Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mini- reviews: The Boyfriend list and The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 14th July 2016
My rating: 4 stars 


5 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver From E. Lockhart, author of the best-seller We Were Liars, and the highly-acclaimed The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, comes this hilarious and heart-warming series. Ruby Oliver is fifteen and has a shrink. But before you make up your mind about her, you should know that she has had a pretty awful (and eventful) past ten days. She has: * lost her boyfriend * lost her best friend (Kim) * lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket) * did something suspicious with a boy * did something advanced with a boy * had an argument with a boy * drank her first beer (someone handed it to her) * got caught by her mom (ag!) * had a panic attack (scary) * lost a lacrosse game (she's the goalie) * failed a math test (she'll make it up) * hurt Meghan's feelings (even though they aren't really friends) * became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch) * and had graffiti written about her in the girls' bathroom (who knows what was in the boys'!?!). But don't worry, Ruby lives to tell the tale. Through a special assignment to list all the boys she's ever had the slightest, little, any-kind-of-anything with, comes an unfortunate series of events that would be enough to send any girl in a panic.

This book was such a refreshing read, I’d gone into it thinking that it’d be a sort of young read for me, but I’m glad that this wasn’t the case for me at all. It did take me some time getting used to Ruby and what was going on in her life, but once I got into The Boyfriend List I absolutely adored Ruby. She was such refreshing character, her voice and everything that she was going through just spoke volumes for me. What she had to go through was truly awful, the turn of events and how people turned on her, (I also had an inkling about this one particular character and just wished Ruby had been able to realise what a douche they were earlier on) just made me super mad. But despite the lacklustre events and panic attacks that Ruby still attempted to hold her head up high, it couldn’t have been easy for anyone for things to change so dramatically in a week. I liked how through seeing a therapist Ruby was able to take a step back and truly see what was going on with her life, the self-reflections and realisations could be daunting at first, but I appreciated the person Ruby became by the end of this book. Lockhart bought so much depth to this book with Ruby’s story and gave us such a realistic portrayal of what a teenage life can be like. What I also enjoyed about this book was that despite things hitting the fan with Ruby, Lockhart still managed to bring so much laughter and fun to the story, Ruby was also such a funny character, that you couldn’t but laugh at some of the situations she found herself in. The addition of footnotes I did find confusing at first, but this may have been because I was reading the e-book version, and I had to keep flipping back and forth to find the right footnote reference, but after this initial confusion, I couldn’t get enough of them! The Boyfriend List was a great start to a new series for me, I can’t wait to continue with Ruby’s Journey in the next book!



The Boy Book by E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 14th July 2016
My rating: 3 stars 


Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver's junior year at Tate Prep: Kim: Not speaking. But far away in Tokyo. Cricket: Not speaking. Nora: Speaking--sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school--once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn't called Ruby, or anything. Noel: Didn't care what anyone thinks. Meghan: Didn't have any other friends. Dr. Z: Speaking. And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking. But with a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to "The Boy Book" and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.

The Boy Book was another surprising read for me, like I mentioned before, I've struggled with YA lately, but with the Ruby Oliver series, I'm just able to connect on so many levels with Ruby and what she's going through, that it's making this series such a fun read for me. In The Boy Book, Ruby is trying to make it through junior year, with everything that went on last year, I was hoping that things would have settled down a bit more for her. It was fun following Ruby on this journey through high school, of finding her place and making sense of herself. There were some characters once again who proper annoyed me, it was like they hadn't learnt from things since last time and I couldn't stand how others could just brush things aside and act like things were okay. This aside, I liked how Ruby was able to make friends in the most unexpected of places such as with Meghan and Noel, Meghan just because the way she acted, everyone had made assumptions of her, but once Ruby got to know her, you realised she wasn't the airhead everyone thought her to be. Despite me only giving this book three stars, that's not to say I didn't enjoy it, a three star rating for me is a decent read and of course Lockhart was once again able to bring so much laugh out loud moments to this story, Ruby herself is such a funny person, I never had so much fun reading someone's internal monologue. It's just that I feel as if I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first book, but that hasn't put me off reading the rest of the series and being back with Ruby's life once more!

 


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Weekly Recap #24

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.



WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 

Jasprit:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)


Another mixed sort of reading week, I went into Sloppy Firsts with really high hopes, but it ended up being a let down for me, I felt as if the MC's voice was too young for my liking. Beautiful Disaster ended up being a DNF for me, this year I've decided to give up on books sooner if they don't work for me and this was certainly the case here. And the Ruby Oliver series was one I was glad that I gave a go, Ruby had such a fresh voice and there were many laugh out loud moments too! 

Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)



The Wedding Date and Next Year in Havana were both DNF for me (I'm giving away my copies HERE).  It was kind of a bummer because it seemed like most of my friends loved both books, so I kind of felt bad for my reactions.  But, life is too short to spend it on a book that isn't working for you, and I feel what I feel, you know? Minus those two books, I had an excellent reading week with Survive the Night, sooo exciting, it kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the read!  Also, I'm re-reading *listening* to Patricia Briggs' Alpha & Omega series in preparation for the newest book, and I'm LOVING it all over again!  Ms. Briggs' writing talent is a cut (or several) above the rest!

BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 

I was thrilled to see that Words in Deep Blue was getting published in the U.K, I've loved Crowley's books in the past, her writing has always been eloquently beautiful, that I can't wait to start this book already. And London Celebrities has been a favourite series of mine, I'd listened to the previous books on audio and really enjoyed them, so I'm super excited about reading Making Up. 

Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)


Oh, my goodness, the book description of The Love Coupon sounds soooo good! I can't wait to pick this up. Must get through a few more review books first, though.  From Unseen Fire isn't something I would've requested on my own since it seems to be more high Fantasy than I'm used to reading, but the publisher offered and I thought I'd take a chance.  You never know what gem you'll find by taking a risk, right?  Kate Meader is a new to me author, and I was pleasantly surprised by So Over You so I thought I'd pick up a copy of Hooked on You, the 4th installment in the same series.


NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

Nothing this week, which is really good for me, as I've been trying to cull the amount of books I want to own and read, I'm down to 111 to read books on my Goodreads, which I'm super proud of, just don't get me started on the books I own :/


Rachel:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link) 


The Wall of Winnipeg an Me was just amazing, so I wanted to try another Mariana Zapata book.  I'm currently waiting for an audio copy of Kulti from my library.

  WHAT I'M WATCHING:
Jasprit  

I'm finally up to date with How to Get Away with Murder, things have been insane, I'm kind of gutted that we have to wait until March 1st for it to return, but that gives me the chance to catch up with Scandal, I'm on season 6 now! 


Rachel:
 



I'm way past the first season of Justified but I'm too lazy to update the picture, lol. I sort of watch this show peripherally, while cooking or on my computer, because my husband has turned it on. Love Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) though, and it's filmed in the town I live; it's kind of fun to recognize the background.
The Grand Tour is another show I watch while I'm cooking or downstairs, because my husband has it on.  It is pretty funny, plus, the cars and locations are amazing!


EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 

I wasn't able to keep on track with the exercising and the eating this week, I just felt super lazy and because it was kind of cold, I couldn't be asked to go out to the gym :( I've booked classes for this week in advance, just so that I make myself go!

Rachel:

Well, I signed up for another half-marathon!  I have to laugh because this is the third one I've signed up for and I haven't ran one yet!  First time I couldn't do it because of a severe case of bronchitis, and the second one was canceled because of the California wildfires (it was in Wine Country).  Both times I did get to the very end of my training, running 11 miles and less than two weeks to go with each one.  Let's hope the third time is a charm.  I'm to start training next week.

How was your week?

Friday, 16 February 2018

Review & Giveaway: Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBDiBooks

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199875-the-good-daughter


"Vivid and charming." —CHARLAINE HARRIS, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

He's always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he'll do more than heal her battered spirit—he'll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe's very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path—but for all his big heart, he's never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton's haunted eyes. Until he realizes he'll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there's no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth…but he'd never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah's finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It's time to take a stand.
 

My Thoughts:
Survive the Night was an action-filled thrill ride interspersed with a sweet romance that warmed my heart!

Alice gladly gave up her name to seek refuge in the small town of Monroe, Colorado, fleeing her sociopathic, and powerful brother, Aaron.  This guy was truly a psycho, and I’m glad Mr. Espino once again used his talents to make another at-risk girl disappear.  Alice becomes Sarah, the “old college classmate” of Jules, but by now the members of the little police force knows what this means.  The girl is in hiding, and on the run from something or someone dangerous.  And let me tell you, Aaron is a piece of work. Add in Logan Jovanovic and you’ve got a frightening psycho duo on the hunt for Sarah!

Never did she expect to find love, but how can anyone resist Otto, one of the police officers in Monroe, the perfect cross between a Viking god and a beautiful lumberjack? He’s sweet and a complete softy with animals, having a menagerie of rejected creatures he’s taken in on his farm.  From rescuing, and bottle-feeding puppies to trying to rehabilitate a broken pit bull named Xena, this guy completely stole my heart! Plus, how can you not love a man with a goat named Hortense?! The goat was super funny in the trials that were presented.  A bit passive aggressive in her obedience, but a creature you couldn’t help but love! I just loved Sarah’s relationship with this rag-tag group of animals!

Sarah was the perfect, soft hearted woman for Otto! Their romance was super sweet! Sarah and Otto were both a bit shy, and tentative; a little insecure with their hearts at first.  Each were super protective of each other in the face of danger. And let me tell you, there was non-stop danger!

I was on the edge of my seat for much of this read! Just when I thought it would all settle, BAM the next threat would present, and my heart would be pounding!  This ends in an exciting showdown and the characters really had to try and “Survive the Night” with all that happened! 

