Monday, December 28, 2009

Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

I fell in love with Jen Lancaster when our former Book Blub (somebody kept misspelling "club" in the emails and it stuck!) picked Bitter is the New Black as out first ever book. No one had ever heard of her or the book, but after falling in love with the cover and read the back, it was the only one we unanimously chose!

If you have never read her, she is quick witted and very funny. She uses little footnotes throughout the book to add a pop of extra humor throughout her stories (the footnnotes are H-I-larious so don't skip them.

I have read all of her books:
Bitter is the New Black
Bright Lights Big Ass
Such a Pretty Fat

and now

Pretty in Plaid

I liked this book. It takes you through Jen's childhood, college, and early twenties. Each chapter is focused around a different item of clothing. My favorite stories revolved around her girl scout sash, her jean jacket and designer bag envy in her sorority stories and the navy blue suit she gets for her entrance to the corporate world.

You get to hear stories of how Jen overcomes being an outsider in Cow Town, stories about sorority rush (I loved these since I was rush chair of my sorority and remember doing dress checks etc. We were even more strict than she was!), and her first few years as a working girl (it made me feel better that she had quite a few broke years when she first started out too!)

It's a good book as all Jen Lancaster books are, but Bitter is the New Black is still my favorite.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

This was my first foray into Christian Fiction. I had it sitting on my bookshelf for a while, but it just didn't appeal to me based on the cover. Well, it's true, don't judge a book by it's cover!

Redeeming Love is the story of Angel...or Amanda or Tirzah or Sarah depending on which point in the story you are. It takes place during the California Gold Rush. Angel is a prostitute in a town in California when Micheal Hosea sees her in the street and is determined to make her his wife. Quite an unlikely scenario given he is a good Christian farmer and she lives in a brothel.

The story takes you back and shows you how Angel ended up where she is. She had a horrific childhood that I just can't imagine. But Angel does not give up this life easily. She is determined at first that all she is is a prostitute. She runs away from Michael's farm multiple times. She causes a rift between Michael and his brother-in-law. Her heart is hardened and she is determined to not let anyone in.

Michael loves her and stands by her and rescues her time and time again despite her resistance towards him. It is a great story that is reflective of the kind of love everyone is searching for. The kind of love that doesn't judge and accepts you completely.

It is a great story with lots of twists and turns along the way. At some points I found myself frustrated because I thought their love for each other was too much. But the story sucks you in and just when you think things are getting wrapped up, the author throws another twist in there.

I highly recommend this book even if you aren't a Christian. I don't think it is too "preachy" and either way it is a great story that is sure to get you hooked.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lottery: and Other Short Stories by Shirley Jackson

This was an interesting book of short stories by Shirley Jackson. You might have read The Lottery in high school English (I remember having to study that story). If you haven't read it- spoiler alret- stop reading. It is the story of this village that holds a lottery. The twist is the "winner" of the lottery gets stoned to death by the other villagers. It is really disturbing.

This book reminded me of other weird "classics" like The Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye. The little stories are like car just can't look away and after it is over you are kind of like what the heck?

One story tells about a little boy who starts kindergarten and everyday when his parents ask him about school, he tells them stories about a terribly misbehaved boy in his class named "Charles". When the mother goes to the Parent-Teacher conference she asks about Charles. Turns out there is no "Charles" in the class.

Another story tells about about a woman who befriends a new neighbor that moves in the cottage down the street. She suddenly stops being friends with her when she hires a black man to tend her garden.

Then there is a story about a boy on a train who is told an awful story by a man about how the man killed his wife.

I think there are 24 stories in all in the book and they are each a few pages long, so they were good to read a couple before bed each night.

They were all somewhat disturbing, but in a good way? if that's possible? The kind of stories that stick with you and make you think.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

I LOVED this book! You probably know Jodi Picoult as the author of My Sister’s Keeper. It was the first of her books that I read and I was hesitant to read any others because I thought they would never live up to My Sister’s Keeper. With that book I couldn’t stop reading because of all the emotional drama and cried my eyes out. With this one I couldn’t stop reading because I was enthralled with learning more about the Amish culture and I just had to figure out the truth!

The book tells the story of a dead infant found on an Amish farm and the big city attorney that immerses herself in the community as she defends her young unmarried Amish client against murder charges. Her client is determined to be the infant’s mother and the investigators say the child was not a stillborn and was most likely smothered to death. But as you learn more and more about the Amish beliefs and values the more impossible it seems that an Amish girl would be capable of doing something like that. So what is the truth?

Ellie, the big city attorney, doesn’t even want to take on the case at first and ends up having to move in with the Fisher family as part of Katie’s bail agreement. She gets a first hand look at the Amish lifestyle and their values as she tries not only to come up with a defense for her client but comes closer and closer to the truth of what really happened.

There are so many twists and turns as more and more pieces of the story are revealed. I loved learning more about the Amish and how for them community and fitting in are everything. They just want to live a good Christian life and fit in with the rest of the community and serving each other. I loved piecing the clues together to try to figure out where Katie’s baby came from, what happened to it, and where her life would go after the trial. It was great. I am officially a Picoult fan now!

Another 5 out of 5 stars for Picoult!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I saw a book by this author in Barnes and Nobel called Along for the Ride. I loved the cover and found out the author was from Chapel Hill, so I immediately went home and added a bunch of her books to my Paperbackswap wish list.

Even though this book is YA (young adult), I thought I would like it, I mean I liked Twilight and Harry Potter right? Well, I have spent the last week reading this book and trying to get in to it, but I just couldn't.

I hardly ever quit a book, but I had so many good ones to read on my bookshelf that I just couldn't justfy wasting my time on it if I didn't enjoy it.

I still have a few of her other books, so maybe I will give her another try at a later date, but as for this was too slow and simple and just did not pull me in.

Since I didn't even get half way through I feel like I can't give it a rating.

Have you read this one or any other of Sarah Dessen's books?

You can check out the rest of them HERE

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards

Kat Larson is dating a guy in London whom she has never met. They met online and sad thing is they like each other but he thinks she is a size 4. In reality she is over 200 pounds. Kat keeps putting off meeting each other in person so she can loose the weight and then everything will fall into place and her life will be perfect. When she hears about the casting for a new reality show called From Fat to Fabulous, she jumps at the chance. She makes it to the finals and is flown out to Los Angles and eventually cast on the show!

Most of the book centers around her experience on the show. She shares a house with the other contestants and is taped 24/7. They are locked off from society and are given different competitions to earn money for their bank. From working out for an hour each day, to guessing the weight of each of your competitors to the closest pound, the girls slowly build up their banks and the one with the most at the end gets to take home the money in her bank! They also have a Tomb of Temptation filled with every sweet snack and comfort food imaginable to tempt the girls.

Later in the show a shocking twist throws not just the competition, but Kat’s life into a tailspin. And it is all Live on TV for all of America to see.

I really enjoyed this book. Seeing the inner workings of a reality show, Kat’s thoughts about dealing with weight issues, and the twisty turvy plot line with Kat’s love life, all kept me thoroughly entertained. It reminded me of a Jennifer Weiner type of book.

Overall, I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult

I LOVED this book! I read My Sister's Keeper a few years ago and picked this book up because I thought the plot seemed really intriguing. I had started to read it a few times throughout the year, but I couldn't get in to it. This time I was determined to get in to it.

After I got past the first few chapters I was HOOKED. The story jumps between "Then" and "Now" and tells the story of Chris and Emily and their families. Chris and Emily and their parents were almost like on family. They lived next door to each other and took vacations together. Chris and Emily grew up together and were just about as close as two people can be. They started dating as teenagers. The book opens with the death of Emily.

They find Emily shot in the head and Chris holding her dead body. Chris tells them it was supposed to be a double suicide, but he apparently passed out before he could take his life.

As the police investigate the situation and you get flashes of before all this happened and different story starts to take shape. Did thes two love-struck teenagers really plan a double suicide? And why?

These two families, who were like one, are torn apart by the tragedy.

Throughout the book, the plot thickens with almost every page turn. You get more pieces to the puzzle, see things from Emily's perspective, and more and more plot lines develop with each chapter.

I could not put it down all weekend.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Any other Jodi Picoult fans out there? Which one should I read next? I was thinking about picking up "Keeping Faith" because it sounds interesting but I've heard some of her books are disappointing. Any Suggestions?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

It took me a while to decide to read Firefly Lane because of the size. It just looked so thick sitting there on my bookshelf. But the cover and title were cute and it was a book about friendship that followed these characters through over 3 decades of their lives, so I figured I would have to like some part of the book.

It didn't disappoint. The storyline kept my attention the whole time and even though I should have seen the ending coming I didn't because I was so busy waiting for something else to happen that never did!

The story is about Tully and Kate who become best friends in middle school when Tully moves to Kate's town. Kate has the perfect little family, but she is somewhat of a dork and Tully seems so cool and interesting to her. Tully has a bad family life. Her mother is drugged out and not much of a mom at all. She spends most of her childhood being raised by her grandma, but goes to live with her mom for a brief period across the street from Kate.

The story follows them through most of their lives together. I loved watching their friendship evolve and the different stories throughout their teenage years, 20's and 30's. From getting themselves in trouble and dreaming about the future as they ride their bikes down Firefly Lane as teens, to their first jobs and loves in their 20's, to how each of their chosen life paths play out in their 30's. Even though the characters are somewhat one dimensional and predictable at times, I still liked their story and the author puts in enough sub-plots to keep your attention throughout the book.

It is a pretty good book and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum

I really enjoyed this book. It was a little bit deeper than light chick lit books, but not so deep that you found it hard to get through.

Emily the main character is a successful Manhattan lawyer. Just as she feels her long-time boyfriend is about to propose, she goes and breaks up with him. She can't really exlpain why, but feels like it was the best decision.

Her life post break-up starts to unravel- Her Grandpa Jack is starting to loose it and her emotionally distant father isn't helping the situation. Her boss is an ever-demanding womanizer and Emily has stepped right in to being his target. She finds herself at many crossroads throughout the story and misses having her best friend and the one who knows her better than anyone- her Ex Andrew- to go through it with. But he wants her to just leave him alone.

It was a great, plausible story and I am looking forward to reading Julie's next novel "After You".

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer

I loved this book. It is totally unrealistic and if it happened in the real world I am sure things would go very differently, but it was a great story. Genie, the main character, has been dating her boyfriend Hugh for over 4 years. Being in her mid-thirties she has been waiting for him to pop the question for a while. Hugh has just wrote a NY Times bestseller with a very romantic plot line. While on his book tour he does a TV interview. As Genie is watching the interview, the interviewer asks Hugh about his own love life and this prompts him to give the most romantic on-air proposal ever. When Genie finally gets a hold of Hugh on the phone he explains that the proposal was not meant for her!

Genie is flabbergasted and everyone they know thinks the proposal was meant for her. So following the advice of her best friend, Genie goes along with it.

"You remind me of that idiot Sleeping Beauty, lying around like a zombie waiting for your prince. Well, guess what, he rode right past your castle and now you have a choice — you can either go back to bed or you can wake up!"

(I don’t really get how faking her engagement is “waking up” but whatever)

Hugh is over in England continuing his book tour, so he is not there to dispute it.

Genie plays the role of bride-to-be with her family, friend, and co-workers. She lets them start planning showers and the actual wedding. She even goes as far as buying a fake engagement ring. She feels like this is all Hugh’s fault anyway, so let him explain the mistake to everyone. It all makes for an entertaining story.

From the author’s website:
“Genie realizes that she never needed a man to start her life — to buy a home, to get a better job, or even to wear a diamond ring. And if Prince Charming wants to show up while she's at it, she just might teach him a thing or two.”

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Check out the author's website here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I knew that it had won some awards and I had heard good things about it, but I didn’t really know what it was about or why it was so great.

It is basically the story of a young guy named “Pi”. His father is a zookeeper in India and eventually they sell the zoo and a lot of the animals. They take a large ship transporting some of the animals when the ship sinks and Pi finds himself as the only human survivor in a life boat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a 450 lb. tiger. Sounds unbelievable right? Well, that is kind of the point. I think the whole point of the book is faith. I mean when someone tells you a story you have to have faith that it is true because if they were the only ones there to experience it, you will never know for sure.

Really the way he writes the story does not make it seem unbeileable at all. He tells it in such a matter of fact way. It is just like someone recounting exactly what they experienced without embellishing it to make it sound better or worse than it was. Just like “here is what happened, and then this happened…etc.” But with enough detail to make it believable and interesting.

The first part of the book was kind of slow for me. But as soon as he found himself ship wrecked, things picked up. The majority of the book chronicles his 227 days trying to survive at sea with a tiger in his boat. It is a great adventure story and the lengths at which he went to survive and the surprising coincidences that saved his life multiple times are astonishing. He has to tame the tiger in order to survive and provide him with fresh water in food the whole time so the tiger won’t kill him. All this while trying to keep himself well-fed and hydrated. Some of the highlights are an epic battle between a tiger and a shark, finding a meerkat infested floating algae island, a brief period of blindness where they randomly run in to another blind castaway, and the many fishing adventures.

Once I go into it I couldn’t put it down.

The only parts that were hard for me to read were the gruesome detail about the hyena slowing killing the zebra and the parts in the beginning where he becomes a faithful Hindu, Christian, and Muslim all at the same time. That is impossible. You might could get away with following the religious traditions of each faithfully at the same time, but there is no way all 3 can coexist if you accept and really believe the teachings of each.

But it is unlike anything I have ever read and was very entertaining.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Through Thick and Thin by Alison Pace

This book has been on my bookshelf for a while. I had nnever read anything by this author, but it sounded like the perfect chick lit book. Struggles of losing weight and getting a dog...sounded like a great read to me.

The story is about Meredith, who is a young, single girl living in NYC. She is the critic for The NY magazine and gets to take friends along to try out all of New York's hip, cool new resturants. Meredith's sister Stephanie seems to have the prefect suburban life. She's got a husband cut straigh out of a J Crew catalog, a new baby girl, and lots of new mommy friends and activities.

As a way to stay connected, the sisters decide to go on a diet together. They try everything from The Zone to Atkins to Weight Watchers. Each has their own successes and struggles with each diet.

Meredith seems to have a much harder time sticking to it seeing how she gets paid to review great food. And Stephanie discovers a damaging secret about her seemingly perfect husband that causes her to loose focus for a while too.

Meredith gets a new dog and falls in love with him and discovers Doga- which is doggie and people yoga.

It was filled with lots of little interesting plot lines, but nothing deep at all. I like reading mindless chick lit sometimes, but at the end of this book I kind of felt like I had just wasted my time. I really didn't take anything away from it. I didn't care too much to know what happened to the characters after it ended. And everything in the book just really felt...well...forgettable.

The book isn't bad, and really I am just one opinion, but I would say don't waste your time with this one.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch

I related a lot to Girls in Trucks. Even though I am not a debutante, even though I have never nor will ever live in New York City, even though I don’t have any Camellias that I will be tied to for life, I could just relate to the main character Sarah Walters and her trials and tribulations in this coming of age story.

Sarah grows up in South Carolina and is born into an exclusive old debutante society- The Charleston Camellia Society. She goes through cotillion training and throughout her life the Camellias are an influence. She’s kind of a rebel though doing a lot of things that aren’t too Caellia likeThere are a few stories that take place in SC as she is growing up, but then she move to NYC after college. It follows her along many of life’s adventures dealing with family, friends, and dating.

There was a quote towards the end of the book where Sarah is at a party back in SC talking to one of her ex-boyfriends and reminiscing on how much things have changed. But she says something like “as we looked around we were comforted by the fact that everyone ended up just where they were meant to be.” I loved that.

It is a great story and not too long, so it was a quick read. (I finished it over a week ago but have just been too lazy to write a review.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wolves in Chic Clothing

Wolves in Chic Clothing is one of those books that is like a guilty pleasure- like tabloid magazines or watching The Bachelor. It is full of drama, catty girls, gossip, and the glitzy uppity life of New York's finest.

The story is mainly about Julia who works as a sales girl at Pelham's jewelers. She is asked to deliver a very important package to Lell Pelham on her wedding day and from there things start to change dramatically for Julia. She is offered a position as Lell's new assistant/best friend. She gets to give input on Pelham's jewelry and must be the new face of Pelham. Now she gets to borrow designer clothes and go to extravagant fundraising events and becomes New York society's new "it girl".

However, she is more like a pawn in a game played by Lell and her best friend Polly. They get Julia in to this circle and tell her how to dress and act. It is like a sport for them. Lell and Polly and their little circle is full of gossip and fakeness.

This book kind of made me realize just how damaging gossip can be and how silly girls sound when they are talking about each other behind their backs.

It's a cute, fun read. My favorite character was actually Hope, one of Lell and Polly's friends. She just seemed like she had a good heart and I was rooting for a happy ending for her character.

One thing that annoyed me in the book was how the author's tried to use cool "lingo" or shorten words to make them sound cool. It was so annoying. Do people really talk like that?

Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Something good to read on the beach if you don't want to think too much!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

My old boss gave me this book to read about three years ago, but I just never got around to it. But then a few weeks ago I saw they were going to play the movie based on this book on Lifetime. I decided to tape it and had a mental note to start this book ASAP. I kind of knew what the big plot line was already, so I don’t know if this biased my view on the book overall.

The story is about Katherine who is married to Jack, a pilot. Jack’s plane explodes over the coast of Ireland killing him and 104 passengers. It is a huge news story and people from the airline, the union, the FBI, and the media swarm Katherine’s house to try to figure out what happened. Robert is the first to arrive and he is from the union. He is by Katherine’s side though almost everything and is a great support for her. At one point I thought they were going to end up romantically involved. Jack and Katherine have a daughter, Mattie, and her father’s death hits her really hard. Luckily Katherine’s grandmother Julia is there to help out.

As more pieces of the puzzle of what happened to Jack’s plane start to come together, Katherine starts to discover secrets she never knew about Jack. They were married for I think 16 years and he kept some really big secrets from her.

The story makes you think about how well you can really know a person. But I was let down at Katherine’s reaction to finding out some of these secrets. I would have been enraged and crushed to find out some of the things she did. But I just didn’t feel that from her.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Oh and the Lifetime movie, not that good either.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

Since I started reading this book, I have talked about it to anyone who will listen. It was just so shocking! All the stories in the book are supposedly true accounts of Tucker Max’s hedonistic adventures. I just can’t believe there are guys like this out there! But at least he admits what he is. Here is the summary he wrote on the back of his book:

"My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.

I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.

But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way. I share my adventures with the world."

The stories are completely disgusting but also completely hilarious. He is a jerk. He is a drunk. He is a male whore. But he is also funny- his one redeeming quality. From a hit and run through the window of a donut shop in some random girl’s car to defecating in the lobby of an Embassy Suites and being banned for life from ever staying there again, it is hard to believe these things really happened. And his sex stories…don’t even get me started.

He has no filter and is very mean to girls. He doesn’t just “love em and leave em” he emotionally abuses them and uses them until they finally wake up and smell the nasty in this guy. I have no idea why any self-respecting girl would put up with him. But I guess there are a lot of girls out there who have no self-respect since he brags that his “number” is well into the triple digits.

His writing is actually pretty good though. The stories flow really well and he surprising has a pretty good vocabulary. The other “characters” in the book are pretty well developed. So as a writer, I give him props. It’s just that the content of the stories will leave you in complete shock with your mouth hanging wide open for hours.

This is very much a “guy” book, but for girls it will probably be like a car wreck…I just couldn’t look away. I was obsessed with it and finished it in less than a week. There is supposedly a movie coming out in September based on this book and I just don’t see how it is not going to be rated NC-17 or something because this book is just raunchy! But you better believe I am going to go see it.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because I loved reading it.
But I give Tucker Max a negative 2 star rating as a human being.
Keep the funny, but loose the meanness and get some morals dude.

Oh and he has a website and a blog…check it out at your own risk.

If you have read this PLEASE tell me what you thought of it! Was it as shocking for you as it was for me?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

When I first started reading Love Walked In, I didn't like it too much. I couldn't get in to the characters, parts of it were too wordy with nothing really happening, and she was constantly referring to movies I had never heard of or seen to create analogies to her life. But by the fourth or fifth chapter I was in to it.

Basically once the two narrators paths meet, things start to get good. The first narrator is Cornelia, a twenty or thirty something coffee shop barista that falls for Martin Grace. The second narrator is Claire a 9 year old girl whose mother is seemingly loosing her mind, while Claire tries to keep it a secret from everyone.

I don't want to give away any of the plot line, but this book is about love. Maybe not in the way you first might think it will be, but in a much better and more realistic way. I really like the main characters and liked that I didn't always see what was coming next. I still hated her references to movies that I didn't know, but that was easy to overlook. In the end they all get an unexpected happy ending that they weren't even looking for.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

I love Lauren Weisberger's stuff. I read The Devil Wears Prada (before I ever knew it was going to be a movie) and Everyone Worth Knowing and really enjoyed those so it was a no brainer picking this one up. Plus who wouldn't be drawn to that cover. I'm telling you, a cover alone can make or break a book for me.

Chasing Harry Winston is the story a three single girls (and BFFs) living in New York City. At first I kept getting the characters mixed up but by the end I think Emmy, Leah, and Adriana were pretty well developed characters. You have the model looking girl living off her parents and seducing men all around the city, the miss perfect with the perfect boyfriend and job who is just a tad neurotic and particular about things, and then the girl who is a serial monogamist who finds herself single because her long-time boyfriend ran off with the Barbie personal trainer that she got for him.

One day at lunch the three make a pact or bet (well two of them technically) to completely make over their lives and do a complete 180. The serial monogamist will go on Tour de Whore and more than double the number of men she has slept with and the seductress will finally try to settle down with an actual boyfriend. Miss Perfect stays out of the bet, but deep down knows there are things that need to change in her life too. This story follows them over the course of that year of change and each one is living a dramatically different life at the end.

There are lots of great topics single girls face in real life throughout the book. I think it gave a pretty accurate portrayal of what single girls in their late twenties may think about or feel sometimes.

It's a great light read for the summer.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

For more on Lauren Weisberger, check out her website.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker

Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker is a book about Freddie, and overweight cake baker, finding herself and finally living up to her potential. Freddie feels overlooked by society. She feels invisible and insignificant due to her size. It probably doesn't help that she works for a boss that puts Freddie down just to make herself feel more powerful and she has a crush on a VERY popular boy at her church who barely knows she is alive.

But Freddie meets a woman and friend that changes her life. She is in the "Big Girls Club" too but she is no where near invisible. She is full of life and commands a presence the minute she enters a room. With some gentle nudging from her new friend and interest from the cute new veterinarian in town, Freddie begins to come out her shell. By the end of the book Freddie has taken control of her life and learned that big girls aren't the only ones who feel like Miss Invisible, but all it takes is a little confidence and some encouragement and support from good friends to come out of the corner and really live.

It was a really cute chic lit book and a quick easy read. She also starts a blog in the book which I could relate to, although I think it is a little unrealistic to become a superstar blogger with your very first post. A good book for the beach or pool.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

I'm not too far from my teenage years so I remember some of what it was like, but I have matured enough to recognize my sometimes crazy decisions and behavior during that time. Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back brought back some of those memories. It is the story of a mother trying her hardest to protect her daughter from herself as she goes through a painful and difficult time in her life.

The book is alternates narrating from the mother's perspective and the daughter's perspective. Mia, the daughter is going through a tough emotional time and trying to find her own way in life. She runs away from home and gets caught up in drugs. All the while this seems like a nightmare for her mother Claire as she tries to find her daughter and get back the Mia she knows.

I could relate to both the mother and the daughter's thoughts. When Claire does find Mia, she sends her to a "boot camp" type of school two continents away. Mia and Claire go through a rigorous program to find out how they wound up at this point and how to fix it.

It was a good story and one any mother or daughter should read.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

A friend had recommended Sarah Strohmeyer to me a few months ago. I went on PaperbackSwap and added some of her books to my wishlist. The first one I got in the mail was The Cinderella Pact.

When Nola Devlin is passed over for a position at the magazine she works for because she doesn't fit the "image" they are going for (i.e. thin, glamorous, etc.) she creates an alter ego- Belinda who does land the job. Around the same time another event prompts her and two friends to start following "The Cinderella Pact" written about by her alter ego- Belinda Apple. The three start on their own path towards becoming their most fabulous self.

Meanwhile Nola's double life starts to get her in all kinds a trouble. The magazine suspects something fishy about Belinda and launches a full on investigation. Her sister becomes fascinated with Belinda and give her the Maid of Honor position in her upcoming wedding.

Mix all of this in with a budding romance with the mysterious Chip, who she just can't seem to figure out and it makes for a very interesting story. Throughout the story you can't help but pulling for Nola and hoping that everything works out in her favor. I'd consider this first introduction to Sarah Strohmeyer a success and I look forward to reading her other books as well. Great chic lit author!

I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Churched by Matthew Paul Turner

If you've ever thought some Christians can be a little crazy, this book will have you laughing out loud. Churched: One Kid's Journey Towards God Despite a Holy Mess is the story of a young boy growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household.

I discovered this book through Matthew Paul Turner's blog. I don't remember how I discovered the blog. I think it was in my Google Reader recommendations. I read almost every post and liked his writing style and wit and saw that he had this new book out, so I put it on my wish list at Paperback Swap.

Here are a few random quotes from the book to give you an idea what it's like:

"When I got older, I decided that upon arriving in heaven, I would ask God to do me a favor and not put my mansion close to Ally's."

"I was going to the barbershop because Jesus hated little boys who had long hair."

"But not even the ingredients in my mother's travel-sized hairspray could keep me from passing out on the pew."

"By the end of the evening it seemed that everybody in the music industry either worshiped Satan, was a prostitute, or their brand of hairspay supported a woman's right to choose."

"My biggest fear about the end was that Jesus would come back before I had the chance to have sex."

He tells so many hilarious stories from Barbie burnings to the annual Pastor Nolan vs. Satan boxing match, that the look at the events through a child's eye make it all sound that much more absurd. After five baptisms and asking Jesus in to his heart more times than you can count, he does find God, just not in the way everyone else seemed to want him to.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Beach House by Jane Green

The Beach House by Jane Green has a lot going on. It may also make you want to move to the beach. It is the story of Nan who opens her beach house one summer to boarders in an effort to raise enough money to save her house. The people who stay there are all random with their own issues going on in their lives but over the course of the book their stories and lives become intertwined.

This book has so many issues it is perfect if you love lots of drama. It has a divorced couple dealing with a moody teenage daughter, a wife whose marriage falls apart when her husband reveals a lifelong secret, a guy who has an affair with his married boss, and a shocker at the end that you probably won't see coming.

The story is set in beautiful Nantucket and the characters are all pretty well developed and likable. All the drama and story lines keep you coming back for more. Even though I read this a little too early for the beach or pool, it is the perfect waterside read.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Jane Green is a good chick lit author. Check out her website and other books here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Night by Elie Wiesel

As I discussed on my 30 Before 30 blog, I have become obsessed with the Holocaust. I saw this book discussed when it was featured as one of Oprah's book club picks. I knew it was about the Holocaust and Oprah liked it a lot so what did I have to lose?

Nightis a small book packed with emotion. It is Elie Wiesel's memoir of what he experienced during the Holocaust. His words really bring to life what the Jews in the concentration camps felt. I would almost shiver at his descriptions of the unbearable cold. My stomach would feel empty just reading about their starvation. I could feel their desperation and at times I was thinking there was no way I could have survived that. I would have just given up.

His driving force for staying alive is to be there for his father. Also they had made it so far, how could they just give in to death? Then it would have all been for nothing.

He also finds himself questioning his faith. How could God allow this to happen? I have those same questions. It seems unreal that this was something very real. Not some Hollywood plot line. These were real people that did this. Real people that had to experience it. There are no easy answers to those questions.

If you really want to understand what day to day life was like in the Nazi concentration camps, I highly reccommend this book. Even if you don't want to know, you should. So read it anyway. It will make you appreciate your life even more and instill in you a sense to watch out for evil like this in today's world.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio

This book was very interesting! Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio is written from the perspective of three characters- Diana, a childhood beauty queen now in her thirties suffering from OCD and her husband just left her, Jamie a seventeen year old girl who gives birth to Stella the third perspective we see. The first chapter I read from Stella's perspective made me cry and I am NOT a crier. But it was so sweet. Jamie was planning on giving Stella up for adoption and thinking bad thoughts about the baby so she won't get attached and then you read Stella's thoughts about how much she already loves Jamie.

These three characters lives become intertwined throughout the book and they each support and learn from each other. Diana has really bad OCD and sees contamination everywhere so it was really interesting to take a peek inside an OCD brain. Jamie is just a kid when she has Stella so it is interesting to peek inside a teenage mother's brain. And Stella inside Jamie and as a newborn baby was a very interesting perspective.

The overlying theme of the book though is motherhood. You see the relationships of various mothers and daughters- Jamie and Stella, Jamie and her mother, Diana and her mother, and even Diana and Jamie and Stella.

I really enjoyed this book and it took me no time at all to get through.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

I borrowed this book from my Bible study leader because she said it really helped her when talking about the Gospel with people. I have never been comfortable in that area. I think it is such a personal thing and it makes it very awkward to talk about it.

Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman takes you through a lot of the common questions that non-believers might have and gives you examples of how to engage them with questions of your own to get to the deeper issues and share your beliefs while learning about theirs. Engaging people in a personal dialogue instead of preaching at them can be a much more effective way to talk about these deep issues.

He shares with you real life examples and sample conversations. He advocates active listening and trying to really understand the emotions and feelings behind people's questions and comments.

I didn't agree with everything in the book. But overall it was a very useful book. It helped me think of "sharing the Gospel" differently and it even gave me more confidence in that area. Hopefully I can put what I learned from the book into practice.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

This had been on my to-read list for a while. I was drawn to the cover for some reason and intrigued that it was based on the life of First Lady Laura Bush. So when I found La Belle Vie Book Club and saw their next pick was American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld I thought "Perfect!".

This was a big book (over 500 pages). It is broken up into four parts that take place at four different addresses of Alice, the main character, with the last being 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It starts with her in her childhood home and is mainly about Alice as a teenager.

Part One was by far my favorite part. A major tradegy befalls Alice as a teenager that I could somewhat relate to (although hers was much worse). There were so many shocking moments and it made me think about how all these bright, successful women I look up to were once teenagers and have gone through a lot in their lives.

Part Two is about Alice as a twenty-something working girl. She is a librarian at an Elementary school and like many young career girls, her life is mainly about work. Until she meets Charlie. This section was also pretty shocking and it was a little disturbing to read some of the more intamite scenes and imagine Charlie as George W. The plot lines were good and again I could relate to Alice throughout this section.

Part Three is Alice as a mother and wife of a man from a famous, prestigious family. Even though Alice has faced many challenges up until this point, this is perhaps the most challenging time for her. The plot lines slow down some, but you can see her internal struggles in this section.

Part Four is about Alice as the First Lady. This section was the most disappointing for me. The book had started out so well, but this section fell flat I thought. It didn't ruin the book, but it didn't end with a bang either.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it. I had to keep reminding myself that this was fiction and not a biography of Laura Bush. And it did make me want to learn more about her, but even if it wasn't based on her, it would still be a great story!

I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

When I started going to The Summit, I noticed my pastor referenced C.S. Lewis a lot. In my head I was always thinking "The guy who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia?" Little did I know that C.S. Lewis had written a lot of books on Christianity. I decided to read Mere Christianity to see what this craze was all about.

The book was adapted from a series of radio talks he did between 1941 and 1944. What is interesting is C.S. Lewis was an atheist and converted to Christianity reasoning that the "moral law" in humans was not something that humans made up and is instinctual so there must be something behind it, namely God. What he finds interesting is that unlike other "natural" (non-man-made) laws (like gravity), the moral law can be broken or ignored. This was one of the main things that lead him to "theism".

He came to believe Christianity through reason. Based on the life of Jesus Christ, he reasoned that there could only be 3 possibilities: 1- Jesus was who He said He was (the Son of God) or 2-He was blatantly lying or 3-He believed He was God, but really He wasn't (in other words he was delusional). Lewis determined that the latter 2 options did not match up with Jesus' character and therefore the first option must be the truth.

He then goes in to taking a closer look at ethics and behaviors resulting from Christian beliefs. He explores the four Cardinal Virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. He also explores the three "theological" virtues of hope, charity, and faith. He also talks about forgiveness, sexual relations, and Christian marriage, and what he calls "the great sin"- pride. He uses psychological explanations and reasoning to explain human behavior, struggles, and motivations in the Christian life.

Throughout the book he uses a lot of helpful analogies as he reasons through some of the finer points of Christianity. He makes it easier to understand deeper topics and complex theories with his reasoning and analogies.

I really enjoyed the book. The reading was kind of heavy for bedtime and I found myself having to re-read paragraphs sometimes because my brain could not comprehend what he was trying to say. But his reasoning and analogies really helped me better understand Christianity.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

C.S. Lewis has written many books (fiction and non-fiction) and I look forward to reading his work again!

For more info see the C.S. Lewis website here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Online Book Club!

A few years ago my friends and I formed a book club (we called ourselves "Book Blub" due to a spelling error in one if our email strings!) It lasted about a year before we all got too busy to keep up with it but I really miss the Book Blub!

Last week I found a great online book club!


They are going to start reading Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife for April. This book was already on my "to-read" list so I went out and bought it and plan on following along the discussions in the Book Club!

Here is a synopsis of the book:
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privileged. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with- and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband's presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

In case you can't tell it is a fictionalized portrait of Laura Bush. I read her other novel, Prep, a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so I am looking forward to this one!

Go get the book and follow along with us!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

40% off coupon for Boarders

Here is a great printable coupon for 40% off one item at Borders. Go pick up a new book this weekend! Offer expires 3/28/09.

40% off one item at Boarders

Monday, March 23, 2009

Autobiography of a Fat Bride by Laurie Notaro

Last year I read Laurie Notaro's The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club and it was one of the funniest things I have ever read. I was super-excited to start this new installment in her series.

I was expecting all these tales of getting engaged and the neuroses that usually take over for brides-to-be. But this wasn't exactly that. It is more of a collection of short stories about meeting and the first few years with her husband. They are really random. But they are really funny. Not as funny as the first book, but still more funny than most.

This is also the type of book you can pick up and put down easily. Each chapter is a new story, so there is no suspense building or anything.

Overall I wasn't in love with it and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ten Things... by Maria Shriver

A friend loaned me a copy of Maria Shriver's book Ten Things I Wish I'd Known- Before I Went Out into the Real World. I REALLY like Maria Shriver. I think she is smart, relatable, driven, and just an all-around good role model for women. She had this thing last year called the Women's Conference and most of the key note speakers and some of the break out sessions were available through webcast. I listed to a lot of the sessions and I was very impressed. You can view the recorded versions here.

Back to the book- I enjoyed it and it was a quick read. It is based off the commencement address she gave at the College of the Holy Cross. She gives such advice as "You don't HAVE to do it all", "Stand your ethical ground", "Be willing to fail", and "Don't expect anyone to support you financially". She uses antidotes and stories from her life on how she learned these life lessons.

She says "I wrote this book so that you might be spared. Not from having to learn the lessons I had to learn. No one can spare you that, because learning is experiential, and you have to do it yourself. As a wise person once told me: If I could spare you the pain you're experiencing, I wouldn't--because I wouldn't want to deprive you of the strength and wisdom you'll gain from having gone through it and come out the other side."

The book truly reflects her personality and character and I really enjoyed reading it. I have already learned a lot of these life lessons in the few years since graduation. I don't think reading this book before hand would have saved me those experiences, and I don't think I'd want it to. Experience is the best teacher after all. But it was nice to see I seem to be heading along the right track!

I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes

This is the first Marian Keye's novel I've read. Apparently this she writes a series of novels about the Walsh sisters. This one is focused on Anna. Anna lives in New York and has a PR job working for Candy Grrl cosmetics. The story starts out with Anna back in Ireland being taken care of by her Mum. Anna is bruised and cut up and no one ever really tells you why or how this happened.

But Anna is anxious to get back to her life in New York. She flies back and returns to her empty neglected apartment and desperately tries to get in contact with her husband Aiden. She emails him everyday, catches glimpses of him on her way to work, and goes to great lengths to find out what is going on with him.

This book has lots of twists and turns. A lot of other people have written that it is sad, but I had a different perspective that it was just peering into her life.

I enjoyed the main plot line and the sub-plots were very good too. It did take me a month to read it though. Even though it was a thick book at 464 pages, I would say this indicates somewhat my level of interest in the book. (Some of those Twilight books I breezed through in days!) I liked this book, but I didn't love it.

I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

It was good, but I don't think it generated enough interest in me to read her other books.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Milkrun by Sarah Mlynowski

I LOVED this book! I have already ordered Sarah Mlynowski’s other book Fishbowl because this one was just THAT good. This was so appropriate for me to read at this time because it is all about a girl whose boyfriend goes to Thailand to “find himself” and then pretty much breaks up with her through an email. This girl is resilient though and is now on a mission to become “Crazy Dating Girl”. (I’m feeling like Crazy Dating Girl in my life right now!) The story follows her along her adventures.

I loved her writing. I felt like I was having a chat with my best friend every night; or like she had emptied my thoughts out of my head right on to the page. She really writes just like your thoughts might flow though your head…well at least how they flow through my head! It was such a quick, easy, fun read!

I also loved how it wasn’t like a fairytale romance or ending. The guys portrayed in the book are exactly like the guys you would meet in the real world. About half way through, you kind of think you can see the ending coming, but it doesn’t end quite like you expect which was nice too. In fact, I didn’t want it to end. That is how you know a book is good!

If you are looking for something with deep meaning and eloquent writing, this isn’t the book for you. But if you are looking for a fun, entertaining story about dating and life in your 20’s then this is a great pick!

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

You can check out the author’s website here.

She is doing a lot of teen novels now, but she also has a lot of chic lit books out! I’ll let you know how the next one I read turns out, but she is already one of my favs now!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

10% off Barnes and Noble coupon

I got this coupon for 10% off at Barnes and Noble in my inbox this morning so I thought I would share!

Click here for the online discount code or printable in-store coupon.

Offer expires Feb. 16th, 2009.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Girls by Lori Lansens

Lori Lansens novel The Girls is the story of Rose and Ruby Darlen who are the oldest surviving craniopagus twins (they are 29 year old conjoined twins who are joined at the head.) I chose this book because I thought it was such an interesting perspective. I wondered how they did everyday things and what kind of adventures they would have.

When I read the first paragraph I thought it was one of the best things I have ever read:

"I have never looked into my sisters eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. I've never driven a car. Or slept through the night. Never a private talk. Or a solo walk. I've never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand lives as me, to be loved so exponentially."

I love these words. How the dance together and ring so true and leave you with a deep sense of what really matters when you strip everything else away from life.

I was so excited to get in to this book after I read that paragraph. But I think my expectations were set too high. Don't get me wrong I loved the story. I loved reading about their life and all the twists and turns from their perspective. Most of the story is told from Rose's perspective but there are a few chapters sprinkled throughout from Ruby's perspective. There are some very unexpected twists and turns and I did care about the characters.

I just never fell in love with them. I wasn't dying to get home to read. I didn't find myself longing to know what happens next very often. But it was a good story and Lansens does sprinkle some more poetic, moving paragraphs like that first one, but it just didn't grab me as much as that introduction.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

20% off coupon at Boarder's

I hardly ever buy books anymore since I use so much, but I came across this 20% off coupon for Boarder's today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dream It. List It. Do It!

Dream It. List It. Do It! Is a great little book full of ideas and helpful tips to making and actually completing your life lists (like my 30 Before 30). It starts out with “10 Rules for Creating and Conquering Your Life Lists” with helpful tips like “define a finish line” and “document your progress”.

The following chapters focus on different themes for “Life List” items:

-Understand Myself
-Learn New Things
-Be More Adventurous
-Make a Difference
-Fix My Finances
-Live in the Moment
-Cook More
-Be Independent
-Stay Focused
-Make Music
-Be a Better Person
-Be Healthy
-Get a Pet
-Be Happy
…and more! (43 different categories in all!)

There are literally hundreds of ideas in this book. Each theme has pages and pages of items to add to your list that fit with that theme. This book would really come in handy and give you lots of great ideas for your own "Life List".

I normally don't have the patience for books that don't tell a "story", but I will keep this one around and use it to make my 40 Before 40 List!

Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars (just because this is more of a reference book than a book I'll ever read cover to cover).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler

You might know Chelsea Handler from her hit show Chelsea Lately on E! If you don't, you should check it out. She is hilarious. A little crude sometimes, but very funny. In My Horizontal Life, Chelsea recounts some of her wildest adventures with men. The subtitle of the book is "a collection of one night stands", but I think she actually only sleeps with 2-3 guys in the book but has many close encounters.

This book was so funny and such a quick and easy read. I was literally laughing out loud through entire chapters! From midgets to gay doctors on Ecstasy, Chelsea certainly has some wild adventures to share. Her witty writing style and short chapters make this book fly by.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

She also has another more recent memoir- Are you there Vodka? It's me Chelsea. I haven't read it, but it is a bestseller, so I am sure it is pretty good.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Shack by William P. Young

A co-worker recommended this book to me last week. After reading the online synopsis I went out and bought it that same day. I was shocked it was the NY Times #1 best seller and yet I had not even heard of it!

The Shack by William P. Young is the story of Mack, whose daughter is abducted by a serial killer while they are on a camping trip. The investigators don’t find her body, but find enough evidence in a shack isolated deep in the wilderness to determine that Mack’s daughter has been brutally murdered.

Flash forward to a few years later and Mack receives a mysterious note in his mailbox asking him to come to the Shack for the weekend and it is signed “Papa”. Mack thinks the note may be a prank or could be the killer himself. But he also has a nagging feeling the note could be from God himself. He feels crazy for even thinking it, but has to go investigate.

His journey takes him on a discovery of himself, explores questions surrounding what he referrers to as “The Great Sadness” that descended on his family after the tragedy, looks at his relationship with others, and his relationship with God. It tackles some of the tough questions in life like “Why do bad things happen to good people?” It explores what it means to really love and be loved. In short, it gives you a lot to think about.

I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn’t call it life changing like many other people have. I didn’t agree with everything in the book, but most of it reflected exactly why I believe what I believe. It made me feel God’s love even more and made me look at how I can reflect that in myself to others.

Regardless of what you believe of this universe and life, I would recommend reading this book. It will make you think about some of the big questions and even if it doesn’t it is still an entertaining story.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Check out what other people are saying about it at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Oh Stephanie Meyer, how you have captivated my mind with your romantic magical world and your increasingly thick books (768 pages this one!). But it was so worth it. Breaking Dawn was the crowning glory on this series. Just when Eclipse had left me feeling like nothing really got accomplished, this one accomplished everything I was craving and things I never even thought to crave! Amazingly, in the end, it left me wanting even more!

In this book, everything the other books have been building up to happens. Then you get thrown twist after glorious twist. It is about love and family, power and protection, magic and fairy tales. Some chapters will leave you sighing and smiling with warm fuzzies. While other chapters with leave you gasping at things you never saw coming. Most chapters toward the end will run together as you race to find out the outcome. And the end left me happy with the outcome but turning the page hoping to find the start to a brand new story.

At one point in the book I literally had to get up immediately to call my friend Heather and gush about what had just happened. If you read this series you will be both thankful and frustrated by other fans. The ones who have already finished might let some big plot line slip or talk non-stop about how much they loved it which will push you to read at all times just to find out what happens. Those who are behind you in the series will frustrate you because you just want them to hurry up and finish so you can discuss EVERYTHING that happens! Either way you will find yourself talking about this series.

I give this one 5 out of 5 stars! (my first perfect score)

(Email me if you want to discuss because seriously I LOVE talking about all things Twilight, but don’t want to give away too much here!)

P.S. I am SO hoping for a follow-up series!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight saga continues with Stephanie Meyer's third book Eclipse. Edward is back in this book, but things are complicated because he does not feel comfortable with Bella's friendship with Jacob Black. Bella wants to become of vampire. Her life in in danger (yet again). Lots of drama that all escalates to an epic battle. It was pretty good, but I was left feeling like nothing that I wanted to happen really happened. Which is probably why I dove with in to the fourth book right away to find out what happens next.

I will tell you that I am still annoyed with Bella sometimes. I like Jacob and kind of feel bad for him, and Edward almost starts to annoy me. I am in love with the story, but the "I can't live without you" love stuff is starting to get sickeningly sweet. I would probably not be friends with someone like Bella and seriously, what the heck is so special about her that every falls in love with her? But then I find myself wishing I was her and had a love like her and Edward. Really, I am seriously obsessed, so you know it's got to be good!

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

I'm hoping to finish the fourth book this weekend!!
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