We currently have three regular reviewers available. Lately we've had a lot of guest reviewers as well - some that really should be labeled "regular" (I just don't have pics or bios of them). Even if the book is outside of the subject matter we generally read, we will review it based on the book itself and its appeal to others. Having multiple reviewers on hand makes it more likely that your book will be reviewed by someone that would normally pick it out to read. Many books are read by more than one of us, so sometimes you will get multiple reviews posted on your book. That said - we write our opinion - good, bad, ugly, silly, honest, whatever it may be.
• Genres that we prefer are young adult, paranormal romance, fantasy, graphic novels, comic books, quirky humor, chick lit, and mystery. We are not exclusive to these genres, but they are preferred.
Jessica is the main contact for reviews and does all the posting, updating, and blogging.
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Smashwords book reviews by Book Sake
- Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells
on April 17, 2011
This story has a bit of a twist from all of the other YA paranormal books out there. The parents are the ones keeping the magic secret instead of the child hiding their skills from the parents. It’s hilarious that Portia’s dad was supposed to be an encyclopedia salesman, but as Portia finds out – he’s actually a warlock and the rest of the family is in on it. Portia turns out to be very gifted with her magic, but the reason why is unknown. Vance is the great boyfriend that Portia finds a strong link to. The main characters are all formed very well and are thought out down to the last detail. Even Portia’s mother who isn’t a major portion of the story has her reasons for being the way she is.
I was delighted to find such great writing, I didn’t want to put the book down. I lost an hour of sleep because I just had to finish the story and know what was going to happen. The ending is wide open and left off in the beginning of action being taken…good thing there is a follow-up to this or I might have been disappointed. This is a story that parents can be ok with their kids reading (there are no Twilight: Breaking Dawn sex scenes here) and the parents would probably enjoy the story as well.
- White Witch Pond
on Oct. 13, 2011
This story started off great, and I got into the main character Shaya’s story very quickly. The writing style was easy to read and enjoyable, and for YA fiction I found it to be a different and interesting witch story with some suspense thrown in the mix. Shaya’s character is well written and she comes across as a very intelligent teenager who isn’t caught up in much of the drama that her age group is prone to. That being said, I wish there was more development of the story, once the connection is made by Shaya, the last few chapters seem to be rushed and I would have liked to have more to the story, or even a second novel in the series. Overall I would recommend it to those who enjoy the YA/Supernatural, and anyone looking for a quick read, especially around Halloween.
Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.
- Light Fixtures
on Nov. 03, 2011
I’m not completely sure how I feel about Light Fixtures. On one hand, I really enjoyed the main character, Aurora. To my surprise, the author was able to conquer the subject of her bipolar disorder in a fairly honest light, without crossing the YA yellow tape. That was the main reason I requested this book, actually; I wanted to know how this author would portray such a volatile disorder to young readers and not sugarcoat it. I guess this book was my answer. Smith created a wonderful character with Aurora and successfully captured the essence of a child suffering with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I think most readers who have experienced the occasional mood swing will be able to relate to Aurora, even if it’s not to the same extent.
On the other hand…
I could not stand the stupid mystical creatures. I even channeled my 13-year-old self to help reevaluate this [really awkward] downfall, but my efforts were to no avail. I guess I’m just wholly incapable of appreciating little spirit friends (yeah, I just said “spirit friends”) named Mr. Dragonfly and Mr. Hematite. It’s a shame, really. I liked everything else about Light Fixtures, but please don’t give bugs and oxide minerals titles! However, if the cutesy names don’t annoy the living hell out of you, I would highly encourage picking up a copy. Smith obviously put a lot of effort into her research (or personal experience?) and it shows in her portrayal of bipolar disorder.
3/5 for making me feel so conflicted, though.
Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
- The Fate Of The Muse
on March 25, 2012
This addition to Marina’s Tales, picks up right where book 2 finishes off. Again we find Marina understanding more and more about her special abilities, and how she helps her friends find their way and achieve their dreams. Marina travels to Paris in this book to meet the council of women who share her muse abilities, but they also have questions about how far her mermaid powers extend. All of my favorite characters have a part in this book, with Evie meddling and causing more complications for Marina’s relationship. I think that Marina and Ethan’s relationship is a bit adult for the series, and I wish that the books had transitioned with them out of high school. Marina’s painting and making a name for herself was fun, but it bothered me that it was the way the bad guys were introduced. Also her Aunt Abby stepping up in this book was interesting, since as a muse Marina can influence others to reach their potential; I just wish that she had had a bigger part of developing Marina as a person. When you figure out whom the villain is the book takes a predictable turn, but you will be surprised with who comes to Marina’s rescue. I was happy to have book 4 to read right away, since I wanted to find out how the story continues.
Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.
- The Wealding Word
on May 23, 2012
The Wealding Word begins at a quick pace and rarely slows down. It’s a fairytale that is easily devoured and both young and old will enjoy. The magic starts almost immediately and you know that the story is just going to get better and better and it does. The story has everything a fairytale could ask for: witches, talking trees with magic acorns, the ability to make things grow immediately; and even things you wouldn’t expect such as being able to hear what the household pets are saying. That said, this is not the Rapunzel story you are used to. The majority of the story focuses on Nell, not Rapunzel, and there is no “let down your hair” story resemblance to the original tale. This is Rapunzel long after that happened and you get to see what became of her and how she has now affected Nell’s life and the life of the kingdom. The Malady didn’t make the story as dark as I thought it might have, which I think makes the story suitable for a broader audience than if it had gotten as dark as it could have been. This world that Gogolski created is imaginative and peculiar in all the best ways.
Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
- The Corpses of Old Farm Hill Road: The Arrogant Man
on Nov. 15, 2012
This short story is creepy and violent, just what it was supposed to be. While the title character, The Arrogant Man, isn’t a character I’d cry over, he still suffered things no one should be put through. It made me think of Dexter in a way since this family has targeted a “bad guy”, but Dexter has more reasoning behind it – these chicks are just sick and having fun tormenting this guy. The author has a seriously wicked mind and the story would translate well into a horror movie that would have me covering my eyes throughout most of it!
Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Book Received: For free from author in exchange for an honest review.