Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

October 21, 2015

Sandra Brown books have been my guilty pleasure for years. I started reading the romance (sex) novels when I was a teenager. They are easy reads. Everybody needs the easy read books.

Her books transitioned from her earlier work of strictly romance to more crime dramas or something with a bit of mystery. Of course - she still has the romance and sex. I still find them easy to read, and I always enjoy them. I like them better now, that they have more substance. 

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

This one seemed different than some of her others. The story was less romance and less mystery at the start. 

The biggest mystery for me was the characters I knew would eventually get together. (You always know in Sandra Brown books). I didn't know how they'd end up together when she was married to a devoted man.

I also didn't really find their love story to have any romance at all. The story isn't romantic, and the way they got together wasn't romantic. I find it strange when a couple can fall in love without talking or having a conversation. I guess they had a connection deeper than talking (sex)? 

Either way, eventually, things started to unravel in the novel, so they could be put back together, and the explanations made sense. The mystery became a little more of a mystery to be solved. Kind of.

The more I write, the more I realise: I didn't love this novel. In the end, I did fall for the love, but the story was really disconnected, and they didn't explain or even try to solve a mystery until it was solved.

It was still a book I had trouble putting down (an e-book in my case), but I think I won't be reading it again. I've read better. I like the crime drama. I like the mystery. This one didn't really have all the things I love. 

Oh - and this is book 8 of the year. My goal was to read 13 this year. I'm behind by two books. And a bit embarrassed that I haven't read more than 10.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jason Priestley - a memoir

October 15, 2015

I chose this book for a very simple reason. I saw it in the Google Play book section for under 2 dollars, and thought, 'sure.'

Strange that his is the second book I've read this year by a celebrity. That makes two books in my life. Although - I bought Mindy Kaling's book Post Here because I thought it would be hilarious. I didn't think Jason's book would be.

Jason Priestley - a memoir

Where do I start? This book is basically his life story. The good, the bad, the love, and the 90210 years.

It's one of those books that I don't like to admit I'm reading or read, but will anyway.

Jason tells a VERY matter of fact story about his life. He's apparently good at everything, and even while doing bad-ass things, he still adds his own level of perfection. (This kind of reminded me of Brandon Walsh - the character he tried so hard to get away from.)

I'm still unsure if I liked the book. He gave us a lot of information without really giving any details. 

Here are some of my thoughts:

It's interesting that he was honest about things we already knew about. Shannon's attitude on 90210 being one of them. Yes, he did talk about her, but I wouldn't say he gave any more information. As terrible as it is, I kind of wanted more gossip. Something interesting.

I think his wife was amazing to him. She moved places for him, she supported him, and she raised his babies. I'm sure he helped in the raising, but it just seemed like she gave up a lot for him. I guess that's love.

He name drops a lot. He knew people before they were famous, and makes sure to let us know.

Lastly, I think the parts I liked best were about his dogs. Spoiler - he talks about the deaths of his dogs, and those were the most real parts in the book. Possibly because I will never have the 'celebrity' problems he does, but the love for a dog is universal. 

That's it. If you want to know more about an actor from Canada, (I especially enjoyed the time he changed the spelling of honor to honour) who did so much more than acting, read his book. He's done it all, and apparently met everyone.

And--- that's the post for today. On to the next book.

Oh - and this is book seven. My goal was to read 13 this year. I'm behind by three books.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Freedom Writers Diary

September 15th

Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and had been reading it all summer. Like I said, it's been a slow few months for reading.

I watched this movie when it came out, and I loved it. My sister bought me the book a few years ago because she knew how much I enjoyed the movie.

I don't read books after the movie very often. (Unless I'm rereading them.)

I'm not sure why it took me so long to pick it up.

So - my thoughts:

First, the novel covers SO much more than the movie. The movie told the stories in more detail. The novel included a different journal entry for each student. It was a small glimpse into the lives of the students. There was no happily ever afters because we didn't get far enough into their stories.

The audience sees change in the Freedom Writers (both in the movie and the novel), and how much Erin Gruwell changed their lives.

It's inspirational. The novel is, the movie is, the Freedom Writers are and the teacher is. 

If I had one complaint, it was the way they all wrote. Every journal entry felt like it could have been written by the same person. The grammar and story telling was the same. To be perfectly blunt, it was boring. It made the entries boring. I'm guessing this was a case of too much editing. It didn't feel real to me.

I don't think I'll read this book again, but I am glad I finally read it. It gave more insight into the students that weren't mentioned in the movie. The movie tells a story though, and this tells short stories about the students. You can't feel connected to any of the stories because once it's over - that's it. You aren't coming back to it.

It makes me want to watch the movie again.

