Saturday, July 31, 2010

Burning Up by Susan Andersen

Review of Burning Up by Susan Andersen

To Be Released: August 31, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Macy O'James stepped foot in Sugarland, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.

Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high-especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarland escorting her. Though she and fire Chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he's a law-abiding, line-towing straight arrow. So not her type.

But maybe-just maybe-he can change her mind about that.”

Burning Up by Susan Andersen was an incredibly uplifting book that shows that finding the right person is like finding another piece of your soul. I could not for the life of me stop reading Burning Up until there was nothing left to read. It is the kind of book you don’t want to put down because you are completely invested in the main characters future. So much so that your emotions are tied directly to the storyline and how it affects each character.

One of the great things I loved about Burning Up was the small town vibe you get from the very beginning of the book. As a reader from a small town it is easy to empathize with Macy about going back to a place that has burned you over and over again. As readers we also to know not only Macy and why she is the way she is but we also get to know an equally complex character, Gabe. Gabe is a sexy firefighter with a hot temper and a force to behold when he sets his sights on something he needs and wants.

I gave Burning Up by Susan Andersen 5 smirks because it instantly enthralls you into a world that both Macy and Gabe are trying to navigate and find a safe way out with their hearts still intact. Burning Up is a true love story about soul mates, facing your fears and being brave enough to embrace the improbable in your life.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Love Me If You Dare by Carly Phillips

Review of Love Me If You Dare by Carly Phillips

To Be Released: August 31, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “When hostage negotiator Rafe Mancuso takes a bullet to save Sara Rios, his former partner, his actions make him a bona fide hero-and New York City's newest most eligible bachelor. Then Rafe admits that Sara is much more than just another woman he's rescued. Suddenly, a firestorm of gossip turns him into exactly what he doesn't want to be: the Bachelor Blog's newest hot topic. His only solution is to leave town and get himself out of the spotlight...and sexy, jaded Sara out of his mind.

NYPD officer Sara Rios has Rafe to thank for saving her life, and Rafe to blame for the media chaos surrounding her. She wants to throw herself back into duty at full throttle, but until her injuries heal, she's on leave and in search of her rescuer. From the moment she finds Rafe and meets his large, boisterous, family, she's hooked. But mutual attraction doesn't always mean happily-everafter, and these two have a long way to go to find their fairy-tale ending.”

5 smirks from me is like winning the lottery, when I give 5 smirks to a book it is because there is nothing about the story that I did not love. I loved everything about Carly Phillip’s Love Me If You Dare. And I cannot wait till I own it so I can relive the greatness of it over and over again.

Things Readers have to look forward to from this fabulous book are:

Not just a romantic story line

Story involving NYPD Cops (very heartfelt and inspiring to those entering in the same field)

Mysteries in every corner of a small town

Small town charm that will win even the most cynically people over

Rafe and Sara’s chemistry and knowledge of each other’s minds is heart stopping

Both Sara and Rafe’s personalities are witty and fun

Overwhelming family members who make you laugh with their honesty

Characters who are so unique and realistically based could potentially describe anyone you know

Sub-stories within the story of Rafe and Sara

The ultimate sacrifice for love and happiness

These are the reasons I fell in love with this book and was unable to give nothing but 5 smirks. As readers we want a story that draws us in and makes us apart of what the story entails. In Love Me If You Dare by Carly Phillips we as readers get that and so much more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl

Review of Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl

Published: July 1, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Chloe Turner thought she was going to marry the perfect man-until her fiancĂ©'s plane crashed. And then she got the really bad news: he'd tried to fake his own death to avoid marrying her. Now America's most famous bridezilla (a tag she most definitely does not deserve), Chloe escapes to a remote island to avoid the paparazzi. And right next door is a man who just might be the cure for Chloe's heartache....

A magnet for wild, complicated women, Max Sullivan is relieved to have finally found someone "normal." Chloe is his girl-next-door fantasy come to life, and best of all, she gets him. With her, he can be himself, a treasure-hunting millionaire who desperately wants out of his sexy but reckless job. But when Chloe's notoriety catches up with them, will their torrid romance make it to the mainland?”

Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl was a surprisingly great story. I was worried about finding commonalities between this romance story and other romance stories I have read in the past. But I really enjoyed Crazy for Love because it was so different from anything else I have ever read. I gave Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl 5 smirks because I loved all the characters and the story itself so much it was hard not to get captivated by it.

Things I Loved About Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl:

Chloe and all her baggage

Max and his narcotic, controlling tendencies

The fact that Chloe can see through Max’s intentions

Sharp, intelligent dialogue

Betrayal, determination, and desire

Mystery of why Chloe’s ex-fiancĂ© faked his own death

Max and Chloe overcoming everything bad about their past’s in order to be together

Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl was an incredibly addicting story about finding love and letting go of the past. Definitely worth adding to your book collection.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love Remains by Kaye Dacus

Review of Love Remains by Kaye Dacus

To Be Released: August 1, 2010

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Zarah's and Bobby's grandmothers see a chance to bring together high school sweethearts and beat their senior friends in a matrimony challenge!”

