I had the honor of being sent a free e-copy of Showtime by author, Chloe Kayne in return for providing an honest review. I wanted to do Kayne a solid and give Showtime 5 out of 5 stars...however, that wouldn't be "honest" of me and that is what she asked for. I thought about it for a few days and I've make my decision to give Showtime 3.5 stars.
Showtime takes place in the world renowned Marvelle Circus in the early 1920s. After an incident gone bad, Laila Vilonia ends up being hauled off to Marvelle with an offer to stick with the circus. Overtime, Laila makes friends, enemies and falls in love with the outcast who has a dark history.
I've decided on 3.5 because I felt like there needed to be more of an adventure. It seemed like something was missing. Don't get me wrong...there were a few suspenseful areas but nothing that made me sit on the edge of my seat. Kayne has done an excellent job with description in ways that I was able to picture everything as clear as day. That however, could have been the downfall. Certain areas of the book had so much description leading up to some event that when it reached its climax, I found myself thinking, "Eh, that was it?" The only time I didn't have that feeling, was (without giving away any spoilers) was with Laila and Benelli in the last chapter.
I did like the connection that Laila ended up having with Jodelle (her new best friend) and Dex (the outcast). Kayne's writing style was pretty good and like I mentioned above, her attention to detail was great. Chole Kayne does have a sequel, Spotlight, to come out in 2014 and although I gave Showtime 3.5 stars, I'll still mark Spotlight down as an action item list and read it when it comes out.
A side note to Chloe Kayne; Thank you so much for asking me to read and review Showtime. I see potential in your next book.
Hurricanes in Paradise is a tale of four unlikely ladies becoming friends. Riley Sinclair has made the decision to leave a tragic accident behind and move to Paradise Island and start over with her Daughter. Riley is in the hotel's guest relations and it is her duty to put her guests above all everything. She is soon caring for a writer who is demanding to no end and cannot accept what she has done, a beauty pageant winner with health issues that hasn't told a soul and an elderly lady who is in morning over the loss of her Husband. After each guests paths cross numerous of times, they end up becoming great friends and each survive their own personal hurricane. As one Hotel employee told each guest when they reached the island: "these waters have healing powers."
I enjoyed this book. There were some funny moments as well as a few predictable moments, but all in all, it was good. My favorite was Winnie, the corky old southern lady.
Jeffrey Archer has managed to captivate his audience by telling a story not only once, but an additional six more times.
Only Time Will Tell is set between 1919 -1940 and I tend to stay away from books set in these time periods (and anytime before that) as they are not my most favorable books to choose from but I was suggested to read this book so I gave it a shot. Jeffrey Archer goes on writing the same story in the views of a mother, a child, an arrogant scoundrel, an old war vet, a best friend and a first love. With each story being similar, yet different all at the same time Archer has done a brilliant job of still tying everything together. He leaves out pertinent information from one story, but then adds it into another so you find yourself saying, "OOOH, I get it!!!"
Well played, Archer....Well played.
I enjoyed The Running Dream because it demonstrates courage, strength, motivation and ambition. I started running about a year ago and I have days where I just want to give in and I have both legs. It was motivating to see that if you believe in yourself, then it can be done. In this cause, failure was not an option.
I read Fifty Shades of Grey because it was the talk of the town. I read all the entire series and gave a rating of 3 stars for each book. I then read "On Dublin Street" by Samantha Young and its now...Fifty shades of what???
On Dublin Street tells the story of a girl named Joss who experienced a horrible tragedy when she was 14. She then spiraled out of control and by 18, she turned it all off. She shuts out the world and its her and only her. Now 8 years later, everything is still turned off. She gets a new roommate, Ellie, and meets Ellie's brother, Braden Carmichael and everything changes. Braden, Ellie and other characters start to break down Joss's walls and infiltrate her highly guarded world.
I liked this book. I felt that there was character development. You see how Joss was, how she is and what she becomes. I liked the relationship that Joss and Braden have with one other. Samantha Young wrote it well. I wasn't getting bored with the "repetitiveness" like in other books (FSoG/Twilight/etc.). There was tragedy (past and present), excitement (every time Braden is around), humor (she calls Brandan an Asshat) and love. I recommend people to read this book. I suggest people read this book over fifty shades. I'm only comparing it to FSoG because of the sex. I'll admit, even the sex scenes in On Dublin Street are better. Young wrote it in a more classy way. It was still dirty, but still elegant. "Regular" sex without bondage can be hot too.
Braden Carmichael takes the cake.
5 stars.....read it.
I give this book 4.5 stars. The Fault in Our Stars made me view things a bit differently and that is, also why I gave it 5 stars. Just like Hazel, I wanted to know how "it ends." What happens to Issac (Recently Blind)? Her parents? Van Houten?
Hazel and Gus seem to be old souls. They do not speak like the typical 16/17 year olds. I, at 28, haven't even heard of some of the words that they used but I think that in this type of story it fit. I recommend this book. Its sad. Its witty. Its metaphorical.
I did not want to like this book. It's heartbreaking. You develop a fond attachment to Enzo. I repeat, I did not want to like this book, but I did. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, is about a dog named Enzo. It starts off with Enzo knowing that it is his time. You then are taken back through Enzo's entire lifetime, living on the farm, with Denny (his owner), etc. and how everything ties into racing. Enzo wants to be a racecar driver, but he knows he cannot...because he does not have thumbs. Then of course, not really a spoiler alert, because its the inevitable....you come full circle to the end of Enzo's life. I can read books with humans passing away. Good people, bad people...no big deal. I can watch movies and 95% of the time, its still not that big of a deal with someone dies. But when they put animals into that situation? It becomes one giant sob-a-thon. I get the ball in my throat, the water eyes and shaky voice. I just feel so bad and helpless..Why do the animals always have to die?
I liked this book because its in the point of view of a dog. Some of the things Enzo talks about, I think to myself; So that is why my dogs do that?! Enzo understood everything people were saying and even trying to stop Denny from making the biggest mistake of his life...a few times. Enzo's story is a good one. The Denny story, I did not see that coming. The entire book, although good, was rather sad. Denny had it rough (and his in-laws were the biggest Aholes ever!! I wanted to punch them in the face...repeatedly).
I would probably recommend this book to someone who wants to read something a little different (a dogs POV) however I would just suggested to not read the 7th and 8th to last page...Those are the lump in your throat pages.
Enzo, you will be a great human.
I first started reading this book and was a little confused as to why the man who found her, his wife, nor Jerry ever did the right thing by Theres. They were by no means capable of raising a little girl. I suppose, they had what was coming to them. The details that Lindqvist writes about is - the only word that keeps coming to mind is - disturbing. I recall reading certain events with a scrunched up "Eww" face. Despite all the gruesomeness and unethical happenings, my attention was still held and I kept on reading, even after the "smoke" came.
I do not suggest this book for those with morals. HA! Be warned, there is mistreatment, death, blood, guts, weirdness and all the other shiny objects that come with it.
In the end, I was hoping for a bigger "bang."
I figured the girls would end up being dead in the end, but I wanted to know if they were fraternal twins that were separated at birth because then it would explain the unnatural love affair.
I gave Beautiful Disaster 4 starts, because by page roughly page 22, I already had a book crush on Travis. Once you get a book crush, the ratings automatically go up. He seemed "perfect" with the tattoos, the boxing (I thought of Tyler Durden :::swoon:::), he says the right things and even wears his pants in that OMG! way. Then he goes and screws it up a few times. Mainly by bringing some girl back to the apartment and also ending up being a vagina. He seemed way to clingy and totally dependent on Abby. For being this big tough hot shot, he seemed a little desperate for Abby. It was a little annoying. Man up! But in the end, I still have my book crush on Travis.
My only other comment...where the heck were the authorities? Cops never seemed to be around and I must say, you would think cops/campus security/The Dean would step in when someone is punching someones face in at the schools cafeteria. A few things just seemed very unrealistic, but the rest of the plot makes up for it.
More than likely, I will read #2. Walking Disaster, even though it is the same exact story just told from Travis' point of view.
At times, Lawson tends to go off subjects and on rambling tangents that really have nothing to do with the story and one could possibly get confused or uninterested in the book but 1. you get use to it and 2. if you have a sibling (sorry, to through you in here sister) that has a similar personality to Lawson then you understand completely how blurting out your own credit card number (incorrectly) and polar bears tie together. Some stories were very disturbing (chasing vultures with machetes) and some were hilarious, that even when I look at the picture, I still crack up like crazy (Knock, Knock Motherfucker). I'd most likely read Lawson's second book because what other shenanigans can she get into? And major props to Victor, for not murdering her yet. Jenny - He's a keeper!
