"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Library Loot 2

I don't really have a lot of time to do another Vlog this week for Library Loot. My father in law has been in the hospital (he got out today!!) and I've been really busy with that and getting ready for Christmas.

Here's my loot for the week:

Crank - Ellen Hopkins --- Really looking forward to this one. It's written through poem, but I really liked Because I Am Furniture so wanted to give this a try.

Glass - Ellen Hopkins --- The sequel to Crank

Beautiful Americans - Lucy Silag --- I've been eyeing this one for months at Borders, but didn't want to spend the money. The sequel just came out so I want to get caught up!

Love You Hate You Miss You - Elizabeth Scott --- Really enjoyed Something, Maybe so I wanted to look into some other things by this author!

Waiting for You - Susane Colasanti --- I thought the cover was this was really cute so I grabbed it. I'm looking forward to reading this author.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E Pearson --- I saw a book commerical for this one and had to grab it!

Liar - Justine Larbarlestier --- This one has been mentioned on a lot of different blogs and I've heard really positive things about it.

If I Stay - Gayle Forman --- I've read great reviews for this one!

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler --- Super excited about this particular book!!

The Season - Sarah Maclean --- I'm not sure if this will be too romancy for me but I thought I'd at least give it a shot.

Perfect You - Elizabeth Scott --- Again I really loved this author and I wanted to read more!

Intertwinded - Gena Showalter --- Love the cover and I lovew Gena Showalter's adult novels

The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams --- I'm a big fan of the HBO show Big Love, and this book reminded me of that show.

Cycler - Lauren Mclaughlin --- One of the most original ideas for a YA novel that I've read about in a long time.

Distant Waves - Suzanne Weyn --- I loved the movie Titanic, so I thought I'd try the book

Ok...that's a lot of books! I have more too pick up too! I'm going to wait until after the holidays, though to grab them.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Because I Am Furniture

Title: Because I Am Furniture
Author: Thalia Chaltas
Pages: 352
Rating: 4.5/5

Anke's father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she is ignored, forced to be an invisible witness in a house of horrors. Believing she isn't worthy of even the worst kind of attention, Anke feels about as significant as the living room sofa. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. In a sport where you have to yell "Mine!" to play the ball, Anke learns for the first time how to make herself heard. As her confidence on the court builds, she finds a voice she didn't know existed. And it's not long before she realizes that if she can make people hear her while she's playing volleyball, then maybe she can be heard at home, too (Cover Blurb).

This novel was something new for me. Told through poem, Because I Am Furniture, tells the story of Anke and her family and their struggle with her abusive father. A rather quick, but enjoyable read, this novel touched me deeply. I loved how we see Anke gain a voice in her life, and finally shout out against the injustice her family has experienced.

I was extremely nervous about starting this book and wasn't sure how I would like it, due to the format. However, I read this book in one setting, and felt that the format not only told the story thoroughly, but also caused it to have an almost haunting voice. This is definitely a story that will stick with the reader long after it is finished.

This was author Thalia Chaltas first published work, and I will most certainly be keeping my eyes and ears open for anything new by her. I truly enjoyed reading this novel told through poetry and highly recommend it to others!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review: Th1rteen R3asons Why

Title: Th1rteen R3asons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Pages: 288
Rating: 5/5

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers (Cover Blurb).

This is probably one of the most amazing author debut's that I have ever read. From the very beginning, I was completely immersed in the story and could not put this book down. Gratefully, I have never had to experience the pain that a suicide can cause for those around it. However, just by reading this book, I could feel the pain and heartbreak in Hannah's every word.

I think my favorite part of this story was the way in which the story was told. I truly think that the idea to use left behind tapes as a type of "note" was an absolutely brillant idea by the author, Jay Asher. It was one of the most original ideas I have read in a long time. It was heartbreaking to hear the story told through Hannah's voice, and made Clay's reaction to her words ten times as strong.

I had grabbed this book at the library because I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay the price for the hardcover, but this is definitely one I will be picking up to have a copy of my own. This book is clearly one of the best reads of 2009.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: Something, Maybe

Title: Something, Maybe
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Pages: 224
Rating: 4.5/5

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls--and his "party" lifestyle--all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad's girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight...and that's how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn't helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to make things work out the way she wants....only what she wants may not be what she needs (Cover Blurb).

This is my first Elizabeth Scott novel, and it definitely will not be my last. I instantly fell in love with this novel, and with Hannah our main character. In ways she reminded me of myself...rather shy, trying to stay hidden, in love with the unobtainable guy. Of course, I knew right away who the "perfect" guy was for Hannah, but I enjoyed reading about how she figured it out for herself.

