Reviewing the Unreviewed: January 2016

Book Review Header

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

25695527

Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor #1) by Dani Pettrey. Read December 30-January 1. 4 stars.

I think this is Pettrey’s best book yet. Review to come closer to release date.

16045315

Jesse’s Girl (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally. Read January 2. 3 stars.

I liked the first half of this book that focused on Maya’s and Jesse’s first day together more than I did the rest of the book. There were several cute moments and I did like their relationship overall, but I have the same issues I have with pretty much every other book I’ve read in this series. I think the casual view on sex is irresponsible for the YA demographic and I don’t like the way Christians are portrayed. They are always hypocritical clichés and nothing more and it’s kind of offensive.

Overall, though, the book was a fast easy read and since I’m trying to be more generous with ratings, it gets 3 stars.

26827675

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini. Read January 2-3. 3 stars.

This was pretty interesting. Scientology has always kind of interested me (not in a “hey, I want to join” way, but in a “Tom Cruise is kind of weird” way). One thing that I really wanted was a big section on Remini’s role on Saved by the Bell (she will ALWAYS be Stacy Carosi to me), but it was only briefly mentioned in like two sentences. I also wish there was more of her time on The King of Queens, which was a show I enjoyed. Overall, though, interesting and informative on Scientology. I’m glad she found her way out from under it.

25734248

The Widow by Fiona Barton. Read January 5-9. 3.5 Stars

The Widow is not really what I expected it to be. That’s always the problem when a book is compared to Gone Girl. I expected gleefully crazy psychopaths and shocking twists, but there is none of that to be found in this book. That’s not a bad thing, of course, on it’s own. But since my expectations were not met, I feel just a bit let down by it. So let my reading experience inform yours. This book is not like Gone Girl. But it is an intriguing, thoughtful, character-driven mystery that’s worth the read. Full review to come closer to release date.

26025580

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. Read January 9. 4 stars.

This short story was a quick, easy read and was pretty much everything I expect from Flynn. Part of me wishes she would’ve made this into a full-length novel, but I think the slightly unsatisfying ending would have been much harder to swallow if it were a full length book (like Gone Girl). It creeped me out a bit and left my head spinning and just made me want MORE from Flynn. Seriously, I’m ready for the next book!

25689512

Hired Bride (Beaufort Brides #1) by Noelle Adams. Read January 10-11. 3 Stars.

This wasn’t quite as cute as I wanted it to be. I love a good fake-relationship story, but I thought this focused too much on them trying to fool themselves instead of other people. And it skipped over a lot of the getting-to-know-you parts and focused a lot more on the, ahem, intimate moments, which were kind of graphic. Still, though, it was an overall cute book.

11300302

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter. Read January 14-15. 3 stars.

A little Twilight, a little The Mortal Instruments, a touch of Mean Girls. I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would after I read a few of really great reviews on it. I thought the pace was a little too slow and it was a lot more high school drama than I thought it would be. There were a few cute moments between Cole and Ali, though.
In the dedication in the beginning, the author talks about how when she was writing this she was sick and she started seeking the Lord so I was kind of expecting this to be a little more Christian fiction and it wasn’t. There was definitely way more teenage sex than I expected.
I got this from the library in a bundle, so I’ll probably read the next books to see if they pick up a little more.

25530076

Anything for You (Blue Heron #5) by Kristan Higgins. Read January 15-17. 3.5 Stars

Another cute story by Kristan Higgins. I liked the inclusion of a character with developmental disabilities. I liked Connor and Jess grew on me. I wish there was a little more of some of the characters from the other books. Some of the themes were a little reminiscent of some of Higgan’s other books – most notably The Next Best Thing, but since that’s one of my favorites, I was ok with it.

15755296

Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter. Read January 17. 3 stars.

This book could have been about 100 pages shorter. There wasn’t much happening until about the last quarter or so of the book. There were love triangles (squares?) hinted at in the beginning, but I’m thankful that they didn’t become a main plot point. I still have one more book in the bundle from the library, so I’m going to continue with the series.

25531669

Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce. Read January 18-19. 3.5 stars.

Pretty cute with a great concept, but the characters were often hard to like. Full review to come closer to release date.

*************************************************************************

RE-READS

8689732   17738218

All I Ever Wanted and The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins. Higgins can always help me get through book slumps.

*************************************************************************

DNF

20579287

The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter. I tried. Really I did. When they’re fighting zombies or trying to figure out what Anima is up to, I was interested, but every time it focused on Cole and Ali’s relationship or Ali’s friends (who got on my very last nerve) I just couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. I’ve read enough reviews that I can kind of piece together the big events of how the story resolves so I think it’s time to give this series up.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2015

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins. Read May 5-7. 3.5 stars.

All the reviews I’ve read have said this book wasn’t as good as the first, but I liked it at least just as much. I think I may have liked it even more than the first. Perhaps because the first book was so raved about and I thought it was just ok.

