Dec 30, 2012

The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night by Anthony Haden-Guest

The Last Party:  Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night
The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the NightAuthor:  Anthony Haden-Guest
Publisher:  It Books
Publication Date:  December 8th 2009
Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

From Goodreads:

Packed with stars, models, socialites, and everyone else who could sneak past the fabled velvet ropes, Studio 54 defined disco and launched the celebrity-driven culture of today.  Noted writer Haden-Guest takes readers behind the scenes and tells the whole story--the glory days, the drugs, the deaths, and the corruption.  There was a place where virtually all the themes and energies of the '70's--disco, the cult of celebrity, the coke and the quaaludes, the glam and the glitter, the pre-AIDS sexual abandon, the emergence of gay culture, uninhibited women, the general air of debauchery--were played out with maximum flamboyance.  It was a place that epitomized an era and exemplified the zeitgeist.  No one is better suited to chronicle the Studio 54 story than Anthony Haden-Guest.  he has re-created the scene and rendered the action in vivid detail from his personal experiences with the key players:  the owners, bartenders, and the bouncers; the celebrities and the dealers; the divas, DJs and doormen; even the prosecutor who busted the owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager for tax evasion.  "The Last Party" is more than a biography of one place.  It also tells the story of Nightworld, a realm spawned by Studio 54, comprising past and present clubs.  Nightlords, and Nightpeople, their doings and their secrets, which are still unfolding.


I have always been interested in the whole craziness of Disco and especially Studio 54.  The Last Party is a very interesting read, though there are quite a lot of names to remember as your reading.  I would often forget who a person was and have to go back, or I would say screw it and continuing reading forgetting who I was reading about.  When I didn't look back it was mostly because it was an uninteresting part for me.  The Last Party is not only about Studio 54 but about all sorts of clubs opening up in New York around the same time or after the high of Studio 54, though they are were trying to achieve Studio's greatness.  So the book starts off with Studio 54 and ends with the early 90's era of Club Kids and the ultimate demise of it's scene with the murder of Angel Melendez.  The Party Monster is a movie starring Maculauly Culkin about the Club Kids and the murder, it's very interesting. The movie is great, but then again there is something fascinating to me about New York City especially the dirty crazy club scene.  Sometimes I felt there was a lot of filler, I wanted to read more about the inside of Studio 54, and I wanted more crazy stories.  There are some but I'm sure there is quite a lot that didn't make it in The Last Party.

If you are interested in the New York night scene especially the start of the celebrity induced craziness of the 70's and later the rapid drug freak show that it became I think you will enjoy The Last Party.

Dec 19, 2012

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
The Sea of TranquilityAuthor:  Katja Millay
Publisher:  Antisocialite Press LLC
Publication Date:  September 5th 2012
Rating:  4 out of 5

From Goodreads:

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things:  to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it's easier to pretend he doesn't exist.  When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won't go away until she's insinuated herself into every aspect of his life.  The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes.  As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she's been hiding or if he even wants to.


I hadn't even heard of The Sea of Tranquility till I saw it mentioned in a couple of 'Best Of' lists, the synopsis interested me so I bought the ebook and immediately started it.  I can see why it made some's good.

In so many ways The Sea of Tranquility is a breathe of fresh air.  So many aspects of YA contemporaries have been done before that it's hard to read a book and feel like it's something different.  It can depend on the writing or the storyline, for The Sea of Tranquility, the story is just well written.  Nastya is a very damaged person, and Josh is a loner, together they make quite a pair.  I liked Nastya, some things irked me about her but I never stopped liking her and that is due to the great writing. I loved that Josh had something he was devoted to, something that he loved doing. Josh loves woodshop, creating and building furniture and a lot of Josh and Nastya's conversations happened in the garage while she was helping him build things. There is no insta-love, just two people drawn to each other because they notice each other's pain, then the gradual flow of two people falling for each other as they learn a little about each other.

Nastya's past is not revealed to us immediately, but slowly in the same way Josh is finding out. I wanted to know the details, but loved that I had to wait.  It was a good kind of anticipation, and made for a much better read, in my opinion.  The Sea of Tranquility isn't only about love but also about anger, depression and trauma.  So many different aspects all making a really good thought out story that is compelling and emotional.

I really enjoyed The Sea of Tranquility, from the writing to the characters, it was a great read.

Dec 12, 2012

Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon

Baby Be MineBaby Be Mine
Author:  Paige Toon
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Publication Date:  July 2011
Rating:  2 out of 5

From Goodreads:

'He's not mine, is he?'  That's the question I fear the most.  You see, I have a secret.  My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but one of the most famous people that ever lived.  And he doesn't even know it.  One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is not settled and living in the South of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and son Phoenix.  But they're living a lie - a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out.  Because Meg's son doesn't look like Christian, he looks like his rock star father and, sooner or later, the world is going to realize. 


What the hell!  I am completely disappointed with Baby Be Mine, the continuation of Meg's story.  If you read my review on Johnny Be Good, you will know that I was super excited about finding out there was a sequel, and even better, I FREAKING had it.  I didn't even know it was sequel, anyways, I was jumping up and down excited.  Okay, so I begin Baby Be Mine and I am immediately like WTF, Meg did nothing but feel sorry for herself.  She was awful, she didn't deserve happiness, and on, and on, and on.  I was 'who the hell is this chick', cause it sure wasn't the Meg from Johnny Be Good.  But I continued, surely it was going to get better?  So the debbie downer slowly started cheering up, but then all of sudden she acted like 50 year women.  Meg is in her late twenties, but I felt like I was reading about a whole different person.  There weren't too many glimpses into the Meg I knew, she was all"Leave it to Beaver"(ed) out.  I know she's a mom now, but what the hell, she's also young.  Johnny was still the same Johnny, who I love...1 star for that!

