WWW Wednesday: May 30th, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly Devos

31123268

Don’t miss this unforgettable debut novel, told in two timelines, about smart fashion, pursuing your dreams, and loving yourself!

FAT.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.

SKINNY.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

This is an ARC that I received through NetGalley. The publish date is next week (June 5th) so I’m hoping to get it read and reviewed quickly. It was a last-minute approval, so I didn’t have much time to start with. But I’m enjoying it so far!


I just finished reading:

I’ve decided to do this a little differently. Instead of listing just the most recent book I’ve read, I’m going to list all of the books I’ve read in the last week (excluding my current read, of course). This means I’m not going to include the full book blurb for each book in my post, but if you click on the title, it’ll pull up the Goodreads page with more info. 


What I’m reading next:

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

51q2b-r-inrl-_sx332_bo1204203200_

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

I’ve heard a lot of great things about B.A. Paris’s books. Unfortunately, the only book of his that I’ve read so far (Bring Me Back) fell somewhat short of my expectations. You can see my full review here. But I still want to give him another chance, so I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

Advertisements

Book Review: The Universe is Expanding and So Am I

Title: The Universe is Expanding and So Am I
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Release Date: May 29th, 2018
Pages: 304
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible

34743888

Book Blurb:

Virginia Shreves’ world implodes again in this long-awaited follow-up to Printz Honoree The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

Just in time for The Earth, My Butt, and Other BIg Round Things’ 15th anniversary, Virginia’s hope-filled story of love, friendship, and the beauty in imperfection continues, by acclaimed author Carolyn Mackler.

My Thoughts:

I read this book immediately after finishing the first book in the series (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things), so I was already invested in the characters and able to jump right in. The first thing I noticed was that the author did a great job of modernizing this book, without it being obvious that it was written 15 years later. It was a smooth transition from one book to the next, although of course a lot has changed in those 15 years. The author also did a lot of “damage control” in this book, correcting some of the outdated ideologies from the previous book, without making it obvious or distracting from the story. But truthfully, if you haven’t and/or don’t want to read the first book, this book also works really well as a standalone. 

Just like in the previous book, Virginia is such an amazing character! I can relate to her so much and remember struggling with a lot of the same things when I was a teenager. While reading this, I got so frustrated whenever her parents or brother made careless comments about her weight. As someone who’s been on the receiving end of those comments, I know they hurt and I hurt for her as I was reading those parts. But she handled it so well! She even pointed out when her parents were body-shaming her, although they didn’t always stop or try to understand how it made her feel. Despite that, Virginia was able to fight past her insecurities, learned how to accept herself just the way she is, and stayed true to herself no matter what life threw at her. In my eyes, she is a great role model for teens. I also loved Sebastian’s character and their unlikely friendship. 

One thing I felt like the author could have done a bit more with was the topic of sexual assault. We don’t often see books written from the perspective of the family of the rapist, so there was a lot of potential here, but it seemed like the author wanted to keep the main focus on Virginia’s issues. I understand that reasoning, but I can’t help but feel like there was a missed opportunity here. Especially in light of the current #metoo movement. However, the parts that are included are really well done. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and fun read with a positive message. I would definitely recommend it! 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

star redstar redstar redstar redstar half

Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week my excerpts are from the book I just finished reading (about an hour ago actually). It is And All the Phases of the Moon by Judy Reene Singer.

and all the phases of the moon

Synopsis:

Delving into the mysteries of the human heart with humor and emotion, master storyteller Judy Reene Singer explores what it means to begin again after a life touched by tragedy . . .

Aila Cordeiro absolutely cannot take on an abandoned pit bull. So why is she suddenly filling food bowls for the wounded stray and opening her seaside home to him? Maybe it’s the sadness in the pup’s eyes, a sorrow that mirrors her own. But caring for another is not on Aila’s agenda anymore. As the sole owner of the general store in a Cape Cod tourist town, she has enough on her hands. Besides Aila can’t love anyone ever again. Not since her husband–her heart–boarded a boat with her beloved father two years ago, never to return . . .

Of course, life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Now instead of solitude and grief, Aila is suddenly at the center of controversy in the small town. And the only person on her side, besides her best friend, is a stranger whose heart might be more battered than her own. Ex-Navy seal Sam Ahmadi has seen his share of misfortune, which is why Aila never expects him to be the one to show her how to live again in the face of shattering loss. How to hope for the happiness you once dreamed of . . .

“Page-turning, beautifully written . . .”
Library Journal on In the Shadow of Alabama, STARRED REVIEW


Book Beginning:

I have walked this beach a million times.

It’s just a long, thin spit of land that nestles inside the curl of Provincetown and points off into Cape Cod Bay like a finger, as though warning the bay not to forget us. And not to forget the ones it took.


The Friday 56:

“I hope to visit your place tomorrow,” he added, “if that’s all right.”

“Absolutely,” I replied. “It’s the home of the Sandwich. I’ll even make you one.”

“Deal!” he said, extending his hand again to me. We touched fingers, and when his gaze lingered on my face I didn’t look away.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

Book Review: Bring Me Back

Title: Bring Me Back
Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery
Release Date: June 19th, 2018
Pages: 336
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible

911iibyt4il

Book Blurb:

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

My Thoughts:

This book started off so promising, but then fell short in the second half. The narrative switches back and forth between present day and ten years earlier, when Finn’s girlfriend Layla mysteriously disappeared from a rest area on their way back from a trip to Paris. Fast-forward ten years, and Finn has a new girlfriend, Ellen, who happens to be Layla’s sister. Despite never finding out what really happened to Layla, they have finally moved on and are happy together, engaged to be married. Until suddenly little Russian nesting dolls start showing up everywhere they go, leaving both Finn and Ellen with one chilling question: “Is Layla still alive?”

What I loved about this book is that is had a very intriguing and suspenseful storyline. There are plenty of twists and turns, in true psychological thriller style, and at some point you will question each and every character. I was sucked in to the story from the very beginning and had a hard time putting it down, even staying up late to finish it.

However, the biggest problem for me was the realism, or lack thereof. Some of the characters’ decisions didn’t quite sit well with me; they just felt “off” somehow. I kept thinking that maybe it would make more sense after I knew the whole story, but it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there are reasons and justifications given for their actions, but they just didn’t quite jive for me. It seemed like the further I got into the story, the more I doubted the characters’ actions and rationalizations. Then the believability went completely out the window in the final chapters with the big reveal.

I wanted to love this book – the synopsis sounded so promising and I’ve seen so much praise online for B.A. Paris’s writing. I still intend to read some of Paris’s other books in case this one was an anomaly, but Bring Me Back just didn’t quite meet my expectations. A great premise and admittedly addicting read, but unrealistic and somewhat lacking.

Quick side note – I’m not sure how the book blurbs are written. Is that the responsibility of the author, someone from the publishing company, or someone else entirely? Regardless, the blurb for this book was riddled with errors. “A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car.” They didn’t stop for gas – the story even explains that the rest area they were at didn’t have a fuel station, just restrooms and a small picnic area off the parking lot. He didn’t run in to pay – he went in to use the restroom. It says he’s engaged to be married (which is correct), but then states “his wife is the sister of his missing first love” and that “their marriage becomes strained” which isn’t possible because they’re not even married in the first place! Fortunately I didn’t notice any inconsistencies like these in the book itself, which makes me think it was someone other than the author who wrote the book blurb. But I still can’t figure out why the author or publisher didn’t catch these before the blurb was released.

Rating: 3/5 stars

star redstar redstar redstar clearstar clear

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

WWW Wednesday: May 23rd, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.

I’m just doing a quick post today. My youngest son’s kindergarten graduation is tonight! 😃💕 So I’m not adding my usual commentary, but still wanted to post my reading update for this week.


I am currently reading:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I just finished reading:

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

36950133

New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, in her newest novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

A novel of compassion and insight, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.


What I’m reading next:

And All the Phases of the Moon by Judy Reene Singer

and all the phases of the moon

Delving into the mysteries of the human heart with humor and emotion, master storyteller Judy Reene Singer explores what it means to begin again after a life touched by tragedy . . .

Aila Cordeiro absolutely cannot take on an abandoned pit bull. So why is she suddenly filling food bowls for the wounded stray and opening her seaside home to him? Maybe it’s the sadness in the pup’s eyes, a sorrow that mirrors her own. But caring for another is not on Aila’s agenda anymore. As the sole owner of the general store in a Cape Cod tourist town, she has enough on her hands. Besides Aila can’t love anyone ever again. Not since her husband–her heart–boarded a boat with her beloved father two years ago, never to return . . .

