Monday, September 28, 2009

I Apologize by Bradley Booth

Oh boy, this isn't going to be easy. First of all, I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway, and the author even signed the inside cover which was very sweet and thoughtful.

The premise of the story was so intriguing and being that it was based on the author's life experiences, I had really high hopes while reading it. Unfortunately, it fell very short of my expectations and I was put off quite a bit by the dialogue between the two main characters, Tony & Christina. Every time I would pick up the book to continue reading, I found myself in the midst of a Spanish soap opera. The lines shared between the two were just so over dramatic and cheesy. At first Christina came across as mysterious and charming, but then started to freak me out with the shaving scene and things she would say. I thought it was going to turn into a psycho murder mystery. She was so insecure and controlling and I was hoping Tony would make his escape.

Honestly, I think it would have been more impacting and relatable if the author would have just written a memoir. I'm curious if the author really did experience all that was written about Tony or was it a bit embellished? By the last page, I just kinda just sat there stunned wondering - "Huh? What the heck?".

Mr. Booth, I am so, so sorry. I really wanted to enjoy it, but I just couldn't relate or even empathize with the characters at all. You have some definite potential though, and I wish you the best in your future novels!

Description: “It’s been five years—why does her memory still haunt me so? Have I not paid my penance? Why won’t the demons of my past leave me in peace?”

These are indeed troubling times for entrepreneur Tony Richardson. After years of living an insipid and orderly life on Long Island, the events that led to the tragic death of his fiancée return with resounding fury . . . starting, oddly enough, when he consents to dine in the company of the beguiling, intrusive Christina Jaloqua.

When Christina declares her love and desire to marry him, Tony is overwhelmed by fear that his world will be torn apart again. Unwilling to admit that his petulant attitude is because of his growing affection for her, Tony devises a plan to liberate himself from Christina’s intrusiveness and return his small, methodical world to order.

Tony soon finds out that logic serves no purpose in affairs of the heart; Christina’s elaborate ruse engulfs him into an unplanned marriage and, worst, an unwanted pregnancy.

Now, locked in a labyrinth of fear, Tony struggles to escape the winding corridors filled with ghastly images from the past. As he reaches a dead end, will Tony vanquish them once and for all—or will they again steal his chance at happiness?

Rating: **

Recommend: No, and not just because the storyline wasn't gripping, but also because the love scenes were way too explicit.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I have a co-dependent relationship with my library.

So yeah, basically I justify my weakness with checking books out at the library, because they are free. Why do I feel guilty then? I'm not quite sure. I walked out of the office yesterday with my loot and was trying to sneak to the elevators just in time to get caught by a co-worker. Yes, I'm a nerd and I love books. Mkay?

Now that that's all out in the open - here's the loot I brought home!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Had this one on hold & can't wait to start it this weekend!)
True Colors by Kristin Hannah (I'm a fan of Kristin Hannah and this one is about 3 sisters, so of course, I'm intrigued already!)
Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories by Lauren Groff (This is one I wouldn't normally pick up, but it's not very big and I'm kinda curious.)
Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman (I'm a little nervous about this one. It was a complete impulse-shelf-pick-up and I haven't heard anything about it, though the ratings on Goodreads look fairly high. Thoughts anyone?)
And then earlier this week, I picked up my hold of Nicholas Spark's latest The Last Song. (Yippee! Every fall he publishes a new book and its something I look forward to every year!)

I'm super excited and can't wait to get started on Hunger Games! It's this months book club selection (chosen by Mwah) and I keep hearing nothing but amazing things about it. And then I'm also dying to crack open Nicholas Spark's latest, because he is truly my favorite author and I will read anything he puts out. Looks like I know what I'll be doing this weekend!!

Has anyone read any of these titles and have any thoughts to share on them?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009

I've decided to join my first Reading Challenge by participating in the Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009 hosted by Callapidder Days.

It's a laid back challenge that allows me to make out a list however long I like with the books that I would like to read between now and December 20th!

So here's my list:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

3. I Apologize by Bradley Booth

4. The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman

5. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

6. The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

7. The Shack by William P. Young

8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

9. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

10. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh

11. The Widow's War by Sally Gunning

12. Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

13. The Girls by Lori Lansens'

14. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

15. True Colors by Kristin Hannah

16. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

17. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

With a 3 day camping trip coming up next month, plus the Dewey Read-a-Thon and a Fall Reading Weekend with the girls in November, I'm hoping I have plenty of opportunities for getting some quality reading in!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Oh you guys, it was just so painful. I NEVER leave a book unfinished, but I'm telling you, I was THIS close. The Devil in the White City was chosen for last month's book club and I just couldn't figure out what was so great about it. I really think it just depends on whether you happen to be a big history buff or not. I was talking with a friend of mine and likened reading this book to reading parts of the Old Testament. You would read pages and pages of mind-numbing information along with insane amounts of details in making buildings, which I likened to all the "begats" of the Old Testament. And then every once in a while you would come across something cool and interesting. But overall. P-A-I-N-F-U-L. It wasn't my thing, but hey, that's what book clubs are for right?

