Five Flavors of Dumb

Five Flavors of DumbFive Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Publication Date: November 11, 2010

Publisher: Speak

Synopsis:

North Seattle High School senior Piper is known for being smart. What she isn’t known for being is popular. So when she’s presented with the challenge to get her high schools popular band a paying gig, she accepts. There’s only one problem: Piper’s deaf. Can she manage a band without actually being able to hear them? No one but Piper seems to think so. She’ll just have to prove them wrong.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read a few books with deaf characters and Five Flavors of Dumb is definitely one of my favorites. I loved how the author portrayed Piper. She felt real to me. She was strong and witty, but definitely had her teenage issues.

Piper’s family dynamic was amazing. The problems she was having with her parents were so tough and I couldn’t help but empathize with both sides. I loved her relationship with her brother, Finn. He was one of my favorite characters in the book.

The band characters were a lot of fun. I liked how each of them had their own issues and that I got to really get to know them. I especially loved Ed.

Being from the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, the musical journey through Seattle’s famous musicians was extremely cool. I loved how The Showbox and a daily talk show (think New Day) were incorporated into the story.

Five Flavors of Dumb is a book I would highly recommend to readers looking for a great YA rock star novel with a lot of heart. There’s no sex, drugs or violence. There is school skipping, forgery and going against parents’ wishes.

Saving Toby

perf6.000x9.000.inddSaving Toby by Suzanne McKenna Link

Publication Date: August 26, 2013

Synopsis:

Everyone in town knows the Faye boys are bad news, but Claudia can only remember Toby Faye as a nice kid. So when Claudia receives a job offer that will have her working with Toby and his mother, Julia, she accepts it.

Claudia never thought working near Toby would be such a measure in self-control. Toby’s made it obvious he wants her. Claudia can’t deny that she wants him, too. Just as they’re beginning to fall for each other, Toby is linked to a brutal hate crime. Claudia knows Toby couldn’t be involved, but her policeman father isn’t so sure.

As the police investigate, Claudia is be forced to choose sides and try to hold together a relationship that may have been doomed from the start.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Saving Toby. It was fun, romantic, intense and fast-paced. The chemistry between Toby and Claudia was amazing.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Toby’s cocky personality. The way he antagonized Claudia made me smile. It was just what her uptight personality needed. 

Despite her age, Claudia was very mature. I was surprised at how mature she was through the second half of the story. I don’t think many young adult women could handle things the way she did.

The hate crime part of the book was so intense! I could see what was going to happen and I was so worried for Toby! (I admit I may have had to take a little break from reading because it was stressing me out — but in a good way!)

Overall, Saving Toby was an amazing New Adult read. The writing was excellent and I was completely drawn into the story. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Keeping Claudia. I would highly recommend Saving Toby to fans of authors Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber, and Jessica Park.

Thank you to Suzanne McKenna Link for the opportunity to read and honestly review Saving Toby.

ARC Review: Unshakable

Unshakable (Wayward Fighters, #4)Unshakableby J.C. Valentine 

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Publisher:  Malachite Publishing LLC

*Unshakable is included in the Red Hot Candy Boxed Set and it’s out today!

Synopsis:

Don Freyer lost both his wife and his fighting career to cancer. He was a bitter old man until Jami came into his life. Jami’s the son Don never had. Don knows Jami’s life was rough growing up and he wants to ensure Jami and his wife can provide stability for the baby they are about to have. Don’s about to make that happen for them when life throws another hurdle his way.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Unshakable is the epilogue to the Wayward Fighters series. It’s a short story told in Don and Jami’s POV’s. In order to understand the characters, it’s best to have read the previous novels.

I love that J.C. Valentine gave us one last glimpse into the lives of the Wayward Fighters family. It was short and sweet and really wrapped up the entire series in a great way. Fans of the series will love it.

Thank you to J.C. Valentine for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Unshakable. 

Other books in this series:

Knockout (Wayward Fighters, #1)  Tapout (Wayward Fighters, #2)  unDefeated (Wayward Fighters, #3)

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s Top Ten is Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.).


1. Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

The main character, Cath, is a huge fan of Simon Snow series. She writes fan fiction stories about Simon and his world.

Fangirl


2. The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

Margaret Lea is a biographer who grew up in her father’s bookshop. She is asked to write the biography of a famous British novelist.

The Thirteenth Tale


3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 
by Stieg Larsson

Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist whose expose has caused him legal problems.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is compiling a collection of stories about the help in her 1962 Mississippi town .

The Help


5. Mud Vein
 by Tarryn Fisher

Senna Richards is a reclusive novelist that awakens to find herself trapped in a secluded house.

Mud Vein


6. Slammed 
by Colleen Hoover

Laken falls for her new neighbor, Will Cooper, who writes slam poetry.

Slammed (Slammed, #1)


7. The Time Travellers Wife 
by Audrey Niffeneger

Librarian and time traveller Henry DeTamble falls for artist Claire Abshire. Their love story flows across time.

The Time Traveler's Wife


8. Dream of You 
by Kate Perry

Novelist Lola Carlisle falls for sports radio host Sam “Touchdown” Taylor.

