Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: 151 Days (Tales from Foster High #6) by John Goode

151 Days (Tales from Foster High, #6)
Blurb:
With just 151 days left until the school year ends, Kyle Stilleno is running out of time to fulfill the promise he made and change Foster, Texas, for the better. But Kyle and his boyfriend, Brad Graymark, have more than just intolerance to deal with. Life, college, love, and sex have a way of distracting them, and they’re realizing Foster is a bigger place than they thought. When someone from their past returns at the worst possible moment, graduation becomes the least of their worries.


Todd’s rating:




Wow. Just... wow. This book took me there and back again. It didn't shy away from a damn thing.

It had been 2 years since I'd read End of Innocence, the last book with Kyle and Brad as the main focal point, but I don't remember that one feeling quite so whiplash'y.

Not that that's in any way a bad thing, but this book had a whole lot of rewinding the time line to re-tell the same sequence of events from another person's perspective, then another, and another. So that took me a little while to get used to.

But in that re-telling, we die hard Foster fans pick up a ton of great insight into the psyches of familiar characters (Jennifer, Robbie, Kelly's mom, Coach Gunn, Jeremy, etc.), which I enjoyed. It also re-categorized a lot of my 'liked them' characters into 'loved them' status.

But for me, this story was mostly about maturing. Not necessarily that of Kyle and Brad as much as the rest of Foster's other residents.

I was completely blown away by many of them. In particular Coach Gunn and Kelly's mom, but especially Brad's (self-admitted asshole) father. It was great to see that even the older generation recognized their need to re-evaluate deeply-engrained, long-held beliefs and prejudices.

And yes, Jeremy's meltdown and lashing out were incredibly hard for me to read, especially knowing that honest-to-God real life kids are experiencing the same things every day. But I'm really glad that the book took us to that dark place.

So many people hear about these things and don't understand that, many times, they happen because the true victims finally snap and decide to fight back. In horrifying, disastrous ways.

Wow, this dark review wasn't what I had in mind at all when I started writing.

But the book had a lot of entertaining parts as well, so to take this to a happier place, here were a few of my favorite humorous parts:

Blogtour: Trouble Comes In Threes by M.A. Church





Today we welcome M.A. Church with

Trouble Comes In Threes






Blurb:

A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.

Out of the punishing weather, and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.


Excerpt:


Dolf picked out the saw he wanted, then followed Tal to another aisle. His mate pointed out the different kinds, but Tal’s words had rapidly faded into a meaningless buzz. There, on the air currents in the store, was the sweetest scent. It was light and flowery, reminding him of honeysuckle. He breathed deeply, taking the scent into himself. His cock hardened immediately and his head spun. A yowl threatened to escape.

That scent… that scent was seductive and alluring. It spoke to him, whispering things that made him need. His cat paced frantically in his mind, tail slashing madly. The need to pounce, to sink his canines in and drink that sweet, life-giving blood of his…. His gums tingled and saliva flooded his mouth.

Book Blast: A Paranormal Chipmunk Christmas by Jackie Nacht




Today we welcome Jackie Nacht's 

A Paranormal Chipmunk Christmas





Blurb:

It's time for the chipmunk brothers to take their bear and wolf home to meet the family for the holidays.
A vicious horde of chipmunks? Dallas and Gunner knew that meeting their mate's family wasn't going to be a walk in the park. How could it be when they had eighteen brothers and sisters? This bear and wolf are about to be put to the test, surviving this family holiday. Will they be able to escape just the four of them or will they be taking some of the siblings back to White Pine...involuntarily?



Excerpt:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ARC Review: Tangled Mind by Posy Roberts

Tangled Mind
Blurb:

For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend, Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully Beck's best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he's oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.

Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.


Sandra's rating:







The book opens with a horrific scene when Beck comes home to find his boyfriend Brady choking on his own vomit. A call to 911 comes too late. Brady is dead, from an overdose of heroin, having chased his last high.

Beck plummets into grief and despair, and thus loses himself even more. With therapy and the help from Timothy, one of his best friends, he slowly starts to crawl out of the pit and tries to find himself again.

Posy's writing style flows easily, yet delves deeply into the emotional side of Beck's state of mind, his suffering, the unanswered questions, and his need to be needed. As Beck learns about himself, about his co-dependent leanings, he finds solace and a shoulder to cry on in his friend Timothy.

The author has an uncanny knack for putting meaning between her lines, letting the reader but not the character see what's really going on. I knew that Timothy was in love with Beck long before he even said the words.

But Beck learns. There's much character growth in this short novel, as Beck emerges on the other side of his grief, confronted with his own demons, and finds the strength to ask for what he needs.

There is one scene that ticked me off, when Timothy makes a stupid assumption, though I can understand how he would have come to that conclusion. He's a little more insecure than he lets on, and it causes both of them pain.

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