Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review- Mini Shopaholic

I finished reading Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic #6) by Sophie Kinsella last night.

From Goodreads:

Becky Brandon thinks that having a daughter is a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. The toddler creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge nationwide financial crisis.

With people having to cut back, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source—and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?


I read all of the previous books in this series several years ago and remembered loving them so I was ready to jump back in and read another one.  

But I have to be honest.  Becky annoyed me.  I'm not sure if I've just grown up and matured since reading the other books or what, but all of the spending and shopping and lying and denial about her child's behavior just really got on my nerves.  And come on!  How did she not realize that this surprise party would get out of hand the way she was planning it?!?!?  Ugh!

That being said, it's definitely a beach read and you know I'll pick up the next book in the series--Hollywood!

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Book Review- My Life Next Door

I finished My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick last week while on vacation in Hilton Head.

From Goodreads:

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

I got easily absorbed into the story.  I thought I knew what the unthinkable thing might be but I wasn't even close.

I liked Samantha.  She was easy to relate to and real.  And Jase was your typical great guy-next-door.  They really were just the perfect couple.

Even the side characters were great.  I wanted to hate Tim, I really did.  He was a complete screwup and seemed like such a loser.  But he always seemed to redeem himself.  And he really wasn't such a bad guy.  I also loved all of Jase's family.  The little kids were so cute and funny and his parents were just all around great.

I liked how Samantha handled the secret.  Yes, not ideal at first but she came around and did the right thing.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Boy Most Likely To, which is all about Tim and Alice.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book from a friend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Review- Tumble & Fall

I finished Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.


An asteroid is about to strike the Earth?  That's a new one for me.  I thought it would  be interesting in reading how these teens spent their last days alive.  Buuuut  I'm not so sure it was really all that interesting.

The story is told from 3 points of view.  And each of those points of views had lots of characters in them.  So I kept getting everyone confused and would have to stop and think about it for a few minutes.  Not really what I wanted to have to do.

Caden--What a weird story ARC.  His deadbeat-dad/kidnapping-father buys him a prostitute on the last days of Earth.  Say what???  So unnecessary! And I didn't really care for him.  He seemed like a weak character.

Zan--Her story was interesting.  I definitely thought it was going to go one way, but it surprised me by going another.  Thank goodness.

Sienna--I felt for her and what she went through.  I liked her character except that she fell in love with this boy that she knew when she was 4 and then again just now.  I mean, I know that life is probably going to end and all.  But still, love?  It was a little much.

I love character driven stories, but I needed more in this novel.  Maybe it should have been broken up into 3 different sections of the book instead of switching back and forth between POVs.  And we never do find out if the asteroid hits the Earth.  I want to know, damn it!

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review- The One Thing

I just finished reading The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met.Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.


I've always been a sucker for books about teens with medical illnesses or difficulties so I was drawn to this book.  Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to what I was hoping for.

Stereotypical, yes, but if the main character is going through a rough time, I want to feel sympathy for him/her and root for the character.  In order to do that, I have to actually LIKE the character.  And I couldn't stand Maggie.  She was rude and off-putting and I didn't think her humor was funny at all. And it wasn't because of the fact that she recently became blind.  Apparently, according to her, she's always been like that.  So nope, I didn't care for her at all or really what happened to her.  

Ben.  Ben, I liked.  But I thought he wasn't believable.  Ten-year olds don't act and say the things he did.  It was off-putting.  And the fact that he and Maggie, a seventeen year old, hung out was just weird to me.  

I did get sucked in about halfway through the book and flew through the rest but it was more that I was engaged in Ben's life and and Mason's life.  And I guess some of that encompassed Maggie but I think I would have enjoyed the book much more if there had been something to like about her.  

That being said, I did like the plot.  I liked the storyline and what happened.  It tugged on my heartstrings and made me hold my breath (but again, this was about Ben).  So did I like the book?  Yeah, I guess overall, I did.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review- Horizon

I finished reading Horizon (Soul Seekers #4) by Alyson Noel today.

