December 28, 2012

Helping Baby Sleep: The Science and Practice of Gentle Bedtime Parenting: Anni Gethin and Beth Macgregor

So, I know that this is a bit different then my usual reviews. But, I do read other types of books. Plus, I am not sure if I talked about it here yet, but I am 8.5 month pregnant right now. So, I am reading some parenting books and such to try and get ready for one of the biggest challenges of my life. I ordered a few books from the library and this was a place I started.

This book started out with why they suggest the version that they do and research they have again the opposite of what they suggest. What it seemed to come down to me is that the crying it out idea, letting babies just self sooth can cause issues for the kids later in life, and how hard it can really be for parents and children mentally. Then on how parents really need to be there for kids, listen and follow the clues the kids offer to you and what the clues are. Then different things that have worked for them and that they suggest or other things you can try.

There are some ideas that I will keep in mind from this book. But, it didn't really have a system to try, but that you should be sure to listen to your child and gave you kind of directions to go in. I think if I do run into specific obstacles this is something that you could go back to that would be helpful.

I did find myself feel at time in reading this, with wow there are a lot of things a parent can do that messes my kid up, which were more scary then reassuring so we shall see how that goes. I am glad I read it, but it just reminded me that I need to keep learning, especially when it comes to children there is always more to learn about.

I don't know if I would necessarily suggest this book and seek it out again, but am glad I read it and did glean some insight from it. 2.5 stars and I usually just round up, so 3.

December 21, 2012

When It Happens to You: Molly Ringwald

A collection of short stories that remind me a bit of Love Actually. Greta and Phillip are college sweethearts that have a daughter Charlotte. Greta is desperate for more, but she is not sure so much about Phillip anymore. They fall apart as a couple. The rest of the books follow people that float in and out of their lives over the next year as they try to figure out what they want and are, separated, apart or together. Each builds on their own and stands as a short story on their own, but you like seeing the familiar characters as they past through touching the others lives.

i enjoyed this book and the characters. I was frustrated by their actions at times, ways I couldn't relate to them. But, yet I still found myself looking for them in each of the next story. Wanting to know more. Wanting to be able to fill in the the blanks that were missing between stories or what was going to happen to each of them next. I even wanted to know more about the characters that weren't main characters, ones that just happened to be a supporting characters in one of the stories, that were just mentioned off hand in other stories. It all just let me wanting to know more about each of the characters.

I would give this book 4 stars in that I really enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down. I wanted to keep devouring the next story, but it did leave you wanting more with the holes that were left in the characters.  It makes you think. I am actually still processing it, as I just finished this book. But, I guess it comes down to I would say that Ringwald is someone to watch if she comes out with more books and an author's who's work is worth picking up.

December 15, 2012

Unmasking Maya: Libby Mercer

Maya has left behind her past in NYC and is trying to make it in the art world of San Francisco. Part of leaving behind the scandal that haunts her she changes her name and mediums from fashion to art working with textiles in the art world. Getting a commission for an installation at a tech company in the Silicone Valley area. Derek Whitley, the CEO of the company, doesn't seem to like her work. Yet, he commissions Maya to do the work, and she is determined to make something that he will like, even if she doesn't understand his unemotional, robotic, workaholic ways.

As Maya and Derek work together and are thrown together with events around the commission they start to learn more about each other and breakdown the walls that each of them have built. But, as secrets are reveled will it bring them together or will to many secrets tear them apart.

I hadn't read a book on my ipad/kindle recently. So, I am not sure if this is related to that vs being a physical book, but once I got started on this book I just couldn't put it down and  wanted to keep reading. The book started with Maya having a secret that she kept even from the reader and it seems to take us the reader the whole time to kind of earn Maya's trust and find out all the secrets. Same with Derek, you feel like there is something more that Maya needs to find out and it takes us most of the plot to figure it out.

Something I did notice is that things in this book seemed to move really fast in terms of relationships/friendships. But, that worked here, I could appreciate how  it moved at a pace that worked for the characters.

I was a little concerned about this book since the description made it seem like a cliche romance, but I didn't find it that way at all. The characters were developed well and believable, in I didn't feel they became cliches. That I personally really appreciated and made it easier for me to recommend this book to others. I would give this book 4 Stars and suggest it to anyone looking for a quick fun read. I was advised it is being released soon and you should got check it out. Link is

I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a review, but the summary and opinions are my own.

December 7, 2012

The Runaway Princess: Hester Browne

Amy's parents back in the country are haunted by skeletons in their closest from their past and Amy feels she has to protect them even though all she wants to do is move on. Making sure to go home for holidays Amy spends most of her time in London, where she is trying to make her own way. With a successful Gardening business and a flatmate who keeps her on the edge of social circle Amy is happy with where she is at. A party crasher at one Jo's, of her roommate, parties sets things off though.

Leo's idea of fun is not really chasing down and fixing the issues that his playboy brother causes. But, one evening cleaning up Rolph's mess he meets Amy. Sparks fly between the prince Leo and Amy the gardener. But, one of the reasons Leo likes Amy is that she is a normal girl and has a basically normal life. But will that fit into the mold that his family and their royal lineage will expect and accept.

Thrust into the spot light for the Love that she has found Amy and Leo have to come to terms with what they want and expectations that others hold for them. While continuing to protect what they love and want for themselves and each other.

I had been in a bit of a reading slump. Once I opened this book and got a little ways into it that was over. I got to the point where I couldn't put this book down. I just wanted to keep going. Things were being alluded to that you didn't know what was really going on and you just had to keep going to figure it out. I felt for Amy and the emotions that she was going through. I felt like I could relate to her more than any of the other character and a few times I wished that I could get inside one of the other characters, but that is just me wanting to know more.

I would highly recommend this book, like I do most of Browne's book. The characters are well built and relatable. They have things together enough that you don't think they are idiots, but accident prone/character flawed enough that they are relatable. I would give this book 4 stars in it really kept my interest and is defiantly one of my favorites of the year.

November 30, 2012

Waxed: Robert Rave

Carolina, is the oldest sister in her family and is determined to do better for herself then what they had growing up. She now owns and runs Impresario the waxing saloon to use in NYC for the high society ladies and socialites.  With her OCD taking over her life she feels caught between what she has built for herself and a part of her past that has come back to haunt her.

Anna, is separated from her husband after a bit of an identity crisis with one of her children. To continue to make ends meet Anna goes back to work for her sister at the salon. Stuck with the jobs that no one wants Anna is thrown back into having to prove herself again. While entering a new world of society that she is just being introduced too.

