Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: How To Survive Your Sisters By: Ellie Campbell

How To Survive Your SistersHow To Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How is it that sisters can bring you apart and put you back together? They are the pieces of the best and the worst, the history and the future of you; the ones who know your next move, your thoughts, and your deep secrets (sometimes); and they drive you MAD!
The MacLeod sisters are no different. Their parents Peggy - who will talk to anyone and overshare and Callum - despite his drinking problem has a good heart and painful past, has certainly brought together a combination within their girls.
Avril is the eldest, the one with the posh job who has little time for much other than her career and Richard, her unhappily married lover. She holds herself at a distance emotionally and also holds the past as a deep wound never to be spoken about so in that silence she finds solace in drinking and running away.
Milly is the mother, the one who lives close to home, who has the husband, Ivor (the Invisible - since he works so much), has the children, and has the unfortunate home and body of neglect. In Milly's search for perfection, in her comparison to her sisters, she finds herself lacking, begin to take diet pills and neglect her children (especially her teen daughter).
Natalie is the perfectionist, the reason all the sisters have come together is for her perfect wedding to her perfect man, Jeremy, who belongs to the perfect family. But Natalie herself harbors a secret and something inside her has conformed to a life of perfection as deemed by the man she is going to marry rather than being her self. As the date gets closer, the more ashamed she becomes of her family and their behavior, when an emergency occurs it is her actions and those of Jeremy's and his family's that shame her more. Will she answer her heart or keep on the road to the perfection?
Hazel the free spirit that traverses around the world only to show up at a fitting at the last minute with the girls old neighbor and boy next door Matt. Only Hazel could send these kind of ripples, Milly once dated Matt, Natalie appears to hate Matt, but Peggy and Callum see only the son they "adopted". Hazel gives a fig about what others think or want, or at least that's what she wants you to think. When Hazel finds out a deeply hidden family secret, she runs away - but she has to realize that no matter how far she goes, there is no running from who you are and from where you come from.

I laughed and cried, I yelled and got frustrated, found myself shaking my head and clicking my tongue -- anyone with sisters - or even cousins as close as sisters, knows these girls. I really enjoyed my time with the MacLeods it is no surprise that this book is written by two sisters. Great book for the Summer, for the Beach, and to enjoy with your own family (be careful discussing it).

*****This is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads*****

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: Complicit By: Stephanie Kuen

ComplicitComplicit by Stephanie Kuehn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A psychological thriller that I could not put down and read in a couple hours! Warning: Do Not Start This Book Thinking That You Will Put This Down, You Will Want To Finish This Before You Close Your Eyes, At Least To Rest Your Mind (And Even Then, It Won't Come Easy)
Jamie Henry hasn't been looking forward to the day that his sister, Cate, would get out of juvenile detention, in fact, he has been dreading it - along with the rest of the town. Cate plead guilty for burning down a barn and causing harm to a girl, Sarah - which with Cate's behavior, seemed likely. Now that she is out strange things are happening, Jamie is back to his anxiety ridden ways, and Cate is trying to bring the past that Jamie can not remember to the forefront of his mind. Jamie and Cate are adopted, what happened to their real mother remains a mystery mostly to Jamie, the closer Cate comes to him, the closer to the truth of what happened, the past, and who he is, he gets.
My heart sometimes was in my throat as this book unfurled the secrets even more scary than originally thought.

*****This is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads*****

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Review: Keep Your Friends Close By: Paula Daly

Keep Your Friends CloseKeep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer - what happens when those lines are blurred and the enemy happens to be your friend in disguise?
Sean and Natasha (Natty) Wainwright seemingly have it together after sixteen years of marriage, two daughters - Anna and Felicity, their own business - The Lakeshore Lodge in Bowess, a nice home, and some money in the bank. When Natty's college friend, Eve (Boydell) Dallaway calls around for a visit, no harm, no foul - so it would seem.. that is until a medical emergency takes Natty away for a few day's and leaves Eve with Sean.
Taking every woman's nightmare, allowing someone once trusted to betray you, to hold the dark secrets that protect love ones over the heads of a once happy family - just who is it that you know. Natty doesn't take this lying down but her own road rage gets her in serious form of trouble bringing up something even more sinister when she begins to dig into the past of her friend Eve, leaving everyone she cares about and loves vulnerable to someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Wonderful and Amazing secondary characters, a plot that had me gripped and devouring the pages, this is greatly written!! A Must Read!

