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Search tags: A-to-Z-2014-Reading-Challenge
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text 2014-09-15 17:32
Left disappointed again...
Brokendown Hearts - Cameron Dane

Sorry for the repost here my friends but my slightly compulsive behaviour demands a cover for my books.


I'm starting to believe that Cameron Dane is no longer a must read for me. I bounced back and forth on this one. There were things I liked, but there were issues, Oh man, were there issues!


First I liked the idea of David getting a second chance, wanting to make amends for his past mistakes, recognizing the behaviour that led to his incarceration. 


Unfortunately the list of things I didn't like was longer I didn't like the fact that his and Ben's relationship seemed at times to be incredibly unhealthy and honestly more sex based than anything and while a healthy sex life is part of  a good relationship. I really don't agree with the "I've pissed you off so now I'll screw you and everything will be fine." solution to relationship problems.


In general there were a lot of people in this story who I think might have benefited from some form of therapy and some of them were the therapist. And one of the things that annoyed me the most was the ending (sorry if you want to know more you'll have to read the book).


For the most part I felt like I was watching a train wreck while I was reading this book. I didn't always want to look but I couldn't quite make myself look away either. In the end I'm just really not sure how I felt about a lot of what was in this book. I think it had a good premise but somewhere along the way it got derailed and things just started to loose direction and focus.


At the end I was left feeling oddly uncomfortable and disappointed with too many things to feel like I enjoyed what I read. I like a book that makes me question things, makes me look at my perceptions and how I think and feel about issues. Sometimes I reconsider what I've believed or how I've felt about an issue other times it leaves me feeling more solid and secure in my values. This just left me feeling a lot of WTF? 

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review 2014-09-09 20:02
Review - The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl.
The Future for Curious People - Gregory Sherl

I just lapped this story up! I could barely put it down and read it cover to cover in almost one sitting. It's just so good and exactly the sort of thing I love. I was just sucked in from page one.


It's a romance but with a bit of a twist - For anyone who wants to see their romantic future with a potential partner there is a service available called 'envisioning'. With the help of Dr Chin and his coin operated envisioning machine, Godfrey Burkes initially sets out to see his future with his potential fiance but a chance meeting with a woman in the waiting room leads him to question his future with the woman he had hoped to marry. His other half is also visiting another envisionist's office hoping for some guidance in her romantic future as she has questions she'd like answered before she says 'Yes'.


Told in alternating point of view between Godfrey and Evelyn it's very entertaining and such a joy to see it all come together as the story plays out. All the characters were really fleshed out and the dialogue between them all is hilarious. I loved the main characters, Godfrey and Evelyn, but the secondary characters were every bit as wonderful. I just loved them all. They're quirky and likeable so much fun to read about.


This would make a fantastic rom-com movie. The characters and dialogue are just begging to be put on the screen and I'll keep my fingers crossed that someone sees the potential for that because I'd love to see it.


From start to almost finish I had this pegged as a five star read but I was a bit disappointed by the ending. Everything else was given proper page-time to play out and was so well constructed but the ending felt a bit rushed. It wasn't a satisfying conclusion given how wonderful the rest of the story was.


I think this is the first romance I've ever read which was written by a male author but hopefully it wont' be the last. This author can definitely write and even with the ending as it is this is one of my favourite reads this year so far.


*Note - I was sent a copy of this by the publisher*




This finish gets me 336 pages closer to 1 Million pages challenge. 81,261/1,000,000





...And, I'm calling this for the letter 'D' in my AtoZ Challenge.  'D' is for Doctor






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review 2014-09-02 15:30
Review - The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker

When I started this I thought I was going to get some kind of Apocalyptic End of the World type story but I can't really say that's how it turned out. It's more a coming of age type story with a bit of monumental planetary change in the background.

It's a very good story and it's very well written, this lady can definitely tell a great story. It's just not what I was expecting. I thought the title was referring to an Age as a period in time but now I'm wondering if it's a reference to the chronological age of the narrator.

The narrator is 11 year old Julia and she tells her story mostly from a point in the future as she looks back on what happened when the Earth stopped rotating. What we never find out is 'why' it happened. I'm not sure if it's because Julia is/was 11 and just wasn't concerned with the 'why's' but it was a little frustrating to only get some of the picture.

