Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Reviews: TLC by @barbaradelinsky & A Perfect Stranger by Danielle Steele ~ Campin' Reads!

TLC by Barbara Delinsky was an impulse buy when I bought The Stud. One of the best impulse buys ever. I really liked it a lot!

Yes it's a romance novel, but I loved the underlying story. The dynamic, the love-hate relationship between Karen and the male protag, Brice, is quite fun. It has it's emotional parts along with the fun snark and witty banter. You guys know how I love my snark and wit!

TLC is a story about a girl named Karen who is a grad student. We begin the story with her visiting an elderly woman in an assisted living home. At first the assumption is it's a family member but we soon find out that Karen is a woman riddled with guilt and taxing herself so much she falls very, very ill. In walks Dr. Brice... he's cocky, rude, self-righteous, and anti-social.

And it's on! :)

A Perfect Stranger is another Danielle Steele novel. I say it that way because... well, it's just another novel. I didn't fall in love with either of the characters. I felt awfully for Alex the entire length of the story. Raphaella is beaatiful and kind and practically perfect in every way... there are times when your heart jerks for her and you wanna take her home and keep her safe, but then again, there are some times when you just wanna smack the crap out of her! Who at 32 years old would let their father say those things to them? Or let their mother boss them atround in that way??? It's just insane.

The premise was good... lovely girl trapped in a marriage that her family wanted her in, she was swept away at 18 years old, and you just can't handle things when you're super young and overly sheltered. It makes sense she'd go off and marry the guy even if he was 44 years older, I can buy that.

But I was overwhelmed by the first 20 pages of Alex complaining that his wife of two years left him and then we hear more of Raphaela has been practically imprisoned her entire life by the life of luxury and riches and body guards and chauffeurs. It was kind of disconcerting to say the least! Their romance is a lovely one even if it's fraught with drama and angst... although, by the third or fourth ( I lost count ) reconciliation, I was a little over it.Also, there was entirely too much clothing description. It was hard to believe that Alex, a 30-something lawyer would care that his girlfriend is wearing snake skin shoes from Gucci. Even if he lives in San Fran! :)

The ending was sweet, but again, it was lacking. I really wanted more. It was just kind of like, "Okay, and now we're done." And after the huge intro of angsty stuff in the beginning, I really wanted more to go on at  the end.

It wasn't a bad story, but it was a little long for the amount of story you get. I gave it 2.5 stars.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: The Stud by @BarbaraDelinsky Super fun with super swimmers! :)

So I picked this book up out of guilt. Strange, right? You're curious, yes? You think, "But Becca, you never read books out of pressure!? (see Harry Potter) What on Earth are you speaking of?!"

Okay, see what happend was that a twit on a fic site that I frequent decided to take The Stud and rearrange some things and add new names and call it her original idea. (Insert appalled face here.)

I bought into it. Not okay. Fanfiction is okay because you give credit to the author for being made of awesomesauce and then you play in their wake. You don't take something from someone else and say, "Look at how wicked original and awesome I am!" Like I said, twit. (Insert foot tapping and scowl face here.)

So, chagrinned, I went out in search of this book when I found out that this happened. I looked high and low and  come to find out, it was out of print!

Thankfully, my Shangri La, Bookman's, a book reseller, happened to have one very old copy of it.

I read this bad boy in one sitting. This story grabbed me by the uterus and kept me entertained. That's fairly impressive, I'd say. Yes, this is your typical romance with the heaving bosoms and panting breaths.... but she's an independent businesswoman and he's an Indiana Jones wanna-be!

Here's the summary from GoodReads: Jenna McCue wants a baby and chooses an ideal man to be her sperm donor--but he wants the whole package: sex, love and forever.

How could that NOT be entertaining!? No, seriously, this was a very fun, light read. Great locations, lovely descriptions, some angst, lots of lemon, and witty snark (always a must with me) and overall, it didn't drag or make me wish it would hurry-the-hell-up! I actually enjoyed Jenna and Spencer a lot.

It's nice to see a romance "girl book" that didn't have a wilting laurel kind of girl as the lead. Jenna can take care of her own... she just needs some good swimmers! And I must admit, Spencer is a fun character.

He reminded me of Michael Douglas' character in Romancing the Stone.

And I think Jenna is a touch of Diane Keaton from Baby Boom.

Yes, I'm a child of the Eighties... don't judge me!

Overall, this was a great fluffy beach/lake read. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something a lil' smutty and squishy with just the right amount of "Awww!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A drabble challenge from @kfwritesbooks I hope I did it justice, K!

My online writing/crit group has started doing weekend 100 word "drabble" challenges. One of us gives another a picture, word, quote, something to stir the Muses and then see what happens.

Kerry sent me this beautifully sweet picture and below is what came to mind. I hope you enjoy! PS- I'm sorry this is late!

Drabble Challenge

Everyday she sits in the grass across from the field.

Everyday I watch her rather than work. Coach’s screams and yells toward thirty disgusting running footballers irritates me. Rarely needed as the trainer, the smell of fresh cut grass soothes me as I try to focus on the task at hand, but I keep being drawn to her.

So curious about the girl I would like to know. Never looking up, sitting with her book. Her bid to leave is always the setting sun.

Today, not unlike any other afternoon she is there with her book. Today though, today I’ll will join her under her tree.

Also, if you get the chance. Go check out our new site The Book Bunnies. We've worked hard on getting it set up and it's now a real, live site!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater @mstiefvater (Yeah, my lip is still quivering.)

It hurts.
Maggie made me cry. A lot. This book took a lot out of me. A lot! I think I cried four times while reading it and before you ask, no, I'm NOT PMSing!

The way Maggie writes is poetry, not just when she's quoting poetry from Rilke or when Sam is singing. She writes fluidly.

There are scenes in this book invovling pain, abuse, and death, but it's poetic. The beauty of poetry is that it can show you angry, painful, hate-feuled words but they roll off your tongue and swirl around you creating an image.

Something can be awful, but beautiful. And beauty isn't always clean lines and soft colors. Sometimes it's wolves locked in a struggle for dominance, sometimes it's parents who love but don't know how to show that love, sometimes it's choosing life even if you have to give your own life for that of another's.
Maggie shows us this in Forever. Life is all about choices, minutes, moments. Sometimes you make the right step, sometimes you screw it all up. Sam, Grace, Isabel, Cole, Beck, Tom Culpepper, The Brisbanes, even Shelby... they're all integral, whether loved or hated, whether large or small, they all mattered.

Sam Roth will always be one of my favorite book boyfriends. Maggie makes dreamy lovely boys who are filled with love and self doubt and kindness. Imperfectly perfect. You guys know that's my favorite.The shower scene I think was one of my most favorite scenes in this book because it reminded me so much of how my husband and I react to each other. Something I love about Sam and Grace is how real they are even though they're in this incredible, ridiculous, fictional clusterfuck. They take a moment when most of us would be curled into the fetal position crying and gave it humor and adorable-ness. She really does a great job of balancing the "WTF?" with the "Aw!" That's why I love Maggie so much!

Maggie built us a world. It started with Shiver and I promise you it doesn't end with Forever. Her world makes me happy and sad, wistful and kind of whiney. I hated turning that last page.

I will admit that I did skip ahead a few times trying to get to Grace and Sam. They just mean so much to me and I wish we could know more about them, now if they're safe, happy, together.

I'm going to refuse to believe anything less than that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the winner of the signed copy of Evermore by @alysonnoel is...

JessicaB, email me back with your mailing address and I'll send it on it's way!

(if I don't get Jessica's info within 24 hours, I'll pick a new winner)

Now, please to be awwwing my adorable dog :)

Another giveaway coming up next month! Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by @michellehodkin I came, I read, I cried, I laughed, I recommend.

I love this book. Most of you who've followed me for a while know that I read this while I was betaing Mara for Michelle. I read this story so many times, I have parts of it memorized. One scene in particular, I won't mention it, but it still makes me all swoony-giggly-blushy. Yeah... I know. You'll know what I'm talkin' about when you read it. ;)

It is truly an intriguing, emotional, heart-thumping, complicated tale.

Our main character Mara is distressed, but she's no damsel looking for a white knight. Noah is gallant, but he's not sporting any shining armour.

Mara is my love. She is tough, smart, feisty, and will put you in your place, in more ways than one.

Noah will make you swoon. He's smart, snarky, sexy, and foreign.

Aren't those the requirements for a heartthrob? Give him a brain, a body, and a British accent and he's golden, yea?

I will brag about Michelle because she's my friend and I love her... I will brag about Mara because it's a damn fine story with suspense and pain, heart and humor.

This is a fantasy paranormal YA thriller and I hope you'll put it on your list. It's gonna freak you the hell out and you'll love it. Go check out to find out more about my girl Michelle.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Book Review: Linger by @mstiefvater She made me cry!

Oh, Maggie. The ending of this just killed me. I knew it was coming, but it didn't make it hurt any less.

I was so wowed, I immediately started reading Forever as soon as the ARC showed up, but Linger is still stuck in my head!

The constantly changing points of view were difficult, I found myself craving Sam and Grace, but Isabel and Cole are interesting to add to the mix. I just love Sam so much. And Grace is such a fantastic female lead. I guess I'm just attached to them.

As always, Maggie has taken us into a world we could never comprehend and made it simple and ours. You sympathize with Grace's need to be a part of something and her craving for Sam and his security and love. You can familiarize with Sam's desires for loving and protecting Grace, but his need to remain loyal to Beck and his pack. Also with Sam's reticence to be an alpha, to be the boss... when you're young you might crave adulthood, but when you're the one every one is turning to for guidance, it would be nice to shirk responsibility rather than be the one to blame when it all falls to pot. I just wanted to hug Sam and tell him everything was going to be okay, even if I knew it wouldn't be. I wish I could keep Grace and Sam in my pocket and make everything better for them... make them a perfect world where they can have it all.

It's a modern day Romeo and Juliet only instead of Montagues and Capulets we have naive human and wild wolf shifters. Both, just like in R+J, have their selfish desires and self preservation in their core, but both can be beautiful as well. This is what I love about Maggie's writing... she shows us the good with the bad, the feral with the humanity, the pleasure wrapped in the pain, the kindness hidden beneath the fear. It's beautiful.

I wanna be Maggie Stiefvater when I grow up.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blog Hop Delight Giveaway! Signed copy of Evermore by @AlysonNoel Pls RT!

Looky what I got!

Not the hot girl, her book :)

I snagged this while I was at the Los Angeles Times Festival of books with some of my fellow nerdbloggers:

That's me, Crystal, and Angel.

Yeah, we're hangin' with dinosaurs. This is what happens when nerds don't have books.

Here's Tameka, Jess, Crystal, me, and Angel after meeting Alyson and Lisa McMann, too.

We also go hunting for John Green...

I met some amazing authors and they signed some of my books. Alyson signed this book just for YOU!

Would you like to win a signed copy of Evermore by Alyson Noel?

Comment below, you'll be entered once. If you retweet this on twitter w/ my @BooknerdBecca attached, you'll be entered twice! And if you follow my blog, you'll be entered yet again!

For each entry your name will be placed into this man's hat.

And he and the cute dog, shall pick out a winner :)

Bella's wicked excited! So get on down to the comment button!




Go check out the others!

Book Review: Sean Griswold's Head by @lindseyleavitt Two thumbs up! Good thinkin' too!

This was a good story. Better than good... it was real. I'm not sure if that will make sense, but it's a real, good, fun story.
I kept forgetting to write my review and I found several hours of sitting in ICU gave me some time to reflect on things I hadn't taken care of like this.

Sean Griswold's Head is a great story for many... it would be a great talking point for the young ones. A great way to bring up tough topics like diseases and mortality, things that younger folks don't really contemplate at all until they're faced with it.

Now that I've been sitting in an ICU hospital room with my mom, I think I appreciate Lindsey's book even more.

When I first started reading I thought it had a good Sloppy Firsts kind of vibe, I loved the language and slang, the quick pace, all of it meshed well together. Now that it's been a bit and I'm staring at tubes and talking to nurses and smelling that disgusting over-clean smell, it makes you really think and take stock.

Just like Payton, many of us, myself included, kind of just take stuff for granted... you assume it's all well and good when no one tells you it is not well and good.

Naivete can be a good thing, but it can also be not at all good. Payton comes to this realization, but she kind of has to hit every branch as she falls out of the Real Life Sucks Tree.

I was completely head over heels for Sean.. he's a good male protag. He reminds me of the perfect sitcom boyfriend. I also loved the sarcasm. Snark is hot people. Payton and Sean have a fun dynamic.

I wasn't thrilled with Jac, the BFF, she was a little much for me. There were a few times I would've tied her by her braids to the Real Life Sucks Tree and whacked her with a wiffle bat or something, but that's okay... we all have a friend like that right?
Some of the topics in SGH can be tough to get into, but it's done so well. It can really make you think though. At least it did for me.

Lindsey did, yet again, a great job making real-life fiction fun and also a learning moment. It's nice to be entertained and get a good message. Very after-school special minus the gross outfits and poor acting. :D

I highly recommend and can't wait for more from Lindsey.