Month: May 2017

Buddy Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Posted May 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 10 Comments

Buddy Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse on April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-stars

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Ames: Rowena and I decided to read Alex, Approximately for our May buddy review.

Bailey Rydell has moved to California from DC to live with her father. She has an online friend who lives in the same small town but since she’s an Artful Dodger (she avoids confrontation and awkward situations), she wants to scope out her online friend before introducing herself. But first she has to figure out who he is since they’ve never shared pictures. Over the course of their online friendship, he has revealed clues about where he works, so Bailey’s summer project is discovering Alex, her friend. Things get complicated when she meets Porter at her new summer job. They do not get off to a good start. But what started off with animosity slowly changes as they get to know each other.

Ames: All right Wena! It’s time to break this baby down. I have to say, I really enjoyed the set up for Alex, Approximately. There was so much room for error with this type of plot but I thought the author pulled it off.

What do you think?

Rowena: Yesss! I was pretty nervous going into the story because there is a lot of room for error but I thought Bennett did a great job with Porter and Bailey’s story. I enjoyed them both individually and together.

So many times, I’m annoyed with the protagonist in contemporary YA’s because they make such stupid decisions at one point or another but I wasn’t ever annoyed with Bailey in this book. I thought Bennett explained and made sure that the readers knew and understood Bailey’s motivations and I really connected with her character.

This book was fun and Porter was great fun to get to know. I really liked the friend that Bailey made at work (what’s her name again?) and loved how she called Bailey on her shit the way good friends should.

What about you?

Ames: Grace, her new friend at work. And yes, I liked her too. Her friendship with Grace was refreshing because her character growth wasn’t based solely on a boy. It was about all her relationships. Like even her dad and her had to work on some stuff and I really liked how well rounded that made this story.

I agree about YA heroines having the potential to be annoying. I liked Bailey a lot and understood her motivations. I thought she was being a bit dense at the end but I still like how it all came together. My only gripe about Bailey was her making a big deal out of hiding her relationship with Porter from her dad and then her reveal made it such a non issue. But that’s just a minor gripe. And oh man I laughed over the hickeys! Remember she tells her dad she was wrestling with Grace in the grass? haha

Okay – Porter and Bailey. I LOVED how their relationship developed. I liked their antagonistic beginning and how as they got to know each other their feelings changed. *sigh* So good.

Rowena: What an easy name to remember and I didn’t remember. Gah. Yes, I adored Grace and loved that this book was about more than just a relationship between a boy and a girl. I loved that Bailey dealt with all sorts of different relationships over the course of this book and each relationship was fleshed out and not breezed over to move other things along. Every character in this book was well rounded and I really enjoyed them all, even her Dad. His relationship with the new girlfriend was another cute addition. I loved that each relationship played a part in helping Bailey grow into the girl she was in the end.

The hickeys cracked me up! Porter was a little monster but I loved it. Haha. I also loved when he beat the shit out of Davy because Davy was an all around asshole.

Overall, this was a great coming of age story with a charming romance on the side. I really enjoyed how the whole Alex thing was put to rest and even though they both drove me crazy with that, in the end, I still enjoyed the book as a whole. It was good stuff. Great pick this month, right?

My grade for this book would be a 4 out of 5. You?

Ames: Oh man, yes! The end, with the figuring out of things, kind of drove me batty. I felt like Bailey was being just a bit too obtuse. LOL But I was happy with how it was all resolved so I wasn’t too miffed about it.

Okay, I have never had a churro. So that’s going to go on my summer bucket list. I like how the food was part of the story too. Did you notice that?

Like you I am giving Alex, Approximately 4 out of 5. I’m so glad you suggested this book for our May review. 😛

four-stars


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Week in Review (57)

Posted May 30, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments

This post is coming to you guys a little late because I’ve been wrapped up in a bunch of things lately.

I disappeared for a week because I was in a car accident last week Friday and this jerk ran into my car and tried to say that I was 30% at fault. Ummm, the front of his car hit the back of mine and he was turning right from the outside lane (he had to pass me to get into the parking lot on the other side of my car). I was going straight in the inside lane. How the hell he thought I had any blame in that accident is beyond me. So I’ve been in car insurance hell for the last week. I didn’t read a lot because I was dealing with that nonsense.

Aside from that, I’ve been prom dress shopping and witnessing the cutest promposal ever. Brenna’s boyfriend sent her 13 little notes, giving her reasons why he wanted to go to prom with her then he showed up at our house with a huge sign that said THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO PROM WITH ME? Lots of thought and preparation went into the promposal and I thought it was adorable. She picked a good one, my kid and I’m thrilled for her.

Here’s what the poster looked like and my brother’s thoughts on the whole thing (haha):

My only gripe with the whole thing was that he waited until 10:50PM to do it but still, it was cute and Brenna was happy so I let the lateness of his promposal slide. LOL.

Anyway, on with the post…

Currently Reading

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I’ve been pretty anxious to read this book because I loved the first two books in this series. Lara Jean did a lot of growing up in this series and I’m pretty stoked to finish out her story. I can’t wait to see where her and Peter are these days and what her plans for the future are. I also want to see what her peeps are up to these days. I have a lot of catching up to do with this one so I’ll be digging into it today.

I’ve been hearing good things about this book so that makes me happy.

What I Read

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs | 4 out of 5
The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn | 3.5 out of 5
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett | 4 out of 5
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan | DNF
Second Chance Season by Liora Blake | 4 out of 5
Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker | 3.25 out of 5

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Garrett Strickland from Second Chance Season by Liora Blake

I adored Garrett in the first book this series and loved him all the more in his own book. He was everything I hoped he’d be and because of that, he’s my book boyfriend of the week.

