Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

Blurb from Goodreads:

Based on the Emmy Award-winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty-four year old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters -- beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.

When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets, and for Lizzie's viewers. But not everything happens on-screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie's world and well beyond the confines of her camera:  from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter's bar, and much more. Lizzie's private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents' unstable financial situation, her sister's budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future, and whom she wants to share it with.

Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before. 
My Review:
 
I have to start this review by saying that I have never seen the YouTube videos on which this book is based.  However, I have read every Jane Austen re-telling imaginable and am usually in love with all of them.  Something about this one just didn't wow me.  Lizzie was boring!  Also, the Charlotte character was just odd.  Mrs. Bennet was also WAY too over the top -- even more so than the original P&P or any re-telling I've read before.  Although the characters were superficially based upon P&P, they ended up falling flat for me and being too divergent from the real trope.

I would definitely recommend one of my favorite P&P re-tellings, Unleashing Mr. Darcy, over this book, or my favorite Emma re-telling:  Dear Mr. Knightley; but there are many great YA/NA re-tellings as well:  Solving for Ex or the wonderful Jane Austen Academy series by Cecilia Gray, for example.  Unless you are a big fan of the YouTube videos, there are many other books that will satisfy your Jane Austen craving.
"Two parts of me have been at war. Your... odd family, your financial troubles- you're in a different world from me. People expect me to travel in certain circles. And I do respect the wishes of my family, but not today. I've tried to fight it for months now, but Lizzie Bennet . . . I'm in love with you." 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham!!






From Goodreads:
In the second book in the New York Times bestselling mystery series, Veronica Mars is back with a case that will expose the hidden workings of one of Neptune’s most murderous locations.

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why? 
I am a HUGE Veronica Mars fan!  I was so sad when the series ended and the recent movie was SO, SO good!  But what is even cooler is that the first book in this series, The Thousand- Dollar Tan Line, picks up right where the movie ended!  So, I can't wait for book 2, which was supposed to be released this year but got pushed back into January.  Still, so excited! Mr. Kiss and Tell is scheduled for release on January 20, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney

No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney

Blurb from Goodreads:

I’m not a philosophical kind of bloke, but I know something about luck. A childhood on the wrong side of advantage will teach you that. It’s all a matter of chance. It’s both your circumstances and the chances you take. So I've always been a gambler and a ladies man — they love me and I love them. Now I've found one like no other — an American, Allison Wright. When I met her, the fates were on my side, but too soon I learned the odds were against me.
My Review:
No Ordinary Bloke is a companion story to Mary Whitney's Beside Your Heart series (review of book 3 of that series, Forever Your Heart, here).  This book is about Adam's cousin, David, who is introduced in that series although you need not read the series before this book as it is a stand-alone.  

What can I say about David?  Certainly sometimes he is crass but it was pretty awesome reading his story and his slow descent into love.  I really liked the fact that much of the book was set in England (although there were a lot of scenes in New York and a few elsewhere).  David's voice is so unique -- I truly felt like I was in head in reading this book but I adore Allison as well.  This was a slightly unorthodox pair but that made it all the more rewarding when they came together.  The fact that David truly had to take his time and work for it was so, so good.  As with all of Mary Whitney's books, I absolutely loved this one!   If you haven't read any of her books, I highly, HIGHLY recommend them all!!
"What started as a slow romantic kiss soon spun out of control.  It was like she'd been penned up, and she could finally release herself.  I felt the same way, but crikey.  I'd promised to restrain myself, and now the woman was all over me.  There we were in the middle of London, and all I could think was God bless America.  When those girls lost their inhibitions, all bets were off." 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, in Spanish (LIE #2) by Karina Halle

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Love, in Spanish (LIE #2)by Karina Halle!!






From Goodreads:
The companion to the highly emotional, scandalous and USA Today Bestselling love story - LOVE, IN ENGLISH - is finally here! Love, in Spanish is a Love, in English follow-up novel told from Mateo Casalles' POV. While Love, in Spanish touches on some events that happened in LIE (you know the ones!) it is a whole new story set a year later that continues with Vera and Mateo's "happily ever after." 
*** 

“She sat beside me on the bus – and she changed my whole life.” 

Successful, wealthy and absurdly handsome – Spanish ex-football player Mateo Casalles seemed like he had it all. A high-society wife, an adorable little girl, and flashy apartments in Madrid and Barcelona only sweetened the deal. But there was more to Mateo than met the eye – a life of uncertainty and regret that colored his black and white world. 

