Monday 31 August 2015

Review: The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan

From the author of the acclaimed The Curiosity comes a compelling and moving story of compassion, courage, and redemption

Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse whose daily work requires courage and compassion. But her skills and experience are tested in new and dramatic ways when her easygoing husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq haunted by nightmares, anxiety, and rage. She is determined to help him heal, and to restore the tender, loving marriage they once had.

At the same time, Deborahs primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and expert in the Pacific Theater of World War II whose career ended in academic scandal. Alone in the world, the embittered professor is dying. As Barclay begrudgingly comes to trust Deborah, he tells her stories from that long-ago war, which help her find a way to help her husband battle his demons.

Told with piercing empathy and heartbreaking realism, The Hummingbird is a masterful story of loving commitment, service to country, and absolution through wisdom and forgiveness.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2015 by William Morrow
Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is September 8, 2015**

This is a story that hit a little close to home at the moment so I am not sure if I can give it a truly unbiased review.  So this will be a short one.

This is a story of someone who is dying from a horrible disease and the caretaker whose job it is to stay with him until he passes.  It is the story of healing during the dying process as well as a story of learning and growing right up until the end.  It is a story about how those at the end of their path still have the ability to teach those who are not.

I found this to be a moving story.  From Barclay's story of Cancer to Michael's struggle with integrating back in to life following three deployments, it is one that consumes you emotionally.  Then for extra interest there is the story of WWII just to add a little bit extra.

This was a story that I took my time with as I feel it deserved to be read slowly instead of the usual power reading I do.  While it may have left me a little bit emotionally drained due to its subject matter I found it to be a wonderful read


About the Author

Stephen Kiernan's new novel, THE HUMMINGBIRD, will be out Sept. 8, 2015.
This novel is about a hospice nurse who is caring for a curmudgeonly older patient with some ghosts in his past. Yet he may have ideas about how she can help her husband, just home from his 3rd deployment in Iraq, reckon with the scars of that experience. It is a story about loyalty patience, courage and love.

Stephen also wrote the novel THE CURIOSITY, a scientific thriller and a love story across two centuries. The book came out in numerous foreign editions, and 20th Century Fox bought the film option.

Stephen previously worked for decades as a journalist, winning over 40 awards. His first book, LAST RIGHTS, was an expose on the overly aggressive medical treatment most people receive in the last chapter of their lives, with many suggestions for ways of providing more humane care. His second book, the Silver Nautilus Award-winning AUTHENTIC PATRIOTISM, describes the potential for national renewal through nonpartisan civic engagement and volunteerism.

He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons


Sunday 30 August 2015

Blog Tour: To the Steadfast by Briana Gaitan

Book Info

To The Steadfast
by Briana Gaitan
Genre: Coming of Age Romance
Cover Artist: Romantic Book Affairs
Release Date: August 31st 2015
$2.99 or Free with KU

Resolute. Firm. Unwavering
That was my love for him.
Steadfast for as long as I can remember.

As my best friend's brother, he ignored me before noticing me. He protected me, bought me my first beer, but eventually became my undoing. 

There was a time I would have died to get him to notice me, now I'd do anything to forget him. 
I'm not the one who can tame him, and he's not the guy who will change for me.
This isn't a story about falling in love, this is a story about falling out of love.
Unrequited love. 
And finding the strength to move on.
Here's to the steadfast.

*This is a standalone story that crosses years from YA into NA genre, due to heavy subject matter this book is for ages 16 and up. This is not your typical love story.*

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Everything that is stated in the synopsis is true. This is not your typical love story at all. This book, in my opinion, is more about how obsessive young love can mess with a persons head and life. It is about the destruction it can cause and the blinders it puts in place. In other words it is angst, more angst and then even some more.

Without giving away the story I do have a few things to say about the book. First of all, it did make me angry a lot. I wanted to reach in and give Cody a shake. I wanted to scream at her through the pages. She made a lot of stupid mistakes and was so blinded by Mischa that it was bordering on ridiculous. If nothing else, Gaitan was really effective in showing how misguided some young people can be when it comes to relationships and how unhealthy some relationships are. A great deal of the story was about Cody trying to break the misguided attachment she had to him.

