Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: The Edge Of Always by J.A. Redmerski

Author: J.A. Redmerski
Series: The Edge of Never #2
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: November 5th
My Rating:3.5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

He was taking the long road. She was taking the road to nowhere. It just so happened that they led to the same place…

When everything falls apart, love remains . . .


Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged—and a wedding isn’t the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew – a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to—until tragedy blindsides them.

Andrew doesn’t understand how this could happen to them. He’s trying to move on, and thought Camryn was doing the same. But when Andrew discovers Camryn is secretly harboring a mountain of pain and attempting to numb it in damaging ways, there is nothing he won’t do to bring her back to life. Determined to prove that their love can survive anything, Andrew decides to take Camryn on a new journey filled with hope and passion. If only he can convince her to come along for the ride…

You know, I was so happy when I heard there was going to be another book with Andrew and Camryn. I really loved them in The Edge Of Never and I was a bit sad when it ended. So when the new book was released I did a little happy dance and purchased the book right away.

I loved seeing them getting stronger as individuals and as a couple, growing up and doing the things they were dreaming about. I also liked that Camryn gets to come to terms to some events from her past and become a stronger person.

I'll be honest and tell you that when I finished the first book and read the blurb for this one, I kind of went "Oh, I know what will happen!". I kept hoping I was wrong. I really wished they didn't have to go through what they did, but I guess that's what helped them do the things I talked about earlier. My heart broke for them, even though I was expecting it.

There were some incidents that gave me the chills, especially since they can and do happen in real life. They're not done in a preachy way, they are just shown as things that happened to the characters and that can happen in real life if you're either in a bad place (mentally) or you aren't paying attention around you. I remember one of my teachers in college saying "Don't be afraid of what you do when you think things through, be afraid of those moments when your brain just isn't working". And that's what I felt happened in The Edge Of Always.

I really wanted to love this book as much as I loved The Edge Of Never. There were a few issues, however. Besides the slightly rushed ending, there were some scenes that made me go "Huh?". They were parts that didn't exactly fit with the image I had of Andrew and of Camryn.

The constant change of POV between Andrew and Camryn was one of the things I liked in both books. I feel like books told in 1st person aren't exactly complete, because I am a curious person and I want to see what every character feels and goes through. But J.A. Redmerski makes it pretty easy to figure that out because we get the two sides of the story.

The ending, even though it felt rushed, fit the story of Andrew and Camryn. And I did believe in their story and in their love. I do think that it was a sweet, sweet story of a love that heals and sneaks up on you. I heard that there's going to be a book about two characters we meet in this story and I'm very, very happy about that. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Confession Of A Weird Reader #2: Why I Love Re-reads

I've been preparing for an exam these last few days (as shown by the lack of posts). I didn't have time for reading new books and, though it's extremely frustrating because it seems like all the new, shiny books are rushing to come out DURING those times, this gave me a great idea for today's confession post.

Whenever I'm studying for an exam, unless it's a book I've been dying to read that gets published during that time frame (like it happened with Lover Mine, when it was published a week before my finals), I generally stay away from new books. The reason is quite easy to understand, actually: I want to take my time reading it without feeling guilty about procrastinating. Plus, I generally don't have much free time on my hands and because I'm weird about my studying (I generally do my best studying at night) I'd rather sleep a few precious hours.

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And a second reason that is a little weird: if I end up loving the book, I'll have an incredibly hard time going back to nonfiction and boring, stuffy text books. Which is why I re-read.

Now on to the weird part of this confession, shall we?

Re-reading a book that I loved, to me, is liberating in a way. For one, I know for a fact that I'll love the book. There hasn't been a book that I loved the first time I read it that I didn't love at a second or third read. So when you think about it, I don't have to worry about not liking a book. Or felling bad that a book has disappointed me (especially if a book was written by one of my favorite authors).

