Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: Dangerous Curves Ahead

Dangerous Curves Ahead

Should you read this book? 

Answer: OMG YES!

Here's why:

I abso-freaking-lutely loved this book. It was laugh-out-loud funny, sassy, and sweet. It had me crying one page and shaking with laughter in the span of a few pages. Sugar Jamison did an amazing job with this novel. It has the perfect mix of conflict and love-story.

What sets this novel apart from your everyday contemporary romance novel is the heroin Ellis Garret. Ellis is not your typical romance novel heroin. She does not have a perfect body, which makes her instantly relate-able. She also has a big personality with a sassy attitude. This covers up her insecurities and self-worth. Sugar Jamison has created Ellis to be a real person. She could be your best-friend, your sister, even you. As a woman, society tells us we are never good enough, never thin enough, never pretty enough to find the man of our dreams. Even though Ellis is able to find a man to love her, she cannot truly love him back until she learns to forgive and love herself.

This novel will keep you entertained while also, maybe, breeding some self-realizations. This novel certainly got me thinking about my own self-worth and how that relates to the man who loves me.

Would I read this book again? 

For me, the true judge of a book is whether or not I would read a book again, in the case of Dangerous Curves Ahead not only will I read it again (probably several times, it was that GOOD!) I plan on buying every subsequent book! 

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Next up on my reading list: Forget Me Not by Heather Ashby

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Promote Yourself

Promote Yourself

Should you read this book? 

Answer: It Depends on if you answer Yes to the following Questions...

Are you a Millennial? 

Do you want to move up in your career? 

If Yes to either question, then YES read the book

If No, then pass. 


Here's why:

It was nice to read a book that focuses it's career advice particularly on the Millennial generation. I am on the back-half on the Millennial generation, still in my first job out of college looking to continue to move my career forward. Schawbel offered lots of great advice about how to get a promotion, change careers, and seek new opportunities both in and outside of your employer.

As a proactive employee I agreed with most of the advice Schawbel gave, such as having a continuing conversation with management and expanding both hard and soft skills. I also appreciate how Schawbel emphasized how to deal with different generation in the workforce and what that can mean for your career, particularly how different generations value different things.

The advice I did not agree with was how Schawbel advocates how your social media profile should be extremely career focused. I personally think it is more important to show prospective and current employers that you are well rounded and have interests and a personality outside of work. I do agree that your social media profile should reflect you in your best light, one you would want your boss to see. I just didn't agree with how Schawbel advocated creating such a profile.

Overall, I am definitely going to take some of Schawbel's advice. He had some great points on how to take your career development into your own hands. If you are a Millennial I HIGHLY recommend you read this book, so you to can take the next steps in owning your own brand and career.

Would I read this book again? 

For me, the true judge of a book is whether or not I would read a book again, in the case of Promote Yourself, probably not. This does not mean you should not read it, it just not necessary for me to read again.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Next up on my reading list: Dangerous Curves Ahead by Sugar Jamison

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Awaken


Abandon Trilogy #3

by: Meg Cabot

Should you read this book? 

Answer: YES! 


Here's why:

What a great conclusion to the Abandon trilogy! In usual Meg Cabot style, this book did not disappoint. The conclusion of the Pierce/John saga kept me at the edge of my seat until the very last chapter. Meg Cabot further develops Pierce and John's relationship in a realistic way. Despite the supernatural/Greek mythology overtones, Pierce and John have a realistic teenage relationship. They both struggle with their emotions while figuring out how to love each other. Not only does Cabot do an amazing job of developing Pierce and John further, she also keeps advancing the auxiliary characters of Kayla/Frank, Mr. Smith, etc. while also introducing new characters Reid, Chloe, etc. to keep the story fresh.

Meg Cabot does an amazing job keeping the story moving, making it almost impossible to put the novel down (I advocate still sleeping and eating). Pierce really comes into her own in this novel as a heroine, one that does not need the hero to get the job done. This is a positive message I always appreciate from a novel. Woman don't always need the man to rescue them, they can rescue themselves!

The Abandon trilogy is  a MUCH better option to the Twilight Series. The characters are dynamic, the heroine has her own personality without the hero, and to top it all off ... it is well written. (Note: I have read and enjoyed all the Twilight books, but let's be realistic people, the writing was not the best.)

As a caveat, I suggest reading the trilogy one after the other. I read the third book with some delay and it took me a bit to remember all the nuances of the first two books as Cabot did not really re-introduce the story.

Would I read this book again? 

For me, the true judge of a book is whether or not I would read a book again, in the case of the entire Abandon trilogy the answer is Heck Yes! I love everything about the series as well as how well Meg Cabot writes to her teen audience. 

Next up on my reading list: Promote Yourself by Dan Schawbel

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Running to You

Running to You

by: DeLaine Roberts

Should you read this book? 

Answer: No!


