Have a lovely weekend friends

Make sure to stop and smell the flowers.


And One Last Thing by Molly Harper

In Molly Harpers, And One Last Thing, we meet Lacey Terwilliger who has just found out that her husband is cheating on her with his secretary.. the nerve! Like any woman scorned, she is blinded by the sheer fact that she wants REVENGE! So she sends out an e-mail detailing her husbands philandering ways... what she didn't expect was the fallout.

In the hopes of hiding out for a while, Lacey makes a quick escape, and goes out to her family's lakeside cabin. There she meets neighbor Monroe - dark, brooding and definitely not looking for any drama in his life.

Lacey will definitely have to make some important decisions - her career/job, her marriage, decide on permanent living arrangements... and whether she can be with a man who is blunt and honest and does not tell her what she wants to hear...

This is chick lit at its finest. Molly Harper not only gives you a fun, spunky and witty heroine - but she also gives you a very quirky tale about one woman's life going up in flames and how she proudly emerges from its ashes.

I have to say that I absolutely loved how not only do we get some real emotions but we also get some zany, wacky and more than once laugh-out-loud moments all wrapped up into this one great story. Lacey is a phenomenal leading lady. She always finds herself in some sort of trouble (mostly by her own doing) and when you finally think she's in the clear, she jumps right into another load of trouble. Monroe and his Hugh Jackman looks... well, need I say more. There were also some very lovable and endearing supporting characters (i.e. Lacey's brother, Emmett, the husband-stealing secretary, Maya - Lacey's potential work partner, etc.).

Although very entertaining, Lacey's feelings, emotions and growth throughout the story were realistically depicted. You really get to know her, she literally feels like a friend by the end of the book. Very well done.

This is one that I can highly recommend to fans of chick lit or even contemporary romance. It has just the right amount of ingredients to make it a very enjoyable read. Loved it.

This book was provided for review by Simon and Schuster.

i heart

These make my heart go pitter patter. I love them to just place the edge of a desk in a study or on a pretty windowsill. But even more than wanting one, I want to make one. They don't seem that difficult to make. My crafty senses are going 100 miles an hour thinking of ways to make one on my own. I would hate to deface a book (sacrilege!), but I'm thinking the more used and and abused the book is, the neater the look. What do you guys think?


Monster High by Lisi Harrison

Frankie Stein is thrilled when her parents tell her that she is ready to go to school. Frankie has high hopes for high school - she can't wait to make friends and to finally have the chance to wear her amazing wardrobe out in public. She's spent her whole life (all 15 days of it) inside her father's lab (a/k/a the Fab) and her only friends are the Glitterati (her pet mice) and her parents. Aside from her mint green skin, the thick bolts in her neck and the seams that are holding her appendages together, she would fit right in. But Frankie is none to happy when she is told that she and RAD's (other monsters like her) have to blend in with the normie's (random normal folk). Generations of RAD's have found safe haven in Salem, Oregon and cannot risk the chaos and uproar that a monster siting might cause - witch hunt anyone?

So off to "normie" school she goes under tons of make-up and conservative clothing to hide her more "original" traits. There she meets other monster teens who quickly befriend her Claudine (Clawdeen), Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Deuce, D.J./Jackson Hyde, and Cleo.

In alternating chapters from Frankie's POV, you also meet new student and town resident, but more importantly, normie, Melody Carver. Melody and her family have just moved to Salem from Beverly Hills. Merston High and the town of Salem, Oregon, are in for a surprise when their September Semi (ironically themed "Monster Mash") - gets a tad bit more ghoulier then anticipated.

Oh, but I loved Frankie. She's such a sweet thing. I loved her attitude, her love of who she is and what she looks like really gives a positive vibe to the story. Ms. Harrison truly makes her shine throughout Monster High's pages. Although we do read a lot about Melody, and I did enjoy her chapters, Frankie's story was so much more interesting. I loved the mystery of who was a monster and who was a normie.... I kept trying to guess which monster the kids were... I found myself quite entertained by this.

I will forewarn that there is a cliff-hanger ending - so be prepared to be left feeling anxious for the next book. What will happen to Frankie, Melody, and their friends? The writing is witty, fun and definitely appealing for tweens. Super cute story and one that I think will be a sure hit with youngins plus there are some great messages scattered throughout. You guys also have to check out their "RAD" website. This is the start to what seems to be a very promising series. I can't wait to see what happens next.

