Mini Review: Ruckus by Laurie Elmquist

Our external reviewer Sara has another mini-review for us! She has been recommending a lot of great middle grade books and here is another to add to that list!

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Synopsis: Reece’s new dog, Ruckus, tears through life like a Tyrannosaurus rex. He bites everything that moves and drives Reece’s mom nuts. The puppy was Dad’s idea, to make things easier for Reece after his parents’ separation, but Ruckus is not easy at all and Mom is getting fed up. When her diamond earrings go missing, it sends the family into a tailspin. What happens when a dog swallows something precious? Reece is about to find out. But they can’t give up on this little Jack Russell terror, can they? He’s family, after all.

I really enjoyed this as a beginning reader’s chapter book. It was a pretty quick read, so I don’t think an emerging reader would have too much trouble reading this on their own. The plot was fast-paced and fun, with some great messages for the reader about family troubles, which I thought was helpful. They did a great job showing what it was like to have a family member who isn’t the best at their job; in this case, the father. I would really recommend this to a young reader.

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If any of you out there like Brandon Sanderson, then you should check out my latest video. It is a reading vlog of his book Skyward and I had quite a time reading this one!

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Book Review: Dork

Can’t come out tonight? Why? Because I am all booked up! I am busy reading Dork by Will Winkle.

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Synopsis: Ray Cooper is graduating from college and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life – stop me if you’ve heard this before. Besides his impending graduation, Coop also has the problem of trying to start a new relationship in the shadow of his last one. Plus, his term project is due in two weeks. He’s also losing his hair. Alright, he has a few problems. Over a weekend, Ray attends the birthday party of a girl he isn’t sure if he knows, meets odd people at bars, and looks forward to the last hurrah he and his friends have planned for Saturday when the local bars are offering discounts to anyone with wristbands sold for charity. There’s no way any of this could go wrong.

This book was half and half for me because I am a very plot-driven person when it comes to books and this one was kind of lacking in the plot department. However, its main protagonist was very humorous and a lot of thought was put into his character which evened out the playing field.

I also enjoyed that they had little footnotes at the bottom of some pages to kind of break the fourth wall and add little funny descriptors that lightened up the mood of the book and from time to time brought a smile to my face. I will say that footnotes are not for everyone and know that they bring some people out of the story but I think they complimented this one well considering there was not much plot to follow.

It also gave me a bit of nostalgia for my college days when I would go to parties and drink on the weekends (a lot more than I do now). Some of the routines the people had in this book as college students were spot on. And yes, we Canadians do call Mcdonalds “Don’s”.

Imagine having a guy carry around a camera in a fraternity house all day and then show you that movie. This book would be that end result. You will see the life of a college student and get some laughs out of it (including his struggles of trying to get the girl).

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in an ebook format by the author to read and give my honest review.



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Time to show off what I am reading in March!! I’m getting more ambitious each month. Soon I will be reading 10 books a month (haha yea right). What are you guys reading?

Book Review: Saga Vol 2-5

I love me some graphic novels!! And I read the first one of the Saga series a long time ago but remember loving it so it was about time I got back into the series. Markus bought me Saga Volumes 2 to 5 for Christmas and I can tell you that I read through all of these so fast!

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I will try and give one synopsis since this review post is entailing 4 volumes but essentially it is about 2 people from different races (their races are at war with each other) that fall in love and have a child together. They are constantly on the run since they are being pursued by both sides for committing the crime of being with someone of the opposite race in an affectionate manner. Also, it is set on multiple planets and in space so there is that!

Jumping back into this series was like a breath of fresh air. It feels so good to read these graphic novels because they have everything you could ask for: intense action sequences, family drama, political intrigue and random bouts of vulgarity that brings lots of laughter every time I encounter it. Plus they never let up on entering new characters into the series (probably because not a lot of them last that long, real Game of Thrones vibes).

The entire storyline is told in a narration style of the child as they are growing up. It’s a very cool perspective that unravels in the kind of innocence a small child would have when this story is anything but innocent. They don’t squander away from any of the explicit scenes which is another reason why it is so great. Those scenes are short and fun but they keep it real to benefit their audience and give it that authenticity that makes this series so popular.

If you haven’t heard of saga then you need to check it out! They are made by Image Comics and I feel like it is an underrated series that needs a little more spotlight!

Book Ratings:

Volume 2: 5/5
Volume 3: 5/5
Volume 4: 4/5
Volume 5: 4/5

You can buy these books on Amazon and find them on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: These books were given to me as a gift and I read and reviewed them because I wanted to. I was not compensated in any way for this review.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

This video was so much fun to film! It’s the book version of “Kiss, Marry, Kill”. If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest you try. It was hard! So many books I love. It was like The Hunger Games book edition LOL. 

Book Review: Lucky Star

Our external reviewer Sara sent in another review. She works at a library so she is always surrounded by books (that’s the dream) and then keeps on reading books for fun at home in her free time. She also is very passionate about her yarn creature creations which you can find at AdorkableLilCrafties. Anyways, the book she reviewed was Lucky Star by Holly Curtis.

