Monthly Archives:: February 2013

Feb 28

Review * Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Reviews 12 ★★★★★

Review * Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda KenneallyThings I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Also in this series: Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions.

What I Thought

This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve written. There is just no way I can express all my feelings on this book, but I will try.

  • It’s not very often that I’m struck so soundly by a book. Even when I completely love a book above all others, I’ve never had a problem moving on to the next book pretty quickly. That was not the case with Things I Can’t Forget. I just could not pick up any other book.
  • Things I Can’t Forget is filled with feelings. Lots of feelings.
  • Kate took some time to get used to. She’s very religious (please, please, please do not let that stop you from reading this book) and she struggles with her decisions because of her religiousness. She’s very judgmental in the beginning and it will probably rub you the wrong way at first, but she changes A LOT throughout the book. She comes to realize that not everything is black and white, and that’s ok.
  • Matt is perfect. Seriously. Not perfect in a “I have no faults” kind of way but perfect as in “I wish he was real and a bit older so I could marry him” kind of way. He’s cute and funny and sweet and caring and just a little bit sensitive. And he’s also a bit of an idiot. He’s definitely a contender for “worst first date idea” ever. He’s in a frat, which seems totally out of place, yet not out of place at the same time. Best part about Matt is his respect for Kate and her feelings.
  • Emily is Kate’s best friend. Kate would do anything for her and that turns out to be a bit of a problem for Kate. I can’t really say more but Emily puts a lot of pressure on Kate (a lot of pressure is on her too) and it’s definitely a stressor for both of them
  • Parker and Will are in the book quite a bit, which is perfect since I loved Parker and Will in Stealing Parker. It was also nice to see Kate and Parker work out their issues.
  • I firmly believe that all books have messages (why are you writing if you don’t have a message,right?), but some stand out more than others. The message in Things I Can’t Forget comes through so strong (and not preachy) to be yourself and believe what you want to believe in, no matter what.

Overall I just really think that everyone should read this. If I had lots of money I would buy lots of copies and shove them at people everywhere.

Kimberly


Feb 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 7

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Authors That I’d Put On My Auto-Buy List

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1. Sophie Kinsella

She never fails to entertain and make me laugh.

2. Miranda Kenneally

I fell in love with Catching Jordan. Stealing Parker and Things I Can’t Forget just cemented the feelings

3. Stephanie Perkins

How can you not love Stephanie Perkins?

4. Lauren Oliver

I love her writing so much that if she ever rewrote The Grapes of Wrath, I would read it.

5. Kristan Higgins

Her books are always cute and funny, but also filled with lots of feelings.

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6. Jill Shalvis

Ok, I haven’t read any of her books besides the Lucky Harbor books, but I have lots and lots of love for Lucky Harbor.

7. Christopher Pike

I stopped reading Christopher Pike around freshman year, but there are only a small handful of books of his that I haven’t read. I’m working to catch up and he’s on the auto-buy list for sure.

8. Ernest Cline

Ready Player One was amazing! Sometimes all it takes is one book and you know the author is for you.

9. John Grisham

While I haven’t enjoyed his recent books quite as much as I did back on the day, I still buy and read them religiously because I absolutely love law books.

10. Jennifer Crusie

Her books never fail to make me smile. They’re cute and funny, just the way I like them.

Kimberly


Feb 24

Sundays in Bed with… Everbound

In Bed With... 3

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Right now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with ALL THE THINGS and the NEVERENDING COLD. I think if it wasn’t for the neverending cold I probably wouldn’t be feeling so overwhelmed with all the things. I’m just so tired and I haven’t slept through the night in two weeks because of the neverending cold. It’s also quite possible that I have the neverending cold because I’m not taking enough time to rest because of all the things.

Brodi Ashton EverboundWith any luck I’ll be super productive today and I’ll be able to spend some quality time with Everbound. So far its REALLY good. But I just haven’t had the time to really spend with it.

 

 

 

 

 

What are you reading today?

Kimberly


Feb 21

Review * The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 10 ★★★★★

Review * The Best Man by Kristan HigginsThe Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #1
Published by HQN on February 26, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: The Perfect Match, Waiting On You, In Your Dreams, Anything For You
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

It’s possible I may have said this for the last Kristan Higgins book I read, but this one is my new favorite. Seriously, I can’t even describe how much I love her books, and this one is no different from the rest. I’m going to do this review slightly different and highlight the reasons why I love Higgins’ books.

#1 – The Setting

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love small towns. I have nothing against big cities but small towns are just so cute and quaint. Everyone knows your name (cue Cheers themes song) and your business. Manningsport is no different, plus it has the extra benefit of having a couple of vineyards. Vineyards always make good settings.

#2 – The Heroine

I love the heroine’s in Higgins’ books because they’re so realistic. No matter what their issue or hang up is they don’t seem out of place to the character. Faith has a couple of issues. She was jilted at the alter by her fiancé. Who was the perfect guy, except for one tiny, little, detail – he was gay. Her other, more serious problem is dealing with her part in the death of her mother. She was a child when her mother died and accepts responsibility for what happened. That’s a hard burden to carry.

#3 – The Hero

The hero’s are also realistic and hate me if you want, but I like that they do the typically stupid things that you expect guys to do in books like these. Levi is no exception, though in The Best Man his stupid thing is a direct result of Faith’s stupid thing. Y’all know how hard it is to communicate in books, right? All that aside though, Levi does one of the sweetest things I’ve read in a book in a long time. It wasn’t a traditional romantic gesture, but… sigh. So sweet, and exactly what Faith needed. Made me tear up a little.

#4 – The Secondary Characters

I love them so much! They are always fun and quirky. In Manningsport we have:
Jeremy – the former groom, who finally admitted he was gay. He’s absolutely delighted that Faith and Levi are together, and it’s definitely awkward for them.
Pru – the older sister by 16 years. Pru’s husband has decided they need to “spice things up”, Pru does not feel the same. Pru also likes to share.
Honor – the older sister by 4 years. Faith and her don’t talk much.
Faith’s dad – He might be looking for love in all the wrong places
Lorena – one of Faith’s dad’s interests. She uses a sharpie to touch up her roots. Seriously.

#5 – Feelings

Higgins’ books make me laugh and tear up a little bit (or a lot). They always make me feel something. In The Best Man she does it all again. The date from hell in the beginning had me laughing (it just goes to show you that you never can tell about people). Discussing her mother’s death with the family had me in tears. It was an emotional roller coaster that I had no problem being on.

If you haven’t read a book by Kristan Higgins before I encourage you to pick one up. They’re amazing!

Kimberly


Feb 19

Review * Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Reviews 6 ★★★★★

Review * Shades of Earth by Beth RevisShades of Earth by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #3
Published by Razorbill on January 15, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 369
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Across the Universe, A Million Suns
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to haveany hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

What I Thought…

  • Shades of Earth is completely different from the first two. First, they are finally off the ship! Second, all the people are woken up so you essentially have two groups fighting for power. Elder is at a huge disadvantage obviously because he is much younger than the frozens and isn’t military trained.
  • Shades of Earth has a very delicious Lost vibe. There is lots of crazy bad stuff happening but you aren’t sure what’s causing it because the whole planet is filled with the unknown. The first half of the book had me fairly creeped out.
  • People die. I know this might be cause for complaint with some people, but not with me. Obviously I wasn’t thrilled with some of the deaths but killing off a bunch of nobody’s is boring.
  • Amy’s parents are exactly how I pictured them. Her military dad was very take charge, Amy has to stay secluded blah blah blah. Her scientist mother was oblivious to a lot of things because she was so concerned about the planet and not about what was going on around her.
  • Chris is one of the youngest of the military bunch and takes a personal liking to Amy. He hangs around her a lot and Elder doesn’t take this too well.
  • While quite a bit of Shades of Earth took me by surprise there were some things that were quite obvious. There were some things about the planet that the characters were pretty obtuse about and it drove me nuts that it seemed like no one could see what I could see.
  • In my review of A Million Suns I complained about one of my least favorite plot devices – the treasure hunt. In Shades of Earth Revis uses one of my favorite plot devices. I can’t really go into details because of spoilers but this one always takes me by surprise and I love it.
  • I had a slight problem with the ending, there was one aspect of the ending that was just a little too neat in my opinion. I just don’t see how something that big could be quite so easy.

Notable Quotes

“I learned that life is so, so fragile. I learned that you can know someone for just days and never forget the impression he left on you. I learned that art can be beautiful and sad at the same time. I learned that if someone loves you, he’ll wait for you to love him back. I learned that how much you want something doesn’t determine whether you get it or not, that “no” might not be enough, that life isn’t fair, that my parents can’t save me, that maybe no one can.”

“Who are the real monsters?”

Kimberly


Feb 18

Book Blogger Confessions: Changing Reading Habits

Book Blogger Confessions 20

Book Blogger Confessions is hosted by For What It’s Worth and Midnyte Reader. On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they will pose a question for book bloggers to answer and discuss.

Question: How has blogging and reviewing changed your reading habits? Do you read a genre now that you wouldn’t have tried prior? Or have you been turned off by a genre you used to love?

Blogging has definitely changed my reading habits, and that’s a good thing. Blogging brought me back to YA. I went through my YA phase around the end of elementary school and middle school years and then I moved on to adult books and never looked back, except of course for Harry Potter. Little did I know that YA books started to actually become really well written and enjoyable and I’m so glad that blogging brought me that.

Prior to book blogging I completely stayed away from anything even remotely sci-fi. Now I realize that I kind of do like sci-fi. I don’t like all aspects of sci-fi, but it’s no longer an automatic dismissal anymore.

I don’t want to say that I’m turned off by it anymore, but I find that since starting blogging I am much more picky about the chick lit books that I read. Chick lit is my go to genre and has always been my favorite but now that I’ve read so many great books from other genres a lot of the chick lit books don’t work for me like they used to.

One other thing that blogging has impacted is how much better I am at picking out books I know I’ll like. Though there have been some mis-picks *coughs* Beautiful Disaster *coughs* overall I’ve found that very rarely do I ever pick up a book that’s less than 3 stars anymore.

Kimberly


Feb 17

Sundays in Bed with… Ridiculousness!

In Bed With... 19

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Today I’m reading… nothing because I am ridiculously busy

I am completely ridiculous. So far in February I’ve read one book and one novella totaling 277 pages. I’m currently working a full time job and a part time job and I’m taking a certification course that has the work of 2 graduate classes. I have little time as it is and to top it off I’ve had a cold this whole week which has now turned into a ridiculous cough. I’d rather have a cough then a cold but I’d prefer neither.

Despite all this I totally blew my February book buying plan out the window and I did it miraculously by day 11.

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Yes, that’s five (5!) books that I didn’t plan on buying and only one of those did I make a conscious decision before making the purchase.The rest were impulse buys at a signing (and one “accidental” click on Amazon).

Note about Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?: (I kind of assume that my readers are female, so sorry if this makes any male readers uncomfortable) A couple months ago I bought a couple boxes of tampons when they were on sale. When I went to get a new box and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was in the bag with the tampons. I have no recollection of buying it.

Excluding Venom (because I’ve already read it) I have purchased 3183 pages. If I read at my current pace of 18 pages a day it will take me 5 months to read the books I’ve just purchased. Good thing I’ll have some free time in June!

So why am I purchasing more books when I clearly have enough to read already? It’s because I’m ridiculous!

I knew that these next few months were going to be tough and Kate (Midnight Book Girl) and I made a deal one day to wait before purchasing a book and maybe call the other person so that we can be talked down from making the purchase. *snorts* I don’t know what planet Kate and I were on when we had that conversation, but it sure wasn’t earth!

Why am I sharing this with you, my readers?

Because I know you’ll understand.

And I know you won’t judge me.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Kimberly


Feb 15

Random Thoughts on Books: To Novella or Not to Novella?

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 22

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new feature.  It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

Novellas. Love them? Hate them?

I have a love/hate relationship with novellas, though it’s definitely more love then hate.

*edit* I’m referring just to novellas that are in-between books in a series. I have only love for regular novellas.

Why I Love Novellas…

I love that they have little bits of information in them. Not enough that you’ll be missing out if you don’t read them, but enough to get something out of it if you do.

I love that they are usually told from a different view point.

I love that they are short and I can read it in one sitting.

I love spending more time with awesome characters.

Novella’s Aren’t Perfect Though…

Inaccurate page count. This drives me crazy. Do not tell me the novella is 100 pages when the last 30 of it is a sneak peak at the next book.

Cost. I don’t want to pay 2.99 for a novella. I think 1.99 is a better price (or better yet .99) is a better price. I’ve been lucky enough to find all the novella’s I’ve purchased on sale so the most I’ve paid is 1.79, but I know that depending on the ereader you have your choices are limited.

*edit* It also sucks that they are only available as ebooks, they should come in print in some way shape or form.

What are your thoughts on novellas? Love them? Hate them?

Kimberly


Feb 14

Mini Review * Good For You by Tammara Webber

Reviews 0 ★★★★

Mini Review * Good For You by Tammara WebberGood For You by Tammara Webber
Series: Between the Lines #3
Published by Self Published on December 14, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 322
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Between the Lines, Where You Are
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human.

Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.

 

With the exception of a few minor moments in the first two books Reid is completely unlikeable. He sleeps with any girl that even looks his way. He has no regard for anyone but himself. It was hard to imagine that he could ever change. But after the accident he gets a rude awakening and instead of doing a Lindsey Lohan and getting into more trouble he begins to turn it around bit by bit.

Dori was refreshing. She’s not at all involved in the movie business and she’s a fresh face to the series. I was a little frustrated with Dori at first because all that “perfection” stuff gets a bit old, but she’s really not so perfect and has a secret of her own.

I didn’t think I would like Good For You more than Where You Are because I loved Graham and Emma so much, but I did. Good For You was a much more emotional read than the other two books, it was the one that made me tear up and cry a little, a couple different times. The thing that happened was just so… difficult. I get why authors do things like that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it

Kimberly


Feb 14

Mini Review * Where You Are by Tammara Webber

Reviews 0 ★★★★

Mini Review * Where You Are by Tammara WebberWhere You Are by Tammara Webber
Series: Between the Lines #2
Published by Self Published on October 21, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Between the Lines, Good For You
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is.

Emma Pierce is forsaking an up-and-coming Hollywood career to embark on a life she’s only dreamed of—the life of a regular girl. After spending months burying her feelings for the two night-and-day guys who vied for her heart while filming her last movie, a twist of fate puts her in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan with the one she still misses.

Brooke Cameron was a fresh-faced Texas girl when she arrived in LA. Now she’s a beach sitcom star turned conceited heiress on the big screen. Having just survived three months on location with her ex—Hollywood’s reigning golden boy—she’s older and wiser and has set her sights on her close friend Graham. The only thing standing in her way is the girl he can’t forget.

Reid Alexander can sum up his life in one word: boring. Between film projects, there’s little going on outside of interviews, photo shoots, and the premiere of the film he finished last fall. The next-to-last thing he expects is to get a second chance with Emma, the girl who rejected him. The last thing he expects is for his still-bitter-ex to be the one to offer it to him on a platter.

 

I really loved Graham in Between the Lines. Seriously, him and Emma just made me smile. I liked the struggle of Graham and Emma to be together and them figuring out what was real and not real. I can’t gush enough about them. The way Emma handled Graham’s bombshell throughout felt realistic and made me like her just that much more. Graham does all the stupid boy things that I both love and hate (a girl spending the night that isn’t your girl friend is never a good idea).

Where You Are has 4 POV’s. I can’t decide if I liked that or not. On one hand there would have been more suspense without Brooke and Reid’s POV’s but on the other hand, I liked knowing what they were up to, and what their thought processes were in getting there. If there’s a character I dislike more than Brooke I can’t think of them right now. She was un-freaking-believable.

Kimberly