Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Red

Title: The Red
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotica/Romance
Rating: 3.5/5
Page Count: 235
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017

Plot (from goodreads):
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

Review:
First off trigger/content warnings, cause this book is a lot: dubious consent, magical drugging (possibly? definitely magic altering perspective without the person knowing fulling that's going to happen), minotaur sex(I don't know how else to describe that scene?).

I don't even know else to mention - if you're hesitant, put yourself first, but if you've got any clarifying question I don't mind answering here or on twitter. (you can even ask me to follow so you can DM me and it isn't public, completely fine).

I was enjoying this book at different levels at different points. Up until the halfway point I was just kind of like meh, the characters felt more flat then her others have, and the plot felt predictable. And, even predicting it, the minotaur sex scene was weird. And I'm good with weird, fine with weird but... it was almost weird for me? Not weird enough I DNFed the book, though, which... you have to go far for me to do that, I'm pretty meh.

I did like that it kind of fucked everything up, though, plot wise. Overall, besides that scene we're not mentioning again, the sex scenes were pretty well written. Not as good as some I've read by her, but I think that's just because she used the word 'prick' a few times, which is not a sex scene word to me and made me wince. Why. Don't use prick in a sex scene, it's not sexy.

Otherwise, I wasn't attached to either of our main characters through out most of the book - Mona and Malcolm - but, by the end, I did really like both of them. Didn't love either of them, but I would 100% read a prequel about Malcolm's life before this book, it sounds bonkers. And I'm just in that?

Tiffany Reisz I hold to higher standards then I probably should, just because I love her Original Sinners series so much - a ridiculous amount, I'm not even kidding. I'd get an eighth circle tattoo, probably, after it's been a few more years. I just love those characters so much. This was still good, even though I was hesitant to go into it because she compares it to Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series, which I put the first book down after ten pages. Phew, those are... hard to read.

This one isn't as hard to read as that, things start off consensual and it does feel muddied at points. However, I did appreciate that when she does tell him to stop and leave, he does stop and leave. He doesn't stay away forever, but the ball is more in her court to start things again then is.

Overall, if you want a fun and weird as fuck at points erotica book that's written well, I'd definitely recommend checking this one out. However, I'd recommend checking out her other series more. Her Men at Work series - Harlequin style romance series, super cute and pretty steamy. If you don't mind a trigger/content warning list as long as my entire body, I cannot recommend Original Sinners highly enough. The characters, the writing, the sex scenes are not cringey. There is some bloodplay though in the very beginning of the second book, just to give an example of how real it gets.

If you end up checking this one out, or any of her other books - or you already have - please let me know, I'd love to talk to you. Especially if you, too, worship the ground that Kingsley Edge walks on.

Happy reading!

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Title(s): The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (#1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: supernatural/mystery/adventure (middle grade)
Rating: 3.5/5
Page Count: 362
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017

Plot:
"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."

Prosper Redding is from an acclaimed family, but he's not all that special. Redding's run the town where he lives, where he's from, and everyone seems to look down on Prosper, even his twin sister, Prue.

And then he learns that there's something inside him called a malefactor, and the story goes from there. Alastor is trying to regain power to escape Prosper's body, but that's proving harder then he expects it to be.

Review:
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'd never read anything by Alexandra Bracken before - I know, I'm a little surprised, too - but this sounded like a ton of fun. New England, fall, middle grade adventure/mystery with some demons and such, sign me up.

Overall, I liked her writing. There wasn't any part I was super in love with, but nothing really put me off the story, either. I did feel like we got bogged down in the middle, even though stuff was happening I just felt like of bored with it? This might of been my jetlagged mind or something else me related, especially since it didn't last that long, but still a factor for why I didn't give it five stars.

Let me be clear, though, I really enjoyed this book. Three point five out of five is a good book. And this one was, even though I didn't completely love it. Our characters were interesting, but didn't pull me in all the way, which is probably why I felt that drag. Although, would read a whole book about Toad. I have no idea why, and I'm not going to explain Toad, but... best.

Prosper, our main character obviously, is interesting, though. Coming from a large, rich, successful family and being... not successful, having the worst luck. It was so... not pitiful, at no point is he pitiful, but he is kind of something. Sad? Melancholy? His voice is a little melancholy, we see from his POV in third person, and there's something about it that makes me think melancholy. But I really liked that about him, and about this book.

Al was also a great character, possibly my favorite, which says about me then I am comfortble with but I do love a good "villain."

Overall, I think this was just a solid book. Good writing, good characters, dragged for me but I don't mind that too much. And I'm definitely going to pick up the second book, hopefully next year? And I think it'll be drastically different in tone then this one, that's for sure, and I am super excited about that.

If you pick up this book, or have already, let me know! Especially if you've got thoughts.

Happy reading!

Goodreads
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!

Title(s): Lumberjanes, Unicorn Power! (Lumberjanes #1)
Author: Mariko Tamaki, Brooke Allen (Illustrator)
Genre: Adventure, Urban Fantasy (Middle Grade)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Page Count: 256
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017

Plot:
This is an original story staring the five main characters of the BOOM! published comic series Lumberjanes - created by Noelle Stevenson. And I'm a huge fan of it. We don't get exact ages for the girls but I'd say between ten and thirteen? They seem older sometimes, for various reasons, but the comics, and this book, are marketed for a younger middle grade audience.

