May 29, 2013

May Overview and a Look Into What I'll be Reading in June

How many books did I read in the month of May:
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

I've been working my way through Game of Thrones since the beginning of the month and took a rest from reading a day or two here and there throughout the month.  I'm really enjoying the book, I just need a break from it now and then, and I didn't pick up another book during the month at all.  Around the middle of the month I started to stress about not having completed a book, my husband reminded me I read not as a contest to read a certain amount but for the enjoyment. It was a nice little pep talk he gave me. :) I'm currently 10 books behind in my Goodreads Challenge, but that's okay.  

Stoker's Manuscript

Proxy (Proxy, #1)
June 6th is my kids last day of school and I am so looking forward to it.  No more running around playing chauffeur, and that equals more reading. I'm a mood reader so I never post a TBR pile but in June I have two books that need to be reviewed that I won from LibraryThing.  I will definitely be reading Stoker's Manuscript by Royce Prouty and Proxy by Alex London.  Looking forward to reading them.

The Litigators

My husband started working a 2 month night shift at his job so we had to put our husband and wife book club on hold for those two months...currently have 2 wks left on nights and one of those weeks he will be off for one of his vacation weeks.     It always feels like he has less free time when he's on nights. We will be back at it in June and our selection is The Litigators by John Grisham.  Really excited about The Litigators, it's been awhile since i've read a John Grisham novel.  

My favorite player Manu Ginobili
Photo from

I have mentioned before on here that I am a huge NBA fan particularly of the San Antonio Spurs.  May was a fabulous  months for us Spurs fans, we won the Western Conference Finals and are headed to the NBA Finals where we will either play the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers.  This is a huge thing in my house and the reason why my husband is taking one of his vacations.  He refused to be working while the Finals are on.  He works hard so he deserves it. :)

Happy Reading!

May 7, 2013

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Wedding NightWedding Night
Author:  Sophie Kinsella
Publisher:  Bantam Press
Publication Date:  April 23rd 2013
Rating:  2 Stars

From Goodreads:

 Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don't want to commit to marriage.  When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance.  There will be no dates and no engagement - just a straight wedding march to the alter.  Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met.  But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben's rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene.  Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember or one to forget?

I'm a fan of Sophie Kinsella, though the last couple of Shopaholic books were not great. I just had to mention that.  I was hoping to really enjoy Wedding Night, I didn't.  It's a bummer because I was totally looking forward to this one.  One of the things I love about Sophie Kinsella books is that i'm guaranteed a laugh, even if overall I didn't enjoy it.   I did laugh a couple of times with Wedding Night, so that's definitely a plus and the reason for my 2 rating.   Our heroine Lottie and her sister Fliss say, think and do some pretty funny things.

  Lottie is a frustrating character. I know, I know most of her main characters are slightly frustrating but Lottie for me was just too much...TOO MUCH.  She didn't seem bright, or thirty.  At times I felt that there was no way someone could be this ditzy.  Now that I think about it, most of her heroines are, but Lottie really just irritated me. Becky Bloomwood from the the Shopaholic series also made foolish decisions but it was just fun, with Lottie, what propelled her was just not wanting to say "your right" to people, so she continued on her way knowing it's all wrong.  I love the men in Sophie Kinsella's books, but in Wedding Night I didn't like any of them.  There is nothing appealing about them.   I can't even particularly pinpoint what it was about them that didn't do it for me.

During Ben and Lottie's honeymoon they meet up with a another couple on honeymoon and compete on some couples contest, the whole thing reminded me so much of the scene in Just Go With It. You know, when Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman get competitive.  I felt it was a rip off in a way.  The thing with chick lit is, it's all been done before, so it's hard to make things stand out.

I would not recommend Wedding Night, especially if you can't stand stupid characters and situations.

May 6, 2013

Musing Mondays 5/6


A weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Muse Mondays ask you to muse about one of the following each week...

  • Describe one of your reading habits.

  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on?  Tell us about it!

  • Do you have a bookish rant?  Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your fire up?  Share it with us!

  • Tell us what you're reading right now - what you think of it, so far;  why you chose it;  what you are (or, aren't) enjoying it.

  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books - let's hear it, then!
A Dual Inheritance: A Novel
I'm currently reading A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon.  I got this from Netgalley for review.  I'm about 20 percent in and it's slow moving, I'm not into it yet.  Right now the author is setting up the characters, and I'm not finding them relatable.    A Dual Inheritance comes out tomorrow, hopefully I can get it read by the end of this week.

Apr 30, 2013

Quick Overview Of What I Read in April

Author:  Chuck Palahniuk
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Doubleday
Publication Date:  May 20th 2008
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication.  On camera.  With six hundred men.  Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 500, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room.  This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last.  Who else but Chuck Palahniuk would dare do such a thing?  Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly, and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?


My first Chuck Palahniuk book.  I discovered i'm not a fan of his writing, I kept on rereading sentences because they didn't roll off my tongue.  I thought I was reading the sentence wrong, it affected the flow for me. I did find it entertaining in a voyeurism way,  a waiting area full of men waiting to take there turn with porn star Cassie Wright is a place I'd find interesting if a fly.  I really loved the ending.

Wait For You
Wait for YouAuthor:  Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher:  Self Published (ebook) William Morrow & Company (Paperback)
Publication Date:  First published February 25th 2012
Rating: 2 Stars

From Goodreads:

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago- an event that forever changed her life.  All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe--please God--make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace.  The one things she didn't need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she's building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing...

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a  pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocable stolen from her.  She knows she needs to stay away from him, but  Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and the damn dimple that's just lickable.  Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet...

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she's has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed.  When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar?  And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for....


Wait For You is just a ehhh book for me.  I've felt like i've read this story before,  to be frank every darn new adult book basically has the same theme.  There is always a damaged female and a good looking man-whore and the plots follow the same formula.  It just irritated me after awhile, but I did get through with it.  Not recommended, unless you like this kind of story and can't get enough of it.

I also read and reviewed Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Review
And I read  Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.  I will be reviewing this one soon.

Apr 29, 2013

Musing Mondays 4/29


A weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Muse Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week...

  • Describe one of your reading habits.

  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those books(s).

  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on?  Tell us about it!

  • Do you have a bookish rant?  Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your fire up?  Share it with us!

  • Tell us what you're reading right now - what you think of it, so far; why you chose it;  what you are (or, aren't) enjoying it.

  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books - let's hear it, then!


Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story
The book I am most wanting right now, and actually have been for awhile is Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vaill.  After reading the Paris Wife by Paula McLain, I was intrigued by Gerald and Sara Murphy and wanted to know more about them.  Really i'm just gaga over the 1920's and the literary scene in Paris.  Gerald and Sara came from money and were the center of the literary/artist scene in Paris. They threw so many parties and get-togethers, just imagine the stories these two could have told. I recently read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and again they were everywhere in the book.  I've had it in my Amazon shopping cart for awhile, it's not even expensive, I don't know why I haven't bought it yet.  

Apr 24, 2013

It's All for Fun

For awhile now I've thought about shutting down Coffee, Books and Laundry, it just wasn't fun anymore for me.  I pressured myself into trying to write a review on every book I read, and well, some of those books I just didn't have much to say about them.  Then I just stopped writing reviews altogether. After a while I started to miss it, and decided that I wouldn't be so hard on myself.

What I've decided to do is write reviews on books that I have something to say about and books that are given to me for review.  Other books I read throughout the month will go in a monthly overview with a couple of sentences about what I thought of it.  Occasionally I will do a meme if I feel like it that day, nothing will be structured though.

This year my husband and I are doing a husband/wife book club.  Every month we pick a book we both will read and at the end of the month on a date night we discuss the book during dinner.  My husband really isn't a reader, but he really wanted to try this and so far is enjoying it.  On the sidebar is a list of books we've read so far.  I'm thinking about having a dual review on those.  I think it will be interesting to see both his and my thoughts on what we read that month.

