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.