This one starts off with them trying to earn the Living the Plant Life badge when they see a unicorn and Ripley takes off after it because, well, unicorn. And the adventure takes off from there with classic Lumberjanes shenanigans and mystery.

(If you haven't read the comic, you can read this book no problem but the comic is amazing)

Review:
I enjoyed this book a lot, but I did have problems with it. We're going to start with the problems, because there's only a few - and all of them are pretty minor, considering - but then we can end on a high note. My first problem with it was the fact that it was younger middle grade - which is fine, in itself, but my problem with that was the way it talked down to the reader. Explaining when a bigger word was used, kind of thing. Kids are smart, if they're confused by a word they can - figure out the meaning, look it up, or ask. It drove me a little crazy, and it would of as a kid, too.

So, obviously, I am not the age range this book is targeted but besides that I found it really cute and sweet. I forget, sometimes, the comic is all ages just because I don't think about it. However, I'd recommend both for, like it says, all ages.

The way the pacing of this book is, is a little weird. We meet the unicorns right away, and then it just felt a little weird the in between moments? Besides that, though, I just plain loved it. I might be biased because of my established love for the comics, I've read all the current out volumes and normally rate then 4/5 stars.

The girls are, of course, my favorite. They're so strong/good together, and it makes me so happy to see such great friendships shown between girls. Who aren't talking about guys all the time. I mean, sure, they're young and they also go to a camp for hardcore lady types but still, most others would of probably added that in since there is a boys camp near by.

Speaking of gender! We get a nonbinary or genderqueer character in this book - it's not specified which in the text just says they prefer they/them pronouns. And, actually, they're a character that we've seen in the comics that use to go to the boys camp and is adorable and amazing, and apparently makes really good cookies? So that was cool, even though we don't see them much in this book, hopefully they'll pop up more in future ones.

We still have Mal/Molly happening, like in the comics, which I kind of want more of because they're so dang cute. They seem to be living in this summer forever - it's even mentioned in one of the comics, time seems to run weird - but I'm hoping we do get to see them get older, and also at home, what it's like when they aren't at camp. And I feel like these books might be better suited then comics for that, because we can be shown/told how they're feeling easier through a novel then through a comic.

So I'll definitely be picking up my own copy of this when it comes out in October, and am excited that it seems to be planned to be the first in a novelized series. I'd recommend this for anyone who likes hardcore lady types, adventure, and magical realism/portal fantasy? The magic is weird, follows it's own rules, and I love it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

August 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

This is a little late because I was in London/Dublin for the last week of August, and first few days of September. Which I'm planning on making a post about but I just love both of those cities possibly an unhealthy amount, and am already planning my next tattoo (one I got in Dublin). (Another reason why this wasn't up right away, hard to type when you've got a tattoo healing on your wrist).

This month I went on a bit of a NetGalley spree - I've had my account for a while but haven't used it until now - so a good handful of things I read aren't out yet. But I have reviews up here, or on goodreads (and they will be up here).

Books:
  • Deceptive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3/5)
  • Lumberjanes: UNICORN POWER! by Mariko Tamaki (3.5/5) (full review this week!!)
  • Takeover (#1) by Anna Zabo (4.5/5) (review)
  • Just Business (#2) by Anna Zabo (4/5)
  • Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson (4.5/5)
  • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rodick (4/5)
  • Grinder (Seattle Sharks #1) by Samantha Whiskey (3/5)
  • Enforcer (#2) by Samantha Whiskey (2/5)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnston (3/5)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison (4/5)
Graphic novels/comics:
  • If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (3/5) (goodreads review)
  • The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais (4/5) (goodreads review)
  • Lady Stuff by Loryn Brantz (4/5) (goodreads review)
  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill (5/5) (review)
  • What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis, Joseph Wilkins (4/5) (goodreads review - will be up on blog soon)
It was a weird, but good, reading month. I really only read for about 3/4 of the weeks of August. It was good reading month, though, I feel like. I got through a good amount of review things - which, hopefully, I can do again this month because I'm behind. 

All the romance/erotica I read - which I didn't realize I'd read four in a short period of time - was probably because of travel stress, and all was fun. The Anna Zabo was even really good? (Got annoyed at Samantha Whiskey's second book, so annoyed).

I am mildly obsessed with The Tea Dragon Society - which I got through NetGalley but because I recognized the authors name, liked her previous graphic novel. I already preordered the physical book and I kind of want more set in this world? Listen, adorable tea dragons is something I am all about. 

Down the Rabbit Hole was something I was sure about - I picked it up on audio on a recommendation - and it was... a lot of fun? I'm not sure if that's the right words, but it was just so interesting to me because it feels so ridiculous? Just because, obviously, my life is nothing like this and I just really enjoyed it. It was pretty well written, it was fun, highly recommend checking this out if you enjoy memoirs about people leading such insanely different lives (unless you are also a former reality TV star).

Overall, good/fun reading month. And crazy, fun times traveling. Let me know what you read this month, especially if you've got any feelings about what I read, and just generally how your month went!

Happy reading!

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