This book was reviewed as part of a blog tour through Book it Forward ARC Tours and


The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

Irene Stanley and her family's lives are torn upside down when her 15 year old son, Shep, is murdered during a home invasion. Irene and Nate, Shep's parents, and Bliss, Shep's sister are devastated by the loss of their young son/brother. This is their story as they all deal with his loss and how their grief affects their lives.

Shep's murderer, Daniel, is captured and awaits his death sentence in a Oregon State penitentiary’s death row. Although the family is now able to sigh a breath of relief knowing that the killer is behind bars and awaits execution, Irene is struggling with depression. Her life is spiraling out of control - she spends her days moping around like a zombie. She does not cook, clean, and does nothing for her teen daughter Bliss. Nate had the opposite attitude. He quickly returns to work and his mentality is more along the lines of what happened happened and we must now continue to live our lives and move on. On what would have been Shep's 25th birthday, Irene decides to write a letter to Daniel in death row. They secretly write to each other for years until the date is finally scheduled for Daniel's execution.

Although the main theme in this story is forgiveness, there were so many other underlying factors that also made an impact on it - capital punishment, religion, family ties, secrets and the complexities of life. The story alternates back and forth from the year of the crime to the present - decades later when appeals have been made and run their course and now the execution is to take place.

I thought Ms. Rakha does a great job in fleshing out her characters - and there are many of them. She not only brings you into her story but she makes you go through all the ups and downs with Irene and deal with the conflicting thoughts going through Tab's mind about the upcoming execution.

All in all, this was a gripping story, it will not only make you ache for its characters but, it will keep you on your toes guessing as to its unexpected secrets and leave you feeling surprised as to its conclusion. I will forewarn that there is not a lot of joy to be found in its pages but it is one that I would hope you don't miss out on.

To learn more about author, Naseem Rakha, check out her site here. You can also view the book trailer here.

This book was provided for review Terra Communications.

GIVEAWAY: I have 1 paperback copy up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Sarah at Terra Communications. Plus I have one extra copy that I will giveaway personally.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents, but I will open internationally for one of the copies. Just make sure to say whether or not you are out of the country so that I don't pick two international winners. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 15.


GIVEAWAY: Secrets to Happiness

Holly Frick has just endured the worst kind of breakup: the kind where you're still in love with the person leaving you. While her wounds are still dangerously close to the surface, her happily married best friend confesses over a bottle of wine that she is this close to having an affair. And another woman comes to Holly for advice about her love life--with Holly's ex!

Holly decides that if everyone around her can take pleasure wherever they find it, so will she. As any self-respecting 30ish New York woman would do, she brings two males into her life: a flawed but endearing dog, and a good natured, much younger lover. She's soon entangled in a web of emails, chance meetings, and misguided good intentions and must forge an entirely new path to Nirvana.

GIVEAWAY: I have 3 copies up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Valerie at HBG.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 15.

GIVEAWAY: Off Season

Acclaimed novelist Anne Rivers Siddons's new novel is a stunning tale of love and loss. For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly--happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story loss. After Cam's death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam's favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past--to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety-- to try to figure out her future.It is a journey begun with tender memories and culminating in a revelation that will make Lilly re-evaluate everything she thought was true about her husband and her marriage.

GIVEAWAY: I have 3 copies up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Valerie at HBG.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 15.

GIVEAWAY: New Tricks

Andy Carpenter gains possession of an adorable Bernese puppy whose owner was brutally murdered. Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he will do whatever it takes to insure that this little pup doesn't fall into the wrong hands. However, his playful new friend is valued by several people, many of whom are willing to resort to violence to get what they want. It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save this dog, including a little help from his beloved golden retriever, Tara. Andy soon discovers that anyone around him is in danger, including his long-time girlfriend Laurie, and he will have to muster all of his wits to save those he holds most dear.

GIVEAWAY: I have 3 copies up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Valerie at HBG.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 8.


"On a summer day in 1946, Sally Werner, the precocious daughter of hardscrabble Pennsylvania farmers, accepts her cousin Daniel's invitation to ride his new motorcycle. Like so much of what follows in Sally's life, it's a decision driven by impulse and a thirst for adventure, a decision with dramatic and far-reaching consequences." Soon Sally abandons her newborn baby, the result of her impetuous joyride. Shamed, confused, and filled with a yearning to have a bigger life than the one ahead of her, she finds work, she finds love, she finds people of great kindness and others whose cruelty would crush a weaker woman. Fueled in equal measure by her eternal optimism and her mercurial moods, she embarks on an odyssey of self-creation that spans six decades, the story of which she entrusts to only one person: her granddaughter and namesake. It's an uncommon legacy that young Sally believes until her father - a man she has never known - enters her life and offers another story altogether, forcing her to uncover the truth of her grandmother's secret history.

GIVEAWAY: I have 3 copies up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Valerie at HBG.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 8.

Manic Monday Recaps (Week 7/26/10)

Happy Monday friends!! The weekend is always over so fast. So, considering that there was a tropical storm on Friday here in South Florida, we actually had great weather all weekend long... imagine that! And now, we're back to the daily grind. Boo!

Ooh, ooh, have any of you guys seen the new movie Inception with Leonardo Dicaprio?

I begged the hubs to take me to see it this weekend... and yes, we were not disappointed. I mean I was in heaven just ogling the fine specimen that our Leo has become. But aside from his good looks, the movie is phenomenal. Very smart. Loads of action. A great cast. And the concept of dream invasion is one of those that leaves you feeling slightly uncomfortable. It has a Matrix feel to it - the type where you walk out of the movie theater doubting your life... your dreams. A very two-thumbs-up worthy flick! You guys should check it out.

I'm excited this week because on Thursday me and my friends Isalys & Vanessa (a/k/a your Book♥Soulmates) will be heading out to our local indie book store and meeting Ally Carter and Melissa De La Cruz. Can I just tell you how thrilled I am about this?! Yes, I'm all giddy over it. I've never read anything by Melissa but I did read Ally's Heist Society and I loved it. I can't wait. Pics should be up by the end of the week so stay tuned for those.

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Last week I read the following:
- Forget You by Jennifer Echols [review/giveaway]
- Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
- The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha
- Monster High by Lisi Harrison

I reviewed the following:
- Linger by Maggie Stiefvater [review]
- Hidden Wives by Claire Avery [review]
- Vision in White by Nora Roberts [review]

And also, for those of you who didn't catch its first screening (hehe), you can check out my new/refurbished FIRST VLOG here. The hubs went to town on the editing and he did a great job spiffing it up for me so check it out. Tell me what you think.

Have a lovely week y'all and tell me about what you guys are reading.


Bookcase of the Week [17]

I can't help it, I have a thing for weird bookshelves.


Have a lovely weekend friends

[via Offbeat Earth]

I hope it's a relaxing one.

Blogger Hop, Follow and my first "VLOG"

Hey guys, I'm trying something new this week. This is my first time joining The Blogger Hop and Follow Friday. The Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

Today's question is:

I'm just starting Incarceron by Catherine Fisher - I've just started this but it a futuristic prison is the setting and the reviews compare it to The Hunger Games. I feel this is going to be a good one. :)

My first blog: (don't I say ummm a lot?!)

If this is your first time at All About {n} make sure to leave a link to your blog. This seems to be a great way of making new friends.


Forget You by Jennifer Echols

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug. [via GoodReads]

As a big fan of Going Too Far, you must know how anxiously I was waiting for the release of Forget You. I had my doubts it would be as good, but I was still being optimistic, and let me tell you, my positive thinking was on the money. This book not only met my expectations but it surpassed them ... Hooray!

Although Forget You is totally different from what I expected - I was expecting something more along the lines of a light teen romance possibly even a beach read. Instead I found a book with many layers - touching on some dark topics.

The story mostly revolves around Zoey Commander. Zoey is dealing with some heavy issues - after her mother's attempt at suicide she ends up living with her father and his 24 year old girlfriend whom he recently knocked up. Her life is upside down and no matter how hard she tries to keep it right side up - it just seems like she's drowning. She makes some very rash decisions throughout the novel. I cringed every time she brought up her relationship with Brandon and how he was her boyfriend.

After her accident and the ensuing amnesia, the story really picked up. First there's Doug... le sigh. (I must admit, Ms. Echols has a way of making you fall for her leading men. She sure did that for Doug.) Zoey thinking she'd find support in her "boyfriend" Brandon was surprised to see he just wasn't coming around but everywhere she turned Doug was there. She knows something happened the night leading to her accident she just can't remember anything of it. She spends most of the story acting as if she knows what happened in order to figure out what really happened... and the best part of it all is that you, as the reader, are just as clueless as she is. So obviously the pages are flying by as we uncover the truth of that night which slowly unravels throughout the story.

