Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: The Thornless Rose


The Thornless Rose
The Thornless Rose by Morgan O'Neill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I liked this story. A fun entertaining historical tale. Not totally consuming my thoughts but not a bad story.



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Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: London Calling


London Calling
London Calling by Karly Kirkpatrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Ok, one thing you have to understand about me is that whenever a few particular writers publish something, a part of me is giggling like a little kid while the other is busy buying the book via whatever. And obviously Karly Kirkpatrick is one of them.
When I read on FB that is was out, I literally squealed and my kids came running to find out what was going on. (Comical when you think about it, really. Or maybe it was just me?) I had a busy next day and found it later at night but bought it I did. And had it not been a deadline looming over me to finish the latest book I was reading, I would have started London Calling right away. But I did start it this morning and could not put it down!
I was curious, was it cliche? Was it predictable? Was it going to keep my interest? So here is the answer breakdown: I didn't think it was cliche. I hoped it would go a certain way without being cheesy and was granted my hopes. And it totally kept my interest hence why nothing else got done around my house.
I liked the realness of the characters and the trials that occurred for all of them. I have to say that I enjoyed the setting and plot a lot too. London was described as an almost additional character in the story and that is a rarity that a writer can pull that off. (Trust me, I have read a few who have tried and it was not pleasant to read at all.)
I gave this book 5 stars because it met all of my criteria and I simply love reading Karly's books. It isn't wrong for me to be eagerly awaiting another book so quickly after her last release, right?



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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: Pollyanna Plan, The


Pollyanna Plan, The
Pollyanna Plan, The by Talli Roland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A cute and fun beginning to our book club reading list. Was this an earth shattering story? Of course not. But I really enjoyed this. It was cute and sweet and romantic. I loved that the characters were very realistic and normal without the over the top drama that occurs of late in stories. I also really liked the supporting cast of characters.



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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review: The Longest Ride


The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome and story.

I am happy to report that the typical Nicholas Sparks formula is tweeked in this story to where you are not cursing Mr. Sparks for always killing off a character you love so much.

Sophia was classic in that she was not the victim she could have been. She overcame her obstacles and truly loved with all she had. Luke was the cowboy you really wanted to be able to have it all and loved his gentle loving ways.

The only true issue is that I was not totally into the Ira plotline and did not feel truly connected with him or Ruth. And I also truly was confused by why a cowboy/bull rider would actually choose North Carolina to settle in but I "drank the Mr. Sparks punch" on that.

Overall, I really liked this story and gave it 4 stars. And I will say that the twist at the end, is just the happy ending I needed at this time of year.



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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Perfect Chemistry


Perfect Chemistry
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This book features a well known type story. Gang banger boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the pretty girl who is a popular poms beloved by all. Their back stories are intriquing and they offer a glimpse into the imperfect lives we all lead. I liked the obvious chemistry between the love interests.
I appreciate the complexity into the way they feel they need to act around others as that is the perception of their true character. Her parental figures irritated the crud out of me. They seemed disinterested in every aspect of their daughters life except that she look a certain part. I do understand that there are parents out there like that but it irritates me regardless. But that aspect of this story was well done and did not have a cheesy all is well ending. I think that her friends are classicly obsessed with stupid image like most high school girls are.
His persona is one of interest I feel. Is he the bad boy from the wrong side? Of course but he is complex to the umpth degree. His sense of family is huge and he only wants to protect the ones he loves. His love for Brit is very strong and a bit all consuming as most loves are in high school (at least what a high schoolerr feels they are). His mother is a character that for once the parent didn't irritate me. She loves her family as well and you can quickly see where he gets that trait from.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the message it sends to the reader. Not everything is easily corrected and fixed in life and one needs to figure out who is important in their lives and keep the close.



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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: Juliet's Nurse


Juliet's Nurse
Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I liked this book enough to rate it about a 2.75 stars. Yep not really a full 3. Why? I was irritated by the weirdness in the book. What wet nurse is still employed for a 13 year old?!?! Odd. What wet nurse still cuddles their 13 year old charge? Bizarre. And why did I never think of her as wet nurse in the play? I thought she was a nanny/governess/caregiver cause no mom in that time actually mothered their own.

