Book Review: Vignettes by Lola Andrews

Well to start off this review, I am pretty pumped to say that I have surpassed 300 followers on Twitter and have achieved 150 WordPress followers! Thank you so much to everyone that takes the time to read my reviews 🙂 I have loved having book discussions with everyone and will continue to do so. Bringing attention to new author’s books is a passion of mine and I am glad people are interested in hearing what I have to say. I give honest opinions about the books I read and I will stay true to that.

So let us jump into this review, shall we! Vignettes by Lola Andrews is a collection of LGBTQ erotic novellas.

Synopsis: Kamila is fighting loneliness, and her affair with a married woman hardly seems like the solution, Lana and Emma don’t know what they want, other than each other, while Eric, Sam, and Tove are just enjoying each other and their shared life. Meanwhile, Mia is just very horny and missing her wife, Clara and Julia are trapped together in a road trip, Linda is blocked and Jaron and Noah are barely holding on to their sanity.

Meet them and many more in this collection of short stories, which hopes to show the beauty of love had, love lost and love kept. Join these everyday heroes, who take chances in the simplest ways, and who, above all, want nothing but love. These stories of LGBTQ persuasion hope to inspire, warm up and enliven your day.

This was my first time reading erotica and I can honestly say that I am not really a fan. Nothing against the author, I just don’t think this genre is for me. However, it has only been my first experience with it so I am open to trying out others to compare.

The book was OK. There were some short stories that I enjoyed but I found that they lacked in a storyline. I think by focusing more on a storyline and building up to the ultimate climax of the actual sex, it could make these stories more entertaining to read. This may be why Fifty Shades is a big success (never read the book or saw the movie so this could be a shady comparison due to lack of knowledge). For me, I like to learn and grow with the characters, to see their stories blossom into something exciting, intense or dramatic but in these short stories, I felt that most of the characters were thrown together just to fulfill the sexual desire and then nothing else.

There was one I rather enjoyed about two women who were past lovers and then thrown back into each other’s lives due to an investigation on some murders. It had a big Supernatural vibe because they were dealing with werewolves and it was like Sam and Dean hunting down another monster (except in this case they weren’t related and were past lovers). So this one I did enjoy.

But then there was one that got a little incestual about a father and son romance and I couldn’t handle this. This was just too much for me. I could tell what was coming and was cringing when trying to read through it.

My rating reflects my honest opinion. I can see this author doing really well in this genre but my criticism would be to add a little more storyline and build a little more on the characters. Once someone falls into the story and likes/dislikes the characters, then the erotic parts will be that much more meaningful and intense. They will bring a reader to their true climax.

Book Rating: 2.5/5

About the Author: Lola Andrews began writing the moment she developed an imagination. Though her skill has changed with time (for the better!), she has always been hungry for new and better stories, and now hopes to add to the LGBTQ community with her humble offerings. When not writing, Lola can be found pole dancing, drinking wine and watching movies.

You can find Lola on Twitter!

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by the author to read and give an honest review.

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Another Bookstagrammer Shoutout

I have been working on growing my Instagram account and looking for some great bookstagrammers to connect with. There are so many out there that it is hard to choose which ones to feature. In my search, I found some really cool accounts that have to do with bookish items and I figured I would share them!

@booklifesj

She posts a lot of new books she is reading and talks about book events she is going to. I believe she also has a booktube you could check out on her profile.

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@cookie_bookie_

This bookstagrammer posts a lot of photos of their bookshelves and they make me super jealous :P.

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@tumblr.books

I started following her when I saw that we read a bunch of the same books and then just really liked her book photography!

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@sweptawaybooks

This is a fellow Canadian bookstagrammer! She is all the way over in Vancouver though 😛 A lot of her posts usually have a coffee/latte/tea in them and they always make me want to be in a nice warm place reading a book with a cup of some warm beverage. She seems to know a lot of nice reading nooks!

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@kenchireads

Another fellow book reviewer that has read many of the books I have and had similar opinions on them. I also love that they state they are a Ravenclaw in their profile. Anyone in their right mind would be so proud to be a Ravenclaw 🙂

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Those are my bookstagram highlights for this week! I will be sharing more next week about bookish accounts that host subscription boxes, design creative bookmarks (they are handmade) and sell literary scented candles!

Talk to you soon bookworms and if you want to nominate someone to get a shoutout, tell me who in the comments and I will include them in future posts!

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Book Review: To Keep A Secret by Melina Wedin

Another book review for the shelves. This one was called To Keep A Secret by Melina Wedin. It was more of a novella as it was only about 43 pages but I have found a certain love for these types of books. They are not too short but also not too long and they always end with one last line that sticks with you for days afterward.

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Synopsis: A well needed week away from the mainland sounded like a great idea. But this innocent trip to a private island won’t end as well as it began. Tracy finds herself in a situation she could never have imagined as she gets to know the secrets of her love – Ryan Bailey.

The question is: when love turns to fear, how will you survive?

I was drawn in rather quickly to this novella. The main character Tracy was likable and the type of person that has had to earn everything she has. She deserves a break and decides to go on this trip with her friends. The trips starts out great but quickly turns into a nightmare.

I won’t spoil it because it is a pretty short book but I will say that I would not want to be in the circumstances she was in. She has to endure some pretty brutal stuff just to survive another day. You can guess where the plot is going if you have this genre of book but I would still suggest checking this one out.

Another thing that I loved about the book is that it was based in Australia. It has been my dream to go to Australia since grade 4 I think and I will make it there one day.

If you wish to get the book, you can click the link :

You can connect with the author on her website www.melinasvoice.com or catch up with her on her Facebook Page.

Book Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I was sent the book by the author so that I could read it and give an honest review. I have not been compensated in any way.

 

Book Review: The Aletheian Journeys: The Arrow Bringer by Lisa Mayer

A new reviewer has joined the team! Welcome, Sara to the Breakeven Books team. You can find Sara on her Instagram at saramact! She has reviewed The Aletheian Journeys: The Arrow Bringer by Lisa Mayer.

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This novel is a C.S. Lewis inspired Christian fantasy. Taking place in the land of Aletheian, which is in another world, the two main characters fight against the evil ruler, Kotu, to bring peace back to the land through inspiring the love for an omnipotent and near-forgotten caretaker, the Arrow Bringer.

The plot is long and flows from one conflict to the next, never sticking to a traditional storyline, so you don’t know what’s coming next. The author focuses a lot of the book on the inner turmoil of the main character and narrator, Evangeline, as she works through her issues with her initial turning away from the Arrow Bringer and her responsibilities to the people of Aletheia. The secondary character, Shawn, is also struggling with his own faith, though he is much more confident in his role. Through preparing for an epic battle with Kotu and his followers, the Aletheians must go on a journey assigned to them by the Arrow Bringer to prove their love and faith.
Though I enjoyed the fantasy world Mayer had created, the model has some definite flaws. There are several parts where the story is lacking a certain “flow”, and so occasionally reads a bit rough. For example, she introduced a few characters as if we should already know who they were, or mentioned personal relationships between characters that were not exposed at all before that, and so came across as forced.

Unfortunately, the Christian allegory and allusions are about as subtle as a brick. There is no mistaking this for anything other than a Christian story, and in many parts makes such obvious references and defers from the plot so much that it is very distracting from the story. Eventually, the Arrow Bringer character even takes human form, is renamed Justus, and sacrifices himself for his followers. Though I enjoy a good Christian story, this novel is so blunt about it that I found it very distracting from the fantasy elements of the story, and found it hard to enjoy because of this.

Overall, this book has a good premise, as the idea behind the fantasy elements of the story is entertaining and intriguing. The author fleshes out the characters she chooses to very well, and makes them relatable. I enjoyed reading through Evangeline’s personal journey as she progressed through the story. Unfortunately, the bluntness of the Christian elements detract from the overall story and make it hard to read without feeling like you’re reading the New Testament.

Book Rating: 3/5.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author for an honest review. We have not been compensated in any way.

Find the book on Amazon! Or check out the author’s website. You can also find Lisa Mayer on Twitter.

Talk to you soon bookworms!

New Giveaway Alert!!

I have been talking with many authors and receiving so many requests to review books lately and it has been a blast. There will be a lot of interesting reviews coming down the line! But for now, I am hosting a giveaway. You may have remembered me doing a book highlight for Star City by Edwin Peng. Well, they sent me an extra copy of the book to host a giveaway 🙂

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All you have to do is like this post and share it on social media! Don’t forget to tag @BreakevenBooks in your post so I know that it was posted and to add your entry into the draw.

I also linked up with thisiswriting.com to promote some books. They have The Ultimate List of Fiction Books You Should Read At Least Once in Your Life and it has some good ones on it. Make sure to check them out if you get a chance!

Also excited to share some reviews from others that are helping me out with the blog. I will be posting their reviews once they are done the books I assigned to them.

Alright well, make sure to enter the giveaway and good luck bookworms!

What character can you relate to the most?

This had me racking my brain for awhile to come up with a character I relate to. I don’t know if this is the best choice but it was the closest I could think of. I would say that I relate to Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games but Suzanne Collins.

Now I am not nearly as strong as Peeta, but I was thinking more in his way of creativity and his nature he has about him. We both put all our energy into what we want to achieve and stay true to what we believe. I will be outgoing most of the time but also conserved and attentive at other times.