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Synopsis: Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

This book was pretty awesome. It was sweet, authentic, engaging, and new. If you like coming-of-age novels, like those by John Green, I think you’d enjoy this.

Curtis does an excellent job of portraying a teenage boy in a way that felt so real, I was shocked to learn that the author was a woman. It felt like the perfect snapshot into a teenage boy in England in the 80s.

There’s angst, teenage antics, too-real anxiety and depression, and all in such a natural way it felt like really reading his diary. I wasn’t really sure where this book was heading when I began it, as the characters were kind of little prats; I soon realized this was the point, and I enjoyed getting to read about them growing and learning about themselves in a natural way.

The character development and plot progression felt natural and entertaining, and I was definitely engaged in where the story was going. Our narrator, Ben, took us through summer in England for a group of delinquent youths, while they tried to figure out what to do with their lives after school.

If you enjoy realistic coming-of-age novels, I think any reader would find it surprisingly easy to relate to this character, as he navigates finding himself and where he fits in in his town, including brief snapshots into what it’s like to have anxiety, without it being the focus of the novel or a deterrent to readers who aren’t comfortable discussing mental health.

Holly Curtis did an excellent job, and I was amused to read along with Ben, following his journey and learning about what it might be like to be an English teenage boy.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an e-book format by the author to read and give an honest review.



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Guys! I read so many books in January
! It was a great reading month for me and now I will share it with you. Check it out if you want to and let me know what you think!

Book Review: One Queen Of An Ending

I started this series and finished it in the same year. Very thankful to Zachary Ryan for reaching out to me to see if I wanted to read his book. I had never read a book with this much drama and I loved every second of it. Now I have read the final book in the series, One Queen of an Ending, and it did the series justice.

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Synopsis: It’s time to say goodbye to our Johnson Prep favorites before they all head off to college.

After the gossip-worthy events of graduation and the shocking death of one of their classmates, it seems The Queen of Queens wants to give Danielle, Bethany, Calvin, Tucker, and Aman one last hurrah.

Will everything have a happy ending, or will one of our favorites end up 6 feet under? How will the war end with the salacious arrival of returning students, Andrew and Jasmine? They all had one lesson left to learn: Just because high school is over, doesn’t mean the high school drama ends. They’re all about to take their curtain call, but will it end as a comedy or a tragedy?

I want to start off saying that I really enjoyed this book series as a whole. There was so much drama and it was narrated by a witty, comeback queen which gave it that extra bit of awesome.

The last book wraps up all the storylines of all the characters and gives them an ending that they rightfully deserve. I am sad to see this series come to an end but it was one heck of a ride.

I do believe that this book could have had a little bit more too it. I find that I feel this way a lot of the time when I know a series is coming to an end. This one just didn’t have as much “WOW” factor to it which makes sense since I had read 2 books just like it before this one. This was the slow path to the end.

After reading this series, I am excited to see what else Zach has to offer. I find his writing style very unique and am looking forward to reading his other books.

Overall, I would recommend checking out the High School Queens trilogy. It will give you all the sass you will ever need 🙂

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Review: Tell Me Why

It’s about time that I got back into thrillers! I recently read Tell Me Why by Ruth O’Neill to satisfy this craving that I have been having for the genre.

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Synopsis: Lauren Adams is just an ordinary single girl, until one split-second decision throws her life into crisis.

When she meets the handsome and intriguing Max Davies during a girls’ weekend away, she can’t believe her luck. But it soon turns out to be her biggest mistake. Max gets accused of murder, a murder that allegedly happened on the same night he and Lauren met.

Is Max really the man she thinks he is? Is he really innocent of murder? And why does Lauren hear him late at night, building something in the basement – a basement he’s made clear is out of bounds?

Tell me why follows a woman who just wants to be loved, but who instead ends up in a tangled web of lies, deceit, and terror. A chilling read you won’t stop talking about.

I have found a love for thriller books and this is now one I can add to the shelf of decent books from that genre.

I liked Lauren as the main character but I found that she didn’t have that much depth to her. It was told in mainly her perspective with little snippets into the mind of Max (the secondary perspective). A lot of the decisions that were made by Lauren were questionable but I can see how she would have come to these conclusions in her decision making considering the position she was put in.

It was also a pretty easy read considering it was not that long. I kind of wish that some of the characters introduced at the beginning had a more present role in the book to add some more diversity to the cast. It would have made it a little bit less predictable.

That being said, there were definitely parts of this book that creeped me out (and I love that)! Some of the things that the characters endured were not pleasant and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. That feeling of desperation and needing an escape are why this genre is so gripping to me.

Overall, I would recommend this as a starter into the thriller genre to get a taste for it.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in an e-book format to read and give an honest review.


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Review: And Hell Followed With Him

It is about time that I got back to some good old fiction! I recently read And Hell Followed With Him by J.M. Bedard and it was pretty decent.

