Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Challenge Roundup

Here's how I did on my 2012 challenges:

Goodreads ChallengeFAIL
I wanted to read 65 books, but only managed 59.

The Book Vixen's Outdo Yourself Challenge FAIL
I read 61 books last year, so I wasn't able to surpass that this year.

Why Buy the Cow Reading Challenge FAIL
I wanted to read at least 12 free e-books this year. I read NONE, zip, zero, nada.

Support Your Local Library Challenge SUCCESS!
Midway through the year I upped my level to Level 4 (37+) books and I ended up reading 53 library books.

2012 E-Book Challenge FAIL
I wanted to read 10 e-books. I ended up reading only 4 e-books (One for the Money and the 50 Shades Trilogy)

2012 Mystery and Suspense Challenge FAIL
I wanted to read 12 mystery/suspense novels, I ended up only reading 9.

Fall Into Reading Challenge SUCCESS and FAIL
It was a success because I read more than the original 10 books that I posted (I read 12 books in that timeframe.) It was a fail because I only read 1 of the books from my original list.

Now, some of the questions from The Perpetual Page Turner's End of Year Survey:

1. Best Book I read in 2012? - White Lines by Tracy Brown
2. Most Disappointing Book- The Fifty Shades Trilogy. I did enjoy it, I just thought it would be better than it was.
3. Most surprising book? - The Bum Magnet. Seriously didn't think it would be good, but it was awesome.
4. Book I recommended to people the most? - White Lines
5. Best series? - The White Lines series. can't wait for part 3!
6. Favorite New Authors - Carla Pennington, Miasha, K.L. Brady
7. Book that was out of my comfort zone/ different genre- A Stolen Life, the Jaycee Dugard story
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book- Diary of a Mistress
9. Most memorable character- I'm gonna cheat and do the most memorable couple. Definitely Jada and Born from White Lines.

My top 10 favorite books of 2012:
1. White Lines-Tracy Brown
2. White Lines 2: Sunny- Tracy Brown
3. The Bum Magnet-K.L. Brady
4. Got a Right to be Wrong- K.L. Brady
5. The Available Wife Part 2- Carla Pennington
6. Diary of a Mistress- Miasha
7. Another Man Will- Daaimiah S. Poole
8. Fly on the Wall- Trista Russell
9. Celebrity in Death- JD Robb
10. Treachery in Death- JD Robb

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Challenges

These are the challenges I will take part in 2013.

Workaday Read's 2013 E-Book Challenge
Challenge Guidelines:

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.
Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
You can move up levels, but no moving down.
Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
CD – 10 ebooks
DVD – 25 ebooks
Memory stick – 50 ebooks
Hard drive – 75 ebooks
Server – 100 ebooks
Human brain – 150 ebooks

This year I will go for the CD Level (10 e-books) again.

The Book Vixen's Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen
Reading Challenge Details:

Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
The goal is to read at least 10 contemporary romance novels.

The Book Vixen's 2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen
Reading Challenge Details:

Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.


Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books
The 2012 Outdo Yourself Challenge will end up being a fail for me, so this year I will aim to read 62 books, which will be 3 more books than I read this year.

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Challenge Guidelines:
This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.
Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read! (On your blog, Amazon or Goodreads/Shelfari!)
Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2012 and earlier! NO 2013 ARCs and 2013 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge. (If you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!)
You can move up levels, but no moving down.
Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
On the 20th of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)
If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - a box of books.
You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
(how many books you're planning to read for this challenge in 2013)

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children
I would like to go for the "A Firm Handshake" Level and read between 1 and 10 books. Here are some of the books I plan to read from my Goodreads TBR pile:
1. Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins
2. I Heart New York-Lindsey Kelk
3. Falling into Grace-Michelle Stimpson
4. Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn

Book Dragon's Lair's Library Reading Challenge
choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
check books out of the library
books may overlap with other challenges
any format allowed (print, ebook, audio)
reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is.
a blog is not necessary, just comment that you want to join in

board book - 3
picture book - 6
early reader - 9
chapter book - 12
middle grades - 18
Young adult - 24
adult - 36
just insert IV - 50
I loved participating in this challenge last year, mostly since it was the only challenge I actually succeeded in. This year I will go for the Adult level and challenge myself to read 36 books or more from the library.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Sorry, did not mean to complete abandon this blog, it's just that school's been crazy so far. I hope to get things going again at the start of the year. Here are the books I've read and enjoyed over the past few weeks:
Fly on the Wall-Trista Russell (a high school senior and a teacher engage in a torrid affair...LOVED it)- 5 stars
Celebrity in Death- JD Robb (while making a movie based on one of Eve's cases, one of the main actresses is murdered...LOVED it ) 5 stars
The Next Best Thing- Deidre Berry (cute story, liked the main character) - 4 stars
Keeping Misery Company- Michelle Larks 5 stars
Naked Love-Darnella Ford 5 stars
Platinum-Aliya S. King 4 stars
What She Left Behind- Tracy Bilen (young adult novel about a girl's mother who goes missing. Interesting story, although I didn't really like how it ended) 4 stars
The Other Side of Goodness- Vanessa Davis Griggs 4 stars
Not Quite What It Seems- Mari Walker 4 stars
Naughty and Nice- Eric Jerome Dickey 4 stars

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review-A Good Excuse to be Bad

A Good Excuse to Be Bad (An Angel Crawford Series, #1)A Good Excuse to Be Bad by Miranda Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I saw this on the library shelf, I was excited to read it because the description sounded interesting:
"Smart, gorgeous, and too tough for her own good, bail recovery agent and single mom Evangeline Crawford moved to the burbs for a quiet life. Fortunately, it's not turning out that way...

Angel has to admit she's feeling restless. The only excitement in her new life is her schoolgirl crush on the town's new pastor, Justus-too-Hot-to-be-Holy Morgan. But a fateful encounter and a job gone wrong at Club Night Candy in underground Atlanta is about to change all that... Soon, Angel's trying to save her divazilla twin sister from her big mouth and a scandalous murder charge, and probing a church cover-up--with none other than Justus by her side. But Angel has one more pressing concern: will Bella be ready for kindergarten? Only time will tell for this bad girl gone good whose days are once again far from boring--and hopefully far from numbered..."

Unfortunately, that description was the best thing about the book. It was a struggle to finish, as the story line was boring and repetitive and none of the characters were particularly interesting. It did pick up at the end, which bumped my rating up to a 3, but not much else was good about this.

View all my reviews
Source: Library Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library, 2012 Mystery and Suspense Challenge

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review-Another Man Will

Another Man WillAnother Man Will by Daaimah S. Poole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Daaimah S. Poole's books are very hit or miss for me, but this one was a definite hit!

We have three sisters--Crystal, Yvette, and Dana, who are all looking for the same thing--a good man.

Crystal hopes she's finally found one in the guy who's had a crush on her since childhood. Dana crosses the color lines and ends up falling in love. And Yvette bounces back from her loser ex-husband by hooking up with a sexy older man.

I thought this was a really cute story that kept me interested from start to finish. All three characters were very likable and relatable and I enjoyed reading each of their stories. I definitely recommend this funny and engaging tale.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Support Your Local Library, Outdo Yourself Challenge

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review-Got a Right to be Wrong

Got a Right to Be WrongGot a Right to Be Wrong by K.L. Brady
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading "The Bum Magnet" and couldn't wait to pick this one up and see what was next for crazy Charisse.

At the end of "The Bum Magnet" it seemed as though Charisse's long string of bums had finally come to an end. She met and fell in love with Kevin, and now they are one week from their wedding day. However, Charisse then finds out something about Kevin that makes her wonder if he is just another bum to add to her collection. Along with dealing with that, she also has her crazy family members in town for the wedding, as well as her best friend Lamar who is looking to replace Kevin as soon as he can.

This was a fantastic follow up to "The Bum Magnet." K.L. Brady does a fantastic job of making all these characters come alive and is able to keep what could have been a typical "baby mama drama" novel into an exciting page-turner. I couldn't wait to see what Charisse would do next.

I look forward to reading more of K.L. Brady's books.

View all my reviews

Source: Purchased

Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, 2012 E-Book Challenge

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

Callapidder Days is hosting the Fall Into Reading Challenge. I had a lot of fun doing it last year, so I'm excited to get through some of the books on my TBR pile by participating again this year.

Here's a list of the guidelines:

*Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like.
*Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post using the Mr. Linky below.
*Get reading! The challenge goes from today, September 22nd, through December 21st.
*Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile, if you wish!
*Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun.

Here are the books I'd like to read during this challenge:

1. Got a Right to be Wrong-K.L. Brady (reading now)
2. Delusion in Death-J.D. Robb
3. Destiny's Divas-Victoria Christopher Murray
4. The Secret She Kept-Reshonda Tate Billingsley
5. Falling into Grace-Michelle Stimpson
6. Scandals-Sasha Campbell
7. Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn
8. One False Move-Harlan Coben
9. Yesterday's Lies-Terri D.
10. The Someday List-Stacy Hawkins Adams

I hope to read more than this, but this is a start.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So a few weeks ago I finally finished the books that had been all the rage with women this summer: the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I started the first one while on vacation, so I was able to fly through it pretty quickly, but it took me awhile to get through the other two, mostly because of being back to work.

First of all, I must admit, I was a tad disappointed while reading the first book. I thought the book would be basically all BDSM porn, I didn't know there would be an actual love storyline involved. At times, the book just read like a glorified Harlequin romance novel. But once I got past that, it was a little easier to get into the story. I did like the characters of Anastasia and Christian. I liked how Ana was not afraid to stand up to Christian at all, no matter how much she loved him, and how she stood by her beliefs. Likewise, I also liked how she did open herself up to some of his "Red Room" fantasies.

The second book I liked the least in this series, this one seemed to really drag by and nothing really interesting happens. The third book was my favorite of the three (although I grew tired of all the mushiness at the beginning with the constant "I love you Mr. Grey" and "I love you more Mrs. Grey.") This one had a lot more action and conflicts and I loved the way it ended. I also enjoyed reading their first meeting from Christian's point of view. While I wouldn't have liked the whole book from his POV, it would've been interesting to read more of his thoughts.

