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Archive for the ‘Summer reads’ Category

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Posted by Caitie F on June 19, 2013

Title: Someday, Someday, Maybesomeday someday maybe
Author: Lauren Graham
Hardback: 352 pages
Pub Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Rating: ++++

Summary from publisher:

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

Review:

Yep, the Lauren Graham who wrote this book is that Lauren Graham of two of my favorite TV shows of all time, Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. From what I have seen from her interviews, she seems like a pretty cool person too, so when I saw she had a book I was excited, yet nervous. I read a couple positive reviews and they were correct, Lauren Graham can write!

This story is perfect for summer. It is a quick read and it was also the kind of book that made me so happy while I was reading it. Not everything in it is sunshine and roses, but the tone and characters made me smile so much. If you are looking for a fun book to take on a plane or take to the beach, this one is a great choice.

It isn’t too deep, but it does show consequences and doubts. Everyone has felt the way Franny does at some point, even if you aren’t an actor. Sometimes, you feel like you are stuck in one place and can’t get moving. It shows that you can get out of that rut and make things better. I loved the hope in the book and I especially love the best friend who is sometimes the voice of reason. The characters all felt so real and I wanted them to be!

I found myself laughing out loud many times. There was even one point where i texted my husband the picture of a paragraph because it was so funny. I can honestly say I have never done that before.

You should read the acknowledgements at the end since it is adorable.

I just can’t get myself to give this five stars because it wasn’t the best book I ever read, but it was a really fun book that I think a lot of people would love!

I saw this is going to be a television show and I don’t know. I think it would make a great movie, but am not sure about a full TV show. But i know I will watch it!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Posted by Caitie F on June 12, 2013

Title: Tiger LilyTiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Hardcover: 304 pages
Pub Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: +++++

Summary from publisher:

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

Review:

I am not a fan of fairies, but I do love Peter Pan and read so many wonderful reviews of this book that I had to give it a try. I am so glad I did. If you prefer paperback books, this title comes out in paperback on July 2!

The storytelling of Tiger Lily was risky, but it ended up working really well. The story was the story of Tiger Lily, but it was from Tinkerbell’s view so it was non-traditional. It made me actually like Tinkerbell because it gave her a personality and a side of the story that makes you look at the classic in a whole new way.

Going into the book, you know it doesn’t have a happy ending, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment because the journey was wonderful and the characters were deep and rich. My favorite character had to be Tik Tok, Tiger Lily’s adopted guardian. He was a joy to read and his transformation was heart-breaking, but as a reader I got so invested that I still loved to read it.

This book wasn’t just about Peter and Tiger Lily, it was also about the destructive power of a man and  of a society. It was a very powerful, tragic, but still very beautiful book.

If you are a fan of Peter Pan, or just like fairy tales, you should read this book. The characters have depth you don’t get in the original story, the writing is superb, and it is a beautiful take on this well-known story. The paperback version of this book would make it a good summer read.

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The Daughters by Joanna Philbin

Posted by Caitie F on December 28, 2012

Title: The Daughters7129468
Author: Joanna Philbin
Hardcover: 288 pages
Pub Date: April 11, 2010
Publisher: Poppy
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines.

The sole heir to Metronome Media and the daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders.

Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own music breakthrough.

By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer who believes she’s “the new face of beauty,” Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media spotlight.

As Lizzie and her two best friends (and fellow daughters-of-celebrities) juggle normal high school events with glamorous family functions, they discover the pitfalls of fame and the importance of friendship

Review:

I was looking for a fun and fast book to end the year with and picked this one up. It looked like it would be entertaining and a little different from most YA books I read since it looks at a world that I often find irritating (i.e. the entitled characters of Gossip Girl).

Luckily, these characters and their stories were not irritating in the least. When I saw that it was read by Regis Philbin’s daughter, I was first weary, but I saw she has written several books. After reading the back of the book and seeing that it was about living with famous parents, I also saw that it was something that she would actually understand.

These characters are great. They are all thankful for what they have and struggle to find their own paths in life. Some happen to be good at what their parents are good at and struggle to take it in their own direction. urns out, when you parents are famous it can be even harder to relate to them and tell them what you want without being shot down – sometimes by them, sometimes by their publicists.

There is a cute romance and a lot of drama.

It is a really fun YA book with great characters and character growth. My only issue is that the books ends on a cliffhanger and doesn’t finish the story, something that always irks me in series. It should be a full book! That said, I will add the rest of the books to my to-read list. I won’t be grabbing them right away, but it will be a great series to go to when I want to read something fun and fast!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Posted by Caitie F on May 3, 2012

Title: Attachments 
Author: Rainbow Road
Hardcover: 323 pages
Pub Date: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he’d be sifting through other people’s inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can’t help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you.” After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Review:

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected! I thought it would be fun (it was). I thought it would be entertaining (it was). I thought it would make me laugh (it did). I didn’t expect to tear up, care about the characters, and not be able to put it down.

While it is set up as a light and fun book, it talks about relationship,s friendships, and some serious issues in realistic and touching way.

