My Bad-Boy Summer by Ann Herrick // Book Review

My Bad-Boy Summer

My Bad- Boy Summer by Ann Herrick

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.

Publication Date: May 26th, 2016

Page Number: 151

Format Read: E-book (Review Copy)

* I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Goodreads Synopsis:

Will Nolan give up his bad-boy ways for Vija?

17-year-old Vija Skalbe wants to be an all-American girl—no matter how hard her parents try to impose their strict Latvian standards on her. She feels unsure of herself with one foot in each country.

Then Nolan, a folksinger, steals her heart at a coffeehouse. When Nolan stops at their table, it’s Vija’s friend, Caprice, who does all the talking. But it is Vija who gets his phone number—and later the back seat of his motorcycle. Soon she is cruising from one adventure to another, dizzy with joy, her new-found freedom and the excitement of being with the kind of guy who is a challenge.

However, when her father has a heart attack, Vija must take over running the family lawn-care business. She feels overwhelmed until sweet brainiac Joel volunteers to help. He shares the workload and lifts her spirits with his humor. But it is Nolan who fills her heart.

It doesn’t matter that Nolan wants everything his way. Or that he’s constantly eyeing other girls. Or that he can be pouty and punitive. Or that he says she’s seeing things all wrong. Until it does matter. But Vija’s in so deep. Will he change? Will she deal with Nolan’s controlling tactics, or is she too far under his spell?

My Thoughts:

As always, I’m going to be completely honest here because that’s what I’m here to do, review this book.

So given that, I just want to say that I think the title of the book and synopsis is severely misleading. I’m probably diving into a shady gray area here, because different people have different parameters for abuse, but that’s what I think Nolan was.

Nolan is the main character’s love interest for about half of the book. He’s called a “bad boy” but to me, he’s an abusive boyfriend.

He tells Vija how and what to eat, where to go and basically commands her around. He even tries to force Vija to have sex when she clearly says no and isn’t ready. I’m so glad that Vija stood up to him finally and said no.

The thing is though, Vija never sees anything wrong with the way Nolan treats her. Sure she gets a “flutter” in her stomach when he completely controls her, and she tries to talk to her best friend about it. And that’s another thing, Vija’s best friend was so concerned about Vija dating Nolan but then never listens when Vija tries to talk to her about her doubts about Nolan.

That all being said, I really like the old time feeling of the book, the setting being in the late 1950’s and the immigrant type family feel, my family being immigrants as well.

I loved Joel and the writing style was easy to read. The book is pretty short and I was able to read it in nearly one sitting.

The family dynamic was pretty sure but I was surprised at how Vija lied so effortlessly to her parents and how they believed her so easily.

And also, the problems I had with Nolan don’t affect my thoughts and feelings on the book at all obviously, it’s part of the character development and plot.

Verdict:

A summer contemporary with a relationship that made me really uncomfortable and intrigued to see what would happen next. I really enjoyed reading it and watching Vija grow throughout the book!

My Rating:

3.5 stars


 

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith // Book Review

The Reflections of Queen Snow White

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Page Number: 155 pages

Publication Date: October 2nd, 2013

Format Read: E-book (Review Copy)

*I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Goodreads Synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

My Thoughts:

When I got sent this book I was really excited because I love books that have anything to do with fairy tales and especially fairy tail retellings or the epilogues to fairy tales. And I found that this one did not disappoint.

This definitely isn’t for the younger audience as there is some sex, but not really graphic, and violence.

The depth of abuse that Snow White suffered was really horrible and made me wince while reading those parts.

For me, I’ve learned never to trust good things in books, so when we met Charming through the flashbacks, I was like hmmm, too good to be true, there has to be a catch here, Charming is waaay too perfect!

It really infuriated me that Snow White kept denying her strength and saying that Charming did everything. When the mirror tried to prove her wrong I was like thank you!

I loved the ending and how it kind of showed Snow White coming full circle and really reflecting on her actions and whether she was acting more like the person she didn’t want to be. I liked that mother daughter bonding.

Overall I found that the beginning was slightly boring and dragged on, but it’s a short book in general and when we really started seeing the flashbacks from the mirror it got a lot more interesting.

The scene that I loved most was when Snow White finally stuck up for herself and had that brilliant idea of how to punish the ladies who tried to kill her.

Verdict:

A different perspective on Snow White and what happens after the “happily ever after”

My Rating:

3.5 stars


Thanks for reading! You can check this book out on goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18780192-the-reflections-of-queen-snow-white

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

 

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton // Book Review

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Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

Format Read: E-book (Review Copy)

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Adult literary science fiction (In short, not one of my typical YA books or reviews)

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Lacy Dawn is a little girl who lives in a magical forest where all the trees love her and she has a space alien friend who adores her and wants to make her queen of the universe. What’s more, all the boys admire her for her beauty and brains. Mommy is very beautiful and Daddy is very smart, and Daddy’s boss loves them all.

Except.

Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, perches precariously between the psychosis of childhood and the multiple neuroses of adolescence, buffeted by powerful gusts of budding sexuality and infused with a yearning to escape the grim and brutal life of a rural Appalachian existence. In this world, Daddy is a drunk with severe PTSD, and Mommy is an insecure wraith. The boss is a dodgy lecher, not above leering at the flat chest of an eleven-year-old girl.

Yes, all in one book.

It is a children’s story for adults with a happily ever after ending.

My Thoughts: 

This was a strange book. Very strange. Somehow incorporating aliens while bringing awareness to child abuse.

Despite the weirdness, I did enjoy this book very much and support the cause of trying to stop child abuse 100%.

Lacy Dawn is a very interesting protagonist because she’s a child, yet very intelligent. More so than most of the adults in her life.

When Lacy Dawn first mentioned DotCom I honestly thought he was some kind of inanimate object that Lacy Dawn talked to, or an imaginary person she invented. And then we met DotCom and the book just got stranger from there.

I still don’t quite understand how DotCom managed to “cure” Lacy Dawn’s parents like that, but whatever he did, it worked wonders for Lacy Dawn’s life afterwards.

I was so sad at what happened to Faith and how people could do that to their children.

I also didn’t want to read this in front of my friends because DotCom’s body part ahem was mentioned in like every other chapter towards the end.

It’s a book definitely for more mature readers and sexual themes are involved. Though there is no explicit sex, there are sexual references.

Verdict: 

All in all, I would say that the strange combination of science fiction and an important topic like child abuse would be something that turns into a disaster, but Rarity from the Hollow wasn’t that at all.

My Rating:

3.5 stars


Purchase links:

http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rarity-From-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton/dp/1907133062

http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow 

About the Author:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997. Today, he is a recently retired psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines:Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

http://www.childhswv.org/

Public Author Contacts:

http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13603677-rarity-from-the-hollow 

https://www.facebook.com/robert.eggleton2 

https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/


Thanks for reading, and if this book sounds like something you’d enjoy, you can buy it by clicking on one of the purchase links above!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser