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review 2015-12-25 03:28
WOOD U BY: L.G. PACE III & MICHELLE PACE
Wood U: A Carved Hearts Companion Novel (Volume 4) - L.G. Pace III,Michelle Pace

 

   After seeing bits and pieces of Mac and Kelly’s relationship in the Carved Hearts series, I was so excited when I heard that Wood U was going to be telling their full story! And I am glad to say I was entertained from beginning to end.

 

Getting to better know both Mac and Kelly was great. I really couldn’t help but fall in love with Mac. I mean, I already knew I appreciated his smartass sense of humor from the other books. But I really loved getting to see another side to him in Wood U. The sweet, loving father just pulled on every single one of my heartstrings. It was devastating to see just how much he was going through with his Ex and his son. My heart broke for that little boy. I was especially interested in Kelly’s family relationships too. Her and her father, Francis, reconnecting was something I really liked seeing. Francis was someone I really loved from the other Carved Hearts books. So I loved seeing him be able to start a relationship with his daughter after so many years. And I will say that Kelly was just a super down to Earth character. Her mishaps and blunders really made her so much more likeable to me. I laughed out loud a few different times at some of the situations she got herself into.

 

I loved the alternating POVs. With the massive amounts of ongoing miscommunications between Mac and Kelly, seeing both their sides throughout everything made it really easy to understand just how important communication is in a relationship. It also made it pretty entertaining to watch them being so clueless and the mishaps that happened from such. Even though there were a few times towards the end where I wanted to physically shake the both of them for still not getting it! I also appreciated that this wasn’t just a repeat of the other Carved books, as much as I loved them, I was hoping for new stuff, and these Authors did this wonderfully! The time line started back with the other books, and while there were a few revisits to notable scenes, it was completely different this time around, and I couldn’t be happier with the way they accomplished this.

 

This was a book that you could read on it’s own, but the other Carved Hearts books were equally as awesome and I think you will appreciate this book that much more from reading them too.

 

   I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-07-02 22:57
THE SECRET DIARY OF LIZZIE BENNET BY:BERNIE SU
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel - 'Kate Rorick','Bernie Su'

 

 

    I am pleasantly surprised by this book. I honestly had some reservations at the beginning, I wasn't sure just how well a modernization of a classic like Pride and Prejudice would translate. I have to say that I believe it came across quite well. The only thing I had trouble picturing in a modern setting was the mother still trying to marry off all her daughters to wealthy bachelors, because that was (in her mind) the best they could possibly hope for. That ideal felt too antiquated to belong in this time period, in my humble opinion.

 

 

   Other than that I thought  most everything else, including the main themes of the original story, shone through brilliantly. I must admit though that after I devoured this book, I then went and watched the YouTube videos that it was based off, and I thought those were fabulous. I might be slightly biased there though, just for the fact that I actually got my daughter to watch them with me and she really liked them too....she even asked to borrow the book when I was finished!

 

(yeah this was a huge victory, she's 12 and a total busy body who has a really hard time getting/staying interested in anything book related. *Insert devastating sad face* So yeah, total win for team mom!)

 

   I think that's probably the best part about this story, it bridges a gap between generations. I mean obviously I would love to see youngsters picking up the Jane Austen original, but quite frankly I don't think a lot of them are. So this was a really genius way to bring a classic story to a new demographic. And who knows, maybe this new group of enthusiasts for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will be so taken with the story that they'll want to pick up Pride and Prejudice and see where it all came from.

 

   

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-01-11 17:27
Liarthon 1
Pretty Little Secrets - Sara Shepard

Hunger for Knowledge and I kicked off what we have dubbed Liarthon, a year-long effort to finish the Pretty Little Liars series, with Pretty Little Secrets, book 4.5 in the series. I rarely read companion novels and novellas, even if I love the series they are attached to. Even though they might provide more backstory or character development, I generally find them to be unnecessary to the overall plot of the series. But we decided to read the two companion novels in this series because 1) we're addicted and 2) we were hoping we would get more clues to the overall mystery in the series.

