Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Smart, funny, touching, and completely unforgettable, Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, had me rooting for genetics professor Don Tillman, whose life is based on logic and control, as he searches for a life partner with The Wife Project.  Along the way, Don meets Rosie, looking for her biological father, and he puts the Wife Project on the side to help her find her dad (The Father Project).  While Rosie is pretty much the epitome of what Don is not looking for, the reader knows she's perfect for him, breaking Don out of his logic-ridden shell.  Around Rosie, Don finds himself breaking his own rules and discovers moments of pure joy- "Another world, another life, proximate but inaccessible.  The elusive… Sat-is-fac-tion."  My heart broke for emotionally-crippled Don as he realized the emptiness of his routined life, and it soared for him when he began to slowly alter his over-regimented life.  Filled with thoughtful insights and complete with proven statistics, The Rosie Project taught me a lot about human nature and their ability to love.  I am in love with this unique and quirky book and the realistically vulnerable characters that it brought to life.

Side note: 
In my head, I pictured Don as the logic-inclined Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Review by: Mary

Author: Graeme Simsion - follow him on Twitter.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Series: No

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 304 pages 

There are two chances to win a copy of The Rosie Project. Click on the links below.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it. (Goodreads)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Leap of Faith Blog Tour

Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read. Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Reading Maggie Stiefvater's writing is akin to dreaming. Maybe I just tend to live and breathe in the books I read and this book is indeed about dreams, but that's what this book felt like.  A dream.  Every element of a dream, too.  From the enchanting visuals to the nightmarish monsters.  With her hypnotic words and her magical story, Stiefvater kept me engrossed and spellbound throughout the entire sequel.  She was able to transport me to a world I had never before seen but could clearly imagine through her expert storytelling.  I just love how perfectly she words everything.  A touch wasn't just a touch it "was a whisper in a language she didn't speak very well."  So beautiful! 
I loved that this book centered around Ronan who is so interesting and dynamic.  I was riveted with having a closer look into his thoughts and emotions because he has so much substance under the tip of his iceberg.  His character growth was stunning to witness.  Actually, all of the characters develop wonderfully.  Gansey, Adam, Blue, and Noah.  I saw sides of them that I was happy to discover they had.  Some surprising, and some I was hoping to find.  And the new character to come into Henrietta was just as interesting as the story.  The Gray Man was difficult to understand, but intriguing to follow and I enjoyed discovering what kind of person he was.  
If there's one thing this sequel was about, it's secrets.  Everyone has them and many of them come out in this sequel.  "Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold.  It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate."  The secrets uncovered in this book were both amazing and terrifying to discover.  Some of them were relieving and some were a complete shock.  But I treasured every discovery because I loved getting to know these characters more intimately.  I'm certain there are a lot more secrets left to be revealed and I can't wait to read them in the next installments.  Loved!

Review by Mary Munar 

a conversation between my friend, my brother, and myself:
<my friend begins to ask me what book I am reading and I answer describing "The Dream Thieves" and the premise revolving around Ronan.>
friend: Is there a love story?
brother: Of course, there's a love story.  She doesn't read books without romance.
friend: Haha! Is there a love story?
me: Duh! Of course, there's a love story!
<I continue to describe Blue and the prophecy of her true love.>
friend: Oh! That's sounds pretty interesting!
<brother nods approvingly>

conclusion: Romance makes books more interesting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Crown of Midnight & Fangirl End of Summer Giveaway

Mary, Rainbow and Me (Jenn). Mary made shirts for all of us!
Hi everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your summer as it comes to a close. Our summer has been filled with trips to the beach, potlucks, Vegas, the  Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z concert, The Color Run, a Dodger game, Roman Holiday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, trips to Disneyland, books galore, author events (We finally met Rainbow Rowell at Book Soup in West Hollywood), and of course movies!

Did you all see The Mortal Instruments?! We met the cast on their last mall tour stop at the Americana at Brand, it was crazy! Fans were dressed up in their shadowhunter gear and waited in the sun for hours just to get a glimpse cast, some lucky fans received wristbands and were able to meet the cast. I totally missed work for the event and it was worth it.

