blockquote{ padding: 15px; margin: 15px 30px 20px; color: black; background: #dedede; font-style: italic; }

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BOOK REVIEW// CAROUSEL COURT BY JOE MCGINNIS JR.




Carousel Court was dark, twisty, and scary. And it's so funny to me that I have such positive associations with reading this dark and twisty tale of a marriage and family pushed to their limits by the perfect storm of drugs, alcohol, infidelity, and a failing economy. I read most of this book while on my first cruise ever with my husband. We had a blast and really enjoyed our time on the ship - so it was kind of a funny juxtaposition of situations!

Keep reading for a book summary and what I liked and didn't like about this book!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

BOOK REVIEW// THE GIRLS BY EMMA CLINE


This is definitely a book I picked up for one reason - BUZZ. This book was all over #bookstagram so I just had to check it out. And like most books that I read because of the buzz, I was disappointed.

Summary from goodreads.com

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.



What I Liked

It's just all so believable. Cults are of course a very real and very scary part of our past and future, but the path of the main character is pretty accessible- a young girl getting sucked into a terrible situation like the main character, Evie, did is a familiar story. Every step of the way you know Evie is making risky decisions, even she seems to know she is playing with fire- but at the end of the day she is lonely, or confused, or mad and that emotion trumps logic.

I loved the writing style, at parts - read more below. There were a lot of great quotes from the book that have stuck with me. One of my favorites -

“That was our mistake, I think. One of many mistakes. To believe that boys were acting with a logic that we could someday understand. To believe that their actions had any meaning beyond thoughtless impulse. We were like conspiracy theorists, seeing portent and intention in every detail, wishing desperately that we mattered enough to be the object of planning and speculation. But they were just boys. Silly and young and straightforward; they weren't hiding anything.” 

I also enjoyed the layout of the story. While the majority of the book is about 14 year old Evie, there are also chapters that follow an older, middle aged Evie. Each story line gave the other context, and I love the way the book played out because of that structure.

What I Didn't Like 

Maybe it's the nine years of Catholic school under my chastity belt, I dunno - but this book definitely had an uncomfortable level of sex scenes. Totally a personal preference, but like one or two per a book is my comfort level. So, if that makes you uncomfortable or just isn't your taste - I definitely recommend skipping this one.

The primary reason I did not enjoy The Girls was the writing. There are *many* parts of the book that feel very over written. It wasn't too difficult for me to push past it but it just kept happening! Overall it was frustrating and definitely took away from my enjoyment of the book.

Have you read The Girls yet? What did you think? Let me know below in the comments! Considering reading it? Click the link below to find a copy at your local library.

http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/907585910

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

BOOK REVIEW // BRAVING IT: A FATHER, A DAUGHTER, AND AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY INTO THE ALASKAN WILD BY JAMES CAMPBELL

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Raise your hand if you wish that you were outdoorsy, but are actually the farthest thing from it? I feel like the internet people are my people- and I'm pretty sure many of us feel this way. Hand down- back to interneting - it isn't that I don't want to be outside, it's just not my natural inclination.  Being in the outdoors definitely takes some effort- kind of like extroverting. But every now and then I will read a book and it'll make me want to close my computer, or book, lace up my shoes, and at the very least go for a long walk outside. The last book I read, "Braving It" by James Campbell- was definitely one of those for me! I think a reviewer for the Wallstreet Journal did an excellent job describing this feeling when they said--- "One of the reasons we read books like Braving It [is] to experience what we may never have the particular courage to and share the terror and thrills of those who do…." 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BOOK REVIEW// BEHIND CLOSED DOORS BY B.A. Paris

Gooseys for days after reading this one! But I really loved it. This is such a scary and unique story. I actually had a really hard time describing it to other people because there are so many important details, but at the same time you don't want to give away too much, so this will definitely be SPOILER FREE!

I hardly ever read scary books, and I had no idea how scared I would be reading this one. Like I was turning on lights, checking door locks scared. Check out the summary below and my likes and dislikes.

Things I Liked

This book is super fast paced. Right from the start you are in their world...and it is terrifying. I feel like with a lot of other suspenseful or psychological thriller type of novels, there is a lot of build up for a twist. That is so not this book- which was awesome.

It is SUSPENSEFUL to the max. I could not put it down! I just had to know what was going to happen. If I had the luxury of reading a book all in one sitting, this would definitely be the one to do it with!


Things I Didn't Like

There wasn't much to not like but at time I did feel like the author worked really hard to fill in the holes. It's easy to be the armchair quarterback in books such as these - oh she could've escaped this way, why didn't she try this, how did she even get herself into this situation etc. And so at points it felt like the author knew people would be saying something like that to themselves and filled that hole but for me it was obvious that that was the intention, and it kind of was distracting.

Overall, this book was an absolute favorite read of the year! The movie rights are apparently with Stone Village - read more here . I am SO rooting for this book to actually become a movie. I loved seeing Gone Girl in the theater and hearing people gasp, and just vicariously enjoying the twists and turns with everyone. It was like getting to watch a crowd full of people experience all of the excitement I felt. So here's hoping the same happens with Behind Closed Doors.

Let me know what you think about the book or if you have any questions below!



http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/944463089


Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read.
While the book was free, as a girl who is "all about the library" ( where books are always free) - you can be sure that all opinions are mine!


BOOK REVIEW// HOW TO PARTY WITH AN INFANT BY KAUI HART HEMMINGS

After finishing Falling by Jane Green ( see rant/review here ) I almost, almost hit the dreaded reading slump.

You know - that slump that comes after reading a book you particularly hated, or really enjoyed, that makes it super hard to pick up the next one.

And then I had the opportunity to read an early release of How To Party With An Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

I was immediately excited to read this book after reading the description. They had me at, she wrote The Descendents. I haven't read the novel version of Descendents yet- but I loved the movie, and after finishing and loving How To Party, I definitely want to circle back and check that one out.

How To Party with an infant was charming, relatable, and a welcome comedic respite in the sometimes terrifying desert that is mommyhood.

Description from goodreads.com  
The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.

When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else.

Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both.

How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable.


What I Liked
I really enjoyed reading this book! It definitely had some LOL moments for me. I have spent my fair share of time on the online mommysphere, playgroups, etc so all of the catty, awkward, and also sometimes super fulfilling moments of interacting with other moms- super relateable. I could relate to each of the situations the characters found themselves in.

The book is a little irreverant, but not overly so. It's all so funny that any time I might have felt like a lined was crossed, I was laughing through it and didn't think twice about it.

This book has a really unique and awesome flow that really sucks you in. The book is from the perspective of Mele, who is a food blogger writing a cookbook. Mele uses the stories her friends tell her to inspire her food blog. So creative and fun. I loved the way the story flowed between Mele's experiences and the hilarious and sad stories her friends told her.


What I Didn't Like
 For the most part, I loved the book but there were two minor things that I disliked.

The love story at the end did feel a teensy bit rushed but I did still enjoy reading it. The other was that the format was a little confusing - but that might be cleared up in the printed version vs the kindle version. I had a hard time telling where in time we were - sometimes Mele is answering questions from the cookbook contest questionnaire, and then the story would flow so seamlessly into something that had happened in the past or future that it was hard to follow at the time. That might be a me problem, reading while taking care of a 9-month-old makes it a teensy bit hard to focus - I feel like Mele would understand ; )

I definitely recommend this book to moms or anyone familiar with the seedy underworld of mommyhood. Click the link below to find a copy at your local library.
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/928481526


Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read.
While the book was free, as a girl who is "all about the library" ( where books are always free) - you can be sure that all opinions are mine!