Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coffee. Cinnamon Rolls. Books.

Coffee: Seattle's Best (boldness: 4)

Delicious. Dark roast. Perfect for the morning pick-me-up.

Cinnamon Rolls: Rhode's

Easy. With coupon, only $1.50. Perfect for the lazy Saturday morning breakfast.

Books: Used Bookstore Liquidation Sale

I bought a lot of books. Oops. See photos below.

When I went to the sale the first time, all
books were 75% off the publisher's
price. I paid just a couple of dollars for each
of these books.

On my second trip to the store, the price for each
book had been slashed to just $1. Can you blame me
for buying 21?!?!?
In total, these are the books I purchased from Second Pages.
It's going to take me a year to get through them all, but I'm
eager to start! :)

Book Review: Exposed

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're having a lovely weekend! I'm finally getting a little time off to relax, after working 12 straight days. Woot woot!

I've snuck in the slightest bit of reading time here and there when I can. I've won three novels through Goodreads' First Reads program, and accidentally purchased around 30 new books this month. One of our local used bookstores is going out of business because the owner is moving. She had marked down all books in the store to be 75% off the publisher's price, so just a couple of dollars here and there. I bought 14. Because the store closes at the end of the month, she's slashed prices again. All books are $1. A dollar!!! I can't not stock up! This is the perfect time to be purchasing those "junk food" novels that I run through so quickly. So, I purchased 20-something. Terrible... I also bought a bookshelf. I have a cheap bookshelf from Wal Mart that is trying really hard to fall apart on me after only having it for a year and being moved once. The bookshelf I bought is the same size as my old one, but much sturdier.

Anyway, below is my review for Exposed:

The Goodreads Summary for Exposed by Ashely Weis:

Allyson Graham, marriage counselor and lover of love, lived a life of romance few could imagine. Until her husband's secret addiction stared at her from the computer screen. Will she be able to forgive the man who lied to her all of those precious years?

Follow her painful story alongside the heartbreaking story of Taylor Adams, a young girl searching for her worth in the world. As Allyson struggles to forgive her husband for lying about his addiction, Taylor naively falls into the same self-destructive industry and discovers that the attention and fun is nothing like she thought it would be.

Take a journey with these two women as they find out that God really does have a purpose in every storm.

Exposed: A NovelAshley Weis' novel Exposed is a well-written, fast-paced novel. Weis examines the fictional lives of two women: Allyson Graham and Taylor Adams. Allyson's character, although somewhat of a drama queen, reacts to her husband's addiction in the way I imagine most women would. Taylor is very much a predictable, cliche character. Her daddy issues have lead her to working in the porn industry, and she has dismissed all religion from her life. The novel was tastefully written, and minimally graphic.

The pace of the book kept me thinking about it whenever I couldn't read it. I was definitely "hooked". I did find it to be predictable and, at times, super cliche. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, because I feel there should have been a few more pages of development.

The surprising part of the novel for me was that this is Christian Fiction. I had not expected that, based on the description on the back. Weis does a wonderful job of incorporating Christianity without making it consume the storyline in the novel.

I recommend this novel for anyone interested in reading a racier Christian Fiction novel, or anyone who is going through the same situations as the two main characters.

Here are my stats:

Exposed by Ashley Weis
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 318
2011 Reading Goal: 8374/12500

Have a happy Saturday, everyone! :)

FTC disclosure: Through Goodreads' First Reads Program, I received a free copy of Exposed from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: The 6th Target

 Hello again, readers!

I'm trying really hard to get caught up on my book reviews, since I know I'll be absent for a few weeks starting Saturday. Today I completed John Grisham's The Last Juror, so watch for that as my next review.

At the beginning of this month I read The 6th Target by James Patterson. It's his sixth novel in the Women's Murder Club series. Below is the Goodreads summary:

When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women's Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt. And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department run flat-out to stop a series of kidnappings that has electrified the city: children are being plucked off the streets together with their nannies--but the kidnappers aren't demanding ransom. Amid uncertainty and rising panic, Lindsay juggles the possibility of a new love with an unsolvable investigation, and the knowledge that one member of the club could be on the brink of death. And just when everything appears momentarily under control, the case takes a terrifying turn, putting an entire city in lethal danger. Lindsay must make a choice she never dreamed she'd face--with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.

