A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove ☆

20171015_204159

5starsplus

Hope was a dangerous thing, and it had no place here.

Title: A Boy Worth Knowing
Author: Jennifer Cosgrove
Number of pages: 172 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Nate is the sweetest and he really is worth knowing.
Bad things about this book: Too short? Maybe not, it ended perfectly.
Do I recommend it? Yes, please love it as much as I did.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I LOVED IT!!! It was adorable and sweet and gave me so many feelings!! At one point I was fuming, almost crying because I was sad and frustrated. My poor baby Nate; such a short book giving my heart an incredibly hard time. It was hardly fair because I cared for Nate and it was an immediate thing the attachment I felt for him. I didn’t think it was rushed; you just met the guy and start wanting all the best for him. Simple as that.

Since he was twelve, Nate has been able to see and communicate with the dearly departed. It’s a family thing but his ability is somewhat stronger than his relatives’. As a result, his own mother who lacks the medium ability is scared of him and kicks him out of the house and forbids his sister to have contacts with him. It was hard for me not to want to reach inside the pages and slap the woman. That sweet boy was hurt and his mother didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He goes to live with his aunt and talks frequently with his grandma who passed away a couple years before. She is a great confidant; a little nosey, though.

Dear, sweet Aunt Susan, what is it like in your simple life? Where people actually talked to each other? Asked questions and got answers? What was that like? I bit my tongue.

Nate is an outcast, bullied and ignored by his schoolmates who call him crazy. Nate is lonely and resigned to be by himself until the new boy, James, sits next to him and friendship blooms almost immediately. James likes Nate and Nate is confused by this: does he like him as a friend or maybe he can hope for something more? Oh boy, Nate was conflicted and didn’t want to risk the only friend he had to find out if they could be something more.

To make things weirder, if that was even possible, James had a ghost in tow: his brother David who passed away only a few months before James moved. James is clearly mourning his brother but won’t talk about it. He is suffering and David appears very often to tell Nate to help his brother move on so that he can be happy again. David and Nana are somewhat love advisors to Nate with his struggles of the heart. Nate likes James a lot and I suffer with him everyday he can’t tell James how he feels; every time Nate suffered because of James, I suffered and my heart broke in a million pieces.

He chuckled, and I was quietly overwhelmed by the idea that someone wanted to talk to me.

The frustration and sadness I felt reading some chapters were overwhelming; I thought I was going to start ugly sobbing at any moment. I did have tears in my eyes. I was so sad for Nate and for all the unfairness he was experiencing. I thought he was incredible and the thought of him being used to be alone, to be disappointed and left behind, made me hurt so much I still want to cry just thinking about it.

This book was so short but so full of emotions. I loved every page of it and I will put it in my favorites book drawers in my mind. It deserves this and much more. It was an adorable love story with a twist of paranormal so it was just the kind of book that’ll get to me and I was not disappointed. Not one bit.

firmablog

Advertisements

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

20171013_135930.jpg

3stars

Is that how hearts work? Is love just a parasite that jumps bodies?

Title: It Only Happens in the Movies
Author: Holly Bourne
Number of pages: 384 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The paragraphs with all the romantic movies clichés at the beginning of the chapters!
Bad things about this book: I found the main character not very likeable but that’s my opinion. Nothing bad about the book per se.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s very enjoyable.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I finished it yesterday but gave myself the whole night to think about it and this morning I’m confirming what I thought yesterday.
While I enjoyed it, minus some parts, I found myself laughing just a little and shaking my head a lot.
I kind of want to write a spoilery review because there’s one thing that bothered me so much I’m still mad about it. There were a few minor things that, in my opinion, were left just there while they needed to be explained. Give me all the facts and I will formulate my opinion, okay?

I read this fast because I wanted to see how it was going to end yet knowing how things were going to unfold but in the end it just didn’t get to me. I related to Audrey in some aspects but I didn’t connect with her. I don’t know how to explain it. I didn’t find myself cheering for her happy ending like I usually do in this kind of books. Why???

