Review: Between the Lines Books 1-3 by Tamara Webber

I’m going to do this review a little differently and review the whole trilogy at once because, well, I read all 3 books at once. Which I love. I was able to not have the anxious wait in between books which is a good and a bad thing. That build up of excitement wasn’t there but I also didn’t have to experience any disappointment if that build up anticipation didn’t meet my expectations. So I’m going to divide my review into 3 parts- one for each book.

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Between the Lines #1

Reid Alexander is young Hollywood star who is used to getting what he wants- cars, movies and girls. Emma Pierce is a small time actress who just got cast in Reid’s next movie. Reid quickly sets his sights on Emma. Emma is very down to earth and notices quickly that Reid expects things to come easily to him. But she is still very attracted to him and unsure of herself. When Emma meets Graham, another young actor in the movie, they begin to hang out and Emma finds herself also attracted to him.

I liked the dynamics of the books and the dual points of view- from Emma and from Reid. Reid decides Emma is what he needs in his life and we as the audience gets to see how he maneuvers things to make that happen. From Emma’s point of view we can see how Graham is very kind to her and how quickly they fall for each other. Of course issues arise and Emma begins to date Reid instead. With the secondary characters around them playing important parts – I loved to see the different worlds of each of these young actors. Some were born into it and some worked very hard to get there. This first book set the stage for young love though at turns it’s hard to see exactly for who.

4 stars

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Where You Are (#2)

This book had an altogether different feel to it than the first one. While the majority of the first is on a movie set, this one moves around a lot. From New York, to Texas and then back to Hollywood. It starts out with Emma and Graham declaring their love for each other and dealing with the fact that Graham has a young daughter. From there the plot revolves around Brooke, the temptress best friend who has been waiting for Graham to wake up to what’s right in front of him for years. She teams up with Reid to break up the two to get to the ones they think they want.

A series of potential misunderstandings are luckily sidestepped by the young couple. I really liked seeing how both Emma and Graham were pretty open and communicative with each other. Reid and Brooke really seem to deserve each other by the end of the book and I was surprised that’s not where it went. I was also surprised there was another book to go as the book seemed to wrap up all that I cared about.

4 stars

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Good For You (#3)

This book revolves around Reid Alexander. He is a complete party-er and has gotten into multiple situations that he had to be gotten out of by his PR rep or lawyer. His most recent scrape means he needs to do community service. Enter Dori. She is a genuinely good person and wants nothing to do with Reid and doesn’t really want him around while he does his time. Slowly they begin to have pull on each other until they realize they are both falling for each other.

This book for me was completely out of nowhere. It felt nothing like the other two and to be honest I didn’t really care for Reid at all. I didn’t see the point of his own book, or if he got his own book I was waiting for something more interesting. Dori felt completely boring to me and I could never really get into her storyline at all. I’ve heard many other people with opposite opinions of mine, including another muse actually, but I wish this would have ended with just the 2 books. I was surprised to find out there was a 4th book in the series (the last one) but I will not be purchasing it.

2 stars.

So my personal recommendation is to read the first two and enjoy them. They’re cute, enjoyable, funny and sweet. Skip the next two.

~Clio

Between the Lines #1 Buy it Now Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)

Where You Are (#2) Buy it Now Where You Are (Between the Lines #2)

Good For You (#3) Buy it Now Good For You (Between the Lines #3)

Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

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I admit it, I am a huge fan of young adult and dystopian novels.  The Hunger Games did it for me.  So, I went into this one expecting another typical dystopian/apocalyptic story based around a teen protagonist where everything works out in the end. Was I ever pleasantly surprised!  The story centers around the Community, a cult-like compound founded after 9/11 under the premise of protecting its members from the evils of the world and the eventual end of mankind as we know it.  The story is told from Lyla’s point of view.  Having been part of the Community since she was a young child, she unquestioningly follows along with the community leaders.  After all, this is the only world she has ever know.  But things are so much more than we are led to believe.  This book combines the best aspects of a young adult/dystopian/psychological thriller into one well-written package.  The characters are nicely developed, believable, and most importantly for me, extremely likeable.  While I had an idea where the story was heading, the author kept me guessing until the end.  It’s also a nice, safe read for young adults without any overtly irresponsible behaviors on the part of the teenagers involved.  This one was a five star read for me!

~Thalia

Buy it now Gated

Review: A Beauty Uncovered by Andrea Laurence

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This is the second in the Secrets of Eden series by Andrea Laurence .  I had not read the first one before I picked up A Beauty Uncovered and didn’t find that it detracted from this book at all.

Brody Eden is a reclusive CEO who rarely, if ever goes out in public due to major scarring he has over half of his face which has made his life pretty miserable. He has a past filled with secrets and protects himself and his family fiercely from anyone who would discover those. Brody’s gruff demeanor keeps everyone at bay, which is just where he wants them.

Samantha Davis has her own issues she’s dealing with and just wants this new job to work out for once and doesn’t want to screw it up.  She’s intrigued by Brody from the beginning but intent on not becoming interested in him at all for her own reasons. That doesn’t exactly go as planned.

“No woman, sparkly or otherwise, had ever deliberately touched his scars like that. With every fiber of his being he wanted her to do it again.”

I really enjoyed this book overall, I liked the dynamic between Samantha and Brody. She is plucky and strong enough to not let him get away with anything and he is strong enough to appreciate that in both an assistant and someone he’s interested in.