All in all, I give the series as a whole about 3 and half stars. Not a classic by any means, but an enjoyable, hot little read.

View all my reviews
Source: Purchased
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, 2012 E-Book Challenge

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Wrap Up Readathon Wrap Up Post

This readathon ended a week ago, but I'm finally able to post what I accomplished. My goal was to read as much of the 50 Shades trilogy that I could, and I was able to read a book and a half (All of Fifty Shades of Grey and half of Fifty Shades Darker.) I've been so busy this week getting ready for the start of school next week, that I haven't read much at all this week.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review-The Bum Magnet

The Bum MagnetThe Bum Magnet by K.L. Brady
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won this paperback last year from a giveaway by Diva's Bookcase and finally got around to reading it.
Charisse Tyson calls herself a bum magnet, because that's all she's seemed to be able to attract-bums. Throughout this funny and engaging read, we find out about all the bums Charisse has had to deal with--the playa playa who secretly had eight kids, the pretty boy with a wife on the side, and the deadbeat who made out with another woman in Charisse's car while she was out watching his kids. Now she meets a new guy named Dwayne, and wonders if her bum magnet curse will finally be broken.

I really enjoyed this story and I liked Charisse and all the other characters. It was a tad predictable at times, but still kept me eagerly turning the pages to read more. A great debut for author K. L. Brady.

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Source: Won Challenges Outdo Yourself Challenge

Summer Wrap Up Readathon and Vacation

I have one week left of summer vacation. My plan was to read 12 books this summer. Well tonight I should be finishing book #12, which means I would have met my goal, a week ahead of schedule. Yay! I'll be spending my last week of freedom aboard the Carnival Pride for seven days as it cruises from Baltimore, MD to Port Canaveral, Florida and then to the Bahamas. I plan to spend lots of time on a deck chair by the pool or on my balcony in a deck chair overlooking the ocean while reading my Nook Color, so I figured I'd sign up for this Summer Wrap Up Readathon.
My goals? Well, I figure I'll read some trashy erotica, so I'm downloading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and I hope to finish it during the week (or at least finish the first one and depending on how I like that one, decide if the other two will be worth reading.)
Have a great week!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July Review Round Up

Should Have Known BetterShould Have Known Better by Grace Octavia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dawn believes she has the perfect marriage, until her sorority sister from college comes to visit and decides she wants Dawn's husband for herself.

This one was just okay, didn't really like the characters, although the story line was intriguing enough to keep me reading.

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Source: Library
Secret ObsessionSecret Obsession by Kimberla Lawson Roby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed every Kimberla Lawson Roby book I have read and this one was no exception. Paige has lived in her sister Camille's shadow all her life and she is sick of it. She has devised a devious scheme to take away everything her sister loves, starting with her husband Pierce.

This was a very quick read as I couldn't wait to figure out what Paige would do next. The only criticism I have is that Camille and Pierce were just way too naive and stupid, unbelievably so. Still, a very good read.

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Source: I own this
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and CommitmentAct Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know I'm a couple years late on this one, and I still haven't seen the movie, but I'm glad I finally read this. Harvey fills this relationship manual with very straight-forward advice that's very easy to read. Most of it is common sense, but it was nice to hear it from a man's perspective. I also like that he kept the little personal stories and anecdotes to a minimum and the ones that were included, were interesting to read.

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Source: Library
Fast Break (Brooklyn Monarchs, #1)Fast Break by Regina Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was excited to pick this book up since it combines two things I love: romance and basketball. Plus the main character, Jackie Jones, has the same name as my mother. Jackie is the new owner of her family's team, the Brooklyn Monarchs, who are the worst team in the league. She is not too happy when she finds out that Marcus, a former NBA championship player, has signed on to be the new coach. Even worse, she wonders if he is part of a plan to sabotage the team so they will have to relocate to a new city.

This one started off really slow, and I wished there had been more romance, and less of the basketball behind-the-scenes meetings. Those parts really dragged the story down, but the romantic parts with Jackie and Marcus definitely made up for it. If this is the first in a series, I look forward to reading more.

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Source: Library (although I realized after reading it, that I had also already downloaded a free copy to my Nook)
Guilty PleasuresGuilty Pleasures by Donna Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jake and Eva Kelly are happily married--happily married con artists, that is. They've sailed along with no problems, until one day they end up conning the wrong couple.

This is another one that I wish had been more romance and less thriller. Once I got over that part though, I did enjoy reading their antics on the cruise ship, while they tried to out-con the people after them.

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Source: Library

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review-Breaking the Tied that Bind

Breaking the Ties That BindBreaking the Ties That Bind by Gwynne Forster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kendra is a 30-something woman, working a dead-end job at a restaurant. She desperately wants a career in communications and has finally scraped together enough money to enroll in college. Her main problem is her mooching mother, Ginny, who does nothing but beg Kendra for money and will go through any means to get it from her. As Kendra's career and relationship dreams start to come true, she wonders if she will ever be able to break free from Ginny or if she will always be holding her back.

