Flash Reviews Vol 1 – The Romantic One

Romantic One

The Romantic One

Flash reviews will I hope be a regular feature at Crushingcinders and in time for Valentine’s Day here is Vol 1 – The Romantic One.

Writing book reviews is actually a lot harder than I anticipated when I started blogging. Writing isn’t my strong point and neither is sharing my opinion publicly. Then the tentacles of depression, which tend to sneak up on me without warning, snuff out any form of creativity resulting in irregular posting.

These flash snippets of my book thoughts are short, sharp-ish and to the point. They are not published as stand-alone reviews on my blog but usually shared on Goodreads, Social Media and online book outlets.

Any ARC (advanced review copy) reviews were shared with the publisher.

 

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

A heartwarming story with complex, layered and very realistic characters and a rich storyline.
I really liked the way the author handled time, fast forwarding at just the right places throughout the book so the story spans several years and the reader is kept on their to

es.4 star tiny flash reviews

Published: 9 January 2018    Read: 17 December 2017

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository  Loot.co.za(SA) 

Romantic One

 

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Published: 7 March 2017   Read: 13 December 2016

This is a fast-paced, emotional read stuffed full of angst, longing, regret, nostalgia, all packed into the last seven days of Sophia’s expat life in Japan. Full of feels and a slither of insight into Tokyo through expat eyes. 4 star tiny flash reviews

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  Loot.co.za(SA)

Romantic One

 

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say goodbye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

A feel-good story sprinkled with humour. This was just what I needed to get me out of a reading slump. I have liked all of Sarah Dessen’s books but this is my favourite. Complex, fun characters, an unusual setting, interlinking relationships and wit = a great book! 5 star tint flash

Published: 6 June 2017   Read: 20 May 2017

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Romantic One

 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Trouble with Flirting by Rochelle Morgan

A lighthearted, feel-good romance. Perfect for the Summer holidays. 4 star tiny flash reviews

Although part of The Trouble Series each book is a stand-alone.

Published: 1 October 2014   Read: 17 September 2014

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  Loot.co.za(SA) 

Romantic One

 

Labelled a nerd for most of high school, Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself. She can finally enter the popular crowd and maybe even land herself a super hot boyfriend. But Livi’s about to discover that the price of popularity may be more than she’s willing to pay, and that what—and who—she wants most has always been right in front of her. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

By Your Side by Kasie West

As always Kasie West has delivered a sweet, heartfelt YA contemporary romance. Although I do think the characters didn’t appreciate their weekend venue as much as I would have!

Published: 31 January 2017  Read: 9 May 2017

Goodr4 star tiny flash reviewseads   Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)  Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Romantic One When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.  – Abstract from Goodreads  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

French Girl

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

 

“Kate, do you remember that summer?”

I loved The French Girl. Bulging with tension and suspense, I couldn’t put it down and spent the hours away from the book barely functioning as mind swirled around with the possibilities – who did it?

A cold fear is twisting my insides…

The characters individual traits and the relevant events of the past are revealed gradually. An unreliable narrator whose memories are vague, insecurities corrosive and emotions in turmoil. Put together these burn into palpable tension.

Looking back the most striking thing about her is that she knew I didn’t like her and she didn’t care.

Although other reviews describe it as slow, and its not a fast-paced, gripping the edge of the seat thriller, I was captivated throughout.

… his face is starkly bleak; one could photograph him and name it A Study in Grief.

The French Girl is my first 5-star read of 2018 and just what I needed to catapult me out of a six-week reading slump.

We’re now in a macabre version of pass the parcel; when the music stops nobody wants to be holding this prize.

5 star

 

Title: The French GirlFrench Girl

Author: Lexie Elliott

Publication Date: 20 February 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books 

Source: Review copy

 

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They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door. 

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again. 

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free. – Abstract from Goodreads

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

 

Pretty Girls Dancing

Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

 

Pretty Girls Dancing is a mystery thriller with the emphasis on mystery and told in the third-person from the viewpoint of the multiple characters.

Anguish and disbelief revived their inner war, threatening to tear her apart.

While its a decent read, the pacing is slow and I would have liked to see more of the thriller aspect.

Panic still pounded through her veins, but her thoughts were scattered.

The characters are rather undeveloped and I don’t know them well enough to have a vested in their individual stories. Actually, I feel as though the book is more a superficial overview of a story with so much potential.

Her pulse went to ice.

There are some surprises, but for the most part, the plot is quite predictable and I suspect the book may prove to be forgettable.

A hot ball of dread twisted in his belly.

A very compelling cover and abstract promised a dark, twisted thriller but didn’t quite deliver.3 Star

 

 

 

Title: Pretty Girls Dancing

Author: Kylie Brant

Publication Date: 1 January 2018

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Goodreads

Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope— Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

If I Die Before I Wake

If  Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

 

If I Die Before I Wake was the first 2018 release I picked up and I really hope that this is not indicative of the rest of the year… Although highly anticipated, I included a couple of misgivings on the possible duplication of plot and cover of another January 2018 book in my  Adding to TBR January 2018 post. I can’t comment on this yet as I haven’t read the other book but as it turns out this story was disappointing enough all on its own.

As I drifted into awareness I heard voices, mid-conversation.

In a nutshell, the book is extremely slow and pretty boring. Narrated in the first person by the victim whose unusual unreliable point of view could have heightened the suspense but in reality, just didn’t work. I think the addition of a second narrator may have made a difference to the pacing and increased suspense.

The damp sheets started to cool and my skin itched.

Spoiler Alert!

 

Spoiler

Not only is the narrator in a coma, he slips in and out of sleep for the majority of the story and he relies only on his patchy memory and the murky overheard conversations of his hospital visitors.

[collapse]

They came in later that day, or maybe the day after, I can’t be sure.

I felt the narrator’s personality patronising and unlikable and his never-ending circular path of introspection doesn’t add anything positive to the story. I just wished he would shut up! To top it off the ending is a damp fizzle.

The last thing I remembered before I lost consciousness…

But, and here is the thing, I finished it. So there’s that. Which is why I’ve given it a second star.

2 Star

In the middle of the night, I woke up as I often did, disoriented and sweating. Where am I?

 

 

 

Title: If I Die Before I Wake

Author: Emily Koch

Publication Date: 11 January 2018

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Goodreads

How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones

Here, There, Everywhere

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones


I’d been watching the ceiling fan spin all morning, listening to the clickity-clack of its off-kilter rotation.

Here, There, Everywhere is a sweet, feel-good wholesome read. It is also a slow and predictable read. A solid and safe read which I think will enhance its appeal to a wide audience. But it is also written without risk and includes a sprinkle of moral ‘preaching’.

As we continued down the hall, I could hear the piano. My heart skipped a beat and I felt a quick rush of adrenaline.

The characters are one-dimensional, stereotypical and forgettable, which is unfortunate as the story, having no plot, is very character driven.

It had been exactly forty-seven days since Mom had uprooted me and my little brother, Grub from our lifelong home in Chicago…

The themes, (which include adjusting and adapting to a new town, absent parent, following your dreams, first love, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, dealing with death) are touched on so briefly that they hardly make an impact.

Interesting fact about Grub: he only ate foods which were white or yellow.2 Star

 

 

Title: Here, There, Everywhere 

Author: Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones Here, There, Everywhere

Publication Date: 19 December 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

Purchase this book 

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Amazon(UK)

Book Depository

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Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician. 

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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