Aug 31, 2009

Review of Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - Ally Carter

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy- Ally Carter

From Goodreads- After staking out, obtaining, and then being forced to give up her first boyfriend, Josh, all Cammie Morgan wants is a peaceful semester. But that's easier said than done when you're a CIA legacy and go to the premier school in the world...for spies.
Cammie may have a genius IQ , but there are still a lot of things she doesn't know. Like, will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble is she really in after what happened last semester? And most of all, why is her mother acting so strangely?

Despite Cammie's best intentions to be a normal student, danger seems to follow her. She and her best friends learn that their school is going to play host to some mysterious guests--code name: "Blackthorne. Then she's blamed for a security breach that leaves the school's top-secret status at risk. Soon Cammie and her friends are crawling through walls and surveilling the school to learn the truth about Blackthorne and clear Cammie's name. Even though they have confidence in their spy skills, this time the targets are tougher (and hotter), and the stakes for Cammie's heart--and her beloved school--are higher than ever.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy is the second book in Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series, and it was just as entertaining as the first book. Bez, Macy Liz, and Cammie are all back from vacation and ready to resume classes at Gallagher's when they start getting the feeling something just isn't quite right. Of course, the girls just can't let it go, so they decide to use some of the skills they have acquired, and find out whats going on.

I really enjoy this YA series, partly because of the characters, which are so well-rounded, and partly because of the basis of the series, girl spies. The spy hijinks are in full force in this book with a added bonus that I really don't want to give away, so I'll leave it out of my review. ;)

At first I was a little disappointed that I didn't get much of Josh in this book, but I quickly got lost in the girls tomfoolery, that I forgot all about my displeasure of no Josh.

Ally Carter's writing style is very simple, and easy, she really does write for young adults. My 11 yr. old daughter is reading this series with me, and it is really holding her attention. What more can I ask for. I've asked her to write the final word, so here she goes....

Final words, this book is cool. I've told my friends about it, and I totally want to be a spy now. Read it.

Rating: 4/5

Aug 30, 2009

Sunday Salon

This week was the first week of school, and I was able to get through 6 books, but now I feel burned out. I can't even get myself to crack open a book.
Books read this week- This week my reading was very diversified. I read Let The Right One In which was a very good, and chilling read. I've already posted my review, I recommend you try it. I also read two nonfiction books, Cult Insanity, and How To Make Love Like a Porn Star. I'm currently doing a giveaway for Cult Insanity, if you're interested make sure you enter. My review will be up soon, so keep on the lookout. How To Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson is a autobiography of her life, it was a very interesting read. Also read this week were Just Jane by Nancy Moser, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, and What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Abandoned books- Surprising I didn't have the need to abandon any books this week.
Currently reading- Like I mentioned earlier, I'm feeling very burned out from reading, but I did manage to read 1 chapter of The Luxe. The first chapter was promising, looking forward to finishing that when I feel up to reading again. I love reading so I'm sure it won't last more than a couple of days.
Everyone have a great Sunday and rest of the week.

Aug 28, 2009

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should be Reading .

What great books did you discover, or hear about this week.


From Goodreads-
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.

Then there’s Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renée’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

Aug 27, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

From Goodreads-Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . .

I remember reading this when I was in 4th grade. It became one of my favorite books as a kid, and now a favorite of my kids.

Aug 26, 2009

Wishful Wednesday

What Books have you been wishing for lately. Weekly event hosted by Should be Reading.

My Wishes

I'm holding out in buying this book, because I'm #17 on the WL at PBS.

I hope it gets to me soon.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

From the publisher-

Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for "illegal" immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast north of Haifa. The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp with profoundly different stories. All of them survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, Shayndel, Leonie, Tedi, and Zorah find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.

This is an unforgettable story of tragedy and redemption, a novel that reimagines a moment in history with such stunning eloquence that we are haunted and moved by every devastating detail. Day After Night is a triumphant work of fiction

Product Details
Scribner, September 2009
Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0743299841
ISBN-13: 9780743299848

Aug 25, 2009

Review of Let The Right One In- John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In- John Ajvide Lindqvist

From Goodreads- It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Let the Right One In is about a vampire, but not like the vampire books of late. This one falls more in the realm of Anne Rice's books. It's a frightening tale that grabs you from the beginning, be prepared to stay up late with this one.

