Friday, July 30, 2010

Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison

Thin, Rich, Pretty is an enjoyable and fast paced book. The characters are well developed and defined.

The story bounces back from current time to past time and takes place in different decades. The story is sweet, predictable and fun to read.

A great read!

Grade: A

From the Publisher

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hope In a Jar, Secrets of a Shoe Addict, and Shoe Addicts Anonymous, comes a novel about old rivalries, deep secrets, and the three things all women wish they were

Twenty years ago, when they were teenagers, Holly and Nicola were the outsiders at summer camp. Holly was the plump one, a dreamer who longed to be an artist. Nicola was the shy, plain one who wanted nothing more than to be beautiful. Their cabin nemesis was Lexi. Rich, spoiled, evil Lexi. One night, Holly and Nicola team up to pull one, daring act of vengeance. But they never dream that this one act will have repercussions that will reach into the future, even twenty years later. And they never realize the secret pain that Lexi holds very close, and how their need for revenge costs Lexi a great deal.

Today, Holly is a successful gallery owner, who has put her own artistic dreams on hold. She struggles with her weight and for approval from her constantly-criticizing boyfriend. Nicola, is an almost-famous actress who believes that one little plastic surgery fix is just what she needs to put her over the edge into fame. And Lexi…Lexi is down on her luck and totally broke.

Holly will do anything to be thin. Lexi will do anything to be rich. And Nicola will do anything to be pretty. Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women who believe that happiness is the next dress size down, the next dollar figure up, or the next appreciative glance from a stranger. But mostly it’s the story of how three women save each other, and show each other the path to true contentment. Told with Beth Harbison’s knack for thirty and fortysomething nostalgia, and heartwarming humor, Thin, Rich, Pretty will strike a chord with any woman who has ever got on the scale, looked in the mirror, or the bank, and said, “if only…”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss: The Sexual Bullying of Girls by Sharlene Azam

I am not exactly sure what to say about this particular book. There is a degree of truth to it but it is mainly based on personal accounts, which at times seem too far fetched to believe.

I personally needed more documented facts to believe the full force of what this book is stating. I do believe that there is promiscuity and prostitution occurring but not to the degree that the persons involved state.

I do think that if a parent was to give their teen this book it could open up doors that would allow more straightforward and honest communication.

Grade: B-

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fly Away Home: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner

Weiner produces yet another lovely book! This is a book you will want to add to your collection.

Fly Away Home is a quick, fun, witty, entertaining read. The characters ring true to life and the story line progreses quickly.

This is a perfect summer read and will also be fitting for a rainy day!

Grade: A


Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . .

When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician’s wife—her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator.

Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve—a husband, a young son, the perfect home—and yet she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. With temptation waiting in one of the ER’s exam rooms, she finds herself craving more.

After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to reconsider her life, who she is and who she is meant to be.

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Anorexia Diaries: A Mother and Daughter's Triumph Over Teenage Eating Disorders by Linda Rio, Tara Rio, and Craig Johnson Ph.D.

Nothing terrible new or insightful in these diaries. Just another memoir on Anorexia. This book is undeveloped and the problems with eating disorders is not fully explored or explained.

I was expecting a raw look into this horrific disorder but instead got another repeating account of parental blame and a perceived difficult childhood (who didn't have a rough childhood?).

I am not taking this disorder lightly but this particular book isn't very compelling.

Borrow it or check it out. Do not purchase this book.

Grade: D


"Last night I asked my mom some questions about bulimia and anorexia. I thought for sure she would know what I was doing to myself. How could a mother not know the terrible things her daughter was doing?"

"Tara seems fine these last few days. The questions she asked me the other night scared me. But now I think she's just curious. Maybe one of her friends is having a problem with something."

Mother and daughter, living in the same house, yet at times it seems as though they are on different planets. Tara, growing obsessive about the way she looks, feels her mom no longer understands her. Linda, while concerned about the changes her teenage daughter is going through, is focused on making a career for herself as a family therapist. Neither knows how to reverse the terrible path that Tara is heading down.

Tara's and Linda's side-by-side diaries of this difficult time, only shared with each other years later, show both sides of their maddening ordeal and inspiring victory to keep their family together.

In addition to sharing their actual diaries, Tara and Linda look back on the drama of those years to offer the wisdom and perspective that can only come with hindsight. Craig Johnson, Ph.D., an international leader in the research and treatment of eating disorders, offers useful advice and fascinating commentary on the Rios' story to inform today's families who may be going through similar situations.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Gruesome, creepy and additively dark!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is fantastically written. It is intense. The characters are well developed and easy to identify with. The storyline is like no other. Once you pick this novel, you will not be able to put it down.

This novel is full of many themes such as betrayal, love and obligation. The complex characters not only draw you into this story but make you a part of it.

This book keeps you guessing, everything is not what it seems....!

Run out and read this book, now!