I received this book from Goodreads via a giveaway with the hopes of a fair & honest review.



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Review: Blind Passion


Blind Passion
Blind Passion by Bonnie Dee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I enjoyed this book. The romance was hot and full of passion. The plot was predictable but well done and not cheesy. I liked the characters and their struggles made them feel more real. Overall, a good romantic read full of hot hot passion.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair & honest review.



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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: Wicked


Wicked
Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I was thoroughly excited about this book and it did not disappoint!!

I felt as though I could guess certain aspects of this story but not everything. I admittedly was able to figure out the big twist but the little ones I was a bit surprised at. I mean I had doubts that everything was on the up and up but wow. Some threw me for a loop.

And holy hotness!!! The romance and chemistry between Ivy and Ren was amazing! And since this follows up from Layla and Roth and Zayne as well as Kat and Damon, I had no doubt that this author would delight me with that aspect of the story. And boy did she delight me!

Overall, a definite excellent read that will make me count down the days until I am able to continue this story!!



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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror


The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



First off, yes this book really was outside my norm read.

So it took a while for me to get into the book. Like a lot longer than normal. So by chapter 5 I still was a bit iffy on the story.

Then it finally picked up the paces and I began to enjoy the book. Now I mean, Zombie Santa, talking fruit bat, Crazy psycho wife of a pothead cop - what is not to enjoy there right? There was a bunch of weirdness thrown throughout the story but by the end of it, it all made sense and seemed to be there for some bizarre reason and without it, it would have not made sense.

I will admit that I thought when I go to book club with this review I would be giving a "no I did not like it" report. But I am thankful to say that it changed and I will be giving a good review. And my closing comments are to the author's warning. How freaking funny was it? "If you are buying this book as a gift for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex. Don't blame me. I told you." That had me intrigued and laughing for a bit.



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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: Faithless Part One


Faithless Part One
Faithless Part One by K.B. Nelson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



NetGalley gave me this book in exchange for a fair & honest review.


With a teaser involving a preacher and a stripper one can jump to many paths that this story could go. Now, is there sex? Umm definitely and it is hot! But there is a story that is involved and leaves you waiting for the next one. Great quick hot romantic read!



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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: The Queen


The Queen
The Queen by Kiera Cass

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Why do I tease myself with these novellas? I really do like this storyline. I find it very much like the Bachelor TV show except setting it in a dystopian world. I enjoyed having a bit more back story where it came to the Queen. It made me like her that much more and I actually kind of liked what I saw of the King.



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Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: The Penguin Book of Witches


The Penguin Book of Witches
The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I am not normally one to enjoy a non-fiction book. I found I really enjoyed this one. After reading Conversion by this author, I became slightly enamored with the subject of witches. I therefore felt the need to continue reading. I really enjoyed reading about other witches than just the Salem witches.



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Review: Twisted


Twisted
Twisted by Cari Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I received this book from NetGalley for a fair & honest review.

I liked this book. I disliked all the jumping back and forth between the then and now. The chemistry between Gray and Jazz is hot! ( Definitely not the YA I have been reading of late) The plot twists were expected and well done and made it enjoyable to read.



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Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition


Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition
Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition by Erin Butler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I liked this book. I feel it was a younger adult book than I expected but I still enjoyed it. I was always rooting for Ryan through everything. I liked Liza and Janie's relationship but felt that they were super close at times and at others, they were worlds apart. Overall, perhaps this will encourage high schoolers to read the classics and fall in love with them as we all have done.



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Review: The Guard


The Guard
The Guard by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I really like this storyline and have read the actual books. But i was hoping to like Aspen a bit more after reading this. Honestly, my feelings did not change at all. If nothing else, the ending made me remember why I liked Maxon as much as I did.



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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Zoey And The Nice Guy


Zoey And The Nice Guy
Zoey And The Nice Guy by Carter Ashby

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I wish I liked this book more. I found that Zoey as a character was rude and obnoxious. I really do not see how any man could put up with her antics. I understand that there is the whole abuse (in many forms) theme but there are better stories out there that handle it better.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After


Isla and the Happily Ever After
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Let me confess first off that I totally skipped over the second book. I have read Anna and even own it but I forgot to read the second installment with Lola. Oops! I will be going back to read it but hope it is a little better than Isla. I did not feel as connected with Isla as I did with Anna. I felt a bit like eavesdropping on a section of her life and now I am over it. It was odd. I felt that in Anna, Paris was almost a character of the story. But in Isla, NYC or Paris were just the place they were - it could have been anywhere as neither of them seemed that immersed in the culture of that city. I also felt frustrated with the lack of presence of the previous characters. I felt invested in them and when they are nothing more than a mention with no substance behind them, I question whether or not I felt more than I should have for them. Overall it was a very quick read with not a lot to make me gush over it with my friends. I will recommend that they read them in order as perhaps that would help (?).



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: A Reliable Wife


A Reliable Wife
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I could not stand this. We read this one for our first book club meeting. What a let down!

I did not like the underhanded way she came to be. I did not like the bed hopping at all! And I hated the ending. Not very descriptive I know but I really was angry about this book.



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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Inside Out


Inside Out
Inside Out by Lia Riley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I have to say that I felt very out of place in this book. I should have read books 1 & 2 first and then maybe I would have understood the story a little bit more. I felt a disconnect with the characters and their struggle to be together. I was lost throughout most of the book.

I received this book from net galley for a fair and honest review.



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Review: Home for the Holidays


Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



this book ended rather abruptly. I found that I like the character but the story ended so quickly that I was left wanting more. it was a sweet story that had predictable little twists and turns. I enjoy holiday reads like this just wish it was a little longer.

I received this book from the NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review.



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: The River


The River
The River by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I have read other books by Beverly Lewis and loved them. My mother has a love of things Amish and so I feel an affection toward that life style even though I know I would not do well in it. This one was ok. I felt it strained at times and I had a hard time completing this book. I wish there was something new to explore in these storylines but alas I am unsure if there is. I feel reality tv may have ruined it for us all. ;)



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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: I Was Here


I Was Here
I Was Here by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I received this book at a fan event from a local book store. I was hesitate in starting it as the opening page is quite shocking. But I am glad I did. I actually really enjoyed it. I found that even though it has a sad topic that leads to the story, it was written well and thought out perfectly. I liked how it touched on many different topics without beating them to obscurity or making them seem any less important than they were. I highly recommend this one - I even had my son read it and he said it was sad but good.



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Review: Center Stage


Center Stage
Center Stage by Mindy Klasky

My rating: 1 of 5 stars



I received this book from librarything in exchange for a fair & honest review.

It was a quick read - one evening after kids activities is all it took. I liked that and I felt inspired to keep reading until it all kind of fell apart.
The tension between Zach and Ryan was weird. Yes, I get the overprotective brother bit but yep, we can be friends until you are with my sister then we can't until you want to marry her then we can. Whiplash! Too quick are those feelings thrown about in my opinion.
And I liked the relationship until they stopped talking. Really? He gets hurt and no word from her? And he loves her so completely but messes up everything to protect his dad? Unless his dad is incapable of living alone and being responsible for himself, you would never do this.
So if you don't mind a frustrating read, by all means proceed. Just not believable at all.



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Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Angels Walking


Angels Walking
Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



First off, I should say I liked the book to an extent. I find many of these books the same and that frustrates me. Secondly, allow me to say that it was written well but in a predictable Karen Kingsbury way. And I say that with no malice, trust me, I do not mean any. Karen Kingsbury writes for all people and they are very nice Christian stories. My only issues with them surround how they are constructed. To me, these stories have the same plot lines. Boy and Girl are together. Boy and girl are torn apart for some specific reason. Boy becomes damaged usually both physically and mentally. Girl happens upon Boy with her unending Faith and love. Boy realizes error in his ways and redeems himself. Boy and Girl live happy ever after even if perhaps not together.
I found these characters irritating as I believed the character of Sammy to be a bit naive and fantastic. I felt that the Angels mentioned in the title were a bit too elusive for the title including them. I felt they should be a bit more present than they were.
I am unsure if I will continue with this series as I realize upon writing this, I was more irritated than not with it.



