Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins Review

Hey Everyone!

So I FINALLY read it!!

I've been wanting to read this book FOREVER, but have been almost trying not to, just so I don't have to wait too long for Stephanie Perkins next book!

NOW, I have to wait until September!!! UGH!!!

I read Stephanie Perkins Anna and the French Kiss last year, shortly after I met Stephanie at a signing here in my area! I absolutely fell in love with that book!!  I actually had bought Lola and the Boy Next Door (which is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss!) there as well, and had gotten it signed, knowing I would devour that book by the time I got to it!

Well I did!

From Goodreads:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My thoughts:

WOW!  I absolutely devoured this book!  I read it less than two days, and just couldn't put it down the entire time I was reading it!  I loved the characters, the story, how realistic it felt at times!  I even loved the setting...San Francisco, one of the coolest cities to visit!

Lola is such a unique character just by how different she is, expressing herself in unique ways through her fashion; yet at the same time she is so much similar to a regular teenage girl!  Falling in love with someone and thinking and they are your forever, a lot of girls have that happen!, and then always remembering your first love...definitely know that one haha.

Cricket (haha, funny name!) was a great character too, who the reader can tell is absolutely perfect for Lola from the beginning just by his style!  He is accepting, and such a good person, that you, the reader, just find yourself falling for him just like Lola!

I also loved some of the other parts of the story, such that Lola has two fathers, who love her so much.  Lola has a birth mother who can be completely unpredictable, and not in a good way, giving the story an even more realistic view.  

My overall rating:

I loved it from beginning until end!  I was a bit worried when the book started off with Lola talking about how she was going to stay with her boyfriend forever, even though they'd only been together for a couple of months, but I was wrong to have worried; because in the end, I felt it was true to how a lot of teenagers feel.  In fact, there is another book (which I personally didn't think was anywhere as close to being good as this one), Forever... by Judy Blume, which deals with the same thing!

I loved the characters, the story, and overall the entire layout of the book!  Highly recommend this one to everyone who loved Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss!  This is a companion novel to that one, so possibly read it before hand, because Anna and St. Clair show up this one!!!!! Which I LOVED!! I love it when my favorite characters from past book show up in future books!!

Also recommend it to young adult contemporary lovers.  Fans of Sarah Dessen, Kody Keplinger, Gayle Forman, Miranda Kenneally, and Meg Cabot are sure to devour this one I believe! :)

Happy Reading!

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Hey Everyone!!

It's giveaway time!!!!

I am participating in the Young Adult Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer & BookLove101!

Super excited, especially since Young Adult is my favorite genre!!

This giveaway will be US Only, SORRY!!!, shipping is ridiculously expensive, but the US winner will have the choice of one of these fabulous books I'm giving away!!!

Your choices are:


You get to get choose only ONE if you're chosen as the winner!!

So just fill out this Rafflecopter form!!! :) The contest will be open February 4th!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks Everyone!

The Romance Bookie

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Perks of Being a Wallflower movie Review


Image from imdb


So I FINALLY saw the movie for The Perks of Being a Wallflower today!!

First off, let me just say that I was very skeptical walking into that theater today.  Honestly, I enjoyed the book, but had a somewhat tough time getting through it, because Charlie was pretty complex person.  

I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower back in October, and ended up giving it 3 stars...I know, a lot of you who read it are probably having their jaws drop.  Why did I give only 3 stars?

Well, honestly, because at the time I thought it just wasn't my type of story.

However, now I know why!

It's because this book needed to be seen come alive!

The movie was absolutely beautiful!  The story came to life with the actors that Stephen Chbosky, who not only wrote POBAW, but ALSO produced, directed, wrote the screenplay, AND cast the entire production!

I was thoroughly and pleasantly surprised by how many stars were featured in the film!  Logan Lerman, who I was absolutely genius as Charlie, was previously in the film adaptation of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and he will be featured in the second movie, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters in the next couple of months as well!

Emma Watson, who may have let her British accent peek a couple of times throughout the movie, did a fabulous and otherwise very convincing role for Sam!  She was gorgeous, with that cute pixie cut, that somehow proved to me that she has moved on from the highlight of my childhood Harry Potter, playing the amazing Hermoine Granger of course (as if, you didn't already know that! :)).

And then there was Ezra Miller, who played Patrick! Wow, this guy can act!  I am honestly looking forward to seeing him other features in the future!

