Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Published by Little, Brown BFYR on July 15, 2014
Pages: 416
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
four-stars

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The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.

The whole x-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven thing totally caught my attention. Such comparison marketing is often a lie, though, and the cover didn’t especially make me fall in love. Then Dahlia (The Daily Dahlia) told me that Illusive is a Christina book and that the marketing was not lying. At that point, my desire for Illusive went from curiosity to MUST HAS. Once again, Dahlia was totally right. The comparison marketing did not lie: superpowers plus clever criminal shenanigans are what you’re going to get from Emily Lloyd-Jones’ debut.

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Cover Snark (112): The One with Little Dreams of Better Covers

CoverSnarkChristina2

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Shiny and New:

1. The Paper Magician – Charlie N. Holmberg
The Paper Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg
Thoughts: Does this mean she keeps a paper plane in the train of her dress? Curious.

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Audiobook Review: Mermaids by Patty Dann

Audiobook Review: Mermaids by Patty Dann

Mermaids by Patty Dann
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Published by Audible on April 9, 2013
Duration: 4 hrs, 6 mins
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
three-stars

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"Mrs. Flax was happiest when she was leaving a place, but I wanted to stay put long enough to fall down crazy and hear the Word of God. I always called my mother Mrs. Flax."So begins this extraordinary first novel about one wild year in the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Flax, when she and her sister Kate move with Mrs. Flax into a sleepy 1960's Massachusetts town. Mrs. Flax is a woman who wears polka-dot dresses and serves hors d'oeuvres for dinner every night, and Kate is a child who basically wants to be a fish.And then there's Charlotte, who in Patty Dann's hands, is transformed into a young woman of infinite whim and variety. Charlotte's main ambition in life is to become a saint, preferably martyred, though she's Jewish. She's smitten with the shy young caretaker at the convent at the top of the hill. Dann has created a young girl who accepts the unkindness of the mad universe in which she's whirling and takes it on with a savage glee.Charlotte Flax is like no one you have ever met--and someone you know very well.

Fact #1: Mermaids came out in 1967.

Fact #2: Mermaids is not about mermaids.

Fact #3: Mermaids was made into a movie starring Cher as Mrs. Flax, the wild mother, Winona Ryder as the older daughter, and Christina Ricci as the younger daughter. Though I haven’t seen the movie, this is the perfect cast for this book, which ought to tell you something.

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Review: Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
Series: The Austen Project
Published by Grove Press on April 15, 2014
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary, Gothic, Mystery, Retelling, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
one-half-stars

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Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid has riveted millions of readers worldwide with her acutely suspenseful, psychologically complex, seamlessly plotted thrillers. In Northanger Abbey, she delivers her own, witty, updated take on Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre imaginings, with an extra frisson of suspense that only McDermid could provide.

Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels? A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship.

One of my many weaknesses as a reader of fictions is my inability to resist a novel that purports to have anything to do with Austen. A retelling, a continuation, or anything of that sort, and I want it desperately, no matter how terrible it looks. In this case, though, I was hopeful. I enjoyed the Austen Project Sense and Sensibility fairly well and the cover of Northanger Abbey is gorgeous. Plus, Austen’s Northanger Abbey is one of my favorite of Austen’s novels. This seemed like a safe bet. Famous last words. Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid has the plot down but lacks the heart.

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Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Ben Elliot, Elizabeth Bower, Nicola Stanton, Steven France
Published by Penguin Audio on July 1, 2014
Duration: 12 hrs, 19 mins
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
four-half-stars

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One single mum
With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to . . .

One chaotic family
Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone.
Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking . . .

One handsome stranger
Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help . . .

One unexpected love story
The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances.

I’m calling it: I officially love Jojo Moyes’ books. One Plus One is my second one. Once again, it’s not a book that I feel like I would normally have liked; it’s not a subject that calls to me particularly. In fact, if I’m objective, this book is rather ridiculous. I probably shouldn’t like it. But, you know what? It just works somehow and I totally love it, the same way I did Me Before You. Basically, Jojo Moyes is a skilled puppeteer of my emotions.

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