Sunday, November 18, 2012

Adult Mini-Reviews: Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy) and Tempting the Player

Author: Mira Grant
Rating: 4 Stars
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?
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.

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 Jennifer Armentrout J. Lynn props for creating different protagonists, all while using the same-old story line to make her novels pure, pure fun.


  1. While I rarely pick up Adult novels (my motto: since I'm a YA, I'll stick to YA, thank you very much ;)), I have seriously been considering picking up Feed. I've only heard great things about it, and even though you thought it was slow, Keertana, I still think that I'd enjoy it. I'm on the fence about it though, because it does seem deep and so... intellectual. I think I'd have to wait a few years before picking it up.

    Tempting the Player seems like exactly what you dubbed it... fun. And nothing else. Not being a huge romance fan in general, I usually don't pick up romance books at all unless I'm hoping that they have some good depth. I'll typically pick up some fun realistic novel, or some funny book if I'm looking for something light, so I think I'll keep this off my to-read-when-older list (which only exists in my head at the moment, but still!).

    Fantastic mini-reviews Keertana! I can tell you're working on making your mini-reviews actually smaller, and I definitely see the improvement now. ;) I sincerely think you can justly call these both mini-reviews! =)

  2. I think the best things about Jennifer Armentrout's books are that they're entertaining (even if not much more than that!) and that's exactly what I need sometimes. :) I still need to pick up the Feed series after all the praise I keep reading. Brilliant reviews, Keertana!

  3. I'm curious about Feed! I almost checked out the trilogy from the library before but didn't think I had enough time to dedicate myself to the series. The plot twists sound intriguing!

  4. I've heard nothing but praise on Feed, so I'm glad that you enjoyed it as well, Keertana! Like you said, it doesn't sound like the book for everyone. I can't imagine myself picking it because the content might be too gory for my liking hehe. It sounds like a very good book though, so I'll make sure to mention it to anyone who's looking for great zombie book. :)

    Tempting the Player sounds like a good book to pick if I'm in the mood of something easy and fun! <3 I love heroines who are confidence and not afraid of being who they are. :)

    Awesome mini-reviews, Keertana! <3

  5. Lately I've been interested in reading a genre of books that never has before - Adult romance. I think, instead of reading Tempting the Player though, I'll try On Dublin Street, which I know you and several other adored. :) And I'm so pleased you were a fan of Feed! After This Is Not a Test, my fascination with zombies has grown... Terrific mini reviews, K!

  6. You've done an excellent job of reviewing Feed, even though I remember you not falling head over heels for it when you were reading. I've really been enjoying her October Daye UF series (as Seanan McGuire), so I'm interested to see how this series will compare. I know it's very different--part of the reason she used the pen name Mira Grant, but I also know so many who have just loved the world building and plot twists as you mentioned. Are you going to read the other two books, or are you done for now?

  7. I had the same issue with Feed the detail overload seemed unnecessary and put me of reading it.

    I have a confession...I have yet to read a JLA book! I know, I know. I'll get to it one of these day! ;)

  8. I read mainly adult novels, so it's nice to see some reviews on adult books from you!

    Feed sounds exactly like my kind of book! I love politics, I find it really interesting so I think I'd like that aspect.

    The complex language sounds like it'll take a while to get into, but I suppose it's always good to be able to expand.

    Hmmm, Tempting the Player does not sound like my type of book. I generally prefer my adult romances to be paranormal romances. On Dublin Street was an exception because it was so good, meanwhile I think I'll stay away from Tempting the Player.

    However, I know exactly what you mean about there being no original romance plots, but I think that's why we read them for the smushy, cliche love that's soppy and makes us smile.

    Great reviews! :)

  9. Oh I had some issues to when I first picked up Feed, so many times, I was tempted to give up, but the last third definitely made up for the overwhelming start. I really need to pick up Lynn's adult novels sometimes you need something that will be quick and easy to jump into and this definitely sounds like that! Wonderful mini-reviews hun! :)

  10. I can't wait to read Feed. I bought it awhile back and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this series. I am so glad to see that one of my most trusted reviewers enjoyed it as well. Thanks for your review, Keertana. I am anticipating it even more and hope I can get to it soon.

  11. I have been a bit on the fence about Feed. I'm just not sure if its for me. But some reviews like yours have me tempted to give it a try.
    I really haven't paid J. Lynn's adult books any attention (like at ALL) and with my current TBR I probably won't, but I'm glad that even if they don't blow you away, you still enjoy them.

  12. woooo, this is so frightening. When will I rise?

    look here

  13. I've read quite a few +ve reviews of Feed but I am still not sure it's for me, although I do like the sound of the lack of romance - that would make for a good change of focus!

  14. Oh, fine, I GUESS we can still be friends, but only if you promise to read Deadline as well. Promise! Don't make me come over there!
    I guess everyone struggles with that first part, I remember feeling the same. It wasn't until that scene in the restaurant with Shaun and Georgia's parents and Buffy that I really became interested. Later, though, ohh my god! Such bravery! I still can't get enough of this book. I could reread it right this second.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it in the end. :))

  15. Tempting The Player does seem kind of cute, but I have SO many adult contemporary romance books on my TBR that I don't really feel a pressing need to add this one.

    FEED! I am glad that you ended up liking it, because it truly is a good book. It took me a little while to get into as well, but once I was hooked, I could not stop listening (I read via audio). Will you be picking up the rest of the trilogy?

  16. Eeeeeeeeeeeee how did I miss seeing that you read FEED?! (I know the answer to that, but shhh.) I'm so happy you liked it, Keertana. I struggled with the middle third of the book too (get to the farm already, sheesh), but I LOVED it by the end. Hurry up and read DEADLINE, please. :D

    Oh...and the Armentrout sounds cute, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  17. Oh Feed sounds like my kind of book. While I rarely pick up adult books, I think I might need to give this one a chance! I' not sure how I'll fare as I'm starting to not finish books that don't keep me engaged for long enough.

    Oh the cover for Tempting the Player makes me want to hide. Sorry, but I really don't like it! The book itself sounds pretty good though and it might work for when I'm being lazy and I just need to be entertained.

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  20. Feed is my first zombie read. I've been hearing a lot of positive feedback about this from my GR friends and the book blogging community but I didn't pay much attention to it. I downloaded the book in my Kindle, shelved it and forgot it. I read this by accident. It was never part of my reading plan (as if I have any). I won't ever regret picking this up to ease my boredom because I'm not just entertained—it made me care. Feed is the most memorable book I've read for this year yet.

    I had a funny experience while reading this book. Since I can't put this down, I read this whenever I had the chance to. I was on my way to work one time, Kindle on hand, oblivious of everything surrounding me. I didn't notice a guy from PPILC approached me. Damn, I was so startled. It took me a few seconds to recover and decipher what this guy's offering. I politely declined and walked away as fast as I could. Swear, I almost hit him with my Kindle. I'm even sure my expression was really funny at that time. You might as well say, I thought a zombie came out of nowhere.


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