Bubblegum, by Sari Taurez
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Tiana is your typical pampered young blonde with a love for expensive shoes, hot guys, and murder.
After Tiana is cut off from her family’s riches, she takes advantage of her talents and becomes a killer for hire. It’s a lucrative business in her country, where a call to the police can amount to a lifetime of debt.
Her first client: Julia, a lower-class IT genius, lesbian, and devout Catholic. When the orphanage Julia volunteers at is targeted by the infamous brothel-owner Bobby Nails, Tiana is excited to take the job. But when she discovers Bobby Nails has a full army of mercenaries at his disposal, Tiana wonders if she may be in over her head.
Tiana and Julia face an unexpected adventure as they seek vengeance against the elusive Nails. Along the way they are joined by Ruby, a pyromaniac ex-prostitute who catches Julia’s eye, and William, a mysterious acrobatic fugitive searching for his daughter.
In the end, will they be enough to stop Nails and the chaos he has created?
Killer for Hire
Content Warning for: Violence and Murder, Forced Prostitution
This book was hard to get through and I almost DNFed it but I wanted to see if it got better. Unfortunately, it did not and I really did not like it. The overall quality of the writing was good, but the plot and overall story was a cluttered mess and I couldn’t get over it. I found myself losing interest before I even made it halfway through the book because of the back and forth POV switches, over/under explaining things, and the lack of focus on the actual driving force of the plot. I really wanted to like this book, too, because I really enjoy the premise and the plot synopsis but the follow-through killed it for me.
The book was supposed to be about them taking down Bobby Nails but it was mostly just side job after side job. Then suddenly something would happen that was related to the Nails job and then the focus would shift back. It was one place, then they were here, and then this other thing happened, and now we’re back to the main plot…and repeat. It got very tedious for me. The big reveal about Nails fell totally flat for me because I do not feel like there were enough false leads and it was kind of obvious. However, that could have been forgiven if I liked the rest of the book.
I actually really liked Tiana and I thought she was the most interesting part of the whole book. Her POV presented a stronger version of the story than Julia’s and I think that if it had just been her POV the book would have been a lot better. Julia’s storyline was there to fill in the blanks of Tiana’s and I wish that it had just been Tiana’s with more explication. This just made everything more confusing and cluttered than it needed to be.
To be honest Julia didn’t really get much character development until the end when suddenly a bunch of stuff happened and I was like, where was this the rest of the book? In the plot synopsis, Julia is called a lesbian but her sexuality wasn’t really a thing in the book. Until it suddenly was. There wasn’t really romantic buildup and to be honest I think that Taurez shouldn’t have even bothered with having Julia have a romance if she wasn’t going to develop it. It was like when you watch an action movie and the characters see each other twice before going I love you and making out. It’s unfulfilling and kind of lazy.
There were also a lot of side characters who showed up and really didn’t get enough character development either thus adding to the already cluttered and dragging plot. For example, this creepy/weird guy kept showing up at random times and it was like, what is the purpose of him? He would show up and do something creepy/murderous and disappear. It was so random and kind of threw off the story when he did show up. It was like, there needed to be more than one threat to the MCs so this guy would show up to fill that void. Then at the end, his true purpose was revealed.
Once again why was everything suddenly revealed at the end? Why wasn’t stuff dispersed better throughout the book? I could have read the last 25% of the book and understood the whole plot better than reading the rest of the book. Though, the ending itself was still very meh. At that point in the book, I was just glad to be done with the whole thing so I could go read another book without feeling guilty.
In the end, this was just a completely unfulfilling book with a plot premise I was really interested in.
Sari Taurez lives in Arizona with her wife, daughter, cat and two dogs. In her free time she crochets, paints, collects Star Trek action figures, and plays video games.
A film school graduate, Sari strives to make every novel feel like an action movie.
Sari is an advocate for LGBT rights, and strives to create thrilling adventures with LGBT characters.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.