Books & Reviews 📚

Book #43: The Outsider

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For as long as she can remember, Gabrielle Hope has had the gift of knowing–visions that warn of things to come. When she and her mother joined the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in 1807, the community embraced her gift. But Gabrielle fears this gift, for the visions are often ones of sorrow and tragedy. When one of these visions comes to pass, a local doctor must be brought in to save the life of a young man, setting into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle’s loyalty to the Shakers. As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown?

Soulful and filled with romance, The Outsider lets readers live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will leave readers wanting more from this writer.

review

…REVIEW!

If I write as fast as I read, then book reviews would be updated almost every day. This one is going to be short, though.

At first glance, I thought this was an Amish book because of the model on the cover but soon realized that it was a ‘Shaker’. Obviously, I was just excited to read base on the summary, but I soon found myself wondering about this ‘Shaker’ religion. I did some research and was amazed at how many things I learned.

If you like history, then you’re in luck because this Christian Fiction is set during the French and Indian war time period. I recommend this book. 

VERDICT:

4

NEXT UP:

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Prospect Street by Emilie Richards. It already looks like a good book and I hope I’ll be proven right. 🙂

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #21: Big Girl

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BLURB:

In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family.

A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina got it right.

While her parents and sister can eat anything and not gain an ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats, as well as endure her father’s belittling comments about her body and see her academic achievements go unacknowledged. Ice cream and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods give her comfort, but only briefly. The one thing she knows is that she has to get away from home, and after college in Chicago, she moves to New York City.

Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria loves working with her students and wages war on her weight at the gym. Despite tension with her parents, Victoria remains close to her sister. And though they couldn’t be more different in looks, they love each other unconditionally. But regardless of her accomplishments, Victoria’s parents know just what to say to bring her down. She will always be her father’s “big girl,” and her mother’s constant disapproval is equally unkind.

When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their narcissistic father, Victoria worries about her sister’s future happiness, and with no man of her own, she feels like a failure once again. As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, an act of stunning betrayal, and a family confrontation lead to a turning point.

Behind Victoria is a lifetime of hurt and neglect she has tried to forget, and even ice cream can no longer dull the pain. Ahead is a challenge and a risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and claim the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves. Big girl or not, she is terrific and discovers that herself.

review

…REVIEW!

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I’ve never read any material by Danielle Steel until Big Girl. I chose this book because the topic sounded promising. 

Steel wrote the story passively, meaning she doesn’t show it, she tells it – something most readers and authors consider the cardinal sin. If you’re not a fan of storytelling, then this book isn’t for you. It was frustrating to read.

Steele missed an opportunity to go all out with this out. Big Girl could’ve driven home a fantastic message on how to celebrate you and accept yourself for who you are regardless of size and beauty. It had the promise to be something spectacular, but it, unfortunately, fell flat. Body image is an issue that is prevalent in our society and it isn’t going away anytime soon. I think the author could’ve taken the subject and make it relatable to females.

The story was also redundant and it didn’t help that the author kept reminding the reader what happened in the last chapters concerning Victoria. It was not empowering at all given that Victoria’s motivated desire was to lose weight and find a man. What about loving herself first? How the heck you gone love someone if you can’t love yourself? She fails to stand up to her cruel family, but she finally comes to accept herself when she gets a nose job?

Well, like I said, it was my first DS book and although it was not done justice, I am open to suggestions.

So, any DS fans out there, leave your comments and suggestions for me.

 :

VERDICT:

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NEXT UP:

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I’m not too sure as yet. It’s a book that a friend wants me to read. 

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #6: Real Vampires Have More to Love

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Author: Gerry Bartlett
Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 07th, 2012)
Pages: 347
Chapters: 24
Series: Real Vampires (Book 6)

BLURB:

Glory St. Clair is a vampire with man trouble. Between her on-again, off again lover Jeremy Blade, smoking hot rock star Ray Caine, and former bodyguard turned apartment mate Valdez, there’s enough man-candy around to make even a gal with a liquid diet feel a sugar rush.

Glory’s got no time to enjoy it, though, considering that she’s in the middle of planning her best friend’s wedding. And let’s not forget that there happens to be a hit on her head, thanks to when she took out a techno-freak billionaire. Now, between planning a bachelorette party and dodging stakes, Glory has to decide which man she really wants, before her love life meets an early grave…

review

…REVIEW!

I’ve had my fair share of vampire books over the years and I don’t know what to make of this mess. I think it was a horrible terrible excuse of a book.

I haven’t read vampire material in years, but this book was on sale and I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt because I thought it would’ve been funny. I wish I hadn’t. Someone needs to tell this author to stop churning out Glory St. Clair novels (that is if they’re still being printed). Sometimes authors have to know their limits and pull the plug on a series.

