Book Review: Tokyo Cover Girls

I really enjoyed this book. Tokyo Cover Girls was a fast-paced, whirlwind ride! I am so thankful to Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to review this novel by Jackie Amsden.

 

30051752The Tokyo Cover Girls
by Jackie Amsden
Release Date: May 2016
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Summary from Goodreads:

New York has Jacobs, Paris has Chanel, Milan has Versace and Tokyo has . . . Hello Kitty toilet plungers? With its cute-obsessed catalogue and magazine market, anyone who is anyone knows that modeling in Japan means being at the bottom of the fashion industry.

Blake, Jess, and Hailey are doing their best to survive yet another casting where pigtails and toddler-impressions are a must when they stumble upon the opportunity of a lifetime. The prestigious Satsujin company has selected them to compete for a campaign that will transform the winner from commercial nobody to haute culture superstar faster than you can say Vogue Italia.

Of course, nothing is ever what it seems in the fashion world. Just ask all those dead girls . . .

I’ll admit it – I love Japan! What started out as an obsession with anime and harajuku girls, eventually became a well-rounded appreciation for the language, culture, history and FOOD of this incredibly unique country. I watch quite a few North American expats who chronicle their lives in Japan, so this book stood out to me.

Tokyo Cover Girls is told in alternating 3rd person perspectives between three girls. (Blake, Jess and Hailey) I don’t want to give anything away, but the girls are approached by a mysterious business man about a job and are told not to reveal this secret to anyone. It almost has a “Saw” horror movie feel to it when they first meet – and then the surprises start popping up at every turn!

The modeling industry is a cut-throat gig. I loved how the girls seemed to be willing to throw each other under the bus to get ahead. (Some more than others!)

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What stood out to me about this novel was how realistic and well-researched it was. The author, Jackie Amsden, is writing this from experience, having worked as a model in Asia before writing this book. I’m really looking forward to what comes next – we need more books set in Japan!

Also – check out Jackie’s blog! It’s so much fun. The tag line is “where deadly meets fabulous” and it is such a reflection of her writing style. Fun blog posts include “5 things in your closet that could kill you” and “5 fashion models with secret assassin skills”. I’m soooo looking forward to her upcoming memoir!

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

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Book Review: For the Clan

I really enjoyed this book. For the Clan had so many different surprises that I consider this to be one of the most memorable books I have read so far this year! I am so thankful to Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to review this novel by Archer Kay Leah.


29470767For the Clan
by Archer Kay Leah
Release Date: May 2016
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Summary from Goodreads:

Canada, 2165 AD. The Water Wars and a decimated economy have taken their toll. Anyone who doesn’t live in a military-patrolled metropolis lives in a clan. But being in a clan doesn’t mean safety.

And for a Ven like Roan Lee, it doesn’t matter where he lives. Safety is a luxury. So is freedom.

Roan is desperate to escape the governtary’s exploitation and torture. He is nothing to them but 54σK1, an artifact born from a genetic mishap. When the chance to escape arises, he makes a run for it—and encounters the lover from his past, twisting his future into a second chance he never expected.

As leaders of Clan Teach, Jace Ama and his wife, Cayra Diega, have enough difficulty keeping their people safe. When Roan is thrown to their feet as a prisoner, their marriage becomes an additional challenge. Jace still loves Roan, but where does that leave Cayra?

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When I requested to review For the Clan, I wanted to read it because it was a dystopian novel that was set in Canada. (Yay, Canadian here!) And what’s more awesome is that my home down of Windsor got a shout out!😀

I loved the dystopian world that Archer Kay Leah created. It has been written in such a way that it could actually seem plausible for it to happen in the near future, except for the magic using Ven people. I don’t want to leave any spoilers, but the action was AWESOME!

The bulk of this story focuses on a polyamorous romance between Jace, Roan and Cayra. (MMF) I wasn’t expecting this to happen, because the blurb does not really hint to it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The romance felt natural (maybe a little too fast, but still good) and the sex was pretty darn hot. I was a little worried for the author, considering that the romance was only briefly mentioned in the blurb, but it was categorized properly in Amazon, so I guess we’re all good.

The two aspects of the book that I feel needed work were the lack of back story and the “easiness” of it all. I feel like this novel could have easily filled 300+ pages instead of less than 200, and I would have been happy to read every single word. Though the Water Wars were mentioned, I would have appreciated a bit more back story. The rest of the plot moves quick, and their obstacles seem to be over come with little effort (relatively speaking of course).

I love, love, loved the cover. The feel of it is so dystopian, military-action, video-gamy goodness. (I really can’t think of any other way to explain it.)

In closing, I found For the Clan to be a quick, fun read. I hope that the author continues to use their skills and write more dystopian stories in the future.

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

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