Sunday, March 29, 2015

[Review] Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: 2007
Format: paperback, purchased
292 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 5 stars


Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest's Ordinary People.

My Review 

I picked this book up after seeing an advertisement for the movie Still Alice, based on this book. It sounded like something I'd really be interested in reading and I definitely wanted to read it before I saw the movie. So I suggested this for my book club's next pick!

Normally, I would have had this book read in just a few short days, but with moving to a new house and beginning a remodel of the basement... took me a little longer! Even so, this book moved me so much. Every time I picked it up and started reading, I wanted to cry. I felt so involved in Alice's story and felt so much emotion towards her and her family. I've never really dealt with Alzheimer's in my personal life, but that didn't stop me from being heart broken for all those who suffer from this disease and their family and friends. 

This book is really amazing, but so heartbreaking at the same time. Alice is a very accomplished professor of psychology at Harvard and is then diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As I read, I found myself struggling with her to comprehend being diagnosed, then struggling to remember things like appointments, struggling to remember what words to use, and finally, struggling to remember who her family and friends are. I felt like I was experiencing this with her. At one point, when I was so engrossed in the story, my husband came home and started talking to me about our basement project. I felt like every time I asked him something, I was repeating myself - kind of like when you're really tired or talk with someone in the middle of the night and don't really remember it in the morning? I realized it was just because I was so absorbed in this story and felt like I was Alice. To me, that's the best part of a book; being completely captivated that when you stop reading, you feel like you are still in that story. Obviously, I'm glad I'm not actually part of this story because it is so heartbreaking, but it really was an excellent book. I can't wait to read more of Genova's novels (I have one on my iPad waiting for me right now from Netgalley!). I cannot recommend this book enough. I really hope others enjoy it as much as I did! 

Trailer of Still Alice

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday! 3.24.15

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 question: Top ten books from my childhood years that I'd like to revisit!

Some of these are ones that I'd really love to reread, while others are just great memories that I can't wait for my future children to experience! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday AND Top Ten Tuesday! 3.17.15

It's so nice when two of my favorite memes match up with subjects for the same week! 

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.

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 week's question: Top picks for Spring 2015!

Oh so many good books to chose from! It's going to be a slower spring for me in terms of reading because I'm moving starting next week! Yay! Then my husband and I have many, many projects we want to do to our new house... as much as money permits, that is. :) But, I will definitely still make time for reading, so these are the ones I'm thinking of! Can't wait to get started! And HUGE bonus - it's starting to get nice outside and now that we own our own home with a big fenced in backyard, I'll be spending a lot of my time outside reading!! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

[Review] Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publishing Date: 2006
Format: paperback, purchased
252 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Rating: 2 stars


Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille Preaker's first assignment at her second-rate daily paper takes her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. As she works to uncover the truth, Camille fined herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming. 

My Review

I was eager to start this book by Gillian Flynn because I really loved Gone Girl. When I saw this for just a couple bucks at my local used book store, I couldn't pass it up. This book started out pretty good. I thought the storyline was interesting and figured it would be unique. Sadly, this book wasn't what I was hoping it would be; it fell flat. Camille was an okay character. She had a lot of issues, and sometimes that can really be helpful, but this time it wasn't. I didn't like that she was doing drugs with her 13 year old sister, or sleeping with a random, barely out of high school, kid. I guess it does make her a more messed-up character, which I think is what Flynn was going for. It just didn't appeal to me. 

I also found myself getting bored with the story. There wasn't enough about the two young girls or their murderer, but rather about Camille and how drunk she was all the time. I'm sad that I didn't enjoy this book because I know many other people did. I was hoping for a lot more, but this one didn't work for me. I struggled to keep reading and thought about not finishing it, but held out hope that it would get better. The ending was interesting, but didn't make up for the rest of the story. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

[Review] Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #1
Publisher: Atria Books
Publishing Date: August 14, 2012
416 Pages
Format: paperback, purchased
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 4 stars


The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Review

I had a hard time rating this book on Goodreads - do I give it 4 stars or 5 stars? I couldn't make up my mind. There were so many emotions in this book, and so many that I had while reading it! I was happy, sad, angry, laughing. I really loved the beginning of the book and fell in love with Travis Maddox. Seriously, who doesn't like a bad boy covered in tattoos? I sure do! And I really liked Abby's character. She was smart, fun, and of course, pretty. The chemistry they had was really great. I loved that they were strictly friends for a while, though you could sometimes tell they wanted more. And then they finally get together and I was super excited! Unfortunately, the middle of the book felt a little slow for me. Not sure what it was because there was a lot going on with the characters. I felt like it did pick up after a while. It's not that I ever stopped enjoying the book, but I felt like some of the stuff in the middle could have been cut out.