I loved all the characters! Zoey was young and dealing with a lot, I can't say that I agreed with some of her actions, but in the end I did understand why she acted the way she did. Doug was the sweetest thing. He looked out for Zoey and any man that can keep a secret because a girl asks him to is okay in my book. Zoey's parents - Mr. Commander is an a-hole. I despised this man yet I also felt sorry for him. I think if the story had an epilogue taking place about 10 years down the line (maybe not even that long) we'd hear that Ashley (the knocked-up girlfriend) left him for a younger man and took half his assets with her. Mrs. Commander was a woman scorned. Yes, she did try to commit suicide, but she was stressed and had too much going on and she acted without thinking.... nothing a good therapist can't resolve. Brandon was clueless. He really had no bad feelings, he was a boy who loved girls. Zoey knows, you know this, I'm not sure how we got off track with him. The other characters, although minor, were also fleshed out and really gave the story more depth.

The romance aspect of the story was intense. The push and pull between Zoey and Doug felt real. You can feel the sexual tension building between them. Their more intimate moments were very well done, they were sweet and full of passion and tension. I think these moments were what really completed the whole package for me. (these moments might not be suitable for younger teens)

All in all, I found Forget You to be an emotional, intense and expressive read. Ms. Echols has a way with words - her writing, her characters and her setting (in this case a northern Florida beach) really played a lot into making this book so very enjoyable. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next! I am now convinced of her awesomeness and she has now been upgraded to auto-buy, so I know I won't be missing out on it - I hope you won't either.

This book was provided for review by Simon and Schuster.

GIVEAWAY: 2 copies are up for grabs.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, All About {n} button, Facebook, etc.) Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 8.

i heart

I haven't done one of my i heart posts in a while and since I recently ran into this beauty, I thought I might share with all my book lovin' friends.

In October, Penguin is issuing a collection of 100 postcards, each depicting a different iconic book cover. There will be all sorts - ranging from classics to crime. Now tell me this isn't a sweet gift for book aficionados?


Vision in White by Nora Roberts

After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life. 

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera - ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, beg Mac for attention and money. Mac's foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars. 

Carter Maquire is definitely not her type: he's stable, and he's safe. He's even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There's something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bridezillas and screening her mother's phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends - and business partners - Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories. [via GoodReads]
First things first, I have a confession... this is my first Nora Roberts book. I know, I know, and no, I have not been living under a rock. I've always stayed away from her books because I am not much of a contemporary romance reader, and also because I have always felt that she writes for an older crowd. Don't ask me why I've been under that impression.

With that said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this first book in the quartet. Not only did I find the writing hip and young, but the characters are all around my age (early 30's) so I really felt that I could relate.

This book really is the ultimate girly book - for no other reason then the fact that it revolves around weddings. I don't know about you guys, but I love weddings - not only being in one, but also attending them. I loved being a bride, I still do not regret the amounts of money we spent on our wedding, the pictures, the cake, the gifts... and this book really helps you reminisce and capture that joy once again.

Apart from the beautiful weddings, I think Ms. Roberts does a phenomenal job of capturing the friendships the four girls have. I truly loved their dynamics. They each have their own job/duties in running the premier wedding service that "Vows" provides. Piper - the wedding coordinator; Mackenzie - the photographer; Emmaline - florist extraordinaire and Laurel - the wedding cake designer. They all live right on the estate and are at the beck and call of each other. I absolutely adored this set-up. They were so tight, and deep and just had each others backs.

As for the romance, it was definitely sigh worthy. In comes Carter - literally - since he comes into Mac's house when she's shirtless - and out goes Carter - like literally - since he bangs his head so hard on her door that he almost passes out. I really liked the way their relationship unfolds... slowly and by these sweet increments, it really gave it a realistic aspect. It wasn't something where they meet, they fall madly in love, they jump in bed and they're married. No, this was a slow progression, that I think really worked. Mac has many issues, but I think Carter handled everything quite nicely, nothing some gentle persuasion couldn't accomplish.

I have always enjoyed a good story about relationships whether it's about romance, friendship or family - and in this book you will find all three. As with any romance, there is always a happy ending (at least in the one's I like to read), but I truly enjoy when a girl has to work for her happy ever after - and you definitely get that here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think it's a nice start to what I hope will be a very special series.

My Rating:


Hidden Wives by Claire Avery

In Hidden Wives we meet two sisters (Sara-15 and Rachel-16) who are members of a polygamist sect in Utah. The Blood of the Lamb community believes that Celestial Marriage is a requirement to enter the kingdom of God. Three wives is the minimum allowed to stand before God's presence. In order to marry, a man must receive a "testament" of marriage for a particular girl. This testament is then brought before the prophet (who is directly in contact with God), who then prays and eventually grants or denies the petition.