The second thing that I have to mention is that I absolutely hated Mischa. There wasn't a single redeeming thing about him. I really wanted Cody to come to her senses because he was not worth any of the heartache that he caused her. No matter what the hand he was dealt, he was just selfish. The reader does eventually get to hear his voice at the end of the book which does give him a little more depth but it wasn't enough for me. There was more feeling and emotion in any one of Cody's rooftop adventures than any single interaction with Mischa.

As you can tell, I had some strong feelings about this book. It doesn't mean that I didn't like it, in fact it was quite the opposite. I liked that the story was about the more unpleasant side of some relationships. It showcased how obsession and infatuation can come into play and how it can mess with a persons life. It didn't necessarily play out the way that I was hoping it would but I think it is left with the possibility of another book. At least I hope it is. I'd really like to see what happens to Cody next.

About the Author
Briana Gaitan is the bestselling author of the Hollywood Timelines series (The Last Thing and The One Thing) and coauthor of the Ethereal Underground series. 
Briana is a southern native and self-proclaimed geek. She has never wanted anything but to create whether it be composing music, decorating her house, or giving voices to the characters inside her head.Her days are spent obsessing over a good read, raising her three kids, and watching anything on the SyFy channel. Through her writing, she hopes to inspire others to believe in the impossible.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Review: The Girl Without A Name by Sandra Block

Another gripping pageturner featuring psychiatrist Zoe Goldman, the protagonist from Little Black Lies.

In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe's treatment is the last hope to discover the girl's identity.

When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe's family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers.

The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding...and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences.

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2015 by Grand Central Publishing
Terri's Thoughts
**I won an advanced copy of this book as part of a giveaway from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is September 8th, 2015**
I did not realize until I sat down to write this review that the main character was featured in another story prior to this one.  While I do not feel the fact that I did not read the other one impacted the enjoyment and understanding of this story, I do think it would have explained a couple of random items that came up throughout the story.
Let's talk about Zoe.  In all honesty she really seemed to messed up for me to be a psychiatrist.  She didn't have her medications under control for her ADHD and no real vision on where she was going in life.  For the first half of the story I struggled with this until she had the opportunity to prove her skills as the story progressed.  She also clearly didn't take advise from anyone even after soliciting it which I found annoying.
While the mystery of the Jane Doe and the subsequent plot seemed a little too convenient for my liking and wrapped up a little too easy it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.  I would say that this is a good story for those who like mystery/suspense however don't want to commit too much time within the genre and can appreciate a slightly glossed over version.
In the end I enjoyed this story.  It was a quick read and I am glad that I had the opportunity to read it.
About the Author

Thursday 27 August 2015

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne: Blog Tour/Review/Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 25th, 2015

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Jessica Sorensen, USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy for the purpose of this blog tour via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I have read most of Lauren Layne's books and look forward to each new one as it is released. Her stories have always manage to draw me in and put a smile on my face. Blurred Lines was no exception.

In this book Layne takes on the whole "friends with benefits" scenario. Although it is a topic that has been done a gazillion times, it didn't feel like the same old story and didn't get monotonous. I think this was because of the amazing way that she penned her characters and the interactions between them. The combination of humour and real to life dialogue had me in stitches numerous times. The banter and petty arguments that Parker and Ben had as friends and roommates over things like hot water, towels and remote controls resembled so many real life relationships. I am sure most people will relate.

It took me a little while to warm up to Ben. Admittedly, I wasn't a fan in the beginning. In fact, I found him to be a bit of a sleaze ball. I enjoyed his interactions and relationship with Parker but hated the womanising and disrespectful way he was towards the women he brought home. It had me worried for a little bit because how could I enjoy a book if I wasn't a fan of one of the main characters? As the story progressed and certain things came to light that explained his behaviour I found myself liking him more and more. His obvious devotion to Parker was quite endearing as well. In the end I did manage to warm up to him and was hopeful for a positive outcome.

As I find with most of Lauren Layne's books, this one was a quick and easy read. If time permits, it could easily be read in one day. The chapters were all short and alternated between Parker and Ben's point of view. I love multiple points of view. It was nice to get inside the heads of more than one character. 

This is my guilty pleasure genre and Lauren Layne always manages to satisfy my reading itch. For that I am thankful!





My sophomore year of high school, I had a short-lived friendship with this girl named Korie Hamilton.
She was nice enough.
A little too much purple eyeliner, a few too many likes sprinkled throughout her constant chatter, but we had every class together our first semester, so we kind of became friends by default.
Anyway, Korie was forever yammering on and on about how her best friend on the entire planet was Stephen Daniels, a boy she’d known for all of four weeks before promoting him to BFF status.
Apparently it was, like, ohmigod, like, the best thing ever to have a guy she could talk to without complicating things with romantic entanglements.
Real best friends can generally go more than a couple hours without mentioning each other’s name, but Korie found a way to fit Stephen’s name into every other sentence.
Just friends my ass.
I guess technically they were platonic for a while. Stephen had a girlfriend named Libby Tittles, or something unfortunate like that, and Korie had this on-again-off-again thing with her junior high boyfriend.
But anyone who’s ever seen a movie, or watched TV, or just had basic awareness of human interaction saw exactly where Korie and Stephen were heading: Humpville.
Even though Korie swore up and down that she didn’t like him like that, both of their significant others were long gone by Thanksgiving of sophomore year.
By Christmas vacation, Korie wasn’t uttering quite so many likes. Why? Because Stephen’s tongue was in her mouth before school, after school, and every freaking weekend.
But we all know how this ends, right? Just a few short months later, not only were Korie and Stephen no longer dating, they sure as hell weren’t best friends.
Their short-lived romance and ensuing breakup barely even registered a blip on the gossip chain, but I’d like to think it taught some of us high school girls a valuable lesson:
Guys and girls can’t be just friends. Or not best friends, anyway.
Shit gets too complicated.
But let’s fast-forward a few years, shall we?
I’m now twenty-four, and I have a public service announcement to make: I was wrong.
Guys and girls really can be best friends.
It is possible to have a platonic relationship with a guy where there are no romantic inklings, no sexual fantasies, and no naïve proclamations of I don’t like him like that in a torturous attempt to hide an agonizing unrequited love.
How do I know this? How do I know that a guy and a girl can be best friends without romantic entanglements?
Well, let’s see, I’ve been on the female end of one such platonic relationship for six years now.
Six. Years.
True story:
Ben Olsen and I met the summer before our first year at University of Oregon during freshman orientation. We were assigned to the same group in one of those terrible ice-breaking activities where you have to put a sticky note on your head and guess what kind of safari animal you are, or something, and we just . . .
I don’t know why we clicked in the Hey, you’re cool but I have no interest in boning you kind of way, but we did.
Maybe it was because I was in stupid insta-love with another guy in our group. Or maybe because my ovaries were hyperaware that Ben’s ridiculous good looks would lead to heartbreak. But whatever the reason, we did the implausible.
We became best friends.
And, yes, every single one of my female friends has given me the exact same warnings I gave Korie Hamilton way back when: It won’t work.
My friends are split down the middle on how it will actually go down, but they’re all convinced that it will go down.
Half think that Ben and I are soulmates who are just biding our time until marriage and babies.
The other half think that we’re going to have too much to drink one night, have awful sex, and never speak again.
Ben and I proved them wrong when freshman year ended and our friendship was still intact. Sophomore year? Repeat.
Junior year, we really upped our game. Not only were we closer than ever, but we became roommates. It happened sort of by accident when one of his housemates backed out at the last minute, and I belatedly realized I couldn’t bear one more year of dorm food, so I moved in. And it worked. So we did it again senior year.
Here we are, two years after graduation, still living together, although we’ve upgraded from crappy off-campus housing in Eugene to a slightly less crappy two-bedroom house in the Northwest neighborhood of Portland.
And yes. Still platonic as ever, with not so much as a hint of change in the air. I’m crazy in love with Lance Myers, my boyfriend of five years, and Ben . . .
Well, Ben’s on a rather awe-inspiring mission to seduce the entire female population in western Oregon.

