Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Christopher Hernandez
From: publisher

For: kids
Grade: A

Meet one scarecrow who's scared of everything in this uplifting picture book about fear and friendship that also includes a punch-out Scaredycrow paper doll!

Scaredycrow is a scarecrow with a big problem. He's scared of EVERYTHING! He's scared of the crows that fly by in the day. He's scared of the bats that swoop down in the night. He's scared of the barnyard animals, too. And the feeling is mutual! The crows, the bats, and other barnyard friends are all terribly afraid of the lonely, little scarecrow out in the field.

But one day, when a little mouse named Tiny decides to bring everyone together, everyone learns that there is nothing scary about making new friends.
My thoughts:
This book was full of all kinds of cuteness. I have had baby on the brain recently so I was more than excited to review this. The pictures were adorable and went perfectly with the story. The story had an easy flow and would be very engaging for children as old as 6 or 7.

I recommend this as a fun bedtime story for parents with kids under 7 and to all elementary school librarians.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad WolfThe Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf
Mark Teague
From: publisher

Grade: A
For: kids

Three pigs spend their money on different things: potato chips, sody-pop, and building supplies. It comes as no surprise that a wolf is able to blow down the first two pigs' houses. When the wolf can't blow down the third pig's brick house, everyone comes together and the fun begins. The first two pigs give him potato chips and sody-pop, and the third pig makes everyone a healthy meal. Since only one pig has a house left, the other two pigs and the wolf move in with her. The somewhat bad wolf is no longer hungry.

My thoughts:
When this first came in the mail I was ecstatic. Mark Teague is one of my favorites when it comes to children's books. He always creates an incredibly engaging book. This did not disappoint.

The pictures have something new to show you every time you look. They are beautiful and fun to look at. This is so important in a children's book. This gives them something to look at as we read and makes for fun stories created by the picture "readers".

The story was somewhat typical 3 Little Pigs but there was a fun twist. There was also originality added, like when the pigs really want sody-pop.

I recommend this to all parents of young children and elementary school librarians.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dino Destruction

Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook #4: Dino DestructionScooby-Doo: Dino Destruction
Lee Howard
From: Publisher

For: Kids
Grade: A

Zoinks! It's monster mania at the museum when a 3-D dinosaur projection comes to life. Scooby-Doo, we need you!

The Scooby gang is taking a vacation from mystery in sunny Costa Rica. Until they visit the Natural History Museum . . . and a dinosaur projection springs to life! Now it's up to Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo to dig for clues. Can they discover who's behind all the dino destruction?

I loved Scooby-Doo when I was a kid so when I found this in a package from one of my contacts I was more excited than most adult women would be. It was incredibly cute, just how I remembered it. The story was fast paced so children will be able to sit through this one. It is also written at a level that new readers could handle.

I recommend this to fans of scooby-doo, mothers of young boys and all elementary school teachers and librarians.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Goodbye.... Forever?

5 years ago, this month, I started blogging. 9 months before that I started reviewing (for a company at that time). Today is a very sad day... The day when I must tell you guys that I will no longer be reviewing. I have debated about quitting for the past year. There are many reasons why and since you have all been so loyal to me I will tell you...

Reason number one: It is no longer fun. I am too busy to do something that feels like a chore. When I have to force myself to write reviews, it's time to take a breather. I still love reading though, just not on a schedule.

Reason number two: My husband and I are trying to start a family. Though it could be months or years before I get pregnant (if ever) preparing for that is going to take up some of my time. I am working tons of hours saving for baby H.

Reason number 3: My job. As stated above, I work a lot of hours as a hemodialysis tech. I work 12/13/14 hour shifts 4 or sometimes 5 days a week. That takes away a big chunk of my time.

Reason number 4: Nursing school. I am planning on starting nursing school in a couple months (and yes I am aware that I am crazy). There goes any time I had left.....

Thank you guys for a wonderful 5 years. This has brought me so many great things and I am appreciative of everything. I have a wonderful new friend, Lexi, that I made because of reviewing. I was able to meet some incredible authors. I was the YA interviewer at the West Hollywood Book Fair. I was offered an internship with a well known publisher. All I can say is thank you, over and over again.

   When I get pregnant I may start a pregnancy blog. If I do I will post the information here. Also, who knows... Maybe I will miss reviewing in a few months and come back. For now, Goodbye.

Love you all.

Ps. There are a few more reviews that I set months ago that will appear here. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jewel Thieves: Catch Us If You Can

Jewel Thieves #1: Catch Us If You CanCatch Us If You Can
Hope McLean
From: publisher

For: older kids
grade: B

For Jasmine, Erin, Willow, and Lili, the first year of middle school is shaping up to be pretty awesome. They've been selected for an A-list academic team because of their expertise in art, math, science, and history. The Jewels, as they call themselves, are already winning tournaments. But things heat up when another local team, the Atkinson Prep Rivals, threatens to steal their spotlight.

To further complicate matters, a beloved ruby necklace is stolen from their school, and the Jewels must go undercover with their skills to track down the culprit. Nothing seems to be adding up--until they look to the most unlikely of suspects . . .

My thoughts:
I have recently got a bunch of children's and mid-grade books to review. It has been a nice break from the crazy, drama of adult and young adult books, though I am ready to go back to those now. This was a pretty cute mid-grade novel.

This one was not my favorite of all the ones I have read recently but it was adorable. The girls are fun and their friendship is really inspiring for middle school girls. The drama is at a minimum, which is incredibly hard to find in a lot of books these days.

