Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.  Here is my pick this week:

Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date: September 30th, 2014
Genre: Adult, Non-Fiction, Memoir
Pages: 288 pgs
ISBN: 9780812994995

Summary from Goodreads:
"There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told," writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to "an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw." Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.
I really like the show Girls and I love that Lena Dunham is just herself. She is not afraid to be quirky and doesn't conform to what is expected of her. I am really looking forward to her new book. 

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.  Here is my pick this week:  

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date:  September 30th, 2014
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 336 pgs
ISBN: 9781443435901

Summary from Goodreads:
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. If you were swept away by Graeme Simsion’s international smash hit The Rosie Project, you will love The Rosie Effect.

The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge.

Rosie is pregnant.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia back together, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him most.

Get ready for The Rosie Effect, the new hilarious and heart-wrenching romantic comedy of the year.
I think The Rosie Project is one of my favourite books of all time. When I heard there was a second book I knew I had to have it. I honestly can't wait for this one! 

Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: These ones are underrated

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is: 
Top Ten Books That are Underrated.

I've decided to do 5 adult novels and 5 YA novels that I love and that I don't think get enough buzz.

Here they are:

 Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin- This is an adult novel about someone who is intersex and a major crisis situation happens that forces the protagonist to really question his identity.

Textual Healing by Eric Smith- This book was sent to me by the author, who works at Quirk Books. This story is just funny and endearing and I really enjoyed reading it.

 Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill- I feel like Hill's Horns and even NOS4A2 are pretty well known but this book gave me the heebie jeebies. That doesn't happen often.

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie- This one is about a woman who decides to try her hand at an arranged marriage when things in the dating scene just quite aren't working out. Super great read. In fact, I love all of McKenzie's novels.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid- This is a recent read for me. I hadn't heard of it before but found it browsing around my bookstore. I read through this one really quickly and I felt like I could relate to the main character in this story.

Under by Skin by Charles de Lint- My friend and I went to de Lint's book launch for this one here in Ottawa. I wasn't expecting much considering how horrible the cover is but I have to say I was really impressed with the writing. Fun YA read about shapeshifters.

 The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth- This is a novel about a young girl who is learning to come into her own as a lesbian. She lives with a very strict family and when they find out about her sexual orientation they send her to a camp to help "reform" her. I keep pushing this book on everyone I know.

The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares- Everyone knows The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series but this stand alone is not one that I hear a lot about. This is just one of those books that makes you cry (in a good way). Very good!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- This book came out a couple of summers ago and it got a bit of hype but I don't know many people that read it. It's a very cute YA contemporary and I really liked the story.

Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter- This is a series about a girl who goes to a summer camp and realizes not everyone is who they seem. Essentially a paranormal YA camp book. It doesn't get enough credit.

Hope you enjoyed my list and I can't wait to see yours.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ARC Review: Eyes on You by Kate White

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: June 24th, 2014
Genre: Adult Mystery
Pages: 320 pgs
ISBN: 9780061576638
Source: received from publisher for an honest review

and a half

Summary from Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Kate White comes a riveting psychological suspense in which a media star must battle a malevolent enemy who may be disturbingly close to her.

After losing her on-air job two years ago, television host Robin Trainer has fought her way back and now she’s hotter than ever. With her new show climbing in the ratings and her first book a bestseller, she’s being dubbed a media double threat.

But suddenly, things begin to go wrong. Small incidents at first: a nasty note left in her purse; her photo shredded. But the obnoxious quickly becomes threatening when the foundation the makeup artist uses burns Robin’s face. It wasn’t an accident—someone had deliberately doctored with the product.

An adversary with a dark agenda wants to hurt Robin, and the clues point to someone she works with every day. While she frantically tries to put the pieces together and unmask this hidden foe, it becomes terrifyingly clear that the person responsible isn’t going to stop until Robin loses everything that matters to her . . . including her life.

