Thursday, June 6th 2013

Review: Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Title: Meant To Be

Author: Lauren Morrill

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: November 2012

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley book.


Julia’s school trip to London should be exciting, taking in culture and history. But her plans change when she’s buddied with Jason, the class clown and all around crazy guy who can’t seem to stop breaking the rules.

Now Julia is starting to break some rules of her own. She’s always been waiting for her childhood crush, Mark, to come back into her life. But a mysterious texter, Chris, seems to have stolen her attention for now.

And what is going on with Jason, who seems more interesting than she first thought?

I’ll be honest. I first tried to read the book a few months ago, before it came out. But I was having a very hard time with Julia. She follows the rules, looks down on people, and has her nose a little bit too high in the air. So I put the book down and promised myself I would come back to it later. And I’m glad I did.

Julia is pretty unlikeable at the beginning of the book, but this just makes her challenges larger than anyone else in the story. By the end, I liked Julia and appreciated her journey.

Jason is on the far side of the spectrum too. Too outlandish, too childish. But again, his character changes in a different way than Julia. While Julia grows, reaching outward, Jason unfolds, exposing himself and his vulnerabilities.

The story is predictable, but not in a bad way. I still enjoyed reading about their adventures together in London. And the plot was fun, light and easy to read.

Overall, I think it’s a great summer romance book.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Thursday, May 30th 2013

Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Walking Disaster

Author: Jamie McGuire

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: April 2013

Genre: Young Adult/Adult (New Adult) Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Beautiful Disaster, Book One, ended and I have been looking forward to reading Walking Disaster ever since. It’s not a sequel, but more of a companion novel as the same events are told through Travis’s eyes.
I am one of the people who enjoyed Beautiful Disaster and thought this would be just another romantic and heartbreaking ride.

Sadly, I did not care for Walking Disaster.

I’m pretty open to companion books. I like the idea of seeing different things through other character’s point of view. I enjoy re-reading books so to say that I may have enjoyed it less because I knew what was going to happen already is a thin excuse. This edition added nothing to Travis and Abby’s story. If anything, I felt badly when it was over because of how little I liked them through the book.

Going into Walking Disaster, you already have a sense of Travis. Wounded, lashing out, short tempered Travis who goes through a big change through Book One. Book One we see how Abby is conflicted, how she falls in love with Travis, how she struggles with herself and her past.

In Walking Disaster, Abby comes across as an emotionally unstable girl whose love and attention swing so far back and forth, it’s a wonder I liked Abby at all! Without that added layer to Abby, she is too one dimensional and not very sympathetic. On the other hand, Travis’s narration is what really put me off. While some of the motivations for his actions are a little bit more clear, overall Travis comes across as a selfish, insecure brat who throws tantrums. The mystery is lifted and I don’t like what I see.

The romance lacked luster and heart this time around and I found myself skimming halfway through the book.

Overall, if you liked Beautiful Disaster, then check out Walking Disaster, at least to satisfy your curiosity.

Rating 4 Not My Cup of Tea

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Monday, May 27th 2013

Review: My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

Title: My Book of Life by Angel

Author: Martine Leavitt

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: September 2012

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


Angel meets Call in a mall and he soon becomes her boyfriend. And he soon starts asking her to do things. And he soon requires her to start doing things. And one day, he brings home a little girl. And he’s going to ask her to do things too… Will Angel find a way to save them both?

Tough book. Well written, hard to put down, but difficult subject matter.
I really liked the writing and Angel’s voice. You can hear how young she is, yet how mature she became. She is naive, hopeful, strong yet damaged. I don’t want to say too much about it because I think it needs to be experienced.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone, but I think most people should read it. It broke my heart, and gave me hope.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Thursday, May 23rd 2013

Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Title: Me Before You

Author: JoJo Moyes

Publisher: Viking

Publication Date: December 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.


I don’t know what to say.
I usually listen to audio books on my commute. So when Friday evening came, and I found myself sitting in my car in my driveway, with still half the audiobook to listen to, I decided to go inside and listen to “just one more chapter.”

Which turned into a very late night of me laying on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. Before dinner. After dinner. And finally, with my husband asleep next to me and the lights out, until 2am, when I finally finished Me Before You. And was a hysterical blubbering mess.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book.
I met friends for a fun Saturday afternoon the next day and they remarked upon how puffy my eyes were and how I looked very tired. Which of course then I had to explain to them why I was up all night, a sobbing crazy person.

Lou seems content with her small life, her simple existence. Will’s life was bigger, brighter, fun and in motion. They couldn’t be more different and that’s why their middle ground is so unstable. But coming from each side, both of these characters have a journey ahead of them through struggles and hardship and love that alter them so completely, my heart warms just thinking about who they were in Chapter One and who they became by the end.

This is not Chick Lit. It is not a conventional romance.

It is way more than that.
It’s a deep and thought provoking read about courage, living and love.

I listened to the well read audiobook and highly recommend it.
I also fear that reading the book would have been very difficult for me as I probably wouldn’t have been able to see the words from all the crying!

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while, and certainly the best one I’ve read all year.

Go get it.
I’ll wait. 


Now, let’s discuss…

Rating 10 One of The Best

Thursday, May 16th 2013

Review: Out of This Place by Emma Cameron

Title: Out of This Place

Author: Emma Cameron

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Date: May 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/ Realistic

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Luke, Bongo and Casey. Three point of views. Three very different lives.
The story, told all in prose, follows the three teenagers as they struggle towards the future and leaving who they were behind.

I’ll be honest. I was expecting a lot. I enjoy books in prose and have read quite a few of them. Sadly, these stories weren’t for me.

Each character has one third of the book to tell their story. Luke is the good guy, struggling to find his career path and finally get the girl he loves, Casey, who doesn’t seem to notice him at all. Casey has problems at home and wants to disappear, run away, start over. Bongo has been saddled with the worst family life and a potentially tragic path.

But for me, I found all of them to be removed, disjointed and lacking warmth and heart. In the middle of Casey’s story, I realized I didn’t really care about any of them. There are some secondary characters that weave in and out of the story but none of them feel solid or have much personality. In fact, all three of the main characters seem to have one voice. While their stories and situations are different, all three have the same voice, tone, reflection. I didn’t get a clear sense of different POVs.

Sadly, this was not the book for me.

Rating 4 Not My Cup of Tea

Thursday, May 9th 2013

Review: Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

Title: Love Water Memory

Author: Jennie Shortridge

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: April 2013

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Sweet and sad. Lucie Walker wakes up wading in the San Francisco Bay, with no memory, no ID and no cell phone. She has been missing for days, and cannot remember her whereabouts. Her fiance comes to collect her, a stranger she doesn’t remember. And there begins a journey of finding who she is, who she was and who she wants to be.

Beautifully written, I love this story. The writing flows elegantly, opening the heart sometimes and slowly breaking it other times. Lucie is torn, her struggles real and sad between being the person everyone expects her t be and the person she feels like she truly is. Grady is a beautiful character filled with insecurities, love and confusion. Really, the characters made this book for me. They leap off the page with love, warmth and struggle.

As Lucie uncovers her past, meets new friends and tries to reform a relationship with Grady, Grady does everything he can to remember that his old Lucie is gone and that there is a new Lucie in front of him. Who is she? And who can they be to each other?

I really enjoyed this beautiful story about identity, loss and memory. And how love weaves its way through it all.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy
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Saturday, March 23rd 2013

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Title: If You Find Me

Author: Emily Murdoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: March 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Carey and her little sister Jenessa wait patiently for their mother to come back. Days, weeks go by. And so they wait, in their little wooden shack deep in the woods, until a man comes. A man who knows their name, and takes them back to civilization. Their father.

Now Carey and Jenessa have to cope with being found, with a new family, a new life. And come to terms with what happened in the woods for all those years.

This book was remarkable in many ways. Carey is so strong, likeable and vulnerable. She is a complicated young girl who has gone through so much, you can’t help be rooting for her and her self sacrifice. Her voice is clear and solid, which makes her story even more heartbreaking and haunting. She loves her sister more than anything in the world and as the tale unfolds about her and Janessa’s past, it kept me on the edge of my seat.

The writing is so emotional. Both settings, the woods and their new home, come to life through Murdoch’s writing, giving the reader a clear picture of these two very different places. Carey’s bravery shines and Jenessa’s inner strength is revealed in subtle and lovely ways. Murdoch doesn’t need to spell everything out, but her perfect word choice in those uncomfortable moments are enough to make anyone’s imagination run wild.

Overall, heartbreaking and sad, but filled with hope and tomorrows.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy