Dec 31, 2010

End of the Year Wrap Up

I waited until the last possible moment to put up my end of the year wrap up,  my husband's family is coming in from San Antonio, and once they get here it's going to be crazy in mi casa.

I read 98 books in 2010.  Considerably less than last year, I blame that on some personal things that was and still is going on.  

Here is the complete list of 2010 books read with the link to the review.

Out of the 98 books 56 were new to me authors or debut authors. 

I completed two challenges:  Chick Lit Challenge, and YA Challenge

Favorite reads this year:

Shanghai Girls

I Capture the Castle

The Lies We Told

Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)


The Kite Runner


As for resolutions, I have one and thats keep blogging FUN!  By fun I mean stress free, and being more social to maximize blogging FUN!

As for reading in 2011 I've decided to NOT join in any challenges, and instead made little mini goals for myself.  If I don't biggie.

End of the Year Survey written up by The Perpetual Page Turner

1. Best Book of 2010- This is hard. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger was a favorite YA.  I also loved Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, and The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain

2.  Worst Book of 2010- I had quite a few DNF's this year.  I guess it would have to be Crescendo.  I couldn't even finish it.

3.  Most Disappointing Book of 2010--I guess it would have to be Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles, and Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers.  Both were okay but I expected more.

4.  Most Surprising in a Good Way Book of 2010-- The Kite Runner.  I had no intention of reading this one, but found it for a quarter at a consignment store so I said What the hell.  Yeah, I loved it.

5.  Book You Recommended to People Most in 2010- The Duff by Kody Keplinger, and The Hunger Games trilogy.

6.  Best Series You Discovered in 2010-  The Stephanie Plum Series.  I finally read books 1 and 2 from this series.  So far it's great.

7.  Favorite New Authors you Discovered-  John Green and Louise Murphy

8.  Most Hilarious Read of 2010-  Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis

9.  Most thrilling Unputdownable Book of 2010- Oblivion Road by Alex McAulay

10.  Book You Most Anticipated in 2010- I'm a huge Sex and the City fan, so it would have to be The Carrie Diaries

11. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2010-  Both by the same author, Leaving Paradise and Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

12.  Most Memorable Character in 2010-  Both Bianca and Wes from The DUFF, and Amir from The Kite Runner

13.  Most Beautifully Written Book in 2010-  Sonata for Miriam by Linda Olsson

14.  Book That Had The Greatest Impact on You in 2010-  The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett

15.  Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Read-  Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hope Everyone Has a Great, Safe and Happy New Years!

Dec 30, 2010

Mini Reviews

I went old school with these.  I decided to read books that I've had in my TBR for years.  Crazy to think I'm sitting on books from 2004.

Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6)

Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Date Published:  September 1st 2006

This is the only book I’ve read in the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  I normally don’t read her books, but I made an exception for Match Me If You Can because I’ve heard so many great things about it.  I was amazed how into the story I was..I read it in one day, and in fact, kicked everybody out of the house to read it peacefully with no interruptions.  Annabel and Heath are cute, funny and giggle worthy.


Starting From Square Two (Red Dress Ink)

Starting From Square Two by Caren Lissner
Date Published:  March 1st 2004

Starting From Square Two was an okay read. The story is about a young widow, Gert, who is pushed back into the dating scene by her friends.  It was predictable which kind of made it tedious to finish but thanks to the Out With a Bang readathon I knocked it out with record time.  It kinda of reminded me why I stopped reading chick lit so much. 

Dec 29, 2010

Out With a Bang

So I planned to read as much as I can the last couple of days left in 2010 anyways, so I figure I'll join in on the readathon.  I'm 4 books away from the 100 books read mark, and I'm determine to reach it.
Out With A Bang readathon is being hosted by The Bookish Type.  If your interested in joining in go here.
I'm just going to pick up whatever sounds interesting for this readathon, though I will start off with finishing The True Story of Hansel and Gretel.
Comfy reading area (Oversized recliner)--Check
Cold Dr. Pepper--Check
Let's do this!
Update 1:
Finished True Story of Hansel and Gretel
Update 2:
Finished Starting from Square Two

Readathon Wrap Up

Okay, not so great this readathon round.  I just finished 2 books, but hey I'll take it.

Dec 28, 2010

Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

Rumor Has It
Author:  Jill Mansell
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Date Published:  May 1st 2010

From Goodreads:

Newly single Tilly Cole impulsively moves to a small town, only to find she's arrived in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue, and rampant rivalry for the most desirable man—Jack Lucas, whose reputation is beyond bad. Tilly has no intention of becoming another notch on his bedpost. But she finds the thoughtful, caring guy she comes to value as a friend doesn't seem to fit the town's playboy image. Should she listen to her friends or her heart? Is Tilly being mature and sensible—or running away from the love of her life?


I have a up down relationship with Jill Mansell’s writing. Some of her books I’ve put in the DNF pile some I’ve devoured in a couple of days. With Rumor Has It Jill Mansell is on my awesome list again. I absolutely loved it, it’s become my favorite of hers.

I’m starting to realize that characters are a huge indicator of whether I will love the book or not. I completely fell for all the characters in Rumor Has It, even the deranged wannabe scorned soon to be ex wife, Stella. Tilly Cole has taken the job as a Girl Friday for interior decorator Max. She moves in with Max and his daughter Louisa, and quickly forms a friendship and bond with them that is wonderful to read. There interactions are witty and fun.  Max is such an endearing funny character. I instantly liked him, and how he ran his household.  Jack is the town male floozy, and most eligible bachelor in the small town of Roxborough. Jack has his sights on Tilly, but Tilly doesn’t want to be another notch on the belt.

The main story is about Tilly, but there are a couple of side stories in Rumor Has It. Tilly’s best friend just started seeing a recently separated man, and along for the ride is his soon to be ex wife, Stella. Max’s ex wife, and Lou’s mom, Kaye is a actress in a series in the states and is going through a rough time after some untrue bad publicity ends her job, and career. All these stories going on around Tilly’s makes Rumor Has It a fun page turning read.

Dec 27, 2010

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Crash Into Me
Author:  Albert Borris
Genre:  YA
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Date Published:  July 21st 2009

From Goodreads:

Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

I’ve seen Crash into Me around the blogosphere quite a bit this year, so naturally I wanted to get my hands on a copy. Luckily I won a copy from StephtheBookworm (Thanks Steph). I started this late in the night and finished it around 3 am, it was that disturbing.

I didn’t love this book, but something about the darkness and morbid interest in dying and suicide had me reading till the end. I needed to know what happen to Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae. I kept on reading to get the end, basically. I had several problems with Crash Into Me, one of the problems was the characters. I never really understood them, I didn’t understand what had gotten them to the point that they were suicidal. Everything was so on the surface, if you can understand that. The main protagonist is Owen, and we don’t really find out what’s really going on with him until the end, and the shocker the author intended wasn’t really a shock. There was a lot of “I want to kill myself”, or something along those lines, but I didn’t want to be told that I wanted to understand why they were feeling that way. Another problem I had was the story seemed choppy to me, nothing really flowed. Along there road trip, abruptly Frank would decide go to a baseball game and then they were off to a baseball game. I don’t know, sometimes I was just like WTF!

What I did like about Crash Into Me is that it was about a serious issue in our young adults. The statistics of teenage suicidal are downright outrageous. We need to listen to our young, acknowledge their feelings. Anything that brings something has important as suicide to the forefront I feel needs to be read. I just wish the execution was better.

Overall, I’m glad I read Crash Into Me, even if it had flaws.

Dec 21, 2010

Cataloging Books

Does anyone use a book cataloging software?  I need suggestions, I really want a database of all books i've read, and own that I don't have to access the internet to retrieve.  I've tried excel, but I know nothing about excel, and was having difficulty just getting the little boxes bigger.  Do people seriously fix all the boxes (bigger, wider etc.) one at time as they go.  That would be the most time consuming thing i've ever done, and I'm not up for it. 


Any suggestions are welcome!

Dec 20, 2010

More Mini Reviews

O, Juliet

O' Juliet by Robin Maxwell

This year I seem to have been on a Romeo and Juliet kick.   I was impressed with the story that Ms. Maxwell wrote.    There truly is something fascinating about Romeo and Juliet’s story.  The story captivated me and kept me reading, but some things irked me like sometimes the writing didn’t seem to fit with the time period, and that kind of jolted me out of tale.  Overall, I’m glad I read it.

You Had Me At Halo

You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby

You Had Me at Halo is a funny is a cute read.  Vince and Holly had some funny and witty dialogue going on, plus they are some great characters.  At times I felt the pace slow down, and I would put it down, but I found out if you just push through those small parts, and they are small, the book is worth it.  This is the first Amanda Ashby book I’ve read, looking forward to reading more.

A Note From An Old Acquaintance

A Note from an Old Aquaintance by Bill Walker

I wasn’t really a fan of this book like so many others out there.  I just couldn’t get into the characters, nor the subject.  It was vanilla, and I guess I was looking for more.  I didn’t like the female protagonist, and the male lead character was irritating.  I wanted to know more about his wife (dead) that supposedly he loved, but all I kept reading about was the true love of his life.  Irritating!

Sorry for the different fonts.  I type my reviews on word, and while i'm thinking I tend to miss with fonts, and size.  This is what happens when you copy and paste, don't really want to retype again. :)

Dec 18, 2010

On My Wishlist (3)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post.

From Goodreads:

Bibi feels out of place everywhere - everywhere that is, except for Tyme's End, the deserted house that she breaks into when she thinks nobody is nearby. There she unexpectedly meets Oliver Gardner, the owner of the house, who's just returned after ten years away. Their story and the story of Oliver's grandfather becomes inextricably entwined, linked as they are by Tyme's End itself. For Tyme's End is more than just a deserted house. It is a house that by turns can be romantic, beguiling, sinister and malevolent. It is a house that had a cruel and manipulative owner. And anybody who enters Tyme's End must prepare themselves for terror ...Part mystery, part psychological thriller, set in the present yet with forays into the past, this is a cleverly ambitious novel that makes for a compulsive and gripping read.

From Goodreads:

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.

Jenna Jenkins has always loved 80s pop legend Tommy Seer, and in her heart she knows that they were meant to be together - despite the fact that he died when she was 12.

For a while it looked like her fiancé Adam might take his place in her heart, but when he dumps her for a 23 year old Jenna resigns herself to a life of yearning for the man she can never have.

When a freak accident sends her back to 1987 and into Tommy’s world, Jenna realizes she might have a chance after all. Unfortunately, fashion crimes are at an all time high: everyone has big shoulder pads and even bigger hair. More upsetting than the lack of Starbucks and mobiles is that Tommy does not recognize Jenna as his soul mate. Even worse, Jenna knows that in just a few weeks Tommy is going die in a terrible accident. At least, everyone will assume it’s an accident. But was it really?

Can Jenna save Tommy from his fate? Can she survive the horrors of 1987—for the second time around? And is Tommy Seer really the guy for her after all?"

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Author:  Anne Fortier
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Date Published:  August 24th 2010

From Goodreads:

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.

But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?

From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.


What a captivating wild ride! I absolutely adored Juliet. The mystery, the romance, and the gorgeous Siena backdrop all meshed together made for a grand story. I’ve been pining for this book as soon as I heard about it, as I am a sucker for anything Romeo and Juliet related.

Anne Fortier hit it out of the ball park with her debut novel, Juliet. I’m impressed with the flow of the story, and the research that must have went into this amazing book. Everything just came together beautifully. Ms. Fortier takes you for a ride into past Siena, circa 1300’s to present Siena. Chapters flip back and forth between the current Guiletta, and the Guiletta of Romeo and Juliet. I also learned a great deal about Italian especially Siena, their customs, and the importance of what your last name is.

There were some minor flaws, for instance some of the dialogue was unrealistic. It at times stalled the pace, but it was very minor, in my opinion. Present Guiletta was overly gullible, and a time or two I got frustrated. None of these things took away from this great story, though.

Juliet will definitely pluck you out of your life and take you for a soap opera ride into the story of Romeo and Juliet.

Dec 17, 2010

Mini Reviews

Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster

 I heard so many promising things about Bright Lights, Big Ass, I was expecting so many laugh out loud moments.   There were some super funny moments, but the majority was just blah to me. There were dashes of greatness but it just fell short for me.  I enjoyed Pretty in Plaid more.

Gimme a Call

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

I read Gimme a Call in a two day period, the story was creative, and the writing was good, not surprising considering that i'm a huge Sarah Mlynowski fan.  Gimme a Call took me on a fun, enjoyable ride. 

Geek Abroad (Geek High, #2)

Geek Abroad by Piper Banks

Geek Abroad is the sequel to Geek High, it's been awhile since reading book 1, but I quickly remembered the characters and story and got lost in Geek Abroad.  This time around Miranda is heading off to London to visit her mom.  Really fun and great series.  You can't help but love Miranda, she really is a great character.

Just Like Me, Only Better

Just Like Me, Only Better by Carol Snow

I wanted to get my hands on this as soon as the reviews started coming out, I was not disappointed.  Just Like Me, Only Better is not really a realistic story, but that was part of the charm.  Sometimes we all need a little fantasy, and this one was perfect for the females.  Who doesn't want to mingle with the rich, famous and hot? 

Dec 14, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books in 2011

A weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks Top Ten is

Top Most Anticipated Books in 2011

in no particular order

The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Novel

1.  The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
Book description says a modern twist on  Rear Window, i'm sold. 
Publication Date:  January 18

The Little Women (and Me)

2.  Little Women and ME by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Little Women, time travel, and Lauren Baratz-Logsted!  I love all these things.
Publication Date:  August 16th

So Much Closer

3.  So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
Her books are always highly anticipated for me.
Publication Date:  May 3rd

If You Were Here

4.  If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
I always want to read her books, even if I haven't been thrilled with some of her previous.
Publication Date:  May

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

5.  Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
She has quickly become one of my favorite authors.
Expected Publication Date:  April 15th

Love, Always

6.  Love Always by Harriet Evans
Ahh, chick lit (sigh).
Publication Date:  January 20th

7.  I Love the 80s by Megan Crane
This books sounds so awesome.  OMG!  Who doesn't love everything 80s and it's Megan Crane.
Publication Date:  March 17th

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)

8.  Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell
Love everything Sex and the City, so this is a no-brainer
Publication Date:  August 8th

9.  Then Came You- Jennifer Weiner
It's Jennifer Weiner, and I will always give her books a go.
Publication Date:  July 12th

10.  The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick
Sounds really good, and fun.  Baking is involved!!
Publication Date:  May 3rd

Will there is some of my most anticipated 2011 books.  Can't wait to see what yours is.

One for the Money & Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich (Mini- Reviews)

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)

One for the Money
Author:  Janet Evanovich

I was one of the few who hadn’t read any books from Janet Evanovich, to remedy that I decided to give the Stephanie Plum series a chance.  I know that the Stephanie Plum character is a beloved character to many.  I’ve read about the whole Ranger/Joe Morelli/Stephanie triangle. there wasn’t any of that in book 1, and I guess I was expecting that right off the bat.  In fact, Ranger is not much in this book at all. I don't really get a sense of who Ranger is.  I did like it though, I immediately picked up book 2 after reading this one.


Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2)

Two for the Dough
Author:  Janet Evanovich

Book two of the Stephanie Series was a little bit more slow for me.  Again it was alright, but I was expecting more.  Where the hell is Ranger?  Not much of him in this one either.  Hmmm, I going to have to continue I guess to get to the meaty, really great stuff.  For now though I’ve stopped with book two.  I will eventually get back into the life of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter.

Dec 13, 2010

Uncharted Territori by Tori Spelling

Uncharted Territori
Author:  Tori Spelling
Genre:  Memoir
Date Published:  June 15th 2010

From Goodreads

It’s not every Hollywood starlet whose name greets you on a Virgin Airways flight into la-la land. But Tori Spelling has come to accept that her life is a spectacle. Her name is her brand, and business is booming. Too bad when your job is to be yourself, you can’t exactly take a break.

Tori finally has everything she thought she wanted—a loving family and a successful career—but trying to live a normal life in Hollywood is a little weird. With the irresistible wit, attitude, and humor that fans have come to love, the New York Times bestselling author of sTORI telling and Mommywood is back with more hilarious, heartwarming, and candid stories of juggling work, marriage, motherhood, and reality television cameras.

Tori comes clean about doing her time on jury duty, stalking herself on Twitter, discovering her former 90210 castmates’ "I Hate Tori" club, contracting swine flu, and contacting Farrah Fawcett from the dead. Like many mothers, she struggles to find balance (Stars, they’re just like us!)—only most women don’t have to battle it out with paparazzi at the grocery store. She talks openly about the darker side of life in the spotlight: media scrutiny over her weight and her marriage to Dean McDermott, her controversial relationship with Dean’s ex-wife, and her unfolding reconciliation with her mother.

Having it all isn’t always easy—especially when you’re a perfectionist—but with the help of her unconventional family and friends, an underwear-clad spiritual cleansing or two, and faith in herself, she’s learning to find her happy ending. Because when you’re Tori Spelling, every day brings uncharted terriTORI.***

I’ve read all of Tori Spelling’s books so far, and they are starting to run into each other. It’s hard to identify each book, they all seem the same. There are some funny parts though in Uncharted Territori.  I don’t know if I will pick up another memoir from her, I really think she doesn’t have much else to say. I would love to read a tell all about her days with 90210, she barely taps into that period of her life. For now though unless she comes out with fiction or a 90210 tell all I’m done reading another Tori Spelling book. I love reading her tweets though, and she does seem like a pretty cool lady.

Dec 12, 2010

Sunday Salon

JulietThis week has been a week of celebrations here in Casa Vasquez.  My daughter had a basketball game on Thursday, and they kicked some butt.  She made a beautiful lay-up from a fast break, really it was awesome.  Yesterday was my son's UIL Art Smart competition and he took 1st place.  YEAH!  He totally deserved it, he really studied hard. I am so proud of him :) Great family week!

Now on to books, I'm currently reading Juliet by Anne Fortier.  I haven't made great progress but i've haven't really been in the reading mood lately.  I'm kind of feeling the urge to pick up a book, so hopefully I will be getting some major reading done today. I've also come to some decisions regarding challenges for 2011, I will be not be joining them, but instead will be doing personal goals.  I've made personal reading goals, some coming from challenges, some I made up on my own, and I will try to meet them throughout the year.  My main goal for 2011 is less stress, so I thought that doing this instead of challenges ties in more with my less stress goal.  What do you think?

Have a great Sunday, and week ahead!!

Dec 11, 2010

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click HERE.

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
From Goodreads:
Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.

Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

I just recently heard about Rosebush, and it seems very interesting.  Looking forward to reading it.

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton

From Goodreads

The Fletchers' beautiful new house is everything they dreamed it would be. Built between two churches in Heptonclough, a small village on the moors that time forgot, it ought to be paradise for this young family of five, but they barely have a chance to settle in before they find that they’re anything but welcome. Someone seems to be trying to drive them away--at first with silly pranks but then with threats that become increasingly dangerous, especially to the oldest child, ten-year-old Tom Fletcher, who begins to believe that someone is always watching him.

The adults in Tom’s life are trying to help, including his parents; the vicar next door, younger and more dashing than you’d expect a vicar to be; and a therapist, Evi Oliver, who believes him more than she wants to. But there are other clues that something isn’t quite right in Heptonclough, including the mysterious accidental deaths of three toddlers over the last ten years. It is not until Tom’s siblings, two-year-old Milly and five-year-old Joe Fletcher, go missing in turn that the little village’s evil secret turns the Fletchers’ dreams into a nightmare.

With Sacrifice, Awakening, and now Blood Harvest, S. J. Bolton displays time and time again her remarkable talent as a beguiling storyteller, a master of thrills, and the mistress of her own brand of modern Gothic tale.

I love a good gothic creepy tale, this seems to be a perfect fit.

Dec 10, 2010

Super in the City by Daphne Uviller

Super in the City
Author:  Daphne Uviller
Genre:  Chick Lit
Publisher:  Bantam
Date Published:  January 27th 2009

From Goodreads:

In this off-the-beaten-sidewalk debut, native New Yorker Daphne Uviller reveals the secrets of a sexy, story-filled Big Apple, where a mystery lurks behind every apartment door—and a savvy but slightly lost young woman unexpectedly finds herself holding the keys.

In a city brimming with opportunities for heroism, twenty-seven-year-old Zephyr Zuckerman has often fantasized about committing acts of bravery that would make front-page news. Now she may get her big break—though it may require plunging a few toilets. When the superintendent of her parents’ Greenwich Village brownstone is led away in handcuffs, unemployed Zephyr takes over his post and unleashes her inner sleuth: discovering titillating secrets about her tenants—from a smoky-voiced Frenchwoman who entertains throngs of unsavory visitors to a moody musician who just has to be hiding something—and realizing that her new reality is far more intriguing than her imagination.

