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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dumplin

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just adored this book.
Maybe because I feel like Willowdean could be when I was a teenager.
A girl that is the 'heavier' girl in school, the one with the cute friend, the one who is insecure but still has some sass to her... & of course, a girl that loves Dolly Parton.
I honestly need this to be a movie - & FAST.
I loved that even at my age, it was great to see a group of girls stand up for what they believe in & take a risk, creating new friendships & seeing that believing & loving yourself is what matters. A universal message for any age.

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Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Castaways

The CastawaysThe Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My 2nd Elin Hilderbrand book & I think I'm hooked.
Loved the story of 4 groups of friends & what happens after one couple is killed in a horrible boating accident.
The aftermath of so many truths comes out & reveals so much about the relationships of the group, The Castaways.
Because there were so many people, I legit had an index of names & arrows connecting who to who & what to what... it could get a little confusing at the beginning...
I enjoyed the story though - anxious to see how the friendships would survive this loss.

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Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meet Me Under the Stars

Meet Me Under the StarsMeet Me Under the Stars by K.D. Proctor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun book....
First, I have to say, this isn't typically anything like I would read. It left me blushing a lot & saying "Language" out loud over & over... & then it just became part of the characters & I didnt seem to mind it as much. But again its NOT my typical book I read.
But I HAD to read this...just HAD to because the author is someone I have followed through the years & am so excited for her debut novel.
& I absolutely loved the store of the book. The characters of Charlie & Nate & this passionate love they had & then tore apart ... & the reason they have to come back together to their old stomping ground at camp, where they used to be camp leaders along with all of their old camp friends.
I feel like I should just be wearing shorts & flip flops & ratty t-shirts & hair in a braid reading it.
It was a fast read with parts that made me laugh, brought back memories, but would also make me cringe with frustration for the characters & heart ache for the people just not getting their act together to get to that happy ending.
The only reason I didnt give a full 5 stars is again, just because of my own hang ups on the content. I know some people that usually read chick-lit-beach-reads would think nothing twice of some of the stuff that had me blushing & saying "Oh gosh" ... & again, it didnt distract from the story - only made it more clearer of the passion of these two characters.
I'm sad to let Nate go... the perfect English accent boyfriend... every girl needs a Nate - I'm convinced of it.
Keep an eye out for this book if you are a fan of some hot steamy chick-lit reading... & you dont blush easily ;)

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When ratings for her popular DIY show start to circle the drain after the sudden death of her sister, Charlotte “Charlie” Conti has only one mission—to plan a comeback. But her sister had other plans. As part of the will, Charlie must work with *him* to create a memorial scholarship in her sister’s memory. The same *him* Charlie fell in love with three years ago while working at a summer camp.

The same *him* she dumped, to protect his heart.

Sexy, British player, Nate Walsh, has sixty days to find a new job or he’ll be deported back to England where he’s no longer welcome. He doesn’t have time to work on a memorial scholarship with *her*. The same *her* who shattered his heart without explanation or warning.

The same *her* he’s never gotten over.

Unable to agree on the specifics of the scholarship, Nate and Charlie challenge each other to a winner-takes-all competition. They both know the only way to win is to turn up the heat and tempt one another with the one thing they both want: each other. But as sparks fly, their true feelings resurface. Nate and Charlie must decide if their love is worth the effort and if they can overcome their disastrous past mistakes to spend forever together.
 



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

As Old As Time

As Old as Time (A Twisted Tale, #3)As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Y'all!!!! You know I love me some Beauty & the Beast & have read nearly every book out there that is related to the topic.
This is by far my favorite recently (I think Beauty by Susan Wilson still is my fav - I need to re-read & see if it still holds up)
But this one? I ADORED!!!!!
I wasn't even sure what it was about... & actually it kind of confused me because each chapter goes back & forth in time.
& I loved how PART I is exactly like the Beauty & the Beast story in the respective chapters... UNTIL....UNTIL Belle changes something up.
I LOVED THIS STORY!
It's so smart. The idea that the Enchantress that cursed the Beast was Belle's mother. I loved how the characters are the same from the movie, but TOTALLY different in the end.
I JUST CANT SAY ENOUGH ... as a huge B&tB fan, I devoured this... & am so happy that I loved it & caught off by what a fun, surprising read it was.

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Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father's reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle's mother returns—a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.

But Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind—images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.


Friday, June 9, 2017

The Matchmaker

The MatchmakerThe Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first Elin Hilderbrand book - after hearing all about her books & how they are perfect summer beach reads. I see that.
A book that has touches of soap opera in them... drama, romance, dancer, more romance, fighting, abuse, heartache...
I enjoyed this one, the story of an old love coming back into Dabney's life... & enjoyed the corny 'matchmaking powers' of all things turning rosy or green. So corny. But the part that really got me was the "lovesick" thing. When you're lovesick, you dont need to take off work for 3 days because you hurt & cant move. That was just dumb to me.
But I did love the overall story of friendship, of family, of love that lives on ... even in the sad & heartbreaking parts.
I'll totally try another Hilderbrand book

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48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others - like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is clearly engaged to the wrong man - call it meddlesome, but there's no arguing with her results: With 42 happy couples to her credit and all of them still together, Dabney has never been wrong about romance.

Never, that is, except in the case of herself and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed boy who took her heart with him long ago when he left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Now, after spending 27 years on the other side of the world, Clen is back on Nantucket, and Dabney has never felt so confused, or so alive.

But when tragedy threatens her own second chance, Dabney must face the choices she's made and share painful secrets with her family. Determined to make use of her gift before it's too late, she sets out to find perfect matches for those she loves most. The Matchmaker is a heartbreaking story about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.