Until next time.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

September 1, 2015

This summer has not been big for reading or writing. It's horrible but true. I actually finished this one at the start of September, but am finally writing about it.

Let me start by saying I am biased because I LOVE The Mindy Project. I didn't watch The Office quite as much. The Mindy Project is on Netflix, which of course makes it a lot easier for me to watch.

Now - to the book.

I obviously already think that Mindy is hilarious. When I bought the book, I expected to laugh through the entire thing.

I did laugh. Not through the entire thing though, and not as much as I expected.

It was a good book, it just wasn't all meant to be funny. It is non-fiction about Mindy. Stories from her life, things she likes, people she knows.  Some of it was quite funny, and other parts were simply anecdotes. 

At points in the book, I feel like we are are similar in thoughts, and other points, she's completely different.

For instance, her chapter on physical activity was brilliant. It described my feelings perfectly. It's titled "I am not an athlete." I like people who can admit it, and I understand completely. To this day, I have not found a sport that I'm good at. Mindy Kaling sounds like she is the same.

She also wrote a chapter on how she writes. I laughed and agreed with what she wrote 100 percent. It's basically how I write.

All in all, I'm glad I picked up the book, and I would read any others that she writes. She's witty, funny, and down to earth in her own way. It's a good light read.

I will be reading a lot more books this month - hopefully. 

Oh - and this is book Five. My goal was to read 13 this year. I have slowed down, A LOT.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sarah's Key by Tatiana do Rosnay

Sarah's Key by Tatiana do Rosnay

I really enjoyed this book. As far as loving the entire story (even though it's sad), I loved The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi more.

The stories have nothing to do with one another, I'm just thinking about fiction stories about real life. 

I guess they are similar in the way they tell two different stories. 

My next book is going to be happy. I need to find something funny. There isn't enough of that in my house of books.

Okay, about the book:

From the first few pages, I knew I was going to love it. I could tell it was going to be a book that I had trouble putting down. (I was right).

It follows two stories. One in France, 1942, and the also other in France, but closer to present day.

I enjoyed the story from 1942 more. It was about Sarah. She and her parents were taken away from their home by Paris police because they were Jewish. They were taken to a camp. Not understanding that she wasn't coming back, young Sarah, locked her brother in a cupboard, and took the key with her, planning to get him out soon.

The other story is about Julia, an American living in Paris. (For many years). She researches the day in July when the Jewish families were taken to camps, and she ends up learning about Sarah, and feeling deeply connected to her story.

At some point in the novel, Sarah's story stops, and it's left to Julia to find out what happened. I wasn't happy about that. I wasn't as interested in Julia as I was Sarah. Her story wasn't the one I wanted to read more about.

I felt sad for her because of the unhappy life she seemed to be leading. 

It was a sad novel. It was fiction about a true and horrifying event in France history. One that many characters in the novel thought was better left in the past. That right there is a pretty sad thought.

I finished it last night, and I'm a bit let down by the end. 

It feels like this was a negative post, but I did like the novel. I was invested in both stories, but more invested with Sarah's ending.

I will definitely recommend this book, but I also think I'm a bit late in reading it, so most people have already read it. 

Either way, I'd probably read it again myself in a few years. Like I said, it was gripping from the very first pages. That's the way books are supposed to be. 

Oh - and this is book four. My goal was to read 13 this year. It's a good start.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bared to you by Sylvia Day

Bared to you by Sylvia Day

This book has been compared to the Fifty Shades of Gray series. I haven't read Fifty Shades. I've heard more bad things about it than good, and I decided not to read it.

I went with this one, which is still 'erotica', but better written. So I hear, I can't say that for sure because I've only read the one.

Somebody lent this to me. I'd never heard of it before.

I think it's classified as erotica or romance. I also like to call it book porn. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I read it, I just think if it were on TV or a movie, it would be almost porn. (Except it has a story).

This was an extremely quick read. It took me three days, and I would have read it in one, but it's not a lunchtime novel. 

Some thoughts on this book:

  • Every person described in this book is drop dead gorgeous. The main man (Gideon) is hotter than all the rest. That must make him pretty good looking if every other person is described as beautiful. It could just be the main character (Eva), sees the beauty in everybody. To me, it felt like an episode of Melrose Place or 90210 where only the beautiful people hang out. Just as an age reference, I'm referring to both original shows, although it probably works for the new ones as well.
  • I was expecting either more or a different style of sex. There was a tiny bit of talk about dominant and submissive, but that's as far as they got. The sex scenes reminded me of the first romances I used to read in high school. Sandra Brown romances have the same type of scenes (in my opinion). Very detailed sex. I'm not complaining about the sex, I'm just saying it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
  • I understand why this is the first of three. They didn't really get into a lot of detail about anything in this novel. (Other than the sex detail).
  • They are both survivors of sexual assault (rape) in their pasts. Three days in, he agrees to 'couple counselling'. (I think three days, it was less than a month). I think if you need couple counselling that soon in a relationship, you probably should have been getting counselling all along. Eva had been (I think), but Gideon hadn't. Watching the two of them try to communicate really was the most frustrating thing in the world. The therapist had his/her work cut out. 
  • Although the characters tried hard to be a normal couple, they might want to take a step back and think about the definition of stalking. Healthy relationships don't include stalking. 
I haven't decided yet if I'll read the others. I'm curious to read more of the back stories. I'm kind of invested in the characters, but I really hope they grow up and learn what it is to be in a relationship. I'm worried they won't, and in that case, I'll be wasting my time reading them.

