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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Author Spotlight: Awakening Foster Kelly by Cara Rosalie Olsen

Awakening Foster Kelly
by Cara Rosalie Olsen

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: June 2013
Connect: Website | Awakening Foster Kelly | Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram
Purchase the Book: Paperback | Kindle | Nook
If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness is just the tip of it. It was only a mistake, but when at the age of five Foster is told “You don’t belong here” the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High-school—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what Foster believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere – or with anyone. This reality would continue to suit her just fine, however . . .

Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Like a comet, an unexpected arrival knocks Foster out of the crowded, starry sky, sending her directly into the limelight. Exposed and afraid, she will attempt to regain anonymity; but it isn’t so easy now that someone is watching. He pursues this shy enigma, confronting Foster’s deepest fears head-on, and in the process falls wholly and completely in love with her. But there is something he is not saying; a secret capable of certain ruin. There are two probable outcomes: either he will break her heart once and for all, or he will heal it. In the end, though, it is Foster who must decide if she is worth mending.

Author Bio:

CARA ROSALIE OLSEN resides in sunny Southern California, where she lives with her very patient husband, Michael, and their spoiled pooch, Annabella. A product of a relatively normal childhood - whatever that means - Olsen recalls "Life had this relentlessly boorish way of reminding me I was wonky and unapproved. Regardless of status or gene pool, there is nothing simple or easy about growing up. Life doesn't play favorites or carry biases; it's the pits for everyone. But rather than constantly falling into the pit, often I chose to climb down willingly, lining the bottom with a soft place to land. That place is where I became a reader, and today, a writer."

Throughout high school Olsen struggled with subjects Math and Science, but excelled at the arts, written and performed, often finding a kindred spirit in those teaching Creative Writing and English Literature. What began with an ardency for language soon developed into a burgeoning desire to create. This yearning took shape in the form of poetry and short story fiction, both of which have been featured in print and online publications. Olsen's debut novel, Awakening Foster Kelly is the result of a four-year project born on a whim and sustained by its characters' tenacity and their refusal to give the author a minute to herself. "In the beginning, getting them to talk was like trying to light a wet match. So, we had several long, sometimes combative conversations. I told them that unless they started holding up their end of the deal, I would have no choice but to fill in the blanks with whatever scraps came to mind. It wasn't very long before I started showing up to find that everyone was already seated and waiting for me. We talked. I drank coffee. It was bliss."

These days Olsen considers herself incredibly blessed to be able to do what she loves most. However . . . if she wasn’t a full-time writer, she would have liked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live, or, taken over as CEO of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review: The Princess Problem by Diane Darcy

The Princess Problem (A Fairy Tale Romance #2)
by Diane Darcy

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fairytale, Romance
Publication: May 16th 2013 by Diane Darcy
Format: Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Facebook
In real life, she’s given up on the fairy tale ending...

After having her heart broken twice, Alicia Dayne has sworn off men, decided to concentrate on her career, and is delighted to win a lucrative contract to make a commercial for Highborn Mattresses.

She could make the most awesome fairy tale commercial ever - except for Jonas Highborn, who isn’t exactly thrilled with her Princess and the Pea ideas, and really doesn’t want a prince in tights representing his company.

Though he’s trying to keep his grieving mother happy by letting her have charge of the commercial shoot, and though Alicia’s trying to keep in mind that this annoying guy is her boss for the moment, they can’t seem to keep from clashing.

Throw in an overly-handsome prince, a matchmaking mama, and a stunning rose garden, and maybe, just maybe, Alicia can be convinced they have a chance at something real.

Because while she might not be a real princess, sometimes an ordinary girl’s got to take a chance, even when it seems too good to be true.

When did Happily Ever After become so complicated?

This is definitely a cute novella! Inspired from the fairy tale, Princess and the Pea, Alecia decided to concentrate on her career. Her latest work was to make a commercial for Highborn Mattresses. It wasn’t easy with her client who isn’t as thrilled with her idea – to shoot the commercial based on the Princess and the Pea – and his mom who wanted to play as a matchmaker.

The Princess Problem is a light, clean fairy tale romance. The story was a bit predictable, but I still loved it. I love the chemistry between the two main characters. They made me smile with their banters and their flirting. And the supporting characters made the novella a lot more fun! I love the author’s writing style and am looking forward to read more of her works. If you’re looking for something light, short and sweet, this is definitely the book for you.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors

Saving Juliet
by Suzanne Selfors

Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: December 2008
Format: ebook, 256 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Facebook
Manhattan meets Verona in this time-bending twist on Shakespeare.

