Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass

Goodreads: A tale of two sisters, together and apart, told in their alternating voices over twenty-five years.

Louisa Jardine is the older one, the conscientious student, precise and careful: the one who yearns for a good marriage, an artistic career, a family. Clem, the archetypal youngest, is the rebel: uncontainable, iconoclastic, committed to her work but not to the men who fall for her daring nature.

In this vivid, heartrending story of what we can and cannot do for those we love, the sisters grow closer as they move farther apart.

Kritters Thoughts: ***Warning - spoilers ahead*** I didn't want to ever ruin a book - I believe the spoilers contained in the below review will not inhibit anyone from enjoying the book.

What a book! A powerful and insight book into the struggles between sisters. Being a half of a sister pair, I am the older one, but our lives and roles have changed throughout the years - even by the week. We have each had to take a back burner to the other in our parents eyes when our lives have been up or down. We have shared in the joy and the pain of each other's life circumstances. I believe that sisters challenge each other more than any other relationship out there - you fight to be on top, but you praise each other when they get there.

To get a little personal - My sister (J) and I have both had times of great joy and times of great struggle. Some of the scenarios in the book completely mimic our lives - without giving too much away - J has spent some time in a few hospitals for many reasons, just as the younger sister in this book. Sometimes our parents were by her side and sometimes I was right there. A major story line for the older sister was almost a predicament that I found myself in - the character ended up being a pink ribbon holder; I only had a scare. I know that my mom had to put me first during this time of my life which left my sister on the sidelines.

These sisters that Julia created are human in that they grow apart, but still have each other to fall back on. They have real life experiences and I felt they were people that I could relate to.

I absolutely enjoyed reading a story that felt true and honest portraying sisters as they are - at times enemies while in the same moment the closest of friends.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Total pages: 288

2010 Challenge: Charity - goodwill

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

To warn - this meme has a tendency to add to the wish list or the TBR pile!!

Paperback Swap:

Separation Anxiety by Karen Brichoux

In One Year and Out the Other by an assortment of authors

Goodreads Swap:

Spooning by Darri Stephens & Megan DeSales

Book Sneeze Review: A book received to review - my first!!

Ebay win: I won a lot of 30 books off ebay - the boy wasn't too happy when the box arrived!! I am officially out of shelf space and am spilling out onto the floor in the study!

Instead of listing the whole lot - let's just say it was A LOT of fun chick lit, some already read and added to the paperback swap to get more loot and some definitely excited to add to the TBR. Below is the pic off ebay of the loot! I did a very excited happy dance when it arrived Friday!!

A very great way to start the summer season!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blogfest 2010

I am going to be participating in Blogfest 2010. Blogfest is an event where a bunch of bloggers provide giveaways during an alloted time in order to create traffic and connect with one another. I am excited to participate and am working on putting together a very fun giveaway!!

Please click here to obtain more information.

Don't forget to return on September 10th - 12th to enjoy my Blogfest giveaway!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Alamo House by Sarah Bird

Goodreads: The sorority sisters of Alamo House at the University of Texas may be at comic odds with each other, but at least they have one thing in common: They all hate the fraternity rats across the street, the Sigma Upsilon Kappas - aka the SUKs. But amid the collegiate turmoil, Alamo House is also the scene of an extraordinary, endearing friendship among three women: Mary Jo, hilariously confused about life and love but determined to get both right; Fayrene, flushed with freedom after escape from Baptist Waco; and Collie, party girl and self-proclaimed guide to the ways of the world. Together they embark a roller coaster of escapades that change them all - and galvanizes Alamo House into an all-out counterattack against the Suks. The result is infectious, side-splitting fun sure to convince everyone that Mary Jo, Collie, and Fayrene are the best soutwestern mixture since tequila, lime and salt.

Kritters Thoughts: A slow start to a short book, but I am glad it finally picked up. I was nervous that this would be another poor review. Alas, the book picked up speed.

I am not a fan of her writing, she used some unecessary words - not obscene just too big for the cheeky chick lit plot the book had. I had a difficult time with her over using expressions and comparisons.

