Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Review: Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

I love, love, love this series! I cannot believe how much both of the main characters have changed over the course of the three books. I did not like Alona at all in the beginning of the series, but she quickly changed my mind. And Will, to have finally learned how to make the most of his gift/curse, I'm really proud of him. And I love that the two of them are working together to try to help other spirits take care of their unfinished business. What an odd shift with this book that it was actually someone living with unfinished business that kept a spirit from going into the light. 

This is definitely a guilty pleasure and I really hope that maybe the author will be able to come up with a fourth installment.


From the GoodReads website, "The Ghost
I’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.

Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being me. Seriously?

I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...

The Goth
I’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.

Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner..."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

A little bit mystery, a little bit romance, a lot YA. Pretty good story, albeit a quick story. It pulled me in right from the start with Edie saying she'd decked someone in the face. And then her mother calling to say they had to run. And wondering who "he" is. I would've liked to have seen a little more development with the back story. 

*SPOILER For example, I guess I kind of get that Edie's anger may be inherited from her father, but maybe it wasn't. Was there something more in her past that caused her to almost always have an angry reaction first? It would've been nice to know a little more about the time spend in Vancouver, and then the second time in Toronto. It drove me nuts to not know for sure who "he" was until later in the story. I figured it had to be an ex-husband or ex-boyfriend of Edie's mother, but trying to figure out who he was is a big part of what kept me turning pages. 

All in all, pretty good book.


From the GoodReads website, "Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she's in a different country. 
Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn't come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them. 
Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

This is one of those books that should be on a top 100 chick lit books list. I'm sure it is somewhere, I just haven't seen it. I really liked it, loved the main characters. Amanda and Chase turned out to be not at all what I thought they would be. And Logan, even though he could be a bit of an ass, proved to be very likable too. I'd like to give props to Holly for all that she endured and was still able to come out strong on the other side. Even so, she manage to grow a lot, and lose a lot (of weight) at the same time. I'm really proud of her. 

Definitely one of those books to put on your list as it holds some surprises, and I think it would make a really cute date movie too. 


From the GoodReads website, "Holly didn't expect to be a widow at thirty-two. She also didn't expect to be so big. After her husband's death, food was the one thing she could always count on. Now, those extra pounds make flying coach feel like medieval torture—especially when she's squished next to Logan Montgomery. A personal trainer to famous pro athletes, her seatmate is so hot that he makes Holly sweat in all the right (and so embarrassingly wrong!) places.

Logan finds himself intrigued by Holly's sharp wit and keen insights, so he impulsively offers to get her back in shape. Holly turns out to be a natural in the gym, slimming down into a bona fide looker with killer curves—and a new kind of hunger. Before either of them can stop it, the easy intimacy of their training sessions leads to even more steamy workouts away from the gym. But can a man whose whole life depends on looks commit himself to a woman who doesn't fit his ideal? Now that Holly's turning other men's heads, does she even need Logan anymore? Are they a couple built to last…or destined to fizzle?"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: License to Spill by Lisi Harrison

When can I get the next book?! 

The ending in this one wasn't as abrupt as the first book, but still left a HUGE cliffhanger as far as how the last bit with Jagger is going to play out. And I have to say, I'm really proud of Sheridan, she wasn't my favorite in the first book, and even though her obsession with being on film is still a little annoying, I like her a whole lot more after this book. 

I love epistolary books and this one is another one to add to the list, especially when it's in a diary or journal format. I feel like you get to know the character(s) on a more intimate level than if they're narrating the story. Maybe because the whole idea of a journal or diary is that it's supposed to be private and the writer doesn't censor their thoughts. 

I'm excited to read the next book and find out how they become nominated as the Phoenix Five. 


From the GoodReads website, "Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...

