Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.31.14

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey, where we share what we read last week, what we're currently reading, and what is next for us! 

First of all, I'm just gonna throw it out there that it's already April tomorrow! I can't believe! No idea where this year has gone and it just means I'm that much closer to getting married!!! (: 

Recently Finished 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Currently Reading

The 6th Target by James Patterson 
I'm working really hard to get caught up in this series! Halfway through the book so I'm getting there! Number 13 in the series was just published, so I'm making progress, but still so many more to go! (:  

Up Next

I might just right into the 7th book in this series, 7th Heaven, or I might try to finish the Chemical Garden series by reading Fever and the Sever... or maybe start Clockwork Angel (but I have so many series going on right now, that I should probably hold off on this one)... so many choices! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stacking the Shelves 3.29.14

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog!

You know its springtime when you get to go to the first garage sales of the season! We went to two today and I got so many good books to add to my shelves (: What I love most is that most of these books were $0.50!! And nothing was over $1 (: 

Friday, March 28, 2014

[Review] Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: July 30, 2013
369 Pages
Format: paperback, purchased
Buy Links: Amazon  |  B&N


They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose...

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common - a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My Review

So, I originally didn't have any intentions of buying this book. I had seen it around, saw that it had pretty good reviews, but that was about it. I never read the synopsis to figure out what it was about, and rarely read the reviews on it. Why? I'm not quite sure; I just skipped over it for some reason. But then I got a coupon for 40% off at my local books store, which I couldn't pass up :) I couldn't find too much of what I wanted at the moment, but then I saw this book and thought I'd give it a try!

Easily one of the best book-buying decisions I've ever made! I couldn't put this book down. I didn't even know too much of what it was about, but a quick glance at the back cover and it sounded like something I might be interested in. These characters sucked me in immediately and I didn't want to stop reading their story. Will was a very energetic, grab-life-by-the-horns kind of guy; then he's in an accident and his life changes forever. He becomes moody, irritable, and downright mean. On the other hand, Lou is content going about her daily life, not doing anything extraordinary; she simply goes to work, sees her boyfriend, and goes home. But once Lou takes the job as Will's caregiver, things start to change. Slowly Will starts opening up a little more each day; becoming slightly more talkative and happy. And Lou starts to change too; she isn't content just sitting by as life passes her. She wants to do something.

I absolutely loved these characters. They're so incredibly different and come from such different lives, but they mix together very well. Lou brings out something in Will that no one else has been able to. And Will forces Lou out of her shell of a life. This book made me laugh and it made me cry, a lot. Without giving away spoilers, and I've said it before, I love when a book takes on a controversial issue, and this one definitely did!

On the inside cover of this book, there's a quote from Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review:

"When I finished this novel, I didn't want to review it: I wanted to reread it..."

That is exactly how I felt when I turned the last page and put this down. This has rightfully earned a spot in my absolutely favorite books, ever! Now I need to get a copy of everything else Moyes has written! Highly, highly recommend it :)

*Spotlight* Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

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Getting Rooted in New Zealand 
by Jamie Baywood


Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

Displaying me with red hat.jpgAbout the Author

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Buy on Amazon

Thursday, March 27, 2014

[Review] Like a Woman Scorned by Randi Hart

Like a Woman Scorned by Randi Hart
Publisher: Createspace
Publishing Date: Nov. 23, 2013
118 Pages
Format: ARC, ebook


Girl meets boy - specifically, knockout, senior-paralegal girl Alison Carson meets hotshot Boston lawyer boy Rick Waterman while he is visiting Alison's beloved hometown of San Francisco on a month-long trial.

Girl and boy fall in love. Boy eventually goes back home and promises to call. Boy doesn't call. Girl experiences heartbreak, plus an actual physical malady as a result of the affair. Girl then finds out about boy's other girl back home.

Girl wants revenge. Girl secretly gets revenge, but goes too far with it. Boy's life is wrecked. Girl then feels guilty.

