Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Immunity by Erin Bowman

Contagion #2


FEATURING


Duology
Deadly Virus With Some Being Immune-ish
Telepathy & Super Human Strength
Tween Romance
Deep Space
Interstellar Traveling
Book #1 Rating 5 STARS
With Audio Performed by Amy McFadden


LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+



MY THOUGHTS


Contagion, the first book absolutely blew me away.  The Zombie-Esque virus, the scary intense action, the mystery of what the flip is going on.  Unfortunately, Immunity dragged a bit for me...without giving away any spoilers...I was wondering if the story was ever going to progress from where it was, at the end of Book One.  I get that the author was trying to expand on the relationship between Thea and Cohen, but I just wasn't always feeling it...and I  wanted more of the action.  

Thankfully the last third did kick it back up, way up, and I thought the ending was a perfect way to end the duology.  It even left it open for a continuation of series, which I would totally listen too.  I also believe...



Amy McFadden gave good narration...I just couldn't tell when things shifted to a new POV, because she never changed her voice at all. But, I always say this and I'm hoping if I say it enough, they'll start to listen.





THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4/5
Narration Performance 3.5/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 4.3/5
Theme or Tone 4.5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3.7/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4.3/5
Ending 4.3/5 Cliffhanger Nah...but it might not be fully contained...
_____

Book Cover I freaking Love it!!!  The colors are amazing.
Setting Mostly Conna 7 (not sure of the spelling because of Audio) A space station.
Source Audiobook (Library)
Length 9 hours, 14 minutes


Monday, August 12, 2019

Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

FEATURING


Asian Inspired Fantasy
A Magic System
Steampunk-ish
Iron Dragons
Splash of Romance
Stand-Alone
With Audio Performed by Emily Woo Zeller



LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)



MY RATING⇢ 2.5 STARS | GRADE D+



MY THOUGHTS


I wanted to like this, but it just never grabbed me, I liked the idea of the story more than the actual story.  It had many elements including mechanical dragons, that never really came to life for me.  Fantasy lovers who are tired of the same old cliched romance might like this because, while it has a splash of romance, it doesn't overshadow the story at all; and only comes into play towards the end.

I think the biggest reason I couldn't get into this was Emily Woo Zeller's narration.  Her voices were altogether too whispery, gruff or high-pitched squeaky, like make your ears pop kind of squeaky. That is the reason I listened to this at a speed of 1.65.  Which in turn made it difficult to follow the action scenes, although they could have been written in a way that was difficult to follow as well.  Sadly, I just didn't care that much to find out.


THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 3/5
Narration Performance 2/5
Characters 3/5
The Feels 1.5/5
Pacing 2.5/5
Addictiveness 2.5/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 2.5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 2.5/5
Originality 2/5
Ending 2.5/5 Cliffhanger Nah...
_____

Book Cover Hey, it has a Dragon on it, and I've needed one of those for a Reading Challenge for forever now.
Setting A fantastical realm with a name I more than likely missed...and I'm not sure how it would've been spelled, anyway.
Source Audiobook (Library)
Length 11 hours, 19 minutes

Impact by Haley Jenner

FEATURING


Aftermath of Rape
Book Club
Contemporary Romance
Moving On With Life

LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ ☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE= B+



MY THOUGHTS


When it comes to contemporary romance, I need something different...this fits that fairly well.  A love story about a woman dealing with the aftermath of rape.  

Full Disclosure/TW:  The rape is told in flashbacks.  With most of the gory details there for you to read.  It was a scene that felt all too real, like something you could totally see happening.  The story itself takes place five years later and she is slowly trying to piece her life together.  She has a job in a coffee shop and there she meets a guy.  My main issue, and it wasn't a deal killer or anything like that, was with the believability of this guy.  He really was too good to be true.  So, that basically left me not feeling all the feels...right up until the ending.  The ending was fantastically done and I didn't predict any of it.  Not like that, anyway.  



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.2/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 3.7/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 4.3/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____

Book Cover Love it!
Setting New York, NY
Source KU eBook
Length 268 pages

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

SKYWARD #1


FEATURING


Fighter Pilot Training
Distant Planets & Mystery Aliens
Artificial Intelligence
Fantastic World Building
Overcoming Adversity
With Audio Performed by Suzy Jackson



LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ ☆5+☆STARS - GRADE= A++



MY THOUGHTS


How come I didn't hear about this sooner...Seriously, I loved this.  This book hooked me from the beginning with great narration and an insanely good overall story.  Not only a new favorite but also one of the top two books of my year so far.  Audio for this was absolutely amazing.  The varied voices Suzy Jackson performed were exceptionally done.  So very happy that I used my Audible credit for this.

