Friday, November 30, 2012

Hooking Up Written by: Jessica L. Degarmo

Well, November is coming to a close, and that means the time of the Scorpio (Well it's been over but I still consider it my month) is over, so why not end November on a steamier note seeing as soon it is all about Christmas and the Holiday rather than some good old fashioned alone time. Granted Xmas can get rather steamy between couples, but whatever I like November. This book Hooking up just had me feeling Zippy! The book was so upbeat and fun even when it was kind of sad and even at times depressing. This is sadly a classic story as in the fact people fall in love as young teenagers they stay in love and then one day POOF! They're not in love, and maybe they were never in love, love, or as the kids say today they just really like, liked one another. This is what happened to our main character Caitlin who is 28 years old and now alone after her boyfriend of ten years and best friend since kids Michael leaves her. At first I was thinking ok this is so going to be a tough book to read mostly because my own fears of my own long term relationship ending came into play (Silly woman that I know I am) but then Caitlin's friends Heidi and Kelly, a bar, and a whole lotta drinking and flirting came into the picture. One of her friends decides Catlin needs to just move on with her life and to use a magazine article to guide her. The article states for a woman to feel powerful, sexy, independent, etc... all she needs to do is have a random Hook up for those of you unfamiliar with this term it means a one night sexual encounter aka the one night stand. Of course Caitlin's other friend says this is ridiculous and Caitlin agrees... at least Caitlin does for a time until what is supposed to be a very romantic night turns into one of depression and finally desperation and sheer force of will makes our main character decide yes, in fact she does need a one night stand. There is only one problem, she's never done this before sure she looks like a knock out, and sure she catches the eye of Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, and maybe just maybe she does take him to bed and have mind blowing all around amazing sex, the best of her life even, then what? Well, Caitlin is asking herself that very same question as Mr. random hookup whose name is actually Ryan, now won't vanish so easily after having taking him back to her place! Big No no ladies.. and men. So, here's to crazy fun women and the men who desire them. This book is so not typical and is actually a really fun and enlightening read. This book also brings into question of what exactly makes a family? Is it blood and names? I suppose that has a lot to do with it, but really your family are the people who are there for you, who know you, who grow with you, and as you all change in the end still love you. You're there for them and they're there for you, and I love how this book brought into some very serious points about life in such a random and fun way. Hooking up was just silly, zippy, sassy, and plain fun even the serious notes of the book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dead is the New Black (Fashion Avenue Mystery Book One) Written by: Christine DeMaio-Rice

The fit is everything, and of course that means fashion darlings is everything no? This book takes place in New York City the center of the universe, or so some would have you believe. For Laura Carnegie (No relation to that Carnegie) is inside of the fashion world she works at an prestigious designer studio as a Pattern Maker don't know what that is? That is ok, I wasn't really up to snuff either. But, what she does is quite impressive, and she does is so well. Pity, that she can't live her life nearly as well or learn to keep her mouth shut. This book is about murder, yes murder in the fashion industry a bit cliche but things tend to become cliche because they work oh so well. It is also about desire, love, loss, and betrayal... Dun! Dun! Dun!!! I am being a tad over the top because the characters in this book are slightly over the top even very modest down to Earth Laura is well rather outside of the normal stitching of us normal folks. (If there is such a thing as normal) The book opens with a crime a crime against fashion! Laura is at the heart of this all or at least she puts herself right on the pulse of things (forgive me for the bad jokes I've been awake far too long today) she then turns up and discovers her boss over a dead body! Not just any dead body either the golden goose of their company, and worse Laura loves her boss, but now it seems their love is  likely never to happen as A. he is gay, B. her boss, and C. holding what looks like the murder weapon. This book takes us into the world of fashion from the design and execution teams perspectives we learn quite a bit about the elite fashion world such as..."The perfection of the fit was the most difficult. Fittings for the runway show were another thing entirely. The style didn't need to fit. It needed to look like it fit. How long is this skirt on a giraffe? Can this jacket fit a skeleton? .....This is why the models so often kept their outfits; they only fit the freakishly tall, obscenely skinny girls that walked the runway." Laura as a character is ok she's clearly figuring out her life still and who exactly she is and of course she has issues one being her taller, thinner, prettier? Sister Ruby. She has trouble being honest about how she feels and yet she just cannot keep her mouth shut, girl just goes on auto pilot more than half the time. Granted Laura also wants to have fun, and fun she does with her friends and even her sister and mother. The characters in this book are fairly basic even in their unique ways, but they do develop as the story continues. And, it seems this is book one so the author may be trying to slowly give us small doses and let us learn more about them as we go. I laughed a lot at this book granted some scenes were a bit jarring and jumbled, but for the most part it was a smooth read and really allowed me to have fun reading about the fashion elite world while not having to spend the money or dress up in a Marc Jacobs outfit to pretend I was one of them. A very fun read indeed, and I don't know if I believe Laura is a murder mystery solver in the making, but it was fun to see how she stumbled and attempted to solve mysteries as she did. A good read indeed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear The Hunters Written by: Robert Kirkman