Boy finally calls girl and apologizes. Boy and girl fall back in love. That is, until boy starts getting suspicious.

My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

This was an interesting book. There were definitely things I liked about it, but also things that I didn't like too much. When I first started reading this, the writing seemed really formal, and not like many other books I read. I also thought there were a few moments when the writing and characters were pretty awkward. One of these moments was when Alison was in the hospital, about to have surgery, and starts talking about how she needs a Power of Attorney. This isn't something people often think of right before they're wheeled into surgery. Usually its before something bad happens, or after it's happened. Alison and Rick's romance was also very interesting, but once you read this book, you'll understand why! (they're both a little crazy).

What I did like about this book was the plot and concept. However, I think if it had been more developed, and longer than 100+ pages, it could have been much better. I just felt like we didn't really get to know the characters that much, and this short novella covered a really long time period - about 3 years I believe. I wish there would have been more information about everything that happened; basically I wanted more plot development. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday 3.26.14

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Dani @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves :)

I read Anna and the French Kiss a month or two ago and really loved it. Now I want to read the next in the series! I almost bought it last night from Amazon, but then I told myself I didn't need any more books until I get through some more that have been on my TBR pile for quite some time... So hopefully by the summer I'll have it! These fun YA romances seem like the perfect summer read, too! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 3.25.14

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. 

This week's topic: My bookish bucket list 

Read all the books on my TBR list - yes, I know this isn't possible because I'm constantly adding more, but it's a fun goal! And I won't fail for lack of trying :) 

Reread the Harry Potter series - I started rereading the first, but then got caught up in another book. I would also really, really love to read them with my future kids! It would be amazing to experience it through them

Attend a book conference, like BEA - Ever since I hear of this, I've wanted to go! I thought about it this year, but since I'm getting married in the fall, I can't afford it.. but maybe sometime in the future! 

Have a library in my house! - Right now, I have 5 bookshelves scattered around the house, 4 of which are filled with books. (The other is being used by my fiance for video games and movies until I need it for more books) I have so many ideas in my mind of how I'd love to have a library look - one day I will build a house and this will not be left out! It must also include a little nook to read in, along with big, comfy chairs/couch. 

Meet my favorite authors - Nicholas Sparks, JK Rowling, James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Erin Morgenstern... the list could go on and on 

Not ten things, but still a good list! Hopefully I'll be able to cross some of these things off eventually!

Tell Me Something Tuesday 3.25.14

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week a new question is presented. Check out Heidi's blog for all the details :)

This weeks question: What are some of your favorite books from childhood? 

I absolutely loved reading when I was younger! As you can tell, not much has changed (: You could always find me with a book in my hands, whether it was at sporting events for my brothers, at the lake, or just in my backyard. Some of my favorite books were:

Lurlene McDaniels' books. I was absolutely fascinated by them and read any that I could get my hands on.  

Thoroughbred Series by Joanna Campbell and The Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant. Anything horse related and I was hooked! I devoured these books and I recently got the first in the Thoroughbred Series, A Horse Called Wonder, signed by Joanna Campbell! I was very excited and started rereading the series for fun. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder. These were always really fun books, and I read them so much I knew exactly where to find them in the library! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

[Mini Review] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, JK Rowling 
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, Obscurus Books
Publishing Date: 2001
42 Pages
Format: paperback, purchased


A Copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attached by a Manticore.

- Albus Dumbledore

My Mini Review

This is a super cute, fun book written by Newt Scamander (aka JK Rowling)! I cannot remember where I picked it up, maybe a garage sale. It's a very short read, only 42 pages, and gives a short clip of these fantastic beasts. It was really fun to read about all of these beasts and what they do. So many of them are mentioned in the books or movies, and so its fun to find out a little more about them. I especially love the commentary from Harry, Ron and Hermoine!

