Book Review: Flirting with Fame

flirting with fame

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

Pros – Elise, Reggie, Gavin being a geeky fanboy bookworm

Cons – Typical romance “obstacles”, heavy-handed deus ex machina to resolve some internal problems, MISCOMMUNICATION ABOUND

As a sidenote I won’t be talking about Elise’s deafness or how its used in the book–in all honesty I have no experience with that facet of life, so I don’t want to comment on it as part of my opinion on the book.

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Book Review: The Revolution of Ivy

ivy

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.


Pros
– Ivy and Bishop, Ivy’s journey, satisfying ending

Cons – Spoiler Person’s actions, Ivy’s Family, Plot convenience overload at times

It’s hard (for me) to begin a review for THE REVOLUTION OF IVY without first warning for massive spoilers for the first book, THE BOOK OF IVY (which, so we’re clear, the second book’s title makes way more sense than the first book’s title if we go by content. It’s not like Ivy is writing a book…). Really the synopsis for this book is a giant spoiler, but just in case you missed it or don’t remember the details that led to it, here’s your warning.

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Book Review: The Book of Ivy

ivy

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…”


Pros
– Bishop, Ivy sticks to her (sometimes misguided but ultimately well intentioned) values and the romance develops genuinely

Cons – Ivy’s family, Ivy’s Family, IVY’S FAMILY

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Book Review Redux: Wicked as They Come

wicked as they come

When nurse Tish Everett forced open the pesky but lovely locket she found at an estate sale, she had no idea she was answering the call of Criminy Stain, from the far off land of Sang. He’d cast a spell for her, but when she’s transported right to him, she’s not so sure she’s ready to be under the spell of another man. (It didn’t go so well last time with controlling, abusive, domineering Jeff.) If only Criminy wasn’t so deliciously rakish….

Half the inhabitants of Sang are Pinkies—human—and the other half are Bludmen, who in Tish’s world would be called vampires. But they don’t mess with any of the bat/coffin/no sunlight nonsense. They’re rather like you and me, just more fabulous, long living, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.) But when the evil Mayor of Manchester (formerly Bludchester) redoubles his efforts to rid Sang of the Bludmen once and for all, stealing Tish’s locket in hopes of traveling back to her world himself for reinforcements, Criminy and Tish must battle ghosts, sea monsters, wayward submarines, a secret cabal, and thundering Bludmares to get the locket back and allow Tish to return home…but has she found love with Criminy? Could she stay in Sang forever?


Pros
– Criminy, World of Sang, bludbunnies (not even joking there)

Cons – On re-read the story feels more disjointed, Tish comes across irritating til about the halfway point, CASPER

(please note: a version of this review appeared originally on Poisoned Rationality. I’ve since updated and tweaked it after a recent re-read.  Additions are noted in italics)

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