Category: Reviews

Mini Review Round Up (1)

Posted October 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Each week, I’ll do mini reviews of the books I’m reading to keep everyone who doesn’t read my other blog up to date on my thoughts on the books that I’m reading. Enjoy! PS I Like You P.S. I Like You by Kasie West Release Date: July 26, 2017 Publisher: Scholastic, Point Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Pages: 330 Format: eBook Source: Gifted Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Signed, sealed, delivered… While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue! Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…
This should have been a really fast read for me but I was in a weird reading funk so it took me quite a while to finish this one but it was super cute. It’s not my favorite from Kasie West but it was still really good. The main character, Lily, was a little hard to take at times with her constant assumptions where the love interest was concerned but she came around and she apologized for being a punk so I didn’t hold any grudges. I thought the love interest (which I spotted a mile away) ended up being really cute and I really liked him. Kasie West really shines writing contemporary young adult romances and I hope she never stops writing books because she’s one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. P.S. I Like You was cute and fluffy and perfect for when you want something light instead of something deeper and all angsty. I’m super looking forward to reading her next release, By Your Side.

My Rating

4 out of 5
Hating Game The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Release Date: August 9, 2016 Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks Genres: Contemporary, Romance Pages: 384 Format: eBook Source: Gifted Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love. Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing 3) Joshua Templeman Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game?
I wanted to read this book because it sounded good and early reviews were very positive but then I read a review that made me not want to read it. I talked that over with my friend Ames and she gifted me the book so I could give it a try (she really liked it) but I didn’t read it until last week and holy cow am I glad that I didn’t let that one bad review stop me from reading this one because…I really liked it too. I loved seeing the change in both Josh and Lucy’s relationship. I loved that it was a gradual change and not that insta-love business. I enjoyed their bickering, their games and then seeing them have eachothers backs. My favorite scenes in the book were probably the office paintball competition and then Lucy letting Josh’s Dad have it. When she went on Xena Warrior Princess on Josh’s Dad, I wanted to stand up and applaud. The romance felt real, the feelings that crept up for both characters made me laugh and then happy sigh so you know that I enjoyed this one. I did catch the things that the bad review complained about but they were such small parts of the story. The thing that kept throwing me out of the story was the authors use of CVs instead of resumes. I thought the story was set in the US so when Lily and Josh talked about updating their CVs, that threw me off because I don’t know of anyone in the US that refers to their resumes as CVs but then Ames told me that the author is from Australia and that made sense. Still, this was a great book and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

My Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: The Girl on the Train

Posted October 11, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 16 Comments

girl-on-the-train-movie Starring: Emily Blunt, Luke Evans, Justin Theroux Director: Peter Berg Release Date: October 7, 2016 Rating: R Run Time: 1:52 Movie Type: Mystery, Thriller
Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.
I went and saw this movie over the weekend because even though the book got on my hot damn nerves, I still wanted to see it. I dragged Brenna with me to meet our family friend at the theaters early (for us, anyway) Saturday morning and holy cow, the tickets were so cheap that I may only see movies on Saturday mornings from now on. It cost me $7 as opposed to the freaking $16 I usually pay to see movies in the theater. Yeah, I’m cheap. So this movie follows three women. Drunk ass Rachel, Loves her some sexy times Megan and Unlikable Homewrecker Anna. The story starts off with Rachel. She commutes to work every day on the train and she people watches from the window of her seat. There’s a couple that she watches from the train and she thinks they have the perfect relationship. They’re a gorgeous couple and she can tell from her spot on the train that the man loves the woman very much. She looks forward to seeing them every day from the train and even makes up little stories about their perfect life. Anything to keep her from looking at the house a few doors down that used to be her house. Rachel is a hot mess. She drinks too much. She blackouts a lot and you’d think with as many times as she loses huge chunks of time where she has no idea what she did or how she got home, that her ass would get her life together and stop the drinking but she’s an alcoholic and she just can’t help herself. When she becomes involved in the investigation of a missing woman, the woman that she watches from the train, I almost couldn’t believe it because, damn woman. Seriously, get your life! The second woman is Megan Hipwell, the missing woman. Her story was a lot more complex than the others because her past and her present unraveled throughout the course of the movie. Her seemingly perfect marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be but not for the reasons that you’d think. As we delve into her past and try to figure out her present, we go deep into what made Megan the way that she was. I think aside from Rachel, Megan did the most growing throughout the story. Anna is the woman that broke up Rachel’s marriage. Or well, Rachel’s husband did but she was the other woman. She was sleeping with Rachel’s husband while he was still married to Rachel and she liked it. She liked being the other woman. She loved all of the sneaking around and shadiness of her affair with Tom so it was very hard to like her. So Megan goes missing and the mystery surrounding her disappearance was what the whole movie was about. I thought that for the most part, the movie stayed true to the book. Sure, there are some marked differences (the setting for one) but I don’t think any of that takes away from the story itself. I thought the acting was fantastic and the casting was pretty on point. To be honest, I liked the movie more than I liked the book but I don’t know if it was because I was prepared for the story while watching the movie or what but my friend didn’t like the movie, liked the book better and Brenna really liked the movie. Overall, the movie was good stuff.

