Search This Blog

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review: Cinderella in Skates by Carly Syms

I wasn't always a hockey fan. I hadn't even seen a hockey game until my freshman year in college and that was an intramural game. I had a little bit of a thing for one of the guys playing, but he was a big jerk and I only went to see the one game.

I always did love ice skating, though. Where I grew up down at the Jersey Shore, I was never far from a lake and back then, the lakes actually froze solid with ice inches thick, so skating was as safe as it could be. Not the river, though. It never froze solid and there were always instances of kids playing on the ice on the river and one falling in and drowning. Always really tragic stories.

It was actually ice skating that resulted in me having a broken collar bone. I was skating on a, well, I can't really call it a pond. By the high school, which was one yard (neighbor like, not a unit of measurement) away from my grandmother's house, there was a spot by the football field that had a deep enough dip that would fill with water and freeze. It was wide enough to be an impromptu ice rink. I was skating forward and did a 180 degree spin to stop and my feet flew out from under me and I landed on my shoulder. I was in 7th or 8th grade and was actually out of school for a couple of months while the bones healed.

I had been skating most of my life through high school I guess. I wasn't great or anything, but I could do a few tricks, nothing really fancy. And I used to watch figure skating on TV. I loved Dorothy Hamill. And it was her Olympic Achievements that caused me to declare to my mother that I wanted to be an Olympic Skater, her standard reply being something like, "Don't be ridiculous. You're not good enough."

I even had a Dorothy Hamill Wedge, her signature hair style. Of course, that was after I asked my step father to trim my hair and the left side ended up 6 inches shorter than the right side. If I can dredge up a picture of the infamous Wedge, I'll post it.

I kind of left my skates behind when I headed off to college. I did continue to skate, but on wheels and just for fun. I never put my skates on again after high school. I would still occasionally watch figure skating on TV, but even that interest started to wane, replaced by other hobbies and interests that demanded too much of my time. And when I moved up north, there really wasn't anywhere safe to skate anyway.

It wasn't until 2009 that I actually started watching professional hockey. Hubby always liked hockey, but he never watched it with any regularity. The only other sports I ever watched on TV were football when I was in elementary through high school. The Miami Dolphins were my team. I watched gymnastics as well. I was on the gymnastics team in high school for a couple years. Not really very good at that either, but I had balance, so could work the balance beam pretty well.

But I digress. Professional hockey. 2009. Hubby and the Devils. Yes. The 2008-2009 season. For some reason, hubby started watching hockey periodically. It was in 2009 almost the end of the season. I walked through and stopped just because I was curious. It was at that moment that a fight broke out on the ice and I thought that was the most amazing thing ever! At this time, I was still training heavily in Kung Fu, so the idea of a fist fight being legal in a sports event was amazing to me. And that one fight hooked me in. Watching the game, I finally noticed the chest patch on the opposing teams jersey and it was a penguin. So, I asked to be sure since the TV at that time wasn't huge and found that the team was indeed The Penguins. And I said that's it! That's the team I'm rooting for! And I have never looked back.

The Pittsburgh Penguins went on the win the Stanley Cup that year and the following year, hubby gave me a trip for Christmas to Pittsburgh over a long weekend to see the Penguins play on home ice the last season they played in the Igloo. They have made the play offs every year since, but have not made it to the Finals again since then. This year, they are in first place in the Eastern Conference and are a favorite to make it to the Finals. So, keep your fingers crossed for my team.

As the regular season draws to a close and the Play Offs are getting ready to begin, I thought it would be appropriate to read a book about hockey.

Book Description (From Goodreads):
Natalie Melter hates that her family made her leave sunny Arizona to move to Wisconsin but she’s even more upset that her dad, a former hockey player, tells her that she can move back to Arizona in the summer only if she makes her school's hockey team.

Natalie doesn't know the first thing about standing up on a pair of ice skates, but life in snowy Wisconsin is about to get a whole lot more interesting when the cute college hockey player next door decides to teach her the sport he loves.

Will Natalie put it together in time to make the team or will Shane be a distraction she can’t ignore?

My Review:
Well, it is about hockey and the Kindle edition was only a few bucks, so I figured I'd give it a go. What I found was a sweet story about finding love in what could be considered the wrong place.

Natalie is a bit upset about her father uprooting the entire family, moving them from their home in Arizona where it is warm or hot all year long and taking them to one of the coldest places in the country, Wisconsin. Her dad is going to be teaching at the university where he played hockey. Natalie has never cared for the sport or cold weather. She's never seen a snow flake. She gets off the plane in Wisconsin dressed for 100 degree weather only to find snow smacking her I the face.

They get to the new house, but the furniture hasn't arrived and they have no where to sleep. One of the neighbors stops by to help them unpack, Joe Stanford and his son Shane. Mr. Stanford and Natalie's dad played college hockey together, so it's a happy reunion. Natalie, who can't see one good thing coming out of moving to Wisconsin, might have to rethink that idea. Shane Stanford is on the university hockey team and he is one hot looking guy.

Her plan is to go back to Arizona at the beginning of the summer and live with her grandparents until she goes to college in Phoenix in the fall. The only problem is her parent's won't let her go that soon and are trying to encourage her to make the most of her experiences in Wisconsin. So they proposition her. She needs to make the school girl's hockey team and then she can go back in June. But in order to do that, she will need someone to teach her the game. How convenient then that she happens to live a few houses down form the "Golden Stallion", as Shane is known, and he's willing to coach her. Really seeing no way out and seeing it as a means to an end, Natalie agrees.

Shane is a great coach who teaches her how to appreciate the sport, but also teaches her how to enjoy life on the cold frontier. She experiences a lot of firsts, like eating seafood, eating sauerkraut on a bratwurst, going skiing, etc. Things start to heat up on the ice and off. But as she spends more time with Shane, will she find that he is reason enough to stay in Wisconsin? Or is she going to follow through on her plans to return to Arizona as quickly as she can get there?

I know which I'd choose.

Let's Go Pens!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Swoon Thursday, Hockey Style

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Since this is the last week of the regular season of the NHL, my swoon this week is from a story about love and hockey, Cinderella in Skates by Carly Syms.


