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Tina (HDB)

Book reviews, random musings and all things mischievous. 

Currently reading

Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Carla Rehse
American Gods: A Novel
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 350/750 pages
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
Jenny Lawson
Emma Raveling

Audiobook Review

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

I haven't read the books in almost a decade (I know, I know) but I watch the movies every year at Christmas as a tradition now. Chamber of Secrets made me miss book Ginny all over again. Even though this is just our first significant introduction to her as a character there is so much more to her character than what they do in the movies. 


Also, Professor Liarpants (Lockhart) is just as annoying as I remember. 


Onto the next!

Reading progress update: I've read 15%.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

The first few chapters read like a stand alone novel with it's general references to things from the first book. I wonder if JK Rowling knew she was going to continue the series. 

Audiobook/Reread Thoughts

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

A friend of mine has let me borrow all of the HP audiobooks and I am officially hooked. They make the work day go by so much faster and Jim Dale does a good job narrating. His female voices are a little grating but I think some of that is intentional. 


Sorcerer's Stone is definitely for a younger audience but I still really enjoyed it. Harry's naivete always surprises me a bit. It is also interesting how many lines from the book they have rearranged in the movies to make Hermione more interesting.  I'm sure I could go on for days about the differences between the movies and the books. 


And now onto Chamber of Secrets! Audiobooks are my new favorite now that my actual physical reading time is so limited. 

DNF: I've read 50 out of 344 pages.

Tearing Down The Statues (Salt Mystic) (Volume 1) - Brian Bennudriti

Calling it on this one. I've reread the first few chapters twice and I'm still lost. 

Review: Meh

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

So we read Shiver in the book club last month and I really wanted to enjoy it, but at the end I was left feeling meh. 


I had a hard time connecting with Sam which prevented me from really investing in his relationship with Grace. The last few chapters seem clumsy and felt like the author was reaching for a good way to tie it up with a pretty little bow. It did not work in my humble opinion. 


I'm not sad I read it, I just wish it was a little better. 

Review: Finding Lyla

Finding Lyla: Book Ten In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series - Cate Beauman

Cate Beauman does a wonderful job pulling you into this story as if you were living it. The places, people and situations were well crafted and interesting. My only complaint is that the beginning was very slow and I felt like the story was a bit dragged out. I think my reading time is more limited these days so these longer books are harder to get into. 


Lyla was an interesting character and I felt like we got some real insights into her background and history. The spark between her and Collin felt real as they experienced a very rough few weeks of life. As with most stressful situations, sometimes your partner in crime can be much more than that in the long run. Collin's character was well developed and I didn't have a problem keeping up with the story despite not having read any of the other stories in the series.


The chemistry was great, the action was fun and the romance was well done. There was a lot going on in the world around them and I did enjoy the inclusion of other characters that really kept things moving. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good romance with an interesting lead female and her "prince charming".


I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Finding Lyla: Book Ten In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series - Cate Beauman

The very first chapter hit me with so much emotion I had to stop reading. I know it's probably because I just had a baby, but I still couldn't deal. Will have to pick this back up in a few days. 

The world lost a great talent today.  


To Catch a Lady: A Hunt Club Novel - Pamela Labud

Full review to come, but my first thought when finally finishing this book is that is was far too long. I realize it was only a little over 300 pages but it was slow, so so so so very slow. 


Updated review: 

My first thought upon finishing this novel was a long sigh and gratefulness that it was over. The premise had lots of potential as I tend to enjoy the hate-to-love troupe especially when the characters are passionate. I was hoping Caro was a fiery feminist and what I got was a few arguments between a husband and wife and lots of unnecessary writing in between.


At a little over 300 pages I feel like some editing would do this book a lot of good. I kept hoping things would pick up, but page after page seemed to get longer and longer. I wasn't really invested in either of the main characters and though I understood the tension the author was trying to create between them, it felt flat. Caro had some fire and spoke her mind, but only occasionally and usually not about the important parts of their relationship. Most of the novel was focused on the internal thoughts and struggles of both Ash and Caro and much of it could have been addressed with a single conversation. The tension was forced and extremely drawn out. 


The ending was predictable and left little to be desired. Unfortunately this was not a read that I enjoyed.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

bahahaha YES
Reblogged from Wanda's Book Reviews:
— feeling big smile

Review: Cold Feet at Christmas

Cold Feet at Christmas - Debbie Johnson

The first thing that got me excited about this book was the adorable cover! Runaway bride, at Christmas no less... I was intrigued. What I hoped was a light hearted Christmas romance turned out to be more of a heavy, predictable story with some sexy scenes thrown in.

