Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Goodreads summary:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My review:
Wow. This book is very intense. This is the story of a girl who killed herself and left her story behind on tapes for people to hear. This book is very intense and graphic at times. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, because it is hard to enjoy a book about suicide. But it definitely touched me and was a very emotional book. I think this is a great book for everyone to read. Unfortunately, suicide has become fairly common in the world today and it is up to us to stop our friends or acquaintances from killing themselves. This book really shows how she had been basically crying out for help but no one realized it and took the time to help her. Very intense, but very good book.

4 stars.

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Firsts


New Firsts by Diana Gallagher

Goodreads summary:
Claudia and Monica are brand new freshmen at Pine Creek High, and they are finding that relationships sometimes change as you grow up--will high school pull them apart or will they remain best friends?

My review:
This book was really cute. It was very short and just about high school drama. It almost seemed like it was just the first two chapters of a bigger book, because it ended so suddenly. The chapters went back and forth between the two girls points of view. I really like the way that was done and thought it made this story more interesting.

3 stars

I received this book for free from netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and I did not get anything in return for my review.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter


Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

Bethany Quinn is an architect in Chicago who returns home after tragedies back in her hometown. Bethany struggles with believing in God and how to face her past. With the help of some friends she learns how great God really is despite everything she is struggling with. This is a great story of friendship, love, loss, and how the Lord can help you through it all.

This book was hard to read at times because there were so many trials that it just got depressing. While conflict is necessary in a book, there may have been just a little too much. I loved Bethany's relationship with the cute farmer but thought things took too long to happen. The book seemed to drag on and on and then at the very end everything quickly came together. I did really enjoy the basis of the storyline though, and there is a lot that we can learn from Bethany and her struggles to release everything to be able to completely trust in the Lord.

4 stars

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

In My Mailbox (2)

In my mailbox by The Story Siren is a great way to show people the books you received this week.

This week, I only received one book to review:

Something Blue by Dianne Christner

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday 56


Hosted by Freda's Voice.
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56. *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it *Add your (url) post in the Linky on Freda's blog post.

My Friday 56:
"Maybe his words sounded good, but the layers beneath them dripped with unsaid meaning."
-Wildflowers from winter by Katie Ganshert

A Year of Blind Dates


A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson

Goodreads summary:
Megan Carson went on her first real date at age 27. Some might call her a late bloomer. Her first real relationship lasted about three months, and though Megan did not love Chris, she was heart broken when they broke up. She grieved the loss of the relationship, but even more she grieved the loss of who she was in the relationship. She had never met “Megan the Girlfriend,” and once she did, Megan really liked her—and when she was gone, she wanted her back! So what did Megan do? She joined a dating service. A Year of Blind Dates follows Megan’s dating adventures in Southern California as she searches for Mr. Right, not just Mr. Right Now. As her “ideal guy” changes over time, the one thing that is never negotiable is her desire to find a man with a deep spiritual side. But can she have the “total package” without compromising her strong faith? Can Megan trust the dating service to deliver a man of God who will make her laugh and treat her well? This is the story of Megan’s search for the man of her dreams, and the good, bad and really, really bad dates along the way.

My review:
This is not your typical nonfiction book, and it is not a self-help book or book about relationship advice. It is simply a story of Megan's journey through dating good guys and bad guys, and learning what she wants in a guy along the way. She discusses how she grew in her relationship with the Lord through this experience even though she is still single. It was a very funny, entertaining book that I would recommend reading. If you like all of your books to have a specific point though, you might want to skip this one.

4 stars.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Like Sweet Potato Pie



Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Goodreads summary:
Witness as Shiloh's new life in Virginia crumbles around her. The house she inherited from her mother is much more than a place to live;it represents Shiloh's changed life and what little financial security she has. But her half sister is contesting their mother's will and the IRS is threatening to take it for back taxes. She's also discovering God's ideal when it comes to love and romance. When Mr. Right shows up will she recognize God's hand or let circumstances and prejudices blind her heart to the love of her life.