Heaven is for real did hold my attention. It is understandable that there were a lot of bible references, not just because its about Heaven/God/Jesus, but because Todd Burpo is a Pastor - so he relates a lot of what Colton saw to the Bible. That part helped me a lot because for me not being very religious, I don't really understand what certain bible scriptures are about, but Burpo explains what each bible reference meant or at least pointed out the main point that he was trying to get across. It helped me understand what the importance of why the Burpo's were in jaw-dropping shock when Colton mentioned certain things. For instance, Colton mentioned Jesus not having wings but moves like an elevator. I didn't find that to be of any importance. Then Burpo explains that how in the book of Acts, the scripture has a part that says, "Jesus was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight..." then two men dressed in white stood beside the people and said "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Todd then writes, "Jesus went up. And will come down. Without wings. To a kid, that could look like an elevator." After reading those paragraphs, it made more sense of the importance of Coltons' description.
I would probably suggest this book to a few people I know that are into this topic. I did mark this as a book that I would "eventually" read, but it wasn't anything on the top of my list. However, after a summer reading program at one of our local libraries, I ended up getting this book for free and that is the only reason why I read it as soon as I did. I kept debating on whether to give Heaven is for Real, 3 or 4 stars, so I finally decided on 3.5 only because Colton mentions rainbows and for personal reasons, rainbows mean the world to me, Since they are a representation of my Grandma who has passed - When I see a Rainbow, its my Grandma<3 telling me Hello.
Moose is the true story of Stephanie Klein from when she was 13 and had a summer of firsts...at fat camp. When you think of things that happen at camp, stereotypically you think band camp. American Pie even popularized the phrase, "one time, at band camp..." but the things that Klein writes about... band camp has nothing on fat camp. Stephanie reminisces about new friendships, hickeys, and finally fitting into goal jeans....I liked how she wrote the story with a no holds bar. She didn't hold much back or sensor what went on. You can tell she wrote the truth. She made Fat camp seem so much fun, (sans food limitations) and although there were a few times Klein wished she could go home, she still had a summer she'll always hold close to her heart. I wish I had that. Despite all the sexual festivities, I wish I could of gone to a summer camp. The way Klein wrote this, with everything descriptive just enough, it makes you feel like you were bunk mates with her, kate, ham and the rest of the girls. Here's ★★★★ to fat camp champs!
I have been torn between giving Light From a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris ★★★ or ★★★★. Since I am uncertain, I will have to go with the lesser of the stars. I do admit, it was a good book and it held my attention, however it seemed like it dragged on. I want to point out that there were to many "events" that took place that really didn't need to be included in the book in the first place. They just seemed pointless and didn't have any significance to the story. I felt that they were just page fillers. Finally (after half the book) you get to the point that you've been waiting for and it drags on. Nellie tells both her parents about what she knows and they don't believe her, or won't believe her. A good man ends up being punished for another mans act, and its not until AFTER everything that the truth finally comes out. A little to late.
I was rooting for Max the whole time. I feel that he was just a troubled man who was trying to turn things around. Although, he is now long gone and out of the picture, I still hope the best for him.
I wanted to like this book. I read the reviews before I nominated it as one of our book club picks and it seemed like an enjoyable read. Unfortunately, I had to give The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield only two stars. The biggest reason I marked it down was because of the detail. Don't get me wrong...every book should have detail. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to create the fictional world and/or characters in our minds. Yet, this book just had WAY too much description. It took nearly two pages to describe a burnt down house.
There was so much description that I tended to get lost in what I was reading. I consider myself to be a very good reader. I'm fairly quick and I understand what goes on even if I were to skim the pages...but during the Thirteenth Tale, I caught myself having to go back and re-read what I read just to understand it. I also recall at least three times that I couldn't even decipher which narrator was telling the story. As much as I tried (I had to finish it for book club!) I just couldn't get into it. I think it was around chapter on page 280 (of 406) that I started to finally get into it. I don't know if it was because it got interesting, or because I saw that the end was near.
Then there comes the plot twist that didn't leave me in shock. It wasn't a scene stealing, "OMG" moment. To me, it was no surprise and almost expected. The Postscript section, although probably for some readers was needed as a point of closer, left me feeling that it wasn't really needed. Or at least it could have been better...like :::SPOILER ALERT!!!:::::
some freak mix up at the hospital and Margaret's twin, never really died at birth. Now that would of been a shocker and a jaw dropping end to an otherwise not very captivating (in my opinion) book.
