November 27, 2011

Chick lit Plus Challenge

LLast year I did Samantha's Chick Lit Plus Challenge on my older blog. Since, I am moving all of my reviews over here this year I am going to do the challenge here.
Below, is a link to the challenge and I will try and post it on the sidebar. Come join me in the challenge this year.

Join me in the challenge

In my bag this week 11/27-12/03

Reading this week:
The First Assistant: A Continuing Tale from Behind the Hollywood Curtain: Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare
Stay Tuned: Lauren Clark

Up for review:
High-Heels and Slipper!: Ella Slayne

November 20, 2011

In my bag this week 11/20-11/26

What I am carrying and reading this week.

The First Assistant: A Continuing Tale from Behind the Hollywood Curtain: Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare

High-Heels and Slippers!: Ella Slayne (for chick lit blog tours)

November 19, 2011

The Second Assistant: A Tale From The Bottom Of The Hollywood Ladder: Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare

Elizabeth is thankful for a new job and a new start, moving to Los Angles to be a second assistant to Scott, a young Hollywood Producer, when her job as congressional intern comes to an unexpected end. She has alot to learn in Hollywood, as there are a whole new set of priorities and social structure that Elizabeth has never heard of or considered before.  The plot follows Elizabeth through her tasks as she learns, what she has to do, what she is expected to do, and what she really wants to keep doing.  She is betrayed by friends, betrays people and really learns a whole new set of priorities. As she changes the life that she though she was going to live and comes to terms what she is living now, deciding what she really wants.

    I enjoyed the building of the character of Elizabeth and aspects of the characters that are around her. At times I felt like some of the other characters were flat or that we only learned thing about them at the moment we needed the info, though Elizabeth knew the  background or isn't surprised by the new info. It worked in that we knew primarily what our main character knows. The style that we as the outsider were just the right amount of outsider learning as Elizabeth learns. You see some of the mistakes coming, but not all of them and you see why she needs to make the ones that you see coming.

    I am excited to read the next book in this series. I want to see how Elizabeth continues to grow and I like the peek into the part of Hollywood you don't get to see everyday.

    I will do more of a review of the series when I have read the whole series, but I would say I recommend the book.

November 14, 2011

What in my bag 11/13-11/19

Vacation this week, so let hope that even with nano I get some reading done. That's the plan, with me I got:
  The Second Assistant: Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor
The First Assistant: Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor

have my kindle with me, but nothing else set to read right now. Had to return Game of Thrones to the library so, there will be  a bit before I can finish it and write my review but will eventually.
Right now, it is back to Nanowrimo for me.

November 11, 2011

Dollars to Donuts: Kathleen Kole

April, has her own newspaper column, lives with her boyfriend and all she should be worried about is her nosey neighbors. Her neighbors though takes nosey to a whole new level, with police investigations into dead squirrels and screams lead to more than one late night neighborhood meetings on the lawn. But, at least it is something in the small town to keep April busy and looking over her shoulder. More than just the takes with her sister, Jessica, who is asking questions that is making April rethink just about everything, especially her relationship with Kevin which is what brought her to town.

Kole again built beautiful characters that make you just want to keep reading and find out about the characters. What I also really enjoyed about the plot was seeing the relationship between the characters develop. The strong sister relationship was really a driving force in the book and I almost wondered at times why we were focusing on Jessica as much as we did April at times.

Overall, although at points I could tell foresee where the plot was going at points I still found the book worth reading. I give the book three stars just because it is such great character development. I would suggest any of Kole's books, the two that I have read, just for character development and growth that Kole puts into her characters.

This is again another Chick Lit Plus Blog tour. So, please check out her tour page and again if you comment there is a give away.

I was provided a copy of the book for review, but the summary and thoughts on the book are mine.

November 5, 2011

In my bag this week 11/6-11/12

Missed this last week with the start of Nanowrimo going on and life catching up with me. I am going to try and keep this up though. So, even though I am writing, I am reading also.
This week I am working my way through:

A Game of Thrones: George R. R. Marting: because after getting hooked on the HBO series I had to try the book and nowI just don't want to stop reading.

The Second Assistant: Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor: have to finish this one, close but Game of Thrones and it's library renewal date took precedence.

Then have some reading for personal growth I am doing. Next week headed on vacation to Vegas and I am hoping to do lots of reading with my free time not working.

November 2, 2011

With Just One Click: Amanda Strong

The plot of this novels three women, Chloe, Morgan, and Brynn. All have recently taken to facebook and are using it to reconnect with their past. Chloe a successful movie review joins, but on her friends advice doesn't post or comment on anything, just uses facebook to monitor her "friends" activities. She has choices to make though when her first love who just disappears one summer day. Now, she has to choose if she "friends" what that means and if she can trust him again. Morgan, is a stay at home Mom, who uses facebook to reconnect and keep track of her friends and their busy lives. What happens when she sees who is tracking her husband and jealousy and doubts start to creep in. Brynn, is also a stay at home Mom, but her kids are in their teens now and maybe her marriage isn't quiet as happy as it appears. She turns to facebook as a way to escape and is surprised by some of the connections she makes. Could these reconnections be the escape she was looking for.

All these women use facebook for the same thing to reconnect with people, but how they end up being effected by the reconnections is very different. They all seemed a little close in age, but were at very different places in their life. I think these different places in their lives come across in how they use facebook. There were moments that I could relate to each of the women in a way, though I defiantly did prefer Chloe's sections over the other two. That could be she was more around the same point in her life as I am so she was more relatable to me.

Amanda wrote a guest post on her thoughts on Facebook vs other social media networks for me (below is my the rest of my review):

"Sometimes people group Facebook and Twitter together.  Are they truly the same? Yes, they both are a form of social networking, but what are the real differences? Let's take a look at my personal experience.  I have my own Facebook account made up with friends, including ones from high school and college.  I also have a Facebook page for myself as an author, some people who "like" me are friends, and some are people I've never met who like and support my novel.  Over on Twitter, I have an account under my name, my "followers" are 98% people I've never met or know much about.  Looking at this information alone, I could surmise that Facebook is more intimate and Twitter is more casual.

When something becomes tempting and curious some people can't help themselves.  Facebook stands alone, a phenomenon all by itself. The one that has over seven hundred million users, the cause in one in five divorces as stated in many polls nowadays.  When it comes to this social network, there are no rules or regulations.  You don't have a character limit on posts, and you can share as many photos as your heart desires.  With games, polls, and surveys, as well as users posting their entire life on Facebook, this form of social networking was bound to have some hiccups.

Three years ago, I began hearing the "stories." You know, the ones you hear from friends or friends of friends.  The names would change but the scenarios or situations stayed the same.  Facebook allowed us to "stalk" our ex without them ever knowing.  We could uncover where they worked, who they married or were dating, who they liked in music and TV, and what they had to say on any given day. Of course, if their privacy settings were set properly, this investigation would have been more difficult, but many times, the ease in which you can obtain this information is what sets Facebook apart from any other social network.  As I continued to hear story after story over the years, one common thread––Facebook––kept popping up.  The social network, which gave us the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, also gave us the tools to be anyone we wanted to be. This new chance brought confusion, destroyed families, and ultimately led people to do things they never thought they would do in a million years.

If I followed an ex on Twitter, we could communicate within a restricted 140-character limit.  I could spy on their pictures one at a time, but just as the information is so quick to appear, it's just as quick to disappear.  Facebook dangles pictures and posts and gives a more complete overview of a person's entire life causing situations to occur. These very real stories are ones that are universal, the people could be your mother, sister, wife, co-worker, or friend.  Facebook is complex, it's a world by itself with no real rules or regulations.  People are policing themselves and not doing a very good job.  I wanted to focus attention on these very real stories that people are living in as their new reality.  There is no guide or handbook when it comes to behavior or your conduct on Facebook.  You are flying solo without any real direction or understanding of how powerful this social network can be. My hope was to peel back a few layers of this complex world and reveal what is happening on Facebook today in a fictional setting.

I believe if Twitter was set up differently or not limited, they would be neck and neck, but for now, Facebook is more the culprit.  The one who wants us to share our "timeline" with everyone else. What happens when you're faced with regret from your previous indiscretions? You learn the hard way. Facebook is a force to be reckoned with, the stakes are high, the consequences even higher.  I felt the dynamic of Facebook and their users was worthy of exploring without naming names. I wanted to be able to address this  timely topic in a novel where you as the reader can ultimately come to your own conclusions about social networking and Facebook."

I have to say I agree with Amanda and her thoughts on Facebook and that what she talks about comes across in her plot. I thought this was an interesting approach to a novel and not one I had seen used before. Facebook is a social media different then twitter and used in many different ways by each person so I appreciate how Strong is able to portray those in each of her different characters. In the growth of the characters and how they use Facebook effect that makes the book worth reading, even with the odd twist at the end.

The last comment I want to make about the books is that I found with this plot is that even though the title mentions just one click when I sat down to read this on my ereader it was never just one click. Once I got into reading I couldn't stop reading and didn't want to put the story down. I would keep telling myself just one more section, just one more section, and the pages would just fly by.

This is part of the chick lit plus blog tours. And There is a give away on the tour page so check that out.

I was provided a copy of the book for review, but the summary and thoughts on the book are mine.