I've also read/listened to Brandon Sanderson's Reckoner's trilogy and I really liked that series too...but this far exceeded that series and with only one book.  Skyward has a curiously mysterious plotline, plus an instantly likable cast of characters.  Set against a backdrop of interstellar planetary combat against some enigmatic aliens with fighter pilots in training, no less.   Plus that ending has me anticipating book #2, like what!  I have to say that I highly recommend Skyward!!!



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 5/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 5+/5
Pacing 4.8/5
Addictiveness 5+/5
Theme or Tone 5+/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.8/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger More or less...
_____

Book Cover I like the English version, at least on amazon UK it shows that cover, way better (pictured below).  The US version is okay, though.



Setting Planet Detritus
Source Own Audible Audiobook
Length 15 hours, 28 minutes

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Dev1at3 by Jay Kristoff

LIFEL1K3 #2


FEATURING


Crazy Good Action Scenes
Lots of Lemon Fresh
Dystopian Earth
Futuristic Techy With Bots & Such
What It Means To Be Human and/or Different Themes
Book #1 Rating:  ☆5☆
With Audio Performed by Erin Spencer


LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ ☆5☆ Neo-Meat™ STARS - GRADE= A+




MY THOUGHTS


After listening to this book...I have the urge to recycle like a mofo, the overall theme here is Plastic is going to bury us one day.  But seriously, this book is chocked full of important messages, intense action scenes, and lovable characters.  The world that Jay has created here is insanely cool, multi-layered, and altogether frightening.

My only issue and it's obviously a small one because I didn't really let it affect my rating, is WHY only one narrator...I know you know how important it is to give everyone their own voice...is it the publisher that decided on only one?  Erin Spencer is really good, but she should just be only one voice, either Eve or Lemon's, not everyone's, including the male POV's.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 5/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 5/5
Pacing 5/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger Spank my spankables...Hells yes!
_____

Book Cover It's a little boring...it hides a lot of un-boring inside of it...but it is starting to make sense why he chooses honeycombs for the covers.
Setting YouSay, Planet Earth
Source Audiobook (Library)
Length 11 hours, 58 minutes


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Reading Re-Cap

It was a good month for reading/listening...of course, any month where I get to consume books is a good month.  I think I added three times as many books to my TBR this month than I finished, though.  But hey, I love to add books to my TBR.  I did have some good reads this month, though.


My Bookish Obsession Monthly Re-Cap



(Audiobook) The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Highlights Include:
Perfected Series Mixed With a YA-ish Westworld 
With a Dash of Dollhouse
Fantasy-Themed Amusement Park
Science Fiction/Dystopian Future
What It Means To Be Human Themes
Told In Courtroom Testimonies, Interviews
& Flashbacks To Memories
Stand-Alone

Finish Date:  07/01
MY RATING⇢ ☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+





(Kindle eBook) Managed by Kristen Callihan

Highlights Include:

Contemporary Romance
Music Biz
Laugh Out Loud Banter
Rock, Rock Til U Drop
Stand-Alone

Finish Date:  07/04
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-




(Audiobook) My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Highlights Include:

Disturbed In Suburbia = Disturbia
Unlikable Main Characters
A Twisted Mystery Thriller
With A Serial Killer(s)
Suspenseful
Thought-Provoking

Finish Date:  07/05
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-






(Audiobook) Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Highlights Include:

Viking Inspired
Fantasy
(More) Young (Than) Adult
Clean Romance
A Quest
Stand-Alone

Finish Date:  07/08
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+






(Audiobook) The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Highlights Include:

Internet Dating
A Many-Layered Mystery
Psychological Thriller
Suspenseful
Twisted & Twisty

Finish Date:  07/11
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A








(Audiobook) Under A Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day

Highlights Include:

Closed Circle Murder Mystery
A Dark Sky Park
Lake Michigan Setting
Dealing With Loss Of Spouse

Finish Date:  07/16
MY RATING⇢ ☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE= B-







(Audiobook) Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak

Highlights Include:

A Study In Friendship
The Needs of People...
Psychological
Semi-Thrilling
Broadcast News...& Drama
Murder-ish

Finish Date:  07/20
MY RATING⇢ ☆3.2☆STARS - GRADE=C+







(Kindle eBook) What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Highlights Include:

Creepy Supernatural
Mystery
Contemporary
YA/NA Kind of Feel
Stand-Alone

Finish Date:  07/24
MY RATING⇢ ☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE= B







(Audiobook) Here And Now And Then by Mike Chen

Highlights Include:

Time-Travel
Science Fiction
What It Means To Be A Parent
Love...Not Romance
Screwing Up The Space-Time Continuum

Finish Date:  07/25
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE= A







(Audiobook) The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Highlights Include:
Realistic Fiction
High School
Slut-Shaming
The Truth Is Not Always What It Seems
Full-Cast Narration*

Finish Date:  07/28
MY RATING⇢ ☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE= A-






(Audiobook) Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

Highlights Include:

Mystery
Mobil App Start-Up Company
Dealing With Grief
Thriller
Secluded Island in the Caribbean
Dual POV's

Finish Date:  07/29
MY RATING⇢ ☆2.3☆STARS - GRADE= D+






(Audiobook) Appealed by Emma Chase

Highlights Include:

Contemporary Romance
Male POV
Lots of LOL Moments
Courtroom Proceedings
Second Chance Love
Very Explicit Sexual Content --Like Woow.
Possibly Too Much Sex & Not Enough Plot

Finish Date:  07/30
MY RATING⇢ ☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE= B





12 Books Total, 2 Kindle eBooks and 10 Audiobooks

For a total of 4,607 Pages (including Audio)

There were a lot of great ones this month...including The KIngdom, Warrior of the Wild and Here and Now and Then...but Best Cover for the Month of July goes to...



Appealed by Emma Chase

Legal Briefs #3


FEATURING


Contemporary Romance
Male POV
Lots of LOL Moments
Courtroom Proceedings
Second Chance Love
Very Explicit Sexual Content --Like Woow.
Possibly Too Much Sex & Not Enough Plot
Audio Performed by Deacon Lee


LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)



MY RATING⇢ ☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE= B



MY THOUGHTS


This is a quick, super-cute addition to the Legal Briefs Series.  Emma Chase can get into a guys head like no one else can.  I liked Brent and Kennedy's story a lot, and Brent has some super funny thoughts and moments.  Jake & Chelsea's story is still my top fav of the series, though. 

Appealed could have used some more substance to it...sadly, it relied on sex to carry most of the story...very explicit sex of all the positions and types of sex there is.  Let's just say sometimes those can be awkward on Audio with Teens hanging around, unexpectedly.  Deacon Lee, as always, was fantastic with his narration.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.3/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 4.3/5
The Feels 3.8/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Addictiveness 4.5/5
Theme or Tone 4/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 3/5
Ending 4/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____

Book Cover Meh...
Setting New York, NY
Source Audiobook (Scribd)
Length 6 hours, 43 minutes


Until The Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

FEATURING


Mystery
Mobil App Start-Up Company
Dealing With Grief
Thriller
Secluded Island in the Caribbean
Dual POV's
Audio Performed by Jess Nahikian, Kate Orsini, & Patrick Lawlor


LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)



MY RATING⇢ ☆2.3☆STARS - GRADE= D+



MY THOUGHTS


The Good:  First off that beautiful cover...it's quite splendid.  I also liked the App 'Jax' that was front and center in this, it seemed pretty cool.  A budgeting app and it even did your taxes for you.  I don't know how feasible it is...but hey. 

& The Rest:  From my featuring section above you can tell that this book has a lot going on...maybe that was part of the problem.  Too many characters to keep track of making it difficult to follow the story.  Added to that, the many elements, including the ending, that just didn't feel real or plausible to me and this was overall, a NO for me.

The narrators were decent enough...just as a personal preference, I don't think I like Kate Orsini, which is funny because when I looked her up, it turns out she narrates all of this Authors books.  I remember now, it was in Burying the Honeysuckle Girls that I decided I didn't like her.  Jess Nahikian was very pleasant...almost too pleasant.  I certainly would listen to her again, though, and Patrick Lawlor had such a small part that he didn't really matter overall.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 2.5/5
Narration Performance 3.5/5
Characters 2.8/5
The Feels 1/5
Pacing 2/5
Addictiveness 2.5/5
Theme or Tone 2.5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 2.2/5
Backdrop (World Building) 3/5
Originality 2.5/5
Ending 2/5 Cliffhanger well...
_____

Book Cover It's intriguing and beautiful...and it looks like a perfect spot to relax.
Setting Birmingham and Auburn AL.  Plus a secluded Island in the Caribbeans
Source KU Read & Listen 
Length 10 hours, 45 minutes

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Immunity by Erin Bowman