Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Elite

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So yep, still totally into this series. I'm so glad I waited for the entire series to be out before I started reading this because I would be FURIOUS if I had to wait for each book to come out. My library has a wait list on the final 3 so I've just ordered the entire series so no more waiting. & I'll be diving straight into book 3 ASAP.
This wasn't AS great as the first one to me, just because I was getting a little frustrated at America & her decision making skills.... but the deeper story of the relationships developing & the inner workings of the royal family - especially the story with Marlee that kept me gasping & a tad freaking out - had me still wrapped up in this story ... & cant wait to see what the next step in The Selection is since we're down to five. I'm here for every dramatic moment of it.

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The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Selection {Book One}

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I waited for this whole series to come out before I started because I knew I'd read straight through them & true to form, I zoomed through the first book... & already into the 2nd one. I'm going to tear through this series, I have a feeling.
Someone asked me what it was about & I said its a mixture of The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. What a weird combo - but it really fits.
Girls getting picked out of their castes to marry the Prince... & when America, a FIVE is picked, she goes in with a broken heart after Aspyn leaves her feeling rejected. Little does she know what lays ahead of her in the process of The Selection.
I am just a sucker for corny romance books & this is just a fun little twist & a great little love triangle. I know I'm into it when I can't pick a side ... One minute, I'm totally Team Maxon & the next, Team Aspyn... so I'm excited to see how this all plays out.

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In the Unlikely Event

In the Unlikely EventIn the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm just mad I wasted all my time.
This book just felt like it took forever... & by the end of the story, I was like, "What's the point of this book?"
If I hadnt gotten so far into it, I would have just stopped but I kept thinking there had to be some revelation or something more towards the end.
Nope.
I didnt care for this book at all. Between the zillion characters & just the weirdness of the plane crashes that hinted there would be something more to this story... again, nope.
& then it just aggravated me to think how young the characters were in this book & it just threw another wrench in it to me on how their experiences were happening.
I'm just disappointed. I grew up a Judy Blume fan... Give me her YA stuff any day over this.

______________________

In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times # 1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.

Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place — Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

In the Unlikely Event is a gripping novel with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume's unparalleled storytelling

Monday, September 11, 2017

Of Mess & Moxie

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious LifeOf Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply adored this book.... & I wish I were rich or won the lottery because I would buy this book for every one of my Christian Sisters in my life. I want every woman to read it & laugh, & ponder & weep & find joy & to know you're not alone in your mess... & to show how much moxie they have as well.
I wasn't out of the intro before I had all the feels going. & they just went through the whole book. From laughing, to reflecting, to feeling heart ache of life, to laughing again.
Each chapter has its own little touch of moxie itself... & I would especially love the "HOW TO" chapters... be ready to cackle out loud.
If you want a book to just take your weekend & make you feel like you're surrounded with friends, get this book & settle in.

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Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it.

But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing "right." Struggle doesn't mean they're weak; it means they're alive.

Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change ("Everyone, be into this thing I'm into! Except when I'm not. Then everyone be cool.") or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip ("Why are we in San Antonio?"), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted "in the moment" no matter what the moments hold

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why did I wait so long to read this?
I read all the reviews & all the raving on it - man, oh man. This one is totally in my top 5 of favorites.
I love Ove. The gruff old man who has such a wall up & seems like he's got a heart of stone... but we see those cracks of his goodness seep through.
I would honestly be laughing on one page & then choked up on the next. & when it ended, I was just a ball of emotions, from the ending, to not wanting the actual book to end.
I adore this book.
I had it from the library, but need to go purchase it for my own book shelf - especially because I want to highlight so many quotes from it too.
Cant say enough good about this

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A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Vanishing Girls

Vanishing GirlsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars (They REALLY need 1/2 stars here!!!)
I didnt realize until after I read it that it was the same author as "Before I Fall" which I really enjoyed.
Dont want to say too much on this - but it was a really twist turn mystery kind of book.... it had me thinking I had it figured out at one point, & then threw me off again, & all over again... which totally made me like the book because I couldnt wait to get to the end.
The only down side is that it did a lot of jumping - which I'm usually good & like switching characters perspectives ... but this was a little TOO much because there's characters changes as well as diary entries & newspaper clippings of a whole other mystery... & it did get a TAD confusing... but not enough to ruin the book for me.

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Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1)Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had a weird love/hate/like relationship with this book.
It started off where I was literally laughing out loud in public reading it ... & then near half way through, it just seemed to take a drawn out turn that just felt like it was full of long words, weird characters & just things to fill up pages. ... but the last 2 or 3 chapters, especially the ending pulled me back to where I didn't close it with a thump saying how much I hated it. It saved me to bump it back up to an "ok" book.
It did make me laugh... I did like some of the characters... hated others ... & then was just meh about a lot of the side stories.
I know these are the same people that wrote Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist & now I'm afraid to read that one....

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“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own