Posts Tagged ‘blogher book club’

Just Finished: Touch & Go {BlogHer Book Club}

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

I didn’t really realize how long it had been since I read a good thriller/mystery novel until I cracked the (virtual) spine on Lisa Gardner’s Touch & Go. I enjoyed it quite a lot and it kept me guessing until the end. There were lots of zigs and zags and plot twists a plenty. That said, I don’t really know how to review a who-done-it with out giving things away. As a dedicated hater of review spoilers myself, I will try and keep things vague.

The book is about a kidnapping – not a spoiler because it happens 10 pages in. Which is nice, I hate it when you have to wait through several chapters leading up to a kidnapping when the kidnapping is listed on the back of the book. It builds the wrong kind of tension for me. I thought the structure in the book flowed well for a book that shows the victim and law enforcement side of an event. Plus flashblacks! And yet it all flowed together very well, it sort of had a victim point-of-view, flashback, law enforcement point-of-view, flashback composition that actuall worked very well.

I got invested in all of the characters and was definitely rooting for people along the way. This is where I have to tread even more carefully, I would not necessarily say that the ending was satisfactory, but it was surely conclusive. I have never been a fan of a mystery with a wishy washy ending and Lisa Garder does not do that in Touch & Go. This would be a great airplane/car trip read because it makes the time fly by when you read it.  It is near paperback price for the kindle release ($12.99), so no need to be a wait for it to get cheaper holdout.

There will be a monthlong discussion on BlogHer book club’s website, join in here: Does Pain Have a Flavor?

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own. They don’t insist we like the book. Really.

Just Finished: Here I Go Again {BlogHer Book Club}

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I just finished Jen Lancaster’s Here I Go Again and I can say in all honesty that I loved it. I know this is BlogHer Book Club/sponsored, but liking the book it not a requirement.  It’s fun. It’s breezy and would be a great vacation or airplane read. In all honesty, I don’t read her blogs and I haven’t read her other books, so I don’t know how it compares.

I saw a review on amazon that likened Here I Go Again that summed it up thusly: like a cross between Mean Girls and Peggy Sue Got Married. The reviewer means it as an insult, but I think it sums up why I like it. I mean, the concepts of time travel and horribl high school girls aren’t necissarily the most underutiilzed concepts in fiction, but I think she puts a decent spin on them. I didn’t guess the ending from 50 pages in.

I also loved the pop culture references in Here I Go Again as they are mostly the same as my touchstones. I graduated high school the same year as the protaganist. I wasnt’ popular by any means, but the tv and music references were all ones I relate to. Although, I would take issue with the indication that people thought Patrick Dempsey was attractive at the time of Can’t Buy Me Love’s release. Most people were plesantly surprised when he turned up McDreamily on Grey’s Anatomy years later. Overall, though, I found Jen Lancaster to be a charming, if slightly obviously acerbic, author and will look for some of her other books.

Here I Go Again is a good book, entertaining and a quick read. Because it is on the fluffier side of the fiction spectrum, dare I call it “chick lit,” maybe get it from the library or wait for paperback. Or share it with lots of friends. I like to spend hardback money on re-readers.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Just Finished: The Willpower Instinct {BlogHer BookClub}

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I had my doubts about The Willpower Instinct. I love nonfiction, but don’t tend to enjoy self-help. Luckily, The Willpower Instinct read more like the former than the latter. It was chock full of interesting tidbits of information as well as tools to improve your approach to life, if one is so inclined. As an added bonus, author Kelly McGonigal writes in an especially user friendly voice for someone presenting research information.

The book is based on a course the author teaches through Stanford University’s continuing education program and is structured with chapters meant to emulate each week of the course, both lecture and assignment. It’s a ton of information to take in and the author suggests either tackling a chapter a week or skimming the book entirely and then going back and attempting the exercises. I opted for the second approach.

I think my favorite chapter was Too Tired to Resist: Why Self Control Is Like a Muscle and that is going to be my first self-assigned chapter. There were lots of small actionable steps for those of us (like me!) completely devoid of willpower. The License to Sin chapter was fascinating too. I ended up reading big chunks of it aloud to my husband in the car. Did you know that when there is a healthy option on a menu, people are more likely to choose the most fattening thing? Crazy.

I would say fans of nonfiction should definitely pick this one up even if they think their self might not need improving. It’s a super interesting read. Check out BlogHer Book Clubs first discussion topic, What is your willpower challenge?, and join in the fun!


This is a paid review for, but all opinions expressed are my own.


Just Finished: Reflected In You

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

If people going in to Reflected in You expecting 50 Shades of Grey, they will and won’t be disappointed. Reflected In You is the second book in the Crossfire series, the first is Bared to You. I’m going to treat them as a unit so as to not spoil it for people who This book is heavy on the sex and lacking in the bondage, so it all depends on what floats your boat or rocks your van or whatever. In addition to the abundance of sexy times, the plot is remarkable similar too.

Girl meets super rich and powerful man, there is a whirlwind romance, lots of sex, and then something gets in the way. SHOCKER. The notable differences between Reflected in You and 50 Shades is the female protagonist. In this one, instead of a sheltered fresh faced straight out of college virgin, we have a wordly fresh faced straight out of college via rehab socialite. So different, you guys.

Well, to be fair, the writing is a bit better in Reflected In You and the sex is tamer, but there might be more of it. I wish I had kept count from the beginning how many times fist was used as a verb. It was used in the context of grabbing hair, never the sex act, but it made me laugh every single time.

I’m not sure where this falls on the would I recommend it. For people who like voluminous, but fairly vanilla sex – sure. Having sex in the back of a moving car is considered racy. For a lover of kinky erotica? Probably not. I think this one comes down to an “I recommend it if you can get it for free” sort of feeling. I read the first two books in the series. If you like the first, you will like the second and the reverse holds true.

Reflected in You will be discussed this month as part of BlogHer’s Book Club. Follow the discussion here.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.


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