April 9, 2015

Random Mini Review Pile-Up: Invaded, Out to Lunch, & American Gods

Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers (Feb. 3, 2015)
356 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Romance
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.
Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?
My Mini Review: When I first started reading Invaded I had the worst time trying to remember everything that happened in the previous book. It was frustrating, but I did catch on after a bit. I don't think Invaded was as strong as Alienated (the first book). It took a while for me to look past the cheesiness and actually laugh. I liked Cara just fine and I liked Aelyx. I think perhaps I didn't like this book as much because our two main characters aren't really together at all for most of the book. I liked getting to see more of the L'eihr planet, but it was still frustrating. There is a cute pet in Invaded, it has perfectly good characters, and it is more complex than it pretends to be at first, but it was missing the IT factor. I still enjoyed Invaded and will read the next book in the series, but I was a little disappointed.

Out to Lunch by Stacey Ballis (2013)
388 pages
Genre: Adult General Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: A touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food—for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin...

Jenna has lost her best friend.

With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.

And gained her best friend’s husband…

But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?

The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?
My Mini Review: Do you love food? Do you love dogs? Do you love a good heart-warming story that will make you laugh and cry? If you answered yes to any of the above then Out to Lunch is a book for you. Jenna is a very easy to relate to character that you won't be able to help but care about. Wayne is a man full of life and I loved him from the beginning. What a sweetie. Jenna can't stand Wayne but her best friend wants to her to try to get along with him, and since she has passed away Jenna can't do anything but do what her late friend wants. They are opposites and both have their flaws. (Just a heads up, this isn't really a romance between these two if that is what you think.) There was just something special about this story that made me love it. It wasn't really like any book I have read before. Out to Lunch was a memorable book for me. I plan on reading other books by this author.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)
588 pages
Genre: Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: I got this as a gift for Christmas!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble|The Book Depository|Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident.

Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible.

He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever be the same...
My Mini Review: American Gods is the first book I read by Neil Gaiman, and quite frankly it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. I chose to read this book because it is the most read book in the state where I live, Illinois. I figured I should join the club, but for whatever reason I struggled to start and finish this book. It seemed to take me a long while to really get into the story. I had trouble following along, and really I just got bored a lot for whatever reason. I think it may partly have to do with me not being in the right mood to read this one. I'm not sure though. It's a little weird and filled with dark humor and I liked that about it, but I had such a hard time connecting with any of the characters on any level. I think that was my undoing. I did like Gaiman's take on America past and present. With that being said, now that I have read my first Gaiman book and it didn't blow me away, I have decided that I am willing to give one other book by him a chance because he is such a highly acclaimed author. If you have any Gaiman reading suggestions please share them with me below!


  1. I haven't read any of Gaiman's adult fiction, but I've really enjoyed his children's/middle grade books & short stories -- most of them have great illustrations, but the audiobook narrations are also really well done so there are positives either way you might want to read them :)

    1. I will have to give one a try. Do you have a favorite?!

    2. I definitely liked Coraline and Fortunately, the Milk. I want to read The Graveyard Book for sure, but haven't gotten to it yet. I also enjoyed Instructions and his audio collection of 4 short stories -- those last ones definitely fall into the children's book category and are really short, but I enjoyed them quite a lot.

    3. Sometimes I just am in the mood to read a children's story! Thanks for the recs!

  2. Hmm not sure if I am going to read Alienated now unless the last book is AMAZING. I already have a stigma against alien books soo. And you are so much more adult than me reading adult books. Someday I will branch out... And I have yet to read anything by Neil Gaiman *bows head in shame*

    1. I agree about Alienated... I would wait to see if the last book is really super good. Want to know a secret? I love reading adult books BUT I am always usually more than ready to go back to YA books every time I finish one.

  3. Out to Lunch looks good. I read the first book Alienated but never picked up book two. It happens. Lovely reviews!

    1. Thanks! Out to Lunch was unique and super cute!


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