Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Review] Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publishing Date: July 29, 2014
Format: paperback, purchased
460 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. 

My Review

I couldn't wait to start this book! I received it as a Christmas present and I should have picked it up a lot sooner, but like so many of you, my TBR pile is never ending and always growing. So my book club finally picked this one to read and I couldn't have been more excited. Thankfully, this book lived up to everything I wanted it to be. 

I was immediately sucked into this book. Each of these women appear so different. Jane is quite, shy, and like her name suggests, somewhat plain. Celeste, on the other hand, is beautiful and appears to have it all, with two cute twin boys and a doting husband. Madeline is the outspoken one of the group. Although they all seem to have things together, they are all broken in their own way. Celeste has a secret that she doesn't think she can share with anyone; Madeline's daughter has chosen her ex-husband over her; and Jane is struggling to be a single mother with a secret about her own past. We watch as Madeline and Celeste welcome Jane to their community and the three become good friends. They slowly open up to each other and their friendship continues to grow. We learn all of their secrets and the tension slowly builds to the schoolyard scandal and murder... 

There were so many times during this book that my jaw dropped; so many twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, but added so much to the story. I couldn't put it down and stayed up way past my bedtime in order to finish this one! I cannot wait to see what the other girls in book club thought about this one. And I can't wait to get to Moriarty's other work! I have The Husband's Secret sitting on my shelf and I certainly won't be waiting too long to read that one! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

[Review] Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Girl Underwater by Claire Kells 
Publisher: Dutton
Publishing Date: March 31, 2015
320 Pages
Format: ebook, ARC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Synopsis 

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.

My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. 

What a really great debut novel by Claire Kells! I knew this book was about a plane crash and it would be emotional, but I didn't expect it to suck me in so much! I was really touched by how well this was written and how much the author dove into the feelings and after effects of a plane crash. Avery and Colin have to learn to survive in the middle of nowhere with three small children. Their skills are put to the test when they realize that help won't be coming any time soon. Avery is a tough character. She's terrified about what is going on, but knows she has to be strong for the children and Colin. And Colin is her rock; he gives her the courage and fight to push through the tough days. I really like these two characters together. Avery clearly has feelings for him, but she tries to push them away. 

I was quite surprised with this book and I must say, Claire Kells has a new fan! I can't wait to see what else she comes out with as her career flourishes, which I'm sure it will. If you pick up this book, be ready for an emotional, harrowing journey. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[Review] The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: April 3, 2012
Format: paperback, purchased
352 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis 

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

My Review

My friends and I picked this book for our book club read for May. It had been on my TBR list for a while, but I never got around to buying or reading it. So this was the perfect reason to do so. Plus, it was on my other friend's list to read as well, so we both wanted this one. 

I have to say that this was unlike any other book I've read. I've never loved reading about flowers and their meanings so much. It was really interesting to read about Victoria's life. I loved how the book flipped back and forth between the past and the present. I felt like we really got to know Victoria so much more than if it had been in chronological order. 

Victoria was an interesting character. She was pretty harsh in some ways, a sometimes unfortunate consequence of growing up in the foster system. She was sent from one house to the next to the next, never having a true place to call home. And then she meets Elizabeth, who loves her without reservation, despite all Victoria does to try ruin it. Elizabeth is the first person to teach Victoria about the language of flowers, how each flower has a different meaning and the messages you can convey with flowers. We watch as Victoria sabotages her relationship with Elizabeth, grows into a young, lost woman, and eventually starts to learn who she really is through her flowers, Grant, Elizabeth, and Hazel. 

I've never wanted to learn about flowers as much as I did while reading this story. Right when I got done, I wanted to run out a buy a book on different flowers. I've always liked them, but never really learned the different names, other than the few popular ones. But after reading this, the flower beds at my house will certainly have some new plants and flowers in them! This book was really well written and I enjoyed Victoria's character. She was real and original, and I can't wait to see what else Diffenbaugh has in store for us. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stacking the Shelves 5.15.15

 
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course, ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog! 

There were some great garage sales going on the last couple weekends! 

Bought:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Night by Elie Wiesel

Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline

Petals on the Wind by VC Andrews

Seeds of Yesterday by VC Andrews

If There Be Thorns by VC Andrews

The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Review] *Blog Tour* Home Sweet Home by Candis Terry



Home Sweet Home
A Sweet, Texas Novella
By: Candis Terry
Releasing May 19th, 2015

Synopsis 

Before Candis Terry’s wild Wilder brothers met their matches, a soldier gets a homecoming in Sweet, Texas.

HE’S GIVEN UP…
Army Ranger, Lieutenant Aiden Marshall, fought in some of the most hellish corners on earth and survived. Those closest to him, did not. When he returns home to Sweet, Texas, he believes he’s broken and has lost everything-including his soul. The only fair thing he can do is tell the woman who’s patiently waited for him to come home-to move on with her life-without him.

BUT SHE NEVER WILL
Sassy waitress Paige Walker has no intention of walking away from the man of her dreams. He gave his all for his country and served with honor. Now it’s time to pull him from the darkness and give him hope. With a heap of love, the help of the entire town, and a tail-wagging companion, Paige makes sure her hero knows there’s no place like home sweet home.

Link to Follow Tour:  

Goodreads Link:  



Goodreads Series Link: 


Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher
My Review

This was a really cute, short story of Paige and Aiden's romance. I'm glad we were able to go back to Sweet, Texas for a little while in between novels! Paige has waited for Aiden since he left, and she's not going to give up on him now. Aiden has clearly been through a lot in his life, and although he wants to give up on love, Paige shows him why he shouldn't. They're a really cute couple and I enjoyed their story a lot. I wish I could have read more about them and have the story developed more, but I still liked this novella. Can't wait to read more from Candis Terry! She never disappoints!
About the Author
Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

A note from Candis about why she’s donating book sales to charity.

"The inspiration for HOME SWEET HOME came from an article I’d read about a soldier who been forced to leave the pup he’d rescued in Afghanistan because it wasn’t allowed to bring the animal back to the U.S. In writing the story I realized that rescue animals are a huge part of the romances I write. Since I’m prone to rescue four-legged friends in my personal life I thought that maybe I could help in a bigger way. When I started looking into rescue centers I was overwhelmed by not only the number of animals in need but the generosity of the volunteers who often nurse these animals back to health so they can be adopted. The love and loyalty of an animal is unconditional and I’d like to see them have the opportunity to be loved right back. I know I can’t help them all, but I hope these donations will help as many as possible."

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY
(Sweet, TX series backlist: ANYTHING BUT SWEET, SWEETEST MISTAKE, SOMETHING SWEETER, SWEET SURPRISE)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Books to Movies! July - December 2015

Another great batch of books are getting turned into movies! My last post featured Books to Movies from January to June 2015. This time I'm featuring books being released from July to December! Again, I hope to read the books before I see the movie, which I think I've been pretty good! Have you read any of these books? Are you thinking of seeing these movies? Let me know what you think!


1. 2. 3.

4.  5. 6.

7.


1. Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman 
  • What it's about: When two little girls, Alice and Ronnie, find an infant in an abandoned stroller, a terrible incident shatters three families. Years later, the girls are 18 and trying to find a new start, but the crime keeps haunting the families and the police — especially when another child disappears.
  • Starring: Dakota Fanning, Danielle Macdonald, Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks 
  • Releasing May 1 - Ok, so I cheated a little on this one since it should have been in the last post, but I didn't know about it then! 
2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  • What it's about: A woman is struggling to get over the brutal murder of her family and the secret society wants her to revisit the crime to find out what really happened.
  • Starring: Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Mortez, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult and Corey Stoll
  • Releasing: Aug. 7
3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

  • What it's about: In this love story, young Louisa forms a bond with Will, the paralyzed man she is employed to help.
  • Starring: Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin
  • Releasing: Aug. 21

4. The Scorch Trials by James Dasher

  • What it's about: The second book in the Maze Runner series, Thomas and the Gladers are entering phase two of their “trials” and race to earn a cure for the Flare virus. Chased by Cranks and facing a series of dangerous weather conditions, the boys attempt to complete their mission. 
  • Starring: Dylan O'Brien
  • Releasing: Sept. 18
5. Mockingjay, Part 2, by Suzanne Collins

  • What it's about: The last book of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay is the completion of Katniss Everdeen’s rebellion against the Capital and her fight to bring President Snow down.
  • Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
  • Releasing: Nov. 20
6. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
  • What it's about: A lighthouse keeper and his wife discover a baby and a dead body near their home off the coast of Australia after WWI. 
  • Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander
7. Room by Emma Donoghue 

  • What it's about: The story follows a child, Lenny, who has been raised in a small room by his mother after she was abducted and kept prisoner there for years. 
  • Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H. Macy

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

[Review] Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush Hush #1
Publisher:Simon and Schuster
Publishing Date: Jan. 1, 2009
Format: paperback, won
391 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

My Review

This was such a good book! I loved reading it! It took me on a wild adventure that I wasn't expecting! Seriously. This was a really fun read. I was skeptical to read it because I've read some not so great reviews, and one even compared it to Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the Twilight saga when I read it, but the movies ruined it a bit for me. So because of that, I wasn't sure, but I gave it a chance!

I thought Patch was a really fun character. You can definitely tell he has a bad-boy (bad-angel?) side, but that's what appealed to me so much. He definitely falls for Nora pretty fast. I wasn't expecting some parts of this book that explained why he wanted to get to know her, but I'm glad it all worked out! And I liked Nora, too. While she was a little helpless and naive at times, I liked her and I thought she and Patch made a cute couple. 

I'm secretly hoping that I'll meet a bad-boy fallen angel like Patch some day... (shh don't tell me husband!) haha (: I really can't wait get the next books in this series. I hope I continue to like them as much as I liked this one! 


Others in the Series


Hush, Hush #2            Hush, Hush #3         Hush, Hush #4