My new mantra for this blog is "It's all for fun".

Apr 23, 2013

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Z: A Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldAuthor:  Therese Anne Fowler
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date:  March 26th 2013
Rating:  4 stars

I knew I would love this book, if only because of the era 1920's and that it's about Zelda and her marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Both fascinate me, mostly because of all the stories I've read about how wonderfully fun and damaged they were with their love for each other.  Most of us have heard of the crazy antics of Zelda, and many people believe she was F. Scott Fitzgerald's downfall, I always chose to think otherwise.  I tend to romanticize their relationship, two eccentric people in love with each other to the brink of insanity and in Zelda's case, to insanity.  Z is a book that I had to read.

I enjoyed Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, it's a fictional account of how life was for Zelda, being inside her brain while being in the midst of the writers and artist of their time is really a fascinating read, especially to fans of literature, and Fitzgerald, in particular.  The egos, competition, and pompousness of these creative types and how it shaped her marriage to Fitzgerald really pulls you in and keeps you reading, so many personalities looking for attention. It seemed beautiful, yet ugly all at the same time.  It's definitely different than most accounts of their love, we mostly hear how Zelda ruined Scott, or how she craved attention and most of the time did outlandish things to demand it, but with Z we get a different perspective of how Zelda was.  I am able to visualize a different Zelda, and one much more whole.  We all have different sides of us, she must have had too.

Z takes us many places, we travel mentally to all the places the Fitzgerald's roamed to.  At times it seemed exhausting to adjust to another location.  I can't imagine the toll it took on the famous couple.  The descriptions of the places are just the right amount for someone who doesn't like too much filler, but seeks to visualize the setting.  Alabama, New York, Paris, and California are just some places we travel to as readers.  The flow of the location changes and Zelda's story are well paced and the writing is good.  Honestly, I am not one that dissects writing and the usage of words, and sentence structure, etc.  I either like a book or don't.  And I really liked Z.

My one problem with Z is one that bothered a few readers, the use of made up letters from Zelda to Scott.  I agree with other reviewers, why make up letters when there is so many preserved and published real ones.  I understand that the book is fiction but it takes something away from the story.  Simply, why?

I do recommend Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, especially to fans of the 1920's and/or readers who like a tale of marriage gone bad.

Apr 22, 2013

Musing Mondays 4/22


A weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Muse Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week...

  • Describe one of your reading habits.

  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on?  Tell us about it!

  • Tell us what you're reading right now - what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are(or, aren't) enjoying it.

  • Do you have a bookish rant?  Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your fire up? Share it with us!

  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books - let's hear it, then!


The DinnerI'm currently reading The Dinner by Herman Koch.
I'm on page 62, right now i'm getting to know the characters.  Plot wise it has not moved forward, but i'm hoping with so much insight into the characters, I will be me more invested in the story. I knew from the get go that this was not a plot driven novel, and for me character driven novels are what my Favorites list consist most of.  When I start to emotionally connect with a character, that's it, its' a wrap, i'm in love with the book. Where i'm at in The Dinner i'm still learning about the characters and their quirks.  It still hasn't sucked me in.

Apr 17, 2013

Quick Overview of What I Read in March (7 Books)

On WritingBook 1
On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft
Author:  Stephen King
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Publication Date:  June 25th 2002
Rating: 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.  King's advance is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near fatal accident in 1999 and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.


Great writing pointers.  Clarifies the writing experience with chapters on language and grammar, as well as editing.  The memoir part keeps your interest.  Very much enjoyed it, and a quick read.


The Dry Grass of AugustBook 2
The Dry Grass of August
Author:  Anna Jean Mayhew
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Publication Date:  2011
Rating:  4 Stars

From Goodreads:

In a personal, powerful debut, Mayhew explodes the explosive tensions of the South in the mid-1950's through the prism of a young girl's friendship with her black maid and the currents of violence, infidelity, and corruption that run beneath the police surface of her family's life.