Rachel and Sara live in such a household. Their father has four wives with a ton of children hanging underfoot. The girls being the older ones in the group are actually quite old when it comes to marriage since most girls in the community marry anywhere from 12 to 14 years of age (in some cases even younger than that). So it is not a surprise when they, along with their father, are called before the prophet to discuss their lack of husband. Sara is quickly given leave to marry her uncle as his fifth wife, but things are not that easy for Rachel. See Rachel is a very beautiful girl and 16 men have all had testimonies about her putting the prophet in a tight spot.

Sara, who has been doubting their beliefs, becomes even more convinced that all is not right with their community when a new family joins the cult. This new family is wealthy and they bring money along with a construction company to help build a new school for the many children in the community along with new homes for the prophet and his apostles. This new family also has a young son - Luke has no faith in the beliefs of the Blood of the Lamb and begins to tell the girls all that is wrong with the prophet, the high birth defects among their babies, the young girls being forced to marry men who can well be their grandfathers and, in some cases, their great-grandfathers. His plans are to escape and Sara is more than willing to do the same - especially since on more than one occasion she has realized that women are expendable and easily replaced amongst their cult. But Rachel is another story - she readily believes anything the prophet says and will follow him blindly. Sara knows that the only way to save herself and her sister is to escape, even if it means leaving their family and the only life they've ever known behind - but she'll have to convince Rachel of this... and hope that she can accomplish it before it's too late.

Polygamy?! Why is it that I am so intrigued by this subject?
And considering the dark nature of this book I can't help but want to gush about it to everyone. Because yes, it is that good.

The Claire Avery team (sisters who use the pseudonym) have accurately portrayed the daily lives of these two young girls who have been brought up in a household with extreme religious beliefs. You can clearly tell how much research was done in order to come up with such a detailed story. Not only was the story riveting, but I found myself engrossed by how much I learned from it.

I loved reading the different perspectives of both girls. Sara with her doubts, her love of learning, books, education and Rachel, who was willing to accept the word of the prophet blindly and faithfully and anything differently was considered blasphemy.

There were so many different subjects touched upon in this story and I do want to mention that this is not a book for the faint of heart. The lives that these girls live are not happy one's. There is abuse (mental, physical, sexual and verbal), violence, racism, incest and, of course, religion.

I have to say that I could not put this book down - I lost sleep over it on a work night and I am not complaining either. I found myself coiled tightly, just waiting to see what would happen next. It was that suspenseful. I needed to know what would happen to Sara, Rachel, Luke and Irvin. I was rooting for them from the start and I just could not bother to take a break ... and sleep (the horror!) - without seeing the whole thing through. I went through so many emotions reading it - sadness, outrage, heartbreak, hope, joy. An amazing, thought-provoking and powerful story. One that will stay with you long after you are done with it. Highly recommended.

About the author:
Claire Avery is a pseudonym for a writing team of two sisters, Mari Hilburn, an attorney, and Michelle Poche, a screenwriter. After being raised in a religious commune, the sisters developed an interest in other extreme religions.

To learn more about who "Claire Avery" is, please visit the blog and website. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

This book was provided for review by:


Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

As a big fan of Shiver, I was highly anticipating this next book in the triology. I can't help but always doubt how good a sequel is going to be - for some reason they never capture the awesomeness that you find in the first book of a series... but that is not the case here. Ms. Steifvater's Linger met my expectations, in fact, I think it is just as good, if not better than Shiver.

Winter is almost through and Sam is still just a boy. Although he spends must of his time worrying about whether he'll change or not, he finds joy in writing his songs but, most of all, he finds happiness with Grace.

Grace is just happy to have Sam in her life. Their risky experiment at the start of winter worked and she is no longer worried about Sam going wolfy. But her health is unexpectedly deteriorating and her notoriously absentee parents are none-too-happy with how fast her relationship with Sam is going and will stop at nothing to keep them apart. Grace is trying to keep her illness from Sam but she knows that whatever she's suffering from is very serious and if Sam is to find out she knows it will devastate him.

