1
Aug
You’re terrified of being alone. Anything you do now will be motivated by that fear. You have to stop worrying about finding love again. It will come when it comes. Get comfortable with being alone. It will empower you.
— This is Where I Leave You (via okiedokiesmokey)
29
Jul

{review} Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline 

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Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline
Publication Date:  August 12, 2014 (re-print edition)

Summary:  

On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer.  “I’ll be fine,” Jennifer says, as she walks away from the dying embers and towards the darkness of the woods. She never comes back.

Ten years later, Kathryn has tried to build a life for herself, with a marriage and a career as a journalist, but she still feels the conspicuous void of Jennifer’s disappearance. When her divorce sends her reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, she finds herself plunged into a sea of memories. With nothing left to lose, she is determined to answer one simple question: What happened to Jennifer Pelletier?  (Amazon.com summary)

Review:  My first reaction while reading this book was that it seemed incredibly dated.  Then I realized the setting was 1996, then I realized this is actually a reprint from 1999.  Reading a book from that time period was kind of odd.  No cell phones, no Facebook, limited technology.  The world was so different then!

Onto the actual story.  I was bored by it.  I found myself not caring about Jennifer’s disappearance, it wasn’t a huge mystery that I was dying to solve.  I pretty much guessed what happened once a certain character was introduced.  I just could not get interested in the plot, I was very bored by the whole thing.  Unfortunately, this made the book go very slowly.  I almost gave at after about 50 pages.

I’ve never read Orphan Train but it is on my TBR list.  I’m not too eager to read it after reading this.

Random Favorite Quote:  ”And you know there’s a path you’re supposed to be following in life - but that somehow, maybe because you wanted to, or maybe because it happened so slowly you didn’t even realize it, you’ve moved farther and farther away from it”

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

27
May

{review} The Actress by Amy Sohn 

The Actress by Amy Sohn
Publication Date:  July 1, 2014

Book Description:  A talented young actress. A leading man. A sexy secret. The role of a lifetime.

In this big, juicy literary novel from bestselling author Amy Sohn, an ambitious young actress discovers that every marriage is a mystery, and that sometimes the greatest performances don’t take place on screen.

When Hollywood heartthrob Steven Weller pulls Maddy Freed out of obscurity for a starring part in his newest, Oscar-worthy film, she feels her career roaring onto the express track. Steven’s professional attention soon turns personal as they are thrown together amid Europe’s Old World charm, and Maddy allows herself to tumble headlong into a fairytale romance with the world’s most eligible bachelor. She knows there’s no truth to the gay rumors that have followed him for years.

Yet what is it that Steven sees in Maddy that he has not seen in his string of past girlfriends? Steven tells her he is drawn to her stunning gift as an actress—her ability to inhabit a character so seamlessly, so convincingly, that it is nearly impossible to tell she is playing a role—a compliment that becomes more ominous as their marriage progresses. Ultimately, as Maddy’s own happiness and success grow intertwined with her new husband’s, she cannot afford to ask too many questions about Steven’s complicated past. But can she ignore her inner voice, and her instincts about her own worth?

Set in a tantalizing world of glamour and scandal, of red carpets and ruthless competition, of scheming agents and the prying eye of the press, The Actress is a romantic, sophisticated page-turner about the price of ambition, the treachery of love, and the roles we all play.  (SOURCE)

Review:  It was difficult to read this book without projecting certain actors into the roles.  So I read this book with a certain gray-haired playboy actor in mind.  While it was distracting to me at first, I was able to let go and read the book with an open mind after awhile.

I loved the inside look into Hollywood.  I don’t know how accurate it is, but I can imagine this scenario happening.  The question is why?  Why did Maddy fall for Steven?  To me, there were red flags all over the place, but she was so in love.  I did not like how she broke up with her ex.

I found parts of this book to be quite disturbing.  Steven was not a great character.  In fact, I was wondering how she “fell in love” so quick, it seemed obvious to me that it was a set-up.  Also, I found Steven’s behavior appalling. I really did not like that guy, therefore, could not relate to Maddy in the least.

One thing I liked about this book is that it made me realize not to take celebrity culture so seriously.  A lot of details are planned for publicity.  It was an easy book to read, and sometimes that is just what we need!  