There were also some great side characters, such as Mary Elizabeth, played by Parenthoods Mae Whitman!  And then their was Paul Rudd, who made a perfect Mr. Anderson, Charlie's English teacher!

If you haven't seen the movie I HIGHLY recommend this one!  There were parts that were brought alive, that I honestly didn't even get in the book!  There were small things left out, however, overall the movie was absolutely perfect! 

My rating:
Hope everyone had a great weekend!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

***WARNING*** Mature Eyes Only!!! No body under the age of 17!!***

I was recommended Sylvia Day's Crossfire series, by one of my blogging friends, Liz, over at Books I Think You Should Read and Yes/No Films.
Liz ended up trading with me the first two books of the series, with two of my old books; so I was definitely looking forward to checking them out!

Well I finished Bared to You last night, and let me just say I'm glad it got recommended to me!!

From Goodreads:

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness… He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

My Thoughts:

This book was hot! Dang!
And in so many ways better than Fifty Shades!  I know a lot of people have been comparing the two, and to be honest I understand why.

However, this book was WAYYYYY better written, wasn't as intense as Fifty, and had a story that was a lot more unique than the fan-fiction James wrote for Fifty.

I enjoyed listening and getting to know the main character Eva.  I thought she was a lot stronger and independent than Ana, from Fifty.  Ana was always very dependent, and couldn't speak her mind a lot of times, and just sort of went with the flow when it came to Christian; but Eva really has her own thing.  She was deeply wounded, and has been carrying some demons with her throughout most of her life; and through that she's been able to grow stronger, and learned not to depend on others during the important things in life.
I enjoyed a strong female protagonist in a role like this!

My overall rating:
I recommend this one to Fifty Shades fans.  However, if you didn't like Fifty, but you like these types of books normally, then definitely check this one out! It's got strong characters, events that felt very real; and a starter to a series that is sure to be exciting!
It did leave off with a lot of unanswered questions, that I'll be looking forward to having answered in books 2 and 3! :)
Have a great weekend everyone!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just one day...sometimes that's all it takes.

From Goodreads:

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!


My Thoughts:

Wow! Just wow!  Gayle Forman has hands down done it again!  I know I have seen quite a few bloggers reviews on this one, so I'm sure you have already heard the raving!

Just One Day is a journey that will have you holding on to your seats, and enjoying the ride, while wanting to point Allyson (aka 'Lulu") in the right direction. 

There were a few quotes I wanted to share, because they just made the book even more amazing...

"There is a world of difference, Lulu, between falling in love and being in love." (Pg. 62, of Hardcover)
"We are born in one day. We die in one day.  We can change in one day.  And we can fall in love in one day.  Anything can happen in just one day." (pg. 130)
"'...you forget, I don't speak French.' (Allyson).
'How hard can it be?' He stops and arranges his face into a puckered expression. 'Bon lacroix monsoir oui, tres, chic chic croissant French Ho-Bag.'" (Dee) (I accidentally didn't write down the page number for this one, but just thought it was hilarious!)

Gayle Forman is able to still find the humor in an absolutely devastating situation, which I always enjoy in an author's work.  This story reminded A LITTLE of Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes series, just because of the feel of the characters and the traveling around places in Europe.  

My Overall rating (if you haven't already guessed...):

This book is beautiful, amazing, and highly recommended by me and thousands of other people!  Definitely read it if you get a chance! It will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to go on your own adventure throughout Paris!

(I do have one complaint, and it has nothing to do with the story...but my finished hardcover edition, had quite a few errors in it!  There were quite a few sentences where words were missing, or a word too much, or even a couple of spelling errors.  I hope they fix that by the time the paperback is released).

Have a great day everyone!!

The Romance Bookie :)
 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

So I know everyone is scrambling to get Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl read before the movie hits theaters on the 13th of February! And I am no exception haha :)

I love reading the books before I see the movie! 

From Goodreads:

"There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
"

My Thoughts:

This book was full of surprises, captivating moments, and a love that can only be found in great books!

I found this book to be unique, with some strong supporting characters, and enthralling main characters, that I found myself enjoying it from beginning until end.

I've read a few reviews where people have mentioned they found the beginning to be slow, but personally I believe some series need that slower beginning.  All the greats have! Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone focused on Harry's stay still at the Dursley's for about 4 LONG chapters!  Twilight introduced Bella, and Edward and her didn't even meet until about 3, and they didn't talk until about Chapter 4 or 5!  Those were pretty long chapters too!

