Posts Categorized: Book Reviews

Book Review – Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

September 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee BenderThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Published by Anchor on May 26, 2010
Pages: 306
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle)

This storyline certainly had the potential for being a fascinatingly original novel about a young girl, Rose, who on the eve of her 9th birthday realizes that while eating a piece of homemade cake, that her mom is extremely sad. Confused, as a 9 year old would be, she doesn’t realize till it begins happening again and again, that by eating food prepared by someone she’s able to tell what kind of mood they are in.

I found this to be a variation of synesthesia, where individual letters of the alphabet and numbers are designated a color, where sounds can produce colors that arise around the produced sound, and where words can cause involuntary taste sensations. I first learned about synesthesia in Ultraviolet and found it to be quiet fascinating. Obviously in this story she’s not suffering from synesthesia; however, I found it to be a similar concept and was quite interested in the originality of it all.

The overall tone was quite dreary because this little girl was unable to explain to her parents why the dinner feels “empty” and why she knows that even though her mother manages to put on a happy face, it’s far from the truth. As the story progresses and Rose starts learning how to deal with her ‘gift’ she’s able to pick up more and more subtleties like why her mom is sad, why the baker who made the chocolate chip cookies is angry, and is even able to determine where the food has been and who has unknowingly passed on their emotions into it. After one particularly rough meal when her mother, for once, seems happier, Rose soon finds out the reason behind it.

”After I’d bussed the rest of the table, I wrapped up the remaining roast beef in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for some adultery sandwiches the next day.”

This was all in the first 1/3 of the book or so. Then the author decides to throw in the fact that her brother has a ‘magical ability’ as well… and suffice it to say, it was laughable. (view spoiler) Also, the lack of quotation marks drove me absolutely batty. How hard is it to put quotes in so I know what’s being said versus what’s being thought? Very difficult to read like that. Very upsetting because I was really excited about reading this, but I was extremely disappointed with the final outcome. By the end I was ready to give this book 1 star but because I was thoroughly intrigued by the first half of the book I decided to give it 2 instead.

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Book Review – Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1) by Janet Evanovich

September 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1) by Janet EvanovichWicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Series: Lizzy & Diesel #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 14, 2010
Pages: 322
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

Fun, highly entertaining read for when you’re in that kinda mood. There’s no dramatic (or even realistic) world-building, there’s no real plot development, so if you’re in the mood for some serious novel you are definitely looking in the wrong place. This is the book when you’re looking for a good time and want to read some real funny fluff.

Lizzy is a pastry chef who makes some seriously fabulous cupcakes with an average and fairly normal life until she meets Diesel. Lizzy is informed by Diesel that she’s an “Unmentionable” and that she can detect magical objects and he needs her to locate them for him.

“Did you know you were an Unmentionable?”
“No. I thought bras and panties were unmentionables.”

As Maja warned me from the very beginning: “I hope you like cupcakes. And monkeys.” Suffice it to say, the word cupcake appears 125 times in this novel. I had one major cupcake craving by the time I was done. Big as in:

Now that’s a cupcake.

The monkey’s (or unicorn if you’re Wendy :D) name is Carl and, well… Carl is hilarious. He’s not a freaky talking money or anything, but he loves cheez whiz, froot loops, and he loves flipping people off.

There’s also Hatcher, but he’s kind of a freak. He’s some geek who insists on dressing in medieval garb which does in fact include a sword. And then there’s Cat 7143. Yes, that’s his name. He has a glass eye, half a tail, and he’s apparently a ninja.

There’s the obligatory bad guy, Wulf, and the required hot guy, Diesel. All of these great characters are all in search of the seven stones which happen to contain the seven deadly sins. This is the first in the series, and I’m assuming it will only be 7 in the series, but I can’t wait for the next book! The ending was cute and left a smile on my face.

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Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBride

August 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBrideHold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on October 12, 2010
Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

This book was great, highly enjoyable, and extremely funny. And it had EVERYTHING! Usually when an author throws in an odd assortment of paranormal creatures it tends to get a little messy and slightly corny; however, Lish McBride totally made it work. I mean we’ve got some necromancers, werewolves, zombie pandas, lawn gnomes came to life and poked people with tiny shovels, there was a tiny flying dragon, and even a talking severed head. As Sam states so eloquently, “Once a severed head talks, life’s possibilities seem endless.”

This was a thrill ride and highly addictive read… it may have taken me forever and a day to finish this but only because of my current schedule so don’t let that deter you. The best part about this book were the characters… these were people that you totally wanted to personally befriend. Brooke was my favorite because she was a total smart ass and full of spirit. The main character, Sam, was awesome and very realistic as far as paranormal stories go. This story was really about him finding himself and who he is (after feeling lost for so long). His is a great story.

This book doesn’t have any cliffhanger or anything even though this is the first book in a planned series. The next book comes out May 2012 so mark your calendars! (And get this one read ahead of time). 🙂

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Short and Sweet Review – Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson

August 26, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short and Sweet Review – Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick HansonJust One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson
Published by New Harbinger Publications on October 1, 2011
Pages: 232
Genres: Non-Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

You’You've heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.

 

Just one practice each day can help you:

  • Be good to yourself
  • Enjoy life as it is
  • Build on your strengths
  • Be more effective at home and work
  • Make peace with your emotions

This was a well written positive little how-to guide on how to be mindful of your happiness on a daily basis. This is a novel for everyone. It’s an easily understandable guide that doesn’t go into the ‘science’ of anything or even religion. This is definitely a great read for anyone interested in trying to make their days just a bit better.

The first time I read this novel I read it front to back and I enjoyed it. I did understand; however, that some of the situations the author would discuss didn’t necessarily apply to me at the time of reading. This is going to be a great book to keep on hand for whenever I encounter a situation where a little guidance is needed. I have a feeling the ‘Relax’ chapter will have its work cut out for it though. 🙂

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Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. Saare

August 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. SaareThe Renfield Syndrome by J.A. Saare
Series: Rhiannon's Law #2
Published by Mundania Press on August 21, 2011
Pages: 212
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

four-half-stars

Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Rhiannon’s Law series

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon's Law, #1)

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1)

“Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my”

….. INDEED.

Highly recommended that you read book number one, ‘Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between’ prior to reading this book or my review. You have been warned! 🙂

The Renfield Syndrome picks right up from the cliffhanger that ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ left us all with. But all is not right in Kansas, oh no. Rhiannon is now 101 years in the future after making a deal with the demon Zagan in order for him to forgive his deal with her vampire lover Disco. In a nutshell? The world 101 years in the future is one insane crazy ass place where all kinds of creepy crawlies have decided to come out and play… and they’re not limited to just the nighttime. Rhiannon has to find Disco in order to fulfill her debt to Zagan and she only has a limited amount of time in which to do this.

This book was one wild rollercoaster ride. It seemed like every other page Rhiannon was kicking someone else’s ass… and it was great! She’s evolved into one serious badass chick. I thought ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ was awesome; ‘The Renfield Syndrome’ was the perfect continuation to a great story. Fortunately for my sanity, the ending to this book wasn’t as huge a cliffhanger as much as the first one was; however, it still managed to leave you wanting more.

As other readers have stated, it’s pretty damn near impossible to really talk about the book without revealing anything that’s vital to the story. Honestly, the majority of the book needs to be experienced first-hand so I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. So what are you waiting for, go pick this one up… you won’t be disappointed.

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Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe Neill

August 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe NeillTwice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #3
Published by NAL on June 23, 2010
Pages: 372
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Drink Deep

five-stars

Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Wow… just wow. This was by far the best book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (so far at least). Total 5 stars… LOVED IT. And okay, it’s official. This book has made me an official card carrying member of the Ethan Sullivan fan club. lol That’s all I’ll say.

Twice Bitten opens where the 2nd left off… Gabriel Keene is coming to town and he has requested that Ethan and Merit be in charge of his security detail. Gabriel is working to bring together all the shape shifters so that a vote can be conducted on whether they stay in Chicago or return to their home in Alaska.

This is going to be a super short review because so much happened that I would hate to ruin for readers of this series. Suffice it to say, this book was one major roller coaster ride that I never wanted to stop. The characters were all sorts of spectacular, except I did kind of want to beat Ethan on the head on several occasions, but my opinion did change by the end. Merit and Mallory have kissed and made up, which was phenomenal because their interactions are beyond hilarious. I mean how can you not laugh at a line like this:

“And leprachauns might poop rainbows on your pillow.”

All in all this book kept me enthralled and I can’t wait to dive into the next installation!

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Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe NeillFriday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #2
Published by NAL on September 2, 2009
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Twice Bitten, Drink Deep

four-half-stars

Vamps in Chicago!

You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle yet.

But all that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior, putting mere mortals at ease with their policy of asking a person’s consent before taking a big gulp of the red stuff. However, that doesn’t make good copy for a first time reporter looking to impress his high society family.

So now my “master,” the centuries old, yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan, wants me to reconnect with my own upper class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires—and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

The second addition to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series picks up where the first left off (and it’s recommended you read the first before diving into this one.) Merit is still learning to adjust to her new status as a vampire but as Sentinel to Cadogan House. News that vampires are conducting raves where humans are practically slaughtered causes Merit to have to become reacquainted with her family members in order to act as a buffer between vampires and humans. Merit’s ‘separation’ between her and her vampire starts becoming more and more problematic.

