Book Review: The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

synopsis single

 

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

 


 

My Thoughts 2

You know, sometimes a book hits you hard and sometimes a book doesn´t. In my case, the book did nothing for me.

I can´t begin to tell you how often `The Kiss Quotient` ( The Kiss Quotient #1 ) by author Helen Hoang was recommended to me. Close friends said the book is a must-read. Fellow bloggers urged me to give this chic – lit a chance. “The Kiss Quotient is different,” they said. “You can´t compare it to other chic -lits.”TKQ

Yeah, well… The only thing I realized was how little my friends know about my reading tastes. I also have a strange suspicion that my blog buddies accidentally recommended the wrong book.

`The Kiss Quotient` is not any different from other chic – lits. And I can compare this to other books from the genre. There are often differences in the romance genre but hardly any in the chic – lit department.

To make a long story short: I wasn´t impressed. Not by what was said about the supposedly unique romance between the main characters nor by the story itself. This doesn´t mean I didn´t like the story. This just means that didn´t meet my romance novel standards.

 

  • The writing is decent but also too dry for my taste.
  • The characters were strong and flawed, which I totally appreciate. I don´t know why, but the main characters reminded me a little of Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper´s brother, Georgie ( characters from The Big Bang Theory ).
  • The story was enjoyable but nothing special
  • Sex overload. I´m not one to turn away from sex scenes but a girl needs a few breather breaks
  • There´s definitely a romance but it´s an insta-love.

 

I need passion, action, lust, and tension when reading a romance novel. I need a slow TKQ2burn and a potential threat. I need a palette of emotions. Basically- I need an excuse to open a bottle of wine either during or after reading. Unfortunately, this book wasn´t able to move me on an emotional level nor was it powerful enough to get me moving towards the wine cabinet.

 

 


 

Would I recommend this book? I would. Despite my `meh` attitude, I can definitely see why others would fall head over heels for this quirky romance. It´s a decent read but not what I was looking for. I think I can also add that I won´t be continuing the series.

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

 


 

The Cover: 3 Stars  –  I have the paperback copy with the rose petals shaped in a heart form. Personally, I believe the cover image is outdated but the color theme is spot on.

The Story:  3 Stars  –  Not bad at all. Just too clichéd and dry.

The Characters:  3 Stars  – Again, not terrible but also not the greatest.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

3 stars


 

`The Kiss Quotient` by Helen Hoang can be purchased on Amazon.com

 

Book Cover Talk – `His Banana`by Penelope Bloom

Have you ever heard of author Penelope Bloom before? I haven´t. Maybe that can be blamed on me not spending enough time in the rom-com department. Which is a shame. I love humor and I love romance. Hmm…

A few days ago I received a Whatsapp text from my book babe, Sabrina @Brina And the Books with this cover.

His Banana

 

I admit I laughed. I laughed so much that I had trouble breathing. Not because the cover is terrible – The cover is actually decent. It´s simple and… in combination with the title, I´d say it´s brilliant! It´s the title that had me cracking up. HIS Banana. What an amusing title- Amusing enough for me to want to read the synopsis.

It looks like the story has an actual banana in it. The banana at hand is HIS. I have tears in my eyes while typing this.

 

Part of the synopsis

`My new boss likes rules, but there’s one nobody dares to break…
No touching his banana. 
Seriously. The guy is like a potassium addict. 
Of course, I touched it. 
If you want to get technical, I actually put it in my mouth. 
I chewed it up, too… I even swallowed.
I know. Bad, bad, girl.
Then I saw him, and believe it or not, choking on a guy’s banana does not make the best first impression. `

 

I´m the type of person who LOVES to see the humor in everything. I make inappropriate jokes at uncalled for times, etc. So, my opinion regarding this hilarious cover ( and synopsis ) comes from a positive place.

I think I sent a 1:30 minute Whatsapp message back, laughing my ass off.

Now, back to the book.

`His Banana `is the first installment from the Objects of Attraction series.

