Book Reviews

Single AF

Single AF

Single AF (Social Experiment #1) By: Sherelle Green

Plot:

SINGLE: Unmarried or not involved in a stable relationship.

MEEKA
The pure term ‘being single’ makes me want to gag every time I hear it. To me, the worst part is the fact that you’re constantly reminded of your status. Like, do you really think I can forget I’m single? I’ve dated more Mr. Wrong’s than I can count, and now, the network that I work for wants me to share my messed up dating history with the world. To make matters more humiliating, my arch nemesis — aka Mr. Missed Opportunity — has a front row seat to my walking, talking mistakes.

TONE
To say working with Meeka on this assignment is bound to go badly, would be an understatement. We’ve never gotten along, and I have a good reason for staying clear. Everything about her screams … extra! So, of course when our network needs me to assist her with her project, I’m intrigued to hear what her exes have to say about their past relationship. Maybe I’ll get some insight into her character or validate my assumptions. Or unbeknownst to me, I might just find myself connecting with this loud, crazy woman more than I ever thought I would. They say don’t mix business with pleasure. Funny, I never liked that rule.

Review:

This book is worth reading for the first chapter alone. It’s freaking hilarious! I actually found it because Alyssa Cole tweeted about the first sentence and that sold me.

Meeka was…honestly people kept calling her crazy but she was not at all. She was a planner and a dreamer and I related to her a lot. She was maybe a bit too eager at times, but I loved her. Her ratchet rhymes had me laughing so hard.

Tone was HOT. Incredibly attractive inside and out and a worthy match to Meeka. I loved that he was willing to fight for her, not just take on an evil ex, but when she learned something that he should have told her earlier he wasn’t just going to let their new relationship drop. He was also willing to give her space to process and was just all around perfect. It was wonderful especially after seeing the losers she’d dated. She deserved to find a prince.

My only real complaint with the book was that it moved really fast and I wished the ex-boyfriends had been fleshed out more and there’d been more of them. It was over way too fast, but I’ve already got another book by Green purchased and ready on my kindle, so at least I’ve got that to look forward too.

4.5/5

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Of Blood and Bone

Of Blood and Bone

Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One #2) By: Nora Roberts

Plot:

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

Review:

So, I wasn’t a fan of the last book, but it properly set my expectations so I knew what I was getting into with the second. Of Blood and Bone is still much darker than I’m used to with Nora Roberts, but there is a lot more light too.

Fallon is young, just 12 when it starts out, but her true training begins shortly after her 13th birthday. For two years she is taught and excels, and passes test after test, until she’s done. The entire book is getting to know her, her strengths and weaknesses. The world has already been created, and the setting feels mostly built, this book was about introducing us to The One.

She loves her family, she’s smart and analytical, but she doesn’t ignore her emotions. I liked that, I liked that going cold and logical wasn’t her goal, and while she could be passionate she wasn’t always hot-headed.

The side characters from the previous book weren’t ignored, we got glimpses into their lives. A lot has happened for them since we left, and thankfully, most of it was good. People are thriving. The world is different, but there is still a lot of darkness and unrest and basically anarchy in most places. It’s not a pretty place, but there are bubbles where it isn’t bad, yet.

If this was any other Nora Roberts book I would assume that Deacon is Fallon’s fated love, and it really does look like that will happen, but I can’t say I’m much of a fan of his. He’s fine, but their relationship is imbalanced. They’re both powerful, magically, though Fallen is definitely stronger. My problem is that he is a year older than Fallon and already has quite a bit of experience with sex. She doesn’t, which is fine, but I don’t want her to be this virginal prize for him. I’m not a fan of that trope.

We’ll see what happens. The book ends with a minor battle. Some people die, but no one you’re really attached too, but it means something to the characters. Deacon says some thoughtless things, but they seem to make up, and he goes off because he can’t be near her. Fallon is left with her family and to raise an army.

I am more excited for the next book than I am for this, but I’m also cautious because I’m afraid of what Roberts will do. We’ll see.