Another reason I liked this book was because of Hannah's parental situation. It was so "different" then other YA books that you read. Hannah's mom has her own personal website, where she sits around all day in her underwear. However, despite this, she really is a good mom and loves Hannah with all her heart. Now Hannah's father is another story. He is more of a cross between Hugh Hefner and the guy from Girls Gone Wild. He was a total asshat!!

I've already picked up Love You, Hate You, Miss Me from the Library and I'm super excited about reading that one. If it is half as good as Something, Maybe, I know I'll love it!!

Library Loot (1)

It's my first ever Library Loot post...and I did a Vlog!! This took me three days to figure out just how to record it with the camera correctly, and about ten hours messing with the computer getting it to the point where it only took me 20 minutes to put it onto youtube, as opposed to the 6 hours when I first tried.

I was really super nervous I think and I said the word really A LOT, and I'm going to apologize for that now :). So anyway, hope you enjoy! I had a lot of fun making it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Review: The Tear Collector

Title: The Tear Collector
Author: Patrick Jones
Pages: 263
Rating: 3/5

Between hookups, makeups, and breakups, there isn't a day at Lapeer High School without drama turning to tears.

And tears are just as essential as air for Cassandra Gray. She and her family are vampires who thirst for human sorrow, and the energy that they soak in from a good crying jag can keep them fueled up for days.

Anytime a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, Cass is there. Anytime a boyfriend gets too secure, she breaks his heart. Cass's works as a school peer counselor and hospital volunteer also provides the perfect cover and access to her family's energy source. But she is getting tired of all the lies and manipulation - especially now that she's actually fallen in love with a human. Can she bear to betray her family for a chance at happiness and life lived with joy (Cover Blurb)?

This was one of my birthday buys and I was really excited about this book in particular. I had read a couple of positive reviews on a few other blogs and I thought the cover was really cool so I gave it a try.

While the book was good, it just wasn't great. As much as a tried, I could not connect with Cassandra the main character. Something about her remained very distant. At first I thought maybe it was the length of the book that kept me from making a connection. This book was not very long; however Wake and Fade, two of my most favorite YA books are shorter than this, and I felt an immediate connection with Janie, the main character in that series. The author has a strong writing style, I just don't think he developed any of the characters enough to really touch the reader.

Also, one of my favorite things about young adult fiction is the strong male characters. YA fiction has so much to offer...I mean there's Edward, and Cable, and Damon. Scott, the male lead in this book...not so much. He was rather pathetic and nerdy. I guess I like my teen heroes to be a bit more rough around the edges, or at least have a bit of a dark side.

So,all in all, this book was ok. If I could go back, I never would have bought this in hardcover. If you really want to read this, wait for the paperback.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Quick Trip to the Bookstore...

I received a few gift certificates for my birthday for Borders so I headed over there yesterday on my lunch. I grabbed a few books that I've been hearing really good things about online:

1. Hush, Hush: Becca Fitzgerald

2. Bad Girls Don't Die: Katie Alender

3. Shiver: Maggie Stiefvater

4. Meridian: Amber Kizer

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

5. The Monstrumologist: Rick Yancy

6. The Tear Collector: Patrick Jones

I'm really excited about all of these reads and I can't wait to start plugging away at them!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review: Soulstice

Title: Soulstice - The Devouring Book 2
Author: Simon Holt
Pages: 266
Rating: 3.5/5

It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.

The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, "Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King....A must-have for horror fans." (Cover Blurb).


Soulstice begins six months after Reggie's quiet hometown of Cutter's Edge was attacked by the evil, demonic Vours. Reggie, Aaron, and her brother Henry are slowly beginning to readjust to normal every day life and are letting the nightmares go. However, things are complicated by a tough detective sent to find Quinn Waters, the town golden boy, whom Reggie and Aaron drowned in the lake to save Henry the previous winter.

Tension continues to grow when Reggie freaks out during English class due to a horrific vision brought on by the Vours. It is at this point that Reggie realizes that they have still not escaped the evils of the Vours. Further complicating the situation, is Aaron's arrest by the tough city detective --- a Vour sent to crush the enemy.

I'm having a tough time judging this book. On one hand, the writing was really good and it did creep me out. I had to dig out my Ipod last night to fall asleep because the house was making creepy noises. However, I felt that the novel was lacking something. I had the same feeling after finishing The Devouring. Both books have tons and tons of potential, but its just like they're sitting right on the edge and not taking the leap. It's almost nerve wracking to read sometimes. Another thing that annoys me about these books is that they end in cliff hangers. Which is great if you have the next book right on hand to start, but book three doesn't come out until Fall of 2010. That's a year away!!

