Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (10)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Journey.

Last week I finished:
1. Diamond Playgirls-Daaimah S. Poole
2. Right Package, Wrong Baggage-Wanda B. Campbell

This week I'm reading:
Finally started New Moon! I'm only on chapter 3 so far, but it's started off better than Twilight. I hope to be finished with it by this weekend so I can go get the movie and watch it.

Up Next:
No clue! There's so much on my TBR, whatever strikes my fancy when I finish New Moon.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to share the awesome books we get each week.


I'm still not buying books yet (as much as I love reading, I love eating and having a place to live a little bit more, so all my money is going to those things right now), but last week I came across a Borders gift card I had received the Christmas before last (2009!) I thought I had already used it but when I called to check the balance, there was $40 on there! Plus I'd gotten a $10 one this Christmas, and with Borders going out of business soon, I decided it was a great time to use these gift cards. So on Monday morning (a day off due to the President's Day holiday) I did the unthinkable...I woke up early! Around 9, so I could be at Borders right when they opened. These are the books I got:

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben
Afterburn by Zane (which I realized when I got home, was already on my bookshelf, unread, grrrr...)
Stealing Candy by Alison Hobbs
Aftermath by Tracy Brown
The Devil is a Lie by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Two freebies from B&N were downloaded onto Strawberry this week:

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry

I also received a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card from my coworker for my birthday

My library books were due back this week. I haven't read any of them with the exception of Diamond Playgirls, so I renewed all of them and took Diamond Playgirls back. While I was there, I picked these up:

Torn Between Two Lovers by Carl Weber
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Big Girls Don't Cry by Carl Weber

What was in your mailbox this week?

Review-Right Package, Wrong Baggage

Right Package, Wrong BaggageRight Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book!

It tells the story of Pamela, a widow, and her 6-year-old son Matthew. Matthew has decided to give his mother a very special gift for Christmas: his basketball coach, Micah Stevenson. Micah and Pamela begin dating, and fall in love. Pam is ready for Micah to propose to her, and instead, one night he tells her something about his past that totally changes their relationship. Pamela has to decide if she can look past his former indiscretions, as well as some of the skeletons she's hidden in her own closet, and decide if she will let Micah into her family.

I was a little put off at the beginning of the story, which starts with Matthew giving Micah as a present. Micah and Pam had already met each other, and I'm so used to stories like this starting with the main characters seeing each other for the first time in the book. But Pam and Micah had already met, and Micah had been interested, but never acted on anything until Matthew decided to give him as a present.

I was totally shocked when I found out what Micah's secret was. I thought it would be something like dealing drugs or murder, or something like that. I give Micah major props for admitting it to Pam. Due to my own ignorance, after finding out his secret, I was ready to complete write him off myself and thought there was no way Pamela should be with him. But Micah actually ended up as my favorite character in the book. Very sympathetic character. I liked Pamela also, she reacted in the same way I would have. Her secret was a shock to me also, and I liked the growth she showed throughout the book. I was happy with the story's ending, and would even love to know more about what happens to Pam and Micah in the future.

I also enjoyed the minor characters in this book. I thought little Matthew was cute and not too annoying/grown like a lot of the little kids in books can be. The side story with the romance between Micah's friend AC and Pamela's friend Jessica, was cute, also and thankfully kept small and didn't take over the main story. Also, although this is Christian-fiction, it didn't get too overdrawn and preachy, but had a very good message.

I definitely recommend this book!!!

View all my reviews

Source: Library
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review-Diamond Playgirls

Diamond PlaygirlsDiamond Playgirls by Daaimah S. Poole

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

That is a generous 3 stars. This book was just okay.

It is a series of 4 novellas written by 4 different female authors, each about a woman who is moving into a brownstone in New York City.

The first story is about Dior, who comes from Montreal, Canada. I wasn't a huge fan of her story at first, but after reading the others, hers actually wasn't too bad. Dior is a shopaholic and spends too much money (she even runs out of cash on her first day in NYC and can't pay her cab fare). She starts a Myspace account and begins chatting with this guy named Mr. GoodBlackMan, who is really sweet and sounds like his name: a good black man. However, Dior also meets another guy (can't remember his name at the moment) and he also seems too good to be true (and proves it.) Like I said, Dior's story wasn't too bad, although it was super predictable (at least to me) who Mr. GoodBlackMan would turn out to be.

The next story is Tamara's, which was written by Daaimah S. Poole. Ms. Poole is the only author of this bunch that I had ever heard of. I've read most of her books and really liked them, so I figured her story would be my favorite. That was not the case. Tamara's story was so boring, I can't even remember what it was about. Something where she's a party promoter and she's hired to plan the opening of a new club. All the while, her married boss starts hitting on her. The blurb on the back of the book mentioned something about her dating 3 men at once, but that never happened.

Next up is Chloe. I actually liked Chloe and her story the most of all, as hers seemed the most realistic. Chloe's father is a famous businessman so in her old town, she's somewhat of a celebrity, so she moves to NYC to try and make it on her own. She gets a job as an assistant at a magazine. She's good at what she does and even gets mentioned for a promotion, although she hates the woman she works for. She meets Chris, a man she falls in love with, but it turns out he has had some unpleasant dealings with her father, so Chloe hides the fact that she is the man's daughter.

Lastly is Mona Lisa, who's story is only slightly more interesting than Tamara's, but she's more unlikeable than Tamara. Mona Lisa hates commitment and runs through men at her own leisure. Her only real relationship was back in college with a man named Nat, whom she ran from when things started to get too real. Nat turns back up in Mona's life and she has to face some harsh realities about herself.

At the end of each of the stories, it is a Valentine's Day and each woman goes alone to a club in NYC to celebrate and they wind up talking and becoming good friends, despite the fact that they've all been living in the same house and never bothered to get to know each other beforehand. There's no real closure to any of their stories. All the women are basically the same with no real characterization or growth (beautiful, fashionable, successful, unlucky in love). The character of Jerome was annoying and I was tired of seeing him pop up in every story.

I give this a 3 because I did like Dior and Chloe's stories, but the rest I could've done without.

View all my reviews

Source: Library
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year

Friday, February 25, 2011

Theme Thursday (2)

Theme Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Reading Between the Pages. The rules are:

1. A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
2. Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
3. Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
4. It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

This week's theme is TOUCH

My entry comes from my current read, Diamond Playgirls by Daaimah S. Poole, et al, pg. 257-258:

He knocked three times before she opened the door. Immediately he stepped in , holding a greasy brown paper bag that smelled of fried chicken. Without even asking, he hugged her as if she were his long-lost cousin. The bag made a rattling sound as their bodies pressed against it. "Heeeey!" He smiled, rocking her slightly.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (9)

It's Monday, What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Journey.

Last week: I finally finished up the mind-numbingly boring Deadly Sanctuary, and the semi-awesome Twilight.

This week: I started reading Diamond Playgirls, a series of short novellas about 4 women who are all connected in some way (probably a man) written by Daamiah S. Poole and 3 other authors.

Up next: New Moon!!! Can't wait!

What are you reading this week?


Twilight (Twilight, #1)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Ok, so Twilight. As I said before, I wanted nothing to do with the Twilight series. I've never been into vampires and werewolves and things like that. But then I saw the movie Twilight and I really liked it. So of course, I needed to read the book.

Since I saw the movie, I was spoiled for what would happen in the book. And since I also read up on the movie on Wikipedia (I always do that for movies, just to get more background info on the movie), I spoiled myself for parts of the rest of the series also, although not too much. I've also learned that, while it had seemed that the entire world was in love with Twilight, that's actually not the case. There seem to be a lot of Twilight snark blogs (such as the tumblr, reasoningwithvampires which picks apart the grammar in the books) and the majority of my favorite celebrity gossip blog, OhNoTheyDidnt, is anti-Twilight (although that's not surprising, since they are anti-anything that's not Britney Spears or Lady Gaga.)

Anywho, I was prepared to be thoroughly bored with the book and disgusted by the bad grammar. However, that was not the case. While I suppose there are some grammatical errors, they weren't so bad to jump out at me, so I didn't mind. True, the book is not a literary masterpiece that should be dissected and analyzed in college classrooms, but it held my interest, and that's all that matters to me.

The book tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the town of Forks, Washington to live with her father. During her time there, Bella meets and falls in love with the mysterious Edward Cullen, who turns out to be a vampire.

I liked the character of Bella for the majority of the book. I did have to roll my eyes at the beginning in which all the boys are falling over themselves to date Bella, who's supposed to be a plain Jane I guess (I picture Bella as Kristen Stewart from the movie, who isn't gorgeous, but I thought she was really pretty as Bella.) I thought Bella was kinda rude towards her father and to her new friends Jessica and that other girl, almost as if she were too good/smart for them, but I could overlook that. Bella started to bug a little bit towards the end of the book, where almost every other word or thought from her was about how much she loved Edward. I found their relationship very sweet and cute, and I get that this is Bella's first real love and that Edward is so beautiful and sparkly, but it just seemed a little much that she was just so in love with him already, so much so that she's already willing to become a vampire for him. I just thought that happened a little too fast.

As for Edward, I had no real beef with him. He seemed really sweet and like a good guy. I'm trying to figure out what he likes so much about Bella except for the fact that her blood smells good. I would've liked to know what exactly they loved about each other, but maybe that's mentioned in one of the other books.

The book did tend to drag at some points and what turns out to be a 500 page novel, easily could've been around 350-400 pages if some of the drivel was taken out. But all in all, I really liked the story and I enjoyed the characters. I'm dying to know more about what happens next in their relationship (I know bits and pieces, but not everything.) I"m a definite Twi-hard or whatever they call themselves now, lol.

Source: borrowed from a friend, but will be purchasing
Challenges Used For: 100 Books in a Year, YA Reading Challenge

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review-Deadly Sanctuary

Deadly SanctuaryDeadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Clearly this book wasn't keeping me on the edge of my seat, since it took me nearly a month to finish. The storyline and the characters were boring. The mystery was so boring, I can barely remember what it was about. Something about a dead journalist and then someone planting some taratulas in the main character's (Kendall) shower.

This book wasn't a total waste of time, however. The relationship between Kendall and Tally was semi-interesting, even though it was entirely predictable. Kendall is the poor man's version of Stephanie Plum and Tally is the extremely poor man's version of Joe Morelli.

I don't know if there are more books in this Kendall O'Dell series, but I won't be bothering to find out. I'm glad this was a freebie and that I didn't waste money on it.

View all my reviews

Source: freebie from B&N for my Nook Color
Challenges Used For: 100 Books in a Year, Mystery and Suspense Challenge, Show Me the Free Challenge, E-Reader Challenge

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Theme Thursday (1)

Theme Thursday is a new meme that I came across on Reading Between Pages...

The rules are simple:

1. A theme will be posted each week (on Thursdays)
2. Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
3. Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
4. It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

This week's theme is LOVE.

My entry for this week comes from my current read, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, pg. 314:

"You were very deeply asleep; I didn't miss anything." His eyes gleamed. "The talking came earlier."
I groaned. "What did you hear?"
His gold eyes grew very soft. "You said you loved me."
"You knew that already," I reminded him, ducking my head.
"It was nice to hear, just the same."
I hid my face against his shoulder.
"I love you," I whispered.
"You are my life now," he answered simply.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am very saddened to see that all of the Borders bookstores in my area will be closing soon.

Despite the fact that I buy all my books from either Barnes and Noble (because of my NC) or Amazon, I have always had a special place in my heart for Borders. I worked as a cashier at Borders for most of my college years and it was such a great job. One of the stores that's closing, the Bowie store, is the one I worked at. I loved that job so much. Being around books all day? Who could complain! The only bad thing was that the majority of my paycheck went right back to them.

Another one of the stores that's closing, the Largo store, is the one I've gone to the most often lately, since it's right up the street from me. When I want to get some grading done, it was a good place to go and set up a table in the cafe and grade while people-watching.

So despite my Border love, why did I become an Amazon/B&N girl? Well, Amazon was great for shopping from home, plus I love the whole free shipping for orders over $25. I could also get a lot of the more obscure books, and a lot of my teacher resource books on Amazon.

As for B&N, before the Borders in Largo was built, the closest one to me was the one in Bowie. There's also a B&N in Bowie, which is actually in the mall that I frequently go to there. So it just made more sense to stop in at B&N while shopping at the mall, than to drive extra and go to Borders. And now that I have Strawberry (my NC), I pretty much have to buy books from them.

So I'm sorry for seeing Borders go. I always liked the layout of Borders better than B&N's anyway. I'm thankful to Borders for helping me be the great reader I am today, as well as keeping me a broke but employed college student, lol. RIP Borders, you will be missed!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review-Broken Hearts (Fear Street Super Chiller) *Spoilers*

Broken Hearts (Fear Street Superchiller)Broken Hearts by R.L. Stine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is definitely one of my favorite Fear Street books. I loved the characters of the McClain sisters, Rachel, Josie, and Erica. Josie was my favorite character, she reminded me a lot of what I imagine high school Kristy Thomas would be like. I was bummed that she gets killed off midway through the book but I enjoyed the parts she was in. The reveal of who the killer was a shocker, although I could go back and see that the signs did point to that person, but not too obviously so. The first time I read this book, I had no idea who it would be. I definitely recommend this as a quick, frivolous read around Valentine's Day.

View all my reviews

Source: ebay
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year, Read Me Baby One More Time, 2011 Young Adult Challenge, YA of the '80s and '90s Challenge

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (8)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at The Book Journey.

Last week I finished: nada

This week I'm currently reading:

1. Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel. Yes, I'm still plodding away through this one. The only reason I don't totally give up on it is I only have about another 100 pages to go, and I do kinda want to see what happens in regards to the main character's love life. I couldn't care less about the actual mystery.

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. My co-worker loaned all 4 books to me, so I've started reading it. Since I already saw the movie, I'm spoiled for what is happening in the book, but it's still pretty interesting. I'm towards the middle of the book now (chapter 14) and it's starting to get a bit slow. I adore Edward, though, he sounds like a sweetheart.

3. Broken Hearts (Fear Street Super Chiller) by R.L Stine. I decided to read this one now because it takes place around Valentine's day, and I wanted to read a V-Day book. It's a quick read and I should be done with it tonight (started it yesterday.)

I don't normally read more than one book at a time, but seeing as how Deadly Sanctuary is almost putting me to sleep, I needed something to read with it.

Up Next: No idea! I'll definitely read New Moon next whenever I finish Twilight, and then I'll move on to the pile of library books I got last week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (7)

It's Monday, What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Journey

Currently Reading: Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel (barely making it through it)

Next up: No clue. However...yesterday (during the Super Bowl, I'm not into that all) I watched the movie Twilight on On Demand. I've always said there were two series I'd never get into, the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. I still have no intention of ever becoming a Pot Head (or whatever they call the Potter fanatics), but I LOVED the Twilight movie. I LOVED the characters of Edward and Bella. Yes, I know I'm so 2000 and LATE, lol. But now I must read the book. So maybe that will be next. We'll see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.


C.Y.A, Covert Youth Agency, The Case of Tangled Love by Jason Ancona (Head over to For the Love of YA to see how you can get an e-copy.

