Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Make It Count

Title: Make It Count (Bowler University #1)
Author: Megan Erickson
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Source: Kindle
Rating: 5 FREAKING stars

So, I know it would make more sense to write reviews for the books I just read in July, but I need to get this out. I have been trying to figure out what to say about this book other than just go read the damn thing, because it's SO GOOD.

From Goodreads: Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

My Thoughts: The first thing that made me love this book was that I GOT Kat. I could totally relate with feeling like you have a defective brain, and some of the lines with her train of thought probably could've come straight from my head. I was also really awful at statistics. The second thing I loved was the chemistry between Kat and Alec. GOOD LORD! Those flirty, sexy scenes with them were written so well that I'm pretty sure the sexual tension was transferred through my iPhone screen and into me. Third reason for loving Make It Count...do I even have to say it? Hot nerdy guy. Is it even possible to be a book-loving nerd and NOT get all swoony over a sexy, smart guy with glasses? I don't think so.

This book was written at a good pace, and the story kept me interested. Well, it actually kept me more than interested considering I snuck off in WalMart while shopping with my family to finish it in the bathroom. I had to find out what would happen with Kat and Alec, both individually and as a potential couple. Kat makes some self-discoveries that can really throw a person for a loop and question all that they have known, and I had to find out what she would do with them. Megan Erickson also introduces us to some other pretty awesome characters. I loved Danica and her friendship with Alec. As a therapist, Max's broody side and strained relationship with his father had me wanting to hear more from him. Luckily, for readers like me, the next book in the series is about Max. Yay!  

So, what do I think about Make It Count by Megan Erickson?

Friday, August 8, 2014

What I Read in July (Part 3)

Finally getting to the good stuff! Here are my 5 Star Reads for July. I absolutely LOVED all of these books. Everyone needs to pick them up NOW!

5Star Reads

Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Loved the characters! They had great characters. I also really liked that there was a little mystery along with the romance.

Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin

I loved these characters, too! Excellent writing. This book had me feeling ALL the feels. I had such a book hangover afterwards and found it hard to get into anything else.

The Trouble with Goodbye by Sarra Cannon

There are a number of things that I enjoyed about this book, but I don't know how to really explain them without giving stuff away. The author covered a very complex subject, and I feel she did a fantastic job. I'm always extra judgmental about how authors write about this particular subject, since I have quite an extensive familiarity with it. Sarra Cannon nailed it, in my opinion. This was another book that just hit me right in the feelings.

Anchor Me by Megan Erickson

Excellent read that is well-written. I enjoyed the growth of the main character, Jillian. It's always nice to read about women finding themselves and becoming stronger as an individual before really being able to give their all in a relationship.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What I Read in July (Part 2)

As I mentioned before, I read a whopping 13 books in July. My first What I Read post only had the 2 and 3 star reads, because it would have been obnoxiously long if I'd added everything. For today, I'm just going to do my 4 star reads, because again, I don't want to have a super long post.

4 Star Reads

Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse

I liked this book, but I think it's one that you will either love or hate. There are a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads that focus on how whiny and immature the main character is, but I thought she reminded me of a lot of girls I went to college with. A lot of reviewers said they couldn't relate to the main character and didn't like her sense of humor or the way she interacted with her friends, but it didn't bother me.

Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

I thought this book was really cute. It's one of those stories about best friends who are fighting "more than friends" feelings. I'm a total sucker for these stories, because it's how my husband and I started out.

   The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

   This book had a really neat premise in that the main characters are from different political parties and fall for each other. They're so totally different, and it was just a fun, flirt book. It also touched on a topic that is really important to me and did so in a well thought out way.

The Only One by Magan Vernon

This isn't a sequel to The Only Exception. It's a companion novel, so you're already somewhat familiar with the characters. What I liked most about this book was the fact that the main character's struggle was so different from the other books I've read.

The Moment We Began by Sarra Cannon

I enjoyed this book and thought it was fun. There were some things the main character did that I didn't quite like or agree with, but that's what's great about fictional characters. We don't always like them.

That's all for my 4 Star Reads. Reviews will be coming soon, and so will the 5 Star Reads!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Read in July (Part 1)

July was a HUGE reading month for me! I read a total of 13 books. That, like, never happens. But, I quit my job on June 30 and then went on a camping vacation until July 4. I've been home with my girls ever since and have done a pretty good job of finding time to read. I took advantage of the Kindle app on my iPhone and the free books on Amazon. This made it super convenient to read while I fed the baby, when the toddler was being clingy, or when I was shopping with my family in Walmart and needed a break from the torture that place causes. Here's what I read with my my Goodreads ratings a few of my thoughts.

2 Star Reads

Better than Me by Emme Burton

This book was just okay for me. Nothing spectacular. It didn't evoke any major feelings for me, but it did cause some annoyance. I'll explain more when I get to the review.

