Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Movie Review: Coco

Posted June 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Coco (2018)
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Director: Lee Unrich, Adrian Molina
Release Date: 21 November 2017
Rating: PG
Run Time: 1:45
Movie Type: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

I’m not much of an animated movies fan so I wasn’t planning on watching this movie until Brenna rented it and started watching it with me in the room. Within ten minutes of the movie starting, I was parked in front of the TV and captivated by everything going on. I went into the movie completely blind because I don’t think I had ever paid attention to any of the previews for the movie beforehand…and I think because of that, I was really invested in what was going on in the movie. There was no browsing on my phone while the movie played, no playing games on my phone or reading, just me, Brenna and the movie playing.

This movie was good. I cried. I laughed. I was happy and then sad and then happy again. This movie had everything and I can’t recommend it enough because it wasn’t just for the kids. There was plenty for adults to enjoy as well. This movie was about family and love and remembering those that came before us.

Miguel’s journey through the colorful land of the dead was adventurous and heart-warming with the sidekick he picked up along the way. Hector was a fabulous character that I couldn’t get enough of. I loved to see his love and heartache over not being remembered by his daughter and seeing Miguel try to make everything right made for such a delightful movie.

Disney knocked it out of the park with Pixar on this one. I have watched this movie over and over again and I still love the heck out of it. I highly recommend. The music, the colors, the land of the dead and the characters all made for a compelling and charming movie that will move you emotionally and have you rooting for the good guys to win. The ending was super sweet and had me in tears so seriously, you should check this out if you’re looking for a heartwarming movie to watch. This is a great one.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Book Review: Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

Posted June 12, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Book Review: Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.Sincerely, Carter
by Whitney G.
Series: Sincerely Carter #1
Published by Whitney G on May 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 246
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

Just friends. We’re just friends. No, really. She’s just my best friend...

Arizona Turner has been my best friend since fourth grade, even when we “hated” each other. We’ve been there for one another through first kisses, first “times,” and we’ve been each other’s constant when good relationships turned bad. (We even went to colleges that were minutes away from each other…)

Throughout the years, and despite what anyone says, we’ve never crossed the line.

Never thought about it. Never wanted to.

Until one night changed everything. At least, it should’ve...

Just friends. We’re just friends. I’m only saying this until I figure out if she’s still “just” my best friend…

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G. is a re-read for me. My best friend chose this book as our book club discussion book because she was in the mood for a best friends to romance book and this fit that bill.

Enough time had passed since my last re-read of this book that it was like reading the book for the first time again. I remembered some things but more often than not, I was surprised all over again but one of the things that I remembered clear as day??? My love for Carter. Oh man, this book was super good. I enjoyed the romance, the characters and the love that was evident between Carter and Arizona. I loved how well Carter knew Arizona and how much Arizona cared for Carter. Their friendship was solid and it was sweet and when they fell in love with each other, it was more sweetness tacked on.

Carter and Arizona have been best friends since they were in elementary school and they’ve been 100% platonic for many, many years. That all goes up in smokes when Arizona walks out of work with a tight, pink tank top that makes Carter sit up and take notice of Arizona as a woman. When Arizona’s boyfriend breaks up with her, she turns to Carter for help in the art of seduction and things get really interesting.

The chemistry between Carter and Arizona was fantastic. Their friendship was strong and solid which made their romance all the more enjoyable for me. From beginning to end, I was invested in what was going on and where the story was going.

Carter was such a fantastic character. I really enjoyed getting to know him all over again. He was so confident in himself and in his relationship with Arizona and I just ate all of his page time up. I loved seeing him change from best friend to in love with his best friend and knowing Arizona’s mind better than even she does. That’s what best friends do. They know when the other needs them and they know how the other will react to every situation…and they will always look out for you, no matter what. Carter proved that not only was he the best friend that Arizona would ever have but he is also the man who would love Arizona more than anyone else. Gah, I just adore this man so much.

Arizona was strong in her own way but there were times when I wish she had more faith in herself and in Carter. I loved that she went after what she wanted, no matter what she had to do. Whether it was stealing classes over the weekend at the local culinary school or asking her best friend for help with embarrassing things. She was a go-getter and it was easy to see why Carter was so enamored with her.

Whitney G. wrote a sweet romance about two best friends who find in each other what they couldn’t find with others. There wasn’t much that I didn’t love about this book and it made me cry so you know that it’s a good one. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4.5 out of 5

Sincerely Carter Series

four-half-stars

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Review: Kingsmen: The Secret Service

Posted January 31, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Starring: Colin First, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Release Date: 13 February 2015
Rating: R
Run Time: 2:09
Movie Type: Action, Adventure, Comedy

The agent Harry “Galahad” Hart from the Kingsman Secret Service helps the troublemaker Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, who is the son of an agent that saved the lives of Harry and his team sacrificing himself seventeen years ago. Harry invites Eggsy to be candidate to the vacancy of a new agent in the agency and he is trained by Agent Merlin and competes with other candidates. Meanwhile, the Kingsmen investigate the industrialist Valentine, an insane genius of technology who is plotting a deadly plan with his assistant Gazelle to save Earth from global warming eliminating most of the population with a chip and saving only those that he has chosen.

What a fun movie this turned out to be. I wasn’t all that interested in watching it before but thanks to a recommendation from my friend Ames, I jumped right in and loved every minute of this movie. There were some parts that I could have done without but for the most part, this was an enjoyable movie that had me laughing one minute and gasping from the action the next.

Galahad has to find a new candidate for the Kingsman Secret Service and his choice is Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, the son of an agent that saved Galahad’s life. Eggsy is a bit of a troublemaker that can’t catch a break. He’s got a mother that is dating a really bad dude and he worries about her and his younger sister. So when he lands himself into some trouble, Galahad shows up to save the day and life as Eggsy knew it changes.

