Tag: Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Took You the Longest to Finish

Posted October 5, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 8 Comments

T5W

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey but is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. You can read more about this meme on the Goodreads Group here.

This weeks topic is: Books That Took You the Longest to Finish

These are the books that you had on your nightstand “in progress” for months or years. The books that you took weeks to read because they put you in a slump. Those books that were an uphill battle. These are books you started and actually read, not books you’ve just had on your shelf the longest.

This week, my list will be filled with different kinds of “took me a long time to finish” books. Some books I wasn’t in the mood to read but still finished this book and loved it, liked it, hated it, and well…you get the idea.


1. The Goal (Off-Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy.

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

I was so looking forward to reading this book but once it came out, I wasn’t in the mood for it so I kept putting it down to read another book. It was weird for me since that never happens with an Elle Kennedy book and this book wasn’t even a bad book, it was a completely mood thing so instead of taking me one night to read, I read this book in a week. I enjoyed it but it took a long time to finish.

2. Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Music by Sara Bareilles.

A candid and down-to-earth collection of essays by five-time, Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, exploring her life in song; raw, evocative, and utterly unforgettable.

Sara Bareilles shot to fame in 2007 with her hit single; Love Song, and her more recent chart-topping hit; Brave, but her journal as a songwriter started long before. In this candid book of essays, Sara pulls back the curtain to expose her songwriting process, revealing all the struggle and joy inherent in creating great work while staying true to yourself.

Showcasing her stripped down and confessional writing style, Sara’s entertaining and inspirational book tells the inside stories behind her most popular songs and offers insights into finding balance between making art for herself and commercial music for her listeners.

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books so I was curious to see how this was going to go and while I did end up enjoying it, it was slow to pick up so it took me a while to get into and in turn, took me a long ass time to read.

3. The Wall of Winnipeg by Mariana Zapata.

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

This was the first book by Zapata that I read and at the time, I was distracted with other things so my attention for this book suffered a bit. It might have taken me a bit longer than usual to finish this book but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the heck out of it. It was a great read!

4. A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride.

A teen Sliding Doors. One choice creates parallel dual narratives in this romantic contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.

One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.

On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

I had to keep putting this book down because I got so mad at every turn with each of the characters. I stuck with this book for longer than normal and I almost DNF’d so many times but didn’t. In the end, I got mad at myself because I didn’t DNF it. I didn’t like the ending any more than I liked the beginning and middle. Drove me up the wall, this one.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

First published in 1813, “Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners – one of the most popular novels of all time – tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins the novel, that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

This was one of those books that I kept having to put down because of different things. I didn’t understand what the heck was going on, I had to take a breather because Darcy or Elizabeth were getting on my nerves so it took me a while to finish. In the end? I loved this one. Ha!

What books have you read that took you a long time to read?


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Top 5 Wednesday: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre

Posted September 28, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 12 Comments

T5W

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey but is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. You can read more about this meme on the Goodreads Group here.

This weeks topic is:

September 28: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre

–What books do you think are good to introduce people to your favorite genre? If you have more than one favorite genre, feel free to split it up to cover both.

My favorite genre is contemporary romance. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Young Adult, New Adult or Adult. I just love contemporary romances so this was pretty easy for me. Here are the books I would place on my starter kits to introduce new readers to my favorite genre.

1. The Deal by Elle Kennedy (New Adult).

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Is it really a surprise that this book is in my contemporary romance starter kit? I mean, I feel like I talk about this book every week. I would apologize to you guys but…eff it, I love this book and it belongs in my starter kit. I’ve started my friends off on their reading journey with this book and I haven’t had any complaints yet. Lots of love for this book, author and series.


2. Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (Adult).

No woman could resist him—except the one he wanted most…

Cool, Calm, Collected…

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Confident, Famous, Irresistible…

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.

This is a good choice for new to romance readers. Some people that love romantic comedy movies but don’t really know how they’d like those steamy sexy time scenes. This will introduce them to the character development that we love so much in romance novels without all of the steamy scenes. Some people need to work themselves up to that stuff and this works out perfectly for those guys.


3. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen (Young Adult).

There are alternate cover editions for this ISBN here and here.

A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

Is it really always better to be safe than sorry?

This book hits me in the feels every single time that I read it because it’s a character driven book that has a cute romance that gets me every time. It also makes me want to read more of the same every time I re-read it so it’s a favorite of mine to recommend because I’m always hopeful that others will love and want to read more books like it.


4. After the Kiss by Lauren Layne (Adult).

Lauren Layne kicks off her Sex, Love & Stiletto series with a delightful short novel! In After the Kiss, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

Lauren Layne is an author that needs to be read by everyone interested in contemporary romances with compelling characters, strong friendships and all around great romance. She is one of my favoritest authors ever and she contemporary romance game stays strong with every new release. After the Kiss is a great place to start anyone Lauren Layne’s reading adventure.


5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult).

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This is another fabulous contemporary romance for young readers that I fell in absolute love with. I highly recommend this book for any of you guys who wants a cute young love romance to read. So good!

What books would make it on to your gateway to your favorite genres list?


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Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You WOULDN’T Want to Trade Places With

Posted September 21, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 11 Comments

T5W

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey but is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. You can read more about this meme on the Goodreads Group here.

This weeks topic is:

Characters You WOULDN’T Want to Trade Places With

–We always talk about how cool it would be to be a character in our favorite books, but who would you not want to trade places with?

This was another easy topic for me to cover because there are a lot of characters that either piss me off or that I feel super bad for. Here are my choices for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday.


1. Edie from Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane.

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Read this part of the synopsis and it will tell you why I don’t want to trade places with her. She went to her crush’s wedding and he kissed her and they got caught. If that happened to me, I’d want to be like one of those Southwest Airline commercials…you know, the “Wanna get away?” commercials. How embarrassing to be known as the home and wedding wrecker, especially when it wasn’t even your fault!

2. Lily from A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean.

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Lily’s naked body is going to be shown to everyone in England and she is not about that life. Neither am I. I wouldn’t want to trade places with her for obvious reasons. Poor thing.

3. Rachel from The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Ugh, freaking Rachel. She couldn’t get her shit together, she put her nose where it didn’t belong and for what? A whole lot of trouble. She got on my hot damn nerves throughout the entire book. She just kept right on finding my nerves and stomping on them. I wouldn’t have wanted to trade places with her either.

4. Sofia from Overruled by Emma Chase.

But when Stanton, her “friend with mind-blowing benefits” begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves.

Her head tells her she’s crazy…and her heart says something else entirely.

Sofia falls in love with her friend with benefits and things are going swimmingly until her friend with benefits gets a wedding invitation for his main squeeze’s wedding back home and freaks out because the main squeeze wasn’t supposed to get married to anyone…but Sofia’s friend with benefits. So he flies home to try to persuade the main squeeze to NOT marry this other guy and he brings Sofia along for support. I just can’t even with that dumb ass. I felt bad for Sofia at first but the longer she stayed, the more pissed off I got at both the friend with benefits and HER. That whole book was a hot mess and I wouldn’t trade places with Sofia to save my life. Nope. Never.

5. Any heroine in an SEP book.

From Molly in This Heart of Mine and that scene to Rachel in Dream a Little Dream and all of the crap she went through in that book to Meg in Call Me Irresistible and just every single SEP book ever written, each heroine is humiliated and dragged through the mud and we’re a witness to it all. It’s really hard to read those books even though the heroines are strong and their stories end with a huge happy ending but still, I wouldn’t want to be an SEP heroine. I couldn’t deal with all of that madness.

There’s my top 5 for this week. What characters would you not want to trade places with?


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