So all in all, Soulstice is great for the creep factor. It just left me wanting more...and not in a great way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review: Perfect Chemistry

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Pages: 357
Rating: 5/5

At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that south siders and north siders are't exactly compatible elements, So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all - love. Can they break through the streotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart (Cover Blurb).

I don't even know what to say about this book except for the fact that I absolutely adored it. This was definitely the best read of 2009, and I'll be hard pressed to find another one that I like more before the year is up.

I originally bought this book because of the cover. There's just something about a guy with a nice tattoo on his arm that makes me go all week in the knees. It sat on the shelf for a month or so, until I picked it up early Monday morning before heading off to work. By one in the afternoon, I was in love with a gang banger. However, despite being in love with Alex Fuentes, I was still able to really enjoy the character of Brittany Ellis.

Brittany seems to have the perfect life to everyone on the outside. Money, great clothes, a BMW, and the most popular boy in school at her side. But on the inside, she's falling apart. Her home life is in shambles, things with the quarterback of the football team are not quite working out, and she's been paired with Alex in chemistry.

In Alex though, Brittany is able to truly find herself. She finds her voice. She learns life isn't a popularity contest. She falls in love with the bad boy from across the tracks, and everything changes. Alex also has changes to make, but his are much more tough. Elkeles description of his struggle with gang life and normal life is superb, and kept me reading from the first page.

This is simply a modern Romeo and Juliet story, but with so much more. I did a bit of research tonight when I got home and found out that a sequel is coming out called Rules of Attraction in May of 2010 and I'm already looking to pre order it. I'm also going to check out her other novel Leaving Paradise. If it is half as good as Perfect Chemistry I'm in for a heck of a ride!

Review: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Title: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Author: Katherine Howe
Pages: 371
Rating: 4.5/5

Connie Goodwin should be spending her summer doing research for her Ph.D. dissertation in American History. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she's compelled to help. It's not long before the time she's set aside for research is instead spent sorting through her grandmother's ancient possessions, discovering a woman she barely knew.

One day, while exploring the dusty bookshelves in the study, Connie discovers a key hidden within an old bible. And within the key is a brittle slip of paper with two words written on it: Deliverance Dane. Along with a handsome steeplejack named Sam, Connie begins to dig into the town's records, looking for references to Deliverance Dane. But even as the pieces begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the witch trials so long ago, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past than she could have ever imagined.

Written by an author completing a Ph.D. in New England Studies, and whose ancestors were accused witches in Salem, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the trials in the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery and discovery (Powell's Books).

Have you ever read a book filled with so much mystery and intrigue that you can't stand to put it down for even a second? That's how this book was for me. I actually grabbed this book on a whim. It was on one of the "hottest books of the summer" shelves at Borders one day when I went to relax at lunch. I was getting sick of reading the same old same old and was looking for a change and thought this might do the trick. I was definitely right in this pick.

I absolutely loved the main character Connie. Watching her discover so many new things about herself was so uplifting and I absolutely love the path that the author set in motion after Connie discovers the old key hidden within an old family Bible. However, despite this, my absolute favorite parts of the novel where the sections where the author takes us back to Salem in the 1600s. This made the book so real, and hit home with me due to the fact that I'm a huge history buff.

I really hope that Katherine Howe continues to write and I will definitely book on the look out for when she does.

Review: Firefly Lane

Title: Firefly Lane
Author:Kristin Hannah
Pages: 528
Rating: 4/5

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the "coolest girl in the world" moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all — beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer's end they've become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah's magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives (Powell's Books).

It's been a few months since I finished this book, so I'm not sure how much detail I remember but I do remember this much. This is an absolutely fabulous read. Even at over 500 pages, I flew through this book in only a few days, barely putting it down to even cook dinner.

The story of Kate and Tully starts when they are just young girls, and takes us through their entire lives together. We get to witness all of the ups and downs, all of the trials and tribulations that take place during their friendship and their lives.

I've heard a lot of people have found this book to be contrived, and a new Beaches for the 2000s, but I found it to be refreshing. This was the first Kristin Hannah book that I have ever read; however, I know that it will not be my last. I've already picked up several of her older novels and added them to the massive TBR stack.

So grab your tissues, grab the book, and dial your best friend because you'll definitely want to share this book with her.

I'm still alive...

