Tuesday, August 25, 2015

REVIEW for Stranded

I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars - but I don't have that option on Goodreads. That, in a nutshell, describes my feeling for this book. At times I found the story to be a 3 with some 3.5 moments.





Thank you to Simon Pulse for giving me an ebook copy.



TITLE:         Stranded

AUTHOR:    Melinda Braun


GENRE:        YA/Action/Adventure

RATING:       


I love, love books that feature some kind of "stranded" scenario, especially if it is us against mother nature. Unfortunately, I haven't read many of these types of books and I get that they can be a challenge to write.

Stranded is not horrible at all - unfortunately, while the story could have been compelling, I found it a bit slow and at times, highly repetitive. I also am still scratching my head, after finishing the book, because I have basically NO clue about most of the characters. There is absolutely ZERO fleshing out of the characters - very little back story and, to be honest, very little depth to them even while the story is unfolding. I would be sort of okay with this, if it meant the author took the opportunity to throw us into a frantic, scary and engrossing story of survival - but that is not the case.

Yes, I loved the fact that the action basically starts from the first paragraph and I was surprised at how quickly the bad stuff starts to happen - all promising great things to follow. Unfortunately, these do not really materialize.

The story of survival is okay and I wasn't skipping entire pages, I did read it through, but I often kept thinking - "didn't we just read something similar in the last chapter?".

Finally, the end feels a bit rushed - it could have been detailed a little more. This is an unusual comment for me, as I often feel as though authors give too many details or use them as filler - but Braun did not do that here and, for the most part, I appreciated it - except it felt as though the last part was way tooooo short on details.

So, a 3 star rating for most of the story and a 3.5 for starting the book with a bang.

Its an okay read, just not as creepy or suspenseful or scary as I would have liked.
 



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

REVIEW for Speaking in bones




A big thank you to Simon & Schuster for granting me access to the digital copy on Netgalley.


TITLE:                 Speaking in Bones

AUTHOR:           Kathy Reichs

GENRE:              Thriller

RATING:            


I have read all of Kathy Reich's books and I have stated, in the past, that these are always hit or miss for me - its like unwrapping a box of chocolates, you never know exactly what you will find.

Speaking in Bones is average.  I would actually rate it 3.5 stars.  I didn't hate it, but there also wasn't much in the storyline to make me stand up and take notice.  Its a nice read.  Its not particularly exciting and by the midway point, you are pretty aware of who is doing what and why.

I was disappointed that Reichs did not take advantage of a, what I would consider, the perfect subject matter to create tension and suspense.  Instead, this book felt kind of basic, like she had to get something written so she put only about 50% of herself into writing this one, which I just don't get since the subject matter could have sprouted so much more.

I did read through it and I wasn't bored, I just wasn't involved and engaged.

I also actually thought that Reichs was considering going into another direction with the whole Ryan/Tempe relationship - unfortunately I was wrong.  As much as I like Ryan as a character, it feels as though this relationship is down (to me anyway) but apparently the author has another idea with a ploy at the eleventh hour that I thought was more manipulative than beneficial - but I guess we will have to wait and see on that one.

Overall, not a horrible read, just nothing particularly exciting either.

Monday, August 10, 2015

REVIEW for If You Leave Me, Can I come with You?



A huge thank you goes out to Claire McKinneyPR, LLC, for sending me a hard copy of this book.

TITLE:            If you Leave Me,  Can I Come with you?

AUTHOR:     Misti B.


GENRE:        Spiritual/humor


RATING:      4 STARS


I have strayed from reading daily meditations and this book has brought me back to doing it every morning.

If you Leave Me, Can I come with you? is both endearing and empowering, some days the meditation is funny and irreverent and other days, it is more thoughtful and deep. Having said that, however, I loved getting up in the morning and thinking "I wonder what I will get today?".

This book takes difficult subjects (spirituality, growth and introspection) and turns all of it into something fun - it doesn't feel like "work" it feels deep, funny and interesting.

There are many  Al-Anon references and the book does focus mainly on co-dependency issues, but the good news (or bad!) is that everyone, in my opinion, is co-dependent of something/someone - so this book is for absolutely everyone.

Some pages/passages/sentences made me sit and pause more than others, but the book is written as a humourous tool to help us get through the day, one funny day at a time.

I recommend you buy this one and read it every morning, its a great way to start your day.  


Saturday, August 1, 2015

NOTHING TO READ



You might have noticed that I haven't been posting many book reviews lately and the reason is I HAVE NOTHING TO READ.

Unlike this picture, I actually don't have book hauls just waiting for me.  I usually have one or two books "in reserve" whether ebooks or actual hard copies, but for the last few weeks, I have not been able to find ANYTHING interesting to read.

I already am not a huge fan of summer for a variety of reasons (much prefer spring and fall) but one of the major reasons is because publishers seem to go into hibernation, as can easily be witnessed on NetGalley and Edelweiss where there have been so few books listed, its discouraging.

