Sunday, March 24, 2013

TV Finales and Cancellations

Finales 3/24/2013

Its the end of March, which means some shows are starting to wind down, finales are coming and in May, all the broadcast stations have announce which shows will be staying and which shows they are canceling. If you have read recent posts, I follow this stuff pretty closely. (if you too are interested in following, tv guide is a good place to look as is

Recently, the Pretty Little Liars, Lying Game, Continuum and Deception Shows all had their season finales. (PLL and LG are on abcfamily and are my guilty pleasures!) Ill give quick reviews of those and a full review on Continuum and Deception.

Pretty Little Liars

I think the finale was pretty good, but Im getting frustrated with all the games. I realize its a tv show and they have to keep the show going, but I wish we could figure out who the hell A is! At this point (and at my age!) Im about ready to give up on these girls. I may not watch next season, it doesnt seem like we are learning enough if anything if 3 seasons. Im thinking they should do a fade out, ending the series with finality. (Unlike Chloe King and Jane by Design) I love the actresses, and I enjoyed the show, especially Mr. Fitz, but I am just ready for it to be over, much like I was with One Tree Hill. Though I will say, Aria and Fitz breaking up was not something I thought would happen, and the ending where Jenna tries to get back at the girls was also  not expected since she hasnt been in this season much. Where can the show really go though?

Lying Game

OMG. I love this show. This show unlike PLL, has something drastic happen every week, like Revenge, and it keeps me interest (for how long Im not sure...) I really love the main character and the sister A LOT. This show always keeps me guessing and trying to figure everything out. I must say, I saw the ending coming (parts of it) I did not see death coming, but I did see that Thayer was not as good as he appeared to be (sucks to be Emma) and I was expecting Ethan and Emma to make everything better...instead he and Sutton seem to be getting closer. Im really glad that Sutton and Emma are close again though and that Ted is involved with them. I cant wait to see if Kristen finds out, and what she does!! I will say however, like Pretty Little Liars, this show can only go on for so long before I get sick of never getting closure.


This show is likely not going to be coming back next season though NBC has not actually specified such. I wont be surprised either way. While I didnt love this show, I didnt hate it either. Similiar to the above shows, this type of plot requires something major to happen pretty much every week, yet at the same time, if you reveal too much, the show would end, so the writers pull and twist you along (Think Lost). At first I really liked this show, then I lost interest, then I liked it again, and so it went the whole season. I loved the male actors. Tate Donovan, and Victor Garber are amazing actors (Alias and Damages!!) but their talents were not put to good use in this show. Meagan Goode was terrible. I liked the plot, and thought it was interesting. And I think the show did a decent job of moving the plot and providing enough information each week without giving it away. The ending was surprising, and Im not entirely sure what even happened. I mean I obviously do, similar to the finale on missing, another incident occurs in order to keep all the same people and characters involved next season, if there is a next season. But I am certain, if there is a next season, which is HIGHLY unlikely, theres no way they could make 22 or 24 episodes out of the cliffhanger and if they did, I wouldnt watch.

OMG OMG OMG. I cant even begin to tell you how in love with this show I am. I freaking love this show. Its a sci-fi show about people coming back from the future. (thats the brief synopsis) And I saw a preview one day and decided sure Ill watch it on demand I have nothing better to do. And I ended up watching 6 more episodes!!! I was hooked. This is the first season and I am sure it will be back for another. Each week there is plenty of Action and plenty of drama and secrets, revealed to the audience. I am so obsessed with this show. It is such a good story!!! The season finale for this show did not disappoint! I was left shocked, with more questions, and excited at the prospect of a new season!!! This is a must watch show for anyone remotely interested in sci-fi with lots of action!

Hunted By Sophie Davis

Hunted by Sophie Davis (Talented Saga Book 3) 4.5 Stars

Hunted (Talented Saga #3)GoodReads Synopsis
In need of a distraction from her best friend's betrayal, Talia agrees to serve as an administrator for the annual Talent Aptitude Tests. She soon learns it isn't the children who are tested she needs to worry about, it’s the ones who aren't. Life altering choices will be made. Loyalties will be tested. When the war begins, which side will Talia choose?

WOW. Im am amazed. I am in shock. I cannot wait for the fourth book to come out this summer!!! I am absolutely in love with this series and this author!!! I think this was the best one so far. It was non stop action, love and drama! Its got more of a cliff hanger than the others but is just as satisfying.

One of the great parts about this book, was that I felt like more of my questions, if not all of my questions were answered. Yet even though they were answered by the end, it was not as the book didnt go anywhere, instead the culmination of all the information that leads the reader into the purpose of the last book. I am really looking forward to the last book!!!

This book was my favorite, I was addicted to the book, I seriously could not put it down. And Im pretty sure that I was dreaming about the book after I finished! (BTW if you look back at past book reviews you can see my picks for Talia, Penny, Erik and Donovan.)

