Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

catching-jordan

Title: Catching Jordan
Series: Hundred Oaks (#1)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date: December 1st, 2011
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

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Review:

My dear friend Jasmin and I decided it was about time for us to do another buddy read together and Catching Jordan was the book we chose was the perfect choice, because we always buddy read YA (or NA) contemporary.

Catching Jordan is the first book in Hundred Oaks series and it follows Jordan and her friends who play football (or like I prefer to call it, American rugby, because you know, us people from Europe prefer another sport called football).

Jordan is a Quarterback, the captain of her team and – a girl. Yes, guys, you read it right. She is one badass girl who plays rugby better then any guy in her team, she is the only female member of her team and she is one of the guys.
As a result, her best friends are all guys, they appreciate her, and watch her back in a way.
Even though at first it sounds pretty unbelievable that a girl could be so much better then guys at sports, especially if you consider the fact that the female body is naturally builted weaker then male, there are things explained in this book.
Jordan comes from family of sport champions. Her father is great Alan Woods, one of the best rugby players in America. Her brother also plays rugby professionally, and she is bigger then other girls. She is just a big girl.

Jordan has a dream to play rugby professionally and to go to study to Alabama where all the best rugby players go.
She wants to be looked at equally as men.

This book talks a lot about sexism and how hard it is for women to be appreciated equally as men even if they are as good or even better then them.

Jordan was an interesting character but I wasn’t fond of her.
Don’t get me wrong, being a tomboy myself, I had nothing against her manly behaviour (except in times when it went too far).
What I didn’t like about her was that she was supposed to represent feminists when in reality she wasn’t feminist, not at all! The reason I’m saying that is because she more then few times brang down cheerleaders just because they had an interest in make up. She put them all in the same box, labeled them as stupid and thought she was better then them just because they liked girly stuff.
I know one of them did her wrong in the past, but still, I think Jordan’s behaviour said more about her then about any of those cheerleaders.

This book is good, funny and easy to read in general.
I enjoyed reading about Jordan’s relationship with her friends. JJ was my favorite.

Henry is her best friend who has a habit to spend nights in her bed. Her parents are fully aware of that but they approve it. Let me ask you one thing: What kind of parenting is that??
They trust her. They know she has no interest in Harry. The only precaution they did is to say that Jordan and Harry can’t sleep head to head, but have to sleep head to legs. Yeah, like that’s gonna stop teenagers from doing anything!
Don’t forget we’re talking about minors, teenagers full of hormones.
Maybe I took it too harsh, but I just can’t get over that aspect of the story. I didn’t like it, not at all!

There’s also one more thing (third to be precise) thing I didn’t like: how Jordan hits like it’s a fun game. She hit Harry so hard that his jaw cracked, and she laughed about it, along with him.
If the similar thing happened with roles versed, if guy hit a girl, that would be women abuse, but when the girl hits a guy it supposed to be funny? I don’t think so!

I feel like I’m in minority here, but I actually liked Ty. I think he was right most of the times and everytime Jordan had problems with his behaviour, I was on his side.
Of course he had problems with his girlfriend sleeping in the same bed with another guy. Who wouldn’t?

As you can clearly see from m y review, I had more then few problems with the story but I am still glad I read it and, believe it or not, I actually had a good time reading it.
I would like to read next book in the series because it follows different characters and I am curious to see whether I’ll like that one better.

3

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Book Review: The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club

the lost cats

Title: The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Nic Tatano
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Date: August 26th, 2016
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Swapping Prada for purrs…

While covering a story, feisty network reporter Madison Shaw gets more than she bargained for when she rescues a box of orphaned kittens. Suddenly the glamazon of the Manhattan news room is doing two am feedings to keep these furbabies alive!

This is certainly a change of pace for the high maintenance workaholic she’s become and taking care of the kittens makes Madison realise how far off track she’s come—after all, she was a stray once too…

When a video of her caring for the kittens goes viral, she knows her image as a hardnosed reporter is shot to hell. What Madison doesn’t expect is the media circus that propels her and the kittens to stardom. And the domino effect that has on her, her career and her love life—especially when she meets sexy Officer Nick Marino…!

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Review:

Imagine finding four little orphan kittens, too small to take care of themselves and without a mother to feed and bath them. What would you do?

If you’re a person with a good heart, you would take them under your roof and do your best to give them what they need to survive.
And that is exactly what Madison did.

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Disclaimer:

I will have to start this review with a disclaimer and say that I will be totally subjective when it comes to expressing my thoughts. This story is very special to me and I observed it from a different angle then usual because I experienced (almost) the same thing as the main character of this story, but was also in a situation that in parts reminds of the one  character Nick was in.

