Monthly Archives:: March 2014

Mar 30

March In Review

Month in Review 2

Month In Review

 

I know this is a couple days early, but not much is going to change between now and April 1st!

March has been overwhelming to say the least. I pretty much worked every day in March, there has been just so much to do for school, which led to me getting the worst sinus infection ever! I’m still in recovery mode but at least I can function now. Unfortunately being so sick led to work getting back up and the end of the 3rd quarter was Friday and I have so many things to grade before grades close on Tuesday.

The good news is that it does look like spring is here and winter is finally gone. If I hear the word “snow” one more time I just might scream.

March in Review

Read in March

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 5.59.09 AM

I hardly did any reading this month. Four of these were audio books too, which means I only read 2 print books this month! I can’t remember the last time I read so little. I did enjoy all the books I read though so that’s a win!

Favorite Book of the Month:

Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

Least Favortie Book of the Month:

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst. It wasn’t really bad, but it was pretty typical for what I expected.

Reviews

Other Posts

New Books

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 5.45.40 AMCatch a Falling Star by Kim Clubertson (Netgalley)

Red at Night by Katie McGarry – Free!

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson – Bought with a gift card!

Two Lies and a Spy by Kari Carlton – Bought with a gift card!

Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins – from the publisher (thank you Little Bird!)

Panic by Lauren Oliver

*Pats self on back* I only purchased one book this month (with money)!

Coming Up in April

Spring Break – Where I will do ALL the reading and ALL the blogging! And some housework too!

Kimberly


Mar 28

Review * The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Borrowed in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnikThe Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HarperTeen on April 22, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

The Story

Anna makes a big mistake freshman year with Finn who moved away and now it is senior year and he has come back. Anna is trying to right her wrong with Finn, but it’s harder than she thinks, especially since he’s not particularly interested in having that wrong righted. Even though the incident with Finn is the catalyst for the The Last Best Kiss is really about Anna and her family and her choices and growing up. Anna’s family isn’t really there for her, except for her sister Molly, who has her own issues. Her parent’s aren’t even too concerned with where she is physically let alone mentally.

The Characters

Anna was so easy to like. Her big mistake freshman year – publicly dissing Finn because she was worried what her friends would think – is something so common and it’s a big thing and a small thing at the same time. I remember what it was like in high school and teaching in a high school now I can assure you that some things don’t change and how students are perceived by others is a huge thing. Everything that she did to atone for her mistake with Finn felt so real (both the good and not so good things). I also loved how Anna expressed her feelings when she saw Finn with another girl.
Finn is the perfect kind of nerdy guy. He changed a lot since freshman year physically, but the nerdiness in him still comes out and its adorable. I also love that he doesn’t immediately just forgive and forget what happened freshman year, nor does he harbor feelings of hatred towards her either. He also has some really great sweet lines!

Anna’s family isn’t all that great, except for her sister Molly. Molly is going through her own issues, but still is there for Anna. Her sister Lizzie and her parents are of the non caring variety. Her dad is also super weird and there is this weird awkward dad dating situation that is hilarious (her parents are divorced).

Anna’s best friend Lucy is the kind of friend that you love throughout high school and then struggle with senior year because they are so focused on school and college and they don’t know how to relax. They are a great pair though and always there for each other.

Anna’s other friends are great too, though there were times where I just wanted Lilly to stop talking because she was driving me crazy. Hilary and Oscar were super awesome though.

The Ending

Everything is as it should be! I loved how everything played out between Anna and Finn and I really loved how things played out after the incident with one of Anna’s friends. Things could have gone to the extremes with that one, but instead LaZebnik kept it realistic and fitting.

The Verdict

Amazing! If you haven’t read a Claire LaZebnik book yet then I suggest you get on that!

Kimberly


Mar 25

Review * Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 3 ★★★★★

Review * Waiting On You by Kristan HigginsWaiting On You by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #3
Published by HQN on March 25, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Also in this series: The Best Man, The Perfect Match, In Your Dreams, Anything For You
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.

Over the last couple of weeks work has been… overwhelming, and when I am feeling stressed the ONLY kind of book that I can get into is light, fluffy, I-don’t-have-to-think-to-hard kind of books. While I enjoyed all the books I read during this time period I am so happy that Waiting On You kicked me out of that rut! It was cute and fun but also made me tear up a little. It was the perfect mix of what I was craving and what I needed!

I was really excited to find out that Waiting On You was Colleen’s story because I’ve liked her from her first appearance in The Best Man. Kristan Higgins writes such amazing characters, with all these real feelings, and she did not disappoint in Waiting on you. I loved Colleen and Lucas so much. They have a bit of a history and I loved how it shaped their future (these were also the parts that broke my heart the most). Colleen’s relationship with her twin brother Conner was also very well done. They bantered, they pushed and shoved but they also cared.

Lucas fast became one of my favorite guys of all of Higgins books. He is real and down to earth and I love his dedication to showing Colleen that they could be good together again. He comes back to town for his uncle, who is sick and pretty much the only good father figure he’s ever head, and has to deal with his crazy aunt and non self sufficient cousin. Everything he goes through with them (especially near the end with his uncle) felt so realistic (and a little bit heartbreaking).

