Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Love Letters

Last night I quickly read  The Letter I Never Gave To You, an exceedingly short story based on a true story, by Angelov Marine. When I say short, by the way, I'm talking about less than 30 pages.  Seriously you could read this while taking a bathroom break.  You know, if you read in the bathroom...not that I do.  Well, sometimes...

Anyhow, this is a very short and concise love story about a man who finds the love of his life.  They are perfect together and he is so happy and excited to marry her. *SPOILER* 
Unfortunately, there are unforeseen circumstances that arise and the woman must leave him, to protect him and to assure that he has a happy and fulfilling life.

It's heartbreaking for him and takes him many years to get over her until finally another woman walks into his life and lifts the fog of pain he'd been in for so long.  She recognizes in time that he never had closure from his first heartbreak and because she loves him so much, she wants him to go see her and get his closure.  What he finds out when he goes back and visits her parent's old home is both saddening and beautiful.  It breaks his heart but also allows him to finally understand what happened.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read and anyone who believes in true love.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My First Green Experience

As part of the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge, I have to read a popular author's first book.  I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to finally delve into the world of writing by John Green.  He's been incredibly popular the past couple years, churning out teen/young adult books with lots of praise.  Several of them have won awards for the writing and received kudos all around. Despite his popularity, I still hadn't picked up one of his books.  No particular reason why, of course, for never reading his work.  I guess I just never got around to it.  So, as part of this challenge, I borrowed Looking for Alaska from a friend.

Let me start this out by saying that I am terribly upset that nobody told me how sad this story is!  I like to know these things so I can mentally prepare myself.  I thought this was a story of a boy on his way to self discovery, more of a coming of age novel.  In some ways it still is, but I had no idea that I'd be left with such a yucky feeling settling in my gut and a knot in my throat.

The basic storyline is that Miles is an unpopular teenager who goes away to Culver Creek, a private school, in search of "a Great Perhaps."  There, he meets a gang of lively characters that become his friends and help teach him about letting loose, life, and love.  The story is also about first experiences and Miles has several of them while at Culver Creek.

Within the text are some splendid quotes that really stick with you as a reader.  I definitely give Green props for his ability to really send a message home with one line of text.  A couple of my favorites are:

          "The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive."

"She loved mysteries so much that she became one."

"If people were rain I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

"She left me Perhapsless."

This was a really really good novel, a great story, once you get past the slow beginning.  At first I wasn't sure I'd made a good a good choice because it was dragging a bit until Miles finally got to his new school.  Once there, the story line and dialog really picked up and I really didn't want to put the book down.  I would definitely recommend this to others and can see why this would appeal to teenagers and young adults, due to the content and questions within the text.  It makes you think.  It makes you remember youth. It makes you feel.

If Green's other books are similar in style, I can see why he's quickly become such a popular author.  He has a very distinct voice in his writing and it's very appealing and very authentic  I'm looking forward to reading more of work!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Berry's Debut Breathtaking

Not too long ago I read this book by author, B.L. Berry called Love Nouveau.  The cover art was fabulous, which quite honestly is what drew my interest to the novel in the first place. It's so unique, and artistic.  It's so pretty.  So, even though we're told time and time again to not judge a book by it's cover, that is exactly what I did.  I decided purely based on the cover that I wanted to read this story.  I'm happy to say that Miss Berry's debut novel did not disappoint at all.

After escaping to Italy to avoid her messed up family and ex-boyfriend, Ivy returns to the states ready to take on her new life with a fresh perspective.  She soon meets Phoenix at a party where they instantly discover a connection unlike many others.  Like, so unbelievably real and palpable almost.  I felt like I was living through them as I read this, that's how believable the characters felt to me. Every bit of quirkiness punched through, every bit of emotion between them hit me in my gut and made me feel sick, as if I too was experiencing the same emotions.  Berry's ability to build these characters up is phenomenal.  Ivy is such a flawed girl, so lost and confused but maybe that is how and why I can relate with her so much.  She's so very real.  And Phoenix, goodness, he's so sweet and honest and just wants Ivy to trust him.

Anyhow, Ivy and Phoenix go their separate ways as they each intended but continue to keep in touch through modern technology.  All the while, the two are building this beautiful friendship with lively, witty banter, and a sweet adoration towards each other.  

This novel takes the reader through so many twists that you swear you're going to puke from the roller coaster of emotion flying off the pages, honestly.  You seriously just don't know what is coming next, all the while, hoping and praying for love to prevail.  Then, the end leaves you there, hanging... waiting for the next installment in the story.  I wish I'd realized that this was a continuation so I could've at least prepared myself but I didn't realize that upon beginning the story.  Ugh!  So now I wait...we wait to find out what truly happens with Ivy and Phoenix's story.

Overall, I really really liked this book.  I find it incredibly hard to believe that this was a debut novel, however.  The writing flowed so seamlessly and the words so poetically that it definitely felt like that of a seasoned author.  Kudos to Miss Berry for an exceptional entrance into the literary world with Love Nouveau.   She is already well on her way to greatness, based on this novel.  I cannot wait to read the continuation of this story and more to come from her.

Friday, March 13, 2015


Confession #1:  Although I love, love love Colleen Hoover, I did not love, love, love her newest release, Confess.  Now, before you boo me and throw things at me, please know that while I wasn't head-over-heels-in-love with Confess, that I still enjoyed it quite thoroughly.  I just don't know that I can say that I was as enamored with it as most everyone else who has read and reviewed it. Do you hate me now?  Please don't.  Please?  

