Friday 31 August 2012

Christy's Review:: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Petrefreud

For Darkness Shows the Stars
By: Diana Petrefreund

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 407

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.
But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen's persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Christy's Review:
A friend of mine pointed out this novel recently. I was so intrigued by the synopsis that I bought this book, a rare occurrence for me (actually buying a book) ever since I began to receive free galley copies of books for review.

I'm so in love with this story! I'm going to read it again after I finish writing this review. (If you know me, you know I only reread my favorite books in the world.) LOVE.

Austen's Persuasion + Kind-of-sci-fi + future-post-apocalyptic-reconstructionst + beautiful writing = One of the best YA novels I've read in a very, very long time (Right up there with The Assassin's Curse). I'm so completely impressed with this book I can't even tell you. Perfectly paced. Fantastic characters. Just the right amount of Austen's Persuasion combined with just the right amount of futurism. I bawled my eyes out several times. I was gutted. I had a crying headache, and yet, I couldn't put this book down.

Pick this one up, it's fantastic.

Thursday 30 August 2012

Audiobook:: Above and Beyond by Sandra Brown

Above and Beyond by Sandra Brown
Narrated by: Jack Garrett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Length: 9 hrs 17 min
Pub Date: August 2012; March 2004 {originally}
Format: Digital audio book

A special Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio for sending me this book to review.

The letters Kyla sent to her husband, Sergeant Richard Stroud, stationed a world away, spoke of a love that stretched across the ocean and held the young couple together. But when tragedy ended their marriage too soon, Kyla was left a widow with a newborn son. And Richard left behind only a metal box filled with his wife's declarations of love.
Trevor Rule had been Richard's best friend. Returning home from military duty, he carried with him the letters Kyla had sent. And with each one he read, he fell more in love with the gentle, passionate woman who had penned them. Now, he needs to convince Kyla of his feelings, and that they both have the right to be happy, to move past the tragedy of Richard's death.
Upon first listening to the narrator Jack Garrett I couldn't help a smile and a giggle. His voice is so very 1990's Danielle Steel-ish. Smooth and sexy. I knew this book was going to be fun. 
The dialogue is a bit dated. Really. Nobody talks like that. Not even in their inner dialogue they aren't that cheesy, but that doesn't mean that the story line isn't good. It just took a bit of getting used to. Once I was acquainted with the narrator and the feeling of this story we were off and running. 
I totally felt a pull toward Kyla and Trevor's relationship. I wanted them to work out and be together. If she could just put her feelings for her dead husband on the back burner they'd be OK. He was the perfect man. Always picking up after himself and helping with the baby {not realistic but this is fiction}. There were times when I wanted to smack Kyla upside the head. Girl, what's wrong with you?! Snap out of it! I also wanted to tell Trevor to take what was already his. I liked feeling a connection with the characters and wanting them to be together. 
I found myself doing the housework just so I could listen to more of the book and then I didn't want to stop and so I listened until 3am in bed because I had to know what was happening. Narrator Jack Garrett's voice had sucked me in. Although a bit dated and cheesy, this was a good audio book to enjoy while doing the dishes and folding the laundry. This is my first Sandra Brown and I'll be reading more!

*includes adult content.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Catriona's Review:: 44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel

44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 336
Format: Hardback
The plumbing was prone to leaks, the furniture rescued from garage sales. And every square inch was being devotedly restored to its original splendor—even as a relationship fell to pieces. Now Francesca Thayer, newly separated from her lawyer boyfriend Todd, is desperate. The owner of a struggling art gallery, and suddenly the sole mortgage payer on her Greenwich Village townhouse, Francesca does the math and then the unimaginable. She puts out an advertisement for boarders. Soon her house becomes a whole new world.

First comes Eileen, a fresh, pretty L.A. transplant, now a New York City schoolteacher. Then there’s Chris, a young father struggling with a troubled ex-wife and the challenge of parenting a seven-year-old son who visits every other weekend. The final tenant is Marya, a celebrated cookbook author hoping to start a new chapter in her life after the death of her husband. As Francesca’s art gallery begins to find its footing and Todd moves on to another woman, she discovers that her accidental tenants have become the most important people in her life. 