Soon Zephyr has sussed out wrongs that stretch from losers on the Internet to art fraud and an international crime ring. The mob thinks she’s in the FBI, and the FBI thinks she’s in the mob—a predicament she needs to clear up fast. But perhaps not before the cute, surly exterminator helps her solve the mystery of what to do with the rest of her life....


I picked this up at a UBS for a buck, freaking awesome. Super in the City is a great entertaining chick lit mystery, light on the mystery, heavy on the chick lit.

The best part of Super in the City is Zephyr, the feisty over imaginative female protagonist. 27 yr. old Zephyr becomes the super of her parent’s apartment building after James, the old super is lead away in handcuffs. While being the super she starts noticing some strange things going on in the building, and seriously what is the deal with James, who she thought was British, but she couldn’t mistake the Brooklyn accent coming out of him while being lead away in handcuffs. Mixed into the mystery of the going and comings of some tenants is the female friendships she has with the Sterling Seven, the girl friends she’s had since school. Together the Sterling Seven talk men especially Zephyrs new crush, the buildings exterminator.

Author Daphne Uviller is a native New Yorker, who also was the Super to her parents building, so she definitely wrote what she knows, and it shows. The writing and story flowed and I quickly got sucked into the life of Zephyr, the tenants, and The Sterling Seven. There is a little of everything in Super in the City. I was happy to find out that there is a sequel coming out August 2011, Hotel No Tell.

Dec 7, 2010

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction
Author:  Simone Elkeles
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Walker and Company
Date Published:  April 27th 2010

From Goodreads:

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.


I really didn’t know what to expect from Rules of Attraction, because I wasn’t a huge fan of Perfect Chemistry, so I did open up this book with some trepidation, in the end though I liked it way more than Perfect Chemistry.

Rules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series following the middle Fuentes boy, Carlos. After getting in trouble in Mexico, Carlos’s mom sends Carlos to live with Alex who is currently going to school in Colorado. Carlos arrives in Colorado with a huge attitude problem, and acting very similar to the way older brother Alex was before he grew up, and changed his ways. Soon after being there he gets in trouble and finds himself living with the Westfords. It’s either jail or them, anyways Kiara who butts head with from the beginning so happens to be a Westford, commence sexual tension, and drama. Kiara is as straight laced as they come, and Carlos following his brothers footprints is in a gang back in Mexico. Just because you leave Mexico doesn’t mean your ties to the gangs go away.

Like I mentioned before I really enjoyed Carlos’s story much more than Alex’s, and Carlos’s romance with Kiara was also better than Alex’s, in my opinion. First off, one of my problems in Perfect Chemistry was the overuse of words like mamacita and the such, being Hispanic (Mexican descent) it was corny to me, and not as popular as Ms. Elkeles likes to believe, but in Rules of Attraction it is definitely toned down, very toned down. There still is a quite a bit of Spanish words mixed in with English, but hey there Mexican, I get it. Carlos also didn’t come off as a wannabe hardcore gangster, like the way I felt the character of Alex was written. Carlos was just easier to digest, in fact I enjoyed his character.

The relationship between Kiara and Carlos worked for me because I like both characters. Kiara is someone who is hard to not like, unlike Alex’s female protagonist Brittany. She tried to be helpful, and nice to Carlos, it was Carlos who wasn’t buying it. I really liked how Carlos stirred some emotion out of her, and took her out of her controlled life. I was really rooting for them.

There being three Fuentes brothers I know one more book is left in the Perfect Chemistry series, so if Rules of Attraction is any indication I should like the next book even more. Great YA romance with real life situations make this a good escape on a lazy day.

Dec 6, 2010

DNFs and Ratings

Recently I adapted the 50 page rule I hear so many people do when picking up a new book. The pages vary from person to person, but basically it’s the page we stop and stamp a big DNF (Did Not Finish) on a book, because we just couldn’t get into the plot/characters etc. I’m a DNF skimmer, when I give up on a book I skim the rest. I have a review policy of not reviewing books I did not finish, only because how can I review something I didn’t read, but I wander if maybe I should do something like a mini review, basically saying “Hey, I didn’t finish this one, because….” . I wonder what other bloggers take are on the DNF. Do you slug on even if you are bored, or annoyed with the story? Do you give popular books more of a chance than a obscure book? Do you have a page rule, and what page do you think is enough to have honestly given a book a chance? Do you review DNF, and if you do, how do review it?

I have a fascination with what people are marking as DNF. I see a post about a book someone gave up on, and immediately have to go to Goodreads to read the synopse, and see what the rating is, and read other reviews. Most of the time I want to read it even more. I guess it’s a shining example of ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Am I the only one out there who does that? Which brings me the question, how much does a book rating factor into your decision to read a book? Have you ever been excited about a new release only to see the ratings poor, then lose interest in reading it? How much of your book buying decisions are based on blogger reviews, and are there certain bloggers who tend to have more clout?

I recently put aside Crescendo, and mentally stamped it with a DNF. This series is a very popular series right now, and though the story is good, I simply do not like the characters. I tried to give it more than 50 pages, and finally gave up around 120. As I said before I don’t review books I didn’t finish but I have so many things that I want to say about this series that I wanted to ask what is everyones take on a DNF book?

Dec 5, 2010

Sunday Salon

This week I had time to focus on book blogging and the book blogging community.  I did some stuff to my blog, plus thought a lot about what I want out of blogging.  First, I added a Contact Me button on the top right side.  I was trying to make it easier on anyone who wanted to email me, basically I'm saying emailing is encouraged here, infact I would totally be siked if anyone wanted to email to talk books.  Have I ever mentioned none of my friends or family read, and when I say no one I mean NO ONE.  I have no one to talk books too, but all you wonderful people online.  Thank You!!  Secondly, I added a twitter feed.  I've had a twitter account for awhile now, but never really used it, but i'll get into that in a little bit.  I also added intense debate, I know some people don't like it, but I was really wanting something that would make it easier for me to respond to comments.  I hope no one will be put off by the new comment system.  If you simply cannot stand intense debate, please let me know.  I have no problem taking it off, my main reason for blogging is to communicate with other obsessed bookies like me. ;)

As I mentioned I also did a lot of thinking about why I blog about books, and the book blogging community in general.  Blogging about books make me happy, period.  I haven't had so much fun doing something that's put a smile on a face than starting Coffee, Books and Laundry.  Reflecting I realize that though I love the community, I don't really feel like I'm a part of it.  Yes, I have a book blog, but I feel somewhat of a recluse in my little corner here, that is why I decided to get back on twitter.. I want to make friends!  It's kind of hard simply because though I have had my blog for over a year other than a few people I haven't made any friendships, and its kind of like being the new kid on the block.  I'm on the outside looking in. If anyone wants to be a follower just click on the follow me link above my twitter feed on the left, also leave your twitter name so I can follow!

BEA post are back on my google reader!  I really want to go, and my DH said if "there's a will, there's a way".  I have tons of questions, if anyone went last year and can give me a heads up please contact me.

Have a great Sunday, and week ahead!

Dec 4, 2010

On My Wishlist (1)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click HERE.

From Goodreads:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

I've been reading such great reviews on this one for awhile now, and now it is the number 1 book I must get my hands on. 

From Goodreads:
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

Easy peasy, I love flappers.  I've always been fascinated with them, they were such trendsetters, and so independent.

From Goodreads:
Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a guidance counselor in her hometown, trying for a baby. Perfect.

In fact, on the surface you might never know how tough things used to be. At seventeen, Tilly lost her mother to cancer, her father drowned his grief in alcohol, and she played parent to her two younger sisters more often than being a kid herself. Still Tilly never let tragedy overtake her belief that hard work and good cheer could solve any problem. Of course she’s also spent a lifetime plastering a smile on her face and putting everyone else’s problems ahead of her own.

But that relentless happiness has served her well—her sisters are grown and content, her dad is ten years sober, and she’s helping her students achieve all their dreams while she and her husband, Tyler, start a family. A perfect life indeed.

Then one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into the fortune teller’s tent and is greeted by an old childhood friend, now a psychic, who offers her more than just a reading. “I’m giving you the gift of clarity,” her friend says. “It’s what I always thought you needed.” And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; Tyler uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway; and even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly’s perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And she’s not sure what’s more frightening: that she’s begun to see the future or what the future holds . . .

As Tilly furiously races to keep up with—and hopefully change—her destiny, she faces the question: Which is the life she wants? The one she’s carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?

This one has been on my WL for awhile now, and I still haven't read it.  I really enjoy Ms. Scotch's books, I'm confident that I will enjoy anything by her.