transmission
2Dec/18Off

mutant?

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

This is an enjoyable contemporary romance. Part of a series centred on a village cafe in Dorset.
In this one we follow the perspective of Becca. She's a graphic designer from Manchester and she comes to Bunbury to visit her sister for Christmas.
Notoriously immune to the charms of the festive season She finds herself falling for the charms of the villagers and in particular for the handsome Irishman Sam.
I liked that Becca was less than thrilled by Christmas and that she could be spiky and difficult with people. All too many Christmas romances (both novels and films) have protagonists filled with starry-eyed joy at the prospect of all things Christmas.
I particularly liked that the characters actually talked to each other about their feelings (a pet peeve of mine is the dumb misunderstanding) but on the other hand some of the plot points were clunking and obvious.

Rating: B

8Nov/18Off

stan?

This Is Uncool

Garry Mulholland

In this collection of reviews Mulholland picks the best singles from Punk to the Milennium.
Of course this is a highly subjective thing but writes persuadingly on the worth of Pop in general and specifically on critically derided musical genres like Disco.
I vehemently disagreed with some of his opinions (mainly about your more earnest 80's rock acts) but learned enough to want to listen to a whole lot of music that I'd never even thought of checking out before.
It's super cheap right now second hand but for the sake of your wrists don't buy the hardback like I did!
If it matters I bought this because it came highly recommended by Kieron Gillen.

Rating: B+

2Oct/18Off

teal?

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Jenny Han

I only read this one because I enjoyed the Netflix movie.
Lara Jean Covey is put in a pickle when her unsent love letters are mysteriously posted. It would be embarassing enough but one of them is to her older sister's very recently ex-boyfriend.
Almost accidentally she finds herself fake dating another letter recipient called Peter Kavinsky.
It's a pretty good young adult fake dating story but it doesn't work as well as the movie.

Rating: B

30Sep/18Off

americium?

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Hank Green

The first novel from the younger Vlogbrother is a fast-paced & whip smart Science Fiction thriller and also a deeply considered meditation on the nature of fame - especially fame gained through a carefully constructed persona on the Internet.
Recently graduated from college struggling graphic designer April May stumbles across what she initially assumes is a temporary art project in the streets of Manhattan. On a whim April and her friend Andy put up a Youtube video about the giant robot statue and she accidentally finds herself famous & at the centre of a huge worldwide story.
The central characters are well drawn and the feel of April's world feels completely natural even when weird things happen.
It's great fun to read and also seriously thought provoking. I'm just blown away by how good it is for a debut novel.
This is another book that I part read and part listened to. The narrator of the audiobook does great work and if you're an audiobook person it's definitely work checking out.

Rating: A

4Aug/18Off

bandolier?

The Day of the Doctor

Steven Moffat

A Target novelization of an old Doctor Who episode shouldn't be as much fun as this.
Moffat adds and modifies the original script to give the story more depth, more humour and more clever clever twistiness.
I really really enjoyed this.
I split reading this between the ebook and the audiobook (that Amazon synergy at work) and I normally leave my audiobook reviews to the end of the year but I just enjoyed this one too much!
Nicholas Briggs is excellent as the narrator and voices the various Doctors with much relish. Even the little bits of audio atmospherics actually add to the story for a change. Briggs does have one weakness - he seriously cannot do Clara's accent.
Anyway very highly recommended if you like Moffat era Doctor Who.

Rating: A-

2Aug/18Off

pandemic?

Hold Me

Courtney Milan

Enjoyable contemporary romance that's a twist on the old "Shop Around The Corner" trope. Read and reviewed earlier.

Rating: B-

Filed under: B-, Books, Ebook, Rated, Romance Comments Off
30Jul/18Off

rags?

Always On My Mind

Jill Shalvis

One of my favourite romance series is Lucky Harbor. Set in an idyllic seaside town in the Pacific Northwest the books jump from resident to resident as they find love.
This book finds talented baker Leah falling for firefighter and best friend Jack. It's actually a fake dating story as Leah tells Jack's ailing Mother Dee that they're together to make her happy.
It's got a small arson subplot to add to the action but it's mostly confused mutual pining.
It's full of clich├ęs and the writing never elevates above readable but it's a fun read and if you like a sweet contemporary romance this is a good one.
Read before but not reviewed in the 2014 epic romance binge.

Rating: C+

11Jul/18Off

rescue?

The Good Luck Sister

Jill Shalvis

This novella is set between Lost and Found Sisters & Rainy Day Friends in the Wildstone series.
It follows up on Tilly and Dylan from the first book ten years after they part as teenagers.
It's a sweet short tale using a flashback device that I thought was kind of pointless if you could remember the events of the earlier book.
Probably worth skipping unless you're especially invested in this pair or you're a bit of a completist (like myself)

Rating: B-

10Jul/18Off

emily?

How To Be Dead

Dave Turner

Dave is an ordinary guy working in a typically grinding office job.
After a near death experience he meets Death and discovers he's now able to help ghosts pass on to the other side.
This introductory novella is an entirely competent comic fantasy. There's a series of novellas following on from this one about the further adventures of Dave but it's hard to tell from this one how good they'd be.
For a free ebook it's certainly worth trying.

Rating: B-

5Jul/18Off

flamethrower?

The Hating Game

Sally Thorne

I read this one last year. It's a perfectly enjoyable hate to love story.
It's probably best you read last year's review as my opinion hasn't really changed since that first read.

Rating: B-