Blog Tour: Dawn and the Letters by Eliza Noel || Book Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway!

About the Book-

Dawn Chandler is newly settled in Lone Pine, and she can’t wait for the family wedding. When she and her friend Moriah discover an old letter written during the Vietnam War, they hatch a plan for a grand wedding surprise. Forming the “Smokey’s Sleuths” group with their siblings, they intend to track down the letter’s author.

As plans move forward with festivities, Dawn tries to ignore Rochelle, the one girl determined to make her life miserable and ruin her friendships. But Smokey’s Sleuths soon discover that Rochelle is the one person who holds the clue they desperately need.

Will Smokey’s Sleuths be able to track down the letter’s author in time to pull off a wedding surprise, or will Dawn’s struggle to love her enemy keep them from their goal?

Amazon || GoodReads

My Review-

This was such a sweet middle grade story! Dawn and the Letters is the second book in Eliza Noel’s Dawn Chandler series, and it was so fun to read more about Dawn’s life! While it was helpful to have had read book 1, Dawn Chandler, it was definitely not necessary, and the story was fun either way.

Similar Reviews: Dawn Chandler (Dawn Chandler #1)

Like the previous book, this book was directed at kids between 8-12 years old, and the writing style and story line reflected such. The story was really sweet and I feel like I would have really enjoyed it when I was younger.

The message of this book was also really good: the primary theme was forgiveness, and it appeared frequently throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book, which gave it a fun twist. It reminded me of books like the Three Cousins Detective Club or the Cul-de-Sac Kids that I read when I was younger.

The characters were really fun to read: the sibling banter was very amusing and I enjoyed it a lot! I also love books set in a small town, so that was perfect in that regard too.

Overall, it was a very cute and fun read that I would definitely recommend to young readers!

My Rating-

5/5 for young readers, 4/5 for me personally

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

AuthorEliza Noel is a home school graduate with passion for Jesus, people, and literature. Growing up, her favorite books were always Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice. Around age twelve she wanted to read something with positive values in a modern setting, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. So she wrote it.

When not doing something book-related (reading, writing, blogging, bookstagramming), Eliza works at her day jobs, spends time with her many younger siblings, longboards, has coffee with friends, eats chocolate, and listens to music. California is home, but she would like to travel more and feels she could learn to be content anywhere.

You can follow her writing journey and see snippets of her everyday life on elizanoelauthor.blogspot.com or by following @elizanoelauthor on social media.

Website || Facebook || Instagram || Pinterest || Twitter

Giveaway-

To celebrate the release of Dawn and the Letters, Eliza is giving away a signed copy of the book!

Enter Here.


Are you a fan of middle grades? Did you read Three Cousins Detective Club or the Cul-de-Sac Kids when you were growing up? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Book Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

About the Book-

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

My Review-

You may like this book if you liked:

This was a cute contemporary! Nothing super notable about it: I’ve read several books similar to it, where the main character is a young woman in STEM. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE women in STEM and am a huge advocate for it (and am one myself!), but the trope can be, and already has become, overused. Not to say there’s anything necessarily wrong with having more, except when the only character trait of the main character is ‘is a nerd’ and she is otherwise unremarkable, it just . . . is kinda boring.

With that aside though, here are my thoughts about this book specifically. Overall, it was sweet, if a little bit cliche-y. Some of them (maybe some spoilers ahead, read at your own risk): high school seniors, awkward woman in STEM that has no social cues, dead/super uninvolved parents, the hot guy somehow falling in love, the fact that everyone in high school seems to know everyone else and even if you’re not /friends/ with everyone, everyone is civil and knows you and is willing to talk to you, having parents that are just cool with you having friends over whenever you want, never having to go to work but somehow having the budget to have a cute and quirky go-to takeout order, just vibin with a 4.0 AND extracurriculars AND getting ready to go to an ivy no biggie, oh no there’s a medical emergency somewhere in the middle and the love interest is there and all of a sudden how good of a person they are is suddenly revealed, completely unfeasible science/techy thing that magically just ~happens~ because, let’s all say it together, the main character is a ✨nerd✨, and the list goes on.

The story is a Jane Austen Emma retelling, and while I haven’t read Emma, the characters have the same names as the ones in Emma: Emma Woodhouse and George Knightly, which I thought was kind of cute. The story revolves around their coding club, where they compete with other schools to design the best app, which I really liked. It really reminded me of my Science Olympiad years, which was very nostalgic for me and made me miss it. I understand that most people wouldn’t necessarily have enjoyed it, but I would personally have liked to have seen more of the competition and design aspects, rather than just name dropping coding terms.

