Sunday, March 13, 2022

REVIEW: The Kiss Quotient (e-book) by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient is contemporary romance. I checked it out via OverDrive.


Stella is an econometrician with Asperger's who'd rather spend her weekends at work than go on dates. However, her mother keeps setting her up with people and making noises about wanting grandchildren, so Stella tries to accommodate her. A comment from a coworker prompts her to decide that the solution to her problem (getting and keeping a satisfactory guy) is for her to become better at sex, so she does some research, finds a well-rated escort service, and sets up an appointment with Michael, figuring that it'd be best for her to learn from a professional. 

One day a week, Michael has sex with women in order to pay his mom's medical bills. Neither his family nor his friends know what he's doing, and he wants to keep it that way. Stella is a surprise, though - he finds himself genuinely attracted to her and baffled at her request for instruction on being better at sex. He figures he can at least show her a good time and soon finds himself throwing his usual "no repeat appointments" rule out the window.

REVIEW: Jackaby (book) by William Ritter

Jackaby is a YA paranormal historical mystery. It's apparently the first in a series, although I didn't know that while I was reading it. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.


Just before Abigail Rook is supposed to start her university education, she takes the money her parents set aside for tuition, hastily packs a bag, and answers an advertisement for an "exciting opportunity" that she thinks will lead to a dinosaur fossil-finding adventure. Instead, the expedition is a failure. While attempting to get back to her family in England, Abigail instead accidentally ends up on a ship bound for America, so she decides to give this "adventure" thing a second shot.

She has no work lined up, no plan, and hardly any money, so when she sees an ad for an "investigative services assistant," she decides to apply. Her new employer turns out to be the same strange man she met upon first arriving in America: Mr. R.F. Jackaby. 

Jackaby has the ability to see things others can't - there's a whole supernatural side to the world that only he's aware of. Abigail isn't entirely sure how much to believe him, but it's a paying job that seems to offer the excitement she craves. Jackaby, for his part, needs a new assistant after his last one got turned into a duck. Jackaby's first case, after meeting Abigail, involves the murder of a man who, despite having been torn open, doesn't seem to have left behind as much blood as he should have. There are indications that at least one more person will soon die in that same building. Who or what is doing the killing, and can Jackaby and Abigail stop them?

REVIEW: Warriors: Into the Wild (book) by Erin Hunter

Into the Wild is the first book in Erin Hunter's Middle Grade fantasy series, Warriors. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.

This review includes slight spoilers.


Rusty, a young indoor-outdoor cat (sorry, kittypet), finds himself drawn to a feral cat colony called ThunderClan. He gives up his kittypet life and joins them as an Apprentice under the new name "Firepaw." As he tries to prove himself as more than just a kittypet, he learns more about clan politics. In particular, ShadowClan is causing trouble, apparently invading and taking over neighboring clan territory.

Maybe it's because I waited so long to finally write my review, but it doesn't seem like much happened in this book. Firepaw was taken into ThunderClan and learned better hunting skills while getting a peek at the edges of clan politics. Clan leaders have the ability to talk to "StarClan" (basically, visions and prophecies), and there are "medicine cats" who can treat injuries and illnesses with herbs and other things. Firepaw's actions result in a wounded cat being taken in to ThunderClan who might turn out to be an enemy, but Firepaw eventually figures out (after many hints) that there's more serious trouble brewing within the clan itself.

REVIEW: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 1: The Capture (book) by Kathryn Lasky

The Capture is the first book in Kathryn Lasky's Middle Grade (or younger YA?) fantasy series, Guardians of Ga'Hoole. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.


Soren is a young Barn Owl living with his parents and two siblings, his older brother Kludd and his younger sister Eglantine. There have been disturbing reports of owlets going missing recently, but it's not something Soren is particularly worried about...until his parents leave on a long hunting flight and Soren suddenly finds himself pushed out of his nest. He can't fly and is completely defenseless. Before anyone is able to help him, he's snatched away by an owl who takes him to St. Aggie's, an owl orphanage. 

Soren knows that he isn't really an orphan, but none of the adults at St. Aggie's seem to care, and things get worse from there. Each owlet is referred to by a number rather than their real name, everyone is made to undergo something called a "sleep march," and questions are forbidden. Soren clings to his sense of self with the help of a new friend, an Elf Owl named Gylfie, and the two of them work together to find a way out of St. Aggie's and back to their families.