Mini Reviews: Changing Yourself and Striving for Gold
Mini reviews are a great way to give some of my thoughts on a book that I didn’t love but still wanted to talk about. These two books are totally different, ones about changing who you are and it going horribly wrong, while the other is about believing in yourself. Let’s get into it.
Charisma by Jeanne Ryan
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences… Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness – that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.
I received a copy of Charisma by Jeanne Ryan from Simon and Shuster in exchanged for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
I didn’t know what to expect when picking Charisma up. I haven’t read Nerve or even watched the movie, but I was intrigued by the storyline and wanted to see. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would – and my expectations weren’t high, to begin with.
Charisma follows protagonist Aislyn who suffers from crippling shyness. It’s so bad that sometimes she can’t even make if through the day. So when she is given the opportunity to change that, she takes it up. But, when other teens start falling into comas and some even dying – things are turned on their head.
I am not sure how I feel about Aislyn as a protagonist. I enjoyed aspects of her character and I liked where she came from. But, then at times, she sounded whiny, per say. I loved that she cared so much for her brother – it was beautiful actually. And even though her life was not going well, she wanted what was best for her brother.
The romance was nice. I enjoyed how it moved and even thought it was slightly instalovey at times, it was cute. They both cared for one another and tried to help each other through the hard times.
Another aspect of the book that I didn’t like was the use of shyness. I didn’t see what Aislyn had as shyness but as anxiety. Especially social anxiety. And I didn’t like the fact that it was ‘fixed’ like it was a bad thing. The way that people treated her – it’s my worst nightmare. And the fact that she was magically better – yer no thank you.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy Charisma. There were parts that I did like and wanted to know more about. But, on the whole, it wasn’t just for me.
Gold Rush by Jennifer Comeaux
Will love wait for gold?
Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.
Until she meets Braden Patrick.
He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time, she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realise her ultimate dream?
I received an e-copy of Gold Rush by Jennifer Comeaux via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
I’ve read a couple of books by Jennifer Comeaux in her world of figure skating before picking this one up. So I had an idea of how the world worked and had a little insight into some of the characters.
Gold Rush follows protagonist Liza Petrov as she trains for gold. Her whole life she has always wanted one thing – to win gold at the Olympics and it’s getting close. But, because of her training, she missed out of some ‘normal’ teen adventures – like falling in love. However, with everything one the line, will she let herself fall in love?
On the most part, I enjoyed Liza as a protagonist. She was determined and stood strong. She has trained her whole life for this moment and when she starts to fall it hurts her. I liked that she wasn’t this person who could do no wrong.
At first, the romance wasn’t hitting the right spots for me, but as the novel went on I slowly started loving Liza and Braden together. Braden was adorable and I loved that he would do quite a bit for Liza. The reader is able to see how much he cares for her.
Family is a big theme in Gold Rush and while times they were adorable with one another. Their overprotectiveness caused Liza a lot of problems. I felt that at times her family just took over everything and Liza was left helpless.
Overall, Gold Rush was a fun read. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline, but there was something missing that kept me from loving this one. Gold Rush explores the notion of family and finding love. It explores finding yourself and believing in yourself. I need to get onto reading the other books in this world.
I hope youy enjoyed these mini reviews and want to see more in the future. Have you read Charisma or Gold Rush? What did you think of them? Are you planning on reading them? Have you read anything else by these authors? Let’s Chat!