Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Take You......It's Not Slut Shaming, It's Human Shaming

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 5, 2015)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC

What They Say.....Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.

Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.
Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.

What I Say.....I took a day to think about this book before I reviewed it.  It was a weird experience to read it.
At first, I was really turned off by the main character.  Not because she was cheating on her boyfriend, but because she was one of those people who think they are much cuter than they actually are.
And I'm not a fan of "slut shaming" as the kids call it.  I don't think there is anything wrong with a woman having sex with men of her choosing, on her terms.  But this book wasn't that.  This was a character who threw herself on any man near her.  Whether he was married, whether he was her husband's boss, or whether he was her husband's best friend.  It wasn't sexual liberation, it was really just pretty gross, and came across as desperation.

Then in the middle of the book, we found out Lily's secret past, and it seemed like her behavior, while still off putting, was maybe a little understandable.  But then as more information came forward, it seemed that, nope, it was still the Lily show.  She got away with everything, and left her friend holding the bag of consequences, then never contacted him again.  Of course she was shocked that he wasn't thrilled to see her back in her hometown.

The rest of the book is Lily changing her mind about marrying Will every few hours.  Each argument seemed like a good one, until she had a few more drinks.

As Lily gets a taste of her own medicine from her fiancé, she discovers that she doesn't like being cheated on.  And her fiancé tries to win her back through the most ridiculously long email that touts the benefits of an open relationship, explains how we aren't meant to be monogamous, and how cheating is good for both of them.   Gag.  And can I mention that she is reading this mental email while sitting in on a deposition that could make or break her career.  Barf.

I hated these characters.  All of them.  What a bunch of jagweeds.  A friend who cheated with her fiancé, her mother and stepmothers all sleeping with her father (I know that doesn't seem to make sense, but trust me, it happens.), her mother-in-law that tries to blackmail her out of the marriage with the lie about her felonious past, but don't worry! Lily just turns around and blackmails Will's mother with the details of her affair with one of her son's friends.
Seriously, this book was filled with the worst characters ever.  I didn't care about any of them by the end. 

And this isn't slut shaming, this is human being shaming.  You leave other people's husbands (and wives!) alone, you don't sleep with your boss after your bachelorette party, and you don't throw yourself at your boyfriend's friends.  

But this book was filled with essays about the right of women to do all of those things without ever being judged!  If anyone dared to question Lily, they were hit right in the face with a fiery speech, pages long, about how she was a sexual free spirit.  Ugh, I can't even write about this anymore.

Just yuck.

Current Goodreads rating 3.37

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Random House in return for an honest review.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Book Haul.....April 26, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

This has been a quiet blogging week for me.  Sometimes I feel it, sometimes I don't.  I know that in order to build an audience, you are supposed to blog every day, but I really don't think I have anything that interesting to say on a daily basis.

Some nights, I sit down with my laptop and just sit there.  Typing one or two sentences and then realizing that they aren't worth adding onto.  It takes so lonnnngggg and I feel so boring.

But I'm going to try to write more this week.  I've got so many great books to read and review.  Maybe I should save some of my Facebook statuses for my blog. :)

Our foster dog, Maggie found a home this week!!  Such a sweet girl, she was found wandering in the desert and was taken to the pound where she was on the euthanasia list.  
She was well fed, but covered in ticks.  The rescue agency I work with spent two weeks trying to find her owner with no luck.  She was so calm and well behaved, definitely one my easiest fosters.  
Our biggest concern was that she was getting way to attached to my daughter very quickly.  I hate when that starts to happen because it can make the transition to another new home harder on the pup, and I don't like to add to anything that could produce an unsuccessful adoption.
Thankfully, Maggie's adoptive family seem to love her.  They have two little boys who have always wanted a dog, and she's the perfect addition - sweet, mellow and no bad puppy habits!

Onto the books...........


The Sea Keepers Daughters by Lisa Wingate......From modern-day Roanoke
Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?

In the Mail

Off the Page by Jodie Picoult and Samantha Van Leer....Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from
the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down.

Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as the companion to the authors’ bestseller Between the Lines, and is perfect for readers looking for a fairytale ending. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and relationships.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella....From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

I Bought

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood.....Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn
up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras. When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads - by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady. The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda's guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off ...

I Wrote

Mid Week Check In

Stolen Child by Laura Elliot

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stolen Child by Laura Elliott

What They Say....It's every mother's worst nightmare…

Carla Kelly wakes to find her two-day-old baby daughter's cot empty.
Isobel has been taken.

Susanne Dowling has kept a terrible secret following her fifth agonising miscarriage. When at last she welcomes her new baby daughter into her life she realises they will both be safe as long as Susanne keeps her daughter close, and confesses her lie to no one. Ever.

Carla, a top model, launches a fierce national campaign to find her baby – but the trail is cold. She receives threats and recriminations from strangers – she flaunted her pregnancy in the media, she cashed in on it, she deserves everything she gets – and, pressured by well-meaning loved ones to move on, she begins to fall apart.

But one letter Carla receives stands out from the rest, offering support from a surprising quarter. It sparks a chain of events that opens wounds and exposes shocking secrets from Carla’s past that suggest what happened to her daughter was revenge a long time planned.

And it will bring Carla unknowingly close to the stolen daughter she has sworn she will do anything to get back …

What I Say.....This was one of those books that started slow but then ended up engrossing me in the characters.

In the beginning, as Susanne suffers her miscarriage, and sneaks off to steal Carla's baby, I thought the book would be focused on that and stay in that time period.  However, Susanna's kidnapping is successful, and so the book spans the life of Isobel/Joy as she grows into her teens.  

Susanne's guilt over what she has done, coupled with the grief over her last miscarriage lead her into an emotional shutdown, incapable of ever relaxing into the motherhood she desperately desired.

Carla can't let go and move forward, losing her career, her privacy, her marriage.  

As their lives go forward, you see where they are interconnected, in their past and their present, which originally motivated Susanne, but now causes her to live in terror.  Carla wonders if her past choices brought this tragedy on her.

When I first started reading this book, I remember looking down thinking I must be halfway finished and looking down to see I was only at 24% completion.  Yikes.  But by the time I got to the second half, I found myself sitting in a parking lot pulling it up on my phone's Kindle app so I could finish it.

Thumbs down on the budding romance between Carla and David. That was the only time that I thought the author took the easy way out.  Not too realistic, but a tidy way to end an untidy story.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.76

ARC provided by Bookouture and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mid-Week Check In.....and I Love Mail!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

As I prepare for my job transfer, my days feel incredibly busy and then my adrenaline levels drop the minute I walk in the door at night.  This leads to me sitting on the couch watching copious amounts of The Big Bang Theory and The New Adventures of the Old Christine.  God Bless the DVR.

I think part of the problem with coming home is the sheer boredom of the tasks that you face upon
your arrival.  Switch the laundry, vacuum the dog hair, empty the dishwasher.  It makes me yawn just to type it, much less do it.

But tonight's mail brought one of my favorite things.  The padded envelope that can only mean one thing.  I"m about to have a new book in my hands.

Tonight was an extra special night because there were TWO books in my padded envelope, and they are by two of my favorite authors!!!

Don't get me wrong, I love my egalleys on my Kindle, but to get a real paper book feels like a special treat at the end of a long day.

I'm currently finishing The Stolen Child by Laura Elliott, and it's been a good read.  Gives me the creeps to think about a baby being stolen right out of the maternity ward, but I know it happens.

What are you reading?

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Book Haul......April 19, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

Well, this has been a quiet week.  I finished a few books.  Started a few new ones.  I  used to love suspense books, and I'm not sure when that changed but they make me uneasy now.  I've started "House of Echoes" by Brendan Duffy and it's already making me nervous.  But I keep forcing myself to plug along.

We are fostering the sweetest Golden Lab this week.  She was a stray that made it to the euthanasia list at the pound before she was rescued.  Now we've got her until the perfect home is found.  She is huge, probably about 70 pounds!  But she thinks she is a lap dog, she's super loving.  If you've ever thought about animal fostering, I can't recommend it enough.  If you go through a trusted rescue service, they will never let you take a dog that isn't safe.  

I haven't had one single dog that hasn't gotten along with my two dogs, even my territorial little Maltese.  The dogs are so grateful, and it's such a rewarding experience. Each one leaves a fun memory for us, and it's so rewarding to see them go onto their forever home.

So I didn't add many books this week.  I'm really working on clearing my shelves and I've finally been getting to some books that I really wanted to read.  

The bummer is that one of them was "The Beekeeper's Daughter" by Sonia Montefiore.  When I went to start it last night, I couldn't find it in my Kindle.  

After searching, I found that I must not have ever downloaded it and now it is archived on NetGalley.  Major sadness, but fresh motivation for clearing my TBR list.


The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke....What would you do if you could literally rewrite
your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate's two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life.

This looks like it will be a lot of fun to read.  Who doesn't have that perfect person on Facebook who drives them crazy? 

What I Wrote

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 14, 2015)

What They Say.....The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything--friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time--and they certainly won't now--but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, Courtney Summers' new novel All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

What I Say....This was a hard book to read for a mom of girls.  I know that books strikes each reader in a unique way depending on their own experiences, and for me the truly scary message of this book was how much of their lives our teens hide from us.  Romy's mom is very present, obviously loves her daughter, wants to know what is happening, but is too afraid to push it too hard.  Even her mom's new boyfriend cares and defends Romy. But she thinks she is helping them by continuing to hide the awful things that happen to her every day.

Having grown up poor in a small rural town, I could identify with the culture of the citizens, the haves and the have nots, and the sense of entitlement that exists.  I don't think it's unique to small towns, but the meanness that teens visit on each other lasts long into adulthood.

I do wish there had been more back story on what happened with Kellan and the after effects.  They comment that he was sent away, but to where? Jail? Did his family send him away to protect him? 

I also wanted to know why Penny stopped being Romy's friend but then came to her later.  I wish we had known more about what was happening in Penny's mind.

Definitely loved Leon and his family.  It was nice to think that Romy would learn that there are boys who stop when you say stop.

Courtney Summers is a very talented author.  I had to take a day before I wrote my review because at first I thought that i didn't like the book, but the reality was that I didn't like the story.  It felt a little too close to the reality our daughters face these days.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Inspiring Book Quotes

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday list (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is the Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books.

I decided to participate in this weeks list, because there are so many quotes from books that don't just inspire me, but stay with me.  Sometimes it's just perfect timing, you read what you need to read at that moment in your life.

So here we go....

1.  "Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception.  The charms that work on others count for nothing in that devastatingly well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself; no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions."  Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Honestly, if you can't identify with this, you are the most self-confident person in the world, and I don't want to meet you.

2.  "Dear Scarlett! You aren't helpless.  Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless.  God help the Yankees if they should get you."  Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind 

Scarlett O'Hara.  My first literary bad-ass, and someone I still strive to channel when I need to square my shoulders and face the world.

3.  “It was good and nothing good is ever lost.”  Rosamunde Pilcher, The Shell Seekers

The ultimate love story for me.  About a woman who knew who her true love, while also loving herself and her life.

4.  “Sometimes words drew blood, they cut your tongue, they made you know things you couldn't unknow. ” Alice Hoffman, The Story Sisters

Alice Hoffman only speaks truth.  Always

5.  “When you're happy for yourself, it fills you. When you're happy for someone else, it pours over. It was almost too bright to watch.” Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

I want to be so happy that it's too bright to watch.

6.  “I've learned that some broken things stay broken, and I've learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you." Jennifer Weiner, Good in Bed

Words that got me through my divorce.

7.   “You’re bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s ON YOU to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”  Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

I'm trying to remember this now, when my life gets too be too much about work and duty, rather than interesting experiences.

8.  “That is such crap. How dare you be so fraudulently flirtatious, cowardly and dysfunctional? I am not interested in emotional fuckwittage. Goodbye.”   Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary

I would still probably fall for Daniel and ignore Mark Darcy.  I'm that dumb.

9.  "You learned to accept, or you ended up in a small room writing letters home with Crayolas.”  Stephen King, Pet Semetery

Yep, more word to get you through the darker times of your life.

10.  “I can't stand lies. Probably no one can. Probably everyone is, to varying degrees, allergic to them, both spiritually and physically. Lies make me feel low and ignoble, and also itchy, like there's sand under my skin. The only thing that feels worse than hearing a lie is telling one.”  Maria de los Santos, Belong to Me

I'm deathly allergic to lies.  Hearing them and telling them.

