Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

Title Ten Tiny Breaths

Series Ten Tiny Breaths, book 1

Author K. A. Tucker

Release Date December 11, 2012

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgivable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

Ten Tiny Breaths has been on my to-read shelf for a few months. It would probably still be sitting there if it weren't for the fact that I was approved to read the second book on Netgalley. Sometimes the universe gives us the push we need to get where we're going... or to read what we should be reading. Or something like that.

Overall, this book is pretty great. The writing is enjoyable. The pacing is absolutely perfect (you're thrown right into the middle of things and you learn the back story along the way). I absolutely adored the characters, especially Storm. The actual story itself was wonderful. I loved the overall message of forgiveness, not for the other person, but for yourself.

Even in all that greatness, though, there is the one thing... I had the "big secret" figured out early on. Even though that was the case, it had the opposite of a normal effect on me. Instead of becoming slightly bored with the book, it intrigued me to read more and find out if I was right and what would happen if I was. The more I read, the more I needed to find out. It was truly a good read.

I am thrilled to start the next book that centers around Livie.


5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: No Alligators in Sight

Title No Alligators in Sight

Author Kirsten B. Feldman

Release Date September 3, 2013

In this coming of age novel, Lettie and Bert squeak by in a tiny town on Cape Cod, one parent an alcoholic and the other absent. After a string of bad decisions on Lettie’s part, their father ships them to their barely remembered mother for the summer, where they will learn hard lessons about themselves, their family, and their future by way of the Florida swamp. Throughout Lettie keeps her biting humor flowing, her razor-sharp pen at the ready, and her eye on her quest for a “normal” life.

I am almost always hesitant to agree to read a book that's independently published. I believe most book reviewers are. Sometimes, you'll find a true gem. Other times, more often than not, you find mediocre writing and a story that wasn't worth your time. Luckily, No Alligators in Sight was one of those gems.

There's two things I really enjoyed about the book. First, the characters are wonderfully developed. They come to life and feel like real people you could meet anywhere. While there was a few times that I had trouble remembering Lettie/Annie was only thirteen (I believe), it's easily understandable. She's had a difficult life since her mother left. Looking out for not only herself, but her brother, certainly will age a child well beyond their years. Secondly, the story itself is just well-written. It flowed easily and I was hooked from the very beginning.

I may have to remind myself that it's okay to take a chance on an independently published book. I'm so glad that I did for this one. It was worth the read and I do recommend it.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchanged for an honest review. *

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: The Promise of Stardust

Title The Promise of Stardust

Author Priscille Sibley

Release Date February 5, 2013

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when he convinced her to marry him. Now in their late 30s, the deeply devoted couple has everything-except the baby they've always wanted.

When an accident leaves Elle brain dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear the thought of life without her, he knows Elle was afraid of only one thing-a slow death. And so, Matt resolves to take her off life support.

But Matt changes his mind when they discover Elle's pregnant. While there are no certainties, the baby might survive if Elle remains on life support. Matt's mother, Linney, disagrees with his decision. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive on machines. Linney is prepared to fight her son in court-armed with Elle's living will.

Divided by the love they share, Matt and Linney will be pitted against each other, fighting for what they believe is right, and what they think Elle would have wanted resulting in a controversial legal battle that will ultimately go beyond one family . . . and one single life.

It's no secret that I like to read. On the flip side of that, it's no secret that my husband hates reading (absolute insanity if you ask me). Still, he's always nice enough to ask me what I'm reading and what the book is about before drifting off to sleep after complaining that the light on my Nook is too bright (impossible, of course). When I mentioned that I was reading The Promise of Stardust and explained it to him, he had two thoughts on the book. One, "that title makes no sense! It has nothing to do with stars." And two, "Duh, of course you'd keep your wife alive to save the baby." While the first statement sounds exactly like him, I was actually surprised by the first. I had no idea my husband felt that way. After explaining the circumstances to him (she's only a few weeks into pregnancy, she'd need to be kept on life support for months, she explicitly stated she didn't want to ever be on life support, etc.), he was still firm in his decision. I was both surprised and pleased that a book (especially one dealing with this topic) could open up a discussion with my husband. That, however, is only one of the many reasons I enjoyed this book.

Like my husband, without even knowing any of the details, I had made up my mind that if I was ever in that situation I would want to be on life support to do everything possible to save the baby. And perhaps it's silly. Yes, I have such a strong desire to have a child, but if I'm brain dead... well, be honest, what difference would that make to me? Here I am, a completely pro-choice woman and I'd be willing to "suffer" through months for a child that I wouldn't be able to raise myself. Crazy, right? Maybe, but who really knows?

Anyway, how about the book itself? Immediately, it gives you something that you want to discuss (obviously). It's one of those issues that people are going to be divided by and, somehow, that makes the book so much more interesting. The writing is beautiful and wonderful. The story is both lovely and heartbreaking at the exact same time. While it might not be one of those books you can pick up at any ol' time (I hope this makes sense... sometimes you need to read a certain type/genre of book and this one might be a little too "life heavy" for particular times) and enjoy, it is absolutely worth reading when the time is right for you.


5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: A Different Blue

Title A Different Blue

Author Amy Harmon

Release Date March 29, 2013

Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

In the beginning, I had a hard time staying focused on the story. My mind wanted to wander around and think about anything but this book. I was tempted to let it, but I didn't. I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Generally, I prefer not to have to tell myself to focus on reading a book, but meh. Sometimes it just takes a while to get engrossed in the story.

The biggest plus that A Different Blue has going for it was that I wasn't able to predict the story. Okay, well, that's not *entirely* true. I could predict some of it, but there were major points in the story that I didn't see coming. That is certainly the most redeeming quality in this book. And certainly, a breath of fresh (and much needed) air.

While the story started out kind of boring (that focus thing I already mentioned), it did pick up and I did ultimately enjoy it.


4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Title Eleanor & Park

Author Rainbow Rowell

Release Date February 26, 2013

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.


Holy heartbreak. This book was... amazing.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I honestly don't remember the last time I loved a book like this. It's been a long while.

Eleanor & Park is adorable! It was an absolutely adorable, heartbreaking, beautiful, sweet story. And oh, that ending! The ending was perfect and hopeful. It couldn't have ended any better. It brought tears to my eyes and made me so happy for Eleanor and Park.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It's lovely and bittersweet.


5 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review: The Edge of Always

Title The Edge of Always

Series The Edge of Never, book 2

Author J.A. Redmerski

Release Date November 5, 2013

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…

I'm sure I could have sat down and read this book in one sitting. Trust me, I wanted to. I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't have been too happy about me staying up all night to finish a book, though. I did the responsible thing, of course, and finished it in two days instead. Anyway, the book is one of those that you just don't want to put down. You just want to keep reading and devour the lovely story.

Overall, I loved continuing on Camryn and Andrew's journey with them. It was beautiful. It was heartbreaking. It was a wonderfully told story. I admit that there are a few times where "many months later" was used in which I wish it wasn't. Gah, I really wanted more of *that* particular part of the story. Maybe not the entire "many months" but some of it would have satisfied me. Oh well. In general, I can't complain. I enjoyed the story. I loved the overall message that, no matter what happens, you should always stay true to yourself and what you want out of life.

Included at the end of the book was an excerpt of a spin-off book, Song of the Fireflies. Of course as soon as I read the excerpt I per-ordered the book. I can't wait for it!


4 out of 5 stars