I personally think Beautiful Creatures ran at a smooth pace that allowed the readers to get a true feeling of the characters, the beginning of the story, and slowing introduced them to what was ahead.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out the entire book in the point of view of the male main character, Ethan.  I assumed it would be in Lena point of view.  But I like hearing Ethan's perspective.  However, I do believe Lena's perspective on Beautiful Creatures would make an entire book in itself!

There was one thing that sort of bothered me, but I couldn't understand why.  I couldn't cry during this one.  Usually I am a HUGE baby when reading a book!  In some of the reviews I read, people mentioned how they were bawling their eyes out at the end, so I thought that same thing was going to happen to me!

So my overall rating:
I truly enjoyed this one!  Thought it was a great introduction, and I am 100% looking forward to reading book 2-4!  I've got Beautiful Darkness (#2), sitting on my shelf, so luckily I don't have to wait too long! :)

Highly recommend this one!

The reason why I didn't give it 5 Bookies, is because 5 goes to those that I could easily reread at the same moment I finish them, and with Beautiful Creatures I'm not so sure if I'll be rereading it anytime soon (and by "Soon" I mean in the few years!).  Also my lack of emotion threw me off a bit.

However, I seriously still highly recommend it, especially to supernatural lovers.  It mentioned the Civil War quite a bit, because it is such a huge part of Gatlin's history.  I loved Lena and Ethan, they were such dynamic characters, especially Lena!

So definitely read it before seeing the movie!!

My review of the movie will go up as soon as I see it! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Music Tuesday #56

Hey everyone!

In honor of my finishing Beautiful Creatures, here's a song to get us all pumped for the movie! :)

Happy Tuesday! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Glitches by Marissa Meyer (Short Story)

Let me just begin by saying that I have looking forward to Scarlet by Marissa Meyer since reading Cinder last February!

So when I received my paperback version of Cinder last week, and found Marissa's short story Glitches, I was thrilled to say the least! :)

About Glitches:

Glitches (Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)
Picture from Goodreads




 Glitches is pretty much Cinder 0.5.  By that the half, I mean it is the story BEFORE Cinder's story in Cinder begins!

It's the story of when Cinder first joins her adopted family.  Of her coming home to meet her not-so-friendly step-mother, Adri, her also not-so-nice stepsister, Pearl, and her actual loving other step sister, Peony; while also still having her loving step-father around.

That is before her world is even further ripped apart, when her stepfather is taken from her and his family from the terrible disease, called letumosis, aka the plague of the future.

My thoughts:

If you've read and loved Cinder, and, like me, have been waiting for what seems like forever for Scarlet, then this is the perfect filler for the wait!  It's super short, only about 16 pages, but gives you a deeper look into Cinder's past.

I truly enjoyed this one, and has me itching even MORE for Scarlet next month! Only two more weeks from Tuesday!!! :) OMG so looking forward to it!!!!!!! :)

Overall rating:

Highly recommend Glitches and Cinder!! :)


The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Special Announcement

Hey Everyone!
So I have a special announcement to make!




Pretty Exciting right??!! :)

Here's what the page looks like:



And here's what my name looks like on it!
I guess my computer edited the photo nicely! yay! :)

Pretty awesome right?! And I'm right at the top!!

:)

Just wanted to share with you all this exciting news! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Music Tuesday #55

Hey Everyone!

Happy Tuesday!!

Today's song is...


Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys!

I heard it this morning on the news! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

IMM #14 Part 2! Ebook Edition!

So I finally got my Macbook back, which pretty much is my lifeline when it comes to my Romance Bookie stuff! :)
Here's the new In My Mailbox picture that I'll be using from now on!


In My Mailbox was originally started by The Story Siren and it's where anyone can participate and let everyone know what they got in books, and other book related things, throughout a given time.  Anyone with a blog can join in, and you can post once a week, once a month, or whenever you choose to.

SO I realized last week, after I posted my monthly IMM, I realized that I didn't share what Ebooks I got over the past month!!

So for this month only there is going to be a Part 2!

The Ebook Christmas Edition!

For Review:

From Author:
  • Audrey's Guide to Black Magic by Jody Gehrman (the FIRST-First edition! Before the ARCs even come out!) (Cover not available yet!)
From Netgalley:
   


From Amazon:
Falling  Speechless 
So those are all the Ebooks I've gotten over the past month! :)

Some awesome deals too!

