Tuesday, October 21, 2014

REVIEW for WildLIfe

Thank you to the wonderful people at HBG Canada for allowing me to read this boook.

TITLE:             Wildlife

AUTHOR:        Fiona Wood

GENRE:           YA


Sybilla and Lou are my new favorite book characters.  They are the perfect chemistry of love, acceptance, non acceptance, questioning and friendship.  

This story incorporates these wonderful people into the day to day life (and sometimes) crisis that happen in life, especially if you are just starting to feel your way along in trial and error.

Written with a soft touch that sounds real and honest, I found myself smiling and tearing up sometimes at the same time!  I loved this book.

I love books that have deeper meaning than just what is seen on the surface and this book delivers.  The characters are deep and rich and I love that there is no perfect ending all tied up with a cute little bow.  Well, at least, in my opinion, its not the perfect ending.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

REVIEW for Beyond Crazy

The wonderful people at James Lorimer Company offered me an e-galley of this book.  Thank you!

TITLE:        Beyond Crazy

AUTHOR:   Deb Loughead



This is a very quick read - got through it in one day, however, the book was engaging and kept me reading to the last line.

Stelle feels as though her entire family and life has gone off the rails and she is basically trying to keep it all together while going to high school and setting up a band.  Her mother is depressed and may be way too attached to things, her day and stepmother are having a baby and she is trying to get her dream of a band into a reality.  

This book is sweet and touching. I love that the main character is not some wise smacking kid who hates everyone and everybody, in fact, I would love to have a child like Stelle.  She is responsible, cares about people other than herself and is dedicated to her music.

Stelle is a character that I found myself cheering for and hoping for.  I wanted to see her succeed and have an easier life and this is thanks to the author who has done a fine job of telling us and showing us just how kind she is to the people around her.

As always, I find these books way too short, but I truly enjoyed the warmth this story gave me. 

A winner.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

REVIEW for The Intern

Thank you to HarperCollins for sending me a copy of this ebook.

TITLE:             The Intern

AUTHOR:       Gabrielle Tozer

GENRE:          Novel


After a few technical glitches, which were immediately addressed by the publisher, I happily started reading this book.

Actually, I think I should say I devoured this book  - I loved it.

The lead character Josie was so much fun and so prone to attracting weird situations that I could not help but root for her.

At the core of this story is someone who has always wanted to be in the glamorous, romantic and perfect business - the magazine industry.  However, as Josie quickly finds out, there is a huge difference between the "hype" associated with this business and the actual drudgery of the day to day.

This novel was actually an eye opener which, of course, made it even more fun to read.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Tour for The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in C.K. Kelly Martin's blog tour by reading her newest book - The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing.

In full disclosure mode, I love, love, love all of this author's books and, over the last few years, we have become nice FB friends - having quite a few things in common.  I am hoping to meet her at some point, since she lives in Canada.  In the meantime, I am thrilled to read The Sweetest Thing You Can Sign.

TITLE:                     The Sweetest Thing You Can Sign

AUTHOR:                C.K. Kelly Martin

GENRE:                    YA


I am a huge fan of Martin's writing and I absolutely loved this book.

Let's start with the fact that Serena has body image issues - which is something that is very close to my heart.  Being overweight plays with your head and your emotions and everything else (some of it you don't even realize is being affected) and let's say that it will lead you to do things that you would never do, if you didn't feel so bad about yourself.  Oh and did I mention "things that you would not normally do if OTHER people didn't make you feel so bad about yourself".

So, I am not surprised that Serena showed some singularly poor judgment which, now is coming back to bite her in the ass.  "Watch what you ask for, you might get it" popped into my head and just would not leave throughout this entire book.

Body images are not the only thing Serena is dealing with and through all of it, her little voice keeps telling her there is better - which she finds in Gage.
What follows is a touching friendship/relationship with ups and downs - which serves to help Serena grow.

This book is touching because it deals with a young girl who is struggling on so many levels.  Having said this, however,  I have to admit that C.K. Kelly Martin's books are always deep and touching.  But I especially identified with Serena who is just trying to figure out where she fits in this life.

The writing is down to earth and sensitive and I love, love that Serena is flawed.  So often, authors try to make their characters either too perfect or horrible and Serena is neither.

Yes, there are other characters in this story, but Serena is the story for me.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

REVIEW for Bones Never Lie

Thank you to the wonderful people at Bantam Books for letting me read this book in ebook format.

TITLE:                     Bones Never Lie

AUTHOR:                Kathy Reich

GENRE:                  Thriller


I have a love/hate relationship with Kathy Reichs.  I have said this before, I find she can be hit or miss, but for some reason, I still cannot stop reading her books compulsively.  I think this has something to do with the fact that I am really attached to the characters in her books, which is testimony to how well Reichs can engross her readers into her make believe characters.

Bones Never Lie is good because Reichs has focused the bulk of the story on her characters and their various dynamics.  Sliddell is back - one of my favorites and Reichs needs to give him (and her readers) the "skinny" on this guy.  I like the relationship between him and Tempe, but I would also like this character to have more dialogue than the myriad of grunts and shoulder shrugs.


Ryan is back and figures somewhat prominently in this book.  I like that the author did not bring him back "fixed and ready to go".  Something to develop in future stories.

Tempe's mother is brought into the forefront here which gave me another view into the Tempe character.

Finally, the story itself is a bit slow - there is not a lot of suspense in this one, but that's okay, because the story itself was interesting.  No need for car chases and such.

I liked this installment - more Birdie please would be great.

Monday, September 15, 2014

REVIEW for You

Thank you to the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book.

TITLE:                You

AUTHOR:          Caroline Kepnes

GENRE:             Contemporary Fiction/Thriller


Okay, full disclosure.  What first drew me to this book was the "bookstore" aspect. Yep, I am sucker for any book set in a bookstore, although to be fair, the bookstore is simply the basis where the two main characters meet.

I haven't been reading many thrillers (if I can use this term here) for a while now because so many of them are predictable.  Well, this book is anything but predictable and actually, the first word that came to mind is creepy, but not in a horror/supernatural way - rather, in a "this could happen in real life and scares me" kind of way.

Joe Goldberg works in a bookstore and he meets Guinevere Beck.  What should have simply been a brief encounter between two random people quickly turns into an escalating game of stalking which left me feeling scared as hell.

Its amazing to me that a book like this can even be written - but it makes sense.  It has become so easy for people to "follow" other people now and this book takes this aspect of our "social media" driven life and turns it on its ear but pushing to the brink of just how scary and horrible it is to actually put your life on display for everyone to read about.

Yes, I am conscious of the irony of my last sentence, considering I am posting this review on a public blog - but this book made me think and it made me scared.  Saying this book entertained me would be wrong because this kind of deprivation can hardly be called entertaining, but it was completely compelling and an engaging and commanding read.

I hated it for being so possible and loved it for being so "true".

Sunday, September 14, 2014

REVIEW for Stupid

Thanks to the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book on Net Galley.

TITLE:            Stupid

AUTHOR:      Kim Firmston

GENRE:         YA


Once again, another wonderful, wonderful book in this series.

Martin loves to film things and ends up in an abandoned building where he meets someone who will help him find direction in his life.  

Firstly, I have to say that the author does a wonderful job of describing the abandoned building (one of my personal favorite things to read about).  I actually felt as though I was there.  Secondly, as I am reading this book, I keep thinking "god, I am so happy I am not a YA today" between the over medication and the bullying, its tough out there and this book tackles this topic.

Martin finds a kindred spirit in Stick and together, they forge a bond that helps both of them figure out how to move ahead without screaming in frustration.

As always, well written, incredibly researched and sensitively presented, this book is a perfect read for everyone.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

REVIEW for The Buy Side

A huge thank you to Random House for reaching out to me with this book.

TITLE:             The Buy Side

AUTHOR:       Turney Duff

GENRE:          Memoir


I love, love reading memoirs that are honest and offer me an "all access" pass to a place or person that I would not normally be able to gain any info on.  The Buy Side delivers this and more.

