Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Audiobook Challenge Sign Up!

The Book Nympho
I never thought in a million years that I would listen to audiobooks. I mean seriously, the way I figured it, audiobooks were things that old ladies listened to while taking the kids out, and they were always self hel books, or books to help teach languages, or something equally boring. It would include drab, boring narrators that put one to sleep, and stupid sounding voices when the narrator planned to try a particularly tricky voice. Though both can be true with some books, it's not often the case with most. Now, I'm practically pissed at all the time I spent griping about audiobooks and the impurity of "reading" them vs reading regular books, when I could have spent that time listening to more audiobooks.

The audio format of books has practically blown up in the recent years (or so I've been told) and the narrators are better than ever. Most are engaging, exciting, and embody the MC or storyline so that you feel like you're actually standing right inside or next to your favorite characters.

In 2014, I signed up for the audiobook challenge, and stuck with it the entire year, ending with 84 audiobooks listened to. Check out my post here. This year, I'm hoping to listen to even more.  I won't bore you with all the rules, but you can check them out and/or sign up here.

My chosen level is: Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+

I'm hoping to listen to more than the 84 books I listened to in 2014. You can expect updates on the following dates:

Update Schedule:

  • March 27th: 1st Quarter Update
  • June 19th: 2nd Quarter Update – Giveaway included
  • September 25th: 3rd Quarter Update
  • December 18th: 4th Quarter Update and Wrap – Giveaway included
If you wish, however to see my progress when there isn't a formal post, I've created a lovely goodreads shelf just for this year's challenge. I think It will help me keep track even of my rereads more efficiently.

It would be great if you would join with me.For those of you who havent even tried Audiobooks, there's even a Newbie level of books (1-5 books), so there's no excuse for you not to give it a try. You may find that it makes chores a lot more fun.

Audiobook Challenge 2014 Wrap Up Post

This challenge is hosted by one of my fav bloggers, The Book Nympho. Here are the rules (copied from the sign up page):
·         Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. You can join at anytime.
·         The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2014 than you did in 2013.
·         Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
·         ANY genres count.
·         Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
·         You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
·         If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

You can choose whatever level you want to reach, and then start reading. I signed up for :
·         My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
I totally knocked that number out of the water with a total of 83 audiobooks!!!  Plus one additional book that I'm pretty sure will be finished tomorrow. That number doesn't even include the books relistened to within the same year, or at times in older years. Let me just say that nearly every book I read this year was an audiobook, mainly because I've been too busy to stop and find time to read, but I still want to know what happens in all the stories. For that reason, my addiction to audiobooks is stronger than ever. I can't wait for the next year's challenge, where I hope to choose a number even higher than this one (if one even exists)

Here's my list of books and the dates each were read:

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep (1/2/14-1/3/14)
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews 1/3/14-1/6/14)
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews (1/9/14-1/13/14)
Fates Edge by Ilona Andrews (1/13/14-1/15/14)
Steel's Edge by Ilona Andrews (1/15/14-1/20/14)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (1/27/14-2/28/14)
The Spider by Jennifer Estep (1/23/14-1/27/14)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (1/27/14-1/29/14)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (1/30/14-2/4/14)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (2/4/14-2/8/14)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (2/8/14-2/10/14)
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (2/10/14-2/12/14)
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (2/12/14-2/15/14)
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire (2/15/14-2/18/14)
A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire (2/18/14-2/18/14)
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (2/18/14-2/19/14)
Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts (2/19/14-2/20/14)
The Devil's Reprise by Karina Halle (2/20/14-2/21/14)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (2/21/14-2/22/14)
Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead (2/22/14-2/24/14)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (2/24/14-2/25/14)
Frostbite by Rachelle Mead (2/25/14-2/28/14)
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (2/28/14-2/28/14)
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire (2/28/14-3/4/14)
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men by Molly harper (3/4/14-3/5/14)
Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever by Molly Harper (3/6/14-3/10/14)
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill(3/10/14-3/10/14)
Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill 3/10/14-3/11/14)
Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill (3/12/14-3/13/14)
Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill (3/16/14-3/17/14)
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (3/18/14-3/19/14)
Biting Cold by Chloe Neill (3/19/14-3/24/14)
House Rules by Chloe Neill (3/24/14-3/24/14)
Biting Bad by Chloe Neill (3/29/14-3/29/14)
Wild Things by Chloe Neill (3/29/14-4/01/14)
Coven by Tony Ruggiero (3/14/14-3/16/14)
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins (3/24/14-3/25/14)
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas (4/8/14-4/10/14)
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (4/10/14-4/14/14)
Skinwalker by Faith Hunter (4/16/14-4/19/14)
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter (4/19/14-4/22/14)
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (4/22/14-4/24/14)
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole (4/24/14-4/25/14)
Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter (4/25/14-4/29/14)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (4/29/14-5/2/14)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (5/2/14-5/4/14)
A Hunger like No other by Kresley Cole (5/4/14-5/6/14)
No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole (5/6/14-5/13/14)
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (5/13/14-5/13/14)
Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter (5/13/14-5/17/14)
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn (5/19/14-5/21/14)
Altered by Jennifer Rush (6/15/14-7/15/14)
Angelfall by Susan Ee (6/30/14-6/30/14)
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (6/10/14-7/03/14)
The Giver by Louis Lowry (7/11/14-7/11/14)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (7/11/14-7/18/14)
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (7/18/14-8/9/14)
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (7/31/14-8/07/14)
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (8/9/14-8/17/14)
Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter (8/23/14-8-25/14)
Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth (8/25/14-8/26/14)
Blood Trade by Faith Hunter (8/25/14-8/29/14)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (8/29/14-9/2/14)
Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (9/02/14-9/15/14)
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (9/18/14-9/24/14)
Hounded by Kevin Hearne (9/24/14-10/2/14)
Black Arts by Faith Hunter (10/1/14-10/2/14)
Broken Soul by Faith Hunter (10/7/14-10/8/14)
Cat o’ Nine Tales: The Jane Yellowrock Stories by Faith Hunter (10/23/14-10/26/14)
Stained by Ella James (10/26/14-10/28/14)
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (10/28/14-10/30/14)
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (11/26/14-12/03/14)
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (12/03/14-12/03/14)
Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout (12/03/14-12/09/14)
Origin by Jennifer L Armentrout (12/9/14-12/14/14)
Twice the Growl by Milly Taiden (12/17/14-12/17/14)
Bound by Lorelei James (12/17/14-12/19/14)
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest (12/17/14-12/19/14)
Hexed by Kevin Hearne (12/19/14-12/30/14)
Trading Teon by Regan Hawk (12/29/14-12/29/14)
Claiming Their Royal Mate by Andie Devaux (12/29/14-12/29/14)
Strength in Numbers by Regan Hawk (12/29/24-12/19/14)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (12/29/14-12/29-14)
Charming by Elliot James (12/29/14-Present) -planning to finish this one by 12/31/14

 What do you think about my new obsession? Have you tried audiobooks? Any questions about choosing one to start with?

Monday, September 22, 2014


Hi Everyone!!

Long time no....see? speak? type? blog!

I've been SUPER busy lately with planning a wedding and everything, so I hadn't had a chance to blog as much as I wanted (or basically, at all). Of course, I had been reading, (I mean honestly when am I not?) but I just didn't have the time, or the drive to write or post reviews of the books I've read.

That being said, I am BACK!!! I'm married now (and hating the process of changing my last name)

I have also picked up a new hobby in addition to reading. You're now perusing the blog of a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu white belt, and I'm almost at my first stripe (Yay!)

What made me pick that up you ask? Well, after reading so many books with heroines kicking major ass, and deciding to write a story about one who does as well, I began to feel like a fraud since I didn't even know how to throw a proper punch. I decided to take a trial class, and never looked back. It's my new obsession!!!

Get ready for some reviews to come your way, just as soon as I can jot some feelings down.

It's good to be back.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Complicated Creatures by Alexi Lawless

Book: Complicated Creatures (Part 1)
By: Alexi Lawless
Published: April 24, 2014
Published by: VIVRANT Press Publications

Description: What happens when curiosity becomes obsession? And when that obsession leads to an unstoppable journey you could never have imagined?