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Secondly, while I still focus on the main characters, I can now pay attention to all the little details in the background, the subplots, the hints for future books (if it's in a series), the secondary characters. I can't begin to tell you the amount of stuff I missed when I first read Harry Potter or any other book for that matter. But because I already know what happens, I can sort of stand back and really focus on other details and I'll usually have an "AH-HA!" moment every two, three pages.

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There's a third reason for why I love re-reads. While I love discovering new books, new adventures and characters, new worlds and the authors that created them, re-reading a book is really like visiting an old, very dear friend. I know, it sounds strange, but I get this sense of peace that I've never felt while reading a book for the first time. Of course, some of the excitement of finally reading a book that I've been waiting for isn't there at a second read. And there isn't that sense of dread when something somewhat worrisome happens to a character. Unless I'm reading one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. Then I always cry like a baby. But I get this "Oh hey, I've been here before" feeling that is amazing for me. Don't get me wrong, this feeling can turn out to be very bad when it's with a book I'm reading for the very first time and I'm anticipating EVERYTHING (don't you just hate that? The fact that a book doesn't surprise you?)

Also, the nerd inside me is adult enough to admit that re-reading is like a time machine. I can't do it in real life, but I can damn well do it with my books.

So this is why I re-read and why I love it. One last thing. Re-reading helps me get out of a reading funk or if I'm having book hangovers. Gets me out of those blue moods every time :D

Oh, and in case you where wondering, I did pass my exam this week *bouncing*

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Book Soundtrack #13: Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin


Sunday Book Soundtrack is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books, where I share some of my bookish soundtracks. Since I discovered my passion for reading years ago, I've discovered that more and more of the songs I loved remind me of certain books. So I thought I'd share my playlists with you. If you want to listen to the songs, I'll post a link to a Youtube videos for each and every title. No copyright infringement intended! I'll try to find the official videos for each song. There's no set number for each playlist, sometimes I might have 10, sometimes 5, sometimes if I'm one of my moods I'll have 15. If you want to read more about this feature, click the "show more" button below. 

This week's book soundtrack is Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin. (If you want to read my review, click here)

  1. Meredith Brooks - Bitch
  2. Shania Twain - Man, I feel like a woman
  3. Pink - So What -Before you ask, there's no husband in this book. But if you read the book, you'll know (or I hope you'll do) why this song :)
  4. Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime
  5. Lily Allen - Fuck You 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Confessions Of A Weird Reader #1: How To Make Sure I Won't Want To Read Your Book

WARNING: Spoilers for True Blood in case you haven't watched it. Also, this post will be long-ish.

Last week, while reading Charlotte's post about if "The Next..." really works or not, I realized something. I stay away from books that are randomly compared to other books. The last book I actually read (and yes, I did love it) that has something similar on the cover was Beautiful Creatures. In case you haven't seen the back cover of the edition with the movie poster on the cover, it says "Give this to fans of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight or HBO's True Blood series".

After reading this book, I must say I have no idea why they compared Beautiful Creatures to either of those two. Here's why:

  • Twilight: There's no sparkling, whining vampire, there's no "woe is me" heroine. So I've NO clue why it's compared to that book *confused* Granted, I only saw the movies, but my BFF Lucy read the books and she told me in details what was different from the movies and I've read enough reviews about the series to be pretty sure about the lack of similarities.
  • True Blood: Let's remember that this TV show is based on a book series. This is the first thing that baffles me, why compare a book to a TV show based on a different book, when you can actually compare the two books/series? But maybe my brain is wired differently. Let's stick to the original comparison, okay? There's no mind reader, no sexy viking vampire, no confusing creatures that get killed just 'cause it makes the book interesting (remember Claudine in Southern Vampires? Yeah, I wanted her in the show!) Oh, let's not forget how in TB everyone seems to be horny all the time (I'm not a prude, I'm just saying that the show has more sex than Sex And The City ever did)
So really, why compare this book, or any other book for that matter? Maybe it attracts readers, but the way I see it, a comparison like this can make a lot more damage than good. Think of your favorite books of all times. Now imagine a book you've never heard about that it's being compared to it. The first thing that actually comes to my mind when I see that is "Copycats!". I swear, I have an insane fear it will be so similar with the original book that it's being compared to. (Think Black Dagger Brotherhood - Midnight Breeds similar). So I will definitely won't want to read that book. Then there's the thing about expectations. If they're comparing the new book to a book I loved, I will have expectations so high, chances are I won't like the new book. If, however, the comparison is with a novel I didn't like, my expectations will be low and, as such, I won't be reading that book.

