Review – ‘Break Me’ by Tiffany Snow

Title: Break Me
Author: Tiffany Snow
Genre:  Contemporary, Romance
Date of Publication: 14th March, 2017
Page Count: 316 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Just a few weeks ago, computer prodigy China Mack’s typical night in involved Endor Star Wars pajamas and a sensible bedtime. Now she’s dating gorgeous tech guru Jackson Cooper—one of Forbes’s Top Ten Eligible Billionaires—much to the Twitterverse’s delight.

Turns out, going from socially inept hermit to poster girl for geek chic has its challenges. China’s relationship gets even more complicated because her role heading the top-secret Vigilance program—where she’s partnered with Superman clone Clark Slattery—makes her a target. And when ruthless businessman Simon Lu plans to co-opt Vigilance software to blackmail government and military employees, he’ll need China’s cooperation—willing or otherwise.

But not every enemy is so easily identified. Some hide in plain sight, in very high places, and mistaking foe for friend could be the last mistake China ever makes…

I adored the first book in the ‘Corrupted Hearts’ series – I gave Follow Me a 5-star rating! This sequel fell rather short of the lofty standards set by its predecessor and I felt a bit disappointed after having anticipated this so much. The writing is smooth and assured, the mystery plot is snappy and intriguging, and it honestly had me glued to the screen, gasping in shock at some of the twists and turns. But while ‘Follow Me‘ didn’t have an obnoxious love triangle, its sequel unfortunately doubled down on that aspect.

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Review – ‘Geekerella’ by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date of Publication: 4th April, 2017
Page Count: 320 pages (hard cover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Well, don’t I feel foolish now! I have to admit I was completely wrong about this book – I mistakenly requested this on Netgalley when I was really after Queens of Geek (reviewed here); it’s an easy mistake as they both have the word ‘Geek’ in the title, both about nerdy fangirls, both set at conventions… I loved Queens of Geek and didn’t feel like this would live up to its rival, but now I need to declare that I did Geekerella an injustice because it was a fantastic read!

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Whimsify Box – April 2017: More Than Machine

Whimsify Box is a monthly subscription book box for YA lovers. You receive a recently published fantasy or sci-fi book along with 4-6 items that relate to the theme picked to match the book.

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Whimsify Box
Cost: $34.95 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.25 within the US |  Internationally – $19.95
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 15 – 20th each month

Good to know: your subscription renews automatically on the 1st of each month

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‘The Edge of the Abyss’ by Emily Skrutskie

Title: The Edge of the Abyss
Author: Emily Skrutskie
Genre:  Young Adult, Sci-fi, LGBT
Date of Publication: 18th April, 2017
Page Count: 320 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to the ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she’d been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it’s not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It’s being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart.

But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers that Bao is not the only monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against creatures she used to care for and protect?

Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

This was a hard one for me to review – objectively, the author is quite talented; her characters leap off the page, there’s a ton of action and adventure, this alternate reality she’s crafted is amazingly original and the plot had me hooked. BUT I found the lead character so frustrating and some of her reactions and decisions were borderline nonsensical, so it was painful reading certain parts and having to resist the urge to hurl my phone across the room and scream.

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Book Boyfriend Box – February 2017: Out Of This World

Book Boyfriend Box is a bi-monthly US book subscription box that provides you with a new YA release plus 2-6 bookish goodies that may include jewelry, make-up, bath products, candles, accessories & apparel and more.

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Book Boyfriend Box
Cost: $29.99 USD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: USPS Priority Rate | Canada – $14.99 | Internationally – $25.99
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 9-15th February, April, June, August, October & December

***Note: this is a bi-monthly box that ships every 2 months. Renewals happen on the 25th of the month prior to shipping. Subscribe by the 10th of the shipping month to receive that month’s box, otherwise if you subscribe after that date, you’ll receive the box for the next cycle***

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Book Boyfriend Box – April 2017: Beauty & The Beast

Book Boyfriend Box is a bi-monthly US book subscription box that provides you with a new YA release plus 2-6 bookish goodies that may include jewelry, make-up, bath products, candles, accessories & apparel and more.

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Book Boyfriend Box
Cost: $29.99 USD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: USPS Priority Rate | Canada – $14.99 | Internationally – $25.99
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 9-15th February, April, June, August, October & December

***Note: this is a bi-monthly box that ships every 2 months. Renewals happen on the 25th of the month prior to shipping. Subscribe by the 10th of the shipping month to receive that month’s box, otherwise if you subscribe after that date, you’ll receive the box for the next cycle***

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LitJoy Crate – YA box review (‘Fire & Ice’)

LitJoy Crate is a book subscription box service that offers 3 options targeting different age groups: the monthly Picture Book box aimed at ages 3-6, the quarterly Middle Grade box aimed at ages 8-13 and the monthly Young Adult box for ages 14 and older. This is a review for the YA box, which includes one new release book and 2-4 themed bookish goodies.

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LitJoy Crate

Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $10.48 within the US or up to $22.70 to other countries
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 20th of each month

Tracking is provided with the shipping notification – my box was shipped February 23rd and arrived March 1st. Yes, my review is super late, due to real life complications! Boring stuff involving the financial controller being fired at work and myself being promoted to his position, despite having no accounting background or finance experience…working late most nights and coming in to the office on Sundays…ah, good times. But my philosophy is better late than never, so let’s forget about the fact that I’m a little late to the party and embrace the idea I showed up at all!

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ARC Review – ‘Marry In Haste’ by Anne Gracie

Title:  Marry In Haste
Author: Anne Gracie
Genre:  Romance (Historical/Regency Romance)
Date of Publication: 2nd May, 2017
Page Count: 320 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

31621184.jpgFrom the award-winning author of The Summer Bride comes the first in a charming new historical romance series where marriages of convenience turn into true love matches.

Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.

When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.

Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere facade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?

I adore Anne Gracie’s romances and had high expectations for this one – thankfully, it did not disappoint! I can’t believe I’m giving so many 5-star reviews lately, but I’m on a winning streak so far. 😀

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Book Review: ‘Queens of Geek’ by Jen Wilde

Title:  Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Date of Publication: 14th March, 2017
Page Count: 288 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

51822382.jpgWhen BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

This was such a sweet and heartwarming read. I feel that at times the writing was a little too simplistic, but the plotting and heart of the story swept me away too much to care.

Normally I’m not a fan of two or more different character POVs, but it worked well for me here and it means the reader gets to enjoy two absolutely adorable romances for the price of one. It also means the author can more realistically delve into different issues that many people suffer without it seeming overly melodramatic the way it would be if they were to saddle a sole main character with a whole ton of baggage.

I know I’ve said this many times, but I’ll repeat – I LOVE books that deal with mental illness and LGBT+ relationships, and this one featured both! One of the protagonists, Taylor, is a recently diagnosed ‘Aspie girl’ and struggling with anxiety issues and intermittent panic attacks; the other protagonist, Charlie, is a bisexual WOC!

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SpearCraft Book Box – March 2017: Pirates & Mermaids!

SpearCraft Book Box is a subscription box that provides you with a young adult book and themed bookish goodies, many of which are hand-made and fandom-based.

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SpearCraft Book Box

Cost: $29.99 USD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: $9.99 within the US or $32.99 to other countries
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 10-12th of the month for international subscribers and 15-20th for US orders

My box was shipped on March 10th and arrived March 20th. Free tracking was provided, which was wonderful. 🙂

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