Saturday, July 29, 2017

Shopaholic to the Rescue - Sophie Kinsella (Clare Corbett)

This post contains affiliate links.

Summary (from goodreads): Becky Bloomwood and a hilarious cast of beloved family and friends (plus one enemy!) set off in a van to find her missing father, last heard from in Las Vegas.

Becky’s father Graham and her best friend’s husband, Tarquin, have disappeared from Los Angeles saying simply they have “something to take care of.”

But Tarquin’s wife Suze who is Becky’s best friend, and Becky’s mother Jane, are convinced the two men are hiding something and are in danger—their imaginations run wild. They must track them down!

Hijinks ensue as husband Luke drives Becky, daughter Minnie, Jane, Suze and other favorite Kinsella characters across country from LA to Las Vegas in search of the missing men.

Becky feels deeply guilty about ignoring her father while he was in LA, in addition Becky feels her enemy Alicia is threatening her friendship with Suze.
.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.

Edition Read: Overdrive through local library
Where (else) to buy: kobo*, google play, amazon*, nook*
Bit o Background:
First ever audiobook review! O_O
I got bored of listening to TV shows on my phone so I decided to check out what overdrive had via audiobooks. I used to love this series.


Full disclosure: If I hadn't listened to the audiobook I probably wouldn't have read this at all. I've actually checked the ebook out two or three times and have not been able to get past the first couple of pages. 

Thoughts:
Good news: If you suffered through Shopaholic to the Stars only to be greeted with a cliffhanger... this book is better. It even has an ending!

Bad news: It's still not a good book.

A Shopaholic book that isn't a Shopaholic book. The characters are all there, but they aren't themselves. There is shopping involved, but it's not quite right. Outlandish misadventures happen, but instead of being silly and fun, it's boring and very, very, VERY long.

Part of the fun of the Shopaholic series is that it is kind of stupid, but also fun and hilarious. This one isn't fun and it definitely didn't make me laugh.

Becky gets into a bunch of trouble (because,shopping), this leads to a series of completely ridiculous and implausible events, and she eventually saves the day, everyone, and, most of all, herself.  Suze is the best platonic-life-partner. Tarquin is weird. Luke is loving, supportive, but also exasperated and closed off. The parents are lovable, but clueless.
The books are light, fluffy, mindless, and even a bit heartwarming.

This one does not fit into that same box.

Verdict:

Generally not recommended unless you are an absolute completionist and for whatever reason can not leave this alone.

It's a decent enough wrap up, but it lacks heart. If you're considering this series, I recommend stopping at either Shopaholic Ties the Knot (#3) or Shopaholic & Baby (#5).

Quibbles:
The narrator did a fantastic job, especially switching voices and accents, but when using an American accent, still pronounced the words with the British pronunciation even when playing a character with a heavy twang.

Examples:
ate (UK) "et" (US) "eight"
process (UK) "pro-cess" (US) "praw-cess"
touson (UK) -French accent?? (US) "two-sawn"

(I do feel like pointing out, again, that she did a really amazing job and if the narrating hadn't been any good, I would have written this book off completely since I couldn't even stand to read it.)

*This is an affiliate link

Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 28th - August 3rd


Do you read tie-in novels to movies or television series? If so, which ones? - Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer
My initial reaction:

Then I remembered something...
.
.
.
.
.

Yep, I have read Voyager tie-ins. 
#noregrets

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1. Working on a CAL (crochet-a-long) that I have realized I'm not going to finish "in time". I joined late, did the project too big, and then undid it so I could do it just slightly smaller. Next month's is just a scarf, so I should be able to finish that one in a month. (Update: Doing one each for the kids so I *may* be able to finish my son's before the deadline.)

2. Finished an audiobook for the first time! Wow, that was interesting. The book wasn't particularly great, but I knew that going in. (Review on Saturday!) It allowed me to do another hobby while reading, so that was cool. I am going to continue doing this. I'll still read-read, but this will be nice so I can still create while making progress in a book. Win-win!