Sofia is the youngest of the sisters. A newly wed, who loves her domestic life, but her husband is starting to not be home very often and seems to have better things to do then be around for Sofia. When a new client invites her to go out and start hitting the club scene with them then things start to get even more complicated at home.

The three sisters all work together at the waxing salon and in supporting each other and in pushing each others boundaries too. They all work to improve themselves and their own situations even with how much it hurts to change.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read for me. I personally didn't think like I learned anything or that the I personally got vested in any of the characters, but it wasn't a bad plot. It flew quickly and was enjoyable, but I personally didn't get much more than that out of the book.

I would suggest this book to others who like books like this with a little peek into another how other parts of society live. I would give it 3 stars as an enjoyable read, but not one to go back to over and over.

November 23, 2012

The Happiness Project: Gretchen Rubin

    Again, late to the game here. This was published a few years ago and has gained momentum since though I know a lot of people who are just reading it now, so maybe not to far behind the curve. Besides, I can now go put and buy a used copy for a little less and still have it to refer to (this copy was from the library).

    Gretchen has a realization moment on the bus that life is just passing by and it's not that she is unhappy, but she could be happier.  She points out that she is not depressed, just that she could be happier. I actually appreciated that , in there are those (me at times) who really are depressed and you may needed help (prescriptions or something else) and that is a real illness. But, beyond depression we could all work on elements to just be happier with our lives. So, she made a list of things she wanted to work in goals to achieve and took a year to work on those items.

    Each chapter follows a month and what she worked on that month. She has commandments that she tries to remember as she works on her goals and figure out what she wants for herself.

    I personally enjoyed this book. I got it from the library and I am thinking of getting my own copy to mark up. I know there is some controversies about this book, many people have seem to have a problem with the authors personal life background and how she shouldn't be having issues with all the other stuff she has. Personally, I try not to judge books by the authors background. I enjoyed what was a written here and how I could relate to it. But, I am in my late 20's so maybe, it is something that I can relate to better than people at other parts of their lives.

    I personally found this book made me think. It made me think how I could use or how I react in some of the same situations and how my own situations are different. It stopped and made me think and I enjoyed that. I am going to keep thinking on things that I read here and may go back to review.

    This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and would give it 4 stars.  Plus it seems fitting to post this the day after Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2012

The Shopping Swap: Erin Brady (Novella)

Margaret Andrews is ready for some changes in her relationship. So, she buys some lingerie, makes dinner, and plans to subdue her commitment phobia boyfriend, Richard, into marriage. But, when she gets home she discovers that she doesn't have a bag with lingerie, but a house coat instead.
In trying to get her correct bag back she runs into Benjamin Sanders, who had been trying to get a house coat as a present for his Grandmother. Maggie and Ben strike up a conversation and become friends. With Richard being busier and busier at work temptation comes into play with this new friendship and Maggie might have some decisions to make that are harder then she thought.

I really enjoyed reading about Maggie and the internal struggle that she was going through in this plot. I do think that part of it just scratched the surface of the depth of the issues that she was dealing with and choices she had to make. But, that works for this novella in the short format. It did leave me wanting to know a little more about what was going on with the character which I actually appreciate here. Through out the plot Maggie felt real to me and not like a flat character that things just worked for. She had the emotional reaction to situations and conflict about them that you as a reader feel like you might respond or how a real person would react to situations.

I would suggest this novella to others and I think that others who enjoy this genre would enjoy this Novella. I would give it 4 stars in that I could relate to the characters. Also, I was kind of in a rut where I was having a hard time reading and found this really easy to get through and I enjoyed going back to it.

I was provided a copy of this Novella by Erin, and the review is posted at her request. The thoughts and opinions are mine though.

November 9, 2012

Where We Belong: Emily Giffin

Marian appears to have it all together. Living in NYC with her own TV show and a relationship that she is happy with. One evening after a rare fight with her boyfriend she comes home to find Kirby on her door step.
Kirby adopted has never really felt like she fit in with her family. At 18 she takes the opportunity to learn who her birth Mother is. Without telling her family, she leaves to find the family where maybe she belongs. But, things aren't always as easy as they might seem they could be at 18.

The story show the effects each of the women have on each other. Learning about themselves and each other as secrets and memories that have been pushed away have to be revisited.  Each of them learning and growing from each other.

The back story of Marian's past and what lead to Kirby is woven in with the story and Marian and Kirby getting to know each other and try to figure out where they fit into each other lives and really where they want to go with their own lives now.

The chapters her alternate in voices from Marian to Kirby's, with sections woven in of Marian at 18. The information is given to the reader as we need it and the characters remember, having the reader piece the present and past together and see how they relate to each other.

I enjoyed reading about Mariam and Kirby. Seeing them learn about theme selves as they got to know each other. I would give this book 3 stars as it was enjoyable. It is not my favorite Giffin book though. The characters were there and their was some depth to them, but I personally didn't feel connected to them, so the plot didn't speak to me as much as many of Giffin's other books do. I would still suggest it to other and think that if you had experience like these characters you might be enjoy the book more than I did. But, even without the emotional connection it is worth a read.

November 2, 2012

Ten Girls To Watch: Charity Shumway

Dawn is determined to make it in NYC and not go back to the small town that she left. Even if it means writing lawn care columns that she paid by the word to make ends meet. At a party that she is invited to by her ex boyfriend, that she can't seem to stop seeing and can't help but kind of like her his new girlfriend, she manages to land a job with Charm magazine working on their 10th anniversary of "Ten Girls to Watch" contest. It is short term gig, but she spends the next few months following up on each of the winners from the past ten years. She is just assigned to get basic info, but Dawn can't just find out contact and what they are doing now. She finds the women opening up her and learning from each of them. She is still trying to work out her personal life, but she is learning so much from these women maybe they are starting to effect her personal life. Maybe, she needs to follow the examples that she is seeing around her and accept what she wants.

I really felt like I could relate to Dawn. She made choices and faced with some personal things in her life that I could relate to. She was built to be real and would start to grow, but would come across more obstacles that would put her back and she would have to accept and/or learn from.

There were moments were I wish that we had been able to read more of Dawns writings. Have seen some of the profiles she was writing I think could have really helped or expanded the plot, more than just the short paragraphs at the start of chapters.

Overall I would give this book three stars in that the main character was really relatable. But, you couldn't get behind other characters besides the main one, even though she was really relatable. The plot was well developed and well wrapped up, though leaving you wanting just a little more about the characters. I would read more by Charity and would defiantly recommend this book to others.