Luck is Jack Roman's middle name— and Chicago is his Empire. He lives to work, loves to play, and makes no commitments. But when the mysterious S. Wyatt moves into the adjoining penthouse, he's immediately drawn to her, a striking, elusive woman who transitions seamlessly from wood-paneled board rooms to high-stakes, high-risk rescue operations in the most dangerous parts of the world.

Intrigued by her self-possession, aroused by her incredible passion, and disarmed by a vulnerability she cannot hide, Jack pursues her into the nexus of her dangerous present and her enigmatic past. An entire world is revealed to Jack, where living for pleasure becomes fighting for survival. And the only woman he wants may be the one he cannot have...

COMPLICATED CREATURES is a mesmerizing, labyrinthine romantic suspense that will leave you wondering: Do you really want to know everything about the one you love?

My Thoughts: Complicated Creatures is a good story full of new beginnings, uncertainty, and hope.

Told in dual POV, CC follows Sam and Jack, two completely different people who wind up meeting and tearing each other’s worlds apart. Sam is a soldier/hero who constantly puts herself in danger to protect her clients. She’s totally badass, and keeps her feelings to herself. Jack, on the other hand, is a wealthy ladies man who is apparently no match for Sam’s allure, and is soon swept up into her life, and begging her to let him in.

I really liked this book. I loved seeing Sam and Jack interact, and loved seeing the passion they could have when they were together. I couldn’t get enough of the scenes of them together. Additionally, this book had tons of fight/combat scenes, which were awesome, and gave this book more of an action feel than just regular romance.

There’s a lot of back/side story in this book, and though interesting, it could sometimes take away from the plot. I just didn’t get enough Sam and Jack, and it left the book feeling as if it was missing something. Furthermore; this book is what I like to call a build up book. Everything is set up nice and neat, and slowly builds and builds and builds, but then as soon as you’re anticipating what will happen, it ends. Nothing is really resolved. Perhaps that’s the reason for the next book in this series, but I would have still liked a bit of resolution somewhere.  Hopefully in the next book I’ll be sated.

I give this one 3.5 stars. It was a great start, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was definitely missing that certain something that I just needed. I would recommend this to those who like romances that include badass women who tame their male counterparts and can beat the crap out of anyone she comes up against. 
This month, I was part of the Complicated Creatures Blog Tour. In celebration of the blog tour:

  • Complicated Creatures Part Two is due out in September. If people sign up to be part of the LAWLESS Ones here, they will receive Complicated Creatures 1.5, a novella, FREE.

  • For the stalkery type (like me) You can find Alexi here

Monday, May 26, 2014

Audio Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Book: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
By: Robin LaFevers
Published: April 3, 2012
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

My Thoughts: Grave Mercy is a Story about Ismae, a girl who has had a rough time in life because she;s seen as the daughter of death since her mother tried to poison her from her belly before she was born, and yet she was still born. Everyone is afraid of her, and men beat her. Then, on her dreaded wedding day, she's taken to a covenant of St. Mortain where she's trained to be an assassin.

She's a great assassin, until her assignment becomes a bit more difficult and interesting. She must deal with lies and deceit and is unable to determine how to handle it. Meanwhile, her horrible feelings toward men are slowly going away.

I enjoyed reading it, though I must say Ismae seems a bit too trusting. Often, it was extra obvious who the villain was in a particular situation, and yet, she didn't seem to see it, or overlooked it. It was ridiculous. Still, it was a pretty great read, once I got past being annoyed at how dense Ismae was at times. For that reason, I give this one 3 stars. it was great, but some of the characters were just a little too unbelievable.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, and Phillippa Ballintine

Book: Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1) 
By: Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, and Phillippa Ballintine
Published: April 26, 2011
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers

Description:  Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!

My Thoughts: I love steampunk. More than that, I love steampunk that boasts an eccentric female main character who barely follows societal rules for women, choosing instead to crack cases, kick asses, and take names. Phoenix Rising is one such book.

As the description states, we follow Eliza Braun and Wellington Books. Near the beginning of the book, the two are at each other’s throats. Eliza was a field agent, who got too…explosive in the field and was reassigned. Wellington “Welly” (as Eliza so lovingly calls him) happily runs the archives until Eliza comes down and ruins a couple things.

