Book Review: “Charisma” by Jeanne Ryan

Goodreads Synopsis

A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.

Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Charisma is a book I picked up because I read (and enjoyed) Nerve. Reading the blurb, I could identify with Aislyn, who suffers from awful shyness, as I am exactly the same with new people, groups of people or when I am the centre of attention. What I did not expect, however, was to also identify with Aislyn’s brother Sammy, who had Cystic Fibrosis, the same illness I have.

I thought Jeanne Ryan handled both characters well. I do believe that she concentrated more on the negative of shyness, and it came across a bit as if people who are shy are only ‘mediocre’, although I am sure it did not mean to come across this way. However, I feel that she handled CF very well, speaking from someone who completely understands the illness. To some people, she may have mentioned Sammy coughing too much, but that is very true to how CF works, it makes you cough a lot. I found it refreshing to see CF mentioned in a book.

As for the story and the book, I enjoyed both. It did start off quite slowly, but I believe that was to give the full impression of just how difficult Aislyn’s life was because of her shyness. Things did speed up after 80 pages, so I would definitely recommend sticking it out if you are considering putting it down beforehand. I wasn’t sure what to make of Jack. He just seemed like a boring guy. Evie, however, I thought was the best friend that everyone either has or deserves. She tried her best to help Aislyn with her shyness, and she was so supportive when everything kicked off.

I probably would have rated this 3 stars for the story and book, but I have rated it 4/5 stars due to the mention of Cystic Fibrosis.

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

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Guest Post: The Leftover by Brooke Williams

The Leftover cover

Goodreads Synopsis

A reserved wallflower discovers that reality TV is the perfect backdrop to develop her confidence in this lighthearted rom-com.

Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Meanwhile, Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic.

With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”

 

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

 

About The Author

Brooke Williams is a stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. Brooke is a former radio announcer and producer who also did a brief stint as a TV traffic reporter. Now, she writes novels as well as articles, blogs, and copy for clients on a freelance basis during the one-hour a day her daughters allow her the time.

She has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002 and they have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Author Links

Official Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Review: “The Black Lens” by Christopher Stollar

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Goodreads Synopsis

Zoey James has pimp trouble. And even though he doesn’t know it, her pimp has Zoey trouble. Big Zoey trouble. In a dark world of meth addiction, trailer parks and abuse, Zoey has seen it all. But when she and her disabled sister are forced into a small-town sex ring, the teenage girls find out just how brutal the world can be. And when someone kills her mother as retaliation for a failed escape attempt, Zoey decides to fight back. Teaming up with a photojournalist, Zoey exposes wealthy and powerful men who play in the dirty, back-alley world of modern slavery. The price for her cooperation is freedom. The cost of failure is her life.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Zoey and her sister Camille live with their mother Ella and father Ricky on a trailer park in La Pine. Camille has autism and likes Disney Princesses. Their mother works but their father makes meth. Aidan is a photographer at the local paper. He quickly realises that something is not right in the town. Zoey and Camille are blackmailed into working as prostitutes, and if they do not do as they are told, their pimp threatens to kill their mother and all those that they love.

This book deals with some very dark and mature subject matters. From the very beginning, which opens with Zoey and her sister heading out to a party, we are introduced to a possible rift between Ricky and the rest of the family, although we are not sure what exactly caused this at the start.

The author has done over three years of research and interviews before writing this novel, and it shows in the writing and the story. Despite the fact that the characters are fictional and the story is fictional, similar things are happening all around the world, even in places you thought it could never happen.

I really got hooked on this novel. The story dragged me into it from the very start, and I grew to quickly like Zoey and Camille, and I could feel their fear and felt myself really sympathising with them when they got blackmailed into sleeping with numerous men. I liked the idea of having alternate chapters for Zoey and Aidan’s stories. Aidan was one of my favourite characters, he willingly put his life at risk to help free Zoey, Camille and the others girl who were forced into the ordeal.

I rate this book 4/5 stars!

Thank you to Christopher Stollar and Booklover Catlady Publicity for the complimentary ebook copy.

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The author is donating 10% of his earnings to charities that fight the sex trafficking trade.

 

Book Review: “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

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Goodreads Synopsis

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Madeline Whittier is a seventeen year old girl who has a rare disease, which means she is unable to leave the safety of her house, as anything could potentially kill her. She is content with her life, being home-schooled via the internet and reading books. One day, a family move in next door, and Maddy meets Olly. After talking to him for a while, she realises that she is falling in love with him, and has to decide whether meeting him and being with him is worth the risk of becoming seriously ill.

This book has quickly become one of my favourite reads of 2017. The chapters, if they can be called that, are short and sweet, which is something that I personally really like in a book. The story was built up from the beginning so you got to know the characters quickly, and straight away, I felt really sorry for Maddy (although that is something she does not like!).

The romance between Maddy and Olly was adorable, and I enjoyed reading their IM conversations. It really allowed me to understand the full interactions between them, and to see exactly when they started to fall for each other.

I was completely shocked by a revelation toward the end of the book, but I felt so much empathy toward Maddy’s mother, and I was glad to read that she eventually seeked out some professional help. As it is a light-hearted book, there was always going to be a happy ending of sorts, and I am happy with how the book ended.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

You can find my film review for the film version of Everything, Everything here.

Book Review: “The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide” by Chris Colfer

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Goodreads Synopsis

In the highly anticipated conclusion to the Land of Stories series, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters–heroes and villains–are no longer confined within their world!

