Friday, August 27, 2010

Love The One Your With by Emily Giffin

Love The One Your With by Emily Giffin
Ellen and Andy's first year of marriage doesn't just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live.


This is the fourth book I have read by Emily Giffin and she never disappoints. With Love The One Your With she shows love and marriage for what it really is, difficult and something you have to work at. In so many books falling in love is this perfect process where you are just drawn to someone and it is all sunshine and rainbows but Giffin does a great job writing about the different kinds of love and how you can love more than one person at the same time

Ellen is a perfectly relatable main character and I really enjoyed how human she was. I understood how she was torn between two men and why it was so hard for her to make a decision. I think it takes great character development to make readers love a character who is flirting with the idea of cheating on her amazing husband and Giffin did it so well.

The difference between Leo and Andy is night and day and Giffin did a great job making them both well-rounded characters. It was so easy to see why Ellen was drawn to both of them and by not allowing either one to be a villain, Giffin made the novel a much better read than if one was a terrible guy.

Giffin’s gift as a writer is in her characters and Love The One Your With is full of characters that will tug at your heartstrings and make you think about the definition of true love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emerald Talisman Tour: Guest Post by Brenda Pandos

I am happy to be part of the Emerald Talisman book tour hosted by La Femme Readers. You can head over here and see all the other stops on the tour. Today Brenda has been lovely enough to share with us where she writes. Be sure to stop back soon for my review of The Emerald Talisman.

Guest Post:
My writing place is my couch. It's a large, comfy, 1/2 oval shaped, white couch that's magical (and covered with towels to protect it). At night, I often find my husband crashed out on it after a long day. After that's happened, it's impossible to make him come to bed (I gave up a while back). It's also the jungle gym where my boys jump onto from the coffee table and where we all snuggle together for movies. I think it's just going to have to fall apart on us for us to get rid of it because we love it so.

If I'm writing at night, hubby usually will lay next to me and beg for a head-scrape (he calls it). The trade off is he has to listen to what I've just written while I massage his scalp, but he usually falls asleep. I want to say it's the magic of the cooshy couch, my sexy voice and luxurious fingertips, not my writing that puts him to sleep. lol.

Things I need to write would be my slanket and a good drink. I'm a huge baby if it's cold, so I really love my slanket. It's a fuzzy blanket with sleeves (like a snuggie) and perfect for keeping me warm. In the summer, I'm in the crook of the couch, drinking my diet rite with a fan propped in front of me, blowing my direction because I'm a baby if it's hot. I also need a notepad and pen to jot down notes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.

John Green is one of those authors who gets rave reviews and a ton of love in the blogosphere as well as winning lots of pretty book awards but I had never read any of his books. When I was planning for my roadtrip a few weeks ago I grabbed some audio books from the library and An Abundance of Katherines was one of them.

What Green does that I instantly fell in love with is that he wrote a really smart book that still managed to be really funny. Colin is so annoying that he becomes likeable. He is whiney and pretentious but it is genuine cluelessness that makes him an awesome character. And when he is balanced by a great supporting cast like Hassan and Lyndsay his faults become part of his charm.

I also love any story about a roadtrip and this one leads to Gutshot, Tennessee where hilarity ensues. Colin and Hassan get themselves into all kinds of ridiculous situations but they both really learn a lot during their trip and mature in ways they didn’t see coming.

Green wrote a coming-of-age novel with intelligence and humor that anyone can read and enjoy and I certainly did.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Accept The Contemps Challenge

Take The Contemps Challenge!
I posted last week about the new Contemps website and how awesome it is. Now I have signed up for the Contemps Challenge. The goal is to read at least 18 of the 21 upcoming Contemps books between now and August 15, 2011. I sincerely hope I can do it because there are a lot of awesome books on the list. I have alread read one of them and have a few more in my posession so thats a start. Check out The Contemps website for more information and to sign up yourself.

The Reading List:

1. Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
2. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
3. Girl Stolen by April Henry
4. Freefall by Mindi Scott (review)
5. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
6. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
7. Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
8. Trapped by Michael Northrop
9. Rival by Sarah Bennet Wealer
10. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
11. Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
12. Family by Micol Ostow
13. Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
14. Pearl by Jo Knowles
15. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
16. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
17. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
18. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
19. The third book in the Carter series by Brent Crawford
20. Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
21. Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

The Eternal Ones is a beautifully written novel and a completely original storyline. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book about reincarnation but Miller did a great job creating realistic characters that ground such a fantastical plot. The Eternal Ones has a little bit of everything, romance, adventure, fantasy and history and it all comes together for an irresistible and haunting read.