The characters were over the top, but definitely entertaining. It made me remember those college days being surrounded by everyone your own age and enjoying the excessive amounts of free time! I appreciated the misfits that live together and learn how to communicate to each other - the joys of living in dorms with complete strangers!!

The storyline was cute and quirky, but I am not sure I will be adding her to my favorite author list.


Total pages: 320

Source: Paperback swap

Chick lit Challenge

Blogger Hop

It's another Friday, I have had a crazy week. But I am ready for holiday weekend and the Blogger Hop.

HOP over to Crazy For Books to check out other book bloggers.

If you are visiting from the hop - follow along on my blog and leave a comment!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: The Washingtonienne by Jessica Cutler

Goodreads: When Jacqueline Turner's fiancee gives her two days to move out of his apartment, she has no choice but to leave New York City and crash with her best friend in Washington, D.C. (She can't be expected to keep herself in cute clothes while paying New York City rent, after all.) She needs a new, exciting life-not to mention real employment. Where better to get a fresh start than the nation's capital?

Kritter's Thoughts: I told myself in the beginning I would not beat up a book or an author, so I will have to keep this review short.

I am fine with an occasional sex scene or obscenity cast around - but this book was over the top and too much. Filled with sex, drugs and some work life, this book was not the "Washington Sex and the City" it was advertised to be. I felt that this book completely beat up Washington, DC and its residents. Being a new resident of the surrounding parts of DC, I didn't enjoy the negative connotation the city and its dwellers received.

I only finished because I could use it for two challenges and I am that girl who must give a book a fair shot. After 100 pages, I only had 150 some odd more to finish and couldn't walk away. Thankfully being stuck in a car helped finish it off. Unfortunately, living near DC, I was so excited to read this book and be able to know where the character was running around. I was let down.

I would not pass this book off to anyone.


Total pages: 304

Source: Barnes and Noble

2010 Challenge: Shiny and New
Chick Lit Challenge

Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

Goodreads: In the tradition of Marisa de los Santos and Anne Tyler comes a moving debut about a young mother's year of heartbreak, loss and forgiveness . . . and help that arrives from unexpected sources.

Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband - now his last gift to her.
As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow - mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.
As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others - even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.

Kritters Thoughts: An amazing read! I absolutely enjoyed and believed in each character. I feel as though each character could be walking the streets of our hometowns today.

I have lost some people in my life to the world beyond - and to hear from one woman's perspective her battle with grief was both heartbreaking and eye opening. I loved how her story felt real. I felt her ups and downs and believed that each moment could be happening to a widow at anytime.
Without revealing the whole plot line, I appreciated her internal judgement and fear of how others would perceive her taking steps towards moving on from this tragedy.

A deep and thought provoking read that I would absolutely recommend.


Total pages: 448

Source: thrift store

2010 Challenge: Charity

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. I am excited to participate for the first time!

Paperback Swap:

Life Over Easy by Margo Candela

Goodreads Swap:

Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis


The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Summer's Child by Diane Chamberlain

The Washingtonienne by Jessica Cutler

Bride Island by Alexandra Enders

This was an exciting week - not sure if they will always be this good!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blogger Hop

I have joined the Blog Hop. Check out all the details at Crazy-For-Books. This has been a great spot to find other book bloggers who share a common interest and possibly read the same books as me.

The Hop lasts Friday - Monday every week - so check it out to find a blog to follow!

Taking on Another Challenge

The Chick lit Challenge 2010 runs from January 1 - December 31st. The goal is to read at least 8 chick lit books during the year. Books can be listed ahead of time or as you go along. Books cna also be used for multiple challenges.
This challenge is hosted by

Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

Goodreads: Life on the Refrigerator Door is a poignant and deeply moving first novel about the bonds of love and frustration that tie mothers and daughters together. Told entirely in a series of notes left on the kitchen fridge - some casual, some intimate, some funny, some angry - it is the story of nine months in the life of 15-year-old Claire and her single mother. Preoccupied with their busy separate lives, rarely in the same room at the same time, they talk to each other in a series of short snippets that reflect the daily drama of school, boyfriends, work, and chore that make up their days. Yet the mundane soon becomes extraordinary when a crisis overtakes the lives - a momentous change that will redefine their relationship and unfold in their exchanges on the refrigerator door.

