Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Made The Switch!

For those of you who actually follow me and read this blog, I have MOVED!

I will now be blogging along over at Wordpress.

You can find me HERE!

Thanks for taking this change well and I'll see you soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Hopping Along

I haven't done a blog hop in a while. Decided to join in with this one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Listen by Rene Gutteridge Review

by Rene Gutteridge
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
Someone is listening . . .

The quaint, close-knit community of Marlo was the ideal place to live . . . until someone started posting private conversations online for everyone to read, word for word. Now it’s neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, as careless comments and hurtful accusations turn the town upside down. Violence and paranoia escalate, and the police scramble to find the person responsible before more people get hurt—or even killed.

But what responsibility do the residents of Marlo have for the words they say when they think no one is listening? 

Listen by Rene Gutteridge 
Review by Me
5 Squees/5 Squees

First off I want to say that I think this is a book that everyone should read. We are a world that is too quick to speak. We are too quick to dirty someone's name when they aren't around to defend themselves. In Rene Gutteridge's book, Listen, you meet the citizens of a small town called Marlo who quickly learn the power of words. I absolutely loved this book. I was drawn in immediately and I was kept enthralled all the way till the end. The thing I liked most though was the realness of this book and the ability it had to open my eyes up to my own life. How often do we talk badly about other people? How often do we say one thing behind someone's back, but another to their face?

After reading this book, you'll start seeing yourself in a different light and you'll start realizing that your words have power. Do you want that power to be uplifting or bring people down?

"Speak Kindly. Love powerfully. Listen Fully."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recent Kindle Downloads

aka What Manda is Going to Read
Currently Reading...pretty good so far!

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1) 
My next read on the top 100 list, thought it sounded interesting.

Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, Book 1)
Looked cute and was FREE. :)

In the last week or so I've downloaded about 60 books to my Kindle. All but about 3 of them were FREE. I am totally 100% addicted to my Kindle and am having a blast reading on it. I'll probably start doing these little what Manda is reading posts to keep those who care updated. :)

My to read list of paper edition books is still pretty large and I'm going to have to start going back and forth between Kindle editions and paper ones. I still love holding a real book in my hands, but I am pretty in love with my Kindle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Daring Proposition by Jennifer Greene Review

A Daring Proposition
by Jennifer Greene
Publisher: Carina Press

Leigh Sexton is desperate to have a baby, and Brian Hathaway would be the perfect bio-dad. One of Chicago's most notorious playboys, Brian is no family man, which suits Leigh just fine. An heiress and successful CPA, she is more than capable of raising a child alone. Now all she has to do is work up the nerve to ask Brian to impregnate her...artificially. Leigh has no interest in conceiving the old-fashioned way, despite how her heart races whenever she's near him.

Brian is intrigued by Leigh's request. He's not into commitment, even with a woman as attractive as Leigh, but he's also not the type to make a deposit and then disappear. If he goes along with her scheme, he's got one demand of his own: marriage before conception. He agrees to keep things clinical—he can get sex elsewhere—but having a wife at home will keep the husband-hunters at bay.

It seems like the ideal compromise—until they start falling in love.

A Daring Proposition by Jennifer Greene
Review by Me
3.5 Squees/5 Squees

I had a hard time with this book in the beginning. I just wasn't pulled in right away. Leigh was going through a lot in the beginning of the book and everything felt really stiff and blah. I continued reading because I wasn't completely bored.

The book really started picking up about halfway through when Leigh and Brian go to visit his family for Christmas. Up until that point everything seemed forced and drawn out. I loved the book at this point and forward. I really loved the chemistry that started to build between Leigh and Brian and I loved her chemistry with his family. All the way through the end of the book I was a very happy reader. It was almost like a was reading a different book at the halfway point.

All in all I enjoyed this story and thought it was read worthy.  I just wish the author didn't take so long in the beginning to really get it going. I wouldn't have minded more of the relationship building and romance that was in the second half of the book.

I enjoyed the characters, and would recommend this if you're into the romance genre and just looking for something so-so to read.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Announcement Announcement Announcement!!!

I can now review books in KINDLE format!!!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, I crossed to the dark side and got a kindle. I absolutely LOVE it! Now if only I had money to actually fill it with books. Looks like I'll be entering some of those Amazon Gift Card contests.

Now don't think I've crossed over completely. I still have plenty of books in real book form and I will always buy books. It's just nice to have them all in the palm of my hand.

Ok that's all. Catch ya later.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Populazzi by Elise Allen Review

by Elise Allen
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be?  Would you grab it?  Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of  those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say.  One of the Populazzi.

It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder.  Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted.  And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

Populazzi by Elise Allen
Review by ME
5 Squees/ 5 Squees

This book was made of pure squees. I've read a lot of "heavier" books lately and this was a refreshing break from that. Elise Allen wrote this typical teen story with a girl striving to rise in popularity. I loved her take on such a normal story though. Her characters were charming and I really felt for Cara through out the whole book. I definitely oohed and awed through many pages and even let a few squees out during some of the more "cutesy" moments. I'm a big fan of these type of high "fluff" stories. I don't know if it was my lack of high school social skills or that I just wish I was young and naive again. This book will bring you back to those days of longing to fit in and you'll wish you could be by Cara's side through some of the tougher moments. All in all this was a great teen read, and I definitely enjoyed it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Clearing by Heather Davis Review

The Clearing
by Heather Davis
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Synopsis: Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.