The plot kept on getting interrupted with these repeated scenes from Johnny Be Good.  I started getting pissed...i've read the first book already, can we continue on with the 'now'.  It's sad, because I really was sooo excited to read Baby Be Mine, and I am so disappointed with it.  I feel bad for the people that had to wait 3 plus years to find out what happens with Johnny and Meg, and got this shit. I can say that the ending is satisfying.  1 star for that!  The epilogue definitely gives us an ending.

I didn't enjoy Baby Be Mine.  I do recommend you read Johnny Be Good, and I know that most likely you will want to read Baby Be Mine, and I say go for if only to get an ending.

Dec 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New to Me Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten:

Top Ten New to Me Authors Read in 2012

Paige Toon:  I just discovered her the other day while searching for a Christmasy Chick Lit.  I've  read Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine.  I didn't enjoy Baby Be Mine so much but really LOVED Johnny Be Good.  I can't wait to go through her backlist. 

Jojo Moyes:  Her book Me Before You was the perfect book to get me out of the reading slump I was in.  Such great characters.  I have a couple more of her books now, hoping the rest are just as good.  

Sarah Maclean:  The thing with historical romances is the idea of reading them is much more pleasurable than actually reading them.  I was in the mood for a good historical romance and decided on Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, and loved it.  It is witty and so much fun.  Will definitely be reading more of her in 2013.

Elizabeth Haines:  Into the Darkest Corner is one of my favorites in 2012.  I read this one in one seating anticipating the climax.  So good.

Gustave Flaubert:  Madame Bovary is my favorite classic, EVER.  It's intense, real and depressing, but o'so good.  I didn't expect to love it so darn much, but I felt things I never thought I could while reading a book.  I must read more of Flaubert's work. 

Paula McLain:  I am so happy I decided to read The Paris Wife.  I thought it might be a little boring, but I went ahead and picked it up, and immediately was drawn into Hemingway's first wife life.  It was interesting to see how she interacted with all these creative geniuses.  

Gillian Flynn:  I started with Dark Places, it's a sad engrossing story, then read Gone Girl....yeah, she has a twisted imagination.  I am a huge fan now....I will read everything she writes.  Brilliant. 

Maria Semple:  Where'd You Go, Bernadette is so freaking good.  Best character hands down that I read this year.  

Amor Towles:  Rules of Civility.  Great book.  Loved the setting and period.  

Dec 9, 2012

Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon

Johnny Be Good
Johnny Be GoodAuthor:  Paige Toon
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date:  October 2008
Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

Celebrity PA to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg's glam new life in sun-drenched LA is a whirlwind of showbiz parties and backstage passes.  Cool, calm Christian, in town to write his famous friend's biography, helps keep Meg's feet firmly on the ground.  But with Johnny's piercing green eyes and a body Brad Pitt would kill for, how long will it be before she's kept right off them again?


Damn, this book finished awesomely!  The last 50 pages of Johnny Be Good is freaking really good, and had me all giggly.  I love chick lits and chick flicks that do that.

Meg is the PA to Johnny Jefferson, she's moves from London to L.A. not really knowing much about Johnny, she's not really a fan.  She slowly realizes she's falling for him, and he so not her type.  She falls for the nice guys, like his best friend Christian, but she can't help what she feels for Johnny.  Thing is Johnny is an asshole.  He does really douchebag things, but she can't help thinking she can change him.  Johnny is a hard character to love because of the first person narrative and I flipped back and forth whether I liked him or not. The reader never knows what the hell he's thinking.  It's wierd, yall, but it works somehow, though it does lead to some frustrating "What are you doing, Johnny" moments.  I enjoyed it, but then in the last 50 pages it gets freaking awesome.  It really made this book so much better. Best part is there's a sequel, and I have it!!!

I'm off to start it right now, I must freaking know!!  If your a fan of chick lit and chick flicks, I recommend Johnny Be Good.

Dec 6, 2012

Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures (Castor Chronicles, Bk 1)
Authors:  Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:  December 1st 2009
Rating:  2.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations.  But even within the overgrown South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met.  When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.  In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.  


I debated whether I should read this, something to me felt like Beautiful Creatures would be similar to a lot of YA paranormal books that blasted us post Twilight.  Obviously, I decided to read it, the deciding factor was the Beautiful Creatures movie coming out in 2013. When I started I told myself I was going to give it a fair shot and read all of it, even if I wanted to DNF it.

Beautiful Creatures formula is not original, but it had some elements, in particularly the setting that gave it a little freshness...a little.  I'm going to start with a couple of things I enjoyed about Beautiful Creatures first.

1.  The setting:   Gatlin, a fictional town in South Carolina is a fabulous setting for Beautiful Creatures.  It has a gothic feel to it with hundred year old plantations covered in moss and vines.  Gatlin is a town of small minded southern accented residents, that don't like change.  A little stereo-typical?  I would fucking say so, but it's still fun to read.  The authors used imagery to create this creepy misty town vibe that totally brought the town to life.

2. Some Secondary Characters:  My favorite character from Beautiful Creatures was Macon Ravenwood, the "Boo Radley" of Gatlin, a scary recluse that hadn't been seen in years.  He is so many things, debonair, witty, scary.... My favorite part in the Beautiful Creatures involves Macon.  He is that scene.  Love him. Amma, Ethan's housekeeper, who is also a seer, is a really great character.  She's very elusive and strong.  I wish there was a bit more about her though.

Sadly, those are the ONLY things I liked about Beautiful Creatures.  So, I didn't like Beautiful Creatures, for a couple of reasons.

1.  No triangle, BUT insta-love is present. Ethan dreams of Lena before she even arrives in Gatlin...uh, cop out.  For me it's just an easy way for an author let us know that these two are IT, the real thing.  It's love, ya know. Come on, let's give it some time.

2.  The main characters irritate the hell out of me.  Beautiful Creatures is told from a male perspective, and of course it's written by two women, and I could tell.  Ethan doesn't stand out as a strong MALE character.  Lena is better written, but not as likable.  She's going through some major drama guys, and yet her biggest wishes are things like attending school dances and the such.

3.  It was too long, it could have been way shorter.  Too many things added that was not necessary to the plot, in my opinion.  It was irritating.

I'm not sure I would have finished it if I didn't make a pact to myself that I would read it till the end.  I won't be continuing with the series, but I will watch the movie.  I want to watch for Macon.

Dec 1, 2012

It Started With a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson

It Started With A Kiss
It Started With A Kiss...Author:  Miranda Dickinson
Publisher:  Avon
Pubication Date:  November 10th 2011
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

From the author that gave you the Sunday Times top 10 selling title Fairytale of New York, join our heroine Romilly as she discovers how far she will go to find the man of her dreams.  What would you do to find the one that got away?  As the singer in a wedding band, Romily Parker has seen her fair share of happy endings, even though her own love life isn't quite as simple.  On the last Saturday before Christmas, (shortly after disastrously declaring her love for best friend Charlie), Romily has a brief encounter with a handsome stranger whose heart-stopping kiss changes everything.  Determined to find him again, Romily embarks on a yearlong quest, helped (and sometimes hindered) by her enthusiastic Uncle Dudley, cake-making Auntie Mags and flamboyant Wren.  Will she find the man of her dreams?  Or could true love be closer than she thinks?  


It Started With A Kiss is such a cute read.  I was in the mood for a Christmas chick lit book to get me in the Christmasy mood, and the whole premise of a random handsome guy kissing a girl after telling her she's beautiful brought a smile to my face.  And I was smiling the whole time I was reading it.

Romily is just a normal girl who is pining over her guy best friend Charlie, she just blurts out while drinking a cup of coffee with him that she loves him, and then is immediately horrified when she sees his stunned reaction.  This happens in the first chapter so it isn't spoiler, anyways she just ups and takes off running into a crowded shopping area.  That is when the magic happens with the random hot fella. What I loved about Romily is her fun spirit and tenacity for finding this guy, and she didn't even get his name before he is called away by a friend. She's normal and very much like a friend you probably have, I know I do.  She's a singer in a band The Pinstripes with a group of friends, these friends are with her every step of the way while trying to find the "the Phantom Kisser", the name they've given the mystery guy.  Miranda Dickinson did a really awesome job fleshing out these characters, so that you, the reader, can love them as much as she surely does.  Their interactions are fun, and the loyalty to each other is felt through their conversations and actions throughout the book.    Charlie is part of this band and in the beginning I wasn't feeling his character, but I fell for him, just like I fell for the others.  Also involved in Romily's search is her Aunt and Uncle, sadly I didn't enjoy them as much.  I think they are suppose to provide the comedy, but I found them annoying more than anything.  They are all over this book, and are my reason for the 3.5 rating.

The plot turned into more that just Romily finding her guy, it became more about Romily taking risks and challenging herself to be a more better successful person. There is growth with her as a woman, and I can appreciate a chick lit novel where the main character grows from her experiences.  I loved the ending, it was perfect.

If you are looking for a light Christmasy chick lit read, I would recommend picking this up, hey you might even love Auntie and Uncle Dudley.

Nov 28, 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, 1)
Warm BodiesAuthor:  Isaac Marion
Publisher:  Atria
Publication Date:  April 26th 2011
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

R is a young man with an existential crisis - he is a zombie.  He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains.  he can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing.  He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend.  Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R.  His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.


Warm Bodies will soon be hitting the big screen in the beginning of 2013, after seeing the trailer, I knew I needed to read it.  The trailer has a funny vibe, that isn't really there in the book, that was a little disappointing.

Warm Bodies is mostly about R, and his "life" as a zombie. Author, Isaac Marion, gives us the daily life of the zombies living in an airport.  They get married and are given zombie children, but really they are not even sure what that all entails since they have no recollection of what relationships are, more less how they feel.  They just shuffle along like idiots eating humans.  When R eats the brain of Perry (not a spoiler, it happens right away) R starts getting Perry's memories.  Most of these memories are of Perry with his girlfriend.  Perry spots the girl, and tries to protect her.  Slowly he starts getting feelings and is able to speak a little instead of grunting.  This starts a change in the undead, that hopefully will lead to a better life for the living.

As I mentioned above, I was expecting some humor, and though there was a little, it wasn't nearly enough.  Warm Bodies is still an interesting read.  R slowly changing into something more human and wanting to find out what is happening is what kept me reading.  I am slightly conflicted with the whole relationship though, because I'm not sure really where Julie (the romantic interest) is coming from.  Why in the hell is she not more frightened? Her reactions to R are a little  unbelievable, in my opinion.   I wish I knew a little more about her so I could understand some of her actions.  I enjoyed the simplicity of the writing, but the world building was lacking.  How did the world become what it is?  What the hell are the bonies?  So many questions and not enough answers. 

I did enjoy Warm Bodies, but it is lacking a complete picture, but since this is a series, I'm sure we will be getting more answers.

Nov 25, 2012

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant To Be
Meant to BeAuthor:  Lauren Morrill
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  November 13th 2012
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Meant to be or not meant to be...that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the-gasp-wrong guy.  Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared.  That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket.  And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be")

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London.  After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts...from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way.  And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all:  true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


I read a couple of reviews that compared this to Anna and the French Kiss, my favorite contemporary YA book, so naturally I really wanted to read this.  Anna and the French Kiss still remains my favorite, but Meant To Be is a pretty awesome book nevertheless. 

I immediately liked Julia, she is a straitlaced follow the rules kind of girl.  I can appreciate a girl who isn't silly, and is actually interested in expanding her mind. She grew up in a loving home with two parents who were deeply in love with each other, and preached the whole fate thing, MTB (meant to be) is how she expects to find her great love.  Jason is the polar opposite of Julia, he doesn't believe in the MTB, and loves breaking the rules, all in good fun.  Because they are both opposites they really are able to gain new perspectives in how they view life.  Their interactions are really great, and fun.  

