Monthly Archives: September 2015

Review of Wolf, WY (Wolf #1), by A.F. Henley

Wolf, WYI received a copy of Wolf, WY (by A. F. Henley) from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…

Review:

This is a hard book to review, because there were some aspect of it I really liked, some that got on my nerves and then there was the ending which I thought fell apart. But on which of these do I base a review?

What I liked, I quite liked. I liked that Randy wasn’t a pushover, even if he was out of his element. I liked that Vaughn put his family first. I liked seeing Lyle’s situation. The scene in which Vaughn obliquely tells Randy about it is one of my favorite in the book. I thought the sex was sexy.

What I didn’t like was the cliche, status-greedy mother (How many times can we read the same character?) and everything after Randy leaves Wolf. I had two main issues with the last bit of the book. The first was that if felt like it was simply trying to deliberately open the universe to allow for sequels. Two, it just got too saccharine and sweet for my tastes.

All in all, I quite enjoyed the book and Henley’s writing style. I’ll be up for more.

Review of Off Campus, by Amy Jo Cousins

Off CampusI bought a copy of Off Campus, by Amy Jo Cousins.

Description from Goodreads:
Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Review:
This book is of such a higher caliber than many of the M/M books I’ve read. If I used stars, I’d say it only skirts around a 5 star for personal preference, not-the-perfect-book/reader-matchup issues.

I really appreciated the two real, flawed, but surviving main characters. I liked the larger than life side characters too. Cousins used repetition to highlight Tom’s obsessive thinking and his anxiety level was instantly recognizable. Similarly, Reece’s coping mechanisms were believable. I liked how hard the characters had to work for their happiness and I really loved Toms need to make ‘this one thing’ work out and be right and good for someone. It was both utterly selfish and completely generous at the same time and the dichotomy of it was delicious. I The writing and humor is also excellent.

I did think that a couple major problems were solved with questionable ease toward the end and I was almost offended with how easily the second largest issue on Tom’s list of fears was just swept away. (Though I do see what the author was doing there.) But these are small complaints in the grand scheme of things. Really a great read.

From Grammarly, In honor of International Literacy Day

“Our world today is perhaps more text-driven than at any other time in history. In the Digital Age, the ability to read and write can transform lives, families, and even whole communities. Since UNESCO celebrated the very first International Literacy Day on September 8, 1966, the plight of millions of people around the world has improved through programs dedicated to helping marginalized populations become literate. But there is still a long way to go.

Illiteracy is more than just a lack of reading skills. Around the world, it is a clear predictor of poverty, illness, and disempowerment. It’s not a problem confined to the developing world, either. Even in the United States, there are thirty-two million adults who cannot read, according to the U.S. Department of Education.”

They put together this nifty infographic and will be donating to literacy programs. You might consider getting involved as well, by donating books or money, or check with your local library for opportunities to volunteer as a literacy coach.

Literacy Day

Want to help spread the word, get the graphic, etc? Go here.