Book Review: Contamination (Feast of Weeds #2) by Jamie Thornton

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Sequels can be hit or miss, however Jamie Thornton nailed it with her second book in the Feast of Weeds series, Contamination.

Although the story picks up roughly where the first left off when it comes to timeline, Contamination follows a brand new set of characters in their journey to survive the outbreak that is quickly turning the population into rabid zombie-like beings.

I really enjoy how Thornton ties in the past characters to the new ones, and I appreciate that the author gives some explanations as to how the virus began and the scope of the spread.

Another aspect of the novel that I like is Corinna’s backstory. The glimpses into her past make it easier to understand her decision making throughout her stuggles. As for Dylan and her “friend” Jane, well… I didn’t like them much however I don’t suspect that the reader is supposed to.

Honestly, I preferred Contamination over the first book of the series. It’s just as action packed as Germination however since Contamination is a full-length novel instead of a novella, I feel that Thornton was able to offer so much more to her readers.

All in all, Contamination is a can’t-put-down zombie thriller that will have you reading into the wee hours of the night.

NOTE: I received a free copy from the author in exchange with an honest review.

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Calling All Authors

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Calling all authors: I am currently looking for a holiday themed read for the upcoming season. If you have a novel that you believe would be a good fit, please pitch me your book at jd.thompson@hotmail.ca Please include the word “review” in the subject line.

I look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. I’m still accepting other genres 😉

 

Book Review: Pretty Dancer by Cora Graham

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Pretty Dancer is a contemporary YA romance novel by first time author Cora Graham. The story revolves around Lilly, an aspiring dancer who hasn’t had the easiest home life so far. As she fights to overcome her past, she must also learn to trust and open herself to the possibility of loving again.

Yes, it was a little long and dragged on in some places. Yes, there were some minor typos. And yes, the dance choreography descriptions weren’t my favorite aspects of the story (I blame this on being a dance instructor myself – occupational hazard).  But honestly, those minor issues didn’t take away from how much I loved this book. Let me say it again; I. Loved. This. Book. It had so much heart. Lilly’s relationship with her twin brother Luke was my favorite depiction of sibling dynamics in a book so far. As the story progresses, you begin to understand why Luke’s overprotectiveness is so appropriate regarding Lilly. The intrigue surrounding their father and what happened between them keep you guessing until the very end and for once, I didn’t see the truth coming from a mile away. And Carter? SA-WOOON! Holy hell. Seriously, the build is so slow it felt like the biggest literary tease ever. However readers don’t despair; it is so worth the wait. The car scene between Carter and Lilly? HOT, HOT, HOT.

The only things I would change about this book are some minor editing and the removal of the prologue. Honestly, the book would do nicely without it. It seemed unnecessary and actually had me thinking that I wouldn’t like the book (which, thankfully, I totally did).

If you’re a fan of YA, teen angst and romance then pick up Pretty Dancer. You will not be disappointed!

(Also, enter to win a free ecopy of Pretty Dancer here -> Pretty Dancer Giveaway, contest ends November 20th at 9pm Atlantic time)

Note: I received this novel by the author in exchange with an honest review.

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GIVEAWAY! Pretty Dancer by Cora Graham

Do you know what’s better than books? FREE books, that’s what.

Enter your name and email in the comments section below for a shot at winning an ecopy of Cora Graham’s novel Pretty Dancer. Contest ends November 20th at 9pm Atlantic time.

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Meet Lilly – talented dancer, quick mouthed, take no shit tough girl who’s also good at hiding the fact that she’s scared. She doesn’t believe in true love or happily ever afters. Unless you count the unbreakable love she has for her overprotective, bullheaded twin brother, who also happens to be her knight in shining armor – which she doesn’t. Kind of hard to love when you can’t trust, and trust was something that got shattered along with the rest of her years ago. A lot was taken from her at a young age. She’s never gotten over it as much as she’s just refused to deal with it.

