100+ Challenge

The Secret Year review

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, Fiction, Jennifer Hubbard, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult | Tags: |

The Secret Year
Jennifer R. Hubbard
208 pages
Rating: 4.75/5

Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble

Challenges: 2010 YA Challenge, Debut Author Challenge, 144 books in 2010, 100+ Challenge, Once Upon a Time Challenge

Synopsis: from Barnes and Noble

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

Review: I had read all sorts of great reviews all over the book blogging community about this book enough so that I HAD TO HAVE a copy of it for myself.  I’m really glad that I decided to spend the money on it because IT TOTALLY LIVED UP TO THE HYPE!  This is another one of those stories that has a “Romeo and Juliet” feel to it…not so much a re-telling but it most definately has that feel to it.  See Colt and Julia were seeing each other secretly for a year and then Julia is killed in a car accident.  Shortly after the school year begins Julia’s brother gives Colt a notebook that Julia had written letters to him in and Colt goes through the process of reliving their year together while also trying to get over Julia and move on.  Which isn’t so easy for him.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debut novel.  I really liked the author’s writing style and even went above and beyond to make even the worst character(s) in the book sort of likeable.  I guess the only reason this book doesn’t get a 5/5 is because I was a little luke warm on the ending….It wasn’t a terrible ending but it also wasn’t the best ending I’ve ever read either.

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Perfect Chemistry review

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: 10 in '10 Teen Chick Lit Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, Book Challenges, Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Simone Elkeles, Young Adult | Tags: , |

Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles
368 pages
Rating: 4.75/5

Source: Purchased off of bookcloseouts.com

Challenges: 2010 YA Challenge, 144 Books in 2010, 100+ Challenge, 10 in ’10 Chicklit Challenge, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge

Synopsis: from Barnes and Noble

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: NOTE: I just recently gave away a copy of this book so I’m going to keep this review short so I don’t give away the story for the person who won.I had heard so many AWESOME things about this book all over the book blogging community that I felt that I needed to read this book in order to determine if it lived up to all the AWESOME things that I had read about it.  Needless to say, I am pleased to report that it most definately did.  While I was reading Perfect Chemistry I almost automatically thought of it as a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet only with a happier ending.  I really loved the characters…You felt for them both.  Both of their lives are basically one big lie to keep themselves from being too vulnerable, but the scary part for both of them is that they both see right through each other.  The story itself was pretty great….once I got started reading the book I soooo did NOT want to put it down.  I really liked that the story was told from each character’s point of view so you always knew what the characters were thinking.  Overall, I most definately have found a new author to add to my list of favorite authors!

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Musical Chairs Review

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, Book Challenges, Jen Knox, Memoirs, Non Fiction, Reviews | Tags: , |

Musical Chairs
Jen Knox

Source: Sent to me by the author

Challenges: 100+ Challenge

Synopsis:

Musical Chairs explores one family’s history of mental health diagnoses and searches to define the cusp between a ’90s working-class childhood and the trouble of adapting to a comfortable life in the suburbs. In order to understand her restlessness, Jennifer reflects on years of strip-dancing, alcoholism, and estrangement. Inspired by the least likely source, the family she left behind, Jennifer struggles towards reconciliation. This story is about identity, class, family ties, and the elusive nature of mental illness.

Review:  I got this book from the author awhile ago (sorry Jen!) and it FINALLY made it’s way to the top of my TBR list.  This review is going to be short and sweet folks! Honesty, I enjoyed the book a LOT  even though there were some things in it that touched close to home for me personally.  I LOVED that Jen wasn’t afraid to put it all out there on the line for the reader (that would be me ;).  Overall, Musical Chairs gets 2 thumbs way up from me!

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A Personal Stand Review

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, Book Challenges, Library, Reviews, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Trace Adkins | Tags: |

A Personal Stand Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck
Trace Adkins
244 pages

Source: Public Library

Challenges: 2010 Support your Local Library, 144 Books in 2010, 100+ Challenge 

Synopsis:

Country music superstar Trace Adkins isnt exactly known for holding back whats on his mind. And if the millions of albums hes sold are any indication, when Trace talks, people listen. Now, in A Personal Stand, Trace Adkins delivers his maverick manifesto on politics, personal responsibility, fame, parenting, being true to yourself, hard work, and the way things ought to be.

Review:  I am a big Trace Adkins fan.  I picked this book up at my local library.  Normally I am not big into politics but after reading what Trace has to say about things I think that maybe I need to be a little more aware.   Of course these are just Trace’s observations about the state of our country.  From our war on Terror (“The war on terror is like herpes.  People can live with it, but it’ll flare up from time to time,”) to 9/11 (Trace was the first country music star to visit Ground Zero and he even wrote a song 9/11 called Welcome to Hell…it’s written in the first person the Devil to one of the 9/11 hijackers).  Overall, I liked the book.  I didn’t love it but it was still a good read.

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How To Tame A Modern Rogue Review

Posted on January 3, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 Contemporary Romance Challenge, 2010 Romance Challenge, Book Challenges, Diana Holquist, Fiction, Library, Reviews, Romance, Romance Reading Challenge 2010, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

How To Tame A Modern Rogue
Diana Holquist
320 pages

Source: Public Library
Challenges: Romance Reading Challenge 2010, Support Your Local Library Challenge, 2010 Romance Challenge, 144 Books in 2010, 2010 Contemporary Romance Challenge, 100+ Challenge

Synopsis: 

Commitment-phobic Sam Carson has only dated model-gorgeous women. But one stolen kiss from a plain-Jane schoolteacher and he’s hell-bent on stripping away her floral dresses and teaching her the art of being bad. If only her good-girl ways didn’t make him want to be a better man…

Ally Giordano is at the end of her rope. Her beloved grandmother actually believes that she’s living in her favorite romance novel in Regency England and Ally doesn’t have the heart to set her straight. But now Granny Donny’s last wish is for a retreat to the country and Ally can’t refuse her…until she demands that Sam accompany them. And though his smiles turn her knees into jelly, Ally knows better than to trust a playboy…and she definitely knows better than to try to change one. Or does she?

Review:  Overall, I really liked this book.  It’s a little smut in a pretty package.  Loved Granny Donny…In all her Regency era mindset.  Ally was kind of a hard ass though…But still likeable.  I guess you get to be a bit of a hard ass when life dumps on you pretty bad. Sam has a heart of gold under all those bad boy tendencies too.  I’ve never read this author before but I do like her writing style a lot.  I’ll be reading more of her books for sure!

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100+ Challenge

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, Book Challenges | Tags: |


1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog to participate.

–Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn’t count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.

1. King of the Wind
2. How To Tame A Modern Rogue
3. A Personal Stand
4. Musical Chairs
5. Perfect Chemistry
6. The Secret Year

6 / 150 books. 4% done!

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King of the Wind Review

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 YA Challenge, Animals, Book Challenges, Fiction, Library, Marguerite Henry, Reviews, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Young Adult | Tags: , |

King of the Wind
Marguerite Henry
176 pages

Source: Public Library
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, 144 Books in 2010, 100+ Challenge

Synopsis: 

He was named “Sham” for the sun, this golden-red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco’s stone stables. Upon his heel was a small white spot, the symbol of speed. But on his chest was the symbol of misfortune. Although he was swift as the desert winds, Sham’s pedigree would be scorned all his life by cruel masters and owners.

This is the classic story of Sham and his friend, the stable boy Agba. their adventures take them from the sands of the Sahara. to the royal courts of France, and finally to the green pastures and stately homes of England. For Sham was the renowned Godolphin Arabian, whose blood flows through the veins of almost every superior thoroughbred. Sham’s speed — like his story — has become legendary.

Review: I’ve always been a big fan of animal stories.  I am also a HUGE fan of horses…They’re just so beautiful to look at!  Marguerite Henry has been one of my all time favorite YA authors since I was young…Well since I got my first library card anyway.  I picked up this book while pursusing the MG shelves at my local library and I came home and devoured this book in one sitting.  This book is fiction but it is based on ACTUAL events that took place.  There are MANY famous racehorses that can trace their ancestory back to “Sham.”  The characters are endearing, Sham the bay colt that nobody took a liking to for a VERY long time and Agba a mute boy who is put in charge of Sham.  The story itself is a roller coaster for both Sham and Agba but in the end everything works out for the best.  Overall, I will most definately be reading more of Ms. Henry’s books in the future!

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