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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: The Sham


The Sham
The Sham by Ellen Allen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to books. I am not usually a mystery type of girl but I was given a copy of this via Librarything for a fair and honest review. There were many aspects of this story that bothered me. One the revelation if you will about Jack. And two the girl "gang". It was just uncomfortable for me - even though I think I am not naive, I find that many of my thoughts are a bit more naive than epected. I truly thought that this was a page turner and after I stopped getting distracted by other books to read, I read this one rather quickly. As I was unsure what to expect out of this book, I was unsure if I would suggest it to others. I would say that there are some I would recommend this to but it is not for the faint of heart shall we call them.



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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Letting Go


Letting Go
Letting Go by Molly McAdams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Wow!! Another great Molly McAdams read! And I thought Oh I am predicting this - wham, I get slammed with a twist that made it that much better. Loved Grey and Jagger!!! And Charlie was an unexpected treat. Overall, a definite good read I highly recommend to all!



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Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Happily Ever After


Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I have to say the storyline intrigued me. Found it a quick, easy read with a good plot and characters you could relate to. A bit predictable at times but overall a good book. Worth the fun day to finish it!



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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: The Opposite of Wild


The Opposite of Wild
The Opposite of Wild by Kylie Gilmore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I liked this book. The relationship between Ryan and Liz is sweet and relatable. I truly like how these characters interact. And how they developed throughout the story. If Liz has an annoying flaw, it is her inability to not go full throttle when someone asks for help and involving herself too much. I enjoyed the character of Maggie - she was inspiring and entertaining. Cannot wait til the next book!



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Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Retribution


Retribution
Retribution by Megg Jensen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Ok so when I was allowed an advanced copy of Retribution, I did the fan girl squeal! Yep I am a Megg Jensen fan through and through. I was extremely excited to start this. And now, I cannot wait for book 4!!!!
The twists and turns in her previous 2 books were nothing in comparison to these corkscrews and 180s. I could not stop reading once I really started going.
I am afraid to really say anything for fear of giving anything away. I feel like I really know the characters more and really was thrilled by the complexity of their relationships and dealings this time around. I mean, we all have read books that once you get to book 3 the interworkings of the characters starts to drone on and become tedious. Not in this book I tell you! Not at all.
And just when I think things are the way they should be, a change up comes around the corner and wham! I am knocked around and questioning everything I had thought I knew til then.
Exactly the kind of book that stays with you and has you still shocked and excited about the next one! (Yep, a day ago I was complaining because the holidays are almost upon us, and now I am counting down the days til 2015 cause it brings me closer to book 4.



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Stone Cold Touch


Stone Cold Touch
Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Wow. Again allow me a "WOW"!!!

Just when I was all Team Roth, she had to make Zayne so darn likable. Teehee!!!
In all seriousness, I am amazed at the twists and turns that arose in this installment. I had to sit back and let it all soak in. I mean (Yep spolier alert), Roth is back. He breaks Layla apart and then still hangs around. Ok, in all honesty, I expected this. I mean you can't have a contest for which guy should win her heart if you didn't make the other one the focus in this book, right? And the other guy still needs to be around to keep up his following, right again?
There were a few twists I truly did not see coming at all. That made this even harder to put down. All in all my family was asked to leave me alone just a little for this one as I spent a lot of my sleep time reading. :)

So now I will vote on Jennifer Armentrout's as to whom I want Layla to be with. Still a bit unsure if I am casting the right vote, but so goes it. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait until number 3 comes out!



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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: In Too Deep


In Too Deep
In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I received a copy of this book from Librarything.com in exchange for an honest review.

It was a good story. The diver aspect was a different twist to the romance storyline from my perspective. I enjoyed the love story between Piper and West. Piper's brother Ben irritated me to no end - I wanted to throttle him numerous times. The subplots were intriguing and added to the story's depth. Perhaps at times, in my opinion, the story dragged a bit and I thought a few of those elements could have been removed. But overall it was good.



