Saturday, June 20, 2015

"The Selection" - Kiera Cass

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Last review I have for you tonight! It has been a busy reading-filled day. I randomly saw this next book on a shelf at Barnes & Noble about a month ago. While the description did intrigue me, I wasn't sure about it. I finally decided to pick up at my wonderful local library this week as I was feeling a YA mood coming on. The Selection by Kiera Cass is the first in its self titled series.

The story is set in a post apocalyptic state (like all YA books these days).This particular story is set in a new country where people are divided into a caste like system, known by their levels and jobs decided upon by this levels. The main character, America Singer is a Four. Her family members are musicians and artists. Fours are not the worst but the greatest either. They are the middle of eight levels overall. While rebels and wars are plaguing their country, the Ones, or royalty have decided it is time for their only son to choose a wife. This is done through a Selection in which 35 girls, each from a different region are chosen to come and stay at the palace to get to know Prince Maxon. Think "The Bachelor." Prince Maxon gets to know each girl while taking her on different dates and essentially whittling down the number of suitors. Being chosen has its perks. Each girl below a Three is given the title of a Three if she is not selected as the final girl and her family throughout the selection process is also provided compensation, something America's family definitely needs. America consents to entering the drawing even though she loves another and eventually is chosen as one of the thirty five to compete for the Prince's heart.

The book follows America's plight through the selection and her struggle to not only learn about the outside world but also decide what is best for her heart and her family. Earning the trust and respect of the Prince becomes easier than she thought and America is set on a whirlwind until the top 6, known as the Elite are chosen by the Prince. Can she come to love Maxon? What is really happening with the rebel groups? Will she be chosen? You will have to read to find out! I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes and will wait impatiently for the next book to come in at the library! Great start to a YA series that I highly recommend. Reminds me of a new book out, The Red Queen by Victoria Ayeyard that I recently read. You can find that review HERE! As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, or comments!

Happy reading fools :)

"Happily Ali After" - Ali Wentworth

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I warned you I had multiple reviews coming to you tonight! After reading Ali Wentworth's first book, Ali in Wonderland (see here for review) I couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest book! I love Ali, I really do. Simply put she's honest, witty, and just tells it how it is without beating around the bush or purposely trying to be funny. Don't get me wrong, she is funny but she's funny in a way that you just know that is her normal life. Crazy things are always happening to her. You just have to learn to roll with the punches.

Her newest book, Ali In Wonderland was a bit different than her previous. In this book, Ali doles out advice and how to handle different points in your life, or how she dealt with them while intermixing personal stories and situations rather than simply telling you stories from her life. While I did overall enjoy the book, I felt the beginning section was a little dull. Normally I can just pick up a book and read but I felt it continually lost my interest. Once I was about 80 pages in though my interest picked back up. The way she talks about her husband George always cracks me. Her life is a constant comedy and feel like she would be a great person to have drinks while talking about nothing particular. Another great book Ali! I can always count on you for a good laugh! As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions, or recommendations!

Happy reading fools :)

"Wicked Charms"(Lizzy & Diesel #3) - Janet Evanovich

Hello fellow bibliophiles! What a wonderful reading-filled weekend this has been thus far! I have a couple different reviews to post tonight so stay tuned! First up is the newest book in the Lizzy and Diesel series by Janet Evanovich. We all know and love her for her Stephanie Plum series and her short, cheesy, romance novels. I instantly liked this series from the first book (Wicked Appetite) and anxiously waited for the second one to come out (Wicked Business). While the second was not nearly as good as the first, I was willing to continue reading the series to see if any improvements would be made. If you have read any of my previous reviews you know that once I start a series I have difficulty stopping, even if the books are not great (see Vampire Academy series #3, #4, #5...).

The premise for the series is about Lizzy, a baker who moves into a recently deceased aunt's house in Salem, Mass from NYC. Everything in her life is pretty normal until Diesel pops in and she finds out she possess some unusual/mystical talents that he covets. Basically Lizzy is suppose to help him find the SALIGA stones, 7 mystical stones that represent the 7 deadly sins. If all are found and put together, the results would be catastrophic aka Hell would open up. In each book, random and crazy acts occur that lead to a stone that just happens to be located around Salem. Lizzy and Diesel search for the stones while evading his cousin, Wulf, and others who also hope to possess them. Simply put, the books are just like the Stephanie Plum series but instead of being a bounty hunter searching for guys who jump bail, Lizzy is searching for stones. Same crazy, unrealistic events are constantly happening. Diesel would be the equivalent of Ranger and Joe Morelli combined.

The books continue to do down in content and continually get worse. It also takes her much longer to write these books. Between the second and third books was 4 year span AND she brought in another writer! Sorry Janet, as much as I love your books, I don't think I can support this series any longer. Lizzy and Diesel had potential but you can't take Stephanie Plum out of New Jersey, give her magical powers, and call it a new hit series. As always, feel free to share any recommendations, comments, or suggestions!