What are your favorite movie quotes that you carry burned into your brain?

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (April 14, 2015)

What They Say.....Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking.

Enter Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement. She dives headlong into her daughter’s downward spiral, forcing Jess to muster all her spite and self-preservation to snag a career upgrade.

As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.

When her food garners the attention of an actress on the rise, well, she’s all too willing to throw it in with the composer and upgrade again, a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications that could explode all her relationships.

All the while, her mother looms ever closer, forcing Jess to confront the traumatic secrets she’s been running from all her life. 

What I Say....I really liked this book. A lot.  It's a great debut novel by an author to watch out for, if you like complicated characters living complicated lives.

Jess is kind of a mess.  Actually a hot mess.  She always seems either completely insecure or wildly overconfident.  She quits jobs before she has other jobs lined up.  She mouths off to her bosses, sometimes for imaginary slights rather than real ones.  Kind of like people I know in real life.

Jess's relationship with her mother is strained at best, totally dysfunctional at worst.  Her mother used her childhood to try to continually upgrade their life.  But although Jess tries to steer clear of her mother, she mimics the same behaviors in her own life, continually trying to upgrade to the better celebrity, better job, better friends.

The book is a bit disjointed, messy and emotional, but intensely readable.   Shanna Mahin is a great new talent.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Book Haul.....April 12, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

I'm continuing to slog through my TBR pile, but with much better results than last week.

This week I accepted a promotion, which is exciting and scary all at the same time.  It means moving to a bigger hospital, which includes an hour plus commute each way.  Who knows how long it will take for me to get sick of that and decide to move.

But I have already decided that my silver lining into the commute situation will be audio books.  My library has an awesome collection of audio books, but I've never really checked any out because I have a hard time paying attention to them for too long.  But now, I'll be a captive audience, so we will see if I learn to love audiobooks.

In the meantime, here's what I acquired this week.

In The Mail

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher....At the end of a long and useful
life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart, in this beloved Cornwall novel from Rosamunde Pilcher.

Man, I was so excited to get this in the mail.  They must be planning a re-release or something.  This is hands down one of my all time favorite books.  It's a long one, 582 pages!  But it's a book that feels like a cozy blanket on a snowy day.  

I Bought

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood....Jessica
Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads - by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda's guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .

Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood....'Your bum does not look big in that dress.'

'Mmmm, this meal is delicious!' 

'Of course you're better looking than Jon Hamm.'

Newly engaged Natalie Butterworth is an easy-going girl. She'll do anything for a quiet life and if telling a few teensy white lies keeps her friends and family happy, then so what? It's not like they'll ever discover what she's really thinking.

Until one night, thanks to a pub hypnotist, Natalie's most private thoughts begin to bubble up and pop out of her mouth. Things get very messy indeed, especially when some sticky home truths offend her fiancé.

Natalie must track down the hypnotist before her wedding is officially cancelled. So along with bad influence bestie Meg, Natalie finds herself in the Yorkshire Parish of Little Trooley - a small village bursting with big secrets, nosy old folk and intriguing Wellington-wearing men.

When the girls get stuck in the village with no means of escape and no way to break the hypnotist's spell, Natalie is forced to face the truths she has been avoiding her whole life ...

I saw rave reviews on This Chick Reads, so I decided to buy these books.  Not so fast, American.  I couldn't buy them as Kindle books and they were only available on Amazon in German, which isn't my first, second or any language.  This Chick Reads referred me to the the Book Depository, where I was able to order both of them with free shipping!  So this is an awesome find for an American like me that loves U.K. chick lit.

What I Wrote

If We Lived Here by Lindsey Palmer

Olive Kitteridge...When the movie is better than the book

Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Check in With

Have a great week and give me any audiobook tips you have!