Resembles the Help in some ways with the racial tensions of the 50's.  But mostly a coming of age story of an 12 yr. old upper middleclass white girl who on a road trip starts to really see the racial divide as she travels with her family and their black maid.  A tearjerker and a very well written novel.

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
Pivot Point
Author:  Kasie West
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  February 12th 2013
Ratings:  4 Stars

From Goodreads:

Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?"  As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes.  It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster.  Or so she thought.  When Addie's parents ambush her the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with her-her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known.  Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy.  One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute sensitive artist who understands her.  In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school-but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend.  When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear.  With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through....and who she can't live without.

Very interesting concept, and executed almost perfectly.  Just a few flaws, basically some answers I wish were answered.  I liked Addison which made for an easy read.  Looking forward to book 2.


Author:  Catherine McKenzie
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publication Date:  May 1st 2012
Rating:  2.5 Stars

From Goodreads:

Emma Tupper, a young lawyer with a bright future, sets out on a journey after her mother's death:  to Africa, a place her mother always wanted to visit.  But her mother's dying gift has unexpected consequences.  Emma falls ill during the trip and is just recovering when a massive earthquake hits, turning her one0month vacation into a six-month ordeal.

When Emma returns home, she's shocked to find that her friends and colleagues believed she was dead, that her apartment has been rented to a stranger and that her life has gone on without her.  Can Emma pick up where she left off?  Should she?  As Emma struggles to recreate her old life, everyone around her thinks she should change - her job, her relationships, and even herself.  But does she really want to sacrifice everything she's working so hard to gain?

I had high expectations for Forgotten, but it just didn't work out for me.  It seems pretty crazy to come home and everything that is your life is wiped away, for me Emma's reactions and emotions just didn't seem all that realistic to me.  It was very much "touching the surface" for me.  The romance part of it seemed very rushed and even boring.  Not recommended.


The First Last KissThe First Last Kiss
Author:  Ali Harris
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Date Published:  January 17th 2013
Rating: 2.5 Stars

From Goodreads:

This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart.  The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they'd be together forever.  Six years and thousands of kisses later she's married to the man she loves.  But today, when Ryan kissed her, Molly realizes how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted...

The First Last Kiss is not a memorable read.  I don't remember much about it other than I really didn't care for Molly, though Ryan I did like.  At almost 500 pages it just didn't hold my interest all that well.


Don't You Forget About Me
Don't You Forget about MeAuthor:  Alexandra Potter
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date:  July 19th 2012
Rating: 2 Stars

From Goodreads:

After a bad break up, doesn't every girl want the same things? 

*For her ex-boyfriend to stay single forever...
*Or maybe emigrate, to a remote, uninhabited island
*Better still, that she'd never met him the first place!

But what if one of those wished came true?

Tess is heartbroken when Seb breaks up with her and can't help blaming herself.  If only she'd done things differently.  If only she could make right all her regrets...But she can't.  She has to forget about him.  Drunk and upset on New Year's Eve she wished she'd never met him.

But when she wakes up to discover this dream has come true, she realizes she has a chance.  To do it all over again.  And to get it right this time....

This one is definitely a miss for me.  Both Tess and Seb are assholes.  Very hard to enjoy a book when you don't like the main characters.  Really not much to say, just didn't care for it.


OCD, The Dude, and Me
OCD, the Dude, and MeAuthor:  Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Publisher:  Dial
Publication Date:  March 21st 2013
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

With frizzy orange hair, a plus sized body, sarcastic demeanor, and "unique learning profile," Danielle Levine doesn't fit in even at her alternative high school.  While navigating her doomed social life, she writes scathing, self-aware, and sometimes downright raunchy essays for English class.  As a result of her unfiltered writing style, she is forced to see the school psychologist and enroll in a "social skills" class.  But when she meets Daniel, another social misfit who is obsessed with the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, Danielle's resolve to keep everyone at arm's length starts to crumble.

