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: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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: Never Letting Go by Liv Devereaux

This was very, very short and read like an unedited Wattpad story. I really like that Devereaux continues to write f/f and LGBT fiction, but I can’t help but think that this sort of writing is a little detrimental to the community.

As an LGBT author myself, I am all for supporting other people who write for the community and Devereaux is not a bad author. On the contrary, I do enjoy a lot of their work, but I find myself wishing they could be a little better.

This story was over in the blink of an eye, though I did like the narrative of two estranged lovers coming back together, I wish Devereaux would have explored this further in a longer story. I know we get the explanation toward the end as to what happened between them and how they ended up like this, but it all felt really flat.

I fully believe Devereaux has an incredible talent that they have yet to explore fully and will continue to read and advocate for their books with a little bit of constructive criticism thrown in. Keep writing, Devereaux, you’re out here fighting the good fight and filling the world with so much needed wlw representation.

I look forward to the next project I read by you.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…
(3/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I would like to see better characterization and prose writing from Devereaux in the future.

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: β˜…
(1/5 Stars – DNF)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter:

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

Review: The Poison Within by R. M. Pearcy

This is the second book by R M Pearcy that I have read and it was AMAZING.

I loved the worldbuilding and the map and almost all the characters. Plus the descriptions? were fantastic. I got so lost in the story I felt like I was there and that’s all I ever want out of a book.

To be honest, though, I wasn’t a huge fan of Cam because she was kind of just blah, buy Rya, Norell, and Thane? I LOVED them. I was a huge fan of the love story between Cam and Rya mostly because of how different they were and how Cam threatened to kill an assassin to save her.

Though I just had a really hard time connecting with Cam throughout the story.

Rya, though. Rya’s my girl. As someone who has been through physical and emotional abuse, I really understood her. I understood her choices and all of the seemingly bad things she did. I too am not a bad person, but people view me as such because of my no tolerance policy for bullies, abusers, and bad people. I get it, Rya. I see you.

I really didn’t like Norell in the beginning, but she grew on me. Especially when she met up with the Ebez, but I really would have liked to see her stay behind and learn from them. I get that her life was in the Ashen Forest, but she could’ve stayed for a little while to connect with family after they brought Rya to the Obsidian Isles.

I think the only thing I really had a huge issue with was the ending. It kind of ends really abruptly and I feel like I would’ve liked an Epilogue if this is going to be the last we see of these characters. Other than that, this book really was truly great. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in F/F romance and fantasy worlds.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘Έ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Very excited to see what R. M. Pearcy comes out with next.

Book Review: Immortal Hearts (Fate of the Witch #1)

Let me preface my review with this: I did not like this book. Like It was a struggle for me to read and it turned me off to reading other stuff for a bit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t like it. The romance was very heavy-handed and that didn’t jive well with me, but if you’re into romance then full speed ahead. You’ll probably like this.

I was really interested in the plot to this book, I love the whole secret magical beings trope, but the overabundance of romance and Rainelle falling in love with literally every guy she sees that she isn’t related to was weird to me.

The beginning of the book was a little rocky, to be honest. Moon introduces a bunch of characters in the prologue and I got really confused because she never mentioned who they were to Rainelle, instead she just casually name drops them like I’m supposed to already know who they are. I didn’t. At first, I thought it was because I wasn’t reading the first in the series, but no I definitely was. So, maybe change that up a little?

The whole battle between the werewolves and witches and vampires (sort of vampires?) seemed a little ???. Like what were the wolves motivations other than power? I know power is a really good motivator, but to be honest, at times this feud seemed really personal so the whole “power” story kind of fell flat to me.

Also, Reed’s whole destiny really upset me. Reed was honestly my favorite character. I liked him more than Rainelle which is weird since I usually prefer the female MC to literally anyone else. However, Rainelle came across as really whiny to me at times. Other times, of course, she was totally badass.

I loved how everyone had guns here. Just at any given second, anyone could pull out a metric butt-ton of guns that was a pretty incredible thing. Yet it’s rare that anyone used their guns which was kind of a bummer.

I have to say I was not a fan of the Rainelle/Samuel romance. It went really fast and he pretty much immediately wanted to marry her right after she got out of a long and abusive relationship with her ex. I was like Samuel calm DOWN. Then Rainelle was also interested in literally every other guy in the book, including an immortal sheriff who was just really creepy to me.

All in all, this was a pretty good story. I liked the magicky parts and the betrayal/murder plot a whole lot more than the romance, but I’ve never been a huge romance fan. Great work, Raven Moon. Can’t wait to read the next one.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜…

(2/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ§™β€β™€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

In my opinion, too much romance and not enough revenge plot. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Going into this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was an LGBT read, and anyone who knows me knows those are my kryptonite, as in I will literally give any LGBT book or author a chance in the name of supporting LGBT becoming a future staple of the writing industry.