Mimi Wallingford, Great Granddaughter of Adelaide Wallingford, has the life that most girls dream about, playing Juliet opposite teen heartthrob Troy Summer on Broadway in Shakespeare's famous play. Unfortunately, she has no desire to be an actress, a fact her mother can't seem to grasp. But when she and Troy are magically thrust into Shakespeare's Verona, they experience the feud between the Capulets and Montagues first hand. Mimi realizes that she and Juliet have more in common than Shakespeare's script-they are both fighting for futures of their own choosing. Mimi feels compelled to help her and with Troy's unexpected help, hopes to give Shakespeare's most famous tragedy a happily-ever-after-ending.

In this Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet retelling, Mimi Wallingford was forced to be an actress, following the footsteps of her family. And now she was stuck playing Romeo and Juliet with none other than that snobby Troy Summer. Soon, Mimi and Troy were transported into the story of Romeo and Juliet by a magic pendant. Now Mimi must find her way to get back to her world and trying to save Juliet and Romeo from dying at the end of the story while avoiding Juliet’s mother, Lady Capulet and her people who wanted to kill her.

Saving Juliet is a fun read on Romeo and Juliet retelling. I love this book, although not as much as Suzanne Selfors’ Coffeehouse Angel. The story is very engaging. I found myself finishing the story earlier than I expected. The character and the story development were really good. There were a lot of things going on, but the story wasn’t draggy at all. Mimi was a great character and I absolutely love her narration. I love reading about how Mimi wanted to save Juliet. And oh! I love Mimi’s banter with Troy. There were lots of moments that made me laugh out loud. 

Overall, Saving Juliet was a fun, light read with a bit of romance, fantasy, and humor. I would recommend this book to those who were looking for a light romance, Romeo and Juliet’s retelling fan and to those who love happy endings.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Humor, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: ebook, 448 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I love Rainbow Rowell’s Attachment and her writing style. When I found out about Fangirl, I know that there’s no way that I’m going to miss this. You see... I’m a little bit of a fangirl myself, although  I’m positive that I’m not as crazy as Cath. 

Fangirl, was about Cath who was a fangirl. She and her twin sister, Wren were a Simon Snow’s fan. They read the book, wrote fanfiction and did a few other things that any fangirl do. As they grew up, Wren grew away from her fandom. And now that they’re going to leave for college, Wren told Cath that they can’t always be together. Wren doesn’t want to be roommates. Now Cath was out of her comfort zone. She didn’t know how to survive college life without Wren. How was she going to make new friends? And what about her fanfiction?  What about their father who was going to live alone while Cath and Wren were away to college?

I love this book! I think Rainbow Rowell did a great job on writing this book. There were a little bit of everything—family, friendship, humor and romance. What I like most about this book was how Cath was going through the change in college. She grew up, but she didn’t lose herself as Cath, a Simon Snow’s fangirl. The relationship between Cath and the other characters made the story sound real and alive. I love how the relationship between Cath and her roommate, Reagan was built. Their conversation are mostly funny. And the romance between Cath and Levi was really sweet and cute! I love how Levi is around Cath. He was so nice and sweet and patient and he loved it when Cath read her fanfiction for him. 

Fangirl was definitely a fun read. It made me feel happy and I’m very satisfied with the ending. I think I’m going to purchase myself a physical book of Fangirl for my collection because I love every part of the book.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige

No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die 0.5)
by Danielle Paige

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Young Adult
Publication: November 12th 2013 by HarperCollins
Format: ebook
Source: Own
Connect: Twitter | Goodreads
In this digital original novella, Dorothy travels back to Oz to reunite with old friends, but her story may not have a happy ending. No Place Like Oz is a prequel to the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die.

After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.
I don’t think that I would be reading “Dorothy Must Die” if I were to read this novella first. I know that Dorothy was going to be evil and I was very curious how she was going to turn into the dark side. But I may have a different kind of expectation when I picked up No Place Like Oz.

I was expecting that No Place Like Oz would be shorter, because this novella was a bit too long for my liking, and the pace is a bit too slow. There are times when I would check up on how many pages left before I finished this novella and there are some parts in the story that bore me. 

I really did not like Dorothy in this prequel right from the beginning, although Dorothy was not as evil as I expect she was going to be. In fact, I didn’t think Dorothy’s evil at all. She's just rude. And mean. I think Dorothy is just that teenage girl who was being an ass because she can't have what she want. In the end, I don’t think I’m going to be sorry when Dorothy really dies at the end of the series! I'm a bit disappointed in No Place Like Oz, but Dorothy Must Die, the sequel, is definitely a good book.


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