Characters- I thought the character development in this book was better than the last. Mainly because the reader finally gets some answers. Erik and Talia's relationship is what develops the most, and it seems genuine, and fairly normal, all things considered. They grew as individuals and as a couple, especially Talia. At first I was annoyed with her childish antics, and the immaturity, but once we learned why these things were occurring  I felt better about what was going on and their relationship only grew stronger because of it. I loved the changes Talia made, she became so strong by the end of the book I was so impressed!!!

I loved the twists and turns that this book too with everyone involved from Erik to Penny to Donovan to Mac it was so amazing. And Erik and Talia werent the only ones who'd relationship and characters changed and grew. Eriks character also developed, he grew stronger mentally; Donovan also changed, his relationship with Talia but also in general, it may have been minimal but it was noticeable. Mac, his character is more prominent in this book and we really start to see how he has evolved into a control freak for Talia. I never liked him but this book makes me hate him. Ah I loved this book!!!

Story-line/plot- I think the author yet again did a wonderful job of creating the world for the reader with her beautiful words and imaginative writings. It never ceases to amaze how Sophie Davis' writing can create such  a stark vision of the world her characters live in. I also think Sophie Davis is generally talented, it is so difficult as a writer to plant the seeds of a long story throughout numerous novels. Ms. Davis was able to plant seeds starting in the first novel, that were eventually brought out by the third novel, seeds that I started to see grow through the three books and while I had sort of guessed some of these things, it was great to finally know how it the seeds finally grew!!! it was so awesome :-)

Overall, I cant say enough how amazing this book and series is!!! I love this book and the author!!!!

Caged by Sophie Davis

Caged (Talented Saga #2)

Caged By Sophie Davis (Talented Saga Book 2) 4 Stars

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was reading as fast I could to find out who the traitor was and what was wrong with Talia, and generally speaking I wasnt disappointed and Sophie Davis didnt fail to deliver yet again. I am so excited to start the next book, I almost didnt take the time to write this review!

Synopsis (Goodreads):After her brush with death at Ian Crane’s compound, Talia Lyons feels like a prisoner, confined in her childhood home. Plagued with seizures- the result of an unidentified drug injected in her neck by Crane’s men- Talia must put her dream of becoming a Hunter on hold. So when Agency Director McDonough asks Talia to go undercover at the School for the Talented, to find the spy who set the trap for her in Nevada, Talia jumps at the opportunity. 
As Talia becomes more entrenched in her assignment, she quickly learns the lengths that the Agency and Mac will go in the name of war. With Crane’s influence spreading, Talia learns that there are few Operatives without ties to the Coalition. Forced to face hard truths and dangerous conclusions, Talia realizes that it is those closest to her who are hiding the biggest secrets. As the task of finding the traitor becomes more problematic, desperation and frustration rule Talia’s world. It becomes clear that Talia can’t do this alone. But who can she trust, when everyone around her is lying?

 Character Development and Plot Line - I felt that there was something missing in the development of the characters and the stories associated with them. At the end of the book I was left with more questions than I started with, and while part of that is what keeps me reading and wanting to finish the next book, the other part of me is annoyed that some questions from book 1 havent been answered and questions that were forefront in this book werent answered. Donovan's character was one of the better developed characters here, as the reader you get to see him transform from who he was to a better man, who may still have secrets, but is trying to be better especially by Talia. I think we also get to know Erik better, we see him transform into a nice guy, without being overly romantic but a subtle change as his feelings for Talia intensify. Im most disappointed by Penny and Talia. I dont think Talia grew as a character overall in this book. Her ability to control did not seem to get better, and her immaturity still got the best of her (Though thats also what helps her). Penny I felt like I didnt learn much about her at all, and maybe I will in the next book, but as of now, Im still confused as to who she is as a person, as a character. I wont even get started on Mac because he annoys me the most, Talia doesnt stand up to him and his mischievous ways and it bugs me, she stands up to everyone but him! Regardless of all the above, I was highly entertained by the novel, the action, the drama, the lies!!! It kept me moving through the book, ignoring the world around me in order to find out what happened!!

The author did not disappoint. She continued to write and imaginative as the first book. Again, I felt that the story line moved at the appropriate speed, there wasnt much "left out" meaning, I felt like whatever she didnt write to close it off, was on purpose (I guess Ill find out soon!) and I was impressed with how alive her scenes and the feelings she wrote came alive. I enjoyed that the characters relationships built over time, and not in one instant or scene. I enjoyed that she made sure that every detail was included so that the reader gets the full picture from Talia's perspective. I truly enjoy her writing and look forward to more of her books!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Talented by Sophie Davis

Talented Saga Book 1 by Sophie Davis- 4 Stars

Talented (Talented Saga #1)


Synopsis (Goodreads): When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... Talia herself.
Her greatest asset may also be her undoing;  Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal. She must regain the  determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life.  And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book. I must say I was really surprised at how much I liked the book, and I am really looking forward to the rest of the "saga."

For starters this is a book that I would normally put on my "maybe/curious" book shelf for a day when I want something different. The book was offered to me for free by the author, in return for an honest opinion. When I first started the book, I wasnt sure I was going to like it. And admittedly it took me a while to get into the book, maybe 20% which is more than I usually give a book, to hook me. But it was more than worth the wait! I ended up not being able to put the book down.

Sophie Davis is extremely Talented. No pun intended. Her ability to make her world come alive on paper was fascinating. At first the book moved somewhat slowly, the progression of events made me wonder where the book was going, why is it so incredibly descriptive (almost overly so one might think, and I in fact did at first) but as the story continues, it is plainly obvious that every sentence, every word, carried a purpose to lead the reader through the novel.

I also enjoyed that the author provided background/history of the plot. Instead of making the reader learn over time, the author laid it all out, up front. She also repeatedly certain things throughout the novel (like what different Talents do, or who certain people were to her) which was helpful, given that there were numerous things to keep track of, I found it helpful that she reminded the reader without making it obvious.

I loved the way the "love triangle" all panned out. Without giving too much of the story away, I thought that the Erik, Donovan, Talia, love triangle was played out very tastefully. There were hints throughout the book, that made the reader recognize that something was "off" about certain people, which the author would eventually reveal.

I also liked how things played out during Talia's final mission. (And that the author included other missions to give perspective!) While I figured out some of it along the way, it also set the book up nicely for another book (or two) and put pieces out there that need to be resolved and leave the reader thinking. Im just glad the other two are already out so I dont have to wait to read them!!!

As far as the characters are concerned, I felt that many of the characters had the development that is necessary in a novel, whether they grow as a character, or we learn about what makes them who they are, (Henri) or gaps are filled while others are made bigger. Overall, I thought the author did a nice job of weaving the characters together, without force, and that relationships were built. My only issue, which hopefully will be resolved in the next book, was that I felt Talia the main character did not grow as much as she should have. Though most of her relationships changed and grew, one in particular struck me as bizarre and never seemed to strike her the same way. In fact it doesnt seem like its questioned throughout the book whatsoever. Also I think for someone with trust issues, she tends to trust people a lot, and quickly. If I were her, I'd be probing peoples minds more. Though I did enjoy that the main heroine, is not as strong as some books make them out to be, providing Talia with weak moments, makes her relate able

The depiction of the landscape, and scenery for which the book is centered on was fabulous. The author did an amazing job of bringing the set to life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend anyone with a fantasy/sci-fi itching with some love, lots of adventure mixed with the "dsytopian future" should read this book!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Requiem-Delirium Trilogy -Lauren Oliver

Requiem 3rd book of the Delirium Trilogy - Lauren Oliver 4.5 Stars 

Overall this is a great series! Wow!!! I had a really hard time putting this down! I absolutely loved this trilogy! Im actually a little sad it ended!!! This review is a little shorter than usual, since its the third book in the trilogy, its likely most people reading the review, have read the other two.

I really liked the final book of the Delirium Trilogy, Requiem. As usual Lauren Oliver delivered another fabulous book.

Requiem Synopsis- Lena is a member of the resistance, and living in the Wilds has changed her. After Lena rescued Julian at the end of Pandemonium, and finds Alex waiting back at the safe house, the group heads to the Wilds. Unfortunately the Wilds arent what they once were. The government has admitted that Invalids exists and have begun trying to eradicate all uncureds. In this final story, Lena tries to figure out where she fits in not only with her family in the Wilds, but in love and in the resistance. This story is also told from Hana's point of view, she lives in Portland is about to marry the mayor, though we see how she has transformed and the changes she continues to go through as she begins to realize what she has and what she has lost, and trying to find herself in the end.

If you liked the other two books in this trilogy the last one does not disappoint! There is plenty of action, drama and suspense.

Generally I would have to say that while I enjoyed this book a lot, I would have liked more closure at the end, and even though I may understand the reasons behind her decisions, I felt that there could have been more of an "ending" than what was provided. I think that the action, story and characters made up for it!

I liked that Lena's feelings felt natural. She was constantly conflicted on numerous issues, and again while the ending may not give the reader the expected ending, or the ending that they were hoping for, it is absolutely the way of life and considering the books message I think it is certainly a good ending. (thats not to say I wasnt disappointed a little though)

I liked the relationship triangle between Alex, Lena and Julian, though I would have preferred a different "outcome." Here is one place in particular where I felt like the ending fell a little flat. Though Lena's growth was truly seen in this novel, as she began to realize that love is about being selfless and appreciating whats in front of you. Lauren Oliver made some extremely powerful statements in this novel, that I felt like I could truly connect with, and thats one of things that makes a novel outsanding, where the author can take a story like this weave into everyday current life, and still evoke a feeling that is relateable to the reader.

What I didnt like... I didnt like that at the end some things were tied up too neatly while other things were left without the expected closure one might find at the end of a trilogy such as this or any closure. I didnt like Lena's relationship with her mother, I thought that it was a bit odd. ( dont want to give too much away), but Im glad that her mother is in the book and that there is some movement in their relationship.