I enjoyed OCD, The Dude, and Me.  I liked Danielle and find her essays funny.  She's smart and that. I find the whole book interesting.


Mar 3, 2013

Quick Overview of What I Read in February (10 Books)

So Over You
Author:  Gwen Hayes
Publisher:  Self Published
Publication Date:  April 29th 2010
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Layney Logan, girl reporter.

That's all she's ever wanted to be.

The only thing Layney dislikes more than swimming in the high school dating pool is letting her arch-nemesis and co-Chief Editor, Jimmy Foster, get the better of her.  So, she'll take his stupid assignment to go on twelve blind dates and she'll prove to him she's twice the reporter he is.

Unless she listens to her heart...


Short novella.  Cute but really predictable and not at all that interesting.  Because of the length character development suffered.


Chasing Daisy
Chaising Daisy
Author:  Paige Toon
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  August 25th 2009
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

If you fall too fast, you just might crash...
Daisy has been dumped, unceremoniously jilted.  Not by any ordinary guy, no...Daisy has a secret in her past that she won't even tell her best friend, Holly. She's given up on men - and on her own family.  But life still has to be lived and where better to recover than as far away from home as possible.

Grabbing a chance to see the world, Daisy packs her bags and joins the team catering to the world's hightest-paid, supercharged racing drivers on Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit.  From Brazil to Italy, from Melbourne to Monte Carlo,  life passes in dizzing whirlwind.  But nothing - and no one- can stop Daisy from falling again...this time for a man who is prepared to risk his life and his heart, for the sake of speed, danger and ultimate success.


Chasing Daisy is a little frustrating to read but the romance between Daisy and the male MC is nicely done.  Not my favorite Paige Toon novel but a solid chick lit.  Holly, Daisy's best friend, has a side story and I actually hated that.


Requiem (Delirium, #3)Requiem
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Publication Date:  March 5th 2013
Rating: 3

From Goodreads:

And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed.  The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds.  But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven- pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids.  Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out of the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancee of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure:  We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena's and Hana's points of view.  The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.


Was being nice with the 3 star rating, probably more of an 2.5.  Not a great finish to the Delirium trilogy.   Basically completed looked over.  Preferred Hana's story over Lena's.  Very disappointed in this last book.


Safe HavenSafe Haven
Author:  Nicholas Sparks
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  September 14th 2010
Rating: 3 stars

From Goodreads:

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past.  Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships:  one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo.  Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her...a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport.  With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of the riskier rewards...and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.


Very much like Sleeping With the Enemy.  Katie's backstory is more interesting that the present.  Alex is an okay love interest, their love story is slow moving but realistic.  And of course I cried at the ending.


Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Dare You To
Author:  Katie McGarry
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  May 28th 2013
Rating: 3 stars

From Goodreads:

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen year old Beth who knows where.  So she protects her mom at all costs.  Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness.  That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her.  At all.  Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does...

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock with secrets he can't tell anyone.  Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things.  The crazies?  Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected.  Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams- and his life- for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all.


Beth gets on my nerves plenty in Dare to You.  Her walls our definitely up, and for her own good you want her to put them down, but of course it ain't happening...right away, that is.  Ryan is a great character I think.  Different aspects to him make him interesting and likable.  Beth's mom plays a big part in Beth's story and she is awful.  Seriously, a horrible character but fabulously written.  You are suppose to dislike her.  Still the writing and story was just okay.


Pictures Of Lily
Pictures of Lily
Author:  Paige Toon
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Publication Date:  July 8th 2010
Rating:  4 Stars

From Goodreads:

'Will you marry me?'  I think of you, then.  I think of you every day.  But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the nigh.  Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed.  I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts.  It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left.  How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you?  I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with.  Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away.  Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least on of the men who love her.


My second favorite Paige Toon book.  It dragged a little in the middle, it took awhile before Ben made a second appearance, and it was frustrating.  But the romance was great, and Ben is fabulous.  Lily is selfish, but respectfully so in regards to who she loves.  Awesome ending.

From What I Remember...
From What I Remember
Author:  Stacy Kramer
Publisher:  May 15th 2012
Publication date:  Hyperion
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

Kylie:  Mexico?  What a nightmare!  I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech.  Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger.
Max:  It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada.  It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie.  But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four before graduation.
Will:  Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation.  Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job.  And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agree to bring their passports across the border - but there's no reason to rush back home right away.  This party is just getting started.
Lily:  This cannot be happening.  It's like some cruel joke.  Or a bad dream.  I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there.  Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century.  In bed together.  If Kylie thinks i'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.


Frustrating characters, slightly Hangover like, but very PC, of course.  Wish that the story was slightly more realistic since it wasn't really a comedy but dealt with daddy issues and other more serious issues.  Was just okay.


You Had Me At HelloYou Had Me At Hello
Author:  Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher:  Avon
Publication Date:  December 6th 2012
Rating:  4 stars

From Goodreads:

What happens when the one that got away comes back?
Rachel and Ben.  Ben and Rachel.  It was them against the world.  Until it all fell apart.
It's been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they'd been a gang of two;  partners in crime and the best of friends.  But life has moved on.  Ben is married.  Rachel is definitely not.  In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders...

Yet in the split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return.  and along with it, the broken heart she's never been able to mend.


Really enjoyed this one.  Ben and Rachel's story is told in flashbacks and I adored those parts.  In the present Ben is married and has bumped into Rachel who is unmarried.  What ensues is sad, hopeful and frustrating in a good way.  Made me smiled, will definitely read more from Ms. McFarlane.


Ready Player One
Ready Player One
Author:  Ernest Cline
Publisher:  Random House NY
Publication Date:  August 16th 2011
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousands planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within his virtual world.  For somewhere inside the this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture loved--that of the late twentieth century.  And for the years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons.  Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughs oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize.  Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win.  But to do so, he may have to leave behind his o-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


Different than anything I've ever read.  Very unique and full of pop culture references.  Writing is good, but sometimes a bit slow.  Ending was exciting and action packed.  Great world building and also realistic.


Drinking and Tweeting
Author:  Brandi Glanville
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Publication Date:  February 12th 2013
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:

She's the brutally honest breath of fresh air on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, know for her dramatic divorce, her barely there clothing, and her inability to keep her mouth shut.  So why should she change now?  Brandi Glanville tells all in this hilarious, no holds barred memoir.  Fans have been waiting for Brandi's scoop on one of the biggest divorces of the decade, since her husband of eight years abandoned her and their two sons to marry country singer Leann Rimes. Not only does Brandi spill the beans about her side of the split, the lovable housewife shares the incredible wild ride that took her from a life in the ghetto to Hollywood's most elite circles.  For the first time, Brandi talks about how she escaped a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento and stumbled into a successful modeling career that swept her into a world of Paris Fashion Weeks, private jets, and uncircumcised penises.  Before she knew it, Brandi was the perfect Hollywood trophy wife--at least until her marriage exploded.

Today, the refreshingly filter free housewife and unapologetic mom is the newest full time cast member of Bravo's juggernaut franchise, where she often elicits raised eyebrows and gossip from her costars for her refusal to be the scorned ex wife, to be bullied, to change her sarcastic sense of humor, or on most occasions to wear a bra.  Sassy, raunchy, and compulsively readable, Drinking and Tweeting perfectly captures Brandi's open-book attitude, as she dishes about everything from her DUI, her cheating ex, her one-night stands, and the secret plastic surgery that made her "seventeen"again.  


Funny, and crazy.  I really enjoyed Brandi's honesty and it was refreshingly real. I laughed plenty, and I now think her husband is a douchebag.

