I loved this book, you guys! I read it in one sitting because I absolutely had to see where things were going – and then, how they’d turn out. Ruth ReI loved this book, you guys! I read it in one sitting because I absolutely had to see where things were going – and then, how they’d turn out. Ruth Reichl is known for writing memoirs, and this is her first published novel. It’s pretty dazzling! It switches back and forth between past and present – starting with Billie, working in a really cool old mansion that used to house a prominent food magazine.
This book is totally kooky. The main character, known as Monocle, is having more trouble breaking into the London literary scene than he expected, soThis book is totally kooky. The main character, known as Monocle, is having more trouble breaking into the London literary scene than he expected, so he grabs a job at a gastro-pub to pay the rent. His co-workers are a bunch of complete weirdos, some in a good way (and some not so much). There is also a deadbeat dad and a local crime lord in the mix…
I’m definitely gonna keep things vague here, but if you enjoy space operas – or even urban fantasy – with a good dose of romance, you should be RUNNINI’m definitely gonna keep things vague here, but if you enjoy space operas – or even urban fantasy – with a good dose of romance, you should be RUNNING to the closest possible place you can pick these books up! I mean, there are space pirates, big blobs of death, hot dudes with black scales and creepy, insane little girls. What else could you ask for?
I loved this story so incredibly much, I can barely form words. A.J. Fikry is a bookseller on a charming small island, but charming is definitely notI loved this story so incredibly much, I can barely form words. A.J. Fikry is a bookseller on a charming small island, but charming is definitely not a word you would use to describe him when the story opens. He is cranky, alone and barely a notch above completely miserable. By the time the story is over? Everything has changed. Also, you will have done the whole laughing/yelling/crying trifecta all the best books cause you to experience
You guys, I don’t think it’s possible to love a series more than I do this one. Also, I swear – each one just keeps getting better! No one – and I meaYou guys, I don’t think it’s possible to love a series more than I do this one. Also, I swear – each one just keeps getting better! No one – and I mean no one – can write seduction like Laura Florand. The writing is so lush and gorgeous and sexy.
Seriously. I love how nothing in this story makes any logical sense – but it all comes together so beautifully anyway. This is a seriously wonderful sSeriously. I love how nothing in this story makes any logical sense – but it all comes together so beautifully anyway. This is a seriously wonderful story, in a very Calgon-take-me-away kind of way where trains make booty calls classy and all you want is for two strangers to fall in love.
Wow.Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz was such an awesome surprise, you guys. WHY HASN’T EVERYONE READWow.Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz was such an awesome surprise, you guys. WHY HASN’T EVERYONE READ THIS? Every single aspect of this novel blew me away: the writing and characterization are both master level. This will be on my Best of 2013 list in December. Guaranteed.
Before reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe I would have happily declared that there ARE no real secrets to the universe. I mean…either believe in Jesus or Stephen Hawking. Also, try not to get hit by a bus (but wear good underwear in case you do). There. Covered. Then I watched Dante and Ari develop over the course of the novel and by the time it was over, I was fully convinced that there are indeed secrets to the universe, and by gosh – these boys are in the process of discovering the answers. That is the power of excellent writing at work, my friends.
Aristotle and Dante meet when Dante offers to teach Ari how to swim. They quickly develop a friendship that leads them into a lot of questions involving culture, family and sexuality. You basically cover all the big questions relating to adolescence. Another bonus? Seeing them interact with their families was almost as awesome as seeing them together. Every single character introduced in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is glorious.
At first glance, Dante is the more likable of the two characters. His individuality is showcased from the very beginning, and he has a much more open, affectionate and bold personality. Ari is not so good at expressing himself. He struggles a lot with trying to figure out who he is and who he wants to be – that is, in fact, the point of the story. Who are these characters and what are they trying to become?
I wanted to tell them that I’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. Until Dante. I wanted to tell them that I never knew that people like Dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. I wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that I would never be the same, not ever. And that somehow it felt like it was Dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. I wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. I wanted to tell them so many things and yet I didn’t have the words. So I just stupidly repeated myself. “Dante’s my friend.”
Once I really dug into the story, Ari started growing on me more and more. Just because he couldn’t successfully portray his emotions doesn’t mean he lacked them. I think he actually ended up being my favorite of the two boys (although let it be known that I am besotted with both of them). At one point in the story, he even does something extraordinary and heroic that had me gaping in awe.
Actually, one of my favorite parts of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the ending when Ari owns up to his emotions and is finally confident enough in himself to express them. That actually stuck out to me as the real heroism of the story. Tears were involved.
Concepts ranging from destiny to cultural and sexual identity are all explored beautifully throughout the book and culminate in one of the most powerfully emotional endings..seriously you guys. ALL THE FEELS.
