Andrea Murray has been teaching longer than most of her junior high students have been alive. She has taught just about every class related to English, includeing Freshmen Comp and Sophomore Literature. Andrea lives in a small town in Arkansas with her husband and two children. She loves reading (of course!), singing big hair band tunes obscenely loud in the car, and bad science fiction movies. Visit her blog on Goodreads.com.
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Smashwords book reviews by Andrea Murray
- The White Aura
on July 30, 2013
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review (Lover of Paranormal Group on Goodreads).
I love the concept behind this novel—boy sees girl but can’t be with her, very Romeo and Juliet, but I’m afraid the execution fell a bit short for me. I realize this is paranormal fiction, and as Samuel Coleridge said the reader must willingly suspend disbelief; however, I found some of the events and explanations unacceptable. Parts of the family heritage were explained thoroughly while other things that I thought were important were hardly touched. For instance, the council was explained in great detail though we never encounter them in this novel, but the fact that 5000-year-old Anna just now has a family though her heart mate is never mentioned is odd. Also, when Delana is mentioned, I really thought she’d be a big part of the story, but that whole thing kind of goes away. Some of the actions and the dialogue seemed awkward and stilted. At times, the characters sounded like teenagers, but other times, not so much. I needed more foreshadowing on some events, too. Olivia’s power and the whole aura thing just pop up and seem to come from nowhere. In all fairness, however, this is a series, so I have a feeling some of my issues are addressed in later volumes, but frustration may keep readers from continuing the series.
There are some positives. It’s a quick read. I finished it in a few hours, and it has some steamy dream sequences which don’t go too far (or far enough depending on your perspective), so teens will love it. Scott seems completely sweet and devoted—perhaps too sweet—if you can get past Olivia calling him “Mr. Sexy,” which, for some reason, made me cringe every time she used it.
- The Three Month Plan
on Oct. 08, 2013
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Much like its San Diego setting, this novel is as light and sunny as spring-break at the beach. It’s a reminder of that heart-fluttering, “OMG, I can’t wait to see him!” feeling. With little to no sub-story, the plot is uncomplicated, making for an easy read, without the overload of characters and all their accoutrement. In fact, the only real drama belongs to Kelly, and oh to have Kelly’s dilemma! Two guys—the newcomer, with his dark hair and surfer’s body, and the best friend, with his curling blonde locks and “fix me” complex—vie for Kelly’s hand,. My, oh my!
A warning, though, the novel is predictable. Any chick flick fan will see the plot playing out well in advance of the ending. I felt like I was watching a teen movie on Nickelodeon (but with a lot of sexual tension and a hangover). It all sort of fell into place a little too simply and unrealistically for me. Everyone, even the man whore friend, seemed too squeaky clean. For example, when Brian sleeps with a girl then orders her out the next morning, she quickly forgives him at the next party and even propositions him again. When he refuses, she offers to drive him home! I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t want to remove vital parts from his perfect physique, and other than yoga and walking her dog, Kelly doesn’t do much. Even Brian, who does at least work, waits tables at a beachside hangout frequented by his friends and lots of eye candy. Maybe this is real life for today’s twenty-somethings, but I’m not completely buying it.
I did like the climactic scene, which was sweet and cornily romantic. However, I’m not certain it fully redeems the rest of the novel.