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Review: What She Left by T.R. Richmond

Gone doesn't mean forgotten.

When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.

But the person who knows her most intimately isn't family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice's existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.

For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice's life - through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice - is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover...

Hardcover, 380 pages
Published April 23rd 2015 by Michael Joseph
Terri's Thoughts

**I won a copy of this book in a giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review**

I wanted to like this book, I really did.  Sadly I must admit that I did not.

The concept of the book was great.  Piecing the life of someone together after her death through the various forms of communication available.  Social media, letters, diary's, and texts etc.  The idea is a great one and an concept that intrigued me.  The problem for me was in the execution.

Dr. Cook for me was dry and boring.  Why did such an uninteresting character have to be the one piecing everything together?  Also, Alice herself did not hold much appeal to me.  I found myself endlessly waiting for something to happen to turn things around for me however this did not happen.

While many may find this book appealing it unfortunately was a struggle for me to complete.  I did only because I always see things through until the end.

About the Author
T. R. Richmond is an award-wining journalist who's written for local, regional and national newspapers, magazines and websites

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Review: A Measure of Happiness by Lorrie Thomson

Katherine Lamontagne isn't Celeste Barnes's mother, but ever since Celeste graduated high school and her parents abandoned Hidden Harbor, Maine, she's acted the part. At twenty-two, Celeste worked at Katherine’s bakery, and hoped to buy the business once Katherine took early retirement. But when Katherine reconsidered that decision, Celeste fled to culinary school in New York—only to return two months later, a shadow of the girl who’d stormed out the door.Katherine knows the signs of secret heartbreak. Years ago, she gave up her baby son for adoption—a regret she’s never shared with either her ex-husband or Celeste. She longs for Celeste to confide in her now. But it will be a stranger in town—an engaging young wanderer named Zach Fitzgerald—who spurs them toward healing. As both women are drawn into Zach’s questioning heart, they also rediscover their own appetites for truth and for love—and gain the courage to face the past without being imprisoned by it.

Uplifting, emotionally rich, and deeply satisfying, A Measure of Happiness illuminates the nature of friendship, motherhood, hope—and the gifts of second chances.

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2015 by Kensington 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Ultimately A Measure of Happiness is a book about guilt, secrets, family and love. Within the pages many issues are touch upon including adoption, eating disorders, abuse and date rape. You would think that with so many serious topics the book would feel heavy and busy but it didn't. I found that the story flowed well without glossing over the seriousness but at the same time balancing it with some lighter stuff.

I think that it was the characters that made the plot work. They were all likeable even though they were all keeping secrets. The story bounced back and forth between points of view and the reader got a really good feel for the trials and tribulations of each one of them. It was easy to connect and empathise with each of them without having to agree with their decisions. Although Zach ran a close second, my all time favourite character in this book was Barry. His roll may not have been as big as some of the others but his unwavering love, patience and commitment was absolutely beautiful. Everybody needs a Barry in their life!

This was the second book by Lorrie Thomson for me and I can say that she knows how to write about family drama. I enjoyed every minute of it. I do have a little warning for anyone planning on picking up this book. Eat before you start it because with all of the bakery talk you will most definitely get hungry!

Check out my thoughts on Equilibrium by Lorrie Thomson here.

About the Author
Lorrie Thomson lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their children. When she’s not reading, writing, or hunting for collectibles, her family lets her tag along for camping adventures, daylong paddles, and hikes up 4,000 footers.

