Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reading Report March 2014

Reading Report
What I read in March 2014



Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Paranormal, Fantasy, YA

Kami has always had that voice in her head. Only this one talks back and has a life of his own, somewhere else. One day her small town turns upside down when the Lynburn family returns and starts causing trouble. And Kami finds out that the voice in her head is a real boy, and he's here. 

Witty, funny, spunky, punchy. I liked the set up of this plot. Laugh out loud moments kept the story moving right along. I liked it so much I bought the second one on my kindle since my library, oddly has the first in the series and not the second.


Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Contemporary, YA

Courtney made plans with her boyfriend Jordan to road trip to college orientation. Only now that it's time to go they've broken up and she's still being forced to take the trip. 

I was intrigued with the story line enough to pick it up but I wasn't as impressed with the writing. Overall it kept my interest enough to keep reading but I kept wanting for more meat to the story. 


Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Contemporary, YA

Parker's Senior year is completely different than her previous ones at Hundred Oaks High. She was on the all-star softball team, working towards Valedictorian, and had lots of friends. Now she's quit the team, sticks close to one friend and is trying to decide just how much of a new life she wants.

Something about the series keeps bringing me back but also something about each book rubs me a bit the wrong way. I was especially excited about this one because I loved/played softball in high school but other than knowing the guys on the baseball team there wasn't much play. I can't decide if I'm leery about recommending this book because of some of the plot points or a bit of the story telling. I'm still on the fence.


Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson
Marriage, Self Help, Psychology

From Goodreads: Emotionally Focused Therapy views the marriage relationship as an attachment bond. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond. 

Though it's been practiced among therapists longer, this book released in 2008 is a newer way to look at the relationship of a married couple saying it's okay to be dependent on one another. The book is loaded with case studies from  her own practice, advice to work through your own situations and exercises to learn what may need to be worked on. I'd highly recommend this one. 


The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Mystery, YA, Contemporary

She's been half a dozen identities in half a dozen places and is tired of getting yanked from her life by the witness protection folks, 'the suits'. Somethings got to change and she's decided that her latest placement in Louisiana is going to be her last.

I enjoyed this one. Though the main character is a jr/sr (I can't remember) in high school, it seemed written for a younger audience, maybe middle grade. I had my theories on the ending but it was a fun ride to follow. 


The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Contemporary, Adult

Pat is trying to cope with reality after life in a mental institution. He's convinced he's becoming a better man so his wife will take him back. He works out hours a day and reads the high school English class reading list. People aren't sure how to treat him. He's still on the road to recovery.

The book was way better than the movie. 


The Sisters Grimm The Fairy-Tale Detectives
by Michael Buckley
Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery

Sabrina and Daphne have been bumped around to foster homes after their parents disappear and end up with Granny Relda, who they thought was dead. They find out they have a bit of a colorful ancestry, the Brothers Grimm. Fairy tales are actually case files and the girls have a big job ahead of them.

A fun book to read with my kids. They enjoyed it.  


The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Fantasy, Middle Grade

For his birthday he receives an old cupboard and a plastic Indian. 

This was my first read through and it was fun. I'm going to get my daughter to read it this summer.


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Jacob loses his parents, falls behind in school and one night jumps aboard a freight train moving through town. He's thrown into the circus life. 

I've had this on my shelf for years and finally got to it. Though some scenes were pretty dark and others unnecessary it was an interesting read. I'm in the middle of the road on this one. 


Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook
Romance, Chick Lit

After a divorce Sarah is ready to start dating again. Her sister convinces her to put a singles ad in the paper. 

Kind of reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The family is all involved in her business and wants the best for her only it causes problems and crazy times. 


Tell No One by Harlan Coben
Mystery, Thriller

Dr. David Beck is madly in love with his wife Elizabeth. But one gut wrenching night changes his life when she's gone forever. Eight years later every one is still telling Beck to move on but one day he receives a message and then another and he's sure there is no other explanation, his wife is still alive. Only something a bad and dark and secret is going on and he must stay alive long enough to figure it out.

Read this one for book club. Not my typical read but I really liked it. I'd recommend it.


The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton
Romance, Adult, Humor

Grace heads back out to LA for a second chance at acting. She crosses paths with the newest, hottest up and coming actor Jake Hamilton and sparks fly!

Really funny. A cute plot line. Very steamy. But be warned, there came a point in the book when it seemed like the author was trying to hit a certain number of pages of the sex scenes lasting.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Contemporary, Humor


Bernadette Fox is one of a kind. She doesn't really go out and she doesn't really socialize. Her daughter Bee is her world. They live in a huge (very run down) old boarding school. The book is how a little drama unfolded.

Strange, funny, crazy, and silly. This felt like no book I've ever read before. I'd recommend this one if you're looking for something different. 



Monday, April 14, 2014

Marriage Monday: Daily Actions



The future of your marriage depends on your daily actions.
Marriage365.org


What are your thoughts on this?
How do you think this applies to you and your relationship?



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, March 31, 2014

Marriage Monday: Intelligent Couples


Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other's world.
--John Gottman, Ph.D.




Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, March 17, 2014

Marriage Monday: Everything You've Got!


I wish more people understood this deep down and put it into action. No keeping score. Just give it everything you have.




"Marriage is not 50/50; divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100/100. It isn't dividing everything in half, but giving everything you've got!"


[Image Source]

Great marriages are not 50/50 but 100/100. 



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Marriage Monday: Blessings and Burdens





Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens.







Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reading Report February 2014

Reading Report
What I read from
February 1-February 28



Glimmer of Hope by Sarah M. Eden
Regency, Romance

Carter leaves for his duties in London shortly after his marriage to Miranda so she's off to one of his estates. Three years pass until they see each other again and things are slightly awkward between the two. 

I jumped to the end of the mystery of this one quickly but it was a fun read. I love the characters Eden creates and she's good at writing swoon worthy men. I honestly dont read a lot of regency stuff but I just love Sarah M. Eden and will gobble up anything she publishes. 



Gullivers Travels by Gill Harvey
Classic

There's this guy, Gulliver. He travels.

So. I listened to this one on audio book because it came in a bundle of other books.  I was a bit bored out of my head. He was giant. He had a master. He was moved around. I really don't remember much because at one point I was just listening to get through. :/


Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Historical, Fiction, New Adult, Mystery

Josie's mom has a pretty shady job and Josie knew just how dangerous it was from an early age. She wants something better for herself and her life so she's set out to make it happen. Only she's still got a ways to go and her mom has started causing trouble for her again.

There's no question this book jumps right into it. I was taken in after the first page and chapter and wanted to learn more about Josie and cheer her on. She's a strong character but I liked the way Sepetys portrayed and stayed true to both her age and what was available to her in the 1950s to portray her situation. I'd recommend this to others. 


The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen
Fantasy, Middle Grade

Sage, a young orphan, is recruited by Conner, a court nobleman, to train up with a few young boys. Sage makes a couple of friends among the other boys and learns that Conner has plans he doesn't agree with.

I had heard some good things about this one. I did enjoy this one and was pleasantly surprised the author kept my interest (which is sometimes tricky w/ middle grade reads) or at least was entertaining enough for me to enjoy what I was reading. My 10 y/o read this one too and liked it! I'm not in a hurry to read book #2 but I have added it to my tbr pile. 


Vain by Fisher Amelie
New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sophie Price has a lot of things. The 'friends', the money, the big house, the freedom. However what she doesn't have she'll need to find.  And she'll be forced to do it.

Picked this one up on a friends recommendation and was blown away. It was like nothing I'd really read before. A bit of a rich girl learns her lesson formula and w/ a bit of a political message along for the ride. (Warning: It starts out pretty raw and rough so this isn't one for everyone. But if you choose to read it, that only lasts 1-3ish chapters.)


Working it Out by Rachael Anderson
Romance, Adult, Contemporary, Clean

Grace is organized and dependable and likes things predictable. Seth is adventurous and outgoing and full of risks. He makes her crazy. She drives him wild. 

A cute easy read. The characters were likable and the plot was fun. I found it a tad obnoxious that Grace was so stuck on Seths adventures (mainly that it was pointed out once a chapter) but I overlooked it easily and still enjoyed it.  And this is a clean romance. 


Bullets in the Washing Machine by Melissa Little
Non fiction

Stories were sent in to create a collaboration of a police family book. 

I was gifted this book and was excited to get a book that I could relate to on a level not many others can. However after the first few depressing chapters I quickly got a sinking feeling that the rest of the book was similar. I'd say 95% of this book deals with officer deaths. While I appreciate those who participated in this book, their commitment, courage, and sacrifice, I just don't know who this books market is. Who would want to read an entire book about law enforcement tragedy's (especially other LEO families)? Honestly I almost didn't' finish this one (which is RARE for me) because it bothered me so badly. (Not the fact that these things happen but that this book would be marketed to the very people that need the deep support and help and love and instead to sink you deeper.)

Callum and Harper by Fisher Amelie
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Harper has just turned18 and no longer able to stay in foster care. Callum has been on his own for a while. The two run into each other trying to find a place to sleep for the night and become inseparable. Now to figure out where to sleep each night.

An instant bond that builds rapid and strong. Callum and Harper both need and need to be needed and they fill it for each other. The last 1/3 of the book was a bit, I dont know another word, weird for me. While the plot point was set up, it almost seemed to be 'plugged in' earlier just so that there could be a conflict. Overall not as wonderful as I wanted it to be but I might still tell someone about it under the right circumstances.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult / Adult

15 year old Christopher finds his neighbors dog dead and sets off to solve the mystery so he can finish writing his book. However he has Autism and finds it difficult to interact and read others socially which makes interviewing his neighbors a bit of a task.

An interesting glimpse into what it might be like to live with Autism. You get some idea of how his parents, teachers and neighbors view him also. Entertaining and thoughtful. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Marriage Monday: To Make A Relationship Last....




"To make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, 
learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other's hopes and dreams." -John Gottman, Ph.D.




Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.