That was until Vera Miles came into his life like a shooting star. Tattooed, wild and young, Vera seemed like Mateo’s polar opposite at first. But you can’t choose who you fall in love with and the two lost souls did everything they could to be together, all while suffering the grave consequences. 

Now with Mateo divorced and living in Madrid with Vera, there is a whole new set of challenges and setbacks facing the couple and rocking the foundation of their star-crossed relationship. 

Unfortunately for them, the brighter the star, the faster they burn. 
I really liked Love, In English, the first book in this series.  A sequel that is essentially the male POV of the first book is tricky for me, and I typically don't bother (Flat-Out Matt being one exception).  However, as stated on GR above, this is a whole new story about AFTER the HEA.  So, I am definitely excited!! Love, in Spanish is scheduled for release on November 11, 2014 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??


Monday, October 27, 2014

MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES EPISODES 1 & 2 RELEASED

Have you heard that the Morganville Vampires books by Rachel Caine were turned into a web series?
If not, they have been! This is one of my all time favorite YA series and the webisodes do not disappoint!!


Episode 1 - "Glass House" : http://youtu.be/fcoe2nCFYuQ


Episode 2 - "Bite Me" : http://youtu.be/sRhZwjrIKYg

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Last Light (Night Owl #2) by M. Pierce

Last Light (Night Owl #2) by M. Pierce

Blurb from Goodreads:

Matt Sky is missing. After a solo ascent of Longs Peak that left only a large blood stain, tatters of climbing clothing, and the tracks of an animal in the snow, he is presumed dead ...

Hannah Catalano is guarding a secret ...

Tensions rise, secrets grow bigger, and passions run deeper in the highly anticipated second book in the Night Owl Trilogy.
My Review:

Earlier this year, I kept hearing cryptic but exciting things about M. Pierce and the author's debut novel, Night Owl.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was absolutely blown away by Night Owl.  I couldn't put it down and it ended on this weird cliffhanger that has left me hanging for the past seven months.  After Mud Vein, Night Owl and Last Light are the best adult books I have read this year.  Last Light did not disappoint as it seems so many sequels lately have done.  Not only was the cliffhanger in the first book explained and expanded but a new conflict was presented immediately, with no easy resolution, and that allowed for new insight into these characters that I have come to love so, so much even though Last Light will certainly leave you hating either or both of them at some point.  These books are so much more than any sort of "love" story or romance . . . in fact, I wouldn't describe them in that way at all.  If you want to crawl into a character's mind even when the character may do something that is absolutely mind boggling (prime example of this being successful is Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher), then this series is for you.  Hannah and Matt come together, and cannot let go, because there is no way either of them could be their own person and be in a relationship if it was not with each other.  I am reminded of this quote from Steve Kloves' screenplay adaption of Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon:

Whenever I wondered what Sara saw in me, and I wondered more than once, I always came back to the fact that she read everything, every spare moment. She was a junkie for the printed word. And, lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.
I certainly have a tendency to get hung up on the uniqueness of a book or a plot or a character but there is something so fresh and new about these books.  Aside from the fact that the books are about an author, M. Pierce, that is unknown to the world in the books (by choice), and that these books are similarly written by M. Pierce, an author that we know nothing about in this world, the story is compelling.   I absolutely cannot wait to see where book 3, After Dark, takes us and these characters.

Last Light will be released October 28, 2014, and you can purchase here.  If you have not yet read Night Owl in anticipation of the second book of this series, you really, really should!
"December is the cruelest month to die in. 
I smiled and slouched in my chair.  I couldn't go wrong, riffing on Eliot.[1] 
I thumbed my way to chapter one and began to write.  A cup of cold coffee stood by my laptop.  I sipped it as I worked. 
I wrote for three hours, stopping only to laugh or gaze out at the mountains.  Once I walked through the cabin.  Then I returned to the desk.  As long as I was in the story, I wasn't aching for Hannah.  As long as I was in the story, I wasn't worrying about Hannah on the East Coast with my family."                         

[1]   
Interestingly, M. Pierce refers to T.S. Eliot and, presumably, the first line of The Waste Land.  Those medieval studies majors (like me) know that Eliot was alluding to Geoffrey Chaucer and, more specifically, the first line of The Canterbury Tales.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher!!



From Goodreads:
Best friends since they could walk. In love by the age of fourteen. Dating for over four years. 
She’ll do everything she can to never forget. 
He’ll do everything he can to never remember. 
Too bad it’s not up to them. 
Um, what happens when two of your very favorite authors decide to write together?!  Needless to say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE both Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher and I cannot wait for this!! Never Never is scheduled for release in January, 2015!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??