In addition, there was just . . . a lot of high school drama. I don’t detail it, as it was almost entirely trivial and of no importance, but there was just a lot of drama. In addition, Emma often reacted very strongly to some things that really did not need that kind of reaction? There was a lot of being angry at someone for reasons that were honestly unknown and that didn’t need that level of drama for. She also got mad at a bunch of people who were trying the best. Overall, it was just a very thoughts and emotions driven story, while still being told and not shown.

Neither Emma nor George have particularly notable characteristics, nor, for that matter, any of the side characters, other than one who had red hair. The whole premise of the story is that they design an app that would create the optimal pairing for people looking for a partner/date based on algorithms (which, not a computer scientist, but I’m almost certain that what they call an algorithm isn’t . . . an algorithm?), which would have been fine, except for the fact that the pairs . . . didn’t seem to work? I understand that that was the premise of the story–love isn’t a measurable thing–but with how poorly the app seems to work (which is not mentioned in the book, but rather from my interpretation of the people who were paired), I just don’t understand how the people at the school appeared to be be so supportive of it. At the end of it, even Emma and George (who were not paired by the app, whod’ve thunk) didn’t seem that great of a pair either, which was the whole point of the book anyways.

I did like the relationship between Emma and Jane: their friendship was super cute and honestly I think they had the most chemistry out of every relationship in the book. The interactions of the coding club in general was pretty fun and overall had good energy. Emma’s dad was also pretty fun, and I liked his character. I also LOVED Mrs. Bates, an elderly woman who lived at the nursing home with her husband with dementia: she was probably my favorite character from the book! Lastly, and while it makes me feel 80 years old saying this, I honestly related with Izzy (Emma’s older sister) and her boyfriend, who is George’s older brother, who are away at college, the most from this book: they are just . . . older and wiser and aren’t as caught up in high school dramatics.

Honestly overall? This book was fine. It was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it, but my time for high school YA might be ending, which honestly I’m not too sad about. The characters were really flat, and while the story was good, it was pretty average and I doubt I’ll remember it for long.

My Rating-

4/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jamie Jo Wright

About the Book-

1928
The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My Review-

This was such an unexpectedly good book! When you think of a Christian fiction book, a book about a haunted circus is not what comes to mind. This book was super creepy and suspenseful, and in a good way: it would be a great falltime/Halloweentime read!

First off, the plot is split between 1928 and present time, which took me a while to get into. As a matter of fact, this whole book took a while for me to get into. I don’t think I have read any other books by Jamie Jo Wright, so I’m not sure if this is a feature of her writing, but reading reviews, it seems like it. The plot didn’t start picking up until page 250 or so, and before that, it was very slow reading.

I enjoyed the writing style, even if it was quite slow. The scenes are very vividly described, sometimes to the detriment of the actual plot, which I wasn’t super into. There were a lot of small actions that were described closely, and overall the writing style was pretty dense. With that, though, it was very easy to picture the scene and what is going on all the time.

As for the characters, I really liked the cast! There were a lot of characters, which I’m not very good with, and I was pretty confused by who was who pretty much all the way until the end of the book. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about the antagonist until they were revealed, which made it confusing, to say the least. I really liked both Pippa and Chandler. I related more to Pippa and her struggles, but I’m not sure if that was because of how they were written: there was more insight into what Pippa was thinking, whereas for Chandler, it was more reactionary (if that makes sense: “she looked for x, so she did y” vs “she looked around frantically. she needed to see x”). I think overall I related to Pippa’s struggles more and we are in a more similar stage of life than I am with Chandler.

Like I mentioned earlier, this book was not what I expected! The story very much based on ghosts and Bonaventure Circus, which is rumored to be haunted. It was a lot spookier than I expected it to be, which was nice. It was always just an unexplained happenings scary, not actual scary scary, and it was fun to read. I think the story did a pretty good job of explaining what happened, without explicitly saying whether or not ghosts are real.

Overall, I really liked the story! I enjoyed the plot a lot (finding a serial killer, especially a historical one, is so interesting to me), and while the story took a long time to get into, it was very good once it started moving!

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Being Toffee

About the Book-

One is trying to forget. The other is trying to remember.

After running away from an abusive home, Allison finds herself taking shelter in a shed behind an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty after all; an elderly woman named Marla, who suffers from dementia, lives there. And rather than turn her away, Marla welcomes her – she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past named Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be, so she decides to play along. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real companion, Allison begins to waver. They both deserve a home, a safe place, and a family – but at what cost?