A lot of reviews of this book were on the negative side, bashing Ngan for writing a book containing a lesbian relationship. Because, god forbid gays find the representation they deserve in the writing community πŸ™„Β .

Let me start this review by saying this book has excellent worldbuilding. There were so many times where I sat here in silence processing the beautiful picture Ngan paints.

The moon caste demons are a feast for the eyes. Their descriptions are rich and wondrous. So are the steel caste demons and hell, even the descriptions of the paper caste humans were incredible.

I was so invested in the world Ngan created I definitely slacked off on reading all my other books. I have to say I was a little disappointed that Lei fell in love with a paper caste woman and not a moon or steel caste, but that’s just the teratophiliac in me.

There was one thing other than the world building and characterization I found to be incredible. And it isn’t something a lot of people think about, but there’s a scene in the book where Lei wonders why it’s okay for men to be with other men while it was taboo for women to be with other women.

To be honest, I think this reflects keenly on the writing industry as a whole. The entire reason I became an author was because of this whole mess of MM books being the only LGBT offerings when the world needed more FF representation (and rep for the more marginalized LGBT groups: trans, bi, poly, pan, ace, etc.). That scene really struck a chord with me because of this.

Now, Ngan may not have meant it that way, but that’s how I interpreted it and it made me feel really seen.

I cannot wait to read book 2.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
4/5 stars

Rating breakdown

Prose: 😻😻😻😻😻

Plot: πŸ‘ΉπŸ‘ΉπŸ‘ΉπŸ‘Ή

Characterization: πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘© πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘© πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ’‹β€πŸ‘©

Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

The beginning was really slow to start and it took me a long time to get into it, but once I hit my stride, I listened to it every single night.

More about Girls of Paper and Fire

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.








Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

A lot of the reviews I’ve seen for this book on Goodreads and Amazon whined about how badly written Jazz was. And, to be honest, I was a little surprised by this.

I am very hard to please when it comes to female characters and I had 0 problems with Jazz’s personality. Yeah, she was a bit crass and really full of herself, but women can be crass and full of themselves.

I believe in equal opportunity, folks.

Plus, it helps that Jazz reminded me a lot of myself. Cause I’m kind of a little shit too, so I felt more than a little validated by her less than savory behavior. Maybe that’s a bad thing?

Usually, when I’m reading a book written by a man I get pissy when they write women this way, but that is not the case with Jazz Bashara. I mean, who doesn’t love a little shit smuggler with a heart of…uh…chloroform?

Maybe that’s not the right term? I don’t know. I just really liked Jazz Bashara, ok? Okay.

All this being said, there are a few problematic things that gave me pause, but no more than most books. There are a few racial-type things I was like “Um what?” on, but I don’t know if that was problematic or not because I’m not part of or educated on any of the cultures involved.

I do work with a few Ukranians though and they would be the first to tell you that if you want someone to perform a crime, you go to Moldova. Not Ukraine. Just saying Andy.

Though, the fact that Svoboda (the Ukranian in question) is a scientist and a damn good one at that, is exceptionally Ukranian. Considering both of the Ukranian dudes I work with are physicists and smart as heck.

Incidentally, Svoboda is my favorite character out of the whole book. Though, I’m a bit partial to Rudy too. Sorry, Jazz.

I genuinely enjoyed this story. I love science and I love science fiction so, every second of this book was exciting to me.

I loved Jazz’s letters to Kelvin and their whole relationship. I do wish Kelvin could be a bigger part of the story, but considering he’s on Earth while Jazz and company are on the moon, that’s understandable.

I think it might be interesting to read the story from his point of view, though. Where Jazz’s story is more actiony and life or death, Kelvin can be the doting best friend worried shitless about her and the entire colony of Artemis. It would be beautiful.

I was sad about Trond, but I do know you reap what you sow and even though he wasn’t a big bad, he did piss off some really influential people. Post-Trond, though, everything gets a whole lot more exciting. So it wasn’t completely in vain.

Still made me really sad though, especially for his daughter. Though she really stepped up after that. At the behest of one hardheaded Jazz Bashara.

At the end, when Jazz fucks everything up, it was such a big mood. I love how she is both completely clueless and way too damn smart for her own good throughout the book.

If she ever decided to team up permanently with Svobota they would own the entire settlement of Artemis. Fingers crossed?

Well, they would if Ngugi let them. She’s no force to be trifled with and other than Svobota, she was my favorite character in the book. She was just so super cool and smart as shit. I kind of even loved how manipulative she was.

This book was really great, honestly.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

Characterization: πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€

Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Artemis was gripping and amazing from start to finish! (With very few boring parts in between).