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Meant to be Mine


Meant to be Mine
Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was a very good read. I enjoyed the main characters and the relationships they had with each other as well as others in the story. I liked that the daughter played a pivotal (in my opinion) role in the story. A lot of times they are a very minor character and I appreciated the fact that she actually was important to the story. I loved the romance between the two and the chemistry they shared. It was refreshing.



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Talk Sweetly to Me


Talk Sweetly to Me
Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I did not really enjoy this story. It felt forced as did the relationship between the two main characters



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Review: Sweet Girl


Sweet Girl
Sweet Girl by Cristin Harber

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I enjoyed the build up the relationship between Cash and Nic. My problems with the story was that if they were all as involved in their lives as they had eluded to, all their friends would have already guessed that they were a couple. The abrupt ending I know eludes to the sequel but it was a bit harsh for my liking. It made me irritable instead of dying for the next book. I am still unsure whether I will read further in this story as the ending was a bit contrived and cheesy twist for me.



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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back


Don't Look Back
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



A very quick read. Good but definitely not my fave Jennifer Armentrout book. I liked the characters and appreciated what they were going through. Interesting plot twists. Good romantic chemistry. Good but not great.



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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review: Conversion


Conversion
Conversion by Katherine Howe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



So I went to a YA fan event sponsored by a bookstore in our area. It was a great time. We got to meet so many authors - including Katherine Howe. She is well, just amazing to talk to.
Her book was really terrific. If there is a time period that has always intrigued me, it would be the late 1600s or early 1700s. Either Scotland in that time when there were clans and the issues surrounding that or the area surrounding the Salem Witch trials.
So I read this story that told two stories at the same time. One was regarding the trials and the young ladies that were in 2012. I was amazed to read this was based upon a group of girls who actually had this in NY in 2012. My scientific side wants to inquire as to what really was going on.
The thought that all these girls had this conversion disorder - all manifesting in different ways, was new to me. I am a nurse by profession but honestly, my passion is not in the psychiatric area. All things associated with that fascinates me. And that this actually occurred is even more fascinating.
I love the correlation between the two stories. That was a highlight for me. I felt that they truly did have many similar aspects to the stories.
The characters in the 2012 story were "normal" girls that one could easily see either themselves or their friends in. I saw many aspects of the personalities in my own at that age and my friends.
Overall a truly amazing book by a very gifted and talented writer. I cannot wait to read more by her!



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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Press Play by Eric Devine

I had the honor of being contacted by the author's publicist to review this book after receiving an advanced reader copy.  I mean obviously I have done so via NetGalley before, but never had I received a physical book in the mail for that purpose.  I wondered at a point if this was a scam so I investigated and responded to the email and it was totally legitimate and I became super excited.
 Press PlayWhen I opened the envelope, I saw the book and my teenage son said "Huh. Cool cover."  That to me said more than a lot as he usually says nothing about them.  So when I was able to I started to read Press Play I found myself eager to finish it to figure out the whole story.  Yep, it gripped me from the beginning.

A Note from the Author:

  One of the hazers in your story says that the “difference between men and boys is what we’re willing to suffer.” And Greg does have to suffer to get the footage he needs to expose the team. Do you agree with that definition of what it means to be a man?
I don’t agree with the definition now, but I certainly would have as a teen. Being a “man” is such a nuanced concept based on culture and upbringing that I can’t offer a broad and general definition. However, I do think a part of crossing into adulthood is a willingness to suffer for others. As a friend, a spouse, a parent, we must do things that we’d rather not. Those sacrifices come in many forms: financial, emotional, physical, mental. But what do teens see as sacrifice? What is ingrained in them through sport as meaningful suffering? Pain. Or, more specifically, one’s ability to endure such. Therefore, it only makes sense that Greg must suffer in many ways for his goal. That’s reality. And based on who he’s up against, it makes sense that the suffering will come in many forms. The lacrosse team has endured more than their fair share to reach their pinnacle, and they are not going to sit by idly when that is threatened. But only Greg can be considered a man, because his suffering serves a greater good. That makes all the difference.