October 22, 2012

Living in Glass Houses: Zoe McNight

Jonathan and Lauryn are at a point in their relationship where outside pressures are building and something may have to give, but what if it is not the same thing for each of them. Lauryn is just waiting for the ring, thinking she just needs to be patient. Jonathan meanwhile has just meet Bree, who could just be the girl of his dreams. Does he want to give up the comfort he has built with Lauryn though and there may be more that he is letting down in choosing, but who does he choose for.

Blair and Vaughn have always had a volatile relationship. Blair finally gives into the temptation of looking somewhere else for something else with Dylan. But, Vaughn is realizing that he might be losing Bliar and wants to try again to save what they have. Can they both commit and get past their secrets.

Elle is confused, she is happy with what she has with Luke, but she can't stop thinking about her last relationship with Marcus. Will she be strong enough to work out her emotions and put what she at risk for what could be.

The plot alternates between different points of view and narratives. All of the are friends or have friends in common that link the story lines together. Making is an easy flow. I found that the whole story just flew by for me, set up that you wanted to keep reading about what would happen next. I was frustrated with many of the characters at times, but you still wanted to keep reading to see how they worked out of the situations.

I would give this book 3 stars for how it kept you wanting to keep going. But, I had a hard time relating to some of the characters and feeling emotionally invested in them. But, I do think that sometimes the emotional backgrounds of some of the characters could have been expanded more.

October 19, 2012

Getting Over Mr. Right: Chrissie Manby

Ashleigh has been dating Michael for two years plus, and she figures it is just a matter of time before Michael gives her the more commitment that she is looking for. Even if he is just using his current promotion to expand his bachelor image, an upgraded bachelor pad, new sports car, new wardrobe. But, it is just a matter of time right. That is until she checks her Facebook in the middle of the day and finds that Michael is now single and then proceeds to unfriend her.

Processing it all Ashleigh realizes (or is confirmed by friends) that she has just been dumped via Facebook. Unfortunately, Ashleigh just can't accept it. Breaking every rule of how to get over a break up. She goes to his apartment and sneaks in, stalking his new girlfriend, lets all thoughts and what she can do take over her life, racks up credit card bills trying to find ways to win him back, calls a phone psychic and tries voodoo. Having alienating friends, losing her job, ending up have to move back home, and multiple people telling her she needs professional help. Ashleigh finally realizes that maybe she dose need some new perspective, but will it be late and what if Michael starts to talk to her again.

British chick lit that can cross cultural lines, that is relatable. Ashleigh was built as a character that just about any female could relate to, having done or wanted to do something like she does in the book. Ashleigh does take it to an extreme and finally realizing that is what helps her slowly breakout of parts of it. I think it does get to a point where it does get harder to relate to Ashleigh since you really just want to tell her, no you didn't do that or just stop, but she kept going. Or she would start to change and you though she got behind some growth and then back again. I appreciated how the character had grown at the end, but getting there was tough at times.

I would give it three stars as it 3 stars. It is a good read and flew by, but didn't have much substance. It was a fun read and fun to think what would happen if you did some or any of the vengeful thing in this plot, but at the end of the day it isn't deep.

October 12, 2012

The Wedding Beat: Dean Sipher

Gavin is a wedding writter for The Paper, as well as a hopeless romantic. Yet, he still finds himself single in his thirty's, attending weddings every weeken for work. With his Best Friend at a New Years party he meets the girl of his dreams, who he allows to get away without getting her number. He spends the next few months covering weddings looking for her and learning what he needs to do or should have done.

That is until he finds himself covering Melinda's, the girl who got away, wedding. With his job in balance and his heart on the line Gavin has some choices to make. What is the line he is willing to walk or cross and can he really do it.

Gavin in this piece is a bit like, James Marsden's character in 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl. Which is actually refered to in the plot of this book. And in that comparison being made the character uses it learn about himself, which I could appriciate in using something that many characters in other movies would bring them down. He uses it to grow himself, without the self wallowing that wasn't needed.

For the most part for me this book felt like everything happened a little fast, like everything was on fastforward. Couples would get together and engaged in just a few days, married in just a few months. I personally don't know of any relationships going this fast, most people I know (and my own personal one) have been in relationships for years or at least a year before moving on to another step. I suppose to each their own, but this juts didn't seem beliveable to me.

I would give this book 3 stars. It was ok and I am glad that I took the time to read it. The character did grow through out the book. Overall, I don't feel I got much out of it more than an enjoyable read though.

October 4, 2012

Las-Minute Love: (Year of the Chick Series): Romi Moondi

Romi from Year of the Chick is back, see my review of the first book. Now, that Romi's sister is engaged her parents are a bit more distracted. So, in this book her parents weren't pushing guys at her as much, though they did still have that expectation, maybe Romi was just better at ignoring it and didn't need to focus on it with her readers. In this one we hear about the success of the first book, but which is also really important, you could read the book on it's own and it can stand on it's own.

Again, this book was set up in a way that you wanted to just keep reading and figure out how Romi is going to deal with each of the situations. Personally, I think I enjoyed this novel more than Year of the Chick since you got to see more of Romi as a character. You could see how she had grown and changed through the last book, between them, and could continue to grow. She still got caught up in a guy in this plot, but there was more to her than just the guy and her writing this time. You knew her, I felt like this time. She talked about what she enjoyed in her spare time, beyond writing, you got to know some of her friends and more than just how she took her problems to them. It felt deeper and more about the character than the first one to me, even though I enjoyed the first one, I feel like I enjoyed this one more.  Romi made some great growth as a character and I can't wait to see what happens with her next chapter in the series.

I am conflicted on the rating to give this book. It is a enjoyable book, again not an intro to the chick lit genre, but a relatable book in the genre and worth reading. Still found it different then any chick lit book, I would give it 3.5 stars I think to show I liked it more than the first, but I just don't feel like it is necessarily a 4 star all the way. I will round up though. And do go read this because, Romi becomes a character that you care about and want to succeed, in love, standing up to her parents, and just being herself in the way she dreams.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

September 28, 2012

And The Winner Is (The Adventures of Marty Peters): Erin Brady

Marty Peter's is an accountant, who has abandoned aka disappointed her family by moving down the street. She never moved into the city though and that is why she spends her mornings and evenings commuting into NYC. Around working and commuting Marty works on pursuing her dream of writing. No one has liked her works though and maybe she should just sticks to the numbers that make sense to her. But, then everything changes at whirlwind speed.

