An Apology

Hi all.

I'm hanging my head in shame.

I know it has been FOREVER.

And I'm sorry.

It's so much hassle having to keep up with this blog AND my everday blog.

And so.

I'm moving book reviews to my other blog.

It just makes sense!

So feel free to follow me over there.

Near the top you'll find a list of my 2009 book reads. Most have links to reviews I've done and grades that I've given the books.

Once again, sorry!

Sloppy Firsts

Sloppy Firsts
by Megan McCaffertyRating: A-

I changed the rating scale. The stars were starting to annoy me so I'm switching to a grading scale instead.

I'm actually on Megan McCafferty's 4th book in this series but I'm a little behind. Sorry!

Sloppy Firsts is the story of Jessica Darling (and yes, she realizes that she shares her name with a porn star. She's Googled it). When, at 16, her best friend Hope Weaver moves away from Pineville, New Jersey Jessica is devastated. To hold onto their friendship, they agree to write, phone, email and IM. However, aside from that Jessica is having a hard time dealing with her life, from being stuck with the Clueless Crew, handling her dad's obsession with her track career, dealing with her mom and sister as they prepare for The Big Day and on top of it all the class dreg, Marcus Flutie, seems to be stalking her. How will she make it through this without her best friend?

I found this book as I was browsing in Borders. I knew I'd heard of it before, most likely on the Nest Book Club message board and it sounded decent so I bought it.

At first I didn't like it. Jessica annoyed me, her parents annoyed me, her "friends annoyed me. I was having a hard time starting it. However, right about the time Marcus Flutie arrived on the scene (*sigh* Marcus Flutie) I found myself getting hooked. Jessica is REAL. Yes, maybe she pays more attention, writes a little bit better and all that than the average teen. But so many books about teens portray them as being "perfect" and this book is just refreshing and hysterical. When I was done, I couldn't wait to pick up the next book in the series and continue Jessica's crazy adventure.

Coming Up Next: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

American Wife

American Wife
by Curtin SittenfeldRating: ****

From the author of Prep (a book I really, really loved) comes American Wife. This book is about a normal little girl from a small town in Wisconsin who ends up becoming the First Lady of the United States. The book is loosely based on Laura Bush and it honestly will make you sympathetic towards her and make you pause to think, "Hmm, I wonder how these women do end up being married to those men."

Score another one for Curtis Sittenfeld. While I was EXTREMELY disappointed with her book The Man of My Dreams I LOVED Prep and so I thought I'd check this one out hoping it would be another goodie. I was definitely impressed. Sittenfeld has a way of creating characters that you love or that you love to hate. I think this book is a must read and a definite eye opener. Makes you wonder what you never hear about the President and his First Lady.

Coming Up Next: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

The Best Day of Someone Else's Life

The Best Day of Someone Else's Life
by Kerry ReichsRating: ***

Kevin "Vi" Connelly is the ultimate bridesmaid. When she was young she was hit with the wedding bug and from that day forward she lapped up anything having to do with weddings. However, now in her mid 20's and with a TON of friends getting engaged Vi had decided that maybe there's more to life than weddings. Throw in airplane rides, expensive dresses, wedding gifts and more and Vi is realizing that her bank account cannot take all that attention! 11 weddings in 18 months is enough to make anyone want to do away with weddings for good but in the midst of it all Vi discovers some important things about herself and her life.

I picked this book up because it sounded SO much like the movie 27 Dresses. When I started it I found myself a little bored but once the book picked up I was drawn in. While there are a few similarities to 27 Dresses (falling in love with weddings from a young age) there definitely aren't many. I found the book funny and endearing, with likable characters and a decent ending. Not a HUGE love story but it definitely kept my attention until the last page.

Coming Up Next: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Uglies, Pretties and Specials

Uglies, Pretties and Specials
by Scott WesterfeldRating: ****

I know, I am a huge slacker. Not so much a reading slacker but I have not posted a new book in forever! So I decided to take a short cut and rate all three of these books in one post. Sue me.

Uglies is the first in this three part series. Planet Earth has become very, very different than the Earth that we know. Somehow humans nearly destroyed the planet. And it the place of the civilizations we know today small cities have popped up and many new changes have come about. For the first 16 years of life you live in a part of the city called Uglyville. You look - well, pretty much like the humans that we know today. And you spend that part of your life looking across the river at the Pretties. When you turn 16 you are given a surgery to make you pretty and then move across the river to party, have fun and pretty much do a whole lot of nothing else.

The book Uglies begins with Tilly, who can't wait to turn pretty. Until she meets Shay, who wants to run away from the surgery and find something better. When Shay runs away, Tilly is sent after her. And what Tilly discovers seems to be so much more than she ever could have imagined.

Pretties opens, once again, with Tilly who, along with her friend Shay, is now a Pretty. And while all this seems fine and dandy, Tilly has a nagging feeling that there is something more. When Tally receives a note from her past her would is shaken to its core and Tilly realizes that once again she must push everything she's ever know aside to find more.

Specials is the conclusion to this trilogy. Tilly is now a superpower Special and is sent after the people that she once considered her friends. However, Tilly still has memories of something else and when she's offered the chance to stamp out her old friends Tilly has to make a decision: do away with the New Smoke for good or follow her heart.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED these books. They were so easy to get into, you love Tilly and have a love/hate relationship with Shay, who is with Tilly every step of the way. The worlds that Scott Westerfeld creates are just amazing as are the words: bubbly, bogus, etc. I found myself unable to put these books down and at the end of Specials felt so hopeful and sad for Tilly all at the same time. These will definitely be rereads for me and I definitely recommend them to everyone.

Coming Up Next: The Best Day of Someone Else's Life by Kerry Reichs

The Secret Circle Volume II: The Power

Secret Circle Volume II: The Power
by L.J.SmithRating: **

Cassie's in The Club but it's quickly becoming deadly. Torn between two leaders, Cassie must choose between her love for Adam or saving all of New Salem. Will Cassie's power be strong enough and will she do the right thing?

I'm having a hard time even writing this review. Again, it did keep me involved, which is why I gave the book two stars. However, it was just kind of bleh for me. Cassie lies, she then fesses up, it's too late... blah blah blah.

Coming Up Next: The Uglies by L.J. Smith

Secret Circle Volume One: The Initiation

The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part 1
by L.J. Smith
Rating: **

After visiting New England for the summer Cassie soon finds that her mother has decided that they're moving there permanently, taking Cassie away from California and instead living in a small town called New Salem. Cassie is quickly drawn to the most popular group in her new high school, The Club, and she soon figures out their darkest secret. When Cassie falls for Adam, a member of The Club she is pulled between what it right and what is wrong.

I know I need to be fair. Had I read this book back in the day I probably would have loved it. It's got the whole mysterious feel with a little bit of romance and the main character is fairly likable. However, I guess for me it lacked that certain something that more adult books seem to have. It did manage to keep my attention but... I'm not sure why.

Coming Up Next: Secret Circle Volume Two: The Power by L.J. Smith

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Rating: ****

When Clay Jensen discovers a box on his front porch addressed to him, he's psyched. Until he realizes that that box contains cassette tapes from a girl named Hannah Baker, who killed herself. He finds that he is one of 13 people to receive the tapes and that those tapes explain why Hannah decided to kill herself. He is told to listen to have his secrets revealed and so that night he goes on a journey to find out why his crush decided to end her life. This book explains why even small actions can have big consequences.

While this book was fairly morbid it was AMAZING and I honestly think it should be required reading in middle school or high school. I picked it up and was immediately intrigued and while I ended up with kind of a sad feeling at the end it was the kind of book that I had a hard time putting down until it was done. You'll love this book. Why? Because everyone's been bullied, everyone has had bad things happened to them, everyone has had a crush that they look back and wonder, "what if." And maybe not everyone has had suicide touch their lives (and I truly wish not a single person would have to go through that) but I'm sure every single person that reads this book will be able to take something away from it.

Coming Up Next: Secret Circle Volume One: The Initiation by L.J. Smith

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club
by Kate JacobsRating: ***

Georgia Walker is a single mother to 12 year old Dakota and also the owner of Walker and Daughter, a knitting shop in Manhattan. The shop soon becomes the meeting place of The Friday Night Knitting Club, a group of women that come together every Friday night to knit, talk about their lives and just escape for a few hours. When a man from Georgia's past, who broke her heart once, returns and demands to be a part of Dakota's life, Georgia's life is turned upside down.

While I had a hard time getting into the book, once I did I found myself really enjoying it. The little side stories about each of the women in the knitting club were cute and I found myself wishing I could knit (well, better than a beginner, anyway). PLEASE TAKE NOTE: if you do not want the ending spoiled try not to look too hard at the cover! The compare the book to a movie and if you've seen the movie the ending is totally spoiled. However, I've never seen the movie (shame on me!) so I was safe. I definitely cried at the end and I'm excited to read the sequel to find out what happens next!

Coming Up Next: Secret Circle Volume One: The Initiation by L.J. Smith

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane
by Kristin HannahRating: ****

It is 1974 when Kate Mularkey meets her best friend, Tully Hart and from that point forward they become the Firefly Lane girls or TullyandKate. On the outside they seem to be complete opposites: Kate is uncool but with a family that loves her. Tully, in turn, is beautiful and mysterious but with a train wreck around every corner. And in the summer that they meet, they make a back from be best friends forever. This novel spans 3 decades and goes through the ever changing lives of these two girls as they turn into women. They've been through everything together - love, anger, jealousy and resentment. And then something happens that could change their lives and friendship forever.

I LOVED this book. I loved it. The friendship between Kate and Tully was so real and it truly felt like I made friends while reading about their lives. At times it was hard to take - their jealousy towards each other, how their friendship at times seemed to almost fall apart. And the end... oh gosh, don't get me started. Needless to say I cried my eyes out and I promise you will too.

This is a DEFINITE read in my book, something I almost want to pick up right now and read again because I sort of miss Tully and Kate.

Coming Up Next: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

A Hopeless Romantic

A Hopeless Romantic
by Harriet EvansRating: ***

Just a warning, I've read this book before. It's a reread because I was in between books!

A Hopeless Romantic is about Laura, who is a hopeless romantic. She watches the sappy movies, reads the sappy books and constantly finds herself falling in love with the wrong guys. When she falls head over heels for a guy that should have been out of bounds she finds herself in a bad situation that leaves her with far less than she started with. And after that, Laura is determined to get her head out of the clouds and her feet on the ground where they belong. Then Laura meets Nick and slowly she feels her walls break down again. But when she finds out a secret about him she's thrown for a loop. Will Laura find a happy medium or will this be just another relationship to add as a notch in her bedpost?

It's a cute book and I definitely feel for Laura. The first time I read it I really loved it. The second time - oh, it lost a bit of its shine but was still good nonetheless. I found myself constantly thinking, "Oh gosh Laura, quit messing it up and get it right for once!" Laura is a great character with more than one flaw and Nick - well, he's that handsome bachelor that every girl wishes could be her prince charming, that's for sure!

Remember Me?

Remember Me?
by Sophie Kinsella
Rating: ***

Lexi Smart is 25 and feeling like there's not much to her life. She's got a crap boyfriend and a crap job and she wonders when things will get better. Then one day she wakes up to find that she's 28 and has been in a car accident - in a Mercedes. She finds that she can't remember 3 years of her life and in those three years she went from mundane to fabulous, with a gorgeous loft, a personal assistant and amazing new friends. Oh, and a sexy new husband, too. However, once the shine wears off Lexi finds that there are secrets in her life and one of those is a man that drops a huge bombshell on Lexi. Suddenly she finds herself scrambling to figure out how her life took this turn and who the real Lexi Smart is.

Okay, I love Sophie Kinsella. I've read every one of her books and I ADORE the Shopaholic series. And while this book was cute, I felt like it was missing something, that little bit of charm that I've always felt that Sophie's books have had. It still had it's share of cute moments (Lexi realizing she has no idea how to drive as she's in the middle of trying to drive a car) but for some reason Lexi wasn't quite as zaney or SMART as some of Sophie's other characters. Still, it's a cute read so it still gets three stars.

Just Listen

Just Listen
by Sarah DessenRating: ****

Okay okay, I'm back! I know it's been forever and a day, I kept telling myself I need to update and I've been kind of lazy. Lots going on in life and while I'm reading I just haven't been updating what I've read!

Just Listen is about a girl named Annabel Greene who, on the surface looks like she has everything. However, over the summer she loses her best friend Sophie and Annabell's family is dealing with the eating disorder of her older sister. When Annabel returns to school she finds that Sophie has made her a social outcast. Just when it seems like things will never get better, Annabel meets Owen, a boy who always tells the truth. With Owen's help Annabel learns to face her problems but she is unsure if she'll ever be able to get past her family's expectations of her or help her to deal with what happened the night that her friendship with Sophie ended.

I LOVED this book! Generally Sarah Dessen is just okay for me. However, in this book Sarah went a little bit deeper into her main character's head and it really made Annabel a real person for me. I loved Annabel for her insecurities and Owen for his ability to always tell the truth - I wish I could do that! Definitely an A+ for me!

This Lullaby

This Lullaby
by Sarah DessenRating: ***

This Lullaby is the story of Remy, a teenager on the brink of freedom (AKA college) who doesn't believe in love. After watching her mother go from husband to husband Remy has decided that she's got it all figured out. She dates a boy, stays with him just long enough for the honeymoon stage to wear off and then breaks up with him before she can get hurt. This is working fine for her (or so she thinks) until she meets Dexter, a boy who is everything she isn't and one that is breaking all her rules.

Hmm. What can I say about this? I've only read 2 of Dessen's novels and both times I felt that they came off a little flat. Maybe it's because I'm 25 and reading a YA novel, I don't know. I did love the characters, especially Remy, who tries to be a hard ass but isn't. However, maybe there just wasn't enoough for me. It was a cute book but nothing special.

All Together Dead

All Together Dead
by Charlaine Harris
Rating: ****

The 7th Sookie Stackhouse novel finds the characters in a post-Katrina Louisiana. Sookie is on her way to a very important central U.S. vampire summit to help out the Queen of Lousiana. Sookie's job: listen in a the humans involved at the summit the summit to find out who is up to no good. On top of all this, something is up with Sookie's new flame, Quinn the weretiger, and she's learning how to control her mind reading skills when Barry the Bellboy returns.

I've got to give it up to Charlain Harris: the woman balances so many characters in these books and she does it with great ease. It was so interesting to read a book about characters that were so close to Hurricane Katrina. Obviously with them being from Louisiana Harris had to write the hurricane it and she did it magnificently. As always, I can't wait to read the next book in her series!!

Definitely Dead

Definitely Dead
by Charlaine Harris
Rating: ****

Well, I'm back from my honeymoon with 3 books down. I didn't get as much reading done as I thought I would but three books (plus halfway into the 4th) isn't too bad.

I started with Definitely Dead, the 6th Sookie Stackhouse novel. In this book, Sookie is on her way to New Orleans (prior to Katrina) to close up her cousin Hadley's apartment. Hadley, who is only mentioned a few times in previous books, died her 2nd time (she was a vampire) and was the Queen of Lousiana's girlfriend. When Sookie gets to New Orleans, she meets Amelia Broadway, a cool witch who owns the apartment building that Hadley lived in and soon the two are on a rollercoater ride of events that Hadley seemed to cause.

As always, I loved this book! I can't seem to give these novels enough praise! Sookie is an amazing, likable character and she has no shortage of yummy guys in her life, the newest being Quinn (the weretiger). On top of all the drama with the men in her life, Sookie is very quickly being pulled into the world of the supernatural and this book is just another in a long line of great books by Charlaine Harris.