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Friday, April 10, 2015

If We Lived Here by Lindsey Palmer

If We Lived Here by Lindsey J. Palmer

  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0758294352
  • Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2015)

What They Say....Razor-sharp and thought-provoking, Lindsey J. Palmer’s incisive new novel both celebrates and skewers modern relationships and their milestones, offering a witty and wise look at what it takes to commit—to love, to a home, and to the life that’s right for you. 
After three years of dating and trading nights at their respective New York City apartments, Emma Feit and Nick O’Hare are moving in together. Or they will be, as soon as they find the right place. For two happily-in-love professionals—Nick’s a teacher, Emma tutors college-bound teens—with good credit and stellar references, how hard can it be? As it turns out, very—in ways that are completely unexpected. 
Suddenly Emma is filled with questions about cohabiting, about giving up her freedom—not to mention about who’s going to clean the toilet. And while her best friend plans a dream wedding to her wealthy fiancé, and her older brother settles into suburban bliss, Emma must figure out what home means to her—and how on earth to get there.
What I Say....This book started out looking like it was going to be some good chick lit, but about halfway through, it took a strange turn.  

I really felt like Emma and Nick didn't belong together.  They were such opposites, from their thoughts of moving in together, to the way they wanted to handle a dishonest landlord, and up to infidelity.  There was never a moment where it seemed like they would be able to get past their differences.  

The first half of the book seemed like it was building towards a breakup, and the incoming hurricane seemed like it was setting the stage for this to happen.  Emma discovers some text messages on her boyfriend's phone referring to an illicit kiss.  This happened immediately after she found an email that her best friend, Annie, had sent to her mother declaring her excitement about being pregnant with her first child (I totally didn't understand why this was a big deal).  Strangely, Emma actually held a grudge about the happy email longer than she did about her boyfriend kissing her friend, although she never even asked Annie about the email.

After Emma's outbursts towards Nick and her brother, are we really supposed to think that she wouldn't confront her friend?  She would just decide to go out to dinner with her merrily as if nothing had ever happened? It seemed like an easy way to wrap up the book, but it felt hollow.

Don't get me wrong, this was a really good book, I think it just took me off guard because I was expecting chick lit, and this was a little more reality than I was ready for.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for the ARC for review.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.79

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Olive Kitteridge....the movie was better than the book?

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout was one of those books that EVERYONE was raving over.  It was featured in People magazine, it seemed to be on everyone's "must read" list, and was all the rage at book clubs.

I got sucked into the hype, borrowed a copy from the library and started reading it.  Then I struggled
to get through it. The stories at times seemed disjointed, the main character mostly seemed to be a shrew, like the neighbor or mother-in-law that you would go to great lengths to avoid.

But I finished it, shrugged it off and moved on with my life.

Fast forward to the Emmy's this year, where I kept seeing nominations for the mini-series "Olive Kitteridge".  I was a little surprised, especially when they panned the camera on Frances McDormand as the titular character.  I love her, but it didn't make me want to see out the show.

But this weekend, I happened to see that the miniseries was playing on HBO, so I sat down and binge watched the entire thing.

Such a strange phenomena.  I still didn't much like Olive.  I still felt like the stories were disjointed.

But in the miniseries, it worked.  I definitely felt much more invested in the characters.

The unthinkable had happened.  The movie was better than a book.  Man, it feels weird to type that.

What did everyone else think?  Anyone else read the book and watched the movie?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Check In With

Top Ten Characters You'd Like To Check In With

1.  Nick Dunne from Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Who doesn't want to know how things are going with
the Dunne's?  Has that baby lived through it's first year?  Do they pretend to be normal every day?

2.  Darcy Rhone from Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin.  I know everyone rooted for Rachel, but I loved Darcy, and I enjoyed Something Blue more than Something Borrowed.  I'd love to know how Darcy and Ethan are doing.

3.  CeeCee Wilkes from The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.  This was a woman who was a master at keeping secrets.  How is she handling living with no secrets?

4.  Sophie Stanton from Good Grief by Lolly Winston.  I want to know how everyone in that book is doing!

5.  Jemima from Jemima J. by Jane Green.  Who doesn't want to catch up with funny, spunky Jemima?  I wish she was a movie.

6.  Grace from Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Loved this book, loved all of the characters.  Did her mom stay sober?  Does Grace get the life she deserves?

7.  Sookie Stackhouse.  I loved the Sookie Stackhouse books, and I miss seeing new titles from Charlaine Harris.

8.  Ava Lavender.  I loved The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.  I'd love to check in on her.  I've heard some people interpreted the end as her dying, although that was not the case.

9.  Kinsey Millhone.  I'm always up for a new Sue Grafton book.

10.  Beth from Five Fires by Laura Lippman.  This was a short story that needs to be a full length novel.

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