Above the Star by Alexis Marie Chute

Welcome to the The 8th Island Trilogy Series blog tour hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water

What I Loved:

The utter craziness of this story was so intriguing! I think that sometimes, it’s just so fun to dive into a book that takes you into the oddest moments and quirkiest characters, and that’s exactly what I got with this story!

How I Felt:

Above the Star was seriously one of the wildest, craziest books I have read in a while. The world was very different, and it takes some getting used to, but I think if there are readers that are interested in immersing themselves in a totally new and different place, this would be a great series for them! I also liked that there is a glossary in the back of the book to help you figure out what’s happening. I thought it was a needed, and nice, addition!

Continue reading “Above the Star by Alexis Marie Chute”

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water
Oona Out of Order Cover with girl's face and book title
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

What I Loved:

I LOVED everything about this book! The time travel was fabulous, Oona was a wonderful character, and the story unfolded with surprises big and small.

My Synopsis:

It’s New Year’s Eve, and the Eve of Oona’s birthday. She is partying with her friends and boyfriend to count down to the new year (and turning 19). The clock strikes midnight, and she awakes…in a new house and a significantly older birthday.

This is the beginning of Oona’s new life. As she turns a year older, she bounces to a new year in her body, sometimes older, sometimes younger. There’s no explanation as to why, it’s just the life she must now live.

As Oona travels from year to year, she finds struggles in the knowledge of things to come, and the unknown of what happened in years she hasn’t lived. This story takes the reader on Oona’s life as she experiences her life, out of order.

How I Felt:

I love time travel. I talk about my love of it all the time, so sorry, but here’s another FABULOUS time travel book! Holy moly, I enjoyed this book! The time travel was such an interesting twist. She can’t control it, and it’s not a one-time jump. She jumps at each birthday into another year in her life.

Continue reading “Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore”

Virginia and the Vagabond by Skyler Frey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Well, what a delightful book this was! I loved that this book had so many surprises. I literally had jaw-dropping moments multiple times in this book. Something completely unexpected would happen and I was just completely taken by surprise! I loved it!

My Synopsis:

We meet Virginia as she does her daily household duties for the Howards, a prestigious English family. Virginia, we soon find, has a secret! Two years ago, she stumbled across a time warp and landed in the past. She hasn’t figured out how to get home, so she has hung up her Metallica t-shirt and her dreams of owning an art gallery in exchange for the only work she can find, a lady’s maid.

She is about to give her notice to her employers when her lady shows her a photo of the gentleman caller for tonight’s dinner. Virginia cannot believe it. It is Eric Rylander, and Virginia knows him…from the future. Through an accidental comment, Eric realizes that Virginia is also from the future. A bond is immediately formed that leads to a steamy romance with one problem. Eric is all but engaged to Lady Lara Howard.

How I Felt:

Virginia and the Vagabond was more than just a romance. There are elements of a woman’s struggle for equality as well as touching on gender identity. I liked all the layers within the story that made it an engrossing read.

Continue reading “Virginia and the Vagabond by Skyler Frey”

Death Donor by Matt Ward

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

A kick-A** female lead will always get me excited about a book, and Death Donor absolutely had that!! Samantha Jones was this interesting, amazing woman.

How I Felt:

The story drops the reader into a world where humans donate their bodies to extend the life of others. It’s the ultimate rich versus poor view of the world. Only the wealthy can afford these procedures, while the poor exchange their lives for the payout to keep the rest of their family alive and fed.

Samantha Jones is a bodyguard for Ethan Anderson, one of the wealthiest men in the world, and an owner of one of the life-extension companies. Her job provides “death insurance” so she considers herself lucky.

Then her daughter goes missing. Ugh, this broke my heart! Sam and her husband search for their daughter and soon find out that she was sold on the black market to an underground lab for body parts to extend someone else’s life.

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The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. I liked the story that was being told and loved where I thought the book was going to go.

How I Felt:

Overall, I found this book to be a bit of a let-down. The story started strong, and I was really invested. It sort of stumbled and never found its footing again about 30-40% in.

A Companion is the mental awareness of a human that has been placed into a robotic casing. These casings range from low-end R2-D2-like robots all the way up to human-looking companions. People lease companions for friendship, to keep family members with them when they near death, and a variety of other reasons.

