Both of these ARCs are titles that were published in 2018, one June, one September. They're different kinds of stories, but I thought I'd go ahead and post my reviews of these two together for a little different post this time. The first is a YA book, the second is an adult romantic contemporary.
Rabbit and Robot by Andrew Smith:
Genre: YA science fiction
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Source: ARC received and autographed during ALA Annual Convention 2018 which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 5 stars
I realize I've only actually read one other book by Andrew Smith, something I need to rectify, although I guess I did try to read The Alex Crow, and couldn't get into it. But I loved the first book I read by him, Grasshopper Jungle, and I would say this book reminds me a lot of that one. The wacky out there science fiction story of a world where everyone is basically controlled by a corporation combined with the angst of teen boys and girls and those unsure exactly of their sexual orientation or at least undergoing gender reassignment makes for a roller coaster of a read. And not only that, but Smith gets you laughing out loud at so many things, unless it is just that I have the sense of humor of an adolescent still. There was one character in particular, Parker, that always had me giggling like a middle school boy. When I read stories like this, with all the craziness and out there bits, I just wonder how in the world does someone's brain work in those ways. And then I remember that Andrew Smith, the author, is a teacher, so he sees the kind of things that you really can't make up every day at his job. Highly recommend this one!
And I have to share my picture of meeting the author this past summer!
Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang:
Genre: Adult contemporary romance
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Source: ARC received from publisher which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 4 stars
Everybody loved this book. And the synopsis totally made me think I might enjoy it as well. While it did start out interesting, but different from what I expected, I got stalled out about 40% of the way through the book. Partly because I had books to read at the time for tours and other things, but it just wasn't keeping my interest. So I set it down at the beginning of July last year, and didn't pick it up again till this past February. What happened to get me to pick it back up had nothing to do really with how much everyone else seemed to love it on every other blog. I found this past fall that one of the other employees at my bookstore was also a huge romance reader like I am, and when I told her I had a copy of this, she asked about borrowing it. I knew I wouldn't get to it, so I let her. Unlike me, she devoured it much quicker. She did tell me though, that the part I had stalled at was right before it really picked up and took off for her. So, I made it a goal for this year to pick it back up and finish. And I'm so glad I did! I read more things that made so much sense to me. The more I read about people, adults specifically, with mild autism, the more I wonder if maybe I have a mild case, but in my day, that wasn't really ever diagnosed like it is today. In the end, this was a good book, and I have the ARC of the sequel that I need to read soon as well!
Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he's making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...