Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson

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Jim Pike, yes that is his name, is disillusioned after two tours in Afghanistan. He has watched people he loves and cares for die and blames himself for not being able to stop it. He packs it in and takes a job that is safe, or so he thinks. He works as a bellboy at the Botany Bay Hotel in Houston and a Gulfcon is being held. Trekkies from all over will descend on the hotel in the next few days but fellow hotel workers are acting strange and start to disappear one by one. What starts off with a seemingly drunken convention goer starts a chain of events that will bring down the whole of humanity, as we know it. Jim becomes the reluctant leader of a pack of zombie survivors who try to get away from the hotel in one piece.

This book is a mash up of zombies, Trekkies, Apocalypse Now and Dawn of the Dead. The satire drips in globs and the irony is well written. I loved the use of not only Star Trek dialog but also the use of Star Wars dialog as well. The SW fans didn’t come out well in this book I have to say but the whole thing is not only funny but also well written.   It is a spoof and parodies many sci –fi movies but it’s one that works.   There are funny grotesque bits, like zombies chowing down on “Spock’s” brain. It is a survival story with humor and grimness alike.

This is a fun read if you are a fan of ST and sci-fi. I am a huge sci-fi geek to this book appealed to me. It’s a short read but I loved how it all worked out and it gave a small insight to convention life and die-hard fans. Some parts did drag out a bit longer than it should have, to me anyway. Sit back and enjoy the ride, oh and what ever you do, don’t wear a red shirt, we all know how it ends for those poor guys.

4/5 stars

Crash

 

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Review – Trade Me by Courtney Milan

23566506 There are so many things in this book that could just be done ridiculously wrong. Number one being that the hero is a billionaire. I’ve read so many billionaire heroes over the last year and a large portion are just not that good. How many freaking billionaires can there be? I feel like we are quickly approaching that finite number. So when I read the blurb about Trade Me I was surprised because Milan is not one that seems to jump on a worn out fad. The other concerning thing was that this is an NA book and again I’ve read so many bad New Adult themed books and Milan hasn’t written one previously.

But I had too little faith in the author because it all worked really well when done by her. The billionaire here is not the typical alpha-hole hero that I’ve seen a million times. He has surprising depth to him and I really enjoyed his personality. What Courtney Milan does really well is take traditional situations and add her own twist. With her historical romances she has heroines who do non-traditional things like run their own political newspaper.

In this NA there are a few unusual characteristics. Blake, the hero, has a problem which he makes apparent from the beginning but the actual issue is not revealed until later in the book. I don’t do spoilers here but the problem is different and one I’ve never read in any book. The leading heroine in this book is Asian and while that obviously has been done before, I always appreciate diversity in my books. Her best friend is trans and she will be featured in the next book in this series.

The premise of this book is Blake and Tina trading lives, and while not all that believable was still fun to read. There wasn’t too much in terms of sex and in the NA genre sometimes it seems like all sex all the time. The ending isn’t quite a happily ever after but is hopeful for the future. Their story will continue over the next few books as well.

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary romances, the new adult genre or really any kind of romance. I’d actually recommend all of Milan’s books though so I shouldn’t be surprised.

ARC received via Netgalley on behalf of the publisher.

4 Stars

~Melinda

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Review – Flirting With Disaster by Victoria Dahl

22571911 I’m a big fan of Victoria Dahl and overall enjoy her contemporary romances and this one is no different. The heroine, Isabelle West, is an artist and has her reasons for living in the middle of nowhere. She likes her quiet life the way it is and has no desire to really ever face her past. Because of that past she has trust issues and prefers one night stands or quick flings. Tom Duncan has always led his life by the letter of the law and when he meets Isabelle something about her just seems off to him. He can’t help himself to try to figure out what exactly that is but the more he gets to know her the more he’s drawn to her.

I found this book refreshing in a few ways. I thought that the concentration was mostly on Isabelle and so many romances seem to focus on the heroes so this was a nice change of pace to see. Isabelle is a complicated character and I can imagine some readers may not fall in love with her but I really liked her, even with all of her issues. She pretty much evolves throughout the book in a very real way.

The friendships in this book were another aspect that seemed very real as well. They were open about sex and how much they have it. I love that Dahl doesn’t take the easy way out and slut shame her characters. The female friendships were open and I liked Isabelle’s relationship with her neighbor. They were more like family and the same can be said for the relationship between Tom and his female partner. I feel like I never see male/female friendships portrayed in a positive light. No spoilers but the ending was very realistic as well, no fairy tale happy ending but a solid HEA was had.

Overall this is a good read and one I would recommend if you like contemporary romance. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

3.5 Stars

~Melinda

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Review: Never, Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn FIsher

23383567 Okay, I was so excited for this book because I’ve loved all of Colleen Hoover’s other book except for one (Ugly Love). I assumed that was just a fluke and it wasn’t to my taste but then I read this book. I was incredibly disappointed from the very beginning and I’m still mad about it a week later. In fact the more I thought about the book the more I disliked it so I downgraded it a half star!

