From the cover (the couple on the truck), to the setting (small-town Virginia), to the first lines of this book ("The ingredients for moonshine are orFrom the cover (the couple on the truck), to the setting (small-town Virginia), to the first lines of this book ("The ingredients for moonshine are ordinary. Innocent."), I had high hopes that I would love My Best Everything. I do and not only for these reasons. I loved the characters and their friendships and the fun times they had together, but also all of the complications the experienced. The book takes place the summer after graduating high school and this is their last summer together and they are starting to make major life plans.
On of the main things I liked about My Best Everything is the setting. She described life in a small town genuinely. I should know, I am from one of the small towns mentioned in this book. And she portrayed summer as a teenager in a small-town perfectly:
You go tubing down the river with your friends. You take long drives on country roads with no destination, you just drive because it makes you feel free. You hang out with your best friends, doing things that you know will get you in trouble, but luckily, you never get caught. You do to field parties that, for whatever reason, never get busted by the cops. You fall in love with the place you are from and make some of the best memories of your life. But you continue to wonder is this all you will ever know.
I have to admit seeing the names of towns I know mentioned throughout the book was a head trip for me. (I mean these are tiny towns, really) I tried to figure out if some of the places were real places that I know, places that I've seen. This made me feel connected to the book and absolutely adore it. Because I got it. And I knew this character. She was the teenage me. I knew the desperation she felt trapped in this small town that didn't seem to have a lot to offer. I knew the feeling of wanting to escape and be in a new place where I could be myself where people understood me. And I also knew what it was like to meet that boy who colored my world in unexpected ways and made me reconsider everything.
I loved My Best Everything for the friendships, the romance, for the fun. I loved it for the nostalgic feeling I had. I connected with this book on such a personal level. I can't wait to find out what my friends think about it and how their experience reading it differs from mine. There is so much to take away from My Best Everything and I think each reader will find their own connection to it. ...more
CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel needs to come with a warning label because READERS, you'll need to hold on, you're about to go on a wild ride. From theCLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel needs to come with a warning label because READERS, you'll need to hold on, you're about to go on a wild ride. From the very first pages, in fact the first few paragraphs, I was entranced by what would become one of the most exhilarating books I've ever read.
CLEAR will give readers a rush of adrenaline. It's so sensual and erotic, and not just because of the sexytimes (which are awesome!). Park digs deep and delivers an emotionally complicated story. There are moments when I questioned, should I be having this kind of reaction to what is going on? And the only answer is a resounding YES!
At one point the book was so intense I had to put it down, take a breather and step away. I was scared of what was going to happen to the characters and for every moment that I wasn't reading, I couldn't stop thinking about them.
Fans of Park's books will gladly embrace her unique style and demand more books like CLEAR. Readers who are just discovering her books for the first time will thank their lucky stars that they have more books to devour.
CLEAR is beyond remarkable. I loved it. I can't stop thinking about it. I want to yell at my friends to READ IT NOW. I plan to read it again and again. And I WILL! ...more
When I read Lisa Burstein's Sneaking Candy, I thought how I would love to read one of the novels written by Candy Sloane, "the naughty, impulsive, eroWhen I read Lisa Burstein's Sneaking Candy, I thought how I would love to read one of the novels written by Candy Sloane, "the naughty, impulsive, erotic romance author" (this is how I described her). Just a little over a year later, I got what I wanted with the publication of The Reality O.
As a fan of too much reality TV, I liked how the book is set up with each chapter being a different themed episode. Thank goodness I didn't have to "stay-tuned until next week" to find out what happened. I thought the contestant names, ala Flavor Flav, were hilarious with each person fulfilling a certain "type" as most reality shows are typically cast. I liked how they didn't take themselves too seriously and laughed together and made the whole experience fun.
The Reality O is hilarious and awkward and hot and steamy and hits all the right spots. Even just half-way into the story I knew I wanted more books like this one! I loved the chemistry between the main characters and this secret that they shared. It was playful, yet so, so hot! This book is definitely for the 18 and over crowd.
I made all of my friends read Sneaking Candy - I even gave a copy to my mother-in-law because I knew that she would enjoy the fun story and romance. The Reality O is another book I will definitely tell all my girlfriends to read! But I might not share this one with my mother-in-law (unless she likes that kind of thing!)...more
Whispers from the Dead, the newest title in the Serenity's Plain Secrets series, is an intense mystery, full of danger and intrigue. I've come to lookWhispers from the Dead, the newest title in the Serenity's Plain Secrets series, is an intense mystery, full of danger and intrigue. I've come to look forward to reading novels by this author and about the lives of the characters she creates. One of the things I love is that Hopkins is a master at creating an opening scene that grabs the reader immediately, leaves them rattled and then curious for more.
Another thing I love about this series is the main character, Serenity. I like reading about her because she isn't a character that lets things happen to her. She's a take charge kind of woman. She is gutsy and instinctual. She takes chances, but she isn't always all business. Her inner dialogues reveal her humor, but her longing too.
When I finished the Lamb to the Slaughter, I wanted to know more about the relationship between Serenity and Daniel and I got it. Serenity is continuously at battle with her feelings for Daniel because of past relationships, but she is beginning to see that Daniel shouldn't be judged on the actions of other men from her past. There are few interactions between them, but it is obvious they are important to each other.
If the first two books of this series are any indication of how the each book will continue, each story will take place in a different community. I really like this technique, but I enjoyed some of the characters in this book that I wouldn't mind revisiting them in the future. (And there are a lot of characters in this book, it took a while to get them all sorted out and remember who was who and what connection/relation the characters had to each other.)
I really loved Whispers from the Dead. I don't want to say that is my favorite by this author because I find myself saying that with each book that I read, but this one is near the top. I am a fan of Karen's books, her writing style, the Amish setting, and her characters. I will continue to read her books as fast as she can publish them and share them with readers....more
Love, Lucy was a great book that I read along with my friends. I hadn't heard much about it before receiving it for the YALLFest Blogger Gathering, buLove, Lucy was a great book that I read along with my friends. I hadn't heard much about it before receiving it for the YALLFest Blogger Gathering, but my friends had. Their excitement over this title was contagious and after I started reading it, I understood why.
There is travel, romance, college life, and self-discovery. I liked seeing Italy through Lucy's eyes and falling in "something" with Jesse Palladino. He definitely is crush-worthy.
One of my favorite terms from Love, Lucy was "vacation flirtation" - referring to the quick romance you experience while on vacation. This sounds like something my best friend and I would have termed. I liked this story so much. There were times that I wanted more development, more answers to questions that I had about secondary characters, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Five Things I Want to Do After Reading Love, Lucy 1. Travel abroad. This is a given. Grab a backpack and go! 2. Watch Roman Holiday. Lucy mentions it a few times and recreates a scene for a picture. I've never seen it and now I want to. 3. Read A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. Love, Lucy is an adaptation 4. Watch a live musical. Or maybe just sing along loudly to a musical soundtrack. 5. Read more books by April Lindner....more
The title A League of Her Own immediately makes me think of the movie A League of Our Own about the all-female baseball league and the important4.5/5
The title A League of Her Own immediately makes me think of the movie A League of Our Own about the all-female baseball league and the important role of women played in sport of baseball. While Heather, the main character of A League of Her Own no longer plays ball, she, like the women in the movie (and in history) is trying to make her way in a predominately male-run industry.
I enjoyed reading about Heather and Garrett. In many ways Heather is someone to be admired. Her strength of character shines through in decisions that she makes. She wants what is best for the team and strives to make the players better. Garrett has a lot going for him too. He is trying to recover from a rocky past and makes an effort to be better. They are on parallel paths to prove they were good enough and deserved their successes. They showed doubts and struggles that I related to and that made me want to read more about them.
There is an undeniable attraction between Heather and Garrett. There is a level of admiration of their athletic capabilities (well there is after Heather has to show Garrett what's up), but they both are hesitant to act on their attraction. Heather's role as manager and Garrett's past make the both keep their guard up. Through her writing, Rock creates just enough tension to make me wonder: Are they ever going to figure a way to make this work?
As in Rock's previous books, I like that the story is set in a small town. In A League of Her Own, we read about the struggles of a town that relies on industry in order for the community to not just thrive but to simply survive. Without a major money maker, the town will cease to exist. Heather understands the importance of the baseball team and the impact its success and the influence it has on the community.
Rock is an author whose stories I really enjoy. They are human, relatable, and a new go-to when I want to read a sweet romance. I look forward to the stories Karen Rock gives her readers next. ...more
Alice + Freda Forever is a fascinating and compelling read. Alexis Coe, through her research and presentation, captures the cultural climate of t4.5/5
Alice + Freda Forever is a fascinating and compelling read. Alexis Coe, through her research and presentation, captures the cultural climate of the time, as she shares the story of Alice Mitchell and Freda Ward.
I enjoyed how the story is presented through narrative, images, and letters. The Introduction was most helpful to explain Coe's motivation and intent for sharing their story. It is more than just a love story gone wrong. It takes a look at the aftermath of an unfathomable situation.
The media sensationalism of 1892 could be compared to the methods of reporting the news of today presenting whatever makes a good story regardless to the amount of truth that exists. She also reflects on the science of the time when not much clinical science is involved. I am amazed (although I shouldn't be) how much of "fact" was actually speculative opinion.
What I was most surprised about their story was how much of it wasn't actually their story, but it is story about public perception, political and personal motivation. Even with all of the newspaper articles, letters, recounted stories, so much about Alice and Freda still remains a mystery. Readers interested in gender studies, history, true crime stories, and even folklore will want to read this book.
When I discovered that she was starting a new young adult series, I knew immediately that I would read it. I love her stories and the obstacles she places between her main characters. Embers, The Wings of War, is a story about angels and the continuing struggle between good and evil. There is action, adventure, drama, moments of intense horror, and forbidden love.
Going in reading Embers and knowing it is a series, I expected a lot of back story and world building and it was there. I got just enough detail to keep it interesting, but not too much detail that it was overwhelming or distracted from the story. There were a lot of characters introduced and each played their own role in the story. There were situations in the story that reminded me of Twilight (I know there are other books to compare it to, but Twilight is what I initially thought of, and hey, I like Twilight so this is a good thing), especially the histories of the older characters and how their lives influenced what was happening in the current day.
Embers is a very action driven story. We meet Ember and she is thrust into this new life living with her aunt, going to a new school (for the first time), and she learns that she has powers that she never knew she possessed. She seems to take it all in stride, until she meets the boy from her dream, Sawyer. There is an immediate curiosity which becomes attraction. I wouldn't call it insta-love, because whatever is there, it is a part of them, and it can't be fought.
The moments between Ember and Sawyer were intense. Sometimes smoldering (read the story and you will understand the pun). I got to see glimpses of who they were, but I wanted to know more about them. I wanted more moments between them when they weren't overwhelmed by the dangerous drama of their lives. I hope that there are more of those "normal" interactions between them in the next book.
There are some unanswered questions (as with any first book of a series), but Embers doesn't end with a major cliffhanger. I know that there is more to the story and expected it to end with an introduction to a new element to the story. And I can say that it makes me wish I had the next book in the series IN MY HANDS RIGHT NOW! I can't wait to find out what happens!!