Review: Looker by Laura Sims

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Title: Looker
Author: Laura Sims
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Fiction
Source: Received an advanced copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 stars

A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.

I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.

In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.

When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining—at once a propulsive Hitchcockian thriller and a fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.

Review:

“Alone with a bottle of wine, how luxurious. I’ll be alone with one, too, in a few minutes, but the quality of her aloneness differs from mine. Hers is fuller: surrounded, swaddled even – an island on whose shores laps a vibrant, busy sea. Her aloneness is temporary; mine is infinite. Mine spreads out from the center like a puddle, muddying everything it touches.”

When I first heard about Looker, I was intrigued. The synopsis was giving me some slight The Woman in the Window vibes, which was one of my favourite books of 2018. I decided to request it and was fortunate enough to receive a copy via NetGalley.

The problem was, it seemed like it was going to be a mystery or a thriller. It’s not that. Sure, the ending is intense (literally the last 10% at most), but otherwise this story fell a little flat for me. While it started of interesting enough, it seemed overly repetitive and I never felt for the narrator in a way that I probably should have considering the struggles she had to endure with her infertility and her husband leaving her along with her crappy job.

The one thing I thought was nice was that because the narrator was so unreliable, I wasn’t entirely sure what was real and what was conjured up in her mind. Were her negative interactions with people as bad as she thought they were? Were her positive interactions only in her mind because she needed them to be positive in order to not lose her mind?

All in all, I would say that Looker is a fascinating character study about one’s obsession with another caused by a string of terrible events in her life. But because it sounded more like a thriller than anything else, I was a little disappointed. However, I think if you go into it knowing it isn’t a thriller and there is no big mystery to solve, it would be an enjoyable book.

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Review: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

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Title: Five Feet Apart
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Received an advanced copy from Simon & Schuster/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
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Rating: 3 stars

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

Review:

Five Feet Apart is a story about Stella and Will, two teens with cystic fibrosis. Because they both have CF, they can never get within six feet of each other. If they do, Stella risks losing her place on the lung transplant list, and they both risk dying.

Reading this book, I was sure that it was going to break my heart into a million unrepairable pieces. It sounded like a mix of The Fault in our Stars (I spent 90% of that movie crying and don’t think I can ever watch it again because of that) and Everything, Everything (read the book in 24 hours, didn’t cry but it still had an impact).

To be completely honest, this book was nothing like either. I never had a connection to either of the characters or their romance. I never felt like I was cheering from them to figure something out or for a mircale cure to drop out of the sky. The only character I was cheering for to find the best happily ever after imaginable was Poe. And we’re not even going to get me started on that storyline.

The story had so much potential to be that deep, emotional kind of story that tugs at every heartstring and leaves the kind of impact that won’t let you forget it. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet that potential. Everything was written very surface level. There were many moments where characters could have been developed further or situations could have been more emotional, but it stayed very basic. This prevented me from having any kind of true attachement to the story.

Overall, I thought it was a good story in the sense that it brought important awareness to cystic fibrosis. However, I personally felt it was lacking in depth.

About Rachael Lippincott:

Rachael Lippincott was born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, splitting her time between writing and running a food truck with her partner.

 

Review: Heavenward by Olga Gibbs – Blog Tour

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Hi lovelies. Today I’m excited to share with you my review for the Heavenward blog tour. Take a peek below to see the other blogs taking part and a very special offer for my followers!

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Title: Heavenward
Author: Olga Gibbs
Series: Celestial Creatures #1
Publisher: Raging Bear Publishing
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Received an advanced copy from the author/Fraser’s Fun House for the purpose of this blog tour

Goodreads
Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 3 stars

With the power to end the world, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?

Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift…

Ariel never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist.

Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.

Deceived, threatened, hunted and now on the run, who can she trust?  

Review:

One of the things I liked most about the book was how accurately I thought Ariel was portrayed. She had one of the worst childhoods you could possibly imagine and it was very much reflected in her personality. She was filled with rage, she made impulsive decisions, and was a sarcastic little fire cracker with mood swings you couldn’t even imagine. As a reader I appreciate that Olga Gibbs didn’t turn her into this perfect teenager out to save the world, while forgetting about the past she presented to us. Ariel is such a raw character and I enjoyed the accuracy of her character throughout the story.

In terms of the boys in this book, I’m team Rafe all the way. I don’t trust Sam as far as I can throw him (and considering I’m 5″0 and he’s an angel, I’m going to wager that isn’t far). But the fact that it was so back and forth between the two made it more interesting to read because I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next with the boys.

The writing of the book was very description heavy at some points. I liked the descriptions because it helped to give the reader an image of what is going on in a world that is nothing like we would ever be living in. However, I thought at some points they were in the wrong place. For example, there were a few moments where someone had said something important to the story or an action scene was about to go down, but before that there were a couple of pages of straight description. It took a little bit away from the big moments for me,

To me, the pacing felt a little quick. It didn’t fully seem that way reading it, but when you get to the end and realize how many things happened during such a short time, you just kind of sit there and think how was all of that able to occur so quickly? Maybe we get to find out angels have a different concept of time in the next book?

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. This was first time reading a novel that involved angels and it was good.

