Aug 21, 2016

ARC Review: ADULTING 101 by Lisa Henry


The struggle is real.
 Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?

That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.

Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.

Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.

This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.

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Rating: 4 stars!

Adulting 101 -- I would've read this book for that title alone. That it's about a character who's not ready to grow up yet was another good reason to read it. I knew then I would not only read this book, but that I would also like it. And I did. I liked it a lot. It had a fun main character, adorable BFFs very into cuddling, pizza, and everything! It was like the cutest book ever!

Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen years old, not ready to grow up, and college is only a couple of months away. He has no idea what he wants to do in his life, and that has him in panic mode. All very understandable. Being an adult with the responsibilities and whatnot is so unappealing. I mean...


He has a summer job where the most interesting thing to him is his stapler. Well, the stapler and Jai Hazenbrook. Jai Hazenbrook's ass, to be exact. It's an ass that inspires poetry, and Nick has a notebook to prove it. It also inspires Nick to ask Jai to blow him in the porta-potty. They get caught and that inspires their boss to fire them.

Nick misses his stapler from work, but Jai is in a worse position. Jai needs a job to earn enough money for traveling around the world as he's been doing for years now. Getting out of that town as soon as possible is his goal.

On the bright side, Nick and Jai start hanging out and hooking up. Nick wants to get a head start on the whole adulting thing, and Jai isn't strong enough to resist Nick's charm. Nick continues to be super cute at it, and I of course wish the book had first person narrative, and that Nick told the whole story. Oh, well, moving on...

Nick on his own is adorable. Nick and his BFF Devon are beyond that. I can't even. Sweetness overload. My favorite parts of the book are about them.

Yep, that seems about right. That's why it seems so wrong to separate them.

So aside from Jai and his perfect ass, this is not a great time for Nick, but Nick is Nick and will make one laugh even when he's not at his best.

What Nick does in the end, and where he goes, well, you should find that out for yourselves.

From what I understand this isn't the type of books Lisa Henry normally writes, but I hope she'll do it again. I would like a short story with Nick just to check how he's doing adulting.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!


Aug 11, 2016

ARC Review: THE SILVERS by J.A. Rock


What humans want from the Silver Planet is water. What they find is a race of humanoids who are sentient, but as emotionless and serene as the plants and placid lakes they tend.

B, captain of the mission, doesn’t believe that the “Silvers” are intelligent, and lets his crew experiment on them. But then he bonds with Imms, who seems different from the others—interested in learning, intrigued by human feelings. And B realizes that capturing, studying, and killing this planet’s natives has done incalculable damage.

When a fire aboard B’s ship kills most of the crew and endangers Imms, B decides to take him back to Earth. But the simplicity of the Silver Planet doesn’t follow them. Imms learns the full spectrum of human emotions, including a love B is frightened to return, and a mistrust of the bureaucracy that wants to treat Imms like a test subject, even if they have to eliminate B to do it.

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Rating: 5 stars!

The Silvers isn't the type of book I usually read. Had it not been written by J.A. Rock, I probably never would have read it. That would've been my loss because like everything else I've read by this author, this book was incredible. I was once again blown away. This was my fifth J.A. Rock book, and I am amazed by how differently written they were, and how each time it was perfect for the main characters. 

Some of Rock's books were so much fun to read, and some were more serious and emotional. The Silvers was one of the saddest, definitely the most thought-provoking. I had tears in my eyes for the bigger part of the book, but I didn't mind. I do like to read something with that effect from time to time, and in any case I couldn't mind it even if I tried because this book introduced me to Imms, a sentient being from another planet who could teach the human race a thing or two about humanity. Imms was what I loved most in this book. I doubt I'll ever forget his character.

The story begins on the planet humans called the Silver Planet where a crew from Earth came for its water. There they found a race of humanoids living simple, peaceful lives, and of course humans being humans they couldn't leave them alone; they had to examine them more closely. One crew member spent time with them in their habitat and read them books, and taught them a language they didn't know, but that wasn't enough for them. They went as far as cutting them open alive. The Silvers quickly learned it was best to keep away from the humans, but one was too curious to stay away. Imms. His curiosity was repayed with cruelty. That was when B, the captain of the mission, stepped in to save him, and hide him from the other crew members. From there on B and Imms became closer. They became so close that when an opportunity to bring Imms to Earth presented itself, B grabbed it, and curious to find out what Earth was like, and feeling affection towards B, Imms accepted. There was also the fact that if he had stayed on his home planet he would've been alone and forgotten forever, so the remaining members of the crew and Imms went to Earth, where the second part of the book is set.

Imms on Earth was anxiety-inducing for me. Even if he had been presented to humans as a hero, they wanted to perform tests on him. Many tests. And they were willing to do anything to get him to consent. Spending time in public places wasn't great for him either. At least he lived with B who was assigned to look after him, but even that wasn't too easy as they were both learning how to be in a relationship with each other while dealing with the rest of the world who demanded more and more of Imms, when B's protection of him became less effective. And all that time Imms was discovering human emotions, some of which weren't pleasant experiences. The reason why all this caused me anxiety and why I was so teary-eyed while I was reading The Silvers was because of Imms. He reminded me of a sweet, innocent child, one I wanted to lock away someplace to protect him from the dangerous world. Unfortunately, I couldn't, and things kept getting more complicated and unsafe. There were some parts with the side characters I didn't fully understand. I think it was because Imms didn't understand it. No matter, all I cared about was Imms's safety and happiness. That's why I choose to believe he found those things.

Overall, this was a beautiful piece of fiction, and Imms was a wonderful character, and I seriously doubt I've managed to do this book justice with this review, but at least I tried. 

As always, I have to say I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!

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