[Review] The 5th Horseman by James Patterson

The 5th Horseman by James Patterson 
Series: Women's Murder Club, #5
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publishing Date: 2006
409 Pages
Format: hardcover, purchased
Buy Links: Amazon  |  B&N


A young mother is recuperating in a San Francisco hospital when she is suddenly gasping for breath. The call button fails to bring help in time. The hospital's doctors, some of the best in the nation, are completely mystified by her death. How did this happen?

This is not the first such case at the hospital. Just as patients are about to be released with a clean bill of health, their conditions take a devastating turn for the worse.

Accompanied by the newest member of the Women's Murder Club, Yuki Castellano, Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer probes deeper into the incidents. Could these cases just be appalling coincidences? Or is a maniac playing God with people's lives? When someone close to the Women's Murder Club begins to exhibit the same frightening symptoms, Lindsay fears no one is safe.

My Review

Again, this was a great book written by James Patterson. I cannot get enough of his work! One of my favorite things about this books are the short chapters; it makes the book feel like its going by so fast. I always find myself just wanting to read one more chapter because its maybe 2 or 3 pages, but that one more chapter turns into 10 more chapters.

Lindsay Boxer is a smart, motivated cop who doesn't want to stop until her case is solved. I love following her life through this series, and really enjoy getting to know more about her character and those around her. I also liked how there were two cases in this book. A great deal of the beginning focuses on the Car Murders, but then towards the middle and end, so much is focuses on the hospital deaths. Yuki, Claire and Cindy are great supporting characters in these books. I love learning a little about them as the books go on as they each often play an important role in the story. I can't wait to keep reading the books in this series and find out what adventures these 4 women are thrown into!

*Release Blast* Forever by Miranda P. Charles

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Time for Love, #1
by Miranda P. Charles


Rebecca Andrews knew she was lucky to be hired as a private nurse for an elderly lady who was going on a one-month trip aboard a luxury cruise ship. But there was one big problem. The client was the grandmother of her ex-boyfriend--the guy she was still in love with; the guy who didn't love her back.

Zach Carmichael couldn't say no to his grandmother's plea to join her on a month-long cruise for her eightieth birthday. But he didn't expect his spritely gran to bring two private nurses with her. One of them happened to be the woman who broke his heart--the one he believed lied to him about her feelings.

Aboard a luxury liner, their passion for each other flared again. Was it just a temporary flame brought about by the romance of being in a cruise? How could they give love another chance when they were both afraid to put their hearts back on the line?

Buy Links

About the Author 

Ever since I was a young teenager, I have loved reading romance novels. My auntie used to send me boxes of her books and I would devour them one after another.

Every so often, I would read a mystery or a suspense or a paranormal novel as I love those genres too. But romance is still my favourite. :)

For many years, I wrote technical and non-fiction materials for professional use and had only dreamt about writing a novel. Then, one day, after a period of binge-reading sexy romances, I decided to sit in front of my computer and start writing my first fiction book. The result? My debut novel Will To Love, the first in the hot and sexy Lifestyle by Design series. After that, I knew that I would love to tell more beautiful love stories through my books.

I live in Sydney, Australia with my amazing husband who lovingly cheers me on in my journey as a novelist.

Author Links


Sunday, March 23, 2014

[Review] Her Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman

Her Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman
Series: Secret Wishes, #2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publishing Date: Oct. 14, 2013
240 Pages
Format: ebook, gifted
Buy Links: Amazon  |   B&N


Kagan Owens has a secret. One she though she'd escaped by leaving New York, but when her past follows her to her temporary new life, Kagan lets a teeny lie slip. And now the town's biggest playboy and flirt, Shane Sullivan, has become her pretend boyfriend - just until she's ready to return to NYC. But the handsome, fun-loving Shane makes it tough to determine where their friendly agreement begins and ends...

Shane has no intention of settling down - in fact, his job depends upon it, and nothing's more important than his work. Still, he can't help but agree to Kagan's scheme, if only to find out more about the mysterious beauty. But when every touch from her sets his heart and body on fire, he realizes playing an accidental boyfriend may be more than he bargained for - and more than he can give.