It was often hard to tell who was a good guy and who was a bad guy but that made the novel that much more interesting and impossible to put down. I liked reading the book from Haven’s point of view, as she traveled from Tennessee to New York and desperately searched for the truth. It was impossible to try and guess what would come next and I loved that because there is nothing worse than a predictable book.

My only complaint is that the book seemed a little long, there were a few times when I felt the pace was dragging and needed to be sped up. But I powered through those times and in the end the whole was good enough that it wasn’t a major fault.

If you are looking for a complex book, that will keep you on your toes and give you a little bit of several genres then you need to give The Eternal Ones a shot.

I read this book as part of the Book It Forward ARC Tours.

This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers Synopsis:
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul. But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

I have a confession to make. I am a little burnt out on fantasy and paranormal books. I made this fact known on twitter but I was urged by Sara from The Hiding Spot (who has an awesome blog, seriously check it out.) to read Personal Demons before I switched gears and read some contemporary. And I am quite glad I listened to her!

A girl on earth, Frannie, inexplicably drawn to two boys who happen to be an angel and a demon, it’s a great plot made even better with Desrochers style of slowly letting out pieces of each characters back story. Luc, the demon, and Gabe, the angel, are amazing characters, so similar despite the fact that they are literally polar opposites and a perfect set of guys to play tug of war over Frannie.

Frannie ended up being way more enjoyable and complex than I originally anticipated and I loved that about her. I also loved her relationship with her grandfather, which although a very small part of the book, created some of my favorite scenes.

You have to give a ton of credit to any author who can make you feel sympathy for a demon, and wish the angel would go away. I was firmly on team Luc so I that was my stance for much of the book, although not all.
Once I got in to this book I thought I had it figured out pretty quickly but consider me wrong again. Desrochers plot line goes somewhere I never saw coming and when you think she is done surprising you there is another twist at the very end that I loved.

Overall, the book is a great, original read with awesome characters that are written perfectly. Great job to Desrochers on writing such a fun, intriguing, sexy book as her debut novel! There will be two more books in the Personal Demons series so head over to Lisa’s website and learn all about them.

My favorite quote from the book was the very first line: “If there is a hell on Earth, it’s high school.”

Personal Demons will be released Sept. 14, 2010.

I read this book as part of the Book It Forward ARC Tours.

This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge and 2010 Debut Authors Challenge

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Freefall by Mindi Scott

How do you come back from the point of no return? Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up. Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely. Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he’s ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

And so continues my love affair with debut authors. Mindi Scott strikes gold with her first novel, a beautiful contemporary book with a fantastic male protagonist. I decided to read the book after taking part in a chat with Mindi and genuinely being smitten with her and I was equally smitten with Freefall.

While Mindi oozes sweetness in her vlogs and tweets, her writing is full of angst and guilt and pain in the best possible way. Seth is broken, he found his best friend dead, he is drinking and doing drugs, about to fail out of school and has very little regard for life but he is able to turn it all around and going on the journey with him is very enjoyable.

Scott never hides from any of the painful emotions, drinking or drug use. Instead, she describes all of Seth’s vices with a beauty that allows the reader to feel empathy for him. When Seth meets Rosetta he begins to turn his life around but what I loved is that Scott doesn’t write a typical “good girl swoops in and rescues bad boy” book. Instead, she gives Seth other motivations to improve his life, including a great class and teacher, good friends and a supportive, although unorthodox, mother. Seth’s life improvements really come from within and it is because he is already putting in the work that his relationship with Rosetta is enjoyable to read about.
Rosetta has her own issues to deal with but I liked that they didn’t take the focus from the main character, but complimented him perfectly and when all was said and done her issues really weren’t resolved, although it was easy to sense she would get there…someday.

I also think Scott wrote amazingly complex supporting characters, particularly Kendall who is layered, complicated and lovable enough for her own book (hint, hint Mindi! I want a spinoff with Kendall).

Be sure to come back on October 1 when Mindi will stop by for a guest post as part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour! Mindi is also part of the wonderful new group, The Contemps, which I blogged about the other day.

I reviewed this book as part of 1 ARC Tours.

This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge and 2010 Debut Authors Challenge

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