Friday, September 30, 2016

The A to Z of You & Me

The A to Z of You and MeThe A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Man... I guess I should have expected a sad book when it starts off knowing that Ivo is in a hospice care unit, but whew. I'm so depressed.
So many times I just stopped reading, but then I had to know what happened to Ivo's girlfriend Mia. The book jumps back & forth in time so much, sometimes you have to start reading again to figure out where you are at.
I didn't HATE the book, but it was a struggle. Maybe because the emotional weight?
& I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. I mean, on one side, you KNOW how its going to end - hello, Hospice reference - but I just felt like while there was a 'closure' in one part, I felt like it was too simple or too rushed. Like how did Mal get in the room when half the book was about making sure he didn't? & where was Sheila - his nurse who meant so much in the whole book - in the end?
All I know is I need something light to read next.

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He has all kinds of everyday joy in his life -- he's young, he's in love, he has friends who promise to stand by him if life ever goes wrong.

Then one day, life does go wrong.

He makes a mistake, and it's big and unforgiveable. Now time is running out, and his life is falling apart. But he's going to put it back together again. His own way.

This is a story about how far love must stretch to gather a life in pieces -- and about how a strong friendship never dies

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I knew I had to read this before the movie came out.
It seems like everyone was reading this at some point - especially after Gone Girl got so popular.
Another disappearing woman - who did it?
I love a good mystery... but even I figured this one out pretty early on - so not that big a surprise to me.
I did enjoy the book. It did hold my interest, but I just felt like it was a LITTLE too long... & the characters really started getting on my nerves. Especially Rachel - the main character. Her drunken ways just gave me NO PATIENCE with her. I was so over her antics & her sneaky ways half way through the book. & then even the other characters started getting on my nerves. Especially Anna & even Megan, the woman who disappeared. It was just like a paranoid group of people that seemed miserable in their life.
I was glad to get to the end, hear the whole story... but was a little relieved when that end came.
Cant wait for the movie now.

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EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

99 Days

99 Days99 Days by Katie Cotugno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun quick & easy read.
The story of a girl who made some bad choices in a relationship - only after confiding in her mother about the situation, she wrote a novel about it bringing it to light to everyone in their town, including Molly's boyfriend Patrick.
After Molly leaves her town her senior year because she can't handle all the bullying, she returns for 99 days before she leaves for college. It's not long before the bullying continues but she finds solace in another friend - Patrick's brother, Gabe.
We set ourselves up for a perfect love triangle - which I sort of loved in a cheesy soap opera way... until it just got on my nerves. It didn't seem that Molly didn't know what she wanted & you could see this was going to not end well at all, between her & anyone & especially the relationship between the brothers. I still didn't mind the story - was anxious to see where it was going to go - but then the ending really just sort of aggravated me. I would have probably given this 5 stars up to half way through the book - & then 4 stars until I read the ending & just felt like it wasn't complete to me... so 3 stars it is. Still liked it, but got sort of let down in the end.

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Decent Proposal

The Decent ProposalThe Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I loved the idea of this book - someone offers $500,000 to 2 people if they just meet at least once a week for at least 2 hours a time & just talk - get to know each other. Nothing more.
Two polar opposites. What will they learn from each other & what will happen to their relationship.
I thought it had so much potential.
I honestly struggled to get through this. Actually ended up skipping some chapters once I got half way through & just couldnt FEEL the book.
There was so much skipping back in time & then we'd be back to present & I was getting so confused. The back stories took SOOOOOO long too that I was just over it by the time we did get back to the present. & then the weird part, the present would zoom by so fast with out a lot of attention to it.
All of that just made me loose interest really quickly.
It was an OK read - not horrible. I just thought it had so much potential on how this story could have went.

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An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.

A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that’s a woman, by the way).

At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina” The Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.

Richard and Elizabeth’s paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. They’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together—just talking—every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?

What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back TattooThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 things I really enjoy in life - 1.) Funny people! I LOVE funny people. Humor & comedy just makes my day. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do in this world. 2.) Autobiographies. I love learning about people's lives & their stories. So when a autobiography comes out of a lady I find really funny, I had to get it.
I loved Tina Fey & Amy Poehler's autobiographies & was hoping this was going to be that same level.
I guess it shouldnt shock me that reading this, Lena Durnham is one of Amy's favorites people because I couldnt make myself finish her autobiography... & this one was a close second.
Those I did finish it - but not happily.
Did it have its funny moments? Of course
Was Amy profound in places? Yes. I so appreciated her honesty on her life growing up with her mom & her father... & in every few chapters, you'd see a depth about Amy & the way she's come through some tough situations.
Did it have its fill of language & vulgar talk? DEFINITELY. Now, honestly, I am someone that doesn't get offended easily - & it takes a lot for me to get embarrassed. But truly, some pages, I would have just died if someone I knew looked over my shoulder & saw some of the wording on some of these pages. To me, personally, it was just a little too extreme. You can be funny & get your point across without needing SOOOO MUCCHHHHHH in your face.
That was disappointing to me. It made me just not enjoy the book that much.
Its so bad, I probably wont even keep this one on my shelf with all my other autobiographies...
anyone want a free book?


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Things you Kiss Goodbye

The Things You Kiss GoodbyeThe Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm actually torn in a lot of emotional pulls on this one.
First, this book deals with abusive relationships. Something you really dont think too much in a younger person's dating life. I was struggling with how Bettina was handling this with her boyfriend Brady - the one kid that changed so much through the years & who everyone looks up to.
& then I had a YES & then NO feeling when Bettina meets "Cowboy". I loved he was giving her courage & letting her be herself, but the age gap was sort of strange to me making me feel like this was not a relationship that should be happening.
& the relationship with her dad - a pure Greek father - had me frustrated & aggravated at how little he saw his daughter & treated her fairly compared to her sons. Their relationship bothered me. It almost made me think he was the example that she should over look abuse.
& then the end of the book? Again, torn between heart broken & numb, but the outlook of a new beginning.
See? All over the place.
But I will say, this book held my attention. I devoured it. That says something it of itself.

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Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant even begin to say how much I loved this book.

A book that makes me get teary eyed in the first few pages just because I was so happy to visit these characters again? Yeah, an automatic 5 star book.
I dont want to give any of the MAGIC away of this book but I adored the idea of the story. That we see Harry Potter as a parent now & to see the characters grown up with kids that make their own decisions in life.
I also adored that we get to go down memory lane of past books & relieve some of the past stories with a little twist on 'what could have been'
I honestly couldnt have been happier with the book... except that it had to end.
I also loved the style of the book & how it was written up for a screenplay. To me, it really helped with the visual of the story & I could totally see it in my mind as a production.
Now, I'll have to add to my bucket list to go see this on stage one day.
Thanks JK Rowling for letting us for a brief moment get to spend some time with our favorite wizards.

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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places