The Season

The Season

by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer

**** (4 out of 5)

Season

Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase any books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

The Season is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.  That means that I am completely biased toward liking this book!  Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, and I have a soft spot for retellings, even if they aren’t actually that good.

The Good

I love the “Elizabeth” of this story.  Her name is Megan and she has all the components needed to be a classic Elizabeth.  She always has the best intentions, and is fiercely loyal, but she is blinded and manipulated by her prejudices.  Plus she is extremely athletic.  She plays soccer for a D1 college and this makes up a huge part of her life.  Its what sets her apart from the other Debutantes.  As an athlete myself, I loved this take on the character!

Another awesome character is Ann Foster, Megan’s debutante mentor.  I love her no BS attitude.  At first you think she is going to be awful, but she grows on you.  And she calls it like it is.  When Megan tries to do the right thing but fails, Ann tells her what she did wrong and how she did it wrong.  But she also tells her what she should have done instead.  She doesn’t sugar coat it.  I am not exactly sure which Pride and Prejudice character she was supposed to be, but she was one of my favorites in this story!

The Bad

Megan’s “best friend” is one of her fellow soccer players named Cat, but she really didn’t serve any purpose in the story.  I didn’t mind having her in there, but they had a huge random fight that made no sense.  And the resolution was quick and hurriedly stuck in there.  Plus Megan didn’t learn anything from the fight.  Some of the early comedic scenes with Cat were fine, but the other scenes seemed incomplete and random.  They didn’t help the story and were just odd.  Maybe the author’s were trying to make her into Kitty? She didn’t seem anything like Kitty other than her name was Cat, and none of the other characters has names similar to their original counterparts?

I really liked the idea of an all-star athlete debutante, but it wasn’t written right.  Her school/sports/debut schedule wouldn’t have worked.  The soccer scenes were thrown in randomly and kind of glossed over.  It was like the authors wanted to make Megan well rounded but didn’t want to take the time to actually write about all the aspects that made her well rounded.  The soccer scenes had a lot of potential, but they just fell short.

The Ugly

Not only were the soccer parts not utilized to their full potential, but they way her parents handled her soccer career really pissed me off.  First, her mom asked her to “take a season off” like it was no big deal.  I don’t know if you have ever played college sports, but you can’t just take a year off! It doesn’t work that way! Especially in a D1 school! And throughout the book her mom kept going on about how much she will learn from being a debutante, which is fine, but its not like there is nothing to learn from sports! You learn soooo much being an athlete, and none of it was shown in the book! Plus asking her to quit the team not only effects her but would also effect her team! (because of course she is the best player on the team) Second her dad claimed to be a huge fan and she has flashbacks of him helping her learn and makes him sound like this great soccer dad and fan, but he didn’t go to any of her games!  He seemed to brush off her soccer skills when it suited him.  It was weird!

I red-shirted my freshmen year of college (that means I practiced with the team but wasn’t eligible to play in games) and my parents still came to almost every one of my games! I had zero chance of actually playing and they still came to watch!! In High School my sister was in the school play and my parents went to every single showing.  They watched the same play 4 times and my sister didn’t have any lines! I know not all parents are this awesome and supportive, but the parents in the book were said to be awesome and supportive and you are supposed to think they are good parents, but I didn’t see it in any of their actions? And it really really pissed me off!

The Conclusion

So even though I was really pissed off about the soccer thing, I still gave the book 4 stars.  If you ignore that issue, it was a fun read and I really liked all the characters! So if you are looking for a fun Pride and Prejudice retelling then you will probably like this book! If you are looking for a good Pride and Prejudice sports story or a profoundly written story, then this is not for you!

Season2

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids

by Michael McClung

***** (5 out of 5)

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Before I get into my review I want to shout out to Sigil Independent.  Sigil Independent is a writer’s guild for self-published fantasy authors.  Right now they have 11 authors and all of them were finalists or semi-finalists in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO).  I learned about Sigil through a guest post on Bibliosanctum’s blog.  Go check it out!  Seriously, go read it! I am not going to try and re-cap it for you!

