November 22, 2010

Is This The End?

“Mama told me one day it was gonna happen, but she never told me when. Is this the end?” An old song from then Puff Daddy, Ginuwine, & Twista comes to mind. Anytime a series begins, we wonder how long it will last, not exactly sure when it will end. Mary B. Morrison started the Soulmates Dissipate series in 2000, and the Honey series in 2007. As you can see below, Darius Jones is the conclusion to both series.

It’s a small world after all. This book brings all of the characters together. Somehow, someway they are all connected. Without providing any spoilers, here is a brief synopsis. Darius Jones is a successful NBA star who constantly updates his Facebook and Twitter, is in love with wife Fancy, and still the target of his son’s mother, Ashlee. Now enters Bambi, the personal assistant of Jada, who also has an ulterior motive. Bambi wants Darius all to herself and will go through any lengths to make it happen. Meanwhile, Jada finds herself fighting for her fiance’s affection because he’s still in love with Honey Thomas. Sound confusing? Well, I highly suggest that you read the previous books in the series, before reading Darius Jones. If not, you will be completely lost. All the drama and backstabbing will go over your head without knowing the history of these characters. Below is a complete list in chronological order:

Soulmates Dissipate Series
1.       Soulmates Dissipate
2.     Never Again Once More
3.     He’s Just a Friend
4.     Somebody’s Gotta Be on Top
5.     Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This
6.     When Somebody Loves You Back
7.     She Ain’t the One
8.     Darius Jones

Honey Diaries Series
1.      Sweeter than Honey
2.     Who’s Loving You
3.     Unconditionally Single
4.     Darius Jones

Mary B. Morrison’s earlier writing was much better. I personally think the series should have ended a few books ago. But I still read this conclusion out of loyalty and curiosity.
It was a tidy ending to both series, but something tells me it really isn’t over.

Rating: ♥♥♥

November 18, 2010

Mini Me

Our fave chick lit character, Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood, is back with a mini me. Her daughter, Minnie, is a perfect example of a Terrible Two’s. She claims everything as “Miiiiiine!” She runs the household, recognizes Starbucks and shops, and is completely out of control. In the middle of Minnie’s christening, a financial crisis breaks out. The Bank of London has gone bust. Chaos ensues, budgets are implemented, cut backs are made. But none of this seems to affect Becky. She finds a way around it all and creates a solution for her personal shopping clients. Meanwhile, she’s also planning a surprise birthday party for husband Luke. Becky? Keep an event hush? Plan a party on a budget? It seems nearly impossible, doesn’t it?

I appreciated Sophie Kinsella’s acknowledgement of a recession and somehow still wrote a story about the biggest shopaholic ever. Fans will like this latest installment.

Rating: ♥♥♥

November 16, 2010

Decoded by Jay-Z

Decoded by Jay-Z releases in stores TODAY.

Last night, he interviewed with the wise Cornel West and Paul Holdenbrager of the New York Public Library. If you missed it, you can watch the 1 hour, 47 minute interview here

Thanks Mr. Carter for sharing your knowledge and explaining hip hop to those who may not understand.

Sincerely Stan,

November 14, 2010

iHeart Giffin

One night can change a whole life. Nick gets an emergency phone call during his anniversary dinner with wife, Tessa. A little boy named Charlie has been rushed to the hospital with burn injuries. As the best pediatric plastic surgeon, Dr. Nick Russo must abandon dinner when duty calls.

Val is a distraught single mom. She struggled with allowing her son Charlie to go to a sleepover. Then an accident happens and changes her whole world.

The two families lives collide. Nick struggles with his feelings. Tessa is confused about the quality of her marriage. Val desperately wants love and a father figure for her son.

Author Emily Giffin tells both sides of the story. You’ll care about the characters after reading and understanding their point of view. Like her previous books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue (which are my all time favorites), I found myself rooting for the mistress. We also get to see the return of a couple of the old characters. The situation that Nick, Val, and Tessa find themselves in can really happen. I heart Giffin for her books that are true to life and about the real matters of the heart when it comes to love.