As you would expect, these two eventually overcome their differences (as much as they can) and band together to investigate a series of peculiar occurrences (pun intended) that were set aside as unsolvable. What results is a story full of danger and undercover intrigue, era appropriate sexual innuendo, and plenty high speed carriage chases to suitably meet your steampunk needs.

I really liked this, though I’ll admit, it got off to a pretty slow start. I usually hope to get sucked into a story within the first chapter, and unfortunately, I just wasn’t with this one. That being said, I held out, hoping it would get better, and near the middle of the book, it did.

I give this book 3.5 stars. I really was disappointed in the way it began, and I wished I could have gotten more out of it still, it picked up a bit near the middle and I enjoyed it. I still wish I would have gotten a bit more out of it, which is why I’m not giving it more stars. I’m hoping I’ll feel better about the next one in the series. I’m about to start it shortly.

I would recommend this story to those interested in steampunk books with a hint of romance, and tons of sexual innuendo, with lots of investigation and mystery. I can see this becoming a good series.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Book: Crewel (Crewel #1)
By: Gennifer Albin
Published: October 16, 2012
Published by: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Description: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

My Thoughts: Is it wrong that I often feel as if I dont really need to give a long review to books I dont absolutely love, or absolutely hate? I hope not, because I'm giving this one a short review.

Crewel was okay. I couldnt quite understand some of it. Like the details of the weave and how Adelice works it I couldnt quite get. Furthermore, I didnt understand the appeal of our MC. She seemed pretty boring, albeit pretty. She seemed to have like zero survival instinct and didnt know how to just shut up sometimes. Furthermore, It seemed she just came to random conclusions without me understanding how on earth she did it. There was a love triangle, and it was as annoying as you can expect. This story felt a little like Wither by Lauren DeStafano. Both had females in roles where they were mainly accessories, and both had MC's I just could never understand.

I refuse to bore you all with more review of this book I dont love. I give it 2.5 stars.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quickie Audio Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Book: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
By: Jamie McGuire
Published: April 2, 2013
Published by: Atria Books

Description: Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. 

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts: This one won't be too long at all, mainly because it's pretty much the same exact story told through Travis' eyes. You still have to read the first one, because this one skips some parts and only references others in passing. It also adds a couple parts and gives further insight into others. That being said, it's worth reading if you love Travis as much as I do. It's the same story, and yet, it's so much different this way. Still 4.5 stars.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Audio Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Book: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
By: Jamie McGuire
Published: May 26, 2011
Published by: Self Published (later picked up by Atria Books)


Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts: Okay, I'm going to start off by saying I abolutely love this book, and despite the not perfect rating, It was an amazing book that I will absolutely read again.

We follow Abby Abernathy, and start off in the basement, at a fight as she's splattered with blood all across her pink cardigan. The culprit, Travis Maddox, her college's walking sex god. We would later learn that this is the moment he falls in love with her, only it takes him forever to realize, and even longer for her to return it.

Abby has a dark past that forces her to stay away from trouble, only Travis doesnt let her stay away, and soon she doesnt want too. The only problem is these two seem to be both bad for each other, and good for each other. In the condensed words of one of the characters, when they're good, it's all sunshine and roses, but when it's bad, they take out everything around them.

This love story is at once absolutely adorably cute, and absolutely devastating. I'd definitely rate it New Adult, as there's quite a bit of sex and other college type situations though the sex isnt explained the same way as erotica or Adult fiction. I also must add that though it starts off absolutely believable, it ends kind of cute and cheesy and somewhat unbelievable. Still, I loved it, and if you're okay with that, then you should be okay with this story. There's also quite a bit of cursing in this one, which I'm okay with since I have the kind of family that curses too much already, but if you're sensitive to those words, then you should steer clear. I loved this one, and I give it 4.5 stars. It was pretty darn great to read this wonderful....(wait for it)...beautiful disaster.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Life Lived Twice by Sherrie Wouters

Book: Life Lived Twice
By: Sherrie Wouters
Published: June 6, 2014
Published By: Bermingham Books

Description: Some promises are made to last forever...

What if you fell in love with a stranger...but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met?