The Relationship(s)
So slowly but surely we’re heading in the love triangle direction and I am not all for this… however it’s not the most painful one I’ve encountered. Merit and Ethan obviously have the hots for each other but neither seems willing to act on it… but the tension is still definitely present. Merit and Morgan were practically forced into a courtship at the end of the last book but the emotions aren’t exactly forced, I’m not talking arranged marriages here; however, Morgan certainly has far more feelings for Merit than she does for him.

So I was all for Ethan in this book (as most of you are)… especially after the scene where he (view spoiler) I mean way to touch the squishy parts of my heart. But there’s just something I really like about Morgan… maybe it’s the tall, dark and handsome thing he’s got going for him.

I went to Chloe Neill’s website and she has a picture posted of her interpretation of Morgan and … oooh. I like him even more. Hahaha Up until then I’d be imagining Morgan along the lines of this:

*Swoon*

I actually enjoyed this one even more than number one… it was funnier, far more interesting, and way more exciting. Believe it or not I’m actually moving straight on to book 3! 🙂

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Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire RobynsSecond-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns
Published by Carina Press on September 26, 2011
Pages: 167
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Can She Outwit Fate?

Gemma is on a collision course with heartbreak. At least, according to the fortune-teller her best friend drags her to see. Gemma doesn't believe a word of it, but when other predictions start to come true, she begins to suspect that gorgeous, gray-eyed Nick is the man foretold to break her heart before she can find her soul mate. Too bad she's never met a man she's wanted more, because now she has to get him to dump her before she falls too hard.

Nick has plans of his own. He's ready to settle down with Ms. Right, and everything points to the beautiful Gemma. He's determined to prove to her that he's the perfect boyfriend—even if she does seem to be trying her best to scare him off…

Second Guessing Fate is the story of Gemma. Gemma visits a fortune teller, Madam Hooch, and she tells Gemma “Eez a bad, bad time. Eet is – how you say – big achy heart.” At which point in time I wanted to bust out singing Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart

But Madam Hooch continues spouting her magical knowledge. “Eez a big love and the man, ah, he eez dark and so handsome, but eez no good for you. He break your heart. First the big breaky heart and then you find soul mate. How you say – tears before happy, no? Time eez up. Goodbye.

That woman is quite obviously full of brilliance and I can totally understand why Gemma took every single word she said to heart. Madam Hooch is described as being ancient with snow white hair… kinda like this!

Not saying she was giving out poison apples or anything… but then again, who knows.

So Gemma starts dating Nick after they’re both involved in a car accident. Which I guess Madam Hooch predicted… I don’t know, I think I missed that part. Nick asks Gemma out and they go to dinner. After Date #1 she starts to have a ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ moment because he took 2 days to call her after their first date, because he asks her to dates on Monday rather than the weekend, and oh noes! He keeps making out with her but has yet to sleep with her by date 5; however, she continues accepting his requests for another date… because Madam Hooch told her to. Because the next guy she dated was supposed to break her heart and she has to let that happen in order to meet her soul mate! Gemma wants to dump him but her friend Helen convinces her not to:

“You can’t be the one to say cheers. He has to dump you—otherwise you may corrupt the fate-line. Changing the order of events could split your destiny path and even block the branch to your soul mate.”

Yes. The FATE-LINE. Dun-dun-dun.

I could’ve done without the fortune teller stuff or it could’ve at least been done differently. I actually really liked Nick; he was my favorite character because he seemed the most real and down to earth. Here’s this guy that’s trying really hard to get back into a relationship but he’s continually scared he’s going to screw it all up… again. I really felt for the guy.

And what was up with Gemma constantly wondering when he’s going to take her to bed? I don’t know it was just off for me… Gemma didn’t even seem to like him and that made me feel bad for him. It totally made me think of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.’ Here’s Gemma who’s already expecting to get dumped by this guy (because Madam Hooch told her) and she’s basically trying to speed up the process so she can get on to meeting her soul mate (because Madam Hooch told her). But she’s also trying frantically to get him to sleep with her. So Gemma was kind of an oxy-moron to me.

All in all, this story just fell flat for me. I was bummed because it sounded like this super cute romance novel that I was completely in the mood for but it ended up missing the mark for me.

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Book Review – Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones

August 19, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda JonesSecond Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 16th 2011
Pages: 307
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Funny-ha-ha, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: First Grave on the Right, For I Have Sinned, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

four-half-stars

If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble.

Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible…

When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.

Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Charley Davidson series

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones {PurchaseMy Review}

Well, it’s official. Charley Davidson is one of my most favorite book characters of all time. Oh my gosh I love this girl. Yes, I’m having a silly fan-girl moment where I end up saying things like, “I’m going to be Charley Davidson for Halloween!” She’s not just funny, she is absolutely hilarious and I cannot get enough. If you’ve read the first novel (which you definitely should before reading this one or you’ll be super duper confused) then you’ll remember laughing practically every single page. I’ll admit, this one wasn’t AS funny, but I still wasn’t disappointed… I had to make sure to keep from drinking liquids when my eyes were on the pages for fear it would come out my nose. 🙂

I started this book the day that it came out and due to my current crazy schedule it was hard for me to find time to read… I still managed to read it in 2 days though. A bit sleep-deprived? Yes. A bit backed up on work from too many breaks? Yes. Was it worth? Oh heck yes!

‘Second Grave on the Left’ picks up right where ‘First Grave on the Right’ left off with a brand new mystery (or three) to boot. Darynda Jones? You’re an amazing writer and I kinda love you. You’ve now written two amazing novels that, well… I can’t get over how much I love these books. I totally dig a good grim reaper novel, I’m always up for a good laugh, throw in a mystery to keep me guessing (please do!), and then there’s the way you describe Reyes. To quote Charley: “Holy mother of banana cream pie.”

”He was like the desert, stark and beautiful, harsh and unforgiving, with the promise of treasure behind every dune, the allure of water hidden just beneath the surface.”

And if you need a visual? Whoever posted that picture on Goodreads of ‘Reyes Farrow’ totally hit the nail on the head. Lol

I’m not going to go into details about the plot or anything because I don’t want to give anything away to the non-readers of book 1 and because all I want to get across with this review is to say that you really need to read this series. If you’re looking for a serious mystery, this probably isn’t the novel for you. It’s one of those books that I’m sure if you spent a lot of time critiquing the story you’d find some holes but it’s such an enjoyable read that I don’t personally see a damn thing wrong with it. Not so much a cliffhanger ending but I most certainly cannot wait for January to roll around. And that cover? Awesome.

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Book Review – Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera

August 15, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Craving Perfect by Liz FicheraCraving Perfect by Liz Fichera
Published by Carina Press on July 25, 2011
Pages: 241
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

A Life Less...Hers

Grace Mills craves being perfect almost as much as she craves raspberry scones. In fact, her life would be perfect if only she could lose ten more pounds, if only the pastry café she co-owns with her sister would turn a profit, if only the hottest guy at the gym would look her way...

And then "if only" comes true. Grace is suddenly straddling two lives: an alternate reality where she's a size two, weathergirl celebrity and being chased by the hot guy. Only Mr. Gorgeous isn't very nice.

In her other life, she's starting to realize her sister is less than happy running the family café, and hunky Carlos, the gym's janitor, seems to have a secret crush on her. Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye...

Grace is living two lives and it's beginning to cost her. Is there a way to pick one...that's perfect?

I was totally in the mood for something different and since I rarely read chick-lit I opted to give this one a shot. Reading the summary it sounded like your typical chick-lit but with enough originality to make it interesting plus there’s even…

Magic Treadmills!

I won’t expand upon that… I’ll let you all read about that interesting funny tid-bit. 🙂

Craving Perfect tells the story of Grace Mills, a baker in a pastry café that she co-owns with her sister Kathleen. Grace and Kathleen are quite close considering they are the only family each of them has left after the deaths of their parents. Grace is constantly ‘craving perfection’ and is always trying to lose more weight so that she can hopefully catch the eye of the hot guy at the gym, Max, that she’s been ogling over for several weeks. Which kind of turned me off from this novel and Grace in general because it’s more than a little obvious that Max is a superficial jerk, but don’t worry, you’ll end up loving Grace just like me.

One day when Grace is at the gym she hops on one of the brand new treadmills (Yes! The Magic Treadmill!) and proceeds to black out and wake up as someone completely different. She comes to and finds herself the spitting image of perfection (read: Barbie) and engaged to Max. But is what she’s always dreamed of actually what she wants in the end?

This book was GREAT and I loved it… super quick, fun, light read that took me maybe 24 hours to read. (Yes I slept). I loved how the author developed the characters and I loved how I ended up loving Grace in the end. Carlos was plain adorable and I loved how infatuated he was with Grace even with the extra weight she always said she needed to lose. The writing was spot on and completely enthralling. It was an interesting and extremely original story!

The one and only low point in the novel that made me cringe (but still didn’t manage to lower the 5-star rating) was the professions of love after the very first date. You just don’t say I love you after the first date. It’s corny, clichéd, and it totally makes me flash back to my junior year of High School and how I agreed to go on a date with this guy because I totally loved his car and he told me he loved me after the first date. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did learn my lesson.

One word of warning there is a lot of talk about raspberry scones. You will end up with a massive craving for them… I know I sure did. To make matters worse there is even a recipe at the end. I’m running to the store to buy raspberries right now.

Don’t miss out on this little gem of a novel. Highly recommended as a light summer read.

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