Love Remains was a pleasantly surprising book to me. It was a true love story about the sacrifices, hardships, and life choices people make that can change everything at a moment’s notice. I thought Zarah represented this incredibly beautiful person who only showed herself to certain people she could trust, and even then it was hard for her to let her guard down. As readers Zarah’s voice and character allowed us to get into contact with the feelings of being in the background as Zarah always was. It was different at least for me, to read about emotions that I do not particularly feel all the time, and it was as hard to read about those emotions as it is for Zarah to actually have them.

Besides Zarah, I thought all the other characters were funny, entertaining, and sweet. As a reader I was instantly drawn to Bobby for the way he presented himself as well as his thought processes. I found myself glued to the screen trying to finish reading the story in order to see what happens in the end. Kaye Dacus really has a creative, new, way of writing a love story that took me off guard from what I am normally use to.

Love Remains is a fun, thoughtful, pleasant book about going after your heart’s desire even if it means getting your heart broken again. I give it 4 smirks and look forward to reading the next installment in this trilogy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Review of All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

To Be Released: July 27, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair...and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol-Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning 30 means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian MacFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals.... So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor....”

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins was an absolutely hilarious story. I loved every minute of reading it because it had the best dialogue and the best characters. I gave All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins 5 smirks because it made me laugh, cry, feel heart break, and every single other emotion there is. I loved that this book pulled me in at the very first chapter and made me feel emotions because the characters are written so well they could very well exist in real life.

Things I Loved About All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins:

Callie’s family that puts the fun in dysfunctional

Mark’s willingness to do whatever it takes to get whatever he wants

Callie’s mess of a life

Ian’s standoff personality (very entertaining)

Callie’s cleverly done comebacks

Callie’s Mom owning and living in a funeral home

Callie’s Grandfather swearing every chance he gets

Ian and Callie working well together even though they are polar opposites

The complicated ups and downs of the story

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins is definitely a book worth reading over and over again. What I loved most about it was the fact that I laughed a lot because every situation Callie gets herself into is almost always embarrassing and amusing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Review of Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Published: July 13, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.

Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.

As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.”

Siren by Tricia Rayburn is a heart breaking story about finding out who you truly are. I found myself connecting with Vanessa and all of her fears, and because of that her emotions were my emotions. I always feel so relieved and excited when an author can pull a reader so far into a story their own emotions can change while reading it. Siren is definitely a story that will pull you in and hold you captive until there is nothing left for you to read. So to get on with it, you all know the deal I gave the book 5 smirks…

Things I Loved About Siren By Tricia Rayburn:

Small town charm with all the latest gossip

Silver Eyes

Mythical women called Sirens (I mean really I didn’t give anything away it was in the title)

Vanessa’s fears of everything

Simon’s obsession with weather

Vanessa and Simon’s weather like chemistry

Mystery of the small town itself

Mystery of the deaths, that take place

The truth about Justine and how she really felt

Vanessa finding her true self

And of course the breath taking cover art

Siren by Tricia Rayburn is a book that you will want to read over and over again. I highly suggest making it apart of your book collections. Siren by Tricia Rayburn is a roller coaster ride of mystery and soul searching you will not want to put down. It’s a story that will pull you in with its lovely melody of enchanting words.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd

Review of Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd

To Be Released: August 31, 2010, but seems to be already out in stores

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “With his auburn hair and lean build, Kierland Scott looks more manly than lycan. But his wolf instincts are aroused by the gray-eyed Morgan Cantrell. Not because of her beauty, but because of her long-ago betrayal, a fateful choice that made their love impossible.

Now, however, the two Watchmen must team up, leaving the placid Lake Country for the forests of Scandinavia. To rescue Kierland’s brother, they must track a vampire—and use their combined shape-shifting sensitivities in a battle that will take them beyond death. As the two learn to seek together, they begin to understand the history that has driven them apart. But they will have to overcome death itself, if their shared passion is to have a chance.”

Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd was just a remarkable story. I loved all the characters in Touch of Surrender because you really got to know each one of them during the story. The other aspect of this book I found wonderful was that fact it is a series book but it can also stand on its own.

Things I Love About Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd:

Different points of view between Kier and Morgan

Kier and Morgan never being truly on the same page

Sarcastic comebacks

Sharp dialogue

Swam shape shifters with really bad tempers

Vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, and other various monsters

Discovery of what has always been in your heart

Fighting for a life that is not your own

Sacrifice and determination

And Kier and Morgan’s passion for each other that floats off the pages even when they are yelling (which is often)

I gave Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd 5 smirks because it is a book that I will want to read over and over again. Touch of Surrender is about passion, fighting, and the supernatural (what’s not to love?). This story, although a part of a series is really intense. Once you pick it up you will not be able to put it back down until there is nothing left to read. Touch of Surrender by Rhyannon Byrd is a sexy, addictive, thrill ride that will stir your own desires and leave you wanting more.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Review of Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Published: June 10, 2010

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.

But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.”

Sea by Heidi R. Kling was a heart breaking and inspiring book. The first 25 pages had me clutching my chest thinking “gee thanks for breaking my heart right at the very beginning.” Have no fear though, it turned out ok. I mean the characters were awesome, but I wanted to know more about Sea and Spider, I guess obviously I’m Team Spider. I thought Heidi Kling did a fantastic job describing and setting a scene for death, destruction, fear, loss, and hope. (Which I might add is very hard to do and takes a very compelling author to be able to bring emotions like that to the surface for a reader).

I felt a real connection to what Team Hope was doing in “Indo” and that it gave each of the characters back apart of themselves that they lost over time. And for Sea to find comfort in a boy named Deni who was in the same position as she was sweet and caring. I guess I wasn’t really a fan of Deni because I had my heart set on Spider for Sea; they just seemed like a better, fuller fit. Deni and Sea are from two different oceans and waves apart, it would just be hard.

I gave Sea 4 smirks because I enjoyed reading it, and while I was reading it I had real emotions that were closely tied in with the characters were feeling. I’m not sure if I would want to read Sea again, maybe in a year, because the emotions that hit me were pretty hard to take. Like spiraling out of control and spiraling back into control just gets harder and harder to digest. Do I think it is a book worth reading? 100% yes. Do I think it is a book worth buying? Yes, I’ve never had an author depicted so much turmoil that it hit me right in the chest, it is really quite breathing taking to be able to have that affect on readers. And if you read Sea by Heidi Kling you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Review of Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Published: June 8, 2010

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.

Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die. (Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.)

But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future…
If she even has one.”

Things I loved about Insatiable

Meena, herself, and the fact her name is Meena

Unexplained gifts

Vampire humor

Love at first break in

Life and Death situations with siblings still arguing over something the other one did in the past, even with a sword to their throats. Love it.

Witty and entertaining dialogue

Magical creatures

An uptight, “not at all snobbish” (I say with sarcasm) Vampire Hunter

And crazily accommodating Vampire neighbors

The reason I only gave Insatiable 4 smirks was because I didn’t like how it ended. I won’t give anything away but I would have liked to see the ending sway a different way. Other than the ending, I was very much glued to this book while reading it. I didn’t want to go to sleep until I finished it which made me pretty crabby the next morning for my summer school class. Borrow from the library or buy it, I am sure Insatiable will be exactly like the title says it will leave you wanting more.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Review of Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Published: August 5, 2003

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “In her small town, dubbed "Dullsville," sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long...

The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people — especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town prattle actually ring true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.”

Ok so every time I have been to the bookstore I have always passed these books with covers so appealing I stop in my tracks. The Vampire Kisses Series has one of the most Goth worthy; exciting books covers I have ever seen. Not knowing if these books possessed the ability to hold my ADHD attention span, I had to check the first one out from the library. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Raven is this insanely adorable Goth chick who has the sense of humor of a college student. She was a delightfully surprising character who acted like a typical teenager in love. I loved how Vampire Kisses was so high school, I found myself instantly enthralled (because I’m insane). It is the type of book you hate to love. You know you shouldn’t enjoy something so juvenile, yet you can’t seem to put the book down.

I gave Vampire Kisses 4 smirks because the book made me laugh. I would not buy or re-read this book again, but I am very happy I finally got a chance to read the book with the beautiful cover. Should you read this book for the fun of it? Yes. Will it make you laugh? If you aren’t a robot. Check it out from the library and take a time machine back to the days when everything was life and death, even the color of your lipstick.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July Everyone! I hope you have an amazing day with family and/or friends! For me, it means way better food than I would normally eat, watching Percy Jackson with my parents, cheery pie, and beer (because it's the American way). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Review of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 20, 2010

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.”


Ok so Shiver was the first book I read after I read The Mortal Instruments Series, and it really clicked and connected with a deeper part of myself. I loved Shiver for that. Linger which is the second book of this trilogy, stuck a knife into my gut and twisted until there was no pain left, just tears and hyperventilation. I’ve always loved how Maggie Stiefvater can take a story and bring it to an impossibly insane, painful level that leaves you wondering how she created such a masterpiece. I gave Linger 4 smirks because the story was good like I said in the most painful, incredible way possible, but it didn’t sit well with me what Maggie Stiefvater did with her main character Grace.

Clearly, we always knew that Grace would become a wolf and apart of her always wanted to be free and roam. However, having the climax go at the end of the book leaving the reader helpless and wanting to comfort Sam because he loved his human life much more and so wanted to find a cure for both of them and all of them was just harsh. Don’t get me wrong I admire what this author did that so many others are afraid to do to their characters, and I love the story. However now I’m left with a hole in my heart and a stab wound in my gut.

Should you read this trilogy? Yes, Maggie Stiefvater can really create a world and story line that is unlike any you have ever read. Are these books worth paying $17.99 each? Yes, but I advise to wait until the next and last installment of the trilogy (Forever) to come out before you go off and buy/read these books. It’s like being on a cliffhanger for a year and half just waiting to find out how the story ends, basically it is agonizing. Maggie Stiefvater is a terrific author and I advise everyone who reads this blog to read any and all of her books.