My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. 

I read the first in this series in roughly a day, and knew immediately that I needed to read the next! I was thrilled when Ms. Bielman offered to send me this one and couldn't pass it up. Kagan is a sweet girl with a big secret, and Shane is the town player who has no intentions of settling down. But when they are forced to play along with Kagan's slip-up, things couldn't go much better. Their story is so adorable and they're perfect for each other! We really get to know the characters and what makes them tick.

I absolutely love Ms. Bielman's writing and think she does a great job. I felt like I was right in the little town of Cascade and got to know the community. It actually makes me want to move there (: The next book in the series is scheduled to come out this year and I can't wait to read Erin's story! What I love so much about this series is that the characters appear in every book and we continue to learn about their lives. If you are a fan of romances, I highly, highly recommend you check out this series!

My review for Kissing the Maid of Honor (Secret Wishes, #1), will be posted on April 14 for a book tour!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This weeks question: How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Did you read more? Less? If they did change, why do you think that is? 

I would say that I've definitely started reading a wider variety of books in the last few years. I've explored dystopian, fantasy, mystery/suspense, and more young adult books. I've also read a lot more lately. I think I'm just able to read faster and I want to read so many books! 

What about you? I love hearing what my readers have to say! (: 

*Book Blast* One Thousand Porches by Julie Dewey

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One Thousand Porches 
by Julie Dewey


Set in the majestic yet untamed Adirondack Mountains of New York more than a century ago, an extraordinary story unfolds about a little known town called Saranac Lake.

The town is home to a man with a disease known as consumption, white plague, or as some called it, the red death. It is here that Doctor Edward Livingston Trudeau finds a hopeful cure for tuberculosis in the form of open air. Trudeau’s patients vary in age, gender, class, and race, but they have one thing in common. They must all choose to embrace life, even in the face of death, if they wish to heal at the Sanitarium.

Christine, a woman at the helm of her family, has already lost two children to the dreaded plague. But when her daughter, Collette, contracts the disease, she is determined to keep her alive. Venturing into unknown territory, Christine risks her own health and that of her unborn child, as well as her marriage, to help her daughter seek a cure that to many is absurd. Christine embarks upon a life-changing journey as she moves from caregiver to patient. In the face of adversity she must find the courage to sustain herself. When Lena, a factory worker and mother of three, begins coughing up blood she is faced with a decision no mother wants to make. She either stays with her family and risks her own death, or leaves her loved ones behind while she goes off in hope of a cure at the Sans. Big Joe, once a strong man for a traveling circus, seeks a quiet place to live out his final days in hiding. When he is sent to the Sanitarium, he is terrified to learn he will be housed with fellow circus performers for he is a hunted man. Gaunt and thin, he can only hope no one from his past recognizes him in his current state. Little Amy, a six year old child, must care for her entire family of seven, all whom are afflicted with different forms of plague. When she is diagnosed with a very rare form herself, she is sent to the Sanitarium and put under the care of Dr. Trudeau. Alone and afraid, Amy faces her fears and allows herself to dream of a future.

With a cast of characters so vivid, One Thousand Porches is a heart warming and engaging story that will instill hope and faith in even the most pessimistic reader.


Chapter 1, Pittsford, NY 1885

The sputum most likely crossed the hearth of our large country estate in Pittsford, New York on the scalloped hem of my favorite green velvet dress.  The flattering ensemble with the well fitted bodice and bustle below my waist in the back.  I was told this by my husband, James Lyndon, who made me watch while he set the garment to burn in our grate, the embers coursed thru the fabric destroying the residue left from a lungers hacking.

Consumption was a poor man’s disease, it was inconceivable that it gained entry into our pristine home miles outside the village by any other means. James had no one else to hold responsible for his son’s suffering so the burden of blame was mine in his eyes.  I had ventured into town for groceries and fabric, as well as lunch with the ladies several times over the course of the month.  I dare not remind my husband, but he ventured far more places than I did.

My husband could not bear witness as his sons flesh was consumed, his lungs gurgling and dissolving as he gasped and choked for air.   All Henry’s strength and will were sapped from his body as he withered away in isolation.  His soul leaving us for heaven mere weeks before his 18th birthday celebration this October.  I was given no choice but to accept the guilt that Henry would never attend college, or marry and have children.  James placed the blame squarely upon my shoulders and defiantly closed me out from our bedroom and from his affections, punishing me for the death of our first born son.

Typically solid and stoic to a fault, James became maniacal for a short time immediately following Henry’s death.  Frenzied, he set off on a tirade where he emptied gown after gown from my closet along with dress coats, shoes, scarves and gloves, immersing them all in the raging blaze to be destroyed. James wasted no time, and stormed through the house ripping sheets and pillowcases off beds, kitchen aprons from hooks and even the old fraying rags under our sink that we stored for cleaning, were all set to burn.

“James, I beg of you, you cannot burn our entire wardrobes, we will have nothing left!”  I screamed in a panic, trying to get through to him, but knew I could not be heard for his empty eyes did not meet mine but instead flickered across the house, leaping from object to object  in search of anything else he missed, telling me in short, he was momentarily insane.

Amidst my pain and suffering I took great measures to prevent the bacteria from infecting the rest of us, beginning with scouring the house daily to an immaculate state until my fingers cracked and bled.  In the evenings my gentle daughters slathered my hands, one finger at a time, with petroleum jelly and wrapped them in strips of cotton in order to heal.   All of my remaining  dressing gowns, the ones set aside to be tailored that James missed as he ransacked the place, as well as Collette’s and Emma Darlings were hemmed to mid-calf so as not to risk contact with the ground. Lucas and Daniel, our two remaining boys wore trousers that did not drag but I feared the disease  and their fathers instability so intensely now that I made them take off their shoes on the porch and wipe the soles with rags dipped in boiling water the moment they got home from school. Then the rags were burned in our outdoor fire pit.

We were told the disease could lay dormant for months or years even, causing even more panic, and so the fires raged and our old shifts were ripped to make rags to use for boiling and cleaning purposes.
The disease known as consumption, white plague, the red death, or tuberculosis was especially harmful to anyone with an already compromised immune system, such as our Collette with her weakling lungs.  It was spreading like wildfire across the nation and was being touted as the most fatal disease known to man, far surpassing typhoid and scarlet fever in its death toll.  Taking nearly one in every seven Americans or four hundred souls daily.  It took no prejudice in who it afflicted either.  The elderly as well as children, men and women, black and white, poor and wealthy were disposed of but most often it was young adult males in the prime of their life, like our Henry, falling prey.

Doctors were perplexed by the spread of the disease, some believed it was developed based on the patient’s constitution, either physiologically or psychologically and therefore didn’t believe it could be spread.  Along the same lines other scientists and researchers believed it to be hereditary and therefore took no precautions against it.  Still others thought it was airborne spread from spitting, coughing, laughing, sneezing, and even talking.  It was thought it could also be transferred from bodily fluids such as pus and bowel discharge.  Doctors encouraged everything from wearing beards for the men to prevent the germ from entering their orifices, to eating nothing but diets rich in meat and dairy.

“I tell you Christine, this disease is contagious.  We must be vigilant over our hand washing, and we shall each bathe nightly in separate water.” James spoke to me through his fog of grief.

Praise for One Thousand Porches

“I greatly enjoyed the time I spent reading this book. Historically significant as well as heartwarming, One Thousand Porches is an engaging tale of family, friendship, hope and perseverance in the shadow of uncertainty.” – Erin, Flashlight Commentary Blog

“This novel was fascinating. Of course I know of TB but to hear the history behind what Dr. Trudeau did for so many is remarkable. I think anyone interested in history and especially the history of TB and the development of the first sanitariums should enjoy this novel. I’ve read one other of Julie’s books and I find her writing to be very frank and real. I look forward to seeing what subject Julie tackles next!” – Dar, Peeking Between the Pages Blog

About the Author

Julie Dewey is a novelist who resides with her family in Central New York. Her daughter is a singer/songwriter, and her son is a boxer. Her husband is an all-around hard working, fantastic guy with gorgeous blue eyes that had her falling for him the moment they met.

In addition to researching and writing she is an avid reader. She is also passionate about jewelry design and gemstones. She loves anything creative, whether it be knitting, stamping, scrapping, decoupaging, working with metal, or decorating.

Visit her at to get your reading guide for this book and to read an excerpt from Forgetting Tabitha, the Story of an Orphan Train Rider.

Author Links

Join Julie Dewey’s Fan Club.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

[Review] The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central
Publishing Date:
292 Pages
Format: hardcover, purchased
Buy Links: Amazon   |   B&N


In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for each other seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. A loner from a violent and infamous local family, Dawson believed his love for Amanda promised and escape from the darker destiny laid out for him. A golden girl from a well-to-do family with plans to attend Duke University, Amanda saw something in Dawson that spoke to her own rebellious and passionate heart. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined...and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew - about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear - was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the court of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past? 

My Review

First, I have to say that Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors and I love everything he writes. Unfortunately, this book was not his best. While I still really enjoyed it, to me, it doesn't compare to some of his other work.

I loved Amanda and Dawson, and thought their story had so much potential! They come from two completely different families; Amanda's is a well-known family that has been in Oriental for years; Dawson's family is rough around the edges (quite an understatement, actually). But they have a strong connection and enjoy a beautiful summer together at the home of Tuck Hostetler, who struggles with his own demons, but enjoys the company of the two young kids. I really loved the story line of this book, but about halfway through, it fell a little flat. I wasn't sure where the book was going. Thankfully, it picked up a lot within the last 30 pages or so. Without spoiling this for others, the book has a sad ending, but so many happy things come from it. Overall, it just had a different feel to it than Sparks' other books. That being said, I still think it deserves a good 4 out of 5 stars (:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tell Me Something Tuesday 3.18.14

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week a new question is presented. Check out Heidi's blog for all the details :)

This weeks question: Do you stick predominantly with one genre, or do you read numerous different ones?

I definitely jump around in the genres I read! If you look at my book shelves, or see the reviews I post on here, you can see that I read a wide variety. When I first started reading (as a young child), I read everything about horses; as I grew up, I read pretty much only romances. Within the last couple of years, I've definitely expanded what I read. It ranges from mystery/suspense/thriller, to romance, to young adult, to fantasy, to general fiction. 

Sometimes I get stuck in a genre, but that hasn't happened in a while. Other times, I get in a reading slump, and I try to pick up a book in a genre that I haven't read in a while. Usually when this happens, I pick up either a short romance or a mystery. They tend to get me out of a funk. Any book that's short and a quick read will usually do this for me (: 

Top Ten Tuesday 3.18.14

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. 

This week's topic: Top ten books that are a priority on our spring TBR list (old and new!)

On my Shelf:

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)      Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)

Fever and Sever by Lauren DeStefano 

The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club #5)      The 6th Target (Women's Murder Club, #6)

The 5th Horseman and The 6th Target by James Patterson

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)

50 Shades Freed by EL James

Review copies:

The Forgotten Daughter

The Forgotten Daughter by Renita D'Silva

Bastard's Brew (Family Portrait # 3)

Bastard's Brew by Gillian Felix 

Kissing the Maid of Honor (Secret Wishes, #1)

Kissing the Maid of Honor by Robin Bielman

The Other Summer Girl

The Other Summer Girl by Sarah Towne 

Like a Woman Scorned

Like a Woman Scorned by Randi Hart