So, tis the season again. There is snow or was snow falling now it is just rain, but it looked nice for a minute, and then it just went all bleh that is how The Walking Dead made me feel this time... only without the whole things looked ok. This last volume just wow what a soul crushing story. I thought we had hit rock bottom after we lost the last round of characters but this one wow... a great person is lost in this most recent book and I am glad they were able to die with a shred of their humanity left. I know in my last post I was all scared of how these kids in the story are going to grow up, but I hate being right... I mean wowzer the world that is in existence is just depressing. I feel like we really have hit rock bottom and what is left of these people is just shambling along and fraying a little bit each day filling them with something a bit less human each day. Oh, and if you guys were a bit queasy about Soil and Green (classic movie do watch) You might just want to stop with the last book before reading this one, I mean yuck. I am running out of things to say about The Walking Dead without giving away any plot, but this is t best time of year to read a zombie story. Why? Because it's cold and Zombies in most if not all stories freeze so I feel a tad less paranoid about a shambling Zombie coming after me in this weather unlike the summer time. Ok rambling here now as I've been saying amazing comic a must read, but do have a cute puppy or crowbar to keep you safe and happy. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 10 What We Become Written by: Robert Kirkman

What we become... a very poetic title for Volume 10. I haven't had much time to pick up a novel these past few days what with my family visiting and getting into the holiday spirit, and what better way to remember just how lucky I really am then reading a Walking Dead comic? Seriously when you read about how much these characters have lost and keep losing it really puts life into perspective. Robert Kirkman, charlie Adlard, and Cliff Ra Thburn have just lured me in and are keeping me in their horror filled world. This latest volume new bonds are created through loss and past grievances and it seems old bonds formed in blood and past grievances are fraying. Our characters seem to really be having a tough time continuing on when you think someone has gotten a grip another person snaps just a bit, it is damn scary, but humans are all unique no? I am a little dissapointed in Dale as he has become darker and more stubborn as time goes on. I understand where he as a man is coming from, but sometimes you have to realize you cannot go backwards you just cannot. I am also becoming very scared about what will happen to the kids in this story at least the adults have memories and a lifetime to draw upon for a moral compass, or to ignore their past. Where the children have very little in ways of how horrible the world can be and were thrown head first into this terrible world with no real explanation and still the adults tried to shield them and not talk to them.. it may have been in the adults best interest to try and explain the new order and world to these kids instead of then having to force them to see all the horrors whenever they occurred. What will they children grow up to become if they survive? It is a terrible world this land covered by the Walking Dead, but are the dead the evil ones or are the survivors? It is scary to see just how desperate and savage people become if the Dead rising doesn't band humans together then what will? Seriously are we all really this nuts? Great addition to the series volume 10, but it invokes such heavy thoughts.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The walking Dead Volume 9 Here We Remain: Written by Robert Kirkman

I am a glutton for punishment, or so it seems since I was crying after reading the last Walking Dead book created by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn. This book follows those two special survivors from the last book and we see just how dark a child can become when innocence is lost, and the world proves just how cruel it truly can be. It is just depressing with how you know, you just KNOW you are not safe in the world being consumed by the dead. It is even worse for the parent who knows they cannot keep their child and loved ones safe too.. this comic is just so good! The art is just stunning and does a great job of still instilling fear every time there is a shadow or unknown area the characters walk into. It is like when you're a little kid and you work up the nerve to finally look under the bed to make sure nothing is there and as you breath a sigh of relief is when your brother or sister jumps up to scare the hell out of you. Or, if any of you have seen the movie Ernest Scared Stupid or Poltergeist 1 then you can also know the feeling of pure fear mixed with adrenaline. Everyone it seems is going a bit crazy now and finding it harder to cope with reality, but each character is dealing with their losses in their own way better to deal with it then just give up like so many others have. This comic though brings something very new to the table and something very old... is that hope our characters may be feeling after so much bad things have happened to them? The dead it seems are a big threat again and of course strangers. I don't know if there is any hope, but I am so ready to pick up volume 10.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Walking Dead Book Four a continuing story of survival horror. Written by: Robert Kirkman

Wowzer, so... I thought to myself and just ouch! I read this book last night after a very happy Turkey Coma finally passed, and thought well this is an easy read so might as well pick this up and get a little horror on this major shopping day (Which to me is a horror story all in itself, yup I avoid all the crazy that befalls my fellow humans on this day) I was so very wrong about the easy read. The writers, artists, inkers, and entire creative staff behind this 4th collection did not pull any punches this time. Instead they kicked me in the head and curb stomped my emotions and continued to do so up until the very end. The group of survivors are all here... what is left of them, and surprise more will die. My poor mind was just assaulted after wave after wave of horrific moments. To those of you who watch the show based on this comic I am not sure you can really call them the same the stories each have the characters and locations, but it as if they are parallel universes where the same cast of characters made different choices and thus created a different world for all of them entirely. The cast of survivors are still so clueless and making very tough decisions in ways I am not sure I agree with at all. It is amazing how quickly people can turn both good and bad and forget to use their brains. I cannot really say anything plot wise due to spoilers, but have a box of tissues, crow bar handy, and your loved ones in sight because you're going to need it. I hated this book not because it was not good, but because of how raw and terrifying it was as the previous three have been... so now what?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bouquet Toss (Love of my Life #1) Melissa Brown

Happy American Turkey Day all, I'm taking a break from the Turkey, Pies, Casseroles, and other tasty foods to write this review. (I'm hosting again 4th year yum!) This book was well... I am not sure how to feel about this book as a woman who once pretended to not want to catch the bridal bouquet, but secretly wanted to I can relate to this book a bit. The main character Daphne is a good person or as she is called quite a few times "A nice girl", but she is oh so messed up, a guy really did a number on her when she was in college, and I am sure all of us have experienced this once in our life at least...where we have that special someone, or friend, or who we think is our special someone and best bud only to have the relationship be mostly one sided, and only really special to them when it is in their best interest...oh yeah am I speaking from experience here, I could write a book on a few of those relationships, but the important thing is to recognize when this is happening to us and to move on. In Daphne's case she is having quite a bit of trouble with this, and then when she finally does think she can move on, you guessed it Mr. takes her for granted comes into her life once more, at a very awkward time too. This book has some interesting and special moments and is very current time wise to this day and age. This was not exactly an award winning story I had real trouble connecting to Daphne and would rather have read about her friends more... she comes off a tad selfish even though she is a doormat to a certain someone. But, with how much her friends love her you realize she is pretty spiffy, but it is tough to not want to smack some sense itno this girl. Love should be easy and being with your significant other should be like breathing eventually you should feel comfortable with them not always feeling like you're on eggshells and you're going to screw up, not saying let all the mystery and to stop trying in your relationship, but to always feel like they will dump your ass the second they know the real you, well.. that should be a friggen red sign no? Oh well, love is blind no? The book itself was cute, at times just too cute, I mean I love a good romantic comedy, and I love a good romance, but this was like giving me cavities making me a little ill at times cute. Still I enjoyed it and it was a happy tale after you got through all of the crap this poor girl had to go through. An okay read only. But, maybe you would enjoy this more?

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Personal Shopper: Annie Valentine Written by: Aiden James

Tis the season, I read a book about food and now it was time to read a book about one of my favorite hobbies.. Shopping, please no eye rolls hear me out. Once upon a time I cringed at the thought of even entering a store yet alone trying on items that to me said "leave you're not meant to wear these!" But, then I had a friend explain to me about body types, colors, fits, tailors! This person opened my eyes and I finally realized there was nothing wrong with me it was simply that designers can only focus on so many types of bodies, and once you find your  color and what works for you well, you will be just fine. Just some of of us need help. I only wish I had been able to have a personal shopper like Annie Valentine when I was crying in dressing rooms trying to find an 8th grade dinner dance dress (braces, curves, not big boobed, broad shoulders, and petite= screwed in Juniors department dresses) This book takes us into the world of Chanel, Valentino, Mui Mui Chloe, Pucci, M&S, MaxMara... translation expensive! This is Annie's world she lives to shop and to help others shop to look their very best, and she always has a lipstick ready to work through the day. She is a single mother with two very unique children at a very interesting age. She has some fabulous friends and family, and she feels she just may be ready for love and in Annie's experience.. Men... "They had to be seduced, cajoled, reassured: in short, hunted down." And her best advice that I already follow in life.."dress for how you want to feel again. Because then it will happen more quickly." Annie also has a dragon, wait no that is mean to dragons, a rather very unpleasant boss who it seems feels threatened by Annie's sales expertise. There's one big flaw with Annie, she loves to shop and look great, I mean LOVES to SHOP, and I don't know if any of you have ever shopped at Runway Fashion discount stores they're still very pricey, and when you're a single mother with two kids going to a private school, a flat, and budding business well yeah... credit cards are scary! A fun read I just could not put this book down and I enjoyed the chapter beginnings with designers and costs and I loved how delightful each character in this book was. I will let you discover Annie and her cast of friends in their world across the pond in England. I only wish we all could have a personal shopper as patient and caring as Annie.  So good luck readers with your shopping season.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beauty and the Feast Written by: Julia Barrett

Delicious! This book started with a giggle and ended with full blown laughter and a smile... Julia Barrett really knew how to create a realistic relationship, her main characters Eva and Gabe though somewhat exceptional themselves really showed how once you have that chemistry, that spark nothing can really stop love. At least that is what I believe. I believe in love at first sight, and I fell in love with my own husband via his words so the way these two came together was very relate able to me. Eva leads a simple life she is in the catering/home care business, but by choice not because she cannot compete with the best of the chefs in the world, the way she talks about food and how much detail the author put into her characters dishes just made me want both food and sex! This was clearly a book for both men and women I say this because if you love well love then this is for you. I am simply smitten by this book it was just cute. Gabe is a man who came from nothing and through some help from a good Father, no really, he's a priest. By having some help and guidance he was able to come into his own and now is able to help others. He is of course gorgeous and a bit of a player, but maybe just maybe all this will change with the lovely, foul mouthed, tough, amazing chef Eva. This book I thought was going to be the typical Romance novel, but it surprised me quite a few times and the sex scenes were so... vivid. A very romantic book, and I just may have to read this again.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hidden Written by: Derick Parsons

Ok, well... new month November, another year older for this blogger and reader... so I thought let's read something a bit more emotional and serious. This book focuses on main character Kate Bennett she has a very tragic past, and even a tragic current life. This book took me to Ireland precisely Trinity College Dublin. Kate is trying to move on with her life to cut ties to an old flame and be an independent woman. Kate is deeply troubled I felt bad for her past, but could not help how she at times was just plain mean to those who cared about her and how she was consciously self destructive, and it felt like she couldn't help being the permanent victim, but she was very human. Instead of the main character with super powers she was just a woman very brilliant in her field of psychology, but flawed everywhere else in her life. She is even having trouble filling the role as professor, and passing on her passion for her chosen field in life. Kate then gets a call and is asked to treat a patient that is so messed up it awakens the passion she had for healing, but this is where things begin to get weird and scary. It seems someone else has taken a very big interest in Kate's treatment of Grainne daughter of Ireland's very prestigious politician Michael Riordan. This book was written quite interesting the flow and way the dialogue was written was so unique I wonder if it is due to the location and was meant to be read as if the characters had Irish accents, which I tried to give them while reading and that helped the words flow better even musically. The topics of the book were of course very dishearten and disturbing very heavy topics... I will never understand how people can hurt children. I really got into this book and read it slowly trying to really get into the book, the ending too was unique in that the epilogue takes place so soon after the last page of the book, and how Derick Parsons fades in and out of certain chapters and then will rehash certain events. Quite interesting this book and scary, but if you like a more serious, non supernatural heavy read then Hidden is for you.