Lauren Dootson

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Lauren Dootson's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Lauren Dootson

  • Project ELE on Aug. 18, 2012

    This book was given to me by the authors for review. This story follows Willow, the main character, and her friends, Alec, Claire, and Connor, in an "end of days" era. Now, don't go running for the hills yet. I know a lot of people don't really enjoy reading books in that genre, but trust me, you NEED to read this series! When you hear apocalypse or end of days your brain automatically goes to zombies, or weird vampire hybrid zombies. This is not the case with this series. Yes, there is a virus, but it's not a zombie-eating-your-flesh virus. This is just a really painful, crappy way to die. Who wants that? No one! So, in swoops the "government" to fix the problem. They create "shelters" to house some of the people who have survived the super virus, depending on whether or not they pass a few tests to get in. Some are approved entry and some are denied entry. Think of it as a mix between the movies "2012" (with the ships that "everyone" goes in to survive the flood) and "The Crazies" (with the testing to determine if they get to leave the city or not). Very good, very suspenseful, very fun! I laughed, I cried, my heart raced with the suspense. What I love most about this book is that it's fast paced, but not so fast that you can't keep up with what's going on and who the supporting characters are. It's a bit of a who-done-it mixed in with a bit of conspiracy. You really just get such a great mix of so many different genres that there is something for everyone. And while this is a Young Adult series, it is really just an all ages (well, children under 10 probably wouldn't care less, I mean boys do have cooties you know - YUCK!) book. Teenagers can relate to the characters, they'll be able to read Willow's thoughts and think to themselves, "I know exactly what she means!" Adults will read the story and think, "I remember that..." But do you know what the best part is about this book? I couldn't guess what was going to happen next. Generally, when reading, or even watching a movie, at some point I can figure out what's going to happen next and how the story will end. Not with this. Great job, ladies! Grab a copy, it's not expensive, it won't break the bank if it's not your cup of tea. But, what if it is, and you miss out?
  • Project ELE on Aug. 18, 2012

    This book was given to me by the authors for review. This story follows Willow, the main character, and her friends, Alec, Claire, and Connor, in an "end of days" era. Now, don't go running for the hills yet. I know a lot of people don't really enjoy reading books in that genre, but trust me, you NEED to read this series! When you hear apocalypse or end of days your brain automatically goes to zombies, or weird vampire hybrid zombies. This is not the case with this series. Yes, there is a virus, but it's not a zombie-eating-your-flesh virus. This is just a really painful, crappy way to die. Who wants that? No one! So, in swoops the "government" to fix the problem. They create "shelters" to house some of the people who have survived the super virus, depending on whether or not they pass a few tests to get in. Some are approved entry and some are denied entry. Think of it as a mix between the movies "2012" (with the ships that "everyone" goes in to survive the flood) and "The Crazies" (with the testing to determine if they get to leave the city or not). Very good, very suspenseful, very fun! I laughed, I cried, my heart raced with the suspense. What I love most about this book is that it's fast paced, but not so fast that you can't keep up with what's going on and who the supporting characters are. It's a bit of a who-done-it mixed in with a bit of conspiracy. You really just get such a great mix of so many different genres that there is something for everyone. And while this is a Young Adult series, it is really just an all ages (well, children under 10 probably wouldn't care less, I mean boys do have cooties you know - YUCK!) book. Teenagers can relate to the characters, they'll be able to read Willow's thoughts and think to themselves, "I know exactly what she means!" Adults will read the story and think, "I remember that..." But do you know what the best part is about this book? I couldn't guess what was going to happen next. Generally, when reading, or even watching a movie, at some point I can figure out what's going to happen next and how the story will end. Not with this. Great job, ladies! Grab a copy, it's not expensive, it won't break the bank if it's not your cup of tea. But, what if it is, and you miss out?
  • Exposing ELE on Dec. 18, 2012

    ***This book was given to me by the authors for an honest review*** Exposing ELE is the third book in the ELE Series, and it does not disappoint! With each book released in this series Rebecca and Courtney raise the bar, and they did it again. Of the three books that are out in this series (two are in the works - yay!), this one is hands down my favorite! I cannot even begin to describe what happens in this book for fear of giving too much away. Let me just say that these ladies are extremely talented at what they do. Rebecca and Courtney are so amazing at descriptive writing that you feel as though these are your friends and your family, and you will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and calm their fears. You ache for them when their hearts are broken - and break they do, numerous times. Keep your Kleenex handy, and remember that even if you yell at them they still cannot hear you! So I leave you with one spoiler and one spoiler only: The end of this book leaves you hanging on a bigger cliff than Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.
  • Unicorn Witches: The Vengeance of the Godhe on Jan. 13, 2013

    First, let me start by saying a huge 'well done' to Derek White on the second installment to Unicorn Witch! I have a special place in my heart for all Indie authors. I guess you could compare it to people who like to only shop at locally owned small businesses. I like to be able to tag along on the ride to an amazing career, which I feel this author is heading! Unicorn Witches begins 7 years after the conclusion of Unicorn Witch. There are lots of new characters, from colorful backgrounds, to get to know. If you read my review of Unicorn Witch and were worried to start reading the next installment, don't be! Derek's wonderful daughter, Melanie Newton, took over as publisher and did a wonderful job! Congrats, Melanie! This installment was much easier to follow as there were less grammatical errors - also thanks to Melanie taking over as publisher/editor. There are, again because our author lives in the UK, some "british-isms," but none that you would not be able to figure out on your own because of the context. The only one that I think would be an issue would be his use of the term 'full stop' which is the same as a period (.) here in the states. Personally, this one is my favorite so far - but I will be starting the third, and final (at this point anyway) book in the series today. I cannot wait to see where we end up once the third book, Unicorn Witch III - Return to Earth, concludes! Be sure to stay tuned for my review on that book. And a special note to the author - I actually giggled when I read your note at the end of the book regarding your character Melanie/Lace and why she was written into the book! I think we could all be life long friends and hope that you continue writing because I can tell how much you love it just by reading you books. ♥
  • Unicorn Witches: The Vengeance of the Godhe on Jan. 13, 2013

    First, let me start by saying a huge 'well done' to Derek White on the second installment to Unicorn Witch! I have a special place in my heart for all Indie authors. I guess you could compare it to people who like to only shop at locally owned small businesses. I like to be able to tag along on the ride to an amazing career, which I feel this author is heading! Unicorn Witches begins 7 years after the conclusion of Unicorn Witch. There are lots of new characters, from colorful backgrounds, to get to know. If you read my review of Unicorn Witch and were worried to start reading the next installment, don't be! Derek's wonderful daughter, Melanie Newton, took over as publisher and did a wonderful job! Congrats, Melanie! This installment was much easier to follow as there were less grammatical errors - also thanks to Melanie taking over as publisher/editor. There are, again because our author lives in the UK, some "british-isms," but none that you would not be able to figure out on your own because of the context. The only one that I think would be an issue would be his use of the term 'full stop' which is the same as a period (.) here in the states. Personally, this one is my favorite so far - but I will be starting the third, and final (at this point anyway) book in the series today. I cannot wait to see where we end up once the third book, Unicorn Witch III - Return to Earth, concludes! Be sure to stay tuned for my review on that book. And a special note to the author - I actually giggled when I read your note at the end of the book regarding your character Melanie/Lace and why she was written into the book! I think we could all be life long friends and hope that you continue writing because I can tell how much you love it just by reading you books. ♥
  • Unicorn Witch III (Return To Earth) on Jan. 13, 2013

    This book was given to me by the author to give an honest review. I have to say that this has been my favorite so far. Each book gets better and better. This book basically follows three different stories, but is actually one. I hope this makes sense. I suppose that when you read it you'll understand me! I think a good way to explain it is that you start off in one place (Refuge), move on to another (Earth), and then move on to one more (a couple different places, but I don't want to spoil it for you). I don't think that this installment was written better than the previous, I just preferred where the story took us and that we got to meet a lot of new characters; and a lot of questions that arose in the first two were answered. Something else that I like about these books is that they are told in the third person point of view. I feel that the story can be taken much further when written this way. However, I think that a lot of new authors find it easier to write in the first person, and I have read plenty of good books written that way as well. I also like that you can identify with the main character better in the first person because the writer can go more in depth into their emotions. From what I understand, in his next book we are going to get to read about individual characters in the form of short stories! The end of this book has an excerpt from the upcoming book, and I loved learning about Laura's last experience on Earth before finding herself on Refuge! I know I am very excited!!
  • Unicorn Witch on Jan. 13, 2013

    This book was given to me by the author for an honest review. Unicorn Witch is a very interesting story. It can be a bit confusing when you are first starting the book, because you jump back and forth between two different places that seem to be in two different times. Don't let this confuse you. The years are different because they started tracking dates at different times. They actually coexist at the same time. Refuge is a planet, equivalent to Earth, but is not nearly as populated and is inhabited by witches and various other awesome creatures. There is a group referred to as The Old Ones, that will rescue witches that are in danger of losing their lives on Earth. The Old Ones put them on the planet Refuge as a safe haven. Hence, the name Refuge! I am only telling you this because it will make things easier to understand at the start of the book. So, please, do not give up on this one. You will enjoy it, I promise! Be aware that there are, what my friends and I like to call, British-isms. For example, you will here the mention of a weight measurement in Stones. 1 stone is about 14 pounds. Some of the spelling is different as well, but not so much so that you can't figure out what it is -- learnt = learned, etc. There are a few things that you feel may move too fast or that don't go deep enough into the story, but I had no issues moving on and continuing on a journey along side Tyana, Marcus, Karim, and Rebel. Did I mention that Karim and Rebel are unicorns? No? Oops! There are more where they come from. I don't want to go too far into detail because this is genuinely a good story and I want you to read it! I just wanted to point out the things that may cause you to stop reading the book making you miss out on a good story! There is love, friendship, action, mystery, and much more. It is really a well rounded adventure. If you like it, buy the next two books at a very reasonable price ♥
  • Spoon-fed Addiction on Jan. 13, 2013

    When I was asked to read this book, I wasn't sure how I would like it. I prefer to watch stories like this in movie form - but I enjoy mystery and suspense enough that I thought I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I did! The only thing I didn't really like was knowing what was going to happen at the end. For me, it made it hard to read because I felt it took away from the suspense factor, but it wasn't so much that it deterred me away from the book. It was actually quite enjoyable if you like suspense. Read the blurb and you'll see what I mean. That being said, I was wrong. It didn't exactly end how I thought it would. Seriously, I thought I had it all figured out about half way through, and it went a completely different direction. The writing was quite well, too, which was refreshing. Silvano Williams does a spectacular job painting Adiran's tormented thought process. It was also interesting reading about Adiran's opinions of people that he "worked" with. Silvano can also be very insightful - see quote: "Love is like religion. Such a complex answer for an unneeded question. Who needs gods when there is the truth? All we need to do is open our minds and accept it." All in all, it was a nice, fast read. If I had anything really to complain about, it would be that I would have enjoyed it being a bit longer!
  • Surviving ELE (ELE Series #4) on Feb. 10, 2013

    ***This review contains no spoilers if you have not read the first three books in the series. Please read Project ELE (free), Finding ELE, and Exposing ELE before reading Surviving ELE.*** Eeeep! This book was fantastic! So many things happen, so many issues are resolved. Questions were answered. All around wonderful and fun! I will not go into too much detail with this book because I want you to read it - I'm not CliffsNotes! There is quite a few places that caused my heart to beat out of my chest. There was a few scenes that seriously made my belly tingle. There was one scene in particular that had me screaming at the book - cheering Willow on and saying FINALLY!!!!! And for my one "spoiler," like I always try to do for my readers: This is NOT the last book. As of right now (I say that because Rebecca and Courtney are notorious for changing their minds :P ) there will be one more book. This is your spoiler because as I got about 80% through the book my heart started getting sad. It seemed as though we were wrapping up the story while there were some questions arising that couldn't just be left unanswered! Looking back, I should have seen that they were opening up the story again to be able to give us more, but I was so hung up on what had just happened that my brain seriously couldn't function properly! And once I was finished I just sat there, mouth hanging open, and scratching my head in total shock and awe.
  • Written in the Stars on May 22, 2013

    I had to wait a few days to write up my review for this book. It hit a little close to home for me and I needed time to process. That's the beauty about a good book though - you can relate to the characters. I don't mean that you get butterflies in your stomach as they are falling in love. But you definitely feel it in your gut. I have to say that while I was already a fan of Jennifer's work, she reached my soul with this one. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about it. She wrote the first bits of the story leaving out the small details that makes you love the characters' relationships and root for them. Once you get to a certain point it makes perfect sense, though. You get little snippets of Mack's previous relationships before getting to the one that counts. And from a personal perspective, I'm actually a bit relieved that we didn't have to live out the gory details of Mack and Steve's relationship. I think that some people may feel like the book was a bit rushed, but I think it was actually how it should be. There was no need to get into every little detail of the previous relationships, and once you get to the good part it slows down a bit and you really get to know Mack for who she grew to be after all of her frogs; you get to experience Coll pulling her out of the rabbit's hole. All in all, I loved it. It reminds you that the world isn't full of heartless people. It teaches women that we are strong.