Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed

Goodreads: Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends - Isabel, Kendra and Mina - on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they've created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras. But for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.

For Samantha, the vacation just feels wrong without Mina. Despite being surrounded by her friends - the closest thing she has to family - Mina's death has left Sam a little lost. Unsure of what direction her life should take. Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend's surprise proposal, it'll be the wrong one.

The answers aren't in the journal Mina gave Sam before she died. Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation's stories of love and loss, and Sam's glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart. And follow it.

Kritters Thoughts: Well, an interesting read. I would have to begin to say that there is a definite audience for this book - I just don't think I am it.

A deep philosophical look at friendship, death and how those friendships shape who we are took me on a ride of like and dislike. I think after finishing it, I am on the side of the fence of not absolutely enjoying this one. Although, I love to read about women friendships and crave to hear about how we as women affect each other in good and bad ways - this book just didn't grab me and make me want to be a part of their circle.

With death as a main focus, I continued to have negative thoughts. I didn't enjoy connecting the "other" world with the reality. Call me a realist, but I couldn't make the connection.

Again, I think there will be some readers who will enjoy this one. I am just left with thoughts that this book was not for me.

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

Pages: 320

Cover Challenge Jan-March: Seasons in the Sun (Summer)

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (23)

Another Monday - but this one spent at home. I am cleaning, reading, organizing and getting ready for a short work week! A book club on Wednesday and still working on the photo wall project will keep this short week busy!

Currently Reading:

Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

Next on the TBR pile:

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

Whatcha reading?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff

Goodreads: Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. But when his second-grade class discovers a dead body during a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. As his behavior grows increasingly erratic, and tensions arise with the school principal and the parents of his students, he faces the familiar urge to flee - a choice that forces him to confront the character weaknesses that have shattered his life again and again - and to accept the wrenching truth about the past he's never been able to move beyond.

Kritters Thoughts: A short and sweet review - I wasn't a fan. A book that switched between two different voices - the first being the character being in the present and living, while the other he is talking to someone from his past and reminding them of things from their past. I had to read the first four chapters twice to get it.

I kept reading because I thought it could get better and I just couldn't figure out whether I just didn't like it or if I really didn't like it. After every page was read and I sat for twenty-four hours to stew on it, I have to say I didn't hate it, but I am not sure I could pass it along to my friends.

Rating:not such a good read

Pages: 272

Cover Challenge April-June: She's/He's My . . .

Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA - Blogging about Blogging!

Blogging - a hobby that I have come to love and find completely rewarding.

The questions that I want to answer are -

What are your tips for balance life and blogging?
I have come to find a very delicate balance between spending time with my dog and the boy and doing what I have come to love - blogging. Every week we have taped and watch American Idol on the weekends together, I find this to be the best time to break out the computer and blog. We are together, but I can do a few reviews and update all the websites.

There are quite a few book blogging events out there. Which are your favorites and why? How do they affect your blog directly?
I love to attend book signings at One More Page bookstore. I have been to a few around the D.C. area and I always enjoy listening to an author talk about their work. I also go to two book clubs - I love having others suggest reads and then chatting about them, I always get something different from others' perspectives.

These events affect my blog completely - I review books that ordinarily I wouldn't pick up and I have things to share with friends and followers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Goodreads: Abby accepted that she can't measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby's life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she'd never seen.

Abby is about to find out the truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could.

Kritters Thoughts: An emotional read that kept me turning pages or clicking the next button on my nook until the very end. A tale of two sisters that hit close to home with one sister a perfectionist and the apple of her parents eyes and another sister who feels like she just lurks in the shadow and will never live up to the spot her sister has left vacant.

I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster with one moment hoping that the sister woke up from her coma and at the other moment just wanting her family to choose to end the suffering. I still don't know where I sit, but without ruining the story, I can honestly say that I am not sure whether I liked the path the author chose.

