Wednesday, January 20, 2016

{Excerpt} BBReview: "Fandom Hearts 1: Level Up" by Cathy Yardley


Welcome to my tour stop for Level Up by Cathy Yardley. This is a romantic comedy and the tour runs January 4-22 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.


About the Book:
Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can't do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?


I found Level Up to be a very fun and refreshing book. Tessa has always been career focused. She has one friend, and that's all she needs, or so she thought. I really felt that since her family doesn't understand why she is into game design, and doesn't really recognize it as a career, that it was the main reason she tries so hard to be successful. I mean, regardless she wants to kick ass and have her dream job, but I don't think she would be so isolated and focused if it wasn't for that need to prove to her family that she can do this.

What I loved about this book is how independent and strong Tessa is. She isn't worried about fitting in, she isn't worried about making friends, she just wants her dream job. That is until she learns that she may not get her dream job if she doesn't put herself out there more. The terrible thing (and I know this from experience) is that when you are quiet and stick to yourself, people think you're a bitch. It's awful. I mean, I am one, but I'm not a stuck up bitch! Tessa learns that people think this about her. They think she isolates herself too much. What I really, really loved was that we learn that yea, she hasn't been thought of for a promotion because she isn't outgoing enough, but not in the sense you think. It's not that she isn't "popular" or "pretty" or "super outgoing", it's because she has never shown anyone her talent. She has never said, "Hi, my name is Tessa and I have these badass skills. Also, my goal is to own this place." So, how were they supposed to know?

Initially I thought the book was just going to be a romance, which it does have major romance, but that's not all it's about. When I first started reading it, I thought it was just a book about how you need to have friends and a boyfriend in order to get anywhere in life, but wrong again. It's about putting yourself out there, taking risks, and living life. It's not about living a certain way, it's about not being afraid and enjoying yourself. You can have an amazing job, amazing friends, and an amazing boyfriend. You just gotta make it happen.

The genuinity of the characters was very well done. They felt real and not gimmicky. I loved the sass and comedy that was peppered throughout. I also loved the bit about consent, and how it was still a "classic" romance tale, but still stuck true to how women are supposed to be treated: with respect. 

Overall, I enjoyed my time reading it and will be sure to read more from this series. This is a great read for fangirls of Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Mystics. 

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 4/5

“You’re welcome to join us,” he said, although from the sounds of it, he clearly didn’t expect her to. “There will be gaming, some new stuff Abraham’s bringing over. Rumor has it there will be Quidditch pong. Whatever that is.”
Tess smiled. “Thanks. I’ll, um, think about it.”
“Just wanted to give you a heads up.” He waved to Ani, then closed the door again.
Tess spun on Ani. “Like our girl here?” she asked. “Really? Really?”
Ani grinned wickedly. “If that guy was in the house with me,” she said, “I’d ride him like a ten-speed.”
Tessa shook her head. “You suck, Ani.”
“I’m sure I would,” Ani purred.
“Perv,” Tess said, finally laughing. “Anyway, I’m not going after Adam.”
“Fine,” she relented. “But I’m serious, Tess. When you decide you want something, you go for it. I know how hard it was for you to pay for college, and get the degree, and get the job. I know you’ll get your goal of being an engineer, if you want it badly enough. You are relentless.”
“Thanks,” Tess said, warming at her friend’s support.
“But it won’t be enough,” Ani continued. “You need more people, more connection, even as an introvert. If you won’t be that dedicated about getting into a relationship, at least broaden your circle. I worry about you.” She smiled sadly. “Maybe you should put some of that focus on people, not just programming. For your own sake.”
“I’ll be okay, but thanks.” Tess smiled. 
“Promise me you’ll go hang out at that party a bit.”
Tessa’s smile dropped. “Wait, what?”
"Seriously. Promise me you'll go down to that party. I will check up on you and hassle you mercilessly when I see you, and I’ll know if you didn’t. You suck at lying.”
Tessa rolled her eyes. "Fine," she said. Ani had called her relentless, but Tessa knew better. Ani could out-relentless Genghis Khan. 
"But don’t go wearing that," Ani added.
Tessa looked down at her T-shirt—something she'd gotten from The Bloggess, with the statement: Feeling Stabby. "Why? What's wrong with this?"
"If I have to explain it, you won't understand," Ani said. "Wear something that puts the goods on display, okay?"
"I'm an A cup. I don't have goods."
"Just wear something that looks like you meant to wear it!" Ani groused. "And would it kill you to wear makeup?"
"I am not wearing makeup to play Quidditch pong."
Ani paused. "Good point. All right. Go forth, get your flirt on. And report back."


About Cathy Yardley:
cathy yardley
Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She is a closet fangirl for Supernatural, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and too many others to name. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Want to read more of her writing? Sign up for her notification list, and get a free novella, Hooked, from the Fandom Hearts series!


$25 Amazon gift card (INT) 

Ends Jan. 27, 2016 
Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.