Some of my gripes however were likely intended. Particularly Hana's situation. I was really annoyed with the way everyone was acting towards her regarding her fiancee. However, I am happy with her main outcome. I recognize that Hana
has grown into her own over the three books, going from that selfish girl to recognizing theres more to the world than just herself and what can be seen.  Im happy that she took a stand, even though she was cured and fazed in life she knew what was right and wrong and it took a lot of strength for her to look into the issues that she had discovered.

A must read if you have started this trilogy!! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta Recipe

I absolutely love cooking. (And Baking.)

There are a number of dishes that I absolutely love making because they are so good, even though they take a decent amount of time and can be difficult to make if I dont pay close attention. This is one of my favorite recipes. Its not difficult to make, but it does have a quite a few moving pieces which can make it difficult sometimes. Its also not that time consuming, once you know what your doing and depending on what optional items you add. 

The good thing about this dish is that you can add and remove certain items to make it easier, and you dont have to worry about timing on some pieces because you will end up "re-heating" it later. I got this recipe from Pinterest and then altered (as I usually do) to better suit my wants/needs as a cook. What I love about this recipe is that its a good staple recipe and the sauce lasts for a while so I can reuse it, the sauce if refrigerated should last about a 3 weeks.

So here is the recipe: 

prep time: 25 MIN
cook time: 20 MIN
total time: 45 MIN


2 whole red bell peppers (you can use a jar of roasted red bell peppers; I have used both before, and it really doesnt matter taste wise, time wise, the jar is more efficient so I usually use this on weeknights.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat free half & half
4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese (I usually use more because I love goat cheese)
2/3 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente (you can use penne too,but  recommend not using angel hair)
salt & pepper, to taste
Add ins--(I have used these before) Of course there are lot of add-ins you can use, it just depends on what you like
Chicken strips
If you use an add-in, Cook the add-in separate and add to pasta once you are ready to toss in sauce. 


If you're using red peppers (not the jar.) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes.Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces. 
Heat Olive Oil in saute pan, add onions and garlic  until tender. 
Add half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
 Add bell peppers and Parmesan cheese to sauce. 
Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. 
Mix sauce with pasta. 
Top with crushed red pepper if desired. 
NOTE: Please note that this sauce is quite mild, it is similar to an Alfredo sauce (but way better) however, there is not  a lot of other flavors, you may want to consider adding additional spices into the sauce while cooking, or saute crushed red pepper with the onions (which will give a burst of flavor) it is certainly up to the cook on taste but once the sauce is pureed consider adding additional spices here too. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burnstein 3.5 Stars 

Pretty Amy is a wonderfully told coming of age book about a senior in high school, Amy, who gets in trouble on the night of her senior prom with her two best friends. The book follows Amy over the course of her summer, and the difficult inner turmoil that she goes through as she loses her two best friends while trying to figure out who she  is without them in her life. The book is full of awkward moments, difficult decisions, teenage angst and lots of sarcasm/wit. 

I think Pretty Amy is a refreshing story. First, the story, for the most part does not fixate on on a "romance" instead the author focuses on Amy and the changes and issues that she faces the summer before college. Generally, I think most girls can relate to this story. For most people High School wasnt bad but it was great either, everyone struggles with trying to fit in, and figure out who you are. I really like the fact that Amy struggled with figuring out who her friends are/were throughout the course of the book and has trouble deciding what she her self really wants.Amy lacks confidence and has a low self esteem, her character overall is relate able and interesting, and I found myself wanting to know how the summer would be resolved.  

I also found myself annoyed with the character, at her lack of maturity, but felt that it was fitting given her age (I have the pleasure of hindsight, and I am well aware that I acted similar at that age so the author hit this nail on he head!).   I also like the relationship she has with her parents. Not every parent is a great one, or an absent one, most parents it seems just try to do what they think is right, and Amys mom is no different. It is interesting to see the difference in relationship with her mother and father and it was easy to relate. I agree with the "Jewish Mother" aspects that the author throws it, it really is like that! (Haha) 

I had trouble figuring out as I was reading where exactly the book was going. I knew the purpose of the book, but I frequently felt as though Amy was not "growing" as a character that much. However, I also think this was necessary for the character to be able to hit bottom, one must hit bottom before being able to realize the mistakes of life and to begin to move forward. 

I felt that this book was extremely relatable on many fronts, but there were a couple of weird moments that I wasnt sure why they were included, for instance her job, which I found uncommon, and given her background unlikely.  I really enjoyed the authors writing style. Her conversational style felt just right, it was not forced and flowed, which is extremely difficult to do when trying to be snarky or sarcastic, but Lauren did a fantastic job of making it realistic. 