3. Turned two books back into netgalley. I started them and just realized I couldn't get into them. One, I only requested because I read a blog entry pumping up a bunch of books on netgalley so I thought I'd try it out and... yeah, pass. The other one is a set of short stories and I don't feel comfortable reviewing it because the stories are from the points of view of characters within already established series - most I'm not familiar with.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Favorite .. Book as a Child


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Book as a Child 
This one was hard. I've already mentioned The Giver and The Baby-Sitters Club - both played huge roles in my reading.


 Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell

I read this book over and over again as a child and have revisited it again as an adult.
But I can't really say why. I just liked it a lot and even (accidentally) acquired extra copies forgetting that I still owned it.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion created by Rainy Day Ramblings.
When you first started blogging were you hesitant to give out a low rating? Has that changed?
On my first blog, yes. All my books were free so there was this pressure to pad ratings.
Rest assured, I no longer feel that way. Normally, if I dislike a book that much, I won't even finish it. There are a few exceptions, but it's pretty much just stubborness on my part.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 21st - 27th


Have you ever read a book or books you would consider 'toxic' because of the effect it(they) had on you? If so, which one(s)? - Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books
Oh man, either everyone is going to say this or I'm going to have a lot of people coming after me. πŸ˜“


I know, I know. At some point it's been cool to hate on Twilight, that's not what this is about. I did read the first three and a portion of the 4th. I have no explanation or excuse for why I read so much of (and spent money) on a series I dislike so much, but it happened.

I'll be honest in saying it more bothers me that this is a YA series and not aimed at adults. It's been around a decade since the first one was release and I am fairly certain it did not raise the amount of abusive relationships.

BUT --- it still makes my skin crawl and it's not supposed to.

There's a reason this meme exists. 
Twilight is not romantic.

(And no, I won't think badly of you if you love this series. I have two very good friends who LOVE this series. I generally trust them about book recommendations.... just not about this one.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1. I have been slacking on the blog. I typed this all up today instead of as I go. πŸ˜“

2. My daughter ended up having a semi-impromptu sleepover at our place on Tuesday night. I normally don't do stuff like that, but they had been talking about doing a sleepover here the week before. I promised her this week we could. On Monday, we found out the only day her friend could do it was on Tuesday. πŸ˜“

3. Came up with the idea, since I get a limited number of free tickets to the local amusement park (where I work), we could go there on one of the days her friend stayed over. (I get free entry and my son gets a free preschool pass.) Since we live 10 minutes away we don't need to purchase any food there. We all had a lot of fun and the girls are already talking about going to the water park next time. O_o While we were at home they took turns playing minecraft (because we only have one PS3 controller) and played board games.

4. I thought it wouldn't happen until next year, but I discovered that I now qualify for 4 free family passes. (We only had to use one ticket instead of two.) This also makes me so happy we procrastinated on purchasing any sort of passes for my husband and daughter. Now everyone gets one and we have one left over that I have no clue what to do with.

5. Started up a subscription to the crochet magazine Happily Hooked a crochet magazine.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Favorite.. Book Friendship


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Book Friendship 

It's not one friendship, but a whole  group  club's worth.



Before we started asking: Are you a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda? The real question was: Are you a Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Dawn, or Stacey? (Also; Jesse, Mallory, Abby, Shannon, and Logan.)

I love how it's a whole group of friends with different personalities and varying compatibilities, but they still find a way to remain friends. Yes, the girls can be a bit awful to each other, but they also tend to apologize, make up, and get past their differences. They accept one another for who they are and don't try to change one another.

It doesn't matter what happens, they always try to find a way to work it out. That's an important component of any relationship.

And, in case you are wondering, I'm a Mary Anne who wishes she was a Claudia.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion created by Rainy Day Ramblings.
Do you find it is easier to read and review books that you have picked up on your own?

It's definitely easier to review books I've picked up on my own.
Then again, I've never been asked by an author of publisher to review a book. I do use netgalley, but I am personally requesting ones I want to read and if I'm not enjoying it, there is an option to let the author/publisher know I do not plan on finishing and why. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Aldar Dominion - Katherine Bogle

This post contains affiliate links.

Summary (from goodreads):
The Aldar Dominion saved the world.
Then they damned it.

After solar flares decimated Earth’s population, the alien corporation gave humans a recipe for immortality and hope for the next generation. Cloning and the technology to transport consciousness from one body to another saved the human race from extinction. But the value of human life plummeted.

In an age when animal conservation no longer exists, Selene smuggles animals to safety. While fleeing Dominion drones during a mission gone wrong, Selene suffers a debilitating head injury. The pain unlocks memories from twenty lost years: stark labs and human experiments. These nightmares could hold the key to why natural-born human children are disappearing. But worse—they reveal a sinister plot centuries in the making.
.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.

Edition Read: Netgalley
Where (else) to buy: kobo*, amazon*, nook*
Disclaimer:
I received an advanced copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Bit o Background:
First netgalley approval since getting back into the reviewing game!

Thoughts:
A really slow start. I was a bit nervous with certain descriptions that this would turn out to be a Romance in Disguise, but this is not a romance novel. It's not the focus of the plot nor does it appear to be the purpose of the series.

I do want to address one thing.,,
Being creepy is NOT romantic.
Twice the male love interest slides in behind Selene as her door slides shut. (Once as she's about to take a shower.) That said, nothing happens. He doesn't try anything, he just wants to talk, but it could have been handled better. Highlight for minor spoiler:[ He's also her boss, so there's this extra dynamic.  ] Creepy ≠ sexy. I really can't say it enough.

The animal conservationist aspect is definitely a fresh idea. Although, it's noble work, but it's still just charity on their part.

The action is solid. Selene and her crew are accomplished fighters, but they aren't perfect and mistakes happen.

For a book that's only 250 pages long, a lot happens. There are a lot of characters that are introduced and then dismissed just as quickly. It has this sort of epic, arcing reach, while still being pretty short. I actually wish certain parts would have been longer to expand on certain aspects. I would have liked to spend more time with the crew before the book. I was informed of their relationships, but I didn't feel them because it was so brief.

The twist at the end has me wanting more.

Verdict:

Generally recommended if you like sci-fi action, government conspiracy, and a very tiny slice of romance. It's a short read where a lot happens.

Quibbles:
-"Lady bits" πŸ™„
-Ship docked exactly where it was before even though a long, but undetermined period of time has passed. No explanation given. We just sat here for no reason.

*This is an affiliate link

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 14th - 20th


What is your go-to drink and/or snack while reading? -Kristin @Lukten av Trykksverte
Soda or sweet tea with popcorn or extra sharp cheddar cheese cubes and strawberries.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1. My daughter finally got to go "live" on the pump Friday. No more shots (for the most part). And she'll only get deep poked once every 2-3 days versus 4-5 times a day. Unfortunately, the technology is not at the point where she won't have to prick her fingers 4+ times a day yet. We still have to tweak it and such until we figure out what's right for her body, but it will give her more freedom. No more timing meals, snacks, bedtimes, and wake-up times!

2. I made a bedside pouch for my ereader.
It's designed to match my favorite "magic" blanket.

It's magic because whenever I cover up with it, I go to sleep. Even when I'm not tired or have been dealing with insomnia.

3. An update on the pump (#1). Things aren't completely ironed out, but oh.em.gee, I forgot what it was like to be able to sleep in and not have to time meals *just so*. My daughter has also taken to doing her own dosing. It's been pretty freeing for me, so I can only imagine that it's just a million more times freeing for her. 

4. Got approved for a few more titles at netgalley. I had a post set up to do Mailbox Monday, but I was busy on a Monday (for once?!) and it didn't get posted. (Next Monday, it will.) I made sure to limit how much I requested and made sure the release dates were in the future. I still get a bit shocked when I get approved. I always tell myself "declined" as I open the notification emails so that I am mentally prepared for being turned down. πŸ˜“ (Hey, it works for me!) 

5. Finally sat down and watch Bridget Jones' Baby. (Yes, I'm way behind). It was surprisingly not terrible. Not something I'd recommend to everyone, but a decent lighthearted watch. (Let's be real, we all knew who she was going to end up with.) 

6. Saw Despicable Me 3 in theaters with my dad and the kids. It was okay. Definitely better than The Minions Movie. The part with the girls, the minions, Gru's mom, and Balthazar Brat were pretty good, but the whole Gru and Dru thing was bleh. The kids enjoyed it, though it mostly convinced them that they have to see The Emoji Movie (which looks absolutely awful). 

Until next time.~*☀Shannon

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Favorite.. Music


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Music 

Oh, please don't hate me. I don't have a favorite type of music. I mostly listen to what's on the radio and have been told I have atrocious taste in music.
Here are some of my favorite songs of the moment.



LP - Lost on You


Miley Cyrus - Malibu


Sam Hunt - Body Like a Back Road


Clean Bandit - Rockabye


Sia - The Greatest




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion created by Rainy Day Ramblings.
What are some of your reading habits, good and bad?
I wouldn't say I have any particular "good" habits when it comes to reading - other than I do it. For bad habits, I'm pretty scatterbrained and I do need to make a point it a point to read. I'm just not as good about it as I should be. This applies to all my hobbies, not just reading.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 7th - 13th


In one sentence, describe your passion for reading. Billy @Coffee Addicted Writer

A Passion for Reading

Sometimes refreshes,
faltering on occasion,
but always sublime.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1. After months of waiting (long story), we finally got to do my daughter's insulin pump appointment. This week is a testing phase where the pump gives saline solution so she is still getting shots. Hopefully, next week it will be no more shots (for the most part).

2. Went to Yorktown Beach for fireworks. The first time we did this was 3 years ago. We have been rained out for the past two years. This year we were rained on before hand, but it cleared in plenty of time so they still had them. *^-^*

.~*πŸ’•Shannon

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My Favorite.. Actress


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Actress 

So, initially, when I read this one, my first thought was the one, the only, the Streep...

Why, yes, I will have #merylwasrobbed engraved on my headstone.

And, as wonderful and fabulous Meryl Streep is she's not my absolute favorite. 

My modest collection. (I do own a few more books on her, but they are also ebooks.)
That red book is a signed edition of Timebends by Arthur Miller.
Okay, she's not the world's greatest actress, but there is something fascinating about her. 
My favorite movie of hers is Some Like it Hot, though, to be fair. It's not really a "Marilyn" movie so much as a Lemmon/Curtis buddy movie that happens to star her.
Acting wise, I'd say Misfits is my favorite. It showed she could act and had a lot more depth than she was given credit for at the time.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

This post contains affiliate links.

Summary (from goodreads):
40,000 years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate.

But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself.

In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women's lives.

Haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving, THE LAST NEANDERTHAL asks us to reconsider all we think we know about what it means to be human.
.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.

Edition Read: netgalley
Where (else) to buy: kobo*, google play, amazon*, nook*
I received an advanced copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Random:
Can I gush over this cover for a minute? It's gorgeous! As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to read this book.

Thoughts:
Girl's story is incredibly intriguing and the author's skill with wordplay shines through. She has some very beautiful lines and paragraphs that are absolute magic to read. A word of caution, there are some very uncomfortable parts. We are dealing with a dwindling population on the brink of extinction and a protagonist who must do what she can to survive. It makes sense, I just wasn't quite expecting it when I walked in. πŸ˜“ It's handled with care, but it's still weird to read something that can only be described as uncomfortably sensual.

I didn't like Rose or her role in the book. Her treatment of the other characters (one in particular) is pretty appalling and she's not seen long enough for her thoughts and actions to make sense. The story parallels are a bit of a stretch and don't do anything to enhance the overall story. In fact, she took away from the ending. There is so much buildup about the skeletons and it just ends up falling flat.

Content wise, I feel this would have been a fantastic novella. No Rose, just Girl.

Verdict:

It's a short book and the neanderthal parts are lovely to read, but you could easily skip Rose's chapters if you were so inclined. πŸ˜‰


Quibbles:
-A good bit of filler in Girl's story.
-Random perspective changes in the paleo-narrative. If flowed well enough, but still. πŸ˜’

*This is an affiliate link

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