Happy reading fools :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Big Little Lies" - Liane Moriarty

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I hope you are all off to a great start this week! A few weeks ago I picked up the last copy at my local B&N of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I finally had a chance to start it Sunday night and could not put it down. 460 pages done in 2 days. While the book is an easy read, it also contains multiple deeper issues plaguing society today that are often kept hidden below the surface by those involved.

"Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive." 

The book centers around three main mothers - Jane, Celeste, and Madeline. Each has their own secrets that they are trying to live through and deal with, each in their own way. What I liked most about the book is the way Moriarty hints at the "victim" in the story but once you think you have it figured out who that is, she throws you a loop and leads you in a completely different direction. Moriarty tells the story bouncing back between Jane, Celeste, and Madeline in the past before the school fundraiser but also includes small segments that are in the present reading like are part of an interrogation. Those segments come from smaller characters in the book but are quite funny at times in their descriptions of different incidents that play out in the story. Moriarty also brings to the light issues that parents face when raising children as well as issues in marriage from ex-husbands to domestic violence, all issues that on the surface, no one may see. There is a comedic air to the book that I found hilarious at times and often caught myself laughing out loud. I loved it. Like I said before, I could not put it down. Great book. I highly recommend it! As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, or comments.

Happy reading fools :)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Ali in Wonderland" - Ali Wentworth

Hello fellow bibliophiles! The first time I really saw/heard much from Ali Wentworth was last season on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. I love that show, if you can call it a show. Basically Jerry picks up other comedians in an awesome car, they drive around and talk comedy, stop for coffee, and talk more comedy. Its funny but also serious. Big fan. Check it out. Anyways, Ali and Jerry are good friends and he had her on. Listening to her talk about growing up a WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant) and her husband George (George Stephanopoulos that is) was hilarious.

I happened to catch the tail end of her interview the other day on Good Morning America about a new book she has coming out. I didn't even know she had a first book out! So I stopped by my local library and picked up her first book, Ali In Wonderland. It was great. Witty, funny, full of family drama and history. Reading about her mom Muffie is enough to make a person roll on the ground grabbing their stomach in pain from laughing so hard. She's a hoot.

I've always been a fan of books wrote by comedians no matter if they are trying to be funny or have a more serious tone. Jim Gaffigan's two books, Dad is Fat and Food: A Love Story, and Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays are a couple of my favorites. In my experience, you either like them or you don't. I happen to love them. I highly encourage you to check this out if you are looking for a light, quick read. Great book Ali! I cannot wait to get your next book, Ali Ever After. It is waiting on the hold shelf at the library for me! As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, or comments!

Happy reading fools :)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"If I could Turn Back Time" - Beth Harbison

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks NetGalley for the recent ARC I received, If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison! This book was better than others that I have recently read (see Saving Grapes)! The story describes a situation that I feel most people have thought about once or twice in their lifes as they get older.

The story starts out with Ramie Phillips is a 38 year old, single woman celebrating her birthday with friends. As her friends are all moving on their lifes, getting married, having kids, etc, she feels that she is "stuck." As Ramie goes to jump off the diving board on the boat they are on, she falls and hits her head. When Ramie wakes up, she is transported back to her 18 year old self.  From there, Ramie starts to analyze her life and question if she can change the present. Ramie moves throughout time and realizing things about her self and life in general as she is transported on this journey.

I think everyone has had these thoughts in their live. Would this or that have been different if you had done things differently? How would it have affected your life today? A lot of time it is hard to accept things in our lives. Coming to the realization that everything will work out in the end is not always an easy task, but we have to live with our decisions no matter how it turns out. At that time, we thought what we were doing was the right thing to do. Nothing we do can change it. Live with no regrets. You will be happier in the end. Overall this was decent book. It has a great meaning and easily relatable to all people. There were a few instances that lacked enough emotion or "freak out", I mean wouldn't you freak out if you woke up as an 18 year old in your parent's house?? Overall, good book. As always, feel free to share any recommendations, responses, or comments.

Happy reading fools :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Saving Grapes" - J.T. Lundy

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I recently finished Saving Grapes by J.T. Lundy, an ARC I received via NetGalley (Thanks!). I was in the mood for a cheesy, quick, romance novel. You all know what I mean. Guy/Girl is having a terrible luck in life/romance; girl/guy makes a drastic life change; guy/girl falls instantly and fast for each other; girl/guy does something stupid; guy/girl forgives and they live happily ever after; the end.

While this book had all of those pieces, it had too many of those said pieces. The book jumped from one thing to the next over and over without completing one part before moving onto the next. It wasn't just cheesy, it was too over the top and "ignorant" (I can't think of a better word!).  Maybe I am being too harsh but I don't even know if this book had potential to be better. Too much nonsense! Unfortunately, not all books can be great and this one fell pretty far down on that totem pole. As always, feel free to share any recommendations, comments, and suggestions!

Happy reading fools :)