Now I'm usually all for some depth in my romance books. I love a good redemption story, but this book just had me frustrated the whole time. The book blurb promised a fleeing bride and a handsome man, both of which were present but the story itself was more about their bickering relationship, a man with a lot of baggage and a woman with no direction.

Leah seemed like a fun character, and while she had some funny moments she seemed artificial to me. Leave my wedding after finding my fiance with a bridesmaid and immediately jump into bed with a stranger? Well we all make mistakes when we are in pain and I can almost believe that. Proceed to move to a different country with no income and only knowing said stranger.... much less believable.

Aside from the insta-love from Leah's side, Rob was dealing with lots of demons of his own. I didn't quite expect the heaviness of his back story but that's not what bothered me. The writing style of constantly trying to create an internal conflict for him was hard to get through. Guilt and anger are sincere emotions and I feel like his standoffish behavior was supposed to create this tension with him and Leah but it seemed so forced and insincere. The constant "I don't deserve to be loved" attitude was exhausting and seemed to drag the story on for much longer than the actual 222 pages. His redemption moment was so very predictable I almost didn't finish the last chapter.

If you're looking for a light fun Christmas romance, this is not it. I will say that there were some exciting and sexy scenes mixed in with all of the drama that were fun to read.

Short, Sweet and Light

Under the Hood - Sally Clements

If you're looking for a fun little story in between books, I'd recommend Under the Hood by Sally Clements. I'm a fan of the Entangled stories and this one was no exception. What caught my attention when perusing books was that the lead female in this story is a mechanic. I really enjoy stories where the women have a "typical man" job as it seems they always have a fresh take on romance. 


There is a bit of insta-love in this book but it's hard not to jump right in when you write a romance novella and honestly, I didn't really mind that the characters jumped in. Alice is a pretty normal girl, despite her choice in profession. I like that they didn't make her into a tomboy just because she was a mechanic. Mark isn't my favorite book boyfriend but overall I enjoyed the story. It is well executed and left me smiling at the end. 



Greetings friends and fellow bookworms. Life has been a bit crazy these last few months so I figured a little update was in order. This little lady has been keeping me very busy but it is definitely time well spent. 
Unfortunately some of my hobbies have taken a backseat, including reading and blogging. Before I gave birth I had lots of input from moms about how much reading time they got in the early days. Some said they read so much more in the early weeks of their child's life and some didn't read for months. I would have to say I've found myself somewhere in between. I'm just starting to get back into the swing of things and while reviews may take a bit longer to get to, I promise they're coming. 
As any new parent will tell you, sleep is a hot commodity right now and sometimes when you're running on fumes (and coffee) Netflix is just easier than reading.  I've marathoned more shows than I care to admit over the last 4 months, but I've found myself getting bored with TV lately. This probably has something to do with baby girl sleeping more at night. As my sleep improves, so does my desire to read. Coincidence? I think not.
So I just wanted to pop in, say hello and let you know I'm still around! If any of you have tips/tricks to get back into the reading game feel free to leave a comment.
Ta Ta For Now!

Review: Hardwired

Hardwired - Lindsay Currie, Trisha Leaver

I had high hopes for this interesting dystopian world. The idea of a genetic predisposition to violence fascinates me and I was curious to see how the authors wove it into a "normal" society. The story moved quickly and while I enjoyed the pacing, this was not a "home run" book for me.


Lucas is a well written character and I enjoyed getting to know him. His innate need to prove the system wrong about his violent "genetics" is what motivated him to survive the Bake Shop. Having watched his older brother crumble after his stay in the Bake Shop, Lucas was ready to fight "the man" (aka government) by not only controlling his temper, but by coming out of their tests unbroken. It was his strong will that made his character shine.


Unfortunately, Lucas is the only character we really get to know and that was disappointing. His roommate Chris was an integral part of the story, but we didn't really get to know him at all. Their friendship could have been developed much more. Carly's character was shallow and frustrating to read. By the end of the story I was left wanting much more.


I don't normally discuss the ending of a book, so suffice it to say that I was disappointed in the epilogue. Hardwired had some great potential and with a little bit of refining and more character depth could have been up there in the top dystopian books - Hunger Games, Mazerunner, etc- but it was a solid 3 for me.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Hardwired - Lindsay Currie, Trisha Leaver

It finally happened, I've finished a book! This is my first book finished since having my daughter 2 months ago.  Cheers to finding time to do something I love while taking care of my little peanut.  Review to come! 

Reading progress update: I've read 17%.

Hardwired - Lindsay Currie, Trisha Leaver

So far I'm really  enjoying the story. I love that there are basically no introductions, we just jumped right into the middle of Lucas' experience. After over two months without reading a word I think this will be a great book to get me back into the swing of things.