Dream of You (Laurel Heights, #5)


9.
 Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

Novelist Liz Sutton gets a second chance at love with Ethan Hendrix.

Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold, #2)


10. The House on Tradd Street 
by Karen White

Real estate agent Melanie Middleton can see ghosts. Her writer friend Jack Trenholm helps her discover the mysteries behind the ghosts.

The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1)

What is your favorite book about a book nerd? Tell me in the comments!

Run You Down

Run You DownRun You Down (Rebekah Roberts #2) by Julia Dahl

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Synopsis:

Rebekah Roberts’ Hasidic Jewish mother, Aviva, abandoned her as a baby. After college, Rebekah left her father and her hometown of Orlando, FL to move to New York to become a journalist and (maybe) find her mother.

While working for the Tribune, Rebekah receives a call from a man who would like the murder of his Hasidic Jewish wife looked into. He has reason to believe she may have been murdered. As Rebekah begins to investigate the story, she discovers Aviva’s brother, Sam, knew the dead woman. The more she uncovers, the more Rebekah starts to question Sam’s connections and involvement in the crime. She sees the need to learn more about Sam as an excuse to finally contact the mother walked out on her.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Run You Down was written from two points of view: Rebekah’s and Aviva’s. Rebekah’s POV was present day.  Aviva’s was more of a running letter or explanation of the events in her life to Rebekah. I liked Aviva’s chapters more than I liked Rebekah’s. Her story was more interesting to me. Rebekah’s chapters felt darker. I’m wondering if I would have felt different had I read the first book, Invisible CityI felt like I was missing information on some of the traumatic events in Rebekah’s life. Not that you can’t read Run You Down without reading Invisible City. I could completely follow the story without having read the first book. There were just little comments here and there that made me feel like I was missing something.

The mystery surrounding the dead Hasidic Jewish woman and Aviva’s brother, Sam, was very interesting and kept me guessing. I learned things about a culture I’m not sure I even knew existed. It was cool how Julia Dahl tied real news event into the story, too. It made the events in the book more relatable.

I would have liked to have read more about Sam’s life from his POV. I also wish the story hadn’t wrapped up so quickly. It would have been nice to know more about Rebekah’s life immediately following the book. I’m sure there will probably be a Rebekah #3, but I wanted a little more now.

Run You Down was a really great mystery/thriller. I would suggest it to readers that enjoyed Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

Thank you to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Run You Down.

Other books in this series:

Invisible City

Coming In From The Cold

Coming In From the Cold (Gravity Book 1)Coming In From The Cold (Gravity #1) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: March 13, 2015

Publisher: Rennie Roads Book

Synopsis:

Dane “Danger” Hollister is an Olympic ski racer trying to outrun an illness that cursed both his mother and brother. He lives each day as it was his last. It’s what makes him such a good racer. It’s also what makes him avoid relationships that last longer than a night.

Willow Reade has the worst luck ever. Thanks to her ex, she’s stuck in the Vermont countryside taking care of an old house and a bunch of chickens.

When a blizzard blows in and drives them both off the road, Dane and Willow spend and unforgettable night together. Both are rocked by the passion and the consequences their time together will have.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Coming In From The Cold was a really cute sports related love story. I liked that it was centered around a winter sport (skiing). Dane was the typical jock that doesn’t do relationships — except his reason isn’t the one you normally find in romance novels. Willow’s sweet and strong. Their chemistry was hot. It was a really fun read for my latest camping trip.

Contemporary romance readers that like a romance with hot athletes will enjoy Coming In From The Cold.

Nine Minutes

Nine Minutes (Nine Minutes, #1)Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

Publication Date: July 19, 2014

Synopsis:

One day and one decision changed Ginny Lemon’s life forever. On May 15, 1975, the fifteen-year-old was abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale, FL by a motorcycle gang member. From that day on, Ginny’s life depends on the goodwill of Satan’s Army leader, Grizz.

Grizz may be the frightening gang leader, but he has a soft spot for Ginny. She’s his obsession and he’s dedicated to keeping her as safe and happy as a captive can be.

Ginny is forced to trust in Grizz and try to adjust to life in the motorcycle gang. As time goes by, Ginny wonders if she will ever be able to get out alive or if she’ll be a prisoner forever.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Oh. My. Goodness. My mind is blown. BLOWN! I am honestly struggling with what to even write about Nine Minutes.

Nine Minutes was amazing. I loved it…but I hated it! The entire premise was so messed up. Everything that happened in this book was so disturbing! But the writing was so good. The surprises I didn’t see coming were amazing. The cliffhanger was awesome. I must have reread the last few chapters two or three times just to wrap my head around it.

So while I hated everything that was happening to poor Ginny, I couldn’t help but love this book. It’s going on my list of best books I’ve read so far in 2015. I highly suggest to READ. IT. NOW. Seriously. I would warn, however; Nine Minutes is filled with violence, sexual situations, and anything else you could think of happening in a motorcycle gang story. Think of a Sons of Anarchy type story.

If you’re interested in reading it, as of now Nine Minutes is $1.99 on Kindle and the second book in the series is releasing this Thursday, July 23, 2015!

