Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Review: Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe

Willoughby's Return, a sequel to Jane Austen's Sense&Sensibility will be published November 1st.
I am really excited about this book, I loved Effusions of Fancy and Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe.
Please check out Jane's fabulous website at here.
If you are interested about ordering the book check out the information from here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review: Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty

Chris and Helen are both studying on high school. It is their last year and they both have plans for the future- Chris wants to study English, Helen music. They have sex and after just only that one time everything chances. Helen gets sick and after several pregnancy tests she learns that she is pregnant.

The news of Helen's pregnancy are shock to everyone, especially to Helen. She feels like she cannot speak to anyone about the situation. She starts to write letters to 'dear nobody', to her unborn baby. By these letters the reader gets to know what Helen really feels and how her love towards her baby develops.

I decided to read this book as a part of the read-a-thon because it is pretty short. I think the book is just a perfect lenght, I am happy Doherty did not put too much stuff into it to make it longer. Doherty tells a beautiful story about love and making choices. Doherty uses beautiful language throughout the book to describe how the bond between Helen and her unborn baby is created. A light and easy read with a deeper message.

Review: Ransom my Heart by Meg Cabot

"The Debut novel of Princess Mia Thermopolis"

Finnula Crais is the youngest of the Crais family. Around the village she is known as a beautiful Finnula, but she does not feel herself to be beautiful. She is a girl who loves riding, shooting, hunting and sometimes even drinking with the guys of the village. When she hears that her dearest sister Mellina has problems she promises to do something to help her. They decide that Finnula has to kidnap a rich man so they can get money from the people who want to get him free.

Sir Hugh Fitzstephen is returning back to England. He left England, his home, 1o years ago. How, he is the new owner of the Fitzstephen house, the earl of the village.

Sir Hugh and Finnula bump into each other at the forest where Finnula kidnaps Sir Hugh. Finnula has seen sir Hugh handling big amounts of money at a local bar and she knows that he is a great catch. What she does not know is the fact that Hugh is really the earl of the village Finnula lives at. When they spend time together they both start to feel something they've never felt before; strong passion toward another person.

I love the Princess Diaries and I am sad to say that I did not enjoy this book that much. It had some very juicy and sexual bits and the Finnish translation of the book was hilarious but someway I just felt that especially the latter part of the book was really boring, I was just hoping to get to the conclusion of the story. not a bad read at all but not a good one either.

Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Lara Lington has always been a little weird. At least that is how her parents think. Lara is a proud Londoner and a new business owner. She started a headhunting business with her friend Natalie. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, Josh, but she is determined to get him back. She does not believe that their love could have just ended like it did.

Lara's great aunt Sadie Lancester has died at the age of 105. Lara never knew her great aunt, she had only met her once when she was a little kid. At the funeral Lara hears a voice of a girl asking for a necklace. She sees a girl in a weird clothes and starts to talk to her. What she notices quite soon is that no one else cannot see her. Lara is officially a freak- she is seeing a ghost. Sadie, the ghost, is asking Lara to find her necklace, she says she cannot rest in peace without it. Lara has no options, she has to stop the funeral and find the necklace.

Sadie and Lara are like the day and night. Sadie is bubbly, easy going, a little crazy and looking for fun and Lara is more serious and thinks about things more logically. They have a lot of arguments and sometimes Lara feels like a fool talking to a ghost but eventually they become friends and they start to do things for each other; Sadie spies Josh for Lara and Lara goes to a date with Ed, an american guy, so Sadie would imagine herself at a date with him. Later on Lara starts to think that could Ed be something more than just a date for her great aunt's ghost. And in the middle of all this action Lara is trying to find Sadie's precious necklace.

I had a lot of expectations towards this book since it was the first book I read by Sophie Kinsella. All those expectations were filled. Twenties Girl is such a funny book, I was laughing out loud when I read it. I love Lara and Sadie, they are so different but at the same time the same. I love how the story develops and how in the end Lara and Sadie become really close. This is definitely one of the funniest books I've read so far.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Random Reading Challenge: Pick number 6

The challenge is from Caribousmom's blog.

The list of possible books:
1. Jane Green- Straight Talking
2. Elin Hilderbrand- A Summer Affair
3. Lisa Greenwald- My Life in Pink&Green
4. Emily Giffin- Baby Proof
5. Amanda Grange- Mr Darcy, Vampyre
6. Sophie Kinsella- Twenties Girl
7. Julia Quinn- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
8. Wendy Corsi Staub- A Thoroughly Modern Princess
9. Jane Green- Swapping Lives
10. Rosie Rushton- Secret Schemes and Daring Dreams

The sixth book of the challenge will be: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review: The Big Love by Sarah Dunn

Alison is looking for the big love. She thought she has found it but when her boyfriend for several years leaves her during the dinner party, she has to start to consider things from different angles.
Eventually Alison starts to think that does the real love, the big love, even exists. And if it does, how can you find it?

The are many new, unfamiliar things Alison goes through while she is searching for the big love. She has an affair with her boss, she has sex after the first date, she feels herself betrayed, she forgives a thing she never thought she could forget and she realizes that she herself has to find the answers to her questions.

I enjoyed this book but somehow I just felt that something was missing. I liked Alison as a character; she is a little silly but still very smart, she is independent and strong and funny. I think that the thing I missed the most was the absense of a gorgeous, amazing hero. I also look for those in books. But all in all, this was a funny, light read and it made me laugh a lot, which is a good thing, especially during the dark and rainy fall days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

A beautiful, heart breaking story about love, music, losses, family and how to survive in the changes of life.

Mia is a 17-year-old girl. She has amazing family- a little bit hippie parents and 8-year-old brother Teddy who sometimes feels like her own child. Mia's parents are music lovers- they love old punk music and they are more than suprised when Mia decides during her third grade that she wants to play cello. During her senior year in high school Mia applies to Juilliard's and everyone is sure that she is going to get in. Mia is not sure about going to New York City. She loves music and playing but she also loves her boyfriend Alex who is not ready to go to New York City.

One February morning snow is falling down from the sky and Mia and Teddy get a free day from school. The whole family decides to spend a family day and they go for a ride. During the ride Mia's life changes completely and she has to start to make decisions about her own future while she is connected to million tubes and machines at ICU as hospital.

I loved this book. It is heart breaking to read about the thoughts Mia goes through while she is lying on the hospital bed. She floats around the hospital as a "ghost" and sees how her family and friends are suffering and at the same time realizes how much she has lost, but also how much she has left. This book is about decisions, love, friends and family and it made me both laugh and cry.

I was glad to read that there is going to be movie adaptation of this book. Robert Pattinson would be perfect Alex.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Review: Girls by Tucker Shaw

Girls, a novel by Tucker Shaw, is a modern retelling of Claire Boothe Luce's classic play The Women. The original play did not feature any males in the cast and neither does the book. Males are important part of the plot but there is no visible dialog/scenes with males.

Meet Peggy. A culinary genious from Denver. A girl who attends preppy boarding school at Aspen, Colorado. Meet Mary, Peggy's best friend. A girl who has just learned that her boyfriend Stephen is cheating on her. Meet Amber, a girl with all the gossip. Meet Sylvia, always so glamorous girl who has a secret. Meet Crystal, an older girl who is hooking up with Mary's boyfriend.

The narrator of the story, Peggy, tells what happens at Aspen during the first week of the new semester. The air is full of lies, jealousy and misunderstandings and towards the end of the book all of the girls notice who are their real friends and how small the world really is.

I really liked this book but one thing I missed was guys. I kept hoping that some point Peggy would meet a perfect guy for her or something. The thing I really liked were the recipes at the end of the book. I really must try Peggy's double butter double cheese grilled sandwiches.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Book Review: The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Richie

Okay, I did not expect much from this book. I respect Nicole Richie as a woman; she has gone through a lot but she has stayed strong and now it really seems that she is happy with herself and with her life. But as a writer-- I hope that she herself has also noticed that maybe writing is not her thing.

Nicole herself is the narrator of the story. She is a friend of Chloe Parker, who is the "heroine" of the story. Chloe is a 20 something girl who has been adopted by a famous Hollywood couple when she was younger. Chloe has seen and experienced fabulous life, but also the darker side of the fame is familiar to her. She is addicted to drugs ans she always tends to fall in love with the wrong guy.
Suddenly all the things start going bad and Chloe realizes she has to get rid of ther drug addiction and she decides to go to rehab.

Chloe gets out of rehab, gets a job and even though she faces difficulties in the end everything turns out perfectly. For me that does not seem very real. Chloe also falls in love with DJ Ray, who just seems to be too perfect; loves Chloe even though they really don't know each other that well, does not care about Chloe's drug use etc.