Meant To Be is not an insta-love read.  Julia can't stand that she is paired up with Jason, who doesn't take anything seriously.  She came to really learn about London, and see these great attractions especially the ones that have to do with Shakespeare.  She's a huge fan.  Slowly, though without really realizing it she begins to appreciate Jason, and his unorderly approach to life.  Jason remains a mystery to readers.  We get glimpses of this wacky fun guy, but I never felt like I got a really good read on him.  

Meant To Be is a really great YA contemporary.  If you enjoy opposites attract storylines this is a must read.

Nov 21, 2012

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Author:  Maria Semple
Where'd You Go, BernadettePublisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:  August 14th 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5

Bernadette Fox is notorious.  To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, mom.  Then Bernadette disappears.  It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward:  a family trip to Antarctica.  But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.  A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.  To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.'


Wow, I just loved Bernadette.  She's quirky and quite a likable character.  Her idiosyncrasies are funny, and heartwarming.

There are so many aspects of Where'd You Go, Bernadette that blended so well together, and made for a enjoyable fun read, which is why it got a 5 star rating from me.  The characters are so creatively done, and the plot...where did she go, has you turning the pages well past bedtime.  A lot of the story is told through email exchanges, letters, and transcripts, which made the story go by much quicker.  Bernadette is a creative genius, who doesn't have the patience or like to be around people, especially the gnats (mothers from the school her daughter goes to).  The gnats are annoying to Bernadette, they want her to participate and volunteer at the school, and look down at her for not.  Obviously she doesn't care about her child..I mean, she doesn't bake anything for the bake sale. *eye roll*  She does quite a few things to show her dislike of the gnats, all which lead to some laugh out loud moments.  Did I mention I love Bernadette.

I really don't like giving away much, even non spoilerish things. So I will end the review with "Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a fun book, with so many great moments".  Read it!

Nov 20, 2012

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

The Middlesteins
The MiddlesteinsAuthor:  Jami Attenberg
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  October 23rd 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago.  But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems; Edie's enormous girth.  She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live.

When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control.  Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie.  Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over.  And Rachelle--a whippet thin perfectionist--is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvah party.  Through it all, they wonder:  do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?


The Middlesteins is a book that I wanted to read as soon as I heard about it.  I, like a lot people also struggle with food, more accurately my LOVE of food, but I again like most people try to make healthy choices.  Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't, it is the nature of the beast.   

What I find fascinating with The Middlesteins is how Edie has absolutely no care and restraint when it comes to food, yet she is a women keen to calling people out on their stupidity.  She is an angry women, as well as a selfish one.  I didn't really like her, yet I felt sorry for her.  Author, Jami Attenberg conjured up a dynamic character that angers you yet, you can empathize with.  Her husband, Richard, I pitied.  He's a more likable character even though he is the one who leaves Edie.  I liked that Richard narrated some of the chapters.  It is insightful to see his side of the story.

The story is told through many perspectives.  Edie, Richard, Benny, their son, Robin, the daughter, and even Benny's wife.  Each had their own voice, and you can tell who is putting their input into what is happening.  I enjoyed Ms. Attenberg's writing, it flowed nicely and is simply written.  The Middlesteins is a character driven novel, not much of a plot there, but the characters are very interesting.

I really enjoyed The Middlesteins, it' sad, real and entertaining.  

Nov 16, 2012

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

As I Wake
As I WakeAuthor:  Elizabeth Scott
Publisher:  Dutton Juvenile
Date Published:  September 15th 2011
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest.  There's only one problem:  Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is. 

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surfaced take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no once can be trusted.  Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers...but only in exchange for her trust.


As I Wake is a confusing read, but it still draws you in.  Problem is in the end you are still left with unanswered questions. The writing has a repetitive feel to it, and at first it's frustrating but after awhile I got use to it.  It's a very quick read at a little over 250 pages, it just left me thinking WTF in the end.  I'm a fan of Elizabeth Scott's writing, sadly I just didn't enjoy this one.  It's basically about parallel worlds.  Interesting concept, just not executed very well, I think.  

Nov 15, 2012

Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn

Unleashed (Ross Siblings, #1)Author:  Cherrie Lynn
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publication Date:  February 2nd 2010
Rating:  2.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

It's not enough that Kelsey's husband left her for another woman.  Oh, no.  The "other woman" had to be her best friend Evan's fiancee.  Not only has she lost her marriage, she fears losing Evan to the lingering awkwardness and humiliation that hangs between them.

Evan has no intention of letting that happen.  He's got plans...namely, an extra plane ticket to Hawaii now his that his future wife is out of the picture.  There's only one person he wants on the trip with him, the one who's always been there for him.  The one he should never have let slip away into the arms of a traitorous friend who shattered her heart.

Kelsey is anticipating a week of fun in the sun with the man who's always treated her like a little sister.  No one's more surprised when she discovers that Evan has seduction on his mind-and that she's more than ready for it.

Love is the most powerful healing force of all.  But past demons have a way of ripping open old wounds, and threatening the survival of even the strongest friendship..


This is not a typical kind of read for me so I don't have anything to compare Unleashed with.  I do know that I really didn't love this book, it was just okay to me.  I did a fair amount of cringing as I read this, it was just corny in some parts. I laughed out loud a lot, and read passages out loud to my husband in a whispery Marilyn Monroe kind of voice, which had both us laughing.  I don't think it was meant to be funny though. Anyways, Unleashed is a erotic romance, it did have some hot parts but mostly it was whatever.  I was not a fan of the female main character Kelsey.  She was slightly too immature for me, but Evan is a great character.  Definitely a sweet naughty kind of man.  The storyline is weak, and not very interesting.  Unleashed is the first book in the Ross Sibling series, I will continue with it because I hear that the next two books are better.  

Nov 14, 2012

Midweek Update

Hey Ya'll

What I finished Reading:

Unleashed (Ross Siblings, #1)

Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn
The first book in the Ross Siblings Series. Review should be up soon.

Currently Reading:

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This is my first Stiefvater read, i'm 23% in on my kindle.  It's okay, hoping it picks up.


Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
One of the classics I've been wanting to read.  I've divided into sections, that I have to read everyday to get it finished in 31 days.

