[ARC] When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

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3stars

Title: When Life Gives You Lemons
Author: Fiona Gibson
Release date: March 17th 2020
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It is hopeful.
Bad things about this book: It was a little slow and maybe a bit too long.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Cute. Maybe a bit slow the first half, but it was pretty sweet after that. I liked Viv, and her friends, her daughter and her cooking show, the evil kid neighbour. A nice story about getting yourself up again, stronger.

I don’t usually read books with mc a lot older than me. It’s about not relating a lot to them, maybe it’s just because I really hadn’t given these books a chance. I know I’m not going through menopause and I don’t have kids, but it was nice seeing this strong woman being fragile but at the same time doing something to be her best self, for her and her daughter.

Marriages can end, but you are still you, you have to move on and change your life as you knew it. It must be super hard, and Viv, even with the down moments, the menopausal symptoms, started living her life for the first time in first person: not as someone’s wife in charge of accommodating a fragile male ego, and being extra patient with a husband that was really awful to her.

People change, and I liked how this journey was portrayed here. The hope, the positivity, it was great.

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[ARC] We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

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5stars

And it isn’t like I’m really in the closet. But it isn’t as if I’m all the way out either; it’s more like I’m standing in the doorway.

Title: We Are Lost and Found
Author: Helene Dunbar
Release date: September 3rd 2019
Number of pages: 304 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Honest and important. Relatable characters.
Bad things about this book: Not bad but it took a me a bit to get used to how the dialogues were written.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This book is so important and showed us a young boy’s pov of the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in NYC in the 80’s. I loved Michael’s voice; wanting to be free but feeling guilty because he didn’t want to put life as he knew it in jeopardy. And how he couldn’t love as he wanted because he didn’t wanted to die of AIDS like so many people were. So many. Those numbers. The government’s silence. The press’ choice not to talk about it. People letting fear cloud their judgement.

But I don’t have a story, I respond. Everyone has a story, Michael. Maybe you just don’t know the plot of yours yet.

I loved all the characters. Micheal and his desire to be himself in a world who sees him as a monster who deserves to die, giving himself to the music and his friends. James and his fear, living as best as he could with what he had. Becky being an adult when she should’ve been a kid enjoying her last years of school. Connor and his life after he publicly came out to the world resulting in him being kicked out of his house, his safety. Gabriel and a life working to have a better life with his family.

I truly found this book honest and important. Everyone should read this.

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[ARC] Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

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3stars

Staying awake with your thoughts while the rest of the world slept was a nightmare in reverse.

Title: Wranglestone
Author: Darren Charlton
Release date: February 6th 2020
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Full of potential and really creepy zombie scenes.
Bad things about this book: Some parts dragged a little then some others were too rushed.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 3.5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I couldn’t put it down. It was really interesting and had a lot of themes I like to read in books. Nevertheless, it had parts in which the inner monologues of the main character Peter dragged the story, and parts where more info and insight were needed, felt a lot rushed. Things happened real fast when a little explanation would’ve been great.

The premises was promising. A dystopian world full of zombies and a community trained to survive the walking dead. As I said, it was pretty interesting. Sadly it felt short in a few parts with the rushing of things and some other stuff just there pretty out of the blue. Again, an explanation would’ve been useful.

“Star Wars?” Peter shrugged. “OK. And what’s that about?” “It’s about a brother and a sister and their evil pa who’s up to no good.

Peter and Cooper were really adorable when they weren’t whiny which luckily didn’t happen often. I loved how Peter was all for good grammar, sewing, making pillows, and just having a tidy and clean house. Everyone needs a Peter in their lives. And if you’re a Peter, you’re amazing!!

There were things I didn’t see coming and revelations that I didn’t guess, which made me like the book a lot. I like coming up with theories when reading. Makes me feel like a very amateur Sherlock. Alas, I fail at my deductions most times.

Fast read, finished in a few hours, easy to read, fluent storyline even with its flaws. I sure will recommend it to fans of zombies when it’s release day!

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[ARC] Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

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4stars

Title: Counter Culture
Author: J.L. Merrow
Release date: November 4th 2019
Number of pages: 344 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and the characters were great.
Bad things about this book: The drama! Why? But I must say it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This was so cute! The steampunk! The really nice Robin (full name Robin Christopher btw!), the adorable Archie (real name Mars!!). Archie’s mum was such a fresh character and, while I thought I was going to hate Bridge (the ex and mum of Archie’s baby), I came to like her a lot!

