Jan 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Recommendations for Chick Lit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish

This week's Top Ten is :

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read Chick Lit.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated

1.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated by Shane Bolks

A Girl Like You

2.  A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess


3.  Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

4.  You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning

Sex, Murder And A Double Latte (A Sophie Katz Murder Mystery #1)

5.  Sophie Katz Series by Kyra Davis
There are 5 books in this series

Rumor Has It: Some people just can't keep a secret...

6.  Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

Notes From The Backseat

7.  Notes From the Backseat by Jody Gehrman

Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1)

8.  Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Queen of Babble (Queen of Babble, #1)

9.  Queen of Babble Trilogy by Meg Cabot

Accidental It Girl

10.  Accidental It Girl by Libby Street

I also have to add anything by Melissa Nathan.

Jan 13, 2012

Sundowners by Lesley Lokko


Author:  Lesley Lokko
Publisher:  Orion Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date:  October 7th 2004

Take Four friends...Rianne:  beautiful, wealthy and thoroughly spoilt, she has the world at her feet but is about to risk everything.  Gabrielle:  intelligent, loyal and always worrying about everyone else, now it's time for her to start looking after No. 1.  Nathalie:  petite, pretty and with a shrewd eye for business, she uses her work to help her forget the one man she can't have.  Charmaine:  flirty and outrageous, she knows all about the good life.  She just needs someone to pay for it...Then a chance encounter changes everything- and for Rianne and her friends, nothing is going to be the same...


I've had Sundowners in my TBR for years now and with my commitment to read my oldest books I decided on this chunkster.  At 656 pages Sundowners is an epic read that covers 20 years of the lives of 4 girls from their time in a all girl's boarding school to the start of their careers and adult lives.  

Sundowners reminded me a lot of Judith Michael's books or even Judith Krantz. Author Lesley Lokko grabs you from the start, now for me the start grabbed me but in all the wrong ways.  I detested Rianne from the start up until about 100 pages in.  Then I started to see changes in her that made the next 500 and something pages a crazy ride.  Her story still was my least favorite though.  I enjoyed reading about Gabrielle's life the most.  But they were all interesting.   I was rooting for all of them.

There is a little bit of everything in Sundowners..politics, love, betrayal and exotic locations.  The politics was really interesting, it was having to do with South Africa, Nelson Mandela and so much more.  It's very hard to explain it, but it's definitely exciting.  

Sundowners is a throwback to women's fiction of the past.  It's a glorious ride.

Jan 11, 2012

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:  Dutton Adult
Publication Date:  April 14th 2011 

From Goodreads:

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail.  But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book.  Jennifer tells Beth everything she can't seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family.  And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.  

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he'd be sifting through other people's inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom.  Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer.  He can't help but be entertained and captivated by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late for him to ever introduce himself.  What would he say to her?  "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you."  After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart...even if he can't see exactly where it's leading him.


Wow! What an awesome book.  Attachments has a little bit of everything that makes a great women's read.  The characters, the relationships, the wittiness and of course the story itself...I could kiss it.

Attachments is told mostly/really from the perspective of Lincoln, our ever laid back yet tense male protagonist.  We know of Beth and Jennifer only through their emails.  Back to my book character crush Lincoln, he is perfect...for me.  He's a little depressing and pessimistic.  He's a tad bit of a loner, not really ambitious but aware of his lack of it.  Wants some purpose but needs someone to point him in the right direction.  The ending of his relationship to what he thinks is  his one true love darkens him.  Slowly though he rises up from the ashes and starts living his life.  The fact that he falls for Beth through emails before he even knows what she looks like makes me like him even more.  Beth and Jennifer have a great rapport with each other.  They tell each other everything and you do get a sense of their personalities through their emails.  Beth is witty, fun and sarcastic.  Jennifer is equally just as witty.  

To me attachments is more a story about Lincoln then Beth and Jennifer.  We are along for the ride as Lincoln tries to discover what he wants in life.  We ride out this funk he's in at the same time admiring his uncomfortable yet liberating choices he's making.  And through the emails we find out about Beth and her emotionally closed off boyfriend and the back and forth decision of whether to be a mom with Jennifer.  

Everything was just done right in Attachments.  I loved it!!

Jan 9, 2012

Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann

Things I Know About Love

Things I Know About Love
Author:  Kate Le Van
Publisher:  EgmontUSA
Publication Date:  December 10th 2010

From Goodreads:  

Livia Stowe has never been lucky in love.  While her friends were going to parties and dances and on dates, Livia was being shuffled in and out of hospitals, making her dating life difficult.

