Thursday, December 20, 2012

"The Juliet Club" (Ashley's Review)

This is a funny book. At first when I saw it I didn't know how it would turn out and honestly I didn't think it would be that great, but I was very happy to be disappointed. It surprised me and I know have a book, well another one, that I read my favorite parts on.



Here is a book description from the inside cover....
   "Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved. So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She'll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. ( Plus, she'll be getting college credit for it- another goal accomplished!) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars- in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways- try hard to break her protective shell?"

Suzanne Harper creates a fun, funny world of Shakespeare. The main character, Kate, goes through a lot and it is awesome to see how much she, as well as, Giacomo, grow and change throughout this book. There are some witty parts in this book and sometimes you want to strangle the characters for their stupidity. This is an all around great book that actually makes Shakespeare fun to read and you will want to keep coming back for more.

Lots of Love,
     Ashley

Suggestions: Read this book when you are in the mood for a witty, funny, romance. It turns Shakespeare's plays into a new light and plus it is awesome to imagine Verona, Italy, in your imagination with all of Suzanne's descriptive scenes. I just really wish that there was a sequel, because I would love to know how the characters are doing when they leave Verona and if some of them stay together or what.

Afterwards: You might get the earge to visit Verona and see this beautiful city for yourself. Also, you might want to either read or re-read some of Shakespeare's plays because this book makes some of them easier to understand ( Ya..I didn't think that was possible either..lol ). I also kinda wished I could be part of the Juliet club, which is real, and give advice to people who write letters to Juliet asking for her guidance with her problems.

I give this book: 5/5 roses

"Cleopatra's Moon" (Ashley's Review)

I had to make this book my next one for review because I love it so much. I love Ancient Egyptian and Cleopatra is one of my favorites, so when I saw this book on Barns and Nobles shelves I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed. Plus, the cover is just absolutely beautiful.



Here is a summery of the book taken from the inside cover...
  "Cleopatra Selene is the only daughter of the brilliant Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius of Rome. She's grown up with jewels on her arms, servants at her feet, and all the pleasures of a palace at her command, and she wants only to follow in her mom's footsteps and become a great and powerful queen. Then the Roman ruler Octavianus, who has always wanted Egypt's wealth, launches a war that destroys all Selene has ever known. Taken to live in Octavianus's palace in Rome, she vows to defeat him and reclaim her kingdom at all costs. Yet even as she gathers support for her return, Selene finds herself torn between two young men and two different paths to power. Will love distract her from her goal - or help her achieve her true destiny?"

The way Vicky takes the story of Cleopatra's daughter and brings it to life is absolutely amazing. She brings life to a girl that most people wouldn't know anything about. She tells the story of how life after Cleopatra, her children survived and were treated. This book as so many twists, turns, and a very surprising and happy ending. What I also loved is at the end she also puts in the book, a history of Selene and what happened to her after the story. This is a very moving and inspirational story, that I had trouble putting down and I believe that anyone who has a love for Egyptian stories will love this book at well.

Happy Reading!!!
    Ashley

Suggestions: Read this book on a day when you have nothing to do, because you will want to continue reading until the end. If you don't have a passion or care for Egyptian history than this book is not for you. This book does have some descriptive scenes and very moving stories. There is nothing like descriptive sex scenes or what not, because this was found in the YA department, it just has some violent ones, but you can feel the pain that the characters go through, which I think is very important.

Afterwards: You might want to do a little research on your own and learn more about Selene, because I did and I encourage it, because you will want to learn more about the girl you read about and more about the future she had after the book.

I give this book: 5/5 kittens  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jeckel Loves Hyde (A Lexi Review)

Hello there,

Well, I have been busy hollowing out a book and making it into an e-reader case for my mom. As of last night, the final night of cutting out pages, I officially put my blood, sweat, and tears into this thing. (Who thought handing me a razor blade with a handle was a good idea? I mean, really? Okay, I asked for it, but still. My poor finger. lol) I just now did some finishing touches. Spray sealing it is the last step. I'm quite proud of this freaking thing, so I'll have to post a picture some time.