The book has quite a few characters that in some way become a part of Eli, the vampire's story. Each set of characters have their own story being told, suprisingly it works well, and doesn't hinder the movement of the plot. The book is long with 472 pages, but it's really good, so it never became a issue with me. There were a couple of times that I stopped reading just to picture the scene that was described, and it was horrifying. If I had to say something negative about Let The Right One In it would be about the character of Eli, the vampire. The writer created such a fantastic, creepy character that I wanted to know everything. I felt that the reader gets very little about Eli, and it's past.

Final words, if your in the mood for a horror book about vampires, this is the book I would recommend you read. On a side note, I was surprised to learn that this book has become a movie. I'm really curious how it transcended to film.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Book


Movie Trailer

Book Giveaway- Cult Insanity by Irene Spencer

I will be giving away 5 copies of Cult Insanity by Irene Spencer, thanks to Hachette Book Group. I'm currently reading Cult Insanity right now, so keep on the lookout for a review soon.
From the Publishers

Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Irene's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the staggering chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his other wives. Irene was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven.

The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Irene's shocking tale. Insanity ran rampant in her husband's family and was the source of inconceivable events that unfolded throughout Irene's adult life. CULT INSANITY takes readers deeper into her story to uncover the outrageous behavior of her brother-in-law Ervil -- a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order -- and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a license to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority.

For those who were gripped by Shattered Dreams, the rest of the story will blow them away. CULT INSANITY is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.


To enter leave post a comment with your email address. No email address means you will not be entered.

Additional entries:

Already a follower/become a follower- 3 entries

Subscribe- 2 entries

Blog about the giveaway - 4 entries

As a added bonus:

Let me know how you found out about this giveaway -1 entry

Every comment you add to any other post here, until deadline will get you another entry

Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

No P.O Boxes

Deadline to enter: September 12

Winners announced: September 13

Aug 23, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday

School starts tomorrow for my kids, so I've been busy for the last couple of weeks getting everyone ready. I'm usually able to get through at least 5 books a week, but lately I could only get about 3 in. I'm hoping as schedules start forming I'll be able to get back to 5 a week.
On The Coffee Side- My coffee intake will go up, as it always does when the kids start school. I'm looking for some new blends, brands, flavors, if you have any recommendations on the coffee front, that would be great. I like bold, strong flavors, but I'll try anything once.
Books read this Week- I had a fairly decent week with books this week. I was able to get my 1001 Books Challenge August read in this week, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time done. I also read Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry which I absolutely loved. It's a good week in the book world when you pick a book up that you immediately know you will lose yourself in, and enjoy. I'v posted my reviews of both these books, and two others this week, Tattoo by Jennifer lynn Barnes, and Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt if you like to take a look. I also read Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy- Ally Carter, and I'm going to write a review about it sometime in the coming week.
Abandoned Books- I picked up 3 books this week, that I just couldn't get into, and surprising 2 of them get frequent rave reviews. First abandoned book this week was Vision in White by Nora Roberts. I'm not really a Nora Roberts fan, not because she's not a great writer, but because her books just are my type. After hearing great things about Vision in White, I figured I would give the book a try. I made it to about page 65 before I gave up. I think the book was just too romancey(that's not a word, is it) for my taste. Second book I abandoned was Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I just couldn't get into the writing style, though I did want to know what happen so I did a quick skim, and just went straight to the back to find out the ending. Because of the writing style I won't be picking up anymore of her books. I'm alittle bummed out because the stories sound really good. Third book I abandoned was The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I made it to about page 120, and just said "forget it". It was confusing, and I just wasn't liking the story.
Currently Reading- I'm currently reading Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and it's really good so far. The story is about a vampire, and it's on the creepy side. I'm going to try to finish it today.
I'll be doing another giveaway soon, so keep on the lookout for that.
I also got my first award ever this week.

The Super Comments Award was giving to me by Jenny from TakeMeAway. I love getting lost in other blogs, reading reviews, and seeing what's going on in the book world. I'm not sure if I'm suppose to pass the award on, remember this is my first award. Someone let me know...LOL!

Thanks, Jenny!

I hope everyone has a great Sunday, and week ahead.


Aug 21, 2009

Giveaway Winners for The Lost Dog and Prairie Tale

I was going to announce the winners tommorrow, but I figure why wait.

