Book Review: Angelfall

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Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)Angelfall by Susan Ee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

HOLY SCHNIKES! Wow.

Penryn isn’t some seventeen year old with problems, like: who is going to take her to the prom, and why doesn’t she have an iPhone. She’s got problems along the lines of: did my schizophrenic mother take her meds today, and I could really use my dad’s help with my wheelchair-bound little sister in this third story apartment-but he’s abandoned us. And that’s BEFORE the angel apocalypse.

Even after all that, Penryn sees the humanity in her enemy, the one that was cut down by other enemies, the angels. Not at first, no, but once she decides to use his severed wings as bait to find the ‘nest’ of angels that took her little sister. Then, she begins to see what the angels have taken from him as well, and together they work their way towards the aerie. Guarded feelings do emerge, and since the story is told from Penryn’s POV, we never fully learn Raffe’s misgivings.

Disclaimer: I don’t read strictly horror, same as I don’t read strictly romance.

Of course, you can’t really have an apocalypse without some horrific things going on, but wow. The author flashes horrific scenes throughout the first two-thirds of the book, but that still doesn’t prepare you for the last third.

Someone needs to talk to goodreads about half-stars, because this one would certainly get 4.5. I rarely read books quickly, but this one was DEVOURED. I’m glad I have the next one already and will begin reading it ASAP.

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Book Review: Red Rising

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Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. Maybe I read what I wanted in the summary, but this wasn’t what I expected at all. Nor what I wanted to read… at all. I wasn’t disappointed in the storytelling, it just wasn’t the story I prefer to read.

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Guest Post: Books From Scratch (Lori Colbeck)

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Belinda Y. Hughes: Writing, Editing & Social Media

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Hello to all, my name is Lori Colbeck and I am the begetter of BooksFromScratch.com. Belinda and I found each other on Twitter awhile ago and after she signed up for early access to the site, she generously invited me to write a guest post for her blog. As you can see, I accepted!

By way of explanation, Books From Scratch is a website with the intention of creating community between readers and writers. Together, they decide what direction a story will take as it is being written. Ultimately, that collaboration will create a manuscript that will be published.

Essentially, a website member can choose to write, read, and vote for any of fourteen fiction genres. Anyone can share the first chapter of a fictional story they’ve written, and if the community thinks it would be a good starter chapter, then the author of that chapter becomes a co-author…

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Book Review: The Martian

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The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first described this book to someone, I said it was Don Cheadle’s character from the Mission to Mars movie. Without aliens. But it’s more like MacGuyver in the Castaway movie. On Mars.

This book is SMART. Meaning, this author is a NERD. And not your self-proclaimed fandom-type nerd, we’re talking astrophysics AS A HOBBY nerd. Mark Watney (character) is a SMARTASS. So, the author (Andy Weir) is probably a smartass too, which is all good.

I have absolutely no complaints about this book (I literally just typed “movie” and had to replace it with “book”). Okay, just one complaint. Everyone was too awesome. Even the country of China was awesome. Only one time did someone voice their hesitation about risking the lives of the other astronauts to go back and save Watney and he got called names and overruled. When everyone is a Maverick, is it called a Maverii?

Back to the movie thought… I know it’s been optioned already. Just found out that Matt Damon is going to play Watney. Where does the line start?

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Book Review: The Cowboy’s Sexy Songbird

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The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird
The Cowboy’s Sexy Songbird by Christy Hammond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a South Dakota publisher, I am committed to reading local authors, no matter the genre. I am not a fan of romance novels, but this was a charming book. I was expecting something a little more contemporary based on the cover, but it didn’t take much to switch gears to a wilder Colorado. The first of a series, I’m sure Rose and Daisy will get themselves into even more precarious situations the next go-round.

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Book Review: Eating Sarah

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Eating Sarah
Eating Sarah by Jaret Martens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from Immortal Ink for a review of Eating Sarah. I did not meet their deadline, however, so I bought a copy. 1) out of guilt, and 2) because I have a difficult time reading pdfs on the Kindle.

Firstly… LOVED the concept of this book. A cannibal has a change of heart? Doesn’t want to eat her prey anymore? Maybe even likes the person she’s supposed to eat? WOW.

But the titular character is a little too wishy-washy to root for. Her resolve lasts the length of a page (or a click of the button, as the case may be). During her greatest moments of peril, I hoped. I wanted her misery to end, but I also wanted mine to end as well.

The writing was very good. Jaret will certainly be one to watch. The epilogue of Eating Sarah hinted at a sequel, but I’d like to see him explore that world from a different angle.

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Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book club pick, but before that Oprah Winfrey 2.0 and Reese Witherspoon recommended it to me. I say this first because recommendations hold a lot of weight with me and because I like to name drop.

It was compared to “Eat Pray Love” during book club and for some that was an instant turn off. For the rest of us, it was a reminder of the kind of read it was, a self-indulgent journey to find oneself after troubles of her own making. I hadn’t finished reading by the time book club came around, but I went and finished the book anyway.

I guess, if there is any take-away from the book, it’s that I’d like to read “Pacific Crest Trail, Volume I: California”.

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