I have absolutely not problem paying for my books, which is why I have been trolling Amazon for weeks now, hoping to find a little "gem" - it hasn't happened.


Today, I plan on hitting Indigo - our local bookstore and do what I use to do in the good old days, go up and down the aisles perusing each book until I find some undiscovered read.


Wish me luck!


I hope you have some great books waiting for you :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

REVIEW for Paperweight



A huge thank you to HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity of reading this wonderful book through Edelweiss

TITLE:             Paperweight

AUTHOR:        Meg Haston

GENRE:            YA



RATING:           

Can I tell you how much I loved, loved this book?

Eating Disorders - two words that should not go together but they do.  In Paperweight, the author takes a hard, harsh look at loss and eating disorders.

Suffering myself from an ED, I felt so much while reading this story.  Hate, frustration, envy, fear and most of all sadness that we use our beautiful bodies so badly to express our fears and self hatred of ourselves, our lives and of the people around us.

Written with an extremely clear voice, the author makes no judgments.  She explores the harsh reality behind a disease that has been hidden for too long.

Stevie, the main character is broken - from the loss of her mother and her beloved brother, she blames herself.  She buries it deep inside and decides that she needs to kill herself - with food.

What I found so sad and at the same time engrossing was the complexity of Stevie's disease.  She thinks she has anorexia (she is proud of it) only to be diagnosed with bulimia - which just adds to her hatred - she can't even do THAT right!

I like the author's pace and our discovery, little by little of what is going on in Stevie's head as well as the other girls at the rehab.  I like Stevie's "shrink" and most of all, I find myself rooting for all of these girls/women who hate themselves.


Thank you to the author for delivering such a wonderful book on a difficult and harrowing subject matter - there needs to be so many more of thee books - it makes me feel as though I am not alone.

Monday, June 29, 2015

REVIEW for What Pretty Girls are Made Of


Thank you to Susannah @ Vpublicrelations and Theresa @ Simon&Schuster for giving me the opportunity of reading this book.

TITLE:         What Pretty Girls are Made of

AUTHOR:     Lindsay Jill Roth


GENRE:       Chick Lit /Fiction

RATING:      


As you may have noticed, I actually classified this in the chick lit genre and for those of you who may be upset by this, I say "get over it".  I am a huge, huge lover of chick lit and to me, the designation of chick lit is a compliment.  Unfortunately, there are too few books written in this genre now and chick lit has gotten a very bad wrap for no reason.

Having said all of that (rant over) I am thrilled that Roth chose to write a book that "dares" to go down this road.  Actually, I should rephrase that by saying "I am glad she wrote a great chick lit book".  I have read my share of horrible chick lit and I am happy to report that this one is wonderful.

This book has been compared to "The Devil Wears Prada" and while I see why they would use this comparison, I actually liked this book more than I did "Devil".  I think this is mainly because the character of Alison Kraft was more defined to me.  By that, I mean that I actually really connected with her from the first paragraph.

I thought Roth did a fantastic job of fleshing out her character - right down to the introspection that makes her want to do more, to discover more about life, once she realizes that she is not happy where she is.  This character spoke to me throughout the book - especially when she finds herself, thrilled, scared and passionate - all at the same time.

The descriptions of what it is like to live in the world of "cosmetics" with people searching to become somebody they wish they were,  made me feel as though i was right in the middle of that glamorous???? world and wow! let's hear it for a a bunch of insecure and unhappy people.

The love story was okay, but for me, this book is about Alison and the situations she finds herself in - either by design of sheer fluke.

Well written, although, at times the pace slowed a little too much for me,  I would not hesitate to recommend this book.  

REVIEW for Calling Maggie May



A huge thank you to the wonderful publisher for releasing this book for me on NetGalley.


TITLE:               Calling Maggie May

AUTHOR:          Anonymous

GENRE:              YA

RATING:           



I have read all of the books in this series and have found them captivating, scary and very, very intense - I love them.

However, I found this book was slow, very slow. We also don't really get a good feel for the main character - yes, I get that she feels stiffled and controlled, but the author really painted her as very one dimensional and frankly, not very bright. It took away some of the pleasure for me.

I know that these books are intense and while I found myself invested in the book, It just did not captivate me like the others have done.

Once again, though, this book touches on sensitive issues that are unfortunately all too real, the author doeas not shy away from the truth and the reality of what life can be for some people - still - it just did not quite hit the mark for me.
 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

J'Adore Montréal



TITLE:             J'Adore Montréal

AUTHOR:        Isabelle Laflèche


GENRE:           Chick Lit

RATING:        

I love Isabelle Lafleche's books. I discovered them, by sheer fluke, a few years ago and as soon as I started reading J'Adore New York, I was hooked.

J'adore Montréal is the newest member of the family, unfortunately, it is, at this point, a short story, but nonetheless, I was thrilled that a) Isabelle was offering us something new in the series and b) the setting is my hometown.

Catherine is back and so is Rikash (I love him, although I always think his name is Rishkah) and they are spending some time in Montréal, enjoying a Dior event at one of the classiest places in town. Of course, Catherine cannot stay out of trouble and soon finds herself caught up in a situation that made for some entertaining and fun reading.

Even though this is a short story, Catherine`s style, class and intelligence still find their way into the story, I loved that Isabelle kept Catherine honest and true to herself. Of course Rikash was as always, funny and scary - every time I read a passage involving him, I feel like I am looking at a speeding train that may or may not stop in time - its wonderful and adds a little bit more spice to the story.

Let`s face it - Catherine and Rikash are great together and THEY are the story - oh let`s not forget the glamorous Dior - never far from being a central character and in this story, beautiful Montréal is front and center.

Isabelle is a Montrealer - which makes her Montréal based story authentic. Her descriptions of the stores, of the food and of the 'style' of Montréal are spot on. Making this an even more entertaining read for me.

I need this to come out as a full book.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A BEA RECAP BREAKFAST WITH CINDY





As you know, I did not attend BEA this year.  Fortunately, my friend and fellow Montreal blogger Cindy did, which meant that I would get to hear all about the event - at our usual BEA Recap Breakfast- something we have been doing for the last three years, because I haven't gotten to attend BEA since 2012.

First though, Cindy dropped by my house bright and early this morning to "drop" off a few "goodies".  I love how Cindy's definition of goodies is like a ton of stuff.  I unpacked everything when I got back from breakfast and I literally did not have enough room to layout everything so I could take pictures.

Granted not everything is BEA related - Cindy is a lover of cosmetics and has been purging some of her stuff in the last year and that means I happily inherit it - all of it is brand new, never opened and since I cannot possibly "use" everything she gives me, I, in turn, give it to my friend Sharon, who takes a few items and then turns around and offers the rest to her co-workers.  Talk about paying it forward LOL...


Here is a breakdown of the BEA stuff I received:


  • 5 beautiful tote bags, one actually has my last name on it and my favorite bag has a pictures of ladies in a book club (antique style!) ;


  • Two great magnets for my fridge (including one that says I books NYC;
  • Magazines she picked up at BEA
  • A finished copy of - Exposed by Judith Graves
  • and..... three advanced copies:
She also brought back the Publishers Weekly magazines that are given out on each show day.

For the non BEA stuff, Cindy brought along for me:

  • Magazines
  • Hello Kitty Cologne
  • A TON of eye make up (see the bag on the couch in the first picture, that is full, full)
  • A TON of nail polish (yes, there are dozens and dozens of bottles in this bag)

Soooo, I have taken a bunch of items myself and now, Sharon is heading over here to get the rest of the stuff (and believe me, it looks like I didn't even make a dent - there is so much left).

After I received my goodies, we left for breakfast and had a great meal at our favorite little cafe. For some reason, neither one of us took pictures today, but we normally do.

We had a great talk and recap of BEA - it was fun to hear all about it and while I was sad not to go to BEA, it does not sound like I missed anything major.  As for the books they were giving away, because I am so picky about what I read (no vampire, no undead, etc) I would probably have ended up bringing home like 5 books and guess what !  Cindy brought them back for me so its win-win.

Before going our separate ways, we went to a quick flea market held in the yard at the elementary school I use to go to.  It felt weird being back there, especially since they added all these extra buildings to the main school!




Lots and lots of kids stuff for sale - which neither Cindy nor I needed, but I did pick up some Thomas the Tank books for my friend's son and JOY!!!! I found a Hello Kitty for me - it needs to go into the laundry, but otherwise it is in excellent condition.

What a good day.  Thank you Cindy of Cindysloveofbooks.com  (you know I am horrible with html and tagging LOL) you are generous, as always.  GO VISIT HER BLOG :)




REVIEW for "You look like that Girl"







Thank you so much to the wonderful Felicia at Beaufort Books for sending me a hard copy of this book.


TITLE:                "You Look Like that Girl"

AUTHOR:           Lisa Jakub


GENRE:              Memoir


RATING:           





I actually requested this book from the publisher - I was dying to read it.

In full disclosure mode, I have never seen Mrs. Doubtfire and I didn't know who Lisa Jakub was, but the title of the book attracted me and when I read a little more about the book and the author, I realized that I wanted to know more about this person.


Jakub has lead a very interesting life which she details here.  I loved that she doesn't go on and on about certain aspects of her life - giving us way more detail than we need.  There is no "juicy gossip" here or "tidbits that we can fixate on".  Rather, Jakub writes about her life in a very philosophical manner, making this book very engrossing for me.


I am also a searcher and a person who wonders about my past life, my present life as well as about the people and events in it.  Jakub writes about being happy, then wondering why she wasn't quite as happy.  She writes about her insecurities and her search for something that will make her happy.  She is extremely honest as she writes her story and this book felt almost like a diary at times.


We are witness to Jakub's inner thoughts and feelings and I felt as though I was along on her journey to discover what comes after "the career". 


She writes very eloquently and is extremely down to earth.  I loved, loved this book.
 
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