When our parents were growing up they were encouraged to make mistakes. That's how they learned. But us? Our mistakes go viral. There is no delete button on the Internet. What kind of future do we have if we can't escape our embarrassing pasts? I must come off as quite the hypocrite; complaining about our overexposed lives in a book of secret journals I have leaked. But these pages hold proof of how this pressure affects the "best" of us... so until the heat's turned down, keep reading."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

I think I'm going to love this series just as much as I loved the Paranormalcy series. While there isn't as much humor in this one as there was Paranormalcy, it's just pretty awesome. It's also like Paranormalcy in the paranormal sense with Seers, Readers and Feelers. All these girls stuck in this supposed school where they end up being used for bad things, theft, espionage, etc. Then you have Fia who isn't like the others, but is paranormal in her own sense - she cannot make a wrong decision. Or, well, she can, but she has an uncanny sense of what is right in any given situation. It seems like those kind of instincts would be better than any of the others - seeing the future, reading minds or knowing how those around you feel. That just makes her super awesome, and I have a hard time remembering that she's only 17 years old. The poor girl has been through so many bad experiences, some of her own making. Such a great story though, and the last 10% of the book....I have to say, I didn't see it coming. I can't wait to read the next installment.

Definitely a movie worthy book.


From the GoodReads website, "Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review: Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

Another great book by Emily Giffin. 

*SPOILER* I'm not at all happy about how close Ellen came to fully cheating on Andy, but thankful that all it ended up being was a kiss.

I don't condone Ellen's actions, but I do understand them. I've been there before - the super intense relationship, the break up, the depression that comes with it. In my case, we ended up getting back together only to have the same things happen all over again. And when I jumped right back in that sinking boat, I ended the beginning of something that could have possibly been my own Ellen and Andy story.

So when he came around a third time, and I knew I had the beginnings of something really good, I didn't go for it. Much like Ellen, it messed with my head pretty good, and also like Ellen, I did talk to him. Unlike Ellen, I never saw him, and I finally found whatever it was that I needed to tell him goodbye and not to contact me again.

Her story is a little different from mine though in that when Leo did come back, she didn't know because Margot didn't tell her. And I can see how that would push her to continue talking to him, fly to New York to work with him, and eventually, kiss him, once she found out. Thankfully, Ellen's sister was able to help her avoid doing something that would've ruined her marriage.

This is another one of those books that if you haven't read it yet, you should. And, it's totally movie worthy.


From the GoodReads website, "The New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed,Something Blue, and Baby Proof delivers another captivating novel about women and the choices that define them. This is the story for anyone who has ever wondered: How can I truly love the one I'm with when I can't forget the one who got away?

Ellen and Andy's first year of marriage doesn't just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live. 

Love the One You're With is a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is awesome. Plain and simple, she's just awesome. 

This is the first book that I've read that delved into the world of adoption from both sides of the story - the parent and the child. Marion and Kirby are excellent characters - both going through some personal growth throughout the story. 

Kirby, in the beginning, seems like she's just not very sure of herself, and a big part of that is because she's adopted and doesn't know where she gets a lot of her personality traits from. She feels like an outsider in her adoptive family. 

Marion keeps the pregnancy adoption a secret from everyone except her mother until Kirby shows up on her doorstep. Marion also seemed to feel like she was slightly out of place, but she didn't know it until later on in the story. I feel like she grew up a little from when Kirby found her to the end of the story. By the end, I felt like she was a much more mature woman who knew what she wanted.

The story didn't end all neat and tied with a bow - there was still one loose end, but I liked it. I liked coming up with my own assumptions as to what happened after the last page. The only thing that really bothered me was Marion's mother's reactions near the end. But, that's life. 

This has been out for a couple of years, if you haven't read it yet, you should read it now.


From the GoodReads website, "The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together.

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian's perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever."

Book Review: YOLO by Lauren Myracle

I was so excited to see a fourth installment to this series. I read it a few years ago and loved it, I was sad to see it end after three books. I think the author did a fantastic job with this book as well and would LOVE to see her continue the series. It's so much fun to read books written epistolary form. For me, it makes me feel like I'm right there in the characters' lives more so than when a book is written as a narrative - even when it's the main character narrating. 

I honestly think this is an excellent book for girls to read while still in high school as it takes on some of the more serious aspects of college life - depression, date rape, horrible professors, hazing, etc. Facing things like that can be a real wake up call for some kids and reading this would hopefully help them to realize it may not be all partying and fun all the time. 

It's a quick read, an excellent read, and honestly, could be read on its own, but I highly recommend reading the whole series.


From the GoodReads website, "Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country.In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets."