Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

 

July 7, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton • June 5, 2018 • Disney-Hyperion
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Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he’s so enormous-6’6″ and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother’s suicide.

There’s no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there’s only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he’s in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he’s part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn’t as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they’ve completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.

myreview

I received this book for free from Disney-Hyperion for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “There are three rules to high school irrevocably inscribed within the interstellar fabric of the universe.”

So, the neanderthal and the football star—two unlikely students—have a mission.

It begins with a list—a list from God delivered by the formerly comatosed football star and all-around popular guy Aaron Zimmerman—that said to recruit Cliff Hubbard, the Neanderthal outcast, on a divine mission to save Happy Valley High School from sucking. And boy, does it really suck at this high school.

This is far from a religious book, but when you have a near-death experience, you’re gonna see God. When you get a list from God, you do it, but these boys learn that these things they are supposed to do will change their whole purpose and understanding of who they are and the world around them.

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April 22, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Demi-Gods by Eliza Robertson • April 10, 2018 • Bloomsbury
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It is 1950, and nine-year-old Willa’s sheltered childhood is about to come to an end when her mother’s beau arrives with his two sons to her family’s summer home in British Columbia. As Willa’s older sister pairs off with the older of these boys, Willa finds herself alone in the off-kilter company of the younger, Patrick. When, one afternoon, Patrick lures Willa into a dilapidated rowboat, Willa embarks upon an increasingly damaging relationship with Patrick, one that will forever reconfigure her understanding of herself.

Demi-Gods traces the tumultuous years of Willa’s coming-of-age as she is drawn further into Patrick’s wicked games. Though they see each other only a handful of times, each of their encounters is increasingly charged with sexuality and degradation. When Willa finally realizes the danger of her relationship with Patrick, she desperately tries to reverse their dynamic, with devastating results.

myreview

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “We must have met the brothers in 1950, because USA had defeated England in the FIFA World Cup.”

I cannot figure where I stand with Demi-Gods—in terms of whether I enjoyed it or not. It’s a well-written book—the prose is enchanting and atmospheric. It does an excellent job setting you in this mood of uneasiness, and that feeling weighs you down because you know something is severely off.

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April 16, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris • April 3, 2018 • Quirk Books
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This scandalous chooseable-path romance novel demands you determine your own romantic adventure-and satisfy all your earthly desires along the way!

Endless scenarios of high romance, deep desire, and quivering…comedy await your tender caress in this chooseable path romance novel. You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of 19th-century society, the courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand…

* Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet, Sir Benedict Granville?

* Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, handsome, horse-loving highlander, Captain Angus McTaggart?

* Or perhaps you will chase through the chapters a good man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, in the arousing form of Lord Garraway Craven?

* Or read recklessly on to take to the continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline?

* …or yet another intriguing fate?

Whether it’s forlorn orphans and fearsome werewolves, mistaken identities and swashbuckling swordfights, or long-lost lovers and pilfered Egyptian artifacts, every delightful twist and turn of the romance genre unfolds at your behest! Prepare to open your heart, open your mind, and open-this book.

myreview

First sentence: “The course of true love never did run straight—and neither does this book. “

Are you tired of the heroine’s in your romance novels making poor decisions and picking the wrong guy to fall happily ever after with?

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April 12, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

What To Do When I’m Gone: A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter by Suzy Hopkins & Hallie Bateman • April 3, 2018 • Bloomsbury
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A mother’s advice to her daughter—a guide to daily living, both practical and sublime—with full-color illustrations throughout.

One sleepless night while she was in her early twenties, illustrator/writer Hallie Bateman had a painful realization: Someday, her mother would be gone. The prospect was devastating, and also scary—how would she navigate the world without the person who gave her life? She thought about all the motherly advice she would miss—advice that could help her through the challenges to come, including the ordeal of losing a parent.

The next day, Hallie asked her mother, writer Suzy Hopkins, to record step-by-step instructions for her to follow in the event of her mom’s death. The list began: “Pour yourself a stiff glass of whiskey and make some fajitas” and continued from there, addressing issues great and small—from choosing a life partner to baking a quiche. The project became a way for mother and daughter to discuss everyday realities with humor, openness, and gratitude. It led to this book.

Combining Suzy’s witty and heartfelt advice with Hallie’s quirky and colorful style, What to Do When I’m Gone is the illustrated instruction manual for getting through life without one’s mom. It’s also a poignant look at loss, love, and taking things one moment at a time. By turns whimsical, funny, touching, and pragmatic, it will leave readers laughing and teary-eyed. And it will spur conversations that enrich family members’ understanding of one another.

myreview

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The day I die will go something like this…”

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April 6, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Pacifica by Kristen Simmons • March 6, 2018 • Tor Teen
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Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she’s meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council’s favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president’s son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam’s safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.

myreview

I received this book for free from Wunderkind PR & Tor Teen for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “When Marin was twelve years old, her father told her two things.”

What could bring a pirate’s daughter and the president’s son together? 

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March 30, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee • February 27, 2018 • ABRAMS Image
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Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world.

With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

myreview

I received this book for free from ABRAMS for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The story of Empress Xi Ling Shi is so wrapped up in legend it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s mythology. “

Attention, it’s the start of the history class you’ve always wanted: what women did throughout history that we should know about.

If you’ve seen Mackenzi Lee’s Twitter threads about different badass and diverse women in history, those threads have been expanded into this book, Bygone Badass Broads. This book introduces readers to 52 inspiring and innovative women who have been forgotten by history—familiar ones like Lorraine Hansberry and Noor Inayat Khan to not-known-ones like Friederike Mandelbaum and Kumander Liwaymay (and when I think about it, all the ladies Mackenzi picked to write about are very unknown to most of us). And let me say, Bygone Badass Broads should be a must-read for every human being and creature on this Earth (and maybe in outer space, who knows).

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