Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Book: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Series:  Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Author: Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?-Goodreads

Review: Karou doesn't know who her parents are or where she came from. All she knows is that she was raised by Brimstone, a wish-monger who collects teeth for unknown purposes. Karou is a talented art student who runs errands for Brimstone all around the world. Things change when she meets Akiva, an angel on a mission. 

This was a fun, YA love story and this series has a lot of potential. The 'insta love' was a little frustrating but overall, I loved the world and the characters. Can't wait to read the next book! 

Grade: 4/5

The Truth of a Liar

Book: The Truth of a Liar
Author: Cassie Graham

“Life doesn’t always go according to plan. In fact, it has a nasty habit of veering off the map. So when my job led me to New York City, something extraordinary happened…her script merged with mine.”

Hadley Theater, New York City, New York - Night

ENTER STAGE LEFT-Rowan Townsend, a twenty-nine year old Broadway starlet, strolls onto the dark, ominous stage. The bright spotlight finds her and she smiles broadly, her body buzzing in anticipation.

Serendipity is a funny thing, isn’t it? It jumps out from behind the bushes and offers an unbelievable chance at happiness. It’s hopeful and intriguing, and maybe even a little terrifying.

ENTER STAGE RIGHT-Lark Hawthorne, a striking twenty-nine year old FBI agent and self-proclaimed liar, marches to Rowan and grabs her arm, coaxing her off stage.

Rowan, what are you doing? We need to leave. It’s not safe here.

Rowan and Lark look out into the audience and a menacing shadow in the back of the theater catches their attention. Her eyes expand in panic and he grips her hand tighter, offering reassurance.

It’s now or never. Are you ready?

EXIT STAGE RIGHT. Fade to black.-Goodreads

Review: This is a sequel of sorts (maybe more of a companion book) to 'Anyone But Him' and while I did not enjoy that book, this was much better. Set a few years after the first book, Lark (Whitley's ex-boyfriend) is now an FBI agent assigned to rising Broadway star, Rowan. They have a history together, but Lark doesn't recognize her from their high school days. There was a threat involving human trafficking which was slightly ridiculous, but I liked the relationship between Lark and Rowan and found them somewhat believable. 

Overall-fun read. 

Grade: 3/5

Anyone But Him

Book: Anyone But Him
Author: Cassie Graham

Whitley Hayes is an ordinary girl with a gypsy heart. College is the only constant in her life. She’s made a lot of mistakes and she intends on keeping them in the past.
Move on and forget.
That’s her motto.

Jennings Cohen is no ordinary man—not at all. He would have never imagined his life would turn into such a spectacle. The tabloids exploit him, fans stalk him and the paparazzi are relentless. It’s not always fun being Jennings.
It doesn’t help that he has a secret. One that comes at a price he’s not sure he can pay.

Relationships get complicated and hearts shatter.

It’s not easy living a lie, but it’s easier than telling the truth.-Goodreads

Review: Most books require a suspense of of disbelief but this book was just ridiculous on every level. Whitley meets Jennings Cohen, an Oscar winning actor. He puts on some colored contacts and slightly colors his hair and pretends to be someone else so he can hang out with her more. She doesn't notice he's the same person?! Okay....She also happens to have a roommate/best friend who is a successful actress working on a show based in the pacific NW where they happen to live (what a nice coincidence). There is a love triangle of sorts and a stalker. There was a lot happening and none of it was enjoyable. 

Grade: 1/5


Book: Nuts
Series: Hudson Valley #1
Author: Alice Clayton

After losing almost all of her clients in one fell swoop following an accident involving whipped cream, private chef to Hollywood’s elite Roxie Callahan gets a call from her flighty mother, saying she’s needed home in upstate New York to run the family diner. Once she's back in the Hudson Valley, local organic farmer Leo delivers Roxie a lovely bunch of walnuts, and soon sparks—and clothing—begin to fly. Leo believes that everything worth doing is worth doing slowly…and how! But will Roxie stay upstate, or will the lure of West Coast redemption tempt her back to Tinseltown?-Goodreads

Review: When Roxie, a private chef, is fired by several of her clients and her mother is offered a position on The Amazing Race, Roxie agrees to go home to run the family diner for a few months. Roxie isn't excited to leave California for her small NY town, but when she meets sexy local farmer, Leo, her summer may be better than anticipated. 

I love Alice Clayton and her Wallbanger series..I was super excited to read this because I'm from a small town in upstate NY like Roxie but this book didn't work for me. There was a lot of information on organic farming and cooking. There is nothing wrong with that, but I felt like more time was spent on farming and cooking than the relationship development between Roxie and Leo. I also found it unbelievable that the small town would have kept the 'big secret' from Roxie. Roxie also had a bizarre fear of bees that was supposed to be funny but I found over-the-top ridiculous. 

Overall, not my favorite Alice Clayton book but I will continue with the series. 

Grade: 2/5

Dirty Rowdy Thing

Book: Dirty Rowdy Thing
Series: Wild Seasons #2
Author: Christina Lauren

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don't even like each other... which would explain why their marriage lasted only 12 hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she's too similar to the rugged fisherman - or just what he needs.-Goodreads

Review: After a quickie marriage (and annulment) in Vegas, Harlow and Finn have a fun sexapade in Finn's native Canada. But the weekend doesn't end to Harlow's satisfaction and when she runs into Finn at Starbucks, she is not excited to see him. Or is she? 

This was a perfect beach read for spring break. It was cute, funny and sexy. I never fully warmed up to Finn and their bond seemed more physical, but this was a fun read. 

Grade: 3/5

Grace's Guide The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown Up

Book: Grace's Guide The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown Up
Author: Grace Helbig

Face it—being a young adult in the digital era is one of the hardest things to be. Well, maybe there are harder things in life…but being an adult is difficult! So Grace Helbig has written a guide that’s perfect for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult.

Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from surviving a breakup to recovering from a hangover. Beautifully illustrated and full-color, Grace’s Guide features interactive elements and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures—like losing her virginity solely because her date took her to a Macaroni Grill—and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.

Amusing and unexpectedly educational, this refreshing and colorful guide proves that becoming an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.-Goodreads

Review: This is a short book by Grace Helbig that has a few good laughs and lots of lists. I think my biggest challenge reading this is that I had no idea who the author was prior to reading (this was a book club selection) and I'm also probably older than the target audience. Overall, it was okay. 

Grade: 2/5