First of all the book is very short – only 140 pages. I didn’t even look when I ordered it so I was very surprised by the length. I finished it in a little over an hour. Now on the plus side it is priced at $2.99 so I should have guessed it would be short but to me it felt almost like a novella short.

It starts with 2 teenagers – Charlie and Silas – waking up in school and not having a clue who they were and not recognizing anything or anyone in their lives. They quickly realize they are boyfriend and girlfriend and start to try to figure out their lives. They come to find out that their parents each hate their significant others and that while Silas comes from a rich family, Charlie’s family is very poor to the point of not having much to eat.

My issues with the book started right there with them not saying anything to anyone about what’s going on. What teenage would experience this and not go to the nurse or tell someone else? I know suspension of disbelief is important and usually I can go with just about anything but this seemed weird to me. One of the things that I didn’t like about this was the characters. As things develop I expected to have an attachment to someone because usually that’s how it works. For me this never happened – both characters were very unlikable. Now I’ve read books with unlikable characters and didn’t have an issue like with Gone Girl but in this case I’m pretty sure the reader is supposed to *like* them.

But my biggest problem with the book is the ending. It’s a HUGE cliffhanger. I’ve read and understood cliffhangers with some other books but this seemed completely unnecessary!! I mentioned it’s only 140 pages so in my mind I don’t understand why it needed another book. I felt like I was getting only the beginning of the story, almost like a prequel. I read a post from Colleen Hoover that said they felt there was too much story to put in one book but when the book is so short I don’t get how that can be true??

I’m giving it 2.5 stars because I couldn’t get past any of these issues. Other people seem to be loving the book with a few exceptions so I feel pretty alone with this viewpoint but I can’t help how I feel about the book. I definitely will not be reading the next one that looks to be coming out in May.

2.5 Stars

~Melinda

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Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

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17-year-old Zac is in isolation when he hears the familiar patter of nurse Nina going through the routine of the hospital ward with the newest patient. Mia, who is placed in room 2 right next to Zac, is the latest addition to the cancer ward. Zac has undergone bone marrow transplant and can’t leave his room but is curious about the angry young woman in the room behind him. They communicate through notes, tapping on the wall and via Facebook. Mia is very angry at the hand life dealt her and lashes out at everyone and lies about her illness to her friends. She has localised bone cancer in her leg and while Zac tells her she is the luckiest of them all on the ward, as her cancer is 90% survivable, she doesn’t feel lucky. She spends a lot of her time running away and eventually she runs to Zac, whether by choice or subconsciously she ends up on his doorstep. They embark on a friendship that is rather one sided to begin with and over time grows in mutuality.

I really liked the first part of this book along with the last 10%, everything in between is…. Meh.

I do like Zac’s character, he is a bit more rounded of the two not by much, but he is more enjoyable. He quotes stats and while he knows he has a 55% chance of remission he knows that odds have a way of coming back to bite you, and Zac is all about odds and stats.

Mia on the other hand, I just didn’t like her at all. I know that she is angry and lashes out but she is not only mean to Zac, who is nothing but nice to her and God only knows why, but to those around her. She does eventually see the light of her actions but for me it was too little to late. The characters have their moments but not enough to make you really care about them. They just fell flat, they brought out no emotions for me, nothing at all.

I had high hopes for this book when I read the blurb and the sample of it but it just didn’t deliver for me.

2 and ½ stars

Crash

 

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Book Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

18812405 I hate to start off the year with a negative review but…I am. Can’t help it, I finished this book just last night and was so irritated I knew I had to write a review today. This is a book that has had good word of mouth and I’ve heard quite a few people talking about it and saying it was a good thriller. While I mostly read romance I also love thrillers, young adult, new adult, women’s lit, pretty much every genre there is. Which is great because generally if it’s a good book I will read it and enjoy it.

I went into this book not knowing what it was about. Just that it was a thriller and I’d heard some comparisons to Gone Girl so I thought I’d give it a try. My library luckily had a copy so I just got on the hold list – I LOVE my library FYI. It’s where I get a huge portion of my books that I read. This story is about the kidnapping of Mia Dennett, the daughter of a prominent judge. There are 3 alternating point of view – Eve, Mia’s mother; Gabe, the detective in charge of Mia’s case; and Colin, the kidnapper. The POV switches didn’t bother me at all and actually made the story more interesting to me. I really liked the addition of Colin’s points of view as I think that it adds a lot to the story and it also made it stand out from other dual POV books.

The basic plot of The Good Girl was decent and that kept me reading the full book. However my main complaint was that the overall pacing of the book was S-L-O-W. The book took place over a few months and I felt every one of those months. Gabe’s point of view was particularly boring to me and I was left wondering why his was even included. It seemed that we could have gotten all the information if it had just been included in Eve’s perspective. Colin’s story was the most interesting because that is where we got the gist of the kidnapping and I realized that I was pretty much skimming over the other perspectives to get to Gabe’s.

Overall, I did finish the book and thought the ending was unexpected. But it felt way, way too long to get there.

2 Stars

~Melinda

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