Wednesday, May 1, 2019

I'm Back - Sort Of...

It's been over a year since I've updated this blog, and I've missed it!  Life has been super hectic, and I haven't been reading as much as I normally do, and I haven't had much time to review the books that I have read.  But I've been trying to get back into reading regularly again, and I'm planning to start posting reviews here soon.  We'll see how it goes  :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: Bridal Girl by Meredith Schorr

Read:  February 12th - 14th, 2018

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

View this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date:  April 24th, 2018

Goodreads blurb:

Sassy book blogger-turned-author, Kim Long, thought her life couldn’t get any pinker when she received a two-book publishing deal and a marriage proposal in the same night. The wedding plans are coming together seamlessly, from the catering to the flowers to her much-coveted appointment at the exclusive and world famous Kleinfeld Bridal. Her debut novel is flying off the shelves to celebrated reviews, and her second book is practically writing itself.
If only the above wasn’t a big fat lie.
If only Kim could drown out the conflicting opinions of her overzealous bridal party, most notably, her sister and future sister-in-law, who haven’t stopped bickering since day one. 
If only everyone would adore her first book—or she’d take Nicholas’s advice and stop reading reviews—she might not second guess every new word she writes. 
If only Nicholas’s past would remain there rather than threaten their future. 
The pressure is on, the clock is ticking, and in walks Hannah Marshak. 
Will the former “mean girl” lend a helping hand or make things worse? Will Kim ever write “The End” on her sophomore novel? And, will she and Nicholas make it down the aisle to say those two precious words: I do? 
We’ll never tell. So, put on your reading glasses, fill your champagne flute/cup of tea and prepare to laugh with (and sometimes at) Kim as she rewrites her happy ending until it’s worthy of five pink champagne flutes.

As the third book in the Blogger Girl series, Bridal Girl had a lot to live up to, but Meredith knocked this one out of the park.  I loved the first two books, but I absolutely adored this one.  I am so attached to these characters, and getting to spend more time with them while reading this book was like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in a while.  

As the title implies, Kim and Nicholas are planning their wedding, and with that comes all of the stress and anxiety that (I hear) is typical for planning the perfect wedding.  On top of that, she's struggling to finish her next novel.  

One of my favorite parts of this series is that the main character's life isn't perfect.  She has flaws, as do the supporting characters, and they all have their own problems.  It's refreshing to read a book where the main character isn't presented as perfect with a picture-perfect life.  

Another of my favorite things about this series is the humor.  Bridal Girl is laugh-out-loud funny!  

With excellent pacing, wonderful character development, and captivating writing, Bridal Girl is a smart, hilarious, and ultimately sweet addition to the Blogger Girl series.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My 2017 Goodreads Year in Books

Here are a few highlights from my Goodreads Year in Books!  If you're interested in seeing the whole page, you can see it here.  Also, feel free to add me as a friend while you're there.  :)  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Uncanny Valley by C. A. Gray

Read:  December 5th - 10th, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

View this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date:  December 11th, 2017

Blurb from Goodreads:

Have you ever sensed that something isn't quite right, even if you can't explain why?
Rebecca Cordeaux knows exactly what her future will hold: she will marry Andy, her crush of the last five years. Once Andy is ready to settle down, she’s sure he will discover that she is his soulmate. After several small parts on stage, Rebecca knows she can become a renowned actress. Her writing also shows promise as a future author. Robots perform most human jobs that can be automated, leaving many free to pursue their personal creative interests.
But Rebecca's mother Karen fears the new world of robots, and insists her brilliant daughter join a university research team, studying the hazards of a complete robotic economy. Rebecca's father Quentin was obsessed with the subject to a degree that even her mother considered absurd, prior to his untimely death. So long as she can reserve enough of her time to pursue her true passions on the side, Rebecca half-heartedly agrees to join the research team, if only to please her widowed mother. There she joins a post-doc named Liam, whose conspiracy theories rival even those of her late father. Liam is convinced that world Republic leader William Halpert’s worldwide challenge for researchers to develop synthetic creativity will lead not to the promised utopia, in which every kind of human suffering has been eradicated, but rather to an apocalypse. Rebecca, whose best friend is her own companion bot Madeline, writes Liam off as a bot-hating conspiracy theorist, just like her father was… until she learns that her father’s death might not have been due to mere happenstance.
With Liam’s help, Rebecca learns of an underground organization known as The Renegades, where Quentin Cordeaux was considered a legend. While Liam attempts to stop Halpert’s challenge if he can, Rebecca tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to her father. Did he and many of his contemporaries die for something they knew? Who is the mysterious informant who calls himself John Doe, and only seems to want to drive her out of harm’s way? And if Halpert’s challenge is answered, will it usher in a brave new chapter in humanity’s history… or were Quentin Cordeaux’s dire predictions right all along?