What I Reviewed

Joint Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5
If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell | 4.5 out of 5
The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan | 4 out of 5
Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr (Retro Review) | 5 out of 5
How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
Joint Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | 4 out of 5
Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5

What I Posted

TV Review: Sense8, Season 2
Eye Candy Friday: Mateo Torres from All Played Out
Three Things on my Happy Planner Wishlist

What I Got

I can’t even remember…I know I got stuff but I’m too lazy to check. Maybe next week..ha!

What I Watched on TV

This is the only new show that I’ve been watching. So far, it’s intriguing. I should be finished with my binge watch sometime this week.

What Movies I Watched

Gifted (2017) | 5 out of 5
Table 19 (2017) | 3.5 out of 5
Date with Love (2016) | 3 out of 5
Summer of Dreams (2016) | 3 out of 5
Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016) | 3.5 out of 5
Underworld: Blood Wars (2017) | 4.25 out of 5
The Perfect Catch (2017) | 4 out of 5
Love on Ice (2017) | 3.25 out of 5
Can’t Buy My Love (2017) | 3.5 out of 5
Love at First Bark (2017) | 2 out of 5
Before We Go (2014) | 3.5 out of 5
King Arthur (2017) | 4 out of 5
Lion (2016) | 4 out of 5

May is the month for movies for me. I didn’t watch any movies in April but May? I want to watch movies more than I want to do anything. My favorite movie of the bunch that I watched in the last couple of weeks is Gifted. I cried through that one but also cried big, fat tears over Lion too. Such good movies. Thank goodness for matinees and DVR because I’m still watching a whole lot of Hallmark movies though I blame that on my girls weekend with my bestie, Theresa. She DVR’s all things Hallmark. Ha!

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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Review: Sense8, Season 2

Posted May 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Starring: Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith, Freema Agyeman, Alfonso Herrera, Erendira Ibarra, Toby Onwumere
Creators: J. Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Rating: TV-MA
TV Show Type: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers: Will (Smith), Riley (Middleton), Capheus (Toby), Sun (Bae), Lito (Silvestre), Kala (Desai), Wolfgang (Riemelt), and Nomi (Clayton). Each individual is from a different culture and part of the world. In the aftermath of a tragic death they all experience through what they perceive as dreams or visions, they suddenly find themselves growing mentally and emotionally connected. While trying to figure how and why this connection happened and what it means, a mysterious man named Jonas tries to help the eight.

Meanwhile, another stranger called Whispers attempts to hunt them down, using the same sensate power to gain full access to a sensate’s mind (thoughts/sight) after looking into their eyes. Each episode reflects the views of the characters interacting with each other while delving deeper into their backgrounds and what sets them apart and brings them together with the others.

I spent the weekend binge-watching the second season of Sense8 and while it took me a while to catch up (it’s been a while between seasons), I’m glad that I stuck with the show because this season really packed a punch that hit me all over the place. In the end, I was an emotional wreck but I’m so pumped for the third season that better be forthcoming.

So the first season left us on edge because Whispers (the bad guy) is now in Will’s head and the only way that our cluster knows how to keep Whispers from finding and capturing Will is to drug him up so for a huge chunk of the season, Will is drugged out of his mind. So the main focus of the show is trying to evade Whispers and BPO, the company trying to capture Will and his cluster mates for experiments. Will and Riley are in hiding while the others are still living their lives and are available to help when needed.

Individually, each sensate is going through something. Nomi is still on the run from all of her shenanigans from last season, Lito is dealing with the aftermath of being outed as gay in his acting world, Sun is plotting her revenge on her brother, Kala is dealing with being married to a man when she’s in love with another, Capheus is dealing with his rising status in his small town and Wolfgang, he’s dealing with a whole bunch of stuff.

I really enjoyed being in this world again. The first season set the tone for this show and I think the second season kept the party going. I thought the second season was excellent and the pacing was well done. You get a lot of face time from each sensate and each sensate’s story adds to the overall arc of the show in a way that was interesting and just flat out good. I love seeing the bond between each sensate grow over the course of the season and I love how they help each other out. There’s a balance in their cluster where everyone is equal in their worth and I think the writers did a fabulous job of letting the viewers see each sensate learn and grow throughout the season. They’re a lot stronger than they were last season. You can see how much they’ve grown into their abilities and their bond. They’re not strangers anymore but a unit and they work incredibly well together.

The dynamic in the cluster is pretty interesting too. Some are dealing with being alone in the world and the cluster is there to remind them that they’re not alone. Others are dealing with so many different people in their minds and the cluster is there to remind them that they don’t have to do everything on their own. It’s okay to ask for help…and they all need help from time to time. Their cluster is a family and nobody gets left behind.

When Will decides to stop hiding, I about stood up and applauded because, for me, that was a long time coming. I loved seeing each of the sensates grow in their determination to fight the good fight together. I’m pretty anxious for the next season so I’m seriously hoping that there is one coming. I’ve got my fingers, my toes, my eyes all crossed because another season needs to happen. I’m so thirsty for more.

The acting was fantastic, I even liked the new Capheus. If I had to pick a favorite, I think my favorite this season would be Sun. She’s freaking awesome and I love, love, love her. Everyone is pretty great. I’m glad to see that Riley has really come full circle from her woe is me crap from last season. I will rejoice when Kala finally gets her head out of her ass and divorces her husband then goes to get her man Wolfgang. Lito is still the bomb and cracks me up at every turn and Nomi is still a boss lady with her hacking genius self. Capheus is really growing into a full character that I’m taking notice of and seriously, the cast is so wonderfully refreshing and diverse that I’m just a huge fan of all of it.

If you haven’t watched this show, you should fix that. This is one of the best shows that I’m watching and I can’t wait for more.

Season 2 Trailer

My Rating


5 out of 5


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