Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (15)

Book Blogger Hop

I love love, love, love the Book Blogger Hop that is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. The rules are simple, and this is am awesome opportunity to get your blog out there! Post the hop on your blog, then make sure to include a link in the Mr. Linky on Crazy For Books's blog...and then -- GET TO HOPPING!

RULES:

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List at Crazy For Books
          (In your link, please state the main genre that you review: eclectic, contemp. fiction, ya, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc.)
2. Post about the Hop on your blog. Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier! In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!). 

This weeks question comes from Jen B. who blogs at I Read Banned Books:

"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

Honestly, no -- I feel that it truly describes me!!  I really like the blog names that are catchy and witty, too.  Bottom line is -- to me, your blog is more about content than name.  It is important to have a good blog name, but I think that if you can back up your blog with incredible content, then you can have a "boring" or "plain" name. 

A very warm welcome to my new followers, and thanks for sticking around to my oldie but goodies!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship by Lisa Verge Higgins

The Proper Care and Maintenance of FriendshipRelease Date: 1/26/11
Publisher: 5 Spot
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 368
SourceHachette Book Group
Challenge100 Books in a Year


Rachel Braun was the inspiration to a group of her friends, the one who lived each day to the fullest - and the one whose life was cut tragically short.  Upon her untimely death, Rachel left letters for her three best friends challenging them to face their biggest fears. 


Sarah, an international relief worker, must travel halfway around the world to track down the only man she ever loved.  Stay-at-home mom, Kate, must confront her fear of heights by skydiving and soon finds that her new hobby is affecting her once-tranquil marriage.  And Jo, a media mogul voted "least likely to breed," is given the most terrifying assignment of all: caring for Rachel's orphaned and grieving little girl. 

Even as these women mourn Rachel's passing, her legacy lives on and their lives are enriched by a friend who, in many ways, knew them better than they knew themselves.


First Sentence
"When the rumbling Cessna heaved into the sky, Kate Jansen completely lost her nerve."

My Thoughts
I truly loved the story-line of this book, it was just so heart-warming and incredible.  If you've ever been touched by someone who had an untimely death, you can relate to Sarah, Jo and Kate.  Their best friend passes away, but before she does, she writes everyone separate letters instructing them on one fear they must face.  Even though the reader never really gets to know Rachel, she is an easy character to fall in love with.  She is a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl, who doesn't really let anything stop her.  She is truly an inspiration, and although she is no longer alive, she lives on in the other three women. I would honestly have to say that Rachel was my favorite character.  
I really loved the challenges that Rachel gave Jo, Kate and Sarah.  They were very fitting, and showed each woman that while it is okay to mourn for their loss, they have to go on.  
This book had many great qualities: the storyline, the characters, the writing style, yet I still feel like it lacked in other areas.  I felt like the book was somewhat slow-going, and at times I was almost a little bored.  I'm all for a long book, so long as the entire time I am engaged...I just didn't get that from this book.  I wanted to see how everything played out, but it seemed like I had to do a lot of work to get to that point.  
Negativity aside, I honestly think that this was a book that anyone who has ever lost anyone should read.  

Favorite Quote
"That night I knew it wasn't the end for us -- that the thing that bound us together, the thing we all understood deep down, was that life -- however we chose to live it -- was something you embraced with open eyes and a full heart -- and that if we made an effort, we could be friends like this forever."

Ratings
Likes: The incredible story line, and amazing characters.
Dislikes: It was a little too drawn out for me.
Favorite Characters: Rachel & Jo
Least Favorite Character: Mrs. Braun
Cover: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.75/5


Happy Reading!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  This in no way affected my review.

A Cornucopia of Dystopia Event


Thanks to Andrea at Loud Words and Sounds for this awesome button!

A HUGE thanks to Casey & Dayna for putting this all together!!! I am so excited to be participating in this awesome event!  I love the dystopian genre, and can't wait to get rolling with this event!!

From March 21 to April 18, 17 bloggers, including myself posting reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways featuring 8 new dystopian reads: Bumped by Megan McCafferty, Memento Nora by Angie Smibert, XVI by Julia Karr,Possession by Elana Johnson, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, and Dark Parties by Sara Grant.




To know what's going on each day, please follow the jam-packed schedule below:


I have highlighted below when and what I will be involved in.  I hope you stop by to see all the great events!

March
21 – A Tapestry of Words Dark Parties Review & Interview, The Bookish Type Memento Nora Review & Interview
22 – I Swim For Oceans Awaken Review & Interview, The Book Worms XVI Review & Interview
23 – A Writer’s Review Bumped Review, Musings of a YA Reader Memento Nora Review & Interview
24 – Books in the Spotlight Delirium Review, Supernatural Snark Possession Review, Reading Teen Wither Review
25 – Down the Rabbit Hole Bumped Review & Interview, Supernatural Snark Possession Interview
26 – Musings of a YA Reader Awaken Interview, A Writer’s Review Dark Parties Review, Books in the Spotlight Dark Parties Review
27 – Midnight Bloom Reads Awaken Review, The Bookish Type Delirium Review, Books, Sweets and Other Treats XVI Interview
28 – I Swim For Oceans Bumped Review & Interview, Midnight Bloom Reads Awaken Interview
29 – Supernatural Snark Memento Nora Review & Interview, Reading Teen Possession review & Interview
30 – 365 Days of Reading Bumped Review & Interview, The Bookish Type XVI Interview & Review
31 – Loud Words and Sounds Awaken Review & Interview, Good Choice Reading Dark Parties Review & Guest Post

April
1 – Reading Teen Bumped Review & Interview, The Book Worms Memento Nora Review, Literary Explorations Wither Review
2 – Musings of a YA Reader Possession Review & Guest Post, Books are a Girl’s Best Friend Delirium Review, Books in the Spotlight Awaken Review
3 – Books in the Spotlight Awaken Interview, Down the Rabbit Hole XVI Review & Interview, 365 Days of Reading Memento Nora Review
4 – The Bookish Type Dark Parties Review & Interview, 365 Days of Reading Memento Nora Interview
5 – Books are a Girl’s Best Friend Awaken Guest Post, A Tapestry of Words Awaken Review, Literary Explorations Possession Review
6 – Loud Words and Sounds Bumped Review & Interview, Reading Teen Delirium Review, Musings of a YA Reader XVI Review
7 – Books in the Spotlight Dark Parties Interview, Supernatural Snark Awaken Review, A Tapestry of Words Possession Review
8 – The Book Worms Bumped Review, Midnight Bloom Reads Delirium Review, Supernatural Snark Awaken Interview, A Tapestry of Words Possession Interview
9 – The Book Worms Bumped Interview, Literary Explorations Memento Nora Review, 365 Days of Reading XVI Interview
10 – A Writer’s Review Awaken Interview, The Book Worms Possession Guest Post, The Bookish Type Possession Review
11 – Reading Teen XVI Review & Interview, The Bookish Type Possession Interview
12 – The Bookish Type Awaken Review & Interview, Books in the Spotlight Memento Nora Review, Literary Explorations Bumped Review
13 – Supernatural Snark Bumped Review, A Writer’s Review Possession Review, Books in the Spotlight Memento Nora Interview
14 – Reading Teen Awaken Review & Interview, 365 Days of Reading Dark Parties Review
15 – A Tapestry of Words Memento Nora Review & Interview, 365 Days of Reading Dark Parties Interview
16 – The Bookish Type Bumped Review, Books in the Spotlight Possession review, Supernatural Snark XVI Interview
17 – The Bookish Type Bumped Interview, Literary Explorations Delirium Review, Books in the Spotlight Bumped Review
18 – Delirium Scavenger Hunt Interview

Happy Reading!

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event and love giving you a little teaser into what I'm reading!  This can either suck you in, and you will enjoy reading the book, or it can make you realize that this just isn't the book for you!

The rules are simple:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on the page
Please do not include spoilers!!!!! (Please be sure that what you post doesn't give too much away -- we want this to be fun for those who haven't read the book as well!)
- Make sure you share TITLE and AUTHOR so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile.
- Always be sure to check out the host's blog and leave your Teaser Tuesday link!