My Review-

tw // domestic violence and child abuse, sexual harassment, animal death, loss of a parent, elder mistreatment

This book was so good!! The size of it (400 pages) intimidated me quite a bit, before I opened it up and realized that it was written in a poetic style, which meant that there were only about 100 words on each page. I haven’t read a ton of books in verse, but this one was really really well done: the details were all captured so intricately and carefully and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Of course, there were some things that were absent, but I think the simplistic writing style was just so well done that I never felt confused at any point.

The verse also made this a really quick read: it only took me about an hour and half to read, which I really appreciated (especially since I put it off for so long haha).

The focus of this book was on Allison (Toffee) and Marla, two of the most ignored and overlooked members of society: a child from an abusive home and an elderly person with dementia. They find each other in the most bizarre of circumstances while Allison is running away from home, and they connect with each other.

There isn’t much of a storyline, but I really think the appeal of the story is the style and the sentiment. It does provide commentary on abuse, neglect, and overall how society treats those who they think do not belong, and it does it so well, but overall, the story itself is fairly similar to a handful of other books that have already been released. The way it is told really amplifies its impact, and that is the reason I like it so much.

Overall, I could not recommend this story enough–the friendship, the writing style, the social commentary–the strong point of this book isn’t in the story, but rather in the portrayal. It’s like looking at memories through a vignette and I loved it so much!

You may like this book if you liked:

  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews
  • More than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

My Rating-

10/10

Things people might want to be aware of:

  • There is a bit of language (which I don’t mind, but I know people do)
  • Discusses pretty heavy topics (child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse [not necessarily /abuse/ but mistreatment possibly], death of pets) so if you are sensitive to things like that, I would not recommend it

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Fade to White by Tara K. Ross

About the Book-

Thea Fenton’s life looks picture-perfect, but inside, she is falling apart. Wracked by anxiety no one seems to understand or care about, she resorts to self-harm to deflect the pain inside.

When a local teen commits suicide, Thea’s anxiety skyrockets. Unexplainable things happen, leaving her feeling trapped within her own chaotic mind. The lines between reality and another world start to blur, and her previously mundane issues seem more daunting and insurmountable than ever.

Then she meets Khi, a mysterious new boy from the coffee shop who seems to know her better than she knows herself—and doesn’t think she’s crazy. His quiet confidence and unfounded familiarity draw her into an unconventional friendship.

Khi journeys with her through grief, fear, and confusion to arrive at compassion for the one person Thea never thought she could love.

My Review-

CONTENT WARNINGS: mentions of suicide | mentions, and descriptions of self-harm | mentions of depression | mentions of suggestive sexual comments

This was a really well written and thoughtful book! I know Tara from social media as a kind of friend of a friend, and her book is one of those books that just really make a difference in the mental health space, especially in the Christian realm.

I really like this story! Thea is not a perfect main character: she has flaws, and she has issues that are not just the “oh i’m too popular whatever shall I do” issues, but instead things like, an unstable home life, going through the grieving process, and school drama. Add that to some anxiety, and you’ve got Thea. She’s aware she has problems, but she doesn’t really know how to begin to solve them.

I think in the Christian book world (not necessarily ~Christian fiction~ in the mass produced paperback sense), people don’t often talk about the hard, nitty gritty, real life topics, such as school drama, or having anxiety, or seeing a therapist, or figuring out one’s place in life, but it is so needed! While the main character herself is not Christian, and the exact “conversion prayer scene” never happens, I think this allows for Thea to really figure out what she needs from life and allow her to find God for herself.

Speaking of being Christian, I was really sad we didn’t get to see more of Khi! He is so ~mysterious and angsty~ but also compassionate and sweet and filled with goodness. He always shows up at the right time with just the right words, and if there was a character that I could wish we could get a sequel/spinoff from, it would be him :). I also really liked the other side characters, especially Thea’s brother Tom, and also her two friends.

Overall, I think this book has a spectacular message, and is very clean and hopeful, while not detracting from the pain within the world at all. It does cover some deeper and heavier topics, although they were very well spoken about, and fulfilled the purpose of the story very well.

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy || Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway!

Hi everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks of pretty crazy finals, but I’m back! Today I have a super exciting blogpost: it’s a part of Sarah Grace Grzy’s blog tour for her new book, Never Say Goodbye!

About the Book-

They say time heals all wounds. But he was finding it a poor painkiller.

Cover

Tyler Collens has seen grief and loss in his years of experience as a paramedic—but he never expected it to touch his life in such a personal way. The death of his wife eighteen months ago shook his steady world and changed him in more ways than he can count. Time and routine have steadied his feet, and he looks toward the future as he raises his infant daughter—but the past has a tighter grip on him than he knows.

