Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday! The Death of Bees

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can participate in this; just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share 1 or 2 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (don't ruin the book for others)
- Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!


"Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard."  pg 1

The Death of Bees, Lisa O'Donnell 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New books and other happy things :)

So lately I've been having really crappy days. Mostly its just stress from finals and graduation coming up, along with searching for a new apartment, and family drama. Thankfully, my boyfriend and I found a new place, so that stress is gone :) Well last week, Paul and his mom were out searching for apartments for us, and he told me he bought a book for me at a rummage sale. This is what I come home to:

He didn't just buy me one book... he bought me 29! What more can a girl ask for?! Some of them are older and cheesy romance novels that I might not have picked out, but sometimes those are fun to read. Plus, its the thought that counts right?! I couldn't love him more :) 

Then I come home from school a few days later, and I find these review copies on my doorstep! The Guilty One by Lisa Ballyntine and The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell 

(I've started reading The Death of Bees and its really good so far!) 

To top it all off... Paul picks me up from class this past Tuesday and this is waiting for me on the car seat: 

Needless to say, he knows how to cheer me up! :) Usually I just post things about books, but I couldn't resist! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday!

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week, a new topic is posted regarding books, blogging, and other fun topics! This week's question: 

How do you decide which books to read and review? 

Generally, I just choose a book by the synopsis of what it's about. If it sounds pretty interesting, then I like to get a copy. Most of the time this works for me. But there are definitely times when it sounds like its going to be a really interesting read, and its a flop. Its always disappointing, but nothing that can really be avoided. Some books have an amazing synopsis, but when it comes to the actual story, it fails. The only way I can think to avoid this right now is by reading those books that have really good reviews. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of becoming a reviewer and reviewing books that aren't released yet? 

Another way I choose books are by reading anything my favorite authors release. Anytime Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult release a new book, I must read it! Usually it takes me a while to go buy the book because I'm kind of cheap and I want the price to go down, but I always get a copy. (: 

I also like to read books that are on the best-seller lists or that have become popular. I mean, millions of people are reading it for some reason, right? I usually assume this book has a lot of potential. However, there have also been many fails when it comes to this. Such as Life of Pi and the 50 Shades trilogy. I just wasn't as impressed as the general public seemed to be. However, I was still glad to have read them because other wise I would always wonder if I would have liked it. 

As for review copies of books, I generally review these if the synopsis is good. Usually there isn't a lot to go on for how others liked it because it hasn't been released to the public yet. There are some that I have found to be pretty bad even though the snippet of the book sounded good. And there are others that I wasn't really sure if I'd like, but gave it a shot anyways, and I end of loving it. 

How do you decide what to read and review? Take part in this weekly meme and tell us! :) 

For my followers and anyone else to check out my blog, I apologize for not posting a book review in a while! Its been so hectic around here with classes coming to an end next week and cramming for finals! Hopefully I'll have another one to post within the week. But if not, I'll keep participating in this weekly meme to at least post something! :) 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catrina and the Duchess' Necklace Sample

Catrina and the Duchess' Necklace (Part 1) by Susan J. Willbanks
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Publishing date: 3/27/2013


Follow Catrina and her long time friend Sarah on a romantic adventure filled with jewel thieves and chasing Interpol agents, while Cat finds romance with the FBI agent as he looks for the people involved in the disappearance of her family heirloom.

My Review

I was asked by Ms. Willbanks to review a sample of her new book, Catrina and the Duchess' Necklace.  The sample was about 3 pages long, so I don't have a lot to base my review on. However, the pages the I was able to read were pretty good. I think the book has a lot of potential for being a fun, romantic novel. I would eventually like to continue reading more to see how this book develops :) 

Tell Me Something Tuesday!

So I normally don't participate in memes, although I always want to, but this one looked fun! Additionally, with finals coming up in the next couple weeks, followed by graduation, I might not get as much reading done as I'd like, so I didn't want to neglect my blog for the next month! :)

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week, a new question is posted regarding books, blogging, and other fun topics. This weeks question:

What are some of your favorite feel good, light and fluffy reads? 

When I first saw this question, my mind went immediately to chick flicks. While I love reading thought-provoking, complex books, I love jumping in to feel-good, mushy romances. Yes, it's a guilty pleasure that I don't read too often anymore. When I was in high school, I pretty much only read romance or romantic suspense novels. Sure, there was always parts of the book that I just wanted to cry or yell at the characters, but at the end, everything always works out and makes you feels so good!

