Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Only for Him by Cristin Harber | Book Review


Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Synopses: Grayson Ford and Emma Kinglsey--close since they were kids, opposites in every way. He's the stuff high school crushes are made of, Mister Popular, and captain of every team. She's artsy, cute, and not in his league, though fully aware of Summerland's "I Dream of Dating Grayson Ford" support group.

I can't say no. The girl's had my heart since before I knew it went missing.

He hides a life of hell. His father hates him, his mother's gone. Emma is his only savior, yet she doesn't know her power over him. She's the only girl he wants, the only one he could ever tell--though he won't.

I'm stronger, bigger, more of a man than he'll ever be, but because I ruined his life, I've taken his crap, his attacks, the vulgar nature of his existence.

Until she discovers Gray's embarrassment, his humiliation. Emma fights for him and for a chance. Theirs is a Cinderella story that she believes impossible. But as the layers peel back, it's just a guy who needs a girl in order to keep breathing.

My mind is already doodling Mrs. Grayson Ford in imaginary notebooks. He has no clue where my head is at... But, given that I didn't see what just happened coming, maybe I have no clue where his head is at either.

Only for Him. Only series, Volume One.
All novellas in the series are available now!


Cover: This cover shows Gray and Emma hugging in the grass.  I'm pretty indifferent to this cover, except that I don't think this scene ever happens.

My Review: So I downloaded this novella because it was free and I thought it sounded interesting.  Honestly, it wasn't really for me.  I understand it's a novella, so it has to move a little faster than a full novel, but this was super fast.  It started with both of them having a crush on the other and then Gray kisses her out of nowhere and takes her to a school dance, but gets embarrassed when she finds out about his abusive dad even though she already guessed it, but then they get back together, and everything's great.  And then it fast forwards, and Gray is a soldier getting shot at and Emma is a stripper, but she has a daughter with Gray.  There were a lot of plot lines that were never actually addressed.  Gray blames himself for his mother's death, but why?  Emma was basically accepted to a photography school, but then somehow becomes a stripper.  I guess that could be because she got pregnant, but it was never discussed.  Did Gray know he got Emma pregnant?  There are more books in the series, but I just don't know if it's worth reading them to see what they address.  There were some parts of the story I liked, but I am very glad I didn't pay for it and maybe if the others are ever free I'll read those.    


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant | Book Review


Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopses: New York Times bestseller!
An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century, told “with humor and optimism…through the eyes of an irresistible heroine” (People)—from the acclaimed author of The Red Tent.

Anita Diamant’s “vivid, affectionate portrait of American womanhood” (Los Angeles Times), follows the life of one woman, Addie Baum, through a period of dramatic change. Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, to finding the love of her life, eighty-five-year-old Addie recounts her adventures with humor and compassion for the na├»ve girl she once was.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world. “Diamant brings to life a piece of feminism’s forgotten history” (Good Housekeeping) in this “inspirational…page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century” (Booklist).


Cover: The cover of this book is simple: a girl reading while sitting on a post in the ocean.  We can assume this woman is supposed to be Addie.

My Review: This book is fiction, but it's written as if a grandmother is telling a story and I think that's why I liked it so much.  I live in Massachusetts, so I really liked reading about how Boston used to be and what it was like growing up there.  The book takes place from 1914-1985, and that is such a unique time for anyone to live through: the end of Industrialization, two World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War, advancements in technology.  Plus, as significant as all of those things are they don't include the personal things an individual also had to deal with.  Addie has to balance what she wants for herself and what her family expects of her, which I think a lot of people can relate to.  When she was growing up, women were transitioning from just being wives and mothers to having jobs for themselves, so it was hard for her to relate to her mother who didn't understand Addie's independence.  I enjoy historical fiction like this because even though everything seems so different between then and now, they're really not so much.  This work is very big on feminism which is obviously still huge right now and family drama which is an issue then, now, and forever.  I would recommend this book to anyone, but I think you need to be a certain age to fully appreciate it.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca | Book Review


Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopses: Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this “thoughtful romance” (School Library Journal) told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready for her to leave.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…


Cover: Not going to lie, this cover makes zero sense to me.  First of all this scene never happens and second, the scene that does slightly resemble this happens on David's old, beat up car, not a fancy, bright yellow convertible.  

My Review: I like this book because it was a story about a second chance, that was pretty realistic for being a work of fiction.  Kelsey and David leave off on such bad terms, but when they're back in each other's lives, they have the chance to correct everything.  They stumble along the way, but that's what I liked about it.  Their lives kept going on, and so when they had to reincorporate each other, it was awkward and confusing.  It was frustrating too because I really wanted them to hurry up and figure everything out so they could be together.  I wish there was another chapter or epilogue that explained their relationship a little more because it was like "Yay, they're finally together!  The end."  and I could have used a little bit more.  I liked that Kelsey was super jealous when David started dating her friend, but she knew she couldn't say anything because she had a boyfriend too.  Like I said, this book just seemed more realistic than some other books on the same topic, and I thought it was really nice.


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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren | Book Review




HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!  I HOPE YOU ALL GET TO SEE SOME FIREWORKS THIS WEEK!


Reading Group: 18+

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopses: Everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war. But these two will learn that sabotage is a dish best served naked.

The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending, or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, hilarious story of romance in the modern world.


Cover: This cover is very Christina Lauren in that it has the black and white drawing of the couple.  However, the fact that both Carter and Evie are on the cover is new because usually, it's just the male character.  But I think this is done on purpose because a big theme in this book is equality between men and women in the workplace. 

My Review:  I want to start out this review by giving some advice to anyone who hasn't read it yet: If you are expecting a "classic" Christina Lauren novel where if/when you talk about it with someone you say 'And then they had sex' multiple times, you're going to be surprised because that's not what this book is.  Carter and Evie do not have sex as often as the other characters in Lauren's adult novels, but it's not disappointing.  This story is laugh out loud funny in multiple different spots from various characters.  Its central theme is inequality in the workplace and how Carter and Evie's boss is sexist and how both characters deal with it.  Evie reacts by silently resenting her boss and discussing his antics with her female friends who work with her.  Carter is in a unique situation though because, being a man, he's positively affected by the treatment, but because he loves Evie it makes it hard for him to watch how she's treated.  He eventually stands up for her and makes a life altering choice.  Just when Carter and Evie start their relationship they suddenly find themselves fighting against each other for their dream job and neither fight clean.  This novel is not a typical Christina Lauren book when it comes to intimate relationships, but the way it's written with its love, hate, sabotage, fraud, and humor is the same writing style as the Beautiful Series or Wild Seasons, and if you loved those books you'd love this one too.


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