Archive for the ‘book club’ Category

THE BIG FIX arc tour

March 11, 2015

book 1: IN A FIX

book 2: QUICK FIX

book 3: THE BIG FIX (releases may 12, 2015)

the third book in linda grimes’ series has a new look, but contains the same screwball cast of characters whom you should all know and love as much as i do. all the characters grimes has created are so real and fully developed (*snicker*), you feel as though they’re part of your inner crowd. they’re cool, hip, awkward, and downright hilarious. this book hits just the right amount glamour to sweep you away from reality and shock to bring you back down to earth before you forget you left the curling iron on… essentially, what you need to know is that ciel is up to her usual shenanigans until she does something that will make you scream NO NO NO or YES YES YES but definitely SERIOUSLY, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?! it’s the twist to end all twists and you won’t see coming, except you will, but not quite, but it’s believable, and beyond shocking, and SERIOUSLY DID THAT JUST HAPPEN, and please read this book so we can talk about it!

moral of this review: every one of these characters are people you want in your life, so i suggest buying the first two books and pre-ordering the third. you won’t regret it. i’ll be over here biting my nails waiting for you to catch up on the series + news of the fourth FIX.

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BOOK HUNGRY: county line

November 7, 2013

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone and/or google hangout and/or on email and/or on twitter. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

COUNTY LINE by bill cameron

what it’s about from porter square books: 

When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, dogged ex-cop Skin Kadash sets out to discover what drove the woman he loves to leave her life behind so suddenly and without explanation. The discovery of a dead man in her apartment, followed by an attack by a mysterious stalker, leads Skin first to California, then across the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past–and toward an explosive confrontation which will determine if either has a future.

my opinion:

i can’t lie, this book was work. the writing was smart and sophisticated and the plot took all kinds of unanticipated turns and there were shifts in time and perspective, all of which do not mesh well for me when reading on a kindle. i never seem to know this about myself until i’m in the middle of a book that requires it, but apparently i re-read a lot, especially in the middle of a first read. my mind wanders, i can’t help it. with the shifts in perspective and time in this book, i had to turn back a few pages a lot, which is not easy on a kindle.

this is no fault of bill’s. it’s mine.

this is the fourth book in a “series”. i use the term loosely because the main characters and perspectives switch from book to book so they behave more like companion novels rather that a straight series. this book does stand alone, but bill drops enough hints throughout that made me realize i’d feel less like i’d been dropped in the middle of a conversation had i read the other books prior to reading this one. he’s a wily, ambitious, clever writer what with his making me want to read all his books.

in related news, it was also work to wrangle our schedules for the monthly conference call. it took us over a month (including multiple re-schedules) to coordinate our schedules with bill’s so he could join our call, but as they say, the wait was worth it. bill was full of quips and quotes that had us book hungry gals alternately laughing and scrambling to jot them down.

“writing is, ultimately, an act of empathy.”

my overall opinion is that these characters are well rounded and fleshed out and human and flawed and i wish i knew them better. i’d suggest reading these from the beginning because ruby jane and skin and pete are fascinating and i suspect the things we learn about them (RJ especially) in COUNTY LINE would have been even more illuminating and (to quote oprah) ah-ha inducing had i’d known about their previous actions and decisions.

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HARD TO HANDLE review

September 27, 2013

a surprising and entirely unexpected email popped up in my inbox granting me early (and i like to think of it as VIP) access to jessica lemmon’s newest book HARD TO HANDLE, in exchange for posting a review. i almost deleted the email because (a) i enjoyed the first book so much and second books often don’t live up to the expectations the first one set and (b) i’m still on a self-imposed blogging hiatus.

however, the lure of the VIP book and the request for words written by me was too much to resist…apparently i’m not hard to handle (ooh, see what i did there?) and i decided to dive into lemmony’s pages and put my blogging pants back on for this occasion.

what it’s about from Porter Square Books:

ONCE BURNED Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she’s bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can’t resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn’t let herself fall in love . . . TWICE AS TEMPTING Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he’s determined to win back the woman he’s always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden’s not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?

my opinion:

this companion novel contained some of the same characters we met in TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE, but the tone of this story was quite different than its predecessor. this story was one of loss, hardship, second chances, and redemption. even though this wasn’t as lighthearted as i expected, it was a refreshing read because these are real people making real mistakes and figuring out how to overcome their own boneheadedness. usually i read to escape reality, but the honesty and raw emotion of this story were wrapped up in truth and i wanted to squeeze out all the advice i could. it felt like a bit of free therapy (thanks, lemmony!).

