Three Nights with a Rock Star – Review

August 17, 2015 Review 2 ★★★★

Three Nights with a Rock Star – ReviewRelease Date: May 29, 2014
Title: Three Nights with a Rock Star
Series: Half-Life #1
Author: Amber Lin, Shari Slade
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Owned
From the Publisher: When Hailey crashes a Half-Life after party, she expects to find the bastard who knocked up her little sister. Instead she meets the sexy front-man who agrees to give her access to his crew if she gives him access to her body.

All Lock demands in return is three days of complete control over the Sunday School teacher. With a contract, because he’s been burned before. One misstep could send the band—and his tenuous sobriety—up in flames.

Hailey and Lock push each other’s limits… Against the penthouse window. Backstage. In the limo and on the elevator. But as the contract counts down, neither are ready for the party to end.
4 Stars

Minor spoilers ahead.

Three nights with a rock star simply isn’t enough. I want ALL of the nights with Keaton “Lock” Shaw.

*swoon*

Three Nights with a Rock Star is a teensy bit like 50 Shades of Grey. But this is the book you wished 50 Shades was. Lock is the front man for a rock band. And he keeps contracts in his nightstand (more CDA and less kink allowances). When Hailey shows up at his hotel to ask for his help in finding the man who got her little sister pregnant, the last thing she expected was to end up bent over his couch. But she agreed to stay with him for 3 nights in exchange for his help.

And every hair pull, bite, and spank over those three nights left me wanting to spend more time in my fantasy where I was Hailey and in Lock’s bed.

I think that the reason I like this book so much is that it plays out a fantasy that I’ve had over and over. What would I do if a total stranger – even if (especially if) he’s a celebrity – asked me to share his bed? In the fantasy, I’d do exactly what Hailey did. I’d forget who I was for a few days and give myself over to wanton abandon. And then I would get under his skin so much that he’d fall head over heels in love with me.

Who doesn’t fantasize about that?

What Shari and Amber did in this book is give us the fantasy we want without falling into the trap of talking down to the reader or devolving into gratuitous sex. And it absolutely left me wanting more.

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Armada by Ernest Cline – Review

August 10, 2015 Review 0 ★★★★★

Armada by Ernest Cline – ReviewRelease Date: July 15, 2015
Title: Armada
Author: Ernest Cline
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Length: 11 hours 58 minutes
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Source: Audible
From the Publisher: The new novel from the best-selling author of Ready Player One

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.

Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

At first Zack thinks he's going crazy.

A minute later he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada - in which gamers just happen to be protecting the Earth from alien invaders.

But what Zack's seeing is all too real. And his skills - as well as those of millions of gamers across the world - are going to be needed to save the Earth from what's about to befall it.

Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too...familiar?

Armada is at once a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming-of-age adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you've ever heard before - one whose every minute is infused with author Ernest Cline's trademark pop-culture savvy.
5 Stars

I’ll admit: Ready Player One was better. But that book set the bar so high that it would be hard for anything Cline wrote to come close. While Armada didn’t quite hit that bar, it still kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was coming next. This audio book was like book crack to me – I never wanted to turn it off!

Zack Lightman is just your ordinary teenager, though he apparently had a bit of a temper in his younger days. But give the kid a break – his dad died in a sewage plant explosion! That kind of thing will mess with your head. Especially when you’ve gone through his stuff and found a conspiracy theory riddled diary that convinces you that your dad had more than a few screws loose.

But then one day Zack’s life changes. He sees a spaceship in the sky that looks exactly like the alien fighter ships from his favorite video game Armada.

Of course, Zack thinks he’s losing his mind just like his dad.

He isn’t.

The government has prepared the world for an alien invasion by covertly training millions through video games. And the time for war has come.

That’s all you need to know about this book. Pick it up. Read it. Listen to it. I’m partial to the audio book because Wil Wheaton narrated it – and I’ve never come across Wheaton’s work that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed, no matter the genre.

If you thought Ready Player One had a little too much pop culture immersion, then you’ll definitely enjoy Armada more. This book is written a little more straight forward. It’s Ender’s Game meets War Games, though set in the future and built on a foundation of video game and sci-fi movie references from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But they aren’t overwhelming, and they aren’t constantly in your face.

Armada was a book full of all of the things I love: aliens, action, family, friends, and the one that beats all: learning who you are as a person.

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Awkward Postcards from Wilhelm Staehle – Review

November 26, 2014 Ramblings, Review 0 ★★★★★

I’m not dead.

This is good news, right?!

2014 has been a year off blogging, for the most part. It was really a year off reading – I’ve only read 108 books this year!

But the truth is, I always think about this blog in the back of my mind. The community I was a part of is never far from my thoughts – and thanks in large part to Twitter, I never felt as if I totally left it.

One of the things I did this year instead of reading and blogging was writing. Not a book (well, okay, yes – a book. But that’s not what I’m talking about here!), but letters! I found a few pen pals and I joined the Letter Writers Alliance. Then I discovered Postcrossing. And Reddit hosted a postcard version of Redditgifts.

Postcards are cool.

So when I saw that Quirk Books was looking for folks to review two new postcard books, I jumped at the chance!

And these are now my favorite postcards (and I’ve become a bit of a collector these past few months).

HugsAndMisses_Cover_72dpi

Wilhelm Staehle’s Silhouette Masterpiece Theater (silhouettemasterpiecetheater.com) is the rare Web comic that deserves to be printed. Each panel in the popular weekly strip features a painstakingly detailed etching carved from a beautiful painting; the results are gorgeous and very funny.

These two postcard books feature some of Staehle’s finest work. Hugs and Misses is a terrific Valentine’s Day gift, full of lovelorn ladies, roguish gentlemen, renegade Cupids, and indecent proposals. Stars and Swipes offers a hilarious vision of classic Americana, with farcical frontiersmen, prattling presidents, and other all-American oddities.

StarsAndSwipes_Cover_72dpi

These would make great coffee table books to facilitate interesting conversation. But I’ll be honest – I plan to use these postcards! They’re so amazing that I just want to share them.

They’re made of high quality and thick card stock, so you don’t have to worry about them being ruined in transit. There’s plenty of room on the back to write a quick note. And they’re just all around fun.

My favorite postcard from Stars and Swipes is:

stars and swipes

My favorite postcard from Hugs and Misses was really hard to pick – they’re all so great! But I wanted to narrow it down, so this is the one I picked:

hugs and misses

These are the kinds of things that make me gigglesnort.

If you need a gift for an office holiday party, or for that one awkward friend in your life – these are definitely for you. But honestly – I think these would be perfect gifts for just about anybody who has a decent sense of humor.

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We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt – Review

July 28, 2014 Review 0 ★★★

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt – ReviewRelease Date: May 27, 2014
Title: We Are the Goldends
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Pages: 208
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley
From the Publisher: Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellayla. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.
3 Stars

I am so very frustrated right now.

I’ve been on a serious re-reading kick for the last several months. We Are the Goldens is the first new book I’ve picked up to read since I can remember. I was really hoping to be blown out of the water.

But I wasn’t.

The book was interesting enough to keep me turning the page, but when I got to the final page it really felt as if there should be more pages. The story is one where Nell, the younger sister, keeps her older sister Layla’s secret until she just can’t do it anymore.

But we don’t get to see the fall out from that secret. And let me tell you – it’s the kind of secret that’s a Big. Fucking. Deal. Even though you figure out the secret very early in the book, before it’s confirmed.

The story I wanted to read was about how the secret – and its consequences – affected the sibling relationship.

The story I got was simply a younger sister complaining about how her sister is different until she can’t hold onto the secret any longer. The end.

I needed more to really connect with the story and the characters. This book only scratched the surface, and it left me feeling disappointed and a little bit as if I wasted my time with it.

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Seriously Series Challenge – Second Check-in

July 1, 2014 Challenges 0

Reading the Paranormal - 2014 Seriously Series Reading Challenge

I am finally reading series like crazy! Well, mostly series re-reads, but it’s fantastic – I am loving this whole read without reviewing thing I’ve got going on. Here’s my progress through June (you can see all of my goals here).

Series Started Before 2014:

Started Before 2014
4/10 series
  1. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
    • The Fiery Heart (series complete until next book comes out)
  2. House of Night by PC & Kristin Cast
    • Revealed (series complete until next book comes out)
  3. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
    • Shattered (series complete until next book comes out)
  4. The Ashfall Trilogy by Mike Mullin
    • Sunrise (series complete)

Series Started In 2014 (in Progress):

Started in 2014
1/5 series
  1. The Farm by Emily McKay
    • The Farm
    • The Lair
  2. The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts
    • Dark Witch
    • Shadow Spell
    • Blood Magic (not released yet, series complete until next book comes out)
  3. Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa
    • The Immortal Rules
    • The Eternity Cure
    • The Forever Song

Series Rereads (in Progress):

Rereads
2/3 series
  1. The Hollows by Kim Harrison
    • Dead Witch Walking
    • The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
    • Every Which Way but Dead
    • A Fistful of Charms
    • For a Few Demons More
    • The Outlaw Demon Wails
    • White Witch, Black Curse
    • Black Magic Sanction
    • Pale Demon
    • A Perfect Blood
    • Ever After
    • The Undead Pool
  2. The Meredith Gentry Series by Laurell K. Hamilton
    • A Kiss of Shadows
    • A Caress of Twilight
    • A Stroke of Midnight
    • Seduced by Moonlight
    • Mistral’s Kiss
    • Lick of Frost
    • Swallowing Darkness
    • Divine Misdemeanors
  3. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
    • Darkfever
    • Bloodfever
    • Faefever
    • Dreamfever
    • Shadowfever
    • Iced
  4. Shifters by Rachel Vincent
    • Stray
    • Rogue
    • Pride
    • Prey
    • Alpha

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