I didn’t like Audrey very much; I found her a little bit too whiny and I’m not talking about the obvious reasons she has to be whiny about but the boys’ reasons. It became more annoying the more I read. She had an embarrassing and traumatic experience with a stupid ex-boyfriend and now she does everything in her power to feel guilty on the inside and isolating herself on the outside. It’s not going well, she is stuck because she let her self-isolation going for too long and now she doesn’t know what to do to get her friends back and to stop being ashamed to be in the same room as her ex. Now she can’t stand romantic movies with all their perfection and happily ever afters.

I don’t think her problems are trivial and I cannot judge the way people might react to certain situations. We can’t act and react all the same way but her voice doesn’t resonate with my feelings. I don’t feel sad for her, I don’t root for her, I don’t care if she gets the boy or if she gets to make her dreams of acting come true. I found myself thinking she was often selfish and incoherent. You can’t be mad at people not doing what you think they are supposed to do. If something is not fair, say something! You can’t expect people to act how you want them to act, to behave the way you want them to behave. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, you have to tell someone if what they’re doing hurts you or annoys you, but you don’t get to reshape them completely to please you.

If you want a personalized boyfriend then maybe you were born in the wrong century. It’ll be easy to build yourself a perfect machine who does everything the right way. What’s the fun in that, though? I felt that Audrey was projecting all the things she wanted in a relationship in Harry and he, with his many flaws, was destined to fail in the boyfriend exam sooner or later. She’s been warned about him, she knew he liked to do many things she didn’t like; love is powerful but two very opposite people can only have a tiny fraction of happiness before everything goes kaboom. People reshape themselves a little when they’re in a relationship, each maintaining their peculiarities and personalities, but starting up with so many red flags sure isn’t the best way to built something that’s going to last or make you happy.

I guess I just didn’t like the way she faced the world. It’s a pity: I wanted to like her and to like this book with such a cute cover. There were positive aspects I liked about this book, for example I agreed with all the ridiculous clichés she wrote about romantic movies. Those bits were fun to read; I instantly thought of so many movies with those exact same scenes.

I have been avoiding the spoilery part of the review because I’m still conflicted: do I say it or not? That bit bothered me and it’s still bothering me to no end. It’s about Harry. I think the parts that really bothered me were about him and how those things weren’t explained or treated the way they deserved. I think I’ll carry this with me and it’s going to the unresolved stuff drawer in my brain. Oh well!

I will still read Holly Bourne’s books because I have always enjoyed them. Always! I trust her to come out with a new book that will give me smiles and happiness!

firmablog

They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick

20171008_114117

4stars

Title: They Mostly Come Out At Night
Author: Benedict Patrick
Series: Yarnsworld #1
Number of pages: 200 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The twists left me speechless. Also the cover is gorgeous!
Bad things about this book: The first half is maybe a little bit slow but it doesn’t take long for it to change.
Do I recommend it? Yes, and also the other books of Yarnsworld even if I haven’t read them yet.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book really surprised me. At first I got often angry, then I was certain some things were going to have the obvious outcome, then they didn’t and I enjoyed the second half of the book a lot more and got into the story with a newly found awe. Long story short, I couldn’t put it down; luckily it is a short book.

We have two parallel stories: on one side there is Lonan, the outcast of a little village, hated by everyone because of a misunderstanding. On the other side there is Adahy, the Magpie prince, then King of the corvae people, who has the duty to protect the villagers from the monsters that come out at night. How does their separate story come together? Lonan dreams of the magpie prince, he sees through his eyes; everything that Adahy sees, Lonan sees.

Lonan knows of new dangers but can’t tell anyone without looking like someone who has lost their mind. He is already hated and seen with disgust by the one he loves so he doesn’t want to add this new peculiarity to the already messy mix.

Everyone in the various villages of corvae has a Knack, an ability, a talent, in something that makes them useful to the growing of the community. Lonan’s father was a blacksmith so he thought that was going to be his Knack but after that horrible night when the monsters took his father’s life, Lonan was outcasted and he didn’t develop any Knack of his own. Being Knackless is like being useless. A village doesn’t need a useless inhabitant.

Through Lonan we see Adahy’s life and struggles and in his waking hours, we see Lonan’s struggles and pain. He is tormented by the images he sees every night and he is conflicted because sharing this information will probably save people’s life but it’s also possible it will make them hate him even more. What is the right thing to do? What can he do to help the Magpie King save their land from the monsters that mostly come out at night?

This is a very short book but it has a lot of twists you wouldn’t expect. The characters are rich and if you need to hate someone, the hate you feel is strong. Feelings are overall very strong throughout the story: anger, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, hopefulness, and also happiness. So many things can change the course of the story but sacrifices have to be made for the ones you love to survive.

Will Lonan find a way to save his village? Will Adahy overcome his fears and save his land? So many things will happen for you to find out the answers to these questions. Trust me, though, you probably won’t guess the outcome.

firmablog

Taproot by Keezy Young

20171008_115809

5stars

Title: Taproot
Author: Keezy Young
Number of pages: 127 (paperback)
Good things about this book: The characters, the drawings, everything.
Bad things about this book: I would love to read more about Hamal and Blue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I loved it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A guy I follow on twitter posted about this graphic novel he read and loved on his flight from England to Italy. He wrote it was body positive and lgbt: I couldn’t have been convinced faster. As soon as I saw his tweet I bought the comic. Really, I bought it so fast I almost surprised myself. Almost. I tend to do things impulsively.

This graphic novel is not only body positive since it’s main character is not your usual thin and sculpted guy but it’s also pretty diverse. It made me warm inside seeing so many different kinds of characters of all shapes, heights, ethnicities and religions; it was truly refreshing and I hope many more novels will follow this path.

Hamal is a gardener; he works at a flower shop and he loves and it’s good at what he does. He also sees and talks to ghosts and has many around him; one in particular is stuck with him since the first time he saw him. Blue is dead and pretty much very in love with Hamal. He tries to push Hamal towards a regular shopper of the flower shop not understanding that Hamal is conflicting and hurting inside because his love is impossible. The big guy has fallen for his dead friend. That was so obvious and so sweet!

The story did not go how I thought it would. It was different and surprisingly so. The characters were sweet, sincere, deep and relatable. The paranormal element in contrast with the pastel colours of the comic gave the story an ethereal touch that had my face with a frozen smile from beginning to end.

20171008_120002So true!! So relatable!

I’m thankful I stumbled onto that fateful tweet that allowed me to read this adorable story of love, loss, paranormal talent and how a random encounter can change your life forever.

firmablog

Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

20170926_120222

5stars

“Reminds me of myself,” Aiden had admitted. Smashed up and spread out, not ruined, but a little bit of a mess. A lot of a mess.

Title: Fortitude Smashed
Author: Taylor Brooke
Series: The Camellia Clock Cycle Book #1
Number of pages: 312 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: The character growth and the insight of the relationship.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. It has trigger warnings at the beginning so read them before starting the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is something else but, beware, it feels like a hit or miss kind of book. I loved it!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This is my 100th book and with it I’ve officially completed this year’s Reading Challenge! Yay!

Imagine being born in a world free of homophobia with all the unjustified hate it comes with, being free to love whoever you like and being certain at some point in your life you’ll find your soul mate thanks to a clock installed on your thumbnail. Imagine how restless yet relieved you must feel knowing the time will come for you to love and be loved like nothing you’ll ever dreamed of. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the euphoria. Imagine the pain of having and then maybe losing. Imagine.