My biggest frustration with this book however is the legal aspects that the author took. As a lawyer who has worked with the juvenile system, I disagree with the depiction that she drew. The legal system would not have worked like this and I was very angry with the last 25% of this book on this issue. Secondly, I felt as though I was still waiting for Amy to grow up. The ending does show that she grew somewhat it was also a little bit of a let down that she didnt have more of a complete transformation. (it was anti-climatic) 

I enjoyed reading this book, it was a nice afternoon read!  And while this book may not have been my personal favorite, that doesnt mean that the story wasnt well written, interesting and great overall. I really did enjoy it, and I recommend it for the 15-22 age range. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

DayNight by Meagan Thomason

Daynight          DayNight By Megan Thomason

4.5 Stars
 First, I dont usually write the synopsis of the book before writing a review. I will try to be more mindful of this now that I'm writing on a blog.

 Daynight is a young adult dystopian/romance/sci-fi (ish) book. The Book is told in three different point of views, Kira, Blake and Ethan. The main heroine Kira, a junior in high school, decides to join the Second Chance Institute (SCI) to escape the tragedy that ended the life of her boyfriend and friends, while Blake joins SCI to avenge his mothers death. Upon joining SCI, Kira quickly learns that SCI is on the planet Thera, the polar opposite of Earth, including their government which has a totalitarian regime, stepping out of line means death or exile. Kira and Blake are partnered together from the beginning each with their own problems. SCI believes that everyone deserves a second chance therefore people on Earth who lose their lives too early and on accident may be brought to SCI for a second chance. (And their hidden agenda!). Lastly you meet Ethan who has eyes for Kira, but unfortunately SCI wants Kira to be with Blake. This book has tons of competing agendas, romance and intrigue! But this synopsis doesnt even do the book justice as there are tons are of smaller moving pieces and information you learn in the first few chapters that further explain the purpose and story line. 
It took me a while to get into this book. I actually was very frustrated with the book at the beginning and  I didnt like the first chapter whatsoever. For me, the tone that Kira had was annoying, and sounded weird. And there were so many loose ends that I was completely confused. However as I moved into the book I felt that some of my questions were quite clearly answered leaving some questions open, which the author seemed to have done purpose. And this method worked for me. I wanted to keep reading to learn more about everything. The things I was frustrated with in the beginning werent nagging me so much anymore. 
I still have a few lingering questions that I think should have been answered in the first book like what is a pure light or pure dark and why do they belong together (is that like a pure male and female, which still doesnt make much sense...) and what "being" are they? How do people pass through the portals if they arent pure? Overall though I think some of these questions were meant to be left open for the next book.

So I must say that even though I didnt like the beginning, I absolutely loved this book and Im now dying to read the next one. This reminds me of how I felt about Delirium, I "needed" to read the next book. Thats how I feel about this book. The main character I love, Kira is cute, kind, considerate, loving, and somewhat, okay maybe a lot naive, but not in the sense where she is ridiculously so, just enough to make it understandable. Her character develops throughout the book too, she goes from the naive San Diego girl to reading between the lines and figuring out that sometimes you sacrifice what you want for who you love even though you may not ever see the results of said sacrifice.
I also like how her relationships build throughout the book, and the inner turmoil that we see her go through felt genuine.

This is my Kira (I know shes not blonde but I like her for the part, Alexndra Chando)

This is my Blake!
I dont know who I like better Ethan or Blake, but I do know that I am happy with either guy "winning" whatever that may be, in the end. I felt that while we watched Blake continue to fight for his beliefs, we also watched him grow, and begin to think about how every action he takes has a reaction, (except for maybe the ending...I dont want to give too much away though) I like Ethan, but the author doesnt give much insight into him just yet. I get the impression the first book set up his role for the second, which makes sense given how everything plays out.

I also like that the author used different perspectives throughout the book, with the focus on Kira, but filling in certain aspects of the storyline through Ethan and Blake. I think without this there would be quite a few missing pieces. Im most amazed as to how the author created such a fluid story! There were so many moving pieces through out the novel that I am amazed at how she wove it all together.

I dont want to give too much away, but I almost feel as though my review is incomplete without discussing the Second Chancers. Ill try not to give anything away that you would learn within the first few chapters. Considering the idea of The Second Chance Institute, I thought it was interesting the way the that the student had no recollection of their previous lives Im still interested in learning more about this, and I know Bailey's story will complete some of this. I feel the same way about Bailey as I do about Ethan, that the story was left somewhat open ended and incomplete on purpose. Which is understandable (except that I am dying to read the next book to find out what happens!) I like the friction that the Second Chance students provide overall though because I think it adds a necessary layer to the story.


Last but not least I commend the author on making the hard decisions, it is difficult as the author and creator of a character to hurt them or have one killed off etc. but those decisions are paramount to the story, and I think Ms. Thomason did a great job of making those decisions in order to further the story. And in this instance as appalled by some of the decisions or hurt by them for the characters I also understood the meaning behind them and the affect that the decisions she made had on the characters to propel them into the next phase of the story. I thought this was flawless.

