Sunday, March 31, 2013

Some advice from Ashley

Hello fellow readers!!!!

   Today I am going to do a little something different instead of reviewing a book like I normally do. My piece of advice on this Easter Sunday is once you find a true friend never loose their friendship. Alexis and I met at the Disney Store a while ago when we both worked there and we instantly hit it off. We have seen each other through thick and thin. I know that no matter what is going on in my life she will be right there by my side and vies versa. We know everything about each other, have the same interests, and we always can have fun no matter what we are doing. I am so thankful for my sister from another mother and would be lost without her. No matter what she tells me I will always support her and be there to give my honest opinion.

When you have a friend that can share your obsession with fictional characters and will always tell you the truth you know you have a true friend. We all need a friend who will be there for us no matter what. If something happens to you and you try to talk to your apparent best friend, if they don't show up and show you support than they weren't true friends to begin with. There are those friends who will lie to you, tell you what you want to hear, or just plain make you feel small...no matter what you need to stop talking to that person. I know it would be a hard thing to do, trust me, but if you don't feel completely 100% with your best friend, than in all honesty you are not being true to yourself. Never be afraid of who you are, because in the words of Ru Paul..."If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else."

Lots of love!!!!

   Ashley

"Out of the Easy" (Lexi's feelings about the novel)

Hello, my loves!

Okay, so I, Lexi/Alexis, have another confession to make. I love the south. I love reading women's fiction set in the old south. If it's good, it has hilarious and sassy characters facing a time where it seems they don't necessarily fit in. The best part are the strong women who ran things and got their way. I admire strong women and so this fiction is best for me. That's why I gave Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. All I needed was to see the setting was NOLA and I was hooked.






Summary: "It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
" (Thanks again, Amazon.com!)


I have never read Ms. Sepetys's other novel, and didn't even realize she wrote that novel until the summary above just now. Thus, however her other book is, this review has not been affected by that in any way, shape, or form.

This novel... What can I say?... It was wonderful.

This novel is a great novel about family and life choices. Josie's family was completely unconventional. My personal philosophy is that you choose your family, and blood can have nothing to do with it at all. So as unconventional as Josie's life and family is, you can feel the immense love from beginning to end.

Sepety is so descriptive and nonchalant about Josie's life that you feel like growing up around prostitutes is no big deal. Living where mobsters dwell, and knowing which guys are faithful to their wives or not and everything is completely normal. You feel as if it's just another day in the world.

You learn that choices and decisions in life can make or break a person, and that it's up to you to find the good in your life. If Josie could be as strong and as loving as she was even though her biological mother was so horrid, you can, too. Just by that alone, this novel shows that you choose who to be and how to be, that certain events and circumstances can happen, but it truly is you who decides how that event is going to affect you and shape your personality and heart. This is just one facet of this novel.

Structurally, this novel makes it easy to follow who each of the characters are. You'll wish you were there to see Willie grumpy in the morning, or Jesse as a whole. You'll want to live in a bookstore as well, and have people around you that are unsavory characters, but with hearts. The sentences and grammar are perfectly fine, my fellow grammar soldiers. My favorite are the turns of phrases and how Septey described things. A couple are these:

"I'll be back in a sneeze to pick you up." -pg. 175

"...the girl carrying a bucket of lies and throwing them like confetti..." pg. 187

Also, there was a metaphor of a moth in one's throat that was perfect.

This novel was just all-around awesome. I truly hope you guys read this. My rating?



6/5

Now, I know that there is a number system for a reason, but this novel is one I will be going back to read for sure. It's exciting and unpredictable! You get so wrapped up that it'll take a minute or two to answer if a person interrupts.

Suggestions? Not really any for this one. Just let yourself be immersed in the NOLA culture of the time, and enjoy.


Have an amazing Easter!!!!!


Until next time, loves!



Hugs,

Lexi

Friday, March 29, 2013

"City of Bones" (Ashley's Feelings)

Hey guys..so this was an interesting book. It drew me in from the first chapter and I couldn't put it down. It has the right amount of intrigue, thrill, and a lot of surprises that you won't guess ahead of time. I am actually kind of interested on how the movie is going to be which is coming out in August. Plus the cover is just awesome...but any cover with a shirtless man is awesome..lol.


Here is a summary taken from the back cover of the book...
  "When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadow hunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons- and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadow hunters would like to know...."

Clary is an ordinary teenager trying to figure out, who she really is. All she wants to do is have fun with her best friend, Simon, and graduate High School. But, her world turns upside down when she sees a murder, her mom is kidnapped, and she is attacked by a demon that she never knew existed. She begins a journey of self discovery and trying to fight her feelings for the sexy Jace, that she can't for the life of her figure out why she is drawn to him. Jace, on the other hand, lives for hunting and thinks he is God's gift to woman. But when you see Jace and Clary together you find yourself rooting for them and wanting them to end up together. Than the author throws in a HUGE wrench in those plans and you literally scream WTF!!!!! I know I did....I also have to admit that I had to cheat and go to Amazon and see if people gave the truth away or not. This secret that she throws at you made me not want to continue reading the rest of the books until I cheated and thank the lord for people who spoil books lol. This is all and all a thrilling ride as well as the other two in this series that I have read. This is a must read and if you don't like it you don't have to read the others. This is actually better than Twilight...and Jace is a lot hotter than Edward.

Enjoy!!!!!

    Ashley

Rating: I give this book 3.5/5 Angel Wings.....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Books That I Tried To Read But Just Couldn't (A Confession By Lexi)

Hey, loves!

So I know my reviews are usually on good books that are rated 5/5. This is because I want to share awesome literature and not bore you to death with a negative review, you know?

Here are books that I tried to get through for y'all but couldn't. This is not a normal issue for me, so it's been a surprise because it's been happening lately. I felt I wanted to tell y'all the truth -- I skimmed or just stopped reading. Or I read it through and felt like I wasted my time. Honestly, it was just not for me.

So, here are books you're not going to be reading rave reviews about (from me)...


  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green
    • I skimmed it at one point. It's good, but depressing. If you can handle a slow book that's depressing, go for it. Otherwise, skip it. 1.5/5
  • Virtually Mine by Susan Rohrer
    • Too cutsie, too many lead characters. 2.5/5
  • Thumped by Megan McCafferty
    • Bumped was bad enough. There was no freaking way I was going to read the sequel. 0/5
  • Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
    • I skipped around, then skimmed. It's not too predictable, but it is kind of boring. There were more efficient activities and such that could have been done by the characters, and maybe some foreshadowing. Big event was not big enough. There was worse. So it's just ridonkulous (apparently, this is now a real word because there is no correction line). 1/5
  • The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr
    • Great idea. Too lagging. It went super slow for much too long in the middle. It was still pretty good though. 3, maybe 3.5/5
  • Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & her daughter
    • Oh. My. Lord. I counted down the days to this book's release, and so I tried so hard on this one. I LOVE Jodi Picoult to death, but this novel seriously was not convincing enough for me to stick around. The idea was fun, but I couldn't finish it. It read like a super-dee-duper bad tween fanfic.
  • Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
    • But I AM still trying. I'm determined to get into this book more. So we'll see how this goes. No rating yet.
  • Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
    • This book has no main character. It claims it does, but it clearly doesn't. So many characters were too evolved and focused on. This was just a mess. I stuck around, waiting for it to get better, but it didn't. Sorry, but this one is a 0/5.

This is it for now. Another 4 or 5 is coming up soon! *hugs*

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Rockoholic" (Ashley's Review)

Ummmm....ya...I honestly can't believe I spent money on this book. I love the notion of Rock Stars, so I thought I would love this book, but the blonde was very very wrong. So ya the cover was awesome and so were the pictures on the back, but that is about it.


Summary time, than I will tell you why I didn't like this book..sorry but I am brutly honest.....
   "Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators. And after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at their sold out concert. But when she gets mashed in the mosh pit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody-oops- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. And now he doesn't want to leave. It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV series...but who got punk'd."

Jody is addicted to Jackson Gatlin and thinks she is in love with him. When they say addicted they are not kidding. The thing that turned me off instantly about this book is how freaking obsessed she was. Ya we have all gone through those fazes with famous people, don't lie everyone does, but the way C.J. wrote Jody's character came off as seriel killer crazy. Jody belongs in a mental institution instead of the real world. She is also so whinny that you wish she was real so you could just slap her and tell her she is the world's biggest, stalker, and she needs a life. Jackson is a druggy butthole that treats everyone like crap at first than all of a sudden he is cured, except he believes his band manager is going to kill him. He is so paronid that you can't fall in love with this character and you can't even begin to like him. This book could have been better if the author would have toned down the crazy, stalker, seriel killer vibe and had Jody acting like a regular girl thinking she was in love with a famous person. This book is not worth the money or brain cells that you will waste while reading this book. Sorry, but it is the truth and I don't want someone wasting their money on this book.

Till next time,
  
    Ashley

 
Rating: I give this book 1/5 galaxy stars

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"The Jane Austen Marriage Manual" (A Lexi Review)

So, readers, there have been lots of you that visited, and we both hope that you'll really start subscribing and messaging us! We adore y'all and just wish that you'd wanna keep comin' back. Any requests and comments are always welcome, loves!

Okay, on to the review. Today's is on The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo. Look at this gorgeous cover!!!



Book Summary

"Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.

Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate
—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?"