This book enchanted me. It starts fast throwing the soul mate bomb right from the beginning. We meet Shannon, a 25-year-old detective, trying to catch a burglar in an art gallery. Said burglar is no other than Aiden, his Rose Road, his soul mate. The clock times out and it’s electrifying. Literary electrifying. Something awakes in both of them and no matter how much they want to fight it, there’s really no way the clock is wrong. There’s too much interest, too much chemistry, fate is not wrong.

“The world loves you.” Shannon sighed against his mouth. “And if it ever stops loving you, remember that I do.”

There’s not a “but he’s a guy” part. Why is that? At first it got me puzzled and I was anxiously waiting for the homophobic remarks but it seems that in this version of the world there is no such thing as sexual interests. They all like whomever they want to like, no exceptions, no one’s save. The sea has plenty of fish and all of them for you to choose. They might have different tastes, who doesn’t, but never and I repeat never people are questioned or looked differently because of the ones they love. I loved the little bet Shannon’s parents had going on about his Rose Road being a boy or a girl. See? If only the real world was this problem free. Shouldn’t be that hard. Guess it’s only my occasionally over optimistic brain at work again.

I now realize that everything I can say about the story might ruin it. I don’t even want to tell you about the characters, their backstories, because I’m afraid I’ll give too much up. The summary tells what’s necessary to know and that’s how I got hooked and that’s why I got all kinds of feelings reading it almost nonstop until I woke up yesterday a little hangover and the first thing I did before leaving the bed was finishing the last 20% I got left to read.

They kissed, messy and overwhelmed and honest, the kind of kiss that told a story—incomplete—but a story all the same.

This book is a journey. It’s slow and it doesn’t give you in detail everything that’s going on. It’s like a documentary on the lives of Shannon and Aiden from the day they found each other and found out they were each other’s Rose Road, each other’s soul mates. You see pieces of their lives from both their points of views. You see their fears, their pain, their past, their weaknesses, everything they have to fight to be the best version of themselves and open up to this new reality. It’s not over sexualized; there are not explicit sex scenes and, as much I never say no to those, I felt this book maintained its “I’ll give you just what you really need to know” vibe it had going on all along.

The new reality comes like lightning. It struck them and changes them, making both of them vulnerable, forcing them to believe that fate is real and it’s beautiful. I truly loved the concept of this book and the slowness of the events, how they happen when they’re supposed to happen, how they make you shake with anticipation and anxiety. I was constantly afraid, constantly fighting different feelings, constantly cheering and daydreaming. I was cuddled by the emotions and I felt myself relaxed a little into the story as I let it unfold. And it unfolded like magic. Magic like knowing you’ll find your soul mate to love but not taking it for granted because life gives but it also takes so you cherish it, protect it, save it if necessary, and open your heart to all the possibilities your future have from the day the clock flashes 00:00.

“You’re my best kept secret, Aiden. You’re the most vibrant thing in the room, artwork unlike any other.”

I think this book is wonderful and it touched every fiber in me. I find myself smiling thinking about it. I feel a little bit like the painting “Fortitude Smashed”: nature and art mixed, bright colours, fragile, one of a kind, kind of messy, a strong will and a fighter. Art that gets noticed, it is loved but it’s also misunderstood.

“Reminded me of you,” Shannon said. It was easy to say because it was the truth, but if he had to explain it, Shannon feared he might ruin everything.

I loved this with all my heart. So many feelings, tears and happiness. The struggles, the self-sabotaging, the pain, the suffering, the love hard and real and overwhelming. It was deep and it was great. A book I will remember and keep with me from today on.

————————————————————–

This scene broke me. I was laughing so hard I had to stop reading for a while and focus real hard to start breathing again.

“Gardenia?” Warmth pooled in Aiden’s abdomen, spreading out into the rest of him like unruly vines. “They don’t give you cop-scented soap with your uniform?” Aiden felt Shannon’s smile pressed between his shoulder blades at the top of his spine.
“You don’t like it?”
“That’s not what I said.”
“What do you use? Ice Pick? Eagle Screech?”