As the roommates bond, and the house fills with the aroma of Marya’s exquisite cuisine, there are shadows as well as light. Na├»ve Eileen explores the precarious boundaries of online dating with a series of strangers. Chris’s custody fight for his son escalates to devastating levels. Marya faces an unexpected choice that will take her into untested waters. And Francesca herself will contemplate what had seemed impossible: opening her heart once more.

Catriona's Review:
I enjoyed reading this book. The author introduces us to the characters and events straight away which Is a sure fire way to get me into a book. The characters are all realistic and likeable and the setting is a wonderful brownstone in new York.

I enjoyed the storyline even though there isn't too much substance to it. The main character is going through a break up and so takes in three lodgers, each of them bring with them their own personalities and issues and so the story is formed.

There were tears of sadness and tears of joy shed on my part, and some of the issues tackled are fairly thought provoking, however I think that the plot should have gone deeper into some of these issues rather than go further along in time as it did.

I am sure fans of the author will find plenty to enjoy and the books provides alight read for those looking to fill a space in their beech bag or briefcase, but if you're looking for a beefy story line, this won't satisfy your appetite.

"There's a lid for every pot... You Just have to find yours. -Avery" 

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Bookish Confessions

I have a few confessions to make. I hope I don't scare you away. Or maybe you are just like me? What are your bookish confessions?

  1. I started this blog to recommend books to my friends/family. I still get great satisfaction when they come to me for recommendations. Even more when they take the time to tell me they loved it. 
  2. I asked for a book light for my first Christmas with my husband. It was the only gift I got and I loved it. 
  3. I have to buy books in three's. It's a magic number. 
  4. I hate dust jackets. I take them off when reading. 
  5. No matter if I don't have any money, I can always find some for a book I want. 
  6. It breaks my heart when people tell me they hate reading. 
  7. I only keep books I'll re-read over and over. I donate everything else to friends, family, the library, you name it. 
  8. I'm obsessed with my Kindle. It is my most favorite possession I've ever owned. 
  9. Sometimes I'll be telling a story to someone and I will mix up an experience I've had with something I've read in a book. 
  10. I hate breaking the spine on my books. I'm super careful not to crack it even a little. I want my books in pristine condition. Another reason I love my Kindle so much.
*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Monday 27 August 2012

The Newsstand:: Reviewer's for Hire and a Nook for the UK!

Here we dish on news, up and coming books, tidbits,  and important things bookies should know. Check out what you can glean from this week. 

Bookish News
In Case You Missed It


Friday 24 August 2012

Interview with Terri Bruce

Website | Twitter | Facebook
I'd like to welcome debut author of 'Hereafter' Terri Bruce to The Sweet Bookshelf!

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are some items you'd like to check off?

Well, I just checked off “write a book” and “get published”

In all seriousness, though, I think it’s really hard to have a bucket list because there is just so much to see and do in the world; we can never do it all. The world is pretty amazing! If I sat down and made a list of all the things I want to do and see and try, it would be a hundred pages long. So I think it’s better to just do and see and experience as much as you can—it won’t be everything, but it will be something. I also think we need to be mindful of the wonder in the things we do manage to accomplish—focus on what we have, not what we don’t have or what we’ve missed.

However, there are two things I really, really hope I get to do before I die: wear a really fancy evening gown and dance the ballroom polka like Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in the King and I (these aren’t necessarily related items).

What are some of your favorite books? 

