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Review: Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

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Image from Goodreads

Title: Fake Mustache
Author: Tom Angleberger
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: April 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Regular kid Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend—Casper, a master of disguise and hypnosis—and world domination. It all begins when Casper spends money from his granny on a spectacularly convincing fake mustache, the Heidelberg Handlebar #7. With it he’s able rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president. Is Lenny the only one who can see through his disguise? And will he be able to stop Casper from taking over the world?

REVIEW BY JACK 9:6

Fake Mustache, a children’s comedy story, is American as is clear from the title. The novel takes place in a slightly bizarre version of modern day America, within the fictional state capital of Hairsprinkle. It is initially narrated by Lenny Flem Junior but later swaps to Jodie O’Rodeo. The action is spread through Lenny’s house, the Heidelberg novelty company factory, Sven’s Fair Price Store and the Hairsprinkle Municipal Stadium.

The plot is surprisingly complex, but basically Lenny Jr. saves the world from his best friend Casper and his fake mustache with the help of his favorite TV star, Jodie O’Rodeo and the mustaches inventor, Hank Heidelberg. Casper meanwhile has used the unknown powers of his mustache to raise vast amounts of money and get himself elected/chosen for increasingly important governmental roles.

My favorite part of this tale is a short section narrated by Lenny where he meets Jodie while in fancy dress as her. It is one of the funniest parts of the book. The character I like best is Hank Heidelberg, who is wonderfully old-fashioned and quirky. He knows all sorts of things which he does not at all understand the implications of and he stubbornly insists on remaining in a near-suicidal situation in a classic hero/martyr manner.

Something that annoys me about this book is that the American title has not been translated into British English and consequently says “mustache” rather than “moustache”. However, this is just my problem. The only real issue is that, for a comedy book there is not that a huge amount of humor in it. This does not really detract, though, from and excellent and complicated story.

I thought this comedy might be a bit childish but it was actually great, even for me at age 14. I might get another book by this author if I saw it, but I have a feeling my friends would consider themselves too old for it.

I would give the story four out of five stars.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: The Hazards of Sleeping with a Friend by Alyssa Rose Ivy

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About THE HAZARDS OF SLEEPING WITH A FRIEND

Warning: Sleeping with a friend might change your life forever.

Sleeping with Kyle was never in the plans. Pretending to be his girlfriend was one thing, but letting our relationship become anything but platonic was another. The problem with mixing friendship with sex is that inevitably feelings get involved, and when that happens there’s no turning back.

When Kyle’s life fell apart around him, I needed to help, but doing that meant opening myself up to the most terrifying thing in the world—falling in love.

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About Alyssa Rose Ivy

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Links: Twitter | Author Goodreads | Pinterest | Website | Facebook

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Review plus Give-Away: Rebound by Noelle August

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Title: Rebound
Series: Boomerang #2
Author: Noelle August
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10 Feb 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

REBOUND
—a Boomerang novel—
By Noelle August

At Boomerang, one night can change everything… 

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.

When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.

Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?

REBOUND will be available wherever books and e-books are sold on February 10th, 2015 (ISBN: 9780062331083 | $13.99 | e-ISBN: 9780062331090 | $11.99).

Excerpt One – Alison POV REBOUND

Excerpt TWO – Adam POV REBOUND

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series. You can visit them at NoelleAugust.com, @Noelle_August, and facebook.com/NoelleAugustBooks.

REVIEW 

In all honesty, I entered Rebound with a lot of preconceived ideas about the main characters based on the limited information provided about them in Boomerang. I was fully prepared to hate Alison for what she did to Ethan, as well as feeling a little antagonistic toward Adam for creating a dating site purely for hook-ups :( (where is the romance in that). However, I am happy to report n this occasion I admit, I was wrong. Although I still rant and rave over any form of cheating, there is far more going on under the surface to explain certain actions.

Both Adam and Alison have led privileged lives, yet it hasn’t spoiled them and turned them into shallow people. In fact, they both have a depth of compassion not easily seen behind their public personas. Something I think they subconsciously recognise in each other, an underlying vulnerability, that draws them together.

Their physical attraction and chemistry is off the charts but more than that they fit together perfectly. Both have emotional barriers in place due to incidents in both of their past. Adam is initially emotionally unavailable and happy with it. Although,  the more time he spends with Alison, he can’t help but crack his defences.