As a follower, I get to share a link with you guys so you can read Heavenward for free. Just click right here! Hope you guys enjoy it!

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About Olga Gibbs:

Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.

She is currently writing a second book in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller book.

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Review: Raise Your Game by Cassia Leo – Blog Tour

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Title: Raise Your Game
Author: Cassia Leo
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Gloss Publishing LLC
Publication Date: November 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an advanced copy from the author/InkSlinger PR for the purpose of this blog tour

Goodreads
Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 stars

Logan Pierce, New York’s most notorious womanizer, has just offered me a raise and promotion…if I pretend to be his wife.

But neither of us anticipate his brother’s attempts to sabotage our fake marriage.

Now, Logan and I are a team, and it’s game on. This raise is going to cost me.

From New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo comes a sexy, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy of epic proportions.

Logan Pierce is our new CEO and he needs me as much as I need him.

Logan has thirty days to save Close-Up magazine from bankruptcy. And he needs me to pretend to be his wife at a couples’ retreat, where Logan and I will attempt to snag an exclusive celebrity scoop that will revive our readership. If I can help him save Close-Up, he’ll inherit his father’s publishing empire and I’ll get promoted to editor, with a very healthy raise.

Logan has thirty days to prove to his father that he’s not just a bad boy womanizer. And I have seven days to prove my investigative journalism skills to Logan at a couples’ retreat meant to revive the sex lives of dissatisfied married couples.

This raise is going to cost me.

Review:

I have such mixed feeling about this book. The premise was strong and the synopsis had me hooked instantly. Even the first few pages had a hook like nothing I’ve ever read in a contemporary romance. It started off with a bang that had me flying through the pages at lightning speed. However, the more I continued to read through, the more I wasn’t enjoying it.

Both Sophie and Logan were funny characters who had me laughing at their antics often enough. Sophie needed to go undercover to get what could be the biggest celebrity scoop and Logan needed to prove to his father that he could be more than a womanizier and fix up this magazine to get his father’s shares in the company.

To me the story didn’t really have much flow. While the writing was great, and there were plenty of good flirty and funny one-liners, I felt that the story itself was a little choppy and rushed. The build up to the inevitable relationship between Sophie and Logan didn’t have the kind of anticipation that I was expecting from it.

Overall, the writing was good and the premise itself seemed great. The execuation just fell a little flat for me.

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About Cassia Leo:

New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: Fighting Gravity by Julie Adams (+ Giveaway)

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Title: Fighting Gravity
Author: Julie Adams
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Julie Adams
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Recieved an electronic copy via InkSlinger PR for the purpose of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Lily:
A man dubbed The Playboy of Paris is the last thing I need.

I came to Paris needing an ocean and a language between me and my past. 
I need to learn to live again without fear.

Then Tragedy strikes again. I guess some people are just magnets for bad luck.
The only silver lining is the gorgeous man who literally broke down a door to save me.

Can I trust him? Can I trust myself?

Nathan:
Paris is as much me as I am it. We bleed into each other’s veins. 
Running one of the biggest indie record labels is stressful, 
and I forget myself with good music and fast women. 
I never meant to save her. And I damn sure didn’t mean to fall in love with her. 
Not with the secret I’m keeping.

Lies, lust, and love happen unexpectedly in The City of Light.

Review:

“When we climb into bed and I wrap my arms around her I know I’ve found my safe space. My sanctuary. And it’s not a place but a person.”

I admired Lily and her strength to get over her past and start a new life for herself in which she could move on and forget the tragic events of her past. Sometimes though, it felt a little like some of her actions didn’t match the anxiety she was feeling. She seemed like a little bit of an inconsistent character to me.

Hunter was a cool guy. Sounded like he was incredibly hot and romantic. However, he was slightly dramatic at times with his big “secret” he was hiding from Lily. Like dude, it really wasn’t the end of the world. A little creepy, but the sky isn’t falling my dear.

Beth and Brent were awesome. Beth was totally my favourite part of the book. Every time she made an appearance I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The writing was good. I mean it felt like sometimes things were being made out to be so much more dramatic than they really were, but overall the writing was enjoyable.

I liked the plot. There was this little bit of added danger with the events that had occurred in Lily’s past, as well as the secret Nathan is keeping from her. Once other events begin to take place, it only adds to the danger level, which made this book more than a basic romance. However, it did feel a little over dramatic for what it was.

The pacing was good. From what I could tell, the book takes place over a few months, so while they did fall for each other quick enough, it wasn’t insta-love because of the amount of time and I really appreciated that. The ending on the other hand, felt super rushed. When all the danger came to a head, it just seemed to happen and end all in the blink of an eye.

Overall, Fighting Gravity was an alright book. I appreciated the added danger to make it more than a basic romance book, but in the end it felt kind of rushed and like an afterthought after all the build up that was there. It’s a quick read though, so I’d still say to check it out if the synopsis sounds like this is something up your alley.

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About Julie Adams:

Julie is an author of contemporary romance novels and lives in the Midwest with her family. You can usually find her with coffee and some kind of electronic device that she can read e-books on while chasing her toddler. She stays up too late writing, watching television, browsing social media, and planning her travel bucket list

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Enter Julie’s giveaway here:

  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 1 of 3 ARCs of Fighting Gravity