Kritters thoughts: A very short read, I completed this book in just under two hours. Unfortunately, it wasn't my kind of read. The premise of the story unfolding through notes on the fridge didn't give me enough detail of what the characters were thinking to really connect. I found myself flipping quickly through this book reading each note without any meaning.

I think I would have been more connected to the characters if there was some story intermingled in with the fridge notes. A quick little read that had the potential for a bigger impact.

Rating: not such a good idea

Total pages: 220

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

Goodreads: Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer - until her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.

It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still shape her world. Now someone from her past is raising questions about what really happened that night. About Julie's own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder - and the person who didn't.

Faced with questions and armed with few answers, Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.

Kritters Thoughts: The Bay at Midnight was a longer book than I usually read, although it kept me interested and completely entertained from cover to cover. This book is much deeper than your normal chick lit or beach read, but not too intellectual.

A story filled with family secrets that eek out slowly enough not to ruin the plausible twist ending. With all mysteries, my fear lies in discovering the ending too soon. Not so with this book. I enjoyed every chapter that bounced between different points of view and different moments in time.

The main character Julie has been living with a large burden of guilt thinking that she helped cause the murder of her older sister, more than forty years earlier. Her younger sister Lucy, her mother Maria, and Julie have been completely affected by their loss and never pulled together as a family unit to complete the grief circle.

I enjoyed the slowly unfolding of events through both a glance back in time and the revealing of struggles that these ladies are facing in their current lives.

A definite must read that I would recommend to ladies of all ages.

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

Total pages: 377

2010 Challenge: T.B.R.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Can Take the Challenge

SO, I know I am joining late in the game, but I am going to join a challenge and see how it goes.

The outline for the challenge is as follows:

The aim is to read a total of 20 books, over ten categories in 2010. Each book can only qualify for one category.

The categories:

1. Young Adult - Any book classified as young adult or featuring a teenage protagonist counts for this category.

2. T.B.R. - Intended to help reduce the old TBR pile. Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelf as of 1/11/09.

3. Shiny & New - Books bought NEW during 2010 from a bookstore or online. Second-hand books do not count for this one.

4. Bad Blogger's - Books in this category, should be ones you've picked up purely on the recommendatoin of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book a go).

5. Charity - Support your local charity shops with this category, by picking up books from one of their shops.

6. New in 2010 - This category is for those books newly published in 2010.

7. Older Than You - Read two books that were published before you were born, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!

8. Win! Win! - Have a couple of books you need to read for another challenge? Then this is the category to use, as long as that you don't break the rules of the other challenge by doing so!

9. Who Are You Again? - This one isn't just for authors you've never read before, this is for those authors you have never even heard of before!

10. Up to You! - The requirements for this category are up to you! The only requirement is that you state it in your sign-up post.

If you have any recommendations for any category, comment away!

Kritter's Reviews

I started this blog to help others find good reads, but also to help me remember what all I have read.

As many blogs do, I have come up with a review criteria. First, I will post books that I wasn't a super fan of, but I am not here to bash anyone else's work. Second, I want those books that I have loved and adored to obtain the praise they should. I have come up with a rating scale - now being the girl that I am, I will be using shoes as my scale!!

Clog - not such a good read

Flip flop - perfect beach read

Flat - enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Heels - definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Peep toes - absolutely loved it and want a sequel

I am excited to start the reviewing adventure.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In the Beginning . . .

And so it begins.

After much debate and discussion, I have decided to enter the blog world. I follow quite a few blogs, but I want to start one where books and life are intermingled.

This blog will be filled with quirky life stories - I am the girl that has the truly funny and quirky stories. But my real reason to start a blog is to track my love for reading. I have kept a nerdy spreadsheet of books that are my wishlist and one with books completed since I graduated from college. I want to really remember what I have read and how it impacted me personally.

Now that I have set my goal, I must first warn my audience. I am in no way a "writer." I am passionate about books and the adventures they take me on, but my thoughts are just that thoughts.

So I am embarking on this journey to share stories of my life happenings and the reading I do along the way.
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