Hello...I'm going to try this again. I know its been a long time since I've been around and I need to fill everyone in on what's been happening in my life. Soon after my last post, Michael and I found out we were pregnant...in early July I miscarried the baby and our lives got extremely hectic. Since the miscarriage, we've been to see a reproductive specialist who diagnosised me with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I'm still ovulating every month, but extremely late in the cycle, making it very difficult to even become pregnant. After a few months of testing, we started our first round of Clomid this month to help us produce healthy, happy eggs.

At the same time that all of this was happening, I also received a promotion at work. While I love it, it means a lot more time in front of the computer and a lot more meetings. I'm exhausted once I get home.

I've pretty much been coming home, picking up around the house, and going to bed. Not much reading time. However, I think I'm finally starting to get back on track and I've been reading again on my lunch hour and actually managed to finish a book already this week. Hopefully, I'll begin to be able to start posting at least once, if not twice a week. I know I'm obviously not going to make my reading goal of 100 books this year, but I am hoping to make at least fifty!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Pages: 320
Rating: 4/5

Would you follow the directions?

Would you travel around the world?

Would you open the envelopes one by one?

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1000 and instructions to by a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous - though utterly romantic - results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes (Cover Blurb).

I've been hearing great things about this book, all over blog land, for years and just never got around to picking up the book. When I was at Borders a few weeks ago, I just happened to see this book on the summer reading shelf and grabbed it. I'm really glad I finally took the time to read this.

Ginny is one of the best characters I've encountered in a young adult book in a long time. She was shy, quiet, and totally not the girl that you would picture back packing all over Europe. But Maureen Johnson made it work. Also, I loved Ginny's crazy Aunt Peg. She had such a creative mind, and she was so independent. I've often thought of what it would be like to just pack up and leave someday (not that I would...I'm not nearly that adventurous).

Another thing I loved about the book is how it was split up by the 13 blue envelopes. Each letter was a new adventure with new people and new friends. It truly was a journey in itself. The only reason why I didn't give the book a solid 5 out of 5 stars is because I felt like the ending was missing something. I just didn't think it held up as well as the rest of the novel, but that's just my opinion. Others may love it.

So if you're looking to travel a bit outside of the US on your reading adventures this summer, I'd grab this book. You'll be all over Europe and never have to leave the comfort of your favorite reading chair!!

Review: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

Title: Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp
Author: Lauren Lipton
Pages: 353
Rating: 4.5/5

After arguing with her live-in boyfriend about his inability to commit, Peggy Adams flies to a friend's bachelorette party in Las Vegas, and wakes up next to a man she can't remember. Hung-over and miserable, she sneaks out of the sleeping man's hotel room and returns home to New York, where her boyfriend apologizes for the fight and gives her a Tiffany box containing a pre-engagement ring. Not what she expected, but close enough! The next day she receives a phone call from the Las Vegas one-night stand, Luke, claiming she's already married to him¬-and he faxes her the license for proof! Both are ready for an annulment, until Peggy arrives in quaint New Nineveh, CT, where Luke cares for his Great Aunt, and the old woman makes Peggy an offer she can't refuse (Barnes and Noble).

This was the first book I read after being back from vacation. I actually read about this on quite a few blogs and ran out to Borders to grab it as soon as it came out. I used to be a huge fan of chick lit when it first became popular, and I still really do enjoy it every so often. This book was no exception.

First off, I absolutely adored Luke Sedgwick, our dashing hero. Something about his total WASPishness had me just head over heels in love with him. I was really irritated with Peggy throughout the whole book because she just didn't seem to see what was directly in front of her. Her fiance, Brock, was a total and complete idiot and half the time, I don't even think Peggy liked him.

Secondly, the best character in the whole dang book was Luke's great aunt Abigail. She really added a lot to the story, and made the old Sedgewick mansion come alive. Her stories and her attitude about different things were priceless. She really did love Luke, and truly hoped for the best for him. Also, she was a woman who loved her family, and the traditions that family stood for. She was the true matriarch of the family.

This is a great summer read, especially for the nice warm day when you'd love to just sit outside and read a good book. I often found myself taking this outside, to sit on the patio and sneak in a few pages here or there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Just Can't Help Myself...

When I'm feeling a little down, I just watch this and I feel so much better!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review: The Summoning

Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Pages: 390
Rating: 3.5/5

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me (Cover Blurb).

I just finished this book up while I'm waiting for the glass guys to come and put in my new windshield, back window, and sunroof. I'll be honest, and let everyone know I bought this book because I really liked the cover. I wasn't even sure what it was all about until I packed it in my bag for vacation. The beginning of this story really really creeped me out but it kind of died from there. I still thought the book was suspensful but it could have been so much better. Also, I didn't feel like I could really connect with any of the characters. There just wasn't enough meat to the story to feel like I really knew anyone.