Grade: A+

Synopsis [B&N]

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

The Carrie Diaries is not up to speed with Bushnells other novels. I know this one is aimed at young adults but it is rather disappointing because Bushnell is not true to her character, Carrie.

She spins a different background story for Carrie, for example her parents are together in this book but we know that Carrie's dad left when she was a young child.

The character development for Carrie is rather weak and we don't really get a glimpse of who she really is. The storyline is inconsistent and bland.

Borrow this book or check it out from the library.

Grade: D

Synopsis [B&N]

The Carrie Diaries is the coming-of-age story of one of the most iconic characters of our generation.

Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small town girl who knew she wanted more. She's ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend's betrayal makes her question everything.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, The Carrie Diaries is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself, and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Readers will learn about her family background, how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

The Prophecy of the Sisters is difficult to review, mainly because I really wanted to like it but I just could NOT get interested.

The characters are nothing special and the story itself is rather predictable. The build up is incredibly slow.

I will not be reading the other books in this trilogy since it took so much effort to get through this one.

I would say pass on this trilogy and find one that is more entertaining.

Grade: C-

Synopsis [B&N]
Without the Keys, something terrible will happen.
Something that cannot be undone.
And with them, I might bring an end to the riddle of the Prophecy and my strange part in it.

If Alice and I are on conflicting sides of the Prophecy,
the Keys would be dangerous in her hands.
Which means I have to find them.
And I have to do it before my sister.

Sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe has just recently lost her father, leaving her parentless. But when a strange mark appears on her wrist, she realizes she is being branded with much more than her newfound title of orphan. Lia and her twin sister Alice are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other.

Lia hides this discovery from Alice and even from her beloved James, but to escape from the burden this secret bestows she must end the prophecy-before her sister. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the mark on her wrist, the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her, and the impact the resolution of the prophecy could have.

With, haunting, lyrical prose, this multi-layered story of family, friendship, and romance explores the timeless question of predetermination versus free will. And it takes readers on an unforgettable coming-of-age journey where one sister's self-discovery could have an impact of Biblical proportion.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz

I must admit, I made a mistake when I purchased this book. I thought it was the next book in the Blue Blood series but I was wrong, wrong, wrong! It is actually a companion book, which gives you a detailed account of the characters along with short stories.

You get a sneak peak a her next series and an insiders view of the Blue Blood series. It is a great little companion book and you will be pleased to have it especially if you are a huge fan on this phenomenal series.

It also serves are a great reference book if you need a refresher course on characters.

De la Cruz does an excellent job of letting you into her world of Blue Bloods.

Grade: A

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder is a unique and exciting read. The characters are true to form and the storyline is mesmerizing.

You will gush at the love story aspects and feel the hairs on the back of you neck stand during the paranormal parts.

The writing is excellent and this is Dertings debut novel! This book is a mix of everything and you will be impressed with not only the main characters but also the supporting ones.

This is a story you don't want to end best of all Derting does not talk "down" to her readers as many other YA authors do.

Rush out and read this book, the sequel is due out in 2011.

Grade: A+

Synopsis [B&N]

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Promises to Keep: A Novel by Jane Green

This book is beautifully done and the characters are true to life. Green weaves each character into her story in a way that keeps you entertained, enthralled and hopeful.

Promises to Keep is predictable but the way one identifies with the characters keeps you turning the pages until you reach the very last one.

It is nearly impossible to put down. A real emotional ride.

I have read every single one of Green's novels and this one is the best one she has put out in years. If you haven't read a novel by her I strongly suggest you take the time to do so now.

Grade: A

Synopsis [B&N]
From the New York Times bestselling author-a momentous new novel about a family suddenly thrown together Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in upstate New York. She adores her two daughters, has great friends, and actually doesn't mind that her workaholic husband gets home at 9 p.m. every night-that is, when he's not traveling six months out of the year. Callie's younger sister, Steff, on the other hand, has never grown up. She's a free spirit, living in downtown Manhattan and bouncing between jobs and boyfriends. Lately, she's been working as a vegan chef, even though she can't cook. Lila Grossman is Callie's best friend and has finally met the man of her dreams. Eddie has two wonderful children, but also a drama queen ex-wife who hates Lila. And then there are Callie and Steff's parents, Walter Cutler and Honor Pitman. Divorced for thirty years, they rarely speak to each other. The lives of these colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. This novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up, and about the enduring nature of love.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Insatiable is a huge let down. It is not as lovely at Cabot's usual work. This particular novel is unsatisfying.

The characters are disappointingly ordinary and lame. It is nearly impossible to connect to the characters. If, I was not such a huge fan of Cabot's I would not have finished this book.

The story drags on for ages and then picks up after 200 pages or so but not enough to fully satisfy this reader.

I recommend that you pass on this book and read Cabot's older ones.

Grade: F

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.

Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die. (Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.)

But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future…

If she even has one.

The Embalmer by Caillé Anne-Reneé and Mullins Rhonda

The Embalmer is a short book around 80 pages or so. It's not as macabre as I was hoping but it is rather interesting. The book centers a...