This is part of a series about a family of foster children who bonded and are a close knit family now that they are all grown and successful. However the brothers and sister have some pretty big secrets that are an overarching thread through the series. Normally with series like that I can be irritated with a few different things – unnecessary cliffhangers and dramatic hinted at secrets. However, A Beauty Uncovered was able to not do either. While there are heavy secrets, they come out in the open in a reasonable amount of time, without the dramatic drawing out I hate in some romance novels. With the cliffhanger- which there was a mini one- it was done in such a way that it set up the next book nicely, making me want to read that one, and still liking the one I just got done with. I felt this story was wrapped up well. And I want to read the rest too!

4 stars.

~Clio

Buy it Now A Beauty Uncovered (Secrets of Eden)

Review: Bridesmaid by Julia London

20130928-072827.jpg Bridesmaid is a novella about Kate, who has to travel from New York to Seattle on a deadline — and with a poufy bridesmaid dress in tow. Joe, a handsome, successful IT guy who hasn’t yet found his one and only, sweetens the trip.

Kate and Joe overcome funny travel challenges together in order to their final destinations. On the journey, they notice they kind of like each other. What do they do about it? Read the book!

I’ve read Julia London before and I usually like her books. I also appreciate a really tightly written yet thorough novella. I didn’t enjoy Bridesmaid as much as I wanted. The writing wasn’t as good as I expected, the dialogue was just mediocre, and the characters were a little flat.

Bridesmaid has a cute plot and a nice, easy love story. But it isn’t quite the best you can get from Julia London.

–Calliope

Buy it now Bridesmaid

Price drops!

I just looked on my amazon wish list, and though my list is a mite outdated, I did see some price drops. So I’m sharing. 🙂 Just click on the title to get to the amazon purchase page.

Enjoy!
-Calliope

Fortunately, the Milk – by Neil Gaiman

Night Film – by Marcia Pessl

Home to Whiskey Creek – by Brenda Novak

A Time to Kill – by John Grisham

The Newcomer – by Robyn Carr (The Hero is also just $3.99)

Review: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

20130927-090109.jpg Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a well-written account of four years in a Mumbai slum, Annawadi.

Katherine Boo is thorough and clear in her descriptions of slum-dwellers in relation to business and government; and their pain, suffering, and deep-running socioeconomic issues. Boo’s precision comes from her perseverance undertaking numerous and repetitive interviews with people to ensure she understood every angle of a situation.

Although the book is nonfiction, it seems unreal at times. Boo opens our eyes to the tragedy of living in a slum by introducing us to a dozen or so “main characters” — the trash-picker recyclers, the mother trying to join in government corruption, the young woman trying to get an education, teenagers glimpsing adolescent love, the one-legged woman, the females who try to commit suicide by burning or poison, the non-working husbands who are ill or drunk, the wives who have multiple affairs. I read their true, sad, compelling stories in near disbelief.

I struggled reading this book because instead of a linear documentation of events, Boo skipped around the timeline, added flashbacks, and re-told many of the stories. I understand that writing should imitate the subject matter (sad writing bolsters a sad story) but just because the lives of Annawadians are repetitive and circular does not mean that’s the best way to tell their story.

I would have been more engaged if the book was only half as long: do away with the repetitiveness and remembering. Ironically, the author’s note at the end made me tear up, while the main story did not. If Katherine Boo wrote the whole book from her eyes, in a linear timeline, it may have kept my interest.

I’m glad I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I’m both grateful and embarrassed for the fortune of America while slum-dwellers in India survive day to day or even hour to hour. The facts of the book are compelling. I just wish the presentation captured me more.

-Calliope

Buy it now Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Review: Flat-Out Love, by Jessica Park

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I feel in love with Matt at the escalators.

I fell in love with Finn in the elevator.

What’s a girl to do???

This book was such a surprise to me. I never read reviews, so I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. I am so glad I didn’t. I just loved this!!

Julie was in Boston for college, and ends up living with a family that anything but normal. But she never thought that they were just what she needed, or that she was exactly what they needed.

Matt, is a cute, crazy t-shirt wearing, font nerd, who makes Julie so happy. He is an overprotective brother and she loves him for it.

Celeste is a quirky girl who doesn’t believe in contractions, and who also loves her brothers fiercely.

Finn is everything Julie wants, even thought she’s never meet him. But she flat out loves him. When he talks her though the elevator scene, I was bit in love with him too.

This book was filled with so many sweet scenes that made me cry and made me crack up. The Facebook posts were hilarious!

“Finn is God: So much for Earth Day. I totally screwed things up and started celebrating the wrong planet. Now I have to collect all these stupid trademarked dog figurines that I distributed all of the yard. At least it’s better than last year’s mistake when I had butt statues everywhere.”

This books was about love through and through. Romance love. Sisterly love. Brotherly love. and your all around family love.

“Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.”

I was so hooked on Matt that I never saw the ending coming, until it slammed in my face and left me devastated. Yet another book I wanted to reach in and hug someone.

Julie learns that love sometimes catches you off guard and isn’t always black and white.

I loved this book so much, I can hardly put it in words. Sweet and funny, with a heaping of romance. So hard to write about it, when all I want to do is read it again. The perfect quick read.

“…Let’s not pull this chute.”

~Melpomene

Buy it now Flat-Out Love