As for my issues, again the beginning was slow and confusing, the first maybe two chapters were hard for me to get through, but once I accepted Thera, I became more accepting of the novel overall. I think partly I needed to adjust my expectations and thoughts. Looking back now though I only wish I had waited longer to read the book until the author is done so that I can get all my answers!

To be honest, I really did love this book, and I believe the author put together one crazy, but creative and wonderfully written book that if you liked hunger games or diverent you will surely love this book too. All you need is a little imagination

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Obsessed with TV Shows

I'm somewhat of a TV Junkie. In fact I'm told I watch too many TV Shows and my dvr is always full. Its somewhat problematic, but I cant help it. I've always been this way too, ever since I was a kid. Which I recognize is weird and says basically nothing about my life. (Okay maybe I'm boring? Which is occasionally true). I also check cancellations regularly. Usually because my favorite new shows are always cancelled. (i.e. Mob Dr.)  Now, I'm also told that Im simply not picky enough in what I watch, the problem is, that some of the shows I watch, I started watching when I was younger and going through a different phase in my life and simply watch it because I feel the need to know how the show will end (ie One Tree Hill and 90210). Other shows I watch as a guilty pleasure, meaning I like the show, and hate to admit it (ie Hart of Dixie).

Currently I cannot go through the week without watching these shows:
Lying Game
The Following
Vampire Diaries
Big Brother
Rookie Blue
Major Crimes

Shows I Watch because I started and cant stop or shows that I like but arent DYING to watch each week
Once Upon A Time
Falling Skies
Top Model
Body of Proof
Covert Affairs
Pretty Little Liars
Red Widow
Top Chef

There are some other shows that I watch when bored but wouldnt mind never seeing them again.
As you can see, I watch too many shows. And while some of the shows listed are summer shows, and not everything is one during the same season, its still a lot. I don't know how I keep track of everything. Oh wait yes I do. Every season I make a list of shows, a calendar if you will that details the date the show starts and the time and day of each show. I know super lame, I dont need a reminder. ;-)

I thoroughly enjoy TV shows, but I absolutely hate when I show "ends" without an ending. There are certain shows where its just not fair to cancel the series without a finale episode to finish out the show. Those types of cancellations really frustrate me. Such as Flashforward, possibly one of my all time favorite shows that was cancelled after one season. (Along with The Event, and Lipstick Jungle) Even worse yet are shows that had been on the air for a while and then just drop like Heroes. I appreciate when they do the final episodes like Fringe, Lost and One Tree Hill because Im the type of watcher that requires closure.

I wish that the TV show producers or whomever is making these decisions would ask for feedback from people online. Over the years, with Hulu, netflix and DVR being more popular I think that the TV producers are taking these avenues into account for why live numbers may be down, but I am still annoyed when I love a show and it is cancelled, but maybe thats just me.

Right now, Im already disappointed Zero Hour got cancelled after just 3 episodes, however I must admit, their casting was terrible, I liked the plot and the characters were acceptable but seriously whoever though Anthony Edward made a good leading man in this show was delusional. I could say similar things about Revolution, except that show is still on and their casting was good enough to survive the first cut, but the main girl is annoying.

Im watching Red Widow, but havent decided on whether I like the show or not, the woman Marta isnt my favorite, but the premise is intriguing so Ill likely stick with it.

I gave up on the Americans, which is unusual, I almost never give up on a show, especially when I love an actress as much as I do Keri Russel (ah Felicity)  but after three episodes I couldnt get into the show. The plot intrigued me, but the show seemed to move at a snail speed, and for a TV show it was too slow moving.

There are a few other shows Im unsure of, such as Deception, which I really want to lik,e because I love Tate Donovan (Damages!!!) and Victor Garber (Alias), but the main girl, Meagan Goode, just isnt doing it for me. Also, Im watching Cult on theCW mainly because the main guy is from Vampire Diaries, problem is that the show is somewhat hard to follow, and superbly bizarre (which I do realize is the point) but I do not know that its a show Ill really be in to, so its on my maybe list.

Thats all I have for now on this. But Ill post more on the shows as the shows progress, seasons end etc. What are you fave shows?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crash by Nicole Williams

 Crash by Nicole  Williams   

Crash By Nicole Williams 
Crash Series 

I give this book a 3.5 (I gave Clash, book 2, 4 Stars)

I liked this book, but I didnt think it was earth shattering amazing. I would say if you are a fan of books like Thoughtless or Beautiful Disaster you will be let down with this book, merely because they dont belong in the same category, in fact I think its a toned down high school version of those books. HOWEVER, I foresee book 2 being far better than book 1 based on the ending of book 1, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series. 

