goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Follow Me Back
Author: A.V. Geiger
Genre: YA
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 368 pages
Date read: February 2017

Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast - like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...


Please note that this is a review of the book version only. There is also a version on Wattpad, which has some significant changes. Ironically, I believe I would have rated that one higher, but this is the version provided to me by NetGalley, so so be it.

It will be hard to review it properly without spoilers but I will do my best.

Most of the book was excellent. Well written and captivating - written in the style of a YA Liane Moriarty novel. Sure, it was kinda sweetly tacky in places, and unrealistic in a chick-lit kinda way, but it worked. I stayed up much too late to read it, and despite a few glaring plotholes (most notably the MET storyline which was never tied up... I also have questions about both Blair and the therapist) was ready to give it a solid 4 star rating.

But then came the last 5 pages. I realize they were added for shock value and to get people to read the sequel, but when I read them, I didn't know a sequel was in the works, and thought this was the end - and it basically ruined the book for me. Only the fact that I was reading it on my tablet saved it from being tossed across the room.

At that time I was ready to give the book just 1 star, but a quick look on Goodreads informed me that a sequel is indeed in the works (and spoilers are aplenty on Wattpad) and that all is obviously not how it seems. That mellowed my opinion a fair bit, and made me raise my rating from "I didn't like it" to "it was okay". Still not fond of the cheap trick though.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Dragon Kin: Sapphire & Lotus
Author: Audrey Faye & Shae Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 247
Date read: December, 2016

The ancient prophecy speaks of the five, those who will come to save all of dragonkind. Like most prophecies, it leaves out a lot of the important details...

The very ordinary elf girl who runs for the hills—and gets lost in a forest instead. The dragon egg, precariously perched high in a tree on a dark winter's night.

And what happens when egg meets girl.


Utterly delightful book! Far too short though, as I found myself thinking about it for ages after finishing it, and wishing there was more to the story. Fortunately it's the first book in a series, so I have the rest to look forward to.

I can't quite explain the charm... the plot is very quickly described - the elf, Sapphire, bonds with the dragon, Lotus, and has to teach it how to behave... and most specifically, how to fly! - but the book showcases Audrey Faye's skill with the pen (a skill, it would seem, that her daughter has inherited), and I grew to love all the characters and wanted to know more about them. I smiled my way through it, and immediately sent it off to others for them to read.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Little Piece of Me
Author: Stephan A. Geller
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 293 pages
Date read: July, 2015

Marcia Kleinman has a difficult husband, a difficult mother and a little boy, Max, who has a rare chronic liver disease that will eventually require a liver transplantation.

When Max becomes ill Marcia and her husband, Michael, are presented with difficult choices that include allowing Marcia to donate a portion of her own liver, or waiting until an appropriate liver becomes available from another child of Max's approximate age and size.

During the months during which Max's condition slowly worsens Marcia seeks relief from stress by deciding to learn Beethoven's "Appassionata" piano sonata, a piece that her mother recorded but that Marcia had not been able to master in the past.


I'm really hard pressed to say what I think of this book. Parts of it were absolutely excellent, while other parts (mostly the flashbacks) were a slog to get through. It's one of those books where I'm not really sure what the author was trying to achieve by it, which made the depressing parts seem somewhat pointless -- and while I don't mind if my book has depressing parts, I want it to be for a reason!

I was taken in by the cover (actually the reason I requested this book in the first place), and loved the musical aspects of the story, so while the end might seem callous to some - I totally get it.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Ikk' for sjov - om kemo og comedy
Author: Geo
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 240
Date read: December, 2014

Geo is one of the most well-known stand-up comedians in Denmark, so when he got hit by cancer a couple of years ago - or rather, when he was declared well again afterwards - he decided to use his voice to speak out about his experiences, in the hopes of offering some sort of help and comfort to others who were in his shoes. This book is his journey through diagnosis, chemo and recovery, interspersed with entries from his wife's diary, in order to give us her side of the story too.

Full disclosure - I am not a fan of Geo. He used to be hugely into physical comedy, which isn't really my cup of tea. But I had head so many good things about this book - and it's such an important topic - that I wanted to read it. I was drawn in immediately. That man can write! It was extremely engaging, and it was impossible not to feel for him, and empathize with what he and his family (including their 4-year-old daughter) were going through.

A very, very good book, and one I would highly recommend to just about anybody. Geo also did a stand-up show recently, focusing on cancer as well, and despite how I used to feel about his comedy acts, I now kind of want to watch that one as well. I have a completely new level of respect for him after this.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Friendship Bread
Author: Darien Gee
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 363
Date read: December, 2014

In the quiet community of Avalon, Illinois, Julia Evarts wonders how to move on with her life. Though her husband and five-year-old daughter give her an abundance of love, Julia still reels from a tragedy that has left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend. Meanwhile, across town, widow Madeleine Davis takes great pleasure in serving up delectable treats and cozy comforts at her tea salon - now, if only she had some customers to enjoy them. And famed concert cellist and recent Avalon transplant Hannah de Brisay finds herself at a crossroads when her career and marriage come to abrupt ends. The three strangers forge a friendship at Madeleine's Tea Shop, and soon their camaraderie extends to everyone in Avalon in the guise of a unique and wonderful gift. But even as Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.


I've been wanting to read this ever since I received "The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society" as an ARC a couple of years ago, and was thrilled to finally get my hands on it this summer.

Fortunately it lived up to my expectations :) While not quite as good as TALSS, it is still very much worth reading. There were times where I had to put it aside because I was convinced some of the characters were about to make wrong decisions, but last night I decided to just finish it already, and I was very gratified to see that my trust in Darien Gee wasn't misplaced, and that the characters ended up making the right choices after all :)

There's not much to it, but it's a cozy book that could easily become a comfort read.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Dangerous Witch (Witch Central #3)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 165
Date read: September 2014, March 2015


Very bittersweet book to read, since I knew it would be the last book about my dear witches. I almost put off reading it, so I'd still have something 'new' to read, but in the end I couldn't wait. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that Debora Geary gets attacked by plot bunnies sometime in the future after all ;)

That said, having read this I can understand her decision. I don't mean to say that it's badly written or anything, but for the first time ever the book is plot-driven rather than character-driven... Which makes sense, if she no longer feels like she can draw on her personal experiences to write the characters - then the plot would have to take center stage. And it feels weird to say, because usually I prefer plot-driven books, but this series is apparently the exception that proves the rule, and I missed the crazy asides that has made me come to know and love the Witch Central characters so. But Debora Geary was determined only to "add words that were worthy of Witch Central" and I understand and respect that decision. And at the end of the day, I think she succeeded very nicely.

I am very sorry to see the end of Witch Central - it has meant more to me than almost all other book series I can think of - but I wish Debora Geary all the best for the future, and thank her for the hours of joy and love she has brought me through these characters.

She hasn't stopped writing completely though, and I will make sure to continue to follow her under her new pseudonym.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: An Unlikely Witch
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 243
Date read: January 2014, March 2015

A toddler and a snowman... Everyone in Witch Central knows about Jamie Sullivan's precog vision. The one he saw when he first laid eyes on the woman who would one day be his wife.

Now Nat and Jamie have it all. A fiery, adorable daughter, the kind of marriage that lasts to forever and beyond, and deep roots in the love, antics, and magic of Witch Central's leading family.

Those parts of the vision have all come true. All that is missing is one small boy with dancing eyes.

And all the magic in the universe can't seem to make him real.

Loved this just as much as I had expected to, but without giving too much away, I think it would be a very hard read for somebody struggling with infertility.

But to me, it was still a comfort book. Debora Geary writes love so well, and I'm looking very much forward to seeing where she takes this new development in future books. I do wish there had been more focus on the solstice gifts though. As far as I recall we never heard what all of them were... and I think that would have made for some awesome scenes!

I love Trinity, and am glad to see that she's been adopted by Witch Central as well.

I did have one issue with the beginning of the book. I don't think it would qualify as a spoiler, but I'll hide it anyway, just in case.
Read more... )
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: An Imperfect Witch (Witch Central, #1)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 250
Date read: September 2013, 2014, March 2015

Two years ago, Lizard Monroe was Berkeley's newest delinquent on parole. Now she's a hot young realtor with a great life, an awesome guy, and enough friends to chase away the ghosts of her past.

Almost.

The crystal ball has spoken - life isn't done messing with her yet. And neither is the need brewing in the eyes of the man she loves.

The eve of Halloween approaches. And whatever the sexy poet realtor wants to believe, moving beyond your past isn't the same as facing the future.

I've long since realized that the plot of Debora Geary's books really doesn't matter at all (well... that's probably an exaggeration, but it matters very little), because what really drives the book are the characters and their interaction - it's just so refreshing to read a series where people are generally kind and generous towards one another for once.

What struck me while reading this installment of the witch series is that though easily overlooked, Debora Geary has an amazing way with words. I'd constantly find myself paging back to reread some sentence of another. She's a poet in the truest sense of the word, putting together sentences such that the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. An ability very rarely seen, and undeniably a big reason why her books resonate so with me.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: To Have and To Code (A Modern Witch, #0.5)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 364
Date read: September, 2013

Nell Sullivan is fiery, easily distracted by cookies, and doomed to wear the peach monstrosity at her best friend's wedding.

And she's a witch.

Daniel Walker is a former baseball player turned bored hacker looking for a challenge. Hacking Nell's online gaming world is going to get him a lot more than he bargained for.

A prophecy says they will make babies together - but when it comes to the love life of a modern witch and a hacker, prophecy might not get a vote.

Adorable novel, but definitely more about the romance than the magic. That's okay - I liked that it focused on Nell-the-person rather than Nell-the-witch... Or rather how they were one and the same and one shouldn't take a back seat to the other.

But why does nobody in Berkeley even ever blink an eyelid at somebody being a witch? Okay, Daniel was more surprised than most, but he was the only one... seems slightly too good to be true to me.

Ah well, minor nitpick, and I did enjoy this glimpse into Nell's past and her interaction with her family of origin. Not to mention I'm pretty sure we saw a recurring character from one of her short stories - but I'm too lazy to go back and check the names ;)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Lost Witch (A Modern Witch #7)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 269 pages
Date read: July 2013, 2014, March 2015

Hannah Kendrick has spent the last twelve years fighting for her sanity. And the doctor who has stood by her side has run out of options.

A small computer tracking spell will find Hannah—but can Witch Central save her?

I think "A Lost Witch" earns the dubious honour of being the Witch Central book that has made me cry the hardest so far - probably just as well that I was alone while reading this, so I didn't worry anybody.

What I enjoy most about these books is that everybody is so genuinely nice and caring - Witch Central opens their hearts and lives to anybody in need, and it makes for such a refreshing change to many of the books I've otherwise been reading.

My heart broke for Hannah, Lauren and Nell in this one, but they have a strong safety net, and I have no doubts they will make it through to the other side in one piece.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Witches in Flight (WitchLight Trilogy #3)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 413
Date read: July 2013, July 2014, February 2015

Ghosts from Lizard's past--and the man who wants to be her future.

The empty places in Elsie's soul--and the temptations of raspberry-laced courage.

Walk once more with Jennie's students as they come to the end of their WitchLight journeys.

The last book in the trilogy. While I liked the second one the best (oddly enough... usually that's the weakest in a trilogy), this one made for an utterly adorable read as well. I loved Josh, I loved his great-uncle, I loved all the members of Witch Central - witches and non-witches alike. I would have liked to see at least one non-witch be absolutely bowled over by the fact that witches exist though... they all seemed to take it pretty much in stride.

There's no real plot in this book, but the descriptions of friendship, community and self-discovery were an inspiration to read. I couldn't help but wish for a Witch Central in my own neighbourhood... even if they did get awfully meddlesome at times.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Witches Under Way (WitchLight Trilogy #2)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 419
Date read: July 2013, July 2014, February 2015

Lizard and Elsie are under way, but the WitchLight journey isn't an easy one.
- There are bumps and obstacles inside their own hearts.
- There are meddling witches, helpful knitters, and a fearsome duo with water pistols.
- And there is the greatest challenge of all... the one they will pick for each other.

I liked this even more than the first book in the trilogy. The first book was great, but it really mostly served to set the stage for this one. In this Elsie and Lizard got to soar... both figuratively and literally.

I laughed out loud on several occasions and had a lump in my throat more times than I can count - and more often than not the two happened at the same time... made for interesting bus reading, I'll tell you that! But the story isn't over yet, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Oh, and I'm totally in love with Freddie :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Witches on Parole (WitchLight Trilogy #1)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 421
Date read: July 2013, July 2014, February 2015

World-famous (and now retired) photographer Jenvieve Adams has a debt to repay, and a soft spot for witches who have lost their way. Or so she thinks, until they actually show up.

Join some of the cast of characters from the very successful A Modern Witch series as they take on a new kind of journey as guides for WitchLight. What happens when an obsessive psychologist and a wordsmithing delinquent get dropped into Witch Central?

First book in this spin-off series to "A Modern Witch" and every bit as charming :) I didn't care much for Elsie (except when she started knitting! That got my fingers twitching as well :) ), but I simply adored Lizard. I also really liked seeing more of Lauren and Nat's lives outside WitchCentral. Lauren's especially. Her work as a realtor - especially once she realized she was a mind witch - fascinates me :)

Of course I'll jump straight on to the next book in the series - I could hardly do anything else :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Celtic Witch (A Modern Witch #6)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 247
Date read: May 2013, 2014, March 2015

Cassidy Farrell is a world-class Celtic fiddler. And if she has her way, that's exactly who she'll stay.

Except that's not what the rocks have in mind. Or a certain fetching spell. Or the truth working its way free in her own heart.

Can the music, and perhaps a certain grumpy curmudgeon and his baby girl, help Cass find her life's new song?

The second-to-last book in the series :) The last one will be out in June.

This one was strangely slow to start compared to some of the others, but once it did, it took off with a vengeance. Not much page-time for the Californian witches in this one, which was a shame, but on the other hand I appreciated all the page time that Marcus got. Such a sweet story :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Different Witch (A Modern Witch #5)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 260
Date read: May 2013, 2014, March 2015

Twenty months ago, Jamie and Lauren crashed a coven meeting in Chicago - a visit they barely remember. For Beth Landler, it was the moment that fractured her circle and awakened her need for an entirely different kind of magic.

The kind only found in Witch Central. If she can dig up the courage to go.

A fetched witch who doesn't immediately love the Witch Central? Gasp! How is that even possible?! But it made for an interesting twist, and I can well imagine how somebody with aspergers could feel more than a little overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the Sullivan-Walker circus :) I thought Debora Geary handled it well, and I actually really appreciated that we got to see Beth again. I hadn't stopped to wonder what became of her since the first book, but I really should have.

And as always - love the kids :D
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Nomadic Witch (A Modern Witch #4)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 263
Date read: May 2013, July 2014, February 2015

Spring brings a traveler to Nova Scotia - a tiny babe who will turn Marcus's life upside down and reincarnate the horrifying events of his past.

Can Marcus find his way through the pain to love and healing? And can the witching community finally learn to keep their astral travelers safe?

We're back in Nova Scotia, and this time it's Marcus, rather than a "fetched" witch, who is the main character of the book.

Unlike the other books in the series, I wouldn't really call this a feel-good book. It's still a great read, but absolutely heart-wrenching in places. I commend Debora Geary though. She could easily have taken the easy way out with some of her choices, but she stuck to the hard truth, which I think strengthened the story.

It did make me sit and sob into my Kindle at times though.

But a terrific read nonetheless. I'll definitely be purchasing the later books in the series as well as some of the "inbetween" ones.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Reckless Witch (A Modern Witch #3)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 304
Date read: May 2013, July 2014, February 2015

As a child, Sierra Brighton traveled the world. She swam with the baby whales, danced in storm funnels, and lived in complete magical freedom. And then Momma died and Sierra ended up in foster care, an unhappy and very secret witch.

Fetched by Nell's spell, she'll no longer need to do magic on lonely beaches - but can Sierra learn to use her power safely? Or will her reckless blood put Witch Central at risk?

