Thursday, September 14, 2017

"The Island of Dreams" by Gregory James Clark Blog Tour

8:30:00 AM
Book: The Island of Dreams

Author: Gregory James Clark

Synopsis: In 2107, twenty-four year-old Gary Loman is disillusioned with life. There are scant opportunities in the capitalist world that surrounds him. When he receives a prestigious invitation, Gary knows that the change he has been waiting for has finally arrived; it’s a ticket to fame and glory as a skater.

Leaving the old world behind, Gary embarks on a new adventure on The Island of Dreams, led by the world’s newest monarchy, where he is introduced to the woman who will become his wife and a wildly different social order, one which has evolved over the previous seventy years by virtue of a slow, quiet and largely unnoticed revolution. By 2107, however, The Island is poised to become one of the most powerful states in the world, acquiring, most notably, the territory of Kamchatka.

The Island Queen, Queen Katie of Kamchatka, with the help of her devoted Prime Minister and her faithful staff, then attempt to educate and train the 240 receivers of the distinguished Queen’s Ticket, both for their roles as skaters and within the Kamchatskiy organisation, for whom they will be working under a completely new concept in political economy, based on quality rather than profit motives, and which is replacing Marxism as the world’s rival to capitalism.

As Gary progresses on The Island, and as its Queen seeks out her new King, the world is on the brink of a breath-taking transformation.

Inspiration behind the book

In addition to wishing to create a skating-themed book, I have sought to produce a story which, like Torvill and Dean's routines, was innovative and unique in nature, following a Utopian story line. I drew on ideas from various sources including, notably, The Prisoner, with the first names of the actors and actresses being used as a simple naming formula for the Island's Founders. Other ideas stemmed from the study of political economy, coupled with a desire to create a new theory that could potentially result in a kinder and more efficient system in a plausible way.

I also wanted to introduce Quality Management, and particularly the work of W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran, and integrate this into the theory and story line. I very much wanted to find a way of bringing their work and teaching to the attention of a much wider audience, being of the opinion that it has been grossly undervalued.

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a story written that combines both the artistry of skating and scientific and political concepts such as the ones incorporated into this story line and I very much wanted to create something different that will appeal to a wide range of readers in all age groups.

There are many people who are eager to protest against capitalism, but seemingly very few who are willing to work to create a new and plausible alternative. Therefore, rather than protest I have opted to take the latter approach, forging a link between the concept of Utopia and that of Total Quality Management - both are never-ending journeys. The Island of Dreams is intended therefore to be a lot more than a simple story centred on ice skating - complex social, economic, political and scientific concepts are explored and connected.

About the Author
Born and raised in Lancashire, Gregory James Clark went on to graduate with a BSc Honours in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales followed by an MBA from Manchester Metropolitan University. In his professional life he has enjoyed working in the field of Quality Management and the design of programmes including; The Programme for Global Quality Promotion (PGQP) in Russia and the African Nations. Previous publications include Quality Matters: The Decade of Quality 1989 - 2000 (Spire City Publishing 2002) and Deming and Juran: Gift to the World (Spire City Publishing 2007). He is currently the editor of The Electron Newsletter for the Institution of Electronics. In his spare time he enjoys ice dancing, ballroom dancing, golf, chess and snooker and speaks numerous languages including; Dutch, German, Portuguese and Swedish. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Typical Day in My Life: Monday Sept. 11, 2017

9:00:00 AM


So I thought I would shake things up and take you through a typical day in my life. As most of you know, I am currently an undergrad student, studying Biology, Pre-Med in my junior year. I chose today because for the first time in weeks, I don't have a shit ton of extracurriculars going on after my classes are over, which is really really nice. Well, I hope you guys enjoy this post!

8:00 AM- Waking Up
It's a Monday morning so I have to wake up for my Genetics class. I wake up, get ready, make lunch, and eat breakfast (a peanut butter sandwich and cinnamon applesauce, nothing special). I put in my headphones and turn up my music, "Sirens" by Cher Lloyd coming on shuffle, before heading out for my 20 minute walk to class.

9:30 AM- Genetics
It's "early" in the morning and I'm sitting in my Genetics class. My professor is talking about chromosomes and mitosis, but clearly I'm not paying attention because I'm typing this post. It's okay though because everything she has taught in this class to date has either been review or stuff that I have went ahead and learned. It's only the third week of class yet we are behind a week and a half in the lectures. I'm ahead a week and a half compared to the syllabus, so I don't really have to worry about keeping up with the notes. We have our first exam next week, but I'm confident at myself.

side note: i actually hate fidget spinners, but this is sciency and hip, so why not include it

10:30 AM- Research
I can't talk much about my research because I'm not really allowed, but just know that I do research at the Cleveland Clinic and it deals with space mice and histological staining. My research is my job this school year, which let me tell you it's great not having to have a separate job and do research. In addition, the research I do is a part of my senior research capstone that I have to do to graduate with my B.S. It's really nice being able to hit three birds with this one stone.

3:20 PM- Human Anatomy
This is my favorite class of my day, possibly the entire week. Not that I particularly love the material, which I do like it because anatomy is fascinating, but because I have it with one of my best friends here, Tessa. I enjoy sitting the back of the lecture hall talking shit with Tessa and making snide comments. It's what we do best.

5:00PM- Dinner
I'm off the meal plan this year, so I have to cook for myself which isn't a big deal since I've been cooking for myself all summer. Only bummer is when I'm tired from classes, work, extracurriculars, etc. I don't feel like cooking. Fortunately, a lot of the events I go to have free food, so score! Today I made some homemade BBQ chicken nuggets and mashed sweet potatoes. Dinner was fun because I got to talk with my friend Tessa (who is also one my suite mates) and one of my other suite mates. We have some pretty Grade A conversations if I do say so myself.

6:30PM- Studying/Watching TV
These last few weeks I've been doing a Grade A job in keeping up with my notes/homework/studying, so I don't have to put too much time into it each day. I try to manage my time such that I do everything for the classes the day I have those classes. I'm really fortunate in that I have time to do quite a bit of my school stuff while I'm at research, so in the evenings I only needs to dedicate a couple of hours to whatever is left. So today I just have to do some light reviewing for my Genetics exam next week and some MCAT studying. As I'm studying, I'm watching "CSI:Miami". It's a good show to marathon in the background of doing actual stuff.

8:00 PM- Skype with my Dad/Buy a Plane Ticket!
So I skyped my Dad because I bought a plane ticket! I'm studying abroad this winter break in Costa Rica! I'm so excited. I am going with a biology class to conduct a study of my choice. I'm so pumped to see San Jose, La Selva Biological Station/Rain Forest, and all the other cool places we are going to. I'm actually going to get to see a volcano! I'm so incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I will for sure take lots of pictures so you guys can see the awesome shit I'm sure I'm going to witness.

9:00 PM- Procrastination
Finally, I should be studying or reviewing or doing anything productive, yet here I am, typing this blog post, watching "CSI:Miami", and really craving ice cream

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I know it isn't at all bookish, but like I've said in recent posts, I'm branching out.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

TALKTIME #22: Writing Reviews is a Struggle

9:00:00 AM


      You would think with the title of my blog being "The Nerdgirl Review" reviewing would come easy. It used to be, it really was. But now reviewing is a struggle, and I think part of that has to do with me and part of that has to do with what I read.

      I used to really love reviewing books, hence making this blog. I loved talking about books. But now I find myself struggling to write reviews. I get asked to review a book, and I just don't feel motivated. Looking back at a lot of my most recent reviews, most of them I haven't liked. I've realized part of this comes from the fact that I don't really like what I'm reviewing. I don't hate it either though. It's just eh. Which got me thinking...

      My earlier reviews were all books I either really loved or really hated. Those are the reviews that had so much emotion from me, and that's because I had so much to say. With books that I don't necessarily hate or love, I don't really have that much to say. 

      Over the course of last year and this year I've been really struggling with finding books that I enjoy. My reading tastes have changed and so have I as I've gone through college, which is perfectly okay. Change is a good thing. But with this change, it's been harder to find books that I feel passionate enough to review. That being said...

      Some changes are coming to how and what I review so that I am not struggling anymore. From now on I plan on reviewing books that I actually have real emotions and thoughts on. So whether that is a book I really love or a book I hate, that's the type of stuff I want to review. There will be some exceptions of course when it comes to books I get sent for review because I feel obligated to write an honest review in exchange for a copy of that book. But outside of that, from now on I'm just reviewing what I feel is right to review. This may mean a decrease in the number of book reviews on this blog, and I'm sorry for that, but as I said in an earlier blog post, I am changing and so is this blog. I still want to pursue other stuff to put on this blog that I am passionate about. I might not be posting that often due to the demands of this school year, but when I do, it will be stuff I feel deserves to be talked about.