The story was pretty predictable but it was clean-cut fun. I recommend this to girls 7-13.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I began reviewing. I spotlight a book that has been out for awhile that I am dying to read and review. If you have had the privilege of reviewing the book I spotlight please leave a link to your review. I would love to see what you thought...

You Are Not HereYou Are Not Here
Samantha Schutz

Annaleah and Brian shared something special - Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn't need anyone else. It didn't matter that their relationship was secret. All that mattered was what they had with each other.

And then, out of nowhere, Brian dies. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely.

How can you recover from a loss that no one will let you have?

Why I want to review it:
This book sounds heartbreaking and honest. Just reading the synopsis makes me want to shed a few tears.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years ago when I started reviewing. I spotlight one book that is not yet out and that I am dying to read. Here is this weeks choice:

Thousand WordsThousand Words
Jennifer Brown
Little, Brown

Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone — until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo — and didn't look.

Why I want to read it:
Sexting is a really big deal for high school kids these days. I had a best friend get mixed up in years ago, when picture messaging was still a new thing, as was teens having cell phones. Back before they even had laws defining that it was illegal.  I have not read a book about it, so this sounds really good. I'm hoping for some real honesty.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Little Book of Sex Secrets (ADULT REVIEW)

This review is for adults only. If you are under 18 please skip this post...  Thanks!

The Little Book of Sex Secrets: Red-Hot Confessions, Fantasies, Techniques & DiscoveriesThe Little Book of Sex Secrets
Nicole Bailey
From: Publisher

Grade: B

What it's about: 
Whether as a naughty read at bedtime, a quick peek for excitement while you're traveling, or an ecstatic experience to savor with your lover, this hot little book will leave you inspired. Nicole Bailey, renowned for her guides to sizzling sex play, shares sensational sexploits, no-holds-barred erotic fantasies, and mind-blowing, eye-opening tips. From the art of seduction and super-sensual massage to Tantric techniques, stunning stripteases, and the wicked world of power games, The Little Book of Sex Secrets has it all—with plenty of revealing photos, too!

My thoughts: 
I am happily married, coming up on our first anniversary. I do not usually review books like this but it sounded fun and our anniversary trip is approaching (1 week from tomorrow) so I went for it. I am happy that I did.

This book featured snippets from real people on what they enjoy. I found that to be my favorite part. It was like getting the inside scoop from your best friend. A lot of the things people shared were outside the box. It was fun to see what other couples do to keep the spark alive.

There were some fun ideas provided by the author. Most of them are pretty common, like what you find in an issue of Cosmo. There were some adventurous ones though, such as making your own sex tape.

This book had lots of pictures. They were very sexual but I thought they were tastefully done. If they would offend you then this book is not for you.

I recommend this to my ADULT readers who want to add some spark.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Kate Cann

For: teens
Grade: B

The thrilling sequel to Possessed!

Sixteen year-old Rayne is still entwined in the creepy history of Morton's Keep -- and about to discover that she's the only one who can stop the evil lurking there.

Rayne doesn't know who to trust -- even the ghosts of Morton's Keep seem to be warning her that the place is dangerous. It's up to Rayne to overcome the evil forces. But how?

My thoughts:
I reviewed Possessed a few years ago and loved it. Since then I have been meaning to read this book but lack of time and too many books to review had kept me from it. I am glad I was able to finally find the time.

This book starts off shortly after where the first one ends. I was pleasantly surprised by that. Rayne thinks the horror of Morton's Keep is over but she quickly realizes that she was horribly wrong. With the help of Ethan she has to figure out who is forcing the evil out again and why.

This book started off a little slow, as did the first book. It took me five or six chapters to really want to keep reading. I remembered that about the first book though so I pushed through. After it starts picking up the book becomes very hard to put down. My poor husband was forced to fall asleep with my reading light on (I blame him because he said I could read in bed) when he had to be up a bright and early.

This book doesn't get as scary as Possessed did. I remember having to put Possessed down when it got dark out because it was freaking me out. It did seem more violent though. There were quite a few mentions of throat slitting!

I recommend this book to fans of Possessed. If you have not yet read Possessed you should! It's a fabulous, chill producing, book!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I began reviewing. I spotlight a book that is already out (and has been for awhile) that I am dying to read and review. If you have reviewed the book I spotlight feel free to leave me your link. I would love to see what you thought.  *sorry the formatting is weird*

The Ivy (The Ivy Series #1)

The Ivy

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with—

the guy she loves to hate ...

the guy she'd love to forget ...

the guy she'd love to love ...

and Matt
the guy she really should love ...

—all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

Why I want to review it: 
This sounds like it will be incredibly twisting and full of drama! Just what the doctor ordered for my boring life :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lights, Camera, Girl Power!

LEGO Friends: Lights, Camera, Girl Power! (Chapter Book #2)Lights, Camera, Girl Power!
Cathy Hapka
From: publisher

For: older kids
Grade: B

Best friends Mia, Olivia, Emma, Andrea, and Stephanie can't want to enter the contest to be a guest on their favorite TV show,"Girl Power"! In order to win, each girl must capture the "heart" of their hometown, Heartlake City. May the best girl win!

My thoughts:
This was my second Lego Friends book this week! Though this one was not quite as cute as the first, I still found it to be a great choice.

It is written at a pretty basic reading level. It is perfect for kids who are just starting out on chapter books.  There are pictures throughout all the chapters which adds to the ease of reading it.