Jan 10, 2013

Reviews of The Distant Hours and Silver Linings Playbook

The Distant HoursThe Distant Hours
 Author:  Kate Morton
Publisher:  Atria
Publication Date:  November 9th 2010
Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII.  The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn't been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.

Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother's past.  But there are other secrets hidden in stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected.  The truth of what happened in 'the distant hours' of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.


I am a fan of Kate Morton, her storytelling is mature and well thought out.  The Distant Hours is a very slow moving novel, but it doesn't read like it at all.  Readers don't get answers until the last 50 pages but the way she tells the story  leaves you okay with waiting to get the answer.

I don't really know what exactly it is about Kate Morton's books that grab me and keep me reading especially since they are slow plot moving reads, but I love them.  The Distant Hours is no exception, it truly is a fabulous read with great character building.  She really fleshes out her characters, and the Blythe sisters are a very intriguing bunch.  I enjoyed reading about them and how they were so different from each other, and the roles they played in each other's lives.  Alright on with the characters, Percy, Saffy and Juniper are all sisters, we meet up with them as old ladies still living in the Milderhurst Castle.  We get from the main protagonist Edie that they are a eccentric group, with clearly a leader..Percy.  Juniper is the youngest and also mentally not stable, both Percy and Saffy take care of her.  Edie is linked to the Blythe sisters by her mom, who as a young kid was sent away with her sister and other children to be placed in homes to save them from a possible invasion by Germany.  Edie's mom was placed with the sisters at Milderhurst.  What really peaks Edie's interest in that time of her mom's life is the fact that her mom never talks about it. By chance Edie comes upon the town of Milderhurst and is able to take a tour of Milderhurst Castle...from there the story slowly unfolds the secrets of Milderhurst Castle.

I really can't say enough about the writing and elegant storytelling.  I recommend The Distant Hours, especially if your a fan of castles and family secrets.


The Silver Linings PlaybookSilver Linings Playbook
Author:  Mathew Quick
Publisher:  Sarah Crichton Books
Publication Date:  April 27th 2010
Rating:  3.5 out of 5
Movie Rating:  4 out of 5

From Goodreads:

Meet Pat Peoples.  Pat has a theory, his life is a movie produced by God.  And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending-the return of his estranged wife, Nikki.  (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental heath facility.)  The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off.  No one will talk to him about Nikki, his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, he's being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany, his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy.  Plus, he's being haunted by Kenny G. 


I like Pat Peoples.  He's funny and good hearted, just a guy trying to make it in a big bad world.  Everything must have a silver lining, right?  For Pat Peoples it does.

I really like how Silver Linings Playbook is written.  The writing is simple and straightforward.  Being in Pat's head is an interesting place to be, as well as entertaining.  Nikki, Nikki, Nikki, I'm so glad somebody is there to tell him to shut the hell up about Nikki.  Tiffany, o'how I enjoy her blunt no bullshit way of talking.  Both of them are a little off so together they are quite a pair.

I even enjoyed the football talk.  A lot of the book centers around the People's love for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Damn, they really love them Eagles.  I know a little about being wacko about a sports team.  We are very crazy when it comes to the San Antonio Spurs, superstitions and all.  It's family bonding time, with a lot of yelling at the T.V, inside out jerseys, and high fives.  I could relate, they are my kind of people.

I recently saw the movie starring Bradley  Cooper as Pat, and I think it's better than the book.  The movie does sway from the book quite a lot, but it's so freaking good.  Go watch the movie and read the book!


Jan 2, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Here I Go Again

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Here I Go Again

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
Publication Date:  January 29th 2013

From Goodreads:

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended.  Back then, she was worshipped....beloved....feared.  Present day, not so much.  She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her combo.  Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was.  Her present is miserable because of her past.  But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was..or can she?


Sounds great, right?  And it's Jen Lancaster, ya'll...she's hilarious and awesome. Can't wait to read this one!