My Review

Since I never read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (*flinches and whispers "don't hurt me!"*), I decided that this would grab me a bit more, as I had just watched the miniseries (thank you, AT&T DVR!) of it, that this was going to be me making up for that fact. The fact that I received the gift of the title "Lady" as well grabbed me as well; it seemed like an awesome idea for this plot! It didn't let me down. At all. This book was so much fun! Some places, you wonder what exactly the author is setting up with a certain character or two, but it's all wonderful and makes sense quickly.
I do have to say that this is definitely the modern-day fairy tale that girls want to be in. The best part? How realistic it is. It gives me hope of my own Darcy to run into one of these days. And in joining in on high society events and the rich-beyond-rich lifestyle. Pretty much everything that happens in this book.

The men are also realistic, as is Kate. As a journalist, I can say that her situation is very realistic. As for the men, you'll be drooling; trust me. I'd want to meet these guys; every single one that appears in this novel. But going on the adventure to meet them seems even more worth it than the end result of meeting a guy, at least in this book. Seeing as I loved the characters, that's saying something for the novel itself. Usually, characters become very predictable, as does a storyline, in every book I read. This one, the adventure was much to fun to rush to the ending and seeing which male Kate ends up with, if any.

Kate proves in this book that life can improve, and to hold out and never settle. :)

See the rest in "Suggestion."


In Conclusion

See "Suggestion."


Rating


I'm giving you a gorgeous display of five Darcys. Just for y'all.


Suggestion

This book is great if you're facing a new event or part of your life. This book will remind you that any end is a new beginning, and that you should seriously see every change as an adventure. Whenever you're doubting yourself or your future, this is the perfect book to read. Take a day to relax, and read this.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"The Dark Heroine" (Ashley's Review)

So this book I have mixed feelings for. It is a vampire book and does kinda involve a love situation, but these vampires are not like the Cullen's everyone may know. This family is hardcore, blood sucking, take no crap from nobody, crazy ass vampires. This book kinda takes vampires back to the days when everyone thought of vampires as Dracula or compared them to him. Also, with this book the love between the two main characters aren't like Edward and Bella, they hate each other at first which I kinda like. They have to learn to trust each other and than listen to the feelings that they may feel about the other one.



The summary is as follows.....
   "A chance encounter on a darkened street draws Violet Lee into a world beyond her wildest imaginings-a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth, of beautiful mansions and lavish parties, where a decadent group of vampires lives for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape...no matter how hard Violet tries. Because all the riches in the world can't mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kasper Varn. Violet and Kasper surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds-but it's a passion that comes at a price."

Abigail Gibbs, writes the Varn family as the mean vampires, who treat humans like food sources, and if you screw them over than you better be ready to pay the price. There are other vampires thrown in the mix that you wonder want part they play in the big scheme of things, because there is an added mystery to this story. Violet knows how awful this family is, after witnessing the massacre led by Kasper and she wants nothing to do with them. She will risk her life to get out of her prison and get back to her family. Kasper doesn't know why he saved Violet that fateful night, but he is also a man whore that can't get enough of women and sees Violet as his biggest challenge ever. But, there is a bigger situation going on and Violet is determined to discover the vampire's secret. I loved how she brought back the bad vampires, which in a fight the Varns could take the little puny Cullens down lol. Anyone who loves bad ass vampires should give this book a try and come to their own conclusions. Everyone sees a book differently so although I had mixed feelings about it, someone else may love it or hate it. Just try to give this book a try because it is something different.

Good Luck!!!

   Ashley

 
Rating: This book is definitely 3/5 blood drinking vampires...

"The Little Prince" (A Grinning Lexi Review)

Let me introduce y'all to a novel that inspired tons of lives to change, kids to dream, and tattoos. That novel is "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.



This novel is amazing. It's a story about a man who finds a little boy when he crashes his airplane out in the desert. The boy then teaches the pilot how to live and be happy through telling him about his travels from planet to planet. He explains the issue with each planet, and how there was no planet like his own home planet. One that has a rose that he truly loves.

It may sound odd, but it's best that you read this novel to understand why this book is so essential to read. The Little Prince is a favorite of mine. I read this for the first time when I was around 14 or 15, because James Dean loved this book. (I loved him.) Anywho, I'm glad that I did. This novel shows what's important in life.

Now, looking at it in a technical way, it is still wonderful. Though using stereotypical types of people (the classic businessman, etc.) for minor characters, it works beautifully. You don't learn too much about any character, but you do hear the voices of the two main characters and learn things about their respective lives. The characters' tones are all easy to follow. The best part is that, read at any age, you will be able to take something different from this book each time you read it, as it grows with you from year to year.

The wisdom from this book is easy to absorb and understand. I recommend this book to everybody at every age.


