Friday, August 26, 2016

The Lucidity Project
by Abbey Campbell Cook

Publisher: She Writes Press
Pages: 286
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Depression has haunted twenty-five-year-old Max Dorigan her entire life. After years of unsuccessful treatment and a failed suicide attempt, Max agrees to join The Lucidity Project, a program at a mysterious health and wellness resort in the Caribbean where, she soon finds, the people are just as troubled as she is, only in a different way. They claim to have psychic powers. They claim they can see ghosts. They claim Max is one of them. Max refuses to pay much attention until Dr. Micah McMoneagle, the charismatic head of the project, reveals he s found a way to allow people to enter each other s dreams. Now, instead of discussing their issues in talk therapy, Max and her new gifted friends can symbolically work through their problems on the astral plane. Together they embark on a magical, transformational journey through dreamtime to reveal the causes of the things that are holding them back an adventure that ultimately awakens them to who they really are, and what they came to earth to do. 


Kritters Thoughts:  This may have been a little outside my wheelhouse, but I still enjoyed it.

Max Dorigan has been battling depression for awhile and has tried all the remedies and nothing has worked.  After a failed suicide attempt, she is almost willing to try anything to "cure" her depression and start living a healthy and happy life.  So off she goes to the Caribbean and where she ends up is the story.  

So I am not a magical realism/fantasy girl, but with a majority of human characters this danced the line enough for me.  If you aren't one to read a book with some fantastical elements, try this one, it was a good combination of real world and fantasy world.  

The big thing that helped me like this book even more was the main character Max.  I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but I connected with her and I was intrigued by her and wanted to know more.  She felt real and vulnerable and I really wanted to hear her story and journey.  Characters can sometimes make or break a book and Max for me made this book.  

Again, I am not a huge fantasy fan and I wouldn't put this completely on the fantasy shelf, but there are a few ghosts and goblins that make appearances, but it all worked for me.


NOTE I put cure in quotes because I am well aware that depression can't be cured, but maybe it can be tamed so that someone can live what they deem as a healthy and happy life.





Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Anniversary!  Today, 4 years ago, I married the perfect guy.  He puts up with my crazy and loves me through it all.  It has been an interesting 2016 and I am glad we have had each other through this year!


I went back into my photos to find something that I have never put anywhere and I just love these two!

  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You'll Be Thinking of Me
by Densie Webb

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 324
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A chance encounter with a celebrity, an impromptu video, and a shiny new espresso machine. It all added up to a juicy tale for 24-year-old Rachael Allen to share with friends. but when her best friend posts the video online, bizarre threats, home break-ins, and deadly gift from an obsessed fan follow close behind.


Kritters Thoughts:  We hear the stories in the news about a celebrity having a stalker and we hear about the outlandish things they do and we hear about them going to court and getting restraining orders, but I have yet to read a book that took an inside look at how the celebrity feels and how the stalker justifies their actions.

Told through the eyes of the stalker and a girl who is linked with the celebrity, this was haunting to say the least.  It was interesting to read what the stalker was doing and then to read her explain to a therapist her inner thoughts - I loved it.  I am glad the author used her as a narrator, it made the book so full and I thought she wrote the stalker character so well.  

I am so glad I read this one.  To see the crazy of celebrity culture (I am not pointing fingers, I love me some People), but to see how people take celebrities and make idols out of them is very scary and a very serious issue.  I loved this one and hope that Densie Webb is working on something else!



Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook Challenge 2016:  25 out of 50



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Santorini Sunsets
by Anita Hughes

Publisher: St. Martin's
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  When a Hollywood superstar and a NYC society girl fall in love, sparks fly and secrets are revealed.

Brigit Palmer is thrilled to be on the Greek Island of Santorini. She's here for her wedding to Hollywood heart-throb Blake Crawford, one of America's most eligible bachelors. Brigit's parents have rented a villa, and soon guests will arrive from all over the world for the intimate ceremony.

Brigit is a New York socialite, and she's just given up her position at a Manhattan law firm to run her father's philanthropic foundation. Things are finally falling into place. Love, career, family. Everything is going so well...until she steps into the garden and sees her ex-husband Nathaniel hiding in the rose bushes. 

Nathaniel, a failed novelist, announces that Blake sold the rights to the wedding to HELLO! Magazine for two million dollars (donated to charity), and he is the reporter assigned to write the story. Everyone expects Brigit to have her happily ever after, including her mother who taught her how to lead the perfect lifestyle, her younger sister Daisy who impatiently wishes for her own love story, and of course, her fiancé. Things are supposed to work out for them. But when Brigit discovers an unsettling secret about Blake, she questions everything she's ever believed about love, and wonders if she's better off alone.


Kritters Thoughts:  Brigit grew up as a New York socialite and in a semi spotlight, but dating a famous Hollywood actor is a different kind of spotlight!  She wants to get married out of the watchful eye in Greece, but her fiance sells the story to a magazine and in walks Brigit's ex husband.  

I loved how yes, the story was mainly about Brigit, but there were two other stories going on.  There were secrets between Brigit's mother and father and they are coming to the light through this book.  Brigit's sister is discovering things about herself and is having to make decisions about her future and what path she will take.  

This was only my second Anita Hughes read and I didn't completely love my first one of hers, so I was a little hesitant about this one, but in the end I definitely liked it.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St. Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Swear on this Life
by Renee Carlino

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?



Kritters Thoughts:  A story within a story and done so well!  Emiline has been trying to write and has yet to find the right subject to write about as she is instructing students on how to write!  A childhood friend has written a story and she comes to realize it is her story.  But does he have the right to write her story.  

First there is Emiline's story and the reader gets to see where Emiline is now and the spot in life that she is at - spoiler alert, not a great spot.  Then instead of flashing back to her childhood like most books do, Renee Carlino geniusely includes the fictional tale that her childhood best friend wrote.  We, the reader, don't know what of this fiction is true or false until Emiline starts reacting to the story, but it was such an inventive way to put a story within a story.  

There were some definite flat moments and maybe even sometimes when I didn't love Emiline as the main character, but they weren't enough to make me put the book down or completely hate it.  I think I just wanted her to learn her lesson just a little bit quicker.  I would still recommend this to readers because just the format is interesting to read. 


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

What a fun week of reading!  
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
You'll Be Thinking of Me by Densie Webb
Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino
Santorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes
The Lucidity Project by Abbey Campbell Cook

Currently Reading:
The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

Next on the TBR pile:
The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Bout of Books starts on Monday, August 22nd and goes through Sunday, August 28th. 

My goal for the Bout of Books 17 TBR pile is to read 250 pages per day, which amounts to 1,750 pages for the whole week.  

 
Doing another round of Bout of Books, we shall see how it goes.  I love participating because there are really no rules, you are just challenge yourself to read more than you typically do.  So I am hoping for a great week in books!

Let's see how this goes!

1.  The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (276 pages)

2.  Clear to Lift by Anne A Wilson (320 pages)
3.  The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman (384 pages)
4.  All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (310 pages)
5.  Stripped Bare by Shannon Baker (288 pages)
6. The House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer (352 pages)


For those that don't know what Bout of Books is... here you go:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
 



Kritters Thoughts:  With co-CEOS and co-Executive Assistants, these two have been battling it out since the two companies merged.  A new position has been announced and they will have to fight for it.

The things that I loved about this book were they were set in the book world - in a publishing company.  The other thing that hooked me from the synopsis was that the story was told through the eyes of an Executive Assistant.  I am an Executive Assistant to a CEO and have been for 6.5 years, so I love to read a book that takes a glimpse into my full time job - just entertaining!

I didn't love the love hate relationship between the two EAs, at times it felt overplayed.  There were a few times I wish they hadn't been so horrible to each other, it felt like it set them so far apart to get them to a loving spot seemed like a far fetch.  

I didn't LOVE this book like I thought I would, it had all the things I would love, but it just didn't completely work for me.  I didn't hate the writing and can't completely pinpoint it, so I will definitely be on the lookout for Sally Thorne's next book.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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