Uncanny Valley
  • a psychological concept that describes the feelings of unease or revulsion that people tend to have toward artificial representations of human beings, as robots or computer animations, that closely imitate many but not all the features and behaviors of actual human beings.
  • the dip in positive feelings toward such artificial representations.

I was so excited when I found out C. A. Gray was writing a new series!  She's one of my new favorite authors, and I would highly recommend her books to everyone.  I think I've written reviews for all of her books (so far), and I'm sure I gushed about each and every one.  To say I had high expectations would be an understatement, but Uncanny Valley definitely delivered.

All of her books are thought-provoking, and this one is no exception.  It's incredibly well-written, with fantastic characters, and an entertaining and intelligent plot.  Even though it takes place in a dystopian future, you can almost imagine it happening now.

With a clever plot twist and a cliff-hanger that will have you craving more, Uncanny Valley is not one to miss!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr

Read:  July 20-26, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars): stars1stars1stars1stars1stars1

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: November 7th, 2017

From Goodreads:

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure. Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.  
A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flaky actor beau.  
It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever. 

I'm not going to go into detail about the plot (the Goodreads blurb does a pretty good job with that), so I'll just share my thoughts and feelings.

Meredith Schorr has become one of my favorite authors, and I think The Boyfriend Swap is now my favorite of her books.  It is the perfect holiday book, and if you're looking for a good read for Christmas, you can stop your search now.  This would be the ideal book to read while curled up with a warm blanket, next to a cozy fire, drinking hot chocolate.

I've read several reviews that mention this would be a perfect Hallmark Christmas movie, and I have to say I agree.  While reading, I could definitely picture this book working as a movie.  Maybe one day!

I actually read this in July, and even though it was summer and terribly hot, the book still put me in the Christmas spirit.  I'm considering reading it again closer to Christmas, which is quite a compliment, as I rarely read a book twice in one year.  Another compliment?  I still remember the characters!  I sometimes struggle to remember characters, book plots, etc, after a while, simply because I read so much, and unless a book really stands out, I tend to forget the details pretty quickly.  Not so with The Boyfriend Swap.  As I said, I read this in July and it's almost November now, and it's still fresh in my mind.

The Boyfriend Swap is so well-written, with wonderful character development, witty humor, sweet romance, and a healthy dose of Christmas.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good story, especially to those who love light-hearted chick-lit books with unforgettable characters.

Pardon The Mess

It's been quite a while since I've updated here (I'm dreadfully ashamed), and I didn't realize that Photobucket no longer offers free photo hosting for 3rd party sites, which means my blog is a huge, ugly mess now.  Thanks for nothing, Photobucket.  It would have been nice if I had at least received an email about it.  I'm not even sure how long my images have been messed up.  And, unfortunately, since I used an image-based star rating system, my ratings for every single review I've posted have been lost.  *shakes fists in fury*  Luckily, you can find all of my reviews on Goodreads, so until I fix this mess, that will be the best place to check if you're looking for a particular review.  

Please be patient with me as I try to get everything sorted out again!  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

(REPOST) Review: The Liberty Box by C. A. Gray

I'm reposting my review of The Liberty Box by C. A. Gray.  I loved it when I first read it, and I still love it.  The series is amazing, and I would recommend it to everyone.  I've read it a couple of times now, and it holds up so well.  It's currently only $0.99 for Kindle, so go buy it!  :)

(Review hasn't been edited since original posting.)

Read:  October 6th - 9th, 2015

Type:  Kindle

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

View this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date:  October 25, 2015

I was ecstatic when I received an ARC of this book from the author.  I've been looking forward to reading a new book from her since I finished the Piercing the Veil series, and The Liberty Box did not disappoint.

After the United States falls due to an economic collapse, it's rebuilt as the Republic, and citizens soon believe they are prosperous once again.  Jackson has lived in Iceland with his aunt and uncle since he was very young, but always pictured America, or the Republic, as the land of milk and honey.  The letters from his mother reinforce his opinion that the Republic is thriving, and he plans to move there eventually.  Unfortunately, he has to travel there sooner than planned so he can attend his mother's untimely funeral.  Upon arrival, he is struck by how malnourished everyone looks.  The buildings are dilapidated, and his first impression of the famed Republic is definitely not prosperous.  He's soon apprehended by an agent, and discovers that something very strange is happening.

Kate is happy in the Republic.  She has a wonderful job as a news anchor, and is engaged to a man she loves.  Everything is perfect.  That is, until she sees a picture of a childhood friend, Maggie, whom she has forgotten about completely.  Maggie has been labeled as a traitor to the Republic, and it's Kate's job to write up a profile about Maggie, telling the public about Maggie's traitorous doings, and praising the government in the process.  While doing research for the profile, Kate's life is changed completely, and she realizes nothing is as it seems.