Alyvia Emmerson has never been certain of who she is or where she belongs. Her dad’s abandonment as a teen broke a fragile piece of her heart, but ten years later, she has moved on. Living on her own, she at last has a project to devote herself to: revitalizing a shabby bookstore. But she didn’t count on her dream job revealing the shattered pieces of herself she thought mended long ago.

In this sophomore novel featuring beloved characters from Live Without You, Sarah Grace Grzy explores themes of grief, hope, and second chances in a story that touches both the heart and spirit. 

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Indie Bound || Book Depository || GoodReads

My Review-

This was such a sweet book! It’s technically a standalone book, but it is a sister book to Live Without You, and several characters from Live Without You also appear in Never Say Goodbye.

I loved the main characters, Tyler and Alyvia! I didn’t feel as connected to Tyler as I did to Ezra (from Live Without You) but he was still a really good lead character. On the other hand, I related to Alyvia so much more! She has her own bookstore (😍) and was just more relatable and was such a good protagonist! I loved following her story. I really enjoyed seeing how neither of them was portrayed as “perfect,” but rather with their own set of struggles and opportunities to grow.

As for side characters, I really enjoyed seeing Ezra and Piper from Live Without You making a reappearance, this time with kids! Their friendship with Tyler and Alyvia was the best, and I aspire to have friends like that someday. Speaking of kids, Tyler’s baby, Murrae, was absolutely the CUTEST and I loooooooove her!! The other side characters, such as Alyvia’s family, were also well done and I enjoyed their appearances too.

The romance was really well done: I appreciated that it wasn’t an insta-love situation, but a friendship that developed farther along into an ADORABLE romance, complete with bookshop and baby! The faith elements were also really well done: there wasn’t a lot of down-your-throat God talk, but it was there and prominent. The overall message about giving your desires up to God was also a really good one and one that I always love seeing in Christian fiction: it’s just always a good reminder!

The only complaint I have about Never Say Goodbye was the writing style. Although it came through in Live Without You as well, there was just a lot of explicit action in Never Say Goodbye? Things like “he rubbed his hand down his face,” or “he leaned forward, with his forearms resting on the table and resting his body weight on them” (paraphrased, not quotes). This happened often enough that it felt a little awkward to read, and often I had to stop and think about how exactly that action would have been done in order to be able to picture it in my head.

Overall, it was a really sweet springtime contemporary! I really liked the Christian themes in the book, as well as the friendships and character development.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

My Rating-

4/5

About the Author-

authorpic

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest

Giveaway-

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and to visit more stops, click here.


Do you like contemporary books? What is your favorite season to read (both in the book, as well as in real life)? Have you seen/read Never Say Goodbye yet?

Blog Tour: No Chance Meeting by Jaye Elliot || Spotlight, Review, and GIVEAWAY!

Hey everyone!! Happy Valentine’s Day!! Today, we’re celebrating the Release Day of Jaye Elliot’s new book, No Chance Meeting!! There will be a book spotlight, and then my review, and at the very end there will be a giveaway!!


About the Book-

Alex Jennings is done with life. After losing her brother in Afghanistan, everything has collapsed around her. Getting laid off from her day job and failing in her art career, she has nowhere left to turn. She once had faith to believe that all things would work together for good, but that faith died with her brother. Now she just wants the pain to end.

Riley Conrad served thirteen years in the military until three bullets sent him home. After a year and a half of physical therapy and scraping together a living, all he wants is to live a simple life and perhaps even open the coffee shop he dreams about. However, the weight of failing his parents’ expectations doesn’t make it easy, and working as a bartender isn’t getting him anywhere fast.

Could a “chance” meeting between Alex and Riley set them both on the path God always intended?

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!
20% of all February sales will go to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs.

My Review-

This was a really adorable book! I haven’t read anything by Jaye, although I’ve heard lots of good things about her fantasy series, so when I saw No Chance Meeting, her first contemporary, I was super excited to read it and check it out!

This book was very sweet!! I loved Alex and Riley: they are absolutely meant for each other, and I LOOOOOOOOVED reading their story. The side characters are also amazing–Zach and Mindy, the parents, Luke–each of them was distinct and brought their story to life.

Obviously Alex and Riley were the focus of the book, and since it was narrated from Alex’s point of view most of the time, it was more Alex heavy (which was sad: I really enjoyed the parts from Riley’s POV and wanted more!!). The relationship was a perfect representation of what a good, godly relationship should be like. I especially enjoyed the author’s careful writing of really important truths (tw: suicide, depression/anxiety) and worldviews into the book, especially regarding the building of a relationship.