It's beautiful, Completely breathtaking. I've never seen anything like it.

"I love this."

"Thought you might. A little different than Arizona, huh?"

"At least the parts of Arizona I've been to."

"The view's even better at night when everything's all lit up. Maybe I'll show you sometime."

He takes a step closer to me, ducks his head and kisses me right there on the snow-covered edge of the cliff. I press myself into him, arms wrapping around his neck, deepening the kiss.

He takes my face in his hands and I can feel his rough thumb brush against my cheek.

I'm not sure how long we stand here this way before he breaks the kiss and takes a step back.

"You're alright, you know that?" he says to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulders. I smile and kiss his cheek.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

School Carnival: Fact or Fiction?

I want to know. Can anyone enlighten me? I read about this phenomenon a lot and have seen it on TV or in movies, but not one school I have ever attended has had a school carnival with rides and everything. I think our fund raisers basically consisted of car washes and bake sales.

There are a lot of carnivals and festivals in Japanese manga as well. I will have to ask my stepfather if that is true, but he will probably not answer as usual. Doesn't he know I need to know these things?

In the Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles, all the trouble starts with, well, the kissing booth. I don't see that happening around here in any event. They used to have a Kissing Bridge at the NY Renaissance Festival where festival workers would accost people crossing the bridge and wouldn't let them pass without giving up a kiss. It is still the Kissing Bridge, but no one guards it anymore and patrons to the faire can kiss at will. It's all voluntary.

For those of you who have not attended a Renaissance Festival, there is a movie out called All's Faire in Love which stars Christina Ricci and it is basically what it is like. I know Netflix streams it.

But to the matter at hand.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: April 9, 2013

A cool, sexy romance novel written by seventeen-year-old British sensation Beth Reekles.

Meet Rochelle “Elle” Evans: pretty, popular—and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile—and a total player.

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at her school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far from a fairy tale.

Is Elle headed for heartbreak or will she get her happily ever after?

My Review:
Well, I am a fan of the happily ever after, so I thought, let's give it a whirl. I downloaded a sample and it was enough to peak my interest. The action doesn't really get going, though, until the school carnival.

Elle, as she is known, is best friends with Lee. They do everything together. He even helps her out with her fashion statement. He seems like a great guy and I like him instantly. It's refreshing to see a girl and boy be able to have a deep friendship that doesn't evolve into a romantic one. He is fiercely protective of her as she is with him. They are a packaged deal. Lee has had girlfriends, but they inevitably break up with him because of his close relationship with Elle.

Elle has never had a boyfriend, but she has had a crush on Lee's older brother Noah. Of course, Lee knows all about that, but he thought that Elle had gotten over her crush. And so did she except that Noah has been acting a little different around her. He has also know her since they were young and he is also fiercely protective of her. The trouble with Noah, though, is that Noah is trouble. So much so, that Elle refers to him as a violence junkie because he is always getting in fights.

Elle and Lee are on the Student Council and they have to come up with an idea for a booth for the school carnival. They decide to run a kissing booth. They get some girls and some boys lined up to work the booth and everything seems to be going as planned. Some of the girls in school keep badgering Elle, though, about Noah. Is he going to work the booth? As a favor to Elle? If not, will he at least stop by? They want her to persuade him, but working at the booth or even stopping by is the farthest thing on Noah's mind. So, it is surprising when he stops by the booth. Elle is tricked into having to man the booth and she, naturally, gets Noah as a customer, so she gets her first kiss. And that's where the trouble starts.

After that, Elle and Noah hook up and end up having a relationship behind every one's back. Why you ask? Because Lee would not approve and Elle doesn't want to hurt her best friend or lose him, but she doesn't want to lose Noah either.

While I did enjoy the story, I had some issues with it and the characters. I think perhaps I had a hard time relating.

  • Noah has been like a guard dog when it comes to Elle. She has never had a date and there is a reason for it. Noah basically got the word out that if anyone comes near Elle, he'll beat the crap out of them. When Elle finds out she goes ballistic. He is constantly telling her what to do, how to dress and how to act so as not to encourage the male folk at school and perhaps lead them on where they might try something with her. She is very naïve.
  • Elle is attracted to Noah, but doesn't feel like she can tell anyone about their relationship. People won't approve. Honey, if you have to go sneaking around just to see the guy, you probably shouldn't.
  • When their relationship is exposed, all the blame is laid at Noah's feet, but Elle is treated as the victim. Hey, she was the one sneaking around and lying to everyone, not Noah. The fact that he was the one put at fault for everything really ticked me off. Oh, he's not blameless, but as they say, and I hate the phrase, it takes two to tango.
  • Lee, while seeming to be the perfect best friend proves himself to be unsupportive of her relationship with his brother. So just because someone does something you don't like you decide to cut them lose? I feel he should try to be more understanding. He is in every other way.

So about half way through the book, I put it on hold, but decided to go back and finish it. Even though I couldn't really connect with the characters on a personal level, it still was enjoyable to read and I believe it is a worthwhile endeavor. I'm not sure it is a book I would read over and over again, but I am glad that I put in the time to read the story through to the end. Does she get her happy ending? Maybe, but you'll have to read it to find out.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: 7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

My dad was in the army, so as a young girl, we moved around a bit. I never ended up having to transfer in after the school year already began thankfully. But I do recall transferring out before the end of the school year in third grade. I was living in Okinawa and our school was putting on a production of Peter Pan. I so wanted to audition for the play, but I couldn't because we were going to be heading back to the states before the night of the production. Instead, I got to be in the chorus, which was basically them saying, "Here's a bone. Now choke it down with some sour grapes." I was devastated. Maybe that is what is wrong with me today.

Even so, transferring to a new school was scary for me, and since we always seemed to be moving or we were living with my grandparents, my brother became my constant companion. That is the second thing wrong with me. I became shy, lacked self confidence and had a really hard time making friends. So much so that my mom sent me to counseling when I was maybe 12, 13? I'm not good with small talk and I never know what to say. And as I've mentioned before, I was always doing something stupid because my head was always in the clouds. I had a hard enough time and could not imagine how difficult it would be to have to live with a stigma like our heroine, Blythe, in Kristin Walker's novel, 7 Clues to Winning You.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release date: April 26, 2012

When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.

Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgment . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.

My Review:
Blythe has a plan, a life plan. She's got it all plotted out; graduating from her prestigious high school, prestigious college, hubby from a specific school, wedding dress already decided on, town picked out down to the neighborhood within a few streets, higher education, employment, hubby's employment, the type of house she'd live in, charity work, children (4), only private schools would do. The first step to realizing her life's dreams was to graduate from her high school, Meriton High.

Her dad calls a house meeting to make an announcement. He is the principle at nearby Ash Grove High, but he is planning on running for Superintendent which means he has to move into the district and the rug gets pulled out from underneath Blythe.

Not only does she not get to graduate from Meriton High which will make it all that more difficult to get into Bryn Mawr, they have to give up the house she has always known and move to a new neighborhood. So instead of relaxing and hanging out wit her friends while she can, she is forced to spend her spring break house hunting and cleaning the house they are currently living in.

And if that isn't bad enough, her dad is the principle at her new school and if that isn't bad enough, there's the incident she's not sure she can live down.

A tradition at Ash Grove is Senior Scramble which is a scavenger hunt. The seniors run it and the juniors are the participants. The clues are a bit unconventional. The prior year, one of the clues was to get a picture of the principle at home. The problem is one of the pictures taken of the principle had Blythe in the background doing something very unladylike. The photo went viral and she's afraid no one will have forgotten about that.

And if matters are not bad enough for her, that very same picture is one of the photos chosen to go into this year's yearbook. She's humiliated and embarrassed. Upon entering her new school for the first time, everyone is staring, whispering and talking about here, almost as if no one had forgotten the photo incident.

The cause of much of her current stress is Luke Pavel, a senior, who runs an online newspaper for the students. It's very underground. Blythe finds out that her picture was posted on his website and there was a caption contest as well. When Blythe finds out who is responsible, she declares war. And what better instrument for revenge than to have the Senior Scramble cancelled. The problem is that's no way to win friends.

There were a few people with screwed up priorities. Blythe's dad, for instance, had an ambition. He wanted the promotion and knew he had to take steps to try to get it and he didn't seem to care how his decision effected his family.

Blythe was such a princess, a spoiled brat and a snob. For example, "The first thing that hit me was the smell of the place. It was a smell unlike anything at Meriton. In fact, Meriton didn't really have a smell at all, except after they polished the floors on the weekends. But Ash Grove smelled like ancient mildew and disinfectant mixed with bad cologne over BO.
It smelled like academic mediocrity."

It is understandable that she is upset. She has been ripped away from her home, her school and her friends. Her life plan is in danger. Her dad is the principle of her new school and she is being ridiculed on day 1. She doesn't make it easy either, though, because she runs to daddy when she is having an issue, at least in the beginning. And even if she didn't, every one would think she did.

She doesn't seem to care too much about her dad's aspirations. She is looking at this whole situation only from her view point and is being very selfish and judgemental.

She does succeed in getting the Senior Scramble cancelled, but it leaves her hollow and people hate her now more than ever. She comes up with a plan for redemption, but she will need to enlist the aid of the one guy who is a thorn in her side and has made her life a living hell.

Luke, while being the handsome lead, was also not very sensitive. He seemed to feel a responsibility to report the news, regardless of who it might hurt. Freedom of the Press!! But he didn't take into consideration how his lack of judgement in reporting the news could impact the lives of those around him.

While these two seem to show a disdain for each other, they realize they will need to work together if they are going to resurrect Senior Scramble. Can they do it? Or are their differences too great to overcome?

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Skip Beat 30 by Yoshiki Nakamura

I've been lax with my manga review, but please forgive me. I just restacked my manga, as part of my restacking the TBR piles as outlined yesterday. What it made me realize is that I am woefully behind in my manga reading. I am 6 or more books behind in some of my absolute favorite series. I have been taking more showers, though, rather than baths. I like reading manga in the tub because they are short.

The other problem is that I only have so much time to read which is generally before I am trying to go to sleep. And I have been caught up in the books. Since the end of March, I have read the following: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LeZebnik, 7 Clues to Winning You and A Match Made in High School both by Kristin Walker, Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt, This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, Elixir by Jennifer L Armentrout, The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles and I am half way through Cinderella in Skates by Carly Syms. This is probably the most productive month and a half I have had for reading. The problem is all this book reading has left very little time for reading manga, but I will try to rectify that.

Anyway, while all but two of the above books still need to be reviewed, I am going to take this opportunity to talk about Skip Beat before the next volume comes out which could be any day now.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release date: February 5, 2013 | Series: Skip Beat (Book 30)

Show biz is sweet, but revenge is sweeter!
Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Ren’s new cast mate Taira Murasame used to be a biker, and he sees show biz as just another gang to get to the top of. Normally Ren would have no problem dealing with a punk, but his role as BJ requires him to tap his darkest depths. When Murasame and Ren have to fight on camera, can Ren remember that it’s only acting?!

My Review:
In this volume, Kyoko as Setsu, Cain Heel's (Ren) sister, spends a lot of time worrying and second guessing how the sister of Cain Heel should act. She feels she needs to be more stupid, lovey and clingy. Then she starts to second guess how Ren as Cain Heel thinks his sister Setsu (Kyoko) should act. Headache yet? I know I have one.

Then Cain and Murasame face off together rehearsing their first fight scene. Murasame, being an ex-Yanki, thinks he's a tough guy, but he has no idea what he is up against when he faces off against Cain. But is it Cain as acted by Ren or is Ren channeling the demon he used to be? It seems Cain has got Murasame a little freaked out by now. But is Cain in control of himself?

Kyoko is worried about him. Ren seems to be unraveling. Will this be a movie that makes him or breaks him? And will he survive with his soul in tact?

Vol 31 is due out June 4.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves Or Restacking the Piles

So, sometimes when I get an idea in my head, I can't get it out until I do something about it. As an example, I might realize after I have gone to bed that I need to take something to work with me the next day. I will chant over and over in my head to try to remember, but usually I end up getting up some time later and putting it with my stuff so I won't forget.