When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can't explain.

Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought.

Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams...dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor.

As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn't the only thing that can find you after an eternity.

Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.

My Thoughts: Life Lived twice is the story of Logan Bailey and Tess, two people who run into each other at an airport and find that they know each other from somewhere. The crazy thing is, they know each other as Lylah Elwood and Addison Taylor, and they know each other from what Tess believes are dreams, but what are actually memories of a past life.

This story is a good one about reincarnation, the importance of forgiveness, and the importance of love. It also ensures that you live life to the fullest. It tells the story of Tess and Logan Bailey in a way both like every other book about reincarnated love, and much different than every other story.

I began thinking I knew exactly how it would end, and though most of it followed my predetermined ideas, it changed toward the end and ended in a way I would never have expected.

As characters, I didn't much connect with Tess or Logan. Tess slept all hours of the day for no reason it seemed, and is ridiculously awkward, and has strange bodily reactions when she's around anyone. She gets guilt for no reasonThey're all sudden and intense, and often unrealistic. Logan isn't nearly as bad, though I was unable to really get to know him.

There is also a strange love triangle/foursome. That being said, this one is quite interesting from anything I had read before. Some of the conversations are a bit too formal sometimes, and a little stiff, but if you can get past that, this is a great book.

I give it 2.5 stars.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: In Love with Him or The Idea of Him? - An Excerpt

When I was contacted by this author's publicist asking that I participate in their blog tour, I couldnt help but agree. I mean, this story is right up my alley. I'm always talking to my friends about being sure they dont settle in a relationship, and making sure what they get is love and not just love of what they can get out of being with someone. This book is about just that. It's about being sure you're in love with who you're with, and not just the idea of who you're with. 

Here's the description (as found on goodreads):

Mary Crawford is a once aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, and wife of a hotshot magazine editor whose power base spans the worlds of finance, fashion, culture, entertainment, and society. At 34, she finds herself at a crossroads: between the office and her home, her life has become an endless rotation of people pleasing-whether pulling rabbits out of hats for her mogul boss, entertaining advertisers and phony A-listers for her husband's magazine, or making elaborate costumes for children's school plays. At least, that is, until she meets a head turning, traffic stopping beauty at the bar of the famed Four Seasons Grill Room-where many of the novel's players regularly convene-and shortly thereafter finds the same woman and her husband in an apparently compromising position in her own apartment.

And so begins the story of two very different women bound by similar missions-to uncover the crimes and betrayals of various men in their lives and finally put their own interests front and center. For Mary this ultimately means leaving a husband who is ideal in theory but not in practice, and deciding to risk security for self-fulfillment and a new life on her own. Like so many women, Mary fell for the man she married when she was in her twenties only to realize years later that it wasn't him she fell for as much as it was the idea of him-the idea of a savior who would protect and provide and ferry her from her past into the future. But the guy who seemed so right at the time turned out to be nothing more than a fantasy.

Seems to be an excellent book right. It's definitely one I'm willing to pick up and check out. 

As an additional encouragement, I have an excerpt for you:

While he was coming to quick terms with the idea that he’d finally found an attractive woman who cared about his world of nonstop news and gossip, right away, I knew that I too certainly liked the idea of this Wade Crawford man before me. He fit a need. His enthusiasm for life and work would soften my losses: my father in a plane to the ravages of an untimely blizzard and James to a burning obsession to save every child on the other side of the world.
New York glimmered around us that night, the way it can when spontaneity falls perfectly into place. After dinner, Wade escorted me to two downtown parties filled with cigarette smoke and writers. Someday I hoped to be like his writer friends who wrote long magazine stories and books that they’d mined from their souls. It was clear from every angle that Wade’s non-stop joie-de-vivre was more than contagious. He was sheer fun, and full of the possibility of escape, of renewal even.
He dropped me at my stoop at dawn, kissing me tenderly on the lips and disappearing into the early morning glow. As I watched him bounce down the street, all I could think was that he had Daddy’s electricity and confidence. And that suited me just fine.

This book is really worth a try! Check out the authors site for more info.

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Twitter: @HollyPetersonNY

What do you think? Will you be picking up this one?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Audio Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: September 17, 2013
Published By: Scholastic Press

Description: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

My Thoughts:  This wasnt my favorite of the series, mainly because it was told from the POV of my least favorite character, Roland. Still, I enjoyed it.

The gang comes back, and this time, everyone is desperate to find out all about Cabeswater. Though they barely find out anything, we do find out all about Ronan, and eventually, we even grow to like him, a bit.

Ronan knows how to take things out of dreams, a feat that is both interesting, and a bit confusing at the beginning. Soon, we learn just how bad this is and how it affects him, and his family. I must admit, it's a bit of a middle story as I'm not sure it progresses anything really. The first story is more progressive. That being said, it's still great. I give it 3.5 stars.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Audio Review: Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Book: Tilt (Unabridged)
By: Ellen Hopkins
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne, Madeleine Maby, Rebekkehj Ross
Length: 8 hrs 42 minutes
Published: September 11, 2014
Published By: Simon and Schuster Audio
Description: Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

My Thougths: Tilt is a book about love and the ways it can ruin you, or make you better. It's not one of those books that has an ending you can see from the beginning. No, this one is one where you have to read every single page, and wait to see where it will take you.

We follow three teens (with POV's of a few others interspersed throughout) who are connected through their parents. Mikayla, Shane, and Harley. I won't give too many  details since the description tells you enough, but just know that this isn't a story of roses and dandelions. These characters get down and dirty (in every sense of the word).

The narration of this story, though good, was a bit confusing with all the different characters. I often had trouble remembering what character I was inside of, but the book offered refreshers to make the transitions easier for us, and most of the transitions followed a logical path.

As most of Ellen Hopkins' books are written in poem, and the same is true for Tilt, I think it would have been better to read this one instead of listen to it. Often, the alignment of the poems add a certain something to the story that we as listeners missed out. Still, the narrators did pretty well translating it verbally.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I would recommend this one for younger readers, not necessarily older YA lovers. As a 25 year old, I noticed most of the themes were a bit young for me and I got a little frustrated with the naiveté of the characters. Some I wanted to punch in the face outright for their stupid decisions and thought processes, but I believe it was mostly because I no longer think as a young teen would. I give it 3.5 stars.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Audio Review: Coven by Tony Ruggiero

Audiobook: Coven (Unabridged)
By: Tony Ruggiero
Narrator: Lisa Cordray 
Length: 12 hours 30 minutes
Published: November 7, 2013
Published by: Tony Ruggiero

Description: Little towns and secrets: a guilty pleasure for some and a harsh reality for others. Witches have secretly been in control of the town council for years and the town has prospered...until now. As they search for the truth behind the mysterious death of one of their shop owners, they uncover disturbing secrets about an ostracized witch and their own coven leader, making it unclear which one may have been using black magic to murder.

My Thoughts:  This audiobook was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review by Audiobook Jukebox.

I had high hopes for Coven. I haven’t read a witch book in a while and I was excited about getting started. This one though, was unlike any other I have read.

Told in multiple POV’s, we begin following Bob, a regular human who purchases an antique store after its prior owner dies in a vehicular manslaughter accident, an interesting fact considering he accidentally hit a drunk pedestrian many years ago, though the two pedestrians are not connected.  The store he purchases is in a strange little town that has secrets of its own.  He soon learns that sometimes, things are too good to be true, because it’s not a coincidence that he arrives. This town is full of magic, and everyone is connected in some way. This is a dark story, aimed toward someone who enjoys mysteries with supernatural elements.

The narrator, Lisa Cordray though great at the beginning, begins to make the story feel sort of choppy and extremely slow. There seem to be unnecessary pauses and stops mid-sentence that slowly began to grate on me the further I delved into the world. Her various character voices also seem a little off.

The story itself, though not completely bad, also seemed to be a bit off. There were unnecessary scenes and boring conversations that I found myself wanting to skip over, and there wasn’t much dialogue outside that which the speaker had internally.

Coven is the story of witches, some of who walk the correct path, and others who do not, and their interactions. I often like witch books, but this one in particular just wasn’t for me, it just didn’t feel put together enough, and though it was meant to be a mystery, I knew the result from nearly the beginning. I give it 2 stars.