3.5/5

 

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) By: Sarah J. Maas

Plot:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

Review:

So I liked every other prequel book in this series, but the one right before this had a really great ending so I was excited to finally start the actual series. I either like Celaena or hate her, there isn’t much of an in-between. She is smart and capable, and the story shows it, but she is also a spoiled brat. Ugh, she is such a freaking diva.

Most of the prequel stuff was referenced, though, the man she’d loved was only mentioned in passing which was incredibly disappointing. Actually, the whole last novella and what happened was barely referenced and she didn’t exact revenge on anyone.

There are two other main characters, which end up creating a love triangle with Celaena. I hate love triangles, and even though the book ended with her saying that one of them didn’t stand a chance there was no real ending to the whole thing. I have a preferred partner, but he’s so obviously the best choice I doubt that will happen. I also find it a bit annoying that everyone seems to fall in love or hate with her.

I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with the series. Not just because of the love triangle, but because I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to enjoy what happens in this world. There is no clear indicator if good will eventually win and I need that indicator. I don’t feel like investing my time in a series that doesn’t give me a happy ending right now. I’m just not sure. Maybe I’ll go back to it when I’m in a more receptive mood.

3/5

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians Book

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) By: Kevin Kwan

Plot:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

Review:

I watched the movie before reading the book, so I was expecting the movie only a bit more. The movie, in my opinion, is a romance but it’s also about an American Chinese woman returning to her roots. I didn’t get that from the book.

Crazy Rich Asians the book was much more fragmented than the movie. You saw into the lives of a lot more characters and if possible you saw a lot more wealth. There were numbers constantly being thrown at you, the price of clothing and real estate, the wealth of someone, both current and projected. It was a lot.

There was more insight into the culture of the people and area, but not so much Rachel returning to her roots. It was more these wealthy people do this thing and if you don’t meet this criteria then they will ignore you or treat you this way. Or this person is doing this thing so that the outside world thinks this about them. It was interesting, but also hard to take seriously because everything revolved around money and wealth and appearances to an insane and calculated degree.

Everyone was a lot less empathetic. Nick, who already seemed so delusional when it comes to his family, was even more so. Rachel was a lot more emotional and weak. My favorite scene in the movie wasn’t in the book at all. The entire ending of the book was quite a bit different from the movie and I feel like the movie made it much more approachable for my American sensibilities.

Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the book, which really disappointed me. I don’t plan on reading the further books, but I’ll watch any further movies. Crazy Rich Asians, the book, was really light on the romance and discovery of self that I loved about the movie.

2/5

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) By: Helen Hoang

Plot:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review:

While nominating books for Goodreads awards I stumbled across The Kiss Quotient. It sounded sweet, funny, and entertaining so I added it to my queue. While at the library I noticed it on display, recognized the name, so I picked it up. I hoped it was going to be good, but I know nothing about the author and I don’t always enjoy, what I think of, as more literary romances. You know, the books that don’t have gorgeous people on the cover, the ones that have blurbs that talk about semi-serious things, the ones that do a little bit to hide that they’re romances. The Kiss Quotient doesn’t go that way with the blurb, you know what’s going to happen based on that, but the cover kind of throws me off. My issue, not the books.

Anyway, I was ready to go to bed, decided to try the first page just to get a taste of what to expect. Next thing I knew it was four o’clock in the morning and I was finishing the book. I seriously can’t remember the last time that happened. This book was SO GOOD!

I love Stella and I was projecting on her hard. I am not autistic, at least not that I’m aware of, but so many of her little ticks I have done my entire life. She misses so many social queues, that the reader picks up on, and you just want to sit her down and spell everything out so she’ll understand. Ugh, I loved her.

My god, Michael is one of the hottest characters I’ve ever read. Seriously, the man is a dangerous fictional character. The patience and love he has for Stella is the stuff romance novels are made of. He is tortured and talented and loves his family in such a way that you just want to spend the rest of your life with him because you know that you will always be cherished. Dear god this man…

The Kiss Quotient deserved it’s Goodreads Choice Award win and then some. I am EAGERLY awaiting Hoang’s next book in a way I haven’t felt for a new author in years. I highly recommend.

5/5