Leading Lines is the third book in the Pippa Greene series. Pippa is a young photographer navFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
Leading Lines is the third book in the Pippa Greene series. Pippa is a young photographer navigating high school, family life, the death of her father, her first love, and family secrets. I adored the first book in the series, Rule of Thirds, and liked the second book, Depth of Field, but it was so different from the first it felt like reading an entirely different series. I attributed this to the fact Pippa’s boyfriend and best friend, who had featured prominently in the first book, weren’t in the second book. They were back in the third book, but this time it was Pippa herself that prevented me from loving this book.
I have mixed feelings about Pippa. On one hand, her voice feels authentic and the situations she’s in are realistic. I like flawed, realistic characters, and I get that teens are often driven by emotions and hormones...but Pippa is a bit over the top at times. I understand her hurt and anger over the secrets her mother kept, and I know from experience how hard it is to lose a parent, but if I’d treated my mum the way Pippa treats hers, I’d have had my ass handed to me. I was also really irritated by the stuff with her boyfriend, Dylan. I didn’t mind their instalove in the first book, but didn’t like or understand his complete absence in the second book. Then he’s finally in this book but he treats Pippa like crap and she just takes it for half the book. I could understand the reasons for them growing apart - or, more aptly, him distancing himself from Pippa - but Pippa’s behaviour and attitude rubbed me the wrong way a lot of the time. With so much changing in her life, she didn’t want her relationship with Dylan to change; she wanted them to grow together, but they were growing separately while growing apart, and it was painful and confusing for her. I felt for her there, and as annoyed as I got I could admit it felt realistic in many ways - hence my mixed feelings!
One of my complaints about the first two books was the cliffhangers endings and how nothing was wrapped up in the second book. Things were mostly wrapped up neatly in this book, although I believe the series is continuing. I liked that Pippa had some growth and eventually realized she needed to change things and carry on with life. I also liked that there were a few small unexpected things throughout the story. Again, this is where my mixed feelings come in - Guertin crams a lot of stuff into very short books (all of them are around 200 pages), and while some things irritate me, it’s more personal preference things that might only bother me, while the other part of my brain says ‘but you have to admit this is realistic for a 17-year-old’.
If there is a fourth Pippa Greene book in the series, I’ll read it out of curiosity. Even though I didn’t enjoy Leading Lines as much as I'd hoped to and had mixed feelings about Depth of Field, I really enjoyed Rule of Thirds, and I think Pippa has potential to grow into herself and become a well-rounded character. ...more
Hot, hot, hot! I liked how there was a story within a story, and I also liked how Aubrey got her...inspiration. ;-) I need to read the second book prontHot, hot, hot! I liked how there was a story within a story, and I also liked how Aubrey got her...inspiration. ;-) I need to read the second book pronto!...more
Sugar isn’t an easy book to read. It’s heartbreaking and bittersweet and painful, but it’s alFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
Sugar isn’t an easy book to read. It’s heartbreaking and bittersweet and painful, but it’s also powerful and ultimately full of hope. Besides breaking my heart, it made me angry, it made me uncomfortable, but it also reminded me that with faith, belief in yourself, and strength, anything is possible.
Sugar eats her feelings. Food, especially sweets, calm her down and help feed an insatiable need in her. Her weight, her mama, her brother, and her schoolmates are all part of the problem, and so she continues to eat to feel better, to fill that hole in her life, the ache that can only be satisfied by the one constant in her life: food. Her mother is so morbidly obese she’s bed-bound, her brother is a nasty piece of work with a hair-trigger temper, and the kids at school make sure she never forgets how fat she is, along with how stupid, ugly, and unwanted. Everyone makes her feel like she’s worthless, in the way, and will never amount to anything...until Even comes along. Sweet, gentle, kind Even, who doesn't seem to care that Sugar is an outcast or that she weighs hundreds of pounds. For the first time in her life, Sugar has someone who sees beyond her exterior and likes what they see.
The things Sugar’s mom and brother, along with the kids at school, say and do to her are absolutely disgusting, rage-inducing, and heartbreaking. There were so many times where I just wanted to take Sugar in my arms, hold her tight, and tell her that everything they said was wrong. She was so sweet and tried so hard to please everyone, but she got nothing but grief in return. She was such a good girl - she went to church every week (and not out of obligation), she took care of her horrible, cruel mother, did all the shopping and cleaning and cooking, and tried to do well in school. It’s rare to see a character who’s as good as Sugar without being a goody goody - she was just genuinely good, kind, and had a huge heart, and I loved that about her.
One thing I really appreciated about this book is that Sugar didn’t lose weight because of or ‘for’ Even. In so many books, a big girl gets attention for the first time and suddenly she wants to lose weight because there’s no possible way she could be beautiful or what a guy wants or needs or deserves if she’s fat. Or a girl does it for revenge against an ex, a bully, or whoever. But with Sugar, she didn’t even realize she was losing weight at first, it just happened because her life was changing - she was walking to school, she didn’t need to ‘eat her feelings’ as much, and she found the satisfaction she used to find in food from Even instead. It eventually became a conscious decision to become healthy, but it was through things she learned and through personal growth rather than for or because of someone specific.
While I did have a couple small issues with Sugar - namely the believability of some things, and the fact that the painful, awful things that happened to Sugar seemed like overkill at times - I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It deals with a lot of serious issues in a mostly realistic way that has the ability to touch you deeply. Despite being heartbreaking, Sugar is ultimately a story of triumph, strength, and hope. ...more
It’s no secret I love historic fiction. Books dealing with war aren’t my favourite, but the fFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
It’s no secret I love historic fiction. Books dealing with war aren’t my favourite, but the fact that Genevieve Graham is Canadian and this book has a Canadian setting (which is unfortunately rare) intrigued me. Tides of Honour was emotional, powerful, and heartbreaking. It was an epic love story, but it was also so much more than that.
When Danny returns to Nova Scotia after being injured during WWI, he’s haunted by the war and missing part of one leg. His emotional and psychological scars, like many soldiers, are as painful as his physical ones. Life is the same, and yet completely different than when he left home two years ago. His brothers are growing up, his family treats him differently, and there are so many things he could once do that are no longer possible because of his injury. I liked Danny a lot - he was complex and had a lot of depth. His struggles, both physically and mentally, were very real. I kept tearing up at his descriptions in the first few chapters, and I found it easy to connect with him.
With so many changes and so much pain in his life, the thought of Audrey coming from France to Canada to be his wife kept Danny going. I really liked these two together. They had an instant connection, one that remained through the time and distance that separated them. They were one of those couples that seemed meant to be, and I rooted for them throughout the course of the book. The struggles they experienced, both together and separately, taught them a lot and made them grow. Life threw a lot of obstacles in their way, things that many people wouldn’t be able to overcome, but they were strong and persistent, and they fought through everything that came their way.
Tides of Honour wasn’t always easy to read in terms of content. Parts of the book got quite dark, and a lot of the scenes after the Halifax Explosion were pretty gruesome and disturbing, plus just utterly heartbreaking. And yet the story was so compelling and the setting so vivid, I had trouble putting this book down. Normally a book that’s 400+ pages would tell me close to a week (or more) to read, but I managed to read Tides of Honour in three evenings. I don’t remember learning about the Halifax Explosion in school, so I found it interesting (and completely horrifying and heart-wrenching), and it was obvious Ms Graham had done a lot of research, not only with that, but also with the aspects of the war we saw through Danny’s memories, flashbacks, etc.
Clearly I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So why only four stars? Parts of it (especially the parts from Audrey’s perspective) kind of dragged. It got repetitive at times, going over the same information over and over (like how Audrey had come from living with her mother in England to living with her cold, unfeeling grandmere in France). And while I thought the sentiment of the ending was nice and I was mostly satisfied, it felt a bit rushed. There were also parts that seemed unrealistic, with one thing in particular that really bothered me and seemed completely unnecessary and left a bad taste in my mouth. There were also times when the timeline seemed a bit off, like it felt like quite a bit of time had passed, but it would only be a day or a week or something. It felt a bit discombobulated.
Tides of Honour is an intense and compelling read about perseverance, hope, faith, love, and family, set against a Canadian backdrop that comes alive on the page. I felt a wide range of emotions while reading this story about timeless love and survival. I won a copy of Ms Graham’s Under the Same Sky from a Canadian reading challenge last year, and after reading Tides of Honour, I’ll be bumping it up on my reading list, and I’ll be eager to see what she writes next....more
Whenever I see that Talli Roland has released a new Christmas novella, I get excited, because I know I’m in for a treat. Married by Midnight was no exWhenever I see that Talli Roland has released a new Christmas novella, I get excited, because I know I’m in for a treat. Married by Midnight was no exception.
The stars have aligned, the fates have spoken, the horoscopes have decried it, so Kate is getting married this Christmas. Who cares if the man of her dreams isn’t all that dreamy and he spends more time watching the game than paying attention to her? One thing that is worthy of her daydreams is the vintage wedding dress she finds. But when she finds a note pinned inside the dress, she becomes more interested in unravelling the mystery surrounding its owner than in continuing to plan her own quickly approaching wedding.
As with all of Talli’s books, Married by Midnight is wonderfully unique. I love the premise of the book, and how everything came together. Kate is a funny, spunky character, and her mother and sister made great side characters.
I loved the overall message of this book about following your heart, doing what’s right for you, and continuing to believe in love, even when things don’t work out exactly how you planned. For such a short story, it packed a punch.
Married by Midnight is cute, sweet, funny, and romantic. Another winner from Talli Roland!
In a nutshell: Is Last Will and Testament for you? Well…do you like: 1. A strong, kickass, smart-mouthed, sassy, hilarious, honest heroine who says whatIn a nutshell: Is Last Will and Testament for you? Well…do you like: 1. A strong, kickass, smart-mouthed, sassy, hilarious, honest heroine who says what’s on her mind, makes mistakes, but always picks herself up and carries on no matter how hard things get? 2. A sexy, nerdy French Canadian who appears crusty, but actually has a heart of gold? (And is willing to take much-needed fashion advice?) 3. A romance that will make you swoon, make you want to scream, and leave you needing a cold shower (or six)? 4. A story that will make you laugh, tear up, root for the characters, and sigh happily at the end? Did you answer yes to all? I hope you did, because those things are all awesome and they're all in this book. So READ. THIS. BOOK. You won’t regret it.
Last Will and Testament is one of those books that confirms my love of New Adult. With characters and a storyline that grip your attention—and your heart—it’s impossible not to get invested and love this book.
I loved Lizzie’s voice from the very first page. She was funny, irreverent, and unapologetically herself. She said what she thought, and she made mistakes. She was wonderfully flawed and realistic, and I loved her for that. I laughed so hard at some of the things she said and thought (especially the somewhat inappropriate things). It was refreshing to come across a character like her who just said it like it was. Her growth amazed me and made me so freaking proud, the way I would be of a friend who was floundering but did their damnedest to keep pushing, keep going, and do whatever it took to make it.
Then there was Connor. Oh Connor. *sigh* Despite seeming surly and way too serious, he actually had a heart of gold. He was such a good person. The way he helped Lizzie, the way he was there for her and the things he did for her made me love him so much. And I might be a little biased (okay, I totally am), but I loved that Connor was Canadian. I also loved that there weren’t any annoying stereotypes about Canada/Canadians, which in itself was refreshing. The first time Connor swore in French, I laughed myself silly, because it really is such a French Canadian Catholic thing to swear the way he did. It was endearing and funny at the same time.
Lizzie and Connor seem like such an unlikely couple, but I think that’s part of why they work so well together. They balance each other out, and Connor is exactly the type of guy Lizzie needs while she’s trying to keep her life together. He helps her, but also gives her the encouragement and support she needs to be strong herself and learn to be what her brothers need. I love how they both changed slowly into better versions of themselves for each other. It was never one of those ‘I have to do this or he won’t like me anymore’ type things, it was more like ‘he makes me want to be a better person and I should do this for myself as much as for him’. They had the type of love that makes you want to be a better person in general, without giving up who you are or compromising your true self. It was beautiful.
Besides being funny and realistic and heartfelt, this book is SEXY. Like super sexy, and I loved every second of it. Lizzie was completely open about and comfortable with her sexuality. She was like YAY SEX, which made me YAY LIZZIE. That was something else that was refreshing about this book. A lot of people say there’s too much sex in NA, but I think it’s all about the approach. If the sex is gratuitous or feels out of place, you might wish there was a fast-forward button, but in a case like this, where it’s such a positive thing, it’s welcome, at least for me. I wish there had been more books like this when I was younger, because then maybe I wouldn’t have had the narrow view of sex and pleasure I did when I was in my late teens/early twenties.
If you’re looking for a contemporary New Adult story that’s gripping, emotional, funny, sexy, and swoony, with the right amount of tension (but low on the angst), and lots of heart, I can’t recommend Last Will and Testament enough. This is one of my favourite books of 2014, and is high on my list of favourite NAs. ...more