Rating:




Yeah. Waaaaay over five.

Suggestion: This book is short, but read it alone first. Then share it with your friends and family.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Kill Me Softly" (A Review by Lexi)

Okay, so I read this in what feels like forever ago. However, it has totally stayed with me, and it has been going, "Leeeeexxxxiiiiii!!! Reviiiiiieeeewww meeeee!" in a totally creepy way, lol. So I shall give into its demands and make it happy. Hahaha





Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross


Summary from my beloved Goodreads (Seriously, if you haven't been there, you need to go there. Now.):

"Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.
But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own... brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns."

I will just say that Sarah Cross is wonderful for writing a book full of fairytales slapped together into a believable and interesting story. I was never bored with this book. The characters were well-rounded, and the main character stayed that way for the entire novel (something I now know to appreciate). The story is fun, there are hilarious parts, and overall, it's just a great novel.

I love the "dark secret" mentioned in the summary. It was the perfect twist to a story. But first, when you're recognizing all these fairytales, you'll be amazed at how they get all wrapped up together in each other. You'll wonder what it'd be like to live one out, and you'll want to move to Beau Rivage. Trust me.

Anywho, the plot is great, because who would think of this except for Ms. Cross? The characters truly are well-developed and whole. There is humor and a definite timeline. There are also male characters to drool over. ;)


Conclusion: Overall, structurally, this novel wins! Then add the plot and characters, and you have an awesome book!

Rating: 


Suggestion: Just read it. You'll get swept up in an amazing fairytale, and be super glad that you did. Take a groggy or super bright day to do so. Linger over each character. This book's plot will remain a fave of yours, just like it did for me. Again, it'll just stick with you.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Crewel" (an Alexis review)

Lexi again!

So today's book is one I almost didn't read because it just didn't seem like I was going to like it much, you know? But one day, I decided I had to give it a chance, and I'm thrilled that I did!



There are two covers now, but this is the one I have. Here's the newer one:



Crewel by Gennifer Albin


This book is awesome. Here's the summary from Goodreads:

"Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.
 Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it."


Sounds cool, right? The idea may seem odd, but it is beautifully portrayed. You honestly can imagine the threads and tapestries of time and life in this novel. Being a Crewel is seen as an amazing thing, but Adelice soon finds out that the life sucks.

The imagery, characters, and scenes are all wonderful. The thought that this could happen seems so interesting and realistic when you're reading this.

Since I can't really describe it like I want to without going back and describing, let's just say that this novel rocks, and you should give it a chance!


Rating:


Suggestions: Go for it! Take time to read it! Anytime, anywhere! You may get sad at some parts, but overall, you'll be intrigued.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)" (A Review by Lexi)

Hello, readers!

I am trying to catch up by posting a few this week, as much as I can. I hope this is okay. Then Ash and I are starting a schedule. She wonderfully took care of this blog whilst I was away, and how sweet is was to do so! She's such an awesome person!

Anywho, here's a book that presents itself in a certain way, but really is in disguise.




Look at this cover and title! You'd think it's a superhero book, right? I mean, that's what it alludes to. But is it? Um. No. Not at all.

Barnes & Noble summary: "Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.
All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who draws comics.
What she gets is her very own arch-nemesis.
Name: Mark Deninger, aka Mark the Shark Occupation: Soccer star and all-around lady killer Relationship Status: Serial dater Group Affiliation: No loyalty Known Superpowers: Anti-girlfriend force field, breaking hearts
Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillian-style, but what he doesn't know is how geek girls always get revenge.
#GeekGrlzRevenge"

This is the most confusing book ever. You have no clue what she's going to end up doing. One moment, she's her little brother's role model, and then she doesn't take care of a big situation right away like a mature girl would. (I'm close to my little brother, and am a mom figure to him, so I know.) The ending does work as a resolution to part of the book, but you'd never get the main idea of the book. The main idea truly is Blaze finding her own voice. However, you don't get this until the end, and you're wondering what the hell you just read.

It has a good premise, and it's interesting, especially if you relate to being an adult early in life. I like that she was a girl into comic books. That was a great idea for a character, because us nerds needed a character to relate to. However, this book was so odd that I couldn't enjoy it much. Too many characters that came and went, too many things that weren't handled as they should have been (at least in my opinion). So, while I wanted this book to be awesome, and I wanted to see more of the comics and the one she was writing. There were too many things that just had no conclusion to them, and it's sad.

Rating: Two Superheroes...



Suggestion: Skip this one. If you want to buy it, please don't. Library is recommended. Don't spend too much time on it, okay?













Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Etiquette and Espionage" (Lexi's Thoughts)

It seems that Ash has gone on a blogger rampage while I've been on vacation, lol. So I gotta keep up with the woman here. Though I will be strangling her for reviewing China Garden before I did, I am going to just post a lot until then, lol. Okay, so one I need to go ahead and write about this awesome book:






Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Okay, so let me give you a summary from Google:

"It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. 

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education."

Before I begin, I have to say that I was not a fan of steampunk, but this cover and summary sucked me in. Of course, I counted down until it came out, and let me say that it was sooo WORTH IT.

Yep! Nothing bad in this book at all!

The energy and adventure in this book will whisk you away to a time and place where robot butlers and maids are normal, where a vanishing finishing school makes young women into spies as well as women, and there's a brother school for villains. One character discusses how she can't wait to get her first husband so she can kill him. Another one was raised by wolves.

We meet Sophronia taking apart a dumbwaiter to see how it works... and things go madly wrong. With how much she ruins her clothes on a regular basis by being so very unladylike and not being presentable, this is just the last straw for her mother. Sophronia thought the infamous finishing school was going to completely boring and slowly kill her with all of the lessons that would ensue, including proper dances, how to faint properly, and what to wear for each occasion, or hour in the day.

Then the head of the school shows up, and what ensues changes everything. After all, how can you be bored when you're trained on how to keep weapons hidden in your petticoats as well as breaking hearts and such.

One of my favorite lines is "Now, remember, if there is gossip to be garnered, garner it. If there are new dress styles to be imitated, imitate them. If there are hearts to be broken, break them. That's my girls."

To sum up, honestly, this novel is so full of whimsical fantasies that you'll immediately wish were true. Anybody would fantasize about being in a school like this. It's like Hogwarts for espionage. The schools truly become like another pair of characters to love. Then all of the quirks of both schools showcases each character, from minor to main.

I honestly don't want to give away anything, so I'm just going to say that it is just an amazing and fun book! You'll start wanting to join a finishing school just in case one like Mademoiselle Geraldine's actually exists! I know I did!

You will love the well-rounded characters who are so realistic, you'll feel as if you've made a whole new set of friends and enemies. Every scene is so vivid, you'll be transported there. This is such a fun, action-packed novel that everybody should

Summary: Nothing could yank me away from this book. I was reading and reading, getting so enthralled the whole time, and wanting my own adventures. It's all well thought out, and I'm already prepared for the next one, and considering buying all of the author's other novels as well. (Oh, who am I kidding? I will.) So if you enjoy books that are magnificent, you'll not be disappointed with this one!

Rating: 

Suggestion: Want an escape? Read this and have an awesome adventure being part of the finishing school of your dreams!

Have fun!

Hugs,
Lexi

"Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star" (Ashley's Swoon)

OMG OMG OMG...that was my reaction to seeing this book and I am happy to say it didn't let me down. I love all things Pride and Predjuice (except when they bring zombies into it..that makes me mad) and I fell in love with this book the moment I read it. It is all the wonderfulness of Pride and Predjuice, but having them all as Rock Stars. Mixing Jane Austen and Sexy Rock stars together..what isn't there to not love about this one of a kind book.




Here is the awesome, drawing in, summary taken from the back cover...
  "Darcy's as hot as he is talented...Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations-on and off stage-have made virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy's band into rock's newest bad boys. But they've lost their opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and band mates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match. Enter Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl-band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band slot. Elizabath is sure she's seen the worst the music industry has to offer. But as the days and nights heat up, it becomes clear that everyone is in for a summer to remember."

The cover and summary alone should draw anyone into Austen and Rock. All of the happenings to the characters in Pride and Prejudice happen in this book, but some of them, not telling which ones, are shown in a different light. Elizabeth is still the independent, fierce, woman she was originally, but this one has a certain kick ass ness to her. Darcy is still is hot, arrogant ass, who again learns to stop putting his foot in his mouth around Elizabeth once again. Wickham is in this as well and yes he is still a major asshole and you still want to slap him sweet. This is a very well written and interesting twist that I believe Jane Austen would be proud of. Out of all of the variations that have been done with Pride and Prejudice, this is one of my favorites and I am more than happy to tell anyone I meet that they need to read this book. You will fall in love with Elizabeth and Darcy all over again, as well as, rooting for them to stay together and see the hard times through.

Happy Reading!!!!

     Ashley

 
Rating: I give this book 5/5 blazing rock guitars

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"The Typewritter Girl" (Ashley's Review)

"The Typewriter Girl" by Alison Atlee is another book that connects with all your emotions at once. With this book you are introduced to a young woman who just wants to show that she can break the mold for woman. She will do anything just to be respected and in a high position that it is comical and inspirational all at once. She is a strong willed woman who won't take no for an answer and if she has to lie to get ahead..than so be it.