I'm still broke, so all of these are freebies from B&N:

Murder a la Mode by G.A. McKevett

Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

Love at First Flight by Marie Force

From the library:

1. Diamond Playgirls-Daaimah S. Poole (it's a renew, since I didn't start it last time)
2. Kindred in Death-JD Robb
3. Hot (Broke) Messes-Nancy Trejos
4. A Purse of Your Own-Deborah Owens
5. Pleasure Bound-Opal Carew
6. Right Package, Wrong Baggage-Wanda B. Campbell
7. All We Know of Heaven-Jacquelyn Mitchard (YA Novel)
8. Betty Crocker Money Saving Meals

What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

January Recap

Books Read: 8
Favorite Book Read: Promises in Death by JD Robb
Least Favorite Book: a tie between Work What You Got and Married on Mondays
Number of Books Purchased: 0
Library Visits: 1
Books Won/Received: Lot of 12 Fear Street Books won on eBay
Challenge Progress:
*100 Books in a Year Challenge: 8
*Mystery and Suspense Challenge: 1
*YA of the '80s/'90s Challenge: 0
*Show Me the Free Challenge: 1
*Read Me Baby, One More Time: 0
*Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge: 0
*E-Book Challenge: 2
*YA Reading Challenge: 2

Review-Step Up

Step Up (Kimani Tru)Step Up by Monica McKayhan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really cute, YA novel. I was a little iffy on it at first, but it got more interesting as it went on.

I was kinda put off at first by the fact that the first couple chapters in the book are narrated by two of the main characters, Vance and Tameka. The reason this bothered me was because these two are not mentioned anywhere in the synopsis on the back of the book. Now I know all stories have subplots, but in this story it seemed more like this was Vance/Tameka's story, and Marcus/Indigo were the subplot and I would've liked for that to be mentioned in the book summary.

But I did get over that. Tameka is sixteen years old and pregnant with Vance's baby. Vance has gone off to Grambling State University for his freshman year at college. He makes all kinds of promises to Tameka before leaving, about how he loved her and would always be there for her and the baby. But you know what happens to folks once they get to college.

I really liked both characters of Vance and Tameka. Neither is perfect, and they were presented in a realistic manner and I didn't feel like either of them was wrong in this situation, just that they were both young and at the peak of their lives and made a mistake. I'm glad the story ended with both of them in a good place. The only thing I would've liked to know was if Tameka and Sean ever got together. He was a really sweet boy also, and I liked how nice he was to Tameka during their situation.

Then there was Marcus and Indigo's story, which mirrored Vance/Tameka's in that Marcus was going away during the summer for a program at Harvard University and leaving Indigo at home. Even though he wasn't a college student yet, he also got caught up in the new girls he met on campus. Mostly I found their story a little boring, especially since at first it was going to exact same way as Vance and Tameka's (minus the pregnancy of course). I did like Marcus' Korean roommate, Jae, whom Marcus was teaching slang to. In fact, the plot with Marcus and his roommates (Jae, Paul, Chris, and Derrick) was even a bit more interesting than his relationship with Indigo.

Anyways, I thought this was a good, interesting story that's a good eye-opener to how things can change when people are separated and when young adults begin college. I would definitely read more by this author and would want to read more about what happens with these characters.

View all my reviews

Source: Library
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year, YA Reading Challenge

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


ConfessionsConfessions by Sasha Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Confessions started off kinda slow, but definitely picked up and was really good!

This story is about two best friends, Nikki and Trinette. Trinette is married to a good man, Leon, but they don't live together because he has a job in another state. Trinette is basically one of those "all about the money" women and will sleep with any man that will give her that money. She was really making me mad throughout the beginning of the story because she was basically acting like a straight up 'ho, but she does come to realize the error of her ways, but that's only after she loses Leon. Pure example of someone not knowing what they've got until it's gone.

While Trinette's story was interesting, I was much more intrigued with Nikki's. Nikki is also married, but her husband Donovan is away at war, and they've drifted apart in their marriage. Donovan sends her a letter saying it's best that they just move on with their lives. Nikki is devastated for awhile, until she meets the sexy and fine Kenyon. He seems like a dream come true, but of course you can't judge a book by it's cover. Kenyon proves to be straight up stalker crazy. Some of the things he was doing and saying, and Nikki and Trinette's reactions to him, had me cracking up at some parts.

I give this book 4 stars because it definitely kept me entertained. It started off slow and there were a few parts that I didn't like (mostly the parts involving Nikki's radio talk show host job) but other than that, I recommend it.

View all my reviews

Source: Library
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year