How ridiculous are some of real life “for male” bath products? Let’s make it male, real male: black, grey or dark blue and with an awful improbable name, that’s it!

firmablog

Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price

20170920_151129

4stars

“Look at you, all angular and pissed off.”
Yeah, a diet of ramen and disappointment will do that to you.

Title: Skin After Skin
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #8
Number of pages: 387 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: How Crash becomes the Crash we know is interesting.
Bad things about this book: Quite long and the part with Jacob was too long in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read the PsyCop series, I can’t recommend it enough.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have been postponing this review for days and it’s not only because I started re-reading the entire series from book one; I suspect it’s because I am angry a little bit about the truths in this book. I have read of Vic having impure thoughts about Crash and about Vic’s memories of his time with ex-boyfriend Stefan, but none of that had made me as angry as seeing first-hand how Jacob and Crash met each other and how they were together. Seven months worth of anger. I was scowling the whole time. I couldn’t help it, it just felt wrong.

“You know what they say about regret. That and fifty cents will buy you a cup of who-gives-a-shit.”

When Crash was introduced I didn’t like him very much. Not because he flirted a lot with Vic (maybe it was also a little because of that, though) but I didn’t really like how he behaved, how he doubted and diminished everything. I didn’t know much about him, his backstory, but what I saw was something I could have lived easily without. Things changed little by little and then Crash became an important friend to Victor and a valuable character who contributed plenty to the story.

For all that Vic has the self-esteem of a teenage girl at fat camp, the minute he wants something, he becomes the center of the universe.

I have to admit that it was kind of nice, different, seeing things from Crash’s pov: his stylist career, his misadventures, the Sundays with his mother, what is going on inside his head, how he start seeing and feeling his talent. Seeing him with Jacob, though, that was hard for my heart because I love Victor to the moon and back and Jacob with someone else was really painful to read. The after Jacob bit was of course better and it was Vic’s appearance that got me going until late at night, or early in the morning, to see how things were going to end. I’m all about Victor Bayne.

Who was I to rob him of his hard-earned discomfort?

Vic from Crash’s eyes was everything I imagined and more; all his anxieties, his many mood swings, all of what makes Vic the man we all love, the man that I adore! Crash feeling Vic getting a “vibe” every time he does some flirting and Vic backing up because he is not on the market was just what I needed after those wrong lovey-dovey chapters. Oh my, those really messed up with my head. I wish I had skipped them altogether. I will now have those images in my head and I won’t be able to unsee them. Just like Victor after finding that camcorder that I now know where Jacob got. Some things are better left unknown. Now it’s just too late.

I’d suspect it wasn’t really Vic and just some bizarre pre-death hallucination if not for the look on his face, the same petulant scowl he gives me whenever I offer him a hand-job, a gemstone cleanse or a veggie burger.

As much as I love Crash as the shop owner, without a shop for now, I really liked him as a stylist. I saw how he understood what the person wanted and he was able to give them that and so much more. A whole experience, not cheap, but that could really change someone’s day or maybe someone’s life. I like people who are like that: they do so little but it changes so much. Like a compliment on a very bad day and a cheer when you feel like everything you do is wrong. I can’t hate Crash, I just can’t. I will just erase those images from my mind and I will pretend that they didn’t happen.

The one that got away, not that’s a plot line that I’m willing to explore fully. We didn’t get much; at first there was attraction for this mysterious new colorist called Red and it didn’t go anywhere. Crash was smitten, that was obvious, but there was more to the story and it didn’t end with the “all sweaty in bed happily ever after” I was envisioning but knew from the other books that it wasn’t going to happen, not yet. Crash wasn’t a stylist anymore, he was broke and in search of the one thing that’d change his life for the better. One bad thing after the other and we get to see how Crash came to be the person I hated at first and liked later on.

“Apparently my Saturn is fucked.”
“And you wish it was Uranus?”

(This made my laugh so hard I can’t barely still keep it together!)