I don't always dive dip in my reviews about the normal book review topics - but just this once I have to talk about the character development of Abby, the younger sister. It was such a joy to see her develop from the sister in the shadow to her own full person, with her own thoughts and opinions. I felt as though I was taken through a complete journey of her discovering how she fit in the world. I loved it.

As far as who I would pass this book onto - I think my age group would enjoy the read, but it would definitely be a great book for our high school and college readers who may find themselves in Abby's shoes trying to find where their place is amongst their family and friends.

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

Pages: 256

Cover Challenge April-June: 4,5, and 6

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA Blogger Interview

Hello! I had the great opportunity to interview Abigail at The Story Factory Reading Zone - head over to her blog to check out her reviews, memes and more.

Let's get on with the interview:

1. When and why did you start blogging?

In February 2006 I was an avid Queen fan, looking to air my views on a range of issues. I decided to follow the example of my hero Brian May and set up a blog. This latest for a while, I eventually became too busy and had to give up my blogging. 4 years later, in February 2010, I saw a post about blogs on BookCrossing. It reminded me of that earlier blog and the enjoyment I had using it. Since my main interest was now reading, I realised that having a book blog would give me somewhere to post and share my reviews with others. I never realised the extent of the community that I would become a part of.

2. What author would you do anything to meet?

I'm not really fanatical about authors themselves, I'm much more interesting in the actual writing and the words they create. Having said that, I'd love to meet Terry Pratchett. I love his Discworld books and have a collection of them displayed in my room. I am lucky enough to have already met Jasper Fforde, my most favourite author, at a book-signing a few months ago - I was surprised to find that I had trouble chatting with him despite having thought it would be easy.

3. Do you have any new exciting plans for the blog?

I'm hoping to increase the number of giveaways, initially mostly UK but expanding to international as money allows. I'd love to do some author interviews and features, so if you're an author or blogger who'd like to be featured please do let me know.

4. Have you had any ups and downs in your blogging?

The most exciting moments of my blogging are always when I hear from my readers, whether sharing their own related posts, agreeing or disagreeing with me. In contrast, my 'down' moments have been the two ocassions so far when I've run competitions and got no responses - I'm hoping that these will decrease in number as my blog gets better known.

5. Has there been an experience while doing this blog that stands out to you?

Doing the Dewey Readathon was an amazing experience. I surprised myself by managing to stay up reading for almost the whole thing. I also enjoyed connecting with the other participants and winning a prize or two.

6. Do you have any tips or lessons learned from other bloggers?

The most important things I have learnt are: to make sure you network, to try to spend regular time on your blog, and how to create google forms.

Thank you so much for the answers Abigail, it was great to hear about another book blogger's experiences!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA - Best of 2011

2011 - My first full year of blogging and a year where I try to diversify my reading! I started reading memoirs and even enjoyed some dystopian novels. I may not branch out to read every genre, but I am enjoying reading some different reads.

If I were at BEA - I would pick up:

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Miracle Cure by Harlan Coben

Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones

Waking Up in Dixie by Haywood Smith

and many more!!

I can't wait to see what everyone comes home with. I will of course be adding loads of them to my wishlist!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA - who are you?

Hello! I am Kristin from Kritters Ramblings and I just finished my first whole year of blogging!

I have attended quite a few author signings and bookie events this past year. I am hoping to make it to BEA next year - starting to save the pennies!

I live and blog from Alexandria, VA - a suburb of Washington, D.C. and I am excited to spend the week getting to know bloggers, learning some tips and of course, growing my wish list! I will be attending the National Book Festival, just steps away in D.C. in September - with my mom by my side I love to attend all the bookish things I can find!

Review: Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Molaski

Goodreads: Presley Thurman, a sassy, thirty-something red-head, was looking to reinvent herself. She didn't allow the fact that she was recently fired bother her - she was ready to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Presley is a lover of shopping and Starbucks, and even though she sometimes has bad taste in men, she always had great taste in clothes. Not looking back on corporate America Presley decided to follow her dream. With her feisty nature and spirit to not "sweat the small stuff," she was ready to tackle any challenge (even if she had no idea how she would pay her bills).