First she goes on client presentation with her chauvinist boss to Theodore McKenzie one of their largest clients and a leader in the entertainment industry. McKenzie is threatening to pull his account and with that would go many of their other accounts, including the one for the Motion Picture Academy and why the firm gets to do a presentation on voting at the Oscars every year. Marty makes an impression on Teddy, McKenzie, and has the fate of his account with the firm in her hands now. Not something her Boss is happy about.  On the way to this meeting Marty finds an abandoned bag on the subway with a journal inside it, but with a name but contact number or other information about the owner. The errors start as Marty realizes the screen play in the journal is amazing and since she doesn't know the owner she takes credit for the work. With Teddy McKenzie interested in her screenplay Marty just might have found a way to live her dream as a writer. That is until she actually meets E. Riley, the owner of the journal. With things rolling with the screenplay and at work it might be to late to stop things, but now that she is starting to like Riley and she isn't sure where her priorities should be and what is worth losing to get your dream. 

Written between a memories with quotes of friends of how Marty became famous and is famous and her telling her story above of how she started on the path in Hollywood. 

I was sent a copy of this novel by Erin Brady and writing the review per her request, but the summary and opinions are my own. 

This was in a different format that I hadn't read before, so it was a little odd for me. But, I found that I really did enjoy the plot over all. Marty was a fleshed out character that I found that I could relate to. The situations that she found herself in and how she reacted kept her human and in ways a reader could relate to, though they were exceptional circumstances most people wouldn't find themselves in. Not as much with the supporting characters, in I couldn't relate to them, but you learned enough about each of them as you needed to know and when you need to know it. I liked the set up of finding out about the supporting characters as the main character learned things and think that for some of the supporting characters that is what Brady was doing. 

I enjoyed reading about Marty and watching her grow and learn, she made some choices that seemed real to me, even like things I might do and ways I would react at first. I would give this book 4 stars and would like for more by Brady and would enjoy seeing her grow as a writer. 

September 21, 2012

The Next Best Thing: Jennifer Weiner

Ruth has lived with her Grandmother for most of her life, ever since the accident that cost Ruth her parents and left her scared for life. Graduating from college, she decides to move to Hollywood to pursue her dream of being a writer. With her grandmother along for the ride they set out. Grandma thrives working as an extra, with a boyfriend, and friends in the community center. While Ruth works, as an assistant, she writes hoping to get her own show on TV.

With hard work, a broken heart, and trying to find her way in a society obsessed with beauty with a scared appearance Ruth attempts to  find her happiness in Hollywood. She thinks she is getting her dream when her show is picked up. But, she just has to realize how much she may have to compromise or give up in order to actually live her dream.

Personally, I enjoyed this book more than some of Weiner's other recent stories. I enjoyed how she concentrated on one plot line and primarily on one character, with the supporting characters around Ruth. Instead of spreading the plot around multiple main characters and all the others that surrounded around each of the different characters. You had just one person to get behind and follow, that I felt I could really get behind more, while sometimes I get overwhelmed with having to follow and care about multiple characters. I enjoyed her other books, but going back to focusing on one person and the world that surrounds her lets me get behind that one person better. I am glad that this is more back to the roots of Weiner's early works.
If you had a chance to pickup Weiner's kindle novella Swim earlier this year, it was the inspiration for this novel and introduces us to Ruth. There were elements in this novella that weren't in The Next Best Thing, that I missed a bit, but having read both of them I was able to see all the elements, but wish if there was going to be some overlap that it all could have been there.

I am going to give this book 4 stars as it a great Weiner work and had characters that you could get behind and appreciate. But, it did still leaving you wanting a little more. I appreciated how it reflected Weiner's personal experience of having had a TV show picked up and dropped last season and I will miss The Great State of Georgia which I had tried to catch on hulu as I don't have cable. As always I look forward to more from Weiner as I always do and hope she keeps building more characters that we as readers can get behind and relate too.

September 14, 2012

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: Nichole Bernier

Elizabeth dies in a plane crash that is overshadowed with September 11th, the one that changed the world we all live it, occurred soon after. But, her friends can't forget her and how she died as well as the others.

Kate stops on her way to a summer on an island to get away from the world to pick up Elizabeth's journals that she left her in the will. Kate decides she is going to spend the summer learning about her friend. The more she learns about Elizabeth and the friendship she thought she had the more she questions, about Elizabeth and her own life.  While Elizabeth's husband is pushing Kate to share what she learned and that is a decision Kate isn't sure she is ready to make.

Written between Elizabeth's past journal entries and growing up and Kate in the present reading the journals and considering what she is learning. Questioning choice she has made, her marriage, what she knew about her friend, and what she might want to do in the future.  Through out the plot you get to see both characters grow and change.

I enjoyed how the plot of this book deals with difficult issues, making the reader think about the choice they make, what they think they know about their friends and how they judge people or how they might be judged by the others around them.

I thought one great growing point that Kate could have done through this book that she didn't is she talked about how she enjoyed reading Elizabeth's journal and she wished that she had a journal or something to show how she grown to her husband, but she never did journal or try to write or anything. I wish that she would have tried, but see how that could have made the plot more complicated too.

I haven't ready any of other books by Bernier (this may be a debut novel not sure) and I would pick up more by her. I think she has a great writing style and provides a different view of how to look at things. I would suggest this book to others. It reminds me a bit of early other authors I enjoy, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner and other recognizable names.

I would give it 4 stars.

September 7, 2012

Don't Let Me Go: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Grace sits on the steps of her apartment building so that someone will see that she's in trouble and needs help. Billy is a former dancer and an agoraphobic that never leaves his apartment, till he is pulled onto the balcony to find out what a little girl is doing on the stoop each day. The neighbors in the building end p coming together to help Grace and she pulls each of them out of their own little worlds too. They find that they all really have been lonely. Now, they have someone who needs them. Rayleen, the manicurist who takes Grace in the evening and makes sure she gets to school, kind of the one who spearheads the whole concept. Felipe, who walks Grace home from school and is teaching her spanish. Billy, takes Grace in after school, and teaches her to dance. Mr. Lafferty is a bit bigoted to the other neighbors and seems angry, but Grace has a way to melt parts of his heart. Ms. Hinman, says she is to old to help, but find she wants to and enjoys a lost hobby in making Grace some new clothes. They all come together and help Grace and each other, pulling Billy really out of his apartment. That is until Grace's Mother comes out of her drug induced stupor and takes Grace away from everyone.

This book took me a little to get into, but I really got into it towards the end. I appreciated how all of the  characters were built up and developed. The chapters alternated between from Billy's perspective and Grace's. I liked the child's perspectives alternating to the adults, with different information given in both. All of the characters changed and grew through out the plot of the book.