 

HIS HER banner
Objects Of Attraction Series by Penelope Bloom

 

 

Here´s the deal – These images aren´t anything we haven´t seen on book covers before. I could, right off the bat, give you a list of 20 books that have cherries on the cover. Same with cupcakes, gifts/packages, and lipsticks. These objects are a staple in the romance genre. But, I have to say, I haven´t been seeing any bananas or… bushes on book covers lately. Especially a single bush ( would someone already bring me a cocktail? ). Let alone with a stark white background.

The subtle – not so subtle font is also a good match. It draws attention. It´s prominent but it still doesn´t distract from the objects.

Now, what do these covers tell me, the person who´s looking for their next read?

 

  • There´s a high possibility humor is included.
  • Double entendres, sexual innuendos
  • romance

 

This is a good thing! The less a cover tells me the better.

Knowing all this is fine but we still haven´t gotten to what´s important:

Do the covers excite me enough to want to read this book / the series? Not really ( The banana and bush ones do, though ). But the covers, paired with their titles do. When seeing this from a marketing point of view, there really isn´t anything wrong with the designs. This is perfection. The book covers for `The Objects of Attraction` are designed to leave a lasting impression. Mission accomplished, I´d say. I´ll definitely call my other book babes and tell them about these books.

Would I, as a dedicated romance reader, buy these books based on the covers ( and title )?  Sure, why not?  They´re not what I would consider out – of – this – world – fabulous, but I´m amused and interested.


 

What are your thoughts on this cover / the covers for the series? Are they a YAY or NAY for you? Are you a fan of the author? Let´s chat. xx

 


Go ahead and stalk Penelope Bloom!

Website   º   Facebook   º   Goodreads   º   Amazon

 

Purchase Links for the `Objects of Attraction` series

`His Banana`  Book #1

`Her Cherry`  Book #2

`His Treat`   Book #3

`His Package `  Book #4

`Her Secret `  Book #5

`Her Bush `  Book #6

 

Goodreads-The Bookish Amusement Park

 

`Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.`

 

That´s what it says when you check out the About Goodreads page. Not too bad, huh? It sounds really promising if you haven´t spent time there before. Readers get a social cataloging website where they can search for books and reviews for specific books. With over 25 Million registered users it´s T.H.E. P.L.A.C.E to be for book people.

Unfortunately, not everyone likes Goodreads, myself included. Although, that´s not true. I would like Goodreads more if things were different. Possibly a little less aggressive?

 

 

While I do believe Goodreads is a blessing for readers, reviewers, and authors I also believe the website is not worth it anymore. Amusement parks are only amusing until you get tired, right?

 

Since I´m a dedicated member of the romance novel committee ( I just made that up. There´s no such thing as a romance novel committee ) I can only speak for how things are in the Goodreads romance, women´s fiction, contemporary romance, Young Adult, New Adult, and Paranormal romance department. I´m positive every other genre has its issues as well.

 

 

So, why am I not a fan of Goodreads? Have a seat while I unwrap 9 years worth of Goodreads experiences…


 

#1   The Overstuffed Website

 

Goodreads is filled with all kinds of fun things for readers and authors and whoever else wants to visit. Book groups, giveaways, author interviews, book quizzes, etc. The website is designed to make a book – lover´s day, week, month by fulfilling their bookish needs. You don´t need a blog or a FB group. Goodreads will keep you busy for a while should you have time to spare. I like to compare Goodreads with my smartphone. There´s no possible way I´ll ever be able to use every feature available. But hey- at least I have the options, right?

I find cluttered websites non-user friendly.

 

 

#2   5 Star Reviews From The Super Supportive Cheerleaders

 

There are major differences when it comes to reviews. Did you know that? I didn´t when I first started out. Without getting too technical I´m going to narrow the different types of reviews down to two types. There are reviews for:

  • potential readers/people looking for their next reads
  • authors

A review can´t be mistaken for anything other an opinion on a product. Personally, I´d prefer to read a review that´s aimed towards helping people pick their next reads. It´s more consumer friendly.

What I won´t do anymore is read reviews that have been written more for an author than for the reader.

You know, the ones written by super fans who want to please the author by always leaving a shining review. Yeah, those reviews don´t do anything for me aside from driving me up the wall.

How do I know if a reviewer wants to please an author? By reading their reviews. It´s easy to spot the emotionally charged cheerleaders.

Do I trust the opinions from super fans that are also close to authors? Absolutely not. If a new release by a self – published author already has 25 + 5-star reviews on Goodreads ( all neatly published close to one another )  then you can bet your ass I won´t believe whatever praises they have for said book. I´m a burnt child. I learned my lesson.

Nice try, bookish squad.

 

 

 

#3   The Option To Flag

 

In an ideal world, we´d all have civilized exchanges. We´re far from perfection and Goodreads is no exception.

What Goodreads offers is the option to flag a review or a comment.

`If you believe a review contains a spoiler, spam, or other inappropriate content, you can flag it to our attention. Our team carefully reviews flagged items on a case-by-case basis, and we take action only on any items that violate ourReview Guidelines.` Taken from the Goodreads Help page.

 

Weeeeeell, some people take this too seriously. Which can be a good thing. I´m all for flagging the things mentioned above. It´s just that some Goodreads users have quick fingers and short tempers. And Goodreads sometimes acts like a submissive husband wanting to avoid conflict.

Reviews and/or comments sometimes get flagged because of disagreements. Some individuals ( authors, fans, fellow bloggers ) become so emotionally invested that they take great offense in the smallest things and end up clicking the flag button just because they feel attacked.

This is definitely a misuse of the flag button. Of course, there´s no ignoring the reviews that deserve to be flagged but in most cases, it´s not the reviewer who deserves to have their review removed.

I´ve had a few of my reviews taken down by Goodreads. And I wasn´t able to do anything about it, either. Goodreads punished me although I didn´t do anything wrong.

I upload reviews to help indecisive readers. I don´t upload reviews to please the fanatic fan base or authors.  Unless you see a review or comment that condones

 

  • pedophilia
  • animal abuse
  • racism
  • theft
  • any violation against humanity
  • any of the mentioned above

 

then, okay. Flag away. But otherwise, you have no right to flag a Goodreads user. Stop flagging users for stupid reasons. Learn to walk away.

Fun Fact: I was once in a book group where someone got offended by a Goodreads review and actually rallied a few other members to head on over to “bring her down” by viciously flagging `her`.  I left that group and drank a whole bottle of wine that night. To be honest- the supposed evil review was actually a genuine one. Very helpful. * sigh * *mumbling ( vicious cunts ) *

 

 

#4   The Wild Creativity

Seen and be seen.

I know I´ve been preaching about how important it is to be creative in the book universe. The best way to be seen or make an impact is by giving yourself that special something that no other book blogger has. The golden rule is- There are no rules. Just set your creativity free. Watch it grow and represent you in the best way possible.

But there´s a fine line between showcasing creativity and being the Las Vegas Strip after the sun sets.

The romance department on Goodreads is so damn colorful it often hurts to take a peak. You´re bombarded with tagline graphics, picture quotes, book blog banners, graphics for ratings, and gifs. Sometimes you see all this before you´re able to read a review. Sometimes all this is skillfully spread out throughout the review.

I remember wanting to check a book ( incl. reviews ) out and thinking:

“Where the hell is the review?!” 

Again – This is not a bad thing. I´m sure some folks like this form of creativity. Personally, I think it´s overkill and unnecessary. Less is often more.

 

 

 

#5   The Non-Review Review

 

You search for a book on Goodreads and find the book you´ve been looking for has 50 reviews. 15 out of those 50 are just comments ( sometimes with ratings ) that look a lot like this:

“So freakin´awesome the author published another book!”