I'm seriously in love with this series :) For this one we're back in California, and I think I might like that setting a tiny bit more - although with Net-travelling it hardly makes much of a difference any longer.

Sierra is such a sweet witch, and the love the others show her - not to mention their easy way of immediately adopting her, just when she needed it the most - brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. I especially loved Devin and wish we could have seen more of his and Lauren's relationship.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Hidden Witch (A Modern Witch #2)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 300
Date read: May 2013, 2014, February 2015

Elorie Shaw, steeped in the traditions of the Nova Scotia witching community, but not a witch. The fetching spell must have goofed this time... or did it? Travel to Fisher's Cove, Nova Scotia, where Moira is matriarch and the old ways are nurtured and passed to the next generation. Where a crotchety old witch makes small children cry and builds walls around the silent pain in his heart. And where Elorie - sea-glass artist, inn owner, and Moira's granddaughter - makes her home. The old magics are strong here. Which is all fine and good until the fetching spell pulls Elorie into Witches' Chat. Because she's not a witch. Or at least not any kind of witch the old ways recognize...

Not quite as good as "A Modern Witch". Probably in part because now I knew what quality of book to expect, and in part because I wasn't quite as smitten by Elorie as I was by Lauren.

Still a delightful book though, and I read it in one day. It's lovely to read a book where people are just genuinely nice towards one another. There's no major conflict, no big climax - just a cozy feeling of getting to know a particular group of people. Some people may miss the presence of an actual plot, but I love it :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch #1)
Author: Debora Geary
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 299
Date read: May 2013, 2014, February 2015

Can you live 28 years without discovering you're a witch?

Lauren is downtown Chicago's youngest elite realtor. She's also a witch. She must be - the fetching spell for Witches' Chat isn't supposed to make mistakes. So says the woman who coded the spell, at least.

The tall, dark, and handsome guy sent to assess her is a witch too (and no, that doesn't end the way you might think). What he finds in Lauren will change lives, mess with a perfectly good career, and require lots of ice cream therapy.

This book had me hooked already on page two, when I discovered that at least some witches in this universe wrote witching spells using computer code! As an IT consultant myself, this was something that immediately appealed to me and I fell instantly in love.

Fortunately the rest of the book more than lived up to my expectations. Granted, it doesn't have the most complex or innovative plot, but it's just a genuinely pleasant book. I loved the characters, and their antics had me laughing out loud so often that my husband started wondering what was up. I fell in love over and over with each new situation, and found myself tearing up from their happiness more than once.

This is a true comfort book, and I have a hard time remembering when I've last fallen THIS hard for a new book. It's an instant favourite.
goodreads: (Default)
Title: The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society
Author: Darien Gee
Genre: Crafts, Chick-lit
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 448
Date read: January, 2013

"The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society" is a must for any lovers of Kate Jacobs, Debbie Macomber or Gil McNeil. It is the story of small-town Avalon, where Bettie - scrapbooker extraordinaire - won't let strangers be strangers for long.

The book follows a group of women in Avalon. Though not friends at first - in fact, the group includes a widow and the woman her deceased-before-they-could-get-a-divorce husband left her for - through the sharing of their trials and successes, they learn the strength of friendships.

We meet Connie who finally dares to love again when she finds a runaway goat, Frances and Reed who are trying to adopt a girl from China, Ava who's trying to scrape a living together to provide for Max after Bill died, Isabel who's trying to figure out how to live again after Bill first left her and then died before the divorce was even final, Yvonne, the happy-go-lucky plumber who's a newcomer to Avalon and couldn't care less about trying to fit into the society's standards for her.

And through it all there's Bettie. Annoying, meddling, interfering Bettie who knows better than anybody else what they should do with their lives... and unfortunately often turns out to be right.

"The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society" is a wonderfully cozy book. It takes place in the same community as Darien Gee's "Friendship Bread" and features many of the same characters, but is a completely stand-alone book and can easily be read on its own. I grew to love the characters, and was almost sad to see it end, because I wanted to see what happened next - what life had in store for them after the final pages of the book.

It's the perfect comfort book, and you don't even have to be a scrapbooker to enjoy it - I'm not and I did :)

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