When her friend Trevor offered her a job with his online magazine to interview public figures, she jumped at the chance. However, the new job turned into something unexpected when the US Senator she was slated to write about was murdered - in her home town!

Kritters Thoughts: A wonderful and quirky who dun it with a chick lit spin! I fell in love with Presley Thurman from page one and couldn't wait to hear all about her adventures. The large cast of characters was hard at times to remember who was linked with whom, but once it was all settled I couldn't find out who was the killer and why they committed the murder. I had my thoughts and debated a few times, but in the end she got me and I couldn't wait to find out all the details!

The one thing that I didn't fall in love with was the random times it switched to another's persons thoughts or head. I would be reading along and then all of the sudden I would be hearing how a different character was thinking about what they were encoutering with Presley. A little confusing and made for some moments of wonder.

I would absolutely recommend it to those who love a little suspense and love a little chick lit when they pick up a book. Any murder using a shoe is worth reading in my book!

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

Pages: 312

Cover Challenge April-June: Shoe Addict

Read and reviewed for
Nurture Virtual Book Tourz.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (32) and It's Monday, What are you Reading?

A fun week, not so much in the mailbox, but a few purchases. A very fun week ahead with Armchair BEA and a project finishing up at the house - to share in a future Ramble.

In My Mailbox - A meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's Monday, What are you Reading? a meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney.

Here is another video with the mailbox and the reading:

Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker

A Goodwill trip:
Sister by A. Manette Ansay
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

Currently Reading:
Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Next to come off the TBR pile:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Ramble - An Evening with Sarah Pekkanen and Eleanor Brown

An evening that started with barbeque at Rocklands and ended with The Dairy Godmother, but the middle was the best part! Another great event at One More Page bookstore.

Mom and I went to see Eleanor Brown and Sarah Pekkanen promote their latest books, chat, answer questions and of course sign books! What a treat!

These two ladies were charming, entertaining and most of all a joy to chat with. With two separate lines we were able to spend time separately with each author and we made the most of it. We found out some details about their next books and shared stories with both about our love for the theory of birth order.

It was another great night with wine and books - a girl can't go wrong!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Secrets of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway

Goodreads: Morgan is a National Disaster.

Morgan Abbott couldn't be happier. Super-cute Max has quit her Secret Service detail to be her (secret) boyfriend, and the annoying Brittany Whittaker has been ousted from class president, leaving the post open for Morgan! Life is pretty sweet.

Now Morgan just has to tackle college applications - but she has too much else to juggle that looking that far ahead seems impossible! Good thing she's graceul under pressure . . . well, sometimes.

A trip to London should be just the thing to take her mind off all the craziness, but true to form, chaos follows Morgan wherever she goes - and the trip turns into an international disaster. Can she make it right? Or will she cause a royal mess?

Kritters Thoughts: What a sweet sequel! A story of a girl who is falling in love with a guy that she is not supposed to and she is the first woman president's daughter. All of this wrapped up in a story with fun and mahem.

The sequel to Confessions of a First Daughter - so I won't divulge too much because you must read it first to fall in love with the sequel. Although there are some repeats, so this could possibly be a stand alone, I think that reading the first book is too cute to pass up.

I would pass this book and the first one onto females of all ages - cute and sweet the younger would enjoy a bit more, but even us older ladies can enjoy a story about a girl trying to decide where her life will go after high school ends.

Rating:absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 208

Cover Challenge April-June: Promise Not to Tell

Review: Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway

Goodreads: Morgan Abbott has no social life and no privacy, and her every screwup makes front page news. That's what happens when your mom's the president of the United States - and Morgan is sooo over it. But now her mom needs a presidential stand-in! With the help of Morgan's cute new secret service agent, a little makeup, anda lot of family resemblance, she's soon seeing things from the other side of the desk.

