I’ve Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella October 2014

Published By: The Dial Press

Year of Publication: 2012

Categories: Non Fiction, Chick Lit.

Pages: 433

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading 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 realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Review:

You know when you need that fun, light, easy to read book to just relax with and not thing about? Well this is one of those books. While I love my historical fiction, thriller, and non fiction books, I also like chick lit once in awhile. It’s almost like a guilty pleasure.

Poppy was a great main character. I could see bits of myself in her (maybe that’s why I liked her). She wants to make everyone happy, which ends up being impossible and leads to some interesting situations. You see her grow a lot throughout the book, from wanting to impress Magnus’ family to figuring out what will make her happy. It would have been easier for her to go with the flow, but she decides to be authentic to herself by the end of the book.

Dating is never easy, and it’s certainly not easy for Poppy. It’s always fun to hear about dating horror stories from my friends and coworkers. There are definitely a few cringe worthy parts in I’ve Got Your Number. I know I’ve had a few bad dates, so it’s always kind of comforting to read about someone else’s awkward moments even if they’re not real.

I love Sophie Kinsella books, and this one was no different. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s fun, this is the book for you.

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jo's Boys

Published By: Little, Brown

Date of Publication: 1886

Categories: Classic, Fiction, Series, YA

Pages: 336

Summary (from goodreads.com): In the culmination of the Little Women stories, Jo’s Boys depicts the girls and boys of Plumfield as young men and women who are facing problems and seeking happiness in life. The original twelve boys are scattered, but all come wandering back from the four corners of the earth to tell their stories and reminisce over the pleasures of the past.

Review: Let me start off my saying that I put off reading this book for months. Months! I felt like when I finished it the world of Jo, Meg, Amy, Laurie, and all the boys and girls would be over. Forever. I didn’t want that to happen. I can’t be the only one who’s sad about reading the last book in a series, can I?

When I finally finished it, I was glad I had finally read it. There was a lot more about the March family than there was in the first one. The boys came and went as they came home to visit. It was great to hear what they did with their lives, the trouble they got themselves into, and the people they met along the way (even some wives!).

I have to admit that Dan was my favourite from Little Men, and he remained my favourite in this book. I don’t want to say too much about what happened to him, but I did want to say that I never thought he would go through the ordeal that he did. I think it made me like him even more.

While I definitely think you can read Little Women, and even Little Men on their own, you absolutely need to read Little Men to understand what’s going on in this book. There are lots of references to the boys’ earlier adventures in this one, and half the fun is thinking back to what happened in Little Men.

In the end, am I happy I read this book? Definitely. But I’m also a little lot sad that there’s no more to come in the lives of the March’s. I know everything there is to know. There won’t be any sequels. It’s the same way I felt when I finished the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Image: Goodreads

Disclosure: I bought this book from my local used bookstore.

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Published By: Little, Brown

Date of Publication: 1871

Categories: Classic, Fiction, Series, YA

Pages: 344

Summary (from goodreads.com): Follows the adventures of Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer as they try to make their school for boys a happy, comfortable, and stimulating place.

Review: I have to start off by admitting that even though Little Women is one of my all time favourite books, I didn’t know it was the first in a trilogy until a couple years ago.

Not too long ago I found the second and third books in the same edition as my copy of Little Women at a used bookstore. As soon as I saw them, I knew that I needed to get them. Now I have the complete collection in matching covers. Yes, that makes me happy.

I was a little disappointed when I first started reading. I thought it was going to be a continuation of Little Women, with the plot centering on the March sisters, Jo, Amy, and Meg. However it is mostly about the school that Jo has established with Professor Bhaer at Plumbfield. The other sisters are mentioned (as is Laurie, who even makes a few appearances), but the book focuses on the students in Jo’s care. However as I got more into the book I enjoyed getting to know the boys and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen.

The writing was just as good as in Little Women. The little adventures around the school as just as much fun to read about as the shenanigans that happened in the March house in the previous book.

If you’ve read Little Women and enjoyed it, I would definitely recommend reading Little Men.

Image: Me.

Disclosure: I bought this book from my local used bookstore.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Published By: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: May 10, 2011

Categories: Contrmporary, Fiction, Mental Illness, YA

Pages: 359

Summary (from goodreads.com):

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can’t believe she’s finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole’s small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose “love” she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose – between her “true love” and herself.

Review: I’ll start off by saying that I had a really hard time putting this book down. I found myself saying “just ten more pages”, but I couldn’t stop at ten, I had to read more. The pacing was great and it was well thought out.

The descent into the abusive relationship happened slowly and with Alex hardly even knowing what was going on. That’s how it happens in real life too. Once Alex does realize what’s going on, she can hardly believe it. Cole is her boyfriend, he wouldn’t treat her like that, would he? I thought it was very well researched. All the things that Cole does are warning signs for abuse.

I think Bitter End ends up tackling a really tough issue, but does so without being preachy or melodramatic. The characters all felt very genuine, and their actions and how they reacted to things that happened felt very real. Because of the amazing characters (especially Alex) it was a powerful read, one that I think most teen aged girls can relate to.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I received this book for review.

Wake by Lisa McMann

Published By: Simon Pulse

Date of Publication: March 4 2008

Categories:Fiction, Series, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 210

Summary (from goodreads.com): For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant.

Review: I read this book in an afternoon – the first time I’ve ever done that with a book. I just couldn’t put it down.

Janie is a very likable main character. She knows what she wants and is willing to put the hard work in to get it, whether it’s taking control of her “problem”, working hard at school to get good grades, or working a job at a nursing home to save up the money to go to university.

Cabel is definitely the kind of guy that I would have liked in high school. In fact, I might have had a crush on a guy that sounds pretty similar to what Cabel is like – right down to the long hair (what can I say, it was high school). I love guys who you have to work to get to know, that are holding something back, that have a deep dark secret. They’re so much interesting than happy go lucky guys. I really enjoyed reading about him.

As much as I liked both Janie and Cabel, I felt like their relationship progressed a little too fast for me. It seems like they went from not talking to each other to kissing and holding hands almost over night. It felt like they skipped a couple steps. But once I figured out where their relationship was, I really liked them together. I’m hoping that I’ll get to read more about the two of them together in the next book in this series, Fade.

I thought the story was really original too. I’ve read a couple other books about dreams, but this one was totally different, and had a great spin on the powers that Janie had. I’m interested to see how Janie uses those powers later on in the series.

I recently read Cryer’s Cross, also by Lisa McMann, and found the writing styles between this one and Cryer’s Cross really different. Surprisingly though, I really liked both of them. So if you didn’t like one try reading the other one, you just might like it.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Published By: Simon Pulse

Date of Publication:  February 8 2011

Categories:Fiction, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 233

Summary (from goodreads.com): The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on… until Kendall’s boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it’s crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear…and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating…and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico’s mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

Review: I’ve now read three of Lisa McMann’s books, and I have to say that Cryer’s Cross is my favorite. I loved everything about it.

I really enjoy reading books about mental illness. It’s something that you can’t see on the outside, but probably affects people just as much as a physical illness. I wasn’t disappointed in Kendall’s portrayal of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I thought it was very real, while at the same time being something that I could understand.

One thing that I really liked was the friendship that evolved between Kendall and Jacian. It didn’t happen overnight, like I feel happens sometimes. It had a rocky beginning, until things started to fall into place.

I liked that Kendall’s romance (I won’t say who it is, cause I don’t want to give anything away), didn’t happen immediately. It happened slowly and very naturally. It took work to get there. I loved being able to take every step with the both of them. It was a lot more fun as a reader to read it that way than it is if it happens all of a sudden.

I found it hard to put this book down. It was tough to pull myself away from it. I haven’t felt like that about a book in awhile, so it was great to have that with Cryer’s Cross.

If you’re looking for a very creepy book to read, I would definitely recommend Cryer’s Cross.

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Published By: Harper Collins

Date of Publication: February 15, 2011

Categories:Fiction, Mystery, Series, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 368

Summary (from goodreads.com):

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Review: I was really looking forward to reading this sequel after reading The Body Finder. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Violet and Jay’s relationship was still just as cute as ever, without being over flowery. I really liked that when they’re together they’re so perfect for each other, but they still manage to be able to get along without each other too. The characters aren’t based on each other, so they’re still interesting when they’re apart. I have to admit that Jay is one of my favorite YA boyfriends.

One thing that I really like about Violet’s character is that she’s a strong, independent female main character. I’ve read book after book where the main character is nothing like Vioelet (sometimes it works, but often it doesn’t), so it was a lot of fun to have Violet back again. She doesn’t sit around and wait for someone else bigger and stronger to save the day when she’s in trouble. She does something about it herself.

One part of the story that I really enjoyed and thought kept it fresh was the FBI storyline. I thought it was interesting to see how Violet reacted to that. I’m excited to see where that goes in the next book.

In terms of the mystery part of this book, I have to admit that for me it fell a little short of The Body Finder, although it wasn’t bad at all – it just wasn’t as creepy as the first one.

If you’re looking for a book with great characters, a really sweet relationship, a paranormal component, and a mystery, this is definitely the book for you.

Click here to check out my review of the first book in this series, The Body Finder.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.