(J) Book Review: Jessie’s Girl by Lindy Zart

JessiesGirl-Zart_Ebook_Large

Jessie’s Girl
By:
 Lindy Zart

Publication Date: February 26, 2016
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis:

The road trip from Minnesota to Pennsylvania and back is meant to be the final adventure before four friends go their separate ways in the fall.

Except nothing goes as intended, beginning with the unexpected addition of Catherine Tate, Jessie Keller’s new girlfriend. Sam Kent denies his attraction to her while simultaneously deflecting unusual interest from his pal Hannah Lopez. Dickie Dean is the socially inept book lover who surprises them all.

Amidst a malfunctioning vehicle, being caught in the middle of a robbery, beer drinking, mosquito attacks, and other teenage drama, the five experience courage, broken hearts, fear, and laughter. Most importantly, they make memories.

*~*

“My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication.” I started out my most recent Zartian review with this statement, and I think I should just make it my opener for all Zart posts.

Anywho, onto the review. I enjoyed Jessie’s Girl. This is a fun, 80’s-set novella filled with fun adventure and great use of era dialogue. Zart doesn’t waste any space with this one, as it is far shorter than her other books at around 30,000 words. All of the characters in the book are so exceptionally diverse in personality and looks, but somehow have a dynamic friendship with one another. The inclusion of Jessie’s new girl, Catherine Tate, throws a wrench in the core group’s plans for a road trip. 

The only thing I would have liked more of  was visual imagery; I got an idea of what everything looked like, but I wanted more. 

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.1 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
Smashwords Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page
YouTube Book Trailer

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter J! J

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

Advertisements

Review: Within This Frame by Lindy Zart

WTF LZ

Within This Frame
By:
 Lindy Zart
Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:
It comes in the mail—a beautiful invitation that promises humiliation and horror. Unless Maggie Smiley, former child celebrity and now overweight recluse, gets her courage and motivation in check, along with her health.

The phone call offering fitness expert Lance Denton a chance to work with Maggie Smiley promises retribution. He messed up a lot as a punk kid on the too-fast road to stardom, and how he treated his co-star never left him. It is that—and a long list of secrets she doesn’t need to know—that has him show up at Maggie’s doorstep.

*~*

My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication. I always become very excited when she lets loose another new release. Probably more excited than a normal human being should… but it’s that dedication thing.

Here I am – reviewing the latest. Within This Frame did not disappoint. This novel goes between past and present alternatively each chapter, sharing the stories of Maggie Smiley and Lance Denton. I was a little nervous at first because there are few stories that successfully utilize this time flip-flopping technique. I’m happy to report that Zart does it without issue and quite a bit of success. I found myself wondering what the next chapter would bring, in a way a regularly-timed story does not. What would be the next piece in the puzzle? Each chapter became another story as I was reading, building on the previous.

The characters in this book were amazingly well-developed. Maggie and Lance each have their demons and secrets run rampant. There is something to be said about the structure of this story as it plays into the development of the characters within.

The plot is a challenging one, as we have all battled something internal or external. We all have something that makes us second guess ourselves, feel self-conscious, or be fearful of a new day. Our inner demons don’t just affect us, they trickle down to those around us. This story was personal and relatable. Maggie and Lance let us in to their struggles, even when they closed off.

Perhaps this is the editor in me, but I love Zart’s writing style. The sentence structure is varied and there are no overused phrases. I often find myself picking out the repetitive sentences and cliched statements in contemporary lit. Not in this story. This was a welcome relief from those books I’ve read lately.

Another winner for Lindy Zart. And yet another one I need to have on my physical shelf. Maybe I should make my way down to one of those book fests this coming year?

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Ending 5/5 Stars

Total: 4.6 Stars

Links
Amazon Within This Frame
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

#BookBlogWriMo Days 14-17

Day 14

In case you haven’t figured out by now, I love books. Beyond love books. I breathe them in, eat them up, and bathe in their goodness. I clothe myself with their pages and dance to these page-turning rhythms.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit wordy and dramatic, but it sort of covers how much I love books.

Day 15

I’ve been pretty lucky along the way to be able to get to know some really talented authors. Obviously, I’m really close with Michele. Editing her books has been a dream and she’s incredible to work with. I’ve also been able to get to know Mindy Hayes, author of the Faylinn novels and the Willowhaven series. Lastly, I don’t think there has been a release of Lindy Zart‘s that I haven’t jumped on. It’s always exciting to see her new teasers for works in progress and I enjoy being one of the first to read and review her books.

There are definitely others, but those are the three who stand out right now. Hopefully over the next year I will be able to create some new friendships and partnerships with other incredible authors. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out each of the authors linked here. Their styles are diverse, with many genres and unique stories to choose from.

Day 16

I tend to do better with a schedule, though I have been known to review books at leisure. I enjoy hopping on a blog tour to review books, as this introduces me to books and authors I may not have read before. I like the structure of a tour, but I also enjoy the freedom of a self-driven review. I have a few self-driven reviews coming up the pipeline, but then again there are some great tours coming up too!

Day 17

I’ve altered my review system over the past year, but my review process has remained pretty much the same. You can view last year’s post here.

As for my system – If you don’t remember, I had a pretty hefty undertaking with each review I was writing. I’d write at least a five section review, elaborating deeply on characterization, dialogue, visuals, plot, and the ending, all leading into a score. I’d add up the points out of five for each, with the highest being 25. This was simply a bit much for me. I recently changed my process to be an overhead review, touching on each part easily, but not separating each subject, and averaging each of the scores in a breakdown at the bottom. Check out my review for Mindy Hayes’ Kaleidoscope for quick reference.

I like this system far more and it gives readers a much more one-stop shop.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Days 14-17

I am thankful for warm and soft chocolate chip cookies, photographs, winter clothing, and Netflix.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – My Favorite Reviews

Day 12

I tried to pick out a few different types of reviews that I’ve written. Each of these below was written with a small flair or an emotional edge. Some are more positive than others, though I enjoyed all of the books below. Take a look for yourself. Which of my reviews do YOU like best?

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Smother by Lindy Zart

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 12

I am thankful for weekends. Having the chance to decompress and spend time with my family is a wonderful feeling.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Ten Of My Many Favorite Books

Day 10

I have SO many favorite books, so this was a hard list for me to make. I tried to pick books that have significance to me.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
More information about this book will come in a post later on during Book Blog Writing Month.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
We actually just got this amazing fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter to add to our collection. We pre-ordered from Amazon because the price was so amazing. By the look of it, it’s still great. JKR will be releasing each book in this format for the next six years. It will be a great way to introduce our son to the series when we start reading it to him in a few years. (This would make an AWESOME holiday gift, as well. Just some suggestions!)

The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
This series is about witchcraft and completely brought me into this incredible world about magic. I’ve read the series multiple times now and still have an emotional reaction to it.

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
This book was gifted to me by a previous coworker and I’ve been reading it to my son every morning before I drop him off at day care. It has become out little tradition. A review of this book will be coming soon. It is AMAZING. I have officially become a Nancy Tillman fan.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This is a nostalgia book for me. I read it in high school and became very attached to it. It was my first journey into the world of Nicholas Sparks.

The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G. Miller
This series was my first introduction to Michele’s literature. I steadily fell in love with Xander and there was no turning back once I hopped onto this adventure. When she asked me to edit for her, I definitely couldn’t say no!

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
The perspective and message within these dark novels really struck a cord with me. If you haven’t read these yet, you should hop on board the Hunger Games train. And I don’t mean the one to the Capital. The movies are also incredible; while there are bits missing from the books, they are depicted very well!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
One of the best children’s books to exist. My family had my best friend make me a baby shower cake of The Giving Tree. My guests also signed the inside cover. I will always have a special place for this one.

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Seriously one of my favorite books of Lindy’s. Also one of my favorite reviews that I’ve written. (Find it here.)

Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
This is the book that the Broadway musical Wicked is based off of. Gregory Maguire is a very talented author with quite a bit to say. His tongue-in-cheek style mixed with his knack for twisting fairy tales and traditional stories makes each of his stories a new experience. You can see my review of Wicked here.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 10

I am thankful for my parents. As I write this, I realize there is no way words can do my thanks justice, however. They’ve been there through thick and thin, raised me “right” and given me the tools I need to succeed. They’ve supported me in all of my passions and my crazy endeavors, and they’ve helped guide me through my new adventure of parenthood. Through my many scraped knees, teary moments, silly laughs, onstage adventures, and everything else – I couldn’t be more grateful. ❤

Book Review – Smother by Lindy Zart

goodreads-cover

Smother
By:
Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 5/12/2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Blurb:
You won’t like me.
I am not the nice girl.
I am not your friend.
I don’t care about you, but most of all, I don’t care about me.
Go ahead, hate me.
We all have secrets.
I have them as well—dark, terrible secrets.
The only time I can breathe is when I forget.
I need to be numb. You don’t want to know how.
But as long as I can breathe, the past cannot smother me.

*~*

I appreciate that I can always count on Lindy Zart to deliver a great story. I know that when she’s working on a project, one of her many WIPs, it’s going to be something good. And they’re all so different from one another, keeping her readers on their toes, that we don’t really know what to expect next.