This is the first book in a trilogy, and I'm hoping that Armstrong was just really setting up the background of the story in this first book. I've already picked up the second book so I'm curious to see if it picks up more of the story, and what is going on with Lyle House. Also, I'd like to see how Chloe's mom and aunt fit into this whole story. Plus, the ending of book one really left you hanging on by a thread so I'm anxious to see how Armstrong continues with that in The Awakening.

I Hate Florida, and other great things!!

This is what the weather looked like when we tried to leave this morning:

This is what the weather did to my car

We are obviously not leaving today!!

P.S. When I was packing last night I realized that the thiefs took my precious Twilight movie...poor Edward has been kidnapped!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vacation Part 2

All I can do now is laugh. We're leaving Florida and heading home tonight. So far they have received 14(!!) inches of rain in the past two days. The tide is almost up to the condo, and it is impossible to even see the beach most of the time due to the heavy rain. They're calling it a tropical storm...yeah for me!! Anyways, I talked to my mom and she said it is sunny and eighty degrees at home so Michael and I are going to head home, grab the dogs and just chill out there for a few days.

We did receive a call today from the local police department. They found my Kate Spade bag and it was full of our phone chargers, and the headphones for the mp3 player, and one cable for the camera. It had all been run over by a car so none of it is salvageable. However, they do think they know who did it and asked if we were going to prosecute...umm yeah since they ruined the one day of our vacation when the sun actually did shine!! They did say that they had received some calls from a pawn shop that probably has the camera and possibly the mp3 player. So that at least is good!

Anyways, I'm off to finish packing and then we're going to hit the sack so we can head out later tonight!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: Pretty in Plaid

Title: Pretty in Plaid: A Memoir
Author: Jen Lancaster
Pages: 363
Rating: 5/5

In Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.

Think Jen Lancaster was always "like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?" (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life—and wardrobe—before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.

The author who showed us what it was like to wait in line at the unemployment office with a Prada bag, how living in the city can actually suck, and that losing weight can be fun with a trainer named Barbie and enough Ambien is ready to take you on a hilarious and heartwarming trip down memory lane in her shoes (and very pretty ones at that) (Cover Blurb).

I aboslutely adore Jen Lancaster and her writings. I've been waiting for this new memoir to come out forever and couldn't get to Borders fast enough to pick it up. I made myself stop from starting this until we were on the road for vacation and flew through it in less than 24 hours. Unlike Jen's other novels that tell about the present, Pretty in Plaid tells the story of Jen's life from childhood. We get to see what Jen was like when she was in Brownies, her 11 years of college, and before meeting her husband Fletch.

This book was just as snarky and humorous as her first three, and contained many of those laugh out loud, pee your pants moments (I'm glad no one was sitting near me as I finished this up on th beach this morning). I would highly recommend this to someone who just needed to get away for a few hours, and wanted to forget their lives and read about someone else's for awhile!


Well, we are finally in Florida after a 14.5 hour drive. The weather is absolutely beautiful...about 85 with a great ocean breeze. However, last night, my car was broken into. We had taken everything out, except Michael forgot to get my Kate Spade bag with my camera, mp3 player, and all of the phone chargers out. Yep, its all completely gone. I'm so sick about it I'm just ready to go home. All I want to do is sit and cry and be depressed for myself. This is the second time since Michael and I have been married that something of ours has been broken into. When we first moved into the house someone broke into the garage and stole his golf clubs and the weed eater and some other stuff. It took me weeks to get over that feeling of being violated. Now, all I can think about is "Why us and is my house even safe now that I'm gone."

Anyways, I did manage to finish a book already before all this happened so I'll have the review up here soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

April in Review

It was a disappointing month for me reading and blogging wise. I only managed to finish four books within the month, as opposed to the nine from the month before. I've been so busy outside due to spring, that I haven't had my evenings to spend reading.

My long awaited vacation is only two weeks away (thank goodness) and I'm ready to hit the ground running. I'm so looking forward to getting the heck out of dodge and away from everything for a solid week!

I'm hoping to get a lot of reading done while we are away. I normally average around five books for that week so we'll see what happens this year!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Review: The Devouring

Title: The Devouring
Author: Simon Holt
Pages: 240
Rating: 4/5

"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her? (Cover Blurb)

First off, I have been an absolute horrible blogger lately. I've been so busy with all getting the house ready for summer, working in the flower beds, getting ready for vacation (16 days!!), and everything with Macy that I haven't hardly had a chance to sit down. I apologize for appearing to be so negligent of my little blog. I really do still love everyone!!