The story wraps up, satisfyingly, but it ended on an ominous note, coming full circle in this series, and revealing the danger to come in the next installment.  Eeeek! I can’t wait!




Connect with Katie Ruggle:




Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Mini-Reviews & Giveaway: The Wedding Date & Next Year in Havana

It's really hard to give up on a book, especially when it seems everyone else and their brother loved it!  Anyhow, this is probably a case of "it's me not you", but these two books just didn't work for me.  Like I said, most readers loved both of these books so I thought I'd pass along my copies to someone who'll probably enjoy them more than I did.  Scroll down to fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Publication date: January 30th 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
My rating: DNF
Amazon | B & N | Kobo

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...



My Thoughts:
DNF @38%.  I had a hard time buying into this romance, because I didn’t feel any chemistry between Alexa and Drew.  Also, Alexa’s lack of self-confidence was disappointing.  I didn’t feel engaged enough to continue.





Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
My rating: DNF
Amazon | B & N | Kobo

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
 


My Thoughts:
I loved Chanel Cleeton’s Wild Aces series, but this was nothing like it. That was fine, but this just had such a slow start, I was really bored out of my mind.  I ended up skimming a large portion.  I just wasn’t in the mood for the tragic historical romance that takes up much of the story. 





 The giveaway is for a Paperback copy of The Wedding Date by Jasmin Guillory (my ARC copy) and a Paperback Copy of Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton.  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  Good luck!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Weekly Recap #23

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.

Hey guys, I was in London last week for a family event, so I've decided to share a three week recap with you guys, my reading hasn't been that great with a couple of back to back disappointing reads, but I've been able to start back on some of my shows and they have been amazing and kept me going through this long week!

WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 

Jasprit:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)




I absolutely loved Blue-Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger, I'd assumed that nothing would live up to Sugar Daddy, but boy was I wrong! I've put off reading the final book in this series, because it's been so much fun so far! Not If I Save You First and Hero at the Fall ended up being sort of disappointing reads for me, which is a real shame, as I had such high hopes for both! 


Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)



Devil in Spring recounts the romance of Gabriel's parents.  Gabriel and Pandora's romance in Devil in Spring was such a delight and I was interested in his parents romance especially since they still were so in love some thirty years later. Dance Upon the Air reminded me of that 90s move Sleeping With the Enemy, but a little more lighthearted.  I loved it! Look For Me was captivating and haunting at the same time. Lisa Gardner rarely disappoints.  Omg, I LOVED The Wall of Winnipeg and Me!! A love to hate sort of romance that I could not put down! I must read more Mariana Zapata!

BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 

It seems like its been so long since I've read a book by Jessi Kirby, I've adored her books in the past and I'm hoping this book will kick start my love once more for contemporary YA! I've been loving the heck of out of Meader's Chicago Rebels series and I was waiting in eager anticipation for Hooked On You, I have a feeling this book will be a lot of fun!

Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)


I've loved Lucy Parker's London Celebrities series so I'm anxious to read book three.


NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

 

Thank you to Nick for putting this book on my radar, Nick loved this book and Nick has never guided me wrong in her recommendations, so I can't wait until I can finally get my hands on a copy in June! 


Rachel:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link) 


The Love Coupon sounds too cute.  I had to get more Mariana Zapata after reading and loving The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.  The Kiss Quotient was something I saw all over Twitter and looking up the book description I can understand why.

  WHAT I'M WATCHING:

Jasprit  



So my sister had been on at me for the longest time to get back to How to Get Away with Murder, but I didn't really want to with the way things had ended in Season 3, but I started season 4 this week and I was hooked, I didn't think it was possible for things to get crazier, but things have been taken up a whole another notch and I'm loving it! I then found out that there was going to be a crossover episode for How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal on March 1st, so then I decided it was time I caught up with Scandal too, I'm still only season 5, but again I'm kicking myself for giving up on this show long ago!

Rachel:

  
I think I'm at the end of Season Two because shit is getting real here! I can't believe what Clarke didn't do!! I'm actually watching an episode while typing this up.


EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 

 

I signed up for the Spartan race which takes place in July, my cousins did the Super level last year and found it tough, so my sister, sister in law and I have decided to attempt the sprint level, this will consist of of a 5-6km sprint and 20-23 obstacles, we haven't decided which charity to do this for, but I've given myself February to enjoy myself food-wise and then start training in March and going super strict on what I eat! Wish me luck! 



Rachel:

Nothing really new with me other than getting serious about running again. I get home from work just as the sun is setting so I try and quickly change and go for a run. Since the last two half-marathons I've signed up for haven't panned out, one I got super sick and couldn't do and the other was canceled due to the California Wildfires. I was up to running 11 miles with each, so super close with a half-marathon being just over 13 miles.  I'm hesitant to commit to anything right now, BUT I'm eyeing one coming up soon.  Third time could be a charm, right?  I'll keep you posted. :)


How was your week?

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