Kritters Thoughts: A cute little YA read. I quickly soared through this book with just over 200 pages. A funny and quirky story about a girl who is in the middle of her senior year and trying to cope with the cool crowd when she doesn't fit in. At the same time, she is the daughter of the first female president at a time of unrest in Mexico.

A story filled with moments of comedy and endearment. I loved reading about a woman president and her unique relationship with her husband and daughter. How interesting to hear about how a woman is handling the pressure of the presidency and her family. The parts where the daughter was interacting with her secret service detail were beyond entertaining. Being from DC, I was drawn to this story because I could imagine where they were and what was going on.

A book that I would recommend to girls of all ages. As soon as I found out it had a sequel, I promptly ordered it.
Rating: perfect beach read

Pages: 224

Cover Challenge April-June: Grey's Anatomy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Happy almost Anniversary to my sister and her hubs!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

Goodreads: On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

Kritters Thoughts: What a twisted, crazy weird story. The synopsis reeled me in hoping for a story about a girl that goes missing and her brother who is finding clues 15 years later. This may have ben the underlying premise of the story, but the inclusion of a weird fairy story that has been passed down from former generations made for a weird book that I couldn't put down. I flipped page to page to find out how the story all fit together, but I was definitely disappointed by the inclusion of this weird underlying story of a fairy land.

Short and sweet this time - a good book in the mystery aspect, but I definitely did not enjoy all the fairy talk. I would only recommend this book to those who enjoy the supernatural and the mystery.

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

Pages: 464

Cover Challenge April-June: Initially Speaking

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (22)

After creating my first vlog and posting it yesterday, I spent most of Sunday working on it, so my reading this weekend has been on the lower side. The boy and I were able to go to Mount Vernon for their spring wine festival on Saturday - such fun!!

This next week I should have some downtime to read and am making a special trip to One More Page on Thursday to see Eleanor Brown and Sarah Pekkanen - so excited!

Hope you had a good week and weekend of reading!

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney.

Currently reading:

Rally 'Round Green by Judy Christie

The Ten Best Days of My Life by Adena Halpern

Next on the list:

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

In My Mailbox (31)

A great week in book adventures and another great week to come!

A meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Alright friends - my first vlog, what do you think?

Barnes and Noble:
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin
Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen
The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
Any Minute by Joyce Meyer

Bookmooch and Paperbackswap:
Just Peachy by Jill Winters
Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon
Love and Meatballs by Susan Volland

Goodreads Win:
Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff

Friday, May 13, 2011

1 year old!

Friends, family and followers - it is officially my first bloggiversary!!! Yes, Friday the 13th.

Kritter tid bit - I have turned 16 and 21 on Friday the 13th, the 13th is a lucky number for me!

Who knew a year ago, I would start writing reviews and keep at it for a whole year! And to be honest, I am so hooked. I love the book blogging community and I have started building relationships with some great publishers, publicists and authors!

So a traditional first anniversary gift is paper - so this past Wednesday I took myself (and my mom for Mother's Day) to a local used book store - Already Read Used Bookstore and purchased:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: Morning, Noon & Night by Sidney Sheldon

Goodreads: Cruising on his yacht, Harry Stanford, one of the world's wealthiest men, drowns under mysterious circumstances. Now, a young woman apears at the family gathering following the funeral claiming to be his daughter and heir. As the respected Stanford family seeks to learn whether she is genuine or an imposter, a hidden web of blackmail, drugs and murder emerges from behind the facade.

Kritters Thoughts: Twists and turns and ups and downs - this book had me going down one path and just when I least expected it, I was catipalted onto a different path. And I loved it! Beyond predictable, but still enjoyable to try to see if I could guess as to where the story would lead. I randomly picked it up from my library's ebook collection and it fit into a challenge I do with a group on GoodReads.