The Clearing by Heather Davis 
Review by Me
5 Squees/5 Squees

I don't even know how to begin this review. When I read the synopsis of this book, I thought it sounded really strange. It seemed different though, and I like different. I loved this book from the beginning. The character of Amy is just so relate-able. She is a realistic girl who is going through real and painful things.  She goes to get away from things and ends up meeting Henry. Henry is that good, respectable, country boy that EVERY girl dreams about. He couldn't be more perfect.  I love that even though he seemed so perfect for Amy, Heather Davis made him have problems too. I love that both characters have to struggle through a lot of things and their outcome isn't necessarily the happy fluffy one that is expected in books of this genre.  I really enjoyed all characters in this book, down to Aunt Mae's dog.  The author really made this world she created realistic, while still making it interesting and exciting.  I love the outcome of the book, even though it wasn't my ideal ending. I really like where Heather Davis took this story and how she made it possible and believable all the way through the last page.  I was happy for everyone in the end and I loved that things turned out the way they did. Makes you curious huh? You'll have to check this one out for yourself.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry Review

The Birthday Ball
by Lois Lowry
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Synopsis: Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fate-for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, "Pat," and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome school master. Disgusting suitors, lovable peasants, and the clueless King and Queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Priscilla calls the shots. What began as a cure for boredom, becomes a chance for Princess Patricia Priscilla to break the rules and marry the man she loves.

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
Review by Me
4 Squees/5 Squees

This book was incredibly cute. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It was for a younger audience then what I usually read, but the storyline was pretty cute, so I decided to check it out. I read this in one sitting and loved every minute of it. Princess Patricia Priscilla was super adorable and lovable from the start. I love that the whole book starts out with her being bored and wanting to fix her boredom. Lois Lowry did a great job with her characters and each one was distinct and enjoyable. I loved the personalities of the suitors. Each was very unique and highly over the top, which made them very entertaining. I also enjoyed the growing relationship between the servants and the relationship between the princess and the teacher. All in all this was a great children's story and I know girls of all ages will enjoy this one.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones Review

Save The Date
by Jenny B. Jones

When Alex and Lucy pick out wedding invitations, they wonder if they can be printed in vanishing ink.

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiance in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones
Review by Me
4.5 Squees/ 5 Squees

Oh man, I don't even know what to start on this book. I absolutely loved everything about this book. I cried, I laughed and I of coursed Squeed many many times. I completely and utterly loved both the main characters, Lucy and Alex. They had amazing chemistry and they were the perfect pair for this story.  I really could tell that Jenny B. Jones loved them as she wrote about them. You could feel the time and the dedication she put in to developing her characters. 

The storyline was also great. Both Lucy and Alex have dark pasts that they're working through and you see their struggles throughout the book. I love the work Lucy does with the girls program and the dedication she has for her work is phenomenal. Being a Thomas Nelson novel, this book also had a great message that really pulled on my heart strings. It's not often that I read a book with religious themes and love it.  The message wasn't suffocating and I never felt like I was reading a "religious" book.  All in all, I thought this was a great story of suffering, family and love.  You'll squee just like I did during Lucy and Alex's more personal moments. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Dark Divine and The Lost Saint by Bree Despain Review

The Dark Divine

by Bree Despain


I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.


The Lost Saint

by Bree Despain


*Spoiler Alert* - If you have not read The Dark Divine, this synopsis may contain spoilers.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

The Dark Divine and The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Review by Me

4.5 Squees/ 5 Squees

I absolutely loved these books.  They had an awesome mix of paranormal, romance and everyday life to not only make them believable, but to draw in anyone from page one.

In the Dark Divine, you meet Grace Divine, average everyday artist girl.  She's a pastor's daughter, and living within that lifestyle.  You also meet Daniel, a troubled teen from Grace's childhood and her one true love.  These two characters just dragged you into the book.  Between their relationship with each other and Daniel's dark past, I was completely enthralled with this series from book one.

Bree Despain has quite a knack for making you fall in love with her characters and she kept me turning the pages.  There is a nice twist in the first book, that I sort of saw coming, but I can say I was shocked with the outcome.  I love the way the whole book rode along through the despair and heartache in Daniel's life, but it wasn't overwhelming.

In The Lost Saint, we have the same cast of characters with a couple of new faces. I won't go into to much detail plot-wise, since I'm not one for spoilers, but the story just keeps getting better.  There is a new character named Talbot in this book, that I just adored.  Everything about him just makes you love him.  I love that the author mixed everything up a bit throwing him into the mix.  He's very different from the other characters in the book and he definitely makes this interesting.  Once again Bree Despain through in a twist with this one,  I saw things coming, but there was a lot that surprised me.

I definitely enjoyed reading both of these books and I can't wait for another installment.  I know there has to be more. She can't just leave it where she did.  I loved the characters, the story line and the writing in both books.  Plus, who doesn't love a hot paranormal boys.

Check out more on Bree's Site:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Egmont USA. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”