As a more recent convert to the Church of Parks and Recreation, I have to admit that I had no clue what I was missing before. The show is hilarious, pAs a more recent convert to the Church of Parks and Recreation, I have to admit that I had no clue what I was missing before. The show is hilarious, packed with laughs and oohs and aahs and even moments where I tear up a little. When a friend purchased this book for me as a birthday present, I dug into it impatiently and reveled in each and every moment. Savoring this book was out of the question. The only answer was to eat up each page voraciously and then feel sorry for myself when I reached the end and found there to be no more laughs and fun tidbits that only add to the story.
PAWNEE: THE GREATEST TOWN IN AMERICA is the perfect companion piece to a show that is so perfect in so many ways. So so so so so! PAWNEE incorporates characters from the show with back story on the town that we’ve never seen or heard before, such as historical information on the founding of Pawnee to the guide to the city’s restaurants and famous raccoon-infested parks. Although I generally don’t read television or movie tie-ins outside of books about the creation of a film along the line of LORD OF THE RINGS or ALIENS (my favorite movie ever, just saying), I was drooling over the chance to read this book.
If you are a fan of Parks and Recreation, trust me – you need this book. You just need this book, and really, that’s all I can say about this book. And if you haven’t seen Parks and Recreation, go buy a month’s worth of Netflix and watch the first few seasons. Fall in love with Pawnee and the characters. And then buy this book and fall in love with it.
VERDICT: Although focused on seasoned Parks and Recreation fans, this book is a diehard fan’s new best friend, combining tidbits from the show and new information that you NEED to know! A great companion....more
Sometimes there are things where you read them or watch them or listen to them and you cannot quite figure out why you liked it as much as you did. FoSometimes there are things where you read them or watch them or listen to them and you cannot quite figure out why you liked it as much as you did. For me, TOUCH OF FROST is one of those books. Many of my fellow bloggers had issues with this book. Several did not finish it. Meanwhile, I loved it. I know where people are coming from when they cite several issues with the book – an unclear plot, choppy dialogue, cliché characters and settings. For some reason, my love of this book and the fact I find it an ooey gooey fluffy pile of goodness transcended those issues and I came away from reading Jennifer Estep’s first foray into young adult fiction feeling very, very happy.
TOUCH OF FROST follows Gwen Frost, a loner/outcast who has recently come to Mythos Academy in Cypress Mountain, NC (aside: Cypress Mountain = Biltmore Forest, NC, no?), a school for Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons, and Spartans, among other supernatural creatures. They’re training to be warriors and defend the world from Loki and his Reapers, and poor Gwen doesn’t fit in yet again. Gwen’s gift is psychometry, reading the history of an item (or person) with just a touch. When a popular classmate is murdered and an artifact stolen, Gwen is the only one who cares to investigate.
So, what does TOUCH OF FROST have? Superpowers, mythology, an academy for teenagers born to be warriors, an outcast girl with a taste for comic books, and a murder mystery. And it also is not the most thought-provoking or original or anything story on the block. What it does have going for it is a fun story that is quick to read and amusing. And if you know me, you would know I am a big fan of quick and amusing and fun. This won’t be for everyone – if you are looking for something completely serious, you will be disappointed. TOUCH OF FROST is a fun book that you will devour with its wittiness, cute scenes, hot love interest (Logan Quinn is a very interesting bad boy that I can’t wait to get to know better), and great narrator in Gwen.
It isn’t the most original plot ever and does rely on tropes often, so I cannot give it a full 5 stars in actuality. But since I don’t give half stars, I will be rounding this up to five. It’s enjoyable and fun. If you are in the market for a fun read with mystery, romance, and intrigue, you should check out TOUCH OF FROST. It’s probably right up your alley.
VERDICT: While not very original, TOUCH OF FROST makes up for its cliché plot with fun characters, a great bad boy love interest, and a narrator you can’t help but root for. Definitely pick this one up....more
GRAVE MERCY was one of the first books I ever requested to review. It struck the kick butt girl chord in me, so I was like, “Let’s do this!” And I recGRAVE MERCY was one of the first books I ever requested to review. It struck the kick butt girl chord in me, so I was like, “Let’s do this!” And I received it and I squeed and danced, but that’s a different story. It took me a few months to get around to reading it, but when I finally did, let me just say one thing.
It blew me away. And it kicked some serious ass.
The story of Ismae, a girl sold off by her stepfather to become an abusive man’s wife before being rescued and shipped to a convent of nuns serving the old Saint Mortain, the patron of death, GRAVE MERCY is the first in a new trilogy by author Robin LaFevers. Ismae is trained to become one of death’s handmaidens, an assassin with every tool imaginable at her disposal. When the Duchy of Brittany is threatened by the encroachment of the French, and by the barons inhabiting the land now ruled by a young girl, Ismae is put into the service of the handsome bastard of the dead duke, Gavriel Duval, in order to uncover the traitors, liars, and secrets in the Court of Brittany.
Ismae is a wonderful heroine, and one that I wish I saw more of in young adult fiction. Although there is a romance, she is a girl that can stand on her own, saving the men in her life. She has been hurt by her stepfather and by her husband, meaning that she has plenty of realistic issues in pursuing a real relationship. She is believable and I connected with her almost immediately. I mean, come on, she has a trunk full of bad a$$ items – tons of poisons (including poison candles), knives that can kill with just a scratch, jewelry that turns into a garrote. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend takes on a new meaning around her.
Although her narrative, and the writing style of the book as a whole (the book is told in first person present tense), is hard to initially get into, after 100 pages you are glued to this story and letting go is impossible. For example, “Surely He does not give us hearts so we may spend our lives ignoring them.” The writing lacks contractions for the most part, as is fitting of a historical novel, so yeah, modern readers who like their contractions might be a bit weirded out. Do not worry. You will get used to it.
I’ve seen several books the past few years tackle the historical fantasy-esque vibe that GRAVE MERCY successfully navigates. Especially now that Game of Thrones is extremely popular, even among teenage viewers, there is no doubting that there has been a rise in fantasy stories and historical stories that have the same vibe as Game of Thrones. While this story only has a semblance of fantastical elements, particularly in a crow that acts like Harry Potter’s beloved owl Hedwig, this story successfully mixes the intrigue of Game of Thrones with real historical events and a true romance.
The characterizations could have been better. I wanted to know more about many of the characters inhabiting this world, like their motivations to do what they were doing. Duchess Anne was little more in my opinion than a little girl who wanted nothing more to stay alive, but there could have been a lot more there. I hope we see more of her and her true feelings and aspirations in the sequel. This book was almost 550 pages long, but trust me, you’ll never notice it. The book flies by with consistent pacing that pulls you along, and for many people, this will be a book that they will finish in less than a day.
This book isn’t perfect. There are dull parts and a romance that falls flat. But I rarely rate based on the literary merits of a novel. This book is beautifully written and the work of a skilled author. Robin LaFevers has set the stage for what promises to be a great trilogy, and I cannot wait to dig into the next two books. This book is one of my favorites of the year.
VERDICT: With courtly intrigue, a strong heroine, and a beautiful story mixed into a historical package wrapped in a ribbon of poison, GRAVE MERCY is truly a great novel and great start to a new series that I cannot wait to delve into more....more
I was lucky to receive an ARC of this book thanks to Book Reporter (http://bookreporter.com) and after my life settled down (if you didn't know, my grI was lucky to receive an ARC of this book thanks to Book Reporter (http://bookreporter.com) and after my life settled down (if you didn't know, my grandfather was in the hospital and then stayed with my family for two weeks) I finally got a chance to pick it up. I read the book in 24 hours and put all other books and my job search aside. It was that good.
BOND GIRL follows Alex, a recent college graduate who has aspired to follow in her father's footsteps and work on a financial trading floor since she was a child. She joins Cromwell Pierce and immediately realizes her ideas of what it would be like are completely and 100% wrong. There is sexual harassment, no desk for her, bullying, tricks, high pressure scenarios...and a love interest that doesn't take as much interest in her as she thinks.
Alex as a narrator is fun and insightful, as well as fresh and interesting. I loved her story and wanted to know more after the book even ended. The characters were well fleshed out, including the secondary and tertiary ones, and the way this book was written has "make this a movie!" stamped all over it. The situations in this book seem all too real, even for someone like me who worked in Lower Manhattan (albeit not on Wall Street) and saw women like Alex daily rushing about in a world that still treats them as a joke.
The way Alex deals with the problems of her career are fresh, exciting, and driving. A client constantly hits on her, for example, but she is pressured into not saying anything thanks to her extremely large paycheck. But her increasing disenchantment with the field she's always admired makes the book compelling and harrowing, while Alex brings to the narration her ever-present humorous take on her life, her job, and the people around her.
If you don't have a business background, some of the concepts might confuse you (I took economics courses and don't have a clue what bond trading even is still), but putting that aside, BOND GIRL is an exceptional novel that I will recommend to anyone and everyone. And if you want to know more about the type of office where Alex works, trust me, it helps to look it up. I found THIS from UBS that pretty much sums it up. Trust me, it's kind of scary. Especially if you're like me and multiplying 6x15 is a cause for a calculator.
VERDICT: BOND GIRL is a hilarious book with some real impact about a world most of us will never know. It's funny, thrilling, and compelling. Trust me, you want to read this book. It's that good....more
On Day 117 of THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, the authors state they want David Copperfield the illusionist to read their book. David Copperfield, ifOn Day 117 of THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, the authors state they want David Copperfield the illusionist to read their book. David Copperfield, if you are out there reading this or googling your name, please, read this book if you haven’t already. You too, Madonna and Tiger Woods. This book will change your life.
This is a funny, laugh-out-loud type of book. With 365 days of activities to change your life, the goal is simple. On Day 247, you should eat everything with chopsticks, and on Day 276, you should go to the zoo and actually feed the animals. I’ve always wanted to feed a lion, and this has given me the courage to actually go and sacrifice a gazelle to my childhood dreams. Not really, of course, this book is about the comedy and not about actually getting you arrested for something stupid. At least I hope not. But there are some fun activities to confuse and possibly scare people.
With fun illustrations and comedy in small but heavy doses (if you do decide to just read one page a day, which I couldn’t do because the comedy just kept driving me forward), THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE will change your life, or at least give you ideas for silly things to do to annoy your friends and family. ...more
I admit, sometimes people get very confused when I tell them I am a real life (albeit American) version of Becky Bloomwood. I have a shopping problem.I admit, sometimes people get very confused when I tell them I am a real life (albeit American) version of Becky Bloomwood. I have a shopping problem. For example, books are one of my habits instead of scarves. I have received letter after letter, even calls, from my bank telling me that I owe them money. I am, for lack of a better word, broke.
I first read Confessions of a Shopaholic a few years ago and recently picked it back up. This might be my favorite light hearted book ever, especially since I find myself leaning towards literary books more than chick lit these days. This is definitely a fluff book, but seeing as how much I identified with Becky and her troubles, I fell in love with this. That’s really rare for me, considering that I am by nature a pessimist. I really shouldn’t admit that, that’s not really a good thing to say. With her budgets and bills and receipts, I saw flashes of myself on each page, especially the parts about lying about language ability to get a job. Luckily I deleted that part before I submitted the resume!
This book is probably not for everyone. I could see how people might consider her extremely unlikable. Becky is shallow, somewhat dumb, naïve, and doesn’t really care about others in pursuit of fashion and shopping. She’s a girl who is unhappy with her job, unhappy with a lot of things in general, but obsessed with clothes, and by the end of the book, we are able to see how she has changed, mostly for the better. It’s a cute story and a fun read. It isn’t supposed to make you think, and that’s why I loved Becky’s story and eventually went on to read the rest of the series, which did deteriorate in quality but not enough to turn me off.
I’ve suggested this book to everyone I know. Some have loved it, some not, but it’s a cute, fun pick me up that I wholeheartedly love....more