Review: Sad Girls by Lang Leav

I can honestly say I didn’t see the ending and then the epilogue coming. That doesn’t happen often. I can’t say I was shocked. I just didn’t see it coming.

If I had to find fault there are a couple of points that I think a good editor would correct. They just didn’t make sense. They might be minor details, but still, they were glaringly amiss for me and really bothered me.

However, once I started this novel I had a hard time putting it down. At first I just kept thinking that this would be a great novel for older teens. It would keep them engaged and hopefully some valuable life lessons could be seen. As I read I found myself not even thinking of the audience it could engage, as I was enjoying the novel more than I even expected, despite the couple of flaws that bothered me.

No the characters weren’t perfect. However, what 18 – 20-year-old is? Or, as this novel points out, what adult or parent is for that matter?

I have no problem at all as seeing this as a runaway hit when it’s finally released.

This review pretty much sucks, but in my defence, I’m really still a bit shell-shocked from the ending and I’m not at all sure how I feel about the whole thing…Despite that, I didn’t find it that it was done for shock value. I found it very true to the characters. Yes, both *surprises*…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Sad Girls by Lang Leav

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

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Review: Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

I enjoyed the story. I also found myself laughing out loud more than once at the diary entries. I might have even gotten a wee bit emotional at the running race.

However, I found myself getting a bit wound up more than once over the body shaming and name calling. I mean, Zoe and Greg faced discrimination daily. Faced judgement based solely on the size of their clothing. Yet they didn’t seem to mind doing the same type things to people they knew who were overweight or those that weren’t “perceived” as attractive.

Perhaps some might say I am being too politically correct. I don’t care. Body shaming and any other shaming (be it how someone dresses or looks) really bothers me. More and more each day it seems. I don’t want to lighten up over it. I don’t care if you’re making a joke about it. Or you’re just being judgemental amongst yourselves. I don’t think it’s right.

I think it’s a bit hypocritical to have two characters that are trying to change their lives because they are sickened by being judged or ashamed of how they look and feel and then have them turn around and do the same thing. Personally, it really turned me off and bothered me.

This would have been a great book for me if the main characters could have had a wake up moment of realising that their size doesn’t determine their worth…or that how someone dresses doesn’t make them crazy. Or so many other things that bothered me here…but as it is, it was just okay for me… #sorrynotsorry

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

Review: When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

I started this book and immediately found myself drawn in. As the book continued I admit, I started to become angry with the wife. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to let go and accept someone whom you loved a great deal had died if they remained in contact with you. I really felt bad for the husband. As the book continued on more, I became outraged at this dead wife. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes. Why would she do this? I put myself in her husband’s shoes. How awful it must have been for him. Why oh why would she do all of this? Why wouldn’t she had just been honest and up front when she was alive?

As the book approached the ending… well, I finally understood. I can’t say I agreed with her reasoning…or her methods…but I could finally understand to some degree.

Even when I was incredibly angry with these characters, I remained invested in this novel and couldn’t put it down. I rushed through it to make sure it would all turn out alright.

Sure, I figured out some of the “surprises” in the ending…however, the path I thought we would be taking to get there was different from I expected. I finished this novel and didn’t feel any anger about emotional manipulation as I often do with these “surprise twists” at the end.

Sure, it might be a novel that I won’t remember all the details next month, that happens a lot with me, but I have to say I really enjoyed this whilst I was reading it and I definitely know some mates that I would recommend this one to…very happy I picked this one to spend the day reading…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

Review: Geisha With Green Eyes by India Millar

31109220Mixed reviews on this one. I will quickly say that it felt like borderline erotica that was poorly executed. I also think that at the start that the writing style was mimic of the writing style of “Memories of a Geisha”, but where in MoaG it felt authentic, in this novel it just felt amateurish and childish.

Also you had the main character that was obviously powerful in her own right, and at times, she seemed to know this, but most of the time she was still dogeza with the other girls. SHe plainly knew the workings of the culture as it was all she knew…She noted the powers that some of the girls had over the others and noted the powers that her “auntie” had…even though men were always in power at the end of the day…however, it still bothered me that she seemed so subservient to everyone, even though she, in her own right, was put into several positions of power by some of her patrons.

Many times I wanted to put this novel down and place it in my DNF column. There are many parts of the story I would have liked to seen handled differently.

However, at the end of the day, I wanted to see what happened at the end of the story. At the end of the day I think there was some great potential here to make a mediocre novel into something that was very good. Yes it fell short, but I spent a great deal of time imagining and thinking about this novel when I wasn’t reading it. I just couldn’t manage to put it aside and felt compelled to finish it. I didn’t want to walk away and leave it undone. That in itself is something. I have to give credit where credit is due. No it wasn’t written as I wished it had, some parts of it I found silly even, but despite all of that, I had to finish it and I am glad that I did.

Not my best read of the year, but certainly not my worst either…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy your copy here Geisha With Green Eyes by India Millar

Review: A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

25613372Oh dear…I hate to give a review for a book I didn’t like much by an author that everyone seems to love. Especially if it’s a genre that I’ve made clear isn’t my favourite.

