Sophia Renee

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Sophia Renee

  • Rematch on May 03, 2012

    This is one of the best written books I’ve come across in a while. Some authors are just natural storytellers and Janine Caldwell is definitely one of them! This book is nearly flawless in its execution, and has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever seen anywhere. I laughed out loud at many parts, but found myself entirely caught up in the star-crossed whirlwind romance of Cassie and Trent and was rooting for them the whole time. There were many wonderful parts to this novel, and a few things that left me wanting more…mainly, I wanted more! I wish we could have seen more from Trent’s POV on his “jumps”… and there were a few times where I would have liked to see a bit more tension and struggle with the way that this “gift” affected him (like the “sacrifice” he has to make…that could’ve been an real emotional twister but for me fell just short of the mark). This premise is one that isn’t totally overplayed right now and has huge potential for future stories. There are many layers to this novel, yet it doesn’t weigh the reader down with useless storytelling. Eloquently written and fast paced filled with romance, danger, personal relationships, fears, dreams, and fate, “Re-Matched” is a novel I can highly recommend for the YA and adult crowd alike.
  • Crucible of Dust (The Clockwork Ascendancy - A Steampunk Saga) on May 09, 2012

    To me this book was the equivalent of literary cheesecake or fudge…a little goes a looong waay! So packed with evocative characters and descriptions about this weird and fantastical world that hinges on reality and the supernatural, Crucible of Dust is written in the same vein as many classic fantasy masterpieces that have come before (some of the writing was reminiscent of Tolkein, some of George R.R. Martain) with words being used to paint the canvas of the authors imaginative and wildly creative mind. This story literally has a little bit of everything…a real guy (our down-on-his-luck hero, Flynn), people who were connected with machines, supernatural beings and energies, demons, a little bit of romance (very little!), action, suspense…so much in such a short amount of pages, I really hope there will be a full-length novel to follow because I would definitely be buying it!
  • An Affair to Remember on May 26, 2012

    When I first started this book, I wasn’t prepared to love it as much as I did! But I really enjoyed it. The characters that Ms. Budden created in not just Monica and Chase, but in all the supporting cast enriched the story and made me feel like I was a part of what was going on. And while at first I was disappointed with Monica’s decision at the end, I understood why it had to happen, and that in fact it, was the very heart of this love story. And I must say that the author’s note at the end reached into my soul…it was so touching. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great love story that isn’t as predictable as you might think.
  • A Luminous Future on June 01, 2012

    Wow. Just…wow. One of the reasons why I love reading nonfiction, especially biographies and autobiographies is that they allow me to experience a life and a world that I never would otherwise. As a girl who has lived her whole life in California, USA, reading about a boy from a small village in Transylvania after the end of WWII is about as different as can be. It’s crazy to hear how hard it was for him growing up, but the thing is he never sounds like he’s complaining at all! It seems like it would have been so easy for Teodor to become angry and bitter, but instead he perseveres with a quiet determinism and inner strength that is reflective of his parents’ and family’s values. If there’s anything to be taken from this amazing book, it’s that no matter how scary and cruel life can be, as long as you have the love and support of your family you can make it.
  • A Song Apart on June 11, 2012

    Kevin is just a normal kid minding his own business when he happens to catch the eye of his dream girl. This is no ordinary crush, this girl is the biggest sensation in music since Brittney Spears (I’m gathering). Shannon Kistler is a celebrity, sure, but she’s also down-to earth and she and Kevin connect. What follows is a friendship turned romance that faces unusual conflicts and threatens to tear them apart at every turn. I genuinely enjoyed this story. Mr. Baer is an excellent writer and storyteller, and I found it to be an extremely easy read. The dialogues were real and funny, and felt authentic. I liked how I was able to picture everything that was happening, feel the city scenery, imagine the characters as they were – and not once did I feel bogged down by an overabundance of needless descriptions. To me this is a sign of a great writer, one who can paint the scene perfectly while utilizing word economy. I recommend this book not just to music or romance fans, but to anyone who has ever been young and dreamed of bigger things…and to have those dreams come true.
  • When Earthlings Weep on June 23, 2012

    "When Earthlings Weep” is the first book I’ve read by Michael Barnett, and I hope it’s not the last! I found his storytelling to be supremely creative and engaging. I instantly was sucked into the book right away with the vivid descriptions of the foreign worlds (and Jen), and then how it contrasted with what was happening back at home, and how those worlds end up colliding. I don’t want to give it away but around the 50% mark things get crazy and I couldn’t put my kindle down after that. This book was super unpredictable and took me on a wild ride, one that I enjoyed immensely!
  • The Crow God's Girl on Aug. 06, 2012

    This book was simply fabulous. I loved it! The writing was descriptive and clear, and the narrative was lyrical and natural and I was easily sucked into the story right from the start. Although I had not read the other books in the series prior to "The Crow God's Girl", I found I was able to easily follow along and adjust to this new world that Kate inhabits. Although I do want to read the other books now, just to see all that has happened before hand. This is a wonderful novel rich with great characters and a twisty, tension filed plot that hold tight right up until the end. A definite must read for fans of fantasy.
  • Margaret of the North on Aug. 13, 2012

    It has been many, many years since I’ve read Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, and I admit I’d forgotten much of the story. However I remembered that I enjoyed it, so I was eager to read this continuation of Margaret’s journey in Margaret of the North. Right away I was drawn into the rich and atmospheric world E. Journey described, and was instantly brought to another time and place and felt an immediate connection with the characters of Margaret and John. The author quickly and thoroughly brings us up to speed on the backstory, so it works great as a standalone novel for those unfamiliar with the body of work in which “Margaret” is inspired by. This is a deep and complex read, and one that cannot be rushed. It must be savored and enjoyed as we experience the life and new challenges John and Margaret must face. Although I thought it to be a bit on the long side, I enjoyed this novel immensely and it has even inspired me to re-read North and South again.
  • Angels Gate on Sep. 13, 2012

    This book was amazing! I am always interested in books based on real events, but so often they read dry and boring. Not with “Angels Gate!” I was pulled into the story right away, and thought the writing was easy to follow. I really felt like I was a part of the action as it took place…I almost felt like I was part of the capers myself! This was a real birds eye look into a criminal heist carried out by some seeming ordinary surfer dudes (and a drug dealer). I was engrossed from start to finish and recommend for fans of true crime novels.
  • The Sense of Touch on Aug. 01, 2014

    There were so many things I liked about this book “The Sense of Touch” by Ron Parsons, and few things I didn’t. There were some stories I liked better than others, but one thing they all had in common was the way the author shows the character’s personalities with specific and unique details, instead of just giving us the standard stock-descriptions. They seem more alive because of this. And many had such interesting backstories I almost wonder if a few don’t deserve their own spin off novels! But the best part was that when it was over I felt like I’d experienced something wonderful… glimpsed into some secret lives of others and walked away feeling touched by beauty and sadness and hope.
  • The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky on Aug. 01, 2014

    With the kids out for summer, my time is limited so I must be pretty selective about what I take on to read. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read another great David Litwack novel! And I’m glad I didn’t. Once again he delivers in the manner of some of the better authors I’ve read, with tight focused prose that is beautiful and evocative at the same time, making every page come to life. His characters are anything but ordinary, especially in this case when the young girl named “Kailani” (meaning “the daughter of sea and sky) appears on the shores of the Republic with a mysterious agenda. To help her are Helena and Jason, and together they must figure out who she is, while discovering more about themselves in the process. It’s a story that will resonate with many people, and I encourage anyone who appreciates some light fantasy with intelligence to give this a shot. It’s easy to digest and is very pleasurable!
  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Feb. 01, 2016

    when I read books, usually I either like the dialogue, and the narrative seems flat (or too telling and long-winded) or the prose is good, but the conversations seem contrived and stiff. But I loved how seamlessly everything flowed in “The Urban Boys: The Discovery of Five Senses” with the balance between the two nicely as this made it feel authentic and well- paced, like we are watching a movie or something. It had it all, seriously…mystery, drama, friendship, betrayal, family life, enemies… takes us on an unforgettable, and ultimately fulfilling rollercoaster ride that I won’t soon forget. Hope the next one is ready soon!
  • Gol on Feb. 01, 2016