The girls in this book are great role models. They are older than most girls who would be reading this book so that is very important. Though there is a competition going on between the girls they are still willing to help each other because that's what friends do! A perfect reminder in this day and age.

I recommend this to girls 5-10 years old and elementary school librarians.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years ago where I spotlight a book that is not yet out and I am dying to read and review it. Here is this weeks choice:

How (Not) to Find a BoyfriendHow (Not) To Find a Boyfriend
Allyson Valentine

Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every question first, aced every test and repelled friends at every turn—because this year, Nora is determined to fully transition from social pupa to full blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing down her entire schedule. But when funny, sweet and very cute Adam moves to town and steals Nora’s heart with his untra-smarts and illegally cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she’s not a complete airhead? Nora devises a seemingly simple plan to barter her way into Adam’s classes that involves her classmates, friends—and her older brother Phil’s award-winning AP history paper. But soon, Nora can barely keep track of her trades, and struggles to stay in control of her image.

In the end, the only thing that can save Nora is a chess tournament—that she has to compete in wearing her cheerleading uniform. Can she prove to everyone that she can be both a butterfly and a nerd?

Why I want to review it:
This sounds incredibly easy to relate to. Though I was never the "pretty cheerleader" I did spend some time trying not to be "the smart girl". Didn't exactly work out, and I still ended up graduating top of my class but it was fun! I can't wait to see if Nora knows the secret to living in both worlds! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LEGO Friends: New Girl in Town

LEGO Friends: New Girl in Town (Chapter Book 1)New Girl in Town
Marilyn Easton
From: the publisher

Grade: A
For: children

Olivia is new in town, and she can't wait to make new friends. So she volunteers to help out at the pet adoption booth at the Heartlake City World Petacular.

But when one of the puppies escapes, it destroys all the hard work that Andrea, Emma, Mia, and Stephanie have put into the Petacular! So much for making friends . . . in just a few minutes, Olivia's made four brand-new enemies.

There's only one way to repair the damage - teamwork! Can Olivia, Andrea, Emma, Mia, and Stephanie work together to put things right in time for the Petacular?

My thoughts:
I will admit that I love a children's book from time to time. I like to blame it on the fact that I am married and have baby on the brain but in reality I think a part of me likes going back to such an easy time! This book was able to do just that.

The girls in this book seem like teenagers but it is written the level for kids just starting to read chapter books. I'm sure I would have loved this book at that point in my life. The girls seem so "cool" and "grown-up". If you are not against your daughter fantasizing about being older than this would be a fabulous book to purchase for her. As crazy as it gets is a girl blushing over a boy...

The story was adorable and very upbeat. Even when there were struggles the girls kept a positive outlook. I think the is pretty important when it comes to books our children are reading.

I would recommend this for girls 5-10 and all elementary school librarians.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Madhouse Cookbook

Madhouse Cookbook
Jo Pratt

From: Publisher
Grade: B

What it is: 
Oh, how Jo Pratt's life has changed over the last few years! Gone are the days of spending a day or two preparing for elaborate dinner parties, using ingredients she hunted down in back-street markets and fancy deli shops. That was all pre-children - now things are very different. She's a busy mum who has to juggle work, children and all the associated chaos. She lives in a madhouse! Bestselling author Jo has devised a cookbook full of delicious and healthy food that addresses one of the most challenging problems experienced by busy parents: finding time to cook meals for their family. The recipes are simple, easy to shop for and quick to make, with shortcuts and prepare-ahead tips. But there's much more to the book than this - there are also Lifesaver mini-recipes that give you staples for your freezer and store cupboard, and Leftovers mini-recipes too, to show you how to be clever and get more value out of time spent in the kitchen. There are three chapters - 'Monday to Friday Survival', 'Busy Weekends' and 'Cling onto your Social Life'. These chapters feature recipes for every meal and eventuality, including weekday kids' teatime recipes that will go down a storm, dinners that will wow your friends, and Sunday lunches to make the most of those precious moments of relaxation with your family.

My thoughts:
This was the first cookbook I have reviewed. I never used to accept them but now that I am a wife and trying to cook more I have decided to. I thought a lot of the recipes in here were superb. I enjoyed trying some of them out, like the fondue, and look forward to trying out more of them. These were recipes my husband and I can both agree on.

The only problem I saw with this book is that the recipes are not all very kid friendly. In fact, I would say at least half of them aren't. Maybe I am wrong, I'm not a mom yet, but I was a nanny at one point and have a 7 year old brother-in-law. I could not have made any of those kids eat some of these.

If you are looking for a fabulous cookbook for a stay at home date night I recommend this 100% but if you are looking for a book to try on the kids this is probably not for you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I first started reviewing. I spotlight 1 book that has been out for at least a year that I still want to read and review. If you have ever reviewed the book I spotlight feel free to leave me the link! I would love to see what you thought of it! Here is this weeks choice:

The Twin's DaughterThe Twin's Daughter
Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lucy is stunned when her mother's identical twin sister shows up at the front door. Separated at birth, the twins have led dramatically different lives and Lucy's mother, Aliese, will do anything to make it up to Helen. But Lucy soon suspects that Helen enjoys being mistaken for her mother a bit too much. Then, on New Year's Day, Lucy finds her mother and aunt tied to chairs in the parlor. One has been brutally murdered-but which twin has died?

Why I want to review The Twin's Daughter:
A murder mystery involving twins?! That sounds awesome! I also like the concept of the aunt trying to pull of being Lucy's mother. This sounds like a book you would have to devour in one sitting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Help

The HelpThe Help
Kathryn Stockett
From: borrowed

For: adults
Grade: A

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...

