Monday, December 31, 2012

“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!”
— Ogden Nash

Wishing you all Happiness, Love, Health and Success in 2013.
I am expecting this year to once again bring about many changes, 
new adventures, new goals and dreams...
but, most of all - I am looking forward to new Books In My Nook!

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a fun, flirty, sweet, romantic, easy afternoon of snuggled up with my fuzzy blanket & my Nook kind of read.

Yes, my original thought kind of was 'oh poor wealthy father is leaving me in Paris for a year at boarding school - cry for me'...but, then I found that I liked Anna and her brand of crazy.

“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

Yes, Etienne (drool worthy) St.Claire is on the vertically challenged side, but he is adorable and sweet and flawed in just the right ways.

“Fo' shiz.”

The supporting characters are all strong, and the group dynamic puts the fun in dysfunctional.


I really liked the story and fell in love with the Paris that Anna found.

“I'm going to be sick. I'm going to vomit that weird eggplant tapenade I had for dinner, and everyone will hear, and no one will invite me to watch the mimes escape from their invisible boxes, or whatever it is people do here in their spare time.”

I fell in love with the love.

“Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn't a place. It's a person”

So, yes...I will read this book again because it made me laugh (out loud), and swoon, and tear up just a little, and God help me I even sighed with a sappy grin on my face. Move over flirty RomComs (read:Meg Ryan), I have a new rainy day favorite.

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The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About ForeverThe Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully told story about a girl finding herself again after a life changing family tragedy, and my first book by Sarah Dessen.

I loved reading this book because the characters have such strong voices. It drew me in and kept me there. I really liked Macy and all the WISH crew, and thought the support characters were just as believable and each had purpose in the story (even the ones I didn't like so much!).

I adored Wes and the 'love story' between him and Macy was quiet, slow and sweet. It felt more real to me than the typical 'boy meets girl and immediately falls in love even though they have known each other for 12 hours' type of plot. The boy is definitely Sa-wooon worthy! I thoroughly enjoyed Delia and her philosophy on life (loved the big hole). I think we all know people like Bert, Monica and Kristy..and friends like this make life better. I also felt the denial and avoidance of really managing grief (for both Macy and her mother) was well written and realistic. Nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow, and this book is a lovely reminder to live your life with meaning and intention today.

"What you have to decide... is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So dont be afraid. Be alive."

I have already purchased my next book by Sarah Dessen and I am soooo looking forward to reading it....because, yeah, everybody loves meatballs! ;)

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout

CursedCursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Jennifer Armentrout is one of my favorite authors...and I have loved the Covenant and Lux series (you are killing me with the Opal ending...killing me!), so I looked forward to reading Cursed. It has been on my TBR list for a while, and I finally got the chance to read it over the last couple of days. was ok. Not bad, not great...but ok. I really wanted to connect with Ember and Hayden, but it just wasn't there for me. I was ambivalent about both characters. Their voices felt shallow to me, and I did not feel their relationship growing and becoming something more than it was originally. The romance was flat. Bottom line - I had no real emotional investment with any of the characters.

The plot was again...ok. Nothing really new or earth shattering, easily identifiable "bad guy", random extra characters thrown in (but with no further development or purpose). But hey, I can get past a lot when I like a storyteller's voice. This was unfortunately not the case here.

I cant really say much more without giving things away, so...(view spoiler)[

I was bothered by the fact that Ember and her family were 'kidnapped' and brought to live with a 'family' of gifted people who (except for Hayden) did not want her there, and made sure she knew it. Ember was on the right track when she wanted to get the hell out of there, because they are all frightening (read: boyfriend interest is borderline stalker, believes mind-wipe of her best friend is justified, loves her...but ignores her when angry. A 'Sister' who is a psychopath with malicious tendencies - who puts dead animals and death threats in her public school locker. Cromwell - who in the beginning seems to hate her very existence and threatens to send her to "The Facility", in the end (after all his lies are exposed) stakes his claim on Ember and declares her his (ok, creepy!).

Ember herself is rather annoying at times and I wanted to smack her, I was so frustrated. There is only so much self-pity mixed with jealousy that I can tolerate...and she pushed me to my limit. Some hope was redeemed when she actually worked on controlling her gift on her own...but just barely.

We reach the end of the book...even though the mind-wipe issues and her Father knowing Olivia had a gift and wanted to sell her off (prior to his death) was not resolved, "The Facility" is thrown in there once again, and the new 'family' didn't cause the accident (and even helped to find her from her 2nd kidnapper), so she is ...what, happy to be there now? Yeah, it just doesn't make sense to me. (hide spoiler)]

I will definitely continue reading Jennifer Armentrout's work, as I normally really like her storytelling and the voices she gives her characters. This one just wasn't for me.

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The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1)

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked it.
I know, I know...I am not gushing like a majority of the reviews. This book was very emotional and Callie and Kayden's stories are heartbreaking and the situations that have ruled their lives, truly deplorable.

I liked the character development, and as I was reading really wanted to know more about Callie & Kayden...I was pulled in from the very beginning. I did find the fact that Kayden didn't recognize Callie at College was a little unrealistic however. (view spoiler)[ I mean, the book says that they have known each other since they were small, and that their families had dinners together etc over the to not know who she is AT ALL??...doesn't seem plausible. (hide spoiler)]

I really liked 'the list' that Seth (absolutely love him!) and Callie had. I thought this was a great way to express their desire to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and as a tool to trust others and gain confidence in themselves.

I liked the transition from hesitant friends to falling in love, as trust was earned. I liked being able to get the perspective from both Callie and Kayden as their relationship progressed. I liked the steamy scenes because...yeah, they were good.

What I didn't like?
The ending. Or, rather lack thereof.
I mean, I understand the need to leave us hanging and desperate to read the 2nd book...but this was not an ending. This was me thinking my Nook had malfunctioned and not downloaded the whole book. This was me (electronically) turning the page...and there was NOTHING there. FRUSTRATING!! (view spoiler)[Seriously. In the kitchen, a pool of blood, barely breathing and...the end. WHAT?! You are killing me Ms. Sorensen, killing me.

Honestly, it was WAY to abrupt. There was no all. No Callie in the ER with a still living but in serious condition Kayden fighting for his life, as she deals with her fear of losing the man she loves to more violence.
I want answers! Where is Kayden's father now? What happened to Callie's rapist (other than a major beat down)? Does Callie's family discover what she has been dealing with for all these years? Where does Seth land with the issues he has been dealing with? Grrr. (hide spoiler)]

Overall, I enjoyed the book...I just wish the "ending" had been smoother and more finished.

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