Booky Thoughts and Me

Book reviews and pondering thoughts of a down to earth person

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The Ice Rinks are almost open

The winter season is slowly approaching, yet despite the cold weather I am excited! I’ve got a cold a few times already, I’ve got sick once already, I’ve drank so much tea that it is ridiculous but I still love the winter weather. The ice rinks will be opening up in the next few days and let the ice skating begin.  It is not for everyone, especially if you don’t like continuously falling on your but and if you don’t like the cold weather. However, there is nothing better than putting on a pair of ice skates and skating to the wind or the music that’s coming from your Ipod, mp3 player or whatever you have on hand.  It’s great exercise, you get fresh air, and you get a chance to meet new people, if you are up for socializing. There’s nothing better than dragging your friends to an ice skating rink and watching them fall over and over and making a fool of themselves. The best part is being right there and doing the same thing. You’re a fool, but so are your friends. 🙂

When it is snowing or flurring lightly, it is magical to ice skate. You can close your eyes and spin and imagine. There are so many possibilities and no one to stop you. You might fall down, but the best part? You learn to get up and try again and again and again. There is no giving up here.

Do you like ice skating if you are in areas where they have ice skating rinks? Or is the cold just too much for you?

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Waiting On Wednesday: Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at  Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

Published: February 26, 2013

Publisher: Putnam Adult

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads):

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.

A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. .

Personal Thoughts: I love the In Death series and await for each book anxiously. It says a lot about a series when you pick up a book, finish it and then give a long sigh when you find out the next one in the series is coming out in 6 months to a year. I have read some of the books in the series multiple times just to get my Eve and Roarke fix 🙂 but it is still a long time coming in between each book. Luckily I have other books to enjoy until the next one comes out.

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Book Review: Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

Published: March 1, 2010

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Source: Harlequin (giving away free copies)

Can Kate Morgan stand up for herself—without being labeled a snitch?

On the first day of school Kate Morgan and everyone else in her school are attracted to the side building of their school. It has been ‘tagged’ with a life-size graffiti mural. From that day on, the debates begin whether it’s vandalism or actual art, and the suspense keeps on building on who could be culprit. Is it someone from school? Someone’s friend?  A random person causing trouble?

Kate wants nothing to do with the speculation, mainly because her father is a cop, and she doesn’t want to be labeled a snitch. When the murals start to appear all over the state, her curiosity gets the best of her, especially when Eli, her favorite coworker goes missing, and she starts to investigate.

It doesn’t help that her best friend Lan is busy with her own life, and she can’t ask for her advice. Like why she is starting to see Eli as more than just a classmate and favorite coworker. When the signs begin to point to a culprit, Kate is afraid it might be someone who she is close to and doesn’t know what to do.

Personal Thoughts:  This book was a big downer for me. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t that exciting and there wasn’t much to the storyline.  I’ve had this book on my shelf for the past year and haven’t had a chance to read it because of my really long to read list, but after reading other books by Mara Purnhagen, I decided to bump this one up and read it. The plot line was intriguing don’t get me wrong, however, I think the pacing was off. It seemed as though the plot just dragged on and on.

The cover did not interest me at all. It could have had a lot more potential and grab the reader’s attention. They could have had the gorilla on the front cover, even if it was just a small one. I don’t think this cover really works for this novel.

I feel as though some parts of the story could have been extended (such as Eli and Kate, Lan and Bradley, etc). It seems as though something is missing. There is no wow factor that makes you think about the book or pause and think it over.

Overall it was a quick read but a disappointing one, because I was expecting more.

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Holiday Season Gift Ideas

With the holiday season fast approaching everyone is scrambling to get ideas of what to get their friends and loved ones. Quill and Quire, Canada’s Magazine of Book News and Reviews, has come up with a holiday gift idea list for every book lover that you might have on your shopping list. It features books for children, teenagers and adults from a variety of publishers. Whether you are looking for something artsy, thought-provoking or just a fun read, this list is sure to help you out.

Holiday Gift Ideas (Here is the complete list of 47 titles)

Here are a few samples that they showcase:

Darkest Light by Hiromi Goto

Published: February 5, 2013

Publisher: Razorbill Canada

Summary (Amazon):

The breathtaking follow-up to the award-winning Half World

Adopted as an infant, Gee has been kept ignorant of his troubled past. Now, at sixteen, he is a loner both despised and feared by his classmates. Dark feelings slowly grow inside him, but as he struggles to control them, his past catches up with him. Abandoning his adoptive grandmother and the place he has called home, Gee is compelled to travel to Half World, one of the Three Realms all living things must pass through. Fractured at one time, the Realms of the Flesh, Spirit and Half World have been reunited, but they are at risk: their fate rests on Gee’s own journey of self-discovery. With two unlikely companions, a heartless cat and a self-destructive Neo Goth girl, Gee must fight the monstrous and the horrific—and, most difficult of all, he must overcome his own propensity for evil.

Gripping and mesmerizing, Darkest Light is a compelling journey through despair in a desperate search for redemption.

 The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers

Published:August 1, 2012

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Summary (Amazon):

A is for “Aardvark,” “Tink Aaron-Martin” and “Amazing” in this wonderful alphabetical novel!Tink Aaron-Martin has been grounded again after an adventure with her best friend Freddie Blue Anderson. To make the time pass, she decides to write an encyclopedia of her life from “Aa” (a kind of lava — okay, she cribbed that from the real encyclopedia) to “Zoo” (she’s never been to one, but her brothers belong there).As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink’s summer: More adventures with Freddie Blue (and more experiences in being grounded). How her family was featured in a magazine about “Living with Autism,” thanks to her older brother Seb — and what happened after Seb fell apart; her growing friendship, and maybe more, with Kai, a skateboarder who made her swoon (sort of ). And her own sense that maybe she belongs not under “H” for “Hideous,” or “I” for “Invisible,” but “O” for “Okay.”

Told entirely through Tink’s hilarious encyclopedia entries, The Encyclopedia of Me is both a literary trick and a reading treat for anyone who loves terrific middle-grade novels.

Stray Love by Kyo Maclear

Published: March 20, 2012

Publisher:Phyllis Bruce-Non Perennial

Summary (Amazon): Born of an adulterous affair in London, England, Marcel is ethnically ambiguous,
growing up in the racially charged 1960s with a white surrogate father named
Oliver. Abandoned as an infant, Marcel is haunted by vague memories of his
bohemian mother, and is desperate to know who his real parents are. When Oliver
is promoted to foreign correspondent, he leaves Marcel in the care of his
ill-equipped friends, including the beautiful Pippa. The world is being swept by
a wave of liberation—coups, revolutions and the end of colonialism. While Oliver rushes toward the action, Marcel is set adrift in swinging London, a city of magic—and a city where he can never quite fit in. Just when it seems they will never be reunited, Marcel is sent to join Oliver in Vietnam. But by the summer of 1963, the war is escalating, and Oliver is finally overwhelmed by his doomed love for Pippa. When Marcel eventually uncovers the shattering truth about his mother, his entire world is rearranged. Now, as his fiftieth birthday approaches, Marcel is asked to take care of his friend’s eleven-year-old daughter, Iris. Prodded by her sharp-eyed company, he reflects on his own bittersweet childhood and the experiences that have shaped his present. Stray Love is beautifully illustrated with original drawings by noted Toronto artist/filmmaker Heather Frise.

Personal Thoughts: I have never hear of Stray Love or The Encyclopedia of Me but they sound interesting and I will definitely be picking them up. One thing I love about the holiday season is the “free” time between Christmas and New Years where I get a chance to catch up on all my reading. However, it is still not that free considering there will be a lot of family and friends coming over or I will be visiting with them. Here’s to every spare minute that us bookworms take advantage to finish that last chapter or that book that we can’t seem to put down 🙂

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Book Review: Letters from Wishing Rock

Letters From Wishing Rock (a novel with recipes)  by Pam Stucky

Published: March 9, 2011

Publisher: Createspace

Source: Library Thing Member Giveaway

This charming novel is written in a unique format (letters and emails) amongst the characters. What would happen if everyone in town lived in the same buidling? Ruby Parker, the  newest member of Wishing Rock, is about to find out. Her fiance has left her and she needs a fresh start and new scenery to take her mind off her troubled heart. She moves to Wishing Rock, Washington, a small town on Dogwinkle Island, near Seatle, where she meets a quirky set of characters that quickly become her new family.

Through the letters that are exchanged between the neighbors and their friends, the reader goes on a journey that features plenty of twists and turns of the going ons of this small town.

Through Ruby’s venture into online dating, to a group trip to Scotland, a hoedown that changes everything, the lives of Wishing Rock get changed and things become interesting.

Personal Thoughts:

I really liked this book. It was quirky, witty and funny. I loved the characters from Ruby, to Ed, Gran, Pip,Dan, and all the rest. One  minute I would be reading and the next I would be laughing out loud because of the antics and shenanigans.

The format took a while to get used to because I would have to keep checking who was writting to whom, but its a new format to read a story. The cover and the whole background of how Wishing Rock came to be fascinated me. Imagine a town in one building! That is just too crazy to believe but it does in this work of fiction.

The adventures that everyone participates in reminds me of small town life. Everyone’s business is everyone’s business and you cannot escape it. If you need help, there is someone to help, everyone attends the same events and lends a supporting  ear when needed. The way that the author created each character let us see just who they were and why they were there. No place is too far not to keep in contact and lend advice.

One thing that caught me off guard was the pacing. In the beginning and the middle, it seemed to go at a decent pace and there were many things happening. However, towards the end of the book the pace started to slow down and get bogged down with all of the details. That is just my observation. I liked the cliffhanger at the end between two people (I won’t mention which one’s to prevent spoiling the end), and how we were left wondering what they were going to do and where they would be going.

Just from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the book and the characters, I will seek out the second book in this series. I hope I won’t be disappointed. Overall, great start to a series.

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Book Review: The Last Boyfriend

 The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts

Published: May 1, 2012

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Source: Library

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, he makes sure everything is scheduled and in its right place. He runs the family’s constructin business with an iron fist and no detail is too small to get misplaced. The construction of the inn( Inn BoonsBoro) is going smoothly and is about to open right on schedule-Owen expects nothing less. Owen plans for everything, however, he didn’t plan on Avery McTavish.

Avery McTavish owns the popular pizza place right across the street from the inn and it gives her a prime spot in seeing all the action that is hapening at the inn and with Owen. Owen was Avery’s first boyfriend and since then, he has never been far from her mind. The last thing that she expected was to feel an attraction that is far from friendly. Taking it slow, Owen and Avery go on a journey to see where their new attraction and relationship will take them.

Getting the inn ready for the grand opening day and letting Avery’s guard down, has Owen busy up to his eye brows. However, he knows that once he is done convincing her, Avery’s first boyfriend will be her last.

Personal Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Inn Boonsboro trilogy. First thing that I am going to say is that I loved the colors of the cover. They were so welcoming and peaceful, perfect for what it is about. I loved the format of the book. It is as though you are opening up the pages of a diary or something of sorts. It is hard to describe so I recommed you look it up at your local book store to see for yourself.

Also, I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of Nora Roberts and although there have been some books that were alright, the majority of hers are great entertainment for me.

Owen and Avery were quite a match of smart wits, humour, and matching stubborness. It didn’t help that they have known each other since they were kids, and that they had a history between them. It was so entertaining to see them try to fight their attraction and fail miserably. Sometimes you just know and can’t stop it. The progress of the inn and the daily going ons of Vespa keep both of them busy constantly but it is interesting to be a fly on the wall and see how they handle the stressful situations that surround them.

It was intriguing to find out more about the inn inhabitant-aka ghost. With some research Owen and Hope slowly reveal to us what could have happened to the ghost and why she is still lingering in this time frame and not going back to her side. She makes a few appearences personally and with her signature scent as well-honeysuckle. There is not as much ghost activity in this one as there was in the previous book, however there is just enough to not forget that she is there.

I loved the descriptive writing. Nora Roberts always manages to be very descriptive but in a way that doesn’t bog down the story line or make you bored because there is too much detail. You get just the right amount that you want to know more, and there is a good picture in your head of what everone looks like and their surroundings.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the trilogy, I would say start with the first one, because it will be a lot easier to follow along. This isn’t one of those books where if you pick up the second or third it is still ok as a stand alone, it is better to read from the first one.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at  Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Published: February 12, 2013

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Summary: (Courtesy of Goodreads)


Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

Personal Thoughts: I read the first two books in the trilogy and I cannot wait for this book to come out! February seems to be so far away. I want to know what happens to Rhine and Rowan. The first two books were nail bitters for me because I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next and didn’t want Rhine to get caught again by the bad guys. Here’s to a long three months of waiting.