Lingus by Mariana Zapata, narrated by Callie Dalton

close up of a blue plaid shirt and a laminated all access pass with the name "Robby" written on it in SharpieWhy I read it:  This is one from my own TBL.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn’t know. “My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn.” 

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she’s both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Via some Goodreads friends, I saw that this one is apparently pulled to publish (P2P) fan fiction – apparently it was Twilight fan fiction. I don’t get bent out of shape about this kind of thing, particularly when the the story really bears little or no resemblance to the original story the author was riffing on. And apart from that Kat at one stage mentions she’s name a character in one of her books (she’s a teacher but writes murder-mysteries in her spare time) “Christian” which might have been a nod to Fifty Shades of Grey, I really couldn’t see any resemblance to Twilight in this story.

First & Then by Emma Mills

A pattern of rainbow coloured raindrops around a white shape of a heartWhy I read it:  I borrowed this one from my local library.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Most of the book was sweet, charming and very engaging. But there was one thing which really bothered me. More on that later.

Devon Tennyson is a high school senior. She considers herself average, ordinary and uninspiring. Her parents are still together, they all get along well; no major traumas have really touched her life. She has no particular passion; there’s no career or sport or hobby she’s all that attached to. She has a huge unrequited crush on her best friend, Cassidy (Cas) but otherwise, she thinks there’s not much all that interesting about her. She’s wrong of course because everyone is interesting in one way or another but I get where she’s coming from. And, in the end, she celebrates about herself some of those things she bemoans when the book begins.

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