Even though Richie is not writing about herself, she tells her own story through Chloe. Richie was adopted by Lionel Richie when she was 9 years old, she got addicted to drugs, went throught rehab and got engaged to DJ called Adam Goldstein. At the end of the book Richie thanks Adam, her own prince. It is pretty ironic to read that because Richie and Goldstein got divorced 9 months after their engagement.

Now things are good to Richie. She has been married to Joel Madden for couple of years and they have two children. I think that getting rid of her partycrazy bitchy ex-BBF Paris Hilton did good to her. What comes to her "prince" Adam-- he passed away on August 2009 as a result of "accidental" drug overdose.

As a conclusion, I have to say that I agree with Richie about one thing; Diamonds are not as important as the people we get the diamonds from.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

I picked up this book because I noticed my mom reading it in Finnish. Normally I don't pick books which I know are going to end sadly because they make me depressed and think about the losses I have personally experienced in my life. I had to find this book in English and read it because the back cover caught my attention and when I found it from the database of the library I decided to give it a try.

Tessa, a 16 year old girl from England, has been sick for years. She has cancer and doctors have tried everything to make her better without success. Tessa lives in a reality and she understands that sooner or later she will die for her sickness. There are a lot of things Tessa wants to do before she dies so she creates a list of things to do. With the assistance of her friend Zoey she undergoes the 1st couple of steps of her list without feeling any better... until she meets Adam.

Adam is everything Tessa has always wanted. Tessa loves Adam and Adam loves Tessa. He does not care about her sickness. With Adam Tessa learns things about love and undergoes more steps from her list. Even some steps she had never imagined she would undergo.

I really like the style of Downham. Especially towards the end the book got really good. The style of writing Downham uses to describe the thoughts of Tessa on her last days made me speechless. I must say that I did not really enjoy the beginning of the book and many times I thought of giving up on it. I am happy that I did not because the ending was really sad and heartbreaking but at the same time also very peaceful and beautiful.

PS. I think this book would make a really good movie. I love movies like "A Walk to Remember" and "Keith" which are about the same subject - the lost of a love one to cancer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

I will be participating on Dewey's Read-a-Thon on 24th of October if nothing big happens. So the basic idea is to read for 24 hours. Check Dewey's site fi you are interested. My reading time would start at 3pm of Finnish time but I will probably re-arrange the time a little so it is easier for me to wake up at Saturday. And I really don't know can I read for 24 hours, but I can try. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Review: The Last Chance by Sarah Dessen

Colie does not except much from her trip to North Carolina Coast. The only thing she knows is that the summer in going to be the worst summer ever!

Colie, a 15 year old girl, is very unsure and lacking confidence. She has never had friends, she has never spent enough time in one place to get friends. She has been bullied for her whole life and she feels like no one cares about her. Colie and her mother has faced a change in their life. They were both obese and they were living around United States. They did not settle anywhere. After moving to North Carolina Colie's mother start to work at a gym and after a while she has her own aerobics group where she works as a trainer. Suddenly she becomes a fitness phenomenon Kiki Sparks and she is known all over the world. She courages Colie to start dieting and she loses 45 pounds.

Kiki is having a world tour for her fitness videos and she sends Callie to her sister Mira for the summer. Mira is obese and very artistic and all the people at the town talk bad things about her but later on Colie understand that Mira does not care what other people think about her and she wants to understand how Mira does that. At her 1st night at Colby (The place in NC) Colie goes to a cafe called Last Chance and meets Isabel and Morgan. Suddenly Colie is asked to work at the cafe and for the first time she has friends. She is not used to the fact that someone might be nice to her and she notices that the friendship with Isabel and Morgan gives her courage. Colie notices that she is not the only one with the problems and she experiences things she has never experienced before as she spends time with the girls.

There is also Norman, a hippie guy who works also at the cafe. He lives with Mira and he is very artistic and he collects all these weird things. First Colie thinks that Norman is not her type but when she spends more time with him she starts to sense feelings she has never sensed before.

The Last Change is a story of new chances, the power of friends, first love and personal growth. During the summer at Colby Colie gets so much more courage and she realizes that the fault is not in her, it is on the bullies. She realizes that she has to defend herself against the bullying.

I thoughoutly enjoyed this book and I think that Dessen does great job in describing the feelings and actions of Collie. The book was fast to read and it is great to read who the confidence of Colie grows from page to page.