Along with Sam and Grace's perspectives we also get Isabel (met previously in Shiver) and we are introduced to Cole. I absolutely loved Isabel. I looked forward to reading her POV chapters/sections. She's so sarcastic and snarky and painfully honest with her feelings. Then there was Cole - who was such a deep character. He's one of Beck's "new wolves". He chose to become a wolf because he could not fathom living his life anymore. There were so many layers to him and his pain is so honest and raw. I really liked their additional perspectives. Now I know to some thinking of reading four POV's, might sound a little disconcerting, but do not fret. Ms. Steifvater really outdid herself in giving you a different angle to every scenario in the book. I really enjoyed reading the story this way.

Like Shiver, this book also has an emo-ish feel to it. There is not much action or adventure, but you are definitely on a roller coaster when it comes to your feelings. You are happy when reading of Sam and Grace's relationship, bitter when it comes to Isabel and Cole's lives, and mad, even bordering on hatred, when it came to Grace's parents and their constant interfering. Oh, and did I mention, Isabel's gun-crazy father, trying to shoot anything that remotely looks like a wolf.... yea, plus there's this impending sense of doom that has you on edge the whole time.

All in all, I was enraptured by LINGER, and am positively anxious with excitement for Forever -the final installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy - scheduled to release July 2011.

*If you are considering reading Linger, I do recommend that you read Shiver first as it is the first in the trilogy. Otherwise you would not grasp the whole story and, of course, you'd be missing out on an amazing book.

Manic Monday Recaps (Week 7/19/10)

Happy Monday y'all! It's been a dark and dreary weekend here in South Florida and today is still gloomy. I'm really hoping the weather gets better since our beach weekends are getting all rained out - BOO! Then again I can't complain because staying in means I get to read more.

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Last week I read the following:
- Bed of Roses - Nora Roberts
- Savor the Moment - Nora Roberts
- The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han
- Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
- One Season of Sunshine - Julia London
- The Lies we Told - Diane Chamberlain
- Linger - Maggie Stiefvater

I reviewed the following:
- My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares [review]
- Intertwined by Gena Showalter [review]
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher [review]
- Cum Laude by Cecily von Ziegesar [review]

Have a lovely reading week!


Have a lovely weekend friends

Cum Laude by Cecily von Ziegesar

Dexter College is a small liberal arts college in the quiet town of Home, Maine. But it won't stay quiet for long with this group of freshmen. There's Shipley--blonde and beautiful, the object of envy and more than a little lust. Determined to assert herself and to shed her good-girl image, she buys cigarettes and condoms, because that's what every self-respecting college girl does. Her edgy roommate, Eliza, came to Dexter to get noticed, and she has the attitude and the mouth to prove it. Then there's Tom. Handsome, privileged, used to getting his own way, he's a jock-turned-artist who thinks his paintings will change the world. Sensitive Nick, Tom's wake-and-bake pot-smoking roommate, wants to follow in the footsteps of his boarding-school hero. And then there are brother and sister Adam and Tragedy Gatz. The freckle-faced farm boy lives at home with his parents and his little sister, who does all she can to stop him from being a wuss.

As Shipley, Eliza, Tom, Nick, and Adam find out, that first year of college is more than credits and cramming. Between the lust and the love, the secrecy and the scandal, they'll all receive an unexpected education. It's a time of shifting alliances, unrequited crushes, and coming of age. Find Yourself is Dexter's motto. And they are determined to do just that. [via GoodReads]

This is my first von Ziegesar novel. I've never read any of her Gossip Girl series and I thought it would be fun to start with something adult and then make my way to some of her YA books. I thought wrong. I personally did not like this book and therefore now really have no want to read anything else by her.

By reading the synopsis of the book you can only describe it as promising. I mean, yea, I like reading books about kids in college. The drinking, the parties, the sex, the "finding yourself" moments, all sorts of new friendships and in's and out's of relationships. I definitely like reading about all these things and finding a book that encompasses all these topics is really a plus for me. I truly found the depictions of these events to be realistic. There were also some funny moments scattered throughout - although they were rare.

What I did find odd was that the book was set in the 90's. The mentioning of the walkman's and CD players, President Clinton, etc. were all accurate. But there was the mention of a Starbucks on campus that I think might be off in time frame - especially since the school is out in the sticks somewhere in Maine. And like this there were other minor discrepancies that I also caught. Nothing overly horrendous, but definitely enough to peeve my analness when it comes to accurate facts.

In the end, I just felt like I couldn't connect with the characters. They were too cliche. Everything was too expected. From what I've read, this will be part of a three book series - although it reads perfectly as a stand alone. Sadly I think I will refrain from reading the rest.

This might work for fans of Ms. von Ziegesar - especially those who have grown up reading her Gossip Girl series and are now in college. It just didn't work for me.

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