A story of a wealthy father of three children who sent them away at a young age and belittled them from the moment their mother committed suicide. He hung his wealth over their head to ensure that they didn't cross certain lines. With a love child on the side, this quirky story did not end where I thought it would and I am beyond thankful for it. With a who dun it twist, this book was enjoyable to the last page.

A book for young and old, men and women with mystery and intrigue. A great read that I am excited to share with my readers because I had not heard a peep of it!

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

Pages: 388

Cover Challenge April-June: Morning, Afternoon & Evening

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A fun trip to the VA Gold Cup!

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Christi from With a Lime for winning a copy of

The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Goodreads: It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Kritters Thoughts: What an amazing book that continued the story from If I Stay by Gayle Forman, which ended abruptly. A story told by her point of view as she is in the hospital after a major car accident, the first book kept me flipping pages well into the night and the same went for the sequel. I read it one day - 3 sittings.

Told from Adam, her boyfriend's, point of view. I absolutely loved that we heard the continuation of the story 3 years after the first book ended from a different perspective. And rarely do we hear a guy's point of view, so I had to remind myself a few times that we were in Adam's head. But I loved it - the twists and turns which kept me glued until the very end.

I would recommend this series to young and old alike. I am physically handing this book off to my mom and would recommend it for the majority of the age spectrum, but I think only the female readers would really enjoy this sweet and tender story.

Rating:absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 264

Cover Challenge April-June: Me, Myself & I

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Goodreads: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck . . .

Kritters Thoughts: A heartwrenching story told from the perspective of a young girl in her senior year that is trapped between her family who has passed on and her family and friends who remain. Switching between the current time as she clings to life and flashbacks to her younger years, I was entranced by the story. The ultimate question remains what happens if she stays or if she decides to go.

My heart was ripped out while reading this book. I couldn't imagine sitting and watching the majority of my loved ones sit vigil by my bedside in a hospital ICU fighting to keep me alive. I absolutely felt her internal struggle as to whether to give it all up to be able to rejoin her parents and brother. A poignant book that makes you take a step back and evaluate who you hold close and what you would do to be with them at all times.

I was beyond touched by this book and although the main character was a young senior in high school, I felt as though this book could be read and impactful to any age group. I think everyone could find the heart and the meaning behind this sweet book. Now to start the sequel!
Rating:absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 196

Cover Challenge April-June: Me, Myself & I

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Monday, What Are you Reading? (21)

Another week has come and gone and after a very fun busy filled weekend, it is back to work with quite a to do list for the week. I plan our annual corporate retreat and this week will be full of putting together the details and nailing down the schedule!

I will be celebrating Mother's Day on Wednesday with mom - we have quite a full afternoon planned - movie, book shopping, dinner and The Dairy Godmother!

Currently Reading:
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Next off the TBR:
Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski

What are you currently reading?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Goodreads: From her husband's desk in the Oval Office, Alice Blackwell can contemplate the deep incronguities of her own life. How, for example, did a quiet, bookish girl from small-town Wisconsin become involved with the gregarious, charismatic Charlie Blackwell? Their politics, their backgrounds couldn't have been more different: Charlie was the carefree even boisterous son of a wealthy Republican family; she was a registered Democrat who paid her bills with the modest salary of a school librarian. Nothing had trained her for her job as a First Lady and certainly nothing had prepared her for the painful controversies of her husband's second term.

Kritters Thoughts: An interesting read that after a day of reflection, I still find myself not absolutely enjoying this book. A piece of fiction loosely based on Laura Bush's life, but at times felt not so loose and not so fiction.

A story of a woman from a small town who ends up married to the President of the United States. In her younger years, she causes an accident killing a classmate and has an abortion at a very young age. While her future mate is working for the family company and drinking away his days. They meet, fall in love and marriage follows soon after. Unlike the Bush family, they have a child quickly. Although like the Bushs, he purchases a baseball team, leaves the family business and then gets into politics.

