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Showing posts from August, 2011

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful Book 2) ARC ~ Yvonne Woon

Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.  This is book 2 in the Dead Beautiful series and while I'm still not a fan of the Undead/Zombie world, I have to say I did enjoy the action and adventure in this one.

At the end of book 1, Renee and Dante (take second w/your thoughts...Dante...) have become "soul mates" but in order to keep her safe, he leaves her which is of course, how you prove to someone that you want to spend forever with them, right?  In his defense, he IS trying to keep her safe while he looks for a way for them to be together.

There's a  new school, with new friends and rivals as well as a new mystery to solve that could result in Renee and Dante finally being able to be together.  There's also a new guy, Noah, to complicate things for Renee and put her relationship with Dante to the test.  Not only is Noah a Monitor (and a cute one too) he's interested in helping her solve the mystery of the …

What Alice Forgot ~ Liane Moriarty

If I ever have to suffer a head injury with memory loss (and I pray I don't!) this is how I'd want to do it.  Alice's story made me laugh, cry and I laughed until I cried - it was that good.

When we first meet Alice, it's 1998 and she is waking up to another lovely day of life in her fixer upper with her charming and somewhat goofy husband, Nick, teetering on the edge of 30 while expecting their first child together.  Life. Is. Good.  The only problem?  That's not reality.  She's actually waking up on a sweaty gym floor surrounded by people she doesn't recognize with a massive headache she can't explain.  Once she fully comes too, she's shocked to learn that it's actually 2008, she's almost 40, her life is not exactly as she thought it was AND she can't remember the past 10 years of her life.  One of the funniest things (in the beginning) is how upset she is to learn that she's a) so skinny, and b) in.a.gym! - she loathes exercisin…

Hurricane Irene Prep - Let's go play outside!

Hurricane Irene Preparations:
Bottled water - check Non Perishable food items - check Flashlights/batteries - check Candles/matches - check Electronic devices charged - check Playing outside during the hurricane - check...wait...what?!
I know, I know, that last one doesn't sound normal but I don't know that others would describe me as "normal" so there ya go.  
We survived Hurricane Isabel boarded up in a beach house on stilts on an island in NC with the hubs, his brother and wife and my then 3 yr old.  My SIL and I even went out onto the beach to take pictures DURING Isabel just to "see what it was like" because we're just that crazy (or stupid depending on who you ask).
So today as I was looking at the ominous skies above and thinking... OK, I was thinking, Crap!  If Irene really does hit us then I'ma be stuck inside with no power for who knows how long with the hubs and two kids who think living without electronic devices for longer than 24 hours is like …

Dead Beautiful ~ Yvonne Woon

*Spoilers*  OK, so I have mixed feelings about this book which I will do my best to explain.  I rated it 2 out of 5 stars because while I'm not opposed to books about death and dying, this entire book is about the subject which borders on the morbid.  I'm also not a big fan of the Undead, Soulless, Zombie types even if they are tall, dark, incredibly beautiful and irresistibly romantic.  I DO think this book was extremely well written and I actually enjoyed the inclusion of the Latin and Philosophy the likes of which I hadn't seen since my college days.

Renee is sent away to boarding school in Maine by her grandfather after the sudden and mysterious death of her parents on her 16th birthday.  At the Gottfried Academy, she encounters many new people, classes (Latin, Philosophy, Horticulture and Crude Sciences) and experiences.  Her roommate, Eleanor is a popular girl and a gossip who seems to know everything about everyone thanks in part to her older brother, Brandon who …

Before I Go to Sleep ~ S. J. Watson

This was a really good read!  I have to admit it started out a bit slow for me but I'm so glad I stuck with it.  Intriguing, suspenseful, terrifying, exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time.

In "Before I Go to Sleep", we meet Christine, whose woken up (like every day) and doesn't know where she is or worse, who she is.  She also doesn't expect to be as old as she is.  Christine suffers from a rare form of amnesia and can only retain memories from the day she is living in because once she goes to sleep each night, she forgets everything and everyone.  Her husband, Ben, tells her every morning the story of her life, their life together and about her amnesia which is the result of her accident that she had at 29. She is now 47.  She has no choice but to trust him and the memories he tells her they've made together, until one day when she receives a call that could change everything.

When Dr. Nash calls and tells Christine that they've been meeting …

Gimme A Call ~ Sarah Mylnowski

Have you ever wished you could go back and do things differently?  Maybe tell a younger "you" who to be friends with, who not to date or what fashion trends to skip altogether?  I know I HAVE!  I've said many times that I if I could have the chance to talk to my teenage self again I would in a heartbeat!

Devi Banks is almost through her Senior Year of High School and is having quite possibly the worst day of her life when the she accidentally drops her cell phone in a fountain at the mall.  After retrieving it she discovers that it still works (thank goodness!) but there's a problem...no matter what button she pushes, she keeps getting the same girl who claims to be her, Devi Banks.  What. Is. Happening?!

Devi (the first one) quickly realizes that right before her cell phone fell into the fountain, she "wished" there was way she could talk to her Freshman self - tell her how not to screw up her life to the point that it is now in her Senior year.  She fig…

Mindless Behavior + Old GLeeks = Plenty Entertaining

I went to see the Glee movie in 3D last night with 2 friends from high school and while the movie itself was fun, I'm finding that what happens around the actual "outing" is more entertaining the older one gets.

One of the nice things about riding in cars alone is getting to listen to whatever I want too, however LOUD I WANT TOO! (I'm sorry, was that too loud?)  The draw back to riding alone is that I am also the one responsible for the directions which can be a challenge when A) the GPS takes me the wrong way and B) the music is SO LOUD that I'm momentarily distracted (LL Cool J does have a way with words) and I end up in an area that I don't readily recognize.

After we loaded up and said goodbye to the cutest little redhead (my friend's son) we were on our way to the theatre.  It took us awhile to find a parking space because there were easily a million people waiting in line for something outside.  As we circled the parking lot and tried to remain cal…

Coming Up For Air ~ Patti Callahan Henry

A beautifully written story about love - having it, losing it, rediscovering it and the lengths we'll go to for those we love.  The book opens at the funeral of Ellie's mother, Lillian, who we find out was a prominent member of Atlanta society, adored by many but with whom Ellie felt very detached.  We also learn that Ellie's marriage to Rusty is a troubled one even though he refuses to acknowledge it (Rusty has him some issues) and that all of the first born women in the family are named "Lillian" (they have a thing for the flower) but go by some variation of Lil, Lillian, Ellie, etc.   It's the female version of "This is my brother Larry and my other brother Larry and my other brother Larry." (you get the point)

Ellie's old boyfriend, Hutch shows up at the funeral claiming to have been in the middle of working on an exhibit that involved Lillian and he asks Ellie if she'd be willing to help him finish it.  She agrees, much to the chagrin …

Funny How Things Change ~ Melissa Wyatt

This was a refreshing, quick read about how even the best laid plans can change when we discover what's truly important to us.  Remy (Remington) Walker is a 17 year old native of West Virginia whose long time love, Lisa Perkins is getting ready to go away to college in Pennsylvania.  They've always dreamed of getting out of their deadened town and even though Remy won't be going to college himself, he plans to go with her so they can get started on their life together.  That is, until Dana, a talented young artist from Maryland shows up for the summer and shows Remy, as well as the other residents of Dwyer, West Virginia what their town looks like through the eyes of outsiders.  


Remy is a salt of the earth kind of guy with a quick wit and he's one a girl can bring home to Mom and Dad.  He loves Lisa (almost to a fault) and is willing to do anything for her even if it means giving up the mountain that his family settled over 100 years ago.


Lisa is beautiful and kind and …

Take a picture, it'll last longer.

We usually attend church on Saturday evenings and occasionally end up grabbing a bite to eat after and this past weekend was no different.  The weather in our area has been a little stormy the past couple of days and there was a "something smells like it's on fire" smell lingering in the air due to a wildfire burning south of us.  Church was great, the message was about living dangerously for God and the pastor even made a comment about being "tatted up" which my husband and I got a kick out of because he has lots of tattoos, many of which have a spiritual meaning.  (He literally has Jesus on his shoulder.)

By the time we came out of church, it was pouring down rain, all of us were starving and we decided to head to one of our favorite fast food places that serves a healthier fare.  When we pulled up to the building, we each commented that we were glad it didn't seem to be too crowded and that we were only going to get even more wet.  Like most places, this…

A Need So Beautiful ~ Suzanne Young

I was really looking forward to reading this book and while I think the writing is good, it just wasn't what I was expecting.  The story is one of love and sacrifice (both good themes) and hints at the beginnings of a battle of good versus evil that I imagine will play out over the next few books since this is slated to be a trilogy.  My Trilodar went off around Chapter 2, I think.

Charlotte is the main character and she is a closet Angel or a similar form of "light" bearer and is regularly consumed by "The Need" which leads her to the people she is supposed to help.  Each time "The Need" begins she suffers severe physical pain until she completes her task but because she can't tell anyone about this (she tried telling a nun once who accused her of lying) she pretends it's just a series of asthma attacks.  She lives with Mercy, her foster Mom, who has also taken in Alex and Georgia.  Her best friend is, Sarah, a rich girl with major Daddy issu…

The Iron Knight (ARC) ~ Julie Kagawa

I've just read through the entire "Iron Fey" series in the past few days (all 4 books, including the 2 novellas) and this is my favorite!  If I thought I was "Team Ash" before, "The Iron Knight" solidified it for me.  Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC!  Author Julie Kagawa does NOT disappoint with this book dedicated solely to everyone's favorite Ice-boy, the Winter Prince Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn.  (I'm not usually a fan of winter but I could definitely get used to it.)