The set up of this was really cool too. The only way you see Beth and Jennifer, at least for most of the book, is through their emails that Lincoln reads. It may seem like it would be hard to connect with characters in this way, but it was really easy! It actually felt more personal than being inside a characters head. It made me very glad I don’t send personal emails at work!

The reader sees Lincoln through a more traditional method: his whole life. He  is a complex guy and, for a book that felt like it would be more for women, I think a lot of men could relate to his struggles and life.

Overall, it was a great book to read. With summer coming up, I would highly recommend it as a summer read if you like books that are not only fun, but also make you think and feel.

 

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Posted by Caitie F on September 14, 2011

Title: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2011
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.

Review:

I saw a review of this on Reading With Tequila and knew I had to read this book ASAP. It sounded like it had some awesome characters, an interesting structure, and a lot of fun!

All of that was true. April had so many struggles, both internally while trying to deal with her family and externally with her friends and boyfriends. She felt real and genuine. I thought she was written in a way that teens can relate to her, especially if they have had parents split up and remarry. She felt pulled between everyone. There was one point where she didn’t feel wanted by anyone. She felt so real to me and it broke my heart.

But the book is not all heart-breaking and sorrow. The book is a lot of fun. There are parties. There is a hot tub. There are cute and caring boys. And all of this is happening without any parents. That aspect is so much fun…it made me long to jump into my past and have some fun!

I also thought it did a great job of dealing with sex and relationships. Yes, teenagers have sex and for different reasons. One wants to try it before college, wants it to be no-strings attached, but it isn’t easy. Two other couples have been together for years and want to make the next step…but of course there are consequences for everything. The relationships feel genuine and I understand why the girls do what they do.

Finally, what really made this book unique was the structure.  Each chapter was one thing they shouldn’t have done, so the reader gets a hint to what will happen in the chapter. It also goes into several backstory flashbacks that show how the girls and families got to this point in their lives. It makes everyone more complete characters that readers will care about.

I really enjoyed this book and you should try it too!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Posted by Caitie F on August 29, 2011

This book would make a great late summer read!

Title: Shut Out 
Author: Kody Keplinger
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Poppy (Hachette)
Date Published: 9/5/2011
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads and me):

A contemporary re-imagining of the Greek play, “Lysistrata,” in which high school senior Lissa decides it’s time to end her school’s ridiculous sports rivalry once and for all by starting a hook-up strike.

It is the football players against the soccer players, and no one really remembers why. Now, people are starting to get hurt. Can the girlfriends stop it before it is too late, or will they crack from the pressure before the boys?

Review:

This was a book I picked up the last day of BEA (I actually got to meet Kody and she was so sweet!)…and read that same day and passed to someone else who would love it!

I really enjoyed the issues and entertainment of the source material for this one, reading “Lysistrata” was a highlight of my Greek Literature class in college, so I knew that combining that with Keplinger’s honest and open dialogue about teenage issues would result in a book that I would love.

I did love it. Not quite as much as The Duff (Keplinger’s debut novel), but since I said that was the best book I read in 2010, it would have been very difficult to be better than it!

The characters felt so real. Lissa just wants peace in the school…and to come before a stupid feud that has been raging for a decade. People are starting to get hurt and she won’t stand for it anymore. And she does something. I knew someone in high school just like that. She didn’t just sit and wait for things to change, she made them change. What makes Lissa even better though, is that she really has to work to be a leader. She isn’t naturally a public speaker, she finds her voice over the course of the book, showing that all women can lead, especially when it is about a cause they care about.

This was another very honest book about sex and teens. That means this book is probably best for 16+. There is nothing graphic at all, but it is open to what is going on in high schools everywhere. But it is done in a really good way that shows all levels of sexual experience and can lead to young women being able to talk openly and honestly. Some of the girls are virgins. Some don’t like sex. Some love it and are not ashamed. Some love doing certain things, some hate it. Just like in life. They all learn how to talk about it, not only with each other, but also with their boyfriends. It also talks about how women shouldn’t use their bodies as a weapon. It is one thing to go on strike to end fighting, it is a whole other to use it to manipulate and deceive. I wish there were honest and open books like this when I was a teenager.

This book was all around wonderful. The other characters sparkle, and the excellent retelling is full of twists and surprises. The male lead is swoon worthy and a great guy who makes the romance fun.

I cannot wait to see what Kody Keplinger writes next.

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Posted by Caitie F on August 23, 2011

Great summer read!

Title: Only the Good Spy Young 
Author: Ally Carter
Hardcover: 265 pages
Publisher:  Hyperion
Year Published: 2010
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

Review:

I know, it was just a few days ago that I read the third book in the series and since then I read the second and the most recent. I feel like I could skip the first since I know what happened in it by now.

And now I have to wait what happens next. Cammie is not completely safe and I can’t find out what will happen until 2012! How can anyone stand it? I am usually okay with waiting for series. I think it is fun. Yet in this case I need to now! These books are so exciting to read that I want more!