I really liked the daily routine storytelling fashion, and how it wasn’t really dramatic or fast paced: it was really slow (but in a good way!) pretty much all through the book, and detailed how Alex and Riley fell in love. However with that, there wasn’t a significant amount of plot, and readers that like a fast paced plot might be a little disappointed.

With that, however, it was pretty obvious that this was the author’s first book of the sort (though to be completely fair I haven’t read any of her other books, so I couldn’t compare them). There were several plot bunnies, and the writing style wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. In addition, I pretty much called all the big scenes in the book well before they happened, so that was a little bit disappointing. (Also, this is a personal complaint, but Alex cried A LOT. To the point where it was a little bit mundane to read. I understand she was Going Through It, but stILL. It was a little bit much)

Overall? It was a really sweet and adorable book! I enjoyed reading it a lot, and it was exactly the type of soft, fluffy romance that makes your heart melt <3. I stayed up late reading, and I haven’t done that in a long time.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

My Rating-

3.5/5

About the Author-


Jaye Elliot is an award-winning author, country girl, and hopeless romantic at heart. She loves a good hero and will always sigh happily during the lights scene in Tangled. She writes from her home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, which she shares with three cats she considers her kids. When not writing romance novels, she pens fantasy and adventure stories as Jaye L. Knight.

Giveaway-

To celebrate the release of No Chance Meeting, Jaye is giving away a reader bundle that includes a signed copy of No Chance Meeting, a hand-painted watercolor bookmark, a coffee mug, and a bag of Dove chocolates! Enter using the form below. U.S. entries only. Not open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For her second giveaway, Jaye is offering 3 e-book copies of No Chance Meeting. Open internationally!


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Tour Stops-

Book Review: Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

About the Book-

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

My Review-

This was a really sweet book!! I’ve seen some buzz about this in the book but didn’t really look into what it was about (but isn’t that all of the books I review though??). I haven’t read contemporary fiction in a while (don’t really know why, it’s my favorite to read), and this was one so great for getting me back into the contemporary world!

Don’t Read the Comments comes from the points of view of Divya, a female streaming gamer well known in her community, and Aaron, an aspiring game writer. Both of them have home lives that aren’t the best, and they both love playing the game Reclaim the Sun. Both of them are amazing and I loooooooved reading about both of them!!

Divya is a streamer, and her income from streaming helps her single mother go to class and pay the rent. However, being a girl in the community lands her a lot of hate, and trolls begin escalating their threats, causing repercussions in Divya’s real life.

Aaron’s parents run a medical clinic from their house, which they want him to take over. However, he doesn’t want to go into medicine: he wants to write stories for a video game. He’s been writing for a friend of his, who is working on starting up a video game company, although his parents disapprove.

When the two “meet” in the game, they form a connection and begin talking, and when the trolls in Divya’s life begin to escalate, Aaron steps in to help the best he can. The dynamic between the two of them was amazing and so fun to read.

I really enjoyed the video game aspect of this! It was written in such a way that it didn’t seem pretentious (which was kinda the whole point, lol: anyone can be a gamer) and was easy to understand, even for me, and I get confused easily. The in-game world was super cool, and I enjoyed reading it, even though I know practically nothing about gaming!

The side characters were AMAZINGGGGG: Rebekah is my absolute faaaaaaaav (maybe even more than Divya? but maybe not I can’t tell), and Ryan is AWESOME, and Mira is ADORABLE. Divya’s and Aaron’s parents were also super cool (/well written, if you want to think about it like that), and the detective (whose name I have now forgotten) was also super cool. The side characters (and even antagonists) were well written and well defined and I could tell them all apart, which is also difficult for me, haha!

I really liked the final scene: while it did kinda feel a little too perfect, it was exactly perfect enough.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It didn’t make it all the way to my favorite books, but I really enjoyed it, and will definitely be recommending it to others!

GoodReads || IndieBound || Barnes and Noble

My Rating-

8/10

Things Liked-

  • Divya! She’s sweet and thoughtful and also really smart and tough and strong and aaaa
  • Rebekah is a badass and I love her
  • Aaron is so sweet (he reminds me of Weston from 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons)
  • All the other side characters, especially Mira and Detective what’s-her-name
  • The tackling of sensitive, but hugely important topics (women in a male dominated world, sexual assault, (TW: sexual assault), social media, online harrassment, etc)
  • The gaming world was so well done!
  • ON! LINE! FRIENDS!!!!! AND AN ONLINE COMMUNITY!!!!
  • The romance was sweet and not overdone!!

Things Disliked-

  • The story was pretty predictable: I kinda called the shots before they happened
  • It…maybe finished a little bit too perfectly?? But I LOVED the ending!!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.