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Smashwords book reviews by Chrissy

  • Sweetness on April 23, 2012

    Did I enjoy this book: I did. It was a quick read (only 110 pages) that held my interest. I read this book every free chance I had. I just wanted to hug both Emily and Jake and tell each of them that it wasn't his/her fault. I cared about these characters and I wanted to see how their story ended. Emily was a well written character. She is described as walking with her head down, looking at the shoes going by her. She almost always had her iPod on her and didn't talk to anyone. You could tell she had something going on inside her that was holding her back. When Emily is paired up with Jake for a class project, he helps her open up...especially once she meets Jake's little brother, Drake. I loved that Emily became her true self when she was with Drake. Those were really sweet moments in the story. Jake is a sweet, caring, very mature young man. Much more mature than most high school boys. Their relationship - although slow to start - is one based on total trust and support. There were some flaws in this book...mainly proofreading and some editing issues. But they were quite easy to overlook and did not disrupt the flow of the story in the least. This story seemed quite real to me for the most part. Would I recommend it: I would probably recommend Sweetness to the older young adult readers. I do think that it is a bit mature for a young, young adult crowd. Will I read it again: No, I won't read this book again.
  • I'm Yours on May 08, 2012

    Did I enjoy this book: I did. Again, it was a quick read (shorter than Sweetness) and it kept me reading every free chance I had. In fact, I finished this book in a few hours. This story picks up about 6 months from where Sweetness left off. (I thought Sweetness ended rather abruptly, so I was glad to see the sequel!) You can see that Emily and Jake are even more in love and that Jake wants to make everything alright for Emily. His love for her shines through all of his actions and attention that he gives to Emily. For example, he stays with her for an entire weekend while she has the flu! What teen guy would do that? When Conrad comes back into the picture, you can see how Emily struggles with what she should do and where her feelings are. Her struggles are real for a lot of girls and that makes this book feel authentic. There is a lot of sex in this book and consequences from having so much sex. How they handle the consequences is the important part. Again, there are some flaws - proofreading and editing. But, as with Sweetness, they can be easily overlooked and your reading enjoyment is not jeopardized. Would I recommend it: If you read Sweetness, then be sure to read I'm Yours. However, I would caution that there is quite a bit of sex and some very adult situations. This is not a book for a young YA crowd. Will I read it again: No, I will not. But I will read other books by this author. I think we have only begun to see what she can do. I can't wait to see how this series ends!
  • News on the Home Front on Aug. 21, 2012

    Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It took a little while to find the groove and really get into it, but once I did, I read it every free chance I had until I finished the last sentence. I have always enjoyed historical fiction revolving around World War II. News on the Home Front was a great, new perspective...much different than a lot of the WWII fiction books that I have read in the past. I don't think I have every read a WWII fiction novel that focused on the women left at home in the states when the men went to war. This book put me through so many emotions...sad, happy, content, anxious, laughter, stress. You name it (just about anything), I felt it while reading this book. At first, I did not care for the two main characters - Carole and Irene. I thought that they were rather spoiled and childish. However, the further along in the book I got, the more I felt for them. Carole grew the most throughout this book. She is truly a strong and courageous young woman. Irene, Carole's best friend, was a hard worker, volunteering to work in the factory even though she didn't need to work. She became a crane operator much to the chagrin of her male counterparts. Although Irene doesn't always make the right decisions, she is a true, caring friend. The other characters were well-written, too. I enjoyed Mrs. Kennison, the loving maid and long-time "member" of the family. Philip was Carole's fiance and pilot sent overseas for a top secret mission. Bretaigne, Carole's doctor, was a good guy who had fled to the US from Nazi Germany. I would have liked more of his story. The book went back and forth between the present time and the past which laid some groundwork for Carole and Irene's friendship. With these different scenes came different points of view for the narration. Sometimes these transitions were difficult to keep up with but not so difficult that it made that book less enjoyable. The same can be said for the typos that were found here and there - more so towards the end of the book. Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book, especially if you enjoy reading World War II historical fiction. Will I read it again: I will not read this book again but I will definitely read more by this author.
  • HYM and HUR on Sep. 15, 2012

    Did I enjoy this book: Hym and Hur was alright. It was a very short story that I read in under an hour. But for me, it just didn't make much sense. The main characters, Hym and Hur, were cute and they want to do good in the world - even though Hym likes to play pranks every now and then. But their names made the story a bit difficult for me to read. I wanted to read he and she every time Hym and Hur were written because it would have been "more correct" that way. (And I realize the characters names are meant to be just made it a bit hard to read for me.) The end of the story came about rather abruptly. (And, yes, I do understand this is a short story and it will end quickly. But it was just a bit too quick.) But the ending was happy and a good one. It fit the story. Would I recommend it: If you like short, quirky stories with a message, then yes, you should read this one. Otherwise, I would not recommend this book. Will I read it again: I will not.
  • Sarah & Gerald on Nov. 01, 2012

    Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book but not as much as I enjoyed News on the Home Front. Sarah & Gerald is a sweet short story that chronicles a brief period in the title characters' lives while in France after World War I. This was a quick read. All of the characters were likeable. Some characters are clearly based on famous individuals from that time period even though the author doesn't come out and declare that directly in the narrative. Sarah and Gerald enjoy some grand adventures with their three children while living in France. They also get to travel to California for Gerald's brief stint as a set designer for silent movies. This book isn't all happiness though. Tragedy does strike each of the characters in some way...some more devastating than others. However, that is life...not all happiness all of the time. Would I recommend it: If you like historical fiction that is fairly light, then read this book. Will I read it again: I will not read this book again. But I will read more by Christopher McPherson. His books have been good reads for this reviewer.
  • Friends & Lovers Trilogy on June 04, 2013

    3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. The stories are quick, sweet reads that kept me entertained. Make it Last introduces us to the friends and lovers of this trilogy. It centers on Briana and Colin, her high school boyfriend that broke her heart a few years ago. I thought Briana was holding a bit too much of a grudge against Colin. However, the story was sweet and you receive just enough information about each character to become one of theirs friends and to care about the characters. Could there be more to this story? Yes. Did the last story line resolve itself rather quickly? Yes. Did I mind these things? No. I Choose You is about Nicole and Kent. Both of these characters have a past that they aren't willing to share easily or with anyone outside a select few. I really like Nicole. She is strong and independent yet vulnerable and sweet. Trust in Me is about Roni and Rich. This was my favorite of all the three. They work so well together. In each story, we get to know the couples as the stories progress. Each character has a past, something to overcome, something that will make the reader care about them. Friends & Lovers is sweet and romantic. One drawback for me was the amount of mistakes in this book. I received my copy from Smashwords. In my opinion, there were too many errors for a book that is being sold. The mistakes didn't make me want to stop reading, but they were noticeable and, at times, distracting. Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes quick, romantic stories that leave you with a smile. Will I read it again: I will not. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • The Babi Makers on Sep. 05, 2013

    Did I enjoy this book: I’m not sure. I was slightly nauseous the whole time I read. I’m still slightly nauseous. McPherson creates a seriously screwed up post-apocalyptic world in which people “farm” and eat babies, and I’ve been trying to channel my inner Jonathan Swift all week with little success. OM NOM NOM… babies?! Readers know what’s going on right from the beginning of the book. We know that most food-grade babies get ground up & turned into other food by machines that kind of remind me of evil Star Trek replicators. We know that fresh babi (because it isn’t so bad if you spell it with an ‘i’) is a delicacy. We know that the residents of this post-apocalyptic nightmare are “milked” and “harvested” on a regular basis, and that they honestly have no idea where babies come from (or why they should be appalled about their diet). Enter the plotline: a teacher who hints that babies may have, at one time, come from humans instead of farms. A not-quite-the-same-as-everyone-else adult and his girlfriend, who just happens to have an odd growth in her abdomen that no one can identify. An over-genetically engineered “life-babi” who can control minds. A dark conspiracy, and, of course, sex. Lots of it. In McPherson’s book, well, let’s just say the Babi Makers greet each other in a most solicitous manner. I’m almost brave enough to call it reverse sexism, but at the very least, one of the (many) evil bad guys appears to be evil because he believes men should only sleep with women. In McPherson’s world, relationship clusters contain as many members of each sex as the group is comfortable with, and monogamy is neigh unheard of. It’s a strange book. The evil mind-controlling bad guy actually mind-controls two men to have a sexual encounter (all the while believing that coupling should only occur between a man and a woman). The community is apparently without violence, but people start killing each other the first chance they get. Ultimately I’m reminded of Newspeak – the people of Nove have lost not only the knowledge, but also the language they need to live any differently than the way they do. The Babi Makers is a true dystopian novel – it leaves readers feeling unsettled, horrified, and absolutely CERTAIN the same thing could never happen to them. Scary stuff. Would I recommend it: Yes. Read it because it’s disturbing. Read it because it could happen to you. Will I read it again: Nooooooo, but I may dig out A Modest Proposal for a second read. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter on Nov. 03, 2013

    Did I enjoy this book: It’s not really my kind of book, but it was cute. I liked the characters, and though I thought it was a bit overwritten, the story was good: a bunch of teens get transported to an alien planet that’s populated with robots and creepy shadow guys, after which they’ve got to zap themselves inside their computers to complete a quest, save the planet (and their parents), and return to Earth. I felt like I was reading the literary version of a PC Adventure Game, and although it was a fun little storyline, I’m more of a Tetris gal myself. Miller did a fine job with this book (and I can only assume the others in the series as well), but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Would I recommend it: I believe it would go over well with the pre-teen set, especially fans of Adventure Games (like Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, and Portal). Will I read it again: No. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Part IV on Nov. 22, 2013

    ** This review is of the first 4 volumes in this series.** Did I enjoy this book: I did! I was looking for a low-intensity, fun little read, and I found it! Wright sent me the whole series at once, but I love the idea of publishing a book bit by bit – it’s a nice little reminder of the days when authors published things piecemeal in magazines. There were a few little editing issues, but nothing so major as to distract. Chloe’s great – I’d have written her a few years older, but she’s a weird, funny little thing, and it works. She’s got a great sense of humor about her own hunter-vampire-demigod status, and I love her snark. The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter has all the ingredients for a delicious little end-of-the-evening reading snack: the ever present love triangle, a meanie-pants father, some kick-ass fight scenes, and, of course, teen angst. I finished the whole thing in an evening. Would I recommend it: For Sure! Since I’m, um, ::ahem:: 29 ::ahem:: and the heroine of the series is only 14, it’s one of those fun little books I’d probably hide under my bed if other grown-ups came to visit, but hey. I liked it, and if you’re into the whole vampire trend, I bet you’ll like it too. Will I read it again: I’m definitely going to finish the series! As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition on Jan. 02, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: I … I don’t know what to say. I enjoyed it in much the same way I enjoyed the Carrie Underwood version of The Sound of Music — that is to say, I couldn’t stop reading (or watching), but I’m not entirely sure it was for the right reasons. I know I promised to suspend my disbelief when I signed up for this gig, but I had no idea I’d be agreeing to travel via “cyber time” back to an alternate past wherein Kennedy DOESN’T get shot and the heroine accidentally makes out with Lee Harvey Oswald. I blame myself entirely. I didn’t know how attached I was to the actual history of my country. I didn’t even think I LIKED history. I didn’t know how I felt about what I can best describe as a Quasi-Historical Assassination Conspiracy Fanfiction novel until I was well past the point of no return. TIL: happy endings aren’t my bag, baby. Would I recommend it: Yeah (I bet you weren’t expecting that). It’s crazy-go-nuts, but if you’re even the least bit uncertain about how you stand on time travel (or President Kennedy, or soap opera actresses, or special effects guys who secretly build time machines in their back rooms), then you absolutely need to read this book. Go on, give it a whirl. I cyber-dare you. Will I read it again: Right after I re-watch Vampire Bill pretend to be Captain VonTrapp. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • Paper Airplane: Unique Tales From A Mile High on Feb. 24, 2014