Winners for The Lost Dog- Michelle de Kretser

# 17 Marianna

# 4 Carol El

#34 Wanda

# 11 Linda

# 23 Ludeluh


Winner for Prairie Tale- Melissa Gilbert

#35 Swtlilchick


Congrats to all the winners! I will be emailing you all shortly. You have 24 hrs. to respond, or I will pick another winner.

Review of Driftwood Summer- Patti Callahan Henry

Driftwood Summer- Patti Callahan Henry

From Goodreads- Three sisters— responsible Riley, vivacious Maisy, and fun-loving Adalee—reunite to save the family’s beach-community bookstore. But summer also marks the return of Mack Logan, whose choice of Maisy over Riley years ago destroyed the special closeness between the sisters…

Now Riley, a single mom, is hiding a shattering secret about their mother. Maisy, a California designer, still blames Riley for ruining her one true love. And Adalee resents the family’s intrusion into her summer plans. All three will be forced to confront the conflicts that tore them apart and the bounds of love and loyalty that still draw them together…

Driftwood Summer was a great summer read! At about 20 pages into the book, I knew I was going to love it. The book is about the relationships between 3 sisters. All three sister harbor some resentment, and jealousy toward each other, and when their mother suffers a fall they all have to come together to help with the bookstore.
The descriptions of the bookstore, and small coastal town are wonderful. I could picture the town, the locals, the bookstore, it made for a better story. The characters were well defined, and played off of each other great. There were little side stories going on around the bookstore, and town, with the locals that were equally entertaining.
Final thoughts, I'm so glad I picked this book up, and it's definitely one of my favorites this month.

Rating: 5/5

Aug 20, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

My pick for Throwback Thursday this week is Persuasion by Jane Austen. I read this book a couple of years ago, and loved it. I will be reading it again soon, as it was picked for the Bloggers Unite Book Club September's read.

From Goodreads-

'She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older - the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.' Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances. Persuasion celebrates romantic constancy in an era of turbulent change. Written as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future.

What's your Throwback Thursday pick?

Aug 19, 2009

Review of Two-Way Street- Lauren Barnholdt

Two-Way Street- Lauren Barnholdt

From Goodreads- There are two sides to every breakup. This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other

This book was a quick read for me. I liked the story and it kept me interested the whole way through. The story rotates between Courtney, and Jordan's point of view on the trip, and with flashbacks on how they got together up to the breakup. I loved that we are able to know what both were thinking during certain moments in the story. There is quite a bit of foul language, so if that bothers you, this is probably not a book for you. The only problem I had with the book was the ending. The ending was abrupt and left me with some unanswered questions.

Final thoughts, if you like YA books, and are not bothered by foul language, I would recommend this book.

Rating: 4/5

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

From the publisher-


Mia Saul is down on her luck. Dumped by her husband, jettisoned from her job, and estranged from her adored older brother, she and her young daughter, Eden, have had to make a downscale move to a crummy apartment, where their neighbors include a tough young drug dealer and a widower who lets his dogs use the hallways as their own personal litter box. Juggling a series of temporary jobs, wrangling with her ex-husband over child support, and trying to keep pace with Eden's increasingly erratic behavior have left Mia weary and worn out.


So when a seemingly functional ATM starts handing Mia thousands and thousands of dollars -- and not deducting the money from her account, because it sure isn't in there -- she isn't about to give it back. Her newfound cash stash opens up a world of opportunity, and a whole lot of trouble. Worried friends, family, and in-laws start questioning her judgment about everything, and the cops really, really want to know where all that cash is coming from. And then there's Patrick, a man Mia most definitely would never have met if things hadn't spun out of control. Mia is beginning to think that maybe somebody, somewhere, is trying to teach her a lesson about what matters in life, and what doesn't....

Out September 8

Wishful Wednesday

What Books have you been wishing for lately. Weekly event hosted by Should be Reading.

My Wishes

From Goodreads- On an ordinary Friday afternoon, on a highway outside London, a truck suddenly swerves across fives lanes of traffic, careening cars into each other like dominoes and leaving a trail of chaos and confusion. Within minutes, an astounding miles-long pileup has amassed, and as survivors await help, their stories begin to unfold. There’s the panic-stricken husband trapped in the jam with his mistress, a widow on her way to reunite with her first love, the bridegroom trying frantically to get to the church on time, the young woman going into premature labor, the junior doctor waiting to receive the crash victims in the ER…. And at the center of it all is the only person who knows what really happened, the mysterious hitchhiker who has fled the scene.

What are you wishing for?

Aug 18, 2009

Review of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time- Mark Haddon

(August's 1001 Book Challenge Pick)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time- Mark Haddon

From Goodreads- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a murder mystery of sorts--one told by an autistic version of Adrian Mole. Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child's quirks. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers.
Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbor's poodle, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork. Wellington's owner finds him cradling her dead dog in his arms, and has him arrested. After spending a night in jail, Christopher resolves--against the objection of his father and neighbors--to discover just who has murdered Wellington. He is encouraged by Siobhan, a social worker at his school, to write a book about his investigations, and the result--quirkily illustrated, with each chapter given its own prime number--is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

I've had this book in my TBR pile for awhile now, finally got to read it since I made it my first pick for my 1001 Book Challenge.

This book was heartwarming, and funny. The main character Christopher has autism, and it was very interesting seeing how his mind works. The book was Christopher, if that makes sense. The chapters were numbered with prime numbers because he loved prime numbers. There were also diagrams, and illustrations throughout the book. It just made it more touching for me. The story itself was not great, but it was good. I just think that I love reading more about Christopher than the actual mystery, The characters played so much more of a part in this book than the actual story, to me.

Final thoughts, this book is a quick and fun read. I enjoyed the character of Christopher, the plot was definitely secondary to me.

Rated: 3.5/5

Aug 17, 2009

Review of Tattoo- Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Tattoo- Jennifer Lynn Barnes

From Goodreads- Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer fashion doubt, trendsetter Delia knows exactly where she wants her own tattoo: on her stomach, right where her shirt ends—can you say "midriff"? Annabelle, the quiet one, chooses the back of her neck, and tomboy Zo plasters hers on the top of her foot. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance.

Unfortunately, killing is just what someone has in mind, and Bailey, Delia, Annabelle, and Zo are in for the battle of their lives. Along with her tattoo, each girl receives a gift—a supernatural power to help them in their fight. As Bailey's increasingly frightening dreams reveal the nature of their enemy, it becomes clear to the girls that it's up to them to save the world. And if they can get Delia to stop using her newfound power to turn gum wrappers into Prada pumps, they might actually stand a chance.

I read this book a couple of weeks back, and I've been meaning to write a review, but I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. This book is the first in a series about 4 friends Bailey, Delia, Annabelle and Zo who each get a fake tattoo, and soon after find themselves with a supernatural power. The power is meant to help them save the world from evil.

After thinking about it I realized I really don't care what happens with the 4 girls, so I won't be continuing the series. Overall, the book seemed rushed. The concept was good, but the delivery lacked depth. For instance, the girls get these super powers, and immediately afterwards start arguing who got the best power. What? You just find out that you can turn your hair from brown to blonde, and your thinking about what cool accessories you can make from things in a trash can, it just doesn't make sense to me. Then the whole fighting the evil thing was confusing, and I never got the sense of real danger. The characters were cliche, you got the smart one, the fashionable one, the tomboy one, and the down to earth one. Could they have been more simple? I think the reason why I was having a hard time deciding what I felt about it was because I hate to give up on a series, but there are to many books out there to waste my time on something I didn't like.
Final thoughts, the synopse sounded promising, and I always like a good series, but my opinion is that this book is not worth reading. There are to many good YA books out there.

Rating: 2/5
(concept good, execution bad)

Aug 14, 2009

Review of The Lost Hours- Karen White

The Lost Hours- Karen White

From Goodreads- When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.

Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1929 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace’s charms tell the story of three friends during the 1920s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.

The story begins when Piper's grandfather dies, and is visited by the family lawyer, who gives Piper an envelope that was to be given to her when her grandfather died. In the envelope is a key, that she has no idea which door it belongs to. She then remembers burying something of her grandmothers outside with her grandpa a long time ago, and when she goes and digs it up, thus begins the mystery of Annabel O'Hare. The mystery revolves around three good friends growing up in the early 1900's, Annabel, Lillian, and Josie.The story is done with three points of view, Lillian's, who is the only one of the three friends alive, Helen, Lillian's blind granddaughter, and Piper. The story is Piper's though, and how she comes to grow as the mystery unravels. One of the things I really can't stand in a book is a lot of filler, and this book had alittle to much. There was a bunch of little bits of writing about the flowers they grew, and the scents, etc. Some readers like stuff like that, I'm one that just wants the story to move along.

About a 75 pages in I completely disliked Piper. She was cold, and lacked any kind emotion. I'm so glad the mystery kept me reading because I would have quite reading it. As you read the story though, you realize this was done to show her growth as the story moves along. Piper lost her parents at a early age, and felt because of that she wouldn't be dealt another blow, so when she fell off her horse at a competion and was seriously hurt, she was bitter about it. She realizes that she never made the time to really get to know her grandmother, and what kind of person she was. Lillian was also hard to like, though I never grew to even like her, I still felt her character was written well. Part of the story also included Helen, and her brother Tucker. Half way through the book you can see a attraction between Piper and Tucker, but this is not a romance, and I'm glad the author kept it as such.

Final thoughts, I was sure that I wasn't going to like this book, solely because of the dislike I had for some of the characters, but the writing was good, and the mystery definitely keeps you reading.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451226496

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should be Reading
What great books did you discover, or hear about this week.
Well, I discovered a whole series, The luxe Series by Anna Godbersen.
There are three books in the series right now, The Luxe, Rumors, and Envy.

The Luxe (book 1)- Anna Godbersen

From Goodreads-A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancé; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dénouement.

I'm so glad I found out about this series, it sounds really good. Can't wait till I can get a copy of book 1, The Luxe.

Friday Fill-ins we go!

1. When will I get to finally see a shooting star?

2. The Girl Who Played With Fire was the last good book I read or movie I saw or tv show I watched.

3. Everything has its beauty but just as everything has it's flaws

4. Spaghetti is what I had for dinner.

5. I'd like your books, please.

6. Sitting on the dock of a lake is where I want to be right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finally finishing my book, tomorrow my plans include a long nap and Sunday, I want to not have to do laundry.

Aug 13, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

My Throwback Thursday pick for this week is Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. This one is a favorite of mine. I remember reading it as a Freshman in High School, and staying home all weekend to read it. This book is one of the few books I do go back and read at least once a year, it brings me back to my teenage self, when I had no worries. Ahh, bliss. Like my pick before, this book has also been made into a movie.

From Goodreads- It began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing up, inseparable, in the village of Knockglen. Benny--the only child, yearning to break free from her adoring parents...Eve--the orphaned offspring of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood, abandoned by her mother's wealthy family to be raised by nuns. Eve and Benny--they knew the sins and secrets behind every villager's lace curtains...except their own.

It widened at Dublin, at the university where Benny and Eve met beautiful Nan Mahlon and Jack Foley, a doctor's handsome son. But heartbreak and betrayal would bring the worlds of Knockglen and Dublin into explosive collision.

What's your Throwback Thursday pick?

Aug 12, 2009

Review of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You- Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You- Ally Carter

From Goodreads-
The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year shes already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways.But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks shes an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, shes beginning her most dangerous mission--shes falling in love.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is about Cammie, Bex, Liz, Marcy, and a boy Josh. The girls are all students at Gallagher's, which the locals are lead to believe is a private girls school for the rich, and elite, but is actually a school for future girl spies. When one of the girls, Cammie, meets Josh, a local town boy at a carnival on a school assignment, of the spy kind, she immediately is drawn to him. The meeting and subsequential like of both of them leads to a double life for Cammie. With her friends help, she succeeds....almost.

This was a quick, fun read. The concept of a all girls spy school is really different, and I loved it. The assignments and cirriculum were fun to read about. The first love aspect was cute, and perfect for a young adult book. It made for a all around good book, with a entertaining plot.

The girls are written tough, smart, and confident. Who doesn't love that? I was definitely rooting for Cammie and Josh. It was interesting how she divided the local kids, and the Gallagher girls.

Final thoughts, I enjoyed the book, and i'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (April 25, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423100034

Rating: 4/5

Wishful Wednesday

What books have you been wishing for lately? Weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading.


My Wishes

This week these 3 books are the ones i'm wishing to get my hands on.

The Angel's Game- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

From Goodreads- In the turbulent and mysterious Barcelona of the 1920s, David Martin, a young novelist obsessed with a forbidden love, receives an offer from an enigmatic publisher to write a book like no other before—a book for which "people will live and die." In return, he is promised a fortune and, perhaps, much more.

The Seance- John Harwood

From Goodreads- Constance Langton, a young woman living in London in 1889, opens the narrative with a first-person description of how she came to be involved in the world of ‘spiritualists’ and séances, in an effort to help her mother who has never got over the death of Constance’s baby sister years before. We then go back in time almost 20 years, to hear the narrative of John Montague, which details the mysterious goings on at the utterly sinister-sounding Wraxford Hall—the site of several unsolved deaths. By the time we reach the narrative of Eleanor Unwin, whose seeming psychic abilities threaten to destroy her life, we begin to have an inkling of how these first two stories are linked.

Lush Life- Richard Price

From Goodreads- So, what do you do?” Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter . . . But now he’s thirty-five years old and he’s still living on the Lower East Side, still in the restaurant business, still serving the people he wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages. Not like Ike Marcus. Ike was young, good-looking, people liked him. Ask him what he did, he wouldn’t say tending bar. He was going places—until two street kids stepped up to him and Eric one night and pulled a gun. At least, that’s Eric’s version.

What are you wishing for?


Aug 10, 2009

Review of Thirteen Reason Why- Jay Asher

Thirteen Reason Why- Jay Asher

From Goodreads- Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a young adult book about a girl, Hannah, who commits suicide and leaves thirteen cassette tapes detailing why she decided to take her life, to be passed among a list of people that played a part in her decision. The story begins for the reader when Clay receives the tapes. We hear Hannah's story through the tapes, and Clay's reacting to what he is hearing.
The topic of the book is very serious and relevant to today's youth, and it's done in a original way. The story being told by Hannah through the tapes was a good way to reveal what she was thinking, and keep the story fresh, and new. There were some flaws to the story though. I understood that everything in the tapes was a catalyst to the final outcome, her suicide, but I never felt her desperation. Something just didn't feel right as I was reading the book.
The characters in the book fell flat. They were just prototypes of stereo-typical teens. I didn't feel like I new them, or understood them. Throughout the book we follow Clay and his journey of listening to the tapes, and by the end I never get the sense that he had developed as a person or been changed extemely by what he heard.
Final words, I don't really know how I feel about this book, but I do recommend it if only because of the topic and how relevant it is today.

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Razorbill; 1st edition (October 18, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595141715

Rating: 3/5

Review Policy

If you are a author or publisher, and would like me to review your book you can email me at



click the Contact Me link on the sidebar

A little info on Coffee Books and Laundry:

  • not a genre specific blog.  I love books too much to keep to one genre.
  • I have been blogging since April of 2009.
  • Mostly do reviews, but trying to expand with more author interviews, and guest posts.
  • Coffee Books and Laundry was mentioned in the New York Times on a piece about Kathryn Stockett's book The Help.

I will do my best to get your book read, and reviewed quickly. If you have a time frame you would like it up, please let me know. I do cross post reviews on Librarything.  I no longer rate books here, because they are too subjective, but I still rate them on Goodreads, and Librarything.  Receiving a book also does not guarantee I will post a review.  Sometimes a book just isn't for me, and I cannot complete it.  I DO NOT review books I don't finish.

What I read-Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Memoirs, and some Thriller/Suspense.  Though I'm open to other genres.  Please feel free to email me about a book you think I might be interested in.

I accept ARC's/galley's and finished copies.  I recently received a Kindle so I'm now open to reviewing Ebooks only if they are in kindle format or PDF format.

I would also like to mention, that I'm honest in my reviews. I also will not sale any copies that are sent to me. If it's okay with you, I will give some away in contests, or trade them.

If you are an author and would like to be featured with an interview or a guest post please email me.  I would be honored to have you visit my blog. Giveaways are also very much welcomed.


Aug 9, 2009

Books to Movies

There's a couple of books to movies coming out soon, and since I'm one that must read the book before watching the movie, I assume others are the same.

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell- Tucker Max
Movie Trailer Coming out 9/25

Shutter Island- Dennis Lehane
Movie Trailer Coming out 10/2

The Road- Cormac McCarthy
Movie Trailer Coming out 10/16

Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
Movie Trailer Coming out 10/16

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant- Darren Shan
Movie Trailer Coming out 10/23

Whip It (adaption of Derby Girl by Shauna Cross)
Movie Trailer Coming out 10/9

Precious (based on the Novel Push by Sapphire)
Movie Trailer Coming out 11/06

New Moon- Stephanie Meyer
Movie Trailer Coming out 11/20

The Blind Side- Michael Lewis
Movie Trailer Coming out 11/20

The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold
Movie Trailer Coming out 12/11

I'm looking forward to Shutter Island, not only did I love the book, but Leonardo Dicaprio is in it.
The Blind Side looks good also, one that my husband would go and watch with me.

Which one looks good to you?

Aug 8, 2009

Review of The Girl Who Played With Fire- Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire- Stieg Larsson

Mikael Blomkvist—crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium—has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander.

Now, as Blomkvist—alone in his belief in her innocence—plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is the second book in the Millennium series, and its just as good if not better than the first book. Characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back in a another page- turner about a triple murder, and the illegal sex trade business.
This book is a methodically written thriller, that firmly sucks you in and won't let you go until the last page. I was excited when I got this book in the mail, knowing full well how great Stieg Larsson is as a writer from reading the first Millennium book, I knew I was in for a ride.
The plot is interesting, and the pace is great. We finally find out why Lisbeth is the way she is. We are introduced to more characters in this book, but it never gets confusing, and of course we have some of the same characters from Book 1 in this as well. Lisbeth Salander is the most unique character i've ever come across in a book. She is up there on my list of favorite characters ever. Final words, I loved this book, and love this series.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (July 28, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307269981

Rating: 5/5

Aug 6, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of TakeMeAway.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

My Throwback Thursday pick is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Sadly, I've never read this book before. I've heard such great things about it, and I'm looking forward to reading it . A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was first published in 1943, and has become a classic. It has also been turned into a movie and a musical.

From Amazon: Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colorful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. She grows up with a sweet, tragic father, a severely realistic mother, and an aunt who gives her love too freely--to men, and to a brother who will always be the favored child. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is her father's child--romantic and hungry for beauty. But she is her mother's child, too--deeply practical and in constant need of truth. Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive.

I would love to hear your comments about my Throwback Thursday pick, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Aug 4, 2009

Review of The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder- Rebecca Wells

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder- Rebecca Wells

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells's expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is cut short. Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." At her mother's side, Calla further learns that this same touch of hands on the human body can quiet her own soul. It is also on the banks of the La Luna River that Calla encounters sweet, succulent first love, with a boy named Tuck.

But when Tuck leaves Calla with a broken heart, she transforms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful city of New Orleans to study at L'AcadÉmie de BeautÉ de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny—and comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands" to change lives and soothe pain, including her own. When Tuck reappears years later, he presents her with an offer that is colored by the memories of lost love. But who knows how Cally Lily, a "daughter of the Moon Lady," will respond?

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is about a girl, Calla, growing up in Louisiana. It's a story of love, family, and friendship.

It was hard to like this book for two main reasons. One, I didn't like Calla, Maybe I was comparing her to Vivi or something, but Vivi was a much better character. Where was the vivaciousness of the Ya-Ya's. Everybody loved Calla in La Luna, she could do no wrong.
Two, I had to control my eye Rolls while reading about the moon lady, and all that sappy drivel. I almost couldn't finish it.

" When the sky and everything around looks dark, and you feel lost and alone, the Moon Lady is still there, watching over you, whispering: 'What do you need from me now, little darling, what do you need from me now?'"

(insert eye roll)

There were some memorable moments in the story like when the little black boy goes skating at the skating rink. It had glimpses of good, but not to many. If you like books about the South, and sappy writing I would definitely recommend you give this a try. It's just not my cup of tea.

Final word, I'm glad I checked this our from the library. I loved the Ya-Ya's so I fully expected to love this book as well. Oh well!

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Harper (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060175311

Rating: 2/5

Aug 1, 2009

Ready City of Bones- Cassandra Clare for FREE

City of Bones- Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Read it for FREE here

Ends August 10th.