As I’ve wanted to read more books from this genre lately I have been asking myself more and more why it’s not a genre that I absolutely love.

This book is why! I’ve read some exceptional books that were classified “chick lit”. I’ve read some that make my heart swell…some that have made me laugh out loud…and some that have given me so many “feels” that I can’t help but to always seek out that next one that makes me feel all those emotions.

This book wasn’t awful. But I just had issues with the characters.

Why was the main character so stressed out from a job that she proclaimed meant so much to her, that she was so passionate about, but then was willing to just walk away for several months. I understand stress…I do! I understand needing a break…I do! However, this just seemed like it was over dramatic, especially since a few weeks later it was once again the best job in the universe with no issues at all…what was the real story going on there?

Second, I can’t stand where a character just falls for someone they don’t know…I mean, she didn’t even seem to find him that attractive when she first saw him…then suddenly after talking to her mate, she couldn’t stop thinking of him…then after one day she’s willing to do all sorts of things with him…

TBH, when we first heard of the *love interest* in this novel the description was so non-descriptive I didn’t have a clue what he was like…I pictured him as older man who didn’t speak much and might not even speak the same language…

Again, I’m not trying to be horrible here…the book REALLY was okay…

I just need some type of foundation to build a HEA on and I don’t feel like I received that in this novel. Little Kate was wonderful…the teddy was wonderful…the elderly Maisie was equally wonderful…

But that’s it…the rest just weren’t…and there were bits that really bothered me…How in an interview and discussing a new job the main character kept referring to the elderly as “old people”. Here she is in an interview and they ask her if she’s ever worked with senior citizens and she goes on about “one old lady in particular”. I’m not really one for strict PC, but I just found it a bit off-putting for me. It bothered me. Two days later it STILL bothers me…That “old woman” was meant to be her friend…and there you have it…I just found Emily shallow and fickle. I found Alasdair stern, controlling and unforgiving…and I didn’t seem them as an item at all…

I certainly didn’t hate the book, but I can’t reconcile myself a fantastic, deep felt relationship between two people who I never saw any evidence of…so this book was a pass for me…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy your copy here A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

Revisit: Behind the Falls by Brenda Zalegowski

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No doubt you’ve heard of this book, especially if you’ve been following our little blog for awhile.  And while I don’t often do reruns of past reviews, in this case I feel it’s something I must do for our dear readers.  You see, the highly anticipated follow-up to this brilliant story is soon to hit the world.  And if you haven’t read this amazing story, now is the time to do so.  Therefore, I give you my original review of Behind the Falls…

Disclaimer #1: This book was reviewed several weeks earlier by our very own Urania. This is my perspective on it.

Disclaimer #2: The author is a friend of mine, and I’m sure she’s a friend to many of you as well. That’s both good and bad. Good because it’s an honor to share someone’s creative work. And bad because, well, if it’s really no good how do you address that? It’s like seeing someone’s really ugly baby. What do you say? But there are no such book-related worries in this case because the book truly is exceptional on so many levels.

Noah is barely sixteen but yet has faced so many issues in his young life. Burdened with panic and anxiety disorders from a very young age, he struggles with how exactly to be normal. And then his somewhat predictable world is shaken up as his family decides move to a new town. Not only that, but Noah will be going to public school for the first time. Enough to send even the most well-adjusted (if there is such a thing) teen over the edge.

Thankfully there’s a friendly face in the crowd. A hand reaches out to him on his very first day, and Noah doesn’t feel so lost anymore. When Max welcomes Noah into his world, it’s more than he could have ever hoped for. He begins to feel “normal” for the very first time in his life, whatever that word truly means.

Noah’s inner demons aren’t so easily silenced, though. His struggles continue as does his battle to hide it from his new friends. If he could only find the strength to be honest with them as well as with himself, and about so many different things.

And this is where my summary ends. Because to give anything else away would spoil it. And this is a book that you just have to read and feel for the very first time without any preconceived notions or ideas about what you’re supposed to think. I’m glad I didn’t when I read it, and I’m doing the same for you.

So the obvious…
This is a very long book, clocking in at just under 700 pages. And I admit, as have several other reviewers, that the length was a bit daunting at first. I found myself getting bogged down in the beginning, wondering if the lengthy narrative and internal dialogue were really necessary. But I felt a pull, something compelling me to keep going. And yes, part of the reason was because, well, friends.

Still, at about the halfway point I realized that it worked for this book. Noah’s story really couldn’t be told in a lesser manner. The sometimes rambling dialogue is surely reminiscent of what must be going on inside the head of somebody with a panic/anxiety disorder. And more importantly, such detailed descriptions of the characters as well as background info made me feel for them, connect with them on a level not achieved by all authors. In fact, I’m so invested with Noah and Max, even Tabitha, that several days later I still can’t get them out of my head. I want more!

And another caveat. It’s a very heavy book. Heavy on the emotions, heavy on the subject matter. But so is life. Not a reason to avoid it. Still, it’s probably a book that’s best suited for older teens and adults. Now crossing my fingers and hoping there’s a sequel in the works…

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Behind the Falls