The summary is as follows....
   "When Betsey disembarks from the London train in the seaside resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After attempting to forge a letter of reference she knew would be denied her, Betsey has been fired from the typing pool of her previous employer. Her vigorous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her character permanently besmirched. Now, without money or a reference for her promised job, the future looks even bleaker than the debacle behind her. But her life is about to change...because a young Welshman on the railroad quay, waiting for another woman, is the one man willing to believe in her. Mr. Jones is inept in matters of love, but a genius at things mechanical. In Idensea, he has constructed a glittering pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And Betsey, he recognizes the ideal tour manager for the Idensea Pier & Pleasure Building Company. After a lifetime of guarding her secrets and breaking the rules, Betsey becomes a force to be reckoned with. Now she faces a challenge of another sort: not only to outrun her sins, but also to surrender to the reckless tides of love..."

Betsey has had to work for everything her whole life and she doesn't like having things handed to her for free or having something she hasn't earned yet. All she wants to do is prove that woman can do more than just type reports and be treated like crap by the men who they work for. Mr. Jones seems different from all the other men that Betsey has ever had to deal with, but can she keep him on a professional relationship only. She wonders why she has feelings for the one man that believes that she can be the powerful, hardcore woman, that she knows she is on the inside. There tension is go great that as a reader, you find yourself rooting for them to end up together and wanting to slap them for being stupid all at the same time. This book is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings and hopefully will get the message across: That no matter who or what you are, as long as you believe in yourself anything is possible.

I believe in all of our readers and you can do anything you set your mind to...you just gotta believe in yourself and never let anyone tell you any different.

Happy Saint Patricks Day!!!!
  
        Ashley

 
Rating: 4/5 Snoopy's typing on a typewriter

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"The Sugar Queen" (Ashley's thoughts)

"The Sugar Queen", by Sarah Addison Allen is a very moving and emotional book. It also has a hint of mystery in it as well as follows the lives of different people. You would think that a book that dealt with several different characters would be confusing, but the way Sarah writes them, it all goes together so the reader isn't confused at all. There are two different covers so I am going to put them both up, just in case to show y'all it is the same book.



 
 
 
Here is a summary taken directly from the back cover of the book....
 "Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night...Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis-and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee's tough love, Josey's narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them-and who has a close connection to Josey's longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world were the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that's just for starters. Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love-and the enchanting possibilities of every new day."
 
This book is written in a way that in some way or other anyone who reads this book can relate to it somehow. Sarah Allen takes a girl, Josey, who at first only wants to please her mom and turns her into a woman who starts to live for herself and doing what she wants to do. There is romance in this book for both our ladies. Chloe has books that seem to help her appear out of no where and an ex she doesn't know what to do with. Both these girls become each others friend and confidant. It actually reminds me of Alexis and myself, because we would so be these girls in their situations. It's the right mix of romance, mystery, and learning how to live for yourself and making you happy, while not worrying about how someone else may see you.
 
Tootles!!!!!!
 
    Ashley
 
After Reading: You might wish that someone like Della Lee, would randomly pop up in your closet to give you advice on every day problems (if only it worked...I tried lol). You will also probably get a sweet tooth and it is okay to indulge in your favorite candy in celebration of finishing this wonderful novel.
 
 
Rating: I give this book 5/5 candies   

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Wild Orchid" (Ashley's Review)

"Wild Orchid" by Cameron Dokey is part of the "Once upon a time" series. This one is a re telling of the ballad of Mulan. The reader is sucked in to a world were a Chinese girl takes her father's place in the Emperor's army to save him from sure death. "Wild Orchid" makes you see a side to Mulan as she was just an ordinary girl who risked her life to save her father and China.


This is the summary taken from the back of this marvelous book....
   "Wielding a sword as deftly as an embroidery needle, Mulan is unlike any other girl in China. When the Emperor summons a great army, each family must send a male to fight. Tomboyish Mulan is determined to spare her aging father and bring her family honor, so she disguises herself and answers the call. But Mulan never expects to find a friend, let alone a sole mate, in the commander of her division, Prince Jian. For all of Mulan's courage with a bow and arrow, is she brave enough to share her true identity and feeling with Prince Jian?"

In this re telling by Cameron Dokey, Mulan learns to shoot a bow from her best friend Li Po, who is taken to be a Generals assistant for the war. When the Emperor sends the call for every family to send one male, Mulan looks inside herself and decides to take the place of her father, so he won't lose another pregnant wife. She disguises herself as a man and steals her father's war horse heading to her future. Li Po sees her and basically calls her an idiot lol and of course the general who took Li Po with him would recognize the daughter of his best friend. Prince Jian takes an interesting interest in Mulan although he doesn't know she is truly a girl. Will Mulan stay true to herself and follow her heart or will the consequences of her choice come back to with a vengeance in this retelling?