I finished this book last Thursday and it was really good. I'm really looking forward to the sequel Soulstice, due out in September. It's definitely one I'll be getting right away.

This book grabs you right from the very beginning. The story is really horrifying, and at times I found myself getting up to turn on all the lights in the room. Also, I found myself going to bed at the same time as my husband, rather than sitting in the leaving room alone, for almost a solid week. However, despite wondering why I was all of a sudden so interested in sleeping a mere centimeter from him at night, he didn't want to hear about my book...disappointing I know!

The only disappointment I had in the book is that it leaves you hanging at the very end --- to get you to buy the sequel no doubt, but it was very annoying. I kept turning the last page to make sure I didn't miss anything. So if you like suspense and not knowing, read the book now. If you want to know the answers wait until September for the sequel, which will probably be a cliff hanger too...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Needing Prayers

This has been a really rough month for my entire family. On top of starting with the new company, Michael and I found out some horrible news on Wednesday. Our god daughter, who is the daughter of my cousin and Michael's best friend since the 5th grade, has been diagnosed with malignant retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. She will not even be a year old until May. As of right now, she has no vision in either eye, due to detached retinas. The Drs know for sure that the cancer is in one eye, but they are not yet sure if it is present in the other eye. The family left for a specialist in Philadelphia today, and we should hopefully know more by tomorrow afternoon. Right now, the biggest concern is making sure it has not metastasized anywhere else in the body, and what the next steps in treatment should be.

My cousin and her husband introduced Michael and I five years ago, and have been married about six months longer than we have. They have two beautiful girls and are just an adorable little family. Michael and I love them dearly, and consider them to be our best friends. We're very close to both of the girls, and are truly devestated by this news.

My brother has added Macy's name to the prayer list at seminary, and the entire family has been praying constantly for good news. Both my extended family, and Michael's extended family have been brought to their knees with this news. I don't think you ever really know how it will feel when cancer touches one of your own, especially not a tiny baby.

So, all I ask is that if you could please keep Macy Jane in your prayers, myself, and my entire family would be forever thankful.

Review: Bless Your Heart Tramp and Other Southern Endearments

Title: Bless Your Heart, Tramp and Other Southern Endearments
Author: Celia Rivenbark
Pages: 208
Rating: 3.5/5

Step into the wacky world of “womanless wedding” fund-raisers, in which Bubbas wear boas. Meet two sisters who fight rural boredom by washing Budweiser cans and cutting them into pieces to make clothing. Learn why the word snow sends any right-thinking Southerner careening to the Food Lion for extra loaves of bread and little else.

Humor columnist and slightly crazed belle-by-birth Celia Rivenbark tackles these and other lard-laden subjects in Bless Your Heart, Tramp, a hilarious look at Southern---and just plain human---foibles, up-close and personal. So pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and curl up on the pie-azza with Bless Your Heart, Tramp (Cover Blurb).

I've been trying out different "humor" writers lately to see if there is anyone that can hold me over until the next Jenn Lancaster book comes out (May 5 cannot get here soon enough --- however, I'm keeping the new book until vacation on the 15th to read on the beach!!). I've heard really good things about Celia Rivenbark and thought I would give her a try.

This book definitely had its funny moments. I did find myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement at a few different things, especially during the last third of the book. Rivenbark writes about real life, and some of the stupid real life things that people do. One of my favorite stories had to do with a train accident and clean underwear. I cannot help but admit that my mother is one of those "you should always keep a clean pair of underwear in your glove box in case you are ever in an accident" types. I, however, have never heeded her advise. I mean how embarrassing would it be to open your glove box one day in front of someone from work or something, and underwear falls out...the horror!! I'll take my chances thank you very much!

I have two more books by Rivenbark to read and I'll definitely be giving them a chance in the near future.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Review: My Horizontal Life

Title: My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands
Author: Chelsey Handler
Pages: 213
Rating: 1/5

In this raucous collection of true-life stories, actress and comedian Chelsea Handler recounts her time spent in the social trenches with that wild, strange, irresistible, and often gratifying beast: the one-night stand.

You've either done it or know someone who has: the one-night stand, the familiar outcome of a night spent at a bar, sometimes the sole payoff for your friend's irritating wedding, or the only relief from a disastrous vacation. Often embarrassing and uncomfortable, occasionally outlandish, but most times just a necessary and irresistible evil, the one-night stand is a social rite as old as sex itself and as common as a bar stool.

