Tag: 5 Reviews

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Posted July 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

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...

It took me a really long time to read The Kiss Quotient and when I finally did, I wanted to kick myself in the tits because it was the most complete romance that I’ve read in a long time. Sure, I read and gave some 5 stars already this year but those books weren’t complete stories. Burn for Me was amazing and I adored it to pieces but the beginning was a little slow and there was so much information that it took me a while to figure things out but that wasn’t the case with The Kiss Quotient. Right from the very beginning, I was hooked.

There were a lot of things that I wasn’t prepared for when we meet Stella Lane. She’s a high functioning autistic heroine and that’s a huge part of her and a big part of the story. The author does a great job of making the reader understand what a person with Aspergers goes through and lives with every day. She doesn’t bring it up and then brush it under the rug. The reader lives through Stella’s days and in her thoughts and I couldn’t help but connect with her. There was never any middle ground with her, she was either indifferent or obsessed and I found that understanding these things about Stella helped me to care about her a lot deeper than I thought I would.

“All the things that make you different make you perfect.”

My book boyfriend for this week goes straight to Michael Phan because he was everything that I hoped for and everything that I wish for in real life. I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t prepared to like a male escort hero as much as I did for reasons I don’t even know but Helen Hoang gave Michael a story that anybody would come to love.

There’s a lot to love about Michael. He had dreams and he aspirations that he had to put on hold so that he could pick up the broken pieces of his family that his father left behind. He became the head of his family and took that position very seriously. He did whatever needed to be done to make sure that everyone he loved was safe, protected and well cared for. He put himself last at every turn and when Stella came into his life, he tried to do the same with her.

I loved seeing Michael fall in love with Stella because it was slow and it was sure. He understood Stella a lot more than anyone else did and he loved every single thing about her. He was patient with her and he was careful with her and he just won me over at every turn.

Here’s who I pictured as Michael Phan and I already know that it’s perfect because it’s mentioned in the book that he was a dead ringer for Daniel Henney and…*swoon*

Overall, this was an amazing story about a high functioning autistic heroine and the male escort that fell in love with her. This Pretty Woman storyline worked its magic on me and I have every confidence that it will do the same to you. Give it a try, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Final Grade

5 out of 5

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five-stars

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Review: Incredibles 2

Posted June 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Eli Fucile
Director: Brad Bird
Release Date: 15 June 2018
Rating: PG
Run Time: 1:58
Movie Type: Animation, Action, Adventure

While the Parr family has accepted its collective calling as superheroes, the fact remains that their special heroism is still illegal. After they are arrested after unsuccessfully trying to stop the Underminer, their future seems bleak. However, the wealthy Deavor siblings of Devtech offer new hope with a bold project to rehabilitate the public image and legal status of Supers, with Elastigirl being assigned on point to be the shining example. Now having agreed for now to stay at home to care for the kids, Mr. Incredible finds domestic life a daunting challenge, especially with baby Jack-Jack’s newly emerged powers making him almost impossible to manage. However, Elastigirl soon has her own concerns dealing with the menace of a new supervillain, Screenslaver, who is wreaking havoc with his mind control abilities. Now, Elastigirl must solve the mystery of this enemy, who has malevolent designs on the world with the Parr family and friends key targets of this evil.

Every Tuesday, my family chooses a movie and heads to AMC’s $5 Tuesday movies and last weeks movie was Incredibles 2. I’m not even going to lie, I’ve been looking forward to this movie all freaking year and I’m happy to report that it was everything that I hoped it would be and a little more.

So, we’re back in the Parr’s world and they’ve come to terms with their superhero powers but they have to keep everything under wraps because superheroes are illegal. They’re staying in a motel and trying to figure out their next move after an undercover superhero save goes bad. They need to get back to work, the kids need to get back to school and they need to find a more permanent place to live. When ElastiGirl is offered a superhero job that will help change the world’s view of superheroes, ElastiGirl goes to work and Bob becomes a stay at home Dad.

Most of the movie is set around ElastiGirl trying to save the world without making a huge mess and Bob trying to figure out how to be there for his kids and handle the home life. Their worlds are flipped on their heads because Helen is usually the one that stays home with the kids but I really enjoyed seeing the two of them figure things out as the movie progressed. Seeing Bob realize that Helen’s Mom gig is hard was funny and it was heartwarming to see him develop relationships with his kids. And seeing Helen kick ass at every turn was fantastic.

I loved seeing everyone again and it’s hard to pick a favorite because I adored them all…well, except for the bad guys.