I would suggest this book to others as a nice fun read. It has some moments that are deep and the characters do great growth other the plot, but it isn't made have to really think intellectual. I hope that others enjoy it too. 4 Stars

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

August 31, 2012

Dewitched: The untold story of the evil queen: EL Sarnoff

The Evil Queen is sentenced to what appears to be life in prison/the dungeon for the attempted murder of Snow White. After serving some of her time, Jane Yvel, also know as the Evil Queen has someone take pity on her and instead of staying the dungeon she is sent to Faraway. Jane thinks she is being sent to a spa, but what Faraway turns out to be is Evil Rehab for fairy tale characters.

Jane works through her issues, makes friends, and actually starts to care about others so she is sent back into the world. Her biggest fear after rehab is facing Snow White and pain that she caused her. But, that pain may cost Jane more than she ever realized, but there could be other influences at play that Jane has been suppressing for years.

There are some spoilers in the review, so if you don't want any spoilers be warned, but I shall try to keep them vague as to not give away the whole plot.

One of my favorite lines from Wicked the musical, but I love the novel too.
"Are people born Wicked? Or do they have Wickedness thrust upon them?"

I think this plot is really looking at this quote in relation to Evil. Is Jane and the other characters who visit Faraway Evil/Wicked, or do they just not know better or have been trained that way, following examples. They just need redirection to learn or be shown something new and different and then they can be the person they are meant to be or can at least now be a contributing part of society.

So, Faraway shows them another way to look at things and contribute to society. Bring out the best part of the characters and helping them be who they should be? Or changing their fate? I think the characters all have to learn something much like many of us all have to learn something and how our past effects or changes us.

With that I will leave you with the rest of the wicked quote "After all, she had a father. She had a mother, as so many do..." and I think this is important to consider that is what comes next.

This was an enjoyable read for me. I would give it 4 stars. I feel like the plot have a creative way to deal with complicated issues that many people deal with. While it also keeps the plot moving and light hearted and as an enjoyable read. I look forward to more from Sarnoff and hearing more again Jane and I think Sarnoff has given us an interesting ways to consider fairy tales.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

Connect with EL Sarnoff!

Buy the Book!

August 26, 2012

In my Bag 8/26-9/1

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
And the Winner Is: Erin Brady
and depends on what comes in at the Library

Up for review:
Dewitched: The untold story of the evil queen: EL Sarnoff
Don't Le Me Go: Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: Nichole Bernier 
The Next Best Thing: Jennifer Weiner 

August 24, 2012

Showbiz, A Novel: Ruby Preston

Scarlett Savoy had been the assistant of Margolies "King of Broadway" for the past four year. Getting through the day to day time, by telling herself that she is training herself and learning to be a producer herself. She is finally start to get somewhere with her own producing project. Unfortunately, it falls as the same time as Margolies biggest project ever is coming to a head.
The head theater critic at the main newspaper in town commits suicide and secrets he has been coving for years are threatening to coming out and definatly getting harder for those who know them to hide. A theater gossip columnist is up to replace the critic and when he and Scarlett start something, they are each finding themselves on other sides of secrets that could be enough to break the relationship they are forming.
Everyone has to make some choices about what they feel is important and how they want to proceed with their career and lives.

I personally really enjoyed this novel. Theater is a large part of my life (my husband and many of my friends are actually stagehands) and it is one of my other hobbies. So, I was able to relate to this book on levels that others without theater background might not be able to relate too. That being said, it was also written in a way that if you didn't know theater you can follow what is going on and happening.

When you read the initially description of this book it appears to be set up kind of like a mystery. I tried to drop most of that from my summary because I just didn't feel like that was the focus of the plot and there wasn't much of a mystery for the reader as both sides were being shown and it was easy for the reader to piece it together. The characters were able to quickly put the pieces together too and just needed the proof that they had to work at. So, seeing it as a novel with a plot of characters out to prove themselves and to grow this plot fits better.

I would give this book 4 stars as it isn't really what you exact at first it is a good developed lot that builds characters and had a plot with good movement. I think this is defiantly a good start of series where we could see more of the characters and I want to know more about the characters. I hope that Preston keeps writing and making parts of theater more accessible to the general public.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

August 23, 2012

Ruby Preston guest post

I was recently given a chance to read and be  Show Biz: Ruby Preston and I will be posting my review of that tomorrow, but today we get a guest post from Ruby. 

The Intersection of Broadway and Books
By Ruby Preston
When I first made the decision to write a book I knew I’d have to tackle a learning curve. After all, the publishing world and the Broadway world are worlds apart, right? Wrong! It turns out that, while there are some simple logistical differences, Broadway and books actually have a lot in common.

For one thing, the same rules apply for success: talent, persistence, and luck! In both writing and theater you have be good at what you do, stick with it through thick and thin, and be in the right place at the right time.

Writers and theater people are all faced with impossible odds for capturing people’s entertainment time and dollars. And yet, both books and theater have the power to transform lives and make a life-long impact if done well.

The interesting challenge for me was switching which side of the table I was on, so to speak. As a Broadway producer, a big part of my job is to read through piles of script submissions to find something I can run with - much like publisher does with manuscripts. It’s a difficult job because there are a million factors I have to take into account when I evaluate a script and I sometimes have to turn down shows that I think are wonderful.

Being suddenly in the position of submitting my work as a writer, I found a refreshing new perspective that is very much informing my approach to producing. I’m getting a much better sense of how I want to communicate and constructively interact with the theater writers who are offering up their work for my consideration.

Whether Broadway or books, I’m thrilled that I get to play in two such exciting communities of dedicated, creative and brilliant artists. Both industries are facing big challenges and even bigger opportunities and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

July 27, 2012

A Year to Remember: Shelly Bell

When Sara's younger brother gets married on her 29th birthday and she is surprised with a speech things don't go exactly as she planned. She starts a lovely speech about soul mates, but ends it with a vow to be married by her 30th birthday a year away. The plot follows Sara through the media frenzy she is forced into after her vow makes it to YouTube and how she heads out on her search for love/marriage.

Sara joins the online dating pool, does speed dating, and follows up on other connections. All the while listening to others advice and doing what she seems to think people want her to do or she is expected to do to reach towards her goal. Thinking she know what she wants and starts a relationship. But, maybe it is time for Sara to figure out what she really wants and that might not be what she originally expected, or she thinks others want from her.

Part of what I really appreciated about this book is that how Sara grew through out the year of this plot. She learned about herself and grew and that is what I like seeing in main characters in novels that I enjoy. Sara made her mistakes in the year and learned about her friends. In that learning and growing she came into herself and learned what she really wanted for herself.