Well, Friday, I came up with a brainstorm. But in order to explain it, I need to lay out my room for you. On my nightstand, I have 5 stacks of books at least 10 books each. The cabinet under the nightstand has about 15 - 20 books. I have a stack on my dresser of about 6. Next to the dresser, I have 6 stacks at least 20 books high, 3 of which are manga. That is only what I have in the bedroom. Anyway, the stacks next to my dresser are also under the window where the air conditioner goes and I realized, even though the air conditioner is not in yet. I don't want my books below it. I needed to move them. So I ended up moving those 6 stacks from under the window, caddy corner to the current location and stacked them between hubby's book case and my dresser.

It would seem a simple enough task, you would think. Move items from spot A and place them in spot B. Believe me, though, it turned out to be anything but simple. I sat on the idea for two days and finally moved the books this morning, but the task was much more complex, requiring decisions to be made. The manga was an easy move. I moved them in basically the same order they were already stacked in. I just made sure they were in numeric order. The problem was the books.

I should say that this was a compound issue. I had also brought down my tub of shorts out of the attic yesterday. The problem is they do not all fit in my pants drawer. So, Part 2 of my dilemma was what to do with the extra shorts. My brilliant idea was to put the rest of the shorts in the cabinet of my nightstand, but what to do with those books?

I had to line them all up and make decisions about which books would be in the back, which in the middle and which in front. The books being in front being much more likely to be read sooner than later as I could actually see the books. So, it was really hard because I have books I had forgotten about and as I read the inside flaps of the dust jackets thought they sounded interesting. It was a nearly impossible task because not all books could be in front, but I wanted them to be.

As I was sorting, I found some books I had gotten on Kindle and some books that are part of series, but I am not up to that volume yet. Well, these books had to go into my Niece, Brianna's room. But now, I got stacks there, so that meant I had to restack in there as well. I had a book case with some of my favorites, but they are books I already read. The other read books are stacked in the corner of the room. So I emptied the shelf and added those books to the pile. I then placed on the now empty shelves other books that were stacked on the floor and some from the other book shelf. I was then able to shelve the books I brought in from the bedroom. So now other than the read books stacked in the corner, the rest of the books are on shelves. But the bedroom still needed restacking.

I looked at the stacks of books on my nightstand and figured I couldn't restack the books on the floor without perhaps shifting some from the nightstand, so I moved all those books onto the bed. In the end, I added an extra stack to the top of the nightstand which is my #1 TBR pile. I ended up with fewer books on the floor which is my #2 TBR pile and the book cases in Brianna's room are #'s 3, 4 and 5 of my TBR pile.

This is what kept me up all night all weekend, but in the end I got it all sorted out...for now.

Which leads us to...

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

In books:
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker - I picked up this one after reading her book 7 Clues to Winning You.
Celeb Next Door 1 (Camden Town Tales) by Hilary Freeman - This is first in a series I had to order from the UK. I really wanted to pick up another volume int he series, The Boy from France, but I figured I should start from the beginning.
Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner - I admit it. I am a dummy and figured I could use all the help I can get.
Until I Die by Amy Plum - This I actually purchased at the local book store, but just realized tonight that I ordered it from Amazon, so now I have to take my copy back to the store.
Adorkable by Sarra Manning - I picked up this one when I picked up Until I Die. Sarra Manning is a British author and I do love my Young Brit Chick Lit.

For Kindle:
Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout - Couldn't wait to get my hands on it, or rather to download a copy, but have I started reading it yet??? Noooo. Well, actually, yes, a couple pages, but not so as you'd notice. I started reading another book first.
Shipwrecked Summer by Carly Syms - I downloaded this after reading a sample. I am currently reading her book Cinderella in Skates. I figured I should before hockey season was over.

So that's it for this installment. TTFN!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennfer E. Smith

Answer: Reading in bed.

Question: What does happy look like?

What do you think happy looks like?

Book Description (From Goodreads):
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

My Review:
It starts out simple enough. One mistyped character in an email address and the email is delivered to the wrong person...or perhaps the right person. That one misdirected email starts a correspondence between two anonymous people. They haven't told each other their names, but they have told each other just about everything else. From opposite sides of the country they are a mystery to each other, but also everything to each other.

But what happens when the fantasy becomes real?

The tale unfolds in alternating chapters, the prelude of which is a chain of emails between the two. Each chapter starts off with an email, and that really drew me in. It starts with a film crew showing up in a little town called, Henley, Maine. The location of their shoot had too be changed after a natural disaster had struck and Graham convinced the studio to film in Henley, but he was really in search of Ellie. He knows she works at the only sweet shop in town, so as soon as he gets to town, he goes to the sweet shop. Due to a mishap at the shop and mistaken identity, Graham asks out the wrong girl to dinner, but learns the truth quickly enough. He leaves his date at the restaurant and goes in search of Ellie.

Ellie doesn't realize he is her email pen pal and seems less than thrilled to have Graham Larkin show up on her doorstep. She doesn't seem to be taken in by his celebrity. While other girls would kill to have his attention on them, Ellie panics at the thought. Graham is followed by paparazzi wherever he goes and Ellie has reasons enough to stay out of the public eye. Reasons she can't tell anyone. She has a hard time reconciling the two people Graham seems to be, the celebrity and the boy she's been corresponding with. She is reluctant to get involved because of the press, but also because he will only be in town for a few weeks and then he'll be gone. Why put herself through that?

When Ellie sees Graham for the first time across the square, she thinks that he has very sad eyes. Graham really enjoys his work, but there are so many things about his celebrity that he is unhappy about. For one, his parents treat him like a celebrity and not their son when he visits. He spends most of his time alone reading. His manager tells him where to go, what to do, who to date, everything for the sake of appearances and publicity. Graham can't be his own person, but he finds in writing to Ellie, he has been able to be himself.

