Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

20312458GENRE: Coming of Age, Romance(Lesbian-PG)
This books does an amazing job or taking us through the complexities of coming out not only to others but to ourselves. The diversity of cultures really hits on what life really is like including the "toxic" people we may come in contact. Farizan does an amazing job capturing the emotions of her characters. Also it is nice not to have an LGBTQ novel that is all about sex but more the complexities of feelings and relationships.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

32954321GENRE: Historic Fiction, Romance(Lesbian)
We all know that when integration of schools came about not all people were happy with it. This book explores that time and the difficulties of it with a new twist. Not only do the main characters have to struggle with the differences of color they also have to struggle with the feelings that have. Feelings that can even today get you hurt.
The characters of Sarah and Linda are both complex and you see Linda evolve alot throughout the novel. The setting is realistic enough and the romance gives it a different twist. I really enjoyed this book for both the history and the broaching of lesbian romance.

Time Zero by Carolyn Cohagan

26779743GENRE: Dystopian 
In Time Zero Carolyn Cohagan describe a world run by fanatics. The point of view is from a young girl growing up in this time and being forced into a marriage against her will. Some seem to compare the descriptions to more radical Islam nations now but I do not see the difference between how some men deem women as property now in the U.S. 
Depending on your perspective when you read this book it will appear different. I read this book during the presidential elections and saw it as poignent and scary. I do not think the autor is too far from the truth as to what could happen.

Dreamland by Kevin Baker

92862Genre: Historic, Literary Fiction
Dreamland captures what it was like to be in the Guilded Age but not rich. He weaves the chracters within the setting of New York City and Coney Island just as a master would weave a tapestry. The combination of shirtwaist workers, gamblers, and gangsters makes this an enjoyable read. It can get a bit confusing but if you know anything about New York at this time life was always a bit confusing and harried.

Mornings in Two Pan by B.K. Froman

24579867GENRE: Humor, Mystery
 Jiggs and his father have never seen eye to eye but without any women left to keep them from fighting they just stay apart as much as possible. When Jiggs finds an old skull on his family land his father tells him to let it be. This leads to finding out more about his family than he ever knew.
The quirkyness of the charcters in this book add a lighter note to the mystery and family drama. Even the cow has personality. The mystery is the underlying plot of this character driven novel. It is almost like a Fargo of books mixed with Northern Lights. Yes, I am showing my age but the chracters are just amazing.

1964 (Made in Yorkshire #1) by James Farner

25224711Genre: Literary Fiction
James Farner creates realistic charcters that are just trying to survive everyday life.  Richard Warren is 10 when the book begins and like any boy of his age growing up in a pretty boring working class environment he can get into some trouble. This trouble leads him to some coming of age events.
It has an interesting view of the class division in society and how that can effect someones perception. Farner does a great job of developing charcter and setting. They are what drive this story more so than the plot which at times seems choppy. Still a good read.

H2O by Virgina Bergin

     GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, YA

    H20 is a different type of post apocolyptic read. First off the killer is bacteria in water, not really something you can avoid. Secondly the main character, Ruby, is not a prepper, survival type but a regular self centered teen. She only survives long enough to figure things out becuase of the people around her but that makes her more realistic. How many teens do you know are preppers or care about anything but their cell phones? As a long time middle school teacher I can tell you not many.

    It was a steady paced quick read. I plan on reading the next in the series. It is in my "pile". 

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    The Wall by Jen Minkman

    29739506GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopia
    Imagine living life on an island with a wall down the middle. You believe that the people on the otherside are wrong or bad because that is what you have been taught all your life. Then you meet someone from the other side.
    I really enjoyed this book and being the person I am saw a social commentary in it about not judging others just by what we hear. The characters were interesting and especially in their own curiosity in societies that don't cultivate that type of thought. I think this would be an interesting book to read with a class and see where the discussion would lead.

    The Double Agents:A Men at War Novel by W.E.B. Griffin

    411987 GENRE: Action Adventure, Historic Fiction, Military, WWII

    The Double Agents continues the adventures of  Dick Canidy and the O.S.S. as they try to stop Hitler and the Nazi's. It is well written and researched as all of Griffin's books. Each time I read one it is like meeting up with old friends. As for the plot there is just enough history added in with the fictional characters to appeal to any history buff.

