Monthly Archives: August 2015

Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams by Brent Hartinger

25790092Title: Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years, Book 2)
Author: Brent Hartinger
Published: August 14, 2015
Pages: 204
Publisher: Buddha Kitty Books
Author Website: link
Rating: ★★★

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

After reuniting with his high school boyfriend, Kevin, in Seattle, Russel Middlebrook is ready to make his life complete by pursuing his dreams. Together, he and Kevin pick up and move to Los Angeles so Russel can begin his career as a screenwriter. He doesn’t have any contracts when he arrives, but it’s only a matter of time, right? And much to Russel’s delight, it’s not long after he arrives that one of his scripts–one based loosely on his own life–is optioned by a producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. But it’s not all easy. Kevin gave up a job he enjoyed to move to California, and Russel quickly learns there is much more to the business of filmmaking than he ever could have imagined. Will Russel get his break he’s been hoping for? Will the challenges of their new environment test Russel and Kevin’s relationship past the breaking point? Or will they be able to live in the “City of Broken Dreams” whilst keeping their own intact?

I’ve been a fan of this series since I first read Geography Club, where we meet Russel Middlebrook for the first time. There’s just something about the way Brent Hartinger captures this character’s voice that speaks to me in a way I don’t know I can fully explain. There is an ease in reading these books for me, but they also tell stories that describe real challenges and personal and relationship dynamics. It’s been interesting to see Russel go from high school student to college graduate, seeing the ways in which he’s changed while still so clearly knowing it’s the same character I’m hearing from in these books.

In this installment, there’s a lot going on. Russel and Kevin have made a big move, and on somewhat of a whim. That’s obviously challenging for them both and the cast of characters they find themselves thrown into when they get to L.A. serves up more challenges and issues for them to sort through. There are a few twists and turns thrown in that aren’t exactly expected, and readers can expect a fun, and dynamic read.

Summer Travels as a Double-Edged Sword

So I’m into another busy travel part of the summer (hence things slowing down just a bit with posting again), and am off to Texas in just a couple of days for a wedding. The downside is that it becomes a bit more challenging to stay on top of review posting and whatnot here on the blog. The upside is that I read quite a bit when I travel, especially by airplane.  On my July trip to a conference on the east coast, I read a whopping 15 books between the two plane rides combined. So while you may not hear from me much for the next few days, know that I’m queuing up some great books to tell you about upon my return!

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

18105451Title: Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles, Book 1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: January 6, 2015
Pages: 321
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Bryn Aven has never truly fit in. A member of the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes, her half-blood status has always been an impediment, but not one that she’s allowed to stand in her way. She’s become a successful tracker, being among those who track down changelings–the children of Kanin nobility who are slipped into human society to be adopted by rich families until they reach adulthood–and bringing them home when the time comes. The identities and locations of Kanin changelings are a closely guarded secret, which makes it troubling when evidence surfaces that someone may be targeting them and attempting to kidnap them before the trackers bring them home. It’s even more troubling when Bryn learns that one of the men involved is an outlaw she used to adore and respect until he betrayed the crown, her family, and her heart…

I enjoyed my time getting lost in this rich fantasy world. Amanda Hocking has created a unique story with several twists that will keep readers engaged and guessing about the truth behind the mysterious behavior. The first book in a series, obviously this one doesn’t resolve everything, but it is a great set up for what I’m hoping will be a good series. The second book is out now, and the third is on it’s way; I’m looking forward to continuing Bryn’s journey.