    "Gol” is the second novel I’ve read from this author, J.W. Webb and it’s safe to say I’m officially a fan! So imagine my utter delight when I saw how many other books he’s written (claps hands). I can’t wait to get started! But first, this one. Oh my, where to begin…seriously, this is a super hard book to just sum up in a few sentences. Well, I read it in one week if that’s any indicator, and it’s over 500 pages and I have extremely limited reading time. But who needs sleep? This author writes in such a way that we just get pulled in and lost in the story right away, and see everything unfold around us. It’s a slow building explosion of unpredictable events and unique characters that are totally amazing and literally out of this world. I only have one gripe seemed weirdly anticlimactic to me for some reason, like the emotion was sucked out of the ending even though it was the most dramatic. And it felt so “summed up” at the end. But the narrative is tight and focused, and thankfully error free! It’s clear Mr. Webb has a great editor, and I for one am ready for more “Legends”.
  • The Shattered Crown on April 06, 2016

    just as I expected, this book was fantastic. The story, the characters, the world, the writing--I loved it all! It was a wonderful follow up book in the “Legends of Ansu” series--satisfying on its own, yet there's still plenty to explore in future books (which I will definitely be reading soon!) I really loved “Gol” and so I had really high hopes for this one… Expectations that were met, but because I was anticipating awesomeness, it didn't blow me away as much as it could have. But again, this is a very minor gripe, and more about my reading experience than the actual book itself. Cool drawings and even though there were some punctuation things, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. Funny, dark, complex and filled with magic and mayhem… “The Shattered Crown” is a great addition to any fantasy lover’s reading library.
  • The Lost Prince on April 06, 2016

    If you are a fan of Fantasy books then this series is a must have. A world that has Fay, gods, dragons, and creatures you’ve never before met and more that keep you enthralled, a world that has plenty of adventure and deceit, treachery, friendships, pain and love. As these stories unfold here and (in the previous book) you see all the characters actually grow into who they all really are (or are becoming…). One of my favorite things about this series is how the characters have this fun and funny at times banter that goes back and forth (even at the most inopportune times) a witty sense of humor that always come in at the right moments. Also great is the amount of action that takes place, both in large scale battles to the small things that are "behind the scenes". Thankfully this isn't one of those books or authors who keeps everything status quo, nope they evolve as the world changes around them. Hands down one of the most surprisingly well-realized and developed Fantasy series I have read in a long time and Webb is cementing his place as one of my favorite authors.
  • Friend & Foe on May 01, 2016

    "Friend & Foe” by Nik Olsen is the most entertaining, deep, and interesting books I have read in a very long time! From the moment I picked it up and read the first page I was hooked, as the characters are so real and loveable and the descriptions are so vivid and full of life, it is impossible to put down. The author has painted a picture of life which at times is very moving, sad, stressful but it is done with humour and remarkable attention to detail it is certainly a story that will stay with the reader for a long time. Don't miss this wonderful book that will challenge your thinking and your view of the world – and for the better. Recommended for ages 18 and up.
  • Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on June 28, 2016

    I LOVE to read, but live a hugely busy life. It gets more complicated upon that rare occasion when a book is so captivating, so enthralling, that it is impossible to walk away. With only definitive hours in a day, something has to give. For me, that was sleep! And it was worth every sacrificed minute. “Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave” was the grand slam home run and exceeded my wildest expectations and I would bet, maybe yours, as well. It reads almost like a sweeping epic of politics in modern day America, biting and gritty, and ugly….. Characters we will recognize easily as modern day power players, as well as a look “behind the curtain’ to expose much of the ugly goings-on that most Americans are blissfully ignorant of. Politics is a corrupt game on the best of days, but Chicago has a reputation for being particularly dirty and it all comes to life here in this book that is a great mix of real life and invented scenarios that really makes you wonder which is which. Great job.