My thoughts:
I know I am way behind on reading this. Back when it came out I was receiving more ARC's than I knew what to do with and I was having a hard time balancing the books I wanted to read with the books I had to read. I watched my neighbors son on a regular basis and every time I would go over there she would tell me I had to read this book. I wish I would have listened to her.

All three main characters are incredibly different but still so connectable. I really like Minny because she speaks her mind. That woman doesn't let fear stop her from saying anything that pops into her head. That made her incredibly entertaining and my favorite character. The woman she cares for is my favorite secondary character. She too does and says what she wants.

The story starts out a little slow, especially if you have seen the movie. Things don't happen right away or even in the same order. At first I was annoyed by all the explaining that goes on but as I continued I really enjoyed it. There is a particular scene in the movie that has always intrigued me. I am not going to say what it was, just that it always made me wonder what lead up to it. The book takes the time to dig deeper into this. I was thrilled.

I recommend this to all my female adult readers and older teens. This book does contain language that can be considered offensive and there are a few violent parts (not incredibly descriptive). You have been warned. Now go buy your copy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years back when I began reviewing. I spotlight 1 book this is not out yet but I am dying to read and review it. Here is this weeks choice:

Out of This PlaceOut of This Place
Emma Cameron

Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother that social services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. But even after they each find a way to move on and lead very different lives, can they outrun their family stories — and will they ever be able to come together again? Set in Australia and narrated in alternating points of view, here is an affecting look at the evolving lives of three friends from talented new author Emma Cameron.

Why I want to review Out of This Place
First off, this novel is in verse! How can I resist one of those?! Secondly, Australia. I have a friend who lives their and wanted me to come out and nanny for her friend one summer. Still kicking myself for that one... Thirdly, I love dramatic stories that intertwine. It is so fun to have multiple main characters.

How does this book sound to you? Will you be adding it to your wishlist?

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Hello everyone! I am back from Walt Disney World so things can return to normal on the blog! Thank you very much for hanging in there during a very boring blog week. We had a fantastic time at Disney. The first couple days were too busy (yay for kids having the day off from school?) but the next few days were wonderful. It was 75 to 85 degrees our whole trip. Perfect! Now I am back to the lovely 40 degree liquid sunshine of Oregon.

Thanks again!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review Rewind

If you want to know why I am posting links to past reviews this week look back at my post from Sunday!

Today's recommendations are:
Thirteen Reasons Why because you know you want to read it before you see the movie!
Undiscovered Gyrl... again with the movie thing.
What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know because it is what got my sister reading!

What are you reading today?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I began reviewing. I spotlight a book that has been out for some time that I want to review. If you have reviewed the book I spotlight feel free to leave the link. I would love to read what you thought!

The Julian GameThe Julian Game

Adele Griffin

All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself-and igniting Ella's rage.

As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.

Why I want to review The Julian Game: 
Fake website pages/profiles are all the rage right now. We see it on the news and on shows like Catfish. I am interested in reading a book about it. I have not found any others about the same topic. Anyone know any good ones?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review Rewind

If you want to see why I am posting links to past reviews take a look at Sunday's post.

Today's recommendations are:
Lipstick Apology was fabulous!
The Naughty List will forever be one of my favorites!
Nothing Like You is a light, easy read.

So what are you reading today?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review Rewind:

Leave it to me to get the flu two days before I fly out and because I work in medicine I still had to go to work. I was just a bucket of fun for the people I work with.... So now I fly out in 8 hours and realized I have 1 post set for the whole week I am gone. So instead of being lame and not posting I am going to do some rewind posts. These posts will spotlight a few reviews I did in the past in case anyone needs a great recommendation this week. Enjoy!

Watch Me got an "A" rating. It is a super cute, YA chick-lit.
When You Were Mine got an "A". Think Romeo and Juliet remake.
Bad Girls Don't Die got a "B". Scary but not too scary :)

So what are you guys reading today? I took The Help, Fifty Shades Darker and Sad Desk Salad with me to Disney!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Just a quick note to let you all know I will not be around to check emails and blog comments until a week from tomorrow. My husband and I are headed off to DisneyWorld to meet up with my parents and sister! If you need anything feel free to email me and I will get back to you as soon as I can! I have some posts set to go live while I am gone. In the meantime enjoy some pics from past Disney trips I have been on... :)

 Disneyland with my sister and a kid I have babysat for forever.
 Disneyland and the above kids little sister
Disneyworld (backlot tour at MGM). I had a huge crush on him (shhhh....) ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I began reviewing. I spotlight a book that has been out for some time that I am dying to read and review. If you have reviewed the book I am spotlighting please feel free to leave me a link to your review. I would love to read what you think.

Not That Kind of GirlNot That Kind of Girl
Siobhan Vivian

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you wants to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

Why I want to review Not That Kind of Girl:
This sounds like a great book about the way choices effect us. I hated high school. You never knew which friendships you could trust and how the rumor mill would get going. I like books about girls struggling to find their identity in high school because it is so hard to do so.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dark Lie

Dark LieDark Lie
Nancy Springer
From: the publisher

Grade: B
Audience: Adult

To their neighbors, Dorrie and Sam Whiteare a contented couple in America’s heartland, with steady jobs, a suburban home, and plenty of community activities to keep them busy. But they’re not quite what they seem. For plain, hard-working Sam hides a depth of devotion for his wife that no one would suspect. And Dorrie is living a lie—beset by physical ailments, alone within herself...and secretly following the comings and goings of the sixteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, she gave up for adoption when she was hardly more than a child herself.