Nov 12, 2012

Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner

Vaclav and Lena
Vaclav and LenaAuthor:  Haley Tanner
Publisher:  The Dial Press
Date Published:  May 17th 2011
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

Vaclav and Lena, both the children of Russian emigres, are at the same time from radically different worlds.  While Vaclav's burgeoning love of performing magic is indulged by hard-working parents pursuing the American dream, troubled orphan Lena is caught in a domestic situation no child should suffer through.  Taken in as one of her own by Vaclav's big-hearted mother, Lena might finally be able to blossom; in the naive young magician's eyes, she is destined to be his "faithful assistant"...but after a horrific discovery, the two are ripped apart without even a goodbye.  Years later, they meet again,  But will their past once more conspire to keep them apart?


I'm not sure what I expected from Vaclav and Lena...a love story, I guess, one that made me smile in the end.  It's not what I got.  The tone is melancholy and the story that unfolded was hard to read.  Not because it was badly written but because you want these two characters to persevere.

The beginning starts off with a young Vaclav and Lena, and sets up their friendship and dreams. You get the feel of how close they are, yet can sense something is not right with Lena.  As the story goes Lena becomes whole, we find out how much life she has already experienced, and not a good one, at a young age.  The second half you meet up with teenage Vaclav and Lena, and you get the answers that aren't there in the first half.

I enjoyed Vaclav and Lena, it was sad and the characters stay with you.  It's a short read, one I recommend.  

Nov 9, 2012

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

34 Pieces of You
34 Pieces of YouAuthor:  Carmen Rodrigues
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: September 4th 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

There was something about Ellie...Something dangerous.  Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her.  Sarah followed her lead.  And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie's dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces.  All they have are 34 clues she left behind.  34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed.  34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own.  As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along...


34 Pieces of You is a very somber read.  The story of Ellie is told from multiple narrators, Sarah, her best friend, Jake, her brother and Jess, Sarah's sister.  The best narrator is Jake,  I got a little more about who Ellie was from him.  But to be honest, I never really felt like I knew who Ellie was, I'm still wondering who exactly she was, and since this is a character driven novel, it was annoying.

In the beginning I was having a tough time to figure out where I was timeline wise, because it flip flops and feels like it's everywhere.  The timelines were divided by "Before January", "After November" etc., I would find that I would get confused and go back to see where I was in the previous chapter.

Despite the things I didn't like I was compelled to finish it to find out Ellie's secrets, and finished it in one day.  I did enjoy it, just not as much as I was expecting to.

Nov 7, 2012

Midweek Update

Hey ya'll!

What I finished reading:

The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2)

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Review was posted yesterday, not gonna put a link because it's right below this post. ;)

Currently Reading:

34 Pieces of You

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues
Just started this one, only one chapter in.

Nov 6, 2012

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Winter Rose
The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2)Author:  Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Publication Date:  November 30th 2006
Series: 2nd Book in The Tea Rose Trilogy
Ratings:  3.5 out of 5

From Goodreads:

It has been twelve years since a dark, murderous figure stalked the alleys and courts of Whitechapel.  And yet, in the summer of 1900, East London is still poor, still brutal, still a shadow city to its western twin.  Among the reformers is an idealistic young woman named India Selwyn-Jones, recently graduated from  medical school.  With the help of her influential fiance--Freddie Lytton, an up-and-coming Liberal MP--she works to shut down the area's opium dens that destroy both body and soul.  Her selfless activities better her patients' lives and bring her immense gratification, but unfortunately, they also bring her into direct conflict with East London's ruling crime lord--Sid Malone.  India is not good for business and at first, Malone wants her out.  But against all odds, India and Sid fall in love.  Different in nearly every way, they share one thing in common--they're both wounded souls.  Their love impossible and they know it, yet they cling to it desperately.  Lytton, India's fiance, will stop at nothing to marry India and gain her family's fortune.


The Winter Rose is the second book in the Tea Rose trilogy, and follows Charles Finnegan.  Charles becomes Sid Malone, a notorious crime lord, he separates himself completely from his siblings, Fiona and Seamus.  I enjoyed The Tea Rose a bit more, but still thought the Winter Rose was a good followup.

Charlie aka Sid Malone is a really great character.  He's flawed and real.  He's definitely scarred by what happened to his family, which we learn about in book one.  Sid is a crime lord but one that helps the poor people of Whitechapel, almost like Robin Hood. He's build walls around his heart to make it easier to be Sid Malone, and refuses to acknowledge Fiona.  Fiona wants Charlie, and he left him a long time ago.  Fiona and Joe, from the Tea Rose are also a big part of the Winter Rose, and even Seamus joins in the second half of The Winter Rose.

One of the great things about The Tea Rose is the romance between Fiona and Joe, so naturally I was expecting to love the romance between Sid and India, but it actually didn't do it for me much.  Sid was great, my problem lies with India.  India is too damn perfect.  I seriously can't stand characters that are goody two shoes, she's smart, brave, independent and loved by all.  *roll eyes* Then all of a sudden she starts making stupid decisions in the second half of the book that annoy me.  But I did enjoy her interactions with her friend Ella.

First half of the book is good, then it starts going downhill a bit in the second half.  Seamus comes into play basically to set up the third book that will be about him, and I found those parts boring, so I will not be reading the third book.

Nov 2, 2012

Mini Reviews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying GirlAuthor: Jesse Andrews
Publisher:  Harry N. Adams
Publication Date:  March 1st 2012
Pages: 295
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is basically an acid trip in book form.  Told in first person, we go inside the crazy mind of Greg, and seriously Greg needs happy pills.  He's quite a character...weird, brutally honest, insecure and a pervert.  Author Jesse Andrews writes the way your head process thoughts.  You know like when your driving the same route you go everyday and your mind wanders to the most random thoughts.  Anyway, it's a entertaining read, but if you're expecting a insightful read about death, and cancer look elsewhere. 