My Review: 

I was asked to review this back in June and I am just getting to it now. I was excited to read this book because I've always wanted to read something by Kate White. I have her novel Hush but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. This novel is about a television personality slash author named Robin with is just coming back into the limelight after a slight scandal. Her book is fast becoming a hit and she is impressing the audience of her newstalk TV show. Well, not everyone is impressed with Robin's fast track to success and they are starting to show their discontent by trying to sabotage her. The mystery culprit begins with some small scale scare tactics and then it escalates and Robin is actually physically hurt. Robin and her trusted friends spend most of the novel trying to figure out who is behind all these occurances.
Well, I don't know if it was my high expectations, or the mood I was in when I read this book but I have to say that while I really wanted to like this book I was more or less meh about it. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. It's been about a week since I've finished this mystery but I already forget some of it. To me this means it wasn't that memorable. I was a little bit disappointing for me. I did enjoy the story while I read it but it did awe me.
I have to admit to figuring out who the wicked saboteur was pretty much from the 3rd chapter. There were times when I questioned it and thought of others but I had it pretty much locked in. In some ways I like figuring it out early because when you read the book you can look for all the subtle clues the author puts in. In other ways, I really like a good mind fuck. I like when the author makes my mouth gape in wtfery and when I never see it coming. In this case, it was fun seeing all the little signs but at the same time it also made the book slightly less interesting.
As a whole this is a decent read if you like adult mysteries but it isn't one that will blow your mind. This is no Gone Girl.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.  Here is my pick this week:  

Publisher: Quirk Books
Publishing Date: September 23rd, 2014
Genre: Adult, Horror
Pages: 240 pgs
ISBN: 9781594745263

Summary from Goodreads:
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds clearly, someone or something is up to no good.

To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-firstcentury economy.

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

I mean, look at the cover. It just screams Ikea catalogue and I can't help but want to pick it up. 
Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.  Here is my pick this week:  

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publishing Date: September 16th, 2014
Genre: YA

Summary from Goodreads:
New Year's Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.
After Rennie's death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn't left with Reeve... If Kat had only stayed with Rennie... Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?
This is the third and final book in the series and I can't wait to find out what happens in this novel. The second book was quite a surprise (in a good way!) and I am eager to read this one. 

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ARC Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: April 22nd, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 374 pgs
ISBN: 9780062252289
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:
Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.

My Review: 

This review is long overdue. I received this as an ARC from Harper Collins Canada quite a while ago. My life was a bit of a mess for a while but now I'm back on track and I'm getting caught up on reading and reviews. This book came out in April of this year and I had never read anything by this author. It's marketed as a re-telling of Jane Austin's Persuasion but I have to admit to not having read this before. That being said, I don't think that takes away from this story. This is the story of Anna, a high school girl who is trying to find a way to be comfortable in her own skin. It opens in the 9th grade when she meets a cute but nerdy boy, Finn. The two begin dating but secretly because she is concerned about her cool factor with her friends. This leads to an awkward encounter at a school dance and as a result the two part ways. (This all happens in the first few pages so no spoilers here.) Jump to Anna's senior year and Finn returns after his almost 3 year hiatus. Not only does he return but he is cuter and geeky in an intriguing way. If being back at Anna's school isn't enough he is also now hanging out with her group of friends.
The story is super cute but isn't just all fluff like some contemporaries can be. I have to say that you get a really well rounded view of Anna through her narration as well as through the depiction of her relationships with her best friend, her group of friends and her family. This is one thing that I think LaZebnik does really well; she is able to write a great cast of characters. Each character is interesting in their own way and I feel like I got to know Anna a little better because of this.
My one gripe would be that I kept mixing up her two friends. One is named Lucy and the other is named Lily. The names were too closely related for me and I found myself having to look back again and again to figure out if it was Lucy, Anna's bff, or Lily, one of the twins.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was just what I needed as the summer draws to an end. It's a story about self discovery and becoming comfortable with who you are without worry about judgement. I think this is something that a lot women, regardless of age, can relate to. It's a constant struggle to be yourself and to not worry about what others think (at least for me). I think this is why I could relate to Anna and also to Finn.
Let's talk about the romance for a minute. This book takes a while for the romance to start and usually this drives me nuts. I think there was enough going on in the book that it made it okay. I think that some books focus solely on the romance to the exclusion of other personal relationships and this is not the case in this story. The tension between Anna and Finn is just too cute. I loved Finn! He was sweet and nerdy and who doesn't like that? Especially book geeks.
This book is well written and I will be definitely be finding more novels by her. If you want a fun contemporary with great main characters and even brighter secondary characters then this is the book for you.