But I also found myself getting a little annoyed with the characters. I just wanted to slap Travis and Abby sometimes! Travis felt a bit needy - which is weird since he has the bad-boy thing going on. They have an odd relationship, but it seems to work for them. And even though I was annoyed at times with the characters, I really did enjoy this book and I'm so glad I picked it up. The romance was sizzling and so fun. Plus the characters are pretty close to my age, so it reminded me of being in college a little - not that I ever saw a floating fight ring (and let's be honest, it's not really my thing). 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

If You Liked The Notebook....

Here's another "If you liked this!" Like I said, I'm always looking for book suggestions when I find something I really love. So I wanted to share with others books that I think are similar. I haven't read This Song Will Save Your Life, but I've heard such great things about it, and it's on my TBR list. Just a disclaimer, in this little series of "If You Liked This..." I'll be posting, I won't have read all of the books, but I've read a lot about them to think they're similar. I hope you all enjoy! I'm always open to suggestions, so if you think other books are similar to these, please comment!! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

[Review] Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Series: Burn for Burn, #1
Publisher: Simon Teen
Publishing Date: Sept 18, 2012
Format: paperback, won
354 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 4 stars


Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. 

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far? 

My Review

I won this book in a giveaway last year from SimonTeen and it's taken me a while to get around to it. I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I originally thought I would! I didn't know too much about the book, other than high schoolers wanting revenge, and that was definitely the main point of the story. 

To be honest, I'm not usually a fan of revenge-type stories. I don't know what it is about them, but they're usually not what I go for. In this case, I didn't really agree with why two of the girls wanted revenge on their classmates. Mary's story made me mad and I felt really bad for her, but I don't think the other girls needed revenge. Maybe it's because I feel like you're stooping down to the other person's level? I feel like people need to be the bigger person a lot of times. 

That being said, I do think revenge stories can be very well done and this was no exception. And as much as I might not agree with why Kat and Lillia wanted revenge, I enjoyed the book! It was fun getting to know each of these characters and brought me back to my high school days (wow, that feels like a lifetime ago!). This story really kept my interest and I did want to find out what happened to each of the characters. Mary was definitely my favorite character out of the three main girls. I'm not sure if I'll read the next in the series. I'm interested in finding out what happens, but it might be more of a library read for me, not necessarily a purchase.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday! 3.6.15

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 Week's Question: Do you have any furry friends? Share a picture!

This is my baby Romeo :) He's almost 3 years old! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

[Review] Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Publisher: Harper
Publishing Date: April 14, 2015
Format: Paperback, ARC
336 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars


An idyllic suburban town. A devastating discovery. Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever.

At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town's prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she wound up among the fallen leaves. But among the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town's local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried so hard to bury. But the history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation unravels a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale's white picket fences.

Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight's taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could have ever known. That the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us.

My Review

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

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and when I received a copy from the publisher, I was so incredibly excited! I really wanted to stop the book I was reading and start this one. Just like Reconstructing Amelia, this book sucks you in and won't let go! The synopsis got me interested, but the story and writing kept me reading. Molly is an interesting character and I liked her a lot. I felt so bad for all that she's gone through, but you can tell that the story she's covering really helps her come out of her depression and giving her something to work towards. 

There are other characters who have chapters in their point of view, but I always felt like Molly was the main character and the others, like Sandy, Jenna and Hannah, are supporting characters. That being said, I really liked them all. I didn't like Jenna too much at first, but she changes a little towards the end and I feel like I can understand a little better why she's done what she did. 

There's quite a lot that goes on in this book between the different characters and they're all connected somehow. It's fun finding out how each person fits into someone else's story and this book didn't let me down. I felt like I had a few ideas of what happened, but they changed often, keeping me on my toes! I would definitely recommend this to everyone (: If you liked Reconstructing Amelia, you'll definitely like this next novel by McCreight. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves 3.1.15

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! 


I got so many great ebooks from Netgalley this week! I can't wait to start reading them! If any of you have read these, let me know what you think!

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Nobody's Angel by Sarah Hegger