I've read a few Gwynne Forster books and I've noticed they are all quite similar in that she has a very old-fashioned way of writing. The way the characters speak is really not how people of today speak and that's kind of hard to get used to while reading. The characters always seem a little too impersonal and it's hard to really feel connected to them. I didn't really connect with Kendra at all, or feel sorry for her when it came to Ginny. The romance that she has with the college professor was just kind of meh to me, as was the whole book.

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Source: Library Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review-The Available Wife Part 2

Available Wife Part 2Available Wife Part 2 by Carla Pennington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A few weeks ago I read The Available Wife, the prequel to this one, in which we are introduced to feisty Niquole, who is running her own record label. She is unhappily married to Germaine, and they have two young sons. She gets her needs fulfilled by having an affair with a man named Kingston, who has some secrets of his own. Niquole is definitely a character and I couldn't read fast enough to see what kind of troubles she would get herself into and how she would get out of them. The Available Wife ended with a cliffhanger, and I was glad that I was able to find and read Part 2 not too long after. This one picks up where the other one left off, and Niquole is up to her same tricks, sneaking and scheming to get what she wants, no matter what the cost. I liked this one even better than the first. Niquole hooks up with a younger man, whom I really liked her with. The whole book was great, and my only gripe was with the way it ended, since that means there will be no Part 3 and this series is complete. Definite must read.

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Source: Library Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, July 1, 2012


CrushCrush by Michele Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Crush is an anthology comprised of three novellas. The first, White Mocha, was written by Michele Grant, whom I've never read any of her books before. White Mocha is about a workaholic named Jayla, who begins a steamy love affair with a coffee shop owner. Although a bit predictable, I enjoyed the characters and this was the only story in this collection I liked.

The second story was Wanted: You by Lutisha Lovely, whom I've read a few books by but never been too impressed with any of them. Lois is the homely, shy, and conservative secretary of a prominent, handsome lawyer. He begins receiving erotic letters and emails, which embarrasses Lois, since she is very much in love with her boss. Throughout the story we meet a bevy of women that the letters could be from. This story started out very promisingly and I was dying to know who the letter-writer was. However, I hated the ended, so much so that it ruined the rest of the story for me.

The last story was From One Lover to Another, by Cydney Rax. I've read a few of her books and have liked them. In this story, Lorraine has recently broken up with her hip-hop, gangsta-loving, ebonics-speaking boyfriend Posse, however she hasn't been able to completely let go. She still takes his calls and thinks about him often. She starts seeing one of her coworkers Wendell, but learns that even that isn't a match made in heaven. This story was pretty boring the whole way through and I didn't like Wendell, and I definitely didn't like him with Lorraine.

All in all, this collection of short stories is a fast read, but will not leave a memorable impression at all.

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Source: Library

Challenges: Support Your Local Library, Outdo Yourself Challenge

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review Round Up

One Way or AnotherOne Way or Another by Rhonda Bowen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was just okay. Toni Shields is a no-nonsense, career-driven woman who has no time for a man in her life. However, she can't fight the attraction she feels to Adam Bayne, a friend of her brother's who runs a group home for wayward boys.

I really liked all the characters, but would have liked to read more about the romance between and Adam and Toni, and less about the boys' home and Adam's past troubles. This was definitely more of a contemporary Christian fiction book, than a contemporary Christian romance.

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Source: Library

He Was My Man FirstHe Was My Man First by Nancey Flowers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wrote out a review for this but GoodReads ate it and I don't feel like typing it again, so I'll just say this was definitely an enjoyable, action-packed read.

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Source: Library

An Accidental AffairAn Accidental Affair by Eric Jerome Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

EJD's recent works all seem to follow the same pattern (at least the last two I have read.) Someone commits a crime, then spends the rest of the book on the run. All the characters are the same, just different names.

In this one, writer James Thicke, flies into a violent rage, attacking Johnny Handsome, who had sex with James' wife, famous actress Regina Baptiste, on camera. James then flees away to an apartment complex, where he gives a fake name and has sex with many of the women in the building.

As I said, all the characters in these books seem to act the same way. And, just like EJD did in Tempted by Trouble with continuing to repeat Eddie Coyle's full name all the time, he does the same thing in here, with repeating characters' full names over and over (in this case, Regina Baptiste), I don't know why this bugs me so much, but I wish he would stop.

This was not a bad read at all, but again, I like the diversity and uniqueness in EJD's earlier works, that seems to be missing from his newer novels.

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Source: Library

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review-New York to Dallas

New York to Dallas (In Death, #33)New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this installment of the In Death series, Eve goes back to her hometown of Dallas to track down a violent pedophile named Isaac McQueen. Even put him away in jail many years ago, but now he's escaped and ready to get revenge.

I am a huge fan of this series and have enjoyed most of the books, however this one was a little too slow for me and it took awhile for me to get into it. Since it didn't take place in New York, there were just few scenes with the usual cast of characters such as Peabody and Summerset. As usual, I did enjoy the romantic interactions between Roarke and Eve, although there didn't seem to be too many of those also.

Oh, and the reveal about who Isaac's female partner was fell a little flat to me also. I felt that Eve was just a little too unattached to that when she should've been a bit more.