Can these two seemingly disparate individuals find their way to each other and can they keep it private? Can Ellie find her way to see past Graham's celebrity status to the boy beneath and take hold of his hand? Does Ellie ever come clean about the real reason she is afraid of the publicity always surrounding Graham? And if she can, will it last? Or is it just a summer fling?

The story pulled me in and wouldn't let go. I really loved the pages of emails between the two and as an introduction to each chapter. I found I was really looking forward to the next chapter just to see what the next email would be. The alternating chapters really worked well, too, with this book. It wasn't a rehashing of the same incident from two sides. We were allowed a glimpse into the thoughts of the character, so we could understand their motivations, their feelings, wants and desires. While I couldn't put the book down and I wanted to keep reading to see what would come next, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of dread that things were not going to end well for Ellie and Graham. I was stealing myself to be saddened by the end of the book.

Now I am not going to tell you if I was sad at the end of the book. I leave that to your imagination or pick up the book and give it a read.  Enjoy!

Book Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

I am a maker of lists. I swear by them. I used to buy notebooks, 5 Star. I liked the fact that the pages were perforated, so you could rip them out without getting the binder holes. I would buy the medium size 5 subject notebook. It was small enough that I could carry it in my backpack. Plus, it came with a nylon cover that would Velcro shut. I would have a list for each division: books, toys, comics, trading cards and movies or CD's. Can't remember the last category.

Anyway, when that proved to be too cumbersome, I started making lists on post it pads, but that was too difficult to keep track of. I then started making lists on EXCEL, which I still use today. I breathe EXCEL, but I am a business analyst, so I work from EXCEL daily anyway. EXCEL has been the norm and still is, but I have two new weapons in my arsenal of list making tools; one, the notepad function on my iPhone and two, an amazing feature on my work computer called "Sticky Notes". Yes, that's right. It's a virtual sticky note pad that never runs out. How awesome is that??? I never use scrap paper at work anymore and barely use a pen.

Although, I am going through my iPod in alphabetical order by artist as my iTunes library has gotten too big for my iPod and I have to weed out the stuff to take off the device. I'm up to J.  I write down the artists I need to uncheck in my library on sticky pads.

What are we here for? Oh yeah, Of course, the most exciting thing about lists is adding things which can then be crossed off once completed. It makes me feel like I actually take care of stuff. I'm just saying. Don't underestimate the power of the list.

Book Description (From Goodreads):
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

My Review:
Mallory is quirky. She has things. She seems to try them on as if she is feeling herself out, see if the things fit, like an 80's phase and forties military. But nothing seems to stick. She spends most of her time with her boyfriend, Jeremy, and while over at his house to help him do a paper, she discovers he's been cyber cheating on her on a sim type game called "Authentic Life". So, she walks out on him, walks out on technology and walks back into the 20th century, 1962 to be exact.

Mallory's grandmother has moved into a senior community, so she and Storage Wars / antique dealer dad are cleaning out her grandmother's house, to save what is sentimental, sell what is valuable and throw out the junk. Mallory finds a notebook of her grandmother's filled with lists, finding one in particular that really hits home: Junior Year Back-to-School Resolutions. Mallory latches onto the idea of that list and decides to overhaul her life using the list as gospel.

Item one is to run for Pep Club secretary. Trouble is, the school doesn't have a pep club. So she has to try to start one up just so she can be secretary. The petition for pep club needs to be brought before Student Council and approved, but they don't seem too keen on the idea. Enter Jeremy's cousin, Oliver, who is on the Student Council. He manipulates the council members in such a way that the resolution to create a pep club is passed. The only trouble is Oliver wants to be VP. Mallory is a little uncomfortable around Oliver because he is her ex's cousin, but she really can't refuse. Pep club is open to anyone who wants to join. His motivation is activities for his college transcripts, so she figures, why not make him president, but she appoints herself secretary, just as it is on the list.

I really enjoyed the book and I looooved, Oliver. If you ever tell anyone I said that, I'll deny it. Not a very swoon worthy name, but he is swoon worthy, believe me. Does he have an ulterior motive for helping Mallory out and for joining pep club?

I liked Mallory a lot too. She seemed lost, like she was floundering and she reached out to her grandmother's list like a life preserver. She was hurting over her break up with Jeremy and needed some way to make it all better. Technology was the instrument of her current state of misery, so she would give it all up. She would live a simpler life, like they did back in 1962, when people went steady and went to mom & pop soda shops and wore saddle shoes. The trouble is that nothing is as perfect as we make it out to be. Over time, we forget the bad parts and remember only the good parts, romanticizing the past. Things were not easy back then either, but Mallory doesn't even see that.

The other issue I had was that the list was absolute. She imagined her grandmother was happy as a 16 year old, the same age as Mallory is now, back in 1962. Her grandmother was happy, obviously, because she followed the list. It was too rigid. Her grandmother wanted to be secretary of the pep club, so Mallory had to be as well. She could not accept any other position. So, when Oliver referred to her as the president, she said, oh no, she had to be secretary. When she thought she was in danger of not being able to accomplish something on the list, her reaction was not 4 out of 5 isn't bad. Her reaction was that if she couldn't do all 5 exactly, there was no point in doing any of them and then how could she get over Jeremy?

One last issue I had was that Mallory was oblivious to everyone around her. She needed information on what it was like in 1962. It couldn't be around 1962, it had to be exactly 1962 because that's when her grandmother was a 16 year old junior. Anyway, she kept trying to ask her grandmother questions about her high school days, glorifying the past, but her grandmother didn't really want to talk about it. So she would push and pry and try to force answers out of her grandmother that she didn't really want to talk about. And Mallory's reaction to her grandmother being tight lipped was that her grandmother didn't really seem to care or want to spend time with her and why wouldn't she just tell Mallory what she wanted to know?

She decided to follow the list as a way to feel confident and be able to get over Jeremy. She wanted to accomplish the things on the list just so she could check them off in her journey to self-fulfillment, but she didn't really seem to care about the items on the list over much.

I will tell you something I really loved about the book, though. Well first, there are lists all throughout the book. Mallory is constantly making lists about things. For instance, The things a random passerby at Orange Park High thinks of a teenage girl who supposedly hacked into her boyfriend's Friendspace account, proclaimed him a tool, and abandoned all technology, thus allowing an entire weekend of Internet rumors to breed. I kid you not. It is the Chapter 5 list.

But one thing I really love is the realization, or perhaps fear, Mallory has when she realizes that she doesn't have a thing. Her thing was spending time with her boyfriend. Now that they are over, what thing does she have? What defines her? What I really loved was watching Mallory test the waters in an attempt to find the thing or those things that define her as a person in her own right and not as half of a couple. She wants to be more than some guy's girlfriend. She wants to be independent and respect herself. She wants to feel confident and to get over the break-up. I really respect that and I love the lists she starts making when she is adding things on to who she is.

I also loved Lindsey Leavitt's prior book, Sean Griswald's Head. Going Vintage didn't disappoint, but I was frustrated with Mallory's single minded determination and her rigidity over the items on the list. Still, don't let that stop you from giving it a read. I look forward to Lindsey Leavitt's next book.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Night is Movie Night - Snow White and the Huntsman

I've already mentioned my inability to actually get out and go to the movies. I've missed some I really wanted to see this spring, like The Great and Powerful Oz, Jack the Giant Killer and Beautiful Creatures. Don't know if any of them are still playing, but I don't really have the time to go to the movies right now either.

Anyway, Snow White and the Huntsman was one of the movies I wanted to see last year, but it's really not hubby's thing. Not that that ever stopped me before. For whatever reason, overtime, vacation, the hurricane, whatever, I missed it at the movies. The DVD came out and it was a Black Friday weekend sale item on Amazon for like $7.00. I was going to order it, but thought, no, you know, I'll put it on my Christmas wish list, not realizing that no one in either family seems to cyber shop for Black Friday deals except for me. So, I should have just bought it. And no one bought it for me.

I really have been wanting to see it, though. And it is currently running on HBO, so I got to watch it...finally. It took three attempts. Not that I couldn't get through it. I had to stop watching because I had something to take care of.

It is pretty close to the fairy tale I suppose. A little darker perhaps. The Queen is a sorceress and she is pretty much the embodiment of evil. She's lived many lives Elizabeth Bathory style, by sucking the life essence out of young innocent girls to keep her youth and beauty. Charlize Theron was really good as the Queen. The make up on her was really cool as well as she would go from flawless skin to showing signs of aging, have a spot of youth essence and watch her skin become flawless again like porcelain.

Kristen Stewart...Kristen, Kristen, Kristen...So she was imprisoned by the Queen when she was like 9 or 10 and she's spent almost half her life imprisoned in a tower cell. She's filthy and I liked that about her character. Even when she was off in the woods, the camera would pan to her hands and you could see the dirt caked under and around her finger nails. It was a nice touch. She spent most of the movie with a pained expression on her face. My big question is this. She was imprisoned as a child and I am assuming didn't get exercise time. So how is it that she dons armor and rides into battle wielding a sword? How would she know how to fight with one? How could she hold it up? She's got scrawny little arms.

Am I being too unkind? Actually, she wasn't too bad. After all the negative publicity, I figured she was just going to be horrible.

Sam Claflin plays her childhood friend, William. And what a honey he turned out to be. So passionate. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her blah, blah, blah. They were separated as children and he thought she was dead. But he will move heaven and hell to find her again. Now that's devotion!!! Gotta love that.

The dwarves were enjoyable to watch, and so many big actors playing the roles; Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost. And no, they're names were not Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, Doc, etc. Oh that Walt. They used to mine gold, now turned brigands, but they have good hearts and pledge themselves to Snow White.

So, Snow White breaks free, but is chased by the Huntsman who was sent to capture her alive to bring back to the castle. Chris Hemsworth plays the Huntsman. He is widowed and now lives a pathetic life as a drunkard. Still, he's been to the dark forest, so the Queen sends him after Snow. Can I call her Snow for short? The Queen makes him an offer he can't refuse, but when he finds Snow, he ends up helping her, learning that the Queen had lied to him. He realizes she's more trouble than she's worth, but she has a capacity to heal the hurt in others and he finds that he is starting to come to life again after losing his wife. He's finding a reason to keep on living and trying.

My question is, if you had a choice, would you pick steadfast William, who is passionate about everything and is also the most amazing archer in the land, or would you choose the Huntsman, who is strong, but vulnerable at the same time. He has experienced great loss, but finds a purpose in protecting Snow. It did bother me slightly that he was never actually named and none of his companions bothered to ask him what his name was. He was just always called by and referred to as Huntsman.

The answer to that question for me would be the Huntsman. Tortured soul?? I'm a sucker for the angsty boys. And he's Chris Hemsworth, come on!

The movie was visually stunning, with a lot of footage where there was not a lot of dialogue. And while ti won't win any Oscars for best film, it really wasn't too bad. I like it better than Red Riding Hood.  If I find the movie on a cheap, cheap sale again like last Black Friday weekend I might pick it up, because again, hey, Chris Hemsworth!!!

They are reportedly making a sequel, which makes sense since this one ended kind of abruptly with some meaningful looks being passed between characters and a rousing chorus of Long Live the Queen. From what I have been able to gather, they have a new director, but the main actors should be signing back on.  I up for a sequel!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

This week's treasure is from This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer L. Smith. It's been a really good book, but I still have about 50 pages left to read. Time has been in short supply this week. I expect to finish it tomorrow night and then I'll let you all know my thoughts.

But this is what we're all here for, so without further delay, my swoon...

"I'm sorry-" she began, but that was as far as she got, because Graham couldn't wait any longer. He leaned in, his lips meeting hers, which tasted faintly of peanut butter, and he closed his eyes, and he held her by the shoulders, and he kissed her.

It was exactly as he'd thought it would be, like the first time and the millionth time all at once, like being wide awake, like losing his balance. Only this time, it wasn't just him; this time, they were losing their balance together.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer

It starts with a spotlight on the right balcony.  A ukulele is being strummed softly.  And there she is, Amanda [expletive] Palmer, as that's how she's called.  She croons in her wonderfully clear voice, not one of her recent songs or even one of her hits.  She takes a step back in time and sings an old tune, Making Whoopie.

