April 27, 2020

Amy Larson Marble: "Life on Repeat"

Title: Life on Repeat  [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: The Sarahs Saga (1st of ? books)
Author: Amy Larson Marble [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Contemporary with a Twist, Thriller/Mystery
Year: 2020
Age: 14+
Stars: 1.5/5
Pros: Neat (though not new) idea. Pleasant characters. 
Cons: Awfully rushed, with a telling-not-showing approach. Though the mystery it centers on is saved for the sequels (and in that respect we could have used a little foretaste), a few of the supposed twists can be spotted a mile away.
Will appeal to: Those who like a straightforward soul-mates romance on the backdrop of an uncomplicated (though mysterious) story.

Blurb: "How would you live your life if you knew it wasn’t your only one? I’m not sure how many lives I have lived, I only know this is not my first. Or second. My name is Sarah Daley and I’m 19 years old… again."
Sarah lives, dies, then lives again, born as another Sarah, in another part of the world. What most would see as immortality, she sees as a curse. Life on Repeat is the story of her search for a life in the here and now. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: this title was up for grabs on NetGalley (in the Read Now section). Thanks to Hildebrand Books for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.

CONDENSED MATTER

Premise: I don't pledge to read the printed word, if by that you mean reading all the books that were/will ever be written. Before I commit to a book, I do my utmost to be sure that it's up my alley - I read early reviews if there are any, I even read an excerpt if it's available. Back when Life on Repeat grabbed my attention on NetGalley, there were less than a handful of reviews on Goodreads, and I couldn't locate an excerpt anywhere. So I went into it with only the blurb to make an informed decision by. If I had had a little more info beforehand, I would have realised it wasn't my cup of tea, and I wouldn't find myself in the position to write a negative review...which isn't something I enjoy. But yeah, here we are.
Life on Repeat has got an intriguing premise - especially since, at the end of Book 1, we still don't know if Sarah is simply reincarnating or there's a different explanation for her predicament (though it sounds like a conspiracy of sorts is in place, so I'm inclined to validate the second hypothesis). I'm surprised this book is part of a series to begin with, since it's painfully short and rushed, albeit it covers a few of Sarah's lives and dwells (so to speak) on more than one year in her life as Sarah Daley. Sure there was space to expand the story and cover all the necessary ground. Also, there's very little dialogue compared to description, and though the writing isn't by any means what you would call "bad" (hence the additional half star), it's all telling and no showing. So those were my main issues with it. [...]

April 24, 2020

Book Spotlight: "The Glowing" by Tom Rimer

  Shadow Spark Publishing presents:
"The Glowing" by Tom Rimer


May 4th marks the release date for Tom Rimer's YA novel "The Glowing". It's the first volume in the namesake sci-fi series, which I volunteered to spotlight because I wanted to help the author getting the word out, at this inconvenient time when writers can't go where they were supposed to in order to promote their books. (BTW: this is a debut book! everyone please welcome Tom Rimer in the authorverse!). Also, this series sounds really up my alley, so onto my TBR list it went! Here's the book ID...

April 21, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What Time Periods Are You Drawn to in Books?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:

WHAT TIME PERIODS ARE YOU DRAWN TO IN BOOKS?

I think you know by now that history is not my strong suit/favourite subject. I KNOW it's wrong. I KNOW we need to know history, if only to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. I KNOW history is IMPORTANT. But at least when I'm trying to have fun, I don't need history to meddle with my entertainment. Heck, even while watching Doctor Who, historical episodes are my least favourite ones. I don't need a refresher of how women, queer people and so-labeled "freaks" had it rougher than they still have nowadays. I don't want to be reminded that we haven't always had functional bathrooms and sensible clothes. So, gimme all the future I can handle (which, I can tell you, it's a lot). And the present of course...or at least a past that's not so far behind - something I can remember, like the '70s or the '80s. But then again...been there, seen that. I want to experience the unthinkable now, pretty please and thank you. (That's why I tend to like my contemporary stories sprinkled with magical realism/supernaturalism at the very least).

Guess the movie? 😉 (Which I HAVEN'T seen of course, Erin 😂)

April 15, 2020

Seanan McGuire: "Beneath the Sugar Sky"

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Wayward Children (3rd of 10? books)
Author: Seanan McGuire [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural (technically it would be Portal Fantasy, but since I don't have a Fantasy Room on the blog, I decided to shelf this one as Supernatural - that's the closest I could get)
Year: 2018
Age: 14+
Stars: 4/5
Pros: An imaginative look-in-reverse at one of the most common fantasy tropes. Puts a plus-size character front and center and reverses the stereotypes about her kind. Successfully blends Nonsense with Logic.
Cons: You need to suspend disbelief a lot...but what's new? 😉
WARNING! A naked girl comments on female genitals.
Will appeal to: Everyone who's ever felt out of place, but doesn't necessary dream of a happier world than the one they live in...

Blurb: When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests... (Amazon excerpt)

Review: Don't let this colourful, literally sweet world fool you. Even the land of baked goods can be dangerous and unforgiving.

CAKE DESIGN

BTSS is, hands down, the most unique world in the Wayward Children series so far. McGuire puts a spin on the Candyland trope, not only making it potentially deadly (after all, bad people can find their way to Confection  - that's how Sumi's and Rini's world is called - as well as good ones), but most of all, concocting the imaginative story of how it came to be...or, to be precise, of how it was made. For such a short book, there's a lot of world-building in here, and an amazing amount of (sugar-fuelled, but not sugar-coated) details. Also, McGuire tears the Candyland-is-for-sweet-tooth-people cliche to pieces. No one seems to find their door to Confection because they crave cookies or pancakes more than the average person (also, it's not like the landscape is for eating), while it's arguably its peculiar blend of Nonsense and a little Logic that calls to certain people - and if you remember Sumi from Book 1, you can easily see that. On the other hand, lots of visitors through the years have been drawn to this world because they felt the urge to bake - and you could say that Confection, once a small rock, was actually baked into existence. How's that for (literal) world-building? 😉 [...]

April 09, 2020

My New Normal: Coronavirus Edition

Hello sweeties,

it's been a month since my first Coronavirus update, and while I made a decision not to write a series of posts about it (both because we're all dealing with it, though in different ways*, and because I didn't have any breaking news to share anyway), it's time for a new one. Here's a breakdown of what happened in my area - and more precisely, to yours truly - in the last month...

* ...but if you did a series of posts, it's OK! Everyone copes differently - and I, for one, probably read most of them 🙂.

April 05, 2020

Tooting Your Trumpet #10


Some people toot their own trumpet. I mean to toot yours. On the first Sunday of every month, I'm sharing your posts, your sites, anything interesting I stumble upon during my internet vagrancies. This month on TYT...
  • DO BOOKS HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE? (a discussion post on Veronika, Ruzaika and Sabrina's blog Wordy and Whimsical)
  • WEIGHT-LOSS SCARE (a post on Simone's blog The Wheelchair Teen)
  • SPRING BOOK BLAST (a campaign on Amber's blog Du Livre)
  • PAY IT FORWARD GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY (a charity giveaway on Karen's blog For What It's Worth)
Please note: all the graphics featured in these posts are property of the blog/site owners, and are only used in association with their blog/site links.