Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Title: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Dystopian
Published: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pages: 448


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.


I found a copy of this book at my local comic book store, which initially seemed like a really weird place for it and me to be. But I thought the cover was pretty, so I picked it up anyway while I was there because heaven forbid I have to go back to a comic book store. 

When I started reading this book, I found that it hit a little too close to home with the current political climate. I'm pretty sure the world is one Trump Twitter rant away from annihilation, and I think we all know that he's widely supported by right-wing Christian extremists. How they can support a man who goes against pretty much everything that Christ talked about I do not know, but I guess as long as he's against the gays and probably against abortion, it's all good. 

So anyway, I'm reading about this world that I'm pretty sure I'll be inhabiting in just a few years in real life, and it started to give me legit nightmares. I can't sleep for more than two to three hours at a time anymore without waking up in a cold sweat, panicking, and wondering where my next meal is going to come from (the pantry, in real life I have a well-stocked pantry, but in the nightmares food is very, very scarce). 

So I don't recommend this book to anyone that is less than happy about the current occupant of the White House because it will likely give you nightmares as well. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

This book gets 3 misplaced electoral college votes. 

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About the Author

Richelle Mead is an international bestselling author of over twenty-five books for both adults and teens. Her Georgina Kincaid and Dark Swan series take a witty but edgy look at the paranormal while her sci-fi Age of X series shows us a future with no religion. Over on the young adult side, Richelle has written the much-acclaimed Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, Bloodlines, about a secret society keeping the vampire world hidden from humans. Her latest project, The Glittering Court, takes place in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America, following the adventures of three impoverished girls trained up to be "ladies" who can make advantageous marriages in a dangerous new world across the sea.

Richelle's books have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and received honors from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages, as well as adapted into graphic novels. In 2014, Vampire Academy was made into a feature film. A lifelong reader, Richelle loves mythology and wacky humor. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, buying dresses, and watching bad reality TV. More at:

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Gameboard of the Gods, just click any of the following links.

Finding Love Again by Christa Ann

Title: Finding Love Again
Author: Christa Ann
Genre: Romance
Published: August 23, 2016
Publisher: After Glows Publishing, LLC
Pages: 124


Widow Shannon Ward lives for her job and her children. Not wanting to feel that bone deep pain of losing her husband suddenly in a car accident, Shannon closed off her heart. Her four best friends and children decide she needs to get out and live again and maybe find love. A girls only vacation to the Mountains of Montana maybe just what she needs. Finding love again is farthest from her mind and definitely not on her to-do list. However, a certain sexy rancher may change her mind.

Rancher Ryan Collins has finally got divorced from his high school sweet heart. Though both agree they should’ve never married. The only thing good that came out of that marriage was his three children. Ryan is done with love and women in his life. He’s happy with running his ranch and bachelorhood. So he thinks until he meets Shannon.

Two hearts closed off from love and determined to stay that way, until that first glance at each other in a diner. Will Shannon and Ryan risk their hearts one more time to find love again or walk away?


picked up a copy of this book from my library during their semi-annual book sale. It was only a quarter and it looked like exactly the kind of book I'd be willing to spend at most a quarter on. I was pretty much right. 

I spent a disproportionate amount of time reading this book trying to figure out why anyone would think the mountains in Montana are the ideal getaway location for a group of women. Seriously, I just could not relate to that aspect of the story at all. If any of my friends planned a girls trip like that, it would for sure be a hard pass for me, and I might start looking for a new group of friends, because clearly the current friends just don't get me at all. 

So after I came to terms with the fact that apparently this type of vacation actually appeals to Shannon (and other real women who actually exist) I started to get into the story a little bit. I mean, I can at least relate to wanting to have some downtime away from the kids (I think pretty much every mother who is honest with herself would). In spite of that, I still think it's weird that you'd seriously consider dating a guy you met on vacation because those guys are really only good for one thing, and that's hot meaningless sex. The sooner we all agree on that and accept that there is nothing wrong with having hot meaningless sex with men who are basically strangers, the better off we will be. 

So in the end, this book was a bit of a miss for me. It had some highlights, but for the most part I just couldn't get on board with this trip. 

I give it two sickly cows. 

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Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Finding Love Again, you'll have to check out Goodreads or Amazon as I was unable to find any blog reviews for this title. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Girl on the Brink by Christina Hoag

Title: Girl on the Brink
Author: Christina Hoag
Genre: YA Romance
Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Pages: 238


He was perfect. At first. The summer before senior year, 17-year-old Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire and Kieran becomes violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.


I'm not really sure how I ended up with a copy of this book. I probably picked it up at my thrift store one day because I liked the cover and thought the title was intriguing. In any case, it was on my bookshelves and therefore it needed to be read at some point. 

Chloe reminded me of myself at seventeen. While I wasn't working as a reporter, I was the proofreader for my mother's tourism newspaper (and often the photographer as well, although she never gave me personal credit for my pictures). I even started dating my first boyfriend the summer before my senior year of high school, and he pretty much swept me off my feet on our first date. Fortunately for me, that's where his similarities to Kieran stop (I did encounter other aspects of Kieran's personality in future paramours, but never all wrapped up into one person). 

It was hard for me to really imagine myself in Chloe's shoes because my rage-y relationship was ended very quickly after I found out that was a thing he would do, and that happened early enough in our relationship I wasn't even considering him my boyfriend yet, which made it super easy to cut him loose on my end. And because he was a soldier getting ready to PCS to a new duty station, the Army took care of keeping him away from me. I do understand why it was harder for Chloe to end her relationship than it was for me to end mine, but it was still hard to fully feel those feelings myself. 

Overall I give Girl on the Brink 4 broken hearts. 

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About the Author

As a journalist, Christina Hoag was threatened by a killer's girlfriend, had her laptop searched by Colombian guerrillas and phone tapped in Venezuela, was suspected of drug trafficking in Guyana, hid under a car to evade Guatemalan soldiers, and posed as a nun to get inside a Caracas jail. She's interviewed gang members, bank robbers, gunmen, thieves and thugs in prisons, shantytowns and slums, not to forget billionaires and presidents, some of whom fall into the previous categories. Now she prefers to write about such characters in her fiction.

Kirkus Reviews praised Christina as a “talented writer” in her "Skin of Tattoos," a noir crime novel. Her thriller "Girl on the Brink" was named to Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 YA list. She also co-authored "Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence," a groundbreaking book on violence intervention used in several universities. 

Christina grew up as an expat around the world. She resides in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at a maximum-security prison and has mentored at-risk teen girls in creative writing in South and East Los Angeles. Find her on the web at; and

Alternate Reviews

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Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

Title: Ghost for Sale
Author: Sandra Cox
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Pages: 225


Caitlin King can’t believe that her shopaholic cousin actually bought two ghosts off of eBay. But she can’t ignore the truth when she starts seeing sexy Liam O’Reilly, who’s been dead for over a hundred years. He’s a fascinating specter, and the more time Caitlin spends with him, the closer they become—sending them both spiraling into a star-crossed tailspin. No matter how desperately they long for each other, there’s just no future with a guy who’s already stopped breathing.

In order to help Liam and his twin sister, Anna, leave their earthly limbo and cross over into the light, Caitlin must find the ghost of Anna’s fiancé. But a malevolent spirit is dead set against Anna moving on. Now Caitlin will have to unravel the mystery surrounding the twins’ past lives in order to keep Liam’s spirit safe—even if it means sacrificing her heart in the process.


I was searching eBay for a poltergeist that I could send to Joood - Hooligan's house when I came across this book. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it seemed interesting enough, so I decided to place a bid on it anyway. I definitely low-balled it, but since the book wasn't signed or anything, I thought I still stood a chance. A couple days later, I awoke to discover that I'd won both bids I placed that day. (You're welcome for the poltergeist Joood...I see that it's been doing its job in your apartment.) 

When the book finally arrived in my mailbox, I had some time to kill, so I started reading it right away. After all, I have it on good authority that reading in the afterlife is quite difficult because the lack of a corporeal form makes it quite difficult to turn pages. Your only real hope is to stand over someone's shoulder while they're reading a book, and just hope that they read at the same pace you do. But anyway, I'm not dead yet, so I read this book all on my own at my own pace. 

Now, I've just got to say that I think Caitlin is dumb for letting herself fall in love with a ghost. Like that is exactly the kind of guy that should be friend-zoned immediately out of the gate if the friend zone was actually a thing. I mean, sure, if you're lucky your dead mom will come back to turn your ghost friend into a real boy for a night of dancing, but is that really going to be enough for you romantically? I doubt it, even if he does look like Devon Sawa. So just be smarter than that ladies. Don't fall in love with a ghost. That's really the moral of this whole story. 

I give this book 3 pesky poltergeists. 

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About the Author

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte, and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

Alternate Reviews

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The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey Books


Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life. 

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her. 

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.


I was gifted a copy of this book after dragging Maui across the ocean to restore the heart of Te Fiti because I am Moana. (You're welcome.) I thought it would be rather rude to not read the book gifted to me by a goddess, so once I found my way back home to the island, I told everybody to leave me alone so I could read it, figuring it held some special kernels of wisdom for me about being a way finder. It didn't, I don't think, but Maui was a pretty good teacher I guess. In fact, this book was a lot more like my life BEFORE I set off to return the heart than anything. 

I really related to Elanna's inner conflict about battling the kingdom that she called home for so many years. I mean I couldn't wait to get off the island that my parents swore was the best and safest place for me, but if I didn't go against their wishes, I know we all would have died so I had to do what I had to do, just like Elanna and her rebellion. I was lucky that I had Grandmother and the Ocean in my corner, otherwise I probably never would have succeeded. Elanna was not so lucky, although if her adoptive father hadn't been murdered she probably wouldn't have had to fight against the kingdom in the first place. 

I guess maybe this book was just a way for Te Fiti to say thanks for going against my family's wishes and persisting in my goal to give her heart back, and an acknowledgement on her part of just what I went through to do that. I suppose it's an acceptable thank you. Also, my island is no longer dying, and that's a major plus. 

I give this book 4 1/2 shiny magic hooks. 

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About the Author

Callie Bates is a writer, harpist and certified harp therapist, sometimes artist, and nature nerd. When she’s not creating, she’s hitting the trails or streets and exploring new places. She lives in the Upper Midwest. The Waking Land is her debut fantasy novel.

Alternate Reviews

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 436


Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


I received a copy of this book from a stooped old lady that was seeking refuge in my house from a storm one cold winter night. Like most normal people, I refused to let her in the house because she looked a bit creepy and could have just been out to kill my whole family, and I'm not down with that. After I refused her shelter, she handed me this book and then magically turned into a beautiful maiden, and I knew I'd fucked up (I've seen Beauty and the Beast). She put a curse on my husband that he would never see snow again (dude loves snowboarding, so it's a pretty shitty situation for him). I'm not sure what my curse is exactly, but I know it's there. 

Because she gave me this book though, I figured reading it could help me break the curse. Surely there'd be some clues in it that would help me out right? Otherwise why give it to me in the first place? But it was basically a bust. I mean, the main character in this story is inspired by the beast that she agrees to marry, but there's just nothing about my husband that I find really inspiring. He doesn't have the devilish good lucks that songwriters wax on about (his nose and ears are just a bit too big for his face). He's not known for his daring feats that one could write stories about. And in the bedroom, calling him a minuteman would be a gross exaggeration (so we're not making any pornos either). The book makes it pretty clear that Liesl's life needs to be sacrificed regardless of how the Goblin King feels about her and in spite of their relationship. Does that mean that for my husband to get to see snow again, I'm gonna' have to die? That's just not really an acceptable price I don't think, and frankly, I'm not willing to pay it. But we've tried everything else I can think of. We even tried that true love thing, but either it just isn't working for us, or my husband isn't my true love. So I guess before I sacrifice myself, I'm gonna' have to head out to kiss some frogs. Any volunteers? 

Overall I give Wintersong 2 cursed roses because it didn't help me at all. 

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About the Author

S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of WINTERSONG (Thomas Dunne 2017). When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.

Alternate Reviews

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

C.A.S.E Revelations by Savannah Verte

Title: C.A.S.E. Revelations
Author: Savannah Verte
Genre: NA Dystopian
Published: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Eclectic Bard Books
Pages: 246


A simple mistake brings the world to its knees with no notice or time to prepare. Young and inexperienced, first term president Baron York will have a lot to answer for when it's finally done. If, that is, there's anyone left to answer to. 