Here's why:

I was not able to finish this book. It is extremely rare that I will put a book down, but I am actively avoiding reading this novel. So, it seems high time that I do not continue.
I was able to read 36% of this novel before deciding that I just cannot take the story. The main character, Alex, is not likable. At first, she is fine but she progressively becomes more and more whiny as her romance with Grayson progresses. Grayson is a poor depiction of a male. He seems more like Robert's depiction of an ideal man than what an actual man is like. Grayson is emotionally dependent, overly affectionate, and in no way manly.
I can read books about characters I don't particularly like but the real reason this book was un-finish-able is that the story went it all sorts of directions in the first 36%. First, Alex wants to keep their forbidden relationship a secret which angers Grayson. Then, she faints at a dinner meeting (where an element of family secrets is shoddily thrown in) which leads to her having a stroke. After the stroke Grayson can't leave her side. On top of all this, Robert's adds due to an adolescent rape Alex has never had an adult relationship. This is just way to many plot twists and lends little credibility to the novel. Not only that there are large gaps in the story that destroy its continuity.
I just couldn't take anymore!

Next up on my reading list: Awaken by Meg Cabot

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: Secret Bond

Secret Bond

by: Gemma Halliday and Jennifer Fischetto

Should you read this book? 

Answer: YES! 


Here's why:

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. Gemma Halliday is an excellent writer who breathes life into the characters she creates. Her main character, Jamie Bond, is witty and relate-able. Jamie Bond is instantly likable as an ex-model turned private investigator. Jamie goes after scum-bag cheating husbands in L.A. in hopes of breaking pre-nups. This story takes a more personal twist as Jamie investigates her father's shooter much to the dismay of her father. Derek Bond just wants Jamie to leave the matter alone but Jamie pushes ahead getting pulled deeper into the mystery and risking her life.

Gemma Halliday weaves mystery with laughs (an a few tears). She writes real characters. Jamie Bond does not have a perfect life (as you find with many novels), she does not always know how she feels about the men in her life. Jamie struggles to ask her friends/coworkers for help. For me, this was what added true depth to her character as this is a conundrum we all struggle with. When is it time to ask for help? Halliday's Jamie deals with real problems in a fictional setting making the novel's story more real. Jamie Bond seems like she could be your best friend.

Gemma Halliday's delightful tale is a definite read! After picking up this novel, I now want to read the rest of Halliday's work.

Overall, it was entertaining but for me the true judge of a book is if I would read it again. In the case of Secret Bond I would read it again as well as the rest of the series. 

Next up on my reading list: Running to You by DeLaine Roberts

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Anybody But Him

Anybody But Him

Should you read this book? 

Answer: YES 

(if you want an entertaining read)


Here's why:

This novella was very entertaining. It is a sweet, honest romance that will make you fall in love. Personally, it took me awhile to get used to the Australian English, but after I got over that it was an enjoyable read. It made me laugh and cry, which in my opinion is the mark of a good book with a dynamic story. The main character Nicola Doyle was likable, I found her instantly relate-able with her terrible dating history and dislike of her hometown. When she is forced to move home to take car of her ageing parents Nicola must reconcile the awkward teenager she was with the elegant woman she has become. She reconnects with her childhood best friend and faces her former nemesis/childhood crush.

Claire Baxter does a great job of developing Nicola but all the auxiliary characters fall flat. This may be because it is only a novella and Claire did not have the time to develop the rest of the characters or it could be here style. I really enjoyed the sub-plots, so it would have been nice if they had been further developed. As this is the first book I have read by Claire Baxter, I am not sure. There were also several times in the novella when it jumps over a few weeks in Nicola's life, but it is not clear at first that a large chunk of time has passed.

That being said, I completely enjoyed this novella. I look forward to reading more by Claire Baxter and I suggest you do the same.

Overall, it was entertaining but for me the true judge of a book is if I would read it again. In the case of Anybody But Him, I would happily read it again in the future, which is why it has received a YES rating.

Next up on my reading list: Secret Bond by Gemma Halliday and Jennifer Fischetto

P.S. Please post your thoughts about this book in the comments below! I would love to know what you thought.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Kiss the Bride

Kiss the Bride

A Tallwood Novella

by: Jody Wallace

Publishing July 29, 2013


Should you read this book? 

Answer: Maybe


Here's why:

This novella was not bad but it was not the best book I ever read. It was a short and entertaining. The story was told from two perspectives, that of Herman "Heck" Edward Heckley and Caroline Oakenfeld. Caroline is about to get married and her best friend Heck is her "maid" of honor. The story follows Heck as he tries to be the best maid of honor ever and Caroline as she prepares for a loveless, sexless marriage while making a last ditch effort to get Heck (her best friend, since forever) to FINALLY notice her. Jody Wallace manages to tell a full and complex story in a short format.

I typically don't mind when stories flip perspectives every chapter but in this particular novella I did not care for it. This stems from how Jody Wallace portrayed Heck, he was a caricature more than an character. He was a stereotyped construction worker who was not in touch with his feelings. Jody Wallace tried to throw in some tidbits about Heck to break the stereotypes (such as his love of romantic movies) but this did little to overcome the overwhelming stereotype. Jody could have also gone further to develop Caroline's character, which came across as flat for the majority of the book.

Overall, it was entertaining but for me the true judge of a book is if I would read it again. In the case of Kiss the Bride, I will never read it again which is why it only receives a Maybe rating. 

Next up on my reading list: Anybody But Him by Claire Baxter

P.S. Please post your thoughts about this book in the comments below! I would love to know what you thought.