Then one day at the mall, Dorrie watches horror-stricken as Juliet is abducted, forced into a van that drives away. Instinctively, Dorrie sends her own car speeding after it—an act of reckless courage that puts her on a collision course with a depraved killer...and draws Sam into a dogged, desperate search to save his wife. As mother and daughter unite in a terrifying struggle to survive, to what extremes will Dorrie go in overcoming her own limitations...and in confronting her dark, tormented past?

My thoughts:
From the second I received this book in the mail I was sure I was going to love it. It sounds so mysterious and intense. I had been craving a great book that would suck me in. This was a good book but it did not suck me in the way I was hoping for.

The story starts very quickly. You would expect that to make it fabulous from the start. Sadly, I was half way through the book when I reached a point where I did not want to stop reading. There was drama and intensity before that point but it was surrounded by so much filler. I wanted to get down to the nitty-gritty, not just bounce all around.

Dorrie was a likeable character. She suffers from a major illness which makes the reader want to like her despite her stalker tendencies. You could forgive her for some of her craziness because you knew she was struggling. The thing about her I couldn't stand was how she wouldn't stand up to her parents. I wanted to scream, "you are a grown lady! Tell them to shut the hell up!." No disrespect towards parents, I love mine. My parents would not treat me like I was a useless piece of lint though....

Despite all the small problems I had with the book, it was an okay one. I recommend my adult readers who like a small dose of mystery pick up a copy. It will be worth your time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years back when I began reviewing. I spotlight one book that is not yet out but I am dying to read and review.

The Program
The Program
Suzanne Young
Simon Pulse

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Why I want to review The Program:
My desire to read this one starts with my being a fan-girl. Suzanne use to live fairly close to my town so I got to know her while attending all the local book festivities. Obviously I don't want to read The Program ONLY because of how much fun she is. I also want to read it because she is an incredibly talented writer. Every single one of her books has been engaging and enjoyable. I expect nothing less from this.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Scent of Darkness

Scent of Darkness: A NovelScent of Darkness
Margot Berwin
Knopf Doubleday
From: Publisher

Grade: B
Audience: Adult

Evangeline grows up understanding the extraordinary effects of fragrance. Her grandmother Louise is a gifted aromata, a master of scent-making and perfume. When Eva was a girl, Louise carefully explained that lavender under her pillow would make her dream of the man she would marry; eucalyptus would make her taller; almandine, fatter; and jasmine, Louise promised, would wrap her life in a mystery. When Eva is eighteen, Louise leaves her the ultimate gift—a scent created just for her. The small perfume vial is accompanied by a note in Louise’s slanted script: “Do not remove the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.”

From the moment Eva places a drop—the essence of fire, leather, rose, and jasmine—on her neck, men dance closer to her, women bury their noses deep into her hair, even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. After a lifetime spent blending into the background, Eva is suddenly the object of intense desire to everyone around her. Strangers follow her down the street; a young boy appears at her door asking for a favor; and two men, one kind and good, the other dark and seductive, fall deeply, madly in love with her. As her greatest gift becomes an unbearable curse, Eva must uncover the secret of her scent and the message her grandmother, the woman who loved her most, wanted to tell her.

My thoughts:
When I received a review request for this book, I new instantly that I wanted to read it.The synopsis drew me in from the start. Usually a synopsis is not what catches my eye. I like reviews, and interest from someone I know. That's why reviewing is so important to me. I know there has to be other people out there who feel the same.

Evangeline was a superb character. There was something magical about the way she came across. She seemed to fit perfectly in the story. She made you want to know more and to continue reading. It was her alone that made this such a great book.

The story took some time to get into. The first few chapters were just kind of there. Once the book picked up speed though there was not stopping. I wanted to keep flipping pages and discovering more. I needed to see what the end would bring.

I recommend this to my younger adult readers. It is well worth your time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This weeks question:  
Happy Mardi Gras! If they were throwing the HOTTEST books off of a Mardi Gras float — what would you do to have them throw to you…?

My answer: 
 I'm not big on public nudity, nor do I have much to show if I was. Maybe I could wear a low cut shirt but I would rather buy the book than flash what little boobs I have. Not to mention my husband is very territorially of my chest... Strange huh? :)

What a fun question. Leave me a link to your answer!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago when I first started reviewing. I spotlight one book that is already out (usually it's been out at least a few years) that I am dying to read and review. If you have reviewed any of the books I feature feel free to leave a link! I would love to read your reviews.

My Worst Best FriendMy Worst Best Friend
Dyan Sheldon

In the case of Savanna and Gracie, friendship isn’t based on reason, but on the notion that opposites attract. Savanna is a head-turning, attention-seeking, accessorized one of “Those Girls,” while Gracie’s love of old movies and commitment to protecting the environment put her into the “everyone else” category. It seems as if nothing could come between them until Savanna’s lies and dependence on Gracie as a false alibi start to take a toll on their relationship. When Savanna gets between Gracie and her crush, the line separating best friend from worst friend is crossed.