I found Harper much less annoying this time around. I liked David, though I think we could have gotten a little more of him. I didn’t mind Ryan in this book and the love triangle I was expecting wasn’t quite what we got. I didn’t like Bee, in fact I forgot her character even existed. Oops. I thought Bee’s trajectory was very predictable, as well.

Overall, the book was enjoyable and ended in such a way that I’ll definitely be reading the next book.

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler. Read May 9-10. 3 stars.

I’ve been on a YA Contemporary kick lately and was really craving something sweet and light and this completely fit the bill. (A big thanks to my generous blogger friend Diana that bought me a copy!!!!) The main character was likable and so were most of the supporting cast. I loved Josh, especially in the last couple chapters! Overall a cute read!

Secret Girlfriend

Secret Girlfriend by Bria Quinlan. Read May 10-11. 2 stars.

I loved Luke Parker! He’s so sweet! But he didn’t quite make up for all the ridiculous going on in this book. Amy drove me crazy for about the first half of this book. Chris was completely awful during the whole thing and there was no reason for Amy to be so misguided about him. I think the melodrama went on just a little too long, but I did like the ending. And I loved the whole Parker family.

Getting Lucky Number Seven

Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen. Read May 11-12. 3 stars.

I’ve liked some of this author’s other books so I thought I’d give this one try. It was a little more graphic than the others I’ve read which is a downside and very similar to a bunch of other NA books out there, but I liked the main characters and it was an easy read and fit in with my contemporary kick I’m on.

The Dare (The Bet, #3)

The Dare (The Bet #3) by Rachel Van Dyken. Read May 12-15. 1 star.

I started the first book in this series once and couldn’t get through it. I got this one for free so I thought I would give it a try. While there were some humorous moments, the characters weren’t all that likable – I HATED the Grandmother character. I’m glad it was free 🙂   

Cinderella Screwed Me Over

Cinderella Screwed me Over by Cindi Madsen. Read May 13-15. 3.5 stars.

Cute Chick Lit. I liked the “case studies”, though they didn’t really resemble the fairy tale characters they were compared to. I loved Jake and the main character was likable.

The Dead List

The Dead List by Jennifer Armentrout. Read May 24-26. 3.5 Stars.

This book reminded me that I really enjoy JLA’s YA books and it’s a cool idea that she released a whole book for free. This is a draft that wasn’t fully edited and really there weren’t many typos and only one glaring continuity error that I could tell.

I liked the characters. Ella was a good main character and Jensen was a pretty good book boyfriend, though I thought he was a little too domineering at times. The mystery was well done. While there were some parts that I thought were predictable, there were other things that surprised me. I would have liked a little more background from when they were younger and I think it took too long to find out what happened with Penn, but overall it was a good, enjoyable read.

*************************************************************************

RE-READS

On the Fence

On The Fence by Kasie West. I’ve really been on a contemporary kick this month and with the anticipation of The Fill-In Boyfriend coming out, I was craving some Kasie West.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

The Best Man, The Perfect Match, Waiting on You, and In Your Dreams (The Blue Heron series) by Kristan Higgins. What can I say? I love Kristan Higgins. I re-read The Best Man and then I just wanted the rest of the series.

Somebody to Love (Gideon's Cove, #3)

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins. This is kind of a sequel to both The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day. The first time I read this I hadn’t read either of the other novels and I have to say that I enjoyed it much more this second time around, recognizing all of Parker’s friends now.

*************************************************************************

BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, #3)

End of Days (Angelfall #3) by Susan Ee. I think I may need a re-read before I go into this last book. I really didn’t remember much of what happened before and there wasn’t much recap.

*************************************************************************

DNF

Taken

Taken by Dee Henderson

I got about a quarter of the way through this book before I decided I needed a break from it. After a couple of weeks I just can’t make myself pick it up again.

I’ve liked many of Henderson’s other novels, but Taken just didn’t do it for me. While I liked Matthew well enough, I just couldn’t stand Shannon. I found her attitude extremely off-putting. I was just really annoyed about how she had a plan in her head of what to do and even though she went to Matthew for help, she refused to listen to any of his input. For the life of me I can’t understand why he catered to her so completely and trusted her so easily.

And while what I read didn’t get very far into romance at all, I can’t really get behind Matthew and Shannon being romantically involved. His first impression of her was how she reminded him of his daughter and that just puts an ick factor to it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Re-reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie, so I’ve decided to go with my Favorite Re-reads. Those books that I can go back to again and again. The ones that save me from my reading ruts.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)    The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)    Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)    In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

1-4. The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. Kristan Higgins books always make me happy. They’re enjoyable and addictive and I love re-visiting the characters again and again.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

5. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is my favorite book of the series and just one of my favorite books period. Kami’s humor never gets old.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This books is just adorable and fun and yes I MIGHT skip over some of the more drama-filled moments, but I love the rest.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

7. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout. This was my first JLA book and it’s my favorite. I love re-reading about Daemon and Katy: the early years.

I've Got Your Number

8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Probably my favorite chick-lit book.

