a bit unnecessary, but I actually really enjoyed this book. The romance between Sadie and Dorian felt really underdeveloped, though. It seemed a little like it was thrown in there as an afterthought, when in reality Sadie’s relationship to her “coven” and her younger sisters was a lot more interesting.

Instead, I got a story where I had to follow a lot of (red herring) threads and an uninspired romantic plot to get to the meat of it. The most interesting things in the book were the betrayal of the coven, Cleo’s plot, and the High Priestess arc which I genuinely enjoyed. 

However, take everything I say with a grain of salt because if romance isn’t a long, pining slow-burn I have an intensely difficult time getting into it. So, if you like quick romances I would recommend this story. 

I rated this 4 stars, though because the actual plot of the story is really gripping. I intensely enjoyed the plot with Cleo and Ebony. Though, I imagined the characters a lot differently in my head. Ebony’s description was a huge surprise for me. 

I also intensely loved the relationship between Victoria, Veronica, and Vivian. Even though for most of the book I confused Veronica and Victoria because the names are very similar and it took me awhile to figure out which of them I needed to be angry at. (Short answer: both)

I hope the second book in the series will focus more on the coven and also better explain the relationship between Sadie and Dorian. Also less whining about how often the younglings were lied to. I get it, it sucks, but I got it the first 3 times you were outraged, Sadie. You don’t need to keep repeating it.

I’m also really interested to see how Sadie will grow as a person and as a leader throughout this series. I was heartbroken at the ending for obvious reasons (You broke my whole heart, Rena Marin, and you know why) and I know Sadie is heartbroken too. I wonder how that will change her in the future. 

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄
Characterization: 🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I look forward to reading more from this world.