Spotlight to stage, and there is Neil Gaiman standing at the microphone and he's singing the second verse.  Watching the two of them sing this duet seems so intimate, like they're only singing to each other while we watch from the shadows. 

At first glance, you'd have to wonder how these two seemingly different people met and fell in love.  The meeting part is simple, through a friend's suggestion and email correspondence, but seeing them together, you can understand exactly how they fell in love.

They're both two incredibly gifted artists.  She is all about feeling and he is all about thinking, but together, she seems to make him feel more and he seems to make her think more and they make it work.  They are charming and funny and beautiful together.

It's a very intimate evening.  Amanda is wearing an oriental dressing gown, like a kimono, over a black and white striped dress, the stripes going every which way.  She is wearing black stockings and black heels, but classic looking, with a strap over the top of the foot.  Perhaps something the Andrew sisters would have worn.  The shoes, not the dress.  Neil was all in black, as he always is.

Neil did some readings, including a short story called Down to a Sunless Sea he just wrote a week and a half ago and has never read to an audience.  He read a couple older pieces, a few newer pieces, a couple of which have also never been read to a live audience before, and one piece that Amanda requested he recite because she likes it...For Amanda.  Amanda was brilliant on the piano.  She sang some of her songs, including one brand new song she just wrote and has never performed.  She also accompanied Neil while he sang, which is something I never thought I would ever see him do live on stage; the song one he wrote.  There was also a question and answer session, the questions from white cards left in the lobby; some for Neil alone, some for Amanda and some for both.

It was probably one of the most amazing live performances I have ever seen and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to go and to share the evening with my brother and his wife.  All thanks to hubby and his amazing net surfing skills, or perhaps just his attention to Facebook.  The show sold out in minutes, and I'm not talking 60+, I mean like 5.

There was no talk of future projects.  No updates on The American Gods HBO miniseries,  or the new Sandman story, or a new Dr Who episode.  The only mention was Neils's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is due out June 18 and is already on order.

The evening was just a conversation between the two, shared with the audience, about writing, music, words, feelings and thoughts; a little look into their lives and who they are, and it was brilliant.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme is Top 10 books that we read before we started blogging about books.
Wow! That is a difficult challenge. I have only been blogging for a little over a year. Yeah, I know, I totally missed my Blogoversary, but what can I do. I never had a house warming party either and I've been in the house a little over two years. But I digress.
Anyway, I have read so many good books over the years, as well as comics, graphic novels and manga. It is so difficult to attempt to encapsulate all that reading time in one Top 10 list. However, I rose to the challenge. So, here you have it in no particular order...
  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - I've said it before, a Scotsman in a kilt. This is my favorite romance of all time. Jaimie melts my heart.
  2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - This is the series that made me the Sci/Fi Fantasy book loving geek I am today. Actually, it was The Hobbit, but these books were hard on its heals and I like the LotR better than the Hobbit. I mean, come on! Aragorn??? Hello!
  3. Moonheart by Charles DeLint - This was probably my first foray into the celt / contemporary cross over. Charles DeLint's earlier books were very heavily based in Celtic mythology. He started branching out into other mythologies, but he is probably better known for his contribution to Urban fantasy with Borderlands and his newer fantasy is based a lot in Native American mythos. He is wonderful at blending the ancient world with the new world.
  4. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - One of the funniest books I've ever read about Armageddon.
  5. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh - Varen and Poe. I believe it would be impossible to cram anymore goth angst into the pages of any other book. I can't rave enough about this book. Still waiting on word of book 3. Don't leave me hanging, Kelly!
  6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot - This is the book that really got me started reading young adult on a regular basis. Michael, while not tormented and angst-ridden, is just my type of geek. And you know they say geeks make the best boyfriends. This series had me on the floor so often and it made way for the Georgia Nicolson Diaries by Louise Rennison and the Kelly Ann Diaries by Liz Rettig.
  7. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn - This is a fantasy book I read quite a while ago, but it is one I keep coming back to again and again. It is the story of a girl who is half noble. She is brought to the castle every summer to learn to be a lady. She is pretty wild and independent, but matures over the years. She is actually a very strong character as she stands up for what she believes is right and will suffer the consequences her actions bring.
  8. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card - This is a beautifully retold fairy tale in a modern setting. It is a Russian retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
  9. Magician by Raymond Feist - This is book one in the Midkemia cycle which is now up to book about a bajillion. I am woefully behind on these books, will probably never catch up, so I stopped buying them unless I find a real good bargain. It is an epic fantasy set in a world where magic prevails and creatures from another world are intent on taking over this one.
  10. Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks - I picked up this book because the Brothers Hildebrandt did the cover illustration and I really love their work. Of course, they are more famous for painting the Star Wars poster and all their Lord of the Rings illustrations. The Shannara series is one of the earlier epic fantasy series I've read and while it has been compared to and accused of being a Tolkien copy, I do not find it to be so myself. Tolkien set the standard by which all other epic fantasies with elves, dwarves and magic will be judged. But Terry Brook's world is so rich and there are so many tales to read. Again, woefully behind, which I am trying to rectify, if I could only figure out which was the last book of his I read.
And, of course I cheat. I thought I would mention by favorite comics / graphic novels as well.