Connect with Lorrie


Monday 24 August 2015

Review: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is September 1st 2015**

I am going to open with a little bit of constructive criticism.  There seems to be a recent trend in the YA genre where the characters who are teenagers, speak, act and have interests that are normally reserved for much older more educated audience.  While this does create eccentric characters I also believe it take away a bit of the credibility.  I myself was a smart seventeen year old from a small town and I did not talk or act like these people.

That being said this was a very touching story about finding young love and within its craziness discovering who you are as a person.  From the moment that West and Silas met you knew that they were destined for each other.  There interactions with each other were both comical and tender.  It was beautiful watching these two fall in love.

This was also a tragic story about mental illness.  While it got a little lost in the philosophical debates about Gods existence, it was still tragic nonetheless.  Put young love together and tragedy and you know you are bound to have a good read.

Towards the end the story started to sound a little "preachy" with a little too much mention of God for my liking however the story pulled back right before my attention was lost.  This may not phase some but for others out there it is a fair warning and it is worth it to hang in there.

This was a great story.  I laughed out loud and shed tears within the same pages.  On the Terri scale of enjoyment that means that it is definitely a keeper.  I really like this one.

About the Author

Jackie lives and loves and writes in Minneapolis, where the people are nice and the O’s are long.


Sunday 23 August 2015

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

A debut novel to charm all readers, that shows beyond all doubt that it's books, along with love, that make the world go round.
It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life--has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time--bravely decides to accept her unknown friend's invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home. . .
Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared--from Yann Martel's Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland's All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways. . .
In the glorious tradition of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club, Jane Austen, and movies such as You've Got Mail and Love Actually, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a big-hearted, witty book about books, friendship, love--and always being open to the unexpected.

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2015 by Bond Street Books (first published 2013) 
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy of this book directly from Random House Canada as part of their blogger program in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I knew as soon as I started this book that I was probably going to like it. It's a book about books, what more do I need to say? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was mentioned in the synopsis which I absolutely loved so I knew that if it was even half as good that I'd be in for a real treat.

There was almost a magical quality to the story and how the town of Broken Wheel reacted to Sara coming to stay. There wasn't much left for anyone in the town but with a vacant store and whole bunch of books, Sara brought some much needed life into the town and people. It put a smile on my face to read about the changes both big and small that came with it.

This book had some of the most unique and quirky characters that I have had the pleasure of reading. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single character from Broken Wheel tremendously. They were all very different and they all had problems but I still adored each and every one of them. It didn't matter whose voice was being heard because I cared about each of their stories. I particularly liked the interactions between Sarah and Tom.

Bivald did a fabulous job in describing the tiny town and life within it. I could picture myself amongst the locals and I could definitely picture myself in the book store. It was really easy to get lost in the book. The plot itself may seem a little far fetched to some readers but it is what I found so charming about it. A foreign tourist comes to visit and an entire town basically adopts her. Perhaps it was my love of books that had me enjoying it so thoroughly but I think it was more than that. Great writing with a charming plot and a cast of unique and unusual characters are more likely the reason.

I enjoyed every minute of my time with this book and I would highly recommend it to lovers of books about books.


About the Author

Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She'scurrently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unneccessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparantly, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn't decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they're better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having noone to recommend it to.

Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar/The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.

Connect with Katarina

Saturday 22 August 2015

Review: Cold Feet by Amy FitzHenry

Pre-wedding jitters turn into serious doubts in this fresh and funny debut about tying the knot and untethering from the past...

Everyone’s expecting her to walk down the aisle.
But something is telling her to run.

Emma Moon's mother thinks it's acceptable to miss her only daughter's wedding rehearsal dinner for a work obligation. Her father left when she was six months old. Emma hasn't exactly been raised to be a happily-ever-after kind of girl.

So when her anxieties get out of hand, Emma and her best friend, Liv, decide to take a road trip to San Francisco, find her long-lost father, and put her family issues to rest.