      Sorry for going off the deep end like that. But what about you guys? Have you been struggling with reviewing books? Do you review all the books you read? Tell me your thoughts in the comments down below.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Oh How Time Flies (3rd Year Blogging)

4:41:00 PM


     August 21st was my 3rd Book Blogging Anniversary! I was so busy recovering from my wisdom teeth extraction to even realize it. (Which if anyone cares, went really smoothly and I have basically recovered 100%).

     It's so strange to think that I've been doing this for 3 years. I'm starting my 3rd year of college on Monday which I still can't believe. Oh how time flies.

     So much yet so little has changed since I first started this blog. I've gone through a lot, but through it all there has always been books. Even though I don't spend nearly as much time reading and blogging as I used to, it's still a love of mine. Life has happened though, so I've had to prioritize things. This upcoming January I take the MCAT for medical school, so that's something I've got to focus on on top of my normal academic load, research and extracurriculars.

      Thank you everyone who has stuck around these 3 years and for those of you who are just joining. I won't lie to you, this upcoming school year I probably won't be all that active on here. Honestly, I'm not sure how long this blog is going to last. I started this blog back in high school and now I'm almost done with college. Do I want to take this with me into medical school? I haven't decided. But I have time, and until I have zero time to dedicate to this blog or my love for blogging is completely gone, "The Nerdgirl Review" will still be here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Medical Hiatus (I'm Fine, I Promise)

3:29:00 PM
So this week I will be getting my wisdom teeth removed! Not looking forward to it, but it's something that has to be done. As a result, I will be taking a hiatus to prepare myself for it and to heal afterwards. (Also I'll be high on pain meds, so it's probably in everyone's best interest that I do not post anything). My healing time takes me right up to the start of the new school year, so it might be a little while before I get back to posting again because I'll need to get myself acclimated to my new schedule. So for now, bye! Wish me good luck on a speedy recovery. :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Concise Review of "Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief" by Rosie Sumers

9:00:00 AM


Book: Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief

Author: Rosie Sumers

Release Date: August 7, 2017

Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating: ★★

Synopsis: Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake. 

Will could be the next target. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a free ARC in exchange of an honest review. Thank you "Entangled Teen" for the opportunity to review this book.

     I'm going to get straight to the point. I did not really enjoy this book. I feel like it had potential, but it fell very short. The synopsis is very misleading as the main plot happens in just the last 1/3 of the book. Most of the book feels like a contemporary, which would be fine and dandy if this was actually a contemporary novel, but it isn't, and the romance feels out of place and very insta-lovey. The main characters weren't enjoyable to read. Matter of fact, I really wasn't a fan of the narrator, Mari. She is so incredibly naive and stupid for a girl who is supposedly a master jewel thief.

     The writing was very basic and the plot was cookie cutter basic. The only reason why I'm giving this two stars and not ones is because there were a few cute moments that I liked. It's a shame. I really wanted to like this book because the premise sounded interesting and kind of reminded me of "Heist Society" by Ally Carter which is one of my favorite series from when I was in middle school, but this comes no where near as good as Ally Carter's books. Overall I'm glad this was a quick read and didn't take up too much of my time and this is not a book I would recommend at all.

Monday, July 31, 2017

"Little Boy Lost" by J.D. Trafford Lil' Review

9:30:00 AM


Book: Little Boy Lost

Author: J.D. Trafford

Release Date: July 18th, 2017

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: In a city divided and broken, this revelation will set it on fire…

Attorney Justin Glass’s practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn’t doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn’t have the heart to turn her away.

Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body—and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated.

As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city’s forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.

      So this is going to be a very quick review because I don't have too much to say about this book. This book is marketed as a book about racial unrest surrounding the murders of 12 black boys, and while the does happen, it's about like maybe 1/4 of the book, if that. I felt like the book could have done so much more on the topic of violence against black people, especially black children, and the unrest in our country. As a black girl in America, this is a subject that is very personal to me. I appreciate the prejudices shown in the book and how it highlighted how messed up our system is, but I felt like it didn't do a good enough job. Most of the book followed the main character, Justin, and his everyday life and dealing being a better father for his daughter, which is fine and all, but that's not what the book was marketed as.

