Friday Night Alibi

30 July 2013

Friday Night AlibiFriday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black, and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

“So… You need an alibi?” Those are the first word of this book and then it goes about descripting samples of packets she offers. The girl has it covered. They’re solid alibi that will hold up against parenteral inquiry. My first thought: Damn, why didn’t I think of that! I knew then it was going to be an hilarious read.

Friday Night Alibi Felt like two different novelettes crambed together to form this novel. The first half was the hilariously funny relationship about a boy and a girl that use pranks to get to know one another. The second half is about the girl trying to fight her feels about the boy. With how comfortable she was with pranking him it was frustrating to see how she fought against her feelings.

Ir would have worked better if Chase was the one fighting his feeling, than Kellie. With everything Chase was dealing with it felt he should have been more reluctant to fall in love. Plus Kellie’s motivations felt hollow.

There are parts that are absolutely laughing out loud funny especially the spa scene. I will never look at a orange the same way again. But its missing that thing that made Reasons Why I Fell for the Fat Funny Friend special. With that said the hilarity that anchors the beginning it’s peppered through the second half, which makes it still worth reading.

I give Friday Night Alibi 3 out 5 Gs.

Hush (Lakeview 1)

19 July 2013

HushHush (Lakeview Series 1) by Stacey R. Campbell

For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princes. That is, until she spots her boarding school’s new British exchange student, Max Ryder, staring at her. Why would a boy who looks like he stepped out of the pages of a magazine be looking at her? Because Max knows something Blakely doesn’t.

Following the tragic demise of one of Europe’s most beloved royal families, Max has stumbled upon information he thinks may lead to a lost royal heir, and now he is on a quest halfway around the world to see if he’s right.

Sworn to secrecy by his university professor and the headmaster of Lakeview Academy, Max is admitted into an exchange program with the sole purpose of finding out the truth. But will his personal feelings for Blakely get in the way?

When a stolen email surfaces, Blakely and her friends’ lives are threatened, and Max starts to question what he is really after.
From the exclusive rolling lawns of Canada’s most prestigious boarding school to the University of Saint Andrews’ hallowed grounds, Blakely’s quiet, unassuming life is turned upside down. Is she really who she thinks she is? Can she survive long enough to help Max unearth the truth?

I decided to read the book because of the name, Hush (Lakeview Series 1). I didn’t find out its subtitle until I opened the book. For me Hush is an enigma of a word. You hear some words all your life and they take meanings of their own. Your mother and grandmother could say the same word and they mean two different things. Hush is one of those words.

For me the word Hush changed watching the Season 4, Episode 10 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Entitled, Hush, it’s one of the creepiest hours of not just television but any visual medium. If you never seen it just watch. It changed the way I saw the world.

Hush (Lakeview Series 1) had me the moment I finished the second chapter. It has the hook I look for mystery, drama that seems to borders soapy. The moment the entire royal family was killed I knew it was “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!”

This novel was so much more than I thought it was going to be. You really can’t go wrong with this young adult novel. The romance was the right amount of swoon and two people falling in love. The supporting subplot was perfectly balanced to the main plot. The moment I reached the end I wanted more from Blakely and Max.

Stacey R Campbell created a novel that you should want to not only read but see on the silver screen. It’s like a mashup of Princess Diaries meets The Illusionist with a dash of Brick. This one of those novels that could have the tween girls flocking to the theatre to watch, especially if the find the right cast to fill the roles. For now they will have to be content with repeatedly reading this modern rag to royalty tale. The sequel Whisper comes out this fall.

I give Hush (Lakeview Series 1) 4 out 5 Gs.

Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1)

17 July 2013

DoaTSDiary of a Teenage Superhero (Teenage Superheroes 1) by Darrell Pitt

A teenager wakes up in a seedy hotel room. He has no memory of his name or his past. A man lies dying on the floor next to him. Someone starts pounding at the door.

He runs. He is chased.

While staying one step ahead of his pursuers, he begins to assemble the pieces of his life. His name is Axel. He is the victim of an amazing experiment – he has been given incredible powers – and he is not alone.

An organisation known only as The Agency has also modified other teenagers. Brodie is a master of the martial arts. Ebony can transmute one substance into another. Dan controls metals with his mind. Chad creates fire and ice from nothing.

They have been handed incredible powers to help the human race in times of crisis – and one of those times is now.

A terrorist organisation known as Typhoid has acquired Pegasus – a highly advanced missile, invisible to radar and conventional defence systems. They intend to fire it at an American city. Only this bunch of untried, untested teenage superheroes stands any chance of stopping the missile before it strikes its target.

Diary of a Teenage Superhero is a high octane thriller showing what happens when conventional teenagers with everyday problems are given powers beyond this world.

They have to learn to work together, but as Axel draws closer to his newfound friends, he remembers the words of the dying man in the hotel room.

Trust no-one.

He knows he can’t trust The Agency.

Can he even trust his newfound friends?

Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) reminds me of the UK television show Misfits. If you’ve never seen it check it out on by clicking the link, it’s on Hulu.

I like this story of teenage superheroes; they’re X-Men lite. Having them waking up with amnesia keeps from needing to dredge backstory for each character. That’s something, I find, that usually bogs down introductory novels.

For me it was an intense read because I was always expecting on of the lost heroes to betray the others which is the usual trope. Although the betrayer isn’t surprising, I’m not sure if the can really discount this character as defeated. Especially if he’s even half as bad as Dr. Ravana, this dude survived fire.

I also like how it setup the next novel but left everything noncommittal. As much as I didn’t like ‘The Agency’, they felt pervy, and I would have never trusted them. They did make them a team. That seems to on the step of becoming self-sustaining.

They transitioned from being X-Men into Avengers and I hope in the coming books they transition into the Justice League. That previous statement may only be understood by serious comic book fans but each group has subtle differences that make them distinct so I’m going to try and explain.

The X-Men are a ragtag group of teenagers that are trained and housed at a school they fight for justice and equality without government sanctions. The Avengers are a government sanction group of superheroes. The Justice League are superheroes with no affiliations, they fight for justice and stop evil at every turn.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see what Darrell Pitt does with this world. He setup stronger character with strength that haven’t quite figured out how to work together successfully. They barely managed to escape their boss battle. So they can only go up from here.

I give Diary of a Teenage Superhero (Teen Superheroes 1) 5 out 5 Gs.

Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain 1)

15 July 2013

MortalityMortality (The Hitchhiker Strain 1) by Kellie Sheridan

After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.

Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.

Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain 1) this isn’t my normal typical read, but the cover art was so intriguing that I wanted to read it based on the cover. It took a while for me to really get into this novel. It was actually the movie World War Z that drove me to sit down and actually plow through this novel.

I didn’t get the parallel stories until the end. They were basically the same story being told for two different girls. It was until the twist that the story got interesting for me, but I still didn’t figured out what was coming until it was upon me. Now that I finished it, I’m totally invested because I now understand the relationship between the characters. I think once you figure it out you will love this story.

Not only is Mortality about two girls with similar lives after the zombie apocalypse. It’s about how chance and the flip of the coin can change your entire world. Kellie Sheridan does a great job at creating a feeling of danger in this world after an outbreak.

These characters are living day to day with very little information. People claiming to be helping the living are just as dangerous and ruthless as the two different types of zombies. Trust is a luxury in this world that could get you killed, but faith is paramount to surviving.

The most amazing thing about this novel is that you see the tragedy of the situation. It shows you the struggle of humanity lost from both perspectives. It’s that dual story that makes it all the more tragic at the climax.

This novel is definitely written to leave the reader wanting a sequel. Very few storylines are resolved as more are proposed to the reader. It’s those coming possibilities that have me eager for the next novel.

I give Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain 1) 3 out 5Gs.