There was so much more to him but he is cocky and stubborn and it was hard for me to relate until I saw how much of that was appearance to hide his fragility and self-doubt. I knew he had potential but he kept kicking himself down, declaring defeat before even trying. It dragged his bad luck; he could’ve had more chances if things weren’t left unspoken, if he had given people the time to explain themselves. He just gave up easily and it made me mad. I was glad when he woke up because I was almost trying to reach inside the book and slap him real hard!

No, Gaydar wasn’t one of the six official psychic talents.

There are so many parts in this book that were merely mentioned in the other Psycop books and it was wonderful to see, for example, how awful Vic types on the computer, how is it to be on the other side when Vic speaks to ghosts, how Caroline is around Crash and some margaritas, and the involvement of Constantine Dreyfus in everything! The guy was literary everywhere. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, by how things were so much clearer now that I got this other point of view to analyze. Things make so much more sense now.

I now realize that this review is more about Vic than it is about Crash but when there is Victor Bayne there is me, crazy about him, not being able to reason when he is around, even for a short amount of time. I’m not even sorry it turned out this way. It is what it is.

Long story short, this book was really nice even with the hard parts that I’m already pretending to have forgotten. It was refreshing and different from the other psycop books. I’m glad we got to see this much about Crash and I wish him only the best. Now, please, can someone kindly tell me when the last book of the series is going to be released? I’m not ready to say goodbye but I’m missing Victor so badly it hurts!

firmablog

Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk

20170906_170743

“I wasn’t strong, or brave, or anything really. But he made me want to be.”

Title: Stormhaven
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #3
Number of pages: 177 (paperback)
Good things about this book: More love and more magic, what’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: Too short? But maybe not.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is very short and the story is more and more interesting.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Whyborne can’t catch a break. Now he has one more reason to scowl: electricity. Why is it so weird for a guy to want a poor lit house with a library with books to read almost in the dark causing permanent damage to his eyes? Whyborne can’t understand progress but he can understand magic: he’s a better sorcerer now and every book has a new spell he will use to fight and win whatever will come between him and Griffin.

Not only electricity has come to put a bad taste into Whyborne’s mouth, but a case involving a coworker accused of murder will put the two men in an unstable state: the suspect resides now in an asylum which is bad news to Griffin. I’m furious after learning what happened to him, unfairly and unnecessarily just because people are disgusting and completely selfish. Poor Griffin: his nightmares keep him up at night but he has Whyborne who will be by his side no matter what.

You’d think there’s nothing worse than the devilish electricity, the asylum, the mysterious cult worshipping a sea monster, and the possible end of the world, right? What about Griffin’s parents coming to visit with a surprise and the two of them have to pretend they are merely friends? It is worse because it will put Whyborne back into his pessimistic habits. His mind will weaken and weird thoughts will crawl in there. There’s nothing worse than a weak mind when there’s the menace of the evil rising!

“I wish to be with you until the breath leaves my body, until the last stars burn out, and the earth falls into the dying sun.”

There was so much love in this book besides the main evil plot: that’s a mystery you have to read or else it will spoil the fun. Griffin and Whyborne has come to a turning point in their relationship and maybe things are going to get better or they may easily get worse. Whyborne loves Griffin so much he doesn’t want him to suffer even if avoiding the pain will put him into a pit of despair. He’d sacrifice his own happiness to see the man he loves be his very best. I was heartbroken at Whyborne’s thoughts because he wasn’t being selfish; he was being realistic in a world that considers him a criminal only because he loves a man. Living hidden from society is taking its toll on them but love wins, right? I sure hope it’ll be the case until the very last book.

“You’re really choosing him over your family?”
“Whyborne is my family.”

I love how short these books are and how fast I can read them without putting them down. I have to pace myself, though. I don’t want to get to the last one published and have to wait who the hell knows how long for the next one. I can be very patient, but sometimes I’m not.

firmablog