Jack Jack seriously stole the movie though. He had me laughing in every single scene that he was in and finally seeing what his powers were was freaking great. I loved seeing Violet again and seeing her be a hormonal teenager was great fun, especially seeing Bob deal with that on top of Dash’s commo core Math problems and his overall billy bad ass tendencies, it was all just one laugh out loud moment after another and I was so here for it. When the movie ended, I was super happy with the entire thing. I loved seeing the Parr’s kick ass again and take down the bad guys. I loved seeing FroZone, meeting the new Supers and just everything. I really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

5 out of 5

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Movie Review: The Greatest Showman

Posted March 30, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Greatest Showman (2017)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams
Director: Michael Gracey
Release Date: 20 December 2017
Rating: PG
Run Time: 1:45
Movie Type: Biography, Drama, Musical

Orphaned, penniless but ambitious and with a mind crammed with imagination and fresh ideas, the American Phineas Taylor Barnum will always be remembered as the man with the gift to effortlessly blur the line between reality and fiction. Thirsty for innovation and hungry for success, the son of a tailor will manage to open a wax museum but will soon shift focus to the unique and peculiar, introducing extraordinary, never-seen-before live acts on the circus stage. Some will call Barnum’s wide collection of oddities, a freak show; however, when the obsessed showman gambles everything on the opera singer Jenny Lind to appeal to a high-brow audience, he will somehow lose sight of the most important aspect of his life: his family. Will Barnum risk it all to be accepted?

I grew up watching musicals so I love a good musical. Old Elvis Presley movies? Love them. Sound of Music? Love it. I will watch the heck out of musicals because I come from a musical family (as in we all love music, not that we’re musically talented) but with that said, when this movie was being promoted, I had no interest in watching it. Mostly because I have no interest in the circus. I’m not a fan of clowns and even though this circus doesn’t have any clowns, I still didn’t want to see it.

But then I saw a video on Facebook, the lyrics video for This is Me. This video in particular:

I watched this video and cried and just like that, my mind changed. I had to see this movie at the first opportunity so that weekend, I dragged Brenna, Kenna and our family friend Nao to the movie theater to see this.

So this movie is the story of Phineas Taylor Barnum and how he built his life as a circus owner. You see him as a poor child with a dream and a crush on the rich girl. You see him grow up and work hard to build a life for him, that girl he had a crush on as a child that would become his wife and the family they created between the two of them. You see him strive to be successful, at the expense of a whole lot of things.

Aside from the life of P.T. Barnum, we get some side stories that made this movie all the more lovely. The side romance between Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) was sweet and made me cry, the individual stories and struggles of the people in the circus were great as well.

This movie took me by surprise because while I expected to enjoy the movie, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The music was fantastic and I loved each and every single song. Michelle William has a lovely singing voice as does the rest of the cast. The entire production was just out of this world great and this movie is one of my favorites that I’ve seen this year so far.

This movie came out months ago and I’m still listening to the soundtrack, that’s how much I love the music. If you’re a fan of musicals and am in the mood for a fabulous movie, look no further. This one shouldn’t be missed. So good!

Movie Trailer

My Rating

5 out of 5

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Movie Review: Black Panther

Posted March 29, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Black Panther (2018)
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
Director: Ryan Coogler
Release Date: 16 February 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2:14
Movie Type: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

I’m not going to lie, Michael B. Jordan is the main reason that I went to see this movie. I love that guy and have since he played Vince on Friday Night Lights, so I try to support anything that he comes out with and so I planned to watch this movie with my daughter Brenna.

So the week that this movie came out, I went with Brenna, my 15-year-old nephew Chase and my 8-year-old nephew Luke. Chase, Brenna and I didn’t know much about Black Panther, what the movie was about but it was getting a lot of hype so we were game for whatever. At the theater, we sat in this order: Brenna, Luke, Me, Chase. In the beginning of the movie, Brenna was confused on who was who and what was happening and she didn’t know how to ask me without bothering Luke, who was all into the movie.

So there we are, watching the movie and Brenna is trying to get my attention. She wants to ask me questions about what is going on. Taking pity on her, Luke leans over and begins to fill her in.

This is what I hear of their whispered conversation:

Luke: “You see that guy? He’s Black Panther. He’s the main character and the protector of Wakanda. There’s where he lives and the boy you and your Mom like? He’s gonna find out who he really is and he’s gonna turn bad.”

Brenna: “Oh, how do you know this?”

Luke: “Because I like this stuff!”

Ha! I will say that by the end of the movie, our whole group was lit. The movie was fantastic. The story, the characters, there wasn’t a part of the movie that we didn’t love. Killmonger’s story low key broke my heart because, goodness, had he known the truth or if anyone had come back for him, how different would his life have been? Gah, still…this movie was so freaking good.

The acting was phenomenal, the casting was oustanding and the story itself was well written. There’s much to recommend this movie and if you haven’t seen it yet, fix that pronto because this is the best movie that I’ve seen in a while.

Can I also mention the perfection that is Lupita Nyongo’s skin? I remember whispering my awww at how flawless her skin was and Lukey responded next to me, “I know, right? She has no pimples!” Haha, I seriously love that kid.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

5 out of 5

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Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona AndrewsBurn for Me by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on October 28th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Burn for Me is the first book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews and it really sets up this series nicely.

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator who takes her job very seriously. She’s the head of her family PI firm but when her employees are all in school, she’s the only full time employee that can actually do the work. Her latest case was forced on her and she hasn’t a prayer of surviving it but she has to try to figure things out anyway because her family is at stake. Nevada will do anything for her family.

When the case brings Mad Rogan into her life and he kidnaps her, Nevada finds herself partnered up with the head of House Rogan, who also happens to be Hurucan, the guy that can break cities. They’re partnered up and going after Adam Pierce, a Prime Pyrokinetic, who is trying to burn down Houston. Something bigger than Adam Pierce is going on and they’re determined to figure it out and stop the bad guys from harming anymore people.

Rowena: Alright, Ames….spill. How much did you freaking love this book and Mad Rogan?

Ames:: OMG I loved this book so much I jumped right into the second one…and as I’m writing this I’ve already started the third! haha

I love the Kate Daniels series and Ilona Andrews has definitely created another heroine I can get behind! For Nevada Baylor, family is everything. And that remains true for her character. She’s so strong and kick-ass and awesome. And every great heroine needs an awesome partner and Rogan definitely has the makings of a great hero. He’s a Prime…meaning super powerful and he’s definitely an alpha hero. But he’s in no way an alpha-hole. I heart Rogan. So bad. LOL Seriously, he gives me heart eyes.

But the book isn’t just about Nevada and Rogan. Nevada’s whole family plays a big part in the story and I loved all of them. Her 70 year old mechanic grandma, her sniper mother, her gifted cousins and younger sisters. They’re all awesome.

What about you Wena? I’m so glad you got me to read this book!

Rowena: Oh man, did I love this book. I’m super thrilled that Holly has been on me to get this book read because wasn’t it just the best book you’ve read this month? Gah, I loved the heck out of this book. There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about it.

I loved Nevada, Rogan, Nevada’s family and the way that they functioned as a unit. When we start to get to know Rogan better and better, I thought he was such an asshole but I still loved him to pieces. I wasn’t expecting how funny this book was going to be. I prefer my paranormal books to be on the more serious side and even though this isn’t a paranormal book, I thought that it would be a little more serious but holy cow, the humor had me up late into the night giggliing like a little school girl. Brenna came into my room and told me to knock it off because I was giggling so much that it was creeping her out. She was right. I was giggling a lot but I don’t care that I was creeping her out because I had a good ol’ time with this one.

When Rogan called Augustine Pancakes? I about died laughing. When he couldn’t get over her circle work? I couldn’t stop laughing. When they were flirting back and forth and she told him she wasn’t going to handle his snake? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Gah. I can’t say that I loved this book enough. It gets all of my heart eyes.

Ames: Oh yes, the humour was excellent! I liked that for sure. Even Rogan’s attitude about killing people – I know this is awful to say but it is fiction – it was somewhat funny, especially when he uses a building to get the job done. Like he just doesn’t give a shit. And that’s why this book works. Yes Rogan is all super-powerful but Nevada brings him back down to earth. She’s reminds me of his humanity and keeps it real for him. She’s equal in that way. The other thing is she keeps him on his toes. She’s full of surprises.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything about this book I didn’t like. Even the mystery surrounding Adam Pierce was engaging. The world-building was excellent and the way Andrews describes settings and scenes, I could picture everything so clearly in my head.

Rowena: I agree. It’s very easy for me to read quickly through scenes where there’s a lot of description, scenes that kind of set something up and I’ll gloss over scenes but I read every single word and enjoyed every single word that was written in this book. Ilona Andrews has the magic writing stick because I was wrapped up in everything from beginning to end.

Adam Pierce was an interesting antagonist and his whole story was interesting as well. I was really curious to read more about this shady business he was a part of because with the ending, you just know that there’s gonna be more drama to come. This stuff isn’t over and I’m so.here.for.it.

Overall, the book was wonderful. The world was magical and the characters were the best. I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Ames: Oh I liked that Adam’s story was wrapped up extremely satisfyingly but that there was a whole bigger arc to the story that joins all three books. I’m looking forward to finding out more in book 3!

I’m stingy with my 5s so I’m giving this one a 4.5 out of 5. Still a high recommendation from me!​

Final Grades

Ames: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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