The Liberty Box is original and creative, and it made me think.  The thought of the government brainwashing citizens into believing everything is fine isn't such a far-fetched idea, and I enjoyed the way it was implemented into this story.  The Liberty Box is thrilling and exciting at times, and thought-provoking at others.  It's an intelligent dystopian novel, with excellent character development and imaginative world-building.  Intriguing and captivating, it's a definite page turner.

And no spoilers here, but the ending blew me away!  I was completely blindsided, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.  I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who enjoy well-written and smart dypstopians.  It's an incredible start to what is sure to be an amazing series, and it's going to be an agonizing wait for the next book!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Kim vs. the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

Read:  March 7th - 9th, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Series:  Prequel to the Blogger Girl series

Publication date:  April 20th, 2017

From Goodreads:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.
Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?
Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

 As a fan of Meredith's, I was so excited to hear she was writing a YA prequel to her Blogger Girl series.  While Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a stand-alone, I would suggest reading the Blogger Girl series first, just because it's more fun (for me, anyway) to get to know the characters, and then read about their high school antics.  But, again, you can totally read this as a stand-alone.  It's a fun book either way.  :)

Kim vs. the Mean Girl is such a cute book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It took me back to my own high school days, though, thankfully, I didn't have to deal with a "mean girl" like Hannah.  It was interesting to see the main characters from the Blogger Girl series as high school kids.  Kim is a great character, in both this book and the others, and I would love to read more about her!

Another high point of praise I have for this book is that it helped pull me out of my month-long reading slump!  I had never been through a slump like that one before, and it was getting a bit depressing.  But, Kim vs. the Mean Girl totally saved me!  It was short enough to not be daunting, and interesting enough to keep me from putting it down.

Well-written, humorous, and a bit nostalgic, Kim vs. the Mean Girl is an excellent addition (or introduction!) to the Blogger Girl series.  It's a perfect mix of "chick-lit" and YA, and is ideal for a quick, summer read.  I would definitely recommend!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: The Phoenix Project by C. A. Gray

Read:  March 10th - 13, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Series:  Book 3 of The Liberty Box series

Publication date:  March 20th, 2017

Click here to read my review of The Liberty Box, and click here to read my review of the Eden Conspiracy.

From Goodreads:

The haven city of Beckenshire has been demolished, and most of the rebels lie beneath the rubble. The few that remain scramble to communicate with the outside world, knowing that if they are to stand a chance in the coming war, they can’t do it alone. In a last ditch effort to grow their ranks, the remaining rebels systematically destroy the repeaters which help to propagate the control center signals. And it’s working: citizens in targeted cities are waking up in droves. But Ben Voltolini will stop at nothing to quell the uprising before it has a chance to get off the ground. And he has one major ace up his sleeve: Kate Brandeis. 
During Kate’s broadcast to the nation, Voltolini unleashed targeted brainwave signals against her, causing her to allow both Jackson MacNamera’s capture, and her own. Now, despite Voltolini’s exquisite wining and dining, she can’t seem to stop the panic attacks. Whom can she trust? What is truth? Is there even such a thing? 
Meanwhile, imprisoned and hopeless, Jackson realizes the depths of his feelings for Kate only after he has already lost her. The incredible self-control upon which he prides himself gets put to the ultimate test when he meets an unlikely ally who just may turn the tide in the rebels’ favor—but only if Jackson can put aside his own bitterness. In this gripping conclusion to The Liberty Box Trilogy, new and surprising alliances are formed, passions run high, and our heroes learn what they are really made of. Do they have what it takes to fight for freedom—even if it means paying the ultimate price? 

I've been looking forward to reading The Phoenix Project since I finished The Eden Conspiracy, and it did not disappoint.  The Phoenix Project is a strong finish to a stellar series, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

The entire series is pretty action-packed, but The Phoenix Project really raises the bar.  I was on the edge of my seat at times, and I had goosebumps at the end.  It's been a long time since I've had such a strong reaction to a book.  I was so happy to get closure, but on the other hand, I was sad that it was over!  I didn't want to say goodbye to these characters, but I was pleased with how things turned out.  There is such wonderful character development throughout the series, and I love how much Kate has changed from the beginning.

The world building is creative and imaginative, and it was so easy to get lost in the story.  The author has a talent for subtly drawing you into this world with her incredible writing.

And I have to mention the cover - it's gorgeous.  Definitely my favorite of the three covers.

The Phoenix Project is an intelligent, entertaining, and well-written dystopian, and I would highly recommend checking out this series!

I'm not sure how long these prices will last, but you can currently get the entire series for less than $6 on Amazon!  The first book is free, so you should definitely go get that now.  :)