Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Luckiest Girl Alive

Product DetailsThis book was recommended to me awhile ago and I finally got to it.   It was very different.  The plot developed in unexpected ways and I enjoyed that.  

This is the story of Ani Fanelli.   It seems like she has everything going for her - a great job, handsome and rich fiance,  a fabulous New York lifestyle.... The problem is,  her life is all built on a lie and what happens when Ani finally decides to confront the truth?

I really enjoyed Ani's character.  She is constantly developing throughout the story.  She is a very strong person who has decided what she thinks she wants out of life and is workin for it.   To some, those things may seem superflous but to Ani, these signs of status are how she moves aways from her past.   I was glad in the end that she finally decides to seek out what it is she really needs to be happy.

Like I said,  I thought I had this story all figured out, but then the plot developed in unforseen ways.   I like it when a book can surprise me.   It left me wanting more and that is always a good thing.  I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

After We Collided by Anna Todd

Product Details This book has the dubious distinction of being the WORST book that I have ever read.   Considering the amount of time I spend reading, this is really saying something.  Now granted,  I knew after the first book that this was no award winning writing, but the story was moderately entertaining and left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I wanted to know what happened to Tess and Hardin.

That saying Curioustiy killed the cat - yes - that.   Only this time there was no satisfaction to bring it back.    This is the orst case of abuse and codependence that I have ever read.  Probably based on some real experience in the authors life.  I find it hard to believe that this drivel manages to find an audience but then there are many abused women in this country - that's why domestic violence in an epidemic.   The idea that a satisfying sex life somehow makes up for the enormous amount of wrong that happens in this book is disgusting.

Unbelievably there are two more books in this series.  NO THANK YOU.   Next to this, 50 Shades is the equivalent of Tolstoy. One star.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubrica

Product DetailsThis book was our book club selection for the month of June.  (Hey, I always like to get done early).    I read the first book of this author,  The Good Girl, and absolutely hated it.   I had the entire plot just by looking at the cover, I thought it was that obvious.  So it was with great reluctance that I read this one.  It is much better than the first.

Heidi is a social worker - married to a business man with one teenage daughter.  Heidi has always wanted to slew of kids, but a cruel twist of fate denies her that ,leaving teenage Zoe an only child.   So Heidi poors her maternal instincts into her clients and saving people.

Then one day she sees a teenage girl on a train.  The girl has a small suitcase and from the look and smell of her, it's fairly obvious that she and the baby are living on the streets.  Naturally Heidi's desire to help switches into overdrive.

I won't give any more of the plot away.  I enjoyed that there were unforeseen twists and turns.  Nothing about this book was obvious.  I think it will make for an interesting discussion.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Product Details I will start off by saying that I am a Nicholas Sparks fan.   But for me, his books are hit or miss.  The hits : The Notebook, A Walk to Remember,  Safe Have, The Lucky One, and the Longest Ride.   Unfotunately for me, this one fell among the misses.

It starts off so promising.  Gabby and Travis are neighbors who start off on the wrong foot.  Gabby's dog is pregnant and she thinks that Travis's mutt is to blame.    It turns out that Travis is the small town vet and when Gabby's dog is in trouble, he is there to help.   There is an immediate attraction between them, and even though Gabby is dating someone else, they can't seem to help it.

I believe in true love.  I even believe in love at first sight, but for a book that starts off with a slow build, what happens between the main characters could have used some more depth in the development.  Once they start "seeing" each other it's just boom:  they're in bed, they're saying their I love yous..... It just seemed a bit too cliche.   I have come to expect more from this author.

I choose this book to satisfy the PopSugar Reading Challenge book that became a movie.  I was hoping for more.  I gave it three stars.

Stars for Fortune by Nora Roberts

Product DetailsBack in the day when I enjoyed reading Romance novels more,  Nora Roberts was one of my favorite authors.   Of course, this is also about the time that she started writing  - early 80's. Back then I just wanted something to entertain me and take my mind off of life and her books worked like a charm.   I chose to read this one for my goodreads reading challenge - author with more than one name.   As most people know, Nora Roberts also writes under the nom de plume J. D. Robb.

It pains me to say it, but her writing has become donwright predictable - especially lately. Her books usually come in sets of three.   There are forces, usually supernatural in nature, both for good and for evil that are facing off against one another.   On the side of good, there are ALWAYS three women and three men ( at least in her last several trilogies) Mated pairs obviously. There is always one who is just coming into her power ( it's always one of the females) and she invariable views herself as "the weakest link".   Of course, she falls in love with the most powerful male character - it's all rather trite.  I really hate predictable.  

I probably could have discerned exactly what happened in this book without ever reading it.   I gave it two stars.   It really is time for some new ideas for Ms. Roberts.  Needless to say, I won't be finishing the series.   If you like mind- numbingly predictable, this book is for you.   The best thing about this book was the scenery.   As always, Ms. Roberts descriptive writing is beautiful. But that's the best I have to say.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Product DetailsI read the first book in this series, A Court of Thorn and Roses, earlier this year.   I loved it.   It was sort of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but also so much more.   This author also wrote the Throne of Glass series, which I also enjoyed.

The first book in this series was great and I really enjoyed it,  this second one was even better than the first.  It had all the feels.   I love that this author creates such strong female leads.   These wome aren't stuck, their lives are their choice.  Feyre is my favorite because she is so selfless but also loyal and compassionate.

I am waiting with baited breath to see what happnes next.   I didn't want this one to end.   I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Product DetailsI read his one for a book dealing with a mental illness.   This is the story of Jonah and Vivi.  

Vivi is a girl who just moved to California from Oregon.   She's running from something but it isn't clear esactly what.  Jonah is a 16 year old boy livin the life of a man.  His father just passed away and his mother is completely inapable of being a parent - leaving Jonah and his siblings to care for their younger brother and sisters.  Initially Vivi seems to breathe life into Jonah's life and his siblings but then.... little things start to go awry.

You see, Vivi has bipolar disorder and she, like many who have this disease, doesn't think she needs her medication.  A disaster is brewing.   At first,  I thought that Jonah and Vivi would be good for one another but then I remembered what it was actually like to be with someone who had bipolar disorder.  It's hard - you cant save them from themselves - they have to do it and they have to want to do it.  Vivi isn't really there.   I found myself wanting Jonah to be with someone stronger - someone healthy.  Then I realijust how strong Vivi really was.

It was painful to read - difficult.   I gave it two stars not because the writing wasn't good but just, on a personal level,  it brought back too many painful memories.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Titans by Leila Meecham

  Product Details Leila Meecham is one of the few authors that I will buy her book without so much as reading the cover,  I'm THAT certain it's going to be good.   I have read everything she has written and enjoyed every single one.   That said, Roses still remains my favorite.

I read this story for the following categories:  best seller, beautiful cover, and book about the past.
 This is the story of Nathan and Samantha.   They share an intimate and interesting connection.  The book is set in Texas during the early 1900's and the oil boom.   The backdrop is the competition and interconnection between cattle ranching and oil.

Though this book lacked the intensity of Roses,  it contained so many twists and turns and the plot was more intricate than anything she had written in the past.  I enjoyed watching the story unravel and come to a satisfying conclusion.   Ms. Meecham continues to be a favorite and I will look eagerly forward to her next book.

I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars.

The Opportunist ( Love Me with Lies Book 1) by Tarryn Fisher

Product DetailsI read this book because it was the first book on my goodreads recommendation page.  I tweaked this as my "First Book in the Book store"  category for the Goodreads challenge.  I hate walking into the only real local  bookstore ( Barnes and Noble ) and seeing the mostly crap on their front table.   So I had to come up with a better, more personal option for me.

It worked out beautifully.   I would never have picked this book up to read otherwise, but I ended up really enjoying it.

This is the story of Olivia, a young woman who has made a lot of mistakes, especially with the one man who got away - Caleb.   She hurt him badly and betrayed him but through it all, she still has feelings for him and wishes she could have a do-over.   Then one day, she bumps into Caleb  at a vinyl record store, and the opportunity presents itself.  Caleb has been in an accident and he doesn't remember Olivia or anything about their lives together.   Will this be the second chance that Olivia hopes for?  Or will she run out of time as Caleb's memory returns?

This book certainly had lots of interesting, and unforeseen twists and turns.   It's more than just the love story that it appears to be.   I gave it four stars.