I disagreed with quite of few of the readers who dissed the author in their reviews, but I didnt agree with the ones who were in love with this book. Given that, I think the book deserves to be read and has a really good message. I think Jude is the bad boy we all wanted to tame in high school, and I liked the main character A LOT. Lucy is my kind of girl, I like that the author did not make her the super popular new girl in school with all the right friends and perfect parents (ie Breana Blixen books), but instead she has a quirky personality, with a sense of humor and some sarcasm/negativity, I think it provided a more realistic appeal to me, and because Im quite the sarcastic person. I also appreciated the way the book moved along at a steady pace, it wasnt slow or fast and the "boring" parts were skipped, which was much appreciated. Another thing I enjoyed was that sex was not a pivotal topic as it usually is in high school novels. I truly dislike that many of the high school novels out there, make sex in high school out to be either a bad thing, or their first time, which lets be honest here, senior year of high school is not the typical time a person loses their virginity (that said, I understand authors dont want to promote sex or make it okay for teenagers to have sex and I realize not everyone has sex in high school) But what I am getting at, is that I feel as though many authors as of lately that I have been reading, have characters who are virgins and lose it that last semester in high school to their high school sweetheart, and it just gets a tad bit old, so Im glad the characters here werent so focused on losing it. 

Some of the things I didnt care for are based purely on personality and taste and not a reflection of the author and her abilities and I think that should be taken into account when writing/giving a review. The fact of the matter is, I didnt like that Luce had so much pull over the football coach, I also didnt like that she essentially didnt have any friends or anyone to turn to (not even from her prior high school) which I felt was highly unlikely given her appearance and personality, and lack of issues with her self-esteem/ depression, which is likely why I felt a lack of connection. 
One negative would be that the mystery of her family, was my biggest concern, not so much the WHAT, which is discussed near the end, but that the author did not provide nearly enough hints to what was going on, and her relationship with her mom confused me slightly, it too was not well explained, in my opinion. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

My Book Reviews Explained...

I read a lot of books. Actually I read 1-2 books a week, I think that's a lot, but I suppose that really depends on how many you read and whether you consider the books I read as worthy enough to be considered "reading." I have a goal of reading 52 books this year, which I don't foresee as a problem. I have also challenged myself to read a book from A-Z, which was a suggestion/challenge from Good Reads. A-Z is super hard, I have read a good deal of books so far this year, but I cant seem to manage getting some letters yet I've read three books in other letters. I read fiction, primarily because the purpose of reading for me, is to  escape reality. It's like watching a TV show or a movie.

Considering I intend to post some of my reviews on here (okay all of them) I figured I should explain how I rate them. I use the Good Reads method (for anyone with out Good Reads, and a reader or author should immediately join, I am seriously addicted to this site!) Good Reads uses the 1-5 star scale (except no half stars which I think is a bummer!

1 Star means I didn't like it, or I couldn't even finish the book
2 Stars means I finished the book, and it was okay. It was a book that was intriguing enough to finish but not great enough to recommend to other people.
3 Stars means that I liked the book and recommend it to other people but I recognize that it may have some flaws, that either I picked up on and didn't like or that I could see why someone else might not like it.
4 Stars means I Really Really liked the book It kept me hooked and I enjoyed the book a great deal, likely a book I read quickly too.
5 Stars means I loved this book and think anyone who likes those types of books should read it. A book I could re read, wish it would be a movie and I can ignore every flaw in the book.

I, of course, use the half's if I cant decide, for instance maybe Ill give a book a 3.5 because I really liked it over all but it still have some major flaws that threw me off. (Waiting for You)

I have some 200 books on my to be read list on Good Reads! Eek. I have to admit though I have a hard time deciding which reviews to trust. Everyone has such different views and opinions. Sometimes I read the synopsis of a book, and it sounds really good, the reviews are all pretty good and then I get a sample of it on my kindle and I cant make it past the first chapter! I wish there was a better way to weed the reviews out. Typically, I skip any review that gave the book bad marks for grammar (come on its self published and cheap, mistakes happen, if it doesn't affect my ability to read/comprehend I have no qualms), and I try to read the best and the worst reviews to see what people are saying, but still its hard to decide. That's usually when I get the sample on my kindle and decide based on the first few chapters.

But what makes a book good or bad to you? To me a book is good if it keeps me intrigued. (I realize this is quite a broad and nondescript answer) But its hard for me to explain what makes a book really good, because personally I think its a lot of little things not just one thing. For example, I like to be able to relate to the characters, and I need to like the characters overall, (or dislike if that's the intended feeling) and I have to enjoy the journey I'm being taken on. I hate reading a book and thinking to myself, "ok where is this going...lets get to the point" those are the kind of books I finish just to know the endings. But what is it that makes a book really good or really bad?

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Waiting for You - Shey Stahl Book Review

Here is my first book review on this Blog! 