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date:  August 21st 2007
Pages: 288, Hardcover
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Honestly I can't remember that much about Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, it just isn't a memorable book.  Naomi takes a fall and loses the last 4 years of her memory. In the last 4 years some major changes have occurred in her family and teenage life. None of the characters really stood out for me, and the plot was just okay.  Keep in mind that I am not a young adult so that may have something to do with my dislike of it.  


Oct 11, 2012

Reading: October 2012

October 2012

1.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Rating: 5/5

2.  Me Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Rating: 3/5

3.  Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Rating: 3/5

4.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rating: 5/5

Oct 6, 2012

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary
Author:  Gustave Flaubert
Published: June 1st 1982 (first published January 1st 1857)
Publisher:  Bantam Classics

Spoilers galore

Madame Bovary really took me by surprise, honestly I wasn't sure how I was going to feel reading about a selfish manipulative women, what I found was a special place for Emma Bovary. This review will probably go off on tangents but I have so much to say.  Emma is a women that runs on her emotions, forget her daughter, her husband Charles, her lovers and the people from her community that are in her life, she is all about herself. All they do is deter her from the glorious life she should be living.  Her life is too small for her imagination.  She seeks excitement, adventure, and passion and finds her life is lacking in all of these aspects that mean more to her than her virtue.  Instead of laying the fault in herself she decides that it must be Charles fault.  She recites poems to him under the moonlight and gets nothing in response.  Can a girl get a little passion, please. 

First, I believe there is a little of Emma in everyone.  The basics of Emma's emotions and thoughts are genderless.  Seriously, Emma could  have easily been an Edward.  I've heard many things said about the character of Emma, and most aren't great and I can definitely see why, but her feelings aren't really foreign, are they?  Most of the things Emma is feeling towards her life, husband, children are all to some degree thoughts we have felt.  Some of us have done outrageous, wrong things to gain what we seek in our lives, and some of us have complained yet persevere through to be able to live with ourselves.  That's what it comes down to in the end.  Is it easier to live with yourself while accepting your life, even when your not happy.  Was there a nicer more compassionate way to gain happiness,  one that would not require taking advantage of people, or manipulating them? Of course there was/is. We all do it.  I guess it's just not Emma's style.   Emma's lack of responsibility money wise really does her in in the end.  Yes, it's not the men or the lack of an exciting life, but her excessive spending that is the tank that takes Emma down.  She's exhausted her ploy of using her feminine wiles to get the men in her life to come to her rescue, and  is basically left to figure out how to get out of the financial mess she's in.  And of course, Charles is completely unaware of the severity of the financial issue.  In the end though she shows how truly weak she is, when the only thing she can come up with is killing herself and leaving all the mess to Charles.  Ahh, truly are gullible.  I can't understand my disdain for Charles, when Emma is the true culprit, but honestly I think Emma was just too much for Charles.  A man like him has no idea where to begin loving a women like Emma.  What happens to Charles when Emma dies, well, he puts Emma on this pedestal and I realized he loves a women he never ever really even knew.

Madame Bovary has become my favorite classic.  Love it.

Sep 8, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day
Every Day
Author:  David Levithan
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  August 28th 2012

Alright, I had to gather my thoughts after reading Every Day by David Levithan because as I was reading it I kept on thinking I don't like A.  The only interesting thing about A is that he "jumps" into different people and live their lives for 24 hrs before he jumps into a different person.  I was slightly bothered by A, seriously what is he/she...a poof of air.  I'm not seeing relationship material, just saying.  A's love interest Rhiannon puzzled me, as well.  I saw nothing great about her that would warrant A loving her, especially after one day.  I was confused when I finished Every Day because though I didn't like A and Rhiannon, I loved everything else about Every Day.  

Every Day is more about the supporting cast than A for me.  I immersed myself in the people A was for the day.  I was excited reading about them and what kind of people they were, what their lives were like.  Those individual stories is what kept me reading.  Life was told through them, every day life.  The ups and down of being a teenage boy or girl from relationships to depression.

4 stars

Aug 8, 2012

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before YouMe Before You
Author:  Jojo Moyes
Publisher:  Penguin
Publication Date:  January 1st 2011

What can I say but that Me Before You is a really well written emotional story.  I felt a range of different emotions reading about Will Trayner, and his carer Lou (short for Louisa).  I knew from reading some reviews that this is not a fluff chick lit book, though it does have plenty of fun witty laugh out loud moments.

I'm amazed how much I love the characters from Me Before You, especially Will and Lou.  They are two completely opposite people, mostly due to the circumstances in which they grew up.  Will led a adventurous life before his accident left him a paraplegic. He is definitely a man who loves living life to the fullest.  Living his life constantly needing someone to help him and being limited in choices is a very far cry from where he was.  There are some really hard depressing Will moments to read, they became hard for me to read cause I really really liked Will.  I wanted to help him, but I'm so glad he had Lou. :) 
Lou has quickly become one of my favorite characters, partly because I recognize a lot of her in me.  Some people are just okay with things being the same ol', and for Lou, she's not even aware of all she is missing out on living in her hometown with her parents.  But for someone like Will, who tried to experience as much as he can before the accident, he can't help but want to help Lou.  Show her that there is more to life than their small town.  Ms. Moyes gives us looks into both Will and Lou's home life which allowed the author to create some vivid characters.  Where Will's family has money is more tamed and reserved, Lou's family is a riot.  Many laughs to be had while Louisa is at home.  

As for the plot itself, there are so many parallels between Lou and Will that I find it amusing that they had there own plans on how to open up each others world to new possibilities.  Lou is trying to help Will understand that he can have a good life even if it's confined to a wheelchair.  She's trying to show him that he can have a enjoyable life full of great memories if he just tries, while at the same time Will is trying to help her live life, experience it. There are serious issues brought up in Me Before You, which makes Me Before You a sober read.  There is so much more i'm leaving out, but honestly I think this is one that is best going in not knowing too much. 

Me Before You is one of the best books I've read so far in 2012.  I've been going through a book rut and this is was the perfect book to have picked up.  I highly recommend it!

