Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Yesterday night I started reading Adorkable by Sarra Manning, please notice that I mentioned in my previous post that I no longer read YA but Sarra Manning female characters aren’t just teenagers they are feminist and there is nothing innocent about them, their cheekiness is what makes them so fun and Jeane Smith is no exception.

ADORKABLE

So Far I like it but I only read 30 pages or so and I can already tell that this Michael character is too mellow for my taste (and looks ugly on the cover), he isn’t toxic at all and that I can tell will be an issue for me.

However I am picturing him as the actor from “Seducing Mr Perfect” (urgh…yuck, did I watch that too?):

Daniel Henney

Not bad, right? Em

Got myself a kindle

I haven’t written here for a very long time but this blog is still alive (just renewed my domain), more important: I got myself a kindle and I am back in the reading arena.

I haven’t checked out your blogs in a while so If a great do-not-miss unputdownable novel was released in the last year I wouldn’t be aware of it.

I saw today that Sarra Manning released  Adorkable and I got it from amazon, I also saw that she suggest a few novels on her blog and got some of them also :)

What else?

This summer I re-read I capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and fell in love with Cassy (again & again)

 It seems that I no longer enjoy YA novels, we all know how impossible it is to find a well written chick lit page turner so here are some suggestions:

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane, so very  very english

 My One and Only by Kristan Higgins, so far my favorite by Higgins, cannot help myself: I love Divorce attorneys

 As it’s now available as kindle edition I strongly recommend Body Check by Deirdre Martin, it’s one of my favorite romances.

Purely based on my personal ranking of BEST SASSY HEROINES ever, Janna MacNeil fits all the requirements: she is smart, she has money, she isn’t looking for prince charming, she is persistent, she is a no-nonsense kind of girl, she has a sense of humor, she is urban as opposite to paranormal .

Talk Soon

Em

Nine Uses for an ex-boyfriend by Sarra Manning

I have been an avid Sarra Manning’s supporter and reader for many many years.

I devoured Diary of a Crush (Ya Trilogy), Guitar Girl,  Let’s Get Lost, Nobody’s Girl and I was thrilled when she started writing adult romance, I absolutely adored Unsticky, I enjoyed You don’t have to say you love me so so so it really pains me to say that I really disliked Nine Uses for an ex-boyfriend.

Recently I only reviewed books that I liked, I have very little time and I have been sleeping poorly for ages (yeah my one year old daughter believes that sleeping is a waste of time, but that’s another story :)) but I have to say something about  Nine Uses for an ex-boyfriend because I am afraid that some readers might pick up this one (as their first try at Sarra Manning) and think “nah, not my thing”.

I did the same in the past with a few authors (Paige Toon, Kristan Higgings, …) and I am glad that after initial disappointment I picked up other books and loved them.

Don’t give up on Sarra Manning!

From Goodreads:

Hope Delafield hasn’t always had an easy life. She has red hair and a temper to match, as her mother is constantly reminding her. She can’t wear heels, is terrified of heights and being a primary school teacher isn’t exactly the job she dreamed of doing, especially when her class are stuck on the two times table.

At least Hope has Jack, and Jack is the God of boyfriends. He’s sweet, kind, funny, has a killer smile, a cool job on a fashion magazine and he’s pretty (but in a manly way). Hope knew that Jack was The One ever since their first kiss after the Youth Club Disco and thirteen years later, they’re still totally in love. Totally. They’re even officially pre-engaged. And then Hope catches Jack kissing her best friend Susie…

My problem, my big big problem with this book is that it doesn’t have that un-put-down-ability factor that I crave when I decide to buy a Sarra Manning’s book, it was actually boring due to poor characterization, weak storyline, a “who-cares” sort of romance.

Yes Jack is annoying, Hope is hopeless but I cannot  put my finger on what exactly doesn’t work, let’s say I was bored from start to finish.

Yet when Manning’s new book will be released I’ll be there to buy it, she is great, she wrote so many great books that I will pretend that I haven’t read this one, it won’t spoil my love for Sarra.

Other reviews:

Book Harbinger

Handwritten Girl

Em

Johnny be good & Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon

One of the best chick lit duo ever!

An if you haven’t read Johnny be good when it was first released you are so so lucky because you can buy those two books together and won’t have to suffer a few years the way I had to.

Those books aren’t perfect and I’ll come to that soon but they have a strength that few chick lits seem to achieve those days: compelling characters, great storyline and a generous amount of swoon factor.

From Amazon:

If your boss was the hottest rock star on the planet, would you mix business with pleasure? I’m Meg Stiles. This is my leaving party. And that song we’re making a mockery of? That’s written by one of the biggest rock stars in the world. And I’m moving in with him tomorrow. Seriously! I am not even joking. Well, maybe I’m misleading you a little bit. You see, I haven’t actually met him yet …No, I’m not a stalker. I’m his new PA. His Personal Assistant. And I am off to La-La Land. Los Angeles. The City of Angels – whatever you want to call it – and I can’t bloody believe it! Celebrity PA to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg’s glam new life in sun-drenched LA is a whirlwind of showbiz parties and backstage passes. Cool, calm Christian, in town to write his famous friend’s biography, helps keep Meg’s feet firmly on the ground. But with Johnny’s piercing green eyes and a body Brad Pitt would kill for, how long will it be before she’s swept right off them again?

I was hooked on page 1, I love love love when HIM is a rock star … now if this was real life and I was Meg Stiles or she was a friend of mine I would say “RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN” except I am an helpless romantic, I will probably stay thinking that I can change the man, no matter how bad things are.

Things are very  bad, Meg suffers humiliations that no woman deserves, Johnny Jefferson has a good heart but he is seriously messed up, so why does Meg stick around?

She is in love, she is experiencing the same sort of love addiction that teens experience, that  ALL or NOTHING feeling, that “Love will tear us apart” obsession (except they haven’t been together yet but you know what I mean).

How could she not? Johnny Jefferson it’s one of those characters that you will love or hate (and if you were a Peeta’s fan you’ll probably dislike him, just saying), needless to say he is a favorite of mine as chick lit goes.

Yes, I am twisted like that.

And to be honest I enjoy a novel where characters are flawed, they cheat, they lie, they have sex without thinking a bazillion times if it’s the right thing to do, they go with the flow . It’s refreshing.

I stated before how much I dislike those novels in which she stars as damsel-in-distress and he plays the good natured saviour who will fix everything and beyond if only he can get her to trust him.

I like Trouble.

I also really like Christian, Johnny’s best friend, a music journalist who is writing Johnny’s bio, not just a supporting character but a key player in the story.

Unfortunately he is no trouble, just kidding , he is very likeable, you’ll love him.

Meg is a genuine character, she tells us her story and she is great fun to listen to, I could really relate to her humor,  her disappointments, her sadness, her choices.

Except when it comes to Baby Be Mine I cringed for the first 100 pages or so, I didn’t like Meg very much, she does the unthinkable, a deception that I could never forget, let alone forgive no matter her reasons.

The ending of Johnny be good is one of those that will let you disappointed, make sure you have the sequel or you’ll suffer  for a few days, get those characters out of your mind it will take a few days, you’ll want to start Baby Me Mine ASAP.

Now Johnny B. Goode  is among the most widely covered rock and roll songs in history, I like the Sex Pistols version, love their energy…chose you pick, there are so many !

Apart from the first 100 pages or so in Baby Be Mine (where something really twisted happens) those novels deal with addiction, alchool, drugs, rehab … it’a all far to simple and superficial but hey it’s a chick lit and I am more than willing to enjoy myself, I don’t need a real account of what happens when people deal with this sort of addictions.

Overall it’s a MUST READ for me, it deserves 5/5 because it’s really really absorbing and every time I start a new book that’s what I am looking for, something that can grip my heart and keep hold of it, I am glad to say that this is exactly what happened.

Casting Call:

Joe Anderson as Johnny (Am I the only one who has a massive crush on him?)

Amanda Peet  as Meg

Ryan Gosling ad Christian:

Other reviews:
Em

If I were a ya character

I would be Jessica Darling .

Yesterday evening I saw Perfect Fifths on the floor in my room, I picked it up and read a few pages…I spent most of the night awake re-reading a book that for many years now has been one of my favorites.

I love The Jessica Darling Series, I am particularly in love with Perfect Fifths, I find it different, surreal and yet so real, it makes me long for that sort of meaningless  conversations that mean everything at some point in life.

Jessica and Marcus are so compelling, I wish there was more to this series, I am sure they are not together right now in their thirties but it’s only temporary and sooner or later they’ll find their happy ending.

How is it that ya series never turn into adult series? I want to see what happens when characters get my age and then older,  I especially  miss Jessica and Marcus.

I miss them a lot.

Who would you be if you were a ya character?

Em

I’ve got your number: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Believe me or not I’ve got your number was released in Italy a few months ago (translation: Ho il tuo numero) , it hasn’t been released in english yet.

The original english version is usually the one I prefer but desperate times call for desperate measures and I needed something fun & entertaining, I knew I could rely on Sophie Kinsella.

From Goodreads:

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her ‘happy ever after’ begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

First of all it’s not that UNPREDICTABLE (stop here , spoilers are coming)…I read lots of romantic novels and I am always able to predict who ends up with who by page 10, what’s intriguing is how they end up together.

I’ve got your number is Kinsella at her best: fun & light & romantic & entertaining, I read it in 2 days.

Sam Roxton is DREAMY, not the sort of businessman I ever had the pleasure to work with, he is confident and a little obnoxious, loyal, has a dry sense of humor, has a BIG HEART when it matters.

So far Sam Roxton is my favorite male character created by Sophie Kinsella, this is saying something considering I read them all.

Poppy Whyatt isn’t Becky Bloomberg, she is a little too cute for my taste however she can get carried away and create some exhilarating situations.

Sam and Poppy work really well together, they find themselves sharing a phone for a while, reading each others emails and texts, developing a friendship.

… and then there is a beautifully written scene, I could feel the  butterflies in my stomach, and the ending…oh the ending! is spectacular.

It made me laugh a lot, plus as I mentioned I became very fond of Sam, it always happens when I read a novel written by Mrs Kinsella, by the end of the book we know a lot about HER and not to much about HIM so I sort of wish for a sequel in which I get to know Sam better.

It would be perfect on screen (if if if…I hated Confession of a Shopaholic, the movie!)

Enjoy

My grade: 4/5

Em

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Summer time is for romance so before I left for my long summer vacation (benefit of being on maternity leave) I spent some time on goodreads looking for something good and I stumbled upon “Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire.

From  Goodreads:

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

This book is like crack” says Torie on Goodreads and I can’t agree more.

It’s not healthy for you  (and you know it) but it’s impossible to  stay away until it’s OVER .

Everything about this story is really quite absurd, not that I have anything against this per sè  but while reading Beautiful Disaster I wasn’t feeling good about myself and especially about feeding my brain with this material, it can’t be good and yet it’s very good and juicy in all the right places.

Travis Maddox is uber sexy, fully aware of his hotness, a fighter who wants to major in criminal law, one of those “larger than life” character, nothing is subtle about his personality and I  usually don’t like this sort of hero (the sort that always behaves as expected, the two-dimensional hero) but somehow you can’t help sympthazing for Travis .

Abby Abernathy is supposed to display some kind of complexity, truth is I found her quite annoying.

Beautiful Disaster isn’t a character-driven novel, it’s a relationship-driven novel  and considering how many contradictions you can find in this story I will say that the title is PERFECT.

So why did I recommend this book in my previous post (a mention that intrigued Janicu who after came up with her review … do yourself a favor and read it!)?

I do think that if you have to spend a few hours on a flight or waiting in a doctor’s hall Beautiful Disaster will distract you completely, if you are feeling bored it will surely help to ease the feeling (more like dissipating it) , it’s juicy.

Your brain won’t like it but your guts will appreciate it so there must be something good in here :)

Em

A brief Summary

I can’t believe that my last post here was written more than one year ago!