Why I want to read My Worst Best Friend
This sounds like a really light book. I have been reading so many dark books lately. I am ready for a nice, easy read. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband and He Hanged Himself

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love StoriesThere Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband and He Hanged Himself
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
Translated by: Anna Summers
From: The publisher

Grade: B
Audience: Adult

Love stories, with a twist: the eagerly awaited follow-up to the great Russian writer’s New York Times bestselling scary fairy tales

By turns sly and sweet, burlesque and heartbreaking, these realist fables of women looking for love are the stories that Ludmilla Petrushevskaya—who has been compared to Chekhov, Tolstoy, Beckett, Poe, Angela Carter, and even Stephen King—is best known for in Russia.

Here are attempts at human connection, both depraved and sublime, by people across the life span: one-night stands in communal apartments, poignantly awkward couplings, office trysts, schoolgirl crushes, elopements, tentative courtships, and rampant infidelity, shot through with lurid violence, romantic illusion, and surprising tenderness. With the satirical eye of Cindy Sherman, Petrushevskaya blends macabre spectacle with transformative moments of grace and shows just why she is Russia’s preeminent contemporary fiction writer.

My thoughts:
When I was first contacted about reviewing this book I wavered for a few minutes. I usually enjoy short stories but I was unsure of ones that had originated in another language. I have recently read (and chosen not to review) a book that was translated very poorly. I believe that is what made me weary. I am glad I decided to review this one.

The majority of the stories are fun, easy reads. I am a very fast reader and was still surprised by how quickly I finished this book. They were written and translated incredibly well. Each story seemed to flow right into the next one. Sometimes with short stories I need a minute between because the next story is so absurdly different. Though these stories were different the authors voice shone through enough to keep the flow.

My favorite story in the collection it the first one. I suggest that if you are weary of this book even after I have mentioned my life for it, that you at least read the first story. If that doesn't interest you at least you gave it a shot. This book it truly worth your time.

Love has its highs and lows as we are all too aware. Within these stories you will experience every up and down the characters do. The emotions are real and raw. You will finish some stories with a sense of "aw" and others want to curse someone. This fantastic use of emotion indicates pure talent.

Go get your copy now.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years back when I started reviewing. I spotlight an upcoming release that I can't wait to read and review.

White LinesWhite Lines
Jennifer Banash

A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream.

Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

Why I want to review White Lines:
Back in 2008 I had been reviewing for less than a year. The Elite by Jennifer Banash was one of the first ARC's I got for my own blog (not from the company I had been reviewing for). I read the other 2 books in the trilogy and loved all of them. Ever since then I have been hoping she would write another book.

My love of her previous books combined with a very edgy synopsis has me dying to read this one.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tilt (Ellen Hopkins)

Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books

Grade: B
Audience: Older teens

Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

My thoughts:
I have been an Ellen Hopkins fan for years. Her book, Burned, is what originally created my love for books written in this format. I usually enjoy that her stories are usually told from multiple perspectives. This book just had too many peoples stories going on for me to give it the "A" I would have otherwise.

There are three main characters, as shown in the above synopsis. That is a great amount. You would be able to connect with each character if the story remained that way. It does not. At the end of each little section there is one page where an outsider butts in. Not the same outsider over and over. This is where way too many people get involved. It truly bugged me and made things too complicated.

Despite all that craziness I still really enjoyed this book. I liked that the three main characters were connected yet were still not close. They helped me to gain an insight into how they saw each other. It was a great way of reminding the reader that how the outside world sees you can be totally different from how you see yourself.

This story was an accurate portrayal of how one little thing can change the course of your life. We watch the characters start to spiral downhill, unaware of the consequences of their actions until it is too late. In some ways a warning, and in others just a fabulous book.

I recommend this book to older teens. There is sex, drugs, drinking and swearing but that does not take away from the story.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

I participate in this from time to time. Usually I work Fridays and am unable to participate but since I remembered to do it tonight instead of tomorrow I can this time! So for everyone stopping by, welcome!

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This weeks question: 
 What is the first thing you would do if you woke up to find yourself in your favorite book?

My answer:  My favorite book is Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume. I would prefer I never wake-up in that book because it is so sad at points. I would probably cry if that ever happens. Yes, there are good parts and lots of adventures but I don't like the thought of my dad being murdered.

And When She Was Good (Laura Lippman)

And When She Was GoodAnd When She Was Good
Laura Lippman
From: Library

Grade: A+
Audience: Adult

Synopsis (Barnes and Noble):
When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words. But now, Heloise considers it a blessing to know how to avoid attention. At home, she's merely a mom and a lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.
But in discreet hotel rooms, she's the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. Only now her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?

And then she learns that her son's father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn't know he has a son. He also doesn't realize that he's serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him.

Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.

My thoughts: 
I read a review for this book in a magazine and it sounded enjoyable. Sadly, most books that I find in magazines end up being overrated. Due to that I decided to check this book out from the library instead of buying it. I should have just bought it.  It was one of the best books I have read in a long time.

You will find yourself drawn to Heloise from the first chapter. There is an undeniable spark in her, something I look for in all characters. She is feisty and vulnerable at the same time. That makes her incredibly unpredictable and fun to get to know. She is the kind of woman who stands her ground and then goes home without giving it a second thought. Her personality is what made this book so spectacular.

The story itself was wonderfully written. I loved how we progressed through time with flashes back after each chapter that were relevant to what we had just read. I am not always a huge fan of flashbacks but this was done in a creative and insightful way.

Laura gives us just enough insight to want to keep reading but is careful to never give anything away. While reading this book I got back in touch with expecting the unexpected. There was a hint of mystery on each page, even when things should be looking up. It kept me flipping pages because I could tell something was coming and I had to know what it was.