This memoir, written about Wall Street truly exposes all the dark secrets that we may have suspected, but could never "put" our fingers on.

Author Duff obviously knows his stuff and, if he doesn't, he did a thorough job of investigating, except that this book is so well written and the stories (and people) are so well and thoroughly depicted that you just know that this memoir is about hands on experience and not about any information gleamed through research or found in any book.

I love that this book gives us a dirty but reality based looked at what the people on Wall Street really think about the rest of us and its scary as hell.

Well written, riveting, frustrating and even maddening, this book is a must read.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

REVIEW for Murder 101

Thank you so much to William Morrow for allowing me the opportunity of reading this ebook.

TITLE:                Murder 101

AUTHOR:           Faye Kellerman

GENRE:             Mystery/Thriller


I have read everything by Faye Kellerman.  She has really grown as an author and I love that she writes the same characters in every book - giving us the opportunity of growing with the "Decker" family.

Addtionally, I am so grateful that Kellerman has substantially toned down the religious aspect of her stories.  I have no problem with incorporating some religion in the story if it will make it move forward, but at some point, she was spending so much time telling us about Rena's beliefs and myriad of traditions that it seriously took away from the storyline - after all, this is a thriller - not a book on religion.

Why I liked this story so much?  The combining of Decker and Harvard was perfect.  At first, I wasn't sure, but by a few chapters, I was loving the back and forth between the two partners.  It was amusing and engaging and I felt myself rooting for them to remain partners......

The whodunit is mild enough - a theft of art that ends up being a homicide which Decker investigates through NYC and Boston (great way for Kellerman to get Decker back in the big city for a bit).

A word of warning, when you start reading this book pay very close attention because there are so many people "involved' in this "art" theft/murder that you are going to lose the thread if you don't pay attention.  Ditto on the details about which country stole what heirloom.  I think Kellerman could have toned it down a bit here.

However, in true Kellerman style, while there is a bit of action, the story is mostly about solving the mystery with brains and good old fashion investigating.

The one thing that Kellerman still needs to do is tone down the propaganda when it comes to Rina.  Wow, between Decker, Harvard and absolutely everybody else in this story, Rina is made out to be a saint.  She never says anything wrong, every person around her loves her instantly, she is welcome at meetings where she should clearly not be and she is the center of absolutely everyone's world.  Its getting old and it feels fake and takes away from the rest of the story.

Honestly, I think the future stories would highly benefit from reducing Rina's role SIGNIFICANTLY or better still, remove her completely.

Overall though, this was a strong book.

Monday, August 18, 2014

REVIEW for Charlie Glass'S Slippers

Thank you to the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster for letting me read this book.

TITLE:              Charlie Glass's Slippers

AUTHOR:         Holly McQueen

GENRE:            Chick Lit

RATING:          4 Stars

Okay, first off, this book had me with a) its wonderful cover and b) the fact that its chick lit and is proud of it!!!

Unfortunately, the genre has really gotten a beating in the last few years and I am just so happy that some authors have not decided to "jump ship" but rather, continue to write amazing stories in the genre.

Charlie Glass's Slippers is a new and chick "litty" take on the Cinderella story and I loved it.

Charlie has had a rough life, including a sick parent and serious body image issues.  However, she gets "lucky" and comes into some $ - this is her chance, with this money her life will become what she wants it to be and now, she can get slim and everything will be perfect.

While I loved the fluffier parts of this story, I really engaged in the back story - the one where Charlie finds out that life is not neat and perfect if you get rich and slim - in fact, it doesn't fix what is hurting inside.

Told with voice that makes you want to embrace Charlie, I found myself hoping that Charlie would actually decide NOT to end up in a relationship and to keep discovering who she is and how strong she can be on her own.

The writing was fun and engaging and unlike many novels I have read in the recent past, does not fall flat with too many boring details.

This book is written for all lovers of chick lit - yes! but also for anyone who has always wondered if it is greener on the other side (watch what you ask for, you might get it!).
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