My review:
This book was slightly disappointing. I am from the south, but most of the southern things in the book did not seem funny or charming to me. It was almost like it tried too hard to be funny. This book seemed to drag on and on. At first I thought it was just hard to get into, but it felt like it would never end. Not that it was bad, just very slow paced. There was also a lot of talk about religion. Don't get me wrong. I am a Christian and I knew this was a Christian fiction book. I am not one of those people who get frustrated with the amount of discussions about Christianity in a book. In fact, I usually encourage it. I love seeing how different characters live out their faith. However, this book had way too much. I felt like I was being preached to throughout the whole book. Even though I agreed with it all, it got extremely repetitive I felt like.
I did really like that Adam did not want to date her, but court her. I have always said that I think relationships would work so much better if people got to know each other first, and then address their feelings. So I found that part of this book very refreshing.

2 stars.

I received this book for free from netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and I did not get anything in return for my review.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recommend A...


Welcome to the first official Recommend A…! Hosted by Chick Loves Lit.
It’s easy! Just recommend a book or author or series that fits the prompt and link at the bottom of her post so we can all see what you recommended :)
For future topics (if you like to plan ahead), check out the permanent Recommend A… page here.

This week’s prompt:
Recommend A… book with three words in the title

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Clark

Goodreads summary: Fleeing from her abusive fiancee, Elizabeth Frazier meets Justin Randolph, an embittered widower seeking a mother for his two children. They enter into a marriage of convenience, each seeking security, not love. God, however, has a different plan...

I read this book a while ago (back before I had a blog) and LOVED it. It is a very sweet Christian romance story that I would definitely recommend. I found this book in a used bookstore that I rarely go in, and I'm so glad I did! This book is a lot like a mix of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and The Princess by Lori Wick. These are also great books that I would recommend, but Beauty for Ashes was the perfect combination. Loved it!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Guardian Duke


The Guardian Duke (Forgotten Castles #1) by Jamie Carie

Goodreads summary:
The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.

My review:
This is a historical fiction book that took place in the 1800s. I somewhat enjoyed this story, but I definitely would not read it again. The whole story seemed very drawn out and never-ending. The duke would think he had caught up to Alex, only to find that he had just missed her. It just seemed very repetitive and unnecessary at times. I did love the romance part though. I loved their letters to each other and how Duke Gabriel found letters she had written to him but never meant for him to read. It was a creative way to show the readers her feelings toward Gabriel.
The thing that caught me most off guard was the ending. It ended so suddenly and was not at all what I was hoping for. So I was very frustrated with that. But after learning that it is a series, the ending makes more sense. It is more of a cliffhanger than just a bad ending.

3 stars

I received this book for free from net galley. I was not required to write a positive review and I did not get anything in return for my review.

In My Mailbox (1)

This is my first time participating in "In My Mailbox," which is hosted by The Story Siren. This is a great way to share the books you have gotten in the last week. Since this is my first time, I am going to include all of the books I've gotten in May!

Bought:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. My review can be found here.










Borrowed:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Review coming soon.










For Review:

The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal. My review can be found here.

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie.

Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola.

Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer.

The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm by Patricia MacLachlan.

The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge.

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins.

New Firsts.

Your Heart's Desire by Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Romancing Olive by Holly Bush.

Spring Argyle by Christine Cunningham.

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert.











Won:

Confessions of a Cake Addict by Emma Kaufmann.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Lifeguard


The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

Goodreads summary:
It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.

My review:
This book was not what I expected. It had quite a bit about ghosts and other supernatural things that I did not realize were in this book. I usually do not like those elements in a book. BUT. I loved it. I could not put this book down. I kept finding myself drawn into this story. Parts of it were cheesy and parts of it were unique, but I loved it all. I even think the characters' names are awesome. Sirena and Pilot. Those were cool names. And the cover! He looks almost exactly like I pictured him too. After this book, I learned that it is okay to step out of your reading comfort zone every once in a while. You just might find a book you will love.

5 stars

I received this book for free from net galley. I was not required to write a positive review and I did not get anything in return for my review.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Wedding Dress


The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

Goodreads summary:
One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny.

Charlotte Malone is getting married. Yet all is not settled in the heart of Birmingham's chic bridal boutique owner. Charlotte can dress any bride to perfection-except herself. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her.

Emily in 1912. Mary in 1939. And Hillary in 1968. Each woman teaches Charlotte something about love in her own unique way. Woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of faith, and the beauty of finding true love.


My Review:
I have heard from so many people what a good book this is, so I just had to read it! It started out kind of slow, but was so good!! The book goes back and forth between the character's points of view. I loved this and getting to feel what each main character was going through. It was a little confusing at first though when you did not know how the stories fit together yet. By the end of the book, the stories are woven together so beautifully that I was almost in awe. This book is so well written and is such a great, touching, memorable story.

