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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aces Up

new cover
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Source: ARC won from Random Buzzers

Grade: 3 stars out of 5
When Shannon Card (yup her last name is Card and this is a book about Poker) is forced to get a job to pay for college, she gets an invitation to join Aces Up. Getting a fake ID and a fake birth certificate is one thing to get a waitressing job at a casino, it is another thing to pay a game of poker with stakes as high as thirteen million dollars.
How do you review a book where you have no reaction after finishing the book? Tell me because I have no clue how so I am just going to babble on about Aces Up. The biggest confusion I have of this novel is the takeaway or just the feeling I’m left with after the novel. I don’t exactly feel relieved, elated, or any of the positive energies. Ehhhh. Then there is the whole moral of the story: “Cheaters never win”—okay.

I feel as though I am not giving credit where credit is due. The solid framework was there, but the execution felt like dipping your toe into the pool and not plunging yourself in. I hesitate over Max and Shannon—best friends turned crushes turned awkwardness—that made me think of second helpings or leftovers. I needed more exaggeration with the inner turmoil to be sympathizing to Shannon. I got tired of the secondary characters because frankly I don’t know what to think of them. The ending was rather appropriate and realistic, but had that extra layer of cheese that made me roll my eyes.

For now I’ll leave it as a big ? with Aces Up.

Cover B-/C+
While I do think the new cover is prettier, the old cover represents the book better.

Aces Up is out now: Amazon / Indie Bound / Book Depository

old cover


  1. I hate it when I read a book but can't think of anything to say about it in my review. :/

  2. Thanks for the review. Hooray! You're a random buzzer. :)

    I'm a bit apprehensive about reading this book since it has references to Poker and the casino and all that jazz. However, I think Barnholdt is so terribly sweet and that she is a fine storyteller. I'll try this out at a library before buying myself a copy though!