Friday, August 30, 2013

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I read Lock and Key and The Truth About Forever last year and decided to add another Dessen book to my Top 10 Books I Resolve To Read in 2013 Challenge.

In typical Sarah Dessen fashion, This Lullaby is a stand alone YA Contemporary.  Remy and her friends just graduated from high school and are enjoying their last summer before they each head their own way for college. Remy's father was a musician, but she never had a relationship with him.  He left her mother before she was born and died when she was a toddler.  Her mother is now on her fifth marriage, so Remy has had a very unstable home life to say the least.  The revolving door of step-fathers has left her with a very cynical and almost non-existent belief in love.

Dexter is the lead singer of a band that recently moved into the area.  Remy has a rule against dating musicians, but before she knows it...they begin dating.  Dexter is the complete opposite of Remy, but for some reason things work.  Could Remy actually fall in love with someone?  Could Miss Type A, the obsessive compulsive neat freak, fall in love with someone who can't even keep his shoes tied?

Personally, I loved Dexter.  He is tall, lanky, and clumsy, but he has a killer personality.  He is funny, optimistic, and sensitive.  The road to happiness is not an easy one.  Remy needs to come to terms with her beliefs and feelings, which requires a complete 180 if the relationship between her and Dexter will last beyond the summer.

If you are a Sarah Dessen fan, this is definitely worth reading.  I just wish for once she would write an extra chapter...or maybe a novella to let us know how things are with her characters 6 months, a year, three years from now.  I am able to come up with the perfect ending in my head, which is probably her intent, but putting it in writing for all of us to gush over would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stacking The Shelves: Georgetown Academy

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.

Georgetown Academy: Books 1 and 2

Georgetown Academy: Book OneGeorgetown Academy, Book Two

The first two ebooks were bundled together and FREE on Amazon.  It appears that the sale is over, but you can still get both books for only $2.99.  Here is the link in case you are interested.  

I can't resist a series with an Exclusive Private School, hot boys, and a lot of drama.  This sounds like something that is right up my alley.

If you have read any of these books, I would love to hear your comments.

Barnes and Noble Overview:

In the halls of Georgetown Academy, gossip and rumor abound. But when photographic proof shows up on the front page of The Huffington Post? Then it’s a national scandal.

While Ellie tries to put her life back together, Evan just might get everything she’s ever wanted—the perfect boyfriend and her dream career. But her loyalties will be put to the test when it turns out to be the very people she’s closest to who are standing in her way.

Brinley is determined to find out who is behind the photo leak, all while her own dirty secret spirals out of control. And California girl Taryn is sick of being walked all over and ready to start playing by the rules of D.C., for better or for worse.

In a world where reputation and appearances are everything, knowledge is power. But you’ll have to learn how to use it if you want to come out on top. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Book Nerd Teri and I attended one of the author speed dating sessions at this year's RT Convention and met Jennifer Brown.  I never would have selected one of her books based upon the descriptions, but by the end of our short discussion with her...Teri and I were sold.  Her books deal with very difficult subjects that are relevant to teens/high school students.

Bitter End is about an abusive relationship.  Alex is a senior in high school and has been best friends with Bethany and Zack since they were all in diapers.  She is an excellent writer and spends time tutoring other students.  This is how she meets Cole, a standout athlete who transferred from another school for his senior year.  They begin dating and everything appears to be wonderful, but Zack does not approve of Cole.  Something happened between them in gym class, but neither Cole nor Zack is willing to discuss it.

Cole becomes obsessive, stalkerish, controlling, and eventually his jealousy/anger turns to violence.

Bitter End is a very fast read and I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters.  I could completely understand and appreciate Alex's thought processes.  I'm sure everyone has heard of situations like this and unless you are the one in the situation, you can't fully understand what is going on.  We all think...WOW...this guy is a creep and if it were me, I would ________.  It is very easy to judge someone else, but there is always more to the story than meets the eye.  Alex is not weak.  She knows from the very first incident when something is amiss, but she can always seem to rationalize it.

This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend high school students read.  It is a great way for teens to break the ice and begin thinking and perhaps discussing these types of situations with their friends or *gasp* maybe even their parents.  Even if the topic doesn't pertain to them or someone they know, becoming more aware of domestic violence and ways to recognize and deal with it before it spirals out of control could certainly benefit anyone.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three To Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

This is the third book in the Stephanie Plum series.  If you aren't familiar with the series, Stephanie lost her job in book one and started working for her cousin, Vinnie, as a bounty hunter.  She had NO skills, but she did have good intuition, a lot of luck, and friends in the right places.

She is definitely better equipped for her job as a bounty hunter by the start of this book, but she still has a long way to go.  She couldn't even apprehend a kid working at a hot dog stand who went FTA. (Failed to Appear).  Now she is after Uncle Mo, who was picked up for carrying a concealed weapon when stopped for a routine traffic violation.  Mo owns the local candy shop and is a sort of celebrity in town.  Nobody believes he is responsible for any wrong doing.  When Stephanie needs to find Mo to "reschedule his court date", the entire town turns on her and she becomes the target of the violence.

Drug dealers keep turning up dead and Stephanie and Lula, the filing clerk at Vinnie's Bail Bonds, keep stumbling upon them.  The situations these two put themselves into are sometimes dangerous, but always hilarious.  When Mo takes off with Ranger's BMV, he becomes involved in the apprehension.  Ranger is the "real" bounty hunter for Vinnie.  He takes all of the difficult/dangerous jobs.  He decides Stephanie needs to get serious, so he starts making her run with him VERY early every morning.  Stephanie was not happy about this, but became a willing participant as the attacks on her personal safety began to increase.

Joe Morelli, the local cop Stephanie has had a love/hate relationship with since they were kids, is still a main character in this book.  He is working in homicide and Stephanie and Joe use each other to help with their investigations.  Their relationship does heat up at times in this book, but they certainly aren't a couple.  They have developed a friendship and seem to genuinely care about each other by the end of this book.

If you are looking for an entertaining, humorous, murder mystery...this is the series for you.  These books are very quick reads, but I must worn you...There are a TON of books in the series.  I will definitely continue on with the series, but at the current rate I don't know if I will ever catch up.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Music Monday: Toad The Wet Sprocket

I was playing on twitter a week or so ago when @floeticflo posted a link for a free download of a Toad The Wet Sprocket song.  I was really excited because I loved that band when I was in college.  I have three of their albums and caught one of their shows at Ohio University my freshman year.

After several tweets between Flo and I...I received a tweet from the band informing me that they have a new album coming out and they are currently touring. I immediately had to check out their site..and...they are playing in Cincinnati this November!!!  That is only an hour and a half away, so the hubby and I will be taking a little road trip. (He doesn't know this yet...and I don't need to worry about him finding out here because he NEVER reads my blog).

So...I thought I would share a couple of my favorite Toad songs this week.

I Will Not Take These Things For Granted

Walk On The Ocean

For upcoming tour dates you can check out their site at:

Monday, August 12, 2013

3rd Degree by James Patterson

3rd Degree (Women's Murder Club, #3)

3rd Degree is the third book in the Women's Murder Club series.  At the start of this book Lindsay Boxer, the homicide detective, was out for a walk with her dog when a house she was admiring explodes.  We learn that the owner of the house is a corporate executive who recently made a ton of money by selling off stock before it crashed.

Shortly thereafter, there is another murder involving an executive of an insurance company who had recently been sued for wrongfully denying health insurance claims.  We know the cases are linked because the perpetrators are leaving a calling card...August Spies.

Lindsay and her team, including the women's murder club, have no idea how the cases are connected or what the motivation is behind these crimes.  We are then introduced to a new character, Joe Molinari, who is the deputy director of homeland security.  He flies to San Francisco from Washington D.C. to assist with the case and begins to take an interest in Lindsay.  I am excited to see what becomes of their relationship over the course of this series, which currently consists of 12 novels.

The third victim was an absolute shock to me and hits very close to home for Lindsay and the rest of the Women's Murder Club.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I will leave it at that.  I was not surprised to find out who the ring leader was behind all of the crimes, but how all of the victims are connected and who was ultimately carrying out the crimes is the true mystery.

This is a very fast paced and enjoyable murder mystery.  I will definitely continue reading the next book in this series titled 4th of July.  If you have read any of the books, I would love to hear your thoughts on the series.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Music Monday: New Kids On The Block

I am a huge New Kids On The Block fan and went to their show last Saturday.  For those of you who aren't fans, they wrapped up their Package Tour with Boyz II Med and 98 Degrees last night.  I never think it is possible for NKOTB to top their previous tour, but after 25 years they were better than ever.

Here is a video of their finale when they were in Boston a couple of months ago that I found on YouTube.

Boyz II Men performed Motown Philly as their finale.

Here is 98 Degrees performing I Do (Cherish You), which is my favorite song that they performed.