Book Review | Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

geekAuthour:
Jen Wilde
Format:
ARC, 440 pages
Publication date:
March 14th 2017
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Back in high school, I was in a group of self-professed “artsy” anime geeks. And as we all had fairly strict parents, our dream was to one day attend Anime North. (A fan run anime convention) Which was probably why I enjoyed Queens of Geek so much, I could definitely relate to the excitement of attending to a convention on your own and with your closest friends for the first time.

Queens of Geek is told from the perspective of two girls who are best friends. Taylor is a passionate Queen Firestone fan girl who is prone to panic attacks and in love with her other best friend, Jamie. Meanwhile, Charlie is a YouTuber and actor who’s still recovering from her public breakup with her co-star and discovering that much to her surprise that her crush on special con guest, Alyssa Huntington might not be so one-sided after all.

This is another book that accurately captures what it’s truly like attending to a convention for the first time with your friends. And for those of you who have been to a convention, you guys can definitely relate to the atmosphere in the book as well as some of the experiences of the characters. (Although the majority of us probably can’t relate to having access to VIP backstage passes) On the other hand, if you haven’t been to a convention, I believe the book does a fairly decent job of transporting you to the convention by having you live vicariously through the characters.

Queens of Geek is a book filled with tons of amazing nerdiness and geekiness. I adore the positive portrayal of female friendships and relationships. Charlie, Taylor and even Jamie are all so supportive of each other and their dreams that it’s just so heartwarming. If you’re looking for a delightful book that will bring a smile to your face, then consider picking up Queens of Geek.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Book Review | All the Feels by Danika Stone

feelsAuthour:
Danika Stone
Format:
E-galley
Publication date:
June 7th 2016
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
During the Raincoast TeenReads Spring/Summer Preview, I mentioned that All the Feels was one of the two books from the preview. (The other book was Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn which I reviewed earlier on the blog) While I was too late to obtain a physical ARC for review, I was fortunate that they decided to have e-galleys for this title and thus I was given an e-galley for my review purposes.

All the Feels follows college freshman, Liv who is a fan of the fictional show, Starveil. When her favourite character is killed off, she is devastated and decides to initiate a campaign to “resurrect” him using the skills and resources she has at her disposal which includes her best friend Xander who is an actor. It was interesting that while All the Feels is a story cocnerning fandom and all things geeky, it also manages to touch on several serious topics.

For instance, her depression after seeing her favourite Starveil character killed off though not explicitly stated may also have a connection to the fact that the show was something she and her father used to watch when he was still alive. In fact, it seems that both Liv and her mother are not over his death and it causes dysfunction and tension between the two. Speaking of family dysfunction, I found it tragic how her mother tried to control her one minute and left Liv to the mercy of her Gary (her mom’s boyfriend) who was just plain horrible. Oddly enough the conflict involving Liv and her family is later brushed aside as the fandom aspect of the story takes over. In this sense, maybe the entire plot with Liv and her mother was better off being left out of the story since in the finale the family issues are left unresolved and made as if they were not that significant in the first place.

Other than the few loose ends that were left hanging by the conclusion, All the Feels was basically the book I expected it to be which I adored. The romance is swoony and the fandom aspects, especially the convention scenes were definitely on point. Liv’s first convention experience reminded me of mine, except in my case I didn’t have a “helpful” (and charming) guide to it similar to what she had.

If you are a part of a fandom, and can understand what it’s like to become overly invested, emotionally in it or if you’ve ever found your “people” either in person or online through one of your fandoms then you will definitely be able to relate to Danika Stone’s All the Feels. A friend of mine asked me if All the Feels was anything resembling Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and in a sense, maybe it does since both books focus on fandom culture. However, while I did not particularly adore Fangirl I adored the quirky, and sweet geek fluffiness of All the Feels.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

signsyesAuthour:
Sandy Hall
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 267 pages
Publication date:
October 20th, 2015
Publisher:
Swoonreads
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Picked up Signs Point to Yes, one summer day when feeling down and it definitely cheered me up. Signs Point to Yes is Sandy Hall’s second book; her debut novel was A Little Something Different which was a sugary, sweet and hilarious novel featuring a love story that is shows us the point of views of every character except the two major characters. In Signs Point to Yes, Hall uses a traditional storytelling tool by telling the story from an omniscient third person narrator who follows the two central characters in addition to the sister of one of the key characters.

Personally, I found Signs Point to Yes to be more enjoyable than A Little Something Different since there were less characters and perspectives to deal with. Additionally I loved that Jane and Teo in fact spend time with each other, and become acquainted with each other first. As a result, I found that I was truly rooting for them to be a couple early on unlike the eventual couple in A Little Something Different. I also adored the sibling dynamic between Jane and her sister, Margo as it is reminiscent of the relationship that I have with my own sister. The only things I disliked were first, the reveal of why Ravi, Teo’s best friend despised Jane. There was such a build up to it, however once the reason behind his strong dislike of Jane was unveiled I found myself feeling disappointed. Without spoiling anything, I ought to say that Ravi’s reason for disliking Jane came across as rather juvenile considering how long he’s held onto that for. The second thing I wasn’t fond of was how, despite Signs Point to Yes, having alternating perspectives; there is no indication as to whose chapter it is at the start of each chapter. It’s not until you read a couple of sentences that you are able to figure out whose perspective we are seeing things from. However, this may only be evident in the ARC and maybe there will be some type of indicator in the final copy?