Next month will hopefully be my first Video IMM post, if nothing else happens regarding technical difficulties, or I get some weird deformity on my face...you never know!!

Anyway I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater Review

Wow, WOw, WOW!!!!

I can NOT believe that it has taken me this long to read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver! Honestly, can't believe I have waited THIS LONG!!!

From Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Thoughts:

Wow, just Wow!  I can't even tell you how much I loved this book!  Everything about this book!  I loved the characters, the story, the writing (oh the writing! So gorgeous!)!  EVERYTHING! I'm not even kidding!

This is my kind of book!

This!

Shiver is such a great beginning to a series, that I am so unbelievably excited to read books 2 and 3! In fact, I wish so much I could pick them up right NOW, but unfortunately I can't!! It sucks!

Anyway, overall rating:

Do I even have to say?...
Absolutely loved it! I believe partially because in a few ways the love story reminded me a bit of Twilight.  The overall darkness feel of the story and some of the characteristics of the characters.  It doesn't have vampires in it though! Just werewolves!! Super hot werewolves!!  I blew through this book, devouring every single page! I laughed, I cried at one point, and my heart felt for these characters...which only happens to me when I'm reading a book that I truly love!

HIGHLY recommend this one!

It's definitely going onto my Favorites list!

The Romance Bookie :)


Friday, January 11, 2013

Interview with Anthea Sharp (Author of "Feyland" Trilogy!) Plus GIVEAWAY!!

Hey Everyone!
I'm SO SO excited right now!!!

Why?

Because I got an interview with ANTHEA SHARP!!!

Who is Anthea Sharp? you may be asking?

Well, she is only the author of this TOTALLY AWESOME trilogy, called Feyland!!! I've reviewed all three of the books here on The Romance Bookie!

Here are the links to those:

Feyland: The Dark Realm
Feyland: The Bright Court
and Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom!



The Romance Bookie:  Would you please tell the readers a bit about your "Feyland" trilogy?
 
Anthea Sharp: Set in an imagined near future with immersive gaming technology, the Feyland trilogy is the story of two teens who discover that a new prototype computer game is actually a gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie – and the fey folk have plans for the mortal world. The hero, Tam, and heroine, Jennet, must overcome their differences and trust issues and learn to work together. Throughout the three books, their relationship undergoes some changes as they do battle in-game and deal with their own real life problems. The first book, The Dark Realm, is partially based off the ancient ballad of Tam Lin. The second book, The Bright Court, draws from old faerie lore, too, with the story of Childe Rowland. I love drawing on the myths and stories about the fey and incorporating them into an urban fantasy setting.


TRB:   How did you come up with the concept behind the trilogy?
 
AS: The books come from a blending of different worlds – my love of fantasy and playing computer games. The two mixed around in my head, and I came up with the question that kicked the whole trilogy off: What if a high-tech computer game was a gateway to the Realm of Faerie? Add in the inspiration from old ballads, and the series was born.
 

TRB: Are you a gamer?
 
AS: Can you tell?  ;)  I’ve always been interested in virtual worlds, whether it was escaping into a book, or playing an MMO. I particularly enjoy fantasy-based games, but have fun console gaming (mostly Wii and more recently, Xbox Kinect), and heck, even playing cards! And back in the old days, video arcade games, too.


  TRB: If you answered yes to #3, which game system do you prefer to use?  (Playstation, XBox, Wii, other?) What's your favorite game?
 
AS: I’m a PC gamer girl at heart. I played World of Warcraft for many years – and anyone who’s played WoW will see bits of that game in my inspiration for the game mechanics of Feyland. Taken a few steps further, of course, with the addition real, dangerous magic.


  TRB: Do you see the world heading into the tablet era, like everyone carries in "Feyland"?
 
AS: I do! I wrote The Dark Realm in 2010, and since then there has been a serious explosion of tablet use, which I think is only going to continue.


  TRB: Which do you prefer: hardcopies or ebooks? Why?
 
AS: I prefer my reference books, especially the ones with illustrations, in print. But more and more I’m reading for pleasure on a screen – either on my Kobo reader, or my computer. I buy a fair number of ebooks these days – partially because I have some friends independently publishing awesome stories, and also because there are great ebooks out there for very reasonable prices. And I don’t have to store them in my already-too-full bookshelves!