All in all, not a bad read, but definitely not one of my favorites in the series.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, 2012 Mystery and Suspense Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review-White Lines 2: Sunny

White Lines II: Sunny: A NovelWhite Lines II: Sunny: A Novel by Tracy Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I truly enjoyed reading the first book in this series, White Lines. While I knew I definitely was going to read this sequel, I wasn't too excited about it. Seeing as how this one is titled White Lines 2: Sunny, that meant the main character would be Sunny. I wasn't a hge fan of her in the first book, so I didn't really want to read a whole book based on her. Secondly, I REALLY liked the characters of Jada and Born from the first novel. Those were the ones I really wanted to read about, and I wasn't sure if they would be a big part of this one.

However, as soon as I started reading, I was hooked. The character of Sunny is much more fleshed out in this book and I quickly grew to like her. She is still struggling to get over what happened to Dorian in the first novel, but she is trying to move on after starting to date a new man. With the stress of her new relationship, as well as the book deal she is working on, she again begins to find solace in the white lines she had once been addicted to.

I was also happy to read that both Jada and Born are in this one as well. Jada is now completely clean, and she and Born are slowly rekindling their romance. One thing Jada is struggling with, is raising the son she had with Jabari in the first novel. Sheldon is now showing the effects of being a crack baby, and is acting out in school, disrespecting Jada, and showing overall psychotic tendencies. Born is worried that, although he loves Jada, her problems with Sheldon (who is his enemy's son) might be too much for him to handle.

Again this novel keeps you on the edge of your seat and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. It ends with a cliffhanger and I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens next.

View all my reviews Source: Library Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review-Do You Take This Woman?

Do You Take This Woman?Do You Take This Woman? by R.M. Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this story we have Pete and Wayne who have been friends since childhood, they grew up together and call each other brothers. They end up both falling in love with the same woman, Carla. Pete saw her first, but Wayne is the one who ended up engaged to her.

However, Wayne cheats on Carla with another woman, and Pete runs to tell Carla. She then falls in love with Pete and they end up married. But that doesn't mean that Carla and Wayne are finished with each other.

This book started off very slow and I did not like any of the characters. Seriously, I thought they were all idiots and didn't understand why they would continue to participate in this little love triangle. Pete was the biggest idiot of all, since it was apparent to me that Carla never loved him, and she was better off with Wayne.

The book did pick up a bit towards the end, although it was a tad predictable. A quick read, but will leave you more frustrated than entertained.

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Source: Library

Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review-The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had seen this book reviewed on a few other YA blogs (although I only skimmed through the reviews) and I liked the premise of this one, which is about a girl and a boy who fall in love one night while in an airport. The main reason that I liked that premise is because many years ago when I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, I started writing a story about the same thing (never finished it.)

Anywho, in this one, 17-year-old Hadley is flying out to London for her father's wedding, which she is not too happy about having to attend. While in the airport, she meets and falls in love with Oliver, who is flying back to his home in London.

I was actually a little disappointed. I never really got into either character and especially wasn't into their love story. I was actually more interested in Hadley's relationship with her father and new stepmother. I found some of the events that happened to be a tad contrived.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review-Explosive Eighteen

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18)Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There's not much I can say about this book that I haven't already said in my past reviews of the last few books. Predictable storyline. Mystery I don't care about. Jokes that are no longer funny. I remember the first few books in this series, I was literally LOLing every few pages. Now all I do is read as fast as I can just to be done with it. I no longer care about the love triangle between Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli. Why should I? It seems like it will never be resolved so I don't see the point in caring.

On the positive side, I do still like the Stephanie and Lula scenes, as well as dinner scenes with the family. That's about it.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library, 2012 Mystery and Suspense Challenge

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review-White Lines

White LinesWhite Lines by Tracy Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White Lines is an urban love story about a teenage girl who is addicted to crack, who falls in love with a drug dealer.

Jada left home at age 16, and soon got caught up in a world of drugs and prostitution.  She quickly becomes addicted to crack cocaine, but is able to get herself clean.  She then meets and falls in love with Born.  Born grew up with a drug dealer for a father, and as he got older, began to follow in his father's footsteps.  He and Jada fall in love, but she keeps her past drug addiction from him.

This book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.  I enjoyed all the characters and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen with them: would Born find out about Jada's addiction?  Would she be able to stay clean or would she slide back into the comfort of the crack?

A definite must read and I can't wait to read the sequel White Lines 2: Sunny, which recently came out.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review-Back Spin

Back Spin (Myron Bolitar, #4)Back Spin by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this installment of the Myron Bolitar series, Myron sets out to find the kidnapped son of a famous golfer, who is currently leading a major golf tournament.

I'm sure I've said this about some of the previous books in this series, but this one is so far my favorite.  The mystery was very straight forward and easy to follow, but had lots of twists and turns along the way to keep me on the edge of my seat.  I also liked how we were able to delve a bit more into Win's back story and get to know him better.

Can't wait to read the next in the series.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge, 2012 Mystery and Suspense Challenge

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review-Sometimes it Happens

Sometimes It HappensSometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this story, the main character, Hannah, is starting her senior year with a big secret: the night before, she slept with her best friend's boyfriend.

This book alternates between the events of the summer,during which Hannah and her BFFs boyfriend grew closer, and the first day of senior year.