This book, the fourth official one in the series, takes us on the Winter Prince's journey from a faery in the Unseelie Court to the End of the World where he hopes to find his soul and become human. Meghan Chase, the new Iron Queen has exiled him, for his own safety breaking both their hearts in the process but he promises to find a way to become human and to return to her so they can be together.  He sets out on a quest that will change his life in ways he can't im…

"Crescendo" ~ Becca Fitzpatrick

*SPOILERS*  you may not want to read this if you haven't read the book yet.

As far as sequels go, this one was pretty good.  Lots of action, lots of answers but not so much on the romance. In fact it was pretty much the depressing break-up book (think TW New Moon).  Honestly, I wanted to see more Patch & Nora.  I mean, it's great that he's her Guardian angel now but we want him to be human. Human! Ok, you get my point.  We find out that while our resident hot angel boy can feel her emotionally he can't feel her physically so when they're playing tonsil hockey or snuggling he feels nothing, nada, zilch.  How bad is THAT?!  As far as boyfriend/girlfriend relationships go, it kinda helps if you can feel each other when you're holding hands or kissing goodnight. This realization puts a damper on things for them.  It's also not fun to be the first one to say those three words and not have them reciprocated which is what happens when Nora tells Patch she lo…

"Anna & The French Kiss" ~ Stephanie Perkins

This was such a fun book to read! It only took me a few hours to get through it. (It helped that I had most of the day to myself to read and the distractions were at a minimum, well, except for the pesky bees but that's another story.) This is a coming of age story that's full of fun, humor, romance and hot boys with accents...with ACCENTS! Doesn't get much hotter than that?!

Anna Oliphant is our main character and she gets sent to Paris for her senior year of high school by her dad. Dad is a novelist whose books (which have been made into movies) make women swoon and who left Anna and her brother Sean when he was a baby. She and Dad don't have the best relationship but the one thing they do share is their OCD for cleanliness. Besides her OCD, Anna is a HUGE movie buff and an aspiring movie critic, writing reviews on her blog. Anna is not too happy about having to leave behind her best friend, Bridgette and a budding relationship with hot boy #1, Topher. Topher works wi…

"Between Shades of Gray" ~ Ruta Sepetys

A MUST read! This a beautifully written story about WWII that I've never heard before but one that needs to be told. Normally, when I think about WWII, I automatically think about the Holocaust which was horrific in and of itself but in "Between Shades of Gray" author, Ruta Sepetys, shares the stories of the Lithuanians who were under Josef Stalin and Soviet rule. There were hundreds of thousands of people from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that were deported and forced into labor and refugee camps in Siberia. They were imprisoned for over a decade and many died of starvation, disease or were killed and those who did manage to survive were treated like criminals even though they had done nothing wrong.

"Between Shades Of Gray" is told from the point of view of 15 year old, Lina, and her family as they are forced to leave their home in Lithuania. She begins a long and difficult journey along with her mother, Elena and her 10 year old brother, Jonas. Her father ha…

Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband)

Thank you to Goodreads and Rodale books for sending me this ARC to review!  The title is what caught my eye initially and I was curious to see what information the book had to offer.  


One of the first things to jump out at me was that the author has only been married for 5 years (at the time she wrote this).  That right there was a turn off for me because having been married for almost 15 years, I would've preferred the advice to come from someone whose walked the road of marriage for longer than me.  I mean no disrespect when I say this, it was just my initial reaction.  She did include women of various ages and stages of marriage, some in the midst of raising children and some without, etc.  She offered up lots of suggestions of how to spice up your marriage, date nights, sexy lingerie, planning a romantic weekend away, all the usual advice but also included scientific information on brain function and reaction which was helpful too.   


Going back to the title for a minute, after…

Nutella S'more Cupcake

aka Nubettertaketheseaways'moreIeatemallmyself!
I'm not a huge fan of Nutella (my family eats it like it's going out of style) but I have developed a slight addiction to these cupcakes! (I ate 4 before lunch but really, whose counting?)
I made them for the first time the other day and I can't decide what the best part is...the marshmallow-like frosting, the graham cracker cake, or the combo of all three items. 


They go quite nicely with coffee.  They go quite nicely in your mouth.   And mine.

One Day ~ David Nicholls

I've got so caught up in this book with it's British prose that I've stahted to speak with a bit of an accent myself. Whut's next? Dreenking tea I s'pose. Bullocks! ;)

I picked this book up when I saw the movie trailer. I thought it looked interesting and wanted to read the book first because the book is always better than the movie. Always.

I enjoyed reading this, even if I did get strange looks from my children and have answer questions like, "Why are you talking weird?" (It's whut 'appens when you've staht 'earing your own voice in an English tone.)

This is ultimately a love story about Dexter Mayhew & Emma Morely ("Dex and Em and Em and Dex") and their unconventional journey to find their happy ending. The story is told from both Dexter and Emma's points of view and takes place on the same day each year, July 15th and covers a 20 year span. It is well written, full of laughs, heartbreak, frustration, humaneness and most …