TRB:  Any advice for aspiring writers?
 
AS: Just write. Don’t worry about making your first draft ‘perfect’ – just finish the story. Then you can go back and work on it. It’s important to let the creative voice flow without that pesky internal editor getting in the way, and the more you write, the easier it gets. Mostly.  ;)
 

GIVEAWAY!!! 

Feyland: The Dark Realm
Thanks so much for the interview, Mandy! I’d love to gift a free ebook version of The Dark Realm to everybody who leaves a comment! Yes, I’m trying to get everyone hooked on the trilogy, lol. Leave a comment about your favorite game, include your email and the format you’d prefer your ebook in, and let me know if I can add your name to my newsletter list (very infrequent and special perks for my readers.) Thanks!

Thank you Anthea!! You're awesome! And I can't wait to read more! :)

Happy Friday Everyone! :)
The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The K Street Affair by Mari Passananti Blog Tour (Excerpt)

Today I'm so excited to have for all of you an excerpt from a new book called The K Street Affair
The K Street Affair

Excerpt:

Every soul employed in the fancy glass office building at 1050 Connecticut Avenue swarms the exits well before the alarm system finishes blaring its robotic instructions. We march slowly and deliberately down a stairwell plunged into blackness, illuminated only by emergency bulbs at each landing. I’m grateful nobody has panicked, but I can’t help silently urging my colleagues to pick up the pace. The alarm shrieks deep inside my head, even with my hands pressed over my ears.
How many minutes since the floor rocked under our feet? Can aftershocks take down buildings? Crush the people in them?
I try to estimate our progress, but lose count of the steps before we reach the pavement. I pause and blink at the shock of sunlight before realizing that every person who stops for a moment to regroup slows the evacuation. A detail cop yells at us to move north along Connecticut Avenue. Good. Shorter buildings up there.
On the sidewalk the news barrels over us: Not an earthquake. A bomb. A massive one. The kind that can change everything.

The phones crash as I’m breathlessly relating my escape from Rutledge & Smerth to Damien. My husband listens without comment for several minutes.
I pause to look at the screen. No signal. I wonder how long I’ve been talking to dead air. Sirens wail, both in the distance and down the block. Conversation ceases while hundreds of my shell-shocked co-workers study their unresponsive phones. There’s a bizarre but absolute absence of hysteria.
A vaguely familiar man touches my arm. “Lena, are you okay?”
I nod absently and turn away from this guy I now recognize as a paralegal from my floor. I can’t muster any conversation. I just want to go home. Hide under the covers. Erase the past thirty minutes from memory.
Firemen in full hazmat gear herd us further from the smoking crater that used to be the K to L Street block of Connecticut Avenue. They string up yellow police tape several yards back from the crumbling pavement, and plead with the most aggressive gawkers to back off so rescue teams can do their jobs. News vans start to arrive and soon outnumber ambulances. An officer with a bullhorn yells at the crowd to disperse. I pick my way through the crowd of faces, some familiar, many not. I finally reach M Street and turn north on 19th.
The walk takes twice as long as it should, because pedestrians, most underdressed for the January cold, clog the streets. My naked ears and fingers ache, but I feel guilty for wishing I had my coat. I should feel thankful to be alive and unscathed. By the time I arrive at our doorstep on T Street, it takes me three tries to maneuver the key into the lock with my numb hands.
I crank the heat, glad for the first time ever that Damien insisted we keep our landline. I knock a pile of magazines and catalogs out of the way so I can see its caller I.D. box, which has recorded more traffic this afternoon than during the entirety of the last two years. I try Damien at work. His steady voice on the outgoing message explains he has left for the day. He recites his temporarily useless mobile number and email address.
I talk to my mother, insist I’m shell shocked but physically fine. I urge her to refrain from taking any of the prescription sedatives one of her book club ladies recommended. We hang up. I scroll back through the missed calls. My friend Hannah is the only member of our inner circle who hasn’t checked in. Her office is a block from mine, a few hundred yards further removed from the crater on Connecticut. I saw, through the swirling ash and smoke, that her building withstood the jolt. Maybe Hannah will think to walk over here. We’re much closer than her place across the river. I try to check Facebook, but our Internet isn’t working. The router’s insolent red light blinks under the desk.
On TV, NBC’s anchorman reports, “At 12:13 p.m. in the nation’s capital, at least six explosive devices detonated on different Metrorail trains. The explosions appear to have been simultaneous. The Secret Service, along with agents from both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, are trying to determine who or what triggered the blasts.”
Blasts, plural.
Six of them? I grab the arm of the couch for support. Tell myself the blasts can’t all have been as bad as the one under my building.
The screen shows a map of DC’s Metro system. In addition to the bomb right outside my building, there are explosion icons at Capitol South Station, between Chevy Chase and Bethesda Stations, at Foggy Bottom, downtown at Metro Center, and across the river, at Pentagon City Station.
The anchorman says, “Initial estimates put the death toll over 700, and rising.” I feel the world tilt under my feet. 700? “Many area roads have collapsed from the force of the underground explosions. We have no solid figures on the number of wounded, but police estimate that over a thousand people await treatment at area hospitals. Search and rescue teams from around the country have started to arrive in the DC area to aid overwhelmed first responders. Time is of the essence. If anyone is alive under the rubble, they will be unlikely to survive overnight. Record lows are forecast throughout the region. Elsewhere around the nation, police are on high alert. The FAA has ordered all U.S. airports closed at this hour.”