There are so many secondary characters in Waiting On You, and you would think that it would be overkill, but it’s not. I’m always wary of secondary romances, but this one worked for me, mostly because both characters were so very different from what we would consider “normal.” Lucas aunt drove me absolutely crazy but I loved his uncle, and even is “I’m not leaving the nest ever” cousin. Colleen’s parents (who are divorced) also bring some added entertainment to Waiting on You.

Overall I absolutely loved it and if you like romance I suggest you pick it up!

Kimberly


Mar 18

Top Ten Tuesday * Spring TBR List – AKA “Kiss of Death List”

Top Ten Tuesday 14

TTT

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 Books on my Spring TBR List.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 9.16.29 AM

1. The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

2. Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

3. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

4. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 9.18.51 AM

6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

7. The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

8. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith

9. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

10. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Kimberly


Mar 13

Review * Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Reviews 4 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Fire & Flood by Victoria ScottFire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Scholastic Press on February 25, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

The Story

I was pretty much sold on this book when I saw someone compare it to The Amazing Race and Survivor. Tella ends up in this weird survival race for the cure and it’s twisted and action packed. You are thrown into the book just like Tella is thrown into the race, you get no background knowledge or info about how things work. A lot of times that can really frustrate me but it really worked to amp up the intensity in Fire & Flood. It was so easy to get sucked into Fire & Flood and I’m glad I read it on a snow day so I didn’t have a reason to stop. While I was reading there were so many questions that popped into my head and every time one was answered another one cropped up. Because you were kept so much in the dark it didn’t have a lot of surprise twists, but there was one thing that was OMG crazy.

The Characters

I liked Tella. She was willing to risk everything to be able to win the cure for her brothers. She has no idea what this Brimstone Bleed is but she is willing to do whatever it takes for him. She is so likeable and even though she is in it to win it she isn’t about hurting and destroying others to get the cure.

Guy is another contestant and is slow coming around but eventually you get to finally know him. Like Tella he is in the Brimstone Bleed to win the cure for someone in his own family. He is dark and quiet and other motivations, one of which is looking out for Tella, even when she doesn’t want or need him too.

Tella’s Pandora is super cute. I don’t want to say more because that’s part of the fun of reading it!

Throughout the way Tella befriends and makes an alliance of sorts with some of the other contenders, all of the different. Of the other contenders the twins were my favorite.

While I liked the characters Fire & Flood is very plot driven!

The Ending

The only thing I didn’t like about the ending is that I still have so many questions!!!! I didn’t realize that it was going to be a series until there were about 50 pages left and realized there is no way that this could end right here. The last 100 pages or so were very intense and exciting and I couldn’t put it down.

The Verdict

I loved it! Fire & Flood is fast paced and exciting and I would recommend it to almost anyone!

Kimberly


Mar 11

Top Ten Tuesday * Favorite Contemporary

Top Ten Tuesday 4

TTT

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 all time favorite books in x genre.

I could have gone with a different genre but contemporary is my absolute favorite! I could list way more than ten, but I’ll limit myself. ;) I much prefer the lighter side of contemporary so most of these are feel good reads!

TTT 1

1. Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

This is a swoony and cute romance.

2. Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

All of Kenneally’s books are excellent but this one is a little heavier and had a lot more feels.

3. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Insanely funny. Becky’s antics might be over the top, but they will never fail to make you smile.

4. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Ballads of Suburbia is a hard hitting contemporary. Normally not my style I read it because it sounded good and took place the same time I was in high school. I can’t even begin to explain the emotional roller coaster it took me on.

5. Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Complete cuteness.

TTT 2

6. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits isn’t a light and fun contemporary but it is amazingly good. Noah and Echo have issues but you can’t help but love how they come together.

7. Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Once I discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips I read all her books in like two months, but this one is one my favorites. Cute and fun, with just a little bit of sports thrown in.

8. Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Right now Jill Shalvis is at the top of my list for adult contemporary romance books. I’ve loved all of the Lucky Harbor series but I have a special place for Sawyer and Chloe.

9. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

I love famous person/unfamous person romances and Jennifer E Smith delivers.

10. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

It’s Kasie West, what more do you need to know?

Kimberly


Mar 10

Review * How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Reviews 1 ★★★★

Review * How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperHow to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
Series: Naked Werewolf #1
Published by Pocket Books on February 22, 2011
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Time: 9 Hours 12 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

The Story

I dislike pretty much everything about winter so Alaska wouldn’t be an ideal place for me to relocate, but Molly Harper makes it sound so awesome and cool (ha!) that I feel like I should reconsider (don’t worry, I wont’). Mo up and decides to move to Grundy, Alaska to get away from a mediocre boyfriend and her parents who are VERY involved in her life. I loved this little town and all it’s unique winterness and “you can be an outsider even if you’ve been living here for 10 years” attitude.

Right around the time of Mo’s arrival a series of wolf attacks begin and this is how Mo accidently stumbles upon werewolves and Cooper. She is pretty easy going about the werewolf thing… I would have been freaking out, especially considering the attacks. Mo takes it all in stride and discovers that she really likes it in Grundy and even though Cooper isn’t the most personal guy she likes him too.

The Characters

Guys, I loved Mo so much! She was down to earth and funny and for the most part just let things roll off her (which is something I wish I could be better at doing). Despite the fact that she went to Grundy to get away from her parents you can see that she still loves them (loves them more because of the distance). Once her and Cooper finally get together Mo doesn’t take any shit from him, which I appreciate.

Cooper is very standoffish, which is a little frustrating at first but when you learn why, you just go with it. He has reasons. He’s kept himself closed off but Mo knows how to get under his skin.

Evie is the first friend that Mo makes in Grundy and by far one of my favorite characters. She was awesome and hilarious and everything you want in a best friend. Her husband Buzz is pretty awesome too.

The Ending

Honestly, the whodunit took my by complete surprise. I don’t often give thought to who might be the bad guy (it’s not something I’m skilled at anyway) but when it all came it out near the end I had to stop the audiobook for a second to process.

The Narration

Amanda Ronconi narrates How to Flirt (as well as all of Harper’s other books) and she is fantastic. She does great accents and is a lot of fun to listen to.

The Best Quote

“There’s an inverse relationship between my temper and my ability to control my accent.  If you hear me say ‘Fiddledeedee’, run for the hills, because I’m getting ready to take out bystanders.”

The Verdict

If you like werewolves, laughing or Alaska, How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is for you!

Kimberly


Mar 09

In Bed With… Werewolves

In Bed With... 1

BlogHopInBedWithABook

In Bed With is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed!

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf How to Run with a Naked WerewolfToday I’m listening to The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper and when I finish I’ll be moving on to How to Run with a Naked Werewolf. (I seriously don’t like the cover for How to Run. It’s not nearly as cute as the first two in the series.)

I’m not a big werewolf fan but Molly Harper’s books are so funny I just couldn’t resist trying them, and it’s been worth it! Grundy is another cute small town and I love small town interactions! I also love listening to Harper’s books. They are narrated by Amanda Ronconi and she is fantastic!

I’ll be working so I’ll be getting in lots of listening today. If I have some time to read I’m going to pick up Starters by Lissa Price. I’m enjoying it so far and I find the idea of someone being “inside me” and taking control of me to be insanely creepy!

Kimberly


Mar 06

Review * Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Reviews 2 ★★

Review * Stardust by Neil GaimanStardust by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Published by HarperTeen on February 1, 1999
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Time: 6 Hours 27 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Catch a fallen star...

Tristan Thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester - and stumbles into the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of master storyteller Neil Gaiman's most beloved tales, and the inspiration for the hit movie.

The Story

To start with a bit of a disclaimer: I am not a fan of fantasy books, but this was our February book club pick and that’s why I read it. Given how fantasy like it is it is not a book I would have picked up on my own (which is the point of all the book club picks).

In the book Tristan goes chasing after a fallen star which he finds out to be a girl. I thought this was a cool and different idea and made things a bit more fun than just searching for a fallen star would be.

However this is where things went downhill for me. I was pretty lost and confused throughout the whole book. There were so many things that just didn’t make sense and it didn’t seem to flow very well either. We jumped from one thing to another and only half the things were explained. It was like Gaiman took a whole bunch of things, threw them in a pot and stirred it up without any thought of whether or not they would go together.

Tristan’s journey was just ok for me, probably because I was lost half the time. There were some funny things that happened to him, but mostly I just thought it was weird.

The Characters

  • Tristan:  the main character, the man on a quest. I didn’t like him, but I didn’t dislike him either. He wasn’t the brightest character and could be quite rude at times. His obsession with finding the star was also a bit annoying.
  • The Fallen Star: Tristan is looking for the fallen star to bring back to the girl he loves to prove his love. The Fallen star plays a large part in the story but I can’t really say what happens because of spoilers.
  • All the secondary characters: There are so many! Tristan meets a lot of people on his way. It was kind of Wizard of Oz-ish this way, except a way different group of people that he meets. Most of these people were very strange, but it shouldn’t be that surprising given that he was in an enchanted world and not his own.

The Narration

Neil Gaiman narrates Stardust himself, which is pretty cool. I’m sure that not every author has the voice for it, but he definitely did. It was easy to tell the different characters apart and his voice is quite melodic.

The Movie

The movie was a million times better. Most of the girls in book club who saw the movie did not have the same issues with the book that I did. Once I watched the movie it all came together and even though fantasy is still not my cup of tea, I did really enjoy the movie. The movie also had a different ending, which I also liked a lot better.

The Best Quote

“She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.”

The Verdict

If you like fantasy I feel that you’ll definitely like Stardust. If you aren’t a fantasy fan than proceed with caution. And maybe watch the movie first so you know what’s going on!

 

Kimberly


Mar 05

Waiting on… The Geography of You and Me

Waiting on Wednesday 4

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith which comes out on April 15.

Geography of You and MeLucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Why I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting because I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like. Jennifer E Smith excels in cute and I love cute!

Kimberly