World War Z, zombie apocalypse preparedness

13 July 2013

World War ZBrad Pitt  
Mireille Enos  
Daniella Kertesz  
James Badge Dale  
David Morse  
Fana Mokoena  
David Andrews  
Sterling Jerins  
Abigail Hargrove  
Peter Capaldi  
Pierfrancesco Favino  
Ludi Boeken  
Gregory Fitoussi  

PG13           116 min           2013

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

World War Z is a crazy zombie ride. Even as entertainment you can gleam knowledge from this film that stars Brad Pitt. From beginning to end I was riveted by the story and the drama. He’s a man essentially with a gun to his families head. If he doesn’t help his family will be kicked of the safety of the boats.

This movie is based on the book of the same title by Max Brooks. I haven’t read the book but I think I will at some times. I watch zombie films like they’re preparation films. I know I sound crazy until I don’t. It’s easier to watch film like World War Z, Zombieland, and Dawn of the Living Dead than going to into the zombie head space for however long it takes me to read a novel, much longer than watching a two hour movie.

World War Z pulls no punches. It’s a harsher reality than we’ve seen before even in Dawn of the Dead. Even when you’ve found your way to safety you’re not safe. Its shows how survival takes hold and people start to lose their humanity. It shows that the vast majority of people are shit out of luck, and no amount of preparedness is going to save people.

This will be the world we live in where nowhere is safe. Not even behind fifty foot walls. Only the select few will be taken to safety. Everyone else its kill or be killed. When that first news report starts describing the symptoms of zombism don’t put your head in the sand and not believe. That’s the first mistake of people they don’t want to believe it can happen. It will and you should.

I give World War Z 4 out 5 Gs.

The Avery Shaw Experiment

13 July 2013

Avery Shaw ExperimentThe Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

I’m really starting to like these Teen/Young Adult Contemporary Romance novels. They read more as romantic comedies more than soft core porn. They’re good palette cleanser between science fiction and fantasy reads.

The Avery Shaw Experiment is a romantic comedy surprise blockbuster, waiting to be made. It’s hilarious when it needs to be and serious where it should. I got totally lost in the book and was finished before I knew it.

This novel is perfect for lounge in the sun. Read half and flip, by the time you finish you should have the perfect tan. It’s than quick of read and you’ll never realize it. I knew the general idea of what was going to happen but it was still fun and interesting to read.

The description of the book was interesting: using the seven stages of grief to get over a brokenheart. It was an unrealized common sense moment. Breaking up is exactly like getting over the death of someone. Some people never make it through all the stages and can never be friends again. Truly getting over someone like it happens in this book is the goal.

I had this movie cast in my head. Avery Shaw was played by a dark-haired, Brit Robertson until I saw a picture of Kell Oram. Then I thought Jodelle Ferland would be better fit. I casted Grayson Kennedy with Alexander Ludwig. He had an imposing presence in The Hunger Games. The moment it read 6’4” he popped into my head. Aiden was Jean-Luc Bilodeau. Libby reminded me of a younger Sara Rue.

I give The Avery Shaw Experiment 4 out 5Gs.

The Spectacular Now

11 July 2013

Spectacular NowThe Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

The Spectacular Now is what I’m classifying as a modern tragedy. Sutter Keely is a tragic character to rival any Shakespearean one. For me it’s not until the final sentence that I realized just how tragic a character he was. Tim Tharp’s writing is so amazing that you want to root for these characters even when they reach their sad inevitable conclusion.

I found this novel because of the buzz surrounding the movie. After reading the novel and seeing the trailer, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley look to have perfectly captured the characters of Sutter Keely and Aimee Finicky. I do think they may change the movie to give it an Hollywood ending, so I would say if you’re interested in the movie definitely read the book first. I have never watched a movie and not appreciated reading the book first.

Even now as I write this and reflect on the character I feel bad for him. It’s not a somber book by and means. It’s actually upbeat and comical most of the time. It’s an entertaining book that appreciated better sitting in your nook while it’s raining outside, instead of sitting by the pool.

I give The Spectacular Now 4 out 5Gs.

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