Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Blog Tour: The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club by J.C. Isabella

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Buy the book: Amazon US ; Barnes & Noble

Story: Welcome to the big leagues. To secrets and scandals. It's all about the game. Who's playing. Who's not. Who has no idea about the game. And...wait, what game are we playing?

I'll leave that for you to decide.

Where to start is the big question for Chloe Baker. How was she supposed to explain to Zack Warren that she started a fan club for him when she was a kid? It was just a game. A way to make friends and have fun. She never thought it would spiral out of control. And never. In a million, gazillion years, did she think it would follow her to college. How could she tell him her best friend Lana kept the club alive? That she had nothing to do with the craziness?

Chloe didn’t understand why she cared so much about Zack's opinion of her. She hated him. He hated her. They had very mutual feelings of dislike for each other. So he'd just hate her even more when or if he found out.

And that's totally fine...she thinks.

Zack Warren had a soft spot for Chloe Baker. He likes the way she walks. He likes the way she talks. If he was poetically inclined, he’d write a sonnet about her ass.

It's Zack’s junior year of college. He’s got things to worry about. Scouts from the major leagues. Baseball games. Contracts. Grades.... His father ran away to Vegas with Chloe's mother. He didn’t have time to worry about a girl. But he did. He worried about Chloe a lot, especially with that jerk Max sniffing around her. It's weird though, to like your stepsister, right?

But Zack could argue that he saw Chloe first. Way before his dad met her mom. He was too young to stake a claim. But he just doesn't care anymore.

He’s done playing games.

Thoughts and impressions: This story immediately caught my attention. The synopsis screams the sort of thing I used to read a lot of as a teen. It’s not the sort of book that I still read very often now that I’m a bit older, but occasionally I do enjoy a foray back in this sort of genre. I knew as of the get go that this book was going to be one of those forays.

I have to say I really enjoyed this blast from the past!

That isn’t to say that the book is without its problems. For example, I wasn’t sold on how much of a creep Max was. Maybe it would have been possible to paint him as such a character with ulterior motives, but Max’s never really rang true to me. I got that he was being an arse but his actions didn’t really fit for me. It might have helped to see more backstory of the rivalry between Max and Zack and why Max hates him so much.

That was my one major sticking point, though. For the rest of it, I enjoyed this fluffy, light romance. It consisted mostly of how stricken Chloe is about the unofficial Zack Warren fan club that she set up when she was young but soon abandoned after Zack stole the pink streamers from her bike, resulting in her deciding to hate him forever rather than love him. Unfortunately for her, under her best friend’s ministrations, the unofficial Zack Warren fan club became a living, breathing monster in its own right – a monster to be reckoned with. Even worse, she’s still considered the founder and everything about the group is attributed to her.

Zack meanwhile has been fighting his attraction to Chloe for years now. After losing his mother at a young age, he chose to protect himself from future heartache by not allowing anyone to get close enough for him to have feelings for them. Chloe gets past all his barriers, though, and with his father having just married her mother, he’s going to be forced to spend rather a lot of time around this very dangerous girl. (Dangerous to the barriers he’s erected around himself).

The story is very easy and slow-going. It’s not mile-a-minute or anything like that, but it never fails to keep your attention and even induces a few chuckles with some laugh out loud moments. It’s short and sweet but, apart from the Max weirdness, it really works well!

On a side note, poor any future half siblings! Can you imagine being a kid having to explain to the other kids at school that your brother and sister are dating? Owch.

Style: Some minor problems, most importantly there is no distinction made between "X and I" and "X and me". I see an increasing number of people who don't know how to use these terms grammatically correctly and this worries me.

Final verdict: A fablous piece of light fluff that kept me well entertained at a time when I needed a distraction from reality. I highly recommend if this is your sort of thing. 4.5 stars

Extra notes: Some bad language use. No sex.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


Sneak peek:


Chloe's PoV:

Nostalgia is for idiots and Zack Warren is trouble.

I knew it the first time I saw him in second grade. The boy had heartbreaker written all over him. He was two years older, wiser. He did a back flip off the jungle gym, landing right at my feet with a cocky grin, getting dirt all over my new pink Keds.

He didn’t apologize.

Instead he dropped a lizard on my head and called me prissy.

Despite the fact that we didn’t hit it off on day one, I harbored a huge crush on Zack, my first ever. In the third grade I started a club. Girls only. We dubbed it an unofficial club because we thought some powerful person, like Oprah, had to deem it official.

We have since discovered that is not true, but the name had a nice ring to it.

During our unofficial meets we talked about Zack, spied on him, and risked being found out on a regular basis. What a rush, seriously. It was going great. The group accepted new members, and we even drew up plans for a clubhouse. I invented a fun game and made new friends.

Then, when I was in the fifth grade, Zack stole the streamers off my bike.

I cried, and made the very rational decision to hate him until the end of time.

This effectively ended my reign as leader of The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club.

--

Zack's POV

“Horse races.” Vince said with enthusiasm, flipping through the TV channels. “Now that’s a sport.”

Never in my life, not once, had I ever resorted to violence to solve a problem — since I have reformed myself— except for pinning Max to the fence when he talked about Chloe.

Okay, so one time I’ve used physical methods. But I wouldn’t mind making it two. I imagined grabbing Vince by the back of his too big suit and kicking him out the front door. He was one of those people you wanted to swat, like an annoying little fly buzzing your sandwich. I wanted to chat with him about as much as I wanted a baseball to the crotch.

“Gambling’s not a sport.” I said under my breath. My dad, sitting on the couch next to me, nodded in agreement. Vince wasn’t scoring points with him either.

“So, Zack, tell me what you do.” Vince jingled. The man had on so much gold he actually jingled. I couldn’t believe he and Chloe were related for a second. His lady, Helga, boy was she a trip, too.

“I go to college.” I said, trying to keep my voice friendly.

I mean, what kind of question was that? I only had enough time for a job during the summer.

He nodded. “Yes, with Chloe. How old are you?”

“Twenty-one.”

Dad clapped me on the shoulder, “Zack’s into sports.”

“Really?” Vince didn’t seem impressed, more like bored. He uncrossed then re-crossed his legs so tightly, he either had to take a piss, or he’d been cursed with balls the size of grapes and a dick like a gherkin. It just wasn’t normal for a guy to do that.

“I play baseball,” I supplied. He didn’t react. Not even a raise of his greasy black eyebrows. What the hell, maybe I could get him interested in something else, “I practice martial arts too.”

His eyebrows shot up now. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

What a wiener.

This guy was a serious hot dog.

The author:


J.C. Isabella is the author of Chasing McCree and The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club. Ever since she discovered romance novels in high school, she has been a self proclaimed fan. This led to penning her first YA . When she isn't thinking up new recipes for the cookbook she hopes to one day write, she is brainstorming a new novel and listening to country music. She lives in the tropics of Florida with her big fat Italian family and ornery feline companion.

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