For my thoughts - this is the first time I have read a book that is loosely based on a real person and I have read her biography. If I pitted the two books against each other, I would hand her biography off to anyone I passed. I guess I am just not a fan of books where I am unsure as to whether it truly happened to the person. I either want true fiction or true story.

Rating:enjoyable but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 555

Cover Challenge April-June: United Nations

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday/IMM

A Wordless Wednesday - a recent trip to Goodwill was more than fruitful and on the cheap.

When You Go Away by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

Goodreads: After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna's soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning ("do not let her . . . ") before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn't Ginny's only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka "Demanda") insists on selling their parents' house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents' belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn't sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn't know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father's photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there's only one way to get answers: cook from dead people's recipes, raise their ghosts and ask them.

Kritters Thoughts: A heart wrenching roller coaster of emotions from complete sadness to a will to fight for what is right, this book is a journey worth taking. Told from the heart of a young adult woman who has lived with her parents her entire life due to her special "personality" or as we may now call it - Aspergers. A love for learning about the people who live with Asperger's, I am drawn to read books where I can inhabit their mind and learn their thought process.

Ginny, an older sister, yet always treated as special and probably less self suficient, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of her being the older sister, but in a different respect a younger sister too. As a sister, I find the research done on birth order and traits that dominate where you are in the line both intriguing and often times beyond truthful. I am the older sister of the pair and I do feel as though if our parents were to leave us behind that I would be responsible, even though my sister is married and has a family. As the first born it was born into me that I am to always take care of my sister and look out for her - how weird would it be to have our birth order remain the same, but the roles reversed. I can't imagine.

A book for the women readers - those who love to learn about a family's heartbreak and how they pull together to overcome obstacles, this was truly a great read. I can't wait to pass it on to both my sister and mom.

Rating:absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 272

Cover Challenge April-June: Initially Speaking

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Ramble - Amy Brecount White at One More Page

At One More Page bookstore I had the opportunity to visit and listen to Amy Brecount White. She has an extensive love for flowers that she shares with groups often.

Her presentation includes making tussie-mussies for various occasions - congratulatory, love, romance, get well and so on, members of the audience were able to take some home with them.

After her presentation I was able to sit and have my book signed and chat with her. Due to the small crowd, I felt like I could have an intimate conversation with her and tell her how much I enjoyed her writing and this great YA read. A fun day with a local author - I will definitely be on the lookout for her next book!
Thanks to my sister for her photography skills and company! I may have a new person hooked on the author signing experience.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (20)

A fun week at work full of exciting things kept me at the office more than usual and cut into the evening reading time. This next week, the boy is home evenings and I have a few evening activities, so may be another slow week!

Currently reading:

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Next to come off the TBR pile:

White Sleeper by Stephen Langford and Dr. David Fett

Review: Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White

Goodreads: Something some power is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

Kritters Thoughts: Wow. From the description I thought this book was going to be too out there for me - boy was I wrong, dead wrong. I purchased because she was going to be coming to my local indie bookstore and I had seen earlier that her signings were eventful with flowers and more than your normal author visit. I am more than glad that I grabbed this one.

A young girl who has recently lost her mom and is now trying to figure out where she goes from there. I will not spoil this one because I want everyone to stop what they are doing and go grab this one. Throughout this book, she is learning the language of flowers and just for that reason this book is whimsical and romantic. I definitely know what flowers I want included in my bridal bouquet and what ones to send to my mom to make her feel loved.

A book for young and old, mothers and daughters - each will enjoy this read for a different and unique reason. I will be passing this one off to my mom. A short and sweet review for a short and sweet book.

Check out the blog tomorrow for my visit to One More Page to see Amy Brecount White and her tussie-mussies.
Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 384

Cover Challenge April-June: May Flowers
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