But this summer is going to be different.  Cancer-free for over a year, Livia's boarding a plane to visit her brother as he studies abroad at Princeton University.  She's determined to make the most of her trip, recording every moment of it in her private blog.  Maybe she'll even have a fling with a cute college boy!

America is bright, exciting, and filled with romantic possibilities.  And then Livia meets Adam, and her plans for summer fun become so much more.  Entranced by the magical New York City that he shows her, Livia is smitten, but is she really ready to risk her heart again?


Things I Know About Love is a really short read with 160 pages but in those pages you really get to know Livia and love her.  Her romance with Adam is sweet and full of youthful romance.  I was reminded of the feeling you get when you meet someone for the first time you really like.  How you don't want to interpret signs.  Just the fact that everything HAS to be a sign.  It was all done very cute, but then you know there is this awful lingering thing in the distance.  Livia's illness is always there in back of her mind, but she doesn't want it to affect her new found happiness with Adam.  We also get to see things from Adam's point of view.  There isn't a lot of it but enough to know what he's feeling about Livia.  

I was touched by Livia's story of first love.  

Jan 8, 2012

Weekly Recap and Upcoming Week

This week I read 5 books and wrote a review for all but one.  One of my resolutions was to write my reviews as soon as I finish a book.  So far so good.

The Descendants: A NovelThings I Know About LoveAn Invisible Thread  The Fates Will Find Their Way: A Novel  Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Number, #1)   

  I have one review left to write for this week for Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann.

I also wanted to read out of my comfort level this year.  4 out of the 5 books I read I probably would not have picked up before.  

My favorite read this week is Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.  

I'm currently reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I'm not too far in, but so far it's good.  This upcoming week I hope to read at least 3 books.  


School starts back up for my kids Tuesday. Thank God!!  I am so ready to get back to a regular routine.  Yesterday I was feeling antsy, I think my ADD was kicking up in full gear.  I read for about 30 minutes only yesterday, watched absolutely no TV, instead I invited some friends over and had a ping pong tournament in my backyard.  I was on ping pong fire.  I kicked some major butt!

Hope everyone has a great upcoming week.

Jan 7, 2012

Just a little story about FIREWORKS.

My New Year started with a bang, hundreds of them to exact.  There were so many fireworks going off all night.  One decided to go rogue and set it's eyes on me or my chest to be exact.
<---This is what my chest looked like 5 minutes past midnight.  It hurt like hell and I was cussing up a storm.  And before anyone says I shouldn't have been close to it, I wasn't close to it.  I'm an adult and I know better.  The pain has subsided but now I'm worried about scarring.  Are my cleavage showing days over?  By 12: 30 I was at home laying down with burn medicine all over my chest.  But not before someone put butter on it at the party I was at, then was told by numerous people butter is just an old wise tale and not to be put on a burn.  So then I got lathered with mustard and smelled like a hot dog. :P  What a way to start the New Year.

Jan 6, 2012

An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski

An Invisible Thread

An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
Publisher:  Howard Books
Publication Date:  November 1st 2011

An Invisible Thread is about an incredible friendship between a 11 yr. old boy living off the streets of New York and a thirty something business women.  Laura Schroff walked right pass Maurice when he asked for some spare change, for some reason after passing him up Laura stopped and turned back.  She offered to take him to McDonald's.  From there grew a friendship that would change both their lives for the better.

An Invisible Thread is such an inspirational read.  How many times have we ignored the homeless asking for change?  Have we become so jaded that it doesn't even pull on our heartstrings to see someone going through hard times?  I love that Ms. Schroff stopped and considered that she was ignoring a child obviously hungry.  She gained so much from her friendship with Maurice.  Maurice's story is heartbreaking to read, especially knowing that it is the story of many children out there today looking for someone to care.  

In An Invisible Thread we follow both Maurice's and Laura's individual lives and their deep friendship.  We also get insight to their pasts.  I truly loved this book.

Jan 5, 2012

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

The Fates Will Find Their Way

The Fates Will Find Their Way 
Author:  Hannah Pittard
Publisher:  Ecco
Publication Date:  February 1st 2011

From Goodreads:

Sixteen year old Nora Lindell is  missing.  And the neighborhood boys she's left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.

As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically.  A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what ifs, Nora Lindell's story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.

Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard's beautifully crafted novel tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of boys in her thrall.  Far more eager to imagine Nora's fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into a adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl - and a life - that no longer exists, except in the imagination.


