Book reviews: Sub Tweet – A Crazy Ink Anthology

With a title like Sub Tweet I was excited to see what this was going to be about. Everyone knows I’m the master of subtweeting people (not really, I lack a whole bunch of subtlety, lbr).

I was blown away by the sheer talents of the authors in this anthology. I absolutely adored every second of this book. I ended up reading it in just a single day, and while I did skip one or two stories (because of triggering subject matter – sexual assault, kidnapping) I’m happy I read it.

It was more than just an anthology about subtweets, it was a whole commentary on technology and how we as humans have come to rely on it so much. The authors used subtweets or vague books to start off their stories and launched into an entire world of what said tweet or Facebook post could mean.

It gives life to the reality behind posting these types of things about people and makes you think. There are people you’re hurting with these things you say, but the person you’re hurting the most is yourself. This anthology does a good job of making sure people know that it is entirely unfair to say these types of things because all it’s going to do is come back on you.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸš€
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Some of these stories were total knock outs. I adored them. Crazy Ink really knows how to put together a good anthology!

Book Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The pining between Ten and Killian was kind of drawn out for a little too long, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

I picked it up because the cover looked like one I’d done sketches of for a book I wrote. Plus, I love YA so reading about Ten and her fight against her parent’s wishes was right up my alley. Right out of the gate, this book is entertaining as heck!

I think my favorite part was the song Ten’s Aunt Lina sings and how that helps her later in the story. I knew it would come back to do something awesome and I was not disappointed. Ten is totally awesome in this story and I’m really glad Showalter didn’t opt for an Archer/Ten/Killian love triangle because I would’ve DNF’d this book so fast.

Instead of relying heavily on romance, Showalter tells a story worthy of her heroine. It is dark, intricate, full of action, and full of glittery beasts (done right, of course).

This was an excellent read!

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I’m struggling through the second one right now, so I wish book 2 was a little better, but book one definitely held my attention very well!

Book Reviews: Death of a Bachelor by M.A Hinkle

Oh my gosh! I loved this book. I loved every second of it.

I am obsessed with Cathal. Like he and I are pretty much the same person. And Felix! I loved him so much.

Literally, this book is like a breath of fresh air! There is so much LGBTQIA+ representation in here that I really felt seen. There is acespec representation, bisexual representation, gay representation, lesbian representation, and I think there were even some straight people?

The romance is a juicy, juicy slowburn that took just enough time to woo me as a reader and convince me that Damon and Cathal belonged together. I was rooting for them for the whole book because these two broken men need each other to survive.

Cathal especially since he can’t cook and spends all of his “alone time” eating instant ramen and not knowing what half of the stuff Damon cooks is. I love how clueless and adorable he was about cooking, but how smart he was about space.

At the end of the book, I’m pretty sure even Era shipped them from beyond the grave. She had a hand in getting them together, after all. I like to imagine her ghost chatting with Felix casually about it over a box of Lucky Charms. Her two broken boys finding comfort in one another after her loss.

Great, now I’m crying again.

Seriously, though. This book was incredible. It was a little slow in the beginning, but once it picks up it picks up FAST and I read the bulk of it in just a few days. I cannot wait to see more from M.A Hinkle!

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I cannot wait for the next book in the series that focuses on Felix and the twins. I know it is going to be as incredible, if not moreso than this one. I love M.A Hinkle and I’m willing to bet I’m going to be a life-long fan.

Review: Return to Sender by Roberta Blablanski

I am literally still happy sobbing as I type this. I am so glad I read this book!

This story is so beautiful and kind from the very beginning. I’m not a fan of M/M stories, which I know is really unfair because I’m an LGBTQIA+ author, but I find that most M/M stories are not written by people in the community and aren’t a good representation of gay culture as a whole, but that was definitely not the case with Return to Sender.

From the very beginning, this story had me hooked. The romance and family and just love in this book had me crying happy and sad and just emotional tears almost the whole time I was reading it.

I read this story in literally a single day. It’s a novella, so it wasn’t that hard, but that is a feat for me. I usually have to keep putting books down to do other things, but this book in particular just really spoke to me and was always on my mind.

I loved that all the smut scenes were fade to black because that was so on brand for Drew and Wes! They deserved all their privacy and their secret stolen moments after everything they’d been through.

The writing was amazing and expressive and full of emotion and I didn’t ever once think “this is a first-person POV novel” because I was never pulled out of the narrative long enough to ever question anything about the mechanics of the book. I cannot praise Return to Sender enough. It was truly an amazing read.

Roberta, this story was literally brilliant. I cannot think of a story more deserving of a 5-star review from me. I loved it so much and I cannot wait to see what you write next.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
(5/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘¨β€πŸ”§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ«πŸ‘§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ”§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ«
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

This book brought me so much joy and so much pain. Honestly, I recommend it to everyone who loves LGBT lit.

Review: Never Letting Go by Liv Devereaux

This was very, very short and read like an unedited Wattpad story. I really like that Devereaux continues to write f/f and LGBT fiction, but I can’t help but think that this sort of writing is a little detrimental to the community.

As an LGBT author myself, I am all for supporting other people who write for the community and Devereaux is not a bad author. On the contrary, I do enjoy a lot of their work, but I find myself wishing they could be a little better.

This story was over in the blink of an eye, though I did like the narrative of two estranged lovers coming back together, I wish Devereaux would have explored this further in a longer story. I know we get the explanation toward the end as to what happened between them and how they ended up like this, but it all felt really flat.

I fully believe Devereaux has an incredible talent that they have yet to explore fully and will continue to read and advocate for their books with a little bit of constructive criticism thrown in. Keep writing, Devereaux, you’re out here fighting the good fight and filling the world with so much needed wlw representation.

I look forward to the next project I read by you.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…
(3/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I would like to see better characterization and prose writing from Devereaux in the future.

Review: Not Your Villain by C.B Lee (Audible)

I got this title on audible like I do most of my traditional publishing reads and as much as it pains me because I adored the first one, I’m going to have to DNF book 2.

I love Bells and I would have loved to follow his story especially his whole Chameleon thing, but C.B Lee doesn’t do anything interesting with him. Most of the book he pines over Emma in the most annoying way possible.

Then he whines when she gets a boyfriend and starts acting like a bad friend. Which was so annoying to me and made even more annoying by the voice actor they had reading the book that I had to stop listening.

Not to mention, Lee completely mischaracterizes Jess. It’s like this book was written by a completely different person. In book 1, Jess loved running and training and she wanted to be a hero. In book 2, Jess is a whiny lazy grump who is useless on most missions.

This turned me off so badly because I really genuinely loved Jess and seeing her stripped down to a whiny comic relief archetype was horrible.

You’re better than this, C.B Lee and I really agonized over giving this book a bad review because I loved the first one so much, but I cannot continue to struggle through reading this.

Overall rating: β˜…
(1/5 Stars – DNF)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter:

I really hope the next novel C.B Lee puts out is better than this.

Review: The Poison Within by R. M. Pearcy

This is the second book by R M Pearcy that I have read and it was AMAZING.

I loved the worldbuilding and the map and almost all the characters. Plus the descriptions? were fantastic. I got so lost in the story I felt like I was there and that’s all I ever want out of a book.

To be honest, though, I wasn’t a huge fan of Cam because she was kind of just blah, buy Rya, Norell, and Thane? I LOVED them. I was a huge fan of the love story between Cam and Rya mostly because of how different they were and how Cam threatened to kill an assassin to save her.

Though I just had a really hard time connecting with Cam throughout the story.

Rya, though. Rya’s my girl. As someone who has been through physical and emotional abuse, I really understood her. I understood her choices and all of the seemingly bad things she did. I too am not a bad person, but people view me as such because of my no tolerance policy for bullies, abusers, and bad people. I get it, Rya. I see you.

I really didn’t like Norell in the beginning, but she grew on me. Especially when she met up with the Ebez, but I really would have liked to see her stay behind and learn from them. I get that her life was in the Ashen Forest, but she could’ve stayed for a little while to connect with family after they brought Rya to the Obsidian Isles.

I think the only thing I really had a huge issue with was the ending. It kind of ends really abruptly and I feel like I would’ve liked an Epilogue if this is going to be the last we see of these characters. Other than that, this book really was truly great. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in F/F romance and fantasy worlds.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘Έ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Very excited to see what R. M. Pearcy comes out with next.

Book Review: Immortal Hearts (Fate of the Witch #1)

Let me preface my review with this: I did not like this book. Like It was a struggle for me to read and it turned me off to reading other stuff for a bit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t like it. The romance was very heavy-handed and that didn’t jive well with me, but if you’re into romance then full speed ahead. You’ll probably like this.

I was really interested in the plot to this book, I love the whole secret magical beings trope, but the overabundance of romance and Rainelle falling in love with literally every guy she sees that she isn’t related to was weird to me.

The beginning of the book was a little rocky, to be honest. Moon introduces a bunch of characters in the prologue and I got really confused because she never mentioned who they were to Rainelle, instead she just casually name drops them like I’m supposed to already know who they are. I didn’t. At first, I thought it was because I wasn’t reading the first in the series, but no I definitely was. So, maybe change that up a little?

The whole battle between the werewolves and witches and vampires (sort of vampires?) seemed a little ???. Like what were the wolves motivations other than power? I know power is a really good motivator, but to be honest, at times this feud seemed really personal so the whole “power” story kind of fell flat to me.

Also, Reed’s whole destiny really upset me. Reed was honestly my favorite character. I liked him more than Rainelle which is weird since I usually prefer the female MC to literally anyone else. However, Rainelle came across as really whiny to me at times. Other times, of course, she was totally badass.

I loved how everyone had guns here. Just at any given second, anyone could pull out a metric butt-ton of guns that was a pretty incredible thing. Yet it’s rare that anyone used their guns which was kind of a bummer.

I have to say I was not a fan of the Rainelle/Samuel romance. It went really fast and he pretty much immediately wanted to marry her right after she got out of a long and abusive relationship with her ex. I was like Samuel calm DOWN. Then Rainelle was also interested in literally every other guy in the book, including an immortal sheriff who was just really creepy to me.

All in all, this was a pretty good story. I liked the magicky parts and the betrayal/murder plot a whole lot more than the romance, but I’ve never been a huge romance fan. Great work, Raven Moon. Can’t wait to read the next one.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜…

(2/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ§™β€β™€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

In my opinion, too much romance and not enough revenge plot. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Book Review: Not Your Sidekick by C.B Lee

I listened to this book on Audible as I do with most of my traditionally published reads these days.

Also, has anyone else noticed my penchant to read Asian Authors who write LGBT? Malinda Lo, Stephanie Ahn, Natasha Ngan, and now C.B Lee.

Not Your Sidekick is a book that follows Jessica Tran, a very awkward disaster bi (who is openly bi in the book) with a crush on the beautiful Abby Jones.

Now with the whole crushy crush business out of the way, allow me to tell you, while there is plenty of cute mushy (and awkward) moments between Abby and Jess, most of the story revolves around Jess trying to find out if she has superpowers.

There has been a crazy influx in superpower books being published as of late. I know, because I’ve read a bunch of them. Because for some reason, and thank god for this, a lot of them are LGBT (with a focus on FF) and this one did not disappoint.

Not only is bisexuality represented, so is homosexuality, transsexuality, and heterosexuality. Hell, there’s probably a few ace people sprinkled in, but I’m only listing what people openly identified as in the book.

The story is excellent. There are times where I felt it was a little too juvenile for me, but since I’m well over the age of the main characters, this was to be expected. This is an excellent YA title with LGBT themes.

I absolutely adored the awkward slow burn between Abby and Jess and the side flirtation between Bells and Emma. I am really, REALLY looking forward to the second book with Bells as the narrator: Not Your Villain that is on my TBR next!

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars.)

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ‘©
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I loved this book, but sometimes the characters could come over really whiny or one-dimensional. And I’m really mad about what happened to Claudia.