Book Review 3/2/13
Waiting For You by   3.5 Stars

 Overall I enjoyed this book and I think a lot of other people who like the chick-lit/contemporary romance novels will too. This book is about a guy and a girl who head out on a road-trip after graduating from high-school. Catch is, that they havent been friends or spoken in almost 10 years, and the trip wasnt planned, but Bailey (The main character) needed an escape from her cookie cutter life as the mayors daughter in a small town. (thats the basics, I dont like spending time on this part because I assume you read the synopsis before getting to this review, but maybe not) 

I will start off by saying if you are one that absolutely abhors grammatical errors or spelling problems, then move on from this book because the book needs some obvious editing. (no offense to the author intended). Overall, I like the perspective/point of view from the main heroine. I did not like that randomly a chapter would be in Dylan's perspective (the main boy and love interest). I also was not a huge fan of the ending, I thought it ended somewhat abruptly, and could have used even an extra paragraph or two to make it feel finished. It was obvious, to me at least, what the secret that Dylan was keeping from Bailey was. I would say more about it, but I dont want to ruin it, I think the secret is good but Im perplexed as to how something like that is truly possible, maybe its the lawyer in me. Another weird thing, though I guess it makes sense give the secret issue, is how can Dylan get away with so much!? 

As for the things I did like. Overall, given the characters background I think the love that "grows" between them, makes sense. I really liked getting to know the real Bailey, but looking back I also realize we lost her somewhere down the road. I especially saw it towards the end. To be honest I found that part refreshing, because sometimes love (especially dangerous love) lets people forget who they are, and you end up taking on what you think youre supposed to be, in order to maintain the relationship that is obviously a drug. It felt very real. It was nice to see their relationship build over time, and to watch Bailey trust someone. I think the best part about this book though is the building relationship that Bailey and Dylan have, especially when it came to their sexual relationship. I frequently get annoyed with books that the girl in the book is a virgin (which she is here and did annoy me) and then loses her virginity to that first guy but they never do anything else. 

Now the fact that Bailey was with her high school boyfriend for 4 years and they never did anything but kiss really annoyed me. (seriously? I mean I dont know a single guy who could have said that, then again given the rest of his story, maybe it makes sense) But whats great is that when she is with Dylan you see the tension build, and you see them do everything from beginning to end, which was somewhat refreshing. I felt also that the author didnt spend too much time on these pieces. Sometimes an author skips over it altogether, and sometimes they spend too many pages describing every little detail, I thought Ms. Stahl did a great job here. 

(This is my Bailey!)

I really liked the way the book ended (the story line at least!) though like I said I could have done with a small amount of finality added to it but it was good enough! 

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes "college age romances."

(This is my Dylan)

Friday, March 1, 2013

New to All This

So...I'm pretty new to all this, but thought I'd give it a try to get some exposure and do something different. 

I don't really know what I'm doing, or how to do this, and while I appreciate the feedback, try not to be too critical of  me as I get more familiar and comfortable with this stuff.

As my first post I'll just tell you a little bit about what I plan to "Blog" about. Basically, I intend to post book reviews (I read mostly chick-lit/contemporary romance/young adult romance and dystopian novels), Ill also write about movies, and TV shows that I've watched, and Ill post some of my favorite recipes or new recipes that I like. I may make some other blog post regarding other random things in life...and just see where this blog takes me!

Here it goes:
So I absolutely love cooking, actually I like baking more but since my boyfriend doesn't eat all the sweets I make, I try to do more cooking than baking. If I'm cooking though I'm usually a lazy cook, which means I use the crock pot, its pretty much my kitchen staple. I love making pulled pork, mac and cheese, tortilla soup, or roasting a full chicken in the crock pot. If I'm not using the crock pot then I'm likely making one of two other things, breakfast or pasta. I know tons of pasta recipes, but apparently my boyfriend gets a little sick of pasta, so I usually have to come up with something new to make, and he is always my guinea pig! As for breakfast I love french toast. So I'm going to share with you my favorite french toast recipe! It is absolutely amazing, if you like french toast you will fall in love with this new twist. This recipe is quite sweet, but its ooey gooey goodness.

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 Cup brown sugar
Challah Bread (Or whatever kind of bread you have handy, its better if its thicker though)
4 eggs
1 Cup Milk
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Additional Optional ingredients -
Almonds or Sliced Apples (or both)

Heat oven to 350 F
1) Melt Butter and add brown sugar, stir until mixed.
2) spread mixture into a 9x13 pan
3) Mix eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon.
4) Lay a single layer of challah bread on top of the butter/brown sugar mixture
5) Spoon 1/2 the egg mixture over the bread layer
6) If youre doing the almonds or apples place a layer of sliced apples or sliced alonds on top of the bread.
7) sprinkle with cinnamon
8) Lay a 2nd layer of the bread on top of the 1st.
9) Pour remaining mixture over the 2nd layer of bread
If you're doing almond/apples you can place another layer here
10) Sprinkle with cinnamon
You can cover and chill over night (I never remember or have time for this step!)
11) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for 30 minutes)
Serve and Enjoy!!!

                                  After mixing the brown sugar and butter spread into 9x13 pan

             This is the finished product before putting it in the oven! I topped it with sugar and cinnamon

Finished Product!

Served with powdered sugar and syrup! Yummy!!!

I hope you enjoy my first post! Thanks!