Because I have no clue how marketing is supposed to work, I must wonder who's bright idea was it to start this trend. And does it really help the fans having honest feelings about the new book? Is it the story they like, or the apparent similarities? Would they be looking just at those similarities and say "Yes, this book is good" or do they look at the whole package? I would be looking for those similarities, unfortunately. And I know I'd probably say things like "Harry wouldn't have done that" or "Frodo would have said something else" or "Sookie would've banged the other guy". Maybe that's just me? 

And another thing. The fact that you're comparing two books is like comparing lemons and oranges. After all, they're in the same extended family - literature (or is it prose?). But comparing movies/TV shows and books? That's similar to apples and carrots or saying an eagle and a snake are similar. They're not. Books are books, movies are movies. I have no idea why someone would compare the two. 

Now, this has nothing to do with the connections someone might do or write about in a review of the book. If the reviewer says it's similar to some other work of fiction, I just shrug and move along and either buy the book because I want to or I don't. Just because someone noticed some similarities doesn't mean I will. But when it's on the cover of that book, that's when I get weary. 

What about you? Do you care about these comparisons or do you just ignore them?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Early Book Review: My Date From Hell by Tellulah Darling

Author: Tellulah Darling
Series: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2
Publisher: Te Da Media
Release Date: October 31st 201
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: e-ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.

Yeah, right.

With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?

The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.

Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

The YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology fireworks continue to fly in My Date From Hell. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book two of this teen fantasy romance series. Breaking up is easy; dating is deadly.

I've been sitting in front of my computer for twenty minutes, staring at the screen and trying to find a better way to start off this review, other than "OMG!!". See, I'm learning and/or trying! I get cookies for that, right?

You all know how much I loved My Ex From Hell. To say I was impatient to read what happened next is an understatement. I couldn't wait and I had really high expectations. I'm happy to say My Date From Hell does not disappoint.

Sophie is still the same funny, cool and slightly devious girl we met in the previous book. Only now she's a little more mature and more aware of what her responsibilities are or should be and what she needs to do in order to keep the people she loves safe. She has some insecurities, but those are more than normal, especially if you think about her being torn between her past as Persephone and her present as Sophie. She's also discovering things about herself in this book, things she didn't know she had before.

I also understood Kai more in this second book. There's a side of him that was hidden in the first book. He's still bad ass and he's still sexy and dangerous and funny as before, but he's also a little bit vulnerable and more mature than I thought he was at first. Also, there are things about his past that helped me understand him a lot better.

There are a few new characters, some good, some not so good. There's an addition to the group that I love and adore. He's a great, amazing guy and I hope to see more of him in the next book. Hannah is still as funny and smart as she was previously and Theo is still as loyal and he's still willing to sacrifice himself to protect Sophie.

There were so many funny moments in the book, I couldn't count them all. There was one that made me laugh so hard, I think I actually woke up a neighbor or two (sorry, neighbors!). There were also very serious, deep moments. And also some huge surprises that left me gasping.

Remember in the beginning when I said my first thought was to start this review with something other than "OMG"? Well, here's why: cliffhanger. Seriously, I have no... I'm speechless. Basically, I can't even express how I feel after that cliffhanger. I didn't even see it coming. I thought something else might happen but not THAT! I actually resisted the urge to scream, I was so surprised by it. And I have to wait until next year to see what happens next with these great characters. *pout*

If you haven't read My Ex From Hell, go ahead and read it before this book comes out at the end of this month. If you have read the first book, be prepared to love this one as well and to be very, very surprised.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Highlight: Loving Her by CM Hutton

Loving Her by CM Hutton
Expected publication: October 15th, 2013
Adult contemporary romance

Boring, but completely gorgeous. That was my first impression of him. My next two thoughts were ‘pompous ass’ and ‘cocky jerk.’ And, I had the glorious pleasure of sharing a table with him for the entire night. He didn’t speak, didn’t grunt….he just nodded and stared. If I weren’t taking my bosses place at this dinner, I’d have found another place to sit and escape Rylan Daniels.

‘Absolutely beautiful’ was what I thought when I found her at my table at the Ad Execs quarterly dinner. She wore a black strapless dress and exuded confidence from every part of her. I nodded to her, but didn’t speak. I really didn’t have much to say anyway.

I couldn’t quit staring and had to excuse myself at one point to stand across the room and watch her. It was a strange, unwelcome feeling I was having about this stunning woman.

It had been five years….five years since Kristen…..and I still couldn’t move on. That kind of hurt you just don’t get over so easily and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to get over it. But, here I was, completely intrigued and unable to stop thinking about Jen Bailey.



I hated going to these stupid functions! Weird guys with slicked-back hair and way too much cologne on gave me the creeps. If it weren’t for my boss, I wouldn’t be here. But, when he asked me to come in his place while he was gone out of the country, I couldn’t say no. He’d never asked me to go to anything in his place, so I saw this as a positive sign that he was beginning to have confidence in me and my abilities. Hell, I’d only worked for the crazy bastard for six years! It was about time he recognized my strengths.

I strolled into the swank hotel all decked out in my new black strapless dress and red Christian Louboutin heels. I loved these heels. They were a gift to myself for….something.

I found my seat at a round table near the front of the room. This was a once a quarter dinner set up for all the execs at the top ad agencies in the San Diego area. I had been working for Sullivan & Jackson since finishing my masters in marketing. I’d done fairly well moving up in the company, so I guess I shouldn’t complain about the lack of recognition. I just never knew that Michael Camden noticed until today.

I didn’t know anyone at the table, but I’d never had a problem socializing. I was getting a delicious meal, a few drinks and some much needed self-promoting this evening and I planned to enjoy every moment.

I noticed him walking toward my table with his impassive face and stiff body language. I was hoping he would pass on by because as good looking as he was, he looked like a total ass and I didn’t want to be stuck with a pompous jerk for the evening. But, as luck would have it, he sat down directly across from me with barely a nod of acknowledgement. Wow, how did this guy get a job in marketing? What does he sell….sticks to shove up assholes? I nearly laughed out loud. Nice one, Jen! I silently patted myself on the back.


She was incredibly beautiful. I hadn’t seen her at any of the dinners before. When I found her sitting at the same table and she looked straight at me, I froze not knowing what to say. Thankfully, some of the awkwardness went away as soon as Jim showed up and began his inquisition, taking her focus off me.

I listened intently all evening to learn more about her. What I learned was that she worked for a rival ad agency and had impeccable people skills. She didn’t skip a beat keeping up with all the macho crap at our table and I was pretty impressed.

She looked close to my age and judging by her conversation with Jim Davis, she was well educated and worked hard. Knowing Michael like I did, he’d obviously seen her talent and respected her abilities enough to send her in here with all these sharks.

I sat quietly most of the night, as usual. I rarely saw the need in mindless, meaningless conversation anymore. It served no purpose to me, even though I did enjoy listening to it. It occupied my mind and kept me focused on the present…on life.

I'm a wife, a mom of three, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend and a teacher. Now I can add writer to my list! I've always loved to write and finally found the inspiration and support to put my first novel on display for others to read.

I live near Austin, Texas with my family where I teach school and run around like crazy taking care of my crew. I absolutely love to read and tend to totally ignore my 'near and dear' when I'm lost in a good book. Put me on a beach somewhere with a great story and the whole world just disappears around me.

Loving Her is my second novel. I'm working hard to continually improve my writing; hoping to make my stories better, my characters more loveable and my fans proud!

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