The Fates Will Find Their Way reminds me a lot of The Virgin Suicides.  The story is told from the perspective of the neighborhood boys that circulated around Nora Lindell.  She disappears on Halloween when she is sixteen and takes on this grandiose persona.  We follow the boys through young teenagers to mid life as they fantasize and wonder what happen to Nora.

What I found so wonderful about The Fates Will Find Their Way is the writing.  The prose is beautiful and eerie.  It is a depressing read but it works.  It's as it was meant to be.  I thought Ms. Pittard did a flawless job writing a man's point of view.  I understood these group of guys and also understood their need to fantasize about where Nora could be.  It became part of who they were. In later years it bonded them, these married group of men still drinking together and speculating.  

If you do decide to read The Fates Will Find Their Way keep in mind this isn't a mystery so don't expect answers.  The story is not about Nora but about the boys that could never let her go.  

Jan 4, 2012

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Descendants

The Descendants
Author:  Kaui Hart Hemmings
Publisher:  Random House
Publication Date:  May 15th 2007

From Goodreads:

Mathew King was once considered on of the most fortunate men in Hawaii.  His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state's largest landowners..

Now his luck has changed.  His two daughters are out of control:  Ten year old Scottie is a smart - ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen year old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict.  Matt's charismatic, thrill- seeking,high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat - racing accident and will soon be taken off life support.  The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms wit this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them - and spurs them into surprising actions.  

Before honoring Joanie's living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery there is one person who hasn't been told: the man whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved.  Forced to examine what he owes not only the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife's lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth.


I was very disappointed with The Descendants.  I expected more character insight, instead getting bratty kids and a MC that somehow comes off spineless instead of capable.  

Though I did dislike The Descendants I still found some parts quite engaging and heartfelt.  The struggles Matt faces when he finds out his wife was having a affair is raw and emotional.  How can he get mad at his wife if she is dying?  How does he manage to do what's right for his children and wife after feeling so betrayed by her?  Ultimately the MC's struggle with his emotions is what kept me reading till the end.  I wanted to know if he came out okay in the end.  

The story was told almost in a passive way.  Very slowly and kind of 'whatever' at moments.  Am I suppose to not like Joanie or am I suppose to understand her and at the end, like her.  Because I just didn't plain like her, yet the writing I felt kept nudging me to try to understand her and sympathize, I just couldn't. As for the daughters they were a hand full and so irritating that I almost DNF'd it.  If they didn't start showing some growing up I probably would have chucked it. 

The Descendants have some great beautiful written parts but as a whole it didn't do it for me.  

Jan 3, 2012

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers #1)

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake 
Author:  Sarah MacLean
Publisher:  Avon
Publication Date:  March 30, 2010

From Goodreads:

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried - and more than a little unsatisfied.  And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss - to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner.  someone who knows everything about rule-breaking.  Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston - Charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.  

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all - the one that says that pleasure- seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.


I really have to love a historical romance book to finish it.  The ideal sounds so appealing, to get lost in the romance.  But when I pick one up it rarely peaks my interest, and I throw it aside for another book.  But occasionally I hit the jackpot, one that is so deliciously funny and romantic like Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.

Callie is not the most beautiful girl in London, not by a long shot but that doesn't mean she doesn't want it all, especially love.  At 28 she's already considered a spinster with an impeccable reputation.  But what is this great reputation getting her?  She's bored and resigned to the fact that she won't ever be more than a spinster.  Since she can't have the whole works..love, marriage and children she will settle for adventure.  She creates a list of things she always wanted to do and sets upon making them happen.  First on the list is to kiss passionately. And she has chosen none other than her decade long crush Gabriel St. John, the Marquis of Ralston.  He once made her feel beautiful when she was younger and she hasn't been able to keep him off her mind since.  

What I liked so much about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is how fearless Callie becomes.  She seeks out adventure and boy does she get it.  She's a lady in public and rule breaker by night.  I laughed so many times.  She definitely has some crazy things on her list.  Gabriel is a great character.  He's gorgeous with dark black hair and blue eyes, and is devilishly bad.  There is quite a bit of naughty parts but not overly done.  It was hot though.  I'm not a fan of overly sexual books and this one was fine for me.  Callie and Gabriel have chemistry.  They are smoking hot together.  What's not to love..the wallflower gets the guy.

Looking forward to reading more of Sarah MacLean's books.  I've already have the next two books in the Love by Numbers series.  