I recommend this book to my adult (and older teen) readers. Please keep in mind that prostitution plays a key role in the story.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started doing years back when I started reviewing. I spotlight 1 book that has been out for awhile that I really want to read and review.

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Kody Keplinger
Little Brown

Synopsis (Barnes and Noble):
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.

Why I want to read The DUFF:
Friends-with-benefits is a fairly common topic but enemies-with-benefits is new to me. This book sounds like it has a great mix of drama, romance, and humor.

So have any of you read or reviewed this? Feel free to comment a link of your review. I would love to see what you thought!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years ago where I spotlight a book that is not yet out but I am dying to read and review.

The Art of WishingThe Art of Wishing
Lindsay Ribar

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver—not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless—can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him—someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

Why I want to review it: 
 This girl sounds too much like me. I always have a plan and do not like when I don't have one. That part would make this book so easy to connect with. The other thing that draws me to it is the genie aspect. I have never read a book about a genie.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reviewing through time...

Someone left a comment on my 500 Follower contest (if you have not entered now is the time) asking how I have been reviewing for 5 years and not got burnt out. The truth is I have. Twice I have taken lengthy breaks (so maybe that means I have really only been writing reviews for a total of 4 years).

Both of my breaks were much needed. I was in college. I was getting married. I started a career in medicine. Those had to be my priorities at that time. I knew I was going to lose some followers (a lot of followers) but that is not why I started reviewing, so honestly who cares?!

Another reason I needed a break was because I was starting to feel like this was a job and only a job. I was not enjoying reviewing. I felt like it was something I HAD to do everyday. So my husband and I talked and he told me I should quit reviewing. I didn't want to do that but I knew I needed a few months to fall in love with reading again... and I did.

I try to remember this is something I do for fun. That would be my biggest piece of advice on how to not get burnt out. There are nights when I say to my husband, "I have to go write a review". He reminds me that I do not HAVE to go write a review, I am CHOOSING to. So maybe because you take a few weeks off to breathe and enjoy reading and lose a couple followers? And maybe you don't get an ARC because your following count isn't high enough? OH WELL! That shouldn't be why you are reviewing to begin with. We should be reviewing because we love books and want to share our love of reading with others. If you are lucky enough to get an ARC from time to time fabulous! Just remember that's not why you started, don't let it get to your head.

My other piece of advice is to keep reviewing what you want to read. I was getting such a large amount of review copies at one point that I stopped reviewing books I had purchased. I wasn't even finding time to read them. That's not fair to yourself. Do what you enjoy! As you can see, I review a variety of ARC's, books I bought and library books. It keeps it fun!

Sorry that this post is very rambly. I just wanted to share how I felt, as inspired by a fabulous followers comment. Thank you for inspiring me to share Jennifer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

500 Follower Contest!

Wow, I cannot believe I have 500 followers. I have been at this for 5 years (last September). I started reviewing for a website and eventually decided to go off on my own. I have taken time off for college and to get married and such but I am back now!

In honor of my 500 followers I am giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift card. If I get to 515 followers I will add another gift card. If I get to 530+ I will add another.

You must be 13 or older to enter (or have your parents do it). You also must have a US mailing address as I will be mailing you the gift card and a couple bookmarks or something. I may choose to add extra prizes based on how many people are entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Is Not a Drill

This Is Not a DrillThis Is Not a Drill
Beck McDowell
From: Library

Grade: C
Audience: Teens

Two teens try to save a class of first-graders from a gun-wielding soldier suffering from PTSD.

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them—a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he's denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children's fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake's alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

My thoughts: 
I really wanted to like this book. Though it is a sad topic I still wanted a great book. For some reason I just couldn't. The first thing that could have influences my dislike is how close to the Sandy Hook shooting it is. It was not the same thing, obviously, but it was a a man with a mental illness terrifying a bunch of 1st graders with a gun. I kept flashing back to that with every page.

The other thing about it that I was not too fond of is the way it kept going back to the past. I would just be getting into the story and then *boom* rewind. I would have preferred it having separate chapters for the flashbacks.

If I could ignore those two things it was an okay book. The characters were likable despite their struggles. They had a great chemistry (when they were not being traumatized) and worked well as a team. The little kids were portrayed accurately. You could really feel their innocence.

I recommend this book to people who don't mind going back and forth between time periods.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

Wednesday Wishlist is a feature I started years ago. I spotlight 1 book that is already out that I want to read and review.

Winter LongingWinter Longing
Tricia Mills

When Winter's boyfriend is killed in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, she's robbed of the future she'd only just allowed herself to believe might be hers. Winter and Spencer had been destined for one another. And after his death, Spencer's presence continues to haunt her.

But when her next-door neighbor becomes an unlikely friend, Winter begins to accept all that she can't change. Can she open herself to a new future . . . and a possible new love?

Why I want to review it: 
This sounds like an incredibly emotional story. I can feel Winter's pain just reading they synopsis so I can only imagine the emotions I would feel for her throughout the book.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where the Light Falls

Where the Light Falls

Where the Light Falls
Katherine Keenum
 From: The publisher

Grade: B
Audience: Adult

Synopsis (Barnes and Noble):
As the Belle Epoque dawns, Paris attracts artists from everywhere. One is Jeanette Palmer, daughter of a prominent Ohio family, who has left Vassar College under a cloud of scandal.

Amid the city’s great bohemian neighborhoods and teaching studios, Jeanette befriends other female artists, as well as an American Civil War veteran named Edward Murer. She begins to achieve a level of artistic success. And her happiness increases as she and Edward grow more intimate with each other.

But Edward is plagued by his demons and addicted to laudanum—and as the world opens its arms to Jeanette, and the society around her is transformed by cultural and scientific innovations, she must resolve a conflict utterly new to so many women: the choice between ambition and love. 

My thoughts: 
Historical fiction is very touch and go with me. I think I have to be in the right frame of mind when I start reading it. I am a huge contemporary fan and when I do go back in time I prefer less 1950's and up. This book somehow made me want to read it from the moment it arrived at my door. I settled in to read it that night.

The characters were beautifully developed and I enjoyed learning their stories. It is so rare when you like every character in a story. I could not help but feel that way with these people. 

The story had a easy flow and kept you turning the pages. I stayed up way too late reading this book because of that. The story developed perfectly over time, not giving you too much too son. That played a key role in my desire to read it. 

I recommend this to all my adult readers.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Must Monday

Must Monday is a feature I started years ago. I spotlight one book that is not yet out but I am dying to read and review.

Star CrossedStar Crossed
Jennifer Echols
Pocket Books

He said . . . She said.

Publicist Wendy Mann has always competed hotly with her rival Daniel Blackstone, but this time they’re headed for a collision. Wendy’s job is on the line if she doesn’t save the image of a spoiled young starlet who’s posting provocative pictures of herself all over the Internet in a snarky attempt at revenge on her former boyfriend. Daniel is representing the ex, a onetime teen heartthrob who never grew up. With the feuding Hollywood pair scheduled to appear on the same Las Vegas awards show, Daniel and Wendy are determined to do whatever it takes to defend their own clients.

Unfortunately, the chemistry between Wendy and Daniel is even more explosive than that of their Hollywood stars. L-O-V-E was always a four-letter word for these two ultra-competitors; they never counted on the scorching heat that erupts between them. But Wendy’s high-gloss exterior hides a dark past—one that’s lurking behind the bright Vegas lights. Their careers are on the line, and so is Wendy’s life. . . .

Why I want to review this: 
I adore Jennifer and her writing is always superb. I worked with her back in 2009 when Going Too Far came out. Ever since then I have been a big fan.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ali's Pretty Little Lies

Pretty Little Liars: Ali's Pretty Little LiesAli's Pretty Little Lies
Sara Shepard
Pretty Little Liars series

Rated: A
For: Teens

Before there was A, there was Alison DiLaurentis. Boys wanted to date her, girls wanted to be her, and somebody wanted her dead. . . .

It's the end of seventh grade, and Alison DiLaurentis and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. Ali runs her clique with an iron fist, and she's got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer to keep them in line. But Ali's hiding a dark secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She's desperate to keep the perfect life she's worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences. . . .

Set in the weeks leading up to Ali's murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: Ali herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began . . . and how Alison DiLaurentis's life ended.

My thoughts: 
I was incredibly surprised by this book. I only read it because I feel like I have to finish the series but now I am glad that I did. I really have no desire to read about a bunch of middle school kids running around because I am way past that stage in life. This book had no childish games being played. The girls seemed way older and more mature than any middle school kid I have ever met. They were going through very adult things. Do not let their age keep you from reading this book.

I really liked that this book helped me to see how things came to be. The story is not as black and white as we think it is. Was Ali really just a bitch? Is there more to the story? You will find out in this book. We have known all along that there was something that made each girl want to be her friend. From the outside I have always been skeptical because Ali seems like a real pain the butt to me. After this installment I feel like I have a better understanding. It renewed my faith in this series a little bit.

The storyline was pretty typical for this series. Not a lot at first but about half way through you can't put it down. The story became very addicting, as always. Some parts were cheesy and predictable but for the most part it was way better written then the last few books in the series.

I recommend this to fans of the series. I recommend the series to teens and reluctant readers. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

Tiger EyesTiger Eyes
Judy Blume

 Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover.

Climbing in the Los Alamos canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, who can read Davey’s “sad eyes.” Wolf is the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels.

Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind and move toward the future? Will she ever stop hurting?

Resettled in the "Bomb City" with her mother and brother, Davey Wexler recovers from the shock of her father's death during a holdup of his 7-Eleven store in Atlantic City.

My thoughts:
This is my all time favorite book. I have read this book 7 or 8 times but not since I have been an adult. With the upcoming movie release (this girl is working on getting tickets to the Atlanta, GA premiere) I decided I had to read it again. This time my husband and I read it together! I was so happy that he loved it. I would go to put it down after reading to him for half an hour and he would beg me to read just one more chapter. Davey has the sarcastic spunk that he appreciates.

I have yet to read a book the dives so realistically into the depths of loss. Usually we see the loss from how one character reacts to the story. Judy was able to show us just how changed everyone in the story was because of this death, all while keeping the main focus on Davey. You can feel the hurt and desperation as if you were a part of the story.

Each character is incredibly well developed. You see all sides of them at some point. Davey's friend Jane is one of my favorite characters because of that. She is seen so differently through each persons eyes. Her parents see her as an angel, her teachers see her as intelligent, and Davey see's her as... actually I'm going to make you read and find that one out.

I recommend this book to everyone. I know I am a crazy fan girl but I accept that. I remember in Middle School my English teacher offered extra credit to those who wrote an author and got a response. I wrote Judy (not that I needed extra credit, can you say overachiever) and was so excited that she wrote back. Pretty sure that was the highlight of 7th grade....