 

This book was a quick read and there were some parts I liked,  but it gave no new information. This book is essentially set up as four short stories (around 120 pages each) focusing on one of the girls at a time. A few of these stories were SO incredibly unbelievable, even for this series, that I found myself eye rolling quite a bit. Hanna's story was alright -- she's having some boyfriend issues, and she joins a workout group at the gym because she has a crush on the instructor but she finds herself competing for his affection with another girl in the class. It was kind of predictable, but fine. Emily's chapter just irritated me. I couldn't get over the fact that she was hired as Santa at the mall. Don't tell me that they literally could not find any older man in the whole city to be Santa. Any kid over the age of two would not fall for a skinny, redheaded, adolescent girl playing Santa. Aria's chapter was the most far-fetched, though. She just so happens to leave her family vacation early, so she's home alone, and surprise! Her ex-boyfriend from Iceland shows up on her doorstep. He's running from the Icelandic police, so Aria decides to MARRY him to protect him. Wtf? Seriously? I couldn't even handle this part. Spencer's part just bored me -- she meets a cute guy in Florida on vacation and tries to win his heart, but her sister has her eyes on him as well. Yawn. 

 

So, kind of boring, very unbelievable, but I didn't hate it for some reason. I think I just hold a special place in my heart for these girls. I just want to protect them and tell them to stop lying and doing stupid shit sometimes. But despite this dud of a book, I'm sure the rest of the books in the series will be more similar to books 1-4 and give me all the intense drama my heart desires. 

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review 2014-03-16 13:54
Moon Child (A Companion to the novel By Blood) - Tracy E. Banghart

(I got this book from NetGalley some time ago, in exchange for an honest review.)

A quick read, although nothing out of the ordinary if you're used to YA romance with a "paranormal" twist—which is probably the reason I found it "average" and nothing more. Someone who's not as used to such plots as I am may appreciate it more.

The characters are the usual mix we tend to see in YA stories. A bit of slut shaming in the beginning, but it doesn't go on, and it's not shown as "OK" later on, so I'm all good with that. At some point I was afraid it would turn all Twilight-like, but... let's just say there's a twist on that, and at least this made me smile (even though the characters weren't amused, of course), because it made me enjoy the story more this way.

As for the mystery/killer-on-the-lose plot was unfortunately too predictable (again, for me; maybe it'd work better for someone else).

In the end, it wasn't a bad novel; it was even a fast-read, perfect for those moments when I want an easy story to go through... only nothing more.

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review 2014-03-13 17:07
Review: Beautiful Beginning by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Beginning - Christina Lauren

Original review can be seen here .

My rating: 5 stars
Nahomi's rating: 5 stars
Our Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

Jenn:

I think Beautiful Beginning has to be the best of all the novellas. It wrapped up all the loose end very nicely and left you feeling satisfied. Christina Lauren managed to end a wonderful series with all the happy feels and all my favorite characters happy.

Beautiful Beginning starts off with a very stressed out bride and a very focused groom. Chloe and Bennett are down to the wire with wedding preparations and Chloe is about ready to head off to Las Vegas. Bennett is more focused on keeping his bride sane but also on how to make their wedding night special. So he decides that weren't going to have sex until the wedding night. Which is 5 days away and Chloe, being who she is, decides she needs to fight Bennett on that and what ensues if a test of restraint for Bennett.

We get a glimpse of how life is working out for our beloved characters, Max and Sara and Will and Hanna. There were some surprising twists and lots of funny, laugh out loud moments. Beautiful Beginning left me feeling nostalgic but really happy where these characters I’ve come to love are in their life. I can easily picture them living their happily ever after.

“Straightening up, I pushed off the wall and patted his cheek. “I am excited. I like seeing that the only thing that will change after this week is that Bennett will a ring on his finger and my last name after his first name. I like knowing that you guys will continue to escalate this big testicle war. You and Hanna will continue to be adorable and giddy, Max and Sara will continue to be disgustingly in love. Bennett will continue to alternately rock my world and make me insane. It’s life as it should be.” - Chloe pg 122-123

Just like Chloe, I can picture them doing just that.

Nahomi:

I completely agree with what Jenn said above, I really enjoyed Beautiful Beginning. For me it was the perfect ending to a wonderful series. Christina Lauren had me laughing out loud for the majority of the novella. And when I wasn't busy laughing I was busy swooning over Bennett, Max and Will. I really enjoyed how realistic Christina Lauren made the novella.


True to the series the sexy scenes were really HOTT but I feel that in this novella it wasn't so much the focus of the entire story, which is one of my many favorite things about this novella. I feel very at peace with the ending and where everyone ended up. A job well done by Christina Lauren, now I am left anxiously awaiting their next book.

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