Book Review: Bubblegum by Sari Taurez

by - 4:27:00 AM

Title: Bubblegum
Author: Sari Taurez
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Release Date: 09 October 2017

From Goodreads: "Tiana is your typical pampered young twenty-something with a love for expensive shoes, hot guys, and murder. Status means the difference between life and death in this society. For Tiana, she’s never had anything to worry about - that is until her mother cuts her off from the family riches. Luckily she’s got good prospects ahead: a job that could make her a killing. Her first client: Julia, a lower-class I.T girl that finds life can be tough for those who can’t afford to call the police. When the orphanage where Julia volunteers 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. Their adventures lead them not only to their target, but to a partnership stronger than any of their differences. But will it be enough to stop Nails and save the orphans from a terrible fate?"
Thank you to Sari Taurez for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

This was an absolutely crazy wild insane ride of a book and I loved every second of it. I got an idea of what the book was about from the synopsis but it didn't prepare me for how insane this book was going to be. And I mean that in the best way possible!

Because I want readers to get the same experience that I got from this book, I'm going to be rather vague when talking about the plot. But holy crap is this unlike anything I have ever read. In Tiana's world, status is everything. So when she gets cut off from the family riches, her only option is to find work or lose it all. Luckily for her, she's got a job lined up that can make a real killing. Her first client is Julia, a lower-class I.T. girl that knows life is hard when you can't afford to call the police. The orphanage she volunteers at is targeted by the infamous brother owner Bobby Nails and Tiana jumps at the chance to take the job. But there's more to it than meets the eye and Tiana and Julia soon find themselves wrapped up in unexpected, explosive, dangerous adventures. But together, they form a friendship stronger than any of their differences. Will it be enough to stop Nails and save the orphans?

Holy. Crap. Have I said that yet? Because holy crap. This book was nothing like what I expected and left me wanting more from this crazy messed up crew. Tiana is a literal mess and gets herself into some absolutely insane situations that she probably wouldn't be able to get out of unless Julia was there to help her. The two make a fantastic team that work together so well despite their differences and their friendship is one of the many highlights of this book. Bubblegum reads kind of like an episodic novel, with each part of the book being a different job that Tiana and Julia take on that all seem to be a part of the ultimate goal which is taking down Bobby Nails. I actually really enjoyed how there were multiple parts to this book because it really gave a different feeling while reading. It definitely didn't take anything away from the book or make it feel broken up or separated. Every part flowed perfectly into the next and everything added up to make this beautiful, insane story. Bubblegum starts off relatively normal and takes the reader on an experience that can only be described as watching fireworks while on a burning roller coaster ride without the safety restraints. The writing is fresh, fun, and unique, the characters are ones that you'll love whether you want to or not, and the story is absolutely out of this world. If you like books about brothels on fire, blue haired cannibals, and a rich girl with a thing for murder and a gun named Bubblegum, then this is the book for you.

Tiana is probably the most unlikable character you'll ever come across. Seriously, I can't think of one redeeming quality about her. But that's what makes her so incredible. She's a girl that likes killing and doesn't mind taking out the bad guys- for a price. Tiana is loud, obnoxious, sarcastic, vicious, and loyal as all get out. With her status, she can quite literally get away with murder, and she takes full advantage of that. I said it above but one of the highlights of this book is the friendship between Julia and Tiana. They are complete opposites, with Julia being a level four and Tiana being a level two (that may sound odd but it makes more sense in the book, trust me!), Tiana being a blonde white girl with a thing for murder and Julia being an African American Catholic that volunteers at an orphanage housed in a church. Seriously, the two of them come from completely different worlds and are as different as any two characters can get, but they have the best friendship ever. It's definitely a slow building one, but eventually the two are thick as thieves.

The entire cast of characters is the craziest bunch you'll ever encounter but they all make the story so much better. It was such a wild ride watching these people try and take down the bad guy! From blowing up a brothel, setting people on fire, wrecking a school bus, and demolishing a building, there's no shortage of action and adventure packed into the pages of Bubblegum. The characters are some of the most unique I've ever encountered and I really believe they were a huge part of what made the story for me. They're a rag tag band of people trying to do good in their own twisted way and there's nothing like this out there. Bubblegum is in a league of it's own- a crazy, bloody, hilariously dark but still fun league.

Sari Taurez's writing was off the charts amazing. She was able to create this world that's eerily close to ours while perfectly balancing the amount of description and action. There was never a point where I was bored with the world building or backstory she was writing, and I was always eager to read more about Tiana! Everything about this world is interesting and insane and one that feels like it could be real in the near future. It's not something that's so out there that it's impossible to believe, but it's realistic enough to where you're actually thinking about how it could happen to us. There's blood and gore and crazy antics that make you want to keep reading and find out just what else could possibly happen because surely a bunch of prostitutes taking revenge on their captors and burning the building down is as crazy as it gets, right? Right? Not even close! I was so drawn in by how easy and fun the writing was and how Sari worked to highlight things such as positive LGBT representation. I fell in love with the world and characters she created and the issues she chose to speak out about and I know there will be others who feel the same. There are characters in Bubblegum that certainly have some darker sides to them and Sari never shys away from them but rather brings them into light and shows the flaws of her characters. I've said it before but this was such a unique reading experience and it's one that I don't think anyone should miss. Also, if you're a fan of endings that will leave you feeling like your stomach has just jumped into your throat, then Bubblegum will not disappoint. I was shocked and excited and dying for a sequel when I read the last page!

Bubblegum is unlike any other book you'll ever read. It has action, explosions, positive LGBT representation, diversity, death, blood, gore, and so much more. The writing is easy and fun to read, the world is realistic and one you'll want to explore more of, and the characters are some of the most messed up but lovable people you'll ever meet. Don't miss Bubblegum when it releases on 09 October 2017!

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