The K Street Affair is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List is one of those books that I have been looking forward to reading since its release last April (2012).  I almost traded it with someone a couple of weeks ago, but that ended up not working out.  So when I went to the library last week, and found it in the Teen Section, I was excited and checked it out without even thinking about it.

Let me just start by saying that for the fact this book has been on my to-be-read list since last April, I was disappointed.

From Goodreads:

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

My Thoughts:

"Why were you disappointed?" you may be asking?
Well, let me just say the overall premise of the List bothered me.  The fact that for DECADES this list has been going around every year, and no one has ever complained about it and been able to put a stop to it, bothered me without a doubt.  Personally, if I were to be put on an "Ugly" list, I would fight that thing like no other!  
I was so utterly disappointed by the outcome of this story that I found myself almost questioning, "What was the point of that story?  Did anyone learn anything??"

Now to what I did like, and what in the end had me giving the rating that I did...
I liked the characters.  They were intriguing.  Each had their own story, which Vivian told in a great way.  The characters are what kept me interested.

Danielle, I probably felt the most sorry for.  Especially because of that boyfriend of hers.  Wow, what a *&#%#@!
Abby, I feel like she was the character that you heard the least about.  I felt terrible for her sister!

Candace, you know when it said on the list "Beauty isn't just skin deep, btw" under her name, I kind of liked the fact that someone was named "ugly" for their inside, not their outside!  But I believe she is the one character that actually truly changed positively in this book!

Lauren, oh dang, her mom? Wow, that is one controlling mother!  What a way to freak out way too easily! I get it her little girl isn't at home anymore, but there is a time where you need to give her a little space!

Sarah, was the only one who tried to put a stop to that stupid list!  However, the way she did it, was pretty bad!  It didn't really make much sense to me, personally, but I guess it was her way of making her own statement and getting people to hear her!

Bridget,  Wow, this girl has issues!  I really hope she gets the help she needs...which btw, the reader DOESN'T find out about!!! Bridget feels bad about what she does from the beginning, so in the end, when she still does, it doesn't really show anything about her possibly changing!  That bothered me actually. Luckily, her sister knew what was going on with her, so the reader can only hope she did something about her big sister's problem!

Jennifer, I actually felt bad for this one at the beginning...but then you get to know her, and you think to yourself, "Wow, ok..." I don't get her at all!  

Margo, this one seems nice enough, but what she did to her supposed best friend back in the summer before their freshmen year, (Jennifer is that "BFF") was unacceptable in my eye.  The thing is though, you never TRULY found out what really happened back then! The reader gets bits and pieces, but never the whole story.  It was odd.

So overall rating:
This book, I will admit, kept me intrigued, and definitely had me page turning.  But their was just so much with the List that I had issues with, like that it has been going on for so long!  I would freak out!
And honestly I'm surprised that no one ever did anything drastic over being put on the "ugly" list!  That sh%$ can mess with you head so much! Especially in high school!!

I'd recommend it if you're looking for a drama read.  A high school drama ridden bullying-self-esteem fest!  This book is filled with so much drama!  In the end I believe that is what will have the reader hanging onto every word.  I thought it was okay, but when it came to the overall premise of The List, the story truly bothered me.  

I'd love to hear some opinions from other readers of this book??!!! :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!
The Romance Bookie :)

Music Tuesday #53/54

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Goodnight Everyone! Where ever you are! :)

My first Music Tuesday of 2013 is officially going up!! 

I've completely spaced, but it's time now!! :)

So this first song, I've been listening to for weeks on the radio!  I absolutely love it!

"Home" by Phillip Phillips!



And this next band just has this awesome sound, a little similar to Phillip Phillips (above)!

Mumford and Sons, "I Will Wait"!

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Steven Manchester Guest Post, (Goodnight Brian)

  



Good Day everyone!  

Today I'm featuring Steven Manchester on The Romance Bookie!  His new book Goodnight Brian is out tomorrow!
                                                       Goodnight, Brian


Goodnight Brian diagnosis excerpt



Brian was eleven months old when Doctor Alexander summoned the Mauretti family into his office to deliver the final verdict. Mama insisted that she be there. No one objected.
It was a late winter afternoon, a howling wind knocking on blocks of ice that were once windows. Doctor Alexander sat behind his tidy desk, looking distressed. Joan nearly cried when she saw his demeanor and immediately leaned on Frank for support. Avoiding initial eye contact, the young doctor was clearly having trouble offering his prognosis. He cleared his throat and finally reported, “We’ve discovered that Brian has metabolic alkalosis.”
“He has what?” Frank asked.
“Metabolic alkalosis is a blood disorder that affects an infant’s ability to digest properly and gain weight. It’s caused by a lack of chloride, or sodium, in the diet.”
“So what does that mean for Brian?” Joan asked.
“Several of Brian’s tests have shown some abnormality in the frontal area of his brain.”
Joan, Frank and Mama’s silence begged for the man to embellish. The doctor took another long pause, making Joan feel like her heart was going to explode. She tried to slow down the hyperventilating. It was no use.
“Your son’s development has been severely damaged,” he finally told Joan and Frank directly. “And at this point, I believe it’s irreversible.”
“Irreversible? I don’t understand?” Joan screeched, frightened for her baby boy’s future. She felt so lightheaded that the room began to spin.
Doctor Alexander shook his head. “It means that Brian will never walk.”
“Never walk?” Frank repeated, his face instantly bleached to white.
“I’m sorry, but we don’t believe he will.” He scanned the reports in front of him and took another deep breath. “It’s also doubtful that Brian will ever talk or communicate effectively.”
Joan looked toward her mother again, her terrified eyes begging for help. Mama got to her feet and took a defensive posture.
Without acknowledging the old woman, the doctor went on, “Brian may never be able to do what normal children—or adults—are able to do.” He paused again. “We believe it may have been caused by the Neo Mulsoy formula. The low chloride concentration in his urine is substantial proof that the sodium deficiency within the soy formula has been the primary cause of Brian’s medical problems.”
While the doctor tried to explain further, Joan wailed, “Oh God, what did I do to my boy?”
“You didn’t do anything,” Doctor Alexander and Mama vowed in unison.
The doctor backed off, allowing the old lady to take over. She grabbed her daughter’s panicked face. “This wasn’t you,” Mama promised. “You did nothing wrong!” She shook her head. “And this is only one opinion. There are other doctors…more tests.”
While Joan wept sorrowfully, Frank rested his hand on his wife’s leg and stared helplessly at the doctor. “But Doctor Carvalho prescribed the formula to Brian,” he muttered in a wounded voice, as if it would make some difference.
“There’s no way he could have known at that time that it would have caused your son harm,” the man replied.
“You say he’ll never walk?” Joan cried.
“Sorry, but I really don’t believe he will,” the doctor answered, sadly.
“Or talk?” Joan gasped, trying to breathe.
The man slowly shook his head. “I have to believe that the damage to your son’s frontal lobe will prohibit any real speech.”
As Joan struggled to continue her panicked line of questioning, Mama shook her gray, curly head. “That’s crap!” she said, loud enough for everyone to hear.
The young doctor turned his attention to her. “I realize that this is…”
“You’re wrong!” Mama insisted, taking a step toward him.
“Excuse me?” he asked. “I know this isn’t easy to hear, but…” The man shot her a kind smile, but Mama wasn’t swayed. “I’m so sorry, but Brian is now mentally disabled,” he concluded.
“No. I don’t think you understand,” Mama replied, staring straight into his sapphire eyes. “Our boy is going to walk. He’s going to talk. He’s going to ride a bike, swim, and learn to do everything that any other kid can do. It might take a little more doing, but I guarantee it!”
Although it was the slightest movement, the doctor shook his head at her foolish hope. “Believe me, I wish that were true, but…”
“Wishing won’t have anything to do with it. No, this’ll take faith and determination, and the love and support of our entire family.”
Unable to do more, Doctor Alexander turned back to Joan and Frank. “I’m here for whatever you need.”
“For what?” Frank barked, his shock turning to rage. “It was a doctor who ruined my son’s life!” By this point, Joan was nearly rolled into the fetal position, her body paralyzed from the devastating news.
Doctor Alexander nodded compassionately and, handing Frank a piece of paper, concluded, “This is a different soy-based formula that you folks can start Brian on, as well as an additional chloride supplement. We’ll talk about solid foods and other alternatives during his next visit.” Patting Joan’s shoulder, he said, “I’m so sorry” and stepped out of the room.
Mama watched the back of him disappear down the long hall and nodded herself into the slightest smirk. In that one moment, she realized her life’s mission had just begun.
While Joan sobbed and convulsed, Frank held his head in his hands, trying to process it all. Mama grabbed her dejected daughter’s face again and forced Joan to look into her eyes. She spoke sternly. “Joan, you listen to me right now. That doctor’s wrong! Brian’s going to write his own story. He’s going to sing his own song and no one’s going to sing it for him. It’s his life and it’s between him and God…not some fool doctor who’s had so much schooling that he’s forgotten the power of faith.”
Joan shook her head. “But, Ma…” she sobbed. “You heard him. Brian’s brain has been damaged.” The final word made her wail out in pain.
“Your Nana said that she had such a difficult time bringing me into the world that she nearly died. And the horse doctor who assisted in the birth told her that I just wouldn’t be right.”
Frank looked up from his spell and began to quietly weep.
Mama nodded again. “Yep,” she said, with burning determination. “Brian’s going to be as right as rain. I guarantee it. Only God knows how…but that’s enough.”

