Review: Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Y’all . . . I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and a very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia. First of all? There’s checking. And then, there’s Jack.
. . . You see the problem.

Series: Check, Please! 1
Genre: Contemporary, Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second (1st September 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

I was really looking forward to getting hold of a copy of Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu since I discovered that the webcomic I’d browsed briefly on Tumblr was getting published. Hockey really isn’t a sport I know a lot about, or have even watched, but Ukazu’s story of hockey and baking really drew me in. The story follows Bitty a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team who is a former junior figure skating champion, an amateur baker and a vlogger. This book follows his first two years at Samwell University, and focuses on his life with the hockey team.

This book is basically a compilation of the first two years of Bitty’s life at Samwell University, including some of the extra comments and some of Bitty’s tweets.  So if you’ve read the webcomic and are looking for new stories in this universe, then I think you’ll be disappointed. If like me, you’ve read some (or maybe all) of the webcomics but wanted something physical to hold then you will really enjoy this book. New readers are in for a treat! The book feels really good quality, and the paper feels quite thick and I think the colours have translated well from screen to page.

If you’re looking for a plot driven story then Check, Please! is probably not going to be something you will enjoy, as apart from it being Bitty’s first two years at Samwell University there is no real over-arching plot to tie everything together. Rather, each chapter serves as its own self-contained story, which I guess shows the books roots as a webcomic. Personally I really enjoyed this, as it enabled me to dip in and out of the book without having to worry if I’d forgotten an important plot point twenty pages back.

I also really enjoyed the fact that each chapter feels like a vlog; generally with Bitty addressing the camera, and updating us on what’s going on. Although Bitty is very definitely the main character, I thought Ukazu does a good job with making the rest of the team that appears in the comic seem real. Ukazu does a really fab job at showing the friendships within the team. I particularly love Ransom and Holster’s friendship, and Shitty seems like a really awesome person and just super chill. Check, Please! is perfect for anyone looking for a fun, light read. I also think fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda will love this too.  I’m really looking forward to the second book in this series, which looks like it will be published at some point in 2020.

Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (UK Edition – Zoella Book Club)

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st June 2016)
Blurb:

AMANDA HARD IS the NEW GIRL AT SCHOOL.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

AMANDA HAS A SECRET.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is Meredith Russo’s debut novel. It tells the story of Amanda Hardy an eighteen year old who has moved in with her dad for the first time, and is starting a new school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in. Amanda has a secret, one that has caused (and is causing) her a lot of heartache and pain: one that has pushed her and her family to their limits. Amanda used to be called Andrew. The trouble with secrets is that they have a way of getting out, whether you’re ready for them to or not.

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Review: Kings Rising by C. S. Pacat

King’s Rising

Title: Kings Rising (Captive Prince Trilogy, 3)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (2nd February 2016)
Blurb:

THE WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON CONTINUES – FROM THE BOLDLY ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF CAPTIVE PRINCE AND PRINCE’S GAMBIT.

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master, Prince Laurent, as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hands in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobiliding for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance, the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

KINGS RISING by C. S. Pacat is the final book in her brilliant Captive Prince Trilogy. This book brings to a conclusion the stories of Prince Laurent and Damen, his slave. Damen’s real identity, that of Damianos of Akielos, has been revealed and now he has to deal with the consequences of that. Akielos and Vere stand on the brink of war, and the only chance to avoid that is for Damen and Laurent to forge an alliance. But can they trust one another? And the Regent still has some cards left up his sleeve.

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Review: Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Title: Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince Trilogy, 2)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (7th July 2015)
Blurb:

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exhange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his idenity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepends, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them a final devistating blow . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

PRINCE’S GAMBIT by C. S. Pacat is the second book in her Captive Prince Trilogy. The novel continues the stories of Prince Laurent and his slave Damen. Prince Laurent has been sent from the palace to spend time protecting the border, which is a powder keg waiting to blow, by his uncle the Regent. Damen follows his master to the border, closer to his homeland, determined to keep the Prince safe and earn his freedom. The closer they get to Damen’s home, the more lethal the secret of his past becomes.

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Review: The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic

The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic

Title: The King’s Men (All For The Game, 3)
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT, Mafia, New Adult, Thriller
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (31st March 2016)
Blurb:

Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed – or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

THE KING’S MEN by Nora Sakavic is the concluding part of her All For The Game trilogy. When Neil Josten signed with the PSU Foxes he knew he would only have limited time, but now that time has run out and Neil must face the consequences of choosing to stay. The monsters in his life are growing closer, and now after years of running Neil might just have a reason to live. His growing bond with the Foxes means for the first time he has a family. But one of them might mean a whole lot more to him, and kissing them would be dangerous.

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Review: Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Title: Captive Prince (Captive Prince Trilogy, 1)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (23rd April 2015)
Blurb:

FROM THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON C. S. PACAT COMES THE FIRST IN HER CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED TRILOGY – WITH A BONUS STORY.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal polical web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

CAPTIVE PRINCE by C. S. Pacat is book one of the Captive Prince Trilogy. In it we are introduced to Prince Damen and Prince Laurent, who are heirs to the thrones of rival kingdoms. Damen is sent to serve Prince Laurent as a pleasure slave when his half-brother seizes power and becomes King of Akielos. Stuck in a place where discovery will mean his death, Damen struggles to fit into the Veretian Court.

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Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (7th April 2015)
Blurb:

Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.

But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.

Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

SIMON vs. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli is a standalone young adult novel that tells the story of sixteen-year-old Simon Spier. When the book starts Simon is exchanging emails anonymously with someone named Blue, who he forms a connection with. After he forgets to log out of his email account at school these emails fall into the wrong hands and life gets complicated for Simon.

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