There’s a lot going on in this movie. There’s Eggsy’s training and then there’s the main plot surrounding Valentine’s big evil plan to take over the world and all of that filled this movie up with loads of action and awesome dialogue. I really enjoyed this movie and am kicking myself that it took me so long to finally watch this. Big kudos to Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson because I was invested in this movie from beginning to end. I loved that this movie was fast-paced, funny and I connected with all of the characters…especially Eggsy. What a cutie patootie he is.

This movie was a good way to spend a couple of hours and I’m really looking forward to watching the next one. Luke says that it’s not as good as this one and I believe him because this movie is pretty hard to top.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Mini Review Round Up (7)

Posted October 19, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Mini Review Round Up (7)Something about You
by Julie James
Published by Penguin on March 2, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 307
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Fate has thrown two sworn enemies...

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other's arms...

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it's no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

2017 is the year of the re-read for me because I’ve been re-reading a bunch. I re-read the two books that I’ll be reviewing today for my book club. My book club is freaking awesome. We don’t read any of those Oprah book club books that depress the hell out of me (well, the ones that I’ve read). We read, for the most part, romance novels. My favorites. Each month, a different member of our book club picks a romance novel that they want to read together and we read then discuss. Having a romance novel book club that meets once a month brings on so much flippin’ fun.

Anyway, we read this book and it was met with a lot of praise. This was a fun romance with great characters and a romance that hit all of the right buttons. I still feel a bit let down that we didn’t get any scenes with Jack and the family that he wanted to spend more time with but other than that, this was a solid romance with a suspense plot that will have you turning the pages faster than you can read.

I adored both Jack and Cameron and enjoyed seeing them come together in love. I loved seeing them hate each other and then go soft for each other. The passion and the chemistry was sizzling in this one and it’s always a treat to read.

My Rating

4.25 out of 5

Mini Review Round Up (7)A Lot Like Love
by Julie James
Published by Penguin on March 1, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 259
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

The FBI wants her cooperation...

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city's top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there's only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother's release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her...

As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This "date" with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they're both determined to pull off even if they can't be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick's investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

This was another re-read for my book club and I do believe it’s a done deal. This is my favorite book in the FBI-US Attorney’s series. I just adore the hell out of Nick and Jordan. Nick is seriously my kind of hero and I just love how large and in charge he was. I also liked how well Jordan suited him. How they suited each other.

Nick and Jordan have to pretend to be together to trap the bad guy and get Jordan’s brother out of jail. They were supposed to pretend to be together but when feelings start cropping up, things start getting real and I enjoyed the hell out of Nick and Jordan’s adventure to true love. There’s lots to recommend this story. Charming characters, a strong heroine and a hero that is swoonworthy plus a romance that sizzles. This one is a book that I plan on re-reading over and over again over the coming years. I just love this book a lot.

My one gripe remains the same gripe from my other reads of this book. I really wish we had gotten to see Nick interact with his family. It was great hearing about his siblings and parents from Nick himself but gosh I would have loved a trip to New York to visit his Ma and deliver his birthday gift to her. An introduction of Jordan to the family. That would have been the icing on this great cake. Still, this book was the bomb.

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

FBI-US Attorneys Series


four-stars

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Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Posted March 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely
by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #0.5
Also in this series: Crushed
Published by Random House, Flirt on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

The rules are clear—until they're broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

"Who knew that pretending you're not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?"

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Super Librarian Wendy is hosting this year’s TBR Challenge and March’s prompt was: Comfort Read (Favorite Author? Favorite Trope? Favorite Sub Genre?) so I chose to finally start a series by one of my favorite authors that has been sitting on my bookshelves for a long ass time.

The Redemption series by Lauren Layne is a contemporary NA series that follows a trio of friends who are ripped apart by betrayal. They’re each trying to move on from the betrayal in the only way they know how and each book follows a different couple.

Ethan Price is taking a summer class at NYU, taught by his god-father, so that he doesn’t have to be around his father’s company, interning with his ex-girlfriend. He’s not ready to see Olivia and deal with the aftermath of their break-up. When Ethan meets Stephanie Kendrick, she’s the last person that he wants to spend the summer with. She’s moody and attitudey and she dresses like an extra on a Marilyn Manson video but she’s got a mouth on her that never fails to make him laugh and she’s got some pretty great boobs as well.

Stephanie Kendrick is taking a summer class to keep her from going to her father’s house for the summer. She doesn’t really feel like her father’s home is her home and she’ll do whatever it takes to not spend any time there. He’s got a new wife that is not her Mom and a step son that is okay but on principle, Stephanie hasn’t gotten too close to him. So she’s spending the summer in a screenwriting course and is paired up with rich, preppy boy Ethan Price who is too pretty for his own good but who can give as good as he gets when it comes to exchanging witty banter.

When Ethan and Stephanie are paired up to write a screenplay together, they become friends. Well, not really since they both still don’t like each other but Ethan needs someone to play his girlfriend and Stephanie needs a place to crash so…a bargain is made and the party begins.

Holy cow am I a bonehead for waiting so long to get this series read. I enjoyed the hell out of this book. The chemistry between Ethan and Stephanie was explosive and their banter was sexy and just so much fun. I zipped right through this book and if I were to name a gripe, it would probably be that the book ended. I enjoyed the ups, the downs, the getting to know you, the surprising jealousy and just every little thing in this book.

Ethan was a great hero and Stephanie was pretty fantastic herself. They were characters with flaws and issues that needed to be addressed and you really see the growth in both of them. Lauren Layne hit this one out of the park and the minute I finished it, I jumped right into the next book, Broken. This was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.


4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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