What was different about this particular novel in the series is that I felt it revolved much more around Lindsay, and the other three women in the Club were put on the backburner. Without that interaction and drama in the relationships, this novel really juiced more of the criminal acts occurring. Patterson tends to focus on the crimes and catching the bad guy. In The 6th Target, Patterson has decided to follow a court hearing for a crime in the beginning of the novel. Alongside this story is the whodunit, common with Patterson's novels.

Overall, it was a good read. It made me reexamine my thoughts on Lindsay Boxer, the main character. I recommend this novel for anyone following the Women's Murder Club series.

My stats:
The 6th Target by James Patterson
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 390
2011 Reading Goal: 7570/12500

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Seeing Me Naked

Hello again, readers!

I'm sorry to have gotten so far behind in my book reviews! This is a really busy time for me in the realm of Higher Ed. Classes begin next week so I'm catching up on everything that must be done before students arrive, and am working 10 hour days to do so. I'm trying to spend time with the fiance before I hit the road the middle of September. Somewhere in there, I'm trying to squeeze in as much reading as possible, so I stand a chance of meeting my annual reading goal. I apologize for falling behind on my book reviews. I've got a couple to catch up on, so hopefully that'll be done soon :)

At the beginning of the month I read Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer. This is another one from my B&N binge in June. Here's the Goodreads Summary:

Elisabeth Page is the daughter of Ben Page, yes, that's right, THE world famous novelist. And yes, she's also the sister of Rascal Page, world famous novelist in his own right. So what does Elisabeth do? Much to her family's disappointment, Elisabeth is a pastry chef. And a pretty damn good one, at Beverly, the hottest restaurant in LA.
The last relationship Elisabeth had was with Will, a man she grew up with and whose family ran in the same social circles as her family. But Will's constant jaunts around the world have left her lonely and brokenhearted in L.A.
That is until Daniel Sullivan bids on one of Elisabeth's pastry tutorials at a charity auction. Daniel is everything her family is not: a basketball coach, a non-intellectual, his family doesn't summer on Martha's Vineyard, and the only metaphors he uses are about passing the ball and being a team player. But somehow they fit.
Between her family, Will, and the new cooking show that Elisabeth is recruited to star in, Elisabeth's life is suddenly incredibly new and different—the question is, can she embrace being happy or has her family conditioned her to think she's just not good enough?
Liza Palmer expertly depicts a woman trying to come to terms with professional success, personal success, and finally dealing with a family that might love her from the bottom of their heart but doesn't necessarily have her best interest always at heart.

This book interested me because it sounded as though the story told would be about a strong female character overcoming obstacles and creating her own expectations, rather than following those of society. What I found was a highly bland novel. Elisabeth is not a character I fell in love with. She was underdeveloped and just kind of "there". The storyline seemed too cliche, and the ending didn't develop enough for the reader to see the main character triumph and succeed.

Put simply, the book is 290 pages of background, talking about the main character's family, and depicting the strange family dynamics. The other 6 pages are about Elisabeth, her struggled, and her successes.

While I made it through this novel, it's certainly not one I would recommend.

My stats:
Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer
Rating: 2/5
Pages: 296
2011 Reading Goal: 7,180/12,500

Just last week I posted my first book giveaway! It's got two rules:
1. You must be a "follower" of Leah's Literature and Coffee
2. You must have a US address (sorry, my international friends)
To enter this giveaway or find out more details, visit this post: Giveaway: Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook

I'll be sure to post again as soon as possible. Thanks for following, everyone! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Giveaway: Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook

It's time for my first Giveaway!

I'm really excited to be giving away my gently used copy of Claire Cook's Seven Year Switch. Due to limited funds, this giveaway is open only to US addresses (sorry, my international friends!) Only followers of Leah's Literature and Coffee qualify to win.

To Enter: Fill out the brief form located here. Entries received before 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 31st will qualify to win.

To Find out More about the book, click here to read my review from earlier this summer.

Thank you for entering and good luck! :)