Don’t Hate the Player

Author: Alexis Nedo

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Release Date: June 15, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun read for all the video game fanatics out there.

Emilia Romero likes to be an ordinary kid, playing field hockey and keeping up with her grades. The problem is she is not normal; when she gets home, she turns on her persona of a hard-core gamer and competes as the only female member of a highly competitive esports team. While it is hard to keep her two lives separate, she feels it is the best way to stay safe since female gamers are not highly accepted and often harassed. When Emilia goes to compete in the tournament, her two worlds collide when she is recognized by a member of their rival team. Jake Hooper has wanted to be with Emilia for years and now that his team has made it to the tournament he is shocked to see her and find out she has been leading a double life with no one knowing of her gaming life. They both work to help their teams win the tournament but also keep others from finding out about her secret.

This book is perfect for gamers and those into that world. If you are not a big gamer, this will be a hard one to keep your interest. The characters and their relationships are written well giving us a drive to see them succeed with the goals they have set throughout. Setting a lead character of a girl gamer is different and unique right now and will really hit a spot with a select group of readers. I enjoyed the way this showed the problems that girl gamers face, just like so many facets of life, females will face lots of challenges when it comes to a more male dominated area. Many of the secondary characters got on my nerves at times and I had to brush past them to try and enjoy the rest of the story. I enjoy finding different types of books that are not the same old same old that tend to be the most picked up and read. I would recommend this to young readers that enjoy video games and that lifestyle.

Turtles in the Road

TurtlesAuthors: Rhonda Rhea and Kaley Rhea

Publisher: Bold Vision Books

Release Date: April 21, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A wonderfully enticing story that I couldn’t devour fast enough. Readers will truly fall in love with these characters and the trials they go through to find out who they are and what God has in store for them that is so much better than they would have ever imagined.

Piper Cope thought she had her life figured out. She felt certain God had called her to be a pastor’s wife. When her fiancé breaks off their engagement, she is left uncertain of her future. She packs her car and leaves to go live with her sister, another complicated relationship in her life, while she sorts out what her future holds. While driving on the rainy roads, she swerves to miss a turtle in the road and ends up in the ditch with a broken car stuck in a little unknown town. With her car in the shop and not a lot of money, she ends up at the little bed and breakfast in town and working at the community center. She quickly falls for the little town but doesn’t want to get her heart broken again. The community center director decides to take a chance giving Piper a job and helping her out in her time of need but doesn’t expect to have feelings for her grow as quickly as they do. Will Piper find what she has been looking for or find herself at another dead end and more confused than ever?

Rhonda Rhea and her daughter Kaley Rhea have written one delightful read that I devoured in a single day. This may be one of the most enjoyable Christian Romance books I have ever read. The best thing about this story for me was the fact that nothing felt rushed, the characters acted out exactly as I felt they should, the romance was not rushed in the slightest and I found myself picturing exactly what was happening as I jumped into the pages head first. The writing style is unique and hit the spot; when I say this was funny I mean it was actually funny where it was supposed to be funny and for the right reasons. Most of the times when a book is said to be funny it is because a character has certain quirks that make it funny but here it was situations and the characters jut being flat out hilarious. I loved everything about Piper from the way she ended up swerving to miss the turtle to the very end (I don’t want to spoil the end, but I guarantee you will be smiling). Readers that enjoy a fun clean romance with a good message will absolutely adore Turtles in the Road. This will be on my best of list for sure!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Theory of Happily Ever After

Happily Ever AfterAuthor: Kristin Billerbeck

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

This witty romance comedy may just be the cruise you’ve been looking to take!

Dr. Maggie Maguire is a scientist who has been wrapped up in her work studying the different causes and effects to happiness. She even wrote a bestselling book and giving talks with her fiancée.  Unfortunately, things happen and her happiness is shattered when her fiancée breaks it off and immediately takes up with an acrobat who he soon marries.  This, of course, sends poor Maggie to the brink of watching Hallmark movies while eating gallons of eggnog ice cream.  Fortunately, she has two friends that recognize what is happening and realize the best way to get her to move on is to put her back in the saddle.  So, they book her on a cruise, which sounds great until Maggie learns that she is one of the speakers on the cruise.  Now faced with anxiety of telling people about happiness when she lost her own, Maggie begins the process of starting over with love.  And what better place to find it than on a singles cruise in the Gulf of Mexico!

Overall this book was an enjoyable read. The writing is extremely witty throughout the book and makes you laugh out loud a few times.  The scenes were set really well with the cruise and describing the activities throughout really kept the progress steady.  However, many people may find Maggie’s character annoying throughout much of the book.  She does whine a lot at first and then makes some decisions throughout the book that can leave readers scratching their head.  By the end of the book, you can see that Maggie has actually had a lot of personal growth.  More so than her friends.  The romance triangle of having two guys vying for Maggie’s attention was interesting, but sometimes not completely realistic.  In many ways, it was like watching a Hallmark movie but hoping for more of a real life feel.  Don’t take it too serious.  Just enjoy it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.