My review:

This book touched on very touchy real situations and issues in schools today.  I enjoyed the interactions between the characters and those characters themselves.  They were honest and real and I could see either myself or my friends from years ago in them to certain extents.  I truly appreciated how some things never change that way.
The bullying and hazing issues and the kids that have to deal with it are portrayed well in my opinion.  All of the issues are right up in front the whole time so you can never escape from them.  (Kind of like real life!)I appreciated the struggle that they have to go through deciding whether to report what they have seen or to stay silent on the proverbial sidelines.  Who doesn't remember the thought that adults would never believe a kid?
I have already recommended this book to some and will continue to do so.  I feel it was well written and realistic.


Overall, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.  It was a really great book that definitely deserves some attention!

A note of thanks goes to the author for contacting me and giving me the blurb for my blog as well as his publicist who sent me the book.  I appreciated this immensely.

About the author:
Eric  Devine
Author of fearless fiction: Press Play (10/14),Tap Out, Dare Me, and This Side of Normal. High school English teacher, husband, and father of two girls.

I am represented by Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Still Yours


Still Yours
Still Yours by Amy Patrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A very quick read. Sweet story. A love that never ends story. Not a world or life changing book, but a book that made you smile while you read it. A nice diversion after a long day.

I received a copy of this in exchange for a fair review.



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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Melt


Melt
Melt by Selene Castrovilla

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Parts of this book disturbed me. Not for obvious reasons either. I have issues with the subject on a personal and professional level. The page layout did distract me enough to affect a part of my rating. I liked the main characters a bunch but irritated by her naivete as well. Good book overall.

I received this book from NetGalley for a fair & honest review.



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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Trading Secrets


Trading Secrets
Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I received this as a preview from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked it. Although I felt the ending was a bit cheesy and the entire scenario a bit stretched. Overall I did enjoy the story.



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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Stay with Me


Stay with Me
Stay with Me by J. Lynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I truly truly love this series. It is HOT. And full of romance and love. And HOT! This continuation centers round Calla and Jax. I had thought that I would be able to guess the plot twists and figure things out. The only thing I was right about was that Calla's group of friends that we have met in previous books in this series, are friends in it til the end. That kind of friend group is what everyone strives for in life. I was not thrilled with the absent parental influence that is always a presence in books. I understand that it serves a purpose to say that that is usually the cause for the main character's strife or what they needed to overcome. I get it - truly I do. But I do not enjoy that as I worry that I will give something to my kids to have to overcome that is major like these parents have. I just hope and pray that I am better than that. :) I did enjoy the love story and enjoyed the plot twist in the end involving their love story that I truly was not prepared for. I mean I expected the typical "something bad happens they break up and then get back together because something bad happens" event {which really did not occur}. But that other realization was sweet and amazing and wonderful.
I highly recommend this book and the series as a whole. It is HOT (did I mention that?) and a great quick read.



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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: One More Chance


One More Chance
One More Chance by Abbi Glines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I had not known that there was a book before this one. So a few aspects of the interworkings of the characters were confusing. But overall it was a nice quick read that had a lot of twists - not necessarily ones I did not see coming a mile away. but still it was done very nicely and I loved the relationship between Harlow and Grant. She was not weak minded even if she had the issue she has. And he loves her with such a fierce desire that it made my knees weak a few times as well as made me sigh once or twice. Afterall, what woman doesn't want to have an all consuming love like that? Despite the confusion over the interworkings of the characters and the predictable plot twists, I gave this 4 stars since the love story was the main focus and it was thrilling and awe inspiring.



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Written in My Own Heart's Blood


Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



First off, I need to say that it breaks my heart not to give this one a full 5 stars. I am enthralled with the story of Jamie and Claire. I feel fully divested in their love and their family. But this book took me a long time to read - much much longer than any previous book. I was incredibly frustrated at times with the amount of details that were in the story related to the war that really ultimately did not alter the story. I wish it meant more to me the ins and outs of Washington's decisions, but honestly, there are so many characters in the story, I have a hard enough time trying to keep them all straight. Let alone the ones from real life versus the story at hand. I applaud her for trying but it just muddled things up for me. So much so that I would find myself stopping my reading to read something else.
Overall, I did enjoy it - especially the last half of the book. I have loved watching Jamie and Claire's relationship evolve from one book to the next. I truly enjoy seeing them mature together as well as keep the intimacy and spark that first had me engrossed in their story.
Will I read book #9? That is like asking if I would like to breathe oxygen today. Of course I will. But I am not sure if I will be counting down the months and years like I was previously.



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Review: California


California
California by Edan Lepucki

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



A dystopian book always grabs my attention. One set in California definitely peeked my interest as I just was in Cali. However, I had higher hopes for this book than I received. I liked the characters - not loved them. I was irritated by the very predictable twist when Cal and Frida decide to leave the wilderness for a guarded community. Seriously predictable. But overall I enjoyed the story more than those irritated me. I was irritated with both the main characters at a variety of times throughout the story. Thankfully not at the same time as then I would have rated this a lot less. Overall it was a more believable dystopian story than some out there. I am glad it got the attention it did from the media and wish that other stories get that from others. A definitive good addition to anyone's book list.



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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Every Day


Every Day
Every Day by David Levithan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



It is many a parent's dream - your 14 year old comes over and throws (literally of course because he is 14) a book your way. It is accompanied by the sentence 'You have just got to read this Mom.' Yep be still my beating heart.
And I wanted to finish it about the same time as he did but I have honed in my reading whereas he has other reading obligations. Somehow though on this one, he beat me. His 'careful Mom it is sad' was a warning from him but a prodding for me to finish.
This is an interesting topic in which to write about. You wake up everyday as someone else. You have all of your own memories but you have this person's body and life to lead as well as the memories you can access.
Here are a few issues I had with the story:
-The main character A did not follow through on one of the tragic people that A inhabited. (I am not sure if A is male or female -which I fully believe is intentional- but I refuse to refer to A as it.) I truly felt that A should have followed up to check on that person's wellbeing after leaving that body for the next. I mean A checks email and such - a simple check into how they were doing in my mind was acceptable.
- The ending left me sad and unsatisfied. I wanted a definitive resolution but one was not at hand. I felt something should be wrapped up or at least alluded to.
-I felt sorry for Nathan in this as he truly felt victimized. I also felt he was the only who spoke out - who else would have felt what he had felt afterward and during.
-The love story. I applauded A's personal decision that no sex should happen because that was a private thing that should be remembered. I wanted a love story that was felt on both sides of the romance. I didn't believe it for a second on this one. Her side felt pulled and contrived whereas A's felt true and real.
All this considered, I did enjoy this book like the 14 year old told me I would. I enjoyed the writing style and the topic. I enjoyed the characters on the whole and their struggles. I will defintely be recommending this to others.



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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: All Lined Up


All Lined Up
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I liked this book. I enjoyed the characters. Especially Dallas as she kind of grew and matured a bit through the story. I also liked Carson - expected him to be a bit more classic jerky on the outside but decent on the inside. I was pleasantly surprised to find he was a sweet guy on the outside as well as on the inside. The conflict as predicatable but written well. A good fun romantic book - perfect for my day sitting my the lake front.



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Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Edge of the Heat


Edge of the Heat
Edge of the Heat by Lisa Ladew

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I liked the story but it was entirely predictable. I enjoyed the complexity of the character's love story. But there are enough of these stories around that they are very predictable.



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Very Wicked Things


Very Wicked Things
Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I have to admit that I was not thrilled with the male lead in this book before I even read this book as I had a preconceived notion of who he was from book 1. But I changed my mind after reading this. I liked the characters and their relationship. I enjoyed the love and romance that was established. I just loved the story. I however did not enjoy it as much as I did the first one, but what can you do? That happens sometimes, right? I would love to keep reading the stories of the Academy and see how some of the others are actually versus in my head.



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