3 Star Reads
 Play Me (Alpha, Part 1) by Blue Ashcroft

This novella wasn't bad. There was something about it that held me in suspense, but there was also something unsettling about the male love interest.
          The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

         This story was cute, but I was highly annoyed by the female main  character, Mia. Not in the way that made me love/hate the book, but in the way that made me feel indifferent towards it.
Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer

Another book that was just okay for me. Interesting story but nothing that me die to turn the next page.

Those are my 2 and 3 star reads for July. There are only 4, and I said I read 13 books in July. So that means that most of the books I read in July were FREAKING AWESOME! And they were. More thorough reviews of these books (and the FREAKING AWESOME ones) will come soon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Source: Google Images
This picture sums me up pretty well. I frequently think that I want to READ ALL THE BOOKS. I even get a little bit of anxiety when I think of all the books I want to read and try to pick my next one.

Reading has always been, not just a hobby, but an outlet for me. Worried about something? Pick up a book and distract yourself. Sad? Pick up a book and laugh at some ridiculous short stories. As I grew up and tackled college classes, became a working woman, and started a family, reading took a backseat to everything else. I would try to fit it in as much as possible, but then I would feel guilty for not focusing on other "more important" things.

At the end of June 2014, I left my full-time job as a therapist in a therapeutic foster care program to become a stay-at-home mom. I was thrilled to be able to spend more time with my two little girls and my husband. The idea of being able to focus on my family made me so happy. My job had a crazy schedule that had me working 50-55 hours a week. I was often gone until 8:00 or 9:00 at night and getting called in when I was supposed to be with my family. It seemed as if I spent more time parenting other people's children than I did my own. It was a scary decision to make, but I've been home with my kids for a little over a month now, and I love it.

Sure, there are days (like today) that they make me crazy and challenge me. But there are also the moments when my toddler says, "Mommy? I love you." out of the blue. Or when the baby grabs her toes and blows raspberries. Now, more than ever, I find myself retreating to my books for an escape. Even if it's just reading on my Kindle app while feeding the baby, I've found myself going through book after book now. And I've found some really awesome books!

Recently, I've connected with some cool authors on Twitter and Facebook and started talking with other people about the books I've loved and hated. And then it hit me. What better way to talk about the books that I'm reading than getting back to my blog? Nothing fancy here, just talking about what I'm loving, hating, or dying to read. I've read lots of books recently, so I'll be starting out with a nice chunk of reviews to share.

FYI, I can have pretty random tastes in books. I've been on an NA kick lately, but I also love murder mysteries, contemporary YA, and some paranormal stuff. If a book sounds good, I'll read it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Return to Reading

Source: Pinterest
When you love reading, it never really stops. You might find yourself reading less for whatever reason, but you never stop reading forever. Life gets in the way sometimes, and we slow down. We eventually find a few moments to squeeze in a chapter or two, and before we know it, the book is over. All it takes is those few moments to rekindle that love of books. It's just like riding a bike.

That's what happens to me. I've been on maternity leave for almost 9 weeks now. I had my second daughter on February 13, 2014. She is beautiful and precious. My time has not been spent just playing Mommy, though. While off from work, I've had much more time to read. I've revisited some of my favorite book-related sites, visited my local library, and found my way back here.

Now, I knew it had been awhile since I had blogged anything about books. But January 2012?! I've read plenty of books since then, but again life sometimes gets in the way.

My maternity leave has given me something else. It has given me time to reflect on my life; what I'm happy with and what I'd like to change. Obviously, I'm happy with my little family. When I think about changes, what comes to mind most is my desire to focus more on the important things. I've been trying to eliminate the excess and focus on what really makes me happy and whole. Reading and books are just that.

This blog is mostly for me. It's a place to record my thoughts and feelings about what I read. If people follow and enjoy, that is great! An added bonus. It's only April, but I already have quite a few books to blog about and share. Good things will come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Grave's End

Title: Grave's End
Author: Elaine Mercado
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Release Date: May 2001
Source: Own
My Rating: **

From Goodreads: When Elaine Mercado and her first husband bought their home in Brooklin, New York, in 1982, they had no idea that they and their youg daughters were embarking on a thirteen year nightmare.

Within a few days of moving in, Elaine and her older daughter began to experience the sensation of being watched. Then came scratching moises and weird smells, followed by voices whispering, maniacal laughter, shadowy figures scurrying along baseboards, and small balls of light bouncing along the ceilings. From the beginning of the haunting, "suffocating dreams" were experienced by everyone except the younger daughter These eventually accelerated to physical aggression directed at Elaine and both the girls.

This book is the true story of how one family tried to cope with living in a haunted house. It also describes how, with the help of a parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holtzer and the medium Marisa Anderson, the family discovered the tragic and heartbreaking secrets buried in the house at Grave's End.

My Thoughts: This book was okay. It was a quick read. The author did a good job describing how she and her family were affected by the haunting. There were times when I wanted to grab her, shake her, and tell her to get real. If you think something weird is going on in your house, do something about it. If I experienced some of the things she did, I probably would've high-tailed it out of there a lot sooner than the author did. This book was okay, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.