Review: Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton

We were given this book for review courteFire-in-the-Woods-Bannersy of Month9Books in exchange for an honest review.

Fire in the Woods is about a girl called Jess, who gives on an army base. A UFO has crashed nearby, causing chaos very close to home. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Jess stumbles across a hot guy, called David, in the woods who isn’t exactly normal. Turns out, not normal means alien, and both Jess and David have to work together to try and get David back home without the forces of the US military raining down upon them. Sounds tricky? Well…a bit.

First of all, we really, really enjoyed the beginning of the novel. The fact that Jess’s passion as a photographer was what led her to David, instead of being a girl seeking adventure was original and creative. Jess did not have the annoying traits of a dystopian protagonist, for example being dead set on self sacrifice, and was therefore an easy character to like and read.

The pacing of the novel was slightly irregular, with surges of action happening throughout, although the beginning of the novel was quite slow going. It took about 40% of the book for Eaton to set up the plot for the rest of the book, and to build the preliminary relationship between Jess and David (which did come across as insta-lovey, but if someone walked into my life resembling Jake Abel, I also wouldn’t hesitate to get as close to them as possible, as quickly as possible.) Plus, this book is the beginning of a quartet, so we can forgive any fudged over explaining within the debut novel. The one thing I was really impressed with was the reasonability of the whole plot. I’ve seen ‘Paul’, I know the military would be down for an alien goose chase. I though the descriptions of the aliens and their motives were realistic and completfire in the woodsely not cliches (at least I wasn’t rolling my eyes because David’s skin was green – it was actually purple.)

I found myself a little lost once Jess and David had barely escaped from the hands of David’s captors, after the Walmart scene. A lot of things happened and I wasn’t sure about the direction Jess and David were going in (both figuratively and literally – they had to go north at some point!) And when we reached the climatic scene towards the end of the novel where David was ‘rescued’ by his own species and the ultimate face off occurred between the military and the aliens, Bee and I were both confused. First, they hated each other, then they were going to work in harmony, then more hate, more harmony, some plots for the destruction of the human race that came to nothing, then were back in action, then stopped, then continued. I wasn’t surprised that Jess blacked out. Was the constant change of plan making her head spin as much as mine?

I’m hoping that the final decision between the humans and the aliens, and what the aliens plan on doing to the humans is clear in the next book ‘Ashes in the Sky’, otherwise, I’m going to have to make a flow chart of events or something.

Overall, we both really enjoyed this book. It slightly reminded me of ‘Scarlet’ by Marissa Meyer because of the tension between David and Jess, knowing their relationship can only last so long, and of course, the train scene. The action, although very quick to transpire, kept me wanting to read on and wanting to know the outcome of David and Jess’s romance. The book started so strong, which was excellent, but then lost its touch a little towards the end as more things started to happen. For that reason, we’ve decided to give ‘Fire in the Woods’ 3.75 stars.

Thank you so much Month9Books for the opportunity to read this amazing debut! We can’t wait to read what happens next in this alien adventure.

Where to find Fire in the Woods: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks

Mini Tour NecklaceEnter to Win: 

·        One of Five (5) Digital Copies of Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton (INT)

·        One (1) gorgeous necklace  [The pendant is 1.75 inches, and the chain is about 26 inches long]

Winner will be drawn November 7, 2014

ABOUT JENNIFER M. EATON: Jennifer M. EatonCorporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle. Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally. Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Offical Blurb of Fire in the Woods When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel. But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught. Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can’t really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here. As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

Review: Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham

Shipwrecked bshipwreckedy Siobhan Curham
Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Contemporary
Published By: Electric Monkey
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
This was book I picked up from the library, for no other reason than it was new. I was the first to get it out (always an achievement) so now, I’ll share my opinion.

The book is blurbed to be about a group of dancers that get shipwrecked on a deserted island, which definitely means it isn’t really deserted, and their struggle to be rescued. The fact that they are dancers is almost (or completely) irrelevant to the plot and the books is also described as Gossip Girl meets Lost. Having watcher neither of these shows, I found it super helpful. I can guess that Gossip Girl is about superficial Barbie girls and Lost is about getting stranded on a not-s0-deserted island.

The only character I really liked in the book was Grace, the protagonist, which I guess is lucky since I couldn’t escape her point of view like I can escape Jason’s in the Heroes of Olympus. She was very witty to begin with and I could relate to her on some level, unlike the rest of the characters who seemed very self absorbed.

I don’t really understand how timid girls are always best friends with the party girls in books. It seems completely unrealistic to have a best friend that you have so little in common with, and then get upset when you don’t stay friends forever because you’re so different. That was definitely something that bothered me, and I couldn’t have been more happy when Grace decided to befriend the less annoying people she was shipwrecked with.

On that note, I did like the romance between the Spanish tour guide, Cruz, and Grace. It was very sweet, especially when it turned out Cruz could speak English and they could communicate with something other than sign language. I’m pleased that Grace found her dream boy on the freaky island – at least someone was happy.

Creepy things kept happening to the shipwrecked dancers, that were very anticlimactic in my opinion, but hinted at the existent of a supernatural force (no doubt it was evil.) It certainly managed to scare the two girls Jenna and Cariss, and their lapdogs Todd and Ron into leaving the island with no survival back up plan.

I felt like a lot of what was happening on the island could have been told definitely within 300 pages. All the events felt quite repetitive and drawn out which made the book feel like it was going on forever when, really, the dancers were only stranded for around four days.

There is a sequel, which I will read if my school library gets it, because these aren’t books that I’d invest in myself. Everything started to come together a bit at the end, but had the similar anticlimactic feel as the rest of the book. Overall, I’d give this book 3 stars as it was enjoyable but not really something I’d normally pay attention to. There’s a lot that could be done with the sequel, so I look forward to seeing what happens next….on the island. (There’s a lot of dramatic chapter endings, of course.)

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

the-rosie-projectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Genre: Contemporary, Adult
Published By: Penguin
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5
Series:
The Rosie Effect (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I know what you’re all thinking about the cover. Lobster? Not that relevant.

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion can best be described as John Green for adults. Although marketed on NetGalley as a young adult book, after reading I feel that new adult would be a better category. This book would definitely fit alongside ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell on your bookshelves.

So, we follow the perspective of Don, a geneticist who’s socially inept. It’s never explicitly mentioned, but I assumed he had a mild case of autism which, in his job, worked to his advantage. His main aim is to gain a wife as he believes he is incompatible within a relationship and can count the number of friends he has on one hand.

Of course, with his methodical brain, he develops a questionnaire to find the perfect partner. But, if romantic comedies have taught me anything, it’s that what you want isn’t necessarily what you get. Enter Rosie, your factory setting manic pixie dream girl. She allows Don to change himself and improve his reactions to society. Rosie pushes him out of his comfort zone and strict schedule in order to show him what he’s missing out on.

Your typical Alaska girl, complete with desired figure and a bad smoking habit.

Despite the formulaeic character of Rosie, Don was a breath of fresh air as a protagonist. He wasn’t afraid to question why people do things and the morals of their actions. He was intelligent and an accomplished person in many extra-curricular activies. If it wasn’t for his inability to feel comfortable in social situations, he would have been the most popular guy around.

In order to gain the affections of Rosie, he helps her to discover the identity of her real father. This created the bulk of the plot. At first, I thought I’d guessed it straight away but when the truth came out, I never saw it coming. The Father Project was meticulous but not ridiculous. and I found myself more than pleased with the result (though I did question Rosie for finding a problem with everything.)

Just like ‘Landline’, I wasn’t expecting a mature book. I should have been more clued in, seeing as the characters are thirty-nine and twenty-nine (talk about an age difference!) so I couldn’t  complexly understand the situations they were in. Yet, this did not hinder my enjoyment of the novel.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but one of my main complaints with the book was its rapid last chapter. It was like ending a book with ‘and they lived happily ever after’ without actually describing any events that led to their eventual happiness.

Overall, I would give ‘The Rosie Project’ 3.5 stars, just because I didn’t completely fall in love with the book, and Rosie was quite generic as love interests go. That said, I did laugh out loud quite a few times, which will always bolster the star rating of a novel.