My Rating

Good Stuff

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Review: Bad Moms

Posted September 22, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Bad Moms Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jay Hernandez Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Release Date: July 29, 2016 Rating: R Run Time: 100 minutes Movie Type: Comedy
Amy (Mila Kunis) has a great husband, overachieving children, beautiful home and successful career. Unfortunately, she’s also overworked, exhausted and ready to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other stressed-out mothers (Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn) to get away from daily life and conventional responsibilities. As the gals go wild with their newfound freedom, they set themselves up for the ultimate showdown with PTA queen bee Gwendolyn and her clique of seemingly perfect moms.
I’m not going to get into what this movie was about since the synopsis that I included sums it up pretty nicely. I’m going to just jump into my thoughts on this movie. I liked it. I don’t know if I enjoyed it as much as I did because I’m a Mom (a bad Mom at that) or what, but I laughed a great deal during this entire movie. My favorite quote of the movie was this one from Bad Mom Carla:
“I say we go punch that chick right in the tits.”
I’ve used this saying so many times since I’ve seen this movie that my daughter just rolls her eyes and finishes for me, “I know, you want to punch her in the tits.” Super Mom, that’s me. This is one of those movies that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The actors were great, they delivered their lines perfectly and the jokes just kept right on coming. The love interest was probably the weakest part of the movie since it didn’t feel like it was necessary though Jay Hernandez looked damn good as the love interest. The overall message of the movie is that it’s okay to not be the perfect Mom. Who cares if you bring store bought desserts for the bake sale? Who cares if you don’t make your kids a homemade lunch every day? As long as you’re raising great kids and not little assholes, you’re still winning. 🙂 Grade: 4 out of 5

