I don't normally read non-fiction and have never read an autobiography before. However Pixel of Ink brought this to my inbox for $2 and the synopsis aI don't normally read non-fiction and have never read an autobiography before. However Pixel of Ink brought this to my inbox for $2 and the synopsis and photos looked interesting so I gave it a shot. I rounded up to a four star but this bio is really more 3.5+.
If you're a really moral person, this probably won't be for you. There are some upsetting/questionable life choices and actions Marshall describes which might bother some. That said, there's a lot to be said for someone who is so unflinchingly honest in their recounting of their life. Also, Marshall is a hard-driving, survivor of many things and is tenacious to the core. I liked reading about her work ethic and desire to succeed. Some have complained this is a name-dropping memoir of sorts. Well--she has the names to drop. Those are the people she ran with. So what? After reading her life, they all sounded pretty human to me. Her natural and informal narrative style, almost conversational--was enjoyable and easy to follow.
Recommend for Laverne & Shirley fans and those who want the human side of the coin of hollywood, with the caveat that Marshall's bio is not for the "judge-y." At all.
I have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossovI have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossover work a try. It was so vital, so real, so engaging I thought about it every moment I couldn't get back to reading it! You know a book's good when you become sad that it's coming to an end, when you lose sleep over reading it, when you want to reach inside the narrative and defend and protect the MC from the vicious onslaught of her life. That's what Wishing For Someday Soon is. It's a powerful tale about a brave human being that sacrifices her very welfare for someone dear to her heart. When true joy presents itself she can't be sure that she can embrace it. The prospect of love and trust is so foreign to Katelyn that at first, she doesn't recognize it for what it is. This is such a powerful book. I am seldom moved to tears but found myself stopping the reading of it twice, to regain my composure so I could read further. It's a stunner, leaving the reader dazed throughout and yearning for more at its eventual end.
What I liked: I loved the way King presented the book so cleanly but still with realism. It wasn't this anemic performance of stilted and one-dimensional characters, oh-no. It was a deep narrative given by a 17-year old senior, having seen the inside of twenty different schools in so many years, connecting with humanity as little as possible. King showcases a paralyzing loneliness inside the confines of a narrow hope that Katelyn holds onto with surgical finesse. I was blown away. King was absolutely masterful in painting a picture of stifling and insidious abuse. But she didn't allow the reader to wallow in it. There was enough joy and potential for happiness interspersed during the novel that the reader isn't mired in sorrow. Those flashes of happiness, blooming romance and the protective males that King is getting known for, all comes into play in this terrific narrative.
What I wasn't that fond of: this isn't a series! I have high hopes for more books done in this style from King. And although I really liked her angel series, I am a Forever Fan now that I've read WFSS. It reminds me of Sophie and Carter and Flat-out Love. If you've read the preceding novels, this story is sure to be a good fit. Although the plot is utterly different, it evokes the same feelings as those.
Rich, riveting and unforgettable, WFSS is a read for lovers of real-life teens in tough situations that triumph over the challenges of their life....more
This is a 3.5 star read. This is the most difficult book I've ever had to review! There were some passages that were beyond 5 stars for me and some weThis is a 3.5 star read. This is the most difficult book I've ever had to review! There were some passages that were beyond 5 stars for me and some were skulking about in the "two" category. My main problem was Kiera. She treated the men abominably! I couldn't wrap my head around her lack of internal fortitude, therein is the rub. I couldn't stand who she was so I cared less about what happened to her. This read has been likened to the tremendous, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. But the MC in that novel was far more approachable than Kiera.
The guys in the novel had divergent personalities and that made the book better. The pacing didn't get moving until about the 30% mark. In fact, the only reason I continued reading past my "10%" test was the enormous amount of recommendations for the book from other readers. Once I got into it I just HAD to know what was going to happen. The author was able to illicit such inner turmoil while I read that it's a testimony to her sheer talent, despite my misgivings with what I perceived the flaws of the tale.
This is a perfect read for people that enjoy their reads messy, and not neatly wrapped up. This has not gone through the laundromat like a lot of contemporary romance, it's gritty and real, not perfect and I do recommend it with the caveat that the female MC may not be to everyone's liking. The love scenes and apparent chemistry between Kelan and Kiera make up for a lot of it....more
Okay... so Blackwell forced me to highlight (it's her fault, if she didn't have such an *awesome* narrative voice I wouldn't have to bother), so it jaOkay... so Blackwell forced me to highlight (it's her fault, if she didn't have such an *awesome* narrative voice I wouldn't have to bother), so it jacked up my review to 5-star category right away. When I highlight, it's automatically a five star. She is almost poetic in a few passages and I lingered over them, faithfully highlighting them for future reflection.
The best news about this book is the level of tension and intrigue. Blackwell masters that feel perfectly. It is not a full-blown mystery, she always stays firmly in the intrigue realm and it's fascinating to me. It's like that blow pop that melts in your mouth, you know what's at the end, but the wait is at once bearable and pleasurable, equally balanced. Speaking of endings, I've never read an ending that was a "soft" cliffhanger. I totally loved that finesse! I won't give it away but I was stoked for book three. I was hoping it would go in that direction and it did.
Things I loved: the intrigue and tension, from the fighting, to Scout's unravel in her new life. She's sort of pulled in all directions and this is showcased beautifully. Blackwell does a great job at characterization and fairly accurate teen dialogue, mixing in contemporary vernaculars along with her regional ones, is clever and grounds the work's prose (for me). Scout's sort of a porcupine, she's not the "helpless" female and is contrary in her manner. This is a unique take that is not used very much in YA and I liked Blackwell doing it.
Things I didn't like as much: See above where I say Scout's a porcupine? I don't really like her very much. She is difficult to connect with and seems selfish to me. I think Blackwell endeavors to mature her as the MC so I'm withholding judgement until book 3 but hope for more growth into the woman I see peeking out around the edges. Also, (see above), although the dialogue is spot-on for the most part, the absolute lack of profanity in the internal and external monologue is not reflective of most teens. The shying away from that in the writing made the dialogue have a false ring at certain points during the read. The converse of that is, of course, parents that are ultra-concerned about profanity or the relatives of that: gratuitous sex/drug reference, etc. will be more than pleased by its absence.
Overall, it's a fantastic read and one everyone should enjoy~
This was a "strong" 3.5 star read. I loved the pacing in this book. I was able to put it down so it wasn't earth-shattering but it kept my interest anThis was a "strong" 3.5 star read. I loved the pacing in this book. I was able to put it down so it wasn't earth-shattering but it kept my interest and I definitely wanted to get back to it when time allowed. Bidinotto is very polished in his writing style and his story, especially the criminal justice aspects, were most interesting to learn about in the context of a fictional story. I loved Hunter, the man he was and what motivated him were spot-on for my taste. I loved the ending. Especially the climatic fight scene, well-done. Bidinotto knows that we're not all martial arts experts and he was absolutely brilliant at describing the fight scene in a way that painted it accurately for us novices while losing not one bit of the momentum. Superb!
What I liked: Hunter. He was just flat-out alpha male with a dash of sensitive. His idealism made him wonderful to read about and "watch." I loved how the vigilante justice was dispatched. Cleverly done and oh-so satisfying. The villains were awful and we wished for their demise as readers. I liked the third person narrative ( I usually do) as it offered a deeper understanding of what all the characters thought processes were.
What I didn't like as well: the mystery. Okay, maybe Bidinotto intended for us to know who the vigilante was from the inception of the work (like we were voyeurs while he executed his tasks), but it left me feeling like there was nothing to "find out" later. So, this is more intrigue than mystery. If he intended for it to be a mystery, it was entirely to obvious from the beginning. The vernaculars and tastes of Hunter. For a guy in his late 30s, he uses idioms/expressions that are completely too old for his age. Some references are those my folks used. He needed to use phrasing that was relevant to his generation. Also, Cole Porter? I had to do a wikipedia check on him! I felt Annie was weak as a woman and should have been more honest in her interaction with Hunter. However, that was the tension point of the novel... so, I let it go.
Those things aside, it is definitely worth reading if you like the following: intrigue, romance, strong male leads, government espionage, thriller undertones. Bidinotto has a solid series here if he chooses to expand on it. He has the writing chops to do so! ...more
I powered through this book in less than five hours: it was THAT good! I recommend OTI to all, and not just romance lovers. There definitely was romanI powered through this book in less than five hours: it was THAT good! I recommend OTI to all, and not just romance lovers. There definitely was romance but this story is more about humanity and what it takes to survive with very little; what people are truly capable of when their limits are reached/tested.
I was completely fascinated by the story of a boy on the verge of manhood, coming off the tailspin of grave illness, who then gets thrust into circumstances that make him the man he'll be forever. Graves was a master at the POV switch. I never got confused, never stuttered over that internal voice that drones while reading. It was seamless, riveting, engaging and vital, all rolled up into a tantalizing mix of "What's going to happen next?"
What I loved: where to even begin? I will say that Graves grounds the reader in the reality of the times. She used real-life events that are well known to underscore her tale, adding realism and authentication to the reading. The age disparity between Anna and T.J was also interesting. Anna stayed ageless on the island, almost going backward in her maturity as she began to trust and rely on someone far younger than she. Conversely, T.J. matured because of circumstance and they began to meet somewhere in the middle. The action and pacing were top-notch and not at all comparable to one another. There are at least five different calamities which strike the pair while they struggle to survive and it was fascinating to watch them cope. I especially loved the way Graves stripped Anna of her inhibitions, her fight to not love T.J. Every time Anna reconciled her feelings toward him, some circumstance would occur that would strike her position and she'd rethink things yet again. The evolution of their relationship was the best part of the book. It all made sense and nailed me to the pages. I literally couldn't put the book down. Rare.
What I didn't like: nothing.
There aren't enough stars for this book. I don't know what Graves is writing in the future but I'll be buying it!...more
This is a very different narrative twist and I loved the way the author shifted back and forth between the two perspectives of the dual-MC's. It was tThis is a very different narrative twist and I loved the way the author shifted back and forth between the two perspectives of the dual-MC's. It was truly riveting to see, fish-bowl style, their dysfunctional and tragic lives up close. What was really interesting is how much alike they were on the inside, regardless of gender.
Two kids that live next door to each other witness the systematic abuse of the other over their mutual childhood and find solace in each other...as friends. When graduations looms they ask themselves (both without the other knowing), if they can bridge the gap to romance. Sophie and Carter are terrified to trust...can they overcome their fear, left my circumstance, to achieve real joy?
I loved this books guts! (Read it and you'll see what I mean with that!)
The only small flaw ( and it really isn't one), I wanted MORE! This is a short read and I was left wanting to see what would evolve from the pair in the future...
I picked this up for free but had been wanting to purchase it because of the reviews but the cover didn't "say" YA so I didn't get past that.
Wow! WisI picked this up for free but had been wanting to purchase it because of the reviews but the cover didn't "say" YA so I didn't get past that.
Wow! Wish I'd read it sooner! This author knows how to write the alpha-male. And I'm nuts for that type of male interest. That alone got the book shoved up to the four-star category. Do not spoon feed me the simp male, it will not work. Reyes crams Angel down our throats and I loved it! He's larger-than-life and never sugar-coats his feelings or intentions, not a game-player. He knows what he wants and it's Sarah...
But can Sarah commit to Angel? That is the strength of the story, there is a lot of intrigue about the past that causes Sarah to pause in desiring lasting relationships. She has one friend she can count on and one HUGE relationship that has failed. She needs to get back to what's familiar and not get entangled in something that may cause her further emotional torment.
Or so she thinks. Ha! Reyes weaves a story that has two or three mysterious sub-plots which float to the surface throughout, keeping the reader engaged for the entire read. I read this book in one sitting. I hear book two is even better and I can't wait to read it. If you like alpha-males, romantic tension with a dash of intrigue/mystery, this is for you! One additional thing is the author doesn't keep this book "clean." There is REAL dialogue that people would actually use. It is not a sanitized version; I really dug that. Keeping it real, keeps me reading.
Although the stories are not similar at all, somehow FM has the same "feel" as "Beautiful Disaster." People that liked that novel should like "Forever Mine."...more
I've already read Crane's first book in the Significance Series and liked it a lot. I loved this one. She seems to have really gotten a head o' steamI've already read Crane's first book in the Significance Series and liked it a lot. I loved this one. She seems to have really gotten a head o' steam and taken the characters to a new level. The ending was so well-done, I loved it. I think she could even do more action. I especially enjoyed those portions of her novel.
This is definitely morphing into a Christian-themed novel but it's okay for the secular crowd as well. Maggie and Caleb's relationship deepens and the ones' surrounding theirs evolve nicely as well. The pacing, like the first one, was well-done and the dialogue improved. There was some plot twisting at the end that was unexpected and has set up the third novel nicely. If you like themes with alpha-males in protective roles this is a must-buy series. It is not a stand-alone, you'll have to buy "Significance" as well. They were both hard to put down and terrific reading.
*IMHO, Crane's work has the same quality as Amanda Hocking's in this regard: "what's going to happen next?" If you've read Hocking's work and couldn't wait to read the next book, Crane's has that same vibe.
As an aside, I like the interesting book covers Crane has chosen and she's an approachable author; always a plus....more
In all fairness I downloaded this book for free. It was not "billed" as a Christian read and I found the references throughout the book distracting anIn all fairness I downloaded this book for free. It was not "billed" as a Christian read and I found the references throughout the book distracting and tiresome. Two "less preachy" reads would be the following: "The Soulkeepers" and "Meant to Be." I am not against Christian books at all (Peretti is fantastic), but think the product description needs to give an inkling as to what genre it is.
This was well-written with a decent coming-of-age story that dealt with a myriad of different subjects with a deft hand. Maggie has a lot to cope with and has for some time. Her life is difficult and filled with a workload that is not typical or welcome. She's disciplined, moral and tenacious; all great qualities.
The pacing is rather slow and things take too much time to reveal themselves. The dialogue from the "older adults" didn't seem to wash ( it felt "affected" and didn't "read" naturally). Also, as a parent myself, I can't imagine enforcing and condoning the work load and responsibilities this girl has been given and allowed to shoulder. There also seems to be inconsistencies with the family's socioeconomic status as well. At first they are portrayed as poor and that goes back in forth in the details.
Overall, I think Christian families that want a "clean" YA read that has a decent story with some intrigue and moral groundings will like this. (In my opinion)it is not contemporary enough in its dialogue to capture interest in the secular group. I could be wrong but I know it would not resonate with the teens I'm acquainted with....more
First, I'd like to say that I really like the way McGuire wrapped up the second installment of this trilogy. No cliffhangers, but enough questions thaFirst, I'd like to say that I really like the way McGuire wrapped up the second installment of this trilogy. No cliffhangers, but enough questions that a third book will be welcome. I appreciated the growth I saw in the MC, Nina, and enjoyed her character more in this work. The tension and action were more evenly-paced and deeper characterizations occurred. I also like what direction the story took in regard to Ryan; interesting and satisfying.
Even though this is smack-dab in my preferred genre(paranormal-anything), I was not completely sold on the angle. I just didn't really "believe it." I found their main quest to be anti-climatic and didn't "care" enough. There wasn't near the romantic tension that was present in the first [book] and that was a little deflating for a reader like myself that totally loves the fragility and malleability present in romantic suspense novels. I don't want to "know" how things are going to turn out. I want to "wonder." It makes a happy (and sometimes undefined) ending way-more satisfying for me (just my opinion!). I am mentioning author Tiffany King again because her sub-genre is so close to this book. She gave that exact "angst-factor" in her second book, "Forgotten Souls." Where the reader is left...dying...to read the next installment. Will I read the third book? You bet! I love McGuire! But I'm not dying to read it. I bet you I'll re-read "Beautiful Disaster" again ( McGuire's stand-alone, mature YA) because it had everything: angst, romantic tension, pacing, plot and action. I hope she does more of that sort. There wasn't even a stitch of paranormal in BD and it didn't matter! Terrific writer!...more