September 19, 2017

Because You Love to Hate Me



"Villians, the deliciously wicked. We love to hate them and they hate to be loved, if only because being hated frees them from having to be good." ~ pg. 10

How refreshing to know I am not the only reader or book blogger that loves to hate villains but sometimes root for them. Villains are necessary for heroes to exist in our favorite books. Stories aren't nothing without them. In Because You Love Me, singer/songwriter/author Ameriie gathered thirteen stories of villainy written by various authors. Also included is commentary/challenges by thirteen different booktubers and bloggers.

"You see red when you're angry. You should never actually be seeing red unless you're standing in a room that's covered in red paint, or blood, or looking at an apple. If you're just seeing red, something's wrong. Don't panic, but you might be evil." ~ pg. 24

Because You Love Me goes deep into villainy with retelling of fairy tales, folklores and original stories. My favorite (I could be biased because editors heart other editors) was Ameriie's retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Pure villainy at its finest! I also liked the modern-day mash-up of King Arthur and Persephone-Hades and another tale titled Gwen and Art and Lance where the villain takes hold of the reins and manipulates destiny. I was a bit spooked by another villain named Julian; he was a teen psychopath. EEK! Then was excited to read about Nicola Yoon's gender-flipped god of war. All hail bad bitches!

"And then I finally understand what I am, and it's a relief." ~ pg. 260

Why should heroes get all the fun? They get the happy ending, a romantic love story and favor from all readers. But in Because You Love to Hate Me, the villains are shown some love too. Most importantly, readers will finish this collection knowing what it means to be a true villain and perhaps discover our own evil. This book is a good companion for reading during commutes or when traveling. Enjoy!

Title: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
Author: Various; Edited by Ameriie
Published: July 2017
Pages: 296
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book Involving a Mythical Creature; Popsugar—A Book with Multiple Authors
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

September 17, 2017

Series Sunday: O is for Outlaw

(Kinsey Millhone #15) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is O is for Outlaw, the 15th book in the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. How refreshing it is to still enjoy a series this far into it. I am still finding out personal things about the private Private Investigator, Kinsey Millhone. At this point, all readers know very little about her. We know she was raised by an aunt, twice divorced, briefly worked as a cop and has a long-lost family somewhere up the California coast.

On a random morning, Kinsey receives a phone call from a storage unit auction winner (yes, it is a real thing! People actually bid on storage units that have defaulted in payment and auction off the found items.) He contacts Kinsey to sell her the contents of a box. Now she is no sentimental character. She couldn't care less about personal belongings. But out of curiosity, she buys it for a cool twenty bucks. Inside sends her down memory lane and forces her to face the breakup of her first marriage.

I was so eager to read this because finally more than a dollop of personal info on Kinsey! It was well-placed in the series and kept me glued to the end. Bookhearts, if you have not already started this series it is not too late. Read now!

Author: Sue Grafton
Published: October 1999
Pages: 336
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Perpetual Kinsey Millhone
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 15, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"This fairy tale begins in 1968 during a garbage strike."

~ The Changeling by Victor LaValle

   

September 14, 2017

No One Is Coming to Save Us


I hate when this happens. A highly anticipated, hyped up, named one of the best books of the year turns out to be a dud. Does my edition have the same words? πŸ™ƒ  I had to enforce my 50-page Rule. Perhaps it was because of the comparison to The Great Gatsby but I did not finish No One Is Coming to Save Us, the story of an extended black family and their visions of the great American Dream. 

Title: No One Is Coming to Save Us
Author: Stephanie Powell Watts
Published: April 2017
Pages: 300
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ DNF

 

September 13, 2017

How to Be a Bawse


"A Bawse should know when to take the time to think something through and when to simply make a quick decision." ~ pg. 56

The 2017 People's Choice Award winner for Favorite YouTube Star is Lilly Singh AKA IISuperwomanII. In a humorous yet insightful book, she gives the definitive guide to being a bawse: a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side. According to Lilly, there are fifty (50) rules to conquering your life; How to Be a Bawse (officially in my Top Books of 2017) details them all in an easy to read guide.

I don't know how to properly review this nonfiction book without stanning out with tons of praise. Lilly Singh is my new BFF-in-my-head. She truly thinks and mentors like a bawse through clear explanations with supporting scenarios. I have so many screenshots and highlights in my eBook edition. Bookhearts know I do not make a habit of re-reading books but this one right here is definitely worth revisiting so I can track my progress, recap bawse tips and LOL while doing it.

"You are a product of your environment, so decide wisely what kind of factory you want to be built in." ~ pg. 323

How To Be a Bawse is a must-have product for your personal library and mindset. I picked up many lessons that are sure to keep me on track with goals. I dare not group this book into a basic genre like self-help or memoir; it is so much more. If you are a goal digging hustler like myself and need guidance, this book is for you! Read it. Learn from it. Apply it. I'll say it plainly for slackers in the back. πŸ—£ I RECOMMEND HOW TO BE A BAWSE!

Now excuse me while I go change all my passwords to an affirmation like StayDetermined! to give my brain a subliminal message.

Title: How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life
Author: Lilly Singh AKA IISuperwomanII
Published: March 2017
Pages: 393
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book With Career Advice
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 12, 2017

When They Come For You


"An exposΓ© of child slavery, chocolate, and murder." ~ 32%

Photographer Harper McDaniel has nothing left to live for when her journalist husband and infant son are executed in a house fire. The local police fail to seriously investigate the arson. So Harper, teamed up with her financier brother and mobster grandfather, vow to settle the score. Harper discovers her husband was doing more than writing a piece on the history of chocolate and its billion-dollar industry; he was investigating mysterious deaths at a cacao plantation. The manhunt goes global; Harper travels well beyond their Florida home to Africa, Zurich and more.

"Taking suicidal risks, plunging ahead into the reckless quest. Not courage at all, but simply nothing left to lose." ~ 39%

One of the great writing lessons I learned is that less is best. As a copyeditor, I can appreciate attention to detail. But as a reader, too much detail and unnecessary verbiage distracts from the story itself. Because of this, I lost interest in the book fairly quickly. Too many far out actions and way too many characters with side details that clouded the main mystery. There is a such thing as too many layers. Such a disappointment for a bomb book cover. It just wasn't thrilling for me. However, it is an Amazon Charts bestseller.

🀷🏽‍♀️ For those still interested, When They Come For You is now available.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: When They Come For You
Author: James W. Hall
Published: September 2017
Pages: 290
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€

 

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life


"Since we can't get reparations, we will make it up in toppings. I want provolone cheese and cucumbers and spinach and lettuce and red onions and tomatoes, olives and banana peppers and giardiniera. I need the chipotle southwest sauce and the ranch, and extra meat, but I don't want you to charge me for it."  

Bitches Gotta Eat blogger and comedian, Samantha Irby, brings her comic to essay form. In We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, she talks about her childhood, ghosts of the past and emotional truths. No one is exempt in her tales either, such as her estranged father and awkward sexual encounters with her significant other. Poking fun is an understatement!

"fuck it, bitch. stay fat." ~ pg. 143

LISSEN. Samantha Irby spoke to me. She knows my life. I nodded my head in agreement and literally LOL'ed while reading this. Albeit, there were a couple chapters that I skimmed because they weren't as entertaining but we probably never will meet in real life so it's not like she'll quiz me on it. Anyway, what a perfect title for this collection of funny ass essays. Bookhearts, I will not steer you wrong. Add this book to your TBR! It is great to read when you just have to laugh.

Title: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
Author: Samantha Irby
Published: May 2017
Pages: 288
Edition: Paperback
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book With a Cat on the Cover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 10, 2017

Series Sunday: The Medical Examiner

(Women's Murder Club #16.5) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is The Medical Examiner, book #16.5 in the Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson. Imagine the horror of two bodies arriving at the morgue but one is still breathing! Go ahead and gasp because this original story had my full attention as the Women's Murder Club solved this twisted mystery.

So this is the BOOKSHOT that I tried to skip. HAHAHA As I previously stated, these short eBooks fall in the middle of a series making it still necessary to read. Genius marketing on Patterson's part because readers can't just skip them. You'll miss a major/minor event that may come up in a future book. Plus it is always nice to check in with our favorite characters while waiting for the next book in series to release. So yes, bookhearts, read The Medical Examiner not only because it was good but because you have to when continuing to read this series.

Author: James Patterson
Published: August 2017
Pages: 144
Edition: BOOKSHOTS
Challenge: Keeping Up With Patterson
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 8, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Spider Combs was parked five blocks east of the white wood cottage on Margaret Street in Coconut Grove where his target lived. Behind the tinted windows of the stolen pickup, he spied on the residents of the cottage via the iPad in his lap."

~ When They Come For You by James W. Hall

   

September 7, 2017

Smitten


"It is personal. I'm a person, so that makes it personal." ~ 3%

Celena Payne was so done with romance after her most recent ex ghosted her. Now the focus was on her career until Karim Holt moved back to town. He was too busy for a relationship with caring for his ailing grandmother and opening a new business. But a chance meeting between the two sparked an unexpected romance. Their lives were altered from this undeniable chemistry.

I was smitten with Celena and Karim's ship! Author Nicole Falls has once again wrote a good read featuring realistic characters of color. I would have rated this novel a solid five (5) hearts if it was edited better. The typos were a distraction. But if you can skim over these errors, Smitten is the choice if you're in the mood to read a fun romance. Reading it is like a conversation with your close friends. "Girl, let me tell you what happened!"

Smitten is available now for less than $3.00 or read free with Kindle Unlimited. Go ahead and download now, bookhearts!

Title: Smitten
Author: Nicole Falls
Published: March 2017
Pages: 182
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 6, 2017

The Dolls


"Of all the emotions she'd been programmed to learn, this one was the most palpable, the most real: fear." ~ pg. 42

Investigative business reporter, Lana Wallace, has covered crimes for the past ten years. But nothing prepared her for the dolls: prototypes custom created to speak, act, look and feel like a real woman. They're the perfect companion. But why are their owners being found murdered? Perhaps looks can kill.

A mighty hand clap for the MasterClass winner, Kecia Bal! I really enjoyed reading this book that she co-authored with James Patterson. What an honor! I could tell she implemented some of the lessons learned in the MasterClass. It only motivates me to continue the class and hopefully finish with a manuscript of my own. The Dolls was original, page-turning, and easily devoured in a couple hours.

Title: The Dolls
Author: James Patterson & Kecia Bal
Published: August 2017
Pages: 132
Edition: BOOKSHOT
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 5, 2017

I Hate Everyone But You


"I don't really see a world in which you remain objective." ~ 80%

Best friends Ava and Gen start their freshmen years of college on opposite sides of the country. They keep in touch through a series of text messages and emails. Their friendship develops and hits rocky roads when dealing with self-discovery, heartbreak, mental health and weird roommates. As each young woman grows, readers wonder if their BFF-ship will survive. Will they still be best friends living side-by-side in a gated community like the Golden Girls?

I Hate Everyone But You had potential to be a good YA novel but it fell short. I absolutely love books in e-mail or text message format. But this one I grew tired of real quick. Not because of the writing style or content but because of the annoying characters. I kept asking if I acted like this during my first year of college with friends back home or enrolled at different schools. Hopefully not! Maybe this book is relatable to younger women but it's a hard pass for 30-somethings.

Happy Pub Day, Gaby & Allison! I Hate Everyone But You is now available.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: I Hate Everyone But You
Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Published: September 2017
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€

   

September 3, 2017

Series Sunday: Detective Cross

(Alex Cross #24.5) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Detective Cross, book #24.5 in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. An anonymous caller keeps setting off deadly bombs in Washington, D.C. only warning Bree Stone, Alex's wife, mere minutes ahead of time. And guess who may be a suspect? Dr. Alex Cross' patient!

So this is the thing with BOOKSHOTS, they are mini-books just over 100 pages. The stories are developed but doesn't always pack that Patterson punch we are used to. However, because it falls in the middle of a series, it is still necessary to read. Genius marketing on Patterson's part because readers can't just skip them. I've tried. HAHAHA

Author: James Patterson
Published: May 2017
Pages: 144
Edition: BOOKSHOTS
Challenge: Keeping Up With Patterson
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

September 1, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"The house he's building is done mostly. All that's missing now is the prettying, stain on the sprawling deck, final finishing inside. At least that's what they say. This house has been the talk around our small town. Not much happens here but the same, same: a thirteen-year-old girl waiting for the baby her mother's sorry boyfriend gave her; the husband we wanted to believe was one of the good ones found out to be the worst kind of cheater with a whole other family two towns over. The same stupid surprises, the usual sadnesses. But this thing is strange."

~ No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts