Title: Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Rating: 4 Stars
Feed is one of those books that deserves a full review from me, but I just can't deliver. What can I really say about Feed anyway? I suppose that the first thing you need to know is that Feed isn't a book for everyone. It takes place in a futuristic world where zombies are a part of everyday life, but opposed to leaving it at that, Grant gives you what you really crave - world-building. Mira Grant's world-building is so detailed, precise, and complete that it can almost be hard to get through the first half of this story as it bogs down the pacing. Thus, it's really only in the second-half that the plot, centering heavily around politics and conspiracies, comes to light.In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.It raised the dead.Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:When will you rise?
Personally, I found the first half of this novel really hard to get into. Not only was it too detailed, the narration was of a higher calibre than I was used to and the characters in this novel are more serious than anything else. Yet, I grew to love them and the fierce sibling dependency of Sean and Georgia Mason warmed my heart. Feed lacks romance, which was surprisingly refreshing, and throws you into a world so real that you fail to find anything lacking.
What really makes Feed such a popular novel though, is its plot twists. Just like those long novels that are totally worth it in their end, Feed is completely satisfying. Its layout of including blog articles written by Sean and Georgia is ingenious and frankly speaking, it's one of those stories that makes you realize how little work some other authors pour into their novels. Feed, as I mentioned before, isn't for everyone but if you love politics, world-building, and well-rounded characters, not to mention a unique plot featuring zombies, this is the book for you!
Title: Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers, #2)
Author: J. Lynn
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he'll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend. Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it's going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together...or in love.I'll admit it: Tempting the Player was far better than J. Lynn's first foray into the world of adult fiction, Tempting the Best Man, but it wasn't quite enough to rock my boat. In their entirety, Lynn's novels are entertaining... and that's about it. Which is precisely why I pick them up when I need to get my mind off of a few serious issues and simply relax, but really, I can't award these books any more than 3 Stars because I just like them. I don't love them like I did On Dublin Street or even Seducing Cinderella, two novels which fit under the same romance category but manage to actually provide some depth unlike the Gamble Brothers Series.
I think what makes Tempting the Player so much better than its predecessor is the fact that it has a predecessor. If Tempting the Player had been a stand-alone novel, I doubt I would have enjoyed it this much, but seeing Lynn's writing grow was definitely rewarding. With Tempting the Player, Lynn takes on a fairly standard/cliche approach to her romance (seriously, there is NO such thing as an "original" romance novel I'm afraid) but she grabbed me in with her unique protagonist. While Madison and Chase's childhood romance was sweet in Tempting the Best Man, meeting Bridget, a woman who was proud of her curvy figure, flamboyant dress sense, and wasn't afraid to be herself, was entirely refreshing. It was her who made this novel as amazing as it was for me, merely because she was so sensible for much of it and I truly felt as if I could connect with her wacky personality. Chad, on the other hand, has an ego I'd like to hack at with an axe. If anything is a turn-off, it's a guy with a giant ego, so needless to say, Chad didn't really "woo" me in - not as much as Chase did at any rate.
Nevertheless, I have to admit that if there is any reason to pick this up, it is to prepare for the third novel because I am so excited for Tempting the Bodyguard. We're introduced to the protagonist who (I'm assuming) will be featuring in the last novel of this trilogy and believe me, she is unique. Thus, I have to give