It was something like a slowburn romance with tons of little cute moments mixed with bits of serious stuff, like the homeless situation in the UK. I loved that Archie was unapologetically bisexual and nobody had anything to say about that. And how Robin was really opened about being gay even if his parents were really infuriating. They are cancelled!

This book flew in my hands. One moment I started it, then it was over! Some scenes had me giggling nonstop!! I just really enjoy Merrow’s writing and storytelling. I’ve read three times her The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries series! All of it!

Do I want to attend a Steampunk event? Of course I do. Can you imagine how cool that’d be?? Yes, please!

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[ARC] Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

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5stars

Title: Ahlords
Author: Scott Reintgen
Release date: January 21st 2020
Number of pages: 368 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was fascinating and well written.
Bad things about this book: Pippa’s chapters can be weird at first, then you get used to them.
Do I recommend it? Yes, how could I not?
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I loved it! Phoenix horses rising from their ashes. Conspiracies. Races. Betrayals. Gods. War. Alchemy. Multiple point of views. There really wasn’t anything I didn’t love. Even the weird way Pippa’s chapters were written didn’t annoyed me as much as I thought they were going to.

The story is told from three different povs, each from a different fraction of how the world is built. Imelda, the dividian, alchemist extraordinaire; Adrian, the Longhand, the big buff boy raised to lead; Pippa, the ashlord, the pampered daughter of two race champions who trained all her life to prove she is worth everything. Each chapter showed a different perspective, how different they’ve all been raised, the position of heriarchy, what they most valued. Getting to know each of them, it might seem hard to choose a side. And so far, I haven’t really made mind between two sides. I need to sequel to understand who I’m cheering for.

I love Reintgen’s writing. It captures you immediately. I finished chapter after chapter without noticing how fast I was going. I was really invested in the story. In how alchemy played an important part in the rebirths of the horses. How each component added to the ashes could make a different horse with different abilities. It was truly fascinating. The world building was similar to the ones I’ve come to love of Robert Jackson Bennett. Similar because of the Gods that have proxies in the real world. How religion mixes directly and intervenes in the lives of the inhabitants of the world of the powerful citizens of Furia. Have I already said I was fascinated? Because I was. I still am.

Can’t wait to read more about this world and what’s going to happen now. I’m crossing all my fingers to be considered again between the lucky ones to read the sequel in advance!

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[ARC] Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen

 

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4stars

Title: Saving Fable
Author: Scott Reintgen
Release date: September 17th 2019
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really cute and interesting.
Bad things about this book: I would’ve loved more backstory of Indira’s friends.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given in exchange for an honest review

What a cute little book! I was offered to read this before its released, by surprise! I didn’t know the author had a MG book in the making. I have always requested his arcs for his Nyxia Triad series, and I have loved to bits the first two books. The third one? I’ve been postponing it; I don’t want the story to end. What if my favorite characters die? Because that can happen!! Those books are unpredictable!

The main character of this story is a girl called Indira Story. But Indira is not your typical girl, and no, this is not the usual trope: Indira is a character in waiting. She doesn’t live in the Real World. In her world characters live waiting for an author of the real world to put them into a story.

The concept of this book is simple, yet complex. Not all the characters are given the opportunity to be in a story, and some are part of a book that’s never finished. Characters train hoping to become exactly the hero/side character/villain an author wants to write about. Some are disappointed, some are happy, some just accept their fate.

I liked how easy it was to read. How the author of this story put well known characters to be teachers in the protagonist preparatory school. Like Teacher Darcy and his how to fall in love by page 12 classes that were always under the rain, just to add in the dramatics. Or the Alice’s lesson of how to escape being kidnapped and solve riddles.

I will read the sequel, that’s for sure.

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[ARC] I’m a Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni

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3stars

“Just two guys riding a unicorn. Nothing gay about that.”

Title: I’m a Gay Wizard
Author: V.S. Santoni
Series: Gay Wizard #1
Release date: October 29th 2019
Number of pages: 352 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It made me want to keep reading, and now I want the sequel. It has potential!
Bad things about this book: Little info, little development, a bit rushed.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it was cute.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

A bit random, rushed, and what was that ending?? I need answers, and more info. A little bit more insight would’ve been appreciated. It felt like it lacked something; the characters weren’t really developed. I liked the story, I want to read a sequel if it comes out, but I want more clarity and development.
The book was cute, the magic system interesting, the twists surprising, the characters had potential. I enjoyed it. But more, a little bit more would elevate the book to 4 stars!