Anyways, on to the book that I read and didn't tear up: Jeckel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey.



Goodreads summary: "Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being . . . bad."

Sounds intriguing, right? Jekyll and Hyde re-imagined! How could that possibly go wrong? I have no clue, but it definitely did.

I had such high hopes. The prologue was intriguing, being set at a funeral for Jill's father. See, I figured it was set later, or maybe was a foundation for something big. Oh, and that the seasons and such would be used later to establish some kind of timeline, sense of time. I was proven wrong quickly.

There is no timeline set in the book. You have no clue when the prologue happened, nor how much time has happened in-between that and the first chapter. Near the close of the book, the date of her father's death is revealed, and so you get a sense of time, but it's too late. And the author seems to ignore the time between. See, there had to be casual contact between Jill and Tristen before chapter one, and after the funeral, but it is given a line or two, dismissed. I wanted to scream at the book, but withheld. After all, it'll get better, right?... Right???

Wrong again.

Please don't get me wrong. The idea of this plot is great! I love the plot, and I love the idea of the characters. However, they weren't well-rounded people. They were quickly categorized as completely good or completely bad. Jill was a *gag* Mary Sue character. The story was quite predictable, and the author ensured so with very obvious signs, such as a character suspiciously being overly-eager about something. The annoying part is that the characters all stayed blissfully ignorant of every single thing that was going on around them, and even involving them. If it truly had happened, the characters would be quite a bit more intelligent, and many of the situations they get stuck in wouldn't happen.

Okay, this is my last point of anger with this book, I swear. There is no true back story ever given. How close were Jill and her father? What was Tristen's life before this period? Was it hell or tolerable? What were Tristen and Jill's interpersonal relationship like before any of this happened? Any home lives would be awesome. Feelings, too. But the further to the end you get, the more you realize that you're not going to be getting any information.

Overall, the book feels like you're suddenly thrust into a random person's life, and then you're yanked back out again before you actually get to know anybody at all, including yourself.

The plot is awesome though, which is what kills me.

Rating:A tad over two entire gingerbread men, because a re-imagining of Jekyll and Hyde was a great idea... just poorly executed.










Suggestion: Read for the thrill of the idea, and then just head back to the original Jekyll and Hyde if you really want to. If you want a quick read that's thrilling, head over to a ghost story or paranormal site and read something that's more convincing. If you really want to be scared, look up Ed and Lorraine Warren and see what they did (she still does) for a living. Looking for paranormal romance? A ton are getting released, some already so. Download/find "Winter Escapes," a sampler of over a dozen authors and their works, and then pick from there.

No words

Hello.

I didn't know if I should comment on the shooting in Connecticut, but how could it not be written about?

In all honesty, there are no words. There truly aren't. We are four days away from the murder of twenty innocent children and six brave adults, and yet seven days until Christmas. We're all stuck between hell and hope, all in utter disbelief that this could have ever happened.

The worst part for those not attached is that he didn't fit the profile we expect. You expect this kid who's been bullied. You expect a kid whose parents weren't aware of him having weapons. And those parents of the kids? Which ones almost kept their kids home that day but didn't? Which ones had a bad feeling but ignored it? Can you imagine being them right now? Or even a parent to one of the four surviving kids? I can't. I can't imagine any of this, nor how this wasn't prevented in some -- any -- way.

I guess nobody, especially me, needs to tell you what we're feeling across the world. Nor do I need to tell you guys what you should take from it, learn from it so the deaths aren't in vain. I just know that I'm going to be holding my family a bit tighter, and keeping my eyes open a bit wider. I'll be thinking about the kids and that whole town every day, and praying for and sending love to every person there.

Again, no words from anybody can describe the feelings, the situation, and obviously, nothing at all will ever be able to explain why. But the least we can do is face the situation and learn from it, right?