Oh, there are so many wonderful books in the world, it’s so hard to pick! It’s hard to name just a few but here goes: I tend to like classics—Ivanhoe, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Idylls of the King; young adult fantasy—Philip Pullman, Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle; and “Asian” fiction (especially Asian women’s fiction)—The Secrets of Jin-Shei, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Tea House Fire. I also love Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow (such a sad, wonderful book!) and Carl Sagan’s Contact.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Oh man, I don’t think there is any such thing as a typical writing day for me. A good day is one in which I wrote down some ideas (maybe a line of dialog, maybe a few keywords, maybe a description of a scene) before going to sleep the night before so that when I wake up I’m chock full of ideas or I get a bunch of ideas in the shower, and then I manage to write down all these ideas before they escape. Weekdays, I tend to write story chunks—just whatever scenes are in my head, which may or may not be in any kind of order—and on Sundays I integrate the chunks into the manuscript/story and do the smoothing between scenes as well as editing of what I’ve already written.

If you weren't a writer what would you be?

Well, I’m not a full-time writer—I still have to pay my bills (alas!). “In real life” I’m a grant writer for a non-profit organization, a job that I LOVE. I work for an incredible organization and with incredible people, doing incredible things. My other love is working with animals, especially training horses and dogs. I keep trying to find time in my life to volunteer at an animal shelter to work on rehabbing abused animals—I would love to do that. I guess I would list this as a bucket list item!

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.

Oh, I think most things about myself would surprise people—I’m apparently a very odd sort of person. I love Spam (the canned meat), I have a fear of driving over bridges, I have all my “parts” (appendix, tonsils, etc.), and I have never had a broken bone or worn a cast.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?

It was a long one! Hereafter is the second novel attempted to have published. I queried both agents and small/independent publishers/presses—it took 8 months and 112 rejections total (some of those came in after HEREAFTER was already under contract to Eternal Press) to find a publisher for the story. I was considering self-publishing and probably would have self-published in the end if no-one picked the story up because that’s how much I believe in HEREAFTER and want it to find readers who will love it. In the end, Hereafter was published about three years to the day after I started writing it

How did you come up with the idea for Hereafter?

“Hereafter” is about a woman, Irene Dunphy, who dies and ends up stuck on earth as a ghost. The story follows both her search for a way to “cross-over” to the afterlife and to come to terms with the mistakes she’s made in her life. Of course, that makes it sound like a serious drama, but it’s not; it’s really more “fantasy lit” with elements of comedy and adventure as well as the serious elements. As for the inspiration for it, well…I’m not a fast writer—“Hereafter” took two years to write and then eight months of querying to find a publisher—so I hardly remember where the inspiration came from. But I will say that I’ve always been fascinated by mythology, especially the origins of myths. Myths and legends change over time, they get embellished or updated to reflect modern values, and we often forget the “real” story behind the myth. At some point, I started wondering, “Well, what if all these stories of the afterlife were based on fact—what if they were true?” and then Hereafter was born.

Blog Tour:: Hereafter by Terri Bruce

Hereafter by Terri Bruce
Publisher: Eternal Press
Pages: 234
Pub Date: 1 August 2012
Format: Kindle (ARC)

A special Thank you to author Terri Bruce for sending me her book for review.

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The only problem is that, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option...

This book is witty and fun! Irene needs a little help getting to the afterlife and Jonah is going to help her get there. The interaction between these two characters is a bit of a give and take that is dripping with sarcasm and smart a$$ comments. Really fun to watch. Reminds me of a brother and sister relationship. 

A lot of research must have gone into writing this book because the religious aspects were all there. There isn't just one way to get to the afterlife. A little bit of everything was there and it was refreshing to see. So many paranormal's have been done over and over. The same 'ol thing. Hereafter is a rejuvenation of the genre. Something different! Finally! I enjoyed it!

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Favorite Books From the Last 3 Years

I've been book blogging for about 3.5 years. I've read a lot of books in that time. There have been too many mediocre books to list. Oh, dear. Sometimes I get into a rut and can't find a decent book to save my life. Then all of the sudden one will pop up and rock my world! That is probably my favorite thing. Finding the gem. Some have been huge big seller's that everybody else has read and then some have been off the grid and when I find another kindred spirit who has read it, I get all excited.

Take a list at my Top Ten Favorite Books from the last 3 years. It was hard to narrow it down. Several had to be left off the list, but these made it. I hope you'll read something from my list that you haven't already.