I’ve been a little busy lately; between editing, school, my full time job, and growing a baby so I really haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like… but I made it a point to bump Smother to the top of my list. This was a “before bed” read – you know, the kind that you’re already tucked in tightly under Displaying smother14.jpg.pngthe covers, between the walls of your pregnancy pillow, and you tell yourself “Just one more page” and swipe your finger across your Kindle about 25 more times, repeating this mantra as your eyes droop closed? Ya, this was that kind of read.

I love Smother. Beyond love. There’s something about a darker novel that takes you to a different place. I don’t often opt for the darker stuff, but I’m so thankful I did with this one. Zart conveys the struggles of the effects of the past on a person with grace and realism. The past can haunt us in so many ways and how that manifests itself is different with each person. Zart does an excellent job building the characters in this story and really driving their flaws home. I went into this novel with preconceived expectations, “You’re going to hate the main character at first.” However – it was quite the opposite. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. And boy did Zart deliver! The details are all there, the darkness doesn’t have many flecks of light, and the dialogue is shifty and true to reality. Each character has their own speech patterns and pesky little habits that make them stand out, or blend in.

Another thing I found to be intriguing and wished there was more of was the use of art and pictures to depict what the mouth is unable to say. This story is truly a showstopper and is rough around the edges (in such an excellent way), just like the characters. The notion of only allowing ourselves the things we believe we deserve hits each of us in some way; most of us have been in a dark place because of one thing or another. Those dark places can remain dark for a day, a week, years, or even a lifetime. Good doesn’t always manifest itself from bad, we need to feel we deserve it and accept it. These are the challenges so many face, and Zart’s Smother makes you think so much deeper about these notions.

Great job, Lindy Zart! Can’t wait for the next one.

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Ending 4.5/5 Stars

Total: 4.5 Stars

 

 

Book trailer link:

Goodreads TBR Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23657398-smother

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, Bloody Marys, and pizza.

smother6You can connect with Lindy at:

Lindyzart@gmail.com

Twitter.com/lindyzart

Facebook.com/lindyzart

Lindyzart.com

Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com

Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com

Blog Tour | Review | Roomies by Lindy Zart

Roomies
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: November 21, 2014
Genres: New Adult Adult, Rom-Com

*I received free ARCs of Roomies from in exchange of an honest review.

Blurb

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let’s move on.). He’s also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.
I love him. I mean, I’m pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.
And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he’s the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he’s leaving soon, and Graham’s the one I want. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn’t have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I’m something yummy and he’s starving.
Here’s a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.
*~*
I loved this book. Without a doubt. Then again, I tend to love everything that Lindy Zart writes. This book was refreshing and fun. This was a stress-free read that hit many high notes. I understand Kennedy’s language and have a Graham of my own, so this was even more enjoyable to read on my end.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 5/5 Stars
Love me some Lindy Zart characters. They are always so well thought out and complex. Even the less important characters have a great story. There’s something great about a story that every character could have their own spin-off. Anywho – Kennedy is blunt with an excellent tongue-in-cheek way of thinking and speaking about the world. She’s lived with Graham for the last two years and is madly in love with him. Instead of flinging herself at him, she hides behind her wit. Graham is quiet and polite, with a dash of Kennedy’s sarcasm and wit. They’re pretty opposite of one another. In comes Blake, mixing things up a bit. Blake is wonderful. Ha. Both of the guys are. I love how they all play off each other and really drive this story along.

Dialogue – 5/5 Stars
There were very few moments when I wasn’t laughing out loud at Roomies. The witty banter between Kennedy and any other character simply threw me into fits of giggles. Words tend to just fall from her lips in the same way mine do, so I get it. All of the characters have their own speaking style and attitude that is well conveyed in their conversations. My favorite moments were those between Kennedy and either of the Malone brothers.

Plot – 5/5 Stars
Roommates shouldn’t date. It’s, like, the golden rule. It could ruin everything. Besides, there is no way that Kennedy’s feelings are reciprocated. Right? I adore that there is SO much more to this story than what appears on the surface. It has all of the right ingredients to make this a winner: great characters, witty dialogue, a bit if angst, a lot of humor, and conflict. Oh, and attractive guys don’t hurt this story either.

Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Zart does well with the imagery in this story, though there is definitely more emphasis on Kennedy’s wit and the dialogue. That’s perfectly fine. There were some excellent moments, such as anything occurring in the podiatrist’s office where Kennedy works.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
The ending has the perfect amount of closure, while still leaving the story open to a sequel. There’s a lot to be said about endings, especially in Zart’s books. Always reliable and never disappointing.

My Favorite Quotes: (Please keep in mind that these are from the ARC, so they may have changed slightly.)

“Your crazy makes my crazy make sense.”

“A cool wind plays with my hair, making me think it might have a thing for me. I hug myself against its advances.”

Total: 23.5/25 Stars

R3.jpgYou can connect with Lindy at:Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Amazon.com/author/lindyzartListen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an ebook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
*~*
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!