Other books in this series:
Out of Time (Nine Minutes, #2)

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC,  neurotypical character, LGBTQ, etc.). Below (in no particular order) is my list of books celebrating diversity or diverse characters.


1. The Year We Fell Down
by Sarina Bowen

Corey Callahan is beginning her freshman year of college in a wheel chair. It’s not how she planned it. Corey was supposed to be on the varsity hockey team. Now, she’s learning how to navigate the Harkens campus in her wheel chair. Luckily, she has her hot and injured neighbor, Adam Hartley, to help her. Too bad he already has a girlfriend.

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, #1)

2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson is not the only Will Grayson–or so he discovers one night in Chicago. After meeting, their lives begin to overlap in ways they never thought possible. It all leads up to a hugely fabulous high school musical.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson


3. 
 Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

High school senior Celeste Watkins is different than her classmates. She’s smarter than them. She talks differently than them. She’s also horrible at letting people in and making friends. Then, she meets quirky college student Justin Milano. He’s exactly what Celeste needs to break out of her shell.

Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2)


4. Home is Where You Are
by Tessa Marie

Anna’s a privileged high school student. Dean’s a homeless kid. Neither of them expected to fall in love. Can Anna’s love help Dean survive his tough life?

Home is Where You Are


5. Lola and the Boy Next Door 
by Stephanie Perkins

Funky designer wannabe Lola Nolan has the perfect life. Hot rocker boyfriend? Check. Cool gay dads? Check. Awesome best friend? Check. Then the boy she crushed on years ago moves back in next door and throws everything all out of whack.

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)


6. 
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Bree Prescott is running from the horrors of her past. She’s hoping the lakeside town of Pelion will help her heal. What she finds in Pelion, is Archer Hale. She can’t help be drawn to Archer — and his silent demons. Can they help heal each other?

Archer's Voice


7. Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell

She’s a weird red head. He’s half-Korean. They couldn’t stand out more in their Midwestern town if they tried.

Eleanor & Park


8. OC Me 
by Kristin Albright

After Amy’s aunt is in a tragic accident, Amy becomes obsessed with irrational fears. She tries to hide them from her friends and family. This becomes even harder when she falls for James. When Amy finds out she has OCD, she must learn to admit the truth to herself and those closest to her.

OC Me

9. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

College student Sydney has an amazing life–then everything comes crashing down when she learns her boyfriend is cheating on her. Having no one else to turn to, she befriends her neighbor, Ridge. Ridge is cute and talented. Sidney loves listening to him play music on his balcony. Ridge’s just as captivated with Sidney as she is with him. There’s something about her that he can’t shake.

Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1)


10. Dinner with Buddha
by Ronald Merullo

Otto Ringling goes on a road trip with his Mongolian monk brother-in-law, Rinpoche. Otto hopes to find a new meaning for his life, while Rinpoche searches for the next place to serve.

Dinner with Buddha

What are books you have read that celebrate diversity or diverse characters? Leave them in the comments below.

ARC Review: Him

HimHim by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley were best friends. They may have only seen each other every summer at hockey camp, but their friendship lasted for years–until their very last night at camp when Wes made the biggest mistake of his life by manipulating his best friend. Wes has no one to thank but himself for ruining their friendship.

Jamie never understood what happened with Wes. One day they were best friends, the next Wes was just…gone. Well, things might have gotten a little weird that last night at camp, but it was no big deal.

Four years later, Wes and Jamie run into each other at the college hockey national championship. Wes wants to apologize. Jamie wants answers. Neither really gets what they want.

HIM1

Weeks later, Jamie is shocked when Wes shows up to help coach at their old summer camp. This time, Wes is going to be completely honest with Jamie. Wes’ big reveal is going to cause Jamie to re-evaluate everything he thought he knew about himself.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

As you can probably tell from my reviews of The Deal and The Mistake, I love Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. Prior to beginning A Novel Glimpse, I read and loved the first two books in Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series. So, when I was presented with the chance to read an ARC of their first collaboration together, Him, I was super excited.

I knew going in this was a M/M romance. It’s the first one I’ve ever read. I was curious to see how it was going to go and if I would like it. I knew two men falling for each other wasn’t going to bother me…I just wasn’t so sure about that other “stuff.”

I loved Wes. There was just something about him. I can see why people (and Jamie) were drawn to him. I have to admit, though; I was worried about him the entire book. His feelings were so strong and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out for him in the end.

I loved Jamie, too. His outlook and openness were amazing. His family was amazing. There were a few times he had me worrying about what his actions were going to do to Wes’, but I felt like his story was a really important one to tell.

Jamie and Wes together? Their friendly banter with each other was funny. It was pretty adorable to see two extremely masculine hockey players falling for each other. As for that other “stuffI didn’t find it to be a big deal. Most of it wasn’t anything I hadn’t read in M/F romances.

Overall, I really liked the story. It was a cute best friends turned lovers romance. I think it’s great that two amazing writers are writing stories that anyone could identify with.

Thank you to Nina Bocci and Sarina Bowen for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Him.