Love,
Lexi

" I've Got Your Number" (An Ashley Review)

Hello fellow readers,
 
    It's Ashley again....I know two book reviews in one day lol. But I had to review this book because I fell in love with it. "I've Got Your Number" by Sophie Kinsella, is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I got the weirdest looks from my parents because I would literally laugh out loud, because I couldn't help it. The wittiness and antics of the main character, Poppy, made me laugh and be like OMG I would so do that. You have to read this book, but be warned that you might get weird looks from people when you almost pee your pants laughing.





Here is the description of the book right from the inside cover......
 
   "Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her "happily ever after" begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
    Well, perfect except that the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life. What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents...she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life."

I don't want to give anything away about this book, because you don't see the final blow coming at all. Sophie, who is the author of all the Shopaholic books, gives you a funny and thrilling ride. The way she comes up with ideas for Poppy to hide the fact that she lost the family ring, is hilarious. The interaction between Poppy and Sam make you want to root for them and scream at Poppy when she makes some of the stupidest decisions. The revel towards the end will leave you saying OMG..i didn't see that one coming. This book was released last year and I would love for them to make a movie about it, as long as they don't screw this up, or they will have a pissed woman on their hands, lol. This book is so worth the read and once you pick it up it draws you in and you will never wanna put it down.

If you don't read this book you are missing out on one of the most thrilling books by Sophie.

Happy Reading,

   Ashley

Suggestions: Read this book somewhere privet, unless you don't mind getting stared at for laughing. I wouldn't recommend eating or drinking anything while reading, because with all the laughing you would have one mess to clean up, lol. I also wouldn't suggest reading this in the bath like I did, because you will be a prune and cold by the time you get out. Also, read near a bathroom, because with all the laughing you will have to go pee a lot..lol.

Afterwards: You might want to try to see if you can find a lost phone, but please don't. In reality someone will probably call the cops and report theft, also with all the weirdos in this world you might see some stuff you really don't want to see. Warning: you will want to read this book again and again ( or just go back and read your favorite parts, which I do, and there is nothing wrong with that).


I, of course, give this book: 5/5 little worms 

" The Night Circus" (An Ashley Review)


I stumbled upon this book while I was at Target one day and it seemed really interesting. This book is actually a good read, but you have to be one of those readers that can easily handle a book that bounces back and fourth between characters and time periods. If your one who gets easily confused then this book is not for you, but if you like forbidden romance and magic than this is your kind of book.




Here is a description pulled from the back cover of the book....

    "The circus arrives without warning. No ammouncements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canves tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Reves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Amidst the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance."

I loved this book. The contest is between one who was born with a very special gift and one who was taught how to make people see what you want them too. The love between the two characters is developed perfectly and you will fall in love with them and the Magic as well. You will also fall in love with the supporting characters that you meet in the book, although one I wanted to strangle to death.  I also just learned that it will be made into a movie, so I recommend you read the book before the movie, because you know how movies are some ruin the entire book *cough, cough...Twilight* This book is definitly worth the money to buy, you will want to read it over and over again.


Hope yall enjoy!!!!!!
  
     Ashley

Suggestions: Read this book when your in the mood for a Romance. You could definitly read this book while laying comfy in your bed and having chocolate on hand. If you don't believe in the supernatural or don't like books that revolve around that than this book is not for you. Also, if you don't care too much for forbidden love than again you wouldn't like this book.

After: You might wish that you had the natural ability to do magic or you might want to learn magic. If you have this feelings then I say go for it, have a little fun and take a magic lesson or what not. Or have a tarot card reading, but just have an open mind in whatever you do with this book.

I give this book: 5/5 worms 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello, Readers!

Hola!

I'm going to assume that you stumbled upon this blog while searching for a book or an odd keyword or something. But I hope you'll stick around. See, this blog is a book review blog, except there are little details that make this blog not-so-normal.

First of all, my friend (Ashley) is joining me (Alexis). She is as much a bibliophile as me. (Also, any books she doesn't want to read, I do, and vice versa.)

