20 February 2019

Audiobook Adventures: We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union's collection of essays is equal parts entertaining and insightful with a whole lot of soul all around. She recounts her experiences as a black woman, memories from her childhood in a dominantly white community, how her skin color affects her acting career, how raising black boys in today's society can be tricky. She wrote about her rape experience and how its effects can still be felt long after it has happened. She hilariously shared her relationship stories, from the most ridiculous moments to the heart wrenching or heartfelt ones. All of her stories laid out with as much honesty as a public figure such as herself can share to the world. I never spaced out while multi-tasking work and listening. She's THAT captivating.

That's it! That's exactly it. Gabrielle Union is a captivating human. You need to read this book. Get the audiobook if you can. I reckon it's still as awesome in book form, but it's quite a treat listening to her read it. Trust me on this one.

P.S. as I mentioned earlier, this is a collection of essays so the timeline of her stories might confuse you. She'll jump from childhood to adulthood then back to childhood.... it CAN get confusing but it's not bothersome. Unless you find that kinda of thing bothersome. In which case, good luck. But still. Read or listen to it! 

17 February 2019

2/5 Stars for Boomerang by Noelle August

Lackluster romance. It had a lot of potential in the beginning but once other elements were thrown in, the story felt too unfocused. Sexy romance works with drama in some cases, but not here. There’s just too many side stories. What were they trying to achieve here?

The book is told from both Ethan’s and Mia’s POVs. I found Ethan’s far more interesting because it was relatable. Mia’s had more unnecessary narration which just bored me to death. I don’t not care for every single detail on how you look or what you’re wearing. Ugh. Both spent as much time though describing how much they wanted the other person and it grated on me. Move the narration along, please. Too much of it made the character one-dimensional. Give me something else to convince me that they’re right for each other. Again: Ugh. 

All in all, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. The kind of book you bring while waiting for your car license to be released. LOL. I MEAN it’s just the kind of book you read to pass the time but it won’t leave you wanting more. At least I didn’t. 

P.S. Noelle August is actually a pen name for Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger. I read and loved Rossi's Under The Never Sky series. I was only able to review the first book though because I suck at reviewing sequels. Anyway, I was such a fan of her YA trilogy that I fangirled hard when I met her. Such a shame I didn't enjoy Boomerang. :-/

16 February 2019

4/5 Stars for First & Then by Emma Mills

Do you know how REFRESHING it is to read a book about teenagers who ACTUALLY go to school and have home life??? (Yes, I am SUCH A TITA. I know!) It pains me to read YA books that revolve around partying and dating 90% of the time. I’m like,” Don’t these kids have homework? What about college applications? Why are their parents never home? Why do they have unlimited cash? Do you really wanna get so serious with that boy/girl so early? Why is there barely any adult supervision in this story?!” Taking out factors that make the story a wee bit realistic is such a cop out. I rarely enjoy lazy writing. 

Such was not the case with THIS BOOK. This has a balance of family, love, school, friendship, and self discovery. The presence of all those elements alone was enough to keep me reading. It seems impossible to have everything in a book, but believe me, this one is packed. I turned every page, eager to read what happens next. This is probably the quickest I’ve read all year. 

The only reason I’m not rating this a 5/5 is because, with how everything is balanced out, I feel like the story never really climaxed. It’s as if the book started and finished on a plateau. Each aspect of the protagonist’s life had a defining moment but none of it was as mind blowing as it should have been. I’m not looking for anything dramatic but at the very least I wanted to feel certain that THIS moment right here is what transforms her. 

Perhaps it was the way the protagonist, Devon, was written. She comes across as almost too cool. Never truly angry, never truly sad, never truly in love with her bestfriend as the summary suggests. Heck, never truly enjoying her first kiss. She was happy alright — and it made ME happy too — but it wasn’t electric. I know it’s not primarily a love story but the getting-together part shouldn’t be THAT muted down. Give me sparks, damn it!

In summary, First & Then is the perfect cutesy book. It’s sure to put you in a good mood but don’t expect it to make a lasting impression.

P.S. I used to diligently put book and author info on my reviews but I decided not to do that in Sab The Book Eater v4.0 because I am chill AF (or so I think). I'm making an exception here because I think it's worth mentioning. The author started off as a booktuber! For all you non-internet nerds out there, it's a Youtuber who mainly talks about books. Heh. Check out her channel: HUZZAH TAKE ME THERE!

Happy Book Birthday to Outrush (The Mer Chronicles #3) by Errin Stevens!

Errin Stevens' latest book, Outrush, the third book in The Mer Chronicles, is out now!

Maya’s headlong rush into marriage isn’t working out… and it isn’t the only collision course she’s on these days. Her saltwater distractions aside, her father-in-law wants her gunned down for reasons unknown, and her pesky bodyguard – when he’s around – seems intent on drowning her in want and regret.

Maya is desperate to hold onto any small part of herself she understands. When escape becomes her only option, she finds herself in a race against a past – and a man – she can’t outrun. 


Updrift (The Mer Chronicles #1)

For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water.

Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.

Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.

Breakwater (The Mer Chronicles #2)

The sirens of Griffins Bay are in trouble, and the recent slew of royal suicides looks to be the least of their worries.

For one, unless a blood relative of the queen shows up, no one's around to staff the monarchy. Well, except for a whack-job bureaucrat and he seriously won't do. Worse is the community unrest threatening siren society, a problem caused by too many humans in the pool, which means Simon and his off-limit girlfriend will have to run and hide if they want to make more of their flirtation...

The solution doesn’t inspire confidence at first, but the Blakes have everything at hand to set their world to rights - namely, a hidden queen, a dead prince, and a facility for human manipulation. Once they find their sea legs, they'll restore order, distribute smart phones, and drive that conniving bureaucrat to a grisly, satisfying end.

14 February 2019

Quick Fire Review (also HELLZ YEAH!): The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The hype is real! I purposefully chose today, of all days, to post my (short) review on this one. It's Valentine's Day! I am a sucker for all things cheesy, figuratively and literally. Also, because THE HYPE. IS. REAL. 

This was quite a fun book to read. So much sexiness and wit wrapped up in an almost comical office rivalry. I initially thought they'd be more vicious but it wasn't the case at all. Sally Thorne created the perfect balance of romance, one that's both tender and steamy minus the overpowering drama we often find in books in the same genre. So glad they're making a movie of this!

Pro-tip: Do not read in the office. Much better to meet Lucy and Josh in the privacy of your bedroom. I'm serious. *wide eyed*

I would also like to point out how much of a little old lady I am. I need to know who got the promotion in the end. I am genuinely concerned. Why wasn't it mentioned even in passing?! (Because not everyone is a dork, Sab. That's why.)