Lessons from The Great Depression make an encore performance at the Hamilton property as they try to stay alive...and sane. Where were you when the world went dark and everything stopped?


I found a copy of this book while stumbling through the wreckage of the world after the zombie apocalypse ended. That's right, I was one of the survivors, and if you're reading this, you apparently were too. Thank goodness the smart people survived as well and were able to get electricity and the internet working again, or I don't know what I would do. 

Anyway, found a copy of this book and with all the zombies dead, I had time to actually read again, so I figured why not. Big mistake. The last type of book you should be reading at the tail end of an apocalypse is a book about an apocalypse. That shit will cause nightmares. Add to that the similarities between the president in this story and Trump before the zombie apocalypse started, and it's almost like reading a history book instead of fiction. 

But let's talk about that for a second. Because President York really does bear an eerie resemblance to Donald Trump in both looks and circumstances surrounding his presidency. And I love a good speculative fiction, but not when real life is as frightening as it is under our current "leader." At this point, I think I might be better served by sticking to sappy romances for the next 3 1/2 years, and this book just solidified that opinion for me. 

I will say that the action in the story was pretty well done and it was easy for me to put myself into the main characters shoes (but some of that is probably because of my recent real life experiences). So the book wasn't all bad, but I would definitely recommend you hold off on reading it for a few years until you've had time to work through whatever issues you may have come out of the zombie apocalypse possessing, because you surely have some. We all do. There's no shame in that. 

I give this book 2.5 nuclear bombs. 

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About the Author

A lifelong lover of words and reading, Savannah Verte hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to write when she grows up. Born and raised in the upper Midwest, Savannah’s gypsy spirit and never quit attitude keep her busy and seldom idle. For so many reasons, Savannah considers herself a ‘Contemporary Vagabond’ when it comes to writing and hopes that others find her diverse offerings as enjoyable to read as they are to write. 

Her first release in decades, Viva Zapata & the Magic 8-Ball began the journey August 1, 2015. Her short story, What they didn’t know, was featured in the January/February BTS magazine, and she co-authored a paranormal piece, Kingdoms Fall, which came out in early 2016. Her next two solo ventures, the first two books in The Custos series -Book of Time & Book of Change also released in 2016. After that, she’ll be working on her competition piece, Chasing Daylight for Cherry Adair’s Finish the Damn Book Challenge, she has an upcoming anthology work called Immortal Alchemy, and an untitled short story for a charity anthology that is a TBA release. There is a long list of titles to come after those are done too.

As the primary owner and driving force behind Eclectic Bard Books she considers herself immensely fortunate to see writing from varied perspectives as she endeavors to publish the authors rostered there. Working with other writers, Savannah gets to expand her horizons every day as someone brings a new idea to the table and the brainstorming begins. There is something addictive about the creative process for her and helping other authors embrace their dreams make hers a reality daily.

That’s the official Savannah, the unofficial version is just a girl who loves experiencing life with every twist and turn it takes. When she was born, she had such fine, light hair that her mother used to tape bows to her head so people would know she was a girl. She’s had a host of crazy unrelated jobs- everything from cake decorator, dry cleaner, and insurance agent to Emergency Room assistant, bartender, crime lab tech and bouncer. Savannah loves air hockey but completely sucks at it. She loves good jazz, good scotch, and antiques but also old rock, a quiet tea, and a tidy home. She’s completely technology impaired and can get it after she’s broken the computer or done it ass-backwards a few times… Thank Gods that there are some amazing meme creators that let her pilfer images or she’d be lost. Lime green is her color, the rhinoceros is her logo & philosophy, and she’s completely mad about seeing new authors try. 

Follow Savannah on Facebook:
or on her webpage My Revolution:

Alternate Reviews

I was unable to find any blog reviews for C.A.S.E. Revelations, so you'll just have to read the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. 

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Title: Geek Love
Author: Katherine Dunn
Genre: Horror
Published: June 11, 2002
Publisher: Random House Vintage
Pages: 348


Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset. 

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.


I was gifted a copy of this book by a friend, can't remember who at this point but I'm not sure they had my best interests at heart. They claimed they thought I'd like this book because I'm a big fan of Stephen King, but I get the impression that they were trying to tell me something with this story, and it's not very nice. 

I thought this book was going to be a romance novel about a couple of geeky characters that are super obsessed with lame shows like Dr. Who or something, but it's not about love at all, not really. No, it's about a creepy carnival sideshow featuring a bunch of mutants that are not turtles trained as ninjas, which totally detracts from the cool factor if you ask me. 

And the parents of this sideshow are absolute monsters. I know that parents are supposed to love their children no matter what, but a parent who sets out to create physical abnormalities in their children is not exactly being a loving parent to begin with if you ask me. Seriously, who in their right mind would want to do that to their kids? And all in the name of money and fame. It's just despicable. 

In the end, I think I most related to Oly. Sitting at my computer, day after day, writing reviews and surfing Facebook has made my back less than straight as an arrow, and my complexion certainly lacks melanin (although I do still have some). And even though he's physically deformed, he's a pretty nice guy considering who his parents are at least. 

Overall I give Geek Love four bearded ladies. 

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About the Author

Katherine Dunn is an award-winning boxing journalist whose work has appeared in many publications, including Esquire, KO Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, The Ring, Sports Illustrated, and Vogue. She is the author of three novels, including Geek Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2004, Dunn and photographer Jim Lommasson won the Lange-Taylor Documentary Prize for their work on the book Shadow Boxers. She is currently associate editor of, an internet boxing encyclopedia and magazine. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Alternate Reviews

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How to Be Ultra Spiritual by JP Sears

Title: How to Be Ultra Spiritual
Author: JP Sears
Genre: Self-Help
Published: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sounds True
Pages: 272


Welcome to the Glorious Grandeur of Ultra Spirituality

In case you haven't noticed, the New Age has become the Old Age. But don't recycle your crystals just yet! His Enlightenedness JP Sears is ushering in the Newer Age, blinding us with the dawn-like brilliance that is Ultra Spirituality. How to Be Ultra Spiritual presents Ultra Spiritual JP's none-of-a-kind guidance, so you can better yourself through teachings on:

- Competitive spirituality--the Ultra Spiritual foundation that the rest of your Ultra Spiritual path rests on

- Why burying your feelings alive makes you thrive

- Dreaming up your awakening--how to engineer your carefully contrived spiritual narrative

- Rigidly yogic yoga--the moisture-filled cloud formation that drops rain upon your river so your flow can flow

- Following the light to the greener spiritual pastures of veganism

- He-ness, financial levity, deathliness, and other qualities of the quality guru

- Mindfullessness--all of the fullness of mindfulness with none of the mind

- Merciless meditation--the most effective way to become more meditative (and, duh, more spiritual)

- Accessing the forces of critical nonjudgment

- Using plant spirit medicine to experience a degree of enlightenment that you aren't enlightened enough to experience without the spirit who lives inside its particular vegetation

- Humbleness, and how to employ it in the most superior sense of the word

With How to Be Ultra Spiritual, His Enlightenedness JP Sears brings the heart and soul of ancient spirituality back to life with a progressive aggression, replacing the diluted uselessness of modern spirituality with the waaay more spiritual wisdom of Ultra Spirituality. See if you can keep up . . .


After reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, I thought that I was as spiritual as one could possibly get, but then I found out that I could be more spiritual when I found JP Sears on Facebook. Obviously I couldn't pass up the chance to take my spiritualness to the next level, so I rushed out to my local Amazon store and bought a copy of the book and then waited a week for it's delivery so I could continue on my journey to supreme spiritualness. 

To say that this book was enlightening doesn't even do it justice. Just opening the cover made me feel 37.864% more spiritual than I was before. This book opened doors into spirituality that Buddha himself didn't even know existed (but that guy did alright considering the limitations of his time, let's be real here.) 

Once I started reading, I quickly realized that I would need to not only work on my own spirituality, but I would need to compare my level of spirituality to that of my closest family members to make sure that I was the most spiritual among us. It was easy to lead my children astray on their path to ultra-spirituality because they are naive little people that believe most things that I tell them, but my husband proved to be a tougher nut to crack. Eventually I did it though by locking up my copy of How to Be Ultra Spiritual whenever I wasn't around so that my husband couldn't read it, and also by creatively editing some of Mr. Spears most popular videos and sharing the edited versions with my husband so that he would think he was following Master JP's advice to the letter. 