Rating: ♥♥♥

November 9, 2010

Sweet Valley Returns!

Remember the perfect size 6 blonde twins of California? Yes! Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield of Sweet Valley High are coming back. Author Francine Pascal is giving fans a look into what has happened with the twins 10 years later. People Magazine reports a car crash, kidnapping, and a drug overdose!

Take a sweet trip down memory lane by visiting the official website for updates. Of course I'll keep you posted here as well. Sweet Valley Confidential will be released in April 2011; however, you may pre-order through the Amazon link provided.

In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt of Chapter One.

November 8, 2010

Flapper Much?

Sadie, a young woman from the 1920s, attaches herself to great-niece, Lara. The two are inseparable and determined to find Lara’s lost dragonfly necklace. But there’s only one catch. Sadie is a ghost! She recently passed and lived to be 105 years old. At her funeral, she makes her presence known to Lara insisting that she won’t leave until her necklace is discovered.

This is where a whirlwind adventure begins. Lara stops the funeral claiming her great Aunt was murdered, files a police report, and starts hunting. The scenes are comical. Sadie has a witty sense of humor. Lara is often seen talking to thin air, and later dresses like a lady straight from the Roaring 20s. Flapper much?

I picked this book up over a year ago when it was first released, read the first thirty pages and put it away. It just didn’t hold my interest. I was sure it was good, as all Sophie Kinsella books are, but I just couldn’t get with it until recently. I’m glad I gave it another try. Twenties Girl didn’t keep me glued, but it was a fun interim read with a bittersweet ending.

Literary Marie's Rating: ♥♥♥

November 7, 2010

Blink & Pass

Lombardo's Steak House is famous for its menu, the clientele, and the gruesome murder of a mob lawyer. While reporter Nick Daniels is trying to interview a former baseball star, the mob lawyer's eyes are brutally carved out like a pumpkin's at the next table over. Now Nick Daniels has key evidence in his possession: a recording revealing who ordered the hit. This evidence lands Nick in the middle of a mafia war. 

**insert heavy sigh here** It certainly had the potential for a Sopranos-meets-Patterson project. But Nick's personal life and random side commentary to the readers were taking over the pages. When I pick up a mystery, that's what I want the focus to be. It fell short. I didn't even finish reading. Womp!

Literary Marie's Rating: ♥

November 3, 2010

A Molly Ringwald Ending

Back then, Davidia “Davie” Jones just wanted to be invisible. Her abusive mother was the town whore. Her classmates called her “Monkey Night” because of her dark complexion and natural hair. And her crush on the most popular guy in high school, James Farrell, didn’t even recognize her presence. Davie just wanted a Molly Ringwald Ending like in her fave movie, Sixteen Candles.

Now, Davie is the highlight singer at a California nightclub, still rocking her natural fro and coming into her own beauty. Then James Farrell pops back into her life. Just when Davie thinks she’s finally gotten the Molly Ringwald Ending she’s dreamed about, the past rears its ugly head.

The book is divided into “Then” and “Now” sections. I appreciated the background information and history of the characters. It helps to clearly understand the reasons for their actions. Each of the sub-characters are fully developed, which is rare in a debut novel. The ugly duckling turned swan story will tug at your heartstrings. The constant references to Molly Ringwald and Sixteen Candles engages you, especially if you’re a fan.

Ernessa Carter’s debut surpassed my expectations. I’m pleasantly surprised. There were chapters that had me gripped with emotion and other chapters that had me tickled pink. If you grew up on Molly Ringwald, loved Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, fantasized about your very own Jake Ryan, watched Color Purple, or just love good fiction…read it! Then see the movie when it releases.

For more information, check out the trailer. 32 Candles has earned a spot in my Fave Books of 2010.

Literary Marie's Rating: ♥♥♥