Her twin brother and quirky best friend are the only ones she lets see her true self. Her only dream is to get accepted into The Elite Academy of Dance and spend the rest of her life dancing on a stage, away from all that haunts her. To her, that’s easier than dealing with the demons from her past and the scars they left on the person she has become today. She’s more than willing to tuck all those dark and nasty things away, and go on pretending. Never hoping for anything more. Never allowing herself to feel.

That is, until a certain guy walks into her life like he was always meant to be there and refuses to go away. He turns her world upside down and confuses her to no end. He makes her wonder if there really is something more worth fighting her demons for. But then a secret comes to light that has her questioning if her shattered heart could have been saved all its hurt so many years ago.

A story about a girl who fights to overcome her past and dances her way into the future she wants. And maybe, just maybe, along the way finds a way to trust again, to love again.

Love, Humor, Passion, Artistry, a story of acceptance.

Book Review: A Fist Full of Evil by Rebecca Chastain

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A Fist Full of Evil is the first book in the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series by Rebecca Chastain. The story revolves around a Madison, a woman who is behind on bills and doesn’t have her life quite in order, who lands a job as an illuminant enforcer. What’s an illuminant enforcer? Madison has no idea and yet somehow she is left with the daunting task of figuring it out in order to rid evil from her region.

I’ll say this; the first half of the book really had me. It was fresh, playful and funny. On a few occasions, it even had me laughing out loud. I applaud the author on her creativity since the world she has created in an overly saturated market of YA fantasy is refreshingly unique. Madison is an interesting character with a temper and her decision making isn’t always the smartest, but I liked her better for it. Her somewhat serial man-crushing and raging hormones were also pretty entertaining. I enjoyed following Madison as she discovered who she really is and what it means to have “soul-sight”. My only complaint though is that somewhere around the middle the novel seems to fall into a slump of sorts. It was also a little long for my liking and I believe that if it had been shorter the lull I experienced wouldn’t have been so noticeable. It did keep me engaged enough to want to finish the story though and happily, by the end, I did feel like I would be interested in picking up the second book and seeing where it goes.

Overall, it’s a good start to a new series. There’s potential here and I look forward to reading more work from Chastain.

Note: I received this novel for free from the author in exchange with an honest review.

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Book Review: Keep from Falling by Amy Vanessa Miller

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This book is different… in the absolute BEST way possible. In a literary world filled with sparkling vampires and bleak dystopian futures, Miller’s novel Keep from Falling is refreshingly unique. The characters are relatable and you quickly find yourself loving them despite their issues (and believe me when I say that they have many). Themes of trust, sexuality and self-discovery are explored throughout the novel in a very believable way and Miller skillfully avoids stereotypes. There are no lulls in this story. The drama begins from the very first page and the twists and turns definitely keep you on your toes. Saying that I couldn’t put it down is an understatement. Miller’s biggest strength (in my opinion) is her ability to write dialogue that feels completely real.

Miller’s work is a prime example of how great books aren’t always published through traditional publishing houses anymore. You got rejected by the literary agents you queried? Doesn’t matter. If your book is good, publish it anyway.

Keep from Falling is a solid debut from self-published author Amy Vanessa Miller and I eagerly look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

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The Moving Van is Unloading…

So, here we are settling into our new blog home! I won’t lie; I hated to abandon my former site however due to reliability problems with the host’s server, here we now are.

As disgruntled I am about leaving my former blog behind, it was time for a change. In addition to the site problem (bad gateway 502, anyone?), my blog goals have (slightly) changed. Like its predecessor, this blog will still center around books though this time around it won’t only be about MY books. Yes friends, you’ve guessed it; I’ve decided to expand my blogging horizons and review books. Book bloggers gave me an amazing platform when I was in the midst of self-publishing and I believe I can return the favor. Besides, I’m always reading something. May as well blog about it.

Those who are a fan of my work, fret not. I will still alert you of upcoming novels and day-to-day writing posts.

I hope you all follow me to my new home (my blog home, not my actual home – that would be super creepy) and that you enjoy my caffeine-hinged rants along the way 🙂

Cheers,

J.D.

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