Enter Chelsea Handler. Gorgeous, sharp, and anything but shy, Chelsea loves men and lots of them. My Horizontal Life chronicles her romp through the different bedrooms of a variety of suitors, a no-holds-barred account of what can happen between a man and a sometimes very intoxicated, outgoing woman during one night of passion. From her short fling with a Vegas stripper to her even shorter dalliance with a well-endowed little person, from her uncomfortable tryst with a cruise ship performer to her misguided rebound with a man who likes to play leather dress-up, Chelsea recalls the highs and lows of her one-night stands with hilarious honesty. Encouraged by her motley collection of friends (aka: her partners in crime) but challenged by her family members (who at times find themselves a surprise part of the encounter), Chelsea hits bottom and bounces back, unafraid to share the gritty details. My Horizontal Life is one guilty pleasure you won't be ashamed to talk about in the morning (Cover Blurb).

Let me just start this review by saying, I love Chelsey Handler. I watched (and will again when I don't go to bed at nine) her show Chelsey Lately every night before going to bed. She always can make me laugh, and I've never been disappointed in her comedy. And then, I read this book.

This was the LOOOOONGEST 213 pages I think I have ever tackled in my entire life. If I didn't have this weird thing where I have to finish a book, I would have wall banged it a long time ago. This book took me over a week to read. I couldn't wait to finish it. I was so disappointed.

I knew this book would be raunchy. Handler's comedy often is, and that was fine with me. However, it was just plain stupid. And almost bordering on disgusting. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to advertise how many people they had randomly slept with. I know, I know, the title should of been a warning. I should of seen the caution light when I picked this one up at Borders. All I can say is that I was obviously doped up on cold medicine at the time.

Plus, I don't think this book showcased Handler's comedic ability at all. I laughed once while reading this. Maybe I'm just not funny anymore, or don't appreciate humor like I used to but it didn't do anything for me. It certainly wasn't like Jenn Lancaster's books. Or Laurie Notaro's. With those, I go running into the living room, reading passages out loud to my husband, while I snort and gasp for air and pee my pants all at the same time because I'm laughing so hard.

I'm pretty sure I won't be giving "Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsey" a try next time I'm at the bookstore, and this one is already pending with someone on Paperbackswap so its off to a new home, where possible it will be loved.

Review: Smitten

Title: Smitten
Author: Janet Evanovich
Pages: 256
Rating: 3.5/5

Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly construction material—she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows better, Matt can't refuse her irresistible smile.

Matt Hallahan isn't exactly relationship material—he has always been too busy working on other people's houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can't stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.

Is the relationship Matt and Lizabeth are building solid—or more like a house of cards?

It's been over a week since I finished this book, so I have to say, my minds a little fuzzy when it comes to the details. I do know this. I liked it much better than The Grand Finale. I felt the story developed at a much better pace and it didn't feel nearly as rushed. Plus, the heroine, Lizabeth was much more normal than Berry (what the heck kind of name is that anyway?).

I also really liked the hero, Matt. He was really down to earth, and he really did love Lizabeth. Plus, I absolutely adored how he tried to protect her from the neighborhood flasher. One of my favorite scenes in the whole book involves Matt in hot pursuit of the flasher. Let's just say it involves minimal clothing and lots and lots of the neighbors.

I would definitely give this Evanovich try if you are looking for something light to read. While these books aren't the Stephanie Plum series, they are still cute and unique in their own right.

I was going to try and read all of Janet Evanovich's Loveswept books in March, but after two, decided a needed a bit of a break. Plus, my reading time has been severely hampered by the new job I took with the new company. Once I'm home at night, I barely have enough energy to get dinner done, clean up a bit, and take a shower. I've been in bed most nights by eight o clock. Hence the lack of posts, and the even bigger lack of reviews lately.

I think once I'm used to everything I'll be back on the reading mojo. Or at least I hope so. Learning new systems, and my work almost tripling has just been running me ragged!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March in Review

March was a very long month for me. There was a lot of stuff going on at work. All that has been settled now. I signed an acceptance letter with the new company, and will be moving to a new building and a new supervisor on Monday. I'll be able to leave all the gossip and hostility at the old place. I found all this out yesterday, and I can already feel the stress leaving my body. I finally know what is going on with that part of my life!

Reading wise, I hit a mid month slump and only managed to read one book in a week and a half. I was a little panicky because this year has been so good for me reading wise. After spending a quiet evening in the "library" (my really overcrowded spare bedroom that houses all my books) I decided to change up my genres a little bit and moved to contemporary romance. I guess that is all it took because I was able to read four in one week.

I managed to read nine books this month and I'm already 1/4 of the way done with the 100 Book Reading Challenge. In fact, I'm actually one book ahead of where I had wanted to me at the end of March (yeah me!). Also, I read two more books in the Harry Potter series in March, getting myself closer to my goal of completing all seven books before the new movie is released in July.