5 stars

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Read-A-Thon

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
Bout of Books is having a week long read-a-thon!

It's very chill, you just need to read more than you normally do. Everyone should go sign up!! It runs from 12:01am on Monday, May 14th through 11:59pm Sunday, May 20st in whatever time zone you are in.

My goals: Read 1 book every day or every 2 days.

My books:
The Wedding Dress(I'm already half way through this one, so I think that is a good starting point)
Guardian Duke
13 Reasons Why
A Year of Blind Dates

I hope to finish all these books and more, but thought this would be a more realistic list.

I will update everyday here:

5/14
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Books: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck


5/15
Number of books I’ve read today: .5
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.5
Books: Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie


5/16
Number of books I’ve read today: .5
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie


5/17
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Books:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson


5/18
Number of books I’ve read today: 0
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Books:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson


5/19
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
Books:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


5/20
Number of books I've read today: 0
Total number of books I've read: 4
Books:
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


I'm super excited to start reading and get some books knocked out of my to be read list!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday 56


Hosted by Freda's Voice.
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56. *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it *Add your (url) post in the Linky on Freda's blog post.

My Friday 56:
"In the quiet, she could hear her heartbeat, hear her own questions about Tim and their wedding."
- The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday hosed by Proud Book Nerd

Rules:
1. Take the book you are currently reading and open it to a random page. Share the third full sentence on that page. (If there isn’t a third one – like at the end of a chapter or a blank page – you can share the third sentence of the book or just choose another random page.) Feel free to share more than one sentence, if you feel the need to do so.
2. Share your thoughts, if any, on the sentence.
3. Post a link to your blog post in the link list on her blog.
4. Be social! Visit one or two of the other blogs to check out their third sentence(s).

My sentence:
"Maybe now I have a chance to find that elusive closure."
- The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

I have heard so much about this book, so I finally broke down and bought it. I'm starting it today and I cannot wait! I want to know what closure she is looking for!

A Year Down Yonder

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Goodreads summary:
Mary Alice's childhood summers in Grandma Dowdel's sleepy Illinois town were packed with enough drama to fill the double bill of any picture show. But now she is fifteen, and faces a whole long year with Grandma, a woman well known for shaking up her neighbors-and everyone else! All Mary Alice can know for certain is this: when trying to predict how life with Grandma might turn out . . . better not. This wry, delightful sequel to the Newbery Honor Book A Long Way from Chicago has already taken its place among the classics of children's literature.

My review:
This is the sequel to A Long Way from Chicago, but it can definitely stand alone as I have not read the first book.
This was a cute book with lots of fun stories, but there did not seem to be a point. It was almost like a little kid rambling about what they have done for the last year of there life. The main character is the narrator and tells stories that do not seem to connect to each other. There was no overlying story or point to the book. I also did not realize that we were traveling forward in time. It goes from her being 15 to graduating. I was very confused.
Despite all of this, I think it is definitely a book that the intended audience would love. Kids will love the funny stories throughout the book!

2.5 stars

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In Too Deep

In Too Deep by Mary Connealy (Kincaid Brides #2)
The first book in the series was Out of Control, which I have already reviewed.

Book Trailer:


My review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was a sweet romance about a marriage of convenience turning into love. However, this did not seem to be the real theme of the book even though that is what the summaries would lead you to believe. When they got married, Audra and Ethan both already cared for each other they just would not admit it. Throughout the book, you saw some of their struggle to tell each other how they really feel, but the main focus of the book was about courage and overcoming fears. They both had to face many fears. Ethan had to face the cavern that had been the cause of his nightmares for many years. Audra had to face two hired men who were after her first husband's money. Audra and Ethan faced these things together, and only got through them because they had each other. It is after these events that they realize how much they care about each other. So, this was a book about overcoming fears and the power of love that helps you face those fears.

4 stars

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
"She had a sudden image of herself twirling a loop of rope over her head and lassoing herself a husband.
Then his fear faded." - In Too Deep by Mary Connealy

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday 56

Hosted by Freda's Voice.
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56. *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it *Add your (url) post in the Linky on Freda's blog post.

My Friday 56:
"What? What do you mean? What did she ask for?" I said breathlessly.
"To get out of her life."
-Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:
"'You never told me my daddy was Aunt Belle's sweetheart first,' I said to Mama. She was startled."
-Belle Prater's Boy