Of course, life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Now instead of solitude and grief, Aila is suddenly at the center of controversy in the small town. And the only person on her side, besides her best friend, is a stranger whose heart might be more battered than her own. Ex-Navy seal Sam Ahmadi has seen his share of misfortune, which is why Aila never expects him to be the one to show her how to live again in the face of shattering loss. How to hope for the happiness you once dreamed of . . .

“Page-turning, beautifully written . . .”
Library Journal on In the Shadow of Alabama, STARRED REVIEW


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

Book Blogger Hop 5/18-5/24



Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

I’m doing today’s post a bit late… or technically, yesterday’s post. It’s already past midnight! I have had the worst week so far. 😔🙈 But better late than never! 🙂

This week’s question:

What were your worst movies based off of books? (submitted by Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog)

My answer:

The first one that comes to mind is The Shining by Stephen King. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Everyone loves that movie! Even Stephen King himself loves that movie. It’s world-renowned. But as someone who read the book before watching the movie, it was a HORRIBLE adaptation. They changed sooo much, even the general premise! I can concede that it was a good movie on its own (if you completely ignore the book), but someday I would love to see a real, true adaptation of the book, which happens to be one of my favorite Stephen King novels.

What about you? What do you think is the worst book-to-movie adaptation? Leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

*If you’re here from the linkup, please leave your link in the comments so I can make sure to stop by and see your answer too.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week my excerpts are from my current read: Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins. This is my first Kristan Higgins book, but I’m really excited to read it since I have had several people recommend her books to me. So far, I’m really enjoying it! Good Luck With That will be hitting stores on 8/7/18 so make sure you check it out while creating your summer reading lists.

36950133

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, in her newest novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

A novel of compassion and insight, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.


Book Beginning:

For once, no one was thinking of food.

From above, they were just three teenage girls, bobbing in the middle of the clear blue lake, a rowboat drifting lazily nearby as they splashed and laughed.


The Friday 56:

Even though I checked in with my nephew every day, I sometimes jolted awake at night, remembering the sight of him in the hospital bed, a tube up his nose, tears in his eyes.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

WWW Wednesday: May 16th, 2018

WWW Wednesdays

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in on WWW Wednesday, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

51j8clojzol-_sx329_bo1204203200_

GoodReads Synopsis:

#1 bestselling author John Green returns with his first new novel since The Fault in Our Stars!

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

This is one of my current library loans and it ends tomorrow! I waited over 6 months for it and then when I finally got it over 2 weeks ago, I let myself be distracted by other books. So now I’m desperately trying to finish reading it in the last 24 hours before the loan ends. There’s still a huge wait list and I don’t want to be bumped back to the bottom. Nothing like a little pressure, huh?


I just finished reading:

Abandoned by Allison Brennan

abandoned

GoodReads Synopsis:

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she’s never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother’s story unfolds, she realizes that Martha teamed up with a con man. They traveled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important–and most dangerous–mystery of her career.

This is an ARC so I should have a review already typed up, or at least be able to say that my review will be posted shortly. However, I’m a little behind with my reviews… I’ve been distracted lately and although I’ve made time for reading, I haven’t set aside any extra time for reviewing. Fortunately, none of the books that I need to review are being published soon, so I’m not technically behind. But I still have hard plans to sit down later this week and crank out some reviews!


What I’m reading next:

Like usual, I’m having a hard time deciding which book to read next. But I know it’ll be one of these four:

 

Have you read any of these books? Which one do you think I should start with? Leave me a comment below!


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?dorie

Book Blogger Hop 5/11-5/17



Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week’s question:

Could you ever pick a favorite book or is it like choosing your favorite child? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

My answer:

I really can’t pick! I have top favorites, of course, and many books that I like to re-read, but there are different books for different occasions and moods. I could never pick a single favorite.

What about you? Do you have a favorite book? Leave me a comment below!

*If you’re here from the linkup, please leave your link in the comments so I can make sure to stop by and see your answer too.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

This week my excerpts are from my current read: Abandoned by Allison Brennan, which is scheduled for publication on August 14th, 2018.

abandoned

Synopsis:

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she’s never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother’s story unfolds, she realizes that Martha teamed up with a con man. They traveled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important–and most dangerous–mystery of her career.


Book Beginning:

Martha Revere couldn’t leave without saying good-bye to Maxine. She was her daughter, after all.


The Friday 56:

Maybe if she rode this out, everything would work out and Phillip wouldn’t know about the paintings. At least, wouldn’t know that she had his stolen art. But she couldn’t take that chance. Not after she had seen the violence in his cold blue eyes.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!