Confess is a stand alone novel about Auburn who loses her boyfriend at the tender age of 16.  This affected her so profoundly that she basically swears off all males and refuses to get close to any of them.  Fast forward to age 21 and she meets Owen who seems to come into her life just when she needs him the most.  She needs a second job, he has a job for her.  She needs someone just to care about her, and Owen (oh Owen) is there for that too. Is their meeting just a coincidence?  Maybe...maybe not.  Owen deals in confessions every day of his life, but he's not going to tell Auburn his own deepest secret.

For some reason, Auburn is feeling those same familiar feelings for Owen that she felt with the boyfriend that she lost.  This is the first time she's ever felt like this since him and it scares her, yet excites her too.  The only problem is that Auburn has her own secrets, or confessions, that she's yet to reveal.  Then, add in Trey who has an obvious crush on Auburn (and happens to be the brother of the deceased kid) and we've got quite the wicked web of love.  Unfortunately, Trey isn't willing to play by the rules either.  He's determined to make Auburn his.

So there's the synopsis of the novel in a nutshell.  Although I liked the concept of the story with the anonymous confessions and how they inspired beautiful art work by such a young, talented artist, I still felt like this wasn't a typical Hoover novel.  Was the connection between Auburn and Owen not there?  Were all the twists throughout a bit over-the-top?  Well, maybe and maybe.  All I know is that something clearly defining this as a Colleen Hoover novel was missing for me.  I wish I could say what it was exactly but I've racked my brain over the past two days and come up with nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Just something.  

Confession #2:  I'm a Co-Hort and very pleased and proud of that...but I'm terrified to let the others know how I feel about this book.  I'm a little afraid to hit the publish button on this. I've been hyping the hell out of it on my Facebook blog page for months.  I've done nothing but pimp the crap outta this title.  Is something wrong with me because I'm not "5-staring" Confess,  and it appears that the majority of those reading and reviewing it are absolutely l-o-v-i-n-ging the heck out of it.  

I'm happy for Colleen and the overwhelming support and love for her newest release.  I hope she continues to churn out more fabulous work.  For me though, this was a 3.5 star book.  I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for something good to read...but I'm not going to hound you about it.

(and now I'm nervously going to hit publish)

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Do you ever come across those characters that you love, yet hate at the same time?  Or a story that you don't love but at the same time you can't put it down?  I think that's what happened with my latest read, The Way We Fall, by Cassia Leo.  This is the first installment in The Story of Us series.  

Rory and Houston have known each other for years.  In fact, Houston's little sister was Rory's best friend but they had no relationship until tragedy strikes and suddenly they seek comfort and solace in each other.  Sadly, secrets begin to tear them a part and Houston must leave Rory behind.

5 years later they unexpectedly see each other again.  

It's hard to say much more without giving a lot of the story away, so I will probably leave it mostly right there and let YOU read it yourself.  

The story contains so much emotion between the two main characters.  It feels so real and honest...and that may be why I hated them.  They fight, they argue, and sometimes they say mean things to each other.  So while I'm reading and thinking that I don't like this "romance," I also love it because it IS so very real.  Sometimes life and love aren't always pretty.  I hated that they tried to hurt each other but felt like it was more realistic than other stories where everything is sunshine and lollipops all the time and tied together at the end with a pretty bow.  

So, while I feel like I had a love/hate relationship with this story, I couldn't put the book down.  I was captivated by the relationship and the secrets between them.  I wanted to find out more and see if they could reconcile.  I wanted to see that happily ever after for Rory and Houston.  

Leo does a nice job developing the relationship between her characters in this story, including not only Rory and Houston but also the relationship between Rory and her mother.   She also  throws in a few twists. There's heat and romance and a so much more to make you continue turning the pages well after your bedtime!

Totally looking forward to the next installment in this series.  C'mon Cassia, hurry up!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Calling All Bloggers...

Keystrokes, written by Lisa Marie, is a cute story about an awesome blogger named Farrow who wins the dream of a lifetime (that dream that many other little ol' bloggers like myself fantasize about) when she's chosen to meet and interview the lead actor who is going to portray her fictional book boyfriend in a movie being made from the book.  I mean, who among us hasn't dreamed of this same scenario?  

Farrow is a smart, witty, young gal and has no idea that the guy she's about to meet has been waiting around for someone just like her!  Kasen, the hottest celeb with all the buzz around him, is really just an average guy who got lucky enough to be discovered a few years prior.  He really is a bit tired of the celeb life and wants to settle down with someone, someone like Farrow.  He spends time dining with her, impressing her, making her fall head over heals for him.  What happens when he's ready to exit the spotlight in Los Angeles though and Farrow gets the second biggest opportunity of her lifetime?

I enjoyed reading this debut novel by Marie, who calls herself an "accidental author."  Well, for an author that wasn't supposed to be, I'd say she's well on her way to making a great career of it.  Although, I could tell this was a first novel, she did a grand job at developing her characters, and creating an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable story.  The only thing I didn't care for was how quickly the characters hit it off and "fell in love."  It seemed exceedingly fast, even for a romance novel.  I think taking some time for them to develop more of a relationship, or a friendship of sorts, would've made the story a bit more believable for me.

All in all, Keystrokes is a fun, very likable story and a great first effort by Marie.  With three more novels due out in 2015, I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing more by this promising author.