July 24, 2016

Series Sunday: Whitefern

(Audrina #2) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Whitefern, the sequel to My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews. Whitefern was Audrina's prison. The mansion swallowed Audrina's childhood and threatens her adult life too. She thought things would change for the better after the death of her overprotective father. But her husband, Arden, seems just as ambitious and cruel. When her father's will leaves Audrina with 51% of the family business, Audrina realizes she cannot easily escape the dark halls of home.

"What could possibly be worse than the horrors fate already had chosen to rain down on Whitefern?" ~ 12%

I watched the Lifetime movie adaptation of My Sweet Audrina to refresh my memory with fine details of the story. Even though there were not-so-minor changes (such as Audrina's sister dying in the womb versus growing up a fragile girl), I was reminded on how this book was strange from the start.

I began reading the advance copy of the "long-awaited" sequel immediately after watching the movie. This is where I insert a serious side-eye because are there really people out here waiting on this sequel over 25 years later? Am I the only reader that was not pressed for this story to continue?

Whitefern, to be published this Tuesday, July 26, may be disappointing to the readers supposedly waiting for it. The story does not flow. The scenes are choppy and not consistent with the original book. What are meant to be twists come across as random curveballs. Ghostwriters team, stop! I read the first Audrina book when I was young in my V.C. Andrews stan days; it was weird back then and the sequel is weird today. The cover is striking though.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Whitefern
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: July 2016
Pages: 219
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♡

 

July 22, 2016

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"This is overwhelming. Like my-head-is-gonna-fucking-EXPLODE overwhelming."

~ My Voice: A Memoir by Angie Martinez

 

July 21, 2016

#KillYourTBR2016 July


  • My Voice ~ Finally a memoir by Angie Martinez, the hip-hop legend of radio! I already started reading and it is everything I hoped it would be. It is filled with details of her childhood, career beginnings with Hot 97 and friendships with hip hop artists and culture. 
  • If I Did It ~ I never intended to read this "confessions of the killer" book written by O.J. Simpson with exclusive commentary by the Goldman family. But with the famous crime story/trial all over the television these days, I downloaded it on a whim. Why not? 
  • Lazaretto ~ With recent events in the news, it seems like the Civil Rights era all over again. Sadly, not much has changed and it is 2016. Lazaretto is a historical novel set in a Philly black community in the aftermath of the Civil War. 
Reading diversely has become popular in the last couple years but I always maintained a diverse selection of books featuring authors and characters of color. I plan to read and review all of the above diverse selections that are For Us, About Us, By Us.

If you are interested in joining this challenge with me, visit Bookish for the deets. Share your progress using #KillYourTBR2016 on social media.

 

July 20, 2016

When We Collided


I walk into Barnes & Noble retail bookstore and spy an ivory hardcover book with bold writing and multi-colored paint splatters. It is hard to ignore. I make a beeline straight to the shelf it sits on, pick it up and read the blurbs on the back cover.

  • "This is more than a love story."
  • "Gut-wrenchingly authentic."
  • "Filled with raw, descriptive truths."

At this point, I am convinced this is a book I should read. I visited the bookstore to purchase a small stack of books to read on my road trip to Chicago. Nothing too heavy of a plot but definitely interesting and cover-in-public friendly. I didn't expect to pick a book that would stay with me long after my train ride. Oh, what a story When We Collided is!

"With all her professed gratitude, my mom must understand that we're doing her job." ~ pg. 20

Jonah is a 17-year-old forced into being an adult. His father passed away six months ago and his mother is grieving hard. Jonah, along with his two older siblings, help take care of the household and the "littles," his three younger siblings. Certainly not the life a 17-year-old wishes to live.

"You wish for a boy to spend the summer with, and instead life gives you his whole beautiful family." ~ pg. 78

Vivi is a 16-year-old spending her summer in Verona Cove with her mom. The change of scenery is just what she needs after a fallout with friends back home. She wants to forget the reason behind the S-shaped scar on her arm that she covers with bangles. Everyone sees her as this vibrant girl; meanwhile Vivi is trying to accept what bipolar II disorder is to her.