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Synopsis: Winter is approaching fast in the windswept plains along the Canada/US border; the landscape is bleak, but the prospects of the people living there, even more so.
Dave returns home for the first time since he left as a teenager and finds his family in disarray; the Mathises, once reigning over all criminal aspects of the area, have begun to lose their grip. Palmer, the patriarch, has only gotten more bloodthirsty in his old age, an influence that has begun to rub off on Dave’s brother, Jed. It seems that the more the Mathises try to manage their own affairs, the stronger things spin out of control. Soon nearly everyone in town is drawn into the mess, from morally bankrupt cops to teenagers, to Dave himself.

Loyalties and grudges, left to fester, underpin every decision.
Family binds together, then wrenches apart- and Dave, not quite a local but not a stranger, cannot fully cleave himself from it all.

He will try- and the results will leave no one untouched.

This book started off with such an intense scene and it pulled me in. I found it to be quite an interesting read with all the perspectives you were able to explore as the reader. The mafia-style family that has control over the town is in such a mess with all their drama and it kept me reading to see what happened with them. I haven’t seen many episodes of this show but I would compare it to Bloodline from Netflix.

There is one character called “The Canadian” and they are supposed to be this ominous, powerful, menacing character which I find really funny because I am Canadian and I just picture him being very nice and saying sorry a lot (which is a stereotype but a lot of us do that ;P).

I wasn’t a huge fan of how it ends. I’m not sure if there are going to be more books added to this or if it is just a standalone but it seemed like there would be more. There are a lot of unanswered questions I have which is why I think I feel this way.

I would read more books by this author to see their journey as a writer. I will say that they could pull off some of the personas of their characters really well. All in all, I did like the book and it kept my attention enough to read the whole way through.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads. Check out the author’s Instagram to keep up to date with her!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in the ebook format to read and give my honest review.


2019 was a year full of reading and I compiled a list of the top 10 books of the year that I read. Watch the video and let me know if you agree with any of them!

Book Spotlight: Death In Smoke

Congratulations to author, Barbara Elle, on the release of her exciting thriller, Death in Smoke! For more details, be sure to read on!

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Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2)

*Each book in The Cape Mysteries can be read as a standalone novel

Publication Date: Dec. 5th, 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

A bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

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About the Author

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In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 7th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 8th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

January 9th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 10th

Ally’s Reading Corner (Spotlight) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


2019 was a year full of reading and I compiled a list of the top 10 books of the year that I read. Watch the video and let me know if you agree with any of them!

Book Review: Heralds

I read this graphic novel in December for my Blitzen prompt of the Reindeer Readathon and it did not really live up to my expectations of it.

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Synopsis: Powerful forces are converging on Earth and the women of the Marvel Universe are at the center of it! Years ago, a herald of Galactus sacrificed her life for the universe. Little did anyone realize, a shred of that spirit lived on…and now she’s back for vengeance on those who abandoned her. The most powerful super heroines of the Marvel Universe must put aside their differences to stop this threat before the Earth is destroyed. Emma Frost, She-Hulk, Agent Abigail Brand, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Monica Rambeau, Sue Storm…these mighty women will be put to the test as never before, as cities are destroyed, families are torn apart, and a cosmic resurrection changes the heroes’ lives forever! COLLECTING: Heralds #1-5

I was kind of unimpressed with this graphic novel. I was looking forward to it when I read that it was about a bunch of badass, strong female characters but they didn’t really live up to the badass part. There were barely any intense fight scenes. It was just lacking in a strong story arc.

The one thing I liked was Valkyrie and the comments she makes in every dire situation. She doesn’t seem to understand being subtle due to her Norse heritage and it comes off in an entertaining way.

You could read this graphic novel if you want and I am sure that it gets better (if there are more to the series) but I will probably not pick up any more issues because I know there are many other great graphic novels out there.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and read it because I wanted to. 


2019 was a year full of reading and I compiled a list of the top 10 books of the year that I read. Watch the video and let me know if you agree with any of them!

Book Review: Kingdom Of Souls

Need an intense, diverse fantasy full of magic and betrayal? Then look no further because I have just the book for you. I read Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barren and it fits all of these things.

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Synopsis: Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

This book had a refreshing cast of all diverse characters. I think there were actually no white characters at all and that was a first for me.

I would call this a slow burn fantasy at first because there was a little bit of information dumping at the beginning as the world is being built for the readers. But it builds into a huge crescendo by the end and had me glued to the pages wanting to know how it all came to an end (at least for this one since it is the start of a series).

Arrah was a likeable character and her personal growth throughout the book was developed in such a way that you wouldn’t consider her to be the same person by the end. She puts the “strong” in a strong female character.

There were a bunch of tribes that all had unique names and they represented different parts of the nation. I found them to be a little hard to keep track of but that was only a minor detail.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a great, diverse fantasy full of plot twists and sacrifice.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in physical format by Harper Collins to read and give an honest review. 


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

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