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.

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