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic.  All thoughts and opinions were my own.

24
Apr

{review} Nick and Tesla Series 

I was so excited when I was offered the chance to read these books.  I had never heard of the series, but knew it was something that a young, male reader in my family would love.  He loves science and experiments, but we often have trouble finding books for him to read.  He’s at an odd age and these books were perfect for him.

These books were easy to read and very entertaining.  I absolutely loved the science experiments sprinkled throughout.   My favorite part about these books is that they are DIFFERENT!  We can only read so many books set in a dystopian society.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those settings but it’s nice to change it up for once.  Nick and Tesla are smart kids who use their brains and logical thinking to get them out of sticky situations.  I loved how refreshing these books were for young readers. 

NOTE:  These books were provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

4
Apr

{review} Hidden by Catherine McKenzie 

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Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
Publication Date:  April 1, 2014

Book Description:  Why do people cheat? It’s a question we never seem to tire of asking. In Hidden, Catherine McKenzie takes a story as old as the institution of marriage and makes it new. What is so novel about her book—what hooked me from the beginning—is that it’s told in the voices of all three main characters: Jeff Manning, who is killed in a car accident; his wife, Claire, who struggles to pick up the pieces after his death; and Tish Underhill, Jeff’s coworker and friend. 

Of course, when you ask three witnesses to tell you about the same event, you get three different stories. Reading Hidden, I found myself torn in three directions—I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic to each character’s perspective. It’s no surprise that Catherine, a lawyer by day, has a keen sense of observation and an uncanny ability to tease out the flawed yet very human motivations behind her characters’ reckless actions. In this portrait of modern love and family obligations, she blurs the boundaries of fidelity and what constitutes a marital transgression. 

Was Jeff planning to walk away from the life he had built with Claire? Was Tish more than just a good friend? Will Claire ever discover if her suspicions are grounded in reality? 

A good domestic drama keeps us turning the pages at breakneck speed. A great one causes us to question even our most tightly held beliefs. Hidden does both. Just like I did, you’ll race through this book to uncover the truth.  (Source:  Amazon.com)

Review:  Catherine McKenzie is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, I really enjoyed the subject material and writing of her first few books.  I was so happy to see that she had a new book coming out!  I received this book from the publisher, but it was also one of the choices on Kindle First for the month of March which I thought was pretty awesome.

Books about adultery usually brings out a lot of loud opinions.  I’m not here to take a moral high ground on the issue of extramarital affairs.  I’m here to discuss the book and what I liked or didn’t like about it.  

I absolutely did not like the shared narration and random jumps back in time.  Of course it all ties together at the end, but was it necessarily a worthy reveal…no, it wasn’t.  Why didn’t I like this aspect of storytelling?  I personally found it very confusing.  There were no chapter names that would indicate whether Jeff, Claire or Tish was speaking.  In fact, it often took me a page to figure it out.  Obviously when Jeff’s point of view was given, we were flashing back but it should have been more clear to the reader. 

Also, I didn’t feel an emotional pull to Tish and Jeff OR to Jeff and Claire. With Tish and Jeff specifically, I did feel the pull of what might have brought them together.  I didn’t feel invested in their relationship, nor did I see the reasoning behind it.  

Though I did not enjoy this book as Catherine McKenzie’s other books, I will definitely keep reading her in the future.  I really enjoy how she takes controversial subjects and makes you think about them a different way.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

21
Mar

{review} Cassidy Lane by Maria Murnane 

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Cassidy Lane by Maria Murnane
Publication Date:  March 4, 2014

Book Description:  Bestselling author Cassidy Lane walks into her twentieth high school reunion with several novels under her belt, but no date on her arm, and deep down she still feels like the smart girl no one asked to the prom. Then handsome Brandon Forrester confesses his teenage crush, and soon Cassidy finds herself swept up in a modern-day fairytale romance not unlike the tales she spins for a living. While their relationship blossoms, however, the new book she’s writing isn’t going as well, and for the first time in her career she considers crafting an ending that doesn’t include a proverbial walk into the sunset. Contemplating the simultaneous reversal of her own romantic fortune and that of her protagonist’s is daunting, but maybe it’s time for both her writing and her personal life to take a new path. Or is it?

Filled with Murnane’s trademark wit and optimism, a charming cast of secondary characters, and loads of heart, Cassidy Lane will have you cheering for its heroine down to the very last delightful word.  (SOURCE:  Amazon.com)

Review:  I was not expecting to relate so much to this book.  I was expecting a fun, light read (my favorite kind), I was not expecting to relate so much to a 38 year old best-selling author.  Let’s get right down to it, Cassidy is in a funk.  Someone shows her a little attention and she gets all giddy, and rightly feels upset when it ends.  She is angry, but no one understands why.  Does she have a right to feel that way over a “text relationship”?  Yes!  Been there, done that Cassidy!

Cassidy is a best-selling author, why couldn’t I relate to that part?  This story takes us through her time writing a new novel.  Her process is interesting to read about, especially how she creates new characters.  I really enjoyed this inside look into the “glamorous” life of a writer.  

One thing I really loved was the ending.  I don’t mean that in a mean way either, I really liked how realistic it was.  In fact, when I read the ending of Cassidy’s book I got kind of angry because I didn’t realize it was her book, I thought it was the end of this book.  Thank goodness it wasn’t, it was too cutesy.  I enjoy reading a book that has a realistic ending.  Sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes guys just stop talking to you…and it’s OK!  I will, however, just ignore the last sentence…unless there is a sequel.

I really enjoyed this book, Maria Murnane has yet to let me down.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic… All thoughts and opinions are my own.

20
Mar

{review} On the Rocks by Erin Duffy 

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On the Rocks by Erin Duffy
Publication Date:  April 22, 2014

Book Description:  Six months ago, Abby’s life fell apart for the entire world to see. Her longtime boyfriend-turned-fiancé, Ben, unceremoniously dumped her—on Facebook—while she was trying on dresses for the big day.

When the usual remedies—multiple pints of Ben & Jerry’s, sweatpants, and a comfy couch—fail to work their magic, her best friend, Grace, devises a plan to get Abby back on her game. She and Abby are going to escape Boston and its reminders of Ben and head to Newport for the summer. There, in a quaint rented cottage by the sea, the girls will enjoy cool breezes, cocktails, and crowds of gorgeous men.

But no matter where they go, Abby and Grace discover that in this era of social media—when seemingly everyone is preserving every last detail of their lives online—there is no real escape. Dating has never been easy. But now that the rules are more blurred than ever, how will they find true love? And even if they do, can romance stand a chance when a girl’s every word and move can go viral with a single click?

 (SOURCE:  Amazon.com)

Review:  It’s been a long winter, very long.  I needed an escape, I needed the beach, I needed anything that would take my mind off of the snow and cold.  This book seemed like the perfect escape.

The book opens with Abby trying on wedding dresses, it’s very cringe-worthy because the reader knows what’s about to happen.  Her fiancé dumps her via Facebook.  Talk about dodging a bullet.  I found this little situation to be a little unlikely.  I know that social media is a huge part of our lives, but I would think a grown man could dump his future wife face to face.  It’s not as if he were an 18 year old boy.  So this aspect really annoyed me, but overall I could ignore that.

Cue the beach house!  Man, would I love to escape to the beach in a new town for a whole summer.  Unfortunately, the delightful setting couldn’t conceal my issues.  On one of the first nights out, Abby declares that she is going to go on two dates per week.  A lofty goal, sure, but there was absolutely no follow through.  In fact, several weeks passed before it was mentioned again.  Two dates per week would have been a fun idea for a book, I would have loved to hear about more of the dating failures.  She had a pretty big failure and awkward moment during the end of a date, paying the check has never been so awkward!

Social media has a very large presence throughout this book.  It’s kind of fun, but at the same time very frustrating.  It’s odd for me to write this on tumblr of all places, but I am so sick of social media.  I spend so much time tied to my screen, that I feel like I miss out on so much.  So while I appreciate was Duffy is trying to do by showing how social media rules our life, I found bits unrealistic…or maybe I live under a rock.  Do guys really decide that someone is not worth dating if they do not have a Facebook page?  I had never heard that! 

Overall, the writing was engaging and light.  Even though I found certain aspects to be annoying (don’t even get me started on her sister’s wedding), it did manage to get me out of my winter funk.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic…All thoughts and opinions are my own.