    3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Pretty much. This is a collection of short stories that highlight the interesting people the author meets while on her numerous air travels. She jokes about the universal dread of being stuck in the center seat. And highlights the array of personalities she meets along the way. I think the stories are at times amusing and interesting. But they lack any real moral, emotional depth, or plot. Basically, she points out that if you talk to people along life’s journey, you’ll meet some who are interesting, funny, obnoxious, generous, etc. I can’t imagine this is startling to any reader. It isn’t a bad book. It’s easy to read that could fill the empty minutes of waiting at the doctor’s office or hair salon. But that’s about it. I did, however, add a half star to the review making it one small notch above mediocre in response to a story about half way through the book. Instead of just flying on the airplane, she jumps out of one. Now that’s a story. Would I recommend it: Kind of. Will I read it again: No. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
  • Fadeout on March 29, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: No, not really. It reminds me of precogs and thought police and Big Brother watching and all of that, but in an unremarkable way. It was sort of like watching a foreign movie without subtitles; I understood what was going on in a general kind of way, but I didn’t get enough character details, so I never truly invested in the story. It was… like looking at an airbrushed photograph. I know it’s a person, but it’s the lines and wrinkles that make things interesting. Without the detail, it’s just some guy holding a bag of chips. As a rough draft (and I mean that in the “using the wrong sound-alike words” kind of way) it’s not bad, but Adams has some work to do. Would I recommend it: Not yet. Will I read it again: I’d love to give it another go should Adams re-release a revised version. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
  • The Altercation of Vira on April 14, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: I texted Chrissy three pages in to complain about the grammar. The story wasn’t bad, though, so I kept reading. I thought there’d be a payoff for ignoring the passive voice, improper semicolon use, misspelled words (UGH), and serious over-use of colloquialisms. I thought wrong. Mid-book things took a turn for the weird – like, trapping the main character in a room with her dead mother for three weeks weird – and I’m pretty sure I read the rest of the book with a horrified look on my face. So yeah. Would I recommend it: Nope. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
  • This Changes Everything on July 11, 2014
    (no rating)
    DNF - 0 stars Where I stopped reading: location 418 of 2632 in my eBooks app Why I stopped reading: It was too much. There were too many characters, too many acronyms, too many tenses. Too much of me wondered which reality was true – the one where “Clara” writes a fictional account of her alien encounters, the one where “Clara” writes a true account of her experiences, or the one where Ms. Ember struggles so much to find the truth that we, as readers, are left to question her own sanity. I’ll say this: either Ms. Ember is an absolute genius, or she’s in need of some serious psychotropic meds. I was only part-way in to chapter three, but I’d already waded through too many “Chapter Interludes” to keep the plot straight. The most I can tell you is that “Clara” seems to be in contact with some alien life forms, who encourage her to believe that everything is happening all at once and that she should write her possible-biography/possible-novel (however confusing it might be) in the present tense. Clara also seems to lack the ability to prioritize – her examples all include gratuitous examples, and goodness help me I had no idea what I was supposed to pay attention to (and yeah, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition). There might be more plot. It might be awesome. But, for me, there was too much EVERYTHING ELSE. Sorry, Ms. Ember. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Bee Summers on July 11, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: Yes, no, kind of. I’m not sure. I’m deeply conflicted about writing a review on this book. First, I’ll say it was a well-written, thoughtful story. The characters were lovable and sympathetic. The scene and story idea were wonderfully original. There were so many good components in this novel. Unfortunately for me, it missed one crucial element – passion. It was like the time I made a tuna casserole and forgot to add the tuna. ***Spoiler Alert*** Early in the story, a young girl’s mother goes missing. We learn later that the father knew his wife left him and filed for divorce. They both thought it best to simply tell the girl nothing. Initially, everyone acted like Mom was coming back. Melissa, our young protagonist, has to figure it out on her own. This plot is carried out too casually. There were a few scenes where Melissa fights back tears and wonders about her mom, but that was about it. One exception came toward the end of the story when Melissa, as an adult, discovered the letters her mother mailed to her father years before. I won’t discuss precisely what happens, but it did break my heart and made me angry. Sadly, it was too little, too late. Would I recommend it: Some readers may enjoy a really low-key story — maybe something to read before bed. It’d be okay for that. Otherwise I’d suggest checking it out of the library and reading the last two chapters. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Human Instincts on July 11, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: When I realized a few pages in that the plot involves a good looking female scientist heading out to an isolated, all-male prison to hopefully find a way to repopulate the Earth, I feared I was about to find myself neck-deep in an, um, Adult Film. It wasn’t as bad as all that (though I’d still label the book as a B-movie sort of thing), but it wasn’t great. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a sequel — the ending was rather ambiguous — but if there is, I doubt I’ll read it. Would I recommend it: Not really, no. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Athena Effect on Aug. 01, 2014