  1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman - Thanks to hubby for bringing this one to my attention. You might not be able to get more tortured and angst-ridden than the King of Dreams.
  2. Hellboy by Mike Mignola - The agent of the Apocalypse working with BPRD to protect mankind. I'm sure you've all seen the movies.
  3. Flaming Carrot by Bob Burden - Flaming Carrot is perhaps one of the weirdest comics I have ever read and perhaps one of the best. Flaming Carrot went all super hero vigilante after reading something like 500 comics in one night. Now he wears a flaming carrot head mask and wears scuba flippers in case he needs to swim. He travels via pogo stick. I had really hoped he'd make an appearance in Mystery Men, the movie, but sadly, I did not see him. Ut!
  4. The Tick by Ben Edlund - Spoon! Another zany super hero. The Tick is bigger than life. Too bad his brain is not. Still, The Tick and his faithful sidekick, Arthur, fight evil doers where ever they may be.
  5. Madman by Mike Allred - Frank Einstein is an interesting super hero. Weapon of choice...yoyo. He wears a while onesie as his body has been sewn together kind of like a patch work quilt. He battles aliens from other worlds and beatniks. His previous life is a mystery.
  6. Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman - Now I'm not implying anything, but Timothy Hunter, who happens to be a wizard, just happens to look an awful lot like one Harry Potter, sans lightning bolt scar. Timothy Hunter would be the most powerful wizard in the world and this is the story about how he starts that journey.
  7. Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai - How can it get any better than a ronin, a masterless samurai, with bunny ears? This series is brilliant!
  8. Bone by Jeff Smith - Meet the Bone cousins: Fone Bone, the compassionate cousin, Phoney Bone, the schemer, and Smiley Bone, the idiot. They get run out of Boneville, thanks to Phoney Bone which starts them on a journey that will have them battling rat creatures, running in a cow race and facing off against the King of the Locusts. The meet many friends along the way, like Thorn. This is a critically acclaimed series which has also been used as educational material for younger readers.
  9. Ranma ½ by Rumiko Takahashi - This was the Japanese first comic series I picked up when I started reading comics and I couldn't stop laughing. I mean, a boy who changes into a girl when doused with cold water and he can only change back by being doused with hot water? It's girl meets boy is girl in this story of martial mayhem. The cast of characters are many and one more colorful than the next.
  10. Shade the Changing Man by Peter Milligan - From Amazon: Shade has come to Earth from his home planet, Meta, to suppress Earth's bubbling insanity, which has created an "area of madness" between it and Meta. Unfortunately, Shade finds himself in the body of an about-to-be executed serial killer, Troy Grenzer, and then in the company of Kathy George, the daughter of Grenzer's last victims. Shade and Kathy take off on the run across an America where everyday fantasies and obsessions are taking physical form. They throw themselves headlong into the heart of Shade's mission to control this madness.
So, that will do it. There are so many books left off the list, like Jane Austen and Richard Bach, from my metaphysical stage, or great manga titles like Fruits Basket or Fullmetal Alchemist, but I really did have to limit the titles.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday - Strobe Edge Vol 3 by Io Sakisaka

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Book Description:
Release date: March 5, 2013 | Series: Strobe Edge (Book 3)
Being in love can light up your life… A sweet love story that will warm your heart!
What is love, anyway? Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wonders what this mysterious feeling really is. When she meets Ren Ichinose, the handsome, enigmatic guy that all the girls worship, her life takes an unexpected turn. With just a few words and a smile, he changes her world...
Ninako’s feelings for Ren continue to stir, especially since he seems to be sending her mixed messages. One minute he’s avoiding her and the next minute he’s holding her to hide her away from Ando! Could seeing Ando’s interest in Ninako be causing some subtle changes inside Ren?

Releases R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.

My Review:
Well, it's another bitter sweet volume for our lovably adorable heroine, Ninako. Ninako has confessed her feelings knowing Ren won't return them, but she wants to be friends. Ren seems okay with that at first, but then he starts to avoid her. He still tries to protect her from Ando, who seems relentless in his pursuit. Ninako is confused because Ren runs hot and cold, but she can't stand him ignoring her. Then Ninako finds out the reason Ren is ignoring her is because the other girls Ren has turned down start bullying her. She confronts him about it and giving in, Ren resumes being friendly toward her.

Ando is such a player, but the more he gets to know Ninako, the stronger his resolve in winning her over and away from Ren. Ninako is content to just be able to love Ren and be around him. What's more, Mayuka, Ren's girlfriend, is starting to feel a little suspicious of Ninako's friendship with Ren. Ninako and Ren end up getting a part time job in the same place and Mayuka gets a little jealous. So when Ando, Ninako, Ren and Mayuka are out together, Mayuka takes the opportunity to steal him away for alone time, obviously marking her territory. And Ando gets mad at Ninako for hanging on to Ren and begs for a chance with her.

Will she give him and chance and put Ren behind her? Read and fins out. Volume 4 comes out May 7.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Well, since last Sunday was Easter, we went to my family's house for the holiday. We barely left in time, though, to make it home for the Season Premier of Game of Thrones. Needless to say, it was a very long day and after the show was over, I just had to go to bed. I never got a chance to post last week, so this week's haul will be for the past two weeks.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

In Books:
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Going Vintage by Linsey Levitt
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith
Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowan
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont


For Kindle:
Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Die For Her: A Die For Me Novella by Amy Plum
Crossing the Line (Novella) by Katie McGarry
Saved at Sunrise (A Shadow Falls Novella) by C.C. Hunter

In Manga:
Devil and Her Love Song Vol 8
Bleach Vol 56
Library Wars Vol 9
Kimi ni Todoke Vol 16
The Story of Saiunkoku Vol 9
The Dawn of the Arcana Vol 9

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Swoon Thursday

So, I've missed that past couple of weeks of swoons. Sorry to say, but I had nothing to swoon about. Just give me something to swoon about. And now I have, in the most unlikely of heroes, a boy named Oliver.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

This week's swoon is from a delightful book I just finished, Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.

"Maybe this was a bad idea."

What, finishing the float?"

"No. Yes. Just...being here." He starts to pull me toward the shed door. "We shouldn't be alone."

"It's not a big deal. We're just working." It's a boldface lie and we both know it. The tension between us is something I can smell, something I can taste. When did pep club become so hot? "Why are you freaking out?"

Oliver fixes me with a stare that pummels every other thought or worry in my head and heart until my whole universe is just that look. "I'm freaking out because every second I'm with you, all I can think about is doing this."

I will leave you with one more passage. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

"Oliver touches me, just two fingers on my forearm, quite different from the grab in the shed. I don't pull away as he leans in and brushes his lips against my cheek. "Malory, you want a freeze? I'm a glacier. You want slow? I'm a turtle. But I'll also be waiting by the phone every night, no matter how long it takes until you're ready. Scout's honor."

Who would have thought an Oliver could be so swoon-worthy?  Sweet dreams!