To Sum it Up:
-The writing and characterization both left me awestruck, you guys. Perfection piled on top of perfection.
-The struggles Ari and Dante face in regard to everything from cultural identity to sexual preference are flawlessly executed.
-I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS for this book. Pleasure and wonder and relief. Giggling and crying were both involved....more
After reading Samantha Young in the past, I've been looking forward to Down London Road for months. Well, I am here to tell you, several hours of cryiAfter reading Samantha Young in the past, I've been looking forward to Down London Road for months. Well, I am here to tell you, several hours of crying, laughing and squealing like a lunatic later...it completely blew me away! This is definitely one of the best contemporary romances I have read in a long time.
Jo has a tough family life and hides behind some pretty strong walls so that no one can penetrate down to see how awful her life really is. She basically lives for her brother Cole. Until Cameron comes into the picture. First, he is just another hot toolbag that looks at her like she's dirt. Then he accidentally gets a peek into an episode of Real Life: Johanna Walker and things start changing. For the sexier. (Like combusting just from a kiss on the forehead sexier.)
You guys, my first reaction upon reading The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare was “whoa.” Actually, that was my reaction over aYou guys, my first reaction upon reading The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare was “whoa.” Actually, that was my reaction over and over again while reading this novella. I loved Tessa Dare already, her Spindle Cove series is wonderful and she is one of the only historical romance authors I make a point to follow. But still: whoa.
Basically, everything about The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright is absolutely brilliant. The characters, the story, the writing. Oh man, THE WRITING. I want to quote the devil out of this book, you guys don’t even know. The number of passages I highlighted in this novella – considering there are only 100 pages – is crazy. Check out some of this awesome:
The devil must be very handsome, her nursemaid had once told her. Else no one would follow him into perdition.
Too true, too true. She saw it for herself now. The devil had a strong, squared jaw, a straight nose, and full lips with a dangerous, sensual quirk. Dark, wavy hair, as untamable as his spirit. Laughing eyes, green as a Cornish summer. Oh, yes. The devil was handsome indeed.
But it wasn’t just that.
The devil also looked weary. Fatigued by the world— and strangely vulnerable, this close. The devil put silver threads in his sin-black hair. Just a few, so a girl could only see them if she happened to draw imprudently near. He wore his cravat mussed, tempting feminine hands to put it straight.
Eliza’s nursemaid had it all wrong. The devil didn’t entice with perfection. He seduced with flaws.
His green, hungry gaze didn’t say, Follow me into perdition.
It said, Only you can save me from it.
It’s pretty funny that I picked this story up basically because it costs a buck and because I knew it wouldn’t take long to read. That’ll teach me, right? I ended up reading at turtle speed because I wanted to absorb every single word and every single feeling. Sigh. I sound like a 14 year old picking up her first romance novel and going all starry-eyed over it, right? I feel like it too!
What starts out as a chance, embarrassing meeting between a jaded rake and an immature young girl turns into several meetings over the course of years – each meeting revealing more and more about the characters and who they really are. You might think that stand-out incredible character development can’t really happen over the course of 100 pages, but you’d be wrong. Mr. Wright starts out as just another rake in just another romance novel, but let me tell you, that changes. HE BRINGS THE SWOONS.
To Sum it Up:
-Tessa Dare basically blew the top off my already high expectations of her writing abilities. Seriously. Even if you love her already, you have no idea!
-Some of the best character development I’ve come across in a long time packed neatly into novella form.
-THIS EBOOK ONLY COSTS ONE DOLLAR. YOU MUST BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. I’m not kidding. Right now. Gogogogo. (And, if you prefer, the paper copy is only $4!)...more
I picked up The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay knowing nothing about it except for the insanely crazy high rating it had on Goodreads. Seriously,I picked up The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay knowing nothing about it except for the insanely crazy high rating it had on Goodreads. Seriously, last I looked it was 4.72 with almost 3,000 ratings? That’s a first for me. YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD THAT I WANT TO WRITE THE WHOLE REVIEW IN CAPSLOCK. I’m not kidding. I finished it less than 24 hours ago and I am aching to read it again. I want there to be a movie that I can watch 10 times in a row…or TV show…play…I’M NOT PICKY!
As far as the plot of The Sea of Tranquility goes, you really want to go into it fresh with only vague ideas of what will happen. This isn’t an action packed thriller or a snappy, quick-moving contemporary. The plot is slooooooooow (I mean that in a good way). It is all about character building and really digging in and getting to know Josh and Nastya, the two protagonists. They are packed full of issues – the book features violence and death and dealing with the effects – and not being able to deal with the effects. Bits and pieces of their story are given to you a little at a time, and knowing stuff beforehand would be a bummer on the reading experience. JUST SAY NO TO SPOILERS.
Things switch back and forth between Nastya and Josh’s POVs and I have never been so happy to have a dual narration in my life. I couldn’t get enough of either of them. Watching them meet, get to know each other, develop a relationship…I SWOON. The chills abounded. Also, I teared up so many times, you don’t even know. Basically all they had to do to make me emote was look at each other meaningfully.
Now, I’m going to give you a gift. Don’t worry, after lecturing you about spoilers, I’m not planning on giving you any. I just want you to read the prologue:
I hate my left hand. I hate to look at it. I hate it when it stutters and trembles and reminds me that my identity is gone. But I look at it anyway, because it also reminds me that I’m going to find the boy who took everything from me. I’m going to kill the boy who killed me, and when I kill him, I’m going to do it with my left hand.
Starting with a bang = understatement of the year. After reading that one paragraph, for me it was immediately BOOM – All in.
Also, I discovered on Twitter that the Makeshift Bookmark ladies, Jen and Carla, were both reading it as well. I always forget what it can add to the reading experience to have friends you can tweet your crazed and capslocked enthusiasm to. (Also, for the record, they freakin’ loved it as much as I did.)
Forget my favorite reads of 2012 list, The Sea of Tranquility is on my fave reads OF ALL TIME list. The amount of emotion Katja Millay manages to pack into this story is ridiculous – the end brought on The Epic Ugly Cry of 2012. The book doesn’t just have the best prologue ever, it has the best last line ever. Seriously – the journey you go on culminates in the most gut-wrenchingly wonderful ending. I can’t even stand it.
Read The Sea of Tranquility. Read it if you love young adult contemporary novels. Read it if you would rather walk naked across a field of razor sharp barbed wire with feet soaked in vinegar than read young adult contemporary novels. It doesn’t matter – you will love it.
To Sum it Up:
-I might be the slightest bit evangelistic about this novel. (You have two weeks to read it or we won’t be friends anymore.)
-I definitely recommend going into The Sea of Tranquility knowing next to nothing – it will make your reading experience a lot richer.
-SOBBING. LOTS OF SOBBING. Beautiful, gorgeous, heart-wrenching and wonderful....more
I picked up Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners not sure what to expect. I normally stick to contemporary romance and steer clear of books classified as “chI picked up Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners not sure what to expect. I normally stick to contemporary romance and steer clear of books classified as “chick lit.” After reading this synopsis, I decided to make an exception. AHH I AM SO GLAD I DID. I have some CAPSLOCK ENTHUSIASM for this read, y’all.
First of all: Grace Grows has an original soundtrack. Could things get any better? Tyler Wilkie, the male MC, is a musician. The songs he writes and sings in the book have actually been recorded. Plus, the lyrics don’t suck. I’m normally pretty blah about books with original lyrics/poems/etc. in them because I feel awkward about it when they aren’t very good or meaningful and don’t add much to the story. Luckily, these are fabulous.
where she’s just the world to me just a girl who knows I could be good I could be bad I could be what she’s never had And I can be wrong but you can be sure I could be anything for her
Maybe now that I’m an old lady (I turned 26 this year, y’all. TWENTY-SIX.), I just appreciate the chick lit genre more than I used to. Seeing a relationship develop over years and have consequences and difficulties was a breath of fresh air – Grace Barnum and Tyler Wilkie have an extremely complicated relationship that takes a lot of time and effort to finally succeed.
When Grace Grows begins, Grace is in another relationship. Tyler Wilkie is a recent transplant to the city – just another musician trying to make it. Even though she can barely tolerate how he disrupts her need for order – she can’t quite make herself stay away from him. Maybe it is the gorgeous angsty music he writes about her – or how hotttt he is. (Seriously, this dude IS hot.) As the years go by, their interactions change and evolve as they become friends, more than friends, awkward acquaintances…
Their hard times just made me want it that much more – for them to be together. Same goes for their faults – both Grace and Tyler make PLENTY of mistakes and bad decisions. Seeing them misstep made them feel all the more real.
Seriously you guys, I was so wrapped up in the Gralkie (Grace + Wilkie – yes, no?) soap opera. I laughed, I cried, I yelled. (Luckily, the yelling was only internal. Mostly.) I was SO INVESTED in this story that it might have been a little unhealthy.
I read Grace Grows as an egalley, but this is definitely a story I will be investing in so I can set a copy on my shelves to reread in the future. Multiple times. I haven’t had nearly enough time with these characters and their story.
To Sum it Up:
-YOU GUYS. If this is any indication of what I’ve been missing by not reading more chick lit, consider me a convert.
-Watching two people live their lives and make mistakes over the course of many years was a nice change from the straight up romance novels I usually stick to.
-I was completely invested in these characters – I read Grace Grows in one sitting, dying to see where they would end up and if they’d end up there together....more