I commented on the post that I had never read a self-published book, but that I had read books from small publishers that were pretty atrocious when it came to spelling and grammar. (Trust me, if I can notice a grammar error, then its bad!) My point was supposed to be that just because someone has a publisher doesn’t mean their work is good!  I don’t know how well I articulated that, but I received an e-mail from M.D. Presley (the author of the guest post and one of the co-founders of Sigil) asking if he “could tempt [me] to the dark side of self-publishing with one of [their] books for review.” He said “It’s our hope we can burnish off some of that self-publishing stigma with one of our 40+ novels.”

Of course I agreed! I LOVE fantasy books.  Plus he was the first person to ever contact ME asking for a review!! I know he probably e-mailed most, if not all, of the people who commented, but I don’t care! He asked me to review a book!!! AND I got to pick the book!!

I chose The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung (which I later learned was the inaugural winner of SPFBO) and I was not disappointed!

I HATE when a book is left “unfinished.” By that, I mean I hate it when an author just cuts the book off in a random spot and calls it a “cliffhanger.” It feels like their only goal is to get you to read the next book. This is not one of those books! This book is the perfect example of how a cliffhanger should be written!  Every loose end and plot point is closed.  You aren’t left wondering what happened to anybody.  Everything is completed.  But yet, you still know there is more to the story and you want to keep reading to find out what happens next!!  Its a subtle difference and I am not explaining it very well, but this book hits the nail on the head! I felt no frustration or annoyance with the ending and I can’t wait to read the next book! The ending was perfect!  Does that make sense? Do you feel this way about “unfinished” endings too?

Amra is an awesome protagonist.  She is strong and skillful and has made a name for herself in a male dominated society.  And, she didn’t have to use her looks or “feminine charm” to get there! Her looks are mentioned a few times and you get the impression she is not pretty, but grizzled and tough (at least that is what I am picturing) It was refreshing to have a book where there was almost no focus on looks.  You just got a basic description and that was it.  What the book did focus on was personality, and that actions spoke louder than words.

I liked the grey area that most of the book lived in.  Amra is a thief.  Her moral compass spins around a lot, but she is still a good person.  Even one of the bad guys isn’t really so bad.  (I mean he is pure evil, but he is not motivated by evilness, its something else which I can’t say)  Throughout the book you see a lot of the lines blurred and at times you can’t tell who is friend and who is foe.  And again it comes back to actions speak louder than words.  Some characters might claim they are evil and don’t care about anyone, but through their actions you can see that deep down they do care.

The only bad thing I have to say about this book is that some of the names were really weird, and I had trouble remembering who was who.  Its funny because just two days ago I answered a poll asking if you would rather read “Keyboard-smash fantasy names or all names that start with the same letter”  I picked Keyboard-smash fantasy names, and then completely coincidentally I started this book, later the same day.  The names in this book aren’t “keyboard-smash” bad, but there were a couple that I struggled with.

I loved this book! It was awesome and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!! (There are 4 books published right now, and according to Michael McClung’s Blog the 5th book is tentatively scheduled to be released in September!)

If you are even semi interested in this book then go buy it right now!!! It is only $0.99!! I don’t know how long this price will last! (though in the interest of full disclosure, I also don’t know if it will change either, that could be the set price?) Check it out:

Amazon | Goodreads

Michael McClung has a second series, The Skin Walker War, the second book just came out a week ago! The first book is also only $0.99.  So maybe check that one out too!

Amazon | Goodreads

One last note before I go! (Sorry I know this is a long post!) if you are wondering why I used Felicia Day gifs its because she is in the web series called The Guild and because Sigil is a guild, it just felt right. (shhhh it doesn’t have to make sense just deal with it)

 

 

The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood

by Melissa Albert

*** (3 out of 5)

Hazel

Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase any books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Have you ever tried to fast forward something on the TV but accidentally pushed the button too many times and then it was going too fast that you couldn’t stop it in time?Thats what this book felt like.

It starts out really really slow.  Then it speeds up and starts to get exciting.  Then it goes too fast and just blurs through everything.  It would have been much better if the pace stayed the same throughout the whole book.

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Before I started reading I was worried about it being an Alice and Wonderland re-telling.  When I was halfway through I couldn’t tell why it was considered a re-telling, but in the last half it makes more sense.  She even mentions Alice and Wonderland in the book.  But the story overall was still good.  I liked the premise of it.

I liked the characters a lot but I wish we would have gotten to know more about some of them.  There were so many side characters that seemed super interesting, but you never really learned their stories.   A lot of them are alluded to as being stories from the Hinterland, but you don’t get to know anything about them,  just bits and pieces and random allusions that make no sense.  It was super frustrating!

Finally I didn’t really like the ending.  The relationships didn’t turn out the way I hoped (I can’t say more without spoilers) and there were new characters introduced right at the end.  This goes back to my last point! I want to know everyone’s stories!! Even if it is just a brief history!

Overall I thought the book was just “Meh” but I know a lot of people loved it.  My friend Phil really liked it and he is actually the one that convinced me to read it.  I will try to get him to write a review! But he is a butt so he probably won’t 😉 Help me convince him to write a guest review!!

Have you read The Hazel Wood? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! And tell Phil he needs to write a review since he made me read it!!

2018 Mother’s Day Kindle Fire Giveaway

2018 Mother’s Day Kindle Fire Giveaway ($250 Value)

I Am A Reader is hosting an awesome Kindle Fire Giveaway!!!! The giveaway is in honor of Mother’s Day, but lets be honest, how many of you will actually give the kindle to your mom if you win? (Its ok I wouldn’t either!)

Go check out the list of sponsors below and enter the giveaway!!

The price of a Kindle Fire has come way down in the past few years but this giveaway is still valued at $250. That’s plenty of cash to buy a Kindle Fire HD10 AND load it full of books.

The winner will have their choice of a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card or $250 in Paypal Cash!

 

 

Thanks to this awesome group of authors, bloggers, and publishers for making this giveaway possible.

SPONSOR LIST

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Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 5/12/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Shabby Sunday: Tisha

Shabby

Shabby Sunday was created by Mischenko @ Read, Rant, Rock & Roll, and is a meme to feature an old book on your bookshelf!  For my first ever Shabby Sunday I am going to spotlight “Tisha” by by Robert Specht:

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I got this book from my Great-Grandma and it has an address label with her name and old address inside.  I don’t remember how I ended up with this book.  She probably let us raid her collection one time and I probably just grabbed a couple random books.

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It has 1977 and 8ar handwritten on the inside.  I’m guessing 1977 is the year she got it but I don’t have any idea what the 8ar is? Does anybody know?

Inside there was also a newspaper article:

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Originally held in the book with a pink heart sticker, the article is about Anne Purdy.  Purdy is the main character of the book, which is a “biographical account of her life in Alaska, written with the collaboration of Robert Specht.” (according to the article)  The article is dated March 27, 1977.

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I discovered the article and the address label when I was checking for hidden covers for my Hidden Covers post.  I had no idea they were there!! I never had any desire to read this book, but now that I know my Great-Grandma had taken the care to cut out the an article and put it with the book, I am curious.  I probably won’t get to it anytime soon, but it is now on my TBR!

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I wish my Great-Grandma was alive so I can ask her if she read it, and if she had any connection to it, or if she just liked the story.  I have no idea why she had this, or even if she ever read it, and I have no way to find out.  But I am glad I have it.  If nothing else I know we shared a love of books!

Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King

by Tricia Levenseller

***** (5 out of 5)

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Amazon|Goodreads

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Pirates are one of my favorite fantasy / kinda historical fiction genres to read. (I know “Pirates” isn’t a genre but I can’t think of the right word) Pirates are a close second behind Robin Hood, who I am slightly obsessed with.  My favorite pirates are bad-ass woman pirates!

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Robin Hood and Pirate books tend to give me really bad book hangovers, and this one is no exception.  Luckily I only have to wait till the 27th for the sequel to be released.  But I am still really craving more pirate adventures RIGHT NOW!  I think I am re-watch all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies tonight tonight.  I have been meaning to have a marathon because I haven’t seen the newest one and this just light a fire under my butt.

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P.S. I have no idea what the gif says but its the only one I could find of that scene

Anyway, on to the book! In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I loved it.  It was awesome! It had pirate fights and lying and stealing and murder and intrigue and mythical creatures and a bad-ass heroine and a sexy, compassionate hero and pretty much everything you need/want/crave in a pirate novel.

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If you are like me and even a tiny bit obsessed with pirates, then I highly recommend this book!

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One Con Glory Group Review Part 4/4: Conclusion

Make sure you check out the first three posts in this series:

This is the fourth and final post: Our Discussion

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Amazon|Goodreads

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

It was impossible to discuss the book without spoilers, so beware!

Spoiler

Here is our discussion:


Brittany – First thoughts? Phil’s review is sooo much better than mine with respect to its actually being a review. Haha mine is more of a ramble. But mine has gifs so I would say we are pretty equal 😉 Phil, you mentioned that the reader may be a little lost if they aren’t into this culture. I don’t know if I agree with that. I am into the culture, but I am not into Buffy (yet) and I didn’t have any trouble following along.

Phil– I loved your review! As always your personality really shown through and yeah I totally can’t handle the creativity of gif. When I mentioned readers being lost if they aren’t into the culture it was less about the plot and more about the jokes. Most of the jokes that I found funny were deep cut references that will feel like an inside joke that you’re not a part of if you haven’t read the source material. In your review you mentioned that nothing felt rushed but the conflict with Braidbeard losing his pass really felt rushed to me. You didn’t think so?

Brittany – Aww thanks 🙂 And that makes sense! There is a very good chance that I completely missed some jokes! As for the conflict with Braidbeard, it wasn’t about him losing his pass, it was about Julie realizing and accepting him as a friend and about her stepping up to help someone. It starts all the way back at the scene where they are bidding for the Glory figure. Braidbeard jumped in without hesitation. He could tell it was important to Julie so he helped, no questions asked. They didn’t win but it was huge that he tried to help. But then, when he got in trouble and needed Julie, she didn’t want to help him. It showed how selfish she could be. It fueled her fight with Jack. The issue was never supposed to be about Braidbeard. It was about Julie and it gave us a chance to see her grow.

Phil – I agree that it was meant to be about her personal growth but it just felt too anti climatic how easily she was able to get the pass. But you’re right it does start earlier when they were bidding on the figure I actually really liked when he decided to help her out. What did you think of the hand drawn pictures of the characters they added? I kind of wish they weren’t there because I like having my own mental image o f the characters.

Brittany – Um, I had forgotten about those. Where there only 2? I don’t remember. I was reading the kindle version so they might have been different but I didn’t really look at them. I just sort of skipped over them. I had my mental images and the pictures didn’t affect them. Did you read through the extras at the end of the book? I thought they were really cool!

Phil – Yes! I really loved the Q&A part especially about women in geekdom today. Do you ever feel like because you’re a girl some people assume you’re not really Into the nerdy stuff you’re into?

Brittany – Luckily no, I haven’t run into that. I actually get it more in my sports circles than in my nerdy circles. I know “geek shaming” exists and I have seen countless examples online of men accusing girls of being “fake geeks” but have not had to deal with it myself. I would make an easy target too haha. l love geek stuff but am awful with trivia and remembering details. I would fail miserably if someone tried to quiz me. I read a ton and I remember the feelings I get reading things, not so much the things themselves. I did notice that in One Con Glory it was never really brought up as an issue. Julie was accepted. It was sort of alluded to when Kirstie wanted to be friends because they were females in a male dominated world, but that was it. Recently I read “Don’t Cosplay with My Heart” and it was a big issue in that book. Now, stop getting off topic!! Lets wrap this up. What are your final thoughts? You told me you loved the book when you finished it but then you only gave it a 3.5? A 3.5 is just “meh” to me. I still think it was a 5!

Phil – I’m a bit harsher when it comes to my scores! I loved it for what it was, a fun, quick, and easy read. I took points off for that feeling that things were rushed and it didn’t leave me thinking about it after I was done. I could recommend it to some people but not everyone.

Brittany – Makes sense! This was fun 🙂 we should do it again some time!

Phil – I totally agree it was a ton of fun! It’s great to get someone else’s perspective especially when it’s pretty different from yours!


I really enjoyed doing this! I think I need to join a book club haha.  Are you in a book club? What do you enjoy most about it?  Would you be interested in participating in a group review like this when we do it again?  Let me know!