Neither of them expected a summer that would change their teenage lives when they collided. I agree with the blurbs above. When We Collided may be fiction but it holds powerful truths. It is a romance like no other. It is far from a traditional perfect love story. The characters are deeply flawed, messy and complex. The writing is A1. The alternating chapters and points of view, which I usually strongly dislike, flow naturally. The ending triggered real tears; that hardly happens to me!

I could gush about this book forever and a day. Just know that Vivi and Jonah are two young adult fictional characters that will always have a place in my bookish heart; Vivi was indeed here.

Author: Emery Lord
Published: April 2016
Pages: 344
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—The First Book I See in a Bookstore
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


 

July 19, 2016

Falling


"How could it be anything other than fine?" ~ 89%

Emma was just looking for a place to call home for the next year. She worked in Finance in New York for the last five years and needs at least one year to figure out what life she really wants to live. What happens is far from her expectation.

I related to the main character in that she left the rat race to pursue her dream. We all know that life is amazingly short so time is best spent happy and reading good books. Which leads me to the story itself. Falling fell flat. The writing was fine. The plot was fine. But when it came to developing the characters and wrapping readers up in an unforgettable story...no. I didn't fall in love with the characters or their love story. The twist did not spin me. Falling was just...fine.

Happy Pub Day, Jane Green!

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Falling
Author: Jane Green
Published: July 2016
Pages: 289
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book With a Protagonist Who Has My Occupation
Rating: ♥♥♡

 

July 17, 2016

Series Sunday: 15th Affair

(Women's Murder Club #15) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is 15th Affair, the 15th book in the Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. This novel immediately begins with four bodies found in a luxury hotel. Detective Lindsay Boxer is the lead investigator. But when her husband Joe goes missing, she fears he is the suspect. Yes, Joe! Suddenly the case gets more complicated and very personal.

"My lying liar of a husband had lied." ~ pg. 55

When I tell you this is a page-turner, I am not over-exaggerating. Seriously, bookhearts. I borrowed the hardcover from my public library but wanted to read on the go, so I downloaded the eBook too! I have not felt this way toward a Patterson book in a while but it seems I am on a winning streak. Perhaps because 15th Affair hit close to home with one of the main characters. It was more than a mystery. The story went beyond suspense. 15th Affair is a prime example of why James Patterson is a bestselling author.

Title: 15th Affair
Author: James Patterson
Published: May 2016
Pages: 296
Edition: eBook & Hardcover
Challenge: Keeping Up with Patterson
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

July 12, 2016

Baby Doll


"The pressure to keep her child safe was all consuming." ~ pg. 48

Lily has been held captive for eight years–3,110 days to be exact. Lily was a teenager when she was taken and now a mother locked in a 400-square foot damp, dark basement with her six-year-old daughter Sky. Imagine being held captive during the most impressionable years of your life. Imagine being a young child not knowing the world is so much bigger than the small basement prison you're kept in. But one day, their captor slips up; he leaves the deadbolt unlocked. Lily doesn't hesitate to grab Sky and escape! The real meat and potatoes of the story begins next.

"Her body was officially evidence." ~ pg. 71

Baby Doll is everything I wanted for a Room sequel. The aftermath of being kidnapped and held captive for years. The psychological effect on family and friends. The unknown for the innocent child suddenly introduced to a world outside of four walls. The legal outcome for the man responsible. The adjustment to life post-trauma. Baby Doll addresses it all. Kudos to the author for exploring beyond the tragedy.

So for the bookhearts that loved Room, I am sure you will want to read Baby Doll. For those that like reading well-written women's fiction, add Baby Doll to your TBR. Keep in mind it may be a bit tense for summer light reading. But if you are like me and can read any genre during any time of the year, the many plot twists in Baby Doll is worth reading now.

Happy Pub Day, Hollie Overton! Thanks for not dumping this manuscript.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Baby Doll
Author: Hollie Overton
Published: July 2016
Pages: 262
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