Review of Foxe Tail by Haley Walsh

Foxe Tail (A Skyler Foxe Mystery, #1)Foxe Tail by Haley Walsh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this audiobook from AudioBookBoom in exchange for an honest review.

This was fun!Be aware though, that you need to be able to suspend your beliefs a bit and that this is the first of a series and many details are left hanging at the end of book 1.

Skyler Foxe is a young closeted high school teacher, who happens upon a dead body one night out dancing with friends at a club. The young man turns out to be the son of Skyler’s principal at school and he invests himself in the case, to the point where he actually starts to investigate it himself. This is the parts where you have to suspend your beliefs, or at least I had to, because I found it quite unrealistic that he would actually do this, to the extend he takes it too, including withholding evidence and knowledge from the police…

The murder investigation is not the only thing going on though, there are also strange going on’s at the High School, where everyone seem to be hiding something or other. Teachers as well as students. Add to that Skyler’s crush on his new co-worker, his jilted hook up smashing up his car and almost outing him at his work place and his students acting up in class…. Skyler is a busy man!

The narrator did a great job, the story was fun and so was the mystery. Skyler is quite a likeable, albeit a bit annoying, character and I would definitely consider getting the second one of the series. If nothing else, then to find out what happened to poor Julia with the great t-shirts.

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Review of Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

Something Like Summer (Seasons, #1)Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and enjoyed the narration quite a bit. The story was more on off with regards to my enjoyment. There were big part of it, that I sincerely loved and chunks of it I hated. I never warmed to Tim and never forgave him for his selfish, hurtful and cowardly behaviour.

Our story follows Ben, from his junior year in high school and up until around his 30th birthday. We follow him through his up and downs and through the two loves of his life, Tim and Jase.

Even if I never warmed to Tim, I found the story intriguing enough, that I would consider reading the next in the series, to see his side of the story, and if this ever comes out on film – as I have been told it would? I would still see it.

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Review of And Then I Met Him by L. Arthur

And Then I Met HimAnd Then I Met Him by L. Arthur

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable but needs tightening up (and a lot of editing) and have some issues that I find hard to overlook.

Unlike most reviewers I have no issue with Eli’s age. Having sex at 17 seems completely reasonable behaviour to me. But I am guessing most reviewers are from countries where the age of consent is older than 15, and that is why they have issues…? The only issue I have with the sex content is the lack of condoms! For the love of god people! STD’s! Please!

But I did find it a bit too insta-love-ish. Sebastian falls instantly and hard for this boy, and I fail to see why? Eli is a horrible person! He might be sweet and shy underneath when you get to know him, but at first contact he is horrible, rude, annoying, mentally disturbed, violent and petulant. Who on earth would waste their time on that? And who would fall in love with that?

The sideplot with the mother I found kind of unbelievable and too convenient, if felt kind of clumsy compared to the rest of the story, as if it was tagged on as an afterhought.and I found Sebastian’s friends – including his new friend Matthew – annoying and not interesting to the story.

However, it was enjoyable and well written – despite the editing errors – so with some tightening up of the plot it could be a really good story.

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Review of Service by David Monster

SERVICESERVICE by David Monster

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

George loses his parents, when he is just a toddler and is raised on his grandmothers estate in isolation, being home schooled by a distant cousin. At 16 he is shipped off to an all boy’s boarding school to sit his exams, before applying to college.
Here he meets Steven, who’s a year older, and a lot more worldly and the two embark on a relationship, struggling to figure out their own feelings, their sexuality and becoming adults.

There was a really great story, somewhere in there, unfortunately the execution of it lacked. I admire the author for trying something new. The entire story is told through snippets from George’s journal and scenes being set up with stage directions. Unfortunately this backfired – at least for me. It removed me completely from the story and relegated me to the role of spectator to a movie. And as a movie it was way too long and with way too little action. And I never warmed to the main characters. Steven was too two dimensional and George came across as whiny and insecure.

I think, that if the author tightened this up – I believe it could easily be cut in half, there are quite a few sub-plots that really never go anywhere and are of no consequence or interest to the main story – and re-wrote it, with a lot more show instead of tell, it could become a great emotional coming of age story.

The characters were very young, which I guess excuses their extremely juvenile behavior and the tiring dramatics from George, but due to their youth I also cannot believe the HEA. I would have been a lot happier with an ending without the LA scenes and a HFN. The boys are 18 after all, a true HEA is just not believable at that age, in my opinion.

All through the book, I was trying to figure out the meaning behind the title – but I never got it.

2 stars.

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Review of Zach’s Secret by Matthew W. Grant

Zach's SecretZach’s Secret by Matthew W. Grant

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book made me sad: there was so much potential there, and none of it was realised!

This should have been fantastic:
Nerdy high school boy struggling with his sexuality
New transfer kid, star basketball player, who’s gay
First boyfriend
Evil school principal
Teacher with dead gay son
Religious best friends
Bullying jocks
Demonstrations and court cases

Come on! All the ingredients were there for a fantastic dramatic and angsty coming out story! And instead we got treated to the longest most boring rendition of a senior year, ever! Seriously! This story is told in the first person and yet Zach feels NOTHING! Not once do we get treated to emotions or his feelings about things. Nothing! So sad! So much potential wasted.

The evil principal story was a bit OTT, but I could have lived with that, if we had had the teen drama at the foreground. But we didn’t. Things happen and Zach doesn’t react to anything, he just tells us that it’s happening. Also I never felt that he was in any way shape or form actually attracted to Key? I know this was YA, but still… they were 18 years old. A bit of sexual tension or at least a kiss could surely have made it on page without insulting anyone’s sensibilities?

The writing started out ok, but became clunkier along the way. And the few trips outside Zach’s head felt completely off, as they were still narrated as “My mother did this and that…” even if Zach wasn’t actually there to witness it…

So yeah, very disappointing, even if the premise was good. I listened to the audio version, which might have made it even worse, as the narrator chosen was a very mature male voice, which was all wrong for the 1st person narrative of a teenage boy.

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