Anyways, Signs Point to Yes was another entertaining read from Sandy Hall and I look forward to reading more from this authour. Also, I wouldn’t object if she were to write a sequel to Signs Point to Yes as I would love to know what happens next with Margo, Jane and Teo.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Authour:boynextdoor
Katie Van Ark
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 347 pages
Publication date:
January 6th 2015
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
When it comes to contemporary YA, I’m a bit of a sucker for the whole friends-to-more romances. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I watched all my friends fall in and out of love with each other throughout high school, who knows? Anyways The Boy Next Door is your typical story of a girl who has been in love with the same boy since she was a kid, and yes he does live in the house beside to hers. In addition to being friends from a young age in addition to neighbours, Maddy and Gabe are also figure skating partners. Things are suddenly set into motion when one day when their skating coach approaches them with the idea of performing Romeo and Juliet for their next skating program.

On top of the endearing way Gabe and Maddy’s relationship progressively changed into something more, there were numerous aspects of this book that made it such an enjoyable read. For instance I loved how Maddy’s parents were portrayed in this book; they were definitely not faultless however they were supportive and loving towards her. This was also in spite of Maddy’s dad being an extremely busy politician. Oh and it was pleasant to see a portrayal of a politician who was not a shady or sleazy person or neglectful of his family instead he was just a regular person whose job just happens to be that he’s a politician. This was a refreshing change from reading YA novels where parents were missing, dead, neglectful and/or abusive. Additionally, I enjoyed seeing how Maddy gradually learns to seize control and fight for what she wants, in addition to the character development that Gabe undergoes as he shifts from a being a bit of jerk to somebody who is a decent person and somebody who even Maddy’s father can approve of dating his daughter. Finally while I am not a major fan of skating (probably due to the fact that I was never able to learn how to skate), The Boy Next Door made the world of figure skating feel incredibly magical in that it was clearly evident that the authour has a passion for the sport too.

The Boy Next Door is an excellent choice for fans of addicting, sweet romance with a dash of drama. It definitely is one of the few, rare books that had me rooting for the couple to get together from the introduction of the book.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Authour:somediffer
Sandy Hall
Format:
Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publication date:
August 26th 2014
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“I like the idea that we’re getting to watch their lives without them knowing. And I know that might sound voyeuristic and weird and pathetic, but it also makes me happy. And I don’t have a ton of that kind of happy in my life at the moment, so let me enjoy some damn Starbuck customers falling in love!” (p. 57)

Have you ever had, in your group of friends, two people who seem made for each other although they still haven’t gotten together? You know that couple that’s not in reality a couple, that has you almost screaming, “Just hook up already!” This is what happens in Sandy Hall’s A Little Something Different. Lea and Gabe are two college students who just have that chemistry that every person in their lives can spot And while I was worried that the romance would have been shoved down my throat and the characters would be too pushy when it comes to getting together two people who don’t have chemistry, I was impressed that this was not the case. Lea and Gabe are extremely sweet together and I could not help but also ship them similar to everyone in their lives does.

There are several things that A Little Something Different does well, for instance, even based on the cover and the synopsis you can already tell that this will be a sweet love story. I loved that it took place in college instead of high school and that Lea was a freshman. This made me a bit nostalgic for my days as a freshman at university for the reason that I was definitely similar to Lea in that I was a bit shy, and I loved to write and similar to her, I was fortunate enough to have friends who were always pushing me to go outside my comfort zone and meet new people.

However, my favourite aspect of this book was how it was a love story told from multiple perspectives. We never essentially get to observe Lea or Gabe’s point of views nonetheless we get acquainted with them more through the interactions they have with the other characters. My favourite perspective was the creative writing professor, as she was just so cool and I can definitely picture myself also pairing up students in my mind if I were a teacher. Which I found hilarious even though it’s a bit weird and kind of crazy. I also liked the parts where the story was told from Lea’s friend, Danny’s point of view. Having Danny have the final say in the novel was just beyond wonderful.

On the other hand, there were the two points of views that I felt did not work too well. These were the parts told from the bench’s perspective as they came off as a bit condescending, and Hillary, who got on my nerves since she had an extremely, ridiculous sense of self entitlement. I also felt the conflict or rather what was keeping Gabe and Lea apart felt a bit out of place, especially near the final pages and the resolution fell a bit flat for me even if I was fond of the conclusion.

All in all A Little Something Different is an extreme fluffy and utterly adorable read and if that’s what you feel like you need at the moment then this book is a must read. Not only does it have a cute romance but it also has a remarkable cast of unique characters who also provide a strong and stable support system for Lea and Gabe as they slowly find their way to each other.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.