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[ARC] Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

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4stars

Title: Play It Again
Author: Aidan Wayne
Release date: April 22nd 2019
Number of pages: 288 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was simple and enjoyable.
Bad things about this book: Too many “how to get famous” chat.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it was fun.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

This was such a pleasant book with no drama, quite cheesy, and just plain nice. Exactly what to read when you want things to start and end well, with no unnecessary obstacles!

Dovid’s name was distracting a bit because I still don’t know if I’m pronouncing it well in my head. I can relate a bit because my name is mispronounced and miswritten a lot!

I liked the calm and quiet of the romance. Just like it’d happen in real life. Getting to really know each other, understanding that you care way more than just a friend, exploring what this means, accepting the risks, being just happy to have each other, no matter the distance.

There were a little too many “how to be famous on the internet” chat: they were constantly talking about what to do to be rich and famous. At some point I was rolling my eyes because we didn’t get much info about the characters but now I know exactly what to do to earn money making youtube videos.

I’d recommend it.

All in all, this was a pretty book. Simple, the way I like it. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a book with nice characters, having a drama free life, and smile a little at the happy ending.

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[ARC] A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell

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3stars

Title: A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love
Author: Arden Powell
Release date: October 29th 2018
Number of pages: 318 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was very easy to get into the story!
Bad things about this book: It dragged a bit in my opinion!
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a chance.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

It was cute and infuriating!! All the miscommunication bothers me a lot! And here there was so much of it!! Kris kept postponing his coming out as bisexual because he didn’t want the dynamics of the band to change, but then by not coming out his potential relationship with Rayne, who he was falling hard for, was at risk.

I couldn’t have been hard for him to tell Rayne what he felt because he was surrounded by really supportive people. He was afraid, and he shouldn’t come out if he isn’t ready, but he had more than one occasion to speak his heart, to tell Rayne even in confidence, that he was feeling things beyond friendship. Without labeling it, without coming out, he could have been more honest with Rayne. You could see from miles away how smitten they were for each other, pining for no reason, just because they were stubborn and kept things to themselves.

I always kind of like books with music bands in them. Imagining what kind of music they do, how they behave on stage and out. This was really nice, it dragged a bit, though; I thought it was almost ending when it was only at 50%. Maybe cutting some things out it would have been so much better.

Nevertheless, it was a nice book, even with the weird cult and the random peacock!

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[ARC] Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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4stars

“I don’t care where I sleep as long as I get to wake up with you.”

Title: Surreal Estate
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Release date: November 5th 2018
Number of pages: 271 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: There is a psychic character who can sense the spirit of houses!
Bad things about this book: Nothing of relevance, it depends on you.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a very nice story.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

PLOT —
Homeless musician, who is also a house psychic, is called by an abandon house to live inside of it. Creepy? Not much really. Besides a few paranormal episodes with houses, the story is more focused on Sasha’s issues with his mom and his past, and Nick’s financial problems. The fact the Sasha could sense what houses wanted and felt, was really helpful for Nick and also for himself. It was a nice touch.

CHARACTERS —
The characters were likable and not annoying. I had a couple of tiny issues with Nick, thinking unnecessary things, but I can forgive him because he was figuring a huge thing about himself out. I liked Sasha and I liked how he was very optimistic even if everything seemed to go wrong in his life. I like them separately and I loved them together. That was some attraction at first sight and I liked it.

THOUGHTS —
I loved the lack of real drama. There was something weighting on them, with Sasha having his addict mom taking really bad decisions, and Nick having a loan shark waiting for him to fail just to punish him hard. I liked how things evolved between the two men. It felt natural even if quick. Nothing bad, just feelings and real life. It was a really nice read.

CONCLUSION —
This little book was so entertaining, and I was intrigued, I needed to know what was going to happen. Having real life mixed with just a tiny bit of paranormal, psychic powers, was just perfect. I missed reading about psychics and this is my first time reading about someone who can sense the feelings of places, houses to be precise. If you like paranormal books, easy to read, with nice characters, steamy and explicit scenes, and a nice ending, then this is a book for you.

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