The number of characters was overwhelming. The beginning started with a companion, Lilac, and a young girl quarantined in a home. The companion is sharing her life’s story with the girl, and I was really interested in where the plot was headed. Then, we meet a young employee at a nursing home, then a young girl on the street, then an actor/companion, and the list just keeps going. It became a confusing list of characters that I couldn’t connect with and didn’t care about.

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Testaments was everything I hoped it would be! I loved the three perspectives that this story was told through. It propelled the book forward and gave insight into different things that were happening. The three characters that were narrating had different experiences and thoughts, and I enjoyed all three.

How I Felt:

Hyped books come with a lot of expectation. I put off reading this one for quite a while. I was extremely worried I wouldn’t like it and would be utterly disappointed. The beginning of this book was a bit slow as the scene was set and characters were introduced. It picked up a few chapters in though, and didn’t slow back down at all!

The characters were surprising. I didn’t expect Aunt Lydia to make an appearance in this book, but I’m so glad she did. Her portions provided SO much backstory. She gave me all the answers to questions I had after reading The Handmaid’s Tale! She was rigid and strict, but she has another side that was surprising and extremely interesting.

Continue reading “The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – Book Review”

The Reckoning by D.M. Taylor – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

D.M. Taylor’s The Reckoning created a mixture of science fiction and real-life feel that had me utterly captivated. The characters were well-built and easy to love. The story was a fabulous journey that so many readers will enjoy. Overall, I loved everything about this book!

How I Felt:

The characters Taylor created were so relatable. I connected to each sister in a different way. I loved that Taden was this super-smart woman who had cracked the code to time-travel, and yet she was vulnerable. She falls in love with the wrong men, she has a history that is filled with regret, and she feels the need to protect her sister, Ruth. Ruth’s story was incredibly interesting to me. She is a woman who was once lost but has found her way, only to have everything uprooted in a surprising turn of events. Her decisions throughout the story kept me captivated, and I enjoyed following her story.

Continue reading “The Reckoning by D.M. Taylor – Book Review”

The Evergreen Life Experiment by Aviva Gat – Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

It is rare to read a book with main characters that are elderly. They are usually supporting characters, or older in the beginning, but most of their story is told through a flashback. The Evergreen Life Experiment was not that at all. It is a book filled with main characters that are all living in a retirement facility. They are all 75 years or older, and it is wonderful to see a focus on this generation!

How I Felt:

This story was so much fun! A group of live-in residents for an elderly community are given the opportunity to take a pill that will stop and possibly reduce the signs of aging. There are quite a few people that jump at the chance immediately, while others are skeptical and choose not to take it. As the results start to show on some of the characters, others want to join in and agree to take it as well. The Evergreen Life Experiment focuses on each character’s individual history and experiences leading up to and after taking this new trial drug.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The world Ernest Cline has created is one that completely envelopes the reader and takes them into the story and into the game. I loved this world. I do play video games. I remember the Atari I couldn’t wait to turn on when I visited my aunt and uncle, and when I got my Nintendo, I was SO excited. So, even though I don’t play much anymore, it was so much fun to delve into this crazy virtual reality world that Cline built.

How I Felt:

I listened to Ready Player One and while I am sure that reading this book will elicit the same exciting response I had to this story, I would like to highly recommend the audio edition. The narrator was wonderful. If you do not like to pay for audio, I found it through Libby at my library!

Continue reading “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review”

Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Cynetic Wolf was such a fast-paced story! It felt like from page one, I was immersed in this world and in the middle of the story. If you are looking for something that immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, this is the book!

How I Felt:

First of all, can we just talk about this fabulous cover? I love all of the elements of the story that are built into this artwork! It’s seriously a cover that I keep looking at again and again because it is filled with amazing things to see!

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A Rollercoaster of Emotions: The God Game by Danny Tobey – Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Danny Tobey has created this amazing and scary AI world and made it come to life. I loved how he built the world up, layer by layer, starting with only the computer and then moving to the phones, then the glasses, and so on. He really designed this horrifying game and wrote about it in a way that made me feel like I was right there.

How I Felt:

The God Game is a nightmare! I was terrified at the thought of this being a real thing and I loved that. The author was able to pull emotions out of me that made me terrified and worried and obsessed!

The Writing: The story was easy to get absorbed in because the writing was so good! I felt like there was zero down-time as we just flew from action-packed scene to action-packed scene. I was completely lost when there was a reference to coding. The writer chose to use the coding language at times, showing a “0101011” kind of language to show the reader the coding. This was completely meaningless to me, but I read past it and found that it did not affect my love of this story one bit!

The Characters: Each character had such backstory and depth. There was heartbreak for each of them, but hope too. They were easy to connect to and I was so worried for them throughout this story!

The Plot: AHHH! This plot! The idea of a game taking control of everything in your life. Do you love you dad? Y/N? And not being able to move on without answering the question, and then what happens once you answer? It was terrifying to think about! I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know if they were going to be ok or not!

Overall: I fully enjoyed this book! The action and excitement in the story, along with the well-built characters and great writing made this a wonderful book!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The God Game for readers that enjoy action-packed thrillers. The book blurb states that it is a little like Stranger Things, and I would agree. It’s mixing reality with a game. So, if you enjoyed Stranger Things, or Jumanji for that matter, you would enjoy this!

Where to Find This Book:

The God Game by Danny Tobey is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Audible | Goodreads

A group of friends stumble on an internet game that sounds fun at first, but quickly turns into a nightmare.

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

Creepy right!! So they all agree that even though the game stated they could die, it must be just in the game and they will be fine. They all accept to play and discover that their phones have become a gateway into the game. Viewing their real-world surroundings through their phones, they see the gamespace. The world they are in, but altered and creepy.

As they begin to play, they start to realize that this is an all-too-real kind of game. They each begin to have secrets from one another as the game starts to pull them apart. Can they find a way to work together to escape the game, or are they in this for life?

Just the Facts:

  • The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • Genre: Thriller / Science Fiction / Suspense
  • Page Count: 464 pages
  • Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
  • Pub Date: January 7, 2020

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #mystery #thriller #sciencefiction #thegodgame #suspense #stmartinspress #dannytobey

The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy – A Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Going Back Portal takes no time to jump right into the story and I loved that!! It was so fun to have the book get right down to the story and it made me invest in it so quickly.

How I Felt:

The Writing: Connie Lacy has managed to weave a time-travel story together so well! She has woven together the story of two women in two different time periods with elegant story telling. It was beautiful to read.

The Characters: Kathryn Spears is the main character in The Going Back Portal and she is a bit reckless at times, but overall, a strong MC. As a headstrong, independent news producer, she jumps right into situations that lead to some nerve-wracking times.

The Plot: Kathryn goes to visit her grandmother and is transported back in time where her decisions and actions will change her future. In the past, Kathryn meets a Cherokee woman in an abusive relationship. The two work together to right wrongs, both falling in love in their own times, and trying to avoid choices that will damage their futures.

The plot was interesting and well written. I was captivated by the story and even found humor in some scenes, lightening the mood a bit. I loved the balance of the story in the 1840’s and present day. It was a great mix and blended together well.

Content Warning: Domestic violence.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Going Back Portal for readers that are looking for a time-travel story with some historical aspects and a bit of romance.

Where to Find This Book:

The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

Kathryn Spears is a skeptical producer for a TV investigative news team. So when her grandmother claims a Cherokee Indian woman is living on a neighboring farm, she dismisses it as early Alzheimer’s. Because, obviously, there is no farm nearby. Not in the present anyway. But when she follows Nana’s lead, Kathryn is transported back in time to the year 1840 where she finds a young Cherokee woman left behind when her family marched west on the Trail of Tears. 

Forest Water is ensnared in a perilous struggle to keep her ancestral lands against a violent white man who claims the farm, and then claims her as well. Desperate to help her new friend, Kathryn becomes entangled in a battle between good and evil with much higher stakes than she imagines.

Each of these young women falls in love with a man from her own time, but there are threats, both seen and unseen, that could cost them their lives.

Just the Facts:

  • The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy
  • Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy / Romance
  • Page Count: 326 pages
  • Publisher:  Wild Falls Publishing 
  • Pub Date: February 12, 2019

A huge thank you to Lola’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. You can find out more about Lola’s Blog Tours here!

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #romance #thegoingbackportal #connielacy #lolasbooktours #sciencefiction #timetravel