But her quest for the truth stirs up events and emotions she didn’t expect. The urge to run away may just be a part of Emma’s genetic makeup, because she’s growing more and more tempted to do just that…

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Berkley
Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher Berkley via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is September 1st 2015**

This is a story about a girl who thinks she has everything under control however deep down she is a complete and utter mess.  One week before her wedding she starts to question everything in her life and essentially self destructs.

While stories like these are meant to take you on a journey of self discovery with the main character it does not make you want to slap some sense in to them any less.  Emma had a distant mother and a non existent father and as a result seemed willing to set aside the happiness she found with Sam to avoid him from abandoning her at some unknown point in their future.  Makes sense right?  Not exactly however this the series of events found in this story.

Found within these pages is the story of love, friendship and personal growth.  Although I found Emma self destructive I wanted to see how her journey would complete.  I found it altogether satisfactory.  Also the story was pretty easy to read resulting in its completion in good time.

For those who like stories about self discovery this would be a good read.

About the Author
Amy, a Virginia native, attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, Amy practiced as a litigator in a Los Angeles-based firm. She is currently living in LA and, when she isn't writing, practices law as the in-house counsel for the global men's health charity, the Movember Foundation. Cold Feet is her first novel.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Review: Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

The first novel in a brand-new series—from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines—about a small Southern town filled with cute boys in pickup trucks, Friday night football games, and crazy parties that stir up some major drama.

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2015 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: YA/NA

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

This is a brand new series and no matter what my thoughts on the book are, I think YA/NA fans are going to be drawn to it. It will either be a case of loving the book or loving to hate it. My thoughts take two different paths when it comes to this book.

I'll start with a few of my thoughts on the characters in this book. I'm not going to lie. West was no book boyfriend of mine, in fact I hated him for a large chunk of the time. He was arrogant, obnoxious and totally disrespectful to the girls in his life. He was also dealing with some pretty heavy issues at home. While it doesn't excuse his behaviour it certainly explains it. Reflecting on his behaviour I actually kind of liked the fact that Glines didn't pen a perfect character with a list of admirable qualities. It made it a little more real and showcased the ugly side of people when dealing with hard core emotions.

When it came to Maggie I was a little more undecided. At times I thought she was weak but at other times I thought she was really strong. She made it out of the most unthinkable situation in the only way she knew how. Her weakness was more with dealing with her feelings for West. There were times when I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into her with the way he treated her. Having said that, underneath all the ugly there were some moments of beauty in the way they helped each other that had me holding out hope for them. Some of the ugly was brought to light and called out in the story which I appreciated because it made me more able to route for the two of them.

People can read this book and talk about how self centred, shallow and disrespectful the characters were in this book till the sun comes up. I can tell you, this was my small town high school, field parties and all. For each character in the book I could think of someone like them. Not everyone was like that but it was a very honest depiction of the way some high school kids act. I'm talking both the male and female characters. I'm not saying that it is OK, I'm just saying that people like this exist and the story isn't that far off the mark whether we like it or not. I have to give props to Glines for cutting out the rainbows and unicorns and giving us some of the not so nice parts of high school life. Not every high school kid is mature beyond their years and perfect in every way and it is almost refreshing to read about it.

In the end there were moments that I loved and moments that I hated. It did however keep me thinking and entertained for the few hours that it took me to read it. The more I thought about it the more I liked it and I think it was because of all the character flaws. In the end, we are all flawed. I will definitely read the rest of the series and I look forward to whatever it brings.

About the Author
Abbi Glines is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. She has a new YA series coming out in the fall of 2015 titled The Field Party Series . She never cooks unless baking during the Christmas holiday counts. She believes in ghosts and has a habit of asking people if their house is haunted before she goes in it. She drinks afternoon tea because she wants to be British but alas she was born in Alabama. When asked how many books she has written she has to stop and count on her fingers. When she’s not locked away writing, she is reading, shopping (major shoe and purse addiction), sneaking off to the movies alone, and listening to the drama in her teenagers lives while making mental notes on the good stuff to use later. Don’t judge.

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