Monday, March 19, 2018

"Shine and Shimmer" by Shari L. Tapscott

I finished reading Shari L. Tapscott's Glitter and Sparkle with a dilemma. I liked it. A lot. But I was torn because, for as engaging (and clean) as it was, it also crossed what I felt were some ethical, if not moral, lines. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue the series, but then I found the second book in the series, Shine and Shimmer, on my Kindle. Apparently I got it as a freebie last summer. Since I own it, I figured I may as well read it.

All her life, Riley's followed in her perfect sister's footsteps, but now that she's graduated high school, she's not sure who she really is. When she meets Zeke, a brooding artist who's the very definition of trouble, she decides to throw caution to the wind and set her sights on a guy no good girl would dare bring home to her parents. 

Just when things are looking promising with Zeke, in steps Linus, a genuinely nice gamer who's just a little (or a lot) geeky for Riley's tastes. But where Zeke is the bad boy she's always dreamed of, Linus just might be her knight in shining armor. 

By the end of the summer, she's going to have choose, but if she takes too long, she just might lose them both... 

While Shine and Shimmer isn't quite as squeaky clean as Glitter and Sparkle, it's a good bit more realistic. This is probably in large part due to the fact that parents play only a very minor role in the story—in Glimmer and Sparkle, Lauren's parents are perhaps the most clueless parents on the planet, and everything they did struck me as so unrealistic. In Shine and Shimmer, some characters drink to excess and have very dysfunctional (and most likely sexual) relationships, something that seems quite realistic for college students. Tapscott makes it very clear that this is not ideal behavior (and it all happens off the page), and Riley never engages in the drinking or sex—she just helps clean up others' messes.

Unfortunately, I wasn't nearly as engaged in this novel as I was in the previous one. There was never any question as to which guy Riley would choose (though she held onto the fantasy of the guy who was clearly wrong for her for far too long), and I just didn't care enough about the story.

I did finish the book, as it's a super-quick read, but I think if I'd read it prior to Glitter and Sparkle, I probably wouldn't have continued the series. But because I did enjoy the first book so much, I think I'll stick around for the third book in the series. 2-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Tapscott's Glitter and Sparkle (4 stars).

Shari L. Tapscott writes young adult fantasy and humorous contemporary fiction. When she's not writing or reading, she enjoys gardening, making soap, and pretending she can sing.

She loves white chocolate mochas, furry animals, spending time with her family, and characters who refuse to behave.

Tapscott lives in western Colorado with her husband, son, daughter, and two very spoiled Saint Bernards.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and chose to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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