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Review: Me Before You

Posted August 11, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Me Before You Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer Director: Thea Sharrock Release Date: June 3, 2016 Rating: PG-13 Run Time: 110 minutes Movie Type: Drama, Romance
Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.
Last year, my book club read this book for a discussion and I was not okay after finishing the book. I had so many things to gripe about when discussing the book. Mostly, this book made me sad and it depressed the hell out of me and I ugly cried through most of the story so when we heard that the book was being turned into a movie, we were all adamant about not wanting to watch it. We’re a bunch of romantics and we need that happily ever after and the ending for this book? I can’t even talk about it. So weeks passed after our discussion and news about the movie starting pouring onto our FB feeds and on the blogs that I read every day. I heard that Khaleesi was cast as Lou Clark and Finnick from the Hunger Games was cast as Will freaking Traynor. Enough time had passed that I forgot about how depressing the book was that I messaged the movie trailer to my book club friends and asked, “Who’s in?” Of course everyone was in because hello? Khaleesi and Finnick together on screen? We’re so there for that, only we couldn’t get our schedules to line up properly to go and see the movie together that I ended up seeing it for the first time with my daughter and all of her friends (my nieces and nephew). What’s funny is that we took my nephew along with us to see the movie because he wanted to spend some time with us before leaving to play football at Louisville and we took him to see this movie. Ha! He was the only guy with us and he’s this big hulking football player and he was sitting in the back of the theater with us while we ugly cried our way through this movie. There was a lot of ugly crying going on too. Enough time had passed that I didn’t remember all of the details from the book but the big things that I did remember made it onto the movie and I ate it all up. So Louisa Clark is a quirky young woman who just lost her job at the town cafe when it closes down and she’s in the market for a new job. Her father just got laid off so she starts to feel a bit of pressure to find a new job to help her family stay afloat. She lands a job as a caretaker for a paralyzed banker named Will Traynor and her nerves and sparkling personality are sorely tested with each passing day of her new job. Will is a complete bore and she starts to dread going to work but eventually, things start to turn around for her when her and Will strike up an unexpected friendship. It’s not a perfect friendship but Will is completely different from anyone she’s ever met (not just because he’s rich) and she’s charmed with what she’s starting to learn about him. Will has a big secret that he doesn’t talk about and when Lou finds out about it, she’s heartbroken. She doesn’t know how to help him or change his mind but that doesn’t stop her from trying. I really enjoyed Emelia Clarke as Lou. She brought Lou’s sparkling personality and cheerful disposition to life so wonderfully that I was thoroughly charmed with Lou’s character all over again. I loved seeing the bumble be tights and the look of pure bliss on Lou’s face when she got them. Sam Claflin as Will Traynor was another fantastic casting. I really liked his surly temperament and loved the way that his feelings for Lou changed and grew. I loved seeing his feelings for her grow. It was one thing to see the change come over him while reading the book but seeing it on the big screen was just great. There wasn’t a thing that I didn’t like about this movie (hell, I was even okay in the end). The acting, the humor, the scenery, the music. It all completely worked for me that I went and saw it again two more times in the theater. So while this movie had me looking like this throughout most of it:
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I ended up feeling like this afterward because that ending scene with Lou? I loved it:
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Grade: 5 out of 5

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Review: Jason Bourne

Posted August 9, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Jason-Bourne-movie-poster Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander Director: Paul Greengrass Release Date: July 29, 2016 Rating: PG-13 Run Time: 123 minutes Movie Type: Action, Thriller It’s been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power. I’ve been pretty anxious to watch this movie because I have loved all of the Jason Bourne movies and I’ve been low key shipping Jason Bourne with Nikki Parsons since way back when. I should have known better because these are not romance novels or even romantic comedies, these movies pack the action and the suspense in and while I did end up enjoying the movie, I was a bit bummed by what happened pretty early on. So the movie starts off with a bunch of action scenes and I was immediately drawn into the latest web surrounding, Jason Bourne. Nikki Parsons has some news that she thinks Jason should know and she risks her life to get that information to him…now I’m not going to lie. I’m going to hide this part of my review because there’s a huge spoiler in it. Enter at your own risk:
***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! HIGHLIGHT TO READ!***
I almost got up and walked out when that stuff went down with Nikki and Jason in the very beginning. I have been a shipper of those two from the very first movie and I’m so bummed that my ship sunk in spectacular fashion. *sigh* R.I.P. Nikki Parsons. The show must go on and it really did. Bourne was on a mission to get some answers and to once again take down the bad guys who are big bad bullies hiding behind the US Government. This movie packed an action packed punch and I thought it was another fantastic Bourne movie. The pacing was great, the action was intense and Matt Damon shines in my favorite role of his. One thing that really stood out to me was how grown Damon is. He’s really aged since the first movie and that was pronounced in this movie but only freaking Matt Damon can age really, really freaking well. Older Bourne is just as hot and sexy as younger Bourne was and I was all about him in this movie. Overall, I was a fan of pretty much everything in this movie except Heather Lee. She can go and suck a something bad. Still, this was a great movie and a great addition to the Bourne movies. I definitely recommend. Grade: 4 out of 5

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