    Did I enjoy this book: I love it. I love that the good guys are the tattooed motorcyclists and that the heroine’s never heard of body waxing. I love that the main characters have the same name. I love the way Anderson manages to make every single character REAL – even the ones who don’t do much other than mispronounce words. I love love LOVE that Anderson spends the entire first half of the book on exposition; I don’t doubt Cal & Cal’s love for a second (though I might have if we’d skipped to the drama). I can’t wait to see what happens in Book 2. Would I recommend it: Absolutely. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Mackenzie Legacy on Jan. 18, 2015

    Did I enjoy this book: I was going through an “I hate everything on TV, but I don’t have the brain power to read anything intense” phase last week (it’s the holiday season . . . I’m sure you can relate), so I skipped around on my TBR list until I found this — the second installment in Derrolyn Anderson’s Athena Effect series. Perfect! I loved the first book in the series (you can read my review HERE), and with three more books in the docket, I figured The Athena Effect books would be just the thing to get me through the holiday madness. Anderson manages to keep Cal and Cal’s love story both fresh and complex, and just when I was getting a little sick of all the lovey-dovey business, Anderson pivots the story in an interesting new direction. There were a few grammatical issues and a few editing misses but nothing big enough to derail or distract. The Mackenzie Legacy is a great second book, and I’m mere moments away from starting book three — The Caledonian Inheritance. Would I recommend it: You bet! If you liked the first book, you’ll enjoy this one too. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Caledonian Inheritance on Jan. 18, 2015

    3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: I was actually a bit worried I’d have to read a third book about Cal and Cal being in love. I enjoy them, but it’s true: the part that happens AFTER the Happily Ever After isn’t usually very interesting. I was, then, pleasantly surprised when Anderson shifted the focus of the third book in her Athena Effect series to a different character. Layla isn’t my favorite of the bunch, and I’m not exactly sure why we needed the not-really-a-love-triangle bit in the first half of the book, but I still enjoyed the read. Reading about Ramon helped too. Yum. Well, I’m on to the last book in the series. Wish me luck! Would I recommend it: Yep! If you enjoyed the first two books in the series, keep reading! As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Redcastle Redemption on Jan. 18, 2015

    2.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: It was just a little too convenient for my taste. Although I LOVED the first book in the series, I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with the rest of it. Tidy plots are always a bit surreal (I mean, what are the chances you’d just happen to meet an online gaming pal IRL, and she just happens to be a hottie FBI agent AND the daughter of the one man that can save you and your family from the mob boss you accidentally annoyed?). I’m all for happy endings, but The Athena Effect books got progressively less plausible, and The Redcastle Redemption was just too contrived to be believable. Would I recommend it: If you’ve come this far in the series you might as well keep reading. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.