I didn't hate this book. It made me appreciate what I have. The love without all the ridiculous drama. 

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi

From the back cover: "A luminous and unforgettable tale of two women, destiny, and identity in Afghanistan."

Nothing I write about this novel will do it justice. 

I thought it was a wonderful book that took me into a world I knew nothing about. 

This book isn't a happy book. It is fiction, but probably could be a lot of snippets of life for a woman in Afghanistan.

Horrifying. It's horrifying what these characters live through daily, but just keep going. They are stronger than anybody I know. 

It follows two women in two different times. One a girl, and the other is her great great grandmother. Womanhood starts a lot earlier in this lifetime. It starts when they are children, but by the time they are 13, each have lives that are adult.

While reading this book, I forgot how many years pass between the two stories because not enough seems to have changed. 

I have one complaint about the book, and I'll talk about it now so I can get on to everything else that was great about it. It seemed towards the end (that's when I noticed it), we could read thoughts of other characters. I may have only notice because I've done it in my own writing before I realised (and somebody pointed it out), that I should ONLY be writing the main character's thoughts. Anything else should be through actions or words. I'm not saying we shouldn't know opinions, but the viewpoints started to shift a little. It tends to get confusing. 

I loved switching from one story to the next (between the two narrators). I loved both, and sometimes wasn't ready to jump into the other. 

This book made me hope that great things were destined for these woman. When they were hopeful, so was I. It's not a fairy tale though. It's real life. It's a life I've never seen. I never want to see it. My heart aches for those women. All of them, not just the ones in the novel. The ones who get beat up by a man, and it's somehow accepted. Scary.

It ended the only way I think it could have. Not with happily ever after, but with a little bit of hope that one life can change.

There was a sad moment that I saw coming. I don't want to say a lot about it, but I thought it had to happen to move the plot along. I don't know if that's good or bad, but I knew it would happen eventually. 

I loved this book. It made me sad, but that was only because of how real it was. 

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bonnie by Iris Johansen

There are three books in this series. I've read the first, I accidentally skipped the second, and this is the last one. Also, it seems that I haven't written about the first, even though, I'm positive I read it in 2014. I guess I haven't been updating as well as I thought. 

This is my first official finished book in 2015. My goal was one a month, plus one extra (13). So far, I'm winning.

About the book:

Even though, there were only three in this specific trilogy, Eve Duncan's story pops up in A LOT of Iris Johansen books, so the mystery of what happened to her daughter, has been ongoing (for many years). Eve has had many books about her, but these ones finally deal with the mystery of Bonnie (her daughter). I've read a lot of her books. I've been waiting for closure for a long time.

I just looked at the reviews on goodreads, as I usually do after I've finished a book. I always look, especially, when I'm not sure how I feel, to see if other people feel the same. (That sentence makes sense in my head, so I'll leave it as is). 

It seems as though there were a lot of people invested in the closure at the end. There were also quite a few people who were disappointed. 

The mystery end was a bit of a let down, I guess, but it was also sad. Without getting into spoilers, it was a senseless tragedy that haunted Eve (and her family) for YEARS. She finally found out what happened, and I was glad for her.

This woman, is strong, tough, and probably a good person to have in your corner, and the people who love her are strong and tough as well, and will jump to her defense and rescue in a heart beat (even though, I'm convinced she can make it through anything). So the question really is, why bother kidnapping her? In this situation, I get why she was 'taken', but still, people should know by now, not to mess with her.

I'm sure we'll see more stories about Eve. I hope so, but they should be different now. Finding out what happened to Bonnie, should change Eve. It would change me. Although, I'm not as brave or strong as Eve is.

I think this book is good for anybody who has been invested in the Eve Duncan mysteries. 

I find them to be easy reads (and usually quick - except for this month), and they are full of people who think different than my real life people. There's also usually somebody who is a complete crazy person, and they do unbelievable and horrible things. I choose to believe these people aren't really out there, but just watching the news shows me they are.

On to the next book! I should be back in a month.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.