    Cell by Stephen King

    10567GENRE: Apocalyptic Horror

    Have you every found yourself refering to people who have their face buried in their cell phones as zombies? Stephen King took it a step further and made the cell phones turn them into killing monsters at a single pulse through the phone. As a middle school teacher this though terrifies me, I would never get out alive.

    It is an interesting twist on the zombie/apocalyptic theme that seems to make a social commentary as well. The characters are typical Stephen King so they are developed but not complex. There is a certain amout of familiar predictability. I was quite disappointed by the ending though. Still it is a good beach read.

    The Ending Series by Lindsey Pogue and Lindsey Fairleigh

     29768775GENRE: Post Apocalyptic

    I read the first book in this series awhile ago. I then found out it was a series and couldn't stop. This is not only a tale about a virus that wipes out most of humanity but also of a true friendship that withstands everything.

    Zoe and Dani are best friends but when the world comes to an end they are on opposite coasts of the U.S. As the book synopsis will tell you they will do anything to come back together and fight all sorts of things to keep their little family together.

    I really loved this book series. The chracters were well developed and the parallel plot lines of Zoe and Dani work really well together. The fact that the authors chose to use two alternating points of view makes this story. It flows really well, which is a testiment to the authors because not all things work together when you have two minds on the project.

    Sunday, May 28, 2017

    Critical Hit: A Lesbian Romance by Em Stevens

    GENRE: Lesbian Romance(Rated R)

    I have never been much into romance novels mainly because, as the author puts it, I am more of the Sapphic sort. Recently I have found the growing genre of lesbian romance and I am hooked. 

    Critical Hit is a sweet love story that seems to hit on the nature of relationships and the baggage that goes with them. No hero's in just a kilt in this one(thankfully) but rather nerdy girls who play D & D. They are brought together by one of the girls male friends. You have to read it for the rest.

     It is not a plot that is unique but no one reads romance to think. The characters are believable and the love vs. loss entanglement in the plot helps the story along nicely.

    Zombie Ocean Series 1-7 by Michael John Grist

    Image result for zombie ocean box set GENRE: Zombies, Human nature, Just awesome!

    I read these books usually as ARC from the author. I fell behind on my reviews but you can frind in this blog reviews for these three books separately.

    If you like zombies(and who doesn't?) you really need to read the Zombie Ocean series by Michael John Grist. His characters are well developed and the plot od not your typical zombie eating brains. In fact his books are more a commentary on human nature than zombie killing. I was hooked from Book 1:The Last and I am still hooked after Book 7: The Lash. The evolution of the characters as they grow is amazingly constructed. I know I have even questioned liking some of the characters as I got to know them more. I highly recommend these books and suggest you go to Mr' Grist's web page now!

    Maid of Baikal by Preston Fleming

    GENRE: Historic Fiction(with a twist)

    The Maid of Baikal by Preston Fleming is an account of the Russian Revolution. It also involves a prophecy from the Maid. The story is told through the eyes of an outsider, and American, sent to consult. Fleming is a master story teller and it is obvious much research and thought went into this novel. Unfortunately the characters were not as developed as his Beirut Trilogy and at times the story got confusing. As a note I did read it as an ARC and gave Mr. Fleming this feedback. He is a fantasic author and probably fixed a few things before publishing. This review is long over due. As always with Preston Fleming's work he makes you think and that is always a worthwhile read.
                            MAID OF BAIKAL by Preston Fleming

    So....long time no post.

    Image result for frazzled cat images

    Well, if anyone actually follows my blog you may notice it has been a while since I posted anything. 2016 and so far 2017 have been quite a challenge. New job, new city, bought a house, crushed by the election. You know normal stuff. My escape has been reading though so I have A LOT to catch up on.

    By alot I mean at least 57 reviews, Of course my usually disaster and end of the world stuff, which lately has seemed more like current events. The change is I have found romance books I like. I was surprised to find that the genre of lesbian fiction/romance growing. I mean real lesbian not porn for straight guys. In the top I will post what genre a book is so if you know my romance books aren't your thing or you don't like zombies(who doesn't like zombies!?!) you can skip that review. No harm, no foul.

    Also since I have sooo much to review and alot of them are series that I read I will review them as a series. I would get one book from BookBub or Kindle Unlimited and find I wanted to know more so I would go and buy the whole series. Books are my addiction so...

    Be prepared for a lot of posts coming up. Also please send me any feedback. I love Indie authors and small publishers and my reviews are free so please contact me.