You can pre-order/purchase your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble! :)
The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

IMM #14 (Christmas Edition!)


In My Mailbox was originally started by The Story Siren and it's where anyone can participate and let everyone know what they got in books, and other book related things, throughout a given time.  Anyone with a blog can join in, and you can post once a week, once a month, or whenever you choose to.

Hey Everyone!!

First IMM of 2013!!! :)

I got some amazing things over the past month that I'm very excited to share with all of you!!

I was actually planning on making a video post, however, my Macbook is currently in the shop with some difficulties (my dog chewed on the cable, which caused it to Short out ;(), but I will be hopefully getting it back next week, and then next month I'll be able to make my first video IMM!

So here's what I got over the past month!

So I did my second ever trading this month! I actually traded quite a few books! :)

So I traded:


A HUGE thank you to my blogging friend, Liz, over at Books I Think You Should Read and Yes/No Films!




  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone  by Laini Taylor

    I am SO excited to read this! I have wanted to read this one since it was released, so a big thank you to Emma!!
     
 From Library:

Got a start on the Audiobook challenge, by checking out these awesome titles:

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • (Not Pictured) The Help by Kathryn Stocket
Also from the library, and currently reading:


Won:


Thank you to Kanchi!

Bought:

  • Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Had to buy this in paperback (I own it on ebook form) to add to my collection!! :)) (It was on sale at Barnes and Noble for only $5!)
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (Only a $1 at the used book store!!) And in Hardcover!
  • Ruby Red  by Kerstin Gier (this was originally released in Germany, and was recommended to me by a fellow German, so  I ended up getting it on Amazon in hardcover for under $7!)




  

 Christmas Presents!!!



 The Edward bookmark is from my Mom!! The other Breaking Dawn bookmark is from my good friend Natalie!!  The Barnes and Noble Giftcard was a gift from a family friend, and the Taylor Swift notebook (which is super cute, and has a line from one of my favorite songs "Long Live" on it, is from  the teacher I help out! :)

Christmas Presents to myself!! haha

 Breaking Dawn part 2 Movie Poster (yay, this is going to look awesome with the others!! :)) (I told you I have a problem ;))
And a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone poster for our new house!! :)

My overall haul:





Recap from the past month:


So that's it from me!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)