2011 Books Read

Await Your Reply- Dan Chaon
Audrey, Wait - Robin Benway
Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins
American Gangbang- Sam Benjamin
A Girl Like You- Gemma Burgess
Before I fall- Lauren Oliver
Beauty- Robin McKinley
Beneath a Starlet Sky- Amanda Goldberg &amp; Ruthanna Hopper
Best Intentions- Emily Listfield
But I Love Him- Amanda Grace
The Book of Lies- Mary Horlock
Beautiful Dead- Yvonne Woon
Before Ever After- Samantha Sotto
Babe in Boyland- Jody Gerhman

City of Fallen Angels- Cassandra Clare

A Catered Affair- Sue Margolis
Craving Perfect- Liz Fichera
The Confession- John Grisham

Dairy Queen-Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Deception - Lee Nichols
Die For Me- Amy Plum
Don't Breath A Word- Jennifer McMahon
Delirium- Lauren Oliver
Divergent- Veronica Roth
Demonglass- Rachel Hawkins
Dark Parties- Sara Grant
Dead Beautiful- Yvonne Woon
Ditched- Robin Mellom
Epic Fail- Claire LeZebnik
Exposed- Kimberly Marcus

From Nottinghill With Love Actually- Ali McNamara
Firefly Lane- Kristin Hannah
Forbidden- Tabitha Suzuma
Fragile- Lisa Unger
Flawless- Lara Chapman
From This Moment On- Shania Twain
The Future of Us- Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler

Going Too Far- Jennifer Echols
The Girl Who Would Speak to the Dead- Paul Elwork
Give Up the Ghost- Megan Crewe
Groundswell= Katie Lee
Graffiti Moon- Cath Crowley

The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
Hex Hall- Rachel Hawkins
Handling the Undead- John Ajvide Lindqvist
He's So Worth It- Kieran Scott

In the Woods- Tana French
It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
Invincible Summer- Hannah Moskowitz
I am Ozzy- Ozzy Osbourne
I am Number Four- Pitticus Lore
I Heart New York- Lindsey Kelks

John Belushi is Dead- Kathy Charles
Just Friends With Benefits- Meredith Schorr
Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta


Love at First Click- Elizabeth Chandler
The Last Little Blue Envelope- Maureen Johnson
The Lipstick Laws- Amy Holder
The Lonely Hearts Club- Elizabeth Eulberg
Little Woman and Me- Lauren Baratz Logsted
Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins
The Last Letter from Your Lover- Jojo Moyes
The Lover's Dictionary- David Levithan
My Husband's Affair- Anne Brecht
My Fair Lazy- Jen Lancaster
The Midwife's Confession- Diane Chamberlain
The Magnolia League- Katie Crouch
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs
My Name is Memory- Ann Brashares

The Nobodies Album- Carolyn Parkhurst

One Day - David Nicholls
The Off Season- Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Prom and Prejudice- Elizabeth Eulberg
Playing Dirty- Susan Anderson
The Peach Keeper- Sarah Addison Allen
The Power of Six- Pittacus Lore
Pretty Face- Mary Hogan
Prince of Thieves- Chuck Hogan
The Paris Wife- Paula McLain

The Romantics- Galt Niederhoffer
Revolution- Jennifer Donnelly
Real Live Boyfriends- E. Lockhart
The Raising- Laura Kasischke
Rules of Civility- Amor Towles

Still Missing- Chevy Stevens
Stay - Deb Caletti
Something Like Fate - Susane Colasanti
Summer and the City- Candace Bushnell
Sometimes it Happens- Lauren Barnholdt
Sharks &amp; Boys- Kristen Tracy
Summer in the City- Elizabeth Chandler
Summer of the Geek- Piper Banks
Shut Out- Kody Keplinger
She's So Dead to Us- Kieran Scott
The Sweet Gum Tree- Katherine Allred
A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard

These Hidden Things- Heather Gudenkauf
Take A Chance on Me- Jill Mansell
The Tea Rose- Jennifer Donnelly
The Things We Cherished- Pam Jenoff
Tainted- Brooke Morgan
Troy High- Shanna Norris

Unearthly- Cynthia Hand
Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand

The Vespertine - Saundra Mitchell

Wish You Were Dead- Todd Strasser
Wish - Alexandra Bullen
Where She Went- Gayle Forman
What Alice Forgot- Liane Moriarty


You Wish- Mandy Hubbard
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me- Sarra Manning