      Don't get me wrong, I thought the book was alright. Reading about Justin as a lawyer and all of the politics reminded me a lot of watching my dad as a lawyer growing up and the days when he would take me and my brothers to his law office or court when no one else could watch us. But something about the book didn't feel authentic enough. The author of the book is a white male who is trying to write as a black male. I appreciate that this story is being told, no matter who is telling it, but I feel like we could have gotten a better story if it was from an OWN voice, or at least a PoC who can identify better with the main character. The author no matter how much research he has done can never identify with the struggles an actual PoC has gone through.

Monday, July 17, 2017

"Afterlife" by Marcus Sakey Spoiler-Free Review (MUST READ BOOK!)

9:00:00 AM


Book: Afterlife

Author: Marcus Sakey

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: July 18th, 2017

My Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis: Soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds… and an unforgettable love story.

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion — a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.

He wakes without a scratch.

The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people — until he sees they’re carrying machetes.

Welcome to the afterlife.

Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.

Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love… with Will Brody.

But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect — and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.

From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance Trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity for this opportunity to give an honest review.

      You guys, this book was a complete surprise to me. I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. The first chapter was real rough, and I mean real rough, almost enough to make me DNF the book. But, I kept pushing onwards, and I'm so glad I did because the book was such an interesting, mentally, and intellectually compelling book that drew me in. I powered through this book in 6 hours, only taking a break two times, once to get McDonald's and another time to take a bath.

      I don't want to give away anything about the plot because the plot is so damn interesting that you should go into it blind. I will tell you that it focuses on what happens after you die and the possibilities death has. It is very much a mental mindf*** and something I have often thought about. If you don't like the idea of thinking about what happens after we die, then this is not the book for you. However, if you are ready for a mindf***, this is for you. The book also analyzes the evil in the world and looks at how bad people turn out the way they are, and it's a really interesting concept. Because there are those people who just crack and do bad shit without a visible explanation, but it's interesting because maybe there is a reason that just is more than what we can conceptually conceive. Nothing about this plot is predictable, save for the the very beginning. There are so many twists and turns that just mess with your head and just make you think. That's what I really liked about this book. It made you think. I also like how it was a combination of paranormal, fantasy, romance, thriller, mystery, and sci-fi all combined into one book.

      The characters were also great in this book. Seeing how they think and handle this situation is just so interesting because it makes you think about how you would handle it. I mean, honestly, if I died and woke up in another level of existence, I have no idea how I would handle it, and that freaks me out. And I love the romance that our main charachters Brody and Claire have. They take their love to the extreme. Like honestly, I would be lucky to ever find someone who I loved as much as these two loved each other. And I really liked Claire because she was a strong, independent, gives no shits women, who puts everyone in their place. She is also an intellectual and handles the situation so gracefully in a way I wouldn't think is possible.

       Overall, this book just makes you feel... woke, yeah that's the word I'll use, woke. It puts into perspective every little aspect of our life and the overall politics of living coupled against death and what really matters. It also really makes you look at the science of living and death and how that interplays with the perceived impossible and fictitious. Here are some quotes that give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

            "Is it really so hard to imagine there's energy to life we don't know how to measure? Some vital, quantifiable connection between ourselves and the universe that doesn't appear under a microscope"

            "It's all energy. The universe began in an explosion. Every element is forged in the heart of a star. There is nothing but energy. With enough energy, existence bends around you like the sea around a sailboat."

      As a scientist, these quotes really resonated with me, and there are others like this that container spoilers that just made me think.

      This book has already been optioned for a movie, and I'm so excited to see how it translates to movie form. I really do think this is something everyone should experience because although it will probably make you uncomfortable and mess with your mind, sometimes it's good to be uncomfortable and to think beyond the possible.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Children's Books

10:00:00 AM


     I'm fairly certain it's been like 6 months since I have done a Top 5 Wednesday. That might be an exaggeration, but it might also be true. Anyway, this one really interested me because I realized it's been quite some time since I've read a children's book, with the exception of "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness. I grew up entirely way to quickly, so by 8 years old I was reading adult mystery thrillers mixed in with young adult. So, I'm excited for this because making up this list made me remember these children books that I still love despite all the years that have passed. Here goes nothing in no particular order.

5. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (and basically everything else by Shel Silberstein)

It's interesting that this made the list considering in general I hate poetry, but I absolutely love Shel Silverstein and his poetry. His work is one of the few works of poetry out there that I enjoy. His work is so thoughtful and morbid yet enlightening and happy. It's strange to describe to those who haven't read his work. His work is a staple of my childhood.

4. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

This is one of the first books my mom read to me as a kid, and she continued to read it to me for a long time. This book was her constant reminder to me that I was loved, and I just remember all of the happy and sad feelings attached with this book. It's not the same reading it on my own as compared to when my mom reads it to me.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Yes I only read the book so that I could go watch the movie, but that doesn't negate the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was emotional and quite powerful for a children's book.

2. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott 

This is one of my favorite series from middle school. I can remember checking out these books from the library with my friend Catherine and rushing to school so that we could talk about these books. These books combine magic, history, and mythology, some of my favorite things. Also the two main characters are a twins, a boy and girl, and so I always envisioned myself as the twin girl and my twin brother as the guy.

1. May Bird series by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I have reread this series several times, and I continue to love it through time. For a children's series, it's pretty dark and twisted, but that's what I liked about it. It shined light on problems that children have that adults might not take seriously through personifications in this nightmare like world. It has a "Nightmare Before Christmas" type of vibe only WAAYYY darker. 


Honorable Mentions: Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley, Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar, Children of the Lamp series by P.B. Kerr, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud.

(I know there are a lot of honorable mentions, but when making this list, I couldn't leave them out because I liked them too much and wanted you guys to know about them too.)

      So what do you guys think about my list? See any of your favorites? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so what are your thoughts? Tell me your thoughts down below in the comments. I also want to hear what some of your favorite children books are!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday Tunes: Musicals, Oldies, and Kesha

10:30:00 AM


     This week instead of highlighting one specific genre or album, I'll be talking about three different songs that I have been listening to non-stop like crazy. So here goes nothing, in no particular order.


"She Used to be Mine" from Waitress

Last month I was in a real big musicals phase, and "Waitress" the Broadway musical popped up on one of my playlists on Spotify and I immediately liked it. The song that really got me going though and is my favorite in the musical is "She Used to be Mine". The song was originally written by Sara Bareilles who actually helped write the musical. There is a version she sings and one that the Broadway actress, Jessie Mueller sings, and I much prefer Jessie's version. Even though they are both fantastic singers, I like the sound of Jesse's voice more and I just feel like she brings more emotion to the song. And boy oh boy does the song have such strong emotion. If you listen really closely to the lyrics, there is just so much that is being said that really hits you.

I got bored and decided to do a rough sketch writing thing on Paint

"Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Fugees

Most of you have probably never heard this song before, but it's one of my favorite classic songs. My mom used to play it all the time when I was growing up. I can remember her cooking breakfast in the morning and singing along to this song and while I didn't like it when I was younger, it has really grown on me. I think because I'm older, I understand it more. I just love how the Fuguees all harmonize, and Lauryn Hill has such a beautiful voice. It's not too strong, but still has a power that comes over you. It's like a mixture of gospel, rap, and hip hop, and that combination just works very well.

"Praying" by Kesha

I have always loved Kesha, starting way back in 6th grade (which is crazy to think because I'm going into the 3rd year of university). I can remember going to school dances and rocking out to "Tik Tok" and "We R Who We Are" and all those other great songs. "Praying" is  quite different than her older stuff, but it is a good different, a GREAT different. This song has so much emotion and meaning that her other songs lacked while still being an anthem. She has gone through so much in her career and life and you can really here it in this song. I love how the song starts off kind of quiet and slow but builds up until the end when it's full of energy and power, and I feel like that really represents Kesha's build back into the music industry. I can't wait to hear more greatness from her.


      Well that's all for this week's "Tuesday Tunes". If you guys haven't listened to the songs, you definitely should, and then when you have tell me your thoughts. I would love to hear what you guys think about these three songs from three very different artists.

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Tied Up in You" by Erin Fletcher Excerpt + Review + Giveaway

8:30:00 AM
Displaying TUiY Banner.png

Book: Tied Up in You

Author: Erin Fletcher

Publisher: Entangled Teen (Crush)

Release Date: July 10, 2017

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Everyone says hotshot goalie Luke Jackson is God’s gift to girls, but the only girl he wants is his best friend, Malina Hall. He’s always known how brilliant she is, but now that he’s “accidentally” kissed her, he can’t stop thinking about her…or wanting to kiss her again. Problem is, things have been a little…awkward since the kiss. Because she likes him, too. Hopefully, but even if she did, their futures—and the ridiculous schedules that come with them—are in the way. And now one of his teammates is showing interest, and the guy has more in common with Malina than Jackson ever will. As her best friend, Jackson should get out of the way. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from hockey, it’s that you have to go for what you want, even if it means falling flat on your face. And he’s definitely falling for Malina.

Disclaimer: This book contains a hot hockey player who goes after what he wants, a super-hot, super-distracting shirtless workout, and the kind of best friends to lovers romance every girl in the friend zone has dreamed of.


      For me, this was a quick, summer, contemporary read which is exactly what I was looking for. It took me like maybe 4 hours to read this in just one sitting. The plot wasn't anything special, and I thought the pacing was very odd, but nevertheless it was still enjoyable. I think I liked the characters more than I did the plot. I loved how there was LGBT+, people of color (Hawaiian), and women in STEM representation. All of those representations really made the book for me. I also enjoyed how it was set in Michigan. It reminded me a lot of home and the talk of the different schools she was applying to in-state took me back to my high school days. So, overall, while this wasn't anything particularly special, and I think it resolved WAYYY to quickly, if you want something to make you smile and that is light, this is the book for you.


Jackson's POV

My hand froze awkwardly in midair as reality slammed into me. Oh, shit. Shit. I kissed my best friend. “Sorry,” I said, jumping up and slamming my leg on the coffee table. “Ow,” I moaned as I turned on the lamp, then turned on the overhead light for good measure.

The look on Malina’s face was one I hadn’t seen before. Her eyes were wide with something—shock? Disgust? Embarrassment?

My cheeks and ears burned. Was it possible for your nose to blush? I was pretty sure mine was. “Malina, I’m so sorry. I was just…” I ran a hand through my hair, struggling to come up with something, anything I could say to excuse what had happened. “I was just so relieved there wasn’t a serial killer or something in the kitchen, and I just…” Nope. There weren’t any more words. There were hundreds of thousands of words in the English language and not one of them was going to help me.

For a long time, she didn’t say anything. A long time. The expression on her face didn’t change. Then she nodded slowly. “Right. Yeah. I was relieved, too.”

She was going to accept my ridiculously lame excuse? Or at least pretend to accept it? “Right? Yeah. Okay. Sorry.”

She frowned. “Just…don’t. Do that. Ever. Again.”

“No,” I said quickly. Spastically quickly. Oh God, my cheeks were still on fire. I couldn’t look her in the eyes. “Sorry. I won’t. It won’t happen again. I should probably go.” Then I winced and said, “Ow,” when I took a step that jarred my bruised leg.

Her frown changed from confusion to concern. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I said, too quickly again. “Fine. Just…bruised my leg. Banged it. I’ll be fine.”

“Do you need some ice?”

“No. No. I’m fine. Sorry again. Thanks for dinner. I’ll see you at school, right?

Sorry.” Instead of coming out like individual sentences, the words kind of blurred together into one big blob of awkward.

Malina got up and walked me to the door. “Yeah. I’ll see you at school.”

I had one foot out the door when she stopped me.


As much as I wanted to keep going, I couldn’t ignore her. I stopped and turned and looked somewhere in the vicinity of her left shoulder. Not in her eyes. Not at her lips or her boobs. Shoulders were safe. “Yeah?”

“I don’t really know what just happened, but it was an accident. We’re still friends. It’s fine.”

I forced a nod and kept my eyes on her shoulder. “Okay. Thank you. Sorry. Good night.”

When I got in my car, I leaned back against the headrest and tried to breathe.

Despite what she said, it wasn’t okay. I’d kissed my best friend. I’d acted like an idiot who didn’t know how to human, not the confident hockey player who kissed girls all the time.

But the worst part? Worse than the kiss or the embarrassment or awkwardness that followed?

I liked kissing Malina.

A lot.

I was screwed.


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About the Author

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Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?