The story line was cliche and I found most of the characters, especially Hannah, to be very whiny. It kept me interested enough to want to know what would happen, but I didn't really care once I found out. Not a big fan of this one.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review-I'm Telling

I'm TellingI'm Telling by Karen E. Quinones Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story had a very good premise, but was not executed well.

The main character is Faith, who when she was younger, witnessed her stepfather sexually molesting her twin sister, Hope.

Fast forward to when they are adults, Faith is a successful book editor with a loving boyfriend named Henry. Hope, on the other hand, has spent much of her time out on the streets, doing whatever she can to get drugs. Their mother takes Hope in, but throws her out once she catches Hope sleeping with the mother's boyfriend.

This story was all over the place, and the characters were never really developed. Although Hope was obviously very messed up after having been molested as a teen (since she thinks it was her fault) it was never fully explored in the novel. The ending seemed very rushed and forced, although the summary on the back of the book makes it seem as if that's a major part of the novel, when it really only ends up being about 3-5 pages at the end. I'm not sure what the purpose of Faith's friend and business partner Ann was, or her relationship with Carol. I know that it helped set up the ending (which I could see coming from a mile away) but their story was unresolved and I don't know why it had to be mentioned anyway.

Almost gave this two stars, but it did keep me interested enough to want to see what would happen, so I gave it a 3. Definitely not a must read, though.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review-Tempted by Trouble

Tempted by TroubleTempted by Trouble by Eric Jerome Dickey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I used to be a big fan of Eric Jerome Dickey's earlier works: Sister Sister, Friends and Lovers, Milk in My Coffee, Liars Game, Between Lovers, and The Other Woman are some of my favorites. Then he started moving more into crime novels with his Gideon series and I was NOT a fan, so EJD had kind of fallen off my must-read list (although as I look through his bio now, I remember reading and liking Pleasure also, the last EJD novel I read.)

I read the synopsis of this one and figured it sounded interesting enough for me to give it a try and I'm glad I did.

The main character Dymytryk has fallen on some hard times-lost his job and his wife has left him. He finds himself as part of a bank robbery ring, under the operation of a man named Eddie Coyle (and I really disliked how he was ALWAYS referenced by the full name Eddie Coyle throughout the book.)

Lots of twists and turns in this one and although I didn't like many of the characters (with the exception of Dymytryk) EJD kept the storyline interesting enough for me to keep reading to find out what happened to them.

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Source: library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Theme Thursday (20)

Theme Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Reading Between Pages.

This week's theme is MOVEMENT.

My entry comes from pg. 1 of Money Never Sleeps by Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker:

The ladies' hips swayed as they passed paparazzi, and millions of dollars in rare jewels, ultrachic sheath dresses, and diamond-encrusted Stewart Weizman dream stilettos graced their bodies.

Series Sunday Review (6)-Treachery in Death

Series Sunday is a meme hosted by Literary Marie. My Series Sunday pick for this week comes from my favorite series, the In Death series by JD Robb:

Treachery in Death (In Death, #32)Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just keeps getting better and better. This one has Eve trying to put away some corrupt cops, right in her own Cop Central, and you know she's not going to take too kindly to anyone making a mockery of the uniform. We get to see Eve in all her glory going toe-to-toe with the female lieutenant of the Illegals department, who has done many shady dealings in her run as lieutenant. Even worse, she is the daughter of the former police chief.

Unlike the Stephanie Plum series (which I started reading the same time I started reading the In Death series) where I've grown tired of the characters and their same old stupid shenanigans, I still enjoy reading about the In Death cast of characters, especially Peabody and McNab, and I still adore Eve and Roarke's relationship. The only parts that I've grown a bit tired of are anything involving Dr. Mira, whenever Eve goes to her for her psych profiles, it turns into a snooze fest. Thankfully those were few and far between in this one.

Can't wait to read the next in the series!

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Mystery and Suspense Challenge

Friday, March 16, 2012

Theme Thursday (19)

Haven't done one of these in quite awhile...

Theme Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Reading Between Pages. This week's theme is the first snippet of FOOD.

My entry comes from pg. 1 (the very first sentences) of Treachery in Death by JD Robb:

The old man lay dead on a scattered pile of candy bars and bubblegum.

Review Roundup

A couple of quick reviews of two books I finished in the past couple of weeks.

SilencedSilenced by Kia DuPree

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story about a young girl (Tinka) growing up in a bad neighborhood. Her mother struggles with trying to keep Tinka on the straight path, along with keep her older sons out of trouble and the family from living on the streets. To complicate things is mom's live-in boyfriend whom Tinka doesn't like. I didn't care too much for the mom (and I cannot remember her name at all right now), but I did enjoy reading about the other characters.

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Source: Library
Challenge: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library

A Stolen LifeA Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't typically read memoirs or any non-fiction, but ever since I saw some fellow teachers recommending this book, I wanted to check it out. It did not even seem like a non-fiction book, due to the horrific things Jaycee Dugard had to go through, it made me wish it were fiction.

Jaycee relays all the terrible things that occurred during her 18 year abduction that began at the age of 11. She wrote in a very straight-forward manner that was easy to follow for the most part. She did have a tendency to ramble at points, especially the parts about her animals, but I probably only think that because I dislike animals and don't want to read about them in any way, shape, or form.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library

Did Not Finish:
The Eternal Engagement by Mary B. Morrison-I got through 55 pages and just couldn't read anymore. I didn't like or care about any of the characters and had not desire to find out the outcome of the "eternal engagement." Huge snore.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review-Off the Chain

Off the ChainOff the Chain by Candice Dow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

London is a young woman who just wants to love fashionably and take care of animals. Unfortunately, she flunks out of veterinarian school and is living on her best friend's couch. Things start to look a bit better for her when her friend helps her start a dog walking business and her mother gets her a job as an administrative assistant. That success is short-lived, though, when her friend kicks her out. Londod doesn't know what she will do, until her boss offers her an opportunity she can't pass up: become a call girl for his escort service. AKA a prostitute.

I really liked London as a character and thought the author did a good job of making her relatable, even though one would think a prostitute isn't really someone the average person can relate to. There were plenty of twists and turns in the book to keep me hooked. I always enjoy Candice Dow's books and this one was no exception.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review-Say Amen, Again

Say Amen, AgainSay Amen, Again by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Say Amen, Again is apparently a sequel to some other books written by Reshonda Tate Billingsley, although you don't really need to read them in order to follow this book. This one is the typical two-women-fighting-over-one-man novel, only the twist here is that the man is the pastor of a prominent church, and plus both women are pregnant with his baby. His wife, Rachel, does her best to get this mistress Mary, out of their lives.

Their story really was of no interest to me, I was really more interested in the subplot, which involved Rachel's brother Jonathan. In the previous books, he had come out as a gay man, and is now living with the ramifications of that, mainly his meddling aunt who thinks he should "pray the gay away." He is also a high school counselor and is currently counseling a confused young man whose father bullies him around about being a sissy.

While I liked Jonathan's story, as a whole I wasn't too impressed with the other story lines or characters and really have no desire to read any of the other books in this series.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review-Fade Away

Fade Away (Myron Bolitar, #3)Fade Away by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Myron Bolitar series, so I knew I would like this one also. It started off promisingly: Myron is hired by an NBA team to not only find their missing star player, but to also join the team as a player to help him get the inside info from his other teammates. The missing player, Greg, was once an old friend/playing rival of Myron's, until of course Myron's playing career was ended when he was injured during a game.

I'm not a sports fan at all, but the only sport I can tolerate watching is basketball (and Tiger Woods playing golf) so I was glad to see this one center on basketball. I really felt for Myron as he struggled with getting back into the playing groove again.

I do have to admit the story did drag a bit in the middle and I honestly wasn't too interested in the mystery aspect, simply because I was more interested in how Myron would deal with playing ball again. But the ending was really good and shocking and kept me on the edge of my seat. I definitely recommend.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library, 2012 Mystery and Suspense

Saturday, February 11, 2012


ScandaliciousScandalicious by Allison Hobbs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty good book, that chronicles the events of three main characters. The first is Solay, the owner of the cupcake shop called Scandalicious. Solay is currently going through a love drought and decides to hire a male escort to relieve some of her pent up feelings. Deon is her hired male 'ho, and while the loving is good, Solay finds herself falling for him.

Melanee is one of the employees at Solay's shop, whom butts heads with Solay when she wants to put some new cupcakes flavors on the menu. Melanee seems like a shy, quiet, and plain young girl, but underneath that exterior is a freak. She is in a BDSM relationship with her "master" Colden, who leads her through all kinds of freaky things in the book.

Last up is Lincoln, an attractive man who thought he had the perfect marriage with two little kids, but then he finds out his wife has cheated on him with some common thug. Lincoln sets out to find who this man is and make him pay.

The book was pretty good and kept me interested, although it was a tad confusing. I didn't understand Lincoln's storyline in relation to Solay and Melanee's since it had nothing to do with them and the cupcake shop, so it seemed kind of tacked on, until it finally came together at the very end. The whole ending seemed a bit rushed.

All in all, an okay book and I did enjoy the characters. I am looking forward to reading more books by Allison Hobbs.

Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review-One for the Money (book and movie)

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book, one of my favorites. This is the Stephanie Plum I fell in love with, the witty dialogue, the LOL situations, the lovable bumbling idiocy of Stephanie as she figures out the bounty hunter business. It's such a refreshing change from the disappointment of the last few books in the series.

The movie, however, does no justice to the book. I should've gone with my first instincts when I heard this movie was coming out and just not bother to see it, but the closer it got to release date and the more previews I saw, the more I wanted to see it, especially after rereading the book. But I should've waited until it came on TBS or something. I'm pretty much indifferent to Katherine Heigl (liked her on Grey's Anatomy, loved her in Knocked Up, haven't paid much attention to anything since then) but she wasn't so good as Stephanie. She played her a little too overly confident for my tastes. I hated the guy who played Morelli. I'd give the movie a 2.5 out of 5. If they decide to come out with another one (and I hope they don't) I won't be seeing it.

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Source: bought
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Mystery and Suspense, Ebook Challenge

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review-Diary of a Mistress

Diary of a Mistress: A NovelDiary of a Mistress: A Novel by Miasha

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I began reading Diary of a Mistress last Saturday morning. I figured I would read a couple of chapters before getting out of bed and starting my day. Well, about two and half hours later, I had finished the book. It was so good, I couldn't put it down and just had to keep reading to see what would happen.

Angela is a woman who has had no problems with sleeping with married men. She's mentally unstable due to her poor relationships and has been in and out of mental facilities. During her latest stint in one, her therapist tells her she should keep a diary to help her air out her feelings. Angela does--writing all about the relationship she's had with a married man named Carlos.

Monica, Carlos' wife, thought they had the most beautiful, wonderful marriage, until she receives the package in the mail that contains Angela's diary. At first she is skeptical about it, but then too many things to Angela writes about add up to things that have actually happened in Carlos and Monica's marriage.

The book was full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming and kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to see what Monica would do and what would be the outcome of Angela's little plan. I definitely enjoyed this one.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Support Your Local Library, Outdo Yourself

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review-Smokin' Seventeen

Smokin' SeventeenSmokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another typical Stephanie Plum novel. What more is there to say, they are all exactly the same at this point. I could see who the killer was a mile away. In fact, it was so obvious that I was actually surprised when that's who it turned out to be, because I was like was it supposed to be that simple to figure out?

In other news, the more I see the previews for the One for the Money movie, the more I want to see it. I'll be rereading the book beforehand, to remind myself of the days when the Stephanie Plum series was great and laugh out loud funny. Nowadays, not hardly.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library, Mystery and Suspense

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review-Mama Dearest

Mama DearestMama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read a few E. Lynn Harris books years ago (Invisible Life, As I Am, and something else) so I was somewhat familiar with Harris' writing styles and his characters. This book is about Yancy Braxton, a former Broadway diva who is struggling to get back on top of the game. Derailing her plans is her mother, Ava, who has recently been released from prison.

The story is very slow moving, although it does make you want to keep reading to see what Ava's plans are for Yancy and just how low she will go. I wasn't a fan of any of the characters, especially Madison B. I'm not sure why, I just didn't like her at all.

There were also a couple of grammatical errors such as tense changes in the same scene (one second it's in the past tense, the very next sentence it's in the present tense), things like that drive the English major in me crazy.

All in all, not a bad book, it just takes awhile to get into. I might have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous books about Yancy right before this one.

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Source: Library
Challenges: Outdo Yourself, Support Your Local Library

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Reading Goals and Challenge Round Up

GoodReads Challenge
This year I am challenging myself to 65 books.

The Book Vixen's Outdo Yourself Challenge
Last year I read 61 books, so this year I hope to outdo myself by reading 65, which is the Getting my heart rate up level.

Why Buy the Cow Reading Challenge
I still have a bunch of freebies on Strawberry from last year that I never got around to reading, and I know I'll get more this year, so I hope to read at least 12 free e-books, which is the Coupon Clipper level.

2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge
I signed up for this one since most of the books I read anyway are from the library. I originally signed up for Level 1-Read 12 books, but I'm already going to change that to Level 2-24 library books.

2012 E-Book Challenge
I am going for the CD Level-Read 10 e-books.

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge
I am going for 12 mystery/suspense novels this year.

That's it for now. Happy reading to all!

2011 Reading Year in Review

This was my first full year as a book blogger and I really enjoyed it. I have renewed my love of reading, expanded my never-ending TBR pile, and have a way of keeping track of all the books I read and my feelings on them. I signed up for many challenges in 2011, here's how I did:

GoodReads/Book Chick City's 100 Books in a Year Challenge
I was only able to read 61 books this year.

Book Chick City's Mystery and Suspense Challenge
Close but no cigar, I read 10 out of 12 books.

The Book Vixen's YA of the '80s and '90s Challenge
There was no specific number of books to read for this one, but I read 5, which is good enough for me.

The Unread Reader's Show Me the Free Reading Challenge
This one was a fail. I wanted to read 24 free e-books on Strawberry, but was only able to read 8.

Midnight Book Girl's Read Me Baby, One More Time Challenge
I signed up to re-read 6 books, I read 5 so not so bad.

Romance Book Maven's Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
Read 8 out of 10 books.

The Ladybug Read's E-Reader Challenge.
I thought I would be reading a ton of books on Strawberry, which is why I signed up to read at least 20 e-books. Due to the fact that I put myself on a book buying ban and got most of my books from the library, I was only able to read 11.

Jamie's Young Adult Reading Challenge
Read 15 out of 20 books

Book Chick City's Summer Romance Challenge
This is the only challenge I completed this year. I read 8 books.

I didn't sign up for as many challenges this year, so hopefully I will be able to complete more of them this year.

Wrapping Up 2011 Readathon Update-FINAL

I enjoyed participating in Jessie's Wrapping Up 2011 Readathon. The books I read were:

The Bite Before Christmas
Indulgence in Death
Silent Night 2
'Twas the Spy Before Christmas

I didn't even start a 5th book since I went out of town for New Year's Eve, but I am happy that I was able to wrap up the year with reading 4 books.