With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy tale world?

Breathtaking action mixed with laugh out loud moments and lots of heart will make this a gripping conclusion for many fans!

Bookworm1102’s Review

In the final book of The Land of Stories series, we follow Alex and Conner as they deal with the real world and the fairy-tale world coming together. The witches and the Literary Army have invaded the real world, with the intent of taking it for themselves. Conner is trying to save the world and save his sister, who has been cursed by a powerful curse, so she is completely under the witches control. With help looking unlikely from his sister, Conner has to rely on himself and his friends to help save both worlds.

I really enjoyed the finale to this series. It is no secret that this has become one of my favourite series of all time. This book started off with Conner as an elderly man, having become a much loved published author, doing a question evening at a bookstore. He suddenly realises that he cannot remember what happened to Alex, and delves into his books to find a clue as to what happened to his twin sister.

The characters were just as lively and interesting as expected, and Red really comes into her own in this book and she has grown up so much since the first book. I have quite enjoyed reading about her development and relationships with everyone more so than any of the other characters.

I am sad that this series is over but they will forever hold a place in my heart, and I will be reading (and listening) to them again in the future!

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

Guest Post: Fat Jimmy and the Blind Ballerina by Eddie Owens

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Goodreads Synopsis

This is the story of one young man’s desire for comedy fame: a tale of ambition and humiliation on the way to the top.

Fat Jimmy is a cynical, young comedian and writer, who desperately wants to make it to the big time. He wants it all and he wants it now.

Fat Jimmy loves women; he loves booze and he loves comedy. He is sweary and controversial, but always funny and always memorable.

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

 

Guest Post: Littlethumb Sneezed by Truant D. Memphis

Littlethumb Sneezed E-book

Goodreads Synopsis

What would happen if everything in the world suddenly froze, except you?

Littlethumb Sneezed is the tale of prolific artist and renowned philanthropist Littlethumb Brooks. From the discovery of his creative genius as a child to his rise to fame, join Littlethumb on a satirical journey through the world of American pop culture. It is a life filled with love, laughter, charity, art, disguises, magic tricks, international intrigue, and unfortunately, horrible tragedy. There’s also a punk rocker named Tommy Toxic.

It began with the Occurrence. Littlethumb was a little boy…

Book Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Goodreads

Facebook

About The Author

Truant Memphis is your friend. He is also a writer and part-time fictional character. He was born and raised in Texas, then got the hell out of there and began wandering about, trying to save the Universe.

He is married to Daffodil Fields, a character he created. Truant and Daffodil have two children. Dan Trate is their son through time-travel and adoption. Peaceful Dreaming Memphis (Sweet Pea for short) is their daughter. She happened the old-fashioned way. Truant loves you and wants you to be happy. You can follow the personal communication feed of Truant’s and Daffodil’s adventures on Twitter. Help them save the Universe.

Author Links

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Guest Post: Crystal Castle by John D. Ashton

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Amazon Synopsis

Gabriel sits by his fire awaiting the arrival of each member of his fellowship. They do not know of him nor of the epic journey that lies ahead. Brought together by forces unknown, they travel across the vast landscape of New Earth on their quest to bring to an end the evil reign of the mysterious Ruler of the Crystal Castle. During their treacherous journey, which is plagued by the cruel, dark power of the Ruler, they find friendship and love, but also suffer great loss and witness untold horrors as they move closer to the infamous Crystal Castle. Gabriel knows that this mission is his fellowship’s destiny, but will they be strong enough to succeed?

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

 

About The Author

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John D. Ashton is the author of fantasy novel Crystal Castle.

He is currently working on his second novel, which is a murder mystery story with a supernatural element, due out in 2017.

Born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, he spends a lot of his time travelling, seeking new creative ideas.

Author Links

Amazon UK

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “Marked” by P.C. and Kristin Cast

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Goodreads Synopsis

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

Bookworm1102’s Review

This book, which is the first in the House of Night series, I have read before (I have read the whole series), but this is my second time reading it.

Zoey is a normal 16 year old teenager, who worries about the usual things (boyfriend issues, tests and peer pressure), when all of a sudden, a Tracker comes and Marks her. In that split second, her whole life changes forever. She has to attend The House of Night school, where day is night for Vampyres.
There is one catch: if you fail, you die.

I enjoyed this book almost as much as I did when I first read it. There were lines that I didn’t enjoy as much, and in places, I did feel like Zoey was whining a lot, which is something I did not notice on my first read. I do still like this book, and the series, and my favourite characters are still Stevie Rae and Damien.

I will definitely be re-reading the rest of the series in the future, as it was, and hopefully still is, one of my favourite series.

I rate this book 4/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

Guest Post: The Generalist – Taboo 0: Double Feature Show by Thomas Duder

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Amazon Synopsis

Waking up in a bathtub full of blood and a head empty of memories is certainly not the typical morning for an average person. Frank Todd, however, is anything but an average person. Follow along as he fights his way through the city of Neo Los Angeles encountering friend and foe alike in his quest to find out who and what he is. Many strange revelations await him, and he’s about to learn exactly how strange it gets for The Generalist!

Come take a wild ride through a Neo Los Angeles of tomorrow! Monsters, magic, martial artists, catgirls, and more misfits await you. Follow the misadventures of The Shop as they take on all challengers with a bizarre variety of attacks and allies in this action adventure, urban fantasy run amok.

The Generalist – Taboo 0: Double Feature Show! Because you cannot read about people being punched in the face ENOUGH!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.