April will be a busy month for me because of spring. Michael and I always take a few evenings and weekends and edge all the flower beds, weed, trim, and mulch. Also, we are looking to expand the back bed this year and plant a few more trees. I'll take pictures when its all done and show everyone all of our hard work. We have managed to get the garage and basement cleaned and organized and ready for spring already so that is one good thing.

Another thing I really want to concentrate on in April is Michael and I's plans for the future. We have been trying to get pregnant now for about a year; however, during almost this entire time I have been under extreme amounts of stress at work. I'm really working on relaxing and enjoying Michael and I's time together this month. I'm hoping maybe the change in job and the change in my attitude will cause a change for us. If not, I'll be making an appointment with the Dr. in the near future to see what our options are.

Review: The Grand Finale

Title: The Grand Finale
Author: Janet Evanovich
Pages: 246
Rating: 2.5/5

Berry Knudson had a talent for disaster, but when she climbed a tree to rescue a kitten, she wasn't prepared for the scrumptious hunk undressing in a nearby window, or her dive downward that smashed Jake Sawyer's pizza and won his heart! But was there room in her chaotic schedule for a risk-taking inventor with dreams? She took classes, delivered pizzas, and cared for three eccentric old ladies she rescued from the train station. But Jake thrived on a challenge, and he could be very inventive. Could he teach her there was time to make butterscotch pudding and let herself be loved (Cover Blurb)?

I was looking for a quick, fast read last night to pass the time until Michael got home from work. I've always like Janet Evanovich and I've read a few of the Stephanie Plum books before. The Grand Finale was written way before the Plum novels became so popular, and you can definitely tell.

Originally written as a Harlequin type book, the story moves fast and there is not a huge amount of plot development. In fact, the development of the story was TOO fast. That is why I only rated the book two and a half out of five. It was almost far fetched and I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit.

There are good things about this book. The three old ladies that Berry rescues from the train station are a hoot. The had me laughing to myself quite a few times, and reminded me of some of the older ladies I've worked with in the past. Berry's love interest, Jake, is a sweetheart of a guy, who would do anything for the woman he loves. I really liked him, I just didn't like his over the top I fell in love with you when you fell out of my tree bit.

All in all, an ok read, but nothing to write home about.

Review: Too Good To Be True

Title: Too Good To Be True
Author: Kristan Higgins
Pages: 379
Rating: 5/5

When Grace Emerson's ex-fiancĂ© starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she's seeing someone. Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up. Who is this Mr. Right? Someone…exactly unlike her renegade neighbor Callahan O'Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humor. His smarts and big heart.

Whoa. No. Callahan O'Shea is not her perfect man! Not with his unsavory past. So why does Mr. Wrong feel so…right (Cover Blurb)?

Oh Kristan Higgins, where have you been all my life? I cannot believe that I have been passing up this wonderful author, and letting her books just sit on my shelf. Too Good To Be True is Higgins newest work, and the only one by her that I have read (at this time...this will not be true for long). I. Absolutely. Loved. This. Book. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Our hero, Grace, is absolutely hilarious. She's sharp, witty, nutty, and possibly a bit on the crazy side. When she can't take the huge pity party caused by her fiance leaving her for her younger sister, Grace makes up a boyfriend. And tells her whole family about him. And then she tells her hot...and I mean hot...neighbor about him. So her hot neighbor thinks she's dating a pediatric surgeon, when all Grace can really think about is her hot neighbor.

And don't even get me started on the hot neighbor. Callahan O'Shea (isn't that name just dreamy) is absolutely the most perfect man I have ever heard of (No, I am not cheating on my boyfriend, Edward - Edward is the most perfect vampire ever, and he sparkles in the sun...even sexy Callahan O'Shea doesn't sparkle). Anyway, this guy is just the sweetest thing ever, and if I wasn't already married to quite a wonderful man, I might have a bit of book lust for Callahan O'Shea...oh, who am I kidding...I do have book lust. Just reading about the guy makes me start batting my eyelashes and compulsively twirling my hair around my finger...lol.

I flew through this book rather quickly. There isn't one part of this book I didn't like, and one scene in particular had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. I loved the ending and epilogue of the book so much I've read it three times. This book is definitely a keeper, and I will definitely be reading it again in the future.

Kristan Higgins has a short back list of three books (with a new one on the way this summer!!). I've already gotten my hands on them, and I'm packing them in my suitcase for Florida. I think they are just what I'll need for those lazy days on the beach.

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