Sadly, when I finished reading the book, I realized that even His Enlightenedness has only scratched the surface of how to be supremely spiritual, and I am even now working on my own how to book to help all of you achieve the next level in spirituality. 

I give this book 4 Karmic crystals. 

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About the Author

JP Sears is an international teacher, speaker, and performer at events around the world, emotional healing coach, curious student of life, and satirist best known for his popular YouTube channel. JP’s “Ultra Spiritual” videos have accumulated over 100 million views. For more, visit

Alternate Reviews

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


My parents gave me a copy of this book at my Sweet Sixteen birthday party, which was totally lame because everyone else gets a car for their sweet sixteen, but all I got was a freakin' book. It doesn't even matter that I love to read, because reading this book doesn't help me get around with my real life friends on the weekend and stuff. But since I didn't have a car, I had plenty of time to read the book. 

So this book was basically The Bachelor for teenagers, with just a wee bit more danger because people are actually trying to kill the people living in the palace, and that almost never happens on The Bachelor. But there is still a buttload of conniving and backstabbing from all the other contestants who all want to get that final rose at the end of the season. 

I could sort of relate to America in this story, because I've never had the desire to fight for a boy's affection before. I just don't understand why she wasn't allowed to beg off and just keep living her life. Why would you want to involve someone in the competition that doesn't want to be there in the first place? Seems pretty simple to me. Of course then we see just how dreamy Prince Maxon is and suddenly America changes her tune, like the corporate stooge that she is. I was probably pretty dumb when I was her age too though, so I guess I can probably forgive her. Good food, fancy dresses, and pretty jewels would go to just about any teenagers head right? 

Overall I give this a rose so that it can continue in the competition for my heart. 

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About the Author

Kiera Cass graduated from Radford University with a degree in History. She grew up in South Carolina and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. In her spare time, Kiera enjoys reading, dancing, making videos, and eating unhealthy amounts of cake. You can learn more about Kiera at, follow her on twitter via @kieracass, and see her silly videos at

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Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

Title: Cure for the Common Breakup
Author: Beth Kendrick
Genre: Chick-lit
Published: May 6, 2014
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 336


Welcome to Black Dog Bay, a tiny seaside town in Delaware known as "the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup." Home to Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single.

Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by considering accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant.

Summer heads to Black Dog Bay, where the locals welcome her. Even Hattie Huntington, the town’s oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Then there’s Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor, who’s the opposite of her type. She probably shouldn't be kissing him. She definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything...


I picked up a copy of this book at my local grocery store the other day. Oddly enough, the display for it was in the freezer section of the store. I guess some stock-boy saw the ice cream on the cover and figured that's where the books belonged. Honestly, it was pretty solid product placement now that I think about it. I was there to pick up a pint of Cherry Garcia to deal with some emotional pain after all. 

Anyway, I bought this book thinking that it would be kind of a how to to help me deal with a recent break-up. I mean, you're with a guy for eleven years and think things are going well and then he just freakin' leaves you for Belgium. You've got to do something to get over that kind of loss, and eating ice cream is a well-tested cure for that kind of heartache. But when I got home and started reading it, I realized that it was a freakin' novel and not a how-to book at all. #Disappointed. 

Not all was lost though, because everyone knows that when you're going through a break-up, binge watching chick flicks is an absolute must, and it turns out that Cure for the Common Breakup is basically a chick flick in book form. Seriously, it's basically your standard rom-com, so even though it wasn't the how-to book I was looking for, it did help me feel a little bit better in the end. Of course not as much better as I felt when my husband left Belgium for me. 

So if you're looking for a how-to book to get over a breakup, this book is not for you. If you're looking for a fun, light-hearted read to help you with some slight emotional distress, give this book a try. 

I give it 4 frozen scoops of ice cream. 

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About the Author

Author of twelve women's fiction novels, including the Black Dog Bay series and "Nearlyweds," which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie. Loves rescue dogs, red wine, and the Chicago Cubs. To find out more, please visit and

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