I couldn’t finish this book. I had it when I reached the 6th chapter. I made a few notes:

^ Glory is supposed to be a size 12 vamp, yet she is presented as a stick figure on the cover. Or maybe I don’t know what a size 12 is.

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^ Glory is two-timing and whiny and I dislike these characters. I wish someone had staked the undead out of her!

^ Everyone in this book is stupid, jealous or horny. Real vamps don’t act like children, plan weddings and sit around crying over foolish things. Real vamps go out there, bare their fangs and suck on some useless human blood. And wait for it… REAL VAMPIRES KNOW WHAT THEY WANT and they don’t take the term ‘on again off again’ in a relationship to another level.

Vampires just aren’t my thing anymore (I’ve never seen Twilight and I don’t intend to), but Lestat de Lioncourt is still the best vampire I’ve had the pleasure of fiction meeting.

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Oh, did I mention that real vampires are French? 😛

RATING:

2

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book #5: Island Pursuits

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Author: Heather Rodney-Diaz
Publisher: Crimson Romance (June 04th, 2012)
Pages: 216
Chapters: 33

BLURB:

When former U.S. Marine Adrian Mendez decided to return to his beautiful twin-island homeland of Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean, he didn’t expect to find the woman of his dreams. But one chance encounter with the captivating Cory Phillips was all it took. Adrian quickly realizes once just isn’t enough with this beautiful but feisty island goddess.

Headstrong and set in her own ways, Cory struggles tremendously with the military stereotypes of the island. But when this gorgeous, sensual – and deadly – soldier offers her his help, how could she resist him? After many sultry and pleasure-filled steamy Caribbean nights with Adrian, Cory finds herself going against everything she once believed in.

Their lustful island pursuits lead to a sizzling romance in paradise – but what they both discover about the past threatens to destroy any chance of a happily ever after. Can their love survive this tropical turbulence even as danger and deception lurks?

review

…REVIEW!

This was the author’s debut book. She hails from Trinidad & Tobago where I’m from.

I am a lover of books and sometimes I think I waste money to buy some of these books that are supposed to be good because of bias reviews, but I still go out and buy them anyway. I am a hardcore reader and when I critique, I critique hard regardless of where someone may come from. I take books apart. Yes, you can go ahead and call me the Simon Cowell of reviewing. I kid. I kid. This might be a little chatty (I warned you earlier!).

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The story was easy to read. There was no use of these so-call big words some authors throw in just for the fun of it. The book contained no local dialect either. Either way, this is not my type of book, but I give it a go because the author was local. However, I couldn’t take it seriously and I was easily annoyed as early as chapter 5. I wanted to toss it and I couldn’t wait to reach the last page. The author couldn’t help but mention Cory’s curves in almost every chapter when we first meet her. We got it like the second chapter. She is hot and her behind is her prized asset. It was something that was established when she went to the police station to make the report about her stolen car.

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For some reason, it was hard for me to like Cory. I couldn’t even take her seriously because of the name. Also, she was childish and emotionless. She was giving me a nervous breakdown. As for Adrian, I didn’t find anything sensual about him and never warmed up to him. And any fool can see that Jay was her closet, erm, I mean, her closest friend. And because the author was so focused on Adrian and Cory, there was not even a little background on honest to gay Jay.

With the focus on the main characters, there was no room for secondary ones.

Take, for example, the friendship between Cory and Kerry. Cory had hurt her feelings at the stadium during a concert by just literally RUBBING her boy toy (at the time) in her friends’ faces and felt rather smug about it. Kerry stormed off and Cory didn’t even make an attempt to go after her or to contact her after she cooled down to talk after dropping that bomb. She went on her own merry sweet way. I really, really, really disliked Cory. No emotion in the friendship department but when she got hurt, the drama queen in her went overboard. The author could have expanded on Kerry and Cory’s friendship a little bit more.

In my opinion, Cory was easy and I hate desperate female characters. Don’t people date, hold hands, and kiss on their 4th or 5th date in books anymore? Those days when women were ladies and played hard to get … I want them back!

This book got on my very last nerves and as of now, I am thinking of launching it across my room.

Quotes:

> It wasn’t dubbed the greatest show on earth for nothing. Introduced to the island by French settlers, Carnival was one of the biggest street parties in the world …

Chapter 15; Page 94

I keep telling ignorant people about the French settlers and Carnival, but they just don’t know their history.

> Besides, which man on this island didn’t drink alcohol?

Chapter 9; Page 54

Oooh! How I disliked this line! I dislike stereotypes so much! There are TONS of men on this island who don’t indulge in alcohol. TONS I say!

RATING:

2

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