Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review: Men Are Stupid, Women Are Crazy

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment

Published: September 15, 2009

ISBN: 978-1416595052

Recommended for: every women curious how men think!

Teaser quote:
HOWARD: "This book is not going to break us up!" I yelled again.
Unless it does. Then I'm stupid. And alone. I'm a lonely stupid man wishing I had me some more crazy.

JENNY: "Fine, fine," I said in the way women for centuries have been saying "fine" when we really mean "not fine."

My rating: 4/5

My thoughts:

A hilarious look at the differences in the brain wirings of men and women. It makes me think of that old adage 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus' as we really are completely different creatures when it comes to expressing ourselves!

The book is written by a real-life couple who also happen to be writers of some great TV sitcoms. It's told almost like a 'he said, she said' story, with Howard starting the topic followed by Jenny's reaction. I seriously laughed out loud when reading this book...both at the writing & at seeing how my actions could be perceived by a guy. I'm not sure if it was because I easily related to Jenny (and her craziness) that I laughed more at her writing. Don't get me wrong, Howard was hilarious too, but for a completely different aren't so great at picking up subtleties, lol. Me this Christmas, a prime example - we did a big family gift this year so when hubby asked what I wanted, I said 'nothing as we spent so much already!'. Well Dec 24th hubby says, "You know I didn't get you anything & I'm like 'What! I need something to unwrap under the tree! It could be a chocolate bar, anything!'. You guessed it, I got chocolate :)

The more I think about it, the more I wonder just how different a guy's take away would be after reading this! A great read that makes you realize how silly we all are when it comes to relationships.

Published: December 29, 2009

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Hardcover, 352 Pages

Recommended for: thriller lovers

My rating: 4.5/5

My thoughts:

The book begins at chapter thirteen during the aftermath of a tragic event. Nick is being interrogated for the murder of his wife, a crime he did not commit. At the police station, a stranger appears with a note and an antique watch, granting him the opportunity to go back in time and stop the crime from happening. The catch: he has twelve hours, starting one hour earlier & going back an hour at a time, to alter the past. Each hour he re-lives provides clues leading to her killer...but with each alteration to the past, a new outcome unfolds. Will he solve the crime before time runs out?

The premise of this book reminds me of the butterfly effect & I love the idea of time travel! I was skeptical that the author could pull off such a complicated storyline and make it flow smoothly, but wow he did! This was so well written and although the story changes & new characters are added, the reader easily keeps up. I loved how I kept on guessing 'whodunit' until the bitter end and wasn't disappointed. The story is a page turner that keeps getting better the further in you read. A super read for any thriller/mystery reader, highly recommended!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishing you a super 2010....

May your 2010 be filled with peace, love and happiness!

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day." ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your families the very best over the holiday season and great success in 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009

And the winners are.....

Winners of my The Dragon Book giveaway:

Congratulations!!! I've sent your details to the publisher, hopefully it'll make it to you before Christmas!

Thanks to everyone else for playing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday - December 15, 2009

This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I can't wait to read Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves . I have this listed for my YA Debut author challenge & can't wait to get my hands on it. It's out in just a few weeks!

Release Date: January 5, 2010

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

What are you waiting on?

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Released: Dec 1 2009

Hardcover, 576 pages

ISBN: 978-0316042673

Recommended for: YA paranormal romance lovers

Teaser quote:

"There seemed to be nothing too unbelievable for this Gatlin. It's funny how you can live somewhere your whole life, but not really see it."
(pg 221, ISBN 978-0316042673)

My rating: 4.5/5

My thoughts:

In the small southern town of Gatlin, nothing really happens. Everyone knows everyone, you are born there and you die there. Ethan's whole world changes when a new girl, Lena, comes to town to live with her uncle...he recognizes her as the girl from his dreams. There is no way to avoid the connection they have and life in Gatlin becomes much more interesting as secrets surface, powers are developed and they uncover details of the curse haunting her family.

This is one book I had been dying to read, so I must admit I came in with high expectations. The story is told from the perspective of a guy, Ethan which was a refreshing change - I had to laugh as I changed the voice in my head as I read. I loved the dichotomy used throughout: old vs. new, popular vs. outcast, good vs. evil, destiny vs. free will. The one thing I wished for was more of a connection with Ethan & Lena. I found that the history & struggle to accept or change one's destiny left me feeling like I missed out on a bit of the romantic connection. The plot contains so many twists and turns that it keeps one guessing what could happen next. The ending was phenomenal and, although the book is almost 600 pages, it leaves the reader wishing for more. I eagerly await the next book in the series due out next year!

Recently announced: Warner Bros. has picked up film rights to Beautiful Creatures. Congrats Kami & Margie!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review: Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Released: Nov 2 2009

Hardcover: 144 pages

ISBN: 978-0316056625

Recommended for: Chocoholics!

Teaser quote:
"Shave a generous amount of dark chocolate onto each piece of bread and serve warm in stacks of three, letting the chocolate melt between the warm slices." (pg 14)

My rating: 4/5

My thoughts:

A stunning chocolate recipe collection from the infamous Max Brenner. Using both photographs and Art Deco graphics, this is not only a cookbook, it also serves as a coffee table book. From crepes, to cakes, to chocolate pizza, this book covers everything a chocolate lover could desire.

I must confess to being a huge chocolate lover. I have no problem eating chocolate any time of day, heck even for breakfast. Not only are the recipes mouth-watering just to read, almost all require common ingredients and have easy-to-follow directions. I even found a new cookie to add to my batch of Christmas goodies I make every year: Once-Upon-A-Time Small Almond Cookies. This was one of my review testers and the family gobbled them up. That's when I knew this was getting a promotion to my recipe box. A great book for those like me who think chocolate should be it's own food group.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review & Giveaway: The Dragon Book edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozios

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: Ace Hardcover

Released: November 3, 2009

ISBN: 978-0441017645

Recommended for: fantasy readers

My rating: 4/5

My thoughts:
This is a collection of nineteen short stories focused on Dragons, written by many of today's best fantasy writers (Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, Tamora Pierce, Harry Turtledove, Sean Williams, Tad Williams, Naomi Novik, Peter Beagle, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Cecelia Holland, Kage Baker, Samuel Sykes, Diana Wynne Jones, Mary Rosenblum, Tanith Lee, Andy Duncan, and Bruce Coville). The stories range from 10 pages to just over 50.

What I love about short story collections is the diverse views you get to read & the new authors you discover. Along with the typical dragon stereotype, dragons were living as humans, pests and one had them more worm like. Some dragons could talk, some ate people, some helped people. The stories featured some set in the modern day, while others were more like fairy tales or in a real fantasy setting. Of the nineteen stories, there was just two I have to admit skimming as they didn't capture my interest.

This is a wonderful book for people who enjoy fantasy. I wouldn't suggest devoring this book in one sitting as it may be 'dragon overload' but overall was a fun read.


Thanks to Penguin Canada, I have the opportunity to share this amazing book with TWO lucky winners!

Contest end date: Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Contest rules:

  • you MUST BE A FOLLOWER to join

  • open to CANADIAN addresses only please (please confirm in your post that you are Cdn or have a Cdn mailing address

  • leave a comment with your email address as I will contact the winner by email. Should you win, you have 24 hrs to respond, otherwise I will pick another winner. (I want to have the winners sent to publisher by Friday the 18th since it's getting so close to Christmas)

  • Additional entries:
    +1 for promoting the contest on your blog (sidebar is fine)
    +1 for tweeting (include me in the tweet @hefollowedme OR pasting your tweet link)
    +1 for commenting on my review (something meaningful)
    +1 for referring a friend (just get them to mention your name & blog)

Good luck everyone!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday - December 9, 2009

This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I can't wait to read The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. I have this listed for my YA Debut author challenge & can't wait to get my hands on it. It's less than a month away :)

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Release Date: January 7, 2010

From Amazon:

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

"It had made sense when a beautiful girl was saying it. Now that I was back home, alone, in my own bed, I was finally losing it. Even Link wouldn't beleive any of this." (pg 194)

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? December 7, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to join in this weekly event if you'd like as well as use the photo/pic/button above. Thanks J. Kaye for hosting!

Last week:

I finished The Dragon Book by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
I started Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

This week:

I'm finishing Beautiful Creatures (loving it so far but Christmas shopping & decorations got in the way of my reading time this week)

I'm starting Vampire Academy #1 by Richelle Mead

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

YA Book Blogger Community

As you may already know from previous posts, starting in 2010 I am going to focus more on YA novels!!!!! I am happy & excited as I know so many awesome YA bloggers & can't wait to get to know more :)

So yesterday I was thinking, where else can I find everyone other then on blogger? What places (nings, forums etc.) do you belong to that brings YA bloggers together? Is there a dedicated YA ning I should join?

Here are a few real great places I've found so far:

YA Bloggers on Twitter at Sharon Loves Books and Cats

Book Blogs Ning which has a few YA groups to join :)

I'm looking forward to meeting many more YA bloggers. If we haven't 'met' before, leave a comment so we can change that ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday - December 2, 2009

This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I can't wait for Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins! The cover was just revealed yesterday, pretty cool eh :) I have this listed for my YA Debut author challenge & can't wait to read it.

Release date: March 2, 2010

Publisher: Hyperion

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.