Size Doesn’t Matter (30): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (30): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerTwilight by Meg Cabot
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham, Lorelei King
Series: The Mediator #6
Published by Avon on December 27, 2005
Genres: Paranormal, Humor, Romance
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

This time it's life or death.

Suze has gotten used to ghosts. She's a mediator, after all, and communicating with the dead is all in a day's work. So she certainly never expected to fall in love with one: Jesse, a nineteenth-century hottie. But when she discovers that she has the power to determine who becomes a ghost in the first place, Suze begins to freak. It means she can alter the course of history... and prevent Jesse's murder, keeping him from ever becoming a ghost - and from ever meeting Suze.

Will Jesse choose to live without her, or die to love her?

Wow, I totally did not remember how this series wrapped up. Though now it’s not the end, yay! There was not nearly as much kissing in this series as I remembered, so I’m very glad there’s now more series to come.

I mean, could I side-eye some of the world building here? Um, yes. Do I want to? Hell no because anything that gets me more Jesse de Silva is totally a-okay with me.

Rereading this one has been interesting. It was one of my favorite series as a teen. In some ways it totally holds up, and in some it doesn’t. I find myself very uncomfortable with Paul Slater in so many ways, and I really just think he’s the worst scum bag in the world but he’s kind of forgiven and argh I don’t know.

But whatever. Jesse and Suze 4 lyf.

Size Doesn’t Matter (30): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerProposal by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #6.5
Published by Avon Impulse on January 19, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Humor, Romance
Pages: 128
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs - Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together - including Jesse and herself - especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Novellas usually aren’t my thing, but this one was really fun. It’s actually a Mediator novel in miniature, which seems obvious but often novellas feel more me to me like a deleted scene (one that was deleted because it wasn’t good enough for the novel). But this one has a ghost to be mediated and some delicious Jesse de Silva.

Basically, I’m here to see Suze and Jesse getting to be an actual couple. There’s some new terminology and a timing change that make the new Mediator stuff inconsistent with the old, but whatever do I really care? No, no, I don’t.

Size Doesn’t Matter (30): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerRebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on February 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

"The Breakfast Club" gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.

The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.

When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.

With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.

When Rebel Bully Geek Pariah was on deck for my next read, I’ve got to admit that I was side-eyeing it. I mean, it looked like it was going to be this dark contemp about bullying and gossip and stuff, not necessarily something I would typically go for. I’d requested it out of curiosity, but with a busy schedule and coming out of a slump, I just was not sure about it anymore. One of my favorite things is when I book I’ve already given up on turns out to be totally awesome and unputdownable. Such was the case with Rebel Bully Geek Pariah.

I went into this book with a totally clean slate. I couldn’t remember anything about it and I’d heard absolutely nothing from anyone else about its quality. The pitch of modern, high-stakes Breakfast Club is totally on point btw. It’s The Breakfast Club, only instead of being in trouble with their principal, they’re on the run from the law. So yeah, it’s pretty intense. And it is about bullying and high school drama and stuff, but it’s not treated in a heavy way. There’s a lot of friendly (and not) banter.

One of my book catnips is when people who don’t usually interact are forced together by circumstances and end up bonding, which is everything this book is about. The relationships are forged in a really believable way and their interactions rung true. The story itself stretched believability for me in a big way, but with characterization so good I really didn’t mind that. Plus, the action was exciting and had me turning the pages. My one real disappointment here was that the fledgling ship didn’t make any headway whatsoever. There’s some cute flirting but then nothing.

I highly recommend Rebel Bully Geek Pariah for readers who enjoy misfit groups bonding and fast-paced action.

Size Doesn’t Matter (30): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Narrator: Lorelei King, Fiona Hardingham
Length: 12 hrs, 10 mins
Published by Random House Audio on January 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

Whenever I get an email of review audiobooks, I check out the narrators for any book that sounds remotely interesting. A book with “reader” in the title narrated by a British person is pretty much destined to end up on my tbr pile. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is cute and really great in the audiobook format.

Sara, a shy, Swedish reader, travels to Broken Wheel, Iowa of all places to meet up with her bookish pen pal, Amy. However, she arrives to find that Amy has died. The town puts her up, letting her live in Amy’s house, grudgingly at first, but gradually coming to really love Sara.

A bit bored and feeling a lot guilty about how much the townsfolk have done for her, Sara decides to open up a bookstore using Amy’s books and old, unused shop. Her goal is to get every person in Broken Wheel into reading by finding the right book for them. My favorite match up is when she gives George Bridget Jones’ Diary personally. Obviously I love all the bookishness, especially the odd connection between Sara and Amy, but I don’t really buy Sara as an expert in books. She mentions only best sellers, which, for a reader like me, is pretty disappointing. I mean, a teen tells Sara she’s into dragons and Sara’s going to give the kid Eragon. Sorry but no.

The characters start off kind of one-note, but they grow in the course of the book, and the town becomes one full of oddball romances which culminates in this totally hilarious scene at the end. I really love what Bivald sets up ship-wise, but this could have been better done too. I’m pro Tom/Sara but they don’t get to spend much time together, even given the short timeline. Bivald focuses on all the townspeople so much that not enough time is given to any one timeline to really sell the romantic arcs. So it’s cute but not as swoony as it should have been.

If you’re willing to wait out the slow start, The Readers of Broken Wheel is a whole lot of fun. Seriously, the madcap ending is a total delight. Also, we bookish folks will have to ignore how many better recs we could have made to the people of Broken Wheel.

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