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Archive for the tag “website: netgalley”

Review: Played by Liz Fichera

Review of Played by Liz Fichera

played  Started:4/6/14 ; finished: 4/7/14

Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars

  my rating: AWWWWW (with extra aww)

  pages: 352

found: netgalley

Last year I read this book, Hooked, that I really loved about a girl named Fred who wins her way onto the boys’ golf team at her high school and eventually wins the heart of her partner, Ryan. At the end was a sneak peak of the next book in the series. This book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc thanks to the people at Harlequin TEEN and netgalley. I was thrilled.

Played is the story of Fred’s friend Sam who has a huge crush on her, and Ryan’s younger sister, Riley, who wants a change in her life. The know of each other in passing because of Ryan and Fred’s relationship. In fact, Sam has already decided he can’t stand Riley simply because she’s Ryan’s sister. The two officially meet on a leadership retreat in the woods. They, of course, get paired for the scavenger hut and that one action leads to a snowball of crazy events that simultaneously drive them together and pull them apart.

Just like with Hooked, I thought the story was sweet and liked that the romantic (or potentially romantic) relationship between Riley and Sam wasn’t the whole focus of the book. The story followed Riley’s attempts at getting Sam and Fred together, which meant breaking up Fred and her brother. Nothing, and I mean nothing, goes to plan. And Riley seems oblivious to the fact that Sam doesn’t want her help or to win Fred over. In fact, as the story goes on it’s obvious his feelings for Fred have changed and no matter what he says, Riley won’t listen until she’s completely screwed everything up—her brother’s relationship, Sam’s life, her life, everything. Both Sam and Riley were a little on the clueless side when it came to feelings and what they wanted. The way they danced around each other without even realizing what they wanted was right in front of them was cute. There was lots of misunderstandings that lead to angst. And did I mention the angst. If you like that kind of thing. Which I do.

From the beginning, whether unwilling partners on the hunt for pine cones or working together on Riley’s plan or figuring out how to be friends, Riley and Sam were adorable together. If you liked Hooked, or just love stories where everything is a disaster until the end when the characters finally realize they already have what they want then this is the book for you.

Book Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Review of Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

tinstarStarted: 11/24/13; finished: 11/25/13

Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars

my rating: Cool with a touch of AWWW

pages: 240

found: netgalley

I’m a lover of sci-fi but most of the books I’ve been reading lately have been contemporary (romance) and the occasional dystopia. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but after reading the first chapter I was hooked.

The book is about Tula Bane, young girl, that is betrayed by the man she trusted most in her life, Brother Blue—a sort of preacher leading their pilgrimage to one of Earth’s new colony planets. After questioning him about some cargo being left behind she is beaten nearly to death.

She recovers only to find her ship, the Prairie Rose, destroyed leaving her without her mother and sister, without another human being anywhere. She’s trapped, alone and scared, on the space station they docked at. Humans are seen in less than a good light. She makes friends with an insect-like alien named Heckleck who teaches her how to survive on the station.

The years pass with Tula making a living as a petty criminal, always under the watchful eye of the constable, Tournour. That is until there’s a coup among the galactic government. Things start to change including the arrival of three new humans. It’s been years since Tula has seen any of her kind and it throws her into a tailspin. Conspiracies, deaths, losses begin to add up for her. Through it all her hatred for Brother Blue keeps her going. Her mission is to kill him at all costs.


I really loved this book. I loved the writing from the very first paragraph. It just grabbed me. The station is crafted and shared with such care to detail. I can picture all the different species that inhabit the place and can feel Tula’s pain and loneliness of being the only human there. Her friendship with Heckleck starts out tenuous but before long you can see that he does care for her and does his best to teach her to survive should anything happen to him.

And always in the background is Tournour, the chief constable, that Tula considers intrusive to her business. But there’s a lot about aliens she just doesn’t understand. I knew from the beginning that Tournour was looking out for her. He was always around to make sure nothing bad happened to her. I assumed he felt a fatherly affection for her until the end when another of his species explains how young Tournour really is. And then I got the twist of these two character that danced around each other the entire book.

I just loved the whole backdrop to the story and how the aliens mixed together, the portrayal of humans being low on the totem pole. The thing I found hardest to follow was Tula’s scamming with Els (one of the humans that crashes at the station). Maybe I was getting tired but the whole thing just fogged over in my mind. I didn’t know who to trust but I had a feeling it would turn out the way it did. Nobody was who they seemed at the station.

This book reminded me of all the reasons I love sci-fi but left me feeling like something was missing. Tula doesn’t get her revenge. I have heard through other reviewers at Goodreads I did learn there is a sequel in the making due out in 2015. I can’t wait to find out what happens.


ImageI’d heard of NetGalley before but since I rarely wrote reviews for what I read I just dismissed it. Then this year I decided to make a concerted effort to review books (more so because of my declining memory which is sad). After writing up and posting reviews for the last 10 books I read I decided to join NetGalley just to see what it was about. I picked a few books that didn’t need to be approved and requested a couple others that I’d love to get my hands on (I have no delusions that I’ll get them, though–well, except the self-published one where the author accepted me right away even though the book came out in August).

I also post my reviews at goodreads and link my worpress reviews in facebook (through my writer page) and twitter. If I have time I’m going to copy the reviews over to my livejournal. I’ve neglected it since I stopped writing fanfic but I was doing reviews of books I really liked over there. Hopefully I’ll get some people to read this blog (which I will be updating soon) and I’ll get selected for cooler books at NetGalley.

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