Or, they´ll post a gif parade, showing how excited they are or how happy they feel for the author. THIS. IS. In. The. Review. Section.

Hey, I fully agree with these people. It IS awesome the author finally published that long-anticipated book. My only question is: What´s to gain from a comment like that in the review section?

These non – informative posts do nothing. Absolutely nada.

I have mixed feelings about these types of posts. Who the hell are they for? Certainly not for the people who´re looking for actual reviews. This is weird on so many levels.

 

 

#6   The One Place To Bash An Author

 

Just when you thought it couldn´t get worse…

This is probably the saddest point from all- When authors and their books get ripped to shreds on Goodreads. It truly breaks my heart to read a review about how an author is incapable of writing and that they should hang their dreams on a hanger.

Listen, I´m a nitpicker. Give me a book from a self-published author and I´ll find you at least 5 things that need improvement. But sometimes you gotta draw a line. I review books. I´ll mention what I liked and what I disliked. And if I come across a book that´s too chaotic for my taste then I´ll contact the author in private ( how this can pan out is a whole other bedtime story ).

Many reviewers shit on giving constructive feedback ( something that could help a writer improve their skills ) because of their anger and head straight for the bashings.

And boy, there are some vicious people out there. As a book blogger, I can understand a reviewer´s frustration. But I can also imagine what these reviews do to writers, especially to the ones who´re just starting out.

The key is to find a middle way to deal with a book you don´t like. Show respect towards the author but still, stay true to yourself and your opinion. It´s not that difficult. Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat chocolate or take a nap before going on Goodreads to ruin an author´s dreams.

For some reason, these reviews don´t get flagged. Either the author doesn´t care or he/she is too busy crying in a dark corner.

This needs to stop.

 


 

The funny part about this post is: I could have just posted this gif and you would have had a good idea of how I see Goodreads.

Goodreads – The Treasure Island of social media.

 

As always I´m not referring to everyone or every genre. Should you feel comfortable on Goodreads then… More power to you. I´m just not that into Goodreads anymore. I´ve seen enough, heard enough, and have been through enough myself.

Now that I´m an in – and – out Goodreads user I can say my life really is much easier. I ignore negative comments for my reviews. I mingle with other Goodreads users as little as possible ( unless I know they´re following my blog or I´m following theirs ).

I would like to point out that everything in this post has come from my personal observations and experiences. What I endured, or have been told about and was able to confirm, doesn´t necessarily mean Goodreads is a hopeless case. It´s not the websites fault. It´s angry, frustrated, bored, and probably unloved individuals who cause these problems. These are the people who make Goodreads look like a virtual war zone.


 

Let´s chat! Do you use Goodreads? What are your thoughts on the website? Let me know in the comments below. 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

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Book Review: I Hold Your Heart – Karen Gregory

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The tense, tender must-read book of the summer – perfect for fans of Louise O’Neill and Sara Barnard

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.

But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh! * scratches forehead * That book definitely wasn´t what I expected it would be.

You know the feeling when you see a book title and you think “meh” but then you read the tagline and think ” Oh?”

`When does love become possession?`

Oh? indeed. Seriously, I had so many things going on in my head. Young adult with the promise of a true crazy character?  I wanted the crazy. The full-on stalker, bat shit loon from our worst nightmares. Well, I got more than I asked for, I can tell you that much. And I fully enjoyed every minute I spent reading.

`I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory sounds relatively harmless but the story… The way it starts and how it develops and the way it ends… I´m impressed.

 

A powerful story about an abusive relationship between college students.

 

I´ve read many young adult novels that had abusive characters or were about abusive relationships but hardly any of those novels come close to `I Hold Your Heart`. I hold your heart

You meet Gemma / Gem, a young college student, who is your everyday young woman and shortly after you meet the wonderful Aaron, also a college student attending the same college as Gemma. They have an insta-attraction and from there on, their story unfolds. And boy, does it unfold. It unfolded downhill for everyone involved in the story.

This is not one of those stories that try to make you fall in love with the Hero. There´s no chance for that because from the get-go you have this indescribable ill feeling that you can´t shake off. That certain something that sets off all alarm bells although nothing terrible has happened ( yet ). You like the Hero ( Aaron ), you might even put up with his odd ways or even wave his behavior off, dismissing it and blaming it on true love. But then you quickly get sucked in and realize how systematically he works and it´s painful to witness. You know this. The Hero knows it. All the sub characters were aware of it and sometimes Gemma was aware of it, as well. You can understand how easily Gemma overlooked the warning signs.

This is what makes this story so fascinating. A reader witnesses the excruciating slow burn abuse inflicted upon the Hero´s one and only true love, Gemma. Is it pretty? Absolutely not. It´s spooky, actually. And come to think of it – It´s all realistic. You suddenly realize that this could have happened to someone near you. Or perhaps it´s happening now and you´re not aware of it.

And the writing? Well, you won´t hear me complaining. It´s clean and sharp.


 

Would I recommend this book? I would. I think there should be more novels about abusive relationships and the effects they have on the victims and the people around them.

Would I reread this book? I would. I will. This gem is going to be placed on my sacred top bookshelf.

 

 

The Cover – 4 Stars:   Not exactly what I would call fantabulous but it was enough to grab my attention.

The Story – 5 Stars:  Well paced. Gripping. Nail – bite-worthy. Emotionally brutal. Powerful. What I loved most was how a reader doesn´t get a sugar-coated happily ever after. A reader gets a realistic ending. One I appreciated.

The Characters – 5 Stars: Aaron is perfect until you see his coercive and controlling behavior. He´s manipulative. I couldn´t have asked for a better developed character. As for Gemma,… Her character has proven that no matter how level headed or strong-minded you are, you´re not immune or safe from an abuser. I loved Gemma for being `only human`.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Emotionally pooped beyond words.

5 stars


 

You can purchase `I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory on Amazon.com

I hold your heart

 

 

I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Catchy Book Covers

`I need to check something out at the book store really quick.`

 

Only someone with immense self-control would ever say that. I don´t have self-control when it comes to book stores. In fact – I wouldn´t be able to keep a straight face while saying that. Twelves words – All a lie.

I´ll have you know, though, that my last book store visit was truly a quick visit. I was on a tight schedule and only had an hour to spare. Better than nothing, right? I agree. * waiting patiently for your approval * Besides- I truly just wanted to check a few books out.

So I rushed through the aisles and let my eyes scan through the rows of books. I figured that there would be a book cover that would catch my attention. There had to be. There were actually two covers!

This is what caught my attention.

 

 

 

`City Of Girls` by Elizabeth Gilbert and `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered` by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark.

The cover for `City Of Girls` is, for me, more about the colors than anything else. I like the combination of a saturated pink and a cool teal shade. The feathers- Well, I´m not too fazed about them. Many book covers have decorative feathers. Many fantasy novels use feather images for their covers. `City Of Girls is historical fiction, though.  Who would have thought?! See how deceiving book covers can be? This cover could easily pass for a contemporary romance but it´s not. I totally love this.

The reason why I grabbed, `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered` was because of the stark contrasts. Black is always an eye-catcher. And when the title fills the cover, substituting an image, it´s an even larger eye catcher for me. I like these types of book covers because they´re not too revealing. You are forced to use your imagination. And with a title like that, your mind will most likely run wild. The story possibilities are endless. `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered ` is a non – fiction/biography I can´t wait to purchase.

Yes, I haven´t bought either of these reads. Not yet. Don´t you remember? I was in a hurry.  Ain´t no one got time to purchase books on a whim and on a tight book budget.

Maybe next month.

Would I buy these books based on the covers? I would.


 

What do you think of these covers? Would these book covers grab your attention? Let´s chat! ❤

 

Sending out much bookish love.

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