Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review - The Rosie Project

GoodReads Says: Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper. Published 10/1/13

I know, I know. It's about time I read this book. It was the cover that threw me off; it looked like a mushy chick-lit type book. I'm all for fluffy reads, but I'm generally not in the mood for romance stories, especially mushy ones.

There was no mush, fluff, or chicks to be found in this book, friends.

I definitely oooh'd and awwwh'd (not words; bear with me) throughout this novel, but never once did I think "gratuitous PDA, much?" or "ugh. kiss already." If anything, I wanted the book to be longer. I was rooting for him (and Rosie), I was imagining what it would be like to be in a relationship with him, I was wondering at how well the story was written.

It was hilarious in a dry, intelligent, witty sort of humor. The protagonist was awkward, but not the kind of awkward that you cringe for him. I loved that fact that, though he's "different," there's no label put on him, and no "you deserve love, but..." story line. It's a love story without taking itself seriously. And yet, there were some topics brought up that begged for more thought.

The main character was just written so well....there are not enough good things for me to say about this book. I rented a copy from the library to read, but I will definitely be picking up a copy. I will likely re-read this book, and pick up another (I heard a rumor that there will be sequel!). : 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - May 28

Waiting on Wednesday

THIS is the book I'm waiting on! I have it on hold at the library. Amazon Says: The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. 

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security. 

UPDATE: Little Brown has sent me a copy to read, via NetGalley. So excited!!!!!!! Watch out for a review soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Topic Tuesday - May 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a series sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish. This week there is no topic; I get to pick whatever I want! I've decided that this week, I'll list the Top 10 authors that I will read no matter what. (Listed in no particular order). 

1. Janet Evanovich.. The Stephanie Plum series is getting semi-predictable, but I really love the characters and the humor. Her previously written romance novels aren't something I've read a lot of (not generally my genre), but I will pretty much read whatever she writes.

2. Jen Lancaster. So, I feel like her writing has been uninspired lately (the two novels are generally the same, The Tao of Martha was boring and I haven't been in love with some of her books), but I've loved her first books (Bitter is the New Black, Such a Pretty Fat), that I will read anything she writes.

3. Anne Lamott. I She's so real, honest and inspired. Her novels are good, but I especially love her non fiction. I wish she would write a book about food/body/self esteem.

4. Wally Lamb. I have loved every novel he's ever written - and I would love to read them all again.

5. Sue Monk Kidd. I first read The Dance of the Dissident Daughter in college, and tore up that book with notes and underlining. Her novels have continued to be amazing.

6. Cathy Lamb. Every book has been funny, witty, emotional, with an entertaining love story and strong female protagonists.

7. John Green. Really. Does this need explanation? I wish I could read The Fault in Our Stars for the first time again.

8. Rainbow Rowell. This author is a new find for me, but I can't tell you how much I loved FanGirl. I've read all of her other books since.

9. Geneen Roth. Her last few books have been a me, but her original books have been groundbreaking for me, and I will definitely read anything she writes.

10. Stephanie Perkins. She's "only" published two books, but Anna and the French Kiss impressed be so much, that I will continue to read what she writes! (As you know, I'm eagerly anticipating Isla and the Happily Ever After).

What are some of your favorite authors? I'm always on the look out for new favorites!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review - Delancey


I picked up this book from the library for three reasons:

1. It was about a restaurant and food (and I'm engaged to a chef; food is part of our life)
2. It's a memoir about, at least in part, about "a marriage." Since I'm recently engaged, I'm all about reading about other peoples' marriages - I want to know all of the nitty gritty about how a marriage can work, especially when one partner is in food service.
3. It smelled good. (Yes, I have a problem).

While this was an enjoyable, easy read, I was hoping that it would be more about the marriage and not the restaurant. I almost gave up 1/3 of the way through (and again half way though, and then mostly skimmed the last 1/3) not because it was written poorly or not interesting, it just wasn't what I wanted to read. Honestly? I don't care about what it takes to open a restaurant. There were many (many, many) details about finding the restaurant location, how much yeast to use in the perfect dough, how long the dough needed to rise (in each temperature of each season) and how hot the pizza oven had to be. This is probably interesting for a true foodie or someone in the restaurant industry (which is why I'm going to pass this along to my fiance), but as someone who isn't "in the know," a lot of the details were uninteresting to me.

There were 20 recipes throughout the book (but none for pizza, which is kind of odd because Delancey is a pizzeria). I haven't made any of the recipes, but they sound pretty good (Fried Rice with Pork and Kale, Sriracha and Butter Shrimp and Apple Crisp, for example).

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars. It wasn't for me (I believe it would be most enjoyed by a select audience), but it was written well, had witty humor, and the (many) pizza-and-restaurant-related details were interesting.

Favorite Quote: "Obsession is a job I know how to do." Ding ding ding!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Amazon says: Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I didn't expect to feel so strongly about this book. I was expecting a quick, easy, light read. This fit the bill.....until about half way through. 

There were sibling story lines, romantic story lines and interpersonal conflict. I expected the story to center more on the fact that Lara Jean's "love letters" were sent to the recipients - horror! Who did it? Why? In fact, the story centered much more on the recipients themselves, as they related to Lara Jean. 