Some of the books that I really love and could re-read a hundred times are:

      * Caribbean Cruising by Rachel Hawthorne
      * Night Tales series by Nora Roberts (4 books)
      * anything by Sandra Brown or Nicholas Sparks (especially The Rescue)
      * Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
      * Dakota Series by Debbie Macomber

That list doesn't do justice the love I have for chick flicks, but its a start! :) Whenever I need a break, I'll pick up pretty much any romance, whether geared towards adults or teens. Even though some of the books have dramatic plots and aren't necessarily "light," I still love them and they are a really good break from the heavy, sometimes depressing (but still good) books that I often read. Now that I'm thinking about this, I really just want to pick one up! I realized when I was going through my books at home that I don't have that many chick flicks anymore. When I was in high school, my mom and I got most of our books from the library, so I didn't start building my collection yet. I think a trip to the used book store or thrift store for some teen or Harlequin romances is in order!

What are your favorite go-to books if you need a break or change of pace?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Six Years by Harlan Coben

Six Years by Harlan Coben 
Publisher: Dutton
Publishing Date: March 2013
ISBN 13: 9780525953487
351 Pages


Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven't come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd's obituary, he can't keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd's wife he's hoping for... but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she's been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact, everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life - a time he has never gotten over - is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can't be found or don't remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake's search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based  on a carefully constructed fiction.

My Review

This book was everything I hoped it would be! It was a story of searching for your true love after years have passed, with dark secrets that you never expected. This book was eerie, suspenseful, and so hard to put down! A real page-turner! I was constantly trying to figure out what happened to Natalie and everyone she was connected to. In some mystery/thriller books, I can guess what might come next, or maybe who-dun-it. But I was always surprised in Harlan Coben's gripping novel! I sympathized with Jake so much; I just wanted him to find Natalie and find out what happened to her! But there were so many twists and turns that I never knew what to expect. I found myself wanting him to stop searching for her because of everything that was resulting, but then wanted him to keep moving forward and search for his true love. This was a thriller that kept me captivated until the end! One of Coben's best books that I've read! (:

Buy on Amazon

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods by Tana French
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 2007
ISBN 13: 9780143113492
429 Pages


In Tana French's powerful debut thriller, three children leave their small Dublin neighborhood to play in the surrounding woods. Hours later, their maters' calls go unanswered. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, Detective Rob Ryan - the found boy, who has kept his past a secret - and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a twelve-year-old girl in the same woods. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him, and that of his own shadowy past.

My Review

Quite simply, I really liked this book. It wasn't a really fast read for me like many other thriller/mysteries   can be, but it was never slow either. There was always something going on in the book; each chapter kept you wanting to read on and find out what happened! Two murders in the same small, sleepy town and in the same woods. All along you want to find out if the two are connected, even though they happened twenty years apart. The setting of small town Ireland was very charming (despite a murder taking place there) and makes me want to visit even more! :) Detective Ryan is conflicted throughout the book: he struggles to remember what happened in the woods twenty years ago with his two friends, yet doesn't really want to bring back the memories. He was an interesting character; not someone I fell in love with as I was reading, but I didn't dislike him either. Cassie was a fun character. Her relationship with Ryan in the beginning is really fun, and makes you envious of their friendship. I also really liked the character of Rosalind, although she is crazy. Her character, along with the others, was really well developed and she had me fooled! I often found myself wondering how the family was connected to the murder of their daughter/sister, even though the evidence seemed to say they weren't.

I really look forward to reading other novels by Tana French. She's a wonderful story-teller!

Buy on Amazon Buy on Barnes and Nobles

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One Tiny Miracle by Carol Marinelli

One Tiny Miracle by Carol Marinelli
Publisher: Harlequin Medical Romances
Publishing Date: 3/1/2010
192 Pages


Dr. Ben Richardson is trying to make yet another new start, this time in the emergency department at a Melbourne hospital. It's been nearly four years since he lost his wife and unborn child - and he still hasn't let go. So it comes as quite a surprise to him when his eye is drawn to a beautiful pregnant woman on the beach.

When Ben realizes Celeste is a nurse at the hospital, he wants to keep his distance. She reminds him too much of all he's lost. But Celeste is clearly facing this challenging pregnancy along, and Ben can't help coming to her rescue. Being with her to deliver her premature baby girl finally makes him realize there's a future for him right here after all - if he's prepared to risk enough to claim it...

My Review 

Romance novels are definitely my guilty pleasure and this one had everything I love! Ben has gone through so much in his life, losing his wife and unborn child. We watch him struggle with his emotions while trying to move. It's really heartbreaking to watch/read. Then he meets Celeste and we all fall in love with her. She's a soon-to-be single mom who is also struggling with her life. She doesn't have a lot of money and no family or friends to turn to besides Ben. Through their friendship, we watch each of them grow and try to move on with their lives. But Ben never seems to think that he deserves a new family because of his past loss. When Celeste's daughter is born prematurely, we finally see Ben realize what's been missing in his life - a family. He learns to move on from the death of his wife and child, and ultimately find happiness with Celeste. This was a really good book! I downloaded it on my Kindle app and finished it in about two days. The characters are vulnerable, loving, and charismatic  If your guilty pleasure is romance novels, then I highly encourage you to read this one :)

Buy on Amazon