Jul 31, 2012

I've been thinking...
  • I want to change the name of my blog
  • I don't want to accept any more books for review
  • the book blogging drama is ridiculous
  • I'm so glad that I am not a part of it.
  • I have way too many books to read 
  • seeing stacks and stacks of books needing to be read is giving me anxiety
  • book blogging is no longer fun
  • should I shut down my blog 
  • or do I change it up and blog about whatever I want
  • including books
  • I can't believe I never experienced BEA while I was a book blogger
  • It's time to move on
  • but will I miss it eventually and come back with my tail between my legs
  • since I got rid of hundreds of my books, I feel less anxiety.  
  • Could I possibly be over my favorite past time (reading)
  • How come all the books I pick up aren't doing it for me.  (lol)
  • How come I can't write anything (I've resorted to bullets cause I can't write coherent sentences right now)
  • I've DNF'd more books than read this summer
  • I keep looking for that one special book that is going to get me out of my funk
  • This funk seems more serious than other funks. 
  • What is all this talk about copyrighted images.
  • Just another thing I don't need to be worrying about
  • I will always have the New York Times. :)
Am I closing down?  I don't know, but there won't be new posts up until I found out what I want to do.

Any advice would be awesome.  

Jul 24, 2012

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Red Heart TattooRed Heart Tattoo
Author:  Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher:  Random House Children's Books
Publication Date:  July 24th 2012

From Goodreads:  

At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High.  Nine people die instantly.  Fifteen are critically injured.  Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries.  And one is blinded.  Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction.  All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.


I'm not really quite sure of what I thought about Red Heart Tattoo. In one side, I think it's a realistic book that will remind you of Colombine.  On the other hand, I felt there wasn't any real depth to it.  

It's hard to review a book that you like for it's message and deep content but also feels like it's unfinished or only touches the surface.  A lot of the characters are stereotypical personalities that you will find in every school.  Everyone is represented, the queen bee, cheerleader, jock, rebel, and the ignored unpopular.  My problem is I wanted to know more about them then what is on the surface.  We all know the queen bee is an overachiever, and is dating the jock.  We know the jock is always willing/wanting to kick some lower status guy for looking at his chick, or whatever lame reason.  I wanted something knew to add life to these characters, especially with the trauma they went through.  I also feel when the culprits were caught it isn't a huge factor in Red Heart Tattoo, nor were the characters.  I especially wanted to know what Lurlene McDaniel would do with these characters.  And she did...really nothing.  *Sigh* This could have been so much better.

Though I really didn't love Red Heart Tattoo, I do want to say the subject matter is important and I commend Lurlene McDaniel for taking on a very relevant and hard subject.  She did a great job of showing the different ways it affects peoples lives.  

Though Red Heart Tattoo left me wanting, I still thought it was an okay read.  

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Jul 2, 2012

the Best of June

Whew, I really needed that break!  I read 9 books in June. Some awesome, some not so. Why waste my time on the duds, instead i'm going to do a shout out to my June favorites.  

Adult Fiction:

Into the Darkest Corner

I was going to go with the Goodreads summary, but I think it gives away too much info.  So here is my not so great attempt of a book description.

Catherine finds the perfect man, Lee, who is everything she and most women want in a man.  He's hot, fun and just freaking all around awesome.  Slowly Catherine begins to see a different side of Lee.  One that is frightening and controlling.  

Cue to four years later, Catherine is now suffering from OCD and numerous other things because of the traumatic experience she suffered from Lee, and Lee is in prison.  But Lee is about to be released.  Also, there is a cute nice new neighbor.  

A Quick Little Something:

Into the Darkest Corner reminded me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy starring Julia Roberts.  This book had me wrapped around it's fingers.  I seriously was not going to put this down until I finished it.  

YA Fiction:

Something Like Normal

From Goodreads:

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he's haunted by nightmares of his best friend's death.  It's not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he's had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up.  And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again.  Travis's dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

A Quick Little Something:

A really great contemporary YA with a male point of view.  The writing is very straight forward, but what grabbed me the most was Travis.  Such a solid written character that is going through so much.


Adult Fiction:

Mistress of Rome (Rome, #1)


Thea is a slave girl from Judea, passionate, musical, and guarded.  Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea become her mistress's rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome's newest and most savage gladiator.  His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life-that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome's aristocrats.  Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome.  But Domitian's games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting both soul and sanity.  Many have tried to destroy the Emperor;  a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin.  But in the end, the life of the brilliant and paranoid Domitian lies in the hands of one woman:  Emperor's mistress.

Quick Little Something:

First you have gladiator's, Emperor's, slaves, and a really spiteful bitch.  Then you have love, betrayal, vengeance, jealousy and so much more.  Mistress of Rome is a crazy freaking ride of a book.


All of these I wholeheartedly recommend.  I'm pretty sure no one will be disappointed.  

Jun 7, 2012

Taking a Break

I haven't been consistent with posting lately so I've decided that I will take a blogging break.  I don't know how long I will take but for now I know it will definitely be for the month of June.  There might be an occasional post if I get the urge to do a review or something.

See ya soon! 

May 30, 2012

YA Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Author:  Sarra Manning
Publisher:  Atom
Publication Date:  May 24th 2012

From Goodreads:

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business.  She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing the World.  And yet, in spite of accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend.  Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt.  So why can't she stop talking to him?


I had been anticipating the release of Adorkable for months and when I woke up on May 24th there it was all ready for me on my kindle.  Though Adorkable isn't my favorite Sarra Manning book, it was great enough that I finished it up in one day.

Jeane is a strong emancipated teen who has a lot going for her in the cyber world.  She has many twitter and blog followers and her successful website Adorkable is a hit with the "dorks".  Jeane's life isn't so perfect though in the real world.  Michael, who is the golden boy of the school and Jeane have absolutely nothing in common except that their boyfriend and girlfriend are getting very close.  I love the interactions between Jeane and Michael, they were so much fun.  Jeane has her moments when she isn't so likeable, but it made her real.  Sometimes her tirade against conformity would be like "alright already", but then Sarra Manning would reveal a crack in Jeane's armor and I would immediately like her again.  Michael is one of my favorite male characters.  He's comfortable with who he is as much as Jeane is and she can't understand this which leads to some arguments between the two that are interesting and witty.  As characters both of them grow tremendously by the end of the book.

I really enjoyed Adorkable and definitely recommend it, especially if you like contemporary reads with a opposite's attract romance.

May 24, 2012

YA Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding OnKeep Holding On
Author:  Susane Colasanti
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Publication Date:  May 31st 2012

From Goodreads:

Noelle's life is all about survival.  Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her.  Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts payin g attention to her, she's terrified.  Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart.  But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for the love that keeps her holding on.


I freaking love Keep Holding On!  I've read almost all of  Susane Colasanti books and they have all been right in the middle reads with 3 star ratings from me, but Keep Holding On is a 5 star book.  By far the best book Ms. Colasanti has written.

Maybe it's so good because of the topics discussed?  The topics range from child neglect to bullying and all between. Noelle is going through a rough time at home and school.  At home she is ignored and neglected.  There isn't ever any food, and her mom is so depressed with her life that she does nothing but complain to Noelle, and blame her for it.  The bullying at school is so realistic. Noelle doesn't have money for the latest trendiest clothes and is making do with the little she has and is constantly picked on for it.

 I liked Noelle, I felt bad for Noelle, I wanted the best for Noelle.  When a character can touch you emotionally that you truly care for said character, then you struck book gold, in my opinion.  As Noelle slowly starts becoming stronger you can't help but smile and be happy for her. Julian, the love interest is a very interesting character.  His character is much more harder to grasp.  You see all the ways he's good, but he remains a mystery of sorts.

I highly recommend Keep Holding On.  You will immediately like Noelle and enjoy her growth.  One of my favorite YA this year.

May 16, 2012

YA Review: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Unbreak My Heart
Unbreak My Heart
Author:  Melissa C. Walker
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date:  May 22nd 2012

From Goodreads:

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams' heart.  She fell for her best friend;s boyfriend and long story short:  he's excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.

Enter her parents' plan to spend the summer on their sailboat.  Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river.  He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he's just the distraction Clem needs.  Can he break down Clem's walls and heal her broken heart?


I really had a hard time getting into Unbreak My Heart, nothing felt new.  Clementine is a regular girl, it was nice to have a girl I'm sure many could relate to.  Everything Clem is going through is nothing outlandish or too much, it's ordinary "teenage" problems.  I thought it was a great idea to set this on a sailboat trip because we get many interactions between Clem and her family.  Parents don't usually play a huge part in YA unless they are dying, died or abusive. 

I did have to keep pushing to continue reading, not because it seriously sucked but because I felt like I have read this before.  The whole cheating with your best friends' boyfriend has been done before, I really feel that the characters, plot and secondary characters should be outstanding so that it can stand out.  Unbreak My Heart just wasn't outstanding to me.   I wasn't too thrilled with the love interest James.  He wasn't really all that interesting and for me it dulled the relationship as well as the James/Clem moments.  The vilifying of Clem is a little over done, seriously you'd think she was having a baby with this guy.  We find out what happened between Clem and her best friend boyfriends through flashbacks as Clem is thinking about it.  

Unbreak My Heart doesn't really stand out,  I'm pretty sure I won't even remember much about it a couple of months later, not to say you won't enjoy it while reading it, it's just not memorable.  

May 7, 2012

Mini Reviews

Aftertime (Aftertime, #1)Aftertime ( Aftertime, bk 1) by Sophie Littlefield
Publisher:  Luna
Publication Date:  February 22nd 2011

Aftertime is a post apocalyptic/dystopian zombie story.  Cass is trying to find her 3 yr. old daughter after they were separated when Cass was taken by the zombies.  Somehow Cass survives the zombie attack and gets better. I immediately got sucked into the story in the beginning, the middle is a bit slower but still enjoyable.  My problem is with the end, it is so anti-climatic and all over the place.  The feel of the ending didn't really match up with the rest.  3 stars

The Flight of Gemma Hardy
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date:  January 24th 2012

The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre.  I have not read Jane Eyre yet, but I hope that Jane is more interesting than Gemma. There is a lot of boring mundane fillers in this book, like Gemma got up and fed the pigs and cooked this and that. Blah!  2 Stars


Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1)Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, bk 1) by Jeffrey Lindsey
Publisher:  Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Original Publication Date: July 20th 2004

Fascinating look into the mind of a sociapath.  Dexter is a killer but since he only kills bad people, he thinks he's actually doing us a favor. Dexter is a very cold and distant character, he lacks any emotions.  I enjoyed the simplicity of the writing and story.  4 stars

May 1, 2012

April Wrap-Up

This month I read a total of 8 books.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher Review
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks  Review
Mob Daughter by Karen Gravano  Review
Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers  Review
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf  Review
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark  Review
I Love the 80s by Megan Crane  Review
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn  Review


April Favorite:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places


April Miss:

The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

The Overnight Socialite: A Novel


My TBR for May will be up tomorrow. This month I decided I will be reading only Adult books and they must already be on my shelves.  

I'm also participating in 

Page Count Contest

Page Count Contest 
hosted by Reading Angel

If your interested, go check it out to see what it's all about.
I believe you have until Thursday to sign up.

Top Ten Tuedays: Top Ten Books You'd Like to See Made Into a Movie

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Books You'd Like to See Turn into a Movie

The Bronze Horseman (Tatiana and Alexander, #1)

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Divergent by Veronica Roth   

Outlander (Outlander, #1)

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon



The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1)

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz      

The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados, #1)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon    

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain  

The Secret HistoryThe Secret History by Donna Tartt


From Notting Hill with Love... Actually
From Notting Hill With Love...Actually by Ali McNamara 

Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell, #1)

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green