If you like action and you like fun stories with great writing, seriously, check out these books today. Go put them on hold at the library or go to your bookstore and check them out.

If you need more convincing, this book had me on the edge of my seat. I never knew who was the good spy and who was the bad spy. It also allowed Cammie to find out more about her father and it felt like readers really got to see a new side of her. She and all of the characters have been developed incredibly well throughout the series. This book was no different.

Great series – cannot wait to read the next adventures of The Gallagher Girls!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Posted by Caitie F on August 18, 2011

This is a great summer read!

Title: Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Author: Ally Carter
Hardcover: 263 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
Year Published: 2009
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

When Cammie “The Chameleon” Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she’s in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she’s there to watch Macey’s father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world’s best school (for spies), “exciting” and “deadly” are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers’ plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can’t shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn’t feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion’s corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey’s private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth.

Review:

So I jumped into this series in the middle. It isn’t something I do often, but I won the book in a giveaway with a bunch of others books and I thought I would try it.

First off, you don’t need to read the entire series to enjoy one of the books. There were a couple times when I knew that I didn’t get a reference to events from the previous books, but I was never confused.

The book was just great! I loved the setting of the school. I felt like I was exploring a secret spy central. Training the girls to kick butt was awesome, especially because of the origins of the school.

I loved the writing style. The action scenes were actually exciting and had me gripping the book, nervous about what would happen next. There is a great mix of typical teenage wants and needs and the special issues that only spies would encounter.

If you are looking for a fun and fast read with plenty of drama and excitement, pick up this series! I have the next two books on hold at the library and can’t wait  to read them!

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Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen (And a Giveaway)

Posted by Caitie F on July 28, 2011

Title: Skipping a Beat 
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Paperback: 327 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (S&S)
Year Published: 2011
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Julia and Michael meet in high school in their small, poverty-stricken West Virginia hometown. Both products of difficult childhoods — Julia’s father is a compulsive gambler and Michael’s mother abandoned his family when he was a young boy – they find a sense of safety and mutual understanding in each other. Shortly after graduation they flee West Virginia to start afresh. Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their multi-million-dollar,Washington D.C. home. From the outside it all looks perfect – Julia has become a highly sought-after party planner, while Michael has launched a wildly successful flavored water company that he sold for $70 million.
But one day Michael stands up at the head of the table in his company’s boardroom — then silently crashes to the floor. More than four minutes later, a portable defibrillator manages to jump-start his heart. Yet what happened to Michael during those lost minutes forever changes him. Money is meaningless to him now – and he wants to give it all away to charity. A prenuptial agreement that Julia insisted upon back when Michael’s company was still struggling means she has no claim to his fortune, and now she must decide: should she walk away from the man she once adored, but who truthfully became a stranger to her long before his near-death experience – or should she give in to her husband’s pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but happier life?

Review:

I wasn’t completely sure about this book. It is women’s fiction and the cover is pink. But what got me excited was the life-changing moment that Michael experienced and its effect on everyone around him. Most people dream of hitting it big one day…but what if by being a success you lose everything that is important and has meaning?

And this book delivers on those themes and gives a whole lot more. Julia is a character that I just connected with. I could see things from her perspective and understand it. On the surface, thinking of leaving your husband because he gives everything away sounds horrible. But as I read about their marriage that has been falling apart for a decade and the compromises she has made…I understand it completely. I not only see her perspective, but I understand it and may have done the same.

Pekkanen has written a beautiful and touching story. I loved the style of this book. It was so much better than I expected.

Don’t read it though if you don’t like sad stories. I started crying at the end of the book. I don’t want to spoil the end, but there is a lot of sadness, mixed with a lot of happiness.

It is a great book that I will recommend to just about anyone…and I am giving away my copy!

Rules:

US and Canada only.

Ends 8/10.

One entry per email address, an extra entry for tweeting (put the URL in the comment please!)

You don’t have to follow or anything!

I cannot wait to hear what everyone else thinks about this book!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Posted by Caitie F on July 5, 2011

This is a GREAT summer read!

Title: What Happen to Goodbye?
Author: Sarah Dessen
Hardcover: 402 pages
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Year Published: 2011
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Review:

This is not your typical Sarah Dessen book. Don’t get me wrong, there is an awesome female character, some fun friends, a great plot, and a swoonworthy boy (who is also nerdy!! YAY).

But the main plot isn’t about Mclean getting with that guy, or building their relationship, it is about Mclean finally figuring out who she is and trying to find out how to have a relationship with a mother who she believes has ruined it all.

I have to say that I loved reading a book about family and self instead of romance. Okay, well family with a little romance. Still, Mclean had spent so much time reinventing herself to fit into each new school that she lost who she was and what she liked. She also didn’t seem to know what it was like to really be friends with anyone. She lived life for the temporary, which made her new relationships and the relationships with her family even more real.

This is one of the better or Dessen’s books. I connected with Mclean and enjoyed every page of the book!

Sis you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Review, Summer reads | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »