Review| Tears, Music, & Harmony

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Synopsis:

“Eleanor is a singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her, a grey mist descends and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is thrust into a course of action she never asked for, nor envisioned. Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, she must find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark crystal which holds the future of her world. But, Eleanor is no savior. She is a simple girl with strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of song must connect to create a melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save her world.”

My Review:

Ugh. Honestly.

Books like these just don’t help when you’re still reeling from some other book breaking your heart.

Lansberg has poured hand sanitizer in my paper cut and I can’t say I like that very much.

And yet, I ate it up, didn’t I?

(Not the hand sanitizer, the book)

Okay, truly? I was rooting for the villain when I started reading this. I didn’t know they were the villain, but I just wanted them to succeed, it seemed like it was the right thing, the cause, you know? So imagine my surprise when they become the villain and at one point, in my notes I said,

I don’t want Eleanor hurt! But I want [them] to win!!!

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How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

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Kindle Price: $7.09

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.”

My Review:

Gracious. I haven’t read a romance novel in quite a while (at least at the time I wrote this), but I’m very pleased that How to Keep Rolling After a Fall was the book I read.

Cozzo has an amazing skill in writing. In fact, and please hold your gasps, I found nothing wrong in the book. Isn’t that wild? Me, of all people, not only enjoyed the book but had no complaints.

Let’s talk about Nicole. I actually really liked Nicole. She was funny, down-to-earth, had a rather dark past that was defining her, and she had obvious flaws. I loved it. She was a realistic and enjoyable character and despite everything, I ended up rooting for her. I appreciated that she didn’t feel entitled to things and that she was always respectful, even when people weren’t being fair. There was constant growth within her throughout the book and it was obvious through her thoughts and reactions.

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The Roadrunner Cafe by Jamie Zerndt (Review)

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

“One year after his father’s suicide, Carson Long feels cheated. He hates his father for leaving him and his sister, Georgie, alone. He hates him for turning his mother into a young widow who hasn’t left the house in months. And he hates his father for leaving behind his stupid tree. Four of them are planted outside the restaurant, one for each family member. That is until Carson’s mother, no longer able to stand the sight of the tree, hires a local landscaper to remove it in the middle of the night. This seemingly unremarkable act soon sets in motion of series of events in the small Colorado ski town that leaves more than just young Carson groping in the dark for answers.

The Roadrunner Café is a unique novel told from multiple points of view about loss and the lengths some will go to heal the human heart. Ultimately, it is a story about what it takes to go on living even when everything in the world might be telling us it isn’t possible to.”

My Review:

Have you ever cracked open a can of your favorite soda, or a soda you enjoy in general, and took a real long swig, right after you got finished munching on something spicy? That awful taste that bubbles in your mouth and you try to hurry up and swallow, is the taste The Roadrunner Cafe has left in my mouth.

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Diamond Bonds by Jeff Kish (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Era cares only of surpassing his father’s infamy as a master thief – until he stumbles onto a kidnapped girl and promises to return her home.

Dreaming of a quick and easy reward, Era and his thieving partner Jem set off to return the girl to her wealthy father. However, when bounty hunters and elemental mercenaries attack to recapture the girl, her claims of ignorance begin to ring hollow. When the girl’s own elemental talents are revealed, Era begins to question what else she may be hiding.

As Era fights off foe after foe with his untrained earth shaping skills, the temptation to simply collect the reward on her head sparks an inner conflict between his moral foundation and the future he has always wanted.”

My Review:

When Kish emailed me, he (politely) asked me if I would read his book and I calmly replied to his email in the most professional manner I could. Then I texted my friend in all capital letters (in an entirely unprofessional manner) my fears of what would I do if I didn’t like his book. You see, it’s way easier to hate a book when the author is rude. But it’s way harder to hate a book, when the author, this time being Kish, is respectful and polite. It’s always so very refreshing to talk to an author who doesn’t respond with a rather unappreciative tone. Nonetheless, my feelings cannot get in the way of an honest review, which is why I am most relieved to say that I did enjoy Kish’s book, Diamond Bonds.


I’m bound to honesty (how bad was that pun?) so I have to say that Diamond Bonds didn’t really have my interest until 85% or so into the book. That was, in my opinion, when the action truly started, along with a plot twist that quietly surprised me. I say quietly because I didn’t gasp, but was no less surprised.

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In Your Dreams by Amy Martin (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Zara “Zip” McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone’s known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip’s life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip’s heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret–he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran’s parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm’s way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she’s afraid of what might happen.

*Recommended for Young Adult readers 13 and up (mild cursing, some adult situations)”

My Review:

When I was In Your Dreams’ synopsis I was suspicious. Was Martin going to play this off as a “we were destined to be together” kind of plot? Or, worse yet, a “I’m a mysteriously gorgeous man who saw you in my dreams but I have to stay away because I. Just. Can’t. Control. Myself. Argh!” Answer? None of the above.

I really liked that the majority of the book wasn’t focused on Kieran’s dreams. It’s true, his dreams are a large part of the plot, but it’s just as important to develop the rest of the book. I also liked that he wasn’t gorgeous or anything, but a regular kid with irregular tendencies. Martin took the time and care to create a relationship between Zip (love the nickname!) and Kieran and supporting characters before she introduced much else. It allowed me the time to learn about and eventually fall in love with the characters she presented and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Each character was well-rounded and the families were represented as they actually are in reality.

Zip is a “I’m not like other girls” kind of girl, but not in a bad or pompous way. She doesn’t have to say it because she is her own person without anyone needing to let you know.

Gosh, I loved Kieran. He’s like a really sweet book boyfriend that’s actually believable. He had moments when he needed to be alone, a gorgeous sense of humor, an equally wonderful personality, and was a great kid overall. Kieran had to ask tough questions and answer them and was always fighting to overcome his narcolepsy. Sometimes he needed to be alone and sometimes he needed friend so. There was an excellent balance.

The family dynamic, in both Zip and Kieran’s, was well done. There were arguments and tears and confusion and sometimes even mistrust and I liked that. No family is perfect and everyone has secrets, so to make sure that these families were not only involved in their children’s lives, but had differences that sometimes clashed was an excellent idea on Martin’s part.

The plot was excellent too. There was a sense of mystery and uncertainty that floated along. It was kind of like when you smell something in the air briefly and you’re not sure what you’re smelling, but you like it. Ever had that? By the end of the book, I was pleased to find that there was no cliffhanger, but everything was explained, but still had the hint that there could be a next book.
Would you recommend In Your Dreams? I would! I think it was a fun read and definitely something that’s perfect for a rainy day. It’s a book that will keep you occupied and interested for a good while. Plus, it’s free! The synopsis does say that there are adult situations, but I never saw them or felt uncomfortable with anything so I’m not sure what the warning is for.