This month it was my turn to choose and I decided on Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. When I made the announcement, all I got was blank stares. And a lot of the women weren't even there to hear the announcement. My hope is that everyone will give it a shot and in turn end up loving it. I've just heard too many awesome things about it through the blogging community and can't wait to get my hands on a copy. Come on library - hurry up!

Description: Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

Rating: **

Recommend: Seriously, I'd prefer dental work over reading this again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why the heck not?

It's that time of year we like to call BBAW, (or Book Blogger Appreciation Week) and I came across this fun little ABC meme-diddy and felt like giving it a shot. Why the heck not right?

Sooo here's a few personal tidbits about myself so you could get to know me a little better!

Available or single? Married for 3 1/2 blessed years now!

Best Friend? My husband. And my sisters. And my friends Tina, Jessica, Suzanne, Julie, Alicia, Amy, Ida....I really could go on and on. I can't pick just one.

Cake or Pie? Bolth. (No spelling error, that's how I say it :-) )

Drink of choice? Coffee or G2. I drink a lot of bolth. (ha! there it is again!)

Essential item for every day use? Q-Tips. I'm obsessed with them.

Favorite color? Greys, blacks & whites.

Google? Of course.

Hometown? Kenmore, WA

Indulgences? McKay's Books, Chocolate, Shipley's Donuts, sleeping in :-)

January or February? January. It's our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the day we met.

Kids and their names? Wouldn't you like to know? Too many name stealers out there, sorry.

Life is incomplete without…? My man.

Marriage date? January 14, 2006 (1-14-06! We used to say that when we were engaged all the time! "Want to make out?" "1-14-06!"

Number of siblings? 2 Fabulous Sisters, Kristin & Katrina.

Oranges or apples? Apples.

Phobias and fears? Anything creepy-crawly. Roller Coasters. Puking. Expired Foods. Losing someone I love.

Quote for the day? My friend Julie sent me this today - "Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work." - William Arthur Ward

Reason to smile? It's Friday.

Season? Fall!

Tag 3 people: Yeah no.

Unknown fact about me? Well then where would the mystery be?

Vegetable you hate? Cauliflower

Worst habit? Biting my nails.

X-rays you’ve had? My hand and my chest.

Your fave food? Desserts.

Zodiac sign? Taurus

If you decide to "play," just leave a comment with a link to your ABCs!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs

I loved, loved, loved this book! It was so cute and so fun, a perfect light read. I completely fell in love with Sarah Moon and thought Will Bonner was just too adorable. I even loved his teenage daughter and felt for her as she struggled through figuring out who she was and learning about her difficult past.

It wasn't too mushy and wasn't at all flaky - not your typical chick lit, but definitely more like a sweet women's fiction. I also loved how the author incorporated the comic strips throughout the story, just too fun and so hilarious.

I'm looking forward to checking out some of her other stories - though if I could suggest anything to the author it would be to re-release her prior books with more catching covers. The cover of Just Breathe is really what drew me in and I can't deny it, I'm a total cover snob. :-P

Description: Chicago cartoonist Sarah Moon tackles life's real issues with a healthy dose of sharp wit in her syndicated comic strip Just Breathe. As Sarah's cartoon alter ego, Shirl, undergoes artificial insemination, her situation begins to mirror Sarah's own difficult attempts to conceive. However, Sarah's dreams of the future did not include her husband's infidelity: snag number two in Sarah's so-called perfect life.

With Chicago—and her marriage—in the rear view mirror, she flees to the small Northern California coastal town where she grew up, a place she couldn't wait to leave. Now she finds herself revisiting the past—an emotionally distant father and the unanswered questions left by her mother's death. As she comes to terms with her lost marriage, Sarah encounters a man she never expected to meet again: Will Bonner, the high school heartthrob she'd skewered mercilessly in her old comics. Now a local firefighter, he's been through some changes himself. But just as her heart is about to reawaken, Sarah discovers she is pregnant. With her ex's twins.

It's hardly the most traditional of new beginnings, but who says life and love are predictable… or perfect? The winds of change have led Sarah here. Now all she can do is just close her eyes… and breathe.

Rating: ****

Recommend: Definitely!