Diane Setterfield also makes a ton of references to Jane Eyre, which is somewhat ironic only because this reminded me of a Jane Eyre story as it was a hard read. I thought Jane Eyre was a hard read only because of the early language. At least Jane Eyre was easier to follow because I didn't have to re-read details and details about Jane and Rochester just to get their story. I only had to look up definitions.
So again, as much as I would want to give The Thirteenth Tale at least 4 stars...I am sad to say that it was a two star book.
At age nine, Josie has no other choice but to become an adult and takes care of her family. Her mother just died and she has to help her dad and brothers by doing housework, cooking, and balancing the checkboo...all still while going to school and learning to play the piano like the great pianists of all time. By age 13, she thought of herself as a loner and didn't really mesh well with others her age. After the bus driver creates a seating chart, she gets paired up with 18 year Samuel who is part Native American and very disgruntled. After riding the bus 40 minutes every day to and from school they discuss everything and anything like Beethoven and Navajos, Wuthering Heights and the Marines. Jose and Samuel became friends and it’s not till later that they realized how much their friendship means to one another. By the end of the school year, Samuel goes off to join the Marines and it leaves Josie heartbroken. She eventually moves on and no longer dwells on losing her once best friend. A few unfortunate events take place and Josie is again left heartbroken and alone. It’s not until a decade later; Samuel comes back into Josie’s world and repays the favor of showing her what it is like to feel again.
Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon was surprisingly a good book. As I read the first few pages I wasn't entirely sure I would like it. Once I finished the first chapter, I became hooked. I stayed up till 1 am one night and read 70% of the book. Once I finished it that next morning I was sad it was over. I can’t' really explain why I was interested in this book so much. Maybe it was because it reminded me of something that would be on the Lifetime Movie network (Come on! We all LOVE the movies on lifetime!! Admit it!). It was compelling and at each chapter end, you wanted to find out how the next chapter started. Running Barefoot is a wonderfully written coming of age story, not for just one person of the story but for two, very similar but all very unique in their own way, charactors. Five stars to Amy Harmon on a job well done.
Sarah and Kevin Petersons are the popular ones in school, The beauty and the jock. Jonathan and Candi Buckley are the complete opposite, the nerdy know it all and the quiet shy never noticed girl. They do not socialize with each other and they cannot stand each other. They have no choice in the matter and are forced to be in the same room with each other when their parents take them on a cruise together. After a vicious storm hits the Buckley and Peterson kids aboard their designated lifeboat. Once dropped in water they face rogue waves that take them farther out into sea and eventually on a peanut shaped island in the middle of nowhere. The Buckleys and the Petersons have to put all their differences aside and help each other survive. There are dangers around each corner and as each day goes by the four teenagers realize that they are their own hope. They must rely on each other.....the family they have left.
This is this second book I have read by Elle Casey and I highly enjoyed this book too. I must admit, although this is considered a "young adult" book, I am 28 years old and I still enjoyed it. Its the newest version of Swiss Family Robinson. Wrecked illustrates that despite social statuses, relationships form when you least except it. It was kind of obviously that certain relationships were going to build, but I enjoyed how each one discovered who they really are and not who their friends or family want them to be. I also know, that if i ever get stuck on an island, I'll at least know some of the basics. Wrecked isn't just entertaining, it was a learning lesson as well!
I do hope that there will be a sequel to Wrecked, because I'd really like to see what happens to group in following months.
I gave rated this book ★ ★ ★, because although it was good and at points very detailed, for you to picture exactly what is being done to people, I thought it was a little cheesey. Don't get me wrong, bullying is a horrible and unforgiving act, but the way Seth would "preach" about it...to me just seemed a little corny. Specially when talking to certain teachers and at the very end of the last book. But still - big props to Seth for fighting back and taking action.
After finding a flier for "Up to $500 for test subjects," Jayne, Tony and the other Runaways volunteer to be part of a special experiment. Unbeknownst to the group, the special experiment consists of taking the group to a secret wooded location to perform a training exercise, where each kid gets only one weapon and must reach all 4 checkpoints. The only rule is - there are no rules. They are no longer in the scope of the real world and any way to survive must be taken. Jayne and Tony soon discover that they not the average teenager. Vampires, Gnomes, Lady of the lakes, are all determined to stop the group from reaching each check point.
Jayne is the new Katniss. She has some good one liners and even in deadly situations - she had wit(peeing on wolves?) I found that I was more interested in this book, than I was in the Hunger Games - took me til the 11th Chapter to finally get into the Hunger Games. I think it was at the very first chapter that I was hooked. Book two is definitely on my list.
You cannot run and hide from your problems forever. The only thing that the small town of New Jackson knows about the quiet, antisocial woman that lives on the outskirts of town is that her name is Laura Broderick. She doesn't really have any friends except for a man who she has been seen having lunch with at least once a month. There is also a young girl who lives in a foster home, that comes to visit with Laura but no one knows of that relationship (Laura just doesn't talk to anyone, and Reagan doesn't want her Foster parents to know). Soon, the town will have a lot more to deal with then just an outcast. One night a man from Laura's past, comes to her house and tells her that he is there for some unfinished business. Laura knows all to well that her past has come back to haunt her - She escaped him once, can she do it again? Little does Laura know that the longer she hides this time around, more innocent people will die. Once and for all, in order live a normal life and no longer wanting to run, Laura decides to take a stand and fight back.
I give this book ★★★★★ because it was exciting only because I couldn't be positive on who the man from her past was....it wasn't as predictable as other stories have been.
Almost everyone has grown up loving the story of Peter Pan written beautifully by J.M. Barrie. A classic that lived in the hearts of every child. But what would happen if the typical Peter Pan story we all grew up to love, was different? Darker? A book you wouldn't call a normal child's bedtime story?
Brom has brought the darker side of Peter Pan by ways of The Child Thief and I was immediately taken away to the dark and sinister world of Avalon. At times you see sides of The Child Thief (Peter) that are very similar to the charismatic boy we all grew up with - at times Peter believes things are all apart of the game. However; the differences to the Child Thief is murderous. Peter saves, 14 year old, Nick from gang members back in New York. Nick, lost and unsure of what to do next, makes the decision to go with Peter to Avalon.
Entering Avalon you must not stop while walking through the "mist" and over skeletons of those that didn't make it. Nick is soon recruited to be one of "The Devils" (who we would normally know as The Lost Boys) and soon realizes that he has began a game of life or death.
In order to save Avalon and the remaining Devils, the "Flesh-Eaters" must be destroyed.....
There are two sides to every story and Brom has done and amazing job in showing that other side. If you never liked Peter Pan and never were able to get lost in the world of magic and monsters....I still do highly recommend that you take a step out of your comfort zone and read The Child Thief.
I think for my first book review, Fifty Shades of Grey seems appropriate. Why? Because it is the most recent book I have finished and it is also still listed as #1 on Amazons 100 best sellers list for Kindle (its probably listed as number 1 somewhere else too, but these days, I mostly go by Kindle).
My first thought is that Fifty Shades of Grey is like a rougher version of Pretty Woman; like Phil (Jason Alexander) smacked Vivian (Julia Roberts) before jumping on top of her. While reading it, I was just waiting for their to be a "piano" scene and sure enough, there was! Now, I'm referring to the second time Christian was playing - at the end of the book, when Anastasia walks out in the robe and eventually he lifts her onto his lap.
Although Anastasia isn't a prostitute, she sure did get a lot of free stuff...expensive stuff (car, laptop, blackberry) and also a closet full of clothes just because Christian likes her to dress a certain way. It was no Vivian shopping on Rodeo drive or anything...eh...semantics. She does admit to herself and to Christian that all the "gifts" make her feel a little whorish.
I do have to admit, I was pretty hooked. I think I read the entire book within 15 or so hours. I was always wanting to see what would happen next. Would she give in and sign the contract? [Sidebar: E L James dragged that out a little longer than it needed to be. Like it was mentioned at least twice during every chapter] Would she let her common sense win or would she let a intelligent, rich, gorgeous man win? Obviously, she did what ANY girl would do.
I'd probably do the same thing...experiment with Christian because he's "oh so dreamy!" even though I thought he was a dick at first. It took a long while til I warmed up to Christian and then the more you learn about him and his troubled youth, the more understandable it was (not fully acceptable, but understandable). He was controlling and had a dark side. However, that's probably what ever girl wants at one point or another (even if its only for a day), so now its understandable why I've seen status updates, pinterest photos, tweets about "I need to find my Christian Grey."
I'll still give Fifty Shades 3 ★'s. It held my attention, was titillating (pun intended) and at times made me feel rebellious for reading something so...out of my normal element. Like the excitement of doing something you know you shouldn't be doing, but you do it anyway.