Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: If Only We

Title If Only We
By Jessica Sankiewicz
Genre YA contemporary
Pages ?
Recommended by Jessica 

First sentence I never imagined a day when I wouldn't want the sun to shine.

Synopsis From Goodreads
At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart. Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong. And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.

What it has going for it
I've been following Jessica's blog since I first started blogging. She's one of those bloggers you feel like you know even though you've never met. I've been reading her posts about writing and self publishing for a long time and when she sent me a copy of her book I was so excited...I even bought the book from Amazon just so I could have the pretty cover. I never doubted her ability to write and now I'm being proven right. Jessica writes a fun story with funny and heat breaking moments all in one. I enjoyed watching the MC Adrienne learn and grow from her second chance. Heaven knows I wouldn't learn that fast. I was very impressed with the editing too. You never know what you're going to get in a self published book but there was no need to worry. Oh, and I just love that cover!

What's lacking
So, I'm sure you're all thinking, "yeah but you're her friend so of course you're going to give her a good review". Not true. I'll be honest. There were phrases and sentencing here and there that pulled me out of the story and about two thirds of the way through the story I remember feeling like something had changed in the quality. Not really for the bad, though. It was just different and it threw me. The other things I wasn't fond of (and this is just personal) was Chevy. I know! I'm so picky about guys. I'm sure none of you are surprised. Anywho, he just didn't do it for me.

Favorite moment
The big reveal of the paint job. I was actually flinching in anticipation of Adrienne's mom's reaction.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, give this one a go for sure! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Between Shades of Gray

Title Between Shades of Gray
By Ruta Sepetys
Genre YA historical
Pages 344
Recommended by Book Club

First Sentence They took me in my nightgown.

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. From Goodreads

What is has going for it
Once again I'm reviewing a book I read quite awhile ago so I'll do my best to remember what I thought. I remember liking it. I thought the history was fascinating. Everyone knows about Hitler and Germany's role in WWII but no one really know...or I should say I  didn't know what was going in Russia at the same time. Learning about it was so interesting. I thought the authors idea of using a young adult girl to tell the tale was a great idea too. I have a hard time hearing about the awful things that happened to people in those types of situations and hearing it from a younger perspective kept it a little more toned down. Not so graphic, if you know what I mean. The characters actually stuck with me. I do remember them even if I don't remember the details of the story. So if you love characters, I think you'll like this one.

What's lacking
Despite enjoying the book and reading it pretty quickly I wasn't riveted. I could easily put the book down and wasn't dying to pick it back up. I also thought the ending was a bit too open ended. I wanted a little more closure.

Favorite moment
I loved Nikolai. When he cried near the end I just about lost it!

Yea or Nay?
Yeah, I'd say give it a go. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Get your tissues out! So, when I was a kid there was a older couple in my neighborhood who had this beautiful bird-bath statue in their yard. I used to admire this statue...admire isn't a strong enough word. I adored it! I used to walk by it at least once a week and gaze lovingly at it. It brought a little bit of Europe home to my little suburban Utahn neighborhood. So you can imagine my utter despair when I drove by my beloved statue one day only to see it had been knocked over and no one was taking care of it! Don't think I didn't consider trespassing into their yard and fixing it, cause I did. I even considered stealing it in the night. I found out later that the older couple had passed away and that the new owners of the house didn't seem to care about the beautiful statue. Every time I drove by the statue (now disassembled and leaning against the side of the house) I died a little inside. Now for the beautiful part. You ready? Can you see where this is going? I got home from work yesterday to my husband sitting out side the house with a big grin on his face. I stopped the car in confusion and suddenly my eyes saw it!!! My beloved statue sitting in my garden. 

My hot fella had been working in my old neighborhood and happened to notice the lady who lived in the house outside in her yard. He stopped and told her the long sappy story about how much his wife loved that statue. He offered to buy it so he could surprise me. My beloved statue is now MY beloved statue! I know, I know sappiness cliche, but I can't help it. My husband is the greatest! I love him soooooo much!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Quick Hello!

Hey! I'm back....for a minute anyway. Not that anyone is still following me anymore, but I just thought I'd let you all know I'm thinking of trying to get back into this blogging world.  I miss reading! The wedding's over and things are settling back down for a minute. I hope I can get some reading done and blogging going again. Anywho, here's a my favorite pic of my wedding day. Captured, not by the professional photographer, but by my nephew's cell phone. Isn't that the way it always goes?

 And here's a better one just for those not amused by the above.

See you around!