Georgia Bottoms: A Novel
My Teaser


"Georgia wasn't brave enough to tell her.  She enjoyed the knowledge of how hysterical Mama would be if she ever found out."

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean

Release Date: 2/10/11
The Secret Lives of DressesPublisher: 5 Spot
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 290
SourceHachette Book Group
Challenge100 Books in a Year


Dora has always taken the past of least resistance.  She went to the college that offered her a scholarship, is majoring in "vagueness studies," and wears whatever shows the least dirt.  She's fallen into a job at the campus coffee shop and a crush on her flirty boss, Gary . . . but has no idea what she's going to do next.

When Mimi, the grandmother who raised her, suffers a stroke, Dora rushes home to Forsyth, NC, and finds herself running her grandmother's vintage clothing store.  Surrounded by regal gowns, sexy sheaths, and Jackie-esque suits from decades gone by, Dora makes a curious discovery: Mimi had been secretly writing down and giving away stories about the dresses in her shop.  Soon the clothes, her grandmother's legacies, and a handsome young contractor named Conrad being to make her wonder . . . She can trade her boring clothes for vintage glamour, but can she trade her boring life for one she actually wants? ((Taken from the back cover))


First Sentence
"Dora had a rhythm going, or if not a rhythm, a pattern, and it went something like downshift, wipe tears away with back of hand, sob, upshift, scrub running nose with horrible crumpled fast-food napkin, stab at the buttons on the radio, and then downshift again."

My Thoughts
Honestly, this book blew me away.  Mostly because I read up on the author and found out she has only ever written language books.  This is McKean's first book where "the words are arranged in something other than alphabetical order".  McKean is a fantastic story teller, and the book grabbed me from the first sentence and didn't let go until I finished.  

I loved Dora's character and could completely relate to her.  I honestly wish there was some sort of "vagueness studies" available at the colleges I attended, because that certainly would have been my major!  I've always thought that vintage stuff is cool, but I've never worn any vintage clothing or anything like that, as I am more of a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of girl.

Mimi was hands down amazing.  I was so impressed that I could love a character so much that was in a coma for a large majority of the book.  She was just a sweet, loving grandmother with lots of pearls of wisdom. 

My only real confusion came about surrounding Conrad, and maybe I missed something . . . It just seemed to me like he was a much older man, and pursuing a 20 something girl seemed weird to me.  It seemed like throughout the story, Dora was somewhat uncomfortable around him, however many of the other characters would say how beautiful and wonderful Con was.  I'm not saying that I don't think that Dora and Con are perfect for each other, because I believe they are . . . it just didn't seem to fit at first.

This is a wonderful story of growing up, dealing with family and learning to love, and I would highly recommend this book.

Favorite Quote
"'If you want someone to stop listening to you," she told Dora, "go ahead and yell.  If you want them to listen to every word, whisper."'

Ratings
Likes: How likeable and well developed the characters are.
Dislikes:  The confusion about Conrad.
Favorite Character: Mimi
Least Favorite Character: Camille
Cover: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Happy Reading!

Disclosure - I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book from the publisher.  This in no way affected my review.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (3)


Welcome back to Wish list Wednesday!
I've decided to start my own weekly meme!  
It is called Wish list Wednesday, and the rules are simple.
- Post a list of books you've been wanting to read (new or old releases), but here's the kicker -- you can't already own them.
- Make sure to comment with the link of your post so we can all see what you're dying to get your hands on!

Here goes!

Tick Tock (Michael Bennett)
I've gotten all my books from the NY Times Best Sellers List (again)!
NYC's #1 detective, Michael Bennett, has a huge problem - the Son of Sam, the Werewolf of Wisteria and the Mad Bomber are all back.  The city has never been more terrified!

Tick -- a killer's countdown begins.

A rash of horrifying crimes tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and terrorizing everyone living there.  Immediately, it becomes clear that the are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind.

Tick -- Michael Bennett is on the chase.