So yes, our summer was pretty amazing and we look forward to the rest of the year, not to mention my husband's and my vacation to Boston and New York in just two short weeks!

As we close in on summer and head into fall, we'd like to host a giveaway for you. I asked Mary what was her favorite August read and OF COURSE it was Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, just like mine, if we could use one word to describe it, it would be epic. Read Mary's review here. And just like twinsies, our favorite upcoming release is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl is so magical, Rainbow is magical, and our full review will post on Tuesday.

Good luck and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Heartbreaking romance and heart-stopping action, Sarah J. Maas's stunning sophomore installment in the Throne of Glass series held nothing back as more secrets are uncovered, loyalties are tested, and betrayals abound.  This was definitely not a filler book.  Maas has written a breathtaking sequel that doesn't just live up to the first book, it rivals it.  I LOVED book one, but this… THIS!! I was in lurve!! It satisfied so many of my questions and fulfilled seeds planted in the debut.  I was a riveted, wide-eyed, sweaty-palmed, gasp-induced reader glued to every word, clinging to every sentence, repeating the paragraphs of the scenes I wanted to linger in (you'll want to stay in them too. Trust!).  I was obviously a very satisfied little girl.  And that's what this book reduced me to- a hope-filled, teary-eyed little girl (tears for all sorts of feels- happiness, grief, frustration, intense humor, anger, all of it!).  I love books with lots of feels and this one has them in abundance.  I tip my hat to you Sarah J. Maas! You've done it again!  I am literally shaking my head in awe and appreciation.  Please continue to steal my heart, shatter it, and rearrange the pieces to accommodate more feels. Rinse. Repeat.

The reader returns to find Celaena Sardothien (love this girl!!), now the King's Champion, coming back from one of several missions that the King of Adarlan has sent her on to eliminate his enemies.  While pretending to be loyal to the King, Celaena hides her true agenda.  But now the King has ordered her to kill a rebel leader, someone Celaena knows from the past, and this mission tests her true loyalties and who she can really trust.  Let me just tell you that while this book is not lacking in action (super thrilling, suspenseful action), Crown of Midnight did not fail to deliver some heavy romance!! Steamy, blush-inducing romance. Thank you for that, Sarah Maas!! I knew I could count on you.  But don't for one second think that that was all this book had to keep me fascinated, even though it definitely would've been enough.  Nope! The plot thickens and secrets unravel.  Storylines are expanded on and the character growth was a pleasure to read.  It's hard to say why I loved this book without giving anything away.  Just trust me when I say you will not be disappointed.  I definitely wasn't.  It more than lived up to my high expectations.  I am so happy to take part in this series as a reader and I can't wait to devour more installments.  Love, love, loved!

Review by Mary Munar.

Side note from Jenn. I am 70% into Crown of Midnight and my heart! It's so good, I can't even handle it. The story, the CHARACTERS everything is amazing so far. I don't ever want this series to end.  

Picture taken by Jose Valencia on
August 18, 2012,
at Vroman's for the Throne of Glass Event.

Author: Sarah J. Maas - follow her on Twitter.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Series: Yes

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 432 pages 

Read our Review!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season is a fantastic original.  Samantha Shannon has written an impressive first book and I look forward to reading more from this debut author.  Her writing was captivating and the world she created was complex and fascinating.  It was like learning a new language (don't worry, there's a glossary!), but once I understood what was going on, I was completely engrossed with the story, which was fresh and exciting.  It pushed all the right buttons and pulled all the right heartstrings.

Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant in a world where clairvoyance is a crime.  Working for the syndicate, the criminal underworld, Paige uses her gift as a dreamwalker to spy for her boss Jaxon Hall.  When an accident leads to her arrest, Paige is taken to Sheol I only to find out that instead of a government prison, Sheol I is actually a city ruled by a race called the Rephaim who have been around for centuries and use voyants as soldiers.  Paige is assigned to Warden, her Rephaite keeper who will be responsible for housing and training her.  But as Paige realizes that Nashira, the Rephaim blood-sovereign (super scary lady), wants something more from her, she plots to escape back home to her syndicate gang and her life of crime that she feels so safe in. 

I loved Paige as a heroine.  She's proud but caring.  She's loyal and clever and incredibly strong.  I felt like I got along really well with her personality.  Her actions and dialogue never frustrated me and I trusted her instincts and motives.   Her vulnerability only endeared me to her more.  Paige is someone I could definitely connect with and I enjoyed spending time with and getting to know her.  I also really liked Warden's character.  He was definitely a difficult puzzle to solve and his calm exterior made it difficult for me to read him, but with each act of kindness and new piece of information that I found out about him, the more invested I became.  I began rooting for both characters who seemed to want opposite things.  Their dynamic was interesting and the way they progressed was intriguing.  Two words - tension and knife.

With all the hype going around about this book, I had high expectations and I am pleased to reveal that I was not disappointed.  It wasn't a fast read but I was very happy taking my time with it.  The Bone Season is an inventive story that reminded me what I love about fantasy - exploring new worlds and embracing other people's imaginations - the closest I'll ever come to dreamwalking.  
Review by @MaryMunar
Add The Bone Season on Goodreads and enter their giveaway, it ends in a couple of days.

Author: Samantha Shannon - follow her on Twitter.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Series: Yes
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 480 pages 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

 If you're looking for a fun book about best friends and trying to survive life after college in a big city, then you're in for a treat! And it's set in New York! What's not to love? Brooklyn girls is about a young woman, Pia, who moves into a house with four friends and begins her adult life.  Along the way, there are boys, job-hunting, parties, pranks, and just about everything that goes along with being in your early twenties in a big city.  I immediately loved the five girls who share the house.  Their bonds with each other are something I treasure with my own set of girls.  They're different in so many ways and each one of them brings something to the table.  I know this book is the beginning of a series and I am so excited to keep reading them and follow these women as they grow into their adult lives.  Reading this book was like listening to a good friend.  I felt like I knew Pia and I connected to her and all of her struggles.  It shows how well Gemma Burgess knows what it's like to be young and finding your own way. I caught myself thinking plenty of times that these girls could easily fit into my own social group.  The things that they say and do reminded me a lot of how my friends and I are. The funny anecdotes and situations were very relatable and I felt like I could have lived them and have already lived some of them.  
 The characters are written really well, too.  Burgess writes amazing characters. They're so likable and interesting.  I fell in love with all of them, independently and as a whole.  I can't wait for the series to continue so that I can get to know all of them even more.  Loved it!

Review by @marymunar 

5/5 Stars

Add Brooklyn Girls on Goodreads.  

Author: Gemma Burgess - follow her on Twitter.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Series: Yes
Genre: New Adult

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge Giveaway

Hi everyone! This month we participated in the Clean Sweep Challenge hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer & The Windy Pages. In addition to the mini challenge listed below, I have challenged myself to reading old and new ARCS this month. It has proven to be a little difficult as many anticipated releases came out this month. Fortunately, I had some awesome reads so far. One of the books took a lot more time than usual to finish. I wanted to savor every word and it took my almost two weeks to finish reading it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mini Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Hi everyone, Jenn, here. I just wanted to update you on our Clean Sweep ARC Challenge month. We're in the month of May but I have only one book down and several to go.

Today I finished Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. As most of you may know, Mary and I adore Echols. We have read all of her published works. I will only post right now that I loved it. It was a short but generous read, about 288 pages. Leave it to Echols to get me interested in Country Music and the technical aspect of the guitar and fiddle. I highlighted countless quotes, song titles and musical references so I could google them later on. This is obviously the mini review as the book does not come out until July 16th, but please, add it to your "TBR" list on goodreads!

Don't forget to come back, we'll have a giveaway challenge up on the blog very soon!

Next on the #arcmonth reading list: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.