I have to give this book 4 stars in that I enjoyed reading it and really couldn't put it down in parts as I wanted to see how Sara worked it all out. It is not a deep book, but if you are looking for a nice read and to see character growth this is one to pickup.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

July 23, 2012

Rock Star's Girl (A Hollywood Dating Story) : J.F. Kristin

Emily spends her time maintaining her fashion blog and enough freelance work to just make the ends meet. But, she takes one evening off to see her friend Jesse's band preform. At the event she meets Cory Sampson the lead singer in another band, which has already had at least one hit and potential for more.
Suddenly, Emily finds herself half of the new it couple on all the celebrity blogs and gossip sites. That is not only effecting her personal life, but her professional life, as advertisers and freelance gigs come and go with her popularity, but it is changing her relationships too. With Jesse and Cory both wanting something or not sure if they want something from her new found popularity. Emily has to make a choice for herself and figure out how she is going to precede with her life and career.

I enjoyed this book and would defiantly give it three stars. But, there was nothing there to push it over the edge to an amazing book for me. I would recommend it was a nice read and I liked the insight it gave into blogging/celebrity gossip, but it wasn't deep and didn't deal with issues that many can relate to. Overall, I do have to say that you should read it if you are look for a nice read that keeps your attention, but you don't have to think about.

July 20, 2012

Kat Fight: Dina Silver

Kat has always wanted to be married and have her one family, especially since her parents got divorced when she was young. She has been with Marc since college and even though they fight she and her friends/family have assumed they are meant to be together and it is just a matter or time before they get married. Marc has been having less and less time fore Kat lately though and Kat id starting to lose patients. After, being blown off again in a moment Kat tells Marc to lose her number. Not hearing from him for two weeks she accepts that it really has ended this time and she starts to move on.
Her best friend, Julie, sets her up on a bind double date with her and Kat finds herself more intrigued by Julie's date, Ryan, then her own. When Ryan shows up at Kat's work and seems to have an interest in her things get complicated. Add to that Marc showing back up realizing that he might have made a mistake. Kat has some light trending and tough decisions to make or she could end up losing more than she realized when she started playing with hearts and friendships.

I really enjoyed this plot. I felt like I could really relate to Kat as a character, she was well rounded and grew through out the novel. The supporting cast where there and developed enough that I could get behind them, but I wasn't distracted by their stories. I think the story that Kat is living and lessons she is learning are relate able and are ones you can say been there done that, know someone who did, or yeah that could have happened to me.

There was a preview of Silver's debut novel One Pink Line at the back of this book and in reading that I know I need to go pick that one up. I like the voices that Silver created for her characters and they are relatable. I look forward to reading more of her work.

I give this book a strong 4 stars. It could be seen as strong in the chick lit genre but has relate able characters and make for a fun light read, even when it is deal with deeper issues.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

July 16, 2012

These Girls: Sarah Pekkanen

Cate and Renee are roommates in NYC, their third is leaving though. Cate in her new job as features editor at Gloss, is trying to prove that she really does deserve the job she has and still protect her secrets. Renee's debt is piling up and she is wondering if she should go home, especially as her parents are having a crisis of their own and she is their only child. But, with the beauty editor position being open puts more pressure on her and she has to remember that beauty is more than just skin deep. 
Filling the empty spot is Abby, who's brother Trey works with Cate and Renee and is kind of the heart throb of the office. Abby has secrets of her own that she is running away from. She runs to Trey the only member of her family who she trusts and he in trusts her to Cate and Renee to help pull her out of her depression and help her move on from the past. 
This book focuses on the girls secrets and how they learn to trust each other and support each other through learning to accept their secrets. And how they can each move on with their lives. 

I really enjoyed this book. Really didn't want to put it down at times and keep wanting to kind of read ahead to see what was going to happened. By the end of the book I really wanted more about the characters, I wanted to know how they kept going with the growth that they each had all just accepted by the end of the book. My favorite part of this book was the charter growth that all of the main characters went through. I feel like that is one of Sarah's strengths, in establishing the characters. I personally can't say that I have a favorite of any of the Girls and I liked that since due to that I could relate to all of them.

Sarah is one of my favorite authors ever since I discovered her first books, The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat. I am looking forward to more of her works. 

I would give this book 4 stars, just because I find it hard to give 5 stars and I wanted more from it, so there was more that could be there it wasn't perfect but very close. 

July 8, 2012

In my Bag 7/8-7/14

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
These Girls: Sarah Pekkanen

Up for review:
Kat Fight: Dina Silver
A Year to Remember: Shelly Bell
Rock Star's Girl: J.FKristin

Sorry, I haven't been around much all. My husband and I are looking for a house so we are very busy and hopefully when we have that worked out will have more time. 

July 3, 2012

Blank Slate Kate: Heather Wardell

Kate wakes up one morning in a stranger bed, hungover and the last thing she remembers is being 17 and in high school. At least she might be Kate, that is what she told Jacob, who's bed she woke up in, her name was. She spends the net few weeks trying to piece together her life and the past 15 years together.
Not only does she learn about how the world changed, 9-11, iPhone, twitter, it is all new to her now. But, what kind of life has she lived, who is her husband, and what are the secrets that she has been keeping from her friends (the ones that she might have still) and her family that she doesn't remember now.
Slight spoiler, Kate never fully gets her memories back. But, we do see her piece her life together and learns from it what she doesn't want to do again, keep secrets, and how she can change her path now.

I could really appreciate and enjoyed this novel. Mental problems was one of the underlying issues and though I don't have them to the extend the main character does I could appreciate how she felt with them and was overwhelmed. She had to relearn about it after she lost her memories and realized that maybe she was trying to forget with her memory lose. But, she can't just keep running away which is what she seems to be keep doing. As she pieces her life back together.

I won this book in a contest and I am so glad that I did. I really enjoyed it and felt I need to read it with how it dealt with mental health. I have to give this book 4 stars and I would recommend this book to others who enjoy chick lit and want to see a way that mental health can be face and see what many in society have to deal with.

July 1, 2012

Stephanie Plum reviews

Two for the Dough: Stephanie Plum #2: Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is still a bounty hunter, and still learning the ropes and making mistakes. This time she is after Kenn Mancuso, who shot his best friend in the knee and happened to be caught. Being that he is a relative of Joe Morelli and his family has asked him to look into it things get a little complicated. Add missing guns and funeral homes, things get complicated and more than Stephanie might be in danger this time.

Three to get Deadly: Stephanie Plum #3: Janet Evanovich

Stephanie thought she got an easy bond, with the guy who ran the candy store. What she didn't count on him being MIA and everyone judging her for asking around. Turns out that  the guy everyone thinks of as a grandfather in the neighborhood might not be as innocent as people think. And as neighbors take the law into their own hands things get dangerous for Stephanie again. As usual Joe Morelli is there saving Stephanie and getting in the way and Stephanie is not sure which she prefers.

June 18, 2012

Dancing Naked in Dixie: Lauren Clark

Julia is use to the fast paced life, living in NYC and spending most of her time passing through airports to exotic locations as a travel writer for Getaway magazine. She has to meet with her new boss thought and he has other plans for her. Knowing Julia's past David sends her to Eufaula, Alabama. Julia has to write the piece of her life to save her job, but as she tours the town and gets use to a slower pace Julia learns there might be more at stake then just her job.  With the slower pace she has to face her past, her future, and the past of others in her life too. As some of the secrets just might need to come out and be saved now.

I could relate to Julia and I think that is part of why this novel really appealed to me. She is as accident prone as I am at times. She is just built as a well rounded character for me. We didn't get all of her background at the start, but all was revealed as we needed it, which I appreciated and I think added to the readers experience.

Two thing I would have liked more is a bit more description about some of the characters looks and the settings. I had some very general ideas of what the houses she was touring looked like. But at times I wanted more to get a better picture. As odd as it is I would appreciate pictures with it, to give the readers some general ideas. And I would have liked to read the article that Julia wrote that made the difference in the story. Overall, those elements being missing weren't enough to distract me from the aspects of the book that I liked, so I still recommend it.

I would give this book 4 stars as it kept me reading and I liked the development of the main character and the development of the plot. I would recommend this book to others who enjoy chick lit and those who are interested in travel, seeing different places through different eyes.

This review is part of chick lit plus blog tours.

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

June 10, 2012

In my bag 06/10-06/16

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
Kat Fight: Dina Silver

Up for review soon:
Two for the Dough: Janet Evanovich
Three to get Deadly:Janet Evanovich
Dancing in Dixie: Lauren Clark

Rest of the Hunger Game series reviews

These reviews will each contain spoilers for the book that occurred before them. So, fair warning on that there maybe spoilers in the summaries. 

Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins 
Having survived the arena Katniss and Peetra are the champions and back at home. But, in both of them surviving they have offset the balance and the Capital is not happy with them. On the Victory tour Katniss has to prove why they should both have survived and crush the rebellion that might be building. It might not be enough though and then her family and Gale, where there is still tension between them, may be at risk. When the next games in announced (SPOILER) and Katniss and Peetra find that they have to enter the arena again. This time Katniss makes it her mission to get Peera out alive, but others may have plans for both of them. 

I personally thought that this book kind of started a little slow. There wasn't the building of the world to keep you interested like the start of the last book and the action was a bit slow to pickup. Once things started happening, you could see why that part needed to be established, but I wished it had been tightened up a little more. When you got into the action and really movement of the story I couldn't put it down and just wanted to keep reading. The end just flew by, as you kept wanting to know more and the action built till it just dropped you and ended. I would give it 4 stars for how well the action built towards the end. 

If you are enjoying this series, make sure that you have the final one available to start as soon as you finish this one, you will need it. I read the last two books across just two or three days I believe and if you ask those around me I wasn't putting me ereader down. I also have a physical copy of the series and had left those at work. When I left 3 people were lined up for the 2nd book and one was reading it. I was only gone for a week and no one who was lined up claims to be a big reader. When I was back they were all done with all of them.  

Mockingjay: Suzanne Collins
The rebellion grew while Katniss and Peetra were in the arena for the second time and the rebels had brought an end to the games. They saved Katniss, their Mockingjay to become the symbol of the revolution, while Peetra was captured. Though District 12 has been destroyed Katniss and Gale's Family has escaped. Taken in by District 13 where the rebels are based and fighting the Capital by taking each district everyone seems to have a plan for Katniss, but Katniss. She is still in shock from all the changes and what appears to be the lose of Peetra. She has some choices to make and decisions that will not only change her life, but those of the maybe the whole country of Panema. 

This could have been like the start of two was with being slower as it built to the final fight, but it didn't fall into that pattern oddly enough. It really got more into the mind of not only Katniss, but some of her other victors that had helped her in Catching Fire. Again, with this book especially I don't see how this could be a young adult book. It would depend on the child, but I am sure that I would have to have read this before I would let a child and would need to be prepared to take about tough issues with them. I like how the book was wrapped out and how we saw Katniss grown through the series, by the end she seemed much older that she was said to be in age. 

I would again give this book 4 stars and say that this series is very much worth reading. And I will keep these books and someday when I have kids and they are older would share them with them. It brings up some great topics of conversation. 

June 7, 2012

I've Got Your Number: Sophie Kinsella

Poppy Wyatt has misplaced her engagement ring, a family heirloom for her fiance, and in her search for it she finds more than she expected. Her phone is stolen while searching for her ring and she conveniently finds a abandoned cell phone in the waste bin. She takes the phone on as her own in her search for the ring.  Sam, who's PA happens to be the one who abandoned the phone and her job, is not so keen on Poppy having the phone though. 

As Poppy keeps the phone and is forwarding Sam's emails onto him, their relationship expands and they form something that could be seen as a friendship. They talk to each other about the lost ring, problems Sam is having at work, Poppy planning her wedding and the issues she is having with her future family. Until, it all comes to a head on both side and they find that they both need each other, but how can they help each other and will they really trust each other when they need to. All over a lost and found phone. 

Much like many of Kinsella's books in my opinions this is superior to her shopaholic books, but still it not my favorite of her works. This book started a bit slow to me, then when it picked up it really picked up and I couldn't put it down. I just wanted to keep reading towards the end, especially the last 3/4 of the book. I liked how Poppy learned a grew some in the book but still stayed true to herself. The other characters grew and were there, but were not very deep too, so it was hard only have one or two characters to relate too. 

I gave this book 3 starts, since I enjoyed it. But, it was not one of my favorites, I guess you could say it felt kind of average to me. I would suggest this to others invested in the genre and it was worth reading, but not Kinsella best piece or a good into to the genre. 

June 3, 2012

In my Bag 06/03-06/09

Sorry, I didn't post last week. I was headed out of the town last Sunday and got back late today. So, shall try to get back to our originally scheduled posts.

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
Three to get Deadly:Janet Evanovich

Up for review soon:
Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins
Two for the Dough: Janet Evanovich
Dancing in Dixie: Lauren Clark

Mockingjay: Suzanne Collins
I've Got Your Number: Sophie Kinsella

May 21, 2012

In my bag 5/20-5/26

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
Dancing in Dixie: Lauren Clark
Three to get Deadly:Janet Evanovich

Up for review:
Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins
Two for the Dough: Janet Evanovich

May 16, 2012

Second Time Around: Beth Kendrick

Five college friends meet up every summer to catch up and are usually bemoaning their jobs and talking about the dreams. When one of the group Arden, dies of an ongoing illness she leaves a million dollars to be split between the remaining 4. The only catch to the money is that she tells them to use it to pursue their dream. The rest of the plot follows them as they work out what to do with the money and how to pursue their dreams.

The first to use the money is Brooke, who works at the alumni office at the college they all graduated from. With the windfall and an old dorm just being put up for sale from the college, she jumps on the chance to try and run a Bed and Breakfast in the small college town with their past. The others gather around her as she tries to get the B and B up and running and finds that the house which holds their memories and her dream now might not be in the condition she thought it was and her dream requires more work then she might be able to do.

Jamie follows her to the B and B as she quit her job in order to go to Arden's funeral. With three failed weddings under her belt she can't imagine that it is that hard to plan weddings and events for other that actually succeed. What she doesn't count on is ghosts from her past visiting that make it hard for her to take Arden's money and making her question what she wants and can do.

Cait is a professor of literature, but prefers to read romance novels. She blows off work as her ex tries to manipulate her and heads to the B and B to pursue her dream of writing. With a blast from the past with one of the girls past professors she may realize what her real dream is and what she wants to write as well as find out about herself and her own courage.

The last to join them is Anna, who has been trying to get pregnant and all they are gaining is debt. It is straining her marriage too. She joins the girls at the B and B when she is needed for a crisis, but stays when her marriage needs the space. Anna, has always found comfort in baking, so she starts baking for parties. The other Baker in town challenges her, but they may find that they both need each other.

Different parts of the story focuses on each of the girls. Since it was covering so many character I personal feel like too much was covered in the plot and in such a short period of time that the book took place. But, I did enjoy reading all the characters story, I would have just like more and deeper connections at times. Also, I think that characters relationships were speed up in the time frame also..

One of my favorite parts of the book was how information/secrets about the characters were revealed. We were given hints that something specific would be going on , but just enough to know that it has an influence, but not what specifically happened or is going on until we really need the information and at that point the character grows and can forgive or learn from the revelation of the secret.

I would give this book 3 starts in that it was a very enjoyable read, but there are draw backs to the book so I couldn't give it more than that. I liked the writing style and will check out other books by Kendrick, I appreciate how she built the characters and hope to see more like that.

May 9, 2012

Strings of Color: Marian L. Thomas

A quote starts each chapter in the book and I felt it was the way to start this review.

"Everything we go through in life is like a string of color, which pulls us this way or that." She said as she crossed one sting over the other. "That's how come we get so twisted in life. Can't grab our own strings and pull them in the direction we want them to go. No, we allow someone to not only hook us but to sting us along."

The plot follows 4 women and the men around them. Simone, a talented young singer but as she learns about her family and past she has to consider how far she will go for love now. Naya a jazz singer, who has built a world around her that seems to be falling down around and and now she really has to face secrets of her past. Mona, has to face the secrets of her past with all the changes that are happening around her, but how much damage has she done and can fix it now. Misty, has lived her life one way and thought one thing for so long when she finds out that might not be all the truth is she going to be able to face the changes she knows in her heart she needs to make.

The plot of all of these character's lives are entwined throughout this whole plot. There are moments where I couldn't keep them all straight and sometimes I still am confused by their pasts and how they are all related. But, it is in a good way, a way that I know they all go together and know that their relationships will work out together.

The confusion worked in this plot for me. It drew me in to the plot as I wanted to see all the elements work out. And see how all the characters grew, learned and faced what they need to through the plot. I would give this book 4 stars, but I do still need to read it again to make sure I understood all the elements.

This review is part of chick lit is the new black tour. I was provided a copy of the book, but the thoughts and summary are my own.

May 6, 2012

In my bag 5/6-5/12

A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
Second Time Around:Beth Kendrick
Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins

Up for review:
Strings of Color: Marian L. Thomas

May 2, 2012

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe: J. Randy Taraborrelli

Every now and then I get in the mood to read a biography or and autobiography and this is what I choose to read this time.  In my opinion/experience there are two kinds of biographies. The one that make the life into a story and are almost more like autobiographies in they lead you through a life like someone living it would or might describe it. Or one that is more a collection of facts, put them into a chronological order for the reader, this is more informative and truths or what might be rumored about a famous person, but is not confirmed with that part noted.

My personal preference is for the first kind, probably why I usually read more autobiographies then biographies.  I think it is because I enjoy the stories of how people know each other and interact, the stories they tell. But, hearing it from one persons side I feel like you can relate to all of the people in the stories better.

Back to this book. Marilyn seems to be coming up in culture again right now and maybe, that is why I picked up the book right now.  I enjoyed the first 300 or so pages of this book. The paced moved well and more was explored then just what is kind of known about Marilyn. When it came to her childhood it was covered, but not over dwelled on (like some biographies can do in my opinion). I like how it rumors or possible untruths were presented and then how they could be true or weren't were handled. Most of this book felt like the first type of book for me. It had stories and gave me insight, but there were moments where it was just facts listed off.

I did finally make it through to the end of the book. Part of it could be that everyone knew she was fading at the end, and the build up was hard to read. But, then it was anticlimactic at the end. It was just kind of an inevitable thing.

Overall, I am glad that I read the book and do feel like I got some insight into who Marilyn Monroe was as a person. I wouldn't go back to it again though. So, I would give it three stars.

April 29, 2012

In my bag 4/29-05/05

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe: J. Randy Taraborrelli (having trouble with the last 200 pages or so)
A Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin
Second Time Around:Beth Kendrick

Up for review:
Strings of Color: Marian L. Thomas

Fly Me to the Moon: Alyson Noel

Hailey Lane wakes up the morning of her birthday thinking she is going to have to work to fly her way home so she can celebrate with her boyfriend, who she thinks is going to propose by the end of the evening. Instead of having to work she gets to fly straight home and the surprise awaiting her is not exactly what she expected. Now, single, with no where to live, she remembers what she dose have. A manuscript that she hasn't looked at in years and a job that takes her all over the world to exotic locations and friends who care about here.
The rest of the plot follows Hailey as she works on her manuscript. Goes to exotic locations meeting men, while working to figure out who she is and what she wants for once too.

I enjoyed reading about Hailey and seeing her grow through the book. Things did seem a bit to easy and convenient, even for a chick lit book, but I could still get behind things falling to place since it was a novel. And the mistakes the character made did help her to grow, she didn't just throw away the good things that happened to her.

I would suggest this book to others who enjoy chick lit, but I would warn someone that this wouldn't be the best introduction to chick lit. It is not deep, but is a fun easy fast read. Three stars is what I would give it.