Fangirl

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Levi are one of my favorite book couples and I love reading about them.

Northanger Abbey

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I love this book so much! I love reading the banter between Catherine and Henry.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RE-READS?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Which Feature Characters Who Have Cool Jobs

This week’s Top Ten Top Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ . I’m filling in the blank with: Characters Who Have Cool Jobs.

Pear Shaped

1. Sophie from Pear Shaped by Stella Newman. She works in dessert development at a grocery chain.

Landline

2. Georgie from Landline by Rainbow Rowell. She’s a sitcom writer and is developing her own show.

Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1)

3, 4, 5, 6. All the women from the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts. They run a wedding event business – One is a wedding planner, one is a photographer, one is a florist, and one is a baker.

The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)

7. Honor from The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins. She runs a vineyard.

Until There Was You

8. Posey from Until There was You by Kristan Higgins. She own an architectural salvaging company.

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

9. Martin Rilke from The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock. He’s a journalist.

Attachments

10. Beth from Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. She writes movie reviews for the newspaper.

What books do you think features characters with cool jobs?

——————————————————————————————————————–

*Giveaway – Win a copy of any book I have reviewed HERE (open until May 9, 2015)*

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1) by Anna Banks. Read September 3-11. 2.5 stars.

Not as good as I was expecting. Much of it was clichéd and predictable, but I’ll still probably check out the next book. 

This is What Happy Looks Like

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Read September 11-13. 3 stars.

This book was ok. It was cute, but not as cute as I was expecting it to be. The characters weren’t always likable and I really disliked Ellie’s mother. Surprisingly, I was ok with the open ending (I usually despise them), it was probably the most well done part of the book.

Ten

Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Read September 19-20. 2.5 stars.

2.5 stars, I think. For awhile I thought this was a 2 star read. All but the three central characters were forgettable and it seemed really predictable. While I entertained the possibility of others being the killer, I was pretty sure who it was. However, I was wrong. So I was going to give it 3 stars, just because it surprised me. But then the end… *SPOILER* *SPOILER* *SPOILER* In the end Meg lives and TJ survived being shot (which was so very clichéd) and Meg is like, “My best friend and 9 other people died, but at the end of the day it’s ok because I got the guy.” Ugh.

Open Road Summer

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Read September 19-21. 3 stars.

This book was both cute and frustrating. The main character was not very likable and I think too much time was spent on her trying to draw deep, emotional conclusions about life that really weren’t that deep. I wish Dee was a little more developed because she was likable yet lacked substance. I, of course, loved Matt Finch, though he had a few moments that annoyed me. Overall, a cute book, but I think it would’ve been better if it focused on being cute instead of trying too hard to be something more serious.

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan. Read September 23-24. 3-ish stars.

One day a full review will be coming for this book. While I wouldn’t say it was disappointing, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I think I’m going to re-read it before I try and review it.

Rule (Marked Men, #1)

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover. Read September 26-27. 2 stars.

2 stars is being generous. The characters were mostly unlikable. The plot was often ridiculous. I don’t know why I continue to try and read New Adult books. It’s obviously not my cup of tea. 

Stay with Me (Wait for You, #3)

Stay With Me (Wait for You #3) by J Lynn. Read September 25-28. 2 stars.

I love JLA and that’s the only reason I’m giving this book 2 stars and not 1. The story of Jax and Calla were pretty similar to Cam and Avery (Calla even calls Jax “Cam 2.0” at one point) and the rest of it was pretty ridiculous. I seriously need to just stop with the New Adult genre. It’s all the same and this series, that I started out liking with the first book, just seems like repeat with slightly different characters and slightly different “big horrible problems”. 

*************************************************************************

BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Resisting the Hero (Accidentally in Love, #3)

Resisting the Hero (Accidentally in Love #3) by Cindi Madsen. I really liked the first book in this series, but the second wasn’t quite as good and I couldn’t really get into this one. I’ll probably go back and try again later, though.

*************************************************************************

RE-READS

Storm (Elemental, #1)  Spark (Elemental, #2)  The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)  The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)

Storm (Elemental #1), Spark (Elemental #2), The Best Man (Blue Heron #1), The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2). In honor of Sacrifice (Elemental #5) and In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4), I started a re-read of the first couple books of each series.

 

Monday’s Minutes – On Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday! I wasn’t really feeling it on Monday (or yesterday for Top Ten Tuesday), so I thought I’d do my Monday’s Minutes today.

WHAT I WAS READING ON MONDAY

The Perfect Match (Blue Heron, #2)

The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins. This book was pretty adorable. Predictable? Sure. But most romance novels are. I might do a full review on this one later. But for now, I’ll just say that I think Kristan Higgins is becoming my favorite romance author.

WHAT I’M READING

Legend (Legend, #1)

Legend by Marie Lu. I’ve heard nothing by amazing things about this series and I’ve been waiting to read it for awhile. So far it’s just ok. I’m hoping it picks up soon.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Undercurrent

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell. This is a library book that I kind of forgot I reserved, but hopefully it’s good.