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.

Monday, June 1, 2015

REVIEW for Insatiable




TITLE:            Insatiable

AUTHOR:       Shary Hauer

GENRE:          Memoir

RATING:         



I am a huge fan of memoirs and specifically, memoirs on addiction. I was thrilled when I discovered this book, purely by accident.

Author Hauer tackles a tough subject - one which many people will argue does not really exist. But I disagree with that - love addiction is real and my feeling is that everyone suffers from it (various degrees) at one point or another in our lives.

The author details her life - pretty much in and out of relationships that were, for some reason or other, not feeding her soul. It makes for captivating reading, almost like you are looking at her deepest secrets, while she struggles through them and there isn`t anything we can do to help her.

Hauer is very honest about her `shortcomings`in these relationships and its fascinating to see her slowly come to understand her patterns and her behaviours.

This book was a bit short for me, but it does give a jolt.

Excellent read.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

REVIEW for The Knockoff







I was lucky enough to get an e-galley of this book!  So thank you Doubleday.

TITLE:            The Knockoff

AUTHORS:     Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza


GENRE:          Chick Lit

RATING:         



I am rating this book a 4 star but with some reservation.  I guess it should be  3.5 star.  Why?  Because this book had the potential to be amazing and it was in some areas, but in others it simply wasn't.

I loved, loved the subject matter - fashion, technology and backstabbing.

Authors Sykes and Piazza do an amazing job with most of their characters and particularly our lead character Imogen.  I also loved Ashley and Eve is deliciously conniving and beyond arrogant that you really want to see her "go down".

The plot fashion -vs- technology or should I say "old fashion - fashion" taking on technology is fun, scary and all too plausible.

What does not work for me is the tangents the authors seem to need to take.  The story is moving along at a nice clip and I am enjoying the progression of the story and of the characters and all of a sudden, I get a long, long passage on some topic or rather, it feels like they needed to fill some space or ramble on and it removes from the fun of the storyline.

Nonetheless I truly enjoyed reading this book and was sorry it ended, so I definitely do recommend it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

REVIEW for The Truth About Us




TITLE:                 The Truth About Us

AUTHOR:            Janet Gurtler

GENRE:               YA

RATING:             


I truly enjoy reading this author's works. She writes realistic stories that are both sad and uplifting without going over the top silly.

The Truth About Us is basically a story about two young adults from very different worlds who want to come together despite everything. This book touched on a lot of emotions for me, at times, I found myself rooting for the characters and at the same time, I kind of saw why they could not be together. Its always a good sign for me when a storyline tears me in two - challenges me to think about a situation and question "what would I do if it were me?".

Very well written - I love that Gurtler uses day to day dialogue and does not fall victim to the "high prose" that many authors tend to do - if you have dialogue or a scene to discribe - don't take 10 pages to do it in.

I also enjoyed how none of the adult characters were particularly nice or were being portrayed as "knowing everything" - especially the moms of both of these characters and I won't even get into how much I disliked the dad in this one.

Excellent reading and excellent writing. I loved it.
 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

REVIEW for Insatiable


I was lucky enough to get both a hard copy and Kindle copy of this book (thank you NetGalley).

TITLE:       Insatiable

AUTHOR: Shary Hauer

GENRE:    Memoir

RATING:  

I am a huge fan of memoirs and specifically, memoirs on addiction. I was thrilled when I discovered this book, purely by accident.

Author Hauer tackles a tough subject - one which many people will argue does not really exist. But I disagree with that - love addiction is real and my feeling is that everyone suffers from it (various degrees) at one point or another in our lives.

The author details her life - pretty much in and out of relationships that were, for some reason or other, not feeding her soul. It makes for captivating reading, almost like you are looking at her deepest secrets, while she struggles through them and there isn`t anything we can do to help her.

Hauer is very honest about her `shortcomings`in these relationships and its fascinating to see her slowly come to understand her patterns and her behaviours. 

This book was a bit short for me, but it does give a jolt.

Excellent read.
 
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