Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Chris and Lydia are just friends, but Lydia has been in love with Chris for years. When he finally agrees to take her to a high school dance, Lydia figures that this could be her shot of showing him how she really feels. But her BFF role was clinched with Chris' impromptu remark: "Romance is for other people." Ouch!

Written in he said/she said fashion, story seems to reflect the rocky bumps of high school relationships. Rather than being a conventional ride of ups and downs, however, story actually coasted bleakly across a dry, underdeveloped plot.  All I kept on hearing was each of them whining about the "status" and the "meaning." This is SO high school.

Things shake up a bit when the awkward twosome turns into a complicated foursome. It seems some other guy might be trying to get back at his ex-girlfriend by flirting with Lydia and Chris doesn't like it, but then the ex-girlfriend might have an ulterior motive too. It was just a mess. And then going back and forth between the Chris and Lydia POV didn't help much, and then, to top it off, we go back in time.

Not only did the story lack clarity and consistency, but it also had some typos. Now, normally I can bypass typos if the story is captivating enough, but, in this book, there were a few that didn't make sense. For example, "and before I even thought about it, I put my arm around my shoulder. I could feel him stiffen...I finally took my arm off his shoulder and gave a disappointed look." I think this was supposed to be "I put my around his shoulder."  I mean, how can you put your arm around your own shoulder?

I thought this story would be a fitting read of candy crushes and puppy love and, to a point, it is; but it just didn't suit me.

My rating: 2.5 stars

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: HONEYMOON FOR ONE by Lily Zante

Ava Ramirez has been dumped by her fiancé weeks before the wedding date. So it was quite bold that she decided to go on her honeymoon anyways. Well, who wouldn’t? A trip to Italy? I’m SO there!

But it’s true though: You don’t need a man to validate you.

Ah, vacation in Italy. Yay!

Unfortunately, her vacation doesn’t start off so well: horrible flight, lost luggage, and a rude driver from the hotel. But Nico is not quite the hotel’s driver. In fact, he’s the hotel owner’s son. Good-looking and rich? Oh, yeah! I mean, who doesn’t dream of landing a rich, Italian lover?

I enjoyed the landscapes of Italy (Verona, Venice) as well as the love story between Ava and Nico. A simple and clean story.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Review: THE PROPOSAL by Lily Zante

Nadine is throwing a bachelorette party for her little sister and ends up falling for one of the strippers. Nice!

She is your typical older sister: responsible, goal-oriented, organized. She’s almost 35 and shows no signs of settling down with marriage. Very relatable!

The proposal is that she needs a “partner” to give her company the impression that she is a “strong, able” professional in a “stable relationship.” She’s trying to move up the corporate ladder, of course. It’s all part of her 5-year plan. Pssht, yeah right, Looney Toons! In comes Ethan.

The characters have chemistry from the start. It’s almost Picture Perfect (Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr)—an enjoyable love story.

My rating: 4 stars

Review: AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Lily Zante

Caitlin has just been attacked and saved by stranger, Daniel. There always seems to be a special bond between people who have suffered violence and trauma.

Story begins rather slow when the characters deal with the repercussions of the attack during the holiday season. It gets rather sentimental and emotional. Then we get into a Florence Nightingale twist when Caitlin starts developing feelings for her hero, Daniel. But he’s married. Then again, the marriage hasn’t been that great.
A love story soon develops in the throes of fear and recovery.

Characters are relatable and real. It’s about healing, love, and ridding the toxic out of your lives.

My rating: 4 stars

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: THE MAN I LOVE by Suanne Laqueur

Being abandoned by his father at an early age, Erik doesn't strive for the chance at true love. But, if it comes, he will know.

Then came Daisy, "the girl with the wrong name."

The beginning lagged a bit, paving the road for a winded and arid plotline, which revolves around music and dance. Behind the eloquent music notes and graceful dancing, a love story plays out off-stage, behind the curtain, almost hidden in the shadows. The drama that should've riveted the reader with an electrifying mass of deep, passionate notes is nothing more than a subtle, malleable tone. Although it appeared to be a good New Adult/Contemporary Fiction novel, I couldn't really get into the story. Like a symphony orchestra, I felt like I should've been more moved by it. But I wasn't.

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: MURPHY'S LUCK by Benjamin Laskin

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” --Carl Jung (67)

Murphy Drummer seems to be bad luck on sneakers, the black cat that crosses your path, the mirror that shatters at your feet. In general, disaster follows whenever he's around. And it's been that way ever since he was a little kid.

Although you somewhat pity the poor boy, you also can't help but chuckle at all the bumbling catastrophes that happen. Too funny!

In a way and certainly on occasion, we all feel like Murphy--an outcast, a buffoon, a jinx, a pariah on society. But what makes Murphy so exceptional is not the bad luck he draws, but the unique talents he quickly absorbs, like speed-reading. Wow, he was a smart boy! Pretty soon, he becomes an expert linguist, an exceptional speller, a fast typist, a great musician, and a primo craftsman and builder. And that's how, ladies and gentlemen, he becomes the Hobby Guy.

Even though bad luck magically appears with Murphy, some good luck follows. At times, Murphy is able to prevent certain disasters, almost being able to foresee them before they happen like some clairvoyant. He was almost like a superhero. Cool! Of course, to us, it seems cool, but to a hard-headed philosopher like Murphy, it's all about the peace, harmony, and the "vibrations of the universe." Weirdo! I admit, I was a little put off by Murphy's "song" and the whole Xanadu "wax on, wax off" theory. C'mon, anybody would think that's a load of whooey. He was definitely a Forrest Gump--an introverted man-child with exceptional talents and a dry, alien personality.

Somehow Murphy intrigues and captures the attention of Joy, a dedicated journalist, and surrounding the odd, budding friendship between the two is a cast of reclusive characters sharing their sorrows, fears, and ambitions. Superstition and luck play a key role in the story, and readers will certainly enjoy seeing how these characters handle the events foretold by the enchanting tarot cards. You'll want to hang on to your rabbit's foot for this one.

A witty, plucky, and strange novel!

My rating: 3.5 stars

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: THE TEST by Gregg Bell

Mary is anxious about her bar exam results. Tom will stop at nothing to be a pro golf champion. Yet all they can think of is each other.

Their relationship has been nothing but a series of struggles from an intense obsession to a golf game to a brief affair with a boss. Yet, even though the two seem distant and awkward, Mary and Tom have a certain, unknown connection. Could they get back to the way they were? Could they have their happily ever after? Of course not! Not without going through the test. And what bigger test than another man, like Dr. McDreamy? Or how about an unexpected pregnancy? Really, the whole story is a series of tests.

Eventually though I got kind of tired of hearing Mary whining and crying over Tom—how she still loves him, how he can be so cold to her, how she can make it work with him after all this, yadda-yadda-yadda. I got so tired of it that I didn’t really care if they ended up together.

The beginning was compelling, especially after finding out that Mary got impregnated by her boss (oy,) but then it sort of fades with the characters constantly hanging onto a love that’s ended. It becomes repetitious and a nuisance.

Overall, this was another good work by Gregg Bell, but not as good as the last one, Jamie's Gamble.

My rating: 3.5 stars