my only gripe was the pacing. the beginning was a bit slow with its hashing and rehasing of the initial meetings between aiden and sadie. having read the prequel CAN’T LET GO, i already knew the savory details of that time and didn’t need to hear about it again and again. basically, i think HTH stands on its own without the prequel. sure it was nice to spend more time with these two firecracker characters in CLG, but it wasn’t necessary towards furthering my understanding of HTH.

while reading this story, i came across a line that stood out to me because i remember lemmony on twitter asking about the slang term. i didn’t know this particular bit of slang, but i was the only one in that conversation who did, and so lemmony included it in the dialogue (as she should have). i got a real kick out of reading it in the final version because i felt like i was part of a secret society — one who knows exactly how much thought and care and time goes into each line of text even though it reads as effortless.

jessica lemmon has turned the romance genre on its head once again which i guess means she’s turned it right side up (since she flipped the genre with her last book), but if this is the new normal, you can count me as a permanent audience member.

HTH releases on october 1, so you barely have to wait until you can get your own copy!! huzzah!

FTC Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

BOOK HUNGRY: i’ll be seeing you

September 19, 2013

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone and/or google hangout and/or on email and/or on twitter. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

I’LL BE SEEING YOU by suzanne hayes and loretta nyhan

what it’s about from porter square books: 

“I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren’t we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation…”

It’s January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor’s wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.

Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other’s unwavering support.

A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I’ll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.

my opinion:

there is something about the act of writing letters that is utterly charming to me and this is the third book i’ve read that’s utilized the letter writing forum to reveal an astonishing story. (the first being the GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY and the second DADDY LONG LEGS.) i think this form appeals to me because letter writing breeds a particular honesty and in the middle of that, there’s something tangible about the connectivity between these women.

it reminds me of my relationships with my book hungry gals — we’re using the technology at hand to communicate and cajole and teach and learn and laugh and connect. of course, we’re more likely to trade insults than recipes, but that’s just how we roll.

but back to the book, these two women are astonishing in their bravery, resilience, determination, humor, selfishness, unselfishness and strength of character. they both fall into and defy the stereotypes of their ages (rita is a bit older than newlywed glory) as they live and love and struggle. i adore rita and her cast of characters in iowa a bit more than glory and her team, but my not so tender feelings towards glory are redeemed during this won’t part i won’t tell you about because i don’t want to spoil anything, but basically, she earns my respect and gratitude and i’m talking like i know her. that’s how real these characters are.

i also loved learning how loretta and suzy wrote this. how did i learn this? loretta joined our conference call and dished the details. these two ladies “met” on social media and launched into this project much the same way glory and rita began. neither woman had met the other in person, but the tales and emotions and advice and respect grew as the letters flew back and forth.

long story short, this is a delightful book and you should read it.

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BOOK HUNGRY: hostile witness

August 29, 2013

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

HOSTILE WITNESS by rebecca forster

what it’s about from amazon: 

When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her step-grandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships have created a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth of the murder is uncovered could save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.

my opinion:

ick. ew. blerg. make it stop. do i have to keep reading? why did karla pick this? i can usually decipher why one of my gals picked a particular book, but this? this is not what i was expecting out of karla. why does everyone else in the world seem to be talking about this book too? thank goodness it was free. ugh. this is painful. do i have to keep reading?

i did finish the book, but very begrudgingly, or to give you a taste of what it felt like to read it: i picked up the book. i opened the cover. i sat down on the couch. i flipped to the page where i left off and i began to read again after i crossed my legs and leaned back against the cushions. i paused while reading, checked the time, checked all the things on the internet, fixed a snack of an apple and peanut butter, turned off the kitchen light, brought my snack back to the couch and then i read some more.

catch my drift? my whole drift? every single movement of my drift?

the details in this book were overkill. every single action was explained to ad nauseum and yet, there was little to no information about the characters and their motivations. what little there was, well, the characters were awful and not in the “they’re flawed” sort of way. in the “i could care less about them” kind of way. they weren’t relatable or understandable or funny or charming or smart. they were clueless in a way that felt manufactured by the author instead of because that’s the way some humans are.

the entire book was uneven. the pacing, the plotting, the characterization, the information dumps. UGH. basically, it felt like the author didn’t trust us as readers and the entire book was dumbed down as a result. i’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but i hated this book and if the only good that comes out of me reading it is that you don’t, well then, i’ll consider it a battle won.

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