Mostly it's about growing up, first love, transitioning into adulthood and dealing with pre-teen issues...with a backdrop of potential apocalypse. If it were just a straightforward coming of age tale I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. It's a great story but I was in it for the End Of The World and seeing that side of things play out were what kept me going.

Very well done and scarily believable. Overall I really liked it and would recommend it..



*Note - I was sent a copy of this by the publisher*




This finish gets me 384 pages closer to 1 Million pages challenge. 80,605/1,000,000





...And, I'm calling this for the letter 'B' in my AtoZ Challenge.  'B' is for Bathing Suit




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review 2014-09-01 23:46
Review - Once a Ferrara Wife by Sarah Morgan
Once a Ferrara Wife... - Sarah Morgan

It's been a while since I read any Mills & Boon but this one has made me remember how much I used to enjoy them. This isn't the first book I've read by Sarah Morgan but I didn't realise she was a M&B author too so I'll have to see if there are any I've missed. I hope there are lots more as she writes such great stories and I'm always charmed by her characters.

The chemistry between Cristiano and Laurel was electric and I was rooting for them the whole way through. I don't always enjoy romances to have friction and misunderstandings that need to be worked through but here I just lapped it up. For anyone who is familiar with M&B type romances it's quite predictable- separated couple who are thrown back together during a family member's wedding have to work through their differences while trying to convince themselves and each other that they've moved on. I just love stories about reunions with ex's. They sometimes frustrate me because a lot of the misunderstandings could be avoided if they would just sit down and talk to each other but they spend all of their energy trying to hide their true feelings and thinking the worst of each other. They do say that the path to true love never runs smooth, I suppose and it wouldn't be much of a story if they sorted it all out in the first chapter after a quick chat.

Wonderful setting of Sicily and Cristiano was a great Italian hero. Laurel was just the right mix of strong yet vulnerable and I actually shed a tear or two as they worked out their differences.

Lovely story and one I'd go back to.

If you're looking for another great Sarah Morgan story, try The Tortured Rake (Bad Blood - Book 1) it's every bit as wonderful as this one.


This finish gets me 192 pages closer to 1 Million pages challenge. 80,251/1,000,000





...And, I'm calling this for the letter 'R' in my AtoZ Challenge.  'R' is for Reunion.


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review 2014-05-31 20:26
Into Thin Air [Review]
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster - Jon Krakauer

I went into this book knowing what happened on Everest during the 1996 season. Or at least, I thought I knew. I had heard some of the stories. I knew which climbers didn't make it back, but until reading this book I don't think I really got it.


While reading this book I could feel Jon Krakauer's confusion, anger, shock and guilt coming through the pages and I feel like I went through many of the same emotions while reading it.


When I read all the small mistakes that added up to a huge tragedy, there were times I was utterly infuriated. Why are people that are clearly NOT qualified to do high altitude climbing putting their lives and the lives of those around them at such great risk? Why didn't the expeditions work together to get the ropes set ahead of their clients? Why did one guide decide to climb without supplemental oxygen? Why did another guide choose not to turn his climbers around at the assigned time? And the questions just go on and on.


Yes, there was a storm on Everest on the day in question, but the reality is that the storm would've been considerably less of an issue if it weren't for all the human error along the way. I'm ultimately left feeling sadness over the loss of life.


I feel like Krakauer did a good job of portraying all the different sides of the people involved as well as the decisions that were made. Despite the fact that Anatoli Boukreev felt he was portrayed as the villain of the book, I did not find that to be the case. He made a few questionable decisions as did many others on the mountain that day (including Krakauer himself) and I don't feel that blame for what happened was placed on any one person. The fact that Boukreev single-handedly saved three lives was featured prominently in the book.


After reading this book, I find myself wondering if anyone should be climbing Everest especially in light of the tragedy that took place on the mountain this year (16 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche while fixing the route through the Khumbu Icefall ahead of the western climbers) but I know that people will still climb it and sadly I don't think most climbers learn anything from these tragedies (in the book Krakuaer specifically mentions another expedition in 1996 that went up after the tragedy and also failed to turn around at the standard 2pm cut-off time and lost one of their climbers because of it.) 


Overall, an intense read. The fact that I felt so much anger and despair while reading it shows how well-written it is. Definitely a must-read if you have interest in Everest or high altitude climbing. 


I'm using this book for W in my A to Z Reading Challenge.

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