Books are our heartbeats. If nothing else, we always have books to keep us going. Cheesy, right? It's true though. Okay, on to the next thing...

We're not going to be as  formal as a news blogger. *quickly ducks just in case a journalism professor is to attack* No? *stands up* Okay, good. Ashley and I want you to feel like you're sitting with friends when you read this. It's pretty much what we'd tell each other, but with more details. We'll recommend other books, suggest a song to listen to before, during, or afterwards, etc. If we think a book sucks, we'll be honest and say so.

Also, you may be getting two reviews of the same book. I may write why it sucks, while Ash may write why I'm stupid and it's the best book ever. Eventually, you'll figure out who you side with and be able to go with it.

Another thing! We'll be focusing more on YA books than anything, but will definitely delve into adult books as well. However, the books are going to be fine for our readers.

Speaking of you guys, I want you guys to be honest and tell us how you reacted to a book, or ask questions, start a discussion. This is the place to completely open about everything, to put it all on line, so to speak. We'll be doing this, too, so you're not alone. Emails and such are welcomed and encouraged, as are book suggestions. If you are iffy about a book, tell us and we'll get back to you in a day or two to tell you whether it's worth it or not.

Okay, I think I covered everything worth covering. As I update this blog and make it look better and more professional, this will have its own little page.

Gotta go and write the first review! Hope you enjoy!

XOXO,
Lexi

P.S. Happy 12/12/12!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sundays at Tiffany's (A Lexi Review)




Oooh, this is a favorite of mine! As a kid, I was addicted to the movie "Drop Dead Fred." If you don't know what it is about, it involves an imaginary friend coming back to his playmate, who is now a grown woman. This is the same idea, but was executed in a much better fashion, the way I wanted that movie to end when I was older.

Here's the official summary of this book (jacked straight from the ever-amazing Goodreads):

"Anne Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewellery at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's the perfect man in every way. Unfortunately, only Anne can see him. 

But Michael can't stay forever. 

On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him. Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone; a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's the perfect man all over again."
This book has you feeling every emotion under the sun. If you had/have an overbearing mother, it'll be empowering, and you won't feel alone. If you had an awesome imaginary friend, I envy you, and you may be thinking about them a bit more after this. If nothing in this book relates to you at all, you'll still love it. I forced myself to wait a few months before rereading the book, and it was extremely difficult.

On to the writing... The imagination that it took to come up with this was great. There are no places where it's lagging; every scene has a purpose. The book is not too long, nor too short (though you may want more in the end anyways). The writing is superb, and, no, this subject is not what you'd expect from James Patterson. The transition from the past to the present is flawless. This book will make you wonder just where imaginary friends go when they're not around kids, and who truly came up with them. The imagery is great and, even if you've never visited New York before, you can see the city and its sites through Michael and Jane's eyes. The feelings evoked from this book are strong, and you may have tears if you connect. If you're upset or depressed and want to wallow for awhile, I understand; just stay away from this book.

With this book, you'll be whisked off with Jane to trying to grab hold of your childhood again, and wondering just when you went from confident to self-loathing.

Rating: 5/5 cute, cliche bookworms :P

Suggestions: Read on a rainy day in a comfy, over-sized sweatshirt/sweater. Make sure you have the day free of any responsibilities or plans, and just get as comfortable as possible. Snuggle in a warm, fuzzy blanket. Grab your favorite stuffed animal, pet, sibling, whatever, and read away. You may need a drink, so go for your favorite. The day you read this is the day you should indulge yourself.

After the Book: You should definitely rent/stream/buy "Drop Dead Fred" after this. It'll be worth your time, and it will make you laugh. Also listen to Savage Garden's "Crash and Burn." Oh, warning: You may want to make up your own imaginary friend. lol


XOXO,
Lexi



Write back!

Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid? What were they like? What would you do if they popped into your life again tomorrow?

Oh, and add on your own review, if you'd like.