I will continue to put These is My Words on as many lists as possible until people start to read it. It is the best book I have ever read in my life. I felt all of my emotions while reading this and I've never cried so hard at the end of a book as I did here. The writing is superb and I actually feel a part of the story. You must read this.

I could not put Anna and the French Kiss down. I read it in one sitting and I actually had knots in my stomach wishing Anna and St. Clair would get together. The tension is unreal! Paris is a character here and I think it takes a skilled writer to make the setting also a character. I loved it. Best contemporary young adult I've ever read. 


I'm a sucker for middle grade fantasy. My friend Christy {and our Friday reviewer} recommended that I read Fablehaven and I am so glad I listened. It is like Harry Potter meets Narnia! Ah-mazing!! I've still not found anything to match it. If this series never ended I'd be happy. 

I can not leave this book off my list. I just can't. Waiting for Catching Fire to release was probably the most painful waiting period of my life. I was so obsessed with this story and I hadn't ever read anything like it. I also might have fell a little bit in love with Peeta here. I just love that boy with the bread. 


I tried reading City of Bones about 3x before I actually got past the 1st chapter. It took me years! I'm such an idiot. I was so obsessed with this book that I read the first 3 in the series in 24 hrs. It was insane. I love shadowhunters! I mean, come on! That Jace really get me going! This book is where my husband realized I had an addiction to reading. I can think of worse habits.

What a story! When I read The Summer I Turned Pretty I hadn't ever read any contemporary young adult. I know, what was wrong with me? Well, I couldn't remember any ya contemporary before this at least. I need Jenny Han to write me another amazing series. This one was top notch!

Oh wow!! If you want to give your heart a little shock then read Montana Summer. The love story is so amazing I felt like my heart was being squeezed. Easily the best book I've read this summer. Just writing this makes me want to re-read it right now. I fell in love with the characters and they are still in my mind. This is how you write sexual tension the right way. No smut needed. 

I love faerie stories. I was completely obsessed with Wings and my copy is completely trashed {or rather well used}. I've read it so many times. I'm Team Tamani forever and the final installment came out earlier this year. The ending was bitter sweet and felt very realistic for a paranormal. It was everything I'd hoped for.  


No list is complete without adding some Shannon Hale. The Goose Girl is one of the best re-tellings I've ever come across. Shannon Hale is a master writer and she really gets me. Nobody does middle grade like she does. I love this series and my box set has a special place on my bookshelf.

I can not adequately put into words how unique and amazing The Book Thief is. Death is the narrator. Morbid, but it gives a unique perspective on the Holocaust. The writing is so good it is almost like reading poetry. Markus Zusak is the pied piper and I followed him through this book and couldn't take my eyes away. Beautiful and heartbreaking all on one. This is a literary masterpiece.

*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Monday 20 August 2012

Review:: Montana Summer by Jeanette Miller

Montana Summer by Jeanette Miller
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Pages: 274

Life has never looked so promising for Shelby Hamlin. After weathering a lonely childhood, her father’s death, and her mother’s rejection for joining the Church, she is now engaged to someone who appears to be the ideal man: Brad Thompson, an ambitious BYU student who’s stalwart in the gospel. And when Shelby travels alone to Brad’s hometown in Montana while he’s in California, she’s warmly embraced by her future in-laws—with the exception of Cameron, Brad’s resentful brother whose own engagement recently ended in bitter scandal. But as Cameron becomes Shelby’s increasingly frequent companion in Brad’s absence, their initial sparks of irritation become the glowing beginnings of a complicated romance. And as the two explore the breathtaking scenery of Big Sky country, Shelby’s heart pulls her away from her carefully laid plans. Can she have the love she’s always wanted without destroying the family of her dreams?

OhmygoshIlovedthissomuch!!!!!! THIS is exactly what an LDS romance should be. Period. It made me feel all of the things. The romantic tension is unreal you guys! I was practically jumping out of my skin the fire was so hot. When I finished reading I immediately checked to see if author Jeanette Miller had written any more books. If she had, I would have bought every single one. 

From page one I liked Shelby. She is a very likeable character.She seems like she could be me, you, or any of us. She's...normal. Her reactions felt real. The dialogue flowed. I like it when I can put myself in the shoes of the main character. 

Cameron, oh Cameron! I have the hots for you. I do. He is so down to earth and I love that he's a forest ranger of types. I love all of the outdoors-y things he does. He is desirable and I loved his mannerisms and that dimple of his. I can picture him in my minds eye. Oh, yes I can! 

The plot of very good. I mean, it takes you OUT of Provo. Finally an LDS book outside of Zion. Every character was important. You got to know them all and you felt something for them. I had no trouble turning the pages. There was always something keeping the suspense going. It was awesome. There were enough surprises to keep me interested and moments that took my breath away. Kisses that made my whole body feel warm and instilled a longing inside me for these characters. 

I enjoyed this so very much. I needed a good book and I'm so glad this was the one I picked up. It was worth every penny. I can't wait to read it again! 

Friday 17 August 2012

Christy's Review:: The Kill Order by James Dashner

The Kill Order
By: James Dashner

     Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. 

The Kill Order is the story of that fall. 
     A prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, The Kill Order has been in the works since the completion of The Maze Runner. The story of civilization's fall was kept under wraps and is the explication of the events that began this bestselling series.

Christy's Review:

The Kill Order is a one-off prequel to The Maze Runner series, which is a series that I loved. I was a little hesitant to let myself like this book, as I didn't want to come to know a new set of characters in the same written world, and because of that, it took me a good third of the book to really, really get into it. But once I was in, I was all-in. What a ride! What a terrifying, horrific, brutal ride! 

From the get-go, you expect a rather bleak horizon and morbid outcome for most of the characters featured, given the world set up in The Maze Runner series; a world in which "the good guys" (WICKED) really have no moral compass. The Kill Order certainly does a good job of explaining how on earth an organization such as WICKED could come to be. And because this book is so very good at it's job, it is different than it's predecessors in the way that it reads and the basic makeup of the story's goals. I really wouldn't classify this book as being appropriate for younger teens. Without proper digestion and guidance, this is the type of book that could inspire acts of violence. 

Overall, really well done. BUT, parents, approach with caution, read this before your kids do, and if you deem it appropriate, be prepared to have conversations about the violent situations in this story in order to help them to understand the correctness (or incorrectness) of the things that happen in this book.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Review:: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 303
Format: Kindle

A special Thank you to Delacorte and NetGalley for sending this book to review.

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Morgan's Review {age 14}:

I like Lies Beneath but,I mostly like it because I love the scary mermaid sisters. The storyline is awesome and I love how it's written. It's just that my mind is a bit juvenile for this and I must admit that I skipped a few romantic paragraphs. My sister grace can read them seriously but ,I get all embarrassed and blush when its from the boys point of view. Girls point of view no problem boys view ,boom I am hiding my head beneath a pillow from embarrassment .I know its silly but I can’t help it. So I hope you all enjoy it because it is awesome so read it.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Epic Romances:: My Reason for Reading

One of my favorite things about reading is for the romance of it all. I enjoy reading about people who fall in love. I love their stories. I love the feeling I get as I fall in love with them. Pretty much everything I read needs to have some kind of romance. Even if it is just a tiny bit. All the way from Middle grade to adult, I like there to be a romance. I love to feel all of it. It's my reason for reading.

Take a look at some of my favorite epic romances that I feel would really make it in the real world. Well, they feel real to me anyway. I don't see them as fictional characters at all. If you haven't read some of these I seriously urge you to put your tbr pile aside and sit down for some of the most amazing romances I've ever come across. Some are new, some are old. But all have touched me deep inside. They've left an impression and I return to their stories whenever I need to have a little more faith in love.

*click the pictures for my reviews.
*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Monday 13 August 2012

The Newsstand:: Best New Books, Social Media Scamsters, and a Book Swap.

Here we dish on news, up and coming books, tidbits,  and important things bookies should know. Check out what you can glean from this week. 

Bookish News

In Case You Missed It


*click on the picture for the NetGalley request link

Friday 10 August 2012

Review:: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl by Paige Harbison
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle

A special Thank you to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for sending this book for review.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

Morgan's Review {age 14}:

New Girl!New Girl! Is so awesome I can’t begin to explain how much I love this book it is so engrossing usually I am not really interested in the teen romance thing but I like what Paige Harbison has done with it I love the whole thing.I hope you all get a chance to read it.

"There was no up, there was no down. There was a steady, nauseated life five minutes ago, but nothing five minutes from now. And then, very suddenly, there was no 'now." 

Thursday 9 August 2012

Review:: Left to Love by Jolene Perry

Left to Love by Jolene Perry 
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 286
Series: The Next Door Boys

Leigh’s life is shaping up to be pretty perfect.

She married the father of a little boy she fell in love with. They live in a nice house, on a quiet street, and her hobby of a sewing business is keeping her busier than she ever imagined. She’s back in touch with her brother who she hasn’t seen since she was a child, and her new husband has an “in” for his dream job when he graduates in the spring.

But when her small symptoms begin to lead up to something big - she has to face the shattering realization that her cancer is back.

Leigh struggles with her new marriage, her faith, her desire to adopt the little boy who calls her mom, and the strength to keep fighting for her life.

I loved The Next Door Boys and when I found out that author Jolene Perry had gone ahead and self published its sequel I was all over it. Bought it about 2 minutes after I realized she'd done that. I pretty much knew where this next book was headed. You could make a good guess. If it didn't go this way, I would have been surprised. It called for it. It was the natural progression of things. 

While I did enjoy it, there were several moments that I felt it needed a much bigger punch. It felt monotonous for a good portion but then when we finally got to the climax moments...they were rushed! We'd spent all that time to get there and then BAM! It was over. So, I'd read more. It was bland and then a crucial part would come...and it was glossed over. I left my head shaking a few times. Those moments deserved better. They called for some time spent on them. The other stuff could have been rushed. I would have been OK with that. It was all the same anyway. Chemo, more chemo and more throwing up. Over and over. I wanted more.

I also was hoping for something more romantic. Oh, there is romance but I wanted more--who doesn't?! There were so many tender moments in The Next Door Boys and I just maybe wanted a few more of those. These were different kinds of tender moments. Leigh is sick. She has cancer. Brian is taking care of her. She doesn't feel all that romantic. I know I wouldn't. Heck, I didn't feel romantic being pregnant! But, I was hoping for a few butterflies in my stomach. 

The end was nicely wrapped up. I just wanted a few things ironed out. Or maybe spelled out is the right word. You know how it ends, but it's like a haze. It would have been nice for there to be resolution. Period. 

I did enjoy it. I love Leigh and Brian's character's and it was nice to see them in a married role. A newly-weds take on cancer. That has to be tougher than anything I can imagine. I've never known anybody with cancer but it felt so real.I felt like I was going through it with Leigh. Even with such a tough subject matter author Jolene Perry kept many fun and light hearted moments. It wasn't drab and solemn. 

If you haven't read a Jolene Perry book yet, you should! I'm a fan. 

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Getting to know me...Getting to know all about me!

If you want to know more about me you can read my About Me page. But, it you want to get to really know me you should read some of my favorite posts. Take a look!

I'm kind of crazy about Discussion posts. I think they might just be my favorite thing about book blogging, minus reviews. I enjoy talking about bookish topics that interest me. Here are some of my favorite Discussion Posts:

My favorite Interview::
  • Nancy Turner, author of These is My Words. My favorite author!

Favorite Top Ten Tuesday's::

Want to know my favorite reviews? Have a look!


*Click on picture to read my review
*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Monday 6 August 2012

The Newsstand:: A Literary Scandal, Spotify Equivalent for Audiobooks and a Controversial Article!

Here we dish on news, up and coming books, tidbits,  and important things bookies should know. Check out what you can glean from this week.

{Bookish News} 

{In Case You Missed It}

{NetGalley Picks}

{My Wishlist}

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