At a certain point, I started to really connect with the characters and the story. (Um, Kitty is adorable, Lara Jean is so familiar, and I definitely formed opinions about the other characters). It's still a fairly lighthearted read, but the story lines become more real and I started to see the characters in a different light. 

I became invested. 

Which is why the ending was a let down. All story lines had resolution, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted more details about Peter, about Josh....heck, even about Genevieve. 

I don't want to give anything away, but I recommend this book. I give it four stars; and I'll check out more from Jenny Han. (I've heard that this book is different from the Pretty series; that if you hated that you would probably like this. I haven't read that series- they've been sitting on my bookshelf, unopened, for over a year). 

4/5 stars. Pick it up!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: You Should Have Known

Amazon says: Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: she lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

I was excited about this book, I really was. I was expecting a psychological thriller with a mental health slant. I read somewhere that this was similar to "Gone Girl" by Gilian Flynn (which I loved!), but I was so disappointed in this book. 

First, the title really is the theme of the book. Should Grace have known about her husband? Promising premise - but poorly executed. First, we don't know exactly what Jonathan did, and we don't have a glimpse into their early relationship, to see what (if any signs) she actually missed. 

Also, some of the scenarios in the book are just beyond belief. I don't want to give anything away, but I found myself just not believing that this would actually ever happen. 

Not to mention the fact that I skimmed SO MUCH of the book - too wordy, and there were multiple characters, paragraphs (and pages) that had no bearing whatsoever on the plot (or lack thereof). 

Overall, the premise was promising, but there were too many missed opportunities in the story line, too many superfluous scenes and I never felt myself connecting with Grace. 

I give it two stars. Glad I pushed through, but really disappointed. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're anticipating. 

This week, I'm EAGERLY anticipating:

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. 

First, there was Anna and the French Kiss (loved), and then there was Isla and the Boy Next Door (liked, but not quite as much), and now there's Isla and the Happily Ever After, that combines Anna and St. Claire, Lola and Cricket, and new characters. 

This is one of those books that I'm excited to read and my expectations are guardedly-high. I WANT it to be good, but I'm worried that I'll be disappointed. 

Topic Tuesday

Topic Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic? Top Ten Books About Friendship.

Here's my list:

1. Harry Potter Series. Duh. 
2. FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell. 
3. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McAfferty
4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. (So, technically, this is a sort-of romance, but I think the bond that these two have is based in an awesome understanding and friendship) 
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (See above). 
6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. 
7. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. 
8. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (okay, so, they're siblings. But if they don't also have friendship, then I don't know what this book is about. 
9. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
10. Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger Ross 

P.S. Still working on formatting the blog and all that. Please hang in there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Amazon Says: Dr. Charlotte Reese works in the intensive care unit of Seattle’s Beacon Hospital, tending to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her job is to battle death—to monitor erratic heartbeats, worry over low oxygen levels, defend against infection and demise. 

One night a Jane Doe is transferred to her care from a rural hospital on the Olympic Peninsula. This unidentified patient remains unconscious, the victim of a hit and run. As Charlotte and her team struggle to stabilize her, the police search for the driver who fled the scene. 

Days pass, Jane’s condition worsens, and her identity remains a mystery. As Charlotte finds herself making increasingly complicated medical decisions that will tie her forever to Jane’s fate, her usual professional distance evaporates. She’s plagued by questions: Who is Jane Doe? Why will no one claim her? Who should decide her fate if she doesn’t regain consciousness—and when? 

Perhaps most troubling, Charlotte wonders if a life locked in a coma is a life worth living. 

Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Eric, a science journalist, Charlotte impulsively sets out to uncover Jane Doe’s past. But the closer they get to the truth, the more their relationship is put to the test. It is only when they open their hearts to their own feelings toward each other—and toward life itself—that Charlotte and Eric will unlock Jane Doe’s shocking secret, and prepare themselves for a miracle. 

So, I've been reading a lot lately (surprise, surprise), and I realize that I'm not always remembering what I read. I'm going to start doing mini reviews of books to help me digest what I read and to REMEMBER what I read. 

I pre-ordered this book and was SO.EXCITED to read it because I love the authors first book, Oxygen. She wrote a second one, Healer, that was good, as well. 

I received this book on the day it came out. 
In March. 
And JUST now read it. Why? I was anticipating that it would be SO GOOD that I wanted to savor it, to not be disappointed. 

Unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed. 

The story is told from alternating viewpoints - primarily Charlotte and another character. At first, it was confusing. After the plot started to develop, it made more sense. 

I was anticipating that the book would be more medical-ethics, and less of a story plot. Also, there were some plot twists and story lines that came in towards the last half of the book, and I don't feel like they were resolved very well. 

Overall, I'm glad I read this book. It was written beautifully, even if it was a tad wordy at times. I wish that it didn't alternate narrators, but instead stuck with Charlotte, but it was a good read. I give it 3.5 stars. 

Up next? "You Should Have Known" by Jean Hanff Korelity