*****This is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads*****

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Review: Il Molo By: Theresa Nash

Il MoloIl Molo by Theresa Nash
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*****This Is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads*****

I think that this is a 3 1/2 star book. It is hard to summarize without giving away a spoiler that leaves a deep twist, but I am going to try.
Martha and Carl Tomas return every year to the Lugarian Coast of Italy, it is there that they find the time to unwind, catch up on the sun, a few activities, and in Martha's case - in Part 1 it seems as though it is a reacquaintance of a lover that brings her back. The imagery of the book brings the story alive, the smells, the venders surround the reader with vivid descriptions, I felt as though I was there (and that alone was worth the read) -- but the twist, which I didn't see coming, and together like a puzzle working itself out in Part 2 was interesting. Part 2 though was a little rushed through to the resolution.
A good mystery for the beach or those stuck inland looking for an escape.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Eat Like A Fatass Look Like A Goddess By: Erika Herman

Eat Like a Fatass, Look Like a Goddess: The Untold Story of Healthy FoodsEat Like a Fatass, Look Like a Goddess: The Untold Story of Healthy Foods by Erika Herman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fad Diet Books, Beware! Books asking you to cut out food, drink only juice, starve your body, no carbs, no eggs - NO MORE!! Here is a True Goddess! And she has done her homework!
Ms. Herman, truly is a Goddess. This book is thoroughly researched, just look at the bibliography, she has the education and the voice of your girlfriend - which makes the book easy to understand. She shoots down myths with well explained truths, gives greatly researched information, makes it easy to live life and eat.
The Goddess's Ground Rules are rules that I copied and put on my fridge - they are simply brilliant and should be a part of every day life.

I have read plenty of diet books, gone on diet trends, but out of all those books - this is the one that has made the most sense of all. This is the one that has not just common sense but true research behind it. I think that it is worth the read, the voice, and the investment of time in Ms. Herman - for in the end I know I am a Goddess.

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Review: 10:10 Life To It's Fullest By: Daniel Hill

10:10: Life to the Fullest10:10: Life to the Fullest by Daniel Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To live life to it's fullest, it takes faith - and that faith can be broken down into faith and fear, faith and intimacy, and faith and mission. Daniel Hill explores each of these, spends time, guides the reader with the closer understanding to living life to it's fullest.
We, the reader, are reminded through scripture and the promises made - to fear not, and gain a deeper faith - to get closer to God, to let Him inside - by going through fear and becoming intimate with God, we can be used for His Kingdom and make a true difference in the world.

This isn't just a book to read, but one asking you to take that leap, to practice, and therefore come into the fulfillment that has been promised to you. I think that Daniel Hill wrote this in a way that made the reader want to do just that, from the beginning he holds your attention - you will want to re read this one. He does spend more time on the mission part, but that is the part that he is in and excited about.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: One Hundred Names By: Cecelia Ahern

One Hundred Names: A NovelOne Hundred Names: A Novel by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cecelia Ahern takes my heart and wraps it around over and over as only she can. Her storytelling magic is alive and well in One Hundred Names and this is one author you can not miss. Do I think that it is because of her Irish roots that she can spin such amazing tales, or that she can reach in and capture your attention and your heart making you cry, laugh, believe, and love? Oh, I am sure that is part of it- but her talent is simply her own.
Meet Kitty (Katherine) Logan, no longer working in television after a debacle, returning to her roots in journalism working for an obscure magazine Etcetera, finding a wonderful mentor in Constance. As Constance lays dying in a hospital bed, Kitty and her discuss the one story that should be done, Constance tells her where to find a mysterious list of one hundred names she made and she will tell her. But that was not to be, and so with only a list of names, Kitty goes in search of people and their story, the story that Constance would have wanted or knew.
Kitty manages to track down six in a two week time period. During that time she gathers each story, trying to find the link, delving deep into each personal past, finding out everything about them - and as she does, she learns more and more about herself.
This is a keeper. One for the shelves that you will re read, one that you will buy a copy for your sister/mother/best friend/grandmother, it is one for the girls book club. I really think this one you really will just enjoy, get lost in the story, and want to find another one by this author just to sink once again into her writing. A great beach read or Saturday read too.

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Review: I Dated This Guy Once... By: Toni Rae

I Dated This Guy Once ...I Dated This Guy Once ... by Toni Rae
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Toni Rae lets the reader into her life, into the adventure and failings of dating, and the mind and wisdom of love through the eyes of experience.
I think that I could give this book closer to a 3.5 stars. Filled with brutal honesty and a woman's truthful search of love and of the definition of herself through the high school sweetheart to twenty six. As her friends and family find "the one", marry, settle down, and have a family - Toni is off exploring, meeting people, and refusing to settle. She has faith to guide her, but the insight that she is not done growing is the best part - the journey that she takes the reader on is one that I am glad she decided to share. She has bared herself to us, hopes, dreams, the mistakes, pitfalls, and the joys - which makes this one a true gem of a book.
Now, sometimes she can come across as full of herself and that's okay - I took it as her age, and then she will surprise you with such wisdom far beyond her years that makes you question your philosophy, and that's what is wonderful.

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