I really don’t want to make this review about me, but I think it would be fair to tell you that, because my personal experience is what led me to percieve the story in the way I did.
So I will just briefly mention that I have two cats that were only 13 days old when they lost their mother and I bottle fed them and took care of them. They are healthy now and are best cats in the world.
Also, five years ago I had a car accident and I was unable to move for weeks. Those days all I could do was lie in bed and sit with someone’s help, so I know how the recovery process looks like.
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Now, on to the real review…

Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club tells the story about a reporter called Madison. She is a real career woman. One day when reporting from construction aera, she and her cameraman find four kittens and a dead cat. In order to save kittens’ life, she takes them home and starts taking care of them.

Although she did not plan to, she keeps them and becomes their second mother because she got atteched to them, especially  to the tortoiseshell one.
For Madison, cats are not just company. They (or should I say tortiseshell one) help her see what kind of person people around her are so she ends up breaking up with her cold hearted boyfriend the same night cats move in.
As the story progress, we follow Madison and her three friends living a life in New York, dating and helping the world make a better place.

This book warmed my heart. When I say it, I really mean it.
There were so many memories that came back to me thanks to this novel.
And although it wasn’t the best read ever, I certenly enjoyed reading it.

The writing style was really good, easy to read and you can read this novel pretty quickly.
It is written in first person, from Madison’s point of view.
What surprised me is the fact that the writer is male.
I don’t usually pay attention whether I read male or female authors, but it really blew my mind how Nic Tatano perfectly described women’s way of thinking.

Character development plays a big part in this story.
Madison really changes through the story and even if that change is mentioned more then few times by side characters, readers can also see it in Madison’s behaviour.
However, I have to mention that I wasn’t on best terms with some of her actions.

The story itself was naive in parts in a way that everything went so easy for Madison, but I will assume that the purpose of this book is to bright reader’s mood.

It also had some flaws and unexplained things that I just feel like they have to be metioned.
I will write them down in the spoiler section  so I wouldn’t ruin anyone’s reading experience without their permission.

Overall, this book was pretty good and it really left me in a good mood.
I think that cat lovers would enjoy it so if you are one of them, I suggest you to give it a try.

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Spoiler Alert!!!

  1. We never got an explanation why mother cat died. I know some things we’ll never know, but somehow I wish we got to know what happened to her.
  2. Tortoishell cats are basically always female. Male tortoishell do exist, but they are so rare, finding one is like finding a niddle in haystackes, and male can’t produce due to their chromosomes. I wish vet said that to Madison bc I have a feeling many readers will just assume that the writer didn’t do his homework because „all tortoishells are female“.
  3. Nick had an accident where he lost the ability to walk and had to use wheelchairs. I feel like his situation was described unbelievably too easy. Madison could have just leave him alone for hours and it was like there was no fact that he is human and therefore has to use toilet, has to take a bath. Madison once told him he can just roll into the shower but guess what? He has to take off his clothes, wash himself and use a towel. Without help, that is impossible.
    I feel like the whole thing could have easily be fixed if there was a nurse to help Nick.
  4. Although it maybe is not a big deal, I wish getting rid of parasites was also mentioned.
  5. I wish tabby, rushian blue and tuxedo cat were more present in the story. They were in the tortoishell’s shadow.

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3,5

Graphic Novel Review: I.D. by Emma Rios

i.d.

Title: I.D.
Author: Emma Rios
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors
Date: June 28th, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): A dystopian tale that analyzes the conflict between perception and identity through the struggle of three people who consider a ‘body transplant’ as a solution to their lives.

 

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Review:

Going into this story I had no expectations.
Graphic Novels are not what I read on regular basis, so I don’t feel like an expert when it comes to reviewing them, but I still feel like I can  tell what I liked and what I disliked in an acceptable way.

I.D. is a dystopian story told in a format of graphic novel.
I say it is a dystopian because that is what is said in the synopsis, but if you ask me,  I say it is a futuristic story.
You see, there is no „new world order“ (or in case there is, we didn’t have a chance to see it), but the story is set in the future where the technology is so advanced that people can change their body to someone else’s.

I liked how from the scientistic perspective it was described how it is possible to transplate your brain into another body and with the brain your personality, memories and yourself complitely.

The story follows only three characters: Noa, Miguel and Charlotte. They all seemed interesting enough, but yet I wish we got the chance to get to know them better and to get attached to them or just to understand their reasons behid their actions.

The art work is done solidly and I really like how it was all done in red color.

My main problem with this novel is that is was just too short.
80 pages was not enough, and I wish this was not a standalone (or that it was, but only longer) but at least 3 volumes long story in which we’d got to see characters’ lives before they decided to go under the procedure, and how they accustomed to their new bodies and what kind of life they’d live after the surgery.
I feel like most of the story we had to imagine in our heads instead of reading it in this work.

I have to phrase that the part that showed opponents of the exchanging body procedures really impressed me.
Also, I like the open ending but as I already said, I think this would make a better series instead of standalone.

3

Book Review: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

The Paris secret

Title: The Paris Secret
 Author: Karen Swan
 Publisher: Pan Macmillan
 Date: July 14th, 2016
 Pages: 352
 Format: eARC
 Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding?

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Review:

I have a confession to make: I never understood the art.
You can put me infront of the most phrased art work in the world, and I will just stand there, totally confused, forcing my brain cells to see the beauty everyone talks about.
I was never good at art class. I hated it. As an outcome to that, I didn’t particularly enjoy learning about it either.
Therefore, when it comes to art culture, telling you that I am bad would probably be understate.

Main theme of this book is the discovery of an abandoned apartman full of paintings collected during World War II.
You can imagine my reaction when everything about it was divulged, all those masters who stood behind those masterpieces.
Yes, I was confused, but I also tried my best to keep up.

Although the name of this novel is The Paris Secret, Paris is not the only city Karen Swoon took us to in the adventure she created.
We also got to visit London, Vienna  and Antibes.
However, not one of those places, Paris included, was explored enough to make me feel like I was there or like I was learning something new about those places.

Although the art theme was somewhat miss in my case, I found the story behind the main theme pretty fascinating.
All those secrets that were revealed and consequences that came with their revelation gave interestingness to the story.

I only wish that the love aspect took a bigger part of this book.
I also wish that it was observed more and in my opinion stronger love feature is the one ingredient that missed.
I usually don’t crave for love in books I’m reading, but in this particular novel, on page 70, I cought myself hoping there would be love interest already to spice up this (until then pretty boring) book.

From all the characters in the book, there were only two I wanted to know more about: Xavier and Natascha. They were mysterious and I knew from the moment we met them that there is something about them, that there is more then meets the eye. Although their characters have a part in this novel through the whole story, I honestly wish we got the chance to get to know them even better, especially Natascha.

This is the second book by Karen Swan I read. I read her Christmas at Tiffany’s in December 2015 (you can read my review here) and fall in love with it.
Although The Paris Secret didn’t live up to my expectations, I am more then happy to know that Karen wrote many books before this one and I am looking forward to read them.
It exceptionally makes me happy the fact that most of her books are taking part during Christmas or are Christmas themed, because I really, really enjoy reading Christmas stories.

I would recommend The Paris Secret to everyone who loves art, who likes reading stories about secrets and who enjoys reading family prose.

3,5

A Summer of Secrets by Alice Ross: Book Review (Blog Tour)

summer of secrets for JENNY

 

I am so happy to be today’s host for A Summer of Secrets blog tour. I enjoyed reading this story and would like to thank Jenny from Nevrland Blog Tours for giving me this opportunity.

A Summer of Secrets

A perfect, feel-good summer read about love, life and family.
One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!

Goodreads * Amazon

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Review:

Four characters, four stories, one village, one short book. That all equals one enjoyable summer read.
And as a cherry on top, it has a cute cover with bright colors that makes you feel good just when you look at it.

A Summer of Secrets follows four different characters: Portia, Jenny, Rich and Joe who’s lives intertwine as they live in the same place, a little village called Buttersley.

From all the stories in the book, I think Joe’s one was the most interesting one. However, not one of them grabbed my attention from the very start and after I finished the whole book, I can’t say I was touched by either of them.

However, I think this is still a very good read and would likely recommend it for days when you want to read something light that will bright up your day and make you forget the world around you.

The writing style was simple and easily readable. It does not have any memorable quotes just like the whole book does not have any memorable situations, but when you take everything in and out, the final product is still very good.

This is second book in the series but can easily be read as standalone.
In fact, you don’t have to read the first book in order to read this one because it follows totally different cast.

It is written in third person.

Now, after everythig I wrote so far, you probably think I wasn’t emotionally engaged when it comes to this novel, but that is not true.
In fact, at some scenes  I even wanted to transform myself into Buttersley and shake some characters, and the lawyer in me wanted to give Joe and Rich some legal advices.
I felt sorry over Jenny and it kind of broke my heart to see how she gave up her life in order to make her mother happy and how she couldn’t find the strenght in herself to rebel.

All in all, I am pretty satisfied with this book. Yes, it does have some flaws that could easily be solved with editing, and yes, it will probably vanish from my mind few months from now, but it still kept me entertained and made me feel better.

The end was okay, but I think Rich’s and Joe’s stories could have been more developed.

If there will be the next book in the series I believe it will follow some other characters which is good but ashame at the same time, because I feel like Rich, Joe, Jenny and Portia have more stories to tell and it would be interesting to read where their lives would bring them.

3

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About the author:

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Alice Ross used to work in the financial services industry where she wrote riveting, enthralling brochures about pensions and ISAs that everyone read avidly and no one ever put straight into the bin.

One day, when nobody was looking, she managed to escape. Dragging her personal chef (aka her husband) along with her, she headed to Spain, where she began writing witty, sexy, romps designed to amuse slightly more than pension brochures.

Missing Blighty (including the weather – but don’t tell anyone), she returned five years later and now works part-time in the tourism industry.

When not writing, she can be found scratching out a tune on her violin, walking her dog in wellies two sizes too big (don’t ask!), or standing on her head in a yoga pose.

Twitter * Website

Book Review: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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Title: The Smell of Other People’s Houses
Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Date: April 7th, 2016
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: From Publisher, for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else.

Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother.
Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father.
Alyce is staying at home to please her parents.
Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s extraordinary, stunning debut is both moving, and deeply authentic. These intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare and wonderful talent.

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Review:

What you need to know about this book:

– The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a novel that came into existence from four different short stories.
– It follows four different perspectives, all written in first person, all points of view are teenager’s.
– This book takes place in Alaska in 1970.
– Four characters of this book are telling us different stories, but they are all intertwined at some point.
Even thugh this is a novel, you can read this book in two different ways:
1. From first page to last, like every other novel;
2. You can read only a certain POV and you will still have the complete story about the character who’s POV you’re reading.

– I think Ruth’s story was the most interesting one, but Alyce’s story was the most enjoyable to read.

What you should be warned about:

– There is some strong violence described in this book.
Not every POV is an interesting one (at least I found Hank’s story to be dull).
– This is a literally fiction that follows four teenagers, and it does not follow the pace most ya novels have.

What I liked about this book:

– Writing style is great and poetic.
– This book covers some serious topics in a realistic way and the writer did a great job describing those situations (violence, teen pregnancy, suicide attempt).
– The cover is so pretty and the title is also beautiful.
– The writer presented us a story she wanted to tell in a bit more then 200 pages and didn’t write about unnecessary situations just to make her piece longer.

What I’d like to change in this piece of work:

– Even though I knew this book was taking place in Alaska, I didn’t have a strong feeling I was reading about Alaska so I guess I’d like it if it was described in a stronger way.

Overall, this was a quick read and different from books that I usually read.
Even though I wasn’t fully satisfied with it I think many people will enjoy reading this book.

I would still recommend it to readers who’d like to read something that is taking place somewhere different then most books do and to readers of ya who’d like to start reading something out of their comfort zone, since this is a (historical) literally fiction that follows teenagers.

3

Book Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

blogger girl

Title: Blogger Girl
Author: Meredith Schorr
Series: Blogger Girl #1
Publisher: Booktrope
Date: August 2nd, 2013
Pages: 244
Format: ebook
Source: from Author for a Review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving-challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most-hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox – for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

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Review:

When my friend Amanda asked me to read this book with her I was pretty excited.
This is the story about twenty-something Kim who is a secretary in law firm by day, and a book blogger by night.
Even though the premise sounded promising, I can’t say that my expectations were high.

In this short chick-lit we follow Kim who runs a successful book blog.
She has a crush on a guy who works in the same firm as her, and the story gets interesting when her high-school enemy is about to publish her debut chick-lit novel and needs Kim to review her book.

I would lie if I said that this book was boring, but I can’t say it was interesting either.
The whole time while reading this book I felt like the main plot was missing.
Don’t get me wrong, things were going on in this novel, but it felt like I was reading side stories but never got the main story to read about.
Even though it was interesting at some level, it was never interesting enough.

The characters in this book weren’t one dimensional, but they weren’t fully developed either.
I was fully satisfied with the development of only one character – Nicolas.

I found it unbelievable how Kim could have spend so much time blogging when being on work (did I mention she works as a secretary in a LAW FIRM??).
One time when she needed to go out and buy coffee she acted like a little brat. She got mad because she had to do something that was a part of her job, she was bossing to her boss and I just couldn’t like her.

Actually, that was probably my main problem with this novel. It’s main character was just too unlikeable for my taste.

Writing style was simple and this was an easy read.
Me and my friend read it in four days but I think that faster readers can even read it in one sitting.

As the story progressed it became more interesting and I believe that it’s sequel will be better.

My favorite thing about this book is the fact that I read it together with my blogger friend Amanda.
Chatting about characters and plot was what I liked the most.

She ended up liking this book more then I did and, if you want, you can read her review here: ChocolatePages

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to and I don’t think I will read it’s sequel.
3