Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wicked Games by Jessica Clare

Series: Games #1
Format: E-book
Pages:  160
Rating: 2 stars
How I Got It: Purchased

                This was a pretty disappointing read. I wanted to like it because I’m a fan of Survivor and other competition reality shows. But this just failed to live up to the potential it had.
                I think that thing that hurts it is the length. If there were another five to ten thousand words it probably would have been better. The characters, romance, and conflict just weren’t developed enough. They all felt flat and rushed.
                Plus, who wants to have sex when you aren’t showering or brushing your teeth for weeks? And how do they even have the energy to get it on? I know that people say it’s happened on Survivor, but it isn’t a constant thing.
                I did like the premise of the book. And it was an easy, fast read. I wasn’t particularly invested in the romance, but was curious to see how the game would play out.
                If you aren’t looking for anything deep and want a different kind of setting you might like this, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it.
                And I may pick up another book in the series someday. I didn’t hat this and I am still interested in a book that plays with popular reality shows.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Last Call by Alice Clayton

Series: Cocktail Series #4.5
Format: Paperback
Pages: 135
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased

I'm definitely sad to see Caroline and Simon go, but this was a great first read of the year. These two are right up there with Becky Bloomwood and Luke Brandon on my favorite couples list. And this was a great conclusion. It isn't anything groundbreaking if you just want to spend some time with the characters this will satisfy.

This still had Caroline's humor. And the great adventures of Wallbanger and Nightie Girl continue. And it was fun to see all of the characters lives changing. I love that Ms. Clayton allows her characters to still be themselves even though they are getting married and/or having babies. Plus, there are tons of tid-bits if you've read any other Alice Clayton bits.

My one major complaint is that there was not nearly enough Clive. He was hardly in the story and I loved reading about him and Simon. It seems like a small thing, but it did bother me. I do wish this was longer, because I could always spend more time with Caroline and Simon.

Unfortunately, this being over means I've read every Alice Clayton. she did say, in the acknowledgments, that she's working on a new series. But who knows when that'll actually come out. I'll be buying it though.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

15 Books to Read in 2015

I’ve noticed that there are a few books on my TBR shelf I’ve been avoiding so I thought I would give myself another challenge. I want to read these 15 books in 2015. There’s no reward for reading them all-just satisfaction and a less books on my TBR (hopefully). Below are the 15 books in now particular order. If there’s any you think I should prioritize let me know.

1)      Cress by Marissa Meyer
2)      The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
3)      The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
4)      Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
5)      Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
6)      Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
7)      Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8)      Paper Towns by John Green
9)      Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
10)   Forest Born by Shannon Hale
11)   Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire
12)   The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
13)   Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale
14)   The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
15)   The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

 Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Strive for Healthy Saturday #1

I feel like this is kind of a cliche post, but I'm hoping to continue this throughout the year. It's kind of an accountability thing.

And I've been working on this for a couple months. What encouraged me to do this was a woman I follow on youtube posting a video about the journey she hopes to take this year.

Here is her video in case you want to check it out:

My goal is not to lose weight.

I want to get healthier. And if that means I lose weight and/or tone up then that's great. There's really no quantifiable goal for me. I've done that before and it typically causes ultimate failure. I want to feel healthier and happier in my own body. And I want this to be a true life change so I continue to be healthy and happy.

Like I've said, I've already started this journey.

For about a year I've felt weak and occasionally depressed. I was struggling to find the energy to get out of bad or take a shower. I wanted to get healthy, but cooking and exercising felt impossible.

So, I started to analyze why I felt this way. Now, for a variety of reasons, I probably have an iron deficiency but don't want to take an iron supplement. I realized there are three things missing in my diet. First, is that I don't eat a lot of meat. This was not for moral reasons, but because I generally don't like the way it tastes. Because of this I'm not getting a lot of protein or vitamin B. The other thing I was missing was vitamin D. If you live in the north-east like I do it's almost impossible to get enough vitamin D. I've also had my doctor tell me I'm vitamin D deficient.

So, a few months ago I made some choices. I now take vitamin B and D supplements. I've also made a point of eating meat at least once a day. I've seen an increase in my energy level and assume it will only get better because supplements take a while to have a visible affect.

I've also made a point to increase my water and fruits/vegetables intake. I actually like all of thse things, but don't prioritize them when making my meals.

As we go into this new year I want to continue this and add some exercise. This is something I continuously struggle being consistent with. I think I'm going to begin with stretching and Blogilates' 30 Day Ab Challenge. I feel these are achievable things I can accomplish. After 30-days I plan to re-evaluate my exercise plan.

Actually, I think I lied earlier. I do have one more specific goal: flexibility. I really want my flexibility back. I danced for about fifteen years so I know how to stretch and what my limits are.

I do plan on weighing myself once a month and measure certain parts of my body. I'll probably go over any weight and inch lose at the beginning of each month.

Next week I think I'll talk more about food and my sort-of food journal. But I feel like my food journal is going to evolve as I use it.

Current Weight: 195 lbs.
Pant Size: 12

If I have any questions or suggestions feel free to let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Only Between Us by Mila Ferrera

Format: Ebook
Pages: 247
Rating: 4.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased

I've been wanting to read this since I read Everything Between Us. And I''m so glad I did. I put Mila Ferrera with Megan Erikson in that she writes slightly different New Adult. Plus, dual POV always helps. 

Going in I thought I would immediately connect with Romy, but Caleb was the character that really got me. I do like Romy and would get emotional (read: teary) when she struggled with her past. And her struggle felt real. I love that she has to battle being vulnerable and trusting herself. But Caleb broke my heart. What he had to go through and his continuous struggle was awe-inspiring to read about.

And I loved the way Ms. Ferrera incorporates art. It worked well in Everything Between Us, but even better here. I am not an artist and, generally, don't get art. But I easily pictured the art described. Plus, it gave me a deeper look into Caleb's head. I feel like that's what authors are going for when they have artistic characters, but it doesn't always work.

The romance was also fantastic. Sometimes the conflict keeping a couple apart feels forced, but this was the opposite. Every person has a past and problems they bring into a relationship. And some of those things will always be there. I also liked how Ms. Ferrera handled Romy's experience with domestic violence. She was respectful and allowed Romy's self-confidence to grow instead of a guy fixing everything.

My only real issue is the same problem I had with Ms. Ferrera's other book. There were too many problems left unresolved. There's definitely groundwork for a resolution, but I would have liked to see more. I think sometime authors who write romance rely too much on the others understanding that these characters have a happily ever after. I need you to prove to me these characters will actually have a HEA.

This did make me like Daniel even more. I was afraid he'd be a silly playboy, but he's just as caring and insightful in this story. And I kind of want to re-read his book now.

A warning; this book does deal with abuse in several forms. I've mentioned that in passing and it is in the synopsis, but I want to make it clear. I would say the actual actions are not described too much, but it is present and I know some people like to avoid those themes or story points.

But if you don't mind that I highly recommend this-especially for a new adult read.

Thanks for reading!