This was the closest I could come to a character that somewhat resembles me. I guess this just means I need to read more books so I can find a similar character to myself. Clearly we aren’t that similar because I couldn’t find much to write about our resemblances. I challenge you guys to find a character that is close to your personality. If you can come up with one, tell me in the comments!

Short but sweet post today on lazy Sunday! Talk to you soon bookworms 🙂

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Another John Green book to add to the bookshelf! God I love his writing. Every time I pick up one of his books, he surprises me with how much he gets into his characters.

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I really enjoyed this book. This is my version of a synopsis:

Aza is struggling with mental illness and the loss of her father as her and her friend Daisy attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a famous local billionaire. The way they find most of the clues to the case is through the billionaire’s son Davis. There is romance, confusion, chaos and humour all packed into this novel.

What is enjoyable to me is the fact that you get to see inside Aza’s mind and how she is in a constant struggle with herself dealing with the demon she believes is trapped inside. She doesn’t think that she belongs to her own body and is fighting to stay in control of herself rather than let her inner demons win. Her thought processes and how she goes back and forth as if she is two personalities fascinates me. She lets the smallest things ruin her day which is interesting because that is from my perspective but from hers, it is a huge deal because of her mental illness.

And Davis has his own problems that he deals with. His younger brother Noah is just looking for a father figure to look up to and he just wants someone to believe in. Davis puts all his emotions into his love of astrology and tries to grasp at something he deep down knows he can never have by trying to start a relationship with Aza.

Both of these characters have lost someone very close to them and you can see that it affects them greatly throughout the book. They are just two lost minds trying to stay connected on the constant tumble down the spiral.

If you are interested in Mental Illness at all, this would be a good book to read. I will admit that it is not really a “feel good” book but none the less, it is still a fascinating read in my eyes because I learned a lot about how someone living with mental illness perceives the world.

You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and wrote this review because I wanted to. I am not being compensated in any way for this review.

 

What book makes you cry?

Well I am inside today as we got a dumping of snow last night so why not prep some blog posts for the week. This one is about a book that makes me cry. The first one that comes to mind, well the first book to make me cry ever was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Cedric Diggory died at the end.  I don’t cry very easily so it’s hard to find a book that can make me spring a tear. I guess the last one to do it would be Allegiant of the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

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Synopsis: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read any further if you are reading this book.

This book brought a tear to my eye because you get to know and love Tris who is the main character. She is the embodiment of this entire series and you fight with her, struggle with her, and love with her. Then it gets to the end and like any amazing main character, she sacrifices herself to save everyone else and BOOM your main character is dead. This was probably the first book I have read where they killed off the main character and shifted the narration to another character after they died. It actually crushed me when I read it because I didn’t expect them to do that and I know it got a lot of backlash but I actually like that the author was bold enough to do that.

What book makes you cry of if you are less emotional, at least brings a tear to your eye? Let me know in the comments below! Talk to you later bookworms.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I don’t know about you guys but when I first learned to read, it was the most exciting thing in the world to me. I could explore anywhere through imagination an become immersed in different adventures all without leaving the couch or reading nook. The first full book I read that I can remember is the 1st book in the Magic Treehouse series.


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Synopsis: Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

If you grew up in the 90’s, then you definitely have read these books. There are over 100 of them now, you would think that they would run out of adventures to go on but nope. I remember feeling so proud of myself for finishing this book all in one sitting. These books were great for learning to read. This probably started my obsession with having a treehouse.

Let me know what the first book you remember reading is in the comment below. Talk to you soon bookworms 🙂

What is your favourite book turned into a movie?

This one is pretty easy to answer for me. I’m not even sure if I talked about this book yet or not but I wouldn’t be surprised if I have. My favourite adaptation is The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I saw the movie for this book first and had to read the book after to see how the characters were portrayed in written form. So I bought the book and read it on my trip to the Dominican Republic.

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Synposis: Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!

This book was fantastic. The characters were somewhat difficult to follow and it was great because Pat and Tiffany were each dealing with their own mental issues so it gave you insight into what it was like to be inside the mind of someone suffering from mental illness. The book deals a lot with mental illness and addresses it in a way that is constructive. Pat had to work on himself and use the help of others to figure out that he needed to change his life and to stop wanting someone that wasn’t coming back. I really felt for Pat. Many times while reading this book, I would stop and think about my own life and how I had to change and struggled once I came out of a 3 year long relationship. In a way, this book was a form of therapy for me (reading generally is but this book especially).

I liked the ending of the book much better than the movie but it was still kept pretty accurate throughout the movie. All the actor/actress choices were phenomenal too. Tell me what your favourite book to movie adaptation is in the comments. Talk to you later bookworms!