Both Adam and Alison have deep levels of insight into human nature. Their insight provides them with a deeper connection to each other; something neither of then expected or particularly wanted but desperately needed. I really liked how mistakes were viewed with both regret and as a learning process (the positive within the negative).

Outside pressures, secrets from the past alongside work and family pressure create problems between Adam and Alison forming a relationship. There is far more depth to both main characters than I would have given them credit for. Misunderstandings, anger and hurt lead to an emotionally charged plot; leading to both Adam and Alison facing their personal demons. Their self-reflection and developing self-awareness added depth to the narrative as well as their characterizations.

I really liked the use of team building and trusts exercises within the story and how their themes paralleled interactions within relationships.

Rebound is a slow build with a quick ending, personally I would have liked to have seen more of the relationship and less of the angst but you know me, IT’s ALL ABOUT THE ROMANCE ;)

I just have to get this out there – I still hate COOKIE. However, I am really, really liking Adam’s younger brother, Grey ;) I am so happy he is getting his own book, Bounce, coming August 25th.

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Spotlight plus Give-Away: The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons

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ABOUT THE HIDDEN LIBRARY

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

Amazon/Amazon UK/Barnes and Noble/iBooks/Kobo

Be sure to check back on March 8th for my review ;)

The Hidden Library Excerpt

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Don’t miss the first book in this series, THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY

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REVIEW HERE

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About Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Links: Website/Author Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook

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Books I’ve Read: Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi Gary

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Things Good Girls Don’t Do
Series: Rock Canyon #1
Author: Codi Gary
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date:
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Good girls don’t steal.
Good girls don’t visit sex shops.
Good girls don’t have one-night stands.

For Katie Conners, being a good girl just isn’t worth it anymore. It used to mean getting the life she always wanted. But that was before she got dumped and her ex got engaged to his rebound. So, after a bad day and one too many mojitos, Katie starts making a list of things a girl like her would never do, not in a million years . . .

As a tattoo artist with a monster motorcycle, Chase Trepasso isn’t the kind of guy you bring home to mom and dad.

And when he finds Katie’s list in a bar, he’s more than happy to help her check off a few items. Especially the ones on the naughtier side . . .

Katie’s more than tempted by Chase’s offer, as long as they keep things uncomplicated. But as they spend more time together, she may just wind up breaking the most important rule of all: Good girls don’t fall in love with bad boys.

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Katie is a really sweet person, although that seems like a bland and boring description of her personality. She is one of those people whose innate kindness and compassion are like the beam from a lighthouse guiding people towards her. It also helps that she is absolutely gorgeous without being vain.

Katie has lived her life following the rules her domineering mother laid out for her, always trying to please others rather than herself. However, she gets a dramatic wake-up call when she receives a wedding invitation from her cheating scumbag of an ex. Prompting her to make a list of rebellious regrets.

Chase has always seen himself as the stereotypical bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Lack of maternal nurturing has left an emotional void in his life, he has been burned to many times to trust that he can be viewed as anything more than a good time. He doesn’t see his own value, although he is an accomplished tattoo artist and comic book author. His emotional barriers prevent him from forming a deep connection as he doesn’t feel good enough, especially for Katie – the town golden girl.

Catching Katie in a vulnerable moment while creating her rebellious regrets list draws Katie and Chase together. As Katie embarks on a journey of self-discovery (although slightly unwittingly) Chase becomes her rock. Neither expects the depth of feeling that quickly develops – the soul-mate principle ;) Unfortunately, both Katie and Chase are too nervous and scared of rejection to voice their feelings adding to the angst within the narrative.

Although the romance is a large part of the story, it is Katie’s character development that is the focus of the plot. I loved seeing her blossom into the woman she should be rather than the one people expect her to be. At no point does she lose her compassion and kindness but she does gain the ability to be assertive.

I have got to mention the amazing fashion (rockabilly style that I completely adore) and female bonding that weaves its way through the narrative adding to the enjoyment of the story as a whole.

Another aspect that stood out was the way in which Codi Gary portrayed the pros and cons of life in a small community; the lack of privacy versus the strong support system.

On the whole Things Good Girls Don’t Do is a light, feel-good romance with charismatic characters fueled by girl-power.