Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: The Ex-Files, by Jane Moore

It's that time folks- book review! Because instead of cleaning my house this extended weekend I ate treats and read books. Because I? Am fabulous like that.

This book was a really quick read and kind of fun. Was it fabulous? No. Was it super predictable but mildly entertaining? Yes. Actually- the description on the back of the book is misleading which is kind of weird because it's not what really happened, but that's ok. Luckily- I didn't read the back of the book until I had alerady started the book so that worked out.
For a chick-lit book I really expected more sex. Is that raunchy of me? I don't know- my chick-lit books have to have a little somethin somethin to keep me going. Fortunately, there was NOTHING on tv so that was what kept me going with this book.
The premise is that two people, who are so different and really not compatible at all are getting married. And because they are gluttons for punishment or idiots, they invite their ex's to the wedding. And then all hell breaks lose because it bounces back and forth between the present day and their respective pasts which only makes you realize how badly they should just call the wedding off, yet there they are, the night before having a party. And lots of their friends/family express reservations yet they think they will continue on. But then there's a twist and all kinds of nice things happen that tie the story off nicely. I thought it was super predictable which is always a downer for me, but it is a good book to just read when you get bored.
So if I haven't turned you off completely from the book, the first person to comment on this post to say they would like to read it, I will send it to you! For FREE! :) Yay!! Only losers don't like free stuff.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Review: The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans

It's that time for yet another book review. This is another one for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers and this was like a bonus book I got. :)

First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think " much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.

The story is of a woman named Jade, who had a not so ideallic childhood and clearly not coping with her abadonment issues. I have to say I hate characters, and people in general, who aren't able to move past things in their past. OK- so your dad left you. GET OVER IT. So this book really frustrated me because you just want to slap Jade up and let her know she's being an idiot. Get over yourself. But I did like how the book went back and forth from the present day to the past and how the story of her past unraveled as you went through the book. Jade is preparing to get married and her motto (and her fiance's) is "the past is the past" and neither has really talked about each other's pasts and so a lot of things are learned in the weeks/days leading up to the wedding.

I thought the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, was relatable if not frustrating. I can definitely see a "part two" of this book happening because the ending left some loop holes (i.e- the relationship with the dad- what happens? What is it like for Beryl at the end? What happens with Willow? How does Jade and Max handle marriage? Are there more secrets to come out? etc)

Overall? It's a good story. It's a page turning, hard to put down book. It's a fast read and the story progress quickly and doesn't get lost in descriptions and plot set ups.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review: Obstacles Welcome, Ralph de la Vega

Another day, another book review. I swear, book reviews are going to be my weekend thing. I finished TWO books this weekend and started a third. Rockstar...that I am.

This book I received, free, from Thomas Nelson publishing to review. Again, like the last book, I really didn't think I'd like it. I'm very much not into the whole self help, learn something books. But you'll notice me sticking both feet into my mouth when I try to say that this book? Was really good. Not only did I learn that I couldn't be a manager because I'd be all pissy with people, but I also learned I could never work in telecommunications.
But more to the point- the book was great for people who are working towards career advancement and want to someday be big wherever they work. It's a how to guide basically to not be an asshole manager. Because really? I think we've all had one of those. At least one. Throughout the book there was terrific one liners that I thought, "Dammit- I need to write this down for work". My favorite two were:
"Hope is not a strategy" which seems straightforward but it kind of made me chuckle because I remember growing up my mom used to always say when things got tight financially "a check will come- don't worry, it always does". :) Now, nevermind the fact that it really did always come from somewhere. The point being is that you shouldn't just be waiting for something to happen- you have to make it happen.
And one that I kid you not will be used at a meeting at work: "God gave you two ears and one mouth. So listen twice as much as you talk." Really? I think that is priceless.
SO! Is this a book that you think you'd want to read? Then the first person to comment to this post saying you want it and will give it a good home, will have this mailed to you for free. Yay! It's like mother effing Christmas here every day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: The Girl From Charnelle by K.L. Cook

OK- looking for a really good gift for someone? You should buy them this book. It is AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly AMAZING it is because folks? It's that good.

The quick and dirty of this book is that it focuses around a family of 5 kids, specifically the middle child, Laura Tate. The mother leaves- which is the catalyst for lots of things in Laura's life specifically her relationship with a married man. One she babysits for no less. But what is amazing about this book is that you really kind of root for Laura and John, even though you know that it's wrong. You sympathize with Laura because at the tender age of 16 she doesn't really understand that every action has a reaction. She believes that if nobody knows then nobody really gets hurt and everything is ok- which hello? I think we all learned in college that life doesn't work that way. :)
The other part of the book that really kind of tugged at me was the mother leaving. Through the whole book you are trying to look for clues because it's like you want to solve that mystery for them. You can assume what some excuses would be but really? Who could do that. There is a part where Laura wonders if maybe the life her mother had, a husband and children, even though it's what she had always wanted- maybe it really felt like a cage to her. Like she was trapped and couldn't leave- that that was her life forever. And really? I can sympathize that. I mean I have always wanted to be married with kids and all Suzie-Homemaker and here I am. But sometimes I feel like this is it. This is my life and I'm not quite satisfied. Like I'm missing a big piece of me or something. Does that make sense?
But this book really hooked me. And even though some things you know are morally wrong are happening (like the affair) you really do kind of root for her. Probably because you know in your own life you can't do that.
This is a FANTASTIC author and highly recommend his book. I look forward to other books in the future of his- great writing that really pulls you in.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review: Northline, by Willy Vlautin

This is actually another lesson on why I really need to stop judging books by covers, because yet again- the cover did nothing for me and I really LOVED this book. Loved it. I am insisting you read it.

This is another book I got mailed to me, for free, from Haper Collins' Publishing. I'm slowly making my way through that stack. But I also received another book of Willy's called The Motel Life which I gave away earlier. I'll talk more about that but let's get on with the review!

Amazing book. This is an incredibly fast read, I literally got it done in one evening sit down consisting of 4 hours. It is basically about our main character, Allison, who is fucked up 7 ways from Sunday in her own right, but she is in an abusive relationship. I found it curious that we didn't read a lot about the actual abuse- you get brief snippits throughout, but yet you knew that it was extremely abusive in every way possible right off the bat. The writing is really superb- maybe that's why you just knew all of this stuff without having to actually read it. Does this make sense? Probably not, but that's my operating thought at 8 a.m. today.

You are totally rooting for Allison through the entire book but everytime she makes a bad choice you are literally smacking your own head because it's like she can't really see what she's doing. I loved the ending of the book as well. It kind of ended it in the middle of nowhere, but I felt hopeful for her in the end. Like maybe she finally made the right decision and her path has changed.

Definitely a good read you should check out. The book also comes with a CD that is essentially the soundtrack to the book, performed by Willy and his band. I have to confess I didn't listen to it. Maybe you should put it in when you read. Dammit- why didn't I think of that before?! Well it's a brand new CD for you to enjoy.

Now, are you really wanting to read this? Like really, really? OK- so here are the rule:

1. You must be a follower of the blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post.
3. Be awesome.
4. Do all of this by Monday, December 7

and I will pick a winner Monday night and post it on my blog then. And then I will mail it to you, you will receive it, read it, love it. Because I said so. :)