Let's have a KiKi.....

   Ashley

After Reading: You might want to watch the Disney version of "Mulan" and compare the two stories. You also might want to look up the real Ballad of Mulan to see how the Chinese version and the American version differ. Either one please keep an open mind about everything you learn because there will always be different versions of the same tale no matter where you are from.

 
Rating: I give this book 5/5 beautiful orchids

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Spirited" (Ashley's Thoughts)

"Spirited" by Nancy Holder is another book in the "Once upon a time" series, which is a re telling of Pocahontas, although a lot of people say it's beauty and the beast it isn't. This book is a defiant re make of Pocahontas, but it puts an awesome spin on the Disney one that we have come to know.



 
 
The summary is as follows...
   "In May of 1756 war is formally declared between the British and the French. During this highly dangerous time, Isabella Stevens is traveling with her father to the British stronghold Fort William Henry. In the forest, Wusamequin, the young and handsome medicine man, looks to avenge the death of his wife and child at the hands of the British soldiers. When Wusamequin spots Isabella and her father, he alerts his warriors to capture them. But Wusamequin is quite taken with how  bravely Isabella battles. He orders the warriors to spare her and her father, and they are dragged back to their village. However, many members of the Mohican tribe still want them to be killed. In a desperate plea to Wusamequin, Isabella vows to stay as his hostage if he lets her father go."
 
There are some spots in this book were you could see the Beauty and the Beast simularities, but this story is one of what would happen if Pocahontas was the English prisoner and John Smith was the Native American. Isabella is a strong minded woman whose caring and strong heart shines through in everything she does. She doesn't want to kill anyone even if her life is on the line and she doesn't agree with war. Wusamequin is a man who is trying to overcome the grief of losing his wife and his child, who were killed and he also wishes to be with them, but knows his tribe needs him. Can these two different people come together and help each other through the hard times that they will come into or will their differences keep them apart and miserable forever?
 
 
Lots of Love!!!!
 
    Ashley
 
 
Rating: I give this book 5/5 feathers 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"The Diamond Secret" (Ashley's Review)

This is one of the books from the "once upon a time" series, which is basically different authors doing a retelling of different fairy tales. "The Diamond Secret" isn't a retelling of a fairytale, but it is a retelling of the mystery of Anastasia Romanov. This is a spectacular take on a mystery that stumped the world and led to a historic hunt for what really happened to young Anastasia.


 


Here is a summary of this exciting book....
    "Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember. Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter,love-and betrayal."

Suzanne Weyn takes Nadya, who is an orphan, and throws her into this thrilling mystery with two men who only want the reward. Nadya doesn't know who she is, where she belongs, or even what her future should be. Ivan, an ex solider, knows the truth behind everything, but is his quest for the money too great or will he actually grow a conscience and do the right thing? Sergi, just wants to know what happened to his wife and child after the Bolsheviks took his title away, but he also wants the money to give his family the life they deserve. These three opposites go on a thrilling and sometimes funny ride to turn a back talking, sassy tavern girl into the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Will they get there happily ever after or will fate come back to land them in serious trouble? Read this wonderful book to find out the answer to that question.

Till next time!!!
 
    Ashley

After Reading: You might want to do a little research to see how much of this is true. Historians have gone years researching and studying this timeless mystery. Did Anastasia make it out of the hole and survive or did she parish along with the rest of her family on that horrible night? These questions have finally been answered and the truth is finally out there, but it's up to you to decide what you yourself believe after reading this wonderful retelling of the mystery of Anastasia.

 
Rating: 5/5 sparkling diamonds 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"The China Garden" (Ashley's Review)"

Alexis was actually the person to make me read this book and I am so glad that I did. " The China Garden" by Liz Berry is a timeless classic. It is a love story and a mystery all rolled into one.



What is it about may you ask? Well here is a description....
  
    "When Clare moves with her mother from London to Revensmere, an historic English estate, she can't shake the feeling that the residents already know her, especially, Mark, a maddeningly attractive biker. Clare also feels compelled to take midnight walks in Ravensmere's abandoned China Garden. Then her mother reveals that their own past is tragically linked to the estate. But when Clare discovers that Ravensmere is in grave danger, will she risk her future-and Mark's- to save it?"

"The China Garden" is a mystery all on its own and it is a thrilling ride to see the conclusion. This is a stand alone book, but Liz makes it end without a cliff hanger and does kinda leave you wanting more. Clare is a strong character who you get to watch leave what people what her to be to be the woman that she wants to be. Throwing in a broody, hot, leather wearing, biker named Mark is just a perk for Clare and he might play a big part in the story. This book is an old one but it is so worth the money and the time to read. You get to find out what is Revensmere, why is the population acting like they know Clare, and can she save her future as well as Marks or will she just throw everything away and fall back on what she knows? You have to read it to find out....

Leaving you in suspense....
   Ashley

 
Rating: 5/5 beautiful flowers

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Ruby Red" (Ashley's Take)

Hey guys..sorry I didn't post on Sat or Sun, but I was busy with work. This review is "Ruby Red" by Kerstin Gier, which is a book about a time traveling girl coming into a world she knows nothing about. They were training the wrong girl and now 16 year old Gwen must learn how to be the all knowing time traveler they want her to be....


Here is the summary for this amazing thrill ride...
   "Sixteen year old Gwen lives with her extended- and rather eccentric- family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries", and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley, watching movies and talking about boys. It comes as an unwelcome surprise then when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past. She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time traveling counter-part. He's obnoxious, a know it all, and possibly the best looking guy she's seen in any century..."

This book is a thrilling historic ride into the unknown. The things that Gwen and Lesley get into are funny and so believable. Kerstin takes the reader through a world were a girl, who no one thinks can handle the gene, has to prove to not only the consile but herself, that she is meant to be the female time traveler. The tension between Gwen and Gideon is so tight you could cut it with a knife, but the way they verbally go at each other will have you rooting and siding with Gwen in every argument. Any reader with a love of time traveling and history would love this book and will want to read it over and over again.

Lots of Love!!!!!!
    Ashley

After Reading: You are going to want to get the sequel, "Sapphire Blue", which is slightly better than the first one. There will be a third and final one called " Emerald Green", which is supposed to be out fall of this year. You will want to read the entire series because each book keeps giving you suspense and a little piece of the puzzle with every chapter. This is one series that I can't wait and am excited to see how it ends. You also might want to time-travel, but it doesn't work...trust me I know..lol. The closest I get to time traveling is reading.


Rating: I give this book 5/5 clocks

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Juliet" (Ashley's Review)

"Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?" How many of us remember saying that line over and over again after reading "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare? It is a classic and a lot of authors have tried to redo this play and have failed to stick to the original. "Juliet" by Anne Fortier is not one of those. She writes a wonderful book where you are thrown to the past and the present. This book is a New York Times bestseller and after reading it you will know why.




Here is a summery of this marvelous book....

   "When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man names Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare's unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse- "A plague on both of your houses!"- is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo- but where is he?"

This book so perfectly bounces back between medieval Siena and present day Siena. All the discoveries that Julie make are so descriptive that you feel like you are right there with her. Anne did a wonderful job taking the original story and putting a very interesting twist to it. Of course there is, Alessandro, who is a stubborn male but he has his reasons, that you will find out when you read this book. I honestly can't describe anymore of this book for fear that I may give some important info away. Let's just say you think you have it figured out but you don't until Anne wants you to know what is going on. This is a wonderful ride and a great new look at the classic of " Romeo and Juliet". That will have you asking yourself in the middle of the book..."Can Julie manage to find her Romeo and break the curse or are these two lovers destined to have a tragic end?"

Happy Reading!!!!

    Ashley

After Reading: You may want to go back and read " Romeo and Juliet" just to see how similar these stories are. You might also want to visit the city of Siena in Italy because it sounds beautiful, I know I want too. You are gonna wanna read this book over and over again. You might wanna make a friend read it so you have someone to talk to about it, which I will make Alexis read it one day lol.


 
I rate this book: 5/5 cute star crossed lovers...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Beautiful Disaster" (Ashley's Review)

Hello happy peppy readers! Today I am actually gonna do a review of one of my favorite books ( God, knows there are several favorites of mine..lol). "Beautiful Disaster" by Jamie McGuire, is a highly addictive book. I stumbled upon this book, in the Las Vegas airport when my mom and I's flight going back to Dallas got delayed. From the second I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. The thrill ride is one giant "OMG" moment from "Ugh I wanna slap him" lol or at least those were just some of my reactions.



Here is the Summary:

   "The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One Night Stand. Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants-and needs- to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigues by Abby's resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis's apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

This book is guaranteed to suck you in from the first few sentences. The romance between Abby and Travis is so interesting to see how it plays out. You love and hate Travis all at the same time, because he can be a dick when he wants to be. It's a classic story of good girl falls for bad boy...or does she? This is a must read and I give a little warning that it has some sexual scenes in it, but they are eloquently written. This book will make you want to fall in love with a bad boy of your own. *sigh*

What I can't wait for his on April 2nd, Jamie has " Walking Disaster" coming out which is the story from Travis's point of view, which I am so so so so excited about. These stories will not disappoint you and are so worth the time it takes to read. So please don't knock it until you try it and pick up this book and enjoy it.

Peace!!!
 
   Ashley

Rating: 5/5 Sexy bad boys