The city calls on Detective Michael Bennett, pulling him away from a seaside retreat with his ten adopted children, his grandfather, and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine.  Not only does it tear apart their vacation, it leaves the entire family open to attack.

Tock -- your time is up.

Bennett enlists the help of a former colleague, FBI Agent Emily Parker.  As his affection for Emily grows into something stronger, his relationship with Mary Catherine takes an unexpected turn.  All too soon, another appalling crime leads Bennett to a shocking discovery that exposes the killers pattern and earth-shattering enormity of his plan.  From the creator of the #1 New York detective series comes the most volatile and most explosive Michael Bennett novel ever.
Safe Haven 
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 a sheltered oasis of Southport.  With Jo's empathetic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven. 
These Things Hidden 
When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever.  Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child.  Her former friends exult her downfall.  Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high  school.  It's Brynn - shy, quiet Brynn - who carries the burden of what really happened that night.  All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her.

But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister.

Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy.  And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden. 
Sizzle: A Novel 
Lyra Prescott, a Los Angeles film student, is closing in on graduation and facing important decisions about her future.  She's already been offered a job at her hometown TV station, an opportunity that could ultimately launch her dream career as a film editor.  But heading back home would also mean dealing with her overprotective brothers, social-climbing mother, and eccentric grandmother.  Unsure of her future, Lyra dives into work on her final school assignment: a documentary transformed by a twist of fate into a real-life horror film.

After she unwittingly captures a shocking crime on camera, a rash of mysterious, treacherous incidents convince Lyra that she's trapped in a sinister scenario headed for a violent ending.  Running scared, she turns to her best friend, Sidney Buchanan, whose connections bring dauntless and devilishly handsome FBI agent Sam Kincaid into Lyra's life.  As the noose of the deadly intrigue tightens and the feelings between them deepen, Lyra and Sam must place their faith in each other's hands - and stand together against the malevolent forces about to break loose.

Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Mysteries)
In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic.  But the slain lawyer's notoriety - and his taste for illicit midday trysts - makes the case front-page news in every local paper except the Star, which crashed and burned before Abramowitz did.

A former Star reporter who knows every inch of this town - from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill - now-unemployed Tess Monaghan also knows the primary suspect: cuckolded fianc√©e Darryl "Rock" Paxton.  The time is ripe for a career move, so when rowing buddy Rock wants to hire her to do some unorthodox snooping to help clear his name, Tess agrees.  But there are lethal secrets hiding in the Charm City shadows.  And Tess's own name could end up on the ever-expanding list of Baltimore dead.
Red Riding Hood



The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat.  Her flesh mutilated by the telltale claw marks.  The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations.  It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect.  Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town?  Is it her betrothed, Henry?  Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the best, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long.  Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event and love giving you a little teaser into what I'm reading!  This can either suck you in, and you will enjoy reading the book, or it can make you realize that this just isn't the book for you!

The rules are simple:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on the page
Please do not include spoilers!!!!! (Please be sure that what you post doesn't give too much away -- we want this to be fun for those who haven't read the book as well!)
- Make sure you share TITLE and AUTHOR so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile.
- Always be sure to check out the host's blog and leave your Teaser Tuesday link!
The Secret Lives of Dresses

My Teaser
"Dora hadn't even considered that the lack of a mama or a daddy would be cause for her picture to be rejected, Dora had been upset that she had only finished one color of the sprinkles on her ice-cream cone, and everyone knew you couldn't get one-color sprinkles, unless they were brown, and Dora's were green.  Who had ever heard of one-color green sprinkles?"


Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme brought to you by The Story Siren.  It is a fun little way to share what books you've received over the last week, whether you bought them, borrowed them or were sent them!


Yay for my first vlog!!


Toys - James Patterson (Amazon | Goodreads)
The Secret Lives of Dresses - Erin McKean (Amazon | Goodreads)
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship - Lisa Verge Higgins (Amazon | Goodreads)
Georgia Bottoms - Mark Childress (Amazon | Goodreads)
Tick Tock - James Patterson (Amazon | Goodreads)
In Office Hours - Lucy Kellaway (Amazon | Goodreads)
Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson (Amazon | Goodreads)
Angel Harp - Michael Phillips (Amazon | Goodreads)

I hope you enjoyed, and don't forget to link back to The Story Siren's blog so others can check out what you got in your mailbox this week!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

ARC Review: Toys by James Patterson

Release Date: 3/14/11
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 364
SourceHachette Book Group
Challenge100 Books in a Year & Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge

Move over James Bond - you've just met your match!

Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super human strength, exceptional intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children.  Of course they do -- they're Elites, endowed at birth with the most advanced genetic enhancements available.  Elites are the pinnacle of evolution; the triumph of man's ambitions.

The only problem in their perfect world -- are the humans!

And their toys!

Now comes the most unbelievable shock of Hays Baker's life.  Suddenly he's on the other side of the gun, experiencing a life he'd never dreamed possible - and fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction.

Not only that, Hays and Lizbeth just might lose their perfect family.

James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane -- with a hero to rival both Bond and Jason Bourne.
First Sentence
"I will not forget this moment for as long as I live, which, in truth, might not be that long anyway."

My Thoughts
I'm a HUGE James Patterson fan, so as soon as I saw this in the box from Hachette Books I freaked out!  Anyway, I was pretty skeptical of this book at first.  James Patterson is known for his murder mystery books,  so that is what I was expecting.  When I read the back of the book, I really thought that Patterson had stepped out of his element, and I just couldn't see this working.  Was I ever wrong!  This book has the same fluid and wonderful writing style you will see in all of Patterson's other books, and the characters are just as well developed and easy to love.  

I had been hesitant when I picked up Sam's Letters to Jennifer and Sunday's at Tiffany's as well, because those were more romantic type books.  Patterson didn't disappoint in those two books, and certainly didn't in this one either!  I was hooked from the first sentence, and it just got better from there. 

I love Patterson's Alex Cross novels, and Michael Bennett novels, and I'm hoping that this can be another series staring Hays Baker.  I'm not really sure how that would be possible...but I would love it!

I love when you are reading a book and halfway through you think you've completely figured everything out, and then BAM, you've been wrong the whole time!  This is a DEFINITE must read for Patterson fans!

Ratings
Likes: That Patterson stepped out of his comfort zone with this one.
Dislikes:  It doesn't really seem like this book can be the start to a series.
Favorite Character: Hays
Least Favorite Character: Jax
Cover: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Happy Reading!

Disclosure - I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book from the publisher.  This in no way affected my review.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (14)

Book Blogger Hop

I love love, love, love the Book Blogger Hop that is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. The rules are simple, and this is am awesome opportunity to get your blog out there! Post the hop on your blog, then make sure to include a link in the Mr. Linky on Crazy For Books's blog...and then -- GET TO HOPPING!

RULES:

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List at Crazy For Books
          (In your link, please state the main genre that you review: eclectic, contemp. fiction, ya, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc.)
2. Post about the Hop on your blog. Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier! In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!). 


Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!


This week has been insanely busy for me . . . I haven't had a lot of time to blog or read, however I did receive two packages of books!!! Thanks Hatchette Books!  The post you should check out from this week is my review of the ARC I received, His Other Wife by Deborah Bedford.  It was a great read, and I highly recommend it.
A very warm welcome to my new followers, and thanks for sticking around to my oldie but goodies!

Happy Reading!
 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (16)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event and love giving you a little teaser into what I'm reading!  This can either suck you in, and you will enjoy reading the book, or it can make you realize that this just isn't the book for you!

The rules are simple:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on the page
Please do not include spoilers!!!!! (Please be sure that what you post doesn't give too much away -- we want this to be fun for those who haven't read the book as well!)
- Make sure you share TITLE and AUTHOR so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile.
- Always be sure to check out the host's blog and leave your Teaser Tuesday link!

ToysMy Teaser
"A centerpiece of the work was to turn me into a super-enhanced human who could pass for an Elite - and who was, in many ways, more advanced than any Elite.  They had essentially risked my life, and sanity by sending me to live with the Elites as and undercover spy - without me having a clue about who or what I was."

Happy Reading!

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