From Goodreads:

Daire Santos is the last of the Soul Seekers, and the only thing standing between the Richters and the destruction of everyone she loves. With her grandmother gone and Cade back in Enchantment, Daire must finally step into her destiny and lead the fight against the Richters. But what if that means sacrificing the person she loves most?

Bound to the Richters by blood, Dace struggles against the darkness growing inside him that threatens to claim Daire too. Though Daire refuses to give up on him, the choice may not be hers. An epic battle is on the horizon and the end of the world looms near. With such insurmountable odds stacked against them, is their love really enough to conquer all?


This fourth book in the series summed up quite nicely.  Although I do have to say that the ending left me wondering if this was really the last book or if there will be another one in the future.  I mean, everything wrapped up, but the very end has something that could definitely turn into another book.

Once again, I'm sounding like a broken record--I just didn't connect Daire.  I think maybe it's the Native American lore that feeds into the books that I'm just not getting into.

I am glad it wrapped up the way it did.  It all seemed right and well.  But I'm also glad I'm done with the series!

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Monday, July 6, 2015

In My Mailbox- July 6, 2015

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week:

WEDNESDAY
Find Me Where the Water Ends (So Close to You #3)- Rachel Carter--received from friend











Champion (Legend #3)- Marie Lu--received from friend












Thornhill (Hemlock #2)- Kathleen Peacock--received from friend












Sound- Alexandra Duncan--received from friend

The Sunday Salon- July 5, 2015


The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Play On (Lewis Creek #1) by Michelle Smith 











Mystic (Soul Seekers #3) by Alyson Noel 












I am currently reading Horizon (Soul Seekers #4) by Alyson Noel and up next is The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Review- Mystic

I finished reading Mystic (Soul Seekers #3) by Alyson Noel last night.

From Goodreads:

Since arriving in the dusty desert town of Enchantment, everything in Daire Santos life has changed...and not always for the better. While she's come to accept and embrace her new powers as a Soul Seeker, Daire struggles with the responsibility she holds navigating between the worlds of the living and the dead--and her mission to defeat the evil Cade Richter.  But Cade's soul is inextricably entwined with that of her boyfriend Dace, putting their love to the ultimate test.  How can she can't defeat Cade if it means destroying Dace too?  And is their love strong enough to survive death—and what lies beyond?

MYSTIC is the third book in The Soul Seekers, a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.


Mystic was the third book in the Soul Seeker series.  I don't know why but I'm still not a huge Daire fan.  I just do not connect with her. Maybe because she's so serious.  I want her to have a little more personality. I do like Dace though.  And this new tiny bit of darkness in him is interesting.  And there's something in me that likes Cade.  I want there to be a shred of goodness in him (like there is darkness in Dace.)

There was a quite a bit of action and we get to learn more about the side character of Phyre (poor brainwashed child).  I hope the action is dialed up in the last book of the series, Horizon.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review- Play On

I finished reading Play On (Lewis Creek #1) by Michelle Smith for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek--he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything--maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together."


By now, it's known that I love my sports stories.  So when I saw this book was about baseball, I jumped on the tour.  That being said, I have a hard time with guy narrators for some reason. (Although I did love all the baseball references.)

This book felt both real and not real to me.  Austin and Marisa's relationship--they almost fit together too well.  I'm not sure why, when I think about it.  But with the exception of one part, it was just too easy.  He fell for her too easily and was crazy about her and I don't really know too many teen guys like that.

That's where the real comes in--depression and suicide.  Such a real and tough topic.  I liked that we got to read about how it affects other people, not just the one suffering.  I think teens need to realize that depression is real and that it's okay to talk about it.  


My one suggestion for the book--and it may already be included since I read an ARC--but I really, REALLY hope the final book has a page at the end with hotlines and website for teens and people struggling with depression and suicide as a reference for help.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, June 29, 2015

In My Mailbox- June 29, 2015



In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week:


WEDNESDAY
All We Have is Now- Lisa Schroeder--from publisher for review












FRIDAY
Play On (Lewis Creek #1)- Michelle Smith--review for an Around the World ARC Tour











SATURDAY
Werewolf in the North Woods (Wild About You #2)- Vicki Lewis Thompson--PaperbackSwap