For those of you who are interested here it’s a brief summary of my 2011:

* in february I moved back to Milan and for a while we had been renting a VERY little place in Milan;

* in may I had a baby, her name is Carola and she is almost six month old, here it’s a picture of us on vacation:

I had a natural childbirth because by the time I arrived to the hospital it was too late for an epidural, it was better & faster than expected…would I do it again? Next time I’ll make sure to be on time for my epidural :)

* I read a TON of books about babies (The baby whisperer by Tracy Hogg, a book by William and Marta Sears, Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach and many others) , currently I am exclusively breastfeeding but weaning will be staring soon.  I am lucky because my little Caro is a very sweet baby who sleeps  through the night and sometimes takes a long nap in the early afternoon;

* during the summer we moved again (this time it’s our place, no more renting!) and we are currently decorating, we bought paint & stencils on-line, it’s hard work but great fun:

Right now I am on maternity leave but I don’t really have too much time for reading and reviewing,  here are a few books that I recently read:

Jane by April Lindner, Angie was right, I really enjoyed this retelling of Jane Eyre, although I am not crazy about the original one

You don’t have to say you love me by Sarra Manning, surprisingly I did not love this one, Neve and Max sort of got on my nerves but I must admit that I still haven’t come across a book by Sarra Manning that isn’t utterly compelling and somehow juicy

Pug Hill by Alison Pace, not my kind of story… I was bored from the beginning to the end

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, I completely agree with a few reviews that I found on Goodreads: THIS BOOK IS LIKE CRACK

The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a keeper! Now I understand what all the fuss was about, I loved it

My one and only by Kristin Higgins, I regard myself as a very picky reader when it comes to contemporary romance… I love the concept but actual books often disappoint me, this was not the case with My one and only, it’s really really fun

Ciao

Em

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles and all sort of things

Oh I missed being here, hopefully I will start post regularly again  although nothing is quite settled right now I’m my life, I rent an apartment in Milan and one in Dublin, my husband is currently in London, I have a new manager and my team will probably undergo a re-organization (again!), and I will  soon have very BIG NEWS…I am so looking forward to december, this year I simply CANNOT WAIT but as my mum says “Patience is ‘the’ virtue of the strong ones” (italian idiom “la pazienza è la virtù dei forti“).

So here it’s the thing about Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles, I was hoping for distraction but all I got is a mild sense of annoyance, Carlos got on my nerves due to his self absorbed personality and poor listening skills, I couldn’t get into him and this is a big issue because this is a romance so the main male character is the focal point of everything.

This is not entirely Elkeles’s fault, it’s clearly one of those situations in which I read a good book at the wrong moment, lately I’ve been noticing that people always say “I am here if you need to talk” but are they really there? Don’t they just pretend for a few minutes so that they can then have their payback time which might take hours if I am the one listening on the other side of the coffee table.

Ok I am rambling… back to Carlos and Kiara all I can say is that attraction might have been in the air (not as overwhelming as in Perfect Chemistry) but love surely was missing and if the epilogue didn’t bother me too much in PC, here I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “not again“.

I am quoting the super-quotable Carla:

because we all know there is a BIG difference between love and lust and I just never felt like they crossed that particular line, I felt like I was told they did”

Precisely!

The opposites-attract routine never fails me but this time Kiara was a little too nice and understanding, I would have appreciated some  attitude.

Plus the whole sub-plot regarding gangs’ dynamics wasn’t engaging , it felt a bit like something that Elkeles had to throw in there somehow without too much conviction.

Other reviews:

The Crooked Shelf

Chachic’s Book Nook

Angieville

The YA YA YAs

My grade: 3/5

Em

Blog On Hiatus

You might have noticed that I’ve been lurking on your blogs but I have temporarily deserted mine.

This blog will be silent for a while (it could be one more week or one more month) I hope to be back soon and I look forward to catching up with you on your blogs.

Those days I am only reading 5 pages a day and no, it’s not a reading slump as Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is painfully good but I am in the middle of far too many projects (and changes) so  I shamefully admit defeat , I am unable to keep up with everything so …  talk you soon!

Em